Monday, December 19, 2016

Thank you week love letter No. 1: is the real deal

My daughter trying a squat with Kelli from Fitness Blender

Do you celebrate when you find something that is making a positive difference in your life?  Me, too!  In that spirit, this is the first day in a week of shout outs and thank you's to outlets that have improved my life.  I wanted to do my little bit to recognize organizations that stand out to me as trying to do good and do good business at the same time.  In a time when it's extremely hard to tell what's authentic and what's all facade and in a period where manipulation and deceit seem to represent standard business practices, I can't tell you how much I value authenticity and positivity.  It's hard to find and I just latch on for dear life when I find it.

This end-of-the-year thank you week idea evolved out of a stream of thoughts that started during a workout I did online with the other day.  I have been doing their free workouts with my husband for a year and a half and ever since then, I've been floored by how professional the videos are and that they're free.  I appreciate the couple who run the site as good people who really understand fitness and health, who are trying to add something positive to the world in an honest way. And as I've seen the site's popularity grow exponentially, they haven't lost their way, which is crucial.  So, as I was working out, I was feeling the holiday spirit and thinking it'd be nice to thank Fitness Blender.  It also hit me that there are several companies I've encountered and really love that are run by honest, genuinely good people who are inclusive, positive, ethical, and want to add something good to the world.  My way of thanking these companies is to spread the word online this week.  Sure, I've probably told 10 people I know about Fitness Blender in person, but I wanted to put it out there in the universe and give it a digital footprint.

Kelli and Daniel, the husband and wife team of physical trainers who produce the Fitness Blender videos, are consistent.  They produce excellent workout videos: their cues are great, the moves and the fitness knowledge is up-to-date, they're approachable people and they make working out accessible through directions and modifications.  BUT, what I really appreciate from them is that they are always telling you not to buy into the fitness hype that's online and in media.  Kelli and Daniel could take advantage of the rampant insecurities, but they use their platform to say that most of the fitness stuff you see online is nonsense: unhealthy images that encourage people to hate their bodies.  Instead, Kelli and Daniel promote overall wellness and to love your body and treat it well.  They remind you that you don't need any equipment to get a good workout and that you don't need supplements and powders to be fit.  They could be successfully pushing all that stuff and selling equipment left and right and they could be sponsored from head to toe.  But what Kelli and Daniel push is working out and clean eating.  Fitness Blender is a gem to be treasured.

From what I can tell, Fitness Blender makes its money from the infrequent ads that appear in their videos, which are hosted on youtube, and the sales of their meal plans, which aren't marketed heavy-handedly.  Otherwise, Fitness Blender's hundreds of searchable and excellent workouts are free.  Their realistic advice, healthy approach to fitness and their genuine desire to share the love of fitness is free.

Since we're on the subject of fitness today, I also want to give a shout out to  Daily Burn, the subscription-based online workout site and app, and BKHIITBox, a small-group HIIT training center in Brooklyn.  I was told about these excellent companies through friends after FitnessBlender opened the floodgates for me and transformed what working out meant (not always just in a gym).  I've always exercised, but I've never been as consistent as I've been for as long as I've been since FitnessBlender and DailyBurn became my main sources of exercise motivation.  DailyBurn, especially its DB365 workouts that are new each day at 9 am, are my go-to workouts when I don't want to think about what workout to do and I just want to do something I know will be good and new.  The host of DB365 and the trainers, who are different each day, are all fantastic.  They make working out engaging and each trainer does their part to smash the idea of what fitness looks like (it looks different on everyone) and swipe at the obsolescent idea that there is an ideal body type. and Daily Burn has changed me in the following ways:

  • How long I work out (fitness doesn't require an hour-long class in a gym...workouts can even be 10 minutes long and be effective and worthwhile)
  • What I need to work out (you don't need a single piece of equipment to get a good workout)
  • How often I work out (I now *want* to work out every day because it's so easy and I can just tap the play button)
  • When I can work out (I have two small children and with Fitness Blender and Daily Burn, I can make time to do a 30-minute workout in my home...but not necessarily find the hour and half that it takes to get to the gym, take a class and get back home)
  • How I view working out (It's become part of my routine and something I truly look forward to, not a chore.  Because these online workouts are so flexible, they encourage me to incorporate fitness into my life...not my life has to be twisted around to incorporate exercise.)
  • How my kids view exercise (they see that we prioritize and choose exercise and we don't see it as a task, so they don't either.  They even pretend to lead workouts as their fun...see my son Greyson below showing the world how to do "Greyson Jacks")

Thank you for improving my life, Fitness Blender, Daily Burn and BKHIITBox!  Thank you for representing authenticity and positivity in this world.  Happy Holidays!

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