Boutique Fitness on a Budget — It’s Possible!

Posted 10 months ago by

No matter where you live, you’ve most likely heard of boutique fitness studios: Soul Cycle, Swerve, Bikram, Physique 57, Aerial Yoga etc.

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These fitness facilities usually give you a spa-like atmosphere while you enjoy niche classes such as spinning or hot yoga. These workouts are intense, and the amenities are top notch. The bummer is the price, which can go up to $45 a class. Yikes! Don’t let the price steer you away from enjoying luxe fitness experiences, though.

Below are a few ways to enjoy a luxury sweat session on a dime.

Do a Work-Study

A lot of privately owned studios offer work studies to those who can’t afford it. The typical fitness work study requires you to work a shift at the studio in exchange for a week of classes. Give the studio about four hours of your time each week and you can enjoy all the fanciness!

*Duties usually include cleaning and front desk work.

Groupon

I know we talk about it all the time, but seriously, Groupon is the holy grail of affordable fitness! Check your local Groupon weekly to see if there is a deal going on at your favorite gym or studio.

Social Media

Many fitness studios offer special deals that they only promote via social media. To stay in the know, follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram! Signing up for their newsletter could help you out as well.

Bring a Friend

Many places will reward you with free classes if you bring a friend! Just be sure to ask in advance since every studio is different.

Student Discount

Student? If so, ask a few studios if they offer student discounts!

Take Advantage of Intro Weeks

Many studios offer intro weeks for potential new students. You’ll get an unlimited amount of classes for seven full days at a massive discount.

Intro weeks are a great way to test the waters when it comes to new fitness regimes. If you find you’re not a fan, your wallet won’t suffer too much.

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Here’s How to Survive Your First Spin Class

Posted 12 months ago by

Hate running? Intimidated by CrossFit? Maybe it’s time to give into the spin craze. We finally  broke down and gave it a try last week at Swerve — a spin studio that just opened in the Flatiron District of New York City. It kicked out butts but we loved it and can’t wait to go back for more!

Due to our new found love of spinning, we teamed up with Chelsea Kocis, one of the founders of Swerve to teach you how to survive your first class. Don’t worry — you can do it!

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1. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after class

You will sweat so you need to drink water constantly throughout class.

2. Let the instructor know if you are new

They will help you set up your bike properly and will also check on you throughout class.

3. Dress to ride

– fitted work out gear is best, loose clothing (especially pants) can get caught in the pedals.

4. Remember that you can go at your own pace

If at any point you need to rest, you can always lower your resistance, take a sip of water, and catch your breath before jumping back into the class.

5. Don’t be embarrassed if you have NO idea how to clip in!

No one knows how to clip in on their first try! The instructor or assisting staff will help you.

6. Listen to the instructions at the beginning of class

The instructor will explain what metrics are being tracked on your console and how to follow along throughout class.

7. Remember to maintain the proper form throughout class.

If you forget, the instructor will be there to correct any issues they see.

8. Have fun!

A cycling class is a challenging cardio workout but it’s also meant to be fun – so don’t be afraid to lose yourself in the music.

According to Chelsea:

I found cycling after college as an alternative to running, which was beginning to take a toll on my knees. It’s an incredible cardio workout, much lower impact than running, and a lot of fun! All packaged in a 45 minute class. Can’t beat that.

Have you ever taken a spin class? Let us know in the comments below!

*featured image by Bryan Smith

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6 Ways To Lose Weight By Cycling

Posted 2 years ago by

While certain forms of cycling naturally burn more calories than others, the effectiveness of each method is dependent on how much effort you put in. To optimize your cycling workouts, here are six methods to spice things up while pedaling toward a slimmer you.

Spin More

Taking a spin class is probably the most popular method as far as organized cycling workouts go. In addition to its popularity, spin is also extremely effective for weight loss. With the luxury of having a group fitness instructor in your ear, loud music pumping and a room full of sweaty fitness fiends by your side, how could you not reach your full exercise potential? While spin classes are not for everyone, for some these classes are a great way to exercise in a social setting while getting the necessary instruction you need to drop some serious pounds.

Spin classes can get pricy, so stop by your local YMCA. Most of them offer a variety of different classes that are more budget friendly than the usual gym.

H.I.I.T it!

High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T) is much more than just a clever acronym; it is one of the most effective ways to burn fat in an incredibly efficient amount of time. Whether you do your H.I.I.T workout on a recumbent bike or on the streets of your neighborhood, doing so gets your heart rate elevated into your target heart rate zone (65-85 percent of max heart rate), which is also the intensity level that your body burns fat most effectively.

Want to Race?

A fun and equally beneficial cycling workout can be found by challenging a friend to a race. Of course this should be done in a safe and friendly way, but a little competition goes a long way for your fitness. Your motivation to exercise will likely increase, and your body will be a little lighter after you beat your friend to the finish.

Slow and Steady Pace

One of the biggest debates over cardiovascular exercise for weight loss is slow and steady versus high and heavy intensity workouts. While each side may argue that one or the other is better, in all honesty, both burn calories and are subsequently better than sitting on the couch. As they say, “slow and steady wins the race,” and that includes when pedaling toward the finish in your weight loss race.

Supplemental Cycling

In many instances, cycling does not have to be the entirety of your workout. Cycling can work very symbiotically with other forms of exercise, such as body weight exercises and plyometrics, to raise your heart rate into the optimal fat burning zone.

Next time you’re at the gym, go on the recumbent bike for 30 minuets and then head on over to the treadmill for a quick 10 run.

