Juan’s Transformation

My name is Juan Hernandez and I am from Mexico. I came to the U.S. about 3 years ago, and I’m a network engineer currently working at State Farm. I like to travel with my friends and try new restaurants and go to new places.

My work and my lifestyle were sedentary, which led me to gain a lot of weight, in addition to eating food from restaurants (which was expensive and unhealthy).

Over the years I have tried a lot of things to lose weight, like buying an elliptical and a treadmill (which I still have in my house and hang my clothes on). I also bought a bicycle because I thought it could be a good way to get to work and lose some weight in the process. There have been times that I reached my ideal weight by running outside or using the treadmill, but…

The issue was not maintaining it, because of lack of consistency. I am one of those guys who gets easily bored doing the same stuff over and over, and running or bicycling are no exceptions. Then I decided to join Four Seasons and give it a shot. Over the last year and a half, I have lost about 45 pounds by committing to go to the gym at least 4 times per week (but most of the time I go 5, even 6). Four Seasons has a variety of machines and physical activities, so whenever I feel bored I try something else. My objective is to keep moving. Sometimes I run on the treadmill or track, sometimes I swim or go to a fitness class, and sometimes I lift weights.

How this has helped me? Well… I feel lighter, I am faster, I have more endurance and stamina. I don’t feel tired trough the day, my old clothes fit me again, so I don’t have to buy new. I am happy with the results!

If you think you need a life-style change, I recommend membership at Four Seasons. It is a wise investment, keeps you healthy and the time you spend working out will fill you with energy and ideas to fully accomplish your day-to-day activities!

Posted in Four Seasons News| Comments closed

Dan’s Determination

Dan Miller has been a member at Four Seasons for over 10 years. His favorite part about the club is how much he feels at home when he comes in. He has made many friends at the club with members and employees. Dan, once dubbed “the mayor of Four Seasons,” is always ready with a cheerful hello and smile to everyone who passes by.

When Dan was in his 20s and 30s he didn’t care about his health or working out. He didn’t eat well and never went to the gym. Then when he was in his 40s he had a massive stroke. Doctors told him he would never walk or talk again. It was a dismal diganosis, but Dan was very determined to prove them wrong and turn his life around.

He now works out 5 to 6 days a week for 2 hours at a time, rain or shine. You can usually find him walking the steps singing along to his radio, or on the cardio equipment cheering when someone wins on Price is Right! But what has really helped him with his rehabilitation is training 3 days a week with Steve Keist, Four Seasons Personal Trainer. Steve has been training Dan for 6 years now and the progress he has made is astounding. Dan is now 61 years old and doing things in the gym he would have never dreamed of doing when he was younger. Determination, committment, consistency and a postitive attitude have made all the difference!

Posted in Four Seasons News| Comments closed

Protect Your Skin!

 

Submitted by Becky Powell, Community Cancer Center

As we enter the summer months and enjoy warm temperatures, cookouts, and pool parties it is important to protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun.  According to the Skin Cancer Foundation more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in this country than all other cancers combined.  Approximately 1 in 5 American will develop a skin cancer by age 70.  Additionally, the number of new melanoma skin cancer cases has increased 53 percent over the last 10 years.

Protecting your skin from the damaging rays of the sun is something everyone must make a priority. When it comes to skin protection, there are many different types of sunscreen products on the market. Chemical versus physical sunscreen are terms you may or may not be familiar with. Physical sunscreens contain mineral ingredients such as titanium dioxide or zinc oxide and work by deflecting the sun’s rays away from the skin.  Chemical sunscreens, also referred to as chemical absorbers, contain ingredients such as oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone.  They work by changing the sun’s rays into heat which is then released from the skin.  There are pros and cons to both types but when selecting a product make sure it states “broad spectrum” so it protects you from both the UVA and UVB rays of the sun and has at least a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30. Other key steps to skin protection include:

  • Seekingshade when attending outdoor activities
  • Re-applying your sunscreen every 2 hours or more depending on your outdoor activity.
  • Wearing protective clothing such as hats, long sleeves, sunglasses
  • Avoiding the use indoor tanning beds or sunbathing

Remember these skin safety tips as you get outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of summer.

 

Posted in Four Seasons News| Comments closed

POUND it out with Katie Gordon!

I’ve been with Four Seasons for over 3 years now – 2 of them as a Group Fitness instructor. My education includes certificates in both personal training and group fitness instruction, as well as WERQ, POUND, Buti Yoga, and Group Power. My passions are fitness, helping others improve their health, and empowering other women to be more and take charge of their life, health and happiness. Outside of the studio I enjoy powerlifting and strongman training, learning more about topics that interest me and spending time with my 3 children and husband.

The thing I love most about instructing is getting to know the people that come to workout with me and learning about some of the extraordinary circumstances that people deal with. From the great-grandparents that want to be able to keep up with their grand-babies, to the women that are struggling with some hardcore but invisible diseases (autoimmune and the like), I am inspired by everyone that joins me in the studio every week. We have such an amazing and diverse population at Four Seasons and it is that a reminder that our differences are what makes life beautiful.

According to the wonderful people who take my classes, my energy and enthusiasm makes me stand out as an instructor. Little do they know, it’s really just the insane amount of coffee I drink shining through! I hope that another thing that makes me stand out is my emphasis on just moving your body in a way that makes you feel strong, powerful, and happy as opposed to punishing it for extra calories or trying to force it to look a certain way. I try to make fitness fun and accessible for everyone because it’s so important to move your body, not just to look a certain way or lose weight but in order to live a long, healthy and happy life. Not that there is anything wrong with losing weight or building muscles, but I try to make that a secondary benefit in my classes. It’s more important for me that my participants leave with a smile on their face than it is for them to burn x amount of calories or feel “bikini ready.”

