Natural Summer Skin Care

Say goodbye to scary chemicals and try natural versions of your summer skincare staples

Choosing to put natural and organic food into your body is a no-brainer, but what about the products you put on your body? Skincare products soak into your body through your skin so it’s also important to feel good about the ingredients you’re using on the outside too! Here are three important places to focus on natural skincare this summer.


Natural Sunscreen

Like all the other beauty products in our Whole Body department, every sunscreen we carry is free of 75+ banned ingredients, including the recently banned oxybenzone, which has prompted concern over effects to both human and environmental health.

Products we love:
  • Badger Sport Sunscreen: This certified natural and organic sunscreen uses zinc oxide as the only active ingredient and also includes plant oils, aloe and beeswax which provides valuable anti-oxidants and moisture to your skin. Their sunscreens have earned top ratings for safety and efficacy by the Environmental Working Group and are a great choice for babies and adults alike!
  • Kiss My Face Organics SPF 30 Mineral Air Powered Spray Sunscreen: A convenient spray that feels like a refreshing moisturizer, this new physical blocker uses titanium dioxide to repel UV radiation while safflower and sunflower oils make skin appear softer.
  • Alba Botanica Hawaiian Sunscreen: This broad-spectrum sunscreen absorbs quickly to protect sun-exposed skin. It’s water resistant and has earned the recommendation of the Skin Cancer Foundation.



Don’t sweat it. Natural deodorant’s got you covered!

Conventional deodorants typically contain artificial fragrances, harsh chemical antiperspirants and preservatives. Natural deodorants, on the other hand, use only natural fragrances (or are fragrance free) along with herbs or salts that are very effective at reducing odor-causing bacteria.

Did you know that most conventional deodorants and antiperspirants rely on aluminum-based chemicals suspected for various health issues? Plus, they actually block sweat glands which unnaturally prevents our body from doing a normal healthy function. We now know that sweat isn’t the cause of odor… it’s bacteria. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives which do a great job at keeping smelliness at bay.

Products we love:
  • Toms of Maine Long Lasting Deodorant, Natural Powder Scent
  • Lavanila Laboratories Solid Stick Deodorant, Vanilla Lavender Scent
  • Every Man Jack Deodorant, Sandalwood Scent

Soaps and Body Wash

In the summer we’re showering more often so it’s important to wash up with products that will support your health, not interfere with it. Did you know that almost all antibacterial soaps contain a controversial ingredient called Triclosan? It’s been banned in many parts of the world, yet you’ll still find it in many conventional brands here in the U.S. like Clearasil, Dial liquid soap, Bath and Body Works antibacterial soaps just to name a few. Like many other concerning chemicals, we don’t allow it in any of our products at Whole Foods Market.

Swap out your conventional soap for a natural oil-based soap. Soaps that contain olive oil or coconut oil will nourish your skin, instead of stripping it. You will feel hydrated and soft as you bear more skin this summer.

Products we love:
  • Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Castile Soaps made with Organic Oils
  • Meyer’s Hand Soap
  • Alaffia Coconut Oatmeal Good Soap

WHAT TO EAT WHEN: Tips For Endurance Athletes

Endurance athletes need to be especially conscious of their food choices throughout their training… But in the week, days and hours leading up to the big event, it’s even more important. Here is a plan for what to eat in order to maximize your performance come race time!

what to eat when

1 week before

Pre-hydrate with fruits, veggies and water-heavy foods

Most people focus on the day of a race, but getting serious about hydration a full week before a big event helps train your body to maintain proper hydration more effectively on race day.

Pre-hydrate throughout the week leading up to a big event or long training session by eating foods that contain high amounts of water like fruits, vegetables, soups, and smoothies.

Add chia seeds to your diet this week. Naturally high in omega-3 fats and covered in hydrophilic soluble fiber—Chia seeds absorb about 10-12 times their weight in water (watch the gel form around them when put in water). This unique characteristic means chia seeds help your body prolong hydration and retain electrolytes, promoting endurance and recovery in your training.


3 days before


Glycogen is how your body stores extra carbohydrates and it’s the most easily accessible form of energy. Keep in mind that you can’t fill up your glycogen supply from just one meal, so start carb-loading two or three days before your race.

During a half or full marathon you burn both glycogen and fat, but fat is not as efficient, which means your body has to work harder to convert it into fuel. This is why you’ll want to fill your muscles with glycogen before the race.

