Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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How to Prepare for Your First 5K: Part 2

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

Many of you enjoyed Part 1 of “How to Prepare for Your First 5k.”  Now that you have a good head start, it’s time to address some common errors that new runners make.   


Getting new shoes for the race

Unless your shoes are showing signs of wear (which I outline below), do not buy new shoes before a race. On average, shoes should be replaced after 250-300 miles or when they show the following signs of wear: is the tread wearing down in the midsole?  How does your body feel? Do you have increased pain or soreness without having an increase in training volume or intensity?  When you stand in your shoes, check the mirror.  Do the midsoles “wrinkle” when you are standing in them?  That is a sign of wear and a breakdown in the cushion and support of the shoe.  They should be replaced.


Experimental Race Day Nutrition

Who doesn’t love all the freebies you get at the race expo?  Goo, gels, granola bars and yummy gummies are tempting for sure.  But, let me warn you, if you haven’t introduced the high sugar or high electrolyte mix to your stomach during training, don’t start now!  You could experience stomach cramping or extra trips to the bathroom during the race.


Inadequate Hydration

During a race, water stops are typically every 1-2 miles.  Plan to train with the same setup as race day by either carrying water (in a hip pack or hands free water system) or planning your route where you know there are drinking fountains.  Your body will learn to stay hydrated while training, plus you will learn to drink on the run.


Not Fueling Up Properly

For most, setting a 5k event goal is shared with losing weight and improving overall fitness.  With that focus in mind, proper nutrition is key.  Depending on the length of your training runs or race, you should always fuel up for energy and performance. Reference the chart below as guideline for when and how to fuel.



As you continue on in preparation for your first 5k race, simply stick with the program.  Use this list as your guide for more enjoyable running, improved pace, and plans to meet or exceed your goal!

Let Us Create Your Member Success Story!

By: Snap Fitness

Each month in Snappenings, we spotlight a Snap Fitness member who has lost weight, gained muscle, and found their best shape ever! Some of our recent favorites include:

- Jeff P., who lost 40 pounds by creating a workout plan and sticking with it daily. He went from overweight and tired to a successful 5K runner!

- George F., our 2013 Lose Weight Challenge winner from Barrie, ON, who dropped over 80 pounds thanks to his new-found motivation along with a customized Truestar nutrition and vitamin program!

This summer, we’re giving YOU the chance to create your own member success story! Our very own Jodi the Trainer will be personally selecting three members who are looking to commit to their fitness goals and get started on the path to better results. She’ll chat with you one-on-one to discuss your goals and challenges, create a workout plan that fits your needs, help you with meal planning, and get you started with a customized nutrition program and complete vitamin profile.

All you need to do is email and tell us your motivation for getting in shape this summer. It can be preparing for your wedding day, training for a fall marathon, or just trying to look and feel better before fall. We’ll select our three members the week of July 15, and set up a time for your first chat with Jodi the Trainer.

Don’t miss your chance to make this summer you best ever! Send us your success story today!

How to Prepare for Your First 5K

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

This is the time of year when gorgeous weather gets us moving outdoors, or motivates us to hit the treadmills with a little more intensity to prepare for an outdoor running event!  If you haven’t run a 5k and you’ve always wanted to, this article is meant just for you!


According to Running USA, roughly 23,000 5K races were held across the country in 2012! With over 13 million road race finishers, running is not slowing down any time soon.  I want you to be a part of that trend AND improve your overall health and fitness in the process.  So, I have put together a 5k training program that you can do right in your Snap Fitness club.  Taking the first step is always the toughest – let’s leap!


Check back for Part 2 of “How to Prepare for your first 5k” in 2 weeks.  At that point, you will have 2 weeks of this training plan under your belt and will be ready to focus on some of the common problems or errors that beginning runners make.  I’m here to guide you along the way so that you have a great 5k experience.


Rundown to Running: Here is an 8-week sample workout to get you up and running and ready for your first 5k race!


'Get Up & Go' Workout Playlist

By: Snap Fitness

Did you know that exercise performance improves as much as 15% when listening to music?


These past few weeks we have been asking you to share your go-to workout songs and your playlist names on Facebook. Thanks to your responses, we have created a playlist just for you, made by you! 


We hope these bumpin' beats and stirring lyrics motivate you to work harder, better, faster and stronger during your next workout!




Member Success: Jeff’s Weight Loss Journey, “Better Late Than Never”

By: Snap Fitness

Three years ago, Jeff made the decision to be in the best shape of his life when he turned 40 years old. His goal was to get back to his college weight of 185 pounds, and stop feeling overweight, tired, and injured because of his poor health. But like many of us who set a goal to get in shape, getting started was the toughest part.


