Why Personal Training is Worth the Investment

As a married mom of three I understand the challenges of budgeting both money and time. In many cases we put our desires and even some times our needs on the back burner to make sure that everyone else in the family is taken care of. Today I’d like to take a few minutes to explain to you why I believe that personal training is worth both the money and the time for you and your family.

We all know what it feels like to be stressed, to be pulled in a number of different directions and not feel like we have the time for any of it. So how can adding yet another thing be beneficial?


Personal Trainers keep you motivated to complete your goals!

Exercise gives you a much needed break.

Sometimes when we are up to our ears in work obligations and taking care of the household the thing we need the most is a breather. Remember the commercial, ‘Calgon, take me away!’? And while a bath may be relaxing, if you’re anything like me it will be cut short either because someone is knocking on the door and needs something, or the weight of all the things that need to be done makes the bath feel like a huge waste of time. Rather taking a break to exercise will not only help you escape from all of the demands from work and home but also give you the chance to improve your health. Working with a personal trainer maximizes the benefits of your much needed break. Unlike with group fitness, the entire session designed around your needs. Who wants to spend 30 minutes doing cardio when they hate cardio? Who wants to wander around the machines or free weights in the gym and not really know which exercises will benefit them the most? Taking an hour to work with a trainer won’t make you feel like the time was wasted.

Exercise is a great stress reliever.

There are scientific reasons that exercise releases stress, but in general, I don’t think that means much to most people. If you’re like me you want to know the ‘practical’ reasons exercise is a stress reliever. What better way to release stress than to slam a medicine ball, or sweating it out with some cardio? What about the good feelings that come along with lifting a heavier weight, doing a higher box jump or completing more repetitions? The feeling of accomplishment will always take over the weight of stress and there is nothing more than personal trainers want for their clients is to achieve a new personal best. That personal best is just that – it is your personal best. You aren’t being measured against anyone else, nor are you watching others out of the corner of your eye measuring yourself against them. Training sessions aren’t just about burning fat and building muscle, they are just as much about building you up as a person and relieving the stresses that bring you down.

Exercise is a return on investment.

The time you put in at the gym will be worth it – you will see results. Now I’m not promising any quick fixes, I’m not promising significant weight loss or increased muscle mass. The fact is, you will get out of what you put into your time in the gym. But that’s only part of it, there are positive improvements to your body beyond the scale. Your heart is a muscle and by participating in regular exercise you are strengthening your heart. Strength training exercises increases bone density, which is important as we get older to prevent breaks and osteoporosis. Moving more improves your metabolism which helps you to more efficiently burn calories even at rest. As we age flexibility and range of motion can decrease, but through exercise you can improve your flexibility and range of motion, which again contributes to your ability to prevent injury. I don’t know anyone who can argue that these aren’t great benefits to exercise. Personal trainers will make sure that the time you put in is worth it. You’ll benefit from all the things you can’t see, but they will also help you to make improvements to the things you can see.

Exercise with a personal trainer gives you the biggest bang for your buck.

I hear it over and over again that personal training is too expensive. I understand when compared with a basic gym membership of $20 a month personal training costs seem extreme. However, by working with a trainer you are going to benefit from their expertise. Unlike group fitness, you will receive personalized workouts designed to meet your specific needs. The entire session is focused completely on you and your needs. But it extends beyond the sessions. Trainers provide you with exercise plans for the days you don’t meet with them, they provide nutritional advise, they provide regular accountability, they follow-up with you during the week to see how you are doing. So when you consider the price you pay for the ‘session’ also consider the benefits that you get throughout the week to keep you motivated and on track.

Let’s face it, will taking an hour out of your day really put you back that far? Consider all of the benefits exercise can give you. I’ve outlined a few, but I’m sure each of you reading this can think of your own benefits to exercise.

