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14 Mar

Workout Wednesdays: Aqua Cycling

The next workout on my list was the latest trend: Aqua Cycling.

Alright so this was a whole new ball game for me... and most people. For me aqua cycling or anything resembling to it was more a picture of elderly people working out in the pool. It's not exactly far fetched since aqua cycling is spinning in the pool. It might sound a little harder, trust me I thought the resistance would be too much for me to handle but it is the opposite. The resistance is almost welcoming and therapeutic. This is because it reduces the stress on your joints and muscles that you often may feel in a regular spinning class. I know when I got there I was like "am I going to be dead the next day" ... again completely the opposite. I felt amazing!

I went to this small studio in Miami called Element Aqua. It is one of the very few, since aqua cycling is still a pretty new and upcoming trend. The instructor, a very charismatic Italian named Fabio, is one of the sweetest and may I add happiest instructors ever. I mean if this man doesn't make you smile while you're in a pool playing happy music then I don't know what will. Along with it being fun, aqua cycling definitely builds up endurance and helps your circulation; again I remind you that the next day you feel great and not sore at all. A major plus! That and it is so much fun. 

Everyone's experience is different but for me, I felt the workout mostly on my arms, lower abdomen and back. He combines spinning with a lot of arms and back exercises that you can literally feel those muscles being worked out. The fact that you're in a pool also makes you push yourself a little more than you may in a regular spinning bike especially if you're a beginner like me. As far as attire, I wore a bikini bottom with short workout leggings on top and a sports bra (ladies, yes you hair will get wet) - this seem to be the uniform attire for most of us there or a wet suit. Splish-Splash!

I would recommend everyone to try out this class even more so if you are someone who doesn't like the after sore feeling that some workout routines come with or you have problems sleeping. You leave the class, take a lukewarm shower and sleep like a baby!

07 Mar

Workout Wednesdays: Pilates Time

It's another #WorkoutWednesday with my next must-try workout class.... Pilates.

On my journey to discover which workout would be most suitable for my body goals, it was a MUST to try a Pilates class. For a very long time, I wanted to try this class that originated all the way back to the early 1900s when Joseph Pilates decided he didn't want to succumb to his ailments or any medical conditions that can make him weak and instead conditioned his mind and body. 

Like I mentioned in my other #workoutwednesday blog post, I am literally going in blind to these workouts, not knowing what to expect. This was no different or easier. I decided to give a try to this pilates fitness studio in the Fort Lauderdale Beach area called Zoeli Fitness. I knew nothing about her, the studio or the routine to follow.

This workout, while hard, quickly became a "must return" class because it really is all about the "core". I noticed in other workouts where you may need to use all of your muscles to get your desired strength, here you hone it all in the core. It comes all from there. There is a lot of breathing in and out, which if you take yoga it comes as an advantage. The better your breathing, the better you slowly start to stretch it out a little more every new position.

Like I said, I was a complete first timer and didn't realize that Pilates is not just using my body but it comes with bars and springs! Here is where you may need to be a little coordinated with your body's balance and form. This is so big! The minute you are doing it right, you can feel your whole body feeling it to the core. The kind of toning you get from this exercise isn't the same as you would get from let's say maybe squats - it's more the ballerina toning, it defines your body's muscles but doesn't give it that bulky look (everyone has their own preference). What I liked about this class and not sure if all of them are the same, is that a small studio allows you to interact a lot more with the instructor and for her (in this case, Zoeli) help you out with your form. Trust me, I needed help when it came to holding a bar yet keeping my composure so that I didn't hurt myself.

One of my my biggest tips in this particular workout class is to let go of the intimidation that sometimes comes with trying Pilates for the first time. Yes, there were some people in that class that had the spring grabbing, leg stretching, position on check but there were also rookies like me who are not flexible and a straight leg means a bent one. It's all about trying and the people in class, I had two girls besides me, were encouraging and having some giggles in between while trying to keep it all together. For me, I know Pilates is a workout I will keep, even if I have a long way to perfect my form. It meets my goals of wanting to focus on my core strength and tone up as oppose to bulk up aka more Wonderwoman, not the Hulk. 

I will say this, for all those who love the acrobatic Christian Grey, it is not as easy as he makes it look to hold it. Give it a try ladies, you will see for yourself!


28 Feb

Workout Wednesdays: Kickboxing

Spring is just around the corner and then it's summer, summer, summer time! You know what that means, ladies and gents? It is time to work on your beach body. It doesn't matter what size you are, working out isn't simply about size but building up your confidence. As least that's what I like to think! I am the first one to admit, I am not a fan of the gym but the high you feel after any workout is undeniable!

Therefore, on the road to get my ideal beach body I've decided to try different workouts that were out of my comfort zone and share them as I go. 

