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gym etiquette

With January on the horizon, the gym will soon be packed to the sweaty brim with new members (and current members showing up more often) fulfilling their New Year’s Resolutions!

The more, the merrier! Let’s welcome them and show them that we know how to be courteous to our fellow members, the gym staff and the gym itself!

Here are a few tips to heed so that you’re not ‘that guy’ or ‘that gal’ at the gym:

gym etiquette
  1. Return Equipment to its Proper Place. – Using free weights? Awesome. Don’t forget to put them back where they belong so the next person doesn’t have to go on a wild goose chase to find them, and so nobody trips over a dumbbell left in the middle of the floor. 
  2. Clean Up After Yourself! – This tip is twofold. Wipe down the equipment after using it to A. clean off the sweat, and B. to stop the spread of germs during cold and flu season.
  3. Be On Top of Your Personal Hygiene – If you haven’t showered in a while before heading to the gym, maybe consider a quick one prior to your workout so the person using the treadmill next to yours doesn’t hightail it out of there when you show up. Also, gym clothes can get pretty funky if you don’t wash them within a reasonable amount of time after your gym session. Don’t forget about them in your gym bag till three days from now!
  4. Sick? Come Back When You Feel Better! – Don’t risk the spread of germs to the other members. Get some rest and get better!
  5. Hang Up Your Phone. – We don’t want/need to hear your conversation with your bff or your mom. Need to keep your phone on for work? That’s cool – just answer it in an isolated area to avoid distracting other members.
  6. Stop the Gym Selfies! – Especially the ones that seem to require clothing removal of any kind. It can be annoying to other members, and they don’t want to inadvertently photobomb you and end up on your Insta feed.
  7. Avoid Grunting/Dropping Weights. – We get it. It’s heavy! No need to announce it to the world. Also, dropping weights can be dangerous and can damage the floors. 
  8. Follow the Gym Rules. – Every gym has their own set of rules. Be sure you are familiar with them!

Can’t get enough of these gym etiquette tips? Don’t fret. Here are some links to other gym etiquette articles that get into even more detail:

Thanksgiving hours

Thanksgiving is around the corner! Please take note of our holiday hours:

Central Square:

  • Wed., Nov. 21 – 6am-8pm

  • THANKSGIVING – Thurs., Nov. 22 – 8am-2pm

  • Fri., Nov. 23 – 8am-8pm


University Park:

  • Wed., Nov. 21 – 9am-5pm

  • THANKSGIVING – Thurs., Nov. 22 – CLOSED

  • Fri., Nov. 23 – 9am-7pm

refer a friend promo

Thankful for your friends this November?

Show them just how much by referring them to VIM during our ‘Refer A Friend Promo!’

So what’s in it for you (and your friend)?

The current member gets 1000 VIM Points

The new member has their initiation fee waived!

Simply have the new member mention or write in the current member’s name on the contract when they sign up!

Offer valid through November 30th.

 

 

sleep is vital for fitness

Too tired and drained of energy to get a good workout in? Sleep is VITAL for fitness!

Turns out, getting enough SLEEP will not only improve how you feel DURING your workout – it also helps you reach your fitness goals WHILE YOU SLEEP!

Check out ‘The Intimate Relationship Between Fitness and Sleep’, written by Ashley Mateo, published on Everyday Health. It is full of reasons why sleep is so important when it comes to fitness and working out. Here are a few of the main takeaways from the article, but if you’re not too tired, it’s definitely worth reading it in its entirety!:

  • 1. Sleep is required to reach goals such as improving cardiovascular health, increasing lean muscle mass and improving endurance, because sleep is when our bodies produce growth hormone to rebuild, repair and recover!

  • 2. Regular exercise helps us sleep by producing more adenosine in the brain.

  • 3. Getting adequate sleep will help you maximize your workout, and not getting enough will make your workouts feel harder.

Tempted to hit snooze in the AM and not sure if another hour of sleep or a workout will benefit you more in the long run?

Well, this article answers that question as well – read it to find the answer!

Need more convincing? See these other related articles:

1. Why Sleep Is the No. 1 Most Important Thing for a Better Body

2. Importance of Sleep in Fitness

3. What You Need to Know About Sleep and Physical Fitness

in-house massage

Sore after your killer workout?

No sweat!

VIM is now offering In-House Massage appointments!

