31 Day Fitness Challenge

In 31 Days, I will show you 31 maybe more ways to get in shape in the Lehigh Valley.

This challenge started after a post about fitness and its amazing effects on not only dating life but life in general. The post.

Now I am challenging not only myself but my husband to workout every day this month then to share out with you everything about the experience.

 

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Starting Point

 

Tuesday, August 1

 Emmaus Run Inn’s Tuesday Night Group Run

Day 1: Emmaus Run Inn’s Tuesday group run. The run started at 6PM at the Run Inn. We cruised through Emmaus passing the movie theatre, Rodale Park, and Emmaus Community Park then returned back to the Run Inn.

The run welcomes all abilities and participates can run at their preferred pace which

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Pass the Movies

was great. The leader even suggests different routes for different distances. ❤️ that!

In the end, I ran about 4 something miles in an hour which was just right! I never felt rushed and I completed the run at my own comfort level.

So if you are just starting out, need a group to run with or looking for Tuesday night run, make a

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Up the Hill

date with the Emmaus Run Inn’s run group and fit fitness into your date life!

Also, take a moment to print out their website coupon and shop around in their super cool running store in Emmaus, PA.

Wednesday, August 2

Pole Sweat – Sweat Like a Girl

img_2914Day 2: I am lovin’ Wednesday because I am going to the 2017 Lehigh Valley Style’s Top Gym.

Drive faster. Don’t be late. Got to GO!

As I pulled into the parking lot, I was ready. The whole trip I had the windows down and radio blasting music so when I exited my car I was like bring it on. I had a little bit of Rosie’s attitude pulsing through me.  I think she even whispered, “We can do it!”

Then I pulled two doors open, walked past the front office, and peeked into this all girl gym.

And ladies, this place has girl power all over it.

I was super excited to be there and see women challenging themselves to be fit, getimg_2915 stronger and push themselves to their limits.

I tried to stay in a low profile since my class didn’t start for a while but I was found and invited by an instructor to participate in the Super Girl workout. I will admit I didn’t even know what the class was called or what I was getting into but I partnered up with a member and began this 45 sec. circuit.

Ready, set, go.

My first task was squatting on a Bolso ball and jumping with all my might up while lifting my butt straight into the air. Typically I try to hide my back end but for a good workout I shot my rear up into the air. Not just once but for 45 seconds.

img_2917Okay, I started to sweat a little and question my sanity level but everyone else was doing it so I continued jumping and lifting. The buzzer went off and I rotated to the next station and the next and the next. I realized after the second station I may feel this tomorrow but this is for the blog, my health, and my readers so what the hell. Jump, lift, press, move, rotate, and repeat.

Each station focused on another section of my body that I didn’t even know existed. At least not for a while and definitely not this week.

Super Girl!

Yes, it was an amazing, fast-paced, cardio workout for all to sweat, complain and feel good about completing.

This class included a variety of gym equipment, cardio, circuit training, and good tunes. I loved the inclusion of TRX bands, water bars, scooters, spinners, kettle bells, and kick bags. Scooters. Yes! They were part of the circuit. I mean I haven’t used a scooter since img_2918middle school so that was fun.

Now thinking about it, I may be missing something but that is what I can think of right now. The class was exciting, motivating, and a full body workout designed to fit all abilities levels. Super Girl is more about being you and working toward your fitness goal however you define it. Promise. You really were able to work at your own pace and style your work out to best fit your fitness needs.

I think my favorite part of the work out was talking to a woman who shared that working out at Sweat like a Girl changed her life. She started attending about two years ago to improve her health and now she is 100 pounds lighter, her relationship with her husband is much better, and she has a new confidence level. Before she ran off to do planks, she added, “She thanks, Sweat like a Girl every day for being there for her and helping her get to her fitness goals. It’s the people that make the gym special.” It can’t get any better than that. What a great story!

img_2921After the class, I cooled down and prepared myself from Pole Sweat. Yes, a pole workout. Now you may be like there is no way I am going to do that but don’t let the word pole build up your anxiety. Come on it’s just a shiny, vertical beam.

Can I add that this class is not all about the pole but more about fitness and strength? Yes, the instructor loves fitness so her Pole Sweat class is a fitness work out using the pole. And she does it so well. The workout starts with squats, arm pull-ups, more squats and more arms. Really nothing unlike any another warm up so if you are nervous about the skill requirements don’t be. You got this workout. You were born to do Pole Sweat. Hey, at least you have the first 25 minutes.

