Tuesday, August 8, 2017

What Image Do You Hold About Age

Ever hear someone complaining about the aches and pains of getting older, or hear someone say, "I just don't heal as fast as I did when I was younger" ?  What mental image do you hold about age?  I believe your health is shaped by what you think about the aging process.

Most people believe in a decline in their mental and physical health as they age.  However, contrary to this belief, your body is designed to be healthy and strong all the days of your life given a positive mental attitude, proper nutrition, and regular exercise.   Do you know your body completely rebuilds itself every 11 months? That's right, within a year every worn out cell is replaced by a new healthy cell.  Click here to see the entire post...

Friday, August 4, 2017

Front Squats on a BOSU

The BOSU ball was invented by David Weck in 1999. Since then its popularity has exploded and now this piece of equipment is a staple in many fitness centers. I use the BOSU a lot with my clients  BOSU is short for ‘both sides up’. It is used for balance training, core strengthening, and reflex improvement. The BOSU ball isn’t really a ball, it’s actually half of a ball on a board.

Because the BOSU ball is unstable when it is used dome-side down, users are forced to use more muscles, thereby improving overall strength, and balance. The use of this unstable piece of equipment works not only the major muscles but also the smaller stabilizing muscles that are usually minimized during typical workouts. Click here to read more.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Pullups, Pushups, and Barbell Squats, Three Exercises For a Complete Workout

Recently I was asked if I could only do three exercises, what would they be?  After some consideration, I said I would do pullups, pushups, and barbell squats.  I explained that if you combined these three exercises in a workout you would hit all the major muscle groups of your body
Let's look at these three exercises and see if they would be a complete whole body workout.

Pullups target the major muscles of the upper back, the biceps, and the forearms.  The core muscles also work to stabilize your body to keep you from swing as you pull your body up and lower it down.  Take a look at the video below to see a properly executed pullup. Please click here to see the entire article.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

An Exercise to Strengthen and Develop Your Shoulders While Standing on a BOSU

Your shoulders are the most mobile part of your body and they are involved in almost every movement you make. Thus, having strong shoulders is not only important in performing the activities of everyday life, but also in the prevention of injury and pain associated with weak shoulder muscles.

Your shoulders are made up of muscles that are primarily involved in the movement of your arms to the side, to the front, and to the rear of your body. Simple put, the muscles of your shoulders can be divided into three heads, and they are lateral, front, and rear.  It's crucial to strengthen the muscles of all three heads of your shoulders for optimal strength and injury prevention.  Read more...

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Pre-Workout and Post-Workout Meals are Crucial to Optimizing Your Exercise Program

In order to workout at your best and see optimal results you need to eat the right balance of carbohydrates and protein both before and immediately after your exercise sessions.  The pre-workout meal provides the energy for you to exercise at maximum intensity, and the post-workout meal provides the nutrition your body needs for optimum rebuilding and recovery.

Pre-Workout
As a general rule, it's best not to eat immediately before a workout because your stomach will be trying to digest the food you've eaten at the same time you're exercising which may cause some feelings of nausea and GI discomfort.  Ideally, you should eat about 1 to 3 hours before your workout, depending on how your body tolerates food. It's best to experiment and see what time frame is best for you.  Click here to see the entire post...

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Great Post-Workout Stretching Routine

Stretching immediately after a workout is a great way to improve flexibility and lessen soreness.  Here is one of my favorite post-workout stretching routines I do with my clients and with myself.

Shoulder and Chest Stretch

Stand tall with your chest held high.  Reach behind your back with both hands and interlock your fingers.  Pull your shoulders back and down until you feel the stretch.  Then hold that position for 30 seconds.  Breathe normally.




Triceps Stretch

Stand tall and lift your chest.  Reach over your head with one hand and touch the opposite side of your back.  Take the other hand, and place it on top of your elbow.  Now, gently pull your elbow down until you feel a stretch in your triceps.  Hold that position for 30 seconds, then relax and do the other side.  Breathe normally.  Click here to read the entire article...


Saturday, June 10, 2017

Here's a Great Exercise to Strengthen Your Core Using a BOSU

Having a strong core is essential to your overall body strength.  Your core is made up of the muscles of your torso and in simplest terms they are the muscles that connect the lower part of your body to the upper part of your body. Thus, your torso muscles are involved in every movement you make from simply getting out of bed, to doing your favorite activities.  A lot of hip, and back pain is associated with weak torso muscles, so you see that developing a strong core is very beneficial to your overall health and strength.  Click here to read entire article...

