Body

RE-BLOG: 11 Tweaks to Your Daily Routine Will Make Your Day More Productive

Routines take dedication to establish but once you lay them down they will stick. Building your perfect daily routine will reduce stress in your life and routines are a life hack to staying organized.

It can be as easy as writing down your schedule on a chalkboard to regulate time management, buying a planner or creating new fitness goal and plan to achieve it in the Toys for Tots Virago Fitness Virtual Race this September.

Routines are a vital part of being a productive person, and you can make your routine even more productive. Check out Entrepreneur.com's article on how 11 Tweaks to Your Daily Routine Will Make Your Day More Productive.

Silver Sneakers Works to Improve the Quality of Life for Senior Citizens

It’s never too late to start your fitness journey, and people all across the country are taking that saying to heart. Gyms all over america are participating in a new preventative health program that makes a huge difference in the quality of life some of our society's most under appreciated demographic. 

Silver Sneakers is the leading exercise program for adults in America and has given senior citizens a chance to refocus on their physical wellness and a way to stay connected in a community. The classes are designed for older adult fitness and are covered by the participants insurance, many times at no extra cost. Smaller local gyms like TruSelf Sporting Club have also included full gym access into the Silver Sneakers program they offer.

"The thing is, most large big-box gyms have this program; 24Hour, LA Fitness, Curves, etc" explains TruSelf Fitness Manager, Christine Quilici, who helps to manage the Silver Sneakers schedule at the sporting club.  "Each approved location can pick what the users can participate in.  The reason that TruSelf is unique, is that we give the users full access to everything. It is not just limited access to classes or cardio only. They have use of all the equipment and services, just as if they were members." 

Yeah that's right, if you qualify to participate your insurance will cover the cost of these fitness classes and depending upon the gym's program policy, your insurance could cover the cost of your gym membership! Although the program was built with older adults in mind it is also a great way for people recovering from injury or illness to stay physically active and safe.

The benefits of this program extend beyond physical fitness. Retirement, the loss of friends and family and lack of mobility can leave many older, or injured people feeling alone. A study, published in the 2012 edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that social isolation and feelings of loneliness are associated with a higher risk of mortality in adults age 52 and older. When acute symptoms for disease or illness begin to develop, it is the people around the future patient who notice changes in behavior or health that can lead to early detection. Isolated seniors are at the greatest risk of experiencing unnoticed deterioration and Silver Sneakers works to create a social safety net by offering group fitness classes to people at risk for isolation. Strong social bonds can also help to prevent depression and even lead to a more optimistic life for seniors. Silver Sneakers provides older adults with an opportunity to meet new people and to continue to strengthen the social bonds that contribute to a longer and more satisfying life. This program is just another great way fitness helps to build a community for people who may find themselves isolated. Click on the link to see if you or someone you know could qualify.

Don't qualify? Don't worry! There are tons of ways to connect to your local fitness community. Virago Fitness is proud to be the first business to ever host a Toys for Tots Foundation Virtual Race this September. The beauty of a virtual race is that you can participate any way you want from any location in America.

Not a runner? Swim for tots. Not a swimmer? Skateboard to help raise money for this amazing non-profit.

Is your ideal Virtual Race team scattered across the country? No problem. Anyone can register and participate from anywhere. The race starts in September and is open all month long, so your ideal team, no matter what time zone they are in, can participate whenever it is convenient for each member. 

When you register, you will receive a commemorative t-shirt and a medal that tells the world you care about the future of this country, knowing that 100% of the money raised will go to The Toys for Tots Foundation. Register today!
 

7 Reasons Why You Should Incorporate Water Workouts Into Your Fitness Routine

Virago Fitness had the pleasure of taking Hotel Del Coronado's Mermaid Fit class today! It was amazing, and we fulfilled a life long dream of becoming a mermaid. Check it out!

It's summer and with the warm weather comes new opportunities to expand your workout. #TeamVirago has been working relentlessly over the past month, revamping the #ViragoFitness routine to bring you the San Diego Chapter of the #MonthOfFitnessChallenge. For the past month we have been trying every single fitness opportunity San Diego has to offer and it has been an amazing experience that we will share with all our subscribers on Monday August first.

As we finished our 30+day challenge of non-stop exercising bliss, trying everything from Bulgarian Bag Wrestling Bootcamp to Silk Aerial Yoga, we noticed that our stamina increased, an our endurance doubled, but our our bodies, although stronger and faster than ever before, were sore and stressed from our high intensity exercise journey. On the home stretch of #MonthOfFitness we were recovering from a few strains and nursing some aching tendants, but being the fitness junkies we are, we were still dedicated to staying active. After having come so far, a few tender joints were not going to stop us! Enter Mermaid Fitness. A Magical class the Hotel Del Coronado is offering this summer that introduced us to all the amazing benefits of incorporating water into our fitness routine. (Check out our amazing underwater experience at the Hotel Del Coronado on our Instagam and Facebook).

Exercising in water is like anti-gravity resistance training. When submerged in water up to your shoulders you only feel about 10% of your body weight, but you can get up to 42 times the resistance as exercising in air, depending on the speed of the movement.

  • Water training is not only excellent cardio that leads to high calorie burning before and after workout
  • Hydrostatic pressure exerted evenly across the surface of your body by the water actually makes your heart more efficient than if you were to exercise on land.
  • Water aerobics can lower your heart rate and blood pressure
  • High impact swimming is associated with weight loss and improved cardiovascular endurance.
  • The buoyancy of water takes pressure off of your joints and gives you the ability to stick to a training regiment even after you have sustained an injury like a rolled ankle or even broken limbs.
  • Exercising in water is notoriously good for the 350 million people suffering from Arthritis world wide who want to manage pain and still stay fit.
  • Professional football players train in water to improve their speed, increase their vertical jump and build on their range of motion. If you want moves like Seattle Seahawk's Quaterback #RusslleWilson, try all the same explosive body weight moves you love in the water.

