5 Ways to De-stress this Holiday Season

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The lights are up, the air is cold, the holiday season is here! As we welcome the holiday season, we must also be aware of the stress that it brings with the increased shopping, cooking, traveling, parting, decorating and more.  The holiday excitement and the climate can affect our body in a negative way that can easily be managed through taking the time to slow down, and take a moment to focus on yourself.

1. Make your list and check it twice... before you head out for holiday shopping make yourself a list of gift ideas, sizes and stores you plan to visit. Keeping yourself organized during time of year is key to your sanity. 


2. Try our Yoga or Pilates session, and feel vibrant, energetic and balanced!  http://www.centeredrva.com/new-clients/ 

3. Participate in the festivities and go ice skating at your local ice rink. You'll feel the holiday spirit and stay active. (http://www.westbroadvillageicerink.com)


4. Sip on a warm cup of cinnamon, ginger, turmeric tea while listening to your favorite holiday tunes.  http://www.mypersiankitchen.com/turmeric-cinnamon-ginger-tea/

5. Join our 12 days of Fitmas Challenge starting Dec 13th! Details to come!

Quick and Healthy Fall Recipe- Spaghetti Squash


We love Eating Well’s quick, easy and healthy fall recipes. This take on spaghetti squash is a delicious meal!



Chicken Enchilada-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

 8-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 2 1/2- to 3-pound spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded

Squash Organic Spaghetti / Vegetable Spaghetti

1 1/4 cups red enchilada sauce, divided

1 medium zucchini, diced

1 cup shredded pepper Jack cheese

  1. Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 450degrees F.
  2. Place chicken in a medium saucepan, add water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and gently simmer until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 165degrees F, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer the chicken to a clean cutting board and shred with 2 forks. Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, place squash cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish and add 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, uncovered, on High until the flesh is tender, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, place squash halves cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 400 °F oven until the squash is tender, 40 to 50 minutes.)
  5. Use a fork to scrape the squash from the shells into the large bowl. Place the shells on a broiler-safe pan. Stir 1 cup enchilada sauce, zucchini, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt into the squash and chicken. Divide the mixture between the shells; top with the remaining 1/4 cup enchilada sauce and cheese.
  6. Bake on the lower rack for 10 minutes. Move to the upper rack, turn the broiler to high and broil, watching carefully, until the cheese starts to brown, about 2 minutes. To serve, cut each shell in half.


Your mind is a mysterious and powerful tool. Using it to benefit your workouts allows you to take it to the next level. The hard part is recognizing the “I’d like a break” voice from the “I need a break” voice. 

One useful technique is a simple habit of meditation. Our lives are so busy and workouts are often our “me” time. This may be the only time in your day that you are tuning in to yourself. If that’s the case, your mind may be so overwhelmed with work, friends, a spouse, kids, and the many other things running through your mind that your body might just want a break in general and instead of taking a step back and spending a bit of time, even five minutes to just breath, close your eyes and relax, that your body might just say, “I’ve had enough of these squats!”

So the first step in moving forward is actually taking a step back. Dedicate five minutes in your day to close your eyes, sit in a comfortable position, breath and scan your body. Think about where you can relax, recognize where you are tight, sore or feel strong. Continue trying to relax one more muscle and calm your thoughts. As you become more comfortable with this you will be able to recognize your thoughts. This comes in handy as stressful situation comes across your desk and as you try to make through a round of kettlebell squats.

Give yourself a challenge to mediate for five minutes everyday for one week and be mindful as you workout. Take a mental or actual note each day and see if you are able to push a little harder or achieve something new. 

What is Functional Training?

Functional training refers to movements that you use in daily life. It can be something as simple as walking up and down stairs to a pattern of movement that you use in a tennis match. Whatever your goal for movement is—that is your functional training. 

At Centered, practice movement through the same planes of motion, simulate form and enhance your balance, strength and stability so that you are able to move through your functional movement with ease.

For most people focusing on broad goals is an effective strategy. A few examples are:

  • Being able to balance on one leg- the challenge is having right and left leg be equally balanced
  • Holding a plank- a simple plank is the foundation of many other exercises, particularly on the TRX bands. In life it gives you strength and muscle endurance through your entire body.
  • Moving through a squat- this foundational exercise helps you in everything from getting up and down from the couch or floor to powering through a tough tennis match
  • Focusing on breath- this typically allows you to push a little harder than you did before nailing this technique
  • Posture- proper alignment while exercising is only half the work, proper alignment in life as you sit, stand, play with your kids, play sports. That’s that real work.

The goal with functional movement is to practice as much as you can with a professional so that when you move through daily activities at the house or step out on the court, on the golf course, at the dog park or sit down at one of the many breweries in Scott’s Addition, it’s habit for you to sit with good posture, bend down using a proper squat, breath so that you don’t overly exhaust yourself in the summer heat. Our goal is to help you on this journey so that you build a strong foundation that can safely and efficiently progress. 

Why I started Centered

Centered is the result of years of experience in the fitness industry.  I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work in a variety of spaces—big box gyms, corporate wellness gyms, pilates and yoga studios and country clubs.

I was able to organize a few positive elements from each experience, something unique from each space coupled with my passion of functional movement to create Centered.

I spent months looking for a space and landed in a lovely private office building that provides an inspiring space with large windows, bringing whatever the day has in store to the workout. Because the space is small instructors are able to focus solely on the individual with no distractions.

We have everything we need to give private and semi-private clients a complete workout. We utilize a pilates reformer, TRX bands, bosu ball, balance pads, dumbbells, kettlebells, thera-bands and much more. In an effort to take care of clients from start to finish we have water, hot tea, coffee and hand towels so clients don’t need to bring anything but themselves when they come in for a workout.

As we grow we will keep the small space for private and semi-private workouts. We look forward to planning and creating a small group training room that will offer clients an opportunity to workout as a team. Still, our focus will remain on precise movement with proper form so we will keep our numbers small. This gives clients an opportunity to take part in a workout that is more economical, in a team environment but will still be more focused and intimate than your boutique studio allowing you to grow and have a more personalize approach even in the group setting.

We hope you enjoy the space and the intention as much as we do. Feel free to call with any questions or to schedule an appointment.