25 Active Date Ideas

While going on dates can certainly be fun, a typical night out with a romantic partner often ends up being focused on eating and drinking. While a date at a night bar or restaurant is definitely deserved, why not think outside the box when it comes to spending an afternoon or evening with a partner?

Here are 25 — yes, 25 — active date ideas you can do any time of the year. Within this list, there has to be at least of a handful of activities you both will thoroughly enjoy.

Low-Key Date Ideas

Walk the dogs. If either of you has a pup, take a long walk with your dog together! If neither of you are pet owners, consider volunteering at a shelter and playing with the pups who need a home.

Mini golf. Walk around those 18 mini holes versus sitting on a bar stool. Mini golf is fun and keeps you on your toes, both figurately and literally.

Restorative yoga. A nice restore yoga class lengthens your limbs, relaxes your mind, and helps your body repair and rejuvenate. At the end of a class, you usually feel so good — a great feeling to also share with a partner.

Bowling. Lace up your bowling shoes and hit the alley. Walking up and down the bowling lane has to count for something. Just try to avoid the fried food that’s often sold at the bowling alley.

Explore the farmers market. Keep your body moving while moving around the maze at a farmers market. Bonus points for buying some fresh produce and making a healthy meal together when you get home.

Sledding. If the snow is in full-force, you don’t need to stay stuck inside. Grab a sled and head to the nearest hill for some sledding with your boo. Walking up the hill is a sneaky hill workout, too!

Tubing. Whether summer or winter, make a day out of it and go tubing. Whether you’re in the snow or on the water, staying seated in a tube is actually a sneaky core exercise, since you need to use your abs to ensure you don’t fall off.

Ice skating. A romantic evening out could mean heading to the ice rink. Hand in hand, skate around the rink while catching up on each other’s lives.

Rolling skating. For something a little easier than ice, roller skating is a fun and old-school way to get the heart pumping while enjoying some laughs together. If you’re extra cautious, wear some knee and elbow pads to protect your limbs.

Beach volleyball. Instead of basking in the sun on a beach chair all day, get up and go over to the volleyball nets. You’ll be guaranteed to build up a sweat on the sandy court — and can choose to be on your partner’s team, or add some friendly competition to your relationship and go 1 v 1.

Charity walk. To get your steps in and do something good for the world, go on a charity walk together. You can easily look up and see which ones are happening in a city or town near you.  

Laser tag. For some unconventional and creative fun, embrace your inner-kid and go play laser tag! You might be surprised by how much running and lunging you’ll end up doing.


High-Intense Dates

Snorkeling. For the adventurous spirits, make a date that’s slightly closer to the ocean floor. Take a snorkeling class together and swim and explore the sea to your heart’s content.

Tough Mudder. A date idea definitely outside of the box is signing up for an adventure race, like a Tough Mudder. These are obstacle-course style races that combine running with climbing, balancing, crawling, and jumping. Athletic couples would love something like this!

Paddleboarding. Head to a local lake in the summer and give your arms, legs, and core a sneaky workout while you’re enjoying the views with your date. Paddleboarding forces you to focus on your balance, too!

Kayak. If you’d prefer to stay seated, kayaking is another great summertime workout and date idea. You’ll be working your arm muscles while enjoying the serene scenes and the sun.

Rock climbing. Skip Tuesday takeout and head to the rock climbing gym instead. Rock climbing is especially fun with a partner since your loved one can be the belayer while you climb up the wall. Just remember to take turns!

Downhill skiing. If you live near the mountains, make a day out of hitting the slopes after a good snowstorm. Downhill skiing is a great workout for your quads and hamstrings.

Biking. Hopping on a bike with a beau is super fun and great for your body. Go on a cruise around town, or use it as your mode of transportation as you head to a restaurant or bar.

Running. Increase your endorphins together by going on a run! Running with a partner also helps motivate you to get out the door if you find it’s hard to lace up your shoes and get going.

Hiking. For a long day on your feet, pick a route and hit the trail with your loved one. You can choose from a leisurely two-mile hike, or do something longer with more elevation gain. Either option is more active than going to the movies.

Cross country ski. Cross-country skiing is a great aerobic exercise and a perfect excuse to get outside during the winter months. You can rent skis at a nearby store if you’re a beginner and aren’t ready to invest in a setup quite yet.

Spin class. To get hot and sweaty with your date, go to a spin class together. Spinning is super fun, intense, and a great way to get moving with your loved one.

Salsa dance club. If you want to learn something new, get your body moving, and share intimate time with your partner, check out a salsa dance class! They’re often offered at bars, so you can reward yourself with a drink afterward.

Run a 5K! Lastly, to add a little competition and a lot of fun to your day, run a race together! A 5K is a perfect distance for a date — not too short, not too long.


Get moving and grooving on your next date night! No matter what the weather is like, there is something you can do with your loved one that is fun, active, and will get your body moving in more ways than one.




4 Ways to Honor Heart Health Month

While some think of Valentine’s Day during February, we also need to remember that it is Heart Health month, too! According to WebMD, when your heart isn’t getting the proper care it needs, serious issues occur and can lead to “heart attacks and blockage of blood flow in the arteries.”

This month, we propose you look out for your heart! Some small ways you can do so include exercise, controlling cholesterol levels, limit stress levels and eat heart healthy foods.

Get your heart moving

It is no secret that movement and exercise is great for heart health. After all, cardio is one of the best ways to put your body (and heart) into motion! If you aren’t into fast-paced exercising, that’s okay – you can still find a type of exercise that fits your preferences and helps your heart.

