The holiday season is in full swing—and so is the potential to pack on the calories. Blame it on the countless holiday parties tempting us with delicious desserts, cocktails, and hearty winter comfort foods. But how are we supposed to make time for the gym when there’s so much to do before the year ends? We don’t have to, thanks to personal trainer Errick McAdams’ no-gym holiday workout. You may have to venture outside for this calorie-busting workout, but the two-part warm up will have you working up a sweat in no time.
Want to keep it indoors? Consider swapping the sprint portion for 15 seconds of jumping rope instead.
30 jumping jacks
15 burpees (without push-up or jump)
Perform 3 sets.
Warm Up Part 2
20 high-knees in place.
20 butt kicks in place
Perform 2 sets.
15-second sprint: Run as fast as you can while counting to 10 in your head. Stop running at 15.
Do 5, 10, or 15 push-ups depending on fitness level. (Regular push-ups or push-ups on your knees.)
Perform 10 sets.
I’m tucked into my turquoise-colored silk cocoon, hanging two feet above ground and watching huge, white snowflakes fall outside the window above me.
In other words, I’m in complete bliss.
I’ve just completed an aerial yoga workshop at Spark Yoga, the newest fitness studio to open in Arlington. After two hours of swinging, upside down inversions, and lifted down dogs and planks, I’m already contemplating how I can swap my bed for one of these 21-foot-long, 9-foot-wide aerial silks instead.
Not to say that aerial yoga is easy. Sure, instructor Debra O’Reagan makes the most complicated poses look effortless, but she’s been teaching and practicing aerial yoga for years. “I even have silks hanging in my basement and in my backyard,” she says.
But aerial yoga is just one component of Spark Yoga, which opened December 7 and is owned by yoga instructor Susan Park. The spacious studio features a gigantic, 3,000-square-foot studio for hot yoga and vinyasa yoga, as well as yoga classes with weight-training. Across the lobby is where you’ll find a smaller studio with cushioned flooring, seven hanging silks for aerial yoga, and equipment for barre classes.
There are changing rooms, plus men’s and women’s locker rooms complete with showers and bathrooms, and lockers for storage. It’s a gym-goer’s one-stop shop for all things yoga, barre, and Pilates—and the only studio in Northern Virginia to offer aerial yoga.
CrossFit DC, the first CrossFit affiliate to ever open in DC, is expanding its reach by opening a second location on H Street in spring 2014.
Located at 1364 H Street, Northeast—former home of the H Street Playhouse—the 4,500-square-foot space will maintain an open layout, typical of most CrossFit boxes.
“We do have a few people coming from H Street who lobbied us heavily to look into the neighborhood,” CrossFit DC owner Tom Brose told Well+Being. “We are really excited to join their community.”
In 2005 CrossFit DC became the first affiliate to open in DC and one of the first 50 in the world. Brose first started CrossFit DC at the Kalorama location of Balance Gym, before opening his own box at 1722 14th Street, Northwest, just last February.
Brose says current and new CrossFit DC members will be able to use both facilities when the H Street location opens.
H Street is quickly becoming a hub for CrossFit affiliates. CrossFit Old City recently opened this month at 810 H Street, Northeast.
Bad news, Washingtonians: Maryland and Virginia are less healthy than they were one year ago, according to a new survey.
The United Health Foundation released its 2013 annual report of America's Health Rankings today and while it touted the country in general for an improvement in overall health, our neighbors to the north and south slipped in the rankings. Maryland is the 24th healthiest state, followed by Virginia as the 26th healthiest.
In fact, Maryland and Virginia were two of four states that experienced the largest decline in rank. Both fell four spots from their 2012 rankings.
A window display in Lululemon Bethesda’s storefront window has caused another PR problem for the Spandex-loving fitness apparel company that has already suffered a number of gaffes this year.
The window sign read, “Cups of Chai, Apple Pies, Rubbing Thighs?,” referring to founder Chip Wilson’s recent comment that his company’s yoga pants aren’t for everyone. In an interview with Bloomberg TV Wilson said the reason customers were having pilling and see-through problems with their yoga pants was because of their size: “It’s about the rubbing through the thighs, how much pressure is there over a period of time, and how much they use it.”
Lululemon hasn’t had the best year. First there was the see-through-pants debacle last March that led to a product recall and the resignation of the chief product officer and ultimately CEO Christina Day. In addition, Wilson has been chastised left and right for multiple flubs that have led to Lululemon ambassadors resigning and requests within the yoga community to boycott Lululemon products.
Twitter user Diana Russell’s photo of the window display was first tweeted December 2. The sign was removed that same day, and Lululemon tweeted an apology, saying, “We celebrate that thighs rub together—ours do too.”
Update 12/10: Lululemon announced Tuesday that Wilson will resign. The announcement comes on the heels of a number of PR gaffes for the fitness apparel company, including Wilson's most recent comment that wear-and-tear issues with Lululemon spandex was a result of women’s thighs rubbing together. In January, Wilson will be replaced by Laurent Potdevin, who has led a number of apparel companies including Burton, and most recently, Toms. This morning, Lululemon posted a video of Potdevin slipping off his Toms shoes and signing a letter as Lululemon CEO.
When they’re not working at their nonprofit day jobs, newlyweds Katie and Doug Hay are tag-teaming their meals together to stay energized during yoga classes and long runs throughout the District. The duo considers themselves “at-home vegans,” which means they eat vegan at home and vegetarian outside of the house. And while Katie is teaching or taking yoga classes daily, she’s also joining Doug on some of his “shorter” runs as he trains for his first 100-mile ultramarathon. Read on to see how the couple stays fueled together.
