5 Reasons to Try a Group Exercise Class Right Now!

group-exIf you’ve been hitting the gym for a while and not seeing the results as quickly as you’d like, it’s time to change it up and head into a group exercise class at FitClub. It can be slightly intimidating if you’ve never tried group exercise, but with these five reasons you might just find a new favorite workout and the results you’ve been looking for.

  1. It’s fun. Why do a dance aerobics video alone in your living room or hit the stationary bikes after work when you have Zumba and CycleFit options at FitClub? Finding a class that you enjoy will help you stick to your workout plan and achieve your goals. Let the music and instructor pick you up when you’re energy is low and thrive off of the other class members. Just because it’s fun, doesn’t mean it’s not also effective.
  2. It helps to make a commitment. It’s so easy to tell ourselves that we’ll fit in a workout later or tomorrow, but knowing in advance what class you want to try will keep you on a schedule. Knowing that you want to hit a Wednesday night class will make it easier to plan for your day and to avoid the excuses that try to keep you from your workout. FitClub’s varied class schedule and multiple locations make it easy to excuse-proof your workout plan with a group exercise class.
  3. Learning proper techniques. Yes, the internet makes it easy to stream yoga videos at home, but the instructor on the video can’t correct your downward dog or encourage you to try a new yoga position that is just outside your comfort zone. The FitClub instructors can guide you through new workouts and adjust your form during the class. Group exercise classes make it easy to learn proper techniques and to stay injury-free while you push your limits in a supportive environment.
  4. Variety for your muscles. If you’ve always been loyal to a particular workout regimen, you may have muscles that are crying out for variety. FitClub has a variety of group exercise classes to challenge your body in new and different ways that may alleviate muscle imbalances or activate muscles that don’t receive enough attention during your normal routine.
  5. Variety for your mind. Mixing up your workout routine and trying a new class will give your workout routine a healthy change and may just reenergize your mind. If your workout routine has been feeling stale, this is the perfect time to find a class on the FitClub schedule and dive in. Having something new and exciting to look forward to will make it easier to find the motivation to get your workout in everyday.

As the days are getting shorter and the air is getting cooler, this is the perfect time to move your workout indoors and take advantage of the variety of FitClub classes available. For more information, check out the class schedule or stop into your favorite FitClub location for more information.

What is a Calorie?

Calories aren’t the scary monsters that hide under our beds at night, but some of us find ourselves worrying about calories all the same. With all of the science and trends surrounding weight loss and healthy eating, it can be confusing to understand exactly what a calorie is and what impact it has on your body. FitClub wants you to understand healthy living, so let’s take a closer look at those tiny scary monsters that we’re all worried about.

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Medical News Today defines “calorie” as, “a unit of energy.” The definition is simple, but the logic is slightly more complicated. Why then does an apple have fewer units of energy than a pizza?

Are all calories created equally?
No! Think about the calories you’ve already consumed today. There were calories in the piece of fruit that you had for a mid-day snack. Those calories delivered necessary nutrients to your body to strengthen your immune system, repair your muscle tissue, and support muscle growth. There are also calories in your sugary coffee drink which do not have a positive nutritional benefit.

The US Government believes that the number one source of empty calories in America is in sugary drinks, and estimates that Americans consume 363 empty calories everyday in the form of sugary drinks like soda, sugared coffee, or sugared juices. However, other sources of empty calories include foods like pizza, hot dogs, ice cream, and donuts.

Eliminating empty calories from your diet allows you to receive maximum nutritional value from the calories you eat daily without leading to excessive hunger throughout the day. Substitute water for soda, or try black coffee without sugar to free up room in your diet for more nutritionally satisfying calories.

How many do you need?
All of us have different caloric needs, determined by our age, weight, activity level and goals. If you’re goal is to lose weight, your calorie needs will be different than if your goal is to maintain your weight. Knowing your optimal caloric needs to hit your goals is essential. Don’t let the mathematical formulas scare you.

