Monday, May 28, 2012
Happy Memorial Day everyone. Today let’s remember all that our forefathers did for us and stood for. I have stated on so many occasions that this land was built through the blood, sweat and tears of our past generations. Because of their sacrifices we can enjoy what we do today. Because of them we are a free nation able to do and say what we want without suffering persecution or abuse of any kind. But I believe that we have truly forgotten many of the life lessons they have taught us and one of them is our physical health. Now, granted, in the 50’s cigarette smoking was a big thing. Many Americans died of this habit and if we knew then what we do now about the effects of smoking, I don’t believe that many of those who smoked would have taken up the habit. Alcohol consumption was also on the rise and we all know the effects that are associated with that. However let’s look past that and let me ask you a question. What was the biggest lesson that we should have learned from our forefathers that should last us many generations? Let me see if I can help you with this. Adults are eating bigger and heavier portions now, and as a result, obesity rates increased by 214 percent between 1950 and 2000. Two out of every three people in the U.S. were obese or overweight in 2010. 1950s Statistics From 1950 through 1960, 33 percent of U.S. adults were overweight and 9.7 percent were clinically obese, with body mass indexes above 30, according to doctor and author Jeffry Weiss. Obesity was not yet recognized as a disease in the 1950s and no statistics were gathered on extremely obese individuals with BMIs of 40 or greater and I believe this was because it wasn’t as prevalent as it is today and the study samples were very few and far between. 1961 Through 1979 By the 1960s, both men and women began to consume more food and reduce their activity. Obesity rates jumped to 11.3 percent by 1970 and an additional 3.1 percent by the end of the decade. America's eating and exercise habits began to trickle down to U.S. children, with 4 percent of children under the age of 11 registering as obese and 6.1 percent of preteens and teens considered obese by 1971. 1980 Through 1999 Through the 1980s and 1990s, obesity rates continued to climb. During the time period of 1988 through 1994, 23 percent of people in the U.S. were clinically obese and 56 percent were overweight. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention kept statistics on extremely obese individuals during this period for the first time and found that almost 3 percent of Americans had BMIs of 40 or more. Between 1991 and 1998, obesity statistics increased by 50 percent. Coincidentally, participation in high school gym classes -- once mandatory for all students -- had dropped to only 42 percent of students by 1991. Four states registered obesity prevalence rates above 15 percent that same year. Since 2000 By 2000, 30.5 percent of Americans, almost one-third, were obese. An additional 4.7 percent were severely obese. By this time our plate sizes increased from 9 inches to 12 inches to now a whopping 15 inches at some restaurants. We are eating 3 times the amount of food than back in the 50’s and doing a third of the exercise. By 2006, not a single state reported obesity prevalence at less than 10 percent and in 23 states; obesity prevalence was over 25 percent. An estimated one out of every three children is overweight. Only about one-third of adults get proper recommended exercise and 10 percent do not exercise at all. The biggest lesson we should have learned from those that have gone before us is their physical conditioning and their ability to understanding that their contribution to the overall gaol was very important to the strength of America. They did not wait for the “other guy” but put it upon themselves understanding that they needed to do their very best to make America strong. Today we wait for the “other guy” and not rely on our own abilities. We blame the “other guy” when things go wrong. But what we seem to forget is that we are the “other guy” and the strength of this country is on everyone back and is our responsibility to get to the next generation. Our biggest weakness is our inactivity and because of that we are more de-conditioned now than ever before. You will absolutely see this in this year’s Olympics. We will not be the same power house as we were just 30 years ago and that’s a shame. This memorial day, let’s take the example of our forefathers and show pride in what they were able to accomplish and who we are. Let’s give them the respect they deserve and get ourselves in better shape. In the past our strength was in our ability to stand strong and fight hard. Unfortunately, now it isn’t. However all does not have to be lost. Thru hard work we can get better and we should get better. Happy Memorial Day.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Really, how committed are you to your health? Now let me help you really answer this question by asking you some other questions. 1) Right before you go to bed and while you are in bed, what are you thinking about? 2) Do you have a regular workout routine that you follow every day or do you go when your mood is right? 3) On your free moments during the day what do you do? 4) On your free moments during your breaks at work what do you do? 5) What does your diet regiment consist of? 6) Do you eat out more than twice a month? 