Crossroads Fitness Blog

Crossroads Fitness Blog

Share fitness pains and gains with a friend

February 28, 2018

 You’ve decided to get into shape. It won’t be easy and there’ll be days you just don’t feel like working out.  Do you want to know a secret to a successful plan? Work out with a friend.

Statistics show that having someone who shares in your health and fitness goals will make your journey more successful. It’s important to choose the right person. You might select a friend or co-worker. A spouse or family member constitutes a good choice, too. When you’re working towards similar goals in your household, it’s easier to make time to exercise as well as eat healthier meals.

Here are five reasons you’ll enjoy more success getting in shape when you do it with a friend:

Accountability: A friend will help you get going and stay consistent. No more lame excuses why you can’t workout. A good friend knows all your excuses, and they won’t work. This is why people who participate in group exercise have more consistent workout routines.

Motivation: A friend can offer words of encouragement to keep you going. If losing weight is a key goal, you could encounter times where you become frustrated and want to quit. An exercise buddy will help put things in perspective. There might be times when you just aren’t feeling up to working out, and they can help pump up your enthusiasm and Quick read more or view full article remind you why you’re doing this.

You push each other: A training partner can push your limits. They create a challenge and help you work harder than if you worked out alone. How about a burpee challenge? Who can do the most?  There’s nothing better than a little friendly competition when it comes to exercise. Remember, though, that you might be at different levels than your partner, and keeping track of how you’re doing and improving is the key.

Sharing information: As they say, two heads are better than one. Think of how many more things you could learn. Maybe it’s a new exercise class, fitness tips or healthy recipes. Share music that inspires you. Your friend also can serve as a sounding board. Talk about what’s working and how you might benefit.

Fun: Working out with a friend offers a lot more fun than working out alone. It can be a time to work hard, catch up on each other’s lives and be silly and laugh together. Exercise might not always be fun, but when you combine the social aspect, you open up a whole new world.

Pick whoever you want for your exercise buddy just as long as they’ll make you a better person. Choose a person you want to be around and who has your best interests at heart. Then prepare to share in the challenges and successes.

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Healthy lifestyle too important to put off

January 29, 2018

Do you procrastinate? Do you tend to put off things you don’t want or know how to do? Maybe you have good intentions, but let other things move to the top of your to-do list.   

Although there are many areas of life that one can “put off,” the one that stands out like a neon sign is health and fitness. The overwhelming tradition of New Year’s resolutions means that Jan. 1 of every year becomes that day we’ve put off. This is the day we all get a fresh start. Everyone wants to reach their goals. So why do we wait until a new year rolls around, hoping this finally will be the year we actually change our lives for the better?  

Let’s start with the obvious: why people start a fitness program. Health issues dominate the top of the chart. Many times, people say their doctors told them it was necessary. For others, it might be an important event like a wedding. Still others just decide it’s important.

 Maybe you don’t fall into those categories. Then what?  There are many reasons why people put off starting a fitness program. For one thing, it’s not a quick, one-day task. Starting a fitness program is starting a healthy lifestyle. It’s ongoing. It’s for life. This can be intimidating for most people, especially someone who’s Quick read more or view full article just beginning.  

So, what’s the first step?  Start thinking about it.  Ask yourself these questions:  Why am I considering it? What is my life lacking without it? What are my goals? 

Identifying why a healthy lifestyle is important to you will help you get started. This goes back to having a goal that lacks specifics with no measurements or time limits. Without a plan, it’s much easier to procrastinate.

After you’ve answered these questions, then comes the hardest one: How do I do this? Maybe there’s something that seems to be stopping you. Perhaps you have tried before and didn’t succeed.  

We all know the benefits of exercise and that it’s important for every one of us. Try telling yourself it can’t wait another day, another month or another year.   

Taking care of your body and feeling better should be the reason you stop procrastinating.  If you’re really ready to do it for yourself, you will. Put aside the excuses you don’t know how to exercise, you need to get fit before you go to a gym or don’t have time. Just take the first step and get started. 

