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Black Friday Fitness Special

Category : Upcoming Events

Don’t miss out on our Black Friday Fitness Special!

Get one FREE month Cardio & Circuit Membership (value $99) when you purchase our Introductory Special (5 personal training sessions for $99)

Stop by XO Fitness during our regular business hours or purchase the Introductory Special online and we’ll add on your membership!

This special is good NOW through November 29th. Friday we will be open 9am-4pm if you’d like to stop in.

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Poisonous Plants

Category : Active Living

Don’t let these poisonous plants ruin your summertime fun!

A couple of poisonous plants that are very common in Wisconsin include poison ivy and poison parsnip.

Poison Ivy…leaves of three, let it be

Of course, avoiding contact with poison ivy is the best case scenario, so being able to identify it is important. In the picture below you can see smaller light green leaves and more mature darker green leaves of the poison ivy plant.

Poison Ivy

Poison Ivy along the Fox River Trail

If you do come in contact with poison ivy  wash your skin as soon as possible…experts recommend within 30 minutes of exposure. Use soap and water to remove the oils. If you are out in the the middle of nowhere with no soap available rinsing in a lake is a good alternative. Also, wash your clothing and bathe any pets you suspect may have been in contact with it.

How to treat Poison Ivy

The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following:

Take short, lukewarm baths. To ease the itch, take short, lukewarm baths in a colloidal oatmeal preparation, which you can buy at your local drugstore. You can also draw a bath and add one cup of baking soda to the running water. Taking short, cool showers may also help.

Consider calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream. Apply calamine lotion to skin that itches. If you have a mild case, a hydrocortisone cream or lotion may also help.

Apply cool compresses to the itchy skin. You can make a cool compress by wetting a clean washcloth with cold water and wringing it out so that it does not drip. Then, apply the cool cloth to the itchy skin.

Consider taking antihistamine pills. These pills can help reduce itching, however use with caution. You should not apply an antihistamine to your skin, as doing so can worsen the rash and the itch.

According to WebMD:

The rash usually takes more than a week to show up the first time you have a reaction to the oil. It develops in a day or two on later contacts. The rash may form in new areas over several days, but you will only get a rash where the oil touched your skin. The rash usually lasts about 10 days to 3 weeks. But it may last up to 6 weeks in more severe cases.

Poison Parsnip

I had never heard of this until Ryan cam in contact with it about 10 years ago during an adventure race. Somehow we had never noticed it before, but now I see it everywhere I travel in Wisconsin.

Poison Parsnip along the Fox River Trail

Poison Parsnip along the Fox River Trail

According to the Wisconsin DNR:

When sap contacts skin in the presence of sunlight, it can cause severe rashes, blisters, and discoloration of the skin (phytophotodermatitis).

Once exposed, your skin will turn red within 24 to 48 hours. In many cases, after the skin reddens, blisters appear–some of them pretty big. Sometimes the area that was burned takes on a dark red or brown discoloration that can last for as long as 2 years. The good news is, while it might hurt for awhile, the burning feeling will go away in a day or two. This is different from poison ivy where the itching can last for weeks.

 

You can treat blisters with cool compresses. Try to keep blisters from rupturing as long as possible. If blisters do rupture try to prevent infection. Clean the sores with soap and cool water. Apply an antibiotic ointment with painkiller and a sterile bandage to keep contaminants out. Change bandages twice a day or as needed to keep the area clean and dry.

Have fun & enjoy to the great outdoors, but be careful out there!

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FAQ’s about Exercise and your Heart

Category : Exercise

February is Heart Health Month

 

Of course, you’ve heard that you can reduce your risk of heart disease with exercise, but we wanted answer some FAQ’s about Exercise and your Heart because the confused mind won’t take action.

 

How Much? How Often? Read more about the American Heart Association’s recommendations

 

What should my heart rate be? Read more about monitoring your intensity level

 

Should I do Cardio or Strength first? Read more…it depends

 

How can I get the most out of cardio training? Read more about maximizing your cardio

 

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Managing Stress this Holiday Season

Category : Active Living

Americans, in general,  are stressed out and the holidays just put the icing on the cake.  According to the American Medical Association, stress is a factor in more than 75% of sickness today. Also, according to the World Health Organization, stress is America’s #1 Health Problem.

Don’t let stress ruin your holidays!

 

Read Managing Stress this Holiday Season

 

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Pumpkin Workout

Category : Exercise

The Pumpkin Workout is designed to help you burn off any extra calories you happen to eat on Halloween.
 
Grab a pumpkin and let’s get going!
 
Exercise #1: Pumpkin swings
 
Exercise #2: Step back lunge with a pumpkin twist
 
Exercise #3: Side-to-side lunge with a pumpkin curl
 
Exercise #4: Sumo squat with pumpkin up & over
 

Every time your eat a piece of candy do this workout & have fun!
 
P.S. The pumpkin I used for this video weighed 7 1/2 pounds and it was plenty heavy. If you can’t find a pumpkin that’s the right weight for you it’s OK to use a med ball or a hand weight instead.

