Women's Wellness Series: Protect Your Heart!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 14, 2019 12:19:14 PM

Fact: One in four American women will die from heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The good news? You can take action to improve your heart health. This American Heart Month, let's work together to learn about how we can protect our hearts. 

You can take small steps to improve your heart health every day. Here are 5 heart health tips for women to help you keep your ticker in tip top shape:

1. Eat a heart healthy diet. Choose low sodium and salt foods; limit foods that have trans fat, like pastries and fried food; and cut back on sugar. Read tips from the FDA to learn how to maintain a heart healthy diet.

 

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2. Manage your health conditions. Take your medicines as directed and get your blood pressure and cholesterol tested regularly. If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar level on a regular basis.

3. Get the facts about aspirin. Some people take aspirin every day to prevent a heart attack or stroke, but it is not right for everyone. Ask your doctor if you should use aspirin.

 

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4. Know the signs of a heart attack in women, including:

  • Chest pain (heavy ache or pressure)
  • Pain in your upper body (arms, neck, jaw, back or upper stomach)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Unusual or unexplained tiredness
  • Feeling dizzy or light-headed
  • Feeling sick to your stomach (nausea)
  • The signs of a heart attack can be different for women than they are for men.

5. Join a clinical trial. Clinical trials help healthcare professionals learn about how women of different ages, races and ethnic backgrounds respond to heart health treatments. Visit the FDA Office of Women’s Health Women in Clinical Trials web page to learn more about how you can participate in a clinical trial.

Visit the FDA Office of Women's Health's website to learn more about heart disease and what you can do to improve your heart health. This month and beyond, protect your heart by making good heart health decisions!

 

 

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Topics: women's health, group exercise classes for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, group fitness classes

5 Tips to Make Your Workout More Effective

Posted by Trinity Perkins on Jan 17, 2019 4:04:29 PM

 

1.  Use a stability ball or BOSU trainer for core work – to target your entire core and avoid Tips for a more effective workout
pressing your spine into the floor with traditional crunches and sit-ups.


2.  Try compound or hybrid exercises – because they recruit more muscles (burning more
calories) and save time. For example, combine a squat and shoulder dumbbell press
instead of doing them separately.


3. Try intervals for cardio – change up your speed (walk, jog, run, repeat) for 25 minutes.
Intensity, not duration, is most important for fat loss and muscle development. Interval
training will save you time, too!


4. Do cardio after you lift weights – save your strength for lifting and burn more fat by
doing cardio after you weight train. If cardio is part of your warm-up, keep it light and
under 15 minutes.

5. Use a foam roller to help ease muscle tension in those hard-to-stretch spots. Foam rolling
is similar to massage, working through muscle tissue for more muscle relaxation.

Want More tips on maximizing your workout?

Drop us a note in the comments sections as to what area of the bod you would like to see us tackle next or if you are in the Chantilly, Herndon, Fairfax, Centreville area schedule a free consulation with one of our wellness coaches. Already a member? Stop one of our certified personal trainers and ask...we are always here to help!

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Topics: fitness tips, fitness for women, exercise programs for women

Women's Wellness Series:  The Resolution Solution

Posted by Trinity Perkins on Jan 3, 2019 12:16:54 PM

New Year New You image

Nearly half of us are making New Year’s resolutions, but less than 10% of us will keep them through February. Whether it’s lack of motivation, lack of resources or loss of interest, many of us will start off strong but lose the spark, especially when it comes to our fitness goals. It’s time to map out a fresh strategy for 2019! Here are 5 tips to help you stick with your New Year Resolutions:

  1. Be specific – Rather than aiming to “exercise more,” map out the exact days and times you’ll be hitting the gym each week.

  2. Buddy up – Reaching goals is better with friends! ‘Planners’ should pair up with ‘doers’ and people who like to research everything before making a move should pair up with those who like to jump right in! You might work differently but you can help keep each other motivated and focused.  

  3. Break it down – If your goal is to “lose weight,” break it down into bite-sized action steps you can take right away. A smaller goal of “lose 1 lb a week” is easier to measure and track as you work toward your long-term goals.

  4. Be realistic – Reaching the resolution finish line is as much about the journey as it is about the result. Be realistic with your resolutions so you’re not miserable along the way. If cutting out sweets altogether is a no-go, commit to eating sweets once or twice a week instead.

  5. Celebrate small wins – Sometimes we focus so much on the big goals that we don’t see all the awesome milestones we reach along the way. Celebrate the small wins to keep you motivated to reach your long-term goals. Book a massage or treat yourself to a healthy meal. You deserve it!

