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Disrupt Fitness: Corporate Life and Eating on the Go

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Editor’s Note: The following biweekly column is sponsored and written by Disrupt Fitness.

It’s late, you’ve worked all day and haven’t had anything to eat since lunch.  You need to get home and cook dinner but you’re starving. As you drive home, you’re dreaming about how good some piping hot french fries and a chocolate shake would taste. The thought of cooking something healthy seems utterly exhausting.

We’ve all been there. Let’s face it, with our lives so crazy busy these days it seems as though we never have enough time to eat the way we should. Over the years I’ve developed some habits that help me stay on track even during the busiest of work weeks. Here are a few:

Plan ahead. Planning is already an integral part of your daily life. You plan what you are going to wear to work tomorrow. You plan when you need to leave the house in order to get to work on time. You plan what you are going to say — and not going to say — in tomorrow’s meeting. We really spend a lot of time planning what we are going to do in any given day. But unfortunately, we don’t seem to practice this enough when it comes to our own health and wellness.

Eat breakfast. Your body is ready to go, return the favor and give it something to run on. You wouldn’t drive to work on an empty gas tank, would you?  So why ask your body to do the same.

Pack healthy snacks.  Never leave home without ’em! They will tide you over until you can get home to prepare a healthy meal and keep you from giving in to the enticing neon hue of the drive thru window.

Pack your own lunch.  Every day at work I see throngs of people marching into the food court across the street to get their lunch. When someone tells me they don’t have time to pack a lunch, I say hogwash, you’ve got time.

For the record, when I say “Pack your own lunch,” I don’t mean throwing a Hungry Man or Lean Cuisine in a bag and calling it a day. Pack a lunch that will leave you feeling energized and ready to face the afternoon.

Do some research.  If you can’t pack your lunch, make sure you are picking places with lots of healthy options. Check out online menus in advance to see if there are healthy items available. Consider finding a juice bar or a health food store, as they usually have healthy salads and sandwiches for lunch. There are healthy options out there folks — it just might take a little leg work on your part.

Remember, eating healthy during the work week is really about planning ahead, about knowing the landscape that is coming, and preparing yourself with good options.  Always set yourself up for success.  Where your health is concerned, settling for less shouldn’t be an option.

We invite you to “Ask The Trainer” any fitness questions you may have! You, the reader, have the opportunity to ask our trainers and specialist your questions related to health and fitness. Send all questions to [email protected]. Or check out one of our trainers who focus on nutrition to help you get and stay healthy! 

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

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Disrupt Fitness: Fresh, Fit Arlington

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Editor’s Note: The following biweekly column is sponsored and written by Disrupt Fitness.

Maybe it’s a backlash against a nation full of fast and processed foods. Or maybe it’s to counteract the sedentary desk-job lifestyle that tends to come with a career.

Whatever the reason, Arlington, as it’s grown stronger as a community, has also been getting physically stronger. The young professionals building their lives here are also health-conscious, fitness-savvy people, and the community is taking notice.

These are a few of our favorite local businesses that regularly encourage an active, healthy lifestyle. They’re all about not sacrificing health or happiness to life’s demands. You might say they make it easy to live well.

EAT

The Protein Bar (800 N. Glebe Road, Ballston) is a quick, convenient lunch option in Ballston — but it’s definitely not your typical fast food. The Chicago-based business is all about making healthy food accessible and keeping customers satisfied for the long haul.

They do this by offering a well-varied menu of salads, “bar-rittos” (the Bar’s version of a wrap), and quinoa bowls, the last of which does wonders to make the unfamiliar familiar. The ancient grain is dressed up in ways that would give your favorite pasta a run for its money, including a warm, flavorful spinach and pesto bowl, one of their most popular choices.

It’s a place that just feels fresh, with a philosophy of a new view of food, and genuine excitement about sharing it with everyone. “Not all calories are created equally — choose wisely,” proclaims one of its many quotes on the wall. Here, it isn’t hard to do just that.

South Block Café (3011 11th Street, Clarendon) has become the go-to juicing establishment in Arlington, bringing another healthy trend and some Left Coast-inspired freshness to the D.C. area. The café specializes in bottled cold-pressed juices — made at their own microjuicery — as well as smoothies and açai bowls. Owner Amir Mostafavi started the business in 2011 and has since infused it with some serious creativity: the labels on the bottles are a testament to his graphic design background, and the unique flavor cocktails in the juices are inspired.

