Three Simple Ways You Can Treat Yourself Like an Olympic Athlete at FitClub

If you found yourself in awe of the Olympic athletes that competed in the 2018 Winter Olympics, it might be time for you to start thinking like an Olympic athlete. Even for those of us that are uninterested in competing, adding Olympic-like habits to your own life can reap gold-medal like rewards.sochi-2014-262145_960_720

  • They look at the big picture. For most Olympic athletes, serious training begins when they are just small children. The ultimate contest is in the distant future, but they manage to carry a long-term goal. Even when they reach adulthood, the Olympics only rolls around for each athlete every four years. In the meantime, they maintain consistent training habits and learn to compete against themselves to find more frequent measures of success and achievements. You can incorporate this into your own life by looking for ways that you feel stronger, leaner, and healthier. Can you run further or faster than you could last month? Can you see muscle tone developing? The scale isn’t the only measure of success. Stay consistent and actively search for ways that you and your body are changing through your hard work.
  • They know a healthy lifestyle is a mind body experience. You can push your body everyday in a challenging workout at FitClub, but if you’re not paying attention to your mind and how you fuel your body, you may stay stuck in unhealthy habits. Athletes manage stress, grueling physical demands, and healthy eating by staying mindful. Many professional and Olympic athletes meditate or practice yoga in addition to being extraordinary athletes. FitClub has everything you need to live a more mindfully healthy lifestyle. Take a meditation class, a yoga class, or stop in at one of FitClub’s regular seminars to connect your physical workout to your mental and physical well-being for a total wellness experience.
  • They build a team. No Olympic athlete reaches the Opening Ceremony without a strong team beside them. Even individual-sport athletes have teams of trainers, coaches, nutritionists, and teammates that they practice with and learn from. If you’ve been working out for awhile without seeing the results you want, it’s time to build your own team at FitClub. FitClub has personal trainers that can push you, teach you, and motivate you to help you see what you are really capable of doing. You can also jump into a group exercise class to reap the same rewards as the Olympic athletes that compete against teammates to prepare for the Olympics. Building your own support network of professionals and other members at FitClub may be exactly what you need to push through a plateau or even just to get started.

Instead of just admiring the Olympic athletes from 2018, let them motivate you to be your best self and achieve whatever goal is your personal gold medal at FitClub.


The Best Exercises to Fight Depression

Researchers at Mayo Clinic have identified key ways in which exercise helps to combat depression. Exercise releases endorphins into the blood stream which promote a sense of well-being and calm, provides a valuable distraction when you’re actively worried about a concern or challenge, and introduces you to new social settings to avoid loneliness. Better mental health is one primary benefit of establishing a consistent exercise regimen.577042fb1a00002700ceb219

But how much and what type of exercise is best to alleviate symptoms of depression? The good news is that any type of exercise that you enjoy, raises your heart rate, and that you can maintain consistently is an effective remedy for symptoms of mild to moderate depression. Mayo Clinic suggests as little as thirty minutes each day, three to five days each week may “significantly improve depression or anxiety.” The key to reaping the maximum mental health benefit from your workouts is consistency. Finding an activity that you enjoy and can complete on a regular basis is more important than how long you engage in any one session.

Aerobic exercise, resistance training and yoga all have different benefits that positively impact mental health.

Aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise (i.e. running, walking, swimming, or cycling) increases blood flow and oxygen in the brain, which contributes to the release of endorphins. The endorphins released during exercise give the boost we often call a “runner’s high”. Endorphins are otherwise often known as the body’s natural feel-good chemicals that help to release stress and provide a sense of calm and well-being. Whether you’re new to exercise or a seasoned FitClub member, FitClub has a wide array of aerobic exercises that you can sample either in a group exercise class or on your own. Keep experimenting until you find the aerobic exercise that make it easier for you to commit to a consistent regimen.

You don’t have to sign up for a marathon to begin to feel the benefits of exercise on your mental health. A moderately intense thirty minute aerobic workout will be enough to reduce stress and release endorphins, allowing you to feel better immediately with no adverse side effects.

Resistance Training

Resistance training may help to alleviate symptoms of depression by inducing faster, and better quality sleep. Better sleep, more regular sleep, especially during times of anxiety and depression, may help an affected person ward off additional stress that presents itself each day.

