Tag Archives: fitness


San Franciscos Fort Mason park is empty in the early morning darkness, every surface the color of a used cast-iron pan. Its pouring rainfall, and Ive been wandering around since just after 6, trying to find well, Im not exactly sure. All I know is that, according to a Facebook post, members of one of the strangest fitness groups in the country are supposed to be session here right about now. But the Google Maps screenshot I pulled from the website seems to have directed me to a parking lot. Or the front door of the high-end vegetarian eatery Greens. Its hard to tell.

I check Facebook again.

What are you planning to do for the first Monday of 2016? Sleep in? Lazily slog on into work? No need for that. Come join us for #DonutMondays at NPSF( Gil, dont forget the donuts !). Fort Mason. 6:25 AM

Just as I start believing Ill have to find my own doughnut, a woman in her mid-twenties jogs up to me looking equally lost. Shes garmented in a gray Adidas jacket, black leggings, and a tank top that resembles caution tape. Her wet hair is stick to her forehead as though shes just been dunked in the Pacific.

Do you know where November Project satisfies? she asks with a slight accent. Relieved, I tell her Im trying to find them as well. Im Stine! she says.

And then she hugs me.

What distinguishes November Project is not just the fact that its freejust as instructors arent paid, members dont paybut the degree to which it actually is a social identity. The motion extends beyond exerting to encompass rites and customs, social expectations, and repercussions for failing to participate. Thats right: If you skip a November Project workout, youre not out any cash, but the fallout is arguably most severe. Youre, well, dishonor. Online. Its weird.

Spoiler: Not a lot of people miss workouts. Teixeira calls it an absolute feast for someone examining motive for exercise.

One member compared November Project to a church. More usually, people refer to it as a cult. Never in the pejorative Im-trapped-and-I-cant-escape sense, though. More like, This is the greatest-tasting Kool-Aid in the world !

Laura McCloskey results the San Francisco tribe in a high-intensity workout. Hugs and hand-holding are not optional.Jake Stangel

While we walk, Stine, whos originally from Denmark, tells me about her obsession with November Project. Shes been a member of the Boston tribebears repeating: tribe for about four months and is visiting San Francisco for the week. Its been such a great way to meet people. City can be lonely, but you have this instant community, she says, use a nice-enough line that begins to sound like propaganda as I hear other members repeat it.

Two people who say it a lot are Brogan Graham and Bojan Mandaric. They are November Projects cofoundersand they entirely fit their gladiatorial-sounding names: 6-foot-tall, bald, tattooed former collegiate rowers. Back in 2011, when the friends were trying to stay motivated during a Boston winter, they agreed to work out every weekday morning at 6:30, keeping track of their progress on a spreadsheet named for that first month, November.

Then, for reasons neither can quite recollect, they sent out a tweet to see if anyone would join in. Two people became three, and a movement was bear. When the Boston tribe reached 300 people, Graham and Mandaric get matching tattoos.

In the past few years, fitness has developed into something of a social identity — at the least among plugged-in, upper-middle-class, roughly millennial-age urbanites.

It was a powerful turning point for Graham. During his sophomore year at Northeastern University, he was charged with assaulting a rival college rower. Though the charge was dropped in exchange for community service, he lost his scholarship and was kicked out of school. The experience shaped Grahams views on community and inclusion. Get a bad rap? I dont care, he wrote in the movements official history. Are you at November Project to be kind, run your ass off, and start your day right? Then thats all that matters.

As Stine is telling me how much she loves November Projects instant community, we find who were looking for. Unmistakably silhouetted against the foggy morning sky, about 40 people stand in a lopsided semicircle, limbs traversed, heads bowed against the wind. They could be praying.

A woman in striped leggings and a North Face trucker hat climbs onto a park bench. Good morning! tells Laura McCloskey, the San Francisco tribe leader, in a stage whisper. Were going to do a workout that I just came up with! I want everyone to break into groups of four! Find your four! Try to group up with person you dont usually pair with!

Jake Stangel

Before we start, she asks if today is anyones first time. A few people raise their hands. I , not quite ready to give up my anonymity, do not. The newbies are directed to country where they come from, how they got here, and whether theyre single. A version of this happens at every November Project meetup, one of the traditions borrowed from Graham and Mandarics original Boston tribealong with chants, stair laps, a rallying move called the bouncing, and, of course, physical affection. People come looking for a sense of belonging, Mandaric says. We foster that.

