Nutrition Tips to Fuel Your Workout

No matter what your fitness goals include, what you eat before your workout can significantly impact whether you reach those goals.

The science behind workout nutrition can be confusing. To help you reach your goals, remember these five simple rules for eating before your workout.

  1. You do have to eat. That’s the best news! Your workout will be far more effective and safer if you avoid exercising on a completely empty stomach. A small snack fifteen minutes to an hour before your workout will give your muscles the fuel they need to power through whatever workout you choose. Keep your snack small and easily digestible. Oatmeal, bananas, or an energy bar are effective snacks.
    Be mindful of the calorie count of your snack. You don’t want to derail your workout before you get started by taking in more calories than you plan to burn.
  1. Eat to fuel your muscles. Bananas and citrus fruits are clean sources of bananas-orangecarbohydrates and may ward off muscle cramps and soreness during and after your workout. Unless you’re planning to work out hard for more than an hour, you probably do not need to carb-load before your workout. Keep your carbohydrate intake moderate by opting for a slice of whole wheat bread with a small amount of natural peanut butter or a banana to give you enough energy to power through without overloading your stomach.
  2. Be considerate of your stomach. When you take in that pre-workout snack keep in mind that exercise stresses all of your body and may make digestion of certain foods more difficult. Avoid fatty foods and spicy foods, both of which may cause heartburn during a challenging workout. While a veggie salad may make a great post-workout dinner, the gastrointestinal distress it may cause while you’re reaching for a PR on the treadmill is not worth it. Save the veggies and spicy foods for your post-workout meal and think small, simple snacks pre-workout to avoid spending more time in the locker room than you do in the cardio room.
  3. Hydrate. The most important fuel for your workout is the easiest to find. Stay hydrated all day in preparation for your afternoon workout, or hydrate in the evenings so your body is prepared for your morning workout. Keep a bottle or glass of water with you throughout the day to ensure that you’re taking in enough water to keep your body ready for the challenges of your next workout. Add a slice of lemon or cucumber (or both!) if that makes the idea of sipping on water all day more exciting.
  4. Still confused? Ask. FitClub’s staff is able to answer any questions you may have about how to properly and safely fuel for your workouts. Ask FitClub how you can take advantage of FitClub’s dotFIT. FitClub also has a great selection of fruit and energy bars available at the front desks, so take advantage of the staff’s expertise and the selection readily available.

The science on nutrition can be overwhelming. Make it easy on yourself, and your body, by sticking with these five simple rules to ensure that you have a safe and effective workout every time at FitClub!

Plan Active Recovery For Maximum Progress

Whether you’ve finished a summer road race or have been working hard at FitClub all summer, make sure you can stay healthy and active by prioritizing recovery.

What is recovery?
During recovery, your body’s muscles and tissues restore and begin to reap the advantages of your workouts and adapt to the demands exercise places on the body. During that adaptation and recovery period, the muscles begin to repair tears. While proper rest is essential to any workout regimen, recovery is more than lying on the couch.

Recovery isn’t a luxury or even a “day off” from your healthy lifestyle. Recovery is essential to allowing muscles to grow and repair, getting you back to your workout more quickly. Adding recovery to your workout regimen allows time for recovery without sacrificing your progress.

The best part of incorporating recovery into your healthy lifestyle is that it feels great!

Yoga
Because yoga focuses on the full body, adding yoga into your workout regimen can alleviate muscle imbalances caused by focusing too much attention on one body part. Turning your mind inward during yoga practice is also essential for noticing any muscle imbalances and sore or tight areas that have been overused in the course of your training. Balancing the body against these muscle imbalances prevents injury and allows you to get back to your training more quickly.

Massage
FitClub’s massage therapy at our West location promotes recovery by stimulating blood flow and reducing muscle tension and soreness. During a massage, the body benefits from increased blood flow, allowing blood to more easily transmit nutrients and oxygen to the muscles. Through increased blood flow to the muscles, the body is able to repair the tears in the muscles and tissues, allowing the muscles to recover and grow stronger.