Like aerobic exercise, resistance training also raises the heart rate and induces sweating when you allow for only short rest between sets. The effect produces endorphins, improves self esteem and confidence, and reduces the impact of stress.


If you’ve never practiced yoga before, you might be wary of jumping on the mat and slipping into a pose. Yoga, is known for its whole-body focus and the process might make you more mindful. While you do reap physical benefits from yoga, it can also be a good way to begin a mindfulness practice that you can incorporate into other areas of your life during anxiety, depression, or stress. Developing a breathing practice also helps to calm the nervous system and center the mind when you have difficulty focusing or finding the energy to make it through day to day tasks.

Get More Out of the Elliptical

Whether elliptical machines are your preferred type of cardio exercise or you’re simply looking for an effective cross-training technique that’s easy on the joints, the elliptical machine is an excellent choice. The elliptical has a reputation in some circles for being a less physically demanding type of cardiovascular exercise, but ultimately it’s up to you to make the elliptical work for you and help you reach your fitness goals. Before you spend another minute on the elliptical, read FitClub’s five tips below for getting the most out of your next workout!86537077_xs

  • Push yourself. Just like any other form of cardiovascular exercise, the machine won’t do the work for you. If you find that you generally spend thirty minutes at a moderate or low intensity, you won’t see results as quickly as you might like. Each machine has programming options that allow you to increase the resistance or try intervals to give your legs and glutes a better, harder workout. Experiment with the resistance and your own speed until you find yourself being better challenged during an elliptical workout.
  • Use your arms. Don’t let yourself use the machine for balance while you drive your legs. Whether the machine has the movable arm component or not, you can swing your arms just like you would during a run. It’s not only good movement for your arms, but it will increase your calorie burn and require you to use your core for balance as your feet move the pedals. The next time you use the elliptical, challenge yourself to keep your arms and your feet moving at full speed.
  • Try a high intensity interval workout on the elliptical. High intensity interval training can be applied to every form of exercise. Watch the clock on the monitor or use your own stopwatch or watch to challenge yourself to go as quickly as you can at a high resistance for twenty seconds, rest for ten and repeat. High intensity interval training (commonly known as HIIT) raises your heart rate, resulting in greater calorie burn even when you’ve finished your exercise. You can incorporate periods of HIIT into an elliptical workout with periods of slower speed or lower resistance throughout the course of your workout.
  • Add the elliptical to your circuit training. FitClub makes it convenient to hop from one machine to the next to cover every muscle in one workout. Use the elliptical to warm up and raise your heart rate and then add strength training to your repertoire to get the most out of your time at FitClub. Breaking your workout into shorter circuits also gives you a mental break, allowing you to better focus mentally and physically on the task at hand.
  • Add the elliptical to your cross-training. Whether you’re a runner, a swimmer, or a weight lifter, the elliptical is an excellent cross-training activity. Easy on the joints with minimal impact, opting for an elliptical workout on your cross-training days is an excellent way to further improve your cardiovascular health without compromising sore muscles or strained joints.

Do you favor the elliptical machines? What advice would you give your fellow FitClub members?

Can You Eat Healthy at Restaurants?

Watching your calories doesn’t mean that you can’t dine out at a nice restaurant. It does mean, though, that you need to be a more informed consumer even before you order your favorite entrée. FitClub has six hacks that make it easier to stay healthy and still enjoy a night out with friends.thanksgiving-plate-dinner-portion

  • Don’t eat an entire portion. American restaurants continue to increase the portion of entrée options. If you struggle with leaving food on your plate, ask for a to-go box when you order your dinner. Immediately removing the food you don’t want to eat at this meal from your line of vision will increase the odds that you can stick to a healthier portion size. You might even find that the entrée you want is available as an appetizer, lunch portion, or even on the kids’ menu. Starting with the right portion for your goals eliminates the desire to overeat.
  • Order sauce on the side, or not at all. Heavy sauces that generally accompany appetizers, salads, and entrées at restaurants can easily be eliminated without sacrificing taste. What may start as a healthy meal can easily become saturated in calories, sodium, and transfat. Opt to start with the sauce on the side if you must, or ask the restaurant to forgo the sauce and actually taste your food.
  • Don’t drink excess calories. Juice, alcohol, and soft drinks are calorie culprits when we dine out. Ordering plain water can eliminate hundreds of nutrient-lacking calories from your dinner.
  • Load up on natural flavors, vegetables and fruit. If vegetables and fruit are offered as side dishes, you can save yourself hundreds of unhealthy calories and instead fill up on low-calorie, nutrient-dense foods that your body actually needs. Instead of dousing vegetables in high calorie dressings, opt for lemon, olive oil, or vinaigrette dressings to bring out the flavor in the healthy foods. Where possible, drizzle lemon on your lean meats to enjoy flavor without guilt.
  • Hands off the bread bowl. Some restaurants set you up for overeating before you even place your order. If your dinner companions want the bread left on the table, ask that it be moved to the other side of the table and left covered so you can resist the temptation to indulge before your meal is served. If you feel the need to indulge, make a decision before you begin eating that you’ll have only one piece. After you’ve enjoyed one piece of bread, ask the server to remove the bread and not to bring any more to the table.

