A report from Yale University School of Medicine supports that during pregnancy, 50 – 80% of women report incidents of back pain. As I enter into my third trimester of pregnancy, I can certainly attest that this is true. Thanks to that expanding uterus of mine and shift in my center of gravity, my body is a bit out of whack and feeling aches I never felt before.Mentioning this to my trainer, Lena Habash with B-Fit Biscayne we began focusing our sessions on mobility and flexibility. These exercises set out to help me avoid, or at the very least alleviate this type of body distress, as well as prepare me for the ever closer end-game of labor and delivery.Here are Lena’s top seven exercises for mobility and flexibility during pregnancy. Incorporating these into a weekly routine will help encourage agile movement and body flow through that last trimester.
Lena Habash of B-Fit Biscayne shares her seven exercises for mobility during pregnancy in the third-trimester. Her tips encourage flexibility while aiming to alleviate body aches.
According to Harvard Medical School, practicing yoga not only brings physical health benefits, but also encourages a better body image, promotes mindful eating, and boosts cardiovascular benefits. If your 2018 New Year’s Resolutions includes living a healthy and mindful lifestyle, why not try out the yoga studios that made our best of the best list.Green MonkeyOnce again making our list is Green Monkey, which advocates the mantra of ‘Live your Practice’. This is felt the moment you walk through the doors of their Miami Beach and Coral Gables locations. Green Monkey devotees rave about how welcoming instructors are, making the studios feel like home.Buddha Shack YogaWanting to create a space that would be open and fun, allowing anyone - even those who have never rolled out a mat - to feel welcomed and supported, owners Cristina and Jenna created Buddha Shack. Since its opening earlier this year, it has seen immense popularity with classes like Buddha Burn, combining your breath's impact on movement, alongside hand weight exercises and HIIT intervals. Check out the review we did earlier this year of Buddha Shack.Standard SpaIf you are looking for a little spa with your yoga practice, The Standard Spa lets you do just that. Book a Yoga or Fitness class like Sunrise Yoga or Stand-Up Paddle Board class, and then enjoy a relaxing spa treatment to fully exercise your mind, body and soul.Nobe YogaLocated in Mid-Beach, Nobe Yoga was built on the belief that the “Yoga High” is real, but more importantly that yoga helps you stay calm in situations, and helps you slow down to see the world through a different lens. Described as an intimate space, which allows instructors to provide ample time and attention to each student during classes like Yin Yoga and Yoga Bootcamp. All of which can be enjoyed before a refreshing juice at Just Juice Me, the attached juice bar.OM MovementLocal favorite in Coconut Grove, OM Movement encourages consciousness in motion through transformative yoga classes such as Aerial Yoga, Fluidus Method Yoga, which emphasizes precise postural alignment, and Handstands, Arm Balance and Mobility. Encouraging for all levels, instructors are often praised by yoga virgins as a great space to learn the basics.PilathonAlthough more often renowned as a retreat for Pilates enthusiasts, Pilathon, located in the heart of Wynwood, makes our list thanks to their Sunset Yoga class. A 60 – 90-minute hatha yoga class hosted on the rooftop of the building, providing a serene surrounding of a 360 view of beautiful Miami.Tropical VinyasaNow a staple in Miami Beach’s yoga scene, founders Amy Dannheim and Paul Toliuszis, lovingly describe Tropical Vinyasa as “sweaty, local, and fun.” Located in Sunset Harbor, they have diligently brought together some of the best instructors in Miami to teach classes that focus on self-expression and flow. Learn more about Tropical Vinyasa through the review we did earlier this year.Yoga House MiamiLocally celebrated for its challenging yet energizing hot yoga classes, Yoga House Miami is also revered for the diversity of its teachers. Yoga enthusiasts won’t get bored with this gem of a space located in the Silver Bluff neighborhood of Miami.Miami Life CenterAnd rounding out our list is the a first-rate Ashtanga studio, Miami Life Center, with a famed reputation across the country. In fact, many a yoga-lover choose to vacation in Miami in order to experience the classes offered here. Classes range in intensity and level, and the center also offers multi-hour/day workshops for those looking to commit fully to the lifestyle.The Buddha FarmAnd for those of you outside of Miami, The Buddha Farm, located in Fort Lauderdale, is South Florida’s first yoga co-op designed to promote community. Some say the success of the co-op comes from all instructors having a vote in the running and decision making for The Buddha Farm - like a true co-op. Or maybe its the dozen classes that overlook a tranquil garden, offered weekly. Learn more in our review of the co-op space.Testing out your downward dog at any of these 10 hot spots will surely bring you positive vibes in 2018.
