Be Goal Oriented

The health and fitness industry is absolutely huge.  The differences of opinion and approach are sometimes varied so much that you might be tempted to wonder, “Are we even talking about the same thing…??”  (Maybe not.)  While there certainly are experts and professionals who are very balanced in their approach to physical fitness, there are others who are extremely specialized.  Yoga and Pilates lovers may avoid the weight room like the plague.  Bodybuilders frequently avoid the cardio elements.  Cardio lovers, including endurance athletes, may avoid strength training.  Some dieticians and nutritionists embrace exercise only to the extent of brisk walking.  For some lifelong gym rats, “health” doesn’t even register in their goals- but they’re in the industry. › Continue reading

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Wednesday, June 1st, 2011 Fitness & Wellness No Comments

Know Your Whey

Once you commit to exercising and fitness, at some point in time, the issue of supplementation will come up.  At the heart of fitness supplementation is protein.  Of course, that could mean a nutrition bar or a performance bar or any number of drinks or powders- or any combination thereof.  Those powders can be consumed as shakes or mixed into smoothies.  (I’m sure any number of people more creative than I have found other ways to include powders in their diets).  The possibilities seem endless.  Looking at the number of different protein products on the market pretty much confirms it- endless possibilities, endless options.  How does one choose? › Continue reading

Friday, May 27th, 2011 Fitness & Wellness, Nutrition No Comments

What a Load of Cramp!

About six months ago, one of my best friends completed his last round of chemo.  He has since gone on to defeat cancer.   Unfortunately, chemotherapy and the barrage of prescription meds are the gifts that keep on giving well beyond the scope of the treatment.  He is cancer-free, but his body took an unimaginable beating.  Not to go into too many details, but one of the things he has to deal with is rampant muscle cramping.  He deals with it every day to varying degrees and often finds himself awakened at night by a pain excruciating enough to make him literally yell out.  His wife and he asked me if I could offer them any advice.  While I could only offer advice in the most generic sense (especially since I have no oncology background), I did find myself inspired to blog about muscle cramps. › Continue reading

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Monday, February 21st, 2011 Fitness & Wellness, Nutrition No Comments

Shake It Off, and Step Up

So much of fitness and health exists in the physical realm.  What are we eating and drinking?  How much and what kind of exercise are we getting?  Are we sleeping enough or pushing ourselves too hard?  The reality, though, is that so much more of true health and fitness exists between the ears.  While knowledge and wisdom are certainly aspects that impact what we do and how we are physically, I’m talking about the mental battles we find ourselves immersed in.

Who has looked in the mirror and hated what they see?  Who has experienced a minor injury and quit working out altogether instead of just backing off of the exercises specific to that injury?  Who has missed two workouts in a week and decided to write off the entire week?  Who has had one horrendous garbage day of eating only to forget what healthy eating looks like?  Who has been so overwhelmed by the heaping helping of life on their plate that they just shut down? › Continue reading

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Friday, November 19th, 2010 Fitness & Wellness No Comments

Sweat the Small Stuff

I’m feeling the need to dispel any myth that might be conjured about me at the mention of “fitness” or “fitness industry” in the same breath as my name.  Why?  Because I imagine I’m not too different from many other 36-year-old married fathers of four who work an unhealthy number of hours (mostly in the seated position).  I cannot bench or squat a Ford F150, and I am probably never going to win (or even enter) a marathon, decathlon, triathlon, or Ironman competition.  I am never going to be on the cover of a fitness magazine.  Chances are, you will never see me in a fitness video- even if we produce it.  My blood pressure is slightly elevated – “prehypertensive” – and I rarely count my carbs.  Shockingly, I have no desire to achieve 3% body fat.  In order to do my workouts, I frequently have to move the laundry out of the way, because I work out in my garage.  My biggest fitness claims to fame are that 1) for my height, I am considered overweight due to my muscle mass, and 2) I still wear the same pants size I wore in high school.  I am much closer to being an everyman than I am to being an elite athlete.  That aside, I usually know what I am doing.   › Continue reading

