5 Healthy Travel Tips For Your Summer Getaways

A person laying in a car, holding a map, and sticking their feet out the window.

Summer is in full swing and travel is picking back up, so we’re dreaming of fun and relaxing getaways! Anyone else? 

Whether you’re planning a tropical vacay, road trip, city sightseeing, or a long weekend of R&R, make sure you take your healthy habits with you. 

When you’re in a new place and out of your routine, it can be tempting to skip workouts or get off track with your clean eating. But “out of office” mode doesn’t have to mean out of wellness mode! When you’re on vacation, you want to feel your absolute best. Your fitness and self-care practices will help you feel energized, confident, and radiant as you kick back and enjoy yourself!

Check out our 5 best tips for taking your healthy habits on the road (or on the fly!). 

Work out anytime, anywhere 

The amazing thing about Physique 57 On Demand is that you can do your workouts from anywhere in the world! Crush your sweat sessions from your hotel room, Airbnb, or even take your workout outside so you can soak in the scenery. 

You can find workouts from 5 minutes up to 57 minutes, so no matter how much time you have, we’ve got you covered! Even on your busiest travel days, you can squeeze in a 15-minute sculpt session. 

A workout will help energize you, relieve stress, and boost your mood, so you’ll be ready for whatever is on your travel itinerary! Plus, research shows that exercise can cause changes to your internal body clock, which helps counter the effects of jet lag ¹. 

BYO barre…and more gear

We don’t actually mean bring a barre, of course, but you can easily use a chair or another surface in your hotel room as a DIY barre. 

You can also pack small workout gear like resistance bands and grippy socks in your suitcase. Even easier: Physique On Demand has an entire selection of bodyweight only workout routines that are effective, efficient, and extra convenient for travel. 

Explore your destination 

There’s so much to explore in a new place, whether it’s city streets, parks, mountains, or trails. Go for long walks to take in the sights or rent bikes to tour the area. That way, you can get your steps in, get your heartrate up, and see more of the neighborhood. Walking also increases blood flow to your muscles and can help alleviate soreness ², so it will feel amazing after a long flight. 

Ask for recommendations from locals or you can look up hiking spots on a website like AllTrails

Stock up on healthy snacks

Airport and rest stop food is often highly processed, fried, or full of artificial sugars. Get prepped by packing your snacks in advance. Some of our favorite travel snacks: unsalted nuts, homemade trail mix, dried fruit, and kale chips. 

Hydrated, hydrate, and hydrate some more

Hydration is always key for your health, but especially when you’re traveling. Ever wonder why you’re so thirsty and your skin is dry when you’re flying? In an airplane, the filtration system makes humidity drop drastically (to 10 – 20 percent). Low humidity causes moisture to evaporate from your body quickly, which will dehydrate you faster ³. Changes in climate and altitude at your destination can also lead to dehydration, which makes jet lag symptoms worse ⁴.

Make sure you’re traveling with a reusable water bottle and fill it up often! In general, experts recommend drinking at least 12 cups of water per day for women ⁵. And when you’re flying, aim for about 8 oz of water for every hour you’re in the air ⁶. Drink up!

Sources:

  1. https://physoc.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1113/JP276943
  2. https://www.wellandgood.com/is-walking-good-for-sore-legs/
  3. https://www.travelandleisure.com/travel-tips/why-do-i-get-so-dehydrated-when-i-fly
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/travel-tips-ways-to-minimize-jet-lag
  5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256#:~:text=The%20U.S.%20National%20Academies%20of,fluids%20a%20day%20for%20women
  6. https://www.asma.org/asma/media/asma/Travel-Publications/HEALTH-TIPS-FOR-AIRLINE-TRAVEL-Trifold-2013.pdf

The Best Foods To Gain Long, Lean Muscle

Closeup of two pieces of salmon coated in sesame seeds and seasoning sitting on a plate.

With every Physique 57 sweat session, you’re forming long, lean, gorgeous muscles. And after you’ve crushed your barre workout at home or in the studio you can enhance your gains in the kitchen! Refueling with whole, unprocessed, and nutrient-packed foods is key for muscle growth and recovery. The combination of your workouts and proper nutrition is where you’ll see the most benefits! 

