- Seek out the services of a Personal Trainer or Pilates Instructor to help you get started and also to keep you accountable and challenged along the way.
- Expect the process to be gradual. If you have been sedentary, start out slow and make small changes to your daily habits. Don't try to make up for lost time by exercise too hard right away.
- Exercise with a partner in a duet or group. The expectation of a friend, spouse, or co-worker meeting you for a workout will keep you consistent.
- Ask questions and be willing to learn. There is a vast amount of information available to give you ideas about your fitness routine. Bring ideas in to your session so your trainer can help you sort fact from fiction.
- Set "SMART" goals. Keep them Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
- Choose a variety of activities you enjoy. By picking sports or activites you like to do, you will look forward to your exercise routine and stay with it for the long-term.
- Realize that life brings all kinds of conflicts. Keep exercise a high priority but also know that there may be weeks when you don't exercise as much as you would like. That is part of the journey........so look at the big picture. Take advantage of weeks when you can get more than your normal amount of exercise completed.
- Set aside a place in your home for exercising. Get a good pair of walking shoes, and some simple tools like an exercise ball, light dumbbells and some resistance tubing. Keep them available so you see them regularly, not tucked away in a closet.
What our clients are saying...
I simply can't imagine facing the challenges in my life today without the weekly care and feeding of my physical and spiritual yoga connection with Mary St Onge. I had dabbled in yoga via DVD's, but didn't know how important the in-person instruction can be. Mary takes us all where we are, knowing every day is different, and helps us learn to acknowledge, address and diffuse the physical and mental distractions that impair our clear sense of purpose. Although that may seem a little deep, every once in a while, I just have a practice that lets me tune out the world and breathe. I am so grateful for Mary's loving leadership and her direction that inspires me to challenge myself as we practice together. Still striving for flexibility. – Margaret Buckton
If I can point out one obvious gift from God, it's having Mary St. Onge as my yoga instructor. She's a perfect fit, like a tailor made suit. She does not merely go through the motions of yoga. She plants seeds of wisdom, she explains the physical/emotional benefits of the yoga poses and is always mixing it up so you are constantly learning. I love how we actually breathe through poses slowly as opposed to sweeping through them like a hectic day. Mary is passionate about what she teaches and with that kind of energy, you get so much more from your practice. She's awesome! – Yoga Student
One of the best decisions of my life was to start personal training at Fitness By Design. I feel so much healthier, more energetic and have a more positive outlook on life. What could be more important? If you are looking for a personal trainer, you have found the very best with Barb Mendoza. She deeply cares for every client and customizes a program that delivers terrific results. – Client of Barb Mendoza
I started practicing yoga at a very vulnerable time in my life and in Mary's classes I have learned how to heal myself from within and that it's ok to take care of me first.Through the practice of yoga under Mary's guidance, I have gained more confidence in myself to handle whatever life sends my way. I feel such inner peace every time I leave one of her classes that I can't wait for the next one. Mary is very passionate about yoga and brings that passion into every class she teaches. I highly recommend Mary to anyone who is looking for peace and serenity in their life. – Carol
Last year, I decided to take more initiative with my health. I have been working out with Barb once a week and have recently added 2 fitness classes. I've been very adamant about taking this slow and steady- I want to change how fitness occurs as a long-term commitment. I can say that the variety of activities I participate in through FBD and the exercise I do on my own have really made a difference in my daily life. I'm stronger, more fit and have even noticed that my clothing fits better. Fitness By Design has been an all-around great addition to my life. – PT Client
I am really enjoying my yoga classes with Mary. I've never done yoga and I couldn't have asked for a better instructor for my first experience. Mary is fantastic - she has a very calming effect on my mind and body - can't wait for Monday evenings! – Client of Mary
As a mother of 3 young boys, it is difficult to find time to work out. I know that when I work with Barb, I will get maximum results in the minimum time. Barb has learned a lot about me and knows what to focus on so I get the most out of my workout. She is incredibly motivational and I appreciate her dedication to, not only my health, but my family's health as well. – RKM, West Des Moines
Yoga's a great way to exercise & relax both the body and the spirit. – Karen, Client of Mary
My lungs always feel so expansive the next day, my brain is calmer, and I've lost 9 pounds! There's just something about mindfulness, energy, and quiet that is so wonderful. AND I would like to say: You, Mary, are the BEST! I've been to other yoga classes, and they just don't have the same "spiritual" tone. But it's not preachy... just simple and nice. Also, I don't ever feel that I am in danger of injuring anything. You always focus on just doing what you can without hurting anything which is perfect for me!! – Client of Mary
I have been going to strength training classes for over a couple of years now. I enjoy exercising with a nice group of people and have found the class very helpful at both improving my running and preventing injuries. Best of all....I can now see my triceps – Strength Class client
