Member Spotlight | Mini and Mighty

Member Spotlight | Mini and Mighty

“Everyone starts somewhere. It is important to do your personal best and not let your size, age, or anything that may appear as a barrier stop you from achieving your goals.”

Rachel M.

LA Fitness Member

Mini and Mighty

It’s said that some of the best things in life come in small packages – and that describes Rachel M. perfectly. Known by her friends and family as “Mighty Mouse,” this 4’9” powerhouse has become an inspiration to fellow LA Fitness members in her hometown of Valencia, CA. However, she wasn’t always this way.

Growing up, Rachel suffered from multiple health complications that caused her to dread physical activity. She didn’t enjoy P.E. and ended up on teams by default; oftentimes being the last one “picked” for team events. It would usually take Rachel 10 minutes to run a mile, with breaks in between to stop and use her inhaler. She reflected back on a moment she will never forget, when one of her coaches had to give her a piggyback ride because she could not complete the run on her own. Unfortunately, that was just the beginning of a series of troubling events Rachel faced.

Next thing she knew, Rachel was hospitalized in the ICU with severe pneumonia. While she was admitted, she was told that she was pre-diabetic and had hyperlipidemia. Rachel had previously undergone cataract surgery and suffered from retinal detachment and spondylolisthesis – all at a young age. She knew she had to do something to change the harmful direction her health had taken.

Before

After

 

Small Changes, Big Results

Both of Rachel’s parents were members of LA Fitness and were constantly trying to persuade her to join them at the gym. But working out felt like work at the time, which made Rachel skeptical about giving it a go. However, she was determined not to rely on daily medication while only in her 20s, so she joined her mom for a cycle class.

In that first class, she could not last five minutes without having to use her inhaler. However, as she continued with cycling, she became stronger and stronger with each class, until she could complete a full class. As time went by, working out and focusing on health and fitness became her new passion.   This had great results, as she was slowly taken off all of her medications.

She credits being a member of LA Fitness as a huge part of her fitness journey. She would tell herself, “You’re stronger than you think,” “You could do anything for a minute”, and “You’ve got this.” She shared that fellow LA Fitness members would encourage her, and believed in her so much, that she began to believe in herself.

A Closer Look at Labels 

Along with working out, Rachel started paying close attention to food labels and ingredients. Now she incorporates proteins (chicken, ground turkey, egg whites, lean ground beef), carbs (sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa), healthy fats (nuts, olive oil, avocado, coconut oil), and greens into most of her meals. She enjoys snacking on nuts, veggies with hummus, and brown rice cakes with almond butter. Rachel enjoys foods that have minimal ingredients, and she tries to stay away from processed foods, or foods with additives and colors.

Where is Rachel now? 

Rachel hopes to inspire others through fitness and enjoys meeting people at the gym who share goals similar to hers. She continues to strive for her personal best, by increasing her rep counts, developing better endurance and lifting heavier than before. Her focus on fitness is inspired by her goal to stay out of the hospital, off medication, and to be living proof of Shakespeare’s quote, “Though she be but little, she is fierce!”

“Don’t compare yourself to others. You’re as strong as you think. Celebrate baby steps. Progress is progress. Believe in yourself. Believe in others such that they believe in themselves. Empower. See someone that inspires you? Let them know. Pay it forward.”

Rachel M.

LA Fitness Member

Results will vary. Rachel M.’s story reflects an exceptional result, which does not apply to the average person, and is not representative of or a guarantee that you or anyone else will achieve the same or similar results. Do not attempt to change your diet, fitness routine, or any other activity related to your health without first obtaining the advice of a medical professional.


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Nutritional Advice for Those with PCOS | Q+A

Nutritional Advice for Those with PCOS | Q+A

Question:

I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) and have issues losing weight. I am 5’5″ and currently weigh 210lbs. I am interested in knowing what types of food I should eat and what types I should avoid.

– Cali D.

Answer:

As you may know, polycystic ovary syndrome may not cause you to have elevated insulin blood sugar levels, but the hormone disorder is often related to this condition. Losing weight often helps improve PCOS.

Sugars and refined starches (like white bread and pasta) should be managed. Keep them to a quarter of your plate. An example would be to have fajitas with only 2 corn tortillas, then eat the remainder with your fork. For stir-frys, opt for brown rice and have only 1 fork full for every 2 of meat and vegetables. Whole grains like oats, quinoa, wheat berries and corn on the cob are better choices than baked goods or processed potato products. For example, have oatmeal instead of waffles and fresh baked sweet potato instead of tater tots.

