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Category Archives: Lifestyle

gratitude

Gratitude: The How & Why

By | Blog, Lifestyle, Spirituality | 4 Comments
It’s the happiest time of the year! Family, friends, food, love… there are so many great things about the holiday season. And what better way to celebrate them than to show gratitude for all of these wonderful parts of your life?
gratitude

Besides making others happy, according to Instructor Chidimma Ozor, showing gratitude relieves stress. She said:

“When I’m stressed, I take a quick moment to get into gratitude. Gratitude is an action word so even verbally recounting or writing down the things for which I’m grateful helps me stop stress in its tracks.”

Recognizing how fortunate you are is also an instant mood booster. Instructor Alexa Maytorena said:

“Between work, the pressure of trying to find the perfect gifts, and at times feeling spread too thin, sometimes it’s easy to forget that we are actually pretty lucky. Find time in your day to think about what you are thankful for. Whether it’s your warm bed, or running vehicle, or the hot lunch you just enjoyed; once you get into the habit of practicing gratitude, the easier it is to count your many blessings!

Here are a few ways to show gratitude this holiday season.

Do something little but thoughtful…

like help your mother bake cookies. Better yet, offer to help them with something they don’t enjoy like washing the dishes from dinner or hanging Christmas lights.

Volunteer your time or your resources.

Alexa said, “To help others, you can find local food banks to donate to, collect blankets and warm clothing to give those in need, or even be a Secret Santa to a stranger! By helping those who are less fortunate than we are, we are reminded what the holiday season is all about.”

Give a larger tip than usual to your server.

If they’ve provided really exceptional service, let them know by leaving a generous tip. They’ll appreciate the little extra cash to get presents for their loved ones. If there’s a tip jar, do one even better and leave a thoughtful note to really let them know what you appreciated.

Don’t give a gift they need.

Get them a gift they want (or maybe don’t even know they want). Many people ask for presents that they need, but getting a gift for someone that they really want or deserve is a much better way to show appreciation. Anyone can buy themselves a shampoo and conditioner, but giving them a vintage necklace or a book you know they’ll love really shows how well you know them or how much you know they deserve a nice gift.

Give compliments the moment you’re feeling grateful.

If someone helps you with a task or gives you great advice, telling them right in that moment that you appreciate their help or wisdom is quick, easy, and flattering. You don’t have to make a big deal out of your gratitude to show someone you care. Just be sure to make sure the compliment is genuine.

Write a nice holiday card…

thanking someone you truly appreciate for all they have done for you. We are all extremely busy, so taking time out of your life to list out reasons why you appreciate someone is a sure-fire way to show gratitude.

Pay full attention to your friends and relatives when they talk.

Listen with the intent of understanding and not just with the intent of responding. Truly listening to someone is one of the best and easiest ways to show him or her that you really care about and appreciate what they have to say.

SOURCE

How do you show gratitude? Let us know in a comment!

MESSAGE TO OUR TRUTRIBE

From us to you, we would like to say a heartfelt thank you to every member of our TruTribe. Every single day you inspire us and each other to push the limits, to find your edge. You are our motivation. Our wisdom. The reason we do love what we do every single day. Thank you TruTribe. We wish you all the happiest and healthiest of holidays.

Stay sane

7 Secrets to Stay Sane this Holiday Season

By | Lifestyle, Spirituality | No Comments
stay calm
Crowds. Family. Travel. They can all make you go a little mad during the holidays. But with these seven simple tricks, you can easily stay sane this season.
Sleep better with 5-HTP

Health.com recommends this plant extract because it “is thought to increase serotonin, reduce anxiety, and improve sleep.” It can be found in most drugstores, but be safe! The recommended dose is 150 milligrams daily and talk to your doctor before trying it if you take antidepressants.

Drop expectations

Sure the ham may be a little dry, or your niece didn’t react how you thought she would to the present you got her. But if you have too high of expectations, you’re putting pressure where it shouldn’t exist. Try letting go of the reins and enjoy the moment with no ideas in your head of what “should” be.

Kick it up a notch

According to health.com, spicy foods release endorphins that “trigger feelings of euphoria and well-being.” Hot sauce lovers, rejoice!

