The Resolution Solution, Final Chapter - How to Get & Stay Motivated!

Posted by Angie Quehl on Mar 9, 2011 5:01:00 PM

Motivate ME!

As a personal trainer and motivator, it’s a great feeling to solve the puzzle for an individual and get them on the right track to a fitter and more complete person.  The motivator will be different for each person; some will thrive on competition with peers while others may need a consequence or reward to maintain their focus. But no matter what, an individual’s motivation is as unique as their personality. Dangling the proverbial carrot in front of someone only works if they’re hungry! Finding the motivation to keep your fitness routine going can be a real challenge...but the benefits far out way the work!

We all need to get to the root of what drives our specific behaviors. For some monetary and material rewards work, for others working towards an event like a wedding or beach trip is the answer.  But these types of motivation are rarely beneficial in the long term.  Somewhere deep within ourselves, we must find some type of unique behavior trigger that will inspire us for the long haul.  I love to show each of my personal training clients how the hard work they put into today directly moves them towards the goals they have set for their life. And perhaps the weight is slowly coming off or their endurance is slowing improving, but it is moving forward and that is the goal.   

Another way to search for common motivators is by taking a look at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, yeah, think back to college Psych 101. This is a motivation model developed in 1943 whose premise is that we all have a common hierarchy of needs from hunger to self-esteem. If we aren’t satisfying the lower-level needs (hunger, thirst, bodily needs), then we’ll never be able to reach our goals at the next level (self-esteem/self-awareness). Using this model in our fitness motivation puzzle, you can see where materialistic rewards are good for short-term goals only. But sooner or later, your fitness motivation goals will need to be based on a solid foundation of self-improvement and that vision you have of a better you far into the future. A reunion or vacation may motivate us to lose 10 pounds in a month, but what will sustain our good habits to help us walk around the block when we’re in our 80s? Answering questions like these will help you find the keys to unlock the secret to your personal motivation.

Motivation thorugh personal training chantilly

What is it that you ultimately want

...a finisher’s medal from a marathon may get you that foundation of confidence and self-respect that you’re looking for …or involvement in a health club may help you fill a social void in your life. No matter what path you take to better health and fitness, you’ll increase the quality and quantity of your life – but you’ve got to want it to get it. Find out what will spark your fitness motivation energy and get out there and try it!

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Topics: women's health, gym chantilly, Women's Wellness, health tips, exercise programs for women, personal training for women, the women's club

7 Fast Food Meals Under 350 Calories -- Nutrition Advice for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Mar 6, 2011 2:59:00 PM

Fast food is cheap, convenient, filling, and to many of us, it tastes good. For busy working women and moms who are constantly on the go, if you are eating out, a fast food restaurant is often the fastest, most inexpensive option. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the time it is not a healthy choice.  In fact, eating just one fast food meal can pack enough calories, sodium, and fat for an entire day or more! Done on a regular basis, a steady diet consisting of fast food can also lead to a host of different health problems, weight gain being one of them.

Still, the convenient temptation of fast food can often be hard to resist. As an informed customer, though, you can make healthier choices and still enjoy the price and convenience of fast-food restaurants. At the Women's Club, we understand that from time to time, fast food dining is going to happen so here is some fabulous and practical nutrition advice for women to help you make better choices when Mickey D's, Wendy's, Burger King, and the like are one the menu!nutrition advice for women

Check out these 7 Fast Food Meals Under 350 Calories from the author of the smash-hit book series Eat This, Not That!


Other suggestions to help fight the battle of the fast-food bulge:

  • Make careful menu selections – pay attention to the descriptions on the menu. Dishes labeled deep-fried, pan-fried, basted, batter-dipped, breaded, creamy, crispy, scalloped, Alfredo, au gratin, or in cream sauce are usually high in calories, unhealthy fats, or sodium. Order items with more vegetables and choose leaner meats.
  • Drink water with your meal. Soda is a huge source of hidden calories. One 32-oz Big Gulp with regular cola packs about 425 calories, so one Big Gulp can quickly gulp up a big portion of your daily calorie intake. Try adding a little lemon to your water or ordering unsweetened iced tea.
  • “Undress” your food. When choosing items, be aware of calorie- and fat-packed salad dressings, spreads, cheese, sour cream, etc. For example, ask for a grilled chicken sandwich without mayonnaise. You can ask for a packet of ketchup or mustard and add it yourself, controlling how much you put on your sandwich.
  • Special order. Many menu items would be healthy if it weren't for the way they were prepared. Ask for your vegetables and main dishes to be served without the sauces. Ask for olive oil and vinegar for your salads or order the dressing "on the side" and spoon only a small amount on at a time. If your food is fried or cooked in oil or butter, ask to have it broiled or steamed.
  • Eat mindfully. Pay attention to what you eat and savor each bite. Chew your food more thoroughly and avoid eating on the run. Being mindful also means stopping before you are full. It takes time for our bodies to register that we have eaten. Mindful eating relaxes you, so you digest better, and makes you feel more satisfied.

