Break Patterns of Habitual Inactivity for a Healthy Lifestyle

dsc_1208Patricia McKenna was born and raised in LA. Graduating with a Journalism degree, her first job was as an on-camera reporter with an NBC affiliate.  She realized she preferred being behind the scenes, went back to school for a Masters in Art, then got an opportunity to work for Turner Broadcasting as an art director. Later her role shifted to a director and producer of commercials and features.
Twenty years ago she moved to Highlands Ranch with her husband, a SEC lawyer.  Today Tricia works at a branding and marketing agency downtown.
Her husband Steve, and children Jack, Chance and Grace, are very healthy and active. They work out regularly and enjoy time at the pool.  Last July, Tricia got a phone call from Sheri, GATC Member Coach. Sheri had noticed that even though Tricia’s husband and kids were active at Greenwood, she had not been coming.
“Sheri graciously invited me to come in and visit with her. We talked about my goals, why I wanted to lose weight and an action plan.  I am not a joiner, not one who participates in big classes or does weight watchers or talks about feelings. It is just not part of my DNA. Sheri said, ‘Let me give you a program to do three to four times a week.’ She suggested, ’Put it in your calendar – put it in writing and commit to it.’ That really helped!
I just decided to take this time for myself and I have come almost every day since.
It is true that you get the bug! I remember one day the club closed in the afternoon during a snowstorm. I had this moment of-Oh my gosh! I am not going to work out today and I don’t know how I feel about this!
It is amazing how in your 40’s you can slowly acquire weight and how much harder it is to lose it then it was in my 20’s, but I have managed to lose 40 pounds. There were plenty of reasons to not make it work, but I did. I had to work against habitual inactivity. The more sedentary I had become, the more it seemed like an incredible effort to get back in the groove. There adsc_1242re no easy ways to do it. I don’t think there is a staff member here who isn’t silently encouraging me. Just by their cheerful smiles as they greet me, I feel part of this community.  This is one of the reasons I really like it here. I appreciate the quiet encouragement, the diversity at Greenwood, the beautiful environment and state of the art equipment. In many ways, GATC is understated and that delights me.  I pay a reasonable amount to have a lovely place to work out, where my children feel safe and I am part of a community that values working out as a way of life. I feel as though I belong here.
For anyone who is struggling or stuck like I was, I want you to know there is no right or wrong way. Every single day do something.  Tomorrow, do a little more for a little bit longer. You will be pleasantly surprised if you make the mental decision-you want this for yourself.”

Corporate Executives Capitalize Upon the Benefits of Exercise

Are you a corporate executive or manager striving to increase productivity, improve your bottom line and attract high-achieving employees? Start wbusinessDSC_0415ith investing in employee wellness, setting a personal example and encouraging employees to take the time to work out. These are just three important ways that executives can capitalize upon the benefits of exercise for themselves, their employees and ultimately their company.

Research continues to support the fact that fit employees are less likely to get sick thereby lowering health care costs. Employees who take the time to work out have more energy, exude positive attitudes at work, are typically more productive and can handle stressful situations more effectively. Since those who exercise tend to set physical goals they most likely know how to set professional goals as well and will systematically put processes in place to achieve those goals and won’t stop until they do. Finding employees who have these qualities is essential. Why not partner with your local health club like Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club in Greenwood Village, CO to customize discounts for your employees or better yet, subsidize those memberships to encourage greater participation.

As a leader, every corporate executive should set an example that health and wellness is critical. When corporate executives provide an example to their employees, employees follow suit. Setting time aside to ensure they are fit and healthy will show that they value the same in their employees. Executives who do so will exude the personal benefits of a healthier, stronger, more energetic, positive leader; one who can handle whatever challenges come their way. This will help employees want to do the same and in doing so become the best, most productive employee they can be. Employees who miss less work, have more energy, are more productive, handle stress more effectively, and are able to set and achieve goals will ultimately benefit the company’s bottom line.  Additionally, employees want to maintain balance between their personal, physical and professional lives. Wisely supporting and encouraging them to do so will reap huge benefits to everyone involved; the company, the employee and their families.
Other statistics that show how corporate executives capitalize upon the benefits of exercise are shown below.  Wellness Proposals, a corporate wellness consulting company recently published the following:

  • Employees who exercise regularly and lead healthy life styles incur 31% lower health care costs than employees who live sedentary, unhealthy lifestyles.
  • Almost 50% of medical costs are incurred due to illnesses that can be avoided with small life-style changes.
  • The typical ROI on corporate wellness investment tends to be about $4 to $5 saved for every dollar spent
  • Make the investment in your company. The benefits are substantial and far outweigh the costs.

