Video Workouts Available!

Welcome!  During this temporary halt of life as we are familiar with it, FPC is offering the same in-home exercise sessions for you in the comfort of your own home, over video!  We can work together live via Zoom, FaceTime, or Facebook, or I can send links to pre-recorded videos to follow along to!  While taking a week or two off from exercise is easy to slip into, not working on your physical skills for up to a month will result in loss of abilities.  Don’t miss a beat on your exercise routine! Use FPC to stay strong despite the closure of your gym or favorite classes and activities.  Contact me today to design a personalized, virtual package that will help you stay fit and healthy from home!

Janna Zelinger: 303-819-6845,

What’s the best kind of exercise?

There’s a lot of debate out there regarding what type of exercise is the best. The reason there isn’t one firm answer, is because we all have different needs and preferences. Define best, anyway. Burns the most calories? Builds the most muscle mass? Takes the least amount of time? If I told someone who enjoys swimming that running (highest caloric burn) is the best, I would be wrong. A swimmer who hates running would likely not adhere to a regular running program, thus getting less overall exercise than if he swam every day and ran never. There’s also something to be said for enjoying what you’re doing. Aside from sticking to a consistent program, enjoying your experience will emit positive chemicals in your body like serotonin (making you feel happy) and eliminate harmful ones like cortisol (linked to obtaining belly fat).

So let’s say, if you can pick your exercise, whether it’s swimming, biking, running, or poking a sleeping bear and fleeing the scene, what matters is how you perform. As a trainer, I hate the phrase, “no pain no gain”, but it is kind of true. If you aren’t feeling your workout, it probably isn’t doing much for you. As with most things in life, we reap the most rewards from what we work the hardest for. Work HARD in your workout, and you will see results. But, you only have to work hard here and there. What!? I’m referring to interval training, or the trendy term HIIT (high intensity interval training). This means working at a higher level of exertion of at least an 8/10 (or 80% of your maximum heart rate*) on and off for the exercise bout. The higher the intensity, the higher caloric burn.  Ideally, we want all of these from our exercise, though:

High calorie burn

Muscle building

Endurance and Energy Improvement


Short in duration

To me, the best workout involves all of it, sacrificing nothing.  According to Gretchen Reynolds of the New York Times in her article “Powerhouse Renovation” (3/26/2017), The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota did a study comparing weight training, endurance training, and interval training on the cellular level.  That which had the biggest impact on our cells, and even more so on the senior aged group, was the interval training.  Let’s dive a little deeper.  HOW did it impact the cells?

If you’ve ever taken a science class, you learn that the mitochondria are the “powerhouse of the cell”. I might still have a flashcard that says this buried in the depths of my parents’ basement. But what does it mean?  It’s the component of a cell that produces energy or ATP.  If we want our systems to function properly, there are several players in those processes that need energy (ATP) to do their jobs.  Think of ATP as the food. If we stopped eating, we’d have a hard time walking, moving, speaking, etc.  Without ATP, our cells would have a hard time functioning, too. The more mitochondria we have, and the more efficiently they work to produce that ATP, the better the condition of the body. In this case, Reynolds’ article states that interval training leads to increased productivity of the mitochondrial work specifically in muscle cells, and that there was even an increase in how many mitochondria were present, all based off a biopsy of participants in the study.  We can therefore thank interval training for muscle building and endurance and energy improvement.  That knocks three desirable outcomes off our list.  Now how about the enjoyment and duration?  It’s all up to us from here.

FPC recommends spending at least 30 minutes on your interval training.  Perhaps those intervals look like:

1 minute of hard work/1 minute of rest

2 minutes of hard work/1 minute of rest

3 minutes of hard work/ 30 seconds of rest

This may all depend on your level of fitness and mental toughness, which will inevitably get better with practice!  The hard work may look like:

biking with heavy resistance (rest: biking moderately)

biking all out sprint (rest: biking moderately)

sprinting (rest: jogging)

jogging (rest: walking)

Jumping (rest: stepping)

Push-ups (rest: walking or knee push-ups)

Heavy lifting (rest: easy lifting)


There are so many options, that you can create your 30 minutes to incorporate the other types of exercise you wish to do. Get the best of variety so you never get bored, muscle work so you strengthen while you endurance train, and get it all done in half the time!

As always, if you need help designing your perfect program or want something different each time, call a trainer!

