Archive for May, 2012

The Future is Family Fitness

Friday, May 18th, 2012

The days of just worrying about you and trying to get in shape are over. As of now, this approach is obviously not working. Not only are we becoming fatter ourselves, but so are our brothers, sisters, wives, and kids.  The media usually sticks to blaming McDonald’s, high fat foods, and video games for our constant weight gain and health issues that follow.   Instead of making excuses and blaming, we should take a stand for ourselves and our families.  Not only by learning how to eat healthier, but by staying active.  At Chicago Family Fit, we promote being active as a whole family, because everyone needs to be healthier and involved in the solution.   Some ways that we go about this are:

  • Family Friendly Programming-We encourage exercising together! If bringing your kids along to workout with you makes you work harder, then we are all for it.  Sometimes having the motivation from training with your spouse, brother/sister, or close friend will help to get you to the next level.   In addition to offering family training, we also have group exercise classes that are all age appropriate.  This allows you to have fun in a judgment free environment…and even bring your kids along too!
  • No Machine Training- One problem when it comes to multiple ages/abilities working out together is equipment.  Not everyone is able to safely operate equipment, lift heavy weights, or run for miles on a treadmill.  At Chicago Family Fit we realize this, and that’s why we don’t have a lot of machines in our facility. Instead we focus on using your body and only the equipment that is appropriate for your goals.
  • Custom Programing -As a boutique style facility, we are able to be flexible and cater to your needs more than a big box facility.  Sometimes traditional hours do not work for you and your schedule, and that’s okay with us.  We pride ourselves on working around your schedule to make fitness possible by offering early morning, evening, and hours on both Saturdays and Sundays.

The next time that you look in the mirror and decide that you need to do something about it, don’t just stop at yourself.  Take the first step in improving the health of the whole family, and that starts with exercise and dietary change.  At Chicago Family Fit, we offer a complimentary consultation to see what we can do for your unique situation.  Please contact us at chicagofamilyfit@gmail.com or via phone at (773) 706-8705.

Keep Your Kids Active over Summer Break

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Now that your kids are out of school, what are their plans this summer? Instead of sitting around, playing video games, or watching T.V., have you thought of hiring a Personal Trainer?  Whether it’s training for a sport, losing weight, or having a positive mentor, personal training may be just what they need.

Even if your kids are participating in an organized sports program, many schools do not have the funding or resources to provide individual attention to each athlete.  While coaches do their best; it is not possible to give 50 or more kids at a time the attention they need to ensure proper technique, and injuries can occur.

Another reason to investigate personal training is for a positive mentorship experience for your kids.  Even if it’s reinforcing the same thing that you have told them a million times, sometimes it’s more effective to hear it from an outside person.   Think back to when you were their age, there are some things that you don’t feel comfortable talking about with your parents, especially when it comes to weight, body image, and self-confidence.  By working with a trainer, it can help greatly to develop confidence and self-worth in younger clients that can last a lifetime.

At Chicago Family Fit, our diverse group of trainers can help with younger clients ranging from prospective athletes to mathletes.  Please contact us at chicagofamilyfit@gmail.com or by phone at (773) 706-8705.

Improve Your Golf Game and Prevent Injuries This Spring!

Sunday, May 6th, 2012

It’s that time of year where many of us are breaking out the clubs and heading to the driving range. But after months of not practicing, stretching, or training, this isn’t such a good idea…instead you’re on a fast track for a pulled muscle, tweaked back, or a knee injury. You wouldn’t just put on a helmet and run on the football field would you? Let’s start by taking a step back and hitting the gym to work on a few things like training sport-specific motions that will save you a lot of time and injuries. Besides, you can improve your stroke and develop more power with some simple exercises. Here are a couple suggestions:

• Posture and Body Alignment-Training this by working with a trainer or using the mirror can go a long way by keeping your joints aligned and moving properly. This translates into smoother, more fluid body mechanics no matter what sport you’re playing. Practice by going through your golf swing…except slow it down. One repetition or swing should take 30-40 seconds. If you can stay controlled, balanced, and smooth, your swing will improve greatly.

• Stretching-Take some time to stretch, and more than just a couple toe-touches. Instead, focus on stretching your torso through range of motion exercises using rotations, think wood chops, in multiple planes and directions. Work each exercise with your feet in a golf stance. In addition to the torso, focus on hip rotation which keeps pressure out of the knees.

• Take a Couple Lessons- Have a professional work with you for a couple sessions. They have a trained eye, know what they are looking for, and will see things that you cannot see yourself. Developing a fluid, smooth stroke will pay off with fewer injuries, a lower score, and a lot more fun.

Overall, the goals of your recreational activities are to provide a fun pastime, and not a debilitating injury. However, by taking a calculated approach, and a little time and effort to prepare, you will focus more time on having fun.

Should You Invest in Personal Training for Your Kids?

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

I am often asked by parents, “Should my son/daughter be doing personal training?” and “What is a safe age for them to start working out?” When it comes to investing in the future for your kids, making the decision to send them to a professional trainer can pay off big dividends down the road.  In addition to limiting potential injuries and improving body mechanics, having a positive and fun relationship with fitness is paramount for keeping your kids healthy.

A good age for kids to start working with a trainer, is when they are old enough, or decide to participate in athletics, which can be as early as age 6.  While many people think personal training is only about lifting weights, a good trainer will have them working on things such as balance, coordination, footwork, and how to move while keeping it fun and engaging for the young athlete.   This strategy helps keep your kids ahead of the curve, allowing them to focus on their sport, instead of basic skills such as how to run properly and changing directions.  As they get older, they should be introduced to more traditional weight lifting exercises with little to no weights, until they are comfortable doing the moves properly once they start a strength training program.

It’s no secret that kids are getting serious injuries such as torn knee ligaments (ACL, MCL), torn rotator cuffs, and back injuries while competing in sports.  Many of these injuries can be prevented with a solid fitness program.  Some injuries are due to overuse as kids may be playing too many sports, or doing too many repetitive motions.  As much as everyone wants their kids to excel, sometimes talking to a professional can give you a different perspective on how to achieve that goal. Other injuries occur from poor body mechanics like poor posture, poor muscle recruitment/coordination, or overall weakness. All of these contribute to excess stress on joints and ligaments, eventually one gives way and a serious injury is the result.

Getting into the habit or exercise is not only a great way to keep kids active, but also to combat against a lot of the health problems in our society. Developing a healthy lifestyle and positive association with exercise can help against Obesity, Type II Diabetes, Heart Disease, and Depression as they get older.  In addition to the physical benefits, those that exercise regularly typically have higher self-confidence and a higher sense of self-worth.

Overall, I feel like it should not be a question of “If” someone should invest in youth training, but “When” should they as this is an investment that will pay dividends for the rest of their life.