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Dec 28, 2016 · Interval Track Workout

track-workoutWe’re kicking off the new year with an interval track workout from Chad, one of our Health & Wellness Coaches. This workout could always be done on a Woodway Curve or a treadmill if that’s what you prefer. If you aren’t comfortable with running, you could switch out for fast-paced walking and increase your walking speed when mentioned in the workout below. Remember to end your workout with a 5-10 minute stretch. 

  1. Start run with 5-10 minute warmup at easy jogging pace.
  2. Run for ONE minute at slightly faster than 5k pace.
  3. Run for ONE minute at easy jogging pace.
  4. Run for THREE minutes at slightly faster than 5k pace.
  5. Run for ONE minute at easy jogging pace.
  6. Run for FIVE minutes at slightly faster than 5k pace.
  7. Run for ONE minute at easy jogging pace.
  8. Run for SEVEN minutes at slightly faster than 5k pace.
  9. Run for ONE minute at easy jogging pace.
  10. Run for FIVE minutes at slightly faster than 5k pace.
  11. Run for ONE minute at easy jogging pace.
  12. Run for THREE minutes at slightly faster than 5k pace.
  13. Run for ONE minute at easy jogging pace
  14. Run for ONE minute at slightly faster than 5k pace.
  15. Cooldown run for 5-10 minutes at easy jogging pace.

If you’re interested in learning more about running, join our Run Club (refine by DAHLC Run Club) or participate in our free Series or Workshops!

For more workouts, click here.

Feb 10, 2016 · Staying Motivated in February!

slide 4Spring is almost here according to the Groundhog!  As Minnesotan’s we are all well aware that spring could still be 6-10 weeks away.  Are you beginning to lose your motivation to exercise during these winter months?  Maybe you are hitting that wall and would rather go home after work  for some comfort food and cuddle up in a blanket?  Or this is not working but once it gets nice out you will get back to your exercise routine?

If you are starting to lose the motivation to exercise, the biggest question would be why?  Are you continuing a gym routine that is boring and no longer motivating you?  Are you at a point where you are not seeing any results and are thinking maybe this is just not working for you?  What was motivating you when you first started your routine?  Several thoughts may be running through your head that help you justify your reasons to stop coming to the gym?  Or possibly, you are looking for reasons to overcome those thoughts?  How can you continue your wellness goals during the final months of winter?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Sign up for a spring race (5k, 10k, Half Marathon, or even Marathon) to keep you accountable and motivated.
  • Write down your fitness goals on paper and share them with a friend or family member for accountability.
  • Change up your workout routine.  If you aren’t familiar with some of our other equipment check out one of our Basics options.
  • Try some outdoor winter exercise:  snowshoeing, cross country skiing, running in the snow, ice skating, or sledding are just a few examples.
  • Sign up for a small group training.
  • Sign up for wellness coaching.
  • Check out some of our group fitness class options.
  • Attend DAHLC Days with a friend or co-worker who isn’t a member yet the weekend of February 19-21 so you have someone you know well who can explore new classes with you or to just have a workout buddy.

The DAHLC offers a variety of options to choose from to keep you from losing your motivation to achieve your wellness goals.  Good luck and enjoy the end of winter.  Spring is coming!

Nov 10, 2015 · How did your New Year's resolutions go this year?

It’s hard to believe that we are only seven weeks from the end of 2015.  Where did this year go?  Also, if you are like me you are starting to reflect back to the beginning of 2015 when you set your resolutions for the year.

My goal was to run 1,000 miles in 2015.  Was this truly realistic?  Well, I have seven weeks to go and I’m at 638 miles.  It doesn’t look like I’m even going to get 800 miles at this pace but I’ve learned a lot this year about my goal:

  1. I put my goal down on paper and tracked it each week.
  2. I told others about my goal including anyone who read my blog 10 months ago.
  3. I didn’t throw in the towel when it started to look like I wasn’t going to make it.
  4. I rested when my body told me to.

I’ve set goals before and have been successful. I’ve also set goals and come up short. Each time I set a goal, I have learned at least one thing from it. In 2016, I’m going to try something different. I will set weekly goals or monthly goals instead of one goal for the year. Whether I’m successful or not with my future goals, I will learn from each one and maintain my motivation to achieve it. I will reflect on the reasons why I was successful or process how I could do things differently if I wasn’t successful.

We have a lot of great offerings that may help you prepare for 2016.  If you’ve struggled in the past and need more accountability next year check out our Small Group Training offerings or meet with one of our coaches for a Wellness Consult. Discuss your goals with a Health & Wellness Coach on Floor Coverage or obtain an individualized workout plan by signing up for an Exercise Prescription. We offer many resources to help guide you towards achieving your goals.