Janna Friedland, Personal Trainer, Senior Fitness Specialist

Fitness Partners Colorado



*Determine Maximum Heart Rate: 220-Age

i.e. if you are 77 years old, 220-77=143

143 is your maximum heart rate, or 100%. To stay safe, do not work above this number. Working at 80% of your max heart rate for an interval:

143x 0.8= 114.4 Therefore, your high intensity intervals should put you at a HR of at least 114, but no higher than 143

***Please note that some medications alter HR and you should talk to your doctor to find out if this effects you***

Are you in Better Shape Than Your Spouse?

When you think of the years spent in retirement, what kind of glossy images do you get?  I personally see a life of travel, hobbies and family time.  No matter the destination, the activity, or the individuals involved, all of these require a healthy, working body to capture all the joy these have to offer.

I often share with my clients and friends that I spent about three months training a woman who wanted to be as prepared as possible for her trip to Barcelona with her grandson.  She was 91.  This inspiring woman thought ahead to the challenges her excursion would hand her, and she humbly acknowledged her weaknesses that would act as a barrier to her goal.  She was concerned for her endurance with how much walking she’d face, her balance on old and broken, cobblestone walkways, and “having a little extra” to carry around with her when each day she’d spend in a foreign country required all the energy she had to give.

We spent the majority of our time walking, as this was the very test she would take once she got there.  I encouraged her that stopping momentarily to catch her breath was allowed.  In those moments though, no time was wasted.  We took the opportunity to practice ankle rolls and other exercises that would keep her mobile and ease her balance fears.  We utilized her in-house gym equipment and practiced many a squat to strengthen her legs for steps. She befriended lunges like a champion.

After our time together was complete, she thanked me and proceeded on her adventure.  I was pleased to hear from her when she returned that she felt fantastic throughout the entire trip!  The group was all grandparent/grandchild pairs, and she was the oldest one of them all.  Despite that, I felt her beam when she told me many of the others younger than she could not walk the distances she did. The group offered rides for the grandparents from one site to another, which she declined and opted to walk.  This allowed her more time with her grandson.

I love this woman’s story.  It puts into perspective what that trip might have been like without all her preparation.  Would she be sitting on a bench catching her breath instead of engaging in conversation?  Would she be too far behind to spend adequate time seeing each of the sites before it was time to get up and go again?  Would she miss out on precious time with her grandson as she caught a ride?  What areas would she have missed completely due to inability to go up steps?  What if a lack of balance on the cobblestone had caused a fall?  Not only did she avoid all of this, but she put her mind at ease by doing the best she could to feel strong and capable ahead of time.

You may be wondering how a spouse fits into all of this.  Do you think she would have been able to take this trip to begin with if she had an ailing spouse at home that required her care?  What if her spouse wanted to go on the trip too, and couldn’t do all of the things that made the experience so wonderful?  Take the view of the hypothetical spouse.  How painful would it be to see your significant other take off on a journey you weren’t fit to join them for?  That could feel defeating, frustrating, and lonely.  No one wants to be the reason their spouse is held back from truly living. No one wants to watch their spouse carry on without them. No one wants to miss out on opportunities because their spouse’s fitness level limits them, despite how well they themselves have maintained their own physical fitness.  Of course, illness is an unpredictable circumstance, and it’s nice to stand by the side of your husband or wife, but don’t let a little age dictate what your physical body can and can’t do.  Take care of your fitness, and it will enrich your life.

How can you ensure you travel, spend time with active members of your family, and enjoy your hobbies?  Make sure you are in better shape than your spouse.  It’s a contest; Win!

**Don’t have a spouse?  Keep up with your other loved ones and friends!

Fitness Partners Colorado


Stay In Your Home

You still remember the day you were handed the keys to your house. You’ve invested your time, your money, and your creative outlets into this personal castle to tailor make it into a home. This is the place you poured your life into, where you received wonderful news and experienced life milestones, where you retreated to when you didn’t want to face the world, and the place that kept you warm as you watched it pour rain outside your windows. I get it. A home is an important foundation, literally!

So stay there. Continue to host your friends, family, and holidays. Let it be the site of all the milestones to come. Keep that piece of artwork on the wall in its perfect place. Store all those family heirlooms that remind you of people who are gone, and fill the kitchen with the aroma of the meals you love to make. Wave to your neighbor you’ve seen every day since you moved in. Stay.

