NOAA Fitness Center

Lift, Live, Love

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2016

Welcome to the NOAA Fitness Center’s Blog! Each quarter Fitness Center Staff will post a new blog! Please join us for these open discussions on fitness and wellness!


Coping with Injury

-- By Daisha M. Savage, Senior Fitness Specialist, NFC


            About four months ago I sustained a bilateral knee injury—That’s just a fancy word for saying I have the same injury on both knees. I was playing flag football when I hyperextended both knees. The result was a completely torn ACL in each knee. (You may be familiar with this injury from Redskins’ NFL player RG3.) One ACL injury is enough to put your life on hold, as it requires surgery to repair PLUS 8-10 MONTHS of recovery. Two at the same time can be life altering, if you let it ;). I guess you could say I hit the jackpot.

            The average regularly active person who is diagnosed with an ACL tear would experience an initial decline in their activity and will be limited in exercise for the duration of the recovery. I, on the other hand, am required to be active for a living. Teaching group exercise classes, training, and just the ability to walk around is crucial. I went from being active 6 - 7 days per week to no activity at all. Needless to say, this experience has been nothing short of dizzying.

            So that begs the question, how does one cope with injury that results in a dramatic interruption of your life? I think I’ve got it down to a few simple steps that worked for me:

  1. Listen to your doctors. – ACL injuries are extremely common. Most people have heard about it, experienced it themselves, or know someone who has, so naturally many people offered advice. While I appreciated the moral support, I understand that times have changed and recovery processes have evolved as doctors and scientists learn more and more about the physiological functions of the human body. Listen to your body and follow the guidelines outlined by your doctor.
  2. Learn about your condition. – I am a "science-y” person. I love learning and understanding. I found that having a good idea of what was happening to me helped me to accept it and adhere to my recovery program. "WHY” goes a long way in my book. Understanding is key.
  3.   Accept Help. – Like many people, I always want to do everything myself so as not to inconvenience anyone. I never quite realized how integrated this was into my psyche until I was injured. There were so many minor situations where people asked me if I needed help. Trying to carry a handful of items while in a brace and on crutches forced me to put my pride aside. Take it from me- accept help where you can get it. Also, you never know who you may meet or how you might inspire them along the course of your own journey. I can’t tell you how many interesting conversations I held with people who were going through more than met the eye when I allowed them to lend me a hand. I learned that those who offer help understand what its like to need it most.
  4. Do What You Can When You Can – Inactivity was like a bomb falling on my life. I started Physical Therapy about 1.5 weeks after the surgery and everything I did then became my "exercise routine.” It was the closest to normalcy that I could get. When I graduated to walking without crutches, I stopped taking the elevator. Once I got rid of the brace, I used my Fit Bit to set goals and walk as much as possible. When I got on the leg press in therapy, I leg pressed my little heart out, and then when I was finally cleared to ride a bike I did a bike tour of Washington, D.C. just to celebrate. I also rode the spin bike often. Take it one step at a time and then do as much as you can when you can.
  5. Find New Outlets - Whatever your reasons for exercising, think of alternative methods to incorporate into your regular routine that makes you a better person. One reason that I exercise is for clarity. I recently made guided meditation part of my routine and it has improved my concentration as well as helped me think more clearly in difficult situations. Finding new outlets was beneficial to me because I no longer felt that removing one thing led to this domino effect in my life. Instead, I replaced exercise with a bunch of new outlets I never would have explored before.  Health isn’t just physical; it’s mental and spiritual.
  6.  Look at how far you’ve come instead of how far you’ve got to go – This one is key, although easier said than done. Try to focus on how far you’ve progressed and your next immediate goal as opposed to thinking about the finish line, which can leave you down in the dumps. Jog several small races instead of trying to sprint an entire marathon. 

These are just a few tips that got me by. Dealing with an injury is difficult and different for everything. The best thing you can do is stay positive and celebrate all your mini victories along the way!  

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Welcome to the NOAA Fitness Center’s Blog! Each quarter Fitness Center Staff will post a new blog! Please join us for these open discussions on fitness and wellness!


What Does Healthy Look Like???

-- By Daisha M. Savage, Senior Fitness Specialist, NFC


More often than not, I encounter clients, members, and people in general who want to be healthier. The first question that I usually ask during these conversations is, "What are your fitness goals?” More often than not the answer begins with, "I want to look like (insert famous celebrity, body shape, or non-specific description like "skinny” or "sexy” or "buff”).


As a fitness professional, this isn’t only frustrating because of the lack of a quantifiable goal, but even more so it is disheartening. There is so much more to being healthy than just aesthetics but unfortunately society teaches us that all of the health benefits pale in comparison to how one looks.


I once led a health and fitness seminar for a college event. During the seminar I showed three pictures and asked which person was the healthiest based on appearance. Picture A was a massive body builder peaking for a competition, Picture B was a person going out for a jog, and Picture C was of a very slender person. These pictures were stark in contrast on purpose.


