Blog

  • Acupuncture: Common Questions Answered

    Thought about trying Acupuncture but needed to do some homework first? We’ve got the answers you’ve been searching for. Here are the most common questions our spa team hears:

    *How does it work?

    *Does it hurt?

    *Is there something in the needles?

    *How many needles do you use in one treatment?

    Quick background:

    The goal of Acupuncture is to get your body to a place of balance. Acupuncture uses the needling of acupoints to open up blockages within the body to allows blood and qi (your vital fore, that moves all things) to flow in the most optimal way. In doing so, this will prevent disease and cure or ease the symptoms of other diseases. Disease in this sense is the absence of health, ANYTHING affecting your health.

    *Client’s responses to treatments have included:

    *Improvement in their conditions

    *Sense of floating out of the treatment room (i.e. extreme relaxation)

    *Reduced anxiety

    *Improved body and self awareness

    There are a variety of sensations that may be experienced during an acupuncture treatment. These sensations may include, warmth, coolness, numbness, tingling, heaviness, electrical sensation, and yes, even pain. Although, the pain does not remain after the puncture has been made and should resolve after about 1 to 3 seconds.

    There is nothing in the needles. They are stainless steel and ALL ONE TIME USE. All needles are disposed of after each treatment. Acupuncture treatments are specialized to each individual’s concerns (i.e. problem areas or health concerns), so in one treatment the amount of needles may vary depending on the person’s comfort level and what is being treated.

    Treatments can range from 25 minutes to 90 minutes. Acupuncture is typically done in a series of treatments. The results you want may not be seen in one treatment. However, you should feel a difference in one treatment and a shift in your condition within four to five treatments.

    So, what is holding you back? Ready for a shift? Try acupuncture at Healthworks today!

    April Nieves, MAOM, Lic. Ac. Healthworks-Back Bay

  • Four Ways to Stick with Your Fitness Resolutions

    Are you one of the many people who made a resolution to hit the gym more? You’re not alone. New Year’s resolutions to get healthy, whether that’s by improving nutrition or exercising more, have become increasingly popular. Yet come February, many people lose their ambition to enhance their wellbeing. Don’t let that be you! Check out these four ways to stay motivated and stick to your fitness goals.

    Make a Plan

    The first strategy to maintaining your resolution is one that most people don’t do: make a plan. Your plan should revolve around SMART goals, meaning it should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely. For example, “I want to run a marathon” is a poor goal because it does not align with the SMART motto. A better goal would be, “By March 31st, I want to be able to run three miles.” This goal is specific, you can measure your progress, you can attain the goal with a solid plan, it’s realistic to accomplish in three months, and you’re giving yourself time to achieve it.

    Next, get an old fashioned notebook and pen and write it down. What will you do each week to get to this goal? How many minutes will you need to train? What classes will you attend? What pound weights do you need to lift? By writing down these details, you are more likely to hold yourself accountable because you’re not just winging it. You have planned time into your day to work out and you’ve written down the details of your workout. This creates less excuses and makes you more likely to stick with your plan to accomplish your resolution.

    Weight Train

    Alright ladies, listen up. Lifting weights will NOT make you bulky. One of the greatest obstacles women run into when trying to lose weight is the plateau. If you are only doing cardio, you will reach this plateau where no more weight is coming off. The solution? Weight lifting.

    With weight training, you continue to burn calories up to 24 hours after you lift, as opposed to cardio where you only burn calories when you’re moving. Weight training creates muscle tone and will help shed those final pounds.

    If you’re not sure where to start with weights, consult a personal trainer or take some a BodyPump or other weight lifting class!

    Mix it Up

    Ever not gone to the gym because the thought of running on the treadmill for 30 minutes sounded excruciatingly boring? We’ve all experienced some degree of gym boredom. And when that happens, it can be huge barrier to accomplishing fitness goals.

    The best way to counteract this is to mix it up, every single day. Do some cardio machines one day, run outside the next, lift some weights, do some yoga, etc. Trying new classes is another way to keep things interesting, especially because you may discover a new method of exercise that you love! By doing different types of exercise, you also prevent your body from adapting to something for too long, allowing for constant change and results.

