The Pact Blog

This Upcoming Monday Join Us For A FREE Cardio Pilates Bootcamp In Greenway Park w/ Move SWEAT Love

This upcoming Monday, September 22, we are joining forces with Ali Baldassare from Move SWEAT Love to host a free Cardio Pilates Bootcamp in Greenway Park! Special guest DJ JT Stevens will be scratching live beats to keep you pumped during this one-hour session! Ali does it all—a full time pilates and fitness instructor, brand ambassador for several brands, and recreational marathon runner—it’s no wonder she has been featured as an influential fitness guru in a handful of publications and blogs. We were able to catch up with her and learn more about the bootcamp babe behind Move SWEAT Love.

Ali has been a dancer, athlete, and all around fitness enthusiast all her life. A Jersey girl at heart, she has been teaching group fitness classes and training private pilates clientele for over nine years. She holds certifications through Mad Dogg Athletics (spinning), Schwinn, Power Pilates, Piloxing, and Zumba. Not to mention, she’s a brand ambassador for several brands including Energybits, Sweetgreen, and Lululemon Athletica. Sheesh, talk about an all-star athlete!

“This is the second year I’ve hosted the Move SWEAT Love Cardio Pilates Bootcamp on the Greenway,” she says. Ali’s ultimate goal from the beginning of Move SWEAT Love series (summer 2013) was to fill the greenway and to get as many bodies as possible working out together under the city lights.  “It came back this year by popular demand since the series was so successful!”

The class is a fusion of cardio drills, pilates, and innovative core exercises designed to challenge, strengthen, and tone your whole body. Ali’s passion towards teaching and motivating students to achieve their best and feel good demonstrates her integrity and strong work ethic as a fitness professional.

“The greatest reward of teaching is watching the impact it has on my students’ lives outside of the gym or studio.” Ali continues, “I feel honored to be able to provide an experience in every class that not only promotes physical fitness, but a way to de-stress, to meet new friends, to escape from their day to day, to connect with their bodies on a deeper level through movement and music, to build new self-confidence and to create a positive environment that poses new challenges and new discoveries of strength and capabilities that are carried through to other aspects of life outside class.”

In Ali’s spare time, she runs marathons, takes classes, hangs out with friends, and tries to keep up with her little mini Dachshund, Oscar. As much as she loves being an instructor, taking classes as a student is a way for Ali to stay motivated (yoga is her favorite!). We can’t wait to team up with Ali this upcoming Monday and be a part of the energy that’ll hit the Greenway. The class is open to everyone no matter your skill level and it’s FREE. Best of all, we’ll be giving away Pact swag bags filled with fitness goodies to the first 250 attendees & if you check-in to the event on Pact you will automatically earn $5 in bonus rewards. You can RSVP here!

This year’s Move SWEAT Love series has been the highlight of Ali’s teaching career and she hopes it continues to evolve and grow. “It’s unlike anything else to be outside in the heart of Boston with a live DJ pumping you up and a community of friends old and new that come together to workout.”

Ali’s Biggest Fitness Tips:

  • Cut yourself a break. It’s great to have goals and a plan to get you to that goal, but make sure the goal and the plan is realistic and flexible. If you miss class or the gym one day before you got caught up at work, it’s not the end of the world!
  • Try new things and try them more than once. It’s just a fact. If you don’t enjoy something you will not stick with it, however don’t be so quick to decide if you love or hate something. Try that new class or workout at least 2-3 times to decide if you like it or not because your second experience might be very different from the first!
  • Be mindful inside and out. You can work your butt off in the gym, but what you put in your mouth and the rest you give yourself is equally important. Be mindful with what you eat and drink, how you workout and honor when your body needs to rest. Because it does!

Be sure to wear athletic attire to move and sweat in. Sneakers are optional as most participants do the class barefoot. Everyone must bring a yoga mat, a towel (optional), and water! See you there.