The same thing runs for November Projects other tactics for promoting inclusiveness. Hashtags are essential follow November Project on Twitter and youll assure a lot of #hillsforbreakfast, #sleepwhenyouredead, and #justshowup. Members usually don highlighter-colored sportswear, stenciled and spray-painted with the logo #grassrootsgear. The result is a group of people who look alike, sound alike, and hug alike.

Toward the end of our workout, a man in my squat group ultimately discovers that I didnt announce myself as a new member. Were going to fix this, he tells with a smile. He outs me to McCloskey, who has me wave to everyone during the group photo( another rite) and apologize for not inducing my presence known. Eventually, everyone becomes part of the tribe.

Jake Stangel

In Graham and Mandarics crew days, their coach had a policy: If anyone missed practice, the whole squad had to do dry-land workouts. It ran because nobody wanted to let the group down. When they started November Project, they knew theyd require a similar system for maintaining people accountable to the tribe.

I feel a tiny bit of thisan expectation that no one is above the groupwhen Im pestered for not introducing myself. But thats nothing compared to what happens to someone who doesnt show up for a workout. For that, November Project has perfected a bizarre, more 21 st-century sort of establishing accountability: online shaming. This is known as We Missed You.

From November Projects website: If you decided that staying in bed was a better alternative than working out with your friends( who you promised that youll be there) then your face will be featured here.

Member usually don highlighter-colored sportswear, stenciled and spray-painted with the logo #grassrootsgear.

By face, they entail embarrassing photos lifted from the shamed members Facebook profile or supplied by friends. Posts go on to explain that this person committed to attending a workoutmade a #verbal, in tribe-speakbut reneged. Screenshots of text messages and emails confirming told #verbal are posted, along with guesses as to why the absentee might have failed to show upanything from you must have gotten too drunk the night before to perhaps you were lost on a Segway tour. Its an elaborate expres of profound frustration in the offending person, and there are hundreds of examples on the website.

Paddy OLeary, a member of the San Francisco tribe, remembers when he skipped a workout in 2013. A fellow member built him a We Missed You video; he hasnt missed a workout since. Other victims corroborate the tactics effectiveness. You look like an idiot for sleeping in when everyone else is having an amazing day, says Holly Richardson, also in San Francisco. Its not worth it.

McCloskey makes no apologies for the policy. November Project is successful because it relies on word of mouth and accountability, she says. If I tell you that I will meet you at the corner of Market and Sanchez to run to November Project, come rainfall, snowfall, or dinosaurs, I will be there. In the event that someone sends one of those pathetic simply cant do it texts at 5:55 am, we have the right to roast them. And roast we do.

Jake Stangel

Heres the fundamental thing about shaming: According to behavioral psychologists, its not supposed to work. Sure, it might force someone to make a change in the momentcontestants on The Biggest Loser shedding pounds before their own nationals audience, for instancebut the effects dont always last. When your goals, positions, or values are shaped by external motivators, its unlikely youll bide satisfied or perpetrated for long.

This is certainly true when it comes to working out. For decades, experts in behavior modification have tried to get people to commit to exercising. So far , nothing has worked, says Jack Raglin, a prof of kinesiology at Indiana University. It doesnt matter if youre get paid to workout, if youve get paid to exercise, if you might die from lack of exercisemost people only dont stick it out.

Yet theres an undeniable part of dishonor to this latest generation of exercising fads. It may have started with fitness trackers, which constructed people more aware of their activity levels in relation to othersreach 10,000 steps or your coworkers will know youre a slob. From there, programs began capitalizing on group pressure. In Orangetheory workouts, your calorie burn and heart rate are displayed on a screen. CrossFit posts scores as well, believing it being encouraged to push harderand now its in 13,000 affiliated gyms worldwide.

But this motive strategy, researchers like Raglin and Teixeira suggest, could be as doomed as any other. You may initially want to impress your peers or get your monies worth, but those considerations rarely lead to true behaviour change. If the standard adherence rate for exercising holds, Raglin says, half the people will stop indicating up to these class within a year.

Youd think this are applicable in November Project too. After all, the threat of We Missed You is external. But there are some differences. November Project members are not paying anything to be there, the goals arent about burning the most caloriesyet people show up anyway. And many of them have been at this for years , without ever missing a single workout. Its clearly working for some people.

