The people who walk into TruFit’s doors are an adventurous bunch. Our community has trained here in preparation to hike through England, Switzerland, Alaska, New Zealand. Our clients have also gotten strong enough to hike Yellowstone after a stroke and some have trained to hike up and down their own stairs after double knee replacements.
So, yeah, we know a thing or two about getting people ready for lots of strenuous activity.
The fall weather is starting to settle in which means our outdoorsy friends are getting in all of the camping and hiking they can before winter comes. And while you can do all the work ahead of your trip to make sure you're ready to climb and get your heart rate up, it's still going to be important to let your body prepare for and calm down from the day's activities!
Here are five seemingly simple movements that have big effects on your body that you can do in a tiny space (like your tent!). Try these in order before you start your day and reverse the order before going to bed!
1. Turtle Breathing
Channel your inner turtle: Get onto your hands and knees with hips either on top of knees or sitting back toward feet and shoulders on top of elbows. It’s easy to collapse into your shoulder blades and look down but try not to do that; you want shoulders away from your ears and your eyes on the horizon. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth as you breathe in and out through your nose. Feel your breath fill up not just the front of your stomach but your sides and back, too. Breathe in for 5 seconds and exhale for 6-7 seconds. Do this for two minutes.
2. Neck Nods and Look-Arounds
Set yourself up in a sphinx position with your elbows under or slightly ahead of your shoulders and your shoulders away from your ears. If you feel a lot of back pinchiness, feel free to scoot your arms a little further forward. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth as you breathe in and out through your nose. Look up at the ceiling with your eyes and let your head follow. Then, look downward to your belly button and let your head follow. Repeat 10 times or so at a nice, slow pace. Then, look over your shoulder to see what’s behind you (a bear?!). A lot of times we want to look downward as we look around but really try to look up and over those shoulders. Your eyes start and then let your head follow and then let your spine follow after that. Repeat this about 10 times or so.
3. Shinbox-Position Hip Rotations
Sit tall with one leg bent in front of you and one behind you. I typically teach this with both knees at 90 degrees to help stretch out the glute more but the point of this shinbox exercise is for your long leg bone to rotate internally and externally in your hip socket. Place your hand on your back hip and then, using your eyes, look over your shoulder and behind you as the back hip rotates inward; then look over your other shoulder as that back hip rotates outward. This does not have to be a big movement at all but you want to feel as though that leg bone is gliding and mobilizing. Do this for 30-60s on each side
4. Lego Rockbacks
You’ll not only be connecting your hips with your shoulders with Lego Rockbacks but you’ll also be adding LOTS of movement through your ankles and toes. The foot has 26 bones and 33 joints so you can imagine how thankful your feet (and the rest of your body!) will be to get so much love and attention after being stuck in hiking boots all day. Do 10 or so on each side.
5. Walking Dead Bugs
Lay on your back with your arms and legs up, knees bent (as much as you can depending on what your tent allows…) Extend one leg and your opposite arm down in the same direction and then bring them back up. Alternate sides. You want to keep your ribcage pressed against the ground during the whole exercise. Also keep the arm that isn't moving reaching up to the sky; it's common to let that arm move, too. Do this 6-8 times on each side.
We hope this has been helpful to power your body up, power it down and let you hike to your heart's content. If you have any questions and/or want to meet with a TruFit trainer, please leave us a comment below, email us, call or text us!
If you wake up, step out of bed onto the floor and scream from a searing pain that's burning up the bottom of your foot, you may be suffering from one of THE most annoying body buggers of all time: Plantar Fasciitis. If you have NOT been afflicted with PF in your life, consider yourself fortunate and know that this post is still for you!
Here are some fun Plantar Fasciitis (PF) facts featured in this article from a large national survey taken in 2013:
Y'all: The weather is finally nice enough to walk/run/bike/play outside in. Do you want PF to stand in your way of living your best life?
We didn't think so.
First things first: We are not doctors. We are not diagnosing anyone. We are not prescribing anything at all.
