Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Couples Oblique Twists Using a Resistance Band

Here is a fun exercise you can do with a partner to strengthen and tone your obliques, and get rid of that spare tire around your waist.  I call this exercise a couples oblique twists using a resistance band.  This is also a great exercise to tighten-up your butt and thighs.  Watch as two of my favorite clients demonstrate the proper technique.

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Saturday, December 17, 2016

Dumbbell Biceps Curl Standing on a BOSU

I believe in working as many muscle groups as possible in one exercise because your body is dynamic in every activity you do.  Using a BOSU as a part of your strength training program is one of the best ways of hitting all your muscle groups in an exercise, especially the small stabilizing muscles of your legs, hips, and core.  Dumbbell biceps curls standing on a BOSU is one of my favorites.  Watch as I demonstrate the technique in the video below.

You can subscribe to my online training program where you can find many of my favorite exercises at www.personaltrainerinraleighnc,com

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Pullups, One of The Best Overall Upper Body Exercises

A properly executed pullup is one of the best exercises for strengthening and developing your upper body.  Pullups strengthens your arms, upper back, and your core, it's one of my favorite exercises when I want to get a good upper body workout in a limited amount of time.  Watch the video below as I demonstrate how this exercise should be properly performed.

You can see many more of my favorite exercises by visiting my website at

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Ed Weadock, One of the Most Inspirational People I've Ever Met

I've been in the health and fitness industry for over 20 years and Ed Weadock is one of the most inspirational people I've ever met.  I first met Ed at the North Ridge Country Club Fitness Center a little over 12 years ago.  The first thing I noticed about Ed was how healthy and fit he looked and when I found out he was in his 70s I was blown away.

Ed is now in his 80s and he seems to defy age.  He is a model for what the benefits of regular exercise, and eating a balanced diet looks like.  I'm honored to have interviewed Ed for this blog post.  Read it and be inspired.

Me: Ed where were you born and where did you grow-up?
Ed:  Born in New York City (Manhattan) and grew up in the combination of New York and Connecticut.  At the time the city was not as confining as it is now.  The kids could roller skate and play stickball in the streets without being smushed by a bus, so we were pretty active.  Connecticut in the summer was full of outdoor adventure and things to be discovered.

Me: What's your age?
Ed: 84

Me: How do you stay in such great physical condition?
Ed:  Not sure if its cause and effect, but have been in the habit of exercising for a couple of hours every day since I was in my early thirties.  It just becomes a routine that you miss if you do not do it.  Also have several other interests that have both a physical and a mental component.  As a change of pace I find a lot of enjoyment in reading .  These things along with a glass of wine make a for a special day every day, as long as family and friends are there too.

Me: What advice would you give someone who's starting an exercise program in their 50s, 60s, and 70s plus?
Ed: There are several things I try to remember about exercise.  You are better off if you do it because you want to do it rather than if someone is telling you that you must.  You should believe that your exercise will get easier as you get more practice, and that your body, over time, can do much more than you think possible.  There is no shame in starting slow and looking like a doofus compared to others—they likely did too in the beginning.  Have progression goals and change things up from time to time to keep it interesting.

Me: What's your diet like?
Ed:  My wife is the diet watchdog.  Left to my own devices I would deviate towards donuts, chips etc. but Louise insists on something called vegetables.  We eat much more fish and chicken than red meat, but have the occasional hamburger.  We do not ascribe to the various food fads that always seem to pop up, rather try to stay reasonable in what and how much we eat.

Me: I believe you use to run some distance races, how many have you done?
Ed: We used to think of “distance” races as those that were longer that half marathons, and they were mostly marathons of which I did about twenty-five and “ultra” marathons which come in different sizes up to one hundred miles, and we finished about twenty of those.

Me: What was your training regime when you were competing in distance runs?
Ed: The training for distance running is pretty straight forward in that it requires a lot of running.  For special races like the Western States 100 miler which runs ninety-five percent in the Sierra Nevada Mountains we would go out to Lake Tahoe two weeks before the race and train by running segments of the trail.  When steep grades are involved it is important to get used to them before the race.  There is this axiom that you always must eat pasta before a long race.  I was never sure whether there was any validity in this rule, but since I enjoy spaghetti a lot I never tested this conventional wisdom and still don’t know if it makes a difference.  I really think, though, that you should just eat what appeals to you in training or in a race.

