Top 10 Benefits of Walking

Walking is one of those things that there’s really no down side to. Anyone (almost everyone) can do it, it’s easy and it’s FREE! We all like free stuff right?? Especially freebies that will help us with our health goals.

Walking is an incredibly good way to start, or continue your fitness journey. It’s not physically exerting – unless you are walking 10 miles a day, but hey all the power to ya – and it’s a good way to get your heart rate up and joints oiled up.

So what else is so great about walking? Well, let me tell you..

1. IT STRENGTHENS YOUR BONES

It can stop the bone loss of osteoporosis. One Nurse’s Health Study found that women who walked a minimum of 4 hours a week (less than 30 minutes per day) had a 40% less risk of hip fracture.

2. ENHANCES CIRCULATION

Walking regularly is great for your heart. It can increase blood circulation, helping to lower blood pressure and can end up reducing the risk of a stroke.

3. BOOSTS YOUR MOOD

Physical activity stimulates your brain. It also releases chemicals called endorphins, these chemicals interact with the brain in a way that reduces pain and improves ones mood.

4. IMPROVES SLEEP 

Walking can help you fall asleep faster, and into a deeper sleep. Walking outdoors is especially beneficial because the exposure to sunlight will help keep your vitamin levels happy. Physical activity will also tire your body out where it needs to hit REM more than normal.

5. STIMULATES YOUR MIND

A study done by the University of California found that women who walked about 30 minutes per day had a slower decline in memory loss than those that didn’t walk as much.

6. IMPROVE BALANCE AND COORDINATION

Walking utilizes every part of your lower body, and thus strengthens it. The more one walks, the stronger the lower body will be. Studies find that those who do not walk as frequently have weaker muscles in their shins and therefor tend to lose their balance more.

7. PREVENTS DISEASES

It lowers the risk of Alzheimers. Studies show that those who walk more than just a quarter of a mile per day have a greatly reduced risk of obtaining Alzheimers Disease.

8. RAISES YOUR IMMUNITY

Regular exercise will help maintain a healthy body weight. This will in turn keep your body at it’s full potential and have a strong immune system. Your body will then be able to fight off more diseases and illnesses.

9. SUPPORTS YOUR JOINTS

Your joints are made of cartilage, and many of our joints do not have a direct blood supply. Joints get their nutrition from juices and oxygen that the body circulates when we move. The more we walk, the more oxygen and nutrients get into the joints. The healthier our joints are the more painless our day to day life will be!

10. HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT

Last but not least, walking helps with weight loss. It burns calories! It also builds muscle. Walking several miles a day will help jump start your journey to a healthier life.

So, let’s get to walking! Take an early morning stroll, a lunch time break to clear your head, or an evening walk in the park.. However, whenever, just move your feet!

Do you walk every day? Why/why not? 

When is your favorite time to go on a walk? Do you jam out to music when you do, or do you like the silence? 

Comment below!!

That’s all for today!

Xo, Dev

Should You Pass on Classpass?

Answer is NO!

If you haven’t heard of it, Classpass is an app that grants you access to a plethora of fitness studios in your respective city. I live in Atlanta and there are hundreds of fitness studios that I now have access to through Classpass.

The reason that I love fitness studios is because the trainers truly push you to your max, and give you new exercises that you may not have known about prior… And if you’re like me and need a bit of competition to get you going – it’s a great motivator!

The one factor that I dislike about fitness studios… the COST! It is SO expensive. In Atlanta, the average price of a fitness class, whether that be cycle (my favorite!), barre, interval trainings, strength based trainings or anything else is anywhere between $25-$35 per class. Memberships vary anywhere from $110-$400 per month depending on the studio and type of class. Personally, I love going to spin classes but those tend to be the most expensive.

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Aaaand that is how we got to Classpass! There are several different types of memberships – a 3x per month intro offer, 5x per month and 10x per month. I normally do a 5x per month package and it’s only $55. That breaks down to about $11 per class! WHAT A STEAL!

The caveat is that depending on which program you have, you are restricted to how many times you can visit each studio. For example, on my 5 classes per month package, I can only visit the same studio twice within the same membership cycle (1 month). TBH, I’m totally okay with this because it pushes me to try out new studios and new workouts!

If you’d like to sign up to test Classpass out, click on the link and you’ll get $40 off your first month! YEAHHHH who doesn’t like to save monies?!

What is your favorite workout class? 

Have you ever tried Classpass, and did you like it? Why/why not?!

Xo, Dev

How do you go to the gym if you’re out of town? How do you make sure you eat well when you can’t cook at home? How do you ensure that you’re taking care of your body?

Ugh, it’s been a LONG day. I travel for work generally every other week and it’s wicked hard to keep up a healthy lifestyle.

When I think of training arms, I usually think about hitting the weights at the gym. Today, I wanted to go over some key exercises that you CAN do at pretty much any hotel that has a gym, and most of this routine you won’t even need a gym!

I always stay at a hotel that at least has a fitness facility. That can mean that there is a room with a treadmill in it, or it can mean there is a whole rack of weights. You never know!

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Arm Circles: Standing up, move your arms in forward circles for 30 seconds, and then backwards for 30 seconds.

Push-Ups: Get in plank position with your hands shoulder width apart. BONUS: Put your hands in a diamond shape for a harder training. 15 per set.

Decline Push-Ups: Create a decline by resting your feet on a box, bench or exercise ball with your hands on the floor shoulder width apart. Bring your elbows to a 90 degree elbow. You will feel more tension in your shoulders and upper arms. 15 per set.

