Yes, your fitness and physical health is a priority, but so are about eight million other things. The truth is, you work hard. Really hard. Sometimes, that makes finding the time for a proper workout a challenge on its own. And that’s too bad because your fitness regime is supposed to make you feel great— not stressed or unhappy.

However, no matter how busy you are, there really are ways to sneak a refreshing workout into your daily routine without causing stress or making anything more complicated than it already is. We’ve broken down some of our most helpful hints so you can always feel in tip-top shape, even when your life is moving at a breakneck pace:

Keep Your Regiment by Planning Ahead

When it comes to balancing your busy life, being organized is key. This is especially true if a part of that balancing act involves maintaining a healthy fitness routine. Here are a few ways to stay on task:

  1. Write it Down

This can be done in a physical notebook or just on your computer or phone. Keep a schedule of what each of your days looks like and use as much detail as possible. (We sometimes color code it, too!) Find spaces where you think a workout could fit into your schedule without causing stress. Write that in…and stick with it.

Some of us manage to insert extra activity into their days by scheduling small bursts of activities at the same time every day. For instance, every morning at 10, perhaps you want to do a few of your favorite yoga poses. To ensure that you never forget, grab your phone and set yourself a repeating alarm for that time. It’ll hold you accountable.

An alarm is great, but having a friend to remind you that you swore you’d take a walk during your lunch break today is even better. Ask a friend to send you a daily text message reminding you of your pre-planned goals and activities.

These days, plenty of productivity apps exist for this very purpose: to make your life smoother. Streamline your schedule, and you’ll naturally open yourself up to more time for your health and fitness.

Never Stop Hydrating your Body

Any fitness buff knows how crucial hydration and the consumption of water is for the human body, both while resting and in motion. Some of its best fitness-boosting benefits?

  1. Water Keeps You Full

Sometimes when we’re really busy, we tend to reach for unhealthy, prepackaged junk food or sugar-laden drinks to perk us up. And that makes sense— they’re quick and easy and tend to be pretty satisfying in the moment. However, they don’t tend to satiate any actual hunger or thirst—they only add unnecessary calories, which can derail your entire fitness journey!

Next time you find yourself reaching for a soda when you’re thirsty, think twice. You’re better off chugging some water. It will make you less parched, for starters— and it will also help keep you going.

  1. Hydration Keeps You Energized

The amount of water that you drink is directly connected to how much physical energy you have. In fact, dehydration can seriously affect one’s mood and cause negative feelings like anxiety, depression, and exhaustion.[1]

  1. It’s Dangerous to Work Out While Dehydrated

Physical activity causes you to sweat and lose water. It’s important to stay hydrated when you’re working out, whether it’s a long Saturday bike ride or a short pre-commute jog.

Find Time in Unexpected Places

24 hours is a lot longer than you might think. Though your working and sleeping hours might eat up a large chunk of your day, there will still be moments where you can sneak some movement into your time.

  1. Ditch Your Chair

If your job has you sitting at a desk all day, consider investing in a yoga ball or other movement-based chair alternative. Not only are they fun, but they also engage your core during working hours, keeping you fit while you work.

  1. Take the Stairs

The truth is, an elevator or escalator may seem faster, but the long line of people pushing to use it actually negates that half the time. Add the fact that climbing the stairs is a great form of exercise, and you’ll see that choosing the stairs is always a great decision.

  1. Map it Out

If you find yourself driving to errands that could be done without a car, time to try it on foot. Not only will it give you some fresh air and get your blood flowing, but it’s better for your wallet and the environment.

Don’t Let Yourself Become Sleep Deprived

Not-so-fun fact? Being tired doesn’t only zap your energy and make exercise less appealing and accessible, it also has another trait that can ruin your fitness progress: sleep deprivation raises your cortisol levels, which can lead you to overeat. This obviously doesn’t track well with a fitness plan, but it’s easily avoided. Maintaining a good sleep schedule is absolutely possible, even with a busy life:

  1. Give Yourself a Bedtime

Yes, sometimes it might mean leaving the party just when it’s getting good or recording the finale of that show you’re dying to watch instead of seeing it the night it airs (and avoiding social media like a plague). It’s worth it if you can maintain a healthy sleep schedule.

Before bedtime, turn off your stimuli. That means phones, tablets, computers, and televisions should be shut down. Instead of scrolling, take a hot shower and get into some comfortable clothes for sleep. Create a soothing routine for yourself.

Certain yoga moves are perfect for winding down after a long day. Find some stretches that help you relax and indulge in them after your hot shower before you get into bed.

Remember to Eat Healthily…And Frequently

This tip is somewhat similar to our hydration tip, in that eating small, healthy snacks throughout the day reduces your chances of chowing down on a bunch of junk. If you stave off on eating all day, only to be suddenly struck by hunger pangs and end up emptying a bag of chips on your way home from work, you’re not helping your fitness goals. Instead, try keeping some of these snacks with you in case of emergency:

  1. Nuts[2]

Not only are nuts filling and loaded with good fats, but they’re also absolutely delicious and come in such a wide variety, you’ll be hard pressed to find one you don’t like.

