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Get Fit Without Exercising

Instead of boring yourself for 30 minutes while you run on a treadmill, try thinking of more creative ways to exercise. There are many ways to get fit while you have fun, so you won’t even feel like you’re working out. Here are some of my favorites:

 1. Dance class
From the waltz to the salsa, all forms of dancing are great for your mind and body. WebMD notes that dancing is good for your heart and improves strength, balance, and coordination. As you learn the choreography and form, it will challenge your brain, giving it a workout, too. A 30-minute dance class burns up to 250 calories, about the same as jogging. You can take a class at a studio alone or with a group of friends. If you would rather stay home, you can purchase an instructional DVD or watch a video online.

 2. Dog walking
Dogs are known as man’s best friend, and they provide excellent companionship for their owners, which results in lower stress levels. A study by Michigan State University found that dogs also have the benefit of increasing exercise in their owners. The study showed people who walked their dogs generally walked about an hour longer per week than people who didn’t walk their dogs. Walking with your dog encourages you to go the extra mile! If you don’t have your own dog, no worries. There are a lots of people–from senior citizens to busy professionals to overscheduled parents–who need help walking their dogs. Consider becoming a dog walker as a side job. That way you can reap the physical benefits and make some money in the process. 

 3. Hiking
Hitting the trail will burn some major calories. According to Huffington Post, just one hour can burn more than 500 calories. You can intensify your calorie burning by increasing the incline and the weight of your backpack, so it’s a great option if you want to start slow and gradually increase to keep challenging yourself. You may think it’s the uphill climb that’s giving you the workout, but resisting the downhill pull is a workout too. Of course, there is also the added benefit of enjoying the beauty of nature and a breath of fresh air. Instead of taking your next date out for dinner, consider a nice hike with a picnic at the end.

 4. Trampolining
Bouncing up and down on a trampoline might seem like playtime, but it can also give you a solid cardio workout while simultaneously providing a strengthening exercise. A study by the American Council on Exercise found that jumping on a mini trampoline 19 minutes was equivalent to running, biking, or playing a game of football. Although trampolining was found to be moderate-to-vigorous intensity exercise for the body, the participants ranked it as feeling like a light-to-moderate intensity exercise. Basically, the workout felt easier than it really was. Dr. John Porcari, an author of the study, credits this to the trampoline making the activity less jarring for the muscles. He adds, “The enjoyment factor may make things easier, as well.”

 5. Laser tag
Running around and dodging laser bullets is sure to get your adrenaline and heart pumping. With an intense game of laser tag, you are definitely getting in cardio. You’re also working your upper body by carrying the equipment and the constant raising and lowering of the gun. Since most teams also develop a strategy, you’re working your brain too. Next time your group of friends wants to enjoy a fun night together, consider laser tag as an alternative to more sedentary options like watching a movie.

6. Yoga
Not only is yoga a great way to exercise, but it also stretches and strengthens your muscles, and it aids in recovery from other forms of physical activity. Yoga doesn’t have to just be on a mat at home, either. Yoga studios offer a variety of classes (think hot yoga or power yoga) for all levels. And for the truly adventurous, there is stand-up paddle board yoga, which challenges your balance as you float on water, and even yoga events AND festivals, which offer up to weekend-long yoga-centric activities that are not only great opportunities to exercise, but also a fun way to meet people, inspire yourself and make awesome memories!

If you want to perform push-ups and crunches as a form of exercise, you certainly can. But if you want excitement from exercise, try thinking of an activity you enjoy, such as hiking or yoga, and make the most of it! You really can have fun while you burn calories and get in shape!

Author: Paige Johnson

Paige Johnson loves everything fitness. From strength training to running to yoga, she infuses her workouts with variety and encourages others to do so as well. She writes about her own fitness journey and provides advice to others on LearnFit.org.

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Last Minute, No Copout Holiday Gift Guide

Gift-giving season is upon us. And as avid gift givers, it seems we get ourselves amped up about an overflow of ideas every year, just to realize that we’ve run out of time to execute them! (Do you feel us?!) How does something we are so excited about turn into such a stressful time-crunch? Still, we refuse to turn to lame copout gifts, because we LOVE that happy feeling of seeing the authentic smile that comes from a person we care about receiving a meaningful gift! So what about gift guides without time constraints?! All this considered, we decided to share the wealth of doable ideas in this round up of our favorite last minute suggestions that are, at once, so perfect and accessible the time crunch won’t even matter.