By Sheri Warren, Personal Trainer, Member Coach and Director of Sales and Retention

Consistency is the Key!

Speak to a variety of fitness professionals about the best way to achieve fitness results and you will get a variety of answers. Let’s face it, there are a variety of ways to improve your health and a variety of workout programs to improve your waistline. The key to actually achieving those results however is one they will all agree upon; consistency! Consistency is critical to obtaining long term, recognizable and sustainSherriWarren and Hollyable results; results that you can see and results you can feel. So make a daily appointment with yourself to take spin class on Monday, workout with your friend on Tuesday, hike with the dog on Wednesday, meet with your trainer on Thursday and take Yoga on Friday. Doing so will do more than decrease your waistline.

Consistent exercise keeps your blood pressure and cholesterol in check, stimulates the mind, shapes and strengthens muscles, tendons and bones, leads to a general feeling of well being, has been shown to increase productivity in other areas of your life and may even help to ensure deeper relationships with the important people in your life. Consistent exercisers tend to live longer, healthier lives, deal more effectively with stressful circumstances and having a more positive outlook on life. Who wouldn’t sign up for that?  Create a written plan or enlist the help of a fitness professional to write one for you, then schedule each fitness appointment in your calendar. Doing so will greatly increase the likelihood that you will stick to your plan. Relying on whether you “feel” like exercising on a daily basis never works. Feelings change but the truth that consistency is the key will remain true whether you feel like moving or not.

Sticking to a written plan that requires consistent exercise allows your body to respond appropriately and the results will follow. Seeing the physical changes and experiencing the emotional changes in overall well-being reinforces your desire to continue with the plan. So go to the club, attend that class and set an alarm for Boot Camp and watch how the wonderful habit of consistently creates the results you’ve been looking for.

By Sheri Warren, Personal Trainer, Member Coach and Retention Manager

10 Essential Tools for Fitness Success

Equip yourself for success with these ten essential tools and virtually guarantee major improvements in energy, strength, health and overall well-being. The good news is that you can find all 10 of these essential tools right here at Greenwood. And if you are not sure how to use any of the following, feel free to ask myself or one of our nationally certified personal trainers. We would be happy to help!

  1. Workout partner (or two!) Studies prove that those who work out with a friend or LowResDSC_6968co-worker are much more likely to achieve their goals and stay consistent with their workout schedule. Call it positive peer pressure but accountability works and consistency improves the effectiveness and speed with which goals are achieved.
  2. Fitness App or Wearable Device One of the industry’s top fitness trends, use of a wearable fitness tracking device like a heart rate monitor, FitBit or use of a Fitness App like MyFitnessPal. Each of these tools are designed to help track the real numbers and keep you aware of exactly how hard you are working or how many calories are expended and taken in each day. The addition of Performance IQ in our spinning classes is another great fitness tool to keep you on track.
  3. SMART plan To achieve any goal you have to have a plan. Just like business plans, your fitness plan should be SMART too. SMART stands for Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Bound. Specific – schedule specific workouts (strength day, 45 minutes of cardio, yoga class) as appointments in your calendar. Measureable – i.e., determine your current body composition and then track improvements in lean muscle mass and decreases in body fat %. Achievable – set yourself up for success by ensuring your workout plan, while essential, also fits into your life. Relevant – choose workouts that support and lead to accomplishing your overall fitness goals. Time Bound – register for a 5K or ½ marathon, determining a certain weight loss or gain by a special event or date then work backwards from there to set smaller achievable markers to track your progress by.
  4. Water:  One of the most overlooked and easiest tools to ensure improvements in health and performance is the water bottle. Purchase a reusable one like the Greenwood water bottles available at the Service Desk and you’ll be much more apt to have it with you throughout the day. The brain consists of 90% water so when it is deprived of what it needs it does not function well, often leading to headaches, fatigue and even migraines. Proper hydration helps you think better, be more alert and more concentrated. Water supports your metabolism, transports nutrients and oxygen to cells, protects and moisturizes joints, eliminates toxins including the by-products of fat breakdown and provides more energy to your body than caffeine.
  5. Foam Roller: Think of this as personal massage and the best preventer of injury due to overuse and tightness that there is. Foam Rollers are located in the weight room so inquire with a personal trainer or check out YouTube to find out exactly how to use this tool to maintain healthy, flexible, pain free muscles and tendons.
  6. BOSU or other balance stability tools.  Use of tools like the BOSU or balance discs to improve balance, strength, stability and sports performance provide just the right amount of challenge and variety to your workouts. Ask a trainer, go to the BOSU website for exercises or YouTube videos for additional guidance.
  7. Gliding Discs/Tubing: Perfect for those who travel or have limited space at home to workout, exercise bands, tubing and gliding discs provide you the opportunity to work every major muscle group and more.
  8. Positive Attitude: Whether you are someone who looks forward to their daily workouts or not, we all need a positive attitude and understanding of our personal WHY for doing this. Remember that you always feel better after you’ve completed a workout, usually even more so when you almost talked yourself out of it. No matter how you look at it, exercise is beneficial and the sacrifice of time and energy is always worth it!
  9. Qualified Personal Trainer: Invest in the expertise of a qualified personal trainer to ensure the time spent working out is effective, safe and specific to what you are trying to accomplish. Plus, the right personal trainer should also provide the extra motivation you need to push yourself further than you might on your own.
  10. Health Club Membership:  Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club is just the place for you to create a fit, healthy, strong physique. Here you’ll find every sort of small group studio environment under one roof! With over 130 complimentary classes like Yoga, Spinning, Body Pump, Insanity, strength training and Pilates equipment, programming like Indoor or Outdoor Bootcamps, sports performance and body shaping options, plus the social connections made with like-minded people are perfect for increasing your chances of success.

