Top Spotify Workout Playlists

Top Spotify Workout Playlists

Nothing gets you in the right headspace to exercise like music. Whether you’re gearing up for a long run, a heavy lift, or a focused yoga flow, the right beats can immediately put you in the zone to crush your workout. Here, we’re sharing some of the best playlists on Spotify for every workout. 

If you’re going for a run, these playlists will give you a beat that makes it easy to keep a consistent pace while staying energized:

If you’re strength training, the songs on these playlists will give you the boost you need to power through that very last rep:

If you’re doing Yoga, these playlists will help you find your center, get in tune with your body and find calm and mindfulness:

  • Vinyasa Flow keeps you moving and energized without being distracting
  • Classical Yoga delivers all the tracks you’d expect in a traditional yoga class
  • Yoga and Meditation offers new-age tracks that will get you in the mood to flow

If you’re getting your groove on, these high-tempo dance playlists will ensure you sweat and have fun at the same time:

If those playlists don’t do the trick, remember Power For Life Fitness has multiple workout playlists filled with songs to keep you moving no matter your activity of choice.

Yoga Poses to Prepare You to Work Out

Yoga Poses to Prepare You to Work Out

Did your exercise regimen slow down at the end of winter and early spring? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. With the momentum of New Year’s resolutions wearing off, it can be tough to maintain motivation. It’s understandable if you have lost some flexibility and strength, but getting back on the horse can be even more challenging.

If you have decided to get back into working out regularly—perhaps with help from Power for Life Fitness’s free group fitness classes—congrats! To help you out, here are five yoga poses that will loosen up your muscles and joints and improve your range of motion to prepare you to hit the ground running. Try doing them every day or every other day until you feel limber enough to dive back in.

Child’s Pose
This pose feels relaxing and decadent for your body, but it is also a terrific stretch for your hips and lower back—both of which can get very tight if you’re sitting at a desk all day. To do:

  1. Kneel on a mat. Bring your toes and knees apart, and sit back on your heels. 
  2. Walk your hands forward as far as possible and place your palms on the floor. 
  3. Drop your head and chest towards the floor, letting your forehead rest if you can. 
  4. Hold for 10 deep breaths.

Bound Angle Pose
Bound Angle Pose is a simple hip opener and thigh stretch that also strengthens your back and core subtly. To do:

  1. Sit on a mat.
  2. Bring the balls of your feet together, letting your knees fall open to the sides.
  3. Hold onto your ankles and sit up tall, pressing your shoulder blades down and your chest up.
  4. Hold for 10 deep breaths. 

Downward-Facing Dog
The adaptability of a downward-facing dog makes it an excellent stretch for the entire back body, from the heels up to the head, regardless of your flexibility level. To do: 

  1. Come onto all fours on a mat. 
  2. Tuck your toes under and press down, lifting your tailbone straight up in the air until your legs are as straight as possible. 
  3. Let your head fall and think about pressing through your palms so that your chest points toward your legs. 
  4. Hold for 10 deep breaths. 

King Pigeon Pose
This pose targets the glutes, hips, and lower back to help prepare you for squats and lunges. To do: 

  1. Start on all fours on a mat. Slide your left knee forward until your shin is on the floor and your left foot is pointing towards your right knee. 
  2. Slide your right leg straight back until the top of your thigh is resting on the floor. 
  3. If you need to, move your left foot forward until you can sit on your left backside. If you can, walk your hands forward and let your chest fall onto your left knee; you can also remain upright. 
  4. Hold for 10 deep breaths, then switch sides. 

Half Frog Pose
This gentle pose opens the chest and stretches the abs while lengthening the quads. To do: 

  1. Lie down flat on your stomach on a mat. 
  2. Bring your arms in until your elbows are under your shoulders, and rest your forearms on the ground with your hands pointing forward. Press down with your left forearm and lift your right hand off the ground. 
  3. Bend your right knee to bring your foot towards your butt. Grab your foot with your right hand and gently press it toward your butt while pressing your chest up. 
  4. Hold for 10 deep breaths, then switch sides.  

If you live in a P4LF community and want to get your body moving, join us for one of our free virtual fitness classes, by subscribing to our YouTube Channel. To view the schedule, reach out to your leasing office, or follow along with us on Instagram or Facebook.

