By Curves

It’s a given that resistance training builds muscle and physical strength. Perhaps less obvious are the ways that it strengthens your mood and mind.


Researchers at the University of Georgia did an extensive review of studies—specifically, randomized controlled trials–that looked at the relationship between resistance training and its effect on mental wellbeing. They concluded that regular strength work may produce the following positive outcomes:

  • calm anxiety
  • reduce depression, particularly in those who are clinically depressed
  • improve sleep
  • enhance cognition and memory
  • raise self-esteem

You can learn more here:



Strength training, like aerobic activity, also promotes the release of feel-good endorphins and raises your level of energy to help drive all the activities of your life.


One of the most powerful mood boosters you reap with regular resistance training is greater self-satisfaction. Every 30-minute workout on the Curves circuit is an accomplishment. And with every week that you complete those workouts, you get a little stronger. Over time, you’ll find that everything you do, from carrying groceries to playing with your kids in the backyard to your morning walks with friends around the neighborhood, becomes easier and more enjoyable. And, you’ll notice new muscle tone in your arms, legs, and abs. You’ll feel really good about you.


To cultivate that stronger self-esteem and all of the mood- and mind-boosting benefit of your Curves workouts, follow these five tips:


  1. To benefit from the mood-boosting effects of resistance training, you need to do it consistently and regularly. Mark your calendar with three or four Curves workouts a week and treat them like appointments with your doctor—not to be missed.
  2. Make plans to work out with a friend. Strength-training with a buddy keeps you accountable, and it adds to the fun.
  3. Consider CurvesSmart®*. This program uses a computer to track your optimal effort on each machine as set by you and your coach. It’s challenging, and facing and meeting that challenge provides a real boost to your self-esteem.
  4. Enjoy the moment. You know that good feeling you get at the end of every workout? That combination of accomplishment and endorphins? Revel in it.
  5. Meet weekly with your Curves consultant to review your progress toward your goals and celebrate every accomplishment. Success is one of the best mood-boosters of all.




By Curves

“Stand up straight.” It’s one of a mother’s many excellent pieces of advice. Her reason—appearance. You look better—more confident—when you stand tall. But good posture provides even greater rewards.


Prevents back pain. Holding your head high, torso vertical, and shoulders back keeps your spine in proper alignment and helps you avoid back pain. Slouching curls your spine and puts extra stress on back muscles that have to work harder to keep you stable and upright according to sources and the Mayo Clinic.


Makes you look slimmer. Want to trim your tummy instantly? Stand tall. Slouching compresses your torso and pushes your midsection outward. Pull your shoulders back and belly in.


May boost your mood. A few studies suggest that adopting good posture may improve affect among people with mild depression and those under stress. More research needs to be done to confirm these results, but next time you find yourself in a figurative and literal slump, sit up, stand up, pull your shoulders back, hold your head high, and face those challenges with confidence.  You can learn more here:source


Moves that Improve Posture

Certainly be aware and attentive to how you stand and sit–head up, shoulders back and in line with your hips—but your best strategy for achieving and maintaining good posture is to strengthen your back, shoulders, and core says Megan Johnson, senior manager of programs and CurvesSmart. Here’s how the Curves Circuit does just that.


The Dip Shrug. “The move you perform on this machine requires you to stand nice and tall,” says Johnson. “And it helps sculpt your shoulders.”


The Chest-Back. This machine—as the name reveals—strengthens your chest and back muscles.


The Ab/Back.  “You might not think of this machine when you think about improving your posture,” says Johnson, “but a strong core is the foundation of good posture, and the ab/back machine will strengthen your core.”


The best move you can make toward improving your posture is to get yourself to Curves regularly every week. You’ll walk out stronger, slimmer, and happier.





Claire Kowalchik

Going on vacation doesn’t mean you get to take a vacation from your healthy lifestyle—at least not a significant one. Unfortunately, temptation greets you everywhere, whether it’s the ice cream and pizzerias along the boardwalk, the cotton candy and caramel corn at the county fair, or pina coladas and margaritas at the resort hotel. The lure to splurge is great, and willpower under the influence of fun and frolic can be a little challenging. Here are several tried-and-true tips to keep you faithful to your healthy eating goals while allowing a touch of indulgence.

