Latest News from Rally Fitness

November 20, 2014


Getting Fat And Working Out

When it comes to overall health and fitness, there’s no such thing as a “magic bullet.” Sure, dietitians and fitness buffs alike have been searching for just such a cure-all for years, but time and again one fact has remained true: Balance is the key to wellness. No amount of cutting out carbs, sugars, meat, or whatever else will help you achieve your wellness goals if you never sweat it out on the treadmill. And all those planks and burpees aren’t going to slim your waistline if you enjoy a pint of ice cream three times a week. Yet another study has been released to this effect, reinforcing again that even if you overcompensate one for the other, you need a healthy diet and exercise to achieve total wellness.

The new study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research doesn’t come right out and recommend a combination of healthy diet and regular exercise. Instead, it notes that many subjects in their study didn’t lose any weight, even after they put them through an aerobic exercise program. The New York Times breaks down the numbers and notes that the participants, a group of 81 “healthy but sedentary women” were told they’d be taking part in a fitness study. These women were asked to partake in some regular treadmill exercises, but that’s all. They didn’t have to change their diet or any other part of their daily lifestyle.

After the 12 week study concluded, the scientists from Arizona State University in Phoenix noticed something strange. Each of the women had increased their aerobic abilities, but the majority of them ended up putting on more weight then they had before the study: they were working out but getting fatter despite their efforts. As they began to take a careful look at the data, the scientists noticed something interesting. The women who lost weight within the first four weeks of the 12 week study continued to lose weight while others didn’t.

The researchers say this is probably because the women who wanted to lose weight likely adjusted their diet in addition to exercising on the treadmills. As for the other women? This study didn’t ask the participants to change their eating habits, meaning any bad habits from before were likely carried over. As a correlation, previous studies have shown that some people who exercise regularly but don’t lose any weight are sneaking in “rewards” for themselves in the way of sweet treats. In other words, squeezing in a workout will never be a bad thing and will even make you healthier, but if you want to lose weight as well, you’ll need to cut out the sodas and Twinkies.

As more studies as this one are released, we become all the more aware of the effects our lifestyles have on our total health. Thankfully, many are choosing to make a change and incorporate both a healthy diet and regular exercise into their life. This is made even easier when a gym is conveniently available. If you own an apartment building, business complex, or block of condos, consider helping your tenants and neighbors by offering a complete gym solution. Rally Fitness offers many types of gym equipment, including traditional barbells, dumbbells, and weight plates. Contact us today and we’ll help you build the best total gym solution for your tenants.

November 18, 2014


Companies and Employees Stand to Gain By Losing

No matter how you look at it, it just makes sense to drop some pounds where you can. Those who carry around too much weight put themselves at risk for a myriad of diseases and health complications, therefore limiting how much enjoyment they can squeeze out of life. Thanks to the tireless efforts of health officials, we’re very aware of this fact and understand it on a personal level. Our employers are also wise to this fact and, as the suppliers of our health care benefits, many companies are encouraging their workers to get fit.

Corporate America has long offered such perks to recruit talent and keep them happy while at work. A happy employee is a productive employee, after all, or at least this is the common understanding among many corporations. If a happy employee is also a healthy employee, companies have even more of a reason to encourage workers to watch what they eat, join a gym, or pledge to take more steps in each day. This trend to offer wellness programs to employees goes beyond making sure everyone is happy at work, of course. Companies stand to save quite a bit of money on health insurance costs if their accounting department stays out of the ER.

It’s common for companies to host and operate a gym somewhere on premises, allowing workers who may spend much of their day sitting at a desk the chance to move around and burn some calories. Other organizations use competition to encourage the health of their employees by challenging them to take more steps or do more pushups than their peers. It always feels good to best your peers, but some workers need more than bragging rights to get off the couch when they go home at night. For these employees, companies are now offering tangible rewards for losing weight, such as gift cards and savings on their health plans.

JetBlue, for instance, pays for personal trainers for some of their employees as a part of a newly revamped wellness program. Simply participating in this program earns employees extra savings to the tune of $50, but completing certain steps nets them up to $400. Companies obviously see saving on health care costs worth the expense of discounting health plans. Even implementing small changes, like providing fruit and other healthy snacks in the kitchens, can encourage employees to make better life choices.

