Welcome to Our FitBlog

We are excited to announce that FitClub will now have a regular blog. This will be a great place for you to visit to keep up with what is new in fitness and wellness. Thanks for visiting.

 

Stress Relief for Healthcare Workers

FitClub and the world are thinking of healthcare workers right now!  A stressful job has just become far more stressful.  Your stress management has never been more important.  While taking care of yourself may seem like a luxury right now, it’s imperative that you take even just a few minutes of self-care to remain your healthiest, most effective self.  How?  In a world that’s spinning very quickly, self-care and stress management may seem more difficult than ever.  FitClub has five tips that you can try from anywhere that only take minutes.covid19_g_1212922973-860x573-1

  1. Exercise.  Exercise can help you clear your mind and refocus on the challenges in front of you.  Carve out a few minutes to use your FitClub app and get the benefits of raising your heart rate, clearing your mind, and releasing endorphins that can make a world of difference.  Now more than ever, focus on the moves your body performs and your breath as you work out.  Taking your focus away from the crisis right now, will provide mental and emotional benefits long after the exercise ends.
  2. Sleep.  It might be next to impossible right now to finish a shift and fall asleep without your mind racing.  This is a scary, unpredictable time, but sleep is critical for all of us to remain operating at our healthiest.  Take the time you need to wind down before going to bed with a funny television show, a long, hot bath, or a book that absorbs your mind.  Refocusing ourselves on all that we are grateful for during this time can also help you ease into the sleep that you need.  While seven to nine hours of sleep is recommended, for healthcare workers that sleep can often be broken or short in supply.  It’s particularly important to aim for high quality sleep, even when you can’t control the quantity.
  3. Eat well.  Under times of stress and busy schedules, we often reach for comfort foods. With take out and drive thru still available, the temptation can be overwhelming.  While you don’t likely have the time it takes to meal prep, you can take advantage of pre-washed and cut produce at the local grocery stores.  Stocking up on quality foods like fruits and vegetables or ready-to-eat hard boiled eggs can save you time and save your sanity by properly fueling your body for a grueling shift.  Your body functions better on real, nutrient-dense foods and if you have to cut corners right now, let the grocery store do your meal prep and grab a healthy snack or meal when you can.

Our healthcare workers have always been critical, but possibly now more than ever.  FitClub thanks you all for your service during this trying time.  With the app in your pocket, FitClub has your back for all of your health and wellness needs!

Real Workouts in a Virtual FitClub!

The FitClub app is available for your social-distancing fitness needs now!  While the app turns your living room into a virtual FitClub, the workouts are anything but virtual.  The workouts are real, engaging, and accessible no matter your fitness level.  Download the app and prepare to experiment with different workouts for a fresh take on fitness.  If you haven’t already checked out the app, here are a few features you can expect:Screen Shot 2020-03-27 at 11.07.55 AM

  1. The app can be personalized for your individual goals.  Just like FitClub, the app is intended to personalize your goals.  Simply input some basic information about yourself, gender, height, and weight, for example, and you’re ready to get started.  You can set the app to send you personal reminders and track your goals, which makes staying accountable to yourself, even while hiding out alone, much easier!
  2. About those workouts…You are going to love the selection available.  From senior fitness to well-being and cardio, the app is loaded with workout videos.  You can even sort the videos based on your fitness level and equipment on hand.  The “Fitness on Demand” section includes even more workouts.  There is no excuse to get bored with your workouts while you’re stuck inside right now.  
  3. Worried about your calorie intake during your social-distancing?  There’s a section for that in the app, too! Click the “nutrition” tab and you’ll find calorie counter apps for your phone where you can input your calories in and calories out to help you stay on track and manage a healthy weight without leaving the house.  
  4. Keep track of your progress.  We are all looking for something to celebrate right now and the app makes it easy to track every workout, every pound, and every win in your healthy lifestyle.  Let yourself celebrate even the smallest of healthiest choices or the tiniest weight loss.  
  5. Endorphins and emotional well-being.  The challenge we are all facing now is unprecedented and scary.  Being told to socially distance from one another can make coping with these feelings even more difficult.  The endorphins we release through physical exercise and being more mindful can help center us and ease anxiety and depression that we may be experiencing.  The app has both, with invigorating workouts and meditation classes.  Clear some space in your living room, kitchen, or bedroom and zone into your fitness and wellness.

