There are literally hundreds of reasons you should be exercising each day—especially now that we are all mostly working from home. As always, I’m not just talking about physical health here. There are so many benefits to your mental health too. If you live with a roommate or significant other, this can be a great time to get those endorphins pumping together. Parter workouts also add a whole new challenge by incorporating movements you can’t easily do on your own. Whether you have a home gym or like me, a few wine bottles to use as weights (hey, an average full bottle of wine weighs 2.65 lbs!) you can do this full-body partner workout making modifications based on what’s available at home.

partner workouts: wine bottle weights

12x Shoulder Press

Using weights, a resistance band or wine/water bottles, start with arms at 90 degrees and push arms overhead making sure you don’t lock out the elbows.

12x Bicep Curls to Shoulder Press

Start with arms straight, palms facing forward, and curl hands to shoulders. Then do your shoulder press releasing back down to complete the eccentric part of your bicep curl.

30-Second Isometric Wall Squat Holds

With your backs against the wall, squat down as low as you can go. Ideally, thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep hands against the wall and hold.

 

partner workouts: wall squats

10 Wall Squats with “Ball” Toss

Ball is in quotes here because you don’t need one. If you don’t have a medicine ball lying around, use a jug of laundry detergent, sandbag, or even a wet towel thrown in a trash bag. Get creative here! Squat with your backs against the wall and rotate your torso tapping your “ball” to the wall then tossing it to your partner. Partner repeats. Switch sides for your next set.

10 Side Lunges with Rotation Clap

Stand side-by-side with your partner and lunge sideways away from your partner then lunge sideways towards your partner and clap hands. Switch sides for your next set.

30 Low Plank Claps (15 each side)

Get in forearm plank side-by-side with your partner. Using your outside arm, bring it out to the side of your body and then rotate it underneath you to meet your partner in the middle and clap. Switch sides and repeat.

30 Side Plank with Rotation Clap (15 each side)

Start in a straight arm side plank back-to-back with your partner with your non-weight bearing arm straight up to the sky. Rotate the straight arm down towards the ground and clap hands with your partner underneath your torso. Switch sides and repeat.

 

partner workouts: arm workouts

Go through each of these 2-4 times based on your fitness levels and allotted time. It’s not only a fun way to break up the monotony of working out alone, but it also is a low-key difficult set that you should feel the next day!

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Looking for a fun new workout to try at home? Give boxing a go. Boxing was one of the first group exercise classes I ever had the pleasure of teaching and it will forever be a favorite. It makes you feel so powerful and it’s such a fun way to get in cardio and strength training. Since many of us will be at home a lot more, I wanted to share some boxing workouts with you that you can stream. First, I’ll cover some basics to help you get started. Below I’m sharing each move by their kickboxing name and traditional boxing name.  You can follow along with either depending on what you’re most comfortable with.

boxing workout: stance

Stance

Fighting Stance

Stand with one leg slightly in front of the other about hip-distance apart. Place your hands in fists near your face. Ta-da! You’ve nailed it. This is how you will stand whenever you are not actively moving. It is intended to ensure you are always ready and your face is always protected.

 

boxing workout: punches

Punches

Jab or One

Punch your left arm forward while keeping your wrist pointed down. It’s important to make sure that your elbow does not get locked out.

Cross or Two

Punch your right hand forward with your thumb pointed down. During this move, your back foot pivots.

Hook or Three

A hook is a punch across the body with your elbows at a 90-degree angle.

Uppercut or Four

An uppercut is a punch that comes from your belly button with your palms facing up and wrists closed (towards an opponent’s stomach).

Bob and Weave or Slip Slip

With a slight bend at the waist, move your torso in a ‘U’ shape to the right, then the left. Make sure to keep your hips still.

 

boxing workout: kicks

Kicks*

Front Kick

From a relaxed fighting stance, bring your left knee up and thrust hips (this is where your power comes from). Be sure to keep the foot underneath your knee. Snap the foot forward and bring the knee back to a bend, then return to fighting stance.

Roundhouse

From a relaxed fighting stance with your right leg back, bring your left knee up, pivot your standing foot, snap out the right leg, then bring your knee back in then back to your resting stance.

*note: there is no traditional boxing alternative for kicks.

 

boxing workout: online workouts

Workouts

Time to get sweating!

