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Sep
4

HELPING TO FIGHT CHILDHOOD OBESITY

September is National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

Over the past four decades obesity rates in the United States have soared. And it’s not just adults.

kids fitnessWe have witnessed childhood obesity grow to epidemic proportions. More than 23 million children and teenagers in the United States ages 2 to 19 are obese or overweight—that’s roughly one child in every three.

These youngsters are at early risk  for developing serious health problems, such as Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, cancer, asthma and even stroke – conditions usually associated with adulthood. In addition, overweight children often suffer from depression, low self-esteem and are frequently the victims of bullying. These psychosocial consequences can hinder kids academically and socially.

But childhood obesity is something we can fight.

The effort begins at home. Parents have enormous influence over their children’s lifestyles by the example they set and the decisions they make. By modeling healthy eating and physically active lifestyles, we can help children develop a lifetime of good habits.

Here’s what you can do:

Get Moving!

The American Heart Association and the National Association for Sport and Physical Education recommend that teens (middle and high school students) get 225 minutes (almost four hours) of physical education every week.

Although physical education is offered in schools, it may not be enough. So parents should consider supplementing physical activities at home.youth_SeatedCurl_web

Aim for 60 minutes of sweat-generating exercise a day.  Encourage your children to work out with you at the gym or on your Total Gym, go for family walks or jogs, sign-them up for after school activities like swimming, baseball, dance, nartial arts, etc…

You can even incorporate fitness into your child’s weekly chores – raking leaves burns almost 175 calories, sweeping floors – 156, vacuuming – 170,  washing dishes-88, carrying groceries or laundry upstairs can burn up to 442, even making the bed burns up to 68 calories.

The key is to get them moving.

Turn the TV off!

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that kids and teens spend about six hours a day in front of a screen, whether it’s watching TV, playing video games or using the computer for non-homework activities.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends limiting the amount of time kids and teens spend in front of a screen to two hours or less a day (not counting the time they spend doing homework).

Encourage kids to play.  Traditional children’s games and activities like hide-and-go-seek, riding bikes, rollerblading, running through a sprinkler and playing tag with friends are not only FUN but burn calories.

Careful Consumption

Every serving of soda increases a kid’s risk of becoming obese by about 60 percent.  Sweetened drinks and fruit-flavored drinks offer nothing except sugar.  And even 100% fruit juice, despite the valuable vitamins and nutrients provided, is loaded with calories.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids ages 7 and older drink no more than 12 ounces of 100 percent fruit juice a day (one serving of fruit is equal to four ounces of 100 percent fruit juice).

Instead, keep water and milk on hand to quench kid’s thirst.

Bedtime Burn

Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found a correlation between childhood obesity and the number of hours a child sleeps each night– the fewer hours of sleep each night increases the risk of being overweight or obese.

It’s suggested that kids 10 years old or older and teens need nine or more hours of sleep every day, but more than 90 percent of teens don’t get that much. In fact, 10 percent of teens sleep less than six hours a day. For every additional hour of sleep a child gets, the risk of obesity decreases by 9 percent.

And in addition to the extra hours of quiet you’ll reap from putting the kids down to sleep, your body actually burns calories while sleeping. On average, you could loose about 350 calories during eight solid hours of sleep.

Breakfast is the Most Important Meal of the Day

bowl of oatmealSkipping breakfast may actually make you gain weight. Kids who don’t eat in the  morning are not only more tired, irritable and hungry during the day, and they tend to reach for high-calorie foods to compensate.

So make sure to make time for breakfast – whether it’s a sit-down or a grab-and-go meal, a cup of yogurt and trail mix or peanut butter on whole grain toast goes a long way.

Family Dinners

Eating dinner together increases the chances of eating healthy. Sitting down for a home-cooked meal each night typically means less fried foods (obviously no fast foods) and more veggies.

A study found that when families ate dinner together more than five times a week, there was a 23 to 25 percent reduction in the number of kids with weight problems.

Snack Healthy

Snacking is actually a good thing – it just comes down to what kids are snacking on.