You’re welcome 🙂

Give the Gift of your time together + a fun experience:
Plan a staycation for you and your significant other or best friend!

893888d4_originalBook a hotel or Air B&B in Malibu for a quick, doable weekend getaway + a have fun during your stay with a visit to Malibu Wines for a wine hike, wine safari or wine sail (genius, right?!) For more info on Malibu staycations options, check out Air B&B’s suggestions on their wishlist.


Prefer to stay local for the holidays? You can book a staycation for a special weekend at our local Santa Monica Bungalow instead; let go of your obligations + enjoy your time near the beach with delicious cocktails on their stylin’ deck! 


Give the gift of relaxation: 

Sign up a friend for a float experience at Pause. Have you heard of floating? This sensory deprivation experience is a helpful way to effortlessly slip into meditative states, release toxins + stress and accelerate recovery + overall well being. For more info on benefits of floating, read this list from Pause’s site.


Give the gift of good times alongside health + happiness:
Booking tickets to a fun event or workshop in LA for you and a friend is another great idea to share time together while you spend your money in a meaningful way.

Need suggestions?
Our friends at Bender host awesome rooftop events around the city and the Conscious Family Dinner’s held by Integral fitness have changed our world. If you are willing to travel a little further, follow Xanadu for frequent, epic outdoor adventures and yoga socials. And, if you want to keep it in our community subscribe to our events to see what we have in store and purchase tickets for a memorable time together in the New Year!

Feeling indecisive? Our CREATE gift cards can be used towards any purchase at CREATE. Contribute to your friend’s ability to afford CREATE memberships, class packs, event + workshop passes and more!


Have an athlete or yogi in your life?

IMG_4296-1024x683Lucent Hue Yoga Mat – These mats are like no others we’ve scene, not to mention the designs are locally hand-painted watercolors  + the materials are eco-friendly. From the moment we found this company on Instagram, we were in love.


Evolve Active Wear – Put love into action when you gift yoga wear that GIVES BACK! For every item bought Evolve donates proceeds to one of their partner charities. ‘Cause we believe we SHOULD care where we put our money during the holidays AND every day we love that we can feel EVEN better about gift-giving for every Evolve purchase.


Some meaningful, keepsakes:
Buddhaful Creations Jewelry – have you seen the beautiful handmade jewelry that’s hanging on our wall? Come by and pick out your favorite, affordable piece made by our friend Kylie; support local artisans AND give a one-of-a-kind gift! Win, win.


Insta Wall handmade Dream Catchers – Yet another beautiful thing that we decorate our walls with; you can check out these inspiring and unique pieces made by our talented friend Esmerelda at our studio or, on her Instagram!

Whatever you decide to gift, we wish you zero stress and much meaning.
We hope this gift guide helps!
Here’s to happy gift exchange + a memorable holiday! You’ve got this.
-The Create Fam

Insight + Interview: Jacqueline Smyth

Meet Jacqueline Smyth: Proud mama. Destination Coach and Yoga Teacher. Writer. Traveler. Story Collector. Believer. And Founder of Sisterhood of the Traveling Mats

Jacqueline Smyth

We are so excited to welcome Jacqueline into our CREATE community! We had the opportunity to get the down low on the experiences and insights that led her to where she is today just before her recent adventures in Bali and, we find ourselves spilling over with so much inspiration from her story that, we can’t help but share the interview with you:

How AWESOME is it that we’ve come together when so many things you’ve been manifesting are now unfolding Jacqueline! We can’t wait to see and hear about everything you are up to as your journey continues. It’s always so beautiful to watch people’s dreams manifest right before them; even more so, captivating to hear the story that goes on behind the curtain and all the experiences that got them there.  So, let’s hear it. We want to know more about the real you.

First thing’s first: yoga seems to be a huge part of your life. How did it first come into your life?

Yoga came into my life, I think like many, at a time of transition. I wasn’t incredibly happy with my life and career path, and initially found yoga searching for a new workout. But right away I found that after I practiced I found the clarity I was looking for. It didn’t matter what day or time, what I was going through–I knew once I stepped off of my mat I felt good. And that’s the way I wanted to feel.

How has your practice changed over the years, both physically as well as teaching?

Oh man! I can’t even count the ways. Yes, I love the physicality of a strong practice–but more so for me, the mental aspect is where it’s at. I teach to what I need and what I’ve been going through… And it seems (just even by the memes as you scroll through your social media feeds) that we’re all going through similar things at the same time, and I find that even in a difficult pose, if you relate it to something mental, your body will open up and soften into it differently. Mind body connection over everything 😉

We love your blog! What inspired you to start Sisterhood of the Traveling Mats? (SOTM is a lifestyle blog for the dreamers, go-getters, yoga-loving souls and wanderlusting hearts of the world that offers online community, life coaching, retreats and more.)

