Snap Fitness Health & Fitness Blog

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5 Tips to Eating Healthy All Summer Long

By: Snap Fitness

It is officially time to embrace the joys of summer. Many of us like to spend the summer at a backyard barbecue or two. These usually involve food and beverages that may not be the healthiest options. Here are some ways to enjoy the fun in the sun and indulge in delicious food without compromising personal health and nutrition.

Keep it lean. When grilling, choose lean protein. We recommend skinless chicken breasts or lean pork tenderloin.

 

Go Whole Grain. If your meal comes with a bun, opt for a whole grain version rather than the typical white flour/processed breads and rolls.

 

Green is good. A crisp salad is always a healthy choice! To boost the nutrient power, select dark leafy lettuce, such as romaine, spinach, arugula and kale, and add bright-colored veggies or fruits.

 

Drink smart. Fruit-infused teas and water are excellent substitutes for sugary beverages. To brighten the flavor of plain water, add slices of citrus fruits; fresh berries work well in iced tea.

 

Stay safe. Be mindful of food safety practices, as well. Keep raw food separate from prepared or ready-to-eat foods. Keep hot foods hot (at least 140 degrees) and cold foods cold (at least 40 degrees). Put food away when you're done eating. Don’t allow food to sit out beyond two hours, or one hour if the outside temperature is 90 degrees or higher. For more information on food safety, visit www.foodsafety.gov.

 

What’s your favorite trick to staying healthy all summer long? Share with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter?

5 Ways to Go Beyond the Scale

By: Snap Fitness

After months of working out, you may be discouraged to discover that you’ve actually gained weight. Don’t let this alarm you. You’ve most likely deceased the amount of fat on your body and packed on some muscle. Muscle is heavy, and the scale won’t tell the full story of your body’s transformation.

 

Here are a few tips for measuring your success beyond the scale:

1. Inches.  Measure those areas that you’re looking to increase/decrease.

2. Body fat percentages. As you exercise, the composition of your body changes. Weight may stay the same – or even increase – but by testing body fat percentages, you should get deeper insight into what’s really happening.

3. Before and after pictures. Take a picture of yourself. Compare it to another picture in a few months or a year. See what has changed.

4. How your clothes fit. As our bodies change, our clothes will fit differently. Pay attention to if your pants become looser, or your shirts are tighter in certain areas. This is a very effective way to stay tuned in to your transformation.

5. Physical activity. Maybe you take the stairs and notice that you’re not as winded. This is a great indicator of success worth noting and celebrating!

 

If you do use a scale-Remember:

-Weigh yourself on the same day of the week.

-At the same time.

-While being mindful of the above tips.

 

What’s your favorite way to measure your fitness success? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

Five Moves to Get a Beach Bum

By: Snap Fitness

You’re not going to get the beach bum you want by sitting on the one you have.  Get up and make that booty work!  These 5 moves will build, sculpt, and lift your glutes in no time.

 

You'll need: A pair of dumbbells (8-10 pounds)

 

20 Dumbbell Squats

These squats are powerful little moves. Over time, increase reps and dumbbell weight to amp them up.

 Do It:

• Start with your legs hips distance apart and 8-to 10-pound dumbbells by your thighs.
• Squat down as if you were going to sit in a chair, keep your weight over your heels.
• Don’t forget to keep your chest up and your back flat.
• Press through your heels to return to starting position.

 

20 Explosive Lunges

This move gives you a deep stretch through your glutes while testing your balance and coordination.

 Do It:

• Stand with your feet together and your hands on your hips.
• Then lunge forward with your right leg.
• Jump up, switching legs midair, and land with your left leg in a forward lunge.
• Make sure to push off the floor with both feet.
• Your front knee should be bent 90 degrees and align over your ankle.

 

10 Kick Backs (Each Leg)

Kick back butt exercises are great for creating toned butt muscles. 

 Do It:

• Come onto all fours.
• Kick your left foot back and up.
• Make sure to keep your hips level.
• Switch to the other side.

 

20 Hip-Lifts

This is a great way to relieve tension in your lower back and work your butt at the same time.

 Do It:

• Lie on your back with your arms at your sides with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.
• Lift your hips toward the ceiling with one leg lifted.
• Squeezing your glutes and hamstrings at the top of the range of motion.
• Keeping your hips up, place your foot back on the floor and then lower your hips.

 

30 Second Squat Hold

 Do It:

• Go back to a squat position, hold for 30 seconds. 

 

 

If you stick to this routine you’ll get a beach bum before you know it. 

5 Ways to Eat Less Sugar

By: Snap Fitness

These days we’re drowning in sugar. It’s estimated that Americans eat 22 teaspoons of added sugar each day, which adds up to 56 pounds each year! This added sugar not only leads to weight gain, but some serious health problems.

