March
26

MI OLA: BTS of our Spring Shoot!

 

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At MI OLA, we create the best swimwear with no compromise for fit, style, or function and allow women to do more of what they love (at the beach) with less stress.   We remove the need to adjust your suit, or worry about losing it while you’re surfing, or you jump into a pool, or you reach over to grab your drink.

While we’re making great swimwear, we are also working hard to change the way women are portrayed in the media.   As the wild feminists we are (wink wink)… we make sure that all of our branding and images show women (you!) in a positive, active, inclusive way.   In most fashion photos, women are often objectified and passive.  Some images for other swim brands have women looking passed out on the beach.  Others have women sitting on the beach, watching men surf.  And many others have women writhing in the wet sand on a deserted beach “looking natural” while all greased up, arching their backs with pointed toes to lengthen the legs.

We strive for something different.  We see you (all women) as attractive for who you are and work to capture that natural beauty while you’re being active surfing, doing yoga, playing, walking your dog, etc.   Yes, we are women, and we sometimes arch our backs … but we also do so much more.   You won’t see our women in sitting, watching men have all the fun. We’re getting out there right beside you.

Enjoy a sneak peek of our new collection!

These photos were taken by a talented photographer, Margo Wilson, who modeled for us a few years ago and now is behind the camera.

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Working with MI OLA is an absolute dream – as a photographer who constantly seeks to capture empowered women. Just a few years ago, I modeled for MI OLA. The messages we were asked to convey through the photos were simple: we were simply asked to be the fun, active, and vivacious women that we are.

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Malia, Stephanie, and Luanna. Photo by Margo @margorenate

 

Those characteristics embody what it means to be a MI OLA woman and, are what inspired me while shooting the latest line in Costa Rica. I was born and raised on the beaches of Costa Rica, so shooting there was literally like shooting at home (one of the shoots happened by the pool at my parents house). Working there allowed me to work with models that I have known for years. I admire Malia (@vandewhale), Luanna (@lulumercer) and Stephanie (@stfiny) because of how driven, talented, and unique they are.

Shooting for MI OLA is all about getting real women, in their natural environment, doing what they do in bikinis that stay on. I felt like I was joining the girls on the adventures typically involved in their daily lives. On the first day, all three girls showed up to the beach bright eyed and bushy tailed for a 7AM photo shoot on a boat. We cruised around the bay and even fished while out there. Unfortunately we didn’t hook dinner, but we did catch some great shots.

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Luanna @lulumercer Photo by Margo @margorenate

 

On day two, I met up with Luanna and her husband during sunset on Langosta beach. Their love is effortless and their chemistry came across so clearly in the photos. Day three was a classic Costa Rica morning with Stephanie and Luanna: we walked the beach with our dogs, followed by watching the surf in the early hours of the morning. On days four and five I shot Luanna both on the beach and in my childhood backyard. Day six was a solo adventure with Malia where we loaded up her four-wheeler with MI OLA bikinis, my photo gear and a stand up paddleboard. Malia got a workout in, while I envied her strength and ability to balance.

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Stephanie @stfiny Photo by Margo @margorenate

 

In total, we spent one week shooting over 15 different looks in five different locations. I got to rock my favorite MI OLA suits while taking photos of the new line I already can’t wait to get my hands on! MI OLA is less glamor and more #GetOutThere and these awesome women made it more than easy to capture that. Be on the lookout for all the new photos and bikinis coming soon!

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March
17

#GetOutThere Guide: Jamaica

MI OLA brand ambassador Lauren @rock3roll was born in Houston (the birthplace of Beyoncé…) and spent time living in the Midwest before moving to NYC six years ago.  Now, she professionally wanders every four weeks, and is an incessant adventurer.  We caught up with this sandy mermaid and got the details on her latest #GetOutThere adventure to Jamaica.

 

#GetOutThere Guide: Jamaica

How to get there: I flew from JFK to Miami, and onward to Montego Bay. I would highly recommend flying into MBJ, as your trip from the airport to your hotel in the Montego area will be no more than 20 minutes!