Take a whiff

Researchers say that some citrus fragrances can leave you feeling a little more sunny. Certain citruses like orange and lemon lower stress and boost overall mood by upping levels of norepinephrine, a hormone that affects mood. Dab or spray some orange or lemon mist on your wrist, an article of clothing, or your yoga mat to keep you calm.

Eat mango

We’ve always been taught that stress-eating is bad, but researchers in Japan say to reach for this sweet treat when things are getting a little. They say that chemicals in mangos “may alter your blood chemistry and send a wave of calm over your body.”

Upwrap yourself

Getting wrapped up is for gifts, not for you. We know it can be all too easy to get caught up in the chaos and forget to appreciate the reason for the season. When things are getting a little too hectic, take a step back, breathe, and remember that love and joy are what the holidays are all about. If you’re spending the holidays with even one great friend or family member, that’s all you really need, right?

Say yes to sex

Lowering stress levels, boosting self-esteem, and releasing endorphins are only a few of the reasons sex keeps you calm and sane. Sex also “raises oxytocin levels, which promotes sound sleep.” So go ahead and have a little fun in the hay. It’s good for you!

What are your tricks to staying sane? Tweet us at @TruFusionYoga!
Vegan-Wine-Main

Our New Favorite Holiday Drink

By | Lifestyle, Nutrition | 2 Comments
All wine isn’t vegan? But isn’t wine made from grapes?

There’s many questions surrounding our new favorite holiday drink, vegan wine. But don’t worry! We’re here to answer all of them so you can take a bottle to your holiday party for everyone to enjoy!

vegan wine
What makes wine vegan?

A wine is vegan when it does not contain any animal-derived ingredients or dairy products.

But wine is made from a fruit, so why are most not vegan?

According to Winefolly.com:

“Most wines are clarified during winemaking with a process called “fining” which most frequently employs the use of animal-based products such as casein (a protein from milk) or egg whites. If wines aren’t fined, most would look hazy. This is where the casein and egg-whites come in. The fining agents “glomb” onto the proteins dissolved in the wine and cause them to precipitate out and collect at the bottom of the tank. The result is a crystal clear wine.”

The most common fining agents include:

  • gelatin (animal protein)
  • casein (a milk protein)
  • albumin (animal protein)
  • isinglass (fish bladder protein)
I’m not vegan, why should I drink vegan wine?

There are many reasons people choose to go vegan or adopt vegan practices. Here’s the Vegan Society’s top three (in no order):

  1. The production of meat and other animal products is one of the leading causes of many environmental strains and issues (CO2 emissions, deforestation, species extinction, habitat loss, water waste, methane emissions).
  2. Vegan diets are “low in saturated fat, high in fibre and packed with antioxidants, helping mitigate some of the modern world’s biggest health issues like obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.”
  3. “Avoiding animal products is one of the most obvious ways you can take a stand against animal cruelty and animal exploitation.”
But how do I know if a wine is vegan?

The back of the bottle will typically say something like “Vegan approved” or “Suitable for Vegans.” It can be difficult to find vegan wines, so if you’re unsure, err on the side of caution and assume the wine is not vegan.

So now you’re probably thinking, “If it’s difficult to find vegan wine, then how in the world am I going to find any?”

Don’t fret! We went vegan wine hunting for you and found some awesome brands! Check them out:

  • The Vegan Vine
  • Stellar Organics
  • Live A Little
  • Orleans Hill
  • Innovacion
  • Our Daily Red
  • Our Daily Cab
  • Well Read (suggested by TruTriber Lara Whitten)

Can’t find any of these? Check if your alcohol (wine, beer, and liquor!) is vegan here.

What are some other vegan brands that you have found? Share the wealth by leaving a comment!
giving healthy

How Giving Makes You Healthy

By | Blog, Charity, Lifestyle, Spirituality | No Comments
healthy giving
According to the book The Paradox of Generosity, it pays in health to be generous.

Authors Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson surveyed 2,000 people over a five-year period during which they tracked 40 different family’s lifestyles. They found that the families who donated more time and money to others experienced better health than those who did not donate.

But how?

Research suggests that one of the reasons generosity improves physical health is because it “shift[s] focus to alleviate others’ problems instead of fixating on one’s own.” Here are some of the direct physiological benefits of giving:

Less Depression

Depression leads to many physical symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, pain, and even weight changes. Luckily, even thinking about giving increases happiness. Thinking about helping others releases dopamine and serotonin, the happiness hormones. Christian said, “It gives people more pleasure chemistry in their brain, a sense of reward for having done something good.”

