by Jenny Gaal, Fitness Program Director

Happy February!! Lots of reasons to celebrate this month, Valentines, Mardi Gras, Rodeo…..  I am a sucker for holidays and a good party!  The challenge is finding a balance.  Over the past 10 years of personal training, I have created a growing journal of tips to help stay on track.  Here are a few of my favorites….. If you would like more email me: coachjenny@funfitgym.com and I would be happy to share!  Have a beautifully Fit day!

Never eat out of a bag or box but serve yourself on a plate.  Portion control is impossible to measure out of the bag.

Super Bowl, B-days, Parties, BBQ’s, Pool Day……DIPS and SPREADS!!  Think ahead, pro-active not re-active, bring along a Ziploc bag of vegetables (celery, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber slices, etc.) to continue the party and stay on track instead of consuming chips and crackers.   When making your own dips and spreads (guacamole, salsa, and dips) double or triple the quantity of vegetables in the recipe therefore reducing the total calories and increasing the nutrition.

Be Aware of your daily intake.  No not counting calories but journaling decisions, the simple action of writing down your choices holds you to them instead of overlooking them.   Overtime your brain is “re-programmed” because you know you’re committing to it.  Keep in mind; Nutrition/Diet and Exercise/training are interdependent and combined measure the success of your goals.  Support your body with smart food choices to support your exercise goals.

Do not get discouraged!  We are human.  Mistakes are inevitable…..give yourself the slack to live a little when needed and then rebound on track.  Not continue to spiral.

Designate one day for PREP…like Sunday to prepare your produce for the week.   Clean, chop and package.  Having healthy fruits and vegetables prewashed and conveniently accessible will help prevent the quick grab for other unhealthy convenience foods like bagged chips….No NO!  As well prepackage a handful of other healthy options like granola and nuts for convenience with proper portion control!

 

 

 

by David Benzel: “Growing Champions for Life”

 

Athletes of all levels sometimes put immense pressure on themselves, but it’s also common for young athletes to feel pressure from outside sources. Oftentimes that pressure, whether real or perceived, comes from their coaches, teammates, or even their parents.

The level of pressure a young athlete experiences is usually in direct proportion to the level of expectation the athlete has for a particular performance. Pressure is often the cause of nervous energy, and though a little bit of this apprehension can serve as a motivating factor, too much can hinder your child’s confidence and negatively affect their performance by causing them to question their abilities.

There are things sport parents say and do that can cause their child to feel pressured to come in first place, lead their team to a big win or set a personal best. Whether you do so unknowingly or “applying pressure” is your intention, sport parents should assume that their child is aware of the event’s importance and their role in it. The fear of losing or letting someone down can cripple a performance, and actually shorten an athletic career.

Here are some ways in which sport parents unknowingly put pressure on their young athletes:
  • Behaving and talking in ways that suggest that the child’s sport is the most important thing in the family’s life, and maybe even the universe.
  • Attending every practice and every competition; then following up each of those with a lengthy discussion of what happened and what should have happened, i.e. over-analyzing everything.
  • Telling children that the family is making extreme sacrifices for them to practice, train or compete.
  • Constantly comparing a child’s performance to the performances of others.

It’s important to convey to your child that you support them in all of their endeavors and that the reason for this support isn’t their wins and trophies, but your joy in seeing their progress, their efforts to do their best, and their enjoyment of a sport.

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Overall, sport parents can best support their child by refraining from exhibiting negative body language while watching practice and keeping their critical post-game or practice play-by-play to themselves.

When sport parents begin to treat their young athlete’s sports “career” as a learning experience rather than an investment or a means to a scholarship or other award, then it becomes easier for the child to see that their athletic experience is a personal journey that they can enjoy to the fullest.

If they happen to come in first place, lead their team to a big win, or set a personal record, then that’s a welcome outcome of all of their hard work.-David Benzel: “Growing Champions for Life”

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Motivation is something we all struggle with when it comes to exercise!  Exercise is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves on a regular basis.  Finding what motivates you is a great tool to increase consistency.  As a personal trainer, I have found the following to work for myself and my clients.

1.  Visualize your goals.  Whether it is toning up before a special event or losing weight before swimsuit season let the power of your mental image allow you to stay committed to what you would like to achieve.

2.  Stop putting limitations on yourself.  We are all guilty of this one!  Too old, too overweight, too weak, too tired, don’t have enough time….  We quit before we even start!  Try pushing past your perceived limitations to see what your body is really capable of.

3.  Pain doesn’t last forever.  Yes, it may be painful.  I guess that’s why it’s called a ‘workout’ but in the grand scheme of things it is a short period of time…..1 hour of work gives you 23 hours of accomplishment.