Need help setting goals or getting started? Book an appointment with one of our certified personal trainers or with our nutrition coach today!
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Topics: women's health, goal setting, Women's Wellness, health tips, fitness tips, fitness for women, exercise programs for women, new year's resoltuions

Essential Exercises for Women: Three Great Stretches for People Who Sit All Day

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Dec 12, 2018 12:16:14 PM

By now you’ve heard that spending your day sitting isn’t very good for you. In a perfect world we would all have time to get up, take a walk, go for a bike ride or hit the gym, but unfortunately sometimes it just doesn’t happen! Sitting all day can leave your chest, shoulders, back, and hip begging for relief. Try these 3 stretches to help relieve those tight sitting muscles.


CHEST OPENER

chest opener stretch

 

 

 

If you spend lots of time hunched over a keyboard, this stretch is for you. Sit or stand with your spine long and slightly drop your chin. Sliding shoulder blades down the back, reach arms behind your back, interlacing fingers. If this is too difficult, use a strap or towel. Gently lift arms until you feel a e chest stretch. Hold 10-20 seconds.


 

 

 

HIP FLEXOR STRETCH

Hip flexor stretches

Those of us that spend lots of time sitting, whether it be behind a desk or behind the wheel of a car tend to have tight hip flexors. Start by kneeling on the floor. Step right foot forward to right knee is bent at a 90 degree angle, keeping front knee over the ankle. Gently ease hips forward until you feel a stretch. For more sensation, raise arms overhead. Hold 10-20 seconds, Switch sides.

seated spinal twist stretch

SEATED SPINAL TWIST

Sit with feet planted on the floor and spine tall. Keeping hips squared, rotate torso to the right, reaching right hand behind and left hand to the outside of the right thigh. Hold 10-20 seconds, then switch sides.

 

HAVE QUESTIONS?

When do I stretchStretching should be done before and/or after your workout? How long do I need to stretch? What if I have a lower back injury? What if I have limited range of motion? Can I really improve my flexibility?

If these things have crossed our mind (or any other fitness related question), please do not hesitate to ask. Our expert staff of certified personal trainers at The Women's Club stand at the ready to help!

Ask Fitness Questions Here

 

 

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Topics: exercises for women, personal training, stretching

Women's Wellness Series:  How SMART goals can help put you on the right track

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Oct 3, 2018 2:51:52 PM

 

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Would you like to make a change to help you live a healthier life but don’t know where to start? Have you set big goals for yourself only to find yourself feeling so overwhelmed that you give up? It’s time for a SMART approach to fitness goal setting. This approach allows you to define goals in a specific and measurable way so that your progress can be easily tracked. SMART goals are:

Specific: Goals must be clear and unambiguous. For example, “I want to be healthier” is very vague. What exactly does “being healthy” look like? Does it mean losing weight? Eating less processed foods? Beginning an exercise program? Specifically identifying what “healthy” means to you will help to create a clear goal.

Measurable: Goals must be measurable so you can tell if you are making progress. How will you measure your progress? Making a goal measurable will also allow you to know when you have reached your goal.

Attainable: Goals should be realistically attainable. A goal that is too easily attained or very unrealistic can be very demotivating.

Relevant: The goal should have relevance and be important to you. Setting a goal that someone else would like for you to achieve is not very motivating!

Time-bound: Goals should have an estimated time for completion. Knowing that you have a deadline can help keep you motivated!

Need some help setting up goals that are right for you? Make an appointment with any member of our personal training staff to get you set on the right path! 

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Topics: women's health, goal setting, health tips, personal training, personal training for women

3 Three Reasons Why We Love TRX Suspension Training (and you should too)!

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Aug 31, 2018 10:51:11 AM

 

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Photo by M. Plt on Unsplash

By now you've probably seen those crazy straps hanging around in the gym and wondered what on Earth they are used for! The TRX suspension trainerwhich stands for Total Body Resistance Exercise, was developed by a Navy SEAL who needed a quick and effective way to exercise in a confined space. Here are three reasons personal trainers and fitness enthusiasts alike love TRX:

Increased muscle activation- By creating an unstable environment suspension training makes your core muscles work harder even when working other body parts. This instability forces your muscles to work together instead of in isolation. More bang for your buck!

Appropriate for all Fitness Levels- Suspension training leverages body weight and gravity to develop strength and endurance. An exercise feels too difficult? Take a step away from the anchor point to make it easier. Want to make it harder? Step closer to the anchor point. Being able to make small, incremental adjustments allows for constant progress.

Versatile, Efficient, and Fun- There are hundreds of different exercises you can do on the TRX suspension trainer, and since your muscles have to work together there is no wasted time. Because you can move quickly from one exercise to the next not only do you build great muscle strength and endurance, but can get a great cardio workout as well. Additionally, TRX can be used to enhance yoga poses and assist in stretches leaving you feeling long,lean, and relaxed.