For this holiday season I’m offering 10% off of my personal training services. If you’re in the Lombard, Elmhurst or Glen Ellyn area I would love to talk with you about personal training and how it could have a positive impact on your life. Drop me a line and let’s set up a time to talk about your needs.

The Benefits of Working Out, Beyond the Physical Changes

Soon after moving to Lombard, IL my husband and I went to an event where a month membership to Patriot Boxing was one of the prizes. I was intrigued to say the least and dumped all of my tickets in that prize hoping to win. Sure enough, they called our number!

The first time I went to Patriot I ‘eased’ in with a Yoga Sculpt class. And when I say ‘eased,’ I should also clarify there was nothing easy about this class! It was very challenging but I loved every minute of it. Next I gave the boxing and five round classes a try and it wasn’t long before my husband and I were both signed up. Fast forward over a year later, we are still members, have added our children to the membership for their martial arts classes, and attended a number of special events hosted by Patriot.

The thing I love most about this gym is they ‘get it.’ Nick and Tracey get to know their members and truly treat them as part of the Patriot family. They are always offering a special challenge or event to bring people together. They aren’t just building a gym, they are changing lives and fostering relationships.

I asked a good friend of mine who is also a member to write about her Patriot experience. I think her title says it all…

Jab, Cross, I’m Hooked!

by Laura Johnson

Gyms are like bars. They can be fancy, worn down, gimmicky, cooperate cookie cutters, new age and natural, and meat-markets. Then there is my gym, Patriot Boxing and Fitness. It is the neighborhood bar of gyms, and my second home. It is still funny to say that I spend five hours or more per week in a boxing gym. Me: the girl who hates physical confrontation. If people get in a fight near me, I disappear and run away from the physical conflict. That is funny to think about because up to this point in my life I have always been a runner, and now I box with mitts, and punch and kick heavy bags. This has been my choice form of fitness for about a year, and I had no idea that this little boxing gym would become my Cheers.

When you begin a fitness journey in a public place you shine a light on yourself and your current state of physical being in front of a group of strangers. Strangers who are on their own fitness journey that you know nothing about, so your ignorance mixed with nerves can lead you to infer that they are looking at you and judging you. Is everyone looking at my love handles? How am I going to get through this after sitting at a desk too many days per week? Is that a parent of a student? Is that a former student of mine? Is the instructor going to be annoyed with me, since I am new? Why are these bags close together? Ahhhhh!

Once the class started, I had no time or energy to continue this negative self-talk. The class was a whirl wind of jumping jacks, burpees, punches, running, and strength. Half way through, when I thought about stopping for the day, I started to get a few combinations right and punching the bag released some of my frustration. When the class was over, I was exhausted, red-faced, and super sweaty; but I was amazed that my out of shape body could finish the class. I was hooked on throwing hooks to reach a healthier stronger me.

Patriot Boxing and Fitness provided the classes to help me tone- up, increase my speed, and overall level of physical health, but there was an added bonus of conditioning when my inner-self was strengthened as well. This happened due to my gift of gab, and my desire to connect with the people who were sweating next to me several hours per week. I started by looking for the resident gym rats because I felt like I was becoming one. I walked up to a woman who had awesome toned arms and chiseled legs of steel to give her a simple compliment on her strong physique. How could I not compliment her in person? Her hard work and dedication to physical fitness was evident, and I had noticed it right away. Secretly, for a few weeks, I quietly looked up to her for fitness inspiration. She was a great person to observe at the gym because you realize there are not short cuts to get results like that.

After I shared some well-deserved gym props with her, she gave me some too, and we began greeting each other regularly before class, sharing a sweaty smile of encouragement, and hanging after class to have a longer, more meaningful conversation. Fitness for her lives in the nucleus of her life, and I wasn’t surprised to find out that her whole family worked out at the gym, and it was truly her second home. We hit it off as moms who enjoy getting a high off of pushing ourselves in the gym. This was the first real fitness connection that I had made, and I am so glad to have her in my life supporting me on my fitness goals and in other areas of my life.

