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!

Comments Off on Mother Daughter Fitness: Part 3

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.

Comments Off on Mother Daughter Fitness: Part 2

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 Hangover Recovery

Hangover Recovery

Category : Active Living

Here are some tips to help with hangover recovery.

Let’s face it, most of the time you are careful to eat and drink in moderation, but there are lots of parties this time of year and lots of opportunities to over-do-it. If you wake wake up with a food and/or beverage hangover here are some great tips from Mark Verstegen & Pete Williams authors of Core Performance for Women:

What to do the day after…

  • Do not feel guilty for your indulgences.
  • Start your day off with water, green tea, a multi-vitamin, fish oil and a great breakfast.
  • Get in a workout. Sweat!
  • Jump right back into your schedule of eating 4-5 meals/day
  • Go to bed early so that you can get at least 8 hours of sleep

The important thing to remember is not to let this one day bender derail your good habits. After all, that one off day represents just 0.27 % of the entire year. What matters most is how you eat the following day. By employing these simple strategies, you’ll avoid a tailspin of poor nutrition and jolt you metabolism to start burning strong again!

Have a Happy & Healthy 2015!!


Comments Off on Healthy Thanksgiving Hints

Healthy Thanksgiving Hints

Category : Active Living

Traditionally, Thanksgiving dinner goes hand-in-hand with a huge meal followed reclining (or napping) on the couch. Here are some Healthy Thanksgiving hints to help you enjoy the holiday without over-doing it!
1) Don’t starve yourself. Depriving yourself all day in anticipation of a big meal is not a good idea. Doing this just sets you up for a binge. You should definitely eat a healthy breakfast and depending upon when the big meal is being served you may need to eat a healthy snacks such as fruits or vegetables so that you aren’t ravenous by the time you sit down at the table.
2) Schedule the meal earlier in the day.  Having the big meal as early as possible is a good idea because it gives your body a chance to digest your food before bedtime.
3) Take very small portions. As you fill your plate, remember there are typically a lot more dishes on the table to choose from compared to your ordinary meal. With this in mind, take very small portions so you have room to “taste” everything.
4) Minimize the carb overload. Instead of preparing sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing and rolls choose only one or two of these dishes. If you are not in charge of planning the meal you can just elect to NOT put all of these carb laden foods on your plate…just pick your favorite. It will save a ton of calories and you’ll feel less ‘stuffed!’ (pun intended!)
5) Serve lots of vegetables. Offer two or three different types of vegetables at the table (and they don’t have to be heavy-duty casseroles…just simple steamed vegetables).
6) Drink water. Set out water glasses for everyone with dinner. Drink a glass of water immediately before you eat.
7) Drink alcohol only in moderation. Remember that alcohol has a lot of empty calories and also lowers your inhibitions so you may throw caution to the wind and eat more than you intended.
 Plan Some Thanksgiving Activities
As always, saying, “I’ll do it if I have time” doesn’t cut it. PLAN when you will exercise and what you will do. A workout will actually make you feel better and help to suppress your appetite so you’re less likely to overeat.  Remember that a little extra activity gets you away from the food, but it does not give you a license to eat an extra piece of pie.
  • First thing in the morning. Sneaking in your workout even if it is only 10 minutes will give you energy for the whole day.
  • Participate in a Turkey Trot. A lot of communities have running/walking events on Thanksgiving Day. In Green Bay, the Festival Foods Turkey Trot begins Thursday at 8:00 am. It’s a great family tradition!
  • Get outdoors. Inspiring even half of the guests to go out for some fresh air will break up the day: walk, play catch or shoot some hoops. Staying inside with your relatives ALL day is not recommended!
  • Indoor ideas: Break out the Wii (no sitting while playing Wii is the rule at our house), play ping pong or pull out the Holiday decorations and have the family help get your house looking festive.
Enjoy your family, friends and food (in that order) and you will feel great!
Have a Healthy, Happy Thanksgiving!

Comments Off on Best Stretches for Desk Workers

Best Stretches for Desk Workers

Category : Active Living, Exercise

Here are the two of the best stretches for desk workers. If you sit at a desk (or in your car) be sure to do these stretches  to improve your posture and reduce back pain!

Hip Flexor Stretch

 Pectoral (Chest) Stretch

Work doesn’t have to be a pain in the back (or neck). Take a break from your desk once each hour… get up & move then try these stretches…your body will thank you!