We also know that the resets below from Original Strength are amazing in and of themselves, whether you have PF or are hoping to prevent it. You can do one reset or all four in a row! Do the resets for 30 seconds or two minutes! You can even check out trainer Kathryn's own foot-happy resets that she shared with us here! See what helps YOU feel better because you are an individual who might react really well to one thing and less to another!
Without further ado, here is a short routine to help your body and feet get along with each other again!
SINGLE LEG ROCKBACKS
WHY?: Because rockbacks connect the shoulders to the hips and when we're not feeling great, it can feel like our body gets disconnected. An added bonus to this particular rockback variation is that we're adding leg extension with dorsiflextion for an added foot/calf stretch which, whether or not you have PF, can feel super yummy.
WHY?: Like every other rockback variation, we're still connecting hips with shoulders but we're also adding LOTS of movement through the ankles and toes. The foot has 26 bones and 33 joints and when our plantar fascia is all gunked up and stuck, our poor foot's actually screaming out for locomotion. So let's give it just that!
WHY?: If you read our post from "National I Love My Feet Day" (you KNOW we celebrated that day!), then you'll know that the fascia that runs under our feet goes all the way up our calves, hamstrings and keeps traveling until it goes over our head and into our eye sockets. Everything is connected so why not give all the nerve endings in the back of your body some love with this reset? And just remember: The site of pain is often not the cause of pain so don't forget about the rest of your body parts.
WHY?: We can get really down on ourselves when it hurts to load our bodies vertically (like, when we're walking or running or squatting at the gym). We're throwing this reset into the mix to throw in a little challenge into the mix! We're still extending the undersides of our feet here, which can feel good, and we're also adding load (our body weight)! So we're not just moving to feel better but we're also continuing to get stronger!
Injuries can hold us back for a variety of reasons. So can the FEAR of injury. Let's agree, though, that if we don't move it, we lose it. We hope these OS resets help you feel good/better/the best!
Tried these out? Have other movements that helped you out? Let us know in the comments below!
Warmer temps are upon us and that means picnics, baseball games, neighborhood block parties, street festivals, hanging out at the beach, dining outside…
For some, this also means it’s the season for rosé and margaritas and ice-cold beer. Yes, summer can be a veritable smorgasbord of sweet and boozy sippers, and we can have them readily available on ice, frozen, even served in "bottomless" quantities (gulp)!
Enjoying indulgent summer drinks can be a lovely bonus to good weather and good times, but are there non-alcoholic cold beverages that can feel similarly delicious and celebratory? Ones that provide more hydration, less calories and sugar, and even have health benefits?
This is what we asked the TruFit trainer crew and here were their three favorite go-tos:
1) ICED TEA
Walking through the tea isle at the grocery store is like walking through a rainbow of flavor options. You've got your Earl Greys and Oolongs AND you've got Sugar Cookie and Black Cherry Berry. The options are endless and creativity with your iced tea flavors can leave you feeling like a little kid!
Trainer Megan's favorite: Making her own blend by taking black tea bags and raspberry tea bags and brewing them together! Boil some water and steep 2 bags of each flavor for at least five minutes; the longer the steep, the stronger the taste. It's OK to get a strong, punchy flavor if you plan on serving the tea over ice!
Kombucha has been around a long time (according to Wikipedia that means anywhere from 200-2,000 years) but has taken over the local market in recent years! The pros:
HEALTH BENEFITS. "It's fermented," explains Evanston's own Chiropractic First owner Dr. Meggie Smith. "So you get all of the microbiome benefits of fermented foods which can be good for GI, skin, digestion, etc."
FIZZY & COMPLEX. Thanks to its fermentation giving it some fizziness, it can feel like you're enjoying something close to a soda or beer (and, yes, I did say fermentation and, yes, kombucha does have a tiny amount of alcohol content but it's usually closer to 0.5% vs around the 6ish% found in craft beer, which is why anyone can buy it at the store).
Note: Dr. Meggie says kombucha helped her kick her 20-year soda addiction!
FUN FLAVORS. Since it IS so popular, many kombucha makers are coming out with lots of different flavors to distinguish themselves. Local Evanston family-owned Kombucha Brava has flavors like Vanilla Pepper and Apple Carrot Ginger! Trainer Kathryn loves Cardamom Mint for its light and refreshing flavor as well as the Lemon Ginger flavor.
