#HBSummerShare Finale! Congrats to All!

We hope all of your enjoy every minute of #HBSummerShare, we definitely did. Hopefully it has inspired you to challenge yourself and others to not only ride more but enjoy life as well. We want to thank you for sharing your summers with us! You have #RAISEDTHEBAR!

10 Weeks of Instagrams #HBSummerShare

10 Weeks of Instagram #HBSummerShare

Jess will be emailing all riders that rode 45 or more rides during the 10 weeks so you can pick up your #HBSummerShare towel. And now for the big reveal of the riders with the more rides!

The top three riders are…..

1. Caitlyn Kerrigan with 87 rides
2. Jaclyn Johnson with 85 rides
3. Katelyn Cunniff with 80 rides

Not only do these three riders win a #HBSummerShare towel but the Grand Prize Winner, Caitlyn Kerrigan, has won a complimentary unlimited month of free riding. The two runner up winners, Jaclyn Johnson and Katelyn Cunniff, have both won an entire week of unlimited riding. Congrats ladies!

#HBSummerShare Towels!

#HBSummerShare 2015 Towels!

Remember to ride every day like its Summer Share! Stay active, keep challenging yourself and take yourselves to new heights. You created and successfully committed to a summer with sharing.

10 Weeks of Twitter #HBSummerShare

10 Weeks of Twitter #HBSummerShare

Tweet us your favorite moments of this summers #HBSummerShare @the_handle_bar!

by amy frankenthaler

HB Summer Festival on Tour with Two Kick-Ass Rides: #HBonTour

#HBonTour

Ride Details:

FENWAY- Kendrick Lamar & Drake Ride: 8/3/15 at 5:00PM + 6:00PM with ELISE

SOUTHIE- Charlie XCX & Lindsey Sterling Ride: 8/4/15 at 5:45PM with JESS

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Kendrick Lamar and Drake Ride

 Album 'To Pimp a Butterfly' by Kendrick LamarDrake

Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) hasn’t played Boston in a while, but has been active in the festival circuit the past year. He recently headlined at Bonnaroo this year and will be playing the Outside Lands (8/7-8/9) music festival in San Francisco. Drake (@Drake) needs far less introduction has he has become quite famous the past couple years. He’s dropped “If You’re Reading This Its Too Late” early in 2015 and has been on fire all year. Drake has a busy August and September he will be playing Festivals in Canada: OVO Fest (8/2-8/3) and The Squamish Valley Music Festival (8/7-8/9) and then….Music Midtown Festival in GA (9/18-9/19), Landmark Music Festival in DC (9/26), ACL Music Festival in Austin, TX (10/2) and Route 91 Musical Festival in Las Vegas (10/2-10/4). Both Kendrick Lamar and Drake are rap-tastic and we can not wait to see how Elise brings these two together!


Artists similar to Kendrick Lamar: J. Cole, A$AP Rocky, Big Sean, Childish Gambino, Wiz Khalifa

Artists similar to Drake: The Weeknd, Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa, J. Cole, Kid Cudi, Jay-Z

Reserve your saddle today! Click here

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Charlie XCX and Lindsey Stirling Ride

  Charli XCXLindsey StirlingJ

ess is bringing these two bad ass chicks together for an energy filled ride! You have definitely heard Charli XCX (@charli_xcx) if you have spun at The Handle Bar this Spring/Summer. Charli XCX was featured in Icona Pop’s ginormous hit “I Love It”. She’s about to go on a huge tour with the Bleachers with Jack Antonoff, they actually will be swinging by the House of Blues in Boston 9/14/2015! Lindsey Stirling (@lindseystirling) combines classical music with EDM, hip hop and probably more into just magic. You can catch Lindsey Stirling in a ton of festivals this August including Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco (8/7-8/9), The Billboard Hot 100 Musical Festival (8/22-8/23) in Jones Beach NY and some smaller venues in between.