How are you staying active now?  FitClub remains a social connection for all of us, even when we experience it in a virtual manner.  Share your favorite workouts from the app and tell us how you’re using fitness to get through this time.  Better yet, tell us all about the progress you’re seeing in real time while tracking it on the app!

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay active, FitClub!

Managing Your Stress During Uncertain Times

Whether you are prone to suffering anxiety or just feeling more stress than usual right now, you’re not alone.  These are uncertain times for all of us and managing stress and anxiety is a key component to both your mental and physical health.  At FitClub, we know that the link between mind and body is integral to your wellness.  There is good news and managing stress and anxiety is possible.Working at home

1. Keep up with your health diet and exercise.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that people under stress or dealing with anxiety may report a change in their eating and sleeping patterns right now.  Slipping into unhealthy food choices and sleep makes your anxiety worse.  It may be the last thing on your mind right now, but taking care of yourself with healthy food decisions and a regular, consistent sleep schedule is paramount to maintaining your physical and mental health.  When you feel more stress or anxiety than usual, pay careful attention to how you’re caring for your body, eat healthy meals, and exercise regularly to release endorphins and mitigate your stress.

2. Minimize or eliminate drug and alcohol use.  Drugs and alcohol do not cure stress and anxiety, and in fact, may increase the effects that the emotions have on your mental and physical health.  In fact, as your blood alcohol level rises in fall, feelings of depression may intensify, leaving you more anxious, stressed, or depressed than before you had a drink.  Reaching out to loved ones or mental health providers can have a far more positive impact on your emotional responses to fear and stress.  Caffeine counts as a drug, too!  Too much coffee or other caffeinated drinks can cause a physiological condition that mimics anxiety.  Your heart may race and your sleep may be disrupted.  In times of great stress or anxiety (or everyday for better health), starting your morning with a heart pumping workout instead of a cup of joe can set you up for better physical and mental health all day long!

3. Take a break from the news.  We all understand the importance of staying up to date on breaking news, but taking a break to prioritize your workout is essential for better mental and physical health. When your phone and the news is unavailable, your mind can enjoy the burst of endorphins from a workout without the temptation to sneak a peek at Social Media or a news site.  If you prefer cardiovascular machines, don’t let the television tempt you to indulge in the news.  FitClub offers wifi, making it easier than ever to stream your favorite guilty pleasures while you burn calories.  The endorphin high can help to mitigate your stress and anxiety and your mind has a chance to turn away from negative feedback.  Even a thirty minute break can help to reset your perspective for the long-term.

Fitness During Self-Distancing, FitClub is Here For You!

There is no precedent for what’s happening now.  FitClub is on the cutting edge of the new face of fitness as we all practice quarantine and social-distancing.  A strong, healthy immune system is best supported by a strong, healthy body.  This is not the time to forget to prioritize your fitness!  Not only can being physically fit help you strengthen your immune system, but it can also alleviate stress, anxiety and depression.  This is the time to double down on your fitness and a healthy diet.home workout

The reality is that every FitClub member knows the value of a creative, shared group exercise class; while we wait for this to pass, we have your needs covered.  Let’s take a virtual walk through of the latest FitClub options at your fingertips.

