Archive for the ‘Gyms & Fitness’ Category


11 Need-to-Know Facts Before You Run

Friday, June 3rd, 2016



Today is National Running Day, but you can’t just go out there and start sprinting; you should make sure you’re prepared. Take a look at these 11 need-to-know facts before you run.


Stretching is fundamental to running. Not stretching before you run can result in sore muscles and injury. When warming up for a run, do some dynamic stretches, such as walking and lunges. You want to prepare your body for exercise by moving it; dynamic stretches increase flexibility, which reduces the chance of injury. Static stretches, such as touching your toes, don’t properly warm up your body, making them less than ideal for a pre-run stretch. They are, however, perfect for post-run stretching. Yes, that’s right, you should stretch before AND AFTER a run. Stretching helps prevent tight, sore muscles, allowing you to recover faster. A foam roller, is perfect for massaging your muscles after a good run. You can buy various massage rollers on Amazon, such as this professional grade exercise foam roller for $26.96 as of June 3, 2016. You can also use a tennis ball to massage sore feet after a run. Simply pop a couple of balls into the freezer and voila you’ve got a chilled personal massager for your hot, achy feet.

Proper Shoes

Whether you’re beginning a running regimen or just going for a brisk stroll, you’ll want to wear the proper shoes. Take it from one of our interns who learned the hard way – they ran a mile in sprinter’s cleats their freshman year of high school, and their shins haven’t been the same since. If you’re starting a running regimen, you should visit a running specialty store to get fitted for proper running shoes. A good pair of running shoes should cost you about $100. If that’s not your thing, at least invest in a pair of good insoles that will help comfort your feet. If you’re looking for some quality running shoes, try Amazon’s wide selection. For more information on buying proper running shoes, check out this blog.


Don’t try to take on too much too soon. For example, if you’re not used to running, don’t expect to be able to run 2 miles or run for 30 minutes straight. Start with something reasonable. One popular method is the run-walk method. Run for one minute, then walk for 2 minutes. Alternate that way until you reach your desired running time. Maybe aim for 10-15 minutes total the first time. You can slowly work up your running time by decreasing the walk time by 30 seconds, each segment. This technique will help you to recover faster and erase fatigue. Also, it will be easier to keep going with each walking break.

Health Benefits

Whether you want to lose weight or improve your heart health, tunning is a great way to get health and stay healthy. Running, even a little bit each day, can improve your heart quality which will lower your chance of cardiovascular disease, a high-risk killer in the US. It’s great for your legs and abs, just as summer is rolling in. It’s also an excellent benefit to your mental health. Keeping up with a running schedule can give you a boost of confidence and reduce your stress. Also, it improves your mood because running will give you waves of endorphins. So, yes, Elle Woods was right. If you think you might have some complications while running, make sure to check with your doctor before trying anything.


With running, where you go along your journey is just as important as how quickly you arrive at your health destination. For some runners, the fresh air and changing scenery of an outdoor run helps the miles go by more easily. Of course, it makes sense to beware bad weather since catching a cold would be counterproductive to your health goals. Plus, advanced planning is even more important for an outdoor run. Hills and rugged paths can increase your risk of injury or early fatigue while a long distance run means planning how you’ll stow your water bottle, cellphone, and other things you might not want to leave in the house or car. Of course, running on a treadmill is a more convenient solution. The air conditioning isn’t bad either. If using a treadmill, keep track of how you’re doing. Most treadmills allow you to change the incline and speed according to match your current fitness level and desired intensity. If you’re looking for a treadmill, try Amazon’s best seller Weslo Cadence G 5.9 Treadmill for $287.00 as of June 3, 2016.

