Category Archives: fitness

Spotlight On: Karie Johnson & Barre3

Other than a yoga class here and there, I’ve never been too into group fitness preferring to run on my own schedule instead. When I got pregnant again, I knew I wanted to do a better job of keeping up my fitness than I did during my first pregnancy. Since I stay at home with Lawson, I went in search of a studio that offered child care. I didn’t have to search far to find a Barre3 studio near our house. I cannot tell you how excited I was and that’s before I even tried my first class!


I immediately fell in love with the studio and workout. The entire staff from front desk to instructors were so kind and welcoming. Even though I was pregnant, I never felt like I didn’t belong. The workout is a great combination of ballet, pilates and yoga. The instructors checked on me throughout class and offered modifications for everyone. I truly feel like all fitness levels are welcome at Barre3!


So of course I wanted to feature Barre3 and owner Karie Johnson as the next installment in my spotlight on local creatives and businesses here in Phoenix!


Barre3 Scottsdale


Me: How and when did you first get into barre3? What led you to open your own studio?
Karie: I took my very first barre3 online class in January of 2013 and my life would never be the same. I was an elementary school teacher for 11 years and was looking for a way to have a more balanced lifestyle for myself and my family. I had a friend who opened barre3 in Henderson, NV and was very inspired. I went out to her studio and instantly knew I needed to bring barre3 to Arizona. There was something not only about the workout, but about the community vibe I felt. I loved that barre3 encourages modifications and how you can “make it your own”. Not many places meet you where you are and support that. About a year and a half later (after lots of saving and lots of training and research!) my husband, two girls and me opened our doors to our first studio in North Scottsdale! We opening our 2nd studio in Paradise Valley this year and we are loving every minute of it! Lots of work, but lots of fun as well!

Me: What is a typical day like for you?
Karie: Take my girls to school, teach a class at one of our studios, take a class at one of our studios, have lunch with my husband or a friend, order retail for our studios, answer emails for the studio, event and social media planning, pick the girls up from school, take them to after school activities, do homework, have dinner with my family, hopefully relax for a very little bit while doing some sort of chores, and then hit the hay!


Barre3 Scottsdale

Me: Your workout clothes are always so cute! Where are your favorite places to shop?
Karie: At our studio! I pick out all of our retail for the studio. I try to focus on designs from Arizona or made in the USA. My favorite brands that we carry are: Beyond Yoga, Alo, Spiritual Gangster, Ray of Light Designs, Niyamasol.

Me: What’s the biggest challenge of running your own business?
Karie: There is always something to be done! The job is never done, but that’s ok! I have a wonderful team that helps me out on a daily basis and I couldn’t do it without them.

Me: barre3 does a great job of getting involved in the community with different events (Wanderlust, barre3 in the park). Is there another event coming up where people can find barre3?
Karie: We will be having an in-studio event all summer long! Clients can compete to try to keep up with their classes in studio and online while traveling. We will be collaborating with local vendors for some fun prizes and swag!

Barre3 Scottsdale

Me: Other than instructing and taking barre3 classes, how do you maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Karie: Barre3 is the only exercise I do. It gets everything done in 60 minutes which is why I love it! I try my best to eat a whole food diet, limiting processed foods as much as possible.

Me: I recently read a comment on Instagram about barre3 having a community feel and I couldn’t agree more. How did you create this culture?
Karie: So great to hear! That is our main focus at our studio. We not only want our clients to walk away from class feeling like they got a great workout, but also that this is their home away from home, their 60 minutes of me time. Our culture is hard enough on women, we just want to love and support other women as much as we can!

Me: Last question, what is your favorite vacation you’ve been on?
Karie: Last year in Hawaii for my 11 year anniversary with my husband! Lots of relaxing :)


Thanks Karie! If you’ve ever thought about checking out Barre3, I highly recommend it. If you’re not local to Phoenix, there are almost 100 locations in many states. See the full listing here.