So...are you ready to check out TRX Suspension Training for yourself? Good news! We have new four-week TRX small group training classes beginning the week of September 17. Get more info on how you can participate here, you will be glad that you did!

 

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Topics: personal training, personal training for women, TRX Training, TRX, TRX Suspension Training

Essential Exercises for Women:  Firm Your Booty!

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Apr 11, 2018 4:45:49 PM

Summer will be here before we know it and most of us are looking for ways to firm up our backside. Aside from looking great in a pair of shorts, strong glutes help improve posture, balance, and athletic performance. In addition, strengthening your backside can help to reduce knee and back pain and is a great way to prevent injuries. Adding these four exercises in this addition to our Essential Exercises for Women series to your routine can help you develop glute strength and lift and firm your backside. All you need for this workout is a loop resistance band and a mat. Perform 15 reps of each exercise, completing the entire circuit three times for a complete total booty workout!


BANDED LATERAL WALK: Place band around ankles and come into a quarter squat position (knees bent with slight hip hinge) Keep the toes pointing forward, step right foot to the side. Perform 15 reps to the right, then reverse direct, performing 15 reps to the left. 

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                                  Position A                                                         Position B

 

SQUAT WITH HIP EXTENSION: Stand with band around the ankles with feet hip width apart. Hinging at the hips and bending the knees (take care not to extend knees in front of toes) sit back into a squat. Squeeze glutes as you straighten legs and extend the right leg behind you, keeping spine neutral and core engaged. Repeat with left leg for one rep. If you want a great way to really target and tone your butt this is a great one!

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                                 Position A                                                         Position B


BOOTY BURNING BRIDGES:

Lie on back with band around the thighs. Place feet on the floor about hip distance apart. Press heels into the floor as you squeeze glutes to lift hips, keeping the back in neutral alignment with the lower belly drawing in. Lower hips to hover over floor. For an additional challenge hold the last rep and perform 10 pulses up, then 10 pulses pressing out against the band. Glute bridges are a must-do, butt lifting exercise!

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                                 Position A                                                         Position B

 

BOOTY LIFTERS:  Place band around feet, so that it is looped around the sole of your shoes. Position yourself on to elbows and knees and engage core to keep low back neutral. Flex right foot and extend heel towards the ceiling, keeping right knee bent.  Perform 15 reps on right side, then repeat on left. #Feelthebootyburn

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                                 Position A                                                         Position B

 

Put all four of these exercises for women together for a power packed, butt toning workout that you can do right at home! 

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Topics: exercises for women, exercise while travelling, leg exercises, butt toning, thigh toning, fitness for women, exercise at home

4 Easy Steps to Sticking to a Morning Fitness Routine

Posted by Stephanie Khan on Apr 3, 2018 12:31:32 PM

Lets face it, some days we have every intention of working out, but life somehow gets in the way. Between work deadlines, family obligations, and sick kids even the most dedicated exercisers  can get derailed. One way around this is to workout first thing in the morning. Sounds good, but getting out of a warm and cozy bed to exercise is hard! Follow these four steps to get yourself up and moving in the morning.

easy morning workout for women

unsplash-logoPhoto by:Christopher Campbell

 

START SLOWLY: Figure out how much time you will need for your workout and begin to gradually adjust your sleep schedule. Start by going to bed 15 minutes earlier and waking 15 minutes earlier. Use that extra time in the morning to do a quick yoga or stretching routine, or any other short workout. This will help you get into the habit of doing something good for your body every morning. Continue gradually adjusting your sleep schedule by 15 minutes each week until you have enough time for your full workout.


SET YOURSELF UP FOR SUCCESS: Create an environment that is conducive to exercise. Start by packing your gym bag or setting out all of your workout gear the night before and placing them by the door so you are ready to go.  If you are having a hard time resisting the snooze button put your alarm clock across the room or set multiple alarms. The goal is to make it as easy as possible to get out the door in the morning! It also helps to have a plan B in place just in case. For example, if you are planning to head out for a run but wake up to a thunderstorm, try an indoor tabata or strength workout.


GIVE YOURSELF AN OUT: Sometimes we wake up and just don’t feel like getting out of bed to exercise! When lack of motivation strikes, promise yourself you can stop after 10 minutes if you are still feeling exhausted. Chances are that once you get up and moving you will want to keep going. Even if you decide to stop, at least you have done something for 10 minutes. Even 10 minutes of exercise is better than zero!


ENLIST HELP: An early morning workout buddy can work wonders in helping you stick to a morning workout routine. We are more likely to show up if we know we have someone waiting for us! If you can’t find a friend who is willing to wake up and workout, Try signing up for a class, hiring a trainer, or posting your intentions to social media. All of these thing can help create accountability and help you to stick to your plan.