  1. Apples

Keep the doctor away with “nature’s candy.” There’s a reason we love apples so much; they really are packed with benefits for both physical and mental health. They’re also juicy, easy to eat on the go and keep you full.

  1. Hard Boiled Eggs[3]

Give yourself a dose of nutrients and flavor with a low-calorie bite— eggs only contain about 78 per serve, and they’ll keep you full for ages. We love them plain with a little salt or chopped up and mixed with smashed avocados.

  1. Dried Fruit[4]

Tasty and healthy, dried fruit is packed with fiber and nutrients that make your body strong. They are such a great alternative to sugary snacks— just be sure to check your labels to make sure your dried fruit doesn’t have any added nasties.

Don’t Forget: You’re Only Human

This one is so important. Be good to yourself. If your last meeting went over and you’ve now missed your chance for a post-work jog, that’s fine. If you were too tired this morning for your “daily” bike ride, and you had to drive to class? That’s fine too. Your fitness journey, like any other large undertaking in your life, is not linear. It can’t be— and if you begin to beat yourself up for missing a day of your workout, you may be looking out for your physical health, but you’re ignoring your mental wellbeing. That’s just as important!

Get Into the Habit

Do you have any habits? Chances are, they were learned at some point. Now, you can teach yourself new habits— ones that coincide with your fitness goals.

  1. Walk and Talk

Let’s say you call your sister every Tuesday night for a chat. Usually, you take the call on the couch. Instead, pop your headphones in and call her while you walk down the block. A simple change like this may not feel like much, but it adds up.

  1. A Morning Boost

Set your alarm a mere 10 minutes earlier than normal and treat yourself to a nice stretching session to begin your day. Soon enough, you won’t be able to imagine your morning without it.

  1. An Extra Block

Do you walk your dog every afternoon? Stroll up the street to get your kids from daycare? Head up the street from your office to grab a midday coffee? No matter what errands you do on foot, try to prolong them by taking the longer route. Maybe that means going an extra circle around the block with your pup, maybe it means taking the back roads when you do the pickup. Whatever it is, enjoy some extra time in the fresh air, and give your legs some additional stretching.

Find Activities you Actually Enjoy

Don’t like weightlifting? Don’t do it. Your fitness routine should be about what works for you, not anybody else. Luckily, there are hundreds of options out there for you to choose from. Many of these activities won’t even feel like “work,” since you enjoy them so much— for instance, swimming at the beach, dancing the night away at your favorite bar, or joining your friends in a beautiful hike all feel like leisure activities— but they will keep your body fit and healthy as well.

Find a Buddy

Isn’t everything better with a friend? If you team up with a buddy for your workout endeavors, you may find it much easier to achieve your goals. After all, you won’t want to tell your workout pal that you skipped the gym last night in order to stay home and stream an entire series.

Better yet, if your buddy is local, you can work out together! Whether that means going for bike rides and hikes together, or attending classes together as a pair, you’ll have a partner in your journey to enjoy your success with.

Take to the Internet

These days, you can do just about anything online— even work out. Some of our favorite ways?

  1. Find a YouTuber

Remember when YouTube was just cat videos and viral memes? Those days are far behind us. Today, you can learn anything on YouTube— including how to perform many exercises and stretches. Get searching!

  1. Research your Favorite Workouts

If you’ve found yourself particularly drawn to a specific type of workout or sport, taking to the internet for more information is a great idea. You can learn about how to hone your craft a well as finding a community of other enthusiasts to chat with.

  1. Take an Online Course

Yes, you can take a fitness course online! These innovative programs are ideal for the fitness enthusiast on the go…sound familiar?

At Jack City Fitness, we know that your busy life is unique. That’s why our facilities were specially designed to accommodate Boise’s busiest fitness fans. We offer our partners 24/7 access to our modern and capacious fitness center, so you can work out on your own schedule— not anyone else’s. We also offer high-end fitness and nutrition coaching, a large range of group classes, and even custom training for sports teams. We’re here to make all your fitness dreams a reality— no matter how busy you are, how many responsibilities you hold, and how much you believe it might not be possible for you. We promise— it is! Give us a call today for a free consultation visit and see just how capable you are of changing your life for the better!


[1] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/7-health-benefits-of-water#section2

[2] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/9-healthy-nuts

[3] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eggs-weight-loss-food#section1

[4] https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/dried-fruit-good-or-bad#section2

The Merriam-Webster dictionary has quite a few definitions of the word core. After all, it has quite a few meanings, often relating to the middle of things. In the case of fitness, the core refers to the middle of the body. However, we think another dictionary description sums it up even better, as the “basic, essential, or enduring part” of something.[1]

We prefer this description because it could not be any truer. The core of your body is indeed very essential to your physical health and strength. Working at it and keeping it healthy and powerful will be incredibly beneficial to you both during your workouts and also in your daily life.

What Is Your Core, Anyway?

Let’s start with the basics.

