Thursday, December 14, 2017

Holiday Fitness and Health Tips



It’s the holiday season but don’t let your good intentions to be healthy go to the way side. I realize there are lots of parties filled with food so you need to make a plan. Plan your strategy now to maintain your fitness when life gets hectic.  Here are some easy tips to help you out this season:
Make movement a daily habit.  Consistency is the key. I have said this for years but I really do believe and practice what I preach. Moving your body is something your body needs so move it every single day.
Accumulate 30 minutes of moderate physical activity most (at least 5) days of the week.  This one is super easy. Take 2-3 short walks each day. Studies show that that exercise accumulated in short bouts of 10 or 15-minutes offers weight loss and aerobic fitness benefits comparable to those achieved in longer workouts.  
Combat the negative effects of prolonged sitting.  For every hour you’re sitting, get up and move around for five minutes. Walk to the bathroom, walk the hallway or if it’s a nice day, go for a short walk!
Count your steps with your smart phone, pedometer, or other tracking device.  I use this app to help me get 10,000 steps in each day.
Stretch your muscles at the end of the day to discharge tension and get a better night’s sleep. Stretch every day for best results but at minimum 2 or 3 times a week.  

Happy Holidays,
Jessica
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Monday, December 4, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide


It’s almost time! Gift giving season is here! I put together this holiday gift guide for fitness lovers.
I’m into any and everything dealing with fitness and health so gifts within this realm are usually my favorite types of things to receive.  Well, that and makeup, but let’s stay focused here. While these are things that I own and love myself, I think they are pretty universally appealing.  So if you’re searching for a gift for someone in your life and you’re tired of handing over yet another impersonal gift card, this list will be your BFF.
Here are my top picks for that fitness and health lover in your life.
Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest offers different prepackaged options including smoothies, soups and now easy breakfast bowls! Each recipe was developed by a nutritionist, and you get between 40 to 150 calories per serving (2 servings per container). The combinations were also overseen by a real chef, which is very apparent because every smoothie tastes so good!
You will choose from 6, 12, or 18 smoothie packages per delivery. And you can also choose to have them delivered once a week, once every two weeks, or once every 4 weeks.

Use the code: Sassy25 for 25% off your first order



Great Soles

Wanna be a trendsetter? If so, buy your loved one Great Soles Grippy Socks!
They are perfect for Pilates, Yoga, Dance, and Barre, at home or for any studio workout


For 15% off use the code: Jessica15 at checkout




Instant Pot

An Instant Pot is another great kitchen tool. Meat comes out juicy and tender and is ready super quick.  You can even stick it in frozen which saves a ton of time.  It’s a great multi-purpose gadget to have on hand and is especially helpful for people who love to meal prep!  



Water Bottle
 I love carrying a water bottle. I rarely leave home without one. My Hydroflask is larger and has different options for the cap which allows me to either unscrew and sip from the bottle itself, or have a cap with a straw that flips up (my preference). Hydroflask comes in so many sizes and colors so they’re great for guys and girls alike.  The design is simple and sporty with a basic cylindrical shape.

Fitness Clothing
I have more workout clothes than regular clothes and I still always want more so you really can’t go wrong getting your fitness loving friend some new gear. I love the sports bras from Senita, especially the Sarah Sports Bra.  It’s reasonably priced at $23, super freaking cute and has a pocket in the back to throw your phone in.  Sounds weird but I swear it works.  Senita also has some awesome high waisted leggings with pockets that won’t break the bank.


Saturday, December 2, 2017

Holiday Food Tips To NOT Gain Weight


The holidays are here but that doesn't mean you have to gain weight. Want to hear some awesome news? On average, Americans gain approximately one to two pounds during the holiday season.  It's not 5lbs like everyone talks about. What you can do to combat the unwanted lbs is to be mindful when eating and plan, plan, plan!
So rule #1: do not skip meals throughout the day as this may result in overeating. It is especially important to have breakfast, as research shows that those who eat this important morning meal tend to consume fewer calories throughout the day. Include lots of fiber in your diet by eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Pay attention to the portion size of everything you eat. When you eat large portions of foods that are perceived as healthy you can run into some problems.  It's important to include nutrient-rich foods in your diet, but also remember that these foods have calories as well and should be eaten in moderation. Using this approach at the holiday dinner table will allow you to maintain a healthful eating plan — one that can also include dessert....an appropriate size dessert!
Try filling your plate with vegetables and salad before going to the entrees and desserts. Eating a salad before your meal can help you eat fewer calories overall. Eat slowly and savor every bite, and before you go back for seconds wait 10 minutes to see if you really are still hungry. I always eat my veggies first so I'm guaranteed to get my vegetable intake in.
Finally, after dinner, get some physical activity. I love taking a walk or just being active.
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Love,
Jessica

