Inspiration of the Week: Meet Elona!

When Elona joined FCF she jumped in with zest and a positive mindset. We love that she was clear on what her goals were, knew that she needed accountability and was willing to put in the work and be guided by her coaches! We love her can do attitude in session and willingness to learn and push herself outside her comfort zone. In her short time here at FCF she’s already feeling stronger, has more mobility, better balance, and increased her endurance. It’s the start of a wonderful journey to optimal health and we are excited to continue watching her blossom.

Here’s why she joined FCF…

I joined Full Circle Fitness because I wanted a physical fitness program that was designed for mature adults. I need the instruction and guidance to both motivate myself and keep from getting hurt.
My goal is to become fitter. I really like that Full Circle Fitness trainings work on strength, training, flexibility, and balance. I saw improvement in all areas in the first 2 months of coming here, and even more so now that I’m 6 months in! I look forward to seeing even more improvements in the future.
I really enjoy all the coaches and members I have meet. Being new to the area I feel so fortunate I found such a fun and friendly fitness community. I feel so good every day after I complete my workouts.
The secret to making the most of my experience at Full Circle Fitness is to plan and prioritize my training sessions. Once I schedule my sessions, I put them on a big calendar and then schedule other appointments around them. If I am going to be out of town. I schedule additional sessions before and right after I return home. I also try to arrive early to the studio to stretch and avoid traffic stress.

There’s no magic secret as to why Elona’s been successful so far. It’s the non-sexy stuff, planning, prioritizing, consistency, and having a positive attitude. Sometimes we try to make it really complicated or make a million excuses, but it really comes down to taking that first step by having those honest conversations with ourselves and then making it a priority in your life.

A big congratulations to Elona for acknowledging that, making it happen, and putting in the hard work each time she comes in! If you’re ready to make a commitment to a healthier, stronger life just email or call/text @ (657) 231-6207 and we’ll set up a time to chat with you to create your realistic training program so you can start your journey to optimal health today!

Skiing Proves There’s ‘No Off-Season’ for Exercise

Martin Pazzani grew up skiing and was even a downhill racer in college.

But by his mid-40s, he had drifted away from the sport and from fitness in general, having devoted much more time to work. So, the next time he tried to ski, things didn’t go so well.
 
“Skiing when you’re not fit sucks,” recalls Martin, now in his 60s, a fitness entrepreneur and marketer. “It really does.”
 
That day was hard on his thighs, and he didn’t have as much control and balance. “I thought I was done with skiing for the rest of my life, at age 45.”
 
But by the time he went skiing again seven years later, Martin had regained his fitness, so he had the necessary strength, endurance and balance. This time, skiing was more like it’s supposed to be: fun.
 
“I skied top to bottom my first run and didn’t even stop. I had got it back. It’s all about conditioning.”

 

Hitting the Slopes in Large Numbers

 

Baby boomers make up about 20 percent of US skiers, with millions more people over 50 also hitting the slopes. Nowadays, it’s not as physically hard as it used to be because skis are wider and easier to control, other equipment is also better, and the slopes are groomed to be so much smoother.
 
Plus, “senior” discounts are plentiful, with some mountains even offering free passes to people over a certain age.
 
And skiers love the fresh air, spectacular scenery, and community atmosphere found at most ski spots.
 
Here are some general suggestions about getting ready for your first ski trip of this year, or maybe even several years.

Cardio. Be sure to go on a few walks each week and take the stairs when you can. Or, if your stamina is already fair, then work in two or three cardio workouts weekly. Martin also recommends jumping rope.
Resistance training for legs. Most of the muscle strain from downhill skiing is on your thighs, butt, hamstrings and calves. A nice leg circuit twice a week will help get you ready. That means squats, lunges, leg curls and calf raises. Ask for a demonstration if you’re not familiar with proper form.
Core. Skiing requires a strong core because of all the twisting and leaning forward. Get ready with planks, leg raises, and other exercises we’re happy to show you.
Flexibility. Stretch before working out with weights, walking or running – and that includes your lower back. 