Good luck with your goals in 2016.

Aug 20, 2015 · It's all about that Core

As I walk around the wellness center during the winter and spring months I hear members talking about working on core strength so that they can look good in their swimsuits next summer.  Well, now summer is coming to an end so what’s going to motivate everyone to keep up with their core strength?Strengthen your core

I used to be the same way.  I would come to the gym and do strength training for my upper body and then head out for a 30-60 minute run.  By the time I was done, I had nothing left in me to strengthen my core (unless it was that time of year when I would prepare for summer).

Core strengthening has so many more benefits than just helping with toning for the summer.  Core strengthening helps with balance and stability which will help me with the sports I enjoy playing throughout the year.  Core strengthening helps with posture, reduces lower back pain, and helps to prevent injury in everyday activities.

The coStrengthen your corere is the center of your body and is more than just your abs.  It also includes your lower back and obliques.  It is important to strengthen with balance.  This means that when you do an ab exercise, you should include a lower back exercise for balance.

Are you ready to start incorporating core work into your weekly routine?  It’s going to benefit you in more ways than just helping you look good in that swimsuit.  It’s going to help you in everything you do each and every day, and hopefully that is enough motivation for everyone.

If core strengthening isn’t something you usually do, drop in and try one of our 15 minute Core Express classes or simply do these two 6-minute circuits on your own.  The best thing about core work is that it doesn’t require any equipment and can be done at home.

1st Circuit:
Complete each exercise; modify to knees when necessary; for a challenge avoid coming down to knees at any point during this circuit:
circuit 1 watermark gray

2nd Circuit:
Complete each exercise once through and then repeat 1-2 additional times:
Chad circuit 2 gray watermark

Recommendation:  Avoid adding in progressions until proper foundational movement techniques are perfected.

Have Fun!

Jul 28, 2015 · Are you ready to Run Faster?

I never considered myself a runner, in fact I did not run until I got out of high school.  I enjoyed running, but I was too busy playing basketball, baseball, golf, and football as a kid.  After high school, I started to run as a way of staying in shape since team sports became more difficult to coordinate.  Shortly after I IMG_3133started running, I began to enjoy the “runners high” I had heard others talk about.  At first, I doubted this notion of a “runners high”, since it always looked like runners are pain when they’re running.  It is not pain, it is joy; at least for some runners.

It has been nearly 20 years since high school and up until 2 years ago, I realized I was doing it all wrong when it came to running.  Nearly every time I went out for a run, I was running the same distances, between 4 and 8 miles and almost always running at the same speed.  Even when I trained for my first half marathon I would just go out and focus on miles each week instead of focusing on quality runs.  My competitive side kicked in and I decided it was time for me to get faster.

Speed running was the key.  I’ve since learned that speed running is one of the most important pieces to IMG_3158any running program.  Speed runs can keep you from getting bored because you can do something different each week.  I might run 8 x 400’s this week and then do a 3 x 1600 next week.  I’m running shorter distances at a time but running them at a speed much faster than when I just go out for a continuous run for distance.  Speed runs have many benefits, including a higher calorie burn and improvement in your VO2 max  (the amount of oxygen you produce during a workout).  The main thing I wanted was to become much faster with my running times.  I can thank these runs for improving those times.

If you are interested in trying to run faster or maybe increase your running distance, sign up for the Pick Up the Pace Running Series.  This two part series will give you the training guide and education to help you achieve your running goals.  The next offering for Pick Up the Pace is on Mondays, 9/14 and 9/21 at 4:15pm – 5:45pm (9/14) and 4:15pm – 5:15pm (9/21).  Registration begins August 17 @ 7am.

If you just enjoy running and would like to connect with other runners then check out Mayo Clinic – DAHLC Run Club on Facebook.

If you would just like to try out one of my favorite speed runs, give this one a try:

1. Start off running at a warm-up pace for 2-4 minutes

2. Run 5 sets of 800 meters (1/2 mile) – aim for running 10 seconds faster than your 5k pace.

3. After each set slow down your speed for 90-120 seconds but keep your legs moving

4. After you finish your last set run at a cool-down pace for 2-4 minutes

Happy Speed Running everyone.

Jun 26, 2015 · Clean up your room!

IMG_4100I was raised to keep my room cleaned and organized.  I can still hear my parents saying, “pick up your towel” and “what, were you born in a barn?”  I may not be perfect, but those words have always taught me to pick up after myself and to return items to the place they belong.  I have done my best to take these same practices anywhere I go, including the gym.

