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Five Reasons to Try A Virtual Boxing Class

With the whole fitness industry moving online, there are countless options of classes you can take to stay active at home. If you’re interested in trying something beyond your typical online HIIT class or are feeling inspired by a fight sequence you saw on Netflix, boxing could be a great way for you to spice up your virtual workout routine. 

Here are the five reasons you should try a virtual boxing class: 

  1. Blow off steam 

Whether in the studio or online, boxing is always a great way to blow off steam and boost your mood. Punching is an excellent way to let go of tension in the body, plus exercise in general is a great way to manage stress and improve mental health. Exercise in general decreases stress hormones such as cortisol, and increases the production of endorphins. The motion of punching is a great way to channel your energy and can be highly cathartic. 

  1. Perfect your form (and your joints!) 

In a boxing class, you’ll typically punch against resistance, whether that’s a bag or an opponent. In a virtual class, we’re shadow boxing, which means that we are running through different combinations of jabs, crosses, hooks, and upper cuts by punching the air. Because there is no resistance, it gives you the chance to hone  your form before getting back to the bag or sparring and the lack of impact will spare your wrist joints. You can focus on the full extension of the arm and properly turning over the wrist without facing the impact of hitting a heavy bag. When it comes to hooks and uppercuts, take the time to notice your stance and the way you use your legs and torso to pivot in the punch. 

  1. Increase cardiovascular endurance 

Agility is key for defensive movement, so in a virtual boxing class you’ll be working on speed and cardiovascular endurance as well. 

  1. Strengthen & Tone 

Working combinations or doing burnout shadow boxing drills  are a surefire way to help you tone your arms. If you want to level up, certain classes will challenge you to shadowbox while holding 1-4lb weights. Boxing classes also typically include strength  drills that help you improve your strike power and form. Leg power is punch power, so count on working your quads with squats and lunges. 

  1. Build confidence & feel like a badass

As you get faster and stronger, as your form gets sharper, you’ll feel accomplished because your athleticism has increased. Because boxing requires technique and precision, it’s also a great way to sharpen reflexes and improve focus. The empowering nature of the movement will  help boost confidence. But let’s be honest —  throwing a punch truly brings out your inner badass.

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Take a Minute for Your Brain:
Soak Up the Outdoors!

I think we can all admit – working from home 24/7 has been hard on all of us. It might be in different ways, people who already worked from home adjusting to having new people in their space, parents not getting a respite from their kids, finding new ways to workout without leaving the house, not being able to comfortably go to the grocery store whenever we need something for tonight’s dinner. The list goes on and it is totally easy to get overwhelmed by it all.  

So stop, take a minute and just breath. 

Studies have shown that when we work from home, we actually end up working more hours – it’s because we take the hour or two that it would normally take us to get to the office and just start working earlier and forget to stop when everyone else leaves. This is all fine and dandy except now all of our meetings are online – and there’s few breaks between starting at your computer for hours on end. 

But there’s something we can do to press reset – spend some time outside! 

When you’re outdoors it is so much easier to turn off all the notifications and just be in the present. It is also relatively safe for social distancing and gives you a reason to use those muscles we all know aren’t doing much work right now. We can all just take some time to enjoy the space we have been given to take advantage of the great outdoors and detox our brains a little. 

There’s science to back it up too: In the book Your Brain On Nature, authors Eva M. Selhub and Alan C. Logan, explain that biophilia, as redefined by Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson is “the innately emotional affiliation of human beings to other living organisms…having the potential to influence the matters that mental health care providers concern themselves with: cognitions and behaviours.” Our brains love being in nature and it gives them a much needed break from the daily stressors of this new life we are living. 

So we asked our instructors their favorite ways to get outdoors: 

 

Abbie loves to take her bike to the outdoors where she can really get the wind in her hair. It’s also safer for socially distancing! Some of her favorite places to go biking include Mount Tam in Marin and Alpine Dam in Bolinas.

Lauren Kaplan has been spending a lot of quarantine out in Colorado!

For her, the best way to get outside is with other people. Her and her friends have taken to socially distanced picnics in the Aspen Highlands area just outside of Denver.

A few weeks ago, Drea escaped down to Santa Cruz to be closer to the beach and to have more space. Her new favorite adventure is going down to ocean’s edge at West Cliff. With its serene views and calming tide pools its a great place to meditate and connect with yourself. 

