CornerStone Blog

Author: Teresa Whitcomb

10 Reasons Why You Should Try Personal Training At Cornerstone

With summer right around the corner, you might be starting to panic about getting in shape for the warmer weather and all of the fun activities that go along with it. Or maybe you’re already exercising but are not seeing the results that you were hoping for and are starting to get discouraged.

Well there’s no need to panic! These are just some of the signs that it’s time to ask for help. And why not ask the experts – Cornerstone personal trainers!

Doylestown Personal Trainer Heather Wauls training a client.

Personal training is a wonderful service that everybody can benefit from. It’s no different than going to mechanic to work on your car, or going to a nutritionist for help with your diet. It’s simply working with a fitness professional to help improve your health and wellbeing, in whatever way that means to you.

If you’re unsure if Cornerstone personal training is right for you, here are 10 reasons why you should hire a personal trainer:

1. You want a personalized fitness plan

Personal trainers will get to know your unique needs and goals and will create a personalized fitness plan just for you. Don’t waste your time with cookie-cutter routines that you found online or copied from a friend. We are all unique, and what works for one person might now work for the next. So invest in a plan that was made specifically for you.

2. You're not seeing results

Nothing is more frustrating than working hard in the gym and not seeing the results you were hoping for. This doesn’t mean that you should give up, it just means that you need to switch things up! A personal trainer will help develop a workout for your specific workout goals. If your goal is to lose weight, and you have been going for a walk outside 3 times a week without much success, then a personal trainer can help change up your routine to elicit the results you are looking for. 

3. You don't know where to start

Just the thought of starting an exercise program can be overwhelming. There are so many different choices out there! Zumba? Spinning? Weight training? Water aerobics? How are you supposed to know where to start? By meeting with a personal trainer they will give you the guidance you need to get started safely and appropriately. They will set you up for success from the very beginning!

New Hope personal trainer Brandon Leftridge training a client.

3. You don't know where to start

Just the thought of starting an exercise program can be overwhelming. There are so many different choices out there! Zumba? Spinning? Weight training? Water aerobics? How are you supposed to know where to start? By meeting with a personal trainer they will give you the guidance you need to get started safely and appropriately. They will set you up for success from the very beginning!

4. You're bored with the same old workouts

Exercise should be enjoyable! If you’re getting bored with the same old workouts, then that’s an obvious sign that you need some variety in your routine. The chances are, if you’re feeling bored with your workout, so is your body. And this is when we start to hit a plateau. Or even worse, we get so bored that we just stop exercising! Doing some personal training can help expand your routine and make it fun again!

5. You need to be challenged

If you’re workouts are starting to feel easy, then it’s time to kick it up a notch! Challenging your body is the key to success. However you need to make sure that you do it appropriately to avoid injury. A personal trainer can help you do just that! They will know exactly how much to challenge you to help you safely reach your goals.

Doylestown Personal Trainer Ian McArdle training a client.

4. You're bored with the same old workouts

Exercise should be enjoyable! If you’re getting bored with the same old workouts, then that’s an obvious sign that you need some variety in your routine. The chances are, if you’re feeling bored with your workout, so is your body. And this is when we start to hit a plateau. Or even worse, we get so bored that we just stop exercising! Doing some personal training can help expand your routine and make it fun again!

5. You need to be challenged

If you’re workouts are starting to feel easy, then it’s time to kick it up a notch! Challenging your body is the key to success. However you need to make sure that you do it appropriately to avoid injury. A personal trainer can help you do just that! They will know exactly how much to challenge you to help you safely reach your goals.

6. You want to learn how to exercise independently

Have you been doing group exercise classes and workout DVDs for so long that you don’t know how to exercise independently? Let a personal trainer show you the way! Once they get to know you, your goals, and any injuries you may have, they can show you how to safely exercise on your own. They will teach you how to have proper form on certain exercises, and where exactly you should be feeling the muscles working. This way when you’re on your own, you can feel confident that you’re performing the exercises properly.

New Hope Personal Trainer Cameron

7. You need accountability and motivation

With how hectic everybody’s lives have become, it can be very easy to push exercise aside. However, if you hire a personal trainer you will have a scheduled appointment that you are expected to show up for. And you don’t want to let them down right? When was the last time you just didn’t show up to a doctor’s appointment? Hopefully never! This is the same concept! When you know that your personal trainer is there waiting for you, you are much more likely to show up to the gym!