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Four Basic Exercises to Strengthen Your Upper Body

Exercise 1.  Lat Pulldown



The lat pulldown is a great exercise for strengthening and developing the upper back muscles that are critical for good posture.  People whose shoulders are slumped forward most likely have underdeveloped upper back muscles.

First, sit down and adjust the thigh pad to a position that firmly fits over your thighs.  Then select a resistance with which the last three repetitions are difficult to complete.  If this is your first time doing this exercise, it may take experimenting at several weights before you find the right resistance.  Next, grip the bar a little wider than shoulder width, sit down on the seat and place your knees firmly under the pad.  Start with your arms fully extended and your chest held high.  This is your start position. Now, pull the bar slowly down to the base of your neck while squeezing your shoulder blades back and together.   Slowly return the bar to the starting position.  (It should take about three seconds to pull the bar down and about two seconds to return the bar to its starting position). Proper breathing is very important, so remember to exhale as you pull the bar down and inhale as you return the bar to the starting position. Please click here to read more...

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Three Stretches to Help Alleviate Lower Back Stiffness

Waking-up in the morning with a stiff lower back can be very annoying. Below are three of my favorite exercises to help alleviate lower back stiffness.  I recommend that you go for a five minute walk to warm-up your muscles before performing these exercises.

KNEES TO CHEST



Lie on your back, and fully extend your body.   Bend your knees, and bring them in front of you to a position where you can reach them with your hands.  Firmly grasp your knees, and gently pull them toward your chest until you feel the stretch in your lower back.  Hold that position for 30 seconds.  Breathe deeply.  Click here to read the entire article

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Seated Ball Twist and Planks, Two Great Exercises to Help Prevent Low Back Pain

Low back pain is a common ailment that can be very disruptive to simply performing the everyday activities of your life.  According to the American Chiropractic Association:
  • Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work.  In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.
  • Experts estimate that as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more easily identified costs.

However, the good news is that most back pain can be prevented through exercise.  Exercises that develop and strengthen your lower back and abdominal muscles are the best weapons for the treatment and prevention of low back pain and below are two of my favorites.  Please click here to see the entire article...

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Too Little Protein Plus Too Little Strength Training Equals Muscle Loss

Lots of people seem to think that once they reach the age of 40 they become weaker, less toned, and less fit.  They blame these conditions on "old age".  As a personal trainer I hear all about the aches and pains of old age.  Most people think there is very little they can do to avoid the physical degeneration that is associate with aging. On the contrary, there are two things you can do that are very effective in combating the aging process, and they are increasing the amount of protein you consume daily, and strength training weekly

Most of the physical decline you associate with aging is caused by muscle loss.  Muscle loss that is associated with aging is called sacopenia and it can begin as early as your 30s and it accelerates with time if you don't do anything about it.  Fortunately, increasing the amount of protein you consume daily combined with participating in a weekly strength training program has been proven to be the best approach to curbing, and even reversing the effects of sacopenia.  Please click here to read the entire post...

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Are You Doing Too Much Cardio and Not Enough Strength Training?

As a personal trainer I’m always curious to see what people do for their exercise programs.  Most often I see people come into the gym and head straight to the treadmill, or some other piece of cardio equipment for 30 to 45 minutes.  Then they breeze through the strength training equipment in about 10 to 15 minutes, doing lots of repetitions with very light resistance.  And after a period of time doing this type of routine they eventually come to me questioning why they seem to be getting fatter while exercising more and eating less.  To which I reply, "you are doing too much cardio and not enough strength training".  Please click here to see the entire post...

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Lat Pulldown and Bent Over Dumbbell Row, Two Exercises to Develop and Strengthen Your Upper-Back

Having a strong upper-back is not only essential for good posture it also aids in stabilizing your shoulder girdle which reduces the chances of developing shoulder weakness and pain.  Lat pulldowns and bent over dumbbell rows are two excellent exercises for developing and strengthening your upper-back muscles.  Please click here to see the complete post...

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Leg Strength is the Foundation of a Strong Body

Leg strength is the foundation of a strong body and makes doing the activities of everyday living easier.  Your legs are involved in every step you take, whether it’s on the golf course, the tennis court, or shopping at the grocery store.  Building and maintaining your leg muscles becomes even more important the older you get because they stabilize your knee and hip joints, and reduce the likelihood of developing pain and weakness in these areas.

