How has your experience been with MINT?
I talk A LOT about how much I love MINT. It’s a great gym, with great staff, and I feel happy when I’m here. I’ve had a lot of firsts at MINT like my first workout class and my first 10k run. I like sharing MINT with friends, meeting new people in my classes, and also just being here alone with my thoughts. Compared to other places I’ve lived, DC can sometimes feel very cerebral like we’re all brains walking around detached from our bodies. I like MINT because, like a nice hike or a swim, being here engages all my senses and makes me feel at home in my body.
Fitness goals and how you have started working your way towards them?
I don’t have any specific fitness goals that immediately come to mind. I guess like everyone I want to feel good and look good. When I was a kid, I wanted to play in the NBA, but adulthood is different because I unfortunately have less time for delusions. It’s nice though to still feel connected to my NBA dreams by pretending I’m training for the championship or something. I guess my abstract fitness goal is to remain connected to that youthful feeling of coming home from school with a ton of energy and spending all afternoon running and jumping around the neighborhood with friends. The group fitness classes remind me of that feeling, and I work towards my goal by attending as many classes as I can.
Classes you like?
Plyofit, TRX Bootcamp, Power Playground, and FLEX-Upper Body.
If you’re heading out on vacation anytime soon – or making plans to do so – one of the things to consider is the effect that flying can have on your back.
Let me explain:
Cramped legroom, uncomfortable seating and being confined to a small space all contribute to lower back pain during and after a flight.
And when a substantial, 88% of people, experience increased back pain following a flight, I wanted to share 3 simple tips that will help support your back and make traveling much more comfortable when jetting off…
First off, if you’re going on a long flight – schedule your flights carefully.
Flying is the most tricky part of traveling for many people with back pain; being shoehorned into a cramped seat for hours on end can leave you feeling crippled.
Some people like to minimize their time in the air by booking direct flights whenever possible, which also helps reduce the number of time you have to lift your carry-on into the overhead bin too!
So, if you’re on a long flight, and you’re spending 5+ hours in the air, try to find a direct flight to minimize travel time and be sure to get up and move about, or stand at the back of the plane – only when the “seatbelt sign is off.” 😉
This next tip might seem self-explanatory, but when we’re sat on a flight – how often do we get up and move?
Unless you sleep well on planes and plan to nod off for the entire flight, you’ll probably want to request an aisle seat for your journey. This will allow you to easily stand up frequently and move around the cabin without disturbing your seatmates. Plus, sitting too long in the same position causes tightness and pain.
You can do some simple stretches in the back of the plane, and if you’re unable to get up, you can do some stretches in your seat such as neck rolls or raising your hands high above your head for a good stretch.
Next, are you taking a carry-on? If so, do your best to pack light.
Every extra item you squeeze into your carry-on is one more thing you’ll have to hoist up into the overhead bin or drag through the airport.
Make it easier on yourself by packing less and checking-in any bags you know you won’t be able to lift easily over your head.
This same advice applies for when you reach your destination too – when you’re out exploring, take a small backpack that distributes weight evenly rather than using a shoulder bag that places unnecessary pressure on one side of your body.
If you must carry a single shoulder bag, switch it regularly from one side to the other throughout the
day to make it easier on your body.
If you want more tips to ease back pain, ask for my FREE BACK PAIN REPORT that shows you ways to ease back pain naturally – it has some helpful exercises inside too which you can use on your vacation. Just email me at email@example.com and your digital copy will be on its way to you, right away.
How has your experience been with MINT?
My experience with MINT has been an incredible one. I’ve absolutely loved the community feel. I met a ton of my friends here, and I feel a part of the MINT family.
Fitness goals and how you have started working your way towards them?
My fitness goals are to be the best olympic-style weightlifter I can be. My 5 year goal is to become national champion, with a bunch of minor goals to get there (yearly goals, monthly, and weekly goals). To get there I’m focusing on consistency, technique, and mentality. All of which MINT can and has helped with (always having a clean and well managed gym for consistency, personal trainers for technique, and a community of like minded fitness individuals for mentality).
How is your personal training experience (if working with a trainer)?
I haven’t done any 1-on-1 personal training, but the personal trainers are always available for technique advice and a helping hand.
Classes you like?
I do mostly olympic style lifting, but on my cardio days my FAVORITE is cycling with Marianne downtown on Mondays or Saturdays, and ANY of Roger’s classes.
By Debra Samuel, MINT General Manager
Boxing is one of the oldest sports in the world. For the uninitiated, however, staring down rows of hanging bags, donning wraps and gloves, learning new punches, and envisioning fists of fury may feel a little intimidating; for others, it may simply be an exciting challenge. But no matter what, you should ditch any hesitation and get yourself to a MINTBox class ASAP, because boxing is a completely accessible workout that boasts an impressive list of calorie torching, whole-body-sculpting benefits that you won’t want to miss.
1.Improve Cardiovascular Health and Torch Calories
For even the newest boxer, there is an immediate cardiovascular benefit. In boxing, you move nearly non-stop during each round, whether it is throwing (or dodging) punch combinations, working on footwork, or doing complementary cardio like jumping rope, jumping jacks, and burpees. You do get short recovery periods between intervals, but the effort phases are intense. Not only does that help train your heart to work more efficiently, lower your resting heart rate, reduce the risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer, and generally help you feel your best, but it also burns mega calories.