Tricep Dips: Position your hands shoulder width apart on a bench or box, slide your butt off of the bench with your legs straight. Slightly bend your elbows and make sure to keep tension on your triceps and not your elbow joints. 10 per set.

Planks: Place forearms on the ground parallel to the body, keep your butt and abs tucked in, hold for 45 seconds.

Planks with Dips: Get in plank position, but drop your left side to the ground, then rotate your right side to the ground. You will feel this in your oblique muscles. Continue for 45 seconds.

Decline Mountain Climbers: Get in handstand position using a wall for support, hands shoulder width apart. Slowly bring your left knee in to your stomach, then straighten. Next bring your right knee in to your abs and straighten. 20 times each side.

Medicine Ball Sit Up Throws: Grab a medicine ball and get in a sit-up position. Bring the medicine ball over your head so that your arms are parallel to the floor, holding the ball. As you curl your abdomen to do a full sit up, bring the medicine ball with you. At the peak of the sit-up, toss the all in the air and then catch it. Once the ball is caught, release your position and decline back down to the ground bringing the ball back above your head.

All of these exercises are able to be done with little to no equipment! And I promise you – your arms WILL feel the burn if you push yourself and do it correctly. The key to these exercises is form!

Let’s continue to travel, but live a healthy life along the way 🙂

Xo, Dev

Reform yourself

I used to be a firm believer that weights and a treadmill would give me everything I wanted. But have you ever tried the reformer machine? HOLY. MOLY.

The reformer is a Pilates based machine that helps regulate resistance for its exercises. It generally helps target your upper and lower abs, obliques, glutes and hamstrings.

It looks like a single bed with pulleys, cables and straps. Does this sound like a torture machine to you? It might, but you'll thank me later. The cables and straps are connected to springs that help adjust tension and resistance. The bed portion slides forwards and backwards and connects to the pulleys and springs. In order to use this machine, you have to utilize your core strength.

The biggest difference of utilizing a reformer machine vs doing Pilates on a mat is the ability to adjust the resistance. The more resistance, the faster results will come. Generally speaking you will see much quicker results when using a reformer vs doing Pilates on a mat. Usually you will see muscle definition and toning by the 10-12th time using them. But even for me, after doing one hour in the machines I can feel my abs (under my little chubby layer) strengthen quite a bit.

It looks like a scary machine but I promise – it's not. Many people take a private class before jumping into group classes so that they can really learn how to use the machine to get he most benefit.

Classes are a bit pricey, but totally worth it! Checkout Groupon or Classpass to see some of your local reformer studios!

TOTALLY WORTH IT. Rock {your abs} on.

Xo, Dev

Do weights make you bulky?

“I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to be bulky. I want to keep my girlish figure” – my friend says the other day at an interval training class.

I can’t even begin to talk about how often ladies will say this. There seems to be some misconception that the moment you pick up a dumbbell you’ll walk out of the gym looking like The Hulk.

Let’s talk through this. Bulk; it’s subjective. Everyone has their own perfect image of what type of body they’d like to have and anything above that is viewed as “fat” or in some cases “bulky muscle.” For me, I prefer to be strong, I don’t strive for the skinny arm or the thigh gap. Some girls do. I also don’t strive for big gluts and hamstrings. Other girls do. My goal is to feel healthy. To be happy with myself, my body and the way that I feel when I wake up in the morning. The image that comes with that is icing on the cake.

Another favorite quote of mine is “I don’t want to build more muscle. I just want to tone the muscle that I have.” 

Muscle is muscle. There is no difference between bulky muscle and lean muscle. “Lean muscle” is just muscle that has less body fat surrounding it and thus looks to be more defined. Building muscle will burn more calories, and even burn calories when you are not working out – thus continuing to burn the fat. Repeat: building some muscle WILL help burn calories and LOSE fat. *Cough* toning *cough.*

Muscle toning is muscle building, but muscle building isn’t necessarily muscle toning. Say WHAT?

Anytime you increase your muscle tone, you will increase your muscle size. But when you increase muscle size, you are not necessarily increasing your tone. WHY? Because in order to see the muscle definition, you need to have less body fat. Not really the case in terms of how large your muscles actually are.

Fun fact: Many fit, active women have a 6 pack. Many of those same women have a layer of fat covering said 6 pack (guilty as charged!)

In order to truly bulk, it requires serious strength training, lots of time and dedication and putting your muscles through hypertrophy. You will have to go beyond the initial toning in order to build. See below for the process of muscle growth.

Hypertrophy: the enlargement of tissue through growth of its cells. This is different than cells growing in number, Hyperplasia. As adults, we can’t produce NEW cells. We can however change the size of those cells, thus supporting our “muscle growth.”

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So, if lifting isn’t bad for women.. Where do we start?

Great question!

First step: Go to the gym. If you don’t want to go to the gym (god forbid Carol from the PTA sees you working up a sweat), buy a set of weights from Dicks Sporting Goods and start at home. Once you feel comfortable lifting at home, you’re gonna want to go to the gym for more equipment!

Second Step: Take charge of your body. Do some bicep curls, some lat raises or dumbbell rows.. Whatever it is just pick up the darn weights. Start basic. Get to know your body and what you are comfortable with.

Third Step: Once you are comfortable, push yourself. Do an extra rep. Increase your weights. Try a new exercise.

So go grab a dumbbell, grow some muscle, be a boss ass babe and ROCK your workouts! You’ll find it will help no matter what image you are working towards.

Xo, Dev