Get in shape (and stay that way) – Tips for Losing Weight.


by Jenny Gaal, Fitness Director


Tip 1: Set exercise goals you can meet — otherwise, you’ll stop working out all together. Try to work out on two weekdays and one weekend day for 30 minutes to start — if you can only do 20, that’s okay too. The point is to get moving and keep moving.

Tip 2: Find a fitness buddy. Studies show those without a workout partner have about a 40% drop out rate. Social engagement, encouragement, comradery and accountability are just a few benefits.

Tip 3: Don’t get discouraged. We all lose weight at different speeds. Men lose weight faster than women due to the fact that they have more muscle mass and can burn 30 to 40 percent more calories during the same workout.

Tip 4: Fuel your body smart. Try a handful of almonds or walnuts or fresh vegetables.

Tip 5: Fresh herbs for flavor. Rosemary, sage, thyme, mint, and dill just to name a few. Not only do they add flavor to your meals, they also add many nutrients.

Tip 6: Head outside. Fresh air on a walk, run or bike ride always feels great.

Tip 7: Set an alarm to go on every hour. Use this time to breathe, stretch or do some light moves in the office (desk triceps dips, wall push-ups). Or just to get up and walk around the room.

Tip 8: The world is your gym. Boring chores such as raking leaves, pruning bushes, and picking up trash in the yard can be great exercise. Another trick, get moving while on the phone or brushing your teeth — you can even try doing squats or leg lifts.

Tip 9: Figure out the best time to work out for you. The best time to exercise is in the morning when your energy is highest. People give up when they try to force themselves to work out at a certain time. Morning, noon, and night are all great times to exercise.

Tip 10: Take a leisure grocery shopping trip. Grocery shop at least once a month with lots of extra time to read nutritional labels and find new healthy foods to try.


by Jenny Gaal, Fitness Program Director


Want to see your progress?  Ever try a device that will give you data on every step you take, the calories you burn, and your heart rate?  Many athletes find that seeing the numbers can be motivating.

Check out these fitness tools to see if they will help keep your motivation at its peak.

  1. Basic Step Counters (Pedometers)

If you need motivation to get moving, pedometers that count each step can help.  With a step counter, you can set a goal of how many steps to take every day and track your progress. If you’re falling short, you may be motivated to take a walk after dinner instead of watching TV. Step counters are valuable for people who get their exercise by walking or running. It won’t accurately register other exercise, such as bicycling or weightlifting. About 5,000 steps is the minimum you should log in a day, and 10,000 steps are ideal.

  1. GPS-Based Fitness Monitors

GPS signals monitor your exact location, such as the Nike App. GPS-equipped devices can record how far and how fast you walk or run. You can also use them to chart a path when you’re running or walking in an unfamiliar place.  GPS devices are generally more accurate than basic step counters at estimating the distance you’ve walked or run.  Many Apps allow you to create a profile to compete with friends and family- a little competition never hurts.

3. Calorie Counters

Some pedometers and GPS devices use your steps and speed to estimate the number of calories you burned. The most sophisticated of these programs let you enter information about your weight, which improves accuracy.  The more expensive units are typically more accurate.

4. Heart Rate Monitors

Your heart rate is the number of times your heart beats each minute, which goes up when you exercise. So heart rate monitors measure the intensity of your workout. Along with displaying heart rate in real time, many devices let you set a target heart rate and then alert you when you reach your target.  Heart rate monitors can help beginning exercisers tell if their workout is moderate or challenging. High-level athletes can use heart rate monitors to make sure they reach and remain in their target heart rate zone.

5. Computer Links and Social Networking

As mentioned, many fitness devices let you download data to your computer into charts and graphs. You can often share and compare that information.  What a great way to keep you engaged.




by Jenny Gaal, Fitness Director

Life is Full….. family, social, work, health & fitness and spiritual.  How do we begin to even divide the time you needed to delegate to each?  Everybody’s priorities will look different, but everyone should have time and goals dedicated to each one.  If you take a look at the big picture, you may have more success to sticking to your goals in a specific area.  If your priorities aren’t balanced correctly to support your goals then you will have a harder time being successful.

For example your health and fitness goals need to prioritize enough time allocated in that bucket in order for you to achieve your goals.  If your goal is to work out three times a week for 45 minutes, but you only allocated 10% of your time to fitness, this might be hard to achieve.  It is important that the goals are measureable, realistic and achievable.  This is one part of being balanced. The other aspect involves integrating both fitness and diet into health goals.

If your goal is to lose weight then you must address diet along with working out.  You don’t have to go on a diet per se, but consider more of a lifestyle change watching how much and what you eat daily.  If it is easier for you to follow a specific plan then do that, if not I suggest you track what you eat by using one of the online tracking apps that are out there.  Today you can download the app right to your phone.  Your workout plan should include both cardio and strength.  You need the cardio to burn the fat and the strength to tone the muscles and have the body process the fuel more efficiently.

Everything in life is about creating balance.  Part of eating right is finding balance, everything in moderation and proper portion size.  When you work out, you are training your body just to achieve balance through strength, stretch and cardio.  You need to think about your health and fitness like you do your family and work life.  If your priorities are out of balance your goals and quality of life will suffer.  So do yourself the favor and be sure to look at the whole picture and how you are going to achieve balance and achieve your goals.



by Jenny Gaal, Fitness Director


This is a great time of year to enjoy exercise outside. The sun, mild weather, and cooler evenings are perfect for a walk, run, or bike ride. Although, squeezing in a workout may become more difficult as we will start to lose sunlight and warm days.

Follow these simple steps to stay motivated:

1 – Plan Ahead

Decide on your indoor or outdoor exercise in advance. Decide which time of day is best for you and plan accordingly. If morning is when you want to exercise, for the morning have your clothes ready to go. For evening workouts, bring a change of clothes with you.

2 – Willingness to Change

Be willing to change your routine depending on the seasons. Changing your routine can help the body burn more calories and avoid boredom.

3 – Fuel Your Body

Lots of fruits, vegetables, and water will help your body stay energized longer.

You don’t have to let your fitness go through the winter. Start planning today and maintain your fit body.

4 – Plan your next big race

Fall is the perfect time to find many races and fun runs to choose from, Halloween costume runs, turkey trots, color runs from  5K’s to 10K’s.  Great fun and fitness all in one.