8. You have a specific injury, illness or condition

Having a specific injury, illness, or condition can make exercise seem a bit more challenging. Maybe you feel really limited and don’t see the point in starting an exercise program. However a personal trainer has the knowledge and experience to help you overcome those issues and still reach your goals! A personal trainer will take into account your medical history and take you through exercises that are safe for you.

9. You're training for a sport or event

There’s no better motivator than signing up for a sport or event that has a specific start date! But maybe now you’re starting to panic about how to train and prepare? Let a personal trainer help you! Whether you are a football player, dancer, or training for a half marathon, a personal trainer can help create a plan to help prepare your body for the upcoming event/sport season.

10. You want supervision and support during your workout

When was the last time you had the supervision and support you needed to stay safe during your workouts? Maybe you need someone to watch your form for safety. Or maybe you need someone to push you to finish those last two reps when you really want to give up. Your personal trainer will be there to do both. They are an extra set of eyes to help you execute proper form with every exercise, and they are there to give you words of encouragement when the workout gets tough. They are on your side and want to see you succeed just as much as you do.

Being healthy and exercising isn’t easy. But having help can be the difference between staying the same and reaching your goals.  So why not hire a personal trainer to help you reach your goals quickly and effectively? 

Know The Symptoms – Heart Attack, Stroke & Cardiac Arrest

February is Heart Health Month and we wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone of the signs and symptoms of three major cardiac events:  heart attack, stroke and cardiac arrest.


Heart disease is the leading cause of death for all adults in the United States. Heart attacks are caused by a blockage that stops blood flow to the heart. A heart attack refers to death of heart muscle tissue due to the loss of blood supply. It’s a “circulation” problem.  A heart attack is serious and sometimes fatal.

Most heart attacks cause discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts for more than a few minutes, or that goes away and then comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.

Symptoms can also include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.  A person may also experience shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.

Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness.

It’s important to remember that symptoms can vary between men and women.  As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience other things, particularly shortness of breath, nausea and/or vomiting and back or jaw pain.

Fact – most heart attacks occur in the morning hours between 6:00am and 12:00pm.


One in every six deaths from cardiovascular disease is due to stroke.  Spot a stroke F.A.S.T. by looking for the following symptoms:

Face drooping – does one side of the face droop or is it numb. Ask the person to smile.

Arm weakness – is one arm weak or numb?  Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?

Speech difficulty – is speech slurred? Is the person completely unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence.  Is the sentence repeated correctly?

If a person shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 911 and get them to the hospital immediately.

There are a few other stroke symptoms to be aware of including numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion or difficulty understanding speech; trouble seeing out of one or both eyes; trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; and severe headache with no known cause.

Fact – About 87% of all strokes are ischemic strokes, in which blood flow to the brain is blocked.


The term “heart attack” is often mistakenly used to describe cardiac arrest. While a heart attack may cause cardiac arrest, the two aren’t the same.

Cardiac arrest is caused when the heart’s electrical system malfunctions. The heart stops beating properly. This means that the heart’s pumping function is “arrested” or stopped.  During cardiac arrest, a person is completely unresponsive and does not react to tapping on the shoulder and or take a normal breath when you tilt the head up and check for at least 5 seconds. When it comes to sudden cardiac arrest, time is of the essence.

First, ensure the safety of the scene and immediately contact 911.  Then, if an AED is available, get it (or have someone in the vicinity get it). The best way to increase the chances of survival for someone who is in cardiac arrest is to perform quality CPR and use an AED.

Fact – cardiac arrest isn’t just a problem of old age; each year, there are over 9,000 cases in children and young people.

CPR/AED training is an invaluable skill to have and may very well save the life of someone you love.  If you’ve never had CPR training, or haven’t had it in a long time, we strongly encourage you to visit the service desk and inquire about signing up for a training at Cornerstone.  We offer American Red Cross certified CPR/AED/First Aid training throughout the year at both our Doylestown and New Hope locations.

Why You Should Learn CPR

Don’t underestimate the importance of CPR. It’s easy to learn and only takes a few hours of training.  And knowing how to do it may save the life of someone you love.

CPR Saves Lives

CPR is designed to keep oxygenated blood flowing to the heart and brain when sudden cardiac arrest occurs. Because the heart can’t pump blood, tissue and organ death can occur in minutes without intervention.

Also, cardiac arrest can occur at any time; in fact, it’s the number one killer worldwide with most incidences (69.5%) occuring in the home. Another 18.8% occur in public.