Mermaid Fitness not only gave us the chance to fulfil a lifelong goal of becoming mermaids, but gave us a crash coarse in some of the best resistance training moves you can do any time of year. Next time you are in the pool grab a flotation noodle and try doing some arm presses and tricep curls in in the shallow section. You can even tone your glues by doing leg raises in the water and hip lifts poolside.

If aquatic group fitness is more your style you can join Hotel Del Coronado every Friday and Saturday Morning for Mermaid Fitness. The class is $20 to visitors and $15 for locals. Hope to see you there!

Virago Fitness First Business to Ever Sponsor a Toys for Tots Virtual Race

Virago Fitness is elated to be the FIRST business to sponsor a virtual race for the Toys for Tots Foundation.

Imagine waking up at Christmas, hoping to feel the excitement and anticipation that all kids look forward to each year, but knowing that your Christmas tree will have no presents underneath it,  just like the year before. Imagine how that must make a child of 6-years-old feel, after being told all year long that good children receive gifts on December 25th and bad children get nothing. Imagine the pain of watching that kind of disappointment on your own child's face. Currently 14.5 % of Americans live under the poverty line. For many that means that Christmas presents are a luxury that a family who may be suffering from food insecurity cannot afford. Situations like this are sadly more common than most people realize, and can begin a life of low self-esteem, dependence on community support, and suseptibility to crime for many underprivileged young people. The Toys for Tots Foundation is one non-profit committed to ending that cycle of poverty and low self worth in America, and Virago Fitness is thrilled to partner with them this September.

The Toys for Tots Foundation is a non-profit that works with the US Marine Corps and Reserves, and has been raising money to build strong American communities since 1947. Their mission “is to deliver, through a new toy at Christmas, a message of hope to less fortunate youngsters that will assist them in becoming responsible, productive, patriotic citizens”.

Toys for Tots is also known for the great 5K runs they host each year that bring communities together to help make a difference in a child's life, and this September Virago Fitness is proudly joining them to host Toys for Tot's FIRST EVER Virtual Race.

Participating in a #virtualrace means that you can be a part of a great cause from any location. Members of #TeamVirago live all around the world, and although you may be far from home you can still participate. The Virago Fitness Community is also diverse. Not everyone is a runner and unlike all other races to raise money for a great cause, in our #VirtualRace you don't even have to run! You can do yoga in Thailand, or swim one hundred meters in North Carolina. You can take a long hike along the trails of Oregon, or you can complete a Crossfit WOD while deployed in Afghanistan. Wherever you are in the world you can help make a difference to over 7 million American kids and inspire many Virago Warriors in the making.

When you register for the Toys for Tots Virago Fitness Virtual Race you will receive a t-shirt, and a medal that lets the world know that you are dedicated to fitness and making positive change in the world. In this race, we are all winners.

Registration begins in August for the September #VirtualRace but you can join our mailing list now to get updates on when registration will open and training tips to prepare for the race. Sign up today and commit to conquering a personal fitness goal knowing that 100% of all participation fees ($35/person) go to #TheToysforTotsFoundation.

Thank you for helping us make a difference. For more information about the Virtual Race, click here.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN!

 
 

Tone Your Life : Simplify your day with our favorite wellness and fitness hacks

In honor of #NationalSimplicityDay we present our favorite fitness hacks to help you get rid of some daily clutter. Take these first steps to streamline your life and make room for the things that really matter.

  • One and Done

In a rush to fit in gym time today? Make your workout simple and choose one exercise per work out, and perfect it. Instead of trying to rush through a circuit or speeding through 10 different exercises in one day choose one lift, or one cardio challenge today, and try a new one everyday going forward. Many people try to pack their gym time with multiple stations or workout with the aim of working multiple muscle groups in one session, but when you hurry yourself through a dynamic routine you may not be completing the exercise correctly which is the exact opposite of your fitness goal and can even lead to injury. There are many full body exercises you can do at the gym to get you in, out and back on the road. Monetizing your work is also meditative. Instead of constantly having to strategise your workout navigation and time management, (something that is exhausting enough outside of the gym) choose one motion and let your mind meditate in the moment. The focus will ensure that you are getting the most out of your workout and clear your mind before heading back out into a world that always keeps you on your toes.

  • Meal Prep is Your Ally

Cooking large portions and pre-packaging lunches and snacks sounds intuitive but it does take more forethought than people expect. Cooking in bulk and packaging it as you clean up after a meal takes a little more time in the present, but it will be one less thing to think about for the rest of the week in a world where anything that can happen will happen. LiveStrong.org has more step by step tips on meal prep for beginners.

  • Simplify By Multitasking

Everyday mundane activity is an opportunity to sneak a little fitness in. Waiting for your prints to come out of the copier? Great excuse to do some calf raises. Watching your pasta water boil? A vinyasa flow is a great way to pass the time, since a watched pot never boils.

  • Abs to go.

A strong core is an important aspect of any fitness foundation but you do not need to spend an hour on a crunch machine to strengthen yours. In fact, abdominal isolation exercises are not the most effective way to strengthen and slim your mid section. If you are pressed for time, skip the ab isolations and concentrate on compound exercises like overhead presses, squats and dead lifts. These full body movements strengthen multiple muscle groups and will yield full body results. If you are addicted to a sweet core burn - take your ab routine home. Planks are easily done between commercials and mountain climbers are a nice way to break up the stream of emails you may be replying to at the kitchen table.