Time of Year

Cold season and extreme conditions aren’t the only reason to watch the weather before you run. There’s a big difference between running in the cold and running in the summer. High humidity decreases sweat production so that your body retains heat. High temperatures increase the risk of dehydration if you forget to drink water while exercising. Also, don’t forget your sunscreen and a light hat to help protect you from the sun. In summer, dress lightly with light colors to reflect more sun. As for the winter running in the winter chill, you may need several layers of clothing and a longer stretch and warmup session to reduce risk of injury as well as cold. Rule of thumb is to dress as if it’s 20 degrees warmer out to account for the rise in body temperature that will occur during your workout. Don’t forget that there’s not much traction in the snow so invest in traction cleats. You can get a pair of Yaxtrax Pro Traction Cleats for Snow and Ice for $17.39 on Amazon as of June 3, 2016.


Keep track of what you put in your body.

– Bananas are great fuel before a run because they are fat-free and loaded with potassium and carbohydrates.

– Salmon should be in your diet because those Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your heart.

– Eat kale because it’s filled with vitamins, iron, and calcium.

– Stay hydrated. Water is your go to drink, but that won’t replenish the electrolytes you lose when from sweating so drink some electrolyte drinks as well.

–There’s also an old wives’ tale that if you do cramp up, drink some pickle juice. Gross, but meant to be effective.

–Caffeine is good for endurance. I know that you want to go straight for the coffee but try green tea instead, much healthier.

Music Playlist

While many professional runners don’t require music, you may not be at that level yet and just running may get boring. Music can be a good way to keep you pumped up so plan your running soundtrack accordingly. Sad songs at a slow pace won’t motivate you to run so try to get songs with upbeat rhythms and pumping music. Another good option for treadmill runners: a fascinating book. It can be a little harder to focus on the story while you’re running but if it’s a really good book, it’ll distract you from the burning sensation in your calves and thighs. Of course, don’t let yourself become so distracted that you’re not watching where you’re going. Don’t run into the middle of the street when the light turns green just because you were distracted by Beyoncé.

Running with a Partner/ Trainer

Running with someone else helps you stay focused and motivates you to keep going. If running with a friend, choose wisely so they help you keep up the good work and you can do the same for them. Find a nice place where you can enjoy the scenery; decide if you’re going to go at a nice leisurely pace or if it’s turning into a race. It’s a great and free way to make running less work and more fun. Now, running trainers aren’t free, but they are a good investment. They’re professionals who’ll be able to provide you with even better tips and tricks for nutrition and preventing injury. They can also keep you on track with your goals and give you a consistent and increasingly beneficial exercise routine. If you decide you want a personal trainer, let TalkLocal help you find one.


A simple change in form can mean the difference between a healthy run and a sprained ankle. Most runners try to increase their stride length but you want to increase your stride frequency. Count how many times your foot hits the ground in fifteen seconds and multiply by 4; try to get the number high enough that you’ll reach 180 steps in one minute. While you’re running, make sure to land on the balls of your feet, rather than the heel. Try running barefoot in your home to get a good sense of where to place your foot, you’ll feel a difference. Also, try to keep your upper body relaxed with your elbows at a 90 degree angle, swinging them wastes energy.


As they say, the first step to getting your body right is to have your mind right. So, make sure you’re in the right mindset for running. Ask yourself some of these questions and then think of more:

-Why are you running?

-What goals are you setting for yourself as you run?

-Is it by mileage or distance? How often will you run?

Then while you’re running, find ways to keep you going. Set a timer on your phone and don’t stop until you hear it. Once you’ve reached that goal, set it higher. If you’re running and getting tired, pick a specific focus point, such as a tree and run until you reach it, then choose something else, and keep it up until you’re done. This can help increase your speed and endurance. Remember: you don’t have to go all out at once. Start small and keep consistent.

Running is an enjoyable activity to keep you healthy and happy. That’s why we want you to keep these facts in mind. Be safe and happy running.


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Feed Your Body Right: 7 Ways for 7 Days

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Feed Your Body Right: 7 Ways for 7 Days - Seva Call

If you haven’t been eating healthy this winter, we’ve got good news and bad news. First, the good news: it looks like you may have a few extra weeks to trim up the beach bod, assuming recent weather patterns are any indication. Now for the bad news: you haven’t been eating healthy and your body hates you, no matter what size it is. Fortunately, Mother Earth (in its infinite wisdom) has provided a plethora of ways to satisfy both your body and your taste buds. Here are 7 tasty treats that should be hitting your table and belly, so ten-hut!