Reduced Stress

Like depression, stress can make people physically sick. Stress can foster low energy, headaches, upset stomachs, tense muscles, and chest pain. Social psychologist Liz Dunn studied the stress levels of people who either kept their money for themselves or gave money away. She found that the people who kept their money felt more ashamed and had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Lower Blood Pressure

A 2006 John Hopkins University and University of Tennessee study revealed that “people who provided social support to others had lower blood pressure than participants who didn’t.” Untreated, high blood pressure can lead to heart disease, stroke, kidney damage, vision loss, and memory loss.

Less Anxiety

“A long-term Cornell University found that people who volunteered were not only less anxious than those who did not, but they stayed that way for decades.” Lowered anxiety brings reduced odds for developing several chronic illnesses such as heart disease, chronic respiratory disorders, and gastrointestinal conditions.

A Longer Life

“Researchers from the University of Buffalo found a link between giving and unselfishness and having a lower risk of early death.” This is likely due to reduced stress levels and increased overall happiness. “Volunteering not only improves well-being and life satisfaction, but it’s also linked with decreased depression and a lower risk of dying early.”

How can TruFusion help you become happier and healthier through giving?

Check out some of our events, offers, and gift ideas to keep you and your loved ones happy and healthy.

Happy and healthy giving, TruTribe!
finding balance

8 Ways to Find Balance This Holiday Season

By | Blog, Fitness, Lifestyle, Pilates, Yoga | One Comment
Balance /baləns/: noun
Definition: An elusive, seemingly impossible task in our lives
finding balance

“Finding that centerpoint where we are giving everything sufficient amounts of attention and effort to sustain happiness and equanimity is difficult even for the best of us. Then we throw the holidays on top of it. Endless tasks. Expectations and to-do lists that never seem to get done… Never fear, it IS possible to find balance and have time with friends, family and your health throughout the holiday season.” – TruFusion Instructor Whitney Koch Owens

1. Start family traditions

Bringing fitness into your new family traditions makes everyone healthy, wealthy, and wise! Well, probably not wealthy and wise but definitely healthy. Start the tradition of a holiday hike. Snowshoe to a warming hut on Christmas Eve. Bike around the neighborhood to check out the lights. Fitness is fun with whole fam!

2. Ask for help

Have your family help you with holiday tasks. Wrap presents with your sister or cook the big feast with your dad. Doubling down to accomplish necessary tasks while spending quality time with a loved one will free up some “me” time for fitness.

3. Say “No”

“Sure, you may be invited to 30 different holiday parties, but you don’t have to attend each one,” said Whitney. “Determine the activities and traditions that fuel your connections with others and allow you to genuinely connect with the people you care about and love.” Forget the rest.

4. Stick to the plan

Once you’ve chosen which events you’d like to attend, make a plan and stick to it. If you’re shopping with your sister at 4, be sure to leave that potluck by 330. Don’t stay out all night at that holiday party when you have family breakfast the next morning. By planning ahead, you avoid last minute decisions that make you miss rare family time.

5. Sharing is caring

Instead of buying the latest gadget that will be obsolete in a six months, give your family the gift of memories (that happen to include fitness)! Always wanted to try snowboarding? Take your cousin to the mountain for a day on the slopes. Buy your brother a week of TruFusion classes and bring him to Barefoot Bootcamp. We’ll bet he’ll get a kick out of it. Your sister? She’ll love cycle!

6. It’s okay to fly solo

If you go to Down N’ Dirty every Wednesday then don’t change it because your family is in town. You’ll only be gone an hour, but it might be the only time you have this week to workout. It might even be the only alone time you get this week.

7. Workout at home

If you can’t sneak away for a class, set aside twenty minutes and knock out a quick at-home workout. Doing one twenty minute workout a day won’t take you away from too much family but will make sure you’re still looking sexy once New Years Eve rolls around.

8. Remember that you’re bae

You come before all else. Whitney said, “Place your own health and needs above all others. The old saying in airplanes is true, put your mask on before trying to assist someone else with theirs. Listen to your body. Does it need more sleep? Some quiet and meditation? Physical activity and a workout? Give your body what it needs first to be able to then be present with others.”