There was no right or wrong answer to this question. People’s body types are different for multiple reasons but physical appearance is not solely indicative of health status. Many people visit personal trainers with aesthetic goals that can be unrealistic (and sometimes the complete opposite of healthy!) due to their genetic makeup and a variety of other reasons. This begs the question: how do you know if you’re really healthy or not?


I’m glad you asked! There are guidelines for measuring one’s state of fitness known as The 5 Components of Fitness. These five components include muscular endurance, cardiorespiratory endurance, strength, flexibility, and body composition. Staying within range in all five of these categories is an excellent indicator of your overall health status and your ability to minimize injury during daily activity.


It is important to understand that where one aims to fall within these guidelines depends on their goals. Some people exercise for general health, others exercise purely for strength, and some seek to attain sport-specific goals. Some even exercise just to love what they see in the mirror. None of these are wrong and they all result in health benefits along the way. Just be conscious of self-proclaimed fitness gurus and fitness fads- the creators may not always have the same goals as you!


Friday, March 4th, 2016

Welcome to the NOAA Fitness Center’s Blog! Each quarter Fitness Center Staff will post a new blog! Please join us for these open discussions on fitness and wellness!


Motivation: Honesty Hour

-- By Daisha M. Savage, Senior Fitness Specialist, NFC


What is motivation? What does it really look like? At some point we all have struggled to adhere to a routine in order to accomplish a goal and finding the encouragement to keep progressing can be difficult!


If you’re reading this blog I’m assuming that you are a fellow fitness enthusiast! We share a common bond in that we LOVE to exercise. We get some weird excitement (and endorphins) out of getting all sweaty, getting our hearts pumping, and reaping the immediate health benefits! But what about the people in our lives who hate to exercise? Today, let’s have an honest talk about motivation: I’ll go first!


It’s so easy for me to love exercise because I chose to dedicate my career to promoting and encouraging the health of others but some of my friends and family members don’t see it the same way. I always thought that once I obtained a certain level of expertise that I would have enough knowledge to push them in the right direction.


What I’ve actually realized is that no matter how much knowledge I gain, how many suggestions I make to them, or how much encouragement I give, the real motivation must be intrinsic. All of my clinical experience has made me realize that I don’t want to see my loved ones wait until they have a catastrophic event (like a heart attack or a preventable injury) to change their lives, but I began to feel a little hopeless.


When I really assessed why they were so discouraged by exercise, the number one reason that I discovered was not time, like most professional studies often cite, but the lack of enjoyment. I think if people found more ways to incorporate things they liked into their health and wellness they wouldn’t feel like it was something they had to make time for because they’d want to do it! (I should take a moment to reiterate that this was not the result of a clinical study but personal conversations with people in my life.)


Now, instead of telling family, friends, and members what to do once they join a gym, I start a dialogue about their goals and hobbies and I try to build off of that. This article, How To Love Exercise: The Crucial Mindset Shift, cites some great tips on how people can teach themselves to enjoy exercise.


Do you have any friends or family members who are baffled by your love of physical activity? What do you do to motivate them?

Monday, July 6

4 Things Your Personal Trainer IS and ISN’T by Leah Rich

Your personal trainer is
1)  Your number 1 fitness supporter! We want you to succeed and accomplish your goals!
2)  A friend and confidant. Feel free to share what’s bothering you in your life.
3)  There to guide you not to torture you. We want to challenge you physically and mentally to push through barriers you may not be able to push through alone.
4)  A real person. We don’t work out for 8 hours a day… our superpowers aren’t that strong.   

Your personal trainer isn’t
1)  Going to do the exercise for you. This is your workout, not ours!
2)  Let you cheat during your workout. We have the workout written down, we know if you skipped an exercise.
3)  Judgmental! If the workout if too much, let us know! We are happy to modify so you get the most out of your workout.
4)  A mind reader. We usually don’t know about aches and pains you’re experiencing unless you communicate with us! Listen to your own body!

Check out the NFC Personal Trainers and find out if personal training will help you reach your fitness goals!

Tuesday, May 12

End Body Shaming,
Spread Body Appreciation

By: Leah Rich 

Body shaming doesn’t motivate anyone. Change your view on your body and set the example for others.

            We are our biggest critics. We look in the mirror and judge our "saddle bags” and "thigh gaps.” It is time to take the body shaming words out of our dictionary and start celebrating our bodies!  We exercise and eat healthy and sometimes don’t see the change as quickly as we want. The truth is, you may never look like Jennifer Aniston or Ryan Gosling, but that’s a great reason to celebrate your individuality.  We won’t feel better about ourselves if we compare our bodies to the photo-shopped Hollywood stars or even our neighbors and peers. Celebrate you! 

            Appreciate the fact that your arms lift your children or the giant pot of soup, your legs can support you for miles or help you run after the bus when you’re late. Let’s embrace how healthy our bodies and minds feel when we work out! When we feel strong and happy, we radiate contagious positivity! Pass on that positivity and show others you can be happy in your own skin. Let’s change our mindset and it just might change the rest of our day.

"Remember always that you not only have the right to be an indivi