Where to stay: I stayed at the SeaGarden Beach Resort. My intent in Jamaica was to explore (as is always!) The SeaGarden had great views (grab an ocean view room) and authentic Jamaican food. It was perfect for what we were looking for! If you’re looking for more of a “stay-put” type of vibe, I would definitely stay at one of the Sandals locations. Partly because of The Office, but also because they seem to have a lot of properties to choose from, and great reviews!

When to go: I traveled to the island in July and had great weather. It’s always good to be aware of the rainy seasons on any island. Jamaica has two main rainy seasons. May is the first, followed by October- November.  Also, keep Hurricane Season in mind from June through the end of a November. Island rain typically is brief and patchy (in my experience), but if this is your one and only escape for the year, better to not take your chances!!!

Negril:

Jamaica has no shortage of beaches. The most famous, and well worth it, is ‘Seven Mile Beach’ in Negril. Endless white sand, turquoise water, and palms for days makes for one epic beach experience.

If you’re not staying in Negril, travel by cab or by catamaran. The Dreamer is a fun snorkel (booze) cruise that takes you from Montego Bay to Negril. If traveling by car, it’s best practice to rent a driver for the day (prices very from $100-$200, not including tip). Your driver will stay with you, affording you the flexibility to go and stop where you please!

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

While you’re in Negril, make sure you stop by The Cliffs, more specifically, Rick’s Café! There are multiple spots along the cliff where the brave can jump in from various heights. Not interested? No worries grab a drink at the bar and watch the professionals do what they do best: jump. If bar food isn’t up your alley, head to Ivan’s. Located not far up the road from Rick’s Café, Ivan’s is nestled within the cliff side, offering up stunning ocean views. It’s the perfect place to nom on jerk lobster and drink flaming rumrunners while the sun floats down.

 

 

Montego Bay:

Centrally located between tourist haunts Negril and Ocho Rios, Montego Bay is the perfect spot to find an all-inclusive for your stay. Walk down to Margaretville for a Bob Marley (your new favorite drink for all-of-time) and a bounce on their ocean trampolines and slides.

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

 

 

Ocho Rios:

Up the road roughly 1.5 hours from Montego Bay is a plethora of unique island experiences. Popular among locals and tourists, the Blue Hole is made up of a combination of waterfalls and swimming holes. Interested in cruising around the watery landscape solo? Take the paths, and wander. Looking to jump and swim? Hire a guide. Water shoes are recommended, and sold at the entrance for you to comfortably cruise around the falls. Have a GoPro? Your guide will happily become your professional photographer (just make sure you’ve got a waterproof case!) You’ll be able to jump off of falls as steep as around 20 feet. Expect to pay around $15 to enter, plus a little extra for a guide!

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

After the Blue Hole, take a car back down towards Montego Bay for an afternoon stop at Bamboo Blue. Located in Mammee Bay, you’ll get a first class beach seat and bright blue water, all for the cost of a Piña Colada. Rent a cabana, and sip on whatever frozen concoction floats your boat.

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

Finish up your trip back to Montego Bay, by stopping at the Luminous Lagoon in Falmouth, Jamaica. The brackish water in the Lagoon is home to millions of microorganisms called dinoflagellates, that when disturbed emit a light-blue GLOW.

YES. YOU CAN SWIM IN GLOW-IN-THE-DARK WATER!

Get to the Lagoon around 6-6:30 p.m. (in the Summer months; in the Winter, arrive an hour earlier,) to grab your free rum punch (included in the $25 USD per person tour) before the tour starts. It’s not enough just to go on the boat to look at the glow in the boat’s wake; you will want to swim, so wear your MI OLA suit and bring dry clothes to change into (I made that mistake; I swam in a dress…WORTH IT). There are four other places where this phenomenon exists: Indonesia, the Bahamas, and Puerto Rico. It is said that Jamaica is home to the brightest Lagoon out of the four!

 

Roadside Stops

If you do end up taking a cab to various places (or renting a car), make sure to stop for roadside soup and porridges. Some of the best porridge I’ve ever had was on the road (full disclosure, it was also the first time I’ve ever had porridge).  Jerk Chicken stands, and highway restaurants are frequent sights, so absolutely jerk the wheel to pull into any one you see. On your way out of town headed towards Ocho Rios, you’ll pass a few coconut stands. Stop at the LAST one that is nestled in the woods. The coconuts are known among locals as THE BEST.

