#5YearsBarreStrong

Five years ago today, owners Rachel and Paula opened the doors to Minnesota’s first ever barre studio.  Five years later, Rachel and Paula have created the most amazing studio, community and workout around.  Here’s why we ❤ the barre and couldn’t imagine pulsing anywhere else:

 

1. It is the best total body workout in town.

2. The studio is warm, welcoming, and full of truly awesome women.

3. I am inspired every class by every instructor, and client, to push harder and get lower!

4. I NEVER regret taking class, even when I don’t feel 100%.

5. I have gained strength I never knew I had mentally, and physically (it takes as much strength mentally as it does physically)!

-Kristen S.

 

1. It is a judgement free zone.

2. It is a strong community of strong women.

3. AWESOME jams!

4.Instructors are motivating, supportive and FUN!

5. I always leave class feeling accomplished, and more confident in my body.

-Allie K.

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1. Exercise in no longer a chore, but a craving!

2. I walked into the studio not knowing one single person, and now have friendships that go way beyond the barre! 😉

3. The instructors are so well chosen and put work into each and every class delivery.

4. The barre has taught me so much about mental strength and has pushed me to levels I’ve never experience before!

5. It’s such a gift to have a private studio that welcomes children to a place they love: Monkey Barre!

-Kim D.

 

1. The barre provides an incredibly encouraging environment.

2. I always leave with such sense of empowerment after an amazing head-to-toe workout.

3. My little  monkey loves coming with me so he can play with all the other little monkeys. You can’t beat a studio like ours that offers childcare!

4. I am always amazed by our incredible clients and instructors.  Such mental and physical toughness in one room!

5. After years of trying to find a workout regimen I actually enjoy, I can definitely say I have found “the one!”

-Jill J.

 

1. The barre is more than just about exercise – it’s empowerment, strength and positive encouragement for women.

2. The instructors – you are guaranteed a burn regardless if you walk into the studio at 6am or 6pm.

3. Location, location, location! You cannot beat the Lake Minnetonka view in Wayzata!

4. The friendships I have made since joining the studio.

5. Monkey barre! My daughter begs me to take her to class with me and doesn’t understand why there isn’t a 6am Monkey Barre!

-Katie O.

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1. The class is accessible to people of all ages and levels of fitness.

2. The studio locations are amazing!

3. The barre community is so motivating, supportive and welcoming!

4. I always leave class in a  better mood than I arrived!

5. Last but not least, the results surpass any other method of exercise!

-Jaclyn H.

 

1. ANYONE of any age/fitness level can absolutely do barre – each class has clients of all different levels who are encouraging to each other!

2. The instructors bring so much passion and stand out from all others… amazing!

3. You absolutely can’t beat the location of the studios.

4. The workout itself is addicting in the best way and has given me strength (mental + physical) I never knew I could gain.

5. Hands down best stress reliever and I leave in a great mood EVERY time 🙂

-Julia K.

 

1. You don’t have to put on a swimsuit to waterski, although you’ll be swimsuit ready if you take class regularly.

2. You have sore muscles you didn’t even know you had.

3. You leave class feeling like you can conquer the world.

4. Class never gets easier, if anything it gets more challenging.

5. The barre community of instructors and clients are lifelong friends.

-Cindy H.

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1. Such a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere suitable for everyone!

2. I am inspired to pursue a healthier lifestyle with each class!

3. I have never been happier with my fitness and I have gained strength and focus I didn’t know I was capable of.

4. So nice for moms to be able to drop off their monkeys and enjoy their workout without a worry!

5. Such an AMAZING group of women! I am always so encouraged by the instructors and look up to them so much! I wouldn’t want to be a part of any other team!

-Maya M.

 

1. There is no better place to start my day… sunrises at the barre are pretty great!

2. I no longer fear push-ups… no matter how many are thrown my way.

3. When I moved back to MN, I came to the barre looking for a great workout and now leave feeling empowered, strong and grateful for so many friends.

4. It is the place where Ke$ha and Pitbull come together to make musical magic.

5. Teaching at the barre has brought be out of my shell and has made me the confident and strong women that I am both at the studio and in my everyday life!

-Kalli L.

 

1. The instructors are amazing and inspiring!

2. The workout is seriously addicting and incredibly physically and mentally challenging  – I have gotten so much stronger.

