Do people really understand what "balancing your hormones" means? I definitely didn't. But once I did enough research I discovered that what might be causing my fatigue, moodiness, hunger, and aches and pains could be my hormones.
After talking to my friend Rachel with The Beauty Boost about how I was feeling, she mentioned that her friend Nina did health coaching that focused on hormone health. The next day I researched Nina's company, Nourished With Nina, and I contacted her right away.
From Nina's website, "I believe that our bodies are designed to feel healthy, strong, and HAPPY. Simple, right? It's my mission to help my clients discover how truly vibrant and self-healing their bodies are. You already have all of the tools inside of you to wake up each day feeling your best! I'm here to help you find them.
There is not a “one-size-fits-all” diet or lifestyle, so we will take a look at your unique needs and day-to-day activities to create a plan that is tailored for YOU. It is through my holistic approach to wellness that I will guide you to the root of your health concerns. That way, you can achieve your goals and live your healthiest and happiest life!"
I can honestly say that what Nina advertises is so true. In summary here is how I was feeling: exhausted regardless of how much sleep I had, brain fog, achey joints, headaches, always hungry, moody, and just not myself. During our first meeting, I explained in-depth how I was feeling, what I was eating, how I felt throughout the day, and so much more. She immediately starting diving in a little deeper and asked more specific questions before she gave any suggestions. Soon after we chatted (and she did end up giving me some ideas on changes I could immediately make) she sent me an in-depth email with links and suggestions of supplements, breathing exercises, and diet adjustments that I could make. She made sure her suggestions were right for me--not just because they worked for a past client.
Each time we chatted we touched on different topics. What started as me thinking it was my diet that really needed to change, turned in to much more than that. Nina helped me with my mental and emotional being as well. Helping me find ways to do better self-care (dry brushing, meditating, magnesium baths, a few mantras and deep breaths throughout the day) really helped ease my anxiety and control-freak ways. As I started working on my mental and emotional state, my digestion and my symptoms got a lot better. It's amazing how everything really is connected to the gut, right?
Some other notable changes I made based on Nina's advice - more protein, more fat, and less gluten in my diet. More breathing and mantra work throughout the day when I feel anxiety, and more journaling and really listening to how my body is feeling on a regular basis. What sounds like simple changes are ones I would have never thought about without Nina's guidance and her research--and trust me, this girl does her research. You know that person that loves to look things up in BOOKS, and share podcasts, stories, and FACTS with you? That's Nina. Girl does her research to make sure she's giving you the best advice.
I signed up for Nina's 1-on-1 coaching program so I was able to set up the meetings with her via video or in-person (Columbus only peeps), and the meetings worked around both our schedules. There was nothing strict about it.
I'm still working on a lot of things, but I feel SO MUCH better after going through coaching with Nina. She was so supportive, available, and knowledgeable and helped me really start to feel better.
Nina currently has her 6-week group coaching program registration open and there are a few spots left! Grab yours here and use promo code empowered100 to save $100!
Learn more about Nina and her coaching business here.
When I first heard of Reiki, I pictured sitting around in a big circle chanting with other people. Apparently I was VERY confused because that is not even close. So, let's clear it up just in case you were as confused as me.
Reiki is a healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being.
Following yet? I was still a little skeptical about it too before my first appointment. But, meeting Natalie with Pink Moon Essentials changed all of that. I met Natalie at a Beauty Boost event and I was immediately drawn to her calming energy and generous attitude. She is someone who you feel comfortable around right away and she REALLY listens when you talk to her.
My reiki session started with a tarot card pull. Natalie had me blindly choose a tarot card and then we talked about what that card meant. She also asked me about how I was feeling by asking two specific questions. We talked about that for a few minutes and then she picked a few essential oils for me to choose from. After that, I got on the table. Natalie worked her way around my body sometimes placing her hands on me and sometimes not, and saying positive statements that are related to what we talked about before.
I've done reiki with Natalie twice and if I'm being honest, I didn't feel much different after the first session. But, prior to going in the session I got a work phone call that left me VERY distracted the entire session so I don't think I really gave it a fair shot. But during the second session, I felt a STRONG energy shift during my session. I was having some digestive issues and when Natalie put her hands on my stomach I felt a shift in my body and after the session I felt so much better.