We’re sharing 6 of the best foods to pair with your workouts to build muscle and feel lean, healthy, and energized.

Salmon 

Salmon delivers a double dose of muscle-building perks — it’s high in both protein and omega-3 fatty acids. First, let’s talk protein. Each 3 oz. serving of salmon contains about 17 g of protein, and protein is a powerhouse when it comes to gaining lean muscle. Research shows that protein helps build muscle strength and lean body mass ¹ ². It also helps repair and replenish your muscles after a tough workout, so you can recover faster and get back after it at the barre ³. Here’s how it works: When you’re rocking a workout, your muscle fibers break down. Protein’s amino acids allow your body to synthesize new cells, which repair the damaged fibers and help build new muscle ⁴. 

Salmon is also an amazing source of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition to protecting your heart health, omega-3s have been shown to maintain bone health and increase muscle gains ⁵. 

Eggs

Eggs also pack a lot of high-quality protein — about 6 g per egg. They are particularly high in the amino acid leucine, which has been linked to building muscle and enhancing post-workout recovery. Leucine is essential for regulating muscle protein synthesis, and it may be the key amino acid for optimizing muscle mass ⁶. 

According to research, you may get the most benefits from whole eggs. A study showed that people who consumed whole eggs had more muscle gains than those who opted for egg whites ⁷. This may be thanks to the cholesterol in yolks — a study shows that cholesterol can contribute to muscle building by enhancing your body’s inflammatory response ⁸. If you’re worried about cholesterol for heart health, it’s important to know that the cholesterol in eggs doesn’t seem to raise LDL cholesterol (aka the “bad” kind) the way other foods like trans and saturated fats do ⁹. Still, if you do have heart disease or diabetes, it’s smart to watch your overall intake. 

Quinoa 

While protein-rich foods are important for muscle gains, getting plenty of complex carbs is also essential. Carbs get a bad rap, but if you choose the right kind, they are a major way to feel energized and gain lean muscle. Slow-digesting complex carbs provide the energy your body needs to fuel your workouts and recover ¹⁰. Cooked quinoa, which is actually a seed and not a grain, delivers about 40 g carbs per cup. 

Plus, quinoa is an amazing plant protein for vegetarians, vegans, and anyone looking to lead a more plant-based lifestyle. Another perk: Quinoa is high in magnesium, which plays an important role in the function of your muscles and nerves and helps protect your bones ¹¹. 

Spinach 

Popeye was on to something! Spinach is a great source of glutamine, an amino acid that is important for muscle growth ¹². Research also shows that glutamine can help your muscles recover faster and soothe soreness post-workout ¹³.

Beets 

This root veggie contains a molecule that enhances muscle power. In a study, people who drank beet juice pre-workout saw an approximately 13% increase in muscle power. The perk comes from the nitrate, an ion found in beets and leafy greens like spinach. When you take in nitrate, it is converted to nitrite and then becomes nitric oxide, a molecule that boosts muscles and may enhance blood circulation ¹⁴. 

Almonds 

In addition to their high magnesium and protein content (16 g per serving), almonds also deliver phosphorus, a mineral that helps the body make protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells. Phosphorus also helps your body make a molecule called ATP, which leads you to use carbs and fat for energy during exercise ¹⁵. 

Eat up and enjoy! We’ll see you at the barre!

Sources:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25169440/
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22958314/
  3. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/112/2/303/5828186
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3381813/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25285409/
  6. https://journals.lww.com/nutritiontodayonline/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2009&issue=01000&article=00013&type=abstract
  7. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/106/6/1401/4823156
  8. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080109173717.htm#:~:text=In%20general%2C%20those%20with%20higher,in%20the%20participants%2C%20Riechman%20said
  9. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/expert-answers/cholesterol/faq-20058468
  10. https://jissn.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12970-017-0189-4
  11. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC426340/
  13. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25811544/
  14. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/10/14/448314966/why-you-might-want-to-be-drinking-beet-juice-at-the-gym
  15. https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002424.htm

Better Together! How Working Out with Friends Boosts Your Results

A group of Physique 57 barre instructors arm-in-arm smiling at the camera.

