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      18 Women Who Made Athletics Possible for the Rest of Us

      18 Women Who Made Athletics Possible for the Rest of Us

      “Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world,” remarked Susan B. Anthony. “I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride on a wheel. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance.”

      Still, women aren’t permitted to race in the Tour de France.

      For the first time it its more than 460-year history, St. Andrews opened its golf course to female members in February 2015.

      female athletes

      We’ve come a long way, a very long way, since Title IX passed in 1972, with 52 percent of collegiate athletes being female. But long before that civil rights law passed, women were putting their mark on the sports world. A lot of firsts made way for a series of seconds, thirds, and so on.

      Today, we can stand as proud athletes, no matter our sport, thanks to these (and so many other) strong, confident, fearless women.

      diane crump jockey

      Diane Crump – Jockey

      She was the first woman to jockey at the Kentucky Derby in 1970, just a mere century after the race began. Her career holds 230 wins.

      katherine switzer marathon

      Katherine Switzer – Runner

      She was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon in 1967, even if she didn’t exactly have permission. Race manager Jock Semple jumped in with the runners and shouted, “Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!”. She didn’t, and plans to run again in 2017. She’ll be 70 and will mark the 50th anniversary of her historic run.

      jane fonda

      Jane Fonda – Fitness Guru

      She released the world’s first at-home exercise video, Workout, in 1982. It has since sold 17 million copies.

      Jenny Hanley – Hockey

      She was the first woman to play on a men’s college ice hockey team at Hamline University in 1991. In that historic game she made 26 saves helped her team to a 5-2 victory.

      becky hammon spurs

      Becky Hammon – Basketball

      She is the NBA’s first female regular season coach, starting in the 2014 season for the San Antonio Spurs. She played 13 seasons for the WNBA and ranks seventh in that league’s history.

      sarah attar olympics

      Sarah Attar – Running

      She was the first woman to represent Saudi Arabia at the Olympics, competing in track at the 2012 Games. She finished last to a standing ovation.

      katie hnida

      Katie Hnida – Football

      She was the first woman to ever score in a Divison I NCAA football game, scoring two points for the University of New Mexico in 2003.

      alice coachman

      Alice Coachman – Running

      She was the first black woman to win Olympic gold. She was the only woman to receive a gold medal at the 1948 games, which she won for the high jump. She’s credited with opening the doors for track stars like Evelyn Ashford, Florence Griffith Joyner and Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

      sheryl swoopes

      Sheryl Swoopes – Basketball

      She was the first player to sign for the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in 1996. She’s a six-time all star and three-time player of the year.

      shannon eastin ref


      Shannon Eastin – Football

      She was the first woman to officiate an NFL regular season game in 2012. She was a line judge during a Rams vs. Lions game, with more than 16 years experience officiating at the collegiate level.

      violet palmer

      Violet Palmer – Basketball

      She was the first woman to officiate NBA games. She’s still working for the league, having been on the job since 1997.

      nancy lieberman

      Nancy Lieberman – Basketball

      She was the first woman to coach a professional men’s basektball team, leading the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks to the playoffs in her first season. She played and coached for the WNBA, earned a silver medal at the 1976 Olympic Games, and is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. This season she’s an analyst for Thunder Live.

      Lisa Lindahl – Fashion

      She was responsible for developing the first sports bra, originally known as a jockbra, in 1977. Her invention, which fused together two jockstraps, made it possible for women to workout and participate in sports.

      ellen oneal

      Ellen O’Neal – Skater

      She was the first professional female skater, she was known as the “godmother” of the sport in the 1970s.

      gertrude ederle

      Gertrude Ederle – Swimming

      She was the first woman to swim the English Channel in 1926. She won two bronze and a gold medal at the 1924 Olympic Games in Paris.

      lyn lemaire

      Lyn Lemaire – Triathlete

      She was the first woman triathlete and first female Ironman in 1979.

      junko tabei

      Junko Tabei – Climber

      She was the first woman to reach Mount Everest’s summit in 1975. In 1992, she became the first women to complete the Seven Summits, the highest mountain on each continent.

