Monthly Archives: January 2013

Pole Dancing Fitness Benefits

With the release of the Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2010 specialty exercise classes are a big growth area for the fitness industry. One of the biggest growth classes in this field is Pole Dancing which combines many of the attributes of a regular exercise with the added benefit of being fun.
Pole dancing has been around for many years starting around the 1920’s or the time of the Great Depression where dance performers initiated a pole into their routines, however more recently the dance has often been used in Gentlemen’s or strip clubs. Pole Dancing is now recognized as a true form of exercise training has toned down the sex appeal with the exercise providing many attributes of fitness. The growth is so large that the industry is currently developing qualified trainers to meet this growing demand.

Pole dancing exercise is a fun and sexy exercise that offers aerobic and anaerobic benefits to its participants. It helps with building muscle strength, aids the flexibility of your body and is a great weight loss exercise activity. A lot of the news members have found that they have gained in self confidence and awareness from participating in this exercise.
The aerobic fitness benefits gained from pole dancing are a burn of up to 250 calories per hour which is consistent with other mainstream classes including aerobics. Performing this type of exercise regularly will strip that unwanted fat away quick smart and help tone your body to have you looking and feeling great.
The anaerobic fitness benefits that are gained from pole dancing include:

  • The building up of core stability which will help you with toning your abs
  • The increase in upper body strength which is constantly being used to hold your bodyweight off of the ground.
  • It tones your shoulders, arms, legs (calves and thighs) and helps with the removal of fat from around the buttox.
  • Helps to improve the overall coordination and flexibility.

Pole dancing has found to also build the confidence of its participants.
Pole Dancing attire may include a small pair of hot pants and sexy outfits which will depend on your gym instructors, however bare legs are essential as part of the exercise requires the gripping of the pole by your legs.

Pole dancing is a fun sexy exercise class to attend. Not only do you receive a terrific fitness workout that trims the fat on your abs, shoulders, arms, thighs, calves and bottom. The training improves your strength, confidence, body awareness, flexibility, posture and is a new skill that you can show off at parties, or in the seclusion of your home with your partner. So check out your local gyms to see which are offering pole dancing classes. It may be the inspiration you are looking for to lose those calories stacked on during the holidays.   ~

Currently Heartbreaker Dance & Fitness is the only studio in Medicine Hat that offers Pole Fitness/Pole Dance and Burlesque classes!  We also offer private group bookings for Stagettes, Girls Night Out or Birthdays, where you get one hour in the studio with your friends and learn the art of Pole Dance before you head out on the town!

Why is Kickboxing a Good Workout?

Why Is Kickboxing a Good Workout? thumbnail

Kickboxing workouts increase strength and  flexibility.

Kickboxing provides  a fast-paced, cardio-intensive, total body workout that tones flab and  strengthens muscles. While enjoying fast-paced, upbeat music, you’ll be  punching, kicking and jabbing your way to better health. You just might learn a  little self-defense along the way.

  1. Class Format

    • Kickboxing combines boxing with martial arts. Instructors generally employ a  series of punches, such as jabbing, upper-cuts and hooks mixed with round-house,  push and side kicks moves. Performing these moves with intensity and accuracy,  the entire body becomes strengthened. The arms and core–or abdominal—regions  are targeted during punching. The legs and glutes are tightened through kicks,  lunges and squats.  You  can burn 590 to 863 calories  in a one-hour kickboxing workout.


    • While kickboxing is a good way to burn calories and get fit, it isn’t for the  faint of heart. See a doctor before beginning a class. Working up to this type  of workout may be necessary. Kickboxing classes require great endurance, but  don’t let this intimidate you. Most instructors are cognitive of beginners and  will offer suggestions to help you ease into the full  workout. 


    • Kickboxing originated from the Thailand martial art of Muay Thai Boxing, dating  back as far as the 1300s. The Japanese are credited with the invention of  modern-day kickboxing as they blended Muay Thai with the martial art of Karate.  However, kickboxing as a fitness alternative did not take hold until the early  1990s. The constant-motion class was developed to provide another option to  aerobic exercise regimens.


    • Don’t let the name fool you. Kickboxing fitness classes should not be  confused with the martial art of kickboxing. The fitness classes do not require  any sparring or contact. You will not wear the traditional “gi” or earn belts.  The classes do not guarantee that you will teach any self-defense. The moves you  learn are primarily self-defense tactics, such as punching, kicking and  blocking. However, the instructors are usually licensed for fitness, not martial  arts.


