Exercise Away the Winter Blues

By | Personal Training

By: Angela Lee, Personal Trainer

With the colder temperatures coming our way, signaling that winter will soon be here, it’s easy to stay at home or want to cozy up on the couch under a blanket.  Sometimes it’s not that you’re lazy or unmotivated, you just want to stay warm and not go outside (and I get that! Who wants to go outside for fun when it’s -20?).  If you’re new to working out, want to brighten your spirit during the winter months, or learn how to beat the flu – then I have some tips for you!

  1. Do what makes YOU feel happy!
    Find an activity that you enjoy and like doing regularly! Like running? Awesome, go run! Like weight-lifting? Great, get after it! Yoga? Yes, let’s do it! Don’t have any activities you enjoy? That’s okay too. You might enjoy meditation, stretching, or going for a walk to clear your mind. Whatever it may be, use these activities as “YOU TIME.” Use it to clear your head, take a mental breather, and relax from your busy day.  No matter what it is, stick with it and you’ll be able to see the benefits (especially mental) sooner than you think. Did I mention you could invite a friend to do this with you?
  2. Boost happy brain chemicals!
    Exercise releases endorphins, which create the feelings of happiness and euphoria. If winter has brought your mood down, or if you’re feeling more sad or depressed, physical activity can help you! Activity should be your best friend! Studies have shown that exercises can be just as effective as anti-depressants in some cases, so hey – why not? It is only going to help you. Also, if you’re having the winter blues in general – read our recent article that talks about Vitamin D! You might be lacking in the Vitamin D department!
  3. Beat the flu!
    Many people get the flu shot, but does that mean you need to as well? Not at all. Exercise is the best way to increase your immune system, so you can fend off the colds and flu that winter brings! This doesn’t mean you need to destroy yourself in the gym; just a moderate amount of activity will help you, even as little as 30 minutes. Pick an activity, get that blood flowing, and your body will do the rest. Exercise, along with enough sleep, managing stress, and eating healthy amounts of vitamin-rich foods will help your body tremendously.

If you’re new to working out or doing any additional activity outside of your job right now, just remember that ANY activity or movement you start doing COUNTS! Even if you’re walking an extra 10 minutes a day, that is STILL something. Why? Because you weren’t doing that before.  Any additional movement you do helps you, your brain and your body.  Start off simple, and then add to it from there if you can.  It’s only going to help you! Plus, it will make winter go by faster, so that you can enjoy not having to bundle up in 3-4 layers deep before going outside  🙂

If you want to learn what steps you can take to get more activity into your life, feel free to call or shoot me an email to meet with me for a Free Consultation. I would love to assist you to meet your goals. Visit our website for more information. Always here to help you succeed!

Certifications/Memberships:

  • ISSA CERTIFIED PERSONAL TRAINER
  • ISSA SPECIALIST IN SPORTS NUTRITION

Vitamins for Winter

By | Uncategorized

Image result for vitamins for the winter

We all want to be able to eat healthy nutritious meals all day every day, but let’s face it, life gets in the way and we look for convenience. Because we don’t eat the right foods our body needs supplementation to get the adequate vitamins and minerals. This is especially true during the winter months. Here are a few supplements that you should be taking this winter to keep you happy and healthy.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is sometimes called the “sunshine vitamin” because it’s produced in your skin in response to sunlight. You can also get it through certain foods and supplements to ensure adequate levels of the vitamin in your blood.

The suggested dosage for Vitamin D is 400IU. Some studies suggest that a higher daily intake of 25–100 mcg or 1000 – 4000 IU is needed to maintain optimal blood levels.

Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to a lowered immune system as it directly interacts with the cells that are responsible for fighting infection. Several large observational studies have shown a link between a deficiency and respiratory tract infections like colds, bronchitis and pneumonia.

Vitamin D has shown to reduce your risk of Multiple Sclerosis, decrease your chances of developing heart disease and helping to reduce your likelihood of developing the flu. Vitamin D also reduces depression and can boost weight loss.

Some Food sources of vitamin D

  • salmon
  • sardines
  • egg yolk
  • shrimp
  • milk (fortified)
  • cereal (fortified)
  • yogurt (fortified)
  • orange juice (fortified)

It can be hard to get enough vitamin D each day through sun exposure and food alone, so taking vitamin D supplements can help.

