You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2009.

New Year’s resolutions are obviously a very important aspect of health clubs, as most common resolutions have to do with losing weight, sticking to an exercise program, etc. In my experience, this means large crowds flocking to the gym in the beginning of January, and then eventually petering out by mid-February. I read recently that only 20% of people actually end up keeping their resolutions!

So the good news is that consistent gym-goers will probably see attendance return to normal in about a month or so.

The bad news, of course, is for those 80% of people who end up making resolutions without sticking to them. If you are serious about making an improvement in your life, now can be a great, motivating time to make a commitment.

The old advice about sticking to resolutions is true – start small. Really, really, small, in my opinion. The only New Year’s resolution that I ever actually stuck with was Read the rest of this entry »


This past week I tested out Jakki’s Bootcamp Blast. Though my morning started way, way early, I did pick up a new workout technique.

I learned about add-ons and after trying them, I think they are a great way to change up an exercise and work more muscle groups.

An add-on defines itself. You start with one exercise and then add on another and another.

Here’s a good and simple one to try:

1- Inch worm (walk hands from feet out to a plank and then walk hands back to feet) repeat 5-7x

2- Inch worm and push up, add on a push up at the plank stage of your inch worm and then walk hands back (repeat 5-7x)

3- Inch worm, push up, add on T-pose by staying in plank position and raising one arm toward the ceiling, creating a T shape with your body, switch arms and return to plank and inch back (repeat 5-7x)

4- Inch worm, push up, T-pose and then add on a burpee by jumping forward in your plank and then into the air, then jump back into plank and walk hands back (repeat 5-7x)


Do you have an add-on exercise that you like to do?

As I’m sure you all have noticed, the weather is definitely acting more like winter lately. Normally I’m very happy to be outside, preferring to spend my lunch break on a long walk than indoors in the cafeteria, but lately it’s been getting brutal! Now, more than any other time of year, it is so important to make it to the gym and raise your body temperature and get your circulation moving. I find that I automatically tense up when I’m walking around in the cold, which makes me feel tired and uninterested in exercising. I motivate myself by remembering that I will feel ten times better after a workout, even if it’s a short run or a gentle yoga class. Plus, exercise is a proven way to raise your mood and reduce anxiety levels – something that you can need more of in the winter, especially if you suffer from Season Affective Disorder (SAD).

In addition to making sure that I get moving every day in some way, I’ve also been making some healthier versions of wintertime comfort food. Because probably the best thing about winter (in my opinion) is how good it feels once you’re warm inside. The other night I trimmed the fat from a Shepard’s Pie recipe with really good results. Read the rest of this entry »

Since I joined Healthworks, I have taken advantage of the wide variety of classes that are offered. Since September I have had the opportunity to take BodyPump twice. I enjoyed it, but it hasn’t been a priority.

I know the benefits of weight training. A higher metabolism, a more toned body, and stronger bones are just a few benefits and I know that I need to incorporate it more into my workouts. So, when a friend asked me to come along with her to the new BodyPump 72 in Brookline Tuesday night, I readily agreed.

It was just what I needed. Read the rest of this entry »

As a way for new members to get better acquainted with Healthworks, the club provides something called the Unstoppable Pass.

Complete the activities on your pass and get a Healthworks T-shirt and water bottle. Sounds like a pretty good deal to me!

So, what are the activities? Well there are eight total tasks to complete.

Here is what you must do to get your shirt and water bottle:

Healthworks 24/7

Set up an account online with Healthworks 24/7. It’s easy to do and has lots of great resources. You can take a health assessment and use a special nutrition and workout tool to track the food you eat and even find a work out buddy.

Two (2) Personal Training Intro Sessions

Complete two intro sessions with a trainer. This is a great way to learn about the personal training program and get to know the trainers. In these sessions you set up your goals and learn to use machines and other equipment found on the gym floor. Read the rest of this entry »

I am really lucky: I get to spend the next 3 weeks traveling! On Monday, I’ll make my way to Paris, where I’ll meet up with my sister. She’s spending the year there, studying and working. We’ll spend a few days in Paris, and then jet over to Prague. I have to say, I am really really excited about this part of the trip. It’s supposed to be a beautiful city (and cheap – not on the euro!). After that, we’ll go back to Paris. From there, I’ll leave my sister and go on to Tel-Aviv, where I will be attending a seminar through my graduate program. The seminar is really cool, it’s a traveling seminar, so we move all over Israel for different meetings. Finally, before I head home, I’m going to spend a few days of glorious vacation on the Sinai Peninsula. I’ve never been to Egypt before, so this is really exciting!