Your core is your set of abdominal and surrounding muscles, including your hips, back, and shoulders. For many, toning and strengthening their core is purely aesthetic— after all, a set of washboard abs is a very desirable feature to many of us. However, strengthening your core goes well beyond how you’ll look in a bathing suit this summer. After all, your abdominal muscles are the facilitators for a large bulk of the movements that you make every day. Also, it does store and protect your central nervous system, and quite a few of your organs. Because of this, core building and strengthening are important because they are great for your body, in terms of both your physical fitness routine and in your daily life.

Why is Core Strength So Important?

We believe that core strength is among the most crucial parts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. A few of our most pressing reasons?

  1. It Can Do Wonders For Your Posture

Not only is poor posture not exactly the world’s most attractive look, but also it can be tough on your back and other parts of the body. If you’re a chronic “sloucher,” there’s still hope for you to improve your posture. As it turns out, a weak core might be to blame. By honing in on your core and working on strengthening it to the max, you’ll likely find that your shoulders and upper back are better primed for keeping upright.

  1. You Might Find You Have Less Daily Pain

You may assume that a weak core only causes pain after a tough workout that calls upon your abdomen. However, a weak core has also been found to contribute to physical pain outside of your exercise hours. Actually, overly built back muscles often go hand in hand with under-toned abdominal muscles.[2]  Furthermore, activities that aren’t great for your core have the same negative impact on your back. For example, sitting slouched over a desk every day without engaging your core muscles can lead to nasty complications, like compressed spinal discs.

  1. It’ll Keep Your Organs Safe

As we mentioned above, your abdominal muscles encase quite a few of your most essential organs, veins, and arteries. These internal parts work incredibly hard all day— and it’s the job of your abdomen to protect them. 

When you strengthen the muscles of your core, you are giving another layer of security to your internal organs and arteries. A strong core will be able to give your organs the support it needs to function, and help you move with ease. Alternately, when your organs are left with no help from your weak core, you might find yourself having unexplained pain later in life.[3]

  1. It’ll Make Injuries Far Less Likely— At the Gym, and In Daily Life

One of the best things about a strong core is the physical stability it provides. With a strong core, one can get the absolute most out of their workout routine; it can help you hold a yoga pose for longer, perfect your form for push-ups, or run with more speed and focus. Not only does this enhance your physical fitness results, it plays a large role in preventing you from getting injured.

When your body is in a stable, core-led position, it is easier to perform arduous tasks, whether that’s lifting a heavy sofa during a move, or participating in a triathlon. With either of these (very different) activities, it’s crucial for your movements to be on track. The wrong twist or turn in your body could most certainly ruin your day— or worse. Having the grounded stability of a strong core will prevent those types of injuries.

  1. Your Workout Routine Might Come Easier

A stronger core will make once-difficult seeming tasks feel like a breeze. After all, your body will be primed to perform them and will have the necessary strength to follow through. Also, less risk of injury will inspire you to keep working away.

  1. Your Body Will Look Incredible

First thing’s first: everybody is built differently. A strong, powerful core will not look the same on every person, and one most certainly does not need toned abs to look amazing. However, many people who spend time strengthening their core do find that their midsection becomes trimmer, and more toned in the process. So, if you just so happen to like how you look with a stronger core, that’s great news. Bring on the trips to the beach— chances are, you’ll feel confident, powerful, and attractive. Plus, that once-difficult jog along the sand will feel like child’s play.

Are There Certain Workouts That Strengthen the Core?

Lots of folks associate core strengthening exercise with crunches and yoga balls, but it can reach far beyond that. Really, there are plenty of core-strengthening exercises that suit a wide variety of lifestyles. After all— we all work out in different ways.

Plenty of popular exercises help to condition and strengthen the core, like push-ups, or dumbbell drags. We have quite a few favorites. However, our top three would probably be:

This is a classic core-strengthening exercise, and for good reason— it works! It’s also fairly straightforward to newbies to the fitness (or core strength focused) world. To perform a plank, come down to the floor, and place your forearms and knees on your matt. Your shoulders should be directly over the elbows, and your hands should be extended. Once you’re in position, tuck your toes, and gently lift up your knees away from the matt. Be sure to hold your form and keep your core taut. For this workout, try to start out doing this for a minute at a time. Eventually, you’ll likely be able to hold it for longer.[4]

The three-point touch is swiftly gaining popularity in fitness communities for its ability to strengthen the core without needing anything but a yoga mat.

To perform the three-point touch, get into a pushup position on your mat. Align your hands right beneath your shoulders, and keep your feet together.

Now come the “three points.” Twist your hips to bring your left leg underneath your body and over to the right side. Now, touch the floor with your heel. That’s a point. Bring the leg back to its original position, with your toes touching the matt. That’s your second point. Finally, bring it out to the side and touch the floor with your toe. That’s your third and final point. Repeat the entire process with your right leg. This exercise can start off with a minute  and can be worked up into a longer routine.[5]

The bridge pose finds its way into many forms of exercise, and we love what it does for the core. It’s also a great stretch! To safely perform the bridge, lay on your back atop your mat. Plant your feet on the mat (with your knees pointing skywards) and keep them apart— the length of your hip. Engage your abdominal muscles, press your back deeply into the floor, and place your arms on the ground, aside your body. Pull your shoulders back into the mat, like you did with your back. Starting with your pelvis, lift your body from the mat, one vertebrae at a time, and try to get your hips as high up as possible. Now, slowly return your body back to the mat, vertebrae by vertebrae. Repeat this exercise for at least a minute, and work your way up to longer reps over time.[6]

Is it Possible to Build a Strong Core Through Nutrition?