      billie jean king

      Billie Jean King – Tennis

      She’s the first woman to have a major sporting venue named for her, not to mention being a force in both tennis and female athletics. She’s the first woman to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom, first woman to be named as Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year, and first woman to receive the NFL Players Association Lifetime Achievement Award. She was the world’s highest ranking tennis female five times, and holds 20 Wimbledon titles.

      images via,,,,,,,,,,,,,

      The First Female Golfers Join St. Andrews, and Why Golfing is a Legit Workout

      The First Female Golfers Join St. Andrews, and Why Golfing is a Legit Workout

      Earlier this February, an historic event took place at St. Andrews, the legendary home of golf in the United Kingdom. The first female members were admitted to the club otherwise known as the Royal + Ancient Golf Club. For the first time in its 260-year history, seven women, including Princess Anne, accepted honorary memberships, something its members voted to do with an 85 percent majority last fall.

      Yes, even in this modern day, in 2015!, women are still excluded from literal boys’ clubs. Sure, people will continue to say this is a sign of how the tide is changing… but is it too much to want to not have to see a changing tide?

      The Civil Rights Act passed in 1964, and Title IX passed in 1972. Title IX was a civil rights move that prohibited discrimination — namely gender-based — in educational programs and activities that accepted federal funds. This is what opened up female athletics at the high school level.

      It was only three years ago that Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia accepted the first female members of its 80-year history. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was amongst the notable first women to join.


      Do you also think of golf as a man’s sport? Well we beg you to think again! It requires more physical fitness than you may think, which means golf offers a more legitimate workout than you probably assumed.

      Walk, don’t cart. Walking an 18-hole game of golf, over varied terrain, will exceed your 10,000 steps per day goal in a dynamic way. The National Institutes of Health reports an average of 11,948 steps taken during a standard game of golf. It won’t count as a cardio workout, but taking some 2,000 steps beyond your daily goal is still an exceptional physical activity that few Americans take advantage of.

      Carry, don’t caddy. If you’ll schlep your own bag of clubs across the course, your round of golf also counts as a weight bearing workout. A fully loaded golf bag can weight 30 to 50 pounds, giving you a great bit of resistance during the walk. Especially if you walk at a brisk pace between holes, the added weight will boost your heart rate for added fitness benefit.

      Total body toning. The long walks with a bit of weight resistance will help you (mostly) skip leg day at the gym! You’ll certainly feel the game in your quads, hamstrings, and glutes after a full round. And your upper body will get some deserved attention too (through your biceps, triceps and shoulders), thanks to the swinging motion and carrying the bag. Of course, you’ll engage your core with proper form.

      Balance to the core. Great balance also contributes to a strong core, so as you engage those abdominals and lower back — whether you’re walking or swinging — you’ll be able to focus on an otherwise overlooked area of the body. Those honed balance skills will certainly prove their worth in every aspect of your every day life.

      Whether you just putter around or keep a running tally of holes-in-one, find your way to the golf course on a regular basis…Gender be damned!

      And don’t forget your Enell Lite before you hit the links!

      4-Ingredient Raspberry Orange Zest Smoothie and 12 More Raspberry Orange Indulgences

      4-Ingredient Raspberry Orange Zest Smoothie and 12 More Raspberry Orange Indulgences

      As we if weren’t already burning up from spring fever, we had to go and launch a hot new Raspberry Zest Enell. Now we’re fully craving the vitamin D-rich days of spring and summer. This new bra color will just have to tide us all over!

      raspberry zest

      Let’s go ahead and agree that this is one of the single best color combinations around. There is nothing juicier — in flavor or appearance — than seeing raspberry and orange come together. Bright, fun, playful, happy, and indulgent, this may be our most exciting color launch yet.

      To celebrate the newest limited edition Enell, we’re sharing a brand new smoothie recipe. One taste of this fresh raspberry, hand-squeezed orange treat and you’ll understand why we think this is such a divine combo.

      raspberry smoothie

      Enell’s Raspberry Orange Zest Smoothie
      serves 1


      • 1 cup fresh raspberries
      • 6 oz. vanilla Greek yogurt
      • 1/2 avocado
      • juice and zest of one orange
      • 1/2 cup ice cubes


      Put all of the ingredients in a blender and mix until everything is chopped and well combined. Add more or less juice to reach desired thickness.