You can get an estimate of the calories your body needs to achieve your goals at WebMD. Then talk to the FitClub experts to determine whether your goals are healthy and your calorie demands reasonable. Eating too few or too many calories both have a detrimental effect on reaching your health goals.

Once you know your caloric needs, keep track. There are many apps available for phones and computers that make tracking your daily calories easy and efficient. If you’re more comfortable with a pen and paper, that will do just as well. Read the labels on your foods and make sure that you pay attention to the serving size when calculating how many calories your meal really contains.

Don’t let calories be confusing! Eat nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables throughout the day to avoid relying on empty calories to keep you satisfied. Take advantage of the knowledge of the FitClub staff and share your questions in the comments below. Together we can figure it out and achieve our goals!

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone and Into the Weight Room

If you’re a cardio junkie and spend the majority of your time on the cardio machines or in the cardio classes, you’re already receiving huge cardio benefits that are helping you reach your weight loss goals. It just might be time, though, to step out of your comfort zone and try strength training.lift

Why?
In order to reach your weight loss or healthy goals, you need both cardio and strength workouts in your training regimen. While cardio workouts burn calories in the gym, developing strong muscles allows you to burn more calories even while you’re at rest by increasing your metabolism and allowing your body to operate more efficiently. Adding strength training to your daily training also strengthens your bones, reducing the risk of developing conditions such as osteoporosis as you age.

What?
If you’re new to strength training, there are several ways you can incorporate strength training into your daily cardio regimen at FitClub.

Body weight exercises, including pushups, pull-ups, and squats use your own body weight as resistance. If you’re heading to FitClub for forty minutes on the treadmill or elliptical, try breaking the cardio into two twenty minute segment with body weight training in the middle. You don’t need to use any equipment, just grab a mat and find floor space and start challenging yourself to see how many pushups, pull-ups or squats you can add to your workout. Keep track of your progress and add more each day.

Weight machines are also conveniently located throughout every FitClub facility. If you’re new to strength training, start with a low weight and work your way through ten to twelve repetitions. Take a short break, and try ten to twelve more repetitions. When you’re just getting comfortable with a machine, focus on form over weight. If you’re unsure how to use a machine at FitClub, take advantage of the FitClub staff and ask for direction.

Free weights are also easily found at FitClub and make it easy to slip in a strength workout you can personalize for yourself. Whether you’re just getting started or have been lifting weights for years, make sure you are watching your form in the mirror. Correct form will prevent injury and ensure that you are reaping the maximum benefit from each workout.

How?
When you’re just getting started with weight training, strive for caution and focus over fear. Make sure you focus on proper form to avoid injury and avoid lifting weights that are too heavy. FitClub’s personal trainers would be happy to work with you to teach you proper form, safety techniques, and new ways to use free weights. Attention to form and increasing the amount of weight slowly will help you stay injury free while you reap the benefits of adding strength training into your workout regimen.

Do You Know Your Stroke Risk?

The American Heart Association recognizes October 29th as World Stroke Day and FitClub wants you to take a minute and know your stroke risks, the warning signs, and how you can prevent a stroke.

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Stroke, Know the Signs & Your Risks – FitClub West, Tuesday Nov. 1 @ 1:00pm

The American Heart Association defines “stroke” as the event that occurs “when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts (or ruptures).” Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, as well as a leading cause of disability. According to the American Heart Association, every forty seconds, someone in the United States suffers a stroke, and every four minutes, someone in the United States is killed by a stroke. The lasting disabilities caused by stroke can be devastating to both the person that suffers the stroke and their family members.

Now, the good news: most strokes are preventable.

Risk Factors
Before you can think about preventing a stroke, you have to understand your risk factors. There are several risk factors beyond your control. If you have a family history that includes strokes, you likely already know that heredity plays a role. Race and gender also can determine whether you are at risk for a stroke, with African Americans having a higher incidence of stroke, and women having a higher predisposition than men. Prior strokes, heart attack or cardiovascular disease also increases your risk of stroke.

There are also several risk factors within your control, including high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, poor diet, lack of physical activity and obesity.

