Archive for October, 2011

Use Halloween to Talk About Nutrition With Your Family!

Monday, October 31st, 2011

One of the most exciting things about this time of year is Trick-or-Treating.  While dressing up in costumes is a lot of fun, the repercussion of collecting all of the candy can have some negative affects on ones health. While one person may not collect too much candy, if there are a handful of kids in your group, your household most likely end up with more than it’s fair share by the end of the evening.  A good parenting exercise could be to sit down with them and talk about what happens to you if you eat too much and/or focus on healthy seasonal foods.  Some topics to discuss are:

  • Empty Calories-Candy is usually loaded with sugar, and doesn’t really offer much in nutrient density.  Aside from lack of nutritional value, this can contribute to obesity, diabetes, tooth decay, and behavior problems.
  • The Amount Consumed-It’s a good idea to limit the amount of candy that is appropriate to eat. If you collect too much, just throw it away! If it’s in the house, someone will probably eat it.
  • Healthy Seasonal Foods- Instead of focusing on the junk food, try cooking with new recipes that incorporate seasonal ingredients like Pumpkin, Squash, Apples, and Pomegranates.
  • Get Active-All age appropriate family activities like apple picking, pumpkin picking, raking the leaves (jumping in the pile) and walking around the neighborhood to look at decorations are ways to get moving, have fun, and spend time together.

These are just a few ideas to get started.  If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at or by calling (773) 706-8705

The Definition of Being “In Shape”

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

Unfortunately most people out there think that the size of your biceps or definition of your abs are the only indicator of how “in shape” one is.  However this is usually not the case, and the real answer is…well…it depends.  For example, a bodybuilder may appear to be in great shape, but likely does not run well and have great flexibility whereas a marathon runner has great running endurance, but is probably not very strong lifting weights.  So what does it mean to be “in shape?”

  • While having a 6-pack stomach looks great at the beach, it is not the end-all-be-all of conditioning.  Many times this can be controlled with strict dieting and moderate exercise.  There are many NFL football players without ripped abs that nobody would consider to be out of shape.  Instead, this should be classified as a obtaining a healthy body fat percentage.
  • Big Muscles look good in the mirror, but are not always a sure indicator either.  While everyone wants to look good at the beach, only lifting weights will often lead to downfalls in other areas of fitness such as flexibility, balance, and cardiovascular health.
  • Running is also a great mode of exercise, but those who only run tend to have low muscle mass and low peak power production.  While runners tend to have lean bodies, they also risk injuries from overuse such as shin splints, knee/hip pain, and poor posture.

In the end, the real answer is: In order to be “in shape” one must be well versed in a variety of modes of exercise that combines strength, endurance, agility, balance, and flexibility while maintaining a healthy balance of lean muscle/body fat ratio.  At Chicago Family Fit, we design fitness programs that encompass all areas of fitness, and not just the ones that may show up in the mirror.  We want to develop clients that are capable of doing a variety of movements, lifts, and maneuvers efficiently and injury free.

For more information, please call (773) 706-8705 or email us at