Are Overpriced Fitness Classes Worth The Cost?

ARE OVERPRICED fitness classes WORTH THE COST

As a health and wellness professional, I am all about trying to help people achieve fitness. When I say this, I mean it. I charge SUPER reasonable prices for my services and am willing to work with people’s budgets whenever possible.

I do not believe that exercise (of any kind) should be reserved for the Lululemon-toting population only and that’s why I’m not crazy about brands that charge the price of a compact car for a package of their classes.

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Overpriced fitness classes are a d**k move.

 Some of them won’t even participate in ClassPass or Groupon.  

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In my opinion, these brands are promoting “you can’t sit with us” fitness, and it pisses me off.

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I mean, the first time I read the price of a single boutique cycling class, I was sickened.

I know everybody is trying to make a buck in this industry – hey, we all gotta make a living.

But don’t even get me started on the cost of branded apparel.

I take issue with the athleisure racket going on these days.

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A single pair of leggings that cost what a week’s worth of groceries for a family of four does? And they are only available in straight sizes (for the most part)?

Nah.

I’m cool with celebrities having the best of the best and being able to afford $75 indoor fitness classes and $3500/month for a personal trainer, but this ploy to get regular people to participate in this bullshit is beyond me.

As a former Mad Dogg Athletics instructor, I can also say without any hesitation that some of these high-end boutique classes are bad for you.  As in, they will likely injure you due to their heavy focus on exercise contraindications.

Are overpriced fitness classes worth the cost?

Don’t believe me about the contraindications?  Read this,  this, or this.

Are overpriced fitness classes worth the cost? #fitness #youcansitwithus Click To Tweet

Not that SoulCycle stands alone in this criticism.  As a former instructor of a popular dance fitness class, I had to stop after the first year because the monthly license fees, insurance, music, and apparel were costing me more than it was worth.

I thought to myself, ‘I love to dance, but there is no reason why people should have to pay me $15/class so that I could afford to dress like MC Hammer and teach classes using corporate choreography.’

The bottom line is; I am just sick of elitism in the fitness world.

I know that they have always been there, but right now, in a time when more than 50% of people earn £20k ($30k USD) or less a year, the fact that people have to feel like shit about not being able to take the “hottest fitness classes” is absurd.

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Want my professional advice?  Oh, well, you’re gonna get it anyway: Find something you love to do that isn’t going to cost you 25% of your salary and go for it.  There are plenty of free and inexpensive fitness programs out there.

Like, for instance, my jump-start workout eBook — which you can download it for free!

As well, if you’re interested, you can sign up for a service like Booya Fitness and get all the benefits of trendy, boutique fitness for a fraction of the cost.  Sign up for a 30-Day free trial and check out specially designed workouts by coaches like yours truly (small additional fees apply – but are worth it!).

Getting fit can be effective and affordable. You don’t have to be part of an elite craze to get in shape.

Believe me.

Have you tried trendy boutique fitness classes?  Do you find them to be worth the money?

Three Ways To Target Your Blog Audience Using Pinterest

three ways to target your audience using Pinterest _ Erin's Life Bites

You’ve done what you’re supposed to do, right?

You’ve written content?  Check.

Keywords/SEO? Check.

Social media/CTAs? Check.

PUBLISH.

Now what?  The Internet is a vast black hole of content, to be honest.  You can create the most compelling content there is and have the best stories to tell, but if you’ve got nobody interested in what you’re saying – you’ll be hearing crickets in the background.

Believe it or not, Pinterest is a great place to generate interest in your blog and content.  If you’re a business with a blog (and if you are a business and you do not run a blog – you need to get on this right quick),  you can use Pinterest to build and target your audience.

Did you know that Google ranks Pinterest pins?  And Google is where your content can shine.  So, by making an effort to optimize your pins, you are also optimizing your content for Google.

Did you also know that Pinterest holds approximately 41% of e-commerce traffic compared to other social media sites?  This statistic displays, regarding conversion that Pinterest is an excellent place for businesses to grow and prosper.

In fact, over 88% of people who visit and engage with Pinterest are looking for something specific – and often are even more likely to be there ready to make a purchase.

Also worth noting, individuals looking to make purchases based on Pinterest’s influence are more likely, on average, to spend twice the amount of money versus a purchase influenced by Facebook.