5 Ways to Support Your Mental Health This Summer

5 Ways to Support Your Mental Health This Summer

While May has been observed as Mental Health Awareness Month since 1949, the importance of taking steps to preserve and support your mental health has become even more prevalent in recent years, especially as athletes like Naomi Osaka and Simone Biles have prioritized their mental health over pushing themselves to perform. Indeed, everyone needs to take care of their minds just as diligently as they take care of their bodies. So in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re sharing five steps you can take in your daily life to make you happier, more confident, and less stressed. 

Prioritize Your Sleep
The more sleep you get, the better your body functions and the healthier you feel both physically and mentally. For example, while sleeping, the brain rests, repairs, and revitalizes itself to prepare for the following day. Getting enough sleep, which means shooting for seven to nine hours per night, also helps your brain cement everything it learned and experienced the previous day, improving memory and emotional regulation. 

Try Out Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness, or trying to get into a state of awareness in which you are fully present and experiencing your senses and emotions without judgment, has been proven in recent years to be the practice for improving mental health. It has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety and improve emotional control and regulation, focus, and memory. While meditation is one of the best practices for cultivating mindfulness (and you can improve your practice with apps like Calm or Headspace), you can also work on being fully present in small moments during your day, like when you’re doing the dishes. 

Set Small Goals
Lengthy to-do lists full of work, chores, and other responsibilities can be incredibly stress-inducing—especially when they feel like they’re never going to end. So even if you don’t have an end in sight, try to set small goals and reward yourself for meeting them. This will help improve your self-confidence and combat procrastination while also helping you build motivation and momentum to keep tackling your list. 

Start with A Warm Sip
Many people start their day with a cup of coffee or a steaming mug of tea, which is very smart when supporting your mental health. Drinking something hot essentially kickstarts your metabolism, letting your body know it’s time to attack the day. Meanwhile, both coffee and tea have improved focus and relieved depressive symptoms while providing an instant mood boost. 

Spend Time with Friends and Loved Ones
Grabbing lunch with a friend, attending a group fitness class together, or even sitting next to a loved one on the couch to watch a movie is also known to improve your mental health. Fostering these emotional connections has been found to reduce feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness while boosting happiness and self-esteem. You don’t have to be a social butterfly to get the perks either, as long as you regularly carve out some social time. 

For more ways you can live mindfully, give us a follow on Instagram to find more tips and tricks.

Healthy Memorial Day Party Ideas

Healthy Memorial Day Party Ideas

Memorial Day is often viewed as the unofficial kick-off to summer. People take advantage of the long weekend to head out of the city for a couple of days or spend some time outside. It’s also a holiday when many uncover their grills for the first time or blend up a frozen cocktail (or two). In celebrating this joyful and warm season, we’re sharing five ideas to make your Memorial Day get-together healthier. 

Bring On the Produce…
This is the perfect time of year to take advantage of all the fresh and flavorful fruits and vegetables in season. Instead of looking for ways to transform them, prepare produce simply in ways that highlight their natural deliciousness (plus, enjoying fruits and veggies raw will deliver the greatest health perks). Load up on vegetables like leafy greens, crunchy cucumbers, and sweet bell peppers to mix in a garden salad, or toss plump, juicy tomatoes with cubed bread for a hearty Panzanella salad

…But Don’t Be Afraid to Grill It
Sure, we’ve been grilling hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, and steak tips forever, but Memorial Day is an excellent opportunity to expand our grilling repertoire to fruits and veggies. Don’t be afraid to grill some fat asparagus or pop some onions, peppers, and mushrooms on a skewer. Wow your friends with sweet, grilled pineapple rings or apricot halves for dessert.

Choose Herb-Heavy Marinades…
Instead of marinating meat in thick, sugar-laden sauces like barbecue, put together a marinade using olive oil, lemon juice, or vinegar and featuring lots of fresh herbs, like thyme, rosemary, parsley, oregano, and tarragon. Herbs will not only deliver bright, fresh flavors that match the season, but they’ll provide you with the good-for-you antioxidants.

…And Anti-Inflammatory Dry Rubs
Speaking of antioxidants, you can also add more to your meal with an antioxidant-rich dry rub on your meat or veggies. Spices like garlic, ginger, black pepper, cayenne, and turmeric are loaded with compounds that curb inflammation, helping to reduce digestive woes, fatigue, brain fog, and more. 

