Your footwear is extremely important and is essentially your only “equipment” for your workout. Therefore it is very important to invest in yourself with a good pair of sneaks not only to prevent injury but to also facilitate ease of movement when you bust a move!

In general, I recommend a good pair of cross trainers or aerobic style shoes for dance fitness classes. They provide the cushion and medial lateral support needed for side-to-side movements that we often do in dance but also have low traction rubber for easy sliding and turning.
Of course, they way the shoes fit on your feet and how they feel to YOU is the most important thing but one thing’s for sure: DO NOT use running shoes! They are designed for forward movement only and are often “elevated” and therefore can be dangerous in a dance class that has a lot of lateral and side to side motion and turns.

How do you know when it’s time for a new pair?

A sore back, knee problems, achy joints and worn down arches are signs it’s time to upgrade your equipment. 4-5 months is an average lifespan of any fitness sneaker yet if they look like they’ve lost their spunk then you can bet they definitely have!

And don’t worry, you don’t have to throw out your sneaks after this time, you can still wear them around the house or doing errands or whatever. It’s just that the important support you need won’t be there anymore.

So I hope you take care of that amazing body you have an help it run smoothly and with high energy for all long time by investing in your equipment and self!

Get The Sneakers I Wear at 10% OFF! Use code: FitAmy6 at Checkout with the button below:

Get Your Workout Sneakers Here and SAVE 10%!

Are you a Newbie? See my Tips for Newbies to Class here!

During the Winter months does your appetite feel out of control?

Do you have INTENSE carb/sugar/chocolate cravings or feel unmotivated and even a little blue?

Ya? Me too. If this sounds familiar you might have a case of the Winter Blues – often referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.)! Winter in New England is the time of year when the days are shorter, there’s less sunlight, the temperatures are colder and we often feel more socially isolated and even DEPRESSED!

What do you do if you can’t relocate to Hawaii or Florida?

Well the good news is there are actually several natural, easy and effective things you can do to help combat the negative symptoms of the Winter Blues so you can go from feeling “SAD” to feeling “GLAD” almost immediately! YAY! Here are my Top Six Tips to stay on track:

6 Tips to Go From S.A.D. to GLAD!

1. Get Adequate Natural, Full-Spectrum Light

Light Therapy is the #1 remedy for SAD!

Even though it may be cold out, bundle up and make it a priority to get outside, even for just 15 minutes a day so you can be exposed to sunlight which increases your serotonin and the “Happy Hormone”, Vitamin D (which is KEY for avoiding colds and the Flu and improving your immune health). It will also increase your melatonin which is important for restful sleep. Even if this means just rolling down your car window at a stoplight and letting the sun directly hit your face/arm/skin – it will help!

And if for some reason this doesn’t work for you, consider purchasing a full spectrum illumination lamp that you can put on your desk or somewhere in your home.

2. Get Moving!

Yup, you knew it was comin’ but no doubt about it,  EXERCISE is proven to make you feel better!

When you get your body moving it increases blood flow and circulation (Hello ENERGY!), increases oxygen, helps eliminate toxins and clears and resets your mind. In addition, it also increases endorphins- you got it, more of those Happy Chemicals that make you feel good! You can think of these Happy Chemicals, or neurotransmitters, as nature’s Prozac but better because they don’t come with nasty side effects…SCORE!

I like to try to double up on the benefits and do some activity outside where I’m exposed to natural light and sunshine – yes ma’am, now you’re really talking!

3. Get Your Body Rhythm

We are creatures of nature and part of the bigger natural cycle of life. That’s why it’s crucial to harmonize your lifestyle with the season. I know, it’s hard to do in our Go-Go culture, but if you are serious about feeling good and having good energy you’ll be wise to make it a priority.

