It’s March, otherwise known as the Hump Month before summer’s official start in June. It means you have 3 months or 12 weeks to get it together for bikini season. Or, if a bikini’s not ever going to be your reality, then at least you can work on looking cute in a maxi or sun dress. Here’s a quick guide to several ways to upgrade your fitness before summer.
There are several examples of wearable tech in the marketplace, including Apple Watch and Samsung options, but the popular Fitbit ,focused on monitoring heart rates, is a prime example. They had previously offered just fitness bracelets that could be used in conjunction with a smartphone app to monitor heart rate, sleep and food intake, but they’ve recently announced the Fitbit Blaze watch that is $199 or $200 cheaper than the starter Apple Watch.
The Blaze monitors heart rate like the rest of the Fitbit line, and in addition has a GPS, can be synced to deliver alerts and incoming texts from a nearby smartphone and will even wake you up with a little wrist tap instead of a blaring alarm.
Do you get bored going to just one gym? Well if you do, Class Pass may be the app that finally gets you into fighting shape. And that could be literally. Class Pass is an app that gives you access to multiple gyms, yoga studios, kickboxing and martial arts studios, boutique gyms, Pilates, barre studios and cycling spots in a host of cities around the country and even internationally.
That means if you have a business trip to Chicago or to London your membership has you covered. Class Pass allows you three visits per studio per month and it ranges in price from $79 in smaller cities to $129 a month in NYC. If you travel, you can temporarily switch from your main city to another city that offers Class Pass and you don’t have to pay any extra.
It may seem like a lot but with fitness classes as high as $35 a pop in cities like NYC, it’s well worth it. And if you miss a class you’ve scheduled through the app, you are hit with a $15 cancellation fee, a great incentive to make your classes.
Pinterest is full of pretty pictures and advice on everything from fashion and decor to how to clean your whole house with vinegar and baking soda. But for those interested in fitness and weight loss, Pinterest is a boon because of its recipes, weight loss infographics and #fitspo pics. You can create a board that is all fit women, add boards on recipes and smoothies and add pics to a board on the latest, hottest workout gear. It’s a way to gather all that information in an organized way so that you can use it to help inspire and inform you to get/stay on an exercise and eating plan.
Oprah did it and you can, too. Studies have show that Weight Watchers is one of the most effective weight loss plans out there. Now that Oprah has put it [back] on the weight loss map with her own weight loss, despite eating bread EVERY day, we know it can work for you, too. Try it out. What do you have to lose? Oh, that’s right. Several pounds.
Need some #fitspo or fitness inspiration? While we may never know if she was really the original choice to play Cookie on Empire, one thing we do know is that Mo’Nique has lost a LOT of weight. And her Instagram shows you why. The Queen of Comedy has made it her mission to share her fitness journey and she does so daily on her ‘gram, @therealmoworldwide.
Each post has an inspiring word of advice or encouragement and many have a clip from her workouts. Mo’Nique’s workouts, which lately are dance-oriented, make fitness look like so much fun, you want to jump through the screen and join her. Instead, you can start your own dance-themed workouts or just follow along and plan your own workouts around what she does. Mo, you look like you’re having such a good time and are so committed to a daily workout, you’ve inspired us to be on top of our health and not see getting in shape as drudgery. We applaud you!
There are a number of home video channels that offer workouts, including The Daily Burn, Gaiam TV and more. Many are available through cable providers and some have small monthly fees or fees per class. The Daily Burn and others offer a 30-day free trial so you can see if it’s worth it. Amazon Fire TV and other streaming services often have workout apps that show various workouts from yoga to cardio/dance as well.
If there are things that prevent you from being able to go out to a gym or fitness studio, or you’re just not ready yet, start out at home. You can even find workout tips and videos absolutely free on YouTube.
Crossfit is not for everyone. But if you have tried other ways of working out, you might consider it, especially if you have previous athletic experience. Crossfit is a fitness craze that is all around the country and can best be described as a no-frills gym/fitness experience with elements of yoga, gymnastics, Olympic power lifting and old school body-weight workouts like sit-ups and push-ups.
For those who are really into it, there’s an annual Crossfit Games, where the best competitors from each “box” or Crossfit gym compete. One of Crossfit’s top Black female competitors is Elizabeth Akinwale, pictured above. There’s even Crossfit for kids. Crossfit’s workouts of the day or WOD’s are scaleable to any age and fitness ability and every “box” will start you out with a very basic beginners’ class. Crossfit is expensive, but so is diabetes medication. So at least check out the workouts and do your research to see if it might work for you. It’s geared toward serious exercisers who want to make gains in strength, flexibility, and power with a little competition thrown in.
(Photos: Fitbit, Classpass, YouTube, Dailyburn.com, Elizabeth Akinwale via Twitter )