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Friday, May 7th, 2010 Fitness & Wellness, Random No Comments

'Tis the Season

The spring is my nemesis.  As surely as the weather warms and the windows open to the “fresh” air, I find myself overcome by scratchy, watery eyes, a runny nose, nasal/sinus congestion, occasional sneezing fits, and symptoms that mimic those of the common cold.  After three springs of experiencing what I thought was just a prolonged cold, it finally dawned on me that maybe I had been so fortunate as to pick up some allergies.  Being the smart guy that I am, I instituted a policy of taking over-the-counter allergy meds (Claritin or Zyrtec) automatically at the end of March even before symptoms started, and that seemed to help… in the past.  For whatever reason, despite my best efforts, allergies are kicking my butt again this year.  So the question is: why are allergies so bad in 2010?  Is it just me, or is there something to this? › Continue reading

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Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 Fitness & Wellness 1 Comment

Anti-Inflammatories and You: Consider This

I’ve had to face facts that I’m not as young as I used to be.  At the age of 36, I have aches and pains that I did not have to deal with at the age of 18… or 25… or 30.  When I exercise, I know it’s not going to feel good two days later.  I can count on there being some tightness, soreness, stiffness, and “tenderness” that goes beyond what I used to experience.  The great thing at my age is that even when I don’t exercise, I can be reasonably certain that something is going to be aching or sore anyway.  I’ve decided that if I’m going to be achy with or without exercise and physical activity, it might as well be because I’m getting after it.  Since I’m refusing to concede much (or anything) to the aging process, I have embraced the occasional use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, otherwise known as NSAIDs, as a means to take the edge off.  It wouldn’t be a Wednesday without a dose or two of ibuprofen.  Okay, occasionally I’ll opt for acetaminophen or naproxen sodium instead.  Rest assured, one of those will be in my system on Wednesday… and a few other times during the week.  The question is: is this a good thing? › Continue reading

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Thursday, April 8th, 2010 Fitness & Wellness, Random No Comments

Lessons Learned from Middle-Aged Women

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that middle-aged women need at least an hour of moderate activity everyday in order to avoid gaining weight without eating less.  (Contrary to popular belief, “middle age” does not begin at age 35.)  Actually, that’s the good news specifically for women who are at a healthy weight.  For those middle-aged women who are already overweight, lovingly referred to as “other,” even more exercise is necessary to maintain weight.  Understand the distinction being made.  This isn’t exercise to fit into the latest fashions; this is exercise just to hold the fort.  Also understand that this study contains practical lessons and perspective for people of ALL ages. › Continue reading

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Magnesium and You

How much magnesium have you had today?  Probably not enough considering an estimated 68% of Americans fall short of the daily recommended intake.  Who can blame you?  “Magnesium” doesn’t sound particularly tasty.  Unfortunately, this unappetizing-sounding mineral is used in more than 300 bodily functions.  It assists in energy production, maintains healthy bone density, helps the electrical conduction of the heart, and aids in nerve function.  It acts as a relaxant, significantly improving cramps and relieving asthma symptoms.  It turns out that anyone suffering from fatigue, headaches, constipation, or even fibromyalgia should consider magnesium to alleviate or eliminate symptoms.  Who knew that magnesium helps regulate the bowels, relax muscles (both internally and topically), and prevent tooth decay? › Continue reading

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Wednesday, March 17th, 2010 Fitness & Wellness, Nutrition No Comments

Cocoa Moo is Good for You?

Recently I learned that a runner friend of mine had started drinking chocolate milk post-run for recovery.  The prospect of consuming chocolate milk after jogging eight miles did not seem right to me.  I found myself wondering if this was like my grandma’s belief that Diet Pepsi (specifically) cures hangovers or my superstition that all barbell plates must always face inward towards me to ensure a decent workout.  (Nothing will derail a personal record attempt like having plates going different directions…)  I decided to do some research on the cocoa moo. › Continue reading

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Tuesday, March 9th, 2010 Fitness & Wellness, Nutrition No Comments