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As you may already know I train at Equinox. Equinox is currently putting on a challenge and of course like any challenge I want to win. I am competitive in nature and when someone explains the rules and that there are prizes, you better believe I am racing to be número uno.
Truthfully though this challenge is not so challenging. However, it is helping me save money this month on all other specialty classes and trainers I work with outside of Equinox. Basically they set up a challenge for all members, in hopes that they would learn how to use their app and invite potential new members. At least that's seems to be their objective.
If you go to the gym, sign into the class, refer friends, log a work out, and set up your app you get points. I have always used the EQ app, so I seem to be obtaining points with out even trying. It is however making me log more workouts than I had been recently, as well as trying new classes that are not typically in my routine.
I started thinking back to a post I wrote about finding the time to work out. If you already attend Equinox, the app is a good way to help keep yourself accountable. And of course the challenge aspect is definitely helpful if you are one of those people who need the extra push, because there are PRIZES!
In general the app can help to plan your week of workouts. It has a calendar where you can add the classes you plan on attending and or input your own activity. When you check in to the gym you can choose to track the class. The classes are categorized based on the type of activity with an approximate number of calories burned. At the end of each week if you look at your activity, you will get a sense of the overall types of work you are putting in. Maybe it will help to realize 'wow I though I was going to yoga more often, no wonder it is taking so long to increase my flexibility,' etc.
If you or anyone you know belongs to Equinox sign up for the challenge. There is one more week to win starting Monday, and if you want to check out the gym sign up here. You will receive a 3-day pass to the location of your choosing. Equinox is not only in Manhattan, so it may be worth a look. For the rest of you who have zero interest in Equinox or the challenge, then challenge yourself. Write out your workouts for the week and check them off as you complete each one. You will be surprised how many more days you sign into the gym. P.S. If you need a little more incentive to get your booty to the gym, you may want to check out your insurance plans, some give you money back if you go to the gym x amount of times each year.
Happy working out
While traveling in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam I was able to experience the art that is Tai Chi. The instructor explained that there are 3 styles: Chinese, Vietnamese, and Korean. The Vietnamese version was supposedly developed by the people living in the mountainous islands. And there are many! They based the movements on the land and the animals around them. (I have since read that there are 5 styles of Tai Chi, but here I will explain it as I learned in Vietnam).
I went to the top deck of the boat in the morning and the master/instructor was sitting there meditating with traditional music humming in the background. When he was ready he got us started with what I am calling a "warm up." He led us through a sequence of circular movements that helped to lubricant the muscles and joints. It felt amazing after being on a long plane ride the previous day. The instructor then took us through a series of movements, repeating each until we had them down. For all the movements where you are moving forward or pushing away from the body you breath out and all the movements where you are pulling towards the body or moving backward you breath in. We eventually strung all the movements together for the full Tai Chi experience. I felt more aligned and relaxed.
The instructor explained that Tai Chi helps with overall mental and physical health as well as to strengthen muscles for balance. I can see how this would be a great practice someone who wants to keep the body moving, and aligned with out enduring heavy impact. I really enjoyed the experience and would certainly look more into it in the future. Like yoga it was calming. For me maybe even more so, and definitely not as difficult to quiet the brain as meditation. Tai Chi! check it out:)
When traveling one of my favorite experiences alway seems to be when I go on a hike. I love being outdoors and taking in the landscape and architecture of the many beautiful places all over the world.
While in Hong Kong this weekend that's exactly what I did. My friends and I took two hikes. The first is close to the city center, which I have to say is what makes Hong Kong one of my favorite cities. The accessibility to the mountains and beaches is just a short taxi ride away from the heart of the city.
The first hike took us on a trail that looks over the city. I always forget how interesting it is to see tall buildings. I look at them all the time in New York, but when in other cities they seem more impressive. Maybe, because they are not in my "back yard" and so familiar. At the end of the five mile hike we hopped in a car and went to Stanley. This is a cute little beach town with many restaurants lining the water. We sat outside for a bite and relaxation. One would think it doesn't get much better, but it does!
Our second hike was farther out of the city and far more difficult. Yet still accessible by taxi. The two hikes are similar distances, however this hike felt like leg day. It had a steep incline and many steps to climb.
There are typically multiple options in terms of the level of athleticism required, so everyone can get the experience. Being with a group of athletes, we of course took a more challenging option. Regardless what trails you choose you can be sure to get a great workout while taking in the sights, and not missing a day of sightseeing because you are stuck in a random gym or yoga studio. Although I would not pass up a training session that is native to the culture.
After climbing over 3 mountains we ended on an untouched beach! This is where it gets BETTER. Our friends met us with their boat. They brought tons of food to grill, wine to drink and blankets for us to lounge. The sights are incredible. This is the kind of traveling I love, doing things that are not typical to the average tourist, checking out museum after museum. Plus we get exercise on vacation!