5 Ways to Make Your Workout Count

This post is written by guest blogger Lauren McAulay.

I’ve definitely had my fair share of working out. I grew up playing sports so being active was part of my life. I played soccer up until college and after my soccer days I was conditioned to work my butt off so I continued going to the gym. I started taking hot yoga sculpt classes that kicked my butt and then moved on to ClassPass and only chose classes that left me insanely sweaty and down right exhausted. If I wasn’t dying at the end of my workout, I didn’t consider it a workout at all. Not saying this is a bad thing but it really depends on the mindset you have around working out.

In the last year I heavily got into the body positive movement. I am a Body Love Coach and self-love advocate. Since I promote positive body image, I started having a different mindset around working out as well.

So here you have it. In my opinion, five ways to make your workout count!

1. Move your body with love

You may tell yourself why does this matter? I get my workout in, kick my butt, and get out of there. It doesn’t matter if I’m loving it or hating it. But no, IT ABSOLUTELY MATTERS! If you are sending signals to your body and telling it that you hate working out, you are suffering, the only reason you are doing it is to burn calories, or just so you can have dessert after dinner; your body knows!

When your body is in a state of hate believe it or not your body is resisting. It’s not shedding the calories, it’s not letting go of the negative energy, it honestly isn’t really doing anything for you. If you are hating yourself or hating your workout you are wasting your time putting yourself through all that suffering. You would benefit 1000x more if you just rested on a yoga mat breathing deeply for an hour. Sending love to your body is a must if you want to make a workout count.

2. Move your body with favoritism

This is when favoritism is actually a positive. The magic of working out is that you get to CHOOSE what you WANT to do. You don’t have to choose a class that makes you run if you hate running, you don’t ever have to step a foot inside a yoga studio if you just don’t enjoy yoga, you can stay away from circuit classes, or Pilates. The beauty is that you get to decide what is your favorite way to move your body!

It doesn’t matter if your favorite thing to do in the entire world is just take a nature walk or a long hike or a restorative yoga class because if you love how you are moving your body that’s all that matters. Your body will react to the love and enjoyment it’s receiving!

3. Move your body with encouragement

When I workout I love listening to audio books that help me grow. It could be a personal or business development book that gets my morning started in a positive direction. When there is encouragement in your mind, your workout is much more enjoyable. You can also make a playlist of songs that make you feel good, happy, motivated…if you love workout classes I would only choose classes that have positive teachers that make you feel inspired! Being encouraged during a workout is absolutely necessary to make it count!

4. Move your body without a time limit

You don’t need to set a time when working out. I used to think that anything less than an hour didn’t count as a workout. How silly right? It doesn’t matter if you can squeeze in a 15-minute at-home workout; it’s still moving your body! I would rather move with the time I had than skip it all together because I couldn’t fit in an hour or more that day. On the flip side over working out is unnecessary. Move your body with the amount of time that makes you feel good!

5. Move your body with self-care

Moving your body with self-care means listening to your body when it needs rest. It’s okay to take a couple of days off if that’s what you need. Don’t feel guilty that if you don’t workout every day you have failed. If you still want to move, it’s okay to take a restorative yoga class or a nice walk. Resting is just as important as moving. We need balance in our life and in our workouts. Self-care will make your workouts count!

The next time you sign up for a class, hit the gym, or go for a run, remember to make your workout count!

With (body) love,

Lauren

_DSC1173Lauren is the founder of The Body Love Tribe, a Body Love Coach, and self-love advocate. Her goal is to help women love themselves, love their body, and love their food. She is writing her first book, to be finished by December 2016. When Lauren isn’t spreading her passion, she is cuddling her two puppies, Chai and Livie. Visit her blog here.

Five Things I’m Loving Lately — April

Healthier alternatives to not so healthy dishes.

Now that summer is coming, I’m trying to be a tiny bit more aware of what I’m eating. Unfortunately, I’m still left craving some of my high calorie favs. Thankfully, it’s 2016 and bloggers and recipe inventors have been busy trying to tone down our favorite dishes to make them less caloric but still tasty! Right now I’m loving buffalo cauliflower (an alternative to buffalo wings) and buffalo chicken stuffed spaghetti squash (to replace buffalo chicken dip). Both are amazingly delicious! (Although the pizza and wine isn’t necessarily hungry, here’s a pic of the yummy cauliflower I had this weekend at Mohawk Bend in Silverlake)

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Curling my hair with a straightener.