7) What do you consider a good time? 8) When was the last time you really had a good sweat? I am not referring to glowing. 9) When you miss a day where you do no exercising, how do you feel? 10) How many times a week do you go to fast food restaurants? 11) When you are depressed or stressed out, how do you get over those feelings? 12) What health and fitness goals do you have for yourself? Depending on the answers to these questions will tell you how committed you are to your health. The person who is committed to bettering their health would answer those questions as follows; 1) While in bed they are thinking about what their workout will be for that next day and what time they can get it done and what they are looking to accomplish. 2) They have a regular workout schedule and they let very little stop them from accomplishing it. If something does get in the way, they figure out a way to still get it in that day. 3) On their free moments, they are either resting or looking for ways to improve their conditioning. This could be by reading up on a new idea or planning for that days exercise activity. 4) If they are at work and they have a free moment (30 minutes or more), they are either resting or looking for ways to improve their conditioning. This could be by reading up on a new idea or planning for that days exercise activity. 5) They are very particular with what they put in their body. Things such as soda, alcohol, junk food are a very small part, if not at all, of their diet. They bring fruit and veggies to work for snacks instead of candy bars. 6) These people rarely eat out. Only on special occasions do they do this and even then they are very particular on how much and what they consume. They may eat out or order out twice a month at best. All their foods are cooked at home. 7) A good time for these people always consists around some sort of exercising. They look for the opportunity to constantly improve on their health. Standing around drinking beer at a bar or socializing for no real purpose seems meaningless and is rarely done outside to context of something they just physically completed. 8) These people sweat every day. I am referring to cloths drenched, hair disheveled, make-up not running but off, sweat. They understand that it should be part of our life to help our body get rid of the toxins we have in our bodies and it helps our body work much more efficient. 9) These people feel bad. They feel as though they missed a good opportunity to improve on their health and they feel as though they need to hit it harder the next day. 10) These people go very seldom to fast food places. Let me be more specific… maybe once every two weeks. 11) These people feel as though if they do get stressed or out of sorts that exercise will give them the ability to think through their problems. The exercise does not solve the problem for them but it gives them the ability to find solutions to help them with the problem or stress. 12) Their goals are specific and in most cases written out. They never use the loss of weight as a goal but understand that once they achieve the goals they set forth, weight loss will be an ending bi-product. Now I know some of you are saying that these answers are just not realistic, but they are. This is not to say that they put everything else on hold all the time. But their health is the most important thing to them so they are committed to improving it every day. Just by truthfully answering those questions, you can tell where your commitment lies. Remember without our health we really have nothing. Let’s get committed to the very thing that gives us life and stop abusing it or in time it will finally give out and you will have no one to blame but yourself.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Mary is looking for a person to help her get into better shape. She has tried doing it on her own only to fail miserably. She just can’t get motivate and her friends are more enablers than anything else. Mary befriends Sharon who is one of the personal trainers at the club and she hires her for 20 sessions. Now Mary knows nothing about Sharon but that Sharon is well liked. So Mary starts working out with Sharon and at first things are going ok but after a few weeks she finds that the workouts are all the same and the results she was getting at first she is no longer getting. She questions Sharon and the answer she receives is quit confusing and really did not answer Mary’s concerns. What is Mary to do? After the sessions were all complete Mary finds Sally who seems to have a good reputation but everyone that she speaks to about Sally says that she is a slave driver and very tough. Mary is desperate at this time so she speaks to Mary and at first Mary rejects her offer to help her. Her reasoning was… no clear cut goals. Mary, very perplexed, goes home and sits down and thinks about the talk she had with Sally and as per Sally, she writes down everything and being the “never say never” person Mary is, approaches Sally again. This time Sally accepts her as a client and begins the process. At first it starts out very slow. All she does was assessments and talks about diet and positive thinking. Mary goes home most nights not even breaking a sweat. Mary begins to wonder what Sally is doing with her but she stays patient. Then after one month the workouts begin to get more difficult and after the first 10 sessions, the workouts are raised to a whole new level. Now Mary is doing things that she thought she was never going to be able