Think boxing is solely an upper-body workout? Think again. Boxing recruits a wide range of muscles, as the power behind the punches lies in a boxer’s hips and legs, and effective technique also requires (and builds) a strong back and core. In most boxing classes, your coach will not only help you refine your punching form, leading to faster and better results, but also will push you through complementary strength training exercises to accelerate those gains. In addition, because boxing is a weight-bearing sport that forces you to work against gravity, it may also help you prevent bone loss.
3.Improve Balance, Coordination, and Agility
In boxing, you move your body in so many different ways and directions. You punch, duck, slip, squat, pivot, and more – and often very quickly. These quick shifts, along with your coach’s fresh combinations and dynamic programming, will help you improve your balance, coordination, and agility, keeping you light on your toes and quick on your feet.
Ever just feel to need to hit something to let out a little stress or tension? Enough said. Not only do you get a tangible stress release from making contact with the heavy bag or focus mitts, but you also see the endorphin-driven mental health benefits that come with all intense exercise.
Boxing fitness classes will keep you in fighting form, so to speak. But they will also help you to avoid the dreaded fitness plateau by ensuring that your routine is dynamic and fresh, and that you remain challenged even as your body adapts. So step into the ring and add boxing into your training routine today. You won’t regret it. Try MINTBox at MINT Manhattan Laundry as part of a 5 day free trial.
Let’s be honest, a lot of us spend our workdays cooped up indoors under bright office lights, our eyes fixed on computer screens for hours, drinking copious amounts of coffee or tea, to then return home to bask in the glow of our TV screens…
But spending too much time inside isn’t good for you. And getting outside is beneficial (maybe essential!) for your health.
Psychologists, scientists, and health researchers are finding more and more science-backed reasons why we should spend more time outside when we can.
One of our patients from Dupont Circle, Jill, was telling me in the clinic the other day about a book she’d just finished reading called, “The Nature Fix”. In it, the Author shared her insights on the impact that being outdoors had on her health and wellbeing after moving to the mountainous terrain of Boulder, Colorado…
“I used to have trouble focusing, I felt overwhelmed, and didn’t want to get out of bed – all that changed when I moved and spent more time outside.”
While we don’t all need to pack up and move somewhere as glorious as Boulder – it’s true that we could all probably benefit from spending more time exploring what the DC area has to offer us. That could be taking a beautiful walk on the trails or even just visiting your local park if you find it hard to get out and about much – essentially, do whatever you can do to expose yourself to the outdoors.
So, let’s take a look today at why getting outdoors is so important for your health (backed by Science ;-):
1. Fights off stress
Something about getting outdoors changes how your body reacts to stress.
One study found that people sent to go camping in the woods for two nights had lower levels of cortisol (your stress hormone) than those who spent that same time in the city.
Among office workers, even the view of nature outside the window is associated with lower stress and higher job satisfaction.
So, if you don’t have green views while you’re working, find little ways in your week to get more of them in to help you feel re-energized!
Even if that means taking the scenic route to work or going for a green walk on Sundays before you start your week!
2. Spending time outside reduces inflammation
When inflammation strikes, it’s associated in varying degrees with a wide range of effects including back pain, knee pain, depression, bowel problems, etc. – spending time in nature may be one way to keep inflammation in check.
Research has proven that those who spend more time outdoors have lower levels of inflammation than those who spend most of their time in their busy town.
In another study, elderly patients who had been sent on a weeklong trip to a woods showed reduced signs of inflammation, as well as some indications that being outside, had a positive effect on their hypertension.
And now that it’s Spring – spending more time outside is a lot easier!
3. Helps eliminate fatigue
You know that feeling when your brain feels ‘foggy’ and you feel extra tired at the end of the day, wanting to do nothing but put your feet up with a brew?
Well, Researchers call that “mental fatigue”, not necessarily physical fatigue.
One thing that can help get you back into gear is by exposing yourself to restorative environments A.K.A the great outdoors.
One study found that people’s mental energy bounced back even when they just looked at pictures of nature. (Pictures of city scenes had no such effect.)
So, if you find it hard to get outdoors often, that’s one simple solution to help clear brain fog!
You could even set your computer’s screensaver to something scenic to feel a benefit.
4. Getting outside lowers blood pressure
With all these salutary effects, it’s no surprise that getting outside – which usually involves walking – lowers blood pressure too.
One study of 280 participants found that along with lowering our stress hormone by more than 15%, a walk outdoors lowered the average pulse by almost 4% and blood pressure by just over 2%.
So you may not need to keep taking pills to keep your blood pressure levels in a healthy state – and instead, go for a gentle walk!
5. Nature could improve your short-term memory
Find yourself getting a bit forgetful? Well, there may just be a natural remedy for that!
Several studies have shown that nature walks have memory-promoting effects that other walks don’t (in a busy town, or rushing around a city)…
…In one study, a group of students was given a brief memory test, then divided into two groups.
One group took a stroll around a park, and the others took a walk down a city street. When the participants returned and did the test again, those who had walked among trees did almost 20% better in the test than the first time. The ones who had taken in city sights instead did not consistently improve.
Get outside as much as you can this Spring – walking is a great way to keep active, mobile and give you an energy boost – it doesn’t have to be a hard hike. Enjoy a gentle stroll, and what the DMV area has to offer.