This year we launched our very first National Fitness Day Awards, nominated and chosen by YOU to represent People's Choice for what's new, exciting, and inspiring in the fitness world today.
Check out and join us in congratulating the 2018 winners below!
1. Best New Studio: Pilates BKLYN
We're excited to recognize local newcomer, Pilates BKLYN, for Best New Studio this National Fitness Day!
Located on the 3rd floor of the Brooklyn Athletic Club, the studio opened their doors just last year, but the community that founder Kaseedee Jermain has fostered in just a few months is impressive. And it's no surprise when you learn that Kaseedee has an incredibly inspiring story of her own, shedding over 100 pounds and now on a mission to help other women going through the same struggles she's experienced first-hand.
That's not the only appeal - the studio also hosts special classes and happy hours that open out onto the club's roof deck for the summer. So yeah, we're pretty into that.
2. Most Inspiring Instructor: Kira Stokes
Kira Stokes may be a celebrity trainer (remember those #NationalFitnessDay push-ups on the set of Fuller House last year?), but she doesn't miss an opportunity to share her tips, routines, and "Stoked Move of the Day" each and every day with her fans across social media.
Her signature Stoked Method incorporates a little bit of everything - from strength training to sports drills, yoga and pilates. But the most notable thing about Kira is her one-on-one relationships with her clients. She knows exactly how to push each and every one to the next level on an individual basis, and also never forgets a birthday, wedding, or weight loss story those that make up her hyper-dedicated Stoked tribe.
3. Most Inspirational Athlete: Serena Williams
Superstar tennis player Serena Williams was only the second black woman to win a Grand Slam, has more Grand Slam titles than any man, and is an athlete so awarded she had the "Serena Slam" named after her. But more than her skills on the court, for years Serena has served as a role model for women in sports, speaking out about positive body image, racial equality, equal pay, and women supporting one another.
"My new saying for the past few years has been, 'The success of one woman should be the inspiration for the next.'"
Just stepping back into tennis after giving birth to her first daughter and taking a leave from the game, Serena has recently given fans a unique opportunity to follow her personal journey as a wife and new mother, as well as her pursuit of the ultimate comeback.
Her documentary series 'Being Serena' just landed this month on HBO. Check it out Wednesdays at 10pm.
4. Favorite Fitness Blog: The Sweat Life
Aly Teich transitioned from a 10-year career in television and media to focus on health and wellness after her mother was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer. She started out simply wanting a way to help others navigate the world of fitness under the belief that there's no best workout, body, or diet, but that people needed a way to find what works best for them.
Each week the Sweat Life team brings followers a new video showcasing a workout or health trend so that fans can experience it firsthand before trying (and paying) themselves. The blog also features contributing articles from leaders across the industry to everyday people, alike.
5. Most Influential Book: You Are a Badass
Jen Sincero's You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life continues to grow in popularity and make waves in health and wellness circles, as it's the kind of book that everyone who reads immediately wraps up as a gift for their friend's next birthday, or quarter life crisis.
And you'll quickly understand why. Jen does a powerful job at helping you change your way of thinking - diving into the unwarranted beliefs that hold us back, practices in self-love and self-acceptance, and offering a much-needed push to go after a life you utterly love. But, as compared with other self-help books you may have embarrassedly buried under your bed, Jen gives a very millennial, no bullsh*t, laugh-out-loud, and sometimes even crass twist to the traditional genre. She starts the book by telling her reader that she beat a pillow with a baseball bat, ceremoniously "married herself," and even wrote a letter to her uterus all so that he or she doesn't doesn't have to.
You can find You Are A Badass and the newest addition, You Are a Badass at Making Money, on Jen's site at jensincero.com.
6. America's Favorite Run: The New York City Marathon
It's not uncommon to hear someone say they were inspired to start running after witnessing a major race like The New York City Marathon. And it's truly hard not to be moved by the rows of posters from the sidelines, tears and cheers at the finish line, and sense of pure camaraderie from people across the city all weekend long.
Today The New York City Marathon holds title to the largest marathon in the world, with over 50,000 finishers a year. And it's not a bad way to experience the Big Apple, either, as the course literally makes its way through all five boroughs of New York. Ferry after ferry bring participants to the starting point in Staten Island, from which an iconic mob of runners cross over to Brooklyn, and eventually make their way down to the finish line in Central Park.
The New York Marathon is a unparalleled cultural experience, to say the least. Find out more, or sign up for your spot in the 2018 race at tcsnycmarathon.org.
7. Hottest New Fitness Trend: Livestream Workouts
Following the rise of at-home Peloton cycling classes since 2012, new livestream workout platforms have been popping up across the map. Those with crazy schedules now have the flexibility to work out on their time, fitness fans can take class with their social media icons, and let's not forget the luxury of avoiding rush hour locker rooms and getting to shower in the comfort of your own home.
At a fraction of the price, the trend is also further expanding access to today's popular but often pricey boutique fitness trends. Recently launched ClassPass Live, for example, is a mere $15 a month for new members and $10 for existing ClassPass members. It's also enabled instructors and studios, such as Jani Roberts' RED Warrior Nation - which leveraged the trend in its very early years - to more quickly and affordably increase their presence across the country.
Some are skeptical of sticking with the trend long-term, as for many it can be hard to maintain accountability without a teacher or set of peers pushing you in-person. But many are finding that technology, such as the Peloton bike or ClassPass's new heart rate monitor, can offer real-time stats as a powerful way to keep users motivated throughout class.
Have you tried livestream workouts? What did you think? Let us know what you think in the comments below!