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What is the RISE Challenge, you might ask? You may have heard about it via the RISE Fitness + RISE Cycle social media sites, or, if you live in Glen Ellyn or the surrounding communities, you may have heard about the RISE Challenge from family, friends, or even coworkers. The RISE Challenge is just that—a challenge… of the mind and body to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle. And the best part? It’s a step toward empowering your health on a path that is lined with support from the RISE Community.

Carin Fanter, a beloved instructor at RISE Fitness, explains, “The RISE challenge is about the people that are grinding it out over a period of time (typically six to eight weeks). When you bring together a group of people that are highly motivated to getting healthier and stronger, amazing things happen.”

Fanter is a highly motivational instructor known for her love of burpees, and she too participates in RISE Challenges. During past RISE challenges, she has shared her past failures and her breakthroughs to success. She continues, “RISE feels proud and honored to offer myriad tools, such as nutritional guidance, accountability, fun fitness, and community. But what really makes the RISE Challenge so special is the people who are determined to improve their wellness. They bring their positive energy with them to every aspect of the challenge, and it's contagious.” Fanter adds, “Getting healthy and fit is fun when you are constantly inspired and feel supported by the people around you!”


When you bring together a group of people that are

highly motivated to getting healthier and stronger, amazing things happen." - Carin Fanter, RISE Fitness Instructor


To highlight the potential of such a supportive, encouraging fitness challenge, during the most recent RISE Challenge, a group of more than 100 participants collectively lost more than 650 pounds and shaved off 540 inches. The next RISE Fitness + RISE Cycle Challenge is slated for January 2017. Details will be announced soon.

Another crucial component to a healthier lifestyle is what you eat. The RISE Challenge not only motivates participants to lead a healthy lifestyle, but it also helps engrain the motto “You are what you eat.” In fact, RISE Fitness + RISE Cycle enlists the expertise of Alicia Skodol, Certified Raw Food Chef/Educator and owner of Glen Ellyn, Illionois-based Reasonably Raw Mama.

Skodol, who is also a RISE Fitness + RISE Cycle aficionado, says, “The RISE Challenge is unique because it focuses on overall health and encompasses fitness, nutrition, community, and motivation. Every piece is important. It challenges you to rethink what you do to your body, what you put into your body, and how you can relieve stress. The RISE Challenge motivates you to change your habits—and by focusing on your meals, you learn that healthy is your new habit.”

During the RISE Challenge, participants have the option to purchase a meal plan, carefully crafted by Skodol. Included are delicious and healthy recipes, ranging from morning smoothies to go-to salads to family-friendly dinners. “Greens, veggies, fruits and whole foods power your body with goodness,” Skodol shares. “The challenge helps you to create these new healthy eating habits through meal plans, recipes, and support.”

Here is a sample of a two RISE Challenge recipes, courtesy of Skodol:

Holiday Chocolate Smoothie

  • 2 c almond milk

  • 1/4 avocado

  • 2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp peppermint (depending on desired flavor)

  • Dash of sea salt

  • 4 or 5 pitted medjool dates

  • Handful of ice

Blend all ingredients and enjoy!

Tis the Season Kale Salad

  • 1 bunch kale destemmed, torn into small pieces

  • 1 apple cored and finely chopped

  • 1/4 c dried cranberries

  • 1/2 c pomegranate seeds

Apple Cinnamon Dressing:

  • 3 TBSP apple cider vinegar

  • 2 TBSP fresh lemon juice

  • 2 TBSP maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon ground

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • 1 TBSP olive oil

  • 2 TBSP unsweetened applesauce

  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh peeled ginger

  • Whisk all together

Massage kale with dressings until coated and let sit for 30 min. Top salad with apples, pomegranate seeds, and cranberries. Toss with walnuts or pumpkin seeds for added crunch. And crumbled goat cheese optional.

Are you ready to tackle your health and make yourself a priority in 2017? If so, I hope this has helped decode the mystery surrounding the RISE Challenge. Stay tuned to the RISE Fitness + RISE Cycle Facebook page for more details on the next RISE Challenge and how YOU can be part of this amazing health journey. See you at the studio!

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