Internet Explorer no longer supports some features of our website. For best results, use Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari.

7 Reasons to work with a Personal Trainer

Do you want to get in shape but don’t know where to start?

Feel stuck in your exercise routine and aren’t making progress?

Want to learn more about how to live a fit and healthy life?

Then a personal trainer is your answer!

There are many benefits to working with a personal trainer. Their knowledge and experience in the realm of physical health and fitness can
be extremely helpful in numerous ways. Here are just 7 reasons you may consider hiring a personal trainer:

#1:          Safety

Amidst the exercises, machines, and gym equipment is the potential for an injury to occur. Additionally, certain exercises pose risks to hurting yourself if not done in a safe and correct way. Trainers teach the usage of each equipment piece as well as educate on proper exercise technique so that risk turns into reward.

#2:          Goal Setting

Its hard to exercise when you aren’t sure what exactly you are trying to improve. That’s why personal trainers work with their clients to set short and long term goals that meet are realistic and attainable. Trainers can set short term goals that designed as stepping stones toward your long term goals. This way, your long term goals will seem less daunting, and your small successes on the way will continue to motivate you. (more…)

The True Effects of a “Beer” Run

There is a growing trend of athletes consuming alcohol after exercise. Whether it is to celebrate a win, nurse a loss, or just to let loose with teammates or friends, athletes are consuming more alcohol after exercise on a more regular basis. But it’s not only elite athletes enjoying a celebratory beverage after a game or practice, all kinds of athletes, even those who only run a couple of times a week, are indulging, and, usually, without knowing the risks.

One of the most important resources we have is glycogen. Glycogen is the stored form of glucose found in the muscle tissue and other areas of the body that is broken down into sugar and then ATP to provide the energy for our muscles to contract and for us to move. Without sufficient stores of glycogen in the muscle tissue, performance and endurance suffer. During exercise, glycogen is depleted, and the intensity of the exercise determines how quickly muscle stores are utilized. In other words, sprinting will deplete muscle glycogen much faster than jogging will. Once glycogen stores have been depleted, they need to be replenished. The most efficient way to do this is to consume a carbohydrate rich meal after exercise, when muscles absorb sugar more quickly and easily, focusing mainly on high glycemic carbohydrates which enter the bloodstream more rapidly.

While this may seem easy to do, many people struggle, sometimes because of alcohol consumption. Some studies have shown that the consumption of alcohol after exercise inhibits the muscle’s ability to take in and use sugar while also decreasing the rate at which the sugar is absorbed. Another study showed that consuming alcohol may also increase the body’s insulin response, causing the sugar to leave the blood before it can reach the muscle tissue. Overall, however, it seems that these effects are mainly short-term, as all of the studies found that the subjects’ glycogen stores were fully replenished after a 24-hour recovery period regardless of alcohol consumption.

If you choose to indulge in alcohol after you exercise, it is not likely to have any significant negative impacts on your performance or glycogen stores so long as you consume it responsibly. Some researchers have theorized that people engaging in binge drinking after exercise could suffer from depleted glycogen stores because the alcohol would replace the necessary carbohydrates they would otherwise consume. Therefore, consuming a moderate amount of alcohol, one drink per day for women and two for men, with adequate amounts of carbohydrates following a workout should have no negative effect on your performance and recovery.

Meghan Dempsey – ASU Dietetic Intern
Heather Casey MS, RD, LDN – Clinical Registered Dietitian

Burke, L. M., Collier, G. R., Broad, E. M., Davis, P. G., Martin, D. T., Sanigorski, A. J., & Hargreaves, M. (2003). Effect of alcohol intake on muscle glycogen storage after prolonged exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology, 95(3), 983–990. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00115.2003

Murray, B., & Rosenbloom, C. (2018). Fundamentals of glycogen metabolism for coaches and athletes. Nutrition Reviews, 76(4), 243–259. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuy001

Vella, L. D., & Cameron-Smith, D. (2010). Alcohol, Athletic Performance and Recovery. Nutrients, 2(8), 781–789. doi: 10.3390/nu2080781

Cooking with Casey

Cooking with Casey


Learn basic cooking skills, try tasty snacks, and learn about the basics of nutrition!