  1. Virtual workout classes from home.  FitClub has designed virtual workouts for home use coming to the FitClub virtual app—stay tuned!  These classes have been designed by the Director of Fitness at FitClub and all fitness levels will be able to benefit from the classes with little to no equipment.  Stay inside, stay healthy, and get fit by simply hitting play on the app and following the trainer’s commands.  Whether you’re working from home or cutting back all social engagements, now is the time to take advantage of home workouts on your schedule!
  2. On demand video classes.  FitClub is going to deliver straight to your app a huge library of professionally filmed, on-demand classes that you use on your own time, in your own space.  No social distancing can stop you now!  If you’ve always been curious about a certain workout or type of class, now is the chance to experiment and see what works for you without making any radical commitments.  You just might find your new passion.
  3. FitClub is still here to be a part of your health and wellness journey!  FitClub remains fully committed to a safe, clean, and energizing club geared around you.  Even if you don’t feel comfortable leaving your house, you can still engage with FitClub by email, telephone, or social media.  Reach out and let FitClub professionals know what questions you have about your health and wellness.  Encourage fellow FitClub members to remain active, healthy, and well during this strange time that we are all confronting together.  Social distancing does not mean you’re alone.  We are all in this together!

What questions do you have about your health and wellness during this pandemic?  FitClub has a team of experts that can weigh in and get you the information you need right here in the blog or via social media.  Our collective health and wellness has never been more important.  Let’s use this opportunity to get fitter, eat healthier, and encourage one another. Share your favorite at-home FitClub workouts with us!

How Night Shift Workers Can Stay Healthy With Challenging Schedules

Working nights can be demanding on your body and mind and too often general health and fitness advice doesn’t take those demands into consideration.  Approximately fifteen million Americans work night shifts or rotating shifts with irregular schedules.  Unfortunately, night shifts and swing shifts are often associated with health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, obesity and cancer.  How can night-shift workers maintain healthy lifestyles? FitClub has advice that can help!dashboard_shiftsleep_5_18

1.  Fit your workouts in on your schedule.  Maybe you can’t make it to FitClub at 5PM or over the noon hour like others can, but FitClub’s convenient hours, varied group exercise classes, and multiple locations make it easy for anyone’s schedule to accommodate a vigorous workout.  Whether you perform best before your night shift begins or when you’re ready to unwind after a long work night, FitClub is there for you and ready to provide the workout you need to stay healthy and get fit.

2.   Prioritize high quality sleep.  Sleep is the magic potion that allows our bodies to repair, our immune system to thrive, and our ability to manage weight, anxiety and depression.  While most of us are asleep, though, night shift workers are hard at work.  Falling asleep when the sun is shining is particularly difficult and yet, skimping on sleep is detrimental to physical and mental well being.  For this reason, night shift workers should prioritize a sleep routine that can help to reset the body’s natural circadian rhythm.  Bedrooms should be kept cool and dark with the use of blackout shades or choose to sleep in a room with few windows.  Activities that keep us awake (using cell phones, watching upsetting programs, or dealing with stressful events) should be avoided after a night shift worker ends his or her shift.  It’s also a practical reason to let your friends and family know what hours of each day you cannot be disturbed.  Most of us wouldn’t call a friend at 2:00AM, and asking for the same respect on your schedule is a practical request.

3.  Take extra steps to prepare healthy foods.  Unfortunately, if healthy food isn’t easily available when you leave your night shift, you’ll likely find that the only food options include unhealthy all-night drive through foods.  Taking time on your day off or between shifts to prepare vegetables, fruit, and lean meat can save you valuable hours and expand your options to include easy to prepare meals.  Planning ahead for snacks and meal breaks during your shift can help you avoid the constant threat of the vending machine, sugary drinks, and high fat junk food.

Taking time to plan and prepare your healthy lifestyle is integral in avoiding the health conditions too frequent in night shift workers.  FitClub is here for your workouts, meditations, and your day to day health and fitness needs.  

If you’ve ever worked the night shift, leave your tips for staying healthy and prioritizing your wellness in the comments for your fellow FitClub members!

Want a Great Cardio Workout? Try a Rowing Machine!

