Fit Chic NYC’s Blog

Keep Your Heart Healthy Year-Round

In the 80s Chris de Burgh sang about The Lady in Red, but on February 11th, red got a high fashion makeover as celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Heidi Klum and Bethenny Frankel strutted down the runway in red frocks to promote heart health.

Why? Heart disease is the number one cause of death among women in the United States, and while February is American Heart Month it’s important to keep your heart healthy year-round.

Find out your risk of heart attack and reduce controllable factors by keeping a healthy lifestyle through diet and exercise as well as limiting sodium intake and not smoking.

Train for your heart

Physical activity is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk, but to give your heart a good workout you have to train in the right zone. Calculate your training heart rate and see the benefits of the different zones here. And to ensure you’re reaching your target rate, exercise wearing a heart rate monitor.

So show yourself a little love and take care of your heart.


The Weekend I Rode My Ass Off!

If you picked up on my subliminal hints in Friday’s fitness weekend round-up post you would have noticed that I packed my weekend with spin events. Although thoroughly exhausting, I had an incredible weekend and burned some serious calories!

Saturday, May 16

rtz What: Ride The Zone‘s Soho location grand opening

This is the moving spin bike class I mentioned I took a few weeks back. I signed up for one of the free 30 minute classes being offered throughout the morning from 9am-1pm. Upon arrival, I was blown away! They had gone all out with snacks – fruit and veggie platters to the sky, Zico coconut water for hydration, bagels and muffins and more! Then there was the goody bags which had a free class voucher, t-shirt, water bottle and more Zico. Oh and did I mention the Cyko Challenge they had going on? Riders who registered and successfully completed the challenge of cycling all four hours straight (yes there were rules involved) would receive 50 free classes! There were a few empty bikes for people like myself who signed up for a class but wasn’t taking the challenge. Although I had only signed up for one class, there was a spot opened in the following class so I ended up joining the cyko challenge riders for their 3rd hour (11-12pm). Originally I wanted to take the challenge, but after only an hour I was done – taking a class on that bike is insane! I wore my heart rate monitor and I burned a whooping 650 calories in one hour. I also didn’t hydrate properly so I suffered from a dehydration headache later that evening but I’m semi in love with these classes! But what was most incredible about the event was the people taking the challenge and the cyko instructors. During my time with them they were cheering and pushing through while “motivators” were walking around the class helping replenish water and towels as well as making sure riders up’d the resistance when instructed to. The challenge riders were insane but again I experienced this group mentality that was so encouraging and so inspirational (the other time was with my first Bikram Yoga class). Besides the fact they were dripped in sweat and had quads that were screaming in pain (and still had an hour to go) they were happy and energized and it was contagious. It was almost like one of those religious epiphany‘s you hear about.

Sunday, May 17

rnbWhat: SPIN ‘N BARE, A benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS

The Spin ‘N Bare event involved four individual hour long classes that participants could register for (with spin bikes set up in the hallway entrance of Hell’s Kitchen’s Club H Fitness) with each class taught by a different spin instructor. And after leaving Crunch gym in February I finally had the opportunity to take a class with my beloved spin instructor John Nobile. He even remembered me! I think he’s NYC’s best spin instructor and in my eyes, his class is worth any amount of charitable donation!  I wore my heart rate monitor again (this time I burned 500 calories in the hour) and John comes around throughout the class and checks your monitor. If you’re not in the right heart rate zone, he cranks up your resistance and makes you work harder. Charity riders also had a nice distraction. Two Broadway hunks were dancing around keeping us pumped and motivated! This event also had a nice supply of fruit and veggie refreshments and a personal guilty treat, sugar-free red bull! Club H trainers kept refreshing our water and towel supply during the ride and I’m pretty positive I overheard someone say they met their goal for the event! (Post John’s spin class everything blurs together as your try to recoup but I hope I heard right)!

All in all I had lots of free fruit, was inspired by a group of crazy “cyko-lers” and got fit for a cause. Talk about exhaustion! Plus, those were only my cardio sessions; I still went to the gym for weight training after the classes. Now I could really use a yoga class – I have the horrible tendency of scrunching up my shoulders when I ride and I’m still tense in that area now, ugh! Spinners out there, any advice?

Take Your Spin Class to the Next Level

Hi, my name is Fitchic and I’m a fitness junkie.

Maybe it’s for the adrenaline rush, or maybe it’s an addiction, but I’m constantly seeking out new classes to satisfy my fitness cravings. Recently I tried Bikram Yoga and this weekend I got my “fix” with Ride the Zone.

About a year ago I got into spinning; it was a nice departure from the elliptical/treadmill and I enjoyed the group mentality of the class. And while each class can be just as challenging as my first, I decided to up the ante this weekend with the RealRyder® – the indoor bike that moves.

Oh yes, it moves. Not forwards or backwards, it’s still a stationary bike. Rather, it tilts and turns and was created to “simulate the experience and the benefits of riding a bike in the real world. Not just the pedaling; the steering, the leaning, the balancing, the mental involvement and the emotional excitement,” the product’s website claims. The result? “A 5-in-1 workout for the whole body – not simply legs and cardio, but also upper body, core muscle groups, and balance.” It’s a revolutionary piece of equipment to the spin world.

While you can purchase these bikes from the website, they carry a hefty prices (and well if you live in Manhattan, good luck finding a place in your apartment for it), so I suggest checking out their list of partnered facilities for a class near you. That’s how I stumbled upon Ride The Zone – I went to their Upper East Side location. Check out their website for a video of what the bike looks like in action. And your first class is free! (Although you will need cycling shoes,  you can rent them for $3.)

After having one of the instructors help set up my bike, I gave the class a shot. Maneuvering the bike while sitting down (position one for you spinners out there) was fine, kind of exciting. The standing run in position two and three was a different story. My bike was moving left to right causing the seat to ram into my thighs; I just couldn’t control it as well as the more experienced riders in the class. It took almost the full 45 minutes of class to get used to the bike’s swaying and sadly my cadence never picked up, even with minimal resistance, but it’ll just take some getting used to. It didn’t help that I also got side stitches halfway through the class. The instructor said I needed to breathe a little more – it’s a common problem for first timers. Apparently I was holding onto the handlebars so tightly that I forgot to breathe normally.

Overall, I loved it! My entire body felt the class (especially my obliques) and the cardio component was much more intense than what I’ve experienced from a normal spin class; but, that could be because it’s still new to my body. I can’t wait to try it again and work on increasing my stability and speed while standing.

I looked nowhere near as graceful as this, but check out this Youtube video that demonstrates the bike:

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!