John Hopkins Medicine lists aerobics as a great form of exercise to promote heart health. They explain that aerobics “improves circulation, which results in lowered blood pressure and heart rate.” Some of these aerobic exercises include brisk walking, swimming and cycling/spin.

Aerobics is not the only type of exercise you are limited to when focusing on heart health! Believe it or not, strength/resistance training is also recommended by the American Heart Association.

Healthline explains that “when combined with aerobics, strength training will help to raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol [which] can also reduce your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.” Strength training includes using free weights (dumbbells, barbells), weight machines, resistance bands and body-resistances (sit-ups, squats).

While exercise is definitely one of the key methods to promoting heart health, you don’t need to be locked into one kind of routine. We recommend finding a type of exercise that fits your lifestyle and preferences best!

Control those cholesterol levels!

Cholesterol – we all have it, most of us have heard about it, and some of us actually know about it. Usually, cholesterol has a bad rap. However, there are two different types of cholesterol – LDL and HDL, which are known as bad and good cholesterol, respectively.

The American Heart Association explains that LDL is typically viewed as bad because “it contributes to fatty buildups in arteries.” In contrast, they claim “experts believe that HDL [carries] LDL cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where the LDL is broken down and passed from the body.” Essentially, LDL rids the body of bad cholesterol, which is why it is often considered as good.

So, what are some ways you can keep your LDL levels under control? The short answer is to incorporate heart healthy foods and exercise into your daily routines. While this may seem oversimplified, we recommend finding exercise routines and recipes that work best for your preferences.

However, Mayo Clinic provides a few helpful guidelines when focusing on heart healthy foods. Some of the guidelines listed include:

  • Reducing saturated fats
  • Eliminating trans fats
  • Increase Omega-3 fatty acids

As always, the best place to receive recommendations about maintain your cholesterol is through your primary care physician/doctor.

Cut that stress out!

It is no secret that the inevitability of stress plays a role in your mental and physical health. Evidentially, stress can lead to factors that impact heart health or increase your risk for heart disease. According to the American Heart Association, elements such as “high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, physical inactivity and overeating” can be caused by stress and lead to a decrease in heart health.

The AHA recommends learning to manage stress in order to promote heart health. It is a good idea to take a step back if you find that you are stressed or feeling overworked. By prioritising healthy habits, you are closer to protecting your heart and all that comes with it.

Protect your heart through food

Maintaining a well-rounded diet is one of many ways to manage a health heart. While all foods fit and are good in moderation, there are specific foods that are more beneficial to heart health. As identified by CNN Health, some of these heart-friendly foods include oats, low-fat dairy, leafy greens, nuts/seeds and avocados.

An easy way to start the day with a heart healthy breakfast is by whipping up a bowl of our Steel Cut Oatmeal. CNN Health explains that oatmeal contains “a special type of soluble fiber called beta-glucan,” which reduces cholesterol levels. Steel cut oats are a great breakfast because you can top it off with anything! If you’re into savory oatmeal, you can double up and top your oats with leafy greens and avocado.

Breakfast isn’t the only meal you can incorporate heart healthy ingredients into. We love using low-fat yoghurt to make a Pancake Puff Banana Split! Top it off with some nuts or seeds, and you’ve got yourself a heart-healthy dessert.

If you are trying to introduce more heart healthy ingredients into your diet, we recommend choosing what fits best for your lifestyle! Honoring your heart can take many shapes in forms. By combining exercise routines, mental health promotion and heart healthy foods, you are sure to be on the right track to honoring your heart!

15 Tips For Taking Fitness Outside

15 Tips For Taking Fitness Outside

With summer in full swing, we should take advantage of the outdoors — and not just for BBQs and backyard parties. While your fitness regime might currently consist of indoor gyms, yoga studios, or your own living room floor, it’s never a bad idea to head outside to break up a sweat.

We’re not just talking a jog around the block, either. There are countless ways you can burn calories and boost your heart rate outdoors that will tackle different muscle groups and work your body in different ways. Plus, many of these outside options will be free.

We spend way too much time inside, too. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American spends 93% of their life indoors. Not only does that sound stifling; spending too much time inside can lead to mental health issues and also make it harder to motivate ourselves to get outside and get moving.

Before we dive into tips and tricks to workout outside, it’s important to know a few of the cool health benefits of exercising outside. For instance:

You get lots of natural light exposure. Those LED lights in gyms just won’t cut it. Natural light is important for our health; research has found that natural light can help us be happier, healthier, and overall more productive. Natural light can also help combat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and a hefty dose of it will also expose us to more Vitamin D, a nutrient many of us are deficient in. Doctors suggest Vitamin D could protect us against things like osteoporosis, cancer, and depression. (Just make sure to use sunscreen!)

The air quality is a lot better. A little unknown fact is that indoor air pollution is often worse than outdoor pollution. So if you’re looking for something that is better for your lungs, go outside.

Being outside is simply more interesting. I don’t know about you, but I struggle to make it past 10 minutes on a treadmill as I stare at a bleak gym wall. Being outside in the sun with the beautiful outdoor landscape in view might motivate you through a tough workout. For whatever reason, an interval workout in the grass sounds way more doable than on an indoor track.

How to Use The Outdoors As Your Gym

Now, let’s dive into 15 tips for how to take your fitness regime out the door and into the beautiful world!