      Bras and smoothies aren’t the only ways to enjoy this indulgent pairing. Here are a dozen more delicious raspberry & orange recipes from around the web:

      Raspberry and Orange Muffins

      Orange Slices with Warm Raspberries 

      Raspberry Orange Zest Jam

      Paleo Raspberry Orange Coffee Cake

      Raspberry Blood Orange Cake

      Raspberry and Blood Orange Sorbetto Mimosas

      Raspberry and Blood Orange Frozen Sangria

      Orange Blossom Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

      Raspberry Orange Sweet Rolls

      Raspberry Orange Trifle

      Orange and Raspberry Creamsicles 

      Orange Zest Waffles with Raspberry Sauce 

      Introducing Limited Edition Raspberry Zest

      Introducing Limited Edition Raspberry Zest

      We are so excited to unveil our latest Limited Edition color for ENELL SPORT: Raspberry Zest!

      This is the most fashion-forward ENELL yet: a bright raspberry shade with a tangerine trim detail. This is one ENELL you’ll want to show off! Inventory is extremely limited, so order early to secure your size.

      raspberry zest enell

      Purchase your Raspberry Zest before they’re gone online here or at any of the retailers listed below.

      ENELL Retailers stocking Raspberry ZestPlease call ahead to determine availability of your size as this is subject to change.



      Are you excited for Raspberry Zest? 

      Desperation and Jock Straps: How the First Sports Bra was Invented

      Desperation and Jock Straps: How the First Sports Bra was Invented

      So many great inventions spawned from a moment of desperation. No where is that truer than for athletes and fitness buffs, who so often have had to jimmy together the one thing they need to perform their sport better.

      Necessity breeds creation and that was what brought about the first sports bra. In 1977, women were still subjected to running, working out, riding horses, and cycling in their plain jane bras. That was until Lisa Lindahl and her sister, Victoria Woodrow, decided to take up jogging. Like most women did (and unfortunately still do), Lindahl just doubled up on regular bras or wore bras a size too small when she went out for a run. Doesn’t it hurt just thinking about it?

      What women needed was a jockstrap for their breasts...

      What women needed was a jockstrap for their breasts, suggested Woodrow. With that, she and her sister decided there had to be a better way, and they set out to create the first sports bra.

      The prototype, called a jockbra, was just that, two jockstraps sewn together and it was the first functional attempt anyone had made to keep women’s breasts from bouncing and jerking here, there, and everywhere during physical activity. The prototypes, created in the University of Vermont theater costume shop by Lindahl and a fellow theater student, are now bronzed and on display near the university, the Smithsonian, and the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.

      The real result is worn by millions of women around the world every day, and we’re all eternally grateful to these brilliant, desperate women!

      We’ve been there ourselves! Enell was born of the same desperation to keep a pair of large breasts contained during sports activity. Our founder, Renelle Braaten, had had enough of her double-Ds during volleyball and racquetball games. Nothing on the market provided her breasts the support she needed, and she was tired of doing the wear-two-bras thing. Renelle worked with her mom, a talented seamstress, to construct the first Enell sports bra. Finally, something IS available to support, stabilize, and secure large breasts!

      Breasts are “a barrier to physical activity participation for 17 percent of women,” found a study out of the UK last summer. The pain, strain, and discomfort that comes from unrestrained breasts during any kind of activity is a major reason women skip working out at all. The result of that kind of stationary lifestyle is a major detriment to women’s health. So invest in the right sports bra and you are more likely to make a physical fitness investment in yourself.

      5 Doctor-Approved Ways to Beat Gym Stink and BO

      5 Doctor-Approved Ways to Beat Gym Stink and BO

      Here’s a fun fact: sweat doesn’t stink. That’s right, the sweat your body produces — especially during a workout — is odorless. That fragrant body smell actually derives from “bacteria that break down proteins into acids, which then give off odors,” according to Jessica Wu, MD, a Los Angeles dermatologist.

      body odor

      Now, all sweat is fair game to this bacteria takeover, but certain sweat zones can be a little funkier. You probably know what we’re talking about, but just in case, Dr. Wu spells it out pretty well. “Apocrine glands, a type of sweat gland found in your armpits and groin, secrete sweat that’s high in proteins. When bacteria come in contact with the proteins, it breaks them down into odor-causing acids.”