Jake Stangel

True motivation, Teixeira tells, takes something extra, something intrinsic. If members of a group think they are gaining useful skills, feel personally valued, and perceive that they have control over their actions, they are more likely to fully perpetrate. Teixeira believes November Project gives you a bit of all these things. And indeed, everyone I talk to seems like a lifer. But then again, I merely talk to people who are there. The one real data point we have is that November Project continues to expand. A recent partnership with the North Face aims to help grow the movement.

Jennifer Hurst, an associate professor of health and workout science at Truman State University, suggests November Project is a possibility succeeding at pulling off a rare thing: positive shaming. It merely runs when the person truly cares what the shamers believe, she says. The desire for social connectedness and the positive feeling some get from the environment must be worth the time, energy, and sacrifice. That explains why the rituals, cultlike as they seem, are so crucial. You dont wishes to frustrate people you hug , not to mention chant and bounce and dance with.

A few years ago, Raglin and his colleagues found that married adults who enrolled in a recreational fitness program together had an average adherence rate of over 90 percent, compared to just 50 percentage for those who enrolled on their own. The married pair didnt inevitably exercise together or even in the same room, Raglin tells. They simply came and left together. Yet the social benefit was quite profound.

That may also help explain November Projects success. Members might not be married to each other, but theyre married to the group. And the group is what holds November Project together.

Jake Stangel

It turns out some November Project members actually are married to each other. At one of my workouts, a young couple tells me they met in the Boston tribe. The movement encourages this sort of thingleaders are expected to host mixers and speed-dating events. The phrase There is likely to be babies appears on the blog and in promo material.

Yes, its all a little bit creepy, and I dont blame passersby who look at us funny( there are many of them ). And no matter how many times Im told that We Missed You is not about shaming, its about love, I wont be entirely convinced. But you cant deny the smile on these peoples faces. Nobody looks like that when theyre huffing it alone on a treadmill in their garage. I wont be heading up a November Project tribe back home in Santa Fe, but if one comes to my town, I wouldnt say no to a few hugs.

With dawn sneaking over the edges of the city, we put our limbs around each other and are beginning to bounce. Yall good? person tells, in signature November Project whisper-shout. Fuck yeah! different groups whisperings back.

Surprising myself merely a little, I say it too.

Meaghen Brown( @meaghenbrown) is a freelance journalist are stationed in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the former online fitness editor for Outside.

This article appears in the July 2016 issue .

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Whenever I go for a workout at my gym, I always make a habit of using the hand sanitizer dispensers after each of my exercises.

And after I wrap up a good sweat sesh on the elliptical, I make sure to wipe that sucker down before Igo get a drink from the water fountain.

Little did I know, in my attempt to stay clean at the gym, the machines and the mats should actually be the least of my worries.

Instead, I likely should have been more concerned about the toxic waste dump that is meant to serve as the source of my hydration.

It turns out the most germ-ridden place in most gyms is not, in fact, the mens locker room, or even thefree weights( though the weights are pretty nasty more on that subsequently ).

Nope, the germiest place in the gym is literally right under your snout: Its the water fountains.

Yep, Im as disgusted as you are.

According to theNational Sanitation Foundation, theres way more bacteria found in water fountains than nearly anywhere else, including bathrooms.

In their research, 2.7 million bacterial cells per square inch were found in a classroom water fountain spigot.

And here I was thinking that Im going to the gym to my health.

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, there are tons of hazardous pathogens in water fountains, such as E. coli, Legionella, and coliform bacteria. All of these can potentially cause belly both problems and symptoms of pneumonia, which include headaches, vomiting, and diarrhea.

So much for a healthypost-workout glow.

But how does bacteria manage to spread so quicklyat the gym in the first place?

Free weights can have over 300 times more bacteria than a toilet seat, according The hard surface is very inviting for bacteria, and theyre hardly ever cleaned as much as they should be.

So, combine the filthy free weights with every person whos hitting the water fountain and unknowingly spreading the love, and weve got a germ-filled disaster.

If your intellect hasnt been blown enough yet, get this: A puppies bowl is actually safer to drink out of than a water fountain, according to The Toronto Star.

Their investigationshowed that a water fountain had 4,529 bacteria, while a puppy bowl had just 172 bacteria.

Dont fret, though. This doesnt have to be the end of your fitness lifestyle( although, Im not going to lie, I definitely considered it ).

