Republic Fitness

April Membership Billing Update

By | Reps

Thank you for the outpouring of messages and choosing to stick with us in April! As you know we have temporarily closed our doors due to Covid-19. It has truly meant the world to the entire team to hear your positive messages and see many of you engage with our new Virtual Membership and HWX Programs. 

As we previously communicated, we are offering all members a few options during our closure.

Option 1: Stay active with us and support us and our team in this crisis by continue to pay your regular membership dues

Option 2: Switch to a Virtual Membership

Reduce your membership dues payment to $15 bi-weekly or $30 monthly (depending on your plan) and maintain a Virtual Membership!

If you would like to downgrade to a Virtual Membership please fill out this form.

Option 3: Temporarily freeze your membership for no fee

We know that many of you may be struggling so we are happy to pause your billing if needed. Please consider sticking with us at the Virtual Membership level.

If you would like to freeze your membership completely at this time, please fill out this form.

Although we did our best to communicate all available options throughout the month of March, we know that some members may have missed the opportunity to freeze their membership in April. If you were billed fully and did not intend to keep your membership active, please complete a credit request.

Please know that if you have already frozen your membership or requested a freeze, rest assured we will continue the freeze until we reopen and not reactivate your membership early.

Republic Fitness

The Afterburn Effect

By | blog, Workout

Topic: The Afterburn Effect

Afterburn, also known as EPOC (Excess Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption) is a term used for the effects that take place after your workout has been completed. Even though you have completed your workout and are on to the next item on your agenda, your body is still working its way to recovery.

Here’s some science behind it!

EPOC – EPOC describes the amount of oxygen required to get your body back to its resting level of metabolic function.

Your body uses oxygen to replace the energy and muscle glycogen (carbohydrates) you used while working out. The more oxygen used, the more calories you will continue to burn post-workout. The amount of oxygen used will be different for every individual, therefore you won’t know exactly how much afterburn will take place. Some factors that play a role in calories burned include; gender, age, lean body mass, fitness level and the intensity of the exercise.

Studies have shown that HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts and Tabata workouts tend to produce the most afterburn effects vs. a workout that is in a steady state. Typically, if you are working out somewhere between 70-85% of your max heart rate, you will have more success in achieving afterburn. Don’t be confused, you can still benefit from afterburn while lifting weights! Be sure to keep up your intensity throughout the duration of your workout.

How can our gym assist you with hitting HIIT training during your workouts? Republic Fitness offers a Myzone belt which allows people to track their heart rates. This belt will notify you once you are at 80% of your heart rate capacity. These belts are offered right here at the gym, so no need to go searching! Use the links below to take a look at some of our Myzone team training classes as well as more detail about the Myzone belt!

https://healthworksfitness.com/teamtrainmyzone/

https://www.myzone.org/

Overall, it seems as though afterburn is influenced by intensity vs. the duration of the exercise. Great news is you could potentially cut down on the hours in the gym, BUT you need to be putting in additional effort during your workout.

Your metabolism is constantly working to help the body function, so keep in mind your body is constantly burning calories…yes, even when resting! But, afterburn is a major factor in burning those extra calories and burning away some excess fat.

Republic Fitness

Ways to Save: Health Insurance Reimbursement

By | Reps

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to submit your 2019 health insurance reimbursement by the end of March to your insurance company. Reward yourself with up to $300 in reimbursement for working out at Republic. We make it easy for our members to save! We have provided links to major insurance provider’s reimbursement forms and directions here.

For those Massachusetts plans that require a receipt or contract, the process is listed below:

For access to your receipt history:

1) Log into the member portal
2) Go to My Account
3) See the left navigation for Payment History to obtain a receipt

For access to your contract:

1) Go to My Agreement Information
2) Click on Documents
3) “Previous Motionsoft Document”  is a copy of your contract form
If you are a part of AllWays Healthcare, please let us know and we will share additional info with you.
Republic Fitness

Breakfast On The Go

By | blog

Jumping up out of bed once the alarm goes off to get to the gym? Trying to get a quick workout in before work? Many times, people will head to the gym early in the AM and then go right to work. For many, the morning is the best time for them to get their workouts in. Early workouts make people feel accomplished, relieves stress of the after-work workout and leaves them feeling energized and ready to seize the day!

One thing people tend to forget is their breakfast! Once you have completed your workout and get to the office, it is important to make sure you are fueling your body. Having a carbohydrate and protein filled meal after your workout is one-hundred percent necessary. Not only will it refuel your body, it will provide you with energy and stop you from overeating during other meals throughout the day.

Two items that can be a staple for your morning “on the road” breakfast, could be a protein bar and a banana or apple. These items take up very little space in your gym bag and can leave you feeling satisfied after a workout. Protein bars come in tons of different varieties and flavors which could help you with any cravings you may have. Eating a fruit source along with the protein bar provides you the carbohydrates your body needs as well as some micronutrients (which are always a huge bonus).

