Why We Exercise in Tribes

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Benefits of Group Exercise
Written by Shawn Dolan, Ph.D., R.D., CSSD via acsm.org

As kids, we loved to get together to play with our friends. As teenagers, our world revolved around our friends; oftentimes, our friends dictated our choice of activities. As adults, we still enjoy being active with friends, but don’t always feel like we have the time or opportunities to do so. Group exercise provides us with an opportunity to feel young again and be physically active with others.
Group exercise is typically described as exercise performed by a group of individuals led by an instructor. A variety of group exercise formats exist, including (but not limited to) aerobics and dance choreographed to music, BOSU, core conditioning, Pilates, yoga, muscle conditioning, step, indoor cycling, kickboxing, sculpting, fall prevention and boot camp. Your choice of classes depends on the club or studio you attend, the expertise of the instructors, and the amount of time you have.
Group exercise offers a variety of benefits you might miss out on if you choose to work out on your own. Some of the benefits include exposure to a social and fun environment, a safe and effectively designed workout, a consistent exercise schedule, an accountability factor for participating in exercise, and a workout that requires no prior exercise knowledge or experience. Let’s take a look at how these benefits might apply to you.

A common reason given for quitting an exercise program is boredom. A variety of class formats will keep you motivated and interested, as well as give you different instructor styles, music selection, and interaction with other participants. For many, an hour-long workout goes by very quickly when there is music playing and you are trying new exercises. People stay interested because of the social atmosphere provided by group exercise. This offers camaraderie and accountability among participants, as well as between participants and instructor.

Most people know exercise is good for them and want to begin exercising. However, they do not know the first step to take. They are bombarded with urgent messages from the media to exercise, but receive little guidance on how to initiate that process. This can be a very overwhelming task, especially when our lives are hectic. Group exercise offers a workout for all levels, ranging from beginner to advanced. Participants do not need to know how to develop a safe and effective workout or which machines to use or for how long; it is already done for them. They simply have to show up with a positive attitude, participate, and most importantly, have fun.

An exercise class structured with a purpose can be beneficial for people with limited knowledge about safe and effective exercise programming. An appropriately designed class includes warm-up, cool-down and flexibility in addition to the conditioning section. When people exercise on their own, they often skip portions of a workout they know less about or are not their favorite to perform. Furthermore, the fitness professional is not only designing the components of the workout, but also the intensity, so the class is designed appropriately to improve cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness. The fitness professional can also serve as a resource for class participants and encourage them to engage in other healthy behaviors outside of class.

Many people quit an exercise program because of time constraints. Participating in group exercise may help overcome this obstacle. Some facilities offer 30- and 45-minute classes for individuals with limited time. In addition, the consistency in scheduling offered by group exercise programs allows participants to choose a time and schedule it in their planner as they do other daily activities.

Lastly, group exercise appeals to many people because of its diversity. Traditionally, group exercise was available inside a fitness facility in the format of dance choreographed to music. While this still exists, many non-traditional group exercise formats are emerging, some even outside. There are boot camps at your local park, yoga on the beach, ski conditioning at the soccer field, trekking on the bike trails, stroller-walking classes in your neighborhood, and Latin dance at the local recreation facility. Regardless of your passion or interest, what is most important is to move. Group exercise offers an outlet for people to do this while having fun!

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Keeping Your Workout FUN!

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16 Foolproof Ways to Make a Workout Fly By
by DAVE SMITH via greatist.com

Wish those workouts didn't seem to last forever? Research actually shows that people enjoy exercise more than they think they will. In fact, they enjoy it a whole lot more! There are about a billion mental and physical reasons to exercise regularly, so why not make the experience as enjoyable as possible? Here are 16 tactics designed to make any workout seem as quick and painless as possible.

Full Steam Ahead — Your Action Plan

1. Grab a buddy. Life is full of great solo activities, but exercise isn’t always one of them. Working out with a buddy isn’t just a fun way to squeeze in some face time; it provides extra accountability along an added push to go that extra mile . Friends all booked up? Check out local running clubs, grassroots fitness groups (like the November Project), and local meetups (Greatist even hosts some too!).

2. Join a class. Group fitness has come a long way since we were Sweatin' to the Oldies. There really is something for everyone, from surfing indoors to aerial arts. And as always, working alongside others helps make even tough workouts seem to go by more quickly.

3. Plan it out. There is no magic time frame required for a good workout (it's about exercise quality, not quantity!). Waiting for the clock to tell you when a workout is done can make time seemingly stand still. Instead, plan an exercise routine before hitting the gym. Now the focus is set on the workout and not the clock.