She Doesn’t Let Anything Stop Her

 

Dawn Lowery, 61, also started as a child, and this will be her 50th year in a row of skiing – “even the years I blew out my ACLs — both knees, different years,” she says.

 
Dawn, a physician’s assistant and member of the ski patrol, stays in shape by hiking and biking during summers.

She practices Pilates and goes to the gym, as well, and says her core and leg strength have been instrumental in helping her bounce back after injuries and surgeries.
 
“Being active is very important for all seasons,” she says. “There is no off-season for exercise.”

 

Talk to us about getting in shape for skiing or any sport. For more information about discounts, visit the 70+ Ski Club.

Fitness Facts to Fuel Your Fire

When it comes to fitness over 50, some topics are just timeless and deserve our constant attention. These four subjects are not only relevant but also crucial, whether you’re considering starting a fitness routine or you’re already on your fitness journey. No. 1: The Importance of MuscleIf you want to age gracefully, maintain your quality of life, and enjoy independence, then strength training is non-negotiable. Interestingly, there’s a generational divide when it comes to awareness. Many people over 60 may not fully grasp the significance of strength training because fitness didn’t enter mainstream culture until the early 1980s. Before that, the only people associated with “weightlifting” and “muscle” were bodybuilders, often portrayed as a freak show. But for decades now, we’ve known that everyone needs muscle just to function. As we age, our bodies naturally lose muscle, leading to weakness, frailty, reduced mobility, falls, and the stereotypical “just getting old” troubles – unless we practice strength training via weightlifting, yoga, or other methods.  No. 2: Maintaining Brain HealthReduced brain function isn’t inevitable, either. Research has highlighted the connection between physical activity and brain health. We have the tools to maintain and even improve our brain function as we age. Physically active individuals are less likely to lose mental function and have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. And regular exercise helps combat other Alzheimer’s disease risk factors, including depression and obesity. The UK’s Alzheimer’s Society says, “Regular physical exercise appears to be one of the best things you can do to reduce your risk of getting dementia.”  No. 3: Protein and HydrationAs we age, our nutritional needs evolve. We tend to eat less, even as our need for protein becomes more critical. Don’t wait till you’re hungry to eat. Keep a schedule. And consume enough protein for energy and muscle maintenance. Hydration is equally crucial. It affects cognitive function, arthritis, joint pain, and overall well-being. Drink plenty of water – and “eat your water” by consuming fruits and vegetables loaded with it. No. 4: Combating LonelinessThe U.S. Surgeon General recently sounded the alarm about an epidemic of social isolation, with 1 in 2 adults reporting loneliness. It’s especially prevalent among older people, often due to the loss of life partners, distant children, and reduced interactions associated with jobs. Loneliness can lead to sleep problems, increased inflammation, reduced immunity, and other health issues. It’s linked to pain, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and a shorter lifespan.  Being part of a fitness community can alleviate loneliness, regardless of age. It provides accountability, social engagement, and a higher chance of achieving your fitness goals. These Fantastic Four topics are vital for healthy aging. Let them guide you as you start or re-focus your fitness journey! Remember, we are here to talk it out and help in any way possible.


Exercise Is Your Friend Against Arthritis

Arthritis, with its joint pain and stiffness, affects over 350 million people globally and is a leading cause of disability. Yet, there’s a myth that exercise could make it worse. Let’s bust that myth right away! Exercise is actually your ally in managing arthritis. As the Mayo Clinic emphatically states, “Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis.” Here’s why:

  1. When you’re strong and flexible, you move easier, with less stiffness.
  2. Contrary to what you might think, exercise reduces joint pain and fatigue. Regular activity replenishes lubrication to the cartilage of the joint. And stronger muscles protect your joints.
  3. Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight, reducing the pressure put on joints.
  4. Exercise is important for bone density, with strength training especially so. This also protects from fractures.
  5. Arthritis often coexists with other health issues like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity, highlighting the importance of managing it effectively.