Connect with Barre3 North Scottsdale and Barre3 Paradise Valley at Instagram and Facebook (Paradise Valley | North Scottsdale)


All photos courtesy of Barre3 Paradise Valley Instagram

Favorite Running Clothes

favorite clothes for running

tank: athleta chi; bra: athleta va-va sport bra; socks: lululemon no-show (but I want to try these from Feetures); shoes: brooks adrenaline; shorts: lululemon speed short; pants: lululemon inspire tight


With warmer temperatures comes the itch to get outside. A couple of weeks ago, I shared why I love running. I’m excited to get back into it and having cute workout clothes never hurts. Today I thought I’d share my favorite clothes for running. You’ll notice a lot of Lululemon. Post-pregnancy I plan to check out more from Athleta (I bought their chi muscle tank right before I stopped running and love the looser fit of it) and explore new to me brands like Albion Fit, Oiselle and Zella. While all these brands can be on the more expensive end, consider it an investment in your health (and of course look for sales)!


Have a great Wednesday!!

Why I Run

Ragnar Great River  (photo from Ragnar Great River, getting ready to handoff to the next runner)



Since I haven’t actually been on a run in six months, maybe the title of this post should have been “Why I Love Running,” “Why I Ran” or “Why I Can’t Wait to Run Again.” As I near the end of this pregnancy, I’ve thought a lot about running. With access to new paths and areas, I’m really looking forward to starting up again. The perfect temperatures this time of year don’t hurt either. Some people think running is crazy so I thought I’d share the reasons behind why I run.


I’ve been running pretty consistently for almost 15 years and it’s a big part of my life (I completed my first marathon last January and have run 10 200 mile relays with friends). I’m certainly not an expert. And I’m not particularly fast either. But I have made running a part of my life.


I choose running over other forms of exercise because it’s basically free, can be done at any place or time of day and provides the most payoff for the physical exertion. Over the past 15 years, I’ve added more gadgets and accessories, but all you really need is a pair of running shoes and maybe a watch.


Unlike gym classes, I can run on my own schedule. It’s pretty easy to fit in a 3-mile run in the morning before work, over lunch or at night (although you do need to invest in reflective gear if you’re running in the dark). There’s no driving to a gym or studio, I can tie my shoes and run out the door. I’m definitely an outside runner. For me there’s nothing better than heading outside for a run. It’s also an easy way to see a new place when traveling. I’ve run through Central Park, the hills of Napa and streets of Pinehurst, North Carolina (where I tripped and fell for the first time!) It’s a great way to explore and reset your internal clock.


I’d like to say I fit in a long workout each day, but the reality is sometimes I only have 30-45 minutes. I get a better workout running during that time than anything else I could do. Running is much more of a full body workout than you may imagine. Your legs are clearly working, but your arms and core are engaged the entire time too.


Other workouts come and go from my routine, but I always return to running. Don’t get me wrong, there are days when I have a bad run or can’t motivate myself to head out the door. I return to it because I feel strong when I run.


What’s your favorite workout? And what keeps you going back to it?

Pregnancy Fitness


at home fitness programs for all trimesters of pregnancy


Before I actually got pregnant, I always envisioned myself continuing to run and workout during a pregnancy. Once I found out I was pregnant, I quickly ruled out running. I know many woman run throughout their pregnancy with the support of their doctors. With my “advanced maternal age” and large fibroid, I was already at a higher risk for miscarriage and premature labor. It was a personal decision to give up running for this period of my life. While there have been times I’ve certainly missed it, I don’t regret it.


The first trimester I was pretty exhausted the entire time and didn’t work out often. By the beginning of the second trimester, I was ready to get back into it. After researching prenatal workouts on Amazon, I picked up Suzanne Bowen’s Slim & Toned Prenatal Barre Workout and Prenatal Vinyasa Yoga. I absolutely love the barre workout; there are four different sessions that are 20 minutes long and a 10 minute stretching session. The leg and arm workouts are my favorite. They’re challenging, but don’t push me outside of my comfort zone. I feel great after doing them and it’s fairly easy to fit in a 20 minute session or combine them for a fuller body workout. I also really like the yoga. There are four different yoga sessions of 15, 30, 45 and 70 minutes. They each include different modifications depending on your trimester. I like the 45 minute workout the best as it’s most similar to my regular yoga practice.


My goal is to be active five days a week for a minimum of 20 minutes a day. There are weeks where I meet this goal and others that I don’t. I’m pretty good about listening to my body and resting when I need it. I also mix in walking for 30 minutes. Just like pre-pregnancy, I feel so much better when I take a little time to work out! Are there any workouts you’d recommend for my last 10 weeks?