Then like all workouts, the routine increases in difficulty and I had to climb the pole. img_2928What did you ask me to do? Yes, a pole class wouldn’t be complete without climbing the pole. First, I attempted in my yoga pants but that wasn’t going to work so I ran to the front room and grabbed $10 booty shorts, changed in the hallway and jumped back into class to perform the final combo. Yep! That’s when you put a routine together.

Luckily, Heather guided us through basic holds, spins, and pole positions to create a number that we later videoed. I was told that this was not normal so if you are camera shy don’t worry. The video was an add-on.

As a new member of the class, I tried my best. My fan kicks were a little low and my steps wobbled but Heather and the others encouraged me to keep going. I lifted, spun, swung and smiled my way through this class in my new shorty shorts.

Strangely halfway through the class, Destiny Child sang to me, “Cause My body is too bootylicious!”

As the class ended, we gave high fives, said our goodbyes, and posed for group photos (again an add on).

img_2925What a perfect ending to a visit!

Oh yes as I walked to my car, I pulled down my booty shorts; I felt a new level of fun, and a total love of Sweat like a Girl.

You must check out this AWESOME all girl gym tucked in Nazareth. You will leave feeling like a GIRL who COULD RUN the WORLD!

Thursday, August 3

Personal Training Session – GYMGUYZ

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Personalized, Mobile Workout

Day 3: I was super excited about this day because my husband and I were completing this workout together.

About two years, I inspired my husband to lose some weight, join a gym, and view fitness as a friendly option to help him meet his life goals. It worked and his life really changed!
Sadly we have been super busy and our personal fitness goals have been placed last on our to-do list. Happens.
That’s why I was so excited about today. First, we were testing out a new workout and I hoped to bring fitness back into our lives with this company.
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Number #1

What am I talking about? GYMGUYZ!

What is this workout? It is the coolest gym concept out there right now. It is a mobile gym that travels to you.
Yep, it is called GYMGUYZ. You can’t forget it.
I found this mobile gym on a bike ride through my hometown. The van was parked at Emmaus Community Park and the trainer and individual were about to start a workout when I spotted them and rode my bike toward the red van.
I just had to. I mean the van looks cool and I love working out. So I had to stop and ask a few questions about the company, program, and mission. After the trainer, Joe shared some info., I was like this is the perfect match for my husband and others who fear the job, have crazy schedules or just like a customized plan. As I said my goodbyes, I knew I had to contact Joe and GYMGUYZ and share it with my husband and you.
Okay so it is Thursday morning and after several text messages, Joe and I decided to meet at Borough Line Park in Emmaus. Now, I know you are saying, “Hold up. You are meeting at a park.”

Yes. See GYMGUYZ is a mobile gym that travels to you. They will go anywhere you are.

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Agility

They literally bring the gym to you. Yes. In their bright red van, there is a gym and a trainer. Everything comes in the van!

Let me take you back to Thursday morning. So when the van drove up, my husband noted his anxiety toward the hold thing and I told him to have some faith and at least give it a chance.
As we exited the car and Joe exited the van, we greeted each other and started to unload the van to setup a circuit. As I watched Joe unload, I was amazed what his van held. Not to compare but his van was like Mary Poppins’ purse. I mean there was an entire gym in a van.
As a team, we carried the items up to the basketball court where we laid out the circuit then Joe explained how the class was going to run then asked, “What type of music do we like to work out to?” I was shocked but it was a nice touch. My husband requested rock and amazingly Rush came on and he and Joe were singing to some Rush song. Sorry, I am not a Rush fan, but I rolled with it.
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Kettle Ball

The warm up started with soldiers, leg kicks, arm waves, and side steps. Afterward, my husband noted he felt really good and should warm up more often especially before he ran. That one positive comment was what I wanted to hear. It meant he was enjoying himself, relaxed, and taking in the GYMGUYZ training.