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This holiday, give the gift of healthy living

December 19, 2017

Finding the perfect holiday gift for that special someone presents a challenging task. Consider giving the gift of health, fitness and nutrition. You’ll not only offer something they’ll love, but also a gift that keeps on giving. Whether you’re buying for a spouse, parent or friend that’s either a fitness enthusiast or beginner, here are some ideas sure to bring motivation and movement into their lives.

A fun way to share a fitness gift with your loved one is to join a gym together. This will give you both unlimited resources to help attain your New Year’s fitness goals.  By doing this together, it’ll be more fun and hold you both accountable.  

If you’re already gym members, try some personal or small group training. This is a great way to get a jump start on a fitness journey. It might be the gift they need, but wouldn’t buy for themselves. You don’t have to be a celebrity to hire a personal trainer anymore. People from all walks of life — young to old, beginners to athletes — benefit from the motivation and knowledge you receive Quick read more or view full article from a training class.

What does almost every fitness enthusiast love? Their music. There’s nothing better to help get through a tough workout than a great playlist. Some gift ideas include music cards or a fun pair of ear buds or headphones.

The sale of such wearable fitness gadgets as fitness bands is on the rise. This technology not only measures steps, but activity, heart rate, calories burned and sleep quality. While different models have different features, the one common trait among them is the ability to create awareness of your physical activity and inspire you to make healthy changes. These devices are available in a variety of types, sizes, colors and prices.

Still other technology inspired gifts include a multitude of available phone apps. Did you know you can get an app with GPS and record your runs or bike rides? There’s an app for almost every type of activity you can imagine. While some apps are free, others are available for a minimal cost.

Another idea is a subscription to their favorite magazine that specializes in their sport or area of interest. 

Want to be an amazing gift giver? Give them a certificate for a massage after a hard workout.

A little research will lead you to some unique healthy gift ideas. Consider a gift subscription to one of the many healthy meal delivery services available. These healthy meals offer that busy person on your list some help in the kitchen at dinner time. A gift card to a healthy grocery store or consultation appointment with a nutritionist would be welcomed by anyone anxious to pursue a more healthy — and nutritious — lifestyle

A fitness-inspired gift list would be incomplete if you were unaware of the gifts NOT to buy. Readers of Fitness Magazine asked to chose the worst fitness gifts cited a diet book and a sauna suit. Remember those suits that made you sweat and looked like you were wrapped in foil? Of course, the No. 1 worst gift is a talking scale.

These are just a few ideas to help out with gift buying for the loved ones on your list. Christmas is followed by s new year filled with resolutions to live healthier lifestyle. Giving a gift that helps your loved one be healthier is a gift they’ll enjoy every day all year.

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Follow these timely tips to keep fit for fall

November 21, 2017

Fall can be a season when exercise routines waiver. It’s no longer summer, but not yet winter. It’s too cold to continue with many of the summer activities you enjoy. You could even become a little blue with the realization summer has ended and your favorite activities are over for a while. Still, fall brings with it many other opportunities.

 Here are five tips to help keep you active and ready to embrace this beautiful season:

Take it outside. Fall is the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful Grand Valley. With so many options from which to choose — like mountain biking and hiking — there’s no reason not to get out and enjoy the scenery and vibrant colors. Go exploring. Hike a new trail. Visit a park. Raking leaves or getting in some yard work offer great ways to get the heart pumping. Spending time out in nature and the fresh air does wonders for your mind as well as your body.

Layer your clothing. Learning the proper fundamentals of layering for fall and winter activities can mean the difference between comfort and misery. It’s important to layer while exercising in chilly weather. You might feel cold at first. But then as your body warms, you could feel overdressed. Follow the three-layer rule. Your first layer next to your skin should be Quick read more or view full article made of a moisture-wicking fabric. This fabric wicks moisture away from your skin so you don’t feel wet and cold. The second layer should be a warmth layer and the third layer a protective layer, such as a windbreaker or something water-resistant depending on the weather. Don’t forget your sunglasses.

Don’t be blue. Many of us experience the winter blues as the weather cools and days shorten. Although it’s tempting when waking up in the dark, don’t hit the snooze alarm. With less sunlight, you might want to increase your consumption of Vitamin D. Eat foods rich in this vitamin, such as fish, egg yolks and mushrooms. Remember, too, that exercise releases endorphins that enhance your mood and feelings of happiness. 

Watch the treats. It’s estimated the average American gains between 5 pounds and 9 pounds between Halloween and New Year’s Day. Remember to eat right and buy healthy snacks.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you’ll start after the new year. This is really saying you’ll find an excuse no matter the time of year.  There will always be parties and special events.

Plan for the holidays. Take out a calendar early — like now. Mark off time for exercise each day. Schedule a little exercise between things on busy days — 10 minutes is better than nothing. Keep your goals in mind throughout the holiday season.  The time you allow yourself for exercise, sleep, nutrition and organization will make the busy season more manageable. 

Enjoy the change of seasons. Fall is a perfect time to keep fitness routines on track. Instead of using cooler weather as an excuse not to exercise, try using the season as an excuse to exercise. 

Happy fall.

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How to choose a personal trainer

October 24, 2017

It used to be only Hollywood celebrities who attributed their fabulously fit bodies to personal trainers. Not anymore. People of all income brackets, ages and fitness levels hire personal trainers to help them meet their goals.

While a healthy lifestyle has become a top priority for many people, they sometimes lack the direction and guidance they need to be successful. Here’s where a personal trainer comes in. 

After you’ve decided to hire a personal trainer, it’s important to find one who constitutes the best fit for you. There are many factors to consider. Many trainers provide a wide variety of services and offer different areas of expertise. Finding a trainer whose work schedule matches your schedule or fees that match your budget also constitute important factors.

First, identify what you want. What are your goals — not only in terms of fitness, but also your overall lifestyle? Making a change is hardly ever easy. You could only have the goal of being “healthy.” Your trainer can help you set realistic, attainable and specific goals. Communication is the most important step in selecting a trainer. You need to be able to talk openly with this person about yourself — not only telling them why you’re there and what you want to achieve, but also your medical history. By setting goals, you have a starting Quick read more or view full article point from which to move forward.

Personal training certifications let you know your trainer has been educated in the field of exercise physiology as well as anatomy and injury prevention. Many trainers also hold four-year college degrees in fitness-related fields. The higher levels of experience and education offer additional confidence when making your choice. Some trainers also specialize in a certain area, such as nutrition, sports specific training, dealing with certain injuries or age-specific training. Seek out a trainer who specializes in the type of training you desire.

Another important factor is the availability and price of a trainer. You might want to work out two or three times a week during your lunch hours. Finding a trainer who can accommodate your schedule will help set you up for success. Price is also important. Hiring a personal trainer is an investment in you. You have options as to the frequency of your sessions. Some trainers offer a discounted package if you buy a certain number of sessions.  You could even ask if a trainer will give you a free session to see their training style in action. Many trainers build their businesses through referrals, so don’t hesitate to ask for references.

One alternative to the traditional, one-on-one personal training session is small group training. This type of training allows a personal trainer to train up to five clients in a class at the same time. This not only allows you a chance to meet other people and hold each other accountable in class, but also reduces the cost of the sessions to the participants.

There’s also workshop-style training, another option that’s becoming increasingly popular. A small group workshop allows a trainer to focus on a specific type of training — such as functional fitness, kettle bell, sport specific, weight loss. Each session is usually six to eight weeks long.  If one of these approaches sounds appealing, find a trainer who teaches these types of sessions.

Carefully consider your personality. Make sure your trainer’s style fits your personality style. You might want a trainer who’s more aggressive, or perhaps your style is more relaxed and low key.

Hiring a personal trainer can help you enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Take time to carefully choose a trainer who will motivate you; keep you on track; and make sure your workouts are safe, enjoyable and effective. Above all, find a trainer who inspires you.  

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