Instructor Chidimma Ozor said, “On Sunday, I woke up with about five different outings planned, and by 5 p.m. I realized I had been in my bed most of the day engaging in self-care, which is just what I needed.”

Now quit reading this and go enjoy some time with your family! Happy balancing, TruTribe!

What’s your secret to a balanced life? Share it with us in a comment!
Yogi-Books

4 Must-Read Books For Every Yogi

By | Blog, Lifestyle, Spirituality, Yoga | No Comments
Book Blog
Once you find out that “yoga” in Sanskrit means “union,” it comes as no surprise that the ancient practice is all about the yin and the yang– the union of two opposites.

We believe that to have a truly fulfilling practice, this means physical and mental unity. Not only must you practice the physical poses, but you must strengthen your mind as well.

We know all of you are doing a great job working on your physical practices, so we went straight to the experts (our instructors!) to give us a little help with some mental exercise. We’ve asked them what books every yogi should read to help strengthen his or her practice and we got some incredible results. Check them out below!

1. Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff

Yoga Anatomy is the yogi’s guide to fully understanding each pose and its relationship to your body. Learn how everything is linked and how slight alterations can enhance or reduce effectiveness. “Yoga Anatomy will be an invaluable resource—one that allows you to see each movement in an entirely new light.”

“The Yoga Anatomy says ‘See each movement from the inside out.’ It’s a great tool to learn how the spine, breathing and body position are all linked.” – Jimmy Russo

2. Journey Into Power by Baron Baptiste

Looking for the ultimate transformation? Baron Baptiste can show you the way. In Journey into Power, Baptiste proves that the “key to true power is not to chase an ideal version of ourselves but to reveal the perfect self already within.” This book “heals, detoxifies, and electrifies body and mind at their deepest levels.”

Baron writes, ‘It’s all yoga. On or off the mat, it’s yoga.’ Journey Into Power takes the reader from understanding the physicality of yoga to understanding the power of living yoga off of your mat. It’s great for understanding the physical postures and the possibility they create in both your body and your life.” – Whitney Koch Owens

3. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Swami Satchidananda

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is the manual of Raja Yoga, the spiritual path of self-discipline and meditation. At least 4,000 years old, the teachings discuss the ethics, postures, concentration and dealing with everyday life. The book is said to be “a treasure to be read and referred to again and again by seekers treading the spiritual path.”

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali is great because it is like the yogi bible. It’s essentially a ‘how to’ for how to be a good person. It’s about learning how to unlearn all of the things that take us away from our true form of love, selflessness and peace.” -Whitney Koch Owens

Told in the voice of a shaman, The Four Agreements holds the code of personal conduct to “become filled with grace, peace, and unconditional love.” Transform your life with these four simple lessons.

“For me The Four Agreements is a must read because it is so applicable to life. All four agreements encompass characteristics many of us seek to have, but not only to have, but to really live. Working on these four can keep me busy for the rest of my life!” – Chidimma Ozor

Honorable-Mention Books

There were so many great suggestions that we couldn’t leave out, so we created an honorable mention list!

SOURCES: TruFusion instructors and Amazon.com

P.S. – Don’t know what to get your yogi friends this holiday season? Gift one of these must-reads!

Which one do you want added to your bookshelf?

Healthy Travel

5 Travel Musts To Stay Healthy While On Vacation

By | Blog, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Style, Travel | No Comments
It’s no surprise that being low on energy while traveling can be a recipe for disaster. Fatigue, stress, and being surrounded by so many people can wreak havoc on an immune system.
Lucky for you, we’ve put together a list of 5 healthy travel tips and the must-have items that go along with them.

Technology is Key

What You Need: Cell Phone + Killer Playlist

Could you get in a great workout without a great playlist? We know we can’t! Besides being the home of your ultimate fitness playlist, your cell phone can help you find local gyms and lets you download fitness apps for when you can’t leave the hotel room.

Schedule workouts into your cell phone calendar to keep you on track while on holiday. Make the schedule, stick to it, and when in doubt, remind yourself that your health is a priority.

Pro Tip: Bring your TruBeat Heart Rate Monitor on vacation with you so you can stay just as motivated out of the gym as in it.