 

Sami just got a new puppy 🐶 and is looking forward to taking him on hikes when he is ready! One of her favorite trails in San Francisco is Lands End – it’s very dog friendly and has 10/10 views. She also recommends checking out the Sea Cliff neighborhood with all the beautiful mansion and grabbing a breakfast sandwich from Devils Teeth.

Of course, always wear a mask and practice social distancing, but also just relax a little, because if we don’t, we won’t be able to tackle all the other challenges facing us right now. 

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Learn a New Yoga Pose: Crow Pose

Yoga is the Sanskrit word for union – to combine the mind and soul to bring them into the present moment. It’s the practice of bringing yourself to this place of unity. Today, we wanted to bring you a pose to add to your practice which will help bring you to this beautiful mental space. 

Crow Pose (or in Sanskrit Bakasana) is a full body, challenge pose. It is meant to be challenging enough that you must focus all of your attention and listen to your body and act as a stepping stone into a higher level of practice. With Crow Pose, you must be okay with falling and giving the time and energy needed to master it. Be prepared to start out with a few bruises on your triceps – your full body weight isn’t light. 

The best time to practice this pose is when you are looking to ground yourself and build an internal fire. If you are feeling anxiety, both internally and externally, try going to the practice of this pose. It will require you to bring some calm to your mind and limbs to successfully hold the pose. 

Before attempting this pose here are some good things to know. You will need some solid core strength – if you feel unable to balance, start building up your core with standard abdominal exercises like planks and crunches. You will also need some wrist flexibility to achieve the 90 degree angle. You can test both of these by holding a plank on your palms for a minute. Other exercises you should feel very comfortable doing multiple sets of chaturanga (or tricep) pushups, reverse crunches and side planks. If you can do all these moves without modifications and with stability, you should be ready to start!

There are some people this pose may not be particularly safe for – as always we recommend you listen to your body and be aware of pre-existing injuries. You know yourself better than anyone else ever could. If you have any sort of wrist injury, shoulder injury or condition like carpal tunnel, please make sure to take care of yourself and try the modified version. 

When you come to the moment in your practice where you would like to try a Crow Pose, make sure you feel completely warmed up – any stiffness and you might cause an injury. This pose takes a lot of strength and flexibility so there is no reason to rush into it. 

See below of a list of steps to get into the pose and common modifications. Most importantly, have fun and try not to knock your teeth out on the floor 🙂 

 

 

      First, start standing on your mat with your feet shoulder width apart. Squat down and place your hands flat on the mat at a similar distance as your feet with your fingers wide. Keep all 4 points of contact on the floor and lift your hips towards the sky while keeping your gaze slightly in front of your hands.. Lift your heels so you have your weight on just the balls of your feet. Gently press your knees into the back of your forearms and shift your weight to your hands. You should feel light on your toes. If you feel off balance, try bending your arms more. 

 

 

 

 

Once you feel relatively comfortable there, start try picking up a couple toes. Use the core to draw the navel in toward the spine to stabilize and find that “lift” in the center of the body that eventually allows you to straighten the elbows and hold. Be sure to bring your gaze just between the hands to maintain balance. And then Lift!

 

There are a couple of good modifications to try if you are not making much progress. One option is to only lift one foot off the ground at first. This will give you the feeling of balancing and get over some of the fear. If you are nervous of falling on your face, place a block under your head! As you become more confident, place the block on its side and limit the weight you place on the block until someone could slide it out from underneath you. If you are having trouble keeping your arms stable, start with a heavy resistance band around your biceps. This will keep you from shaking and help build up the strength.

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Spice Up Your Routine: Jump Rope!

Jump rope is one easy thing everyone can add to their fitness routine today to up their game. 

Why should I start jumping rope? 

You don’t have to be a boxer to receive the great benefits of jump rope. It is good for any body type – strong and burly or lean and mean. It is easy to understand and cheap to get all the equipment, but also can be made much more complicated by incorporating new moves and experimenting. It’s easy to learn, and hard to master. You can do it when it is hard to get out of bed or when you are ready to get all fancy and try new things – it will meet you wherever your personality and mood is at. It helps create a toolbox of skills that are useful for all types of fitness – tempo, mental focus, endurance, and cardio. Anyone can start, receive what they put into it, and incorporate it into any of your fitness goals.

