Traveling Healthfully this Summer

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Whether you’re roadtripping it or jetting to an exotic location this summer, balancing sleeping in with daily exercise and poolside cocktails with staying hydrated and healthy can be TOUGH. But, with just a few small tweaks to travel habits and minimal prep work, you can keep your energy levels on the up and up while having a blast somewhere new. BONUS: you’ll actually come back rested and refreshed instead of feeling like you need another vacation or a week long detox.

Here are some tips we live by at HealthKick to balance summer decadence with a healthy kick!

Pack an Expertly Planned Carry-on

As soon as you cruise through security, all you’ve got between departure and your destination is your carry-on gear. Landing hydrated, relatively rested, and with a happy tummy starts your trip on the right foot. Starting with hydration, we like to pack a glass or non-plastic bottle in our pack – especially a smart one like Bellabeat’s new Spring bottle that measures hydration levels.

Counteract the moisture zap of dry airplane air with a generous coat of Beautycounter’s Countermatch Adaptive Moisture Lotion. On a longer haul? Yuni’s full travel set includes No Rinse Body Foam so you’ll feel squeaky clean even with no shower for miles.

Stocking clean protein bars before departure can be the ticket to beating bloat inducing boxed meals on an airplane or sodium packed roadside food. A few of HealthKick‘s top picks? Protein bars from RXBAR, all natural and delicious meal replacement powder from Mele, organic nuts from NatureBox and ALOHA’s Superfoods Greens powder are some of our go-tos. If healthy snacks aren’t enough to make you forget you’re cramped in an upright position for hours, try meditation app Headspace to help you zen out until landing.

Remember to Sweat

It’s so to easy to get swept up by late night meals, late-r night drinks and extra shots of caffeine to beat jet lag into submission. But by researching and booking workouts that speak to you before you leave, or downloading hotel room-friendly fitness apps, you can manage energy levels the natural way, without the 3pm crash.

Best way to see a new city? Rent a bike or go for a run! Check out the sites and get a lay of the land without the tour bus. And by using apps like Aaptiv, you can get extra motivation for your hotel gym workout (especially that dreaded treadmill run). Or with FORTE, you can still get in your favorite live streamed classes from exhale or Flex Studios. Committing to one hour of movement will help you sleep better, and your muscles will thank you when you bounce back into your workout routine back home.

Pamper Yourself

After the hustle-bustle of a long travel day, let the anxiety go and get into true vacation mode by treating yourself to a pre-dinner massage at your hotel’s spa, or with an on-demand service like Zeel to loosen grumpy muscles cramped by miniature coach seats (or inter-terminal sprinting!). One during a trip is key, two is a well-deserved luxury. Double the relaxation punch with a 20 minute sweat session in a steaming bath or sauna.

Book your Restaurant Reservations

Trying all of a new destination’s cuisine ranks high on our list of travel musts, but while its easy to get swept up in a diet of croissants and carbonara while vacationing, doing a pre-trip OpenTable investigation can help you find restaurants that offer a combination of local specialties and healthy options. Or take this tip from Miguel Vargas, Training & Development Manager at TRX Training Center, “When I’m in a new city I love to ‘try the good stuff,’ so I have to plan accordingly. If I’m going to go out to dinner, I’ll make sure I stick to my ‘boring stuff’ like oatmeal, chia or hemp seeds, eggs, and other foods I eat early in the day, and try to sneak in an extra workout before or after so that meal doesn’t stick with me for too long! I don’t want to be the guy that ‘can’t eat that,’ instead I want to enjoy what’s around me, and then get back to my routine to keep things in order.”

Be Easy on Yourself

As much as we emphasize the importance of self-care, denying yourself some of the pleasures that come with time away undoes the good stuff. Don’t be hard on yourself. Have an extra glass of wine, split a dessert with a friend or partner, have a bowl of pasta. You’re on vacation after all, so go for the Champagne AND the chocolate mousse, and work it off on a morning hike, beach run or exploring a new part of the city.

And, if you splurge a little too much, don’t fret. Have a Project Juice cleanse or healthy groceries from Good Eggs or Our Harvest delivered straight to your door when you’re back. You can even book a personal trainer with FindYourTrainer on your return to get you back into fighting shape.

Now, go HAVE FUN!!