As many as 475,000 Americans die from this condition in a single year, and the American Heart Association notes that sudden cardiac arrest claims more lives worldwide than cancers, auto accidents, influenza, HIV, firearms, and house fires combined.

Cardiac Arrest Can Affect Anyone

We usually assume that only older adults are at risk of cardiac arrest.  But many people have undiagnosed heart conditions, including children, that can manifest at any time. That’s why it’s important to be prepared.

CPR Can Quadruple The Odds Of Survival

The mortality rate among out-of-hospital cardiac arrest victims is about 90%. Considering that the vast majority of these events—about 350,000 per year—occur outside the hospital, this is devastating news.

CPR saves lives because it keeps blood flowing to vital organs while waiting for the arrival of emergency services. One meta-analysis of 79 studies found that bystander CPR increases a victim’s odds of survival by four times. The standard survival rate for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests is only about 10%, but the survival rate among sufferers receiving bystander CPR is nearly 45%.

Every Minute Counts

For every minute that a cardiac arrest victim goes without CPR, their chance of death increases by 10%.

Even when 911 is called immediately, it oftens take seven or eight minutes or longer for EMS to arrive.  Then they have to locate the victim once they arrive.  After 10 minutes without emergency care, resuscitation is rarely successful.

CPR Makes AEDs More Effective

Cardiac arrest is not the same as a heart attack, which occurs when the blood supply to part of the heart muscle is blocked. Cardiac arrest, which may be caused by a heart attack, occurs when the heart’s normal rhythm is disrupted and cannot generate blood flow. And AED (automated external defibrillator) is the only way to deliver a lifesaving shock to the heart, bringing it back into normal rhythm and restoring blood circulation.

CPR improves the effectiveness of defibrillation, and the combination of these two practices improves survival rates.   Defibrillation within three minutes of cardiac arrest increases the chances of survival by 70 percent.  Use within one minute of collapse raises the survival rate to 90 percent.

In summary, by investing a little time and money in learning a simple but critical skill, you may some day save the life of a bystander or even someone you love.

NOTE – all onsite Cornerstone staff have current CPR/AED certification. We also have AED devices located in each club.  We also regularly schedule CPR/AED/FIRST AID training in the clubs which are open to both staff, members and community members. CLICK HERE for information about our next training.

How To Shovel Snow Safely

Winter is officially upon us and we’ve now had our first measurable snow storm of the season.  For those of you who shovel snow, it’s important to make sure you do it safely.

According to a study by the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, these are the most common injuries associated with shoveling snow:

Back Injury – 34%
Hand/arm/shoulder injuries (fractures and soft tissue injuries) – 16%
Head injuries (from getting hit with the shovel) – 15%
Slips and falls – 11%
Heart Attack – 7%

Snow Shoveling Safety Tips



Don’t shovel first thing in the morning. Research suggests that most heart attacks occur first thing in the morning when blood is most likely to clot. Clear your morning calendar so you don’t have to rush out and let the sun do a little work for you.


Most people don’t think about it this way, but shoveling snow is exercise. It’s hard work. Take a few minutes before to stretch, move about and get the ‘blood flowing’ before undertaking any strenuous activity, including shoveling snow. 


Stay hydrated. It’s just as easy to get dehydrated in cold weather as it is in warm weather when you are exercising.


Use a smaller shovel. A shovel full of wet snow is especially heavy when the shovel is big. It may take a little longer, but many small loads will be better than fewer heavy ones.


Dress appropriately. Cover your hands, head and mouth. Covering your mouth with a scarf will help you inhale warmer air and can help avoid respiratory problems. Wearing layers will help you stay warm and flexible. Don’t forget your footwear. Make sure you are wearing boots with good treads.  If the surface is slippery, considering treating with de-icer as you go along to avoid slips and falls.


Take regular breaks.  If you need a rest, take a rest. Taking 15 minute breaks can help lessen the load on your heart and the rest of your body.


Watch for warning signs of injury. Tightness in the chest, lightheadedness and dizziness are all signs of a heart attack. If you suspect you’re having a heart attack, call 911. 



Making The Most Out Of A Short Workout

Unfortunately, we don’t always have the luxury of spending as much time as we’d like at the gym.  But, if you are short on time, that doesn’t mean you have to skip a workout.

Many people believe that the only effective way to exercise is by spending hours and hours at the gym. Not only can this expectation make exercise feel like a burden, but it’s also completely unrealistic given our busy lives.  Don’t let “I don’t have enough time” become your go-to excuse for not moving.  The truth is that even a brief but high intensity exercise session can boost your energy, improve your mood, make you feel awesome and help you reach your goals.