 

 

Life is, by definition, busy. You will never be less busy than you are right now, contrary to what you may tell yourself everyday when you look at a fully packed planner. Take time now to figure out what the most important things in your life are and trim the fat from there. By simplifying your workout and eating habits, and refocusing your life on the things that truly make you happy, you will find that the complications, and the unhealthy habits, will melt away.

 

Five Reasons You Need To Be At FitFest Next Weekend

1)$5 Fitness

Is there anywhere else in San Diego that you can get a $5 Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga Class? How about $5 Crossfit training, or $5 Pilates?

2)Location Location Location    

The Coronado Ferry Landing is on everyone's "Top Sights to See in San Diego" list. Here, A white sand beach parallels the glistening buildings of Downtown SD on the other side of a sail boat peppered turquoise blue bay. In a city known for its beaches and bay front this location earns high marks for locals and tourists alike.

3)Fitness fun for all

Got Kids? There's Kid's Yoga

New to fitness? Stand Up Paddle is a worth while introduction to core strength and balance that you cant experience in most cities.

Fitness Fanatic? Get ready for the ultimate WOD, a 12 event wellness festival designed to work every muscle group in your body, if you dare.

New to San Diego? This a great oppurtunity to meet like minded people in the 8th most fit city in America.

4)Support Local Business

Local trainers, San Diego native gyms, and homegrown vendors like Virago Fitness will all be in one place to help get you ready to look and feel great this summer.

5) Sitting is the new smoking

Sit heavy and sedentary lifestyles have recently been linked to illnesses as serious as heart disease and diabetes. You sit at work, you sit in the car, and you could spend Saturday July 16th sitting inside staring at another digital screen, or you could come join us for FitFest and literally lengthen your life with a day of ocean breezes and California sunshine.

 

We hope to see you there!

Use Code : LOCAL at Checkout to secure your fitness class spot for FREE! Limited time only.                                                                              

 

Stay Safe During Your Workout in the Summer Heat

Although Researchers at the University of Oregon did find that training in heat can improve performance for athletes competing in lower temperature activities, working out in the heat wave that is taking over the country can be dangerous. Heat exhaustion and heat stroke sound like something that could never happen to a fit and healthy person, but they can be deadly, set in quickly, and don't discriminate between age or wellness levels. It takes a lot to stop a Virago from training at 100% every time, even in the sweltering sun, so here are some tips to help adjust your workout in the hottest days of summer:

  • Stay Hydrated....duh!

It seems like common sense but already this summer people have become seriously sick from dehydration. Often times we wait till we feel thirsty to drink, but in 80 degree plus weather waiting till you feel thirsty may be a sign you are already dehydrated. Constantly drinking water while working out will keep you hydrated, and after a workout reach for a sports drink to replenish the electrolytes you lost in your deep sweat.

  • Don't fear the wet t-shirt

In a world where we are working out with friends and everyone on Instagram knows your fitness routine we are all afraid of looking like a big hot sweaty mess. In these hottest of hot summer days, remember that “Sweat is Beautiful” and healthy. We are biologically designed with the advantage of sweating which acts as a natural air conditioner for our bodies as air is cooled by the moisture our skin releases (in turn cooling our bodies). This summer stay cool, get sweaty.

Many people find that although glistening arms can feel cool and rewarding that wet skin on apparel is uncomfortable. Luckily many of Virago's Performance Gear is moisture wicking, and can help absorb the sweat from your skin, staving of any chafing or potentially uncomfortable apparel moments.

  • Know when to go inside

Cutting your normal routine a little short on hot days could save your life. Leave hiking and long distance running for sunset, and work on short interval training if mid day is the only time you have to work on your outdoor fitness. In this heat wave it is time to Adapt Overcome and Improvise your standard workout. Plus, veering away from your normal workout routine is also good when it comes to keeping you on your toes. If we did that same work out everyday, plateau is inevitable. Instead mix up your routine and keep it short this summer, or try something outside the repertoire like swimming or surfing to shock your muscles and stay cool.

  • Wear lightweight and light colored clothing.

Dark clothing absorbs the sunlight like a solar panel so this summer stick to loose light colored clothing. Nothing but long black running leggings in your closet this season? Well you have come to the right place. Our performance line includes light colored tri-blend tees, white performance tanks, and grey movement shorts that won't restrict your workout or your budget.

Stay cool and happy summer!

Works Out Well With Others: Build bonds while you build muscle

Conscious eating and an active lifestyle are obviously vital, but having and building close bonds are just as important aspects of wellness. Human's are social creatures by nature (we are so social that we made our computers social), so is it any surprise that exercising with a partner, or a pack ,would benefit us as much today as it would have a few thousand years ago?

Over 12 Harvard University Studies showed that “people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.” In one study, in which “309,000 people were examined, it was found that a lack of strong relationships even increased the risk of premature death from all causes by 50%, an effect on mortality risk roughly comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, and greater than obesity and physical inactivity”. Exercising with the people in your life is a great way to stay healthy, both physically and socially.

 

Click here to get the best diet and nutrition tips that will help you gain big muscles

 

It can be difficult to see the benefit of exercising with others if you are more inclined to work out as a lone wolf, but there are many benefits to working out with family and friends. Here are our top 3 reasons to buddy up for your next exercise endeavour.

