Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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7 Moves for Tank Top Arms

By: Snap Fitness

Summer isn’t over yet! Whether you are just starting out or you’re a regular at the gym, this is a great compilation of arm workouts that will give your triceps and biceps a run for their money. 

 

For each exercise, complete 2-3 sets of 10-12 reps to improve overall muscular endurance and strength. Do this sequence twice a week and gradually increase your weight a small amount each time.

 

Incline Press

Targets: Chest and tricep muscles

 

Tricep Dips

Targets: Triceps, chest, and shoulders

 

Machine Seated Flies

Targets: Pectoral, deltoid, and bicep muscles

 

Arm Extension Machine

Targets: Triceps

 

Dumbbell Bicep Curls

Targets: Biceps

 

Dumbbell Front Raise

Targets: Deltoid, chest, and trapezius muscles

 

Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks

Targets: Triceps

 

Share Your Success with #SnapNation & Win a VIP NASCAR Weekend!

By: Snap Fitness

Why do members join Snap Fitness? Because our clubs offer the tools to help you meet your health and fitness goals. Over the years, members from around the world have transformed their lives thanks to hard work and dedication in the gym. Success doesn’t come without a positive attitude and lots of sweat! 

 

Nothing makes us more proud than seeing members accomplish their goals. That’s why we’ve launched the #SnapNation Success Campaign: to feature all the awesome achievements that happen in our gyms! No matter where you live, people recognize and appreciate commitment and determination. #SnapNation is all about motivating and celebrating everyone who works out in our clubs.

 

#SnapNation’s very own NASCAR driver Landon Cassill knows how important commitment and determination is on the road to success. It took exactly that to complete his Ironman 70.3 half triathlon on July 20 in Racine, Wisconsin.

 

“Signing up for a race like the Ironman 70.3 is what created the habit and discipline of working out every day. I had no choice but to get prepared,” Cassill said. "With that kind of pressure knowing that the clock was ticking to prepare myself for this race, I was able to enjoy the journey with a high level of motivation. When it was all said and done, I am able to see the benefits and be proud of what I accomplished.”

 

We know there are plenty more inspirational stories to tell! Click here to share yours today. To show our support, we’ll send you a FREE #SnapNation t-shirt!* Even better, submit your #SnapNation success story by Sept. 15 for a chance to win a VIP NASCAR Weekend for two! The selected winner and their guest will be set up with hotel, transportation, and — best part! — Hot Passes - an all-access pass that gets you up close and personal with Landon and his crew at the Hollywood Casino 400 in Kansas.

 

 A team from the Snap Fitness Headquarters will select the most inspiring success story and announce the winner following the Sept. 15 deadline.

 

Don’t delay – join #SnapNation and share your success story today!

 

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  Legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C. (excluding Rhode Island), 18 years of age or older.  Dates: 8/1/2014 to 9/15/2014.  To enter click here.  For Official Rules, including odds and prize descriptions click here.  Void where prohibited. 

 

* While supplies last. Must be a current Snap Fitness member or staff member. Open only to residents of the 50 US states and District of Columbia, and Canada, excluding Quebec, 18 and older. NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER.

How to Start Running

By: Snap Fitness

Running is not only a great way to get in shape, but also a fantastic way to improve your overall mood! Anyone can become a runner and these six tips will help push you in the right direction.  

 

Appropriate Fuel

You’ve probably heard of people loading up on carbs before a big run or other fitness expeditions. It’s important to choose complex carbohydrates, which will provide long lasting energy for your body. Here are some examples of foods you could eat before and after your run.

Pre-run: Sweet potatoes, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

Post-run: Apple slices and nut butter, Eggs and toast or fruit, vegetables and hummus, lean protein wrap, and the best for last— protein smoothies.

 

Warm Up & Cool Down

There are mixed opinions floating around about stretching before running. What most researchers agree on is that dynamic stretching, not static stretching, is beneficial to do before you run. Dynamic stretching uses controlled body movements to improve range of motion and loosen up muscles. Once you have completed your running workout, take some time to stretch out your muscles to an elongated point and hold each position for at least 30 seconds. Here is a more in-depth stretching guide.

 

Ease Into It

When you first start out running or revisit running after a long time period, your body needs to slowly ease into it. Listen to your body. If you are in physical pain, switch to intervals of running, then walking. Gradually increase the time you spend running. Muscles soreness and aches are highly likely, but any sharp pains are a red flag that you must not ignore. If you do experience soreness, here are some ways to relieve your muscles.

 

Switch It Up

If you really want to improve your running ability and keep it fun, adding variety to your workouts is crucial. Try doing intervals alternating sprints and jogs. Running uphill will strengthen your body increasing your stride length and speed over time. Another variation to try is off-road running. Not only is the change in scenery exciting, but the uneven terrain is a great challenge for your body.

 

Fix Your Form

One way to prevent overuse injuries while running is by improving your form. Take note of your posture and alignment while you run.  Relax your face, neck and shoulders to avoid excess tension. For a more in-depth explanation on improving your running form, read through our trainer’s advice.