Offering health-related benefits to employees is a win-win for all parties involved. Not only can employers save on their total health care bill, but workers are encouraged by their peers to live a healthier lifestyle and extend their lives. Health and fitness organizations also benefit from this new trend by consulting companies and offering total-package solutions for in-office fitness areas. It behooves companies to provide these kind of benefits, so if you’re company doesn’t offer such a program, you should talk to your human resources team. It’s likely they’re already discussing implementing this kind of program. 
November 09, 2014


Body Weight Training to be Next Hot Workout Trend in 2015

For the past 9 years, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has been tracking the most popular health and fitness trends in America. Regimens like strength training and high intensity interval training (HIIT) are regular members of this list, but this year the organization expects a tried and true method to be the hot workout of 2015. According to the ACSM, body weight training will be all the rage next year. Body weight training may be the most simplistic of all workouts, allowing proponents to shed pounds and get fit by using their own body weight as resistance. Examples of this type of workout include lunges, push-ups, planks and squats. HIIT workouts are expected to remain popular next year and earned the number 2 spot in the list, and workouts with a professional trainer came in at the number 3 spot. 

There are plenty of reasons to explain body weight training’s new found popularity. To begin, this type of workout may be best suited to the beginner, the person who might be intimidated by the heavy weights and the musclebound hefting them at the local gym. Using ones own body weight is also incredibly efficient, as everyone already owns all the equipment they’ll need to get their workout in. Beyond the practical benefits of body weight workouts, studies have shown this type of exercise to be quite effective. Those who spend time doing ab roll-outs, pull-ups and squats reported improved movement, improved strength, and better reactive strength. Additionally, those new to this kind of exercise can still reap the benefits of working with a trained professional to help them perform these movements in a proper and safe manner.

Though it’s been utilized for centuries, body weight training first appeared on ACSM’s trends list in 2013 at the number 3 position. Since then it’s gradually moved up the ranks, coming in at number 2 in 2014. This year’s hot workout, high-intensity interval training, has been bested by body weight training but still ranks in the top ten at the number 2 spot. HIIT has also been seen to be an efficient way to get fit, allowing exercisers to get maximum results from 30 minutes of quick-then-slow training. Programs such as CrossFit helped put HIIT on the fitness map, and while it’s been shown to be an effective way to lose weight and trim up, it hasn’t been without its detractors. Those who disapprove of the workout say it can be dangerous to those who aren’t physically fit enough to quickly transition from periods of high-intensity workouts to resting periods.

Though fitness trends come and go, the main purpose of getting active and staying fit remains the same. Including some kind of workout regimen into your lifestyle can increase your lifespan, reduce your risks of cardiovascular disease, and even boost your brain power. When you’re ready to dedicate time to your own health and well-being, give RallyFitness a call. They offer high quality fitness equipment for all kinds of programs, from office workout facilities to home gyms. Give RallyFitness a call today at 855-RallyFit

November 06, 2014


The Latest Fitness Tracker

The term "wearables", referring to devices like Google Glass, Fitbit Fitness Trackers, and smart watches, is the latest trend that incorporates technology more seamlessly into our everyday lives. Though still relatively new, these devices make our daily lives a bit easier to manage. 

Fitness trackers, usually no larger than a bracelet, are able to track heart rate, count steps taken in a day, and monitor our sleep patterns, sending that information to your computer or smartphone. Much of this data is interesting to see but does little to actually inspire one to adjust their lifestyle for a healthier existence. 

Enter Fitbug's KiQplan, a new tailored diet and exercise program that works with your existing fitness tracker. A KiQplan is a personalized 12 week fitness plan designed around your current health and desired fitness goals. With plans called "slim+trim", "healthy baby bump", "goodbye baby bump", and "beer belly blaster", users easily identify the plan that best suits their needs. And at only $20 per plan, it is like having the most affordable personal trainer on the fitness tracker you already own.

Each of the four available plans incorporate nutritional advice, recommended alterations to your sleep schedule, and a personalized workout plan that employs an animated tutorial to help ensure you are performing the prescribed exercises optimally. 

Fitbug has also developed their own KiQplan app for both iOS and Android devices. Users can access this free app to view their activity and keep tabs on their overall progress. The app also allows you to enter certain lifestyle habits, like smoking and drinking, to see how those affect your goals in real time. 

As technology in the fitness realm continues to progress, the truth of health and fitness remains the same: you have to get out there and do some sweating. Businesses and organizations that want to provide a health and wellness facility for their employees and customers don't need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to planning a gym. The professional and courteous staff at Rally Fitness have over three decades in the fitness industry and are ready to help you design a facility that helps people reach their goals. Call Rally Fitness today for a free consultation! (855) 725-5934

November 01, 2014


Microsoft Announces Band and Health

If you believe industry analysts and market watchers, the next big thing in technology are tiny computers made to be worn somewhere on your body. The market-friendly term for these computers is “Wearables,” and the biggest tech firms have already jumped in to add their product to the fray. As a catch-all term, wearables are generally glasses or watches that serve up data, usually notifications you’re receiving from your phone. As the industry works to figure out what wearables can do and if anybody wants to buy them, they’ve circled around one specific use case in which a wearable is well suited: Fitness.