By Sheri Warren, Personal Trainer, Member Coach and Director of Sales and Retention

Yoga – Mix It Up or Commit to One Style?

yoga stretchDon’t mix it up? Beginners should sample a few yoga classes to find one style that they prefer and that is right for their level of fitness. Trying many various styles can be confusing when you’re starting your journey into yoga.

As a beginner, the disadvantages of practicing more than one style include:
-getting confused
-risking injury in a class that is inappropriate for your fitness level
-not being aware of how to modify poses that are too advanced or inappropriate for certain injuries

Private yoga lessons are a great way to begin your journey, giving you the foundation and confidence to step into any of our complementary yoga classes.

Mix it up? Step out of your comfort zone and avoid complacency. After practicing a specific style of yoga on a regular basis for at least six months, it’s a good idea to branch out into different styles. Challenge yourself or maybe explore more restorative or meditative styles. If you have been practicing only heated Vinyasa classes, give an unheated Vinyasa class a try. Mix it up and you will be rewarded with even greater benefits. Most styles don’t fit nicely into one specific category. Many of the styles have crossover techniques that improve fitness, mental health and spiritual growth. Some styles are slow and meditative with a focus on breathing and mental concentration, while other styles focus on the physical aspects of poses and fast movements which result in better fitness and flexibility. Practicing both styles, it is possible to gain mental concentration, spirituality and physical fitness.

The benefits of using several yoga styles can include:
-maximizing the benefit to both the mind and the body
-achieving fitness goals while maintaining meditative focus
-maximizing the crossover between yoga styles

A great way to sample different kinds of yoga is during the yoga immersion weekend coming up on April 15, 16 and 17.

Ultimately, it’s a personal decision whether to use one style of yoga or many. For beginners, it may be best to commit to try different options and select a specific style until after learning the poses and basic breathing techniques. Advanced practitioners may be able to balance various styles at one time,resulting in tremendous growth.

If you’re not sure what class to try or would like additional information, send me an email with your fitness level, goals and questions and I will give you a list of classes that would be best for you.

Marda Zechiel, Yoga Manager

 

Seven Basics for Fitness

spinThe reason we exist at GATC is for the honor of positively impacting people’s lives. We offer over 130 group fitness classes each week as part of your membership. The types of classes are thoughtfully chosen, the instructors are carefully recruited and the class times are strategically placed with the goal of providing you with the best selection of classes offered at the optimal times that cater to a wide variety of interests and provide ample opportunity for achieving results.

On an average day, approximately 1500 people check into the club. Roughly 30% of those check-ins, or 450 people, attend a group fitness class. So how can you optimize your membership utilizing group fitness to achieve your fitness goals? In this “results-focused” issue, I’m offering Seven Basics for Fitness.

FIND SOMETHING YOU ENJOY AND DO IT
If you’re not having fun or being challenged with your workout, it’s easy to lose interest. Instead of dreading the treadmill, consider one of our many other options. With a nice balance of strength, cardio, balance and flexibility classes to choose from each week, there is great opportunity to find your new favorite. Take advantage of our shorter classes that can be done in combination (ex. Cardiovascular Intervals and CXWORX). If you would like some assistance, we offer complimentary Member Coach services or I’m always happy to help. When you find what you enjoy, you’re more likely to stay consistent and see better results.