      And that is how your otherwise odorless sweat can turn into your body’s own version of stinky acid rain! Once those odor-causing acids infiltrate a shirt, bra, shoe, sock, bag, or towel, your best game plan is to always be up wind. The longer you ignore a sweat-stained item, the greater the stench.

      “If your sweaty clothes sit around for a while before you have a chance to wash them, the bacteria multiply, and have a longer time to break down proteins—which means a stronger stink,” explained Dr. Wu. Now, your clothes stink and that makes you smell bad!

      Here are her four suggestions (plus one of ours) for tackling the funk at the source and before it takes over the locker room!

      1. Wash workout clothes (including socks) as soon as possible after sweating. Remember, she said the longer you allow dirty gym clothes to break down those proteins, the stinkier mess you’ve got to work with. Plus, clean fabrics won’t break down as quickly, meaning the investment in nice gym clothes will last longer.

      2. Re-apply antiperspirant before working out. Beat the stink before it can start, or at least mask it. Dr. Wu recommends Dove for women or Axe dry spray for the guys.

      3. Shave or trim hair in your underarms and groin. Sure, maintained body hair can be aesthetically pleasing, but Dr. Wu says that the longer hairs give bacteria a very plush place to grow. And by now we know more bacteria equals more stink.

      4. Use antibiotic wipes to reduce the amount of bacteria on the skin. For some of Dr. Wu’s patients, fighting stubborn body odor requires a prescription for antibiotic wipes.

      5. Take a shower. Take a shower at the gym or hit it when you get home, but the sooner you rinse the sooner you’ll clean your skin of the odor-producing bacteria that’s feeding off of your fresh sweat. If you can’t, using the wipes Dr. Wu recommended or a similar product is an acceptable substitution.

      Real Sports for Women: Play More Softball for a Total Body Workout

      Real Sports for Women: Play More Softball for a Total Body Workout


      There’s no question in anyone’s mind that softball is a legitimate sport. But do you know how much of a workout both playing and training can be? If traditional exercise isn’t your jam, softball will take care of all of your body’s physical needs, both on and off the field.softball

      Softball is considered an anaerobic sport, it basically involves a lot of stop-and-start action, as opposed to players staying in constant motion during a soccer match, as Kelly Turner, fitness expert for, explained. During an aerobic sport, like soccer, the heart rate stays elevated constantly, while during softball you get bursts of elevation between resting periods.

      “Whether you are batting, catching, or pitching, softball is all about quick bursts of speed and agility,” said Turner. The sport requires your total body to play well.

      “Producing the power and quickness needed to perform well in softball games requires all of the major muscle groups to work together,” she explained, calling this functional exercise. It’s when the body is called upon to perform real world movements against resistance.

      Casey Crozier knows that to be true. The former pitcher for Youngstown State University’s softball team graduated last spring as a legacy, going down as the all-time leader in wins, strikeouts, and innings pitched for her school.

      She explained that when she and the team are on the field, they’re using their bodies in every way possible. Split-second agility to throw, make sharp turns, and run are just a few ways softball players use their bodies during a game. “In order to produce first-step quickness, the muscle must stretch before it contracts making plyometric, or jump training, a great way to boost performance,” adds Turner.

      Crozier shared some of the ways these players train for wins. At least for her team, they start each morning with a cardio session —which includes swimming or a 1.5-mile jog — and strength training— focusing on body weight exercises that work both lower- and upper-body muscles. This can include squats, pull-ups, and stretching.

      For both pitchers and batters, focus on strengthening the legs is key. “Batters use their legs to hit, and pitchers use their legs to generate a lot of power,” explained Crozier. And let’s not forget how sprinting to catch a ball or take a base requires a lot of lower body strength, too.

      Last, but not least, is a player’s core. Turner adds that a strong lower body, including the core muscles, are necessary for sprinting, and even diving after a ball. And that, especially is where you need protection beyond what a good workout can provide.

