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Meet a Mom

By | Meet a Mom | No Comments

We know it’s tough to find time and space for yourself when you are working full time, raising a family, and making it through each day.  Read our interview with Fairleigh, a longtime member and mom, for inspiration on how she makes it happen.

  1. What do you do for a living?

I am a veterinary technician and work full time.

  1. What do you like to do for exercise?

I like to do a combination of weights and cardio for exercise. I have started recently to vary my cardio in between sets of weights – I will do 15 min on the elliptical or treadmill then move directly to a series of weight machines then right back to 10-15 more min of cardio like the bicycle, then another series on the machines. I have recently added in some of the evening classes and have really enjoyed them.

  1. How does being able to fit in exercise affect the rest of your life, family, etc.?

Being able to (finally!) fit in exercise has been so important for all aspects of my life. Not only does it feel great to have that “me time” but it also helps me to relieve stress after a busy day. I am a happier and healthier person for it!

  1. What brought you to Powerlady Fitness?

I originally came to Powerlady on a Groupon but I picked it specifically for the location and the child care option. Also I was not interested in a big gym experience but wanted some place more relaxed and comfortable. After a month of the Groupon, I joined the gym and that was three years ago!

  1. What is your favorite thing about our childcare?

My favorite thing about childcare is that the “sitters” are willing to engage with my child, play with her or draw with her. Each visit for my daughter is varied and fun, she loves coming to the gym and is very upset when I decide not to go!

  1. What advice would you give to new moms who want to exercise but aren’t sure how/where to start? (I hear so many say they feel guilty about spending money, being away from their child, taking their child from daycare straight to childcare).

My advice for new moms is to recognize the importance of taking that time for yourself to get some exercise. Even though it may seem like you are being selfish, its really just the opposite! The gym does not cost much money as compared to many other places and the childcare center is so close to the rest of the gym, your child is just right around the corner! I know my daughter loves coming to the gym right after I pick her up from aftercare at her school because its another fun activity for her, a different kind of stimulation in a small comfortable environment. When new moms take time for themselves, everyone benefits!

  1. Comment on the classes you take at Powerlady Fitness. Meet your needs? Stretch you in a good way?

I do not take classes regularly and have only taken one Pilates class. That one class was amazing and I was motivated to attend other classes, but instead have mostly done my own workouts on a 3-4 times a week basis.

  1. Comment on the camaraderie you experience with other young moms either in classes or with your friends, neighbors, a buddy who also comes to the gym.

I have made casual friends from some ladies I see on a regular basis, but I don’t know their names! I always feel welcome and comfortable at Powerlady, I feel like we are there all for the same reason and that feels very good.

  1. Is the location convenient to your home, your neighborhood?

Yes! I live in the Oak Grove neighborhood and work in Decatur. Most days it is easy enough to pick up my daughter from school and then take her with me to the gym. That is one of the major benefits to Powerlady, its in my neighborhood!

  1. What does your child like about childcare?

She loves the variety between the childcare providers and the children that are present each day. Even if she is the only child there, she is stimulated and happy for the interaction with the provider.

  1. What activities does your child enjoy at Powerlady’s childcare center?

My daughter loves coloring and reading while at Powerlady and she also loves playing with the other children. The childcare providers sometimes guide the play among the children and most of the time they are right in the middle of the play as well!

  1. Comment on the cost and/or the value of childcare at Powerlady Fitness.

The cost to me is so minimal compared to the value it provides for me, my daughter and my family. I am more content having my time to exercise and my daughter is happy to have different interactions each time she is at the gym. My membership at Powerlady makes the whole family happy!

  1. Comment on the childcare workers at Powerlady Fitness, their caring attitude, professionalism, etc.

The childcare providers at Powerlady are always enthusiastic, caring and motivated to give my child a wonderful experience. They are professional and truly interested in the care that they give to each child there. I am glad to have such wonderful staff persons to take care of my child!

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What Happens to Your Body When You Workout

By | Blog, Exercise, Fit Tip, Weight Loss | No Comments

Whether you’ve been exercising all your life or just begun, there have always been myths and fads surrounding the fitness world. Crash diets, the ability to lose weight quickly or what foods to eat are examples of ways popular media has shaped fitness.

But really, the main reason many people exercise is to lose weight. However, many people go in blind without exactly knowing what will happen to their body. The following are things most likely to happen when you start a workout routine.

You’ll want to diet – Don’t do this.

You would think, “I’m starting to exercise, so I should go on a diet too!” It’s true that you should always try to eat healthy no matter what, but there is a distinct difference between “eating healthy” and “diet.”

Many diets include cutting out foods altogether like sugar and carbs. According to Brent Brookbush, certified personal trainer with degrees in Health and Wellness as well as a master’s in Exercise Science says, Carbohydrates are not the enemy. Excess calories are your enemy, not carbs! Carbohydrates are a source of energy for the body.

