Crossroads Fitness Blog

Crossroads Fitness Blog

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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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.

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Prepare now to enjoy winter sports

November 24, 2020

Leaves are falling and the days are getting shorter.  While some people see swirling leaves and experience drudgery, others anticipate their favorite winter activities drawing closer.  

It’s important for winter sports enthusiasts to perform specific conditioning exercises before hitting the snow and ice. After a spring and summer off season, muscles could need some time to adjust. And starting off the winter season with an injury would put a damper on the fun.  

Here’s a look at the specific conditioning to reduce the risk of injury and increase the performance and enjoyment of winter sports.

  • Skiing and snowboarding:  Conditioning for these sports involves a variety of physical skills, including agility, balance, endurance, flexibility and strength. Muscular strength improves your ability to maintain control while skiing or boarding on uneven terrain. All the major muscle groups of the body, especially the core, are involved. Some exercises include a single leg squat or weighted quadriceps squat. Pilates or yoga offer a good compliment to muscle training to increase core strength, maintain balance and improve flexibility.
  • Sledding: Some people underestimate the difficulty of even the most basic of winter sports. Sledding is often viewed as child’s play, but it’s a fun activity for all ages. Pulling your sled up that big hill is a fitness feat that often gets overlooked. Cardio endurance and leg strengthening Quick read more or view full article exercises can prepare you for a day of sledding with the family. 
  • Cross-country skiing: This is a great cardiovascular workout. Like most cardio-related sports, endurance training is a must. To prepare for this fun winter sport, train with your favorite cardio exercises appropriate for your impact level. The elliptical offers a great option for low impact and can be adjusted for almost every fitness level. 
  • Ice skating: Balance is a really important factor in enjoying ice skating, whether it’s figure skating or hockey. Without balance, there’d be no skating. Depending on your level of expertise, flexibility also is beneficial. Graceful figure skaters and tough hockey players require agility and flexibility. Bosu balls offer a great training tool to warm up muscles while also improving balance. 

Winter could be the most awaited season of the year. There are so many activities in which to partake. Taking time to condition and prepare for the season ensures you won’t miss out on any of the winter sports that entice us, entertain us and keep us fit.

Playing in the snow or on the ice is beneficial to your health. Quality time spent in the health club now for conditioning will pay off when winter gets here in earnest.

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Follow a few tips to beat the summer heat

June 24, 2020

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 and a chance to kick back. Although this year might seem different because of the pandemic, summer still offers many opportunities to stay active. 

Remain aware, though, that 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. 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 — especially this summer with social distancing and the feeling of being cooped up. Those changes 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 in 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 Quick read more or view full article goal. Call it summer 2020. 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 — 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. Go to the gym or splash in a pool. 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 fruit available. Beware of some of the foods associated with summer events, though. Backyard barbecues, campfire s’mores and ice cream treats can sabotage the best laid plans of staying fit through the summer. 

Make summer a time to enjoy. Write down your summer 2020 goal and work toward realizing that goal. Make the most of every day, and you’ll make this summer your best ever.

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Variety spices up fitness routines

November 20, 2019

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

Now, 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.

When it comes to fitness, adding a little spice could turn what’s been boring into something more exciting and motivating.   Sometimes you hear the words “change” or “different” and associate them with “new” and “uncomfortable.” Being creatures of habit, it’s okay to like your comfort zone with 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 Quick read more or view full article and motivated to exercise is an important piece. If 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 the 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 and mixing up the exercises we perform.

How do you go about changing up 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.

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This summer, make time for fun and fitness

May 30, 2018

We wait all year, it seems, for summer to arrive. Now it’s finally here. When most of us think about summer, we think about outdoor fun, vacations and a chance to kick back. Summer also offers many opportunities for staying active.

Remain aware, though, that changes in schedules can present challenges in keeping your fitness routine on track. So what can you do to have the most safe, fun-filled, productive — and active — 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 — as a participant and spectator. 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 just having children at home. These 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 in 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 Quick read more or view full article that goal look like for you?  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 — 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.

Keep 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. To beat the heat, move your activities inside. Head to 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. Drink plenty to stay hydrated.