If you’re someone who isn’t hungry after a workout, try drinking a protein shake. Shakes will be much lighter on the stomach. All you need to do is throw the protein powder into a shaker cup the night before and put it in your gym bag. Before you leave the gym, just fill the cup up with some water, shake it up, and you’re ready to go! If you prefer to have a thicker consistency, try adding some almond milk and ice with the protein and blend it up the night before. You can keep it in the freezer until you’re ready to head to the gym. While you are working out, the shake will begin to defrost and will be perfect by the time your workout is complete!

Overnight oats can be made with quick oats and almond milk and placed in the refrigerator overnight. If you want to add some flavor try adding cinnamon, cocoa powder, peanut butter or any of your favorite flavors! Making a PB&J on a bagel is a tasty option as well! You can pretty much make any food you may want to eat for breakfast the night before. Planning ahead the night before will save you time and stress in the AM.

 

“High Quality” Proteins: Behind the Buzz Word

By | Nutrition

If you follow nutrition information on Instagram, Facebook, and other media outlets, you’ve probably heard the recommendation that you should be eating high quality protein. It might make you question your own choices for protein in your diet — are they high quality?

The inevitable follow up: what is a high quality protein?

Depending on what’s important to the writer of that information, “high quality” can mean a lot of different things. Try to determine based on the context, before questioning your own protein choices, whether the source of the info may subscribe to any of the following values:

high quality protein: beans

Environmental concerns. In the context of environmental concerns, a “high quality protein” might be one that has a minimal environmental impact on climate change and the environment. This would mean a plant-based protein such as lentils, beans, peas, tofu/tempeh, and whole grains would be considered high quality.high quality protein: grilled chicken

Food Industry concerns. For some, the processing of food is the highest indicator of quality. Here, this typically means how protein sources are raised or grown: are they organic or genetically modified (in the case of soy products), are animals raised with or without antibiotics, allowed to eat a “natural” diet or corn fed, and so on. Organic protein raised free range without antibiotic use would be considered highest quality in this case.

Ethical concerns. High quality protein can refer to ethical treatment of animals, and therefore plant-based proteins would most likely top the list. For ethical animal treatment, a certified humane certification or indication of free-range or pasture-raised would likely constitute a higher quality protein than those that are conventionally raised.

Maximum physical performance and medical diets. For those interested in muscle growth, performance, and optimal nutrition, bioavailability is often considered the main criteria for a “high quality” protein. Scientific research indicates that protein digested from animal products is more efficiently digested and utilized by the body compared to plant-based proteins. Within this context, a faster-digesting protein would be considered higher quality, and animal sources of protein would win out over plant-based.

Given the conflicting views and opinions, it’s impossible to have a definitive answer for what a high-quality protein is. This decision is up to each of us individually; it’s about deciding what’s important to you and making choices based on those values.

Not sure yet where to land on this issue? My general recommendation in nutrition counseling is to aim for a mix of both plant- and animal-based proteins on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis – whatever feels right to you!

5 Signs You’re In a Weight Loss Plateau (and How to Break Out!)

By | Nutrition

You’ve cleaned up your diet, you’re exercising 3-4 times per week or more, and despite a great initial weight loss over the last 6-9 months you have seen results grind to a halt. What gives? A weight loss plateau is a real phenomenon for many people looking to lose weight, and it can be an incredibly frustrating experience that makes us want to throw in the towel and take a break from the diligence.

Here are a few major signs to help you confirm you’re in a weight loss plateau, along with two surefire ways to get out.

weight loss plateau

  1. You’ve gone low/no carb, keto, paleo, vegan, cut out all flour/sugar, etc. One of the primary reasons we get stuck in a weight loss plateau is cutting out too much. When we cut calories too low, we get a huge benefit in the beginning (maybe the first or second time you tried it) and then see diminishing returns. This is because our body, over time, learns to adapt to a “famine” environment and will stop burning fat for fuel. Instead, it will switch into primarily fat storage which, for our biology, is a long-term survival tactic. Will your body burn fat for energy? Yes, but it will also retain and store as much fat as it possibly can, as well. Kind of a zero-sum game, in the end. In the meantime, muscle mass is broken down for a more efficient source of fuel, and as a result, your resting metabolic rate drops meaning you need even less food than when you started.
  2. You’re not hungry anymore. In “diet mode,” hunger can sometimes be taken as a signal that things are going well. We resist and fight hunger, we don’t eat in response to it, and we think, hah, yes! Burn your own calories! There’s plenty there! Over time, in ignoring those signals, our brain will eventually stop producing them anymore. It gives up on trying to find food from the environment. It shifts into creating its own energy, which it is not efficient at (see #1.)
  3. You’ve slept a full 8 hours, but you could sleep more. All our most basic metabolic reactions that produce energy require nutrients from food: B vitamins, iron, folate, choline, zinc, iodine, etc. Without adequate calories, we aren’t likely to be getting adequate nutrients; the result is feeling run down and exhausted. Supplementation with a multivitamin can potentially be a band-aid for this, but over time it will wear us down.
  4. You’re frequently sick, cold, experiencing hair loss, or have irregular periods. All the above indicate a major biological system potentially impaired by lack of nutrients, protein, and calories. These conditions are considered a progression of #3 and should be a sign to increase food intake immediately. Visit a dietitian and get a professional to calculate your calorie needs. If this does not resolve the above conditions, consult your healthcare provider.
  5. It hurts to eat. Sometimes, going extended periods without eating (over 5 hours) can lead to discomfort or even severe pain when eating again. Think of this the way you would after sitting down for several hours: upon getting up, your muscles are likely to be stiff and sore. Your digestive system is one extremely long muscle group; it too, can experience cramping and soreness after long periods of not eating. To avoid or minimize discomfort aim to eat every 4-5 hours minimum or eat small frequent amounts if going large periods of time without eating.

