Member Spotlight | Do What You Love

Member Spotlight | Do What You Love

Baby Steps

Coming out of high school, Sylvana M. of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, didn’t quite feel like herself. She felt as if her body “had been stuffed into a tight shell and [she] just didn’t fit.” Weighing in at 156 pounds, and standing at roughly 5’6″, she wanted to feel comfortable in her own skin again. Unsure of where to begin, she started adding walks to her daily routine and watching YouTube fitness tutorials. She cut her calorie count down to 1,000/day and began running. Not before long, the weight slowly started to come off – until she plateaued.

May 2013

May 2013

May 2013

May 2013

A New Horizon

Sylvana realized that she wasn’t eating the right amount of calories for what her body needed, and admits that her exercise routine was at times, inconsistent. After years of trial-and-error, with varying diet and exercise routines, she came across a bodybuilding website that seemed to help. She started noticing that she was gaining muscle, but with that, came a good amount of fat due to poor dieting.

“I was [consuming] whatever I wanted, full pints of ice cream, bottles of wine, medium fries – and it was showing,” shared Sylvana. With that, the familiar feeling of not fitting into her own skin began to come back. She started feeling insecure and lethargic, and with that, decided something had to be done. In June of 2015, Sylvana walked into an LA Fitness and was determined to make a lasting change.

“I was never the ‘fit’ girl. No one ever ran to me with questions or to seek advice in the gym. But I’m getting there! I’ve lost 10 pounds since last May (2016) and my confidence has soared. Not just from how I look, but how I feel. I know what I put into my body and I know what I put into my workouts. My body is mine and I finally feel at home in it.”

Sylvana M.

LA Fitness Member

Her original fitness goal was to lose fat, with the intent to become “bikini ready”. However, since first joining LA Fitness, Sylvana shared that she has gained a lot of perspective on what makes her truly happy and comfortable in her own skin. She realized that for her, it wasn’t the way she looked or a goal number on the scale, but how exercise made her feel inside. Although, she did joke that losing over 20 pounds wasn’t a horrible side effect of her newfound exercise routine.

Her goals today are a lot more strength driven. She hopes to become better at burpees, improving her sprint speed on the treadmill, while also tackling pistol squats and pull-ups. She appreciates that her newer goals are not as aesthetically centered, but instead, more focused on how she’s pushing her body into becoming stronger than ever.

Tasty Talk 

Having made strong advances in her fitness routine, Sylvana understood that it was only half the battle. In order to achieve her overall goals, she was going to have to adjust her eating habits too. While diet varies from person-to-person, Sylvana noticed that what worked for her was increasing her veggie and lean protein intake, while completely cutting out dairy, and drastically decreasing her intake of junk foods and red meat. She has noticed a remarkable difference in her body’s health since she made those changes.

A Word of Advice

“My one piece of advice to others on their fitness journey, or just starting out, would be to do what you love. I tried so hard to like spin classes and 6 AM jogs when I started out because I believed those to be the best workouts. But I found it difficult to get myself out of bed knowing that’s what I had to look forward to. I’ve found that I love weightlifting and interval body-weight exercise (like push-ups and jumping squats and even burpees) and that’s what gets me excited to hit the gym! Find what works for you and work it!”

Sylvana M.

LA Fitness Member

BEFORE – July 2016

AFTER – February 2017

Where Is She Now?

Sylvana continues to work out and eat healthily and credits her boyfriend for helping push her to get out of her sweatpants and into the gym. While Sylvana doesn’t have a trainer, she does appreciate the encouragement from her boyfriend, who oftentimes works out with her at the gym. (Multiple studies have shown that working out with a partner can better increase the chances of you reaching your fitness goals, read more here).


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Commit to Fit | Member Spotlights

Commit to Fit | Member Spotlights

Commit to Fit

Do you have a fitness goal? Let us know here! To learn more about Commit to fit, click here.

Goals, Commitments, Community

These are our most recent members who have committed to their fitness goals.

Carlie B.

Carlie is training for her first fitness competition! We wish you the best of luck!

Kathleen M., Cathy R., Terri M.