Today I tried kickboxing at TITLE Boxing Club where I got to take a stab, or shall I say a punch at being Rocky Balboa. While Eye of the Tiger was not blasting as I ran through Philadelphia, what I did have was a kick-ass soundtrack blasting that went with the kick-ass workout. My instructor, known as "The Hoff", who if you ask me should switch that to the hulk did an amazing job on pushing you to the limit. If you've never taken a boxing or kickboxing class before, you are not alone. I went in there not knowing what to expect and left feeling like a million bucks. That is, after I drank a whole gallon of water and caught my breath.

All jokes aside, "The Hoff" starts off the kickboxing workout with your classic warm-up to get you sweating (very important in boxing) and then takes you on to eight rounds. The bell rings and he guides you through combos of punching, kicking, jabbing all around the bag - always making it a little more intense each round. He finishes you up with some HARD core exercises on the floor, guys and gals... say hello to future abs. If you are looking to build up endurance and tone up, this is the class. 

Like the website says, best word to describe my first kickboxing experience is: EMPOWERING. It definitely will not be the last class!

20 Feb

Get Your Tan On... check out my fave beach products!

I am starting off this post with saying, I love tanning just like the next beach goer – ESPECIALLY when you live in sunny Florida. I mean it's February right now and while the rest of the country is experiencing cold winters, ours entails of 80 degrees weather with the sun beaming so hot you can feel the burn.

My go to products for all year-round weather like this is the Beauty Counter sunscreen SPF 30 and the Nourishing Rosewater Mist. I gave this sunscreen a try and it's been the best - Remember to always apply every 40 minutes and/or after taking a dip in the beach or pool, even more so in hot temperatures when the sun is extra strong. The rosewater mist is just one of my absolute favorite products I am in love with! Not only is to feel that cool mist in this heat but it's also great after the gym and before bed time. I read some people even keep it in the fridge to give it that extra chill before working up a sweat. When I tell you I can't get enough of this product... I mean it. I carry it around with me in my purse because it also works as a setting spray after applying make-up. That and you can literally smell the roses! I am not even kidding or trying to sell you on this. I have like two bottles of this one.

So, you might be wondering why Beauty Counter? What's your angle? None. I became a consultant more for the perks and because I love so many of their  skincare and beauty products. The most attractive part of these products for me has been their "Never List"  which you can see on their website. It is a list of what is NOT used in their products. I compared this to other products I won't name but they are popular ones and it explains so much. For starters, my previous mega strong sunscreen would irritate my eyes to the point it  was unbearable, I had to carry eye drops whenever applying. To make matters worse, it didn't make a difference, at all,  the ingredients it carry for sun tan prevention considering I still got burnt. There I was a burnt bun with watery eyes? Not a pretty picture. It's reasons like this I switched over to Beauty Counter and their mission statement mentality of avoiding the use of harmful products.

These are just two of my many favorite Beauty Counter products but the ones I chose to highlight on today seeing as I am sitting here under the shade on a gorgeous, sunny Florida day enjoying this weather.

Don't hate me.

** To purchase these items, click on images for each below. Remember you get 35% off your next bikini order when purchasing from My Beauty Counter Shop. **


17 Jan

Hello there...

Hello Babalu Girls and Boys,

As you can see I've scrapped the blog completely from previous posts and decided to start brand new! This year I want to focus on making Babalu Girl more personal and approachable to everything and anything that has to do with my fashion, beauty and lifestyle choices. 

I will be updating, deleting, changing some of the swimwear collections I've had on the site for a while. When I first started my online shop I did it not only to learn the business aspect but also to bring a variety of bikini styles from different places, countries, people who all add a little zest to their designs. After all, that is what I want the Babalu Girl to be, one who strives to find her original look and not have the same boring bikini. Don't get my wrong I am not against those famous names we all love to wear but I hope some of these handpicked styles bring you some variety to your beachwear closet.

I also hope my blog brings some awareness on lifestyle choices like using better products that in the long run will benefit you in a much healthier way rather than going to the popular brand names where I am sorry to inform you (if you already didn't know) have an insane amount of products that should not be used in your everyday skincare routine. This is why I decided to join and include Beauty Counter on my website. Now let's be real, I am not one of those people (not yet anyway) who has given up completely on those popular name products we love, still I am working on having a better skin and beauty care relationship with products I use every day on myself - especially since I intend to be in a long term relationship with them!

Alright so I am giving you a little 411 on myself along with why Babalu Girl started and where she is headed. Coming up I hope to engage more with readers and shoppers out there in listening to their selections when it comes to all these different but fun topics! 

Don't be afraid to share with me your choices in everything involving fashion, beauty and lifestyle - I love different, it makes you who you are and remember that girl or boy is the one who matches to the beat of their own drum!