 

Artists similar to Charlie XCX: Ellie Goulding, Grimes, Icona Pop, Sia, Purity Ring, Lana Del Ray

Artists similar to Lindsey Stirling: Skrillex, David Garrett, Escala, Taylor Davis, Audiomachine

Reserve your saddle today! Click here

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Have suggestions on where to take the #HBonTour? Tweet us @the_handle_bar and we’d love to hear where you would like to go on tour next!

by amy frankenthaler

#HBSummerShare 2015: Commit to a Summer Worth Sharing

by amy frankenthaler

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Have you signed up for #HBSummershare yet? If Not Now? When? #HBSummerShare starts June 1st, you have only a couple more days to take advantage of this fantastic deal: $400 for 10 weeks of UNLIMITED riding. How will you #raisethebar this summer?

We were able to reach out to four of our awesome HBriders that both won #HBSummerShare last summer Alisun Kovach, Dayna Isley, Becky Anzalone and Nicole Castillo. Thanks again ladies for sharing your experiences with us, we love our #HBFam! We had them reflect on their experience last summer with HBSummerShare:

 

1)What inspired you to sign up for #HBSummerShare last summer?

Becky Anzalone: I signed up #HBSummerShare last summer as a way to hold me accountable for my workout routine. I find it hard in the summer months to keep up with a consistent routine with the lure of outdoor patio drinking.  I already found myself spinning a few nights a week so it made sense (as well as the cost-savings of being able to have an unlimited pass to spin classes).

Nicole Castillo:I was training for a half-marathon, and I wanted to step up my game. Spinning made a huge difference, because I am able to achieve a much harder cardio doing it than running. Also, the competition was just so fun! And pretty much I’ll do anything for free swag. 🙂

Alisun Kovach: I never participated in any kind of challenge before, I thought the #HBSummerShare sounded really fun, and seemed like a great way to prioritize working out during the summer. Plus the potential to win a free month of unlimited riding and a free shirt had me sold!

Dayna Isley: I ran my first half marathon in May last year. Running, as it turns out, is not my favorite. I needed a change, and #HBSummerShare seemed like a good challenge.

2)Describe your experience. What was the best part about #HBSummerShare last year?

Becky Anzalone:I am so glad I participated last year! One of my good friends also did it with me, so we could both motivate each other and use it as an excuse to see each other more often.  I also loved having the board up on display – talk about accountability! It was also a great way to see how you were stacking up versus other riders. The competitive element was really motivating! I also really enjoyed the social media aspect and tagging my instagram pics and tweets with the #HBsummershare.  It’s a great way to stay connected with other HB riders/instructors.

Nicole Castillo: It was incredible! A friend (Valerie Abeille) and I did it — she was at Fenway and I was at Southie and we could watch each others’ progress on the leaderboard. It was hard at times to stick with it because I would “fall behind” when I went on vacation. But, knowing I had a goal to reach, got me to hit spin at times when I normally would just skip it… like before I got on the airplane for a summer vacation, or early in the morning after a late night out.

Alisun Kovach: Participating in the #HBSummerShare was awesome. Since I was at the studio so much, I got to meet a lot of new people and was able to get to know the girls who work there too (love them all!). I also loved that you got points not only for going to classes, but also for posting on instagram (truth be told, I didn’t have an insta account until the challenge started, and now I can’t get enough of it). It was fun walking around and finding random things that would remind you of the HB, and therefore remind you to get your butt to class, and like I said, prioritize working out, even when all you really wanted to do was lay at the beach all day.

Dayna Isley: I had been spinning some at the Handle Bar in Southie since it opened, but #HBSummerShare really kicked things up. I learned that I could spin a lot–even in the morning!–and really love it.  By the end of summer, I could even make it through both sets of arms in Elise’s hour of power Saturday classes. I felt stronger and had fun in the process.

3) Are you signed up for #HBSummerShare this summer? If so, what are you looking forward to most?

Becky Anzalone: I signed up for my second #HBsummershare for this summer and I can’t wait until it starts.  I am excited to have an unlimited pass to ride all summer long and stay motivated by all the amazing riders at the Handle Bar  (I have a couple friends who I plan on riding with this summer as well!). I’ve tried other spin studios over the years across the city, but the sense of community at Handle Bar, is part of what keeps me coming back.  #HBSummerShare is a prime example of why I love spinning at the Handle Bar.

Nicole Castillo: I’m not… because I have the VIP membership… or I totally would! I am still going to hashtag and post. The Handlebar ladies of twitter are already in full force. I’m excited to join them. I’m at @niccastillo1017 I’m all about the social media engagement. Last year, I did a top 10 things I learned from #HBSummerShare. Let’s see what I come up with this year. 🙂

Alisun Kovach: I haven’t decided if I’m singing up yet, but I would really like to win a beach towel, so I probably will!

