Negative is Normal

By: Kristen Soinski

One thing I wish I could tell everyone is that it’s okay to feel negative emotions. In the past, I used to find myself pushing my struggles to the side because I felt I needed to be positive all of the time. We get so caught up in staying positive, just brushing things off, and thinking that we need to be happy all of the time. How many times has someone told you during a hard time, “Just stay positive”? 

Contrary to popular belief, that isn’t always the best approach and can lead us to running our tires in the mud. 

The term “toxic positivity” is something I hadn’t become aware of until a few years ago. According to Psychology Today, “toxic positivity refers to the concept that keeping positive, and keeping positive only, is the only right way to live your life. It means only focusing on positive things and rejecting anything that may trigger negative emotions” (Lukin K., 2019)

Now, I am not saying we should constantly be thinking and feeling negatively. However, it is crucial for our health to acknowledge all the things we feel: good and bad. When we avoid our more “unpleasant” emotions, we only make them bigger. Think of avoiding your feelings like avoiding an important deadline. The more we wait, the more we procrastinate, the more we avoid the more overwhelming and unbearable it becomes. Research shows that toxic positivity oversimplifies the human brain and how we process our feelings and emotions, and it harmful to our mental health. When we experience negative emotions, we can use it as an opportunity to learn more about ourselves, our needs, and build resiliency. 

Here are my tips to get through the more challenging times and move forward in a positive direction:

1. Talk it out. If you have someone who you trust, talk to them! When we talk about our emotions out loud, not only does it give us a chance to reflect, but it may also help gain outside perspective on the current struggle you’re facing. 

2. Embrace how awesome it is to be human. We, as humans, feel a large variety of emotions! If we didn’t feel, life would be a lot more bland. Acknowledge that you may be feeling down at the moment, but it isn’t always that way.

3. Validate others’ emotions. If someone comes to you to talk about a struggle, let them know what they are feeling is normal and totally okay.

4. Journal! When I am trying to process emotions, I like to journal and then reflect on what I wrote a day or two later. This helps me see what I felt in the moment, what I am feeling once I let the feelings marinate, and what I need to do to move forward. 

5. Like always, allow yourself some grace. Don’t be too hard on yourself and avoid comparing to others’ struggles. We often times only see the highlight reel of those around us, and just remind yourself that everyone has bad days sometimes. 

6. Lastly, seek help if you need it. There are many great mental health resources, such as therapy or apps, that can help you through difficult times!


What are your favorite ways to move forward in times of challenge? What are some ways you can improve your approach to reflecting on emotions?

Lukin, K. (2019, August 01). Toxic Positivity: Don’t Always Look on the Bright Side. Retrieved August 13, 2020, from

Thoughts Become Things

By: Kristen Soinski

How often have you reflected on the thoughts you have about yourself and your life? How much of the thoughts you have per day are positive? How often are they negative?

When we take the time to check in on our thoughts, often times we may be surprised. 

If you find that you have plenty of negative self-talk and thoughts, know that you are not alone. We live in a world where comparison is beyond inevitable, and we become our own worst critics. But, we are in control of our lives, thoughts, and actions.

We all have had moments where we may tell ourselves that we are not good enough, not smart enough, not fit enough. The list goes on. Once we begin this habit of negative self-talk, it becomes easier to continue that behavior because it becomes instinct and routine during times of hardship or challenge.  

Lucky for us, it is never too late to shift our self-talk to a positive outlook on ourselves! Positive self-talk can be as simple as reminding yourself, “I am enough”. Research shows that positive self-talk and affirmations boost our self-efficacy and esteem, and help improve quality of life. Research also shows that positive self-talk and daily affirmations lead to a decrease in stress, increase self-awareness, decrease irrational defensive reactions, increased performance at school and work, and overall improve quality of life. We become more resilient when we speak kindly to ourselves. Not only can positive self-talk improve our lives, but research also suggests that it can cause you to have a better outlook on the world around us and life in general!

So if we know that there are so many benefits to thinking positively, why is it so common to have negative thoughts? Well, as I mentioned earlier, our thoughts become habits. If you do something for a long time, it becomes routine and second-nature. Just like fitness, we have to train ourselves to shift our thoughts. 

