It’s the season for renewal and we can’t think of a better way to bring fresh energy into your life than with a healthy exercise routine. That’s why every membership includes on-demand exercises as well as FC @ Home classes to help you stay healthy. Whether you’re building up a sweat with your favorite dance class or catching up with one of our expert instructors, you can always keep the fitness party going with a little Spring in your step.
Anybody Want A Peanut?
March 1st is National Peanut Butter Lovers day and despite being a necessity for kids, (PB&J, anyone?) peanut butter can also be beneficial to your adult health.
Nutritional breakdown for 2 tablespoons of creamy peanut butter:
- Calories: 190
- Fat: 16g
- Sodium: 140mg
- Carbohydrates: 8g
- Fiber: 2g
- Sugars: 3g
- Protein: 7g
What this doesn’t tell you is that peanut butter also has a noticeable source of b-complex vitamins and antioxidants.
FUN FACT: B-complex vitamins are composed of 8 different essential B vitamins that come together to play a significant role in keeping you healthy. This includes supporting:
- Brain and nerve function
- And more!
Although peanut butter has some wicked-awesome health benefits, it is also high in calories and fats, so should be enjoyed in moderation.
Quick peanut butter snacks:
- Apples with peanut butter
- Ants on a log (peanut butter, celery and raisins)
- Carrot sticks with peanut butter
- Yogurt-stuffed sweet potato with peanut butter
- Peanut butter toast/bagel with fruit
We asked on social media what the best peanut butter is—crunchy or creamy. After much debate, we have our answer:
We celebrated National World Water Day on March 22nd and it’s a day that helps us focus on the importance of freshwater. Not just as a refreshing replenisher when working out, but also as the element that sustains life.
Our bodies are made up of between 60-70% water, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Through the course of the day, your body naturally loses water through sweating, urinating and even breathing! If you don’t replace the water you lose, signs of dehydration can start to show themselves, which include:
- Muscle cramps
- Dry mouth
Other than the obvious benefits of drinking water (staying alive), keeping yourself hydrated also helps flush out bacteria from your system. It can also help:
- Lubricate the joints
- Improve skin health
- Cushion the brain and spinal cord
- Boost workout performance
Fun Fact: People can go about a month without food, but only a week without water!
Just like when eating, it’s a good idea to maintain portion control when drinking water. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine states that you should drink anywhere from 11 cups (women) to 15 cups (men) of water a day to maintain proper hydration. Everyone is different, so listen to your body (or ask your doctor) to discover what you need to keep your water levels up. Either way, don’t forget to always raise a glass of cold, refreshing H2O after a rewarding work out session. Cheers!
Not just an incredible athlete, but an amazing person as well, Fitness Connection member @haroldkelley071 is our featured member this month. With quite a few bodybuilding championships under his belt, he is always pushing everything to the limit. “If it’s a will, it’s a way,” is only one of the mottos he uses to reach his goals. His positive attitude and contagious smile make every place better. We want to thank Harold for teaching us that being afraid is ok, but to keep going and always find a way to “make it work.”
After a debilitating car accident left him paralyzed, Harold began to focus all of his energy into getting back to the gym. Instead of feeling sorry and diving into a pit of despair, he began to focus on what he COULD do. “Don’t worry about what you can’t do,” was the motto instilled to him at a young age from his father. With this life lesson always in the forefront of his mind, Harold would stop at nothing to accomplish the goals he set for himself.
Although Harold had been a regular at the gym his own life, he knew he would have to change up the way he worked out without the use of his legs. This adaption did nothing to hinder his exercise or his eye on the prize: bodybuilding competitions.
Since 2015, Harold “King Kong” Kelley has won 15 different bodybuilding competitions and continues to move forward with a great attitude and smile.
Go visit @haroldkelley on Instagram and discover more about his inspiring and motivational journey.
Who Runs The World?
March is Women’s History Month, and there’s no better time to honor not just the women in our own life, but some of the ones that had an impact on the fitness world.
After being told repeatedly that running a marathon was too far for a “fragile woman,” Katherine went out and proved the world wrong. In 1967 she became the first registered woman to run the Boston Marathon despite ridicule from coaches and multiple assaults. She finished the race and continues to advocate for women’s rights in sports all over the globe.
Before Jane Fonda’s home workout videos, the country had no direction if they wanted to exercise from home. When Workout Starring Jane Fonda released in 1982, a culture phenomenon exploded. Finally, women could exercise in peace and comfort in their own home. The original VHS tape was the top-selling video for 6 years and her trailblazing has spawned multiple imitated (but never duplicated) forms of home workouts.
When the 2005 French Open swung around, women were still earning less prize money than men despite the same amount of play and rounds. Venus Williams argued that female tennis players should, in fact, be payed equally as male players. Despite her passionate pleas to tournament officials, she was denied. This didn’t hinder her activism as she continued to fight for women’s equality through written essays and campaign leadership. In 2007 she won the Wimbledon tournament—and the same prize money as her male counterpart.
Using proper form when exercising not only keeps you from wasting movements and energy that could be used for actually getting fit, but it can also help you avoid injury. With proper form, your muscles get better oxygen flow so you can workout more efficiently and with better consistency. Another added benefit of proper form? Working out the actual muscles you want.
Common form mistakes when working out include:
- Straining—A sit-up or pull up require you to avoid straining your neck
- Elbow position—Rowing and bicep curls require your elbows to stay close to the body
- Knee position—Squats especially require your knees stay in line with your toes.
Although every exercise requires proper form for maximum efficiency, this month we focused on the Kettlebell Squat because it has the highest chance of improper form.
The video below showcases proper form, but feel free to print off this list and keep it with you when you hit the gym.
TIP: Don’t have a kettlebell? No problem! You can use a dumbbell instead. Just hold it vertical while cupping the top part of the weight in your hands.
BE BACK IN 10 (OR 20)
Physical and mental health go hand in hand, so we wanted to talk about the importance of taking a break. Not only is it a good idea to mix up your routine with a short intermission, but it also has added fitness benefits. Taking rest days from your strenuous exercises is not lazy! In fact, it actually helps you by allowing your:
- Muscles to recover
- Body to repair itself
- Nervous system to regenerate
- Body to avoid muscle fatigue
It also allows you to spend the free time focusing more on something else you love like a hobby or loved ones. Rest days are also important to your mental health, too!
Want to know what’s also beneficial to your mental and physical health? NAPS! It’s not just a long-lost pastime reserved for kids and after-Thanksgiving meals. Naps can greatly improve your mood and give you an added boost of energy when done right.
Proper napping can also:
- Reduce fatigue
- Improve performance
- Boost memory functions
When deciding to take a nap (other than ALL the time), it’s important to take a few things into consideration.
- Keep naps short (between 10-20 minutes). We’re talking full sleep time. The few minutes BEFORE you pass out totally don’t count.
- Take them before 3 pm. Any time after could disrupt your nighttime sleep schedule and no one wants that.
- Nap in a comfortable, dim area without any distractions.
- Give yourself time to wake up after the nap.
Taking a day, or some time to yourself to rest and relax is crucial to the health of your body and mind. Don’t forget to slow down a bit every once in a while to recharge and renew yourself.
REJUVENATION STARTS WITH YOU
SPRING IS HERE! Flowers are blooming, birds are fluttering and insects are…insecting. Take time this month to breathe in the fresh air and give yourself some positive outlooks on life. Whether you’re reinvigorating an old routine or starting a fitness journey anew, come in and see what’s springing up at the gym. We’re always buzzing around to make sure you reach your workout goals.