30-Min At-Home Boxing Workout 

Full Body Kickboxing Workout

 

—Photos by Rachael Thompson

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While sitting in the salon chair this weekend, I came across an InStyle article where celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson was sharing her favorite sweat-proof cosmetics for the gym. If like me, you often skip makeup before your sweat sessions, you might be as apprehensive as I was. Nonetheless, I’m a bit of a product junkie so I read on. “Many women don’t realize that so much of your calorie burn is attached to your adrenaline, which is attached to how you feel about yourself,” she says. “So if you look at your workout like a performance and put a little effort into getting ready, you’ll actually do better.” Whether you’re up for applying makeup before the gym or not, there’s good news: it’s time to go shopping in an effort to feel your best (and burn more calories) at the gym! Here is my fail-proof list of must-haves items to keep on hand in your gym bag. They’ll ensure you have an effective workout and will leave you feelin’ your absolute best.

gym bag essentials: high-waisted leggings

1. A Reusable Water Bottle

Don’t forget to stay hydrated! If you haven’t broken up with single-use plastic bottles for your h2O yet, make this your year. I can go on and on about how it’s bad for the environment and bad for your body (no thank you, BPA) but I’ll just leave these super stylish water bottles right here for you. They’ll either convince you to jump on the reusable train or enhance your existing collection so you can feel great about doing what’s right for the planet.

2. A Silk or Satin Scrunchie

It goes without saying many of us take our blowouts very seriously and for good reason: ain’t nobody got time for that! Prolong your blowout during workouts with a silk or satin scrunchie. They help preserve your hair by leaving behind zero creases and they have the added benefit of looking super-cute on your wrist.

 

gym bag essentials: silk scrunchie

3. A Fitness Tracking Watch

Not only can you use some fitness tracking watches for music and phone calls (yay, no phone needed), but they can also be super motivating and help you track your progress. I wear mine so much that I feel naked without it! Here are the best fitness tracking watches for 2020.

4. Sunscreen

Sunscreen is great to put on daily, but it’s definitely a must-have if you plan on taking your workout outdoors. Anything SPF 30 or above will do, but I love one that provides moisturization and other skincare benefits whenever possible. Lately, I’ve been loving this SPF 50 formula that helps combat the appearance of skin aging while it delivers sun protection.

 

gym bag essentials: pullover

5. A Pullover

No matter the time of year, I love a good pullover to have on hand for layering. They help to keep me warm before and after a workout. Extra points if they have thumbholes like this one that came to be in my lastest Wantable Edit!

6. High-Waisted Leggings

I just discovered a new (to me) brand Jade + Jude that makes the best sustainable activewear. These leggings came in my last Wantable Active Edit and I have been wearing them on repeat. They use a water-free dyeing technique that helps in reducing pollution and saving water and all pieces are made in the U.S. They are also inclusive of all body types which I love!

7. Dry Shampoo

In the aforementioned article, Anderson recommends OGX Active Beauty Green Tea Fitness Dry Shampoo Foam. I think any dry shampoo that meets your quality standards will do the trick, just follow this tip my hairstylist gave me: apply dry shampoo BEFORE your workout to keep sweat from ever reaching your strands. Apply again after for optimal freshness.

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There are two types of people: those who enjoy vacation workouts and those who don’t. Both types are alright in my book. Truthfully, both types are equally likely to maintain healthy lifestyles year-round. I’m in the workout on vacay camp—it’s simply part of my lifestyle. I feel better when I move my body. I have more energy, better mental clarity, and am in a better mood. Plus, it can be a phenomenal way to check out A LOT of a new city. Participating in half marathons has brought me to several new cities and I got to see things I might have otherwise missed had I not signed up.

So yes, I am a fan of a vacation workout, but I believe in balance. Run a half marathon and then visit a pub (or three). Embrace muscle soreness while you dance down Broadway Street in Nashville. Run down the beach in Miami and then sit down and read a book for the rest of the day. Balance is important to mental and physical health which is why I am sharing a few easy ways you can get your body moving while on vacation. They’ll help you keep your mind and body healthy no matter where you are.

vacation workouts: walking

1. Walk

This is one of the easiest ones and here’s the trick: don’t think of it in terms of ‘I must walk X minutes today’. Simply resolve to walk somewhere you might otherwise not. Morning coffee? Walk to the Starbucks that’s a little further away. Dinner plans? Walk instead of drive if you can. It’s crazy how quickly those steps add up.

