Excel Fitness, an award winning gym and personal training studio in West Hartford, CT held their 3nd Annual Wine Tasting and Open House to kick off fundraising for Making Strides against Breast Cancer on Thursday, September 26th.
The event was a huge success! Dozens of local businesses donated over $1500 in prizes for the silent auction and raffle. Wine Cellars on rt. 4 in Farmington donated wine, beer and the time of seven different distributors. Snacks were provided by Pho 68 and A Little Something Bakery. Excel Fitness massage therapists Kelly Perkoski and David Mendez kept guests even more relaxed with luxurious chair massages. The evening culminated in two fantastic fitness presentations; instructor Kate Barrett and personal trainer Ilicia Balaban shook it up with a sizzling Zumba routine, followed by an outstanding display of strength and self-defense demonstrated by Paul Millholen and Danielle Mathura from Jitae Taekwondo.
All in all, Team Excel Fitness raised over $1,000 for breast cancer research! We would like to humbly applaud the dedication of our members, local business supporters, staff and others in the community that came out for the fundraiser. As always it was a fun night, we look forward to the opportunity to make it even bigger and better next year!
Miss the wine tasting but still want to contribute to a great cause? Join us in Bushnell Park on Sunday, October 20th at 9am for the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides against Breast Cancer Hartford 2013 walk/run. Inquire today with one of our certified personal trainers for more information.
Did you know that some herbs and spices have more disease-fighting antioxidants than most fruits and vegetables?
Can lower blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes. Try for one-fourth to one-half teaspoon of cinnamon twice a day.
Contains curcumin, which can inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Try to have 500 to 800 milligrams a day.
Stops gene mutations that could lead to cancer and may help prevent damage to the blood vessels that raise heart attack risk.
Destroys cancer cells and may disrupt the metabolism of tumor cells. One or two cloves weekly provide cancer-protective benefits.
Contains capsaicin, whose anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects may lower the risk of cancer. There’s no specific recommended dose, but moderation is probably the best way to go.
Can decrease motion sickness and nausea; may also relieve pain and swelling associated with arthritis. Doses used from 500 to 2,000 mg of powdered ginger.
A study found that, gram for gram, oregano has the highest antioxidant activity of 27 fresh culinary herbs.
Adding more herbs and spices to your diet can help reduce the risks of certain diseases.
For more information on how increasing your daily intake of certain foods can change how you approach health and fitness, as well as jump start weight loss and muscle development, schedule an appointment with one of Excel Fitness’ Certified Personal Trainer today. Call (860) 523-8167 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
By Chris Caruso, C.P.T.
Your “core” in comprised of abdominal muscles (rectus abdominus, and obliques) and the muscles of your lower back. When these muscles contract appropriately, they alert your spine that weight is about to be lifted, requiring proper bracing to maintain alignment and safe, effective movement. Training the core muscles is a crucial component to any strength training or exercise routine, however, like all other muscle groups, your core should be treated with care as well.
While it is safer to work your core more often than other groups, intense abdominal routines should not be performed on concurrent days. Before you lift any weight, check in with your body and ask, “What would my body like from me today?” If your abs or lower back are already talking to you from exercise done earlier in the week, lay off for the day and give them proper time to recover.
If you’re feeling strong and ready to go, try the following move to kick start your core routine:
Plank Tap-out: Begin in a low plank position on your forearms and toes. Begin to tap your feet in right, right, left, left (or whatever pattern feels good to you) for 30-45 seconds. Focus on keeping your ribs moving towards your pelvis and you lower back vertebrae lifting up to maintain space in your spinal column.
For more information on the benefits of core training or to learn some new moves to incorporate into your existing routine, call Excel Fitness at (860) 523-8167 or stop by today and schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our trainers!
New Year’s resolution season is behind us. For many people that means the fitness resolutions we were so committed to at the beginning of the year are beginning to fall by the wayside as life gets more hectic and time-management priorities favor the responsibilities that keep us stressed rather than make us healthy.