Get Outside…And Stay Outside
Vitamin D plays a critical role in many bodily processes, including building and maintaining healthy bones, boosting mood, and powering your immune system. Yet very few foods contain it, meaning we still need to get a majority from the sun. Ensuring adequate vitamin D intake is just one reason to spend as much time outdoors as possible on this holiday and throughout the warmer months. You’ll feel better for it.

8 Ways to Live More Mindfully

8 Ways to Live More Mindfully

You’ve likely heard all about the benefits of incorporating mindfulness into your daily life by now. This idea of trying to be fully present in your experiences and as you go about your day has been shown to reduce stress, boost mood, improve sleep, and more. And the good news is that you don’t need to spend an hour a day meditating to get the benefits! Here are eight small, simple ways to live more mindfully daily.

Just Breathe
One of the first things any mindfulness or meditation teacher will tell you to do is focus on your breathing. While sitting still and breathing deeply for a few minutes a day, focusing on the air filling your lungs and leaving them will have huge perks. Trying to breathe more slowly and deeply as you go about your day will too. 

Identify Your Senses
We learn all about our senses in preschool and kindergarten, but it seems as if we forget about them as we get older. We know they are how we interact with the world around us, but it looks as if we never stop to think about them. So, one easy way to practice being fully present is to identify the things you are sensing at any given moment—what you see, hear, smell, feel and taste.

Slow Down
While this is probably advice you’ve received before, in terms of mindfulness, it applies more to the little things, like household chores. Instead of rushing through washing the dishes or folding the laundry to get to the next task that needs doing, take your time and be fully present in the activity. 

No doubt establishing a daily meditation practice will help you live more mindfully. To get you started, there are apps like Headspace and Calm that will lead you through guided meditations of all different lengths so you can choose what fits best into your day. 

Go For a Walk
Moving your body and spending time outside—breathing in the fresh air, listening to the birds chirping, feeling the muscles in your legs engage with each step—will allow you to forget about all your to-dos and live in the moment while helping you destress. 

Have Morning “Me Time”
Taking a few minutes to yourself in the morning to drink a cup of coffee or tea, read a book or write in your planner sets the tone for a mindful day. Even if it means waking up 15 minutes earlier, it’s worth it. 

Savor Your Food
Food is fuel but is also meant to be enjoyed. Instead of shoveling it down your throat, try to slow down and savor your food’s flavors, textures, and smells. You’ll be more mindful of the length of time you spend eating, plus you’ll enjoy the meal more. 

Write in a Journal
If you’re struggling to live in the moment when your day is filled with tasks, work, and chores that need completing, try taking some time at the end of the day (or first thing the following day) to write in a journal reflecting on how you felt during the day. The more you do this, the more you’ll be able to recognize these things as you go about your daily life.

For more ways you can live more mindfully to live a positive and happy life, give us a follow on Instagram to find more tips and tricks.

Unplugging Can Improve Your Health—Here’s How to Do It

Unplugging Can Improve Your Health—Here’s How to Do It

It’s no secret that almost everyone is glued to their phones. Whether texting with friends or family, answering work emails, or scrolling through social media, we spend countless hours a day with our eyes on our phones. Add in work time spent in front of the computer, and we’re likely looking at a screen for most of the day. While some of this time is necessary, such as when we’re working, taking steps to tear our eyes away from screens can be a boon for our physical and mental health.

For one, a time when you’re not looking at a screen can be used for taking part in a different, often healthy activity, such as going for a walk, cooking a homemade meal, attending an exercise class, or just spending time with your loved ones. Putting down the phone or shutting your laptop will help you practice mindfulness or be more present in your experiences, thus getting more in tune with your world. Looking at people you know (and people you don’t) on social media can lead to an unconscious comparison of your life to theirs (or really, to the version of their life they are presenting online), which can breed feelings of self-consciousness and inadequacy. On the flip side, taking part in activities that make you feel good and creating memories with your friends and family instead of peeping at the lives of others will make you happier in the long run. 