to do. Her weight has dropped substantially after four months and her cardio strength is 100 percent improved. Along with that Sally has talked to her about diets and just plain everyday stuff. Sally is a complete trainer. Two years later Sally and Mary are just not good friend, but Sally still trains Mary three times a week. There are many types of trainers out there. I can tell you that there is not one trainer that fits all. Just as every person has a different personality, every trainer has a different personality and finding the right fit can be a chore. But there are certain fundamental basics that all really good Personal Trainers have in common. Here is that list. • Knowledgeable about the human body • Well experienced • They have working knowledge • Methodical in their approach to helping you • Knows their strengths and weaknesses and doesn’t cross the lines • Understands your strengths and weakness and works within those parameters • Always thinks of you first and never themselves • Able to remove themselves from the solution and give you appropriate workouts so that you can achieve the goals you set for yourself • Knowledgeable about nutrition • Believes in a natural approach and doesn’t automatically go to supplements as the ultimate means to an end • Very reasonable in pricing • Puts their clients before themselves • Passionate about what they are doing • Understands the business of Personal Training but does not emphasize it • Looks the part both in and out • Walks the Walk and Talks the Talk • Visibly respected by others whether they like them or not • Has a history of getting results • Conveys a positive attitude to all • Truthful, even when it might hurt • Your biggest cheerleader • Holds you accountable at ALL times Now for a Personal Trainer to be good they must have ALL of these traits, baring none. In my next blog I will be discussing how to find good Personal Trainers.
Monday, May 14, 2012
I know we have people in our lives that we want to help get in better shape. I know that you want to do the best you can to give them every opportunity to improve and this is a good thing. I know of one person who actually went out and bought a whole total gym for their husband. Her purpose was genuine, she wanted him to be around for a longtime and he needed to get in better shape to do that. She went as far as spending over $10,000 to get him all the equipment she thought he needed to get it done. For a while he did use it but after about 6 months, his use of the equipment became less and less. Now all that equipment has become an eye-saw and she tells me that this year it is going up for sale in their rummage sale for a tenth of the price she paid for all the equipment. A year ago if she had taken those same dollars and got a Personal Trainer for her husband, imagine where he could have been today. I know of another man who so wanted his wife to get in better shape. He went out and purchased a $7,000 treadmill with all the bells and whistles added including an HD television screen which was attached so that she could watch her television shows. After a while he then went out and purchased an additional $5,000 in weights to give her other options. One year later she had stopped using the treadmill and he was the only one using the weights. Imagine if he had taken those same dollars and just gotten her a Personal Trainer. Personal training has become very important in this society today. Back just 50 years ago, this occupation was looked at only by the rich and famous and only they could afford to pay the prices that the personal trainers back then were asking. Now however, because of the health crisis we have in America today, many are calling on personal trainers to help them help themselves. Personal trainers are looked at in a higher light and are now being asked to help people change their lifestyles. Andy has been a Personal Training client for some time now. I remember when I first met him. His problem was portion control and because of that he was morbidly obese. I remember meeting his family and them telling me that I needed to help him. I knew that this was not going to be easy because realistically as a personal trainer you only get to see y our people for no more than 2-3 hours a week at best and the rest of the time they are on their own. Well I began to work with Andy and from the beginning it was a struggle. It wasn’t the working out that was the problem, it was the over eating. I tried several techniques and even made up a few techniques to get him to curve his appetite and nothing was working. As time went on though, I began to notice that he liked consistency and planning, so I went with that and got him a scheduling book and I wrote in his book that every day he was to eat with me here at Parkers Place. Well, that seems to have worked and he is now on a great schedule and without him actually knowing it, he has changed his lifestyle and he enjoys it. It has been over a year now and Andy and I have become good friends through this process. A good Certified Personal Trainer will bring a few things to the table that will help you or that person you want to help out. They will bring accountability, knowledge, and enjoyment and in the end lifestyles will be changed and isn’t that what we want for our friends who need it? Think about it. Instead of buying all that equipment that in the end won’t be used, go buy a personal trainer and really make an impact in that person’s life forever.