 

Cross Train

Cross training is the combination of different exercises other than that of the athlete in training (In other words, anything but running). Cross training helps balance your muscle groups by strengthening your non-running muscles and rests your running muscles. It also helps to maintain or improve your cardiovascular fitness, not to mention the variety prevents boredom and burnout. Some beneficial cross training options for runners include biking, water running, swimming, and the elliptical machine at your Snap Fitness club.

 

Now all you need are a good pair of running shoes and some self-determination! What other advice to you have about becoming a runner? Tell us on our Facebook or Twitter

#SnapNation Success Story: Linda S.

By: Snap Fitness

After having 4 kids and going back to school to fulfill her lifetime dream of becoming a teacher, Linda S., had put her health on the back burner. When she was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, she could no longer ignore it.

 

“One day looking in the mirror I decided it was time for a change,” Linda S. said. “ I signed up at my local Snap Fitness and started making a real effort.”

 

Linda quickly fell in love with her Snap Fitness’ Zumba classes and weight training. At her heaviest she weighed 195 pounds. She’s now down to 140 pounds.

 

“It took a year to really get the results I wanted, but it was all worth it,” she said. “I had tried crazy diets and shakes before, but it was exercise and nutrition that finally worked.”

 

She still struggles to find the balance between her own health and caring for her kids, but she works at it every day. She’s now aiming to reach new fitness goals and personal records.

 

“I watch what I eat and I exercise,” she said. “I now know how important my health is and I feel better than ever.”

 

Way to go Linda! We’re proud of you and all your hard work!

 

Do you have a success story to share with #SnapNation? Email us at success@snapfitness.com.

12 Ways to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

By: Snap Fitness

Fruits and vegetables have essential fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling. It’s essential we get enough in our diet.

 

Here are 12 ways to work in more fruits and vegetables everyday:

 

1. Make your own granola bars and fill them with dried fruit and nuts instead of buying ones loaded with sugar and white flour. Try this chewy trail mix bar for a delicious and nutritious treat.

 

2. Serve apple slices or celery with peanut butter instead of chips and crackers.

 

3. Blend fruits and veggies into a green smoothie. Try this cinnamon apple smoothie if you need more convincing!

 

4. Stir berries, dried fruit, or banana slices into yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal.

 

5. Add peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms or onions to your eggs for a delicious omelet. Add as many veggies as you want to this 5-minute breakfast burrito recipe.

 

6. In pastas, salads, soups, sandwiches, and casseroles, most recipes call for a certain amount of vegetables. Double the amount called for in the original recipe for an extra serving.

 

7. One day a week cut out meat! It’s a great way to eat more fruits and vegetables. Try this sweet potato and quinoa burger recipe.

 

8. Add extra veggies to a frozen pizza, order double veggies from delivery, or create your own veggie filled pizza! We recommend our cauliflower crust pizza for an extra veggie kick.

 

9. Make all your snacks revolve around fruits and vegetables. Stock pantries, countertops, refrigerators, car, desk, and purse with some form of fruit or veggie.

 

10. Fruit-based dessert has the ability to offer a light, refreshing, naturally sweet ending to a meal. Plus you get the bonus of an extra fruit serving! Try one of these 15 ways to treat yourself the healthy way.

 

11. Pack pre-cut veggies and fruits into snack-size bags for perfectly portioned munchies. Keep them eye level in the fridge for easy access.

 

12. If you have a hankering for potato chips but don’t want all the extra calories, make a big batch of crispy kale chips to munch on.

 

 

How else do you add fruit and veggies to your meals? Tell us on our Facebook or Twitter.  

Grilled Teriyaki Salmon

By: Snap Fitness

Salmon is a great protein choice full of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. Making your own teriyaki sauce and brushing it on the salmon at the end allows you to control both the ingredients and the portion size. Store leftover sauce in the fridge and spoon a bit over leftover chicken or cooked tofu and leafy greens for a quick lunch. Keep a close eye on the salmon as it cooks since it can burn quickly. Serve alongside some brown rice and grilled vegetables for a healthy, balanced, and flavorful meal.

 

Grilled Teriyaki Salmon

 

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce or tamari

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon ginger paste

1 teaspoon garlic paste

Juice of half a lemon

1/3 cup cold water

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 pound salmon filets

Olive oil

Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Green onion, white and light green part only, thinly sliced (optional)

 

In a small pot, combine soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic, and lemon juice over medium heat and bring to a boil. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine water and cornstarch. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into the boiling soy sauce and continue to boil until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat.

 

Preheat a grill on high. Brush both sides of the salmon lightly with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place salmon skin side up on the grill and close the lid. Cook 4-6 minutes per side or until the salmon is fully cooked. Remove from the grill and spoon teriyaki sauce over the top. Sprinkle with green onion if desired and serve.

#SnapNation Success Story: Jeff B. Illinois

By: Snap Fitness

Jeff B. had been looking for a career change that would combine his passion for fitness and his love of business. He found it while he was working out at his local Snap Fitness in Lake Villa, Illinois.