More Guides to Making Healthier Choices at Your Favorite Restaurant

America's Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants – a survey of the 100 largest fast-food chains in America, listing the healthiest places to eat, and healthiest meals to choose from. (Health Magazine)

Healthy dining finder – This comprehensive website provides nutritional analysis for hundreds of popular restaurants. Alphabetical listings help you find the healthiest choices at your favorite eatery.(Healthy Dining Program)

Stop&Go Fast Food Nutrition Guide – Offers practical advice to help you navigate the nutritional options at 70 popular chains. Includes a free, downloadable 146-page colored-coded guide. (Steven Aldana, Ph.D.)

Portions of this post originally appeared on



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Topics: women's health, nutrition advice for women, Women's Wellness, the women's club, nutritional coaching for women, woman's club

Essential Exercises for Women -- Bench Dips

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 27, 2011 11:08:00 AM

With spring right around the corner, sleeveless shirts and dresses cannot far behind. Now is the time to start thinking about toning and firming up those arms. Bench dips are one of the best choices for this. In fact, bench dips are such a good exercise, they made the American Council of Exercise's list of "Top Ten Exercises You Can't Live Without" and why we are featuring it as one of our Essential Exercises for Women!

Bench Dips primarily work your triceps, but they also train the muscles of your chest and shoulders. This exercise uses no special equipment, just your own body weight, and can deliver great results.

  1. Sit on one bench (or chair) and place your hands on the bench very close to the sides of your body.
  2. Stretch your legs out in front of you and push your body off the bench holding yourself up with your arms (and a little with your legs).
  3. Lower yourself down by bending at the elbow joint just to about 90 degrees and push yourself up (using the tricep and shoulder) back to the starting position.

Avoid using your legs to lift you up and keep your body close to the bench to protect the shoulder joint.  If you are looking to raise the intensity up a notch, try putting your feet on another bench instead of the floor or better yet on a ball!  Not only will that intensify the movement, but it will also prevent you from using your legs and place all the work on those hard-to-target triceps!

Repeat the exercise 5 to 10 times for one set.

Bowflex® Official Site

Read more: How to Do a Dip Exercise |



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Topics: exercises for women, fitness tips, fitness for women, exercise programs for women, personal training for women, the women's club, woman's club, exercise at home

The Resolution Solution Part VI: Strength Training for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 19, 2011 2:39:00 PM

Strength Training for Women

Strength training refers to exercise that requires your muscles to exert a force against some form of resistance. The increase in muscle strength and endurance allows a person to perform everyday tasks with less effort and for longer periods of time. Simply forcing the muscles to work on a regular basis significantly improves their capacity to do work and will improve circulation, coordination, balance, bone and ligament strength.

Use it or lose it

Muscle mass naturally diminishes with age. "If you don't do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you'll increase the percentage of fat in your body," says Edward Laskowski, M.D., a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn., and co-director of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center. "But strength training can help you preserve and enhance your muscle mass — at any age."

Strength training also helps you:

  • Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Control your weight. As you gain muscle, your body gains a bigger "engine" to burn calories more efficiently — which can result in weight loss. The more toned your muscles, the easier it is to control your weight.
  • Reduce your risk of injury. Building muscle helps protect your joints from injury. It also contributes to better balance, which can help you maintain independence as you age.
  • Boost your stamina. As you get stronger, you won't fatigue as easily.
  • Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, back pain, depression, diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis.
  • Sharpen your focus. Some research suggests that regular strength training helps improve attention for older adults.

Strength training for women the women's club

Consider the options

Strength training can be performed in a few different ways:

  • Bodyweight. You can do many exercises with little or no equipment. Try push-ups, pull-ups, abdominal crunches, and leg squats.
  • Resistance tubing. Resistance tubing provides resistance when stretched.
  • Free weights. Barbells and dumbbells are classic strength training tools.
  • Weight machines. Here is a great way to work for each individual muscle group in the least amount of time.

Strength training needs to be performed 2 – 3 times a week and it is best to give your muscles a day in between to rest and recover. When you can easily do more than 15 repetitions of a certain exercise, gradually increase the weight or resistance. Remember to stop if you feel pain. Although mild muscle soreness is normal, sharp pain and sore or swollen joints are signs that you've overdone it.



