4 Ways to Stay Active During Your Workday

workplaceFor most of us, technology has made our jobs easier than ever. Computers, cell phones and other devices allow us to get more done in less time no matter where we are. While our minds are more productive, though, this convenience has turned us into the workplace equivalent of couch potatoes.

It’s easier than you might think to make physical activity a part of your workday. Use these suggestions to get up from your desk and get moving!


1. Turn your lunch hour into a health break. Instead of heading to the nearest fast-food joint for a quick burger and fries, enjoy a brisk walk. It provides plenty of physical and mental benefits and requires no special equipment. Keep a pair of running shoes at your desk, grab your iPod and you’re ready to go. Skip the music if you prefer, but make a pact with yourself to leave thoughts of work behind during this time. Bring a healthy brown-bag lunch to enjoy when you’re done.

2. Exercise while you work. That’s the concept behind the innovative bike and treadmill desks that have been growing in popularity. The apparatus is combined with a flat surface featuring plenty of room to work, allowing you to walk or pedal away without missing a beat. Unlike walking, this option involves an expense. However, with many companies becoming more proactive in funding wellness care for employees, your employer may be willing to make the investment for everyone in your office to benefit.

3. Skip electronic “conversations” in favor of face-to-face meetings. Have you grown so dependent on telephones and computers that you find yourself calling or even emailing a co-worker who’s right down the hall?  Start getting out of your seat and walking over to someone’s desk when you have a question or need to talk. Not only does it keep your muscles from getting stiff, it gives you some human interaction to reduce the feeling of isolation that often occurs when you’re desk-bound.

4. Replace your desk chair with a physioball. Workplace exercise doesn’t have to be restricted to cardio activities. Sitting on a physioball at your desk strengthens your core muscles and develops your sense of balance. It can also provide relief if you suffer from lower-back pain. While you can use a physioball, you can actually get desk chairs where one is incorporated into the seat portion.

Enjoy the benefits of technology, but don’t become a slave to it. Develop healthier habits using these tips to keep you body fit without sacrificing your productivity.

The Importance of Youth Strength & Conditioning

Youth fit blog pic 1Strength and conditioning are two of the main pillars for overall health and fitness. While some may not consider it for youths, it is an important part of a healthy lifestyle for all ages. The benefits that a youth can receive from strength and conditioning training are immense. Here are a few to consider:
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The Benefits of Learning New Equipment

New Equipment  blog pic 2When you have been doing a particular exercise regimen for a long time it can start to feel like you’re stuck in a rut. You may hit a plateau as far as progress is concerned in weight-loss, toning or building endurance. This is a great time to consider trying something new. Not only will you discover exercises that make a difference in your body, you’ll be ensuring that your health maintenance program will continue for years to come.

Try New Equipment

Some people make the mistake of performing a very regular exercise every time they go to the gym. Be it running, cycling or weightlifting, you may start to feel like you’re not getting anywhere. It’s not like in the first few months of a routine, where you can see progress everywhere on your body and also on the scale. Trying a new piece of equipment changes the game for you. It will work different muscle groups and vary the types of cardio you’re doing. That will help you to have better endurance in all your activities. It will also stimulate your mind to think and plan around the new exercise, which switches up the old routine. What was once boring is now engaging.

Maximize Your Time

When you go to the gym, it’s annoying when the equipment you planned to use is taken. When will it be available? It’s anybody’s guess. If you alternate between, say, the treadmill, recumbent bicycle, elliptical trainer and weights, you have a lot of choices. One of them will be available, even if the club is busy. If you like to use several pieces of equipment each day, plan a routine that is flexible enough to switch it around as necessary. As a result, you spend more of your precious time on your workout, and much less time waiting.

Take a New Approach

This is also a good time to reexamine the way you look at workouts in general. If you have typically gone out to exercise and done the same activity for 45 minutes or an hour, it’s time to think differently. These days, interval training is all the rage. With interval training, you perform several exercises in short bursts, with very brief breaks in-between. For example, you might run sprints for a minute or two, then lift some weights, then pushups and stomach crunches. The advantage of interval training is that you get a very high-powered workout in a much shorter time–usually a half-hour or less. In addition, you get the benefit of working a large variety of muscle groups when you used to only stretch and tone one or two.