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

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Photo by MI OLA Brand Ambassador Lauren – @rock3roll

 

Jamaica is home to beautiful people and culture. Get out there and have a blast!

 

 

 

March
10

Living the Dream: How I’m making it – Tamarindo, Costa Rica

8 years ago, I moved to Costa Rica after falling in love with surfing.  And I found that everyone I knew back in NYC either thought I had lost my mind, or found the meaning of life.  And most tourists I met who were visiting Costa Rica were dreaming about living there, and were full of questions on how people make it work.  The answer?  Everyone hustles to figure it out.  And then keeps hustling.

Many of the jobs or skills that people have in the US corporate world are not available or useful when you’re living in Costa Rica in a tourist town.  So you’ve got to be opportunistic, and still find a way to enjoy your new life in paradise.  Here is an account of how one of our favorite surfer girls is making it happen in Costa Rica, from Kristen @sambatothesea.   — Chief Bikini Officer, Helena Fogarty

Kristen M. Brown of Samba to the Sea headed for a surf in Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

Kristen @sambaotothesea headed for a surf in Tamarindo.

 

As the saying goes, time flies when you’re having fun – – and I really can’t believe over four years have passed since leaving NYC:  quitting my corporate job, putting all my belongings in storage (called Mom & Pop storage), and moving to Tamarindo, Costa Rica to surf. When I first moved, I worked for Robert August (AKA Mr. Endless Summer), blogging and running his social media. Working for such an iconic person in surf history was definitely an experience. I loved how most of the time I could make my own work schedule and I was stoked to not be working “in the office” every day.  And I got to surf.  All the time.

Kristen M. Brown of Samba to the Sea photographing a beautiful sunset in Tamarindo, Costa Rica.

Kristen @sambaotothesea chasing sunsets in Costa Rica with her Chihuahua Gidget.

In my free time, I started to follow my other passion, photography. First, photographing and posting images of Tamarindo on my blog + Instagram was a good way to keep my family and friends updated on my Costa Rican adventure. Then, it became a side job.  Why?  Because I saw way too many ugly postcards for sale in Tamarindo.  I decided to take the #uglypostcarddilemma into my own hands. I made my own, featuring my Costa Rican sunset photographs. They were an immediate hit in Tamarindo and I was stoked to have found a niche in market.

What started with nine postcards has evolved into over forty postcard designs with ~15,000 postcards sold in three and a half years. And selling my photographs via the postcards gave me confidence to pursue photography as a career – which happens to also be a good way to make a living here in the tropics.  Today I’m so stoked to launch something I only dreamed of a year ago – – an online store designed to help you have a little bit of paradise in your home, with sunset prints, pillows, baby blankets (and more to come), aptly named The Sunset Shop.

(P.S. you totally want to keep reading for a special offer just for MI OLA mermaids!!)

The Sunset Shop by Samba to the Sea.

Ahhhh, the magic of sunsets in Costa Rica! Prints of breathtaking Costa Rican sunsets available at The Sunset Shop.

I now spend most of my year in Costa Rica, with the remainder spent in magical Savannah, GA – which is gorgeous, amazing and also happens to be where my family lives. I know, you’re probably thinking why would I ever want to leave Costa Rica or split time? The honest truth? Costa Rica may be a little slice of Pura Vida for vacation, but living here (like I believe living anywhere else in the world) has its pluses and minuses. So what should you expect if you’re thinking of moving to Tamarindo, Costa Rica?

Pros & Cons of  Living the Dream in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Pros:

No need for a beach getaway:  I don’t have the crazy urge to go on vacation like I did when I lived in NYC. Sure, I miss the ease of hopping on a plane at JFK to Europe, but I’m at the beach every day!

Sunsets:  The sunsets in Tamarindo are AMAZING!!! Soon after landing in Costa Rica, I started chasing and photographing the sunsets.

Pura Vidadise print by Samba to the Sea at The Sunset Shop. Image of a gorgeous sunset in Tamarindo, Costa Rica. Free mobile background download!