Now Microsoft joins the likes of Apple and Samsung with Microsoft Band and Microsoft Health, a wearable device and software combination which monitors several aspects of your overall health. After a slight hiccup wherein Microsoft prematurely released its Health app on the Mac App Store, the Washington-based company officially introduced the world to Microsoft Band. Like other devices to come before it, Microsoft Band goes on your wrist and is packed full of sensors to gather as much data about your life as your wrist is willing to give up. The small device has a camera to sense your pulse, accelerometers and gyroscopes to determine how and when you move, sensors to measure and read both ambient and UV lighting, and a thermometer to read your skin’s temperature.

Microsoft Band also comes equipped with bluetooth to communicate with your phone. It also has it’s own GPS, which means runners can leave their phone at home and still collect all their miles. This ability to stand alone is an important feature for Microsoft Band. Other similar products, such as Apple Watch or any Android Wear devices, mustn’t only be paired to a phone, but paired to a very specific kind of phone if they’re to work as advertised. Apple Watch, for instance, will only partner with newer iPhones, meaning that while it can still collect data about your heart rate and track how many steps you took, this information can’t be synced or sent to the cloud by an Android phone. In addition to announcing the device, Microsoft also announced Microsoft Health, the multi-platform app by which data collected by Band is gathered, analyzed, and kept in sync.

This means Windows Phone, Android, and yes, even iPhone owners can use Microsoft Band. It’s yet to be seen how popular wearables in any shape, size, and form will be. Those devices focused on fitness, however, are truly helpful and useful gadgets. Good data goes a long way to reassure you if you’ve decided to lose weight or stay fit. Good data can answer questions you may have about your progress and can even encourage you to take the extra 100 steps to beat your goal. The important thing, of course, is to get active and stay healthy. The infusion of tech only makes it easier to get moving and get more out of every workout. Making the best of your wearable devices relies on employing tried and true exercise equipment typically found in your favorite gym or Crossfit facility.

The expert professionals at Rally Fitness have a full product line of highest quality equipment paired with unparalleled customer service that will help you craft the gym facility your organization needs. With the rise of wearables, individuals will appreciate and benefit from the quality gym facility you provide. Call Rally Fitness today for a consultation on creating the perfect gym facility for your organization. (855) 725-5934

October 31, 2014


Sign Of the Times? Obese Crash Test Dummies Are On Their Way

The obesity epidemic has been particularly unkind to Americans. Thanks to an endless parade of cheap, processed food and a drought of time available for exercise, more than one-third of Americans can be classified as obese. While it’s likely we don’t consider the long-term consequences of our food choices, there’s certainly no avoiding them when they appear. Larger cup holders, wider grocery store aisles and beefed-up hospital beds are the harvest for all the poor health decisions we’ve sown, and now there’s one more not-so-subtle shift to remind us that, yes, we are getting larger. A maker of crash test dummies now makes an obese option for car manufacturers and safety officials to buckle up and get slammed into solid and stationary objects.

To be fair, crash test dummy maker Humanetics isn’t building a portly analog as a commentary on our expanding waistlines. President and CEO Christopher O’Connor cites a study which found obese crash victims are 78% more likely to die than their thinner peers. Add this risk to your life to the existing health risks brought on by high body mass index and driving while obese becomes a dangerous affair. Humanetics’ new dummy simulates a 271 pound person who has a BMI of about 35. (Typical dummies, by the way, tip the scales at an average of 167 pounds.) The dummy also measures how much force an airbag has on a larger person and the amount of pressure applied to the gut by a seat belt.

Though intended to save lives, these larger crash test dummies also prove a point. Americans are getting larger, and big companies understand it. It’s the reason auto makers began installing larger cup holders and grocery stores stretched wide their aisles and lowered their shelves. Sugary soda tastes good and we want more, especially if that "more" can be bought for mere pennies. And who likes to feel claustrophobic when they shop or go out of their way to reach for items on the top shelf? Companies understand we’re more willing to part with our cash if we can feel good while doing it. The result of doing what feels good, however, has been wider waist lines and larger portions at the dinner table. Obese crash test dummies aren’t just an indicator of who we’ve become, they’re the first step in understanding how we can build cars to better protect our bellies.