Don’t skip breakfast
You’ll get the brightest and most energetic start from a breakfast that combines protein with carbohydrates, such as a vegetable omelet with whole wheat toast or nonfat plain Greek yogurt (higher in protein than regular yogurt) with fruit and a sprinkling of nuts. It will keep you feeling satisfied longer and offers a steady supply of energy throughout the morning.

Be smart about snacks
You already know that eating a snack between meals prevents you from getting too hungry and overeating at lunch or dinner. When you’re on vacation and on the go during the day, carry a snack in your purse. Having one handy will help prevent you from diving into the ice cream shop or the pizza parlor when hunger strikes. A perfect option is one of the Curves Snack Bars. If it’s a hot, sunny day and you simply crave a cool treat, opt for a fruit popsicle, or frozen yogurt topped with fruit, over higher-calorie ice cream.

Dine wisely
When dining out, choose a meal with lean proteins (chicken, fish, beans or tofu), lots of vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid fried foods, high-carb entrees, and dishes made with cream sauces or lots of cheese. Share a meal with a friend or family member, especially if you select a menu item that’s a little higher in calories and fat than you might otherwise eat. If no one at your table is willing to share, ask your waiter or waitress to divide the meal and put half in a doggie bag before she brings your food to your table.

Indulge judiciously
Okay, you are on vacation, and it’s only fitting that you relax—just a bit—your tight rein on drinks and desserts, the empty-calorie but full-of-pleasure indulgences. “If you want to have a special splurge on vacation, you can plan for it and stay on track with your weight-loss goals,” says Darcie Anderson, Curves nutritionist. “Phase 2 of Curves Complete allows 400 combined calories of snacks throughout the day, and occasionally, you can enjoy all those calories in one delicious indulgence.”

If celebratory cocktails call to you, Anderson suggests making a wine spritzer with sparkling water, wine, and a splash of fruit juice. “You can have two for the same caloric impact as one glass of wine,” says Anderson. “This is a refreshing way to stretch your drinks out over the evening.”

Move a little more
For all of your efforts at calorie control while you’re on vacation, you’re likely to consume a few extra. “Try to find creative ways to get in more steps, or try a new activity,” advises Anderson


Use Flavored Vinegars to Enhance Vegetables

By Ali Struhs

When you think of vinegar, your great aunt’s canned pickled beets probably come to mind, but vinegar is so much more than a pickling ingredient. Introducing flavored balsamic vinegars! These vinegars, like red pepper or pear can add a gourmet and delectable twist to your vegetables. Lisa Talamini, a Registered Dietician for Jenny Craig, suggests adding infused vinegars to vegetables and salads, and even meat or fruits for new bursts of flavor. “My two favorite food pairing strategies are to either enhance a flavor or contrast one,” she says.

At just 10 calories per tablespoon, this is one flavor enhancer that counts as a free! There are countless flavors of vinegars, from chocolate to raspberry, meaning there are countless ways to add flavor to every vegetable. Here are just a few ways to upgrade the taste of your veggies with infused vinegars.

Resist the ranch
Try an exotic flavor combination of grapefruit flavored balsamic vinegar on a fresh salad. Drizzle this refreshing vinegar over a salad of sliced tomatoes, hearts of palm, and sliced radishes.

For another twist, make your own vinaigrette by combining 1 tablespoon of raspberry-flavored vinegar and 1 teaspoon of heart-healthy olive oil with a touch of dijon mustard and drizzling on an antioxidant-rich spinach and strawberry salad.

Caramelize your veggies
Rather than just tossing a mix of vegetables in only olive oil and then roasting in the oven, try adding a flavored vinegar also. Red pepper balsamic vinegar adds a summery vibe to roasted vegetables. Just toss washed and cut squash, broccoli and cauliflower florets, red onion, and carrots in a mixture of flavored vinegar and fat free cooking spray and spread evenly on a pan. If you have extra time, you can put the veggies and vinegar/cooking spray combination in a zippered bag to marinate in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook, bringing out even more flavor. Roast in the oven at 400 degrees, or on the barbeque in a grilling pan, if weather permits, until the vegetables are tender and caramelized.