      “When girls slide to steal bases or dive to catch, they need breast support,” said Crozier. Don’t forget, Enell likes to play ball, too! Crozier advocates that female players not skimp when it comes to a sports bra. “Your body is in constant movement,” she said. “Having a secure sports bra as you run, bend over, and move in all directions is necessary to be successful on the field.”

      “Playing softball will not burn huge amounts of calories, but it will increase the explosiveness of your muscles,” said Turner. If you’re still in school, join your high school or college’s team, either officially or through the many co-ed sport offerings. And those skills will go a little further than, say, your high school flute career. Adult softball leagues are available in nearly every city, through local organizations like the Y or teams through your company. Like we said, if a group fitness class or typical workout scene isn’t quite your scene, a team sport like softball may be just what you need to stay strong and active!

      ENELL Founder Named Montana Ambassadors Entrepreneur of the Year

      ENELL Founder Named Montana Ambassadors Entrepreneur of the Year

      ENELL Founder Renelle Braaten has been named a Montana Ambassadors Entrepreneur of the Year!

      Renelle created the ENELL bra to solve her own problem of lack of support on the volleyball court, and since 1993, it has been the premiere sports bra for well-endowed women. Today, ENELL bras are available in 500 retail outlets in the United States, Canada, and 11 other countries.

      “Braaten credits her success to three values she holds true in everything she does: creativity, surrounding herself with quality people and always providing the best customer service, Montana Ambassadors said in announcing the award” said the Havre Daily News.

      Learn more about this award, and read the ENELL story here.

      Congratulations, Renelle!

      Feed Your Boobs: 14 Foods That Promote Breast Health

      Feed Your Boobs: 14 Foods That Promote Breast Health

      We’re told there are foods that will boost our metabolism, increase energy, manage heart disease, make us more fertile, and prevent bone loss. And the list goes so much further on. There’s also a body of foods that will, according to research, help prevent or reduce a woman’s risk for breast cancer. Can a food really hone in on a particular body part or manage a niche set of symptoms or metabolic needs?

      food for boobs

      Not in the way we’d like to think they could. Overall, eating a wholesome diet rich in healthful foods will benefit every ounce of our being from the inside out. And Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, a private practice registered dietitian for more than 30 years, agrees that foods don’t necessarily benefit a single body part.

      “What makes a food unique to an organ or disease is that some researcher studied that particular thing and published the results,” she explained. That being said, there are foods that have been linked with fighting breast cancer.

      Whether you eat these foods in an effort to stave-off breast cancer and support general breast health, or just want one more good reason to add more of these colorful bites to your plate, here’s a plethora of fresh foods to enjoy.

      Peaches & Plums — These “stone fruits” were found to have antioxidant levels on par with the super food blueberries. According to research out of Texas A&M, two types of polyphenols (antioxidants) may fight breast cancer cells while also leaving healthy breast cells intact. Hartley says this is true of “all dark purple fruits [that] provide potent antioxidant activity,” and that it’s true whether you eat them fresh, frozen, or dried.

      Walnuts — The anti-inflammatory properties of this nut give it tumor-fighting capabilities. The available research was performed on mice with a human breast cancer, and those who ate two ounces of walnuts daily saw the tumor growth rate inhibited.

      Broccoli — A compound within broccoli called sulforaphane stymies breast cancer cells, according to research from the University of Michigan. They admit you’d have to eat a significant amount of broccoli to ingest that level, so researchers suggest getting as much sulforaphane as possible by eating the broccoli raw, steamed, or lightly cooked in stir-fry. When it is boiled, or cooked in harsh conditions, it destroys the compound. Sulforaphane (related to sulfur giving veggies that funky smell) is in other cruciferous (stinky) vegetables like Brussels sprouts and cabbage.

      Salmon —Long-term use of fish oil is linked to the most common type of breast cancer, explained Hartley. How to dodge it? With fish oil and vitamin D, “a rare nutrient that enters cancer cells and triggers cell death,” she said. “Salmon happens to be one of the few foods that is high in both vitamin D and fish oil, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a omega-3 fat.” To reap all of the vitamin D and fish oil goodness, women should eat about eight ounces of oily fish each week. That can come from salmon, sardines, tuna, or black cod.