4.  Set realistic goals.  Without something to shoot towards, it’s easy to get discouraged and give up.  It’s hard enough to make changes in our life and accomplish what we desire – if your goal is unrealistic, or not well defined, then you’re starting out with an immediate handicap.  Start with simple health goals and expand them as your confidence and commitment grows.

5.  Reward yourself.   Having an extrinsic reward is so powerful because your brain can latch on to it and make the link that the behavior is worthwhile.  Over time, the motivation becomes intrinsic, as the brain begins to associate sweat and pain with the surge of endorphins — those feel-good chemicals released in the brain that are responsible for that “I-feel-freaking-amazing” rush you get after a great gym session. Once you’ve trained your brain to recognize that the workout itself is the reward, you won’t even want the treat but in the meantime, reward yourself with those new workout pants or a small frozen yogurt.

No matter how you get there, you know you’ve succeeded once the day arrives when you can’t imagine skipping your workout.  You can call it an addiction, a pleasure or an escape. But the important thing is that you’re doing it on a regular basis, and that you’re doing it for you.  Always remember there is no such thing as a bad workout!

When children enter the world of youth sports they unwittingly add one more opportunity for themselves to be judged, evaluated, and corrected. However, it is unlikely any of them thought about this prior to wanting to play.

They sign up for sports to have fun, enjoy their friends, learn new skills, and challenge themselves through competition. They quickly learn that organized sport is all about being measured against some standard.

Consider the average day of any child, age 5 to 18. He or she is evaluated and judged by teachers at school for their work, by friends for their clothing, by coaches and teammates for their performance…and then they arrive home to be once again judged by their parents for a multitude of performance and behavioral issues. It’s a world filled with the evaluating, and sometimes it feels like the “3 C’s” – criticism, complaining, and condemning – that’s all there is.

Parents have a responsibility to guide, redirect, and even correct the misguided choices of their children. However, the three fastest ways to ruin your relationship with your child are to spend your precious time together criticizing, complaining, and condemning… especially about their athletic performance. Children expect their parents to set the rules for behavior at home.

They expect parents to establish the boundaries for certain personal freedoms. And they certainly expect the guidelines for financial responsibilities to come from their parents.

What athletic children do not want is for their parents to be their critics when it comes to sport performance. More than anything else your athlete wants your approval, unconditional love, and total acceptance.

If your approval, acceptance, and love appear to be attached to your child’s performance, the depth of your relationship will be jeopardized – if not right away, in the future.

If you’ve wondered why your child seems defensive and argu­mentative in response to your comments after a game or practice, here’s the reason. While you may only mean it as constructive help, they hear the message as “You fell short of my expecta­tions; you let me down.”

Over time, that message attacks the very foundation of a child’s self-image, partly because of what you’re saying, but more because of who is saying it. They want to please you more than anyone else.

There is an alternative, and the results are amazingly positive : Use the “3 E’s” instead!

  • Encourage with affirmations
  • Educate with good questions
  • Edify with words of praise

These are three activities that build people up to become more of what they were meant to be. Each of these three actions send a message of hope by implying “you are excellent, you are intel­ligent, and you are worthy of praise.”

Most of all, when parents encourage the spirit, educate the mind with life lessons, and edify (build up) the character of their athletes, they are saying “I believe in you”. This becomes the foundation of athletic performance as well as close relationships for years to come.

Nothing is more important than your relationship with your child…not a game, not a season, not a scholarship. Treat it like gold so that it is built to last.

Practical Tip: Start each day with six quarters in your left-hand pocket. For each instance where you hear yourself encourage with affirmations, educate with a question, or edify with praise, transfer one quarter to your right-hand pocket. For each negative complaint or critical statement transfer a quar­ter back to the left side. Check and record your pocket’s contents each night.

