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Leg Workout Musts

by Andy Gaustad, MS, NSCA-CSCS Certified Personal Trainer

Leg workouts are a tough day for anyone. They’re hard, they’re exhausting, they hurt in good ways and sometimes in bad ways. Knees, hips and back hurt occasionally. Most of the time, the pain part is short term. Oftentimes, it’s a lingering ache that we just ignore and keep pushing through. Muscle and joint pain are usually signs of dysfunction somewhere in the kinetic chain. Short and long term overuse, weakness, muscle imbalances, tightness, poor posture, among other issues are reasons behind lingering pain. When “leg day” pops up during the week, many of us experience pain stemming from these dysfunctions.

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The Fight Lives On: Rock Steady Boxing at Western

by Kari Merill, Group Fitness Director

Nearly 1 million people in the U.S. are living with Parkinson’s Disease. An American is diagnosed every 9 minutes. I think when some people hear ‘Parkinson’s Disease’ they think it affects the older population, with tremors and slower movement.  That might be true for some, but being diagnosed with Parkinson's is different for everyone. When I got Certified as a Rock Steady Boxing Coach, a neurologist spoke with us and said, "If you met one person with Parkinson’s, you have met one person with Parkinson's." I think this is the most frustrating thing for diagnosed patients and their loved ones. Parkinson’s is an ongoing, progressive disease of the nervous system which affects your movement. There is no cure. There are medications to help control the symptoms but one thing that is scientifically proven to delay the progression of Parkinson's Disease is EXERCISE. That’s right. MOVEMENT.

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Exercise & Pregnancy

by Krystal Morgan-White, NSCA-CSCS Personal Trainer

About 85% of women will become pregnant at some point in their lifetime. Exercise is an important aspect of growing a healthy baby inside you as well as for the mother's well-being. Most doctors recommend exercise throughout pregnancy if the mom is cleared to do so. There are many benefits of working out throughout pregnancy. There are also some do’s and don’ts to follow. If done right, keeping an active lifestyle throughout the duration of the pregnancy will lead to easier delivery and quicker recovery. As always, consult with a doctor before beginning or changing a fitness routine during pregnancy.

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Pores & Skincare

by Megan Burnach, Licensed Aesthetician

"Sorry you have to look at my skin, it's dry/oily/got acne/etc."  This is by far one of the most common statements I receive when looking at a clients skin during a skin analysis during a facial, especially with first-time clients. Most of the time it has something to do with having pores, not even having blackheads or whiteheads, just by simply having them! 

Let me start off by stating one simple fact. Every single person on this planet has pores. You do not need to apologize by having them!

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Pistol Squats

by Olivia LaPlante, ISSA Personal Trainer

One of my personal favorite leg day exercises is to do pistol squats. For those of you who do not know what a pistol squat is, it is a single leg squat that requires a great deal of balance. The idea of the pistol squat is, while standing on one leg, squat to the lowest point without letting yourself fall back or rest on the ground.
Benefits: Develop full range of muscle recruitment, isolation of each leg for balancing strength deficits, increases flexibility and mobility, increases ankle joint mobility and flexibility, and greatly improves balance.

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Stress Eating (COVID-19 Style)

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

Have you found yourself stressed from the COVID-19 pandemic? The virus and many changes over the last few months have impacted all of us in some way. Are you having a difficult time managing your stress during the pandemic? One common reaction to stress is overating. Here are a few tips to help you turn stress and eating into a positive influence for your life.

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S.A.D. | Seasonal Affective Disorder

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

What is S.A.D.? A type of depression that corresponds to the changes in the seasons. For most people, this starts in fall and continues throughout the winter months. This usually starts and ends at the same time each year when the seasons change. As the season progresses, your symptoms may progress as well. Seasonal affective disorder occurs more often in women than men; also, it occurs more often in younger adults than in older adults. But it can affect anybody at any stage in their life! What may increase your risk of S.A.D.?

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"Fall"ing Into a Wellness Routine

by Jamie Burich, Wellness & Recovery Director

Here we are in September and fall is in the air! The days are slowly losing sunlight. School is back in session. Pumpkin spice everything is popping up everywhere we look and our favorite oversized sweaters are being pulled out of storage. Long summer weekends are a thing of the past but the sun's wrath still lingers on our delicate skin. Dark spots appear on our faces that weren't there 3 months ago. You tell yourself, but I used sunblock, I mean, I mostly used sunblock. Maybe I forgot the sunblock a few times? It’s too much hassle to put the sunblock on. I’ll do better next year. This is me and so many other people I know. We are well-intentioned at the beginning of summer, and then we lose steam when it comes to our personal well-being as the summer goes on...

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What are fats?

by Katie Fichtenbauer, ISSA Personal Trainer

What are fats and why are we afraid of them?
Fats are a macronutrient, meaning they are one of the three main ways the body obtains energy or calories. CALORIES are ENERGY. According to health.org: Dietary fats are essential to give your body energy and to support cell growth. They also help protect your organs and help keep your body warm. Fats help your body absorb some nutrients and produce important hormones, too. Your body definitely needs fat.

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Strategies for Dealing with Stress

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

With so much uncertainty in the world right now, you might be more aware of your stress levels now more than ever. The world is simultaneously going through a global pandemic and significant social and political upheaval, plus many of us are still dealing with big changes in lifestyle, like working from home, facilitating virtual learning for kids, and continuing public health precautions like limiting our interaction with friends and family which can take its toll on us mentally and emotionally. Stress is inevitable, even in the best of times, but how you look at stress determines how it will affect you. Take control of the situations in your life you have control over, find what works best for you, and find a stress management routine to create a healthy relationship with the stressors in your life.