3. There is definitely a “post-barre high” after class.  It truly starts my day in the best way.

4. The 6am Edina crew!

5. After years of short term relationships with other gyms or fitness studios, I finally found THE ONE that works for me!

-Toni S.

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1. The welcoming community it provides and amazing friendships.

2. The peace of mind and mental release post-class.

3. The mental and physical challenge presented by every class.

4. For helping me to become my strongest self in all aspects.

5. For introducing me to the joys of group fitness and just getting me hooked on barre in every way.

-Mary C.

 

1. Barre is my happy place, if I have a frown it is immediately turned upside down the  minute I walk in the door.

2. Britney on the playlists (and all of the other great songs)!

3. Barre arms – people always say, “I want your arms!” and I always respond with, “Come to the barre!”

4.  The AMAZING people! I am surrounded by strong, positive, beautiful people inside and out which is such a positive influence on my life!

5. Not only does barre give me physical strength but it gives me mental strength – Yes, I can!!!

-Jenny H.

 

1. Having a back injury, barre has changed my life!  I am a true believer that our barre technique has helped me build a strong core to help stabilize my back injury, and live a daily life with little or no back pain!  It is truly amazing, and I have tried everything – yoga, pilates reformer, but barre has been the magic I have been needing in my life!

2. I can’t imagine my life without our barre, I can’t imagine not being an instructor! I am so thankful to have the barre in my life.

3. I love our loyal barre clients, I love our 1st time clients, and I love seeing our old barre clients, that may have taken a break but come back because they know the barre is a solid workout and loving environment!

4. I love our barre instructors!  I learn so much from all of you.  I always take away something new about barre, which helps me push my own barre technique.

5. I love our no-judgement amongst all our beautiful barre women! We are all in different places with our own barre strength.  I never feel judged, but encouraged and inspired to work when I am at the barre!

-Teresa G.

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1. Finally a workout that I LOVE going to do!

2. Our clients are the BEST!  And they inspire me each time I teach!

3. I am stronger, both mentally and physically, thanks to the barre.

4. The view – need I say more?! How can’t you enjoy a waterski with the sun sparkling on the water?

5. The friendships I’ve made while getting my butt kicked during a killer thigh series!

-Heather A.

 

1. The amazing clients and instructors I have had the pleasure of getting to know!

2. The encouraging, energizing, welcoming, inspiring and positive atmosphere that our clients and instructors create each and every class!

3. It is my go-to workout that I truly crave! I love that there are methods to modify or push yourself harder in every part of class.

4. The physical and mental strength I have achieved from both taking and teaching class!

5. It has become a part of my life! I can’t imagine life without the barre!

-Kristin G.

 

1. It never gets easy and you will never plateau.  This is a lifelong workout!

2. No other workout has transformed my body like barre has.

3. I never thought I would enjoy working out, let alone LOVE working out! The barre instilled a lifestyle change in me that I am so thankful for.

4. This community isn’t found anywhere else.  Walk in the studio a stranger and leave with a family of goal-crushing, hard-working women.

5. The instructors are fabulous and am lucky to call them my co-workers!  They inspire me during and after every class and are always challenging me to be better than I was last time.

-Jenna C.086 - Version 2.jpg

 

Add spice to your life, for your health!

Spice admittedly makes most thing better, transforming ordinary meals into the absolutely extraordinary. Truly, adding spices can be extraordinary for both your health and waistline, as well!

We recently cited on our Facebook page that “strong food aromas can actually hep you eat 5-10% less of a meal, reports recent research in the journal Flavour. Turns out, people might unconsciously take smaller bites to regulate the amount of flavor they experience. When cooking at home, add flavor and aroma via herbs for an essentially calorie-free (and sodium-free) way to possibly trick yourself into eating less but feeling satisfied!” In addition to helping you consumer fewer calories, various spices actually offer specific health benefits.

We’re discussing a few of the superstars here, both the amazing benefits you could reap and how to use them:

Cinnamon
Benefits:

  • potential to lower your risk of diabetes
  • help improve memory
  • lower your levels of blood sugar (back to its potential to be a fighter of prediabetes conditions)
  • may help inhibit Alzheimer’s disease

Use it: if you don’t already have favorite uses when baking, add half a teaspoon to oatmeal, coffee, yogurt – or even chili!