Pick a reliable place. There are countless places to choose to do your workout. State parks, stadium stairs, local trails, and beaches are just a few options. Just make sure you do research beforehand and get some general, important information. Is this park open? Will the beach be overcrowded? Is there an entry fee? Are there any events happening that would close off part of the space? Make sure you do some quick due-diligence so you can walk, bike, or drive to your workout destination and not have to turn around.

Check the weather. This might seem obvious, but I’ve been known to drive 15 minutes to a beach, only to have it start pouring. Since you’re going outside, do a thorough read of the hour-by-hour forecast, and make sure there is no heavy rain or thunder in your near future. (However, a little rain never hurt anyone — just make sure to wear water-resistant exercise gear!)

Bring water and calories. Since you don’t have the luxury of water-fountains and vending machines, make sure you bring plenty of water with you and leave extra in your car. If you’re doing a particularly hard or long workout, bring a post-workout snack as well, whether that’s a piece of fruit, granola bar, or a sports gel.

Tell somewhere where you’re going. Always let someone know where you are headed, especially if you won’t be taking your phone with you. For example, if you’re planning on a one-hour trail run, tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back. It never hurts to be extra safe! Also, it’s best to workout when it’s light outside. (You’ll get more of that natural light!)

Check out local reviews. Maybe you go to the same park every week, or you’re at a loss for where you can exercise if you live in an urban setting. Whatever the case, use Google to your advantage! Check out reviews from other people to see what places might fare well for a workout. A quick Yelp review can help you know if a beach will be super crowded, if a local track will be open after the school day is over, or if a trail system near your house is no longer under construction.

Pick varied terrain. It’s important to ensure your fitness regime stays varied. So mix things up! Maybe try some circuit workouts on flat park grass one day, and then do a hill workout near a hilly suburb the next. If you have access to the ocean, try running on sand, too (your calves will feel that!). The trick is to make sure you don’t do the same type of outdoor workout every time you lace up your sneakers and head outside. So discover new outdoor places to play!

Check yo’self. If you’re heading to the woods and it’s tick season (hello, summer!) make sure to check yourself for any pesky bugs that might be stuck to your ankles, socks, or other articles of clothing. If you do find a tick, make sure to remove it right away (use tweezers and get the entire body, not just the head). If you’re concerned, make sure to seek medical attention right away.


Learn some bodyweight exercises. Bodyweight exercises are a great outdoor option because you literally need nothing besides a flat surface and some water to stay hydrated. These types of exercises include push-ups, mountain climbers, lunges, squats, curl-ups, burpees, and planks.

Download a good exercise app. If you want someone else to dictate your workout, there are luckily tons of great exercise apps you can download straight to your phone. (Some are even free!) They will also help keep you accountable and stick to the length of the workout, whether it’s 10 minutes or an hour long.

Get your HIIT on! HIIT, otherwise known as High-Intensity Interval Training, is a butt-busting workout that will whip you into shape, and can virtually be done anywhere. This is a type of workout that forces you to give a full, 100 percent effort in via fast and intense bursts of exercise, followed by short recovery. This will get your heart pumping and help burn more fat.

Find some steps. If you live near a local school or stadium, see if there are bleachers you can run up. This is a great simulated hill workout and will get your heart pumping and legs moving in no time.

Bring a friend. A little accountability goes a long way. Plus, it might be way easier to convince a friend to go for a run outside with you versus finding treadmills that are next to one another. Consider a weekly workout where you exercise with a friend every Wednesday evening, and follow it with a healthy bite to eat.

Leave your headphones at home. If you’re outside, you might as well experience it all! Avoid excess distractions like music and enjoy the natural sounds you’re surrounded in. Plus, it’s also the safe thing to do, especially if you’re running on trails or it’s getting dark out. Speaking of, if you’re doing your workout super early in the morning or after work, there’s a chance you’ll lose light. Always bring a headlamp with you for emergencies and in case you find yourself in the dark.

Bring some accessories. Just because you’re not in a gym doesn’t mean you can’t bring anything with you to elevate your workout. Consider taking a yoga mat, dumbbells, resistance bands, or medicine balls with you to exercise; we guarantee your backdrop will still be nicer than your basement walls.

Check for meetups! Do a little research to see if there is a Meetup, or any other organized exercise activity, happening near you. Oftentimes people will gather for local runs, outdoor yoga classes in the park, or other fun activities. Going with a group means you won’t have to plan the workout, either. You just have to show up!

With summer in full force, it’ll never hurt to get outside and get moving. Soak up the sun, rev up your heart rate, and reap the benefits of taking your fitness routine to the great outdoors.

How to Start Running Long Distance

If you’re like us, you get jealous when people share pictures of a long distance runs on their smart watches. No matter what you do, you just can’t seem to run more than a few miles. A marathon (or even a half-marathon) seems like a distant dream. If running long distance doesn’t come naturally to you, the good news is that it is something that can be learned! After reading these few tips and tricks along with a positive mindset, you’ll start running long distance easily with this how-to guide.

Running long distance has some incredible benefits whether you’re already running short distances or looking to switch up your normal workouts. That running high you always hear about? It’s so real a Swedish institute did research on it. Those who run daily for at least 30 minutes are more likely to live longer. If you’re looking for more reasons to run longer and farther, check out these 6 Science-Backed Ways Running Improves Your Health.