Image Source: HypeScience.com

When you start exercising, your body uses sugar as energy because fat cannot be broken down fast enough to fuel high intensity activities. So, to burn the fat, the body needs more carbs to help burn it. Carbs are essential for a healthy diet and should be 45-60% of your daily calories. (Examples of good carbs would be beans, sweet potatoes and spinach. Complex carbs like multi-grain bread and rice in small quantities.)

You’ll want to eat more – Do this.

This does not mean get a second helping at dinner, it means to eat one or two healthy snacks throughout the day. As stated in the last section, your body needs more energy to burn fat. In those crash diets and instant weight loss programs they claim you can “lose 10 pounds in a week” or another outrageous number. But, those 10 pounds are not fat.

Image Source: ShareDiets.com

The weight loss during crash diets and low carb diets comes from muscle sugar depletion, relative dehydration and the breakdown of proteins in the muscles and liver. And it all comes down to carbs!

If you don’t consume enough carbs, your body has to find new ways to make sugar. Because of this new need, your body targets the storage in your muscles, not fat, to make sugar. Don’t detour your body’s new need to eat more when you start an exercise routine, make it up with lots of consumption of leafy greens, good carbohydrates and protein!

Your body might want to exercise – This is great!

You’ve most likely heard of “runner’s high” or the release of endorphins through the brain when a person exercises. But according to HowStuffWorks.com, researchers have found that light-to-moderate weight training or cardiovascular exercise doesn’t produce endorphins, only heavy weights or training that incorporates sprinting or other anaerobic exertion.

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When your body crosses over from an aerobic state to an anaerobic state, it’s suddenly operating without enough oxygen to satisfy the muscles and cells screaming out for it. This is when the “runner’s high” occurs.

Though the sudden need for that euphoric feeling won’t get you addicted to exercising, you may start to notice you are more alert, have more energy and just want to get up and run around!

Every person is different, so when formulating an exercise routine for yourself, find your limits and find what works for you!

 

Ask the trainers at Powerlady to help you with your exercise routine!

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Creatures of Habit

By | Blog, Exercise, Fit Challenge, Fit Community, Fit Tip | No Comments

Colin Powell, a retired U.S. army general said, “If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters.” Whether it’s a 4-star general or the little voice inside your head urging you to “keep moving forward,” developing a habit, a ritual, for your workout routine will mean all the difference.

According to Healthline, it takes six to eight weeks for your body to adapt to a workout routine, both physically and mentally. Though it is important to diversify your workout, as explained here, maintaining a healthy workout regimen is the first step.

Habits

Image Source: Ronisweigh.com

In recent years, as technology has grown, we are becoming more adapt to instant gratification. Food, movies, education and communication has become faster, direct and more frequent. In fitness, there are exercise crazes, fad diets and new weight loss pills all claiming to make you “instantly lose weight.”

People will start working out, see no results and either change it up or quit. But, we are far from instant creatures…we love habits. It’s true that growth and change are crucial for our lives, but it’s our routines that keep us functioning. After making that “I’m going to lose weight” New Years resolution three months in, we are picking up cake from the grocery store right next to our gyms.

Image Source: Mapmyfitness.com

Don’t treat fitness like that “new thing” or “something I’m going to start when I have time,” treat it like brushing your teeth or putting on make-up. It’s something you do frequently in your life to make yourself look and feel better. By developing your exercise habits, not only will you see results physically, you’ll feel results mentally.

Six to eight weeks…are you up for the challenge? The Poker Chip Challenge has helped our members start their routine! Ask how Powerlady Fitness can help you with your exercise routine. Need somewhere to start? Here’s a daily workout from darebee.com to try.

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Workout Not Working? Diversify your Workout

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So, you’ve finally mastered that workout you do on a daily basis and that 8-pound weight isn’t as hard to lift anymore. You’re finally getting better at working out and reaching your goals right? …yes and no. According to Healthline, when your body performs the same exercises repeatedly your muscles and body adjust. Even though your workout is more comfortable, your body is no longer being challenged.

It takes about 6 to 8 weeks for your body to adapt to an exercise routine. If the routine stays the same, your fitness level will plateau. It’s important to add diversity to your exercise routine. The best way to do this is cover three areas of fitness: cardio, strength and stretch.

Cardio

Cardio, or cardiovascular exercise, is any activity that increases your heart rate. When your heart rate reaches a certain level, the body begins to burn calories. This applies to any cardio exercise like running, dancing and aerobics.

 

Image Source: Renew.com

The best ways to vary your cardio workouts are changing pace, distance and intensity. Using a higher incline on a treadmill or changing your 2-mile daily walk to 20 minutes of jogging.

Strength

It’s very hard to build muscle without changing up strength or weight training; this is any exercise using weights and resistance. Once the muscles have adapted to a strength exercise, they will continue to need exposure to more challenging exercises to build muscle.

 

Image Source: Huffington Post

Remember to change up the weight. The best way to improve strength is to vary exercises for each body part. Many people may stick to bicep curls and push ups, but also remember the back, shoulders and triceps during your weight training.

Stretch

Improving your flexibility will not only improve your overall fitness, but it will give you more options and range for other workouts. Stretching routines like yoga at least 3 times a week will add to a well-rounded exercise routine. If stretching on your own remember to hit the major parts of the body like arms, legs, neck, shoulders and back.