    • Kickboxing for fitness can significantly reduce stress. The martial arts used  in kickboxing require concentration and focus, which relieves frustration, while  the kicks and punches loosen nerves and help release anger. Kickboxing also  enhances coordination and balance. These are key to staying fit as you age.  Since your body is in motion for about an hour, the heart benefits from a strong  cardiovascular workout and your lung capacity increased through deep and heavy  breathing. Kickboxing is an energizing way to effectively reach and maintain  your weight goals.

    Getting Started

    • Check out a few classes to find the right one. Wear loose, comfortable  clothing and tennis shoes. Cross-trainers work well for this type of program.  Keep a towel handy and drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is key to any  successful workout. Kickboxing is a good way to tone your body and lead a  healthier  lifestyle.  ~ by Kay Curtis eHow Contributor

The Beachbody Challenge

Take The Beachbody Challenge™ today for the ultimate motivation to get fit! Select any Beachbody® program and once you complete it, share your results for a FREE T-shirt and your chance to win:

  • Daily Prizes: $500
  • Monthly Prizes: $1,000
  • Quarterly Prizes: $5,000 and an expenses-paid trip
  • The Grand Prizes: $100,000!




GUYS – this one’s for you!!  If you are looking for a challenging workout to increase your stamina, strength and endurance – this class is for you!  Workouts are challenging, interesting and different every day! Classes include kettlebells, kickboxing, MMA Conditioning, TRX Suspension Training, Weight Training, Cardio and Cross Training. Classes are held Mon – Thurs 8:15 pm!  Starting April 2013 we are including sports nutrition and adding an addition day to work out to help you kick it up a notch and get super fit for summer!  Class size is limited to 10!

Call Dana for more information or to Register!  403-504-8953

Heart Healthy Blueberry Smoothie

  • 1 scoop Beachbody’s Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
  • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1 fresh or frozen blueberries (unsweetened)

Add ice and blend.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Nutritional Information: (per serving)

Calories: 230
Protein: 20 g
Fiber: 4.5 g
Carbs: 38 g
Fat Total: 2 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g

How To Choose A Fitness Studio Right For You!

Before you spend your hard-earned money on a fitness membership, how can you figure out which one is right for you? How can you make  sure it will provide what you need, and that you’ll enjoy it enough to keep  going back?

 Finding a fitness studio that fits your needs doesn’t have to be time-consuming or intimidating.  All it really takes is  knowing what you’re looking for and asking the right questions.

1. What Do You Want from  Your Workout?

This is the starting point. Decide what you want from  exercise, and what type of exercise you want to do. Do you love to swim? Or is  yoga your true calling? Will you be happy running or walking on a treadmill? Or  do you need the latest cardiovascular machines to help keep you motivated? Do  you want to improve cardiovascular endurance, build strength, enhance  flexibility — or just make it through a workout without getting bored?

If you choose an activity you like, you’re more likely to stay with  it.

If variety is your thing, you need a fitness studio with  plenty of machines and/or lots of classes. If you just need to get in and out and  sweat for 40 minutes, don’t pay for all the extra classes and amenities you  won’t be using.  And did you know that doing classes alone without cardio equipment can give you a great workout?  It will push you a bit harder than you would doing a workout on your own.

2. How Convenient Is the  Fitness Studio?

Location is a major consideration, especially if you live in a bigger city.  If you like to workout during your lunch break or right after work, having a fitness studio you can get to quickly is a great incentive.  The No. 1 reason people don’t stick with exercise is lack of time. If it’s not close to either where you live or work,  it’s more of a challenge to get there regularly.

Decide when you’re going to work out most of the time. If it’s in the morning or on weekends, a facility close to home may be  best. If you want to fit your workout in during lunch or after work, choose a fitness studio close to work.

What may be considered “the biggest or the best or most expensive (so it must be the best)” fitness studio in town, isn’t necesarily the best if its out of the way to get there.  Its some of those smaller studio’s where a “fitness family is formed” that may be closer to work or home and can provide more accountability (as they notice when your not there) and some awesome workouts!

