Healthy Lifestyle Tips

Being fit and healthy takes more than just exercise, diet plays a huge part in the weight loss and overall health lifestyle journey. There is a new study that was recently released by the Mayo Clinic that says less than 3 percent of Americans lead a “healthy lifestyle”. Want to know more about what this means and how it affects you? Keep reading for more information.

The Mayo Clinic defines people leading a healthy lifestyle as those who meet the following criteria:

  • A diet score in the top 40 percent on Harvard’s Healthy Eating Index
  • Body fat percentage less than 20 percent (for men) or 30 percent (for women)
  • Exercising for at least 150 minutes a week at moderate or vigorous intensity
  • Not smoking

Unfortunately, there were many people who don’t have less than 20 percent body fat (30 percent for women) even though they are working out. So what’s the deal? The Mayo Clinic attributes this to the food we are putting in our body and fad diets.

So what can you do to avoid this from happening to you?

  • Go out to eat less – prepare your meals at home
  • Ditch the processed foods and start choosing whole foods
  • Veggies, veggies, veggies! They should be half of your intake at every meal
  • Taking 30 minutes out of your day, even a walk can do your body good
  • Ditch the sugar-sweetened drinks and stick to water

Visit Zip Fitness for all your fitness needs! We have quite a few gym locations in the Chicago area staffed by a great group of certified personal trainers who are here to help you achieve your fitness goals. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Kick your diet and workout regime into high gear for Spring Break

You’ve been counting down the days on your calendar. You’ve been making plans with friends. You’ve been shopping for all the necessary attire. Spring break 2016 is just around the corner, and you want to feel like your best and most confident self when embarking on your spring break journey. All it takes is a little work and some commitment to reach your goal! Here are a few key ways to get yourself spring break ready:

Turn up the cardio

Getting your blood pumping and breaking a sweat is undoubtedly the most important step in achieving that lean and toned look for spring break. Cardio can take many forms – hitting the track, rollerblading, elliptical machines, or a friendly game of basketball – so decide which one is most entertaining and effective for you.

Nutrition

When it comes to getting spring break ready, you can’t really have your cake and eat it too. It’s best to avoid a high-sugar diet and lots of sweets. Reducing fat and carb intake, and replacing bad carbs with good carbs and fats like brown rice, fruits, and veggies, while incorporating a bit more protein into your diet will provide your body with the right kind of fuel you need.

Flexibility & resistance training

No matter what kind of physical activity you’re engaging in, it is absolutely crucial to stretch beforehand. Stretching prepares the body for exercise and reduces the chances of injury and tension on the muscles. Contrary to popular belief, resistance training isn’t solely for those looking to bulk up. Doing fewer reps with heavier weights will provide a toned and tighter look, so play around with the amount of reps you do to see how your body responds best.

­At Zip Fitness, we want to be the health and fitness professionals you turn to when you have your mind set on reaching your goals to becoming your ideal fit version of yourself. We have multiple Zip Fitness locations throughout the Chicagoland area, so come in at your convenience and talk to our personal trainers about how you can get started. Stop by and start getting spring break ready!

Simple and Effective Workouts to Jumpstart Your Day

Often times, mornings are when we’re feeling pretty sluggish and unmotivated. However, the health choices we make first thing in the morning will drastically influence our behavior throughout the remainder of the day. Here are a few easy ways you can jumpstart your day with some fitness.

Start with a stretch

It’s safe to assume that everyone has been grilled for remembering to stretch before working out. While it might not seem like a pertinent part of your workout regime, stretching before engaging in physical activity helps prepare your body for the exercise it’s about to get. You’ll reduce your chances of muscle tension, increase your range of motion, and promote circulation throughout your body.

Work those abs

If you’re feeling good about your flat belly first thing in the morning, you’re bound to have a great day! Side plank raises are a great way to feel the burn in your sides, and ab V ups will work to target that difficult lower belly area. Finish it off with a minute or two of holding the classic plank position and you’ll have engaged your abs from every angle!