 

 

1) Training partners will hold you accountable

Like coaches, having someone else run beside you will encourage you to push past the uncomfortable stress of those first few miles, and keep you on track to that sweet runner's high at the end of your work out. Whether it's with a work friend or a significant other, a recent study published by the Society of Behavioral Medicine shows that exercising with a partner, or partners, can double your performance results. Having a partner can also keep you committed to your long term fitness goals. The Department of Kinesiology at Indiana University surveyed married couples and found that those who joined health clubs and worked out together had a drop out rate of 6.3%, verses their counterparts who worked out separately and had a whopping 43% drop out rate.

With that said, it is important not to compete with whoever you are running, lifting or stretching with. The point of working out with another person is to bring out your best, not to trample their best. A great way to avoid competition is to start out with an exercise neither one of you has ever tried before. You will have a good laugh in the learning process, and shed self consciousness early on in the fitness regiment.

 

2) Expand your work out

Working out with different people in your life will introduce you to new workouts. Try going to your brother's crossfit gym or aerial yoga with your girlfriend at her favorite studio. The best part is most gyms will give you the first class for free to encourage new membership.

If you are a 50 meter dash kind of runner, go for an after dinner walk with your kids or younger siblings. The same routine everyday does not make you more fit and the change of pace is a great way to exercise while giving your body a rest. Plus you can help teach the young cubs in your active lifestyle pack about the benefits of daily exercise by being a part of their own fitness journey. Kids that are encouraged to have lots of daily movement starting as young as toddlers are at a much lower risk of becoming obese and developing associated heath problems.

 

3) Working out actually strengthens bonds

When you exercise with others, social bonds that already exist will strengthen as you begin to associate your fitness partners with memories of positive encouragement, goal success and endorphins.

Working out with friends builds trust and working out with significant others can even make gains in the romance department.

Between work, life, soccer practice, and travelling, it can be more difficult to plan family fun when everyone is being pulled in different directions, but going for walks with the kids in your life is actually a great excuse to bond. Low intensity hikes in your neighborhood also give you the opportunity to see what kids and young adults are naturally interested in. You may even find yourself taking on some childlike wonder, which is as good for the soul as a walk is for the glutes.

The benefit of being a part of #TeamVirago is that you can get updates about fitness events in your area and know that you have teammates all over the world rooting for you to succeed.

Is It Safe to Swing a Kettlebell?

Kettlebells look badass, and according to the fitness gurus and health scientists alike, they are just as good for your body. But how exactly do you use one anyway? Everyday 100 new people innovate a new use for this dynamic piece of equipment on Youtube and Pinterest, but not every innovation is safe. If you Google 'Kettlebell', you will find that there is an overwhelming amount of ways to use the weight, and endless ways to hurt yourself. Kettlebell? More like Kettle-hell. But the confusion should not scare you away from this dynamic piece of fitness gold. Check out the different stances on technique so you can navigate your way though the Kettlebell debate and out of Kettlebell purgatory.

The Great Kettlebell debate started like the cold war, in a classic "Russia vs the US" stand off. The modern Kettlebell technique was born in 19th century Russia, and the most recently accepted variation of the Russian Swing emphasizes compact movements that ends when the kettlebell is equal with the chest. Disciples of the American Swing hail this American evolution as an advanced form of the Russian Swing with emphasis on strength, range of mobility and the end position of the Kettlebell fully extended above your head. Then there are the proprietors of a post Berlin wall hybrid take on the Kettlebell like, C.J. Miller, the Crossfit coaching legend and owner of Crossfit Invictus. In this must read blog, The Great Kettlebell Swing Debate, Miller breaks down the benefits of both styles and the muscle by muscle movement to master both.

Some experts say to stay away from the swing all together. Personal trainer and fitness model Robert Marting has his own concerns in his blog Want to Risk Injury? Enter the Kettlebell Swing "Don’t get me wrong; I know that if you understand and more importantly practice good form with any movement you can safeguard against injury" Says Marting. "This includes weight selection (not too heavy) and controlling momentum or avoiding cheating (swinging) but sadly many folks that weight train don’t get this. Just visit any gym and take a look around."

Nate Church, owner of On Track Wellness, believes swinging is not mandatory to get a good burn, but that there is a time and a place for it :

“I am not against the swing completely, I just prefer to teach it one-on-one during personal training sessions where I can pay close attention to technique and position-- rather than teach it in a big group. Some fitness moves and equipment have higher risk for injury than others” says the king of the infamous Hells Bells Class (held Wednesdays and Thursdays), where the intensity level definitely matches the class name. "I replace the swing with dynamic moves that work the same muscle groups. I use squats, raises and presses in a combination of moves to stimulate the muscle groups."

Swing from the hips, don't swing at all, swing over head, keep it low,” the debate rages on, but debate can be as empowering as a perfect lift. Fitness is all about innovation and pushing our minds and bodies to understand them better. So I say let the experts push the boundaries and expand the fitness community even father than we thought, but always be wary of a 3 month old Kettlebell video on Youtube that has no shares and only 3 views (remember kettle-hell).

So whether you go Hard Style, Sport Style, Juggling Style be safe and have fun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ever Been to Hell and Back? Tips for Hiking San Diego's Devil's Punch Bowl

Ever been to hell and back? Grab a gallon of water, and your sturdiest spandex shorts, and head out to Cedar Creek's Trail in Ramona [CA] to see if you have what it takes to make it the Devil's Punch Bowl. Don't let Cedar Creek's quaint name and “Mc-Mansion” zip code fool you. These four and a half grueling miles through Ramona's unforgiving rocky terrain, will make Dante's journey through the Inferno look like a stroll down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. The well marked trail winds you around the steep dusty hills of East County San Diego, and spirals down into the lush green valley below, where a 75 foot trickling waterfall, and heavenly hidden pool, called the Devil's Punch Bowl, await.  The first half of the trail is downhill, so save your strength for the uphill battle back to the Ranger Station.

