New Year’s Resolutions You’ll Want to Stick With

Now that the Christmas presents have been unwrapped and the Christmas calories have been eaten, it’s that time of year when everyone starts to get serious about the changes they’ll make in the brand new year. new-year-resolutionsThink outside the box when making fitness and health resolutions this year and challenge yourself to stick with it!

  1. Mix it up! Make a plan to try new fruits and vegetables this year. Fruits and vegetables that are bright in color are also high in vitamins and antioxidants. Trying new fruits and vegetables will also keep you from getting bored with your healthy eating plan.
  2. Learn to cook. While you’re trying new fruits and vegetables, learn to cook new and exciting dishes. A quick internet search will give you a recipe for any ingredient you have on hand.
  3. Increase your gym time. Whether you add an extra day to your fitness regimen or an extra five minutes each trip to FitClub, the extra time you spend sweating will add up over the course of the next twelve months. Challenge yourself to push through an extra five minutes each time you hit the treadmill or the elliptical to speed up your progress.
  4. Increase your strength. While you’re adding an extra five minutes to your next trip to FitClub, try to add an extra couple of pounds to your strength training regimen. If you’ve been consistently lifting the 10 pound dumbbells, this is the year you increase your strength and challenge yourself to lift more weight or more reps.
  5. Measure progress in a healthy way. The scale can be a discouraging way to track your fitness. Instead, try keeping a log of how far and how long you went on a cardio machine, or how much weight you lifted and the number of reps. You can look forward to continued, sustainable progress each time you make it to FitClub and keeping your own stats will be a great way to motivate yourself to do better each trip!
  6. Try something new all year long. Don’t let early New Year’s ambition lose its appeal by February. If your workout starts to feel stale, you’ll know it’s time to try a new class. FitClub’s group exercise classes make it easy to fit a new experience into your schedule and the new challenges will help you stick to your resolutions.
  7. Learn something new. Is there a new skill or practice you’ve been wanting to develop? Swim? Run a longer distance? Meditate? Yoga? Thinking of fitness as a lifelong learning opportunity will power you through the winter months when you’d rather stay home. Take advantage of the classes FitClub offers to learn more about your body, your mind, and yourself.

Have fun. If you think you can’t have fun and get in shape at the same time, it’s time for you to try a FitClub group exercise class. Invite your coworkers to try Zumba instead of happy hour and let yourselves enjoy the process of getting fit while you have fun.

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year—To Get Healthy!

It’s the most wonderful time of year, at least that’s what the songs and movies keep telling us. Don’t trade your fitness motivation for Christmas spirit this year. This is the most wonderful time of year to keep your progress and challenge yourself to make it through the holidays with your healthy lifestyle intact!

It’s a Wonderful Workout
Instead of enjoying your Christmas spirit with eggnog, cookies, and watching Christmas movies, try combining your Christmas spirit with the endorphin rush of a good workout with the “It’s a Wonderful Life” workout. Get your cardio fix with intervals on the treadmill, chasing the feeling George Bailey had on Christmas morning when he had found his purpose again, and then jump into the pool to celebrate George saving Clarence. Replaying the classic movie in your head while swimming laps is entirely optional.

Miracle at FitClub
Perhaps the greatest Christmas miracle of all is surviving the busy holiday season with your sanity intact. Make a priority of your mental health, as well as your physical health, this holiday season by learning to meditate at one of FitClub’s meditation classes or challenge yourself to try yoga. You’ll thank yourself for the miracle of a stress-free Christmas when the family arrives and the house is covered in unwrapped toys!

The Treadmill Express
The treadmill not only provides a physical challenge, but can also be mentally challenging. Enjoy a little Christmas spirit while you make your way through your weekly long run on the treadmill. Find a Christmas movie on TV, plug your headphones in and lose yourself in the magic of a classic Christmas tale while you get your run done inside. If you’re in need of a break to catch your breath, try to wait until the next round of commercials and slow your pace to a walk until the movie resumes. Just knowing that a break is ahead will make your run feel easier and the commercials more endurable.