Snacks should be no more than 100 calories and preferably low in fat, sugar and sodium.healthy-food

Although a bag of potato chips, pretzels or candy aren’t out of the question, it takes a larger quantity to satisfy the craving in between meals.  So kids can eat these sugary or salty treats, but just not as much.

For example, kids can snack on two Oreo cookies or a whole cup of blueberries; twenty potato chips, or a cup of carrots and hummus.

Combining food groups also contributes to making a healthier snack. Protein and carbohydrates pair well (think cheese and crackers or fruit and yogurt). Combining food groups will fill kids up just enough and provide an extra burst of energy until the next meal.

Knowledge is Power

It’s simple – teach your kids how to take care of their bodies.

Bring your kids food shopping with you (Bonus: an hour of shopping can burn anywhere from 100 to 240 calories) or let them help out in the kitchen when you’re preparing dinner – this gives you a chance to explain what nutrients the body needs. Teach them about the food pyramid – it may not be what you learned as a kid, so educate yourself as well by visiting www.MyPyramid.gov.

Show your kids how to read a food label.  For example, the food label on a 20-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola reads100 calories. What kids might miss, though, is that it’s actually 100 calories per serving, and there are 2.5 servings in that bottle. Drink the whole thing, and you’ve consumed 250 calories—that’s almost the same amount of calories in one 7-layer burrito from Taco Bell.

Get Involved

Raising a healthier generation of kids means becoming aware of and involved in what’s going on in our community at large. There are a number of child obesity healthcare initiative’s already in place that you can take part of including First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! program, Food Corps, The Foundation for Improving Patient Outcomes “Childhood Obesity Initiative” and even local programs created by caring teachers who want to help their students.

And during Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, look for local businesses who are supporting the cause. Jamba Juice is running a pledge promotion now through September 27th to help fight childhood obesity.  Go to www.myhealthpledge.com and make a weekly pledge to do something healthy.  Your pledge will donate $1 toward athletic and fitness equipment for a local school in need.

 

 

Jul
26

TAKING A TOUR OF THE EAST COAST

 

Hi everyone, GRAVITYBonnie here!

It’s been a busy few months here at Total Gym. We  transversed the U.S.A not once, but twice, to visit with customers in Portland, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Philadelphia, New Jersey  and New York.  A West Coast native, it was so much fun to see a part of the country that I had never been to before.

IMAG1237Starting in Maine, we were able to make some time for a lobster dinner with the folks from the YMCA of Southern Maine, where, the next day, we hosted a workshop to introduce them to the GRAVITY program!  Check out their trainers doing torso rotations utilizing the adjustable glideboard on the New GTS! We even got some of their members on for a demo, and they loved it!YMCA Southern Maine

 

 

 

 

 

As we made  our way south  to Boston, I learned a couple of things, like, “Subs” are referred to as “Grindas” and the fact that there’s a wicked need for a GRAVITY Foundation Course in the area (or rather,  are-ah). Stay tuned for more details on a date…

Next stop…New York City.

Excited to be in the Big Apple, my initial reaction wasn’t quite what I expected… We arrived late at night and as we drove through, I thought, ‘HOLY COW is it dirty here!’ IMAG1253Everywhere I looked I just saw piles of garbage bags lining the streets. It wasn’t until I returned to San Diego where our resident New Yorker in the company clued me in to the fact that, that’s how garbage pick-up works in NYC. Ohhhh……

New York did however live up to its nickname as “The City that Never Sleeps.” We stopped by Times Square and experienced first-hand, the bustling nightlife, including a party of decked out high school seniors enjoying some after prom festivities on the streets of Manhattan.

But of course, we were in New York to work, and that we did. While there, we got to meet some new faces at Blink Fitness, where we introduced our new Total Gym Core Trainer to their fit-astic staff who had fun SCRUNCH-ing and planking OUR WAY to a tighter core and awesome abs! If you are in the area, we definitely recommend checking this place out for a workout – you can take advantage of their FREE TRIAL and try out our Core Trainer as well.

