San Mateo: (650) 348-1259 | Santa Clara: (408) 244-3010
Home Gyms vs. Commercial Gyms

Home Gyms vs. Commercial Gyms

So, you’re thinking about getting into a workout routine, you’re getting motivated to pump some iron and get that dream body you’ve always wanted. Working out has a lot of benefits both for your body and mind. The only problem is you’re not quite sure which route you should go. Should you get a membership at a local commercial gym, or just buy some equipment and start your own in-home gym? If you’re struggling with this dilemma you are not alone. A lot of people all around the country have a hard time deciding which option is right for them. Much of the decision comes from what best suits your schedule and lifestyle, but there are some things you should know about both options before you make the commitment. Why Choose a Commercial Gym? When deciding between a commercial or an in-home gym, access is often a big deciding factor. With a commercial gym, you pay your monthly fee and all of the equipment you need is readily available to you. You don’t need to go out and purchase the weights and machines yourself. Commercial gyms also generally offer personal training sessions (although you have to pay extra for it) and these sessions can help you reach your goals faster than if you were to work out alone at home. Another benefit that commercial gyms offer is that there are few distractions to actually getting your workout in. For people who have a difficult time with getting sidetracked or staying motivated, working out at home can be a frustrating experience. You have all the right intentions of getting a...
Why You Should Incorporate Weight Lifting into Your Workout Routine

Why You Should Incorporate Weight Lifting into Your Workout Routine

Exercising on a regular basis has many benefits: improved heart health, stronger muscles, more energy, and a general feeling of better health. There are all kinds of different ways to work out your body including cardio training, bodyweight workouts, and weight lifting. Many people are nervous about the idea of training with weights because of the danger of injury. However, weight lifting provides many advantages that other types of exercise can’t, and there are precautions that can be taken to avoid injury during weight lifting. Here are 3 big reasons you should incorporate weight lifting into your exercise routine. Weight Lifting Super-Charges Your Metabolism Compound weight lifting exercises such bench presses, deadlifts, power cleans, and barbell squats use a massive amount of muscles to accomplish. Compound exercises are also referred to as full-body workouts because they require assistance from your core, back, legs, and sometimes even your chest and shoulders. Naturally, when you use more muscles, you will expend more energy and burn more calories. Compound workouts also help boost your metabolism and burn fat for several hours after your workout is over. Weight Lifting Increases Your Overall Strength While cardio workouts are definitely beneficial and bodyweight exercise is great for toning your muscle, no workout is better for building strength than heavy weight training. Have you ever been in the gym performing a workout, and while the weight doesn’t feel overly heavy, you feel pain in your joints? This is caused because your muscles may be able to handle the weight you’re lifting, but your tendons aren’t quite at the same level of strength as your muscles are....

Floor Model Sale Through September 10

Want to get serious about your health goals this fall? Good news—from now until September 10, Balance Fitness is able to offer a sale on equipment to get you on the right track. Floor models of our equipment will be discounted with up to 40% savings at both showrooms—but once they’re gone, they’re gone. This is a once-a-year event, so don’t miss it! We’ll also be offering Labor Day specials all through the week. Stop by one of our two showroom locations and see what we can do to help you reach your fitness goals. Let’s make this season a great one for your health! San Mateo Showroom: 905 North Amphlett Blvd. Phone: 650-348-1259 Hours: Tuesday – Saturday (10:00 am – 6:00 pm) and Sunday (11:00 am – 4:00 pm) Santa Clara Showroom 3109 Stevens Creek Blvd. Phone: 408-244-3010 Hours: Monday – Saturday (10:00 am – 6:00 pm) Sunday (11:00 am – 4:00 pm)...
4 Unhealthy Foods Pretending They’re Healthy

4 Unhealthy Foods Pretending They’re Healthy

Our society is becoming more focused on healthy habits every day. Our favorite restaurants and top food brands are attempting to keep up with the needs of nutrition conscious consumers by adapting their menus and creating “healthier” options for people to choose from. While there are definitely some great options out there, many of the foods that we believe to be healthy for us are actually just junk food in disguise. Here is a quick list of some food options that might sound healthy but really aren’t. Sports Drinks Sports drinks have snuck into our diet and they pretend to be good for us. While it is true that they can help us recover from physical exercise and give us a little boost, they are also loaded with sugar. One 20oz bottle of Gatorade contains 35 grams of sugar! According to the Food and Drug Administration we should only be consuming 75 grams of sugar per day. So the average sports drink is on average 47% of our daily sugar allowance. That number is even higher for individuals planning to cut weight. Fruit Smoothies Another victim of added sugars are fruit smoothies. If made from scratch at home and you’re being conscious about the types of fruit you use, smoothies can be an extremely healthy way to go. Unfortunately, like much of the pre-made or processed food in our culture, the smoothies you get at restaurants can contain upwards of 900 calories. Many smoothie shops add sugar or syrups to their recipe to appeal to individuals who have developed a palette for sweets and can be surprisingly unhealthy for...