Try to get your carbs from high quality, whole food-based sources like brown rice, oatmeal, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, and fresh fruit.

whole grains

Add even more carbohydrates the day before your race, but be careful not to overdo fat and protein intake, as they are hard to fully digest (choose red sauce instead of Alfredo or meat sauce). Another tip is to eat your biggest meal earlier in evening or at lunch. You will sleep better and avoid GI issues if you’ve had more time to digest that big bowl of pre-race spaghetti!

3-4 hours before

Complex Carbohydrates (with a side of protein and fat)

A few performance-zapping blood sugar drops will teach you never to skip a pre-race meal. To avoid drops, choose complex carbohydrates from whole grains. All carbohydrates raise blood sugar, but because complex carbs are digested more slowly, your blood sugar rises at a slower, more even pace. This will give you a consistent source of energy that will continue to release throughout your training session or race.

The fiber in the whole grains slows the digestion of these carbs, but you can further extend their release by adding a little bit of protein and fat. The addition of protein before activity will also help speed recovery after you are done.

Options: Whole grain bread and nut butter, oatmeal with fruit and chopped nuts, or a whole fruit smoothie with yogurt or protein powder.

pb and bread

15-60 minutes before

Simple Carbohydrates

Eat simple carbohydrates to give your body instantly accessible energy. Choose easy to digest, high sugar foods like a banana, dried fruit, or energy gel/gummy. Research shows that runners who consume simple carbohydrates 15 minutes before running are able to run 13 percent longer than subjects who took in nothing. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy… a handful of raisins had equal performance benefits to sports gel!

Eat whole foods or gels/gummies made from real food— you will get clean energy from products made without added chemicals, dyes or sugars.fruit

During an event!

Simple Carbohydrates & Electrolytes (and water of course)

Eat or drink simple carbs to get sugar in your system quickly to refuel muscles. This will keep blood glucose and muscle glycogen levels up, making exercise seem easier, more pleasurable and delaying fatigue! Electrolytes are minerals in your blood that are depleted during training. Great natural sources are coconut water, dried fruits like raisins or dates, and natural gels or gummies. Pro tip: Test foods during training to see how you react to them before the big event.

Take in at least 30 grams of simple carbs (¼ cup raisins) and electrolytes (dried fruit or coconut water) every 60-90 minutes. Hydrate every 15 minutes.


15-30 minutes post

Simple Carbohydrates & Protein

In the 15-60 minutes immediately following a workout, your muscles are primed to receive fuel to start the repair process.  So eat/drink your recovery meal as soon as possible after you workout is complete. Consuming the right foods shortly after exercise can also help prevent muscle damage and even sickness (a drop in the immune system can occur). So respect the 15-60 minute window and refuel!

Ideally, aim for a 4-to-1 carbohydrate-protein ratio to maximize recovery. Snacks like whole grain bread with peanut butter & banana, chocolate milk, cereal with milk & banana, or Lara Bars have the correct ratio.


1-3 hours post

Balanced meal

Eating a good meal a few hours after your event will support the rest of your recovery. Incorporate plenty of fruits and vegetables to bring your body back from the acidic state created by intense exercise. Keep hydrating and get some extra protein to support muscle repair.

A thick protein shake is a great way to help your muscles recover. Go ahead and have a treat… you earned itextended recovery\

Honey & Bees… Why all the Buzz?

Honey… How sweet it is!

  • When you need to add a dash of sweetness, swap sugar for honey instead. A little honey goes a long way because the sweetness is so concentrated — you only need a drop or a drizzle for big flavor.
  • Unlike other sweeteners, honey is packed with antioxidants that can benefit gastrointestinal health through their probiotic effect (which means it helps beneficial bacteria flourish in the intestines).
  • Honey has been shown to prevent the browning of cut fruit; keep this in mind when creating fruit salads!
  • Antioxidants in honey can extend the freshness of baked goods, so it’s also choice for recipes.

“Bee” aware

  • Pollinators are responsible for 1 out of 3 bites of food we humans eat — yet their habitat is shrinking and many species are in danger. Whole Foods Market is passionate about restoring wildflower habitat, protecting pollinators and mobilizing our communities to make a difference.
  • Demand for honey supports the bee population, which is good for our environment and our farmers. So that’s another reason to use honey instead of sugar!
  • Whole Foods Market is proud to introduce our 365 Everyday Value® Pollinator Friendly Almonds and Almond Butter. They’re sourced from an orchard that works with conservationists at The Xerces Society to create a welcoming environment for pollinators.


