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11128 Holmes
Kansas City, MO 64131
816-943-8348

formerly BENE-FIT Health & Fitness

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Holiday Cookies

Posted on November 19, 2018 at 11:15 PM Comments comments (0)

If you ask the founder of Precision Nutrition, John Berardi, for a killer healthy holiday cookie recipe, he'll make a surprising confession: He's not making low fat, gluten free, protein packed, artificially sweetened cookies. He makes the real thing, the kind of cookie that contains butter, sugar and flour. A nutritionist that DOESN'T eat 100% protein and veggies all the time? Yes, you read that right.


Foods are not "good" or "bad" but simply choices. Every time you choose what to eat, you vote for what is important to you right now. Choices weigh pros and cons. Choices express what is important to us. Choices have consequences which we choose to accept. So this holiday season, give yourself permission to enjoy some real holiday cookies or some other thing you enjoy but normally consider to be off-limits. Just do it consciously, mindfully, joyfully. Instead of scarfing it down and waiting for the guilt to kick in, eat slowly and savor the flavors of the season.


You can enjoy food, connect with others, and still be healthy and fit. And, you can do it without gaining the usual five or more pounds. Countdown to Christmas provides the tools and support to help you balance intentional eating and efficient workouts while savoring the season.


 

Success Stories Written Here

Posted on February 14, 2018 at 10:20 PM Comments comments (1)

I was covering the front desk over a Friday noon hour when loud cheering erupted from the free weight area. I had to see what it was about, so I walked back there to check it out. One of our members had just benched 415 pounds! There were high fives and congrats around. Not just with those in the weight area, but among those using the Nu-Steps and treadmills. 


The lift in energy and mood was contagious and it made me think back to another member success from earlier that same day. A lady who had been in so much pain that her mobility was becoming more and more limited decided to work through her pain only to find that it subsided as she grew stronger. Since becoming a daily exerciser, she had lost 30 pounds. While her milestone was more low key and didn’t have the place cheering, it was no less meaningful.


Blue Bicycle Health & Fitness is a fitness community as these two very different victories illustrate. Our members are all ages and sizes, athletes and active seniors, people wanting to build bicep muscles and people wanting heal a heart muscle. I’ve been asked if there is a target audience. My response is that our target is anyone seeking a welcoming, supportive place to improve their health and well-being. No matter where you are in life, you will find people here who are very much like you. You can tap into the positive energy of everyday victories to rekindle your own fire within. Your story is being written day. Our community will help make yours a success story.


Creatures of Habit

Posted on January 19, 2018 at 11:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Habits are the foundation of building a better you. Success coach John Maxwell says “You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily.” How you go about changing your habits can determine whether those changes will stick for only a week or two or become established as part of your way of life.


Habits are hard to change. They are behaviors that have become ingrained, sometimes over many years. When you decide you want to get into better shape, it is tempting to try and change everything at once. The reality is that many of us don’t do several things well simultaneously. Leo Babauta, bestselling author and creator of www.zenhabit.net estimates that people who focus on changing one behavior at a time are more likely to retain that habit a year or more 80% of the time. When they try to change more than two at a time, that retention drops to around 20%. Focus on one or two things. You either do those things or you don’t. Then seek explanations without making excuses or beating yourself up.


Much like the choices faced by Goldilocks, habit changes can be too small, aka too easy, they can be too big, aka too hard or they can be just right. Like the three bears, this is not one size fits all. Ask yourself if you can see yourself doing this for the rest of your life. More drastic changes can be made for a pre-determined short term period of time. The Whole30 Challenge is an example. How do you react to drastic change? Can you step back to that “just right” point at the end of the time period or do you rebound back to your old habits with a vengeance.


  • Find YOUR starting point. Identify one or two habits to change. It may be doing more cardio. It may be eating more veggies.
  • Clarify the desired habit and make it measureable. For example, doing more cardio may mean walking on the treadmill for 30 minutes every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday morning. Eating more veggies is clearer when stated as adding a fist-sized portion to each meal.
  • Check your confidence. On a scale of 1-10, one being impossible and 10 be easy, rate your commitment to making this change. If it is less than six, assess what you would need to do to raise that number or consider a different habit to tackle.


How can we help? We can meet with you to determine that starting point and determine your realistic next step. Willpower and discipline are finite resources. A habit that has time to get fully established will ultimately require less of both. Reaching that point is a continuous process of assessment and adjustment.




