Happy Thurdsday! It's cardio day at Lithe, so it’s time to kick up the cardio and sweat it out. Cardio is one of the most important things you can do for your body. Not only does it make a difference on the inside (improving your cardiovascular health), but you will see results on the outside, too (especially if you stick to it 3-5 times a week).
I think that one of the toughest aspects of Lithe is getting your cardiovascular stamina up to par or back up to par after some time off. As a newbie, you may find yourself feeling defeated trying to finish our hour-long classes numerous times a week and devoting some time to learning our Cardio-Cheer-Sculpting choreography. You can do it! Here are some tips for safe, efficient and effective cardio:
1. Be a 6-7AMer! I suggest doing cardio in the morning before your first meal. Your body is most likely to use fat as the energy source because your glycogen stores are depleted.
2. Protect your feet, but not with sneakers (unless you have a foot injury). We barefoot train at Lithe. Why? It makes you stronger from head to toe and simply builds a better, stronger, leaner body. If you have a foot injury you should wear a studio sneaker and avoid stilletto. You want to work correctly, stay on a mat and NEVER over-bounce on the balls of your feet. Our feet work instinctively, but to prevent stress fractures, shin splints and plantar issues, stay on your mat, use your quads to launch a jump, keep a gentle point to your ankle, and then roll through the forefoot and heel. Your goal is to "sponge" and not bounce. That "up" energy should be an illusion. Your entire body is active, but you're working down into the ground. Work harder by getting low and grounded, rather than bouncing high and beating up your feet.
3. Keep your shoulders open, depressed, and lift your chest. This instantly engages and elongates your abs.
4. Activate your arms. Think about how you punch out those perfect sharp high V's and low V's ... Do this with every movement and feel your heart rate climb!
5. Don't stop as soon as your heart rate starts to really climb. So many people get nervous once their heart rate gets in the zone. Breath, stretch, and shake.
6. If you're DIY, Make a killer cardio playlist on your iPod to get you through the workout. Pick out your favorite songs that you love listening to so you forget about the time.
Image of Lithe Instructor Liz Galbally wearing Lululemon via Dom
The backstory: A good friend introduced Lauren to Treasure Beach in 2008, and she fell in love with the area, the welcoming community, and the friends that she made there. Treasure Beach and Jamaica's south coast are the antithesis of a tourist trap. It's off the beaten path, but it hasn't stopped her from returning again and again.
Treasure Beach is a tiny fishing village and the community there is truly unlike any other in Jamaica. Defined by the Santa Cruz Mountains and the rolling farmland of the Pedro Plains, Treasure Beach is known for its cacti, endless natural coastlines, and miles of sweeping savannas — not its white sand beaches or jungle-like rain forests. Treasure Beach is renowned for its warm people, deep community spirit, and rich history (which even includes a Scottish shipwreck from the 19th century).
Full Disclosure: This is the real Jamaica. It's almost a 3-hour drive from the airport, so get ready for an adventure that you'll never forget and to fall in love with a place where you'll most certainly leave your heart.
What is Lithe Escape? Imagine one week to focus on yourself ... a better body, more confidence, lessons learned, fabulous food and fitness, inches and pounds lost (without going hungry), unparalleled results, and an entire support system of like-minded people. Get excited for girl time and downtime, a healthier body and mind, unbelievably delicious food, and a week that's all about you.
Accommodations at Jake's are double or single occupancy and almost all double occupancy rooms mean sharing a bed with another Lither. We are happy to help pair you up with a buddy if you'd like a double occupancy room.
Ocean View Single, $3,260
Ocean View Double, $2,060
Garden View Single, $2,720
Garden View Double, $1,790
Two-Bedroom Cottage Single $2,630
Two-Bedroom Cottage Double: $1,740
The price includes your room accommodations, three daily meals, two Lithe Escape workouts each day, and transportation to and from Montego Bay Airport. Airfare, spa treatments, alcohol, and additional optional excursions and food are not included.
Ready to book your spot? Email email@example.com. Alicia, our friendly Lithe Escape concierge, will assist you with flight info and roommate details. If you would like to reserve your spot, we are only taking deposits via check for this trip. The $1,000 non-refundable deposit check can be made out to Lithe Method and dropped off at any studio in an envelope to Alicia's attention. We'll collect final payment in October.
The following flight includes complimentary airport transportation: http://goo.gl/flights/xO60
If you choose to take different flights, you'll need to book private transportation. A one-way ride is $135 and holds 1-3 people. Treasure Beach is a 3-hour drive from Montego Bay airport, so Thursday and Tuesday are very travel heavy with one workout late Thursday.
Images via Lithe Escape
As with any chronic pain, you adapt and it becomes your new normal. You're aware of your body position at all times. Don't stand for too long, don't sit for too long, always sleep with a pillow under or between your knees, and forget about sleeping on your stomach. Ice sometimes, heat other times, and lots and lots of Motrin. The bathroom sink becomes a dangerous place. You're always sure to rest your elbow on it as you brush your teeth and if you must wash your face at the sink it has to be one-handed as the other needs to lean on the sink. The one thing that never eased was my inability to have all of my weight on one foot. I was in my late 20s and had to lie on my bed to get dressed every day.
