Nov 28 2014

Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Laugh Your Way to Good Health

laughter5Laughter, says emerging evidence, is indeed good medicine. A laugh relaxes your body and stimulates endorphins, promoting a feeling of well-being that helps us look at stressful or unhappy situations in a new light. One National Institutes of Health study showed that laughter stimulates the brain to counteract depressive symptoms. “Laughter therapy” decreases chronic pain and symptoms of depression and improves quality of life.

It can even improve some measures of heart function. Psychologist and laugh therapist Steve Wilson notes that laughter and exercise have similar effects. He recommends laughing and waving your arms as just one effective way to ramp up your heart rate. One study compared the benefits of one minute of laughter to ten minutes on the rowing machine.

Linda B. White, M.D., writer for a weekly health column called “The Remedy Chicks”, spent one morning “scattering joy” while riding her bike to work. She said good morning to everyone she passed, pigeons and ducks included. By the time she reached her office, she was laughing and filled with joy herself. It shed a whole new light on her day. Smiling and spreading laughter and goodwill can reduce pain, buoy mood, decrease stress hormones, enhance immune function, and heighten alertness and creativity.

As Mark Twain said, He who laughs, lasts.

Nov 24 2014

Tips to Survive the Holiday Season

winterholidayYes, it is season for parties that offer plenty of festive food and some heavy-duty Holiday food , but if you follow the our Holiday Survival guide you can make it through this tempting season without adding pounds

1) Plan ahead. If you know that you will be going to a party or having an extravagant meal, skip the booze and eat extra healthy in the week leading up to the event.

2) Exercise. It is easy to look at dreary weather and want to curl up by the fire, but nobody said staying healthy would be easy! Try out some of our signature classes such as I ride, VIDA Xtreme of Barre if mother nature keeps you indoors.

3) Stay Hydrated. Making sure you drink enough WATER .The benefits of staying hydrated are too expensive to list, but on the most basic level water is the essence of life. A good way to make sure you are guzzling down enough WATER is to have a jug and carry it with you at all times. Whenever it is empty, immediately refill it.

4) Watch the Sugar. When you are baking Christmas cookies and desserts ditch artificial sweetener and sugar for Stevia. This is an all-natural sugar substitute with no calories, carbs, or glycemic index. Indulge yourself without the guilt with a great recipe for not Sugar Cookies,.

5) Try Not to Stress Out. The Holidays can be a stressful time. Family and friends coming from out of town, big meals to cook, presents to buy, and the pressure to live up to the idealized version of Christmas we see in the media can make even the most laid back person tighten up. Stress can lead to heart disease, binge eating, and weight gain, so take a deep breath. The holidays should be a fun and happy time.

Enjoy your family, friends, and the feeling that comes with being fit and staying healthy!

Nov 24 2014

VIDA Class Spotlight: VIDA Barre

By Danielle Michels
VIDA Blogger

barre1I’m not going to lie, the first time I saw a barre class, I thought, “this can’t be a real workout.”

From an outside perspective, barre looks like ballet practice with a few floor exercises mixed in, so for anyone who loves high intensity workouts, barre appears to be a little like a stretching class.

Well, we all know the saying, “assuming makes an ass out of you and me,” and let’s just say I was definitely feeling mine immediately afterward.

So given my experience, I can say with complete certainty that barre is 100 percent a workout.
Although you may not be doing jump squats or mountain climbers, you are working your muscles intensely, and feeling that muscle burn all of us fitness junkies weirdly crave is one of the central focuses throughout the class.

To give a larger perspective, VIDA Barre is “An elegant, but challenging series of ballet-barre and Pilates postures targeting the thighs, seat, and core. These fluid exercises are designed to help you sculpt & tone your way to a dancer-style body.”

So naturally I thought that even if this isn’t too tough of a workout, maybe I’ll leave looking a little more graceful than when I entered (update: I’m going to need a lot more barre experience to make that happen).

First, we started with a warm-up, and let me tell you, you’ll be feeling some sweat before the real work of the class has begun. Having your muscles properly warmed up is key to making sure you can activate them effectively when moving to the isometric exercises.

Next we started on some mat exercises using light weights, but don’t let those little dumbbells fool you, you’ll be questioning how you’re able to curl 15 pounds within roughly 30 seconds.