If you live in Evanston, you can check out Kombucha Brava at its own tasting room as well as the Evanston Farmer's Market, to name a couple spots!
3) INFUSED WATER
Bottle and canned water companies have tried REALLY hard to make water more exciting, but let's face it: Sometimes we still need to intervene to help us get those 8 glasses every day.
Just like brewing your own flavor of iced tea, creativity is your only limiting factor when coming up with what to slice up and put into your water!
So grab a few of the following ingredients and get hydrated!:
- Cucumber and mint
- Jalapeno and strawberry
- Orange and a cinnamon stick
- Blueberry and basil
Marketing coordinator Allison's current fav (pictured above): Fruity La Croix Spritz
The Power of Fun Glassware
Sometimes the easiest way to dress up a beverage (and any food for that matter) is to put it in a fun, attractive container! Serving up your non-alcoholic beverages in special glassware can make it more, well...special! Try sipping one of our three favorite non-alcoholic summer drinks in a crystal tumbler, wine glass, or quaint decorative juice glass to add instant flair.
We hope these summer beverage ideas help jog your own drink creativity and experimentation! What are some of YOUR go-to non-alcoholic and low-cal drinks for summer? We'd love to hear in the comments below!
As personal trainers, we encourage our clients to move a little bit every day. We're also human; we know that time is precious and we might not have the luxury of spending it at the gym most days.
We ALSO know that just because you can’t make it to the gym, it doesn’t mean you can’t get SOMETHING in!
Exercise does not have to be 60 minutes, all or nothing. Exercise is movement, and movement can happen any time, anywhere (so, even at home), for any amount of time.
We have plenty of ordinary objects at home that can be turned into surprisingly effective exercise equipment. Some of the TruFit trainers do or used to train people in their homes; Izzy remembers a day when she needed to improvise in someone’s kitchen, only using objects in that room: "Other than bodyweight, we used a gallon of milk (8 lbs), soup cans (2 lbs each), and towels."
We’ve demonstrated a few of our favorite things to do with furniture sliders (especially useful if you have carpet) here and here. But here are four other moves you can try out with towels, something every home has!
You can even put them all together to make a quick towel workout circuit! See? We love you all so much we took away any excuse NOT to move. ;)
Enjoy the four towel exercise videos below!
1) Towel Mountain Climbers
2) Towel Reverse Lunges
3) Towel Russian Twists
4) One-Arm Sliding Towel Pushups
We hope this towel workout was helpful, and inspires you to play around with movement in places other than the gym.
If you try these towel exercises, or do the full towel workout, let us know in the comments below!
Have questions? Don't hesitate to get in touch at email@example.com!
They say abs are made in the kitchen and we can assure you: It's pretty much true. You cannot out-run/out-squat/out-bench a less-than-savory diet if your goals involve weight loss or fat loss. You cannot expect six-pack abs to come in 10 days (sorry, Pinterest lovers).
We may have begun exercising to start reaching our goals. That's already HUGE. Then we muster the courage to confront our nutrition, so we look for help and guidance and see things like this:
Rather than digging through endless Google results of fitness myths vs truths and random info, we're here to (hopefully) make the question of "what to eat" a little more simple.
It doesn't require getting a food calculator out. And it doesn't require eliminating certain kinds of food* from your diet (I mean, you knew there would be an asterisk there, right?). Are you ready?
4 (Preliminary) Steps for Easier Meal Prep
First, here are 4 preliminary steps for easier meal prep. I say "preliminary" in case this whole thing is totally new to you. You have to start somewhere and this is pretty much Ground Zero:
If all of the above is already pretty doable for you and you'd like to take it to the next level, read on!
4 Steps to Plate Portions for Weight Loss
Here are the 4 steps to building a better plate that can get you closer to feeling and looking great:
What might that look like? Let's take a look...
The exact amount of food you'll need will be dependent on your own body's metabolism, your lifestyle, and your goals of course, but we feel like this is the best place to start.
For more help maneuvering through your nutrition and exercise, don't hesitate to contact us! We're here to help.
