4 Ways to Maximize Your Gym Experience

fitness equipmentAlthough I workout a lot at home, I still enjoy going to the gym. And when I go, I see so many people floating around the gym with no plan or program. They drift from machine to machine, day after day, and never see any real results.  Well having a gym membership can be a worthwhile investment if you use it wisely and focus on your fitness goals.  Here are 4 ways to get the most out of your gym experience:

  • GET A WORKOUT PARTNER – Make some connections and find another gym member or a friend who has similar fitness goals.  Form a partnership and set up a mutual gym schedule.  You can motivate each other, hold each other accountable and share your accomplishments.
  • SIGN UP FOR PERSONAL TRAINING SESSIONS – Pay the extra fee and hire a personal trainer; it’s worth the added investment. Trainers are there to teach you the basics of working out, introduce you to the equipment, show you proper form and design workouts to help you reach your goals.
  • JOIN GROUP SESSIONS – Exercise classes are fun and add variety to your routine. They also allow you to meet others who are energetic and like-minded. Most gyms offer a wide range of classes so check out a schedule and find a class or 2 that you’ll enjoy and stick with.
  • USE THE AMENITIES – Some gyms have walking tracks, swimming pools and saunas. These extras can enhance your gym experience and contribute greatly to a well-rounded and healthy lifestyle.

The gym can be a fun place when you take a different approach and plan your time effectively. Utilizing all that the gym has to offer will make it a worthwhile and fulfilling experience.

Personal Training Clients Say the Darndest Things

  • Over the past few years my fitness training career has been quite rewarding.  I’ve had the pleasure of training men and women of all ages.  I can say the majority of them have been dedicated, hardworking and willing to go the extra mile to reach their fitness goals; however, I’ve had my share of clients who have let it be known that they really didn’t want to exercise or that it really wasn’t a priority.  Trust me, I’ve heard it all by way of excuses, special requests and comments.  Most times they make me laugh, so for fun, here’s my top ten list of PERSONAL TRAINING CLIENTS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS:  Now this is MY personal list.  I’m sure other trainers have their own list as well!
  • I like the way everything else looks, can we just work on my stomach?
  • I’ve had a long day.  Can we take it easy today?
  • I couldn’t find a sitter, so I brought my kids with me.  You don’t mind do you?
  • I love my curves so don’t make me skinny.
  • You’re gonna have to really work with me cause’ I love my fried food!
  • My last trainer used to have me do these different than this.
  • How many more of these do I have to do?
  • Sorry, I really need to cancel.  Girl, I partied way too hard last night.
  • I hate this exercise, can we do something else?
  • This is just too much.  I don’t think exercise is for me.
  • Are we done yet?

Make sure you are serious about reaching your fitness goals before you invest in a trainer.  Personal training is a valuable service that will help you look and feel your best ever, so attend your sessions with an open mind and know that your trainer wants nothing more than to see you succeed.

Getting Prepared for Ski Season

Tis’ the season for holiday cheer and to hit the slopes.  This is the time that many ski enthusiasts get geared up to enjoy the outdoors for cross country and downhill skiing or just to hang out at the lodge.  Whatever your level or interest is, there are many benefits to this winter activity for the whole family.  This segment from the show will get you prepared for a fun and safe time on the slopes.

TLC Solutions for Aching Feet

animationsWe take our feet for granted forgetting how much they do for us from day to day.  They endure pressure from walking, running, standing, and most times, ill-fitting shoes.  Wearing uncomfortable shoes that do not fit properly can lead to serious foot problems.  Your feet have a major connection to the rest of your body, so these problems can also affect your legs, knees and back.  Unhealthy feet can hinder your lifestyle if you don’t give them proper care.  There are some preventative measures you can take to give your feet the attention and care they need.

  • If you wear heels or dressy shoes often, carry a pair of comfy flats to slip on when your feet start to ache and need some relief.
  • Invest in a foot soaker that has a heat and massage dial.  The combination of heat and massage simultaneously is quite a relaxing and stimulating treatment.
  • If you spent long hours sitting, invest in an elevated foot rest to help with circulation.
  • Insoles will add a soft cushion and prevent your feet from sliding around and rubbing in your shoes.
  • Perform exercises to improve circulation, strength and flexibility.  You can find some great foot exercises on-line.
  • Get your sweetheart involved by getting some foot cream and massaging each other’s feet.  Don’t forget the ankles, shins and calves.  If you think a back rub is a treat, try this! 🙂
  • When you’re running errands or out and about for long periods of time, wear walking or athletic shoes for support and comfort.
  • Get rid of shoes that you know are causing you pain and discomfort.  Even if they’re your favorites, LET THEM GO!
  • When you go for your pedicure, upgrade your treatment and ask for a massage as well.

Preventative foot care is the key to having healthy feet and these tips are things you can do yourself, so put them to use and you’ll be surprised at how much better your feet will look and feel.

Got Golf?

golf ball on teeIt’s golf season!  Golf enthusiasts around the world are pulling out their clubs, preparing their golf wardrobe and calling their buddies to head to the course; and YES, I’ll be one of them.  My dad, Charles Foster is a retired golf pro and instructor.  For years, he’s been telling me about the health benefits that come with playing golf.  I never took it seriously or spent much time because I thought it was a slow paced sport that couldn’t possibly offer a good workout.  Well after getting more involved, I realized that it really does offer some incredible mental and physical benefits.  So, I produced a short video to share all that it offers so you, too, can experience the sport that so many love.

Gym Etiquette 101

cd_gimnasio-6Working on my physical and mental well-being is my main priority while at the gym; however, it’s hard to focus when there are so many distractions that make the gym a very uncomfortable place. So I want to speak my mind about the irritating things that go on at the gym.  Here are the top 5 things I call annoying.