Don’t forget cardio!

What better way to start your day than to get your blood pumping? If getting up for a morning run isn’t your thing, try doing a few sets of jumping jacks. Jogging or running in place is another great alternative, and incorporating a high-knees form will get your heart racing even more.

Our Zip Fitness experts know it can be difficult to get moving in the morning. We want to show you different ways to jumpstart your day so you can fit fitness and health into as much of your routine as you can handle. Stop one of our many gyms in Chicagoland to speak to one of our personal trainers about the little changes that will make all the difference in achieving your health and fitness goals. We can’t wait to see you!

How to Maximize Health & Fitness on a Tight Schedule

Let’s face it — no matter how inspired we are to get back into shape and reach our health and fitness goals, life has a way of occupying so much of our time and energy that it feels like there aren’t enough hours of the day to fit it all in. Luckily, we’re here to offer a few life-hacks to help you maximize your health and fitness if you’re living on a tight schedule.

Prepare ahead of time

When a busy schedule takes over, you don’t have time to cook an elaborate meal. Save yourself some time and cut up your favorite veggies, fruits, and meats to minimize your prep steps when you’re tight on time, and a to-go sandwich bag filled with homemade trail mix or granola will keep you fueled on your way out the door.

Schedule workouts like you schedule other events

While we would never think about blowing off plans with friends or colleagues, we somehow convince ourselves that it’s okay to skip out on our plans to work out. However, if we sign up for various fitness classes, work with a personal trainer, or even simply write it down on our calendars, we’re much more likely to stick to it. We’ll feel more obligated if we make exercising a legitimate commitment in our schedule and won’t flake.

Sneak physical activity into your day

If you don’t have time to hit the gym or go for your daily run around the block, include fitness into your daily routine in other ways. Walking to and from work or social gatherings is a great way to get your heart pumping, and carrying in heavy groceries instead of using the elevator or a cart will tone those arms in no time.

Let our Zip Fitness health experts show you how you can fit your health and fitness goals into your everyday routine without feeling like you have to compromise. We’re here to provide guidance and assistance so you can become the healthiest version of you, so come to one of our many Zip Fitness locations so you can get started. We can’t wait to see you!

Healthy Eating Tips from Around the World

Contrary to popular belief, the United States isn’t the most overweight country in the world – according to the World Health Organization, we’re actually ranked 27th out of 188 ranked countries. While this is not a glowing statistic, it shows we’re not alone in feeling the impact of the obesity epidemic. Here are some tips from around the world to help guide you toward healthier eating: Continue reading

Valentine’s Day Healthy Eats

Everyone knows Valentine’s Day is a day when most of us indulge – boxes of chocolates, large, extravagant meals, lots of wine and champagne. You should be able to enjoy everything the day means to you with your sweetheart without feeling like you can’t treat yourselves. Here are a few ways you can still celebrate the day with some Valentine’s Day healthy eats. Continue reading

Healthy Ways to Tackle Super Bowl Sunday

Healthy Ways to Tackle Super Bowl Sunday

Are you ready for some football? Fans across the country are excited about the biggest game of the year, and for many, this also means hosting or attending a Super Bowl party. It’s no secret that Super Bowl festivities tend to offer some of the most tempting but unhealthiest party foods – fattening chips, dips, wings, and beer. But that’s no excuse to be unfaithful to your diet regime this Sunday! Here are a few ways to put a healthy spin on your Super Bowl guilty eats:

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How Physical Fitness Impacts the Immune System

We’re almost done with the first month of 2016, and how are we holding up with some of our fitness- and health-related New Year’s resolutions? It can be tough to make a habit it out of it, especially when we don’t consider all of the amazing things these new changes in our diet and exercise regime does for us. We know about the obvious benefits of living a health-focused lifestyle, but there are other positives to working out that you might be unaware of that go beyond your exterior.

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