Man checking his watch


Don’t beat yourself up. Maybe you can’t find the time to do your normal exercise routine because of family or work obligations. Perhaps you are a little burned out by longer workouts and are on the verge of quitting altogether. Or, maybe travel is forcing you to deviate from your usual workouts.

Whatever the reason, be kind to yourself, don’t obsess and be open to change.  Short workouts done properly are effective and will still leave you feeling great.   And,  switching things up is a good thing.  Bodies can become complacent after doing the same workouts over and over again. Changes to your normal routine can provide a much needed jolt to the system. 


Cell phones are notorious workout killers.  If you only have time for a 30 minute workout, don’t risk wasting any of that precious time by checking notifications or answering email.  Put your phone in airplane mode or keep it in your bag or locker. 

The same thinking applies to conversation. If you are working out at the gym, say your “hellos” and then get down to business – don’t get involved in long conversations that use up your valuable workout time.


One of the worst things you can do when time is short is head to the gym without a plan.  Minutes may be wasted as you figure out what you are going to do.  Or, in the interest of time, you may opt for a “default” workout like a quick steady-state jog on the treadmill that might get your heart rate up a bit, but won’t necessarily give you the biggest bang for your buck.

Even if it’s on the drive over, give some advance thought to your workout.  Do you want to do intervals or some sort of circuit training?  Pre-determine your exercises, your reps and your time intervals.  Consider what equipment you’ll need so you are ready to grab it and go.


In short workouts, every minute counts. High intensity exercise is the key to making a quick and effective workout. So, what does high intensity feel like?

Well, it’s obviously not the equivalent of a leisurely stroll down the street. But, it’s also not a run until your lungs pop either.  Think breathless, not winded. Think heart-pounding, not heart exploding. You don’t need a fancy heart rate monitor to determine if you are in the right intensity zone – simply use your body’s cues. At the most intense part of your workout, you should be able to say single words.  However, if you are capable of having a chat with someone else, then you probably need to kick it up a notch.

man running on treadmill

The following workout suggestions are simple and flexible.  You can adapt these to fit your available time, preferences and goals.


30/20/10 Training

The essentials of this workout are easy to remember – and it’s fun!

First, pick a cardio activity. Then, run, ride, step or row gently for 30 seconds, accelerate to a moderate pace for 20 seconds, then sprint as hard as you can for 10 seconds. Repeat.

You don’t need a stopwatch to monitor the 30, 20, and 10-second time changes. Just count to yourself and you’ll find that the time goes by even faster.

The beauty of this workout is that you can do it for as long as you like – 10 minutes, 15 minutes, and so on.  If you have at least 15 – 20 minutes, you could consider working out across machines (perhaps 5 minutes on the treadmill, five on the bike and five on the rowing machine).

The Four Minute Workout

Yes, you read that right. Tabata is a four minute workout. But, don’t let that fool you. A tabata done correctly is tough.  During this workout, you work as hard as you can for 20 seconds and then recover for 10 seconds.  Repeat the sequence for four minutes.

You can do any type of exercise during a Tabata—burpees, squat jumps, high-knee runs or whatever you like —as long as you work to your absolute max during each 20-second stint. Then, take the recovery and go hard again. If you do two rounds of Tabata, that’s just eight minutes of work, but you’ll definitely feel the burn.

Circuit Training

Circuit training involves performing multiple exercises back to back with minimal to no rest in between. After the circuit is finished, you can take a longer rest, but only enough to catch your breath.

In a circuit workout, you can perform the exercises for reps, time, or a combination of the two.  The goal is to use as many body parts as possible, structuring the workouts around compound movements (movements that target multiple muscle groups at once) and movements that will elevate your heart rate. This would include exercises like push-ups, burpees, jumping jacks, bodyweight squats, mountain climbers and jump roping.

Circuit training is simple to design and highly flexible. You can adapt it to whatever time you have available by changing the number of exercises, the exercise reps/timed intervals and the number of times you repeat the entire circuit itself.

Next time you are running short on time, don’t skip the gym! Grab your gym bag, load up a motivating playlist of tunes and plan a quick, intense workout.  The only workout you ever regret is the one you didn’t get!

Busting 7 Group Fitness Myths

At Cornerstone, we believe strongly in the value and effectiveness of group fitness.  Research has shown that working out with others, especially to music, increases motivation, exercise adherence, brain health and so much more. It’s also social and a lot of fun!

