Sore? FitClub Has Five Tips for Easing the Pain of Sore Muscles

Whether you’re new to fitness or you’re chasing new, harder goals this year, muscle soreness after a challenging workout can happen to anyone.  Instead of letting sore muscles keep you from your favorite workout activity, sore muscles can be a sign that you’re moving in the right direction.  Soreness doesn’t have to leave you on the sidelines.  With FitClub’s tips for easing the pain of muscle soreness, you can be back at FitClub chasing your goals sooner than you might expect.stretching-to-ease-sore-muscles-700

  • Stretch. Too often we skip stretching before and after our workouts, which prevents our bodies from easing in and out of our workouts and allowing for soreness to creep into our muscles.  Even if you’re short on time, committing to a dynamic stretching warm up and a slow, static stretching cool down, can ward off injuries and muscle soreness that come from increasing the workload we put on our bodies.
  • Drink up. Drinking more water can prevent muscle cramps and naturally decrease inflammation that causes muscle soreness.  Unless you’re training for an extended endurance event, water should be your drink of choice before, during and after your workout.  Unlike water, sports drinks have added calories and sodium, which can put you at risk for adding more calories than you burned during your workout.
  • Use the sore muscles. If you’re sore from a long leg day, the last thing you probably want to do is use your legs again the next day.  It is, however, a highly effective way to minimize and eventually eliminate soreness in those tired muscles.  Instead of redoubling your efforts the next day doing the same exercises, give that overworked body party a different workout.  Yoga, swimming, and stationary biking are good low-impact, but effective exercises, that can rehabilitate tired and sore muscles.  Just keep moving!
  • Massage and foam rolling. The healing pressure of massage or self-massage with a foam roller helps to counteract inflammation and promote healing in sore and overworked muscles. High-impact exercise causes tiny tears in the muscles that grow back bigger, stronger, and more efficient. Unlike pain pills which mask pain but don’t accelerate healing, massage can reduce inflammation and pain, while promoting cell turnover which leads to healing.  If you’ve been working hard for awhile, it is probably time to treat yourself with a massage at FitClub.
  • Eat the right foods. Your muscles are only as strong and efficient as the foods you feed your body.  Pineapple and tart cherries have enzymes that counteract the inflammation that’s causing your sore muscles.  Adding pineapple and tart cherries to your smoothie, breakfast oatmeal, or salad can add flavor while feeding your body the foods it needs to recover.

What’s your remedy for eliminating sore muscles? Share your tips with your fellow FitClub members.

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What Do You Need to Get in Shape?

Do you find yourself wishing there was an easy path to fitness?  If there was one path to fitness that we could each follow it might seem less intimidating to get started.  While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to having your healthiest year yet, FitClub has five key tips for creating your own path to fitness this year.img_8667

  • Smart goals. New Year’s Resolutions like “lose weight” and “get in shape” are difficult to keep because there’s no easy way to track progress or know when you’ve achieved your goal.  Instead, make this year different by making specific, measurable, achievable, results-oriented goals.  Your resolution should be specific enough that you can easily measure your progress and recognize when you’ve hit a plateau or reached your goal.  Resolutions that shoot for a specific percentage of fat loss, level of aerobic conditioning or lifting a certain number of reps, keep you moving towards your goal than vague promises you make to yourself.
  • A plan. Once you have a smart goal, you’ll need a plan that realistically meets the demands of your lifestyle and keeps you on track.  If you’re just getting started, your resolution might be to step into FitClub three or four times each week.  A plan will tell you what you need to do when you get there.  Are you working on cardio, strength, balance, or flexibility?  Which order do you prefer to complete your workout?  The plan might be different for everyone, but for most people cardiovascular training and strength training should both be components of your well-balanced plan no matter what your goals are for 2019.
  • Group exercise class schedule. Working out with others is a proven way to maximize your efforts and hit your fitness goals.  FitClub has a huge variety of group exercise classesand varying times to meet the changing demands of your schedule. Trying a new class is a commitment-free way to experiment with fitness and find the workout that you’ll stick with for the journey.
  • If there’s a magic weight loss drink on the market, it’s water.  The more you’re exercising the more water you need.  Just because winter is here and you’re not sweating as much as you might on warm summer day, doesn’t mean your body isn’t losing water throughout the day.  Staying hydrated and drinking water continuously throughout the day also helps to moderate your appetite and crush sugar cravings that arise from time to time.
  • Rest days. No matter your fitness level, every body needs a day of rest in the training schedule to allow tired muscles to repair and rebuild stronger than before. Incorporating a rest day into your routine also allows you a mental break and can rebuild your motivation while you rebuild your muscles.  Using your rest days to stay active by taking a walk, assessing the quality of your sleep, and reevaluating your goals and progress is part of a complete healthy lifestyle.