Friends who workout together, stay together. Looking great ladies, keep up the hard work!

Denise A.

Denise is committed to becoming fit – and it shows when she works out with her trainer!


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The Happiness Factor: How Happiness Affects Health

The Happiness Factor: How Happiness Affects Health

Are you happy?

Believe it or not, happiness may help improve your health and extend your life.

The correlation between happiness and health is significant in many ways. Studies have shown that it’s not just necessarily adopting the attitude of ‘don’t worry, be happy’ that helps promote better health.  Rather, those who display certain “positive psychological attributes, such as happiness, optimism and life satisfaction,”1 may have an easier time maintaining healthy habits. Some examples include eating a well-balanced diet, exercising and getting adequate rest.

“Happiness is not something you postpone for the future; it is something you design for the present.”

Jim Rohn

American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker

You may find yourself thinking, that sounds great, but some people are just naturally happy – what about the rest of us? If you find that you’re not as naturally inclined to happiness as others, you may not be entirely wrong. Dr. Laura Kubzansky, professor of social and behavioral sciences at Harvard University, suggests that certain psychological states such as anxiety or depression—or happiness and optimism—are forged by both nature and nurture. These traits are 40-50% heritable, which means that certain individuals may indeed be born with a genetic predisposition toward them. However, the amazing part about those numbers is that it leaves a lot of room to maneuver.2 In other words, there is still an opportunity to truly be happy even if you aren’t genetically predisposed to be.

While happiness varies from person to person, the following are some methods that may help increase an individual’s sense of happiness, contentment and overall sense of well-being:

  1. Live in the moment.
  2. Spread kindness.
  3. Smile.
  4. Engage in a physical activity.
  5. Accomplish something.

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”

Omar Khayyam

Poet

Living in the moment is one of the most important things to remember if you want to choose a life of happiness. Being present and not allowing your mind to wander off and worry about future stresses may help ease anxiety and help you better appreciate the now. Another factor that can help promote happiness is spreading kindness. If you do something good for others, it may help you feel good inside. Smiling can also help promote a sense of cheer by activating muscles that can actually trick your brain into thinking you are happy. In addition to smiling, engaging in a multitude of physical activities, like swimming laps, going for a run, enjoying a hike, or playing a game of racquetball, could help make us feel happier, because different forms of exercise aid in the production of feel-good hormones, like serotonin and dopamine.

Lastly, accomplish something. This is vital. Accomplishing a task or goal of any sort, large or small—like going to the gym 3 days in a row, or crossing off everything on your to-do list—can make us feel good inside. According to Psychology Today, “progress on our goals makes us feel happier and more satisfied with life (our subjective well-being, SWB, increases).”3 This is because it gives us a sense of purpose and helps improve our self-esteem. Of course, other acts may help increase happiness too, and the payoff may vary from person-to-person. Certain shared traits exhibited by “happy people” include focusing on the positive and being optimistic, picking themselves back up when they fall, living in the moment, caring about other people’s happiness, displaying acts of selflessness, not comparing themselves to others, and displaying mature defenses (e.g. future-mindedness, humor and the ability to delay gratification).

How does happiness affect health?

Happiness can protect your heart. 

  • Various studies conducted have shown that happiness helped lower the heart rate and blood pressure in participants studied.4

Happiness may strengthen your immune system.

  • Specifically, laughing can have positive effects on the body. According to an article published by WebMD, laughing helps “curb the levels of stress hormones in your body and boosts a type of white blood cell that fights infection.”5

Happiness could help combat stress. 

  • Stress causes the body to produce higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol. In a study conducted, “where participants rated their happiness more than 30 times in a day, researchers found [that] the happiest participants had 23 percent lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol than the least happy, and another indicator of stress—the level of a blood-clotting protein that increases after stress—was 12 times lower.”6  So, if you want to help combat stress, try engaging in activities that -make you happy.

Happy people sometimes have fewer aches and pains.

