One More Rep: Assisted Pull-ups

Here’s to get one more rep out of your pull-up set!

  • Setup with hands in over grip position & hips over knees 
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades and push them down into your back pockets so you feel all the muscles in your back working
  • Think of driving elbows down as you pull
  • Engage your core in both up and down motion
  • Keep in mind your arms are the secondary muscles used in this exercise, not primary
  • Slow controled on the down motion
  • Do not fully extend arm in the down phase
  • Do not pull knees up in up phase

3 Signs You Are Using the Band-Aid Approach to Pain Relief

Pain is not normal. Some muscle tension/tightness and soreness can be expected but if you are dealing with pain that does not go away or seems to come back regularly, chances are you are using a band-aid approach to your pain relief. Here are three signs you are merely applying a band-aid to your pain:

  1. There’s no end in sight. While things like massage & dry needling can help alleviate pain – and are all things we do too-  if your pain doesn’t go away or returns than you need to dig deeper (pun totally intended!). 
  2. You have no idea what’s really causing the pain. Sure you know what aggravates your pain – running, standing too long, lifting something heavy, moving this way or that way. But do you know WHY it’s happening? Chances are, you are treating the symptoms of the pain, not the cause of the pain – there’s a huge difference! 
  3. You don’t know what to do about it or how to control it. So maybe it’s something you’ve been dealing with for quite awhile, you’ve seen your doctor, you’ve tried other treatments – maybe even surgery – but you still haven’t learned anything about your pain, why it’s happening and what you can do to control it. 

Proximal50’s team of Physical Therapists are passionate about treating the cause of your pain and not simply covering your pain with a band-aid treatment. We breakdown how your body moves to ensure that once the pain is gone… it stays away. As much as we love seeing our patients, our priority is educating you on why something hurts and what to do about it so YOU can be in control of your health & wellness.

Start advocating for yourself and seek the care that will address the cause of your pain, not just the symptoms!

Tana Trotter, PT, DPT
Proximal50 Life Center

To schedule a physical therapy consultation at Proximal50, call 751-2974.

How healthy is your smoothie?

Not all smoothies are created equal! Smoothies, especially ones you get at a restaurant or a local juice spot, can be loaded with extra sugar in order for it to “taste good”.  

The next time you are out and about and want to order a smoothie, keep these lower sugar options in mind. Or stock up on the ingredients below to make your own smoothies at home! 

Keep in mind that sugar and carbohydrates from whole foods aren’t ‘bad’; but properly balancing carbs & sugar with protein, fiber, vegetables (like greens), and healthy fats is the key to keeping your smoothie healthy.

Here’s a quick equation: 40% veggies (green is best) + 20% healthy fat  + 20% protein + 20% fruit

  • Add a zucchini – with a very neutral taste, zucchini adds fiber while giving smoothies a great creamy texture. They are super easy to freeze (cut & cube and put in a freezer bag), making them convenient too. Zucchinis also add nutrients like potassium, manganese, vitamin C, and vitamin A.
  • Cauliflower is another low sugar alternative to try in your smoothie. Cauliflower contains essential nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, and folate.
  • Cucumbers have a high concentration of water making them a great swap for high-sugar juices.  Cucumbers contain a good amount of fiber as well as unique antioxidants and polyphenols that have been studied for their effects on reducing some cancers, cardiovascular disease, anti-microbial properties, and inflammation.
  • Beets are naturally sweet and incredibly rich in antioxidants and fiber. Beets are also high in vitamin C, folate, and manganese. (Tip: chop beets to bite size, steam or roast beets before freezing, then use about 1/2 cup at a time.)
  • Carrots are a naturally sweet root vegetable. Carrots have several health benefits from their antioxidant, vitamin, and mineral content ranging from anti-inflammatory & anti-cancer to cardiovascular health benefits.
  • Avocados add healthy fats, fiber, and protein while giving smoothies a great texture. Avocados also contain essential nutrients like potassium, folate, and vitamin K
  • Think beyond protein powder too with greek yogurt, nut butters, quinoa, hemp seeds. (And if you do use a protein powder – be familiar with the nutrition label & ingredient list – there could be a lot of added sugar & unnecessary extra ingredients)
  • If you need a little sweetener go for maple syrup, honey and dates, but be sure sure to “count” them in the 20% fruit category of your smoothie equation.


Vanessa Lennick, RDN, LRD
Registered Dietitian
Proximal50 Life Center

5 Reasons You Should Hire a Personal Trainer

There’s no need to go it alone in the gym! Here are the top 5 reasons you should hire a personal trainer:

  1. You are feeling overwhelmed. Let’s be honest, exercise can be a little intimidating – there’s all the machines, everyone around you seems to know what to do, cardio first or weights first, lift heavy & low reps or light & high reps…?? A qualified personal trainer will be able to determine what’s best for YOU and YOUR goals, where you need to start, and when to give you that little extra push. 
  2. EveryBODY can benefit from personal training. Just as exercise is more than just weight loss, personal training is more than just getting your butt kicked. Working with a personal trainer will help you maximize your time in the gym. Your trainer will use a variety of methods – like heart rate monitors & progress measures – to track intensity and adjust both your workouts and your recovery.
  3. Accountability & professionalism. Scheduling an appointment to workout with a trainer means you are less likely to skip. And you schedule appointments for all sorts of professional services – dentist, hair stylists, massage – why not have a fitness professional on your calendar too!?!
  4. Preventing injury & maximizing performance. A good personal trainer will make sure your workouts are well-balanced and your overall training load is appropriate for you and your goals – this will prevent injury AND maximize your results.
  5. Having a reliable resource at the gym. Whether you sign-up for just a few sessions or become a long-time regular client, once you’ve established a relationship with a personal trainer, we are always here to help with any questions or concerns!

