We're pleased to bring you the first installment in a new series on the eVitamins Health News Blog: "My Favorite Workout." Each week, a member of the eVitamins team will share their go-to type of exercise along with their diet and supplement routine for some health and fitness inspiration. Keep checking back and you may just find your new favorite workout.
I'm kicking this off to tell you about my favorite form of exercise -- barre.
3. What is your role at eVitamins?
I'm the Social Media Manager and Managing Editor of the eVitamins Health News Blog. I've been at eVitamins since February 2012.
4. What is your favorite form of exercise?
I've tried lots of different workouts, but the one that makes me look and feel the best is barre. A barre workout typically combines elements of Pilates, ballet and weight training and takes about an hour.
5. How long have you been practicing this form of exercise? How did you get into it?
I studied ballet for more than a decade, beginning when I was five years old. I had to give it up when I went to college and spent a long time after that trying to find a workout that would keep me toned and strong but not bulky. I'm only 5'2" tall, so lean is important to me. I first tried a barre class in 2011 and was instantly hooked.
6. What do you like best about this workout?
Barre targets not just the larger muscles of the body, but all the small ones as well that support proper posture and joint mobility. The first time I tried it, I couldn't believe how sore I was and in places I hadn't felt since I gave up ballet. I also like that this workout incorporates some serious abdominal work as well as weight training, which isn't just great for gaining definition and strength, but also for bone health. It's very low impact, but emphasizes small, controlled movements with several repetitions for a good burn. Lastly, I like that I can do this workout at home now that I've gotten the method down -- all I need is a countertop and light hand weights.
7. How often do you train?
I like to practice barre two to three times a week as a way to balance out my more cardio intensive and boot camp-style workouts. I find the combination has made me given me a strong and healthy body and brought back some flexibility.
8. Explain your diet and how it helps you work toward your fitness goals and maintain your results.
Overall, I'm a huge believer in the 80/20 method -- I eat fresh, whole foods 80 percent of the time and allow myself to have more indulgent options 20 percent of the time. But I'm still smart about what I choose, going for organic, preservative-free foods as much as possible and sticking to proper portion sizes. I'm a big fan of measuring. I try to eat three meals and two snacks per day, making sure my pre-workout meal has the right blend of protein, fats and carbohydrates to fuel my workout. The toughest thing for me to stick to has always been drinking enough water, but adding some fresh lemon juice or choosing sparkling water has helped.
9. What supplements do you use on a regular basis?
I've taken a multivitamin and calcium supplement for as long as I can remember and notice I look and feel better when I take them. Working at eVitamins and learning more about nutrition has helped me find the right products for my body. Here's my supplement routine:
Multivitamin: Garden of Life KIND Organics Women's Once Daily Multivitamin, taken in the morning
Calcium: Now Foods Calcium and Magnesium Softgels, taken before bed (supports digestive regularity and helps me sleep)
Anti-inflammatory: New Chapter Zyflamend Whole Body, taken in the afternoon (for those aching dancer joints)
Probiotic: Garden of Life RAW Probiotic for Women, taken in the morning
Fish Oil: Garden of Life Oceans 3 Beyond Omega-3, taken in the morning
Beauty: Heaven Sent Naturals Purvana Hair, Skin & Nails, taken in the afternoon
Protein: Garden of Life RAW Protein, Cacao flavor, taken before a workout
Green Foods Blend: Garden of Life Perfect Food RAW Organic, Cacao flavor, blended into a smoothie in the morning
10. Any tips for success for someone interested in trying this workout?
First and foremost, you don't need dance experience to try barre and you don't need to rock ballet gear in class. I usually have a protein shake or bar before the workout because I don't like anything too heavy in my stomach when I exercise. Keeping your abdominal muscles contracted the entire time and maintaining proper posture will help you get the most out of the moves. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the workout and after as well.
Check back next week for another installment of this series and learn how another member of the eVitamins team practices what we preach. Stay well!