Friday, September 23, 2016

Get Fit, Have Fun, Save $20 on Workout Shoes – and, Veterans Save 10% at Better Living!

Last week we announced our first charity event – a cardio relay for the Michigan Department of Disabled American Veterans, which will take place at the Better Living Fitness Center on October 14.

This week we've got two more exciting announcements:

All Cardio Relay participants will receive a $20 off coupon for athletic shoes from Tortoise and Hare Running & Fitness Center in Ann Arbor.

Tortoise and Hare has joined Better Living Fitness Center and Between The Lines to sponsor our cardio relay. We're thrilled to have them on board as we get our sweat on to raise money for disabled veterans here in Michigan.

...and, while we get ready for the Cardio Relay event, we also have a special offer for ALL Ann Arbor-area veterans:

10% off on all training memberships, now through the October 14th Cardio Relay event!

If you have served our country as a member of the armed forces and you live in or near Ann Arbor, we'd like to serve you with this special offer. From now through October 14, you can join any Better Living Fitness Center membership plan at a 10% discount.

As a member, you'll be able to join our trainer-led Full Body Fit sessions, do high-energy cardio classes, or elongate your muscles with our various Yoga offerings – and join our weekly community walk.

Better Living Fitness Center group workouts are customized on the spot so people of all ages and physical abilities can take part and get fit; this means that, even if you have mobility issues or haven't exercised in a long time, we can still help you achieve your health and fitness goals.

Check out our membership plans to see what we have to offer. When you're ready to join, please contact us at: 734-747-0123 or: to arrange your veterans-only, 10% fitness center discount OR, click here and enter Promo Code: Vets4BetterLive.

Better Living Cardio Relay Event for DAV – Event Details

Friday, Oct. 14 ~ 6:30 am – 5:30 pm
Better Living Fitness Center
834B Phoenix Drive ~ Ann Arbor

  • Enjoy one of our state-of-the-art cardio machines for 15 minutes, ½ hour, or more
  • Make a donation to the Michigan Department of Disabled American Veterans
  • Receive a certificate for 20% off athletic shoes from Tortoise and Hare Running & Fitness Center in Ann Arbor
  • Ask your friends, family, and co-workers to sponsor your workout
  • From now through October 14, all Ann Arbor-area veterans save 10% on Better Living Fitness Center memberships!

Pre-registration required: Call 734-747-0123 or email:

Running shoes photo courtesy Josiah MacKenzie via flickr
Piggy bank photo courtesy Tax Credits via flickr

Monday, September 12, 2016

Better Living for Michigan's Veterans: Join us for our first Cardio Relay charity event!

Enjoy a great cardio workout, help a Michigan Veteran

On Friday, Oct. 14, Better Living Fitness Center will increase heart rates for a great cause during our first charity Cardio Workout Relay event for the Michigan District of Disabled American Veterans.

Our goal is to raise $10,000 to help make sure that disabled veterans in our state receive the benefits that they've earned and deserve.

From 6:30 am to 5:30 pm on Friday, Oct. 14, Better Living's cardio machines will be available for participants who want to do a cardio workout to help disabled veterans living right here in Michigan.

Our goal is to have at least one Cardio Workout Relay participant using at least one of our cardio machines - whether one of our elliptical machines, our exercise bikes, or our Stairmaster stepmill - for the entire day.

If you don't have the time, or you aren't yet ready to do a full half-hour
 of cardio training, no problem! We're scheduling the relay in fifteen-minute segments. Sign up to work out for fifteen minutes if you'd like - or commit to half an hour, forty-five minutes, or even a full hour.

All we ask is that you sign up in advance and make a donation to the Michigan District of Disabled American Veterans.

In return, you'll help fund Michigan Disabled American Veterans' efforts to make sure our vets receive the government assistance that they've earned for their service to our country – and you'll enjoy the benefits of a solid cardio workout on one of our top of the line machines.

Join us for a great day of having fun, getting fit, and supporting Michigan's veterans!

About Disabled American Veterans

I've always intended for Better Living Fitness Center to be a place that makes life better for our wider community. With that in mind, we've started giving a portion of our revenue to a different local charity every month.

And, now that Better Living has become a thriving center with multiple trainers, classes, and a solid client base, it's time for us to do more.

