Charity grew up in Utah but much More...
Charity grew up in Utah but much to her embarrassment never learned to ski. These days she lives in Cobble Hill, and this time around she's picked up on local customs -- she does yoga like a true Brooklynite. She has considered other Brooklyn-y pursuits like dogs and babies, but so far those are too complicated. In addition to yoga, she also runs and hits up fun classes at the gym whenever she gets the chance (trampolines and hip hop music get her every time). When she's not working out, Charity has to work and has variously enjoyed or detested jobs as a speech writer, lawn care expert, night janitor, tuxedo shop girl, and web editor.Hide Bio.
I Heart These...
- Beata Dziemianczyk-Lodziato
- Prana Power Yoga
- Brooklyn Boulders
- Crunch: Super Slim Down - Ellen Barrett
- Area Yoga
- The Fierce Club
- Body Elite Health and Fitness Center
- Equinox - Brooklyn Heights
- David Barton Gym -- Chelsea
- Asphalt Green
- Dominic Venton
- Yoga Booty Ballet - Heather
- Red Carpet Ready
- Mala Yoga
- The Feralicious Challenge:
- 4.) Cardio, Unplugged
- 2.) Eat Wild
- D.I.Y. Feral!
- See all feats for The Feralicious Challenge
- The Love Challenge:
- Love Body
- Love Belly
- Love Soul
- Love Mind
- See all feats for The Love Challenge
- Social Workout Challenge: New Years Edition:
- Whole Grainy
- Swap Meat
- Home Food
- Pimp Your Bed
- Go Fish
- D.I.Y. Feat
- See all feats for Social Workout Challenge: New Years Edition
- Eat. Sweat. Blog.:
- Caffeine free
- See all feats for Eat. Sweat. Blog.
- Other Feats:
- Wheel Pose
- Group Fitness Class Sampler
- See all feats
You may recall the fascinating finding that popping acetaminophen can ease the pain of social rejection. So headache, take Tylenol. Party snub, take Tylenol. Well, here's a related finding for people who prefer a more natural approach. Turns out love can ease physical pain. In the study, researchers took people who were in love, placed hot probes in their hands, and then scanned their brains. The people who professed to be in love and were then shown a picture of their loved one while holding the hot probe showed a 40% reduction in moderate pain and a 10-15% reduction of severe pain.
Ah jeez, another way people in love get to lord it over single people. Sheesh. But not so fast! Turns out distracting word games were just about as effective at dulling pain. Ta da! An equal-access solution! Who needs a boyfriend when you have Scrabble....
Wild new bio-molecular breakthrough—scientists have figured out how to give you a tan by monkeying with your enzymes. Or at least they've figured out how to give a mouse a tan, and you're next. The researchers discovered that when they blocked the enzyme PDE-4D3, melanin production kicks in, which in turn darkens skin pigment. Not sure I'll be signing up for a bio-tan anytime soon, but bodybuilders nationwide and the entire cast of the Jersey Shore must be rejoicing at this news.
"For a romantic comedy, he needs to shrink down a bit. For Blade and Green Lantern, he was 200 pounds and 8% body fat. For rom coms, he’s about 180 and 11% body fat....I was with him in New Orleans [for the Green Lanterns shoot] for six months. We worked out seven days a week, 90 minutes a day, and never did the same workout twice."
Ryan Reynolds' trainer, Bobby Strom, explaining why muscles like Ryan Reynolds' may be a little out of reach for you...
You may recall the Hero Cam, aka the HD camera you can strap to your head or chest and then use to film yourself doing awesome stuff. Here's what it looks like if you attach that sort of camera to your head and jump out of a plane in a Batman suit. (The action picks up at :45)
Remember the study that showed that the better shape you're in the more you sweat? Researchers in Japan recently concluded a similar study, which confirmed the finding—if you've been training, you work up a sweat a lot faster. Good news for keeping you cool during hard workouts. But here's the bad news—women have to get hotter before they get their sweaty rewards. The order of sweatiness went like this (from most to least): In-shape men, in-shape women, out-of-shape men, out-of-shape women. It'd be nice if this just meant that ladies were just cooler. But nope. Just means we're at more of a risk for heat stroke. Boo.
Today's science beat: A whole bunch of fascinating stuff about your body you may not have known until this very minute...
