Archive for the ‘Fitness’ Category

A story of exercise and homeschooling….Why exercise can help boost confidence in your children!

Monday, May 12th, 2014

While homeschooling may be a good option for your kid(s), there is no doubt that there can be some missing ingredients, especially from the physical education department.  One solution can be to sign your children up for organized sports; however this is not an option for everyone.  If your child does not like playing sports or is not particularly athletic it could be setting them up for failure, embarrassment, and an overall bad attitude towards “fitness” or “working out”. If this sounds familiar, you might want to give this a read.

Here is our story about a child who took part in our training program:

The first thing we do at Chicago Family Fit is treat your kids like a person.  We hold normal conversations, see what they like to do, and develop a plan that we all agree with.  Since we created a plan together, kids are more likely to buy into what we are doing and stick with it.  We use a combination of different movement exercises that involve balance, coordination, flexibility, and proper technique education while having fun. This is a much different approach than just playing sports; we are developing sports skills, so they will be more successful trying sports in the future.

After a few weeks you can really see the confidence start coming out.  It’s awesome to see a kid that used to duck away from the ball, actually run and catch it.  Once this newfound confidence is developed, it usually carries over to trying new things in other aspects of their day.  One client, an 8-year-old girl started playing 4 Square at recess for the first time all year (in April) and found out that she really enjoyed it.  She also volunteered to present in front of others, something that would have not been the case a couple of months ago.

As you can imagine, we as staff are excited to hear about such progress, but the parents couldn’t be happier about the situation.  Everyone assumes that someone goes to a personal trainer just to lose weight, but would you not agree that those are awesome results?  At Chicago Family Fit it’s much more than what many gyms preach. We work with you, towards the goals that you want!

In addition to boosting confidence, another benefit is improved social interaction.  In our client’s case, she is now hanging out and talking to different kids that she met from playing 4 square. She is also diligent about not missing her workouts at the gym because she really enjoys coming in (who would have thought?), having fun, and seeing everyone else at the gym including Karma (our dog).

With the recent success that she has had, we thought that we have to share it!  We are very proud and thought that there may be other kids out there that fall through the cracks with traditional fitness programs.  Instead of leading down a long road of struggles, we have been able to do a complete 180.  If this sounds familiar to you, trying a personal trainer that has a reputation with kids may be the best bet for you.

And that is our story. A great example of a child who discovered exercise, confidence and keys to the world!

Are you nervous about hiring a trainer? If so, this is a must read!

Thursday, January 16th, 2014



By: Jon Kahney

A few years ago, I was contacted by a coworker of a friend of mine, whom had recommended me to her for personal training.  I read in amazement at what she had e-mailed me and wondered what types of things my friend had been telling her about me. 

The first paragraph told me that she had previously worked with a trainer, had been on her own for a while, and wasn’t continuing to see results. 


The next four paragraphs and remainder of the e-mail explained to me that she doesn’t like to be yelled at, can’t be motivated by yelling, and will shut down mentally if yelled at.  As I read through the e-mail, I couldn’t help but laugh at what her impressions of personal training were and how they were anything but what I was like.  After all I work with kids, yelling never motivates them either. 


I realize that there are a lot of stereotypes about personal trainers and the personal training experience.  It doesn’t help that most people’s idea about personal training comes from Jillian Michaels or somehow that all personal trainers are “Johnny Sixpack” who can’t stop looking at himself in the mirror.


She told me that when she initially started training she was 30-40 lbs. overweight, had a cancer scare, and was having trouble getting up and down the stairs.  When she began training, she felt embarrassed at her abilities, and could hardly finish workouts.  Currently she has dropped the weight, getting several compliments about how she looks, doing progressively harder challenges, and more importantly, moving and feeling her very best.


Another client told me that she was initially hesitant to hire me as a trainer because she thought I would be a drill sergeant, constantly yelling at her and making her feel bad about herself.  She didn’t think that someone who has to be in shape for a living could empathize with someone who finds it difficult to get into or stay in shape. 


After training for several months she now says, “I am very happy to be working with a personal trainer!  I feel myself getting fitter and stronger.  The best thing about it is that the workout is tailored to my current level of ability, so I feel successful, which motivates me to continue to train and improve.”


Yelling just doesn’t work.  What does work in intrinsic motivation, motivation that comes from within you to get better and reach your goals.  As a professional trainer, it is my job to create a program for you that establishes a base level of fitness.  Once that has been established, it is my job to help you through challenges that will be hard but that I know you can accomplish, based on your level of fitness and intrinsic motivation.  Your job is to accept the challenge and do your very best.  Together, as a team, we never stop trying to get you to look, move, and feel your very best.


There are many assets we have at Chicago Family Fit to help you with your fitness goals.  It is a private, appointment only facility; you will be working alone or with one or two others who know exactly what you are going through because they have walked in your shoes at one time.  Also the Chicago Family Fit staff prides itself on being the best trainers in the area.  With two decades of combined experience, we have worked with clients from all walks of life and abilities.  We can help you if you choose to help yourself.  Come give us a try.  We promise we won’t yell at you.