Body By YOU

Posted on December 31, 2017 at 6:25 PM Comments comments (0)

In 2013, I sought input from friends and family for a name to brand my personal training/wellness coaching business. Body by Jan and Fit Schmidt Fitness Training were two finalists among several similar suggestions. But both directed too much focus on me, rather than my mission. I wanted to help my clients get where they wanted to go, much like my blue bicycle had done for me for many years. As 2018 dawns, the Blue Bicycle brand has become something bigger, but the overall mission remains the same.  


Blue Bicycle Health & Fitness won't promise that WE get results. The only person who can get results is YOU. Great facilities, classes and trainers help. But in the long run, only YOU can do the work. Only YOU can get yourself through the front door. Only YOU can control what goes into your mouth. Not just in January, but every week and month as the year rolls on.


We WILL promise to be here to help you set realistic goals and identify key habits that will move you toward those goals. We WILL promise to support you in developing and sustaining those habits for the long haul. As nice as it sounds, there are no silver bullets. Changes drastic enough to lead to fast dramatic changes are rarely sustainable. 


What kind of results are meaningful to you? Where do you see yourself in three months...six months...a year? What changes are you prepared to make to get there? We are going to start the year off by asking you to take a few moments to consider these questions and then letting us help you be accountable in two ways:

  1. Writing a letter to yourself stating how you see yourself in six months. What will you be able to do? How will you have changed? What three habits will you add/change/delete along the way. We will have forms at Blue Bicycle for you to do this throughout the month of January. You can then place what you have written in an envelope (also provided), and address it to yourself. We will mail these to you in July.
  2. Share your main goal/intention by writing it on the white board that we will have set up outside of the Fitness Office beginning January 2nd. You can remain anonymous if you wish, but the simple act of writing it down and then seeing your goal every time you come into the club can be surprisingly powerful. Better yet, take a picture of what you write with your phone. 


We'll provide the "bike". No empty promises. Just sincere support and honest guidance to help you get the most from the time you invest at the club. Great things are in store for 2018. Wishing everyone a Happy and Healthy New Year!


Finish Strong

Posted on November 19, 2017 at 8:40 PM Comments comments (0)

You may not know of Shalane Flanagan, but she made history in this year's New York City Marathon. She took the lead 23 miles into the 26.2 mile race and finished strong, becoming the first American woman in four decades to win. It took mental toughness, family support and self care in the form of training, nutrition, and rest to get her to the top of that podium. You say that you're not a world class athlete? Maybe not, but you can still finish strong in 2017. 


Thanksgiving week marks more than just the start of the holiday season. It launches a series of family gatherings, parties, pageants and more. Now is the time to ask yourself how you plan to finish out the year. Will you stay strong, coast in, or throw in the towel on 2017? You've heard the stats. The average person gains 5-9 pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. Do you want to wake up on January 1st needing to dig out of a bigger hole? Make this the year to practice self-care and feel better during the holiday season and beyond. 


We can help you stay on track with our Maintain Don't Gain Challenge. We will support you through weekly e-mails full of tips, recipes and ideas to help you eat smart, move more and take time to relax. We will challenge you to add healthy options to your holiday meals and incorporate short, yet effective exercise routines. If you have questions or need additional help, we will be there for you. 


The key to this success is accountability. Are you willing to bet $30 on yourself? That is the entry fee for this challenge...$30. You can win that back if you gain no more than two pounds between the weeks of November 20th and January 1st. The payout is in the form of a credit for your choice of:


  • One on One Personal Training Session
  • Three Small Group Training Sessions
  • Nutrition Coaching

Put your money where your mouth is. Finish strong and then let us help you start 2018 even stronger. Register this week!




Whole 30 September Challenge

Posted on October 23, 2017 at 12:30 AM Comments comments (0)

I was pushed into this program by an arthritic knee. That achy knee qualified me to participate in a study that included bloodwork measuring my A1C and fasting glucose. I was surprised when both came back slightly higher than normal. Type II diabetes runs in my family, but I exercise several hours each week and am not overweight. At the same time as that was grabbing my attention, several members at Blue Bicycle were expressing interest in taking the Whole 30 Challenge.


