Breaking: Summer Is OFFICIALLY Here!

Breaking: Summer Is OFFICIALLY Here!

Fire up the barbecue, cue the sound of beach waves, and bring out that bikini from storage! Because on June 21st, 2017 summertime officially begins for the Northern Hemisphere.

But – what is summer solstice exactly?

The summer solstice occurs when our planet’s rotational axis is most tilted towards the sun. Because of this, it is the longest day of the year and we receive more sunlight today than any other day of the year. While summer solstice isn’t as widely celebrated as it once was, some places have kept traditions alive.

Summer Solstice Celebrations
  • In Sweden, summer solstice is celebrated by eating the first strawberries of the season1 and marked with fun festivals involving flower crowns, maypoles, and tasty foods.
  • In ancient Egypt, summer used to symbolize the start of the New Year!2
  • Each year in Fairbanks, Alaska a baseball game known as the Midnight Sun Game is held from 10:30PM until sometimes as late as 2AM! Alaska Goldpanners’ general manager, Tom Dennis, jokes that his team doesn’t need caffeine because they have sunlight!3
  • In New York City, a day-long yoga practice runs from 7AM until just before sunset. Not in NY? Not a problem! You can participate remotely via their live webcast.4
  • A Southern California summer solstice celebration takes place in Santa Barbara, CA each year. It was started in 1974 by an artist and mime and has grown in popularity ever since.5
Splash Into LA Fitness

Now that you better understand what the summer solstice is all about, let’s talk about how you can celebrate the day! Try taking advantage of the extra time by heading to the gym early. Not a morning person? Perhaps take a break from the sun and head indoors to take a dip in one of our super refreshing LA Fitness pools*. After all, now that summertime is upon us, keeping cool is a must!

Try an Aqua Fit Group Fitness class* to beat the heat and switch up your typical workout routine.

To find an LA Fitness that offers these amenities, click here!

*Photos depict a typical LA Fitness facility. Classes and amenities vary by location.

Sources: 

  1. Almanac, Old Farmer’s. “First Day of Summer 2017: The Summer Solstice.” Old Farmer’s Almanac. N.p., n.d. Web. 12 June 2017.
  2. Ibid
  3. Than, Ker. “First Day of Summer: 4 Things to Know About the Summer Solstice.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 25 May 2017. Web. 12 June 2017.
  4. Cheapflights. “Top 10 Summer Solstice Celebrations Around the World.” The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 18 June 2015. Web. 12 June 2017.
  5. Ibid

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Am I Eating Too Little? | Q+A

Am I Eating Too Little? | Q+A

Question:

I am a 40 year old male, I currently weigh 260lbs. I have a desk job but I am very active otherwise outdoors and I have started going back to the gym for weight training M-F during my lunch hours and also do 30-40 minutes of cardio 3x a week, in addition to a 6 mile hike and a 10 mile bike ride the other 2 days. On the weekends I am very active usually backpacking or hiking. My goal is to get back down to a healthy 225. I am currently 31% body fat. I use MyFitnessPal to track my calories. My typical day is usually under 1800 calories; I eat pretty healthy consisting of an average of 35% carbs, 25% fat and 40% protein. My goal isn’t necessary to gain huge mass, I would like to maintain my muscle (and get stronger, not necessarily bigger), and drop my fat. My question is, am I eating too little? Since I put myself on an eating schedule, I don’t feel like I am starving myself. I have only been at this routine for the last 10 days or so, and I don’t really expect to see immediate results, but my goal is around 2 lbs. per week. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

– Jason N.

Answer:

At first glance, your caloric intake does seem a bit low for the amount of activity you’re engaged in. However, if you are satiated after meals and aren’t lacking energy as the day progresses, you may be eating enough. Losing 2 pounds per week does take quite a caloric deficit — approximately 7000 calories per week! By eating smart, not more/less, you can maintain your muscle mass while you lose fat weight.