The obesity epidemic is one that’s easy to beat, of course. It just takes a bit of work, sweat, and determination. Thanks to countless papers and studies, we are all well aware of what food is good for us and what food isn't. Losing weight really can be as simple as eating more of the good, less of the bad, and moving around from time to time. Those who choose to exercise at home will find that the equipment doesn’t have to be expensive or take a lot of room. Losing the weight is easy, the hard part is deciding to do it. Make the right decision today. 

The expert professionals at Rally Fitness make it easy to craft a gym for your organization that will help people to achieve an optimum level of health. When you are ready to fight the battle of the bulge, give Rally Fitness a call for a consultation on creating a gym facility for your company. (855) 725-5934

October 27, 2014


Employee Fitness Cost Savings

The benefit of regular exercise has long been understood. Those who can carve as little as 10 minutes out of their day for any form of exercise tend to sleep better, have a healthier resting heart rate, enjoy lowered blood pressure and cholesterol, and are less likely to develop heart disease or diabetes. In recent years, employers have seen the productivity benefit of employees who exercise as well. Clearer thinking, another great benefit of regular exercise, leads to innovative solutions to vexing problems. 

How do you motivate an employer who doesn't recognize that the benefits above lead to a better overall quality of life for their employees? Enter rational self-interest. A new study, as reported in Fortune Magazine, explains that even a modicum of attention to exercise lowers the overall healthcare costs for the employer and employee, alike. With the total annual cost of healthcare in the U.S. exceeding $3 trillion dollars, focusing on the easiest and most obvious cost cutter is a no-brainer.

The study, out of the University of Michigan Health Management Research Center, explains that a person's likelihood of developing one of the diseases associated with metabolic syndrome, like heart disease and diabetes, is drastically diminished with as little as 10 to 20 minutes of exercise each day. And the Fortune article states employers need not adopt a fully conceived and implemented wellness program to inspire their employees to be proactive in maintaining and improving their health.

"With a little imagination, employers can come up with low-cost ways to get people moving at work, like putting up signs that remind employees to take the stairs instead of the elevator, or giving out maps of nearby walking routes that fit into a lunch hour," explained Alyssa Schultz, a researcher who worked on the UM study.

A healthy employee is a happy employee is a productive employee. If your company is looking to cut healthcare costs while simultaneously driving up the overall revenue potential, providing any type of fitness opportunity to your employees is the way to go. Contact the fitness professionals at Rally Fitness today to begin improving the lives of your employees and your company's bottom line.

"People tend to think that, if they can’t spare half an hour a day to spend on a treadmill at a gym, then they might as well not bother doing anything,” Schultz concluded. “But any number of minutes that is more than zero makes a noticeable difference." Call Rally Fitness today to plan your on-site employee gym today! (855) 725-5934.

October 22, 2014


Working Veganism Into Your Fitness Lifestyle

Health enthusiasts and fitness buffs are known to radically change their lifestyles in the name of overall health. After all, one doesn’t simply make exercise and workouts a keystone of their routine without making some dramatic shift in their life. Though it may sound counter intuitive, one of these diets that many from the health set have switched to is based solely on plants. The common misunderstanding is that you need protein for all the energy you’ll burn while working out and that you’ll never find all that protein by snacking on a stalk of kale. As it turns out, there’s plenty of protein to be had in a plant-based diet, as well as other essential vitamins and nutrients. There’s also the added bonus of lower cholesterol, increased heart health, and better circulation. 

Are you thinking about going vegan? Adopting veganism can be easy. According to experts who have taken the plunge, the key to going vegan is being prepared. Here are some vegan lifestyle tips to keep in mind when trying a plant-based diet and workout regimen:

  • Where Do You Get Your Protein?
You'll be amazed by how many people in the world are concerned about a vegan's protein intake. There are plenty of vegetables which pack a protein punch, including the obvious beans, lentils and legumes. Whole grains like quinoa and meat replacements such as seitan, tofu and tempeh are also good sources of protein. Try a quinoa bowl with black beans and salsa for a quick protein boost a few hours before your run or workout routine.

  • Vegans Eat Breakfast.
The importance of breakfast has been trumpeted by health experts and professionals for many years. In many ways breakfast is the meal where veganism shines. Fruit is often served first thing in the morning, making choosing a healthy breakfast incredibly easy. You can also try some oatmeal sweetened with dates or agave nectar or a green smoothie packed with as many green fruits and vegetables as you can find. Eating breakfast has been found to both kick start your metabolism and give you the energy you need to get through the day.