Vitamin C & Zinc

For many years Vitamin C has been thought as the number one home remedy for keeping colds at bay. However, research within the last decade has found that taking vitamin C everyday does not reduce a person’s risk of getting one, but it does lessen the severity of a cold’s symptoms and shorten the duration of the illness. Therefore, getting sufficient amounts of the vitamin is particularly important during winter when there is a spike in people suffering a cold.

Adults (19-64 years) need 40mg of vitamin C a day, but taking less than 1,000mg of vitamin C supplements a day is unlikely to cause any harm. It’s important to note that vitamin C can’t be stored in the body so is needed as part of your daily diet.

Zinc also has a role in reducing the duration and severity of a cold. Taking zinc soon after the onset of symptoms of the common cold significantly reduces both the duration and severity of symptoms.

The amount of zinc you need is about 9.5mg a day for men (aged 19-64 years) and 7mg a day for women. Don’t take more than 25mg of zinc supplements a day unless advised to by a doctor.

Please note taking high doses of zinc reduces the amount of copper the body can absorb. This can lead to weakening of the bones.

Vitamin B

The B vitamins are a group of 8 vitamins sometimes called the “anti-stress vitamins” since they’re essential for combating the effects of stress. They are used to create the feel-good neurotransmitters responsible for maintaining a positive mood as well as being critical for a healthy nervous system.

The role of vitamin B12 in particular, could help us during the colder months as it has been shown to help those suffering from feelings of anxiety or depression. This is particular important during winter when people are more at risk of feelings of depression and getting the winter blues.

Vitamin B is found almost exclusively in animal protein sources – meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, and eggs – therefore vegans are at risk of deficiency as it’s unlikely they will be able to obtain sufficient amounts through diet alone.

Folate (vitamin B9) is important for mood management. Findings show that many people with depression have lower levels of folate in the blood. Folate is found in green leafy vegetables, beans, peas, peanuts, and other legumes, and citrus fruits.

 

As you can see, a healthy balanced diet can get you the nutrients you need to stay healthy but if you are like the majority of people who live off of convenience then you will need to look at supplementing these few vitamins to get you through the flu season and the winter blues. Diet is important but don’t forget about exercise! Check us out at courtsplus.org for programming and membership information.

Pickleball Open House

By | Fitness Fun

One big reason why I love pickleball is that it can be as causal or competitive as you want it to be. From playing with friends in your spare time, to searching for tournaments and leagues to join, pickleball caters to all types. This October 14th Courts Plus will be hosting an event for all types of players to come and see what we offer. Information can be found below.

Get your game on! Courts Plus is holding their first ever Pickleball Open House. The Open House will be held from 4:00-5:30 pm on Sunday, October 14 at Courts Plus.

The public is invited to come and learn about pickleball and try out the “courts on the courts”. There will be a Pro there to help you learn about the sport and how to join a league. This event is free and open to the public.

If you find you enjoy the sport, there’s still time to join the Sunday Pickleball League or Saturday Pickleball Drills. Sunday League is welcome to players of all levels, and is held November 4 – December 11. The fee for league is $20 for members. Saturday Drills are competitive drills for league players, starting November 3. The fee for drills is $10 per time for members.

Courts Plus is located at 3491 University Drive S, Fargo. For more information, visit CourtsPlus.org or call 701-237-4805.

Why Working Out with a Buddy is a Benefit

By | Membership

You would come in everyday to workout, but for some reason you felt like you’re in a rut. Soon you start making excuses to not come in as often and then you stop coming all together. We’ve heard about this from multiple members, but there has been one key component that we’ve heard that got those members to come back and enjoy working out again.

That component is working out with a friend! It may have been that longtime friend, co-worker or another person you’ve met in class; we’ve heard them all. And, we encourage it! There are many great benefits that come into play when you work out with your buddy.

The first benefit is that you hold each other accountable. You plan every Monday, Wednesday and Friday to come over your lunch break to meet to go to Body Pump Express. You can’t just back out on your friend last minute! You’re stuck to it.

The second benefit is that you get pushed out of your comfort zone. But, you’re okay with that since you’re not doing it alone! Your buddy may have a new workout routine they want to try that may seem a little above your level, but together you can get through it.