Ginger
Benefits:

  • major stomach soother and nausea reducer
  •  helps reduce dizziness
  • helps decrease joint pain – even in individuals with rheumatoid arthritis
  • intaking 2 grams per day can help ease exercise-induced muscle pain

Use it: Look to use actual ginger rather than ginger ale – most ginger ale today contains artificial colors along with the added sugar and carbonation. Start almost any stir-fry dish with grated ginger, toss into smoothies or juices, or add to homemade jams and jellies.

Garlic
Benefits:

  • garlic intake is associated with a reduced risk of several types of cancers, as garlic’s antibacterial properties may prevent (and possibly halt!) the growth of cancer-causing substances, help repair DNA and reduce cell proliferation
  • may help slightly lower cholesterol
  • help help lower blood pressure
  • may slow hardening of the arteries

Use it: add chopped raw garlic to salads in the place of high-cal dressings, or use as a dressing or marinade for almost any protein or vegetable!


Sage
Benefits:

  • may help improve mental performance
  • memory-enhancer
  • help reduce risk of both memory problems associated with aging, and risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Use it: sage is delicious on proteins (toss onto chicken before grilling) and as a spice for most grilled or steamed vegetables, like asparagus.

Parsley
Benefits:

  • compounds found in parsley have been proven to help stop the growth and multiplication of certain types of breast cancer cells
  • helps fight off other pathogens in the body

Use it: Add to salads, soups, roasted veggies or as a garnish on virtually any dish!

Turmeric
Benefits:

  • cancer-fighting: ability to kill cells in cancer of the esophagus

Use it: add turmeric to Greek yogurt to serve as a dip for Thai or Indian dishes – or a simple spiced chicken!

Goal Setting in Nutrition: think SMALL changes for BIG results

In the early days of January, tips on achieving your new goals, making big changes and creating  a “new you” seem to swirl everywhere as folks set their expectations for the new year. It seems that many of these goals center on healthy eating and weight loss, and while making a lifestyle change seems like a wonderful idea now, it may not be sustainable for the long haul – and so what’s the point?

I came across some wonderful recommendations from Meridan Zerner, a sports dietician at the Cooper Clinic, focusing on how to actually make healthy eating a part of your daily habit – because that’s the real challenge – but the only way that these changes can keep having an effect on your for the next few years, rather than the next few weeks!

Zerner’s focus is on easing healthier habits into your lifestyle in a way that will stick. Because that’s the tricky thing – it’s relatively easy to begin the year eating healthy, dreaming of our lofty goals…but as time passes, lifestyle overhauls become more and more difficult to maintain. Zerner’s solution? Ease into it slowly – do not focus on a lifestyle overhaul, but rather small changes that you know you can stick to – that will then add up.

With regard to your nutrition goal setting, Zerner recommends choosing one specific thing to change, not on overhauling your life. If you can get one reasonable change to be made in your habits, it could end up making much more of a difference in the long term than an unsustainable lifestyle overhaul (think: no carbs! no sweets! …not sustainable for most people!) – and these changes should be about the long term, after all.

There are two routes to go here:
1. You could think about reductions to your current habits, and choose just one!

For example, could you leave the cheese off your sandwich at lunch? If so, this could compound to a substantial decrease in fat and calories over the course of a year, and you really are not changing anything too drastically.

Or, could you have one soda per week instead of two? Or one glass of wine at dinner instead of two? These can also start to add up to considerable savings.

2. If reductions are not your style – go for making healthy additions, a shift in focus that will actually achieve the same result:

For example, could you say: “I am going to eat 5 fruits and vegetables per day.” You may not want to spend time and energy thinking about calories, so instead, a shift in focus to adding healthy foods into your diet could slowly swing the pendulum to healthier eating without you even realizing it. In order to fit in 5 fruits/veggies per day, you’ll likely be swapping a snack or side that was probably higher in calories and lower in fiber, and gaining the health benefits of fruits and veggies, to boot!

Zerner recommends focusing on sticking to whichever small change it is you commit to for 8-10 weeks – because that is usually about how long it takes to establish something as a habit in your life. If you are able to make just one or two of these small changes (or anything else you can think up that is reasonable, and attainable for you!) just through the end of February or early March – you may find yourself with a shift in lifestyle through just that small change – and some aspect of healthy eating could be a part of your everyday life!