 

From Yogi to Foodie, Mother’s Day Gifts for the Women in Your Life

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Once you’ve booked brunch, ordered flowers and selected the perfect letter-pressed card, read on for our recommendations for HealthKick-approved Mothers Day gifts worthy of the important mamas in your life. Inspired by our partners, we’ve gathered the best in ‘she wouldn’t get it for herself’ even though she deserves it for moms ranging from wellness-curious to gastronome to super fit. Check out our favorites below, and feel free to let us know what you think on Instagram @my_healthkick and tag us in any healthy gifts you’re giving this Sunday.

Yogi Mom

Moms of all sizes can use a wardrobe sprucing up with SHAPE activewear’s colorful styles that range in not only sizes (from 2 to 3x) but in coverage. Or perhaps a membership to CorePower for sweaty Vinyasa or yoga/strength fusion classes, with studios located throughout the US. You have until May 10 to enter our sweepstakes to win a $150 gift card to SHAPE + a free month membership to CorePower in NY or SF. Enter here now. And whether she is a beginner yogi or a 500 RYT instructor, there is always room in her yoga bag for Beautycounter’s refreshing rose facial toner (she will use it daily!) or Yuni’s Chillax Muscle Recovery Gel (to cool off those hamstrings). Or gift her the cutest, most bendy teddy out there, Meddy Teddy, pictured above.

Gastronome Mom

A Thrive Market membership is an easy go to for culinarily inclined moms who like the quality of non-perishables at Whole Foods but prefer Trader Joe’s pricing. For fresh produce, meats and packaged foods, Our Harvest in New York is a digitally enabled farmer’s market (surprise her with a week’s worth of local, organic goods!) or Farm Fresh to You in SF offers a CSA program that you can gift for an entire season of local veggies. If you want to give her a head start on meals for a week, a month, or longer – try gifting a membership to HelloFresh for semi-prepped healthy meals.

Buff Boss Mom

If the mama in your life can out-run, out-lift and out-nutrition you, maybe you can show her how much her example inspires you with a class pack to next-level barre studio Physique 57 in New York or Los Angeles. For the month of May, you can do Physique LIVE! classes for $15 with top instructors in the NY studios. Or if she’s more of a cardio queen, may we suggest a class pack at Mile High Run Club for our favorite treadmill classes in New York? If you’re gifting for someone who lives outside of coastal wellness meccas, chances are there is an Orangetheory studio not too far – a workout that fits cardio and strength into 60 sweaty minutes. If you’re really trying to impress her, and are NY-based, why not take her out for an AKT in Motion class, started by fit momma Anna Kaiser, followed by healthy brunch? And here’s the ultimate gift – a full afternoon to herself with the help of on-demand babysitting services, HelloSitter. Hello to mom’s day, indeed!

Trendsetting Mom

For clever moms who are as plugged into the latest lifestyle trends as well as Ms. Stewart or Ms. Winfrey,  why not put together a package gift that combines it all? If she’s a New Yorker, get her a class pack to low-impact in-water cycling studio Aqua, paired with some meditation classes at Inscape and wherever she lives, pick up some clean, herbal-infused beauty goodies from Radice Apothecary or vitamin-infused Palladio Beauty.

TLC Mom

Whether your mom has her masseuse on speed-dial or hasn’t had a massage since iPhone 1, an in-home massage from Zeel is a nice splurge she might not spring for on herself. Or if she’s more of the spa-day getaway type, set her up with a (non-toxic and vegan) manicure at Dear Sundays and facial at Skin Spa in New York or a treatment at exhale spa, where she can luxuriate pre- or post-treatment in the sauna and steam. If a spa week is more along the lines of what you’re thinking – go big and spring for an excursion via Escape to Shape, purveyor of fitness-themed excursions to destinations from Bali to Cuba.

 

Spring Shape Up: New Activewear, New Workout Routine, New YOU

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Spring Cleaning

April showers and the tease of warmer weather days can only mean one thing…spring is in full swing! With summer just around the corner, we’re in spring cleaning mode. At HealthKick, “spring cleaning” doesn’t stop at your closet. Wardrobe, bathroom, skin, digestion, no stone left unturned. Not sure where to start?  We’ve got you covered with some tips to kick your spring cleaning into high gear- what we hope will become an annual ritual to lay the groundwork for the sunniest seasons of the year: body, mind, spirit.

