Healthy Lifestyle Inspiration from Instagram

Ashley Cramer, owner of The Barre Studio in Capitola, Calif., pens a monthly lifestyle and fitness blog for The Penny Rose.

It still feels like summer here in Capitola, Calif., but Labor Day’s passing means that fall is on the way. Maybe you kept your bikini body all summer long, but for many of us, the carefree days of summer vacations, barbecues, and irregular schedules got in the way of fitness and eating routines. Now, the change of seasons gives a perfect time to focus on healthy habits. If you need a bit of healthy lifestyle inspiration, Instagram is a great resource for finding healthy recipes, workout ideas or a bit of motivation. These are a few of my favorite Instagram accounts to follow.

The Chalkboard Mag, @thechalkboardmag 

Launched by Pressed Juicery, The Chalkboard Mag brings together insights from a mix of health experts, style stars and food bloggers to inspire your wellness journey. This is one of my favorite healthy lifestyle resources, and the well-curated photography is always welcome in my feed.

Lorna Jane, @lornajaneactive 

This Australian fitness brand’s Instagram will inspire you to “move, nourish, believe.” Among the motivational quotes, recipes and fitness photographs, you may also pick up a few fashion tips to keep you looking good while you move. 

Nutrition Stripped, @nutritionstripped

Mckel Hill is a Registered Dietician Nutritionist who focuses on whole-body wellness. She says that “Living whole and eating well should make you feel radiant, sexy, and energized as much as it nourishes your cells.” The stylish, inviting photography, whole food recipes and nutrition advice make for a must-follow account.

Oh She Glows, @ohsheglows

Angela Liddon is the author of New York Times Bestseller, The Oh She Glows Cookbook, Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out. Whether you’re vegan or not, you’re sure to find approachable, delicious, plant-based recipes to inspire your healthy eating. 

Tone It Up, @toneitup

You may love trainers Karena and Katrina or love to hate them, but with over 500,000 followers and plenty of Tone It Up follower success stories, they’re doing something right. Try one of their daily workouts like 7-minute HIIT (high intensity interval training), total body toner or calorie crush cardio when you need to squeeze in a workout at home.  

Beach-Ready Abs With Ashley from The Barre Studio

Ashley Cramer, owner of The Barre Studio in Capitola, Calif., pens a monthly lifestyle and fitness blog for The Penny Rose.

Swimsuit season is in full swing, and these barre-inspired moves will help you maintain your best summer body. I did these at the beach, but you can do them anywhere—in a park, at the gym, or on your living room floor. 

Forearm Plank

At The Barre Studio, we kick off every class with a two-minute forearm plank. This deceptively simple move builds a strong core (read: rock hard abs) and firms your back, shoulders, arms, legs, and glutes. 

How to do it: Start on your knees with your elbows on the ground right under your shoulders. Curl your toes under and straighten your legs. Your body will be one straight line from your head to heels. To help you maintain form, press your shoulders away from your ears, press long though your heels and don’t let your seat stick up. Hold for 30 seconds and work up to one to two minutes.

Tip: Keep your core tight so that your belly doesn’t sag, which can cause low-back strain. 

Seated Bicycle Twist

This move focuses on your obliques to carve out your waistline. Expect to feel work throughout your core and in your hip flexors and thighs.   

How to do it: Sit with your needs bent, and lift them to your chest. When you find your balance, clasp your hands behind your head, lean slightly back, and brace your core by drawing your belly button to your spine. Extend your right leg straight, and turn your shoulders toward your left knee. Keep your elbows wide and chin lifted as you switch sides. Do as many reps as you can in one minute, take a break and repeat two to three times.

Tip: Keep your core braced the whole time (belly to spine) to work in your transverse abdominis, the lowest abdominals, which protect your low back and forms flat abs. 

Meet and Greet: Ashley Cramer of The Barre Studio

Ashley Cramer, owner of The Barre Studio in Capitola, Calif., recently joined our team of contributors.

What’s in my bag?

I firmly believe that you can learn everything about a woman by looking in her bag. As the owner of The Barre Studio in Capitola, Calif., my bag is full of things that help me go from the studio to a meeting, date night or errands around town. Since I’ll be writing a monthly column for The Penny Rose, I’m dumping out my bag so that you can get to know me better.

1. Clothing Layers. Living in Northern California means I don’t leave home without a pullover and scarf to keep me warm and help me go stylishly from studio to street.*

2. My favorite water bottle. S'well bottles look great and support charities that bring water to the world’s poorest communities. (Tip: If you need to keep your chardonnay cold for 24 hours, the large holds a full bottle of wine. Yes, I've tried it.) 

3. Bobby pins. I recently cut my hair short, so I'm obsessed with good, old-fashioned bobby pins. I also learned from Pinterest that the wavy side is supposed to go toward your head. Now my bobby pins actually stay in place! 

4. Makeup bag. I like to refresh after a workout with Burt's Bees Cucumber & Sage Facial Cleansing Towelettes, Kiehl’s Lip Balm No. 1 and a swipe of fresh mascara. There’s no need for blush with a post-workout glow.

5. My iPhone. It may be cliché in 2015, but my iPhone is my most necessary and favorite accessory. I am constantly writing emails, taking pictures, catching up on the news or checking my Instagram feed. I feel lost without it.

*Both items are available for purchase at The Barre Studio