Monday, November 30, 2015

GGX Schedule for Tuesday, Dec.1
AM: Spin Bike (Kanae)-5:45am-6:45am
Tone and Sculpt (Bel) -8:30am-9:30am
Yoga (NJ)-9:45am-10:45am
PM:TRX (Ferleen)-5:00pm-5:30pm
ABS/CORE (Ferleen)- 5:45pm-6:20pm
Spin Bike (Erico)- 5:15pm-6:15pm
Zumba (Liz) - 6:30pm-7:30pm

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The 4 Secrets to Reversing Your Age

Forget about botox or facelifts–turn back the clock with these simple guidelines that will help you look and feel forever young.
In 2011, the anti-aging industry–with all of its creams, serums and cosmetic procedures–was valued at $80 billion and is on course to reach $114 billion by 2015. But Dr. Eric Plasker, author of The 100 Year Lifestyle and a Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute member, says there are better, cheaper and more natural ways to reverse the signs of aging and live a longer, healthier life.
“The fact that 100-year-old people are the world’s fastest-growing population segment shows us that we are able to live long, healthy lives,” he says. “Premature aging is often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices.”
To demonstrate this point, a revolutionary new fitness tool is being rolled out in many Gold’s Gyms nationwide. By putting some basic information about yourself into a program called the Gold’s Gym Visual Fitness Planner, you will receive a full health-risk appraisal and learn your Health Age–a number that factors in not only how many candles topped your last birthday cake but also your level of fitness, your family history and your lifestyle habits.
For example, a 25-year-old female in Chicago found out she had a health age of 45. It surprised her because she was only 10 or so pounds overweight. Her shocking health age was due in part to a family history of cancer and heart disease, but also to her lack of exercise and a smoking habit. She quit the smokes and started working out more often. In nine months, she lowered her health age to 28.
With the help of Plasker and Adam Friedman, a certified personal trainer, licensed nutritionist and Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute member, we’ve mapped out four steps to turn your body into its own rejuvenating Fountain of Youth.


We probably don’t have to tell you that exercise has all kinds of incredible health benefits. Like drastically reducing your risk of developing major chronic illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. That’s old news. But did you know that regular exercise fights off the effects of aging?
“Exercise improves our circulation and moves lymph tissue, a fluid in our body with a high concentration of white blood cells,” Friedman says. “It helps accelerate healing and boosts our immune system to fight bacteria and cancer cells.”
In his book The 100 Year Lifestyle, Plasker prescribes a four-times-a-week exercise regimen that incorporates cardio, strength training, and core and balance work (see “The Fountain of Youth Workout” for details). “Working out takes you off the weight-loss, weight-gain roller coaster and regenerates your body to keep it young,” he says.


It seems counterintuitive, but when it comes to managing healthy weight, babies have it all figured out. They eat small but nutritionally dense meals every three to four hours and stop when they’re full.
“They didn’t learn this,” Friedman says. “It’s just what their body is telling them to do; it’s instinctive. We get conditioned to do breakfast, lunch and dinner because that’s what society says we do, not because that’s what our bodies want.”
Friedman recommends that adults adopt a similar schedule in order to maintain stable levels of blood sugar. When your blood sugar crashes, your body enters starvation mode, and it is likely to take what your body doesn’t use for energy and store it as fat.
Every three to four hours, reach for a snack that combines lean protein, good carbohydrates (like those found in whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables), and some fats. And, Plasker adds, avoid the “white devils”: white flour, white sugar and white rice.
After about a month of eating this way, Friedman says, your body will come into balance and begin to naturally release excess body fat, instead of storing it.


Your mother was right: It turns out that good posture is key to counteracting the effects of aging. “The spine protects the nervous system,” Plasker explains. “So damage to the spine can affect every cell of your body in a negative way.”
Plasker says it takes a conscious effort to recognize and correct bad posture habits such as slouching, sleeping on your stomach and sitting all day long.
“We know that a sedentary lifestyle contributes to rapid aging and disease,” Plasker says. “The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports estimated that excess sitting will cost the U.S. more than $1 trillion over the next 10 years.”
So what is perfect posture? Stand up straight with your head up, earlobes aligned with the middle of your shoulders. Lengthen your neck and pull your head toward the ceiling, keeping your shoulders back, your knees and your back straight, and your abdominal muscles tight.


If you need proof that stress is a primary factor in aging, just count the number of gray hairs on any U.S. president’s head after his first year in office. But new evidence from the University of California at San Francisco reveals that exercise can reduce the effects of stress-induced aging at the cellular level. Scientists at the university found that as little as 42 minutes of physical activity over the span of three days reduces the wear and tear on telomeres, segments of DNA linked to several health problems, such as heart disease and diabetes.
“Exercise is an incredible outlet that counteracts the effects of stress,” Friedman says. “It supports being happier because there’s a great post-workout euphoric feeling that’s addictive in a really good way.”
Another study, from Purdue University, adds credence to the saying “You’re only as old as you feel.” In the survey of about 500 people ages 55 to 74, respondents who felt young for their age said they had greater confidence in their cognitive abilities later in life.

The Fountain of Youth Workout

Adapted from Eric Plasker’s best-selling book The 100 Year Lifestyle, this full-body workout incorporates Plasker’s formula for longevity: endurance, strength and structure. The endurance comes from doing cardio, which supports a healthy cardiovascular system. The strength you gain from weight training enables you to maintain a greater level of independence as you age. Structure refers to a healthy spine and nervous system; both are maintained by core work, which reduces back pain and helps you gain a greater sense of stability and remain active no matter how old you are.


20 to 30 minutes
Warm up the muscles by walking, jogging or cycling on a stationary bike. Start at a low-intensity pace and gradually build up to moderate intensity.


Choose three exercises and do three sets of 10 to 15 reps each with proper form.
Begin in a standing position with feet apart. Squat and place your palms on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back as if you were going to do a push-up. Quickly return to the squat position and then stand up. Repeat.
This is not recommended for a beginner.
Benefits: This all-over body exercise incorporates upper and lower body muscles and gets your heart rate up.
Stand holding dumbbells at your sides. Step forward with one leg. Land on your heel, then on your forefoot. Lower your body until the knee of your rear leg is almost in contact with the floor, then stand on the forward leg with the assistance of the rear leg. Lunge forward with the opposite leg.
Benefits: This classic move strengthens your glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps.
You may sit or stand for this one. Grip the bar with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, arms straight up and palms facing forward. Pull the bar down to your chest, elbows out. Return slowly to the starting position, arms straight.
Benefits: This machine works almost all of your back muscles–especially your middle back muscles–and a strong back helps you maintain good posture.
Position your hands shoulder-width apart behind you on the edge of a secured bench. Walk your feet out in front of you until you are resting on your heels. Lower your upper body toward the floor by bending your elbows. Slowly press off with your hands to push yourself back up to the starting position.
Benefits: Dips zero in on your triceps, the muscles on the back of your arms. Strong triceps prevent saggy arms and help you hold and grasp objects.


2 reps
Lie on your stomach with arms bent, palms and forearms on the ground, fingers pointed forward, legs extended and toes tucked under. Work your back and abs by contracting your core muscles and slowly lifting your entire torso off the floor, keeping palms, forearms and toes on the ground. Hold for 30 seconds to one minute.
Benefits: The plank pose strengthens your arms, shoulders and core, all of which help maintain good posture.
30 reps
Lie on your back with your legs bent, hands behind your head and feet flat on the floor. Lift your knees in a smooth arc toward your head, contract the abs, then lower your feet back down, making sure not to touch them to the ground. That way abdominal tension will be maintained.
Benefits: Strong stomach muscles help stabilize your torso and reduce pain in your lower back.
10 to 15 reps
Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor six or seven inches from your buttocks. The lower back should be slightly elevated. As you exhale, rock your hips toward the ceiling and hold for five seconds. Release as you inhale.
Benefits: This subtle move strengthens the lower back and abdominals, which can reduce pain or tension in the lower back.

A personal trainer can help you tailor time, reps and intensity to your fitness level. End your workout with five to 10 minutes of gentle stretching

Friday, November 27, 2015

GGX Schedule for Saturday Nov.28:
AM: Spin Bike (Gerald) -8:30am-9:30am
TRX (Gerald) - 9:30pm-10:30pm
Yoga (Clarie)- 10:00am-11:30am

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


Increase Your Endurance

If you’re looking to run faster, bike harder or swim farther, here are some great tips to boost your athletic stamina.
Whether you’re training for a triathlon or you just want to shave minutes off your five-mile daily jog, these pointers can help you build your endurance and become a better athlete by teaching you how to train the right way.


Do you want to run a 5K personal record? Or simply finish your first 50-mile bike ride? A surefire way to stay motivated and hold yourself accountable is to get an event on the calendar. Target a race that’s three to six months away months away so you can budget enough time to train. Try searching or for local events.


