HealthStyles at the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Marathon

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HealthStyles had a fantastic time at the Oct. 19 Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon cheering the runners, signing up people for our Zero Runner Giveaway, and showcasing one of our newest products, the Octane Zero Runner. We’re so grateful to everyone who showed up and participated, and we can’t wait for next year!

Enjoy some of the photos we took!

HealthStyles and Zero Runner at the Denver Marathon

Runners demo the new Octane Zero Runner.

HealthStyles at the Denver Marathon

Grab a Shovel

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Grab a ShovelIt’s January and more snow is on the way! Get a workout in your driveway and pick up a shovel. It’s more economical than a snow blower, and shoveling is an intense cardio workout that exercises muscles in your legs, core, back, shoulders and arms. If you want to overachieve, you can extend the workout by shoveling the sidewalks or helping out your neighbors. How’s that for accessible? Here are some important ways you can use snow shoveling to make this workout work!

Burn up calories. Shoveling burns more calories than most exercisers realize. The exact amount depends on pace and intensity, but expect to burn around 250 calories for every 30 minutes of shoveling. If you experience lower temperatures, heavy snowfall, or the need to chop ice, you’ll burn even more calories as your body fights to stay warm and increases exertion. (Be safe, of course, and don’t shovel snow if you have a medical condition or you don’t normally exercise.)

Work different muscle groups. Shoveling snow is a high-intensity workout – especially if you shovel fast – and it works all of your major muscle groups. You will feel it the next day in your legs, core, back, shoulders and arms. Use a full range of motion and fire your core muscles as you bend and lift.

Use proper technique. As with all workouts, proper technique will help improve your workout and avoid strains and soreness. First off, make sure to squat and lift the snow with your legs, not your back. Second, avoid bending over at the hip flexors. Lastly, keep the shovel close to your body and walk to where you will dump the snow instead of over-extending, twisting or leaning to toss it.

Dress right. Layer, layer, layer. Skip the frostbite and retain the quality workout. Being too cold can be dangerous and will tighten up your muscles. Dress in winter layers, wear good boots with traction (snow and ice mixed can be treacherous) and cover up your hands, ears and head! Remember, being under-dressed in the elements can result in injuries, so bundle up right and focus on your cardio and calorie burn!

Dig out from the snow this year and pave the way to a great winter workout – right outside your door!

And if the cold weather and ice keep you from getting the full workout you need, consider a treadmill, elliptical, or functional strength trainer for your home to keep you in shape when the rain, snow or cold keep you indoors. Stop by HealthStyles Exercise Equipment and take a look at our great selection of quality indoor cardio and strength equipment to fit any pocketbook.

Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, the leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide. For more information on Fit Tips and other fitness advice and expertise visit www.lifefitness.com/blog.

Herschel Walker on his Octane Elliptical

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Hiesman Trophy winner, Former NFL Running back, MMA Fighter, and guest on The Apprentice, Hershel Walker gets fueled by Octane Fitness. Listen to Hershel talk about why he likes Octane Fitness elliptical machines, and why he chose to put one in his home gym. Hershel didn't need elliptical machine reviews, he just wanted the best home elliptical on the market, and once he tried it, he knew Octane was for him.

Eat Clean and Train Mean

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It should come as no surprise that you need both a healthy diet and an effective workout plan to reach your health and wellness goals. As the old saying goes, “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” If you want to be healthy inside and out, you have to eat clean and train mean. Some people take this mantra very seriously, but even small lifestyle changes will go a long way.

Use these tips from Life Fitness to clean up your diet and step up your workouts:

Eat Clean and Train MeanWhat is eating clean?
Eating clean involves not only choosing the right foods to eat but also avoiding junk foods and processed foods whenever possible. Try eating more plant foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Also consider choosing grass-fed and free-range meats and poultry, fresh fish, low fat dairy products and raw nuts and seeds.

Shop the perimeter.
At the grocery store, stick to the outer perimeter where you will find fresh fruits and veggies, fish and other lean proteins. Avoid processed foods, boxed food and packages that are full of ingredients you can’t pronounce. Opt for foods closest to their natural state as possible and with the least amount of ingredients. Read nutrition labels and look for ways to reduce your intake of sugar, salt and saturated fat. Swap soda and juice for more water and switch from refined grains (white breads and pasta) to whole wheat.

Get back to cooking.
Instead of buying frozen or boxed meals, cook meals from scratch. Clean, whole foods are easy to prepare and you can make extra to take for lunches and use for leftovers. It may take some extra planning upfront, but there are many blogs dedicated to sharing clean, homemade recipes that will fit into your busy schedule. Extra bonus: Avoiding processed foods and cooking from scratch can save you money in the long run.