30 min $50
60 min $85
90 min $120

Contact Tyler to book your appointment now!

[contactform email=”tyler@vimfitness.com”]

functional training

You’re Invited to a FREE Functional Training Clinic with VIM Trainer, Quan!

WHEN:
Tuesday, Oct. 2nd @ 11AM and 7:30PM
Friday, Oct. 5th @ 11AM and 7:30PM

WHERE: VIM – Central Square

CLINIC DESCRIPTION:

Join us to learn workout regimen incorporating the whole body system as a single unit, involving multi-joint movements to create a muscle balance/stabilization foundation, which distributes lean muscle growth.

It will address the (pre/post) rehabilitation and conditioning, and will benefit the special populations (those with diabetes, HBP, CVD, and musculoskeletal diseases), by activating and stimulating the repair and facilitating the growth of the major and the supporting small, intricate muscles for ADL(activities of daily living) functionality.

 

bootcamp

Need a little nudge to help you get in shape this Fall?

Okay, how about a BIG nudge?

Sign up for VIM’s Fit for Fall BOOTCAMP!

Bootcamp runs Oct. 15th – Dec. 15th and includes:

  • Unlimited SGT Class
  • Unlimited Team Training
  • Weekly Nutritional Tips
  • Weekly Progressional Home Workouts

Sign up by Sept. 30th for ONLY $249
Sign up between Oct. 1st and 14th for $299

Want in? Get in touch:
[contactform email=”tyler@vimfitness.com”]

diets don't work

Adapted from Victoria Myers of Nourishing Mind Nutrition

On a daily basis I have strangers, friends, family and co-workers share with me the new scheme they are going to use to lose weight.

A new diet. A new food group to avoid. How few calories they are going to eat. How many shakes they are going to drink instead of enjoying a meal.

Maybe even a magical weight loss pill they are going to try. I bet you are even still thinking that you’ll do one more diet, just one last time, and then once you lose the weight you can go back to normal eating.

Keep reading if that is you…

After years of using the same techniques of cutting calories and following diets (unfortunately the techniques we were taught in school to use), I consistently saw that it never, ever worked. Weight loss and “success” would occur at first. For probably the first month, maybe even a few months. Eventually though, it would stop working and there would be no more “willpower” and the weight would come back.

The reality after dieting is that most people gain the weight back and an alarming 40% regain more weight than their initial starting weight. Going on a diet is likely going to increase your chances of gaining weight, not losing it.

Your weight is not calories in versus calories out. It is so much more complex than that.

Today I want to show the SCIENCE behind why diets don’t work. Let’s start first with the largest misconception with diets, that you stop dieting because you lack willpower.

Guess what? In terms of dieting, willpower doesn’t exist.

It is a man made, ego-driven, media-promoted idea that when you stop dieting it was because you are lazy and lack willpower or that you are not strong enough to keep eating your carrot sticks and bland chicken breasts. You do not lack willpower if the ice cream is calling your name at midnight after you have only eaten a diet shake for breakfast, salad for lunch and chicken breast for dinner.
Why doesn’t willpower exist? Because your body has a biological and psychological response to dieting. Studies show that after you diet your body changes in the following ways:

1. Your metabolism slows, taking longer to burn off calories.
Your body is wicked smart. It needs a certain amount of calories just to maintain your organ functions, breathing and bodily functions. Because your body is wicked smart, your metabolism will slow down and your body will learn to live off of fewer calories per day because it wants to STAY ALIVE. Your body doesn’t hate you, it loves you. It is doing what it must to keep all the organs and bodily functions working. Unfortunately, the first bodily functions that stop working properly with calorie restriction is your reproductive system and digestive system. Both are VITAL in a healthy body.

The Biggest Loser study is a new research study that shows how the body and metabolism changes after calorie restriction and dieting. The clients followed a very strict calorie restricted diet and exercise routine and even years after participating in the show, their metabolism was slower than what it should be.

2. Your hormones will change. You will likely still feel hunger after eating.
Studies have shown a hormonal backlash occurs in defense to calorie restriction. Your “hunger hormone” grelin is increased after following a diet. While leptin, the hormone associated with hunger suppression and increasing metabolism, was suppressed. Another 20 hormones associated with hunger levels were also altered after following a diet compared to pre-dieting levels (read more in this study).