There is a misconception that jumping rope is bad for your knees. However, when you think of other cardio exercises (for example running) jump rope is actually relatively good for those with injuries. Jump rope takes a significant amount of core strength – if you aren’t able to land lightly and protect yourself, start by building up some core strength and then come back. Also a good pair of shoes and a forgiving ground help! It should be a low impact, medium intensity activity – which is great for building the heart and lean muscle mass. 

It’s also not a time-intensive activity – spend 15 to 20 mins jump roping and you will already feel like you have gotten a good workout in. Follow up with some strength training and you’ll be done for the day in 40 mins. 

How do I get started? 

The first step is getting yourself a rope (well duh), but not all ropes are created equal. Your first jump rope should be relatively light and high quality. It is one you feel comfortable with and can help build your confidence. If it’s too difficult right at the beginning, you will give up. Once you feel relatively confident, next will be adding a heavy rope to your set. Drastically changing the weight of the rope will require you to stay focused and on your toes – the best rope is the one you are not using, the one that takes you out of our comfort zone. Here’s a link to one on Amazon to get you started: 

Start with just 4 to 8 minutes adding on to your normal fitness routine. Start out easy and keep it fun! Use it as a time to tune out everything else and just tune into yourself. Make sure to tie your shoes and land lightly on your feet.

Where can I incorporate jump rope into my fitness routine and goals? 

There are many different ways you can bring jump rope into your routine. Using it for active recovery, either at the beginning or end of a workout, is great! It allows you to minimize your physical effort and control our heart rate while also still actively engaging your mind. It can be used as a warm-up – spend 5 minutes getting in the zone for your workout and signaling to your muscles it’s time to work! 

Once you are at a level where you can comfortably jump rope for about 5 minutes a great way to up your game is to jump rope with others! The action and motion of those around you force you to focus more on your own timing. You can also go for challenges and be more creative with your routine. 

Jump rope is an energy builder, not taker – use it to help you focus and be engaged in all the other goals you have for both your physical and mental fitness. So what do you have to lose? 

Dryft also offers private jump rope classes – for more information, please email [email protected]

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Why to Reconsider Skipping that Post-Workout Meal

As a nutritionist and a coach of competitive runners and cyclists, I’ve seen it all when it comes to different approaches to sports nutrition. But on top of that, I’ve LIVED it all. There have been many phases in my life — and particularly throughout my competitive running career — that shaped and informed my perspective on the role of food in training. 

Ultimately, I’ve learned what’s truly backed by science, not just because of my nutrition education, but also through making mistakes myself. And I’ve watched my athletes and clients make them too — of course, not without me doing my BEST to drill the science into their heads! That’s the other thing I’ve learned. Sometimes people just have to learn the hard way before they will try something new.

Well, here’s hoping that if you haven’t yet made too many nutritional mistakes, maybe this post will help you avoid them! And hey, if you read this and realize “OMG, that’s ME! She’s talking about ME”, then don’t fret — there is so much you can do to support your body and get back to a mentally and physically healthy place with food and exercise. 

Before we get too specific, and if you only take one thing from this whole post, it is that you should eat food after you work out. This is a prime example of not letting the perfect be the enemy of the good. Just get in some food. Now, every person reading this post is going to have a different body and different needs, so we will keep it general here. If you want to dial in your unique nutritional needs, I can’t fine-tune that in a blog post 🙂

Key things to know:

  • The harder (or longer) you are working out, the more you are demanding from your body, and the more energy you need to provide it. 
  • Remember: exercise is a stressor. If you approach it with the right mindset, and fuel it appropriately, you are giving your body the tools it needs to recover and adapt from that stress, thereby gaining fitness/endurance/strength/health (whatever it is that you’re after!). Without proper fuel, that stress is no good — you’ll be effectively wasting your efforts, and in time putting your body in a chronic state of stress. Not good. Please don’t!
  • Carbohydrates and protein are what you should focus on with post-workout nutrition. Combined, they serve to restock lost glycogen in your muscles. Your muscles will be highly receptive to carbohydrates within 30-60 minutes after exercise. This is your opportunity to deliver nutrients directly to your muscles. 

If your workout isn’t particularly hard or long, then don’t overthink it. Just have your next regular meal within an hour or so. But when you’ve really sweated and pushed yourself, that’s when you need to be more timely and specific about replenishing what you’ve lost. There are plenty of opinions on this, but women tend to need fuel on the earlier side of that 30-60 minute window.