  • Similar to the previous studies, in another study a group rated “their recent experience of positive emotions, then (five weeks later) how much they had experienced negative symptoms like muscle strain, dizziness, and heartburn since the study began. People who reported the highest levels of positive emotion at the beginning actually became healthier over the course of the study, and ended up healthier than their unhappy counterparts.”7 This study suggests that those exhibiting a more positive outlook may be subject to fewer aches and pains.

Happiness helps combat disease and disability. 

  • Various studies analyzing individuals of different backgrounds and age groups have shown that those who displayed positive emotions were less likely to be frail or develop health issues in later years.8

Happiness may help lengthen our lives. 

  • A fascinating study used nuns as a test group, where researchers studied their autobiographical essays they had written decades earlier. What the researchers noticed was that those who had expressed “feelings like amusement, contentment, gratitude, and love […] lived a whopping 7-10 years longer than [those] least happy.”9 Of course, you don’t have to be a nun to experience these benefits. Another study in 2011 followed 4,000 adults, ages 52-79, and monitored how happy, excited and content they were multiple times in a single day. At the conclusion of the study, “happier people were 35 percent less likely to die over the course of about five years than their unhappier counterparts.”10

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Hooray! It’s National Donut Day!

Hooray! It’s National Donut Day!

It’s National Donut Day! 

Before reaching for one of your favorite donut styles, do you know how many calories you are consuming? Ignorance may be bliss, but too many tasty treats can start showing on the waistline. Have no fear – you can still celebrate the holiday and perhaps even indulge in one of your favorites. We have listed a few different methods below to help you work off that scrumptious splurge.

How many calories are in your favorite donut? *

Glazed Donut | 260 calories2 

Exercise:

**You would need to walk at a brisk pace for about an hour and 10 minutes to burn around 260 calories.

Plain Donut | 320 calories1

Exercise: 

**It would take approximately 30-35 minutes of kickboxing to burn about 320-325 calories.

Chocolate Glazed Donut | 340 calories3

Exercise: 

**You would need to cycle at a moderate pace for about 45 minutes to burn roughly 340-350 calories.

Chocolate Cake Donut | 250 calories4 

Exercise:

**It would take about 1 hour and 15 minutes of engaging in jumping jacks to burn off about 250 calories.

Jelly Donut | 270 calories6

Exercise:

**In order to burn about 270-275 calories you would need to do about 1 hour and 30 minutes of Pilates.

Sugar Donut | 280 calories5

Exercise:

**It would take about 1 hour and 20-30 minutes of constant sit-ups to burn roughly 280 calories.

Vanilla Crème Donut | 370 calories7

Exercise:

**You would need to engage in moderate rowing for approximately 1 hour and 40-50 minutes to burn off about 370 calories.

Sprinkle Donut | 290 calories8

Exercise:

**You would need to jump rope at a moderate pace for about 30 minutes to burn approximately 295 calories.

Donut hole | 59 calories9

Exercise:

**It would take about 20 minutes of yoga to burn about 50-60 calories.

Maple bar | 490 calories10

Exercise:

**You would need to run approximately 1 hour and 5 minutes to burn about 500 calories.

Apple Fritter | 350 calories11

Exercise:

**You would have to engage in about 45-55 minutes of a Zumba® class to burn approx. 350 calories.

Depending on body weight, gender, age and fitness level you may burn more or less calories. If you want to learn the exact amount, there are online calculators that can give you an estimation of how many calories your body will burn based on the exercise you complete. Simply input your personal fitness information and you’ll have a good idea of how many calories you can burn.

*Calorie counts are approximate and may be higher or lower depending on size, brand, and ingredients. 

**Based on a 130 lb. female

Referenced:

  1. Healthstatus.com, Inc. “Calories Burned Calculator.” HealthStatus. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2017.
  2. “Diet Tool: Calories Burned Calculator for Common Exercises and Activities.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 24 May 2017.