The class progressed to stations where we rotated through slam balls, ropes, presses, weighted squats, kettle ball lifts, and an agility ladder. Each station had us working on specific areas, our coordination, and toward our fitness goals. Through the entire workout, Joe was motivating us to work harder and continue to each station.
I also loved that he took the time to suggest adjustments in positions and the stations were easy to understand and quick to pick up. My husband noted that he could felt comfortable completing each station at his own ability, never felt rushed, and he appreciated Joe’s encouraging words. I totally agree that Joe’s positive personality and ability to design a course for two made it a great experience!
When the circuit was complete, I shared my enjoyment of the slam ball and my husband said he liked the rope. He even took a photo with the rope and he put it as his Facebook profile photo! Nice.
As we wrapped up the 30-minute outdoor workout, Joe shared that his clients love their img_3034GYMGUYZ training sessions because the trainer and the gym come to them. In addition to the mobile piece, he added that GYMGUYZ works with client schedules and creates workouts focused on individual fitness goals. Joe shared that he trains singles, couples, and groups, too and travels throughout the Lehigh Valley to work with individuals at their convenience.
After working with Joe, I would agree it was nice to set up a time and place to meet and train. Also, the park was private compared to a gym setting where you feel like you are being watched and monitored. Instead, the GYMGUYZ reduce all that stress, negative thoughts with their mobile, convenient, and professional training service. What a great workout option!
Before we left, my husband even asked for more information and the plans. I was impressed by not only the workout but also my husband’s interest to continue. That says a lot about this program.
Thanks, Joe and GYMGUYZ for a great workout!

Friday, August 4

L1 Flow, Meditation – West End Yoga

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Day 4: Ahhh…yoga. After a hard work out with the GYM GUYZ, yoga sounded amazing.
My whole body was needing a good stretch and I was ready to relax and let go. This week has been very busy so I was ready to focus on the present and clear my thoughts.
I will admit we were running late. In my haste, I parked on the street not even realizing there was a parking lot just for the studio. Side Note: Next time park in the lot.
We entered in a hurry and a panic. I mean we literally were just on time. It didn’t seem to bother the staff. Nope. They accommodated our tardiness and helped us sign in and prepare for class.

As we walked toward the studio, Cat warmly greeted us and made us feel at home.  Now if you haven’t visited this studio then you haven’t met Cat and from what everyone says they practice at West End Yoga because of Cat. From her yogis, her kindness, stories, and teaching are amazing. Many described her as wise, gentle soul, and motherly. So sweet.

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Plenty to Choose From.

I will admit. They are spot on.
Even though the class was waiting, Cat showed us where to place our belongings, spoke to my husband about his yoga experience then took the time to provide him with a yoga mat, blocks, and blanket.  She even assisted in the setup.  She really went out of her way to make him comfortable and feel open to practicing yoga.

img_3010When the class began, the music and Cat’s voice welcomed us to Flow Level 1. By the way, this class is a very gentle yoga class and welcomes all ability levels to participate. The positions and stretches were just right and there were plenty of blocks, blankets, and straps to support everyone’s

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Level 1 Flow

needs.

Personally, I enjoyed Cat’s voice and her soothing instruction. Also, her ability to every so often include a one-minute meditation in the practice which was a nice touch.

Every so often, I would check in with my husband and he would smile back.  During the class, Cat suggested ways to use the blocks, blankets, and straps to make the position adjust to someone’s needs. This type of instruction can be tricky but Cat has years of experience and a beautifully wove the modification into her yoga instruction. Her guidance was so

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Yoga Mats Ready for New Yogis!

streamlined that you didn’t even know the difference. Amazing.

Before the end of class, Cat prepared everyone from

WORK IN PROGRESS!

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Lending Library

Saturday, August 5

Group Runs
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Little Lehigh Parkway

Day 5: On Saturday, I woke up at 5:30 AM to meet up with my friends at Fish Hatchery Park in Allentown. We run between 4 to 6 miles on the park loop depending on our energy and our goals. After testing out several places to run together, we found this park had some perks like a gravel path, bathrooms along the way and several different ways to run. Depending on our mood, we switch it up. If someone wants hills, there are hills. If someone wants to work on intervals, there are flat spots and if someone just wants to trot along with no major obstacles, there is a path for that, too.

The park is lined with gentle willow trees and includes a

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Fish Hatchery Allentown, PA

winding river. If you are lucky, you will see a visiting heron, people kayaking, or a fisherman casting. The Little Lehigh Parkway hosts 5ks on a pretty regular basis and the Lehigh Valley Road Runners use the park for their different programming like First Strides, Making Strides, Kid Race, and their own 5ks Series. If you are interested in learning to run or reach new goals, check out their site for more information!