Let’s get to it, 

The Pact Team

Published by Casey Leong

KRISTINA OF “APPETITE FOR INSTRUCTION” SHARES HOW TO MANAGE A BUSY SCHEDULE AND PRACTICE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AT THE SAME TIME

We love hearing how our Pact App helps users to create and monitor personal fitness goals and stay accountable for living healthier. Eating better and finding the motivation to tie up your laces and go get’m tiger is easier said than done, especially when you have a tight, less flexible schedule that leaves little time for yourself. We asked Pact User, Kristina of Appetite for Instruction, to share how she practices a healthy lifestyle and remains focused on her career as a teacher of seven years with a strict agenda.

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Born and raised in Arlington, VA, Kristina moved to Boston after receiving her Ed.M. from Harvard and began her career as a high school math teacher and International Baccalaureate Coordinator. With an alarm clock set at the crack of dawn, nonstop lesson planning, and stacks of paper to grade, Kristina admits she was victim to the “dreaded ‘back to school’ downward spiral into missed workouts, eating takeout for diner, and guzzling down Starbucks every morning.” Despite efforts of squeezing in late yoga or early barre classes in Boston, cooking complicated meals, or following typical health and fitness tips, Kristina felt there had to be a better way to fit health and fitness into her day-to-day routine.

“I just got exhausted trying to drag a yoga mat and backpack home on the T at 9:00 p.m. or more prone to buying breakfast at Flour or Starbucks after a 6:00 a.m. class,” says Kristina. We can’t blame her. “Following typical health & fitness tips doesn’t necessarily spell success under teacher constraints…Even when I belonged to Boston Sports Club and aimed to arrive close to 5:30 a.m., I felt rushed trying to fit in the workout + shower + breakfast [tip] before trying to beat the early-morning rush to the copier at school.” Kristina put her foot down and decided to stop excusing herself from workouts and cooking just because she follows a different teaching schedule. This year, she has made a pact with herself to 1) cook simply and 2) move more and efficiently.

Kristina believes in planning and preparing non-complicated meals that will reheat easily and last through the week. She uses her Evernote Recipes notebook to save and store recipes from her favorite food blogs to refer to later. “I plan out meals on Saturday, shop Sunday, and prep on Sundays while listening to podcasts or reruns of my favorite shows in the background,” she says. Some of her favorite meals include Nom Nom Paleo’s zoodles & meatballs and Pioneer Woman’s smashed potatoes.

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Follow Kristina’s Blog for simple & fun meal prep inspiration! 

Kristina still runs and attends boutique studios like spin, barre, and Pilates in the morning or afternoon, depending on when she’s able to finish her lesson plans. 

“Using Pact keeps me accountable to doing five workouts a week. However, that doesn’t mean I’m going to five 90-minute yoga classes or running 10 miles every day. I also try to fit in more walks when I can,” she says. Kristina reminds us that by using Pact, you can set workouts around your crazy life; it’s important to take your busy schedule into consideration when setting a goal. “I sometimes fulfill my gym Pact by walking to Kendall Square using RunKeeper (a 30 minute walk counts too!). My husband and I sometimes go for evening walks so that we can have some “us” time, fresh air, and just talk (rather than just collapsing in front of the tv). 

Read Kristina’s blogpost on Health and Fitness: The Teacher Perspective

Bravo Kristina! Thanks for sharing your story and motivating others to use Pact and RunKeeper to reach their health goals!

Do you have a pact story to share?  Email  stories@pactapp.com.

Cheers,

The Pact Team

Published by Casey Leong

September is National Yoga Month!

September is National Yoga Month! To celebrate we’ve put together a list of some of our favorite yoga tips, exercises, and resources!

Intimidated By Yoga? Get Over It With 5 Beginner Tips
If you’ve never done yoga before, it can be extremely intimidating. But have no fear! Here are 5 easy tips to help all yoga newbies feel less intimidated. 
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source: Stylecaster


Why Dudes Should Do Yoga.
Listen up, yoga-skeptical men: Yoga is a full-body workout. According to some scientific research, yoga can build strength, increase flexibility, and improve balance, stability, sleep, and relaxation. Still not convinced? Read more about it here.
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source: Greatist


10 Perfect Poses for Yogis on the Go
For a traveling yogi, the biggest challenge can be finding time to squeeze in your practice. YogaJournal put together the perfect sequence for when you’re on the go.
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source: YogaJournal

What is your favorite yoga tip? We’d love to hear ‘em! Email us at stories@pactapp.com.