Silver (Kettle)bells
‘Tis the Season for chasing away the Christmas cookie calories. Kettlebells are an effective, high intensity workout that burn a lot of calories very quickly. If you’ve never used the kettlebells before, start with a low weight and watch your form. Try kettlebell swings to get your heart rate up and crush the calories as you tone up from head to toe.

Ghosts of Fitness Past
Maybe you have visions of a fitter past-self dancing in your head instead of sugar plum fairies. Let those ghosts of fitness past motivate to be your best self as we prepare to celebrate the New Year. It’s never too late to start getting back in shape, and it’s never too early to start working on those New Year’s Resolutions.

How do you keep your fitness priorities during the busy holiday season? Share with your fellow FitClub members in the comments and motivate each other this holiday season!

Hygiene to Keep You Healthy All Winter

It may be the season for sharing, but FitClub wants all of its members to stay healthy and avoid sharing germs this holiday season! Do you know the rules for gym hygiene and etiquette? Check out the tips and tricks for keeping yourself and your fellow FitClub members healthy all winter long.

  1. Wash your hands. Despite all the advancements in health and fitness, washing your hands is still the fool-proof way to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy during cold and flu season. Taking just a minute to wash your hands in warm, soapy water prevents you from spreading any germs you may have to others at FitClub, while also keeping you from taking home any unwanted germs to your loved ones.
  2. Wipe down your gym equipment at the end of a workout. When you finish using a machine, mat, or any other piece of equipment, be courteous and wipe down the area you’ve used. FitClub has cleanin-clean-gym-equipment-628x314ng wipes conveniently located throughout the facility to make cleaning up quick and easy.
  3. Shower and change. When you get home from a sweaty workout, you may want to do absolutely nothing but rest and recharge. Before you call it a day, make sure you change out of your sweaty gym clothes and take a quick shower. Germs love sweaty clothes, and the sooner you get into clean, dry clothes, the healthier you’ll stay all winter long. Better yet, take advantage of FitClub’s clean showers and comfortable locker rooms to shower and change before you even leave. You’ll thank yourself when you get home tired, feeling great and ready for a relaxing evening.
  4. If you’re feeling sick, consider a rest day. Not all illnesses are contagious, but if you’re running a fever, coughing, or a doctor has told you to stay home from work, rest your immune system and don’t share your germs with your fellow FitClub members. It can be hard to take a rest day when you’re starting to make considerable progress, but it’s more important to rebuild your immune system than force yourself through a workout you’re not well enough to complete.
  5. Prioritize your health. By prioritizing your own health during cold and flu season, you’re also preventing the spread of germs to your fellow FitClub members and your loved ones. Make sure to drink plenty of water, get plenty of rest, and eat a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables. Even during the busy holiday season, prioritizing your sleep will keep you functioning at your best and help you avoid any unwanted rest days.

It’s a difficult time of year to stay healthy, but we can all do our best to avoid sharing germs and staying healthy. Is there anything in your gym bag or locker that helps you stay healthy and productive all winter long? Share your tips and tricks in the comment section for a healthy holiday and new year!

Set Yourself Up for Success All Week Long

Sunday nights can be stressful, but it is also the ideal time for setting yourself up for success for the week ahead. You can make the week ahead healthier and easier if you take a little time on Sunday to plan a healthy week.

1. Plan your workouts
with-stuff-pic4At work, you probably plan your meetings in advance and know which tasks are non-negotiable. Prioritize your healthy goals by planning your workouts in advance and treating it as a non-negotiable meeting with yourself. On Sunday nights, look at your week ahead and pencil in a meeting with yourself at FitClub. Be realistic with your schedule and find a time that you can devote to your workout where you will be uninterrupted with other daily events. The FitClub schedule has a variety of classes at each location throughout the day and evening that will fit into anyone’s schedule.