Honey bees are vital to our supply of healthy foods.

We can’t eat a rainbow of healthy fruits and vegetables without them! Honey bees are pollinators, which means they travel from plant to plant to collect and deposit pollen, a substance that makes it possible for many flowers, fruits and vegetables to reproduce. Here are just a few of the foods that we would lose if all the honey bees disappear:

  • Apples
  • Almonds
  • Mangos
  • Kiwi
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Strawberries
  • Onions
  • Avocados
  • Green Beans
  • Celery
  • Coffee
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Carrots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Raspberries
  • Blackberries
  • Cocoa
  • Tomatoes
  • Grapes

A buzz-worthy treat

pear parfait

Honey Pear Parfait

Serves 2

  • 1 ½ Tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup Plain Greek yogurt (or non-dairy yogurt)
  • 1 Tablespoon Orange juice
  • ¼ teaspoon Ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon Ground nutmeg
  • 1 Ripe Pear
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh lemon juice (juice of ½ a lemon)
  • ¼ cup Granola
  • Extra honey for drizzling


  1. In a medium bowl, mix yogurt, orange juice, honey, cinnamon and nutmeg together. Set aside.
  2. Dice pear into ½ inch cubes. Toss with fresh lemon juice to keep from browning.
  3. In two serving bowls, build parfait by first layering spiced yogurt on the bottom, then diced pear, then granola. Finish with a drizzle of honey. Enjoy!


Post-Spring Break Detox Tips

Did you have a crazy time over spring break, or just need a refresh as you get back into your routine post-vacation? Here are a few detox tips that will help you feel revitalized and ready to take on the day:

  • Choose fresh-pressed green juices
    • Green leafy vegetables are what most people need more of in their diet, so drinking juices made with green veggies is a quick and easy way to get them in.
    • Green juices boost your daily vitamin and mineral intake which recharges your body and gives you a great burst of energy.
    • Cold-pressed juice retains more of the nourishing vitamins so you’re getting the biggest bang for your buck!
  • Add turmeric
    • Turmeric is used around the world for its detox and anti-inflammatory properties.
    • Add turmeric by cooking with whole turmeric or ground turmeric spice, add a supplement or try it in a drink like Golden Milk.
    • We love the KeVita Cleansing Probiotic Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic in Turmeric Ginger flavor—Probiotics and Apple Cider Vinegar are also powerful tools in supporting elimination of toxins from the body.


  • Add chia
    • Chia seeds are jam-packed with fiber, calcium, iron, phosphorous and antioxidants.
    • Chia seeds are able to hold up to 12 times their weight in water and when soaked in water so they are super hydrating.
    • They also provide a healthy dose of fiber and healthy omega-3 fats which help you feel your best.
    • Blend chia in your smoothie, add it to your oatmeal or yogurt, or try it in a drink like Mammachia.Chia
  • Eat Right
    • Eating a diet filled with fresh, minimally processed foods is one of the fastest and most important ways to continually flush toxins out of your system and maximize your health. Avoid processed food that has artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners, extra salt and hydrogenated fats.
    • Fill your plate with plants: Eat a rainbow of different-colored plants—including whole grains and beans—to provide your body with a wide variety of nutrients.
    • Try out some of our new salads on the platter bar in Whole Foods Market… These recipes are created with your health and celebrate the best produce of the season.Three Pea

Our ‘Go-To’ On The Go Snacks

popcorn trail mix.jpg

Spring is a busy time. When you are running from here to there, it can be hard to fit in a nutritious meal. Having healthy snacks on hand while you’re on the go can save you from making a less than nourishing choice when you are desperately hungry. If you have kids around, it’s especially important to have a healthy snack at the ready so that you can expertly keep spirits high and hunger low.

Here are our four ‘go-to’ snacks for when you need a healthy option on the go. These snacks travel well and are quick to prepare.

Snack Bites

Prepping batches of snacks ahead of time sets you up for success. Whether you’re running errands, hitting the sports fields, or just going back and forth to school, no one wants to have to worry about where to get the next bite to eat. Prepping ahead takes some planning, but will be worth the time when you can quickly fend off the hangries.

Get the kids involved! They will love making and eating these chocolate earth balls, a less fancy version of grown-up truffles. The best part? No baking required!