Dayna Isley: I signed up for #HBSummerShare again because it was so motivating and fun last year. Because I like spin, I know I’ll stick with it; and if I ever feel like slacking, the challenge will keep me motivated. It’s also a great deal when you break it down. Bring on June 1!

An Instagram posted by Becky last summer for #HBSummerShare. A great example of the hashtag social media challenge in action.

An Instagram posted by Becky last summer for #HBSummerShare. A great example of the hashtag social media challenge in action.


If you still aren’t convinced, we’ve put together a list of the top reasons to participate in #HBSummerShare.

Top Five Reasons to Join #HBSummerShare 2015:

  1. Stay in Shape and Motivated all Summer long with a Steal of a Deal                       Each studio will track those participating in the riding competition. It’s officially bikini season, we have to keep that beach body we worked so hard to get! Can’t give up now, keep that beach body all summer long with #HBSummerShare. Ten weeks of unlimited riding for just $400 lets you stay in shape and save for those amazing summer adventures.
  2. #HBFam + #HBCommunity Support (Forever and Always <3)                                Join the #HBFam this summer not only in the saddle, but whereever your summer adventures take you! Simply, by tagging #HBSummerShare in a Facebook post, Instagram or tweet, your #HBFam will be right there with you. We, also, encourage you to make some new #HBSummerShare 2015 friends and meet up both on AND off the saddle. This is strongly encouraged in any and all challenges this summer..after all…“You CAN Spin With Us” 🙂
  3. Adjusted Summer Schedule- Just for YOU                                                         We know you’re busy, its summer, its warm…you want to be on the beach. We have tailored our weekend schedules to accommodate just that. Please take a look at your home studio’s schedules because weekend times have been added and changed for the summer effective this weekend. All the more reason to squeeze in a ride or two with your unlimited #HBSummerShare package.
  4. Prizes (Who doesn’t like prizes?)                                                                          We like prizes! If you participate in the riding competition and ride 45 times in 10 weeks…that’s just 4-5 times per week…you win a beautiful #HBSummerShare 2015 beach towel. Think of all those at the beach or pool envious of that gorgeous towel you EARNED. The top four rides will win FURTHER unlimited riding packages.                                                                              If you participate in the hashtag/social media competition, you have a chance to win a prize EVERY week of the competition. Each week, our favorite hashtagged post will be announced and the winner will receive a gift from 1 of our favorite local spots. The sponsor and prize will be announced at the start of each week, and to get you started  – here’s what we have for our first 4 weeks of the competition:

    Week 1 Prize: Handle Bar embroidered Backpack or duffle (of your choice)

    Week 2 Prize: A tasty gift from a tasty place! $50 to Tasty Burger

    Week 3 Prize: Feeling feisty? Post to win $50 to Loco Taqueria and Oyster Bar in Southie!

    Week 4 Prize:  A Perky Gift from our new Fenway neighbor! Pavement Coffee $50 gift card

                                     More prizes to be released next week!

  5. Competition                                                                                                                                             Challenge your friends, family, neighbors, mailman, new and old HB friends and more importantly YOURSELF to ride more, ride stronger, ride proud. Share the link to this blog with anyone you want to see sitting on that saddle next to you.                                                                                                                           This is your summer, your time to shine, to kick ass, so take charge! The summer of you is waiting…so grab a #HBSummershare package and watch yourself transform in just 10 weeks. The challenge starts June 1st, so act fast.

Click here to purchase your #HBSummerShare 2015 purchase.

Once the #HBSummerShare kicks off on June 1st, we’ll be following your progress riding AND sharing your Instagrams/tweets to keep you motivated and on track all summer long. Be sure to tag #HBSummerShare in your posts!

Tweet at us when and why you chose to sign up for #HBSummerShare to @The_Handle_Bar for twitter AND instagram!  Doing the #HBSummerShare for the second year in a row? We want to hear from you too, share your experiences just like Alisun, Dayna, Becky and Nicole. We may just share some on and before the #HBSummerShare kickoff June 1st.