    Move Past the Bad Days

    One morning you were so exhausted, you hit snooze and skipped the gym. Maybe you indulged in too many treats at a party. But guess what? That’s ok!

    We’re human, we’re not perfect, and we make mistakes. Don’t let your resolutions prevent you from living a happy and positive life. If you skip the gym one day, don’t beat yourself up about it or feel guilty. But just because you skipped one day, doesn’t mean you should skip the next. Get back on the horse and keep going.

    Every morning is a fresh start. Every moment is a chance to change your life and improve your health. What are you waiting for?

    You don’t have to go at it alone. Let Healthworks help you stick with it! Try a free personal training session or a complimentary class on us!

     

  • December Fit Girl

    From Corrine M., Dec. Fit Girl – 

    For years, I struggled with an eating disorder, which landed me in the hospital for a little over a month and afterwards, an intensive treatment center. I struggled with not only my eating, but with myself as well. I never thought that I was good enough in any aspect of my life, whether that was at school, socially, or in physical appearance. My exercise also got out of control, and at one point I was working out for 3-4 hours every day, usually doing some form of cardio. When I was at my worst, I had to stop running and I could barely go on short walks without becoming tired. I couldn’t concentrate on more than a sentence at a time, and my body was slowly collapsing on itself. I remained in a bubble, where all I thought about was food and how much I hated myself. My mental health also suffered as well, and I became majorly depressed and extremely anxious. I had multiple panic attacks a day and was so weak and depressed that I could barely move my limbs to get out of bed. I wanted to die. I couldn’t believe that life could be this painful. It was like a demon of epic proportions had taken over my body and brain, and it was taking everything I had. I had no idea how it had gotten this bad, and I didn’t even recognize myself inside or out. My eyes were sunken in, my hair was falling out, and I looked grey-pale all over.

    Fast forward to today, where I am double majoring in nursing and health science at MCPHS University, and I am happy and healthy again. I am getting my nursing assistant certification on weekends, and am nourishing my body with healthy food. I have never felt better in my life, both mentally and physically. How did this happen? A lot of hard work and support, and…lifting. When I discovered the iron, I found an outlet for my anxiety while doing something that makes me feel powerful and confident. There is nothing like accomplishing a new max weight or trying a new lifting workout. Lifting has given me the confidence and the go ahead to become confident in my abilities to achieve wonderful things and it has enabled me to start loving my mind and my body again. I have realized that I am enough, just the way that I am. I don’t need to starve myself to feel pretty, I love my muscles and think that they are beautiful. There are some days where I cannot lift as much as I may want to due to being tired, etc. but this gives me the opportunity to listen to my body and respect its needs, something that I would never have done before. I now look forward to working out, and it is not something that I dread. I have found what empowers me, and I feel blessed to say this, because I never thought that I would get to say those words in my life.

    There is an instructor at Healthworks, Maya who teaches the Tuesday evening Sculpt Yoga class. She is very positive and is in school like I am, and seeing someone who also has a packed schedule remain so upbeat and energetic is inspirational for me and I’m sure many other people. Maya often tells us that we are always stronger than we think. This has become my mantra, both in and out of the gym. Whatever comes my way, I know that I can handle it with strength and grace, and with the silent confidence that I carry with me throughout my day.

    Healthworks has helped me in many ways, one of which is seeing that women can be strong when we are all together. Women who go to the gym are strong, confident people, and when we all work out in the same environment, it is a wonderful thing. I would certainly love to see more women lift since as it has helped me so much. I firmly believe that there is no better way to fight weakness than with strength.

  • Get Fit! 6 Butt-Busting Moves

    From Ashley Markwood

    If you’re feeling a little hungover with holiday cheer – I’ve got the perfect workout for you! I know … the LAST thing you want to think about is working out, but I promise it’ll make you feel better to sneak in a quick sweat sesh!