Reiki is all about moving energy. From Natalie's website: I will address your current health concerns and focus on where you are feeling physical, emotional, or mental stresses in your body. I use aromatherapy in my practice and I will offer you your choice of essential oils during your session. Sessions can include acupressure, it is your decision.
So, with the holidays coming up, if you're feeling a little stressed or drained of energy, schedule a session with Natalie. If you mention Sweat Local you can get $5 off your session! Book online here: https://pinkmoonessentials.com/contact/.
Honestly, when Stretch Zone reached out to me, I pictured someone helping me do a quad stretch--and I wasn't exactly sure how it would be helpful. I was very wrong about that.
First of all, I met with Amy Farahay, who has an EXTENSIVE yoga teaching and training experience, so I was immediately comfortable because I know she knows how the body can and should move. Amy told me that everyone who works at Stretch Zone has to have similar experience, and also goes through training specifically for Stretch Zone. I was also happy to see that Amy would be doing all of the stretches for me--I was literally strapped to a table.
From their website: "Stretch Zone practitioners work with the stretch reflex and some lesser known but extremely powerful principles of neuromuscular behavior. Utilizing our patented equipment, our stretch practitioners follow specific methods and protocols to properly position, stabilize, isolate and manipulate muscles in a scientific way. When your body is correctly stabilized, fear is reduced. Your body is better able to relax and allow for the full stretch. The great benefit of Stretch Zone’s practitioner assisted stretching is the ability to control and alter the timing of and even overcome the stretch reflex."
Before we even started, Amy asked what my exercise routine was like and what parts of my body caused me the most pain. For me, I always have pain on my entire left side--from by IT bands/hamstrings to my left shoulder. So, for this session, she really focused on my lower half.
I was also expecting the stretches to hurt, but that was not the case. Stretch Zone uses a 3, 5, 7, scale and they talk you through each stretch so they know your limits and where you're feeling it the most. She only held each stretch for about 5 seconds before moving it a little bit. I wasn't sure if I'd be able to notice a difference afterwards, but when I got off the table it was like I had just been to an hour long deep yoga stretch class.
Stretch Zone's goal is to make you move better and with less pain. They aren't trying to make you more bendy or flexible. They really listen to what you need and how you feel. After your first stretch a specific stretch program is written just for you. They offer a ton of different packages to choose from, or you can just drop in. Your first stretch is always free. Stretch Zone has locations in Grandview and in Powell. Learn more on their website - https://www.stretchzone.com/about/.
By now you or someone you know has talked about floating. Floating isn't new to Columbus, but there is a totally new concept that has opened downtown - Meet Ebb and Float.
From their website: "Floating is about doing absolutely nothing, and loving it. Get off the grid, even if it's just for an hour. Floating does your mind, body and spirit good — take a break with us."
I've floated before and honestly, it wasn't my favorite experience. But, I was 8 months pregnant, nauseous, and could not get comfortable in the tub. So, going in to this session I was already apprehensive and preparing myself to not like it again; however, as soon as I walked in, I immediately felt as ease. The owner welcomed me and led me to the massage chairs. These chairs are not like your normal massage chairs--these things at the best massage chairs that have ever been created. They lean you back, and do a full body scan, and squeeze and move around in just the right places. After just a few minutes I was fully relaxed.
After the massage, I was shown the different float tanks. They have the 4 float options. The Explorer Tank, The Urth Tank, The Mandala Open Pool, and the Wave Cabins. I chose the fancy Wave Cabin because I don't like the thought of being in an enclosed pod, and the cabin was super open.
Because I don't remember the science behind why floating is so good, I'll let their website tell you:
Sensory deprivation is a process that removes external stimuli (such as sight, sound, traffic, texts, Instagram notifications) for a psychological benefit. It sounds scary because deprivation makes us think of things that are being taken away, but what you are getting to SO. MUCH. MORE than that. By removing these external stimuli, you can to shut out the noise and the demands of everyday life, and to JUST BE.