Sources:

  • I. “Calories in Dunkin Donuts Plain Cake Donut.” Calories in Dunkin Donuts Plain Cake Donut – Calories and Nutrition Facts | MyFitnessPal.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2017.
  • II. “Calories in Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Original Glazed Doughnut | Nutrition, Carbohydrate and Calorie Counter.” CalorieKing. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2017.
  • III. “Calories in Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Chocolate Iced Glazed Doughnut | Nutrition, Carbohydrate and Calorie Counter.” CalorieKing. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2017.
  • IV. “Sharing the Joy around the World.” Krispy Kreme – Glazed Chocolate Cake Doughnuts | Chocolate Cake Donuts. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2017.
  • V. “Nutrition Guide.” Dunkin Donuts, 23 May 2017. Web. 24 May 2017.
  • VI. Ibid
  • VII. Ibid
  • VIII. Ibid
  • IX. Bruso, Jessica. “How Many Calories Do Doughnut Holes Have?” LIVESTRONG.COM. Leaf Group, 19 June 2015. Web. 24 May 2017.
  • X. “4 Types of Doughnuts You Should Always Avoid / Nutrition / Healthy Eating.” 4 Types of Doughnuts You Should Always Avoid. Fitday, n.d. Web. 24 May 2017.
  • XI. “Sharing the Joy around the World.” Krispy Kreme – Apple Fritters | Apple Fritter Donut. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2017.

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Augie: A Film by James Keach | LA Fitness Recap

Augie: A Film by James Keach | LA Fitness Recap

“You can either celebrate what you can do, or mourn what you can’t.”

Augie Nieto

Founder of Augie's Quest, Co-founder and CEO of Life Fitness, Chairman of Octane Fitness

Documentary-style filmmaking has a way of exposing some of the most heartfelt elements of the human condition. In that regard, the documentary film Augie does not disappoint. Augie is raw, emotional, and moving. Created by award-winning director James Keach, viewers are taken on a journey through the life of fitness entrepreneur and icon, Augie Nieto.

Augie, a legend who is often recognized and referred to on a first name basis, is the founder of Life Fitness, as well as the chairman of Octane Fitness. He is a man who let nothing stop him while on his pathway to success.  It seemed like Augie had it all – until he was diagnosed with ALS in 2006.

In an almost cruel and ironic twist of fate, Augie found himself suddenly battling a fatal neurological condition, which slowly weakened his muscles and impacted his body’s ability to move. However, Augie was determined not to just sit at the sidelines and let the disease win. Instead, he started a nonprofit called Augie’s Quest, which funds the ALS Therapy Development Institute and their efforts in finding a cure.

 

“The best gift I can give my wife and kids is to do something when you’re faced with adversity, and that’s a gift.”

Augie Nieto

Founder of Augie's Quest, Co-founder and CEO of Life Fitness, Chairman of Octane Fitness

Little is currently known about what triggers ALS, but scientists are working hard to better understand this disease and find methods to stop it. Those suffering from the disease start losing control of their voluntary muscle movement, but retain the functionality of their brain. There are two types of ALS: sporadic and familial. Sporadic is the most common and accounts for about 90% to 95% of all cases. This means it can affect anyone, anywhere, at any time. As stated on the Augie’s Quest webpage, “ALS is not an incurable disease. It is an underfunded one.”1

Augie does a wonderful job of highlighting the charismatic personality and refreshing sense of humor that Augie carries with him while making the most out of his life. Augie’s upbeat demeanor acts as an inspiration by showing that no matter what we are faced with, a little humor can help us carry on. Aside from highlighting just Augie’s life, Augie introduces viewers to short interviews of others battling ALS. It is interesting to see the perspectives of both those diagnosed with the disease as well as how it affects the loved ones around them.

Augie is a love story. It is inspirational and educational. And it is the next must-see documentary on your watch list. Augie recently was screened at the Newport Beach Film Festival and will be released later this year. Find additional upcoming screenings here.

LA Fitness is proud to stand behind Augie and support his efforts in finding a cure for ALS. For over 6 years, LA Fitness has partnered with Augie’s Quest to help raise funds for a cure. Help LA Fitness in our efforts to support Augie’s Quest by donating here. To learn more, please visit http://lafitnesscares.com/.

Sources:

  1. “Fundraising.” Augie’s Quest. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2017.
  2. “About The Film.” Augie. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 May 2017.

 


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