Just across the bridge in New Jersey, we received an up-close (too close actually) and personal welcome from one of its residents when we were unexpectedly rear ended. Aside from the initial shock (and the damage to our rental car), all parties were OK and as it turned out, the woman who hit us was a member of, The Atlantic Club, one of our customers! She kindly explained that, ‘everyone in New Jersey is really nice and she just wanted to get really close to welcome us to town…’ Fortunately, the people at Budget rental cars were extremely understanding and although it took a few hours to find a vehicle that would fit our Total Gym machines, they did their best to get us a new rental as soon as they could. But in the meantime, The Atlantic club happily took us in while we waited and allowed us to enjoy all that their facility has to offer: fitness facilities, swimming pool, Jacuzzi, steam room, sauna and access to their on-site café. So a BIG, “thank you!” to The Atlantic Club for your hospitality. Jersey is the best!

SkyClubWhile in New Jersey, we also had the chance to stop by SkyClub Fitness in West Caldwell and see how their GRAVITY programs are shaping up. Offering a full array of different classes from GRAVITY Strength, GRAVITY Pilates, GRAVITY Ride & Glide, and GRAVITY Strength, The SkyClub is taking full advantage of the versatility Total Gym machines provide.

Moving on down the Jersey Turnpike, we met up with the folks at the UFC Gym in Paramus where we treated them to a “parking lot demo” of the Core Trainer. We were really impressed by the owner, Peter Rivera, as he knew EVERY single client that came into his gym – now that’s a good gym owner!

Finally, the conclusion of our East Coast expedition brought us to “The City of Brotherly Love,” for the 2013 YMCA General Assembly tradeshow. We had a phenomenal time in Philadelphia with all the YMCA employees, especially the group from Indiana who we had the pleasure of dining with.Indiana YMCA

Thank you again to all of our customers and all of the facilities we visited. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting you all in person and having the chance to talk face-to-face about your programs and about our latest products here at Total Gym. While I could not mention everyone, you all made my first trip east spectacular!

Casco Bay YMCA, YMCA of Greater Portland, Saco Sport & Fitness in Saco, Maine, The Workout Club in Londonderry, NH, GymIt in Watertown, MA, Mount Auburn Club in Watertown, MA, Body Natural in Barrington, RI, Perform Better in Cranston, RI , Hoover Health Systems in North Scituate, RI, Healthtrax , Crunch, TSI Corporate

Jul
3

TOTAL GYM INSIDER SAVINGS – FIT FOR THE FOURTH! SPECIAL DISCOUNT ON A TOTAL GYM SPORT

 

 

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Jul
1

ASK DR. SALADA – STICKING WITH YOUR WORKOUTS DURING SUMMER VACATIONS

Healhty happyIt’s officially Summer and the vacationing has begun!

Time to relax with a good read, lay out at the pool or on the beach, visit distant family and friends… But while you’re living it up during the “lazy days of Summer,” don’t neglect your workout routine.  Trust us, when the vacation ends and it’s time to get back to workday reality, you’ll be happy you didn’t.

Dr. Elizabeth Salada shares some helpful tips on how to incorporate your fitness into fun activities:

“I love summer time, because it gives us all an opportunity to ‘mix things up’ a bit and try new activities.

If you are vacationing with children and family, now is a great time to do family exercises that everyone can enjoy like snorkeling, swimming, surfing, paddle-boarding, horseback riding, bike riding, kayaking, hiking, or just walking as you explore new cities.

Staying active doesn’t always have to be considered “work.” Think about the hundreds of steps that it takes to hike a mountain or a historic building in Europe, or to the top of the Empire State Building! Now that’s a work out! You will be using muscles you never knew you had and your body, mind and spirit will love the variety.

Also, now many hotels and cruise ships have amazing fitness facilities ( some even with Total Gym Equipment in them). Set aside 15 minutes to half an hour to get a quick workout in so you won’t fall too far off track.   Staying with friends or family elsewhere? Take the opportunity to explore the fitness centers in other cities. Many clubs offer free trials of their facilities or drop-in day rates. Perhaps whomever you are staying with is a member of a gym; ask if they have free guest passes you can use during your stay.

