Is your heart really in it?

by June Portnoy

How can your heart rate help you get more out of exercise? Turns out your heartbeat is a pretty big deal. It’s actually one of the most important indicators of overall wellness. And it’s one of the most effective elements of any fitness program.

Josh Tyler, Fitlife owner, explains, “Your heart rate not only controls your body, but also the efficiency of your exercise. By monitoring your heart rate (HR) while personal training or exercising, and aiming to stay within your target zones, you will get the most out your workout.”

In May, Fitlife, in business since 2001, became the first fitness facility in this area to have its members use MYZONE activity belts (similar to heart rate monitors) during their workouts. A MYZONE activity belt is an excellent tool to gauge how hard you’re really working during exercise, or how much harder you need to work to achieve the results you want.

It measures calories, heart rate and effort using MYZONE effort points (MEPs), designed to reward effort rather than just fitness.

A common mistake people make regarding HR monitors is that they’re only for elite athletes or for the very fit. In reality, although HR monitors are commonly used for athletic training, other great reasons to use a monitor include personal training, weight loss and exercise safety.

To get the most out of your physical activity, whether it’s walking, Zumba or personal training, you need to make sure you are in your target heart rate zone because each target heart rate zone has a specific purpose.

At Fitlife, a personal trainer will test you to determine your target heart rate zones. Then once you start exercising, you will receive immediate feedback as the data from the activity belts are instantly uploaded during your workouts at Fitlife and displayed on several TV’s throughout the facility.

What better motivation than to see with your own eyes your measurements changing and your health increasing!

“Killing yourself in a workout doesn’t always help you achieve your goal,” explains Josh. “Staying within your target zones for your workout is what will help you. This accountability keeps you motivated to stay on task and remain committed to your exercise plan.”

Another advantage of MYZONE is that you can work out with people of all different levels because you are not competing with anyone else; you are simply measuring your own effort. If you choose to exercise outside the gym, your belt stores all of your data and as soon as you walk into Fitlife with your belt, your data is uploaded for your review.

“I’ve found using the MYZONE technology makes tracking easy, and the Fitlife clients are motivated,“ says Josh.

Fitlife plans special events to help vary your training. As a gym they participate in 5K’s, mud runs, cycling events, fundraiser walks and even Dragon Boat racing.

Fitlife, voted Best Alternative Exercise by “Bucks Happening” the past two years, offers complete programs that include both fitness and nutrition. “No workout in the world will succeed if you are filling your body with the wrong foods,” says Josh

Ask yourself: Is your heart really in it? To learn how you can be Fitlife’s next success story and use the MYZONE technology, contact Fitlife today.

Fitlife is located in the Northampton Industrial Park off of Jacksonville Road. Its address is 157 Railroad Drive in Ivyland. Call them at 215-716-1298, or visit them on the web at

PHOTO CAP: Fitlife members seeing instant feedback using MyZone!


The key to a healthy lifestyle…21 days!

submitted by Coach Michael St John, Action Karate Jamison,

The key to maintaining good health is to start creating healthy habits. It only takes 21 days, that’s three weeks, to create a new habit.

It’s important to take control of your own habits. The first step to getting rid of bad habits and creating good ones is to identify them.

A great way to do this is to keep a food journal for a few days or weeks. You might start to notice that the afternoon hunger seems to strike around 3:00 every day when you reach for that bag of chips in your desk, or that you eat takeout two or three times every weekend when you don’t feel like cooking.

Now that you have identified the habits you want to change, it’s easier to create new ones.

Replace the chips with some almonds or fruit. Limit yourself to the number of times you order out and make meals ahead of time that can be easily reheated or eaten cold.

Go through the same process with your exercise habits. Sure, you have a gym membership, but how many times a week do you actually use it? What time do you go?

You might notice that you are more likely to workout if you do it first thing in the morning versus waiting to do it after work when you find it harder to motivate yourself. Make a habit of going the same time each day on the same days of every week.

Stay away from fad diets and quick fixes. You might see results faster with these methods, but they won’t last long.

Whatever changes you make you should be prepared to stick to for life. You aren’t “going on a diet” or “getting in shape;” you’re making a lifestyle change. You are choosing to make healthier choices that will benefit you and your family.