When Jenni first came to Aleda she was very skeptical and already discouraged due to multiple injuries, failed surgeries, arthritis, a connective tissue disorder (and age!). Exercise was becoming more and more challenging, and she didn’t like it all that much anyway!  Jenni had struggled with consistency and returning injuries were frequent enough to be cautious of exercising.  But Jenni saw a piece about Aleda in the NW Examiner, and “it sounded like it might actually work for me.”

“I quite impressed with Christine’s demonstration at Aleda, and by the efforts to accommodate my various physical limitations, I still had trouble with consistency at the beginning. I’d come once a week sometimes twice per week. Then with more medical problems and a divorce threatened to distance me even more. I thought this would just be one more program I would eventually give up on.”

Jenni came to Aleda to maintain physical health in spite of her age. “Coach Bethani was relentless in her campaign to keep me going and make me healthier.  Eventually, she made me see I COULD actually get stronger, without injuring myself, with her help. Then I realized if I just went to Aleda everyday, I wouldn’t have to ponder whether I really felt like going.”

“When I started coming everyday, I got to know the regulars a bit, and began accomplishing much more that I thought I could. Now I also walk a great deal (up to 10 mile walks!). I never would have started that either without first getting stronger and more confident at Aleda. It has been such a pleasure meeting so many others who have obstacles and are not judgmental (or pushy) as some I’ve encountered at the big gyms. YAY ALEDA!”

Keep up the great work Jenni, we are all so very proud of you and have seen such a transformation in you. You are happier and healthier than we have ever seen you and can’t wait to see what you accomplish next!

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Have you ever wondered what the fountain of youth is really all about? We get new clients coming to us weekly that want to be fit enough to live for a long time! Or as one client said so well: “Aging isn’t for sissies!” Whether you are trying to avoid illness or disease or want to turn a corner towards feeling better in your body there are three key ingredients for aging well.

  1. Challenging Your Brain – Activation

The greatest threat to aging is disuse. The brain’s sole priority is to keep you alive. Your brain needs activation for survival, so if neurons aren’t being activated enough they die to conserve energy. What this means is if you don’t use it, you lose it and you don’t want to leave most neurons under-activated for a long time!

There are many things you can do to stimulate activation. Learning something new, trying new experiences, moving, purposefully activating your sensory system, playing more, learning, practicing vision and balance drills, breathing, coordination, mobility, etc.

  1. Appropriate Fuel Supply

In order to perform at your best and to start feeling better fuel supply is often overlooked. It’s not sexy. It’s not fun for most people, so it gets put on the back burner. But from the brain’s perspective if you stop breathing you die! So it’s kind of a big deal to breathe correctly, especially considering you breathe 22,000 times per day! Breathing is about exchange. We want to have a balance of O2 and CO2, but what happens when you have poor breathing mechanics and habits and you breathe 22,000 reps per day? If things aren’t performing properly you are left with pain, weight gain, digestive issues, sleep issues, poor mobility, brain fog, poor endurance, etc. Respiratory movement patterns and habitual breathing behaviors are critical to improve for living in optimal health!

The other significant factor for the brain to operate optimally is getting the proper nutrients, particularly glucose, to be properly fueled. Fuel from nutrients is about energy. Your metabolic system matters. If you’ve been struggling with making any kind of change, whether its weight loss, reducing pain, or gaining muscle start here. If you are ruined metabolically or not able to support your brain metabolically, you breathe poorly, you eat poorly, there’s no way you can make up for it in your change efforts. You may not have the metabolism to support the change you are trying to accomplish.

  1. Moving Well, Then Moving Often

If you’re not moving well or are experiencing pain the above two are critical to improving your quality of life. Bad movement promotes pain, dysfunction, and progressive decreases in movement that lead to progressive decreases in brain function and quality. Movement can mean a lot of things! You could simply go for a walk, you could do yoga, you could strength train, you could swim, etc. You just want to make sure you’re doing things in proper form and working to correct any issues that aren’t aligned with proper posture. This will help you reduce your risk of injury and allow you do accomplish more in the long run. If you want better brain function first move well, then move more often. The goal is to own good, quality movement first. Anything else is simply loading up a dysfunction and reversing your ability to progress safely.