There’s a huge challenge in being away from home for so long. I exercise much less, because of restricted access to any facility (sometimes hotels have gyms, this is true. Hostels don’t, though!). I think that while in Europe I will naturally get in a lot of exercise because of how much walking is required. My guidebook says that Prague is a city of hills, and cautions tourists to make sure they bring comfortable walking shoes. In terms of exercise, my time in Israel will be a little more difficult. During the seminar, my time will be very scheduled, and any exercise I’ll do will probably have to happen in the early morning. I hope I can make myself wake up!

Sometimes, the basic fact that I’m not at home in my normal routine makes me feel like I can eat like a fool. Read the rest of this entry »

I haven’t taken a yoga class in awhile so I figured this week was a good time to switch up my workout routine – which is one of the reasons I love the variety of classes offered at Healthworks. Compared to working on the elliptical or treadmill where I am always thinking about my goal in terms of miles, minutes or calories, yoga is a breath of fresh air. I often forget about how the time is passing during a yoga class and am able to clear my mind of everything but what I am doing with my body.

Since yoga is such an individual activity even within a group class setting, I like that it is “challenge by choice” and I can modify positions to what my body says is working or not. It’s impossible to compare yourself to other people when everyone adjusts positions a little for themselves. I had not practiced yoga in awhile, so even downward dog was not the resting position it was meant to be, and I had to take a few breaks into child’s pose when others around me were still going strong. Yet I know I did my best during the class, and I am feeling my sore muscles today!


What can you do to take a break from your exercise routine?

One thing that I do not understand about fashion is this whole leggings trend. Did you know that Lindsay Lohan has her own line of “designer” leggings? Every time I see somebody walking down the street wearing leggings, I can’t help but think to myself, “THOSE ARE NOT PANTS!”

When my cold weather training started, I was told that I would have to wear leggings – which in running terminology are known as tights. Runners wear tights in cold months because baggy pants let in some of the cold air, and the pant itself might interfere with your running. For last week’s run, I had borrowed a friend’s pair of tights… and I’m a little surprised to admit that I really liked them. In fact, I didn’t feel pantsless at all. I felt warm! Anyways, my friend wants her tights back. Today I stopped at City Sports on my way home from work. I decided to take a big step and actually purchase my own pair of tights. I searched the store for the pair that seemed right for me – and I found them! They’re fleece lined. I ended up making a few other purchases, including a really nice windbreaker. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: running is an expensive habit.

I was so excited about all my new gear (my friend from high school had given me a great long sleeved wick-away top at our annual holiday present exchange), that I had to try on my new ensemble as soon as I got home. And once it was all on, well, I had to go for a run. Molly and I headed out the door (that’s my dog). As I started running, I realized that I was wearing an entirely black outfit, and that it was really dark outside. Oops.

In the end, my run was great. I ran for about 33 minutes or so, and had a pretty intense sprint at the finish. The tights kept me cozy and warm – though, you’ll NEVER see me wearing tights for a non-running occasion!


What do you wear for cold weather running?

Healthworks members check out the Plums n Roses discount page for details on discounts at City Sports, South End Athletic Company, and Marathon Sports!

Healthworks Chestnut Hill

I had a great experience last night at my massage at Healthworks. Before the massage, I worked out and lifted weights. Ialso jumped in the jacuzzi for 10 minutes, and then took a hot shower. Finally, the time had arrived! I met up with the massage therapist and immediately began to relax! Candles, scented spray, massage oil… and time spent massaging my sore muscles from working out and from daily life – hunched over a computer, wearing heels, carrying a heavy bag from the store, and so on. Read the rest of this entry »

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been feeling the rumblings of holiday frenzy lately, which always makes me feel overwhelmed. I love buying presents for my family and friends, but at the same time I struggle with being on a budget, and also being wary of the tendency for people to acquire too much “stuff” that they don’t really need. The minimalist in me wants to make peace with my generous tendencies, so I’ve come up with some ideas for holiday presents that don’t interfere with my ideals of healthy living for people and the planet.

For my immediate family members – mom, dad, brother, and sister (hopefully none of them are reading this and ruining the surprise) I purchased Sigg bottles – the non-BPA lined aluminum bottles that come in a variety of cool patterns. Whenever I’m at home, I notice how much my family relies on plastic bottles, which is wasteful. I’m hoping that they’ll like using their new reusable bottles, and I tried to pick designs that reflected each of their unique personalities. Read the rest of this entry »