How to Bulk Up the Right Way

If you asked five different people about how to bulk up, you’d probably get five different answers. It seems like everyone has their own idea about what works. That’s because everyone has varying fitness goals and distinct body types. However, some foundational fitness principles stay consistent regardless of whether you’re trying to look like Superman or you’re just trying not to look like Spiderman (before he was Spiderman). In today’s blog, we’ll tell you how to bulk up the right way. The “right way” means these straightforward tips are based on science, not trends or taste. Let’s take a look! Fill up on whole foods, not fats One thing most people tell you about bulking up is, “Eat more!” But there’s something missing from that piece of advice. You need to eat more of the right foods. Your body certainly needs food (calories) to build muscle, but empty calories won’t give you muscle. Instead, they’ll turn into fat. Seek out whole, nutritious foods that make your body stronger and more energized. Not only do healthy foods strengthen your muscles, but they also give you more energy to push yourself harder during workouts. Harder workouts translate to better results, and that means more of the bulk you’re looking for. Work, work, work Lifting is an essential part of bulking up. However, it’s important to give your muscles a chance to recover after workouts and even between reps. Take at least one rest day a week, and definitely vary your workouts from one day to the next. If you work arms and shoulders every day, you’ll likely end up with an injury—and probably flabby legs, too. Don’t feel like you have to dedicate every workout to weights....

3 Healthy Lunch Ideas

If you think a healthy lunch can only be found at the salad bar, then it’s time to spice things up. Healthy foods come in more varieties than which type of fat-free vinaigrette you’re adding to your salad. It’s time to explore the options beyond kale, spinach and romaine. Treat yourself to some tasty lunches that are completely different from your norm, but just as healthy. Here are our 3 favorite healthy lunches:   #3.  Curried Chicken Pita With Cranberries and Pear 2 whole-wheat pitas 4 oz. cooked chicken breast, diced 1/2 cup non-fat Greek yogurt 1/4 cup dried cranberries 1 medium pear, diced 2 teaspoons honey mustard 1 teaspoon curry powder 1 squeeze lemon juice #2. Stuffed Sweet Potato 2 sweet potatoes 2 oz. feta cheese 2 oz. black oil-cured olives, pitted and chopped 1 oz. oil packed sundried tomatoes; thinly sliced 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 1/2 teaspoons oregano (or 2 teaspoons of fresh chopped) 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste #1. Avocado Egg Salad 1 avocado; halved, pitted, and peeled 6 hardboiled eggs; peeled and halved 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup minced onion 2 Tablespoon chopped chives (optional) Go for More Don’t stop with these 3 recipes. Use them as inspiration for for more tasty lunches. Try topping your sweet potato with spinach and goat cheese next week. Or, make avocado salad with chicken instead of eggs. The possibilities are endless. Stick to healthy ingredients, and you’re sure to come up with something spectacular for your taste buds and your body. For even more noticeable results in your body,...

The 4 Best-Kept Secrets About Superfoods

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, you’ve probably heard of superfoods. Blueberries, sweet potatoes, nuts, beans, and kale top the list of foods that are — well — super for you! If you’ve jumped on the superfood bandwagon without so much as a glance back, we’re here to let you in on some of secrets that may slightly alter your course. Secret #1: Scientists don’t say “superfoods.” Did you know that the word superfood is not a scientific term? Marketers actually coined the word and now use it as a selling point for various foods. The main reason scientists haven’t latched onto the “superfood” terminology is because of how they go about testing foods, nutrients and their effects. When scientists conduct these types of experiments, they are not necessarily testing the nutrients at the same volume those nutrients appear in a particular food. In fact, they’re testing them at a much higher volume. Therefore, it may not be accurate to make statements like, “Because carrots contain vitamin A, eating carrots daily will help you see better,” the scientific study may have been testing particular compounds present in carrots at much higher levels than you would ever receive just by eating them. Do your research and find out how much of a particular food you’d need to eat in order to experience the claimed benefits. Then decide if that quantity is a realistic amount. Secret #2: Not all superfoods are super for you. Before you spend your entire grocery budget on every item labeled “superfood”, do a little digging to figure out if that food has the kinds of benefits you’re looking for. If you’re trying to lose weight, peanuts may not be...