Whether you use massage as a reward for achieving your training goals or as an active part of your recovery, your body will thank you and allow you to get back to your training schedule more quickly.

Foam Roll
Have you wondered how the foam rollers at FitClub can work for you? Figure2Think of the foam roller as self-massage for your tight and sore muscles. Foam rolling increases circulation and breaks up the knots in sore muscles that limit range of movement.

Use your body weight to roll your tight legs, hips, and back over the foam roller to release tightness and return those overused muscles to peak health. Your muscles may feel a little uncomfortable when you start, so start slowly and gently and remember that the goal is to make your muscles feel better, not worse. The beauty of the foam roller is that you control the pressure by determining how much or how little of your body weight to use while rolling. Our trainers can give you tips on using a foam roller for maximum benefit.

FitClub makes it easy to incorporate recovery into your everyday workout. Check out FitClub’s yoga schedule, grab a foam roller, and schedule a massage. Share your recovery tools with FitClub by leaving a comment below!

Back to School—Back to Routines

The dog days of summer are winding down, and it is time to send the kids back to school. The end of summer is the beginning of more structured routines for many parents and children. It can also be the beginning of establishing heIMG_4739althy routines for your family if you set yourself up for success at the beginning of the new school year.

Plan healthy meals in advance
It’s not easy to adjust to a new school year routine, but healthy eating doesn’t have to be sacrificed during the rush. Meal planning allows time for packing healthy lunches, preparing healthy meals ahead of time, and keeps your family on track to enjoy healthy meals all week. Take advantage of extra hours on Sunday afternoons by baking chicken, boiling eggs, preparing salads, or cleaning fresh fruit.

Schedule your workouts
FitClub’s hours and class schedules offer opportunities for exercise no matter what your work or school schedule has in store. Whether it’s planning a workout after dropping the kids off at school or fitting in a workout during your lunch break, FitClub’s doors are open and there’s a class waiting for you. Set yourself up for success by scheduling your workout like any other work or family obligation and make that time on your calendar a sacred appointment with yourself.

Do your homework
Just like the kids have to do their homework in the evenings, make packing your gym bag part of your nightly homework. Lay out your workout clothes and gear, pack a healthy snack, and set the alarm clock early enough to allow plenty of time to get to that early morning workout class or cardio machine.

If you’re planning to exercise at the end of your own busy workday, plan in advance to give yourself enough time to enjoy your workout before dinner and homework routines begin.

Childcare
FitClub offers free childcare to its members at all three FitClub locations, making it even easier to get in a workout before heading home for the night. After school, let the kids enjoy downtime with other kids at FitClub while you make yourself a priority. Happy, healthy parents make excellent role models for children. During the school week, FitClub’s childcare is accessible until 8:30PM. FitClub even offers weekend childcare so you can enjoy your workout and know that your children are being cared for.

If the kids are older and have their own athletic schedules, consider your workout regimen your practice schedule and stick to it. School teams are teaching your children about the importance of schedules and discipline and your own workout plan can be that for you. Take a class at FitClub with like minded individuals and consider that your team.

Starting a back-to-school routine is never easy, but by starting your own healthy routine at the same time the kids are adjusting to a back-to-school routine sets you up for success all year. With a little preparation and homework, both parents and children can enjoy a healthy school year with FitClub!

What’s your back to school secret for success?

Swim Your Way to Health

Are you taking advantage of FitClub’s indoor pools? Whether you’re new to swimming or an experienced swimmer, FitClub makes it easy to fit in a low-impact, highly effective pool workout at both the South and West locations.

Aqua Classes
You don’t have to be a professional swimmer to reap the benefitwaterclass2s of a pool workout. FitClub offers aqua classes [http://fitclub.net/index.php/group-schedules/group-exercise] that are effective regardless of your fitness base.