Unfortunately, we frequently hear many misconceptions about Group Fitness from people who are reluctant to give it a try. 

“I’m not in good enough shape to take a GX class right now.”

“I’m don’t have enough flexibility to try yoga or Group Centergy.”

“I have two left feet and have a hard time following along – I don’t want to feel awkward and unsuccessful.”

“Group fitness classes aren’t challenging enough – they aren’t a “proper” workout so I’ll be better off doing something on my own in the gym.”

It’s high time to dispel some of the most common group fitness myths!

Group Fitness Classes Will Be Too Hard For Me

It’s not “get in better shape” to take a group fitness class.  Rather, it’s take a group fitness class and get in better shape!   With a class schedule as broad as Cornerstone’s, you can find classes suitable for every fitness level.  Moreover, intensity level can be adjusted within a class.  Modifications exist for every exercise and our instructors are ready, willing and able to offer modifications suitable to your specific level.  And, don’t assume you will be the only doing things “differently” if you modify. Look into any group fitness class, and you will see a group of people all moving differently and working at different fitness levels. 

Group Fitness Classes Will Be Too Easy For Me

This myth is common to fitness junkies.  The fact is, exercises can be modified up for intensity just as easily as they can be modified down to reduce the challenge.  A participant can always up their own ante by lifting heavier weight, riding with more resistance, using more impact, etc.  Sometimes, fitness junkies overlook the other benefits that come with group fitness classes such as cross training (doing something new!), learning new movement patterns (Zumba!) and recovery (yoga/Group Centergy).

Group Fitness Is All Cardio

This is an easy one to debunk.  Group fitness has evolved greatly since it’s inception a few decades ago. A modern class schedule includes everything from Zumba to cycling to barre to strength training to yoga and much more.

Group Fitness Classes Require Coordination And I’m Awkward

While it is true that some classes require a degree of coordination, others require much less.  If you aren’t quite ready to follow the choreography in a dance fitness class, try a barre or cycling class, give Interval Burn a try or drop into Group Active.  The fact is, training for timing, rhythm, speed and coordination are important to both your body and your brain.  If this an area that is challenging for you, taking group fitness classes can help you improve it.  And, if you feel intimidated seeing a group of people moving in sync in a class, remember that NO ONE started out that way. Every single person you see started out going left when others were going right.  Each person stuck with it and got better at it over time. And you will too!

Group Fitness Is For Women

Group fitness’ roots in Jazzercise and Aerobics have led many to believe that it is only for women.  This couldn’t be further from the truth!  There are many varieties of exercise class styles to suit everyone. Some of the best dance instructors are guys and some of the toughest strength coaches are gals.  The old “rules” no longer apply. Women shouldn’t be reluctant to head over to the weight lifting room and men shouldn’t hesitate to cross the group fitness room threshold. 

Group Fitness Classes Are Not A “Proper” Workout

Some people bypass taking a class because they feel they can get a better workout on their own.  This may be true in some cases – but not all!  Unfortunately, a lot of people come to the gym with no real plan in mind.  When you attend class, you don’t have to come up with your own routine or plan the perfect playlist. It’s all done for you!  Modern group fitness classes are professionally designed and will give you a safe, effective and complete experience.  It’s also tough to stay motivated when you work out by yourself. If you join a class and stick with it, you’ll experience the motivation, camaraderie, energy and fun that comes with working out with others.

Group Fitness Instructors Are A Scary Bunch Of Drill Sergeants

Believe it or not, instructors aren’t there to order you around and yell at you – they are there to guide and help you. They are there to teach you, motivate you, inspire you and support you.  If you are attending class for the first time, arrive a little early and introduce yourself to your instructor. Share any concerns or reservations you have and then relax and enjoy the experience.

For those of you who don’t take group fitness classes, we hope that you’ll give them a try now that we’ve busted a few of the top myths.  Take a look at our class schedules and check out the descriptions.  Pick something that looks interesting and give it a try!  And, if you still have questions or are not sure what would be a good fit for you, take a few minutes to talk to a Wellness Coach.  See you in class soon!