I can honestly say I really enjoyed the float for the first 30-45 minutes. After that, I bobbed around in the water from side and side and tried to meditate, distract myself, etc...but I think that's mainly because I had a lot of my mind and a really busy day after and couldn't let myself fully relax. I also never really sit still for an hour like that so it was a new thing to me.
As the day went on, I noticed that some of my aches and pains were gone, and I felt more relaxed. It was nice to shut my brain off, even if it was only for 40 minutes. It was also nice to not have my phone near my to distract myself--just me in a tank of salty water.
Anyway, I would definitely go back. I can see it being equivalent to self care like a massage or pedicure would be. Ebb & Float has different packages you can purchase for floats, and they also have a infrared sauna and soon ARX training equipment.
Dark, loud, and sweaty. Those three things are consistent throughout all of Melt's classes and studios. If I can tell you anything that will help you prepare for a class, it would be to expect to get really sweaty.
From Melt's website: The Melt experience—without a doubt—will stimulate, strengthen and calm every inch of your body and mind. In a crazy-pristine, posh studio, we create a purposeful, intoxicating blend of spa-like heat and humidity. The seductively dim lighting will keep you focused on you, as you breathe in our signature scent, synch up your body to the adrenaline-pumping tunes and push harder and go longer than ever before. And while gaining strength, flexibility and endurance, you’ll sweat out toxins, melt fat and increase your metabolism.
It's been awhile since I visited Melt Hot Fitness--and since their Dublin studio is less than 10 minutes from my house, I decided to venture over to try out a Cycle class. (Full disclosure--I am a cycling instructor and was actually looking for a new place to teach, and after falling in love with their classes, I am now teaching there twice a week! Catch me on Wednesdays at 7pm and Thursdays at 9:30am.) The first thing I noticed was that the room was dark--like, really dark. It was lit up with (fake) candles and some rope lights, making the lighting really flattering and comfortable. The music was loud and within the first minute, we were already moving quickly. The class yelled and cheered and the instructor kept the energy going the whole time. 45 minutes flew by and I was drenched in sweat and felt amazing.
The next week, I tried a Melt Vinyasa class taught by the owner, Kelly. Again, the class was dark and this time, really hot (Cycle classes aren't heated), and we immediately got in to the movements. The class was fast paced but not something I couldn't keep up with. The heat was the biggest challenge, but I assume once you get used to it by going a few times it's gets a little easier.
One thing I noticed about Melt is that none of the instructors talked about sweating for your perfect body, or getting that perfect butt--they focused more on the mental and emotional aspects of fitness. From their website: Armed with your daily dose of euphoria, you’ll feel like you can take on the world —personally and professionally. Inspired. Energized. Addicted. Every one of our results-driven classes are specifically designed to help you leave your sh!t at the door and keep you digging deep. (And with multiple classes in one membership, you’ll never get bored.) But we want to do more than change your body. We’re gonna rock your mindset. Enjoy a natural high, absolute clarity and new-found confidence in your stronger, sexier body.
Melt now has 3 locations - Westerville, Dublin, and the newly opened Melt Annex downtown. Melt offers Barre, Yoga, Cycle, Lift, and Mental classes. Your first class is always free. Get more info on their website - http://melthotfitness.com/.
My guess is that you've definitely heard of Burn Boot Camp by now. They have taken off all over the country and a new one is popping up almost daily. But, this is all for good reason.
I had the chance to take a Burn Boot Camp class at their first Columbus location in Gahanna. The Burn Boot Camp workout is designed to maximize your results in just 45 minutes with an average burn of 700 calories per camp. Their focus is definitely on women--their daytime and morning classes are for women only. Men are allowed to join in the evenings or at their free Saturday workouts that they hold every week.
Did I mention they have FREE childcare? As a new mom, this has been so key for me to get back in to working out. I've found all the places that offer childcare--but Burn is the first place that offers it for free. They really want to support all moms in all stages of their lives, and make it as easy as possible to squeeze in a workout (45 min workouts are also key!).