 

vacation workouts: running

2. Run

If you’re heading on a trip with a group, have anyone and everyone who’s interested sign up for a 10k or half marathon. You’ll get both a fun trip with friends or family and exercise that feeds you dopamine. Your bonds with the people on that trip will be forever strengthened. What can possibly be better than that?!

 

vacation workouts: squats

3. Squats

I love a leg workout because working your largest muscle group is an efficient way to torch calories and get that ‘I had a great workout’ feeling. The best part? You can literally do them anywhere. Here I am doing them on a main street in downtown LA. Sure, people looked at me funny, but it was totally worth it!

 

vacation workouts: push-ups

4. Push-Ups

Since your chest is also a large muscle group, I love working that on vacation! A great workout you can do anywhere is push-ups. Not only are they wonderful for hotel rooms or outside just about anywhere, but they make your arms look incredible for beach photos. I’m just sayin’! The blood flow to the arms shortly after you work them out makes your arms look like a snack! Try it and thank me later. 🙂

 

I hope you like these easy ways to get moving during your next vacation. Now if you see me sweating in the Starbucks line getting my vanilla latte, you will know why!

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Before the new year hit, I wrote about the importance of kickstarting your New Year’s goals. We’re now 48 days into 2020 so I figured it’s time to review one of the hardest things out there: actually sticking to resolutions. Why is this so hard? Well, most of the time we fail at our goals because we are making them too draconian. We want to have attainable goals we can reach and then take a step further. Here are some tips for staying motivated at the gym:

gym motivation: ramp up slowly

Ramp Up Slowly

For fitness-related goals, I am a fan ‘ramping up’. When we introduce anything new slowly, we help make sure it sticks. This is true for all levels of fitness whether you are starting with a one-mile walk a few times a week or adding one day a week of weight training to your already packed gym schedule. What’s great about ramping up is it never really ends so I find it easier to stay motivated. You keep pushing yourself, you notice small physical and psychological improvements making it easier to keep up the great work.

 

gym motivation: workout buddy

Find a Workout Partner Who Practices Tough Love

You need someone who will be there for you week after week. Even more importantly, a buddy that won’t let you flake on them. Just as the perfect partner in a relationship varies greatly for everyone, the perfect workout partner will too. Find one that shares many of your fitness/wellness goals, your workout preferences, and your schedule. Plan to meet with them once a week to the extent that is possible. If you find the time, get two workout buddies (perhaps two people who each enjoy different workouts) that way no matter what you will workout twice a week. March 1 is National Workout Buddy Day so be sure to grab a friend to celebrate!

 

gym motivation: reward yourself

Reward Yourself

I don’t want to compare any human to a dog, but the similarities are there. Do you want to train your pet? Reward them for good behavior. You want results in the gym? Reward yourself. My favorite rewards are clothes. I love new workout clothes for a job well done. They are motivating because you want to wear them straight away! Try to stay away from junk food as a reward because it can reinforce the idea that some food is typically ‘off-limits’ and let’s face it, junk food won’t help you reach your goals.

 

Now that you’re all feeling super motivated, it’s time to get moving! If you do make it out for a workout with a friend on March 1 (National Workout Buddy Day), tag @wantable and me, @bethann.wagner on Instagram so we can cheer you on!

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You’ve heard it before—the best way to keep seeing results from your workouts is to mix it up. Sure, ‘mixing it up’ in the middle of winter can be a glass of wine by the fireplace (what a good tricep stretch, right?) but a fantastic workout might be easier to squeeze in than you think. Here are some activities to help you get out of the house (and even burn a few calories) this winter.

winter activities: skiing and sledding

Go Sledding, Ice Skating or Cross Country Skiing

If this isn’t already a winter tradition, it needs to become one. I mean, I live in LA and I’ve managed to make 2 of them happen this year! You may not think of sledding as a workout, but all that trudging up and down a hill in the snow can actually burn around 400 to 600 calories per hour. Each of these activities is super fun with family, friends, or your significant other.

 

Hot Yoga or Snow-ga

Who doesn’t love a good hot yoga class in the winter? It’s warm and cozy and gives you a break from the cooler temps outside. If you want to try something new (and very ‘gram-worthy), opt for snowga (check out #snowga for inspo). It’s a great way to soak up some vitamin D and enjoy the scenery around you. Not to mention, if you are going skiing or snowboarding, this serves as a great warm-up before you hit the slopes.