Me: What race do you remember the most and why?
Ed:  I most remember the 1982 Western States 100 race.  It was the first race of that length for me and the first in those (it seemed to me) enormous mountains, and it was intimidating.  Only about half the field typically finishes so I did not think too much of my chances.  My family was there to crew for me led by Louise and daughter Lora, so it was special for the support I had as well as the race itself.  The time limit is 30 hours and my time was 29:41—and I was not the last finisher.  The course of the Western States Trail goes through a spectacular wilderness with several deep canyons cut by the American River, an adventure in itself—and that year the first twenty five miles were in snow!  We did the Western States five more times, but the first one has a special place for us.

Me: What do you consider your greatest accomplishment in life?
Ed:   So many people do wonderful things in their lives that it is better to admire what they have done than to compare them, one to the other.  If we are able to set our values in a way that is good for other people as well as ourselves, and then have the gumption to stick to them, it will be a pretty good trip.

Me: Who has had the greatest influence in your life and why?
Ed:  My wife Louise has had the greatest influence on my life, and it has very little to do with vegetables.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Strengthen Your Legs and Core, and Improve Your Balance With Squats on a BOSU

Squats on a BOSU is a great exercise for strengthening your legs and core while improving your balance.  Watch as I demonstrate the technique in the video below.

You can find many more of my favorite exercises by visiting

Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Complete Shoulder Exercise Routine Using a Bosu

Watch as I demonstrate one of my favorite exercises for working my entire shoulder girdle.  Standing a Bosu to perform this exercise also strengthens your core, and increases the intensity of this movement immensely.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Daily Accessing Your Spiritual Energy is Important For Your Health and Well-Being

There is more to your overall health and well-being than just taking care of your physical body. You are an energetic being made up of spirit, mind, and body. You exist as spiritual, mental, and physical energy. All three of these energies vibrate at different frequencies and must be balanced in order for you to live a happy, balanced, and fulfilled life. Thus, you have to have a fitness practice for all three aspects of your existence in order to live a fully. Most people focus mainly on the energies of the mind and the body, and pay little attention to the most important aspect which is the energy of spirit.

You are a part of the Eternal Divine Spirit which is the life behind all things. This is where the energy resides that orchestrates all life. It keeps the planets in alignment, causes the sun to rise, provides the air that you breathe and is the core of your very existence. This Loving Presence is always working on your behalf for It created you out of Itself. It contains the answer to your every problem, and it provides for your every need. It resides in you and all you need do is connect with this Loving Presence and It will guide you easily and harmoniously through life.

If you use this consciousness of Love as your starting place each day you will find that your daily tasks will flow easily and harmoniously with very little stress and strain. For this Loving Presence has unlimited organizing power to bring about results in your life with very little effort on your part.

In order to connect with your spirit and create harmony in your life you have to learn to quiet your mind and control your thoughts. You learn to control your thoughts through the regular practice of sitting in silence. Some people call this meditation, I call it self-contemplation. This is the most proven way to access your spiritual energy which is your true identity. Your spiritual energy will always reveal truth in your life, showing you errors in your thoughts and beliefs which materialize as inharmonious conditions in your life. Meditation is a top down approach to making changes in your life with the least effort.

Sitting in silence can be very difficult at first, because your mind is filled with chatter and you are constantly jumping from one thought to another. Thoughts are like little children competing for your attention, they say “look at me, look at me” and you have to train yourself to ignore them. Don’t get discouraged. The practice of silence is just like physical exercise, you get stronger and better at it the more you do it. Here are some techniques for learning to quiet your mind.

  • Go to a quiet place where you will not be interrupted for about 30 minutes. Sit upright in a comfortable chair. Close your eyes, take deep controlled breaths, and slowly count backwards from 100 to zero. The counting will cause your mind to focus on the numbers and shut out any other distracting thoughts.
  • While in your quiet place for 30 minutes, while you are closing your eyes and taking deep controlled breaths, think about your favorite outdoor spot. It could be the beach, the mountains, or watching a beautiful sunset. Imagine that you are physically at your favorite place. Hear the birds singing, feel the sun on your skin, experience the sound of the waves crashing on the shore. The object is to train your mind to focus on one thought at a time.
  • Take a relaxing walk in nature. Listen to the birds sing, marvel at the beauty of the trees, flowers, and plant life. Again, the object is to train your mind to focus on one thought at a time.
  • My favorite technique for quieting my mind is to read some inspirational passage and then to contemplate its meaning.
You will find that once you become efficient at quieting your mind, things will be revealed to you. It could be the solution to some situation that you’ve been struggling with, or the vision of completing a project. Whatever is revealed to you in these times of silence comes from the core of your existence and from your unity with the Divine. Trust that it is right for you.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

What Are Probiotics? Benefits, Supplements, Foods,

Below is a very good article from WebMD about Probiotics, what they are, and why they are important to have in your diet.  I started taking a daily probiotic supplement about 5 years ago and found a marked improvement in my immune system and energy level. 