Doug: “This morning I threw together a smoothie for the two of us before Katie took off for a morning yoga class and I sat down to work on a blog post before work. The smoothie included a banana, a few handfuls of spinach, frozen pineapple, four sprigs of frozen broccoli, about half a cup of walnuts, a scoop of pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, ground flax, and water. I’m also a big coffee guy, and didn’t make it more than 20 minutes before I poured my first cup.”
Katie: “I ate a banana before teaching a 7 AM yoga class and then slurped down the smoothie when I got to work. That’s also when I brewed my daily cup of green tea accompanied by a large glass of water.”
Katie: “I’m a snacker—I can’t go more than a few hours without food. Lately I’ve been enjoying farmers market apples with almond butter for added protein.”
If you’re sick of ugly holiday sweater parties, we’ve got another idea to put that Goodwill purchase to use: the Ugly Sweater Run.
The 5K race is coming to DC for the first time ever on Saturday, December 21, at the National Harbor, and bringing plenty of perks. Water stations are swapped for hot chocolate along the course, and a knit winter hat and a fake mustache replace the typical race T-shirt.
After the race, each 21-and-over participant will receive two free seasonal drinks, including Samuel Adams Boston and Winter lagers and Angry Orchard apple cider.
The race is for a good cause, too. Runners can donate a new toy on race day to the race’s charity partner, Toys for Tots, which collects toys throughout the year and gives them to less fortunate children during the holiday season.
And don’t forget to check out our roundup of other 2013 holiday races in Washington.
The Ugly Sweater Run. 165 Waterfront St., National Harbor. $44.
Remember when Olive Garden was mostly known for its unlimited salad and breadsticks? Those days are long-gone with the addition of the restaurant’s first-ever burger to its menu of monstrous pasta dishes.
Naturally, this piqued our curiosity. What are the nutritional stats on this Italiano burger, and how does it compare with burgers at other restaurant behemoths such as Applebee’s, TGI Fridays, and Ruby Tuesday?
We had registered dietitian Kait Fortunato take a look at the nutritional content of each burger. Read on for her breakdown, from highest- to lowest-calorie.
1) TGI Fridays All-American Stacked Burger
The two beef patties and two cheeses were a dead giveaway, says Fortunato. The burger has a total of 103 grams of fat (35 grams of saturated fat), and an insane 4,030 milligrams of sodium. Stay far, far away—if you must have a burger, opt for the 930-calorie turkey burger.
2) Ruby Tuesday Classic Burger
At 1,366 calories this burger with lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onions, and mayonnaise isn’t that much better. Plus, it comes with a scary 2,519 milligrams of sodium, which is more than the recommended daily intake.
3) Olive Garden Italiano Burger
It’s a hefty 1,020 calories and is second only to the TGI Fridays burger when it comes to saturated fat content (66 grams!). The crispy prosciutto and garlic aïoli explain the high 1,800 milligrams of sodium.
4) Applebee’s Bacon Cheddar Burger
Even with the not-so-healthy red meats, Fortunato says this burger is the healthiest of the bunch because it contains the least amount of sodium and fat. She also points to the fresh meat and cheddar cheese, “which is less processed than American cheese.” But that still doesn’t mean it’s all that nutritious: It’s 970 calories with 63 grams of fat and 1,710 milligrams of sodium.
Want a burger you can indulge in without blowing your caloric budget? Check out these five healthy options around town.
Wintertime always brings about a craving for hearty, carb-filled meals—but eating a bowl of pasta every night can pack on the pounds. This salmon dish scores points for including a huge amount of filling protein and healthy fats without the extra calories.
The creamy herb topping is a healthy bonus, since we swapped fatty mayo for plain Greek yogurt mixed with a tablespoon of pesto.
And if we haven’t sold you yet, the whole meal takes 30 minutes or less to prepare and bake. Serve it with a side of your favorite grain—we like Israeli couscous, millet, or wild rice—and vegetable, and you’ve got yourself a seriously healthy, well-rounded meal.
Nutrition per serving: 254 calories, 8.8 grams fat, 243.7 milligrams sodium, 629.2 milligrams potassium, 20 grams carbohydrates, 24.3 grams protein.
1 pound salmon
½ cup plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon pesto (store-bought is fine)
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup spicy mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Mix yogurt and pesto. Refrigerate.
3. Mix brown sugar, spicy mustard, and curry powder.
4. Spray a shallow cooking dish with cooking spray. Place salmon in dish and spoon mustard mixture over fish.
5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until desired doneness.
6. Serve with creamy pesto topping.
Here’s the first thing to know about the Orangetheory Fitness workout: There’s a downside to being in shape.
That’s according to Reggie Williams, the general manager and head trainer of the first Orangetheory Fitness to open in Washington, in Fairfax. The first Orangetheory opened in Florida and has expanded to hundreds of locations nationwide and in Canada and the United Kingdom.
“The more you work out and the more fit you are, the harder you’re going to have to work in these classes,” he explained to me after my hourlong workout of treadmill intervals, rowing, and strength-training.
At Orangetheory Fitness, participants wear heart monitors around their chest that calculate how hard they’re working throughout the hour. The results are tracked live and broadcast on the flat-screen TVs above a set of treadmills.
The goal is to keep your heart rate in specific target zones—green is the baseline, orange is the push zone—that boosts metabolism and increases energy for ultimate calorie burn.
My problem: No matter how hard I pushed myself, whether it was on the treadmill or after a 12th burpee, I could not get myself into the orange zone. I cursed to myself as I stared at the screen above me while sprinting up an incline of 6 percent and watching my heart rate stay firmly in the green.
That’s the beauty of the Orangetheory Fitness workout, Williams explained. Since everyone’s fitness level and heart rate is different, you end up competing against yourself rather than the person sweating next to you.
In other words: You are your own worst enemy.