Focus on Fuel

When you’re running long distance your body needs proper fuel, AKA nutrition and hydration. If you don’t fuel your body properly before a long distance run, it will be like a car running on empty. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy and are essential for fueling a long run. The amount of carbohydrates you need to consume will depend on the length of your run. For those who running 60 minutes or longer, it is important to fuel your body similar to the way an athlete fuels theirs.

Hydration is also key for long distance running. The longer you exercise, the more you’re at risk for dehydration. You need to hydrate prior to running, during, and afterwards. If you are hydrating during your run, take a water bottle with you! Or keep an eye out for water fountains on your route.

Have a Positive Mindset

Mindset is everything, in your day-to-day life and when it comes to running. If you tell yourself you can’t run long distance, your body will listen. The quote “if you’re not a confident person, pretend to be one,” by Caitlin Moran, applies perfectly to those with a goal to run longer. Pretend you’re already a long distance runner, your body will start to believe it. Soon enough you’ll be running long distance and realize you don’t have to pretend anymore.

What works for you mentally, will be different than others. If 10 miles seems daunting to you, try breaking it down into five 2 mile runs and take a walk in between. Ten miles is still 10 miles even with breaks! If you need some motivation during your run, try listening to motivational speeches on YouTube. Or try running with a friend, it will get your mind off of the distance while also keeping you company. They can also push you to try harder when you need it.

Pace Yourself

If you’re already able to keep a pace of 10 minutes per mile for 2-3 miles, don’t expect to keep the same pace for 4-6 miles at first. If you’re tired at the end of 2-3 miles for your current pace, don’t push yourself to do more when you’re not ready. Try slowing your pace down to preserve energy and you’ll be surprised at how much farther you can go. Once you’re able to successfully reach your mileage goal, try picking up the pace!

If you’re a sprinter, slowing your pace down can be difficult at first. Your natural instinct is to go and go fast. Entertain yourself with distractions that will keep your mind off of going faster. Put on one of your favorite podcasts or curate a special playlist of your favorite songs. If you’re not a fan of running with headphones try changing up your routes so you’re busy observing new scenery. The easiest way to slow your pace down is to track it with a smart watch or smart phone. All you’ll need to do is glance down at your phone or watch and it tells you your pace! If you’re more into old school methods, run on a path that has mile markers with a stopwatch to monitor how fast you’re going.

Start Using a Running App

Technology might just be your BFF when training for long distances. There are several running apps that exist that serve different purposes. Your smart devices probably have a built in running app that cover your basics being time, mileage, pace, and a map. If you’re looking for something more, check out your app store.

For the sprinters who need something more than just one pace, try an app that breaks a longer run into intervals. If you want a thoroughly detailed training schedule, try out an app that plans out all of your runs for you. There are even apps that match your current running speed with a song that’s rhythm matches your run. Or if you thrive off a community with a similar mindset, try out an app like Strava! We recommend doing some research on the different apps that are out there for your smart tech. Then have some fun testing them out!

Don’t Forget Post-Run Care

It can be easy to get home, kick off your running shoes and just jump in the shower. But remember, you’re pushing yourself more than your normal exercise – which your body is not used to yet. Cool down for a few more blocks than you normally do. Do a deep stretch right after your run to loosen those muscles. Catch your breath and reflect on the amazing run you’ve just completed!

You’ll probably be sore and your body will require more post-workout nourishment. Don’t be afraid to eat some extra carbs since you’ve just depleted your body of energy. Invest in a quality foam roller to massage those sore leg muscles. Lastly, hydration is vital after a long run.

With these easy 5 how-to tips you’ll be able to start running long distance in no time! When you set your mind to being successful, you can achieve your goals. As you start to get the hang of running longer distances, try signing up for a 10k or a half marathon, the races might push you to run your quickest time yet.

Simple Ways to Keep Moving Without Disrupting Your Workday

Getting your body moving during a busy work day sometimes seems impossible. It can be difficult to get steps in while working behind a desk all day – we get it. Thankfully, you don’t need to disrupt your workflow in order to move around during work hours. If you’re looking for some simple ways to keep moving without disrupting your work day, you’re in luck! We’ve broken down ways to keep active both morning, evening and night.

Simple Ways to Move In the Morning

If you have a few minutes to kill in the morning, take a couple laps around the office and say good morning to your coworkers! It can be tempting to get into the office and sit down right away at your desk. If this isn’t already a part of your work routine, it is a simple change you can make in no time. Who knows, maybe some of your coworkers will be motivated to move with you! By starting the day off with movement, you’re mood and energy levels will spike! Who wouldn’t want to star their day off on the right foot?! We understand mornings can be busy but don’t worry – you don’t need to take out a chunk of your morning to do this. In fact, according to the Primary Care Companion 30 minutes of exercise is needed in order to be beneficial. Luckily, those 30 minutes don’t need to be completed in one go! This morning routine could be one of three 10 minute walks to move without completely disrupting your workday!

Simple Ways to Move In the Afternoon

The afternoon is prime-time for getting up, moving and taking advantage of all the benefits walking has to offer. Thankfully, you can accomplish this without disrupting your workflow! We don’t suggest you take your whole lunch break to go on a walk – food is important too! Instead, split your break in half – spend the first half walking and the other refueling your body with food. If the weather is nice, we recommend taking a walk outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunlight. If you can’t get out, you can always try walking in and around your building! Really, anywhere you feel comfortable walking – do it! Walking in the afternoon is great because you’re not disrupting your normal workflow to get those steps in. Actually, your job benefits from you moving throughout the day too! Charlotte Andersen of Reader’s Digest points out that walking and moving your body improves creativity, eliminates stress and enhances brain performance. Not only will you physically benefit from an afternoon walk, but your mental and cognitive state will as well.