Happy National Best Friends Day! Hug your friends extra tight today — or catch up over FaceTime — and tell them how much they mean to you!

In honor of Best Friends Day, we also want to recognize the benefits of working out with friends by your side. Your girlfriends can also be your accountability partners and cheerleaders as you go after your fitness goals. 

We’re sharing 6 science-backed ways that exercising with a fitness community can boost your motivation and enhance your performance. 

Remember, we are all friends here at Physique 57! Every time you take a workout class — whether in the studio or On Demand — you’re surrounded by a supportive family who always has your back. Get ready to rock your workouts…with a little help from your friends!

How Working Out With Friends Boosts Your Fitness Results

Motivates you to work out longer

Research by the Society of Behavioral Medicine found that when people worked out with a partner or in a team format, they doubled their workout time compared to those who exercised alone ¹. We’re always motivated to push through our 57-minute workouts when we’re surrounded by friendly faces!

Makes you challenge yourself

A positive form of peer pressure! Seeing others perform well actually pushes you to work harder. In a study, people who did a plank with a more capable partner by their side increased their plank time by 24 percent ². When you see a friend or someone in class crushing a move, let that inspire you and give you something to work toward. 

Helps you stay consistent

As you know, consistency is essential to getting the best results. Research found that when people started a weight loss program with friends, 95 percent of them completed the program, compared to 76 percent completion rate for those who did the program solo ³. This works for exercise programs and challenges too! 

Releases more endorphins

We know that exercise activates the production of endorphins, brain chemicals that naturally boost mood, relieve stress, and ease pain ⁴. (Learn more about how barre boosts your mood.) But did you know you release even more endorphins when you do your sweat sesh with a group? One reason is that working out with friends or feeling the energy of an amazing group class makes you smile — and research shows that smiling actually boosts endorphins ⁵. 

Soothes stress

People who cycled for 30 minutes with a friend reported feeling calmer than those who biked alone, according to a study ⁶. It’s that feeling of balance and peace you get when you leave a great group class!

And most importantly, it’s FUN!

This one sounds so simple, but having fun is key to motivating yourself and staying consistent in your workout routine. When you leave a fitness class with a huge smile on your face, you’ll be ready to come back for more! Science backs this up: A study from the University of Southern California found that when people worked out with friends, they said they enjoyed the exercise more ⁷. 

Try These Simple Ways To Lean On Your Friends 

Schedule a workout date

Book a workout date with a friend to take a class in the studio or do the same On Demand routine. Put this in your calendar and treat it like any other commitment with a friend — you wouldn’t cancel dinner or happy hour plans at the last minute, would you? A workout date is just as important or more! 

Invite your girls to do the Invigorate Program with you 

The only way to make this program even better is to do it with a friend by your side! In this 21-day summer challenge, we’ll have brand new workouts, exclusive live events, weekly prizing, and vacay vibes! The challenge kicked off yesterday, but it’s not too late to join and invite a friend. Join us here

Connect on social 

Make sure you’re following us on Instagram @Physique57 and request to join the Physique 57 Community Facebook group. Use these platforms to connect with new friends in the fitness community. Comment on posts, tag us in your sweaty selfies, and DM other people in the Physique 57 fam to find accountability partners. 

Check in with each other 

Start group texts or DMs with your exercise accountability partners. Let each other know when you rocked a workout or reached a goal. You can also lean on each other for extra motivation and support when you need a pick-me-up. 

Remember, we’re always here to cheer you on!

Sources:

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12160-012-9367-4
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/51539278_Buddy_Up_The_Kohler_Effect_Applied_to_Health_Games
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10028217/
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax
  5. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile
  6. https://www.psychologytoday.com/files/attachments/34033/exercise-another.pdf
  7. https://www.livescience.com/40977-exercise-enjoyment-friends.html

How Practicing Gratitude Makes You Happier and Healthier

A blurred person holding a rectangular wooden sign up to the camera that says Gratitude.

We know you’re rocking your workouts and focusing on clean eating — we also want to make sure you’re fueling and nourishing your spirit! There is one simple practice we love that brings more joy, calm, and balance into your day. The best part: You can practice it anytime, anywhere in just a few minutes and it’s absolutely free. 