 

Article Submitted by: 

Stephanie Khan, Director of Group Exercise and Personal Training at The Women's Club

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Topics: group exercise classes for women, exercises for women, Women's Wellness, personal training, fitness for women, exercise programs for women, Strength training for women

30-minute No-Gym Body Weight Workout

Posted by Angie Quehl on Apr 17, 2014 4:38:00 PM

No Gym, No Problem!

Worried about staying on track with your fitness during Spring Break? Well fret no longer! While we firmly believe that there is no substitute for a good, old fashioned gym workout, we understand your concern so we scanned the internet for the perfect workout that needs no gym or equipment and can be done anywhere. Chock-full of body weight exercises, this little marvel will work your total body in just 30-minutes so that you can be on your way to having Spring Break fun in a jiff!

So what are you waiting for? Pull up some sand or push back that hotel room furniture and get started on these 8 fantastic body weight exercises! You will be done before you know it and right back to the fun!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get more  health and fitness tips at Greatist.com.

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Topics: exercises for women, exercise while travelling, Strength training for women, exercise at home

500 Foods Contain the Yoga Mat Compound?!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Mar 10, 2014 10:56:00 AM
    bakery-bread-breakfast-166021-944158-edited
Photo by hermaion from Pexels

Going, going, gone!

You won't find azodicarbonamide (the yoga mat compound) in Nature's Own products. And Subway is phasing it out, too. But lots of manufacturers are still using the additive.

That compound found in commercially baked bread — yep, the one that's in yoga mats, too — is in the news again.

report from the Environmental Working Group finds that the compound, azodicarbonamide, is found in close to 500 food products, from Pillsbury Dinner Rolls to Little Debbie products to Wonder Bread.

As you may recall, the sandwich chain Subway got a lot of attention a few weeks back when it announced its plans to remove the yoga mat compound — which is used to improve dough and maintain bread texture — from its bread.

And as we reported, the kerfuffle came in response to an online petition posted by the creator of the Food Babe blog. The online petition pointed to a range of possible health concerns linked to the compound — everything from asthma to cancer.

But what is the evidence behind these claims?

Let's start with asthma and other respiratory issues. The concerns about breathing problems stem from factory workers who have been exposed to high levels of azodicarbonamide. But it turns out, outside of this occupational exposure, there's no evidence that there's any risk at all to consumers.

It's good to "remind yourself to be more skeptical," says Justin Pagano, who has written that he'd like to see more scientific inquiry and reasoning used in thesewhat's-really-in-your-food campaigns.

He says there's a "generational zeitgeist" among his fellow millennials to "take back food" from the control of large companies and demand transparency.

And he agrees that it is important to be asking questions about how the food we eat may influence our health. Even if the questions are tough to answer.

Take, for instance, the tricky business of interpreting toxicity. John Coupland, a food science professor at Penn State, has blogged about the complexities involved.

He explains that small amounts of two compounds, semicarbazide and urethane, are formed as azodicarbonamide breaks down during the baking process. And it's possible that these compounds may pose a risk.

"The real question is whether these tiny concentrations in bread are toxicologically significant," Coupland writes.

Groups such as the Environmental Working Group argue that since it's not essential and it could pose health risks, the yoga mat compound should be removed from the food supply.

"This is an unnecessary chemical that's added to bread," says EWG scientist David Andrews. And there are viable alternatives, such as ascorbic acid, which is a form of vitamin C.

But the FDA considers small amounts of azodicarbonamide to be safe. The agency long ago set an allowable level of 45 parts per million in dough.

And food scientist Kantha Shelke of Corvus Blue, who works as an independent consultant to the food industry, says this is reasonable. After all, it's the dose that makes the poison. And "45 parts per million is very, very, very small," she says.

But in an era when social media can whip up a frenzy of concern, food companies are becoming quick to respond to get ahead of bad publicity — regardless of the science.

"No [food company or chain] wants to be associated with anything that can be remotely considered harmful," Shelke says.

Which may explain why, in the wake of Subway's announcement, several more manufacturers have also decided to drop azodicarbonamide from their products.

For instance, bread maker Nature's Own noted that it has already phased out the compound from its bread products.

And intuitively, it just feels better to know that a compound used to make yoga mats is being removed from breads.

But maybe I'm just being closed-minded here.

For a different perspective, I reached out to bakery industry consultant Theresa Cogswell. She pointed out that "there are many things used in industrial uses" that cross over into food use as well.

"And the assumption that it's bad for you," she says, is just not accurate.

Take, for instance, sheet rock, or gypsum. It contains calcium sulfate, which is also used as a food additive. In fact, it's used to make tofu.

Hmmm. A vegan favorite contains the same compound that's used to make drywall. Who knew?

 

 

 

Article originally appeared on the NPR health and fitness blog: The Salt
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Topics: nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, health tips, healthy eating for women, nutrition

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