Simple Ways to Move In the Evening

Before your work day ends, try standing up behind your desk to stretch your body out. If you have a height adjusting desk, this would work perfectly and allow you to continue working until the end of your shift. Don’t sweat it if you don’t! If you’re not working behind a computer, walk around the office to file your paperwork or clean up your work space. When the end of the day starts to slow down, get in a few laps by walking around the building or block to decompress after a long day. Being able to move around at the end of the day is great if you have a long commute home. If you work from home at night, try tackling your tasks while you move. For example, if you work on your phone often and have access to a gym why not do both at the same time? Of course everyone’s routines are different – see what works best for your workflow and body.

Any Time in Between

We get that it can be difficult to work in time to move during a busy and hectic schedule. That being said, you can take some small steps (pun unintended) to add movement in between down time. For example, if there is someone in another department or part of the building you need to meet with, try walking to their office instead of calling them on the phone. Similarly, if there is paperwork that needs to be filed, copied or saved, take a walk to do so instead of waiting until the end of the week. If you are lucky and do get some down time, use that time to your advantage! Instead of browsing social media or scrolling the Internet, take a quick lap or two around the office. Additionally, if you usually buy lunch from the office café, take a walk to a restaurant or café near you to pick up lunch and enjoy some fresh air! Remember – you don’t have to stop moving once you leave the office. Here are some super fast workouts you can complete at home when you need to get your sweat on.

You may be surprised that small tweaks to your daily work routine could help you get some movement into your day. We suggest taking this change slow, altering your routine day by day. That way, you will find yourself getting into the swing of things in no time! With these suggestions of simple ways to keep moving, your mental and physical state will thank you when you take that quick 10 minute walk around the office!

Getting In Shape On A Budget

When some people look to get in shape, they sometimes think they need fancy gym memberships, top of the line fitness apparel, and a $2,000 Peloton exercise bike for at-home workouts. While you certainly can go this route, it’s by no means the necessary and only path to getting in shape.

Fitness can be free, or at the very least affordable. However, it’s worth stressing that your health is one of the most important investments you can make and saving up some funds to devote to your physical or mental health is never a bad idea.

If you’re looking for ways to get in shape during the summer months without making a huge dent in your bank account, look no further than these tips below.


10 Affordable Ways to Get In Shape

Leave the car at home. Working out doesn’t have to be isolated to a certain chunk of time at the gym or in a spin class. Moving throughout the day is a great way to keep your body in good spirits. Instead of hopping in the car to head to the grocery store a mile away, ride a bike. Think of all the things you drive to that are close by and consider replacing your car commute with a bike ride or walk instead.

Quit your gym membership. While gyms are a great way to get in shape (I mean, that’s their job) who wants to work out inside during the summer? Do your wallet a favor and replace treadmill and weight room sessions with trail runs at your local park and bodyweight exercises in the backyard.

Look for membership deals. If gyms are your thing, then it’s totally okay to keep going to them. That said, there are many loopholes you can find in order to avoid paying full price for a gym membership. Many gyms offer some sort of year-long promotion, which might give you a month free, reduced monthly price, or even deals for employees depending on who you work for. If you have an irregular schedule and don’t want to work out during peak periods (usually after 5pm) you might also be able to pay less if you go to the gym during off hours. Lastly, ask about referral deals. Recruit a buddy and see if both of you can become members at a discounted rate.

Join a local club or class. Whereas fitness chains will often cost a pretty penny, local clubs and classes tend to be really affordable, if not free. See if there are group runs or workouts on Meetup.com or browse bulletins in local coffee shops and libraries. If there isn’t anything in your town, considering starting a fitness group of your own. We’re sure lots of people are probably looking for free fitness, accountability, and a bit of fun too.

Eat healthily and save money! While this isn’t necessarily about fitness, a big part of staying in shape resides in the kitchen. By buying fruits and veggies in season (or stocking up on frozen goods) you’ll save a lot of money, especially if you’re cooking more regularly instead of eating out or ordering takeout. Consider meal prepping on the weekends so you have a healthy list of nutritionally dense meals to eat all week long.

Buy bulk classes at a discount. If you love taking classes, whether barre, spinning, or TRX, skip the drop-in fees (which cost the most money) and buy a 10-pack or other type of bulk class package that’s offered. It might be more money upfront but it will save you a fair amount of money in the long haul.

Buy second hand equipment. There’s no need to buy new fitness equipment. You can usually find amazing deals when looking for used exercise equipment. Start by asking family and friends if they have any old treadmills or weights they no longer need or browse garage sales, flea markets, thrift stores, and websites like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. Just make sure you test out the equipment ahead of time to ensure it’s not on its last legs.

Check your corporate wellness perks. If you work for a corporation, technology company, or other established place of business, they might offer special perks for employees. Some might even reimburse you for your entire gym membership, while others could engage in fitness challenges that include providing you a wearable device like a Fitbit. Check to see if your office has a gym on site, too. Many offer personal training at a discount as well!

Get in the pool. If summer is particularly hot and sweaty where you live, see if there’s a local pool nearby where you can swim laps! It’s a perfect way to cool off while staying out in the sun, and most pool admission fees are pretty low. Besides, swimming is an amazing workout that will get your heart pumping while toning your entire body.

