Fit to be Fit

Break Out The Bands

This week we tackle an entire workout using bands. Bands are great to increase mobility & strength while helping you focus on your form. They are perfect for beginners and those recovering from an injury however, they are good at any point in your journey. Always start with a light band and progress to a heavier band as you get stronger. For more information about the bands used or for any questions you may have, email or visit

Why Bigger Classes are Not Always Better

Group exercise classes are an extremely popular method of exercising in our society. Fitness seekers enjoy the energy, music, and camaraderie of a group setting. Many people prefer this type of workout rather than working out alone. There seems to be a class for every population and every fitness level.  Due to this group class craze, there is now a range of individual studios that focus only on one specific group exercise, such as spin, yoga, boot camps, Pilates, Zumba, or running. While there can be benefits to group exercise classes, they often negatively impact your progress and prohibit you from reaching your goals.

Each one of us if different. We all have different bodies, comprised of different muscle fibers, strengths, cardiovascular conditioning, injuries, pains, flexibility, balance, lifestyles, and stresses.  So, how can one exercise class be right for everyone? One important goal of exercise is to make sure that you are making individual improvements in strength and weight loss, and to ensure you are performing the exercises correctly for your body type to prevent injuries.

One of the potential problems with large group exercise classes is the teacher to client ratio. It is impossible for an instructor to adequately spot and correct the form of everyone in the class throughout the entire session. Therefore, exercisers may be putting too much strain on certain joints, may not be activating the correct muscles, and may be hurting or straining their backs. This can lead to orthopedic issues, which include muscle tears, muscle strains, and disc problems. Secondly, the activity level of the class may vary. Therefore, some people may be working out too hard while others are not getting the correct amount of stimulation. Because of the class size, it is unlikely teachers will offer modifications to make sure each person is exercising at the correct intensity.  Next, because of the group dynamic, exercisers may be pushed harder than they are capable of working in order to keep up with the group and to be a part of the crowd.   This can be very dangerous if your body is not physically able to perform the class.

Further, the recent surge of group exercise classes has been associated with an increase in rhabdomyolysis, which is a condition that is caused by extreme exercise and could be potentially life threatening. While some muscle damage is normal and beneficial for muscle growth, rhabdomyolysis occurs when the stress is so great that fibers are destroyed and break apart to release myoglobin, which is harmful to the liver. According to the American Journal of Medicine, doctors have been finding that some people, especially beginners, have developed rhabdomyolysis after taking a high intensity spin class. This condition does not only affect spinners; in fact, doctors found it associated with any type of excessive weight training, running, P90X, and CrossFit Classes. It is important to note that not all the people who developed rhabdomyolysis were unfit; they were pushed too hard and then developed muscle trauma. It is extremely important to give muscles adequate time to adjust to new exercises. When you start any kind of new exercise program, try a less intense version to start. Work your way up gradually and know your limits! Do not ignore signs of injury and make sure to rest!

Working out in a group can be very motivating and empowering. This dynamic is the reason that many people go to the gym.  A room filled with loud music and enthusiastic peers can be more uplifting than sitting on a stationary bike by yourself. If you are group class advocate, it is important to know your limits and to abide by them. Wear a heart rate monitor and perform a self-check to see how you feel during the class. Additionally, it would be extremely beneficial to schedule an individual session with a personal trainer to make sure your form and positioning is correct so you can self-adjust during exercise classes.  A trainer can also help you come up with modifications unique to your body type and limitations. Another option is semi-private training or small group classes where the teacher can be more hands-on and helpful.

Make sure that you get the biggest bang for your buck from your fitness routine.  Exercise is extremely beneficial both mentally and physically. That is why it is so important to make sure that you are maximizing your time and effort.  Large group exercise classes are not tailored to individual needs. This may cause injuries and also prevent some people from reaching their full potential and optimizing their health. Please be an educated consumer and work out to your full potential!


by Denise Groothuis

Fight to be Fit

Fight to be Fit – September Special

Bring a friend & receive a free class!
Every Tuesday at 7am & Thursday at 7pm

Fight to be Fit

TOTAL BODY TRANSFORMATION! Meet the instructor: Gina Stallone

The kids are back to school—now it’s time to do something for YOU!