I was talking to a dear friend just the other day and we were talking about this very subject, what motivates people to get in better fitness condition. After talking to her we came to the conclusion that a person can only motivate themselves. No one else can. Yes, as a personal trainer we may be able to fuel that fire and help them keep it burning, but in the end if you don’t want to do something you won’t do it. I remember once having a member who was told by several people that he was not going to live another 10 years if he did not get himself in better shape. His doctor said this and his spouse said this and then finally when I met him I told him this. This man had to lose a good 400 pounds even to be considered for gastric bypass surgery. I remember one day meeting up with him and asking him to come into my office so that we could talk. He had not been coming in and not doing his workouts and he was falling back into his old patterns. I sat there and listened to him for 20 minutes give excuse after excuse and finally when I could stand it no more I told him that unless he lost 400 pounds he would make it to his 40th birthday. He was 36 at the time. Even with me getting in his face, it didn’t matter. I could not motivate him to make the changes he needed to make. He is 39 now and in February he caught a bad cold and to this day he is still suffering from the effects of that cold. He has been bed ridden for three months now. I had a man come into my office and start complaining about the medications he was taking. He hated taking them every day and really wanted to stop. I asked him what his doctor told him to do to get off the medications and he told me that he needed to lose 50 pounds and get his cholesterol below 200 once his weight was under control his diabetes should be under better control. Well a few months later he is still complaining about this medication and in reality is doing nothing about it. He tells me that some days he wants to work out and sweat and some days he just doesn’t want to. Over the last several months he has not lost an ounce of weight. He has not followed my advice about his diet. Yes, he is one that eats at restaurants three times a day. He has not followed the work outs I have given him. What will it take for him to finally get this done… not even he knows. He says he doesn’t want to pass away, but he is doing nothing to help his situation get better. The spirit may be willing but in most cases, the flesh is weak. Outside influences intertwine themselves into our everyday life and that gets us to do things that we know we ordinarily would not do. I am working with a man right now and he has a food problem, he doesn’t understand portion control so I am teaching him that. One day while eating here at the Parkers Place a member notices what he is eating and asks me why I am starving him and then tells me that he should be eating more than what I have given him. I immediately chimed in and told that member to be quite and remember that they too were here because of their weight problem. At that this member looked at me and walked away. Here is a great example of outside influences. If I had left him to get his own lunch, someone would have told him to get more than he really needed and for no real reason. This man is now learning portion control and has lost a ton of weight. The person who told him that he was not eating enough and should eat more, well, they are still struggling and just the other day stopped in my office to talk about, of all things, nutrition (go figure). Now I know we all have people that we want to help get in better shape. We all know people that are 50 pounds or more over weight and getting heavier. I want to share an idea with you that my friend and I had discussed. How many of us think that if we buy our friends or even ourselves a treadmill or some piece of cardio equipment we would be helping them or ourselves out in a huge way. We would be giving them a way to lose those unwanted pounds. You know just as well as I what happens to those cardio pieces of equipment after a few months, they become places we can put out books and old cloths. The problem with most people is not bad equipment, it is accountability and what better way to have someone hold you accountable than a Certified Personal Trainer. We go out and spend thousands of dollars on pieces of equipment only to have them break down or we just plain lose interest and stop using it. However, what if you, instead of buying that equipment, bought a Personal Trainer for that person with those same dollars? What benefit would there be in you doing that for them. What a good personal trainer can do for you will not just be immediate, but everlasting. In my next blog I will be discussing the benefits of highering a Personal Trainer for the long term.----
Imagine being in your late 40’s and still being able to do the things that you were able to do in your 20’s. Imagine looking and feeling like you were still 23 years old while all the getting close to that 50 year mark. Imagine once being a dancer, runner or a gymnast and still being able to perform at those same levels. Imagine not feeling embarrassed or uneasy around others when you have your shirt off. There is freedom in not being obese. When you are in good fitness shape, the common cold cannot stay with you a long time. I can’t remember the last time I had a cold that stayed with me for more than a day. At night those that are in good fitness shape get good fast-rem sleep. Their bodies tend to relax much deeper and much longer. I have been told by so many that once they lost that excess weight, their whole world opened up. For so long they had