 

Here are 5 easy ways you can cut down on your sugar intake:

 

Cut out sweetened beverages.

Nearly 40% of the added sugar in our diets comes from sugary beverages like soda, juice, and sweet tea. Trade out your sweet drinks for good ole water. If you still need some flavor add in lemon, lime, fresh mint, or even some mashed fruit.

 

Beware of hidden sugar.

Sugar can be sneaky. There are many foods that have more added sugar than you may think.  The best way to avoid added sugar is to check the ingredients list. Avoid foods with corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, molasses, cane sugar, and evaporated cane juice.

 

Sweeten things yourself.

Buy truly unsweetened goods (not products made form calorie free sweeteners) and sweeten them yourself. For example greek yogurt, oatmeal, and almond milk. You can then add in organic honey or maple syrup, both contain some nutrients and antioxidants.

 

Go Natural.

Replace your favorite sugary treats with fruit. Strawberries and blueberries are naturally sweet and just as satisfying. Also there are many tricks to replacing sugar in your recipes with delicious fruit options for less calories. You can add pureed fruit to any recipe form cookies to coleslaw.

 

Establish your limits.

For many a life without sugar just isn’t as sweet. It’s not realistic to cut it out all together. Everyone once in a while you need to treat yourself. Pick a day each week or even a number of when or how many sugary treats you can have. Use this to help you avoid temptation during the rest of the week.

 

What’s your trick to cutting down your sugar intake? Share with us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

 

Sources:

 

Sass, C, (MPH) 5 Ways to Eat Less Sugar (2014) Health.com. Retrieved May 14, 2014.

       

#SnapNation Success Story: Fab Four La Crescent, MN

By: Snap Fitness

No matter your age, Snap Fitness can make a positive impact on your life. Just ask the “Fab Four” from the La Crescent, MN club.

 

Barb S., Faith H., Julie E., and Lois C. are all regulars at their local Snap Fitness. The ladies range in age between 63 and 82 years old, but as the saying goes, age is only a number.

 

“There are limitations when you get older, but it’s important to work around them,” Julie said.

 

The club opened five and a half years ago. The women said they joined because the location is close to their homes. But what started out as simply a gym has evolved into a second home.

 

“It’s not just a gym, it’s a community,” Julie said. “I met Barb, Faith, and Lois here. We all have the same mentality, which is to maintain our health and progress."

 

The ladies found they had plenty in common, like grandchildren and a desire to make the most of their workouts. While accessibility to the gym brought the “Fab Four” together, the club’s personal training program allowed them to reach new fitness heights. Like being able to dead lift over a hundred pounds.

 

Faith H’s record is 163 pounds. Lois C. can dead lift 173. Julie E has lifted over 200 pounds. At 82, Barb S. can dead lift more than 75 pounds.

 

“My biggest accomplishment has been getting strong,” Barb said. “My grandkids will say, ‘Don’t’ mess with grandma!’”

 

Some of the ladies initially were skeptical about getting a personal trainer.

 

“I have exercised my whole life, mainly cardio,” Julie said. "It took one of the personal training sessions to make me realize how important strength and endurance training is.”

 

For Barb, she wanted to learn more about targeting “trouble areas."

 

“I had been exercising and didn’t know what moves worked what parts of the body, so it seemed like a logical choice to get a personal trainer,” Barb said.

 

The women agree that working with personal trainers Jordan and Shannon has been “phenomenal.” Julie said they are well-educated and know how to motivate them the right way.

 

Jordan said each of the “Fab Four” have their own workout regiment, including strength and endurance training.

 

“It’s exhilarating to say, ‘one year ago, we couldn’t do this,” Julie said.

 

If you’re on the fence about joining Snap Fitness, Faith said the answer is easy.

 

“Absolutely sign up! Don’t even hesitate,” Faith said. “And seriously consider getting a personal trainer. You learn how to do things correctly and you’re not as apt to give up.” 

Member Success Story: Tristan R. of Houston, TX

By: Snap Fitness

Tristan R. of Houston, TX, has been a proud member of Snap Fitness for a year and a half now, but his lifestyle transition began in October 2011.

 

At that time, Tristan said he was “overweight, depressed, and very uncomfortable." He ballooned to 270 pounds. Unhappy with what his life was becoming, Tristan turned to medical help.

 

“That’s when I knew enough was enough,” Tristan said. “My doctors helped me through the (healthy lifestyle) phases.”

 

Phase by phase, Tristan saw results. By simply controlling his meal portions,  drinking more water, and using his apartment gym, he dropped 60 pounds. 