Walk the Walk

What You Need: Proper Attire + Sense of Adventure

Sporting the latest workout gear is not only to show off your epic style. It can also determine the amount and quality of exercise you do. If you’re not prepared with the right equipment (proper shoes, sports bra, or fleece-lined leggings when the weather is cold) then your motivation to hit the gym- or pavement- might be limited.

Traveling provides a unique workout opportunity like hiking local trails or walking to that restaurant 8 blocks down the road. Exploring not only allows you to stay healthy and save money but really allows you to immerse yourself in this new environment. Your body, memories, and wallet will thank you.

Easy (and free!) ways to fit in a workout while traveling:

  • Walk to restaurants, museums, and other landmarks
  • Hike or jog local trails
  • Walk in the airport while waiting for your flight
  • Yoga in the park (or hotel room)

“I make myself do some Sun Salutations or a little Vinyasa before I unpack and settle down in the room.” –Cristina Osorio

Pack the Snacks

What You Need: Healthy Snacks + A Tiny Bit of Prep Time

“Traveling and being in the airport often leads to regretful dietary decisions that provide little to no actual nutritional value for your body,” said Instructor Sammie Mack.

Instructor Cristina Osorio said, “Keep food simple while traveling. Resist empty carbs like chips and pretzels. You aren’t actually moving enough to burn those calories.”

Some Sammie and Cristina approved healthy snacks:

“Chia digests really slowly and keeps me feeling full longer, so I eat a chia pudding before getting on the plane,” said Cristina.

Long Live The Earth! Pack your snacks in reusable bags instead of plastic baggies. Saving the world never tasted so good.

Water > Whiskey

What You Need: Hydroflask + Willpower

The number one rule to staying healthy is staying hydrated.

If you’re flying, make this easy on yourself by bringing your own (empty) hydroflask to fill up after security. That way you can measure how much you’re consuming without having to purchase expensive and environmentally harmful plastic water bottles.

“Making sure that you are adequately hydrated throughout the day is essential to delivering nutrients throughout your body and regulating body temperature. Aim to drink 0.5-1.0 ounces of water per pound of body weight over the course of an entire day.” – Sammie Mack

And as much as we all like to enjoy an adult beverage here and there, avoiding alcohol (or severely limiting it) is key to staying hydrated.

“I travel a lot, and it’s so easy to be in the “I’m on vacation” mind set where having a beer in the airport seems like a harmless thing. Beer is full of carbs and all that happens is that I get fat…and slowly turning into an alcoholic. Also since altitude and alcohol cause dehydration, after day 7, my lips are chapped, I’m getting headaches, and all the sudden I can’t even get through a full yoga class. DRINK WATER…more of it…ALL THE TIME while traveling.” – Cristina Osorio

Pop Bottles

What You Need: A love of T.I. + Vitamins

Don’t break your routine just because you’re in a new place. This doesn’t just go for your diet and exercise but also your supplements. Keeping your nutrient intake up is vital in maintaining health, especially while traveling. In addition to Vitamin C and your regular daily supplements, Sammie said:

“Take an adrenal health supplement by Gaia Herbs. This supplement is great on a day to day basis, but is especially useful when your adrenals have been wiped of all their energy. This herb complex aids to optimize adrenal gland function, in order to aid in combatting stress, which can cause disorder in the immune, nervous, and inflammatory pathways.”

What are your healthy travel must-haves? Tell us in a comment!
deb

TruTribe Tales: Living Transgender

By | Blog, TruTribe | No Comments

My name is Deborah Richards.

Before I joined TruFusion in January, I was unhealthy and out of shape. My first class was a TruYin with Zeek, and I was hooked! I started off with this class once a week and slowly built up by adding TRX, Barre, and then Hot Pilates + Sculpt. I continued to try more and more classes over the year, and now I go every day. Not only have I lost 55 pounds, I have pretty much completely transformed.

Eight months ago I started the transition from male to female. I “officially” came out at the Emmy® Award Ceremony as a transgender director where I won four student production EMMYS® for my 2014 sci-fi short titled BOY MEETS GIRL.

For years I struggled with the decision to choose a career as a writer and director or to be true to my self and my transition. It took the support of my friends and school to make me realize that I can have both. It was then that I made the decision to be a role model and a trailblazer filmmaker with the simple message that anyone can shine.