4. Crank the tunes. Save the silence for meditation class. Workouts are meant to be energetic! Create a perfect playlist (or let an app do it for you) and then pump the tunes to get better results and have more fun doing it Effects of music during exercise on RPE, heart rate and the autonomic nervous system. Yamashita S, Iwai K, Akimoto T, Sugawara J, et al. Center for Humanity and Sciences, Ibaraki Prefectural University of Health Sciences, Ami, Japan. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 2006 Sep;46(3):425-30..

5. Play along. What if exercise was actually a game that awarded points and access to new levels for hard work? Enter: Exergaming, dynamic video games that require players to move their bodies as part of the game-play. Plugged-in forms of exercise can seem more enticing to some than traditional workouts, and can burn considerable calories per sweat session .

6. Get social. Exercise flies by when it doesn't feel like exercise. There are lots of creative group activities that are fun, social and promote fitness. Haven't seen anything like that in your neighborhood? Try starting up a group that combines builds social time around yoga in the park, hiking a nearby trail, or anything else physically active and fun.

7. Shorten it up. Want to really make a workout go by quickly? Cut it in half! Short and intense workouts can be super-effective for building strength and endurance Effect of high-intensity interval training on cardiovascular function, VO2max, and muscular force. Astorino TA, Allen RP, Roberson DW, et al. Department of Kinesiology, California State University, San Marcos, California. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2012 Jan;26(1):138-45.. Thirty minutes of purposeful exercise (that's right — less chit chat!) will still produce great results without all the lag time.

8. Lose the dread. While it’s beneficial to stack the most challenging moves toward the beginning of your workout, don’t feel pressure to kick things off with your most dreaded exercise. Similarly, saving the toughest exercise for very last isn't exactly motivation to make it to the end. Sandwich the really tough exercises with something more enjoyable and the whole workout will seem much more pleasant .

9. Track your progress. Nothing makes exercise fly by faster than seeing exciting results! Measuring exercise progress and tracking it in a journal makes gains more tangible and provides a great way to stay motivated . Workout journaling usually includes a checklist of exercises, which can make a workout seem much less daunting than one that doesn't have an apparent end in sight.

10. Get competitive. Nobody likes to be the loser. Whether it's competing against personal goals or with a workout partner, creating an opportunity to win can help make a workout more enjoyable and more effective . Plus, setting a personal best (or "PB") is a great motivator to keep coming back for more!

11. Try something new. People generally like to learn new things (why else would Jeopardy still be on TV?). Mixing in challenging new exercises, like kettlebell high pulls and plyometric deadlifts, can provide and extra booset of mental stimulation, keeps the workout exciting, and challenges the body in new ways.

12. Call in the pros. Sure, it’s pricier than breaking a sweat solo, but when workouts start to drag, consider bringing in the big guns. Working out with a personal trainer has been shown to give an extra dose of motivation and intensity, leading to an all-around more effective workout than if you were to go it alone . Plus, they’ll be the ones in charge of watching the clock — not you.

13. Get outside. Exercising in the great outdoors not only relieves more stress than indoor exercise, it also offers quite a view . Take in the surrounding scenery, wildlife, and people as a source of inspiration (Remember: people-watching isn't creepy if it's done while running!). Just 30 minutes per day is all you need to strengthen muscles and bones, prevent disease, and improve the quality of life.

14. Grab an app. Fitness apps do a lot more than time sets and count reps. Some help plan innovative workout routines, others connect people to make exercise more social, and some even offer financial incentives to get moving! Just be sure to avoid excessive texting or taking calls — talking on a cell phone is a gym etiquette no-no.

15. Learn something new. Imagine if every workout could double as a study session. The average person spends almost 80 hours exercising each year — that's a lot of potential learning time! Download some interesting podcasts, TED talks, or an entertaining novel to pass the time while gaining physical and mental strength.

16. Set a reward. Buying a new outfit, grabbing a post-workout smoothie, or splurging on a massage can all act as rewards that make tough workouts more bearable. The key is to choose a reward that is really desirable and a bit frivolous so that it actually seems like a treat (a big, tasty bowl of broccoli likely won't cut it!).

While there are lots of ways to make workouts more fun, it's important to keep in mind that the benefits of exercise are always worth a little hard work. Planning challenging workouts and choosing engaging exercises will go a long way to making fitness fun and rewarding.