We challenge you today to start shifting your mindset from “I am not good enough” to “I am and always will be enough. I am doing my best in this moment”. Start small, by combatting one negative thought with a positive thought. As it becomes easier, tackle more thoughts. 

Another favorite activity of mine is the Developing A Self-Compassion Mantra worksheet, which is attached here. This mantra can be said daily, or as often as needed throughout the day, to develop positive self talk and forgiveness. 

Remember, thoughts become things. What we think becomes reality in our lives.

Don’t break the chain

By: Adam Reeder

When it comes to creating a lifestyle change, consistency is everything. The internet is full of “10 day detox” diets and “21 days to abs” style workout routines. The fundamental flaw in this line of thinking is that once that predetermined time frame is over, the individual is left up to their own devices which ultimately leads them to fall back into whatever pattern prompted their Google search in the first place. The reason for this is that they have not created a habit. They’re simply trying something for a period of time.

Let’s take nutrition as an example. We hear things like “I’m going to try going vegetarian for a while,” much more often than we hear phrases like “I eat vegetables with every meal.” Almost without fail, the person who is trying to completely overhaul their nutrition overnight will stumble and end up back in the same spot a week, a month, or 6 months later. The person who eats vegetables with every meal is creating a small change that they are able to do every single day.

The very act of completing a new task every day is important to your belief system. By “not breaking the chain,” you are proving to yourself that you are capable of change, and over time those daily practices turn into unconscious habits that you no longer need to stress or even think about. You (theoretically) brush your teeth every single morning. It’s something that you just unconsciously do as part of your morning routine, and if you forget to do it you feel gross.

Any habit which you do on a consistent basis can turn into an unconscious act if you do it often enough, long enough. I recommend using a habit tracker to get this process starter. In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear recommends first making a list of the things you do every day and separate them into categories: good habits, bad habits, and neutral habits. Brushing one’s teeth? Good habit. Scrolling through Facebook while laying in bed trying to sleep? Bad habit. Make the list as exhaustive as possible, and then add any good habits that you’re trying to integrate into your life into the “good” list.

The next step is to list your habits into a daily, weekly or monthly calendar and check them off as you achieve them each day. This process of checking off your good habits on a daily basis is extremely rewarding, and promotes further adherence to the habit.

Tally up the number of check marks for each habit at the end of each week and keep yourself accountable to increasing the score of your good habits and decreasing the score of your bad habits next week. As simple as this process sounds, it can be extremely powerful to elicit long term behavior change!

Habits: Small Parts, Big Changes

On a daily basis, a large number of our clients at Paragon ask questions about weight loss, strength, conditioning, stress relief, diet, and countless other topics. Throughout all of these questions, there is one central subject that tends to be overlooked: habits and their effect on our lives.

Think about it. When you go into the grocery store, are you completely in control of what you purchase, or are you swayed by a particularly enticing quart of ice cream? When deciding on how to spend your spare time, are you reading to better yourself or mindlessly scrolling through various social media?

We are presented with seemingly thousands of decisions to make every day. With immediate satisfaction looming around every corner, long-term achievement is some far-away entity that can be brushed off with ease.

In James Clear’s famed title, Atomic Habits (AH), habits are dissected into how they form, how they affect our lives, and how we can take control of them. It is my personal belief that life is a series of choices that we are entirely in control of. Your daily tasks, responsibilities, and rewards are all within your control. 

In Atomic Habits, there are various factors that influence how we create our daily world. A few of these factors, and how to use them effectively, are listed below:

Environment – one particularly potent point in the book is how individuals with more self-control don’t have any more self-control than those who consider themselves less in-control of their lives… They simply keep themselves out of environments that allow for poor decisions. Next time you make a decision you consider unhealthy, think about the environment you’ve put yourself in, and reflect on how you can improve your future decisions. It is much easier to make better, healthier decisions when your surroundings set you up for those decisions to be preferable.

Satisfaction – in order to maintain a habit, it must be satisfying. This is a staple of your daily choices. Rarely would you tolerate sustaining actions that you consider an uphill battle. Make things satisfying through tracking, or making the long-term results obvious.

Positive or Negative – this may be pretty clear, but I found it worth mentioning. In some steps of establishing or eradicating habits, you must consider how they impact your daily life. Do your current habits set you up for greatness, or are they causing you detrimental stresses?