To strengthen your core, you will need to engage in physical activity that promotes abdominal strength. However, you can supplement your hard work by following a healthy and nutritious diet in your daily life. It may not be the force that strengthens your core, but it will most certainly help your core work show up on your body. These foods help your body to bust the extra fat that tends to stick around the abdomen, allowing your torso to attain a more toned and trim appearance as your core workouts begin to take hold.

So, what are these special foods? We love:

Not only are eggs versatile, but they are also a dream for banishing dreaded belly fat and helping you reveal the abs that lay beneath. They have an ideal amino acid balance, and contain choline, a nutrient thought to raise metabolism levels and even shut down certain genes that are responsible for retention of fat in the stomach. Also, eggs make a super fortifying breakfast, and will keep you full for ages. We also love keeping them hard-boiled and peeled in the fridge, so they’re ready to snack on in a moment’s notice.[7]

Is it just us, or are almonds the perfect food? They’re delicious raw or toasted, sweet or salty, blended into nut butters, soaked into vegan-friendly “milk,” or just enjoyed whole. They make a satisfying snack, and go with pretty much everything— seriously, try to imagine one ingredient that would taste bad with almonds!

When it comes to shaping your torso, almonds play a pretty noble role. They actually have the ability to block the calories that you consume. Furthermore, they’re loaded with magnesium, which actually helps to strengthen those muscles you’re working on.[8] Try throwing some toasted almonds into your next salad, use them instead of pine nuts in pesto, or even throw them into a veggie stir fry for a delicate and tasty crunch.

The fiber in vegetables like kale, spinach or broccoli is a great tool for maintaining your figure and properly digesting food. They’re also chock full of calcium, which will do wonders for your muscles and energy levels during your training sessions. These days, one of our favorite uses for broccoli is to simply throw them on the barbecue, drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil, and serve them with an (almond-based!) romesco sauce for dipping. Yum!

At Jack City Fitness, your core strength is important to us. That’s why we offer both nutritional counseling and personal fitness coaching sessions. We want to make sure that you are using your body in a way that enables you to perform at your very best— whether that means here at our gym, or whenever you need to carry out physical activity in your daily life.

When you sign up to become a partner with Jack City Fitness, we welcome you to the family by inviting you to our brand new facility for a free consultation. From there, we’ll be able to help you find the best workout routines for you— whether that means strengthening your core, gaining muscle, or training your cardiovascular system. It’s all available here— and our gym is open to you 24 hours a day, so you can work on your own schedule, not anybody else’s.

Come and see us today— you won’t believe just how capable and strong you really are.


[1] https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/core

[2] https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/fitness/5-reasons-to-strengthen-your-core/

[3] https://www.besthealthmag.ca/best-you/fitness/5-reasons-to-strengthen-your-core/

[4] https://youtu.be/ASdvN_XEl_c

[5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQBzkPuvKgo

[6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkM2 pnc

[7] https://www.eatthis.com/lose-belly-fat-and-get-6-pack-abs-with-these-foods/

[8] https://smartlifebites.com/best-foods-for-a-strong-core/

What’s the Deal with Foam Rolling?

It used to be reserved for true fitness experts and professionals. Now, engaging in self-myofascial release, otherwise known as foam rolling, has become as commonplace as the crunches or push-ups that have preceded it.

However, there are still misconceptions and pieces of misinformation floating around about this beneficial form of a post-workout massage. Luckily for you, our team at Jack City Fitness is here to set the record straight.

What Is Foam Rolling?

Foam rolling is a form of self-myofascial release, which is a technical term for a (self-administered) massage that’s designed to release tension or trigger points in the muscles. Aside from a foam roller, self-myofascial release, or SMR, can be performed with a ball (lacrosse balls are especially popular), specialized “canes,” your own set of hands, or even a wine bottle or rolling pin. These messages are often utilized after physical activity, but they needn’t be limited to that; SMR foam rolling makes for a great warm-up as well.

The idea is that, by applying a certain amount of pressure to targeted, tense muscle areas, you can massage them into a healthier state. Ideally, after a self-myofascial release session, your muscles should be functioning at their standard level— meaning they’re elastic and loose enough that they won’t get damaged if you chose to, say, take a long walk or bike ride after your workout session. It will also bring you physical relief if you’re feeling discomfort or pain as a result of tight muscles.

Some of our favorite reasons to use a foam roller are:It Can Cool You Down…

Foam rolling is especially popular (and beneficial) for use after a great training session. (Check out the best tips for maximizing muscle building here. A recent study has even shown that using this technique after a strenuous workout can actually alleviate discomfort associated with DOMS— aka Delayed Muscle Soreness.[1] Not only does it feel better, it actually can enhance your future training days— by avoiding Delayed Muscle Soreness, you are more likely to have a successful performance in your next session.