And to kick that off, we’ve partnered with SHAPE activewear and CorePower Yoga to bring you a full reset for Summer! Enter our contest to win a $150 gift card to SHAPE activewear and a free month of unlimited membership to CorePower Yoga (in NYC + SF). Enter HERE before May 10.

Further, we wanted to share some ideas for an advanced spring clean – what we hope will become an annual ritual to lay the groundwork for the sunniest seasons of the year: body, mind, spirit.

Your Space

We like to say that it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but what’s outside counts, too – like the dust under your nightstand or the centuries-old bag of frozen mixed berries from Costco in your fridge. Dust, spray, wipe, toss and shine up your space. If you need a helping hand, our partner Spruce & Co can help you start by cleaning off that germ-y phone.

Your Mind

Clearing your home, your gear and your routines will give a sense of clarity on its own. But why not take those clear vibes and direct them with guided meditations from programs like Mindfresh TV, apps like Headspace or a ‘Deep Rest’ class at a studio like Inscape to help reduce stress and re-energize. Don’t forget that HealthKick members get special rates at these partners.

Spa Night

Need help getting rid of all of last year’s samples? Use the last bits of sample scrubs, serums, face masks and scrape the bottom of that body butter or hair product jar to treat yourself to  a DIY spa night while de-cluttering your bathroom cabinet. Pair it with some antioxidants (aka a glass of your favorite red) and show yourself some love after a long week.

Wardrobe Refresh

You know those stretched out yoga pants and lucky (now smelly) t-shirt from that marathon you ran five years ago? Out with the old and in with the new. Time for a workout wardrobe refresh. Enter our Spring sweepstakes to win $150 credit to SHAPE activewear. Or use your exclusive HealthKick rate at Rhone for quick-drying, odor fighting men’s activewear. 

Ditch the Old Meds and Vitamins

That ancient Advil-mini will be no good in your carry-on next time your head starts throbbing from flight delays or chatty seatmates. Ditto that bottle of Melatonin that’s so past its prime its expiration date has disappeared. Toss and re-up on meds like ibuprofen and allergy meds, and don’t forget key vitamins like the daily pack from Care/Of and WellPath.

Streamline your Grooming Routine

Combine what you need/use/love and ditch the rest. Ladies, this means colors that aren’t exactly right, mascaras that were pricey but are now cakey, paraben-filled gifts you haven’t touched – all gone. Gents, gel has no place in 2017 – it belongs with the aftershave from your old flame – in the bin. Once you’ve streamlined and taken stock, replace only the essentials with good-for-you products from brands like Beautycounter or Tulip online or Cap Beauty.

Sweat it Out

It’s all about that cell turnover. If it’s not already a part of your weekly wellness practice, dive into a hot yoga class at CorePower Yoga by entering our sweepstakes for some sweaty Vinyasa. If yoga isn’t your thing, try other sweaty practices like indoor cycling at Peloton or even a simple sauna. However you can get your skin to work harder to pump blood to its surface, you are getting out with the old and in with the new.

Clean up Your Guts

Shelve the comfort food and hit the refresh button on your diet, so you can enter summer feeling lighter and brighter (yes, your skin will be glowing!)  Stock up on farmer markets’ freshest from OurHarvest and Good Eggs or go a bit deeper for a period of time that feels good to you to welcome the spring season with a gentle cleanse. Any degree of cleansing is great, from a half day of juices at Project Juice to lunches for the week with Splendid Spoon to 14 Days of the Clean Program or reading through I.AM.YOU / RETOX.

Once you’ve successfully de-cluttered, treat yourself to a few minutes to a few hours of self-love with our handy guide.

And don’t forget to ENTER the Spring Reset Contest before May 10 for the chance to win your prizes from SHAPE activewear and CorePower Yoga.

Stay Calm and Carry On

It’s madness…March Madness, that is.  Whether you’re on the edge of your seat this month watching the NCAA duke it out while competing in your office pool, or your body is thrown off by the rude awakening that yes, winter is, in fact, very much still here…we’ve got you hooked up with expert tips to stay calm and carry on.  

We’ve tapped two of our favorite stress-busting experts – the team at 305 Fitness and New York celebrity trainer at Crossfit SOLACE Kenny Satucci – to share their “Sweet 16” solutions to keeping your stress in check this month.