      Olive Oil — Get more healthy fats here, with the monounsaturated fats (aka MUFAs) found in olive oil and its antioxidants. That combo works to stop malignant cell growth.

      Parsley — It’s no longer just a pretty garnish. This flavorful herb (buy Italian parsley!) has a compound called apigenin that boosts the body’s resistance to cancerous tumors. Sprinkle over just about any dish to add subtle, calorie-free flavor.

      Beans & Lentils — Beans beans the magical fruit, the more you eat, the more you reduce your risk of breast cancer! It seems that getting all the fiber you need every day can help reduce your risk. Just a half-cup of beans offers 10 grams of fiber, making it easy to reach recommendations! A study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that for every 10 grams of fiber a woman adds to her diet each diet, she reduces her breast cancer risk by seven percent, explained Hartley.

      Sweet Potatoes — Eat more colorfully in general, but especially from the center. Orange and yellow foods are full of carotenoids, which the Journal of National Cancer Institute says will lower the risk of developing breast cancer. So you’re not limited to just sweet potatoes, but carrots and squashes count, too.

      Tea — The right brew for boobs is a fresh pot of tea, especially green tea. Polyphenols, the same antioxidant found in stone fruits, is an antioxidant that works hard to reduce urinary estrogen, a carcinogen that promotes breast cancer.

      Pomegranates — This beautiful fruit inhibits the spread of hormone-dependent breast cancer by suppressing estrogen and preventing growth of cancer cells. It’s the ellagic acid found in pomegranates that’s key, which you’ll also enjoy in raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, walnuts, and pecans.

      Mushrooms — A mushroom a day could keep the doctor away? Research finds that eating fresh mushrooms each day can protect against breast cancer. Women who ingested grams or more of the fungi each day were two-thirds less likely to develop breast cancer. When they had the ‘shrooms and green tea together, the risk was even lower!

      Eggs — Gone are the days that eggs are getting a bad rap, especially the yolks. The nutrient choline, which is abundant in egg yolks, maybe have a role in preventing breast cancer, according to a report found in the journal Breast Cancer Research. The choline, coupled with an eggs other essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals, make this a powerful ally, says Hartley.

      Other sources: FoodForBreastCancer.comEatingWell.comABC News

      You’ve Got No More Excuses to Skip the Weight Room Because Strength Training is Trendy

      You’ve Got No More Excuses to Skip the Weight Room Because Strength Training is Trendy

      Why do we need a top trends list to remind us how important strength training is? That seems to be the case as not enough of us are doing it, but we’ll take whatever it is that gets people in the weight room!

      weight room

      In their annual report of fitness trend predictions, the ACSM names both body weight training and strength training as popular workouts for 2015. So if you’re part of the 17.5% of women who currently strength train — great job, keep it up!

      If you’re part of the overwhelming majority of women who don’t — then it’s time to get lifting. This is not about bulking. This is not about looking ripped. It’s certainly not about stacking your feminine frame with big, bulging man muscles. It’s about overall wellness and health!

      “[Strength training is] not about fitness or being buff, it’s not about that anymore. In fact, that’s the last reason to do it,” said Holly Perkins recently at The renowned strength and conditioning expert, who is set to launch her Women’s Strength Nation in early 2015, echoed lists found across leading health organizations that suggest vast benefits that are derived from strength training. Breast cancer survivors are aided in their recovery when a strength regimen is introduced. Confidence, self-esteem, and empowerment come from lifting weights. Women experience more stamina, greater flexibility, and more functional movement. And those who strength train regularly (which the CDC says is two days per week) experience an optimized shift in hormones; management or prevention of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke; and a host of other health benefits.

      The question isn’t so much “Do you lift?” so much as it is “Why don’t you lift?”.

      How exactly do you get started? There in lies one of the greatest barriers of entry in strength training, especially for women. The weight room, with its free weights, machines, and men, is an impossibly intimidating place for women. No different than the first time you went to yoga, went for a run, or tried a Zumba class, all it takes is that one breath of confidence to move forward. 

