Nov 5 2014

What NOT To Do This Holiday Season

holiday-eating-caution-sign1. Don’t just assume you’re going to gain weight this holiday season, and throw in the towel. The average American gains 2 pounds between Thanksgiving and the New Year. Now, if you don’t work any of it off, this accumulates to 20 pounds per decade. BUT, consider this. Two pounds equals 7,000 calories. If you can focus on burning 200 extra calories per day this season (or eating 200 fewer calories) you won’t have to spend January “making up for December”. Instead, you’ll have the chance to positively move forward with a wholesome nutrition plan and an exercise regimen in place.
2. Don’t skimp on traditions. Just include some new activities to the mix! For instance, my big family bundles up and goes on a post-Christmas-feast walk (3 miles to be exact, but anything is better than nothing!) We also add great and tasty nutrient-dense alternatives to some of the extra caloric, yet nothing-good-to-offer-your-body dishes. This year we added a Kale & Brussels sprouts salad and Asparagus, Beet and Goat Cheese Salad. It’s great having some light bites to accompany the heavier ones.
3.Don’t skip meals. Example: Skipping lunch ‘cause you know you’re “going to eat 10 pigs-in-a-blanket at the office party”. We’ve all done it, but skipping meals only leads to overindulgence. Instead, follow your normal eating schedule, including wholesome foods and a snack before leaving the house. You’ll still get to enjoy your traditional favorites without feeling like a ravenous vulture.
4. Don’t park yourself in front of the buffet table for the night. Find somewhere to socialize away from the table of food. It’s remarkable how much more you’ll eat at a holiday party by standing at the buffet table all night.
5. Don’t remember the indulgence dish and forget the nutritious one. For every plate of indulgence, bring a platter of fruit kabobs or a veggie tray.
6. Don’t let the cold weather get the best of you. There are plenty of ways to exercise indoors. At VIDA, group fitness classes are extremely motivational. When stuck at home, workout DVD’s are a quick and thorough way to burn calories without stepping into the cold.
7. Don’t forget to plan ahead. Keep ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator to help curb those cravings and keep you full. (Sliced bell peppers, carrots, grape tomatoes, celery, snap peas, strawberries, mango, cantaloupe, grapes, apples, and bananas.) Dip veggies in hummus or yogurt dip if you don’t enjoy them plain.
8. Don’t deprive yourself. It’s the holidays! Deprivation is not natural, nor is it fun. Yes, we all have our goals, but that doesn’t mean “run as fast as you can to the side of the spectrum where you don’t eat anything but fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains at Christmas”. In fact, once you decide that deprivation is not the answer, being healthy becomes attainable and more realistic.
9. Don’t forget about the Plate. When planning all your traditional meals and celebrations, be mindful of USDA’S My Plate model, and make your meal look at least a little more like it!

Eat This, Not That


*Beef Tenderloin: 328 calories, 14 grams fat, 6 grams saturated fat
Prime Rib: 806 calories, 54 grams fat, 29 grams saturated fat

Side Dish
*Herb Roasted Potatoes: 100 calories, 5 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat m
Loaded baked Potato: 400 calories, 14 grams fat, 6 grams saturated fat

*Chocolate Fondue: 340 calories, 10 grams fat, 20 grams sugar
Pecan Pie: 610 calories, 45 grams fat, 15 grams saturated fat, 32 grams sugar

*Hot Chocolate: 120 calories, 4 grams fat, 15 grams sugar
Eggnog: 350 calories, 19 grams fat, 22 grams sugar

Nov 3 2014

VIDA Class Spotlight: iRIDE

By Danielle Michels
VIDA Blogger

iride1When I was assigned iRIDE as my next VIDA Fitness blogging/workout adventure I didn’t give it much thought other than I was going to a spin class. Oh, how I was wrong.

Usually when I’m reviewing a class I’ll do some preliminary research on the format, but this time around I figured, “how different could a spin class be?”

Well, for starters, as Joel (my instructor for the 11:30 a.m. Saturday iRIDE class at Navy Yards) clearly stated to the class before any pedals were moving, “This is not a spin class!”

My initial thought, “Holy crap, what have I signed up for?”

Well, just so you know before you adventure in to this class, “iRIDE is a unique, 45-minute cycling workout that challenges your body and engages your mind. Weights are incorporated into segments of the ride, and their use is inspired by different disciplines, such as boxing and Karate.”