So, if you’ve got something that the people want, you need to get it on Pinterest and get that content where the people are.  One of the greatest things is that your content has a much longer shelf life on Pinterest than any other social media site – which is great news for bloggers and brands!  When you post on Pinterest, you can get views, clicks, and repins for years after your post versus other sites where content can only stay fresh for days, hours, or even minutes!

When you post on Pinterest, you can get views, clicks, and repins for years after your post versus other sites where content can only stay fresh for days, hours, or even minutes! #digitalmarketing #pinterestmanagement #socialmediagrowth Click To Tweet

Here are three tips for how you can use Pinterest to target the right people with your content (and keep them coming back!)

Three Ways To Target Your Blog Audience Using Pinterest

  1. Create a board specifically for your blog.  You need to build a place to put all of your content in a one-stop-shop so that your audience can discover (and re-discover) all that you have to offer them.  The best way to make the most out of your blog’s Pinterest board is to include specific, targeted keywords in the title.  Keywords will help direct people searching for what you are aiming at them.  For example, for fitness brand looking to engage people wanting to lose weight with workouts, it would help to target the keywords to your Pinterest page.  For example, you could use keywords such as, “the best workouts for weight loss” or “effective workouts for fat loss” — whoever it is you’re looking to target.  It’s straightforward.  Well, keywords are straightforward and sophisticated at the same time.  That’s social media marketing for you, though!
  2. Make your keywords count.  One of the best hacks for getting the most targeted keywords for your pins is to plug keywords into the trending section of the Pinterest search bar to see what comes back at you.  Unlike in real life, copying (or okay, emulating) what the popular people are doing on social media can work to your advantage.  With over 175 million active users, it is easy to see why Pinterest is a place with great potential to be beneficial but also has the potential to dig you deeper into the content black hole if you don’t target your content to the best of your ability!
  3. Embrace your niche!  Everybody’s got that something, they say.  Niche blogging and branding is where things are at these days.  In a sea of so many blogs offering the same categories of content, it is the time to shine for taking a particular chunk out of a genre and making it your own.  Pinterest is a perfect place to carve out a niche.  If you create an optimized, keyword rich board for a particular topic relevant to your genre/category, it is more likely to get searched for than one that has millions of boards on the same subject.  For example, if you’re a health coaching brand that specializes in detoxes for people suffering from chronic pain, you will do well to make boards with pins targeted to those suffering from chronic pain.  You can even niche down from there by creating entire boards for more specific body parts/ailments/etc.

It may seem impossible at times to stand out in the crowd online.  And while this may be true, there are many people out there desperately looking to connect with content catered to their specific needs.  If you’ve got something to offer, there are people out there seeking to read/view/share it — whatever it may be.  You just have to know how to target those people are what to do once you’ve captured their attention.

But that is more for another post!

Happy pinning!

3-Move Jump Rope Circuit Workout

3-move jump rope circuit workout _ erin's life bites

I don’t know about you, but when I was a young girl, one of my favorite things to do was jump rope.

I loved to make up songs with my friends as we would skip along without a care in the world.

Ah, good old fashioned nostalgia!   School year items seemed to come and go quickly, but the jump rope never seemed to go out of style.

Fast forward about 25 years, and I still can’t resist a good go with my jump rope because not only is it fun but it is also an excellent way to get in a quick and effective workout!

The jump rope is a strengthening and conditioning exercise.  You don’t need to get fancy or as intense as Rocky Balboa to get the most out of a jump rope workout, either.

All you need is a jump rope (long enough for you depending on your height), a suitable surface for jumping, and a timer app for your phone (or an egg timer, because nostalgia) and you’ll be all set to start jumping yourself into a sweat fest!

Jumping rope does take some coordination, so pace yourself if you tend to be on the less coordinated side, like yours truly!

For beginners, all of the moves in this workout can be performed without the use of a jump ropeby holding an imaginary rope in your hands and moving along until you can build up you perfect your timing and form.

Using a jump rope not only helps your to improve your fitness level but it also strengthens your rhythm and coordination.

3-Move Jump Rope Circuit Workout

This workout is only three moves.  That’s right, three!  

To complete this workout, you will perform each of these moves in succession for 30 seconds each for a total of four rounds (resting for one minute between rounds).