Sunday, August 6

img_3128Day 6: How to start? I heard of Barre 3 through a friend. She tried to describe it but said it is a class that you have to try to truly get the class.
To be honest,  I wasn’t sure what the whole thing was about. I envisioned a ballet class with classical music and strict instructors shouting out the next step but to my surprise that was not the case and I quickly realized why Barre 3 is a huge hit in the Lehigh Valley and around the world.
Now I will say I was at the Barre 3 @ Vynecrest so it isn’t a true Barre 3 class but I think I got a general idea of the class in an hour time.  Eventually I will have to try a Barre 3 studio class but for now, the vineyard is my source!
img_3126My mini tips: If you are going to attend Barre 3 at the vineyard, try to get there early because you have to park, walk and sign a waiver then find a spot on the grass.
At least give yourself, 15 minutes before the class.
Then you can wait and take in the vineyard. I saw a lot of friends taking photos and chatting before the class. You really want to arrive early!

When the class started, I wasn’t sure what to expect because my vision of a ballet class

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Sign the WAIVER!

was totally thrown out when I realized there were no bars around me to plie.

I mean I was in a vineyard on a yoga mat among about a hundred other people. And the hundred people included everyone. So if you are reading this and saying, “Was there someone like me there?” YES.
Most definitely. The crowd was mixed. Males, Females, Young. Old. In shape. Getting in shape. Barre 3 experts. New to fitness.
Now looking back, it was great to see so many people out on a Sunday and ready for this class that I still wasn’t totally sure of.
Oh yes, bring a mat, water, and sunglasses. 
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Finally, around 9 AM, the instructor called out over the crowd and began the workout. Music played. People followed. Bodies moved to the beat. It was awesome. I hung to the back and followed along with everyone else. I loved that the instructor called out the movements and shared positive thoughts while we worked out in the vineyard. She made me laugh with phrases like “Let’s marinate this” or “Let your legs earthquake.” Her energy filled the space. It was hard to not let it fill you up and feel AWESOME! If you couldn’t feel it, she told you how to think through short quotes like honor your body and trust yourself, take the goodness from your neighbor, your body is fierce but you are kind.
It was beautiful.img_3134
In a brief description, the class is an aerobic workout which includes flowing movements, balance exercises, and strength training. I truly loved the uplifting music. I think at one point that I heard The Lion King play. The end song really put me in a wonderful mood with lyrics like I rise up unafraid and I would do it a thousand times again.  Or something like that.
img_3122By the end of class, my previous concept was gone which I was cool with and my experience defined Barre 3 as a positive, aerobic workout for all to enjoy!
After the class, the Vynecrest opened their tasting room and downstairs to all Barre 3 participates. People quickly flocked to the barn and enjoyed wine tasting, mimosas, appetizers, cheese dishes, and food from Avioli Food Truck.
Now from the calendar, this was the last summer event but I would definitely check out Barre 3’s two studios in the Lehigh Valley or plan for next summer’s Barre 3 @ Vynecrest! If you are out of my area, that’s all cool.
There are Barre 3 studios everywhere. So don’t feel sad.img_3145
If not or you are a busy person, you can try their 15-day online program for FREE.
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Personally, after this class, I would advise watching an online video or familiarize yourself with the terms like Carousel, Sumo, and others before your first class. It may help decrease your anxiety and increase your comfort level when you take your first class. Just a suggestion.

If you have some time, the Barre 3 website has a lot of information for newcomers which are super helpful. I will admit. I just showed up but now as I write this I have found information on Barre 3 that would have prepared me for this workout.

Next time, I should read before just doing but what is the fun in that!

To wrap up, you really can’t go wrong with Barre 3 @ Vynecrest.img_3146
Nope!
You have the three best things: Barre 3, wine, and friends.
Oh, I forgot to tell you this event is free!
So you really can’t miss it next year.