3. Food becomes more tempting.
Food preoccupies your mind, becomes more tempting and you cannot stop thinking about it. Your dopamine response to food alters and eating becomes more rewarding. From a biological standpoint, this is how your body fights to stay alive. Your body has a natural response (through the mechanisms described above) to keep working. This is how thousands of years ago we survived states of starvation. In today’s world, we have chronic starvation because we are constantly restricting or calculating how many calories we are supposed to eat (rather than have our bodies tell us how much we need).

From a psychological response, diets don’t work because restriction and deprivation never work. How many times have you told yourself that you are not allowed to eat the cookie? And once you “gave in” you ate at least double the amount you had planned on eating? Restriction leads to deprivation which leads to overeating which leads to guilt and then the restriction begins again. You have to stop placing foods off limits and stop restricting in order to stop overeating.

Your genetics play a large role in your size and weight. You have a set point (of about 15-20 lb range) that your weight will stay, no matter your conscious feeling of what you feel you should weigh. Instead of fighting our set points, let’s celebrate them.

Let’s normalize all body types, sizes, shapes and forms. We are all uniquely different, which makes of us each so beautiful- don’t you think?


If you have a go-to lunch, feel free to share it in the comments!


VIM is now offering nutrition services with Trainer & Nutrition Coach, Christine Galvin!

Click below to find out how you can benefit from 1 on 1 Nutrition Coaching!

[button link=”https://vimfitness.com/nutrition/” text=”LEARN MORE” color=”green” size=”large” fullwidth=”true”]

 

skyr

On my recent visit to Iceland, I was able to survey many of the traditional Icelandic foods.

Icelandic lamb or fish stew was offered everywhere for lunch, but I preferred the vegetable option with unlimited homemade bread. The breads, pastries and coffee, all clearly labeled when vegan friendly, kept me full and energized. However, one of the most delicious traditional Icelandic offering was skyr.

Icelanders are wild about skyr—pronounced “skeer,” not “sky.”

They eat it for breakfast, grab one for a quick snack, or use it as the base of decadent desserts with local berries. The Vikings brought skyr to Iceland more than 1,100 years ago. This fermented dairy product was once popular throughout Scandinavia, but in Iceland, it has become one of the nation’s most treasured foods and cultural icons. The writers of the Icelandic sagas mentioned skyr in their myths, and an ancient jar with residue from a batch thought to be more than 1,000 years old is displayed in the country’s National Museum.

Initially, however, the skyr itself wasn’t the goal of the fermentation of the milk—it was the whey the Vikings were after. This acidic liquid was used to preserve meat, but the creamy, filling skyr soon became star of the process. Though first made with raw sheep’s milk, much of the skyr found on shelves today is made with cow’s milk. Since the original recipe involved separating the fat out of the milk for butter before making skyr, most producers today use skim or low-fat milk to make skyr naturally low in fat.

The fruit flavors are the most popular today, but some people still prefer plain. Traditional skyr is definitely more sour than the fruit-flavored ones, but it’s lower in sugar and an excellent source of protein. Like Greek yogurt skyr is thick, but it’s actually considered a fresh, acid-set cheese, like quark or fromage blanc. One of the differentiating factors between the two foods is bacteria. The label “yogurt” applies to products made with either Streptococcus thermophilus or Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus, whereas skyr is made with a wider variety than just these two bacteria. The other difference is the straining step. Yogurt is good to go after fermentation is complete, but to finish a batch of skyr requires straining it through a cloth or using a centrifuge to separate out the whey and concentrate the protein. This straining is what makes for such a thick result. The resulting skyr is virtually fat-free, low-calorie and high in protein.

Whether it’s called cheese or yogurt doesn’t change skyr’s place in the hearts of the Icelanders.

From cameos in the sagas to the present-day invasion of Whole Foods’ dairy cases, despite some of the exotic foods visitors associate with Iceland (putrefied shark, anyone? smoked puffin?), the most Icelandic cuisine of them all is a humble dish of skyr.


If you have a go-to lunch, feel free to share it in the comments!


VIM is now offering nutrition services with Trainer & Nutrition Coach, Christine Galvin!

Click below to find out how you can benefit from 1 on 1 Nutrition Coaching!