Most importantly, stay because it’s your choice. You’ve taken good care of your body, you’ve exercised regularly, and the stairs, well bring them on! Getting up off that unusually low toilet seat is no match to the sets of squats you do on a regular basis all week. Lunges have prepared you to get down in the dirt and plant your beloved perennials, and even get back up. Working with bands and pulleys have gifted your shoulders with integrity, and gosh darn it, you can still soap up your own back. Your bike excursions and neighborhood walks have kept your heart healthy. The endurance to make leaf piles for jumping in or to build snowmen, adorn the entire house with festive holiday decorations, or re-paint a wall some new, wacky color just because is an expectation, not a question.

This is living. Keep your joy. Be in charge of when you choose to take that step into a living facility because you are ready and you want to, and take that step on your own two feet. You tell your body what you want it to do, and because you’ve trained it, it will listen. Go. Thrive. Be well in your home, no matter where that may be.

*For safe exercise regimens, utilize a professional! Call Fitness Partners Colorado for your tailored program. If you need some help within your home, call an in-home care company! I recommend Goldleaf Homecare.

Fitness Partners Colorado: 303-819-6845

GoldLeaf Homecare: 720-763-9039

Do You Have Pain?

You may recognize this question from FPC’s last blog “When to Stop Exercising” as one of the assessments. If you do have pain, you should continue exercise. I wanted to expand on this topic and give some details on how exercise can help with pain management. Get ready for your Physiology lesson!

Pain is a very broad term. We can experience pain from injury or wound, illness or disease, aging, or even emotionally from stress or tragedy, manifesting in our muscles and joints or even places we struggle to identify.

Our immediate instinct when we incur injury is to rest. This is initially important while the body orchestrates a team of defenses to recover. We want to save energy for this process while eliminating risk of making matters worse for ourselves. However, this rest phase needn’t be too long before we begin rebuilding what we’ve lost. Inflammation occurs at onset of injury, which is basically a local collection of mending materials the body organizes to heal from the inside, without us even being aware of it! Fascinating. All this extra “stuff” crammed in one place brings pain. As our bodies constantly send in more troops, we want to aid in flushing out the waste materials (dead cells, scraps, and workers that have completed their tasks). All of this travels in a fluid medium, which we can facilitate the outward flow of through our lymphatic and circulatory systems. What’s the best way to get fluids moving more readily through your body (say blood flow for instance)? Exercise!

So, inflammation is important to us, as nasty as it may seem, we just don’t want it hanging around too long. When inflammation camps out in one place, say in the case of disease like arthritis, it begins to inhibit normal muscle function. Inflammation wants the damaged materials to take it easy, and won’t allow involved or surrounding muscles to do their normal job. If this goes on for too long, that muscle atrophies, and forgets how to do its usual task. Other, surrounding muscles may step in to compensate for the acquired weakness, causing an imbalance in strength, and the discrepancy just grows over time. Simultaneously, the constantly called upon, stronger muscle can become overworked, leading to chronic strain, tightness, or tendonitis. Oh no, more pain! How could we balance out this muscle effect? Exercise.

Aging may be the most innocent way we develop pain. It seems unfair! Where does that achy knee come from? Over time, we accrue a unique collection of ailments from all the living we’ve done. It’s a snapshot of who we’ve been. Have no regrets, because this can be managed. I often hear the phrase from my seniors, “Oh, I used to do this exercise all the time!” I come to find it’s been a good 20 years since they’ve actually done the exercise. Not only must we consistently practice an exercise to do it well, but what’s the difference between doing a push-up then and now? 20 years of aging. The best way to fight this is not to do what you’ve always done, but to go beyond that with exercise perfectly tailored to your body’s needs at this new stage.

Emotional pain or stress has a way of transferring its impact to our physical bodies. Perhaps a lack of sleep has accompanied our troubles. We may feel fatigue, lethargy, headaches, muscle aches, back problems, etc. Newton’s First Law states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest unless acted upon by an outside force. If we shake things up and ARE that force, adding exercise in when it might feel a little more difficult to do so, we just might spark ourselves into constant motion, as opposed to feeling constantly stagnant. This turns into a compounding “feel good” effect. Not only do we tend to simply feel better about ourselves when we make good choices and accomplish productive tasks, but literally, our bodies release dopamine during difficult physical activity. Dopamine is a chemical that, when flowing readily, makes us happier. An elevated mood depends so much on the chemicals within us, and it’s based as much on eliminating bad chemicals as releasing good ones. If we put our bodies through a rigorous workout, we may tire enough to improve the quality of our sleep. (Resting all day makes sleeping at night less necessary). A good night’s sleep will control levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, in our bodies, again, improving our mental state. Of course, who doesn’t love the changes in appearance that happen with regular physical activity?