Excel Fitness is teaming up with St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital this February to help motivate our clients while simultaneously raising money for juvenile cancer research. Our goal is to raise $1,000 for the organization, with 100% of proceeds going to St. Jude’s. Whatever your fitness goals are, pick one, and ask your friends/family/co-workers/etc. to sponsor your goal with a dollar amount per measurable accomplishment. For example, my goal is to attend 3 power yoga classes for the week; my friends have agreed to donate $10/yoga class attended. Your goal can be anything you’re trying to accomplish and could use some extra support and motivation with. Other examples include: number of miles walked, time spent on the treadmill or other cardio equipment, number of times at the gym, or even amount of weight lifted. The possibilities are endless, and should reflect a personal goal in addition to the goal of raising money for a good cause!
The Workout for St. Jude Pledge-a-Thon will be held Monday, February 11th-Sunday, February 17th. Participants can pick up a sponsor pledge form at Excel Fitness. There is no obligation to be an Excel Fitness member or use Excel Fitness as the location for your fitness activity. For more information contact Ilicia at (860) 523-8167 or visit: https://www.stjude.org/stjude/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=83716f9523e70110VgnVCM1000001e0215acRCRD
By Ilicia Balaban, C.P.T
Millions of people in the United States are considered to be overweight, and many of those who are overweight are actually obese. Carrying excess weight often leads to a whole list of health problems, including: heart disease, kidney disease, and diabetes among others. Weight loss isn’t easy, and for many of us it’s a battle just to maintain a healthy weight, let alone lose the extra weight that’s making us sick and keeping us unhealthy.
Finding the right diet for you can be a challenge on to itself. Conflicting messages in the media tend to lead us in many different directions, making it hard to know what information to trust or which diet plan will be most successful for our unique body. I mean every day you hear about some new fad diet, which is guaranteed to lose weight fast. Okay, some of these diets do that, but they are extremely low calorie diets, and as soon as you go off the diet and eat regular foods again, you will see the weight you lost come right back. The best way to lose weight and keep it off, is to follow a healthy diet that has all of the nutrients we need to stay healthy, and make sure that you are eating enough so that you do not feel hungry. Make sure that when you are on a diet, that you allow yourself the occasional treat. This will help to keep you from binging, which often happens to those who are on extremely low calorie weight loss diets.
For more information on proper nutrition for weight loss or exercise, schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our Excel Fitness certified personal trainers today!!! Stop by the gym, call (860) 523-8167 or email email@example.com.
By Chris Caruso, CPT
Welcome to Holiday Season 2012! This time of year signifies the point at which we North-easterners collectively shift to cold weather, hibernation-thinking, and are persuaded from all sides to “get in the spirit of giving” by participating in the charity activities that define the season. Here at Excel Fitness the vibe is no different as we shift gears and welcome in our holiday charity drives!
We are still accepting donations of non-perishable food items to benefit the West Hartford Food Pantry. Now through the end of December, we are hosting a NEW toy drive (app. $10 value or higher) for HYPE’s Tons of Toys event, hosted Wednesday, December 12th at the Bond Ballroom in Hartford. Participants will receive $1 off their next training package for every food item and/or toy they donate between now and the end of the year (food drive donations must be in by Monday, December 3rd to qualify).
Also, don’t forget, we are continuing to collect used shoes (all varieties) to be refurbished and resold in sub-Saharan Africa by our partners at ReRun Shoes.
For more information on any of Excel Fitness’ charity work with local organizations or to suggest an organization that could use our support, please call Ilicia at (860) 523-8167 or stop by the gym today!
Everyone has started out on an exercise program determined to reach a certain goal. In order to stick to an exercise program, and make it work for you, you need to find a way to keep that original motivation. Here are some tips to help stay motivated.
Start with small goals and work your way towards the bigger goals. Start with something simple. Once you have established a routine, start working out harder, and try doing more each session.
Exercise doesn’t have to be boring or repetitive. If you don’t like your exercise routine change it and make it more exciting. Keep trying new exercises until you find something you enjoy doing.
If your exercise routine is fun, you will end up looking forward to exercise instead of dreading it.
If you start treating exercise like hard work, that’s exactly what it will become. Make your exercises light, fun and exciting rather than looking at it as a chore you have to do. Don’t let yourself get a bad attitude towards exercising, or you will be more likely to give up.