Our annual list of top yoga studios in Miami and Fort Lauderdale for 2018. Included on the list are local favorites Green Monkey, Miami Life Center, OM Movement and Standard Spa and more.
I’ve been training with Lena Habash at BFit Biscayne for some weeks now. At six months pregnant it’s been highly informative and comforting to train with an expert who understands the fitness needs for a pregnant body. She has pushed me, when all I want is to use my pregnancy as an excuse for laziness, but also keeps my safety as the utmost importance.At my last session, we focused on movement. We kicked off with squats and a one-armed press combo. It was early morning, and the gym wasn’t yet filled with the noises of fitness fanatics. This near silence made it even more obvious, that when I squat, there is a loud, cracking noise coming from my knees and ankles. Embarrassingly, I explained the cracking has been happening for years.After asking me to remove my shoes and squat again, she noticed my very flat feet with pronation. She had me concentrate on standing more rolled out, or pushing through to the outside of my foot, rather than letting my foot fall naturally inwards.As I squatted with that new stance, the cracking noticeably diminished. I was amazed. Although I felt a slight strain in my shins, I was reassured that it was most likely because those muscles don’t get used frequently due to my compensated stance. It would take time to build up their use. After a round of various squat and lunge exercises with my new positioning, it was becoming less of an awkward feeling. However, I would need to be mindful in order to make it natural.Many fitness enthusiasts go through workouts either unaware of the true impact poor form has on their body, or settle for body aches, pains, and noises, because that’s just the way it has always been. I was amazed how this tiny shift affected so much. It was a good reminder why form in exercise is so important.Lena’s advice when it comes to form is to:
Lena also had me do single arm rows, bent over on a bench. Asking me, as she does, "how does that feel after a few reps." I told her I was feeling it more in my triceps. Although these do work the whole arm, where she really wanted me to be feeling it was my upper back, shoulder blade and bicep.Once again, she adjusted my position, moving my standing leg away from the bench and moving my kneeling leg back to allow me to properly position my hip. She then had me visualize rowing into my hip versus into the crevasse of my arm. These slight changes made all the difference. I could feel my back and biceps working.Slight movement changes like these can shift so much, from training an unintended muscle to the correct one, to avoiding unnecessary injury.Lena is a trainer at BFit Training Studios with a Master’s in Strength and Conditioning. For more information on her training philosophy visit BFit, or follow Lena @habashkii. And for more tips on safe fitness during pregnancy read our article, 10 Tips for Working Out During Pregnancy.
Lena Habash at BFit advocates for focus on correct movement and form to improve a workout. Her top tips are: awareness, control and attention to detail.