Pact Weekly Updates

With our most recent iOS (4.1.1) and Android (4.3.1) releases this week, we’ve had plenty of updates and changes for the Pact community.

Here’s a quick review of some new features and updates you may have noticed:

New Motion Tracker makeover for Android and iOS

Check out our new Motion Tracker look and our quick how-to video for those who are new to the feature.

New look for gym check-ins

A redesigned workout page makes it easier to check in wherever you are.  Here’s a how-to on adding and checking into a new gym:

iOS Auto-correct feature is BACLK!! We mean BACK :)

For those of you that struggled with all the silly typos filling out our Pact app forms - thank you for your patience.  Auto-correct is back to save the day!  You can now typo in peace - we’ve got you covered.

PACT CONTESTS / GIVEAWAYS / & WINNINGS!

Don’t miss out on your chance to win some awesome prizes and Pact swag!!  Just follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for our contests and giveaways!

Here are our winners for the week:

Our Pact user, AJ, shares how she pumps iron with Pact’s Motion Tracker, using the #HEALTHPACT tag, and we’re sending her some Pact swag!!  Well deserved.

Pact user, Arthur, shares his best training tip with us “When running long distance, focus on smaller goals.  When you complete one small, set a new one to complete your long run.” and he’ll soon be stylin in his new Isaora #TrainBetter workout gear!

We couldn’t agree more Arthur!  small steps = BIG results

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We wish you a Merry Friday and a Happy Weekend!!

Cheers,

The Pact Team

New Pact iOS Release & Updates!

Introducing the “Pact Step Tracker” feature for iPhone 5S devices!

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In our latest release, version 4.1.0, Pact utilizes the new M7 motion sensor chip in Iphone 5S devices, and allows for automatic step tracking through our new Pact Step Tracker feature!

If you have an iPhone 5S device, your daily steps will automatically be tracked through the Pact Step Tracker, and once you reach 10,000 steps in a day, they will count as an activity toward your gym pact.

Motion Tracker Makeover!

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We’ve upgraded our Motion Tracker feature with a new look - use it to track your home and office workouts as usual, and continue shoot for 30 active minutes past the dotted line threshold!

Cheers,

The Pact Team

Sally Gruman Makes Managing Weight Gain & Loss through 3 Pregnancies Look Easy—Learn Her Tricks!

Many of our Pact users take advantage of our partner apps to help reach their health and fitness goals.  Meet our Pact user, Sally - she’s been using MyFitnessPal + Pact together to help keep her on track with her fitness goals during and after her pregnancies.  She shares her inspiring story and tips with us below.

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Sally Gruman, a busy, working mom of three in Saint Paul, MN, was an athlete growing up. She actively participated in gymnastics, track and field, and swimming, so it didn’t come easy when she wasn’t able to exercise during her pregnancies. During two of her three pregnancies, Sally suffered from hyperemesis, extreme and persistent nausea and vomiting that affects an estimate of only 0.5 to 2.0% of pregnant women.

She gained 45 pounds during each of her pregnancies, embraced her once cursed inability to stay still and need to stay on the move, and successfully shed the pounds after each pregnancy. Doing it once would have been hard enough, but staying motivated to do it three times was a feat. “I lost the weight with the help of counting calories on MyFitnessPal and keeping track of my workouts with Pact.” says Sally. “And of course my husband was a huge support, reminding me it would be over soon.”

“I originally joined Pact about 2 years ago to maintain my weight and keep my exercise schedule on the right track. While I couldn’t exercise during my final pregnancy, I kept Pact and MyFitnessPal on the front page of my phone as a reminder that I’d get back into the swing of things after having my son,” says Sally. And she did! After each of her pregnancies, she got right back into her health and fitness groove, lost the extra weight, and maintained it.