I chose the Michigan District of Disabled American Veterans for our first charity Cardio Relay because, since 1920, DAV has established an impressive track record of service on behalf of our veterans. DAV doesn't just lobby to make sure that our vets aren't forgotten. They also provide a helping hand. DAV does everything from filling out mountains of paperwork to appealing denied claims for health care, service related disabilities, and family assistance.

Disabled American Veterans works to make sure that the men and women who have already made huge sacrifices for our country receive the benefits they've earned and deserve.

I can't think of a better charity for our first Cardio Relay event.

Cardio Relay for DAV - Event Details

What: An eleven-hour cardio relay event at Better Living Fitness Center

When: Friday, Oct. 14, 6:30 am - 5:30 pm

Cost: Give what you can toward our goal of $10,000. All proceeds will benefit the Michigan branch of Disabled American Veterans. Want to do more? Ask your friends and loved ones to sponsor your workout with their own donations!

Better Living staff will be available to accept contributions made by cash or checks, and representatives from the Michigan District of Disabled American Veterans will be on hand to take credit card donations.

How to Sign Up: We'll have a sign-up sheet on hand at Better Living Fitness Center starting today. Just drop by at the desk during our business hours or call: 734-747-0123.

Your friends, family, and co-workers are welcome - the more the merrier! (Please be sure to preregister everyone who will be participating with you.)

You don't have to be a Better Living Fitness Center member to participate - come and check us out for charity!

Can't Attend But Want to Help? You can make an online donation to Michigan Disabled American Veterans via PayPal.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The 5 Worst Stretching Mistakes You May be Making

  1. You bounce: Bouncing at the end of your stretch (when done vigorously enough) can cause the muscle and tendon to tear. This "ballistic" stretching can trigger a reaction within the muscle that prevents it from relaxing and ends up defeating the purpose of the stretch. Instead of bouncing, focus on gradually elongating and holding the stretch for 10-15 seconds, release and repeat.
  2. You stretch before warming up: This is one of the most common stretching mistakes that people make. Contrary to popular belief, stretching is not "warming up". You should always warm up before you stretch because stretching cold muscles increases your chance of injury. Take 5-10 minutes to get a sweat worked up through exercise, stretch for 3-4 minutes, then re-engage in exercise.
  3. You are in the wrong position/have incorrect form: If you don't feel the stretch where you are expecting to feel it, you may be doing it wrong. Improper body positioning can cause you to miss the muscle you are aiming to stretch. Use a free hand to feel the muscle you are stretching to ensure that it is being engaged. 
  4. You stretch too hard: Similar to bouncing, pushing a stretch too hard can also cause a tear in the muscle. You should feel a little bit uncomfortable during a stretch but it should never be painful. If you still feel tight, repeat the stretch multiple times, making sure to stay within your range of motion. Additionally, if you do have an injury, stretching can make it worse. If that is the case and the pain doesn't go away in a few days, it would be wise to consult your doctor.
  5. Stretching? What's that?!: Perhaps the second most common stretching mistake: not stretching at all. Let's face it, life is busy and often times we are trying to exercise within a specific time frame. Stretching can easily get overlooked. Although this may not be harmful initially, over time you will notice the negative effects of not stretching your muscles. Flexibility is a key component of overall health and stretching is one critical tool in increasing both flexibility and strength. Remember to take 3-4 minutes after warming up your muscles to stretch and don't forget to do it again after you've exercised. It truly will be to your benefit!

Monday, April 25, 2016

STAFF PICK: Vinyasa Flow Yoga by Chelsea Vespa

There are so many different styles of yoga out there. I always recommend people try out at least a few different types of classes to find the one that resonates/feels best. I've heard people say, "I tried a yoga and it just wasn't for me." But in reality, it was just that style of yoga that may not be for you. Find the one you love! I truly believe there's something for everybody. 

My 300 hour advanced teacher training with Clara Roberts-Oss focused on the many facets of vinyasa. There's so much more to yoga than just the poses, or "asana." And there's always more to learn! For this training I traveled to Thailand for a month of study, it was life-changing! 

Vinyasa is one of my favorite styles of yoga both to practice and to teach. I love the rhythm and freedom of moving fluidly with the breath. I find it’s the fastest way to get out of my head and into my body (and get a sweat on!) The best part about vinyasa is that no two classes are alike. It's different every time so it keeps you on your toes! 

Join us Wednesday mornings at 10, at the Better Living Fitness Center, for our new Vinyasa Flow Yoga class. Or check out the other classes we offer here.