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5 Tips to Achieve Your New Year's Fitness Goal

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by Tyrone Holmes via active.com

It's that time of year again...time to focus on your New Year's resolutions. Many people begin an exercise program, but abandon it before Easter. However, you can increase your chances for long-term success if you follow these five simple tips to achieve your fitness goals.

You are more likely to succeed if you:

Have confidence in your exercise ability
Receive encouragement and support from those closest to you.
Participate in an enjoyable form of exercise.
More: 3 Tips to Achieve Your New Year's Resolution

Create a Plan
Before you start your exercise program, answer three questions. First, when will you exercise? Identify three days and times that are convenient for you and stick with those days so you are working out at the same time each week. Second, what type of exercise will you do? The best type of exercise is one you enjoy. Don't worry about what everyone else is doing; pick an exercise that works for you. Choose from activities such as walking, cycling, running, swimming, weightlifting, skating, dancing, golf, handball, tennis and basketball. Third, how much time will you spend exercising? Start with as little as 10 minutes per session and slowly build up to at least 30 minutes per workout.

Bring a Friend
You may know someone who resolved to start exercising in the New Year. Begin your fitness journey together. It will increase your chances for success and you'll have more fun. For this to work, you have to find an exercise that both of you enjoy. This might be a challenge, but it's worth it since an exercise partner provides you with a support system, a positive social experience and inspiration. There will be times when you don't feel like working out and a partner can be just the motivation you need to get going.

Take It Easy
Think of your resolution as a lifelong commitment to a healthier lifestyle. You are much more likely to be successful if you take it easy at the beginning. For instance, you may see people exercising at a very high intensity, but you should start with low-to-moderate intensity workouts. You may know people who train six days a week, but it's fine to start with three. You may see people engage in a diverse array of physical activities, but a 15-minute walk three days a week is a great place to begin.

Be Realistic
One of the biggest problems with New Year's resolutions is they can be extremely impractical. Setting goals is a great idea, but make sure they are realistic and feasible. For example, a goal to lose 12 lbs by Easter is both reasonable and achievable. So is a goal to complete a 5K run by tax day. Conversely, a goal to complete a marathon by that date is unrealistic and potentially unsafe for newbie runners. Think of it as if you were building a house. Start slow (i.e., low intensity and duration), develop a solid foundation of fitness and then build upon that foundation as your fitness improves.

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Make Winter Workouts Happen!

From "It May Be Freezing, but Here's How 1 Girl Makes Winter Workouts Happen" via pop sugar.com
by AEMILIA MADDEN

'Tis the season to lose all fitness motivation . . . I'm serious! Once the cold weather hits and the holidays are in clear sight, my healthy eating goals go out the window, and so do my workouts. And with more hours of dark than daylight, just getting out from under my comforter can seem like too much effort. Luckily, I've learned my lesson — if I can get my butt to the gym or out the door to start a run, I can accomplish it — it's just finding the motivation that's truly a struggle. These seven tricks have helped jolt me back in to my routine, so give them a try!

Let There Be Light

When it's dark in the morning, my first inclination is to just keep hitting snooze until I finally drag myself out of bed. To combat my early morning laziness, I've found one trick that seems to really work: turning on my light. As soon as my first alarm goes off, my arm shoots up and flips the switch, forcing me to be bathed in a warm glow. Soon, I'm out of bed and ready to get outdoors.

Warm Up Indoors

If I'm headed out on a run when the temperatures have dipped down, I wake up my mind and body with a quick warmup in the lobby of my apartment building. Sure, it looks a little silly if a neighbor catches me doing a few jumping jacks and high knees, but it's well worth it.

Gear Up

Most of the year, my go-to outfit is shorts and a t-shirt. But when I'm struggling to make it out in the chilly weather, cozy clothes make everything just a little bit better. Stylish outerwear built for the cold like warm jackets (with reflective strips if possible) or even running gloves make my time spent outdoors much more bearable.

Plug In

OK, this may seem like cheating, but on days when I'm struggling to get myself off the couch and into the gym, I'll treat myself. I tote along my phone and play a favorite Netflix show while I hit the bike or elliptical. Getting engrossed in a favorite series is a foolproof way to distract you from a workout, and it's a great way to get yourself up and off the couch — no watching unless your feet are moving!

Get Set to Sweat

I'm always cold during the Winter, so the one thing I really look forward to is getting toasty. Whether it's hitting up a Bikram yoga class or just spending a few extra minutes in the sauna post-cycling class, just the thought of basking in the heat is enough to get me going.