If you’re gearing up for a longer distance, the most effective way to increase endurance is by building mileage gradually. Follow the endurance golden rule: Don’t increase mileage by more than 10% per week (e.g., if you’re training for a half marathon and you run 25 miles one week, increase to only 27.5 miles the following week).


Going one moderate speed for every workout won’t take your endurance to the next level. “Swimming for a straight 30 minutes loses its benefit after doing it five or six times,” says swim coach Gerry Rodrigues of Los Angeles–based aquatics program Tower 26. “You need to incorporate intervals and work different systems.” Try swimming 4×200 yards “descending,” making your last 200 is the fastest. Not only does this build endurance, but also teaches proper pacing so you finish strong.


Once you start upping the mileage, you need to treat food as fuel, especially post-workout. Registered sports dietitian Lauren Antonucci of Nutrition Energy in New York City suggests recovering with half a gram of carbs per pound of body weight, and 15 to 20 grams of protein within 30 to 60 minutes after training sessions or races.


Track your progress and push yourself by doing a mini “time trial” every two to three weeks. You could do one mile all out on the treadmill or a 30-minute timed effort on the bike. Keep track of as many stats as you can to chart your progress: pace, heart rate, distance, time and how you feel.


“When done properly, strength training has an excellent carryover to endurance sports,” says physical therapist and triathlon coach Bryan Hill of Rehab United in San Diego. “It will keep you injury-free and ensure that you maintain form all the way to the finish line.” He suggests timed circuits to simulate intervals, high reps with lower weight to aid in muscle endurance, and plyometrics for integrating power.


“Recovery days help prevent injuries and breakdown of your body,” says Adam Friedman, Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute trainer. Treat downtime as part of your training, and schedule at least one recovery day each week.


                                                      GGX Schedule for Wednesday, Nov.25
                                                      AM: Zumba (Nats) -8:30am-9:30am
                                                      PM:TRX (Ferleen)-5:00pm-5:30pm;5:30pm-6:30
                                                      Spin Bike (Beth)- 5:30pm-6:30pm
                                                      Tone and Sculpt (Bel) - 5:30pm-6:30pm

                                                       Zumba Toning (Allen)-6:30pm-7:30pm  

Monday, November 23, 2015


The Most Overlooked Muscles

While big biceps and strong six-packs might be weight room headliners, these underrated muscles can literally stop the show.
There they are, every day, helping you walk forward, sit up straight and keep your eyes on the road, but when it comes time to hit the gym, you might overlook these crucial muscles, and that might lead to injury or pain in the future. We gathered together a panel of Gold’s Gym Fitness Institute experts and trainers to get their votes on the most ignored muscle groups.
“People tend to neglect the muscles we can’t see in the mirror,” says Adam Friedman. But important muscle groups are back there—ones that are vital for good posture and everyday activities, like walking and bending. Robert Reames, head fitness trainer on the Dr. Phil Show, concurs: “These are the muscles you normally don’t start training until you’re in physical rehab for back pain or some other injury.”
It’s all about balance, explains Dr. Eric Plasker, author of The 100 Year Lifestyle. “If you favor certain muscle groups over others, it causes the spine and nerves to age much more quickly and leads to injury,” he says. “Just like with the tires on your car, you can wear down your body unevenly.”
Below are our findings. Luckily, many of these muscles can be strengthened with simple moves that can be done while you type away at a computer or channel surf. These few extra moves are like flossing—they might not seem critical at first, but they’ll pay off in the long run.
Click on the glowing circles to find out why these muscles are essential and how you can start training them.

GGX Schedule for Tuesday, Nov.24
AM: Spin Bike (Kanae)-5:45am-6:45am
Tone and Sculpt (Bel) -8:30am-9:30am
Yoga (Nicole)-9:45am-10:45am
PM:TRX (Ferleen)-5:00pm-5:30pm
ABS/CORE (Ferleen)- 5:45pm-6:20pm
Spin Bike (Erico)- 5:15pm-6:15pm
Zumba (Liz) - 6:30pm-7:30pm