- You can skip the snack packs. There are people who swear by lots of little meals throughout the day. Like Jackie Warner. One of the downsides of this approach, though, is that it pretty much necessitates carrying bags of food with you. It's one thing if it's baby carrots, but what if you want some protein? A bag of meat snacks in your pocket? That's got an awful lot of backfire potential... Luckily for you, a new study shows that for high-protein diets, three meals a day is actually more satiating than six meals a day. In tangentially-related news, there was a meat heist outside the Plaza Hotel yesterday.
- The transgender golf lowdown. Okay, not exactly science, but just in case you're considering gender reassignment surgery, keep in mind that the LPGA currently bars transgendered individuals from competing. But that might change soon!
Right after you finish running your commando half-marathon, hop on this bike... Introducing, the thong bike seat. Just in case you think we're seriously recommending undie-free biking, let me take this moment to remind you of the wonders of workout underpants. (via Jezebel)
Today in science:
- An Evil Glow. That freaky nightlight in the photo is a demon that makes everyone who comes in contact with it fat. Or, to put it in scientific terms, mice who spent eight weeks with a dim light on at night gained 50% more weight than mice who slept in the dark. So what, they were tired so they ate more and moved less? Not so simple! In fact, their physical activity and their food were held constant. So the real explanation is that sleep disruption messed with their metabolism.
- Sex vs. Puking. Did you know German drug makers were working on a female viagra? It was called flibanserin, and the company just pulled the plug on it. Why?
"I find the more I give, the more I get back....To invest myself in giving back daily and doing good is part of my process. Daily good works are as important as my daily yoga practice."
— Russell Simmons, discussing his philanthropic involvement.
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Oliver recently turned the SW office on to "Glee." "It's the voices of neurotic New York 30-something writers coming from the mouths of high school students, plus show tunes sensibility!" he crowed. Katie just confessed to watching it last night while sweatily building Ikea furniture. I confessed to having performed the following double laptop, Hulu + infomercial Pilates act twice already this week. Which maybe makes me a neurotic New Yorker. But I heartily recommend the workout anyway:
If moving all your worldly possessions from one apartment to another and up four flights of stairs doesn't count as a workout...
...Jelly legs, jelly arms. Exhaustion, and massive calorie refueling
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SoHo office buildings are fascinating. Social Workout HQ is located on the 12th floor of one such building, and our neighbors in the warrens of halls include design firms, PR companies, modeling agencies, and who-knows-what-they-do businesses with intriguing names like Gigantic, Inc. And that's just on our floor. Down on the 9th floor, around a few bends in the maze, is a Pilates studio called Mongoose Bodyworks. One lucky New Year's Edition Challenge completer will be winning a free private session at MB, and to preview the prize, Katie and I went downstairs last Friday for a Pilates duet session.
The room is dark. Just faux-candles along the walls and a few dim lamps with red bulbs. So dark you can't see faces. But it's not like David Barton sexy yoga where dim lights are your cue to secretly check out all your classmates in the mirror. Because there are no mirrors here. The two-hour class starts with each woman introducing herself and saying a few words about her fears and why she's here. Very 70s women's collective. "This is a safe space," one of the two instructor even says. And then we all take our hair down. More than the lights, more than the friendly chat, even more than the poles, after a decade of fitness class ponytails, the feeling of hair on your shoulders feels the strangest.
I'm at Sheila Kelley's S Factor. And by now, Pole Dancing classes are basically old hat. They're so common, in fact, that the Social Workout feats committee added pole dancing to the Emergency Holiday Challenge. But I've never taken one. Not just because I haven't gotten around to it. Because I have very clear (and negative) opinions about strip clubs. I'm not one of those silly people who thinks it's empowering to dress like a slut on Halloween, so why would I think it's empowering to act like a stripper at the gym? But by the end of the class, my feminist heart was pounding with pride.
Most fitness DVDs imitate the group exercise experience. There's a teacher and students, and you're just another class member, except you're in your living room. But not the Exhale Core Fusion Body Sculpt DVD. This DVD has no teacher. Or rather, it has two teachers, Elisabeth Halfpapp and Fred DeVito, the co-founders of Exhale's Core Fusion program, but neither of them talk onscreen. Each takes a turn giving disembodied, off-screen voiceover directions while onscreen their bodies silently carry out the commands. It's like eerie puppet theater. You'd think it might help that their own voices are bossing their bodies around, but the division-of-the-self effect actually makes it weirder. I'm not sure what the DVD's producers hoped to accomplish with this "innovation," but I really hope this isn't the start of a fitness DVD voiceover trend.