So, exactly how can you unplug? You can take simple steps in your daily life that will drastically reduce your time looking at screens. Here are three:

  • Make your bedroom a phone-free zone: Before you go to sleep and right after you wake up are prime times for mindless scrolling. Leaving your phone in a different room for the night makes this habit impossible. 
  • Set your work hours: This is especially important if you’re working from home, as you may be tempted to spend longer in front of the computer than you need to. Determine when you’re going to sit down and when you’re going to close up shop and stick to it.
  • Plan technology-free fun: Schedule board game nights once a week, designate times when you will go for a walk, or determine a menu ahead of time to have the ingredients to cook a healthy meal. Planning will make it easier for you to avoid settling for your screens. 
4 Tasty Recipes to Grill Up This Spring

4 Tasty Recipes to Grill Up This Spring

We love turning to the grill when the weather gets warmer. In addition to imbuing proteins and veggies with mouthwatering smoky flavor, grilling means fewer dishes and less clean-up required in your kitchen. Try one this weekend! We’re sharing some of our favorite grill-based recipes from popular food blogs in honor of sunny days.

Tropical Jerk Grilled Chicken with Mango Salsa Verde from Half Baked Harvest

This recipe takes grilled chicken to a whole new level with the addition of a tropical marinade featuring garlic, thyme, cayenne, cinnamon, and all-spice, plus a sweet and spicy salsa on top. The twist: You grill the lemon and mango in the salsa in addition to grilling the chicken, so the entire dish tastes like sunshine. Recipe here.

Grilled Sausage and Peppers with Garlic Aioli from Pinch of Yum

You’ve probably grilled sausages in the past, but have you grilled sausages and peppers and onions and buns? The trick with this recipe is to cook the peppers and onions in a grill basket or cast iron skillet alongside the sausage, then add the buns at the end to give them a toast. Top everything with homemade garlic aioli, and there’s nothing better. Recipe here.

Grilled Salmon Burgers with Avocado Salsa from Laughing Spatula

Try these fresh salmon burgers that can’t be beaten for a light, healthy, and satisfying weeknight meal. They’re thick and meaty, so they won’t fall apart on the grill and feature onions and poblano peppers for freshness and bite, while salmon and avocado deliver a double dose of slimming, heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Recipe here.

Pesto Summer Squash Bruschetta with Poached Eggs from Naturally Ella

One of the best parts of spring and summer is all the fresh produce in season, which is just as easy and delicious to grill as animal proteins. This flavor-packed recipe is proof, as it transforms grilled summer squash and onions into a light and a tasty salad featuring herby, springy pesto that can be served on toast, topped with an egg, both, or as a side dish. Recipe here.

Have a favorite grilling recipe you like to cook in the spring or summer? Share it with us by tagging us in your posts on Instagram or Facebook.

Apartment Gardening for Beginners

Apartment Gardening for Beginners

There are numerous benefits to keeping plants in your home. In addition to the aesthetic perks, plants can purify the air in your apartment, making it cleaner and healthier for you to breathe. Add in the simple fact that growing and nurturing plants can help foster happiness and self-confidence, and there’s no reason not to make a trip to your local garden center.

But what if you don’t have a green thumb? Don’t fret! Here is how to get your apartment garden started.

First, evaluate your sun situation. While most plants don’t need to be in direct sun every day, they need some. Fruiting and flowering plants typically need a full day of sunshine so that they may be best situated on a balcony next to a window facing north or south. Meanwhile, green plants may only need sun exposure for part of the day. Before purchasing your plants, determine how much sun comes into your apartment over the day and where it hits, and set up your garden accordingly.

Speaking of green plants, if you’re wary of your gardening skills, start with low-maintenance plants. These include pothos, snake plants, succulents, spider plants, and peace lilies, which don’t require full sun and only need to be watered around once a week or so.

But if you’re looking to replicate an outdoor garden on your apartment windowsill, complete with herbs, vegetables, and fruits, you can! Here are some of the easiest to grow:

  • Herbs: You can grow a few different kinds of herbs in small pots to use for cooking. If you’re new to growing herbs, leafy picks like basil, parsley, and cilantro are the easiest. Here are more details on creating an apartment herb garden
  • Tomatoes: Tomatoes grow well in pots, as long as the pot is large enough. You can choose a variety of tomatoes based on your space, such as those that grow in a hanging basket or on a ladder set inside the pot.
  • Mini Peppers: Small hot and sweet peppers grow very well in pots. Hot is easier to grow in containers, but sweet can be tastier to snack on—though even if you’re not eating them, mini peppers will add a fun pop of color to your space.