SET GOALS
Maybe you want to avoid holiday weight gain, fit into a certain dress size, decrease your body fat percentage, cut your mile time, or set a new lifting PR. Map out your plan of attack setting both short-term (30-day) and long-term (three-six months) goals. That plan will help you stay focused and on the path to success. Share your goals with your group fitness instructor so they can help encourage you and keep you accountable.

DRINK ENOUGH WATER
GATC Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer, Kristin Burgess, recommends drinking half your body weight in ounces every day. This is on top of replenishing fluids lost during your workout. While the reminder to drink water may sound unnecessary and obvious, it is essential to your health.

EAT WELL
No training regimen is complete without the complement of good nutrition. Make sure you eat a consistently well-balanced diet. Dedication to both your training and your nutrition will offer the best results.

GET SUFFICIENT SLEEP
Rest is crucial to our fat-loss and muscle-building goals. Lack of sleep raises cortisol levels and hampers proper recovery. Exercise places stress on your body, and it’s your body’s ability to respond to and rebuild from this stress that creates growth, results and body improvement. This is why nutrition and recovery are essential to achieving your fitness goals.

MIX IT UP
Many dedicated gym-goers fall into a workout rut. Break out of boredom by challenging yourself in new ways. Try new movements, set aside the dumbbells in favor of a barbell or cables, or grab a buddy and try a class. Don’t just set up camp at your usual corner or elliptical. If you are bored with your workouts, chances are your body is, too. Make some changes for a new challenge leading to new results.

STAY CONSISTENT
None of this information will be of much value if it’s not done consistently. No matter your goal, consistent efforts are rewarded with hard-earned results!

Andrea Morris, Director of Group Fitness

KEYS TO RESULTS: WORKOUT HARD, EAT WISELY AND REPEAT

The fitness industry and society routinely come up with “magic bullets.” Whether it is a program, class or product, the promoters say this is the key for people to lose weight and achieve the body they want. In my opinion, they are full of it. The only path to results is by following these five steps:

Tristan blog DSC_1788

WORKOUT HARD – Whether it is a cardiovascular session or a weight lifting routine, you need to do it intensely enough to break a sweat and feel very fatigued. Often, I see people doing cardio, going through the motions and barely breaking a sweat or breathing hard. The same for lifting- I often see people pick up weights, do an exercise and then put them down and look no more fatigued than as if they were chewing gum. It’s called a workout for a reason people! Sweat, push yourself and feel a little sore the next day.

STOP EATING SO MUCH – Most people say they eat healthy and yet they are overweight. There are three possible explanations for this: either you have a hormonal dysfunction (12% of the total US population has this), you think you eat healthy food but actually do not, or you eat healthy but eat too much. Diet is 70% of the weight loss equation. If you consistently drop your caloric intake, make everything you eat nutritionally relevant and eat a variety of different foods, you can actually achieve weight loss that is long-term and healthy.

HAVE FUN – Try different activities that get you moving. Learn to love to make your body move in different ways. Have fun and involve the family. The more you are around people who are active, the more you become active.

BE CONSISTENT YEAR ROUND – Many people get in shape in January and lose momentum by April. Then they fall back into destructive habits that counteract results. Try this; never let more than 48 hour pass before you exercise intensely. Keep that rule and you will see a dramatic difference in yourself.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP – Whether it is a trainer, neighbor, friend or spouse- ask for help to become or stay active. Again, the more you associate with active people, the more active you will become. Don’t be afraid to ask a professional for help in achieving your goals. Everyone needs a coach to help them in a sport, the same goes for fitness.

AGAIN, eat less but healthy food, be active intensely, have fun with it, be social and ask for help once and awhile. Repeat this prescription every day and watch the results.

For more help with your fitness goals, visit the GATC Personal Training page and for nutrition information, the GATC Nutrition Services page.

Vic Spatola, Director of Personal Training

True! It’s All About That “Base”

You finally get that long-awaited short ball opportunity which allows you to attack the net and really apply some pressure to your opponent except for one thing, your opponent is the dreaded lobber! What are your options? To start with, nothing says lobbing is a bad idea to your opponent better than cracking an overhead for a winner! So let’s talk about how you can better prepare for this shot.tennisracketball simple graphic

1. In one move, immediately raise both hands up plus align your shoulders and feet sideways to the ball and your intended target. This doesn’t always mean you should be perpendicular to the net, sometimes you’ll find yourself slightly open to the net and occasionally you may discover that you need to turn as much as 45 degrees past perpendicular to the point where your back is exposed to the net. Where you are on the court and your target area determines shoulder and stance alignment.