Sally made no room for excuses, and instead filled her calendar with healthy, fun activities, including her kids as often as possible. “A favorite is walking with the double stroller while trying to keep up with my oldest on her bike. I know a lot of moms say this, but I really believe keeping up with three kids is one of the toughest forms of exercise. A grocery trip with all three kids could easily be counted!” she says.

Sally also attributes her food logging habit to helping her lose and maintain her weight. “I like the daily routine of logging into MyFitnessPal and I love when I can log in for 200+ days at a time—it really bothers me when I miss a day. The last time I missed a day, it was the day my third baby was born. I gave myself the OK to miss that day,” she says.

Sally’s also clever about fitting it in: “I normally get about 5 minutes at each meal where my kids are eating quietly and that’s when I log my meals for the day.” Making it a priority to log in to MyFitnessPal at each meal, allows her to see how many how many calories she has left for the day. “Logging has really helped me take the guessing game out of how many calories are in things, which is huge for me to maintain my current weight,” says Sally.

“I think my best advice is to give your goals a realistic timeline—it won’t happen overnight,” says Sally. “I’m also a big believer in still living life. If there is a birthday party or special occasion, I will indulge in some cake or some chips and salsa. Everything in moderation,” she adds.

Another great tip: “Have fun with your workouts! If I feel like I’m getting tired of a certain workout I will switch to something new—you have to mix it up a bit to stay motivated.”

Way to go, Sally! Thanks for sharing your story and motivating others to use Pact and MyFitnessPal to reach their health goals!

Do you have a pact story to share?  Email  stories@pactapp.com.

Cheers,

The Pact Team

ANDROID USERS: The wait is finally over!

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We are so happy to announce the official launch of the Android Motion Tracker feature.  Now Android users can count home workouts, apartment gyms, and office gyms towards their gym pacts, in our latest release, version 4.3.0.


To celebrate the launch, we will be giving away Pact swagWant to win? Post photos on Instagram with #healthpact showing how you use the motion tracker feature and we’ll be picking a winner!

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Don’t know how Motion Tracker works?  Here’s how:

Pact’s Motion Tracker requires intense, highly active movement to count towards your pact. It uses your device’s accelerometer to see if you are moving at a vigorous pace for a total of 30 minutes, therefore we recommend that you either wear your device on an arm or waistband, or hold it in your hand. 

Low-impact and slow exercises like yoga or stretching are not recommended with Pact’s Motion Tracker, as it cannot pick up slower movements. Of course, we understand that these are certainly legitimate exercises, we just don’t have a way to track that kind of motion at this time.

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Requirements:

1. You must workout above the movement threshold for the time to count and movement under it will not count towards your workout.

2. You are given 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete your 30 minutes of high-impact exercise.

3. If you do not complete the 30 minutes in this time or if too long goes by without a minute counting, your workout will not be accepted.

Make sure to update to version 4.3.0 from the Google Play Store so you can start using the Motion Tracker feature!

Show us how you move Android users! #HEALTHPACT

Cheers,

The Pact Team

HUGE Congrats to Tiffany on her Good Morning America feature!!

We’d like to Congratulate! and express our Thanks! to our user, Tiffany Snook, on her Good Morning America feature and for sharing her story with us!! 

I am a wife and Mama to three boys. I had THREE babies in 23 months and went on a mission to reclaim my health and body. By eating better and exercising I have lost 90 pounds. This is my food, and my journey mixed in with our crazy life. A better me for them!”

You have been a tremendous inspiration to us and hopefully now for many others!

Check out our previous blogpost of her HERE and keep tabs on her health & fitness journey, plus some of her amazing and delicious recipes on her blog here »www.fitmamato3.com

Have a Pact story to share? We’d love to hear it! Email stories@pactapp.com

Cheers,

The Pact Team

4 Fitness Tips for Success

There is no doubt about it - Pact users are pretty amazing. We’ve featured MegAnne and her inspiring story on the blog awhile back. Well she’s back to share her top 4 fitness tips for success!

