Merritt Clubs Blog

   

Lori O'Donnell

Recent Posts

Really...I'm Fine.

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Oct 9, 2019

It’s a joke in my family that whenever someone asks, “How are you?”, the answer is always “I’m fine.” When I was young and would call my grandparents, they were always fine, and so were we. When my Dad was sick, and even until the day before he passed, friends, family, and doctors asked him how he was and he always said, “I’m fine.” And even now, when I’m feeling stress and anxiety (and lately there’s been a lot of that for me), people ask, “How are you?” and my answer is always (and will continue to be) “I’m fine.”

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Topics: group fitness classes, exercise

Ignite the Future

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Sep 11, 2019

Public schools started last week, and classes are now in full swing. Time to focus on improving students’ performance in the classroom. Most people agree that physical activity is essential for healthy growth and development of the body. But did you know physical activity also has positive effects on the brain and on school performance?

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Topics: kids fitness

Progress, Not Perfection

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Aug 14, 2019

After teaching BODY PUMP last night, a member told me that I always make the workout look easy. Well, that was news to me! It was a tough class and at times I felt like I was struggling to complete a block of work. But, it made me think…why is it that some days we are bursting with energy and others we have to fight to finish (or even begin) a workout? And, what can we do to push through when fatigue or the occasional lack of motivation threaten to derail our daily exercise routine?

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Topics: working out

Stay Active and Fit While You Vacation

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Jul 10, 2019

It’s mid-July and finally, FINALLY, you’re on vacation! You’ve planned, prepped, saved, and worked hard all year and now it’s time for that much-anticipated get-away. Whether you’re planning on complete relaxation with family or friends, an active vacation with a lot of walking and sightseeing, or a little bit of both, your workouts and fitness don’t have to suffer. Here are a couple of tips on how to stay fit and active while away.

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Dream a Little Dream

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Jun 12, 2019

When people talk about health and wellness, the conversation generally turns to diet and exercise. And yes, what you put into your body and how you move your body are important. But have you ever considered how important sleep is to your overall well-being? We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, and sleep is vital to overall body health, regulation, and restoration. Lack of sleep not only affects mood, productivity, and performance, but also can increase your risk for high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, irregular hormonal function, and obesity.

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I Get by With a Little Help from My Friends

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

May 8, 2019

There was a discussion this morning in one of my Facebook groups about asking for help. A new member had taken a class and was reluctant to tell the instructor that she was having difficulty with some of the moves. The discussion made me think about asking for help in general. Why is it so hard for us as humans to reach out when we need help? Is it fear of embarrassment, of not seeming competent, being perceived as “less than”? Do we think asking for help makes others think we are weak? Or, do we simply not want to burden anyone else with our problems?

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Topics: help, health fitness tips

Put the Beat in Your Feet

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Apr 10, 2019

Whether we are conscious of it or not, our lives have rhythm. We hear the tick-tock of the clock on the wall. When we walk or run, our gait has a certain tempo. There’s rhythm in our daily patterns, the way we move, the changing colors of the traffic lights, the drip of a faucet. As many studies have shown, a certain rhythm can make people walk, run, swim, paddle, or pedal faster.

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Topics: exercise tips

Brain Fog is Real

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Mar 27, 2019

If you’re feeling a little fuzzy and forgetful, and not as sharp as in the summer months, you may want to blame it on the colder weather. According to a 2018 study from Columbia University, for many people, especially older adults, the cold weather can create a significant enough effect on the brain that they go from scoring in the normal range on a cognitive test to qualifying for a dementia diagnosis. Study authors found that when cognitive tests were given during the winter, participants functioned as if they were more than four years older as compared to performance during the summer.

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Topics: mental health, brain health

Can Cardio Help You Live Longer?

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Jan 16, 2019

Well, it’s mid-January: that time when resolutions begin to lose their shine and real life becomes once again…well…real life. Did you make any resolutions for the new year? How’s it going? If one of your resolutions was to get to the gym more often or to simply start working out, here’s some news that may give you a little push in the right direction. According to a recent study completed by the Cleveland Clinic, not exercising can be more detrimental to your health than smoking, diabetes, or hypertension (high blood pressure).

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Topics: cardiovascular health, cardio workouts, cardio training, heart health

Don't Get Scrooged for the Holidays

Posted by Lori O'Donnell

Dec 12, 2018

This is the joyful season, that time of year when we’re supposed to be happy, giving, and thankful. But hosting guests or traveling and being a guest in someone’s home for any length of time can cause the opposite reaction. If you’re hosting, getting the house ready, maintaining it in guest-ready condition for the duration of the visit, preparing holiday (and other) meals, and keeping the guests entertained can all be stress and anxiety inducing. If you’re traveling, you may be eating unfamiliar foods, sleeping in uncomfortable beds, and keeping irregular hours. Before your eye starts twitching uncontrollably, take a look at these tips for surviving your role as either a host or guest.

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Topics: holiday tips, coping with stress