Comments Off on Be a healthy role model for your child

Be a healthy role model for your child

Category : Active Living

Note from Karin:

Parents, be a healthy role model for your child. Show your kids how to live a healthy lifestyle and a have a positive body image. Be careful what you say and do…because your kids are paying attention! ~Karin 

The following article, “Moms, Be careful what you say around your daughters” was written by Sherri McMillan, a fellow personal trainer & owner of Northwest Personal Training in Vancouver, WA…I hope you will take her words of wisdom to heart!

Moms, Be careful what you say around your daughters

by Sherri McMillan

I heard a conversation at a pool that went something like this. A young girl asked her mother why she wasn’t swimming. The mother responded that she was too fat and needed to lose a lot of weight before she could even consider wearing a bathing suit. Wow! What kind of a message do you think that mother was sending to her daughter? The daughter could easily interpret that response to mean that a woman must be skinny in order to do the things she wants to do. She must be thin in order to be beautiful enough to be seen in public. She must be lean in order to be loved.

Do you realize that girls as young as 5 years are dieting?

Where do you think they are getting the idea for the need to diet and lose weight? Sure media plays a big role but it’s a lot closer to home than that! A young girl’s mother is her most important role model. Values, principles and beliefs are instilled at such a young age and last a lifetime. If a young girl believes you have to be skin and bones to be attractive, she will struggle with her weight and body image for the rest of her life. Moms, think before you speak. If you comment on your thighs and your cellulite perhaps your daughter will start examining her own thighs more closely and determine she’s not too happy with hers either! If you compare yourself to other women or models in a magazine, your daughter will start comparing as well. If you are always on some type of diet and then go on an all-out junk binge, your daughter will adopt the same practices. Moms – you can’t think only about yourself anymore. Mimicking is how most young children learn and develop. You have the power to help your daughters develop into strong, confident, beautiful human beings – on the inside and out or to become insecure, unhealthy, and negative.

Here’s some tips to consider:

  • Learn to love your own body. Easier said than done! You may have 30+ years of media brain-washing to try to overcome but your daughters can still be saved! At the very least, never comment on your own body in a negative manner, especially in front of your daughters. And as often as you can, point out what your love about yourself.
  • Never comment on other women’s bodies and compare them to your own. Avoid scanning magazines with your daughters and remarking “I’d love to have her legs” or “I wish I could wear that” or “She’s so skinny and perfect”. Instead, when looking at magazines ask your daughters if they know that each of the models are made-up for hours and air-brushed to create the final unrealistic image. Discuss with them how distorted and unhealthy this is. Talk to them about the scary consequences of these unrealistic ideals such as poor body image, extreme dieting, anorexia, bulimia, and death. Openly and regularly discuss these issues.
  • Promote healthy eating and an active lifestyle. Diets don’t work for you or your daughters. Instead focus on encouraging your daughters to eat lots of fruits, vegetables and drink lots of water – not because it’ll keep them thin but rather, keep them healthy. Avoid exercising excessively. What message are you giving to your daughters if you remark “I’ve got to get to the gym to burn off that piece of chocolate cake” or if you consistently sacrifice other things in your life because you have to get to the gym? Remember little eyes are always watching and taking mental notes. Teach them you workout because you love your body not so that you can love your body. There’s a big difference!
  • Be watchful of the men in your home – husbands, grandpas, sons etc. Do they make digs about other women’s, yours or your daughter’s body? Are they constantly discussing women’s bodies? If so, deal with it immediately. Make sure they understand how harmful, hurtful and damaging their remarks can be. Be sure they know that any further comments are inappropriate and unacceptable and will be dealt with.
  • If you do notice your daughter is practicing unhealthy eating and exercising habits, stay calm but seek help immediately. Consult with your physician to get a referral to see someone who specializes in this area. There may be something you can do before things get worse.

The vicious cycle of body hatred can be stopped and it starts with you.

Each of you has the opportunity to deposit a little bit of love into a little girl’s self esteem bank everyday! And you may find it gives your confidence a boost also!”


Comments Off on Healthy Lifestyle Tips: Good for YOU & the Planet

Healthy Lifestyle Tips: Good for YOU & the Planet

Category : Active Living, Healthy Eating

Earth Day is April 22.

Here are some tips to make you and the planet healthier!

Leave your car at home.

Not everyone is lucky enough to live walking distance from their place of work. If walking is out of the question, consider biking to work at least a couple days per week. If getting to work must involve a car, think about walking from your place of work to “run” errands (ok, you can walk) or go out to lunch.  The less you drive, the better!

 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.

 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.

Reduce the amount of garbage you send to the landfill.

Two suggestions:

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 lifestyle tips for a healthier planet and healthier body.

Do you have a health or fitness question? Contact me

Yours in Health & Fitness,


Karin Jennings is a certified personal trainer and co-owner of XO Fitness, LLC in De Pere.