The third benefit is that you are going to have more fun! When you’re not going through the workout all alone you actually feel time fly and boom you’re done. And, along the way you had laughs and maybe a little dance session with the song that came over the speakers. If it’s all in-between reps, there’s no harm in that!

The fourth benefit and the best one (we think) is that you each get a referral gift if your buddy joins as a member! Our referral gifts vary throughout the year and go up to $50.00 in value. When your friend mentions your name at the time they joined they get a gift and then we reach out to you to give you yours! Isn’t that neat? We think so. So, the next time you feel like you’re getting in the rut of working out maybe suggest to your friend to join you. We offer a free trial pass to any new potential members and don’t forget if they do join have them mention your name! To view our most recent prizes and to receive our free trial for your friend, visit our referral page.

Roll It Out, Girl!

By | Fitness Fun, Group X, Membership, Personal Training, Uncategorized, Youth

Roll It Out, Girl!!

What is this foam roller thing?  It is amazing, that’s what it is!  Foam rolling, sometimes called self- myofascial release, is an extremely effective way of preventing injury, promoting muscle recovery, and relieving muscle soreness and tightness.  Whether a person is sitting in a desk all day or running their 4th marathon; anyone can benefit from this device daily!  Below is a list of all the amazing reasons why everyone needs a foam roller in their life.

  • Increased blood flow to that muscle! Foam rolling exercises stretches and loosens the muscles.
  • Improved movements. When a muscle is better hydrated, looser muscles move past one another with less knee friction.
  • Better range of motion for muscles. Especially beneficial for people recovering from knee, back, or hip surgeries.
  • Decreased injury risk. When there is a tight muscle lacking full range of motion, a person is more at risk for injury.  By foam rolling, oxygen and blood are forced into that muscle, ultimately reducing the risk for a tear, break, or strain of a muscle or bone.
  • Decreased recovery time! By foam rolling before and/or after a workout, oxygen is more readily available to the muscle.  This reduces recovery time and soreness that happens after a tough workout.

Courts Plus will be offering 15 minute foam roll classes throughout the week!  There is no wrong way of rolling!  A great way to relax and prevent those injuries!   All of the foam rolling classes will follow a class already on the schedule.  Check out the schedule online and make sure to try this class out!!

You cannot be serious!

By | Tennis

Tennis is a sport with many psychological challenges. The unique scoring system constantly builds up to pressure points where one player is poised to take all, the other to lose all. Matches have no time limit, and can last for many hours. In singles, players are alone, usually without access to a coach.

No wonder so many players end up losing their temper, often in spectacular fashion.

By studying player tantrums we can learn a great deal that can help us improve our psychological approach to tennis, or indeed any sport.

Here are five classic tantrums, each one with a distinct lesson to teach us.

5) Grigor Dimitrov, Istanbul 2016

Dubbed ‘Baby Fed’, Dimitrov was once talked of as a successor to Roger Federer, but no longer. Despite reaching a career-high ranking of eighth and the Wimbledon semifinal in 2014, the Bulgarian has struggled to compete with the game’s elite, and has not yet been able to translate his rare talent into consistent world-class form.

Few players have been hyped by the media as much as Dimitrov. The pressures of expectation, coupled with low-confidence, seem to have led the 25-year old to his recent implosion in the final of the Istanbul Open. Dimitrov forfeited the match after smashing three rackets, handing the title to his opponent Diego Schwartzman.

Dimitrov has never sought help from a tennis psychologist, which suggests that he underestimates the value of the mental game. He needs to learn how to disengage from his thoughts and emotions, and focus on the task in hand. If he does this, he has the talent to get back to the top ten and stay there.

Lesson: The expectations of others can be a mental burden on court. We need to learn how to allow our difficult thoughts and emotions to be there without engaging with them.

4) Roger Federer, Miami 2009

Roger Federer is the epitome of a cool, calm and collected champion, but it wasn’t always this way. In his early years on tour, the Swiss maestro expressed a hot temper on court, with his racket often bearing the brunt of his anger.

In 2001, knowing his emotions were holding back his game, Federer worked hard on improving his mental approach. This paid off handsomely, as Fed began his meteoric rise to the top soon after.

