Who out there feels intimidated when they walk into a gym with all those immense weight machines and free weights? I know I have. I always feel weird when I have to read the instructions on a machine or don’t know how to change the weight. It almost makes me not want to go to the gym and use the weights. And I am pretty sure I am not the only one! Well, it makes me happy (and I hope you too!) that there is a trend in the weight section of gyms to do away with some of the machines and add functional training elements to the arsenal. Functional training elements? Functional training is fitness training that uses our bodies in the way they are meant to be used. We won’t be sitting down and doing leg raises, we will be on our feet and
doing squats…make sense? Functional training is awesome because it uses more muscles (think about it, you might be standing up instead of lying down, that right there uses more muscles in your core and lower body just to keep you upright) and gets our bodies in shape for everyday activities. Plus we can make it a lot more fun! Some gyms are starting to create open space areas where they have added “jungle-gym” type equipment. You have to be a little daring and creative (most of these “jungle-gyms” don’t have instructions), but if you can think like a kid again, you can get a great workout. Not feeling like showing off your monkey-like abilities at the gym? Head to your nearest playground! Swing on the monkey bars, use one of those waist high bars and do a modified pull up (feet on the ground, so you are at a severe angle under the bar, with most of your body weight supported by your hands on the bar), climb a rope ladder, slide down a fireman’s pole (heck, climb the pole!), crawl through one of the tunnels on your belly (concentrate on the core), do triceps dips on one of the rungs of a ladder, the possibilities are endless!
My husband and I are using these ideas in our own morning workout. We run about 3 miles, but during those 3 miles we stop at 3 playgrounds. At each playground we stop and do a few fun workouts. Triceps dips and modified pushups at one stop; climbing a rope ladder, crawling through a tube, and crossing monkey bars at another; and finally leg lifts on the parallel bars (bring your knees up to your stomach as you keep your arms locked out on the bars), a longer set of monkey bars, and modified pull ups. It’s fun, it breaks up the monotony of running, and you get a great full body workout!
So what have you got to lose? Go ahead and try a fun playground-type workout today!
Info. from Playgrounds In, Machines Out. American Council on Exercise. May 2, 2013
Do you make any of these mistakes? I know I am guilty of making a few! Here are some mistakes to avoid making at the grocery store and how to fix them!
#1: Going to the grocery store after a workout (or when you’re just hungry)
I’ve done this one. It’s really easy for me to go to the store on my way home from my job (as a fitness instructor this means working out all day), but when you go to the store after a workout, your body is craving some fuel. Unfortunately, when you go to the store during this craving time, you usually don’t go for the healthy food your body truly needs (put down the potato chip bag and walk away!).
Here’s the fix: If you must go to the store after your workout, bring a healthy snack with you to your workout and have it before you hit up the store. Otherwise, go at a time when you are not hungry. Also, plan exactly what you are going to buy and stick to it!
Which brings us to mistake #2.
#2: You forgot (or didn’t make one) your grocery list
I’m pretty good at making a grocery list, but there is always that time when I decide I really need those Oreos… sticking to my grocery list is the hard part for me. Not having a grocery list makes sticking to it even harder by far!
Here’s the fix: If you forget your shopping list at home, before you even go into the store try to remember what it is you need and start over with your list. If you are not in the habit of making a shopping list, start! It keeps you on track and makes life a little easier and store trips faster! Also, I use an app on my phone for grocery lists called Out of Milk. It’s awesome and since I always have my phone with me, I always have my shopping list.
#3: You take your time in the store
I’m not a mosier. I personally hate grocery shopping and would love to make my trips as short as possible (which is why I organize my shopping list by section of the store), but I do know people who actually enjoy shopping for food and take their time doing it. Here’s the problem with that, you usually end up buying more food and things you don’t want when you take your
Here’s the fix: In order to avoid filling your cart with unwanted junk food, shop the perimeter of the store (where most of the healthy, whole, and natural foods are located) and only go down the aisles (where most of the processed and junk foods are) when you know you need a
specific item down that aisle. Don’t zigzag through the store and act as if you are on a mission. Also, like I do, organize your shopping list by section in the store. It will make your trip a lot faster and will keep you from going down the potato chip aisle!
#4: You avoid frozen produce and assume it’s not as nutritious as fresh
Here’s where I have to admit that I am guilty, guilty, guilty. I feel like getting those frozen peas is the last thing I should be doing, when there are nice fresh vegetables on the other side of the store. However, how many of us have brought all those fresh veggies and fruit home, only to let them sit in the fridge for a week and go bad?
Here’s the fix: Despite the whole frozen thing, frozen veggies and fruit can be even more nutritious than their fresh counterparts. What? The produce is usually frozen right after it is picked, which seals in those nutrients that can be lost in transport of fresh produce to your
neighborhood grocery store. Even better, frozen produce can stay good for up to a year! So you can stop wasting your money on rotten strawberries.