Join me for this 30-minute total body bootcamp & let’s Fight to be Fit together! It won’t be easy but I promise it WILL be worth it!
Each class is $10—no membership required! Email to reserve your spot today!

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What is zinc?
Zinc is an essential mineral and it is the second most abundant trace element in
the human body. In fact, the body has about 2g of zinc, found mostly in the
brain, bones, kidney, liver, prostate and eyes. Zinc has antioxidant properties
and has a role in DNA and RNA metabolism. It is found in more than 300
enzymes, and is also used as an enzyme catalyst. Zinc plays a major role in
immune function, reproduction, growth and development, wound healing, blood
clotting, taste and smell, insulin action, blood clotting, and thyroid function,
behavior and learning.

Where is zinc found?
Zinc is found in foods that contain protein, like meat, poultry, fish, and dairy. It is
also found in some vegetables and nuts. Zinc is especially high in oysters, wheat
germ, beef, pumpkin and squash seeds, dark chocolate and cocoa powder,
peanuts, and crab. Many breakfast cereals and wheat products are fortified with

What are the benefits of zinc?
Zinc is effective in treating diarrhea in malnourished children in the developing
world. It has also been shown to treat acne, slow the progression of age-related
macular degeneration, improve weight and depression status in anorexia
nervosa, improve symptoms of ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder),
and decrease the duration of the common cold. Additionally, zinc appears to slow
bone loss, treat and prevent peptic ulcers, treat leg ulcers, and improve vitamin
A deficiency when taken with vitamin A. Topically, it seems to help prevent and
treat gingivitis, herpes simplex virus, and treat burns.

Are there interactions between zinc and food, herbs or other

Zinc absorption may be improved when taking Vitamin D and riboflavin, while
calcium, chromium, and phytic acid may decrease zinc absorption. High intake
of zinc may interfere with the absorption of manganese, magnesium, iron,
copper, and bromelain, and chromium.

Are there side effects from zinc?
Zinc can cause nausea, vomiting, and a metallic taste in the mouth. Topically, it
can cause itching, stinging and burning.

To purchase zinc:

Practitioner code: DGroothuisRD



What is valerian and where is it found?
Valerian is an herb that comes from the root of the valerian plant. It is sold as a
nutritional supplement. It comes in capsules or tablets, but it is also
incorporated into teas and tinctures.

What are the benefits of valerian?
Valerian is used as a sedative, anticonvulsant, pain reliever, and migraine
treatment. It is mainly used to treat insomnia and other sleep disorders by
giving people better quality sleep and helping them fall asleep faster. The
benefit of valerian over prescription medication is that it may not have as much
as a “hangover effect” on next day mental and physical functioning. Additionally,
valerian has been used to treat anxiety.

Are there interactions with valerian and food or medications?
Valerian should not be taken with alcohol, narcotics, barbituates, over the
counter sleep aids, or any other sedatives. The combination may cause increased
drowsiness, since it may increase the sedative effect.

Are there side effects rom valerian?
Valerian may cause stomach upset, headaches, dry mouth, apathy, and mild
depression. In rare cases, valerian may also cause an allergic reaction, resulting
in itchiness with rash or hives, or difficulty breathing.



What is turmeric?
Turmeric is a spice that has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic
and Chinese medicine to treat a variety of conditions. The active part of
turmeric is curcumin, which is an antioxidant that appears to have antiinflammatory
properties. It is used as an anti-inflammatory herbal remedy
in lieu or addition to conventional over the counter pain medications.

Where is turmeric found?
It is mainly grown in India and is used as a main ingredient in curry. It
also is used to flavor give the yellow color to butter, cheese, mustard and
curry powders.

What are the benefitsof turmeric?
Curcumin is a very powerful antioxidant that helps fight free-radicals, and
it lowers the level of certain enzymes that cause inflammation. Therefore,
it may improve symptoms of osteoarthritis. Turmeric has also been shown
to be effective for relieving the symptoms of dyspepsia (indigestion).
Some evidence suggests it may improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease
and aid in prevention and slowing of cancer. Additionally, it may have
antithrombotic effects and stop platelets from clumping together to form
blood clots.