Rarely since have we seen Roger lose his temper. However in this clip from his 2009 match against Novak Djokovic in Miami, the Swiss’ temper burned bright one more time following a string of forehand errors.

This proved a one-off lapse, and Roger has maintained his trademark composure ever since. We should take comfort in the fact the one of the greatest of all time can have a serious mental off-day. It reminds us that none of us can be perfect.

Lesson: Even players who have exemplary mental skills can have lapses. That’s fine, as long as we reconnect quickly with a successful mental approach. Forgive yourself if you lose your temper, and move on.

3) Carlos Berlocq – Aix en Provence 2016

This extraordinary incident, in which Berlocq smashes his racket on just the second point of the match, indicates that the Argentinian wasn’t in a good mental state when he stepped onto the court.

There will always be off-court stresses in our lives, and sometimes we can’t help it if thoughts and emotions which have nothing to do with tennis interfere with our game.

The trick is to learn how to let go of those feelings. Let them be there, don’t engage.

Lesson: We always bring some sort of emotion onto court with us. When those emotions are negative, we need to learn to let go of engagement with them, or they are liable to lead us to perform poorly.

2) John McEnroe, Australian Open 1990

McEnroe may be the king of the tennis tantrum, but he’s also an honest and insightful judge of his own behavior. In his autobiography Serious, McEnroe says that his struggle with on-court anger hindered his progression as a player. His temper disrupted his rhythm, and often indicated he was on the verge of choking. He sees his anger as a response to nerves and a fear of failure. Brilliant as he was, McEnroe would have been a better player if he had been mentally stronger.

He never won the Australian Open. A series of warnings for bad behavior led to his disqualification from this fourth round match in 1990.

Lesson: Tantrums are self-destructive. To maximize your potential as a player, you have to develop a strong mental game.

1) David Nalbandian, London 2012

Nalbandian will be remembered as one of the best players never to win a Slam. He’ll also be remembered for his fiery temper, and in particular for his outburst in the 2012 Queens final which cost him the match. A momentary burst of anger led Nalbandian to kick an advertising board which struck a linesman in the leg hard enough to draw blood. Game over. Instant disqualification.

Of course injuring the linesman wasn’t intentional, but Nalbandian’s inability to tolerate and let go of his anger handed a winnable final to his opponent and landed him with a $12,560 fine.

Lesson: Anger can arise quickly during a match if we make a mistake or lose an important point. We need to learn how to allow anger to be there without responding to it.

Its not only your strokes that we can help you with at Courts Plus, it’s your entire game, including the most important part, the mental part. There’s a reason why people say tennis is 90% mental and 10% physical. All of the top players can execute their shots in practice, but only a few can do it when it really matters and stay calm under pressure. Schedule a lesson time today, before you end up on this list!

 

The Benefits of Using the Child Care to Help YOU “Unplug.”

By | Fitness Fun, Membership, Youth

Have you ever just wanted a quick break away from your kids to relax, reboot and re-energize yourself, ALONE?! If so, the Courts Plus Child Care is the perfect solution!

I cannot tell you how many “thank you’s” I have received from parents for having this amenity here at Courts Plus! It is not that we all do not love our kids, but sometimes we just need that little break and honestly, so do they. At Courts Plus we offer a maximum of a 2 hour visit per day where you can go work out inside or outside of Courts Plus, go to a Group exercise class, play tennis, pickleball, racquetball, go into the gym, read the newspaper, or just simply sit on the sofa by the fireplace and do absolutely nothing! Our members have done it all! Heck, we even have parents who work from home that use the two hours to actually work and that is just fine too! Not only do the parents love this break, but the kids are constantly busy, creating friendships, socializing and learning on a daily basis. It’s a win-win! If this has not persuaded you enough, here are a few more benefits of “unplugging,”