Monday, August 7

Day 7: Boxing Class
img_3158My Monday morning started out very early as I planned a visit to Title Boxing Club in Trexlertown at 9 AM. Now, when I think of boxing I think of Rocky, Creed, Ali, and Southpaw. Yes. That is what I think of when I hear the word BOXING. Yes. Those are my references. So I will admit I was more than a little bit intimidated when I was attempting a 60-minute boxing workout. First, this workout required gloves and second I had to punch a bag. At least that is what I thought I was getting into. I really had no idea.
As I journey through these workouts, I try to keep an open mind and just go with the flow. Since I am a researcher, my commitment to just showing up can be a personal challenge but I believe this technique keeps me fresh and in the moment instead of comparing, contrasting, and the know it all. So on this rainy Monday morning, I ran through the rain to get to this door. The rain actually felt refreshing.img_3169
That’s when I spotted the interior of the gym and everything that I imagined was right in front of me. Gloves. Bags. And the word boxing printed everywhere. I am not sure what I wanted to see but that is what staring right back at me! I almost turned around and said yeah not to today but I knew I committed to the class and to a 31 Day Fitness Challenge so I opened the door and walked in.
I was greeted by Ron. Ron explained the story behind the gym and how he and his wife are super passionate about boxing, the gym, and its members. It was so refreshing to hear about his personal story and his triumphs against odds and how he wants to support others and be there when they need him and his gym. If you don’t, believe me, that is on the website, too. As members came in, Ron called out their names and they called back. He noted that he treats all his members like family and his members do the same. I found it interesting that I discovered another gym describing their gym as a family. What a nice thing to know that gyms are not only for fitness but for a community as well!
img_3171As this one member spoke to me about her love of boxing and the gym, my anxiety lowered and wanted to be part of this family, too. Before class, Ron kindly asked me about my personal injuries and if I have any concerns and I replied that I fell a few years back and fractured my hand and I have an L4, L5 issue but other than that I am perfectly healthy. With that knowledge, Ron wrapped my left hand normally and then wrapped my right hand with care as that is the one with a rod and nine pins. Then he fitted me with pink gloves and lined me up with a hanging punching bag.
After that, I was ready to box. But before Ron let me go all out in class, he took some extra time to introduce the upper cut, cross cut, and under cut which are three key boxing moves that would reappear in class. I gave the hanging bag a few hits. Then he corrected my punches and I hit a few more times and he again assisted me. Hey, this was my first time in my entire life that I was wearing gloves and punching a hanging boxing bag so I needed help! His advice was to take it slow and do your better and it takes practice. I promised myself during this work to be patient with my abilities and just go with the workout. I hit the bag a few more time and started to feel like a fighter. Before Ron left me, he assured me that this class is a great class and I will do just fine. I chuckled as I looked around and spotted others with their gloves on in front of boxing bags ready to punch out this workout. Okay. I will give it a try.img_3174
Around 9 AM, the music blared through the speakers. I was so surprised it was one of my favorite run songs. Right then and there, my mind was set to knock out this workout one punch at a time. I wasn’t going to knock it out for me but anyone who maybe like me who wouldn’t walk near this place or start to run away with even the idea of boxing. Faith, his wife coached us through 9 rounds of intense exercises varying in cardio, strength, and coordination. The rounds were timed and the routine was very organized. During the 60 minutes, Faith called out instructions like uppercut, undercut, uppercut and as the class progressed the sequences increased, the intensity increased and my sweating increased.
img_3163This is a tough workout but I fought through every round. Near the end of the workout, Faith added a floor workout that included a weighted ball and finally a cool down period where I and everyone else could cover. I appreciated the word cool down. I was soaked, which I was all good with but I was ready to say, “I am down for the count.” When the final buzzer buzzed, I was done. Done. Done. Done. And so was everyone else.
Faith congratulated us on completing the workout and added she can’t wait to see everyone again. Actually, her words didn’t matter to me. Nope. Even though I was ready to throw in the flag, I had this strange voice inside saying you must that return and punch it out again and again. Just not today! After class, I stayed back to take a few photos and a member shared with me how much she loved the gym and her whole family attended even her teenage kids. She noted they enjoy all the classes and she lost 40 lbs. over I think a year. She also stated that Faith and Ron treat all members as family. This word was spoken earlier by Ron and now by a member.
img_3165It is always a great to find gyms that define themselves as family and not just a place to workout but a home for their members. I would have to agree with the member that Title Boxing Club treats people like family. From the moment that I stepped in, Ron was there helping me feel comfortable in a strange new gym. He truly went out of his way to make sure I was prepped for the class by wrapping my hands, providing gloves and teaching me the beginner techniques before class.
I truly appreciated his heart, kindness, and commitment to his gym. I will admit I was beaten as I left Title Boxing Club but I knew that my soreness was part of the workout and I would recover in a day or two and now I know that place to go for a killer workout. Yep! Title Boxing Club is the place to call a home, discover knock out workouts and an excellent place to get in shape.
Wowsers.

