Crossroads Fitness Blog

Crossroads Fitness Blog

Think ahead to keep vacations fitness-friendly

May 26, 2021

Vacations, long car trips and busy schedules can disrupt our fitness routines. Whether traveling by car or plane, staying in hotels or with family, you can keep fitness a part of each day. Here are a few tips to help make your vacations more fitness-friendly.

Sitting in a car for a few or many hours a day traveling to that great vacation destination can make you feel tired and stiff. Moreover, car trips are notorious for combining little physical activity with eating the wrong foods. Pull off at rest stops and stretch by reaching for the sky. Take deep breaths. Spend a few moments walking around and seeing the sights. Stretching every few hours will make you feel less worn. Here’s a game you can play when traveling with your family. At each stop, a different person gets to name the activity. It might be jumping jacks or running around the car. It can be as simple as racing each other to the “facilities.” Meanwhile, consider packing a small cooler with nutritious snacks.

At times, airline travel can have you calling the airport your new home. Why not pack gym shoes in your carry-on? You’ve seen the moving walkways. Don’t use them if time allows. There are places to walk and climb stairs in most airports. When it comes to having a Quick read more or view full article snack or meal, remember many food vendors offer nutritious choices. Consuming fewer calories while being less active is an important part of not gaining those extra vacation pounds. Pack some healthy treats in your purse or backpack. Dried fruit, nuts and water offer good choices.

Many hotels and resorts offer fitness centers. While your choices could be limited, remember any movement is better than nothing. Combine cardiovascular exercise — a treadmill or elliptical trainer — with strength training.

If your accommodations don’t include a fitness area, that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Plan ahead. Pack some resistance bands. They can be purchased at many health clubs, local retailers or online. Resistance bands come in different colors and widths. These differences reflect the amount of stretch they allow for more or less resistance. Try them out to see which ones work for you. Wrap your bands around a bed post or door knob. You can also use resistance bands by using your foot to step on the middle of the band for an arm workout, for example.

You can’t exactly pack weights in your suitcase, so try filling disposable water bottles with water for a lightweight workout. Be creative. Many exercises can be done on the floor with nothing but your own body weight for resistance. Pushups, for example, offer a great upper body strength exercise and don’t require anything but you to perform. Situps, leg lifts and arm circles are just a few exercises that can be performed without equipment.

Cardiovascular exercise remains important when traveling. Many vacations involve sightseeing. Don’t underestimate the power of walking. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes, bring water and wear sunscreen. You’ll get more heart-healthy exercise just by taking the stairs whenever possible.

By thinking ahead, you’ll keep your workout routine on schedule. No matter the mode of travel or destination, you still can exercise and eat right on vacation. Remember, too, it’s a vacation. Enjoy.

Read Less
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>

Variety not only spices, but also improves, fitness

April 27, 2021

Variety is the spice of life. There’s some truth to the statement. You get stuck in your daily routine and complete many tasks without thinking about them. You eat at the same time, go to work at the same time and take out the garbage on the same day.

Think about your fitness routine. Are you doing the same exercises, going to the same class, walking on the same treadmill or lifting the same weight for every workout?  Maybe it’s time to change that routine.

Adding a little spice could turn what’s become a boring fitness routine into something more exciting and motivating.   Sometimes you hear the words “change” or “different” and associate them with “new” and “uncomfortable.” As creatures of habit, it’s okay to like your comfort zone with its familiar surroundings, people and activities.

Although doing exactly the same thing over and over might be comforting, it also could have drawbacks. Without variety, things can get pretty boring. It’s important to spice it up a bit.

Consider, for example, cross training. Cross training is simply combining two or more types of physical activities and offers one way to create the change you might need.

There are numerous benefits to adding cross training to your fitness routine. First and foremost is motivation. Keeping interested and motivated to exercise is an important piece. If Quick read more or view full article you don’t enjoy it, you won’t do it.

Cross training can help you burn more calories by exercising regularly and using different muscle groups. You reduce the risk of injury by doing a variety of exercises — performing a high-impact sport like running one day followed by a yoga or Pilates class the next day, for example.

It’s simple to create a varied exercise program. Plan a complete workout that includes the three areas of physical activity: cardiovascular, strength and flexibility. Under each area, write down activities you like to do or would like to try. Some activities fit under more than one area.

Cardiovascular activities include jumping rope, riding a bike, running and walking the dog. Activities that build strength include everything from lifting weights and push-ups to yard work. Activities that promote flexibility include stretching and yoga.

