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Stress & Humor

by Alexis Alger-Feser, Certified Health Coach & Personal Trainer

April is National Stress Awareness Month and National Humor Month. What a perfect pair! National Stress Awareness month began in 1992 to bring attention to the health risks associated with stress and strategies for coping with it. Stress is not always a bad thing and we also cannot get rid of it completely. It is a normal reaction to everyday pressures we face, but it can become unhealthy when it upsets your day-to-day functioning. There are several types of stress we face at different times in our lives. Everyone has their own unique stressors, and everyone handles stress in different ways. So, what works for one person might not work for the next.

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NEAT

by Alexis Alger-Feser, Certified Health Coach & Personal Trainer

Even when you are not intentionally exercising, you are still burning calories. Whether you are folding laundry or sitting in a chair jiggling your legs. That is NEAT.
Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy you expend for everything you do that does not involve sleeping, eating, or exercise. NEAT is just one of the four components that makes up your metabolism.

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The Dimensions of Wellness

by Alexis Alger-Feser, Certified Health Coach & Personal Trainer

What does wellness look like to you? Most people associate wellness with physical and mental wellbeing, however, there is more to wellness than that. In my practice as a Health Coach, I approach wellness with eight different dimensions that I guide my clients through to find their balance. Each wellness journey is unique, so being able to assess all dimensions of wellness helps my clients be the best version of themselves. Read on to learn about the eight dimensions...

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Ankle Mobility

by Casey Alger-Feser, NASM Certified Personal Trainer

Today I would like to discuss how increasing your ankle mobility can improve your squat form. While increased ankle mobility can help with multiple moves in and out of the gym, today we will key in on the squat. The first issue we need to address is some of the causes of poor ankle mobility. Some common causes include ankle sprains, high-heeled shoes, tight calves, arch pain and even genetics. When the joint and muscles around the ankle are tight and restrict your range of motion, your ankle will not be able to fully flex. This will inhibit your ability to get below parallel when you squat. Two ways to help improve this issue include self-myofascial release and static stretching...

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Sleep Awareness Month

by Alexis Alger-Feser, Certified Health Coach & Personal Trainer

National Sleep Awareness Month is observed in March annually. This is a great opportunity to stop and think about your sleep habits and how to improve them. Also, the second Sunday in March is Daylight Savings where we get to “spring ahead” and advance our clocks one hour. “Spring ahead” and “fall back” may affect you more than you know, so it is important to be aware of your sleep and your health. How have you been sleeping lately? How much sleep are you getting? What is the quality of your sleep? How is your sleep, or lack of, impacting your well-being?

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My Skin Buddy

by Megan Burnach, Licensed Aesthetician

Who is My Skin Buddy? My Skin Buddy is your skincare best friend and I'd love to teach you more about this amazing tool that you can (and should) add to your skincare routine! My Skin Buddy is one handheld device with four technologies built in (which would cost thousands if you were to buy one of each). Each technology will help you get towards your skincare goals, whether that is anti-ageing, hyperpigmentation, acne, or wanting skin radiance and deep cleansing. With six different settings, you can also choose to spot treat or work all over the face or body.

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Weight Room Layout

by Andy Gaustad, Personal Trainer

For those of you who haven’t noticed, there have been some great changes in the weight room in the past couple weeks. While we strive to update and repair equipment as needed, we also look to add pieces that would benefit members in different ways. The latest pieces of equipment are the preloaded barbells. They range from 20-110 and are stored near the end of the dumbbell rack.

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Random Acts of Kindness

by Alexis Alger-Feser
Certified Health Coach & Personal Trainer

Random Acts of Kindness Day is Monday, February 17th and kicks off a week-long celebration for Random Acts of Kindness Week! This day and week are celebrated nationwide to encourage others to engage in a random act of kindness. It doesn’t take much to be kind, but it can make a huge difference in someone else’s life. Random acts of kindness do not have to be extravagant. Something as simple as smiling at someone, holding the door open, or letting someone cut in front of you in a traffic jam are all ways to be kind to others. Read on to see some random acts of kindness experienced by Western staff members!

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How To Get The Perfect Spray Tan

by Megan Burnach, Licensed Aesthetician

The perfect tan does not come without proper care before and after application.  There are four rules to follow when preparing for a spray tan.  When these four rules are applied you will experience a smoother, longer-lasting tan.

