Jay has lost a total of 280 pounds since he began at Snap Fitness just two years ago. Read on and prepare to be inspired by his incredible dedication throughout his fitness journey.
"Hi, my name is Jay. Two years ago my weight was around 475 pounds due to years of poor eating habits and not exercising. I went to my doctor for an unrelated issue and he asked me if I wanted to do something about my weight. I told him I didn't want to do surgery, so after sending me to a dietician I knew I had to add exercise if I was going to be successful.
l had a membership at Snap Fitness but just wasn't using it, until I was motivated to find my access card and start exercising on a regular basis. Knowing that Snap Fitness is open 24/7, I could go any time and I couldn't use holidays as an excuse because they never close. I would go late at night or early in the morning and ride the stationary bike for 5 minutes. At this time l was not able to do any prolonged exercise, so just riding the stationary bike was a major accomplishment for me. I then added the Octane machine and between the two machines and eating right the weight started to drop.
After a few months I was noticing that I could exercise longer and eventually I added the treadmill and was gradually increasing the amount of time l was exercising. After two years, l have lost a total of 280 pounds. l now exercise a minimum of 65 minutes a day. I use a variety of machines, added weights and Fitness on Demand classes. I didn't feel intimidated going to Snap Fitness starting out. It was, and still is, a great fit for me."
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Staying healthy can be hard even in the best of circumstances, but especially so for those who are restricted to a desk for 8 or more hours a day. A healthy lifestyle combines many different things, from a healthy diet to exercising to getting enough rest. Here are some tips to increase your health and well-being even if you sit at a desk all day.
1. Bring your own lunch to work
Aim to pack a lunch Monday-Thursday, and then give yourself Fridays to eat out during the week. Not only will you save tons of money, but you will most likely end up eating much healthier options when you’ve planned ahead. It’s also a good idea to have a few healthy snacks stocked at your desk for those mid-morning and late afternoon cravings. Nuts or rice cakes and peanut butter are good options to have on hand!
2. Get up and stretch your legs
Try to take a break at least every hour to get up and walk around. Whether it’s to refill your water bottle, take a bathroom break, or just to take a lap around the office, taking a little walk will give you a mental break and get your blood circulating. Also, it will help you get a few steps in to reach your daily goal and stretch out your legs. There are even some stretches that can be done at your desk; give these a try!
- Breathe in deeply and bring your shoulders up to your ears, breathe out and drop your shoulders. Repeat 3 times.
- Tilt your chin as far forward as you can and relax your head down, hold for a few seconds and then slowly lift your head back up. Then gently tilt your head back and lift your chin. Drop your left ear to your left shoulder, then slowly switch sides and drop your right ear to your right shoulder. Repeat for each side.
- Hold on to the seat of your chair and extend both legs out in front of you so they are parallel to the floor. Flex your toes and point them 5 times, hold and repeat.
- Squeeze your hand into fists and stretch your arms straight out in front of you. Draw small circles in the air with your fists for 20 seconds, then repeat, switching directions.
3. Change up your desk
Sitting for too long puts stress on your spine, and hunching over a keyboard strains your neck, back, and shoulders. Try sitting on a balance ball while you work, it will help your posture and keep your core engaged. If you want to take it a step further, consider asking the HR department at your office for an ergonomic workspace. Options can range from desk treadmills to standing desks.
4. Work with your environment
Do your best to squeeze in a workout before or after work, or even try to get moving over your lunch break. Even if it’s just a half hour of speed walking, the mental and physical benefits from exercise are tremendous. If you can’t squeeze a workout in some days, fit in exercise in other ways. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park your car in the back of the parking lot. Rather than emailing a coworker, get up and walk over to their desk.
5. Stay hydrated
Water keeps your body running smoothly. Keep some water on your desk and try to drink it continuously throughout the day. Use mint, lemon, or cucumber to add in some extra flavor. Doctors recommend 8 glasses of 8 ounces of water a day, but that can vary by environment, weight, diet and exercise. Just remember to keep yourself hydrated with fresh water!
6. Wash your hands
Germs can spread like wildfire in an office, so be sure to wash your hands often. It’s also a good idea to keep hand sanitizer nearby and use disinfecting wipes every few days to keep door handles, light switches, and desks clean.
7. Give your eyes a break
Be sure that you’re taking care of your eyes throughout the work day, as staring at a computer for extended periods can be strenuous on your eyes. Try to take a mini break every 20 minutes or so, even if it’s just closing your eyes for a few seconds or looking away for a moment. The American Optometric Association recommends a 15-minute break for every 2 hours of computer use. Here are some tips to give your eyes a break:
- Looking into the distance relaxes the interior muscles of the eye. Gaze at a distant object for at least 20 seconds to relax your eyes.
- Stare at a faraway object for 10-15 seconds, then turn your gaze to something close to you for another 10-15 seconds. Repeat this several times to reduce the stress on your eyes.