If any of the above apply to you, talk to a dietitian about how to evaluate whether you’re in a weight loss plateau and how to address it to meet your individual needs. Your metabolism is likely in a slow, altered state and needs to be kicked back up again. In a general sense, there are 2 very important things that will be prescribed to you in order to reverse it.

  1. Eat enough. Counterintuitively, eating an adequate amount of food for your body and your exercise program will be the key to kickstarting your metabolism for weight loss again. A dietitian can help you calculate your needs and come up with a meal approach and nutritional strategies to get there, along with customized recommendations.
  2. Exercise regularly. Exercise will maintain and build muscle, as long as nutrition is adequate. This will increase your metabolic rate, meaning more calories are burned at rest and body fat is better managed. Continue an exercise program that is appropriately challenging, progressive in nature, and contains a mix of strength training and cardio conditioning. A personal trainer can assist with developing a customized program that meets your needs for your specific goals and movement patterns.

Looking for exercise ideas? You might enjoy “5 Tabata Moves and Why You Should Close Out Your Sets With Them

Seeking Sustainability: Dietary Habits For the Long Haul

By | Lifestyle, Nutrition

There is a LOT of diet advice out there to take if we’re looking to make changes to our bodies. Do paleo, cut carbs, go vegan, eliminate sugar, count macros. They make the advice list because they all work: people see results when they follow those rules! Changing our eating in any extreme way will typically result in weight loss — at least temporarily. For as long as we can sustain it, most likely we will see the changes in our body we want to see. But often when a diet is NOT sustainable, we see 3 things happen:  

  • Our body stops changing or “plateaus” 
  • We crave foods, have a hard time managing hunger, and eat impulsively 
  • Weight regain occurs after we stop following the rules 

Any of those three signs means it’s time to adapt your diet to something more long term. Any of the diets listed above — paleo, vegan, reducing added sugar, macro counting, and others — can be modified to achieve smaller changes over a longer period for more long-lasting change. Check out the 10 steps below for some guideposts to follow when adapting a diet for long-term change. 