Lug Your Gym Bag to Work

Winter nights are the death of evening workouts. When I leave the office in the pitch dark, all I can think about is curling up under my covers with a hot chocolate in one hand and a book in the other. But if I make sure to tote my gym bag to the office, I'll know that the entire walk home I'll have a constant reminder that the gym is just a quick walk away.

Recruit a Buddy

Yes, I know I've shared my love for running alone in the past, but desperate times call for desperate measures. During the Winter, one of the biggest tricks you can pull is recruiting a buddy to hit the gym with you. No matter what you do or at what time of day, enlisting a partner will mean that the moment you start to drag your feet on the way to work out, you'll have no choice but to make it there anyway.

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The Mental Edge of Athletes Who Win

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Excerpt from "It's All in Their Heads: The Mental Edge of Athletes Who Win" via greatest.com
by SALLY TAMARKIN

“When the going gets tough, the tough get going” is one way to say it. Or, as one sports psychologist put it, mental toughness is “the ability to consistently perform toward the upper range of your talent and skill regardless of competitive circumstances.”

In other words, being mentally tough means that no matter how brutal the circumstances—whether it’s your 14th hour running through a desert in temperatures well over 100F or you’re halfway through a 400-rep workout that includes pull-ups and single-leg squats—you’re able to withstand the pain and suffering and perform to the best of your skills and talents, with a good time, high place, or even a win.

As psychologists debate the roles of genetics, environment, and learned skills in determining mental toughness, they do agree (along with athletes and coaches) that high levels of mental toughness are associated with athletic prowess and success. In fact, mental toughness (or “grit”) may be the defining factor between finishing at the front of the pack and not finishing at all.

To better understand how mental toughness can help someone run through a desert for seven days straight, complete 400 grueling reps in a mere 25 minutes, or win a half-Ironman triathlon with a broken foot (yes, really), we spoke to some of the toughest athletes on the planet and asked them to reflect on how they conceptualize, cultivate, and strategize for their mental game. Here's how they manage to withstand the most grueling circumstances—and win.

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How Broncos' Von Miller stays the fastest LB in the league

Von Miller

Linebacker training: Von Miller’s high-intensity football workout

by Matthew Jussim via mensfitness.com

Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller is always crushing it. So his rise to the top of the crop in the NFL—he's the the highest-paid defensive player in history—is no fluke. When it comes to hitting the gym, the linebacker is laser-focused on his training.

What sets Miller apart from other defensive players in the league is his speed for a man his size: The 6'3'', 250-pound linebacker put up a 4.49-second 40-yard dash time in his pro day workout, faster than Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and nearly as fast as Pittsburgh Steelers receiver and return man Antonio Brown. Miller's agile, too: His 11.15-second 60-yard shuttle time ahead of the 2011 NFL Draft broke the combine linebacker record.

That speed comes from his hard work in the gym on his lower body: "Core and legs are always the priority for me," Miller says. During the offseason, he works out three to five hours per day (broken up into multiple workouts), and he’s a fan of high-intensity training to help keep his fat burn high and rev up his metabolic engine. “One of my favorites is pulling a tire,” Miller says. “I also enjoy the different explosive jumping movements with the acceleration and deceleration drills we do.”

But if there's one area Miller especially hammers, it's his hips, which ensure he stays explosive. He thinks functional movement workouts are a major key to his success: "Everyone is strong," Miller says. "But if I can move better and activate the right muscles at the right times, that gives me an advantage."

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To use Von's training principles, try out any of TRIBE's Power classes. They are high-intensity and functional movement workouts that target specific muscle groups to raise your metabolic rate and keep your endurance and stamina up!

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Morning Smoothie Recipe

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by Leslie Woodward via lesliewoodwardwellness.com

TRIBE yoga instructor, Leslie, says this smoothie is her favorite way to start her day and refuel after moving her body. Perfect early morning to go recipe!

1 cup coconut/hemp/almond milk (pick one, not all!)
1 brazil nut
2 walnuts
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp hemp seeds
1 tbsp coconut butter or coconut oil
1 tbsp almond butter
1/4 avocado
1/2 cup bluebrries
1/2 cup cranberries
squeeze of lemon and a bit of stevia if you have a super sweet tooth like me :)
handful of greens (kale/chard/spinach/whatever you have on hand!)

Blend well, pour into a glass, and enjoy! This smoothie is filled with amazing healthy fat and protein and loaded with nutrients to keep you energized throughout your day!


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The Effects of Music on Your Workout


Section of How Music Can Enhance Your Workout
By Fara Rosenzweig via active.com

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It's not rocket science; music fuels your workouts. It's no wonder many fitness buffs and endurance athletes put their headphones on and tune the world out during physical activity. No matter what their training routine entails, music can help athletes of all kinds get into the "zone" and perform their physical best.