    Remember a few Fit Friday’s ago we talked about staying fit this holiday season? Well, this past week I had my first workout with a personal trainer at Healthworks! My main goal is to avoid a “mom butt” and actually GAIN more muscle in my booty. My trainer (Hannah) went for it with my program and needless to say, it worked because the soreness is real! She had me using heavier weights than I’m used to in order to increase muscle mass.

    Here are 8 moves you can do to wake up your booty!

    1. Donkey kicks

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    2. Walking lunges (with weight)

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    3. Curtsy Squat


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    4. Glute bridges


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    5. Squat with a lateral kick


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    6. Deadlift with weight


    Photo: Popsugar.com

  • November Fit Girl

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    From Amber H., Nov. Fit Girl – 

    I struggled with my weight all through college. I would diet every few months and lose weight and then gain it back a few months later. Right after I graduated, I realized that I was the heaviest that I had ever been. My family has a history of high blood pressure and diabetes, and I decided that I could not put my heath on hold. Being a goal-oriented person, the first thing I did was register for a half marathon in New Orleans. The most I had ever run was 10 miles when I was 14 years old and I cried through a large portion of it. But I needed to put my money where my mouth was and decided a 13.1-mile run was the perfect motivator to get in shape. The second thing I did was join Healthworks.

    At Healthworks, I started working with Aoife, who has been one of the greatest champions of my training. Aoife showed me that there was more to the gym than the treadmill and elliptical. Aoife had me join a group of three other women who helped keep me motivated. I also joined teamFuel with Rachel who taught me that I didn’t need to diet to lose weight. Instead, I needed to be aware of the things that I was eating and how those foods were affecting my body.  She helped me create strategies to keep on track with healthy eating like only having one starch per meal and reading a menu beforehand so that I don’t give into unhealthy temptations when I get to the restaurant.

    This past February, I ran the entire half marathon in New Orleans with my family. It was satisfying to have the best finishing time in the group as well as be the only person who would walk the next day. A few weeks after I finished my first race, I signed up for my next half marathon in Brooklyn. While the Brooklyn course was not as flat (the last three miles were an incline), I was able to shave 13 minutes off my overall time.

    I could not have done any of this without the help of Aoife, Rachel, and my training buddies at Healthworks. Thanks to them, I am working on my next goal – running a full marathon.

     

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  • 5 Ways to Stay in Shape this Holiday Season

    From Ashley Markwood

    Holiday parties, hot chocolate, sugary treats, and COLD WEATHER; four things that can derail your diet and desire to hit the gym! Many people (including myself) find that during the holiday season, it’s difficult to maintain a solid routine. One little tip to remember is: a short workout is better than no workout at all, so do SOMETHING even if it’s just a 10-15 minute cardio burst! The new year is just around the corner, so don’t wait until January 1st like all those “resolution” people – get into the habit NOW and make exercise part of your daily routine. Trust me, it will be much easier to fend off the dreaded holiday bulge!

    Here are 5 ways you can stay in shape this holiday season…

    1. Invest in resistance bands/tubes. Don’t let travel be your excuse for lagging behind on your workouts. Resistance bands are easy to pack and won’t take up much space in your suitcase. There’s so much you can do with them, from bicep curls to lunges, you can get a full body workout.

    2. Tight on time? Try a circuit workout or intense cardio burst. Customize your own workout; choose 6 exercises to rotate through and push yourself to the max! Tabata is a really intense workout consisting of short cardio bursts and would be a great option if you’ve only got 20-30 minutes. You can find the Tabata workout that I posted here.

    3. Sign up for a class at your gym + schedule out 4 weeks. Committing to the same class once a week will give you consistency and an attainable short term goal. Also, if you sign up in advance, you’re more likely to attend! For example, Healthworks offers a Barre class every Monday afternoon – so I would sign up for this coming week and every Monday through the first week of December. It’s a simple way to hold yourself accountable! View Healthworks’ full class schedule.

    4. Hire a personal trainer. Maybe you know yourself reallll well and know that you’ll need some extra motivation during these holiday months … hire a personal trainer or find one at your gym! Thankfully, my gym has a bunch of awesome personal trainers and I always see them fully engaged with their clients. It would be a great way to stay on track and get that extra “boost” this season!