“My eating habits were terrible and I didn’t care how I treated my body,” says Jeff. “I joined Snap Fitness in the beginning of 2012, but I would only make it about two or three times each week. I liked working out, but my mind wasn’t set on making a lifestyle change. I drank and ate whatever I wanted, and I wasn’t getting healthy. I knew I needed to do something different.”


He tried a fitness program he saw on an informercial, but with no accountability Jeff found himself coming up with excuses not to follow-through on his workouts. That’s when he decided that 2013 would finally be his year.


“Starting in January of this year, I committed myself to getting in my workouts every morning at 4 a.m. Having Snap Fitness open 24 hours was a lifesaver!” he says. “With my wife as my workout buddy, I found myself much more motivated to stick with a plan.”


This past March, Jeff’s club ran the Lose Weight Challenge, giving him more incentive to stick with his routine. Now, just a few a few short months later, Jeff is down 40 pounds and counting! While his weight loss goal is still his top priority, Jeff has started setting even more fitness goals.


“I felt so good with my transformation that I entered a 5K race; something I never would have even considered two months ago,” he says. “I finished it in 25:02, and placed third in my age group! Just another motivating factor to keep working out!”


As for that initial goal of being in the best shape of his life when he turns 40? Well, he’s slightly amended that one.


“I’m now in my forty-second year; but better late than never!”

Take Our "Mind, Body, Nutrition" Challenge this Summer

By: Snap Fitness

With the weather heating up outside, your mind might be starting to think about cookouts, vacations, and spending time outdoors. While those things are great, summer is also a time where your health and fitness goals may waver. To help you stay the course, check out our summer “Mind, Body, Nutrition” Challenge, and feel your best all year long!


Mind: Find a Workout Partner

In addition to staying accountable in your workouts, working out with a friend can improve mental health by eliminating stress and reducing your worries. The camaraderie of playing on a team, engaging in friendly competition and motivating each other to push harder is a great way to improve mood and morale. Whether it’s a nightly walking partner in the neighborhood or a friend at the gym for strength training, find a buddy and get a weekly date scheduled to move.


Body: Break a Sweat Three Times a Week

And not just from the heat! In a perfect world, we’d all have the time to exercise for 30 minutes a day. That would help us get the heart pumping, blood flowing, and body feeling great. But in reality, we don’t always have the time for a proper workout. This summer, challenge yourself to exercise in some capacity at least three days each week. Whether that’s a bike ride in the evening with the family or a boot camp class at your local Snap Fitness, you should be able to get your heart rate up and break a sweat!


Nutrition: Get Your “8 by 8” of Water in Each Day

Drinking enough water is one of the staples of proper nutrition, but it’s even more important during the summer months when dehydration can become a much bigger concern. While there are slight degrees of variation from different professionals as to how much water you need, as well as other factors like exercise or medical conditions, the “8 by 8” rule is a good place to start. That means drinking an eight ounce glass of water, eight times per day. Some ways to help you achieve this goal include drinking a glass of water with each meal, along with two in between meals, and of course drinking water before, during, and after exercise. This will keep you safely hydrated and feeling ready to tackle all of those fun summer activities!


Don’t take a summer vacation from your health! Take our “Mind, Body, Nutrition” Challenge starting today!

The King of "Superfoods": The Avocado

By: Snap Fitness

If you didn’t already know, avocados are considered one of the healthiest foods out there. What you may not know is avocados are actually classified as a fruit and contain the perfect balance of protein and carbohydrates. There is no doubt why the avocado is reigned the King of “Superfoods.”


Avocados contain many health benefits - here are just a few:


Weight-controlAvocados contain healthy fats (monosaturated) which are considered to be fat burning fats. They help maintain insulin levels which regulate the metabolism and provide the body with usable energy. They make the perfect pre-workout snack. Avocados contain just the right amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fiber, which is proven to keep you fuller, longer. Just one cup of avocado provides about 7-8 grams of dietary fiber. This also helps regulate blood sugar.


Protection against Cardiovascular DiseaseAvocados have both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat and contain potassium, helping you meet the recommended American Heart Association (AHA) dietary guidelines.


Lower Cholesterol levelsBecause avocados contain healthy fats (monostaturated) this Super Food aides in lowering the LDL levels (bad cholesterol) while raising the amount of HDL (good cholesterol) in your body.


Ways to add more Avocado in your diet:


There are also plenty of substitutions in your everyday meals/snacks that you may be unaware of. Avocados have a buttery taste that will get your taste buds watering. Below are a list of substitutions and ideas for adding more avocados into your diet. Our favorite, avocado toast!


• Spread on toast in place of butter

• Use as a substitute for mayo/miracle whip

• Great substitute for oil in baking

• Put on salads in place of cheese/meat

• Add an avocado to your smoothie to add thickness


Avocado tip: Sprinkle lemon juice on an avocado and refrigerate in a plastic bag or container to reduce browning. 

Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar

By: Jodi Sussner, Director of Personal Training

Apple cider vinegar is a completely natural product. It is made from apple juice which is fermented into hard apple cider. Once this process is complete, the hard apple cider is then fermented a second time to apple cider vinegar. Most people are unaware that apple cider vinegar boasts many healthful benefits, such as; boosting hair and skin health to aiding in weight loss, this wonder drink seems to have it all.  Thankfully the benefits of apple cider vinegar just might outweigh the taste! 


-Use Apple cider vinegar (ACV) as a hair rinse to naturally remove chemical build up and increase shine.  Combine ½ tablespoon ACV and 1 cup of water – rinse through hair after shampooing/conditioning.  This can be done several times per week!
-Apple cider vinegar can regulate the PH balance of your skin – simple dab a small amount onto a cotton ball and smooth over face after cleansing for a natural toner.
-ACV can remove stains from teeth!  My oldest stains on his lower teeth and after many attempts at removing, from changing our toothpaste to consulting our dentist, apple cider vinegar did the trick!  Simple dab onto a Cotton swab and scrub – rinse immediately with water and do not soak. Excessive use and leaving it on the teeth can actually be corrosive.
-The PH balanced nature of ACV can help relieve sunburn!  Place 1 cup into a warm bath and soak for 10-15 minutes.
-Apple Cider Vinegar has been shown to aid weight loss.  Combine 2 teaspoons into water daily – enjoy the increased energy it provides.  Current research points to the active ingredient, acetic acid as the primary reason for its successful use in weight loss.
-Remove odor from shoes – simply combine 1-2 tablespoons of ACV and water into a 12 ounce spray bottle.  Spray into shoes and leave to dry – the antimicrobial qualities will kill any odor causing bacteria.

You don’t have to suffer through the taste of Apple Cider Vinegar either.  Dilute 1-2 teaspoons in 12-16 ounces of water and sip throughout the day.  Or better yet, combine 1T in 1-cup of warm water plus 1T of honey and enjoy!


See the recipe below for a light, tasty apple cider vinaigrette recipe:


Snap Fitness Helps You Find Your Super Powers!

By: Snap Fitness

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Find Your Finish Line this Summer

By: Snap Fitness

Whether you’re a hardcore adventure athlete, a weekend warrior, or you’ve never completed an athletic competition in your life, there’s a race out there for you.

Each summer thousands of people from all across North America set their sights on completing a 5K or 10K road race, an extreme mud run, or even a full-blown marathon. In fact, Snap Fitness members are eligible for special registration discounts at several of these types of races, including the Run for Your Lives 5K (a zombie-infested obstacle run), Hero Rush (a four-mile course with 17-20 unique, firefighter-themed obstacles), and LoziLu (a 5K women-only mud run). With the nice weather outside and the opportunity to conquer a new goal alongside friends and family, finding a summer event to train for is a great way to keep you engaged in your workouts.

But before you lace up your shoes and paint your face for battle, it’s important to decide which event is right for you, and what it’s going to take to find your finish line this summer.

Set the bar high; but not out of reach – There are dozens of races from all over the country, with varying degrees of distance and difficulty. While it’s great to want to push your limits and tackle that next great challenge, it’s important to start off at the level that’s right for you.

It’s much better to cross the finish line of a race you were prepared for feeling ready to step up to the next challenge, than feeling frustrated from struggling in an event you probably weren’t  quite ready for in the first place. Start slow, build your confidence, and keep raising the bar a little more each time.

Don’t ditch the gym – We totally understand where you’re coming from: The fresh air, sunshine, and scenery are all reasons you might think it’s time to temporarily break up with your Snap Fitness membership for the summer. In reality, if you’re looking to perform at your very best – regardless of what type of event you’re training for – strength training is an essential part of the process.

Ask any personal trainer, and they’ll tell you how finding the right balance of cardio, weights and cross-training will make you a more effective runner, mudder, or even zombie. 

Check out our Facebook page for workout guides created specifically for the Run For Your Lives and Hero Rush races.

Step out of your comfort zone; but don’t abandon it altogether – When it comes to selecting a fun run, there are plenty of new, fresh ways to keep you motivated. Whether its bursts of color, action hero-like obstacles, or just the allure of a quiet stretch of road free from distractions, there’s something for everyone. But the most important thing when it comes to picking your fun run? FUN!

It’s great to push yourself and try new things, especially if it’s going to help you mix up your workouts. But at the end of the day, after all of that hard work and training, the race itself is meant to be the reward. Make sure it’s something you’ll be proud of, and try to have a little bit of fun along the way.

Need help finding the right race in your area (or figuring out how to get ready for it)? Talk to a trainer or staff person at your club, and let them get you started towards your finish line today!

Posts 51 - 60 of 73