      If you truly are new, or haven’t hit the weights in some time, the best thing for you to do is work with a trainer. They’ll teach you how to use the machines and the weights, and in a circuit that’s meaningful, so that you can return regularly with confidence. This will ensure you prevent injury, but also give you the education you need to manage the workouts on your own.

      However, the great part about strength training is that it doesn’t all have to come from a gym’s weight room. The number one trend from the ACSM this year is body weight training, and it provides the same strength benefits without the props.

      “Body weight training uses minimal equipment making it more affordable. [It’s] not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, [and] this trend allows people to get ‘back to the basics’ with fitness,” reported the ACSM.

      It’s more affordable, and more accessible, too! Because body weight training doesn’t specifically require machines or weights the way traditional strength training does, you can effectively do it anywhere. The monkey bars at the park – done. Squats, lunges, pull-ups, push-ups, wall sits — all considered body weight training exercises that require nothing but your body and the space to do it. 

      “Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete exercise program for all physical activity levels and genders,” declared the ACSM. A well-rounded fitness regimen that you’re going to reap the most benefit from includes cardio (or aerobic) exercise as much as it does strength. Together, your body gets all of the functional movement and beneficial stress it needs.

      The CDC recommends that American adults get 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, plus two or more days of muscle-strengthening activities. 

      In crowd or not, trendy or not, strength training is getting some overdue attention this year. Be sure to listen!

      12 New Workouts You've Gotta Try in 2015

      12 New Workouts You've Gotta Try in 2015

      What’s going to make you sweat this year? It’s sure to be your dependable workout, the one you know works for you. It’s great to have that! But what about those days when you aren’t feeling it? If you reach a point where the same ‘ole feels uninspired, we’ve got the fix. That’s what makes fitness so exciting…the infinite ways you can pursue it! Make a note of these 12 exciting, interesting, anything-but-usual workouts. Not only will they re-awaken your interest in being there, but you could find a whole new love affair you didn’t know you were missing!

      workouts to try

      POUND. It’s being called a “liberating” new workout experience, a group fitness class that has you moving, grooving, and banging around on drumsticks. The club-like group class involves high energy music, free spirit movements, and a focus on strength. You can pound on your own at home with their forthcoming DVD, or take classes at 30+ locations in the U.S. and Canada.

      ROWING. You see the machine, we know you do. Now stop ignoring it! If Francis Underwood on House of Cards can make it look good, we know you can make it look better! This intense total body workout gives you everything, working the legs, core, arms, shoulders, and more with each fluid motion, all the while your rate stays elevated. It’s strength and cardio in one.

      STAND UP PADDLE BOARDING. Known in its inner circles as SUP, this relatively new sport is a thrill. You’ll need access to a body of water — think hot tourist spots near lakes and oceans — and a little bit of patience. It’s surprising how quickly you can take to this core-engaging sport, and much you’ll love the feel, the view, and the power you feel once you’re up.

      HORSEBACK RIDING. Seriously, horseback riding is a legitimate sport and it can provide a legitimate workout. Whether you’re trying to keep a weekend or vacation active, or just wanting to mix things up in your daily routine, a trip to the farm will do your whole body good. It’s way more than just sitting, as you will work your core, balance, legs, thighs, and arms.

      BARRE. Hit the barre, and then maybe you can hit that bar, too! There are a number of ways to explore this ballet-inspired workout. BeyondBarre is intense with a cardio, fat-burning approach. Barre3 feels a bit like yoga meets Pilates. Booty Barre introduces resistance with a focus on toning the rear. Cardio Barre uses light weights for a touch of strength training. So look around, there’s a barre that suits your needs.

      MEDITATION. You may not being doing much physically, but the silence and stillness of focusing your mind can reap healthful repercussions head to toe, body and soul. Check out of the grind of your usual workouts and use a meditation practice to re-focus, re-center, re-balance.

      HIIT. You’re going to see a lot about high intensity interval training this year, and you should definitely join the crowd. Especially for the time-crunched, these fast-blast, 30-minute or less sessions can truly be done anywhere and will give you a total body workout you can feel.

      ORANGETHEORY. Interval and strength training combine in this workout some are calling the best in the country! Studio locations are available across the U.S., giving you a trainer-guided, one-hour workout that takes you through treadmills, rowing, and weights. It’s total body strength + cardio that won’t let you down.