  1. Finding a class: Both South and West have a large variety of aqua workout classes intentionally designed with all fitness-levels in mind. FitClub’s pools are busy activity centers throughout the morning and into the evenings. Finding a class that fits in your schedule is easy. Once you find a class that fits in your schedule, bring your swimsuit and a towel, and leave your body consciousness at home. FitClub is a judgment free facility where everyone can enjoy the benefits of the water.
  2. Having trouble deciding which class is right for you? Read the descriptions, or try each one!
  3. Plan to have fun: Working out in the water just might take you back to a playful childhood memory. The energetic instructors and flow of the water might even make you forget you’re getting in a workout. But don’t worry, even if you have fun, you’re burning calories, improving your fitness, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Lap Swim
For those that want to swim independently, FitClub’s two pool locations also offer independent lap swim times.

  1. Have a plan. If the idea of swimming length after length of freestyle doesn’t sound exciting enough for you, try interval training by spicing up your workout with periods of sprints followed by slower laps. Experiment with different strokes and throw in breaststroke or backstroke, or be adventurous and try butterfly stroke for an added challenge. Check out the US Olympic athletes for motivation and then sign up for adult swim lessons to learn new skills. Don’t forget to enroll the kids in swim lessons to get a head start on a healthy lifestyle and important water safety education.
  2. Don’t limit yourself to laps. You don’t have to be an experienced swimmer to enjoy the health benefits of the pool. Walking in the water is a great form of cardiovascular exercise and is easy on the joints. Whether you’re trying to prevent injury or recovering from an injury, walking in the water burns calories, improves cardiovascular health and protects your joints at the same time.
  3. Make it fun. When we were kids, swimming wasn’t exercise, it was just a fun way to pass a summer day. At FitClub, you don’t have to stop having fun when the outdoor pools close on Labor Day. FitClub’s indoor pools are open and accessible year-round, with scheduled time for open swim and family swim. Racing the kids in the pool burns calories, too, so take a break, have some fun, and know that you’re still getting fit.

Make the Most of Mornings at FitClub

Fitting in a morning workout can improve your health and productivity throughout the day. FitClub makes it easy with a variety of early morning classes at all three Springfield locations, including step classes, CycleFit, BallZone, Ripped, PowerZone, TG Training, BarreFit, lap swim, and small group Intensity Training.

An early morning workout ensures that unexpected work or family obligations that may pop up during the course of your day will not disrupt your fitness goals or workout plans. Making a plan before you head to bed the night before will help you achieve the benefits of a morning workout!

  1. Prepare for morning success the night before—Before you go to bed, make a plan for the morning’s workout. Will you be taking a class? clothesHitting the cardio machines? Lifting weights? Lay out your clothes and any gear you need to make getting to that workout easy in the morning. Nothing derails a morning workout faster than looking for a sock or sports bra in a dark bedroom.
  2. Share your plans with friends or on Facebook or Twitter—Be proud of your intention to fit in a morning workout. Sharing your goals with friends and family also makes you feel accountable. When the alarm clock wakes you early, you’ll remember that you made a commitment to yourself and shared it with others, and that maybe the motivation you need to follow-through.
  3. Sleep—You don’t have to sacrifice your sleep to workout in the morning. Gradually moving your bedtime forward each evening will allow you to wake up fully rested and early enough for a workout. Prepare yourself for sleep with a calming bedtime routine and turn the TV off just a few minutes earlier each night until you are sleeping seven to nine hours before the early morning alarm. Insufficient sleep before an early morning workout is counterproductive, ineffective, and will derail your long-term plans.
  4. Have a healthy pre-workout snack—Give your body the fuel it needs to face an early morning workout. Working out on an empty stomach can be uncomfortable and make you feel lethargic. Eat something, but don’t overdo it. A banana, some peanut butter, or a piece of toast will give your body the fuel it needs to power through an early morning workout.
  5. Simplify your post-workout strategy—Leave yourself enough time to shower, dress, and prepare for the workday. FitClub makes it easy to transition from the workout to the boardroom with ample locker rooms equipped with showers and hairdryers. Bring your work clothes with you and efficiently move from workout to work, knowing nothing that pops up can interfere with your workout.

Check FitClub’s group exercise schedules [http://fitclub.net/index.php/group-schedules/group-exercise] early and often to find a class that motivates you to get out of bed!