We’re talking about gratitude, the act of being thankful and expressing appreciation for the gifts you have in your life. This may sound like something that happens naturally, but it is actually a practice. Studies show that people can (and should!) consciously and deliberately cultivate gratitude ¹. It’s a muscle you can learn to strengthen and flex — just like in your workouts! 

Why practice gratitude? 

There are so many amazing physical, mental, and spiritual benefits to cultivating gratitude. Here are just a few of the incredible things gratitude can do for you: 

Brings on positivity 

Multiple studies show that fostering gratitude helps you feel happier, more hopeful, and more satisfied with your life. This also extends to how you treat others — people who practice gratitude are more likely to be empathetic, forgiving, helpful, and supportive than those who are less grateful ². 

Gratitude also helps curb the comparison game that is so common these days. When you’re grateful for what you do have in the present moment, you’re not thinking about the things you don’t have yet or comparing yourself to friends, coworkers, or people on social media. The focus is on counting your own blessings rather than keeping a tally of others. 

Reduces stress and depression 

People who kept a gratitude journal for two weeks reduced their perceived stress levels by 28 percent. Gratitude actually impacts your hormones — it has been linked to lowering levels of the stress hormone cortisol by up to 23 percent. 

Gratitude also helps prevent and ease depression. In one study, two simple activities — counting blessings and gratitude letter writing — reduced the risk of depression by 41 percent over a six-month period ³. 

Boosts workout motivation 

In a study, people who practiced gratitude spent 1 ½ hours a week more exercising than those who didn’t ⁴. That’s an extra Physique 57 workout class plus some! 

Gratitude has even more perks for your physical health too — it is linked with lower blood pressure, stronger heart health, and less chronic pain and inflammation ⁵. 

Improves sleep

Grateful people actually have the best rest! Research shows that gratitude is associated with getting more hours of sleep and better sleep quality ⁶. 

Ups energy levels

In multiple studies, people who practiced gratitude reported feeling more energetic and invigorated throughout their day. 

Enhances confidence

Gratitude also helps you feel even more empowered at the barre. A study in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increases athletes’ self-esteem ⁷. Radiating confidence will help you perform your best and crush your workouts! 

How to practice gratitude 

There is no “right” way to practice gratitude — it’s an individual and personal ritual. Here are a few practices you can try. See what feels most natural for you! 

Keep a gratitude journal 

Start a journal dedicated specially to gratitude. Every morning when you first wake up or at night before you go to bed, write down three things you are grateful for that day. We encourage you to make your gratitudes specific — they can be something as simple as your morning matcha, your comfy sheets, or that you got 8 hours of sleep the night before. They can also be things you observed in nature or with your loved ones and community. For example, hearing your child’s laugh or sharing a smile with a stranger. Being specific will help you notice and appreciate the little moments of your day that bring you joy. 

Write thank you letters

Take some time to write a handwritten thank you note to someone you love or admire. Tell them exactly why you’re grateful for them and how they’ve made a positive impact on your life. This will bring them so much happiness and it will help you cultivate gratitude for others. 

Express thanks out loud

A simple “thank you” goes a long way! So often we say “thanks” out of habit or obligation. Instead, try to slow down and put intention and heart behind your “thank yous” — whether you are thanking your partner or your barista! 

Be present in your surroundings

Take a few moments to pause, look around, and soak in all the beauty around you — the feeling of the sun or wind on your face, the sound of birds or other people’s laughter, the smells in your kitchen as you’re cooking. There’s so much to be thankful for when you look for it!

Thank your body 

When you finish a workout, put your hands on your heart and thank your beautiful, strong body for everything it does for you. 

Always include your why

Whenever you are expressing gratitude — in a journal, to yourself, or to others — make sure you include WHY you are grateful for it. This makes your gratitude even more intentional and powerful.