Transforming almost overnight from the least at risk demographic as tall, white male to one of the most at risk demographics was, is, and continues to be a trip.

But as I slowly upped my classes from once a week to every day, TruFusion became my safe haven. 2015 has been an amazing year for me both personally and professionally, and TruFusion has been a crucial part of my success throughout it all.

I could not be happier with the culture, courtesy and nonjudgmental nature of the staff and, most importantly, the physical results that I have achieved in such a short amount of time. I am now in the best shape of my life.

Deborah

DID YOU KNOW?

There are an estimated 700,000 people in the United States who identify as transgender.

An estimated 41% of transgender people attempt suicide, and 1 in 12 are murdered.

The youngest person to have undergone reassignment surgery was 16 years old.

18 U.S. states have clear laws protecting transgender people.

SOURCE

What's Next For Deborah?

Check out Deborah’s film BOY MEETS GIRL Friday, October 9th at the CSN Cheyenne Campus. Doors for the FREE screening open at 6 p.m. with a filmmaker Q&A after the screening.

Stay tuned for Deborah’s next project: SEND HOLLYWOOD MY LOVE.

TruFusion-Meditation

Meditation for Beginners

By | Blog, Lifestyle, Spirituality | 2 Comments

The world we live in today tends to get a little hectic, and even when we have a few moments of downtime, we scroll through Facebook or check e-mails. By doing this, our brains continue to process information for the majority of our waking hours, hardly allowing any time to sift through the information to keep what serves us and rid of what no longer does.

So how do we turn this off? Why is meditation important to “reset” our minds?

WHY MEDITATE?

TruFusion instructor Amy Raven says that meditating is like cleaning the hard drive of your computer. By allowing thoughts to arise naturally and fade away just as easily, we determine what is important to us and what we can let go.

Besides helping clear our minds, meditation relieves stress, lowers blood pressure, and lowers anxiety. It also helps to eliminate the stress hormone cortisol and creates serotonin and oxytocin, the happiness and love hormones.

WHAT DO I DO?

While there are different levels of meditation, the goal of meditation is enhanced consciousness. The idea is to become aware of your thoughts and to learn to be present in the moment. You want to surrender to the flow of your mind, letting your thoughts arise naturally and drift away just as easily. Try not to focus on any one idea, but rather notice what comes into your mind and then let it pass. Learn to become aware of when you concentrate too long on one idea and shift your attention back to your breath or how your body feels in that moment.

For those who have never attempted to meditate before, it can be tough getting started. Raven suggests saying “let” during a six second inhale and “go” during a six to eight second exhale. Alternatively, say “so” while inhaling and “hum” during exhalation. Meaning “I am” in Sanskrit, this is the more traditional phrase. Focusing on either of these expressions, whether out loud or in your head, helps to clear the mind and create peace.

WHEN SHOULD I MEDITATE?

It is important to note that you do not need to be in a seated position to meditate, and it does not have to be for an extended period of time. Try meditating for five minutes first thing in the morning before reaching for your phone. Simply lie in bed paying attention to thoughts that arise, recounting the dreams you had the night before, or setting intentions for your day. Doing this in the morning helps foster peace and focus for your entire day. At night, turn off the TV a few minutes early to lie peacefully, quieting the mind before falling asleep.

Because your body and mind are already relaxed, right after a yoga session is another great time to meditate. If you do not have enough time for an entire session, simply holding child’s pose for a few moments allows the body and mind to relax before beginning meditation.

But do not feel limited to any one time of day. Anytime you feel the need, set aside even just a few moments to pay attention to your breath, dissipating stress and bringing focus and serenity to the moment.

While meditation can seem intimidating, just like any sport or talent, it gets easier with practice. If you are having difficulty on your own, try guided meditations on YouTube or with an instructor. As you become more comfortable, try an extended period of time or a different setting. It comes down to what serves you best; remember that your practice is your practice.

Raven said about meditation, “It’s important to remember that it is not a goal; it is a being… to discover that you are perfect just as you are. You are made with everything you need. You are made completely divine.”

