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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!

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February is Healthy Heart Month

Category : Active Living, Exercise

Go Red For Women…What’s it all about?

It’s not just a fashion statement and it has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day.

It’s about heart disease awareness…especially for women because heart disease is the #1 killer of women.

 Warning signs of a heart attack

Every 25 seconds an American will have what the CDC terms a ‘coronary event’ or what most of us would call a heart attack.  The sooner a person receives medical attention, the more likely they are to recover. That is why it is critical that everyone knows the warning signs of a heart attack. 

If you’re experiencing a heart attack you’ll feel chest pain, right? Maybe…for many it is much less obvious. The National Institutes of Health lists the following symptoms:

  • Chest discomfort (still the most common symptom) usually in the center of the chest
  • Chest discomfort lasts for more than a few minutes, or goes away and comes back
  • Can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain
  • Discomfort in other areas of the upper body, including pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach
  • Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort
  • Breaking out in a cold sweat
  • Nausea
  • Light-headedness

 Who is in danger? There are many risk factors which can contribute to heart disease:

  • Age
  • Family History
  • Smoking
  • High blood pressure
  • High blood cholesterol
  • Being overweight
  • Physical inactivity
  • High stress levels
  • Unchecked diabetes

 Of course, some risk factors cannot be changed such as your age and your family history. Men who are 45 or older and women who are 55 or older are more likely to have a heart attack than are younger men and women. If your siblings, parents or grandparents have had heart attacks, you may be at increased risk, so it is important to know your family history and share it with your doctor.

 What you can do to beat the “Silent Killer”

According to Heart Truth, “By doing just 4 things—eating right, being physically active, not smoking, and keeping a healthy weight—you can reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 82 percent.”

Exercising 30 minutes per day can reduce your risk of heart disease by 30 to 40 percent and risk of stroke by 25 percent. Studies have shown that exercise can reduce many of the risk factors including your blood pressure, your weight, your cholesterol and your stress levels. 

If you are inactive, it’s time to get moving. Five times a week probably sounds impossible. That’s OK, start with 3 days per week and see how you feel. 30 minutes may seem like a very long time, if so, break it up! The AHA states that three 10-minute periods of activity are almost as beneficial to your overall fitness as one 30-minute session! You CAN do it. Do it for yourself, do it for your family! Be sure to check with your doctor prior to beginning an exercise program if you have any of the risk factors.

Please visit for more information!

If you have questions regarding starting up an exercise program to improve your health and reduce your risk of heart disease please don’t hesitate to contact us at


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Law of Success #4

Category : Active Living, Exercise

The Law of Self-Efficacy

You have to believe in order to achieve!


Self-efficacy is the belief that you can do it!
Psychologist Albert Bandura has defined self-efficacy as 

one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations.  


How confident are you?

The Physical Exercise Self-Efficacy Quiz

How certain are you that you could overcome the following barriers?


Rate yourself on the following scale:

1= Very uncertain; 2= Rather uncertain; 3= Rather certain; 4= Very certain


I can manage to carry out my exercise plans even if…

I have worries and problems

I feel depressed

I feel tense

I am tired

I am busy


The Nutrition Self-Efficacy Quiz

 How certain are you that you could overcome the following barriers?


I can manage to stick to healthful foods even if…

I need a long time to develop the necessary routines.

I have to try several times until it works.

I have to rethink my entire way of nutrition.

I do not receive a great deal of support from others when making my first attempts.

I have to make a detailed plan.  


If you scored high (mostly 3’s & 4’s) 

odds are you WILL succeed!


If you scored low (mostly 1’s & 2’s)

Identifying the barriers that are most likely going to trip you up 

will help you get past them. Take baby steps and you WILL succeed!


Think of self confidence as a bank…

Each time you keep a promise to yourself, 

your store of self confidence gets bigger, 

making it easier to keep the next promise to yourself! 

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Law of Success #3

Category : Active Living, Exercise


Be relentless in your pursuit of success.


Consistency is the key to achieving any goal. 

It’s so easy to get distracted…

You must stay focused

in order to reach your goal. 


“If you chase two rabbits, 
you will not catch either one.”


Write down your #1 goal

and follow the advice of Spencer Johnson, M.D.,

author of One Minute Manager:


Take a minute

Look at your goal

Look at your behavior

See if your behavior matches your goal


Comments Off on Game Plan for December

Game Plan for December

Category : Active Living, Exercise, Healthy Eating

Of course you are busy! It’s the holiday season.  That is why you need to take a few minutes NOW to make Holiday resolutions. Why wait until January? What goals can you set to make the holidays healthier and happier? Here are some suggestions:

Write a specific exercise goal.