Backed by research, the smarter you are, the better you eat and breathe, the better you move, and the more you challenge your brain to adapt to new things the more injury resistant you become, the more healthy you become, and the more you enjoy life! If you want to live a long, healthy life you much improve brain function. It all starts and ends with the brain and the nervous system! Do you want more helpful tips about how to get started improving brain function for a long, healthy life? I will be doing a talk on April 29th, explaining the art and science of aging well from a brain’s perspective. Come in and sign up at the front desk to reserve your spot!

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I’m in a state of awe that Aleda will be celebrating her 5-year anniversary this month on February 20th. There are so many great memories, transformations, and people we have cherished along the way. We have had our ups and downs, our joys and frustrations, but most importantly we have had great success in creating an incredible community. I’m most proud of the people we have nurtured at Aleda. All of YOU are what make it so special and so fun to be a part of.

I honestly never imagined what would come about when we had a simple idea: To create a better, more enjoyable fitness experience for people who don’t enjoy the typical gym. To create a safe place for people to take care of their health and fitness needs. Who knew a quiet introvert could create a business filled with such awesome people!

I’ve learned a lot along the way. Some lessons were harder to learn than others, but I wouldn’t trade a thing. Our hardest lessons create the greatest opportunities for growth.

Lesson #1: The Greatest Form of Wealth Is Your Health

As most of you know, I struggled with chronic pain for a long time. For the majority of our time being in business, I was unhealthy: stressed out, overwhelmed, and living in debilitating pain every day. I was living each day inside a shell of my potential. Watching my mom’s health take a turn for the worse and seeing her struggle to stay alive, seeing how much my health problems were affecting my marriage, and trying to help a community eliminate their health concerns were all completely eye-opening issues for me. If you don’t take care of your health, you have nothing – you can’t be active, you can’t participate in life, and you worry those around you. You could have all the money in the world, but if you aren’t healthy, what’s the use? You can’t do anything with it. Protect your health: it’s what makes life enjoyable. It’s no coincidence that Aleda had her best year in business last year – the first full year when I wasn’t living with chronic pain.

Lesson #2: People Come For Our Programs, But Stay For The Community

I don’t know how I got so lucky to attract the most amazing community at Aleda! The people truly make the business. I want thank each and every one of you for making Aleda such a special place. I may have had the vision, the intention, and the standards to shape a great culture, but you guys (my amazing team included!) keep it going. You respect one another, you help one another, you support one another and you welcome and embrace new people. Thank you for helping us make Aleda unique, friendly, and an inspiring place to be every day.

Lesson #3: The Heart of Transformation

We have had many transformations take place since we have been open. Many people are healthier than they have ever been – whether it’s due to weight loss, strength gains, movement efficiency, better balance control, or getting rid of pain. Outside of understanding the science behind transformation and human behavior, the one thing I have learned that never fails to help propel people towards success is to meet them where they are. It doesn’t seem huge, but this is the common denominator in every successful transformation we have been a part of. Start where you are. It doesn’t need to be more complicated than that.

Lesson #4: The Future of Fitness and Health Isn’t What You Think

Professionals in the health and wellness industry will be left behind if they do not understand one thing: the brain. Everything relates to a brain/nervous system problem. Movement patterns, pain, vision, balance, coordination, accuracy, mobility, what you do, how you feel, and what you think all live in the brain and are all processes of brain function. All that we are is derived from the brain, so in order to make changes in any area of your life you must “speak brain.” I look forward to writing and sharing more on this topic with you in 2017!

Lesson #5: Bouncing Back is a Priceless Skill

We all have a habitual place in our lives where we want to give up. I have learned to embrace that place. I have wanted to quit numerous times when my challenges seemed like too much for me to handle. Quitting would be the easier thing to do, but every time I got knocked down, I found I got up that much stronger. Being faced with uncertainty, collapse, fear, and helplessness is scary. Learning how to accept what is in order to bounce back more capable, stronger, and with more confidence is priceless. What is the thing that keeps you going in the face of quitting? That’s where the magic lives. Once I learned to embrace that moment, accept it, and see what it had to teach me, life amazingly got better every time.