* If meal prepping is new to you and you hate cooking but want to dial down portion sizes, go for it! We are all about making things easy--don't feel like you have to eliminate foods. That being said, if your goal is to lose weight and/or fat, please keep in mind the following facts:
** If you cook with oil or butter and are looking to lose weight or lean out, use caution with this step. For example, dressing your salad with about 1 Tbsp of olive oil counts as your healthy fat, so adding avocado or cheese to that salad may be a calorie bomb. Similarly, sautéing those greens in 1 Tbsp of olive oil counts as your healthy fat. Bottom line: Be thoughtful with your healthy fats :)
“My dad had a fall the other day. He was walking down the street and suddenly felt weak. His legs failed underneath him and he found himself on the ground. It was really scary.” This was a story one of our TruFit clients was telling me the other day. Luckily he did not hurt himself badly and he’s getting checked out by doctors. Being a super amazing daughter, our client accompanied him and her mom to her father’s rehab doctor appointment. “Doctor," she said, "do you have any suggestions for my parents about how to get back up from the ground if they fall?”
Falling is one of the biggest fears among people with lots of life experience. When we were young, we were always on the ground! Obviously we were much shorter and the ground wasn’t that far away. Still, as we age we spend more and more time in a chair, car seat, on the couch, laying in a bed... until suddenly there is no reason for us to get all the way down to the ground anymore.
Most clients at TruFit Evanston are over the age of 50. To be incredibly clear: 50 is by far not what we consider “old,” but it does seem to mark a turning point when our goals go from, “I want to train to lose weight and look better,” to “I want to make sure I can play with my grandkids, travel, not be in pain, and not need a hip replacement”.
There’s this notion that aging equals more aches, pains, and falls; more things “breaking down”; brittle bones and loss of balance. Fears begin to develop--of falling, tripping, lifting things the wrong way. That fear can keep us from moving and training for life, and then we create stories about how weak we feel and we believe the stories. We might have seen our parents and grandparents age this way and accept that this is our future, too. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Wear and tear happens. Falls happen. The worst thing we can do is STOP MOVING for fear of moving wrong and not getting up when we fall.
I asked our awesome trainers at TruFit what the most important training ingredients for thriving over 50 are, and here’s what we came up with:
Becoming friends with the floor
At TruFit, you're likely to see people crawling; rocking and rolling around on the floor; lunging using the TRX suspension equipment or the aid of a bench to hold onto. Evanston is filled with a very active population that loves adventure, and each one of us programs exercises to help our clients feel more fearless.
The following five exercises will help get you strong and confident enough to go down to the ground and get back up. It might be easy for some and challenging for others.
No matter where you are on the continuum, it is ALWAYS a good idea to just move.
The more you move, the more confidence you cultivate. The more confidence you gain, the more confident your gait. The better your movement, the more easily you will get back up after falling down.
Each of these five exercises combines at least two of the aforementioned ingredients: balance, strength, mobility, and becoming friends with the floor. Give them a try!
1) Cross Crawls
This exercise -- which can be done any number of ways -- looks simple but the benefits you can reap are plentiful. Whenever you cross one part of your body past the mid-line of your body, both hemispheres of your brain get to work together. Since we live mainly in a back and forth world, imagine how much your brain lights up with new patterns! Thanks, neuroplasticity!
Why we do this:
If you are someone who struggles with balance or if your nervous system is compromised for any reason, this exercise can do wonders. Anecdotally, people who live with Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, or who have suffered from a stroke have felt improvement with walking, for example. We do this to strengthen the way our brain and body communicate, and if you want to build up to better movement, start here.
How to do this:
Start wherever you can -- in bed, in a chair, standing, wherever -- and touch your hand to your opposite leg or knee (or foot or shin!). Alternate sides and do this 10-15 times on each side!
As babies, we rocked as a precursor to crawling, which helped us develop our gait pattern (the way we walk)! Rocking also helped our spines develop their S curve! AND: Rocking gets our shoulders and hips working and moving together. Rocking is, essentially, the best.
