Why I let my boys play at the gym 

I work at a private gym facility. My boys have become use to coming to my work and playing while I workout or clean or do random things. My 6 year old loves the bosu ball and my baby likes to sit on the leg of the elliptical. I stay close but don’t tell them no. If my kids puts his hands near the treadmill belt or is in a dangerous situation that’s a different story. 

He loves to sit on the rowing machine. 

I hope even if they aren’t doing things right by bringing them with me I am encouraging them to love fitness. Even if they are climbing on a machine that is meant for a different thing there will be a day I show them and they are excited to try it. I notice sometimes they will mimic the moves I do for class or a workout and I know I am doing the right thing. My 6 year old tells me often he likes to exercise and that makes me happy. I want to raise them to have a healthy relationship with movement. 

I would not let me kids climb around at a big gym with other people using equipment and understand not everyone has access to a private facility, but think outside the box on how you can let your children see the healthy habits you have. Maybe make a fun obstacle course you can do together at your home. Use water bottles as weights and let them try. Have races and and skipping, jumping and other fun things kids enjoy doing. 

Your children are watching help encourage them to participate. 

My son doing yoga at the park. We use kids cosmic yoga off YouTube at home and he loves it. Check out her free channel to enjoy with your kids. 

Now when I leave to teach or for a client my kids are upset when they can’t come play. I feel sad but also happy that they want to be active. I hope these habits will stay with them all through their lives. 

Power Pilates Mat 1 certification 

This previous weekend I went through Power Pilates Mat 1 certification. It was Friday, Saturday and Sunday pretty much all day each day. We had an instructor come to town which was nice because all the other trainings I have done I had to travel. Last year I took an orthopedic specialty with ACE and wanted to follow up with Pilates this year. I try to continue each year to learn more and take trainings that will help me in the direction I am going. Pilates was a great addition for me and I think many trainers would benefit from this training. 

If you don’t know a lot about Pilates I will give you the speedy version. Pilates is a workout regime focused on breathing and activation of the abdominals during your workout. Engaging and using the abdominal muscles working on lengthening the body and helping realign. Many people like Pilates because they feel it helps create long lean muscles.  I love it because I believe it can help us  bring the pelvis back to a neutral position helping our body feel better. It doesn’t feel like a Bootcamp workout when you’re done, but you feel taller and stronger. 

We had Beth come from Elmhurst and she was very professional and very informative. We did drills of the exercises and learning more about anatomy. No matter how many times I teach I always get nervous about coming in front during a training and teaching! I wanted to share some tips if you are thinking about getting certified to become a Pilates instructor that I hope will help you along your journey. 

  • Practice it yourself. I attended classes and did practice at home. Unfortunately in our area we don’t have a lot of classes to choose from but if you have the opportunity take as many as you can.
  • Know or learn your anatomy. I have a personal training background so thankfully that was the easier part for me. It is so important especially when they are describing an exercise and talking about the groups of muscles or flexion and extension. The more you know the better it makes sense on why certain movements are important. 
  • Bring snacks. So I was pretty prepared the first 2 days then forgot my lunch the 3rd. Again luckily was in my hometown but go to an out of town training and this could make for a long day. 
  • Don’t take criticism personal. Many times we would have to come up and teach the class. She would give us constructive criticism. I love this personally it helps me grow and see what I need to work on. Some people feel attacked or they are getting picked on. There job is to help you become the best instructor you can be. 
  • Don’t take this training just for another money avenue. I say this because I know sometimes as trainers there are many certifications we can get or specialties to help us grow our income. Pilates is something you should love and love to do yourself. You can take on private clients or teach a class. There are opportunities for extra income but be passionate about it. 
  • Prepare for an investment. Pilates cost more than my training certification. I am ok with that but be aware if you want to grow in your pilates career it can cost you. Also you need to accumulate hours by training either in mat classes or on the reformer. Unless you are great friends with someone who will make a deal to train you, expect to be paying for additional training while studying. 

I hope this helps you on your Pilates journey. I chose classical method of training because I believe it works. There are many different types of certifications for Pilates available most around the same price so find one you feel fits you. I absolutely loved my training and our trainer. We had a smaller group of people there which was great to helo learn. The way they put together the training it just all seemed to click. She said we should all be able to teach a class the next day. I thought yeah right!! My zumba class only had 2 students the next day so guess what we did instead? I was amazed at how well it went. Oh one more thing she did recommend teaching right away even if just to friends and relatives. Don’t lose all that you have learned keep it fresh in your mind. 
Let me know if you have taken a training and how you liked it. 