Mix up your exercise.
If you truly want to train mean, don’t keep doing the same old routine. Challenge and surprise your body with a different workout, heavier weights, a new class or an exercise machine you never tried before. Change happens when you push your limits.

Take the intensity up a notch and try some intervals. Are you sweating or just reading a magazine while you drone out riding a machine? Make sure your workouts in and out of the gym make you sweat. Go high intensity for short bursts during your workout to get in some interval training. If you are on the treadmill, try running at your fastest pace for a minute, take it down to recover for a minute and repeat. On the elliptical? Bump up the resistance level to work different muscle groups and increase effort. Track your workouts and make consistent plans to increase intensity and you will see progress.

Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, the leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide.

HealthStyles Owners Remember 20 Years of Exercise Equipment

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Exercise equipment has certainly changed over the past 20 years! I was looking back over newsletter that were sent to our customers dating back to our first year in business in 1993 and was amazed first of all by the lack of variety in the cardio and strength options back then, and secondly by how much the equipment has evolved in terms of both biomechanics and electronics.

If we remind ourselves that in 1993 the internet was an unknown entity for most people, and individual cell phones were a luxury owned only by the wealthy and top business people, that puts the changes in exercise equipment into some perspective.

1993

StairmasterIn 1993 stair climbers were all the rage, and stationary recumbent cycles were just being introduced. The other options for a cardio workout in the gym or at home were treadmills, rowing machines, upright bikes, and cross country ski machines.  A piece of equipment called the HealthRider made a brief splash about that time as well. Life Fitness, which has always been on the cutting edge of the fitness equipment evolution, had 3 programs options; Manual, Interval and Hill, on their bikes and treadmills. Elliptical machines were not even introduced until later in the 90’s and did not become a household word until well after that!

Home gyms were very traditional with the standard press arm and leg extension/leg curl. Their biomechanics were not great and the number of exercises somewhat limited.

The hot selling accessories in 1993 were the Kelly Roberts Step & Video, Air Weights which were hand weights with a built in pump to fit any hand, the Slide Trainer for lateral lower body training along with the still popular Stretch Bands, Polar Heart Rate Watches, and Floor Exercise Mats.

2013

Octane LateralX Elliptical CrosstrainerToday home exercise equipment has evolved to fit the exerciser, whether it is the variety of movements allowed on the variety of standing and seated ellipticals available, as well as unique movements like the Octane LateralX. Treadmill development has evolved to reduce the impact on the runner and the biomechanics of both upright and recumbent bikes has improved by allowing increased seat and mast adjustment. The introduction of the indoor cycling bike made indoor cycling much closer to an actual outdoor cycling experience and became a popular winter activity for avid cyclers.

Of course the most dramatic changes in cardio equipment over the past several years has been in the electronics, that have resulted because of the changes in overall technology. Exercisers can now watch television, listen to music on their IPod, respond to emails or surf the internet on their IPad, ride or run on virtual trails all over the world, and develop their own user programs with the exact speed and intervals that fit their training needs, all while getting a workout in the comfort and privacy of their own home.

Home gyms have evolved into functional training machines that simulate actual activities required in daily living as well as sports specific activities. Accessories such at the TRX and Jungle Gym XT using the individual’s own body weight have also contributed to making strength training more functional and suited to all exercisers with emphasis on strengthening the core stomach muscles which is important for everyone to stay fit and healthy. The Bosu is another best selling accessory that helps to develop balance and works the core muscles.

There are lots of exciting new products and accessories too numerous to mention here that can enhance and improve the efficiency of your regular workouts.  The best way to find out the many options that are now available in exercise equipment, is to browse our product selection online or better yet, stop by a  HealthStyles location near you!

Octane Takes Crosstraining in a New Direction

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Octane Fitness, the company that has revolutionalized the elliptical category since entering the marketplace 10 years ago, has now introduced the LateralX. The LateralX is the first fully adjustable lateral moving elliptical cross trainer.

The LateralX from Octane Fitness offers unique, smooth, 3D motion that goes from a vertical elliptical stepping motion to an adjustable side-to-side motion for invigorating, one-of-a-kind workouts.

Combining elliptical and lateral movement, the total-body workouts utilize 10 varying planes of motion to create muscle confusion, resulting in customized, functional exercise that uniquely builds stamina, muscular endurance, coordination and balance.

No other elliptical machine is this powerful or this flexible. You can literally choose the lateral motion to fit your training needs based on your goal whether it is training for a sport, improving balance or increasing energy. It is a great workout for sports requiring lateral movement such as tennis, basketball, skating and skiing as well as conditioning anyone for the functional activities in everyday life because of the variable plane of movement possible on the LateralX.