Here are three of my favorite exercises to strengthen and build your legs.  Do these exercises one or two times each week and see how stronger you feel in about three months.  Click here to read entire article...

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Having Muscle is Important to Our Overall Health

Muscles aren’t just for bodybuilders. They’re for everyone. We are physiologically designed to have a fair amount of muscle mass built through regular exercise. Muscle mass that allows us to metabolize carbohydrates efficiently, recover from injury or illness, and maintain our strength, resilience and health into old 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 our muscles play in whole-body protein metabolism is less recognized.  Click here to see the entire post...

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Reverse Wood Chops on a Bosu is Great for Improved Balance and Core Strength

Having a strong core is crucial to having good balance.  Using a BOSU as part of your exercise routine is great for increasing your core strength and improving your balance, and reverse wood chops standing on a BOSU is one of my favorites. Watch as I Click here for entire post...

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Getting Enough Protein in Your Diet is Crucial to Staying Strong as You Age

Recently I started working with a new client who is in his early 70s and complained of losing a lot of strength and energy over the past couple of years.  After talking with him about his diet and exercise habits I bought to his attention that he was not eating nearly enough protein to maintain his muscle mass and strength.  I explained to him that a loss in his muscle mass was directly related to a loss of his strength and the importance of getting enough protein in his diet to build and maintain his muscle was crucial to him keeping his strength as he aged.

The loss of muscle with age is a natural process called sarcopenia.  Sarcopenia leads to muscle weakness, fatigue, and frailty associated with old age.  This process can begin in your 30s and it accelerates with time if you don’t do anything about it.  Fortunately, you can slow down, and even reverse this process by strength training 2 to 3 times each week, and getting enough protein in your diet to support muscle growth and repair.  Click here to see the entire post...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Your Health, Strength, and Fitness Doesn't Have to Decline With Age

My name is Darvis Simms, and I am a personal trainer.  Over the last 24 years, I’ve helped hundreds of people get and stay healthy, strong, and fit.   I want to help you realize your fitness potential by sharing some of the things I do and have learned about getting and staying healthy, strong, and fit as I age.

As I mature and my client base matures, I’m beginning to specialize in fitness over age 40.  I'm writing this post to show you that your health, strength, and fitness level does not have to decline as you age.  I’m in my late fifties so I understand the challenges you face as you fight the aging process.  I am stronger, more fit, and feel better than I did in my twenties and you can be too.  Click here to see the entire post...

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Beating The Middle Age Spread

Middle age is the ages between 45 and 65 and it's considered by most as the best time of life. It's the period of life where people have the most disposable income, are comfortable in their careers, and are confident in who they are.  However, one of the downsides that middle age brings is the dreaded "middle age spread".

The middle age spread is an unexplained weight gain that women see mostly in their hips and thighs, and men see predominately in their waist.  The good news is there is and explanation for the middle age spread and a way to beat it and it is as follows.  The added weight that comes along with middle age is mostly do to a loss of muscle mass and consequently a decline in your basal metabolic rate.  Your basal metabolic rate is the rate at which your body burns energy at rest to keep you alive.  Your muscle mass is the active component of your body that requires the most calories for survival, thus the more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn all day long.  Click here to see the entire post...

Sunday, March 12, 2017

The Many Benefits of Strength Training as You Age

Strength training is one of the most important activities you can do to stay healthy, fit, and strong as you age.  It can starve off most of the diseases and chronic conditions that are associated with old age.  It is the most effective means for preventing frailty, and living an independent life as you get older.



Musculoskeletal weakness is a pervasive problem associated with age and it typically leads to physical frailty among adults over the age of 70.  On average men and women lose more than 5 pounds of muscle tissue between the ages of 25 to 55, and they experience an even greater rate of muscle loss beyond that age.  Click here to see the entire post

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Three and One-Half Hours of Exercise a Week Can Keep You Healthy and Fit

While recently visiting a nursing home, I was saddened by the sight of so many people just existing, and waiting for death to come their way.  Some were there because of stroke and heart disease, some because of alzheimer’s and dementia, and some just because they were too frail to handle the activities of everyday life on their own.

