We reached out to 10 of the city's top fitness and health bloggers to find out what's hot for the new year. Each of them weighed in on the current trends they use to stay healthy and active. These women are not only bloggers, but also distance runners, mothers, vegans, dietitians and yoga instructors. Thousands of readers and fans follow these bloggers' daily advice about new activities to try and ways to stay healthy around the city, and now you can too.
"When I was approached by the AJC with the opportunity to share my lifestyle message, I jumped at the chance. As a NPC National Figure Competitor and former Division I Collegiate athlete, I wanted to take my workout to the next level and get ahead of the curve early. I want to challenge people, no matter what their level is. The main focus is to set a goal and keep working till you finish. I hope to share my daily life as a message of a lifestyle, not a diet. If I reach one person, then it is all worth it."
Atlanta's Mad About Fitness – www.ajc.com/weblogs/atlantas-mad-about-fitness
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – As a former athlete, I find this is an effective way to train in a small amount of time and burn lots of calories. This involves short bursts of activity (like running or doing squats), followed by a short period of rest or recovery. A great workout in 30 minutes! HIIT can be done anywhere, that's the cool thing about it. My favorite place is Piedmont Park. The beautiful view of the city is a great distraction when I get tired doing hill sprints.
Functional fitness – Great workout that uses real-life activities like climbing stairs to build strength, balance and flexibility. I call it thinking out of the box. And it's great for older adults getting into fitness, too. For functional fitness I see the gym as my playground! You will catch me at L.A. Fitness in Buckhead.
"I was inspired to start my blog as a way to keep in touch with my friends and family and to talk about exercise and nutrition. Little did I know that I would find my true passion. After the wonderful feedback and furthered interest, I decided to return to school to become a registered dietitian so I could not only write about what interested me but also so I could practice in the field as a credible source. On my site, I hope to deliver information that will help keep my readers healthy physically, mentally and spiritually."
The Gypsy Dietitian – www.ashleyharperevans.com
Tabata Bootcamp – This high-intensity interval training only takes four minutes to complete (20 seconds on, 10 seconds rest, repeated for a total of eight sets) and provides more cardiovascular benefits than jogging for one hour.
Yoga – Yoga offers various forms of mind and body connection, and it releases stress while increasing flexibility, posture, mental focus and mood.
AMRAP (As Many Reps/Rounds As Possible) – As many reps of a particular exercise (or rounds of many exercises) are completed until muscle failure. I tend to lift weights more these days and am a member at Anytime Fitness so that I can squeeze in a workout no matter what town I might be in.
Competitive distance runner
"I started blogging about food and fitness in college when I learned to cook for myself and raced in our triathlon club. I am a competitive distance runner and love to share my running adventures, healthy eating recipes and tips for an active lifestyle."
Life with Lampasona – www.lifewithlampnsofa.com
Group runs – These are a great way to build accountability and meet active friends. I never notice how far we've run until I look at my watch and see it's been five miles! My favorites are Highland Runners off Highland Avenue and Phidippides in Ansley Mall.
A plus is their monthly raffles – one time I won a free pair of shoes.
Hot yoga – I am one of those people who needs to break a sweat to feel like I've gotten a workout, and hot yoga does the trick! I go to Red Hot Yoga Studios on Miami Circle. The high temperatures really stretch out your muscles, and after the amount you sweat, you feel cleansed.
Home workout videos – My roommate and I do P90X and Insanity. After doing the same video so much, I mute the sound and watch television while doing the workout so it feels like I'm changing up my routine.
"My triathlon coach, Matthew Rose, inspired me to start blogging as a way to chronicle my triathlon adventures. Hopefully my stories inspire people to try the sport or maybe just provide an occasional laugh!"
Haley Chura – www.haleychura.com
Dynamo Masters Swimming – My top fitness trend pick is definitely Dynamo Masters Swimming. The zero-impact, total body workout is great for all ages and abilities. And the camaraderie is hard to beat! (For details see www.dynamomasters.com)
Latrina M. Patrick
Certified holistic health coach
"My blog promotes the benefits of following a plant-based diet. In particular, how plant food Reduces the Onset of Cancer and Kills Sickness (ROCKS). I started the blog because I'm a vegan and wholeheartedly believe in the Hippocrates statement, 'Let thy food be thy medicine, and thy medicine be thy food.' By reading my blog, people will learn how to achieve a lifestyle of optimal health from a holistic approach. I focus on the mind, body and spirit. Most importantly, I emphasize how to make living a healthy life practical."
