If Foods Were Superheroes

If Foods Were Superheroes

Keep your body at its strongest by teaming up with these food superheroes and fight your way to feeling stronger and healthier than ever before.

Blueberries – Bursting with fiber, vitamin C, and cancer-fighting compounds, these powerful little berries can do a whole lot to help the body, and may help improve memory.1

Kale –Kale can be prepared in a variety of ways: boiled, steamed, roasted, and stewed – eat it the way that works best for you. It is a great source of fiber, calcium, and iron, and contains more antioxidants than most other fruits and veggies.2 Talk about food that packs a punch!

Green Tea – While green tea isn’t a food, it still makes our list thanks to the presence of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which has been shown to slow irregular cell growth, which could help aid in cancer prevention.3

Lemon (+green tea) – In a study put out by Purdue University, research found that the addition of squeezed lemon juice to green tea “caused 80 percent of tea’s catechins to remain”4, and catechins display health promoting qualities. The only problem is that catechins are rather unstable in non-acidic environments, but citrus acids help remedy this. Talk about a health-promoting duo!

Salmon –Full of omega-3 fatty acids, this healthy choice may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.5

Ginger – This all-natural remedy helps calm an upset stomach and aid in inflammation.6

Pumpkin – Pumpkin spice is twice as nice when you learn that this festive gourd is full of beta-carotene, which helps aid in immune boosting and strengthening eye health.7

Cranberries – The berry that does it all, including acting as an overall health booster, fighting against inflammation, the risk of heart disease, oral health, prevention of ulcers, yeast infections and even some cancers!8 Boom, that’s a food superhero we can get behind!

Garlic – Vampires beware, but humans take note. This powerful clove can help treat high blood pressure, heart disease and even help prevent certain types of cancer.9

Dark Chocolate – Probably the most decadent superfood on our list. Just one-fourth of an ounce daily can help reduce blood pressure.10 So go ahead, treat yourself.

Interested to learn more about which foods do the body good? Check out our article Food Options to Drop Weight & Tone, and ask us your nutrition-related questions here!


  1. LD, Megan Ware RDN. “Blueberries: Health Benefits, Facts, and Research.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 5 Sept. 2017, medicalnewstoday.com/articles/287710.php.
  2. Morin, Kate. “25 Greatist Superfoods and Why They’re Super.” Greatist, Greatist, 29 Dec. 2016.
  3. Ibid
  4. Main, Douglas M. “Citrus Juice, Vitamin C Give Staying Power to Green Tea Antioxidants.” Citrus Juice, Vitamin C Give Staying Power to Green Tea Antioxidants, Purdue University News, 13 Nov. 2007.
  5. “Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids.” Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acids, American Heart Association.
  6. Morin, Kate. “25 Greatist Superfoods and Why They’re Super.” Greatist, Greatist, 29 Dec. 2016.
  7. Ibid
  8. Ibid
  9. Ibid
  10. Sagon, Candy. “Dark Chocolate Helps Lower Blood Pressure, Heart Disease Risk – AARP Bulletin.” AARP, aarp.org/health/medical-research/info-03-2011/dark-chocolate-can-help-lower-your-blood-pressure.html.

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What Exactly Is Diabetes?

What Exactly Is Diabetes?

November 1st marks the start of American Diabetes Month, which draws nationwide attention to a disease that affects far too many. According to the Centers for Disease Control (the CDC), “more than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes.”1 What may even be more alarming is the fact that “one in four people with diabetes [doesn’t even] know he or she has it.” 2 This opens the door to many questions: Why is this? What is diabetes? What can we do to help prevent it?

Diabetes: A Deeper Look

If you feel like diabetes isn’t a health issue you have to worry about, you may be incorrect. More than 1 in 3 U.S. adults are considered prediabetic.3 That equates to roughly 86 million American adults. When you consider the fact that 29 million have already been diagnosed, and 86 million are on the borderline, that’s about 115 million Americans that are struggling with blood sugar levels. However, the diabetes epidemic isn’t just confined to the U.S. About 11 million Canadians are living with the disease or are considered pre-diabetic.4


The American Diabetes Association shares some common diabetes symptoms5:

  • Urinating often
  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Feeling very hungry – even though you are eating
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Cuts/bruises that are slow to heal
  • Weight loss – even though you are eating more (type 1)
  • Tingling, pain, or numbness in the hands/feet (type 2)


If you notice yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, or you have an increased risk of diabetes due to family history, consult your doctor or local physician. It never hurts to be proactive and get tested. In fact, the earlier you recognize the signs, the sooner you can begin making healthy changes, which may help save your life.

Type 1 vs. Type 2 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes, previously known as juvenile diabetes, typically affects children and young adults and continues into adulthood. This type of diabetes affects the body’s ability to produce insulin, and insulin is necessary to help get glucose from the bloodstream into the cells of the body. Insulin therapy can help with this.

