How to Stay on Track During the Holidays
Sticking to healthy habits can be difficult during the holiday season. Strengthen your habits now by signing up for a free week of fitness classes at Farrell's. We'll teach you how to reach your long-term nutrition and fitness goals.
4 Helpful Tips to Navigate the Holiday Season 1. Set Your Alarm Clock Tackle your workout first thing in the morning if your schedule allows it. The last few months of the year are busy, but it’s better to check your workout off your to-do list—instead of telling yourself you’ll make it up tomorrow. Related: Identifying and Achieving Your Fitness Goals 2. Plan Your Meals It’s much easier to plan your meals a few days in advance, instead of making unhealthy decisions when you’re hungry and without a dinner plan. Our Simple Meal Plan makes grocery shopping and meal planning easy. Ask your local Farrell’s for a copy. If you’re going out to eat during the weekend, adjust your meals during the week to keep your nutrition as balanced as possible. Related: 6 Reasons Why Farrell’s Nutrition Works Sample Weekday Meal Plan Here’s a great example of a weekday meal plan you can customize: Breakfast: healthy protein shake Lunch: nutrient-filled salad with fresh veggies and protein Dinner: chicken with a salad, acorn squash or sweet potato Here’s an easy brined chicken recipe from AllSpice Culinarium in Des Moines. You only need two ingredients: One whole chicken All Spice Brining Mix (half packet) Directions: Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add in a half packet of the brining mix and boil until the crystals dissolve. While you are waiting for the brine, rinse the chicken under cold water. Place the chicken in a large stockpot with cold water and ice until the chicken is fully submerged. Pour brine into the stockpot and stir to evenly distribute. Cover with a lid and refrigerate overnight. The next day, rinse the chicken before cooking it. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in a roasting pan, breast side up and brush olive oil or butter over the chicken. (Optional: Stuff with celery and onion.) Bake uncovered for 75 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees. Toward the end of baking, broil your chicken if you prefer it browned. Remove from oven and let chicken rest for 15-20 minutes. You can also use this recipe to make your Thanksgiving turkey. If cooking turkey, use the entire packet of brining mix. Related: Top 10 Healthiest Foods 3. Take a Cozy Break Our favorite tip is to grab your favorite blanket, find a comfy spot and take a nap. A 30-minute nap is rejuvenating and helps you stay healthy during the busy holiday season. If you need help falling asleep, check out the Calm app. You’ll rest peacefully and wake to a pleasant chorus of birds, not an irritating phone alarm. Related: Fight Fatigue and Boost Energy 4. Enjoy the Season Remember to find joy in the upcoming busy season. Schedule a dinner with loved ones Reduce your weekday stress by spending time on Sundays meal planning Take a break when you need it. Related: Are You Being Mindful? Build Healthy Habits Today with FXB Now is the time to start building healthy habits to carry you through the holidays. At Farrell’s, we’ll teach you about nutrition, exercise and more. Get started today by claiming your free week of classes with us.">
How Exercise Affects Heart Health
Regular cardio exercise is essential for maintaining a healthy heart. Discover three easy ways you can increase your cardiovascular health. Begin your healthy lifestyle with a free week of heart-pumping and fat-burning classes at your local Farrells.
