When we recently polled a small test group we’re working with if they wanted personal training and guidance on exclusively fitness, fitness and mindfulness, or just mindfulness – 100%, or every respondee, chose to incorporate mindfulness. It really speaks to the current environment we’re living in right now. We are stressed, burned out, fearful, overwhelmed and exhausted. And it’s every one of us.
Enter our revamped Sweat + Reset Challenge. Instead of simply focusing on quantity (aka class count) this go-around, we wanted to focus on quality. Quality choices as it relates to how you’re working out and even what you’re eating. Quality time, both when alone and when spending time together socially. Quality in your results – encompassing a well-rounded experience that leaves you feeling refreshed, and perhaps more realized.
Let’s be real. It’s hard (even scary) to start new routines or jump back into old ones, but a challenge will make it more approachable and fun. Let’s jump in together! You in? We thought so.
There are 5 pillars of wellness we’ll hone in on, Bingo style to keep things fun and in a “Challenge” format of course. These include movement (our primary pillar at nb!), nutrition, social, mindfulness and intellectual. All of these elements will be represented on your Bingo card. It’s up to you to either choose to simply complete “Bingo” or to ‘black out’ your card and go for it!! There is no wrong answer. Just participating makes you a winner, truly. But of course we have prizes, so don’t worry 😉
You can also expect some one-of-a-kind studio events + ‘nb intensive’ classes going on during the Challenge as well. Because again, the best way to stay invested and motivated is to keep things interactive, fun and most importantly, to do it together. Some of our Challenge squares mention things like “read a book” or “meditate for 10 minutes” or “schedule 1 hour of self-care”, so we thought we’d step in to expand upon and suggest some of our favorites resources for wellness, to kickstart your journey.
First up are the studio happenings, aka all of the ‘movement’ based squares. We highly encourage you to take the intensive offered at your local studio. Not only is this a fun ‘change up’ to perhaps your existing routine if you’re already a regular at the barre, but it give us valuable feedback into what you want to see next. These ‘intensives’ are usually our best way to test the waters with different exercises, class formats and sometimes even new equipment. Have an idea or something you’d like to see more of or in class? We’re always all ears, let us know.
The other important piece outside of establishing a healthy routine for movement is to make sure your body continues to be challenged so you never plateau. So adding things like Bala Bangles or our studio 2 lb ankle weights to portions of or all of class is an approachable way to build added resistance while still maintaining a low-impact, joint-friendly workout that is challenging while also familiar and ‘doable’. The same applies to free weights. Some of us have been using the 2’s or even the 3’s for a long, long time, never even thinking twice about it. Start grabbing two sets. Using heavier weights for your biceps is easiest so start there. Then you can slowly phase them into shoulder and/or tricep portions of your workout. Or maybe you want to use your steady 2’s for portions of abs or even at the barre for some thigh exercises. Pick and choose the progressions that you think are most manageable for you. You do NOT need to try it all at once. Slow and steady wins the race (and keeps you and your body safe!).
Some of most veteran barre stars may be pulling out all the stops for added equipment and upper-level advancements and maybe think there’s not much else to ‘add.’ To you, we’d say up the ante in your frequency!! Most of us again are unwilling, or unconscious, to consider adjusting our comfort level/routine. If you religiously go to barre 3 times a week, why not make it for 4 the next 4 weeks? Judge how you feel not only during but after class. Did you surprise yourself? Are you feeling not a sore as you’d expected? Do you have more energy, a better mood, a sense of pride and accomplishment? Tracking your personal progress on multiple fronts, not just the status of your Challenge Bingo card, is important. Don’t forget to check in with yourself regularly and acknowledge your success!
Relationships and your inner and outer community are key to your health. Maintaining some version of a social life has been difficult to say the least since 2020. That’s why our time together, albeit more limiting, is more important now that ever. We have always fostered community and connection in-studio, so it should be no surprise that we’re adding in local studio events and Instagram lives so we can gather both as a local and collective community. Please do not pass this one by because you’re too busy or otherwise! Make time for connections, even if it’s with new (barre family) friends. We promise you won’t regret it.
Mindfulness is a hot button topic today. We all want more of it, but we’re a little unclear how to get there. From personal experience, we’d say slowing down is probably the best gateway into more mindfulness. This can be interpreted many different ways. It might be setting a social media time limit on your phone. It might be taking some to do’s off your calendar and either delegating or simply saying no (which is a full sentence) more often. But chasing slow allows for more presence – which essentially is mindfulness in a nutshell. Some of us are more self-critical (hi enneagram 1’s!) and can have a harder time doing meditation ‘right’ or really just even relaxing in general. So if meditation isn’t your jam, consider deep breaths. Breath work can be just as powerful and literally takes no added time to do it in your day – you’re already doing it! Another tip we’d suggest is journaling. Getting your thoughts out on paper can help you get more in tune with yourself as well as with the present moment. We went into this a little bit in our last blog, which you can find here for more tips on how to get started.
Nutrition is best achieved when you start small and build sustainable habits. We are not nutritionists, but we know pretty simplistic steps are the best way to get started, and keep going. Expect things like more water intake, incorporating more veggies on your plate, and meal prepping on your Bingo squares. But we won’t leave you high and dry! We have some pretty awesome places to get started, like this blog post about macros, and this blog post about how to fuel and refuel for your workouts, and even this one about detox drinks!
Intellectualism can seem almost like an afterthought on this list. When’s the last time you thought about education? Probably not since college, unless maybe it’s about your child’s education. Keeping your brain firing at its best should be a top contender for your time and attention. It can help to ward off memory and other degenerative diseases as you age. This can be done by further educating yourself in one of our Instagram lives, or listening to one of your favorite podcast episodes* or a ‘beach book’* that maybe you actually decide to keep on your nightstand and read instead of sitting in bed on your phone. (*Just be mindful about the content! Don’t forget about the non-fiction aisle.) intellectualism can also spark from a powerful conversation, maybe with someone that has a differing viewpoint than you. Or maybe from your pastor at church teaching you a new message on Sunday. Expand your viewpoint and you will enrich your life in more ways than one. Education doesn’t simply have to come from school or a book, get creative!
We hope we have you excited and ready to take the next step with us. Maybe invite a friend to join in on the fun too! The Challenge starts Monday, September 20th and we’ll move towards wellness together for 4 consecutive weeks, ending on October 17th. To get started choose your local studio here to sign up. If you’re already a member, you can grab a Bingo card at your next class. If you’re new or wanting to return, we have a special 4 week unlimited special just for you. Even if you can’t commit to this Challenge today, we hope that you’ll tune in to some of our Instagram lives and hop around on our site to get some bonus content from the previous, linked blogs. Wishing you wellness now and in the future! XO, your nb fam.