It is best to visit after a recent rainfall so you are guaranteed to catch a waterfall. 

It is best to visit after a recent rainfall so you are guaranteed to catch a waterfall. 

This hike is notoriously dangerous if attempted by unprepared and novel hikers. The trail to the valley is shadeless, and the desert hills can reach temperatures of 115 degrees Fahrenheit, so leave the pets and less active members of the family at home.

The appeal: the photo opportunities and the overwhelming sense of accomplishment. Instragram a picture with the epic WARNING SIGN on the mountain's edge at the entrance gate, and post the Garden of Eden-esk waterfall picture at the end. Both your rugged granola crunching camping buddies, and artsy hipster comrades will be jealous of the views and the achievement. Bonus, you'll have buns of steal from the kick butt hike. If you really want to push your adventure to the limit, join the fellow hiker's you'll inevitably run into on the trail, for some cliff jumping into the shallow pool. Swimmers beware; in late spring and early summer baby rattle snakes have been know to join in the frolicking, but you can't have Eden without a few serpents. They don't call it the Devil's Punch Bowl for nothing.

A permit is required for hiking this trail, and it is a heft fine if you are caught without one. Visitors can obtain $6 permit at recreation.gov. Only 75 permits are awarded per day, and the permit is good for 5 participants. Happy Trails!


JILLIAN MARSHALL
Writer/ Creative Content Specialist
Virago Fitness


Jillian started her career in creative content as a Writer and Editor for Sister Speak Magazine while getting her BA in English from James Madison University, but it was her commitment to community service and veteran's affairs that lead her home to Virago. 

Is Running with Earphones Bad for Your Run?

For most health conscious women, your workout time may be one of the only moments you can have to yourself. You can finally plug in your earphones, and let your favorite podcast, or play list, be the background sound to your first great sweat of the week. Unfortunately drowning out the world to NPR, or your self titled “Beyonce' Gets Bootylicious” playlist, may be a disservice not only to your mind, but to your body.

In our quest for well-rounded wellness, our minds can be left sizzling on the back burner behind migraine inducing deadlines at work, and the technological detachment of Pintrist. Our minds need time to reflect, and four hours of sleep each night is not enough. Meditation has been shown to increase   brain volume, fight off depression, and slow brain aging. But who has time to sit down for a few hours each day to completely quiet the mind?  It seems there is always too much going on and being alone with one's thoughts can be intimidating. A study at the University of Virginia found that people would prefer administer electric shocks to themselves rather than sit and reflect with nothing but their own thoughts for 15 minutes. This phenomenon of anxiety towards isolated reflection comes from living an overstimulated lifestyle, and although most of us have too many responsibilities to disappear into a meditation room for 3 hours, each day, you can get many meditative benefits by running without your earphones, thereby giving your mind some much needed quiet time.

Running with earphones can not only be distracting, but can also be dangerous. If you are anywhere near cars you could be putting yourself at risk.  A study from the University of Maryland Hospital For Children found that between 2004 and 2011, injuries among pedestrians wearing headphones tripled. A scary statistic when you consider how many drivers you're running by are paying more attention to their own technologies than the crosswalk.

Your playlist or podcast can also draw your attention away from the signals your body is trying to give you, and distract you from effective running posture. Your breath patterns can also be at the mercy of the beat playing in between your ears. Steady and consistent breath rates are vitally important for a good run but are prone to fluctuate with teach song. If you are running to an artificial rhythm instead of concentratingon maintaining steady breaths, your speed and distance can suffer.

With all that said, there is no reason to throw your ear-buds away. An inspirational song can be the difference between a victory lap, and cutting your lackluster workout short for a happy hour, but the experts say give your ear-buds a break once every other run. Ear-bud breaks can also give you the opportunity to become conscious of your running environment. Run plugged in every day and you could miss out on the wildlife you normally take for granted or the fact that the Channing Tatum of your neighborhood is reaching out to give you a high-five as he rides by on his bike (something that actually happened to me this morning). 

Trust me, unplug.


JILLIAN MARSHALL
Writer/ Creative Content Specialist
Virago Fitness


Jillian started her career in creative content as a Writer and Editor for Sister Speak Magazine while getting her BA in English from James Madison University, but it was her commitment to community service and veteran's affairs that lead her home to Virago. 

The Skinny on Eating Disorders

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, February 21 – February 27, 2016

This month let each and every one of us take time out of our busy days to think about how Eating Disorders (ED) affect us individually and as a nation. More than 30 million United States citizens suffer from an eating disorder, therefore 5-15% of the current population of those with eating disorders are men. That means, an overwhelming majority of those with ED are women.

According to the Diagnostic Statistical Manual Five (DSM-5), Eating Disorders are a form of mental illness and women are more prone to forming such conditions. There are two types of eating disorders which affect us as a nation; Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa and Binge-Eating Disorder.

Anorexia Nervosa:

An intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat or obsessed with weight gained, even though he or she is body weight is currently significantly low.

Bulimia Nervosa and Binge Eating:

Experiencing a lack of control, over eating, during the episode. Recurrent inappropriate behavior to reduce weight gain such as, self-induced vomiting, misuse of laxatives, fasting, or excessive exercising.


The above eating disorders do not only affect women but those throughout the fitness community as well. The fitness community is at extreme high risk of forming such conditions due to the mentality of forming the “Perfect Physique”; not eating enough foods to meet certain weight requirements or for the appearance of muscularity. The end results of the “perfect physique” may cause poor nutrition, resulting in calcium and bone loss.