Exercise is really important to your health and overall well-being. But if you’re not working to stay creative, your workout may become a chore instead of a delight. In time, you’ll start looking for excuses not to do it. Rethink your approach and try some new things. You’ll be glad you did.

5 Important Exercises for Tennis Players

Tennist blog pic 4Tennis is a unique sport that utilizes a distinct group of muscles not heavily used in other sports. Playing tennis requires agility, focus, speed and intense hand eye coordination. The best exercises to help you prepare for a good game of tennis include endurance training, footwork drills and stretching of the muscles.

5 Important Exercises for Tennis Players


Stretching should be the first exercise any tennis player performs before getting ready for a match. When stretching for a game of tennis the mission is to loosen up and stretch the muscles utilized during the game. Warm up exercises for tennis should start off slow, then gradually increase in intensity thoughout the session.

Stretching is THE most important exercise to complete before playing tennis. Without proper stretching, you are not only unable to perform at your best, you also risk suffering from numerous injuries. If you have time for only one exercise before playing tennis, make sure it is proper stretching.

Endurance Training-

Even though tennis players aren’t running across a football field all game, if you have ever seen an intense tennis match, you know that the players feet are constantly moving. Endurance training is crucial for any tennis player to be able to play their best and keep up with the ball on the court.

Jogging for 30 minutes is a great way to increase lung capacity, endurance, and prepare you for an active tennis match. Other endurance activities to help you practice the quick footwork needed in tennis include agility exercises such as the speed ladder or plyometric training.

Strength Training-

Basic strength training is great before playing tennis but be sure to not overexert yourself during training to the point that you are too tired to play. Great options for strength training include exercises with a medicine ball, chin-ups (to strengthen the back muscles), and squats to strengthen your legs.

For tennis, having a strong upper back and shoulders is important, too, yet these muscles are rarely worked as much as they should be. One of the best exercises for the muscles in the upper back is chin-ups. Resistance bands can also be used to strengthen muscles and prepare them for playing tennis.

Hitting Practice-

It is always a good idea to do some practice hitting before a tennis match. After stretching and warming up your muscles, you are now ready for some light hitting. Throughout the warm up session, you can progress to hitting the ball harder. This is another area where you don’t want to overexert yourself in an effort to save up energy for the match. Hitting practice is important to improve hand eye coordination, as well as strength in tennis players.

Cool Down-

After any warm up session, it is important to cool down your muscles and your body in preparation for the game. You should be finished with your warm up exercises for tennis around 10-15 minutes before your actual match. This is the proper time to begin cooling down and preparing for the game. Refueling by drinking a sports drink or water and eating some form of protein is a good idea to help your body recover from the warm up and prepare for the game. This is when you should tape or wrap up any injuries that may interfere with your ability to play your best.

3 Ways to Know a Personal Trainer is Right For You

PT blog pic 2Staying physically active is a necessary element to a healthy lifestyle. As our world becomes more sedentary, the opportunities to gain physical movement and burn calories are exponentially rising. With fun and supportive classes that move your body, or small group training, you can make your exercise entertaining! There are also independent movers; those who frequent the gym and know exactly what equipment they need to get a great workout. No matter who you are and what you prefer, there are a multitude of ways to get your physical movement in and enjoy every second of it.

Why a personal trainer?

There is another source of exercise: enthusiastic, educated individuals who dedicate their time to providing clients with personalized attention. Did you know between 2001 and 2011, there was a 41% increase in personal trainers? We love what they can give us! By working with a personal trainer, we learn about proper rules to effective exercise and balancing a healthy life. We are investing in meeting our goals.

Personal training as a “last resort.”

With dozens of different workout routines available to us, how do you know that a personal trainer is right for you? Many people do not approach a personal trainer until they have attempted every other option they find valuable. Once their experiences fail to give them any success, a personal trainer feels like their last resort. In reality, a personal trainer could be the perfect touch to building a healthy lifestyle. By acquiring all the tools and knowledge from your personal trainer, you can confidently continue to pursue your activity and balance your life.