I definitely recommend checking out Zerner’s video on the topic here on Cooper Aerobics Health & Wellness site – it’s only 3 minutes!

WH: Pimp Your Smoothie!

Women’s Health has shared five fab low-cal smoothie recipes: as close to the perfect meal as you can get. You can make them super delicious, fabulously nutritious – plus they’re perfect to take with you as you’re on the go! You can choose which ingredients to pimp your smoothie with: brain boosting blueberries, heart healthy almonds, your fruit serving of the day or add some soy or dairy into your diet. Consider keeping your favorite ingredients on hand (frozen fruit, cottage cheese, nonfat milk, soy milk) so you can always whip one up whenever the mood strikes – equipping yourself for making a waistline friendly meal decision is always the first step!

Tip: A Penn State study found that people whose smoothies were blended for fiveminutes ate 12 percent less food afterward and felt fuller than those whose smoothies were minimally blended. Amazing!

Here are our faves:
Awesome Almond
Blend 1 small frozen banana, sliced; 3/4 cup kale, lightly packed, stems removed; 3/4 cup almond milk; 3/4 Tbsp almond butter; and 1/8 tsp each cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground ginger.

Serves 1. 233 cal, 8 g fat (<1 g sat), 37 g carbs, 134 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 6 g protein

Island Refresher
Blend 3/4 cup pineapple, cubed; 1/2 cup frozen mango; 3/4 cup vanilla soymilk; and 3 Tbsp low-fat cottage cheese. Garnish with 1/4 tsp unsweetened coconut flakes.

Serves 1. 221 cal, 2 g fat (1 g sat), 38 g carbs, 244 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 11 g protein

Here is the full scoop and all 5 recipes:
http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/easy-smoothie-recipes?page=1 

Remember to check out our website for more info on the barre!

why we love and live for the barre

We love this video by Lululemon Athletica: what do you run for?

http://youtu.be/DVenS8DSIrM

We feel the same way about the barre, and once you experience our classes starting October 31, we’d love to hear why you do the barre on our community/inspiration board in our studio.

Here are a few of our reasons for doing the barre:

  • for my health and longevity
  • it makes me happy to do something good for myself
  • I can’t believe the changes I’ve seen in my body: muscles I never knew I had (and I can see them!) I want to maintain that
  • for that amazing high after kicking (my own) butt in class
  • so that I can enjoy indulging in the delicious parts of life (apple pie, chocolate chip cookies…)
  • it keeps me sane
  • to reconnect with myself and feel pride in my strength
  • because it’s just fun

We can’t wait to hear why YOU do the barre!

You can view our schedule, pricing and sign up for classes now! Click the button on our website to go to our mindbody page: http://www.thebarrestudio.com/scheduling_pricing.html 

milk it for all it’s worth.

Here at the barre, we try to maintain healthy habits for a balance lifestyle, and that includes giving our body the vitamins and nutrients it needs. We probably all grew up drinking milk (or at least dipping our cookies in it :)) and hearing that it did the body good, but back then it was just milk – the varieties you chose from were whole, 2%, 1%, non-fat…and that was the end of it. These days there are so many varieties of milk out there, it can be a little tricky to decipher the benefit of one over another, and sometimes we just get the feeling that actually we’re just falling for a marketing ploy!

We typically look to milk for our calcium, keeping in mind that most women’s adult bonemass peaks at age 30 and is on a steady decline from there. Whether you’re looking for your calcium or not, turns out most of the milk options out there actually do have their nutritional benefits – you can custom make your latte, cereal, smoothie or coffee add-in to best serve your diet’s needs. Thanks to Women’s Health Magazine for the nutritional data, see the full slideshow at the end.

Here’s the breakdown of four of the most popular milks out there, the pro’s, con’s & nutritional data to help you decide which is best for you:

Regular Cow’s Milk: Non-Fat
Horizon Diary Organic Fat-Free Milk Per cup: 90 cal, 0 fat, 13 g carbs (12 g sugar), 130 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 8 g protein
The most traditional in the bunch is an excellent source of calcium, but poor in iron, potassium and magnesium.Vitamins A and D are the major fat-soluble vitamins in nonfat milk. Since fat is needed for transport and absorption of these vitamins, you should consume other foods that have some fat (preferably unsaturated) such as nuts and seeds. Other vitamins in milk include thiamin, riboflavin and B12.

the barre recommends: Because of its great potassium levels and low calories, the old standard is still a great option for your AM latte, in your milk, tea, or it makes a great complement to whole-grain cereals that lack in calcium.