    5. No gym? No problem. Whether you’re on the road visiting relatives or at home but can’t make the gym, this interval workout can be done right in your living room! Do each exercise for 60 seconds, moving from one to the next without resting. Once you have completed all exercises once, take a 90-second rest. Repeat for a total of 3 times through. *Finish with two 60-second plank holds*

    – Jumping Jacks

    – Burpees

    – Squat Jumps

    – Mountain Climbers

    I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    xx,

    Ashley

  • Surviving and Thriving

    In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month we are sharing an inspiring story from one of our members.

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    By: Joan D.  She a professor and directs a masters program in international development at Brandeis University. Her nickname at Healthworks is ‘The Crusher’.

    The first thing that I did when I moved to Boston from New York two years ago was sign up at Healthworks. I loved the idea that it was an all-women’s club, and that it supported the community through activities like free self-defense sessions for women.

    But joining was more than finding a simpatico place to work out. For me, as a breast cancer survivor (36 years and counting), staying fit is literally my life. My first activity after surgery and a year of chemo was a walk in Central Park.

    I was so weak then that I had to get a ride home – couldn’t finish the walk! I’m nothing if not persistent, though, and after that sobering episode I swam and ran on a regular basis until I regained my strength. I especially loved running and still do, for the freedom and exhilaration it can produce.

    Every time I go back to New York I run around the reservoir in Central Park, twice! It’s a great way to celebrate being alive, and remember – just for a short while –when I couldn’t even walk that route.

    So I came to Healthworks in good shape but ready for some new challenges. First off I met Jeff Cameron, who has worked with me on strength training in his low-key but deadly effective way. Then I met the inimitable Swan Lyon, and started Pilates classes. Slowly I got stronger (can leg press 140 pounds!) and more flexible (can bend in ways I never could). Pilates has definitely helped me to overcome a perpetually stiff shoulder and limited arm mobility on one side – a leftover from the cancer surgery all those decades ago.

    To cap it all off I started Team Train with Swan and Mike McKinney over the summer. Those training sessions have helped me to build stamina, strength and balance through floor exercises, interval training and some great outdoor work. Our team ran a 5k Mudderella race in July and we just did a 3k ‘Tuff Scramblers’ race. (OK, I did break a bone in my foot but it was worth it.)

    The races were crazy, muddy and fun. Best of all, my trainers and teammates are the most accomplished, caring and team-spirited people one could ever meet. I love being part of our team.

    Oh, and by the way I’m going to be 70 years old next year.

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  • October Fit Girl

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    From Dawn S., Oct. Fit Girl – 

    It’s funny how it takes something to so scary in life to make you realize what is really important. I was one of those people that was going through the motions; get up, commute to work, exercise, work some more, commute home, etc.  I have always tried to balance play and work.  Then I was stopped in my tracks with a routine doctor’s appointment. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January of 2015.

    I am an Ironman triathlete, marathoner, collegiate swimmer, personal trainer, mother and wife. The diagnosis re-organized everything in my life.  Fitness has always been a huge part of my life.  I ate healthy (most of the time) and made exercise a priority. One of the biggest hurdles to get over was the question, “why did this happen to me?”

    It has now been over a year since I finished treatments and I’m on the road to recovery. Being fit prior to my diagnosis definitely helped with my recovery.  It was hard to exercise consistently at first with all the surgeries, but now that part is over and I feel more like myself.  I’m still not where I used to be, but that’s okay.

    When something like this happens, you celebrate every little milestone. My daughter will be four in two weeks.  I may never do another Ironman, but at least I’ll get to see my daughter grow up.
    Healthworks has been very supportive both financially and mentally throughout this long, arduous journey.  Working at Healthworks part time while going through treatments helped take my mind off things and relieved some of the burdens that may have arisen at other places of employment.  My clients and co-workers are amazing people.  They inspire me every day!

