Photo Via Dr. Abdullah Naser Via

Photo Via Dr. Abdullah Naser Via

The gym and I.

What a wacky 10 year relationship we’ve been in. On again off again, love to hate, hate to love, either rocking my body or weighing heavy in the back of my mind… and behind. He (yes, it’s a he for the sake of this stream of thought) has always been there for me, but so many times I’ve just abandoned him, never appreciating all the things he’s done and could potentially do for me.

As I sat in the Equifit assessment room yesterday trying to explain my lackluster gym routine to Tom, the big, burly, corn-husking half of my new two-man training team at Equinox Fitness Club on 19th street in New York City, he stopped me: “I know,” he offered. “Your lifestyle doesn’t allow for you to be a fitness nut.” It was the nicest and most truthful way anyone had every put it.

He’s absolutely right. I work a full-time job, I work voluntary overtime, I’m a sucker for dinner plans, I often have functions after work, and I barely sleep as it is. Coordinating my schedule, the need to shower, the impetus to tote sneakers and gym clothes somewhere for the sake of getting sweaty… it’s just much too much.

But as you may have noticed, our little blog got a little makeover, and Health + Fitness is not only a tremendously important part of Spa Week Daily, it’s a critical component of living a healthy spa lifestyle. If you’ve ever had trouble losing weight, getting in shape, making fitness a part of your everyday life, or just plain figuring out what to do with an ab ball… I’m right there with you! That’s why I’m taking you with me, so we can learn together about this wild world of working out, and how to make it work out for US.

As Tom pinched my fat, took my measurements, tested my balance and learned about my inability to do a single solitary push-up, there was a lot to be learned even before any formal workout. To start you off, I’m going to share with you my 2 favorite, highly important, simple-as-can-be take-home tips from Tom that can do wonders for your body without even sweating an ounce.

1.    Don’t get sitters disease.

Tom made up the name, but it’s a real problem that occurs when you sit too much. The 90 degree angle of your thighs and torso causes a tightening of your hip flexors—the group of muscles that flex your leg and pull it upwards. This tightening is what causes the strain in your lower back that you feel when you get up after sitting for too long, and over time it can lead to chronic lower back pain. This doesn’t mean you should trade in your accounting job and pursue your mother’s dreams of you becoming a figure skater. QUICK FIX: Ease the strain by making sure you stand up at least once an hour.

2.    The golden rule: Drink water!

Of course you know. But knowing and doing are two entirely different things. Water not only helps maintain a healthy appetite, it flushes unhealthy toxins that fill your body. Tom offers this IDEA:  Keep a big water bottle on your desk or in front of you at all times. Empty or full, just let it sit there and stare you in the face. You’re much more likely to remember and get closer to your 8 daily glasses.

Stick with me as I learn a wealth of fitness tips and how-to’s from Tom and Rich, the less-intimidating half of my training duo, over the next few months. Email or Tweet me any questions you have for them, or any demos you’d be interested in seeing on video. If you’re in the NY area and ever want to join me for a session… let me know that too. That’d be fun! Or… feel free to just watch and be amused as they kick my out-of-excuses butt into shape.

Training sessions sponsored by Equinox

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