Almond Milk
Almond Breeze Original Per cup: 60 cal, 2.5 g fat (0 g sat), 8 g carbs (7 g sugars), 150 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein

Almond milk is the least caloric of our milk options, but skimps on much of the nutrition as well – while it is fortified with Vitamins E, A & D and calcium, it is higher in sodium and lacks the wonderful fiber & protein found in actual almonds (since they’re ground and mixed with H2O here).

Women’s Health recommends: because of its creamy, rich taste, use in smoothies, coffee, and cereal


Coconut Milk
So Delicious Coconut Milk Beverage Original Per cup: 80 cal, 5 g fat (5 g sat), 7 g carbs (6 g sugars), 15 mg sodium, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein

Coconut milk is definitely low in calories, but very high in saturated fat. You lose a lot of the protein in cow’s & soy milk, but most varieties are fortified with B12, a brain-boosting vitamin.

Women’s Health recommends: Play up its rich, creamy, coconut flavor in coffee, tea, pudding, smoothies, and oatmeal—it’s a go-to thickener.

Soy Milk
Silk Original Per cup: 100 cal, 4 g fat (0.5 g sat), 8 g carbs (6 g sugars), 120 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 6 g protein

Soy milk has almost as much protein as cow’s milk, but add in plant chemicals it contains that may help inhibit the absorption of cholesterol. However, limit yourself to 25 g of soy per day, as exceeding this may put you at increased risk for developing breast cancer.

Women’s Health recommends: Because of its faintly sweet flavor, it goes best in creamy soups and salad dressings, sauces, casseroles, and other savory dishes. Vanilla-flavored varieties are great in coffee or tea (or by the glass!).

To see the full slideshow, including the more exotic varieties of milk we didn’t discuss (hemp & rice), click here

Remember to check out our website for more info about us here at the barre. We’re buckled up right next to you on the journey to extraordinary!

pumpkin spice up your life, but not your waistline.

fall has arrived! at least to minnesota, where it is currently 41 degrees. (brrr…)

while we are sad to see summer go, we are trying to focus on fall favorites: mostly revolving around the clothes (cute outdoor running gear, fabulous transitional coats, I could go on…) but also on the re-emergence of hot coffee & lattes – yum!

today we are focusing on a seasonal favorite: THE pumpkin spice latte from starbucks.

while this seemingly innocent, wholesome beverage may appear to just be a more seasonably-appropriate version of our summertime iced coffee…it’s not! unfortunately, an unaltered order of a grande pumpkin spice latte has the fat of a snickers bar, and the calories & sugar of almost 2 snickers bars. since we find that the best of days are usually not begun with a candy bar binge, we decided to investigate and uncover some ways we can have this beverage & drink it too, so do not despair!

the best approach is to treat this beverage like the dessert that it is, as a splurge, not a daily AM caffeine jolt. however, if you revel in the return of this beverage so much that it cannot be just a splurge from time-to-time (but also prefer not to drink your desserts, it’s seriously not as much fun), here are our favorite fixes:

  1. milk swap: switching to non-fat milk cuts the fat in half and saves 50 calories
  2. watch that whipped cream: usually “whipped” implies lighter…but that’s not the case here. ask for no whip & save an additional 70 calories and take the fat down to zero (with that milk swap)
  3. don’t pump it up: even with these swaps, we’re still left with the 2-snickers-like sugar (it’s coming from the pumpkin spice pumps). we like to ask for half the pumps of pumpkin spice (there are 4 in a grande, we find 2 does the trick just fine!) and you can cut your sugar in half. if you seriously need the uber-sweet taste, substitute 2 of the pumps with some of their sugar-free options: cinnamon dolce or caramel..both still taste delicious!

these reductions still make this latte a big-time splurge over our typical caffeine fix (black coffee), so if we’re feeling in the spirit of the season and need a little pumpkin in our lives but aren’t ready to commit to the sugar intake for the day, we ask for a small pump of the pumpkin spice in our coffee and add a little steamed non-fat milk or soy milk! it’s no pumpkin spice latte, but it sure does taste good!