Our Goal 

Throughout this class your child will learn basic kitchen safety skills and increase their confidence in helping prepare meals in the kitchen. They will also learn the basics of nutrition focusing on sugar, healthy carbohydrates and protein, and how to build a balanced plate. Your child will leave the class feeling accomplished and excited about cooking healthy meals, snacks and desserts.

Basic Information

  • For children ages 8-10
  • The class will be held every Monday evening from 4:00 – 6:30 from March 16, 2020 to April 3, 2020
  • There will be 10 spots available
  • Cost is $125 per child
  • Sign up at the front desk
  • Call (828) 266-1060 for more info

Let your child get comfortable in the kitchen, make new friends, and explore the world of nutrition.

Week 1

  • tie dye aprons
  • learn basic kitchen safety skills
  • prepare fun, healthy snacks focused on fruits and veggies

Week 2

  •  Learn about sugar, its sources, and why we should limit it
  • Prepare healthy desserts to learn about and try alternatives to traditional favorites 

Week 3

  • Learn about MyPlate, what it is and how to use it to build a healthy, balanced plate
  • Prepare healthy, packable lunches and talk about how they fit

Week 4

  • Prepare a homemade, family style Italian meal
  • Each child is encouraged to invite up to two family members to join them on the final night of class at 6:30 to enjoy a handmade Italian meal and discuss their favorite parts of the class

About Your Instructor 

Meet Heather Casey

Meet Heather Casey

Registered Dietitian

Heather has a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and a Master’s Degree in Nutrition. Over the last 8 years, Heather has worked at Appalachian Regional Healthcare System as a Clinical Dietitian. Heather is also the Director of the Adolescent Fitness Program (Ad-Fit) and teaches Nutrition Counseling and Nutrition Assessment classes at Appalachian State University.

When Heather isn’t working, she enjoys being active through hiking and running, and enjoys participating in and watching sports. Her desire as a Registered Dietitian is to help teach, encourage and motivate each individual on his or her journey towards wellness.

Have questions? Use the form below to contact us or request more information.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Upcoming Nutrition Events

Listed below are the upcoming nutrition events for March and April. Check back often for updates and more information. Schedule is subject to change.

Monday March 2nd – Taste Testing 10-12pm (lobby)
Monday March 9th – Lunch & Learn with Bingo
Wednesday March 11th – Taste Testing 9-11am (lobby)
Mondays March 16th – April 6th Kids Cooking Camp
Tuesday March 17th – Taste Testing (Leprechaun Muffins) – lobby
Monday March 23rd 11am Nutrition for the Aging Talk
Thursday March 26th Taste Testing (lobby)
Monday March 30th 10-12pm Taste Testing (lobby)

April 20th Cooking School (5:30pm)
April 27th Cooking School (5:30pm)
April 29th Nutrition for Inflammation and Arthritis Talk

If you have questions or would like more information please use the form below.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


9 Ways To Cut Down On Added Sugar

Added sugars, which are essentially extra calories with no extra nutrition, are found in many prepackaged and processed foods. High levels of added sugar can lead to weight gain and other health complications. Many foods, such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy, naturally contain sugar. However, these foods also contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients to nourish your body, making them a better choice over added sugars. Here are 9 tips for cutting down on added sugars to improve your health and maintain a healthy weight.

  1. Cut out table sugar including syrup, honey, and molasses. Try cutting the usual amount of sugar you add to things like cereal or coffee by half and wean down from there.
  2. Swap out the soda. Try swapping out your soda for sparkling water or green tea, or try cutting down on your usual number of sodas per day.
  3. Eat fresh, frozen, dried or canned fruits in water or natural juice. Avoid fruit canned in syrup, especially heavy syrup. Drain and rinse in a colander to remove excess syrup or juice.
  4. Compare food labels and choose products with the lowest amounts of added sugars. Dairy and fruit products will contain some natural sugars. Added sugars can be identified in the ingredients list.
  5. Add fruitInstead of adding sugar to cereal or oatmeal, try fresh fruit (bananas, cherries or strawberries) or dried fruit (raisins, cranberries or apricots).
  6. Cut back on serving size. When baking cookies, brownies or cakes, cut the sugar called for in your recipe by one-third to one-half. Often, you won’t notice the difference.
  7. Try extracts. Instead of adding sugar in recipes, use extracts like almond, vanilla, orange or lemon to add flavor.
  8. Replace sugar completely. Enhance foods with spices instead of sugar. Try ginger, allspice, cinnamon or nutmeg.
  9. Substitute. Switch out sugar with unsweetened applesauce or mashed bananas in recipes (use equal amounts).