As soon as I got there, I dropped off my baby in the huge childcare area and then got right into the workout. Coach Jo led us through a warmup and then explained what was coming up next. Our class was split into small groups, and we would continue to work within that group for the whole class. It was an upper body day so we spent a lot of time on our shoulders, triceps, and biceps. Each block of work was 7 minutes, and we would move through 3 different moves using free weights, our body weight, or a pull-up bar. After each set of work, we were encouraged to high-five and cheer on each other. At first this felt silly, but after about the fifth high-five I started looking forward to each other's encouragement.
Each week Burn releases their Weekly Protocol--which is their schedule for the week. Every day has a different focus and format--with each class that day being the same. So no matter what time you go to class, you're getting the same workout as those who went to an earlier or later one.
Before I knew it, the class was over and I was really sweaty--but still smiling. Everyone in class was super welcoming and the trainer Jo clearly had a relationship with each of the members. The class was really encouraging, quick, and effective.
Interested in trying Burn Boot Camp? They offer 2 weeks free to every new person! Burn Boot Camp is located at 5334 N. Hamilton Rd in the Gahanna/New Albany area. A new location is also opening up in Worthington soon.
Two years ago this week, I (Kelly) was on vacation with my family in Grand Cayman. Prior to the trip I had been toying with the idea of hosting a fitness expo...but didn't really talk to many people about it. I just felt there was a need for it in Columbus because I worked with many brands who could have benefitted from the marketing opportunity. I knew there wasn't an event that focused on the smaller boutique style gyms and businesses, and I felt like they needed a space to promote their brands.
While on vacation, I casually mentioned the idea to my family and my husband and surprisingly, all of them thought it was a good idea. Fast forward a few cocktails later and the logo was created, the date for the first expo was set, and emails were being sent out to potential fitness studios.
Since then, Sweat Local Columbus has grown beyond what I could have imagined. I wanted to create an event where people could come for free and find a new place to workout, grab smoothies, get chiropractic adjustments, and meet other people who also want to do the same. For the vendors, I wanted the event to be a place where they could show off their business and grab the attention of new customers or members. I also hoped the vendors could interact with one another and find ways to collaborate.
All of my hopes from that first year came true. We kicked off the 2016 Sweat Local Columbus Fitness Expo and 5k in July, and we had 25 vendors and 200 attendees. The response was overwhelming and the energy was contagious. After the Expo, I wanted to keep the momentum going--so we created Sweat Sesh's (smaller pop up workouts that feature 2-3 different studios or businesses). Since then we've hosted another Expo in 2017, and seven different Sweat Sesh's.
Fast forward to the present--we have met hundreds of you through the Expo and the events, and have loved interacting with you online. Our fitness studios and businesses that we work with have been such amazing partners, and we love seeing each one be successful in their own way.
Our goals still remain the same--
So what's next? We are in the middle of planning the 2018 Sweat Local Columbus Fitness Expo (no 5k this year), and the May and November Sweat Sesh's. We have lots of blog posts lined up for the spring, and we are excited to check out so many awesome new places and share our reviews with you.
Let's keep the momentum going. Columbus has so much to offer and we love sharing the sweaty parts with you!
We are in the thick of it, Columbus. The snowy, rainy, freezing, and gray days of winter. It's hard enough to get out of the house to even go to work, let alone to go workout! While we know this time of year is the hardest to get moving--we also know it's important to stick with a routine, especially when it's about time for those New Year's resolutions to begin to fade.
One thing that helps us get out of the house is knowing we are going to a warm and sweaty studio. We've rounded up some of our favorite heated studios and classes in town:
Melt Hot Fitness
Melt (pictured above) now has two locations (Westerville and Dublin) and is one of the more unique hot studios we've seen. Their class offerings include barre, cycling, yoga, and a lifting class--all of which are heated. The classes are also kept really dimly lit, which we love. These classes are HOT, but that's why the place is called Melt.
System of Strength
It's no secret that we love System of Strength. But admittedly, the classes that I tend to avoid are the heated ones just because I think their workouts are hard enough without the heat. But, in the last few months, I challenged myself to endure the heat and try more of those classes. I can get deeper in my stretch and my muscles feel more worked after a heated class, so I know the benefits are definitely there. SOS's heated classes include High + Tight, Ebb + Flo, and SloFlo.
