Start 2019 with a new Workout of the Month! FFC Elmhurst master trainer Lilian Halloran has designed a well-rounded routine for you to try featuring the double kettlebell front squat (there’s a reason you see kettlebells all over the place – they’re amazing for strength, mobility and agility)! Check out the full workout here:

Movement Highlight: double kettlebell front squat
Pilates Exercise of the Month: criss-cross
Nutrition Tip of the Month: meal timing and frequency are crucial when increasing strength – eat a complete meal within 1 hr post-workout for the best nutrient absorption and muscle repair & growth!
Smoothie of the Month: The Resolution – pineapple, vanilla whey, kale, spinach, lemon juice & more.
Group Exercise Class of the Month: TREAD – a class conducted entirely on the treadmill great for all levels, walkers and runners alike!

Ever heard of the hunger scale? It’s a scale that helps you to evaluate your own hunger through a meal. The numbers are listed below to help you gauge how full you are. During social events it can be more challenging to notice your level of fullness, which is why the hunger scale is a great tool so that you can still enjoy good food around good company.

Embracing fullness, everyone likes the feeling of satiety. The key here is to know when we are full and to follow what our bodies tell us. When the environment has a lot going on like in social events or parties it is super easy to eat more than we mean to. The next time you are at a social, try out some of these tips:

  • Eat a snack before the event. When we go to a potluck starving, everything we see will probably look good. But when we aren’t starving, we will able to pick and choose what we want to eat.
  • Look at all the dishes before choosing. No one said you had to eat eat everything laid out. Pick and choose what you want to eat and prioritize your favorites. This way you aren’t overly stuffed and still trying to eat the foods you want to eat the most.
  • Savor your food. Don’t deny yourself of your favorite items. Enjoy them and savor the flavors. Quantity isn’t necessarily more. Eating five cookies won’t necessarily taste better than savoring one.
  • Pack your favorite foods home. If there is a dish you can’t put down, just remember it will still be there even after that gathering meal. Take it home, savor it later. There’s no rule that you have to eat everything you enjoy in one sitting.

Enjoy good food, good people, and savor wonderful flavors. Eating is a joy in life and food is meant to be enjoyed. Don’t feel guilty when you enjoy the “unhealthy” items. Just a little planning and strategy beforehand may help you to be more conscious. For more questions about fullness or nutrition tips, your local FFC registered dietitian Suren will be able to help you with nutrition strategies to get ahead in the new year.

Join us at 11 AM on Wednesday, January 16 for a 40-minute new year lunch and learn that will teach you about creating nutrition and “smart” goals for the new year. A smoothie recipe will be provided with a cooking demo with samples for all participants. Kristen will briefly cover RMR and the benefits to promote the service to clients. A catered lunch for attendees. To save your spot, email Suren at!

December is here and so is a brand new Workout of the Month! FFC Austin Head, personal trainer at FFC Union Station, has designed a well-rounded routine for you to try featuring the TRX Atomic push-up , which is a great way to shake up your routine and movement patterns. Check out the full workout here:

Movement Highlight: TRX Atomic push-up = start the movement in a “hands and toes” plank while feet are in the TRX loops. Place hands directly below your shoulders, with your spine in a neutral position. Perform the push-up, then drive knees into the chest, return back to the “hands and toes” plank position and repeat.

Pilates Exercise of the Month: Lower/Lift = lying on a mat, lift the head and shoulders. Place the hands behind the head, stacked with wide elbows. Extend legs to 90 degrees. Lower the legs to 45 degrees, and lift back up to 90 degrees. Do 4-8 stretches.

Nutrition Tip of the Month: During the holidays, pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues by eating slowly and appreciating the different tastes and qualities of your food. Skip the guilt around eating and enjoy!

Smoothie of the Month: Gingerbread (almond milk, banana, vanilla whey, chai, oats, nutmeg and ginger powder)

Group Exercise Class of the Month: Critical Mass = this total-body workout is designed to build muscular strength, increase bone density and maintain lean body mass with the emphasis on full range of motion exercises done with heavier weights and less repetition.

Will your “diet” start after the holidays? It doesn’t have to! Meet with FFC registered dietitian Kristen Marias to learn about our ‘non-diet’ approach towards a nutritious lifestyle and avoid feeling like you have to start over in January! Kick start a new lifestyle you can stick with long through the new year.

For more information, email Kristen Marias at

November is here and so is a brand new Workout of the Month! FFC Park Ridge personal trainer Antonio Ramirez has designed a well-rounded routine for you to try featuring the barbell deadlift, which is a perfect introduction to weightlifting. Check out the full workout here:

Movement Highlight: Barbell Deadlift

Pilates Exercise of the Month: Scissors

Nutrition Tip of the Month: To build muscle while reducing body fat, try to aim for equal amounts of protein and carbohydrates within 1 hour of your workout. Some good combinations include eggs with oatmeal, fruit in a protein shake or chicken with sweet potatoes.

Smoothie of the Month: Apple Crisp

Group Exercise Class of the Month: FITCORE

Maintain your good eating habits through the holidays with our 141 Club Challenge, plus our 2 month-long workshop!

141 Club 8-Week Challenge: complete 141 miles of cardiovascular work through riding, running, climbing & more in 8 weeks, from November 5 – December 26.

Damage Control Workshop: partake in weekly nutrition workshops & weekly check-ins with our registered dietitian. Get in shape, and maintain or lose weight right through the holiday season. Cost: $25 enrollment fee + the $79/month.

START STRONG – BE YOUR BEST SELF GOING INTO 2019! For questions or more information, email

We wish you a happy and healthy holiday season! Please be aware of the following holiday hours:

  • Wednesday November 21: 6 AM – 5 PM
  • Thursday, November 22: Thanksgiving
  • Friday, November 23: staff unavailable & virtual classes available only

Join us on Wednesday, October 10 from 5:15 – 6 PM for our annual rooftop wine and yoga event! Experience the beauty of the Chicago skyline and lakefront during a relaxing yoga class and then finish off the evening  with a glass of wine! Limited space is available; reserve your spot today by emailing Luann at

This past week we had our 4th annual fitness fair! Each year we try to pull in some new vendors (such as Big Shoulders, Eat Clean Chicago, Nerium International, Monster Energy and Amli). Past event vendors have included Anatomy & Alchemy, the American Cancer Society and Kind Bar. This is a great way to expose new health-related businesses to our tenants through sampling!


I also recently had the opportunity to try a VO2 Max test. The test was quick and easy set up – and the total time it took to do the test was 10 minutes. I began by walking at a brisk pace; Coach Chris then would increase my intensity through elevation and speed until I was at my max level. Once I was running at my max level I tried to maintain that as long as I could. When I needed to stop, I gave him a hand signal and the machine then proceeded to calculate my VO2 output. It showed me exactly where my heart rate needed to be for me to get the results I’ve been shooting for.