Sources:

  1. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/gratitude
  2. https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-research/#:~:text=The%20study%20showed%20that%20grateful,be%20more%20pro%2Dsocially%20oriented
  3. https://health.ucdavis.edu/medicalcenter/features/2015-2016/11/20151125_gratitude.html
  4. http://local.psy.miami.edu/faculty/mmccullough/gratitude/Emmons_McCullough_2003_JPSP.pdf
  5. https://health.ucdavis.edu/medicalcenter/features/2015-2016/11/20151125_gratitude.html
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19073292/
  7. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/271567980_Gratitude_Enhances_Change_in_Athletes’_Self-Esteem_The_Moderating_Role_of_Trust_in_Coach

How Barre Workouts Boost Your Mood & Bust Stress

Silhouette of a person jumping in front of a sunset and mountains.

Close your eyes right now and imagine that feeling after you rock your Physique 57 workout — joyful, confident, empowered, accomplished, centered, and ready to take on the rest of your day. That’s the power of barre! As we continue to celebrate Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re breaking down exactly how and why barre workouts boost your mood and help you feel calmer and happier. 

1. Exercise releases feel-good chemicals

Exercise activates the production of endorphins, brain chemicals that naturally improve mood, relieve stress, and ease pain ¹. Endorphins deliver that “runner’s high” that comes with any type of challenging workout. With short bursts of intense activity, Physique 57 gives you a more effective form of endorphin-boosting cardio — without being tough on your joints like running. 

Exercise also increases levels of serotonin (aka the “happy chemical”), a neurotransmitter that can help brighten your mood and ease symptoms of depression ² ³. 

2. Exercise relieves stress and anxiety

Aerobic exercise — like the cardio-based movements in a Physique 57 workout class — reduce levels of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline ⁴. 

Exercise also helps relieve anxiety by conditioning the central nervous system. When we’re afraid or stressed, our central nervous system jumps into “fight or flight” mode, which leads to physical symptoms like sweating and increased heart rate. Workouts mimic these physical responses in a healthy way, so our bodies become accustomed to them and we’re less likely to feel anxious in stressful situations. In a study in the journal Depression and Anxiety, people who exercised regularly for just 2 weeks showed significant improvements in anxiety sensitivity ⁵. 

3. Brings your focus to the Barre brings your focus to the present

In addition to challenging your muscles, barre is also a mental challenge. Each small, repetitive movement requires your brain to remain intensely focused on your mind/muscle connection. Think about how you lock in mentally with each lift and pulse! This is a mindfulness practice and a form of moving meditation. You’re focused on the present moment, so your mind is much less likely to wander to your to-do list or other stressors. 

You can enhance this effect even more by practicing gratitude during your workouts. With each small movement, focus on sending love to that muscle and silently thank it for everything it does for you. Your strong legs carry you through your day; your arms are there for you to hug your loved ones. Think about that as you pulse, lift, and curl your way through barre class!

4. Barre helps you stand tall & confident

A 2020 study found that women who regularly did ballet barre exercises for 50 minutes twice per week had significantly improved head, shoulder, and pelvic posture ⁶. And having good posture actually impacts your mood and how you feel about yourself. Research shows that people with proud posture were more confident in their own thoughts and saw more positive attributes in themselves ⁷. Just one more reason to stand tall!

5. Exercise improves mental clarity

Time at the barre also boosts your brain power. The endorphins released during exercise help keep your mind sharp. Research shows that the combination of Pilates and yoga specifically — similar to barre — may improve mental clarity and cognitive function and keep you thinking positively ⁸. 

6. Connects you to a workout community

Whether you’re doing your workouts On Demand, in the studio, or outdoors, you can feel the energy of your supportive and motivating Physique 57 trainers and community. Being in community is so important for your mental health — it will help you feel connected and uplifted in everything you do!

7. And most importantly…Physique 57 is fun!

Our innovative choreography is designed to be fun and feminine — without any of the moves you dread in other workouts. With new sequences in every barre class, you’ll never get bored, and you’ll always be challenged. Best of all, you’ll leave class with a big smile on your beautiful face! 

Join us at the barre in our NYC studio or from anywhere On Demand for these amazing mood-boosting benefits!