Have a great night

The importance of your fitness family

When I first came to the gym I was so intimated. I had on my sweats and tight t-shirt and was ready to lurk in the back of class. I didn’t want anyone to see me gasping for air during my workout or see my belly dance from the weird jiggling that came from the workout. I truly wanted to workout and go. I would feel accomplished when I left but it was always overwhelming in the beginning. I started coming to the same class and I am a creature of habit so always stayed in the same spot. I would set up my mat or step and be ready. The weird that happened though instead of people staring in disgust with me struggling through my workout and being dull of sweat, they would be encouraging. The same lady next to me each class started to talk to me and share her story as I shared mine. I started meeting more people and becoming friends with them. I was pretty committed but if I missed they would ask if everything was OK. I felt that I not only wanted to be there but I had people who looked forward to me being there and it helped keep me accountable.

I can not say every gym or class will have this outcome but I want to encourage you to build a fitness family. Say hello to the others around you in class or bring your friends. If we feel alone there is no one there to know when we give up to give us a hand to keep going. We build support systems because we need them.

We naturally look for those with the same interest and struggles to relate to and look for support and encouragement. Trying to get healthy can be one of the most intimidating and personal experiences so we need support to help us stay encouraged.

Remember that person next to you in class also has a story and reason for being there.

Finding friends that are working on health can not only encourage you to keep going but can also help you try new classes together and find new experiences to share.

You will have others to talk to if your having a hard day. The last thing you want to do is give up or feel alone in a situation. Find others to talk to to help lift you up or share their experience with your struggle.

Enjoy your new friendships! Please comment and share your stories of your fitness support system and how they have helped you along your journey.

In a world full of experts, who do we listen to? 

Being a personal training is a hard job with world wide Internet and information. I feel there are so many people with workout and nutritional questions and so many more people with advice and products to sell them. How can you know who to listen to, what meal plan or what accountability group and shake to get. Well I am not going to knock anyone in this post but I do want to help those out there looking for advice and information. You should be able to make a good decision and feel that you are being guided without being pushed to buy a product. I just wanted to list some red flags along with questions to ask when you hire someone or buy products from them. I hope this helps you make a more informed decision and helps you make steps forward towards a healthy lifestyle you are looking for. 

What should I look for when looking for a trainer, coach or meal plan? 

  • Look for someone who has pursued an education in the field they are giving advice in. Most will either have a certification from a reputable company or a degree in their field. This not only shows they are committed to growing and learning but these people have taken the time to learn, grow and pass a test showing they are an expert in their field. Most programs require continuing education so you know they will also be continuing to have the up to date knowledge to help you. 
  • Make sure they are familiar with the health conditions and ailments you have. Some programs do not go into detail on certain health ailments or aspects so fitness professionals will continue their education in a special field or with a certain skill. As with a doctor you find many focus on one area to work with patients. This can help them be able to help you with that specific need much more and now they have the knowledge to make safe decisions. Trainers can specialize in anything from youth to senior and orthopedic specialities so make sure to ask. 
  • Make sure to see a nutritionist or dietitian for meal plans. You may go online to find a meal plan that looks good to you but be cautious of this. These do not take into account any health issues you may have such as high blood pressure or diabetes. These two conditions alone can mean you will need adjustments to you eating others may not. Dietitians have to go through many many years of school just to being to understand how to make adjustments to your diet for your specific conditions. 
  • Ask questions! There is nothing wrong with being cautious when hiring someone or purchasing from them. You’re not buying a shirt you’re trusting someone with your health and well-being. Some bad advice can have very unfortunate consequences no matter how best intended they are. 
  • Be careful of someone telling you to cut out certain things in your diet or cut calories without knowing your medical history or conditions you may have. Big red flag and not safe. Make your health and safety your priority not dropping weight quickly. If you follow the guidelines of a professional you will see positive changes. 
  • Be leary of products being pushed right away. Make sure if you are buying products from someone you consult a physical first or nutritionist as they will know what is right for you with any conditions you may have. 
  • As I started working out at home and most people do be careful of Bootcamp style home workouts to start. Also accountability groups are amazing to help us but make sure you follow up with a professional trainer before starting an at home workout program if you don’t now all the moves. We can be quick to jump into a program but there can be risk of injuries if we don’t modify properly or do a move incorrectly. 
  • Don’t feel pressured to work with someone. If you didn’t get a good vibe from the trainer or coach you met with move on. This is someone you will share intimate details about your struggles and insecurities you want to feel comfortable that they understand and will guide you the right way. 
  • Look for someone who has cpr/first aid training. You find a group of ladies that work out every Tuesday. One has taken charge making fun workouts for everyone but someone is injuried. You need to make sure you have someone who is prepared for these situations! How many people do you know that have hurt themselves working out…. Go ahead take a Facebook poll. You want to make sure you have someone there that can know what to do in this situation. 
  • Is your professional insured or working at an insured facility? Again what if you get hurt? Who will cover this and will they be able to have you covered if anything happens.  
  • Ask if they have programs for each client specific to their needs. A cookie cutter program will not work the same for a young athlete as someone coming in from knee surgery. 
  • Again if you question the advice it is probably best to get a second opinion. Our friends and family all have the best intentions when telling us what workout to do, what products to buy or what to eat, but we are all different. Some things will work for your friend but may not for you or may even be dangerous for you. 