As always, see you in the saddle!

The new LEADERBOOK for #HBSummerShare2015! Keep track of your progress and competition!

The new LEADERBOOK for #HBSummerShare 2015! Keep track of your progress and competition!

DIY: Distressed wood sign

When opening The Handle Bar in South Boston last June, there were many successes that happened along the way as we designed the studio… By far my favorite success story is the big HB sign that hangs over our front desk. Not only is it an icon of our first studio, but it was handmade by two instructors – myself and a brand new HB instructor, Cara Tramontozzi. Cara and I were feeling ambitious and extra creative last spring, and decided to take on this ‘from-scratch’ project.

Boy did it work out.  And it was SO doable. I’ve received so much love for the handmade gem this year that I knew we’d have to do it again for our second location, and today we did! This time around I documented the whole process and have laid out the steps that we took to construct this mammoth centerpiece. You could do this at home with just a few tools and something beautiful or inspiring to paint on it’s front. (An awesome quote in cool typeface would look sick!)

Anywhoo, check it out and hit us up with questions or comments on our work. Just like all things relating to The Handle Bar, this project took a little bit of inspiration, a touch of motivation, and some sweat.. but we certainly raised the bar.

What we used:

1. Parts: Seven 9’x8″ wood boards, Two 6 foot 2″x4″s, Fourteen 1 5/8″ screws

2. Equipment: Paint Brushes, Drill, Electric Sander, projector, lap top.

3. Paint: Brown color for base, White color for topcoat. (Additional colors for artwork)

STEP ONE: Prep the boards

Paint the boards with the base color, brown. One coat is enough.. use a paint brush rather than roller as the brush strokes are lovely:)

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Coat all boards including the sides and ends and let them dry.

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Paint the top coat, white. One coat will do, use a brush again for this coat! Let dry completely.

IMG_1464Using an electric sander, gently work away some of the top coat to reveal the brown underneath. Focus on the edges of the board and the natural grain of the wood for the best results.

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STEP TWO: Build the sign

Lay the 2″x4″s parallel to each other, where you would like to screw the sign (about 6 inches in from either side of the boards). Lay the boards over the 2″x4″s to your liking. (We staggered ours for a funky effect.)

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Using the appropriate drill bit, drill pilot holes through the boards and into the 2″x4″s.

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Using the drill, put the screws in place to secure the sign together.

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STEP THREE: Outline your art.

Put the sign upright, on a level surface. Prop it up so it is a vertical work surface.

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Using your projector, project the desired image onto the sign.

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Carefully outline the entire image lightly in pencil.

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STEP FOUR: Paint the art!

Using the appropriate colors, small brushes for accuracy, and plenty of patience..paint within the lines for a beautiful finished product!

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STEP FIVE: Enjoy!

Take a photo with your masterpiece:)

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BIG THANK YOU to Cara Tram for all the help on both signs! 
Additional BIG THANKS to Sean and Ryan Fracalossi, and Casey Kane for your help today – great times. #raisethebar
 
-Jess

 

Vacation like a pro—5 tips to stick with your healthy lifestyle on vacation

By Falon Sweeney

As we reach the final stretch of summer, many of us are either returning from or just setting out on a well-deserved vacation before the brisk autumn air sets in.  Vacations are arguably the hardest times to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle, for good reason. Family, friends, food, and drink—all day, every day. We all face the pressure to give in and temporarily “give up”on our healthy habits, either from family members or ourselves. Because, come on, we’re on vacation. But with a few minor tweaks to your mindset, you can indulge guilt-free and ensure you stay on track with your healthy lifestyle upon your return from paradise. 

If your hotel or rental has a kitchen, stock up on healthy staples and snacks to munch on. This way, you’re not eating out every single night. Not only will this keep your nutrition in check, but it will save you some serious dough—something the entire family is sure to agree on.

Feeling anxious about how you’re going to get those workouts in without disrupting family time? Relax. You are on vacation, aren’t you? Instead of trying to squeeze fitness in whenever you have a moment away from the fam, plan active days with the whole group. That way, everyone’s getting some exercise—not just you. Try going for a hike, throwing a Frisbee around on the beach, or even swimming in your hotel’s pool. If your family is down to try out a few fitness classes, the OmFinder app uses your location to find yoga, Pilates, and cycling classes nearby. Many places have great deals for newcomers, so do your research!

