Martinis Aren't The Only Way To Feel Better!
That's not all: Research has revealed you’re more likely to stick to your fitness goals when you have a workout buddy -- they keep you accountable! So get your summer bod in tip top shape while bonding with your girlfriends. Added benefit: You can also meet a new man while getting fit outside this summer!
Make it measurable
To see results, you need to set clearly defined, measurable goals. Share them with your friend and keep each other accountable, says Ettinger. Online sharing tools like Google Docs are great for this!
Face your fears
What better way to step out of your comfort zone than with your best friend by your side? Try something completely new, even if it’s been intimidating in the past. Most classes let you choose your partner, so if you’ve been anxious to try a class (e.g. boxing) you’ll feel much more comfortable working out with a friend.
Keep it social
There’s nothing wrong with making workouts social… as long as you actually get a workout in. Pair a workout and social event together (e.g. gym then dinner). You’ll both be more likely to show up for the workout and stay focused with the promise of more relaxing fun afterwards, says Ettinger.
So, what are some of the best workout opportunities for you and your BFF? Here are some of our favorites!
O2 Fitness offers several group fitness classes that are the perfect alternative to a typical “girls' night out” happy hour. Our favorite? Sh’Bam, featuring hot but simple dance moves set to a soundtrack of popular hits and dance music. This 45-minute class never gets boring, as a new release is produced every three months with brand new music and choreography.
Boxing -- it's not just for the boys! "Bond over the heavy bag with your bestie and get a rockin' bod while you imagine your jabs and hooks letting loose over the guys you'd otherwise be bitching, boozing and consuming calories over," says Kristin Russo, an ACE certified group fitness instructor and certified yoga teacher, who mentions Women's World of Boxing, held at Kingsway Boxing (a real boxing gym -- no nonsense cardio kickboxing stuff!) as a great option for New York City ladies to check out.
Danny Campbell, co-owner of TITLE Boxing Club, concurs. "You can challenge each other to do better and foster friendly competition. Conversely, everyone can go at their own pace, so even if there are varied fitness levels, everyone can participate. There is something about hitting a heavy bag and getting your timing and technique down to where you feel more confident about yourself that empowers you to know that you are capable of taking care of yourself in a situation that might be intimidating."
Atlantic City Sweat Festival: My bestie and I are so excited about this, we're already plotting to visit Atlantic City this September to cover it in person! For this event, Caesars Entertainment Atlantic City teams with some of the world's most prominent names in health and fitness for the inaugural Sweat AC festival that will feature celebrity trainers, nutritionists and lifestyle experts in the industry. The three-day expo will be held at Caesars, Harrah’s Resort, Showboat, Bally’s and on the Atlantic City beach and boardwalk from Sept. 21-23, 2012. And, when you are done working out with the likes of Jillian Michaels, Kass Martin, Joy Bauer and Mixed Martial Artist Champion, Frankie Edgar? You just happen to be steps away from shopping, bars, casinos and tons of nightlife.
Yoga: This is the perfect way to unwind with your BFFs after work, says Kristin McGee, a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor and creator of the Bendigirl yoga DVDs. "Yoga is a natural way to de-stress. Often times it seems too easy to hit the bar for happy hour to take a load off, but if you go to a yoga class first and release the tension from the day, you won't feel like you need a drink!" Kristin says yoga connects us with our internal cues and helps us listen to our body. It also means to unite. "Going to class and uniting with our own bodies and with our friends is one of the best ways to end a day. You will be so giddy and energized and have released so many feel good endorphins in yoga class, you'll cherish the rest of the evening with your friends and be really present for them and your connections will be more meaningful."
POUND Workout: Pound is pioneering the evolution of modern-day exercise through the fusion of movement and making music. By using Ripstix, one pound weighted drumsticks engineered specifically for exercising by providing resistance to the upper body, back, core and lower body, POUND was designed to transform drumming into an incredibly effective way of working out. Original drummer based movements are combined with various body positions inspired by traditional pilates and ballet barre exercises which give a full body workout, burn between 700 and 900 calories a class and create a well-balanced symmetrical and slender body. Classes are available at CRUNCH gyms across the country and at select boutique gyms.
Pole dancing: There aren’t many places where you can go to burn calories, improve your health and fitness and let your inhibitions go, all while having fun with your girlfriends after a long day at work. But you can in a pole fitness class! "This fun format of fitness incorporates dances moves both around and using a pole and can help to build your strength and endurance in a fun, yet flirty way. So instead of taking in calories by sipping on drinks with friends, give pole fitness a spin, and learn some sultry moves while boosting your self-confidence. Trust me, your body and mind will thank you later," says Jessica Matthews, exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise (ACE).
Cycle House: We love the notion that by exercising, you don't just make your life better, but you help improve someone else's too. For every class you take, the studio donates two meals to feed the hungry through a partnership with nonprofit Feeding America. The company also embraces a green mindset -- they do not offer plastic water bottles for purchase but instead give free access to an alkaline water filtration system. And to reduce their carbon footprint, they write the trainer schedule on their chalkboard walls (and post online), email receipts and use virtually no sources of paper. During the 45 minute classes, instructors adhere to a high-impact regimen that incorporates weights and stretching that can burn up to 800 calories set in a dimly lit studio with pulsing music. It's a nightclub atmosphere and calorie torching cardio blast in one.
The Bar Method is a super-cool concept -- a full-body workout that utilizes a ballet barre technique. This workout draws from the principles of isometrics, dance conditioning, interval training and physical therapy. It is also the only barre workout that was designed under the guidance of physical therapists to ensure joint safety -- so you'll be in great shape for post-Bar Method bar-hopping!