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Freestyle Friday

We’ve enjoyed some glorious sneak peeks at springtime here in New York City courtesy of Mother Nature this week. Along with the beautiful weather, I’ve found an extra spring in my step during my morning walks to the office thanks to what I call some “oldies but goodies” in my iTunes music library.

On today’s walk down Broadway, I took a fun trip down memory lane as the shuffle option played a medley of songs that brought me back to all those high school dances at St. Mary’s or Chaminade. The songs also reminded me of the days when I’d rush to pop a cassette in my boom box to tape them from the radio and use my birthday bucks to buy them on 12-inch vinyl. While I laughed to myself about all the crazy outfits I wore (I actually owned tie-dye Z. Cavaricci pants!) and all the hair I teased to go to those dances and bust a move to those songs, I also realized they still carry some good bass beats for a workout!

So, I thought I’d end the week by offering a fun freestyle music list for you to enjoy on your next date with the elliptical machine or maybe as a warm-up for your next visit to Culture Club.

  • “Baby Don’t Go,” Fast Forward
  • “Bad of the Heart,” George Lamond
  • “Boy Toy,” Tia
  • “Clave Rocks,” Amaretto
  • “Exposed to Love,” Expose
  • “Boy I’ve Been Told,” Sa-Fire
  • “I’ll Be All You Ever Need,” Trinere
  • “Can You Feel the Beat?” Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam
  • “Theme to S’Express,” S’Express
  • “Move Any Mountain,” The Shamen
  • “Dance With Me,” Tony Moran
  • “Dirty Cash,” The Adventures of Stevie V
  • “Ride on Time,” Black Box
  • “Show Me,” Cover Girls

Mixing up my music list is one of the ways I keep my fitness routine from getting boring. In 2012, it’s definitely entertaining to get my heart rate up with the help of some of my favorite tunes from my teens and 20s. It’s also a big relief to know at some point since then, I realized the big hair and shoulder pads would not become essential components in the ongoing journey to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

Fitness & Friendships

Events can often remind us of the many gifts in our lives. That’s exactly what Saturday’s girls’ night out did for me.

About a half-dozen of my gal pals carried my birthday celebration into the weekend by treating me to pitchers of sangria – which did include lots of “healthy” fresh fruit – and Cuban cuisine. Afterward, we took the party to “Culture Club” for more than two hours of dancing to tunes from the shoulder-pad-and-big-hair-filled 1980s. (It seemed only fitting that “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John welcomed this fitness blogger as I walked through the doors!) My calculations on the Internet show I burned roughly 715 calories during those 120 booty-shaking minutes on the dance floor. However, I couldn’t figure out how to add up the extra calories we must have burned thanks to the laughter we shared over still knowing the words to almost all of the “old” songs. (Which included everything from “You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)” by Dead or Alive to “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins.)

As the fun night continued into early Sunday morning, I couldn’t help but think of how lucky I am to have such special people in my life. Some of these amazing women have been my friends since childhood. Some I met during the past decade. Yet, they all have one thing in common: they always have my back. They’ve supported my decisions, regardless of whether they’d do the same thing if presented with the same situation. They’ve encouraged me to pursue my dreams in the fitness industry and get this blog started. As an only child, I consider these women, along with a few others who couldn’t make it to this particular outing, my extended family.

I tell you all of this as a reminder to turn to your support network – family or friends – to help you tackle the challenges in your life. For many people, deciding to embrace a healthier lifestyle can be an uphill battle. If you’re one of them, lean on your friends. Lots of guys go to the gym together to spot each other while weight lifting and push each other to get those last reps in. We gals can do the same thing. Ask a friend to join a gym with you or sign up for Zumba or other group exercise classes at a local community center. If the gym isn’t your thing, make a date to meet a few times each week at a for a brisk walk or run. Knowing you’d be breaking a “date” by skipping a workout with your buddy can be a good motivator to stick with the plan for the day.

Whether it’s a Saturday night dance party or a mid-week walk in the park, don’t forget to lean on your friends to help you stay on track with your plans to have fun, be fit and feel fabulous!

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