Build A Better Core Without Sit Ups (Or Crunches)

For decades, sit ups and crunches were considered essential exercises for your core.  And planks? Well, those were something that you walked on, right?   Fast forward to more recent times and planking, an exercise that requires you to assume a position and hold it, is now the gold standard for core work.   What accounts for the shift?

abdominal muscles

According to Harvard Medical School, sit-ups and crunches are hard on your back – they push your curved spine against the floor and work your hip flexors, the muscles that run from the thighs to the lumbar vertebrae in the lower back. When the hip flexors are too tight, they pull on your lower spine which can cause pain in the lumbar area.  In addition, poorly performed crunches can also strain your neck.  Finally, sit ups and crunches target just a few isolated muscles.   The body’s core goes far beyond a small set of abdominal muscles, so these exercises are not a very efficient use of your workout time either.

Think of your core muscles as spine stabilizers. If you didn’t have these muscles, you would flop right over.  The key to effective core work is to stop motion through those muscles, not create it as is the case with sit ups. Effective core exercises protect your neck and spine by getting and keeping them aligned and stable while your extremities are moving. Instead of creating the movement, your core should be working against it.

So, what are good alternatives to sit ups and crunches?  Number one on the list is the aforementioned plank.


Front Plank:  Set up on your elbows and toes (if you aren’t ready for planking on your toes, begin on your knees).  Don’t let your hips sag or pike up. Start with 10-15 seconds and then slowly extend the time.  As you improve, you can add any of a number of variations such as . . . 


Plank with Opposite Reach:  lift one arm straight forward while lifting the opposite leg then repeat on opposite side.

Plank Walkdowns:  Walk up on your hands then back down to your elbows and repeat.

Side Planks: Keep your elbow under your shoulder and your shoulder away from your ear. As with the front plank, you can start on your knees and move to your feet. 

side plank

*Note – these are just a few of the almost endless plank variations.  


This exercise works your glutes and back which are important parts of your core that sometimes get overlooked. Lie facedown on the floor with your arms and legs extended, palms facing the ground. Pinching your shoulder blades together, lift your arms, chest, and legs off the ground. Slowly return to the floor. For an additional upper body workout, you can bend your elbows and pull your arms back while you’re in the raised position. Extend them back out and lower down.


Start in a push-up position with arms completely straight and directly beneath shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles.

Squeeze your abs, lift one foot off the floor, and bring your knee up towards chest while keeping your body in as straight of a line as possible. Hold for five seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat the movement with opposite leg. You can progress towards bringing each knee towards the opposite elbow to recruit the obliques.


Lie faceup with your arms fully extended along your sides. Bring your legs to tabletop position, you’re your knees bent and lower legs parallel to the floor.

Brace your core and reach your left arm up and behind head while straightening your right leg while keeping it up off the floor.   Return to starting position and repeat on the other side to complete one rep.


Lie on your back with your legs extended straight toward the ceiling and place your hands palms down under your lower back for support.  Slowly lower your legs down toward floor, hovering two inches off the floor (or higher if you feel strain in your lower back) . Lift your legs back to the starting position.  You can scissor your legs while moving up and down as an added variation.


Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the floor.  Lean back so your torso is at about a 45 degree angle. Using your abs, twist your torso as far as you can in one direction before reversing the motion and returning to the starting position to twist in the opposite direction.  To progress this exercise over time, you can lift your feet over the floor while twisting.  You can also hold a dumbbell or medicine ball as you twist



Windshield wipers are another sit-up alternative for which leg positioning matters. Lie flat on your back with your arms extended out to your sies.  Keeping your legs together, bend at the knees to form a 90 degree angle. Then, lift your legs so that your shins are parallel with the floor.  Make sure your knees are stacked over your hips.  Next, engage your core while keeping your shoulders and back in contact with the floor.  Drop your knees to the right, keeping your legs together.  Return to center and repeat on the other side.  Don’t drop them so far that your shoulders come off the ground. When you are ready, you can progress this exercise by straightening your legs instead of keeping your knees bent.

windshield wiper exercise

Looking for a little guidance when it comes to your core routine?  Don’t forget that you have access to professional help whenever you need it. Just stop by the Service Desk and make an appointment with a Wellness Coach who would be happy to help you.

How To Choose The Right Athletic Shoes

Let’s face it, our feet take a beating over the course of our lifetimes. Human beings are bipedal ambulatory creatures and we spend a great deal of our time standing, walking, running, and jumping from the moment we transition from crawling as toddlers until our oldest age. If you are a regular exerciser, your feet are actually working overtime. So, it’s really important to take care of them. This is why it’s so important to make sure you choose the right athletic shoes.

Man taking off athletic shoe.

Why it matters.