Here’s the bottom line: Exercise is not your enemy! In fact, it’s a powerful tool in the fight against arthritis. It strengthens muscles, improves bone health, boosts energy, and enhances balance. By staying active, you reclaim your health, mobility, and a better quality of life. Arthritis is the No. 1 cause of disability. But exercise is your secret weapon for a more active and fulfilling life now and in the future. Sources: Global RA Network, The Arthritis Foundation, Mayo Clinic

Stretching for Health, Fun, and Fall Prevention

Balance and flexibility are key facets of physical fitness. Like endurance and strength, they diminish with age unless we work on them.

Working on balance and flexibility helps prevent falls, which can be disastrous. And just like it’s never too late to start working on them, it’s also never too soon. Anyone engaged in fitness should include stretching in his or her routine, whether beginning or experienced.

There’s a reason people have always talked about being “strong enough to bend,” you know.

Plus, stretching feels good. It lowers stress and improves posture and circulation. It helps us perform everyday activities, like bending over and turning our heads. 

Talk to us if you have questions and check our schedule of classes to see what might be right for you. Here are some common offerings that are safe, low impact, and effective.

Yoga

Almost 40 million Americans enjoy yoga, according to the 2016 Yoga in America Study. About one-fifth are in their 50s, and another one-fifth are over 60.

Yoga is great for balance, strength and bone density. It helps with back pain, blood pressure and anxiety. The focus on breathing benefits the mind, body and spirit. You don’t need any special equipment, and you can do it anywhere, although we recommend a few classes to start.

And a super-important fact: Yoga is highly adaptable to everyone’s physical needs and limitations. Let your instructor know about any aches, arthritis, surgeries, etc. – and he or she will guide you to a modification.

Pilates

Pilates focuses on the core muscles. It is somewhat similar to yoga, but it foregoes the meditative or metaphysical aspects. It provides a safe, low-impact workout that often involves working on a mat on the floor.

Also like yoga, Pilates generally moves at a gentle, deliberate pace and focuses on proper form and breathing. It can build strength, reduce back pain, and improve posture, coordination and balance.

Pilates focuses on building strength in the core muscles, or the “powerhouse” of the legs, abdominals, arms, hips and back. 

Tai chi

The slow, gentle movements of tai chi (pronounced TIE CHEE) have been practiced in China for thousands of years, and today by millions of people around the world.

The ancient martial art is sometimes called “meditation in motion.” And remembering the steps and their sequence is good for brain health and focus. 

Studies show tai chi helps people with arthritis and Parkinson’s disease, as well as stress management, muscle tone, lower blood pressure and other aspects of good health. It’s also one of the best things we can do to improve our balance while standing still and also while moving. In other words, tai chi is great for preventing falls.

Whether here or at home with a book or video, please stretch – at least 15 minutes a day, three times a week. For a nice introduction to some basic movements, check out this from the National Institute on Aging.

We are here to help, so come see us today! 

Success Story: Back from the Brink of ‘Indulgence’

Nate Wilkins was living the good life.

He was traveling a lot for work, as a parks and recreation administrator in Florida. He was eating out and indulging at business lunches and happy hours. Sure, he noticed he was packing on pounds, but he was busy — dealing with that would have to wait.

Then one day, it couldn’t wait any longer.

“I was at home, and I felt pain in my chest,” recalls Nate, now 69, of Miami. “I went to the emergency room, just to make sure I was OK – and they kept me in there for two weeks. I said, ‘Lord, if I ever get out of here, I’m going to change my life.’”

He did, and his heart health has returned. Now, a decade later, Nate’s 5’11” frame is down from 230 to a lean, muscular 185. He eats right, and no longer needs some medications he’d been using. He’s in a long-term relationship with a physical trainer. And he’s become a life coach and trainer, himself.

“I look good. I smell good. I talk good,” he says with a laugh. “I’m a lean, mean fighting machine.”

Everyone is different

Nate’s story took a happy turn. So can anyone’s, regardless of age or physical condition. Simply put, it’s never too late to improve your health. We have plenty of clients, colleagues and success stories to prove it, and we’re here to help.

Everyone’s an individual. And for people over 50, what makes you unique can include past injuries, health issues, or physical limitations. And that’s OK.

As Nate puts it, although he’s in great shape, “I’m not a bodybuilder.”

And he keeps that in mind when creating a workout plan for each client, just like we do at FCF.