Be the bartender. Before you jet away, spend a few minutes on Pinterest and come up with a few guilt-free cocktail recipes. If you check out our “Retox” board, you’ll find some of our favorite drinks that are sure to please.

Indulge responsibly. We’ve said it once before and we’ll say it again. Where’s the fun if you don’t indulge every once in a while? Before you sail away, think about what you might want to indulge in and try to plan for it—but don’t overdo it with the planning. Just be mindful.

Lastly, keep it real. If you screw up and have dessert every single night, whatever. It’s in the past and I’m sure you enjoyed every bite. Just being mindful about your decisions makes all the difference—that way you’re more apt to make healthy decisions and enjoy the less-than-healthy ones.

See you back in the saddle!

Who raised the bar in July?

Beatrice Rossa!

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We are so excited to recognize Beatrice’s hard work and commitment to her body, herself, and her fitness goals. When The Handle Bar opened in her building, Beatrice saw a chance to make the changes in her lifestyle she had been wanting to make for years. An on-again, off-again group fitness participant, Beatrice knew that The Handle Bar could be all that she needed to finally get motivated–and stay motivated. Since her first class at The Handle Bar, Beatrice has lost over 10 pounds, but most importantly has regained the self-confidence and energy she had as a 20-something. Congrats, Beatrice! You–and all of our riders who are achieving their fitness goals–are what keep our wheels spinning.

So, Beatrice…

Everyone has their own unique fitness journey. What has your experience/journey been like with spinning?

Before the Handle Bar I was at my wit’s end with my increasing weight and lack of motivation to do anything about it. I had experience taking classes in the past and knew that they really helped me get fit and motivated. When I heard that the Handle Bar was opening in my neighborhood I was so excited because I knew it was exactly what I needed.

How do you fit fitness into your everyday life?

Before the Handle Bar, work took over my life and I had time for little else. But I knew that had to change if I was going to commit to getting healthy. In the beginning I tried to take the 6am classes to make it fit with my work schedule. But I am not a morning person at all and after the 3rd day in a row I realized I couldn’t keep it up. I was relieved to see that the Handle Bar has 7pm classes, which is perfect for me. I plan out my week in advance, register for classes online, and commit to leaving work in time to make it. It took about a month of figuring out what schedule works best for me, but I am proud to say that I am at the Handle bar 4-6 days a week. So glad I bought the 40 class package, totally worth it!!!

What goals has The Handle Bar helped you achieve?

I feel more energized, fitter, self-confident, and I lost 10 pounds!

What’s your favorite way to retox after a long week?

I have a weakness for chocolate, so I indulge once or twice a week now, rather than everyday like I used to. Good thing I know I can still give in a little and work it off at the Handle Bar 🙂

Do you have a favorite class at The Handle Bar?

My preference is the 1 hour classes on the weekends. I know that I will burn off the most calories and can still have time to enjoy my weekends.

What is your favorite music to spin to?

One of my favorite things about The Handle Bar is the awesome music and moving to the beat. I kinda feel like I’m in a club with the dim blue lights and the occasional DJ JI love to move to anything by Ke$ha or Britney.

What are your thoughts on using bike shoes? Had you ever used them prior to riding with us at The Handle Bar?

At first I thought it was a weird idea, kinda like bowling shoes. But once I tried it at the Handle Bar, I totally got it. The ride was smoother and my sense of security while standing on the pedals was so much better.  I went online and ordered myself a pair pronto.

What motivates you?

Believe it or not, it’s actually being an inspiration to others. I love telling people about how excited I am about the Handle Bar and how committed I’ve been about sticking to a schedule. There is nothing better than seeing that you can help motivate others with your actions to change their lives.

What words do you live by?

Life’s too short, so make the best of it!

A great ending or a fresh start? Enter August with gusto

Happy August!

For some reason, August always seems like one long Sunday. It’s the last month before a new season begins and for many the end of vacations, a lighter work schedule, and spending time with loved ones, just as Sunday marks the end of the weekend and the last day before a brand new week. You can view August—just like Sunday—as the end of something. OR you can view this month as the beginning of something completely new and exciting.  I choose the latter.