When you stop by, congratulate the staff: the café recently won “Best Smoothie” in the Washington City Paper‘s Best of D.C. awards. (And if you’re in a time crunch, they deliver within a 10-mile radius.)

For even more fresh food with local roots, look no further than Sweet Leaf Community Café (2200 Wilson Blvd, Courthouse), whose third location just opened in Courthouse. They’re proud of their local heritage at Sweet Leaf, and especially of how they source from local farms as much as possible. It’s a well worth a stop inside the homey, wood-paneled space for a sandwich, big green salad, or even frozen yogurt (hey, “healthy” doesn’t mean “no dessert”).

PLAY

Pacers Running Stores (3100 Clarendon Blvd, Clarendon, and 1101 S. Joyce Street, Pentagon City) have become some of the biggest destinations for Arlington runners to outfit themselves. Recreational and competitive athletes alike can find a perfect fit among the shoe offerings here. Or find an even better fit at one of their group run opportunities.

Chances are if you have ever been to a road race in Arlington, Pacers was the mastermind behind it. Go to the store or website to check out their race series and sign up to either run or volunteer. It’s a thrilling way to experience the local running community.

Potomac River Running (4501 N. Fairfax Drive, Ballston) is another local runners’ oasis, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary. Just like Pacers, Potomac River Running (or “PR”) offers individualized gait analyses and training programs for newbies, a calendar full of road races, and community group runs. And if you’ve got a competitive edge, consider joining the PR Racing Team for a faster path to fitness.

ASK THE TRAINER

Again, we invite you to “Ask The Trainer” any fitness questions you may have! You, the reader, have the opportunity to ask our trainers and specialist your questions related to health and fitness. Send all questions to [email protected]. Or check out one of our trainers who focus on nutrition to help you get and stay healthy!

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

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Disrupt Fitness: Spring Into Running

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Editor’s Note: The following biweekly column is sponsored and written by Disrupt Fitness.

It’s finally spring! Late winter storms aside, it’s a time to be renewed, refreshed, and revitalized — to break out of the cocoon and get back out in the sun.

For many, that means shaking the dust off their running shoes and making a daily jog part of their lives once more. Here are a few of our favorite ways to hit reset on the routine and get running far and fast.

1. Sign up for a race.

A race is a great way to seek out camaraderie or tap into your inner competitor. Finding a fun, unique event can add variety to your training, introduce you to new people, and inspire you to run faster than ever before.

It need not be a marathon to be a challenge! There are plenty of local options between 5K and 26.2 miles. Add one of these events to your calendar, invite a few friends, and get ready to race!

  • Crystal Run 5K Fridays, every Friday in April: this series of Friday night 5Ks in Crystal City will get your weekends off to a great start.
  • The GW Parkway Classic, April 13: it’s the 30th anniversary of this beautiful 10-mile and 5K race.
  • Marine Corps Historic Half, May 18: if you missed the full Marine Corps Marathon, travel down to Fredericksburg and cruise through 13.1 miles of history.
  • Potomac River Run Marathon, May 4: a relatively new race on the C&O towpath; this is flat, fast, and fun.

2. Become a spectator.

Watching a road race is a weekend morning well spent. It’s a great way to be part of your local fitness community and cheer on your fellow runners as they challenge themselves.

Here are a few of the major, mostly sold-out events you won’t want to miss this spring:

3. Get a change of scenery.

Now is the perfect time to take a daring leap off the treadmill or abandon your most well-worn neighborhood routes and workouts. Be sure to try out one of the many trails or parks our area has to offer–such as Burke Lake Park, the trails at Rock Creek Park, or the paths on Roosevelt Island.

And don’t miss the opportunity to run under the blooming cherry blossoms this spring. Watch carefully for their emergence; when they’re at their peak, a sunrise run through the tidal basin is an unparalleled experience; they are scheduled to peak between April 8-12!

4. Refresh your running shoes.

If you’ve been working out over the winter, odds are good that you’ve done a number on your training shoes. Or maybe you’ve got a battered pair of Nikes from last summer in the back of your closet. Either way, use some freshly cut gear as another motivator. There’s nothing like a pair of new shoes to put some extra spring in your step. (Not to mention, it can spare you from shin splints and help support your local running store.)

5. Ask the Trainer.

Lastly, we invite you to “Ask The Trainer” any fitness questions you may have! You, the reader, have the opportunity to ask our trainers and specialist your questions related to health and fitness. Send all questions to [email protected].

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

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