Friday, November 17, 2017

You are beautiful



It's holiday season, for real now. AKA, my favorite time of year. I can listen to holiday music without getting dirty looks from anyone. The truth is, I've been listening since October and my husband is not a fan of me doing so.  As I write this, I'm sipping a hot beverage from a Starbucks holiday cup, making my wish list and putting together my "to buy" list.
The best way to “be” beautiful is to feel beautiful. And the best way to feel beautiful is start from within.
This isn’t as simple as getting that pair of boots every girl has this season or having your significant other tell you you’re beautiful every day or wearing makeup. It takes even more work and effort than that, but it’s work within yourself.  Years of therapy has taught me that when I feel healthy and comfortable with who I am, that’s when I feel the most beautiful.
We’ve all heard that eating healthy is a great way to feel amazing, but what about drinking healthy?! Drinking water is not only important to bodily functions and staying hydrated for our favorite activities, but keeps the skin glowing. You literally glow from the inside out. So drink your H2O. No one expects you to pass on holiday cocktails this week but if you are going to partake, drink water in between your "drinks."
Happy Thanksgiving!
Jessica Bailey
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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Girl Power!


I was filling out a bio for a gym I work at and the question  “Who has inspired you in your life and why?” This question got me thinking. My first response was  "I would say every person around us motivate us in some or other manner. We just need to take their positive or negative words positively that think will help to motivate us." It was just a basic answer, it didn’t have any truth or realness to my answer. Then I just started writing. This is what I wrote:

Wonder Woman isn’t just the myth of the hit show from the 70’s or the girlpower star of the recent Blockbuster hit.
Wonder Woman is every woman! My girlfriend makes me wonder, “how does she do it?!” She has a full-time job, is a fitness lover, world traveler, a good friend, AND always looks put together!
Managing that kind of balancing act with so much strength, and positivity is absolutely inspiring.
Who inspires you? What inspires you?

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Snack Ideas



Snacks get a bad rap. You need snacks to lose weight. If you're sacrificing snacks to cut calories, stop. Snacking is an opportunity to fuel your body between meals.
Each snack listed below is under 200 calories, and will make you feel like your diet is about anything but deprivation.

  • Oatmeal and blueberries
You may think that Oatmeal is only for breakfast. Think outside the box—they're good any time you need a hearty treat. Full of fiber, they help regulate blood sugar levels to keep you from crashing. Meanwhile, blueberries add a kick of sweetness (and vitamin C) without any table sugar.  Top ½ cup of Oatmeal with blueberries.

  • Cheerios and soynuts
It's perhaps not the most obvious pairing, but put a quarter-cup of roasted, salted soynuts and a half-cup of Multigrain Cheerios together, shake them up, and you'll be hooked. The sweet and salty combo makes for a scrumptious fiber filled snack.

  • Apple slices with cheese
An apple a day might not necessarily keep the doctor away, but it could help prevent weight gain. Try pairing an apple with a half-inch slice of sharp cheddar cheese: It's the perfect sweet and salty mix with a crunch!