For more tips and tricks on apartment gardening, follow us on Instagram or Facebook

Top 5 Spring Activities in the DMV

Top 5 Spring Activities in the DMV

Spring has sprung in the DMV, and it’s time to get back outside! Here are five fun activities that will help you enjoy sunny days and warmer temperatures. 

  1. Picnic in Rock Creek Park

This 1,754-acre park stretches from downtown DC up to Derwood, Maryland. In addition to being filled with paved walking paths and hiking trails, there are numerous picnic areas that feature tables and grills for public use. Head out to the section of the park nearest to your apartment and enjoy a spring feast in the warm air. 

  1. Celebrate The National Cherry Blossom Festival 

Even though we’ve passed peak bloom for DC’s beloved cherry blossoms, the festival runs until April 17. Watch the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on April 9 or visit Petalpalooza on April 16, a full day of live music, interactive art installations, family-friendly activities, a beer garden, etc. 

  1. Visit The National Zoo

Warmer days are upon us, which means all the animals at The National Zoo are ready to play! Completely free to visit, spend a day strolling through the Zoo with your family and friends. The Zoo is currently celebrating 50 years of hosting giant pandas, so be sure to check them out (or attend the free Pandaversary party on April 16 and 17) along with fan favorites like the gorilla’s, orangutans, and elephants. 

  1. Shop a Farmer’s Market

Spring brings plenty of fresh, healthy, and delicious spring produce—which is even tastier when you buy it from a local farmer. Fortunately, there are tons of farmer’s markets around the DMV where you can pick up some fruits and veggies. Some of our favorites include FRESHFARM and Eastern Market in DC, the Chevy Chase and Bethesda Farmers Markets in Maryland, and the Old Town Farmers Market in Alexandria. 

  1. Stroll on the C&O Canal Towpath

For days when you’re in the mood to walk (or bike) for miles enjoying the sounds and smells of spring in the DMV, the C&O can’t be beaten. Beginning in Georgetown and running 184.5 miles to Cumberland, Maryland, you can stay on the dirt and stone path or detour off onto hiking trails and enjoy the gorgeous views of the Potomac River. 

For more things to do in the DMV this spring and summer, follow along with us on Instagram.

8 Tips for Successful Spring Cleaning

8 Tips for Successful Spring Cleaning

It’s spring cleaning time! Many people like to use this time of year to give their home a refresh. Here are eight tips to help you get your apartment looking, smelling, and feeling new.

Don’t Be Afraid to Purge
Go into cleaning with this mindset: If you come across something you haven’t used in months or forgot that you had, you can probably get rid of it. Having fewer things means a tidier home which is also easier to keep clean.

Look to Donate
Consider donating any clothes, shoes, books, or other items that you could repurpose instead of tossing in the trash as you’re purging.

Set Aside Enough Time
Don’t underestimate how long it will take you to complete this cleaning project without abandoning it halfway through. Set aside enough time to give your apartment a total top to bottom refresh.

Tackle Appliances
Appliances can be a pain to clean, but this is the perfect time of year to tackle them. Run the self-cleaning feature on your oven, and while it’s going, scrub the inside of your microwave, toaster oven, and refrigerator. 

Wash Curtains
Shower and window curtains undergo a lot of wear and tear but don’t always get enough love in the cleaning department. Use this opportunity to clean them, and don’t forget the plastic shower curtain liner—you can put the liner in your washing machine on a gentle cycle and toss window curtains in the dryer on air-dry only to give them a refresh. 

Move Furniture
We clean around our furniture for most of the year, shoving the vacuum under the couch and sweeping around table legs. During spring cleaning, move these large pieces of furniture out of the way so you can get rid of the dust and dirt that’s been collecting in hard-to-reach places. 

Organize Your Junk Drawer
You’ve been tossing things in it all year long, and now it’s time to get your junk drawer organized. Start by taking everything out, then develop an organization strategy and throw away anything you don’t use. Also, consider finding a new home for any items used mainly in a different room of your apartment, like the bathroom. 

Look Up
Whip out your extendable duster and tackle ceiling fans and light fixtures.

For more spring cleaning tips and tricks, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram.