Crossroads Fitness Blog

Crossroads Fitness Blog

Plan now to keep off those holiday pounds

November 24, 2021

It’s estimated the average American gains between 5 pounds and 9 pounds of weight between Halloween and the new year.

It’s not an easy time to keep pounds off. Why? People eat more and exercise less, which results in weight gain. It’s as simple as that.

It all starts with Halloween. You stockpile bags of candy for the one evening when a few trick-or-treaters might come to your door. The day after, there’s leftover candy. And the kids have a sugar source that will fuel unhealthy eating habits into the holidays. Then, people put off losing weight until they start making their New Year’s resolutions.

So why is it so hard to stay committed to your healthy eating and exercise plan? The holidays are known for socializing — parties and events centered on food. Many of these food choices are high in calories.

Another reason is a trap we all fall into, and that’s our busy schedules. We’re busy nearly all the time.
But during the holidays, add in kids’ events, Christmas cards, decorating, shopping and traveling. The list goes on. The stress of the holiday season can leave you exhausted.

What’s the best way to survive the holiday season and avoid putting on those extra pounds? Make a plan.

Here are a few tips to Quick read more or view full article help:

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 for yourself for exercise, nutrition, organizaton and sleep will make the busyness of the season more manageable.

Eat right. Buy healthy snacks. Plan for parties and other activities that involve food. Eat some healthy and filing foods before you go. Attending an event hungry sets you up failure.

Exercise during the mornings of the holidays to burn off some of those extra treats you’ll eat later in the day. Thanksgiving offers an opporutnity to get in some eexercise early in the day before the feast.

Don’t fall into the trap of “I’ll start after the new year.” This is really saying you’ll find an excuse no matter the time of the year. There will always be birthdays and special events — think about Super Bowl parties and Valentine’s Day.

Remember: Celebrations are really about family and friends, not food.

Lifestyle changes in nutrition and exercise, even during the busy holiday season, provide long-lasting results. It’s about making healthy, productive changes that work for you over the long term. It’s about your health forever.

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Many factors go into hiring a personal trainer

October 26, 2021

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

Living a healthy lifestyle has become a priority for many people, but they lack the direction and guidance they need to become successful. That’s where a personal trainer comes in.

After deciding 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 are important.

First, identify what you want. What are your goals — not only for fitness, but also your overall lifestyle? Making a change is seldom 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 finding 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 point from which to Quick read more or view full article 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. Higher levels of education and experience 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 set you up for success. Price is important, too. Hiring a personal trainer constitutes 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.

Small group training offers another option. 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 for participants.

There’s also workshop-style training, yet 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 or weight loss. Each workshop is usually six to eight weeks long.

If one of these approaches sounds appealing, find a trainer who teaches these types of sessions.

Give careful consideration to the importance of personality. Make sure your trainer’s style fits your personality style. You might want a trainer who’s more aggressive. 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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Yoga combines peace, power and positivity

September 28, 2021

Yoga is all about learning to balance life with calmness and positive thinking.

Yoga means to join or yoke together the body and mind in one experience. Yoga dates back over 5,000 years and combines three main areas: breathing, exercise and meditation.

Breathing techniques are taught on the concept breathing is the source of life in your body. Exercises are designed to put pressure on glandular systems and promote health and well-being. By meditating, participants learn to quiet their minds and heal from the stress of life.

There are more than 100 different schools of yoga. The most common type — and the one most people recognize — is Hatha yoga. This is an easy to learn form of yoga that combines physical movements and postures with breathing techniques.

Bikram yoga focuses on muscular strength and endurance, cardiovascular flexibility and weight loss.   This type of yoga is performed in a 95-degree to 105-degree environment. This promotes flexibility, detoxification and prevention of injuries. Warm yoga is similar, but not so extreme in temperature.

Power yoga combines stretching, strength training and meditative breathing. Many of the poses resemble such basic calisthenics as pushups, handstands and side bends. The pace of this type of yoga is much faster. Each move flows into the next without pausing.

Although there are many more forms of yoga, these examples Quick read more or view full article give you an idea of what’s available. Many instructors incorporate different forms of yoga into one class.

Most adults with varying degrees of abilities can practice yoga. Some advanced classes aren’t suitable for people with physical limitations from injuries or pregnant women. Always consult with your doctor before engaging in an exercise program.

However, special classes incorporate yoga into workouts with modifications. Don’t hesitate to ask questions, and always listen to your body.

When taking your first yoga class, expect to enter a dim room with soft music playing. You should wear comfortable clothing. You don’t need special shoes. Most people are barefoot. You’ll have a mat and such props as bands, blocks and blankets. Your instructor will tell you how and when to use these.     

At the end of each yoga class, most teachers bring their hands together in front of the heart, bow their head and say “namaste.” Students bring their hands together and respond. Namaste means “I bow to you.”

Yoga offers numerous benefits, including improved breathing, flexibility and posture. Some people might believe they’re too old or unfit for yoga. In truth, you’re never too old to improve flexibility.

Yoga stretches not only your muscles, but also the soft tissues of your body, including ligaments and tendons. Nearly all yoga poses build strength in the abdominal muscles. With stronger core strength comes better posture. You’ll also become more aware of your posture in daily activities.

Most forms of yoga concentrate on breathing.  Learning to deepen or lengthen your breath will stimulate relaxation. In addition, yoga improves concentration and mood.

If you’re already a yogi, you understand this. If you’re not, try a few yoga classes for a couple weeks and see if you experience the amazing benefits you can attain from this form of exercise. Namaste.

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No excuses: Seek solutions and get moving

August 25, 2021

When there’s something we don’t really want to do, we make excuses. Sometimes our excuses are quite creative.

“I don’t know how to exercise.” This common fitness excuse is actually valid. Sure, we all know getting off the couch to do something physical and get our bodies moving is exercise — to a point. A brisk walk or gardening could be considered exercise, for example. Not knowing what to do at a health club could be different, however. Weight machines, new technology cardio equipment and group exercise could require some instruction. Solution: Many of the new exercise machines come with instructions and diagrams to help you get started. Crossroads Fitness offers a getting started program to teach the fundamentals — everything from basic knowledge of exercise machines to measuring your heart rate.

“I’ve tried exercise, and I keep quitting.” If this applies to you, maybe you haven’t found an exercise you love. Variety spices life. We all get bored doing the same things and not experiencing results. Solution: Try different activities. Group exercise classes offer a fun way to exercise. The group atmosphere is motivating. Once you find the right exercise, you’ll be excited and much more apt to go do it.

“I don’t have time.” This one is Quick read more or view full article a classic. When we don’t take time to care for our health, we could lose it. Everyone is busy — from stay-at-home moms to business executives. Yet, we all have 24 hours in a day to make sure we take time for ourselves. Solution: Schedule exercise as an appointment you can’t miss. Even if you can’t get in a full 30 minutes, some exercise is better than none.

“I don’t want to get hurt.”  Exercise doesn’t have to hurt. Solution: Start slowly in an exercise program and build up. Participate in a getting started program or hire a personal trainer to not only get you started on the right foot, but also teach you proper form.

“I have kids.” Having a family and young ones at home can make going to the gym more difficult. Solution:  Crossroads Fitness offers a kid’s club. Little ones from age 6 weeks to 12 years can come with you when you exercise. They’re not only cared for, but also enjoy a chance to play and socialize You won’t have to feel guilty while they’re having fun.

“I’ll lose weight and then join a health club.” While health clubs might seem intimidating, maybe you just haven’t found the right one. Solution: Find a place that fits your personality, location and personal goals. Since you’ll likely be going to a health club numerous times a week, you’ll want to find a place where you feel comfortable. Everyone there started at the beginning of their own fitness journeys. People of every age, size and shape will be there to welcome you.

Whatever your excuse is or has been, there’s a solution. So stop making excuses and get moving.

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Five tips to beat the summer heat and stay fit

June 29, 2021
We wait all year, it seems, for summer to arrive. Now it’s finally here.

When most of us think of summer, we think about outdoor fun, vacations and a chance to kick back. Summer offers many opportunities to stay active. Beware, though: Changes in schedules present challenges in keeping your fitness routine on track.  So what can you do to have the most active, productive and fun-filled summer ever?

Warm weather provides many opportunities for enjoying outdoor activities. Take the family camping, fishing or hiking. Work in your garden. Enjoy a baseball game. Part of summer fun and fulfillment is enjoying the outdoors and the people you’re with.    

During the summer months, your normal schedule could be altered whether through work or having children at home. Those changes can affect daily routines, including exercise schedules.

Here are a few tips to avoid sabotaging yourself this summer:

Set a summer goal. It’s almost mid-year. Ask yourself how you’ve done so far this year on your New Year’s resolutions. You might have succeeded in some areas, but not others. You could need to re-evaluate your goals to make them more realistic and attainable. Maybe you didn’t set goals. This is a great time to start. Try setting a different goal. What will that goal look like?  It might be trying a new sport, learning to swim or visiting a national park.

Stick to a schedule. Make sure your summer days include some structure — Quick read more or view full article like getting up at the same time each day and eating meals at set times. Plan activities for specific times — exercising before breakfast, for example.

Stay busy. Without your appointment book filled, it could be easy to fall into a trap of becoming bored. Boredom goes hand in hand with low energy. Filling your days with stuff to do will give you a sense of accomplishment. For many of us, summer still means going to work each day. But with more daylight hours, you don’t have to miss out. Whether you’re taking a vacation or just a weekend, include activities the family already enjoys as well as something new.   

Manage the heat. Although warmer weather is appreciated, hot days can seem unbearable. During these times, move your activities elsewhere. Exercise at the gym, splash in a pool or go bowling. When you find yourself outdoors during scorching temperatures, remember to stay safe. Wear sunscreen or a long-sleeve shirt to protect your skin from harmful rays. Don’t forget the sunglasses and hat, too. Clothing that wicks moisture away from your skin as you perspire keeps you cooler. One of the most important items to keep you safe is water. Stay hydrated.

Eat healthy. This seems like an easy thing to do with all the fresh vegetables and fruits available. Beware of some of the foods associated with summer events, though. Backyard barbecues, campfire s’mores and ice cream treats can ruin the best laid plans of staying fit through the summer. You can still enjoy treats, but keep them occasional.

Make summer a time to enjoy. Write down your summer goal and work toward realizing that goal. Make the most of every day, and you’ll make this summer your best ever. Read Less
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