What Are Probiotics? Benefits, Supplements, Foods,

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Dumbbell Presses on a Therapeutic Ball Strengthens Your Chest and Core

If you want to minimize the time you spend working out, try exercises that target two or more body parts.  One of my favorite exercises that strengthens and develops both your chest and your core is a dumbbell press bridging on a therapeutic ball.  Watch as I demonstrate in the video below.

You can find more of my favorite exercises at

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Try Wood Chops on a BOSU to Strengthen Your Core

Having a strong core is important in everything that you do from squatting to pick up your precious baby to carrying the groceries into the house.  Watch the following video as I demonstrate one of my favorite exercises for strengthening and developing your core.

You can find many more of my favorite exercises that I do with my clients at

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Dumbbell Row Using a Theraputic Ball, One of My Favorites

A strong back and a strong core equals great posture.  Watch below as I demonstrate one of my favorite exercises for developing and strengthening both you upper back and core.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Strength Training and Increased Protein Intake is Key to Good Health as You Age

Research is now revealing what life-long weight lifters have always known, and that is maintaining your muscle mass is key to staying healthy and strong as you age. The importance of muscle mass, strength, and metabolic function in the performance of exercise, as well as the activities of daily living has never been questioned. However, the role your muscles play in whole-body protein metabolism is less recognized.

Your muscle plays a central role in your whole-body protein metabolism by serving as the principle reservoir for amino acids to maintain protein synthesis (growth and regeneration) in vital tissues and organs in the absence of consuming enough protein in your diet. In other words, if you don't get enough protein in your diet, your body breaks down your muscle mass in order to make the necessary amino acids you need to survive.

Additionally, new research points to a key role that muscle metabolism plays in the prevention of many pathologic conditions and chronic diseases. Loss of muscle has been associated with weakness, fatigue, insulin resistance, fractures, and frailty. Thus, many of the degenerative conditions that are associated with aging are caused by poor muscle health.

The natural loss of muscle mass as a result of age is called Sacopenia, and it can begin in your 30s. Left unabated this condition accelerates with time as your body starts tearing down old muscle faster than it can build new muscle tissue. The good news is you can slow and in some cases reverse muscle loss as you age through regular weight lifting exercise, and getting the right amount of protein in your diet.

Scientific research is showing that weight lifting is one of the most effective ways of building and maintaining muscle mass as you age and here's why. Lifting weights is a method of overloading your body through exercise with a resistance that you are not accustomed to handling.  In response your body adapts to this overloading process by building stronger muscles to accommodate the new demands. Research says that by the time you reach middle age you should start lifting weights at least 2 times per week to retain your muscle.

Getting the proper amount of protein in your diet to maximize the results of weight lifting adds to the effectiveness of building and maintaining your muscle mass as you age. Protein is a necessary part of every living cell in your body. Next to water, protein comprises the greatest portion of your body weight. Protein substances make up your muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, glands, nails, hair, and many vital body fluids. Your body uses the protein you eat for the vital functions of survival first before it devotes any for muscle building and repair. Thus if you are not consuming enough protein in your diet optimal muscle building and repair is impossible.

While 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight has been the old the normal recommendation for daily protein intake, new studies show that 1 to 1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight may be more beneficial in building, maintaining, and reducing muscle loss. The goal of protein consumption should be to optimize muscle growth and repair and studies now reveal that consuming 25 to 30 grams of protein at each meal is necessary for this to take place.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Change the Way You Think and You Transform Your Life

A good mental practice is just as important and I believe more critical to your overall well-being than physical exercise alone. For, you are always creating the circumstances and conditions of your life via your thoughts and beliefs. What you believe to be true will always manifest in your life as a condition or circumstance. Behind every condition and circumstance in your life is an underlying thought and belief.   For example, if you truly believe that you are weak and sickly, then you attract conditions in your life to reflect that belief. On the other hand, if you believe you are strong and healthy, you attract conditions in your life to prove likewise.