The creators of the Whole 30 don't promote it as a weight loss diet, but rather an elimination diet to assess the impact of food choices on an individual's health and well-being. It also encourages looking at one's relationship with food. With these things in mind, I joined in the challenge with our members because:

  • I could offer professional guidance and empathetic support, sharing the experiences of those participating.
  • I have confirmed osteoarthritis in my feet, ankles, hands, wrists, knees and spine. Could this challenge offer relief for my joint pain?
  • My energy levels are inconsistent throughout the day. Is it due to burning the candle at both ends working multiple jobs and running a business or is my diet a factor?
  • My sugar consumption has steadily increased over the past few years. Is this affecting my glucose metabolism?
  • Always an athlete at heart, I like to challenge myself. This eating plan is very restrictive, prohibiting dairy, added sweeteners, grains, legume and alcohol. That leaves essentially lean meats, eggs, fruits, veggies, nuts and potatoes. Most processed foods are off limits meaning that extensive meal prep is a must.


Our challenge group shared our frustrations, recipes, tips and triumphs via a private Facebook group. I learned a lot from the group as well as from my own experiences. Trying new recipes and seasonings was fun. Label reading was eye-opening to say the least. So much sugar is added to processed foods; even things like salad dressings and soups. The program, whether grocery shopping, preparing meals or eating out, requires attention and intention.


In my personal experience, the change that had the most immediate impact was skipping the sugar-laden flavored creamers that I had been adding to my coffee in increasingly greater amounts for years. That sugary coffee was waking up my sweet taste buds and once awakened they wanted more. Without that wake-up call, I found that I didn't crave sugar throughout the day. A related effect was that I didn't need to graze throughout the day to keep my energy levels up. The only exception was on longer bike rides (30+ miles) where the restrictiveness of this eating plan led to my literally running out of fuel (bonking) 20-25 miles in.


Other outcomes at the end of 30 days included a five pound weight loss and realization that my joint pain was unchanged. In terms of my relationship with food, I did find myself thinking about it much more frequently. I also had to get past my guilt about wasting food. Luncheon meetings meant throwing away the bread from a sandwich and occasionally a yummy looking cookie. By the end, I was longing for oatmeal, peanut butter and a glass of wine.


At the end of 30 days, rather than chowing down on all those restricted foods right away, it is recommended that they be re-introduced strategically over several days monitor their effects. I re-introduced legumes (peanut butter!) on Day 31, non-gluten grains (steel cut oats!) on Day 34, alcohol on Day 35, dairy on Day 37 and gluten containing grains on Day 40. That last one surprised me. I ate two slices of whole wheat toast with avocado and within 30 minutes felt bloated. I had whole wheat French toast this morning with the same result. I didn't think I had any sensitivity to gluten, but this seems to indicate otherwise.


Through this challenge, I learned several things, some expected; others a bit of a surprise:

  • When the first thing consumed during the day has added sugar, it sets off an ongoing craving for the rest of the day.
  • Limiting sugar stabilizes my energy level and I don't need to eat as often.
  • My digestion was great during the challenge. I knew that I was somewhat lactose intolerant going in. What I learned was that I am also mildly sensitive to gluten.
  • I saw no effect on my joint pain.
  • I don't know the effect on my A1C and fasting glucose right now, but will be re-tested in December.
  • Almond butter is my new best friend ;)


I hope that everyone who was part of our group came away from the challenge with a greater wisdom about how their food choices affect their own bodies and the added skills to better manage those choices. Going forward, my own plan is shift toward Paleo type choices at least 85% of the time. While not as strict as the Whole 30, it limits sugar, grains, and dairy. I still believe that all foods can be enjoyed in moderation, but with mindfulness to catch the subtle shift toward excessiveness.

Eggs & Cholesterol

Posted on April 15, 2017 at 5:40 PM Comments comments (0)

For decades we heard that eating eggs would raise our cholesterol levels. This was based on an assumption that if you ate an egg yolk containing 300mg of cholesterol, then your body would send that directly to your bloodstream to clog up your arteries. We now know that what affects cholesterol levels isn't quite as simple as this. Since we are in a weekend where eggs are traditionally consumed I am sharing exerpts from a blog post from Precision Nutrition coach Helen Kolias. Check it out. It is an interesting read. 


Research review: Eggs and Cholesterol By Helen Kollias


Oh sure, he looks cute. But is the Easter Bunny carrying a basket of cholesterol-laden artery bombs? Or has he gotten a bad rap along with Humpty Dumpty? When you talk to most people about eggs, here’s the first thing they’ll say: Eggs are full of cholesterol. The second thing they’ll say is: That’s why I don’t eat them, or that’s why I only eat the whites. The message is clear: If you don’t want high cholesterol, don’t eat whole eggs.


Back in 1972, the American Heart Association recommended that people limit their egg intake to less than 3 a week -– yes, a week, not a day. If you wanted to eat eggs daily, according to the recommendation, you could safely have 0.43 of one. Interestingly, eggs were the only food-specific dietary restriction ever suggested by the American Heart Association. Think about that. Of all the crappy food you could possibly eat, eggs end up being restricted!