Wearing the wrong athletic shoes could result in a less effective workout. More importantly, it could cause injury. For instance, wearing shoes with a thin tread while hiking increases risk of ankle sprain. Wearing cross training shoes while jogging can lead to sore feet, shin splints, plantar fasciitis and other injuries.

Talk to any podiatrist and you will find that most agree that choosing the right athletic shoes is as important as the workout itself. Our bodies are highly connected. When something is off in one part, it can affect many other areas. The positioning of your feet while you move can affect the alignment of many other parts of your body including muscles and joints.

Different workouts require different motions from your body. The best shoes are designed to provide just the right amount of support at the right angle given your chosen activity. Decent quality athletic shoes are not cheap. If you are going to invest in shoes, make sure they support your exercise goals and don’t work against them.

Trail running

Consider your workout.

The first step to choosing the right shoe is to determine what kind of motion your workout requires. Exercises such as walking or hiking require mostly linear motion with little impact. In contrast, running is similarly linear, but is high impact. Workouts like high intensity interval training, boot camps, dancing and kickboxing involve a lot of direction changes.

Running Shoes – Running shoes should be cushioned and to disperse force when landing. Choose shoes with a good cushion. Next, wiggle your toes in the toe box. There should be a finger-width distance between the toes and the end of the shoe because feet can swell slightly when running. Finally, pay attention to heel rise in a running shoe. The heel should be slightly higher than the toes to facilitate forward motion.

Walking – Look for a light weight shoe with some shock absorption in the heel and especially in the ball of the foot. This will help reduce heel pain as well as burning and tenderness in the ball of the foot. A shoe with a slightly rounded or sole helps to encourage the natural roll of the foot during the walking.

Cross Trainers – Cross-training shoes combine several of the above features so that you can participate in more than one sport. A good cross trainer should have both flexibility in the front of the foot needed for running and lateral control necessary for activities like dance fitness classes, kickboxing, HIIT workouts, etc.

Sports Specific Shoes – this would include shoes for basketball, tennis, golf, cycling, hiking, etc. All of these sports involve specific repetitive movements. As a result, it is highly recommended that you purchase shoes designed exclusively for these sports.

Running shoes

Choose wisely.

Measure your foot frequently. Believe it or not, our shoe size can change in adulthood, so measure before buying. Keep in mind that sizes often vary between brands, so go by what fits, not by what the stated size of the shoe is.

Shop toward the end of the day. Feet swell over the course of the day; they also expand while you run or walk, so shoes should fit your feet when they’re at their largest.
Try shoes on while wearing the type of socks you will be using when engaging in your workout. If you wear orthotics, bring those, too. Shoes need to fit with the orthotic inside.

Don’t assume that shoes require a “breaking in” period. Proper shoes should feel comfortable right away. Walk or run around the store a bit to make sure they feel good in action.

Use the rule of thumb. There should be about 3/8-1/2 inch between the front of your big toe and the end of the shoe — about a thumb’s width. The heel should fit relatively tightly; your heel should not slip out when you walk. The upper part of the shoe — which goes over the top of your foot — should be snug and secure, and not too tight anywhere. Finally, you should be able to wiggle all of your toes when the shoe is on.

Know when to replace your shoes. Once the back of the sole is worn out or the shoe feels uncomfortable or less supportive, it’s time to reinvent in some new kicks.

Finding The Motivation To Workout After Work

A hard work day can be a workout killer if you let it.  How do you find the motivation to workout after work?  The answer lies in changing your mindset and your habits.  Here are 7 tips to help you make post- work workouts successful.


Don’t wait until the chaos of morning to pack your exercise clothes.  You may forget what you need when you are in a hurry to get out the door.  If the morning is particularly hectic, you might just decide “to heck with it, it’s too much trouble”, giving yourself an excuse to skip your workout.

Schedule your workouts on your calendar to help you stay motivated to workout after work.


You put meetings, doctors appointments, Little League games and other things on your schedule to remind you so you don’t miss the important things in your life.  Make exercise important too and put it on your calendar. Then, set reminders on your phone or computer.


Let’s face it. You are working out as you head into the dinner hour. Sometimes plain old physical hunger can rob you of a workout by mentally distracting you and zapping your energy.  Pack a small, easily digestible snack that’s got a mix of carbs, protein and healthy fat (like an apple with peanut butter) and eat it about 45 minutes prior to your planned workout.


Again, this factors into your mindset. If you change into your exercise clothes before you leave work, you’ll be more likely to commit to your workout and less likely to back out at the last minute or make excuses for skipping.

Finding the motivation to workout after work.