What do you need to get and stay fit?

Why Do We Gain Weight in the Winter?

If your pants are a little snug and you notice that the scale has crept up a few pounds since autumn, you’re not alone.  Weight gain during the winter months happens to many people, but if you understand why it happens it doesn’t have to be inevitable.  This year, get a head start and ward off the weight gain commonly associated with winter.image

Dark days lead to seasonal depression.  Seasonal Depression(“SAD”) often occurs during the winter days when less natural sunlight is available. Symptoms of SAD include less interest in activities you enjoy, the desire to sleep more, and even changes in your appetite. If you have symptoms of SAD, you might find yourself craving more comfort foods this time of year.  Exercise is a crucial defense to symptoms related to depression.  If you start to recognize that you’re feeling symptoms of SAD, try to release endorphins with cardiovascular exercise before you give in to your cravings.

  • Lack of fresh produce. Whether you love your summer produce from the farmers market or your own backyard, summer is the season most associated with fresh fruits and vegetables.  That may be true for some of your favorite healthy picks, but even during winter there are fresh fruits and vegetables.  Sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and grapefruit are commonly thought of as winter fruit and  vegetables. Experimenting with the flavors of the season can help you ward off weight gain and have more fun in the kitchen this winter.
  • Food-related gatherings. You can’t meet your friends at your favorite swimming pool during the winter months, so most people turn to indoor gatherings centered around warm food. Even though the holidays are over now, many people will catch up over dinner and drinks or invite friends over to watch football games.  Learning to enjoy your family and friends while minding your goals is crucial to living a healthier lifestyle.  Being responsible for bringing a healthy dish to share, staying hydrated with plain water, and keeping your commitment to your FitClub workouts will allow you to enjoy the seasonal parties without starting spring heavier than before.
  • Once upon a time, our genetic ancestors needed to eat when food was available due to the scarce winter months of hardship.  Even though humanity has evolved enough to provide food throughout the year, our habits have been passed down from one generation to the next.  Fortunately, now that studies suggest this is why you indulge during the colder months, we are better equipped to recognize it and outsmart our genetic legacy.  Creating and sticking to healthy habits this winter can allow you to reset the habits that keep you stuck in the cycle of gaining weight in the winter and trying to lose it again in the spring and summer.  Consistent sleep, plenty of fruits and vegetables, and a regular FitClub routine can get you started losing weight earlier this year!

Want To Build a Healthier Lifestyle? Science Says Start on a Monday!

If you don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions, trying a new approach and making a resolution every Monday might help you achieve your health and fitness goals.  Thinking of every Monday as a “fresh start” allows you to forgive yourself when you fall off track so you can quickly jump back into chasing your goals and living a healthier lifestyle. Interested in starting a Monday habit? FitClub has three ways to make it work for you, long-term.shutterstock_362066123-e1515469860127