      SWIMMING. Trade your gym shorts for swim bottoms and take your workout to the water. Your options are truly limitless, but not effortless. Whether mixing it up, recovering from an injury, or trying to stay cool, a workout in the pool can provide strength, cardio, and conditioning for upper and lower body. New offerings include aquatic yoga, spinning, and zumba. You can even take your Enell in a non-chlorine environment.

      SKATING. Take it old school and do your workout on wheels. Take the kids to a roller rink or strap-on your old skates and make a few laps around the park. Or blast back to the 90s on a pair of roller blades. Regardless, Harvard says you’re burning nearly as many calories as you would on your usual run! Ice skating counts in that math, too! This sport makes it easy to remember a workout can be fun.

      PLAYING That’s right, just go play. Your kids shouldn’t have all the fun at the playground, and you can get some functional fitness out of the quality time spent with them. Body weight training can be done by pulling up on the monkey bars. Cardio is an easy gain when you’re chasing them around. Glutes and legs enjoy the climbing exercises. And pushing them on the swings (or pumping your own legs) takes care of your upper body. So go have fun!

      CYCLING. Get back on your bike and go for a ride (or several) this year. Especially for runners, cycling is an excellent way to cross train. If you’re not too big on working out at all, it’s an excellent way to get in some activity. Everyone who cycles torches calories, enjoys total body toning, boosts their energy, and so many more benefits. Just don’t ride without the right gear!

      Are you trying any of these this year?

      HIIT 2015 Hard with the "It" Workout of the Year

      HIIT 2015 Hard with the "It" Workout of the Year

      Just before the new year, the ACSM published its annual list of fitness trend predictions. The list itself was rather predictable, citing yoga, exercise for weight loss, and group training amongst some of the “rising” trends in 2015. But the one item that really stuck out as having some weight was HIIT training.


      High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT as it is more commonly referred to, should be the second most popular fitness trend of the year. It was a big deal a few years back, and apparently it’s going to see a resurgence.

      What is it exactly? The ACSM describes HIIT as “short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery. These exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes.”

      That’s what makes HIIT so desirable — that 30 minute timeframe. It’s hard to include time in a list of workout excuses when it only requires 30 minutes. HIIT requires less time, but demands more of you during that time. You blast through circuits with little to no rest between moves or machines. It’s also a total body workout; because you never stop moving, and you’re doing strength training and not solely focused on strength or cardio exercises, you get the best of both worlds in one quick, tidy (very sweaty) session.

      Making time for an hour or longer at the gym, and managing a schedule of cardio versus strength sessions, can be cumbersome at best. With HIIT workouts, you get it all squared away at once. Whose jam-packed, always-busy schedule couldn’t use that? HIIT really is the schedule relief we’ve all needed at the gym.

      Or not at the gym, for that matter. Another great benefit of HIIT workouts is that it doesn’t require that you be in any one place. At home, the park, the gym, a hotel room… it honestly doesn’t matter. As long as you can dedicate that half hour to just getting the job done, then HIIT goes anywhere you do. That means you don’t have to just sit at your kid’s soccer practice or sack out on the couch during a Gilmore Girls marathon… you can use that time and that space to complete a legitimate, meaningful workout.

      A lot of resources exist for getting your HIIT on! Everything from gym classes to books, DVDs, and more are available. These are often free or cheap (eliminating the cost excuse!).

      Jessica Smith’s 2012 book Thin In 10 is one example. The resourceful book, co-authored by Liz Neporent, is hinged on HIIT principles and introduces those throughout its approachable fitness instruction. One of Jessica’s HIIT workouts includes a five-minute warm-up, something as simple as marching in place. You’ll do a series of exercises, and in each set you go all in with maximum effort for about 20-30 minutes, with active rest between moves. Lateral burpees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, high knee marches, and squats are some of the moves you’ll do over two or three sets.

      No equipment, no trainer, no certain place to be, and no brainer… HIIT workouts just make sense. Women’s Health Magazine likens HIIT training to a nice BOGO deal, combining cardio and strength training in to one fast-blast workout.