Fun Fitness Gift Guide

The greatest gift in life is good health. Since unfortunately you can’t just go to the store and buy superpowers to become healthy and energized forever, we’ve pulled together a few of the next best things you actually can place in your shopping cart. Each is designed to not only help you work towards better health, but to have fun while doing so. Pick out a few items for the ones you love and / or better yet, put some on your own wish list!

Custom Workout Mat

1. Custom Workout Mat

Want the idea of hitting the mat to feel more exciting? Create a design that’ll make you want to unroll that cushion everyday! Whether it’s a favorite photo of yours, a quote that inspires, or an image that makes you smile, Cafe Press let’s you custom design your own workout mat. Upload an image, and they’ll do the rest for you, with mats priced at $58.

Workout Cards

2. Exercise Cards by WorkoutLabs

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The Scoop on Fusion Fitness

Fusion Fitness

Like brushing your teeth, exercise is an important part of everyday life and one that’ll remain valuable through time. To be successful with any sort of lifelong routine, variety is key. By nature, humans need change to maintain excitement, which is especially true when it comes to retaining fitness motivation.

Whether that means switching up the scenery on your run, changing the moves you include in your weight training session, or trying a new activity altogether, consider switching things up this week and notice how it can transform your outlook.

If you’re not sure where to start, check out Fusion Fitness. This emerging trend is bringing about classes that guarantee a change of pace, so boredom needn’t become an issue. From mashing up boxing with dance, to cardio with yoga, there’s generally a little something for everyone in these new workout routines.

What exactly is Fusion Fitness?

It’s a very simple concept – combine two or more different types of training so your body can benefit from the best of both (or more) worlds.

When you pair different types of training into one workout, you can often yield greater benefits for your time at the gym (or at home). The exercises will work your muscles in dynamic ways to increase your calorie burn, and spice up your routine.

What types of Fusion Fitness classes are available?

There are tons of classes available at various locations and also an array of DVDs you can use to mix it up in your very own home. We’ll take you through a few below so you can see which one might be right for you.

1. Tread

Tread fusion classes mix running with strength training along with a bit of high intensity interval training (HIIT). Emerging in many fitness clubs and studios all over the country, Tread will have you alternate every 10 minutes between treadmill interval running and strength drills. Strength training is a vital, and sometimes ignored, element of a runner’s fitness, which makes Tread classes a great way for runners to incorporate some of this into a routine they already know and love. However, these high-energy workouts will be beneficial to anyone looking to achieve fitness, health and/or weight goals.


At this time, Tread classes are primarily popping up in big “trendy” cities like New York or L.A. If you can’t find a class at a gym near you, it’s easy to create your own Tread session. Just grab a treadmill and some weights and follow this treadmill/strength training routine! 

2. Piloxing

While the combination of boxing, pilates and dance may sound a little strange, don’t judge it till you try it. Piloxing blends the power, speed, and agility of boxing with the sculpting and flexibility of pilates. Participants can also wear weighted gloves, further toning the arms and maximizing cardiovascular health. Mix in some hot dance moves and you’ve got yourself a high-energy, exhilarating and fun workout that will leave you feeling like you just took four fitness classes in one – which in a sense, might be true. This class is great for those who want a full body workout in one gym session. You’ll work your upper body, core and lower body while boosting your heart rate in a fast paced sweat session.


Piloxing is available throughout the U.S. and even in Europe, too. Click here to find a Piloxing class near you.

3. SoulCycle

SoulCycle is a hybrid spin/strength training class. It combines the use of resistance bands hanging above a bike to tone and strengthen the core and upper body, while maintaining the fat-burning cardio levels of a traditional spin class. If you feel like you’re neglecting your upper body but just can’t get enough spinning, this is for you. Spinners, have no fear – achieve a balanced body all in one stop!


For now, SoulCycle is found mainly in the Northeast (NY, NJ, CT etc.) and California, but popularity is growing and pretty soon a SoulCycle studio may pop up near you! Click here to find out more.

4. ZenCore

Yoga is great for flexibility, strength and relaxation. But, what if you could ramp up the burn by combining yoga with cardio and core conditioning? Enter ZenCore, a targeted workout for core strength, cardio blasts and dynamic restoration. If you love yoga for its muscle toning and stretching but crave a little cardio conditioning, this is the class for you. Blending yoga moves with more heart pumping sequences, ZenCore is a full body, low-impact workout. It finishes with some calming meditation to draw out those stress-releasing qualities of yoga, too.


Check your local gym to see if ZenCore is offered. If not, look into any yoga-blend DVD such as ones like Core Fusion, Body Band Yoga etc.

The Takeaway: Combining different training regimens together not only increases the amount of fitness bang for your gym buck, but it can help you branch out and prevent becoming a “gym robot”. This is important for staying excited about your lifelong journey towards health. Instead of just going through the motions on yet another bland treadmill session or resistance band workout, consider hopping into a new Fusion Fitness class. Remember, a healthy body brings a happy mind.

The ‘Good Morning’ Yoga sequence


Relax! Yoga helps the heart, research at KU Hospital says

By Alan Bavely, Originally Posted on

Thanks to research under way at KU Hospital, some heart patients are finding benefits in yoga.


Image via
The same kind of exercise that can bring peace to your mind may bring peace to your heart as well.

Research at the University of Kansas Hospital is finding that regular time spent doing yoga breathing and stretching exercises may help keep potentially dangerous heart rhythm disorders in check.

A KU Hospital study published this week in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology finds that as little as two one-hour yoga sessions per week can help significantly reduce the number of episodes of rapid, out-of-control heartbeats experienced by patients with atrial fibrillation. These patients also cut their blood pressure and lowered their levels of anxiety and depression.

The results of this preliminary study are so promising, two similar yoga studies at KU Hospital are enrolling patients with other disorders that cause faulty heart rhythms.

“Yoga is not a solution in itself, but it provides very profound effects,” said KU heart specialist Dhanunjaya Lakkireddy. “It’s not a drug, it’s not a (medical procedure). It’s something you can do in your living room for not very much money.”

Master This Yoga Pose for the Sake of your Tummy before Thanksgiving

By Karen Borsari, First Posted on Shape, November 12, 2012

Now is the perfect time to master twisted triangle pose. This standing stretch massages digestive organs, alleviating tummy troubles (including constipation) that may result from overeating—something that, admittedly, is more apt to happen this time of year.

Pin the image to your Pinterest boards and use the tips below to perfect the pose and give your metabolism a boost, aid digestion, and detox your body before next week’s day of indulgence. Then keep it up to increase flexibility in the hips, shoulders, chest, and hamstrings; improve balance; and alleviate back pain.