 

winter activities: take a hike

Take a Hike or Go On a Trail Run

If the sun happens to peek through, grab your hiking or trail running shoes and head out on an adventure. Be sure to dress for warmth and dryness if you live in a cold, wet climate. Moisture-wicking and water-repelling fabric can be critical to staying warm. If this is something that you do in your normal workout routine, try to switch up your route to keep things fresh and exciting.

 

Plant a Garden

Find space near you—in your yard or in a community garden—and plant some winter fruits and vegetables. Gardening can actually burn 200-400 calories per hour so you can really work up an appetite while you harvest some yummy and truly local veggies for your next winter soup.

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When thinking of trying something new like launching a side hustle or starting a new fitness program, I’ll be the first to admit that feelings of fear can creep in. All too often we let the fear of the unknown stop us from starting things that we really want to tackle when it’s actually pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones that help us grow. Example: A young woman who is new to working out was nervous about taking a spin class at a swanky gym in San Francisco. She’s never been on a stationary bike and feels nervous she might not be in good enough shape. She’s brave and she goes anyway. She started going every week and eventually bonded with the instructor. They’re married now and have two kids and a dog. (We actually know this woman.) Sure, it’s intimidating to try something new, but can you imagine if she never tried? Moral of the story: risk something or forever be the same. The benefits of trying new things are abundant. Here are some benefits of taking the risk to try something new this year.

try something new: comfort zone

1. Trying something new that shakes up your routine can really give you a fresh perspective.

2. New ways of doing things can enhance experiences that already bring you joy. Love to run? Try the same route but backward to stimulate your brain and shake things up!

3. Increased creativity often comes from trying something new. When I feel stuck on a piece I am writing, I put my phone away and look around—the trees, dogs passing by and new people on the street help me feel more alive and creative.

 

try something new: switch things up

4. New physical activities can aid you in becoming healthier. Try a boxing class or something else you’ve been thinking about. The calorie burn and endorphins alone will make it worth it!

5. You could make new friends! Head out on a yoga retreat or go to that festival you’ve never made time for. Who knows what kind of memories you will make with new people!

 

try something new: make new friends

The possibilities are truly endless when it comes to trying something new, and whether it’s a big or small leap outside your comfort zone, you’ll still reap the benefits of trying new things. Get out there and do that thing you’ve been thinking about!

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Everything’s better with a friend: a glass of wine, a road trip, and a cozy night in. One thing I really enjoy doing more if I have a pal there with me? Working out. Partner workouts are not only more fun with someone there to give you a good laugh when you feel like your muscles are about to fall off but they are also a great way to stay connected with those you love even when ‘me time’ becomes scarce. While I love meeting friends at the gym, there’s a lot you can do outdoors. Outdoor workouts will give you the benefits of a fantastic full-body workout and some fresh air. I’ve put together a total body workout that will get your muscles working and (hopefully) help reduce stress this holiday season. All you need to do is grab a buddy and head outside to get moving!

total body workout: push-ups

Push-Ups: 10 Reps

I love starting out any workout with push-ups—especially if I am training with someone I haven’t trained with before. Push-ups are a great test to assess people’s current physical abilities. After watching someone execute a pushup, I will know a lot about what I may need to modify to ensure my friend or client gets the best workout for them. There are endless modifications you can make to a pushup to make it easier or more difficult! Push-ups are also a total results producer because they recruit so many muscles from your shoulders, arms, core and even glutes all while increasing your heart rate.

 

total body workout: v-ups

V-Ups: 20 Reps

When working out with a partner, I love to focus on the core because 1.) a tighter midsection is something just about everyone wants to work on and 2.) there are so many core exercises you can do with a partner! V-ups are my favorite way to get started with core work since there are many modifications. Here we are using our hands to help stabilize us, but you can also lay hands just under your lower back to increase the intensity. Or, keep your whole torso on the ground to decrease the intensity by turning it into more of a leg raise than a full v-up.

 

total body workout: scissor kicks

Scissor Kicks: 40 Reps

Leg movements will recruit muscles from the lower abs. Here you can do scissor kicks with your torso flat on the ground or at a 45-degree angle. Having your torso raised will recruit more muscles and will be more difficult. With this one, always remember to keep your spine aligned—no lower-back arching here!