Though the post-workout foam rolling session may be perhaps the most frequently discussed, it’s certainly not the only fish in the sea. For many, there is no better time to utilize their handy foam roller than before diving into physical activities, like a training session, a nice jog, or a rousing round of their favorite sport.

The reason that self-myofascial release works so well as a warmup is quite straightforward: it all comes down to blood flow. For instance, if today is leg day, your foam roll workout would ideally focus on calves, hamstrings, and quads. By focusing on these muscles and giving them lots of love with the foam roller, you’ll actually be encouraging more blood to flow to the area. It’ll make your workout smoother, and your muscles will be more receptive to the exercises you’re giving them.

We’ve all been there— whether it comes from diving into a routine without properly working out or attempting a trip to the gym after sitting on a long car ride or flight, sometimes tight muscles find their way into your workout. This can be uncomfortable at best, and downright painful or even dangerous at its worst. Foam rolling offers a swift and easy solution to that problem; your body will feel more flexible, have a larger range of movement, and you’re less likely to snap or tear your muscles during physical activity.

Finding your Trigger Points

When a knot forms in your muscle, that’s sometimes referred to as a trigger point. These guys can be pretty sensitive at best, and can be downright agonizing at their worst, especially when they form in large amounts— this is referred to as myofascial pain syndrome.[2]

Trigger points are caused by a number of elements: your personal posture, an excessive amount of intense exercise, your diet, or even mental stress or anxiety can all contribute to tight muscles and trigger points. However, foam rolling massages can battle these painfully tight knots.

When you properly engage in SMR with a foam roller, you are actually releasing these trigger points. By doing this, you are enabling your body to attain a larger range of motion without pain during training. It also helps to realign your movement patterns, hence allowing you to perform at your very best.[3]

One unique element of trigger points is that they can lead to a strange (but sometimes wonderful) phenomenon known as “referred pain.” By utilizing the powers if pain referral, your body can do some pretty spectacular things.

Wait…”Referred Pain?”  Well, That Doesn’t Sound Very Nice…

You’re right. It sounds pretty negative, doesn’t it? Referred pain is actually a natural element of bringing your body more relief through foam rolling and other forms of self-myofascial release. Though it doesn’t always feel comfortable, it will save you from a lot of pain in your daily life, your workout sessions, and the future. Worth it, if you ask us.

Referred pain is a pretty fascinating phenomenon and is similar to the concept of acupuncture or acupressure. Essentially, when a trigger point is massaged or pressed, the topical site isn’t the only area on your body which feels pain. In referred pain scenarios, the soreness from the trigger will radiate to another spot.

A common example of this technique is the use of a foam roller on your iliotibial band. Though your trigger point will lay around your knee and thigh, applying pressure to this knot will radiate (or “refer”) pain out to your legs, hips, and even all the way down to your ankles. There’s no use in sugar coating it: this is not a painless or comfortable process. It can hurt quite a bit— but should never be excruciating. After the foam rolling session is over, the pain should dissipate.

How Can Foam Rolling Benefit Me and my Body?

Not only does foam rolling feel great, it’s also chocked full of benefits that will enhance your daily life and your fitness routine.

Curious about some of the best-regarded benefits of using a foam roller?

If you’ve ever suffered from uncomfortable knots in your neck, back, and other muscles, you’re probably aware of how much of a pain they can be. A good one-on-one massage session with your trusty foam roller can tackle and work through those tough knots and provide some much-needed relief.

As it turns out, participating in a self-myofascial release massage is thought to give your circulatory system a boost. That’s right— as you work the tissue in a particular area of your body, your blood will have an easier time flowing to that spot. Not only will this make your workout easier and more productive, but it’s incredibly good for you; a well-functioning circulatory system can promote heart health, as well as enhance your body’s arteries and muscles.[4]

Yes, that’s right! Giving yourself a dose of self-myofascial release through a foam roll massage doesn’t only benefit your muscles and tissue. It also helps your body get rid of nasty toxins. Over time, your connective tissues tend to accrue a bit of unwanted metabolic waste, like lactic acid. This is completely normal— but still not something anybody wants or needs! Many health professionals believe that by directly focusing on a certain toxin-laden muscle or tissue area, one can break down and release the waste build-up.[5]

The many benefits of foam rolling all come together to create an easier, more straightforward training session for you. Once it’s become a part of your routine, you will likely see a major difference in your daily life, especially when it comes to movement. This can apply to your fitness routine (the gym, your morning jog, your sports team, or a weekend hike,) or even to daily movements that you don’t even think about— running for the bus, playing with your kids, or even climbing up your steep driveway after you park your car on the curb.

As we’ve discussed, engaging in self-myofascial release before a workout is extraordinarily beneficial; it helps your circulation and loosens your muscles! However, the magic really comes when you combine those benefits. By always giving yourself a good foam roller massage after working out, you’ll be enhancing your next training session. After all, as we mentioned earlier, self-myofascial release is known to alleviate Delayed Muscle Soreness. In turn, your body will be better equipped for physical activity in the future. You’ll be able to move easier, with less fear of sustaining an injury.