As a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) devotee, one of the first topics I Googled after finding out I was pregnant was advice on maintaining my fitness and health routine over the next 9-plus months. To my disappointment, I was unable to find the advice and guidance I was searching for, let alone local classes in Miami catering to pregnant women.I just couldn’t fathom going 3 trimesters without the mental reward I’d grown accustomed to with strength and HIIT training.Thankfully, I was introduced to Scott Johnson at B-Fit, who has expert knowledge of specialty fitness needs for pregnant women. B-Fit specializes in small group and individualized programming, led by experienced exercise physiologists, who emphasize proper movement patterns to promote health.I met up with him for a session to focus on modifying my typical workout, ensuring that I’m keeping myself and my baby healthy.Here are some of Scott’s tips.5 Exercises to Avoid:Don't exercise to max heart rate. It’s fine to elevate your heart rate but you don't want to keep it elevated during the entire workout. Rather incorporate rest intervals into your routine as a way to properly monitor your heart rate.No more crunches! Or in technical terms, flexion and rotation exercises are off-limits. The day will come when physically you just can’t do a crunch with a pregnant belly. But it’s also advised to avoid elongating or stretching your core. There are more effective ways to target your mid-section and work all 32 ab muscles, including the deep muscles you will rely on for labor, delivery, and recovery.Avoid overhead pressing. This causes to much strain on your abdominal cavity. Instead, choose different planes of motion for presses. Or if going overhead, alternate reps to reduce pressure on your belly. However, non-loading overhead movements are fine and great for stretches and mobility.Put impact activities on hiatus. More important for later in pregnancy, but jumping and jerking motions like jumping jacks or burpees are not recommended. Also, avoid running during this time due to the constant impact on the joints. If you were a runner before pregnancy, be mindful of your running turf and how that is making your joints feel. And don't try to go for any new PRs.Modify weight activity in a supine position. Exercises where you are on your back, or a supine position should be avoided due to the risk of dizziness, nausea or a drop-in blood pressure. With exercises like presses, consider positioning the bench at an incline.5 Recommended Exercises or Modifications: Lunges or range of motion exercises. As your belly begins to grow, your body is learning a new center of gravity, so focusing on stability exercises are encouraged. And as joints begin to loosen and your back begins to feel the impact of carrying new weight, range of motion exercises will help keep you flexible and steady. Lunges are a great example of an exercise to promote this type of training.Squats or exercises where you are grounded. Trying to steady yourself with your new pregnancy body may require a break from those box jumps and a new love of grounded positions like squats. Squats are also a great way to safely and effectively weight train during pregnancy.Weighted carries (Farmers carries). Simple, yet effective, weighted carries or asymmetrical carries (weight on one side of the body) are great for building overall strength and training your core. These will also prepare you for holding your baby, ensuring your body is strong on both sides to avoid uneven motor patterns that sometimes develop from favoring one side of your body.Paloff holds and Paloff presses. This is the ultimate for core strengthening when you have that baby bump. For Paloff holds, hook a resistance band around an anchor point. Grab onto the band with both hands, step away from the anchor creating resistance and hold your arms out straight in front of you. And for the press, same position but press your hands out front, rather than keeping them straight.Pushups at an angle. If you love pushups like I do, it was probably a disappointment when you realized that your belly required you to modify. During pregnancy, look to do push-ups at an angle, rather than straight on and you can receive the same benefits, but in a safer manner for you and your baby.During our session, I confided in Scott, sharing that adjusting my mindset from pushing myself to do better was one of the harder modifications I had to make. His most impactful advice to me was to listen to my body, put ego aside, and quit trying to outdo others in the gym or PRs. Frankly, I’ve already won because I’m training while pregnant and keeping up with my fitness routine.If you are pregnant and looking to keep your workout routine steady, visit B-Fit for more information.
Scott Johnson of B-Fit in Miami shares his 10 Tips For Working Out During Pregnancy for a healthy fitness routine throughout pregnancy.
I admit it. I was suspect upon entering Manduu, a modern and compact space located in downtown Miami. Oliver Strauss, President for Manduu USA, confirmed he gets a lot of that, since the philosophy is new in the US. Already established in Europe with over 60 locations, Strauss is passionate about spreading the health benefits of electrical muscle stimulation, or EMS, across the country.Electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) is the prompting of muscle contraction using electric impulses. The Manduu philosophy uses EMS to help customers achieve in just 15-minutes a week, the same results they would get from weight training at a conventional gym. Strauss says, “It’s the perfect solution for busy professionals with busy schedules.”EMS aims to develop every muscle group equally, in order to achieve a stable body. The electric impulse reaches deep muscle tissues