Do eggs raise blood cholesterol?

In this case, the American Heart Association made the same assumption as the people you talk to on the street: eggs are high in cholesterol; I don’t want high cholesterol; so I don’t eat eggs. At first glance, that does seem kind of logical. Eggs are indeed high in cholesterol. They have about 235 mg per egg, which makes them one of the most abundant per-serving sources of cholesterol. (Unless you’re a fan of eating brains; 3 ounces of cow brain provides 2635 mg of cholesterol — about ten times one egg. Probably not a huge issue if you’re not a zombie, and they’re already dead anyway.)


But does that dietary cholesterol in the egg translate to higher cholesterol — and by extension, arterial plaque buildup — in your body? I guess it would be similar to saying that spinach is green and I don’t want to be green so I don’t eat spinach. Okay, that’s a bit of a stretch, but eggs being high in cholesterol doesn’t necessarily mean that eating eggs will increase your cholesterol. It seems that a few proteins in eggs block the cholesterol in eggs from being completely absorbed.


How cholesterol works in the body

Here’s the current model of how cholesterol works in the body. First of all, it’s a bit of a misnomer to talk about “cholesterol levels”. In fact, what doctors usually mean by that is the levels of the transport proteins that carry cholesterol around. You see, cholesterol is a lipid (aka fat-based), which means it’s not soluble in water. Your bloodstream is water-based. Just like a vinaigrette, the oil-based and water-based components separate without something to either emulsify them or grab the oily bits and hang on to them.


Since injecting Dijon mustard or dish soap are both bad ideas, the body has evolved transport proteins instead. These proteins can carry lipid-based substances around the bloodstream, getting them where they need to go. In this case, we’re usually talking about three kinds of transport proteins: high-density lipoprotein (HDL, aka “good cholesterol”;); low-density lipoprotein (LDL, aka one of the “bad cholesterols”;); and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL, the second so-called baddie).


When we say “high cholesterol” we usually mean high levels of the bad stuff, and often low levels of the good stuff. Recently, researchers have discovered that the bigger culprits in raising “bad” cholesterol levels are trans fats (of which eggs have nearly 0g/egg) and saturated fats (of which eggs have 1.5g/egg).


In other words, eggs are actually low in the substances that do cause problems. Meanwhile, eggs are a relatively cheap and good source of protein and eggs may help you lose weight. In a recent study, eggs have also been shown to enhance weight loss when used with a calorie restricted diet — meaning that people who both reduced their calories and ate 2 eggs a day lost more weight (65% more weight loss & 16% more bodyfat lost [1]) than people who just reduced calories.


Learn More:  Precision Nutrition Coaching is available at Blue Bicycle Health & Fitness. Send an email to [email protected] to learn more about our program options.


What Super Bowl 51 Can Teach You About Your Fitness Routine

Posted on February 8, 2017 at 10:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Sometimes, someone else can say it better. This blog was originally posted by The Abs Company.  The author shows us how game winning strategies from the Superbowl are relevant to anyone striving to reach a goal:  http://theabscompany.com/abs-company/super-bowl-51-can-teach-fitness-routine/

This past Sunday we witnessed what will perhaps go down as the greatest Super Bowl of all time! Going into the game the stakes couldn’t have been higher. Not only was the world championship on the line but a win for the favored Patriots would make Coach Belichick and QB Tom Brady the winningest tandem of all time!

 

It wasn’t going to be easy though. The Atlanta Falcons were coming off a 11-5 season and their QB Matt Ryan was the NFL MVP! They were coming to play!! Right from the opening drive they showed that and by halftime they were leading 21-3. With 8 minutes remaining in the 3rd Quarter they extended their lead to 25 – 28-3! Most thought the game was over and New England had no chance for victory. In fact, no team had ever overcome more than a 10 point deficit in the SuperBowl.

 

So what does all of this have to do with fitness? After the game there were countless interviews of all of the players and coaches who all recounted the night’s events. When you boil all the comments down, 3 themes emerged and it is these themes that you can apply to your fitness goals to get the results you are after.

 

1. Evaluate and Adjust:

 

When the Patriots found themselves down by 25 they had to change their approach or they were going to lose! They changed their play selection, protections, coverages etc. When you are pursuing a fitness goal you must do the same. Look at what you are doing and objectively evaluate whether or not it’s working. If you aren’t getting the results you are after, make some adjustments. If you always do steady state cardio, try intervals. If you always lift free weights, try machines or body weight. If you always eat 5 meals a day, try intermittent fasting. Just like with the Patriots, small adjustments can make a BIG difference.