  • Hardboiled egg
When hunger strikes, a hardboiled egg is a great grab-and-go snack. It’s high in protein, which will curb your appetite and keep you from reaching for something less-than-healthy. Plus it packs nutrients like vitamins D and B12, but only contains 77 calories.
What is your favorite healthy snack?
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Jessica Bailey

Lyfe Tea




I recently tried LYFE TEA. I was excited to try this because I was curious to see how it compared to other teas.
The first thing I will say about this product is that it is super easy to use. I love that all of the tea packets come individually wrapped so I can put them in my backpack and go! No measuring out serving size needed! It is super easy and you prepare it just like any other tea on the market and you are quickly left with a nice tasting tea. I found that I liked this tea much better than other detox teas. It is a mild taste but purely delicious! I tried both the "MORNING" tea and the "DETOX" tea although I enjoyed them both, I found the "MORNING" tea to be my favorite. It gave me energy to kick start my day of teaching and working out on my own.
LYFE TEA combines super foods with other natural ingredients to give your body vital nutrition. There are no artifical ingredients! This makes it a great choice for whatever your dietary restrictions are.
I can’t stress enough how important hydration and a clean diet can be for optimal health. There are just so many beneficial nutrients in tea that I wouldn’t hesitate to classify tea as an important and key component of your diet. Especially for those people who rely on artificial drinks and food as a major part of their diet.


I highly recommend you give LYFE TEA a try. I am curious if you will like it as much as I do. In fact, just by visiting their website you can get 15% off your 1st order.
If you decide to get LYFE TEA let me know what you think by taking a pic of your LYFE TEA and tag both me @sassygirlfit and @LYFE_TEA on Instagram, sassygirlfitnessnyc and LYFE TEA on Facebook, or @sassygirlfit and @LYFETEA on Twitter. Use the hashtag #LYFE

Happy drinking!
Jessica Bailey




Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Spooky Halloween Butt Workout


Halloween, how I love you. I am pretty lucky, I never had to "out grow" one of my favorite holidays because I moved to the Halloween Mecca, NYC right after High School. Halloween is a big thing around here and I LOVE it.  I haven't missed a holiday yet. 
This past week has felt especially long to me because I have been waiting for Halloween.
I put together a 30 minute “Butts & Guts” workout for you to try at some point.  And not just ANY workout, a SPOOKY workout.  By the way, I know I am a big dork when it comes to my love of this holiday. 
In Health,
Jessica

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Repost: Sassy Girl Takes A Stand


Since the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment report came out nine days ago it takes me back to my situation. I know that every woman has a story no matter where you work. I posted about my experience with harassment in the work place last year and I think it needs to re posted.

Here is the original post:
I thought I was getting sick. My symptoms were nausea, headaches and restlessness. When the shakes first started, I thought it was probably too little sleep.
The symptoms came and went, off and on over the course of many months.
It took a while before I noticed that I'd start feeling sick as I was heading into work.

As a freelance fitness instructor I teach at about a half dozen fitness centers, and gyms each week.  Some are very high scale and some are very prestigious.  After many years teaching fitness I’ve learned how to command a room and be good at my job.  I can teach as many as fifty people simultaneously and still give each client individual attention.  In short I am good at what I do and as a result I am sought after.

A few years ago a new gym opened close to my apartment and the owner asked me to teach for him. They couldn't afford to pay what some of the other gyms could but it was appealing to teach somewhere in the neighborhood.  I was also able to come in on the ground floor and start a barre program to my own specifications.

Things started out relatively well.  Local clients followed me to the new gym and soon new students began to fill the room. I was creating new classes and feeling good about myself.
Flash forward a year later, and things started to change.  A man who I will call “Joseph”, a co-worker began making unwanted remarks and comments to me and to clients. I was uncomfortable with the way he was treating many of the women who he came in contact with. Being that his job was as a receptionist he came in contact with everyone.

I heard from multiple sources that he had been spreading a rumor that he and I were having an affair.
He was unprofessional and intrusive.  He was making me look bad and was turning off the people I had been working so hard to bring in.  

I complained to the owner right away.  I pointed out that this man was causing a hostile work environment.  I complained to the owner a short time later that after a series of encounters with “Joseph” I was beginning to fear for my safety.  
Nothing was done. In fact after complaining often times I found myself alone in the gym with only “Joseph”.

Not only have my complaints fallen on deaf ears I have watched time and again as fireable offenses have gone unpunished.  He has been caught training his own clients at the gym without permission, effectively stealing revenue from the gym.  He was caught on camera bringing a woman to the gym after hours and having sex with her.  