Tuesday, August 8

Trial Starts

Day 8: 30 minute Morning Workout

WRITING!

Wednesday, August 9

Day 9: 30 minute Morning Workout

Day 9: ND Wheelhouse Co. This spin workout will get your heart racing! Wow. The 60-minute ride was a mix of cardio, strength, and spin. I totally dug the music, lights, and lavender scented towels. This new studio is a must ride.
WRITING MORE!

Thursday, August 10

Day 10: Paddle Boat
img_3321Now most think of fitness in the sense of running, walking, lifting, btu really anything that gets your heart pumping is exercise so I am going to include paddle boating. This was the funniest workout that I completed. Oh my. We started off with all four of us in the boat.
We all got in and started to pedal and then we started to spin and spin and spin. Water started to ooze in and we continued to rotate. Then I began to laugh. My husband and my older son began to quearl and my younger son and I img_3313were being splashed by the waves. It was a royal mess.
Now everyone was moving. My son and I were in a tucked position avoiding the incoming water and my husband and my older son were pedaling in circles. We were moving alright.
Finally, we moved people around and rebalanced the boat and made it back to shore.
I include this one becuase fitness has to be fun! Also, it doesn’t have to be defined by a gym, a 5k or a Fitbit goal but a silly activity like paddle boating!

Friday, August 11 

img_3326If your week has you feeling stressed and overwhelmed and you don’t know what to do, here is a Friday night class just for you. Candlelight Yoga! The title even seems amazing. The class starts at 6 PM on a Friday and last for about an hour or so. The class is meant for you to take a break and relax. When you walk into the studio, you know this is a class to release all your cares away. The lighting is dim and the music is soothing and everything’s is ready for you.
Ahhh…. During this, all levels class, the instructor, Shannon guides you through grounding positions, meditation, and a calming practice. Even her voice img_3330sets such a beautiful mood. At one point, I thought I was home and listening to an audio clip. It was that good. Promise after the hour, you will leave this class feeling refreshed and ready to take on a new week.
Bonus: At the end of class, Shannons adds an essential oil to your temples before Shavasana. Oh, I needed that. Thanks, Living Room Yoga for Candlelight Yoga!

Saturday, August 12

img_3331Day 12: Pound Class at Persevere Fitness in Whitehall, PA. This rhythmic workout uses drum sticks, pop music, and aerobic movements to hit spots we hate to work. Oh my! I never knew drumming could burn. Well, now I can say it does.
In this workout, you will exercise your arms, core, and legs while pounding drumsticks to the beat! Totally fun. Side note: When you visit this studio, you will meet Paula who has an amazing story about strength, commitment and howimg_3344 exercise changed her life. I love personal stories like hers.
From my visit, I took away that Paula and her studio is truly committed to making fitness comfortable and accessible to all. Love that. The studio offers a variety of classes and a monthly membership. Check out this studio’s classes and join in their fun.

Sunday, August 13

Outdoor Fitness at Jordan Park

img_3362Day 13: Nice day to go outside! Jordan Park in Allentown has an outdoor gym for all to try. This gym has a variety of cardio and strength stations free for all to try.
If you are not sure what to do, each station has simple guides on howimg_3367 to use each piece of equipment. If you would like more support, you can watch online videos, too! Next beautiful day end outside and train at Jordan Park!

