My New Focus for 2015: Mental Health

As the holiday season came and went, Lululemon launched a campaign encouraging people to “give presence.” The company encouraged people to put their phones away, communicate, and enjoy time with their friends and family without being distracted. This campaign really stuck with me. What exactly does “give presence” mean? When you take a step back and think about it; most of our days are consumed with to do lists, worrying and planning about future events or tasks, or dwelling on a past event. How often are you really just living in the present? The truth is probably not very often…

Living in the present and being in the present is hard to do in this day and age with so much technology and the ability to be so easily distracted. I took this campaign as an opportunity to challenge myself to try to enjoy the little moments in life more; take time to relax, reflect, and truly connect with those around me day to day without distraction. This challenge has led me to finding ways to take a few moments in each day to really bring myself back to the present. My two favorite ways are to journal and to do simple meditation. Both techniques relax and reset my body and mind.

Meditation has amazing health benefits and many researchers say it is something everyone should do daily, even if it is only for a few minutes.  Studies show that meditation can improve a variety of psychological areas; including stress, anxiety, addiction, depression, eating disorders and cognitive function. Meditation can also reduce blood pressure, pain response, stress hormone levels, boost your immune system and strengthen your cellular health. Meditation shouldn’t be scary or intimidating at all. It can be as easy as taking a deep breaths and closing your eyes for a few minutes.

Check out this great article via MindBodyGreen that gives you six easy ways to do simple meditations.

Exploring New Studios: DanceFit

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This past week I decided to continue exploring new studios in the area in order to mix up my routine; and the next on my list was DanceFit Studio. I tried out their HotBarre class last Thursday and went again for a second time last night. Lets just say I have fallen in love with this little studio.. DanceFit Studio is located in Natick and offers a variety of fitness classes for all ages that focus around different types of dance. For Adult Fitness they offer Zumba, BalletFit, CardioBalletFit, Pilates, PopFit, BlastFit, HotBarre, and a Deep Stretch & Tone class. I have only been to their Hot Barre class twice but can’t speak highly enough of the owner and one of the instructors; Gina. She makes her classes up beat and very instructional as well. I learned a lot about ballet in my first class which I didn’t expect going into it. HotBarre is a quick 45 minute class in 94-96 degree heated room. It incorporates a lot of the same technique as Pure Barre but with a bigger emphasis on ballet postions and movements. Many of the rountines require small weights to add extra strength conditioning throughout the class. I really enjoyed this class because it was very different from what I am used to and fun to incorporate ballet dance into a fitness class; It brought back memories of doing Ballet as a child. The heated room allowed me to challenge myself and stretch my muscles further than I thought possible. Gina ends each class with a few minutes of stretching and breathing to make it a very relaxing experience and a perfect way to end the evening. I am excited to continue to try the rest of the adult fitness classes she offers because I know they will all be just as great. You definitely feel sore everywhere the next morning too!

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DanceFit also has a studio in Brookline for those of you who live closer to the city and want to try out their classes! Another great perk is that one of their membership options is virtual classes, so you can take them from your own home or while traveling! All in all, I <b>highly</b> recommend anyone looking to switch up their routine and try something different to try out this dance fitness studio.

Sign up for their new client special and try two classes for the price of one : http://www.dancefitstudio.com/barre–fitness.html