“It depends on what each person actually needs.”

Balance, agility, strength and stamina are important to everyone’s health. And studies prove that adults can improve their health across the board by exercising, regardless of age.

He got his balance back

Don’t let a previous setback discourage you from doing what’s right to improve your health. Call us, and we’ll help answer any questions.

That’s true whether you’ve always been in perfect health, or if you’ve had a stroke or live with, say, Parkinson’s disease.

“It’s not a cookie-cutter model,” Nate says, and we agree. “Everybody’s an individual.”

The first step is making a decision to change.

Next, understand you’ve got to keep moving your body to stay healthy, Nate says.

Remember what’s important to you, and the kind of life you want to live.

For Nate, he felt he had lost his balance when he was “living the good life” and almost died from indulgence.

“If I can do this at 69 and feel like this, then I can encourage other people to do it, too,” he says. “It’s a progression they have to go through.

“It’s a mindset that you don’t have to be 69 years old. You get to be 69 years young.”

So if you’re ready give us a call or text at (657) 231-6207 and we’ll chat about your needs.

Exercise Tops Drugs, Therapy for Mental Health, Study Finds

A huge review of more than 1,000 studies has found that physical activity is more helpful in treating mental illness than therapy and drugs.

Researchers at the University of South Australia crunched data from studies involving more than 128,000 people and reported in the British Journal of Sports Medicine:

  • Exercise has a big effect on mental health issues such as anxiety and depression – 1.5 times more effective than counseling and prescription medication, the university said.
  • All activity methods were considered effective.
  • Resistance exercise had the largest effects on depression, while yoga and other mind–body exercises were best at reducing anxiety.
  • Moderate to intense exercise gives more impact than lower intensity.
  • Programmed plans of 12 weeks showed a greater effect than exercising without a plan.

The World Health Organization says mental health issues affected 12.5% of the population globally before the Covid-19 pandemic. Experts agree that more people struggled during the crisis, which brought extra challenges for older people, often brought on by isolation and inactivity.

Now, this doesn’t mean that people should stop taking their medications or going to therapy! But it’s clear that good physical activity is good for our whole selves, including depression and anxiety.

“Our findings underscore the important role of physical activity in the management of mild-to-moderate symptoms of depression, anxiety and psychological distress,” the researchers wrote.

We’ve always known that moving your body makes you feel better in every way. Let’s show you how today!

Call or text us at (657) 231-6207

Inspiration of the Week: Karen S!

Meet Karen S!

Back in the middle of the pandemic, April of 2021, Karen joined FCF at the recommendation of a good friend and man do we love having her apart of our community! Since joining she’s lost over 17 pounds, 14.7 of that has been fat! She has also seen her visceral fat drop by 4 points and she has gained strength and balance. All of this has made her feel lighter and daily activities seem easier. She has also seen a big increase in her energy level; she doesn’t get sleepy every afternoon while working from home, she can get up and down from the floor with greater ease, gets out of the house and enjoys the outdoors more and is just plain happier! She even went on a 4 hour hike a few months back with us that included stream crossings and some bouldering while walking one of my German Shepherds, King, and she did amazing! (see pic)

The best part has been watching her transformation over the last year. She came in with a positive mindset, even on the tough days, she showed up, put in the work and part way through the session you could see her spark come back. She works hard, is the first to welcome new members, crack a joke and give Coach Jack a hard time and that’s why she’s such a pleasure to have in our community and to coach each week.

Here’s her story on what pushed her to make a change…

In early 2021 with the stress of the recent election, changes to her work schedule, lack of work travel, and isolation from living and working alone at home during the pandemic she was feeling like many….she didn’t have control over all these changes and felt isolated. So, she made a massive shift in her mindset and decided she could control one thing…

To use this time to get herself healthy!

When Karen started at FCF she has already made some dietary changes and had lost over 20 pounds, but she wanted something that would provide mental stimulation, improve her stamina & cardiovascular health, continue her weight loss, improve balance and increase her strength. Once she tried her first session she was hooked!