Additionally, the AOA recommends that “The computer screen should be 15-20 degrees below eye level (about 4-5 inches) as measured from the center of the screen and 20-28 inches from the eyes.”
Following these simple tips and tricks can help you stay healthy in the office. Share some of the ways you are mindful of your health and wellness in the office with us in the comments section below!
Summer is winding down, and that means it’s time for back to school! With the change of season also comes change in routine; you might find yourself with less free time due to busy schedules. Cooling temperatures can also make it hard to convince yourself to get out of the house to work out. Don’t worry! Sticking to your fitness goals in the fall is easier than you think. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tricks to stay on track during this back to school season!
Snack around the clock – While it might sound counterintuitive, eating small snacks throughout the day is actually better for your body. It keeps your metabolism running and it helps you avoid overeating. Mini-meals are also much more convenient on those days when you can’t even find time to sit down and breathe, let alone eat a full meal!
Work out efficiently – Less free time in your day unfortunately means less time to work out. However, a lack of time doesn’t equal a lack of effectiveness when it comes to your workout! Choose activities like Tabata training or HIIT that allow you to get your heart rate up in a short amount of time.
Menu planning – Plan out your menu for the entire week, and decide on which days you want to cook meals. Choosing 2-3 meals for the week and spacing them out every few days will make it easy for you to serve healthy meals every night!
Become a morning person – Learn to love the mornings (if you don’t already)! Getting up even 30 minutes earlier allows you to get a quick workout in before the craziness of your day sets in.
Turn TV time into exercise time – If you find that your need for relaxation at the end of a long day is fighting with your desire to work out, combine them! Create a TV show workout that consists of doing exercises every time a certain event happens in the show. Not hooked on one show at the moment? Use commercial breaks to fit in small intervals of strength training!
Whatever your schedule is this fall just remember: you can do it!!
“I joined Snap Fitness a few years ago when I realized that the lifestyle I was living was very toxic and something needed to change. I became a member at Snap Fitness Barrington in April 2013, and I've never looked back.
The staff welcomed me with open arms and gave me an excellent workout plan - a definite challenge, but fun at the same time! Because of this, I managed to lose 4 kilograms (8.8 pounds) in the first four weeks.
Snap Fitness is not like every other gym. It's always tidy, refreshing, and above all, welcoming. It can be intimidating joining a gym for the first time, but I've never felt insecure or judged by the other members or staff. Snap Fitness has helped me transform into a happier and healthier version of my former self. It has given me a reason to put time and effort into making myself a better person. Who wouldn't love that?!”
We are so proud of Chelsea for her dedication and perserverence. After joining Snap Fitness, she completely transformed her health and fitness routine.
Be an inspiration to others in Snap Nation and share your story with us here!
In honor of National Relaxation Day, we challenge you to take a few moments to yourself and focus on relaxing! Here are 30 quick and easy ideas to help you escape the busyness of everyday life. Read on and relax! Comment below and let us know some of your favorite ways to treat yo’ self.
- Take a bubble bath
- Go for a walk/run
- Read a book or magazine
- Go to the park and enjoy nature
- Indulge in your favorite treat
- Get a massage
- Curl up with a hot cup of something
- Put on your favorite playlist and dance around
- Cook/bake a new dish
- Watch a good movie
- Meet a friend for coffee
- Spend time with pets
- Clean your environment
- Do something artistic
- Get a manicure or pedicure
- Buy yourself some flowers
- Write down what you are thankful for
- Pamper yourself with a face mask
- Watch your favorite Olympic event
- Lay in a hammock with a good book or just watch the sky
- Find a relaxing scent
- Watch the clouds/stars
- Go to a body of water
- Light a candle
- Cheer on your favorite sports team
- Buy new workout clothes/shoes
- Take a well-deserved nap
- Drive somewhere new
- Change into your comfiest sweats and t-shirt
- Take a break from technology for a couple hours
Here are a few of the little fitness things that brighten our days. Share some of yours with us in the comments below!
- Walking in and having the whole gym to yourself.
- When the TV in front of your regular machine is already set to your favorite show/station.
- Having the perfect tempo song come on for your exercise pace.
- When the weight you need is already set on the machine.
- The feeling after a great workout.
- Comparing pictures of yourself from a few months prior and seeing how far you’ve come.
- Opening the fridge to see your pre-planned nutritious meal ready to go.
- The first breath of cold air leaving the gym in the winter.
- Seeing the same people each time you go and having a sense of community at your gym.
- Post-workout stretches.
- Getting the parking spot right out front.
- The first sip of a delicious protein shake.
- Receiving a compliment on your new body or hearing “You look great!”
- Getting new gym clothes and shoes.
- Being able to move the pin down to a heavier weight and recognizing your body getting stronger.
- Looking down at the treadmill and seeing that you’ve gone a lot farther/longer than you thought.
- The knowledge that with each workout, you are improving your health and happiness.