When is the Best Time to Engage in Foam Rolling, and Why?

As we outlined earlier, foam roller based self-myofascial release can be performed at any time and is especially beneficial before and after a training session.

Though we certainly see the merit in foam rolling at any time, we believe the best time is after a strenuous workout. Its incredible ability to reduce Delayed Muscle Soreness cannot be emphasized enough— it’s a complete game changer!  We also love that it’s entirely self-administered, so if any particular muscle feels especially tight or uncomfortable after a training session, working that nasty knot away is entirely in control of the individual.

Are there any Helpful Tips on How to Properly Use a Foam Roller?

Of course! Like any physical activity, foam rolling has a few techniques that make it more effective.

What are the tensest or tight spots on your body? Typically, they tend to be your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and areas along your back, such as the thoracic spine.[6] These areas need the most love— so be sure to give them the proper attention they need during your foam roll massage.

Your muscles aren’t going to relax if you aren’t. Allow yourself to focus on taking big, slow breaths and keeping your mind and body as calm as possible.

A thirty-second rubdown with your foam roller isn’t going to accomplish very much. Take at least five minutes to engage in self-myofascial release. To make the most of it, we recommend a full ten minutes.

When you begin your process, be sure to take it easy on your body. To start, each muscle or area should ideally be pressed for around 20 seconds.  It’s enough time to work that knot out, but not so long that it will harm a particularly sensitive spot. Eventually, each muscle group can be massaged for around two minutes, as long as they aren’t too tender or sensitive. On that note, if a specific muscle group or trigger point feels tender, don’t push it.  Working on it for longer than necessary could cause bruising or even damaging your nerve— ouch![7]

Now that you’ve learned the secrets of enhancing your workout with the powers of self-myofascial release, let’s put it into action.  At Jack City Fitness, we are thrilled to give our fitness partners the best Boise has to offer in fitness, nutrition, and self-confidence. When you sign up for a partnership with Jack City, we will invite you to our state of the art fitness facility for a complimentary consultation with our team— and even a go on our famous InBody machine. From there, you’ll be able to enjoy 24-hour gym access, a large variety of group classes (including our Flexibility and Mobility class where you can put these recommendations to use), personal fitness and nutrition coaching sessions, and even customized online training, for the days that you can’t make it to our site.

Come visit us today!  We can’t wait to show you everything we have to offer.


[1] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25415413

[2] https://www.painscience.com/tutorials/trigger-points.php

[3] https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/what-is-a-foam-roller-how-do-i-use-it-and-why-does-it-hurt

[4] https://www.livestrong.com/article/323211-benefits-of-increased-blood-circulation/

[5] https://kyrinhall.com/recover-and-detoxify-with-foam-rolling/

[6] https://8fit.com/fitness/foam-roll-properly-use

[7] https://8fit.com/fitness/foam-roll-properly-use

Lack of sleep can derail best-laid fitness plans. While hitting the gym regularly, setting goals and eating right are absolutely crucial components of getting in shape. Too often, we neglect to consider the value of rest, especially when adding a new routine to an already busy schedule. Here are a few ways that getting the right amount of sleep will help you reach your fitness goals.

Sleep helps control hunger.

Sleeping less than six hours a night will make you hungrier. Your body produces less of the hunger-controlling hormone leptin when you are sleep-deprived, leading to increased appetite. To keep cravings at bay, be sure to rest.

Sleep helps recovery.

Sleepy people produce less growth hormone and more cortisol. This makes muscle recovery take longer and increases injury risk. A good night’s sleep helps you build muscle quicker and limits downtime.

Sleep helps shed fat.

A recent study found that sleep-deprived dieters lost half as much fat as well-rested people on the same diet. The way that your body sheds or stores fat is greatly affected by the amount of sleep you get.

Sleep helps you stick to a plan.

It seems obvious, but people who sleep enough are much more likely to actually go to the gym as they planned. Skipped days are less common among people who are getting sleep.  If you get the appropriate amount of sleep, you are much less likely to hit the snooze button and bypass your morning gym plans.

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Benefits of a Good Night Sleep

Please enjoy this over-exaggerated listicle, and don’t let it make you self-conscious because chances are your Personal Trainer loves you, mostly just the way you are. And will forgive you. Below are 12 Pet Peeves that perhaps most Personal Trainers can relate to.

1.Not understanding the 80/20 rule.

Lady saying Oopsie

We’re talking about people not being educated on the 80/20 rule- as in, the fact that losing weight is 80% diet and 20% exercise. Yes, it’s true. Most people cannot lose weight by working out and also frequenting McDonalds. The more you know…

 

2. More is better!

Steve Harvey Oh, you crazy!

In other words, when people don’t let their bodies rest. Newsflash, if you’re doing multiple workouts in a day or don’t take a day off, the muscles don’t have time to repair themselves. Yes, there is a such thing as exerting yourself too much. Give your body a break before…well, you break. Yes, we think you’re amazing, but you’re no superhuman.

