5 Reasons to Try a Group Exercise Class Right Now!

If 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.group-ex

  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.


Can You Enjoy Thanksgiving and Stay Healthy?

Every year, Thanksgiving threatens to derail healthy lifestyles across the country. You can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with your loved ones and maintain a healthy lifestyle by using five simple tips below.how-to-eat-healthy-on-thanksgiving-tips-on-eating-healthy-on-thanksgiving-day

  1. Eat breakfast. Don’t try to save up calories by starving yourself during the day in anticipation of the Thanksgiving feast. Instead, eat a healthy breakfast to avoid binging later in the day on less-healthy foods. Include protein and fiber in your breakfast to help keep you fuller longer to ensure you make better choices all day. Try an egg with a slice of whole-wheat toast or a bowl of oatmeal and fruit to get your body started off in a healthy way.
  2. Prepare healthy options for the family. Whether you’re hosting your entire family or just bringing a dish to share, make sure there are healthy options for your family to enjoy. Choose at least a few dishes that are low in sugar and fat and contain fruits and vegetables.
  3. Portions matter. You don’t have to deny yourself the traditional slice of pumpkin pie, but make sure your slice is just that—one slice. You don’t want to leave your holiday celebration feeling bloated and miserable.
  4. Get Active. Make a Thanksgiving workout a family activity by taking a walk around your neighborhood, chasing your kids at the playground, or hitting the road for a family bike ride. Not only is a holiday workout a great way to keep making progress towards your fitness goals during the holidays, it also puts you in the right mindset for spending the holiday with extended family or friends.
  5. Limit Thanksgiving to one day. When you wake up on Friday morning, forgive yourself for overindulging on Thanksgiving, and recommit to your healthy lifestyle. Enjoy the holiday leftovers responsibly, by adding leftover turkey to a healthy salad to enjoy after your Friday workout. Whether you plan to get your steps in while running the aisles of your favorite store on Black Friday or dancing your way through FitClub’s Black Friday dance party, the day after Thanksgiving is a great day to get right back to your healthy goals. Make a plan to start Friday with a healthy start at FitClub West’s Black Friday dance party with Zumba Gold and Cardio Jam at 8:45AM November 25, 2016. Making it to FitClub’s Black Friday dance party immediately puts you back on track for resuming your fitness goals and your commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

It’s not always easy to keep your fitness and health priorities during the holiday season, but by following the tips above, forgiving yourself for the Thanksgiving comfort foods and immediately hitting FitClub again on Friday, it will put you on the path towards a happy and healthy holiday season. (Black Friday group exercise schedule)

If you have a healthy plan for surviving the holidays and maintaining your fitness goals, share your ideas in the comments below to help your fellow FitClub members!

Make Peace With the Treadmill This Winter

Whether you’re an experienced runner or thinking of running your first 5K in the spring, don’t let winter derail your running routine. With the weather turning colder and inclement weather just around the corner, it’s time to make peace with the treadmill and take your run indoors for the winter months. FitClub has you covered with plenty of treadmills at all locations, and some practical advice to make a treadmill run fun and effective.girls-on-treadmills

  1. Take advantage of FitClub’s treadmill entertainment. If your tried and true running playlist is starting to feel a little monotonous, hitting the treadmill at FitClub gives you a chance to watch TV, listen to the music pumped in, or catch up on Netflix from your smartphone. You can catch up on your guilty-pleasure TV or Netflix shows and stay healthy at the same time. You can’t do that outside!
  2. Add intervals to pass the time. Intervals are an important component of any running program, and the treadmill makes it easy to experiment with faster intervals to break up a slow, steady run. Try increasing the speed for thirty seconds before dropping back to your comfortable pace. Don’t be afraid to experiment with faster or longer intervals, but do be careful of increasing the pace too quickly to avoid treadmill falls.
  3. Bring a friend. Running outside with a buddy can be difficult if you run at different paces, but on the treadmill you can run together and set your own pace. A three mile treadmill run might fly by when you can chat with a friend while you’re both maintaining a comfortable pace. If that doesn’t seem competitive enough to you, challenge your friend to a race and see who can finish a mile first.
  4. Check your form. Without the distraction of traffic and uneven pavement during an outside run, you have the time to really focus on your running form while on the treadmill. Think about where your foot hits the treadmill, relax your shoulders, and unclench your fists. Mentally scan your body during your treadmill run to see what feels right for your body. The winter months are a valuable time to change any aspect of your running form that isn’t working and when spring rolls back around, your more efficient technique will be a healthy habit in time for race season.
  5. Head for the hills. If you generally avoid hills during your outdoor runs, the treadmill is the perfect place to get over that obstacle. Increasing the incline on the treadmill is a safe way to get a hill workout inside. Just like with intervals, though, increase the incline gradually and carefully. You’ll thank yourself if you find a hill on your 5K route this spring!

Think of the treadmill as your training partner during the winter months and don’t be afraid to experiment until you find the treadmill workout that works for you. FitClub’s treadmills make it easy to keep your running routine going during the winter months while you stay dry and comfortable!