by Abby Wilkerson

8 At-Home Fitness Festivities To Maintain Your Gains!

By Horton Doughton, MS, CSCS, Fitness Leader

The holiday season is upon us! It is a time of celebration, a time of thankfulness, and a time of merrymaking. With all the food, fun and friends, surrounding us this time of year it can be difficult to find time to go to the gym and exercise. However, that is not necessarily a problem. There are a great many things one can do at home in order to stay fit, even if you are pressed for time. Let’s discuss a few together.


Photo: Family Walking1. Walking

Walking can be a great way to burn some calories when on a trip seeing family or friends. Just get those feet moving one in front of the other, go to a place, and then come back! It really is that simple. It can also provide an opportunity for conversations. Staying at home? That’s fine too. Simply take a few laps around the house for some extra activity.


2. Taking the Stairs

Pressed for time? It’s cold outside? Don’t know what to do? There is a solution: go up and down the stairs. Yes, that’s right. Stair climbing can be a super great way to get exercise and strengthen your legs. All you have to do is go up and down the stairs for a while and you will be worn out in no time! Make sure to hold onto the railing – slipping is not fun.


Photo: Lifting Christmas Presents3. Picking Stuff Up

Turkeys, boxes, bikes, bags, cans…the world is full of heavy things and we can pick them up! Just grab something and lift it off of the ground. Then, put it back down again. Now, pick it up again. See, wasn’t that great? You can use this tried-and-true technique to strengthen your legs, back, arms…just about everything. Try lifting those cans of green beans over your head a few times. Grab that box in the living room and hoist it to the hip(with proper form, of course). The world is your weight room, and there is no shortage of challenges.


4. Jogging in Place

Watching TV? Why not make things more exciting by getting those feet moving? Keep enjoying your favorite holiday programming, just stand up and pump those legs. It really adds up!


5. Doing Push-ups

Have a spare 30 seconds? I did. I just paused from writing this article to do some push-ups. (I really did! Just ask me.) You too can do the same! Take a minute and challenge yourself with a pushing task. You can even do it with family and friends. Do push-ups on a counter, on the floor, on the bed… the options are limitless.


6. Sitting down and getting up

We’ve all done it before: sitting. At some point, we will have to stand up again. So, why not right now? If we simply shrink the time between sitting down and standing up to just a second or two, we can suddenly have a super fun workout we can take anywhere! It does not have to be long. Just sit down and stand up repeatedly for a minute and you will feel the fun!


7. Dancing

The Holidays are full of music, and that is a good thing. It is easy to feel the rhythm and excitement in the air from our favorite melodies. So, why not get moving to the sound of the beat? Stand up, move those feet, and suddenly you are getting some great exercise and having tons of fun in the process.


Photo: Snowman with shovel8. Shoveling Snow

Winter weather may grace our doors this year, and that is great news. It means you have your very own customized workout delivered right to your door! Grab that snow shovel and dig our way out. You will work up a sweat in no time while performing this super fun, and very practical, task.


Closing thoughts

The Holidays can create many barriers to our normal exercise routines, but that does not mean there aren’t tons of ways to get in some exercise. The fitness options just around one’s home are nearly endless; all it takes is the right outlook. These festive fitness opportunities all matter. A minute of standing up and sitting down is infinitely better than not doing anything. Climbing the stairs an extra time is infinitely better than doing nothing at all. Lifting up that strange box in the corner is infinitely better training for your muscles than staying still.

Every step counts, every minute matters, and everything you lift adds up. I encourage you this year to focus on what you can do over the holidays, and use the world around you for some fitness fun.

Until next time,