Identity – habits are greatly tied-in to how you perceive yourself. This can present its own challenges when deciding to start a new habit. You may not consider yourself a soccer player if you only kick a ball around a few times. On the other side, your smoking habit may cause you to label yourself a smoker, which can cause quitting to be more difficult. Your identity becomes tied-in with your choices over time, which can either have positive or negative implication. 

Habit Stacking – It is much easier to start new habits when they are associated with other, more automatic habits. This can be as simple as placing running shoes next to your bed so you take a morning run. Better yet, you could place your yoga mat in space that you have to walk through in the morning – this will allow you to do your daily CARs. 😉

Two Minute Rule – initiating habits may make you feel like you’re standing at the bottom of a massive mountain. If starting a new habit, start performing it for only two minutes per day. Remain consistent with it, and it will start to associate with your identity, causing you to further explore that habit.

Habits are something you can analyze and consistently better yourself with.

Personally, I’ve taken a large step in my habits to make writing a part of my daily and weekly routine. There’s much to be said about the implications of creating new habits, with our ability to do so completely within our control.

Have any questions about habits, or how to establish better daily choices? Ask your trainer or email me at!

I wish you all the best in your choices.

Coach Brad

What is NEAT and why does it matter?

If you’re trying to lose weight, or have been on a weight loss plan in the past, you’ve likely been introduced to the idea of energy balance. At the simplest level, when we consume more energy than we expend, we gain weight. When we expend more energy than we consume, we lose weight. When the two are in balance, we maintain our body weight. This is an incredibly simplified view of a complex process, but it is important to know the two sides of the energy balance equation: calories in vs. calories out. If I want to lose weight, I must make a consistent change to at least one side of this equation.

People often have the misunderstanding that the only way to increase caloric expenditure is by exercising like a maniac- high intensity workout sessions day in and day out. The problem with this line of thinking is that the energy you expend during a workout session makes up a very small percentage of your total energy expenditure. Let’s quickly examine the various components of the “Calories Out” side of the equation:

Important Terms

  • Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE):  net amount of energy utilized to maintain core physiological functions. TDEE is comprised of Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR), Thermic Effect of Food (TEF), Exercise-Related Thermogenesis (EAT) and Non-exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)
  • BMR is the number of calories the body burns at rest. This number accounts for around 60%-70% of total calories expended per day. This number is dependent on several factors which are outside of our control, however we do know that increasing lean body mass increases BMR. This means that when we challenge our muscular system via strength training, the benefits of each training session extend well beyond the calories burned during the session.
  • TEF amounts to the number of calories the body expends digesting food. This number makes up approximately 8-15% of total energy expenditure.
  • EAT, the amount of calories expended during exercise appears to only account for approximately 1-2% of total energy expenditure in most individuals.
  • NEAT, on the other hand, appears to be the component which is most under our control when it comes to increasing our daily calorie expenditure, as it can account for over 20% of daily expenditure in people who are physically active. NEAT refers to the calories that are expended due to our daily activities outside of the gym.

One reason your coach has probably asked you about how many steps you’re getting in a typical day is that this can give us a proxy of your NEAT score. While step counts are certainly not perfect, they do give us an approximation of how physically active we are overall.

How many steps do I need?

The 10,000 steps per day rule of thumb is the most commonly known threshold for improving overall health, however it is important to note that increasing your NEAT doesn’t need to be an all or nothing scenario.

If you’re consistently averaging 4,000 steps per day, getting to 10,000 may seem impossible and you may feel discouraged before you even get started. Instead, focus on adding 500-1000 steps to your day above your normal baseline. Research has shown that getting 6,000 steps per day improves lower body pain and function while reducing risk of cardiovascular disease compared to those who only walked 4,000 steps per day. Taking 8,000 steps per day has shown a 51% reduction in mortality risk when compared to taking 4,000 steps per day. If you’re already hitting 10,000 steps, upping it to 12,000 steps per day has demonstrated a 65% lower risk when compared to 4,000 steps. Bottom line: Get an idea of what your baseline is today, and add 500-1000 steps as your goal for the next week. If you’ve accomplished this feat, bump it up another 500-1000.

One more parting tip in regards to step counts: Most watches and pedometers have the ability to set alarms which alert you when you’ve been sedentary for a long period of time. My favorite feature of these alarms is the ability to set it for a certain number of steps each hour. This takes your goal step count for the day and breaks it up into very manageable goals each hour. For example, let’s say you’ve been getting 4,000 steps per day and your goal for the next week is to up that to 5,000.

