Did you know that when you smile, you literally trick your brain into thinking you’re happy?
Forcing myself to smile — even when I may not feel like it — is a trick I’ve used as long as I can remember, and the science behind it is indisputable. When you smile, the muscles in your face communicate with your brain to release feel-good neurotransmitters — dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. Simply moving your face muscles can actually make you start to feel better.
I’ve utilized moving my face to make me feel happier for ages, but only recently have I embraced how well that trick works with my entire body.
Much like flashing a smile, breaking a sweat is good not only for your body, but for your mind as well. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins that trigger your brain to release those feel-good neurotransmitters, making you feel great.
In my own life, I’ve discovered I’m faster, more productive, and far more positive when I’m working out regularly. Like everyone, I’d love to have a “bikini body,” but in my 30’s, I’ve learned to embrace that my ultimate #beachbody is whatever I take to the beach to have an amazing time. Of course, I still worry about inches and would love to lose my muffin top, so I’m also excited about the upcoming 6-week #summerbod challenge at BARREbeat. BARREbeat’s last challenge fused the best of working out with accountability, motivation, and what literally became a tribal force for good to move!
I’ve committed to working out not only because I want a toned summer body, but more importantly because of the overall impact it’s had on my overall long-term health, well-being and everyday quality of life. Those are benefits that far exceed a dress size.
But I’ve also noticed that while I’m focused on working out for a healthy mind, my body ultimately ends up reaping all the benefits.
It can be hard to get unstuck from a rut — which is why keeping your body in motion is a must.
BARREbeat is a place to create healthy habits with old friends and find your tribe by forging new friendships. Studies have shown that spending time with friends is another activity that is incredibly beneficial for our brains. It releases oxytocin in response to touch and conversation.
If you’re not into the science, I get it. All you have to do is try it out for yourself, reaping the benefits and enjoying the rewards. Our reasons for working out often vary, but one of my favorite things about barre is that while it’s incredibly fun, it’s also unbelievably effective.
Fachon Jones is a first-time mom to 15-month-old son Dominic. She calls BARREbeat
an important part of her self-care routine that helps her release frustration and stay
“When I work out, it helps me give my family the best version of me. It also doesn’t hurt that it makes you look good!” says Jones.
As a brand new mom, like so many of us, Jones experienced #momguilt leaving her baby behind and would only squeeze in occasional workouts before rushing home to baby Dominic.
“I felt guilty and would only take about an hour to myself only to workout and get right back to him. I started to feel depressed and I was turning into a major introvert (not in a good way). I wouldn’t let anyone watch him or take him out because I was too tired and I felt it was too much trouble. Also, because he is so much more active, I noticed I would run out of fuel pretty early in the week.”
Now, things have changed. Jones says she takes at least 2 days a week to do the things she enjoys, like launching her own business and working out, and it makes her life better in every way.
Her advice for others struggling to get motivated and started on a routine?
“I would advise other first time mothers to take your time and get used to being a mom, be in tune with how you feel. Then get into a routine every morning that includes an activity with you and baby. Even if you’re too tired, GET OUT OF BED! EARLY! And please, please, accept help! Even though you know what’s best for baby, he needs a break from you; and you need a break from you! Slowly but surely, you will become yourself again!”
Jones has fallen in love with BARREbeat and says there’s something about dancing your heart out that just makes you a better person. I agree! Try out the 6-week challenge. You’ll be glad you did.
This is your happy brain on Barre.
6 Weeks to a Summer Bod Challenge!!
It is never too late to take steps towards a happier, healthier you!!
During this challenge:
- Contestants will get their measurements taken every Monday starting April 15th
(Optional weigh-ins on Monday)
- Winner for Grand Prize is a percentage of most inches lost
- Each week will kick off with a theme event all around building healthy habits,
along with a recommended meal plan, recommended class attendance, bonus
activities conducted both in the studio and out of the studio, and themed friday
night happy hour classes
- On top of all this, we will have weekly challenges with additional bonus prizes at
the end of each week.