To better understand your risk factors, talk to your medical professionals, and then manage the factors within your control by following the tips below.

Prevention
FitClub wants you to take charge of the factors within your control.

  1. Stop smoking. If you are a smoker, today is the day to quit! Smoking is a leading risk factor for strokes. Smoking also causes high blood pressure and contributes to physical inactivity. There are resources available if you’re a smoker trying to quit. Take advantage of the healthy, social, smoke-free support you receive at FitClub to jump start your success.
  2. Get active. If you’re already a member of FitClub, you’re on the right track. Talk to a personal trainer, take a class, or find a workout regimen that puts you on the track to regular exercise. If you’re new to exercise, consult your medical professionals and the FitClub staff to determine the best workout regimen for you.
  3. Lose weight. Great news! If you’re getting physically active, weight loss is an excellent side effect. Losing weight also requires you to eat a healthy diet, get plenty of quality sleep, and drink enough water to stay hydrated.

Managing your risk factors for stroke isn’t easy, but it is essential. FitClub can help. Take advantage of the professional resources available to FitClub members. Engage with the FitClub community and find others seeking a healthier lifestyle.

 

Can Getting Healthy Save You Money?

If you’re on the fence about joining FitClub, consider how spending money to join can actually put money back in your wallet.

When we think about getting active and healthy, we think about losing weight, but research conducted by George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services found that being overweight can cost women an extra $4,879 and men an extra $2,646 every year. Read on to find out how getting healthy at FitClub is a good idea for your body, your mind, and your wallet!Print

  1. After a workout at FitClub, you’re far more likely to make healthy food choices. A hard workout will leave your body craving healthy foods from home and have you skipping the fast food line. Eating at home saves you money, is better for your health, and helps you achieve your fitness goals.
  2. Obesity costs money. According to bankrate.com, obese people spend an additional $1,429 annually on medical costs. This increased medical cost includes co-pays, medications, and hospitalizations. Getting control of your weight and your health, saves your wallet and your life. As a special bonus, you’re likely to save money on life insurance premiums if you maintain a healthy weight. Many life insurance policies require a physical exam and the fitter you are, the lower your premium. Add in the additional expenses associated with health conditions like diabetes and the cost only increases.
  3. Better health, fewer sick days. The better your overall health, the more reliable you are as an employee. Don’t miss out on promotions, raises, and available overtime because you’re unhealthy. FitClub offers information on overall wellness, as well as yoga and meditation classes that can keep you mentally healthy while you work on your physical fitness.
  4. More clothes. If your waist line is expanding and you haven’t maintained a healthy weight, you might also be spending more money on clothes than your fitter friends, according to Time Magazine. If your clothes seem to get smaller from season to season, it’s likely because you’re not maintaining a healthy weight.
  5. FitClub is healthier and costs less than a regular happy hour with friends. FitClub’s expansive list of group exercise classes can provide a healthy alternative to a night out with coworkers or friends. Invite your friends to Zumba at FitClub and save the cost (and calories) of drinks and appetizers while you sweat, dance, and laugh together. Make a tradition of moving your weekly night out to FitClub for a healthy sweat session together and save that money on a regular basis. Getting fit with friends is easy at FitClub, and if you haven’t already taken advantage of FitClub’s Buddy Program, this is a great time to start a new tradition with friends!

What ways has FitClub helped you save? Has losing weight or getting fit had a positive impact on your wallet? Share in the comments below and motivate your fellow FitClub members to stay physically and financially fit all year long at!

Every Buddy is a Member of FitClub

FitClub is starting an exciting program that could make you fitter, happier, and $100 richer.women-workout-buddies

How It Works
Research has already shown that working out with a buddy is more effective than working out alone. FitClub’s new program lets you give a 30-day FitClub membership to your buddies so you can start enjoying the benefits of the buddy system. If three of your buddies become FitClub members, FitClub gives you $100. If your workouts are feeling stale or you’re tired of choosing between social hour with your friends and a workout, stop by the front desk today to get started.