If you want to know the sum total of your thoughts and beliefs, just look at the conditions and circumstances presently in your life. This is a very sobering exercise, but you must accept it if you want to create the life that you desire.

Most people allow their mind to aimlessly wander and so they allow random thoughts to be planted in their mental garden. Some of these thoughts are constructive and they bloom into constructive conditions, while others are destructive and they blossom into undesirable conditions. Consequently, most people believe the conditions and circumstances of their lives just randomly happen. They get some things that they want and other things they don’t want.

Thoughts are things and when you give a thought your attention you give it energy by allowing it to be planted in your mind. The more attention you give the thought the more you nurture and energize it until it becomes a belief and blossoms into a condition in your life. You are always thinking, and thus, always creating something and herein lies the problems and the solutions in your life.

You have the inner power to create the life of your dreams. The key to accessing this power is mastery of your mental activity and you can only do this through a conscious effort to filter which thoughts you allow to take root in your mind. I do this by a spiritual practice of sitting in silence periodically during the day and monitoring the thoughts that come into my mind. I allow the constructive and uplifting thoughts in, and I discard the negative and destructive one. I urge you to try this mental exercise for 30 days and see how your life is transformed.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Two of My Favorite Exercises For Developing and Strengthening Your Shoulders

Your shoulder joint has more range of motion than any other joint in your body, and your shoulders are involved in every movement of your upper body.  Thus, having strong shoulders makes the activities of everyday life easier to perform.  The video below demonstrates two of my favorite exercises for developing and strengthening your shoulders.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Breakfast Starts Your Day in Either a Fat Burning Or a Fat Storing Mode

Your first meal of the day is very important because it determines whether you start your day in a fat burning or a fat storing mode.  Most people mistakenly start their day in a fat storing mode by eating a meal high in carbohydrates such as cereal, bread, fruit, and juice for breakfast and very little protein.  Your body quickly converts all those carbohydrates to blood sugar, which causes your insulin level to spike and to store most of those calories your just consumed as fat.  Once all that blood sugar is stored, your insulin level hits bottom causing hunger pains and cravings for more foods high in carbohydrates.  This vicious sugar craving cycle can go on all day unless you do something to derail it.

On the other hand,  having a breakfast in which you consume at least 21 grams of high quality protein such as eggs, low-fat dairy, and lean meats starts your day in a fat burning mode.  When you eat a breakfast high in protein your body to start a process called protein synthesis.  This is basically a biological process by which muscle cells are built and maintained and it is very energy intensive causing your body to burn fat as fuel to support it.  Thus, this process increases your metabolism, and levels out your energy until your next meal, which means you burn more calories, and you don't have sugar cravings.

I start my day by having a smoothie with a whey protein powder that is quick and easy to make.   When using a protein supplement, whey based or otherwise, make sure it has at least 21 grams of protein per serving because this is the threshold where your body starts the protein synthesis process.  Below is one of my favorite smoothies for breakfast, I call it my Blueberry Special.

  • One cup of frozen wild blueberries
  • One serving of vanilla whey protein powder (the one I use has 26 grams of protein per serving)
  • One cup of unsweetened almond milk
This smoothie contains 249 calories, 3 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbohydrates, and 28 grams of protein. A quick and easy balanced breakfast that starts my day in a fat burning mode.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Carbohydrates Are An Important Part Of A Healthy Diet

Today people seem to equate eating carbohydrates to weight gain which is not all true.  While eating a lot of easily- digested carbohydrates from white bread, white rice, pastries, sugared sodas, and other highly processed foods may contribute to your weight gain, and therefore, interfere with your efforts to lose weight. On the contrary, consuming whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, and other intact carbohydrates promotes good health.  A healthy diet is about balance and moderation. A basic knowledge of what carbohydrates are and how you body uses them is essential to understanding how to balance them in your diet.

Carbohydrates are essential nutrients that are excellent sources of energy for your body; they are the preferred fuel for your brain and nervous system. Carbohydrates are found in an array of foods such as bread, beans, milk, popcorn, potatoes, rice, cookies, spaghetti, soft drinks, corn, and desserts. The most common and abundant forms are classified as sugars, fibers, and starches.

The basic building block of every carbohydrate is a sugar molecule, a simple union of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Starches and fibers forms of carbohydrates are essentially chains of sugar molecules, some containing hundreds.

