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When to buy Organic

Category : Healthy Eating

This is great time of year to buy fresh produce…But the burning question is: When to buy organic?

A nonprofit organization call the Environmental Working Group looked at 51,000 pesticide tests for 53 popular fruits and vegetables and then ranked them based on how much and how many different pesticides were found. The Dirty Dozen is their list of the 12 foods shown to have the highest levels. Whenever possible, buy the organic versions of these 12 fruits and vegetables.

Dirty Dozen







Sweet Bell Pepper

Imported Nectarines


Cherry Tomatoes

Imported Snap Peas


Giving credit where credit is due: This information adapted from an article by Dr. Mark Roussell PhD

Comments Off on Flip flops are bad for you

Flip flops are bad for you

Category : Active Living

by Karin Jennings

I see flip flops everywhere I go during the summer, but honestly, I can’t stand them!

I don’t like the feeling of the thong between my toes.
I don’t like the way my arches cave inward because they have zero arch support.
I can’t walk normally in them because I have to grip with my toes in order to keep them on my feet.

All of this got me wondering: Is it just me or are flip flops actually bad for your feet?

I did some research…Turns our my gut feeling about flip flops was right: Flip flops are bad for you!

Here is what I found out:

In 2008, Auburn University conducted a study led by biomechanics doctoral student Justin Shoyer. The researchers speculated that the altered gait could result in pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back.
“When people walk in flip-flops, they alter their gait, which can result in problems and pain from the foot up into the hips and lower back. Variations like this at the foot can result in changes up the kinetic chain, which in this case can extend upward in the wearer’s body.”

Other problems with flip flops include:
  • Tripping by catching your toes
  • Injuring your toes because they are completely exposed
  • Sun burning your feet
  • Exposing your feet to bacteria and fungus
  • Difficulties driving because they can get caught under the pedals

If you are going to wear flip flops:

Check out these better choices in the flip flop world

Here’s to your happy, healthy feet!

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Avoid Weekend Weight Gain

Category : Healthy Eating

Are you “good” all week, but sabotage your weight-loss efforts on the weekend? Avoid weekend weight gain with the tips below! Researchers at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis studied how weekend behaviors affect weight loss. The study involved 48 healthy adults aged 50 to 60 years. Prior to starting these programs all participants were found to consistently gain weight on weekends, but not weekdays! In fact, the average weekend weight gain would have led to an extra nine pounds over the course of one year. The researchers divided the participants into 3 groups:
  • Group 1 (diet group) took in 20% fewer calories each day but didn’t change their activity level.
  • Group 2 (exercise group) increased their daily exercise regimen but didn’t change their diet, to have a comparable energy deficit as Group 1.
  • Group 3 (control group) did not change their diet or activity level.
What happened? During the year-long program both Group 1 and Group 2 did well during the week, however on weekends the diet group stopped losing weight and the exercise group gained weight due to higher calorie intake. According to Susan B. Racette, PhD, assistant professor of physical therapy and medicine at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis,  “We thought weekends would present a problem for some people attempting to lose weight, but the consistency of our finding before and during the interventions was surprising. Subjects in the diet group lost weight during the week, but over the weekend, they stopped losing weight because they were eating more. Ideas for minimizing weekend weight gain We all tend to worry about the holiday weight gain, however it certainly seems we need to be wary of weekends. Especially since there are 52 weekends each year! Maintaining a consistent effort throughout the weekend is extremely important to successful weight-loss. Here are some ways you can minimize the impact of the weekend:
  • Eat before you go grocery shopping Many people do their week’s grocery shopping on Saturday or Sunday, do not go to the store hungry or you will most certainly put things in your cart on impulse.
  • Keep healthy snacks on handy in the car Whether you are traveling or running errands, carrying a healthy snack will keep you out of the drive-thru lane.
  • Keep a food journal A journal will make you more mindful of what you are putting into your mouth. A recent study found that food journaling actually doubled weight-loss efforts!
  • Limit eating out Try to avoid fast food all together. If you do eat out remember to eat reasonable portions and eat all your vegetables.
  • Limit your alcohol consumption There are a lot of empty calories in alcohol. It also reduces your inhibitions to eat junk food AND makes you feel hungrier.
  • Plan to get some exercise Schedule in exercise either one or both days. If you are away from home and no equipment is available simply put on your walking shoes and get moving!
After the weekend, reflect back…
  • Which tactics above did you try? Did they work?
  • What did you do well?
  • Ask yourself: What can you do better next weekend?
Have a fit & healthy weekend! Karin

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Mother Daughter Fitness: Part 3

Category : Active Living

This week’s Mother Daughter Fitness team:  

Meet Dina & Ashley

Dina has been training at XO Fitness since 2012. Ashley joined her starting last summer.