Why we do this:
Beyond the above, rocking also provides us with nice, gentle strength training. It works core stability, lats, triceps; it mimics doing a deep squat while putting your body in a position your nervous system translates as safe. It's also incredibly soothing. For those with arthritis in their knees, it can be really good to gently move the knee joint into deeper flexion, too, as long as you're not experiencing pain!
How to do this:
Get onto your hands and knees, with hands right under shoulders and knees right under hips. You can do this on the floor if you're comfortable, or on your bed. Keeping your eyes looking forward, shift your weight back towards your heels keeping your spine as neutral and quiet as possible. Rock back and forth (or even side to side or circularly!) and breathe!
If you can't get on all fours, try out the rockback the way Nicole demonstrates it in the video, with hands up on a chair and knees off the ground.
3) Kid Crawls
Babies learn to crawl before they walk because it helped them establish their gait pattern (the way they walk). Now, we underestimate the great feats of strength babies do all the time. Their heads are 1/4 their size and up to 33% of their body weight...and they CRAWL with that huge head!
Why we do this:
Rocking is strength training so it's no surprise crawling is, too. It can even be gentle cardio! Also, should you find yourself on the ground from a fall, knowing how to crawl to an object that will help you pull yourself up is paramount.
How to do this:
Get onto your hands and knees, with hands right under shoulders and knees right under hips. Point your feet so the tops of your feet are on the ground; you'll be dragging them behind you. Now, take a step forward with your arm and opposite leg; try to pick them up and put them down at the same time. Then switch sides. Keep crawling forwards as long as you'd like and then try going backwards! Things to remember: Look straight ahead and breathe! It's surprising how easy it is to hold your breath on this one.
4) Assisted Reverse Lunges:
When we talk about getting up and down from the ground, the lunge tends to be the most efficient way to do this with control.
Why we do this:
Not only is the lunge a really great strengthener for the thighs and glutes, it lets you practice your balance. And for those with bad backs, the lunge allows you to get down to the ground and back up without bending forward into flexion.
How we do this:
If you're new to lunges, start doing these using a sturdy chair or back of a couch and work up to getting your back knee to the floor. You can also use a small pillow to place your knee on as you lunge down. We like this method because it makes you pick your feet up higher, which, side note, is critical to avoid tripping and falling.
Step back with your leg and actively pull yourself down toward the ground. Then, push through your whole front foot and your back toes to step back up to a standing position.
The more you practice this exercise, the less assistance you may need to get back up.
5) Get Down, Get Up!
Here's where we practice getting down to the floor and standing back up. The best part: There is no "right" or "wrong" way to do this.
Why we do this:
Here we get to combine all of the important ingredients to training over 50: Balance, strength, mobility, and being friends with the floor. Kids have so much fun rolling around on the ground; maybe we can remember how fun it is to move! More importantly, the longer we perceive the ground as a threat, the more fear our bodies will carry. When our nervous system feels fear, it will move differently and this can do more bad than good.
How we do this:
As we mentioned, there isn't really a bad or wrong way to do this exercise. Just experiment! What are the myriad ways we can get up and down? Coach Nicole has some tips to share:
1. When initially getting up, rotate to your side. We think we need to get up by flexing our torsos forward when that might not be the best idea for our backs. So have fun with a little rotation!
2. Play around with how to make this more challenging: Don't use your hands; do this with one hand in your back pocket or holding your knee.
3. Have fun!
Practice some or all of these every day and watch your movement quality get and feel better and better.
This was just a tiny introduction to some of the ways we get y'all strong. It's not your typical "squat and bench press" recipe (although we do a lot of those, too). But we're not your typical gym, either. ;)
If you and/or a loved one have any questions or comments about the above, please leave them in the comments section below. And if you'd prefer to speak to any of us at TruFit, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 312-497-8999.
So you’ve joined a gym, become a member at a studio, hired a personal trainer (woohoo), or started training for your first 5k! You’ve got goals and you’ll exercise your way to reaching them!
Except that, after initially seeing some results, you’ve now hit a plateau of some sort. Maybe you lost some weight, stopped feeling as winded going up stairs, or cranked out your first proper pushup! But suddenly your progress (and the celebration) stalled.
