Here you’ll find The Check-In archive, a collection of curated content from our trainers, instructors, and nutrition experts on how to stay active and at your best.
Core move: combat sit-ups
In his Rumble Royalty 1 class on Variis, Noah Neiman insterperses boxing moves with core work. Add combat sit-ups to any workout: Simply sit up, then jab and cross. Continue for 45 seconds. “If you want to make it harder, pick up your feet,” Neiman says. “We’re working our shoulders, working our core, working our heart, and conditioning our body. This is cardio too.”
Glute move: baby cobra
In this pose, your inner thighs should spin up which means the pinky toe edges of your feet spin down, says Kiley Holliday, in her Classic Flows PURE Yoga class on Variis. “You squeeze your tush and press your pubic bone down so the lower part of your butt muscles gets really strong.”
Start in Child’s Pose, look forward, then slink your chest along the mat until your wrists are under your shoulders and your feet and hips are resting on the ground. Take a few deep breaths, then push back to Downward Facing Dog.
Mini-band move: push-up with row
This exercise puts tension on every part of the body, says Daigi-Ann Thompson in her Band Burn: Mini Band Core Burn class on Variis. “The easiest thing to do to fall out of form is to start rocking those hips from side to side. Use that resistance band as a reminder that you should be holding as still as possible.” Do it for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
Quick-hit dinner: lemon-chicken stir-fry
Soy sauce and sherry wine provide depth of flavor in this simple, protein-rich meal. Using the zest and juice of fresh lemons also adds brightness and a hit of vitamin C. Serve with brown or cauliflower rice.
Reduce food waste.
“The environmental impact of food is generally much larger than [that of] any plastic packaging, so minimizing our food impact is key,” says University of Michigan environmental engineer Shelie Miller, who recently published a study on single-use plastic myths in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. “The idea isn't that we want to encourage single-use plastic, but that we need to be more mindful about our consumption habits if we want to move toward a sustainable planet.” Her advice: When buying groceries, only purchase what you think your household will actually eat and be sure to eat any leftovers from home-cooked or take-out meals.
Make ginger cookie dough.
“These fudgy two-bite treats have the warm zing of molasses cookies, thanks to three forms of ginger—fresh, ground, and crystallized,” says New York City–based recipe developer Sarah Jampel. Unlike the classic version, though, they get their sweetness almost entirely from dates. You could prep the dough balls in advance and freeze it to use later this month or prep a batch to snack on throughout the week.
“I think that people try to make really big changes just because it has become the norm to do so at New Year's, and 99 percent of the time, it doesn't stick,” says Whitney Kling, Tier X coach at Sports Club DC.
“If you really want to make a change in 2021, think of your resolution as a long-term goal, something to be accomplished fully by later in the year. For example, if your resolution is to start working out five times a week, make that your goal by December 2021. Start January with twice a week and work your way up. Or, if your resolution is to stop eating so much sugar, but right now you eat a sweet treat every single day, make your long-term goal to have a treat once or twice a week by the end of June, and start by swapping in a piece of fruit.”
Follow the 20/20/20 rule.
“Constant tech use takes a toll on our vision,” says Jolie Turkmen, OD, optometrist at Maximeyes Optical in New York City. She recommends using this strategy: Every 20 minutes, look 20 feet away from your screen for 20 seconds. “When you get to the two-hour mark, close your eyes or look in the distance for 10 to 15 minutes,” she adds.
Follow the underwear rule.
“I look at masks at the gym the same as underwear: Always have an extra and make sure it's 110 percent clean,” says JP Lemire, Tier X coach at Columbus Circle in New York City. “A neck lanyard is also helpful so the mask falls at your chest rather than the floor,” he notes. Learn more about The Equinox Standard and get our expert intel on working out while wearing a mask here.
Hear photographer Nan Goldin.
This virtual event, hosted by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, will host famed photographer Nan Goldin. She’ll discuss the importance of political activism in life and in her art, which is known for its frank, unvarnished portraiture. Sign up for the talk, which will take place tonight from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. EST.
Member insight: join a weekly community.
“We’re social animals and it’s important to connect with communities that nourish our souls, whether it’s through a virtual class, spiritual group, book club, or something else,” says Rick Little, member at Brooklyn Heights and co-founder of The Spring Meditation.
“Committing to weekly participation is an easy way to build consistency and hold ourselves gently accountable for showing up,” he adds. Stick to something for at least a month before determining whether you want to continue with it, or try something new.
Plan a spring gathering.
If you can’t spend time with your larger family this holiday season, go ahead and plan a future get-together now, recommends Geoffrey Greif, Ph.D., co-author with Michael Woolley of In-Law Relationships: Mothers, Daughters, Fathers, and Sons. Parents and in-laws can feel “out in the cold” if they’re used to seeing you at this time of year but won’t get to due to COVID concerns, he says. To alleviate some of that emotional pain, offer to schedule a trip or gathering for late spring now. That way it’s clear that you do want to see them, but your worry for everyone’s health simply means you have to delay it.
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