And despite my blind expectations of it being just another spin class, I’m so happy it wasn’t. While I think of a traditional spin class as simply a nice break in my weight training routine (because I typically hate cardio with the fiery passion of a million suns and need someone to push me), this was more than just a cardio mix-up day.

iRIDE was challenging, exhilarating, preconceived-notion-breaking and by far one of the most fun fitness experiences I’ve ever had.

Yes, we biked, but unlike spin where your entire class is basically just switching between a flat road and climbs and looking at your revolutions per minute, iRIDE is completely focused on gear changes and utilizing your body on the bike rather than being glued to it for 45 minutes.

Over the course of the class you’ll do a little work in the seat, some sprints, quite a few jumps as well as standing climbs. However, you’ll do all that while mixing in fun stuff like arm moves using your 3-pound weights, switching up your hand positions with choreographed sequences and feeding off the energy in the room (rarely do you see a class where almost everyone is smiling during one of the hardest sequences, but you really can’t help it in iRIDE).

Now before you embark on your first iRIDE class, here’s a few things you should know:

• This is an any-level fitness class. Not a beginners class or an advanced class, it’s for literally anyone. Whether you’re looking to build cardiovascular endurance, increase slow-twitch muscle strength, or find a mind-body connection in your workouts, iRIDE has something to offer you. So don’t be intimidated if you’ve never done indoor cycling before because even experienced indoor cyclists will be learning something new. iRIDE is also designed in a way that fosters growth no matter where you’re at in your fitness journey.

• You don’t need to bring any equipment other than your body and a bottle of water. You don’t need to have special clip-in cycling shoes, but all of the bikes are compatible with SPD cleats just in case you do choose to purchase a pair or already own them.

• iRIDE is part of the normal group fitness schedule, which means it is included in your membership and you can take the class at no additional cost.

So far iRIDE has only been offered at VIDA Yards (which you should really come see if you haven’t had the chance), but it’s coming to Metropole this month through December on:

– Tuesdays at 7:45 p.m. with Hansen
– Fridays at 6:45 p.m. with Paul
– Sundays at 1:15 p.m. with Sonja

If you’re not a member of The Yards location, just let your membership consultant know you would like to take an iRIDE class, and they’ll set you up with a pass to go try it out.
Chances are you’ll also see me there when you go because now I’m hooked, and I’m willing to bet you will be too!

Nov 2 2014

Instructor Spotlight: Joel Patton

IMG_0543Joel is a Washington DC native, and Cycling and Interval Training is just one of the ways he’s found community in the city. Though his primary career as an IT Specialist in the Federal government and Doctoral student can pull him away from the studio at times, you can expect a challenging, but fun ride each time you take class with him. Learn a little more about Joel below!
1. Why did you decide to become an indoor cycling and group exercise instructor?

Several years ago, I looked to fitness after experiencing some self-esteem issues due to stresses from my personal life and career. After participating in a variety of classes and disciplines, I found the indoor cycling and interval training classes made me stronger and brought out my passion and inner drive while having great music to zone out to! I love to teach both!

2. What’s one thing you want all your first-time class participants to know?

I want my participants to know that we are all in this together! You’re not alone. I’m here to cheer you on with every step or pedal stroke. That’s all it takes! I like them to know that I always provide modifications because it is a journey. Try not to have pre-conceived notions or compare themselves to the next participant. Just come on in and be ready for a great and challenging time.

3. When you’re not squeezing another sprint out of your students, where can they find you?

Home! I am a homebody and just love to enjoy my downtime when I get the opportunity!

4. How are your classes different from other instructors’?

I love to MOVE and I love to play music that compels me to do that in order to affect the mood of the environment. I love to play fun music and that ranges from Top 40, Dance/Club, Rap/Hip-Hop, Old School R&B, Booty Bass Music. I like to choose the type of music that energizes and motivates others to put in the work to the point that they may forget that they are even working out. I like to keep my students engaged by incorporating plenty of drills to keep them fully engaged, thinking, moving and pushing harder.

5. Tell us something we don’t know about you!

In my fun loving spirit, I have a playful alter ego and he goes by the name “Juicy J II” (inspired by the rapper Juicy J). I got that nickname from my friends and other students that noticed that when I really start to feel the music or if I am just in the mood, that part comes out of me and I’ll rap, dance, interact even more with the students. This is something that I love to do, so I just want to continue providing a positive and exciting experience for members!