A breathtaking sunset in Costa Rica. Photo by Kristen M. Brown, @sambaotothesea

Surfing:  The waves in Costa Rica are simply magical – – peeling waves, offshore winds, and warm water. Within a 5-10 minute bike ride, I have access to several surf breaks and several others within 30 minutes. Without a doubt, I’ve gotten spoiled here real fast!
(Check out MI OLA’s surf guides to Tamarindo, Avellanas, and Playa Grande)

Surfing Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica.

Wave breaking at Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica. Photo by Kristen M. Brown, @sambaotothesea

 

Nature:  Ahhhh, nature. It’s right outside – –  the Howler monkeys at dawn, iguanas, singing birds. I love my daily walks on beach and through the hills in Tamarindo with my little Chihuahua Gidget.

 

The people: My friends are from all over the world.  Tamarindo is a great example of a diverse, mixed community.

 

Cons:

When your dream becomes everyday life, there are definitely things that can wear on you… until you get back in the waves. Here’s the reality that many don’t consider when they dream of moving to paradise.

Pura Vida:  Ahhhh, the small thing called Tico Time. Meaning “latin time” or tomorrow is another day. Pretty much everything here just operates slower than the US. Long lines at the bank, slow internet, and driving 40 miles down the coast takes over two hours!  Convenience and ease is not a focus, like it often is up north.

Sometimes I don’t surf everyday:  Contrary to what my parents think,I don’t surf everyday. I’d love to surf everyday, but my work takes priority and other times the conditions are just not that great. Sometimes a week or more goes by without surfing – – (gasp!) I know!

Cost of Living is high:  It’s expensive to live here.  Costa Rica is not a cheap country. Most tourists are surprised at the cost of accommodations, tours, and food.  And people who live here make a lot less.  Think US prices, but much lower wages than the US.

It’s tropically hot:  The sun is HOT, HOT, HOT! Tamarindo is located 10 degrees north of the equator, meaning that the sun is very strong here! And in April, the temperatures soar over 100 degrees with high humidity.

People come and go:  Tamarindo is a tourist and very transient town. Just as fast as you make a new friend, another one is moving out of town! Some people only come for high season to escape the northern hemisphere winters and others are like me – – how has it been over four years?!

 

Four years ago, never did I think I would still be living in Costa Rica AND working for myself – – a passion that my pre-Costa Rica self would have said was impossible. In celebration of the launch of my shop, I’m stoked to offer you FREE sunset downloads, oh-so-perfect for your phone or computer background! Click here for your freebie, add the downloads to the shopping cart, and use code “MIOLA” at checkout! AND this weekend only, for MI OLA mermaids only, enjoy 25% off her whole shop – – use code “MIOLA25” at checkout.

 

 

 

 

March
3

#GetOutThereGuide: Discovering Winter Warmth

Are you ready for summer yet? Yeah, us too. It will start warming up soon, we promise.

While you’re missing the warm temperatures, we’ve got some tips for generating your own heat, along with a great guide on the hot springs of Colorado.  Check out our #GetOutThere Guide to Discovering Winter Warmth by brand ambassador Briana (@openheartadventure).

 

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

Not all mermaids live with their toes in soft sand beside the salty sea. Some of us thrive in mountains that rise to the sky beside cold, clear alpine lakes. From January until the warmer temperatures of spring arrive, mountain mermaids are chilled to the bone from winter. Living in the mountains my entire life often has me dreaming about warm ocean water and tropical sunshine, although it isn’t always practical to escape to the beach. So when my body and mind need winter warmth, I explore, soak, stretch, breathe, and relax. Here is a guide for staying warm when the beach is just out of reach.

 

The Mountain Mermaids Guide to Creating and Discovering Winter Warmth

Do Yoga to Heat Up!

Hot yoga, hatha yoga, salted infrared yoga, restorative yoga, vinyasa inspired yoga – – the preference is up to you! One thing is certain, a yoga class will warm you up. As a yoga teacher, I wake up before the sun to practice a gentle morning flow in a warm space. Moving the body with intentional breathing brings warmth to my entire being and allows me to start my day from a grounded place. Some like it hot, and hot yoga classes are sure to heat you up. For me personally, a gentle flow does the trick, is only as strenuous as I shape it to be, and brings warmth to my body through the breath and movement.