Warm up:

Single Hop Skips:

  • With the rope behind your ankles,  begin to turn it, bringing it above your head and forward, down the front of the body.
  • As the rope comes down to the feet, skip over it with a single hop using both feet.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

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Double Hop Skips:  

  • With the rope behind your ankles,  begin to turn it, bringing it above your head and forward, down the front of the body.
  • As the rope comes down to the feet, skip over it with a double hop.  To double hop, jump with both feet together once and another bounce while the rope is over your head.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

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High Knee Skip:

  • Driving your knee up, kick your lower leg out in front of you and then extend your working hip to pull the leg down in a powerful foot strike.
  • As the rope comes down to the feet, drive one knee up and kick your lower leg out in front as you bring the rope back overhead.
  • Continue for 30 seconds

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Remember that like anything practice not only makes your stronger but it helps you to improve your overall performance.

If you’re looking to improve other aspects of your fitness level (coordination, balance, etc.), the jump rope will become your best friend.

As well, the jump rope can be an incredibly fun piece of equipment to workout with as there are many variations of exercises you can build up to over time.

I recommend adding one-two days of jump roping for 8-10 minutes per session for maximum results.

Using a jump rope not only helps your to improve your fitness level but it also strengthens your rhythm and coordination. #funworkouts #fitness #hiit Click To Tweet

Do you incorporate jump rope workouts into your weekly fitness routine?

3 Reasons Wellness Brands Should Be On Pinterest

three reasons wellness brands should be on Pinterest _ erin's life bites

Were you one of those people who made vision boards before the Internet was at your fingertips?  I was a fan of vision boards, but I used to call them ‘passion collages.’  Which, to be fair, isn’t that inaccurate of a name for what would essentially be what we today create for ourselves with Pinterest.

No matter what draws you to use Pinterest, I can guarantee you that the boards and pins you are establishing and sharing all have something in common; Pinterest boards and pins are all filled with things that you desire for your future.

Whether you are looking to make a particular recipe for dinner tonight or how to make your curtains, Pinterest is the place for making plans and finding ways to put them into action.  So, it is no surprise that Pinterest is the perfect marketing tool for the wellness community.

As of February 2017, 84% of millennial Pinterest users are searching the site for discovering information about health and fitness.

And out of that number, the total number of all people using Pinterest for health and fitness related information is 64%.

As well, over 5% of all referral traffic to websites comes from Pinterest.

So, with over half of its total users regularly searching for health and fitness related information, if you’re not using Pinterest to grow your wellness brand, you are missing out.

3 REASONS WELLNESS BRANDS SHOULD BE ON PINTEREST

  1.  You can easily find people with similar interests to engage with your brand.   If great workouts, healthy recipes, and sound life advice are what you have to offer, Pinterest is the place where you can share your authentic brand story through beautiful graphics, photos, and inspiring text.  Especially using rich pins to give users a quick, eye-catching way to engage with your content and improve their health.
  2. Additional traffic to your blog or website.  When a person finds an engaging pin, they will likely add it to a board — and most of the time — visit the source (website or blog) directly for even more inspiration.  If one of your goals is to grow your business and email list, sharing stunning and engaging graphics about your content on Pinterest will help you reach your goals.  Because when it comes to driving traffic via social sites, Pinterest has others beat through creating curated lifestyle content.
  3. Pinterest keeps you up to date on important trends.  By engaging with people who follow you (and those whom you follow), you get to step inside their mind and see what they are interested in right now.  By finding out what’s hot right now in other categories on Pinterest, you can find ways to integrate those trends into your wellness brand’s content.

There are many reasons why Pinterest is a fantastic tool for wellness brands to utilize, but these are the three that I find to be the most important for wellness brands to make the most of the social media marketing available.

3 REASONS WELLNESS BRANDS SHOULD BE ON PINTEREST Click To Tweet

How has Pinterest benefited your business or website traffic?

The Connection Between Stress and Digestion (Guest Post)

the stress and digestion connection _ Erin's Life Bites

Stress is all kinds of evil and receiving certifications in Acupressure for Digestive Disorders, and Swedish massage has only reinforced just how detrimental stress can be to our digestion.

In case you didn’t already know this (though I have a feeling you might) our gastrointestinal systems are responsible for a majority of our body’s immunity. We are quite literally in need of listening to our guts!

Trysh Sutton from Pure Path, a naturopathic wellness site that promotes healthy living and healing through the use of essential oils and sustainable living, is going to give us some insight into the connection between stress and digestion.