Of course, you still need to stay hydrated during your workout, so instead of gulping from the germ-infested community water fountain, it was possible to time to stimulate the transition to a nice, clean, personal water bottle.

But, just recollect, if you must drinking from the forbid fountain, let the water run for a few seconds before taking a drink. This reduces the potential risk of devouring toxic levels of metals or elevated bacterial levels.

And perhaps devote a little heads up to the person behind you in line.

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Going to the gym and lifting weights is generally a positive experience. You look great, you feel great and you are healthy.

For those who dont lift weights at all, or for those who are new to the game, it can be difficult to find any disadvantages.

However, for those with a little more experience in the weight room, you will know exactly what I’m talking about when I tell gym hands, wont you?

The act of picking up heavy weights on a daily basis can have a massive impact on your hands: both how they look and how they feel.

Unless you are a gym rat who has nothing better to do other than spend your entire life in the weight room, the side effects of lifting weights can leave you feeling highly embarrassed by the dry, callus-filled hands that were once soft and smooth.

Some call them battle scars.

In a style, “they il be”. But when they affect their own lives outside of the gym, its time to start paying attention.

So, what are gym hands ?

If you have ever lifted weights for any period of time, you will know exactly how dry and callus-ridden your hands can become after only a few sessions.

The rubber materials that cover a lot of the gym equipment you are exposed to on a daily basis can potentially lead to the development of eczema, and the constant friction between your hands and the weights can cause hard, stubborn calluses to form on the pads of your fingers.

Not merely can these conditions is utterly painful, they can also be embarrassing, especially if you work in a job where you need to shake other people’s hands all the time.

Here are the best ways to prevent gym hands .

If — like the majority of men — the presence of dry skin and painful calluses was not what you were looking for when you signed up for the gym, fear not.

I have come up with four simple ways to prevent these gym hands from developing in the first place.

None of these will impact your schedule, and they will in no way affect your results.

So, if you want to eradicate the shame of having hands like a caveman, keep on reading.

1. Wear gym gloves.

The first one is fairly obvious: Wear gym gloves.

If you are new to the gym and your hands are free from the scars of battle, the investment in a quality pair of gym gloves will be the best way for you to prevent them from developing.

Gym gloves can be picked up for just a few bucks, and they dont look as embarrassing as they sound.

A lot of men wear gloves in the gym, so this is nothing to be embarrassed by.

Dont let the egotistical, body-building creed get to you. Its better to be safe than sorry, right?

2. Moisturize daily.

Thats right. Its not just for women anymore.

One of the best ways to protect your hands from dryness is to moisturize them at least twice per day: once in the morning and once at night.

It merely takes a couple of seconds, but it will have a massive impact on the health of your hands.

No matter how hard you go in the gym, you will always be confident while shaking hands.

3. Soak your hands daily.

While this method of softening hands after a workout is more for those who have already developed gym hands, it can also be a great way to keep the hands soft.

The premise is simple.

Soak your hands in warm water for 15 to 30 minutes per day. For better outcomes, you can add Epsom salts to the water.

Next, take a pumice stone and slowly scratch away at the rough parts of your hands.

This will get rid of any hard, excess skin that has developed from the friction of lifting the weights.

Doing this daily will keep your hands soft and free from calluses , no matter how hard you train.

4. Never pick calluses.

While it might be incredibly tempting to pick off the hard clumps of skin that can develop on the pads of your hands, doing so will only make things worse.

Picking dry or dead scalp will only get rid of the problem temporarily. The skin will start to grow back thicker and thicker, to stimulate the scalp tougher.

There is nothing worse than a hand full of calluses. They are hard, uncomfortable and not very nice to look at.

If the temptation becomes too much, simply refer to the above soaking method.

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So you see a tonne of articles about remarkable transformations all the time but, as a general rule, they’re usually about people get thinner. Here’s something a little different .

Back in the day, Martyn Ford was a fairly lanky guy. At 6’8 ”, it was obvious that he was going to stand out but, he wasn’t happy with being the super-tall, skinny guy.

So he decided to work out a bit … well, we say a bit.

You know in Beauty and the Beast when the sentient candles and things get referred back into humen? This is what it would look like if you turned a tank into a man.

He nowweighs a monstrous 323 lbs( 23.4 st or 147 kg) and he’s get himself a little bit of media attention.

The owner of Better Bodz gym recently got casting in the new The Undisputed 4 , starring alongside English martial art performer, Scott Adkins. Ford is known as Koshmar in it, entailing Nightmare.

