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How NOT to Exercise if You are Over the age 40 and Want to Avoid Injury, and A Key Element To Include to See Significant long term Results

Uncategorized Mar 26, 2023
What should I not do for exercise if you are over 40?
As we age, our bodies undergo various changes that impact our physical abilities, including our strength, stamina, and flexibility. As a result, exercising becomes increasingly important, but our approach to exercise should be modified as we get older. This is especially true for both men and women over the age of 40, who may be at a higher risk for injuries and health complications during physical activity.  
And as we age, the effects of aging accelerate, our energy levels decrease, our muscle mass decreases while our body fat increases, and it gets harder to keep the weight off. We deal with more soreness, pain and overall achiness. Our waistline increases and we are forced into the prison of weight loss. And our stress levels only increase rather than decrease.
Ignoring the importance of our changing obdies can put older people at a higher risk of injury. Tight muscles and joints...
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FC Bio- Taylor Pagenkopf

Uncategorized Mar 25, 2023

Meet our Fitness Consultant, Taylor!

I grew up about 30 minutes away in Winona, Minnesota with my younger sister Katie. In high school, I played volleyball and ran track. During my track seasons is when I started working out more seriously and really started to see results. Throughout both high school and college, I worked retail jobs where I gained a lot of customer service skills. I actually met some of my best friends while working one of these retails jobs. 

After high school, I attended Winona State University, where I earned my Bachelor's Degree in Exercise Science. During my senior year at WSU, I completed an internship at the YMCA in Winona and shortly after, I started working at the YMCA as a personal trainer, water aerobics instructor and coached Happy Hurdlers. I currently still live in Winona and I have a dog, Baxter. In August of 2022, I started at Northstar Fitness and I have loved working here ever since! I love helping clients achieve their goals.


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Simplify Your Nutrition

Uncategorized Mar 24, 2023

There's so much information surrounding nutrition these days, it's easy to fall into traps of overcomplicating everything. Some diets tell you to completely restrict one food group, or food "type" or limit the times that you can eat.

Think about it this way: if you were going to buy a house, would the first thing you worry about be how many outlets there are? No, you'd probably want to know how many beds/baths there are, or how much land it's on. By hyper-focusing on one small aspect of nutrition like these diets do, it skips the major stuff that's needed to build a solid foundation. This leads to confusion, feeling overwhelmed, cravings, non-adherance, and failure.

A better approach is to simplify. Start with one or two habits that you know are negatively affecting your health and make a focused effort to improve them. Choose something that is easy enough to change, so that you can start stacking your wins and build upon that. 

Ex. if you're eating late at night try adding...

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Tight Trapezius Muscles

Uncategorized Mar 22, 2023

Are you struggling with tight trapezius muscles? 

We tend to hold a lot of stress in our shoulders which often times leads to tight trap muscles. One way to relax the traps is to correct posture by pulling shoulders down, away from our ears. A few others way to relieve trap tightness is by rolling our shoulders or performing shoulder shrug exercises. For shoulder shrugs, it is best to hold them by your ears for about 10 seconds and then relaxing them. For the ear to shoulder stretch, it is best to hold them for about 15 seconds on each side and then repeating for a total of 30 seconds. With the chin tucks, hold for about 5 seconds and then repeat about 5 times. 

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Wellness = Integration

Uncategorized Mar 20, 2023

Wellness is more than just exercising and healthy eating. All of our actions, feelings and beliefs are an integral part of wellness and our well-being. These reasons are why it is so important to always have a postive mindset and believe in ourselves. 

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Why Motivation is a Myth, and the First step towards Creating Perpetual Motivation

Uncategorized Mar 19, 2023
For those who are motivated and those who are unmotivated to get in shape, or those who are in a demotivated lull, there's good news for you. There's a means to creating consistent and lasting results-perpetual motivation-that increases your energy, improves your health and stamina, and helps you look good in the long run. In his book "Motivational Myth: How High Achievers Really Set Themselves up to Win", Jeff Haden describes why all the hoo-ra-ra efforts to motivate ourselves in the end, are grossly ineffective to create long term success.
You know that feeling that you are emotionally inspired in the moment, but then the effort is fleeting and ultimately becomes an afterthought? You are not alone; Jeff Haden would says that it simply does not translate to results because we are human, and human motivation is, well, fleeting.
Take John, for example. After putting on weight and struggling with energy the past years, John was super motivated to start a...
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FC Bio - Konner Olson

Uncategorized Mar 18, 2023

Meet our Fitness Consultant, Konner!

I grew up as the oldest of 4 in Westby. While in school I played football, basketball, and baseball, which grew my love for athletics and activity in general. During high school and college, I poured concrete as a summer job. Seeing the toll hard labor took on the bodies of my older co-workers pointed me in a direction of helping adults live their best pain-free lives and increase their longevity. 

After high school I went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where I studied Kinesiology. After graduating college, I knew I wanted to come back to this area and be around family. In September of 2021, I joined Northstar and have loved helping our clients reach their goals ever since!

In my fitness journey, there have been ups and downs. Playing 3 sports in high school, I was always moving. To continue that into college, I played intramural sports, and ran a marathon after my freshman year. After the marathon, without much direction...

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Happy St. Patricks Day!

Uncategorized Mar 17, 2023

Protein Treats Recipe


1 Cup Rolled Oats


½ Cup Flax Seed


Cup Creamy Peanut Butter


2 tbsp Honey


½ Cup Chocolate Chips


¼ Cup Chopped Andes Mints


Nutrition: Roughly 150 Calories and 8g Protein Per Treat


*These are topped with green food-colored Almond Bark, but they are delicious without as well!

Protein Shake Recipe


  1. Blend ice and 1 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk in blender
  2. Add either Chocolate or Vanilla Protein Powder Packet

(Usana- 20g protein)

  1. Blend in a handful of mint chocolate chips and regular chocolate chips
  2. Add whip cream on top if you would like 


Nutrition: Roughly 20g protein and 240 calories

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Sciatic Nerve Pain

Uncategorized Mar 15, 2023

Are you struggling with sciatic nerve pain?
If so, these exercises can provide a lot of relief. Coupled with a comprehensiveexercise program, they can reduce symptoms and help you back towards a pain-free life!
1. Figure 4 stretch. This targets the piriformis, which can become very tight especially when seated for most of the day. This tightness can put pressure on the back, hip, and pinch the sciatic nerve. If this is especially tight, wrap a towel behind your thigh instead of your hands.

2. Nerve mobilizer. Opening up the path the nerve travels through can go a long way towards pain relief. Keep the motion slow and controlled, and once you reach your farthest stretch in your hamstring, rotate your foot to point your toe to the ground. This will increase stretch and glide.

3. Glute bridge. Great for strengthening the glutes and low back, and providing relief as well. Make sure to get high enough so that there is a straight line from your hips to your knees, and keep those muscles...

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Work for it, More than you hope for it.

Uncategorized Mar 13, 2023

Hoping to accomplish a goal is the first step, but in order to actually achieve that goal comes with working towards it. Success always comes from hard work. Always work hard towards your goal and you will accomplish anything!

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