Fit Chic NYC’s Blog


Exercise in Everyday Activities: Cleaning

One of my co-workers is convinced he can market his YogaCleaningilates as the next new hot fitness class, when really he just wants people to come clean his apartment! But who knows though, with moves like the squat and mop, shoulder press and window wipe, and push-up and dust, maybe he’s on to something!

So to help boost his class enrollment beyond just himself, I decided to help him out by showing everyone just how much of a calorie scorcher cleaning the apartment can be. (Check out my other post about how many calories you can burn by moving apartments.)

Calorie estimates are provided by CalorieLab.com and are for 15 minutes of each activity:

Sweeping the floors: 39 calories

Washing windows: 34 calories

Mopping: 43 calories

Dusting: 26 calories

Taking out the trash: 26 calories

Straightening up: 26 calories

Scrubbing the bathroom: 48 calories

Washing dishes: 22 calories

Vacuuming: 43 calories

Making the bed: 17 calories

Doing laundry: 17 calories

Total for cleaning his apartment, eh I mean taking a class of YogaCleaningilates – 341 calories!

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Get Fit and Give Back

There is nothing more rewarding for the body and soul than getting fit for a cause!

When you lead a busy lifestyle, and can barely find time to eat dinner, it can be hard to set aside a few hours a week to volunteer and give back to your community. That’s why I love fitness fundraisers – it combines philanthropy with something else that’s near and dear to my heart (fitness!) and is already a part of my daily routine. It’s a win-win situation for all.

From 5ks to stair climbing (which I mentioned as a great budget workout earlier), there are lots of options when it comes to choosing a fitness event that benefits charity. For example, this past Friday I participated in a spin-a-thon at New York Sports Club to benefit Muscular Dystrophy. The Grand Central location hosted 11 spin classes throughout the day, and for a $10 donation (all proceeds benefiting the Muscular Dystrophy Association), I had an awesome workout and was able to help a great organization.

To find a fitness fundraiser, check your favorite charity’s website to see what event they are hosting in your area as well as different fitness clubs and organizations around the city. New York Road Runners has a calendar of events which has plenty of for-charity options – I’m looking at the June 21st 10th Annual Father’s Day Race Against Prostate Cancer which raises money to support the American Cancer Society’s programs in cancer research, education and advocacy. And I know that in the fall, Shape magazine hosts a Pilates for Pink event to raise money for The Breast Cancer Research Foundation®, and during their 2008 event, they hosted six Pilates classes in Union Square!

What are some of your favorite get fit for a cause events?



Pack a gym bag
March 26, 2009, 11:21 AM
Filed under: Fitness tips, Gym, Workout Gear, Workout tips | Tags: , ,

Lacking motivation to get to the gym after a long day of work? Or do you wake up so drowsy in the morning you can’t find your MP3 player and decide to drift back to sleep? Pre-pack your gym bag – you’ll have NO EXCUSES not to get in a good workout! It was one of my tips for incorporating morning workouts into your routine and if you drag your gym back to work, not only are you prepared, but you’ve also established a sense of obligation to yourself.

What do you pack to make sure you get the most out of your workout?

The esstentials

The Essentials

The essentials

Gym clothes (shorts, shirt, sports bra and socks)

Sneakers

Music player

.

The Forgotten

The Forgotten

The necessary, but often forgotten

Headphones

Locker lock

Deodorant

Bag to place your jewelry in

Your gym membership card

Headband for your hair

Workout gloves

Towels (if your gym doesn’t supply them)



Gym musical chairs
March 23, 2009, 12:05 PM
Filed under: Gym, NYC life | Tags: , , , , ,

Fitsugar.com did a survey about whether you like to “gym hop” or not …  use one-day passes and try out other facilities, classes, instructors. I was surprised that when I voted (YES!) 66 percent didn’t agree with me.

I first started gym jumping out of necessity – when I was in the process of moving to NYC, I was couch hoping and staying at different friend’s apartments but still wanted (NEEDED!) to work out. Since I wasn’t signing a membership yet, I visited different gyms close to the various apartments I was staying at and received a few day passes here and there. I’m familiar with almost every gym in the Midtown East/Murray Hill area.

Then when I finally moved into my first apartment there were three gyms nearby and I needed to try them all before I settled on one – the location, facilities, clientele and class instructors really make it or break it for me. I just recently moved apartments and decided to switch to a gym closer to my new apartment and now I’m a New York Sports Club member with regional access. Within the past two weeks, I’ve visited five of their different locations.

Why do I recommend gym hopping? Simple, as the saying goes, ‘you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince.’ (Note I have now referred to the gym as my second home and my boyfriend! I’m calling myself out on this!) Each gym has something different to offer and not every gym is the right fit for YOU!