This 1,000 step jump can sound intimidating, but when we break it down into an hourly rate, it’s very feasible. Walking 4,000 steps over an average day amounts to around 333 steps per hour. Hitting your goal of 5,000 steps requires about 417 steps per hour. This minuscule difference could easily come in the form of walking a lap around your house, or walking up and down a few flights of stairs.

Remember, all of the great effort we put into our weekly exercise routine is only as good as what we follow it up with outside of the gym!

Thank you for reading, and please reach out to your coach for more tips on increasing your NEAT this week!

Quick Tips for Navigating Nutrition

Nutrition is a crucial part of our wellbeing. When we think about nutrition, our minds usually go straight to “dieting”. However, our goal with nutrition should always be to nourish our bodies with fuel rather than punish our bodies by eating very little. Finding balance in our diets can be tricky, because it is easy to get caught up in  weight loss and dieting. We want you to shift your mindset by asking yourself before each meal “Why am I choosing these foods and what benefits do they bring to my body?”. By asking ourselves this, it takes the focus away from just calories. Our food is more than just calories. If you focus on calories alone, you may not be getting adequate nutrients into your day.

Nutrition should be fun and make us feel our best selves. Here are some tips and tricks that help us make healthy food choices!

  1. Plan ahead! I cannot stress this one enough. Plan your meals and food ahead of time, so you aren’t caught last minute trying to figure out what to eat. At the start of each week, I like to cook a batch of protein (chicken, ground turkey/beef, etc), carbs (potatoes, rice, etc), and roast veggies in bulk. This helps me stay on track because I can just grab whatever I need out of the fridge in the moment!
  2. Eat foods you enjoy, and try out recipe alternatives! Here are a few of my favorite recipes and recipe sites:
  3. Allow yourself some grace. Your diet doesn’t have to be 100% healthy 365 days of the year. When we put extreme restrictions/pressure on ourselves and view foods as “off limit”, we are more likely to fall off track. Practice the 80/20 rule, where 80% of the time you focus on whole, nutrient dense foods and 20% of the time you enjoy treats!
  4. Hydrate and dominate!! Did you know water is an essential nutrient? Drinking water is a very important part of your day, so drink up.
  5. Be sure you are eating enough throughout the day. If you find yourself snacking between meals or getting hungry at night, reflect on what your “meals” look like, because you may need to bulk them up a bit!
  6. Understand that all bodies are different. Never compare your diet and nutrition to anyone else, because we all have unique needs.
  7. Don’t beat yourself up. If you found yourself slipping off track, take a deep breath. It is never too late to start over or start again. Beating yourself up will only run your tires in the mud.

What is Stress?

by: Kristen Soinski
Certified Personal Trainer

Stress is our body’s response to change: physical, emotional, or mental. Often times, we think stress is just a feeling we experience during chaotic times. However, stress is much more complex and impacts our bodies at the cellular level. 

To understand stress, we must first understand that not all stress is bad. Good stress, or Eustress, is essential in our lives to increase brain function, increase immunity, increase motivation levels, builds self esteem and more. Examples of eustress would be a promotion at work, giving a presentation, and working towards a health goal. 

There is also bad stress, which is distress, that has negative implications on our bodies. Distress is stress that is experienced for long periods of time and causes burnout. 

Take a second to reflect on your life: what sources of eustress do you have? Distress?

As mentioned above, we need stress to thrive but it is critical that we are in tune with our stress levels in order to be as healthy as possible.

What happens in the body when you’re stressed? 

Stress triggers what is called the fight or flight response, which was originally intended to keep us safe when we had to outrun predators. However, we typically aren’t outrunning lions these days! The fight or flight response has now become a normal, everyday experience that people endure due to work struggles, health issues, family dynamic, etc. 

The fight or flight response triggers many complex reactions in our bodies. First, we perceive a stress or threat and signals are sent to our brains. This leads to the release of cortisol (stress hormone), epinephrine, and norepinephrine. The hormones released travel through the bloodstream to various areas in order to best use the energy we have. Below is a visual!