This inspired me to keep talking to people who ended up at a bag near me. Next, it was a young man who never missed a day at the gym, since he was involved in the gym’s winter weight loss challenge. He was smashing through his weight loss goals each week. I was drawn to his competitive spirit. He set a goal and wasn’t going to settle for second. After many short, choppy conversations and words of encouragement between the bags, I learned that he went to school near my first teaching position, and he knew some of my former students. (I also learned that my Patriot workouts were helping me keep up with the younger crowd.) By sharing a smile and a chat while sweating, I was able to connect with several others who beat on the bags around me, and I could write pages and pages about each and every one of them.

This unexpected domino effect of connection has led a unique mix of people, who would not have crossed paths outside of a gym, to become friends founded on fitness, and who are now walking, lunging, squatting, and doing mountain climbers on the path of lifelong wellness. We text each other to see who is coming to the gym, to make sure we all have our favorite bag to beat on during class. We laugh and push each other during class, and this makes many classes seem to fly. When the classes fly, we stay for a second class, lift weights together, or linger at the gym to catch up.

We also make time for each other outside of the gym with group outings, message boards, and thoughtful planning when it is time to celebrate life accomplishments or growing another year older. This group also doesn’t shy away from the tough stuff that we encounter: parenting, spouses, dating, money, work, divorce, illnesses, surgeries, getting older and working on other scars that didn’t heal quite right. We have gone from only using sweat therapy: boxing, lifting, and running to also sitting on a couch or around a table with each other to share, listen, advise, and strengthen each other from the inside out.

This has become a wellness community, a neighborhood “bar,” my Cheers where, “everybody knows your name,” and the fights are a sport, a healthy physical activity, and not a beer brawl. At Patriot Boxing and Fitness, I found people who now share a corner in the ring of life and support each other through out each round.

As you can see by Laura’s story, being a part of a gym can benefit your life in so many ways beyond your physical achievements. Don’t be intimidated by a gym, find one that treats you like family and you will always feel like home when you are there.

About the Author: Laura Johnson is a working mom, wife, middle school teacher, and a very amateur boxer.

Patriot Boxing is located at 645 South IL Rt 83, Elmhurst, IL 60126

Check out their class schedule here, I know Nick Tracey and the entire Patriot Family would love to meet you.

The Benefits of Water

How many glasses of water do you drink a day? What about coffee, soft drinks or alcohol? How many refills did you get on your sweet tea at lunch today?

With the heat and humidity it is extremely important that you stay hydrated and water is the very best choice you can make.

You can easily promote better overall health by simply drinking a few glasses of water a day to flush toxins from your system. We generally tend to increase our intake of fluids when we are sick to flush the virus or bacteria – why not be proactive and get rid of those germs before you get sick.

If you are looking for a quick way to cut calories from your diet – take a look at the beverages you consume throughout the week. Many beverages are full of sugar and empty calories. Please don’t think that using artificial sweeteners is the answer either… they can be just as damaging (if not more) to your system.

Water can also have an impact on your complexion. Drinking water will help to keep your skin from drying out and can also improve problems with blemishes.

You can help yourself and our environment by avoiding the disposable water bottles as much as possible. Purchase a water filter of some sort and a couple reusable water bottles.

So what if you don’t like water? Simple – add a little all-natural flavors to it by dropping a citrus slice in the glass or water pitcher. You can also slice cucumbers and put them in the water – I know it sounds crazy but it is one of the most refreshing glasses of water you will have.

If you really struggle with the blandness of water, try making flavor cubes out of Crystal Light or your favorite fruit juice and use it to cool your glass of water. You will get a hint of the taste without all the calories and sugar.

To all the parents out there I encourage you to get your children drinking water from an early age. The sooner you start, the easier it will be for them to choose water over juice or soda on a hot day.

With all this talk about water I’m feeling kind of thirsty. How about you?