We take exercise seriously. That doesn’t mean we don’t have fun, it means we are committed. Along with experience & specialty certifications, all our personal trainers have a minimum of a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science (or related degree) and work together as team to meet the needs of all our clients.

Oh… and personal training may be more affordable than you think! We offer several options from individual training to team training to help make personal training more accessible to more people. Check it out:

Have questions or want more info on personal training? Schedule a complimentary personal training consult

3 Strategies for a Healthy & Happy Holiday Season

Do you look forward to the holiday season every year only to be reminded of the stress, exhaustion, and derailment this time of year can often bring? Before things become hectic, make a commitment to your health by following these 3 simple strategies:


Make a Plan
Planning can help you stick with your goals and start the new year off on the right foot to avoid playing catch-up on your resolution. First, you must choose your goal or main focus for the season. Is it to stay active? Maintain your weight? Stress Less? Whether you’ve already been working on a goal or are just starting, it is important to set a concrete, realistic goal. Once you’ve pinpointed what the overall goal is, make a plan on how you’re going to achieve that.

For example: If your goal is to stay active, figure out how you’re going to make it a priority. With the demands on the season pulling us in every direction, it is easy to skip workouts. Start by figuring out what is going to make you stay accountable (tips: schedule workout sessions, recruit a friend, sign up for a holiday challenge, find more time-efficient workouts, etc). If you’re not sure where to start, schedule a session with a Certified Health and Wellness Coach would be a great choice!  


Avoid the Blues
The holidays are supposed to be the happiest time of the year, yet for many, they trigger deep feelings of sadness and anxiety. From family dynamics and missing loved ones to the financial pressure of gifts, not to mention the unpredictable North Dakota weather and lack of sunlight – all can be prime conditions for a world-class funk.

Combat the holiday blues by:

  • Exercising – which releases endorphins, the body’s natural “feel-good” hormones
  • Socializing – isolating yourself, however tempting, often only feeds a depressed mood. Surrounding yourself with close friends, even if you don’t feel like it, provides you with opportunities for pleasure and joy.
  • Volunteering – giving back is an opportunity to redirect your focus in a positive, and often rewarding, manner.
  • Limiting social media – as the saying goes “comparison is the thief of all joy.”

Prevent illness and injury
You’ve made a well-thought out plan and things are humming right along – don’t let the sniffles, flu, or preventable accident bring you down! The holiday season is prime time for colds and flu. Prevent them by washing your hands regularly and urging others to do the same. Sprinkle sand on icy patches and use caution when driving in adverse weather conditions.

Investing a little time and effort into your own health and happiness will help ensure a merry & bright holiday season! If you need help on where to start, contact Lindsey at 701.751.2974 or schedule a complimentary consult.

Cooking Oils – what you need to know now!

Cooking oils are a great way to get healthy fats – essential to overall health – into your diet. Think of fat as our reserve, our long-term source of energy. It also helps us digest fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E and K. It keeps our brains, cells, hormones, tissue, hair, skin and nails healthy.

An oil’s smoke point is the temperature at which it will start to smoke and break down. If cooking oil starts to smoke, it should be discarded. It’s likely lost some of its nutritional value, and it could impart a bitter, unpleasant taste to your food.

Oils should be stored in a cool, dry place and to  minimize the degrading effects of heat and light, oils should be removed from cold storage just long enough for use.


How to Refocus & Re-prioritize Your Health, Right Now

Summer is in our rear-view mirror, school is in session, and cooler temps are approaching. The change of seasons can be the tipping point we need to “fall” back into a healthy routine. This time of year can be great for refocusing and re-prioritizing your health and wellness goals. There is no need for drastic cleanses and stressful diet guidelines; below are some easy steps you can take to get started!  (Helpful tip from your coach: pick one or two things to work on making into a habit and then move on to another):

  • Increase Water Intake: Carry a water bottle with you all day and make it a point to refill it 3 or 4 times. Keep things interesting by slicing up a lemon or lime to add flavor.
  • Prioritize Sleep: getting an adequate 7-9 hours of sleep each night is one of the best things you can do for your health and often the first thing we sacrifice.
  • Meal Plan: Invest a couple hours on a Sunday afternoon (or whenever your schedule allows) to cook and prepare some meals for the week. Having meals prepped ahead of time will take the chaos out of mealtime, ensure you have a healthy, balanced option to eat, and – bonus points! – will reduce your take out bill.
  • Manage Stress: Find little ways throughout the day to reduce your stress levels. Take a walk around campus or your office; practice mindful breathing; take a bath; or journal for a few minutes to get out your thoughts.
  • Mindful Movement: Get moving at least a few days each week. Whether it be a workout class that excites you or focusing on achieving 10,000 steps/day, set a goal and hold yourself accountable.
  • Be Kind to Yourself: Pay attention to how you speak to yourself inside your head. Practice kindness and grace with yourself – you deserve it.
  • Connect with a Wellness Coach: Well, of course! 🙂 Not only can a wellness coach educate you and help you focus on your goals, but we’ll hold you accountable, too!

To schedule an appointment with Proximal50’s Certified Wellness Coach, email Lindsey at or call 751-2974


Welcome to the Proximal 50 blog!

Stay tuned! We will be adding more content soon.