Go for a Ride

It’s hard to argue with outdoor exercise; fitness just doesn’t get much better than going for a ride around the neighborhood or through the woods with many miles and calories left in the dust. According to pro mountain biker Selene Yeager on OutsideOnline.com, off-road riding burns more than 600 calories an hour. Trekking over roots, rocks and logs burns more calories than riding on pavement for the same amount of time. Riding your bike outdoors is an almost perfect combination of weight loss and mental serenity.

About the Author: Lauren Benson studied journalism in the Midwest and now does freelance work as a writer and blogger in the health and wellness sector. She maintains that it is possible to work out during the outrageous Midwestern winters.

Elliptical Machine by AFG Fitness
This calculator is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. A qualified health care provider should be consulted before making any fitness or health decisions.

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Fitness And Beauty Tips With Alyssa Hertzig of SHAPE Magazine

Posted 2 years ago by

Broke & Chic got to sit down with another wonderful Beauty Director participating in the “Look Good…Feel Better” event at Saks Fifth Avenue! To learn more about this wonderful event click here.

This time it was Alyssa Hertzig of SHAPE magazine! Not only does Alyssa hold an awesome title at a great magazine, she’s also a blogger! To keep up to date with this fashion and beauty fanatic, check out her awesome blog: The Sparkly Life!

Broke & Chic: What’s your best advice for staying fit on a budget?

Alyssa: Get outside! Walking, running, hiking-it’s all free. Also, I make it a point to rarely take cabs and walk as much as I can-it adds up! Plus, don’t discount workout DVDs. For $10 to $20 (less than the price of a single class in NYC), you can get a great workout without ever leaving your apartment.

B&C: What are your top three favorite healthy NYC restaurants?

Alyssa: Pure Food & Wine is probably my top pick. Everything there is so delicious and inventive that you don’t even notice that it’s all healthy, much less raw. Ella Café in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is near my house, so it’s a go-to when we want delivery, but don’t want all the fat and grease. Their food is totally organic and really yummy. For a healthier lunch option, I’ll head to Chop’t. You can definitely get in trouble in those make-your-own-salad places, but it’s not hard to do it right. When I want to stay on the healthy side, I’ll skip the cheese and get olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead of a pre-made dressing.

B&C: CrossFit is getting very popular. Are you a fan and do you think it’s worth the money?

Alyssa: It’s funny you ask that, because my husband is a huge CrossFit fan! He has been doing it for the last year and it has completely transformed his body. I tried it for awhile as well, but it’s a little too hard-core for me. Plus, I like cheese and pasta way too much to stick to the Paleo diet that CrossFit recommends!

Photo Credit: CrossFit 818

B&C: What’s your favorite type of workout? Zumba, yoga, running…?

Alyssa: I’ve really fallen in love with Spinning. I go to SoulCycle in New York City, and it’s great! The music is awesome, the teachers are motivating, and even though it’s only 45 minutes, you get an unbelievable workout.

B&C: What advice do you give those who have never really worked out before and want to do a complete lifestyle change? Where do they begin so they don’t give up after day one?

Alyssa: Set a very specific goal. Do you want to look amazing for a high school reunion in November? Do you want to rock a bikini by Memorial Day? Having an actual goal in mind versus something as abstract as “I want to lose weight” or “I want to look better,” can make a huge difference. This way you’re working towards something concrete, so you’ll have to do concrete things to reach that goal.

For example. I’ve never worked out so hard or ate as well as I did during the months leading up to my wedding. Knowing that I was going to be standing in front of 100+ people (and immortalized in photos!) on a specific date was what I really needed to get in shape.

B&C: What are your favorite budget friendly beauty products?

Alyssa: There are so many good ones! I definitely use a ton of drugstore stuff. A few favorites: Olay Regenerist UV Defense Regenerating Lotion SPF 50 (I’m a stickler for SPF moisturizer every day and this one feels super light), Maybelline Illegal Length Mascara (makes my lashes noticeably longer and doesn’t get clumpy), Sonia Kashuk makeup brushes (they are an unbelievable value-amazing, high-end quality for a very affordable price), Sally Hansen Salon Effects Real Nail Polish Strips (so, so easy to apply-I especially love the patterned ones), Yes to Cucumbers Facial Towelettes (gentle but they get rid of everything)–I could go on and on!

B&C: What workout gear do you think is worth the splurge?

Alyssa: I’m one of those people who needs all of the motivation I can get when it comes to working out, so if a fancy pair of pants or a cute top is going to make you more likely to hit the gym, then I’d say that’s worth the splurge. One kind of fancy workout-thing that I really swear by? Lululemon headbands. I don’t know what they put in there to make them so good, but they stay put, they don’t give you a headache, and they keep your hair from looking crazy. I love them!

B&C: What’s a cosmetic you think is okay to wear to the gym?

Alyssa: I’ll admit to occasionally applying a little concealer under my eyes or over a zit before I head to the gym. You certainly don’t want a full-face of makeup or anything that’s going to look raccoon-y (that’s why mascara’s a no-no), but I’m not above hiding a pimple.

B&C: Why were you interested in being a part of LGFB Beauty Editors Day?

Alyssa: LGFB is an amazing organization and I’m thrilled to do anything I can to help them out. Plus, I’m really excited to meet the readers! It’s going to be a really fun day.

B&C: What do you think is special/unique about this particular event?

Alyssa: It’s a great opportunity to ask an editor absolutely anything you have on your mind, plus you get a mini-makeover, a gift bag (I’ve seen the one we’re doing at Clinique-it’s awesome), and you help out a fabulous charity for only $30. What’s not to love?

Meet Alyssa yourself at Beauty Editors Day! If you’re unable to attend but want to hear more about Alyssa, make sure you check out her wonderful blog – The Sparkly Life!

Read More: “Fall Tips And Trends With Leah Wyar of Cosmopolitan

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