3. Is It About Its Existing Members or Only About Attracting New Members?

This may not seem important at first, but it is important to know how they take care of existing members.  If you are lured through the door with an incentive and then forgotten about because they only focus their marketing efforts to attract new members, you may soon find that whether you show up or not is irrevelvant once they have your money.  It is the members who keep a business “in business”!  Without you, they have no business, so its important that they keep their current members happy by noticing and “caring” about whether you are there or not.

4. Does The Fitness Studio Keep Things Interesting And Challenging?

If you are going to invest in your health and fitness and stick with it, you don’t want it to be the same boring thing every day, as that gets old and boring pretty fast!  Do they keep their workouts new, fresh, exciting and challenging?  New equipment to try? Do they engage their members and bring forward new challenges, new workouts,  no routines, new incentives?  This is what keeps people motivated and wanting to come back for more!

Make a point of trying a free class or using the equipment to see if you like the workout, the environment, the instructor, the cleanliness of the facility.  Go one step further and meet with the owner/manager for a tour and personal consult to make sure your needs are met!

5. What Kind of Credentials Does the Staff Have?

People often forget how important it is to have qualified  staff there to guide them on proper alignment on a machine, or proper form in a class.   You don’t want to get injured doing something you shouldn’t be doing, or are doing  incorrectly.

6. What Are the Facility’s  Emergency Procedures?

Not only should the staff know how to coach you through the  equipment, they should know how to handle a medical crisis, should one arise.  It may not seem important to you starting out, but it’s  crucial that any fitness studio have safety and emergency procedures in place.

7. What is the Equipment  Like and How Is It Maintained?

When touring local fitness studios, take a look at the equipment. Don’t just find out if they have elliptical machines; find out how many  they have, how busy the machines seem to be, and how often they’re serviced.

A variety of equipment is great if you want a  full-service fitness center to have a little of everything. But there’s more to  consider.

Test it out!  Is the equipment clean? Are there sprays or wipes that you can see throughout the gym for cleaning mats and equipment? Are there signs that say ‘OUT OF ORDER’? on the machines? You can discover all this  during your initial tour of the studio simply by being observant.  Are the locker rooms unkempt? Are the showers dirty or leaking? Is the hot tub  cloudy? Do the machines look like they’re in poor condition? If so, it’s not the  place you want to spend your money or your time.

8. What Amenities Are  Offered?

In addition to access to machines and free weights, most  memberships at full-service clubs include group fitness classes, lockers and  showers, towels depending on the size of the club.  There could also be services you pay extra for, like  personal training, massage, and child care.

If the fitness studio you choose offers many of these  options, expect to pay more than you would to join a small fitness studio with a  few treadmills and free weights.

9. What Are the  Hours?

Consider your own schedule here. Don’t necessarily be lured  by a fitness studio that’s open 24 hours, or turned off by one that keeps banker’s hours. The important thing is that it is open when you plan to work  out.  If the facility has limited hours and you need more flexibility, then it’s not the best choice for you.

On the other hand, if you have a flexible schedule, you may  be able to save money and time with a mid-day membership. This is the least busy time at a fitness studio; so it may offer lower prices for those willing to come  during these off-peak hours.  Visit the fitness studio during the hours you will be working out. This will give you a feel for how busy the studio will be and what’s offered.  Sometimes if you visit during non-peak times, that’s not  how it’s going to be. If you’re going to be fighting for machines for example, you may not  like that.

If you want classes, find out when the ones you want are offered, and be sure  they fit your schedule.

Before you sign a contract or put down that registration fee, take a step back and figure out what is available during  the hours you can get to the fitness studio.

10. What Is the Total  Cost?

Fitness is not cheap. Whether you join a studio or a  full-service fitness center with day care, showers and a pool, you’ll be  incurring a new expense.

Unfortunately, people do not look at it as an investment  in their body, they look at it as another bill.

Cost is usually tied to what the studio or gym has to offer.  Don’t pay for the newest, nicest fitness center if you’re never going  to need the showers, the lockers, child care, or the pool. If all you want is to  run on a treadmill, there may be a less expensive option in your area. Instead  of $150 a month, you might pay $30.

If a spouse and children are in the picture, ask about  family memberships, you’re probably going to save money by doing  that.

Whatever fitness center you join, read the fine print.