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  • 5 Reasons to…

    Find a Gym with Childcare

    By Ashley Markwood

    I’ve been nursing a bum knee for a few weeks now and have been missing my trips to the gym BIG TIME. London [my daughter] and I were just starting to get into a groove and she was getting acclimated to the “Kids Club” … so I’m eager to return to our routine! The gym has alway been a great way for me to relieve stress and it makes me feel better about myself overall. I appreciate my workouts EVEN MORE now that I have a baby so …

    Here are my top 5 reasons to join a gym with childcare…

    1. It’s a great “time killer.” Now before you go judging me about the whole “time killer” thing … hear me out. The days of “mom-ing” are long. Amazing, yes, but long just the same. A little 15- minute road trip, 45-min sweat sesh and an hour of time has passed. You’re welcome.

    2. Meet other fit mama’s. I always meet at least one mom when I drop-off or pick-up at the gym. It’s a great way to connect and chances are they’re eager to chat with another mom (you!) too! Sometimes a 5-minute vent session is necessary and who better to dump all of your problems on than a fellow mom who can maybe offer you a bit of advice.

    3. Get back in shape, both physically + mentally. Hitting the gym isn’t just to get our hot “pre-baby” bod back. Working out is also scientifically proven to release endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in your brain! It always puts me in a better space mentally and gives me renewed energy for the day!

    4. Cheap childcare. Does your gym have a locker room? Spa? TVs + magazines? Sometimes all you need is a short break from the chaos to walk (at a slow pace) on the treadmill, and catch up on some “US Weekly.” Or maybe (just maybe) you want to shower in peace and blow dry your hair for once! I’ve definitely dropped Lo off at the Kids Club and headed straight for the locker rooms! A little refresh time is sometimes all you may need to jumpstart your day, and gym childcare is MUCH cheaper than a babysitter … am I right?!

    5. It gets you out of the house. This is a BIG one for me. Sometimes the thought of packing everything Lo needs and schlepping to the gym seems daunting, but I’m ALWAYS (yes, always!) happy that I did. No one (including your baby) likes to be confined to the house or staring at the same four walls all day! Once you’ve hit the gym, grab a coffee and get an errand done – take advantage of being in the outside world. It’s great stimulation for your little one, and you’ll appreciate the time out too!

    Here are some photos from the Kids Club at Healthworks, where Lo spends her time! Nina (pictured below) is fantastic with the kiddos! She’s super hands on, energetic, and guess what – I’ve even hired her to babysit London once/week to give me a little break! If you’re a Boston mama – check out Healthworks + see what they offer for childcare!

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  • Pumpkin Spice Maybe Not So Nice

    By Ally Hochman

    In case you missed it, this article was recently going around Facebook claiming canned pumpkin isn’t really pumpkin at all. I know! Thankfully, those rumors have been laid to rest (canned pumpkin is actually Dickinson Pumpkin which is a variety of squash but still part of the pumpkin family). And do you remember last year, when Starbuck’s famous Pumpkin Spice Latte was criticized for not containing real pumpkin? My sources confirm that the latte now does in fact contain pumpkin puree.  I have to wonder, how many of our favorite pumpkin products actually contain real pumpkin? I decided to take a closer look at what appear to be healthy pumpkin flavored foods.

    Siggi’s Pumpkin & Spice Yogurt

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    Siggi’s Icelandic yogurt has a reputation for containing simple ingredients. The strained low-fat yogurt is packed with protein (14g per serving). You know what else it’s packed with? You guessed it, pumpkin! Ingredients include milk, cream, sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, lemon juice, and live active cultures.

    Cedar’s Pumpkin Spice Hommus

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    When I heard about pumpkin spice hummus (hommus?) I was intrigued. However, I had a hard time tracking down the ingredients for this one online. Does this product even exist? If you’ve had it, please let me know if there’s pumpkin in it.

    KIND Healthy Grains Bar

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    It has healthy in the title…This bar is technically called Maple Pumpkin Seeds and Sea Salt, and while it doesn’t contain straight pumpkin, it is loaded with pumpkin seeds. I’m considering this one a win!

    Sam Adam’s Harvest Pumpkin Ale

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    Okay, I wouldn’t exactly say this is healthy but hello Boston, and #balance, right? Special ingredients include real pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice.