Here are the 3 sure fire ways to decide if a personal trainer is the perfect match for your healthy lifestyle and exercise routine:

3. You look to a workout buddy for routine, accountability, or entertainment.
We all have our friends who work out regularly, and we love it when we can work out together. By holding each other accountable for being available, it solidifies a consistent routine. Naturally, our exercise stays consistent when we group up to do so.
A personal trainer would be perfect for you because they are your biggest supporter, and schedule time in their day to work out with you and give you coaching to improve your progress. It’s also more entertaining to work out alongside someone else.

2. You lose motivation quickly or have trouble staying focused.
Do you push full steam ahead when working out, and then feel drained and exhausted for a week afterwards? Do you feel overwhelmed by the idea of being consistently active? There is a lot to learn about exercising, and feeling sore isn’t just in your muscles. It could be a real headache, too! You’re not alone; over 73% of people give up before reaching their fitness goals.
A personal trainer acts like a guidebook for physical activity. There are no expectations or surprises with a personal trainer. They also break your goal into many small goals to diminish any pressure you may feel about training.

1. You are learning how to exercise effectively or are new to the gym.
A personal trainer is a perfect choice if you are newly introduced to the gym atmosphere. Personal trainers know their gyms inside and out, and by investing in their guidance you can easily integrate into your gym without any confusion or frustration.
Personal trainers are certified to assist you in sound nutrition advice as well as walking you through proper techniques when exercising. You can start your new journey enthusiastically with your personal trainer by your side.

How To Eat Healthy At The Office

8.3.1If you are like most Americans, you spent at least 40 hours per week in the office.  Since your job occupies such a large portion of your schedule, your eating behavior while at work has a huge impact on your health. It is difficult to eat healthy in most workplaces, where coworkers constantly bring in their leftover cupcakes and there is pressure to visit a new restaurant for lunch each day. Utilize the following strategies to improve your diet in spite of this challenging environment.

Pack Your Own Meals

It is so much easier to eat healthy when you bring your own food rather than relying on your willpower to choose a salad over pizza at a restaurant or cafeteria. Promise to yourself that you will bring and eat your own food for lunch at least four days per week, and then stick to this promise.

There are so many options for healthy packed lunches. A simple turkey sandwich, made with whole wheat bread and spinach, a yogurt and an apple is an easy combination to grab. If you are trying to limit your carbohydrate intake, pack a big green salad topped with some protein-rich chicken or hard-boiled egg. Pack the dressing on the side, and use it sparingly. Of course, dinner leftovers are another great lunch option, providing those leftovers are healthy, of course.

Include Some Snacks

It is easy to overeat at lunchtime, or to suddenly cave in and go out to lunch with coworkers rather than eating your packed lunch, when you are overly hungry. Stave off hunger throughout the day by packing and eating a few healthy snacks. Aim for one snack in the morning and another in the afternoon. Knowing that you have that afternoon snack to look forward to helps keep you from overeating at lunch.

Good snacks for the office include easy-to-pack fruits such as apples, bananas and grapes. String cheese and nuts are also good options, since they contain a little protein to keep you feeling full. Some granola bars are healthy choices; just avoid the ones that contain more than 15 grams of sugar per serving.

Find a Few Health Allies

Chances are, plenty of your coworkers also want to eat healthier at work but are too shy to say anything about it. Be the one to take action. Ask some of your other coworkers if they are interested in eating healthier, too. Once you find someone else who shares your goal, you can work together to achieve it. It is easier to resist going out to lunch if it does not mean you have to eat alone in the office.

If you can convince enough of your coworkers to join you in your quest for healthier eating, the task becomes much easier. Consider having “lunch potlucks” with your new buddies once per week. Everyone can bring a healthy dish to share. You can use this time to discuss your health goals. Talking about your goals keeps you, and your new healthy buddies, accountable for your goals. If enough of your coworkers are on board, you can even suggest that cupcakes and other snacks are kept in cupboards out of sight instead of being displayed temptingly on tables.