Yoga is the simplest way to create warmth in the winter. It also doesn’t hurt that it supports a healthy physique so in the Spring, you feel fit and well. Whether you are most comfortable practicing yoga in the comfort of your home with an online class or in a studio with the warmth of community, the movement and deep breathing is sure to warm your body.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

My favorite indulgent yoga class is a salted infra-red practice. While it may not be easy to locate this type of healing space, I highly recommend a visit, near or far, to experience this! At my local studio in Colorado, Fahrenheit, there is a floor to ceiling Himalayan salt crystal wall (reference your bedside salt lamp times times 100) with infrared lighting, and a gentle fan that moves the salt throughout the studio space. It is heavenly. The salt is amazing for respiratory wellness and neutralizing negative ions. Whether taking a gentle flow class or a restorative practice, I leave here feeling like I went on a beach vacation, if only for an hour.

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Fahrenheit Yoga. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

 

Another special studio is, with bias, the one I teach at: Kula Yoga. It is a simple studio with a balance of natural light and mountain warmth, with a rich color palette. The studio holds space for inspiration, expansiveness, and rest. Most classes flow and all are uniquely different- from gentle early morning sun salutes to midday energizing practices to evening restorative. This is the place where locals come to stretch, warm up, flow, and breathe together.

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Shree Yoga. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

An ode to amazing yoga studios wouldn’t be complete without including Shree Yoga in Taos. This studio is worth a trip in itself, not to mention nearby hot springs listed below. Old wooden floors with authentic wood beam ceilings and a fireplace in the corner create a space that is beaming with grounded energy. Windows on both sides of the studio let in the abundant southwest sunshine. I’ve yet to experience a yoga practice here that didn’t leave me feeling completely inspired and filled with love. This studio even has a feng shui expert visit regularly to clear out stale energy and revitalize the already radiant space.

 

 

 

Hot Springs

For those times when heating up via yoga doesn’t do it for me, I head to the hot springs.

 There is no shortage of hot springs in the Western United States. In fact, globally, I’ve had no problem finding natural pools of warm water to soak my tired muscles in. Wherever I travel, I seek them out. Below are a few of my favorites right here in the Rocky Mountains.

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Hot Springs! Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

 

Penny Hot Springs (Carbondale, CO): These road side pools are easily accessible yet still offer solace from the ski resort crowds nearby. The shapes, sizes, and temperatures of the handful of riverside pools vary greatly from hour to hour, month to month. Some days the pools are shallow and hot while other days they may be bath water temperature and full. The Crystal River naturally fluctuates which influences instability in the pools, but it is always worth the trip! Check out the #GetOutThere Guide to Penny Hot Springs for more information!

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Penny Hot Springs. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

 

Black Rock Hot Springs (Arroyo Hondo, New Mexico): Two lithium hot springs pools sit beside the Rio Grande River, just a short drive from Shree Yoga. Because of the lithium content, as opposed to sulfur, these pools do not smell. They can be cool in the winter when the river level is high, but my experience has proven that it is worthwhile to explore. A quarter mile hike down an unmarked trail at the bottom of a gorge rewards you with epic views, solitude (at times), and a warm soak in clear water. Volcanic rock nestles these pools on the riverside. Phones will not get service so you can be sure to experience a healthy disconnect with this soak! I recommend a mellow early morning soak to assure a peaceful experience.

 

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Black Rock Hot Springs. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

Avalanche Ranch Hot Springs and Resort (Redstone, CO): If exploring unmarked trails and searching for steam in valleys of sagebrush isn’t your style of hot springs soaking, there are many developed, resort style pools that are equally relaxing and warming. The benefit to going to a developed pool is that the water temperature is regulated, bath houses are nearby, and some even have lodging on site so you can soak until you fall asleep. Avalanche Ranch is one that I highly recommend. They offer onsite yoga classes and day retreats, have beautiful rustic accommodations, and remain among the least crowded in the area. Each day is capped at a certain number of guests so call ahead. Views of the nearby mountains can be seen from any of the soaking pools. These are perfect for a day or weekend retreat when warming up and relaxing are high priority.