Download some apps. If home fitness is your thing, browse the app store for hundreds of different workout apps to choose from, many of which are free. You can do bodyweight exercises, yoga flows, HIIT training, or running workouts. The sky’s the limit when it comes to how your smartphone can help you workout on the cheap.


Who said getting in shape had to be pricey? With one, two, or a handful of these tips above, your body will be moving at a healthy pace — one that can keep up with your bank statement.

What Are Stretch Studios And Are They Worth Going To?

With fitness classes popping up left and right, there seems to be a workout for every kind of person — from spin-loving fanatics and pilates gurus to yoga lovers and HIIT treadmill runners. On the flip side, there are also tons of wellness and restorative classes on the market, including meditation classes, sleep yoga, and practices like tai chi.

So, it’s not surprising that yet another fitness trend has hit the studio streets: stretch studios. We’re going to investigate what these classes really are and if they’re worth your time and money.


Why Even Stretch?

Stretching is chock-full of benefits for both your body and your mind. Stretching daily has been shown to increase flexibility, decrease tension, relax the mind, and improve posture! Stretching may also lower the risk of fitness-related injury. All in all, stretching allows muscles to be well circulated and ultimately healthier.

Even though stretching has numerous benefits, some statistics reveal that over 80 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough exercise — and this includes static (long hold) stretching and dynamic (move through a range of motion) stretching.

There are lots of us who work out regularly but skip the stretching, which could cause damage to the body and increase the risk of injury. Even just 20 minutes of stretching — a week! — could counteract damage we do to our bodies through all the repetitive pounding, flexing, and strengthening.

It goes without saying that stretching should be an irreplaceable part of any fitness routine. Could stretch studios be the gap we’re all looking to fill?


The 411 On Stretch Studios

The main goal of group stretch classes is to teach people proper stretching techniques that best benefit the body. Depending on the exact studio, you might get to choose between a foam rolling class, a stretch class based on yoga poses, or an endurance class that focuses on parts of the body that get particularly tight from running or cycling long distances. Other studios might offer general classes that journey through each muscle group, showcasing both static and dynamic stretches.

These group classes tend to range from 25 minutes long to even 60 minutes or longer, with an average price around $20 per drop in. If you’re looking for some individualized love, oftentimes you can book private sessions, which could start costing over $100 per private class.


So, Is a Stretch Class Worth It?

Everyone’s body is different, so it’s hard to make any broad recommendations. However, if you know that a solid amount of stretching keeps your body healthy, you have the means to pay for it, and you know you’re not motivated to stretch on your own, a class could be worth checking out.


Here are some other reasons a stretch studio could work for you:

You’re devoted to fitness

Stretching and other recovery classes may be a good choice for devoted exercisers who have a hard time penciling in rest days and solo stretch sessions. It’s easy to schedule the time to push your body, but might be hard to carve out time to really allow your muscles to properly recover.


You want to learn how to stretch — properly

Who’s to say you can’t take what you learn in a stretch studio and begin replicating it at home? If you’re hoping to learn new techniques while better understanding your body and the various muscle groups, consider going to a few classes to gain more knowledge on stretching and how it can become a normal part of your fitness regime.


You thrive off of group motivation

Sometimes it’s hard to stay accountable to fitness and health goals when you’re going at it alone. If you know you’re someone who needs to be pushed in a group setting (yes, even if this means sitting and doing hamstring stretches) you might benefit from a stretch studio.


What to Watch Out For:

Make sure you’re not doubling up

Take a good look at your typical workout regime; there’s a good chance you’re already incorporating some of what you’d do in a typical stretch class. For example, if you regularly practice yoga or foam roll before or after a run, you might be already getting most of the benefits offered at a stretch studio.


Start slowly

If you do check out a stretch studio, remember that group classes tend to push people a little bit harder than what we might be ready for. Don’t push yourself too deep into a stretch for the sake of looking exactly like the person to your right or left, or hold a specific pose that hurts just because the instructor said to. If you feel uncomfortable in any position, let the instructor know right away.

So is a stretch studio worth it? Maybe. Take a good look at your current workout regime and weigh the pros and cons yourself. Stretching can be a great tool to have in your fitness toolkit; whether or not you do that solo or in a class setting is entirely up to you.





8 Types Of Yoga For Every Beginner

New to yoga and not sure where to start? Then begin here.

Below is a guide to different types of yoga so you can learn what style might be a great fit for you. We’ll explain the unique components of each style so you can start your journey into this mind-body practice on the right foot.

But First, Why Even Practice Yoga?

Yoga literally translates to “union.” No matter your reason for coming to your mat, yoga is such a powerful practice because it unites the mind, body, and spirit.

People do yoga for dozens of reasons, ranging from increased flexibility and strength to reducing stress and anxiety. Interestingly, the reason many people start practicing yoga often changes over time. Many begin looking for the physical benefits (you do a lot of pushups in disguise!) and then discover that the mental and spiritual benefits yoga provides end up being the real reward.

The benefits of yoga are backed by science, too. Various studies show that yoga is just as effective as other types of exercise to reduce the risk of heart disease. Another study found that a regular yoga practice led to losing weight, decreasing blood pressure, and lowering the “bad” HDL cholesterol. Other research points to a connection between yoga and a reduction in chronic pain, obesity, asthma, and depression. Lastly, scientists have discovered that yoga changes the brain, which suggests multiple mental health benefits to rolling out your mat.