Finally, don’t skimp on those carbs. They’ve been demonized lately, much to the dismay of this coach who likes to see her athletes perform well in their races, feel good in LIFE, prevent injury, support their metabolism, and avoid hormonal or digestive issues. I’m here to tell you that carbs are your best friend when it comes to exercise. They are your body’s preferred source of fuel, and they go hand in hand with protein to help you recover faster, reap the benefits from your workout, and perform better. Not to mention, you’ll feel better the rest of the day (for example, feeling a little bonky or having crazy cravings that could have been avoided if you just ate some dang food earlier!).

So, what foods are good for recovery?

Here are some of my favorite post-workout carbs:

  • Roasted starchy veggies like sweet potatoes, white potatoes, winter squash, and parsnips 
  • Oatmeal (if you’re a smoothie eater, throw in a big handful of oats into your smoothie)
  • Rice (white or brown, whatever you prefer!)
  • Pasta (if you eat gluten-free, go for a rice-based pasta. I see a lot of folks eating the bean-based pastas, and that’s not quite as beneficial for this purpose)
  • Toast! Duh. Always toast.

Here are some of my favorite post-workout proteins:

  • Eggs! You had to know I’d say that. Not only are they delicious and nutrient-dense (hello Vitamins A, D, B12 & selenium, iodine, biotin, etc), but they are FAST and EASY. Two things I love after a workout. These go great with toast, rice, or roasted potatoes.
  • Yogurt (goes great with oatmeal)
  • A juicy burger. Grass-fed beef or turkey, both are delicious!
  • Salmon. I loooove salmon. Enough said.
  • Sardines! Powerhouse nutrient-packed food that doesn’t get enough credit. I make mine like a tuna salad and serve on toast.
  • Protein powders are good, but I’ll always suggest real food where possible! Whey protein (if you tolerate dairy) has been shown most effective for recovery.

Like I said earlier — if you take one thing away from this, I hope it’s just that you give your body some love and respect for all it does for you in your workouts — whether that’s a Dryft class, a bike ride, a walk with your dog, or a long run. If it wasn’t clear, that love & respect = food in this equation 🙂

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How to Become Less Distracted

Lane Kennedy, our resident teacher, guide and facilitator in mediation, relates to experiencing a colleague’s state of distraction. This colleague was complaining about the fact that lately, she doesn’t seem to be able to get as much work done as she used to, she nagged about all the distractions in her life.

The modern world is filled with technology that has made our lives so much easier, but has it? We can keep in touch with relatives from all over the world or use Google to find the answer to any question that pops into our head (I miss my encyclopaedias!). We no longer have to wonder where our loved ones are when they’re not standing by a landline because we can send them na instant text message (or in some cases, track their phones). 

Having so much information at our fingertips isn’t always such a good thing. Over time our brains are becoming more and more fragmented, finding it harder to concentrate on one task at a time and making distraction inevitable. Studies have shown that young adults tend to spend almost a third of their day in contact with their phone – almost as much time as we should be sleeping at night. Think about that, eight hours with their phone, it’s not natural. When I was growing up I wasn’t even shoved in front of a TV for more than two hours!

So what is mindfulness and how do we utilize it to tune out the distractions? Read Lane’s full piece here!

 

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Steps for Successful Recovery

Are you feelin’ it after your Dryft workouts?  Awesome!  As a Dryft instructor, I want you to wrap up class feeling empowered, challenged, anywhere from glistening to dripping in sweat, and renewed.  The goal is to feel good but not in pain….muscle soreness is to be expected, but I don’t want you to hurt.  Nobody got time for that!  

Proper recovery post-work is important, and incorporating these 4 steps into your routine will help you avoid injuries, feel strong, rested, and able to continue working towards your goals:

  1. Rest

    It can seem counterintuitive to take time off from your workouts, however, it’s crucial!  Rest days are just as important as your workout days.  Each week, give your body 1-2 full days off from exercise (walking, stretching, and gentle yoga are ok) so that your muscles and joints can recover, rebuild, and come back even better for your next training day.

    It can be surprisingly challenging to take a day off from exercise because when you feel good and have the time, you figure you may as well just get your sweat on, right?  Trust me though, your recovery day is actually part of your training, and you’re giving your body what it deserves with TLC.

  2. Stretch

    It’s easy to finish up a class and want to get onto the remainder of your day, but you MUST make time to stretch!  Even just 5 dedicated minutes of stretching will help to cool down, avoid unnecessary soreness, tightness, and pain.

