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Champions keep playing until they get it right.

 –  Danica Patrick, winningest woman in the history of American car racing

In the newsletter this week, we’ve got a cardio dance party, how to get fit in a fraction of the time, and some sunscreen-scare myth-busting. Read on...

The coronavirus pandemic has been tough for fitness entrepreneurs. One whose creative response has inspired us is Sadie Kurzban, founder and CEO of New York’s 305 Fitness. She started up the business eight years ago after becoming frustrated with the lack of inclusivity in the fitness industry. 

Her pre-pandemic live classes were a “nonstop cardio dance party” with a live DJ, free of shame, exclusivity and judgement. With no venture capital funding, Kurzban hustled to raise money from friends, family, and clients. 

During the pandemic, Kurzban was forced to close down her studios, lay off employees and stop paying herself a salary, but she pivoted and moved the business online. She explained in an interview with Bustle what she learned from the crisis: “If I want to change the game for other women, if I want to make small business a thing in America, I have to continue to raise hell and show up for myself.” 

Hoping you get a chance to “raise hell” this week,  Katherine & Linda
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Kelli & Daniel, Fitness Blender
Fitness Blender is run by Daniel and Kelli Segars, a Seattle couple who film in a studio they built in their garage. They created their YouTube channel after closing on their first house, getting married, and losing their jobs at the gym where they met all in the same weekend. 

The pandemic spike in home fitness shot their subscriber count past 6 million; thank-you letters from grateful fans attest to their workouts’ repeatability. Their workouts are clear and well-planned, with low-impact modifications. Plus they’re silent, so you can throw on your own music for background, or choose to put your full focus on mind-muscle connection.

Try this: The Segars offer many tough cardio challenges, such as this no-equipment-required, 38-minute Intense at Home HIIT Routine. What they’re most famous for is their “1000-calorie workouts”—not recommended for fitness beginners!

If you want to really sweat and build extreme endurance, take on this 90-minute 1000 Calorie Total Body Strength, HIIT, Kickboxing, Pilates, and Core Workout. We felt darn proud of just completing half of it!
Up for a challenge?
Explainer: What is interval training?

So-called “HIIT” (high-intensity interval training) workouts are everywhere in fitness, from your local boutique studio to fitness apps like Peloton. HIIT is an umbrella term for a workout style that improves cardiovascular health and body composition, while also preventing adaptation—so you keep improving.

A bonus if you’re busy: interval training is much more efficient for reaching fitness goals than long-and-moderate activity. In a study of sprint interval training that alternated rounds of twenty-second all-out cycling efforts with two minutes of low-intensity cycling, for a total time commitment of 30 minutes per week, participants got as much fitness benefit as other participants did from 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity continuous training. The same benefit in a fifth of the time!

HIIT training is also more effective for losing weight than long-and-moderate activity. “Endurance athletes seeking to shed a few pounds should substitute the long, slow, steady-state training that is making them more efficient at storing fat with some high-intensity intervals,” recommends trainer Rachel Cosgrove in this interview on

Due to the highly effective nature of HIIT, there’s no need to do it more than three to four times a week, maximum. In fact, more recovery time between workouts optimizes training effects—so alternate strength-training days with HIIT workout days for best results.
Was Lululemon right about sunscreen being more dangerous than sunshine?
Back in 2014, Lululemon had a provocative tagline on shopping bags handed out with purchases: "Sunscreen absorbed into the skin might be worse for you than sunshine. Get the right amount of sunshine." Does any science support this anti-sunscreen take?

A recent study showed that common sunscreen active ingredients do get absorbed into the bloodstream, but the FDA still recommends continued use of sunscreen for cancer prevention. And dermatologists have pushed back on the idea that sunscreen is “the new margarine” because it blocks Vitamin D—a meta-study found no association between sunscreen use and Vitamin D. 

The link between sunscreen and skin aging is undeniable, so if you choose to stay away from chemical sunscreens until more data comes in, try physical sunscreens with mineral ingredients such as zinc or titanium dioxide, which don’t absorb into the skin—the FDA has put both these ingredients on its “safe” list. Byrdie has a few recommendations.
 Feeling tired all the time? Performance and wellbeing expert Brad Stulberg has recommendations—both for physical fatigue and for the general feeling of being “in a rut” (Outside Magazine)

 Tips for mindful meal planning: pantry building and batch cooking (The Good Trade)

 A runner gets motivated to do a workout when the “finisher medal” is a Tiffany necklace… but soon finds herself running through Fantasyland (SHAPE Magazine) 

 A list of the best diet apps to help with weight management (VeryWellFit)

 A career in fitness without leaving the house… dream job?! How to get hired as an online personal trainer (ISSAOnline)

Stuck behind your work-from-home desk? Take a five-minute flexibility break and do these five stretches for people who sit all day (Oxygen)
Thanks for reading, Fit Girls! We’ll return to your inbox next week with more inspiration and knowledge. Got a tip for us or opinion to share? Email us—we love your feedback. Enjoyed this issue? Please forward to a friend—your referrals help us grow!
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