I have naturally curly, frizzy, and unruly hair so when I finally mastered the art of straightening during my junior year of college, I thought I was set for life. That is until the trend turned from straight locks to casual curls. I went out to TJ Maxx and got a curling iron and tried time and time again to become a pro. It usually involved me and my curling iron and flat iron and ended an hour later with some burnt finger tips and crazy looking hair. Fail! I stumbled upon this video while reading some new blogs and knew I had to try this technique. After three trials, I can finally say that it is easy and creates gorgeous curls with my Chi!

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Spending more time outside.

I have a 9-5 full time job that keeps me inside ALL DAY LONG. Coming from teaching in an elementary school where I rarely sat down and was able to get out during recess, this has been very challenging. Since the time change means more light in the evening, I have been hungering for time outside. In the past few weeks I’ve hiked, run, and taken walks all after work gets out. Just a PSA though, Runyon is temporarily closed until July.

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Snapchat.

I thought I was already addicted to social media but I’ve become even more obsessed—it’s about to turn unhealthy! I love Snapchat because it gives insight into what really happens behind the scenes. While Instagram shows one perfectly crafted pic, Snapchat uncovers a bigger story. It’s also funny to see people do goofy things like singing along to their radio! Add me: sweatandrepeat.

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Barry’s Bootcamp.

I go through a lot of Pilates funks where I take so many reformer classes each week that I never spend time getting unusually sweaty. Barry’s used to intimate me but now that I’ve become more confident in class, I’ve realized how beneficial it is for my body. I spend so much time lifting three-pound weights most of the week, but it’s the heavy lifting that actually changes my body. The cardio component is also so important and I walk out feeling so accomplished every time!

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Express Cycle at The Sweat Shoppe

At a Glance:

Website: http://thesweatshoppe.com
Address: 10620 Riverside Dr, North Hollywood, CA 91602
Length: 45 minutes
Price: first class $10, one class/$22, 10 classes/$200, month unlimited/$300 (first month/$149)
Sweat scale: high
Energy level: high

Although The Sweat Shoppe got off ClassPass a while ago, it’s one of the few studios that I still see pop up on my Instagram feed. Yep, people love this place so much that they’re willing to pay out of pocket to get sweaty here. Obviously I had to find out for myself what the hype is about.

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How ClassPass Helped Me Through Unemployment

Written by contributor Angela M

Highs and lows – you can’t have one without the other. Sometimes life can throw us curveballs and lead us in directions that we hadn’t planned for. This is how my 2016 started when I found myself laid off from my tech startup job in Santa Monica.

While I was sad to leave my position and company behind, a part of me was eager to see what this next chapter had in store. Selfishly, I was also excited about all the ClassPass classes I was going to be able to take advantage of while I was looking and interviewing for a new position.

I am excited to announce that I have recently accepted a new position, but while I was thinking back through my time of unemployment (roughly two months) I’m not sure I would have been able to get through it without ClassPass.

At the time, some of my friends were surprised and asked, “Well, since you’re unemployed, are you still going to keep ClassPass?”

During times of the unknown and “crisis” it’s completely normal and most of the time necessary to cut costs wherever you can. For the majority, group fitness classes are probably not a necessity. For me, this was a no brainer. I knew I would be experiencing a good chunk of down time and wanted to have an outlet to help me get through this transition – not only physically but also mentally. And boy was I right!

Thankfully in Los Angeles it’s not strange for people to have unique schedules – rather not your normal Monday through Friday, 9-5 sorta gig. With that being said, there were so many classes at my disposal during the day. When I wasn’t applying for jobs or taking part in interviews, I was excited to browse through and see what was available.

I’m not going to lie – some days were tough. Whether it was receiving a rejection or patiently waiting to hear back from an interview, I needed to get my mind off things. Going to classes was a huge help for me mentally, as I would step into a studio, begin class and immediately forget about everything else going on in the outside world.

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The social aspect was key as well. When you are not going into an office everyday, it’s nice to socialize and be around people. Through ClassPass I have been able to meet (and network) with so many friendly and motivational class goers, not mention the incredible instructors. If I was feeling down, hearing, “Angela! So excited to see you and have you in class!” from one of my favorite instructors really got me in a positive mindset when everything else seemed like chaos. While I’m an avid spinner, it was also a great time for me to check out yoga to work on my “namaste” and help center or calm my thoughts before or after interviews.

Sometimes things were fun! This was a time where I had the flexibility to try new classes or participate in others that I enjoy (like dance!) that I might not have had the time to do previously. Since I talk about ClassPass all the time with friends, I had converted a lot of them to the service. With some of them having unique schedules, I was able to coordinate a lot of catch-ups with them via classes and stay connected/social without having to go out and spend money on meals or drinks all the time.