#5: You fall for the claim on the front of the food package
Do you buy your food based on the package claims on the front of the box such as “healthy”, “organic”, “all-natural”, or “low-calorie”? Do you pay attention to the Nutrition Facts Panel?
Would you pick out a cereal that says “lightly sweetened” thinking that it may not have as much sugar as its counterparts? Did you know that the FDA does not regulate these claims? They can only regulate sugar free, no added sugar and without added sugar claims. Most of these lightly sweetened cereals can have up to 14 grams of sugar. (Cheerios only has 1 gram of
Here’s the fix: Read the Nutrition Facts Panel. Make sure to pay attention to the serving size and the percentage of daily value for the nutrients. These are regulated by the FDA and are
the only true claims of healthfulness.
#6: You buy food simply because it’s organic
Did you know that just because a food is organic does not make it healthy or necessarily good for you? Organic ice cream, anyone?
Here’s the fix: Always read the nutrition labels, even when it is organic. Avoid foods loaded with sugar, saturated fat, or sodium.
#7: You pay no attention to salt
Salt makes you hungrier, thirstier and it increases cravings. Plus, when you eat a lot of salt (soy sauces, deli meats, canned soup, processed foods, restaurant meals, fries, and chips) your body holds on to all that water to dilute the sodium in your blood stream, making you weigh more and look bloated. Too much salt also increases your risk of high blood pressure and
Here’s the fix: Read the Label! (See a trend here?) Keep your sodium intake to 2,400-3,000mg or less per day.
#8: You buy granola for breakfast thinking it’s a healthy choice
Granola can be healthy, but it usually has a lot of sugar, calories and, in many cases, hydrogenated oils. One small bowl can give you 600 calories and 12 teaspoons of sugar.
Here’s the fix: Go for whole grain, unprocessed oatmeal or high-fiber, low-sugar, whole-grain cereal. Then add berries or fresh fruit.
#9: You purchase a food that normally wouldn’t be considered healthy because the label claims it’s “made with real fruit”
A bottle of juice or a box of fruit snacks with photos of fruit on the label doesn’t mean it contains fruit (pop-tarts- they have strawberries in them, right?). Most of the products don’t have any fruit in them at all, only dyes and lots of sugar.
Here’s the fix: Get your fruit servings from real fruit. If you can’t see real pieces of fruit in your food, you probably aren’t getting in fruit.
Hopefully, you can use some of these fixes in your next shopping trip!
Taken from 9
Grocery Store Mistakes, The Nutrition Twins, ACE Fitness Fitnovatives Blog,
Jan. 28, 2013.
Here is part of an article written for Idea Fit about making your workout into a game! Come on over to Fusion Fitness for some Fun Workouts that will seem like your just having a
Ex Rx: Turning exercise into a game turns clients into players who have much
more motivation to stay fit.
We all know this client’s story: Mary is a 40-plus, career-oriented woman
with two kids and with 40 extra pounds she’d like to lose. Mary knows how to
overcome her obesity—at least temporarily. She’s done it before. But she always
gains even more weight back when she falls off her strict exercise and nutrition
Mary is caught in an ongoing struggle with weight, self-image, vitality and
overall well-being. Her strategies for losing weight and becoming healthier may
indeed work, but they offer only a short-term, partial solution. What can keep
Mary on the exercise wagon?
So far, she has relied on external goals, which are easy to set but hard to
sustain. Psychologists know that internal, intrinsic motivators—things people do
purely out of enjoyment—are much more effective at driving change that lasts.
What can trigger Mary’s deep-down desire to be healthier?
The answer is making exercise fun again—it needs to become play. Stuart
Brown, MD, a leading researcher on play and the co-author of Play: How It
Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination and Invigorates the Soul (Avery
2009), defines play as “an absorbing, apparently purposeless activity that
provides enjoyment and a suspension of self-consciousness and a sense of time”
(Brown & Vaughan 2009). Exercise, on the other hand, is traditionally
defined as a physical activity that must serve a purpose, typically with an
external motivation: for example, losing weight, toning up, boosting sports
performance, adding muscle or improving health.
Most people hire a personal trainer to achieve a goal, not to play. Clients
look to experience change, so failure to achieve change is seen as a failure in
service. One way to bridge this gap is to marry the concepts of exercise and
play. As trainers, we can foster an environment where clients experience
physical, mental and emotional transformation while enjoying an atmosphere that
allows them to become lost in the moment. Think of it as “challenge play.”
Creating a Challenge Play Environment
“Play” is a relative term, as Brian Sutton-Smith describes in his book The
Ambiguity of Play (Harvard University Press 2001). One person’s play can be
somebody else’s tedious hard work. Therefore, the psychological aspects of a
client are just as important to understand as the physical aspects.
