4 Free Workouts to Have on Your Calendar This Week 

Unite Fitness Cross Training Run | Photo courtesy Unite Fitness

Unite Fitness Cross Training Run | Photo courtesy Unite Fitness

In the ultimate Monday workout motivation, recent research found that regularly working out saved folks, on average, anywhere from $500 to $2500 a year. And, conveniently, there are a bunch of free workouts happening around town this week, so you can get your sweat on while keeping those savings in your wallet. (Winning!) We’ve rounded them up below.

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These Philly Yoga Teachers Want You to Quit Confusing “Pay What You Can” for “Free”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever gone to a pay-what-you-can yoga class and made a zero-dollar donation even though you totally had a few bucks to spare in your bank account. Not because you’re a jerk — just because you kind of thought “pay what you can” was just another way of saying “free.” Don’t worry: None of us is perfect — even Beyoncé makes mistakes (I mean, I assume) — and we love you just the same. But the folks over at Philly Yoga Factory, Philly’s first donation-based yoga collective that operates a full roster of pay-what-you-can studio classes out of Center City’s Hot Yoga Philadelphia studio space (you may know it as the former Bikram Yoga Philadephia), are here to give you a gentle reminder that “donation-based” and “pay what you can” aren’t just longer ways of saying “free.”

Why? Because, long story short: While for some, “pay what you can” does mean paying nothing sometimes, if we ALL treat pay-what-you-can or donation-based classes as free classes, there will be no more of them to take. And no one wants that, right? Right.

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WTF Is YOD? (And Should You Be Doing It?) 

A few months ago, I was looking at Grace and Glory Yoga Fishtown’s class schedule when a class name caught my eye: It was called “YOD.” I wondered to myself, Is it like a CrossFit WOD … but with yoga poses? Well, this past Saturday morning I got my butt into the studio bright and early to find out. And to answer my own question: Not quite. But the class does stem from the idea of combining power yoga with exercises you might find yourself doing in a CrossFit class, like push-ups, leg lowers, squat jumps, and so on. And there’s some CrossFit-like language sprinkled in the mix too. Think: AMRAP.

If you’re thinking what I was thinking as I took the class, you’re right: It’s not like any yoga class you’ve done before.

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The Ultimate Fairmount Park Bucket List

Photo via Fairmount Park Conservancy

Photo via Fairmount Park Conservancy

The thought of venturing into the quiet, green, EL-less land that is Fairmount Park can seem a bit intimidating when what you’re used to traipsing around in is an environment made up of grey concrete, confidently dodging speeding SEPTA buses and those clipboard-holding people who are always, without fail, planted along Walnut Street. (You know, the ones who force you into saying awful things like “No, I don’t have a minute for dying otters. SORRY.”)

After all, what’s one to do with all that obstacle-free nature?

But it’s time to get over your fears: This summer, the Fairmount Park Conservancy put together an awesome, pretty detailed map of Fairmount Park, identifying Indego stations, key trails, bike lanes and SEPTA bus stops speckled throughout its 2,050 acres. And along with that map, they’ve compiled a list of 50 Fairmount Park activities worth experiencing — a bucket list, if you will — from fitness-related activities, like playing tennis at Chamounix’s hard courts, getting your downward dog on at Lemon Hill and running Boxers’ Trail, to more Instagram-worthy (and leisurely) activities like picnicking in the Azalea Garden and enjoying the views from the bluffs in Laurel Hill Cemetery.

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The Checkup: The Simple Trick Dietitians Swear By to Avoid Overeating 

• Raise your hand if, come lunchtime, you’re ready to shovel your entire tupperware of quinoa salad into your face in one forkful? Same. But dietitians suggest you take a different approach to ensure you don’t feel uncomfortably full and bloated for the next few hours: Halfway through your meal, take a 10-minute break. Then, after your body has had a bit of time to start digesting your meal, decide whether you are still hungry for the rest. [POPSUGAR Fitness]

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The Busy Person’s Workout Cheat Sheet

Between early-morning work meetings, dentist appointments, calling to yell at your cell phone company, and finding the perfect gift for your best friend’s bridal shower, some days it can seem like you don’t even have time to catch your breath for five minutes, let alone time hit the gym. But getting a sweat session in works wonders for your body and mind, and a busy day is no excuse to skip out on that.

To help you squeeze in a few minutes of exercise on even the busiest of days, we’ve rounded up 10 great under-10-minute YouTube workouts so that you can plow through your day’s to-do list AND get your sweat on. Because no matter how busy you are, you’ve certainly got 10 minutes to spare. Check ’em out below and consider this your workout cheat sheet for days when a full-blown gym session just isn’t in the cards.  Read more »

The Best Fitness and Foodie Events in Philly This Month: August 2016

August is the cheesy romantic novel of months: It’s only really good at the beach. Otherwise, it’s a muggy and sweaty and generally uncomfortable month. And speaking for myself, usually, on any given August day, sweating more is the last thing I want to do. So making a point to fill up my fitness calendar is a must — otherwise I will spend the entire month splayed out on my couch with a pint of Little Baby’s Vegan Iced Tea ice cream resting on my belly.

If you, too, need to fill your fitness life with plans in order to avoid turning into a sloth-like human this month, take note of these 10 awesome fitness and healthy-foodie events happening around town. Happy sweating!

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The Checkup: The Unexpected Meal to Add to Your Post-Workout Routine

• Confession: Homemade fried rice is one of my favorite lazy-night meals. And even though I always pack it with tons of veggies, I still think of the dish as somewhat of a guilty pleasure. After all, when it comes down to it, it’s fried rice. But according to nutrition experts, a brown-rice rendition actually makes for a great recovery meal after a tough workout, thanks to the combo of soy sauce (it provides a needed dose of sodium), egg (hello, protein), veggies and rice (both provide healthy carbs and dietary fiber). So if you’ve got some leftover brown rice in the fridge from your most recent delivery night, you know what to do with it. [Outside]

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New Company Turns Your Addiction to Yoga Gear Into a Good Thing 

PLUSgives yoga mat designed by Alloyius McIlwain | Photo courtesy PLUSgives.

PLUSgives yoga mat designed by Alloyius McIlwain | Photo courtesy PLUSgives

Confession: At this exact moment, I have not one but three yoga mats lying around my house. But each one has a purpose, I swear! (Is that what hoarders say?) One is my travel yoga mat, one is my at-home, super-plush yoga mat, and one is my for-when-friends-come-over-to-do-yoga mat. And I will probably be adding another to the collection very soon, but I won’t even feel bad about it: PLUSgives, a new Philly-based benefit corporation, has created eco-friendly yoga mats that turn your (and my) yoga-gear addiction into a good thing. Hallelujah!

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