  • Don’t give up your long-term goals. Even though long-term goals can’t be achieved before the next Monday, long-term goals still play a huge role in living a healthy lifestyle and moving toward your individual vision of success.  Monday resolutions allow you to break that long-term goal down into seven-day parts with smaller progress goals sprinkled along the way.  Instead of waiting one year to see results or celebrate progress, you have fifty-two Mondays each year to check-in with yourself and see if what you’re doing is having a positive impact on your life.  To make Monday resolutions work for you, keep thinking long-term, but start acting on short-term goals designed to get you to the ultimate finish line.
  • Set yourself up for success on Sundays. If your long-term goal refreshes itself every Monday, Sunday is the day you can start preparing for the new week.  Thinking of Sunday as your new New Year’s Eve allows you to make sure your workout clothes are clean, your healthy meals are prepped, and each workout of the next seven days is scheduled to avoid any excuses keeping you from hitting your goals.  While you pack your gym bag, write out your schedule, and prep your meals, you can clear your mind of any mistakes you may have made in the prior week and prepare yourself for a week free of last week’s guilt.
  •  Too often, we think of “progress” as being determined by the number we see on the scale.  Acting on a more short-term agenda, though, lets you better check in and see how you felt in the prior week.  Did you sleep better?  Did you have more energy or a more positive attitude?  How did stress impact your mental and physical health in the prior week? Looking at our lives in the immediate seven-day time span allows us to better assess our strengths and weaknesses. Instead of looking back on the year as a whole and wondering where the time went, you only have seven days each week to re-assesses.  This is also the right way to look at whether your goal is still important to you.  If there are elements of your long-term plan that you don’t enjoy or that don’t seem to be working, reevaluate what you really want.  You don’t have to quit on a year-long resolution if you can reevaluate every seven days.

Do you set weekly goals for yourself?  What advice do you have for FitClub members looking for a fresh start every Monday?

Can Social Media Help You Achieve Your 2019 Resolutions?

Researchers at the University of Scranton estimated that only eight percent of those that made New Year’s Resolutions in 2017 actually succeeded in their quest to change for the better.  What if this year could be different and you can celebrate your successes at this time next year?AR-305259866

  • Let your social media feed hold you accountable. Accountability is a key factor in ensuring New Year’s resolution success.  Even if your friends live too far away to meet you for an evening workout at FitClub or nag you to join a morning group exercise class, sharing your intentions on social media can provide that push you need to stay accountable.  Start your year off by declaring your intentions to your Facebook and Twitter world and check-in regularly to show everyone (most importantly, yourself) that you’re progressing.  At this time next year, let your social media feed be a reminder of your progress.
  • Ask for help. Do you follow FitClub on Facebook and Twitter?  Reaching out to a group that shares similar goals might lead you to a missing component of your workout regimen that can spearhead even more success than you imagined.  Should you lift weights more often or mix up your cardio routine?  Whatever your fitness, diet or wellness related question might be, there’s someone at FitClub that probably has experienced the same problem. Using social media to reach out and ask for help is a great way to stay on track when the days get colder and motivation begins to suffer.  Even if you’re the only one in your household chasing healthy goals this year, you’re never alone when you check-in at FitClub.
  • Brag a little. Setting short-term goals along the way to achieving your ultimate 2019 goal is a great way to stay motivated and find success this year.  Setting a smaller, achievable goal for each month of 2019 will keep you motivated to make progress while you celebrate monthly milestones. Don’t wait until December 31, 2019 to share your results.  Let yourself brag a little when you achieve a new personal best, lose ten pounds, or have a healthier In-Body System result than last month.  We all know how it feels when those likes and positive comments start to show up on our status posts and it’s okay to brag about yourself when your goal is a healthier lifestyle.
  • Be someone’s accountability partner. On January 1, 2019, our social medias will be buzzing with everyone’s upcoming resolutions and aspirations.  This year, dive right in and offer to be someone’s accountability partner.  Is a friend of yours running a race or hoping to lose weight this year?  Perhaps by reaching out and suggesting a FitClub treadmill run after work instead of a happy hour will be what you both need to find success.

Five Easy Ways to Motivate Yourself to Exercise This Winter

As we hunker down into the dark days of winter, it can seem harder than ever to prioritize your health and make it to FitClub for your workout.  Whether you’ve been pursuing your fitness goals for years, or getting fit is your New Year’s resolution, FitClub has five easy ways to motivate yourself to exercise this winter that can help everyone get healthier!22a96bd9-3d78-4651-a67b-56eb46e8e6b0