Type 2 diabetes is when the body causes blood sugar levels to rise higher than normal. This is also known as hyperglycemia. This is the most common form of diabetes. If you are diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, the body struggles with insulin resistance. While the pancreas attempts to make extra insulin to make up for it, over time it is unable to keep up, and the body’s insulin levels can’t keep the blood glucose at normal levels.

It’s Not Too Late

The good news is diabetes is not the end all – though that’s not to say it shouldn’t be taken seriously. Diabetes can be managed through a healthy change in diet, physical activity, and the use of medications that help regulate and lower blood sugar levels. If you are diabetic or were recently diagnosed with diabetes and want more information after consulting with your physician, check out the extremely helpful Food & Fitness tips shared by the American Diabetes Association. You may also want to look into investing into a CGM (continuous glucose monitor), FDA approved, which tracks your blood sugar levels both day and night. Readings are collected every 5 to 15 minutes and the device helps you stay up-to-date on your blood sugar levels. The data collected can better help its users manage their condition. Some monitors still require a finger stick to help the monitor stay accurate. The best way to find what’s right for you is to consult your doctor or physician.

How Physical Activity Helps

Exercise of any form helps reduce your risk for diabetes, and can help reduce symptoms in those who already have it. That’s right, exercise of any form! The key is movement. Keep your body moving. Staying active helps burn calories and keeps the body feeling good. No, you don’t have to run a marathon, or climb to the top of Mount Hood in Oregon (but hey, those could be future goals) — start with little exercises you enjoy. Do you not really enjoy the thought of exercising? Well, did you know that taking the dog for a walk counts? Walking through the mall counts, pushing your child on the swing counts, and even household chores like painting a room, or raking the leaves counts!

If you feel like stepping up your physical fitness game, try an aerobics class.* LA Fitness offers plenty of Group Fitness classes, all varying in exercises types, some of which cover cardio, while others work on strength training – some even cover both! Find a class that fits you and your personality here. A quick reminder you may find helpful is this: You’re not in this alone. Have friends and family join you at the gym. Establish a network that is going to help positively influence your life. Fitness starts with you, but can spread like wildfire among those you associate with.

You can take steps to take control of your health. Never forget that.

Feel like committing today to a new and healthy life? Share it with our community, here! Who knows, you could be the next LA Fitness Member Spotlight success story. We believe in you, now are you ready to believe in yourself?

*Class offerings vary by facility.



  1. “Diabetes Latest.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 17 June 2014, www.cdc.gov/features/diabetesfactsheet/.
  2. Ibid
  3. Ibid
  4. “About Diabetes.” Canadian Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.ca/about-diabetes.
  5. “Diabetes Symptoms.” American Diabetes Association, www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/symptoms/?loc=db-slabnav.

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Member Spotlight | The Story of a 2x USA Indoor Volleyball Champion

Member Spotlight | The Story of a 2x USA Indoor Volleyball Champion

Imagine – you step onto an Olympic court. Your eyes scan the stadium. Your heart pounds through your shirt. The roar of the crowd echoes through your body; it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for.

For Don S., a two-time USA Indoor Volleyball Olympian, this was his reality. Having grown up in Albania, Don and his family never dreamed of being in the U.S. He described his childhood as oppressed and closed off, but after the fall of communism in their home country, Don and his family moved to the U.S (an idea spawned by his grandmother’s request). He recalls speaking very poor English, and working many tough jobs as a young kid in Boston, but his hard work eventually paid off. Don was admitted to USC on a full-ride scholarship thanks to making the university’s volleyball team. He shared how much of a blessing it was to him, since his family had only $1,000 in savings. It was a dream come true; Don was a four-year starter for a nationally-ranked team and quickly became one of the top volleyball players in USC history.

Little did he know even greater opportunities awaited him…

Don was pronounced a two-time All-American athlete and awarded the NCAA Player of the Year award his senior of college. His incredible talent, passion and drive helped catapult him to Olympic glory. Don was at an all-time high.

The Change

In 2014, Don retired from the Olympic team due to knee injuries. Playing the sport for over 20 years had taken its toll on his body. He was tired of the grueling workouts, endless travel and the pressure of winning/losing. He needed a break. In the year following Don’s retirement, he stopped working out and going to the gym. He began noticing that he became increasingly tired, both mentally and physically. He gained more than 20 lbs., became slower, less toned, and no longer had that competitive edge. Then the unthinkable happened. Don woke up one morning and noticed he could not walk straight. His left leg and arm started to get numb, and so did his face. Scared, he jumped into the car and drove to the hospital where the diagnosis revealed that he had suffered a minor stroke.