3 Ways to Improve Heart Health 1. Cardio Workouts Cardio exercise focuses on strengthening your heart muscle and its functions by increasing your heart rate. Your heart pumps more blood to your muscles as your heart rate increases. The increased blood flow results in a higher volume of blood returning to your heart. Over time, the higher blood volume enlarges the left ventricle, which is responsible for pumping oxygen-rich blood throughout your body. Your heart cavity can now hold and distribute a higher volume of blood, even when you’re resting. This lowers your blood pressure and decreases the amount of work your heart has to do, giving it a well-deserved break. Related: What is Strength Training and Why is it Important? 2. Heart Rate Tracking How do you know how effective your cardio workout is? At Farrell’s Urbandale, we use Myzone, the industry-leading heart rate monitor, to measure exertion during our classes. Exertion levels are monitored throughout class to maximize member results. Our certified instructors keep the class between 80-90 percent exertion during high-intensity intervals. Active recovery periods are kept at 60-70 percent intensity. Related: Why HIIT is Good for Losing Weight and Burning Fat 3. Nutrition Cardio exercise isn’t the only way to keep your heart strong. Nutrition also plays an important role in preventative heart health. Some of the best foods to eat for your heart are Colorful vegetables Leafy greens Fibrous fruits Nuts and seeds Fish high in omega-3 And don’t forget to schedule your annual check-ups with your doctor! Related: Carbs—Too Little or Too Much? Strengthen Your Heart with Farrell’s Proper nutrition and regular exercise are essential for maintaining a healthy heart. Get started by signing up for a free week at your local Farrell’s.">
Why HIIT is Good for Losing Weight and Burning Fat
HIIT workouts are proven to be the best method for losing weight and burning fat. Plus, they're quick, so they fit your schedule. Want to try a HIIT class? Try a week on us at your local FXB.
12 Benefits of HIIT HIIT workouts are short and work with your schedule. Even better is how your body responds after you’re done. These exercises create afterburn by increasing your metabolic rate. Simply put, you keep burning calories after finishing your workout—even while relaxing on the couch! HIIT exercises build muscle and boost your metabolism. This helps your body burn fat for longer periods of time. Here are 12 more benefits of HIIT: Burns more calories faster Builds endurance Strengthens cardiovascular functions Improves blood vessel function Promotes blood sugar stability Increases oxygen consumption Lowers resting heart rate and blood pressure Reverses age-related muscle decline Stimulates human growth hormone production Develops fast-twitch muscles Improves brain function Helps fight anxiety and depression Related: What is Strength Training and Why is it Important? 12-Minute HIIT Workout You Can Do at Home Not near a Farrell’s? No problem! We’ve created a simple yet effective HIIT workout you can do in your living room. No equipment necessary! Do each exercise for 45 seconds, then rest 15 seconds between each move. Repeat this circuit twice. Jump Squats Push-ups Burpees Alternating Side Lunges Mountain Climbers Plank Related: 6 Reasons Why Farrell’s Nutrition Works! Lose Weight and Burn Fat with FXB If you’re looking to burn body fat, build muscle and improve your cognitive health, HIIT is for you. Plus, it packs all the benefits of other exercises into short, convenient workouts. Want to get started with a fun and effective workout? Check out group fitness HIIT classes at a Farrell’s near you!">
9 Habits for Looking & Feeling Younger
Following these nine healthy habits can help you look and feel younger. Learn how exercising at Farrell's can help increase your energy!
1. Drink More Water Staying properly hydrated is essential to feel and to look younger. The adult human body is 60% water! This includes your organs, muscles, and even bones! If you don’t drink enough water, you might end up with dry, flaky and tight skin cells, which can make you appear older than you are. For optimal hydration, aim to drink at least half your body weight in ounces, every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, you need to drink 75 ounces of water daily. Pro Tip: Hydration Reminders Set an alarm on your smartphone to remind you to drink water throughout the day. 2. Wear Sunscreen Enjoying 10-15 minutes of sunlight every day is great for Vitamin D absorption, which can help prevent diseases, depression, and even weight gain! However, too much sun exposure can lead to skin cancer. To protect yourself from sunburns and overexposure, make sure you wear a daily sunscreen or protect your skin with a hat and clothing. Looking for a boost of color? Skip the tanning beds and opt for a spray tan. Pro Tip: Hydration Reminders Look for sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium oxide. They’re the safest for the skin, and offer the most skin protection! (Without the chalky residue.) 