2. I think most players are familiar with these technical elements but I find perhaps the most important element in gaining confidence and making solid contact on the overhead is having a wide base. By a wide base I mean wider than the width of your shoulders. In doing so, this should also create knee bend and drop your center of gravity. This is important because just the mere fact that you’re looking up, you’ll find yourself a little off balance, so widening your base will make you feel more comfortable adjusting to the ball and more confident.

Confidence plays a major role in having a good overhead. Learn to love them and you’ll have a great one! And remember, as Meghan Trainor says, “It’s all about that base.”

Yes, I twisted her words slightly.

For help with your overhead and more, check out GATC’s programs, drills, clinics, leagues and more!

Ron Steege, Director of Tennis

Fat Loss Tips: Gluten-Free?

gluten-freeSales of gluten-free foods have soared 68% in the last two years.  Almost 1.6 million Americans are gluten-free. Yet only 1% of the population actually has Celiac Disease, a disorder in which one’s immune system reacts to gluten, a protein in certain grains.

In my opinion, many people look for a quick fix. It is easy to jump at reasons/excuses why we are doing everything right and still not losing weight. Is going gluten-free really a magic pill? Is this the ONLY reason people begin to lose weight?

Let’s look at some facts:

1) Limiting any heavy caloric food will cause weight loss

2) Gluten-free can mean less processed, therefore the product MAY retain more natural nutrients (of course this varies product to product and brand to brand, just like any food)

3) Liming the variety of processed carbohydrates will always yield a healthier body

4) Many of the companies producing gluten-free products are companies who produce organic foods. In order for a product to be labeled “gluten-free” it must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. Many large companies cannot control production to this minute fraction, allowing for more mom and pop or organic companies to produce gluten-free foods.

5) Even though gluten-free foods are currently available almost everywhere, they are still not as accessible as gluten-containing foods. Therefore, you might be less likely to choose a pizza, cookie or other traditional wheat product.

Gluten is a protein in grains such as wheat, spelt, rye, or kamut.  Who eats spelt and rye on a regular basis? But who eats whole wheat bread for breakfast, crackers or a granola bar for a snack, a sandwich for lunch, pasta for dinner? Most Americans- most days of the week. It might not be pasta for dinner, but it might be a tortilla or even something “healthy” such as a pita.

Let me ask this: would you eat five bananas in one day, on a regular basis, day afteBathroom-scaler day? Probably not. So why would you eat that much wheat in one day? Cutting out gluten does not cause the weight loss for most people.It is more likely that you are now eating a greater variety of foods and food groups. More fruits, veggies, variety of grains, less processed food (let’s face it, the gluten-free bread isn’t the most tasty), more lean proteins, more nuts and seeds and likely less sugar. These things are the likely cause of your weight loss!

Looking for additional information or other nutrition tips? Visit GATC’s Nutrition Services page or email Kristin at kristinb@greenwoodatc.com

Kristin Burgess, GATC R.D.

 

Spring Into Fitness

Tone. Define. Tighten. These are the words that most all of us mutter to ourselves at some point before the pool weather arrives. Yes, it is April in Colorado and could snow again in a second, but the cherry blossoms, greener grass and beautiful 70-degree weather we have been enjoying are here to remind us that summer is right around the corner.

Quick. Imagine yourself running outside in shorts and a tank top. Or relaxing by the pool soaking up that vitamin D. Does this make you feel excited or anxious? If the answer is the latter and you’re not feeling ready to be the confident version of you that you should be this summer, now is the perfect time to amp up that motivation, refocus and hit some set goals. Those cold winter nights may have lowered motivation and given way to delicious comfort food, but now is the perfect time to spring back into fitness.

lose weight this springOur personal trainer David Nutting dubbed the “transformation specialist” has designed an effective body blasting metabolic circuit program to help you do just that. His class uses a unique method of training to help you tone, define and tighten your core, legs, arms and shoulders using challenging exercises. Expect hard and satisfying workouts that will make use of suspension training, BOSU balls, weights, medicine balls, intervals, and more. Expect workout homework and tips to keep you motivated and accountable. Get the results you want and feel excited instead of nervous about the approaching change of season.

Spring into Fitness starts April 13, at 8:00am on Mondays and Wednesdays. To learn more click here or register by calling 303-770-2582 x274.