It is important for those who are staying fit to not only form healthy eating habits but to form healthy rational thoughts about oneself and eliminate the irrational thinking; making sure he or she meets daily nutritional requirements.

If you know anyone who is suffering from an eating disorder, please make sure they seek immediate help. Please call 1-800-931-2237 or visit www.nationaleatingdisorders.org

Resources: 

American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: DSM-5. Washington, D.C: American Psychiatric Association.
www.nationaleatingdisorders.org


Kyle P. Goodwin, MHP, BSHS
Assistant V.P DBSA
USMC, Veteran

Kyle Goodwin is a Mental Health Professional, currently attending graduate school at Lewis University in Romeoville, ILL. He is a service connected veteran who wants to give back to the community by helping those who are suffering from mental illnesses.He was born and raised in Chicago, ILL and served those who were Homeless and Suffering from HIV/AIDs throughout north Chicago.  

 Kyle Goodwin has also serviced San Diego county by obtaining training in end of life Hospice Care, Mental Health of America, SD, and South Bay Community services. 

Kyle Goodwin obtained his Bachelors of Science in Human Services from the University of Phoenix in San Diego and is currently studying his Master of Arts in Clinical Mental Health in Adults, at Lewis University. He is currently residing in the inner city of Chicago and is hoping the blog on mental health trauma and inspiration, inspire those throughout the world. His Goals is to complete graduate school in spring of 2017 and become a Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC, who specializes in Traumatic experiences. 

 

2016 San Diego Races

If you're like me, Christmas was yesterday and you're already thinking about the new year. My favorite thing is coming up with ways I want to make myself better! Many of you are hoping to take up, or get back into running in 2016. If that's the case, plan ahead. Here is a list of San Diego runs that are taking place next year. Scan this list, and pick the ones that sound most appealing, and then sign up for them! No matter how far away they are, you will have a goal and something to train for. The best way to stay motivated is to make a commitment. Then you are obligated to keep it. Good luck! See you on the track!

SAN DIEGO RACES IN 2016

January 9, 2016 - San Diego Resolution Run 15K & 5K

January 17, 2016 - Carlsbad Marathon & Half

January 23, 2016 - BattleFrog San Diego

January 24, 2016 - Carmel Valley 5K

January 30, 2016 - Spartan Race Socal

February 6, 2016 - San Diego Super Run

February 7, 2016 - Cardiff Kook Run

February 13, 2016 - Mermaid Half Marathon

February 14, 2016 - Coronado Valentines Day 10K

February 14, 2016 - San Dieguito Half Marathon

March 5, 2016 - Black Light Run

March 13, 2016 - San Diego Half Marathon

March 19, 2016 - Race for Autism

March 20, 2016 - Hot Chocolate 15K/5K

April 2, 2016 - Peace Love Run

April 3, 2016 - Carlsbad 5000 5K & 20K Run

April 10, 2016 - UCSD Triton 5K

April 24, 2016 - La Jolla Half Marathon

April 30, 2016 - FroYo 5K/10K Run

May (TBD) - Navy's Bay Bridge Run/Walk

May (TBD) - San Diego Wipeout Run

May (TBD) - EOD Warriro 5K

June 4, 2016 - World Famous Camp Pendleton Mud Run

July 4, 2016 - 4th of July Run and Ride

July 4, 2016 - Crown City Classic

August 21, 2016 - America's Finest City Half Marathon

August (TBD) - Color Me Rad San Diego 5K Fun Run

August (TBD) - Night Nation Run

September (TBD) - Aloha Run San Diego

September (TBD) - Purple Stride San Diego

September (TBD) - Spartyka 5K

September (TBD) - Zero Prostate 5K

September (TBD) - Del Mar Mud Run

October 1, 2016 - Pacific Beachfest 5K

October (TBD) - The Color Run San Diego

October (TBD) - San Diego Awesome 80s Run

October 15, 2016 - Tough Mudder SoCal

November (TBD) - Celebration Run San Diego

November (TBD) - Silver Strand Half Marathon

November 24, 2016 - Encinitas Turkey Trot

November (TBD) - O'side Turkey Trot

December (TBD) - Jingle Bell Run 

December (TBD) - Hot Buttered Run

December (TBD) - San Diego Holiday Half Marathon

 

 

A New Way to Self-Heal

Here at Virago Fitness, we are so excited about a new product that was recently introduced to us by Nate Church of On Track Wellness and Rachelle Clauson of Flourish Bodywork. It is called an Acuball. The Acuball was invented by Dr. Michael A. Cohen - a respected Chiropractor and Acupuncturist who continuously encourages his patients to explore their self-healing abilities. 

The Acuball's patented design combines natural acupressure and heat that when applied allows the body to relax and stimulates blood flow. Some call it a 'revolutionary healing tool'.

Acuball Benefits

  • Relaxes tight muscles & connective tissue
  • enhances joint movement
  • Stimulates blood flow to oxygenate tissue & flushes out built up muscle wastes
  • releases natural painkillers and sedatives relaxing the central nervous system 

Last month Virago and OTW held a class at Cali Coast Elite that allowed attendees to try out the Acuball. It was amazing. The class was lead by Rachelle Clauson, a Nationally Board Certified Massage Therapist, owner of Flourish Bodywork and Flourish Fitness, and an Acuball Teacher Trainer. Although the ball comes with directions, we highly recommend attending a class that shows you how to properly self-heal with the Acuball. The great thing about Rachelle was that since she is a massage therapist, she mixed in elements of meditation and deep breathing that you wouldn't normally think about on your own. The mind-body effects of the Acuball are extremely important and beneficial. 