    So what I have learned in my search for healthy pumpkin food? It’s really hard to find healthy pre-made pumpkin products. Even if they do contain pumpkin, they are almost always loaded with sugar. Should we just go get pumpkin spice massages? The solution, make them yourself! Buy a Dickinson pumpkin-filled can and whip up your own fall treats. I’m sure they will taste better and ultimately be better for you. I’ll just be over here making these delicious Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies if you need me.

  • September Fit Girl

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    From Eleanor M., Sept. Fit Girl –

    As a 73 year old, I very much appreciate 10 + years or so at Healthworks. Initially, I joined Healthworks prior to its’ opening in Chestnut Hill thinking, this is a wonderful place to pamper and rest. However, I was sold on the Healthworks Foundation and its’ commitment to the Community. Not knowing about Healthworks Community Fitness at the time, I understood membership dues play a large part in the positive welfare of many females whose lives were then and are now enhanced by the availability of Healthworks services to them. So, I joined. It has become a place to focus on mind spirit and body.

    Love the membership which allows me to pop in a Healthworks nearby or across town. Any day in the week meeting with a client rarely keeps me from yoga and Zumba at HW. Healthworks is there for women to tone and to heal and to have fun. There’s always a Pro with a smile just nearby to help a girl whether it be the need of a personal trainer or working out solo.

    Well! Happily on my way to Zumba and yoga on a lovely Tuesday, I slipped on a plastic bottle and fell from the T train at Coolidge Corner. Yep 🙂

    When recovering from the ankle injury along with prescribed exercises from Beth Israel PT, the soft touch in and out of our whirlpool at Back Bay made the healing process much easier. The BI Team directed my slow and steady return to yoga with Leah, Jessica, Kate R. and Shireen.

    Once ready, I carefully pumped it up with Adam in our Saturday morning Zumba. As I stepped into the studio, Adam immediately invited me to my favorite spot in front of the class and everyone put their hands together to cheer me forward.

    As HW so talented instructors have grown toward their individual careers, Healthworks continues to bring on the new who enhance our lives. So happy to Zumba on Saturday mornings with Sonia. I love Sylver for his moves that keep us on our toes. Our two new yoga instructors at Coolidge Corner: Monica, on Friday night and Paloma on Sunday afternoons each with a bring their flavor to the yoga practice.

    I enjoy the array of opportunities that Healthworks offers to participate. The vendors, fundraising for Healthworks Community Fitness, the spa for not only massage but “Cupping”. How about Zumba on the Esplanade?

    Delighted to share my story with the Healthworks Members and Team. Thank you for this perfect occasion to begin writing my memories.

    Over and out for now 🙂

    Eleanor

  • Train Her, Train Her Hormones

    How Hormones Affect Female Trainingfullsizerender

    By Stacey Grant, Healthworks Group Program Manager

    A couple of weeks ago I was at the 4-mile mark of the 7-mile Falmouth Road Race feeling pretty good about myself. The legs felt good, the lungs were clear and my mindset was optimistic about finishing well. Of course, this was heavily influenced by the gorgeous scenery and perfectly coastal Cape Cod weather. Still, in that moment, I flashed back to how I felt the year before which was completely anemic, depressed and filled with too many fibroids to count. Basically, I was a hormonal nightmare. It was not good.

    Yet, there I was at the same mile marker feeling much better and more like myself when before I thought I would no longer race again. I looked around at all of the women near me, passing me, and behind me. What were THEY going through in that race? How many of them were in pain and impacted by their hormones? A feeling of such great empathy, gratitude, and pride overwhelmed me: we women are remarkable creatures, I thought.