  1. It gets you out the door- This may seem small, but if you are a parent, you understand and I know I hear it often! It is hard to get the kids out of the door in a timely fashion. If you can get them fed, dressed and ready for the day, all while getting out, it is a huge game changer for many parents!
  2. Socialize with other moms/dads- We have many parents here at Courts Plus who have created lifelong friendships with other parents because of the child care. It is a great way to meet other families with kids who are close in age with theirs.
  3. Motivation- Simply said, many of us need a motivator and we have plenty of personal trainers, members and employees who will gladly help out!
  4. The kids get to socialize with other children their own age- The child care holds a maximum of 20 kids at a time. That gives the children many opportunities to socialize with one another.
  5. Creativity- In this type of child care, we simply cannot plan out the childrens day with members constantly coming and going, however, we have endless of activities for the children to do whether that be art crafts, reading, playing dress up, building puzzles, blocks, tracks, running around the track, playing in the gym, utilizing the playgrounds, coloring, you name it!
  6. Increase Energy & reduces stress- exercise promotes increased energy and while you are doing that, your kids are in a different room having their own kind of fun which helps reduce a parents overall stress for those two hours.
  7. Taking a shower in peace- This may sound silly, but I do have parents who will bring their child in solely to take a shower and get ready in peace. You do not realize how special and valuable this is until you have children. It is a huge perk.
  8. Indoor & outdoor play area available!- This amenity is mainly just an example for Courts Plus, but it is a huge benefit for the kids and you! We have an indoor 7 level playground as well as a new outdoor fenced in play area available for the child care kiddos to use for free while in the child care.
  9. 2 for 1- your membership pays for both your gym time as well as a “sitter” for the kids. If you add that up, that is a huge savings!

I hope this article has proven to you how important that alone time is and you feel confident in giving the Courts Plus Child Care a try!

** On a side note: We are seeking a fun, loving, and caring candidate who wants to make a difference in a child’s life. We are looking for someone who is available in the MORNINGS from about 8am-2pm or 9am-3pm who has the ability and flexibility to work with children between the ages of 6 weeks and 8 years of age. Daily attendance, being punctual and responsible is a requirement. First Aid and CPR certified is preferred but not required to get the job. If you are interested in applying, please do so at our website!

Thank you!

Yeah Pickleball!

By | Fitness Fun

This past summer a group of friends and I were bored on a Saturday afternoon. Looking for something to do I suggested we go to Brunsdale Park and play some pickleball. I had recently become the pickleball pro at Courts Plus, and thus had a lot of pickleball paddles and balls laying around. Most of my group of friends were tennis players, but had limited knowledge of how to play pickleball, so luckily Brunsdale posts the rules on every court so we were able to all stay on the same page. It was a great use of an afternoon as we played a little round robin tournament, I had the deck stacked in my favor, given my experience, but I messed around to keep things interesting which meant we played a lot of interesting points filled with lobs, dinks, and round the post shots. We still talk about a point we had, that must have been 40 shots and included every shot in the book, that culminated with an overhead smash that hit the tape and rolled over the net. Points and games like we had that afternoon are why we play sports, the feeling of pure adrenaline when things get thrown into chaos. Unfortunately as the weather changes there are fewer and fewer days to be able to play pickleball outside. Thankfully, starting September 10th, Courts Plus will offer leagues and lessons on true court surface (instead of a gym floor!) so we can all continue the fun that we had this summer. See you on the court and click here to find out more info.

Exercise and Arthritis

By | Fitness Fun, Personal Training

By: Brit Ingersoll- Arthritis Foundation Development Director of North Dakota

Exercise is crucial if you have arthritis. But knowing just how much activity and what activity to do when you’re hurting can be tricky. (***Always consult your physician when starting a new exercise program.) Exercise is great for joint function, mood boost and overall health! How can you modify your favorite activities for days that are a little more of a struggle than others? What type of activities are beneficial for arthritis?
Everyone has days that are harder to get out of bed than others but living with Arthritis you really need to listen to your body. If you are in a middle of a flare or recovering from a joint surgery, do keep moving but modification is key. Here are a few tips:
• Start with a warm up. If a longer and slower warm up are needed, Do It!
• Pick Low Impact Machines at the Gym. Elliptical or recumbent bikes are great choices.
• Work out large muscle groups.
• When in doubt: Walk.
• Decrease your workout time. Slow it down and just keep moving.
• Ask a professional. Great time to pick a trainer to help you stay safe and moving.
When you are ready and wanting to find an activity, look for an activity with low impact on joints. Swimming, Yoga, Walking Groups, and Biking are my favorites! The great thing about all of these activities is they can be modified when you are having a tougher day or intensified for days when you are feeling awesome! Small aches and pains are normal; however, sharp onset of pain is not. If you feel sharp pain, STOP what you are doing and evaluate yourself.
Arthritis can hit at any age from a ten year old struggling to keep up with classmates in gym, a thirty year old mom struggling to dress herself and kids, to grandparents struggling to get up the stairs. You are not alone there are over 52 million Americans suffering with Arthritis. From Lupus, fibromyalgia, lyme disease, osteoarthritis, juvenile arthritis and many more! Know that the Arthritis Foundation family is always here to help you in your journey.

www.arthritis.org

Keep moving and listen to your body it will thank you!