Here he is next to some fairly muscle-y guys…

It’s like in The Incredibles when Bob falls over and makes a dent in his vehicle by holding onto it … that’s exactly what it’s like!

Here’s to hoping that was consensual and not taken at some really awkward time.

But really, he’s simply a big softy…

A really really truly properly massively big softy.

So if you want to transform yourself, there’s the proof that it’s possible…

We chatted to a London-based personal trainer Octavio Diasabout becoming a superhulk, and he gave us five handy tips in case you want to bulk up 😛 TAGEND

1. Nutrition

Eat a well-balanced diet. Make sure you have between 2 to 3 grams of protein per each bodyweight kg. and an equal quantity of carbs.

2. Workout

It may seem obvious- but hit the gym! Train one muscular group a day. Do 10 -1 2 repetitions between 3 -4 decides with periods of remainder no longer then one minute, and make sure you’re keeping up with the cardio too.

3. Recovery

For a fast recovery employ whey protein which will promote a quicker recuperation after your workout. Make use of essential vitamins and supplements- like vitamin C and omega 3- that aid the well functioning of your body and healthy joints. A healthy body is key to achieving the best results.

4. Hydration

Never forget the constitution of your body. One of the main elements is water, so it’s super important to drink at least three litres of water a day.

5. Sleep and Rest

Sleep and rest is vital! Our body was designed to sleep around eight hours per night. If we achieve this, the body goes through a process of recovery and an integral balance of our hormonal system- meaning you’re well rested to work out the next day!

Obviously there’s a middle ground that’s likely worth receiving but you know … whatever floats your barge .

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Travel blogs are always quick to proclaim travel allows you to expand your horizons and broaden your mind, but what they fail to communicate is travel also allows you to expand your waistline and broaden your muffin top.

Id like to think my year of traveling has been a lot like that best-selling book and resulting sh*tty Julia Roberts movie, “Eat Pray Love.”

But maybe, it’s a bit more like “Eat Drink Eat.”

Okay, actually, theres been some praying and loving along the way, too (like praying we got to Tek Sen in time for the twice-cooked pork belly, or loving BYOB at HutongDumpling Bar).

For the most part though, this year has been less about discovering me as it has been about discovering meals.

I can’t tell you how many times travel companions and I are like the vultures in “The Jungle Book,” trying to figure out what to do if neither of us is hungry, or if 10 am is not quite an acceptable time to start drinking in a predominately Muslim country.

Without a set routine or constant access to a kitchen or gym, sticking to a healthy-ish diet and exercise plan while traveling can be harder than turning down free food in the break room.

(Can a coworker hurry up and quit so a girl can get some free sheet cake already?)

With the southern hemisphere’s summer fast approaching, I’ve compiled a list of workout ideas to keep your vagabonding body banging no matter where you are.

Once a personal trainer in a former college lifetime, Im currently working as a server.

So, instead of encouraging healthy habits among my clients, Im now coercing them into a second basket of fried chicken and fries.

Take my suggestions with a grain of salt (or MSG, the table seasoning of choice in Asia).

Im not over here trying to get ripped, though.

Rather, I’ll simply equalize my chili cheese fries and cancel out my takeout because like a good cocktail, life is all about balance.

1. Free Week Gym Trials

Who doesn’t love free sh*t?

Likefree samples at Costco, free hotel bathrobes, shampoos, free Moe’s burritos on your birthday (I’ve had like three birthdays last year) and free vodka soda from the balding bank branch manager who has a 0 percent chance of getting your real number, free workouts are no different.

Gyms always offer free trials or free workout classes to get you into the club, and I always take full advantage.

I think I’ve inspected and sweated in every gym in Melbourne.

Just be sure to give the gym a fake number.

Otherwise, the owners will hunt you down like that guy who bought you the free vodka soda.

2. Pounding The Pavement

One of the first things I like to do after long travel days is go for a run to stretch my legs and realign my lumbar discs after 10 hours on a budget flight in economy class.

Running is one of the best ways to explore the area and get your bearings straight.

But don’t get too crazy off the beaten path, oryou’ll end up lost among water buffalo off the Red River Delta in Ninh Bnh, Vietnam.

Before you lace up the Asics though, make sure to write down or commit to memory your hostel’s (or hotel’s, if you’re fancy) address.