The body puts energy into what it views as a “priority” in the moment. For example, stress causes our digestive system to slow down because the engird spent digesting food can be used elsewhere. Think back to a time where you were very stressed and in that moment you had no appetite. Your body was utilizing energy in other areas, making you feel less hungry. However, prolonged stress increases cortisol levels. Cortisol increases appetite, which explains why you may find yourself “stress eating” at times. 

Prolonged stress can cause certain bodily functions to decrease, impacting our quality of life (hello indigestion, decreased immunity, foggy brain function, food cravings and more!).

What can you do about it?

So okay, we just went over all this doom and gloom about stress. But, I have good news! There are many ways to control our stress levels, build resiliency, and make ourselves feel great. Below are a few of my favorite ways to manage my stress:

  • Nourish to flourish! Prolonged stress can leave us feeling fatigued, craving processed foods, and depleted. Making nutrient-dense, whole foods is a great way to fuel your body through stressful times. Foods high in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) replenish our body and bring us back to homeostasis. 
  • Create a daily mantra! It is proven that thoughts become things. I will say this again: Thoughts Become Things. Our thoughts are powerful! We can speak positivity into existence by changing the words we speak to ourselves. Daily mantras have gotten me through the most difficult times. My mantra is “Hold Strong and Weather Your Storm”. Feel free to use this one, or come up with your own and repeat it to yourself throughout the day! Check out the attached document on creating a self-compassion mantra. ***Attached to this email
  • Be a witness to your own behaviors. Keep yourself in check! Are your actions increasing or decreasing your stress levels? Take time to journal and self-reflect during stressful times. 
  • Create a self-care routine. We have mentioned this multiple times: our bodies and brains thrive off of consistent routines. When we have a routine, things start to become habits. Find one self-care technique you enjoy (meditation, journaling, reading, etc) and add it to your daily routine. 
  • Breathe. As simple as this step sounds, a mindful approach to breathing can have a drastic impact on stress levels. Learn how from Coach Brad:
  • Talk it out. Whether that be with your coach, friends, or family, it is important to talk about your feelings. Talking things out can not only help you feel better, but also may help you bring awareness to a new perspective. 
  • Make time for the things you love. Be selfish and set aside non-negotiable time each day for yourself.

Commit to Fit Pillar #1: Sleep

Sleep is a non-negotiable for any goal.
What is sleep hygiene?
By Coach Kristen

Sleep hygiene is training the brain and the body to fall asleep and stay asleep by implementing behaviors that foster healthy sleep.

Sleep is part of the autonomic nervous system, just like our blood pressure, digestion, and breathing. Because sleep is part of the autonomic nervous system, it means that we don’t control it and cannot force ourselves to fall asleep. However, we can train our bodies to fall asleep better just like training our muscles in the gym. So, we asked our coaches their favorite tips + facts about sleep!

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and other stimulants before bed (4-6 hours before bed).
  • Create an area in your room that fosters good sleep. Make sure the room is cool and get rid of technology. Figure out what a “calm” space looks and feels like to you, and try to implement it in your room! If there is chaos in our room when we try to sleep, it makes it much more difficult to get good quality rest.
  • Avoid working out right before you plan to go to sleep. The hormones produced during exercise can make us feel more alert and awake, making it harder to fall asleep.
  • Coach Ravi explains sleep is the ultimate recovery tool and one of our basics needs other than food, water and air. Most people benefit from 8 hours. Lack of sleep affects your bodies ability to regulate hormones and also affects cognitive performance.
  • Coach Ravi says to limit screen time before bed! Light and activity stimulates our brains, disrupting melatonin production in our brains. Melatonin is the sleep hormone, critical for restful sleep.
  • Our bodies thrive off of routine and schedules! We are meant to be able to fall asleep and wake up at the same time everyday, without an alarm clock. Once you create a routine that works for you, your body becomes accustomed to that routine and understands when it is time to wind down.
  • Implement a morning routine. Wake up earlier and slow down your morning like Coach Brad. Do your CARs, drink your coffee and meditate to set a positive outlook of your day.
  • Make sure you aren’t using your bed for anything but sleep or intimacy. Once our brains begin to associate our sleeping space with a behavior that is not sleep, it becomes more difficult to fall asleep.
  • Sleep isn’t just an aid for recovery, but for our immune system says Coach Braxton. Sometimes sleeping to soft music can aid the process of falling asleep.
  • Avoid eating large, heavy meals before bed. We aren’t saying that eating after a certain time will impact your fitness goals. However, eating a heavy meal can cause distress on the digestive system, keeping us awake longer. Easy to digest foods, such as a banana, are great snacks for before bed.
  • Coach Adam acknowledges what the data shows- there is a direct correlation between sleep quality and weight loss. If you’re going to implement a sleep schedule, you should carry it through on the weekends.