The goal is to just continue to work out, in some capacity, every day and by the end of summer you may just be fitter than you ever imagined. It’s mind over matter really, so go enjoy the quality time away with family or friends, rest, rejuvenate, recover and keep on keeping on. Whatever you do, just keep moving!”

 

I look forward to hearing what creative adventures you discover!

Happy summer! Until next time…
Dr Salada

 

Dr. SaladaElizabeth Salada, MD

Dr. Salada is board certified in Internal Medicine and has been in practice in San Diego since 1996. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University where she received high honors in Family Practice and Internal Medicine. Her final training was obtained from Pennsylvania State University where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine. Visit Dr. Salada’s website for more information: http://elizabethsaladamd.com.

Jun
18

AVOID EXERCISE BURNOUT BY CHANGING UP YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE

TG soloSummer is here and no doubt you’ve been working out for months prepping for bathing suit season. But chances are, by now, you’re growing bored with your workout routine.  And when it comes to fitness, boredom = burnout  and that does not bode well for your body.

To keep things interesting, add variety to your Total Gym workout routine by getting creative with new exercise combinations, music or a change of scenery.

Music:

If you don’t normally workout with music, try. Recent studies and research suggest that working out with music not only improves your mental acuity while you train, but also helps you train longer and harder since you’re more focused on the rhythm of the music than the difficulty of your exercises.

Avoid predictability by mixing things up on your MP3 player.  While you may have a favorite artist or band, listening to just one record will not result in waking up your fitness routine. Create playlists with various artists and songs with different beats. An unexpected change in tempo can rev up your workout and challenge you without you even realizing. Don’t have an MP3 player, no worries, a radio is the original ipod shuffle.

Change of Scenery:

A change of scenery is also key. Although we know you love working out at home on your Total Gym, it’s Summer! So take advantage of the beautiful, warm weather. There’s nothing like taking a workout outdoors for a change of pace and fresh air.  Indulge in outdoor activities like volleyball, swimming or softball.

Can’t bare to tear yourself away from your Total Gym completely – there’s a compromise. Spend 10 minutes on your Total Gym for a quick tone-up and then take your Woman with Weightsworkout for a walk, run or light jog outside to boost your cardio.

New Exercise Combinations:

You don’t ever need to get off your Total Gym to get a great workout, but you can…

Get “off the board” in-between Total Gym sets and add functional exercises like squats, skaters and lunges to your workout. Adding hand weights, kettle bells or Plyo Balls as you perform these will further challenge you and create a more exciting and intense workout.

Don’t believe us? Then just give this workout a shot:

*Perform each exercise for 1 min

*proceed to the next exercise with little or no rest.

*TG is set to a Mid to High level with the squat stand connected.

On Total Gym:

1. Jump Squats

2. Splits Jumps

3. Pendulum Jumps

4. Side-to-Side Ski Hops

Repeat two times 

8 minutes total

Off Total Gym:

1. Jack Squats (for beginners you can also so Plyo Jacks)

2. Skaters

Repeat two times 

4 minutes total

On Total Gym:

1. Mogel Hops

2. Single Leg Mogel Hops

3. Single Leg Hops

4. Side Lying Single Leg Jumps – Right Leg

5. Mogel Hops

6.  Single Leg Mogel Hops

7. Single Leg Hops

8. Side Lying Single Leg Jumps – LeftLeg

8 minutes total

Off Total Gym:

1. Jump Lunges (or regular Alternating Leg Lunges without jumping)

2. High Knees (to decrease intensity try High Knee Raises)

Repeat two times 

4 minutes total

 

Total Workout Time: 24 minutes if no rest is taken. ( To be safe, plan for 30 minutes)

 

Workout and tips provided by Total Gym Inside Blog Contributor, Maria Sollon Scally.