My condition exacerbated whenever Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled around. I would stand for too long while baking and end up on bedrest for a few days. This post-holiday slump was particularly bad in 2010. My doctor sent me for an MRI and it revealed three bulging discs and degenerative changes to my spine. It was clear that this injury was not new and the changes had most likely taken place over many years. My neurosurgeon friend reviewed the results and told me it was time to make changes as I couldn't keep living this way as I would end up in a wheelchair. We talked about surgery which I vehemently opposed and thankfully he advised against. The only other option was finding a serious core strengthening program. He explained that if I tightened the muscles around my spine, I would have a chance of relieving the pressure on the discs. A fellow nurse was going to a new exercise studio called Lithe Method. She loved the program and encouraged me to try it. I wasn't into classes and preferred blending into the walls of the gym. Since my usual exercise methods weren't helping, I took her advice and went to an immersion class in April 2010. At first, I was in uncomfortable, but not in pain. Once you experience true pain you always know the difference. I took the classes at my own pace and focused on form. I was petrified of injuring myself and was often behind the rest of the class. I worked up to 4-5 classes a week and focused on the sculpting as it was physically impossible for me to do any jumping. I fell in love with the workout and stuck with it. Over time, I picked up my pace, but I always maintained form as most important. I watched myself gain strength from the inside out and began to understand my body. I can't pinpoint exactly when the chronic pain began to fade away.
After two years of Lithing, one of the instructors suggested that I audition. I was thrilled and proud of the recognition. That was when I reflected on how far I had come and how great I felt. I auditioned and made the Lithe team in March 2012. That same year, the girl who couldn't lift her feet years ago ran the Broad Street 10-miler. All of these accomplishments were new to me since I never considered myself athletic. My pain is mostly resolved with only occasional rainy day aches. Though my injury is still there, I've learned to manage it by maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.
Thank you for the opportunity to encourage others and show them it is possible to achieve relief. Most importantly, we all need to listen to our bodies and take the time to care for ourselves.
You're not alone. We all find excuses to not exercise. Life gets in everyone's way, but you CAN reach your goals and achieve the results you want. Here are ten tips for when youcan't seem to get your rear in gear, get out of your own head, or stay motivated.
1. Prioritize. No time because you spend hours on your smart phone? Turn that time into active time. In the long run, you'll be glad that you put your health first. Your body will thank you, too.
2. Make a date with YOU. Schedule your workout just like you schedule doctor's appointments and dinner with friends and honor that commitment. It's just as important.
3. Write it down. Tracking your progress and setbacks is eye-opening and effective. Record how long you worked out, what class you took, how you felt after. I always remind myself that I'm only one hour away from a good mood and that always motivates me to just do it on days when I need a boost.
4. Stay positive. Your body hears everything your mind thinks!
5. Imagine it. Visualize your results! Think about how you will look and feel after one month, six weeks, three months, six months, and one year. Results are the best motivational tool, so be sure to keep up with your own measurements and photos.
6. Make yourself accountable. Going public with your story keeps you committed.
7. Don't get discouraged. It's important to make a long-term commitment, even if it means going without noticable results for a week. Remember that you can't go wrong by eating Lithe and working out regularly (especially when it's fun!).
8. Find a few besties. Spend time with friends who also value a healthy lifestyle. You will benefit from sharing your stories about how fantastic you look, how strong you're becoming, how great you feel, and funny things that happen in the studio.
9. Reward yourself! I'm not talking about junk food. Each week that you accomplish your goals (maybe it's a going to a certain number of classes, taking a particular class with an instructor that you used to avoid like the plague, or becoming a consistent 6AMer or 5:30PMer.
Treat yourself to something that inspires you to stick with it, like a new pair of workout pants or a piece of jewelry. I recommend creating a point system. When you meet your goals, give yourself a point and record it. When you hit a certain amount of points, treat yourself to an activity that makes you feel great, such as a mani/pedi with friends or a massage.
10. Travel Lithe. If you've Escaped with us, you know that Lithe travels well! Get outside, have fun, and utilize your surroundings. Just make sure to send a Lithe on Location shot to us!
Not a Lither? Lithing from afar? Traveling during the holidays? On Sunday, November 1, Lithe creator Lauren Boggi hosts her own public Instagram challenge Build a Peach (#buildapeach #builda🍑). This is a great opportunity for Lithers and non-Lithers who will be traveling during the month of November or for those who want to kick their Fall Transformation results up a notch.
Share with friends and follow @laurenboggi on Instagram for all of the details. This challenge is open to the public and is a great chance to team up with friends and get serious on-the-go results during the holidays. It requires little to no equipment and can be done anytime and anywhere!
Image of Lauren Boggi via Philadelphia Magazine/Nic D'Amico.
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