Synchronize your circadian rhythm’s (your body’s natural “clock”) with nature. The more you adapt your schedule to the cycle of the sun- the sunrise and sunset, the better you will feel. At night (3 hours before bed) AVOID bright lights, computer screens, and big screen TV’s. This artificial light disrupts the pineal gland in the brain that produces melatonin (the sleepy hormone). So use candles and dimmers after sunset or certainly 2 – 3 hours before bedtime. You’ll be amazed at the difference this can make.

4. Rest More…Period!

Winter is the season where all of nature is in a hibernation mode so why should we humans be any different?

This is the season to GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO DO LESS AND VEG-OUT MORE! Not feeling guilty about relaxing, having down-time, slacking off and my personal favorite, taking NAPS is not only OK right now but extremely important and healthy!! It’s dark and cold outside for a reason! Take your queue from nature. All of nature is doing so why shouldn’t you?

5. Avoid (or at least minimize) Sugar

Everyone knows that sugar is no good for you and leads to increased cravings and weight gain but it’s important to remember that just one teaspoon of sugar can depress your immune system for up to 4 hours– leaving your more susceptible to colds, flu and viruses.

Moreover, after the initial rush, it also zaps your moods, leaving you lower than before. What a cruel trick! But you can have your cake and eat it too! Instead of sugar, you can use safe and delicious naturally sugar-free alternatives to sugar like Stevia or Monk Fruit or for a healthy and delicious grab ‘n go treat try one of my favorites here!

See hidden and sneaky sources of sugar   

6. Be Sure to Have a Source of Fun/Joy in Your Life

This is a key underlying principle for everything.

So often we think of our diet and exercise program when it comes to our health and we overlook and minimize the importance of having something (or even someone) in our lives that is a regular source of pleasure, support, enrichment and love.

Whether it be a favorite hobby, pet, church group or just talking regular walks outside in nature, be sure you have something that feeds your soul and enriches your spirit, and then be sure to fight tooth and nail to make it a constant in your life!

The Mind-Body Connection is CRITICAL to lasting health and well being. Until we get that right, we will always have the “blues” regardless of what time of year it is!

Find out more about how to bring more joy into your life

Hope you found this article helpful and it helps to keep you healthy and happy not only during the Winter months but all year long!
Peace Out

Ladies and Gentlemen, CHEMISTRY is more important than CALORIES!

Here are the top 10 problem areas and mistakes I see people make when trying to “eat healthy” and lose weight.

Hope it helps…LMK 😉

  1. Eating too much protein
  2. Excessive stress/cortisol
  3. Not including liquid calories (shakes, packaged meals, fancy coffees, energy drinks)
  4. Dairy: milk, cheese, butter, whey, yogurt
  5. Fruit
  6. Damaged, tired and toxic liver (which controls metabolism, sugar/fat burning, detox, etc)
  7. Lack of adequate sleep
  8. Overeating/Emotional Eating: eating past physical hunger
  9. Alcohol
  10. Nuts, legumes, beans, seeds and flours/oils

What if I told you that there’s a way to balance your hormones, reduce stress and feelings of overwhelm, improve your sleep, make you feel more calm and centered, increase productivity and help grow new brain cells plus lose weight (belly fat in particular)!?

AND…what if I told you it doesn’t require painful exercise, sweating and you can do it in your jammies!?

I’m sure you’d WANT IN – or at least want to know what it is.

This may be hard to believe, but I’m here to tell you that “working in” is just as important as “working out”. Science has shown that incorporating periods of calm and restoration in our lives is not only critical for physical and emotional health but is also surprisingly invigorating and energizing! What an interesting paradox:)

That’s why I want to share with you a new healthy habit that is part of my healthy lifestyle, anti-aging, happiness and wellness routine: Guided Meditation.

I know, I know, if you’re like me I’m sure your first reaction is to say:

I know meditation is supposed to be good for me but I can’t sit still or stop my mind from thinking!

I gotcha. That why as a fellow Type-A personality and ambitious person, I like to use the Guided Meditation technique because I can get all the amazing benefits of meditation but I find it much more user-friendly and therefore I actually do it – as opposed to what has happened to me in a typical meditation session in the past where I find I’m secretly plotting my escape or I feel like I’m being tortured as I count down the minutes until it’s over and I can “get on with my real life” and my To-Do List!

