Burn Baby Burn

barre_workoutWhat woman doesn’t covet sinewy arms, a high and tight derrière, lean legs and a regal posture? In search of this dancer’s shape, many of us are becoming regulars at the barre…the ballet barre, that is. Over the last few months, I’ve become obsessed with Barre Fitness! Hello, new favourite workout! After suffering a running injury earlier this year, it was the perfect way to strengthen my body and get back into action.

Barre classes are a breath of fresh air for fitness fanatics who are sick of traditional workouts, exercise newbies who prefer low-impact activity, yoga- or Pilates-lovers looking to mix it up, or ex-dancers who’d rather die than go for a run.

These classes take you through a series of exercise moves designed to target certain muscle groups with laser-like precision. Arms, abs, glutes and thighs all get special attention. Rather than big, sweeping movements, you’ll do tiny maneuvers that you’ll repeat so many times your muscles will shake and burn. (Nobody’s kidding when they use the term barre burn!) Simple, but deadly. The repetitive movements fatigue the muscles, which forces them to adapt -building new muscle fibers and getting stronger. Depending on the day, you can step it up and really sweat it out with Cardio or Power Barre, sneak in a quickie with an Xpress Barre class, or take the more traditional Classic or Barre Fitness classes.

Photos: Barre Fitness North Shore

On first impression upon arriving at the North Shore Barre Fitness studio,  I was stunned by the beautiful space- bamboo floors; big, bright windows; and floor-to-ceiling mirrors; a gorgeous locker room with showers and towel service; everything about it feels airy and relaxing. And what I’ve come to love about the studio over the months I’ve been attending classes is that it gives me an outlet for stress and bad days. It’s a place to feel comfortable, in my element, at home. Not only is the owner, Norrie  Zaplatynsky friendly and fabulous, her entire staff is absolutely wonderful too. It doesn’t hurt that there’s a phenomenal group of ladies who attend class there, making the environment a truly welcoming one.

Live nearby and curious to try out a class? Buy the new client special and get two weeks of unlimited classes for just $40. Trust me, you’ll want to be a regular at the barre.


"Up In The Gym Just Workin’ On My Fitness"

Would you look at that sweaty glow? One very good thing about being on the road is that although the days can be very loooong, a gym is almost always just an elevator ride away- which makes getting my sweat on rather convenient. My daily escapes to the fitness centre in the hotels that I stay in while I’m away have really become what keeps me sane out here. True, it’s not always easy to fit a workout into a busy and stressful day. Often, it means waking up extra early, but there’s no doubt about it being worth it- and let me tell you, it sure helps with the stress factor.

One of my biggest inspirations to shape up recently has been stylish NonSociety babe, Mary Rambin. I discovered her blog a while back and I was instantly drawn to her fab fashion posts and of course, I could relate to her serious shoe addiction. I adored her head to toe videos. Before I knew it, I was hooked to her lifecast and began following it avidly. Not only is she a handbag designer (check out her designs here), spinning instructor (sign up for her class here), and totally awesome blogger, she’s also a seemingly down to earth and totally cool chick. Her regular posts about her workouts, and weekly tips have encouraged me to punch it up, and tone my booty too. It’s totally easy to become burned out with your workout. What I love about Mary is that she’s always suggesting new elements that you can add to your routine to have more fun and stay motivated to be active.

The fun fitness videos and sweaty self photos that she shares on her blog always make me want to lace up my Nikes and give whatever she’s trying a go. Mary says that, “Fitness is part of living a stylish lifestyle.” I couldn’t agree more. Now, I better get some shut eye so that I can wake up for my 6am workout.

Some photos courtesy of Mary Rambin

Mary reblogged my entry on her site. I’m so honoured! Look!

Banishing The Bounce

Photo: Victoria’s Secret

It has been all quiet on my blogging front this week. I’m sorry for the lack of updates. A mountain of a workload, plus being away from home with all kinds of business to take care of has meant zero time for the blog.

One thing that I have made time for while I’ve been on the road though, is regular early morning visits to the gym.

Being that I’m rather um, large chested, finding a sports bra that’s comfortable and flattering has always been a challenge for me. Underwire is a must but comfort is also key. I feel like the life is being squeezed out of me when a sports bra cuts off my circulation. For years while playing sports, I wore underwire bras with sports bras over top. Yes, that’s right folks, two bras at once. Sure, they kept my knockers in place while I booted it up the hill, or hit a jump shot at the buzzer, but hello “pancake boob” …not to mention a zillion straps digging in and poking me, bulk city, and being all sweaty in totally unbreathable fabric. I envied the smaller chested women so much, because they didn’t have to worry about their ta-tas while getting their sweat on. I wished more than anything that I could take mine off and leave them in the locker room while I went about my workout.

“Your breasts can bounce up to eight inches during exercise.”Jacqui Stafford, Executive Style Director for Shape Magazine

See? You need something that’s going to hold ’em in place or you’re liable to knock yourself out on the treadmill.

It is for all of these reasons that I was beyond ecstatic when I found this stellar, new miracle bra.

Victoria’s Secret VSX Sport Triple System Tech Sports Bra

Here are the features that this baby boasts:

• Body-Wick™ technology moves moisture away from the body to keep you dry and comfortable
• Interior cushioned underwire frame reinforces support and motion control
• Triple-layer mesh for cooling ventilation and superior support
• Molded cup spacer adds subtle shape enhancement and stabilizing support and coverage
• Adjustable, padded hook-and-eye closure allows for precise fit

Finding a sports bra that keeps the girls up without giving me one big, massive “uniboob” is something that I had never thought possible, until I found this bra. Plus, the fact that it actually makes my tits look really good while I’m at the gym is just incredible in my world. This is why I deemed it worthy of an entire blog entry dedicated to its awesomeness.

You too can banish booby bounce and blitz those unwanted jiggly bits wearing this super supportive and totally flattering sports bra- and it’ll only cost you $38 US. That Victoria, she’s got all kinds of tricks up her sleeve.

Running, running as fast as we can…

Photo courtesy of DebFit

Inspired by the lovely Melissa, I have decided get my butt in gear and start really running again. Over the last year or so, I have walked all over the place, and I do still lace up my Nike kicks for a jog every so often when I feel like I need to blow off steam, or just have some ‘me’ time. Running is something that has given me great joy in the past, but I haven’t earnestly made an effort to get into really good shape for quite a while, so I figure there’s no time like the present. I’m not getting any younger and it’s never going to get any easier. Old basketball and soccer injuries have wreaked havoc on my knees, and years of playing and running through the pain have not helped matters. I’m famous for going out there and trying to giv’er like I’m still in the best shape of my life, when quite obviously, I am not. With the proper training, I know that I can get back into it. Running is one of the simplest, fastest, most accessible ways to fitness and good health known to woman. I live in the perfect city for it. Time to get serious. I’m going to start back at square one. The Running Room has fantastic clinics no matter what your fitness level, and I am planning to join one with the ultimate goal of running a half marathon.
This week I have been feeling: unmotivated, uninspired and sans any kind of oomph whatsoever. This is my attempt at remedying that.