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Women's Wellness Series: Resolution Solution Part V - Cardio

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 8, 2011 1:57:00 PM

Cardiovascular Exercise for Women...

cardiovascular exercise for women

Also referred to as aerobic exercise, aerobics, or simply cardio. What is it and how much do you need? Before we talk about how much cardio you should do, you should at least know why it's so important.

Cardiovascular exercise simply means that you're involved in an activity that raises your heart rate to a level where you're working but can still talk.

Benefits of cardiovascular exercise:

  • It's one way to burn calories and help you lose weight
  • It makes your heart strong so that it doesn't have to work as hard to pump blood
  • It increases your lung capacity
  • It helps reduce the risk of heart attack, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes
  • It makes you feel good
  • It helps you sleep better
  • It helps reduce stress

I could go on all day, but you get the point.

Bottom line:

You need cardio if you want to get your weight under control and get your stress to a tolerable level.

To get these great benefits you must perform at the correct intensity.  One way to monitor your intensity is your heart rate. This can be done on specifically designed equipment or with a portable heart rate monitor, such as Polar, that you wear.  Your heart rate is how fast your heart is beating per minute and is expected to increase as the level of exercise increases. In order to reap the positive benefits, you need to elevate your heart rate to the appropriate level.  This range is 50% - 85% of your resting heart rate, which is very individualized. 

Here is a quick calculation to find where you should be…

For women:
226 - (your age) = your maximum heart rate

For example, if you are a 32-year-old woman: subtract 32 from 226

226 - 32 = 194

Then take that number and multiply it by .5, to get your lower end of your target zone. And then multiply that same number by .85 to get the upper end of your zone. For example:

194 x .5 = 97


194 x .85 = 164.9

So, for a 32-year-old woman, an estimate of her maximum heart rate is 194. And her target heart rate zone is between 97 and 164.9 heartbeats per minute.

The closer you push yourself to the top portion of your “zone”, the more benefits you will obtain (and quicker!)


What should you do with that info????

Now that we know why we need it, let’s talk about how much

The 'official' guidelines say 30-60 minutes most days of the week, but don't feel like you have to start at that level if you're not ready.  Perhaps you split the time up throughout the day. What counts is at the end of the day you have increased your movement!


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Topics: women's health, Women's Wellness, health tips, cardiovascular exercise, cardio, exercise programs for women, the women's club

The Truth About Plateaus in Weight Loss for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Feb 4, 2011 12:39:00 PM

Plateaus and weight fluctuations are normal during weight loss for women. I wanted to take a second to help you all understandplateaus in weight loss for women what good things are happening to your bodies right now, even if the scale isn't showing it yet.
During Your Work Out:
1. You Strengthen Your Lungs- Your brain send signals to your lungs during exercise that causes your breaths to be both deeper and faster.
2. You Decrease Body Fat- Your body is breaking down fat cells to use as a source of energy.
Up to 1 Hour after a Work Out:
1.  You're in a Great Mood- During workouts your body releases mood-enhancing chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine.
2.  You're Burning Calories- For every 100 calories you burn during a cardiovascular workout you will burn about 15 calories in the hour afterward!
Up to 1 Day after a Work Out:
1. You have More Muscle- Your body repairs the microscopic tears you create in your muscle during a workout. This repair is how muscle mass is created.
2. Increased Metabolism- Your body's metabolism is based on the amount of muscle you have. So more muscle = more calories burned at rest.
Up to 1 Week after a Workout:
1.  You're in Better Shape- VO2 Max (aka how efficiently your body uses the oxygen you take in) will increase by an average of 5% the first week you work out regularly.
2. Lower Risk for Diabetes- When you work out regularly your body becomes more sensitive to insulin, which in turn lowers blood sugar levels.
In 1 Month:
1. You're Stronger- By now the amount of weight you use for strength training exercises has increased.
2. You're Smarter- Working out activated growth-stimulating proteins, including those in the brain
In 1 Year:
1. Working Out Feels Easy!- Your VO2 max can increase up to 25% in the first 12 weeks of consistent exercise.
2. Longer Life Span- Avid exercisers have slower DNA breakdown
3. You Lose Body Fat Easier-  Your body becomes more efficient at breaking down fat cells for energy. So you burn more calories all of the time!
So even if you feel like the scale is stuck at the moment, think of all the great things you are doing for yourself by continuing with your regular workouts!


Article Submitted by Jennifer O'Connor, Personal Trainer


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Topics: women's health, Women's Wellness, fitness tips, weight loss for women, fat burning, the women's club

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