    So, how can women successfully train a body not only affected by environment and habits but also by the internal dance of hormones? First, we should understand the impact important hormones have on the female body. Estrogen, the mother of all hormones in women, is well known to decrease dramatically with age. Women can experience an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone (the counterbalancing hormone that regulates estrogen in the female system). Too little progesterone leads to a term titled “estrogen dominance“, a state that leaves a woman with:

    Abdominal weight gain
    Persistent bloating
    Anxiety and mood swings
    Impaired thyroid function
    Fatigue
    Insomnia
    Prone to cystic breasts and fibroids (benign uterine growths)

    Estrogen is also the hormone that protects bones and aids in muscle repair. A decrease in these functions leads to weaker bones and longer recovery times in women. The good news? Consistent exercise positively impacts the symptoms of hormonal decline. The act of exercising in itself releases a cascade of hormones that offset those that naturally wane with age. You can read more about the 8 hormones involved in exercise here. Strength training greatly improves bone density, which as mentioned above, decreases as estrogen levels decline. Strength training along with a high fiber, moderate protein diet can reduce excess abdominal fat and help women retain lean muscle.

    In addition to exercise, emphasis on proper rest is crucial for women as sleep helps to regulate many hormones. Balance this with intensity by incorporating explosive work into your exercise programming. Life changes can affect a woman’s ability to sleep AND perform as she did even a year before. Most importantly, self compassion is key.

  • 6 Dirty Little Secrets

    To Becoming a Morning Workout Person

    Okay, so only one is dirty.

    By Ally Hochman

    252029_f18227f6c4c5ee20f9709b8efea5a9dc_largeFall is coming! And while we are unmistakably excited for all things autumn (crisp air, apple picking, a PSL or two…) it also means that schedules become hectic and it can be hard to fit in gym time. Make an appointment with yourself in the morning to get that workout in before any distractions or commitments pull you off track. We’ve got the secrets and we’re sharing!

    1. Try a long distance relationship.
    Place your alarm clock on the opposite side of your bedroom. Now, when you want to press snooze, you need to get out of bed. Get up, turn off the alarm, and DO NOT get back in bed! No, not even for 5 minutes.

    2. Don’t shower.
    Dirty, right? We aren’t saying skip the shower all together. Instead of showering at night, wait until AFTER your morning workout. That shower will feel even more amazing after a good sweat session! Remember, there’s only so much dry shampoo can do.

    3. Set your clothes out the night before.
    Know exactly what you’re going to wear to the gym and get it ready. We’ve heard of sleeping in your workout clothes but do you really want to sleep in a sports bra? Ugh, no thank you! One better, put your clothes next to the alarm clock and change right away.

    4. Say hello, hey Joe!
    Can’t even think about starting your day without your morning jolt of java? Good news! Caffeine has actually been shown to maximize workouts by boosting fat loss, improving circulation, and allowing you to push harder while exercising. Just make sure you aren’t adding cream or sugar. Try almond or coconut milk or even black.

    5. Make sure your bag has all the essentials.
    Pack your gym bag with EVERYTHING the night before. You won’t have time to do it in the morning and you don’t want to end up at the gym without sneakers or at work without clean underwear… Being prepared is more than half the battle.

    6. Prepare a post-workout meal.
    Speaking of being prepared, have a post-workout meal ready for after your workout. Treat yourself with something delicious and healthy! This is important to help your muscles repair and avoid feeling ravenous mid-morning. Check out Shape Magazine’s What to Eat Before & After a Morning Sweat Session.

    You’re ready to go! See you at 6am 🙂

     

  • Cupping Therapy

    What is Cupping?

    Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine that uses special cups to create suction. This causes stagnant blood to move to the skin surface (creating the purple marks you typically associate with cupping). Uses include treating muscle stiffness or pain, asthma, digestive orders, poor circulation, and can even aid in weight loss. Cupping can be highly therapeutic and healing.

    Cupping at Healthworks

    We offer two types of cups, massage (silicone) and accucups (glass, applied with a pump – we DO NOT do fire cupping). See below.

    Massage Cups

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    Accucups

    accucups

    Healthworks Spa Lead and Licensed Massage Therapist, Nicole Jones, offered to share her personal experience with cupping.  

    Both cups were applied to her back.

    both cups

    Right after the cups were removed.

    marks 1

    5 minutes later…

    marks 5 mins later

    “The accucups, which are usually left stationary, made me skin feel warm almost instantly and it stayed that way when they were removed. The massage cups felt like more of a muscular and fascial stretch even when they were stationary. This was the first time I had massage cups left stationary– this technique is more for injury and scar work, massage cupping is much more about movement with the cups”. – Nicole Jones

    We even got some of our front desk and personal training staff hooked.