For example, “I will exercise ____ days per week for _____ minutes between now and December 31.”

Tight on time? Consider that exercising just 30 minutes twice a week can help you maintain your current fitness level. Another suggestion: 10 minutes on your home cardio equipment each morning is better than no minutes.  Just do it and you’ll feel better all day.

Tips on setting goals:

  • Write them down and post them somewhere you can review them on daily basis. Written goals are much more likely to be achieved.
  • Share your goals. Tell another person about your goals. Whether you enlist your spouse, your best friend or your personal trainer the support of another person will help you stick to it. If at all possible, find a friend who wants to set similar goals. This way you will have someone to hold you accountable.

Schedule your exercise sessions.

Writing an exercise goal is a great start, now get out your calendar. Instead of saying, “I’ll do it when I have time” schedule your workouts (date & time). Treat your workouts like you would an appointment with your dentist or hair stylist. In other words, don’t be late and always re-schedule missed appointments.

Keep a Journal.

This is where our Healthy Holiday Stars Program comes in!! Tracking both your exercise and food intake in writing can really help you stay focused. Exercise logs can help you see your progress and adhere to your plan. Once you get the momentum going you will not want to skip a day because you will want to record something in your journal. Food logs make you more mindful of what you are eating and how much. Studies show that keeping track of your eating in a journal is one of the keys to successful weight loss.

Set a daily quota for holiday treats.

For instance, “I will eat ONLY ONE holiday treat daily.” This gives you permission to have a little treat without feeling guilty. Feeling bad about yourself for eating something is no way to live. Instead, feel proud of the fact that you can eat just one! Completely abstaining from chocolate often makes cravings worse and can lead to a binge.

If you have a game plan for December you won’t feel as if you have to start all over again in January! Take time for YOU this holiday season!

Comments Off on Law of Success #2

Law of Success #2

Category : Active Living, Exercise

The Law of EFFORT 


The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary!

~Vidal Sassoon  


Losing weight is never easy…

You must 

plan ahead,

find the time,

exercise & eat healthfully.


Success is the sum of small efforts, 

repeated day in and day out.

~Robert Collier


Daily recommendations:

30 minutes of exercise 

Eat breakfast

Eat 4 to 5 times each day

Eat your vegetables 

Notice the emphasis on eating right…focus your effort on this!


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Law of Success #1

Category : Active Living, Exercise



If it’s going to be it’s up to me!

If you are going to achieve results, 
it is going to be up to you.  
Your trainer, your spouse and your friends 
can offer encouragement & support, 
but you must be willing to make & stick to 
the healthy lifestyle changes.  


Think about it:

Is there one thing that you 
know you should change?  

Can you start today?

Can you do it this week?

If not, why not?

It’s up to you!



Comments Off on Get “Back to Fitness” this Fall

Get “Back to Fitness” this Fall

Category : Active Living, Exercise

by Karin Jennings

The trouble with summer is that people tend to be very inconsistent about exercising.  This happens for a multitude of reasons:  a) it’s hot; b) the kids are home;c) week-long vacations and travel; d) relying on outdoor activities like gardening and walking for exercise.

Now that September  is almost here it is time to get back to fitness!

How to start? ”Back to School” and “Back to Fitness” have a lot of similarities. The “Three R’s” of fitness include: 1) Regular Routine, 2) ‘Rite it down, and 3) ‘Rithmetic.

1)    Regular Routine

Schedule your exercise.Consistency is the key to success.“I am going to get in shape this fall” is far too vague. Instead, say “I am going to exercise for 30 minutes three days a week for the next 4 weeks.” You should consider being even more specific and schedule the days you will exercise on your calendar. Notice how this statement is measurable in couple of ways (minutes of exercise & days per week) it also has a time frame of 4 weeks so when you have successfully exercised through out the month of September you can reward yourself. Then you can set a new goal (maybe 4 days/week) for the month of October!

2)    ‘Rite it down

Three things you should consider writing down:

Your goals. Post them somewhere you can see them regularly and act upon them.  It is important to review your goals daily…for one minute. Spencer Johnson, M.D., in his book The One Minute Mother gives us this motivational quote: “I take a minute, I look at my goals, I look at my behavior, I see if my behavior matches my goals”.