Some TruFit Evanston personal trainers weigh in...
You’re working out harder than you have in a long time, and you are feeling great... and more peckish than usual. That’s normal. The more calories you expend the more your system is going to alert you that you feel hungry. The body does NOT like change and it will have no qualms telling you you’re messing up its equilibrium.
If your goal is weight loss, this more frequent desire for food can be tricky. Hunger means it’s time to eat, right? Well, yes, but trying to lose weight also means having to take in less calories, since exercise alone won't necessarily do it. This means hunger will need to be a more frequent sensation as your body adapts to less food and more movement.
“We can fall into the trap of thinking, ‘Well, I worked out today so these Oreos aren’t going to do much,’” says coach Izzy. “Remember: Weight loss will only happen with a calorie deficit, so your body won’t care if you’re eating only Oreos or an equal caloric amount of apples. The ‘I can burn this off with exercise’ game will end with you losing the game, not losing the weight.”
The fix: Be aware and honest about what you’re taking in. Exercise to build lean muscles and to move and feel better; eat properly to lose the body fat and excess weight.
When one person makes the awesome decision to live a healthier lifestyle, it can be challenging for those around that person to offer support. “I have one client whose family makes fun of how clean she now eats and actively tries to sabotage her diet,” says coach Sarah Laspas. Whether your friends and family are shaming your new habits and behavior, or simply do not want to participate or offer encouragement, the lack of support is just another barrier you have to overcome.
The fix: Having honest and open conversations with those around you about your new lifestyle is crucial. By communicating what your goals are, why you're making these choices, and how important this is to you, it might help bridge the understanding gap. Also, letting them know how they can help, even in small ways (e.g. "Please do not offer me any Oreos for dessert"), might be eye-opening for them. You’re not asking them to adopt your new habits; you’re asking them to respect your needs and wishes. And if they can’t do it, it might be time to evaluate some things (like whether joining this person for dinner next week will feel helpful or harmful).
Alternatively: “Be up front by telling them whatever food they (the unsupportive person or persons) are pushing on you just doesn’t make you feel good,” offers Sarah. “Whenever anyone gives me a hard time for ordering a salad or whatever when we’re out to eat--and won’t give it a rest--I just say that my body craves XYZ now, and when I don’t eat enough of it, I get constipated. It's likely the truth anyway, and it usually ends the annoying encounter immediately, because people hate talking about poop. 😝”
In the meantime, you can find support in a number of ways! Gyms and studios, like TruFit, have been focusing more and more on community-building because one of the cornerstones for success is surrounding yourself with people who have shared values. There are also countless groups on Facebook, Weight Watchers, and the like who offer support among members. You could also check out cooking classes, meetups, or special events where you might connect with people who share your goals and interests.
A lot of people talk about nutrition needs when trying to lose weight, but it’s not so common to talk about how difficult it can be to build bulk in the form of muscle.
Protein helps build bigger muscles and, in order to do that, the commonly-accepted calculation for how much protein you need is 1g of protein per pound of your body weight. Says trainer Marco Gonzalez, “Usually clients expect to bulk only with muscle, and get frustrated if they are gaining some fat too. But that is normal.”
The fix: Marco explains, “Finding the right macro ratios is the key to minimizing the amount of fat they can also gain.” This means finding out how many calories you should eat per day, and how much within that number should be allotted to protein, to fat, and to carbohydrates. Apps like MyFitnessPal, MyPlate, and Fitocracy Macros can help.
If you’re more of a beginner, or tracking calories and macros isn’t your thing, keep this in mind: The cleaner you eat, the leaner you’ll be. Yep, it’s kind of that simple. That being said, you can use a cheat sheet like this to see roughly how much you should be eating, and of what. (Seriously; this infographic is the absolute best at straightforwardly showing you what to do and correctly managing expectations.)
“The mentality of being on a vacation or work trip is that all ‘rules’ are out,” says trainer Mary Cox. So that means exercise goes out the door while lots of calorie-dense meals and drinks go in. If going out of town is a rarity, or if the trip is a once-in-a-lifetime event, thoroughly enjoying the culture of food and beverages at your destination is part of enjoying the trip, and as long as you come home and return to your regular habits, no major "damage" will have been done.