 

Maria Sollon ScallyMaria Sollon Scally MS, CSCS holds a Masters Degree in Performance Enhancement/ Injury Prevention and Kinesiology.  She has obtained numerous certifications in various areas of fitness and is a national fitness conference presenter. Maria specializes in Pilates, Performance Coaching, and Corrective Exercise Techniques. She is a Master Trainer for Total Gym, Resist-a-Ball, Body Blade, and MVe Peak Pilates.  Maria teaches traditional and progressive fitness classes throughout Southeast Florida.  She has also added her own brand of classes suited for her more advanced training clients.  Maria is also active in free lance writing for Fitness accredited magazines. www.groovysweat.com

 

Jun
12

TOTAL GYM INSIDE – WAREHOUSE WORKOUTS

Warehouse workout 1At Total Gym, our mission is this: Helping millions of people get healthier! And we’re starting with ourselves…

Of course we work out using our own Total Gym equipment and GRAVITY programming, but we also like to try other types of workouts  - as they say- variety is the spice of life.

To keep things interesting Scott Lord, our Physical Therapy Sales Associate, has introduced our team to CrossFit style workouts in our warehouse. IMAG1377

The interesting thing about these workouts is the “challenge” aspect. We find ourselves constantly challenging each other and ourselves to better our performance.

Whether trying to complete sets faster, do more cycles in the allotted time or just keep up or surpass our fellow colleagues, the challenge keeps us motivated and that motivation keeps us improving.  sets faster, do more cycles in the allotted time.

But the same could be said for business. In fact, it often has:

“Our business in life is not to get ahead of others but to get ahead of ourselveses. To break our own record, to outstrip our yesterday by our today, to do our work with more force and finer finish than ever, this is the true idea, to get ahead of ourselves” – Stewart B. Johnson

We live in a competitive world. Whether its competing for business, a job or a sport – competition is unavoidable.

Why not use it to become the best that WE can be – as a business, as a team and as individuals – this is our mentality everyday. There is no downside to competing if it makes us better in the end.

So as we continue our warehouse workouts, we’ll focus on doing and being the best we can. We’ll try a little harder with each day, dig a little deeper within ourselves and IMAG1382mark our growth as we go along. We’ll challenge ourselves to do better than the week before and in this way, we’ll always be moving forward, both in our health and our business.

Now we challenge you to do the same…

 

Jun
7

TARA’S FRIDAY BITE – ON GOING ORGANIC

It’s hard to turn your head at the grocery store without seeing the word Organic.  Many see it as a synonym for health; others see it as simply a way to spend more money, however very few understand what it really means.  This month I wanted to break down the word organic so you can decide if it’s right for you!

Organic Fruit & Vegetablesgrocery shopping decisions

When you buy an organic fruit and vegetable it means that both the soil and produce are maintained and replenished without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.  Check out the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen to see which of the produce you eat contain the most pesticides.

Organic Meat & Poultry

The term organic when applied to animal protein starts at birth.  The animal must be born and raised on land that is free from synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.  All the feed that it receives must also be 100% organic and can never contain any animal by-products.  Finally, they can never receive any antibiotics and must have ready access to open pastureland.

Organic Grains & Packaged Food

When it comes to packaged foods you shouldn’t assume that the product is actually healthy, but rather it has come from healthier ingredients.  For instance if you buy an organic cookie – your flour won’t come from wheat crops that have been sprayed with pesticides or any other unpleasant chemicals. The same applies to all the other ingredients you put in those tasty cookies. None of them will have been treated or grown or developed with anything bad, like growth hormones or artificial pesticides or anything similar. However, it is still a cookie – unfortunately the word organic doesn’t turn it into broccoli!

Basically, organic means getting back to basics. It means you know you’re getting something that’s been safely and responsibly produced. However, as we’ve seen with the cookie example, organic doesn’t always translate into healthy food. It all depends on the ingredients and whether you eat them in moderation.

Finally, organic is not always just a health issue, but rather a financial issue.  If you are wondering where to spend your money check out my article on what to buy organic.  Also, remember the most important thing is that you get fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains into you.  So you can’t afford organic or it’s not available in your area don’t use this as a reason to skip out on your fruits and vegetables!

 

TaraColemanHeadShot

 

 

Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at tara@taracoleman.com.

 

 

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