Chocolate Earth Balls

Chocolate Earth Balls

Trail Mix

A good trail mix provides both good nutrition and flavor. While there are no hard and fast rules, the foundation is most always nuts and/or seeds that provide good quality plant protein and healthy fats. The addition of dried fruits such as raisins, dates and figs provides natural sugars for energy along with a wide range of nutrients. Building a terrific trail mix starts with choosing nuts and seeds, then adding some extras you personally favor… we love adding some dark chocolate for antioxidants (and deliciousness!).

In this recipe we include some unexpected popcorn which brings lightness, crunch and a healthy serving of whole grain goodness.

Popcorn Trail Mix

Trail Mix


Having fresh fruit on hand is one of the simplest and most nutritious options for the car. Things like organic apples, grapes, berries, cherries and stone fruit like nectarines, peaches or plums are easy to eat with one hand on the wheel. In the winter I love to carry clementines because they stay fresh for so long and in warmer weather dried fruit is a good option because it doesn’t spoil if left in a hot car.

Dried Fruit Chews

Dried Fruit Chews


Cookies? Yes… just make them healthy!  Cookies can be a nutritious choice if you make them with the right ingredients. Choose whole grain flours and sweeten them with dried fruit instead of simple sugar. This 5 ingredient cookie recipe is packed with nutritious ingredients and fast to prepare.

Banana Oatmeal Snack Cookies

Banana Oat Cookies

Eat your greens!


In March I always think about St. Patrick’s Day… a day when we wear green and drink green beer to celebrate. These traditions are fun, but I want to add in a healthy habit in honor of St. Patrick’s day this year. Let’s dedicate March to eating leafy greens as well!

Now, I know what you’re thinking… this doesn’t sound like much fun… but check out our first recipe. You’ll feel as sprightly as a leprechaun after you try this festive breakfast shake!


Healthy Shamrock Shake


  • Big handful of baby spinach (or kale or collard greens)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup yogurt (I used Kite Hill’s almond milk yogurt)
  • 1/8 tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 1 TBSP honey
  • 1 TBSP mini dark chocolate chips


  1. Add all of your ingredients to a blender except chocolate chips. Blend until smooth.
  2. Stir in chocolate chips and sprinkle a few on top!
Benefits of the Shamrock Shake include:
  • Greens: Greens represent a convenient, essentially non-caloric, nutrient-dense source of otherwise hard to obtain minerals.
  • Banana: An excellent energy source, bananas high potassium content can regulate blood pressure and support heart health.
  • Peppermint extract: Peppermint extract is known to relieve nausea and may reduce mild pain.
  • Dark Chocolate Chips: Chocolate is a great source of antioxidants which help the body’s cells resist damage.

Why go green?

Adding more leafy greens into your diet is one of the best things you can do for your health. You’ll feel the benefits immediately, but in case you need more data to back it up, here’s what makes greens such a nutritional powerhouse. They contribute vitamins A, C, E, K as well as many B-vitamins to your diet. They also contain minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium and carotenoids–important antioxidant phytochemicals. As if that were enough, they’re a great source of fiber as well. All of these benefits come together to promote wellness throughout your body and mind. Plus, those who eat more greens are more likely to remain at a healthy weight–bonus point!

Here is another healthy St. Patrick’s Day recipe: Colcannon Cakes! This play on a traditional Irish dish features cabbage as its leafy green star. If you want to mix things up, substitute Brussels sprouts in place of the cabbage or add in extra veggies like carrots and peas! This versatile recipe is a tasty way to reinvent leftovers.


Colcannon Cakes 


  • 1 pound cabbage (cored and shredded)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups mashed potatoes
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour (or gluten-free flour of choice)
  • ¼ teaspoon + ½ teaspoon reduced salt seafood seasoning (added separately)


  1. Warm olive oil in a sauté pan. Sauté cabbage until tender.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cabbage, mashed potatoes and ¼ tsp of the seafood seasoning. Gently form the mixture into approximately six hockey-puck shaped patties.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the flour with the remaining ½ tsp of seasoning. Gently dip each patty in the flour mixture, to coat evenly.
  4. Cook on medium-high heat in an oiled pan for 3-4 minutes per side or until warm and crispy. Serve immediately.

Cauliflower Comeback! Why cauliflower is our new favorite vegetable.

People are crazy for cauliflower right now! Who would have thought that bland white cauliflower would be the next big food trend? It’s interesting though, some of those qualities that make cauliflower seem boring are actually what makes it so versatile. We’re seeing it in everything from vegan buffalo wings to pizza crust! The mild flavor of cauliflower allows it to blend seamlessly into many recipes and we love how healthy it is too!