By my calculation, you’re getting at least 150 gm carbohydrate, so you’re meeting your base need there. Your protein intake equates to about 1 gram per pound of fat-free mass, the maximum you’re likely to put to use. Fat provides 450 of your daily calories (50 grams), which is not ample but sufficient. You should be able to maintain your described caloric breakdown as long as you see progress.

Additionally, I’d recommend that you support those workouts by consuming the bulk of your intake in the hours surrounding your physical activity. So if you’re exercising in the morning, eat more then and less at night. Keep up your fiber and fluid intake, as these help you to feel full when volume is down.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

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What Is World Health Day?

What Is World Health Day?

Let’s talk health.

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” – World Health Organization, 1948

The World Health Organization hosts World Health Day each April 7th, which brings to global focus a key issue relating to health that many feel needs to be addressed. The efforts to bring attention to the subject chosen continue for a full calendar year, until a new topic is chosen. This year their theme is ‘Depression: Let’s Talk’. Other themes in the past have included ‘Beat Diabetes’ (2016), Food Safety (2015), and Vector-borne Diseases (2014), to name a few. Currently, there are 35 countries participating in 65 varying events. To find an event happening near you, click here.

If You’re Unhappy And You Know It, Run A Lap

This year the World Health Organization’s one-year campaign is centered on depression. It’s a topic that many are familiar with, but one that often gets overlooked. Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression.1 But, there are some natural ways that may help combat some of depression’s effects. A 2005 study referenced by Harvard Health showed that simply “walking fast for about 35 minutes a day five times a week or 60 minutes a day three times a week had a significant influence on mild to moderate depression symptoms.”2 It’s amazing what a difference something so seemingly small can make.

In yet another study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, 156 men and women with depression were split into three groups. One of the groups partook in an aerobic exercise program, the second group were given an antidepressant, and the final group participated in both. At the end of the 16-week mark, depression had eased in all three groups. In fact, “about 60%–70% of the people in all three groups could no longer be classed as having major depression.”3

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”

Leo Buscaglia

American author and motivational speaker

But why does exercising help mental health?

There are a few different hypotheses to consider:

I. Thermogenic Hypothesis

II. Endorphin Hypothesis

III. Monoamine Hypothesis

IV. Distraction Hypothesis

V. Self-Efficacy Hypothesis

 

“We can’t escape pain; we can’t escape the essential nature of our lives. But we do have a choice. We can give in and relent, or we can fight, persevere, and create a life worth living, a noble life. Pain is a fact; our evaluation of it is a choice.”

Jacob Held

Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Central Arkansas

i. The Thermogenic Hypothesis suggests that the natural rise in core body temperature caused from working out can help facilitate symptoms of depression. Specifically, the study explained that “increases in temperature of specific brain regions, such as the brain stem, can lead to an overall feeling of relaxation and reduction in muscular tension.”4

ii. The Endorphin Hypothesis is probably the most commonly referenced theory when it comes to talking about the benefits of exercising and the effects it has on mental health. According to this hypothesis, exercise helps release endorphins naturally. Endorphins are known as “feel-good” hormones and are directly “related to a positive mood and an overall enhanced sense of well-being.”5

iii. The Monoamine Hypothesis is similar to the Endorphin Hypothesis. It suggests that “exercise leads to an increase in the availability of brain neurotransmitters (e.g., serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine) that are diminished with depression.”6 Serotonin has an effect on one’s mood. Dopamine “helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers [and] also helps regulate movement and emotional responses.”7 Norepinephrine is a chemical that mobilizes the body and brain for action.

iv. The Distraction Hypothesis is probably the most self-explanatory of these theories. This hypothesis suggests that physical activity helps distract from worries and depressing thoughts. Generally speaking, engaging in a distracting activity has shown more positive results than “self-focused or introspective activities such as journal keeping or identifying positive and negative adjectives that describe one’s current mood.”8

v. Lastly, there is the Self-Efficacy Hypothesis. In order to better understand what this hypothesis suggests, first let’s define self-efficacy. It “refers to the belief that one possesses the necessary skills to complete a task as well as the confidence that the task can actually be completed with the desired outcome obtained.”9 Those suffering from depression can sometimes experience negative thought processes, and feelings, towards themselves. However, a study showed “that involvement in an exercise program was associated with enhanced feelings of coping self-efficacy, which, in turn, were inversely related to feelings of depression.”10