PLUS, enter our contest by clicking HERE with your top pick for this year’s winning NCAA Championship team. Two lucky winners will be selected to win class packages from both Crossfit SOLACE and 305 Fitness!

Kenny Santucci’s Line-up

  1. Turkish bath house for a sauna, steam and cold plunge! In that order. There is nothing better.
  2. Acupuncture: Some don’t like the pain or have the patience, but for me it’s a necessity 1-3 times per month. I often fall asleep with needles sticking out of me because it relaxes me so much. I wake up a new man!
  3. Dry needling: A quicker, easy version of acupuncture when you don’t have the time and you don’t mind the pain.
  4. Massage: I prefer deep tissue, but most days any kind will work! Check out HealthKick perks at Zeel for in-home massages.
  5. Power naps: 15-20 minutes of shutting down the engine in the middle of the day is a must when you are up at 5am.
  6. Cupping: I’ve only done it a few times. But it hurts so good.
  7. Cold showers: I try to take a cold shower every morning to wake up my nervous system. It feels like hell but I’m always happy I did it. It’s a great start to my day.
  8. Good old fashion love making: What needs to be said. I promise you will enjoy it.

Team 305’s Line-up

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  1. Foot rub: Massages are great but can be expensive! Many nail salons have less expensive options for just a foot rub, which includes calves as well as feet. We love them after a day of working out, and bonus points for being able to catch up with your mama on the phone at the same time!
  2. Flexibility class: If you’re not crazy about yoga, flexibility classes give that good stretch with a different and less spiritual intention. While the spiritual component of yoga is healthful in many ways, flexibility classes are entirely focused on the physical body, which goes a long way during recovery.
  3. Vanilla soy latte: Despite appearances, not all fitness professionals are pumped to wake up at the crack of dawn to work out. Sometimes you just gotta treat yourself to a little caffeine.
  4. Hydrate: Feeling sluggish after a long day of work or working out first thing in the morning? Water is the number one way to stay focused. Plus, often times when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually thirsty. So chug chug chug. We recommend keeping a large bottle of water on your desk and setting reminders to drink a cup every hour.
  5. Loving your workout: Instead of doing the exercise that you *think* is the most effective, pick the one that you love. The workout that you look forward to is the one you will stick to. And that is ultimately what will burn the most calories. If you hate running, then stop! If it’s more realistic for you to walk at a fast pace or do yoga or dance, then do that instead.
  6. Pre/post-workout snack: 30 minutes pre and post-workout, fuel up with some carbs. Half a banana, a spoonful of honey, a slice of toast. Your body needs sugar because that’s what it stores in your muscles as instant energy sources.
  7. Warm up: even if it’s just for two minutes, some light stretching goes a long way and may prevent injury or sprain.
  8. Get sleep: If you’re skipping hours of sleep to squeeze in your workout, think again. Hormones produced in sleep are super important to functions that control stress levels, metabolism, and hunger. It’s a better strategy to get much-needed sleep and skip your workout or dinner date when appropriate.

 

Fifty Shades of Self-Care this February

 

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No matter what your plans for celebrating on February 14 (Fifty Shades Darker for two,
“Galentine’s” Dinner with the ladies), remember that the most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. Like all relationships, it requires constant care and check-ins. With the overwhelming focus on love and decadence for Valentine’s Day, we wanted to take these ideas of grand gestures in the name of love and apply them to self-care throughout the remainder of February.

At the HealthKick office we are doing just this – tapping some of our favorite wellness brand partners for positive self-decadence. We want to share the love with you and your company too…ALL year long, that is. That’s why HealthKick corporate members receive exclusive perks for these and HealthKick’s 100+ health and wellness brand partners.