 

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Nutritional Benefits of Watermelon

Category : Healthy Eating

by Karin Jennings

I recently read a very interesting article about the nutritional benefits of watermelon. I have always been a fan of this fabulous fruit because it’s refreshing and sweet, but I learned there are even more reasons to enjoy watermelon!

Why eat watermelon?

  • First of all, it’s a great source of vitamin C, Vitamin A and potassium.
  • Secondly, it will help you stay hydrated because it is 92% water.
  • Also it contains citrulline and lycopene, according to Penelope Perkins-Veazie, a professor of horticulture in the Plants for Human Health Institute at North Carolina State University. (She has been studying watermelon nutrients for 15 years!!)

How does citrulline benefit your body?

I hadn’t heard of this non-essential amino acid prior reading about it last week, but here’s what found out: It is involved in producing nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure which benefits the both the brain and heart. It also helps to flush the kidneys.

How does lycopene benefit your body?

The tomato industry has been touting the benefits of lycopene for a while now (I see it on every bottle of ketchup), but it turns out that lycopene is more abundant and easily absorbed from watermelon than from tomatoes. (That’s good…I like watermelon better!) Lycopene reduces plaque build up in arteries and helps prevent prostate cancer.

For those of you who prefer lists…watermelons will improve the following:

  • muscle pain after workouts
  • blood pressure
  • plaque build up in arteries
  • inflammation of the prostate
  • erectile dysfunction
  • menopause symptoms
  • acid reflux

Watermelon is a very healthy snack…here’s the nutritional information:

Two cups of watermelon contains:

  • 80 calories
  • 21 grams of carbohydrates (mostly sugars)
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of protein

What about all the sugar?

Don’t worry, according to Perkins-Veazie there is an enzyme present in watermelon which regulates the glucose. It is much healthier than any pre-packaged, processed snack you can buy off the shelf!

Go ahead, enjoy your watermelon!!

 

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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!

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Spring Clean Your Pantry

Category : Healthy Eating

Now is the time to spring clean your pantry!

 

  • Want to lose weight?
  • Want to have more energy?
  • Want to feel good about what you are eating?

Cleaning out your pantry and changing your shopping patterns may seem like a lot of work up front, however once you have adopted the whole foods lifestyle you will feel much better about what you and your family are eating, have more energy and most likely lose weight.

You can do it…click here to find out how!!

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A Healthier Thanksgiving Dinner

Category : Healthy Eating

Dear Friends:

Traditionally, Thanksgiving dinner goes hand-in-hand with a super-sized meal followed reclining (or napping) on the couch. Sound familiar?

XO Fitness wants to help you enjoy a Healthier Thanksgiving Dinner

If you’re in charge of dinner or helping to plan, keep these tips in mind (even if you aren’t in charge,# 3, #4, #6, #7 are key to your healthy Thanksgiving:

1) Schedule the meal earlier in the day.  Having the big meal at noon or 2 PM will give your body time to digest it before bedtime. Also, if you’ve finished dinner before dark you can go outdoors for some fresh air and possibly a walk.

2) Serve small dishes every hour or so. Another suggestion, turn Thanksgiving into an all- day celebration this will spread the calories out throughout the day and you’ll be less likely to feel over-stuffed.

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 eating sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing and rolls choose only one or two of these dishes.  It will save a ton of calories and you’ll feel less ‘stuffed!’ (pun intended!) By the way, making cauliflower mashed potatoes is a great alternative regular mashed potatoes!

5) Serve appetizers. Prior to the main meal, serve a colorful vegetable platter, delicious soup and/or salad.

6) 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 or roasted vegetables).

7) Drink water. Set out water glasses for everyone with dinner.

Have a Healthy, Happy Thanksgiving!

Ryan & Karin and the XO Fitness Training team

Comments Off on 8 Tips for Eating Healthier on Thanksgiving

8 Tips for Eating Healthier on Thanksgiving

Category : Healthy Eating

Traditionally, Thanksgiving dinner goes hand-in-hand with a huge meal followed reclining (or napping) on the couch…here are hints to help you feel great instead of stuffed!

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. Usually I’d suggest noon, but since the Packer game will be in full swing, perhaps an early evening meal  would be more realistic (with light snacks during the game, of course).

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.

Just because sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing and rolls are on the table doesn’t mean you have to eat them all. You might not be in charge of planning the meal, but you are in charge of what goes on your plate and into your mouth. You can choose  NOT to 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) Eat lots of vegetables.

Put veggies on your plate first so that they take up the majority of the space. Eat a salad first if  one has been provided…better yet, offer to bring a salad. Beware of  heavy-duty casseroles…look for simple plain vegetables.

6) Avoid seconds.

Remember you will most likely be having dessert too, so one serving of dinner is enough. Pause and tune in to how you really feel…are you actually hungry or are you just trying to please your host by accepting seconds? It’s ok to say “no thank you” and perhaps offer to take home a small amount of left-overs instead. (If your mom is like mom she will appreciate this!)

7) Drink water.

Drink a glass of water immediately before you eat.

8) 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.

 Enjoy your family, friends and food (in that order) and you will feel great!