I regularly workout with weights and do strength training, but the concentrated pulses and self-made resistance using the barre techniques really creates a fire in your muscles that you don’t get from a typical weightlifting workout. It’s very precise, and you truly have to push through the burn to make it to the end of the sequence.

After doing some work on the mat, we moved to the barre, which is where the majority of the thigh and glutes work happens.

And who knew one wall fixture could facilitate such a good workout?

Posture while at the barre is of utmost importance in order to get the desired results from the workout, so if you’re someone who sits for the majority of the day, you will be receiving more than just a lesson on the movement principles of ballet.

But Colleen was great, she came up and made the slightest adjustments that made a world of difference in feeling the effectiveness of the movement, and even though coming out of poor posture is a tad difficult and strange-feeling at first, even after one barre class I could hear Colleen in my head saying “roll your shoulders away from your ears” and “chest forward, tailbone tucked under.”

And before I knew it, the class was over. It flew by so quick because I was concentrated on getting the most out of the workout, and it’s just fun.

Although I think I’ll need to incorporate more barre in to my routine to truly see all that it can do, barre made a pretty great first impression.

Nov 24 2014

Thanksgiving Hours

Thursday 11/27 – 7am to 3pm
Thanksgiving Friday 11/28 – 7am to 10:00pm

Other Clubs

Wednesday 11/26: 5am – 9pm
Thursday 11/27: 7am – 3pm
Friday 11/28: 5am – 9pm (Black Friday)

Nov 22 2014

VIDA Instructor Profile: Colleen Palomaa

How long have you been teaching Barre?

I’ve been teaching group fitness for 7 years, but I didn’t come around to Barre until early 2013. It’s quickly become one of my favorite formats to instruct.

How long have you worked for VIDA?

Colleen Palomaa (l)

Colleen Palomaa (l)

VIDA and I go back to when I started teaching Barre—early last year. I moved from Maryland to work at VIDA and haven’t looked back!

What makes Barre at VIDA Fitness different?

At VIDA, we make a concentrated effort to help all students in the class feel supported and successful. We’ll demo exercises, offer form corrections and adjustments, as well as provide modifications or different ways of completing exercises to accommodate injuries or other limitations. That, and VIDA’s barre classes are fun because they’re taught with high-energy music, which is paired with movements to create flowing, dynamic sequences. You won’t realize how tough class is because it will fly right by!

Who should attend barre? and What goals will barre help you to achieve?

Barre is for everyone—the movements are small, controlled, safe, and effective. That being said, Barre’s an excellent choice for those specifically looking to develop muscle definition, improve core strength, and find better posture, balance, and grace.

How do you think Barre supplements other parts of someone’s fitness routines/fitness goals?

As a compliment to your regular training routine, 2 to 4 weekly Barre classes pair well with a cardio workout. Warming up before class with a 20-minute jog or rowing session would be a great way to extend a workout and elevate your heart rate, for example. I would definitely recommend maintaining a strength training regimen outside Barre, however, since the exercises we perform are targeted toward smaller muscle groups utilizing bodyweight.

What are some attributes you’ve seen change with your regular Barre attendees?

Barre lends participants confidence with improved posture—I see people come to class weary from their workdays and leave looking lifted and lighter. The targeted exercises we do to shape the glutes, legs, arms, abs, and back definitely get results. Over time, my students not only perfect their form, but they start to see muscles in places they never have before, and their mobility improves dramatically, too! Some of my students have even experienced substantial weight loss (paired with dietary adjustments, of course!).

What makes barre a great workout? We’ve all heard those preconceived notions, so for someone who has never experienced it, what can they expect to gain with a barre workout from a fitness professional’s perspective?

Barre classes are challenging, but they’re also functional and fun. I have lots of clients who will approach me after class to ask about an exercise because their doctor or physical therapist prescribed them something similar for XYZ condition. That is to say, we’re working muscles that are important for activities of daily living, like sitting and standing properly, maintaining posture while seated at a desk for a long time, or correcting imbalances to avoid injury. So while students can expect to gain definition, tenacity (some of these movements are tough), and strength, they can also expect to see improvements in their overall quality of life in the present and for many years to come!