To find out more about Trysh and Pure Path, please check out her bio at the end of this post.

The Connection Between Stress and Digestion

Today’s busy lifestyles, heavy workloads and daily bombardments of troubling news can quickly and easily result in high-stress levels. While we all live with some degree of day to day stress, too much of it can wreak havoc on your gut, resulting in chronic digestive issues that can affect our overall health and wellness.

How Stress Works

We all have a survival mode, known as the “fight or flight” response. It is an evolutionary feature in our bodies where, when facing a potential threat (real or perceived), our bodies go through various changes to prepare us to confront or evade the threat. Some of these changes include an increase in blood pressure and faster heart rate (to push more blood to the muscles and vital organs), increased alertness and sharper senses.

Being chronically stressed perpetuates some of these processes over an extended period, which can lead to a long list of issues (digestion being one).

How Stress Affects Digestion

When the fight or flight response is activated, blood flow to the digestive muscles is limited because precedence is given to the limbs and brain which are more necessary for fighting, running and thinking quickly. This affects your gut peristalsis and slows down the transition of food, leading to constipation.

Stress may also lead to intestinal muscle spasms which can affect the movement of food in the intestines. Depending on the type of muscles being affected, food may move too slowly (constipation) or too quickly (diarrhea or inefficient absorption of nutrients).

Another muscle that may spasm is the sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach. When this happens, stomach acids may back up into the esophagus, causing the painful condition called heartburn.

Speaking of stomach acids, stress affects that too! Studies have found that psychological stress can lead to an increase or decrease in gastric acid secretion in different individuals.

Other ways stress may affect digestion are by upsetting the balance of good to bad gut bacteria and comprising the integrity of the intestinal barrier (in extreme cases).

Relieve Stress

It may seem easier said than done, but we can all find time to take simple steps to calm down and ease our stress levels.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Moderate exercise

Even short walks 4 or 5 times a week can raise endorphin levels and reduce stress.

Practice mindfulness

Create a calm place in your home, free of electronics and with low lighting, to sit and concentrate on pleasant thoughts for a few minutes every day.

Try Essential Oils

Aromatherapy has been shown, in countless studies and personal testimonies, to reduce stress effectively. Some essential oils you can buy for this purpose are lavender, roman chamomile, bergamot and ylang ylang.

Eat more omega 3 fatty acids

These nutrients help to reduce stress levels and make your body and mind more effective at handling stress triggers. The most reliable sources of omega 3’s are fatty fish such as mackerel and salmon.

Play with your pet

Spending a few minutes petting or playing with your four-legged friend gives you added purpose and brings you joy.

Write

You don’t have to be a best-selling author to put pen to paper and jot down your thoughts and feelings. Journaling helps us get things off our mind and can help us identify solutions to everyday problems.

Listen to Music

Turn on some familiar, soothing tunes and spend a few minutes singing along. Music can take your attention away from everyday pressures, giving you valuable time to decompress.

Say No

One of the main causes of stress is having too many obligations and not enough time. Sometimes we take on too much and don’t realize until it’s too late.

Saying no, not just to others, but yourself as well will allow you to have more time to get through your tasks, as well as the wiggle room to deal with any possible inconveniences. Proper time management is a crucial skill to hone if you want to improve your stress levels.

All of these approaches are healthy and sustainable approaches to relieving stress. Stay away from unhealthy coping mechanisms such as alcohol.

Don’t let too much stress negatively impact your digestive system. It’s a vital component to your overall health and wellness and, by caring for it properly, you can significantly decrease your risk of long-term and serious health concerns. Click To Tweet

Why Good Digestion Matters

Aside from reducing the risk of chronic health problems, an excellent digestive system provides better immunity, a healthy metabolism, and heightened mental clarity. We also experience increased energy and better mood. Because of this, a healthy gut helps us better cope with daily stressors.

Don’t let too much stress negatively impact your digestive system. It’s a vital component to your overall health and wellness and, by caring for it properly, you can significantly decrease your risk of long-term and serious health concerns.

About Trysh

Trysh Sutton is a wife, mother, strategic leader and teacher. She runs a website called Pure Path, which is a naturopathic wellness site that promotes healthy living and healing through the use of essential oils and sustainable living.

You can follow her on social media to learn more about the benefits of essential oils, and healthy living practices.

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Youtube | Google Plus

How do you manage the stress in your life?