8 Styles of Yoga to Try

This ancient practice has spiraled off into many different styles that each approach yoga in a unique way. And don’t worry if you’re a beginner; yoga teachers are trained to provide extra attention to newer students and make sure the body is safely aligned. Just make sure to tell the instructor you are a beginner when you sign in at the front desk.



Vinyasa is one of the most popular styles of yoga. In class, the Vinyasa teacher will create a sequence so the student moves smoothly from pose to pose, with the intention of linking each inhale and exhale to every shape. Vinyasa classes focus on getting the heart rate up, so you’re guaranteed to leave the room a bit sweaty! The design of each class also tends to vary, since the instructor creates a different flow that will link the various poses together. This diverse movement helps prevent repetitive motion injuries that might pop up if you do the same type of movement every day.



Anusara is a newer form of yoga that is quickly gaining recognition. The word “anusara” roughly translates to“flowing with grace,” “going with the flow,” or “following your heart.” Many teachers will create a class with a vinyasa flow style but will have students hold certain postures for a longer time to build heat, reinforce good alignment, and link the spiritual intention from the mind into the body.



If you really want to sweat, Bikram yoga might be up your alley. Developed by a man named Bikram Choudhury, this type of yoga is held in an artificially heated room, typically between 95–108 °F with a humidity of 40%. In the routine 90-minute class, you’ll move through 26 poses, holding each pose for numerous slow breaths. A Bikram class always follows the same sequence, so beginners will easily catch on after a few classes. Since the room is guaranteed to be hot and steamy, definitely bring a water bottle filled with electrolytes and a towel for your mat to prevent slipping and sliding.



If you want to slow down and offer your muscles some juicy stretches, restorative yoga is a great type of yoga to try out — especially for beginners. In this style of yoga, props like comfy bolsters, blankets, and blocks are used to make each pose even more relaxing. Props are also great if your body is particularly tight! This type of yoga is considered a practice of passive healing and is designed to promote deep relaxation. Some say restorative yoga is just as restful as taking a cat nap.



If you hear the term Hatha yoga, then you’re actually being pointed to a general category that includes most yoga styles that link movement with breath. While the term Hatha is used broadly, it usually refers to an easeful and simple introduction to basic yoga poses, making it a great option for newbies. You might not get the heart rate pumping in a Hatha class but you will feel super relaxed and stretched out.



Ashtanga was introduced in the 1970s and is similar to vinyasa in that each pose is linked to a specific inhale or exhale. Unlike the variety vinyasa provides, Ashtanga follows the same sequence each time. It is typically fast-paced, vigorous, and physically challenging, even without the heated room that Bikram yoga provides.



Iyengar yoga was developed by B.K.S. Iyengar, who is considered a leading and inspiring teacher in the yoga world. Iyengar yoga is strictly based on proper alignment in each pose. In order to get in proper alignment, Iyengar classes offer blocks, blankets, straps, bolsters, and even chairs to support each student and their body’s needs. Iyengar is considered a type of Hatha yoga, and in each class, postures are held for a relatively long period of time to allow the muscles to relax and lengthen, while encouraging deep breathing and mindfulness in every pose.


Yin Yoga

Yin is similar to restorative yoga, and oftentimes people mistake one for the other. Whereas restorative yoga focuses on passive movement and rest, yin focuses on stretching, strengthening, and lengthening the connective tissues — specifically the fascia. Each pose is held for 3-5 minutes. Many practitioners of Yin say a class will help increase strength and flexibility, improve joint mobility, improve posture, and even release trauma.

How To Transition Your Indoor Workouts Outside

With spring in full force, many people are saying so long to treadmills, gym floors, and boutique classes in favor of outdoor workouts. While exercising outside might not seem complicated, there are certain key things to be aware of in order to have a productive, safe, and fun workout.

15 Tips for Outdoor Exercise

Here are 15 pieces of advice to ensure an easy shift from indoor workouts to exercising outside:

Continue to dress in layers. Even though the temperature is indeed heating up, you’ll want to bring layers with you. Consider bringing an underlayer to wick the sweat away from your skin, along with an outer wind and waterproof shell to protect you from the rain. Outside, the weather and temperature can shift quite quickly, especially in the spring, so it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Check the weather. Speaking of the weather, you no longer have a roof over your head to protect you from the elements. You also don’t have access to air conditioning to keep you cool. Check the weather ahead of time in order to dress and hydrate properly.

Wear sunscreen. Even if it’s not scorching out, or if it’s overcast, the sun is still in the sky and its UV rays are shining down on your exposed skin. It never hurts to wear sunscreen. SPF 50 on your face, shoulders, neck, arms, and legs will do the trick. Look for sports sunscreen that won’t drip away when you sweat, too!

Consider a visor or sunglasses. Another way to protect your face from the sun and to keep the sun out of your eyes is to wear a visor or a pair of sports sunglasses. For anyone with long hair: I find that wearing a hat helps keep my ponytail securely tight and all the hair out of my face too!

Look up sunrise and sunset times. The days are getting longer, which means you have more time to exercise outside while it’s still light out. Still, it’s important to pay attention to when the sun is setting so you don’t get caught in the dark. Check when the sun is rising as well; if you are a super early exerciser, bring reflective gear and let a friend know you’re heading out for a workout.

Carry food and/or water. Exercising outside means you no longer have the luxury of water fountains and vending machines at the gym! Depending on the length of your workout, you can leave water or a snack in the car or carry it with you. I enjoy carrying a handheld water bottle that has a zipper pocket for a small granola bar or a handful of nuts and dried fruit. Instant energy and hydration!