2. Prepare your must-have FitClub gear
Nothing derails a morning workout faster than not being able to find clean workout gear. After you’ve planned your week’s workouts, lay out everything you’ll need to get that workout done. Make sure your workout gear is out of the laundry and lay it out the night before or pack it in a bag if you’re going straight from work. When you prepare your workout gear the night before, you can more easily remember all the smaller essentials you need for a great workout.

3. Plan your meals and prepare your snacks
Planning your workouts in advance is only half the battle. Don’t undo a good workout with fast food before bed because you failed to plan healthy meals. On Sunday evenings, take an inventory of what you have in the house and plan ahead for the busy weeknight dinners. A lot of healthy dinners can be prepared in advance while you’re catching up on Sunday night TV.

4. Set your goals
Each week brings a new opportunity for a fresh start. You don’t have to wait for New Years to set resolutions. On Sunday nights, reflect on your fitness goals and adjust as necessary. If you’ve been overdoing it on holiday treats, this is a good time to reflect on what went wrong, and right, and make a plan to start fresh. If you’re fitness routine has been feeling a little stale, this is a good opportunity to plan to try something new at FitClub for the week.

5. Get plenty of sleep
Whether your weekend has been relaxing or busy, head to bed early on Sunday and try to get a solid night’s sleep. The only good way to start a Monday is well-rested and energized, knowing that you have a plan for a healthy week already prepared!

What tips and tricks do you have for Sundays to start a healthy week?

When Will You Start to See Progress?

Whether you’re new to working out or have been getting fit for years, progress can be slow and discouraging at times. Many people make weight loss resolutions every January, but don’t stick with it because the results are not always immediate. In order to make a resolution stick, you have to prepare your mind for the changes you want to make and convince yourself to be consistent, patient, and motivated every week.a-woman-pinching-her-belly

Slow and steady weight loss
There are many diet fads and workout plans floating around that promise dramatic weight loss in record time. The simple rule is that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Instead of falling into an unhealthy fad, making healthy meals and sticking to a regular and consistent exercise program will lead to long-term and sustainable weight loss. Mayo Clinic suggests that losing one to two pounds each week is the healthiest way to lose weight. Slow and steady weight loss is not only better for your overall health, but it’s also easier to keep the pounds off and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Focus on something other than the scale
While the scale may be slow to move, there are positive changes you may begin to notice right away. An increased energy level, improved mood, lower stress level, and a better night’s sleep are all immediate benefits of a regular, consistent exercise program. When the scale seems to be moving too slowly or you don’t see any physical evidence of your new healthy lifestyle, focus on the mental and emotional benefits you’re already receiving and stick with the plan!

The scale is only one indicator of your progress. You may notice that your clothes are fitting better, it’s easier to walk up a flight of stairs, and making healthy decisions is becoming more automatic. Don’t forget to check in with your doctor as your fitness improves to see if there are any positive changes to your overall physical health.

Be patient
It may take up to three months to notice the lean muscle your body is building through workouts and a healthy eating plan. Many people start a New Year’s resolution but don’t stick with it when they don’t see immediate results. Be patient and practical and don’t be afraid to mix it up until you find something you can stick with for the long term. Three months may sound like a long time if you’re just getting started, but small, healthy decisions everyday will make the results worth the wait!

Take advantage of your FitClub membership and surround yourself with the support of the staff and other members. If you’ve set any new year’s resolutions, share them in the comments and get FitClub’s support!

Can Exercise Make You Happy?

The physical benefits of exercise are well-known, but if you’ve left FitClub feeling happier than when you started the workout, you already know that exercise has proven mental and emotional benefits, as well.weightlifting-4

Why does exercise make you happy?

