Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Wish

As 2011 closes, I am thankful for everyone who continues to read and support my blog.  I hope that the information that I have provided has been useful to you.  If through this blog, I only help one person to improve their health and fitness level, then it is time well spent.  I wish for you all a very healthy and prosperous 2012.
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Monday, December 12, 2011

Two of My Favorite Tricep Exercises

These are two of my favorite exercises to develop and strengthen my ticeps.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

Heard of Qivana Yet?

Every heard of a company name Qivana? Neither had I, but that’s not unusual. I’m a personal trainer and I’ve been in the health and fitness industry for over 17 years and I’ve been approached by more network marketing companies with their so called cutting edge nutritional products than I can count.

Earlier in my career I’d gotten involved with a couple of these companies only to find that their nutritional products didn’t deliver half of what they claimed and they were mostly based on pseudo science. I have to admit, I came away feeling very negative about these network marketing based nutritional companies. It seemed these companies were all about making money and cared little about the product they were selling.

I like making money too, however for me to stand behind a product and sell it, it has to be of very high quality and company must also be of high integrity. I’d always thought that the network marketing idea was a great way to leverage myself but I had never found a product or a company that I felt good enough to get involved with. That is until recently when I came across a company named Qivana.

When I was first approached about Qivana and saw that it was a network marketing based nutritional company I thought, “oh no, here’s another one of those companies pushing some half-baked nutritional product.” However, I am an open minded person and I did some research about the company and I ordered some of their products to sample for myself. I was very impressed with the quality of their products. I thought about joining there company, but my plate was full with my personal training business and I had just opened a studio.

A few weeks later I got the opportunity to hear Dr. Marcus Laux speak about Qivana. Dr. Laux is a well renowned naturopathic physician who created one of the Qivana product systems. I was impressed. However, I was more impressed by what Dr. Laux said to his audience about health and healthy weight loss. It was the same things that I personally do and recommend to my clients.

I had found a nutritional company that base their products on the philosophy that I have adhered to for over 25 years to maintain my health and fitness. I had to become a part of this company and I did. The more I find out about Qivana and it’s line of amazing natural nutritional products the more I am impressed. If you haven’t heard of Qivana, believe me you will soon.

Check out this amazing company and it’s products at www.myqivana.com/darvis.



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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Two Of My Favorite Shoulder Exercises

 




Arnold presses and lateral raises are two of my favorite exercises for strengthening and developing my shoulders.  Take a look as I demonstrate how to properly perform these two movements.

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Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Fitness Interview With Andrew Poletto

Hello everyone.  About a month ago I was fortunate enough to be interviewed by Andrew Poletto for his Fitness Professionals Interview series.  Please click this link to listen in: http://theinterviewseries.com/Home/feature/.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pilates Is For Bodybuilders Too



As an all natural bodybuilder , I do a lot of strength training to build and maintain my muscle mass for competition. Over many years of training I begin to experience joint pain. I mentioned this to a friend who is also a pilates instructor and she recommended that I start doing pilates on a regular basis

Pilates is an exercise technique that focuses on core strengthening, balance, and flexibility. These principles are some of the same principles used in the rehabilitation of many common orthopedic problems. Therefore, Pilates is more commonly being used in the prevention and rehabilitation of many orthopedic problems.

So, I started doing pilates once per week and I was amazed at how it helped ease my joint pain and also aided in muscle recovery after a week of heavy lifting. Pilates equipment can be as simple as a mat on the floor or a machine called a pilates reformer.

The pilates reformer looks like a single bed frame with a sliding carriage and adjustable springs to regulate tension and resistance. Cables, bars, straps and pulleys allow exercises to be done from a variety of positions, even standing. The resistance created by the pulley and spring system provided a more challenging strength and endurance workout for me that working out on a mat on the floor.

So, if you are a bodybuilder, power lifter, or someone who primary lifts weights to stay fit I suggest you incorporate a weekly pilates session into your workout regime. I can assure you that after a few sessions you will be amazed at how well you recover from your strenuous strength training workouts.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mental and Physical Exercise, The Fountain of Youth



Ponce De Leon searched the new world seeking the Fountain of Youth. I bet it never crossed his mind that what he was searching for, he was searching with. The Fountain of Youth was contained in his mind and body. Just like Ponce De Leon, today we are still searching for that magic pill, or formula that will keep us youthful, when we have access to what we are looking for right in our hands. It’s called mental and physical exercise.