Preplan your route. If you’re going for a run, map out your route instead of winging it. This way you can avoid lots of street lights, a busy road without a sidewalk, or desolate areas. Planning your run ensures you go the exact distance you have planned as well. Use running or bike trails whenever possible for safety and to avoid getting lost.

Change your footwear. After a long winter inside, you might have put more miles and wear on your sneakers than you realize. Runners should change their shoes every 300-500 miles. This includes miles spent walking, too! Start spring off fresh with a new pair unless yours was a recent purchase.

Bring an ID. It never hurts to carry your personal identification card with you just in case. It’s rare, but if you fall and get knocked out, or faint while exercising, having your ID on you will make emergency care go much more smoothly and will help to let a loved one know right away that you are at the nearest clinic or hospital.

Grab a buddy. Working out in the great outdoors is always more fun with a friend. It also helps keep you accountable when it might feel easier to sleep in or got to an outdoor happy hour after work. Pick a friend and set a weekly date when you both go for a run and do bodyweight exercises in a park.

Join a club. If the buddy system works for you, why not get a whole community to workout with? These days there are tons of local run clubs you can join to help get you outside. The best part is you’ll meet new people and they often end up going out for dinner or drinks after. Win-win.

Learn bodyweight exercises. If you want to take what you do at the gym and bring it outside (without carrying a ton of dumbells with you…) bodyweight exercises are the way to go. Think pushups, lunges, burpees, squats, mountain climbers, planks, and scissor kicks. These are just a handful of workouts you can do to strengthen muscles, no equipment needed.

Find a park with exercise equipment. That said, if you want some equipment but want to stay outside, a lot of local parks have exercise machines, pull up bars, and stretching stations for park goers. Check to see if your local park also includes this type of equipment.

Be patient. Even though you might have worked out inside all winter, your body will feel different running or doing strength workouts in a new setting. It might take a few weeks to feel normal, which is totally okay! Trust the process and kudos yourself for getting out and taking care of your health.

With the sun heating up the day, getting outside for a workout is amazing for both the body and mind. Say so long to the indoor gym and make your neighborhood, park, or local trail system your new outdoor exercise haven. With a little bit of planning and patience, your outdoor workouts will have you sweating and feeling great in no time.

Variety Is The Spice Of Fitness.

Variety is the Spice of Fitness. Keep Your Heart Healthy With These Workouts

As the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. This is also applicable to your exercise routine. If you do the same type of workout day after day, week after week, not only will it be boring; you might start losing some fitness.

Why? If you focus on only one type of exercise (say, running) you will build great endurance and strong calves, but you might have incredibly weak hips, poor mobility, and no upper body strength. This scenario extends in pretty much every direction — stick to one type of workout and you’ll have an imbalance in the body, which can lead to injury or overtraining.

Having a well-rounded workout routine will both challenge and strengthen your inner-athlete. Here are five types of workouts you should add to your routine to keep your heart healthy and both your body and mind happy. We promise; Variety Is The Spice Of Fitness!


Steady State Cardio Training

Pretty much anything that gets your heart pumping above your resting heart rate is considered cardio. So yes, steady state cardio doesn’t have to be running — it also includes power walking, biking, swimming, cross-country skiing, and hopping on the elliptical. Steady state cardio training is pretty straight forward, and a great way to build endurance and maintain a healthy heart. Simply move at a pace and intensity that you can maintain for at least 30 minutes; this should feel manageable but not too easy.


Weight training

Getting a good workout in on the gym floor can have numerous benefits, from strengthening muscle endurance and muscle strength to keeping your heart healthy while your body lean. While many people might be wary of “getting big” in the weight room, you can approach weight training in many ways to fit your style of exercise. Some folks like to lift heavy with shorter reps, while others like to lift lighter weights while upping the numbers of reps and sets. The opportunities are endless when it comes to getting a workout in; you can strengthen anything from your core to your shoulders, quads to your back, with weights.



Flexibility goes far beyond being able to ace the V sit-n-reach test. While flexibility might not seem as important as other types of exercises, stretching and flexibility routines can increase your range of motion and give space to your fitness goals — helping you stay injury-free while strengthening key muscles and ligaments.

One of the most common (and fun!) types of flexibility workouts is yoga. While the type of yoga you can do runs the gamut from vinyasa and hot yoga to restorative Yin and grounding Kundalini, all practices focus on integrating body and breath through stretches, isometric bodyweight exercises, and moving meditation.


High-Intensity Interval Training

For a type of cardio workout that is more intense than steady-state, consider HIIT (high-intensity interval training). These types of workouts will be shorter, more powerful, and focus on fat burning. Typically, HIIT intervals around broken up into work-to-rest ratios, where you do something intense — like sprints or pushups — for a certain amount of time, followed by rest, followed by the exercise once more. The nice thing about HIIT is that you can experiment and change up the types of movements, numbers of intervals, and lengths of work and rest, to push yourself to your edge. In general, your heart rate should be elevated to about 70% of your maximum heart rate.


Mobility Work

Another type of flexibility workout that’s important for your muscles is mobility work. If you want to release tight muscles, massage the fascia, and increase your range of motion, then you should consider foam rolling, using devices like a lacrosse or tennis ball to roll sore spots, and doing certain stretches and exercises that target your hips, glute, and hamstrings. All of these types of stretches and movements will help with deep tissue release, and you can do ‘em either before or after your typical workout routine.