 

Valley View Hot Springs on the Orient Land Trust (Moffat, CO): This place is a little slice of hot springs heaven situated on the hillside of the San Luis Valley, Colorado. Here you get the best of both worlds- natural pools that you may hike to and developed pools that are easily accessible and temperature regulated. There is also a sauna that has a small dipping pool in the center so you can regulate your body temperature without having to step outside of the cedar planked room. This is hands down one of the best hot springs experience I have had and like Avalanche Ranch, reservations are recommended because they have a daily maximum for guests.

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Valley View Hot Springs. Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Briana.- @openheartadventure

Exploring dirt roads, secret trails, and pools in the wild is one of the absolute best ways to discover winter warmth. I highly recommend exploring your region for the best pools, natural or developed, to warm your body any time of day. Morning soaks wake you up gently while evening soaks are ideal after a day of work or winter activity. And if an outside soak isn’t in your cards, a nice Epsom salt bath at home will warm you up.

Lastly, the uncategorized way to get warm is vapor caves. In Colorado, there are caves that have channels of natural geothermal water to create a sauna like experience in underground caves. This is a special way to breathe warm air, revitalize the body, nourish the skin, and relax in a nurturing space. Think ‘sauna’ gone natural.

#GetOutThere and stay warm!

 

 

 

February
25

5 Apps to Help You Stick to your Fitness Resolutions

It’s the end of February… how’s that 2017 Resolution going?  Mine, it’s been a bit of a bumpy ride with lots of effort and some progress. The big bumps can really have me thinking about ditching the resolution completely.   If you’re in the same boat, we have yogic advice and technology to come to the rescue and help you (and me!) persist.

Last week, Brand Ambassador Leslie wrote about how to make positive changes in life and how to reframe them to have lasting and positive effect. Now we have some great technology apps to help you stay on track with those resolutions. Paige Johnson, a self-described fitness “nerd” from Learn Fit, provides 5 valuable smartphone fitness apps – – check it out below!

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5 Apps to Help You Stick to your Fitness Resolutions

If you find yourself giving up your New Year’s resolutions just a few weeks (or even days) into the year, technology can play a big role in motivating you to persevere. Try using your smartphone to download the right apps and give yourself an increased likelihood of becoming healthier, slimmer, smarter or richer by the time December comes.

Technology has completely taken over our lives today—from smartphones to robots, gadgets are everywhere you can see. There will always be a debate about the pros and cons of these devices, but you can use your smartphones to keep you on track with your New Year’s resolutions. This is where app stores come in—there is no dearth of applications today to do just about anything you can think about, and monitoring your fitness levels figures somewhere close to the top. In fact, a 2015 study found that 58% of smartphone users downloaded health apps. There are too many choices out there, so we have listed five of the best ones that will help you stick to your fitness resolutions this year.

 

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Goals in Google Calendar

A more recent addition to the app world, Google goals are something that you can create on your phone’s Google Calendar app. For those using it specifically for fitness-related goals, you can connect it to Google Fit. You can add any goal you want, and the app will do the work of finding the best-suited time on your calendar for the goal. Moreover, Calendar will automatically reschedule a goal if it overlaps with another event. Basically, the app does all the planning; all you need to do is get moving to reach your goal. You can download the Google Calendar app on both iOS and Android devices, so start creating your goals today.

 

Map My Fitness

This is another free app for both Android and iPhone users and features built-in GPS to help users log outdoor activity statistics. It lets you keep track of hundreds of activities and your diet as well as  share your progress with friends. If you are looking for a comprehensive fitness app, Map My Fitness is the one to download. There are more than 70 million routes you can choose from, and you also get real-time feedback in addition to statistics like distance covered, pace, and the number of calories burned.

 

Rover

If you want to make a buck while getting fit, Rover.com’s dog boarding app makes it easy for you to get dog walking or pet sitting clients with just a few screen taps. Working with animals will keep you active, which will be a great help in meeting your fitness goals, and it’s also been proven to boost mental health,  so you’ll be getting fit while feeling great and making a little cash on the side. What could be better than that?