Are there interactions with turmeric and food, herbs or other supplements?
Bromelain may enhance curcumin absorption. Since it has antithrombotic/anti-platelet
effects, it should be discontinued at least 2 weeks
before any type of surgical procedure. It may also lower blood sugar
levels and should be monitored when taking other diabetes medications to
prevent hypoglycemia.

Are there side effects from turmeric?
It is mostly well tolerated but may have some gastrointestinal side effects
such as nausea and diarrhea.

To purchase turmeric:

Practitioner code: DGroothuisRD



What is resveratrol and where is it found?
Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol found in the skin of red grapes, the roots of
Japanese knotweed, berries, peanuts, wine, and cocoa powder. It is also sold as
a supplement. Polyphenols are antioxidants that have health benefits.

What are the benefits of resveratrol?
Resveratrol appears to have anti-aging and anti-inflammatory properties. It
seems to decrease the risk of many diseases, such as heart disease, cancer,
Alzheimer’s and diabetes. Further, resveratrol is associated with antiviral effects
and increased testosterone levels. Most of the research has been on animals
and in the laboratory rather than in clinical trials on humans.

Are there interactions with medications and resveratrol?
Because of its anti-platelet effects, resveratrol should not be taken with blood
thinners (Coumadin) and NSAIDS, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, because it may
increase the risk for bleeding.

Are there side effects from resveratrol?
None known.

Women with hormone sensitive cancers or conditions, such as breast cancer or
fibroids, should avoid resveratrol because of its estrogenic effects. It should also
be avoided in pre-surgical patients due to its antiplatelet effects.

Raspberry Ketones

Raspberry Ketones

What are Raspberry Ketones?
Raspberry ketones are one of the aromatic compounds found in raspberries,
responsible for the aroma found in the fruit. It is a phenol compound used as a
natural flavor food additive in many foods. It is also found in perfumes and
cosmetics. It can also be made synthetically, since the natural compound is very
Raspberry ketones have been shown to be chemically similar to capsaicin, which
is found in chile peppers. These compounds may help burn fat and therefore aid
in weight loss.

Where are raspberry ketones found?
It is a supplement. It comes from red raspberries.

What are the benefits of raspberry ketones?
Raspberry ketones are used for weight loss, obesity and increasing lean body
mass. They may also improve insulin sensitivity and reduce fat in the liver. It is
also used for hair loss (alopecia).

Are there interactions with medications and raspberry ketones?
Raspberry ketones may affect warfarin and care should be taken when using this

Are there side effects from raspberry ketones?
No reliable information is known on the safety of raspberry ketones. No clinical
trials have been done and little is known about its long-term safety. Chemically,
it is similar to synephrine and there is some concern that the supplement may
cause increased heart rate, blood pressure and feelings of jitters.

Poor Sleep May Change Your Clothing Size

Many studies have shown a correlation between lack of sleep and weight gain.  Sleeping less than 5 hours has been shown to decrease metabolism and mess up hormone levels causing an increase in food consumption. A new study in PLOS One looked at this connection in more details and found that those who slept less than 6 hours had higher waist measurements, higher BMI, increased weight, and lower levels of HDL. These factors contribute to obesity and diabetes, and have negative health implications.  It is important for your body to get the adequate sleep that it needs – for both your mind and body – so make sleep a priority!


The Problem with Artificial Sweeteners

Many people assume that using artificial sweeteners helps lower their sugar content and decrease caloric intake, which aids in weight control and diabetes prevention. However, studies have reported a correlation between diabetes and the use of artificial sweeteners. New research published in Current Biology has an explanation for this link. When a sweet tasting low calorie food is consumed, the body responds not only to the caloric content, but also to the perception of sweet taste, which causes a mismatch. The study shows that brain gets tricked by the sweet taste and lack of calories, which triggers an incorrect metabolic response. Our bodies are not sure how to process the energy in our new food supply, and this may cause issues with disease states, absorption, and metabolism. This is just another reason to eat organic, natural foods and to stay away from processed foods with chemicals. DG.