Cauliflower is super nourishing! It offers high levels of vitamin C, K and soluble fiber. This vegetable belongs to the brassica (cabbage) family—vegetables in this genus are touted for their health benefits most notably their antioxidant and detox properties. Did you know that cauliflower comes in a range of colors too? Look for green romanesco or antioxidant rich purple cauliflower.

If you thought you didn’t like cauliflower, why not try one of these 3 recipes that transform this old favorite into something new and exciting!

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  1. Got a hankering for Buffalo wings? Wait till you try our awesome Buffalo Cauliflower Bites.
  2. If you prefer to pass on the potatoes, try Mashed Cauliflower Or, mash cauliflower with potatoes.
  3. Roast cauliflower for a real treat. Toss one head of cut-up cauliflower with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 400 degrees F. until just tender, stirring occasionally. Roasted Cauliflower Steaksis super healthy recipe flavored with lemon, garlic and parsley.


Have you heard about riced cauliflower? This is my new favorite product to always have on hand. You can find 365 Everyday Value Organic Riced Cauliflower in our frozen section for just $1.99 a bag! What a great deal for a super healthy product.

Here are two of my favorite recipes that feature cauliflower rice!

Cauliflower Crust Pizza


For the crust:

  • Nonstick spray (we used coconut oil spray)
  • 1 bag 365 Everyday Value Organic Riced Cauliflower
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Fresh basil leaves


  1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Prep cauliflower rice: Empty contents of Cauliflower Rice bag into microwave safe bowl and microwave for 5 minutes. Remove from the microwave and let cool.
  3. Strain cauliflower: Place cauliflower in dish cloth, paper towel or cheese cloth and wring out water. Try to get the cauliflower as dry as possible.
  4. Mix crust: In a large bowl, combine drained cauliflower, egg, one cup mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper.
  5. Make crust: Once combined, pat crust mixture into a circle on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden.
  6. Top the pizza with the sauce, 1/4 cup mozzarella, grape tomatoes, and garlic.
  7. Bake in the oven until melted and bubbly, another 10 minutes. Top with red pepper flakes and fresh basil before serving.

Riced Cauliflower Fried Rice


  • 1 bag riced cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup shredded tri-color carrots
  • 1 cup peas
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 1/4 cup cashews


  1. Heat oil in large wok over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook another minute.
  3. Raise heat to high. Add cauliflower (no need to thaw first), carrots, peas and soy sauce. Cook, flipping frequently, until veggies become tender crisp and cauliflower begins to brown in spots, about 5 minutes.
  4. Top with scallions and cashews.

RISE + SHINE: 5 Steps to Become a Morning Exerciser

A guest post from our friends at Sport&Health Club


Find yourself repeatedly hitting the snooze button? Try these 5 tips to make AM workouts an easy part of your routine. It’s a great feeling to get your workout in early – plus, you’ll have a boost of energy to carry you through the day!

Why Work Out in the Morning?

Morning exercise carries many benefits.  You’ll jump-start your metabolism and keep it elevated for hours.  As a result, you’ll be burning more calories all day long. AM exercise also energizes you for the day and increases mental acuity, which can last four to ten hours after your workout ends. Also, by finishing your workout in the morning, you can better focus on the day that lies ahead. But most of all, nothing can top the feeling of gratification knowing that you have done something good for you.

Here are some steps to help you become a morning exerciser:

Prepare for your workout the night before

Pack your gym bag and lay out your workout clothes. Go to sleep at the proper time each night. The National Sleep Foundation suggests getting between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night to help your body function well the next day. This is the most vital component to becoming a morning exerciser. If we are requiring our body to expend more energy in the morning, then we must prepare it to do so.

Set a time for your workout

When you exercise at the same time every morning, you are regulating your body’s endocrine system and circadian rhythms.  Your body will start to adapt to the pattern that you’re setting and then prepare for waking and exercise several hours before you open your eyes. Amazing, right? Hormones prepare your body for exercise by regulating blood pressure, heart rate and blood flow to muscles. Your metabolism along with all of the hormones involved in exercise will start to elevate while you’re sleeping. You will feel much more alert and energized when you do wake up.

Establish accountability

Schedule exercise with a friend or a certified personal trainer. This will help you gain accountability and give you that extra dose of motivation.

Choose a method of exercise

Whether it’s a group fitness class or a session with a personal trainer, find something that you enjoy and you’ll increase your odds for success. You can choose from so many varieties of fitness: water aerobics, dance, cycling, Pilates, or even team sports. They are all beneficial!