    A useful tool to facilitate stretching and recovery is a foam roller.  They’re inexpensive and allow you to roll out cramps, fatigued muscles, and stretch…they’re even nice to lie on while meditating!  

  3. Low Impact Workouts

    I love to jump in workout classes. But as much as I dig trying to be like Mike, I understand that I can’t always be thrashing my body with high impact strength and cardio classes.  Regenerative workouts like mobility, yoga, Pilates, and swimming are great ways to complement the more intense other workouts I do throughout the week – plus my body AND mind love it.  

    I try to incorporate at least 1-2 low impact workouts into my weekly routine. The result is that I still feel challenged, but notice that I’m stronger, more flexible, energetic, and in no pain. A win all around!

  4. Fuel 

    What you put into your body is the cornerstone of wellness!  As a certified nutritionist, I always like to say, “bodies are built in the kitchen and sculpted in the gym.”  Some tips on what to eat and drink are:

                      • WATER!  Make sure you’re staying hydrated.  In fact, drink up now!  Cheers.

                     • PROTEIN!  Try a plant-based clean protein powder if you’re in a hurry, and if you can, try to eat protein-rich foods like beans, tofu, fish, or lean animal proteins.  

                      • CARBS!  Choose whole grain, high quality, complex carbohydrates like 100% whole wheat bread, quinoa, nuts, and farro.  Yum!

                     • TURMERIC!  This magical orange stuff is really powerful.  Turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties that assist in the healing of your body and can help prevent diseases.  Sprinkle this good stuff on your veggies, proteins, grain bowls, toast, and even into your smoothies!  The taste is mild despite the orange color, so don’t be put off by the way it looks 🙂

If you’re like me, you want to live a long, adventurous life of feeling good and able to exercise through old age.  So let’s make a pact to do that – show our bodies that we care for them by prioritizing recovery.  It’s so worth it. 

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The Keys to Drive

We are all making the most out of this time. Things are different and we are just doing our best. Of course virtual training is not an ideal experience, but it is still a viable option. The beauty is that on the other side of our WiFi connection, there are real people that we are connecting with. In virtual one-on-one sessions there is a real relationship being enhanced and maintained every single session. Even though we have all been doing our best to adapt to this new way of living, there are still things that we struggle through and will continue to struggle through for a very long time.

I miss the days that you could just go to a grocery store and walk-in. Lines are ok if you are waiting to go on your favorite ride in a theme park and there is an excitement that builds, but not so much when you are just trying to buy your favorite produce and everyday groceries. It is so easy to have drive when you are excited about life. There are things in life that motivate us like going to our favorite workout class and being around all that positive energy. We can go to our favorite restaurants and have food, wine, and talk for hours. As much as I love training at home and using kettlebells, dumbbells, and body weight, those workouts sometimes do not compare to the barbells, cables, and other equipment in the gym. So even though things are different, how do we still give life our best shot? How do we find that drive?

Make Your Goals a Journey, Not a Destination

The book Passion Paradox, by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness, describes dopamine as the molecule of desire and motivation. When talking about dopamine, they say “We don’t get hooked on the feeling associated with achievement, we get hooked on the feeling associated with the chase.” Since our ancestors were hunter-gatherers, they had to keep stock up to be prepared for times of scarcity. Which led us to never be satisfied and to keep pushing forward. This amazing neurochemical that we have called dopamine is responsible for us wanting to achieve our goals, but also for creating new ones when we reach them. 

Set goals to reach, but do not stop setting new ones. If you set a goal to lose 5 lbs, then what happens when you reach that? Sometimes you might lose motivation completely. But if your goal is to be the most fit then you ever have been, then when you lose that weight you will keep pushing onward to the next goal. The work is never fully finished. 

Don’t Create Rewards, Create Enjoyment

It is natural to think rewards would teach us to elicit better behavior. However in Daniel Pink’s book, Drive, he talks about how that is not always the case. Rewards can actually negatively affect creativity and performance. Sometimes we can get so focused on a reward that we lose sight of the task itself. Sometimes we might bribe ourselves with rewards to bring out our best. But in actuality, we are going to bring out our best when we just enjoy what we are doing. If you want to get in better shape, fall in love with the act of moving more and cooking food that is healthy and tasty. Take a deep breath and bring yourself back to the moment and embrace it. Make the little moments in your journey matter. 

Keep Asking Questions

So you wanna start working out. Why is that important to you? How would that affect you? Who else would be affected when you take better care of your health? What kind of change are you looking to see? Why is now the perfect time? 