1. Carrots

Bod boost: Carrots contain vitamin A which lowers blood pressure.

Belly bonus: Grated carrot salad with raisins, pineapple, and topped with yogurt is super delish.

2. Peanuts

Bod boost: Peanuts are a great source of protein.

Belly bonus: Homemade granola is a sweet crunch scoop of heaven. Check out this Honey Peanut Granola recipe.

3. Leafy Greens

Bod boost: A great source of fiber, vitamins/minerals, and helpful in heart disease and diabetes prevention.

Belly bonus: Try this Red and Green Lettuce with Cranberry Vinaigrette as a side to a healthy meal.

4. Raspberries:

Bod boost: Has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Belly bonus: Just dump washed raspberries in a pitcher and fill with water. In three days, you’ll have a healthy punch that’s lower in sugar than most store-bought juice. Plus, it’s pretty; so use a glass pitcher!

5. Avocados:

Bod boost: Glutathione is an antioxidant that even slows the aging process.

Belly bonus: Avocados taste great sliced with olive oil, soy sauce, and toasted sesame oil drizzled on top.

6. Snap Peas:

Bod boost: Super low-cal with folate for heart health and lowered cholesterol.

Belly bonus: Add a dollop of hummus for a healthy dose of flavor.

7. Whole Grain

Bod boost: Fiber-infused to fight digestion problems.

Belly bonus: Whole wheat crackers are a great choice for a light midday meal when paired with any meat or cheese.

The first step to looking good is feeling good. So, fill your body with what it needs to be its best. And, if you need help getting that fuel and kicking your fitness routine into overdrive, visit TalkLocal to talk to one of your local personal trainers.

5 Convenient Staycation Tips for This Summer

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015


Your area may not have a nice stock photo beach like this one, but there’s still plenty of fun to be had near you. The “staycation” is taking America by storm as people save time and money by planning their dream trip for this summer… without the trip. Below are five staycation tips that’ll help you enjoy a getaway to your own backyard.

Plan With Your Family

To get your family (especially children) invested in the idea of a staycation, it’s convenient to bring them in to the planning process. Since you have some familiarity with your own area, it’s easy to fill a staycation itinerary with a variety of activities in order to engage everyone.

Take Cues from the Tourists

Just as hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers never visit the Statue of Liberty, there is probably a world-famous (or at least nationally-famous) attraction in your area that you’ve never seen. A staycation provides an opportunity to be a tourist in your own town– grab your favorite Hawaiian shirt and guidebook, then go mimic the photo-junkies from elsewhere.

Treat Yourself

You are already making a very financially responsible decision by foregoing travel for vacation. It’s important to give yourself a pat on the back for your frugality, and to not let it get obsessive. Staycations provide a perfect excuse to splurge on a five-star restaurant, a spa day, a pool/athletic club membership, etc. You don’t have to be in a resort town to pamper yourself.

Use Local Search Apps

Sticking around in the summer gives you the opportunity to explore your area more. With the advent of local search technology, finding previously-unknown restaurants, attractions, and businesses near you is as easy as opening an app. The most useful of these apps include Yelp, Google Maps, and (shameless plug) TalkLocal.

Get Vacation-Quality Service

Some hardcore staycationers go so far as to rent a local hotel room for the full experience. If that’s a little excessive for you, you can also purchase the kind of personal services hotels offer for your home. While you’re on your staycation, hire a cleaning service. Get nice meals delivered. Take taxis or Ubers. This way you can enjoy hotel-quality treatment without the steep hotel markup.

The ideal staycation involves a pretty simple goal: it’s about creating luxury out of what is familiar to you. Often, staycationers find an additional benefit to kicking back this way: without all the unknowns of a new place, planning a staycation is easy. If you want to make it even easier, use TalkLocal to get connected to cleaners, taxis, massage therapists, and other service professionals who can help you create your dream getaway in your own town.