So how does music enhance workouts?

The Effects of Music on Exercise
The link between music and exercise is not new. B.C. era rowers used music for their work on Roman Galleys, according to Carl Foster, Ph.D., director of the Human Performance Laboratory and research director of the Clinical Exercise Physiology program at the University of Wisconsin.

"The guy is sitting there beating his drum, which drives the basic rowing rhythm. Part of that is coordination—you want the rowers to row together—but part of it is that people will naturally follow a tempo," says Foster. "It's just something about the way our brain works."

Research exploring the link between music and exercise began in the 1920s and continues today. According to Robert Sewak, PD, author of the article Striking the Right Chord With the Music You Choose, scientists in 1935 discovered a simple tempo change in music caused the respiration rate to change.

As they observed more data, scientists also noticed that music:

Changed the heart rate
Affected blood pressure
Changed the metabolic rate
Reduced physical and mental stress
Reduced fatigue
All of these things aid the flow of energy in the human body.

The sound waves of music enter your ears and turns into pulses or vibrations, which travel to the nerves in the brain. The pulses influence the brain, which then translates to the body's movement.

Music with a fast beat subconsciously travels through your brain down to your fingers which allows them to tap to the rhythm. Pay attention next time you're listening to music at your desk. Notice how your body moves without any thought.

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TRIBE instructors are known for having the BEST playlists. Get motivated by one of Jessie's (Kickboxing and TRX/BARRE instructor) playlists by clicking here.

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Affordable Fun This Weekend!

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Winter is upon us, and what's more fun during the holiday season than to get bundled up and meet up with friends and family to try out something fun going on in your neighborhood- all with a cup of hot cocoa in your hand? With all the winter festivals, concerts, and events happening throughout Seattle, there is something for everyone this weekend! And a lot of them are very affordable, or even free!

Don't forget the Capitol Hill Farmer's Market on Broadway and Pine every Sunday to take advantage of your local and fresh winter produce!


What to do this Weekend

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Look and Feel Good During your Workout

Radio City Rockette and Fitness Instructor, Sarah Grooms, on how to spruce up your workout wardrobe.


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HOW DRESSING THE PART CAN HELP YOU HAVE A BETTER WORKOUT
by SARAH GROOMS via Page38.com

I try to live by the mantra I was constantly reminded of in my early adult life, “Get up, dress up, show up, and never give up!” This quote applies to many aspects of life and reminds me that we can do anything we put our minds to. As a fitness instructor and performer, I’ve always felt best when I dress the part. Whether it’s an audition for a workout video or an audition for a new upcoming show, dressing the part can factor into the end result.

Find your fit
So often I hear clients tell me that they dislike a certain part of their body and instantly want to cover it up. It’s human nature to not always be satisfied with our appearance, especially when there is so much pressure within society, but when we start doing things for ourselves, it can be such a positive uplift. Some days getting to the gym or a workout class can seem like such a hassle, but if you dress the part, you’re halfway there.
Have you ever noticed that when you get a new piece of clothing you just can’t wait to wear it? The same can be said for workout gear, but instead of a night out it’s used for a killer workout! Sometimes spandex or tighter clothing can seem like the devil. All the sudden you start noticing things on your body you’ve never noticed before, both negative and positive. You’ll also start noticing the changes your body is making from hard work and determination throughout your workouts.
Whether you want something skin tight or a little more loose fitting, find something that you feel comfortable AND confident in.

Try something different
Personally, I dislike taking the time to try something on, and I more often than not order my workout gear online, which constantly leaves me guessing sizes. The wonderful news about workout clothing in this day and age is that it often can be worn in multiple ways no matter what size it is. I recently found myself trying to organize my gear and realized I have double the number of pants as I do tops.
I absolutely love high-waisted leggings and have been on the hunt to find half tops that will compliment the high-waisted look. In wanting to spruce up my personal gear I found that I can add some sassy half tops to my collection all the while wearing my favorite bottoms over and over and over (and over!) again. Loose tanks take up an entire drawer in my dresser. I always wore them the same way until I realized I could add a pop of color underneath the top or even tie the top in the back with a simple knot to cinch it.
Thinking outside the box within my own wardrobe allows me to reinvent the pieces I’ve already acquired for a new and fun look. Whether I’m taking a class or teaching one, I always want to look and feel my best so that I can motivate others to work to their fullest potential!


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