Inquire about payment policies.  If they ask  you for a long-term commitment, make sure you know what that entails and if there are automatic renewals.

Find out if there are allowances for special circumstances,  such as the birth of a child or the illness of a parent or an injury.  Ask  about the studio’s policies on temporarily freezing a membership or adjusting it  to fit your needs.

11. What Kind of  Reputation Does It Have?

It’s a good idea to talk to other members about the quality  of the fitness studio you’re thinking of joining, and to find out what they like about it.

But don’t be afraid to get some impartial information, too.  It’s also good to check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any  complaints have been lodged against the fitness studio you’re considering.

Last but not least – go with your gut!  You want to find a fitness studio where you can be most comfortable — a place with the equipment or classes that is going to help you stick with it!  That’s how  you’re going to derive the long-term benefits!  In the meantime, enjoy your fitness routine!  Look at it as a lifestyle choice, not just a short term incentive to lose weight for that upcoming beach holiday!


What can I say?

I LOVE interacting with people!  I LOVE seeing the same people every day waiting to see what I am going to “make them do” in their next workout class, and seeing the look of horror on their faces and that look of regret that they even showed up.  I know what they are thinking.  “I can never do that!!”  And my thought is – oh yes you can and disguise it as fun!

Ok maybe disgusing it as fun doesn’t always work, but after all the grunting, groaning, moaning and swearing – they get through it, and guess what?  They have bragging rights to say they accomplished “the impossible task”, and then they come back for more again the next day, with the same horrified faces saying “you want us to do WHAT??”

I love what I do and therefore I am very passionate about what I do!  Especially when my members start seeing results and are challenged in ways they may never have been challenged before!  That keeps them engaged and motivated and hungry for more even if they would never admit to it.

As we blog along, I will share a few fun stories that makes what I do – the best job in the world!



10 Reasons to Encourage Fitness in the Workplace

As business owners or managers, it is important to remember that our most important assets are our employees! We want our employees to enjoy their work environment, and to bring the best of themselves to their jobs every day. Encouraging our employees to embrace fitness as a lifestyle choice pays off in numerous ways!

1. Fit employees are less likely to get sick. A person who is physically fit is generally more resistant to the “bug going around” than a person who is not fit. Reduced absenteeism and reduced health care expenditures are the result of a fit employee base.

2. Fit employees have more energy. One of the many benefits of regular exercise is increased and sustained energy throughout the day. This energy allows the employee to stay focused on the task at handing, bringing the best of themselves to each task.

3. Fit employees have more self-confidence. A fit and healthy individual tends to have a high level of self-confidence, because they have proven to themselves that they can accomplish what it takes to obtain a level of physical fitness. This self-confidence empowers the employee to challenge themselves, and strive for higher levels of achievement in the workplace.

4. Fit employees inspire confidence. An persona who maintains a high fitness level, tends to be a person in whom others have confidence.

5. Fit employees tend to take on more leadership roles. Because of the many positive benefits of a lifestyle, a fit individual tends to make a good leader

6. Fit employees set and achieve goals. Extraordinary fitness often demands that an individual set and reach goals related to their fitness. Learning to stay true to your goals and see them through to completion is a skill that is naturally brought into the workplace. An employee with the proven ability to set aggressive goals, and then REALIZE those goals, is a valuable asset to any organization.

7. Fit employees tend to have better attitudes. Fit employees generally “feel good”. They tend to have a physical and mental “balance” that results in a more positive attitude in the workplace.

8. Fit employees are less stressed. Regular exercise releases the physical AND emotional tensions that life brings our way, thus a fit employee tends to have lower overall stress levels than an employee who does not engage in regular exercise.

9. A fit employee base presents excellent team-building opportunities. Team activities like softball or tennis are wonderful ways for employees to take their professional relationships to new levels, and discover new ways of working together. Obviously, employees that maintain a level of fitness are more likely to participate in these activities.

10. Encouraging fitness demonstrates a concern for employee’s well-being, and pays off! Employees NOTICE when an employer shows concern for the health and well-being of their employee base through a variety of wellness programs. Further, it has been shown that employee turnover is significantly lower among employees that take advantage of a wellness program implemented by their employer.

Learn To Read Nutrition Facts – Food Labels

NutritionFacts1Learn To Read Nutrition Facts – Food Labels