Got 15 minutes?

I work from home mostly, or my “office” (which happens to be a beer store, but that’s another story), and since I don’t have the traditional water cooler or break room opportunities to step back from work and take a little mental break, I have to find other ways to mix up my day and prevent burnout.

I’ve learned over the past six years since I started working independently that I have to take mental breaks; stepping away from the computer all but guarantees a huge boost to my productivity and mental clarity when I come back. There are a few telltale signs when I am in desperate need of a change of scenery:

  • I start “multitasking,” which is a nice way of saying going down unproductive rabbit holes
  • I stray over to news sites, Facebook, or gossip blogs
  • I find myself spacing out, awkwardly and unintentionally staring at the barista or another coffee shop patron

When I catch my attention straying or stalling, there are a few things I can count on to snap my brain back into action:

  • Get outside and take a quick walk
  • Have a non-work-related conversation with that person I was just moments ago awkwardly staring at
  • Getting a snack or re-upping my daily dose of brain elixir

I added another item to this stock list this week, which I’m super thrilled to share: I just tried out a new workout app that is head and shoulders above any other workout app I’ve tried.

First up, it’s all live classes. That means there’s a real live instructor who is talking you through the workout. She even says hi when you join, like “Hi, Alyse! Oh cool, I’m in Austin too; do I know you??”

I’m a sucker for personal touches like that; as soon as she said my name I instinctively straightened up and improved my form, even though she couldn’t see me at that point.

The classes happen every half hour, and you can jump in at any point, for workouts as short as 15 minutes up to 45 minutes (or longer, maybe? I haven’t investigated the whole roster yet.)

As the live instructor guides you through the workout, sharing instructions, motivation, and tips, you see pre-recorded video of that specific move.

Please forgive my fuzzy screenshots – I wanted to show what the experience is like!

All the workouts come with a fun playlist, too. When I jumped into a Booty Work class, Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off was playing—don’t hate, I love me some T Swift, especially that song—and it instantly got me jazzed to jump into some squat jacks.

A post shared by Alyse Mason Brill (@alysemb) on

There are social elements to the workouts as well. You can share a selfie when you join a class, send messages to other participants, and even video chat with the instructor during your water break.

I think that exact interaction was what has always been off for me about video workouts in the past: I so appreciate the convenience of an app or video, but they are usually either too depersonalized or too close for comfort: you either just follow a video, with zero interaction and zero accountability, or you’re on camera the whole time during a live-two-way workout. I need the accountability and love the group energy, but there’s just something so awkward about being on video the whole time.

Gixo feels like a perfect middle ground: you get to interact with the instructor but you are completely in control of when and how you share video, photos, or messages with her or with your fellow classmates.

At the end—and this is really fun—you can share little badges with the instructor, like “thank you!” or “booty kicked!”.

Everything is better with emojis, after all. 🙂

In partnership with Gixo. If you’ll be at EMPOWER Vancouver this weekend, you’ll get to meet the wonderful people from Gixo and do a workout together, and if you’re not joining us in Vancouver, you can still join in the fun: your first month with Gixo is free! 

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Fitness

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Fitness


  1. Nicci Randall
    Nicci Randall

    This sounds like so much fun! I can’t wait to try it out. I love that the teachers are live…so convenient and motivating!

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