If exercising is something you want to try to help become a physically, mentally, and emotionally better you, there are tons of different options available. At LA Fitness, Group Fitness classes are offered if you are the type of individual who thrives with the motivation of an instructor and the energy of others working out with you. If you prefer getting your workouts done solo, there is plenty of cardio and weight equipment to available to you. And if you’re new to working out, and unsure where to begin, booking a session with one of LA Fitness’ Pro Results® Master Trainers may be the best option for you.

This article is not meant as medical advice and should not replace any medical recommendations from your physician or other healthcare professional. Before starting a new exercise program, consult with your physician. If you or a loved one is suffering from depression, please reach out to a healthcare professional.

*Photos show a typical club. Amenities may vary.

 

Sources:

  1. “Depression.” World Health Organization. World Health Organization, Feb. 2017. Web. 28 Mar. 2017. <http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs369/en/>. Publications, Harvard
  2. Health. “Exercise and Depression.” Harvard Health. Harvard Health Publications, June 2009. Web. 28 Mar. 2017
  3. Ibid
  4. Craft, Lynette L., and Frank M. Perna. “The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed.” Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc., 2004. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.
  5. Ibid
  6. Ibid
  7. Jr., Robert Evans Wilson, Samantha Smithstein Psy.D., Loretta G. Breuning Ph.D., and Susan Weinschenk Ph.D. “Dopamine.” Psychology Today. Sussex Publishers, LLC, n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2017. Craft, Lynette L., and Frank M. Perna. “The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed.” Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc., 2004. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.
  8. Craft, Lynette L., and Frank M. Perna. “The Benefits of Exercise for the Clinically Depressed.” Primary Care Companion to The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc., 2004. Web. 28 Mar. 2017.
  9. Ibid
  10. Ibid

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What Is ALS? | A Recap on LA Fitness’ Annual Action for ALS Event

What Is ALS? | A Recap on LA Fitness’ Annual Action for ALS Event

“You can either celebrate what you can do, or mourn what you can’t. Every day I wake up and create a new normal. I don’t dwell on what has changed, but instead, I focus on keeping busy achieving my goals.”

Augie Nieto

“While there’s life, there is hope.”

– Stephen Hawking, English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge

ALS, otherwise known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a debilitating disease that many never see coming. It’s a progressive neurodegenerative disease that typically begins with the slightest of changes to one’s daily routines. For some people, they may notice a change in their vocal pitch when speaking, for others, they may experience trouble trying to grasp onto objects or lifting things up. The gradual onset usually includes muscle cramps, spasms or twitching in the arm or leg, but the symptoms vary from case to case, making this disease hard to diagnose, as doctors have to rule out other diseases with symptoms similar to ALS.1

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. Familial ALS makes up the remaining 5% to 10% and is inherited. The offspring of those affected with ALS have about a 50% chance of inheriting the gene mutation and developing this crippling disease. Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS.2 A bit scary, right?

LA Fitness recognizes the importance of finding a cure for this devastating disease and partnered up with Augie’s Quest, an organization founded by Augie Nieto, Co-Founder and former CEO of Lifefitness. Augie was diagnosed with ALS in 2005 and has since worked relentlessly in finding a cure. Augie’s Quest funds the ALS Therapy Development Institute, which has made huge advancements towards finding a cure. Most recently, they have found an antibody therapeutic which “blocks specific immune cell activation and protects nerves against the progression of ALS and Alzheimer’s Disease.”3 While this is a major breakthrough for scientists and those living with ALS, there is still no cure.

