Merritt Clubs Blog

Diary of a Fitness Newbie: I'm Bringing Sexy Back

Posted by Leslie Warren

Jan 18, 2017

Hello all! My name is Leslie and I am starting a blog! This blog, in fact. Until recently, my fitness experience consisted of hearing that it’s something that’s important. And, if I’m being honest, I’ve never really cared that much about being fit. I have never had a gym membership that cost me more than $10 a month, and I don’t know if I ever would have thought anything more than that would be necessary. I always thought going to the gym was horrible anyway and would cut into my sitting-in-front-of-the-TV-eating-Cheetos time.

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Topics: exercise, working out

New Study Shows Exercise May be the Best Anti-Aging Routine

Posted by Merritt Athletic Clubs

Oct 4, 2016

Open any magazine, and you'll find something promising to reverse the aging process. Usually it's lotions or potions that you need to use to keep your skin tight, or your hair from turning gray. But there are other issues with aging too. As you age, your immune system starts to tire, and you're more susceptible to disease and illness. The brain ages, and you start to experience that fog where it's hard to remember names, and post-it notes become your best friend. Thankfully, a recent study found that exercise may be the key to preventing aging on a cellular level.

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Topics: exercise

3 Tips for Leading a Healthy Lifestyle

Posted by Sterling McKinley

Oct 15, 2015

Nowadays, it seems to have become hard to lead a healthy lifestyle because you get a lot of conflicting information from different sources.  Egg yolks are constantly going in and out of fashion.  Some health gurus recommend high protein diets while others encourage you to go for diets high in fat (Atkins).  Even when it comes to exercise, there’s usually some new fad you keep hearing about, from Zumba classes to kettle bells.  So how do you weed through all this information and keep the stuff that you need?  Consider the following tips:

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Topics: health, food tips, exercise, diet, fitness, fit tips, spiritual health

Kids Fitness: Study Encourages Exercise Instead of Dieting for Girls

Posted by Sterling McKinley

Oct 15, 2015

If you are concerned about kids fitness, you may want to take a closer look at a recent study that suggests a link between dieting at an early age and later health issues for girls. Researchers suggest intervening as early as elementary school, and exercise is an essential part of the program.

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Topics: exercise, exercise diet, kids fitness, kids

Is stress sabotaging your fitness goals?

Posted by Joanna Meade

Nov 26, 2014

Yoga and hiking are two great stress relievers. Here I am doing a little of both!
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Topics: Personal Training, health, health fitness tips, stress relief, exercise, Merritt blog, Weight Loss, baltimore personal training, coping with stress, mental health, Baltimore fitness, diet lifestyle change, Stress

Why Not Exercise Your Options with Delicious, Healthy Pumpkins?

Posted by RaySa

Oct 29, 2014

Now that autumn is here, why not exercise your options with delicious, healthy pumpkins? They are rich in everything from vitamin A, phytosterols, carotenoids and fiber to tryptophan, potassium and vitamin C. So they’ll definitely help put a boost in your step and perhaps help improve your vision. Need ideas on what to make?

Pumpkin Spread with Rice Cakes

Try whipping up a batch of creamy, spicy pumpkin spread to enjoy with rice cakes, seasonal fruit or graham crackers. It may be made in advance and safely stored in the refrigerator for a few days. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ½ cup SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend
  • 2 cups Fresh Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 8 oz. Greek Yogurt


Toss the SPLENDA® Brown Sugar Blend, pumpkin pie spice and ground cinnamon together first. Then mix it into the fresh pumpkin puree. When you’re done, fold in the Greek yogurt until the ingredients are well blended and serve as desired.

Baked Pumpkin Croquettes

If you have at least ¾ cup of the spicy pumpkin puree leftover, consider making baked croquettes. Combine the spicy puree, minus the Greek yogurt, with the following ingredients and form the mixture into whole grain bread crumb coated croquettes:

  • ¼ cup Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
  • ¼ cup Steel-Cut Oatmeal
  • 8 oz. Chickpea Puree
  • 1 tbsp. Chia Seeds


Once you have the croquettes formed, pop them into the freezer for two hours. Then preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. After it reaches temperature, bake the croquettes on a non-stick or greased cookie sheet until they are cooked through and brown. They may be eaten plain or with a sauce of your choosing.