Having someone to work out with makes it much more fun, and will keep you more motivated to exercise. You might even find that you’re actually looking forward to it! Having a partner makes it much harder for you to skip your workout.
Staying motivated isn’t hard if you approach your exercise program with an open mind. Be flexible and let yourself have fun. Eventually you will realize that you’ll enjoy working out, and before you know it, you will be looking forward to exercising.
Looking for a way to revive your old routine, add new, dynamic material, and stick with it? Consider personal training or small group classes now being offered at Excel Fitness. Working with a trainer doesn’t have to be intimidating or feel like a lifelong commitment. Call or stop by today to set up a complimentary consultation and find out if training (whether individual or with a group) is right for you!
By Chris Caruso, CPT
The trainers here at Excel Fitness offer various services including exercise instruction, fitness consultation, computerized diet analysis, wellness evaluation, and fitness testing.
Fitness tests may include body composition, cardiovascular, flexibility, strength, and endurance testing. Power, speed and agility evaluations may be provided for certain athletes. Fitness tests are designed to monitor progress and to assist in the development of your fitness program. For example, regular body composition testing will allow you to track changes of fat and lean body weight (e.g. muscle). Body composition testing can discriminate bodily changes much more effectively than weight alone. This may be of particular interest to those who are interested in monitoring fat loss as well as those interested in tracking muscular development.
Regular fitness testing can objectively measure the effectiveness of your program and can possibly save you months or even years of hard work. If progress is not significant, immediate changes can be made to your program. Your fitness coach can help you decide the tests most compatible with your fitness goals and how often you should test.
Your fitness coach may redesign your program or simply make a few suggestions for continued progress.. These services are a great way to enhance your current fitness program or just get you started on a new workout in a safe and effective manner. Your fitness coach may encourage you to get a comprehensive fitness tests performed every 3 to 6 months. Body composition tests may be performed more often; once every month or two; once every two weeks if significant dietary changes are made.
For more information on how fitness testing can improve your results or to set up an appointment, contact the trainers at Excel Fitness in West Hartford, CT (860) 523-8167.
By Heather Claflin-Coy, C.P.T
We push our self everyday for work, but do we ever think about pushing
ourselves to lead a healthier lifestyle every day?
So today would be a
great day to begin our venture of leading a healthier lifestyle not
tomorrow not Monday, but today!
Think of when you were a baby and you started to crawl and then
standing and before you know it walking and than running. Why not go
for a walk and then before you know it you’re jogging than running.
Live for today not tomorrow!
By Andy Fazzina, CPT
Everyone has their own reason for fitness. Body builders are into border-line body modification, power lifters huff huge weight, and Olympic lifters snap incredible weights with technical moves that must be reviewed in split frame slow motion because of the speed they can muster. Some people are in it for vanity, others for health, and most a blend of several things.
For me, fitness is essentially about being able to live the life I want to live. It gives me a body that lets me climb mountains, hop on a paddleboard and zip around the lake, or go running with a friend, and yes, enjoy going to that pool party. Although I won’t be mistaken for a cast member of Jersey Shore, I might get a few smiling glances. Beyond all that, I strength train to build muscles which hopefully fend off injuries. Overall fitness slashes my chances of getting a host of ailments, and lifting weights combined with running and enough calcium mean I am doing as much as I can to keep arthritis at bay.
I want to be able to go running and lift weights with my daughter when she’s in her twenties, and if she can smoke me athletically it’s going to be because she earned it fair and square.
The point of fitness is not to sit around and squat more weight. You need to squat weight in order to be fit, but the real core of it all is to be able to live a long and healthy life, doing everything you want to the fullest. A body that responds as well as it can. You can’t be 25 forever but since you’re going to be 50 one day you have to pick if you want to be a broken down old man or an active grandpa. So, I’m cutting back on my barbells and switching to other activities, but its part of the big goal which is enjoying life to its fullest. If you never leave the gym and stay within range of Nautilus machines and elliptical trainers your whole life, how much of the world can you really see? How much can you really do?
By Gary Maher, M.S.
To schedule a complimentary consultation with Gary or any one of our certified personal trainers please call Excel Fitness at (860) 523-8167.