How to Use Body Weight Exercises for Gymnasts to Become More Fit

Monday, December 16th, 2013

How to Use Body Weight Exercises for Gymnasts - Gyms and Fitness

Body weight exercises are often more effective than weightlifting if you want to build muscle, improve your strength, and become more fit. Instead of lifting weights, you can use your own body weight to attain your fitness goals.

Gymnasts are great at using body weight exercises to build muscle and strength. If you want to look like a gymnast and make the most of your body weight exercises, you need to make sure you adopt a gymnast’s approach.

What Is the Key Aspect of a Gymnast’s Approach to Body Weight Exercises?

Leverage and Muscle Contraction

To increase their performance, gymnasts focus on leverage. They change the leverage of their exercises periodically, making them more difficult.

Gymnasts believe that the most important thing when exercising is muscular contraction. By working out more, at an increasingly faster pace, you are likely to maximize muscle contraction. Gymnasts’ amazing strength and much admired physique results from consistently applying this principle in their body weight exercises. Unlike other forms of exercise, body weight exercises for gymnasts require full body contraction. In time, muscles become stronger, and resistance increases.

Are Body Weight Exercises for Gymnasts Recommended for Fitness Enthusiasts?

Some of the body weight exercises for gymnasts may be daunting, requiring skill and preparation before practicing them. However, if you are a fitness enthusiast, you can practice most kinds of body weight exercises for gymnasts on your own. Provided you do it right. Besides strength, tone, and muscle, body weight exercises develop balance, agility, and coordination.

How Can Body Weight Exercises Build You That Incredible Gymnast’s Physique?

Gymnasts not only look great, but they also move with a characteristic grace that people who lift weights or do bodybuilding often lack. When done correctly and consistently, body weight exercises will help you develop a gymnast’s envied physique and impressive athletic strength.

Need Professional Help?

If you’re looking for someone to introduce you to body weight exercises, TalkLocal can put you in touch with a professional trainer, fast and for free.

Train To Be A Gymnast

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Train To Be A Gymnast - Gyms and Fitness

Every four years, millions tune in to watch the Olympic gymnasts twist, twirl, contort, and elevate their bodies in positions unimaginable to most. What many do not realize is that these athletes have had to train to be a gymnast for many years, and for most, decades. So what exactly does it take to train to be a gymnast?

Strength: Look at any of those athletes, male or female, and the muscle tone and definition are unbelievable. They need to not only be able to lift their own body weight but to also maneuver it gracefully. Control comes with strength. For this reason, rigorous weight-training is a must if you are trying to transform yourself into a top-notch gymnast.

Practice: Many gymnasts begin their sport around the ages of 4 or 5. Most competitive gymnastic organizations allow contestants as young as 6. From this age on, most practices last three or four hours and are usually a minimum of three days a week — sometimes five during the offseason. Of course, nothing dictates that you have to put in this amount of time to train to be a gymnast. Still, this is not a sport that you can easily pick up. It requires a lot of work.

Coaching: You can’t learn gymnastics on your own. Sure, many will claim to have taught themselves a back flip, but the dangers of the sport and skill required cannot be mastered without someone who is trained. It is important to seek out a coach or trainer that has experience teaching the sport and knows the proper precautions to take in order to avoid serious bodily injury.

Flexibility: This goes hand-in-hand with strength. It is one thing to be able to lift one’s body weight, it is another to do so in a way which seems graceful and without impediment. This can only be achieved through keeping a broader range of flexibility than the average person.

Looking For A Trainer Or Coach?

While the Olympians make it look easy, the sport of gymnastics is grueling, physical, and time-consuming. If you are interested in learning how to train to be a gymnast, there are probably many local resources that can get you started. TalkLocal can put you in touch with such a gym quickly. Our service is entirely free and we’ll only connect you with qualified individuals and businesses.