Once you walk through the door, your brain switches over to “home mode”.  At home, you are reminded of all of the things you feel you need to do there (fix dinner, do laundry, clean up, etc). This makes it very difficult to mentally disengage to leave for a workout.  Be consistent and stick to a routine – work, gym home; work, gym home . . .  After a while, this will become a habit and it will actually feel weird if you break it.


Clear your mind.  Take a class that requires a bit of thinking.  If your mind is occupied following moves, it won’t be able to wander off and think about job responsibilities.  If you are hitting the fitness floor, create a playlist that motivates you and pulls your mind into a good place.  No matter what, make sure you choose an activity that you enjoy.  After all, your exercise time isn’t just good for your body.  It also serves as a mental break, an opportunity to let go of the concerns and stresses of your day.


Let’s face it, exercising five days a week after work may be unrealistic because we have other demands on our time.  So, don’t forget the weekends.  If you exercise on Saturday and Sunday, then you may only need to exercise 2 – 3 days a week after work.

A few other suggestions . . . Find a workout buddy (or a few workout buddies) and make arrangements for weekly small group training sessions with a personal trainer.  You’ll be less likely to skip these workouts because you don’t want to let your buddies down.  Another option would be to sign up for a Tribe Team Training session.  Again, committing to a Tribe will keep you accountable and help you stay committed.

~ The Cornerstone Clubs


How To Stay Active While Traveling

Sticking to an exercise program can be a challenge when you are away from home.  But there’s no reason why you can’t continue a routine that keeps you healthy when you are travelling.

Over the past few months, we have seen an uptick in vaccination rates and a removal of many travel restrictions.  Visit any airport and you will see that people are beginning to travel again, whether for business or pleasure.  Taking a trip, however, shouldn’t mean taking a break from your exercise routine. With a little creativity and planning, you can incorporate exercise into your trip – and maybe use it as an opportunity to shake things up a little bit.

Plan for exercise and healthy eating while traveling.

Plan, Plan, Plan

Planning ahead can include many things.  Scope out restaurants, cafes and groceries that offer healthy food in advance of your trip.  Make sure your agenda includes time for exercise (a little everyday if possible).  If you absolutely must have some gym time, research gyms in the area that offer day passes or short-term memberships. 

And remember, Cornerstone participates in the IHRSA Passport Program. This program allows members to purchase discounted gym passes at participating clubs around the world. To learn more about the IHRSA Passport Program, stop by the service desk or click here.


Pack light exercise equipment.

Pack Carefully

Many hotels feature small gyms and pools.  But if you are visiting family or staying someplace without those amenities, you should consider packing a few light-weight pieces of exercise equipment.  Rubber tubing, light hand weights, a jump rope, a suspension training system like TRX®, and a mat take very little room and are easy to pack.  You can get a great workout using equipment like this in addition to using your own body weight.

Exercise outdoors.

Explore The Great Outdoors

Almost every place has its natural attractions whether it be parks, ocean, lakes or rivers, or hiking trails. Use this opportunity to exercise in the great outdoors. Go for a walk, run or hilly hike. Rent a bike and take in the scenery. Go for a swim or a row on the lake.

Virtual fitness is a great option when traveling.

Take Advantage of Virtual Workouts

If you have internet access where you are staying, take advantage of the many digital workouts now available.  You can certainly find some free versions on platforms like YouTube.  But, if you prefer higher quality audio and video, fee-based options like Mossa On Demand offer free trial memberships and feature many workouts that require nothing more than your own body weight.  You can check out Mossa’s Workout Catalog HERE.  

As a Cornerstone member, you also have unlimited access to our live streaming classes and our own Video On Demand service.  To sign up for live stream classes, login to EME just as you normally would and select “live stream” under the club category to view the schedule.  To access video on demand, simply visit the Virtual Gym. This way, if you can’t be at Cornerstone for a little while, you can take Cornerstone with you!

Find healthy eating options.

Don’t Forget Proper Nutrition

Overeating or eating unhealthy food may be the biggest problem we encounter when we travel.  When we are really busy or in unfamiliar territory, it’s easy to grab whatever is convenient. Often, this is fast food or other convenience foods.  Remember tip #1 – plan ahead and try to locate places that offer healthier fare.

Having said all of that, it’s OK to splurge and enjoy, especially while on vacation. Watch overdoing it, focus on moderation and balance over-indulgence with healthier eating options whenever possible.

We hope these tips help you stay active while traveling!

~  Cornerstone Clubs