and more than 90 percent of muscle fibers. This helps increase muscle mass at a speedier rate, thus increasing metabolic rate which impacts number of calories burned while a body is at rest. Strauss equates EMS to charging a battery. With each session at Manduu, “we load-up the battery, with the long-term goal of keeping the battery fully charged for as long as possible.”Following an assessment of my personal well-being and health goals, I step onto the InBody machine for body composition analysis. The report provides a breakdown on body makeup -- water-to-protein, to-minerals, to-body fat mass, as well as muscle-to-fat ratio and body segments (e.g. arms, legs and core) ratio. It even informs me of my visceral fat composition, or fat surrounding key organs.Oliver explains that Manduu evaluates clients in three categories: C-Type, I-Type and D-type, determined by analysis rates of weight, skeletal muscle mass and body fat mass. When connecting the dots of where each measurement sits on the spectrum, the line makes either a C, I or D shape. C translates to muscle mass being under what it should be, while I means a balanced body with all parts equal. But the goal is a D-shape, when your muscle mass is greater than weight and body fat mass. This analysis informs the regimen your Manduu personal trainer will develop for you, taking into account your health goals.Trainer Mike John sets me up in the special vest and shorts, kitted out with EMS sources to connect me to the machine. After reviewing proper form and the importance of flexing my muscles during the 15-minute session for maximum impact, we get started.We evaluate the electrical stimulation levels for each part of my body, ensuring I am comfortable with the sensation. The workout includes squat variations, dumbbell lifts and tricep kickbacks with a device called a Smovey, and ab crunches. All of this performed while receiving the muscle stimulation, which provides a tingling sensation.As a maximum resistance base workout, I could definitely feel my muscles being challenged. It felt like exercising against a very strong ocean current. By the end of the 15 minutes, I feel slightly sore, similar to concluding a really powerful session at the gym.Manduu philosophy is that each individual is just that, an individual and discourages comparison to others. They focus on individual goals, with personal trainers customizing workouts to your specific body composition, in a private atmosphere.Currently there are a few Manduu locations throughout the US, with the goal of 8 studios by the end of the year. Each location is connected, allowing customers to enjoy any studio as they do their hometown one. For more information and pricing visit www.manduu.com.
Manduu uses EMS to help customers achieve in just 15-minutes a week, the same results they would get from weight training at a conventional gym.
The popularity of Spinning has grown exponentially in the last decade. According to Statista, in 2013 over 43 million Americans participated in indoor cycling activity. This has no doubt increased with the explosion of boutique spinning studios across the country.For my first ever spin class, I gave Miami’s newest studio, Cyclebox, a try. Cyclebox is a secondary concept from FitBox Method founder, Avidan Edelsberg. Unassumingly tucked away in the back of the Bay Parc Plaza lobby, the modern designed gym houses two spaces - a high-end gym for Fitbox Method and a space resembling a nightclub for Cyclebox.I checked-in at the front desk and was assured that the bikes allow you to clip-in or use standard sneakers. Then I entered the Cyclebox studio, where music videos were playing on the 150-inch giant screen at the front and the dimly lit room immediately giving the feeling of a high-energy dance party. The nearly 20 bikes are surrounded by mirrored walls and the room has a subtle glow highlighted by black lights. I am confident the class will live up to the description I read of feeling like you are coming out of a night club after dancing all night.
Instructor Daria Deptula (@missfitvegan) gets us right into it, with a packed playlist of songs and accompanying music videos that you can’t help but move to, including tunes from Bon Jovi, Pitbull, Christina Aguilera, Imagine Dragons and Lady Gaga.Music is one of the most important parts of Deptula’s class. She believes that, “focusing on the rhythm helps people push through and work harder.” And adds, “Cyclebox is different from other spin classes that have a heavy focus on reaching certain RPMS, putting too much emphasis on numbers and not enough on fun. Cyclebox pushes you to ride to the beat and use the music to drive your energy.”Edelsberg has built Fitbox Method and Cylcebox on his philosophy of fitness as a lifestyle. He believes “if you are having a good time then you are more likely to come back and commit to the workout.” He wants classes to be a fun hobby not a gruesome workout.Daria made the class so much fun - with dancing, arms pumping and some occasional singing. The 45-minutes, which included a round of weights to ensure a fuller-body workout, flew by and I left feeling energized!Cyclebox officially launches June 12th with a regular daily class schedule in mornings and evenings. Classes will be taught by rockstar instructors including Daria Deptula, Johnny Rhodes (@iamjohnnyrhodes), Ana Rodriguez and Nadia Porter. Keep an eye out for theme classes, like Ultra Wednesdays, where high definition quality Ultra Music Festival concerts will be powering the flow of the class.Cyclebox is located at 1756 North Bayshore Drive, Suite 119, across from Margaret Pace Park. Class schedules can be found here and membership fees here.
Cyclebox is a secondary concept from FitBox Method founder, Avidan Edelsberg, tucked away in the back of the Bay Parc Plaza lobby.