 

“I loved my gym, I liked that it was open 24/7 and just the easy going atmosphere.” Jeff said. “I started talking to the owner of the club at the time, and he decided to sell his club to me.”

 

It was a smooth transition for Jeff. He thanks Snap Fitness corporate for offering him great support.

 

“The training corporate offered made a big difference, “ he said. “They were there for me every step of the way.”

 

Jeff now owns two clubs and plans to keep expanding. He says being present in his clubs has been his key to success.

 

“I always try to be in the clubs as much as possible,” he said. “You notice the little things while you’re there and it’s important to get to know the members.”

 

While Jeff loves to be at his clubs, he also loves the freedom that owning his gyms gives him.

 

“You are able to set your own schedule and work from anywhere,” he said. “Owning a Snap Fitness comes with many more benefits than you’d get from owning any other business.”

 

The benefits aren’t just in the form setting your own schedule. He says the biggest benefit comes from the nature of the business.

 

“I’m very into being fit and healthy and I love being able to share that with others,” he said. “It’s great to see people actually making positive changes in their lives, I’ve had some members that have lost over 200 pounds.”

 

Jeff says each day he is grateful he made the decision to become a business owner.

 

“It’s been a very positive experience, I’m so happy I made the move,” he said. “Snap Fitness is just a great environment and it really feels like a family.”

 

Are you looking to become a proud business owner like Jeff B.? Click here to learn more about owning a Snap Fitness.

20-Minute Cable Workout

By: Snap Fitness

Ready to amp up your workout? The cable tower found in most Snap Fitness gyms has weight stacks and swappable handles. They allow for more functional movements so you can work your muscles from all angles with a better range of motion. The cables keep your muscles under constant tension, giving you a tough workout. Click on the links below to watch demonstrations of these seven workouts.

 

Cable Leg Raise

Targets: Hip flexors and quadriceps

 

Cable Glute Kickbacks

Targets: Glutes and hamstrings

 

Cable Machine Curls

Targets: Biceps

 

Shoulder Rotator on Cable

Targets: Internal rotators

 

Cable Machine Rows

Targets: Lats and rhomboids

 

Cable Flyes

Targets: Pectorals (chest) and anterior deltoid

 

Cable Machine Pull-downs

Targets: Lats and lower traps

 

Try this simple 20-Minute cable workout this week and let us know on our Facebook or Twitter how you liked it!   

Benefits of Walking

By: Snap Fitness

Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise that’s easy and suitable for people of all ages and most abilities. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can benefit you in many different ways. Here are seven reasons to take those extra steps and make walking a part of your healthy lifestyle.

 

Maintains a Healthy Weight

A good walk can help shape and strengthen your legs, give great definition to your quads, calves, hamstrings and glutes.  If your posture is on key you’re able to tone your abdominal muscles as well.

 

Reduces Your Risk of Heart Disease

Regular walkers are known to have fewer strokes and heart attacks, have lower blood pressure and have higher levels of healthy HDL cholesterol.

 

Increases Happiness

Getting active releases feel-good endorphins into the bloodstream, reducing stress and anxiety. 

 

Gives Your Energy

Walking is a great natural energizer! It boosts circulation and increases oxygen supply to every cell in your body, which helps you feel more alert.

 

Boosts Your Immune System

Walking regularly can lower your risk of macular degeneration, arthritis and even cancer by 50% compared to people who don’t exercise.

 

Reduces Your Risk of Diabetes

Thirty minutes of walking a day makes your muscles more sensitive to insulin. That allows glucose to do its duty inside your cells rather than pile up in your bloodstream.

 

Relieves Stress

If you’re looking to relive some stress, walking is a great option! Studies have shown that walking can benefit your mood and may even ward off anxiety and depression.

 

Ready to walk it out? Try this 25-minute run/walk treadmill workout to get started.

 

#SnapNation Success Story: Tara N. Fort-Atkinson, WI

By: Snap Fitness

Snap Fitness manager, Tara N., admits she used every excuse in the book to avoid getting into shape and taking care of her body. After 2 years of letting her weight get out of control she was finally able to make a change.

 

“I would say I’ll do it tomorrow, or that I don’t have time,” Tara N. said. “ Then I took a look at my 15 month old baby girl and realized I needed to be a role model for her.”

 

She started by making a workout at Snap Fitness an important part of her week. It took less than a month for her to start seeing significant changes.

 

“I work out for 30 minutes a day, four to five times a week,” she said. “Not only do I feel amazing, but I’m seeing some amazing results which is even more motivating.”

 

When Tara started she was at 43% body fat. Six weeks later she’s down to 32% body fat, and she’s not done yet.

 

“My goal is twenty percent body fat, once I reach that I will have a new goal, because I have the rest of my life to go,” she said. “It’s now a lifestyle change not only for me, but for my daughter.”

 

Congrats Tara! Way to find your motivation and be an excellent role model for others.

 

Do you have a success story to share with #SnapNation? Email us at success@snapfitness.com.

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