Your mind wants to solve questions. Keep asking yourself the right ones. Ask the questions that are going to help you find the motivation you need. You are going to have more drive when you can involve emotion and when your goals affect other people other than yourself. 

Drive is going to help you reach your personal best in all aspects of your life. Drive is going to help you bring out the best in other people. Drive is going to help you understand your true capabilities. Drive does not always come naturally, but we can learn how to manifest it.

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7 Ways to Bring Your Favorite Studio Fitness Elements Home

A trip to a fitness class is the perfect break in the routine of our day to day lives – it’s a 45-minute escape to blow off steam, stop thinking, and just move. Group fitness provides us with the opportunity to de-stress, boost endorphins, and find the level of connection that we crave. Boutique studios and gyms intentionally develop the experience and touch points to enhance all of these things. We’re all missing in-studio experiences right now  — so here are seven ways to bring your favorite group fitness elements home with you.  

      1. Convenience Views for Days: Exercising in the Great Outdoors

Missing Dryft’s epic SF views of the Marina Green and Ocean Beach? Stream your favorite virtual classes from outside — make the trek out to your front yard, back yard, or rooftop. Get out of your living room to get some fresh air while you exercise — plus a little vitamin D does the body a lot of good.

      2. Loungewear, but Make It Cute: Athleisure! 

Trade your groutfit, sweatpants or old college t-shirt for an athleisure set that you’d normally wear to your favorite boutique fitness class. If you look good, you’ll feel more confident and energized to hustle through your at-home workout. Plus, like endorphins, bright colors and the resurgence of tie-dye can make you happy, and happy people just don’t kill their husbands (or quarantine partners). Instructor-approved leggings, shorts, and crop tops  come from brands such as Year of Ours, The Upside, and Outdoor Voices

      3. Turn It Up: Tune  Into a Bangin’ Playlist

A killer playlist curated by your favorite instructors always makes working out more fun. A high energy track or big beat drop can sometimes be just what you need to make it through that last set of burpees.  Even if you’re looking for the motivation to make it off your couch, check out playlists from Dryft on Spotify or workout playlists by instructors  like one I made titled  “QuaranTONED”.  They can also soundtrack your half-marathon  from the fridge to the living  room. 

  

      4. The Cool Down: DIY Eucalyptus Towels 

Missing the small touches and amenities that enhance your in-studio experience? You can DIY some of your favorite post-class refreshments like eucalyptus towels at home. Create this little luxury for yourself in the following simple steps:

  1. Fill a big bowl with ice water
  2. Add 8-10 drops of eucalyptus oil
  3. Submerge a few small hand towels in the scented water
  4. Wring them out 
  5. Roll them up and place them in a container the fridge
  6. Grab a towel after your workout and enjoy the cool, stress-relieving sensation

      5. Zen Vibes Only:  Create Candlelit Moments

Bring the zen vibes of your favorite yoga studios to your living room or bedroom by setting the ~mood~. Roll out your mat, turn down your lights and light a candle or two when you’re live streaming flows from your favorite yogis. Bonus points for burning incense during a slow burn vinyasa.

 

 

      6.Treat Yourself: Blend Your Own Post-Class Smoothie

Refuel after class and treat yourself to a homemade smoothie. Sure, you have to make it yourself but at  least there are no lines in your kitchen and your beverage of choice will be less than half the price of your favorite juice bar (however, if your local juice bar is still open, you could always pay them a visit — help a small business out). If you’re blending your smoothie in-house, here’s a fun recipe that’s also comforting because it’s inspired by PB&J:

  • 1 cups frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup frozen raspberries 
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • ¾  cup  unsweetened oat milk or other milk/nut milk of choice 
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter or almond butter 
  • Top with granola, bee pollen or any other topping of choice 

      7. Creating Connection: Lights, Camera, Action on Zoom

Miss the IRL energy of sweating it out with your crew? While it’s hard to replicate the in-person experience, join a class on zoom and try turning your camera AND sound on. It’ll help you stay accountable and make the virtual experience far more engaging. While “camera on” may seem intimidating, in the long run you’ll benefit because your trainer can watch you move and help you improve your form. Plus, you get to interact with the other participants – it’s a fun way to see friends or bond with your team, plus you never know who you could meet when you hang back to chat with the instructor or other participants after class! 