Set_Image_Kettlebell_TruFUsion

Nine Reasons to Start Using Kettlebells Now

By | Athletes, Blog, TruTribe | No Comments

Speculated to have begun in Ancient Greece, kettlebells have been used for centuries to develop strength and endurance. They gained popularity throughout the years and eventually found a great home in Russia when founder of heavy athletics Dr. Vladislav Kravesky introduced them to the Russian athletic community in the mid 1880’s. To this day, kettlebell remains a national pride of Russia and was officially declared the sport of Russia in 1974.

It didn’t take long for North America to catch on to the kettlebell trend. By 2002, the bells made it onto the cover of Rolling Stones Magazine Hot List as ‘the Hot Weight of the Year,’ and today kettlebell is a proven workout for both the military and professional athletes everywhere.

Here at TruFusion, we say that if it’s a good enough workout for the world’s toughest champions, it’s good enough for our TruTribe, so take a look below for the nine reasons you should start using kettlebells today.

1. Build Muscle

At the very basics, there are two kettlebell styles with wildly different results. The first, RKC—Russian Kettlebell Club— style, uses a heavier bell for shorter periods of time to tone muscle by exerting all of your effort into a few reps. Think of this as Olympic Lifting, using all of your energy to expel your power into a few very solid lifts. But instead of having swollen muscles after lifting free weights, kettlebell lifting creates dense, toned muscles with more fiber per inch.

TruFusion kettlebell instructor Cristina Osorio said:

“You get really lean but really strong. If you want to see a physical change quick, use RKC style.”

2. It’s Cardio– without Running!

The second type, IKFF—the International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation— style, focuses on high cardio, high number of reps, and lower weight. Considered the endurance style, you swing a lighter bell for an extended period of time, increasing heart rate and engaging in cardio to lose fat and encourage lean muscle. TruFusion instructor Lawrence Fernandez said:

“The kettlebell is one of the most dynamic tools for strength, flexibility, and endurance training.”

In fact, swinging a bell is frequently compared to cross-country skiing.  The bonus? Because kettlebell swings create very minimal impact on your lower body, it’s the perfect solution to bringing cardio into your workout routine without agitating your knees.

3. Enhance Your Yoga Practice

Kettlebell workouts directly strengthen your yoga practice and general athleticism.  Your ability to ease into and out of yoga poses improves as your core strengthens, your body leans out, and you learn how to accelerate and decelerate your body.

4. Build Your Booty

Because the motion of swinging a kettlebell through your legs targets everywhere from your mid-thigh to lower chest, almost every move requires a high volume of gluteal engagement, lifting your bum to new heights with each move.

5. Target Your Core

“It’s like you’re doing a crunch and an extension every time you’re swinging a bell,”

said TruFusion co-founder and instructor Martin Hinton. Because of these movements, the target area is from mid-thigh to lower chest, which tends to be a trouble spot for a lot of people.

6. Get Rid of Back Pain

A University of Nebraska study found that a lot of lower back pain stems from tightness and the fact that most people do not engage their glutes when they move and lift. With kettlebells, the repetitive hip-hinging action of swinging the bell stabilizes your hips through your glutes, enlivening your lower back and resulting in much less pain.

7. Prevent Future Injuries

Repetitive vinyasa can create stiffness and injury in the shoulder capsule, but using kettlebells increases both mobility and stability. The lifting and swinging actions of kettlebells increase agility and ease of motion while holding the bell over your head stabilizes your shoulder girdle through your rotator cuff. Because these actions strengthen your shoulder, it less likely to roll out of the shoulder capsule when practicing yoga or other sports.

8. It’s for Everyone

For many, Kettlebell seems to be a man’s sport, but because lifting and swinging a bell draws power from your legs, hips, and glutes—where many women keep most of their mass—kettlebell is more woman-friendly than people think. Cristina said:

“It’s less about the body and more about the will of strength.”

9. Because They Rock and So Do You

If we haven’t convinced you yet, come see for yourself. At TruFusion, we incorporate kettlebells into many of our classes including Kettlebell Core, Down n’ Dirty Barefoot Bootcamp, TruHot Pilates, TruHot Pilates + Sculpt, TruCircuit, Kettlebell Battleropes, Tru Barefoot Bootcamp, and Tru Kettlebell. Lawrence said:

 “The next time you have the choice of hard pressing a dumbbell or kettlebell of the same weight, I challenge you to try the kettlebell and experience first hand that all weight is not created equal.”

Check the schedule for our next kettlebell class and start rocking your body today!