You go above and beyond to give everyone individual attention and your dedication to making your studio great is obvious. I have worked out at many places in the last 30 years and hands down yours is the best I've been to. The classes are never the same and always challenging. I love going!! – Kathy
My journey to a healthier life has been a slow one, and Barb has supported me all the way, pushing me when I needed it, helping me noticeably increase my balance, agility, functional strength, and confidence. This year I decided to focus on weight loss. Barb held me accountable to that, celebrated small successes with me, and helped me keep the inevitable setbacks in perspective. I've lost 20 pounds, and we're still going! – Client of Barb
You have the best staff ever, Barb! So grateful to have the opportunity to improve my barre practice at FITNESS by Design! – Private Client
I have attended both the strength training and Yoga classes and feel challenged in both! The routines provided by the instructors are varied and we are engaged at all times...I must also say I enjoy socializing with neighbors and friends when I am there and would highly recommend taking advantage of the first free session. – Shelley Brody
Just wanted to let you know how much I've been enjoying the mixed-use yoga classes with Mary! It's a highlight of my week and I THINK I may be progressing a bit in my practice -- it's not as foreign to me now, and I've even ventured closer to the mirror and the front of the room. :) – Yoga Client
Just loved the work with stretch bands, as did others. It was a hard class, harder than usual, which I think we all want. And as older ladies we all have problems with opening up our hip flexors and staying limber. I think we need to all sweat a little bit more too! – Kathy
I liked the Tuesday night mat class a lot. Janice is always appropriately challenging and is great at cueing. She is a real pro! I was concerned that I would be sore doing Pilates the same day as Strength and it hasn't been a problem. – Diane
We're both really happy with how things are going. Amy makes it fun and pushes us, but is also attentive about any pain spots and making sure we don't aggravate anything. – PT Client
I joined FBD in late June and I have lost around 8 inches with my trainer, Janice. I find the experience very rewarding and believe I have increased my stamina and strength. I will continue on this path and see where it takes me. I can be a fairly impatient person as far as results go , but know Rome wasn't built in a day....so it's full steam ahead! – PT Client
Instructors have been great. They know what they are doing. They help adjust me, and I appreciate that. Like the small/intimate setting and that there is a "sense of community." I like that I just have to bring myself, no equipment, and I am very impressed with all the equipment. People are friendly. I love the variety of options/classes, yoga, pilates, barre etc. Facilities are clean and smell good. – Class Client
Mary does such a good job of making sure I, and everyone, is comfortable. So glad I took the leap and signed up! – Yoga Client
Desiree is so welcoming and encouraging. And the space is so cool - I would never have guessed how big it is from the outside! Looking forward to my sessions! – PT Client
My training sessions have been most important for my health and well-being. My trainer, Desiree, is excellent. She is knowledgeable, organized, safety concious, adaptable, patient, but knows how to push one towards improvement and progress. The studio is private, well equipped, and close to home, a plus for me. The staff has always been kind and fun. The experience has been well worth the money! – Nancy
I am so fond of your teaching staff. – Class Client
Desiree is our trainer. She rocks! Don't have enough good things to say. My husband and I are having the best time together working towards our personal goals. You can tell how passionate she is about what she does helping her clients achieve the results they are shooting for. – Amanda
Starting a weekly Pilates class with Jill has been a great (and much needed!) way to get back into a regular workout routine after having a baby last winter. I so appreciate Jill’s style which challenges me and is personalized to meet my fitness needs right now. – Pilates Client
You have superb customer attention. That’s very high on my list. I had a great experience with Mary and look forward to getting to another of her classes. – Yoga Client
If you enjoy Barre and Pilates you must visit Fitness by Design. Great facilities and environment and above all awesome instructors! – Class Client
I absolutely loved the class. Mary was so welcoming and made me feel really comfortable and definitely nurtured. It’s not always easy to show up to a new studio where you don’t know anyone and Mary helped me feel at home. I’m new to the area so I’m thrilled to find your studio. I will definitely be buying a package and trying as many classes as I can. Thank you for being an entrepreneur who is helping to nurture us all. – Yoga Client
I have been taking Pilates for the past three years. This past weekend I saw the power of putting it into practice. I moved over 70 bags of mulch in two afternoons. My body worked with me, I lifted appropriately, my core assisted (instead of my back), and would you believe that I was not sore the following mornings?! I cannot recommend the Pilates instructors at FBD enough! – Missy
Class was great! I will definitely be back for a drop in the next time I’m in Des Moines. Thank you so much! – Pilates Client
Liked it! Like how the instructor handled individual issues w/o calling attention to who had them. (I had hamstring cramps, for example). Felt good to be back in that discipline. People were chatty after and inclusive! – Pilates Client