He has flirted with clients and I know at least one or two who have complained.  
This is a small gym with no security.  I have complained and have offered written accounts of what I have seen and experienced.  Yet time and time again the owner has given me myriad excuses as to why he can’t let this man go.  
“Work with me, Jessica. What can I do?”  
“I have no one to replace him.”
I tried reasoning with the owner and giving him simple suggestions for fixing this problem. I didn't want to give an ultimatum because I know they never work. Basically it came down to him or me.  He works at the reception desk.  That job can be filled a dozen times over with little more effort than posting an ad online or even posting a flier at the front desk.

But nothing has been done.  Month after month. I am so angry at myself that I let myself be disrespected and so unappreciated.  That I let myself feel threatened and intimidated.  That I waited so long.  

I have come to realize that I am in a hostile workplace.  The fitness industry is by and large progressive when it comes to women in the workplace. Look at any gym and you see girl power on display.

I think that is why this bothers me so much, because a gym I helped build has chosen to side with a male employee over a female teacher.


I don’t think that in locker rooms men talk as grotesquely as Donald Trump would have us believe.  But I have experienced first hand the boys club mentality and it angers me to the point that I have begun to tremble all over again.

*Update: it has been one year and NOTHING has been done at this gym. I do not work there! I quit last year. I encourage everyone to stand up and share your story. Yes, it is scary but you are NOT alone.

In health,
Jessica Bailey
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Sunday, October 8, 2017

Why I LOVE teaching fitness!



This post is a little gratitude check. Today the world is hard. Stuff is happening often that makes me sad. I needed to write this post to remind myself that I love what I do for work.
I've been teaching Group Fitness since I started college. It was a way for me to keep in shape without having to pay for a gym membership. When I started I was not good. My very first class almost everyone walked out.  I don't know what encouraged me to keep teaching, but I am so glad I did.  When I was growing up, I was always told that I should be a school teacher, and I rolled my eyes at the thought of it. I even took education classes for 1 week in college. I quickly decided that was not  the route for me. I think educators are so important and greatly under paid. Today, I couldn’t imagine not teaching (group fitness).
1. Teaching has made me a better student.

Want to learn something inside and out? Teach it. I pay so much more attention to what I’m doing now when I take classes. I'm so in touch with my body that I can take direction well.  I notice little changes in body position and how they affect the difficulty of a move; I notice the ways my body naturally wants to “cheat” when it starts getting fatigued in certain exercises; I keep in mind common form errors I see in students and self-adjust if I find myself making them, too—the list goes on.  Also, I am ALWAYS super friendly and I smile at the instructor a lot during class. I want the instructor to know that I am enjoying their workout, even if I am not.  I believe so much in learning from others that I use Class Pass. Class Pass is a kind of gym membership that grants you access to thousands of different classes at studios and gyms in my city and around the world.

2.  It feels good to be a (small) part of such a positive component of people’s day.

For the most part, people want to be in class. Or, if they don’t exactly “want” to workout, they at least want to do something good for their body and they know that this is it. Either way, taking class is a positive part of someone’s day, and it feels good to be involved in that. It’s like the complete opposite of working at the DMV.

3. It’s rewarding seeing clients accomplish new things.

To clarify, I don’t mean rewarding in the sense that I think I’m responsible any time a student reaches a new goal or holds a plank those extra 30 seconds. Group fitness isn’t like personal training—your students are going to lots of different instructors, working out on their own, and the credit for progress goes totally to them. I just think that witnessing progress in itself is rewarding—every time I see someone accomplish something they couldn’t do the month before, it’s confirmation that I’m in the right industry.
4. It’s fun being able to share a workout I’m passionate about with others.
When I’m planning a class, I always aim to put together a workout that I’d want to do myself. It keeps me excited about teaching, and almost feels like I’m sharing a bunch of my favorite things or a list of recommendations with the class. If, for example, I’m feeling the burn from a particular exercise I did the other day, it’s weirdly exciting being able to then “share” that with my students by putting them through it in class.

5.  It has forced me to FINALLY learn my left from right.

Laugh away. Most people have an innate sense of left from right—not this girl.  I get it wrong all of the time, instruct enough people to cross their right foot in front of their left and even a hopeless fool like me can learn.

BONUS | When your friends come to class, you get to torture them.