These are the most valuable skills and values I have learned in the past 5 years of running Aleda. I certainly couldn’t have done it without you, my team, my wife, my family, and my mentors/coaches. I thank you with all my heart for your support, because it takes a village to run a business and there is no other “village” I would rather thrive with. Here’s to another 5 years of health, amazing people, transformation, brain-based training, and bouncing back.

All my love,

Christine Wilborn

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Lisa is such a bright, motivated presence in our gym and we are so proud to feature her this month! She has put in so much hard work both in the gym and at home, and is eager to tackle new goals in 2017 as she starts her second year at Aleda.

As a nurse and mom, Lisa has a busy schedule that can fluctuate frequently, but by prioritizing her nutrition and building in time for her workouts, she managed to lose over 15lbs in 2016! “I weighed just over 150 pounds in January 2016 when I joined,” she remembers. “I’m now down to 135 pounds, and I’ve still gained muscle!”

Lisa’s goal this year is to lose 10 more pounds while still maintaining her muscle mass and strength. She says she’s been inspired by the success and dedication of other members, like Maya, who set great examples of what a committed, positive approach to lifestyle changes can accomplish.

Lisa found success with a low-carb diet that includes lots of veggies, lean proteins, and healthy fats. “My nutrition changes have helped me maintain my energy levels through long shifts,” she shares. To complement her nutritional changes, Lisa also enjoys the blend of strength training and high-intensity work in her programs at the gym, and can often be found with her jump rope. J

Congratulations on all your hard work, Lisa! You’re such a great example of the progress that can be made with a can-do attitude and a consistent approach. Here’s to another great year!

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Are you ready to conquer 2017?

This is the time of year everyone comes out of the gates swinging at their goals. You’re motivated, ready to take action, and begin to build momentum, but then poof! Something happens that throws you off track, and the habits you swore you’d change slowly begin creeping back into your life. Soon something else happens that further derails your progress, and by February you decide that you gave it your best shot, but maybe it just wasn’t the right time to make changes.

This cycle is exhausting and discouraging. I’m ready to throw resolutions out the window – how about you? It’s a new year, which calls for a new approach. If you want something different, you’ll have to start doing something differently.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret that will hopefully shift your perspective on your goals, your habits, and the actions you must take to achieve them as we dive into 2017. Are you ready?

Any habit you try to build that you cannot perform even on your worst day is not going to work.

This applies whether your goals are focused in nutrition, exercise, relationships, career, finances, or just life in general.

You MUST be able to make progress even on your worst days. Your worst days are the ones that derail you!

You’re never going to wake up one day feeling so incredible that your new habit is magically going to be easy. How many of you have wanted to change your diet, but waited to start until “after the holidays”? In the U.S. there are holidays every 26 days. When you add in birthdays and special personal events, there really is no such thing as “after the holidays”!

Making progress and building positive habits that can be enacted even on the toughest day of your life is something to start thinking about. If you had a family emergency – could you still do it on that day? If you can’t, you may not have a strong enough motivation for the change, or it may not be simple, small, and easy enough to sustain.

It’s usually not the diet or the workout that prevents people from having success. It’s the fact that they don’t make the habit small enough or easy enough to do on their worst day. To put it another way: if you’re trying to make a nutritional change, it’s behavior, not food, that is the problem.

No nutrition or exercise program out there is letting you in on this little secret. Instead of focusing on a rigorous, restrictive, and temporary challenge, slowly build small, lasting habits. If you can maintain progress even on your toughest days this year, you will see great results. There’s a deep, invaluable self-trust that you’ll build once you know that even on your worst day, you can make progress towards the things that are important to you.

Make it easier on yourself to succeed! I can guarantee you will have bad days in 2017: days where you just don’t feel like it, days where life puts you over the edge. Are you prepared to still succeed when you are in the trenches? If not, you will constantly let life control your decisions. Instead, take responsibility for your life, your habits, and your choices. You’ve got this!

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