SOTM was dreamt up in my yoga teacher training in Bali. The freedom, the knowledge, the travel, and the relationships were so captivating–I wanted to know what it’d be like to open that up on a broader spectrum.

How has SOTM evolved over the years?

It’s evolved the same way I have. From traveling, to exploring philosophy, to adventure (even in the day to day aspects), I want to encourage anyone who reads to follow their instincts–because at the end of the day, it will never lead you astray.

We know you love to travel. What are some of the most life-changing places you have been?

It seems crazy, but anywhere can be life changing. I’m the sort of traveler who doesn’t like to plan much, which automatically pushes the unknown on you! From being lost in the rain to finding connections with other travelers who are doing the same thing, to booking the shittiest hotel and checking out in the middle of the night–I live for experience. The once in a lifetime kind.

Life changing? Yes please!

What about travel inspires you?

What doesn’t inspire me about travel?! I love to get lost. I love to find more of myself. I love everything in between.

How does travel inspire your practice, both physically as well as teaching?

I think the one thing that travel really puts into such great perspective for me is that I am always exactly where I’m supposed to be. I’m always at home.

In my body, in my breath… Wherever that is in the world.

How does it inspire your writing?

Yoga inspired the travel, and travel inspired the writing. Again, following those simple instincts have dominoed into creating my whole life. And I’m really proud of the person I’ve become since I embarked on my yoga practice. Mostly because it’s 100% authentically me.

You’ve recently embarked on an amazing adventure. Why Bali?

Bali is the place in the world where transformation occurred the strongest for me. When I was a little girl I remember my mom telling me how when I was older I’d go away to Paris and paint and find myself. I chose Bali, and yoga chose me…but my mother was right.

Tell us about your son and your relationship to Bali!

I have a 2 year old son named Asa. He’s also a direct domino from my practice! (Long story, but seriously…direct 😉 ) When I was five months pregnant I left the country and traveled around the world solo; I wanted to fill my pregnancy with the best things I could, because after all…I was creating a human being. It came out of a place of really needing to find inspiration, and I loved the travels, but I wanted to bring a life into the world in the most magical of places that I could imagine… And so, back to Bali I went. We stayed for 4 months after he was born before returning back to the US, and now we’re back here again because I couldn’t wait to show him where he came into this world.

What were you most excited to do in Bali this time around?

First time I was here I was doing my YTT, second time I was super pregnant and then newborn status…this time…TRAVEL! I’m seeking out all the hidden treasures that Bali has to offer…and MAN…am I finding some good ones!

What are your plans when you return? Where can we find you to connect and hear all about your adventures?!

You know, it’s so funny. I’ve never traveled and had a strong home base before. Every time previous to now I was in some sort of life transition. I couldn’t be happier that I miss home. First time missing…and it feels SO good! I’m excited to come home and teach, lead women’s circles and get back to goal coaching–and so excited to be a part of CREATE and watch it blossom!

What are you most excited about with CREATE?

I can’t wait to build a community with you guys! Your vision is so amazing, the room is EPIC, and the tribe is really inspiring. I’m excited to…well, CREATE 😉

What makes you feel most creative?

The unknown. Transforming struggle. Coming alive through inspiration. So many things.

What are you excited to create this year?

I’m leading my first retreat here in Bali in January focused around manifesting for the new year! I’m super excited to bring a group here and watch the magic unfold. I’m also really excited about leading online women’s circles, and to connect with my readers that maybe aren’t able to access that kind of community.

And again, we are so thrilled to have you as a part of our community here. One last question, and this is one we may ask all of our contributors to the blog: When you’re 85, what’s the one thing you hope people will say you’ve created with your life?

A fucking life I LOVE. Filled with all the good stuff. Community. Connections. Love. Magic… Actually, all the best stuff.

Couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

Jacquelin Smyth

For more from Jacqueline Smyth about bringing the freedom of choice, adventure, authenticity and creation into your own life  join the inspired Sisterhood of the Traveling Mats! You can also celebrate her return to LA and attend her Manifesting Moon Women’s Circle Workshop at CREATE|YOGA this Friday at 8PM or, find her teaching her weekly yoga classes in our space Thursdays 5:30-6:30PM and Sundays 11AM-12PM!