BUT, if travel is something that happens more than a handful of times per year, all of the above can easily accumulate into a few extra pounds of body fat per year. This can be why some of us are flabbergasted when we “suddenly” weigh 10 more pounds than we did five years ago: It creeps up over time, from treating out-of-town occasions like they’re the last time we’ll ever be able to eat and drink again.
The fix: “What if the ‘rules’ aren’t rules, but a way of life because you get to feel good doing it?” asks Mary. “What if you could enjoy the meals out AND ate less than the whole plate? What if you woke up a little earlier to get your exercise in because it’s just part of who you are or strive to be?”
Living a healthy lifestyle and reaching for those fitness goals we set for ourselves can be hard work. At the end of the day, though, that lifestyle should be led in a way that YOU identify with and enjoy. Setting that lifestyle up can take some honest conversations with yourself, with your family and loved ones, and, if you have one, with your personal trainer and fitness coach.
If you need a little bit of help along the way, please feel free to reach out to us and we can help you find the right trainer and coach to get you past that plateau!
Have you overcome some plateaus yourself? Tell us how in the comments below!
Friends! 2019 is SO close! While this is a time of reflection for a lot of people, to create goals and resolutions for the new year, my hope to y'all is that just as much time -- if not more -- is spent really celebrating the accomplishments and wins you accumulated in 2018. It's so easy to reflect on what we DIDN'T do or accomplish. But imagine what might happen if we start to add up all of the positive things that DID happen!
On that note, please let me indulge in some of TruFit's biggest highlights of 2018!
Let's take a moment to look at some of our favorite white boards of 2018, shall we?
I'll start back in 2012 when IzzyFit started training at the TruFit, back when the super-wonderful Meg Buckland owned the gym. What I loved the most about the space was how down-to-earth and friendly people were, from the trainers to clients, from our cleaning maestro Arturo to our towel dude Mike. It really did always feel like Cheers, where everybody knows your name and they’re always glad you came. But instead of beer we serve squats!
When I took over in December of 2016, my biggest concern was that this really special feeling might go away. 2016 saw a handful of trainers move on and, with them, some of their clients. We’ve had a lot of new awesome trainers start these last two years and with them, new clients! And through it all, especially as I write this, the biggest highlight for me looking back over these last twelve months has been this community we’ve been able to cultivate at the gym: Where everybody knows your name (for the most part, we really try!…), and we’re always glad you came. Where we ask each other how our kids, partners, pets and parents are and really do care about the answer. Some of our parents are even CLIENTS this gym!
I am grateful every single day for the TruFit trainers and all of the clients that walk through the door.
BUT THERE'S MORE! Here are other super awesome highlights from this past year:
We hosted three drives this year:
A clothing drive benefitting ESCCA, the YWCA and Family Focus!
A diaper drive benefitting the Bundled Blessings Diaper Pantry!
A sneaker drive for Reuse-a-Shoe!
We hosted a women’s self defense workshop for the YWCA! Thanks, IMPACT and our awesome instructors Michelle and Aaron!
We threw (and Symphony taught!) a dance party at Evanston SPACE to raise money for Evanston Scholars!
Marco hosted a boot camp and taco party (!!!) to raise money for St. Mary's Services!
We held a pushup challenge throughout October to benefit the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force!
In all, we raised $3336 and volunteered 75 hours. And while I know some believe it's tacky to talk about money raised and hours spent volunteering, I do this to demonstrate the power of community and that small steps taken collectively can make big changes. Health and strength have a greater purpose. Thank you to everyone who participated, planned and got their friends involved!
TruFit got to host a continuing education workshop for trainers and non-trainers alike with Original Strength. It was a HUGE honor for me to be Dani's assistant and a thrill to have 18 other people in the room who wanted to learn new ways to move and feel better. Fingers crossed that we host another workshop in 2019! Stay tuned :)
We trainers met quarterly this year so we could all get on the same page about TruFit opportunities and issues and take time to learn from each other. Even though I know no one likes meetings (grumble grumble), I’m adding them to MY list of highlights because, it’s only thanks to the trainers’ dedication and commitment to their own businesses and the space they train in that we can better serve our clients. Plus, it was fun having a winter and summer party and seeing each other outside the gym.