The secret to eating healthier at work is to be realistic with yourself. It is okay to eat out with coworkers from time to time, but making it a regular habit is where problems arise. Talk to your coworkers about your health goals so that they do not take your choice to avoid lunch gatherings and shared desserts personally. Many of them are likely to envy your willpower.

Why Lifting Weights Doesn’t Mean You Have to “Bulk Up”

SMC lift weights 1013When it comes to fitness many people have different goals.  From running a 5K to being able to lift a certain amount.  When it comes to lifting weights there is an idea out there that lifting automatically equals bulking up.  If this is your goal then yes you can bulk up however you can also stay lean, add definition and look great without adding too much bulk.

The following tips can help you enjoy lifting weights and see results without adding bulk.

  • Choose a weight that will fatigue your muscles over the length of a set but that you can still lift for the whole set.  2-3 sets are usually optimal with around 8-10 repetitions.  This will help you build lean muscle and increase your muscles stamina.
  • You can also build muscle without bulking up with much heavier weights.  Choose the heaviest weight you can lift then do 3 sets of 1-3 reps.
  •  When you feel you are ready to add weight consider which muscle group you are working. When it comes to smaller muscles you may only want to increase the weights by one or two pounds, larger muscles may be able to take bigger gains.  Never add too much weight at one time as it may result in injury.
  • When you feel you are getting stronger and a workout is becoming easier , keep the same amount of repetitions and increase the weight you are lifting.
  • To build muscle and lean out, your body needs a sufficient amount of protein.  1 gram per 1 pound of body weight will help increase your muscle mass while helping you to burn fat therefore leaning your body out.
  • Replacing some of your static cardio workout with strength workouts can help your body burn fat faster.  Lifting a minimum of 2 to 3 times a week will help you reap the fat burning benefits that strength training can bring to your body.

If you are looking to bulk up you may want to consider using these tips.

  • Increase the weight you are lifting and change up the exercises you are completing often.  This will help keep your muscles confused which will help you to gain muscle quicker.
  • Increase your caloric intake by around 500 try to keep a large percentage of this increase to eating more protein.
  • Lift a minimum of 3-4 times a week.

Lifting heavier weights, eating sufficient protein and living a clean and healthy lifestyle can help you to lose fat, increase muscle and look leaner without bulking up.

Hiring a personal trainer can help you learn how to use strength training efficiently and effectively.  Personal trainers use their own successes and successes of their past clients along with your bodies specific needs to build a program that will help you meet your goals without having to spend hours working out.

The Difference Between a Trainer and a Great Trainer

SMC great trainer 1013Your first day walking into a gym is similar to your first day of school: You don’t know any of the people, you probably don’t have a good knowledge base, and someone keeps spilling juice everywhere. One of the wisest decisions you can make when joining a gym is to take advantage of the amenities available to new members. One of the most important of those amenities is a personal trainer.

How To Choose Your Trainer

All too often, gym members are tempted to seek out the trainer with the most defined abs or the biggest pecs, but the big difference between a trainer and a great trainer is the knowledge that they provide. Personal trainers must be certified in order to practice, but a variety of certifications exist for trainers. Some of these certifications specialize in weightlifting for bodybuilders while some are more geared to cardio for the injury-prone.

The first step to picking your trainer is to find out what his or her area of expertise is. If your goal is to become the next Arnold, then you probably shouldn’t choose the trainer who primarily focuses on aerobics classes. After you’ve found the trainer with the right education, you’ll want to set up your first appointment with them.

Your First Training Session

The first time you work with a trainer can be a little intimidating. You might feel pressured to show off the full range of your athletic abilities in an effort to impress your trainer. The first session of training, however, is more to gauge where you are as far as your fitness level is concerned. The goal of this initial session is not to push yourself harder than you ever have; it is to find a starting baseline to measure your future progress. A great trainer will encourage you to challenge yourself with each workout, but your trainer will first need an understanding of what your body is capable of.