3. Get Enough Sleep The average adult needs between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Sleep gives our body the time to heal, rest, and recharge. Beauty sleep isn’t a myth! Sleep allows for cell mitosis – a process in which cells go into repair mode to renew your skin. To get the most benefits from beauty sleep, avoid scrolling on your phone or watching TV right before bedtime. To unwind, grab your favorite book and a cup of tea instead! And if you’re struggling to fall asleep, try a white noise machine or download a sleep app on your smartphone. Pro Tip: Healthy Complexion Pro tip: Looking for a way to improve your complexion even more? Invest in a silk pillowcase to help prevent fine lines and wrinkles while you sleep. 4. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize Just like keeping your body hydrated by drinking enough water, it’s important to keep your skin–your largest organ–hydrated as well! Daily moisturization protects your skin from environmental damage, prevents wrinkles, and can help control dry, irritated skin. Not sure what moisturizer is best for you? For your face, start with a gentle, fragrance-free moisturizer. And for your body, an all-natural shea butter lotion will do the trick! Pro Tip: Healthy Complexion Pay special care to your hands and neck, as these areas are the first to show signs of aging. 4. Reduce Your Sodium Intake Lack of sleep may not be the only reason for baggy under eyes! Salt loves water. Consuming foods high in sodium can result in bloating and puffiness. Avoid the sneaky “salty six” foods: Bread Pizza Sandwiches Cold cuts and cured meats Soups Burritos and tacos And because sodium levels can vary among similar foods, always check your nutrition labels, a habit learned through our program! For adults, the American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams a day–and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 milligrams per day. Pro Tip: Choosing Salt To reduce your sodium intake, replace your white table salt with pink Himalayan salt. 5. Avoid or Reduce Alcohol Alcohol is a diuretic, which dehydrates your body by increasing urine output. When your body is dehydrated, it can’t perform its normal functions. This can result in: Headaches Digestive issues Muscle cramps Sluggish immune function Poor skin elasticity Reducing or eliminating alcohol is a great way to boost your energy, helping you both look and feel younger. If you decide to enjoy a beverage, make sure you’ve consumed enough water throughout the day to combat dehydration. Pro Tip: Replacing Alcohol Even better, fill your favorite glass with sparkling water or kombucha, and unwind without the negative side effects! 6. Stay Active The benefits of exercise are endless, especially at Farrell’s! But did you know that exercise improves your lymphatic system, which helps reduce puffiness and bloating? Exercise increases the amount of oxygen delivered to your tissues and cells, which stimulates blood and lymphatic circulation. Your lymphatic system is the only system in your body that doesn’t work without movement! To keep your lymphatic system moving, you need to move as well. Pro Tip: Exercise at FXB Staying active doesn’t mean spending hours at the gym! With Farrell’s, you can get a great workout in only 45 minutes! With convenient class times, it’s easy to fit into your busy schedule. 7. Eat a Balanced Diet You may have heard the term “eating clean.” But what does that mean? “Eating clean” means consuming a balanced diet of: Fruits Veggies Lean protein Healthy fats Little to no refined sugars and processed foods Eating clean doesn’t have to be expensive, either! Here are a few tips: If your favorite produce isn’t in season, buy frozen. Purchase healthy ingredients like beans and rice in bulk. Plan your meals and stick to your grocery list to avoid overspending on unnecessary items. Filling your plate with a clean, balanced meal will fuel your body with the energy it needs to stay active and healthy, helping you feel and look younger! Pro Tip: Healthy Fats Don’t be afraid of fats! Healthy fats like avocado, olive oil, and nuts contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, which are essential for keeping your skin plump and glowing! 9. Stretch, Breathe and Meditate When you experience stress, your body produces cortisol, often referred to as the “stress hormone.” Prolonged stress can lead to an excess of cortisol, resulting in a depressed immune system, loss of muscle mass, and increased body fat. While stress is often unavoidable, fortunately, there are tools we can use to unwind and relax. Practicing different stretching positions can improve circulation, which is essential for combating bloat. While you’re stretching, take deep breaths–in through your nose, and out through your mouth. Deep breathing improves oxygen flow to the bloodstream, which boosts collagen production. (Hello youthful skin!) Here are eight poses you can try at home! Pro Tip: Meditation Apps If you’re ready to take your practice to the next level, download a guided-meditation app. Spending quiet time meditating is a great way to bring peace into your daily life. Build Healthy Habits with FXB These are habits you can begin implementing today to keep you feeling energized and youthful. When you join Farrell’s, you’ll build on these positive habits of staying hydrated, eating balanced meals, and getting proper sleep to restore your body. Practice these healthy routines to help you feel and look your best!">