For the last 10 years she has been doing pilates a couple of days a week with her good friend, Karen. Yep they have the same name! But she wanted to work on her stamina and cardiovascular health a bit more and the small group sessions at FCF were just the right fit for her. When we asked her what keeps her coming back each week even on those hard days she said:

“To me, the people. I look forward to meeting up with so many like-minded people. Everyone is so generous in sharing information and we all support and push each other. The whole coaching team is the best – all very positive and welcoming. Personal attention and care is so important since we are all at different levels. I could do exactly the same exercises with a personal trainer or in a busy gym but it wouldn’t make me smile like at FCF. If I have had a stressful day at work at 5:35pm I can forget it all. I love the other activities hiking and Tai Chi in the park.”

Along with the changes to her exercise routine, she made a few changes to her nutrition as well. In early 2021 she did a keto diet for a bit and has now moved to a mostly Mediterranean diet and is gluten free. With these changes she now feels so much better, doesn’t feel sluggish after meals, and no longer has acid reflux at night. On top of that she has been taken off a blood pressure medicine!! Karen acknowledges that it is definitely a process and continues to learn what serves her body best so she can continue making progress.

Karen says her commitment she made to herself, the people, and the feeling she has after a good training session is what keeps her consistent and coming back even on those tough days when she doesn’t feel like it. Living alone she needed human interaction and not only did she find that, but she’s made good friends as well. Coach Mercedes knows just how much to challenge her, but also have some fun in each session and there’s nothing like coming in for a work out and knowing you will have some fun while doing it too!

If you want to kick off your own journey like Karen did, we would love to guide you on your journey to a happier, healthier you! Just shoot us an email, info@fcfitness.com or call us at (957)231-6207 and we can chat about you.

Life’s too short to wake up each day feeling sluggish, weighed down and not living up to your best.

What will you decide today?

Talk soon,

Rosa

Inspiration of the Week: Meet Karen!

Joining a gym can be scary, but it’s the best thing Karen did for herself 4.5 years ago and she’s still going strong!

A bit quiet and reserved, Karen’s quiet demeanor surprised us at the beginning. Once she was in a routine after a few weeks, her strength and determination came out. She loved lifting weights and was always up for a new challenge. We love that she simply just doesn’t stop, never gives up and is never not challenging herself. Karen consistently increases her weights and makes sure she is progressing in each of her exercises. Her great attitude and determination is so exciting to watch. In each of her training sessions, she is very jovial with other members, which is always a help, as we can see that it helps others keep going and stay motivated and challenge themselves just a bit more!

Karen says 4.5 years ago she was looking for a gym where she would not feel intimidated, where it would be similar to working with a personal trainer and where the exercises could be adapted to her body. She was just coming off a shoulder injury and physical therapy so there were some limitations. After seeing an ad on Facebook to try out FCF for 30 days, she figured, “What do I have to lose.”

After just 1 week, she says, “I was hooked.”

The small group personal training sessions of no more than 6 people were just the right amount of personalized attention and comradery for her. Initially she wanted to increase mobility, strength, muscle tone and lose weight. At that time she was struggling with things like balance, standing up and getting down to the floor with ease. She saw some of the other women moving so easily and wondered, “Will I ever get there.”

Well, with time and practice, she did! Kudos to Karen for her dedication, persistence and never giving up on herself!

Her favorite part of FCF are the variety of other activities, like book club, hikes, and specialty programs. She continues to do balance exercises daily that she learned in one of our balance program. This is her secret to progress…incorporating small habits on a daily basis that have become part of her lifestyle.

It also doesn’t hurt that she’s made friends at FCF, she loves the variety of the training sessions and the coaches. She says, “Even on days I am not feeling 100%, after I workout for 30 minutes I always feel better.”

Currently she’s enjoying additional challenges in our Pure Strength session by increasing her weight, reps and building more muscle in her arms and legs. She’s on a roll and we’re just excited to continue coaching and guiding her!

If you’re hesitant about joining a gym, I’ll leave you with Karen’s parting words…

She says, “Over the years I have been coming to FCF I have become more comfortable in my own skin and accepting of my limitations in both energy and time. The positive environment in the gym reinforces the idea that each person is only competing against themselves to make improvements in flexibility, strength and nutrition to live a better more active life in the next chapter of our lives.”