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Difference between training and running shoes

By | Fitness Fun, Group X, Personal Training, Tennis

Now that summer is in full swing, chances are high that you’ve been spending a lot more time outdoors than usual. If you’re like my family, some days the great outdoors is just too hot or too humid to play comfortably in, and we’d rather get our sweat session on with some lovely air conditioning behind us!

Regardless if you have been spending most of your summer exercising indoors or outdoors, we cannot overestimate the importance of dressing appropriately for your workout. Sometimes the right attire — clothing and shoes that fit your body well and that respond adequately to your body’s needs while exercising — can be the difference between an exercise that actually transpires and one that you put off for “tomorrow,” if you catch my drift.

In particular, I want to spend just a little bit of time elucidating the difference between running shoes and training shoes and help you decide what should be on your feet this summer. I’ll describe the differences between these two types of footwear below.

 

Running shoes

Perhaps this goes without saying, but if you’ll be spending most of your exercise time actually running — or jogging, or walk-jogging, or jog-walking — you should likely be wearing running shoes. Running seems to be enjoying a huge boost in popularity right now, which is great for you, as a consumer, insomuch that it means you have choices.

The most important detail to remember when you’re on the hunt for running shoes is to search for shoes that fit your feet well and that respond well to your stride and gait. So many runners often go to a running store — or simply go online, hoping for the best — and pick out a shoe based on its appearance. This couldn’t be more detrimental!

Instead, take the time to go to a specialty running store in your community, one that is presumably staffed by avid runners who have been trained to professionally fit people for running shoes that are good for their body. By going to a local store, not only will you be supporting local business — which is good for the soul — but more importantly, someone who has a lot of experience in the business will be able to watch you run and help assess and determine which type of shoe would be best for you.

Be sure to share with the shoe fitter what type of running you plan to be doing — lots of long, slow mileage each week; trail running; all-out sprints on the track; or some combination therein — because that can also determine which type of running shoes will be best for you.

 

Training shoes

In contrast to running shoes, training shoes — often called “trainers” or “cross-trainers” — are often designed to be used for a variety of activities and exercises. If you think that you’ll be exercising by walking, weightlifting, cycling, taking some exercise classes, using the elliptical, and maybe doing a tiny bit of running, then training shoes will probably fit the bill for you.

In general, the more specific an activity you’re doing — and the more often you’re doing it — the more likely you will want to invest in that type of specialty shoe. If you envision yourself exclusively running or exclusively cycling, then it’d make sense to get shoes that are designed specifically for those activities. If, however, you think that you’ll be doing an assortment of different activities, it’s more financially prudent to buy a pair of shoes that can handle and respond to a variety of different activities and stimuli.

As is the case with purchasing running shoes, you may find it worthwhile to take the time to go to a local store that sells trainers so that you can try them on for size. It’s hard to base a decision solely off online reviews and word of mouth, and there’s really no replacement for actually putting a shoe onto your foot to see how it feels.

 

When the shoe fits

After you’ve secured a pair of shoes for your exercise this summer, have at it! Remember: you can extend the life of your shoes by wearing them only when you’re doing the particular exercise for which you have purchased them. In other words, though it may be tempting, I’d discourage you from wearing your running shoes or trainers around all day, every day, even during the times when you’re not exercising. In doing so, you’ll be taking time off their life and may find that you have to replace them sooner.

Have a safe and healthy summer, and let your feet take you places! You’ll be glad you did.

 

AUTHOR’S BIO: JANE GRATES

A certified fitness guru, hiking enthusiast and co-owner of Rockay. Making at the intersection of design and purpose to craft experiences both online and in real life. She also writes reviews and recommendations on Runnerclick, ThatSweetGift, NicerShoes and GearWeAre.