4 Questions to Ask Yourself When Your Weight-Loss Plan Isn’t Working

“It’s just water weight.” “You’re building muscle.” “It takes time.” “Everybody is different.” You’ve heard it all — the reasons you’re not losing weight. But these responses that imply you’re doing everything right are extremely frustrating. If you were doing everything right, wouldn’t you be losing? You need to know what you’re doing wrong so you can tweak your weight-loss plan. While we can’t tell you exactly what you’re doing wrong, we’ll do our best to help you figure it out by giving you some questions to ask yourself: #1. Am I actually hungry, or just thirsty? Many times, our stomachs feel empty not because they need food, but because they need water. Next time you think you’re hungry, drink a glass of water. Then reevaluate your appetite. Also, get in the habit of drinking of a glass of water before you begin your meal. You’ll feel less hungry as you delve into your dish, which will help you slow down and eat less. With that said, make sure you’re reaching for water when you’re thirsty. Drinking a sugary beverage can be just as bad as eating a high-calorie snack. Just because it’s liquid doesn’t mean the calories are free. #2. How much am I eating? What did you eat today? Seriously, tell me everything! For many, there’s a huge disconnect between how much we feel like we’re eating and how much we’re actually eating. Think about the handfuls of peanuts you tossed in your mouth the moment you got home from work. Sure, peanuts have great health benefits, but those calories still add up. Are you sampling your dinner as you prepare...

3 Healthy Breakfast Ideas That Fit Your Morning Schedule

Are you thinking about dedicating yourself to a healthier lifestyle this year? If so, we applaud you! Many people choose either to exercise more or to change up their diets, but the real key to visible results is to focus on both. Today, we want to share with you our three favorite healthy breakfast ideas! They’re packed with healthy fats and extra nutrition to help keep you going until lunch. Skinny Fried Egg Avocado Toast Avocados are a great addition to your breakfast routine, as they contain plenty of healthy fats. Added to protein-heavy eggs and a couple of slices of whole-wheat toast, you’ll have a delicious recipe you can reach for just about every morning. Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 5 minutes Total Time: 10 minutes Servings: 1 Ingredients: 2 eggs (fried sunny side up) 2 slices of bread (toasted) 1 small avocado 1 teaspoon lime juice sea salt + black pepper parsley (optional for topping) Instructions: Prepare toast and fried eggs to personal preference Peel and mash avocado with the lime juice, salt and pepper. Spread avocado evenly on each slice of toast then top each with a fried eggs and additional seasonings you prefer. Serve immediately. Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl A simple, 7-ingredient recipe, this dark chocolate quinoa breakfast meal is one of our favorites and worth the prep time. Naturally sweetened with maple syrup and infused with rich cocoa flavor, it will provide just the reason you need to get up and get going in the morning. Prep Time: 5 Min Cook Time: 25 min Total: 30 Min Servings: 3-4 Ingredients: 1 cup (172...

How To Exercise Even When You’re Busy

We get it— there are just some weeks or months that get way too busy for you and it’s hard to find time to exercise. While we like to say you have to make time to exercise, the simple answer is, yes, it’s tough for us, too! The deadlines at work and unexpected family problems surround us more than we’d like, so today we want to give you some tips on exercising even when you’re busy. You’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel! Multi-Tasking It’s post-dinner, you’re about to sit down to watch TV, and all of a sudden the phone rings. This is the perfect opportunity to throw on some walking shoes and take a stroll around the neighborhood. If you have a feeling you’ll be busy at work for the next few weeks and can’t get to the gym, schedule family or friend phone calls after dinner so you can at least get in a thirty-minute walk after dinner. Not only is it great to walk after you eat, but walking is one of the best forms of exercise for all ages. Do Your Chores Household chores can also replace your exercise routine, simply because you’re constantly moving! Cleaning your bathrooms gives you a decent arm workout, while wiping down floorboards and vacuuming stairs puts your body in unusual positions, causing it to burn energy while working a little harder than normal. Park Far Away If you have a desk job, it’s tough to have mental energy when you get home to work out after thinking all day. We suggest parking your car in one...