In midtown dance studios you get Broadway stars all made up and ready to rumble, but the vibe at Dance New Amsterdam (DNA), on Chambers Street, is decidedly more downtown chic and international, thanks in part to a visa program for developing artists. If you're a dancer in the city, you probably already know all about it. If you're a "hobbyist," you should find out more immediately.
There are a handful of studios at DNA, all holding classes simultaneously, and walking down the hallway, looking through the glass walls at all the beautiful bodies, can make you giddy. Oliver Steele's Advanced Contemporary Modern class at Dance New Amsterdam (DNA) this morning featured smooth choreography to "I'm on a Boat, Bitch." They play around at DNA. "It's just more of an open atmosphere," said my guide for the day, Social Workout Dancer and Pilates teacher-in-training, thriviver. That's why even though it's less commercially focused than Broadway Dancer Center and less posh than Steps, it attracts the same star teachers. Case in point: Oliver and his wife Terri, who also teaches at DNA.
YogaWorks Soho, which opened this summer, is a "yoga gym," or perhaps a gymlike yoga studio. Or something. It's a members-only studio. Meaning, like a gym, you pay a monthly fee ($110) and you can come as much as you want. And it's huge: You've got two floors, three studios, a shop area, little rest stations where you can check your email, and a proper locker room with showers, towels, and a sauna. Back in September Augustina Groop wrote about the gorgeous bamboo floors and all the well-chosen amenities. I couldn't agree more. Lovely.
But, true confession: It all left me feeling cold....
Most yoga studios talk about well-being, peace, or creativity. Not David Barton. For their yoga, they promise "A huge increase in sexual energy." Having only been once, I can't verify that sweeping claim. But I can verify that Liquid Yoga, their fast-paced vinyasa class, is a total turn-on. A few of the contributing factors:
24 Hour Fitness is the largest gym club in the world, with millions of locations, BUT only four top level, all-the-bells-and-whistls "Ultra Sports Clubs." Turns out one of these opened three weeks ago about two feet from Social Workout headquarters. And we hardly noticed. Really. It's difficult to hide a 100,000-plus square foot gym, but the Derek Jeter 24 Hour Fitness hit Soho with all the fury of a Radio Shack. No doubt some of its impact has been lost inside the cultural apocolypse that is the Hollister store. Still. I stopped by to investigate this morning at 8 A.M. and found row after row of pristine new cardio machines, each with its own TV. A huge weight-room floor. Big windows. Lots of light. No people. Think Neutron bomb.
OK, four people, including Calvin Stevens, who was teaching circuit training bootcamp. Calvin, I must say, rocks: High-energy, charming, and he sang along to Beyonce while cajoling me into lunging and jumping faster. "I like it, but I don't love it!" he'd yell when our pace lagged. All that energy for three of us.
If you're looking for a high end gym, massively uncrowded, in Soho, for just $69 a month, I've got a tip for you.... And I mean nice. The locker room is not ridiculous like David Barton, but fully functional with razors and spray deodorant. And you don't have to bring your own lock (such a hassle) because the lockers are those cool ones with the built-in, programmable key pad. $69 a month is about $80 a month less than the Equinox down the block. And that gets you access to all the other 24 Fitnesses on the planet. Of course, it might be a little loney, but there are trade offs. Naturally, they're giving away free seven day passes.
Gramercy Pilates Fitness just opened a few months ago, with two distinct virtes: 1.) That new studio smell. 2.) Underpopulated classes. I signed up for a four-person Reformer class, and found myself the sole attendee. At $25, the four-person class is one of the best deals in town. But $25 for a private session? Total steal. If you're looking for Reformer time, supervised by very solid dancer-teachers in a very Grammery-infused wood and brick studio, without too many other people around (and the ones that are are the sort you want to be when you're 50), definitely check it out.
Laughing Lotus is one of the city's major teaching studios, and you can feel it. The vibe is friendly, but also a little clubby. As if half the people know each other. Cause, actually, they do. It's also a bit more girlie than other studios.
A session with a Pilates Reformer machine will run you about $100 at most studios. Yesterday, I went for the first time. For free. Pilates Reforming New York offers free introductory sessions, (thanks Gotigers2003 for clueing us in). So, is the reformer really all that? Answer: Yes.
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