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I’m not the next Usain Bolt or Michael Phelps.
I’m the first Simone Biles.

 – Simone Biles, winner of of 30 Olympic & World Championship medals in gymnastics
 WELCOME

In the newsletter this week, we’ve got inspirational words from a Peloton pro, tips on how to ease desk-chair back pain, and your guide to an uplifting gratitude practice. Read on...

What gives people the courage to make a big career change? And what tactics can make the switch a success? Formerly a lawyer in New York City, Robin Arzon made a leap into the fitness industry, and is now Vice-President of Fitness Programming and Head Instructor for Peloton. In a recent interview with Fortune, Arzon explains how she did it:

“I was a rising eighth-year litigator, and I thought I was going to be a career attorney. But then I fell in love with running. I was counting down the hours in my day until I could go for my run… When I read about Peloton, I realized this was the marriage of movement and modernity. I wrote an email to John Foley, the founder and CEO of Peloton, and said, ‘I need to be working with you.’ I had a job two days later.”

Robin is a role model in how she pursues personal meaning and contributes to the success of others through her work. Her bestselling 2016 book Shut Up and Run: How to Get Up, Lace Up, and Sweat With Swagger is now on our to-read list (stay tuned for a book review).

Sending you courage to make whatever leaps you need to this week, Katherine & Linda
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 WORKOUT OF THE WEEK
Hannah Eden
 
Working as a bartender in Miami, UK-born Hannah Eden discovered Crossfit, which magnetized her to the fitness lifestyle. In addition to her online platform and fitness apparel line, she owns a gym in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, with her super-supportive husband Paolo.

Growing up, Eden shared in an interview with fitness brand Onnit, she was “totally a hyperactive kid”, obsessed with dancing and sports. The same passion for activity has stayed with her, now infused with purpose: in 2018, to raise money for cancer research after the death of a close friend, Eden completed an 828-mile bike ride around Iceland’s ring road in nine days. 

Eden’s workout style is functional and challenging, integrating dumbbells and kettlebells. Her fitness motto: “Find your reason!”

Try this: Eden’s Monster Monday At-Home HIIT Workout uses both bodyweight movements and a set of dumbbells, and guides you through multiple full-body circuits.

To stretch out pre-workout or on a recovery day, try her Dynamic Warm-Up and Mobilization routine. (Bonus: if you want to see how the fitness sausage gets made, check out this behind-the-scenes video on the production of her most recent fitness program.)
Monster Monday At-Home HIIT
 FITNESS
Why too much sitting is hurting your back—and how to fix it 

If your job has you staring at a screen for most of the day, too many hours of continuous sitting could pose a health risk. Sitting creates stress on the body by reducing blood flow and encouraging imbalances, such as tight hip flexors and deconditioned glutes.

To counteract, be sure to punctuate every half-hour of sitting by standing up for a stretch, calisthenics break, or brief walk. For muscle activation, fitness instructor Leah Kalemba in this Elite Daily interview recommends a few lunges across the room or a 30-second wall sit.

If possible, get a desk that allows you to alternate between sitting and standing. If you have a phone meeting, consider going for a walk while talking. Adding more movement to your day will pay off, for your posture and concentration.

Another idea is a “kneeling chair” (here’s one example listed on Amazon), which promotes a neutral and upright spine position during desk work. We’ve tried a version of this style, and discovered that switching occasionally through the day between a conventional office chair and the kneeling chair, gave our back a break.
 WELLNESS
How a gratitude practice can boost your mental wellness
 
“Count your blessings” is ancient wisdom—and scientific evidence is piling up that it’s good advice for today, too. In a 2017 study, participants in counselling who wrote one letter of gratitude each week for three weeks had better mental health for weeks after their writing exercise ended, compared to those who received counselling alone. The benefits weren’t immediate, but gradually accrued over time.

In another study, participants who wrote a few positive sentences each week on things they were grateful for, were more optimistic and felt better about their lives than participants who wrote about negative or neutral reflections. They also exercised more and had fewer doctor’s visits.

You can cultivate gratitude in your life by writing a thank-you note, jotting reflections on what you’re thankful for in a notebook, or even just mentally thanking people who helped you in some way. Appreciation is a habit!
 WHAT WE'RE READING
 A neuroscientist explains why you may be more easily distracted than usual during the pandemic (Bloomberg)

 Diets don’t work: a metastudy of 121 clinical trials showed that while most popular diets led to weight loss, after a year benefits had dwindled—demonstrating yet again that lifetime habits are what create ongoing success (Ideafit)

 Recommended sports bras for larger cup sizes to keep you supported during every level of impact (Well + Good)

Could your vegetarian diet be causing a B-vitamin deficiency? How to appropriately supplement (Dietetically Speaking)

A three-ingredient recipe for baked kale chips that scored nearly 2,000 positive reviews (AllRecipes)

 Did you know houseplants purify the air in your home? Some tips on which easy-to-care-for plant is right for you (Alive.com)
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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