Bring enough money with you in case you get lost and need taxi fare, or better yet, get three blocks into your run and say “screw it” and get a beer.

3. Swimming Laps (Or Just Staying Afloat)

Whether I’m swimming in a pool, ocean, lake or bottle of sauv blanc, swimming is one of my favorite workouts.

I always pack my goggles when I travel, and I often throw my sexy one-piece Speedo in the suitcase if there’s room.

In this tantalizing attire, even though I feel sleek and agile underwater, I’m sure I look a bit morelike this pool pugIRL.

You don’t have to go full on Phelps to burn off an extra Bintang beer or two.

Even if you’re just freestyling to work on your back tan or only swimming to the swim-up bar, aim for any water aerobics.

Or at least tread water with your Mai Tai, and maybe you’ll at least break even.

If you are at a beach destination, try water activities to get swole in the swell by surfing or renting paddle boards, kayaks or snorkels.

Do snorkels work for funneling beer, too?

4. Biking

Biking is one of those simple joys I always forget how much I enjoy until I’m back on the bike, pushing pedals and praying I don’t get mowed over by a moped in Ho Chi Minh City.

Bike rental shops are usually easy to come by in most tourist destinations.

Just be sure to opt for a helmet, map out your route and get home by dark before you get lost in incoming traffic on the streets of Southeast Asia.

Check yourself (and which side of the road traffic flows) before you wreck yourself and break someone’s Mercedes.

5. Body Weight Workouts

Don’t you hate when you’re traveling, and you forget to pack essential things like mouthwash, your bow flex machine, portable doorway chin-up bar and 10-pound kettle bells?

Luckily, Fireball shots are a great alternative to mouthwash, and body weight exercises are a great alternative to the gym.

Sure, locals (and the French backpackers who never work out but eat baguettes for breakfast and smoke 20 rollies a day) might throw shade at you for doing burpees in the hostel.

But at least you’ll be bikini ready for Bondi Beach.

Here are a couple of workouts you can do almost anywhere, hangover and space permitting:

The Hostel Heart Rate Riser

1.10 to one rep ladder for rounds (Do 10 reps for the first round, then nine, eight and all the way down to one)

2. Jump squats

3. Tricep push-ups

4. Burpees

5. V sit-ups

Four Rounds For Around The World

1. 30 squats

2. 20 burpees

3. 10 push-ups

(Modify push-ups as needed, with lay-down push-ups as rounds go on.)

Backpacker Booty-Build

1. 50 jumping jacks

2. 20 hip bridges

3. 15 jump squats

4. Fire hydrants (15 each leg)

5. Donkey kicks (15 each leg)

Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of the the exercises below:

1. 15 squats

2. 15 push-ups

3. 15 mountain climbers on each leg

4. 15 bicycle crunches on each leg

Make use of “equipment” at local parks as well, like benches for elevated push-ups and tricep dips, monkey bars for pull-ups and leg raises or elevated surfaces for step-ups or plyometric box jumps.

Just heed caution with these and aim to do them at the beginning of your workout, before your legs are fatigued and you fall and scar your shin like an assh*le (or like me).

If all else fails, and you’re just not feeling fitness on your trip, at least put on your activewear and go for an exploratory, happy, hour-long walk that ends at a local, happy hour bar.

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Ultimate Two Finger Pushups( Video)

Using merely his index finger and his thumb, this guy performed a 14 pushups with his feet planted on top of a table and one hand behind his back.

Narek Hakobyan via Yalda S .

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On January 1, you were sure once your hangover wore off you’d be able to accomplish every fitness goal you set for yourself the night before.

You’d work out six days a week, and this will definitely be the year you get six pack abs.

Oh, and about that marathon you signed for — piece of cake!

But once your alarm actually went off at 6 am on January 2 and you had to drag yourself out of bed for your morning run in 20 degree climate, that marathon you were so excited about probably didn’t seem quite as attainable.

And just like that, you gave up.

Considering 25 percent of Americansgive up on their New Year’s resolvings one week into the year, it’s safe to say most of us have been there.

Our advice? Start small. And on the eve of 2017, you may find you’re a whole lot fitter.

Here are eight simple ways to have a fitter year.

Run twice a week.

If running isn’t your thing, we don’t blame you. Operating is tough.

But hear us out: Operating three miles merely twice a week is enough to reap tons of benefits like lower danger of heart disease, cancer and stroke , not to mention it helps you preserve a healthy weight

So if you run a 10 -minute mile, that’s merely 30 minutes of running twice a week.