As mentioned above, most carbohydrates come from plant sources and are in the form of sugars, starches, and fibers. Sugars, also called simple carbohydrates, include fruit sugar (fructose), corn or grape sugar (dextrose or glucose), and table sugar (sucrose). Starches, also known as complex carbohydrates, include everything made of three or more linked sugars. Starches include foods such as breads, cereals, grains, pasta, rice, and flour. Fibers are technically classified as a starch because they are complex carbohydrates that your body cannot breakdown into sugar molecules. Fibers are more abundant in whole grains, legumes, and vegetables.

Regardless of their source, your body breaks down all carbohydrates, except for fibers, into simple sugar molecules  These simple sugars are further converted into glucose, also known as blood sugar. Your body is designed to use blood sugar as a universal source of fuel for energy.

Fiber is the form of carbohydrate that your body cannot break down into simple sugar molecules. It passes through your body undigested. Fiber comes in two varieties: soluble, which dissolves in water, and insoluble, which does not. Although neither type provides energy for your body, they both promote health in many ways. Soluble fiber binds to fatty substances in your intestines and carries them out as waste, thus lowering your low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or bad cholesterol). It also helps regulate your body’s use of sugars, helping you to keep your hunger and blood sugar in check. Insoluble fiber helps push food through your intestinal tract, promoting regularity and helping to prevent constipation.

Here’s what happens when you eat a food containing carbohydrates. Your digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which then enters your blood. As your blood sugar level rises, specials cells in your pancreas churn out insulin, a hormone that signals your cells to absorb the blood sugar for energy or for storage. As your cells soak-up the blood sugar, its level in your bloodstream begins to fall. Now, your pancreas starts making another hormone called glucagon, which signals your liver to start releasing stored blood sugar. This interplay of insulin and glucagon ensures that cells throughout your body have a steady supply of blood sugar. 

As you can see, carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet.  However, as with all foods, balance and moderation in your daily consumption is key.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Two Exercises For Developing And Strengthening Your Chest

Please see the video below for a demonstration of two of my favorite exercises for developing and strengthening your chest.  And remember, you can get stronger and more fit no matter your age.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Great Abdomnal Exercise Using a BOSU

Below is a video of one of my favorite abdominal exercises using the BOSU.  This exercise really hits all areas of the mid-section.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Living a Healthy Lifestyle is Simply Your Choice

Getting healthier, losing weight, feeling better, and getting fit is not complicated. It’s about the daily choices you make. Choice is a powerful thing. You can choose daily habits that promote a healthy lifestyle or not. That choice is completely yours.

Many of the aliments that we associate with aging are the results of many years of making poor lifestyle choices. I’m a 57 years old personal trainer, and I hear people almost half my age complaining of the aliments of "getting older."  I can honestly tell you I'm as strong and as fit as I was in 20s, and you can be too, it's all about the daily choices you make.  I choose to live a healthy lifestyle. I eat a healthy diet, I exercise on a regular basis, and I fill my mind with positive uplifting thoughts.

Here’s an example of the power of choice. I was sitting in a coffee shop a few weeks ago, and across the room I noticed two women sitting together. One woman was extremely over-weight, and the other woman was very fit. The over weight woman was eating a big cookie and drinking a latte, while the fit woman was eating a health breakfast wrap. Now, I’m pretty sure that the over-weight woman did gain those extra pounds by eating a cookie and drinking a latte just one time. Most likely, her extra weight is from years of choosing to eat cookies and drink lattes, or something similar for breakfast, and getting very little physical activity.  No one forced her to make that decision. And on the other hand, no one forces the fit woman to eat the way she eats. It’s all about personal choice. While an occasional mocha latte and a big cookie for breakfast won’t make you over-weight, choosing to have them everyday probably will.

It’s your choice, it’s your health. You and only you are responsible for your health and well-being. Choose healthy eating habits, and healthy lifestyle activities, and you become a healthy person. It's that simple.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Whey Protein: Health Benefits and Side Effects - page 2 - Medical News Today

If you've read many of my posts you know I'm an advocate of protein supplementation, especially as you age.  Below is a link to a great article by Medical News Today about the benefits of adding whey protein to your diet.  Wishing you a healthy day!

Whey Protein: Health Benefits and Side Effects - page 2 - Medical News Today

Friday, October 21, 2016

What Does Old Age Look Like For You

Experts are now saying it’s true that you are as young as you think. By having the right kind of attitude and the right frame of mind, not only can you live longer, but you can also remain younger for a longer period of time.

Researchers have found that irrespective of race, religion, socio-economic background, diet etc., the people who age the best all seem to share the same background. They tend to be active, keep their stress under check, and maintain a sense of humor. Another interesting aspect is they don’t get stuck in the past, and are always looking forward to the future.

How you think about ageing is the most crucial point in how you actually age. The so called aches, and pains of age has more to do with what you believe about aging than any other factor. In my profession of personal training I’ve heard people in their 30s complain of the effects of aging, while I’ve had clients over 90 never grumble about age.

Those, who stay young as the years pass find that a positive state of mind, an active lifestyle, and balanced nutrition is fundamental to getting and staying healthy as you mature. Here are two examples, Al Beckles and the late Jack LaLanne who can teach us so much about living a healthy lifestyle and aging.

Al Beckles is a legend in the bodybuilding world. At the age of 55, Al placed second in the Mr. Olympia competition, the premier bodybuilding event which thousands of competitors from across the world dream of winning each year. Al Beckles competed into his sixties because his physique was still phenomenal and better than competitors more than half his age

Jack LaLanne was a living icon to the benefits of healthy thinking, eating, and exercise. Over the years he performed amazing feats of strength and conditioning on his birthday. Jack worked out well into his 90s, devoting one and a half hours each day to strength training.

In summary, old age has more to do with what your mental image of it looks like than anything else, for that becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy. Thus, never let statistics and society define what aging looks like for you. Age is only a number and you are much more than that.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Lifestyle Is The Most Significate Factor To Being Healthy

What if I told you that you hold the keys to your health in your hands? Well truth is you do, and it's the choices you make on a daily basis. The major causes of death and chronic diseases today are all related to lifestyle choices. Smoking, overuse of alcohol, poor diet, lack of exercise, and inadequate relief of chronic stress are key contributors to the development and progression of preventable chronic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and several types of cancer.
  • Smoking is the top preventable cause of death in the United States. If you decide to smoke you also choose to take 10 years off of your life expectancy.
  • Drinking too much alcohol can cause damage to your heart, liver, and pancreas and can increase your risk for certain types of cancer.
  • Poor nutrition can impair your daily health and well-being, and reduce your ability to lead an enjoyable and active life. In the short term, poor nutrition can contribute to stress, tiredness, and your capacity to work. Over time, it can contribute to the risk of developing some illnesses and other health problems such as:
    • being overweight or obese
    • tooth decay
    • high blood pressure
    • high cholesterol
    • heart disease and stroke
    • type-2 diabetes
    • osteoporosis
    • some cancers
    • depression
    • eating disorders.
  • Lack of exercise can increase your risk of premature death by 30 percent. Data now suggests that at least twice as many deaths occur due to a lack of exercise than due to obesity.
  • Failure to properly deal with chronic stress can disrupt almost all of your body's normal processes. 

Balance and moderation is key to making healthy lifestyle choices. Here are a few suggestions to help you make choices that prolong and improve the quality of your life.
  • Don't smoke and if you presently do smoke get some professional help to stop. Think about this every time you light-up a cigarette your subtract some time from your lifespan.
  • Moderate your alcohol intake. Drinking alcohol may offer some health benefits, especially for your heart. On the other hand, too much alcohol may increase your risk of health problems and damage your heart. Moderate alcohol use for healthy adults means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.
  • A balanced diet is one that gives your body the nutrients it needs to function correctly. In order to get the proper nutrition from your diet, you should obtain the majority of your daily calories from:
    • fresh fruits
    • fresh vegetables
    • whole grains
    • legumes
    • nuts
    • lean proteins
  • If you are currently living a sedentary lifestyle, the mere act of incorporating some moderate activity most days of the week can significantly reduce your mortality rate. Research shows that just meeting the minimum requirement of 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day, five days a week, can reduce your risk of death from any cause by 19 percent.
  • Learn to manage your stress. Stressful events are a fact of life and you may not be able to change your current situation, but you can take steps to manage the impact these events have on you. You can learn to identify what stresses you and how to take care of yourself physically and emotionally in the face of stressful situations. Stress management strategies include:
    • Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise and plenty of sleep
    • Practicing relaxation techniques such yoga, deep breathing, meditation, and massage
    • Taking time for hobbies, such as reading a book or listening to music
    • Fostering healthy friendships
    • Having a sense of humor
    • Volunteering in your community
    • Seeking professional counseling when needed

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Getting Enough BCAAs In Your Diet Is Crucial To Maintaining Healthy Muscle As You Age

The natural process of losing muscle as you age is called sarcopenia and it can begin in your 30s, and this process accelerates with time if you don't do anything to slow its progress.  The good news is there are two things within your power you can do to slow and even reverse muscle loss with age, They are resistance training two to three times each week, and getting an adequate amount of Branched Chained Amino Acids (BCAAs ) in your diet each day.  These two activities combined have been shown to slow the effects of sarcopenia in people well into their 90s.