 

Group fitness classes give us that bit of time to put ourselves first. In recent times, as the days blur together we often forget the value of setting aside dedicated personal time or creating rituals for ourselves. Gyms and studios specifically design atmosphere and amenities  that help us enjoy taking time out of our day to focus on our health and wellbeing. Bringing these aspects of the studio fitness experience  into your home is a great way to spark more joy in your wellness routine or step up your self-care game.

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Author Community Health Nate

Keep Your Teams Engaged While Working From Home

Please, not another article about COVID-19! Not to worry — in this piece, we focus on how to live your best life and engage with your awesome teammates in our “new normal” world. While COVID-19 will likely have unforeseeable implications on our day to day lives, it’s not all doom and gloom; we believe it presents an opportunity to create new healthy habits and build camaraderie like never before.

In many ways, COVID is expediting a trend that was already in-flight. Gone are the days of working a nine-to-five, Monday through Friday. While we shelter-in-place, technology has allowed us to stay connected and engaged with our work around the clock; our basic needs now must meet our ever-changing schedules, not the other way around. Increased connectivity has driven us to be more productive than ever but the lack of seeing friendly faces in the office, while chatting at the watercooler, plus the move to conducting 99% of our communications over Slack and email, have caused a loss of true human connection as well as increased levels of stress and burnout.

Companies need to rethink team bonding and activities. How do you replace happy hours, rock climbing outings, or bowling events? Enter virtual fitness. Not surprisingly, fitness is an age-old vehicle for increasing team engagement while improving the overall health of individual employees. Those who have access to fitness via their employers experience measurable mental and physical health benefits:

Source from Marketwatch and Health.gov

So where does this leave the business of fitness? Trust me, as a professional in this space, it’s like the wild west with hundreds of operators. Everyone is spinning up virtual offerings — and the quality of the content runs a full spectrum from on point and engaging to downright horrifying.

We are going to try and provide some clarity on the state of digital fitness, and of course, show you how Dryft is here to help. This space can be viewed along two axes and then grouped into four delivery types.

Content Libraries

  • More comprehensive focus on programming, inclusive of nutrition and mental health
  • Do not allow for team-building
  • Difficult to stay engaged, motivated, and accountable when you’re watching pre-recorded content
  • Seriously, it’s like going back to VHS-powered Zumba classes in the 80’s. Jazzercise anyone?

Live Streaming

  • More polished classes, frictionless user experience
  • Limited interaction with instructor is often disingenuous and not constructive
  • Classes are too cookie-cutter; not personalized to the needs of the individual or group
  • Personal training can fall in this bucket

“Group” Live Stream

  • Instructor is live and talking to the customers
  • Customers generally cannot talk back nor engage with each other
  • Zoom classes: customer muted, video is not encouraged, creating a 1 way “live stream” like Youtube or Instagram live/IGTV
  • Music is often left to the participant to play

Group Live Stream — Interactive

  • Interaction with instructor creates a sense of community, creates accountability, and generates measurable results
  • Instructor sees participants
  • Participants see each other
  • Live dialogue, cheering, and engagement during the class
  • Virtual fist bumps, high fives, and camaraderie building

Keisha — one of our amazing instructors who will be sure to make you sweat!

At Dryft, our (obviously) unbiased view is that no one in the virtual fitness industry has done a great job of creating the community experience that has made Soulcycle, Barry’s, and others massive successes. We have taken our pre-COVID-19 world-class programming and instructors and made them available to you and your friends, families, and colleagues from the comfort of your home.

Everyone smiling and sweaty post-class!

Each class has the production quality of a live TV show; behind the scenes, there is a team ensuring the utmost quality and engagement. You don’t have just one instructor, you have a team of people making sure you get the most out of every workout. From the programming of each workout to the audiovisual setup, we are creating truly personalized experiences for you and your squad to work up a sweat and kick that quarantine cabin fever.

Let’s be honest, when COVID-19 is behind us, the way we work will be forever changed. The companies that act now to create resilient, lasting cultures and take care of their people are the ones that will endure. Virtual fitness is more accessible, and people who develop habits now will carry those over to when things return to “normal”. Virtual fitness is here for good (it will be an “and”, not an “or”), serving as a supplement to “IRL” experiences. It’s time to create recurring team-building experiences that replicate those non-working touchpoints that build trust and collaboration.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s Dryft!

Thanks to the entire Dryft team for helping write this article!

Originally published on Medium.