To uncover more ways to exercise your options with pumpkins and other fall garden delights, please contact us. Our nutritionists are always willing to share information with Merritt Athletic Club members seeking to better manage their health.

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Topics: Merritt Athletics, best gym in baltimore, Healthy Recipes, exercise, Merritt blog, fall healthy food, Fitness Tips, fitness, pumpkin recipes, healthly recipes, nutrition, merritt clubs, healthy eating

Sitting: public enemy #1

Posted by Joanna Meade

Mar 19, 2014

Bias notwithstanding, my mom is pretty amazing. She plays tennis like I much as possible. About 6 months ago she started having low back pain, which migrated into her hip, then through her glute and down her leg. It would come and go, and it would change locations. She didn’t think too much about it. That is, until she ended up in the hospital with severe back pain earlier this winter. To add to her pain, she hasn't been able to play tennis or engage in her normal social interactions. It's been a pretty miserable winter.

Like many Americans, for the last 30 years or so she has sat at a desk for 8 hours a day. She commutes to work 30 minutes each direction, so another hour is spent in the car. Add another hour or two for dinner and any tv she might watch and suddenly she is sitting for over 10 hours each day. Even though she is active, playing tennis five to six days a week for an hour or more, mountain biking and gardening on the weekends, a new study indicates that all the sitting could be taking a toll.

It’s well known that the more sedentary you are, the greater the risk of all disease and mortality. But a recent study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, indicates sitting is a health hazard all by itself. It found that regardless of how much they exercise, for individuals 60 or older, each additional hour of sitting per day increases the likelihood of becoming physically disabled by 50%. Meaning, if sitting for 10 hours daily gave you a 6% risk of becoming disabled, bumping up your sitting time only one more hour to 11 hours a day would increase your risk by an additional 3%. The study found each hour per day spent sitting increased the odds of problems with daily living by 46%. Increasing exercise did not negate the risk.

Why is sitting so bad for you and what can you do about it?

There was a great Washington Post infographic recently about the dangers of sitting. I printed out copies and posted it above every computer in the office at the gym. I’m looking at it right now and reminding myself to sit up tall while I type. The dangers include organ damage, muscle degeneration, neck, shoulder and back pain, decreased circulation and bone density problems, not to mention increased disability and mortality risk.

You can’t make up for it at the gym. In order to maintain your muscles’ ability to do low-intensity, basic tasks you have to use them for a long duration throughout the entire day doing said low-intensity, basic tasks. You have to incorporate non-fatiguing activity into your daily routine as much as possible to stave off the negative health effects of sitting. Lifting weights a few times a week won't work your muscles the same way. That means incorporate walking around the office several times a day, walking to a co-worker's desk instead of sending a message, using a far away printer or bathroom on another floor, parking at the far end of the parking lot, and standing while you talk on the phone. Here are some other great ideas to keep you moving throughout the day, complete with a difficulty, sweatiness and humiliation rating.

My mom has regained her ability to get around and exercise. She's been getting out on the court a couple times a week, but it is literally a pain in the butt. That’s a referred pain joke. I couldn’t help myself. She is coping with degenerating disks, and compressed nerves. Sitting has likely contributed more to her current condition than a lack of exercise. It turns out the old saying is true; move it or lose it!

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Topics: workout tips, Personal Training, exercise, Merritt blog, Weight Loss, sitting, weight loss and exercise, healthy lifestyle, Fitness Tips, fitness, Personal trainer, weight loss healthy, Baltimore fitness, diet lifestyle change

NEW Towson Outdoor Family Fun Pool

Posted by RaySa

Feb 27, 2013

Merritt Athletic Clubs is excited to announce a brand NEW multi-million dollar outdoor family pool complex coming this summer.