Plant Food Rocks – www.plantfoodrocks.com
Tabata Bootcamp – This high-intensity interval training boot camp focuses on quality, not quantity. In as little as six minutes a day, you can burn five times more calories after your workout.
Fitness instructor at exhale spa
"My best friend, Scottie (a.k.a. Kim), and I (a.k.a. Bella) decided to write our blog together to help raise awareness about cleaner ways of living to help prevent disease, illness, behavioral problems and overall maintain good health. We post reviews of nontoxic products, give easy, healthy recipes as well as fit tips and have guest bloggers and occasional events. We love helping others find ways around all the junk out there that's harmful to our health."
Pure Health Girls – www.purehealthgirls.com
Core Fusion – I love barre classes, specifically Core Fusion! It builds long, lean muscles and core strength. You can repair and prevent injuries with this type of strengthening. It combines ballet, Pilates and yoga to build a supple, youthful body for years to come.
"I studied exercise science, concentrating in athletic training and learned a lot about sports injuries and how the body works. I'm a science nerd with a fashion side, hence the name Yoga In Heels. My blog is a fitness fashion blog that helps you dress your body type so you look good, feel good and use the extra confidence to work harder toward your goals."
Yoga in Heels – www.yogainheels.com
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – Short bursts of high intensity burn more calories and build more muscle. I love this because I can cover the same distance as a three-mile run, but in five to 10 minutes less time.
Barre – Low-impact, but intense with small muscle movements. It changes your body entirely! Svelte in Brookhaven will be the go-to studio in the new year.
15K races – Longer than your average race, but completely doable for anyone who isn't an avid runner. I see this distance getting very popular, especially with the Hot Chocolate Race this month.
Whitney Carlson Online coach and personal trainer
Tiffany Staples ACE-certified personal trainer and aerobics instructor
"We were inspired to begin blogging about eating clean after changing our lifestyles. It's easy to say you are going to do something but hard to stick with it. We wanted to inspire anyone looking to make a change in their life to do so with the help of their partner and to, of course, consider eating clean. We post recipes, educational articles, workouts and tips for making living the clean eating lifestyle accessible to all those who want it!"
He & She Eat Clean – www.heandsheeatclean.com
Surf Set Fitness – Get that beach body even if you don't live at the beach! It's an amazing functional core strength and full body workout you can do at home that continues to challenge you and you don't get tired of.
The Weighted Hula Hoop – This is a throwback to your childhood. The weighted hula hoop whittles your waist but also can challenge your arms and legs depending on the exercises you do with it.
ACE-certified health coach and nutritionist
"When I completed my studies in nutrition and started my coaching service, I noticed that an overwhelming number of people believe that eating healthy is out of their reach because of time constraints. My focus is helping busy people find a way to make balanced nutrition an effortless part of their lives. My blog is a great resource for anyone who has found that success in other areas of life has started to crowd out wellness practices like eating balanced, plant-focused meals and exercising."
Eating Beautiful – www.eatingbeautiful.com
Mind-body weight management – Traditional diets tend to fail a large segment of the population. Practices that encourage tuning in to the body are more likely to bring long-term success.
Plant-focused nutrition – Eating large amounts of minimally processed high fiber foods takes the complexity out of trimming down.
Meditation and yoga – These classes help to increase your awareness of your own body, making it easier to read hunger signals and feed your body appropriately. I practice Vipassana meditation and also attended a 10-day silent retreat in Jesup, GA to study the method. I also use Kundalini Yoga DVDs at home, and Kashi Atlanta is my favorite Atlanta resource for both yoga and meditation workshops.
Fitness Pick of the Month
I was recently invited to try Orangetheory Fitness when they launched in Atlanta, and even better for me, in Sandy Springs. My friends in New York and Los Angeles love this place, and even though the classes sounded tough and competitive, I was up for the challenge to reach the "Orange Zone." The class structure is a one-of-a-kind, group personal training workout broken into intervals of cardiovascular and strength training, burning up to 500 to1,000 calories in a 60-minute session. What makes this workout different and highly motivating is each person wears a heart monitor so he/she can follow their heart rates on TV screens throughout the session, with the target goal of reaching the "Orange Zone," resulting in the Orange Effect — a.k.a. maximum fat burning for up to 36 hours post-workout! Grab your free first class pass on their website, www.orangetheoryfitness.com.