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All About Carbs

by Katie Fichtenbauer, ISSA Personal Trainer

What are they and why are we afraid of them? Carbohydrates are a macronutrient, meaning they are one of the three main ways the body obtains energy or calories. Yes... CALORIES are ENERGY.

"The American Diabetes Association notes that carbohydrates are the body's main source of energy. They are called carbohydrates because, at the chemical level, they contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen." - Livescience

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Pick The Right Skincare Products With Help From An Aesthetician

by Megan Burnach, Licensed Aesthetician

Being honest with yourself and without shame, how many of you read a magazine article, blog post, or celebrity endorsement and read about the "upcoming product" or "the must-have for your skin!" and either obsessively researched about that one thing or, you end up buying it because you trust them? Or maybe your boss suggested you try this skincare line or your cousin swears by this one mask that cured everything with her skin so you must own it! Eventually, your bathroom is filled with products that may or not be expired? If any of these sounds like you, I must look at your face! Let me explain...

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Focus

by Krystal Morgan, MBA, NSCA-CSCS Personal Trainer

Have you ever driven down the road for a while, when suddenly you realize you just went ten miles, and you don’t remember getting that far, almost like you blacked out for a few minutes? Have you ever done this during exercise? You mindlessly do a set of bicep curls until your trainer tells you to stop or it starts to burn a little bit. Performing resistance training in this manner is not near as effective when you engage your focus on the muscle group you are trying to target. This is called the “mind muscle connection,” and it is very important when your goal is hypertrophy (increased muscle size).

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Take Care of You in 2020

by Alexis Alger-Feser, Certified Health Coach & Personal Trainer

Would you let your cellphone battery die? What about letting your vehicle run out of gas? Why is it that we usually care for our valuables more than we do ourselves? When life gets busy, it may be hard to fit everything into your day, especially self-care. Trying to excel in your career, maintain a social life, eat nutritious meals, drink enough water, sleep, exercise, and care for your family. The list could go on and on. But how can you find that balance in your life by making time for yourself?

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When and Why Should You Be Stretching Anyways?

by Alex Zeller, NSCA-CSCS Personal Trainer

It’s common to see people stretch both before and after a workout but which is better? When it comes down to it, both have their benefits...

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Vitamin D3: 3 Ways to Increase Vitamin D in the Winter

by Deb Guenterberg, MS, RDN, CD
Prevea Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Did you know that vitamin D is comprised of more than one vitamin? Vitamin D is actually a “family” of vitamins that includes vitamin D2 (calciferol) and vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol). Vitamin D3 is found in animal-based foods and vitamin D2 is found in plants. Although both help to fulfill your vitamin D requirements, research at times has shown that vitamin D3 may raise your blood levels of this important vitamin slightly more than vitamin D2. Keep in mind, both are still needed.

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Making Your New Year's Resolutions Stick

by Alexis Alger-Feser, Certified Health Coach

The new year is right around the corner and you may start thinking of what New Year’s resolution you are going to set for 2020. This is the perfect time to reflect on the past year’s behaviors and promise yourself to make positive lifestyle changes in the coming year. I want to help you make that resolution stick by creating some lifestyle changes...

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Keeping Kids Healthy During the Holidays

by Kaila Paar
Western Childcare Director

Happy Holidays everyone! Ready or not the holiday season has officially begun, with Thanksgiving behind us, you know what follows next. The holiday extravaganza! Most of us can agree the next few months bring plenty of joy, love, and let's be honest, a little chaos. If we all agree the holiday season is a busy time for adults, can we take a minute to acknowledge the toll it takes on our children? Between the holiday parties, busy schedules, late nights and school breaks, the season can wreak havoc on our children in a lot of ways. Today I will be sharing some thoughts on overall wellness for your children as we approach this time of year.

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Autopilot

by Tad Taggart

According to the National Safety Council, nearly 400,000 people are injured and 1 in 4 car accidents occur because someone was attempting to text while driving. With this in mind, it’s reasonable to consider distracted driving an epidemic. Unfortunately, humans are terrible at multitasking. Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we spend most of our days looking for solutions to accomplish more than one thing at once...

