Your heart is the most important muscle, so have it checked for #HeartMonth

No matter what type of exercise you enjoy, the muscle that will get the most benefit will be your heart.

February is #HeartMonth so it’s a good time to make sure your heart is in good health by visiting your doctor and getting it checked out. As a runner, I have already shared the many health benefits of walking, running, or indeed any exercise, but that doesn’t mean your heart doesn’t need some TLC. Continue reading “Your heart is the most important muscle, so have it checked for #HeartMonth”

Hands-only CPR is the key to Stayin’ Alive

With February being #AmericanHeartMonth, it’s a good time to learn these simple two steps that could save the life of someone suffering a cardiac arrest:

1. Call 911
2. Start chest compressions to the beat of the Bee Gees’ Stayin Alive song

Chest compressions at 100-120 beats per minute, until paramedics arrive, can triple someone’s chances of surviving.

I’ll let Dr. Ken Jeong take it from here…

Don’t worry about how you look at the gym. Focus on how you feel

Going to the gym to workout can be intimidating. You look around and you see many folks lifting some crazy-heavy weights. You feel a sense of pressure that if you don’t lift a heavy dumbbell or you select a low weight on your favorite machine, you’ll look weak, feeble, and maybe even suffer a snicker or eye-roll.

Do not worry about how you look at the gym. Focus on how you feel.

When you lift a weight or use a machine, yes, it should feel heavy, but not so heavy that you either:

  • Only manage to do a couple of reps each time.
  • Abbreviate your motion because it feels too heavy to fully push, pull, or lift your chosen weight.
  • Feel pain or too much tension around your muscles or joints.

When you select a heavier weight you often miss out on lifting controlled, engaged, and extended. What do I mean?

Controlled – you feel comfortable that you can complete the exercise without your elbows flaring, your knees wobbling, or your back rounding.

Engaged – your mind should be able to focus on a mental connection with the muscle you are working. Feel it working. Don’t be distracted by how heavy the weight feels.

Extended – don’t shortcut your motion. You should not abbreviate your leg press or your bicep curl because the weight is too heavy.

The next time you lift weights at the gym, don’t worry about what others may think of your chosen weight–their approval does not lead to an increase in your fitness.

Should you work out when sick? Let your clavicle be your guide

I’m sick.

And tired.

I’m sick and tired. But not of working out and eating healthy. After a quick overseas trip, I returned home with a heavy cold.

I want to work out. I even tried to play some tennis. But, I’m both physically and mentally fatigued. That’s generally a good sign (oxymoron?) that your body is diverting all available resources to fight the illness. Your body needs to focus its energy on fighting the virus, so don’t divert your body’s limited resources to cardio and weight training.

Should you always give up exercise when you’re sick?

Not always. Continue reading “Should you work out when sick? Let your clavicle be your guide”

How to keep your fitness goals when real life takes away your free time

When the new year starts, it starts out slow, right? I mean, we just spent a week or so either off work or (for most) it was quiet with less to do than normal. When it’s quiet, we have more time to spend on our new year’s resolutions. In particular, we find ourselves spending an hour at the gym, making that delicious salad we’ve had pinned since the summer, or spending the early morning in prayer or meditation.

Then.Life.Returns.To.Normal.

Continue reading “How to keep your fitness goals when real life takes away your free time”

The one thing you can do to look & feel better – no exercise or diet needed!

One finger pointing
Drink
more
water

See, I didn’t try to sell you a supplement. No coupon code needed. And I didn’t make you read for 2.5 days before I got to the actual point of the post. But, if you’re still reading and would like to know why water may help you lose weight, feel better, look better, and exercise better, read on! Continue reading “The one thing you can do to look & feel better – no exercise or diet needed!”

Think big, but act small when it comes to your New Year’s resolutions

Well, my friends, it’s that time of year. Time to set your New Year’s resolutions.

This is a task that is often filled with a mix of excitement and, let’s be honest, anxiety. We know we need to make some changes, but when we look back at previous New Year’s resolutions, we see more failure than success. But, don’t fret! There’s usually just one reason why we fail to keep our New Year’s resolutions: We think big, we act big, and we miss big. 

Let’s look at some examples: Continue reading “Think big, but act small when it comes to your New Year’s resolutions”

How to burn 100 calories fast…or slow

If you’re contemplating adding walking or running to improve your health in the New Year, don’t fret over how fast you go. Many studies show that it doesn’t matter whether you walk, jog, or sprint, covering 1 mile will burn the same. Approximately 100 calories for the average person.

So, whether you’re on a treadmill, at a park, or out at the track, the longer your distance, the more calories you’ll burn.

Slow and steady can help you win the race of life!

(Source: Exercise Science Lab at USC Aiken)

Bathroom scales not budging? Why you should celebrate your weight loss plateau!

Whether you’ve just started your new path to better health and weight loss, or have been at it for many months (or years), hitting a plateau can be demoralizing.

You step on the scales and…the number hasn’t budged. Not.In.Weeks!

Welp, you may as well eat some pizza and ice cream, cos your hard work is apparently not paying off anyway. Right?

Not so fast!

Before I give you a long list of the many reasons why the scales don’t seem to be playing nice, let’s talk about the amazing success you can celebrate: you’re no longer gaining weight!

Likely, before you changed your diet and started exercising, those scales–the ones you avoided at all costs–would show increases in weight every time you stepped foot on them. Now? Now, they’re demonstrating that those changes have stopped the weight gain. If they never budge again, then celebrate that you no longer have to worry about your current favorite jeans no longer fitting! Continue reading “Bathroom scales not budging? Why you should celebrate your weight loss plateau!”

Practical heart attack & stroke prevention diet & exercise tips you can do each day

As someone who has experienced a massive stroke, a minor heart attack, and then discovered that my LAD was 70% blocked, helping others to prevent a stroke or heart attack has been something I have been very passionate about. I became an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Management Specialist so that I could share my passion in a manner that was trusted and practical.

Making changes to your diet and exercise is hard. Very hard! In fact, if you read most articles about this topic you’ll come away thinking you need to go an extreme diet, exercise for an hour or more a day, and give up everything you currently enjoy. That’s not going to be this article. Instead, I am looking at heart attack and stroke prevention advice from a practical standpoint. I want to share with you small changes that motivate you, not scare you, and can be added to your daily routine.

Not only do the tips below include small daily changes, but you can even start by just picking one of them to make over the next few weeks. You probably inherited many of your risks for a stroke or heart attack or built them up over many years, so don’t feel the need to rush to make extreme changes quickly. Make small changes to achieve big goals.

Ready? Here we go… Continue reading “Practical heart attack & stroke prevention diet & exercise tips you can do each day”