 

3. The scale tells all.

Bridget Jones steps on a scale

Ugh, people, stop paying so much attention to the number on the scale. It’s 2018, do you know a thing about body composition? The number on the scale is just a total. What we’re concerned about is what makes up that total. How much of your body percentage is muscle and how much is the stuff that rhymes with gat?

 

4. The fitness tracking god.

Look. You run in place, you get more numbers.

Please stop trusting your fitness tracker more than your personal trainer. If you haven’t figured out by now, technology isn’t always right. What’s that, Fred, you ran until you reached 10,000 steps yesterday? That’s great. Good for you. Seriously, that’s amazing, but let’s focus instead on the movements and the intensity.

 

5. Unfit to get fit.

a guy trying to do a pull up

Guess what? A lack of fitness is a reason you SHOULD come to the gym, not a reason you should stay away. That’s right, you don’t need to be in shape BEFORE you come to a gym or join a workout class. Key word here? Come! Classes provide modifications and details to instruction, along with plenty of assistance.

 

6. So I have these goals…

boy who says he wants to win a million dollars

Bless your heart, people-that-come-in-with-unrealistic-time-frames-to-reach-your-goals. Like, hey can you help me lose 20 lbs in 2 weeks? Short answer….No. Typically you’ll need to work out and eat right consistently. As in, for an extended period of time, yes.

 

7. If it ain’t broke…

alfred hitchcock doing a workout

No really, you should fix it. Bob, you can’t do the same exact routine you’ve been doing for 20 years and expect different results. Time for a switcheroo. Mix it up. Take a chance. Your body will adapt to a routine if you’ve been at it too long so try a class that offers variety.

 

8. Excuses, excuses, and…more excuses.

Sorry this week has been like insane

Let’s say it again. Excuses! We’ve all got ‘em. Doesn’t mean we need to use them. Save them for your in-laws. Whatever you do, don’t give them to your trainer. It seems odd that someone would pay you to motivate them, and then make up excuses to not be motivated…but it happens.

 

9. No, really, I’m fine…

Yeah I'm fine

What do you mean you broke your back? That information would have been very useful BEFORE I programmed your workout. I just thought you hated burpees. Seriously, don’t hide your injuries from your trainer. You’re only hurting yourself. See what we did there?

 

10. I swear on my workout.

Michael Jordan laughing

When people lie about their diet. That time a client tells you they’ve been completely faithful with their workouts and their diet, but still haven’t lost weight. Here’s the thing…the proof is in the pudding. Sometimes literally.

 

11. I love getting stood up! Getting stood up is my favorite!

I guess I was little hurt that you ditched me

No-shows, last minute cancellations, last minute scheduling. No, it’s fine I have so much to do with this unexpected free hour, and my wallet is looking pretty full anyways. What’s that? You’d like to reschedule to tomorrow? Why can’t I squeeze you in with so much advanced notice? Where to start…

 

12. Boom! Make it happen.

Nom nom nom

When people want instant results from training after living a lifestyle that is completely opposite of healthy. Come on, if it were as easy as snapping fingers, everyone would do it. You must be patient and put in the work. A week of training won’t erase years of daily donuts. Though we agree, that would be helpful.

 

Sources:

www.styleblueprint./louisville/everyday/personal-trainer-pet-peeves

https://www.insurancecanopy.com/blog/top-pet-peeves-of-personal-trainers

While winter tends to bring on boredom more than other times of the year, eating because you’re bored can happen anytime. It’s that urge to fill in the gaps because, either there’s nothing else to do or you have an emotional craving that isn’t met. You’re not doing anything productive, exciting or rewarding, so turning to food can be a reward and take you to a time that was better and gratifying. Stop eating out of boredom by learning to identify what you need. Then you can replace the boredom…and the eating…with a more gratifying experience.

Stick with a routine.

There are some people that only eat when they’re hungry, but for the rest of us, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, people eat when they’re thirsty, but many times, there’s an emotional cause. When you feel like eating, first drink a large glass of water to see if you were really thirsty. Rather than eating when the mood strikes, create a meal schedule and stick with it. Include not only meals, but also snacks on the schedule. Eventually, it will become second nature to eat at a specific time and you will have changed your habit of bored eating.

Find an alternative to eating.

Rather than eating that big bowl of chips, find an alternative to chomping down the calories. I had one client that found that doing crunches, sit-ups and other tough exercises during commercials—or any time she was alone and thought about snacking—cut the desire after a few weeks. While she chose the most brutal exercises and ones she hated, almost as punishment, you can substitute ones you enjoy. That quick workout gives you something to do and can help cut the craving to eat.

Binging often has an emotional cause.

If you’re a snack-o-holic after midnight, there’s often a reason. Sometimes, it is just boredom, but at not at other times. Identify what makes you want to snack. Is it loneliness at night when you’re watching TV or are family get-togethers the problem. If you find yourself losing your cool at a family get-together, snacking is often a desire to feel better. For those lonely nights in front of the TV, it’s a companion.