Personally, I hold a lot of tension in my neck and shoulders, so thankfully the first exercise we did with the Acuball was on our necks. After thirty seconds of resting my neck on the heated Acuball, I could have fallen asleep. I was instantly relaxed and relieved of all pain in my neck. 

Anyone can benefit from the Acuball - athletes, runners, gymnasts, pregnant women, and anyone with joint or muscle aches and pain. 

If you are still shopping for loved ones, the Acuball makes for a great gift! Give the gift of relaxation and healing this Christmas. 

For more information about Acuball and purchase, visit www.acuball.com

If you would like to be informed of our next Acuball class, click on the button below. After every class, you have the opportunity to purchase Acuball products and the chance to win them in a raffle. See you there!

Turn Your Struggles into Strength

We Want to Hear Your Story

Has fitness ever helped you get through a hard time in your life? We want to hear your story. If you have ever turned a struggle into strength, email us: info@virago-fitness.com . We want to feature you on our website, blog and social media. You never know who might be going through the same thing right now. Your story just might encourage them to push on. 

Please send your story, a photo of you, your name and social media account to info@virago-fitness.com . We can't wait to read it!

Virago & On Track Wellness Joining Forces

(Left to right) Brittney, Nate & Desmund

(Left to right) Brittney, Nate & Desmund

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a fitness class that I just can't stop raving about! It is a thirty minute high intensity fitness class called Karate Body Fitness. The instructor's name is Nate Church -- Owner of On Track Wellness and a Martial Arts trainer for ten years with a 3rd Degree Black belt in Shotokan Karate and a 2nd Degree Black belt in Ju Jitsu. I met Nate last week when he agreed to host a free boot camp for the filming of KUSI's Breaking Away Award segment featuring Virago. Nate and his wife Amanda, who is a certified sports nutrition specialist, invited me to try out one of their many Karate Body Fitness classes held at the United States Karate Academy in Point Loma. I should have known by the intensity of his boot camp last week that this one would be no different.   

We started off with a steady jog around the mat, and then turned it up a notch with walking lunges. About one minute into the warm up, I thought "Oh this isn't too bad. This will be a walk in the park". Boy, was I wrong! 30 seconds at each station: boxing, squat lunges, push ups, planks, burpees, mountain climbers in between; you name it, we did it! Sweat was pouring off of me, and I couldn't believe what I got myself into. It only lasted thirty minutes, but I was spent. When it was all over, Nate was kind enough to introduce me and Virago Fitness to the class. He asked if I had anything I wanted to add, but in all honesty, I was trying not to throw up. 

Today, I am sore all over my body but I can't wait to go back. I feel alive and rejuvenated after one class. If you are looking to get in shape quickly and really challenge yourself, I urge you join me at a Karate Body Fitness class. 

The work that Nate and Amanda have done to help individuals achieve their fitness goals is astonishing. It just goes to show that getting healthy and fit is hard work; It takes motivation and perseverance, but it can be done. After the class yesterday, I had a chance to speak to Nate about his goals for On Track Wellness, and it seems that we both are looking to accomplish the same thing: We want to use fitness to help others. With that being said, Virago Fitness and On Track Wellness will be teaming up to bring San Diego some sweat worthy classes and events. We are so excited to see what the future holds for our companies and their members. 

Join me, Nate, Amanda & friends at a Karate Body Fitness Class: 

Mon-Fri @ 6:15 AM, 7:00 AM, 7:45 AM & 9:30 AM

United States Karate Academy
3165 Rosecrans St
San Diego, CA 92110

For more information about OTW and their many services and class schedules, visit their website: www.ontrackwellness.com

Follow On Track Wellness on Instagram: @ontrackwellness
Like On Track Wellness on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ontrackwellness

The Truth About Habit Formation

We have all heard the claim that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Has anyone else tried to form a habit in 21 days and failed miserably? Don't worry! You're not alone. The reason it is not that simple, is because this claim is a myth. I know, I was shocked as well. However, I was relieved to find out that it wasn't just me. 

So, where did this '21 days to form a habit' myth come from? Researchers says that it may have stemmed from a misinterpretation of a book written by Dr. Maxwell Maltz on self image. Dr. Maltz was a plastic surgeon who claimed that it took approximately 21 days for a patient to become familiar with their new face after surgery. Somehow, from his findings people falsely concluded that it takes 21 days to form a habit, and everyone believed it. 

The truth is, it can take anywhere from 30-90 days to form a habit, and it is very hard to do. Essentially, forming a habit is attempting to perform a task everyday in hopes it will become second nature and automatic.  This is possible. We have all formed habits in our life without knowing it, but they are not always good ones. If we can form bad habits without knowing it, imagine the healthy habits you can form with some serious effort. 

HERE'S WHAT YOU DO:

1. Choose a healthy habit
Choose a healthy habit you want to incorporate into your daily routine. 


2. Write it Down
Write down why you want to create this habit. Write down how it makes you feel, what you hope to accomplish with it, and what inspired you to choose it. 


2. Make a Reminder
Find a way to remind yourself everyday to complete this task. Whether it is an alarm on your phone, a message as soon as you open your computer, a sticky note on everyday of your calendar, etc. Make sure you put it somewhere you will see every single day. 


3. Accept It
Accept the fact that you aren't going to remember to perform the task everyday. It may pop up on your phone, and you find yourself engaged in something else, so you dismiss it. That's normal and don't let it discourage you. It doesn't matter how many days you've gone without performing the task, what matters is realizing it and beginning again the next day. 