Just because it’s a salad, doesn’t mean it’s the healthiest option on the menu. It’s natural to think that we are hitting our goals because we ordered salad at a restaurant. A quick check of restaurant calorie counts available online will quickly prove that the salad is full of more than just vegetables. Heavy dressings, croutons, bacon bits, cheese, and other varieties of calorie-dense and nutrient-free foods often top restaurant salads and turn a healthy dinner into a calorie bomb. Before you head out, check your chosen restaurant’s online menu for calorie counts and be an educated diner.

Thinking of Working Out With Your Significant Other? 5 Ways to Make a Date at FitClub Work For You

Have you ever worked out with your significant other? While some couples may believe that sweating together has a positive impact on their relationships, others might fear the idea of giving up their alone time at FitClub. If you’re trying to make it a date, FitClub has five ways to survive the challenge.couple_at_the_gym_main

  • Be flexible. Not everyone has the same fitness goals or workout regimens as you. Working out with a friend or significant other may challenge you to step outside your comfort zone and try a new class, a new machine, or an entirely new routine. If you’re open to trying something new at FitClub and pushing yourself in a new way, you can make this a positive instead of a fear-inducing negative this Valentine’s Day. Talk to your significant other before you head out to make sure that you are both open to trying a new class before you walk through the door. One of you might find a new favorite workout, or a new and healthy way to spend time together.
  • Work in. If you don’t feel the need to do exactly the same thing as your significant other at the exact same time, consider creating your own circuit workout and switch places after a certain number of reps or a certain number of minutes. Tabata and weight training are excellent exercises that you can easily coordinate together in the same room, and share moves and weights while also working independently of one another.
  • Hit the treadmills or bicycles. If you’re leery of running or cycling with your significant other because you’re worried about being able to maintain the same pace, go for a run or stationary bike ride next to one another, but at your own pace. There’s no harm in pushing yourself while you workout side by side, but…
  • Don’t overdo it. It can be tempting to push yourself even harder when working out with your significant other, but respecting your own limits and boundaries will keep you healthy and injury free. Listen to your body and respect yourself enough to know when to push harder and when to maintain a comfortable weight or pace. Showing off or trying something too challenging for your current fitness level could result in injury or soreness that will sideline you until the next holiday!
  • Supportive words only. It can be tempting to want to correct our partner’s form, technique, or workout style. Unless you’re an expert in form or fitness, though, resist the urge to offer unwanted advice. Exercise and fitness are independent activities and everyone has their own goal and personal challenges. Enjoy the experience, the endorphins, and a healthier night out and leave FitClub feeling happier and more supportive than when you came in.

Do you workout with a friend or significant other? What advice would you have for someone interested in trying it for the first time?

The Wonderful Feeling of the Fresh Start

Americans tend to make a lot of New Year’s Resolutions every New Year’s Eve. For most, though, that resolution is fading by mid-January and forgotten altogether by early February. Why do we have to wait for a holiday that only comes once each year to get the benefit of a fresh start? Why can’t we get that “new year feeling” any time we feel like we need to hit the reset button on our healthy lifestyle?if-you-dont-write-down-your-goals-youre-less-likely-to-reach-them-54306412_xxl

If you’ve fallen behind on your healthy eating plan or fitness routine, FitClub has four easy ways to hit reset and get that fresh start feeling without waiting for a special occasion.