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Lastly, how could I forget the actual physicality of it all – the sweat! Leaving classes sweaty made me feel so accomplished. Which at the time was a welcomed feeling. My health and fitness journey has been a crazy ride. While that might be another story for another post, I was grateful to have the time to work towards my health and fitness goals.

As I’m about to start this new chapter, I am very appreciative to have had ClassPass to help get me through it. It would have been easy to just sit around on the couch, go through the motions of job searching, etc, but ClassPass was able to keep active and motivated. Thank you ClassPass!

Here are some of the studios that I loved during my time off and I encourage you to check out:

  • Training Mate
  • Hot Pilates
  • Playlist Yoga
  • Moore Dancing – PlyoJam
  • Air Aerial Fitness

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About the contributor: Angela is originally from Upstate NY but has called West Hollywood home for the past five years. When she isn’t keeping up with pop culture and social media trends, you can most likely find her at spin class or having a glass of Pinot Grigio at The Den on Sunset. While Angela’s passion and career is in HR/Recruiting, she is also the co-creator of the blog I’m Moving to Los Angeles.

My Next Race…

I have been absolutely dreading writing this post because I know that once it’s on the Internet, I can’t back out. I am here to announce that I will be competing in the LA Spartan Race on December 5th. TomTom reached out and asked me to join their team and after not enough consideration and research, I accidentally said yes.

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If you don’t know much about Spartan Races, they are races laced with ridiculous obstacles that require you to use your mind and body—or do 30 burpees as penalty for backing out. I foresee MANY burpees in my future.

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Platinum Pilates Hollywood

At a Glance:

Website: http://www.pilatesplatinum.com
Address: 1330 N. Highland Ave, Suite B, Los Angeles, CA 90038
Length: 60 minutes
Price: first class/$10, one class/$30, 10 classes/$220, month unlimited/$225
Sweat scale: high
Energy level: medium

I’ve been searching high and low for tough yet friendly megaformer classes in Los Angeles. The “tough” part is NEVER a problem as megaformers are literally the most challenging machines I’ve ever worked on. So far, there are two studios that I swear by, but both happen to be 30 minutes away from my Hollywood apartment, which is why I was very excited to try Pilates Platinum, less than a mile from where I live. Continue reading

Yoga and Mimosas with Corepower at The Roosevelt Hotel

At a Glance:

Website: http://www.corepoweryoga.com
Address: 7000 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Length: 60 minutes
Price: free
Sweat: medium
Energy: low

The best thing about Los Angeles is that it is perfect year-round for outdoor workouts. Unlike New York and Chicago where you barely manage to avoid frostbite rushing from the subway to your class, LA hosts various outside sweat sessions in the “coldest” months. I finally had the chance to try one of the most popular ones, yoga at the Roosevelt Hotel pool.

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dr pilates

At a Glance:

Website: http://drpilatesla.com
Address: 418 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, California 90004
Length: 60 minutes
Price: one class/$25, ten classes/$240, month unlimited/225
Sweat: low
Energy level: low

Just when I think I’ve covered all of the studios near my apartment, a new one pops up! Ever since dr pilates opened in June, I’ve heard people raving about it and was excited to finally check it out.

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C9 Champion Yoga Event at Shutters on the Beach

Oh my gosh, what a great weekend to be an LA resident—and a fitness blogger! This morning I had the opportunity to attend a yoga event with celeb instructor Kristin McGee sponsored by Target’s athletic wear line, C9 Champion. The event was held at the gorgeous Santa Monica hotel, Shutters on the Beach (which was also a top contender for my wedding venue, until the east coast won out), and we were all sent C9 gear beforehand to wear!

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Once I arrived and grabbed some coffee in the lobby, I headed down to the Promenade room to find bright yoga mats and equally bright workout gear. The morning started with a 45-minute class where Kristen led us through a series of sun salutations, warrior poses, and some mat Pilate’s moves. Afterwards, we were free to help ourselves to smoothies, granola, and exercise clothes (every girl’s DREAM). There were also masseuses available for 15 minute massages—perfect after a workout but before heading to actual work. Of course, my friend and I had to sneak away for pictures with some of my new gear by the beach!

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Tomorrow I will be attending the Nike Women Los Angeles Tour in downtown LA to sweat with 2,000 STRONG ladies. Can’t wait to see some of you there!!!!