It’s been said that there are as many types of meditation as there are ways to make an egg. (I like that one!)

Guided meditation is thought to be the easiest style to learn, especially for people who can’t sit still or stop their minds. In a typical Guided Meditation class, all you do is sit down, get comfy, close your eyes and listen to your facilitator or “guide” who will lead you in where and how to focus your thoughts and attention.

Check Out These Documented and Scientific Benefits of Meditation (with NO known side-effects btw!)

  • Decreases stress and anxiety
  • Decreases loneliness
  • Decreases panic attacks
  • Improves memory, brain function, focus, productivity and growth of new brain cells
  • Improves mood and normal neurotransmitter function
  • Contributes to hormonal balance and weight loss
  • Increases self-awareness and ability to identify emotions/feelings and needs
  • Improves sleep quality
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Reduces pain
  • Releases muscle tension
  • Lowers risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Increases intuition, self-trust and confidence
  • Increases ability to be present, grounded and peaceful
  • Just makes you happier:)

So I hope this article at least got you curious to see if meditation might be able to help you better achieve your goals. I suggest you stay open-minded. It very well might be not only easier but more enjoyable than you thought and you might even be pleasantly and surprisingly blissed out 😉

To join me in a Guided Meditation and TRY IT FOR YOURSELF click here

Anybody who knows me knows I’m super active, busy and ambitious but I wanted to share with you a little habit I’ve been doing that might surprise you. I do it every morning and it takes only 5 minutes but is super POWERFUL and sets the tone for my entire day:

No matter how BUSY I am, each morning at the very start of my day after I make my bed and let my puppy, Charlotte out, I sit down and try to just be still for 5 minutes.

This is where I am consciously not “doing” anything:  I don’t read, go thru paperwork, write my to-do list, look at my very full calendar or even think about the day ahead. Instead I just try to SIT and just “be”, to allow my mind to just be open, clear and receptive. 

You see I’ve learned that we can not hear our intuition and higher selves (or God) if we’re so busy running around all the time and engaging our mind with all the “noise” and external distractions. It’s no wonder we all feel so stressed and overwhelmed these days.

If you feel like from the moment you wake up until your head finally hits the pillow you find yourself reacting to people and situations around you or you’re constantly putting out fires and racing against the clock then this is for YOU!

I don’t know about you, but I feel this is no way to live. I find I’m the most unhappy when I feel like I’m constantly “reacting” to events in my life instead of “responding” from a calm, clear and confident core and my little 5-minute centering habit helps me do that – even if it’s just for a little while!! 🙂

After that I take another 1-2 minutes and go into my heart and write down 3 things I am grateful for.

This instantly connects me to the good in my world now – despite whatever challenges I’m dealing with at the time or what I feel might be missing. It lines my energy up in the right direction and like you always hear me say:  “Everything is ENERGY!”

I will admit, on days that things are going well, it’s easy to do but on the days I’m in a bad mood it can be really difficult yet THOSE are the very days I need this Fit Tip the most because that’s when I need to turn my energy around to the positive!

So I’ll tell you my secret for the days when I’m feeling down and just plain “not grateful”:

On the tough days I just reduce it to basics like:

  1. I’m grateful for clean air to breath
  2. A warm place to sleep
  3. Food in my belly.

So simple but wow, what a game-changer.

Bottom Line: We get what we focus on whether we like it or not so focus on stuff you want MORE of!

So I encourage YOU to try this for yourself. Time it. Take 5 MINUTES: get still and quiet and just stay open and then consciously feel gratitude and appreciation in your heart. I guarantee it’s the fastest (and cheapest!) way to feel good and start creating more of what you want in life!

JOIN ME at my monthly meditation series! CLICK HERE for more info or to sign up!

I hope this inspires you – let me know!

xxx

Amy