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Fitness & Wellness Newsletter - May

Check out The J's NEW monthly Health & Wellness newsletter. Each month you'll find: 

May Exercise of the Month
Hip Swings

clientuploads/Fitness_Misc/WellnessNewsletter/Hip Swing 1.jpgHow to do it:

Front to back:

  • Brace yourself on something sturdy with one hand.
  • Kick one leg forward and back, increasing in height so you feel a hamstring and hip flexor stretch.
  • Repeat 10-15 times for each leg. 

Side to side:

  • clientuploads/Fitness_Misc/WellnessNewsletter/Hip Swing 2.jpgBrace yourself on something sturdy with both hands.
  • Kick one leg side to side in front of your body, increasing in height so you feel a stretch in the inner and outer thigh
  • Repeat 10-15 times. 

Caution: Do not overstretch your hips and legs! Keep the stretches within a pain-free range of motion. Contact a Fitness Professional to get advice on your specific needs and avoid injury.

Target Muscle Groups:

  • Front to back – hamstrings & hip flexors
  • Side to side – inner and outer thigh

Benefit: Dynamic flexibility

May Fitness Tip
Stretching: The Truth

clientuploads/Fitness_Misc/WellnessNewsletter/Stretching.jpgTo stretch, or not to stretch? Experts used to claim that stretching before a workout can help decrease the risk of orthopedic injuries; however, more recent research shows that stretching is ineffective for warming up your body. Some research is even proving that pre-workout stretching can be harmful to athletic performance.

As an active person, you may not always be looking for peak performance, but you always strive to be healthy and avoid injury.  So what is the best way to warm up? 

A warmup should be designed to move your body in motions similar to the actions you’ll perform during your workout. If you’re going to do an upper body workout, your warmup must simulate that action in your upper body muscles. A warmup should also increase blood flow, which in turn increases muscle elasticity. This process requires elevating the heart rate. 

Dynamic Stretching (DS) is stretching performed by moving a joint through its full range in a challenging but comfortable motion. The goal is to lengthen and shorten a muscle by activating your nervous system.  Static stretching does not have this effect. DS can increase joint range of motion, increase blood flow and increase body awareness, just to name a few benefits. It also requires a fair amount of coordination, which stimulates neuromuscular activity and alertness.

This month's Exercise of the Month, hip swings, are a great form of Dynamic Stretching! Contact a Personal Trainer to learn customized stretches specific to your needs!

Nutrition Tip
Spring Into Healthy Eating

Just like the New Year, the coming of spring can inspire people to think about freshening up their diet. This “freshening” can mean everything from expensive detoxifying diets to liquid fasting. Tweaking your diet can indeed be a good thing; however, some nutrition experts believe that many chosen methods may be unnecessary. 

To Pay…

In addition to detoxifying your system, paying for one of these diets can also wipe everything from your bank account. Although a “detox” may be alluring, these types of diets are not scientifically proven. Anytime a person changes their dietary habits from poor to better choices, it’s natural to feel better and for the functions of the body to improve.

Or, Not To Pay? The Au Naturale Way

clientuploads/Fitness_Misc/WellnessNewsletter/LemonWater.jpgThe body has an amazing detoxification system of its own that relies on your organs, cells, tissues and lymphatic system. The liver and kidneys filter impurities from the body as part of their normal functionality. Take care of these systems and enjoy the benefits of a natural body detox!

Tips for Enhancing your Body’s Natural Detox Function:

  • Choosing foods that are in their most natural state will give you the most benefits. This gives the body and organs a break from having to process and filter artificial ingredients and added sugars.
  • Upon waking in the morning, squeeze a lemon in a glass of warm water and enjoy on an empty stomach. Lemon adds taste and Vitamin C.
  • Drinking water helps to flush impurities through your system. Speaking of water, fruits and vegetables have naturally high water content.

Take a “Spring Challenge” of your own – instead of ”detoxifying,”  try instead to think in terms of clean-eating more often. Stock your fridge with lemon to add to water that you’re drinking, and while you’re at it, give the not-so-clean items the spring cleaning treatment!

By Jane Macintosh, MA, CNS

May Wellness Tip
Join the MOVEment - Why Sitting Too Much is Killing Us

clientuploads/Fitness_Misc/WellnessNewsletter/Desk.jpgYou know you should move more, but did you know you also should sit less? Research continues to show that the longer you sit, the higher you risk factor for developing health issues like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

Jobs that require long periods of sitting (e.g., behind a desk or wheel) can be hazardous to your health. Regular exercise during the week is hugely beneficial, but simply decreasing sitting time each day could provide important health benefits as well. Surprisingly, your workouts at the gym a few hours a week don’t seem to counteract the negative effects of extensive sitting. To improve, keep doing your workouts – just incorporate more standing (movement) time throughout your day.

Another consideration is the number of extra calories expended while standing. The small daily increase in calorie expenditure can equate to a loss of almost 12 pounds for women and 14 pounds for men in one year.

clientuploads/Fitness_Misc/WellnessNewsletter/WalkingAtOffice.jpgHow do you change your habits?  Try these simple steps:

  • Talk & walk: Get a long phone cord or headset and stand while on a call. Pace back and forth to burn more calories!
  • Meet in-person: Walk to a person’s desk rather than calling or emailing them to increase your steps per day.
  • Sit-to-Stand: Try a sit-to-stand desk or find/create (using a box or file cabinet) a taller workspace for your laptop.
  • Take the long way “home”: Take the longest path back to your desk from a meeting.
  • Stand up, sit down: Stand up and sit down 10 times at your desk. You’ve just completed 10 squats!

Measured Parameter

Male (194.7 lbs)

Female (164.7 lbs)

Kcal expended Sitting (light office work)

2.3 kcal/minute

1.95 kcal/minute

Kcal Expended Standing (light office work)

3.9 kcal/minute

3.25 kcal/minute

Adding 2 more hours of standing/day

190 kcal more/day

155 kcal more/day

Weight change in one year (260 days/excluding weekends)

14.3 lbs

11.6 lbs

Check out our past wellness newsletters: