What is appropriate gym etiquette?

A common question I am often asked is:

I’ve never been to a gym before and I just got a membership… What is appropriate gym etiquette?

Whether you’re an expert exerciser or you’re just starting out, there are some unspoken rules that all of us should know:

  • Share. If you’re doing multiple sets on a machine, it’s common courtesy to let others in during your rest periods.
  • Clean up after yourself. Leaving your sweat behind is not only gross, it’s disrespectful. We provide towels for you to use while you’re exercising and have disinfectant spray bottles placed visibly throughout the club. If you leave sweat streaks on a machine, wipe it down.
  • Put your tools away. If you put 300 pounds of plate load on an incline chest press, stack up a step to do plyometrics, use a resistance band or a Bosu, put them away when you’re finished.
  • Use common sense. If you’ve been on a cardio machine for 30 minutes and there are others waiting (most likely someone will inquire, “how much time do you have left”),  it’s time to get off and move on. Cross training is more beneficial and chances are, the stairclimbers are open for use.

Should I Choose a Treadmill or a Stairclimber?

I am looking to purchase either a treadmill or a stairclimber.  Which would you choose? What features should I look for in a treadmill?

Both are cardiovascular machines meant to increase heart rate and burn calories and fat.  It’s a personal choice.  Stairclimbing is a more advanced exercise and requires more endurance than walking, but if you are planning to run and walk using a treadmill, then either would provide appropriate training for your cardiovascular system.  I would recommend getting either piece on a 30 day trial to be sure you like what you’re getting and that you’ll make a commitment to actually using it.  We have good intentions, but more often than not, home equipment gets used as a clothes rack more than it gets used for exercise.

At Fit for Life, we have both treadmills and stairclimbers in addition to recumbent bikes, Arc Trainers and Elliptical Runners for cardiovascular exercise.  Remember, the more choices you have, the more benefit you receive and the less likely you are to get bored with your routine.  Plus, you have the option of taking group classes, you have camaraderie and professional staff available to answer all your questions.  Choose a piece of equipment for 30 days on trial and come to Fit for Life for 1 week FREE and then make your final decision.

I’m Not Enthusiastic About Exercising

I’m 74 and not enthusiastic about exercising, but know it’s for my own good.  Can you make it fun?  Would you recommend exercising on machines or taking exercise classes?

You’re not alone!!  Many people aren’t enthusiastic about exercising, but one thing we all know is that exercise is good for us, both physically and mentally.  Exercise isn’t a luxury, it’s a NECESSITY and all the research points to it.  In fact, exercise is at the top of the list for the prevention of many diseases including heart disease, osteoporosis and certain types of cancer.  It relieves stress and makes you feel good about you!!

At Fit for Life, we not only make exercise fun, we assess your current fitness level and design an individual program to meet all your needs.  In addition, we offer 4 classes each week that are designed specifically for seniors as part of our SilverSneakers Program.  The classes are fun and rewarding!!

I recommend doing both machines and classes. Changing things up as much as possible helps prevent injury and works your muscles in many different planes of movement.

Call today to set up a time to tour our facility … you’ll be glad you did.

Fitness Motivation

I feel better and healthier when I have a work-out regimen, but I go to the gym for 3 months and then stop.

Do you have tips to keep me motivated?

It’s important to remember that we are all responsible for finding the key to keeping ourselves motivated to exercise. What works for one may not work for another.

A gym can only provide the tools to help you. At Fit for Life we offer a Get Started Program – we assess your current fitness level and your fitness goals and design a program that meets all your needs. We offer one-on-one personal training for those who need even more motivation – the personal trainer encourages you to come out of your comfort zone and do things you would not imagine you can do. And, we also offer group classes as another avenue to keep you interested.

Our team will work with you to find the best solution to keeping you motivated to fulfill your promise to yourself.

What kind of exercises should a woman do to stay in shape while pregnant?

If you were exercising regularly before you became pregnant, you should be able to maintain that program (for the most part) throughout your pregnancy. Exercise does not increase your risk for miscarriage.

If you are just starting an exercise program as a way of improving your health during pregnancy, get approval from your physician, start slow and follow these tips:

  • Drink plenty of water while exercising. Staying hydrated is important.
  • Listen to your body … your body will tell you what to do.
  • Never exert to the point of breathlessness. Use RPE scales to determine exertion levels. Exercise should feel “somewhat hard”.
  • Use weight training as a form of toning only. It’s normal to have to decrease the amount of weight you’ve been used to in order to stay comfortable.
  • Avoid exercises that involve lying flat on your back during the 2nd and 3rd trimester. Continue abdominal exercises in a seated position.
  • Remember that your joints and ligaments are more lax during pregnancy and this may increase risk of injury. Choose exercises that are stable.

Fit for Life has implemented a Pre and Post Partum Exercise Program. Our trained experts can help you throughout your pregnancy and after. Call for more information.

What Does Physically Fit Mean?

To be physically fit means to be in a state of health and well-being. Physical fitness is defined as the body’s ability to function efficiently and effectively in work and leisure activities, to be healthy, to resist disease and to react to emergency situations.

How Does one Tell If They Are Physically Fit?

You can determine how physically fit you are by having a fitness assessment. We offer fitness assessments at Fit for Life. Our assessment includes a full medical history, blood pressure/heart rate test, body composition analysis including body fat percentage and circumferential measurements, flexibility assessment and a graded exercise test (GXT). The GXT is performed on a treadmill and determines your estimated volume of oxygen consumption. From this test we can determine how “fit” you are in comparison with others in your age group and determine your target heart rate zone/MET level. These numbers are vital in setting up an appropriate exercise prescription and therefore, fitness assessments are highly recommended before you begin an exercise program.

Come join us at Fit for Life and we will help you get “physically fit“.

Sheila Rolling, Personal Fitness Trainer and Owner of Fit for Life – Fitness Club in Faribault, MN.

Jumpstart Your Metabolism!

Are there certain foods that will help increase metabolism?

The answer is YES!

The types of foods that boost metabolism are known as negative calorie foods. This means that you burn more calories from digesting the food than the food is actually worth.

For example, if you eat a food containing 100 calories and you find out that the food will burn 120 calories, you have burned a net of 20 calories just by eating that food. AWESOME!

Negative Calorie Foods

Foods that are capable of producing negative calorie results include:


  • apples
  • blueberries
  • raspberries
  • strawberries
  • grapefruit
  • lemons
  • mangos
  • pineapple
  • oranges
  • tangerines


  • carrots
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower
  • lettuce
  • cabbage
  • asparagus
  • beets
  • spinach
  • onions
  • celery
  • zucchini

Warning: Avoid “empty calories” (junk food) or calories from foods with poor vitamin and nutrient content. These types of foods have a reverse effect on our metabolism; they add more to our body fat because they require fewer calories to digest than the amount of calories they contain. End result – slower metabolism.

The best way to jumpstart your Metabolism is Exercise!

Sheila Rolling, Personal Fitness Trainer and Owner of Fit for Life – Fitness Club in Faribault, MN.

Drinking Water vs High Energy Drinks

We all know that drinking water is beneficial in an exercise regimen – what about high energy drinks?

One can of high-energy drink, such as Red Bull, Wired, Fixx, No Fear, or Monster Rockstar contain an average of 14 times the caffeine of a regular can of soda or are equivalent to 7 cups of very strong coffee. These types of drinks are sold as supplementary drinks instead of soft drinks, therefore, warning labels that note the caffeine content and the health risks associated with drinking them are not displayed.

Health risks to ingesting these types of drinks include nervousness, anxiety, dizziness, numbness, insomnia, rapid heartbeat and tremors. High energy drinks may help you to exercise, but they also raise heart rates and blood pressure which can make them dangerous for people with cardiovascular disease or for those taking drugs to lower heart rate or blood pressure.

Regular exercise, drinking plenty of water, eating from all 5 food groups and controlling food portions are more likely to protect our hearts than the amount of caffeine we consume.

Faribault Fitness Center Videos – Fit for Life is on YouTube!

Fit for Life has created a YouTube Channel for our Fitness Center. Julie Fox of Fox Video Productions recently produced 7 videos of our fitness classes. You can visit our Fit for Life MN Videos here on our website or on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/fitforlifemn If you visit YouTube, be sure to leave a comment and subscribe to our channel.

We have 4 videos of our aerobics classes and 3 videos of our SilverSneakers classes.

Sheila Rolling leading a Combo: Step and Pump class

Rosalie Ihde Teaching Us to Kickbox

Theresa Vold Leading Our SilverSneakers Through A Workout

See the rest of our videos on our Fit for Life Video page under the Information tab.

Lifesteps Weight Management Program Starts in January

Picked up a few pounds over the holidays? A new Lifesteps 16-week Weight Management Program is forming in January at Fit for Life.

ACT NOW! The next class begins with individual interviews the week of Jan. 12th.

Participants have the choice of Wed. noon class or Thurs. 5:15 p.m. class.  Step 1 begins on either Wed. the 21st or Thurs. the 22nd of Jan. depending on which day of the week you choose.  We meet for 1 hour each week thereafter for a total of 16 weeks in a group setting (about 8-12 people per class).

Group classes are small to allow you to feel comfortable sharing information and ideas. If you are committed to losing weight and keeping it off.

Most weight loss programs restrict you from eating certain foods, encourage harmful practices to promote quick weight loss or offer over-the-counter weight loss drugs. You must recognize that these types of programs are “temporary fixes” to a lifelong problem and unless you increase your awareness of what you eat, how much you eat, how you eat and why you eat, there’s a high risk of gaining your weight back.

Lifesteps recognizes that weight loss is hard work. It contains strategies for making lifestyle changes in both eating and exercise habits. Our leaders work in partnership with you to help you develop an individual plan that meets your needs. There is no special diet – you eat the foods you enjoy, the same foods your family eats and there are no marathon exercises – you choose activities that fit your schedule and your fitness level. Information is presented sequentially and each step builds on the previous one.

You will develop healthy eating and exercise habits that will help you lose weight and keep it off for the rest of your life!

Please see our Lifesteps page for more information about this program or contact Sheila Rolling at our fitness center, by phone at (507) 333-5430 or use our online contact form 24 ours a day.