Image Source: Huffington Post

 

Are you up for a new challenge? Try the Powerlady Poker Chip Challenge. Diversify your workout and put your name in for prizes and recognition! 

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5 Misconceptions About Yoga

By | Blog, Fit Tip | No Comments

Stemming from spiritual origins, Yoga is a common practice performed by over 20 million Americans each year. Many people go into yoga wanting to improve flexibility, balance and overall mental health, yet there are still some common misconceptions when it comes to the mental and physical exercise.

#5 – You have to be flexible.

 

Image Source: Huffington Post

Yoga beginners typically go into a class thinking “I have to be flexible,” but that isn’t true. Though practicing over time can improve flexibility, it is not the main goal of yoga. In fact, the less flexible you are initially, the more you have to gain.

#4 – You have to wear yoga pants.

 

Image Source: L’chaim Center

Over the past few years, the “yoga pants” fad has swept across college campuses and even the desk of Montana politicians that want to ban them in the public eye. They are flexible, form-fitting pants designed for activities that involve a lot of movement including dancing, martial arts, aerobics and yoga. Though very fashionable, yoga pants aren’t needed. Any clothes you are comfortable in can be worn for yoga.

#3 – There is only one style of yoga.

 

Image Source: Huffington Post

Depending on the instructor, yoga can be stretch oriented, therapeutic or spiritual. There is not just one practice of yoga. According to the yoga alliance, there are 8 common types of yoga practice:

  • Gentle yoga classes are typically calming, relaxing, and less physically demanding than other classes. They may also use props to aid students in their practice.
  • Spiritually-oriented yoga classes often include meditation in addition to asana practice. They might also emphasize yoga philosophy, chanting, mantra, or cultivating spiritual growth.
  • Flow yoga classes are typically invigorating, and they often include aerobic elements. Each posture is usually held only for a short time before moving to the next posture.
  • Alignment-oriented yoga classes give particular attention to precision bodily placement, often with longer holds of asanas. Classes might use props to help students attain the desired alignment.
  • Fitness yoga primarily emphasizes the physical dimensions of yoga practice. Typical objectives might include aerobic conditioning, gaining strength, or building stamina.
  • Hot yoga classes involve practicing in heated rooms (varying in temperature, potentially up to 110°F). The postures themselves may or may not be physically demanding.
  • Therapeutic yoga adapts yoga techniques to help those facing health challenges to manage their condition, reduce symptoms, increase vitality, and/or improve mental outlook.
  • Specialty yoga classes often customize yoga for particular groups, such as seniors, children, expectant mothers, and those facing serious health conditions. Specialized training is important for teachers who work with these groups.

 

#2 – You have to be young.

 

Image Source: DailyHiit

Many people, ages 16 to 80 perform yoga. You are never too old! In a way, yoga is beyond age as it helps to stabilize the body and mind.

#1 – It’s easy.

 

Image Source: Doctorul Zilei

Yoga is a combination of strength, balance and flexibility. Often regarded as a practice for women, Yoga was developed by men for meditation and spiritual enlightenment. It requires focus, stability and determination. Depending on the type of yoga you want to practice, it takes time and diligence to master and perform daily, but the pay off is worthwhile!

 

Come check out our amazing yoga instructors at PowerLady!

Member Success Story of Sarah F.

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What kept you going consistently?

I would plan in the beginning of the week when I planned to come to the gym. I packed my bag and put it in the car. The people at the front desk helped too-when will we see you again? The e-mails helped too…. helped hold accountable. very supportive. seeing changes in myself was also motivation for me to keep going. Coming and getting started was the hardest part. Once I did that it felt easier. Even though I was tired some days I made myself do it and always felt better when I was leaving.
-Sarah F., Member since 2014

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Cross Training and the Benefits for Women

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What is Cross Training and what are the Benefits for Women?

Cross Training is an exercise regimen that includes using different forms of exercise to improve overall performance – in your chosen sport or in your favorite class.  Cross training will improve your body by keeping various muscle groups fresh and fit, while variety in the workout routine helps to prevent overuse injuries.

When you only do one kind of fitness activity – such as running or weight lifting, and you only work on the muscles involved in that sport, you will usually be in great shape for that specific endeavor. Plus, when you restrict yourself to one type of exercise, you will eventually reach a point where you will maintain your level of fitness rather than improving it. Conversely, cross training will help build balanced, physical proficiency, thereby increasing your overall level of fitness and preparing you for a wide range of activities.

Benefits of Cross Training

  • works different muscle groups
  • reduces the risk of injury
  • lessens the chance of boredom
  • improves skill, agility and balance
  • helps break weight loss plateausgroupofwomen

Testimonial- Sarah F.

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“As a person who had never even been to a gym, getting started was extremely intimidating.
From the moment that i walked through the door, the experience at Powerlady has been extremely supportive.

The environment is judgment free, non-competitive and suitable for all fitness levels. Their personal interest in you and your needs makes Powerlady such a special place!”

-Sarah F., Member since 2014

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