 

Next up in his plan was weight training. His apartment gym didn’t have weights, so Tristan looked across the street to Snap Fitness. Right from the moment he walked in, he felt at home.

 

“When I first walked in to sign up, Austin (the owner) was very helpful. That made me feel comfortable,” Tristan said. 

 

His initial goal was to lose 20-30 pounds at Snap Fitness. A typical workout for Tristan is 60 minutes of cardio on the elliptical (three 20-minute sets), weight training, and lower-body exercises. One of his favorites is an arm workout with a dumbbell in each hand while he sits, rotating his arms simultaneously. 

 

Tristan said Austin has been extremely helpful in his fitness journey. From answering questions about equipment to giving words of encouragement, Austin makes the gym feel “home-like with the level of comfort.” Tristan also received advice from the club trainer, Troy. The monthly member newsletter, Snappenings, also provided Tristan with helpful tips and motivation for staying dedicated to his healthy lifestyle.

 

Since joining Snap Fitness, Tristan surpassed his goal and now weighs 198 pounds! 

 

"Throughout my journey, I've been getting a lot of thumbs up, and my family and friends are truly amazed,” Tristan said.

 

His new goals are to tighten up and lose body fat. Tristan said the biggest benefit of working out at Snap Fitness is that it's 24/7 and small, yet has the amenities of any gym.

 

"If someone was considering joining Snap Fitness, I'd tell then it'd be one of the best decisions they've ever made,” Tristan said. 

 

Way to go, Tristan! We’re so proud of you. Got a Snap Fitness success story? Share it with us at success@snapfitness.com.

Tips for Starting Your Workout Journey

By: Snap Fitness

For many people, working out is a chore. If you don’t have the passion for it, it’s a hard habit to get into – and we understand. There are plenty of reasons why people avoid exercise. “It’s too hard.” “I don’t have time.” “I don’t know where to start.” Have you given these excuses before? You can talk yourself out of doing anything, but what good does that do you?

 

Exercise is a key part in leading a healthy life. You’ve probably read all the health benefits that come with exercising regularly. Starting your fitness journey is the hardest part. Trust us, working out does get easier the more you do it. It’s all mental. If you believe in yourself, you can work out – even if it’s just walking on a treadmill for 10 minutes. That is something to be proud of, and you can grow from there.

 

You CAN change your life. You CAN kickstart your fitness journey!

 

Here are three easy ways to start working out:

 

-Set a goal: make it easy and measurable! Go for the low-hanging fruit. Write it down on a piece of paper and keep it where you’ll see it every day. By seeing this goal over and over, you’ll have it ingrained in your head. By making it something you can measure, you can easily track progress. There’s nothing better than accomplishing a goal, no matter if it’s big or small.

 

-Find your support group: Tell your friends and family that you want to start working out. These people love and support you no matter what. They will do everything to support you and keep you motivated on your journey. When you feel too tired to go to the gym, call or text them. Have them send you words of encouragement.

 

-Track your progress: Every time you work out, write down exactly what you did. Keep a journal of your workouts. This will help you see how you’re improving from week to week. Miss a day? Don’t beat yourself up over it. Do the best you can and know that you will see a difference in your life.

Get Moving for National Physical Fitness and Sports Month!

By: Snap Fitness

Did you know only one in three adults get the recommended amount of exercise each week? Less than five percent of adults log 30 minutes of daily physical activity. People waste hours and hours in front of TV and computer screens, but can’t carve out a fraction of that time to exercise.

 

This month is the time to change all that! May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. Physical activity doesn’t just help you control your weight, it lowers the risk of type II diabetes, heart disease, and other diseases. 

 

It’s important to know that physical fitness does not mean hard-core exercise. You don’t need to be running five miles every day to see results!

 

Here are some fun and easy ways to get your fitness on this month:

 

-Take the stairs whenever possible.

-Stretch when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night.

-During your lunch break, take walks outside or around your building.

-Find your fitness BFF! Start making gym dates where you can catch up while doing the StairMaster or elliptical.

-If you live by a park, start a boot camp with your neighbors and family members. If there’s a hill nearby, even better! Run up and see the view from the top.

-Join a recreational basketball or softball league in your community. It’s a great way to meet new people and get moving – no sports experience required!

 

How are you going to exercise this month? Share your plans on our Facebook page!

5 Rules for Eating Lean

By: Snap Fitness

You’ve heard the saying “abs are made in the kitchen.” It’s true! When it comes to losing weight, eating right is the hardest part. You can work out regularly, but you won’t get the results unless you have a healthy diet. It’s all about balance, which isn’t something that's easily learned.