Go through each exercise for 4 rounds making modifications as needed. Push your friend and yourself to go as hard as you safely can!

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In a world where we jump from one holiday to the next (sometimes even before the previous holiday is over), it can definitely be daunting to focus on your resolutions before the new year even starts. But, this is the one tradition I believe we should start early. How early? Start them whenever you’re ready—there’s no wrong time! In an effort to get ahead—and potentially use some of the magic numerologist’s place on the occurrence of 11/11—I started mine on November 11th this year. I’m not really sure if that has any validity, but I’ll try anything in the name of personal growth. I started by writing everything down in my phone on a goal-setting app. Hey, if I don’t put it in writing, it’s not happening. So far, I am happy to report there has been small but measurable progress. I’m hopeful and confident going into 2020 with a small amount of progress towards what I want to accomplish in the New Year. Plus, it’ll help ensure that I don’t give up and that I’ll reach them with less resistance than I would have had I waited. Read on for a few other benefits I have found from getting a headstart on your New Year’s resolutions.

new year: practice makes perfectPractice Makes Perfect

I personally love that getting a head start on making positive changes will give you a little grace period to put those goals into practice. One of my goals is to drink more water so I got myself a new water bottle (a huge one!) and have been adjusting to the practice of bringing it everywhere with me. I’m not quite where I want to be with intake, but have increased it with the new bottle! It’s all about giving yourself grace when it comes to implementing new habits.

Take the Pressure Off

Starting early will take some of the pressure off of you in the New Year! None of us need added pressure, am I right? Getting a head start will help you reach your goals and allow you extra time to experiment with the ways that work best for you to implement new habits.

 

new year: room for growth

Room for Growth

Many of us start with more than one resolution—which is a great thing—but starting earlier might mean you have time to conquer even more! If you realize you’re effectively acting on your resolutions, add a few more in that you had on your goals list. Adding them in small batches will feel much less overwhelming than trying to accomplish them all at once. Remember, habits take time to kick in. Don’t get frustrated if you’re not seeing immediate results!

There’s No Time Like the Present

Remember how I talked about reaching goals with less resistance? Just about every time we try to make a change, the ego, the ID, the fact that many bad habits are simply habitual will make us resist that change. Starting early gives you time to push through the resistance period and have a plan ready for overcoming any struggles that may arise.

No matter when you start, reaching any goal takes intention, hard work, and a plan. Remember to make SMART goals: specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound. Write them down somewhere you can revisit whenever you need to and consider sharing them with someone you trust so you can have some help with accountability. Happy New Year!

 

 

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Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is defined as a quality of coziness and comfortable conviviality. It engenders a feeling of contentment or well-being and is regarded as a defining characteristic of Danish culture. When one of the happiest countries in the world makes something a huge part of their culture, we all want to follow suit. What is it about hygge that brings so much joy? Well, it embodies a sense of togetherness—think cozy family meals and nights in spent cuddling and singing. That means no Netflix!

Everyone’s needs are different, and lifestyle experts are uncovering another covetable Danish concept we might all soon be jumping on to: pyt (pronounced pid). Pyt is all about cultivating healthy thoughts to better deal with the stress of everyday life. If hygge keeps your heart and house warm and cozy, pyt is more about maintaining mental health and making your thoughts warm and cozy.

In honor of the holidays being thrust upon us (did 2019 go by extra fast or is that just me?), I am sharing a few easy ways to cuddle up, get cozy, and make the most of the rest of this decade with a little help from our Nordic friend’s tried and true principles.

hygge: get outside

Get Outside

The Scandavaians believe there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothes. Spend some time outdoors every day to connect with nature (and your family) away from screens.

Host a Simple Meal

The holidays are all about getting together and it doesn’t need to be fancy. Skip the usual holiday dress code and opt for a casual, simple meal focusing on the company and everyone’s comfort.

 

hygge: practice gratitude

Practice Gratitude

Many of us get pretty religious about practicing gratitude this time of year, but the key is remembering to practice it all year. Moms, get the kids in the habit of practicing gratitude by writing down what they are grateful for.

 

hygge: read

Read

Not just a juicy magazine in the salon for your pre-holiday party blowout, but really cuddle up with a soft pair of sweats and your best blanket to read something substantial. Alone or with your kids, this will help you settle your mind and body during this busy time of year.

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