Eat a light snack before your workout

Try a cup of yogurt and a granola bar or pieces of fruit. Combine complex carbohydrates for energy and protein for the best workout recovery. Then eat a healthy meal less than an hour after exercising to start your day properly. You may find that morning exercise regulates your appetite for the rest of the day and will help you choose better portions of healthier foods.

Are you ready to tackle your workout in the morning?

There is nothing more invigorating than the feeling of tying up those laces, heading out the door and welcoming your newfound challenge. Wake up tomorrow morning ready to tackle your workout!

Go to for more exercise tips.


Fitness Tips for 2017

A guest post from our friends at Sport&Health Clubtrx-2

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the 5 major risk factors (along with high blood pressure, abnormal values for blood lipids, smoking, and obesity) for cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association. Physical activity is key to preventing heart disease and strokes, the nation’s  No. 1 and No. 5 killers.

Here are a few workouts that will give you some amazing heart-health and strength building benefits!

Interval training

While any activity boasts heart-health benefits, interval training is an amazing way to get your blood pumping. Alternate between high intensity intervals and periods of rest or slower paces work – think treadmill sprints followed by a brisk walking break. Be sure you’re working hard enough to get out of breath and then take whatever rest period is necessary to recover. Continuously raising and lowering your heart rate forces the blood to pump a lot harder. In addition to burning tons of calories, it makes the body more efficient at clearing fat and sugar from the bloodstream.

Lap Swimming

If you’ve never taken your cardio workout to the pool, you’re missing out! Try progressing from 6-10 lengths of the pool, trying out different strokes with each workout. Work your chest and back with alternating laps of back crawl and breaststroke. Or try alternating laps of flutter kicks and the front crawl for an amazing upper/lower body workout.


Strength training

In addition to building muscle mass, strength training has an incredible impact on bone health and your heart. Over time, your muscles will more efficiently be able to handle the demands placed upon them, easing the burden on your heart. New to strength training? Begin with your own body weight – just be sure that you’re incorporating proper progression over time. In addition to simply adding more weight, you can adjust the tempo of your movements to up the intensity. Once you master 10-12 repetitions of a movement, try challenging yourself by slowing down the movement for an extra burn.


Want a more gentle approach to gaining strength and toning muscles? Yoga and Pilates get the job done and also provide amazing heart-health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, boosting circulation, increasing lung capacity and improving respiratory function and heart rate. And bonus – you’ll leave class feeling more relaxed and ready to tackle the day.


According to a study recently done by the British Medical Association, regular cycling can reduce risk for coronary heart disease by 50%. Cycling uses the largest muscle groups in the legs to elevate heart rate, boosting fitness and stamina. Try a group cycle class for a fun, interval-based workout or simply hop on a bike at the club for a 20-30 ride!

Ultimately, it’s important to find an activity or training style that you enjoy and will stick to. For those looking to lower blood pressure or cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity three to four times a week to lower the risk for a heart attack or stroke.  For more information, visit

The No. 1 New Years Resolution – Lose Weight


A guest post from our friends at Sport&Health Club


Many individuals resort to the same New Year’s Resolution year after year, to lose weight.

This year, Mitch Batkin, Sport&Health Clubs, Senior Vice President of Fitness, offers the following points that can make sticking to resolutions a breeze:

  • Start today. With the right tools and a little discipline, it is possible to enjoy all foods and stay fit.
  • Find support from a trainer or join a group exercise class. Your success rate increases dramatically with support from others instead of trying to do it alone.
  • Enjoy a healthy snack before a big meal. A cup full of carrot sticks, an apple or a handful of pretzels can be just what you need to curb the appetite, leaving less room for high-fat foods.
  • Eat freely in moderation. Sample the tempting foods on the table, but in small portions. Load up the rest of your plate with vegetables and fruits.
  • Stay active. Perform at least 30 minutes of moderate activity each day. Most fitness experts agree that accumulating about 3 hours of exercise each week, half of cardiovascular conditioning and half of resistance type exercise is best to make significant improvements in your health.
  • Beware of liquid calories. Steer clear of large amounts of alcohol or soda, which will provide little more than empty calories.
  • Drink lots of water. Not only is it important for helping you stay hydrated, it also helps you feel full.
  • Eat only when hungry. Many people eat just because food is in front of them. Pause for a moment before that second or third helping and consider whether you truly feel full.

For more information, visit