However, August is also a time of reflection. It’s a chance to acknowledge that these sweet summer days are coming to an end and to think about what you’ve done in the past few months. If you set goals, did you meet them? Did you make time to see an old friend? Did you spend a few lazy days by the beach and forget your worries? Did you try something new?

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That last question there is a loaded one. Really, think about it. In these past three months, through the heat waves, the thunderstorms, and the beach days, did you find time to take a step out of your comfort zone and experience something totally new? Stepping out of your comfort zone doesn’t necessarily mean you had to have gone skydiving or moved cross-country (though if you did, that’s awesome!). It can be as simple as finally trying a vegetable you thought you’d never enjoy or even taking a different route to work in the morning.

The point is—if you are constantly doing and seeing the same things day, after day, after day, it can get old, real fast. The monotony of everyday life can really run us down and sometimes it can be very sneaky. We have learned to love routine, plans, and micromanaging, and often times we are too busy looking at the details. We fail to see the forest for the trees.

If you consciously choose to do something new each and every day—no matter how small—you will be able to better shape the “big picture”. You are making those small choices and avoiding monotony with the notion that the proverbial bigger picture exists, and that you have at least some control over how it turns out. Because at the end of the day—or the season, the week, or the year—it’s not the details that we reminisce about, it’s the overall experiences we have. So I challenge you; do one thing each and every day that you did not do the day before. And if that seems like too big a challenge, do that one thing you have been telling yourself you’d do all summer. Because before you know it, Labor Day will have come and gone and you’ll still be daydreaming about all those things you “wish” you could’ve done.

Dream it. Do it. Live it.

By: Falon Sweeney 

Handle the Heat

It’s day four of Boston’s third heat wave of the summer. And it’s only mid-July? Yikes. Just thinking about anything fitness related makes me sweat. So I could just sit here, think about working out, and then call it a day, right? Nope. Even in this oppressive heat, it’s still important to #earnyoursweat. That said, we have to be extra in-tune with our bodies before, during, and after our sweat sessions. Here are a few tips to help you beat the heat and stay fit: 

 Fuel: High temps add some serious stress to our bodies that are already working hard during a workout. That’s why it’s so important to make sure we are fueling our bodies with only food that will make us better able to work intensely in the heat. I love to cook, but when it’s hot out, the LAST thing I want to do is slave over a hot grill or stove, or dare I say, turn on the oven. So with three modes of cooking off the table, how on earth are we supposed to cook healthy food? Two words: Don’t cook.

 Feeling limited by the heat of the stove and the repetitiveness of salad after salad? Try out this Watermelon Gazpacho recipe to keep you cool and to refresh your dinner menu:

Ingredients:

6 cups seedless watermelon, cubed

2 medium cucumbers, seeded, diced

4 inner celery stalks, diced

1/2 small red onion, diced

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

 

1. Puree 4 of the 6 cups of watermelon in a blender

2.  Add 2 of the 6 cups of watermelon along with all other ingredients to a bowl

3. Add watermelon puree

4. Garnish with fresh mint

Serves 4

Source: The Crankin’ Kitchen

Instead of a hearty breakfast of eggs and bacon, start your day with this energizing green smoothie.

Hydration: I cannot begin to stress how important it is to not only rehydrate after a sweat session, but to also pre-hydrate if you know you’re going to be working out. Thirst is your body’s way of letting you know it’s dehydrated. If you’re thirsty, I would recommend waiting a while to workout so that you can assure that you’ve properly pre-hydrated. To make sure I’m getting my daily two liters of water, I carry around a water bottle at all times. On hot days like these—especially when you’re going to be working out—you probably want to drink a bit more than what’s recommended. For women, it’s about two liters (68oz) per day, and for men three liters (101oz).

As we are big advocates of “everything in moderation,” we can absolutely sympathize with your need to retox every once and a while—especially in this crazy heat. But alcohol—just like caffeine—dehydrates you. So, if you decide to end the day with a cold one, make sure you have a glass of water or two for every alcoholic beverage you consume.

It’s definitely tough to actually want to sweat more in this heat, but we hope that you’ll still join us for a sweat session or two this week. Come in for any of our midday classes for half price on any day the temp reads higher than 90°.

Stay cool!

-Falon