Russ Sagmoen, a member at Elite-North Shore and River Glen, has utilized just about everything Elite has to offer to support his active lifestyle. From childcare services to Red Light Therapy to group exercise, see how he was able to quickly bounce back after shoulder surgery and continue to be a role model for his kids!
1. How are you able to prioritize fitness while still having to balance work and family?
I try to make health and fitness a priority. It sounds a little self-centered, but I have always felt there are a few reasons why in the case of health and fitness it should be at the top of everyone’s list. First, by showing my kids I care about my health I am setting an example for them and I hope they have that same outlook throughout their life. Second, if I am in shape I have more energy and vigor to focus on family, work, and non-profits I am involved with and am present in the moment. It is kind of like when they say on a plane to put on your oxygen mask first before you help your kids!
2. What do you like about the Elite childcare services?
We have used both the North Shore and River Glen childcare services and all of the staff have been great! On the weekends, since we have kids ages 3, 7, and 9, we have been going to River Glen so our oldest can play in The Quad. Miss Apinya at North Shore has been great with our kids. She has a calming effect on our oldest who can be a little wild. We have also done some of the camps she has put on at The Quad with our other two.
3. What is your favorite thing about group ex? About Elite in general?
Group exercise drives you a little harder to push than I would otherwise on a machine. The spin class I usually attend is with Christine every Tuesday morning. She has a strong following and a little community that has been created. I run off to work after, but I know a lot of them hang out together after class. I do not do cardio often, typically once a week, because I am more into free weights. However, I had shoulder surgery a few years ago on both shoulders and I gained weight because I could not lift much during that time so Christine recruited me to join her spin class. I love the HIIT style of spin over steady state cardio and the class goes by fast. I am back to lifting now and still try to get to spin 2-3 times a month depending on my work and travel schedule.
All the employees are super nice and most of the patrons are very respectful to each other. Unlike some places, Elite does a great job of putting personable people at the front, which puts you in a better mood to work out. I like both North Shore and River Glen for different reasons. North Shore is closer to my house in Whitefish Bay and has kind of an old school vibe that I like with many longtime members. River Glen is great for the kids with the pool and The Quad. I also like the mezzanine at River Glen for barbell and sled work.
Now that my shoulder is back to probably 90% after the surgery, I may get back and play racquetball again, which has been over 10 years since I’ve last played. I have been using the Red Light Therapy prior to lifting if I have time because I feel it warms up my shoulder joints and prevents injury and stiffness.
4. Any advice for members looking for new ways to be active?
One thing we like to do with the kids is go outside and hike a lot in the summer and when traveling. I think that sets a good example of being active as a family – not just watching our kids be active. Christine’s class was a huge benefit for my cardio when I was hiking in Switzerland with our youngest on my back at elevation!
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