You can’t go wrong filling up on vegetables… aim for about half your plate every time you eat! The dense nutrients, low calories, high fiber and plant proteins in veggies can help with both insulin control and weight loss. In addition to typical meal sides, add veggies to breakfast (beet ginger smoothie, anyone?) and snacks (try homemade kale chips). Also include lean proteins, fruits, nuts, beans, and low-fat dairy to round out the remainder of your meals.

Your weight loss struggle is understandable. Besides focusing on the food choices above, pay attention to calories and when/why you eat. Only eat when truly hungry, stop when satisfied, and cleanse your palate to deter you from dessert/extras. Perhaps shift more of your intake to earlier in the day when you are more likely to burn it.

– 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.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Nutrition tracking is a great way to monitor your progress and help keep you focused on reaching your nutritional goals. LA Fitness, RDN, Debbie J., offers some advice on her favs!

Power Your Way Towards a Stronger Today

Power Your Way Towards a Stronger Today

“Power Circuit has changed not only my own fitness level as an instructor, but I’ve seen it affect many members who attend my classes. I have witnessed the benefits in changes to my physique, and most definitely my endurance level. Because of Power Circuit, I’m able to take my other classes to a greater intensity.”

Joanna M.

Aerobics Coordinator , LA Fitness

Are you short on time? Get results fast in LA Fitness’ Power Circuit! Power Circuit is a high intensity Group Fitness class offered exclusively at LA Fitness. It consists of highly concentrated quick circuit intervals that challenge your aerobic threshold, while integrated weight lifting helps build bone mass. Power Circuit is a class designed for most age groups, with the ability to modify moves, based on your body’s preferences.

When you take Power Circuit, you can expect to have a high intensity aerobic exercise matched with a short recovery period. The overall or total quick sets last usually about 4 minutes in duration. These quick sets may consist of body squats, step exercises, planks, pushups or use of the step platform. The non-choreographed structure is what keeps the class exciting! Usually, the class ends with ab targeted exercises, aiding in toning your mid-section; which helps leave you feeling stronger, longer.

Power Circuit classes are fresh and creative. The un-choreographed structure helps keep things feeling new and interesting from class-to-class. Lightweights are incorporated into routines, helping to intensify the sculpting of your body. It may seem like a simple workout – but don’t let the lightweights fool you. The high rep count makes the weight of the dumbbells felt fast. The instructor will often times adjust the class based on each individual’s capabilities. For example, an instructor may adjust the number of sets for a particular move if they deem it necessary for the class.

Power Circuit is far from easy – and after just one session you may see how satisfying of a workout it really is for you. It’s a challenging, yet well-worth-it, full- body workout. So, are you up for the challenge?

I asked Power Circuit Instructor, Joanna M., to share her thoughts on why members should choose Power Circuit over other aerobic options offered. This is what she had to say:

JM: In my mind, Power Circuit is a type of catalyst; a place where increased fitness levels take place, changing the dynamics of every other class one may attend. Everything increases in intensity, when the adrenaline hits!

Q: What do you think sets Power Circuit apart from other Group Fitness classes?

JM: Power Circuit is unique due to the cardio quick sets, along with the elevated balance challenges interwoven throughout the workout.

Advice for Beginners:

  1. Observe carefully what the instructor does.
  2. Let your instructor know if you are new to the class/workout.
  3. Listen to your body. It is OK to modify.

Find a Power Circuit Class Near You

Let LA Fitness help you along your fitness journey by trying a Power Circuit class today! And download our mobile app for full access to class schedules and plenty of other helpful information.


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Commit to Fit | Mother’s Day Edition

Commit to Fit | Mother’s Day Edition

 

 

Goals, Commitments, Community

Welcome to a very special edition of our Commit to Fit – Mom Edition! These incredible moms manage to make the time to get to the gym & stay dedicated to maintaining a healthy lifestyle!

Mother’s Day Club Hours will remain the same.

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.

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

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Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

8 + 15 =

Recommended Reading

Recommended Nutrition Apps from an Expert

Nutrition tracking is a great way to monitor your progress and help keep you focused on reaching your nutritional goals. LA Fitness, RDN, Debbie J., offers some advice on her favs!

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