Pros And Cons Of Turf Fields

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Pros And Cons Of Turf Fields - Gyms and Fitness

When playing sports games or just trying to get some outdoor exercise, you might find that different fields offer different benefits. Grass fields and turf fields are very different. Check out the pros and cons of turf fields to help you decide what kind of field investment you may want to make.

Pros Of Turf Fields:

– Over time, turf is cheaper than grass, which could help with your personal budget. There is a large, one-time installation fee when you first get your turf field, but it’s much cheaper to maintain. Turf doesn’t die over the winter and it is typically safe from abuse by wild animals and birds, unlike grass. Grass also requires trimming, chalking, pesticides, etc. Although turf does require watering and aerating, the maintenance here is much cheaper than with grass.

– Turf is safer than grass. Grass fields develop knots and puddles in inclement weather, which makes tripping a big risk. Turf fields don’t have this problem, which makes running outside, or on a turf track, much safer.

– Turf can be used indoors or outdoors, whereas grass cannot thrive indoors.

Cons Of Turf Fields:

– Turf fields do soak up heat like a sponge soaks up water. In some cases, turf fields have grown to be more than 30 degrees above the actual temperature. This can cause risk of heat stroke and dehydration, which is important to consider.

– Choosing turf instead of grass does remove a naturally occurring plant from the environment. Although this is not drastically harmful to the environment, it should be noted.

– The light, airy structure of turf might affect the way an athlete plays differently than grass, which is what he or she is probably used to. When playing on turf, an athlete would also want to train on turf to insure he or she knows what to expect during the game.

No matter what you choose after analyzing the pros and cons of turf fields, you’ll need to budget if you plan to build a new field at all.

Find Someone To Install Turf For You

TalkLocal can help you with budgeting, deciding on, and constructing your field. We can also help you decide which gyms or fitness facilities may be best for you. We take the work out of the search for qualified professionals by connecting you with the right local help.

Running On A Treadmill vs Track

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Running On A Treadmill vs Track - Gyms and Fitness

We all know that cardio exercises are good for the heart and a great way to get rid of that extra weight we’re sick of carrying around, but it’s hard to figure out which form of cardio is best for you.

Runners generally tend to be healthier than non-runners, but even still, they must decide the benefits of running on a treadmill vs track. Neither option is inherently better or worse than the other, but both have different benefits. A personal trainer might be able to tell you which best fits your unique needs.

Running On A Treadmill:

– You can track your speed and distance very easily on a treadmill. If your goal is to be able to run at a certain speed, a treadmill can help you start out. When you run on a treadmill, you set the speed to a certain number based on how many miles per hour you want to run. Speed “6,” for example, is running at six miles per hour. By doing this, you can insure that your training level is where you need it to be.

– Treadmills have pre-determined workout programs that might help you. Whether you’re trying to run intervals, get your heart rate up or focus on burning the most calories, you can usually find a treadmill program that meets your needs and keeps your workout regulated.

– Most treadmills come equipped with heart rate monitors. Although these are not 100% guaranteed and do not work as well as an individualized heart rate monitor, they do help you keep a general idea of how much your heart is working.

Running On A Track:

– If you hope to be a distance runner, or to compete in races, running on a track might be better for you. Wind resistance, varying inclines, and temperature all play into outdoor running. Running on a track (inside or outside) can help prepare you for that.

– Track running can help you build endurance on your own instead of relying on a treadmill to set the pace. This way, you can easily find your own natural pace by timing yourself and then work to run faster or further on your own terms.

– Running on a track is somewhat safer than a treadmill just because of the falling risk. If you fall on a treadmill, you risk injuring yourself if the treadmill keeps going. Falling on a track may hurt, but it’s a one-time type of injury.

Both of these options help you build endurance and improve your cardiac health. Running on a treadmill vs a track will help you stay in shape no matter what you choose.

Consult A Local Personal Trainer

If you need help with your fitness level, TalkLocal can connect you to the fitness professionals in your area. We take the work out of your search so you can focus on the healthy lifestyle you want and need.

