"Spring" & Earth Day

For those of us who call Minnesota home, this winter is one for the books.

Spring and Earth Day

After a serious lack of snow for most of the season, winter decided to show up in full force at the last minute, dragging things out unnecessarily and forcing many of us to hold on to our winter wardrobes (and, ahem, perhaps a few extra winter pounds) longer than we’d hoped.

In many parts of the country, Earth Day is the epitome of a spring event. People show up for tree plantings amid abundant greenery, sporting t-shirts and tan lines.

We might be in parkas.

But that’s okay. We Minnesotans are a hardy bunch. And we’re accustomed to getting our physical activity and socialization done indoors. (It’s easier when you have a space as beautiful as the Saint Paul Athletic Club.)

We’ll celebrate Earth Day regardless of the weather. This annual event hits especially close to home for those of us at Commonwealth Properties (the company that owns the Saint Paul Athletic Club and its sister properties). In an age when it seems as though everyone is tearing down buildings and starting over again, we’re known for rescuing and repurposing existing, historic properties. The Saint Paul Athletic Club is an extraordinary example of our commitment to restoration and renovation. It’s an inherently “green” approach, and we were doing it long before “green” was trendy. (We took over the historic Dacotah Building and opened W.A. Frost more than four decades ago.)

So, we don’t need sunshine and tan lines to feel ready for Earth Day. We embrace it all year ‘round. (And, by supporting our organizations, so do you!)

 

The Real Beach Prep

The Real Beach Prep

Don’t worry—this isn’t one of those typical “Beach Prep” posts you’ll see floating around this spring.

You know the ones. You’ve seen them all over your social media. These posts tap into a sense of urgency and guilt, trying to shame you into unrealistic diets and crazy workout schedules that’ll leave you depleted and hangry* rather than relaxed and ready for the beach.

The truth: There’s no such thing as a “beach-ready body.” If your body is at the beach, it’s a beach body. Full stop.

We don’t believe in crash diets. We don’t believe in unsustainable workout plans. We believe in balance, in nourishing your whole self, and in all-encompassing wellness.

We’re not worried about your beach body for spring break. We’re more concerned with you finding a lifestyle that helps you be the best version of yourself for the long term—long after the tan lines wear off.

That means something different for everyone—and that’s part of the beauty of what we do.

 

What’s the right recipe for you?

Perhaps you could use a little more Zen in your life via a new or reinvigorated yoga practice.
Maybe you really need some self-care through a massage.
Or some guidance with smart nutrition choices to fuel your days.
You might be a serious athlete who’s looking to up your game and hit some new PRs.
Maybe you want to improve mobility and balance.
You could be looking to develop a new sense of community or learn something new.
Perhaps you just need more time to connect with friends over a cup of coffee or a really good cocktail (or two).

 

We have nothing against muscles. We develop a whole lot of them here. But that’s just part of the equation. What good is a ripped bicep without a whole heart, a peaceful mind, and a strong sense of belonging?

Ignore the beach body posts. Release the guilt. Release the shame. Come as you are, and let us help you build a better life.

*That’s not a typo. Hangry, in case you haven’t heard of it, is a combination of hungry and angry. Oh, it’s real.

Get Lucky!

Get lucky 2018.png

This Saint Patrick’s Day, the Saint Paul Athletic Club is participating in the Get Lucky race. It’s part of the Monster Race Series and takes place on (when else?) Saturday, March 17th. Our team name is SPAC Attack and we’d love to have you join us as either a participant or a spectator. Get inspired and get lucky!

Speaking of luck, the Saint Patrick’s Day season has us thinking about luck. Some people don’t believe in luck at all. Some people believe wholeheartedly in it. What about thinking of luck like this:

The harder you work, the luckier you get.

Let that sink in for a moment.

This approach doesn’t deny the presence of luck, but it means that you’re responsible for creating an environment that brings luck into your life. There are no shortcuts. There are no excuses. In order to see results, you have to put in effort on the things that matter to you.

You might say that you want to lead a healthier lifestyle, but do your efforts reflect that desire? Are you simply hoping for a break? Hoping for change? Or are you acting in a way that makes the good stuff possible?

How about bringing more luck into your life? We’d love to help you start with the hard work.

Why You should Try Yoga

February Why you should try yoga blog

Yoga is an ancient tradition that has been in practice for more than 5,000 years. (How’s that for tried and true?) After expanding to the western world, yoga was something of a “fringe” pursuit for a long time, but it is now more popular than ever.

So why haven’t you tried it?

Too hard?
Too easy?
Too feminine?
You’re not flexible?
You don’t want to chant?
Don’t have the right clothes?