Your fittest, happiest year starts here!!
Here are the Top 10: Reasons To Work with a Trainer and take Group Fitness Classes:
1. You’ll Look and Feel Better- This is obvious right? Let’s clarify – I see many people exercise for years who never look any better…..an intelligent program will absolutely deliver results and help improve self-esteem, confidence, and self worth. The benefits of looking better don’t just end with a smaller waist line. Another obvious reason, how many people know just how much they can improve their health through fitness? Regular exercise can help fight osteoporosis, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, reduce the risk of cardio vascular diseases and help prevent the onset of dementia and other mental ailments. Plus it keeps hormone levels from declining as rapidly which maintains muscle mass and keeps your metabolism high. Many daily aches and pains seemingly disappear overnight when you embark on a regular exercise program.
2. Motivation and Consistency- Personal trainers are great coaches, educators, motivators and cheerleaders. It is proven that scheduling regular fitness classes or appointments with your trainer help eliminate excuses and keep you on track.
3. Safety and Individualized Instruction- Proper form is imperative for not only effective results but injury prevention. There is no cookie cutter workout that works for all. Interactive exercise with a certified trainer will aid you in reaching your personal goals with interactive instruction insuring proper form and increasing intensity/ weight load when appropriate.
4. You’ll Be A Role Model – Have children? Setting an example by living a healthy, active lifestyle is inspirational to not only children but the rest of your family, co-workers, friends and society in general by being a role model, and showing what difference fitness can make to your life. Exercise is contagious – so start sending out the right messages!
5. You’ll Feel Part Of A Community – Make no mistake about it, the fitness world is a community and you can make many friends within it. Especially in a group fitness setting, many people who meet in the gym carry their relationship out into the outside world. It’s fun to meet new people with similar interests, goals and struggles. Finding a true support system is the key to success!
6. It’ll Improve Your Brain Power – Sure, most people see exercise as a way to tone up and lose weight but many changes also take place within the brain. Your ability to focus, coordinate and multi task can be greatly enhanced through the use of a regular exercise program. It tunes your mind as well as your muscles and sharpens your ability to send a stronger signal.
7. You’ll Feel Happier – Outside of looking and feeling better, exercise also releases dopamine and endorphins that have a drug–like effect on your body and mind. In some cases, exercise can produce feelings of euphoria and pleasure. Research also shows that those who suffer from mild depression and who also exercise get “out of the slump” much faster than those who don’t and experience similar effects to a control group taking depression meds! That’s impressive!!
8. You’ll Have More Energy – No doubt about it, exercise jacks up your energy levels and can help make you more productive in almost every aspect of your life. Wouldn’t it be nice to not feel sluggish, lethargic and be more alert? Plus you’ll sleep better too / be more rested, which adds to the feeling of being refreshed and ready to take on the world.
9. Feeling of Accomplishment – Really nothing rivals the feeling of empowerment that comes from being able to take charge of your health, how you look and how you feel. It’s truly life changing in every way, and can help teach you how to set goals, form a plan, and achieve success in other areas of your life..
10. It’s 2015- Happy New Year!!

Fitness Director Jenny Gaal

Our exciting new program is under the direct supervision of our Fitness Director, Jenny Gaal.  Jenny joined our team in November and teaches in our Pre School Program in addition to designing and Directing our Fitness Program!

Jenny holds 3 National fitness certifications (NASM, ISSA, AFAA). She is the former fitness director at Sky High Sports teaching from ages 7 to 70 including training special needs kid classes. She is the Fitness contributor for Absolutely Memorial and Absolutely Katy magazines. Jenny is a former gymnast, and currently competitive in both marathons and triathlons.

As a mother of three Jenny understands the importance of time and therefore the necessity to keep exercise Fun, Effective and Efficient!

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Announcing Our New Fitness Program Classes for Kids And Adults

Fitness Class Schedule Spring 2015

PERFORMANCE FIT CLASSES: Boys and Girls,5-12 yrs

Strategically created to enhance youth sport training in off seasons and increase overall fitness.  Incorporates intervals of cardio endurance and muscle conditioning to improve agility, speed, balance and athleticism. 55 min; $75.00 per month tuition.

PERFORMANCE FIT, Ages 5-7

PERFORMANCE FIT, Ages 8-12

 

PREMIER FITNESS CLASSES, Adults Ages 16+

FUNFIT: $15 per session, or $65 for 5 sessions

Big enough to be fun, yet small enough to still provide quality. Small group training geared toward strength, flexibility, cardio and core conditioning with a major emphasis on correct posture and movement. 45 min.

FIT BOOT CAMP: $10 per session or $40 for 5 sessions

Intense and efficient workout designed to burn calories.  Built on 3 fundamentals of training: cardio, strength and agility, while using little more than natural body weight for resistance. 45 min

BABYFIT: $12 per session of $50 for 5 sessions

An intense workout, yet low impact and interactive training designed for Mommy and toddler (infant-18 mo). Conditioning for upper and lower body that is stimulating for both Mommy and child. 45 min

FUN FITNESS 1:1 PT: $60 per session of $275 for 5 sessions

Individualized, private training to meet your goals and total body conditioning. Customized training plans to meet your specific goals. BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. 45-50 min

 

PARTNER FIT: $75 per session of $350 for 5 sessions

Semi-Private training to address your specific goals while sharing the class with a friend or partner.

BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. 45-50 min