 

2. Focus on the Details:

 

Anyone successful will tell you that one of the biggest keys is to consistently do the little things well. It’s not about the big moves and there is no secret recipe. It’s the consistent execution of the small details that will lead to success. At the end of the game they asked Coach Belichick how they did it and he said “We just kept grinding it out!” The same is true of your fitness routine. There is no secret. Stay consistent. If you plan to work out 3x per week then do it. If you need to stretch daily to improve your flexibility – do it! If you commit to not eating past 7pm – do it. Whatever your commitments are to your fitness goals, consistently honor them and you will see results – period!

 

3. Never Give Up:

 

When you are starting out on your fitness journey the end result can seem so far away! You may be doing well for a while and then you hit a setback, you get injured, or you just plain fall off the wagon. It happens. You will also hit plateaus and feel like you will never get there. Good news – You will if you just keep going! One thing is for certain, if you give up, you’ll never reach your goals!

 

As the game got more and more out of hand many people stopped paying attention or flat turned it off. However, those that stuck it out were treated to one of the most improbable comebacks they will ever see. It was indeed the greatest comeback of all time. However, when you break it down, the recipe for success really wasn’t that difficult! Adjust, Focus on the Details, and Never Give Up! Apply these same principles to your fitness goals and you too will come away with the victory!

Are We There Yet?

Posted on November 30, 2016 at 10:30 PM Comments comments (1)

Growing up, our family vacations meant loading the car up with camping gear and heading west for the Rockies. Anticipation would build as we crossed into "Colorful Colorado" until we could see the first hint of our destination. The outline of the mountains would appear low on the horizon while still far away, slowly becoming more prominent with each passing mile. Reaching the front mountain range made it all seem real, with the roughening terrain, curvier roads and the first aspens. Yet our destination was still two or more hours away, deep in the second range. 


So it goes as the club grows. Late summer brought make-shift walls and padlocked doors as openings were cut into the wall between the old and new. A few weeks ago the locks were removed, allowing glimpses at our destination on the horizon. Those temporary walls themselves came down a couple of weeks ago. We can now step into the expansion space and feel what it will become over the next few months. 


Yet there is still a ways to go. Rubber flooring has been ordered and should arrive by the third week of December. Two power racks have also been ordered and are set to be installed next Friday. Free weights and plate loaded machines will gradually be moved into the new space as painting and other work is completed. 


The Group Ex area will be functional by the end of December with a new sound system and spin bikes. Watch for new class formats and times. The current Group Ex will be converted into a Yoga/Pilates/Barre' class space once we are able to use the new space for our other classes. The completion target for this conversion is February 2017.


Are we there yet? No, but with each week that outline on the horizon will become more real.  


Wayman's Gym

Posted on July 30, 2016 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Wayman was one of the first people I met when I started teaching a T-Th morning class at BENE-FIT Health and Fitness back in 2004. I soon learned that he and I shared a love of bicycling and later a love of painting. Over the years as nearly everyone else who worked there moved on, he remained a fixture. From a fitness standpoint he set the bar high for active aging, not only cycling, but playing tennis and being that "old guy" who would jump into a Kickboxing class and make everyone else keep up. 


Wayman was a no-nonsense guy.  He didn't sugarcoat things so he sometimes came off as gruff. But it wasn't hard to see that underneath it all, there was a heart of gold. Wayman cared about others. Stories would surface about his buying someone a meal or putting a homeless woman up in a hotel for a few cold winter nights. He seemed to understand that the gym was more than a collection of treadmills and barbells, it was a place where people would come to connect. 


Inside of a packed church, we said farewell to Wayman today. The stories shared by family and colleagues re-affirmed that he had indeed touched many lives. When the shopping center deteriorated and lost most of its tenants, this gym maintained a surprisingly strong membership base. Wayman was one of the reasons for this, the thread that helped hold this gym together.


I had hoped that Wayman could be a part of our staff as we move into a new chapter as Blue Bicycle Health & Fitness. We were all deeply saddened when we learned that this was not to be. While we will no longer see him sitting at the Courtesy Desk or hear his voice, he will still be a part of Blue Bicycle Health & Fitness. The "Wayman's Gym" logo will re-appear later this year, gracing one of the walls in our new space. Even so, he will be missed. 




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