    “I did facial cupping first and loved how it made my skin and sinuses feel! Then, my massage therapist suggested using the cups on my back, glutes and calves because everything was so tight. It was like getting a deep tissue massage without the pain! I’ve been hooked ever since- it feels amazing.”-Alex, Front Desk

    “As a migraine sufferer, and someone who has lived with chronic back (scoliosis) and neck pain her entire life, I am always interested in trying different methods of alternative medicine to find relief. I didn’t know much about cupping until my massage therapist told me she was getting trained in it and that she thought it would be helpful for me. My muscles requires deep-tissue intensity massage in order to reach through to them; sometimes this is difficult to do, due to the tenderness of the muscles that are in pain. Cupping has been an amazing tool in order to bring about a gentler form of relief for the muscles, by creating a release that then allows my massage therapists better access to the deeper muscles. I realized just how incredible cupping was when my massage therapists used them on my quads – I had been wincing in discomfort when she tried to massage them. She used the cups on them, and was then able to go deeper into the muscles without any wincing. For me, the combination of cupping and deep tissue massage has truly been life changing. Sure, I still have back and neck pain, but it has given me greater insight into understanding the tension in my body, and how to work with a massage therapist for the betterment of my well being.”-Marissa- Front Desk

    “I have always had issues with my shoulders and back, especially on the right side of my body. Every morning for at least the last 2 years, if not more, I would wake up, maybe not with pain, but with a definite awareness of the area between my neck and right shoulder. I would get deep tissue massage, roll it out with a lacrosse ball when it got particularly bad, and while the awareness might have loosened or dissipated it always came back within a few days. Six weeks ago I had my first cupping massage with Cayce. It definitely felt different and some sensations were a little odd compared to what I was used to, but over the next few days I realized my constant companion in my shoulder was gone. And it hasn’t come back despite several challenging workouts, some of which contained a lot of overhead work (which used to be a guarantee of pain). As a trainer, I highly recommend cupping massage to my clients and on a personal level will only use cupping massage for myself in the future.”-Kristin, Personal Trainer

    Interested in cupping at Healthworks? Learn more here.

  • Sculpt Yoga

    sculpt yoga fire

    From Ashley Markwood
    Boston Blogger, Style Grace and Lace

    Do you remember taking your first yoga class? I sure do. I stumbled into a dim room carrying my water bottle and wearing gym sneakers only to find it was dead silent and everyone was wearing “yoga” pants (which had just started to be “all the rage”). To say I felt out of place is the BIGGEST understatement. I knew all of the benefits of traditional yoga, physically and mentally – but I don’t think I was ready to fully appreciate the practice. Now that I’ve completed my first year of motherhood, the idea of integrating yoga into my life has me really intrigued. Could I use some quiet time? Absolutely. Stretching? You bet. Savasana aka “corpse pose”? 100%; yet I could also stand to do a squat or two because let’s face it, no one likes a “mom butt.”

    I was super excited when Healthworks began offering a new class, Sculpt Yoga, this past month! The description of the class seemed to fit exactly what I was looking for; fast-paced, flexibility, strength-training, lean muscle mass, and athletic approach…a little bit of everything! What if I told you that in ONE class alone we did: pushups, planks + plank up-downs, jumping jacks, butt kicks, high knees, skaters, bicep curls, hammer curls, front arm raises, lateral arm raises, shoulder press, squats, squats with a knee-lift, donkey kicks, fire hydrants, and abs. WOOOWEEE! I’m tired just writing that out! Now imagine doing all of this while also working through traditional flow yoga AND getting a great stretch in to some upbeat tunes! Perfection! I left my 8am class (on a Sunday, go me!) feeling so invigorated and energized. It was such an amazing way to kick off my day.

    If you’d like to try a sculpt yoga class, check out the schedule here! It comes highly recommended by yours truly 🙂 Happy weekend! I hope it’s amazing!

    xx,

    Ashley

    Photo: Ashley Markwood feeling the post-sculpt yoga fire!