Aida Johnson-Rapp

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Since Sep 2010

To Sweat is to Live

The Benefits of Pool Workouts

Posted on May 30, 2017 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Sometimes it’s nice to read what other experts in the field are thinking. So get you swimsuit ready after reading:


A new breed of aqua-cardio classes is gaining popularity. Pilates fans are finding they’re a great way to round out their practice, especially now that it’s pool weather. Bust out the swim cap.

When it comes to water workouts, many people picture senior citizens splashing around at the YMCA pool. But a new batch of aqua-based cardio workouts, including running, dance and boot camp classes, are actually as challenging as many of their landbased counterparts. “These are high-intensity routines,” says Aida Johnson-Rapp, a Pilates instructor and director of group exercise at East Bank Club in Chicago. At her fitness center, she teaches strengthening and fast-paced conditioning classes in the pool. “But because of the buoyancy of water, they’re also low-impact and gentle on the joints,” she explains. Becauseof these factors, water-based cardio classesare growing in popularity at studios, gyms and fitness centers across the country.

Six Simple Habits For Big Results

Posted on November 15, 2016 at 5:35 PM Comments comments (0)

1. Dance more. Here are my two favorite quotes about the benefits of dance: You don't stop dancing from growing old, you grow old from stopping to dance.” (unknown) and by the philosopher Voltaire: “Let us read and let us dance: two amusements that will never do any harm to the world.”

2. Keep social media out of the bedroom! For a good night’s rest, leave your phone and tablet turned off and in another room when trying to fall asleep.

3. Sit up straight. Good posture helps with back and neck aches, great for digestion and makes you look good.

4. Change up your workout routine. Try a new class or instructor to get a varied workout and keep it exciting and new. There are so many great workouts these days - Zumba has several.

5. Breathe – Obviously breathing keeps you alive, however practicing yoga breathing “pranayama” can quiet and calm the entire nervous system, reduce stress and anxiety and improve self-awareness.

6. Stand Up and Shake It Off – Our bodies were designed for movement yet many of us spend 7-10 hours a day sitting either at a desk, commuting or a combination of both. New research has proven that sitting for prolonged periods of time is so detrimental to our health that even daily 30-60 minutes workouts cannot reverse the damage. Solution: use a smart phone timer to send an alert every hour to remind you to get up and move. You can take a walk to the cooler, copier or just move intentionally in place.


Just Get it Done - Dancing that is!!

Posted on March 22, 2016 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (0)

There are many ways to enjoy and incorporate dancing into a fitness routine. At a nightclub, party, or community festival upbeat music may play nonstop for several minutes or hours. Dancing freely for twenty-five minutes or more turns into a fun, stress free aerobic workout. If you want to improve your social life or you are currently a social butterfly dancing can add to both your popularity and physique.

Great Arms

Posted on August 24, 2013 at 10:00 PM Comments comments (0)

A 4-step targeting and toning routine that burns 100 calories in only 20 minutes! Follow Aida’s suggested fitness routine during your lunch break or after work and get Michelle Obama’s uber-toned body in no time.


STEP 1 - Warm up: March or run in place for 5 minutes: by adding alternate knee raises and raising your arms over your head speed’s up your heart rate and burns additional calories!


STEP 2 - Upper bod


o Push-ups: targets biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest and core in ONE move! Perform 10-20 (depending on fitness level)


o Chair dips: targets the triceps, where most women look to tone. Perform 10-20 (depending on fitness level)


1. Start by putting the back of a chair against a wall

2. Place hands firmly on the edge of the seat, so that knuckles are pointing forward

3. Place the legs out in front, in a 90-degree position, making sure that your feet are pointing forward, toes up

4. Make sure the shoulders stay down and back, and the elbows stay close to your side

5. Slowly bend elbows into a 90-degree angle, pause, and return to starting position, putting the pressure on the heel of the hands


o Resistance pulls: to tone and target triceps, resistance tubing is the optimal choice (can be purchased from Target, Walgreens or sporting goods stores). Perform 10-20 (depending on fitness level)


STEP 3 - Lower body:


o Lower body chair squats: targets glutes, quadriceps and core. Perform 15-25 (depending on fitness level)


1. Position yourself in front of a sturdy chair/bed, as if you were going to sit.

2. Lower glutes (buttocks) toward the seat and hover above seat for 5 seconds

3. Return to upright position and lower

4. Repeat 15-25 depending on fitness level


STEP 4 - Midsection:


o Bicycles: targets all abdominal muscles. Perform 15-25 (depending on fitness level)


1. Lie on back with both hips and knees at 90-degree angles (head and shoulder should be slightly off the ground)

2. Place fingers on the sides of your head

3. Crunch the left side of your upper body off the floor

4. Bring left elbow to right knee together

5. Extend right knee out while you bring your right elbow to left knee together

6. Repeat for other side 15-25 times

o Oblique crunches: targets oblique and back muscles. Perform 15 -25 each side (depending on fitness level)


1. Lie flat on back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor

2. Place right hand over right ear

3. Crunch midsection up and across (trying to touch your right elbow to your left knee)

4. Concentrate on contracting your midsection throughout the movement

5. Slowly return to starting position

6. Repeat 15-25 times

o Stationary crunches: targets all abdominal muscles. Perform 10-15 for five to 10 seconds each


1. Stand firmly in place

2. Contract abdominals (pulling and tightening the midsection)

3. Squeeze for five to 10 seconds

4. Release and repeat 10-15 times


Depending on intensity, The Michelle Obama Factor will burn up to 100 calories for a tank-top ready, leg-baring body in just 20 minutes per day.


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