RETURN THE WEIGHTS
Hopefully the person before you returned the weights to their proper place because you should do the same for the next person. The system is set up for members to return the weights to the proper racks. Everyone’s time is valuable, so don’t send others on a wild goose chase for weights.

HANG IT UP
Turn the cell phone off for an hour for pete’s sake. Have a little balance in your life and devote some time to your workout. Now that many cell phones have a camera, your co-members might be uncomforable while you use your phone in the locker room and no one cares to hear your conversation. Most phones have voicemail, so let that feature work for you while you’re at the gym.

NO GROOMING ALLOWED
Crazy things happen in the wet area. I have to say that this isn’t the time to groom. Wearing shaving cream and shaving in the sauna is disgusting.  Although the steam allows for a better shave, no one wants to see you groom yourself.  And if you have sinus problems, please don’t bring Vicks and other ointments with you. These things can be very irritating to those around you.

CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF
If you think shaving in the sauna is bad, imagine getting ready to use a machine and it’s full of sweat from the previous user. Come on!  You know you’re dripping wet, so wipe the machine after you’re done.  The gym provides a disinfectant and paper towels for that reason.

DON’T BECOME A STALKER
The gym may be a great place to meet people, but proceed with caution. Even if you think someone is hot, don’t follow him or her around the gym. You don’t want anyone to report you to security. Try to avoid staring and checking people out. It might offend someone and make them feel very uneasy.  Be courteous, speak, smile and continue with your workout.

If you fall into any of these categories, but never realized it until now, it’s not too late to improve your gym etiquette. Let’s find harmony in the gym so that we all can accomplish our goals in a productive, safe, clean and peaceful environment.

How To Set More Effective Fitness Goals

Open binder with post-it notes and blank pageAnother year is here and many of us are excited about the plans we’ve laid out for ourselves.  Let’s see…I will start working out, change my eating habits, lose weight, and get back into my favorite jeans.  Sound familiar?  Making new year’s resolutions is a tradition for many people, but how many stay motivated and committed to these goals?  Why do most people start out with great intentions, but allow their resolutions to fizzle in such a short time?

Setting New Year’s resolutions inspires us to change or improve  in various areas of our lives.  It gives us a renewed feeling that we have another great opportunity to try again and get it all right.  The problem in most cases is that the resolutions are too general.  We get started then become overwhelmed because we don’t know how to achieve our goals.  Feeling discouraged, we gradually slip back into our old habits.  I say we hit the reset button by setting manageable goals.  These are broken down into parts, then by months, weeks, and days.  Here’s a revised fitness goal example:

TYPICAL RESOLUTION:  “I’m going to lose 150 pounds this year.”  The thought of trying to lose 150 pounds can be quite overwhelming.  If there is no plan on how to achieve this amount of weight loss, you’ll have no direction and will lose your motivation.

MANAGEABLE GOAL:  “I will do a one-hour walk with the local walking club on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for the next 6 weeks.”  This goal is specific.  It mentions how much time on which days I will spend walking over the next 6 weeks.  It can now be scheduled.  Each day I walk, I’ll be working toward my ultimate goal to lose 150 pounds.

When you break your goals down into small, realistic and specific parts, you’ll view them as daily or weekly things to do rather than focusing on a problem you’ve struggled with year after year with little or no success.

You have the power to change and will surely see results with an effective plan.  It takes planning, discipline and ongoing effort to achieve your fitness goals.  So to move your progress forward, approach your goals differently this time around.  Don’t pressure yourself to take them on in one big gulp, take one sip at a time and you’ll find that they are much easier to accomplish.  So make this year different than the last.  Start planning and manage your goals for year-round success.

How To Make Exercise Fit Your Life

Mention exercise and people take off running the other way.  Why is it that we dread working out so much?  Why is it the last thing on most people’s list?  I say, exercise gets such a bad rap.  As a trainer, I’ve heard it all; it’s too hard, it’s boring or it’s time consuming.  If you’ve used any of these excuses, you simply haven’t found activities that you enjoy or any that fit easily into your life.

The key here is to find ways to get moving, while accomplishing your goals and going about your day.  A workout strategy I share with clients and friends is what I call, “Multi-task Fitness.”  Sound corny?  Well, here’s how it works.  Whatever your need is during the day tap into an activity that will help you fulfill that need, while burning calories.  Let me give you a few examples: [Read more…]

Stretching Does The Body Good

Did you stretch today?  If not, it isn’t too late.  You can stop what you’re doing right now and reach your hands up over your head toward the ceiling.  Hold this stretch for 15 seconds and breathe deeply, inhale through yur nose for 4 counts, filling your belly, then exhale through your mouth for 8 counts.  Didn’t that feel great?  Along with prayer or meditation, this is the perfect way to start each day.

Another ideal time to stretch is at the gym; however, most people start their workout without a warm up and stretch session. This could be the perfect set up for injury and muscle strain.  It’s advised that you stretch before and after your workout whether it’s a cardiovascular activity or strength training.

Stretching comes with many perks: [Read more…]

Simple Strategies for Eating Well

Eating well comes down to making the right choices and having discipline.  Everyday, we’re all faced with tempting opportunities to overindulge. Yep, I too have those same struggles, but I’ve learned some effective ways to stay on track.  Here are two situations we all find ourselves in that may tempt us to lose control.  If you have similar struggles, here are a few strategies to help you make progress with your weight loss and healthy eating habits.

FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS –  Let’s face it…in our fast-paced society, fast food offers convenience when we don’t have much time.  So if you find yourself on-the-run and in the drive thru, here are some ways to stay on the healthy track: [Read more…]