It’s never too late to learn Gym Etiquette.

As I walk through the gym I see used towels sitting on the floor, left on benches, or sitting in the showers.  As a simple reminder, all towels should be placed in the towel bins located on the fitness floor and in the locker rooms.

Leaving used towels in various places is not the only problem we are faced with at the gym when it comes to gym etiquette.  We’ve all seen members walk away from equipment without wiping it down.  Many of us have seen another member  walking on a treadmill while talking on their cell phone.  If you’re a class goer you’ve seen members trying to save spots for their friends in group fitness classes.  Gym etiquette rules are broken quite frequently.  Maybe we just needed that simple reminder; I know I sure need reminders from time to time.

It’s never too late to learn gym etiquette.  Please follow these rules and the gym will become an even friendlier and cleaner place for everyone:

1. Wipe down equipment after use.

2. Put towels in the bins after using them.

3. Limit cardio equipment usage to 30 minutes.

4. Do not save spots in a class.

5. Limit phone calls to the lobby level or cafe’.  If you need to answer your phone, please limit the length of the call and keep the volume down.  Remember, in order to maintain privacy for all members, no cell phone use allowed in locker rooms.

6. If you use a piece of equipment, please return it to the correct location.

7. Let others use weight machines between sets (after wiping them down of course).


Jun 2, 2015 · It's Time to Let Go

Treadmills are the most common used piece of equipment in the gym but did you know that many of us, young and old, are using them incorrectly?

What are so many of us doing wrong on a treadmill?  We are holding on.  Being nervous using the treadmill your first few times is one thing. However, if you are holding on because the speed is too fast or you’re at an incline too steep then it’s time to slow down, drop the incline and let go.

Why holding on while walking (or even running) is not recommended:

  1. You burn far fewer calories vs. letting go at that same speed.DAHLC-3343
  2. It throws off your walking gait and posture (remember many of us sit a desk all day at work – the last thing we need to do at at the gym is to hunch over while walking on a treadmill).
  3. It can cause stress injuries, especially in the hips and shoulders.
  4. It can also aggravate pre-existing injuries.
  5. It can create a false sense of accomplishment.  Could you walk that same incline (hill) outdoors?   Letting go will help you to prepare for walking hills outdoors.

If you are holding on, you’re not alone.  If you’re not feeling comfortable on the treadmill and have a fear of falling off, remember it’s important to attach the safety clip you’ll find on each treadmill.  If your safety clip comes off while walking or running, the treadmill will automatically stop.  Start off at a slower pace and decrease the incline until you feel comfortable and eliminate the need to hang on to the rails.

If you are still unsure of yourself and need more education on using a treadmill properly, sign up for our Cardio Basics 1-hour course at the front desk.  We will do our best to get you comfortable using a treadmill without needing to hold on.

May 1, 2015 · Hello Summer = Good-bye Gym

DAHLC-1220Summer is arriving and like every other fellow Minnesotan, the hop is back in my step, as the weather is warming up, the number number of daylight hours are increasing and I long to spend every minute possible outdoors.  There is still plenty of sunlight left to enjoy after work in the evening.

I am able to head home after work and go for a run, take a walk or go to the park with the family, work in the garden, play in the yard, or sit on the deck and enjoy some sunshine.

Winter’s a good time to stay in and use the treadmill at the gym.  But put me in summer and I’ll be a happy, outdoor runner.

Summer brings me joy but it also brings a schedule full of activities with vacations, races, baseball games, family events, outdoor recreation leagues, gatherings with friends and so much more.  This also leads to the struggle of finding time to get to the gym to maintain my strength training since my social calendar is full.  In the fall, I always feel like the progress I had made with strength training over the winter was lost in the summer and face starting all over again the next fall.

small group training or equipment introductionThis year is going to be different for me.  I’m going to stop by the front desk at the DAHLC and sign up for a Small Group Training, this will get me to commit to coming to the gym at least once a week to help me maintain my strength training.  I’m calling this my “Summer Resolution”.  This summer resolution commitment is similar to other summer activities, I just need to mark it on the calendar before it populates with other activities.

I’m excited about the arrival of summer  but I’m also excited about committing to a Small Group Training so that I can maintain my strength over the summer and not dread the fall training along with the cold days.  In addition, I’ll  be at less risk for injury when playing a sport, working in the yard, and playing catch with the kids.

It is not too late to sign up, sessions are open.  Stop by the front desk to begin your next step towards improving your strength.