  1. Endorphins. When you exercise, your body produces endorphins, often considered a natural painkiller. Endorphins allow your mind to feel a general sense of well-being, even during times of stress. The endorphin-rush experienced during a workout can last well beyond your workout, allowing you to reap the mental and emotional rewards long after you’ve finished sweating. If you’re dreading a difficult day in the office or struggling with a house full of holiday guests, a trip to FitClub early in the morning will improve your attitude and reduce your stress all day long.
  2. Eases stress and anxiety. When you exercise, you allow yourself a mental break from whatever troubles you are experiencing. There’s also a scientific reason, though, that exercise reduces anxiety and stress. Exercise is a type of physical stress placed upon the body. While you exercise, your body becomes more adept at managing the physical stress and leaves your body more efficient at handling real-life day to day stress.
  3. Increased confidence. The increased confidence that comes from a consistent workout regimen goes beyond your physical appearance and weight. Consistently setting and achieving fitness goals and increased energy boost your confidence in tackling day to day chores and maintaining healthy relationships.
  4. Socialization. Winter can be an isolating time of year. A FitClub group exercise class allows you to maintain a healthy lifestyle and socialize with others that have the same priorities and goals. A group exercise class is the perfect way to produce endorphins while you expand your social circle and feed off the energy of others. Group exercises classes may even take on a team-like feel when you come to rely on one another for support and enthusiasm.
  5. Improved immune system. Maintaining a consistent workout regimen can also keep you healthier all winter. Exercise helps to flush the body of bacteria that causes illness and promotes the development of white blood cells that can eliminate and prevent illness. Eating well, exercising, and prioritizing quality sleep will help you enjoy the winter illness-free.

Focusing on the mental and emotional benefits of exercise may help you to look forward to a workout early in the morning or at the end of the long day. If you’re feeling stressed, anxious, or just not yourself, try a workout at FitClub and see if that helps lift your spirits. If exercise makes you happy, share it in the comment with your fellow FitClub members!

Before You Skip a Workout Consider What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Working Out

The holiday season is a busy time of year, and you may be tempted to sacrifice your workout to free up more time for Christmas shopping or holiday parties with friends. Before you cancel too many workouts, though, consider what happens to your body and mind when you stop exercising.

  1. Increased blood pressure. You might see your blood pressure increase within just two weeks of non-activity. If you’ve been working out regularly, your overall physical health has likely improved. If you take a hiatus during the holiday season, it doesn’t take long for those positive benefits to begin healthyholidays_largeto reverse.
  2. Decreased strength. It likely took you much longer than one month to build up the increased strength that you fought hard to gain. Within just one month of inactivity, though, your body will start to lose strength and muscle mass.
  3. Loss of cardiovascular fitness. Within just two to four weeks, you may notice a decline in cardiovascular fitness. Taking a break from your exercise regimen reduces your body’s efficiency in delivering oxygen to your muscles. Your body’s ability to effectively and efficiently transmit oxygen to your muscles continues to reduce during an extended break from FitClub.
  4. Loss of memory. If you’ve been exercising for some time, you may have noticed that your workouts improve your mental energy and memory, in addition to your physical wellbeing. A 10-day hiatus in your exercise regimen can negatively affect the part of your brain that controls memory and emotion. Exercise also greatly reduces stress, and during this busy time with family and friends, stress reduction is essential to enjoying your holiday season.
  5. Increased fat. After six weeks of inactivity, you might notice the number on the scale inching up or you clothes not fitting as well as they did. Weight gain during the holidays is common, but avoidable. Making healthy decisions at holiday parties, fitting in a workout at FitClub, and drinking plenty of water can help you avoid the holiday weight gain.

If you’re thinking of taking a break from your workout regimen and starting over with a New Year’s Resolution next month, consider the negative effects on your body and mind. Even during the holiday season, you can take steps to make sure you have time to fit in your workout. Plan a workout or a group exercise class before work to eliminate any scheduling conflicts later in the day. If you don’t have time for a full-scale workout, make the most of what time you do have by throwing in a HIIT workout to maximize your time and the value of your workout.

When 2017 rolls in, you’ll be in great shape to tackle even more challenging resolutions!