been carrying around extra weight that they just could not shake. Even sitting was difficult. Their shoulders hurt, their chest was tight, their legs were always tired, their feet hurt and their lower back was always hurting. Then they lost that excess weight and like night turns to day, those issues disappeared and now they were able to do things that they thought they would never be able to do again. Two years ago, I decided to try something. So many people were telling me that I had no idea of what it felt like to be an overweight person, so I decided to put some weight on. What I did was wear a 20 pounds weight jacket around for two weeks without taking it off and boy were my eyes opened. Now I did not change my usual workout schedule, I still did all the same things I would normally do on any given day, but by the end of the first week, I began to compromise my workouts and take short cuts. Running the hill became very difficult at best and instead of going as fast as I usual go, I slowed down big time and cut the amount of times I would run up the hill. Not because I wanted to, it was because I had too. Everyday life, in general, became much harder. I found myself sitting more than I would normally. I found that my shoulders hurt, legs were constantly tires, neck hurt, cardiovascular system was poor at best. My feet and hands were swollen most of the time and I began to make excuses on why I shouldn’t do certain things. Those two weeks were very hard to get through. Then after that two weeks were over I took that 20 pound vest off and what a difference. The hill that seemed so hard became much easier. I could stand for a much longer amount of time without feeling faint or tired. My feet and hands were no longer swollen. I felt free and now able to do anything I choose to do and with ease. I now had a bit of a clue. The question I asked myself however was, how can anyone not want this for themselves? How can anyone stay the way they are and not strive for better and better health? What happens in the mind set of an obese person when the doctor says that they are 100 pounds overweight and getting heavier every time they see them? Why don’t they just get themselves better? Question we will try and tackle over the next several weeks. For now however know this, true freedom, true healthy freedom cannot be put into words. Here I am at the age I am at and able to do things that people much younger than I wish they could do. No I am not bragging I a stating a fact and I want you to experience it to. Tomorrow let’s begin to make that step into the world of total healthy freedom. Tomorrow!--------
Most medications cannot cure you. They only allow you to operate at the fitness level you are currently at and no more. Most people don’t realize that. They think that once they get that medication in them that they are cured and they can go back to life as they knew it…and there lies the problem. Pharmacies are making billions off of our ignorance and dependence on medications. Health insurance companies are losing billions trying to keep up with the demand and for them to be able to keep up with the demand they need to charge us more in our premiums. There goes the vicious cycle. Have you noticed how some medications make you thirsty or your doctor tell you to drink plenty of water with the medication you are taking? Did you know that most medications cause you to gain excess weight? Think about what medications are… they are poison entering the system. Once these poisons enter the system they need to be diluted so that they don’t kill the body. The body dilutes these medications by surrounding them with water which weakens its strength. Now you know why there is such weight gain when you take certain prescriptions. But the question still remains, what do we need to do as a nation to fight this obesity problem? You have heard me say this many times that the only way to put a stop to the obesity problem is by us understanding that exercise, activity based exercise, is not a bad thing and MUST be done. Our body works better when stimulated. Our blood is the best healing agent we could ever have. But the problem is that we constantly barrage it with bad elements and over indulge ourselves in foods that at the end of the day do not allow the body to work efficiently. Many times I have seen where an overweight person with all types of ailments loses tons of weight and magically those issues disappear. God made this body to take care of itself, but if we constantly abuse it, at some point we will have to pay the piper. The unknown question is when and to what extent. We need to hold each other accountable. We all know right from wrong and good from bad. We all know those things that are good for us and those things that are not. We need to lift up our brothers and sisters and help them when they are weak or need a helping hand when they are fading fast. We need to hold each other accountable. We cannot do this on our own. Have you ever heard the saying, “A doctor who self medicates himself has a fool for a patient”? There is truth to that. In other words if you think you can defeat this obesity issue by yourself, your kidding yourself. Hey, so far, by you thinking that you can handle it yourself, look where it has gotten us. Think about that. We are imprisoning ourselves in our own bodies. We are keeping ourselves down from really achieving higher heights. Obesity, at any level, is not good and is a total slap in the face of God. Thru accountability of one another we can take back our health and fight this obesity epidemic. Tomorrow I will discuss the freedom we have when we take obesity off the table.-------
