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A yoga instructor, barre enthusiast, and full-time mom, Amanda Nurse ran her first Boston Marathon in 2010 and 17 marathons later, she's a pro. Now an elite runner, Amanda has pivoted her life to fully embrace the world of fitness—owning and managing Wellness in Motion, Boston's first yoga studio for athletes.
We asked Amanda to share what inspired her journey, and how the MINDBODY and Strava integration will further motivate her fitness goals.
At Bowdoin College, I played Division III Lacrosse and put in a lot of miles during games, but I never had a love for running races until 2009. I moved to Boston after college and joined the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team to train for my first Boston Marathon. At the time, it felt like a bucket list item—one marathon and done (I thought!). But, after meeting so many great friends through the training process and running a BQ (Boston Qualifier) in 3:26 my first time, I decided to run another... and another, and another.
I fell in love with endurance running, and have run a total of 17 marathons, qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials. I’m currently training to run the Berlin Marathon next month! I started taking yoga classes to complement my marathon training, as a form of both strength training and stretching. Being prone to injuries such as plantar fasciitis, IT band syndrome and runner's knee, I knew I needed to take care of my body, and yoga helped combat these issues. The only problem was, it was hard to find classes geared towards athletes. So, I used my background in running and team sports to create yoga sequences designed to help athletes recover on their off days while helping them stay injury-free.
I have taught classes to Harvard University teams, pro-hockey recruits, Boston marathoners through Runner's World, as well as starting my own yoga studio for athletes. I discovered Barre3 in 2017 when it opened in my neighborhood, and I was newly pregnant. Providing me with an amazing low-impact workout throughout my pregnancy—and now postpartum—barre has been instrumental in keeping me injury-free and strong during marathon training!
Juggling new motherhood and personal fitness goals can sometimes feel daunting, but it's actually helped me stay more focused. I only have certain times each day that I can work out, and almost always it involves running with my son in the stroller. Luckily, he loves running with me so we get in outdoor time together and I find that pushing a stroller has made me a stronger runner. I also love bringing him to barre classes. I don't feel like I need to sacrifice my "A" goals, I just need to plan ahead, and make the most of my time. It's all about quality over quantity.
Strava is an amazing fitness tool and has created a great community of like-minded athletes. I love seeing my fellow runners' workouts, recaps and running routes—it helps motivate my own running. I also love reflecting back on my runs and seeing the progress I've made. I sync all my GPS data to Strava so I can see my splits, heart rate, along with the elevation, etc. It's awesome!
I've found so many great barre, yoga, and running classes through the MINDBODY app, and it's so easy to book. Syncing my MINDBODY classes with Strava will add another layer to keeping my fitness training in one place. I like to analyze what's been helpful in my routine—what I've done for cross training versus strength—and it'll be awesome to have it all automatically synced to my Strava account. It's been really helpful having my Barre3 online classes syncing directly to my Strava!
First off, be kind to yourself. In times when it feels hard, know that it will get easier with practice—don't give up or get discouraged. Secondly, think of each workout as a gift to yourself, rather than something you have to do. You get this time to improve your well-being, so enjoy it.
If you're interested in getting after your goals like Amanda and syncing your MINDBODY and Strava accounts, learn more here.
That’s something I never expected to hear. Think about it: we join gyms and studios because of their equipment, instructors, space, community (and AC, of course). But who’s to say we can’t get all that—or at least most of it—with virtual and online classes, too? In this new wave of wellness, we’re all switching up our fitness routines as we switch up our everyday schedules and habits. It’s not just in-studio or at-home anymore. It’s in-studio, at-home, at the park, beach, parking lot, rooftop...virtual, hybrid, Instagram Live, online, on-demand, and so much more. As we’re adapting, adjusting, finding our groove, etc., online gym memberships enter the fray. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
There are tons of benefits to an online gym membership, especially right now.
Let’s break this down:
1. Scheduling convenience
A virtual/online gym fitness membership is a monthly subscription that gives you access to tons of live stream fitness classes you can take anywhere, from studios across the globe. These fitness studios offer tons of at-home workouts, group exercise, and one-on-one training sessions to choose from, no matter your exercise program or fitness level. With so many options, it’s easy to find one that fits your schedule. Whether you want to fit in a morning flow before work, combat that afternoon slump with some cardio, squeeze in some strength training before dinner, or wind down with an evening barre class, you can pick and choose classes to fit your fitness routine.
2. Minimizing exposure to COVID-19
And because they’re online, you can take these classes from the comfort of your home (or wherever you are), thus minimizing your exposure to COVID-19 and eliminating your commute to the gym or studio. By now, many of us have our designated “workout spot,” whether it’s an actual weight room, a quick scooch of the coffee table, or a grassy area in the backyard. Maybe you’re comfortable here... maybe you’ve even learned to love it.
With an online gym membership, you can stay in your safe space/comfy workout spot. Or, you can go somewhere new (local park, beach spot, a different area of the house, you know). You can access these virtual, live stream fitness classes from any device, so you can prop up your phone, laptop, or tablet wherever you want to go, or roll out your mat in front of the big screen TV in your living room.
We all have our favorite, go-to workouts. But sometimes, it feels good to switch it up (especially right now). Working from home all day, many of us are craving some variety and excitement, and an online gym membership can definitely help with that. According to our recent poll about COVID’s effect on our fitness routines, 64% of you have tried new online workouts since the start of the pandemic—I know I have. Maybe it’s because trying new things is easier in the comfort of our homes, maybe we’re finally able to try some classes we normally can’t find locally, or maybe we’re all just bored out of our minds...I don’t know. But I’m excited about it.
With an online gym membership, you can get that spice you’re looking for easily. Start out your Monday by hitting some HIIT, ease your sore muscles with some Restorative Yoga, and end the week with some dance cardio to pretend you’re at the club. The world is yours.
4. Working out without a commute
My favorite part? No commute. There are literally no more excuses when it comes to skipping workouts. No traffic, no schedule conflicts, no fear of returning to the studio. You don’t even have to worry about packing a gym bag with a change of clothes and shower supplies or prepping a snack or protein shake to bring to work. Just shut your computer, throw on some leggings, and get to work.
Community—the element of online fitness memberships we don’t often think of. When we go into studios, we understand the beauty of a fitness community. We’re greeted by our instructors, we chat with others in the class, and we all sweat together and encourage each other throughout. But working out at home is different... or is it?
We can do workouts on our own at home all we want, but we’re definitely going to miss out on the community aspect we all know and love. But, with live stream classes, we can create a different kind of community. The beauty of it? It’s not just your neighbors anymore. Anyone with an online fitness membership can join these classes, regardless of where they’re located in relation to the studio, so you can be working out alongside people from all over the world—now that’s something I can get behind.