We see your excuses. And we’re here to shut them down.

Yoga is for everyone—young, old, people with advanced fitness levels and total beginners. Yoga has a slew of benefits including strength, flexibility, mobility, muscle tone, metabolic balance, cardiovascular and respiratory health, improved performance in sports, reduced injury risk, and weight control. Plus, many people find yoga to be extremely beneficial for their mental and emotional health.

Yoga

You don’t need to be flexible. You can wear whatever is comfortable for you. Yoga is increasingly practiced by athletes—including, notably, football players—to protect against injury and increase mobility. It’s a phenomenal addition to any sports or fitness regimen. And yet, yoga is also a great place to start for beginners and people with limited mobility. A good instructor can help you modify moves and even work around injuries. And while yoga does have spiritual roots and continues to have spiritual connotations to many, your yoga practice can be whatever you want it to be—no chanting required.

We’d love to see you escape from the end-of-winter doldrums in a yoga class this spring. What do you have to lose? Go ahead—stretch yourself.

The Best Valentine

The Best Valentine

‘Tis the season for love. February typically celebrates romantic relationships. Sweethearts focus on what they can do to spoil each other, but we’d like to propose another approach. What if you focus on spoiling yourself?

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a relationship or not—you can still make yourself a priority this month.

So what do we mean by “spoiling” yourself?

We aren’t talking about chocolate and candy. In fact, we’re talking about quite the opposite. This February, focus on how you can treat yourself the way you deserve.

Here are a few ideas:

 

Treat yourself to a session with a personal trainer or try a group fitness class.

We know, we know—for many people, the idea of a workout is about as far away from “spoiling” yourself as possible. But let’s reframe it. When you find the right workout—one that works for your body and your life—it can transform you on a physical, mental, and emotional level.

Finding the right one can be intimidating. Drop in to a few group fitness classes to narrow down what feels right. (Psst—exercise can actually be fun. Trust us!) You can also meet with a personal trainer if you’re feeling lost in the gym. A good trainer can help you set personal goals and develop a workout aimed directly at achieving those goals. They can also help you understand gym equipment so you make the best use of your time and minimize injury risk.

More energy, a longer life, improved health, and some great muscles? Sounds like spoiling to us.

 

Indulge in a massage.

Don’t wait for someone else to buy it for you. A massage is for you, and you deserve it. It’s not just about relaxation; massage has proven therapeutic benefits. Better yet—start a workout plan and schedule a massage (or a regular series of massages) as a reward to keep you motivated.

 

Expand your horizons.

Why is it so easy to meet people and learn new things when we are in school, but as soon as we leave, we switch on autopilot mode? Don’t stop learning. Don’t stop meeting new people. Don’t stop expanding your horizons. Ideas: attend a networking event. Join a club related to a personal interest. Learn a new language. The world is out there—go get it!

This February, show yourself some love. The results will be sweet.

The Good, Bad, and Ugly of New Year’s Resolutions

Resolutions: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Ah, the New Year’s Resolution. It’s so earnest. So optimistic.

So likely to fail.

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, more than 40% of Americans set New Year’s Resolutions, but fewer than 10% report feeling success in achieving their resolutions. More than one-quarter of resolutions are abandoned within the first week, and nearly half are discarded after one month.

And while age might come with wisdom, it (statistically speaking) doesn’t appear to come with willpower. People over age 50 are significantly less likely to achieve a New Year’s resolution compared with people in their twenties.

The most common New Year’s resolution is to eat healthier and/or lose weight. Getting more exercise, general self-improvement, quitting smoking, and spending more time with friends/family are also common themes.

If so few people follow through on resolutions, why should anyone bother making them?

The answer: In spite of the depressing statistics on achievement and follow-through, there’s one more statistic from this data set that stands out, big time:

People who explicitly make resolutions are ten times more likely to attain their goals than people who didn’t explicitly make resolutions.

Wow.

So you might have set a resolution and neglected to follow through, but if you’re not making a resolution at all, it’s a pretty safe bet that nothing positive is going to change.

The lesson here: Whether you want to classify it as a “resolution” or a “goal,” and whether or not you want to associate it with January 1st, having a clear picture of want you want to achieve is critical.

And yet, clearly, setting a goal isn’t a golden ticket to success.

How do we start out with such positive intentions and yet fail to follow through, year after year?

And what can we do differently?

We’ll talk about that next time. Stay tuned.

(Psst—you don’t need to wait for the next blog post to talk about setting and achieving goals. The staff at the Saint Paul Athletic Club and University Club of Saint Paul are ready to talk to you any time.)