I just heard this number last night and it did not surprise me. According to a report that I just heard on MSNBC, by 2030, 42 percent of Americans will be overweight and by that time an additional 11 percent of Americans will be over 100 pounds or more over weight. They say that the number of Americans now over weight is 33.9 percent and they see no time in the future where that number is going to slow down. The question I want to tackle is why, why that number is ever increasing and rapidly picking up steam. Some people believe that this epidemic is due to our over eating and sedentary lifestyles we live now and they are right. I was talking to a person just the other day and we talked about the jobs our fathers had when we were growing up and how they were so labor intense. They would get up every morning and walk to the train or bus station, stand on a crowded train or bus and get to a job where they would use their hands for 8 to 9 hours then walk back to the station only to stand on the way back home. Now every American has a car and drives to work only to sit at a computer for 8 to 9 hours and only take a break when they get bored and then they eat at their desk for the most part. Back only 50 years ago, our mothers never has to tell us to go outside. It was more the other way around; they would tell us to stay inside. We hated rainy days because that meant we would be stuck inside and who really wanted to be inside when there were so many things we could do outside. Stick-ball, basketball, hide–and-go-seek, so many games we played. Now with the internet surge kids still see their friends but now on line. They sit in front of a computer screen killing each other and talking on the web. You would think that my kids would not be prone to this but quite the opposite. Just the other day I went into the basement to find one child on the computer skyping and the other playing on the Xbox while talking to his friends on his head set. I shook my head in disbelief. This is were America is going. Did you know that the FDA had stated that our children will not have the same quality of life we now have because of the problem of obesity? By 2030 most of us will be in our 70’s and 80’s and they will be ruling the roost. This really scares me, especially when the trends of getting fat are going up instead of down. I was just in a fashion show and the producer of the show did not think I was 49 years old. His tells me that I don’t look like a 49 or 50 year old man. Well what does one look like? They are overweight with a huge belly, graying beards and fat legs and well out of shape. They are at least 50 pounds overweight and most suffer from back issues of some sort. Exercising for this population of males is only on occasions when they “have the time”, but other than that nothing of great substance. The average waist size for this population of males is about 42” and growing. Their girth (their bellies AKA core) average about 48 inches and growing every year. Their sleep patterns are poor at best and, well family relations, oh boy. Let me just say that what they were able to accomplish physically only 20 years prior they can no longer accomplish nor can they even get close. I don’t have these issues. Just a few weeks ago I went to get a new belt. I looked for the longest time in the men’s department only to get frustrated and end up purchasing a belt in the young men’s department. Now I wasn’t frustrated at the selection of belts they had, I was frustrated because in could not find a belt in my size in the men’s department. You see I have a 29 inch waist and I don’t have a stomach and in the men’s department they started at waist size 34. REALLY! I did notice one other thing while I was looking frantically, if I were a size 42, I would have had my pick of the litter with no problem. THIS IS BAD, REALLY BAD. The question we need to ask ourselves is what we need to do to stop this trend. The answer is quite easy and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to explain. We need to get active again. We need to stop sitting and get walking. Did you know that the process of us gaining significant permanent weight starts right after we graduate from high school? The reason I can only give is our ability to drive instead of walk to where ever we want to go and our ability to consume alcoholic products as well as eating really bad food when we go off to college or work. Our activity, unless involved in college sports, diminishes quickly and we begin to switch from an active lifestyle to one where we find ourselves sitting at a computer screen or in a library for hours at a time. Unless this trend changes, I can’t see it getting better anytime soon. I knew that when I was in college, we had something called the freshmen 10 which is now the freshmen 20. What is that? They said back in my day that by the end of your first year of college you would have gained 10 extra pounds now that number is 20. Bad food, bad sleep patterns, over consumption of alcohol, and lack of activity are all the reason for this trend and when we get out of college it only gets worse. In this society today our medical expenses have tripled over the last few years and growing out of control. Medications are quickly become part of our everyday existence. We are becoming more reliant on medications than ever before. We spend over $550 billion dollars a year to medicate ourselves so that we can keep ourselves alive. REALLY! Medications are allowing us to feel as though we are ok when quite the opposite is true. Tomorrow I will discuss this in more detail and what we need to do as a nation to stop this trend and take back our health and stop this obesity epidemic.