 

On February 25th, all LA Fitness Group Fitness classes participated in an event called Action for ALS. From Bodyworks to Cycling to Kickbox Cardio to Yoga and Zumba® classes, our dynamic and diverse classes teamed up in the fight for a cure! Additionally, on Friday, February 24th, LA Fitness hosted three special Zumba classes at their Irvine Crossroads, Atlanta Brookhaven and Miami Flager locations, taught by marquee instructors. These special events featured a live DJ, complimentary snacks and giveaways. With the help of our caring and dedicated members, LA Fitness has been able to raise over $280,000 for Augie’s Quest since 2010. With your donations you helped those affected with ALS stay hopeful in the quest for a cure.

To continue these efforts, LA Fitness hosted an additional event following Action For ALS. On Saturday, March 11th, we held the Augie’s Quest Racquetball Tournament at the LA Fitness Santa Clarita location and raised an additional $2,040 – way to go guys!

If you still would like to donate or learn more about LA Fitness’ philanthropic efforts, please visit www.lafitnesscares.com.

 

To learn more about how ALS can impact a life, watch Chris Mehess story below.

Sources:

  1. “ALS Therapy Development Institute.” ALS Therapy Development Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Mar. 2017. <http://www.als.net/what-is-als/>. 
  2. Ibid 
  3. “AT-1501.” ALS Therapy Development Institute. The ALS Association, n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2017. <http://www.als.net/at-1501/>.

 

 

 


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A Look Inside VIP Rewards

A Look Inside VIP Rewards

It’s well understood that working out makes our bodies both stronger and healthier, but sometimes it’s hard to find the motivation to get to the gym. Luckily, LA Fitness has developed a program for our members called VIP Rewards. For every Qualified Referral* who joins within 90 days using the VIP Guest Pass sent to their email address you will receive 1,000 points! These points can be redeemed for incredible rewards, such as an LA Fitness tote bag or an LA Fitness matte black double stainless steel bottle – helping to quench your thirst through those calorie-burning workouts. You also have the chance to earn an Apple Watch® or Beats Solo3 Wireless Headphones*!

To see all VIP Rewards click here! 

But, why refer a friend? According to Fitness Health 101, “over the years, statistics have shown that individuals that work out with a partner have a higher probability of reaching their personal fitness goals.”1 When you have someone to workout with, you are more likely to be motivated to hit the gym and develop a more consistent workout schedule. Not only that, but it’s more fun! With a workout partner there is an underlying desire to challenge one another to step up your workout game. Try finding someone with a similiar fitness level as you and help encourage each other to maintain that healthy lifestyle!

In a study referenced by Men’s Fitness, “overweight people tend to lose more weight if they spend time with their fit friends—and the more time they spend together, the more weight they lose.” Interestingly enough, this works with happiness as well.3 Whatever your personal reason for working out may be, at LA Fitness you are given access to body-strengthening weights, strength and cardio equipment to help you reach your fitness goal.

la fitness, la fitness VIP rewards, la fitness rewards

VIP Rewards is here! If you want to share a workout experience with a friend and they are not yet a member, you can sent to them. And if they join LA Fitness within 90 days of using the 14-day Guest Pass, you’ll earn 1,000 points to redeem for rewards.*

*For a full list of FAQs and Terms and Conditions regarding the LA Fitness VIP Rewards Program, including the requirements for a Qualified Referral, click here. Choice of rewards is subject to change.

 

Sources:

  1. Administrator. “Benefits of Having a Workout Partner.” FitnessHealth. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2017. <http://www.fitnesshealth101.com/fitness/general/getting-started/benefits-of-workout-partner>.
  2. Freedom, Lisa. “6 Reasons to Work Out with a Partner.” Men’s Fitness. N.p., 14 Sept. 2016. Web. 21 Mar. 2017. <http://www.mensfitness.com/training/pro-tips/6-reasons-work-out-partner>.
  3. Komaroff, M.D. Anthony. “Social Networks Can Affect Weight, Happiness.” Harvard Health Blog. N.p., 29 Oct. 2015. Web. 21 Mar. 2017. <http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/social-networks-can-affect-weight-happiness-201112163983>.

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