Record your workouts. It may seem silly, but most grown-ups are just as motivated as grade-schoolers by something as simple as a chart on the wall with gold stars. Try this at home: Place a calendar which is dedicated to keeping track of your workouts in a prominent location such as your refrigerator. Everyday you workout give yourself a star on the calendar. You may also want to record your time, distance and/or the activities you completed. How many minutes and/or miles you complete weekly or monthly? This will keep you motivated to keep moving.

Record what you are eating. If one of your goals is to lose weight, a food log is an excellent way to get started. Studies show that writing down everything you eat throughout the day can double your weight loss. This works because it makes you much more aware of what you are putting in your mouth.

3) ‘Rithmetic

A lot of us are motivated by the numbers.

Most people feel they MUST weigh themselves, however don’t measure success by that number alone. Here are some other numbers to consider:

Body composition (the ratio of fat to lean body tissue) is much more important. This can be measured with a skin fold calipers by a fitness professional.

Inches lost. Measure and record the number of inches around your waist, hips, and upper leg with a tape measure. The tricky part is measuring the same spot the next time, so take good notes. For example, when you measure your waist pay attention: did you measure across your belly button or two inches above your belly button? Re-measure in 4 weeks.

Measure your fitness How many push-ups you can do without stopping, how many chair squats you can complete in 30 seconds and how long can you stand on one foot?How long does it takes you to walk/run a specific distance such as one mile (works best on a track)? Re-test every four weeks and you will be impressed with yourself!

Turn over a new leaf…follow the “Three R’s” and get fit this fall.

If you have a health & fitness question or need help with your fall fitness routine contact us

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

Comments Off on Bike to Work Week: May 13-17

Bike to Work Week: May 13-17

Category : Active Living, Exercise

Check this out! Biking to work is a great strategy for fitting in fitness!


Bike to Work Week

Comments Off on Exercise can make you a better Mom

Exercise can make you a better Mom

Category : Exercise

No  matter what age your kids happen to be, it’s important that you take care of yourself. Most moms are so busy taking care of everyone else, they often run themselves down.  Finding the time to exercise can be quite a challenge, but that time is important for both you and your kids. Everyone benefits when moms find a way to fit in fitness.


Pre-natal exercise minimizes weight gain and can reduce back pain during pregnancy. It  can definitely make your delivery easier…let’s face it, giving birth is an endurance event! It’s important to check with your doctor before you embark on a pre-natal exercise program. It’s is also a good idea to consult with a fitness professional who can help choose safe exercises and adapt them as your body changes shape.

Moms with little kids…0-5 years

Most women gain a few extra pounds during pregnancy which don’t disappear the moment the baby is born. “Baby-fat” is cute on babies, but not so cute on moms. Getting your body back should be a priority because the longer you wait, the harder it will be. Kids in this age group are very demanding to  say the least; you spend nearly every waking moment taking care of them. Isn’t it time you take care of yourself? A little “me time” goes a long way. Try taking a 15 minute walk or joining an exercise class preferably at a facility which offers child care. You will feel refreshed and be a better mom.

Moms with school-age kids…6-17 years

Currently one-third of American children are obese or at risk of becoming so. Your kids are watching you…be a good role model.  The fact is, kids don’t move enough. Why? They are watching YOU. So get moving, turn off the TV, take a walk or go for a bike ride with your kids. Even if you go to the gym without your kids they will be aware that you value exercise, and you can discuss why it is important to you. If you care about exercise and eating well you will be an awesome role model and it will rub off on your kids (eventually).

Moms with older kids

As your kids become more independent you may have more free time. Is retirement on the horizon? What have you always wanted to do, but didn’t have time with work and kids taking up so much of your time? Are you in shape enough to do it now? If not, what do you need to do to get there? It’s not too late to get started down the path to health and fitness, just start with small steps (pun intended).


Holding a new born grandchild you may wonder, “When did they start making babies so heavy?” Once they start to walk and run are you fast enough to keep up with them? Can you get down on the floor to play with them? You are never too old to start exercising. Start with walking, or if you’d prefer more structure seek out a  fitness professional to help you choose safe and effective exercises in either a group or one-on-one setting.

Now that you are excited about getting fit to be a better mom, set yourself a goal: What is one thing you can do to improve your health this week? Write it down, better yet, e-mail it to me  I want to know what you are going to do this week to improve your health and I am going to hold you to it! Hope to hear from you.

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