6 Signs You’re an Exercise Addict

By Grace Selwitschka, Elite Sports Club-North Shore Certified Personal Trainer & Group Exercise Instructor

6 Signs You Are An Exercise Addict-Elite Sports ClubsIs exercise addiction for real? Yes, you can have an exercise addiction. Yes, you can be compulsive about it to the point that it disrupts your daily routine.

An uber fit lady I met in Germany, let’s call her Rebecca, used to run twice a day and lift twice a day during the week. On the weekends it was three times a day. She would exercise through pain, blisters and an upset stomach. “All I thought about was working out and nothing else seemed to matter,” said Rebecca, who lost 38 pounds in three months in 2003. “I was tired and sore but that didn’t stop me. I wasn’t sleeping and eating well. I ate a piece of fruit in the morning and maybe a bagel for dinner. My immune system was off as well.”

What are the warning signs?

  1. Exercising a couple of times a day, two to five hours total.
  2. Counting calories in order to figure what exercise you need to do to burn them.
  3. Rearranging your day in order to fit in exercise.
  4. When your daily routine or cycle is disrupted by a constant need to exercise above all else and you will stop whatever it is you are doing, no matter how important, to exercise.
  5. You view food as the enemy.
  6. Exercise becomes your sole social activity.

Rebecca says she is more balanced these days. She’s in a steady relationship and her weight has been stable for 12 months. She has been prescribed medication for depression and anxiety. She exercises three to four times a week and has now incorporated pilates and yoga to build mental strength. “I feel much more in control and not like I’m running all of the time chasing whatever,” she said. “I did see a doctor and got some help, eventually listened to people who kept telling me the same thing but I was too hardheaded to listen. Any kind of addiction and obsession is bad and can really disrupt your quality of life.”

Are you or someone you know addicted to exercising? We are here to help. We can set you up on a more moderate workout plan and help you monitor the above signs of exercise addiction.

Back to School Means Back to a Routine

It’s amazing how quickly summer comes and goes. Before you know it, the air is crisp, the leaves are turning and the sweaters are coming out of the back of the closet. Just because cold-weather clothing provides a little more coverage, doesn’t mean we have to let that summer body go. With “back to school” time comes a little more routine and therefore the capability for a consistent workout strategy to help you maintain that physique you worked so hard for this summer.

Back to School Back to Routine

Try some of the tips below to get started in creating your own Back to School Fitness Routine.

  • Just like you plan out the kids’ schedules on the family calendar, build in some workout time for yourself as well. Remember, just 30 minutes a day can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Things can get hectic and you may not be able to get away on your own to the gym. Don’t forget to take advantage of your health club’s child services or playroom. If unavailable, try playing basketball with the kids or taking advantage of the pool. We often forget that play is not just fun, but also a good workout.
  • Be prepared for your workouts, otherwise you will be more likely to skip them. When you pack your kids’ lunches, pack your gym bag or set out your clothes/shoes for your morning run.
  • If you think of working out as something as necessary as brushing your teeth, you won’t feel inclined to pass it up if you get busy. It will just become a part of your daily routine.
  • Be flexible and get creative. Sometimes the unexpected will interfere with your plans, that’s inevitable. Don’t beat yourself up over it though. Take a deep breath, and re-adjust. See if your group exercise class is offered at a different time or club location, or even do squats and lunges while you make dinner.
  • Stay fit by incorporating workouts into family activities. Take date night out of the restaurant and onto bikes in the park. Turn family game night away from board games and into the backyard. Who doesn’t love a good game of Kick the Can or Ghost in the Graveyard?

Back to School Check List

Remember, back to school time isn’t all about the kids, it’s about you too. Summer will be back again before you know it!

Are you excited to get back into a routine? What about your workout routine changes between summer and the school year?

Don’t forget to get the kids back into a routine too with Elite Sports Clubs youth tennis lessons and youth swim lessons! Registration is now open for Fall and Winter sessions!

8 Tips for Knife Safety in Your Home

By Rita Larsen, RD; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition & Diet Counselor

For class presentations at Elite Sports Clubs, we have often spent a fair amount of time talking about knife safety for preparing foods. It is a serious matter, as we often have children helping for food preparations. And keeping them safe, and ourselves, should be a primary goal. Purchase the best possible knives that you can as it is an important part of a wonderful meal. A good idea for a gift!

Knife Safety-Elite Sports Clubs

The safe use of knives is imperative for obvious reasons. There are only a few rules to remember, but they are crucial:

  1. A sharp knife is a safe knife. Using a dull knife is an invitation to disaster. If you try to force a dull knife through the surface of a food product, it’s more likely to slip and cause an injury. Also: if you do happen to cut yourself, a sharp knife will result in an easier wound to attend to.
  2. Never, ever grab a falling knife. The best way to avoid having to think about this rule is to make sure your knife is always completely on your work surface, without the handle sticking out into traffic areas. Inevitably, however, it will happen from time to time that you or someone else will bump a knife handle, resulting in a falling knife. We all have a natural instinct to grab for anything that’s falling. You must overcome this inclination. Remember: a falling knife has no handle. Just get your hands and feet out of the way.
  3. Use the right knife for the right job. Many knife injuries occur when laziness induces us to use the knife at hand rather than the correct knife for a job. Place your knife inventory where it is easily accessible so you won’t be tempted to make this mistake.
  4. Always cut away from – never towards – yourself. Sometimes this is a hard rule to follow. Again, don’t be lazy! If the angle is wrong, turn the product around. Or turn your cutting board around. By the way – if your cutting board doesn’t have rubber feet, you should place it atop a damp kitchen towel to make sure it doesn’t slide while you’re cutting.
  5. When you have a knife in hand, keep your eyes on the blade. This rule stands whether you are cutting something or carrying a knife. The simple fact is: you’re unlikely to cut yourself if you’re watching the blade, especially the tip. Another idea, don’t talk and cut.
  6. Carry a knife properly. If you’re carrying a knife through the kitchen, especially a busy kitchen, there are often people, and better, pets hurrying around. You must get used to the idea that the only way to walk with a knife in hand is to carry it pointed straight down, with the blade turned towards your thigh. Keep your arm rigid. You don’t want a family member going to the emergency room with a puncture wound from your knife.
  7. Never, ever put a knife in a sink full of water. In addition to soaking probably being bad for your knife handle, putting a knife in a sink full of (likely soapy) water is just asking for trouble. Wash your sharp knives by hand (not in a dishwasher!) and put them away immediately.
  8. Always cut on a cutting board. Don’t cut on metal, glass or marble. This will ultimately damage a knife’s edge.