Sources:

  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax
  2. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27353308/
  4. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/exercising-to-relax
  5. https://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/12/exercise
  6. https://www.koreascience.or.kr/article/JAKO202018436566306.page
  7. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091005111627.htm
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6732550/

5 Tiny Form Tweaks That Will Raise The Barre On Your Results

Woman does a barre workout on all fours with one leg bent and pointed towards the ceiling, in front of a yellow backdrop

Whether you’re rocking your workouts at home On Demand, in the studio, or outdoors, nailing proper form is KEY to getting the best results. When your form is on point, you will strengthen your balance, protect your body from injury, and fire up every muscle group for a deeper burn. This will make every exercise you do more efficient and effective! 

Physique 57 Senior Trainer Morgan Bontz shares 5 simple yet powerful workout form tips that will raise the barre on your results! 

Think of every exercise as ab work

Sculpting your core isn’t just for the ab section of class. As you perform every move, consciously pull your belly button in toward your back and think of closing your rib cage. Keeping your core engaged during your entire workout will not only work deeper into your abdominals but also strengthen your posture and balance and protect your back. This applies to any part of your workout — glutes, thighs, arms, cardio —  not just the ab section!

Nose over thumbs in your plank pose

A proper plank pose is one of the most effective moves for a strong core! Here’s the trick: In your forearm plank, shift your weight slightly forward so your nose is right over your thumbs. Remember to keep your abs pulled up and your hips level with your head and heels. The natural tendency in a plank is to hang back, but once you get your hips in line and bring your weight forward, you’ll feel the extra fire in your core immediately!

Curl from the belly button up

When it comes to crunch time, this small shift will make the move much more efficient. On your back, let your head fall heavy into your hands and think of curling as one whole piece from the belly button up, letting your abs initiate the lift. This way you’re able to maintain more length in the front of your neck, get a much deeper burn in your abs, and keep the work focused in your core instead of in your neck and shoulders. 

Lengthen out before up

In extended positions such as hairpin, think of lengthening your leg longer — all the way past your toes — before lifting or pulsing up. The dynamic opposition will help you balance, and that’s the key to building long, lean muscle. Major bonus: your leg will actually feel lighter while you lift!

Engage your muscle and your mind

Focusing on your mind/body connection is a game changer — it will take your results to a whole new level! While working your target muscle, visualize the contraction of the muscle in your mind’s eye. This will help you move with more mindfulness and intention, keep your form in check, and achieve a much more intense and concentrated burn.


Try out these tips for yourself in your next workout class On Demand or in the studio!

Mental Health Awareness Month: 7 Ways To Care For Your Mind & Spirit

Woman meditating in the sun holding a Gyan mudra yoga pose (cross legged with thumb and index finger together on both hands)

Our mission at Physique 57 is to not only sculpt and strengthen your beautiful body, but also to nurture your incredible mind and spirit! In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month in May, we’re sharing 7 simple steps you can take every day to care for yourself from the inside out. 

Move your body

A Physique 57 sweat sesh not only tones your body — it also fuels and nourishes your mind. You’ll finish your workout feeling less stressed and more energized, confident, and empowered! Years of research has proven the mental health perks of exercise. A study from Harvard University showed that exercise can reduce the risk of depression by 26% ¹. Another study found that people who exercised regularly reported a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms compared to those who didn’t work out ². 

Exercise helps the brain build new neural pathways that bring on feelings of calm and happiness. It also releases endorphins, powerful brain chemicals that give you a boost of bliss ³. You know when you leave class feeling so accomplished and on top of the world? That’s what we’re talking about!

Join us for a workout On Demand or in the studio!

Deepen (or start) your meditation practice 

A regular meditation practice quiets the mind, brings your attention to the present moment, and gives you a deep sense of centeredness, balance, and peace. Multiple studies have shown that mindfulness relieves stress ⁴ ⁵. Meditation helps lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, while releasing mood-boosting hormones and neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin ⁶. 

If you’re new to meditation, ease into it. Start with just 5 minutes a day and work your way up to longer. You can do guided meditations or simply listen to soothing music and focus on your breathing. If your mind starts to race or thoughts come up, don’t judge yourself — this happens to everyone and you’re not doing it “wrong.” Simply take notice of the thoughts and feelings that come up for you without judgement and gently release them in your mind. Your meditation practice will start to feel more natural as you, well, practice it! 