The human body is our own incredible tool we use to navigate through life. Taking care of it with exercise keeps it in top form, where the chances of pain are at their lowest. Living a pain- free life means doing more with every day. In order to begin this process with care, safety, and attention to your own personal requirements, contact an exercise professional!

When to Stop Exercising

At what point in my life do I get to stop exercising and just sit around and do nothing?

In working with the older adult population, I find that many people harbor the mindset that when they stop caring about what their bodies look like, they no longer need to exercise.

The direct answer to this question is, when all you want to do is sit around and do nothing, then you can stop exercising. However, ceasing exercise will result in a steady decline in physical ability that would mean surrendering certain aspects of one’s lifestyle. My only advice to those who think this is what they want to do, is to first evaluate the following:

Are there children in your life you wish to keep up with?

Kids are highly active and constantly changing tasks. If you choose to sit in one room, you can only enjoy them at times they come to you.

Do you have an active spouse?

There usually becomes a large discrepancy between physical ability among spouses. The better off tends to aid the one who struggles. The more help one receives, the less one can do for himself or herself. This can put pressure on the relationship when the more active spouse does wish to engage in more activity, but must limit themselves to what the other is capable of.

Are you finished traveling?

Traveling requires significant walking ability and stamina, as well as muscle strength.

Do you frequent zoos, museums, or exhibits?

These activities require ability to get oneself in and out of a vehicle. If walking is too much, one must find assistance of a wheelchair and someone to push it.

Do you have pain?

Exercise eases pain, can help treat pain, or may prevent bouts of pain.

Do you wish to recover quickly from illness or injury?

The better shape the body is in, the more equipped it is to heal. Exercise keeps the body in shape to heal.

Do you want to avoid surgery?

Certain exercise routines can be designed to treat pain that may otherwise only be fixed through surgery.

Do you have the funds for an assisted living community or personal in-home care?

When abilities decline in taking care of oneself, resources are needed for even the most basic of functions. Often this care is very expensive.

Do you have any sources of stress?

Exercise is a common and effective tool for managing stress, and by helping ease the mind, this opens you up for more effective management of that stress.

Do you wish to dress yourself, use the facilities independently, and perform other acts of daily living without aid?

If you wish to keep your independence, don’t want to be told what to do and when, and hope to keep your privacy, then exercise is key to help you continue doing these functions on your own.

Would giving up the list above keep you truly happy?

I’ve seen individuals who have lost their skills and independence, and the subsequent discussions usually involve how and when he or she can acquire the skills back. This is extremely difficult to do once it is lost.

Exercise is on your side. The best way to keep it regular in your life is to find a way or someone who can help to make it enjoyable. When exercise becomes a fun part of your daily routine, then you’re not simply waiting to be done with it. The whole idea is to be happy, and a healthier body opens the door to do more with the time you’re given.

*Coming up: Look for an expansion on some of the questions above!

My Mission

Welcome!  You have taken the first step toward helping yourself or a loved one improve quality of life through exercise!  It is my goal to provide this mobility gateway for aging seniors, or anyone searching to better their physical well- being.


With consistent, rehabilitation based exercises, I aim to provide each client a well rounded, personalized regimen.  I will consider physical history as well as personal goals.  I will incorporate present pain and needs with long term, progressive plans.


Together, we will share a one-on-one hour in the comfort of your home or fitness facility.  This allows you ease with scheduling, and the convenience of no commute!  In addition, timing factors that may ordinarily interfere with consistency of our program are eliminated.  Consistency is key for improvement.


Sessions will include interactive use of theraband, light weights, pulleys, and fitball, as well as household items for muscle strengthening and balance activities.  Appropriate stretches will be issued in addition to appropriate cardiovascular training.  We may also make use of certain gym equipment.


I recommend we spend at least two sessions of exercise per week to maintain a functional body, as well as get emotional stresses out with positive energy!  A healthy state of mind can be accomplished with the help of a healthy body.  For those with a lesser need, meeting once per week or even once per month to re-evaluate the exercises is beneficial.  I will provide a keen eye to ensure exercises are being performed correctly (maximizing effectiveness and decreasing chances for injury), as well as tweak exercises that have been mastered for more of a challenge and stronger muscles!


I aim to keep my sessions interactive, productive, and fun!  The hour will fly by as we casually chat and try new activities at your own pace.  The session will leave you feeling good about yourself and equipped to do more with each day.  By allowing time for your physical well being, you are truly living your life to its fullest.