Tucked away, from the hustle and bustle of the main streets of Wynwood is a community center working to change the way Miamians see the world. Love Life Wellness Center opened two years ago with a specific mission: inspire people to wake-up each morning and love life.Co-founded by Veronica Menin, the concept for the center was brought on by her own journey for self-love. Following a break-up, Menin committed to putting an end to the outside influences affecting her self-outlook. This started her down the path to inner love, beginning with healthy eating through a vegan diet.“I learned to be more mindful about other living beings and the environment. Choosing what I put on my plate affected the way I treated others and the way I wanted to live my life,” says Menin. “It was a domino effect and from there everything began to fall into place.”During this time, yoga teacher Megan Elizabeth, approached Menin with the idea of partnering-up to open a studio together. Around the same time, the third partner of Love Life Wellness Center, Diego Tosoni, presented an idea of a café to fuel the body and soul. And with this, Life Life Wellness Center took form.From the start, Menin envisioned the center as a place where she could be every day, interacting one-on-one with patrons, and creating a true community where people could get a full circle experience, knowledge and education.“My dream was to bring together people that were creating other conscious, amazing things in the community, to share their knowledge,” Menin explains. “I wanted to touch upon all different sides of life - food, exercise, spirituality - all of it working together is the most efficient way to make a change in someone’s life.”
The day I was at Love Life Wellness Center I saw first-hand the inspiring energy a community can bring. In one part of the center a group of students were participating in the Yoga Training program. All huddled around one of the communal tables located in the center of the space, studying, conversing, questioning and debating. While other folks were sprinkled throughout the large area, feeding off the environment as they worked on laptops, using the center’s free Wi-Fi, and others still were enjoying the delicious bites from the café.I questioned why creating a community was so important to her. She explained that through years of studying as a health coach, she has seen the positive effect that being part of a community can have on people. In fact, Dr. Emma Seppala from Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE) says that “when connection with others is present, it can boost mental and physical health, and even increase immunity and longevity.” As this belief is a pillar of the Love Life Wellness Center, Menin and team strive to connect individuals that want to love themselves, to eat well, to take care of their body, their spirit; creating a space that gives off a feeling of comfort and belonging.When asked what her future vision is for the center, Menin explains that “the goal is to provide different things throughout the day from acupuncture, to meditation, to a start-up 101 class, education on how to get energized in the middle of the day, and so on. So, when people sit here to work they are getting other tools to help their life.”
Additionally, Menin is beginning to branch out, developing an outpatient program for people in recovery from addiction. The outpatient program will center around yoga, meditation and nutrition and will be led by a clinical therapist, helping patients get back on their feet.The café is also blossoming; an entity that started out with as a simple idea of serving smoothies, wraps and acai bowls. Having evolved into a full kitchen, available across the many local delivery platforms, Tosoni, who leads this part of the center, creates the menu around the things he loves to eat and wants to share with others.Starting out as wanting to have a positive impact on the world, Menin and company have developed the center into a place where people can connect with other individuals that want to love themselves, to eat well, to take care of their body, and their spirit. A space that gives off a feeling of comfort and belonging.Menin believes that whatever you do, if you do it with an open heart and gratitude, and appreciate every moment, you can love your life the way it is presented to you right now. That, she says, is what happiness really means.Join the community located at 584 NW 27th Street in Wynwood and check out their schedule of events and activities, and the café.
Love Life Wellness Center opened two years ago with a specific mission: inspire people to wake-up each morning and love life.
It’s that time of year once again, the holiday season is upon us. Lights are going-up, tree-stands are appearing on street corners, and party invites are going out. The frenzy is starting to build. But this year, STAY FIT 305 wants to help you keep a serene outlook in the face of stressful family gatherings and chaotic holiday shopping.We enlisted Health Coach Luciana Ferraz of Blueberry Bunch to share some top tips on how to stay relaxed as the end of the year, and all it brings, approaches.Here are six top tips for staying calm, cool, and collected during the holiday season.
Luciana Ferraz is an integrative nutrition health coach, who founded Blueberry Bunch to help busy people discover their ideal work-life balance and better manage the stress of everyday life. Learn more about her here.
Tips to Stay Stress-Free During the Holidays from Miami Health Coach Luciana Ferraz. From mediation to ME time, learn how to avoid the holiday chaos.