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Mindful Eating

by Deb Guenterberg, MS, RDN, CD
Prevea Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

“You are what you eat” is a very common phrase used to gently warn people that they should make healthy food choices. Rephrase that a bit and ask yourself, “What are you eating?” This is a simple question, but do you actually pay attention to what you are eating? I mean, really pay attention and think about the aroma, flavor and texture of the food?

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All About Chemical Peels

by Megan Burnach, Licensed Aesthetician

Fall time is the perfect time to start updating your skincare routine and getting back into, or starting, a skincare treatment routine. Some of our most popular services at Spa Western is our chemical peels! All three of our chemical peels target very specific skin conditions and concerns. Don’t worry—I do a skin consultation with all my guests to best determine which peel is best for you and what that will look in terms of a series. 

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Be S.M.A.R.T. With Your Goals

by Dan Chojnacki, Assistant Group Fitness Director, Master Trainer

Goal setting is one of the most important aspects of our fitness lives. After all, how can we know what to do if we don’t know what we want to achieve? There are countless different goals that can be set, but there is one common way to reach them all: be SMART. I’m not necessarily talking about being intelligent, although that is certainly part of it. I’m talking about making our goals smart. They should be...

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Brown Bagging It

by Deb Guenterberg, MS, RDN, CD
Prevea Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

"It’s in the bag.” This is a common expression often used confidently to mean that the results will be favorable. It’s primarily been used to refer to a winning team of a sporting event or perhaps a salesperson may say this right before they close the big deal. A more literal meaning of the phrase, “it’s in the bag”, is the focus for today’s topic. Let’s chat about packing lunches.

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The Benefits of Cardio from Head To Toe

by Alexis Alger-Feser

I think we all know cardio benefits our hearts, but that is not all! Here is how cardio affects your whole body...

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Tennis In A Word

This week we invited some of our Western Tennis Professionals and some of our Western Tennis Members to choose one word that speaks to their feelings about this amazing sport and to tell us a little more about what it means to them.We invite you to share your story about one word tennis has given you the chance to understand more about yourself, just as some of our fellow tennis professionals and players have shared their own!

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Fresh vs. Fermented Foods

by Deb Guenterberg, MS, RDN, CD
Prevea Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Usually, when one sees the abbreviation “vs.”, it leads us to believe that one is better than the other and that we must make a choice. This is not the case with fermented and fresh foods as both are beneficial to a healthy diet. Let’s start with the simplest form of foods: fresh. Why choose fresh?

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The Secret to Happiness

by Andy Gaustad, Personal Trainer

Tony Robbins said the secret to happiness in one word. ... “I always tell people if you want to know the secret to happiness, I can give it to you in one word: progress. Progress equals happiness.” That's because reaching a goal is satisfying, but only temporarily.

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Yoga - Beyond Flexibility

by Billie Augustian, PA-C, RYT 200, NETA Certified Group Exercise Instructor

September is National Yoga Month, the perfect time to explore yoga basics and the benefits of a regular practice. The popularity of yoga has increased dramatically in recent years to over 36 million people. What is special about yoga that has so many people taking off their shoes and rolling out a mat?

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Sleep & Weight Loss

by Krystal Morgan

Most people these days don’t get enough sleep. We are so busy with work, kids, sports, extra-curricular activities, and keeping the house in order. Sleep is usually the one thing that gets minimized. So we drink more coffee or energy drinks to get through the day, but is that helping us reach our goals? Living in a sleep deficit is not only bad for your brain; it’s bad if you are trying to lose weight.

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Healthy Avocado Caprese Salad (Dairy-Free)

by Emily Schield

There’s nothing quite like eating a fresh heirloom tomato right off the vine in the heat of summer. I’d love to share a tasty Caprese salad recipe from the blog of Elizabeth Rider, a health expert, author, and creative entrepreneur that I’ve been following for six years. Although this recipe is dairy-free, everyone in Wisconsin who can tolerate cheese should add freshly sliced mozzarella (or mozzarella balls) and pair this salad with grilled chicken...

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Meet the Trainers

This week we asked each of our Personal Trainers to tell us a little bit more about their journeys to becoming PTs and training at Western. Learn more about what led them to this career, why they love it, and what makes training at Western special!