At what age did you start including your children in the cooking of meals? When did you let them start using knives in the process? How did you teach them about knife safety?

Coming this Fall: “All in the Family Nutrition” a health and nutrition program offered by Elite Sports Clubs’ Registered Dietitian, Rita Larsen that involves each member of the family. Members work together for family-centered nutrition planning for meals and set goals for improved health and wellness. Each family member also monitors his or her own food intake. Plans are made for meal selections, grocery shopping, eating meals out, and making better snack choices. Offered by appointment to fit your family’s schedule. Contact Rita for pricing options and availability to start your “all in the family nutrition” program today!

Gave Your All On The Tennis Court? It’s Time to “Treat Yo’ Self!”

Playing tennis is a great way to work every inch of your body (plus, it’s pretty fun). Jumping, cutting, smashing, and twisting; playing tennis is a great way to work every inch of your body (and did we mention… it’s also pretty fun). It’s a game that requires strength, power, flexibility, speed, and agility.

How can you become a lean, mean, bright green tennis machine? (Watch out Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams!) We’ve put together a few important things for you to remember if you want to reap the benefits on the court, and there is only one phrase you need to remember… say it with us now… “Treat yo’ self!”

 1. Massages. Why? Because it feels pretty darn AMAZING. Those 30-minute (or even 60-minutes!) sessions aren’t just for people who love to be pampered. Their advantages reach far beyond that with benefits that include: augmenting flexibility, dilating the blood vessels, improving circulation and flushing-out toxins that can cause muscle swelling and soreness. And, hey, if Wimbledon winner Andy Murray can do it, why can’t you?

2. Physical Therapy. Fact of life: injuries happen. Yes, even for a fine physical specimen such as yourself. Whether a sprain, strain, tear, separation, rupture or an ailment ending in “-itis”, it’s important to take proper steps on the road to recovery. Physical therapists are a necessary tool for evaluation, treatment and education (and since we like you so much, Elite members are entitled to a FREE injury assessment at our S.M.A.R.T. clinics!).

3. Nutrition. Food fuels your body (we know, you’re thinking “thank you Captain Obvious!”). After all that court time you put in, your body’s energy gauge is probably hovering near empty. Pre-, during- and post-match nutrition is critical to your performance as a tennis player–or any athlete for that matter. As tempting as fad diets and theories on sports nutrition may sound, you may consider consulting a dietitian (like Elite’s own Rita Larsen) to learn how to fuel your body, lose weight and healthy eating.

To learn more about the most extensive tennis program in Wisconsin (hint: it’s at Elite Sports Clubs) click here. And for more ways to “Treat yo’ self” visit our website.

What ways do you “Treat yo’ self” after a day on the court? Tell us in the comments!

Use Exercise to Reduce Stress

By Amy Hall, Group Exercise Director & Personal Trainer, Elite Sports Club-North Shore

Who among us isn’t stressed in some way or another? As we go through life we experience many situations that can lead to either short or long-term stress. I’m not about to start naming them, but I can certainly give first hand testimony to that! Raise your hand if you agree…

Exercise Relieves Stress

Okay, so how do you handle it? Exercise! It’s a proven stress-buster. Just one exercise session can generate 90-120 minutes of relaxation response. This is caused in part by the increase in production of endorphins, your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. They improve your mood and leave you feeling relaxed. Clinicians have actually done studies on this and have measured a post-workout decrease in the electrical activity of tensed muscle and an increase in the flow of oxygen.

Exercise can also be a very positive distraction from life’s daily struggles. Concentrating on your body’s movements can cause you to forget about whatever else may be on your mind and replace it with a new sense of calm and balance. This creates a reduction in anxiety which may continue on to other aspects of your life and even improve your quality of sleep.

Sometimes the hardest part is just getting started. Any form of movement will do as long as it’s something you enjoy so that you’ll stick with it and want to do it on a regular basis – that’s the key. For some exercisers an all-out sweat session is in order, while for others the focused and controlled movements of yoga or pilates are more desirable. All varieties are sure to improve your mood and body, therefore increasing your self-confidence.

Think about what works for you, your body and your daily schedule. Make it a priority and write it on your calendar. Work out alone or ask a friend to be your workout buddy. Find a personal trainer who can motivate, inspire, and encourage you to reach your goals. Make it your controlled environment, you have the power. Stop stressing and start moving!

Check out our Mind/Body calendar for a list of yoga & pilates classes. Or get started with a personal trainer (special training packages available for new members!)

What do you do to reduce the stress in your life? How does exercise affect your stress levels? Tell us in the comments!