Summer is the time to travel. Not only are there better deals on flights, hotels, and excursions, but the temperatures this time of year are more enjoyable for international travels (if you're living in the United States, that is). While summer is the time to explore new places, it's also the time to get in shape and take your workout regimen up a notch. But when traveling, it can be hard to find time to squeeze in a sweat sesh especially if where you're crashing doesn't have a fitness center or room to pump some iron.
Thankfully, there are apps and programs that will help keep you fit and healthy during your vacay.
I had my first introduction to yoga only a few months ago, when my friend Sammy (@shapedupsam) invited me to the yoga studio that she worked at in the city called Yoga Six. I was nervous -- I'm not flexible nor do I have any amazing sense of balance. But nonetheless, I decided to go with her because I love trying new forms of fitness and what better way to spend a day with your BFF than by hitting the mat? After that first class with Sammy, I fell in love! But when I realized that I would no longer be living in the city with access to an abundance of studios this summer I knew I had to take action. Asana Rebel allows me to practice yoga without having to go to a studio everyday — and I'm obsessed.
Asana Rebel allows me to get my flow on while getting strong at the same time. Unlike normal Vinyasa flow classes, Asana Rebel focuses on strengthening and toning your body with "yoga inspired fitness" moves. This app is perfect for traveling or working out at home because all you need is an open surface (and a yoga mat if possible) and your phone. Plus, all of Asana Rebel's free workouts are under 15-minutes, which makes getting fit super time efficient.
I'm not lying when I say I used to hate running. I dreaded the mile run at school, and I looked for every possible way to get out of doing it. But nonetheless I was forced, and it's safe to say that doing the mile run throughout my junior high and high school years caused me to absolutely despise running.
When I first starting working out, the elliptical machine was my go-to. I have a history of a bad left knee, so the elliptical was a low-impact cardio option. But after doing elliptical for years on end without any significant results in my endurance, I decided that I would try running again. Instead of forcing my body to push through a mile run, I would listen to it and decide for myself when enough was enough. This form of running I later found out was called "HIIT," which stands for high intensity interval training. HIIT helped me become a better runner and overall helped me run long distances.
After pushing myself to run three miles on the treadmill, I realized that I was getting bored. Not bored of running, but running on a moving platform with nothing to look at but a television screen. I decided then that I was going to start running outside, because I knew that I would be able to go further distances without becoming uninterested. The Nike Run+ app was the first app that I used when running outside. The app tracks how fast you run, your distance, your path, and your time, and you have the ability to see your running progress. This app made it so easy to keep myself motivated, and keep pushing myself each run to get faster and go longer distances.
The ease of using this app when traveling or working out at home is pretty self-explanatory. You can literally run anywhere and everywhere, and the app will track your progress. And for those of you wondering, you do not need a pair of Nike kicks in order to use this app! The app tracks where and how fast you're going based on your location — so make sure to turn Location Services "on!"
When I started working out and going to the gym, I began weightlifting. And before anyone confuses me with a meathead, I only did it for toning purposes and to strengthen my muscles. But after lifting weights for several years, I finally hit a plateau. I wanted to challenge my body and get toned, but weightlifting just wasn't doing that for me. When scrolling through Instagram one day, I stumbled upon a fitness blogger named Kayla Itsines. Her circuit training programs showed results, and even though my goal wasn't to have a six pack, her circuits seemed like they would challenge my body — and they sure did.
Kayla's BBG (Bikini Body Guides) feature circuits geared towards cardio, legs, arms, and abs. Each circuit takes seven minutes, and they're repeated two times each for a total of 24-minutes. While 24-minutes may not seem like a long time, I can assure you that after each round I was panting and dripping in sweat. I not only noticed my body becoming stronger, but circuit training was a fun alternative to lifting weights.
The great thing about Kayla Itsines' BBG workouts is that you can do them anywhere! Even if you don't have dumbbells or a bench, you can use common household objects like water bottles for weights, and a chair as a makeshift bench. Since her workouts are only 24-minutes long, they can easily be squeezed in bright-and-early in the morning, or whenever you feel like breaking a sweat.
Free People Movement is hands-down one of my favorite activewear brands. Their pieces absorb sweat like a pro, and keep your body cool throughout your workout. Plus, the pieces are stylish so if you have to run errands or have a lunch date after your workout there's no reason to change into different attire.
There's nothing more irritating than when the cable on your headphones gets in your way when lifting, circuit training, or running. Since I can become easily irritated with the most minor things, I decided to invest in a pair of Beats headphones. Ever since purchasing, I have been wearing them during my workouts and am in love with them. The sound quality is amazing (it makes jamming out during your sweat sesh much more enjoyable), and I no longer have to hold my phone in one hand or stick it inside the waistband of my pants when doing lunges, squats, etc. If you're like me and hate it when your headphones get in the way of your workout, I would 100-percent recommend Beats. PRO TIP: buy the Beats a Best Buy! They price match and always have killer deals.
RUNNING TIGHTS | FABLETICS
FITTED TANK | FREE PEOPLE MOVEMENT
SNEAKERS | STELLA MCCARTNEY x ADIDAS
HEADPHONES | BEATS SOLO 3 WIRELESS
WATER BOTTLE | ME TO WE