It won’t happen overnight, but if you would love to change the way you feel and are aging, we would love to help you find a realistic balance and create a program just for you, just call or text us at (657) 231-6207 and we can chat!

~Coach Rosa

Exercise Keeps You Safer from Flu, Pneumonia

Most people probably know that physical exercise is good for their health.

But now, a new study makes the connection even more powerful. If you’ve been waiting for One More Piece of Evidence to convince you to exercise, this might be it.

Meeting guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise cuts the risk of dying from flu and pneumonia almost in half – by 48%, according to a new study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The study reviewed data from more than 570,000 people from the US National Health Interview Survey between 1998 and 2018. Participants were followed for an average of nine years after the initial surveys about their physical activity habits and health.

The World Health Organization and US agencies recommend adults get 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardio exercise and at least two sessions of weight training per week.

Meeting those standards greatly boosted the participants’ resistance to death by flu and pneumonia, two of the leading causes of death in the world and in the United States.

Researchers said the findings should be used to encourage more people to exercise more regularly.

Exercise Fights Many Illnesses

We couldn’t agree more, of course. And we want to point out that regular exercise helps prevent a wide range of illnesses and can improve chronic conditions common later in life, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, Parkinson’s disease, obesity, depression and countless more.

“Physical activity is associated with lower incidence of several comorbidities, including stroke and coronary heart disease, which increase the mortality risk among adults hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia,” the new study wrote. “Clinical trials have demonstrated that aerobic training programs improve expectoration in persons with cystic fibrosis and peak oxygen uptake in persons with COPD.”

The Mayo Clinic adds arthritis; back pain; cancer, dementia; and osteoporosis.

As we age, exercise is the miracle drug that keeps us healthy and improves our chances of staying strong against countless obstacles.

The study also gibes with prior research that found exercise was helpful in lowering the risk of getting Covid-19. This was promoted often during the pandemic.

Some Is Better Than None

We often hear people say they don’t have time to exercise.

We disagree.

You actually don’t have time to be sick with the flu or pneumonia.

If you have time for TV, Internet surfing, and other leisure activities, then you have time to improve your health by moving your body regularly.

And don’t be intimidated by the 150 minutes involved in the recommended standards. This new research found that getting 10 to 149 minutes a week of aerobic activity was linked to a 21% lower chance of dying from flu or pneumonia.

Like we said, you already knew that exercise was good for you.

With us, it’s also safe, fun, and effective.

And now, knowing it lowers your risk of dying from even flu and pneumonia?

What more do you need? Come see us today and let’s get you moving.


Stay Cool and Safe in the Heat

As fun as summer can be, it can also pose potential health risks, like heatstroke and dehydration. And this summer has proven to be a doozy in many parts of the US and the world.

But you can still have a fun, safe summer outside. Be sure to take no-nonsense precautions and respect Mother Nature (and your wellbeing).

  1. Drink plenty of water. It increases your metabolism to help you lose weight; makes you feel full faster; and – importantly now – keeps you cooler. Plus, water is good for digestion and skin. Follow this rule of thumb: Drink between a half-ounce and 1 ounce of water for every pound of body weight, according to WebMD.
  2. Avoid midday heat. Enjoy your outdoor activities when it’s cooler. If you like to garden, get your digging done around breakfast time. Then walk or jog after dusk. Play in the water when you can. Workout in our comfortable facility at any time.
  3. Wear sunscreen and hats. Most people over 60 don’t use sunscreen, Consumer Reports says, even though skin cancers are rising among Baby Boomers. Use something with an SPF between 30 and 50. Use plenty and reapply often.
  4. Be careful of bugs and other garden dangers. Empty flowerpots, buckets, and other water containers to prevent mosquitoes from breeding. Use outdoor repellents around the yard. Keep walkways, patios and garage floors free of hoses and other things that can trip you up.

As always, eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, limit your alcohol, and get a good sleep every night.

We’re here to keep you moving – and it’s always safe and plenty cool in here with us! Come on down.