Changing a routine can be beneficial in not only reducing boredom, but also increasing fitness. Our bodies are adaptive and grow accustomed to an exercise.
It becomes difficult to make changes in our bodies once they’ve adapted to a specific fitness routine. Because of this adaptive nature, it’s important to keep our bodies guessing by mixing up the exercises we perform.

How do you change your workouts? Try something new. Often times we get our minds set on what we think we can do instead of what we really could do if we tried.
If there’s a favorite exercise machine you use often and don’t want to give up, try changing the intensity, speed or grade. By gradually changing how hard you work, you’ll keep your workout challenging. Remember, though: When changing up your workout routine, don’t hesitate to ask for help.

Once you choose your activities, schedule them. Allow for variety and flexibility. Experiment with different activities to find out what really interests you.

Continue to enjoy your favorite activities, but challenge yourself to try something new. Spice it up.

Read Less
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>

It’s time to row, row, row your way to good health

March 24, 2021

What if you could find a piece of exercise equipment that burns calories to help you lose weight, strengthens and tones muscles and provides a great cardiovascular workout —  in other words, a total body workout?

There is such a piece of equipment — a rowing machine. Just a few years ago, rowing machines could be found near the back wall in health clubs and you never saw anyone using them. Why the change in popularity?  The secret of it’s amazing benefits have been revealed.

The No. 1 reason why more people don’t hop on rowing machines is simple: They don’t know how to use them. Almost anyone can figure out how to walk on the belt of a treadmill or pedal a recumbent bicycle. A rowing machine takes a little more finesse, but you’ve got this.

Let’s go over of benefits for choosing a rowing machine for your workout, basic rowing techniques, avoiding common mistakes and ways you can start rowing today.

As a non-impact exercise, rowing is easy on the back and joints and an excellent form of exercise for older fitness enthusiasts. Rowing burns substantial calories, making it a great tool for weight loss. Since rowing is an endurance exercise, there are cardiovascular benefits, including improved lung, heart and circulation systems.

Because rowing involves almost every major muscle group, stronger, Quick read more or view full article toned muscles are another benefit. Rowing works both the upper body (shoulders, arms and back) and lower body (legs, hips and buttocks) with each stroke. It’s also a performance abdominal exercise since the core remains engaged throughout the exercise.

Learning proper rowing technique isn’t as difficult as it seems. According to Concept2, a maker of rowing machines, there’s a four-step process to the rowing stroke:

The catch: This is your starting position where your legs are compressed, arms extended and you’re gripping the handle.

The drive: Focus on pushing with the legs first, next pivoting backward at the hips so your shoulders pass your pelvis (you should be in a slight lay back) and then pulling the arms into your chest.

The finish: This is where the abs stabilize the body and the glutes and quads are contracting as well as the biceps and back muscles.

The recovery: This is the final stage where the arms are pushed away from the body and the torso moves forward as you slide up to the catch position.

Some of the most common rowing technique mistakes are to row only with your arms or hunch your back during the stroke. It takes practice to get the sequence down and create a smooth stroke.

There are many ways to incorporate rowing into your exercise routine. It can be performed as a warmup prior to a strength training class or as a cooldown. You might choose to row during a high-intensity interval training program in which you engage in short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by short periods of slower-paced rowing. You might incorporate rowing as your primary cardiovascular workout as you would exercise on a stationary bike or treadmill.

Rowing machines are used by everyone from cardiac rehabilitation patients to Olympic athletes. Because of the wide range of health benefits associated with rowing, you might consider making rowing part of your lifelong fitness routine.

Read Less
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>

Group efforts offer training benefits

February 24, 2021

Most people are familiar with one-on-one fitness training sessions. These sessions are available at most health clubs and independent studios. But what’s changed might surprise you.

Crossroads Fitness Centers in Grand Junction is an industry leader in small group personal training. Although the concept seems to have only recently hit the market, we’ve been doing it for years.

So, why is this best kept secret so successful for reaching fitness goals?

Many people believe they can work out alone. Many can. For most of us, though, the reality is we won’t do it with success. Did you know an individual who exercises on their own has a 45 percent dropout rate within the first year. The second year it’s a 52 percent dropout rate. That leaves only a 3 percent rate for someone to succeed with an exercise plan.

  Small group training is successful for many reasons. The leader is a personal trainer with knowledge of anatomy, exercise science and nutrition. Because of their education and experience, you feel comfortable in their abilities to train you. Small group training also offers a cost-effective way to work out with a trainer. The trainer splits the cost of their time between a few people. Everyone benefits by sharing the cost.      

Another benefit of small group training is the variety. Each workout is carefully designed for Quick read more or view full article your group. Classes might include cardiovascular exercise, circuits, core work, interval training and weights.

You also might incorporate some fun and innovative exercise tools into your workouts. Many of these tools require proper technique and form to not only get the most benefit, but also reduce the risk of injury. Some of these tools include kettle bells, plyo boxes, slam balls and suspension training.

One of the most important benefits to achieving your fitness goals through small group training is structure. By having a class you attend two or three times every week with the same trainer and same people, you develop the workout habit. All you have to do is show up. That structure becomes part of not only your weekly schedule, but also your lifestyle.

The part I like best? The social aspect.

A small group training class can become a close-knit group of people all trying to achieve their individual goals. I’ve seen it over and over at Crossroads Fitness. People who start out exercising together don’t know each other. After a while, they become friends in and out of the club.

Some classes might include businesspeople exercising before work. Others classes might include moms with young children.  Other classes are a mix. Regardless, these people now have a support group that cares about them. And that’s one of the most beneficial aspects of small group training.   

Working out in a group yields more success than attempting to do it on your own. Give small group training a try and experience the benefits for yourself. You’ll be amazed to find a trainer and group of people who are there to cheer you on.

Read Less
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>

Put the pieces together to achieve weight-loss goal

December 22, 2020

Your New Year’s resolutions likely will include weight loss. Given the year we’ve had, it’s understandable weight loss will be an even more common goal than usual.

You might think it’s easy to jump in on Jan. 1. Perhaps you feel excited, motivated and committed. Even with the best plans, weight loss constitutes a difficult endeavor. How do you stay on the right path to fulfill your goal?

Keep in mind that weight loss is a multi-faceted goal. That’s what makes it so difficult. You get set in your ways, and making changes can be tough. Successful weight loss involves nutrition, exercise, motivation, time and a specific mindset. Here are some tips to help you in each area:

Nutrition goes hand in hand with weight loss. It’s your fuel for everything you do. In simple terms, if you consume more calories than you burn, you’ll gain weight. Although it’s not actually that simple, try to think of it as “good” choices versus “bad” choices. Choosing to eat an apple is a better choice than eating a cookie. Be sure to drink plenty of water. Sometimes you’re just thirsty rather than hungry. Eating several small meals a day will keep you from becoming so hungry you snack and binge. The best tip? Avoid mindless eating — while you’re on the telephone, in Quick read more or view full article front of the television or in your car. Those are the calories that add up. Instead, take time to enjoy the foods you’re eating.

Exercise not only aids in weight loss, but also provides numerous health benefits. Strive for a workout to raise your heart rate. This strengthens your heart and burns calories. By adding strength training, you’ll gain muscle that burns more calories than fat. Not only will you be burn more calories, but you’ll also become more toned and look better. 

Setting a goal is the easy part. Sticking to it is the hard part. Staying motivated EVERY DAY can be a challenge. Consider weighing yourself once week and making a log of your progress. Tell others close to you what you goal is and share your ups and downs with them. This will keep you accountable. Write down a motivational quote every week and put it on your mirror where you can see it daily. Keep that goal in front of you. Keep your eyes on the prize.

Weight loss is a time-consuming process. That’s why it’s important to plan your weekly meals. Shop and cook on weekends to prepare for the coming week. Write down your exercise classes and workout times in your daily planner. Schedule them as if they’re an appointment you can’t miss. Make time for yourself. This goal is important to you, so make it happen. Make time for what’s important.

Achieving your weight-loss goal is a mindset. You’re the only one who knows how important it is to you. The reasons behind your weight-loss goal are unique to you. Maybe it’s your self-image, a special event or health issue. Make sure you remind yourself every day why you’re doing this.

By putting the pieces together, you’ll be successful not only in losing weight, but also creating a healthy lifestyle.

Read Less
No Comments   |   Add a Comment >>
  • NORTH
  • 2768 Compass Drive
  • Grand Junction, CO 81506
  • 970-242-8746
  • Fax: 970-241-4030
  • DOWNTOWN
  • 225 N. 5th Street, Suite 18
  • Alpine Bank Building
  • 970-241-7800
  • Fax: 970-241-3532
Crossroads Fitness ©
North: 970-242-8746
Downtown: 970-241-7800