We want you to be the first to be able to take full advantage of this amazing new feature. Rates will increase March 15, so we want to offer you this chance to join a new 12 month membership at the clubs’ current rate. Why spend your summer anywhere else when everything you need is right around the corner. Join Today!

The complex will feature water slides, a baby dolphin pool, a sports field, bath house and MUCH more!


CALL NOW: 410.821.0160 X 2037

Or, email us below with the best date and time to meet to lock in your rate!

Phil Nohe
Member Service Manager

Merritt Athletic Clubs Towson
Direct: (410) 821-0160 x 2037

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Topics: Merritt Athletics, gym health clubs, pool discounts, Personal Training, swimming pool, health, baltimore swimming, exercise, Merritt blog, fitness, Fitness for a Cause, family pool memberships, Aquatics, summer, kids fitness, Member Success Stories, group fitness, aquatic & fitness center

What you Need to Hear About Exercise and Nutrition

Posted by Heather Blake

Sep 6, 2012


1. No amount of core or ab exercises will give you a lean mid section. So why do you still continue to do them on a daily basis for the purpose of flat abs or a 6 pack? If you want a 6 compound movements involving legs with heavy loads and get your nutrition in check...see #2

2. There isn't a cookie cutter plan for proper nutrition. Should you eat 6 meals a day? Should you eat every 2-3 hours? Should you eat 2-3 large meals a day? Should you eat starchy carbs at every meal? Maybe, maybe, maybe, and maybe. There are 100 right ways to eat properly, you just need to find out what works best for you. How do you do this? Consult with someone who understands how to master your fat burning hormones. Your body does not function in the exact same way as your friend does so why are you using her workout and nutrition plan just because it works for her? Could the same plan work for you? Maybe, but not always. Achieving maximum fitness can take patience and trial and error under supervision of a professional.

3. We all hear that intervals training works best for fat loss but how do you know if you are doing them correctly? Should I be walking and sprinting? Should I be jogging and sprinting? Should my heart rate be between 75 and 85% of my max for 40mins to an hour? Again the answer is maybe, maybe, and maybe. Training at higher rates of intensity for long periods of time may actually increase cortisol levels which may have negative effects on fat and weight loss.

When you’re ready for a consultation come see me or Mark Frear at Merritt Canton

Written by: Kelly Whalen

Be the first to leave a comment, praise, or say hello! Share your experience and insights in the comment box below.


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Topics: health, exercise, consultation, Weight Loss, diet, Fitness Tips, fitness, Awareness and Support, nutrition

Gary’s Secret To Losing 106 Pounds + How To Fight The Effects Of Aging

Posted by RaySa

Jul 17, 2012

Gary Desper adds back "The Healthy Years!"

“In my 20s, I was focused on starting a family, completing law school and beginning my career. I did not take anytime to care for myself. I ate what I wanted and exercise was something I dreaded. In August 2009, I weighed in at my heaviest ever at nearly 280 pounds and was very unhappy with how I felt and looked. Now in my mid 30s, I realized I was at risk of developing serious health problems that I might not be able to reverse and that could take years off my life. I became determined to take control of my health and change for the better. I knew I hadn’t put on the weight over night, so I wasn’t going to be able to take it off overnight either. I set realistic goals to improve my eating, exercise more and change my lifestyle. Early in 2010, I signed up for Merritt’s Biggest Loser and I have completed three rounds of the program so far. Through working with trainers Rob Stempel and Karen Martinez I have gained several new tools to help me with my personal fitness goals. Today I weigh 174 pounds. I’ve lost nearly 106 pounds so far. My young children have seen the changes in me and have become interested in making healthier choices. This is a life long journey and I will continue to work on being the healthiest I can be so I can fully enjoy my family and the many other good things in life.

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Topics: biggest loser club, merritt’s biggest loser, workout, exercise, weight control, weight plan, goals, health clubs, member success, fitness, Lose weight diet, healthy diet, Member Success Stories, living healthy, weight loss diet