 

If you’re looking to get lean, start following these five rules:

 

-Hello, Fresh Produce: Start adding more color to your plate during mealtime! No supplement provides you with as many vitamins and minerals as fruits and vegetables. They are naturally low in calories, reduce the risk of disease and heath problems, and have the essential nutrients your body needs. Because vegetables are a nutrient-dense food, you can eat until you’re full without the guilt.

 

-Grocery Shopping 101: Stick to shopping the outside aisles. Think about it, all the healthy food is strategically placed there: produce, dairy, and meat! They’re the most natural, unprocessed items – meaning they’re the best for your body and overall health. The items that are stocked in the middle aisles are processed foods filled with GMOS, pesticides, and phosphates. Yuck!

 

-H2O is the Way to Go: Sixty percent of your body is water and regulates key body functions like digestion and absorption. Hydrated muscles grow and perform at a higher level during workouts because water keeps them energized. Water’s benefits aren’t only internal; your skin contains plenty of water, too. Dehydration makes your skin dry and wrinkled. We recommend drinking water every time you have a snack or meal and keeping a bottle of water with you at work. Often times, you may think you’re hungry but you’re actually just thirsty!

 

-No More Added Sugars: Clean out all the candy and sweets from your kitchen, car, office, etc. They aren’t doing you any favors! Some foods have natural sugar (like fructose in fruit or lactose in milk), but you should steer clear from anything with added sugar or sweeteners — we’re looking at you, coffee fans.

 

-Take a Seat: Sit down during meal time. It may seem like a small detail, but it helps. You’re more likely to scarf down a bunch of food if you’re standing around your kitchen! Invite friends over for a meal. You’ll find that you’re more mindful of your bites and chew your food more. Talking with friends will make you slow down and not finish your meal so fast.

 

Got any eating lean tips for us? Share them on our Facebook and Twitter.

Success Story: Tiffany D. from MI

By: Snap Fitness

We had the opportunity to chat with Club Manager Tiffany Duffield from Greenville, MI, about her recent weight loss. Tiffany has a passion for health and fitness and believes that anything is possible if you put your mind to it. Not only is she a sensation in the news, she was recently nominated for the Governor’s Fitness Award. We are proud of Tiffany! Her dedication, determination, and passion for helping others is infectious.

How has losing weight changed your life?
TD: In every way imaginable. I am a whole different person. The struggles of being morbidly obese make doing simple daily activities almost unbearable. Now walking a flight of stairs, playing with my children, and even going to the movies are enjoyable.

What do you think helped you the most in your weight loss?
TD: Choosing to surround myself with motivating active people and having my whole family eat healthy.

What was your turning point in wanting to lose weight?
TD: Fear. I was scared that I was going to die from complications brought on by my weight. I had three girls and a loving husband to live for and I really wanted to live.

What is one thing you can do now that you never thought possible?
TD: I can race bicycles, run 10 miles, and lift massive weights, but honestly I am happy being able to tie my shoes.

If you could thank one person for your success in losing weight, who would it be?
TD: My husband. Losing over 200 pounds is an emotional experience. My husband has always been a fit, competitive athlete, never blinked an eye when I flipped my life upside down. I needed to take control of my health, and he has been there every step of the way. From bike rides, 5Ks, 10Ks, every new jean size, and every struggle, he has been right by my side.

How long have you worked at Snap Fitness?
TD: I have been at Snap Fitness in Greenville for two and a half years.

How do you motivate members at your gym?
TD: I am just me: 100 percent unfiltered, work my butt off, sweat all over the place me. I talk to them like I would my friends. I weigh them and celebrate every loss and every non-scale victory. I work hard, and people respect that. I think in a small way, they want to make me proud.

What sparked your interest in Snap Fitness?
TD: I needed a career in the health and fitness field. There wasn’t even a second guess about it. I have a gift for motivating people and I knew that I was able to transform my life. I wanted to do my best to pay that forward. I heard Snap Fitness was coming to town and instantly applied. It was an instant perfect fit for me.

What’s the best part about working at Snap Fitness?
TD: Everything! I love our members. They inspire me every day – from the beginner who can barely walk on the treadmill to the elite athlete spending 10 miles running. Every pound they lose, every weight they lift, every extra mile they are able to do makes me smile. To know I was a tiny little part of that gives me purpose. I am here to live my life to the fullest and have this amazing opportunity to help others live theirs.

What is one piece of advice you have for those who are starting out their weight loss journey?
TD: Give it time and clean up your diet. All of the exercise in the world will not work if your diet still isn’t clean.

What will 2014 look like for Tiffany?
TD: 2014 is starting off to be an exciting year. I have road races and mountain bike races lined up throughout the year, motivational speaking engagements and a strong focus on keeping my gym rocking and rolling with new boot camps, cycling classes, and weight loss challenges.

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