Choosing The Best Running Shoe

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Choosing The Best Running Shoe - Gyms and Fitness

Choosing the best running shoe is not as easy as walking in the store and picking the shoe with the most expensive logo stitched on the side. Your choice should depend on the type of running you do, the shape of your feet and even the way your feet react during a run. A personal trainer can certainly provide some insight, but here are some things to keep in mind when choosing the best running shoe.


It is important to buy a shoe that fits. This might seem obvious, but many people end up buying shoes that are too small or too large without even realizing it. It is best to try the shoe on in the store if you aren’t sure of how the sizes run.

Many shoe stores offer Brannock devices to measure the toe to heel size as well as foot width. This will tell you what letter (indicating the width) of shoe would suit you. It is also a good idea to try on shoes at the end of the day. Feet tend to swell slightly as the day progresses. It is best to try on shoes when your feet are at their largest so that you can ensure the shoe will not be too tight later.


The arch of your foot greatly impacts the shoe you need. Those with flat feet need more arch support than those with normal or high arches. If your shoe is not supporting your feet correctly it can affect more than your feet. Unsupported arches can cause pain in the legs, back, and hips.


This is a fancy word for the amount your foot rotates when running. A natural run causes the foot to hit the heel first and then rotates slightly inward in order to act as a natural shock absorber. Some runners overpronate or supinate (roll outward). Those who overpronate need stiffer sides and a straight last. A last is the shape the shoe makes in its imprint or the bottom shape of the shoe. A straight last will prevent the foot from rolling too far inward. A supinator needs a curved last. This will help encourage the foot to rotate more inward.


Do you run trails, roads or on a treadmill? Location is an important factor when choosing the best running shoe. Trail shoes provide more traction and support for uneven surfaces than road/treadmill shoes. Road shoes provide support for repetitive pounding on hard, even surfaces. They work well on a treadmill for this reason.

Overwhelmed? Let Us help!

It’s clear there are many factors to consider when buying running shoes. If you are serious about making running part of your fitness routine, TalkLocal can help get you in touch with a fitness professional or personal trainer that can help you find the right running shoe. Our service is free, fast, and easy.

Picking The Best Gym

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Picking The Best Gym - Gyms and Fitness

Getting rid of that spare weight and working to improve your physical fitness can be difficult, especially when picking the best gym can be confusing or intimidating. When it comes to exercising, everyone has different needs, which is why picking the best gym requires you to focus on what you want.

To help you figure out what you want from a gym, ask yourself some of these questions:

Do I want to tone and build my muscles?

If you do, you need to evaluate the gym’s availability of free weights and weight machines. If you are advanced in strength training, you probably already know what you need. If you are a beginner, you want to make sure you have access to hand weights, starting around five pounds each. You will also want machines that work various parts of your body (core/abs, arms, back, and lower body) and leave you with room to add more weight and improve.

Do I want to use cardio machines, or do cardio activity in a large free space?

This is an important question. Some people prefer the bikes, elliptical machines, and treadmills, but others prefer to have a large, open space for various interval training and individual activities. Some gyms don’t have the space to support those activities.

Do I want to take classes or utilize a personal trainer?

Sometimes, especially if you’re new to working out, taking fitness classes can be very helpful. In this situation, you usually have a professional instructor who leads you and a group of other people in a fitness activity, usually related to cardio. Some options include:

– Yoga, which tones muscles and helps you relax

– Pilates, which is a cardio exercise that also tones muscles

– Zumba, a cardio activity disguised as a form of Latin dance

– Kick boxing, a cardio activity that also teaches basic self-defense

If any of these classes sound like something you might want, make sure the gym offers them. You may also consider the class sizes.

If you are looking into a personal trainer, you will want to research the trainers at gyms in your area to be sure they can help you meet your goals, at a price you can manage.

Find Gyms And Trainers Easily

If you still have more questions, TalkLocal connect you with someone that can help. We can connect you to the professionals in your area and make picking the best gym a breeze.