  1. Re-establish your “why.” Losing weight can sometimes take huge behavior shifts that can be a struggle if there are other important things going on in your life (demanding career/finances, family, relationships). The reason you’re losing weight has to be internally driven and motivated. If you’re doing it because “everyone’s doing it,” or “I feel like I’m supposed to,” or “I’m worried what other people think about me” — that is not going to take you very far. Connect to the reasons and values weight loss is important to you.
  2. Be proactive with your hunger. In a weight loss mentality, hunger can be seen as an ally: “If I’m hungry, that means I’m not eating enough, so it must mean I’ll lose weight.” That type of weight loss only works for certain people, at certain points in their lives, for certain amounts of time. For long-term sustainable weight loss, hunger is the enemy. It almost inevitably leads to overeating, which can then lead to guilt and undereating, creating a cycle in which the body’s metabolism can never get a clear picture of whether it should store body fat for a starvation “famine” or whether it’s okay to utilize it in exercise. Plan to eat 3 meals a day plus 1-3 snacks, and eat to your fullness. Avoid eating “just enough” — this will lead to hunger within an hour or two after eating, and will set you up to overeat later in the day.Make A Habit of Meal Prep
  3. Create a system for meal prep. Meal prep is most well-known as a Sunday or weekend thing, but to do it all in one day is a lot. Break it into 3 steps: recipe searching/list making, shopping, and then prepping and cooking. Commit to create time every week to doing these 3 things to make sure that you have nutritionally dense and satisfying meals to eat all week long.
  4. Prioritize water, fiber, and protein. Use the color of your urine to determine the amount of water to be drinking (light yellow — if it’s clear, you’re probably drinking too fast for the body to use the water you’re consuming). Get enough fiber through 5 servings of fruits and veggies daily and 1-2 servings of whole grains at each meal and snack. Include protein at every meal and get a mix of plant- and animal-based proteins. Make A Habit of Drinking Water
  5. Revisit portion sizes. Eating well-balanced, appropriately portioned meals is the key to a satisfying day of eating that doesn’t end in relentless snacking at night! Look online or meet with the dietitian here to get a guideline for visual estimation; no need to bring measuring cups, spoons, and scales into this. Learning how to estimate how much food is in front of you will help you understand and internalize how much food you need to feel full and satisfied.
  6. Eat 80%+ of your meals at home. Even if it means frozen or quick-made meals ready from the grocery store, you have more ability to evaluate nutrition information and ingredient quality in products with labels as opposed to food out at restaurants and takeout. There are some establishments that take food quality to the highest degree, however, so use your judgement — and don’t be afraid to ask what sauces, spices, salt, and fat sources your favorite menu items are made with!
    Weight Loss Through Home Cooking
  7. Don’t skip breakfast. Ideally eat within an hour of waking up, even if you’re not hungry. It will help with moving your food intake to earlier in the day rather than having it stack up on you in the evening.
  8. Reduce screen time. Either in front of the TV or our phones, we tend to be stationary. Move any way you can think of: walking, stretching, foam rolling, dancing, squatting, whatever it takes!
    Weight Loss Through Movement: Try Group Fitness
  9. Log your food. I typically recommend just 2 days a week: one “planned” day and one “unplanned” day to compare how you’re eating on those two types of days. Aim for consistency through those days. Consistency tells your body that food is plentiful, it does not need to keep fat stores, and becomes much more adept at burning them through exercise.
  10. BE PATIENT. Resorting to drastic weight loss measures like over-exercising, cleansing, eliminating carbs, or other drastic food reductions may have temporary success but will only set back long-term weight loss with more weight gain once you return to normal eating. Stay the course!  

 

Are Supplements A Good Nutritional Choice?

Supplement Safety: Navigating an Unregulated System

By | Nutrition

Supplementation is popular for everything from muscle gain to hair and nail growth. But did you know that supplements are not actively regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration?

What is a supplement? 
Supplement Safety: A Good Nutritional Choice?
A supplement is any product that has a “Supplement Facts” label rather than a “Nutrition Facts” label. This can include multivitamins and pill supplements but also protein powders, herbs, probiotics, teas, oils, and other food-like products. 
By FDA standards, supplements are preemptively considered safe until proven unsafe. Where food and pharmaceuticals have to meet rigorous standards in order to be proven safe for public consumption, supplements are only taken off the market if adverse events occur.  

 

Why is regulation important?
Lack of regulation before market leads to an enormous loophole in product quality. Products can and have been shown to manipulate consumers by putting ingredients on the Supplements Label that are not actually in the product. A product stating it contains 500 mg of calcium does not, by any law or standard, have to include 500 mg calcium. Many supplement manufacturers have incentive to put less in their product than advertised in order to save money. 

The quality of supplement ingredients also does not have to be traced or regulated, so there is limited ability to guarantee freshness or that the ingredients included contain active properties. Supplement manufacturers may also put other “filler” ingredients into their product that are not, and do not have to be, listed on their label. They are also not required to test for contamination.

Some supplements carry a certified organic label; while this means that any of the ingredients they use meet standards of organic products, this has no bearing on whether what is listed on the label is in the product you consume.

For consumers, this means potentially wasting anywhere from $10 to $50 on a product that promises to help with muscle gain or hair and nail growth, when the product quality may be deeply compromised.
 Supplement Safety: Consider Nutrition Counseling Instead

What can we do to protect ourselves? 
The number one way to make sure the supplements you purchase are of a high quality is to look for a third-party certification statement. For supplement companies wishing to gain consumer trust and elevate the quality of their product, they will hire an independent laboratory to test their products. This testing can verify that what is stated on the label is in the product.

Supplements that have undergone this testing are able to bear the logo of that third-party testing company. The most well-recognized is the U.S. Pharmacopia or “USP” seal of certification. The Nature Made brand has the majority of their products verified by USP and can be assumed to be safe and containing what the label states they contain. 

Two other popular verification companies are NSF International (“NSF”) and Consumer Lab (their symbol looks like a science beaker.)  Of note, products by GNC and the Vitamin Shoppe do not appear to utilize third party verification.

Final Takeaway
Supplements can cost a lot of money; take every possible precaution to make sure that the money you’re putting down is going toward what you think it is. Find brands that utilize third party certifications and stick to them! If your supplement of choice doesn’t seem to have a brand that uses a third-party verifier, read a little bit more about the supplement. More digging may show that the supplement doesn’t have any real scientific evidence to do what it claims to do in the first place.