[button link=”https://vimfitness.com/nutrition/” text=”LEARN MORE” color=”green” size=”large” fullwidth=”true”]

 

healthy gut

Adapted from IDEA Health & Fitness Association

If your gut is in a rut, chances are your health is suffering, too.

The gut, also known as the gastrointestinal (or GI) tract, hosts trillions of bacteria that can have profound effects on digestive health and overall wellness. It’s a good idea to consume prebiotics and probiotics—dietary dynamos that work in concert to populate the gut with “microflora” that keep you healthy.

Eating a variety of prebiotic-rich vegetables and probiotic fermented foods every day may improve mood, reduce cholesterol and promote weight loss. It even helps build immunity and protect you from unwanted gut visitors, as your Gut health is one of the most important aspects of your body to consider. Here’s how you can help.

Prebiotics: Fuel for Your Flora

Prebiotics are naturally occurring nondigestible carbohydrates, or soluble fibers, that nourish the growth of specific beneficial bacteria. All prebiotics are fiber, but not all fibers are prebiotics. When prebiotics ferment in the intestines, they release fuel that enables friendly bacteria like Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria to thrive.

The health benefits of prebiotics are still being investigated, but studies suggest they can:

• reduce the prevalence and duration of infectious, traveler’s and antibiotic-associated diarrhea (Slavin 2013);
• reduce inflammation and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (Slavin 2013); and
• protect against colon cancer (Slavin 2013).

Probiotics: Alive and Well

Probiotics are live, active bacteria and/or yeasts. The most common strains of probiotic bacteria are the Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria families, which use lactose to prevent harmful bacteria growth, compete with bad bugs for nutrients, and alter intestinal pH to tackle bacterial villains (like diarrhea-producing Clostridium difficile) that thrive in a neutral pH environment. Friendly bacteria also stimulate the immune system (Sommer & Bäckhed 2013).

Weight loss and prevention of obesity are linked to consumption of probiotics (Million et al. 2013), that’s why it might be worthwhile considering adding probiotics, you can take a look at these recommended daily probiotics to help you make a decision. Beneficial bacteria may also improve athletic performance (West et al. 2009) and reduce anxiety (Tillisch et al. 2013).

What to Eat, Prebiotics:

  • Raw chicory root – Used as a coffee replacement, this root provides the most prebiotic of any food.
  • Jerusalem artichoke – Also called “sunchokes,” these tuber-like veggies have a potato-like texture and look like ginger roots.
  • Raw dandelion greens – Available from organic markets, these greens have a bitter taste and can be tossed into a salad.
  • Raw leeks – Similar to onions, leeks are a great addition to salads.
  • Raw onions – Prebiotic content may vary with the variety of onion.

What to Eat, Probiotics:

  • Yogurt – Only yogurts stamped with the “Live & Active Cultures” seal are guaranteed to contain beneficial bacteria like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria.
  • Sauerkraut – Fermented cabbage is a great source of probiotics. Look for the unpasteurized type, as pasteurization kills some friendly bacteria.
  • Miso – This fermented soybean paste, popular in Japanese soups, is thought to contain over 160 bacterial strains that boost probiotic diversity in the gut.
  • Kombucha tea – This highly acidic fermented tea has a vinegar taste and smell with a slight fizz. It’s all over instagram, too!

References
Million, M., et al. 2013. Gut bacterial microbiota and obesity. Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 19 (4), 305–13.
Slavin, J. 2013. Fiber and prebiotics: Mechanisms and health benefits. Nutrients, 5 (4), 1417–35.
Sommer, F., & Bäckhed, F. 2013. The gut microbiota— masters of host development and physiology. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 11 (4), 227–38.
Tillisch, K., et al. 2013. Consumption of fermented milk product with probiotic modulates brain activity. Gastroenterology, 144 (7), 1394–1401.
Van Loo, J., et al. 1995. On the presence of inulin and oligofructose as natural ingredients in the Western diet. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 35 (6), 525–52.
West, N.P., et al. 2009. Probiotics, immunity and exercise: A review. Exercise Immunology Review, 15, 107–26.


VIM is now offering nutrition services with Trainer & Nutrition Coach, Christine Galvin!

Click below to find out how you can benefit from 1 on 1 Nutrition Coaching!

[button link=”https://vimfitness.com/nutrition/” text=”LEARN MORE” color=”green” size=”large” fullwidth=”true”]