Read on, and let us make you swoon…

  1. Get your Vitamin Game in Order – try Care/of’s personalized vitamin packs for chicly packaged and super clean vitamins and supplements
  2. Drink more water. Commit to drinking your weight in ounces of water each day.  
  3. Get a massage without stepping foot outside your apartment. We like to use our partner Zeel for a 60-minute Swedish session.
  4. Eat more greens. Have a big salad at least once per day, the rest of the month, and it will become a habit.  At HealthKick, we dig Dig Inn and Sweetgreen is our go-to.
  5. Eat those greens even when you’re rushing around or on the road. Our partner ALOHA makes yummy individually packed greens powders that can be added to water no matter how far you are from the nearest salad bar.
  6. Turn up the heat on your yoga practice. Especially when it’s chilly outside, a hot yoga class can be a great way to dial up your cardio and flexibility. Try CorePower Yoga C2 for a real sweat and C1 for beginners!
  7. Prepare a decadent dinner for one. Completely out of vegetables? If you need a little inspiration (or fully prepared foods delivered to your door), check out Hungryroot’s carrot noodles with tangy sriracha peanut and almond chickpea cookie dough.
  8. Get yourself the gift of a morning workout. If you need suggestions, just drop us a line. We have the best fitness partner studios in NY + SF.  This week, through Feb 19, new Physique 57 clients get 2 classes free!  Details here.
  9. That morning workout can even be a twenty minute walk to grab a morning tea or coffee and back. While you’re at it, tune into Headspace for a guided meditation to start your day off right.  10-day free trial available for newbies.
  10. And don’t forget about a post-workout morning smoothie. Try out different smoothie combinations to discover new favorite flavors. For some expert help, try Greenblender’s smoothie subscription. Need to take the smoothie on the go? Check out SANS bottle to keep it as fresh as from the Vitamix! 
  11. Switch out your morning coffee for an antioxidant-packed matcha latte or for an adaptogen-based latte like turmeric.
  12. Explore a new indoor workout, even if you normally swear by sweating in the great (urban) outdoors. Check our tips here.
  13. Replace your nightly glass of wine for a glass of kombucha once or twice per week. We heart Health-Ade.
  14. Have a date night with coconut oil – cover your body, face and hair in the good stuff and then make a coconut-inspired dinner for one like a coconut curry with zoodles.
  15. Splurge on one of New York’s trend-setting fitness classes. Pop a friend’s SLT cherry by bringing them in for free this Valentine’s week. Or if you’re new to SLT, receive your first two classes for $40 with HealthKick. Details here. 
  16. Treat your feet to a massage dedicated entirely to them. Sometimes we forget how much work they do.
  17. But your hands could probably use some love, too, so take them out for a nice mani.
  18. Along with that mani, get a Friday morning blowout, without the stress of getting to the salon, by using an on-demand beauty booking app like PRIV.
  19. Give your skin a facial’s facial with a hydrating OxyTrio treatment or Power Peel at Skin Spa New York
  20. If you’ve never tried it before, give wellness coaching a go to develop a positive personal narrative. We recommend Kayleigh Pleas.
  21. Spice it up in the kitchen. Learn a new trick or two with the help of a gourmet meal kit service like Blue Apron.
  22. While you’re at it, clean up your spice drawer to make sure all is still fresh and that you have plenty of good-for-you herbs on hand.
  23. And give your fridge the same treatment – remove anything that won’t help on your wellness path and replace it with healthier versions that inspire you.
  24. Think about your beauty from the inside out by trying skin and hair supporting supplements, like those included in the new beauty pack by WellPath.
  25. Send yourself flowers. Or just grab a bouquet on the way into Trader Joe’s.
  26. Workout in your underwear, in the comfort of your own home, using a streaming fitness service like Grokker. Bye, inhibitions.
  27. Pack yourself healthy lunches using your favorites healthy flavors, or in a pinch order up from healthy delivery services like Munchery.
  28. Get a fitness form tune up from a personal trainer. Find one you love at your gym, or ditch the membership fees and connect with one who aligns with your goals at FYT.
  29. Organize your fitness apparel drawer, out with the old and everything else in its place.
  30. And treat yourself to a new piece of gear, you deserve it. No excuses, use your special HealthKick perks at great brands like Lole, JUJA Activewear and Rhone.
  31. Have a dance party for one in your living room.
  32. Think about your favorite cocktail. Now Google how to make it lower in sugar and better for you.
  33. Make meditation a priority. The Path in New York offers great classes for beginners and those who want to deepen an existing practice.
  34. If you’re not in the city, explore the world of digital mindfulness via the many apps out there. Find one you love and commit to meditating each morning for at least five minutes for one week. Our newest favorite is Inscape.
  35. Scrub that winter skin. DIY a sugar scrub at home, or take yourself out to a Korean spa for a thorough exfoliation.
  36. After, draw a bath and luxuriate in your favorite essential oils.
  37. Hit the stairs. They are awesome for your tush, cardio system and getting some fresh air. Bonus: they’re free.
  38. Clear your voicemail queue.
  39. If you’re already a spin pro, take your resistance to the next level with an underwater cycling class at Aqua Studio (only the bike is submerged).
  40. Reinvigorate your oral hygiene routine. Companies like Tulip are revolutionizing oral health with cutting edge toothpastes and brushes.
  41. Unsubscribe from any email newsletters that no longer serve you.
  42. While you’re online, book yourself a health-focused getaway to somewhere you’ve never been. For trip planning ideas, check out Escape to Shape.
  43. Unplug once per week, for at least an hour. No phone, computer, television.
  44. Journal, just the good stuff. Write down achievements, however small, compliments you may have heard throughout the day and challenges you’ve overcome.
  45. Stretch! Develop a stretching practice at home, at your desk, at the gym.
  46. Say ‘no’ to obligations that won’t inspire or help you on your journey. Your time is valuable.
  47. Same goes for social media accounts you currently follow. Remember, your time is valuable.
  48. Create a sanctuary at home for just you. You can use comfy pillows, artwork from a favorite trip, textures that calm.
  49. Take yourself out to a movie. 50 Shades or other.
  50. REGISTER your company for HealthKick and we’ll keep your self-love game strong today and everyday!