Dina has been training at XO Fitness since 2012. Ashley joined her starting last summer.

Whose idea was it to start working out together? Why?

Dina: It was my idea to start working out together.  I wanted to do something active with Ashley rather than just sitting on the couch together.  I wanted to show her that you don’t have to be an athlete to be in shape, you just have to be willing to put a little effort forth.  I’d be willing to bet that if she saw what we were able to do at our first session versus our current session she would be shocked at what she’s accomplished.  Because of my past experience with Lori at XO I knew that you would be able to help us with strength and toning that we wouldn’t otherwise accomplish on our own.

What do you like best about working out with your mom/daughter?

Dina: The one hour of working out at XO with Ashley seems to go by much faster than trying to do a workout on my own at home.  I like that we both secretly try to compete against each other, even though neither one of us would admit it.  It’s what’s helped us push forward thru tough workouts.  We also get a good laugh at each other afterwards.  
Ashley: It makes it more interesting and it gives me quality time with my mom.

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Stretches for Cyclists

Category : Exercise

We wanted to share some of the best stretches for cyclists with you because it is officially Bike to Work Week! Be sure that when you finish your ride you take the time to work on your flexibility. Stretch your hip flexors, quadriceps, low back, and chest so that your overall posture won’t be affected.   Hold all stretches for at least 5 seconds (on the video the stretches aren’t held for the entire length of time just to keep it short and to the point).  

Check out our video to see what you can do to get those muscles stretched out after your workout!


If you are interested in more stretches that you can do after cycling contact us at info@xofitness.comHope to see you out and about! Happy riding!

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Mother Daughter Fitness: Part 2

Category : Active Living

This week we are featuring another Mother Daughter Fitness team!    

Meet Anne & Grace!

Anne has been training with us since 2008! Grace Joined her in beginning in 2010.

Anne has been training with us since 2008! Grace joined her beginning in 2010.

Whose idea was it to start working out together? Why?

Anne: It was my idea. I was working out at XO and really enjoyed the benefits of working out. So I talked Grace into joining me.
Grace: It was mom’s idea to start working out together and I thought it was a good idea so we started working out. We both wanted to get more in shape and she thought it would be a great idea to do it together.

What do you like best about working out with your mom/daughter?

Anne: The time we spend together.  Also seeing how each of us are improving in our strength, balance and coordination.
Grace: Working out with my mom is a fun way that we can connect with one another. It gives us quality time together as well. Throughout the past four years, both of our lives have become more chaotic so having an hour two days a week to spend time with one another is awesome.  

As a Mother’s Day gift, which exercise would you like to elect you daughter to do for you?

Anne: Mountain Climbers!

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Bike to Work Week 2015

Category : Active Living

Bike to Work Week 2015 is May 11-15!



We hope you’ll ride your bike to work or school!


Please follow these bicycle safety tips:

  • Wear a helmet (make sure it fits right!)
  • Wear bright colors. You want to be noticed by motorists
  • Ride on the sidewalk ONLY when absolutely necessary. On a personal note: we realize that riding on Broadway in De Pere can be daunting, but please use the Fox River Trail to bypass  this area if you are just riding through. Riding on the sidewalk is dangerous to you AND pedestrians. WE have seen some very close calls right outside out studio because cyclists are riding fast on the sidewalk and unsuspecting pedestrians step out of businesses nearly get clipped. (OK, off my soapbox)
  • Follow all traffic laws. Obey signs and traffic lights.
  • Use hand signals. This tells motorists what you are intending to do. Be predictable!
  • Beware of parked car doors-they can open at any time. Give 5 feet of clearance if you can see a person in the car.
  • Never ride against traffic. Motorists are more likely to see you.
  • Ride in single file. Except when passing
  • Be alert. Always know your surroundings. Do not wear headphones!
  • Alert slower riders and pedestrians if you are going to pass them on shared trails (such as the Fox River or East River Trail)

Get your bike ready to go!

  • Clean the bike thoroughly, using a brush and a damp cloth (not too much water). As you go over all the parts of the bike, check everything for wear and tear.
  • Inspect the brake pads. They should be evenly worn and smooth, not hard. Most will have grooves or marks on them to indicate when they need to be replaced. Squeeze the brakes a few times to make sure they are functioning well.
  • Tighten any loose bolts or screws.
  • Spin the pedals and wheels (with the rear wheel elevated) to see if they are true (not wobbly). Also check each gear. If it’s difficult to shift from one gear to the next, you may need a new chain or derailleur.
  • Lubricate the chain.
  • Inflate the tires (after inspecting them for splits, tears, or bubbles). They should be firm but not close to bursting.