Friday, November 20, 2015

4 Ways to Make Your Thanksgiving Healthier
Don't let the title misguide you. This isn't a post about cooking low-sodium turkey, sugar-free cranberry sauce, or gluten-free apple pie for your feast. We're talking about a healthier Thanksgiving that's fun, fit, and emotionally light. That sounds like a delicious recipe, doesn't it? I'll take it with a side of mashed potatoes!
Thanksgiving kick starts the most festive (and sometimes chaotic!) six weeks of the year. Every weekend is filled with parties, family, and more likely than not, shopping. It's a time of gratitude, generosity, and love, but it's important not to sacrifice your routine and lose yourself for the sake of being the best hostess (or even the best guest!). My suggestion is to get the whole family involved! When everyone is working towards a common goal, especially amidst the joy and fun of the holidays, you'll have even more to be grateful for! Try these four tips for rallying your troops and having your healthiest Thanksgiving yet.
1. Reflect together. Maybe you say grace before dinner and maybe you don't, but either way, I encourage you to include a mini-meditation before your feast. Thanksgiving day itself can be stressful, full of emotional weight (in both good ways and bad), and fast-paced in a way that makes us "Go! Go! Go!" from the second the Macy's parade begins to the second the turkey comes out of the oven. Amid the chaos, we should be taking time to appreciate that the season is less about who has the most beautiful centerpiece or most delicious appetizer and more about whom we're with and why we're with them.
So when you sit around the table, lead what might become your favorite new Thanksgiving tradition, "quiet time." This doesn't have to be a formal or serious meditative event (and the little ones are sure to giggle through it, but encourage them to stay focused); it's about togetherness more than anything. Have everyone at the table close their eyes, inhale deeply, hold the breath for a count of "Happy Thanksgiving," and release the breath with control and focus. This initiates a moment (or however long you choose!) of silent reflection about the day, the family, the feast, or heck, even the biggest float you watched in the parade earlier that day! Invite everyone not to totally quell their "mind chatter" but to observe it without judgment and allow their thoughts to pass freely and then let them go. You may find that any feud between cousin Sally and aunt Martha, the teasing and pranking between little ones, and your own post-cooking fatigue may dissipate at dinner because everyone is present, relaxed, and ready to be together.
2. Include a sport or group activity on Thanksgiving Day. Many of us associate Thanksgiving with football. It's fun to watch, but it's even more fun to play! Some of the most iconic moments from our favorite TV families come from them tossing a football around in the backyard. Think of Ross and Monica on Friends, Lucy and Charlie from Charlie Brown, or the iconic Thanksgiving scene from Homeward Bound; regardless of the level of competition (or trickery in the case of Lucy and Charlie!), getting active together can get every member of the family connected and having fun before your meal. It's easier to catch up and chat when you're actually playing a game, as opposed to having everyone's eyes glued to the TV watching one! And if football's not your style, maybe your family could register for a community run or make up the rules to your own new game! (And if you do, be sure to comment below and let us know what fun you've invented!)
3. Get the kids involved! Pie tastes better when you've earned it, so get the kids moving this Thanksgiving, and set up an exercise contest. It's easier than it sounds! All you need is a monitor with a stopwatch (or a smart phone!) and eager kids to participate. Contests of "who can hold the longest plank," "do the most push ups or sit ups," etc. are easy to do. If you set a good prize -- whoever wins gets to cut the first (and likely biggest) piece of pie! -- you may just get some couch potatoes doing pushups in no time! And hey, there's no real reason the adults in the room can't get in on this competition too!
4. Start a new thanking tradition. Thank you cards are wonderful things. But if you're writing multiples, it opens the possibility of getting a little repetitive and robotic -- "thank you for the [blank]. We had so much fun! Hope to see you soon!" What I've noticed is that "thank yous" are more genuine and personal when they're said out loud. The most official "thank you" is directed with eye contact and, of course, sincerity. But to make this tradition a bit more festive, you could make a "thanking game" before dessert comes out as a sort of bookend to the meal that your mini-meditation began. The best part about this game is that you make the rules! For example, you could put all the place cards in a bowl and draw names, each person saying "thank you" to the person they drew. Or you could simply go down the table and thank the person sitting directly across from you (eye contact, of course!). Maybe even challenge the kids at the table to write a "thank you" song! The possibilities are endless, but the intention is the same.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

GGX Schedule for Friday, Nov. 20:
AM: Zumba (Allen)-8:30am-9:30am
PM:Belly Dancing(Allen)-5:30pm-6:30pm