Just do it.

Work out during commercial breaks.

There’s no disgrace in watching Tv, especially during the cold wintertime months when spending time outside isn’t exactly ideal.

And luckily, watching Tv can be a great opportunity to get some exercise.

Whether it’s your favorite weekly prove or a Netflix marathon, employ commercials or violates between episodes to flex your muscles.

See how many pushups you can do, hold a plank or ten-strike a few yoga poses.

The alternatives are endless!

Strategically place exercise equipment around your house.

Dumb bells on your coffee table? Check. Free weights next the your fridge? Check.

If you strategically scatter workout equipment throughout your apartment or home, you’re more likely to absentmindedly pick it up and use it.

A few bicep curls here and there might not seem like much, but sometimes slow and steady progression is the way to go.

If you take us up on this one, make sure to pick a good color scheme.

After all, your workout equipment will be part of your home decor.

Hold a plank for one minute.

Forget crunches — plank pose is one of the best ways to strengthen and tone your core.

There’s a reason planking is so effective, though: It’s genuinely freaking hard.

But you can doanythingfor one minute if you ask us, so try holding a plank( either on your palms or forearms) for merely one minute, four days a week.

Your core will thank you.

Download a fitness app.

Tackling fitness on your own can be challenging, and it’s not always easy to coordinate workout schedules with friends. So why not download an app that they are able to do a lot of the work for you?

The Nike Training Club app, FitStar Personal Trainer and Australian trainer Kayla Itsines’ brand new app, Sweat With Kayla, are great places to start.

Find a workout you’re preoccupied with.

Maybe the reason you have such a difficult time working out is that you haven’t found the right workout just yet.

If you dread barre class or can’t stand pilates, opportunities are it’s not exercise you dislike — it’s those specific workouts.

Instead of dragging yourself to the same grueling workout each week, invest in a programme designed like ClassPassthat lets you sample different fitness class at a low price point.

Even if your workout of choice turns out to be 30 minutes of strolling every day, that’s a lot better than nothing.

Choose a different parking spot.

Whether it’s a quick stop at CVS or a day-long trip-up to the mall, it is feasible to seducing to park as close to the store entryway as possible.

Stop doing that.

Not merely will parking be less of a headache, but you’ll get a little extra exercise every time you do it.

Do yoga for 10 minutes before bed.

While going to a yoga class three to four times a week is ideal, it’s rare that anyone actually has the time or energy — not to mention fund — for that.

But going just once a week will leave you calmer, boost your mood, aid your immune system, prevent illness and stimulate you stronger and more flexible.

In even better news, you can get some of those benefits by practicing at home.

Research has shown that doing yoga at home for merely 10 minutes every day is enough to improve your practise, help you sleep better, strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis.

Doesn’t sound too bad, right?

Best of luck on your 2016 fitness endeavors. Cheers!

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Outdoor Voices’ color-blocked, tri-tone warmup leggings did the near-impossible: attained workout gasps seem cool. Now, with a new line of fitness accessoriesmade not of the usual plasticky foam but of corkthe company is upping the seems of your workout regimen again. Thats what happens when a Parsons School of Design graduate get into fitness.

The $ 150 Shapes Bundleincludes a rectangular block, a triangular block, and a roller, all of them attained wholly from cork. You could leave them on your coffee table and they’d look like art.

That’s a potentially revolutionary idea in that market.” Those things are pretty unattractive, and you dont want to leave those ugly foam pink shapes lying around ,” says Joey Guerra, who co-founded New York studio Visibility and handled the industrial design of the Shapes Bundle. We looked at timber, feel, and other holistic materials, but we drove cork home pretty early on, Guerra says. Cork is sustainable, it grows in the bark of trees, is antimicrobial, and can be milled really easily into any shape you need.

Everyone on Outdoor Voices’ staff–and folks from Sky Ting Yoga in New York–tested the new shapes. The feedback resulted in nips and tucks to the standard yoga block, which Guerra says often are arbitrarily sized. These blocks are a tad bigger and have managed to encourage a wider range of motion.( And the roller has facets; the triangle is just unusual .) Guerra says he hopes the shapes encourage users to find new poses and new ways to stretch. Until then, they’re going to look darn good even when they’re on the floor and you’re, um, “posing” on the couch.

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