Get Practical and Ditch the Crazy Trends

If it’s too good to be true, it is, right? Yet, every day we are bombarded with crazy weight-loss and fitness promises through television, magazines, and social media. Don’t let exaggerated promises and radical health claims distract you from the goal of getting and staying healthy.keep-calm-and-forget-fad-diets

What do fad diets look like? Here are a few of the strangest:

  1. The Raw Food Diet—The raw food diet is premised on the idea of eating nothing but raw fruits and vegetables. Those that use the raw food diet often spend hours juicing, blending and dehydrating fruits and vegetables as a means of meal prep. The only proven benefit of the diet is the increased fruits and vegetables; the downside, though is far more compelling. Eliminating entire sources of protein, carbohydrates, and favorite foods causes nutritional deficits and deprivation. Instead of joining the craze, enjoy your fresh produce in whatever way works for you. Save your sanity and enjoy a healthy, balanced diet in moderation.
  2. Fasting, the werewolf diet, and extreme deprivation—If you’re not eating regularly or for long stretches of time, you may lose some initial weight, but it’s water weight and your weight will go right back up when you start eating again. The werewolf diet is even stranger, insisting that you should fast on only water and juice during a new moon. There is no scientific proof to support the werewolf diet, making it just as crazy as it sounds. Depriving yourself of food is unsafe, unhealthy, and detrimental to any weight loss or fitness goal you’re looking to achieve.
  3. The Hollywood Cookie Diet—Hollywood types have tried a high-protein/high-fiber cookie diet that consists of nothing more than cookies. It may sound like a great idea for a day or two (or to a child), but it’s unhealthy and not an effective weight loss regimen or healthy diet. Eating only a particular type of food or avoiding any particular type of food only leads to deprivation and binging on unhealthy foods when you can’t sustain the eating plan. Enjoy a treat in moderation, and eat real food with real nutritional value.
  4. Going completely “fat-free”—A healthy diet includes a moderate amount of calories from fat. A complete absence of fat in your diet sets you up for nutritional deficits that may cause fatigue, difficulty with your memory, and problems with your skin. Many fat-free foods also contain dangerous additives that really shouldn’t be a part of your normal daily diet. Don’t get stuck on the healthy sounding label and enjoy real food that contains a moderate amount of fat without the unnatural additives.

The moral of the story is there is no shortcut to sustained weight-loss. A healthy eating plan is one that is varied, sustainable, and feels good to you. If you feel deprived, hungry, or stressed it’s time to reevaluate and determine what your diet may be missing. Eat to fuel your body and your FitClub workouts and enjoy lasting weight-loss and fitness results. Fad diets come and go, but a healthy lifestyle is sustainable.

November is American Diabetes Month—Celebrate With Knowledge

How much do you know about diabetes?  November is American Diabetes Month, and there’s no better way to honor the month than by learning the types of diabetes, the signs and symptoms of diabetes, and the treatment options available.  FitClub wants you to know more about diabetes, and is hosting a Diabetes discussion on Friday, November 18, 2016 at 12:15PM at FitClub West, and again on Monday, November 21, 2016 at 12:15PM at FitClub South.  The talks are hosted by Erin Paris, Registered Dietician, Certified Diabetes Educator, and Group Exercise Instructor.diabetic

What is diabetes?
Diabetes is generally defined as a condition that impairs how your body uses glucose (sugar), making it difficult for the cells that make up your muscles, tissues, and brain to receive the energy needed to function.

There are three main types of diabetes, including Type 1, Type 2, and Gestational Diabetes.  Type 1 (previously known as juvenile diabetes) diabetes generally affects children and young adults; however, researchers are discovering even more types of diabetes.  Type 2 diabetes generally affects middle-aged and older adults, but can also affect younger people.  Gestational diabetes affects pregnant women and unborn babies.
Diabetes is a serious disease that should be treated and managed through medical treatment and healthy lifestyle changes.

Early symptoms and warning signs?
Learning the symptoms and warning signs of diabetes is crucial.  Approximately 86 million people have prediabetes, yet only about 10% are aware of their condition.
The American Diabetes Association has published a list of common diabetes symptoms, including: “urinating often, feeling very thirsty, feeling very hungry, extreme fatigue, blurry vision, cuts or bruises that are slow to heal, unexplained weight loss, and tingling, pain or numbness in the hands or feet.” If you or a loved one is experiencing the common symptoms of diabetes, it is imperative that you speak to a medical provider for formal evaluation and diagnosis.  Early treatment of diabetes is critical in avoiding further diabetic complications.

How can you combat the disease?
Whether you have been diagnosed with diabetes, are pre-diabetic, or just want to be proactive in preventing the disease, it is crucial that you incorporate healthy eating and fitness into your daily life.  Diabetes can be managed with both proper medical treatment and a healthy lifestyle.

A diabetes diagnosis doesn’t mean you have to give up tasty meals.  Knowing how to prepare a healthy meal that benefits your body and allows your body to ward off diabetic complications is an important first step towards treating and managing the disease.  A dietitian can help you understand what foods to eat and what foods to avoid if you have been diagnosed with diabetes.