If you aren’t a BARREbeat member, but would like to participate in the 6
weeks challenge, we are offering a NEW CLIENT special…. 6 weeks of unlimited classes for $79!
By Mary Simms
It’s a simple law of physics. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest.
I’ve found that Newton’s first law of physics is unexpectedly applicable to my self-care life. If I don’t keep it moving when it comes to exercise, I stay at rest. Carla’s relaxing and restorative meditative yoga classes; Priya’s incredible booty-shaking hip-hop classes; even Killer Kandyce making me feel the burn on the barre — it’s all become one of the favorite parts of my self-care routine. These classes send me to a happy space that leaves me feeling energized and ready to take on my day.
My first class at BARREbeat happened to be hip hop. It was unexpected, and I fell in love. My kids enjoyed the child play center while mommy got her workout on letting loose, dancing in the dark. It was amazing and I felt free, refreshed and phenomenal after that first class. But in spite of my experience — and the fact that I had pre-paid for a 10-class pack — in spite of the fact that I absolutely LOVED the class, I let my busy schedule interfere and didn’t go back right away. I wasn’t making excursive a priority, and so, I stayed at rest.
Confession alert: In the past, keeping my gym-memberships on auto-pay made me feel less guilty when I didn’t use them! I had been guilty of this for years. Find a new exercise routine, start strong — get bored. Stop. Rinse. Repeat 6 months later. It was a cycle that wasn’t serving my body or my overall wellbeing.
I’ve learned that if you keep doing the same thing you’ve always been doing — you’ll always get the same results. Even though I know I feel better when I exercise, I would make excuses. Exercise provides mental clarity and keeps me relaxed and feeling strong. Still, even my regular workout in the past happened about 2 times a week — something I justified because of my busy schedule and being a mom of twins. Committing to BARREbeat radically changed the rhythm of my past workout routines (with everything from crossfit to HITT to yoga!). For the first time since high school dance classes, I wasn’t bored! Maybe it’s because there are so many different type of classes to choose from at BARREbeat. Maybe it’s because I encountered an amazing tribe of women who quickly became my friends. On top of all that, dancing is my happy
place — not something I feel is a chore, like running.
When I served in the military, I learned that although running really isn’t my jam, when forced to to it regularly, it became easier — almost enjoyable. I’ve never experienced that euphoric runner’s high, but I’ve definitely felt something similar while dancing.
During the 21-day BARREbeat challenge in January, I was motivated to dig in. The challenge (coupled with the fact that I knew I’d soon be shooting a television pilot) gave me the inertia to do something I’ve never done before: I decided to work out every day — sometimes twice a day! To my surprise, once I made exercise a priority it wasn’t only easy to stay in motion, but enjoyable to dial in to my busy daily routine. For 17 days, I worked out every day — sometimes multiple times a day — and I felt incredible. On day 18, an old injury resurfaced and I fell, fracturing my knee while walking, of course, in heels. The worst part (besides the pain and initial bedridden period) was not being able to work out and enjoy the momentum I had created.
My injury stopped me in my tracks. And here’s what I learned:
Working Out Daily Changed More Than My Body — it changed my mind.
I was happier and in a better mood, I had more sustained energy throughout the day, and I even slept better, even though I often woke up earlier. I was having fun and, to my surprise, quickly able to integrate workouts into my everyday schedule because I had made it a priority.
Starting over yet again is hard. Those first classes are like a first run, difficult at the beginning but easier after each attempt. And Killer Kandyce is an amazing instructor who will quickly whip you into shape. Once you’ve committed to working out regularly, your body will grow stronger and more fit, ready to be pushed even further. Plus, you’ll feel great after.
At BARREbeat I’ve also made amazing new friends! It’s more than just working out that I miss. I’ve forged new friendships and connected with like-minded women, and I miss them! It’s great to find a supportive community that can connect you with so many amazing classes and opportunities for social fun, like Barre to Bar and date night. My knee is slowly getting better and I can’t wait to get back! But if you’re thinking about taking the plunge, challenge yourself to the new $49 BARREbeat member special and see how much you fall in love when you keep your body in motion.