Reopening Strategies

On Thursday, May 14th, 2020, Governor Mike Dewine announced that gyms will be allowed to reopen as of Tuesday, May 26th.  We are prepared to meet and exceed all guidelines set out by the State of Ohio as well as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to ensure the safety and health of our clients and staff.  The following guidelines may be amended to adhere to any changes to the current guidelines set by the State of Ohio or CDC.

Please direct your questions, comments, and concerns to:

Adam Reeder
Owner, Paragon Health & Fitness
Cell: 440-539-3393

Edited 5/24/20 to include:

  1. Please ENTER only through the front glass door which leads to the reception area. This is where temperature and O2 checks will take place.
  2. Please leave your street shoes on the shoe mat in the reception area.  You are welcome to leave a pair of shoes in the bins in the gym.
  3. Please EXIT through the front door closest to the dock.
  4. Please bring your own water bottle- our water fountain is to be used to refill bottles only.  Please do not drink directly from the fountain.


  • Members and our staff will have body temperatures taken prior to entering Paragon via touchless thermometers. Per CDC guidelines, individuals with a body temperature greater than 100.4 degrees will be not be permitted entry.  Members and our staff will also be required to check their oxygen saturation level prior to entering Paragon using a pulse oximeter.  Individuals with an oxygen saturation reading below 94% will not be permitted entry and are encouraged to contact their doctor.
  • Members will be asked to alert a Paragon staff member if they test positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of their last visit to Paragon. We will email notification to all potentially exposed persons if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at Paragon and will keep personal information of all parties confidential.
  • Members and staff who have traveled internationally or who have come in close contact with someone who has traveled internationally to high-risk countries as identified by the CDC  must wait for a period of 14 calendar days before returning to Paragon.  Symptoms of the coronavirus become apparent in 2 to 14 calendar days and Paragon’s goal is to minimize the risk of exposing others to the virus.  A list of high-risk countries can be found here:
  • If an employee has any symptoms of COVID-19, including the above temperature and oxygen saturation readings, they will be required to stay at home until they are able to seek medical care.  Their return to work status will then be determined by their medical professional. They are expected to follow normal practices of getting their sessions covered by another staff member and/or rescheduling.
  • All trainers and members, upon their initial return to Paragon, must fill complete an updated release of liability and waiver.  This form can be completed electronically or in person.   Click here download the updated waiver. Please fill it out, save it to your device, and email to


  • Group fitness classes will remain in virtual format only until further notice. 
  • There will be a limit of three coaches on the training floor at any given time and a limit of 4 members per coach, with a total occupancy limit of 15 people in the gym at any time.  Paragon is a 6300 square foot facility with a ceiling height of 26 feet.  This allows us to exceed all physical distancing requirements per the CDC.
  • We will allow a minimum of 15 minutes between sessions for each coach, to allow for proper sanitation of the equipment as well as to allow the coach time for hand washing.


  • Members will be asked to wash their hands upon entering the premise and use hand sanitizer frequently throughout their visit. The hand sanitizer solution kills up to 99.9% of germs and includes 70% ethyl alcohol, above and beyond the CDC’s guidelines of 60%, with added Aloe vera and essential oils.
  • Members will be provided a spray bottle and terry cloth to be used after use of each piece of equipment before and after use in addition to the club’s cleaning protocols. Our disinfectant, approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19 and proven to kill 99.99% of bacteria, viruses & fungi on equipment while having the safest EPA Toxicity Rating. Disinfectant wipes will be available throughout the gym.
  • Weather permitting, staff members will keep both garage doors open to allow maximum circulation throughout the gym space.


  • Members are expected to use cleaning solution on machines and equipment before and after use.
  • Members are encouraged but not required to wear a mask during training sessions. Employees will be provided with masks and will be required to wear them during training sessions.