Kidding. Kind of …

Group fitness instructors—what’s your favorite thing about teaching?

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In Health,
Jessica Bailey

Saturday, September 30, 2017

HIIT on a bike





If you haven’t been living under a rock, I’m sure you have heard of High Intensity Interval Training – otherwise known as HIIT. It seems like it’s the workout that everyone is talking about. A HIIT workout requires you to do short and intensive workouts. Think 30 seconds of all out activity.  These workouts are proven to help massively improve people’s aerobic fitness and muscle mass. Not only that, but because the exercises you are doing are high intensity you can complete them faster – which gives you more time to go to brunch!
Doing HIIT on a bike can be challenging. Not everyone wants to jump around but a lot of people want to do a HIIT workout on a stationary bike. I got you covered. Here is an idea.  Remember to warm up (including stretches) before you start.

30 Second Bursts
Easy to explain, you get on your bike and after a minute cycling at your own pace, go as fast (and as hard) as you can for 30 seconds.
Once the 30 seconds are up go back to your normal pace (this is your rest) for 60 seconds, then do 30 seconds all-out pedaling again.
Repeat this process four times – this will be considered as one interval.
To complete the exercise, do three intervals with a four-minute easy pedaling between each one to cool down.
If you’re finding it too easy/difficult then adjust the rest period by 30 seconds – 30 second rest for difficulty/90 seconds rest for ease.
In Health, Jessica Bailey

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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Mesothelioma Awareness Day 2017


In honor of Mesothelioma awareness day, today, September 26th, I thought I'd dedicate my post to my grandfather who was affected by this disease. He ended up passing from this disease when I was a little girl. I didn't understand Mesothelioma at first so I thought I'd share what I do know with you.  Here are some facts you should know
The word mesothelioma may not be familiar to most people, of course it is a big word and it is not an everyday word. But would there be any one who has not heard about cancer?
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that occur within the layers of cells that line the internal organs, these organ lining isknown as mesothelium. The term mesothelioma is derived from ‘mesothelium’ which is the tissue that line the stomach, heart, lungs, liver and other organs. The mesothelium serves as a protective cover for most of these internal organs.
Mesothelioma can also be called the tumor of the tissue. When it is cancerous, it is called malignant mesothelioma, and just mesothelioma when it is not malignant. It is a rare but serious disease.
CAUSES
There are quite a number of causes for this condition, but the leading cause of mesothelioma is prolonged exposure to asbestos. It has been shown by the interaction with patients that each one that has been diagnosed with the disease has come in contact with asbestos at some point.  Results from the medical laboratories have shown that the inhalation of tiny asbestos fibers, is the precursor for the chain of processes, both physical and metabolic, that lead to the condition. The mouth and the nose are the two paths of entry of mesothelioma causing particles.
TYPES
In general terms, there are three types of mesothelioma
Pleura Mesothelioma.  This is the most common form of the disease and statistics have shown that it around 70% of mesothelioma a cases are of the pleura type. It is called Pleura because it occurs in the lining of the lungs known as the pleura.
Pericardial Mesothelioma. This form of the disease is not too common it occur in the pericardium, this is the lining covering the heart.
Peritoneal mesothelioma. This is also a less common form of the disease, it occurs in the peritoneum, which is the abdominal lining.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS INCLUDE:
• Shortness of breath.
• Uneventful weight loss
• Pains around the chest wall or abdominal region
• Fever
• Night sweating
• Constipation or vomiting.
• Fatigue
• Wheezing or coughing
TREATMENT
Once the disease has been diagnosed, a patient has a number of treatment options which include:
• Surgery 
• Radiation
• Chemotherapy

FACTS
• In March 2009, the International Agency for Researchon Cancer, confirmed that exposure to asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma and all other forms of asbestos cause the disease.
• Signs and symptoms may not appear until 20 – 30 years after exposure.
• The disease does not spread to other parts of the body, like bones or the brain.
• The duration of exposure to asbestos which could cause mesothelioma can be short, one to four months in some cases.

PREVENTION: the disease can be prevented by limiting exposure to asbestos and asbestos containing material, if your spouse is asbestos, run away, but if its just a name, please hold on tight.
For more info about Mesothelioma click here