Highly motivating challenge play offers a competitive environment—typically
some kind of game. Clients generally stay motivated if they can measure their
success, if they feel they are pushing their body to new limits and if they
experience novelty within their exercise progressions. Some clients, however,
may not enjoy competitiveness and may find challenge play scary, risky and
daunting. For these clients, other forms of play are preferable.
What’s with this Greek Yogurt craze? Is it really better for you than regular yogurt? Both forms of yogurt are great for a healthy diet, but which one is best for you to pick up at the grocery store. Let’s look at some facts about Greek Yogurt and try to figure this out!
Greek yogurt is made by extensive straining. This removes a lot of liquid whey, lactose and sugar. This gives it that thick appearance, sort of looks like sour cream. By doing this, it causes the yogurt to have about double the protein and about half the sugar content in the same amount of calories as regular yogurt. In fact in a 6 oz. serving of Greek yogurt you can find 15 to 20 grams of protein. That’s equal to about 2 to 3 oz. of lean meat! Regular yogurt has about 9 grams of protein in the same serving
Greek yogurt is also great for the carb conscious. It has about half the carbs of regular yogurt, 5 to 8 grams instead of 13 to 17.
Also, with the straining process of the Greek yogurt, it is less likely to upset anyone who is lactose-intolerant, because it removes the milk, sugar, and lactose. Always watch out for additives though, because these can add sugar to both types of yogurt. Opt for plain and add fresh fruits or local honey.
In terms of fat, regular yogurt has Greek yogurt beat. In a 7 oz. serving of full fat Greek yogurt, there are 16 grams of saturated fat- that’s 80% of your daily intake for a 2,000 calorie a day diet! (Yikes) Full fat regular yogurt in the same serving size has 5 grams of saturated fat. (Saturated fat is the bad fat that raises your LDL cholesterol levels and increases risk for heart disease, stay away from these fats as much as possible) However, if you get the low fat or fat free versions of Greek yogurt you can cut down the saturated fat levels significantly.
Sodium in Greek yogurt is about 50 milligrams which is about half the amount of regular yogurt. Too much sodium can increase risk of heart problems and increase blood pressure.
Greek yogurt loses some of its calcium content through the straining process, but has about 20% of the government’s recommended daily amount. Regular yogurt has about 30%.
Both yogurts are great for a healthy diet; however it seems that Greek yogurt has a slight nutritional edge. Stay with low-fat or non-fat, plain varieties and add fresh fruit or other items to make it have the desired taste.
Some other uses for Greek yogurt are: in place of sour cream on tacos, in place of eggs or oil in baked goods, and in place of cream cheese, mayonnaise, or butter in recipes.
Go ahead and try some Greek yogurt today!
*Info taken from US News Health article Greek Yogurt Vs. Regular Yogurt:
Which Is More Healthful? Angela Haupt, Kurtis Hiatt, Sept. 30th,
What are you doing to get ready for it? Fad diets and crazy exercise regimens are touted as the cure all for winter weight gain. Who hasn't seen that supermarket magazine with the title "Lose 50lbs by Memorial Day"? I must admit that I have been suckered into the fad diet conglomerate mess, but no more. Here at Fusion Fitness we strive to give you amazing options for exercise for weight loss. You should not get bored going to classes here. There are so many different options all you need to do is get up from behind your computer and try some. I can't promise you a 50lb weight loss in a month and I wouldn't want to. I can promise you that you will get healthier and find more energy. We all know we could use some! Also, you won't find us promoting any fad diets or supplements at the studio. We will, however, point you in the right direction of changing to a healthy eating style. So what have you got to lose (other than a few pounds!), come join us for some classes and we will gladly help you GAIN self-confidence, energy, and health!
Yay!!! We are only 2 weeks away from the Grand Opening and things are going great! Hopefully you all made a New Year's Resolution to come and join us in celebrating the new studio! Oh yeah and getting fit!!! I am sooo excited for this coming year and all the possibilities that await the studio. We now have Piloxing, Turbokick, Zumba, Hip Hop Hustle, S.T.R.I.P., and HIIT IT. So come on by and take a class, or two, or three!!!
So we will not be opening October 26th, but we are on our way to opening mid-January. We found a new place and if everything goes to plan we will be able to move in and start construction on November 12th! Look for more information as that day approaches. We don't want to get our hopes too high, just in case something happens again. Keeping our fingers crossed that everything will go smoothly. We will let you know where the studio will be located and when it will open after we close on the 12th! I can't wait to see you all at the Grand Opening and start teaching these great classes we have in store for you!!!
Well, we were really excited about starting the fitness studio at the MeadowView location, but we had a problem with a current tenant that caused the landlord to terminate the lease. Hoping these things happen for a reason. Now we are rushing to find a new place, we still want to try to open by October 26th! I hope all of you will stick with us during this change over. Keep looking at the website for more information. We are still looking for instructors also.