  • In addition to existing continuous cleaning protocols, we will add a rigorous, deep-cleaning process three times during the day and once overnight. Designated areas of the club will be sectioned off during the day to facilitate the deep cleaning. We will be increasing the size of our cleaning staff and will also utilize professional cleaning services regularly.
  • Medical-grade, EPA-registered disinfectants which are designated effective against the COVID-19 virus with a kill time of less than one minute will be used for all continuous and deep-cleaning processes.


  • Until further notice, only one person will be allowed in each locker room at any given time.  The individual using the locker room should lock the door as they enter.  Disinfectant wipes will be provided in each locker room. Everyone is expected to wipe down all surfaces before and after use, including the handles of the sink, shower, toilet, stall door, and locker door.
  • Shower towels will be stored in a covered, sanitized container which are clearly marked clean or soiled.
  • Locker rooms will be thoroughly cleaned regularly throughout the day, with showers being cleaned after each use.


  • Fortunately for us at Paragon, we have plenty of space to create physical distancing between members and trainers.  Gym equipment has been relocated within the facility to create separate “pods” for each trainer to work with their clients.  Each pod measures a minimum of 500 square feet to ensure physical distancing between client and trainer and will be equipped with the necessary equipment to conduct the training session.  Members are expected to remain within their given pod whenever possible.  If the session requires equipment from another location in the gym, the coach is responsible to ensure the additional equipment is sanitary and that proper physical distancing standards are being met. Coaches will remain six feet away from clients and all cueing and corrections will be done verbally.

Memberships and scheduling

  • Virtual personal training and group fitness classes will continue to be available.  Commit to Fit will continue to be an online-only program, with all classes, meetings and strategy sessions to occur over the phone or via Zoom.
  • As of Tuesday, May 26th all memberships will be reactivated.  Personal training packages and memberships which were purchased prior to shut down will be eligible for use both virtually and in person.  As of Tuesday, May 26th we will cease sales of virtual training sessions through PayPal and all scheduling and payment will go through ZenPlanner.

We are extremely excited to welcome everyone back to Paragon.  The guidelines mentioned above are our best effort to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all clients and staff. 

More information on COVID-19 can be found here:

Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with any questions, comments, or concerns.

Adam Reeder
Owner, Paragon Health & Fitness
Cell: 440-539-3393

Windows of Opportunity

by: Christie McFarland

In these unusual times it’s easy to fall out of your healthy patterns and become overwhelmed with anxiety.  The keys navigating a crisis like COVID-19 are developing new patterns and managing your stress.  

Enter: The Habit Discontinuity Hypothesis.

The hypothesis states, “…behaviour change interventions are more effective when delivered in the context of life course changes.” (Verplanken, et al. 2015)

Important disclaimer: Habits are fixed response patterns. They result as response to a stimulus that has been rewarded. This stimulus will be called a “cue” in the remainder of this post. The stronger the association with the cue, the more persistent the habit is.

When we experience life disruptions or life course changes, we are more sensitive to new information. The change in environment can lead to an absence of an old cue and leave space for a new cue to form, a new window of opportunity. 

The lockdown is an opportunity to capitalize on this life disruption. We hope it only lasts until April 6th, but there are no guarantees. Understandably so, many of us are filled with anxiety towards this uncertainty.

In this open space for new cues, we’re offering a mindfulness meditation combined with a movement practice to assist you in developing new habits. The commitment to your group 3 times a week along with the accountability coach is essential. It’s effective in habit formation.  Your accountability coach will start by reviewing your goals and designing a home workout plan. This plan will be based upon your goals as well as any equipment you have available at home. Your coach will put your program into our workout tracking app, TeamBuildr, which will allow you to log your workouts and view videos of each exercise in your program.  Finally, your coach will check in with you throughout the week to answer any questions you have and make sure you’re staying on track. I will repeat this again- here is an opportunity to capitalize on this life disruption.

A single environmental change can make huge waves. I would argue that environmental changes, aligned with the right cues and rewards, are the most significant prompts for behavior changes. Reflect on your life- you’ll see it as proof.

If you’d like to learn how to take advantage of this opportunity, we’re here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our virtual wellness services.

Verplanken, Bas & Roy, Debbie. (2015). Empowering interventions to promote sustainable lifestyles: Testing the habit discontinuity hypothesis in a field experiment. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 45. 10.1016/j.jenvp.2015.11.008.