  • Lay your workout clothes out before you go to bed. Staying in a warm bed is far too easy when you’re workout clothes are scattered about or still in drawers. Set your workout clothes by the alarm clock or coffee pot to make it as easy as possible to pull yourself out of your warm house in the early morning hours. Setting your alarm clock to play your workout playlist and leaving your workout clothes in a place you’ll see upon waking will remind you of the promise you made to yourself the night before and help you eliminate any excuses.
  • Build a support system. Make a date with your friends that you can’t miss.  Having someone to hold you accountable makes a tremendous difference when it’s dark and cold out.  Even if you don’t have an “in person” workout buddy, post your intentions on Facebook and then check in once you make it there.  Having an online social network that knows you intended to work out in the morning can be all you need to get out of bed.  A little bit of social media bragging is completely expected this winter when you’re chasing your goals instead of hibernating.
  • Create a warmup routine. It’s not just your skin that’s cold in the winter, but your muscles, too.  Create a warmup routine that feels more like play than work.  Jump rope, do jumping jacks, or whatever feels good to your body.  As your muscles begin to warm up, you’ll quickly forget how cold it is outside, making it easier to look forward to your next workout.
  • Create a long-term goal with built in smaller goals. Want to be in shape for summer?  That’s a great goal, but what are your mini-goals that you can work towards one week or one month at a time?  A long term goal might make it easier for you to skip a workout when it’s cold and dark.  To ensure that you’ll hit your long-term goals, create smaller, shorter goals that you need to reach one week or one month at a time.  The less time you have to achieve your next small goal, the easier it will be to recognize the significance of every single day.
  • Hire a personal trainer and make a commitment to your health. Scheduling a regular routine with a personal trainer will eliminate any decision-making that you might otherwise need to plan your workout. Not only can personal trainers help you reach your goals more quickly, knowing that you’ve made a commitment to work with a professional will make it far too difficult to skip a workout!

Is a Daily Routine the Missing Piece of Your Fitness Journey?

Whether you’re just starting your fitness journey at FitClub or you’ve been trying to hit your fitness goals for years, creating or revamping your daily routine might be the juggernaut you need to find success this year.  A routine that you can rely on from day to day can help you manage the anxiety that comes with modern day life.  You might also find it’s the key to eliminating your excuses and finally prioritizing your mental and physical health.making-daily-notes-886482572-5ada1c8dba617700366d75c8

Why routines improve your health.

While some people thrive on impulsive days and ever-changing schedules, most people maintain better health with a practical routine.  Picture yourself on a busy day.  Do you feel directionless?  Are you tempted to hit the closest drive-thru?  Is your office, home, car, or life a mess?  No one benefits when life feels chaotic. Experts at Northwestern Medicinehave linked the lack of a daily routine to a host of health problems, including poor sleep quality or lack of sleep, poor eating habits, and weight gain. It’s no surprise that without an effective daily routine, healthy eating goals and workouts are often missed. Proper health and improved physical fitness requires a degree of advanced planning.  Without a routine, you might find yourself constantly playing catch up.

How to create a routine that works.

Taking a long look at how you use your time can be daunting.  The payoff, though, is better mental and physical health and will likely save you more time than you might think.  FitClub has a few helpful hints that can simplify the process of creating a routine that works best for you.

  • Be honest about what you have to do each day. What absolutely has to be accomplished in your day? Writing down everything that has to be done each day can help you eliminate unnecessary tasks or better plan for those tasks that seem to take too much time each day.
  • Fit the essential tasks into a schedule that works for you. Are you naturally more energetic in the mornings? Use that to your advantage by scheduling a morning workout and optimizing your brain power by conquering intellectual tasks early.  By contrast, if you’re a night owl, it might make sense for you to use those quiet midnight hours to take advantage of a late night workout, prepare meals for the next day, or lay out your clothes to minimize the time it takes to get out the door in the morning.
  • Be flexible and keep trying. A routine should make you feel better, not worse.  If you find that the timing or flow of your routine makes your life feel more chaotic than settled, keep adjusting the schedule or your list of tasks until you find a twenty-four flow that works best for you and your family. Leaving yourself a cushion to ensure you have time for the things that make you happy or minimize your stress, deserve a place in your routine as well.  The right routine for you should feel balanced and productive.  Keep trying until you find that perfect schedule that eliminates the unnecessary rush of life.