Rover

Rover

 

Keelo

Designed for beginners and experienced athletes alike, Keelo features high-intensity workouts by certified health coaches that can be performed at the gym or even at home, so no more excuses about not having a gym membership, as you have full-body workouts that will take you no more than 20 minutes. You can also filter exercises according to the equipment you have available. Keelo is available for iOS devices and works great with an Apple Watch. You can download it for free!

 

Diet Plan

If you wish to start eating healthy but keep racking your brains to find the right meals, downloading this free Android app is all you need to do. Diet Plan offers you a personalized fitness plan based on your goals and body type. Weight and activity trackers, motivational tips, and budget-suitable recipe suggestions are some additional features of this innovative app.

Diet Plan

Diet Plan

 

Streaks

If forming good habits is your new year’s resolution, Streaks will help you stick to it. You can start with the app’s built-in tasks or create up to six customized ones and set reminders to make your physical activities a habit. If you break the streak, it will automatically reset to zero days. This is a free app, but currently available only for iPhone.

Streaks

Streaks

 

We’d love to hear what you think and what your biggest challenge to achieving your 2017 goals is so far, so please sound off in the comments!

 

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February
17

How to Make Positive Changes in Your Life

Did you start off the  New Year with a resolution or 3?  Eager to make a change you start determined, but by the time February rolls around you’ve strayed off course.  I’ve been there.

Not too worry – – it’s never too late to make positive changes in your life.  We caught up with brand ambassador Leslie (@goodgroundyoga) who gave us valuable insight on changing the way we think about our New Year’s Resolutions. Read on for more, because the insight is that good!

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Leslie- @goodgroundyoga

 

Almost all New Year’s resolutions fail.  Mostly because most resolutions start from the premise that you need to fix something. Thankfully, yoga has a way of reframing resolutions.  In yoga, we call this practicing a “sankalpa”.

A sankalpa practice starts from the RADICAL premise that you already are enough.  That you already are who you need to be.  All you need to do is focus your mind, connect to your most heartfelt desires, and channel the energy within. Basically, a sankalpa has to do with our overriding purpose for being alive on this planet.  It honors the deeper meaning of our life.  It is a guide that you call upon as you walk your life’s path. A sankalpa can take two forms.

The first form, known as “a heartfelt desire” is statement that reflects your true nature. Unlike a typical New Year’s resolution (I want to lose 20 pounds), a heartfelt desire doesn’t require change or action. It is literally and simply a statement of who you are.  An example would be “I am compassionate” or “I am whole”,

The second form is closer to a typical New Year’s resolution.  It is a specific intention or goal designed to help you live your life’s purpose.  It is a small milestone or action step that you can take along the way.  Moment to moment choices that help you to express your heartfelt desires.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Leslie- @goodgroundyoga

So how do you know what is you heartfelt desire?

It requires listening to yourself.  Getting quiet.  Centered.  Grounded.  Feeling inside.  Your heartfelt desire is already present just waiting to be felt. Ask yourself what do I really want?  If the answer is something as simple as losing weight or stopping smoking, see if you can find a deeper need that is asking to be met.  For instance perhaps the deeper need is  “I want to take care of my body” or perhaps even deeper still “I love my body.”

Once you have an idea of your sankalpa, you must state it in the present tense.  Traditionally resolutions or desires are stated as something I want to do, or will do or won’t do.  The problem with this is that unlike a petition, a sankalpa is a vow that is true RIGHT NOW.

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Photo by MI OLA Ambassador Leslie- @goodgroundyoga

 

For example, lets say your New Year’s resolution is to make more time for you. To put your needs first rather than last.  I use this example because it is my own for 2017.  Instead of saying “I want to make more time for me”, my sankalpa is this: “I am worthy of time”.  Why this is radically different is that it presumes already that I am worthy.  If I act from the premise that I am worthy, making time for me is a natural extension and is not something I have to work at doing.

Every conscious choice you make is an opportunity to strengthen your sankalpa. We strengthen it by repeating it to ourselves like a mantra.  We use our resolve as an internal compass when challenged or tested.  We whisper it to ourselves enough times that we believe it to not only be true but immutable.

And when we stumble which we will, we brush ourselves off and state it again.

I am worthy.  I am worthy.  Simple.