Thursday, December 27, 2012

Celebrate Success and Plan for a Great 2013

As 2012 comes to an end, many people are looking to 2013 and setting those common New Year’s Resolutions. Before doing that, take some time and celebrate the successes of 2012. Acknowledge triumphs and get ready for the New Year with these tips.
Do a year in review to celebrate wins. Did you start strength training this year? Take up a group fitness class? Maybe you started interval training or tracking your workouts. Brainstorm and list the fitness goals you met this year. Thinking of what you got right boosts confidence, reminds you to keep those healthy habits going and sets up your momentum for next year. Be sure and appreciate all of your wins and skip beating yourself up for what didn’t happen this year. Use what you didn’t accomplish to plan for next year. 

Make resolutions, but call them commitments. Resolutions are those things people do the first two weeks of January. Make commitments instead. What will you absolutely commit to doing for the year? Think about what you want to accomplish by the end of 2013. Visualizing those end results can help you get specific and define what you want your commitments to be.

Understand what motivates you. Finding the “why” behind your 2013 commitments is very important. It’s what will keep you going when you just don’t feel like waking up early or turning down that cake. Motivations are different for everyone. One person might be motivated by wanting to wear a size four while someone else is focused on being a positive role model for their children. Capture what motivates you most so you can remind yourself of it regularly—especially on those days when you really need it.
You can reinvent yourself toward a healthier life at any time of the year, but a new year provides a clean slate and an opportunity to begin again.

Brought to you by Life Fitness

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Fit Tip: Ride Inside for an Effective Cardio Workout

Some people assume that a stationary bike is an easy workout. Like many things in life, when it comes to indoor cycling, you only get out of it what you put into it. Indoor cycling can be a very effective, intense workout if you put in the effort. Follow these tips from Life Fitness to get the most out of a stationary bike workout:
Use your whole body. Contrary to popular belief, a quality bike workout involves the entire body, not just the legs. Try not to slump in the saddle. Keep your abs tight and your back, shoulders and arms should be fully engaged. 
Set goals.  Indoor stationary bikes offer a good low-impact cardio workout option for those that are overweight or new to an exercise program. The bike is a great tool for setting your own pace. Indoor bikes will offer a variety of preprogrammed workouts that involve hills, intervals and zone training.  They will vary according to speed, intensity, duration and resistance. By using different programs on the console or creating your own workout profiles, you can focus on improving strength, endurance and speed.
Increase the intensity. Indoor cycling can also be an great cross-training cardio workout for runners during the winter. Once again, work at your fitness level and focus on pedal speed and resistance to continually improve.  Increasing intensity is like a math equation:  pedal speed (cadence) + resistance = intensity.  Many of the newer bikes offer iPod hook ups and heart rate monitoring systems for motivation to challenge your inner athlete. 
Join a class. Group cycling classes, guided by an instructor, are a great cardio workout. These popular, high-energy workouts happen on a specially designed group exercise bike. The pace and speed varies throughout the workout, sometimes requiring break-neck speed, and other times pedaling happens from a slow, standing position. Group indoor cycling burns calories quickly and invigorating music make the classes fun. A novice might participate in a cycling workout for 30 to 45 minutes, while a more advanced athlete could ride 60 to 90 minutes.
All you need to get started on an exercise bike is comfortable workout clothes and sneakers. Try wicking tops or padded cycling shorts to make the ride more comfortable.

This Fit Tip brought to you by Life Fitness

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Best and Worst Holiday Drinks for Your Diet

A string of holiday parties and family get-togethers is likely in your future and festive drinks are sure to be served. Make smarter choices when gathered around the tree by understanding the best and worst holiday cocktails for your diet. Those liquid calories have a way of adding up, especially when you top it with decadent family dinners.
The Worst
White Russian (6 oz.) – 374 Calories
Eggnog (8 oz.) – 343 Calories
Kir Royal (6.5 oz.) – 219 Calories

The Best
Champagne (1 glass/4.1 fl oz) – 91 Calories
Make it lighter: Go for brut (dry) champagne.
Mojito (6 oz.) – 167 Calories
Make it lighter: Use a sugar substitute.
Hot Toddy (8 oz.) – 173 Calories
Make it ligher: Use ½ - ¾ tablespoon of honey instead of the stand 1 tablespoon.


Via Life Fitness

Thursday, December 13, 2012

13 Ways to Burn off a Holiday Meal

Some people can consume up to 4,000 calories from just one holiday meal. That’s twice the amount of calories most people need in a day. If you want to start 2013 on the right note instead of packing on extra pounds during the holidays, marry your indulgences with some serious calorie burn. While calorie burn varies based on your weight and ratio of muscle to fat, here are some ideas to burn a few extra calories..
Eat one serving of mashed potatoes at 250 calories and you’ll need to hop on the treadmill for an hour long power walk to burn them off.  A 150-pound person walking for one hour at 4 mph would burn about 272 calories.
Take the treadmill up to a 5% incline and you’ll double the calorie burn, making up for a serving of candied sweet potatoes or a cup of eggnog at around 400 calories each.
You can also burn those calories with your favorite winter sports and activities.

Sledding: 250 calories
Snow shoeing: 300 calories
Skating moderately: 230 calories
Cross-country skiing: 300 calories
Downhill skiing: 210 calories
Snowboarding: 250 calories
Walking the dog, moderate pace: 125 calories
Shoveling snow: 230 calories
(Approximations based on a 150 pound woman for 30 minutes of activity.)
Watch portions and be on the lookout for ways to burn extra calories this winter. Dance at your Christmas party (600 calories), take a 60-minute walk to do some holiday shopping (240 calories) or spend two hours preparing a holiday meal (320 calories). 
Discover more fun calorie burning facts at

Brought to you by Life Fitness 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Fit Tip: Stretch to Success

Stretching may seem like an easy thing to cut out of a busy schedule, but the benefits of stretching far outweigh any excuses. Stretching can improve athletic performance, decrease risk of injuries and increase flexibility through a wider range of motion. So take a minute and stretch your mind around these easy tips:
Start with a warm up, not stretches. Did you know stretching pre-workout can actually decrease performance? The perfect warm-up is simply a lower-intensity version of whatever exercise you are about to perform. The goal during this time is to slowly increase the temperature of muscle tissue to prevent injury.
Stretch at the end of your workout. For best results, stretch when muscles are warm, after bringing your heart rate back to a comfortable zone. Static stretches, or stretches held in place, are most effective.  Follow the American College of Sports Medicine guidelines and hold each stretch for 20 to 40 seconds. This will increase blood flow to the muscle and improve workout results. Stretching consistently over time will lead to improvements in flexibility and range of motion. 
Focus on main muscle groups. Pay attention to the calves, hips, thighs, lower back, neck and shoulders. Always stretch on both sides and focus on performing stretches that are sport-specific. For instance, runners should focus on stretching the hamstrings, hips and calves thoroughly.
Listen to your body. Make sure to breath. Inhale to prepare and exhale before going a little deeper into a stretch. If you ever feel pain, stop immediately, back off to a comfortable point and hold. Never bounce when holding a stretch.
Stretching after exercise can help relax and balance tension caused by a workout and save you from tight, sore muscles the following day. Make stretching a habit every time you hit the gym to reap the benefits.

This Fit Tip was brought to you by Life Fitness

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Fitness Wonderland Sale!

Please join us at our 26th Annual Fitness Wonderland Sale to be held at all of our retail locations on December 7, 8 and 9 this year.

The Fitness Wonderland Sale is our largest sales event each year!