  • Eat Your Colors.
If you’ve decided to kick dairy, eggs and meat to the curb, you may as well get the full benefit of going veggie. While there’s nothing completely wrong with eating white foods like bananas, cauliflower and potatoes, eating colors gives you more nutritional bang for your buck. Fruits and vegetables, especially those with the darkest colors, are packed with phytonutrients which act as antioxidants. They also provide a wealth of important vitamins and nutrients which, when paired with running or any other fitness routine, will set you on the path to overall health.

If you decide to go vegan, you will certainly be met with some questions and even some light ridicule from your friends. If you keep at it for a few weeks, you’ll likely find what many others before you have: a vegan diet can leave you feeling healthy, youthful and clean. 
October 21, 2014


20 Minutes of Exercise Improves Your Memory

Just when you needed one more reason to put down the remote and hit the gym, a new study claims being active for just 20 minutes can boost your memory. This is far from the first study to show a workout boosts both your physical and mental health, but this paper finds something different. Lead scientist Audrey Duarte wanted to find the immediate effects, if any, of simple leg workouts and brain function. After doing some basic leg exercises for just 20 minutes, participants were able to recall information better than those who did not work out. These new findings are especially encouraging to health experts as it provides a simple way for people to take control of their mental health.

The Long and the Short of It

Numerous studies have found a link between being active and improved mental capacity. These studies usually conclude that exercise causes the heart and lungs to work harder than normal. This means muscle is built and blood flow increases. It’s this increased blood flow which is listed as the cause for improved mental performance, particularly where memory is concerned. Previous studies have been more long term, however, and have shown how a regular exercise routine can improve a person’s chances of being able to recall important information even as they age.

Better Brain Power in 20 Minutes

Duarte set out to determine if those without regular workout regimens stand to benefit in the same way as their active peers. To conduct her study, Duarte and her team recruited a group of college students who aren’t accustomed to hitting the gym every week. These participants were first shown a series of 90 photographs before being asked to perform leg lifts for 20 minutes while a control group were only shown the images without being asked to exercise. Their heart rate and blood pressure were also monitored before, during, and after the exercises. Two days later all participants were asked back to the lab and shown a set of 180 pictures, half of which they had seen two days previously. The students were then asked to point out the images they had seen before. The college students who had performed the resistance leg exercises were ten percent more likely to correctly point out the familiar images than those who hadn’t exercised.

This study is good news on two fronts. First, it proves that two kinds of activity, aerobic and resistance, can improve brain functions. Second, it gives those who aren’t physically able to start a long-term aerobic regimen some hope, particularly aging patients who are already experiencing memory problems. No matter your age or condition, it’s likely you’ll be able to incorporate one of these physical exercises into your lifestyle and begin improving your memory.

October 19, 2014


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Facebook Cheers on 800 Pound Man On His Weight Loss Journey

Everyday more people are using social networking as a tool to reach their personal fitness goals. Smartphone applications such as Nike Running, for instance, integrate Facebook and Twitter and allow runners to post their achievements and receive virtual “cheers” from their friends.

There’s one St. Louis man, however, who is getting cheers from more than 10,000 well-wishers and friends on his way toward his own fitness goals. Larry Evans let his weight climb to 800 pounds before he decided to shed some major pounds and save his life. He’s now under 650 pounds thanks in no small part to “Team Larry,” a Facebook group with thousands of followers. Larry has also created a GoFundMe page to help him raise money as he continues his weight loss journey.

More than four months ago, Larry began posting videos of his workout everyday to Facebook. The videos of Larry lifting weights, running an underwater treadmill, or pedaling a stationary bicycle are often accompanied with hashtags like “#GetFitDontQuit,” or “#ShhhDoWork.” The story of his progress has even inspired another hashtag: “#TeamLarry.” A fan page has been setup for those who claim #TeamLarry and allows them to watch as he works hard to drop the pounds. Team Larry has expanded to include two more inspiring individuals who have decided to shed the pounds in pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.

Larry’s local Gold’s Gym has taken the extra steps to help him along his journey by asking other members to donate healthy food items and cheer him on. At his last check-in, Larry had lost 150 pounds and now weighs 650 pounds. Though he has not posted his final goal, Larry seems to have the determination and the guts to achieve any and all fitness goals he has set for himself.

A GoFundMe page set up by Larry is requesting donations to help him along the way. According to the website, Larry is on the Body By Vi challenge thanks to a friend who set him up with the program. He is also asking for help to buy two pairs of shoes, some exercise equipment, and healthy, organic meals.

Larry’s progress is indeed an encouragement and a motivation to anyone on their own personal weight loss journey. This touching story is proof that social networking can bring us together as we work to improve our lives.