BCAAs  are the three essential amino acids, leucine, isoleucine, and valine that come from the protein that you eat, such as chicken, fish, and dairy products, or a protein supplement..  They are called essential because your body cannot make them out other amino acids, and therefore they must come from the food you eat, or a protein supplement.

BCAAs are most well  known for triggering protein synthesis,(the building, and repair of muscle cells).  Combining BCAAs with weight lifting results in maximal protein synthesis because both these activities trigger something called the mTORC1 signaling pathway that is essential for muscle building.  The proper amount of BCAAs can increase protein synthesis by as much as 145 percent when you consume it right after a session of resistance training.

As you get older, getting the proper amount of BCAAs is paramount for building, and maintaining muscle.  Creating a muscle building environment in the body is important, but becomes harder to do as you age.  Activation of protein synthesis is impaired, and starts to decline after the age of 35.  This decreased muscle building effect along with the tendency to eat less dietary protein with aging are the primary contributors to muscle loss and sarcopenia.

You need at least 21 grams of good quality protein in a meal in order for your body to have an adequate amount of BCAAs for the amino acid Leucine to turn on the signal for protein synthesis to take place.  This signaling process to begin muscle building, and repair can also take place if you have a BCAA supplement that is 40 percent Leucine.

The goal of protein consumption as you age should be to maximize, and maintain muscle mass.  Studies have shown that consuming 25 to 30 grams of protein at each meal is optimal for building and maintaining muscle mass, and strength.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Physical Activity and Cancer - National Cancer Institute

Below is a link to an article showing the benefits of exercise in reducing the risk of developing certain types of cancer.  Although exercise is not a cure for cancer it's certainly something you can do to reduce your risk for this deadly disease while improving your quality of life.  You've probably lost someone special to cancer, as have I, so please share this information with your loved ones.

Physical Activity and Cancer - National Cancer Institute

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Fitness Over 50, Three Exercises to Build a Strong Foundation

Just as a house is only as strong as the foundation it sits on, strong legs are the foundation for a fit and strong body.  Below are three of my favorite exercises for developing a strong lower body.

Exercise # 1 - Leg Press

The leg press is one of the best exercises for overall strength and development of your legs.  First, sit in the seat, positioning your feet about shoulder width apart and chest high on the platform.   Adjust the seat height by pulling the handle and sliding forward until your thighs are parallel to the platform.  This is your start position (make sure that your lower back is pressed firmly against the back of the seat).  With your feet flat, slowly press upward until your legs are fully extended but short of locking.  Slowly return to the position where the weight almost touch the weight stack.  The breathing pattern for this exercise is to exhale as you press up and inhale as you return to the start.  I suggest you perform 10 to 15 repetitions with a resistance which the last 3 repetitions are difficult to complete.

Exercise # 2 - Step Ups

Step ups are great for developing and shaping your butt.  With this exercise you will do 10 repetitions on one leg followed by 10 repetitions with the other.  Hold a dumbbell in each hand and position yourself in front of a bench.  Place one foot flat on top of the bench, positioning your body to make a right angle at your knee.  With your chest held high and shoulders square step up through your heel and lightly tap the bench with your other foot before returning to the starting position.  Breathing pattern for this exercise is to exhale as you step up and inhale as you step back down.  Again, use a resistance with which the last three repetitions are difficult to complete.

Exercise # 3 - Hip Lifts

Hip lifts strengthen and develop the back of your legs and calves.  Lay flat on your back, extend your legs and place a therapeutic ball under your heels.  This is your starting position.  Lift your hips off the floor, and pull the ball toward your butt.  Now, press through you heels and lift your hips as far as possible.  Then, slowly return to the starting position.  Breathing pattern for this exercise is to exhale while rolling the ball towards you and to inhale while returning to the starting position.  I suggest you perform 10 to 15 repetitions of this exercise.