Drizzle on steamed vegetables
Steamed or microwaved veggies don’t have to be bland. Make a balsamic vinegar reduction sauce to drizzle on top of steamed asparagus, broccoli, or green beans. To reduce the volume of vinegar into a sauce, cook the vinegar in a sauce pan on low heat until desired thickness. Various flavors to try include fig, raspberry, or mango!

Not just for veggies
Vinegar can also be added to unexpected food, like fruit, meat, and even pancakes! Talamini recommends trying violet balsamic vinegar on top of our Classic Waffles. Reduce the vinegar down by cooking it on low heat, creating a vibrant, floral “syrup” to top Jenny Craig breakfast menu items, such as Blueberry Pancakes or Classic Waffles.

If you’re making a meal on your own or serving guests, she also suggests vinegar is a great addition to many cuts of meat. Peach balsamic vinegar is the perfect glaze for a roast tenderloin, or to balance the smoky flavor of salmon grilled on a plank, baste it with a pomegranate balsamic.

Additionally, you can get your get your chocolate fix by drizzling chocolate balsamic over fresh strawberries and serving with plain nonfat yogurt.

Hi -lo


Claire Kowalchik

Have you hit a weight-loss plateau? Are you getting bored with your same old, same old workout routine? Maybe you simply find yourself craving a challenge. “These are all good opportunities to make a change in your routine and do a harder workout,” says Megan Johnson, Senior Manager for Programs and CurvesSmart®. “You should always be pushing yourself to your fullest potential when you workout, but sometimes you might need an extra little push, and a change in workout intensity can do just that.”

Step it up
If you’ve been following the traditional Curves plan—twice around the circuit, three days a week—you have many options to choose from to help raise the quality of your workouts.

Dance, box, or strengthen your way to greater fitness. 
Turn up the heat by throwing your hips into the Dance and Tone class,* suggests Johnson. Or add in a fourth weekly workout through Body Basics,* or the Boxing Class*. Each of these classes builds on the traditional Curves Circuit by incorporating strength exercises, dance steps, or boxing moves between each of the machines.

Reap the benefits
And what do you get for all that extra sweat? “If you’ve hit a weight-loss plateau, boosting the intensity of your workouts or of your overall week’s routine will help you jump off that plateau and begin to lose weight again or tone up faster,” points out Johnson. “Mixing it up and/or raising the bar erases boredom, and it bestows important health benefits—stronger cardiovascular fitness, which translates to better heart health and greater endurance for all of life’s activities.

Plus, the challenge of a more intense workout and the accomplishment of meeting that level of intensity/challenge is something you’ll feel really good about. And who doesn’t enjoy a little boost in self-esteem every now and then?

*At participating locations only.

slow down

Slow Down and Eliminate Distractions while Eating

By Staci Amend and Ali Struhs

Are you always finished with your dinner before everyone else in your family, or do you find yourself eating on the go for nearly every meal? Do you rush through dinner while checking emails or watching television? Distracted and unconscious eating may actually be harming your weight loss goals. Studies show that distracted eating may lead to weight gain. Plus, are you really savoring that fresh salad with vegetables you gathered from your garden alongside your favorite Jenny Craig dish?

It’s time to slow down, turn off the distractions and practice some mindful eating behavior strategies.

What is mindful eating?
Mindful eating involves paying full attention to the experience of eating and drinking, both inside and outside the body. Just as if you were to stop and smell the roses, stop and notice the vibrant red of the tomatoes on your salad, or the aromatic summery smell of the char on your Jenny Craig Turkey Burger.

Mindful eating is especially important for those on a weight loss journey. It takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that you are full. “Eating more slowly allows for the natural feedback systems within your body to let you know you’ve had enough — and it enables you to more fully experience the act of eating with all your senses,” says Lisa Talamini, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist for Jenny Craig.