1. Build a community of support to hold you accountable.  

I have told everyone at work about my goals.  When I see them, they ask about my progress.  If I skip a workout I feel the pressure to share with them that I had an off day but that tomorrow will be better.  I am also vocal about my goals on facebook.  It’s a good way to find support and the extra positivity when you need it.

2. Something is better than nothing.  

Going to the gym when you don’t feel like going and just walking on the treadmill is better than skipping it all together.  Fitting in 10 minutes to go for an evening walk is better than not doing anything at all.  1 push up is better than no push ups.

3. Let thy food be thy medicine.  

Learning nutrition has been my goal this year.  I love learning about how food gets used in your body.  So much illness stems from what we eat.  I have LOVED veggie pact being added.  My husband and I have our own veggie challenge chart that hangs in our kitchen.  The winner at the end of the week gets to choose where we go out to eat.  This helps curb calling for take out and encourages us both to eat more vegetables.

MegAnne’s veggie challenge chart 

4. It’s all a choice.  

When someone says how “hard” it must have been losing weight, I share that it wasn’t anything more than a choice that I made with myself.  It’s a hard choice, but a choice nonetheless.

Have a Pact story to share? We’d love to hear it! Email us at stories@pactapp.com

PACT INSTAGRAM TAKEOVER: One Ingredient Chef!

We are so excited to have the One Ingredient Chef, Andrew Olson, taking over our Instagram today!

Keep an eye on our Instagram today as Andrew shares a custom meal plan and recipes from his One Ingredient Diet philosophy.

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We caught up with Andrew earlier to pick his brain about what it means to follow the One Ingredient Diet, how and why he got started, and his most helpful tips and advice.

Q: Tell us, what’s the One Ingredient Diet?

A: The One Ingredient Diet is my answer to a world of processed food. Once I discovered that some fast food meals have over one hundred different ingredients, and how dangerous this concoction is for our health, I developed the One Ingredient Diet which has just one simple guideline: eat plant-based foods that have one ingredient on the label. If the label says “Ingredients: brown rice.” it’s perfect. But if it has disodium-whatever and 34 other things, put it back on the shelf. This eating plan is the simplest way to avoid virtually all processed and unhealthy ingredients.

Q: Why start blogging?

A: My mission is to make food more sustainable. Not just for the planet, but for our own health. The unhealthy diet we eat today is killing more people than anything else in America and that’s just not okay. Eating a diet of one ingredient foods has incredible power for our health and our planet. But as I started cooking this way, I realized that One Ingredient Foods can also create some of the most delicious and satisfying meals. One Ingredient Chef was started to show that healthy food can be delicious.

Q: What’s one piece of advice for new Pact chefs?

A: Practice. While I’ve relied on many sources to get inspiration and learn techniques (my Mom, Jamie Oliver, and so many others), the best cooking lessons happen when you step in the kitchen and start experimenting with new flavors, ingredients, and techniques.

Q: What’s one ingredient everyone should always have in their kitchen?

A: Cashews! As a plant-based cook, cashews are the most versatile ingredient in my kitchen. Not only are they delicious by themselves, they make incredible cheese and cream substitutes when blended. I use them so often that I’ve started buying raw cashews in bulk.

Q: Okay, we need to hear it - what’s your secret?

A: Real food always tastes better. Sometime over the last 100 years, we got into the habit of thinking that food must be covered in weird additives and unhealthy ingredients in order to taste good. In reality, the opposite is true. I love serving someone a bowl of brown rice and sautéed veggies with absolutely nothing added. They’re always surprised at the naturally delicious flavors of real food.

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My goal is simple: I want you to become healthier than ever before while cooking the best food of your life. The One Ingredient Diet is my simple answer to a world of processed foods. But this isn’t about munching on lettuce! My job is to show you (step-by-step) how to cook deliciously healthy food with only *real* ingredients.”

Looking for more?  Visit Andrew at OneIngredientChef.com, where you can find over 150 healthy, whole-food recipes, recommended products, and even online food photography classes! You can also follow him on Facebook  or Instagram (@oneingredientchef).

Cheers,

The Pact Team

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