Why It Works

  1. A workout buddy makes working out more fun. Catching up with your friend while you run on side-by-side treadmills, or chat your way through reps with the free weights makes working out more fun and makes the time go more quickly. The more you enjoy your workout, the more likely you are to stick to it.
  2. A workout buddy makes you accountable. After a long day at work, knowing you’ve made plans with a buddy to meet at FitClub for a workout will make you more likely to stick to the plan.
  3. Workout buddies make it easier to try something new. Your workout buddy doesn’t have to share the exact same workout experience as you. If your buddy is a runner, but you enjoy lifting weights, you can share your expertise with one another and both enjoy a full-body workout and the benefit of trying a new challenge. If you’ve always been curious about Zumba or CycleFit, make plans to check it out together. You can help each other master a new skill or enjoy a new experience by pushing one another out of your comfort zones.
  4. A workout buddy means twice as many successes to celebrate. Celebrating success at FitClub is so much more than pounds on the scale and working out with a buddy means there’s twice as much to celebrate. Maybe you encourage your buddy to try a faster treadmill interval, or your buddy convinces you to squeeze out one more rep. Either way, you can learn from each other and challenge one another and watch the successes pile up. Healthy competition may be just what you need to push yourself further than you can on your own.
  5. A healthy support system is crucial. A workout buddy is a built in support system on those days that a healthy lifestyle seems challenging. Your shared healthy goals will get you both to FitClub after a long day and keep you healthy throughout the week as you help each other make healthier decisions.

FitClub wants to make it easier for you and your buddies to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain from helping your buddies enjoy FitClub. Stop by the front desk at FitClub for more information, and don’t forget to share your buddy successes in the comments below! We all want to celebrate those successes!

 

Change the Way You Talk to Yourself About Fitness

Everyday, we are bombarded with photoshopped images of celebrities on the covers of health and fitness magazines. We judge ourselves for having an extra cookie, for not hitting that goal weight yet, or for cutting short a cardio workout. According to research done at the University of Southern California, everyday you have approximately 70,000 thoughts and Webmd.com tells us that these thouself-talkghts are important, and can in fact, shape your reality.

Negative self-talk has a negative impact on your workout, your health, and your capacity to reach your goals. Fortunately, FitClub welcomes all body types, all fitness and health goals, and can be your place to start changing your health, and the way you talk to yourself.

  1. Food is not the enemy. If you’ve been working out for awhile, you may have already learned that food is fuel and not the enemy, a source of shame, or something you should judge. Treating yourself with respect means that you know starving yourself is detrimental to your fitness goals, as well as dangerous. You know what foods fuel your workouts and what foods make you feel sluggish when you workout. Being body-positive means that you make food decisions based on what makes you feel good and you forgive yourself for the occasional treat.
  2. You celebrate progress. Even if you have a healthy goal weight in mind, you know that every day is an opportunity to celebrate progress, even if the scale doesn’t move. There’s progress in being able to run or walk an extra five minutes on the treadmill or in being able to lift a weight you couldn’t lift last week. Being body-positive means that you find progress to celebrate every single day, even if it’s just that you made it to FitClub after a long day at the office. The wins start to pile up, the momentum builds, and your motivation increases every time you find progress to celebrate.
  3. You see FitClub as a community. In every FitClub class, there is a variety of body types, ages, and fitness levels. Everyone is striving towards the goal of a healthier lifestyle, and no one is negatively judged. If you’re choosing thoughts that promote body positivity, you see that FitClub is a community of like minded individuals taking advantage of having a community that shares the same goals. It’s easier to find joy and motivation when you are able to share that in a FitClub class, program, or just surrounding yourself with others in the cardio rooms.
  4. You express gratitude for your health. Everyone at FitClub is committed to improving their health, but we can also be grateful for the health we already have. When the negative self-talk starts to slip in, you can replace it with gratitude that you have enough energy to make it through your workout. We all have something we are working to improve, but we can also be grateful for our health and grateful for every opportunity to improve.

What helps you be more positive about your body? Share your tips with the FitClub community and let’s help each other get, and stay, more body positive!