“Using mindful eating awareness techniques that will naturally and enjoyably slow you down enables you to move from a distracted to more conscious eating style,” said Talamini.

Think about these tips for slow, distraction-free eating.

Craving or hunger?
First, make sure you understand the difference between real hunger and a craving. Hunger is physiological, such as your stomach growling, headache, tiredness, not food-specific). Cravings are more psychological, like the urge to eat something very specific like chocolate, and sometimes associated with negative energy or emotion. Ask yourself if you’re really hungry, or are you just bored, angry, lonely, or tired? If it’s more emotional than physical, consider riding out that urge with a tactic like drinking a glass of water, going for a walk around the block or engaging in some other short term activity. If you’re actually hungry, sit down and slowly, mindfully eat something.

Take a break from the screen
Distracted eating can lead to overeating, since you’re not paying attention to how much you’re eating and when you are beginning to feel satisfied. Put your phone down and turn off the TV and turn away from your desktop, laptop or tablet.

Plate your food
Just because you can microwave your dinner in the container doesn’t mean you should actually eat out of the plastic dish. Instead, try plating your food on a dinner plate as if you would a meal you prepared yourself. Consider using a placemat and a cloth napkin to make your meal even more mindful.

Check in with your emotions and body sensations
Before you take a bite, take a breath and then a sip of water to signal the start of your meal. Chew each bite carefully, and pause for a bit between bites. Notice…the tastes, textures, aromas. This will automatically slow your rate and help you know your “state.” Pay attention to how each bite brings you closer to satisfaction. Ask yourself, “Am I still hungry, am I feeling stuffed, or am I feeling just satisfied enough?”

Appreciate your food
Stop to think about the ingredients in each food. Consider everything that went into your meal—from the farmers who grew the vegetables to the cows that produced the milk. What did it take to grow and harvest the strawberries on your cereal? What did it take to get the strawberries to the market?


4 reasons why you should try circuit training

Between your kids, your work and your friends we all know how difficult it can be to slip a workout into your busy lives! Every time you skip exercise you can be sure your body will be there to remind you it’s been a while since your last training.

How to include exercise for your health?

The good news is it only takes 30-minutes to get stronger and healthier. At Curves we believe in circuit training – a 30-minute full body workout incorporating strength training and cardio exercises.

Here are 4 benefits you can get from circuit training!

Help prevent osteoporosis

Here are a few startling facts about this bone disease, courtesy of the National Osteoporosis Foundation:

  • Roughly one in two women over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
  • Post menopause, estrogen plummets, you lose its protective effect on bone health, and the rate bone loss increases. You can lose up to 20 percent of your bone density in the 5 to 7 years after menopause.

Circuit training combines weight-bearing exercise with strength training, and both have been shown to stimulate bone growth, improve bone density, and help prevent osteoporosis.

Help prevent heart disease

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death among women, and we know that cardio workouts—walking, running, cycling, and so forth—boost cardiovascular health.

So too does strength training.

Several studies have shown that regular resistance training helps lower resting blood pressure, raise levels of HDL (good) cholesterol, reduce levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower blood triglycerides. Give heart disease and diabetes a one-two knockout punch at Curves where each 30-minute circuit delivers both a strength and cardio workout.

Help lift depression

Women are twice as likely as men to suffer depression say experts at the Mayo Clinic. Circuit training can provide relief. Many studies have shown that aerobic exercise and resistance training individually and in combination can improve mood, boost self-esteem, reduce tension, increase energy and help lift depression.

Be happy. Get on the circuit.

Enjoy community and friendship

We seek out friendships and we nurture them for the emotional and practical support we find and that we give back. Relationships enrich our lives and are important to our mental and physical health.

Friends lift us when we’re down, motivate us toward accomplishment, and champion our success. Working out side-by-side with other women on the Curves circuit engenders friendship and all of its gifts.

On the Curves circuit, you will be welcomed and embraced, and that sets you up for success at achieving all the health benefits circuit training makes possible.

Are you ready to give circuit training a try? Book today your free no obligation consultation at Curves!