Construction at BARREbeat is set to begin in the next few weeks. We are preparing for an early summer opening. Get ready for a fusion studio offering Barre, Yoga, and Dance Cardio. As well as a Child Play Center for your little ones! Keep checking back on our website as well as our social media sites to stay updated!
Many people have asked me what made me decide to open my own studio. Looking back it seems that BARREbeat has been years in the making. It was first an idea, that became a dream , and has now blossomed into reality.
Growing up I have always been a performer. I started dancing at the age of 3 learning many forms of dance such as ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, as well as musical theatre. Around middle school my singing voice started to develop and I started to perform at local shows and festivals. By the time I was 16 I landed an independent record deal where I recorded my own album that was available on ITUNES. Throughout my music career the label I was signed under had me start working out with a personal trainer. This is where I found my true love of health and fitness. After my first few personal training sessions I was hooked. I loved the feeling that came after completing a workout and accomplishing things physically that I never thought I could do. This led me to want to extend my education in health and fitness. I decided to study Kinesiology with an emphasis in exercise and fitness at San Jose State University. After I graduated, I became a personal trainer and group exercise instructor, mostly working in corporate fitness around the Silicon Valley. I studied and taught many different forms of group exercise including dance cardio, boot camp, HIIT, barre, kickboxing, and cycle. I even taught a ‘mommy and me’ stroller fitness class before I became a mommy myself! I became a group exercise junkie! I realized that I loved variety in my fitness routine, as I myself am one to get bored easily.
While I was personal training and teaching group exercise at various corporate sites, I was also a dance teacher for both children and adults. I taught many forms of dance including ballet, tap, jazz, as well as musical theatre. Between teaching dance and my group exercise classes, I was instructing close to 20 classes a week. I really loved that I never got bored with what I was doing because I was always switching up the types of workouts I did or introduced, which allowed me to teach new forms of classes that I loved.
I thought to myself, “ Wouldn’t it be great to have a fusion studio where I can combine all the different types of fitness workouts I enjoy as well as dance and music?” Teaching at various studios throughout the day, and traveling all around the Bay Area really takes a toll on your body physically. That made me even more eager to start my own studio where I could have the freedom to be creative and share all my workout concepts with others!
As we all know in life things happen. After getting married and having two children, my dream of opening my own studio had to be pushed out for awhile to be able to stay home and raise my kids. While I love my children more than anything in this world, I realized that their was a void in my life. I was no longer doing the things that I was passionate about, which I believe is so important to have in your life to enable you to be the best parent you can be. The main question I get asked is, “How are you going to run/own this studio while raising two young children?!” And my response is always, “Why cant I do it all!” I can be an entrepreneur (A Girl Boss! ?) all while being a wife and the best mommy I can be! Because of this mind set, the train started rolling and has not stopped. And in just a few short months with the support of my family and friends, my dream that has been years in the making will become a reality ?
Many people wonder if they can eat before an intense workout. The answer is YES! You just have to make sure that you are getting the right nutrients. Having the right pre-workout snack will help boost your performance and help you from feeling sluggish through your workout. Here is a list of the best pre-workout snacks before a BARREbeat workout:
Drinking a protein smoothie before your workout has many benefits. It provides the muscles with enough protein to become stronger and build leaner muscles. It provides you with energy to give your all during your workout, and can help your muscles heal and repair more quickly between workouts.
Plain yogurt is a great pre-workout snack, as is if filled with both protein and carbohydrates. It is also filled with Probiotics which improves the bodies digestive health and has been shown to improve fat burning during a workout.
Nuts are filled with protein and healthy fats. This will help you keep your energy up through an entire BARREbeat class. Just be sure not to eat too much. If you don’t have a measuring cup, a small handful is a good guide.
Bananas are filled with natural sugar which converts to carbohydrates. This will give you an energy burst during your workout, which makes for a great pre-workout snack.
Eggs are the best source of natural protein, which makes for a great pre-workout snack. It is always nice to have eggs on hand to snack on. You can hard boil a few in advance to grab as a quick snack before your next BARREbeat class.