Knowledge is the first step in treating and preventing diabetes.  Don’t be afraid to learn more about the disease, early symptoms, and treatments available.  Make a plan to attend one of the diabetes talks coming soon to FitClub and take advantage of Erin’s knowledge to get started on a proactive approach to managing or preventing diabetes.

Recognizing and Combating Exercise Burnout

Now that it’s getting darker earlier and the temperatures are falling, you may be experiencing more lethargy and exercise-burnout than you did during the summer months. Don’t let fall and winter be an excuse to hibernate!

4 Signs of Exercise Burnout and an Excuse-Proof Plan for Each

  1. You know you should workout and maybe you even laid out your clothes the night before expecting that you would be ready to hit an early morning class at FitClub before work. Somehow, though, you keep delaying your workout until eventually you give up and think maybe you’ll try again tomorrow.

    Excuse-Proof Plan: Start. That’s it. Just start. It might be the idea of a long, intense workout that’s holding you back from getting out the door, so start with a small goal and plan to do a few squats or take a short run on the treadmill. Start with low expectations and let the natural endorphin rush of the first few minutes of exercise carry you through to a longer workout.

  1. You’re bored. Maybe you’ve been doing the same workout every day, or you’re loyal to the treadmill and you just feel bored. Workouts aren’t supposed to be boring, so when you start to feel bored, it’s time to mix it up.sleeping-at-gym

    Excuse-Proof Plan: Make a plan to try one new thing at FitClub every week. Trying a  new activity at FitClub is good for both your body and your mind. Your muscles are likely ready for a new challenge and engaging your mind in a less familiar activity   is a great way to be more mindful during your workout.

  1. You’ve hit a plateau. Whether your goal is weight loss or increased physical fitness, if you’re just not seeing the improvement you were seeing months ago, you may feel discouraged and it may feel more difficult to get in the mood to workout.

    Excuse-Proof Solution: A plateau is the perfect time to work with one of FitClub’s personal trainers. The personal trainers can help you analyze your workout, figure out why you’re not seeing results, and teach you the moves and workouts you need to push   through the plateau and find success. Personal trainers are equipped with the expertise   you need to reevaluate your goal and plan and get in the best shape of your life.

  1. You feel more tired after a workout. If you’ve been exercising for awhile you know that a good workout should leave you feeling more energized. If that feeling is gone, it may be time to consider a rest day.

    Excuse-Proof Solution: Take a break. Give yourself permission to take a rest day to allow your mind and body to recover from the exertion of the workouts. Take a leisurely walk, get a full night’s sleep, and enjoy healthy meals. Rest days are crucial to fitness, but just remember to keep it to just one day and then plan to get back to work when your body and mind feel rested.


How do you bust through exercise burnout? Share your tips and tricks in the comment section to inspire your fellow FitClub members!

FitClub Supports Caregivers

Being a caregiver to a spouse, a child, a parent, or loved one can be stressful and may negatively impact the caregiver’s emotional, mental, and physical health. FitClub wants to support the caregivers in the community and invites caregivers to a lunch at FitClub South on November 14, 2016 at 12:00PM.screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-12-28-43-pm

A 2012 survey found that 36% of Americans provide some form of unpaid care to an adult suffering an illness or disability. As lifespans continue to increase, that number is expected to continue to rise, making it more important than ever that caregivers receive the support they need to combat the effect of stress on their own health.

Caregiver Stress
Caregivers are at risk for stress-related physical and mental conditions, ranging from weakened immune systems to depression and anxiety. Recognizing and managing the stress is crucial to the caregiver’s overall wellbeing and health. Signs of stress in caregivers may include a feeling of isolation, trouble sleeping or infrequent sleep, changes in weight and loss of interest in enjoyable activities.

Being able to provide care for your loved ones, may be both a positive and stressful event according to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association. Caregivers may feel conflicted at times, knowing that their work is crucial to their loved one, but often times sacrificing their own health. According to the APA, a caregiver’s own health is directly related to the care they are able to provide. Although caregivers often find it difficult to make time to maximize their own physical and mental health, it’s absolutely critical to all involved.

Managing the Stress for Better Health
Caregivers should make time for themselves to manage their stress. Finding time to be physically active, asking for and accepting help, and joining support groups for caregivers are all ways to manage stress and improve the caregiver’s health.

A great place to start is the FitClub Caregiver’s Lunch where caregivers can meet other people in the same stressful place in their lives. FitClub’s RN, Andrea Byrne will be on hand to help participants with practical advice. While you’re there, make a plan to incorporate FitClub’s supportive environment into your own healthy lifestyle. Spending time around other people while you fit in a workout or experience FitClub’s meditation class does more than just burn calories and provide a quiet moment. Whether it’s a cardio class or a meditation class, making the time to prioritize your health makes you a better caregiver to your loved ones.

If you’re a caregiver, take advantage of the ways that FitClub can help you more successfully recognize and manage the stress in your own life. Take time to improve your physical fitness and prioritize your own health so that you can be a healthier caregiver to your loved ones during their time of need.

To register for the event, please call (217)544-6464 or sign up at the front desk. For more information, please contact Andrea Byrne, RN at FitClub (andrea@fitclub.net).