Nourish yourself 

You’ll feel happier and more energized when you nourish your body with healthy, whole, unprocessed foods. Certain foods have also been shown to have mood-boosting benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids in fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts are linked to lower levels of depression ⁷. Foods high in vitamin B6 (think: bananas, salmon, and sweet potatoes) help synthesize feel-good neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin ⁸. And dark chocolate releases several mood-boosting compounds such as theobromine and N-acylethanolamine ⁹ — just in case you needed another reason to eat chocolate!

Have your moment in the sun

Soak in the sunshine! Research shows that sunlight can boost serotonin production, which brightens your mood ¹⁰. Plus, the sun synthesizes vitamin D (aka the “sunshine vitamin”), and vitamin D has been linked to lower levels of depression ¹¹. 

Take a break from your workday to get outside and stroll around your neighborhood. Remember to wear SPF to protect your beautiful skin! Also, watch out for artificial blue light from computer and phone screens, which can increase cortisol levels and zap your energy. There are lots of options for cute and affordable blue light blocking glasses. 

See how  Physique 57 trainer, Christine Mirzayan, makes mental health part of her morning routine.

Grab your journal 

Journaling is a powerful outlet to express your emotions, reflect on your experiences, practice positive self-talk, and release thoughts or feelings that aren’t serving you. Research consistently shows that journaling has a positive impact on mental health ¹². 

You can journal in whatever way feels healing to you — there is no “right” or “wrong” way to do it. Some practices we love: 

  • Free writing: Write whatever comes to mind without editing or judging your thoughts. You can also free draw if that feels more intuitive for you. 
  • Gratitude journaling: Write down 3 specific things you’re grateful for each day and why you’re grateful for them.

Disconnect to connect 

So many of us are on our phones and computers all day long. Give yourself permission to disconnect from your devices in order to reconnect with yourself. Unplugging from technology helps you be more mindful in the present moment, deepen your connection with those around you, and become more in tune with your own feelings and instincts. 

Take a digital detox day or weekend where you turn your phone off and enjoy other activities you love — go on a hike or long walk, be present in nature, read, take a bubble bath, and spend time with loved ones with no distractions. You’ll feel so refreshed after!

Dance it out

Whether it’s pulsing in a Physique workout class or having a dance party in your living room, dancing is amazing for your mind and soul! Research shows that dance can help ease symptoms of anxiety and depression and keep your mind sharp ¹³. 

Come join us for a fun, empowering, and mood-boosting dance cardio class On Demand!

Sources

  1. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapsychiatry/article-abstract/2720689
  2. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100222161848.htm
  3. https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/the-mental-health-benefits-of-exercise.htm
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24395196/
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889159112004758
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4769029/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27472373/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16763894/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24117885/
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3779905/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2908269/
  12. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/1745691617707315
  13. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0197455613001676

Up Your Athleisure With This Discount Code

A woman wearing black ZISE workout clothes stretching her legs while reaching one arm to the sky

Anyone else seriously up their athleisure game this past year? bc SAME! We’ve been living in the cute new ZISE Collection by BLOCH  activewear. 😍 BLOCH has been designing clothes for dancers for more than 90 years, so they understand how our bodies move as we’re pulsing & sculpting at the barre. Plus, activewear that is fun and functional is our DREAM!

You are going to feel so empowered the moment you put on this new high-performance athleisure line! The premium, luxe fabrics are super soft, and the pieces are just as comfy for lounging too ~ major win! 🤗

A woman wearing white ZISE workout clothes doing a standing split next to a pool

We’re so excited because the BLOCH team is sharing special savings for the Physique 57 workout community! 🎉 use code: PHYSIQUE57 for 20% savings at Physique57.com/BLOCH  💗 We know you’re going to love this activewear collection as much as we do! Snap a pic and tag @physique57 in your new barre outfit! 

Woman wearing a mint-colored ZISE workout set taking a full-body selfie in front of a mirror surrounded by house plants
Woman facing away from the camera with her arms on her head while modeling a white criss cross ZISE sports bra and leggings.