4. Be Proud
Take a moment and be proud of yourself for even trying to create a new habit. It's hard and it's more than most people do. 


5. Plan Ahead 
If you know that you are going out of town for a couple days, pack whatever supplies necessary for you to complete your task while away. Vacation is the #1 interruption people run into while trying to create a habit. 


6. What Inspiration? 
Once the inspiration wears off (and it will), you are going to have to try 10 times harder. Once you ask yourself: "Why I am even doing this?" refer back to step 2. Remind yourself why you started and get inspired all over again. You may have to do this several times, but it will pay off. 


7. Second Nature
You've done it! You have created a habit. As long as you follow steps 1 - 6 and continue to repeat step 6 as many times as necessary, you will create a habit, and it will become second nature to you. 

How long should creating a habit take? Don't set a time limit. It will only discourage you if you don't meet it. It will take as long as it needs to. Everyone is different. Once it becomes second nature, you won't need those reminders anymore and you will know that you've made it. 
 

What habit would you like to form? Let us know!

My Half-Marathon Playlist

I ran my first half marathon almost one year ago. It was hard, and the recovery was intense. I did it, though! I am so proud of myself. I owe all of my endurance and stamina to my half-marathon playlist. Although probably not good for my hearing, I perform ten times better with my favorite songs blasting in my ear buds. So I thought I would share my half-marathon playlist with you. It's a little unorthodox. You won't find "Eye of the Tiger" on my list, but these are the songs that get my blood pumpin'. Enjoy!

1. Born to Die - Lana Del Rey

2. Don't Move - Phantogram

3. Do I Wanna Know - Arctic Monkeys

4. Porphyria - AFI

5. Lover of Mine - Beach House

6. The Bitter End - Placebo

7. Champagne Super Nova - Oasis

8. Straight to Hell - The Clash

9. Don't Stop Me Now - Queen

10. Telegram Sam - Bauhaus

11. Wake Up - Arcade Fire

12. The Figure Head - The Cure

13. Too Afraid to Love You - The Black Keys

14. Coast to Coast - Elliot Smith

15. True Romance - Tiger Army

16. All Fired Up - Interpol

17. Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley

18. Sometimes - My Bloody Valentine

19. Age of Consent - New Order

20. Head Like a Hole - Nine Inch Nails

21. Idioteque - Radiohead

22. Head over Heels - Tears for Fears

23. Mary Jane's Last Dance - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

24. Wolf Like Me - TV on the Radio

25. Is Is - Yeah Yeah Yeahs

26. X Offender - Blondie

What song gets you pumped up for a work out?
Comment Below.

 

How You Can Prevent Runner's Knee

With the Joggin' for Frogmen 5k just around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to talk about Runner's Knee. When I first started running long distances (anything longer than 2 miles) my knee cap would kill me for a week after. Come to find out, that pain in commonly known as runner's knee and it actually happens to a lot of people. The main cause of Runner's knee is having weak thigh muscles. I always assumed that running would make my thigh muscles strong automatically… WRONG! If you don't want to experience knee pain after running, here are some easy exercises you can do to keep your thighs strong!

 

WEIGHTED FOOT LIFT

While seated at a chair, place a dumbbell in between your feet so that a large side of weight is resting on the tops of your feet. Place your arms at your side, and hold on to the chair and lift your feet until they are parallel with the seat of the chair. Bend your leg at the knee and bring your feet back down to the ground. Do 3 sets of 12 reps. 

PLANK LEG LIFT

Get into the position of a plank. Rest your elbows and forearms on your matt. Lift one of your legs up toward the ceiling, and hold for three seconds. Bring your toe back down to the matt. Do this 3 sets of 10 reps for each leg. 

BALLS TO THE WALL

Place your stability ball against a wall and rest your back on it. Get into a chair position with the ball still between your back and the wall. Keep that position for 30 seconds. Take a 10 second break between sets, and repeat 3 times. 

KNEE BEND

This exercise will involve a machine. Every gym usually has one. Find a machine you can adjust the weight to a comfortable setting, and place your ankles on a foam bar. While holding on to your chair, push your ankles down to the ground bending your legs at your knee. This will work out your upper thigh. Do 3 sets of 10. 

Other ways to avoid runner's knee:

  • Always make sure you wear comfortable running shoes with enough support. Not everyone's foot is created equal, so head to a RoadRunner Sports near you. They actually do a one on one evaluation with you to see what shoe will fit you the best, and give you the support you need.  
  • Don't change the intensity of your work out routine drastically. Make gradual changes so that it's not too much for your body to handle. 
  • Avoid running on hard surfaces, like concrete.

Have fun and be safe! We hope to see you at the JFF 5K this Saturday! It's not too late to register!

Fitness Rainbow

By: Genie Davis

It’s spring ­ which means its time for color run events blossoming like multi­colored exercise flowers across the nation. What’s a Color Run? Well, first of all it’s vibrant ­ with literally rainbows of color created from colored cornstarch and tossed on participants along a running or walking route, to brilliantly create streaming abstract art in motion.

Participants are usually encouraged to wear unique outfits ­ white may work best, when color coated. These events were inspired by the Festival of Colors, or Holi event celebrating the beginning of spring in India and Nepal. These fun sport events combine elements of the Holi Festival’s spiritual tribute to spring with a music filled party, and a race. Food trucks and local DJ’s complete the picture.

People who inhabit living­color lives, think outside the box, and play outside it, too, are going to love finding an event like this in their home town. This is the year I plan to run, walk, skip, flip, cartwheel and jump through the most eye catching springtime race around. Want to find an event near you? Here’s a place to start http://thecolorrun.com/events/

Happy first day of spring!