  • Instructors While at my first NYC gym, Crunch, I found the most incredible spin instructor. He was passionate about his classes and really gave you a great workout, (to the point where he walked around with a flashlight and checked your heart rate monitor, if you were wearing one, to make sure you were giving it your all)! When I left Crunch because of location, I looked up what other gyms this instructor taught at because I was seriously considering choosing a gym based off him – sadly I wasn’t able to find a suitable option. But before I chose another gym, I tested a few out to see who had decent spin instructors – something that was important to me.
  • Classes Look at what time you like to workout, morning or evening, and does your gym offer the classes you like to take (spin, mat Pilates, boxing) at times you are able to attend? Or perhaps there are new classes like Urban Rebounding, or Masala Bhangara that you’ve been interested in taking, but aren’t offered at your gym.
  • Equipment Not enough cardio machines? No pool? Missing the ab machine that you swear by?
  • Clientele How crowded is the gym at the times you want to workout? What types of people go here; is it a motivating atmosphere?
  • Facilities Are there showers and lockers available? Overall cleanliness and upkeep. How important is it to you to have the gym supply you with towels?

The list could go on. So if you haven’t gym hopped recently, try it out – you might surprise yourself.



Heart rate monitors

Everyday athletes can wear bling too! Mine is pastel pink, beeps at me, and I love it dearly.

It’s a heart rate monitor and although it’s a tiny investment, it can save pounds in the long run. For those of you unfamiliar with the product, most heart rate monitors include two-pieces. The monitor/display is typically worn as a wrist watch and the transmitter component which you wear strapped just under your chest.

The formula for weight loss is simple; burn more calories than you consume and eat healthy foods. So, it makes sense that if you’re looking to lose weight you’re going to want to keep track with caloric intake and outtake (exercise). But why bother spending money on a heart rate monitor when most of the cardio machines at the gym give a caloric count right? Well, for one – most of those machines aren’t accurate, and are inconsistent with other machines of the same type. While some allow personal measurements such as age and weight to be entered, in the end, it’s still an estimate.

Hence one of the glorious features of the heart rate monitors. It’s personal, it’s yours. Enter your specific measurements and behold the wonders of an exact calculation of calories burned. For example – when I first bought my heart rate monitor (Polar F6) I tested it on the elliptical machine. The machine read that I burned about 350 calories in 30 minutes, but my heart rate monitor read only 310. It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but that daily 40 calorie difference turns into a weekly difference of 280 calories. The heart rate monitor also allows me to calculate caloric burn for activities that don’t offer an estimate read such as cycling or CrossFit. I’ve never tried it, but I want to wear it for an entire day of normal activities and see what I should burn through my daily routine!

Another great feature is obviously the heart rate calculation. Whether you’re training for a specific event or just working on your cardiovascular health, you know that you need to train your body and heart to endure and recover from certain “zones.”  To determine which zone you’re working in, take your maximum heart rate (220 minus your age), and a low-intensity work out is 60-70% of your max heart rate, moderate-intensity is 70-80% and high-intensity is 80% and over. However, if you have your heart rate monitor on, your specific targets are already calculated for you and your current heart rate is prominently displayed – making interval training (work at a high intensity, recover, then repeat), a whole lot easier.

For fitness-enthusiasts, a heart rate monitor is the perfect accessory!



Gyms giving back
March 17, 2009, 3:32 PM
Filed under: Gym, NYC life | Tags: , ,

It’s always nice to see a gym with a conscious! The Green Microgym, located in Portland, Oregon, boasts that it is “one of the first fitness/health club facilities in the world generating a significant portion of its own electricity.” And how does it do this? The appropriate question should be who? The Green Microgym has a burn and earn program where it rewards clients for working out and generating electricity for the facility.

Innovative? Definitely. And the concept is simple: Every hour spent on specific machines earns clients a dollar and once $10 is earned, they can cash it in for a gift certificate for products from the gym or food or wine from specific local eateries. And that’s not the only way this gym stays green. Check out their website to see a complete list of environmentally-friendly policies the gym has adopted.

For those a little more local (this is a blog called fitchicNYC), New York Sports Club has a great promotional event going on called the “Biggest User.” Get it?

Instead of focusing on helping the environment, this large franchise gym is helping individuals. Sadly not everyone is intrinsically motivated to get healthy and if it takes a little external rewards like gift cards, workout gear and vacations, to get people to go to the gym – so be it! To enter all you have to do is go to the gym, or use your personal training sessions (or buy them), and you are reentered each time you do this. So basically you’re being rewarded for living a healthy lifestyle. Nothing like a little healthy competition to get people motivated!



Morning workouts – very Presidential

I’ve already told you why working out in the morning is beneficial (and ideal)!

But if you need another reason …. that’s when the Obamas squeeze in their workouts. I’ve seen it mentioned in an article on WedMD and People reported: “To squeeze working out into her packed schedule, Michelle Obama rises at 5:30 a.m. and exercises ‘pretty religiously’ with husband Barack Obama in the White House’s private gym, she tells PEOPLE.”

It’s great to see the Presidential family so committed to making fitness apart of their daily routine!