You’re sitting at your work desk, feeling sluggish, wishing you wouldn’t have skipped your gym workout yesterday. You’re planning to hit the weights after work today, but you’re in the slumps. You took too much time off so how can you return? What if there’s more to do throughout the day to get you prepared for the gym? What if working out at the gym will help you remember to fit more activity into your day? What if the two work together, improving your fitness efforts?!

Ways to Get more Fitness and Activity into your Day

An info-graphic detailing ways to get more physical fitness and activity into your day.

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Ways to Get More Fitness & Activity Into Your Day

Everyone struggles to find the time to be active, and fit fun, healthy exercises into their schedule.  While it may seem like a burden to exercise, we assure you that there are small routine changes you can make to be more active throughout the day. Take the first step by following some these tips, and you are well on your way to a better tomorrow!

 

Minor Adjustments

Olympic weightlifting may not be in your immediate future, and that’s perfectly fine, but breaking out of a sedentary lifestyle should be. Here are some tips to escape your desk or couch and get a better grip on your nutrition during a typical day:

 

 

Finding the Time to Workout

It’s important to fit in weightlifting time at the gym. The benefits of lifting weights are two-fold: you get to be more active and you’re less likely to get injured. Weights help you maximize your time at the gym. When you’re efficient with your gym time, you have more time to enjoy life. Outside of the gym you can improve your health in the followings ways:

 

 

 

Make the Most Efficient Use of Your Workout

By recognizing and making an effort to utilize your time wisely during workouts, positive results will follow.  Dedicating enough focus to crush a short 30 minutes of exercise per work day, a total of 150 minutes per week, could revolutionize your health.

 

Sources:

 

 

There’s a lot of talk right now about the New Year Resolutions, and all the reasons why you wont stick to a fitness program or compete your physical goals for the year. There are always a thousand more reasons why you will fail compared to those why you will succeed, instead of focusing on the reasons to fail, let’s take a look at a tool that will help you succeed! The single most determining factor of success and failure to adhere to an exercise program is your mind, not your body!

Upon taking up the challenge to complete a physical fitness goal or exercise routine, there are a few things to keep in mind that can help ensure your success in not only completing the routine or becoming more active, but also achieving your goals and then some!

One of the key factors that affect the probability of your success in pursuit of physical fitness improvement is that of your self-efficacy. Typically defined as your own self worth and ability to solve issues or fulfill your goals. It is a behavioral trait that tells you how good you are getting stuff done! When it comes to exercise, jobs, relationships, honey-do’s, projects, and other facets of life, we all start with a certain level of self-efficacy that directly helps or inhibits our motivation to accomplish the task. Improving this trait is important if you want to stick to your goals, if yo want to develop that habitual routine and get yourself into the best shape of your life. Basically, if you are uncertain of a certain skill, your self-efficacy of said skill is low, and your desire to get it done is low, resulting in a poor performance or failure to complete all together. If you are proficient at a skill, and are efficient on getting it done, you are going to have a high self-efficacy giving you more confidence and a higher probability of not only completing the task, but doing it well at a high level of performance.

What most people don’t tell you is that this characteristic is able to be developed. It’s not a genetic trait that cannot be altered and you’re stuck with what you were born with. Developing self-efficacy is a process of repetition and simple steps, progressing surely but slowly until efficiency is achieved. Emil Zatopek (the human locomotive) said it best. “If you do something once, nothing happens, but if you do something a hundred, a thousand times then you have not only just changed physically; and will power is no longer a problem.” Too many people start the New Year off with goals that make them go for the gusto and the lack of patience doesn’t allow them to see the progress made. Rather they focus on the longer distance to the end goal and forget to notice the small things that are required to achieve the big picture goal for the year. This is also the key to building this ever so important trait of self-efficacy, taking the journey day by day, week by week.

First things first, your goals… Choose goals that are achievable in a short span of time, things that don’t take too much preparation and can be acted upon quickly. You are more likely to scale Mt. Everest standing at it’s base than you are trying to save money for the plane ticket to get there.

Secondly Start simple. Start with things that you KNOW you are capable of accomplishing, as you accomplish these small things, you will inherently push yourself for more and find yourself succeeding because success is not a coincidence, it is a habit. Start small and progress from there.

Third, Keep in mind that we all start at our own level, be patient! Remember that every bit of progress (no matter how small) is still progress and gets you closer. Forget about comparing yourself to others, forget about the other people you want to impress, your greatest opponent is yourself. As cheesy as it may sound, how can you expect to be better for others when you can’t be better for yourself. Conquer yourself and watch the rest of your world improve!

Achieving self-efficacy is a process, nothing in physical fitness takes shortcuts, there’s never an effective “trick” or “secret” that can replace the efficiency and permanent nature of gaining results through hard work and effort. In achieving self-efficacy, you gain a mental toughness to not just workout more, but to do more in life. self-efficacy is translated into all areas of life. Let your mind become your greatest asset this year. Grow your minds ability to push your body to new limits and forge in yourself a new found level of strength in all areas of your life!