Knee Exercises
Strengthening the muscles that support the knee with knee exercises is most important in protecting your knees from injury - particularly overuse injuries - and chronic knee pain. Weak or fatigued muscles cannot adequately support the knee joint or absorb shock before it gets to the knee and the extra stress placed upon the knee can cause injury or irritation to the structures of the knee.
Muscles that attach to the knee affect knee tracking (while walking or bending and straightening the knee, the kneecap slides over a groove in the thighbone). Muscle weaknesses/imbalances can cause the kneecap to pull to the left or right of the groove, resulting in the underside of the kneecap rubbing against the thighbone and becoming irritated (see runner s knee page for more info on pain caused by poor knee tracking).
Strengthening exercises can make the muscles tight, so follow strength exercises with stretching exercises.
Stretching the muscles that support the knee with knee exercises is also important in preventing injury. Flexible muscles are not as easily injured as tight muscles. Tightness of muscles connected to the knee can also pull the knee out of alignment.
When doing stretching exercises, be careful to go slowly and not to overstretch. You do not want to tear a muscle.
Increase the duration of your knee exercises gradually to avoid overuse injuries and knee pain. Be patient. You will see results.
Strength must be built up gradually. When muscles, tendons or ligaments are stressed slightly beyond their limits, microscopic tears occur. This is normal, and as these tears heal the muscles actually become bigger, firmer and stronger. These microscopic tears must be given adequate time to heal or chronic problems can develop. Try not to exercise the same muscle groups two days in a row to give your body a chance to recover. Doing strengthening knee exercises three or four times a week is enough. Stretching knee exercises can be done more often.
The goal is to prevent injury and knee pain, not cause it.
Don t ignore pain. Pain is your body s way of protecting you from hurting yourself further. It is not unusual to experience mild stiffness and aching of the muscles that lasts up to a day after exercising. But hardly being able to move for a few days after exercising means you have overdone it. It s difficult to know when to quit when you doing knee exercises. Often, the pain doesn't set in until a day or two later. It happens. If it does, you will have a greater understanding of your body s limitations.
If you have overdone your knee exercises...
Rest is important for inflamed muscles/tendons. Applying ice wrapped in a cloth can help reduce inflammation and pain and speed up healing. Knee pain should be completely gone before fully resuming your knee exercises program, however, lightly exercising the sore muscle may help decrease muscle soreness.
If you are currently experiencing knee pain or have a knee condition/injury and/or have a very limited range of motion, or are simply not sure which knee exercises are safe for you to do, see a physical therapist (physiotherapist). A doctor or physical therapist can assess your condition and give you a customized treatment / exercise plan.
Knee Strengthening Exercises:
inner thigh squeezeHip Adductors (Inner Thigh) / groin muscle and inner quad muscle (VMO) Strengthening Inner Thigh Squeeze:
Sit in chair, put fist (or folded towel or small ball) between knees.
Squeeze together knees.
Hold for count of 10. Relax for count of 3.
Do 10 repetitions.
Hip Abductors (Outer Thigh/Hip) strengthening Outer Leg Lift:
Lie on floor on your right side, shoulder and hips aligned.
Bend right leg (leg on floor) to about 90 degrees.
Slowly raise you left leg about 18 inches, hold for a second, and then slowly lower leg.
Do 10 repetitions. Repeat on other side.
Glutes Strengthening Backward leg swing:
Hold onto back of chair for support.
Swing leg back at a diagonal until you feel your buttocks tighten.
Tense muscles as much as you can and swing leg back a couple more inches.
Return leg to floor. Do ten repetitions.
Switch sides and repeat.
*The squat exercise also strengthens the glutes.
Quad Strengthening Leg lifts:
Lie flat on back. Bend left knee at 90-degree angle, keeping foot flat on floor.
Keep the right leg straight and slowly lift it until right foot is about the height of the left knee (about 10 inches off floor). Hold for a count of 3. Repeat 10 times. Switch sides.
Work up to 10 sets of 10 over several weeks.
Alternately, the leg may be lifted until the knees are at the same height.
Safety Tip:
Leg lifts: Lifting both legs at the same time causes excessive stress on your lower back so only lift one leg at a time; the opposite leg should be kept bent with foot on floor.
Wall Squats:
Stand with back against wall, feet about 18 inches away from wall.
Slowly slide down the wall, until your thighs are parallel with the floor (knees at 90 degrees) - or as far as you can go without causing knee pain.
Hold position for a count of 5. Slowly slide back up the wall, pushing yourself up with your heels.
Repeat ten times.
Alternately, hold position for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, and repeat.
Note: Your knees should be lined up over your ankles when thighs are parallel to floor- you may have to adjust how close your feet are to the wall.