A LOT of TruFit babies we born this year! Trainer Frank and wife Rebel welcomed baby Kace. Client Maria and husband JC welcomed baby Matias. And client Mollie and husband Ricky welcomed baby Alex (our own Norm!) who often works out with mom!
Needless to say, there was a lot to celebrate in 2018 and you can trust that we'll work hard to create moments to cheer for in 2019. We hope you will be right along side us.
Cheers to a health-filled 2019!
It’s holiday gift-giving time again and, whether you’re looking for a holiday gift for the fitness lover in your life or you’re thinking ahead for that person’s birthday (since we CLEARLY missed Hanukkah this year, ack!), we’ve got some ideas for you!
Here are our Top 7 Fitness-Centric Gift Ideas!
This gift is perfect for the person who always wants to do something new and fun; the person who wants to work out on their own but doesn’t know what to do; the person that travels a lot; the person who has a trainer and the one who doesn't; heck, it’s great for the whole family!
ORIGINAL STRENGTH DVD!
If your loved one can’t work directly with someone certified by Original Strength at TruFit (Kathryn, Nicole, Sarah or Izzy) and needs to learn how to move and feel better due to injury or life, this DVD is a GREAT starting point. TruFit owner Izzy got this for her own mom!
Zappos Gift Card:
We should be changing our training shoes out more often than we think. Trainer Brian Kirshenbaum says, "The general rule of thumb for running shoes has always been 6 to 8 months depending upon how high your running mileage is. In my opinion, any shoes you train in regularly in any mode should never have a birthday." Training shoes should be helping your loved one move forwards, backwards and side-to-side without their foot sliding around in it or forcing their foot into pronation or supination. A gift certificate from zappos.com or your local athletic shoe store is the answer for anyone who trains!
Doing a pullup is on a lot of people’s wish list but the pullup (and the drills and exercises that help you get to your first one) is probably the exercise that needs the most practice to achieve. If your loved one can’t get to a pullup bar at the gym to get that practice in multiple times per week, this pullup bar might be the perfect answer! The best part: No drilling is required and it’s easy to take on and off of a door frame.
Do you have a loved one who is 1. busy, 2. wants to make nutritious food for themselves and 3. doesn’t already have an Instant Pot? Well, get them an Instant Pot! This multi-use cooker can help your loved one make myriad dishes, from chicken curry to quinoa to YOGURT in very little time!
Water Bottle with Fruit Infuser:
Water can be quite boring but we all need to drink it! Help your loved one spruce up their beverage with this super cool infuser water bottle! You can even share some of these super cool recipes!
We would be remiss if personal training wasn’t on this list! If you have a loved one who has expressed that they need help getting stronger, moving better, getting more fit and feeling more comfortable in their body and lives near Evanston, don’t hesitate to contact us at TruFit! We would be honored to match your loved one with the best trainer fit for them. You can email us here or call 312-497-8999.
November 7 is National Stress Awareness Day. Because, what? We need to be MORE aware of stress?! SERIOUSLY!?
Today is the Wednesday after the Midterms. We're approaching the holidays. No matter where you stand on these topics, whether you're happy or sad, we've been living in chaotic, hyper-busy, hyper-connected times. When we start to feel the stress seep in, we react to it in ways we see and don't see: By eating crap, drinking crap, shutting off emotionally, sleeping a lot or barely sleeping... The list goes on.
These are all things that do NOTHING good for us hormonally to help us get back into a lower-stress zone.
What if we could channel that stress differently? What if there were things to help stress stay at bay? Well, worry not, lovely friends!
Here are some tactics you can use to lower your stress and take a load off!
IN THE MOMENT WHEN YOU HAVE NO TIME
FOR WHEN YOU HAVE JUST A BIT OF TIME
FOR WHEN YOU HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO PLAN SOMETHING TO DO
We hope some of these ideas help you take a load off!
What are some ways YOU fight stress? Let us know in the comments!