As I walked the hallways, I wondered how many of the residents might have escaped this fate had they been exercising regularly all their adult lives?  You see, according to a recent study on Physical Activity and Public Health co-published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA), adults and seniors need regular aerobic and strength training exercises to promote and maintain good health.  Unfortunately, most older adults do not perform the minimum amount of physical activity required for health and fitness. Lack of physical activity is related to a variety of degenerative conditions including cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, colon cancer, breast cancer, dementia, anxiety, and depression.  For complete article see...

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Resistance Weight Training is the Fountain of Youth

I’m not exactly sure who coined the phrase “fountain of youth”, but he or she may have very well been referring to the benefits associated with resistance weight training. Resistance weight training has a host of positive effects for the aging individual. The numerous studies conducted to evaluate the effects of weight training in the aging have shown weight training to be extremely beneficial to individuals well into their 90’s. One such study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved 100 frail men and women in their 80’s and 90’s, all of whom had generalized arthritis, some degree of heart disease, and at least one chronic illness. After 10 weeks of weight training the mean strength increase of this group was near 120%. This and other studies have dissipated the belief that age may preclude one from lifting weights and has brought to our attention the importance of weight training for all ages, especially those over 40.  See more...

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Healthy Lifestyle Motivation Year-Round



This is the time of the year when most people give-up on accomplishing their New Year's resolutions.  Here's a great post written by Paige Johnson of Learnfit.org with some very helpful hints to help you create and keep healthy lifestyle habits year-round.

Healthy Lifestyle Motivation Year-Round

The holidays may be over, but they might have left you with a few unhealthy habits that you have no intention of keeping. With this new year now well underway, you are ready to buckle down and make your healthy lifestyle decision permanent. Try as you may, however, your commitment to the lifestyle transition has not lasted very long. Again and again, you find yourself admitting that giving up your bad habits is a lot harder than maintaining them.

Yet deep down you are aware of the damage these unhealthy habits are doing to your body. As you continue to ignore the effects of your unhealthy choices, the dire repercussions loom. Although making healthy lifestyle changes only when a doctor advises you to isn’t ideal, you may simply not know where to start or how to properly motivate yourself to get going if you don’t see one.

Regardless, you have decided to make this the year you start your everlasting healthy lifestyle. Now what?

In order to really commit to a healthy lifestyle, you may need to make things fun, or at least a little enjoyable! That may be hard at first due to the necessary alterations your daily routine will have to take, but it is possible. Start with small, incremental changes that you feel comfortable with. Celebrate these little upgrades by remembering them at the end of each day. As these days collectively turn into a month, your tiny improvements will gradually flow into a larger accomplishment right under your nose.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Success sneaking up on you

By the time you have reached the one-month milestone, you may notice that you feel lighter, healthier and happier. If you do not for some reason, try replacing your preferred less-than-healthy beverage — like soda or sweetened tea — with water. The human body is comprised of mostly water and needs a couple of liters each day to stay properly hydrated. Without this vital liquid, your energy levels and mental alertness may severely suffer, inhibiting you from staying motivated. Another key area that you may want to examine is your sleeping habits. Getting a good night's rest will raise your mental and physical energy to a level that may help you achieve your healthy lifestyle quickly.

Maintain a slow, but steady progress

Another great motivator that may help you maintain progress toward your healthy lifestyle goal is participating in a fun, physical activity, whether at home, the gym, or outside. Finding this activity or hobby that you want to participate in more than once may be challenging, but it is a great way to stay engaged in your goal regardless of whether you fancy bull riding, ballet dancing or jogging. If you are having fun and moving around, keep doing it! Exercise that elevates your heart rate has a lot of great benefits for your body and brain. The mood-enhancing effects of exercise alone can aid your ability to push yourself further than ever before. If you are unable to find the right hobby immediately, try not to give up. Walking for a half an hour a day may not be your favorite exercise, but it will suffice while you take your time finding your new go-to activity.

Being aware of what is consumed

Overindulging in any one thing, even if it is healthy, can be a bad thing, which is why it is beneficial for everyone to be mindful of what goes into their bodies. Despite this, at the end of the day, many of us are guilty of eating dinner mindlessly as we watch TV or play on our phones. However, with practice, preparation, and planning, overcoming this challenging habit can be fun! Try making each meal a succulent and flavorful delight that will easily draw all of your focus in, and then savor each bite by chewing your food slowly, taking note of each delicate flavor.