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Tennis Technology

by Aidan Sauberlich

When we talk about what technology means to the game of tennis, it really means more to the game than most people know in more ways than one. Our first piece of the technology puzzle consists of the differences in generational racket technology. Back in the mid 1900’s, tennis was a growing sport and players used wooden rackets. Due to the design and capabilities of wooden rackets, the game of tennis was played much differently than the modern game we see today...

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Breaking Free

by Kari Merrill

I remember thinking, “I am not this person. I want to LIKE people.” A job in Corrections makes it very tough to keep a happy disposition. You see, you hear, and you smell a lot of things you cannot even imagine. You start to lose faith in mankind. For me, it turned me very cynical, negative, and unhappy but I could do the job well. But deep down, I was not fulfilled. I was not meeting the need to really help people like I feel I was born to do. I needed an outlet. I needed to get out of my house and DO something besides work. I wanted to really bond with people again to trust in people again. I found Group Fitness.

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Lowering Blood Pressure

by Debbie Guenterberg

Hypertension affects millions of people in the United States. Do you struggle with keeping it in check? Rather than first focusing on what foods to avoid, let’s spend some time with what foods you can choose to help combat this condition.

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Keeping Kids Active in the Summer

by Kaila Paar

At Western Racquet we are committed to a better you and that means your little ones as well! We will be focusing on three main points going into this summer season with your kiddos. Keep in mind these tips can be utilized with any children, not just your own. Caregivers have an extra special place in the lives of children too! To keep our kids active and healthy this summer, let’s talk about three main things: getting involved, decreasing screen time, and getting outside! Let’s dive in!

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The Whole Story On Wholism

by Devin VanDyke

My name is Devin. I am a Certified Personal Trainer, a Certified Natural Trainer, and a Certified Holistic Lifestyle Specialist. I really focus on training and living in a way that promotes the health of the WHOLE - the mind, the body, the spirit, and the planet. This week, I want to take this opportunity to talk about a concept that will help you to improve almost every aspect of your health and life: wholism. So, what is wholism...

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How Does Your Food Add Up?

by Debbie Guenterberg

Food additives are very present in our food supply. When is the last time you looked at a nutrition label strictly for food additives? Of course, it is always important to pay attention to the entire nutrition label focusing in on added sugar, calories, saturated fat, etc. However, I want to draw closer attention to the ingredient list on products and provide a few tips.

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Skin Cancer Awareness Month

by Megan Burnach

While it may seem like it's rare and we want to take advantage, it's also important to be smart and prepared. With May being Skin Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to share a few things to keep in mind to protect your skin from the harsher side of the summer sun.

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What to know about Keto

by Alexis Alger-Feser

Every year there seems to be a new fad or diet kick that promises big results. Oftentimes the science behind a new diet or fitness trend is not fully understand and we base decisions off what we hear from others (or what we want to believe).  “Diets” seem to be used as a quick fix solution to lose ‘x’ amount of weight quick, but..

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Healthy & Delicious

by Debbie Guenterberg

Have you ever thought that in order to be healthy you must give up certain foods? If someone tries one of my prepared dishes or snacks and then states, “it tastes pretty good for being healthy,” I feel I need to change the recipe or buy a new product. News flash…you can...

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Fitness as a family

by Tad Taggart

Believe it or not, sometimes our greatest barriers to making successful, healthy lifestyle changes are our loved ones. The key to improving your overall health, whatever the method, is...

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How to do your best squat

by Casey Alger-Feser

This article is meant to clarify a few things I have seen done differently in the gym and my own personal experience with squatting. Many people use a standard "toes pointed forward" and feet "shoulder width apart" when squatting. If you have the mobility and strength for that...

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Eat Your Veggies: Plant-based vs carnivorous diet

by Tad Taggart

There are few people I know that actually feel that they eat a sufficient amount of vegetables in a day. Many people try to eat healthy but recognize they fall short of incorporating sufficient fresh produce in their diet. Truthfully, those that actively seek to eat more veggies.....

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Skincare as a road map to full body health.

by Megan Burnach

Skincare doesn’t just entail creams and serums, facials and fillers, it is a whole lifestyle/wellness approach. Think of your skin as a roadmap to what is happening internally—it is a guide to where you may need to do some.....

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