A report by the Washington Post titled Short Mental Workouts May Slow Decline of Aging Minds, showed that mental exercise is just as important to keeping your mind sound as physical exercise is to keeping your body fit. The report concluded that ten sessions of exercises to boost reasoning skills, memory and mental processing speed staved off mental decline in middle-aged and elderly people in the first definitive study to show that honing intellectual skills can bolster the mind in the same way that physical exercise protects and strengthens the body.

The benefits of physical exercise on your body are numerous. A report by ScienceDaily (Jan. 30, 2010), stated — Physical activity appears to be associated with a reduced risk or slower progression of several age-related conditions as well as improvements in overall health in older age, according to a commentary and four articles published in the January 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

What other evidence do you need in order to know that you can keep yourself youthful and healthy by doing regular mental and physical exercise? The elusive Fountain of Youth can be found in simply doing a daily crossword puzzle and taking a 30 minute walk.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

How to Stay Forever Fit and Firm - Part 5, Cardiovascular Exercise

Cardiovascular exercise just called cardio by most in the fitness profession is associated with numerous health benefits and is therefore an invaluable part of any fitness program. Cardio exercise is any activity which increases the work of the heart and lungs. Activities such as brisk walking, running, training on the elliptical machine, biking, and working on the Stairmaster are some of the better known forms of cardio.

During cardio exercise you repeatedly move large muscles in the upper and lower parts of your body and your body responds by breathing faster and more deeply to provide increased blood flow to these muscles and back to your lungs. Your small blood vessels widen to deliver more oxygen to your muscles and carry away waste products such as carbon dioxide and lactic acid. Your body also releases endorphins which are natural pain killers that promote an increased sense of well-being.

So, regardless of your age, cardio exercise is good for you. As your body adapts to you cardio routine your heart and lungs will get stronger and more efficient in performing their activities. The following are additional benefits of cardiovascular exercise.

  • Helps to lose and maintain a healthy weight. Combined with strength training and a healthy diet cardio helps you to lose weight and to keep it off.
  • Increase your stamina. Cardio may make you tired in the short term but, over the long term you’ll enjoy increased stamina and reduced fatigue.
  • Ward off viral illnesses. Cardio activates your immune system thus, making you less susceptible to minor viral illnesses such as colds and flu.
  • Reduce health risks. Cardio combined with strength training reduces the risk of many conditions, including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, stroke, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer.
  • Manage chronic conditions. Cardio combined with strength training helps to lower blood pressure and to control blood sugar.
  • Strengthen your heart. A stronger heart doesn’t need to beat as fast and it pumps blood more efficiently. Consequently blood flow is improved to all parts of your body.
  • Keeps your arteries clear. Cardio boosts your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol and lowers your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol. Thus, resulting in less plaque buildup in your arteries.
  • Boost your mood. Cardio can ease the gloominess of depression, reduce the tension associated with anxiety and promote relaxation.
  • Stay active and independent as you get older. Cardio combined with strength training keeps your muscles strong which helps you maintain mobility as you get older. Cardio also keeps your mind sharp. At least 30 minutes of cardio three days a week seems to reduce cognitive decline in older adults.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

How to stay Forever Fit and Firm - Part 4, Strength Training

In my opinion strength training is the best thing you can do to improve your health and fitness level as you age. Strength training is so important because around age 40 you start to experience muscle loss. “If you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle you lose, you’ll increase the percentage of fat in your body, “says Dr. Edward Laskowski, a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Left unabated you can lose up to 10 lbs of muscle each decade starting at age 40.

The reason that loosing muscle is so detrimental to your fitness is because muscle is the component of your body that burns the majority of the calories you consume each day. Therefore, when you lose muscle your body requires less calories to function and consequently those extra calories you consume are stored as fat around your waist ,hips, and other places.

Your body constantly burn calories, even when we’re doing nothing. This resting metabolic rate is much higher in people with more muscle. Every pound of muscle uses about 6 calories a day just to sustain itself, while each pound of fat burns only 2 calories daily. That small difference can add up over time. In addition, after a bout of resistance training, muscles are activated all over your body, increasing your average daily metabolic rate.

Fortunately strength training can mitigate and even reverse the loss of muscle at any age. Thus, increasing the amount of calories you need to function. That’s why you hear some people say that after they have been strength training for awhile their appetites increase. This is a sign that they are starting to build muscle.

