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Blog / Fit Fun

Body-weight Training: Don’t Let a Lack of Equipment Keep You From Your Goals

Kelley Vargo Jun 18, 2018 Fit Fun

Whether you're on the road a lot, can't afford a monthly gym membership, or simply don't have any equipment at home to use, don’t let these excuses keep you from your health and fitness goals. Body-weight training is an effective way to exercise just about anywhere. Here are a few benefits of this mode of training:

5 Tips for Staying Accountable to Health and Fitness Goals at Work

Niki Campbell Apr 19, 2018 Fit Fun

Sometimes the biggest pressure at work isn't a looming deadline, a demanding client or an upcoming performance review. It's the pressure to stick to your health and fitness goals in the face of pizza lunches, birthday cake celebrations and Friday happy hours. While being a part of the office fun is important and builds a team atmosphere, it can also derail health and fitness goals.

The first step in achieving better health and fitness is setting SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) goals. For example, if you have a SMART goal to lose 10 pounds in 60 days by walking at lunchtime three days a week and cutting back on sugar, going out for lunch or taking part in the office holiday cookie exchange can quickly derail both fitness and nutrition goals. So how can you stay focused and still be social at work? How can you turn SMART goals into long-term, sustainable habits?

Here are five tips to help you stay accountable, reach your goals and still be part of the fun:

3 Core Moves to Improve Your Running Form

Makeba Edwards Mar 29, 2018 Fit Fun

Whether you are a recreational or elite runner, incorporating a variety of core exercises into your training program may yield significant improvements in your running form.

For distance runners to sustain posture and performance, core stability and strength is essential. It also helps promote effective running form and movement efficiency, especially when running for extended periods. The core, which consists of approximately 30 muscles in the abdomen, pelvis, low back and hip, controls the position and motion of the trunk over the pelvis and stabilizes the spine during loading and movement. During activities like running, an effectively functioning core improves muscular balance and may minimize the risk of injury and overuse.

During running, when the core is doing its job of stabilizing the trunk and maintaining postural alignment, the hips, knees, ankles and feet can function effectively and ground reaction forces (forces that impact the body when the foot makes contact with the ground) are appropriately absorbed and distributed. This reduces stress and compression of the joints and movement becomes more controlled and efficient.

Here are three core exercises to incorporate into your training program, along with progressions and regressions. Each exercise aims to improve core stability, endurance and strength. Perform each exercise for up to 30 seconds and increase intensity by adding progressions. Duration may be extended for up to one minute. Keep in mind, however, that the goal is to improve function, so duration should only be extended if you can achieve proper form.

Breathe Better to Supercharge Your Life

Brett Klika Feb 22, 2018 Fit Fun

Sitting in the back of the cab, my palms were sweating and my heart was racing.

I was on the way to what I considered at the time to be one of the biggest career opportunities of my life. In the driver seat was an affable guy in his 50s with a gray ponytail descending from his well-worn camouflage baseball hat. He could see I was stressing, so he started chatting me up through a gap-toothed smile and southern drawl. “Hey, man, you look nervous.” I confirmed, sharing the source of my stress. “You know what man? When I feel like that, I just take a deep breath, like 1-2-3, then pretty soon, ain’t nothin’ botherin’ me.” 

Wouldn’t it be great if escaping from stress was that easy? Actually, a growing body of research suggests that proper, controlled breathing can improve heart and lung function while decreasing the negative physical, mental and emotional impact of stress.

I’m not sure my cab driver was privy to this research, but he was definitely on to something.

Three Reasons to Stay for the Cool-down

Amber Long Feb 9, 2018 Fit Fun

Fitness classes typically finish with three to five minutes of programmed cool-down activity. Most often, cool-downs include lower-intensity movement, as well as a mix of dynamic and static stretching. Group fitness instructors have a goal to guide participants’ bodies back to a steady state, and provide physical and mental closure to the class experience. Unfortunately, many fitness class attendees dismiss the cool-down as a waste of time. As the music slows down, they scamper out the door or begin to pack up. While it might seem like a good idea to cut out before the cool-down to save time and get to your next commitment, here are three reasons why those last few minutes of class are some of the important:

Breaking Down Fitness Myths

Dr. Erin Nitschke Jan 18, 2018 Fit Fun

There’s no shortage of information sources in the world today. This is both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, we literally have countless resources at our fingertips. On the flip side, the available information isn’t always credible or reliable. This is particularly true when it comes to health, nutrition and fitness “advice.”

It takes little effort to discover a “source” whose author took creative liberties with the science of exercise and offered an interpretation that ultimately sends the well-intended reader down a path of bewilderment. Fitness myths typically start with a grain of misunderstanding and spiral into “how to” guidance with wildly questionable rationales and unfounded claims. Here are a few of the most popular myths those of us in the health and fitness industry battle to bust:

5 Daily Moments to Make Better Decisions for Your Health

Amanda Vogel Dec 8, 2017 Fit Fun

Every day is another chance to make important decisions about what you eat and when— or if—you work out. Your daily health choices might seem trivial in the moment, but all those small decisions add up to either positive behavior change or a string of potentially health-harming habits. Here’s how to make the most of everyday opportunities to eat well and stay (or get) in shape. 

6 Things to Know About Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis

Pete McCall Nov 30, 2017 Fit Fun

While exercise is an important form of physical activity that can burn hundreds of calories at a time, other forms of physical activity, called non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT), can play a significant role in helping to maximize the total amount of calories burned in a single day. Here are six things to know about NEAT and how it can help you reach your health and weight-loss goals.

Hack Your Habits

Jonathan Ross Oct 12, 2017 Fit Fun

For better or worse, habits take the work out of decision-making. They streamline behaviors to free you from the mental heavy lifting of making a choice. Habits are “free” and require very little energy. And once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom—and the responsibility—to remake them. Here’s how you can start rebuilding your habits to create a happier, healthier you.

The Key to Healthy Aging

Dr. Erin Nitschke, ACE Health Coach, Fitness Nutrition Specialist & NSCA-CPT Sep 21, 2017 Fit Fun

September is nationally recognized as healthy aging month, a time to focus on encouraging personal responsibility for health and well-being in all dimensions of life (physically, socially, mentally and financially). There may not be a tangible fountain of youth that promises eternal life and continuous health, but we hold more power than we may realize in the daily choices we make and the habits we adopt and maintain throughout our lives.

Living an active and balanced lifestyle that includes a combination of aerobic, muscular strength, and flexibility exercises helps ward off a range of diseases, slows the rate of muscle tissue loss and improves activities of daily living. Here are some of the cardiovascular and cognitive benefits that come with living a healthy lifestyle.

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