Here are some healthy ways to cope with stress...

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Intermittent Fasting

by Tad Taggart, ACSM Personal Trainer

Is the answer to the question of what to eat… to eat nothing at all? Advice for what to eat, when to eat, and how to eat can be confusing and conflicting. I’ve talked to many people that say the amount of nutrition information out there tends to be more overwhelming than helpful. When this happens, it seems easier to simply eat nothing at all than navigate these muddy waters. It’s for this reason that intermittent fasting often seems so appealing. Proponents of intermittent fasting will proclaim the amazing benefits of simply not eating, saying that fasting will make you leaner, stronger, smarter, and even live longer. Are these claims true? Let’s find out!

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Mental Fitness

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

We tend to focus so much on our physical fitness but do you ever focus on your mental fitness? Your brain needs exercise just like your muscles do. You can become more mentally strong, healthy, and fit at any age! You just need time, practice, and consistency. Here are 10 ways to start focusing on your mental fitness today!

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Staff Feature: Life's A Climb, But The View Is Great

by Amanda Boeder, Membership Director & Group Fitness Instructor

One thing I love is being able to look back on my journey on how I got to be where I am today. I had my daughter at the very young age of 18 so I had to grow up very fast but gosh, she was the best thing that ever happened to me! A few years later I decided to go to college and I later graduated with a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice in March of 2011. I was ready to dive into a job in the criminal justice field, make a difference, and change the whole dang world. But the funny thing about life is that you might make all the plans to go down a certain path, and life brings you down a path you never even dreamed you would go down!

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Questions to Ask Yourself for Personal Growth

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

The average person thinks 12,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day. And we tend to judge and blame others much more harshly than we do ourselves. We all have our own beliefs, thoughts, and purpose that build our identities, so questioning ourselves can be uncomfortable. No one said change was easy, but it is almost always worth it. The following questions will challenge your purpose and beliefs and may be tough to answer. If you honestly answer them, hopefully you will be able to go forward and make different or better choices in the way you think and act.

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Yoga: Start Where You Are

by Amy Xiong, Yoga Instructor

Have you ever thought about trying yoga but aren't sure if it's for you? We all have excuses of why we shouldn't try it or how inflexible we are. There are so many benefits as to why you should practice yoga. Follow yogi Amy Xiong in this yoga flow video and learn about all the benefits of yoga!

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Tips for Maintaining Physical Health

by Dan Chojnacki, NETA Certified Personal Trainer, NETA Certified Group Exercise Instructor

In the current state of today’s world, it has become imperative that we take care of our bodies in order to stay healthy. Many of us are beginning to re-think or re-focus how we go about daily activities that would normally have never required a second thought. This attention to detail, which keeps us from getting sick, is a concept that can also help us stay healthy during our workouts.

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Staying Active in the Summer

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

Are you looking to mix up your fitness routine this summer? Being active for 60 minutes can be fun if you find activities you enjoy. Even get your kids involved in the summer activities planning!

Here are some fun ways to stay active this summer:

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Welcome Back!

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

As Stay at Home Orders are being lifted and businesses are starting to reopen, you might be thinking of your return to the gym. We are all so excited to see you when our doors open on May 26th! We hope you have been staying healthy and taking care of yourself during this pandemic. Before you return, Western Personal Trainers and Group Fitness Instructors would like you to keep a few things in mind as you head back to the gym.

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Mental Health Awareness Month

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

We all face challenges in our lives that can impact our mental health, and everyone experiences something different. Mental health conditions are more common than you may think. Some people don’t like to talk about them or might be scared to. But you are not alone...

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It's Just a Fitness Class

by Group Fitness Instructor Kari Merrill

COVID-19. No groups larger than 250. No groups larger than 50. Keep 6ft of distance between each other. No groups larger than 10. No groups...at all? But...but what about our Group Fitness Classes? I know, I know. It seems so minor in comparison to what is going on all over the world. In fact, I was a little embarrassed at how much and how hard I cried, how I loudly I sobbed...

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Happy Earth Day!

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

Earth Day is celebrated annually on the 22nd of April. And this year marks 50 years of Earth Day! In 1970 the idea for the first Earth Day was proposed to have one day to focus on the environment. Each action we do can either help or hurt our planet. Many unfortunate events happen to our Earth: using plastic, oil spills, pollution, and wiping out forests. And our Earth needs us now more than ever.

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I'm Bored!

by Kaila Paar, Western Childcare Director

Here are some ideas to combat boredom with your kiddos! You can either leave it in list format or create a jar with the options inside to draw when boredom strikes!

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Little Bodies, Big Feelings

by Kaila Paar, Western Childcare Director

We want to make sure everyone is staying healthy and well, including the youngest in our Western community! This time is odd and uncertain for us all! But how many of us have had a deep conversation with our kiddos to see how they are doing through all this? This is new for them too! A LOT of their daily habits, activities and joys have been totally flipped upside down!

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Indoor Games to Keep Everyone Entertained

by Kaila Paar, Western Childcare Director

Stuck inside with the kiddos? Here a few fun indoor games to keep everyone entertained, brought to you by Western Childcare Director Kaila.

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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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