Fit & Fab 2014: Healthy Choices & Chic Activewear

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“We all have our fitness wake-up call at some point in our lives, and it can be a powerful catalyst for change,” says Franci Cohen, a personal trainer, certified nutritionist, exercise physiologist and creator of SPIDERBANDS, a total-body cardio resistance workout. “Unfortunately, many people overcompensate and try to change everything at once, which is a disaster. Making lasting change involves going through stages that aren’t necessarily linear. People fluctuate and transition between the stages. Knowing how to move through them can get you where you want to be.”

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So you’ve got the gear, now it’s time for a little feel-good fitness! If you’re looking for a total-body workout, check out these four tried-and-true exercise programs that are anything but routine.

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1) The Bar Method
Burr Leonard is the founder and creator of The Bar Method, a full-body exercise workout that utilizes a ballet barre technique. The method draws from the principles of isometrics, dance conditioning, interval training and physical therapy.

“Exercise is one of the most important things you can do for your health, but sometimes it’s hard to just get motivated,” adds Franci, who recommends keeping it fun with out-of-the-box programs that produce rapid results and sculpt the body.

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2) Hot Yoga
Bikram Yoga is a sequence of 26 postures practiced in a heated room and developed by Bikram Choudhury from hatha yoga. This hour-and-a-half class systematically works every part of the body through breathing, stretching and balancing, and pressure pushing movements all done at the same time.

3) Pilates
Created by Joseph Pilates, a physical-culturist from Germany, Pilates evenly conditions the entire musculature by elongating the muscles and strengthening joint elasticity through mat work and core resistant exercise equipment.

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4) High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Go hard or go home! HIIT is a major new fitness trend for 2014. These workouts involve short bursts of high-intensity exercises such as sprints and weight interval training followed by short periods of rest/recovery.

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Did You Know: More than 69 million women in the United States exercise on a regular basis. And physical activity is among the top national health objectives, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which launched the resource site with the goal of “improving the health of all Americans.”

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Qianna Smith