Are you hydrated?

Monday, July 1st, 2013

Today we’re going to revisit an old topic. We’re in the full swing of summer, and that means it’s getting hot outside. One thing we all need to remember is to stay hydrated.  Dehydration can lead to heat exhaustion, cramps, and decreased performance.  Even if you don’t feel thirsty, keep fluids handy.   Water and sports beverages tend to work best, but it only works if you drink it constantly. Not only do you need to replace the fluids you loose during a workout, but you need to build up a reserve in your body.

Also, be cautious of certain drinks as they may have hidden ingredients that can dehydrate you further. Some good sources of hydration are: Water and Sports Drinks (If you will be active over an hour). Some poor sources of hydration include: Pop or Soda, Coffee, Tea (caffeinated), Beer or other alcoholic beverages.


Here’s a helpful graphic that shows level of hydration in your urine. A sample of your urine is a great indicator of how hydrated you are. If you are not going to the bathroom, that is a sign that something is seriously wrong. Regardless, check out the chart below and see where you fall today.



If you have any further questions or would like more information, come see us at Chicago Family Fit. You can visit us on the web at or find us on facebook at


Tips for Improving Running Mechanics in Order to Run More Efficient

Monday, June 24th, 2013

For all of you runners out there, we have some advice on how to do things right. Running is a great compliment to a gym training routine.

Here are some general tips that can help improve running:


Knees should be flexed at about 90 degrees. Hips should be under the trunk. Stay on balls of feet. Cycle legs (paw the ground) and try to make as little noise as possible while running -> Stay light on feet.


There should be a bend, about 90 degrees, at the elbow. Arm swing should come from the shoulder. Hands should come up to the eyes and down to the hips (eye socket, hip pocket).

Trunk and Head

The torso should be upright, as if sitting tall in a chair. Head should also be up right and looking straight ahead. The head should be still and the face should be relaxed.


Breathing should be easy, relaxed and comfortable. Most long distance runners breathe in through their nose and out through their mouth.

*** It is important to keep in mind that there are short distance runner (sprinters) and long distance runners. Some mechanics are different between both types of runners. Arm swing does not really matter as much in long distance running. Long distance runners also tend to run more flat footed since they are running for extended periods of time.

Warm Up

Warm ups and stretching are important in preventing injury as well as getting your body ready to exercise to the best of its ability. Most people warm up in different ways, but here are some basic warm ups:

– Jogging

– A Skip

– B Skip

– High Knees

Stretching – *Stretching should not be held longer than 10 seconds at a time.

– Hurdle Stretch

– Arm across Chest

– Butterfly

– Knee Hugs


Continue warm up until warm or until light sweat is occurring


Cool Down – *Stretches should be held for over 10 seconds

– Slow jog for about 5 to 15 minutes.


For questions about this or any exercise routine, come see us at Chicago Family Fit. A special thanks to our intern Gabe Nash for working on this blog post. Gabe is an avid runner and happy to share more tips with all of you!

Subway, not always the healthy choice?

Monday, June 17th, 2013


Subway is a great fast food restaurant.  They have many healthy menu options and have long been ahead of their competition in championing health and wellness in America. That is why this one kind of stings. As Subway has grown over the years, so has their menu, and so has American’s waistlines. This means it has begun offering not so healthy menu options. It’s not all bad news, but it’s certainly eye opening. This latest news comes on the release of a study done by UCLA which basically shows that when left up to pure choice, teens will choose meals at Subway that are just as unhealthy as the ones you can get a McDonald’s. While the study is a recent development,  this has been something that has been evident for a while. When subway began selling sandwiches like the Big Philly Cheese Steak or Chipotle Steak and Cheese Melt with Avocado or the  Chick Bacon and Ranch Melt, it’s hard not to see the unhealthiness. The studies results of nutrition intake are spelled out below. Take a look for yourself:

Subway Vs McDonalds


Subway addressed concerns that arose by the publishing of the study by releasing this statement:

Subway Global Dietitian Lanette Kovachi, MS, RD, responded with the following statement: “Regarding the 2011 UCLA study of 87 young adults, we want to clarify a few things. As long time leaders in offering customers healthier options, Subway restaurants has always provided customers nutritional information on all of our menu offerings along with a wide array of great-tasting, low-fat and low-calorie subs and salads. We stand behind our nutritional offerings and continue to make advancements to our menu that meet the evolving tastes of our customers.”

Keep in mind that any restaurant you visit will have healthy choices and not so healthy choices. You might be tempted by the not so healthy choices. The reason we brought this up today is to help address “fake healthy food”, which is food that is advertised to you as healthy, but not always as healthy as you may think. It is important to recognize this food, and steer clear of it. When ordering food out remember to have everything in moderation, and make smart well informed choices (and it never hurts to forgo cheese on your sandwich/meal). If you have questions don’t be afraid to consult nutrition information on the website of the food  establishment you will be going to visit, if it is available.