My favorite thing about Four Seasons is that it really is a family environment. Not just that families are encouraged to be active together, but that the second you walk into the studio on your first day of class, you’re part of the family and we’ve got your back. In almost every class I see one of our ‘regulars’ take a first timer under their wing, and every time it makes my heart smile. That is such a rare thing to find, not just in a gym situation, but over all in life. Most everywhere you go in life there’s competition and jealousy, especially among women. But at Four Seasons, both between the staff and with the members, there’s this huge every growing community that wants to see each other succeed. I also really love the facilities at Four Seasons I for being able to take my children to play in the gym or to swim. And I also love my Childcare ladies. Having started out in Childcare at Four Seasons, I have a special insight into just how special and amazing our Childcare workers are. They love my kids, and all the kids they have in their care, and it shows.

POUND is a movement experience unlike anything I’ve come across. Just the concept – a drumming inspired workout that puts weighted sticks in your hands and puts you through moves that work your muscles and heart but also releases your inner Rockstar- is completely different than any traditional workout I’ve ever come across. It’s this unique blend of cardio and strength work but it does it in a way that, when the class is over, your body is tired but your mind is craving more. The workout goes by so fast and you leave with wobbly legs. The benefits of it are crazy too. You get the heart health benefits of a HIIT style cardio workout, and the ever important bone building work of weight bearing strength workouts that one would expect. Plus, hitting things with sticks is such a fantastic way to release stress, and it’s a great way to improve hand eye coordination and strengthen your brain by forcing you to create connections between the movements and the rhythm. If you’re a science nerd like I am, there have been several studies lately that link drumming and improved Alzheimer’s outcomes. Since my main priority is helping people live longer, healthier lives this POUND perk is important to me, more so than the potential to burn lots of calories! There’s also just something magical about that first strike of each class, when everyone takes a breath, puts aside their day-to-day stresses and comes together to move their bodies and make lots of noise. That moment is what hooked me into POUND. The absolute best part of POUND is that it can be modified to fit your body. We have used steps, Bosu balls, chairs and more to make sure the benefits are accessible to everyone. No matter age, body type or level of fitness – POUND is for you!

Posted in Four Seasons News| Comments closed

Erin’s Transformation

On November 9, 2014 my life changed forever. I intended to go visit a friend for the evening, but plans were pushed back several times due to different circumstances. My friend and I ended up watching a later movie than initially planned. The movie turned out to be three hours long, which put me on the road at one of the most dangerous times of the night. At approximately 1:29 am, I was struck head-on by a wrong-way drunk driver traveling the wrong way on the expressway. Immediately, my spine shattered- I had two burst fractures at L5 and S4 of my spine—severely compressed nerves, several broken bones, damaged organs and muscles, a severed iliac artery and a concussion. I was paralyzed from the waist down and the doctors did not know if I would walk again or what my recovery would be like. It has been 3 1/2 years of multiple surgeries—eight in total—to repair the damage to my spine and abdomen. I spent 68 days in the hospital, including the rehab hospital, and another two years subsequently in outpatient rehab learning how to walk again and alternatively use the bathroom.

The following year and a half, I focused on being a new wife and I joined my husband at the gym since we both love to be active.Going to the gym was something I had always loved to do. As a prior Group X instructor and personal trainer throughout college and beyond, I prided myself on my strength and fitness knowledge. To think that working out in the same way and doing normal things such as squats and lunges was something I may have lost completely broke my heart. But because of great medical care, a lot of faith, and a great support system, my surgeons told me time and time again that I have beat the odds. Don’t get me wrong, I still have all of the same issues as paraplegics- as that is my official diagnosis—I can just walk. My gait is not normal, but to an untrained eye, it looks pretty good. While my recovery may never be complete, and I may never be who I once was, or have the strength in my lower half that I once did, I have learned to adapt. I still struggle with pretty weak calves due to nerve damage. The calves control all movement of the feet making balance hard and orthotics necessary.

 

Finding a gym where I could feel comfortable despite my newfound disability and limitations was key. Working out at Four Seasons has given me a lot of hope. I have been able to attend several of the classes and focus on what I am able to physically do—which turns out to be a LOT. I love the group fitness class setting and I am over the moon grateful to be able to participate again. Other participants may notice me sometimes holding onto the wall or the structure beam in the room to balance. Going to classes gives a lot of opportunity to interact with others and workout to an already-formed workout routine to fun music. Because of my fitness background, I am able to modify exercises as necessary and all of the instructors have been very accepting of this. I also love the teaching style of the instructors as they are upbeat, understanding of current fitness trends, and make sure to focus on a lot of safety cues, which keep participants like myself and others safe.

 

The Four Seasons location closer to where my husband and I now live also has a pool. I have just discovered how much I love swimming for sport, and how free I feel in a pool. In the pool, my limitations feel less burdensome somehow. I’ve always considered myself a “fish” and having a pool, which is really good for my body and easy on my joints and back, has been super helpful. I hope to join a swim team soon and I plan on using the Four Seasons gym to train. This gives me a goal. while keeping me fit at the same time. Four Seasons is overall a great gym with plenty of space, different kinds of fitness equipment and group classes. I consider comfortability in a gym super high on my priorities list when deciding on a place to work out, and I feel extremely comfortable here. There is a great mix of all kinds of people, which makes it more of a win in my book!

-Erin Rollins

Posted in Four Seasons News| Comments closed