Perhaps you are devoted to the treadmill or the elliptical for your cardio workouts, but if you’re trying to mix up your cardio routine, you might want to check out a rowing machine at FitClub.  Rowing machines are gaining in popularity and for good reason.  This classic machine can provide a great cardio and strength workout if done properly and consistently. Lady in the street, freak in the gym

Multiple muscle groups are involved.  The rowing machine is a tried and true classic cardio workout that often doesn’t get the credit it deserves.  Not only does it raise your heart rate, but it is a full body workout combining both cardio and strength training.  Industry experts believe that the rowing machine can utilize up to eight-five percent of the body’s muscles if it’s performed correctly.  It’s also easier on the joints than the treadmill, making it a favorite of people that need a vigorous workout that doesn’t stress the joints.

It can provide a mental health bonus.  When we’re stressed or anxious, a repetitive activity can soothe our minds and help us return to calm.  The rowing machine does exactly that.  If you need a mental health break, you can try to coordinate your breathing with the rowing process.  After a few minutes, you might find that your mind is calmer and your heart rate has increased, leaving you mentally and physically fitter for the rest of your day.

You can individualize your workout.  The rowing machine is easy to adjust to match your level of fitness.  You can reduce or increase the tension to deliver your ideal workout.  The speed at which you row is entirely up to you.  Whether you’re giving your joints a rest while you fit in some cardio or you want to build muscle, experimenting with tension and speed makes the rowing machine a uniquely personalized workout.

Rowing is HIIT friendly.  If you’re trying to incorporate more High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your workouts, the rowing machine might make a great addition.  Try mixing this into your standard cardio workout for added calorie burn by going as hard as you can for twenty seconds, resting for ten, and going again.  Mixing up your cardio routine by throwing in HIIT can help you see the progress you crave more quickly!

It provides a great abdominal workout without a single crunch!  If you’re looking for away to strengthen and tone your abs, the rowing machine should be added to your workout.  Keep your tummy tight as you row and your abs will stay engaged and help you power through your workout, giving you an awesome abdominal workout without one single crunch!

Are you a fan of FitClub’s rowing machines?  What are your tips for someone new to rowing or someone wanting to improve their rowing routine?  Share your thoughts in the comments and happy rowing, everyone!

If Your Muscles Could Talk…

If your muscles could talk, what do you think they would want you to know?  Of course we hear our muscles screaming loud and clear when we are sore or injured, but how about in the course of a regular day?  What do your muscles do when you’re at rest? What do they need to thrive?  Do they ever get bored?  FitClub has the answers you need to better understand what your muscles would say if they could talk.istock-507452463_primary

1.  Use them or lose them.  As we age, it’s common for us to begin to lose muscle mass.  Whether you want to build lean muscle mass or just maintain your current level of fitness, your muscles need to be challenged just to maintain the status quo.  Strength training challenges your muscles and can help prevent muscle loss.  Weight training, resistance training and body weight training are all excellent ways to prevent muscle loss and build leaner, stronger muscles throughout your body.

2.  More muscle burns more calories.  Even when you’re not working out, muscle burns calories and maintains a healthy metabolism.  The more lean muscle your body has, the more calories your body is able to burn while at rest.  Lean muscle mass is critical to avoiding unwanted weight gain even when you can’t actively be burning calories at FitClub.  

3.  Feed your muscles well.  If you asked your muscles what they wanted more of in your diet, the answer would always be PROTEIN!  Protein is essential for building and maintaining healthy, lean, and strong muscle.  Muscles also want whole grains like oatmeal and brown rice to provide energy as they work to support your lifestyle and burn calories.  A high sugar, high fat food may seem like a “reward” after a long-grueling workout, but that’s exactly what your muscles hate most.  In fact, researchers at Virginia Polytechnic Institute found that just five days of a high-fat diet changed the way the body’s muscles used macronutrients.  Skip the drive through to avoid undoing all the good you’ve been doing at FitClub!

4.  Muscles need adequate rest.  Workouts are stress for your muscles, and that stress causes your muscles to heal and grow back stronger and leaner than before.  Stress is a good thing for muscles, but too much stress can cause negative side effects.  Allowing for appropriate recovery time between workouts, high quality sleep and a healthy diet enables your muscles to adapt and better prepare for the next workout.

What do you hear your muscles say?  Do you have a go-to routine for keeping your muscle mass happy, healthy, and productive?