Happy holidays and a Happy New Year to everyone! I’m taking some time to hang with family but don’t worry, FitFabCities will be back after the holidays with printable workouts, regular postings and lots so new surprises including some great giveaways for the new year!
Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year!
Winter means darker, wetter and colder conditions to cycle in, and this environment can cause havoc when it comes to keeping your bike in tip top condition. There are a few steps you can take to prevent Mother Nature’s wintery ways from affecting your bike, so read on to find out how:
Probably one of the most common ailments of cycling in winter is getting your drivetrain clogged up with road sludge; especially if the road has been salted. If you’re looking for a sturdy drivetrain take a look at the Shimano derailleur range from Evans Cycles. Make sure you lubricate your bike chain generously, as well as the brake pivots, any adjustment screws and the gear mechanisms. Allow this to dry and then afterwards, wipe the lubricated area completely clean. This is very important as rain water can wash away the lubricant making your bike more susceptible to rust.
Road sludge can consist of grit and water amongst other things, which can ruin your rim sidewalls and brake pads. It can be tempting to hose down your bike to clean off all the excess dirt, but the overspray from this can wind up in bearings and cables which you definitely don’t want. You’ll need to be patient, but wait until the dirt has dried, and then brush it off with a small brush.
It might sound like a bit of an effort, but if you want your bike to last the winter then it’s worth doing. Cleaning your bike can also alert you to any potential issues such as worn brake pads, loose spokes or damaged tyres – and surely it’s better noticing these problems when you’re at home so you can do something about it, rather than being miles away on a cold winter’s evening.
Winter is also a time to think about changing your tyres. If you usually ride with thin tyres (23mm or less) then it might be worth opting for a slightly wider tyre – about 25mm or above. This will give you much better grip on the roads when they get icy. If the weather is particularly miserable then it might be time to think about studded tyres; they will keep you upright in harsh conditions that are especially icy. Give Bontrager tyres a try. They’re considered one of the best in the biz when it comes to wheels.
Just as your cycling gear steps up during the winter months (gloves, an under helmet hat etc), your bike needs this level of extra protection. By regular maintenance, you can ensure your bike has a greater chance of surviving winter conditions.
As 2013 steadily approaches, you’ve probably started to think about New Year’s resolutions. Maybe you’d like to get healthy or fancy finding a new hobby. However, what we’re interested in are those goals that are a little more demanding for the upcoming year; those which require extreme determination as well as physical strength in order to accomplish them. Considered running a half marathon or looking into personal trainer jobs? Well how about taking it to the next level? We’re going to check out the world’s toughest challenges and see what it is that really tests people to their limits. Think you could hack it? Then read on…
To succeed at Tough Mudder, there are no two ways about it, you NEED to be hardcore. Designed by the Special Forces, this 12 mile obstacle course tests every aspect of your being, from your stamina and endurance, to your strength and determination. In other words, it isn’t easy. The aim of the game is to ‘overcome all fears’ and if you ‘whine like a kid’ then you aren’t a true tough mudder! But don’t worry, that’s not to say that you won’t enjoy completing the course; far from it! Tough Mudder is the perfect opportunity, to not only challenge yourself, but to also meet lots of lovely people. Interested? Then give it a go!
Similar to Tough Mudder, the Ironman Triathlon also needs you to be extremely resilient and strong minded. Consisting of a series of long distance races, this activity sees competitors swimming 3.8 kilometres, cycling 180 kilometres and running 42 kilometres, all without a break; I’m sure you’ll agree this is no walk in the park! Held in Hawaii, the triathlon has continued to follow the same format since its creation in 1978, and is renowned for its difficult race conditions and exhausting length. However, if you’re keen to see how far you can push yourself, or an eager triathlete already, then this may be something worth looking into.
Great Tibetan Marathon
This Marathon is very demanding; however the scenic elements to it do tend to compensate for this. Based in Northern India, the Great Tibetan Marathon is often viewed as a spiritual venture as opposed to a purely physical one, taking you to an altitude of 3,500 metres high, with the Himalayan Mountains as a stunning backdrop. Participants tend to come from of a variety of different backgrounds, all embracing the Buddhist traditions that come with this unique challenge. So if you’d fancy running 26 miles but not in your usual settings, then definitely consider the Great Tibetan Marathon.
I love trying new workout classes whenever I get the chance. I get to check out new fitness trends, get ideas for my own at home workouts, keep boredom at bay, and have some fun in the process. Plus it’s always importnat to change up your workouts so that you keep seeing results!
Here are five of the hottest, newest fitness classes that, it you have the chance, I think you should definitely try. I’ve had the pleasure of trying the ones I could find in Seattle, and if I couldn’t find it, it made my own version. Each class is a killer workout and totally different so there is something for everyone! Let me know if you’ve tried any of these workouts and which ones you like the best.
- Soul Cycle: Spinning classes are HUGE! Celebs like Kelly Ripa, Katie Holmes and Sophia Vergara swear by them, and one of the best in the business is Soul Cycle. Killer playlists + totally motivating class participants and teachers + 800 to 1000 calories per hour = one addictivly good workout. We have FlyWheel in Seattle which is similar and on my to do list very soon! Check out a spin class near you for some killer cardio.
- Barre Class: Ballet barre classes are great for toning your whole body with teeny tiny movements, light dumbbells and your bodyweight. Don’t be fooled though, these workouts are super tough. You can check out some of my reviews here. Physique 57 and Barre 3 are my favorite classes plus they have DVDs and/or online downloads so you can do the workouts anywhere.
- TRX Class: So obsessed with the TRX! I use it in every one of my stregnth workouts and if I had to own only one piece of fitness equipment this would be it. Well the TRX and kettlebells and a BOSU and…who am I kidding, I can’t own just one! You can take TRX classes at many gyms and some even offer bootcamp styles with cardio intervals or tabata protocal. Muscle toning, calorie burning goodness!
- Metcon 3: This class is exclusive to Equinox gyms and uses the principle of metabolic conditioning work. You do 10 full body exercises, each for a minute, then repeat that cycle 3 times. This really spikes your heart rate and gets you metabolism going for hours….if you don’t live near an Equinox many of my printable workouts are based on metabolic conditioning so try one like this if you haven’t already:)
- SurfSET Class: I actually saw this class on Shark Tank the ABC show where entrepreneurs pitch businesses to investors. The workout is done entirely on a surfboard which is suspended to recreate the feeling of being on the water. There are also resistance bands on the side of each board for upper body work. I love adding some instability to my workouts since doing so increases the effectiveness of even simple exercises like bicep curls. The SurfSET class will work your whole body especially your legs and core…plus can you think of a more fun way to burn 500-800 calories?! Classes are pretty limited right now, but SurfSET looks to be expanding very soon. If you can’t take a class try incorporating standing on a BOSU ball into your workout for the same effect.
(image credits: dailycandy, barre3, trxtraining, wellandgoodnyc, surfSET)