Increasing your metabolism isn’t the only benefit of strength training. It also, helps you:
  •  Develop strong bones. By stressing your bones, strength training increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.

  • Control your weight. As you gain muscle, your body burns more calories more efficiently which can result in weight loss. The more toned your muscles, the easier it is to control your weight.

  • Reduce your risk of injury. Building muscle protects your joints from injury. It also helps maintain flexibility and balance which is crucial to remaining independent as you age.

  • Boost your stamina. Building muscle helps to increase your energy level.

  • Improve your sense of well-being. Strength training can boost your self-confidence, improve your body image, and reduce the risk of depression.

  • Sleep better. People who strength train on a regular basis are less likely to have insomnia.
  • Manage chronic conditions. Strength training can reduce the signs and symptoms of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, back pain, depression, diabetes, obesity, and osteoporosis.
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Sunday, August 28, 2011

How to Stay Forever Fit and Firm - Part 3, A Balanced Diet



I have to be honest and tell you that more than 50 percent of the exercise required to stay fit and firm as you age involves a fork and knife. No amount of exercise can compensate for poor dietary habits. I believe in finding a healthy eating plan that works for you, that you can live with for the long-term.

Fad diets don’t work because they are too restrictive for most people to follow and to incorporate into their daily lives. How many times have you seen someone lose a lot of weight in a short period and here people say, “Have you seen so-and-so, since she’s been on that new diet? She looks so good.” Then you see that person a year or so later, and she is heavier than ever. That’s the typical outcome of a fad diet.

The key to eating healthy over the long-term is balance and moderation in the foods you consume daily. You can eat any food you desire as long as it is in moderation and balanced it with the rest of the foods you consume. For example, I love brownies, so when I have a brownie for dessert I only have one. I also balance the carbohydrates and sugar in the brownie by not having bread with my meal.

The first step to learning balance and moderation in your diet is knowing how to classify foods into their basic source of protein, carbohydrates, and fats as well as how they are used in your body. The second step is mastering portion. Knowing how many calories you consume from each food source and what your serving sizes are will enable you to balance your meals. Eating this way can be easily incorporated into your lifestyle - it’s a plan you can stick with over time.
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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How to Stay Forever Fit and Firm - Part 2, An Optimistic State of Mind

I believe an optimistic state of mind is the first and most important step in your journey for a more fit and firmer you. You must rid your mind of all the negative images you have of aging. Your body conforms itself to the mental image you hold of yourself. Envision yourself becoming weak and frail as you age, and this is what you will become. Imagine yourself strong and full of life and this is what you become.

For example, a certain man who I see regularly working out at the gym always complains of the aches and pains of getting old. He is my age but he looks and moves like a man 15 years older. He works out regularly, but his body is conforming to the negative image he has of the aging process.

Your body completely rebuilds itself every 11 months. This means every cell in your body is replaced each year. Whether your body rebuilds itself with strong healthy cells or weak unhealthy cells starts in the way you think about yourself. Think of yourself as strong and healthy and your body will replace old weak cells with strong and healthy cells.

Think about this, medications do not heal your body. They only aid your body in healing itself. Positive and healthy thoughts are more powerful in the healing process than any medication you could ever take. Thus, a fitness program built around a belief in your continued strength and fitness level as you age is core to reaching your health and fitness goals.

Positive thinking not only works in your health and fitness but also in all areas of your life. You tend to draw those things into your life that you think about the most. Ever notice how people who complain a lot always have more to complain about? And on the contrary, people who are thankful always have more to be thankful for? It’s called the Law of Attraction.

The Law of Attraction works like this: You attract things and conditions into your life that you believe to be true. If you believe that you catch a cold every year at a certain time, you will catch a cold every year at that certain date until you change your belief about it. Try this experiment. Think of someone you do not like, a person who just rubs you the wrong way. Now, start wishing all the best for that person. Do this every day and watch how your attitude toward that person changes and how their attitude toward you changes also.

This is how I develop and keep a positive outlook in my life. I start each day with what I call my “coffee time with God.” I spend 15 minutes reading something inspirational, while having my coffee. Then I spend 15 minutes in silent prayer and meditation. In my prayer, I thank God for my life, health, and strength and I ask for His guidance in all my ways. I meditate on all the blessings and the goodness that God brings into my life. I release any animosity I have towards anyone and send him or her blessings. I can’t put into words how wonderful I feel after this 30 minute ritual. I can only recommend that you try this and see the wonders it will bring to your life.