He was shocked. He felt angry, because he knew he had let himself go. Don admitted that is was a rough wake-up call.  The doctor told Don that he needed to eat healthier and exercise more, which came as another shock because that was Don’s routine was for most of his life. However, the year of inactivity had taken its toll and increased his cholesterol, while lowering his athletic drive. Don chalks up the change in his lifestyle to multiple factors: transitioning into the business world, wanting to relax more, and no longer exercising. Don found that a lot of the networking events he was attending typically offered food and drink, which contributed to his weight gain.

The Realization

Laying in his hospital bed, Don realized that he had a lot to lose – three sons who looked up to him, a wife who was a volleyball athlete herself, and a life he had worked so hard to build. It was in that moment that Don made a promise to himself to get back to being healthy, fit, and ready to play sports with his boys again. In September 2016, Don joined LA Fitness. He knew it was an affordable option for prevention of further health issues, and he enjoyed the friendly staff and members he’d interacted with. Since joining LA Fitness, Don has lost 20 lbs., feels much better, and is back to playing volleyball on the weekends again.

Don hopes to be fit, stay strong, and maintain his weight. He goes to the gym as often as he can and alternates between cardio and weight routines. He also enjoys swimming in the club’s pool! When Don was asked what advice he would give to those who find themselves struggling through obstacles of their own, he shared, “Be active every day, no excuses. If you can’t go to the gym, do pushups, wall sits, walk. [There are] many ways to keep fit. [When] going to the gym […] gets tough, just go and do [an] exercise that you love, even [if it’s] for 30 minutes.”

Find Your Motivation

Don found his motivation due to a scary wake-up call, but it doesn’t have to get to this point to make a change. What motivates you? Share with us below and stay committed to building a better, healthier, and happier life for yourself. Everyone has the same opportunity to make a change. Embrace your inner warrior and conquer your goals one day at a time. LA Fitness and the Living Healthy community believe in you, so are you ready to believe in yourself?

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ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 11 – How Do I Regain Motivation?

ASK A TRAINER: Ep. 11 – How Do I Regain Motivation?

Ask A Trainer: Featured Question of the Week

LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Geoff F., helps explain some helpful ways to regain motivation. Here’s a quick tip: set short-term and long-term goals! Check out other tips below.

Do you have a fitness question? Ask one of our certified Pro Results® trainers here! Your question may be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video.**

4 + 4 =

**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights.

Recommended 'Ask A Trainer' Videos

This One Object From Childhood Will Help You Lose Weight!

This One Object From Childhood Will Help You Lose Weight!

Flash back to the days of childhood – the laughing, the running, the singing and most of all – the jumping. It seems like as children we have an endless supply of energy, and it’s probably why the jump rope was such a popular toy at recess. However, did you know that jumping rope acts as a great way to exercise? Yes, that childhood toy can actually be used as exercise equipment. In fact, more calories can be burned in shorter time increments while jumping rope as compared to other cardio options.1

When done properly, jumping rope can be a lower impact activity than jogging. How is this possible? Well, the key is to stay “high on the toes”2, according to Roger Crozier, who coaches a competitive jump rope team. Carrying a jump rope around with you can be a great addition to a workout at LA Fitness, or when you’re not in close proximity to a LA Fitness club. When choosing the type of jump rope to buy, go for beaded or plastic ropes. They tend to be more durable than cotton ones and move through the air faster, allowing a more intense workout.

The How-To

Before getting started with your cardio jump rope routine, make sure to measure your rope to ensure that it properly fits the height of your body. You can do this by following these easy steps:

  1. Stand on the middle of the jump rope.
  2. Measure the handles to your armpits.
  3. If they extend past your armpits, cut and adjust as necessary. If they don’t reach armpit height, you will need a longer rope.
  4. Then start jumping! (Just don’t forget to land on the balls of your feet.)


Once you feel comfortable with a regular jump rope routine, there are plenty of fun challenges you can try to help up your game. Some fun variations to try, while increasing difficulty, would be the following:

  • Single Leg Hop. Alternate between hopping on one leg, then switch and do the same amount of jump rope repetitions on the other.
  • Another way to get that feel-good burn is to try High Knees, which will help your hip flexors.
  • Not a fan of the high knees? Try “Butt-Kicks”, where your heel lifts back to kick your buttock, working your hamstrings.

Keep it fun, but make it challenging, for a rewarding cardio workout.

Curious about what other fitness methods are both fun and rewarding for your body? Why not submit a question to Ask A Trainer or ask a trainer* at a club? One of our certified Pro Results® trainers can help answer all your tough fitness questions. Your question may even be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video!

*Pro Results® Personal Training is subject to a separate agreement and an additional fee.


  1. Skarnulis, Leanna. “Skipping Rope Doesn’t Skip Workout.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/skipping-rope-doesnt-skip-workout#1.
  2. Skarnulis, Leanna. “Skipping Rope Doesn’t Skip Workout.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/skipping-rope-doesnt-skip-workout#2.

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