Always look for someone who is a professional in their field. Your safety matters. If you have any questions you would like me to discuss on my blog please email me at getfitrockford@gmail.com

My name is Krystal and I am an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with an Orthopedic Speciality. I am licensed to teach Zumba and love to help clients move better and feel they can enjoy everyday activities. I live in Rockford, IL with my husband and 3 sons. 

You are enough

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I would like to share with you hoping some of you will be going through the same thing and need encouragement or understand. I have horrible anxiety since having my third son. I had some postpartum depression and didn’t even want to leave the house the first couple months he was born. When I came back to work I felt a lot of guilt but knew I needed to get back to clients and classes. I had an injury during my pregnancy and my body hasn’t been the same. My son is now 14 months old and I still haven’t lost more than 10lbs from pregnancy. I am a personal trainer and fitness instructor so with this professional and as a women I feel many eyes are on me and my image and it isn’t where I want it to be. I work out usually 5 to 6 days a week and eat a plant based diet for the most part but I don’t feel I look the part sometimes. I see photos and don’t like what I see and do certain workout moves and don’t like the way it feels due to weight. I have skipped events, stayed home instead of going out and workout alone because of these things. So to get to the point I constantly have to remind myself there isn’t a “perfect body” and I believe health and wellness are much more than our body image. I feel like I feel this way because there is an image out there I don’t want to strive for but I do because it is ingrained in my brain. My isn’t her body and may never be. I want to be a support system to those working hard towards wellness and help lift them up. Please say this with me today so we can work towards positive actions towards wellness. I am enough, I am beautiful, I am strong. The more we celebrate our success in the things we do and what we are not we will be happier. This has been my goal and I have been working more and more on celebrating what I can do and not focusing what I am not.

Your actions build them

When you don’t realize your actions build them
September 10, 2016
Krystal Shuga
I am a mom of 3 boys. A 7 month old, 5 year old and a 12 year old. My world is crazy busy and I always have a new project of activity added because I can’t say no and love to try to save the world. My boys know that my work consist of traveling to different facilities to teach classes and train clients. My awesome husband brings them often to my work to visit me and sometimes if the gym is pretty empty they play on equipment. Even though I work in the fitness industry it is not always easy to get a good strength training workout in at work. I decided to get out one of my bands today and do one at home. Now to set the record straight I have worked out at home before I know you all see those fabulous mom’s of instagram with little babies making it look so easy but that really isn’t our world. Once I usually start to workout my 5 year old wants to ask for everything, the baby is eating paper and my pre-teen tries to get away with running off to his friends. Today the stars aligned for me and I got in a 30 minute back and core workout. I got out a band and started and my 5 year old brought my mat out for me, he can be a real sweetheart. Then I set my timer to do an interval style workout and he grabs my foam roller and then another band and joins me. Of course he does his own thing and it isn’t much of a workout I have ever seen before but it makes my heart beam because he just saw what I was doing and started to do something also. I feel this usually does not seem monumental at the time to us, but think about some of you habits now and how your parents influenced them. We really can make or break our kids sometimes . We really can teach our children exercise is something we do to feel good and be proud of our strengths or teach them it is a punishment because of the way we look. We can help our children build strong bones and prevent injury later in life. We can teach our children that exercise can bond a family and they can enjoy time together while staying healthy. Create those habits with your children that will help build a strong future. image