Eat healthy. This seems like an easy thing to do with all the fresh vegetables and fruit at grocery stores and farmers markets. Beware of some of the foods associated with summer events. Backyard barbecues, campfire s’mores and ice cream treats can sabotage our best laid plans of staying fit through the summer. You can still enjoy these foods, just keep them to occasional treats.

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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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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Take some comfort in your health club choice

July 25, 2017

Going to familiar places, doing things that come easy and spending time with loved ones and friends with which you can be yourself all constitute important forms of comfort. But what about your health club? Do you feel comfortable there, too?

Walking into a health club or gym for the first time can be intimidating. So what factors should you consider and what should you look for in choosing a facility that’s right for you? There are such obvious considerations as location and amenities. But don’t neglect the not-so-obvious considerations: what a facility represents and the programs and experiences it offers members.

Do a little homework before you go to a health club. Call ahead of time to see how you’re greeted. A friendly and knowledgeable voice that invites you to come to the business leaves a positive impression. Check the website and see what a facility offers. 

Location can be an important factor for many people, but not always the most important. If the club is too far away from home or work, you could find yourself making excuses not to go. 

The amenities offered at a health club or gym should fit your activities and lifestyle. Amenities might include weights, group exercise, pool, locker rooms and child care. Make sure a club offers what you need and like. Additional amenities are great, too, in affording you Quick read more or view full article the option to try something new.

 Try a health club or gym first. Before making a commitment, see if it feels right to you. Find a health club or gym that offers a free trial or money back guarantee. Then go in and work out a couple times. By actually using the facilities, you can tell how well they’re maintained and cleaned. Ask yourself if everything is touchable.

Meet the members. Nothing tells you more about a place than the people who are there using it. Moms who take their little ones to the Kid’s Club are very careful with whom they leave their children. Ask the people next to you on a cardio machine about their experiences.  

Your own member experience begins with the first phone call. The salesperson should be concerned about you and your wants and needs. Not everyone joins a health club for the same reason.

If you’re new to exercise, find out if the club offers an orientation program to get you started. Maybe you want to hire a personal trainer. Ask for trainer bios, certifications and training specialties. Finding the right match for you will help in achieving success. 

At Crossroads Fitness Centers, our members tell us what’s important to them. They find comfort in coming to a place to enjoy their favorite activities in a clean environment. Hearing their name when they walk in the door, visiting with friends and finding motivation and energy in a workout from an instructor who really cares about their needs is what it’s all about. 

Choosing a health club where you feel at home, becomes familiar and fits your needs — not that’s comfort.

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Summer a season for fun and fitness

June 22, 2016

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

 When most of us think about summer, we think about outdoor fun, vacations and a chance to kick back. Summer offers many opportunities for staying active.  Be aware, however: Changing schedules also could present challenges to keeping your fitness routine on track.  

So what can you do to have the most fun-filled and relaxing — but also fit — summer ever? By all means 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 as well as family and friends. Just keep in mind that changes in daily routines — whether at work or having children at  home — could disrupt your exercise schedule. So here are a few tips to avoid sabotaging yourself this summer:

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

Stick to a schedule. Make sure your summer days have some structure, including 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 filled appointment book, it’s easy to fall into a trap of being bored. Being bored goes hand-in-hand with low energy. Filling your days with stuff to do will foster a sense of accomplishment. For many of us, summer still means going to work each day. But with longer daylight hours, you don’t have to miss out. Whether you’re taking a vacation or just a weekend, pursue activities the family already enjoys as well as try something new.

Manage the heat. Although warmer weather is appreciated, hot days can seem unbearable. During these times, move your activities inside. Go to the gym or try bowling. When you find yourself outdoors during scorching temperatures, remember to take precautions. Wear sunscreen and/or a long-sleeve shirt to protect your skin from harmful sun rays. Don’t forget the sunglasses and hat, too. Clothing that wicks away moisture from your skin keeps you cooler as you perspire. 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 fruit in grocery stores and farmers’ markets. Beware of some of fun activities when it comes to the food associated with these events. Backyard barbecues, campfire s’mores and ice cream treats can sabotage our best laid plans of staying fit through the summer. This doesn’t mean you can’t have them —  just make them  an occasional treat.

Make summer a time to enjoy and stay fit. Write down your summer goal and strive to achieve it. Make the most of every day, and make this summer your best ever.

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