During this initial session, it is also important to get a feel for how well your personality gels with your trainer. If you need a trainer like a drill sergeant, and you discover during your first training session that your trainer is coddling you, then you should probably discuss this with him or her. After all, a truly great trainer will be able to adapt to your needs and provide you with both the encouragement and knowledge that you need to achieve your fitness goals.

Outside of Your Sessions

How awful is it when you go to a restaurant and don’t order anything, and none of the employees acknowledge you? The same is true of personal trainers. If your trainer doesn’t acknowledge you simply because you aren’t “on the clock,” then that trainer is not a great one. The trainer you choose should be willing to provide you with information when you need it and support you at all times. While you probably shouldn’t call them up at two in the morning to ask about your squat form, you should be able to feel free to ask them questions when you see them in the gym or to give you a quick spot. A trainer’s first goal should always be injury prevention, and any trainer who doesn’t adhere to an ethical standard is just a bad trainer.

Finally, it’s important that your trainer gives you the knowledge you need to continue to grow towards your fitness goals. While working with your trainer is ideal at first, your trainer’s aim should be to allow you to get to the point where you can grow on your own.


The Benefits of Small Group Training

Cross fit  blog pic 2The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association recently named small group training one of the top trends at health clubs. However, it’s likely that small group training will be more than a passing fad because it is associated with some really powerful benefits.

It’s Cost-effective

Hiring a personal trainer for one-on-one sessions is great and often nets awesome health results. However, not everyone can afford this luxury. At the same time, it’s sometimes difficult to get the individualized attention you need to achieve your personal goals in the setting of a larger, more affordable, fitness class. Small group training is perfect for those looking for a happy medium. The trainer can connect with you on a personal level without the high costs.

You Get to Be Part of a Group

The old idiom, “the more, the merrier,” is absolutely true. It’s way more fun to work as part of a group than to work all by your lonesome. This is particularly true when you all have similar fitness goals in mind and hurdles to overcome. The encouragement and support you gain from being part of a group or team is something that can’t be matched.

You’ll Gain Motivation, Camaraderie and Fun!

Working out alongside someone tends to bring out the competitive spirit in some. This can often serve as great motivation to push a little harder or move a little faster. And aren’t most experiences better when shared? Even the tough ones? Being part of a small training group definitely fosters camaraderie, even if that camaraderie is formed by sympathizing with each other about how sore your glutes are after a particularly challenging set of lunges!

You’ll Have Individualized Attention from the Trainer

Let’s face it, it’s easier for anyone, including trainers, to connect with others in a smaller group setting. In a large fitness class, instructors can’t possibly get around to each person to ensure their form is perfect for maximizing their workout results all the time. In a small training group, trainers, and even other members of the group, can provide more guidance and encouragement throughout the workout.  Additionally, in a small group, trainers can get to know your personal fitness goals and any specific challenges you face to help tailor a routine to meet your individual needs.

You’ll Feel a Greater Sense of Accountability

When you’re a no-show for your nightly date with the treadmill, the treadmill doesn’t care. It doesn’t call you to see what’s going on, and it doesn’t feel bad to be stood up. When you work out alone, there’s nobody to hold you accountable for missing a session (or five!) Even in group fitness classes, it’s easy to remain anonymous. When you are part of a small training group, your trainer and fellow participants are counting on you to be there. They will call and see what’s going on if you start missing sessions – And encourage you to come back! Also, you will likely feel accountable to your checkbook. Though small group training is affordable, it still does cost a bit extra than the traditional gym experience, and you will want to be sure your hard-earned money isn’t going to waste, paying for training sessions you’re not attending.

If you are looking for a new way to jump-start your workout routine – and make some friends and have some fun along the way – small group training is definitely something to consider!

Meet Ed Genece… New Therapist at Saw Mill Club

Edwin Genece

Saw Mill Club welcomes Edwin Genece to it’s Massage Dept! This veteran therapist brings 20 years of experience to the club and is also a Holistic Health Coach.

Stop by and say hello to Ed on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Make a New Massage Appointment Now