The OG of hot yoga in Columbus--this place is still rocking it and we are still loving it. I began my yoga practice at Harbor 6 years ago, so I didn't really know any different. These classes are best explained as yoga in fast forward. Harbor does offer a Slow Flow that isn't heated, but all of the other classes are heated to over 90 degrees. Don't forget a towel (or 2!).
Modo Yoga Columbus (located near Grandview) offers a form of hot yoga that combines the precision of therapeutic yoga and the foundations of traditional yoga in a specially heated room. All of their classes are heated as well, but there are a ton of different types of yoga classes that they offer.
Where are you going in Columbus to warm up this winter? What classes are you going to try from our list?
Dropped in to Studio Torch this past Saturday to check out their Total Body Circuit class after seeing a friend post a lot of “killer workout” comments about Torch on his Instagram. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect since Studio Torch is only a month or two old, and I hadn’t heard much about it from anyone else. I figured that “total body” was a good way to get the full experience, and got ready to go.
The idea behind Studio Torch is something that makes a lot of sense to me -- workouts designed by professionals and taught by certified trainers. My class was a circuit-style workout that featured six stations we did four times each for 90 seconds, with a 20 second break between stations. After the first revolution, I could feel my heart rate spiking and knew I had to hold on until the end.
The class incorporated everything from TRX straps to free weights, slam balls to treadmills, and had different elements of stability, strength, and core training. Full disclosure - it’s three days later now that I am writing this, and my abs and hamstrings are still mad at me (in a good way, of course). Ashley, the trainer, helped me with some of the movements since I am dealing with a shoulder issue, and checked on me a few times to make sure I wasn’t pushing myself toward injury. Studio Torch’s workouts can be scaled so that anyone can get a great workout, no matter their fitness level.
The class lasted about an hour. There was supposed to be a 5 minute AMRAP at the end of class, but I think Ashley read the room and gave us a break. All in all, I had a ton of fun, worked on a few areas I like to forget about during my own training, and genuinely enjoyed my time during the workout.
Studio Torch is located on Olentangy-River Road, and they are running a special promotion for those who sign up for classes now to come in at a reduced rate. They offer everything from single class passes to monthly memberships. They also give you a free week of unlimited classes to try them out and test out some of their different workouts they do throughout the week.
When I walked into HIIT Fit Club, I was a little intimidated. I might look super tough (and sound super tough when I use terms like “super tough”), but the truth is that boxing isn’t really my strength. But I am all about trying new things, especially when it comes to fitness, and figured the sweat I would get would be worth it in the end.
And I was so right…
The Boxing class I took was more than just punching a heavy bag. We started out with about 10 minutes of cardio to get warmed up, and ended the class with about 10 minutes of abs and a good stretch to cool down. I was glad to know I would be getting a whole body workout and some good cardio burn to go along with the boxing.
HIIT Fit Club is located in Gahanna on Hamilton Road, near Dublin-Granville Road. It opened only two weeks ago, and everything in the gym looks and feels brand new. Aside from boxing classes, they offer kickboxing, yoga and boot camps, as well as some one-on-one personal trainers. The trainer that taught our class, Jamie, was legit. He would break down punch combinations, and walk around and help people in the class until they caught on the the sequence.
I was expecting the boxing class to be an upper body and arm workout, but it turned out to be a great cardio workout as well. I wore a HR monitor when I worked out, and my average HR for the hour class was in the 120’s. My arms were sore, abs were sore, and I probably burned over 500 calories in the hour. You would have a hard time finding an hour-long class that does the same kind of strength training and cardio training as you will get at HIIT Fit Club.
Currently, HIIT Fit Club is offering a special that if you sign up in November, you get the month of December for free and wouldn’t pay your first month’s dues until January 2018. This is a great deal and since the first class is always free, there is no reason you shouldn’t get in and check out HIIT Fit Club for yourself!
Ryan and Kelly of Sweat Local Columbus