  • Start now. Right now, no matter where you are in your day, if you feel like you’ve slipped and have been eating unhealthy foods and skipping workouts start fresh. Whenever you start thinking about your next meal, consider it a new start. What you had for breakfast shouldn’t be a reason to hold you back from a healthy lunch. If you’ve missed a few workouts, today is the day that you start again. Every minute can have that New Year’s feeling without waiting for a special countdown or exciting holiday.
  • Let go of guilt. Beating yourself up doesn’t lead to better to health; in fact, it can contribute to more procrastination and lethargy. Instead, use that feeling productively and make a note in your journal, calorie tracking app, or your training plan and write out how you feel when you skip workouts or eat unhealthy foods. Chances are, you may feel disappointed, tired, and unhealthy. Get it out in writing and refer back to that when you face a temptation in the future. Once it’s out, let it go and get ready to make healthier decisions right away.
  • Take a look at your plan. Was it just a minor slip or is there something that doesn’t work for you in your training plan or healthy eating plan? Is it too strict, not leaving you the room you need for a small indulgence or a night out? Do you still have the motivation to start a running or lifting routine, or might you find more enjoyment in taking group classes, trying a new workout, or working with a personal trainer? It’s okay to change your mind and mix it up. If it’s the plan you made for yourself, allow yourself the flexibility to start again.
  • Is it a lack of discipline that’s led you down the wrong path? It happens. Discipline is a difficult muscle to train, but the more consistent you are, the stronger that muscle gets. Schedule time with yourself and realize that it gets easier and healthy living becomes a habit when you stick to it.

If your New Year’s Resolutions already seem like a distant memory, start today and make a new resolution. Start with your next meal, your next workout, your next good night’s sleep and make everyday a fresh start.

Is Perfectionism Holding You Back?

Perfectionism can be sneaky. You might think that your motivation to radically achieve your goals at all costs is a positive; it might motivate you, push you, keep you on track. But if you struggle to hit your goals and stay consistent, your resistance to accept anything less than perfect may be sabotaging you just when you’re on the verge of a breakthrough.a-workout-partner-will-help-you-stay-motivated-to-exercise

What is perfectionism and why is it a bad thing?

“Perfect” sounds like a positive word, but it’s really a negative in disguise. Psychology Today defines “perfectionism” as “an endless report card” and “an enduring track to unhappiness.” Perfectionists tend to strive for avoiding failure, rather than achieving goals and making progress. Instead of accepting that the perfect lifestyle, perfect body, or perfect performance doesn’t actually exist, perfectionists tend to procrastinate or be inconsistent in their efforts. Perfectionism is that little voice in our heads that tells us that if you can’t do something perfectly, you shouldn’t even try. That voice speaks loudly when we’re embarking on a fitness goal or a healthy eating plan that we worry we can’t perfectly complete.

How to beat perfectionism one day at a time?

The road to overcoming the perfectionism you struggle with is a marathon, rather than a sprint.

  • Recognize the voice of your inner perfectionist. When you hear that voice in your head tell you that if you don’t lose the extra weight by Sunday, it will be failure, that’s perfectionism. The sneaky voice isn’t always so obvious, though. It can hit you when you’re in the middle of the workday and it tells you that you should just skip tonight’s workout and order pizza because you’ve already skipped a workout this week. When perfectionism tries to convince you to procrastinate or give up completely because you already have broken your perfect streak, call it what it is. Acknowledge that it’s the voice of an unhelpful inner friend, and silence it by setting reasonable, small, and accomplishable goals one day at a time.
  • Be practical. When you sit down to make out your meal plan or workout schedule for the week, consider what you can actually accomplish and make that your short-term goal. It’s not only unhealthy to plan on losing a tremendous amount of weight quickly, it’s also unrealistic and sets you up for failure. Instead, be realistic. Schedule the workouts and plan the meals that you can stick to with moderate effort. Allow room for flexibility and be open to a workout at a different time or a different type of workout altogether.
  • Keep trying. Every day is a new opportunity to try again. Whether you slipped a little yesterday, all of last week, or even longer, every meal and every workout is an opportunity to start again. Instead of throwing in the towel because you derailed from your plan, recognize that fitness and a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong path, and it’s never too soon to start again. You don’t have to wait for a new year for a fresh start.

Do you suffer from perfectionism in your healthy lifestyle? Share your experiences and tips to overcome it with your fellow FitClub members!