Monday, August 14

Warm Yoga – Antigravity Yoga Lab

img_3383Day 14: Antigravity Yoga is a hopping place so make sure you reserve your spot before you get there. I tried for the Antigravtiy Yoga but the spots were filled which turned out to be okay because I quickly signed up for Warm Yoga and challenged myself to a heated yoga class with Chris.
Never just walk away if your desired class is full. No! Try something new.  You truly never know what you will like and in life you have to give something new a shot.
So I lived my mantra and attempted Warm Yoga. Again, I didn’t know anything about this class. What am I doing?
As I walked in the room, I figured out qiuckly why it was called Warm Yoga. The place img_3385was like a sauna. It was most definetly warm. Wow!
But I quickly forgot the heat when Chris started the class and asked what type of music the class would love to listen to. Out of the blue, I requested Pink Floyd. It seemed to fit.
As class began, I knew this workout was going to keep me engaged and focused. We started with flow moves but the pace was much quicker than the gentle yoga and a lot faster than candlelight so I had to really take it up a notch. No resting in this class.
I have never met Chris before but I noticed his peaceful and positive personality immediatly which calmed some of my nervous as I was now in another unknown class.
img_3393I was super lucky that Chris instructed, modeled and then repeated his instruction throughout class so I could keep up. I was impressed how Chris could move seamlessly through the yoga positions and keeps the class going with combinations and positions that make you think. Personally, I hadn’t practiced Yoga in like 6 months so I was a little rusty but I noticed others who took his class regularly were doing just fine so that always means give the class a few tries before deciding this is for you or not or start to judge that you are a loser and this will never work.
Oh did I say the place was warm. The temp was set at 85 degrees. It felt like Florida. Not bad. Not good. But it was warm! If you are going to do a hot yoga class, make sure you dress for the class. Bring a towel!!! You will sweat.
Okay the class was a little on the more advanced side of yoga so be prepared to work, think, and learn. Chris will help you through the practice but this in not a gentle yoga class but an active class that moves. So take note.
Toward the end of class, we worked on handstands which to me are always fun. I love feeling like a kid again and trying to balance on my hands. Chris assisted. By the end of class, I was holding for a few seconds before losing my balance! I will take it.
By the end of class, I was ready to find some air conditioning and a towel. I was soaked and strangely I didn’t complete a run but instead to a yoga class in 85 degrees heated room. I guess that will do it.
Would I do that again? Most definetly! I love a great challenge and I didn’t mind the heat but more or less took note of it as I sweated throught the practice. I would bring more water next time and sweat towel but hey I thought I was going to do Antigravity Yoga so to next time.
 img_3431Day 15: What is this? I stopped at Baked and saw a handwritten sign with the words: Charka Dance Class 7-8 PM. I took a quick photo and said that sounds interesting and I must try. So, I marked it on my calendar and waited.
When Tuesday night arrived, I left my house at 6:46 PM and drove to the Amber Connection. This shop is in my town and has been there for years but I have never ventured in. I am not sure why but I haven’t  So today was going to be the day to see what the Amber Connection has inside.
When I entered, I was tickled with excitement because the place with filled with fashion, jewelry, and a feeling of pure creativity. I started to explore the unique fashion designs immediately. The designs are pieced together fabrics. Oh, they are so beautiful and designed by Ursula, the owner. I could have stayed for hours but the instructor called me upstairs to join the class.
img_3428

My drawing

At that point, I still didn’t know what I was getting into. Nope. I was just going with the flow as they say. I mean I wasn’t totally clueless. I know about Charkas, energy and the spiritual world, but a Charka Dance was new to me and my curiosity led me to this form of exercise.

What is Charka Dance? It is just that. You dance to music and express your charka energy.
So the class started with a meditation then moved to a blindfolded dance session where the instructor would guide you to focus on a charka and through the music you danced. There were 7 charkas to dance through and each one was accompied by selected music. The blindfold was to keep you focused on you and your expression instead of looking to others. I loved that part of the dance because the blindfold released you from comparing your movements to others but instead remaining focused on you and your dance.
At the end of class, we drew pictures of our 7 charka journey.img_3432
It was a nice touch and I love to draw. The teacher handed out colored pencils and crayons and clipboards. Everyone drew for about 5 minutes. The images were stunning.
Class ended with a meditation and hugs and thank yous. It was a an experience like no other. First, the blindfold, second the concept and third, the enjoyment after class as I just danced my charkas.
ALWAYS BE OPEN TO SOMETHING NEW!

Wednesday, August 16

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Day 16:

Thursday, August 17

Friday, August 18

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Day 18:

Saturday, August 19

Sunday, August 20

Monday, August 21

Tuesday, August 22

Wednesday, August 23

 Day 23:

Thursday, August 24

Friday, August 25

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Day 25:

Sunday, August 27

Day 27:

Monday, August 28

Tuesday, August 29

Wednesday, August 30

Thursday, August 31

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