Busy Mama Workout Tips

In honor of Mother’s Day, we are celebrating all the beautiful, powerful, & strong mamas of the Physique 57 community. We see you & we honor you…today & every day!

Each motherhood journey is unique & special in its strength. One thing that is true for all is that time is limited. Finding time to work out may not happen every day, and that’s ok.

If you’ve ever wondered how a fit-pro mama gets her workout in, check out this video and see how Physique 57 Trainer Courtney Tilford Uyar makes the most of every minute with her little guy, Cooper.

What does it mean to be as Strong as a Mother? We asked our fierce Physique 57 #mama trainers to share what it means to them.

Remember to join us for your Strong as a Mother Fitness On Demand program ~ 10 days of energizing & empowering workouts all led by Physique 57 mamas! These super effective & efficient routines are designed to sculpt your total body quickly & fit into your busy schedule. You give so much strength, energy, & love to your family ~ this program is all about you. Join us.


Wherever you are in your motherhood journey ~ and we know every journey is different ~ we are thinking of you and sending all our love.

5 Tips to Make Your Home Workout Space More Beautiful & Inspiring

A woman kneeling on her living room floor while punching the air during an at home workout

As you’re rocking your On Demand workouts at home, we want to make sure you feel extra supported, inspired, and empowered. Your workout space plays an important role in your motivation. That’s why our Physique 57 studios are designed to be beautiful, calming, and welcoming — your home workout space should feel the same way! 

Your fitness space is your personal oasis where you go to connect with yourself and care for your body and mind. It doesn’t need to be a big space or a fancy home gym — it can be the corner of your living room or bedroom — but it should feel motivating and special. 

We’re sharing five simple ways to upgrade your home workout space to make it even more beautiful and inspiring. 

Organize your workout gear

The beautiful thing about Physique 57 is that most of our workouts involve using only your own bodyweight as resistance, so you don’t need a lot of equipment. 

You can take your workouts to the next level by adding weights, especially to target upper body muscles like biceps and triceps. We suggest investing in a lighter and heavier set of weights (3 pounds and 5 to 10 pounds). 

Another important accessory: The Physique 57 Ball, which we incorporate into thigh, glute, and core work. A dodge ball or blow-up beach ball will work too. 

Of course, you don’t want your workout equipment cluttering up your space. We love investing in cute wire or wicker bins to organize your gear. Places like Homegoods, The Container Store, and Target have great options! You can also opt for a storage ottoman or bench that matches your decor. 

Raise the barre 

No barre at home? No problem! You can use a railing, couch, or heavy chair instead. If you’re ready to invest in an at-home barre, we recommend this portable option or this custom wall-mounted barre. Both are streamlined, unobtrusive, and will elevate your home workout experience. 

Be the picture of health 

Nothing is more motivating than looking at your loved ones! Create a beautiful picture wall in your fitness space — experiment with different sized frames, patterns, colors, and textures, and you can even get creative with how you place the frames on the wall. Fill your frames with pictures of your family and friends that inspire you and make you smile. These will remind you WHY you are taking care of yourself — so you can show up as the best version of you for others too. 

You can also display your favorite inspirational quotes and mantras around the space. We have, “Classy and a bit bad assy” on our selfie mirror wall in the studio 😉 

Get on the scent 

Setting up your home workout space isn’t just about how it looks — it’s also about how it smells! Research shows that scent affects mood, motivation, and focus ¹. A recent study even shows that it can impact workout performance ².

Create a mood in your workout room with candles, diffusers, and essential oils. For more cardio-based, power sculpt, and HIIT classes, try energizing scents like peppermint and sweet orange oils. Studies found that they both help enhance athletic performance ³ ⁴.  Pair recovery and stretching routines with a relaxing scent like lavender. It helps soothe the central nervous system ⁵. 

Bring nature to you 

Being surrounded by nature during a workout helps improve your mood, motivation, and self-esteem ⁶. (Check out more science-backed benefits of being in nature in this post.) If you’re exercising inside, bring the outdoors to you! Fill your space with plants, flowers, or succulents to brighten the room and give you an extra boost!

Sources:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5198031/
  2. https://neurosciencenews.com/olfaction-exercise-motivation-17324/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23517650/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27688737/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3710158/