How to Workout Indoors When It’s Freezing Outside

mhrc2Whether we’re running across the Brooklyn Bridge or HIIT’ing at a 6am bootcamp in McCarren Park, nothing makes us feel as strong and inspired as sweating it out against the backdrop of our glorious city. But come January, when we can barely take our glove off long enough to grab a morning latte on our way to work, what do we do?

We’ve asked the top trainers at some of our favorite indoor studios around town for their advice on how us outdoor fitness enthusiasts can move winter workouts inside, without having to become a branded t-shirt wearing, high-fiving group fitness buff or committing to a season’s worth of snoozy weight training routines.

Here are their top five ways to create adventurous indoor workouts and feel your best during the chilliest months.

Indoor Doesn’t Mean Traditional

JT Netterville at New York’s first golf-inspired fitness facility Drive Clubs tells us that, ‘While basic strength training will help strengthen and improve what you’re doing outside, there are some incredible ways to turn a gym into a fun indoor playground. Grab some cones, maybe some low hurdles and a medicine ball. All of a sudden, you have an engaging obstacle course that’s going to stimulate your workout, provide new challenges and give you something to look forward to even though you can’t head outside. If there’s a pullup bar accessible, or kettlebells or something else that challenges your stability, even better!’

Keep your Sweat Inside

JT also suggests to, ‘Not go outside sweaty after an indoor workout, and to make sure you shower and put on dry clothes. Supplementing with vitamin C, D, probiotics and even meditation and power naps can also support the immune system and keep it resilient when not used to working out in a group setting indoors.’

Make it a Game

Skyler Mosenthal, of the first team-inspired cycling studio Swerve Fitness says that, ‘If I’m looking for a solo workout on a treadmill or elliptical, I use the manual setting so I can make changes throughout the workout. Every two minutes I change the gradient, the speed, or a combination of the two. Generally, I aim for a seven minute warm up, 20 minutes of work and a  five minute cool down. Same for stationary bike: I play around with setting two-minutes goals for what RPM I can hold at a certain gear, the number of watts in  two minutes, or simply riding out of the saddle for two minutes.’

Hit the Pool

As a triathlete, Skyler also says that, ‘I get pumped about swimming during the winter, and try a different workout each time I swim (intervals, ladder workout, or tempo/endurance for the middle 30% of the distance). The post-swim steam room is always great motivation!’

Hibernating is Awesome for you

Skyler simply suggests that we take advantage of our natural instincts during the winter chill and ‘hibernate.’ ‘With less light outside, you may as well get some more rest. More sleep will help the body recover from your workouts and you’ll feel more energized and focused. Turning off devices as early in the evening as possible helps, too, so set an alarm for yourself an hour before you plan to go to bed to make sure you’re powering down.’

Misery Loves Company

Vinnie Miliano at Mile High Run Club suggests to, ‘Find a group fitness studio that is in line with your goals. Misery loves company! If you have a race on deck, take solace in the face that you’ll be getting a quality workout in a controlled environment. Just be sure to book early to get the best spot and stick to a schedule – remember that this time of year is when gyms and studios are most crowded.’