Comments Off on Mother Daughter Fitness: Part 1

Mother Daughter Fitness: Part 1

Category : Active Living

In honor of Mother’s Day, we are spotlighting Mother Daughter Fitness.

This week we will feature the first of our three active Mother Daughter Fitness teams.
Maura and Devon have been training together at XO Fitness since January 2014

Maura and Devon have been training together at XO Fitness since January 2014


We asked them a few questions about training together…here are their answers:

Whose idea was it to start working out together?  Why?
Maura: I cannot remember exactly!
Devon: I did a few solo workouts and eventually we just decided to come in together, and that was it!
What do you like best about working out with your mom/daughter?
Maura: With our busy schedules, it is nice to have a weekly activity to do together.
Devon: It’s awesome because we both like being active and it’s a social time for us.
As a Mother’s Day gift, which exercise would you like to elect your daughter to do for you?
Maura: I can’t think of any. Most of the exercises are fun.
Watch for another Mother Daughter Fitness team next week!

Comments Off on Healthy Eating: Good for YOU & the Earth

Healthy Eating: Good for YOU & the Earth

Category : Healthy Eating

Did you know healthy eating is good for you and the Earth? Here are some tips to make you and the planet healthier!


Eat less meat.

Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health. Their goal is to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet. Visit for more information. According to their website: Going meatless once a week may reduce your risk of chronic preventable conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce your carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel.

Be a locavore. 

Locavores are people who pay attention to where their food comes from and commit to eating local food as much as possible. It is estimated that the average American meal travels about 1500 miles to get from farm to plate. Shopping at the farmers market, maintaining a home garden, or participating in a Community Shared Agriculture (commonly referred to as a CSA) are wonderful ways to support a local food system. Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has become a popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are the basics: a farmer offers a certain number of “shares” to the public. Typically the share consists of a box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Living in Wisconsin makes this difficult during the winter months, however, it is always important to be aware. For instance, we used to purchase particular brand of bottled water which was shipped from Tennessee, that is until we realized where it was travelling from. It certainly does not make sense to buy water from Tennessee when we live in Wisconsin, a virtual oasis of ground water. Locally bottled water just makes more sense!

Eat organic foods.

Foods grown without the use of pesticides, chemical fertilizers, factory farming, hormone use, and antibiotics on are not polluting the earth or your body. It’s hard to eat 100% organic…either what you want is not available or it’s too expensive. Don’t try to be perfect…instead, follow the 80-20 rule meaning eat organic about 80% of the time. You will feel good about your choices without driving yourself crazy.

Reduce the amount of garbage you send to the landfill.

1. Eat whole foods. They are better for you than foods which have loads of chemicals and filler plus they tend to require less packaging which means less garbage heading for the landfill. 2. Compost. Not sure how? Visit According to their website, studies have shown that home composting can divert an average of 700 lbs. of material per household per year from the waste stream. If your flower beds are clay like mine they could use some compost: When mixed with compost, clay soils are lightened, and sandy soils retain water better. Mixing compost with soil also contributes to erosion control, soil fertility, proper pH balance, and healthy root development in plants.

I hope that in recognition of Earth Day you will consider adopting some of these healthy eating tips for a healthier planet and healthier body.


Comments Off on Spring Fitness Tips

Spring Fitness Tips

Category : Active Living

If you hibernated over the winter here are some Spring fitness tips to help you get started!


Start Slowly


Our best advice is to start slowly to avoid injury.  The idea is to “Spring” into fitness; not SLAM into fitness. Begin with three days of cardio exercise and two days of strength exercise.


Cardio recommendations


Start with walking or another low-impact exercise.


You can do this outdoors if the weather permits or use indoor cardio equipment either at your home or our studio. Warm-up your ankles such as tapping your toes, heel raises, and ankle circles.

Week 1 20 minutes on three days of the week
Week 2 20 minutes on four days of the week OR 30 minutes on three days.
Week 3 20 minutes on five days of the week or 30 minutes on four days.
Week 4 30 minutes on five days.

Once you have built up to five days per week, stick with it. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity each week.

Having trouble finding the time?

30 minutes is only 2% of 24 hours!


Strength Training recommendations


The America Heart Association (and XO Fitness) recommend strength training two non-consecutive days each week.


Consulting a certified fitness professional is definitely a good idea because good form and proper exercise selection will improve your results and reduce your risk of getting injured.  As your body adapts to the extra demands of strength training you may eventually want to add a third day of strength training.


Stretching recommendations


The BEST time to work on your flexibility is AFTER your workout because your muscles are warm and pliable.  Many people blow-off this part of the workout, but flexibility training is just as important as cardiovascular and strength training. Most important stretches for most people include those for your hip flexors and chest/front of shoulders. Try these!