University research on the LateralX shows that users experience a 27 percent increase in caloric expenditure going from the lateral width of one to the maximum width of 10. Studies also indicate that the LateralX motion represents a 30 percent increase in hip abduction, hip adduction and knee extension over traditional ellipticals.

You really need to see the LateralX and to try it out, to experience the variety and intensity of the muscular and cardio workouts possible!

Check out this video of the LateralX, or better yet, visit one of the HealthStyles locations to try it out!

Octane Fitness is one of Oprah’s Favorite Things

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HealthStyles Exercise Equipment is thrilled to have one of our top selling ellipticals featured among this year’s list Oprah Winfrey’s Favorite Things!

Oprah is a very well know and very particular gift giver and the Octane Q37ci is one of her favorite gifts for the 2012 Holiday Season. It is featured in the December issue of “O”, the Oprah Magazine.

Oprah’s personal trainer Bob Greene got her working out on the Octane Q37 several years ago and as Oprah states, she is “forever grateful”. The Q37 as well as Octane’s other elliptical models, provides a great variety of exhilarating total body workouts like a 10k and a half marathon. Octane ellipticals are regarded worldwide as the No. 1 premium elliptical machine. Known for the ergonomic design that produces the smoothest, most comfortable and effective workouts, Octane ellipticals help you stay motivated, achieve your goals faster and feel great.

Click here to read Bob Greene’s full review of Octane Ellipticals.

Why not give the gift of fitness either to yourself or to others this Holiday season!

In celebration of Octane being one of Oprah’s Favorite Things, you can enjoy a minimum of 10% OFF MSRP now through 12/31/12 on any Octane elliptical at any one of HealthStyles Exercise Equipment’s 7 Colorado locations.

HealthStyles Introduces the New 2013 Vision Fitness Equipment on Colorado and Company

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HealthStyles Exercise Equipment was excited to be a part of Colorado & Company recently to present the exciting new 2013 Vision Fitness Equipment line-up.

Vision Fitness has long been a front runner in award winning equipment and innovative consoles. Now they have taken it to a whole new level with their Classic, Elegant and Touch Consoles added to their upgraded treadmills, ellipticals, and exercise bikes.

All include the Sprint 8, a 20 minute interval program proven to get results, and some feature a touch screen and Virtual Active Programs that can take you to the mountains of Switzerland or the Canyonlands of Utah on your workout!

Click here to view our complete selection of Vision Fitness Equipment.

*The Colorado and Company delivery and assembly offer was valid from 11/9 through 11/11/2012 for this program recorded on 11/9/2012.

Pre-Powder Power: Ski Season Training

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We all know that après ski activities consist of sipping hot chocolate next to a roaring fire in a Navajo-print jacket, but what about avant (before) ski activities?

Downhill skiing and snowboarding are physically demanding sports and as Coloradoans we all know the best conditions occur at high elevations (less oxygen) and in cold temperatures. It’s also a fun and great way to get your heart rate up during those winter months.

But whether you are a Blue Circle bunny or a Double Black Diamond expert you may want to do some ‘pre-season training’ to prepare before you hit the slopes, focusing on these tips from the experts at Life Fitness:

Stamina
Optimize your cardiovascular strength so you can schuss all day. Higher elevations and cold weather put extra strain on your lungs, so do some interval training on a treadmill or elliptical machine to challenge your heart rate and improve your oxygen intake capacity. Begin with at least 3 days a week for a half hour and increase the time, frequency and intensity over time so you are in prime condition to conquer the mountain.

Core
Core strength is key for skiing. A tight, stable core allows you to control your movements with more precision. Simple exercises such as bicycles on the floor, back extensions and full body roll ups or crunches on an exercise ball will benefit your core and therefore your skiing abilities.

Balance
All Carvaholics know where to find their CM (that’s ski slang for Center of Mass). Improve reaction time and agility by taking advantage of the balance-training aids available at the health club or for the home, such as a Bosu ball. Begin by balancing on one foot and progress up to balancing on the Bosu ball itself. Take it a step further and try squats and plyometric drills on the Bosu ball.

Flexibility
Yoga not only keeps you limber but improves your mental focus and breathing techniques. Yoga can help protect against injury by addressing muscle imbalances and improving flexibility, so try out a beginner-level class and work your way up. The positive influences that yoga can have on your skiing (and other athletic activities) may surprise you.

Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, the leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide. For more information on Fit Tips and other fitness advice and expertise visit www.lifefitness.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/lifefitness or join our Facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/lifefitness.