But Know When to Take a Day Off

Vinnie reminds us that, ‘If you’ve touched it, someone else has definitely touched it. Just like at the office, there will be that one person coming in sick just so they don’t miss a day. Be diligent with washing your hands and avoid touching your face between reps or when switching machines. If you’re the sick one, skip a day, or at least disinfect anything with which you may have made contact.’

Where to Go

If you’re ready to take your workout indoors, HealthKick is hosting complimentary classes and corporate challenges with fitness studios throughout NYC and SF through the end of January. Sign up HERE to participate! And, this week ONLY take advantage of classes at two of our favorites: Drive Clubs in NYC and Wheel House in SF.  Companies that bring in the most employees win group classes and special gifts!

Vacation like a wellness rock star

Ahhhh, vacation. Whether you love to lie on the beach with a juicy read and a cocktail or prefer a mountain cabin away from it all, you deserve some rest and rejuvenation.

Even though you’re on a break, working out can be an energizing and fun part of your relaxation plan. You already know that exercise is a great stress reliever and mood booster. Plus, it helps you feel like a bad-ass; research shows people who exercise have more body confidence than those who don’t – so go ahead… #daretobare.

But since vacay takes us out of our regular routines, even the most dedicated gym rat can find it easy to flake on exercise. Read on for expert tips from HealthKick’s partners to stay on track when you travel. You may have to leave the coastline behind, but you’ll be sure to coast back to your regular routine feeling like a million bucks.

Step 1: Be prepared

“Always pack gym clothes so you have no excuse for not being active,” Stacy Schwartz, co-founder and CEO of Ketanga Fitness, tells HealthKick. “I like to wear my sneakers on the plane for comfort and to save space in my suitcase.”

Schwartz also plans her workouts before boarding. “There are tons of fitness apps out there that can help you figure out what to do at the gym or even in your hotel room, if you’re out of town and away from your favorite group class,” she says. “Some of my favorites while on the road are Nike+ Training ClubCoachCasts, and an interval timer for when I’m making up my own routine.”

And if you don’t want to miss out on your fave classes from home, stream one of them (we love the on-demand classes by Physique 57.

You can also stash light, easy-to-carry equipment, like resistance bands or our go-to on-the-go workout: Smart Rope, in your suitcase for a quick workout you can do anywhere.

 Step 2: Plan fun activities

“Use your workout as a way to explore,” says Erica Gragg, co-owner of Escape to Shape. “Try kayaking, surfing, cycling, hiking, local dance–whatever is offered in the area that also allows you to experience the location on a more interactive level.” Book some things in advance so you have the most choices, but also look into what’s local when you arrive.

Think outside of traditional form of exercise, too. “I love to learn about the healthy habits that each culture offers,” says Cait Fraser, founder of Wild Wellness Travel. “Whether it’s fishing, dancing, hiking to breathtaking views, [or] laughing with the locals. Getting out in a fresh culture will expand your mind and nourish your soul.”

Vacay is also a perfect opportunity to try a wellness practice you haven’t been able to make time for at home, like meditation. Download an app like Headspace and give it a shot while you’re away.

 Step 3: Start the day with sweat

Begin your day with a workout, so you get it done, and also get the blood flowing so you can enjoy all that’s coming.

“I like to warm up with 5 to 9 sun salutations, followed by jumping rope,” Gragg says. “[It gets] the blood pumping and the heart rate up fast. And sun salutations are great for stretching, strengthening, lengthening and toning.”

 Step 4: Stay hydrated

You can’t live on cocktails alone (sorry), and there’s nothing like dehydration to sap your energy. Make sure you down plenty of plain agua all day long so you can feel amazing and be ready to swim, bike, jog, play in the surf, or all of the above. “I always travel with a refillable water bottle,” Gragg says. “Stay hydrated and help the environment.”

Step 5: Reward yourself

Whether you’re as active while you’re away as you are at home or not, give yourself props every time you get it done. Everything counts, even dancing the night away at a resort nightclub or taking a stroll on the beach, so yay you. Give yourself a self-care gift as a virtual high five. “I always treat myself to a unique experience when traveling,” says Fraser. “It could be a new style of massage, a mud bath, a long walk on a beautiful beach, or a night out with new friends.”