Making this year the one you turn your life around can be achieved with the right motivation. If you believe that feeling healthier quickly is the boost you need to stay dedicated to your healthy lifestyle goal, try adding more water to your diet or adjusting the amount of sleep you are getting each night. Encourage others to join you by asking them to take part in a fun activity or hobby that requires a lot of movement. These adjustments may be the motivational solutions you need to make your healthy lifestyle last a lifetime.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Overhead Triceps Extension, a Great Exercise for Developing and Strengthening Your Arms

Here's one of my favorite exercises for developing and strengthening those large muscles on the back of your upper arms called the triceps.  These muscles along with the large muscles on the front of your upper arms called the biceps are responsible for bending and extending your arms.  Thus, keeping these muscles strong is very important because they are involved in almost every activity you do involving your upper body.

Over head triceps extensions is a great exercise to develop, and keep your triceps strong and tone.  Watch the video below as I demonstrate the proper technique.



You can find my complete exercise video library at www.personaltrainerinraleighnc.com

Monday, January 23, 2017

Bench Step-Up, A Core Exercise For Developing Your Hamstrings and Shaping Your Butt

Here's an excellent exercise for anyone who wants to strengthen their hamstrings, and develop a tight tone butt.  Watch the video below as I demonstrate the proper technique.  This is one of my favorites!



You can find a complete library of my exercise videos and also get a customized fitness program by becoming one of my Online Fitness Program members by going to my website at www.personaltrainerinraleighnc.com.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Squat Low Row on a BOSU

This is one of my favorite exercises when I'm really pushed for time and I need to get a quick workout in.  It is one of the best overall whole body exercises I know of because it targets your legs, core, arms, and upper back.  Do three to four sets of this exercise and I promise you will feel like you've had a complete workout.  Watch the video below as I demonstrate how to properly perform this exercise.



You can find my complete library of exercise videos by visiting my website at www.personaltrainerinraleighnc.com.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Overhead Triceps Extensions Standing On A BOSU

I like to work multiple muscle groups with one single exercise when possible, and overhead triceps extensions standing on a BOSU is one of my favorites for doing this.  In this movement you strengthen and develop your triceps, while also strengthening your core, and improving your balance.  Watch as I demonstrate the proper technique for performing this exercise.



You can find many more of my favorite exercises at www.personaltrainerinraleighnc.com

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Three Keys to Keeping Your New Year's Resolutions.

I've been in the health and fitness industry for over 23 years and I've seen many people get excited about their New Year's Resolutions only to be disappointed a few months later.  Here are three keys to successfully keeping your New Years Resolutions.

Set Realistic Goals.  I've seen people with good intentions set unrealistic goals, and when they don't achieve them, they become disheartened and give-up.  If you know you can only make it to the gym three days a week, don't set yourself up for failure by making a resolution to go five day a week.  Consistency in achieving your goal of working out three days per week makes for positive reinforcement that you can keep your New Year's Resolutions.

The same goes for weight loss.  Most likely you didn't go to bed with a 32 inch waist, and wake-up the next morning with a 40 inch waist.  You gradually gained the weight over a long period of time, and it's unrealistic to think that you're going to lose all that weight in a short period of time, and if you do, it's probably unhealthy in the long-run.  A realistic weight loss goal, if that's your resolution is about one pound of weight per week.

Stay The Course When Results Slow. As I previously mentioned, you found yourself in the kind of shape you are now gradually, and consequently it will take some time to reach your goals.  Even if you start to see results quickly, you can be assured your progress will slow down at some point.  This is when you have to focus on your goals and stay the course.  Your body has internal set-points that it has to re-adjust as you start to reach your goals, especially as you lose weight.  I've found that losing weight follows a stair step process; you lose some weight, then you hit a plateau before you start to lose weight again.

Balanced Diet, Strength Training, and Aerobic Exercise.  These three activities are the foundation for getting and staying healthy and fit.  A balanced diet is over 75 percent of the battle of losing weight and getting fit.  No amount of exercise can compensate for a poor diet.  Strength training is crucial to keeping your muscles healthy and strong.  I recommend 2 to 3 strength training sessions each week in which you work all your major muscle groups.  Aerobic exercise keeps your heart and lungs strong, and helps in burning body fat.  I recommend 5 to 6 days of 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week.  Combine these three activities consistently and you will see great long-term results which will motivate you to keep your New Year's Resolutions.