Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Feel the HEAT!!!

September 4, 2012

This is the 2nd part of a series about recovery modalities. This post will exam using heat in order to recover from one workout to another. While cold is beneficial during the acute phase (first 72 hours). Heat is recommended after the inflammatory response has been resolved.

The application of heat increases circulation by dilating blood vessels which then allow enzymes and nutrients to reach the affected area in order to continue the rebuilding process.

I’ll use heat first thing in the morning. Many times I wake up with a tight back. I keep a heating pad close to my bed. So when this happens I’ll slide the pad under my back, turn it on and allow the heat to do it’s work. This is done by the heat increasing circulation. The increased blood flow loosens me up.

All heating modalities whether they are from a heating pad or heat pack should not be applied directly to the skin and should only be used for 20 – 30 minutes in order to achieve the correct physiological effect.

One thing you want to keep in mind during these recovery phases. Whether you are feeling the soreness of a hard workout or you have truly strained or pulled a muscle the first modality to use is ice. This should be easy to remember. The area that is affected is inflamed. You’re only going to bring this response down by cooling the area. After the first 48-72 hours and the inflammation has come down you add heat to the area. Heat increases blood flow which in turn allows nutrients to assist in the rebuilding phase. Here’s the tricky part. This will all work as long as you don’t continue to stress the area that is recovering. If you’re going to do this then it’s back to the ice.

Listen to your body. There can be fine lines between being injured and being very sore from hard work. There is no reason why you can’t work other body parts while another is recovering. Your body changes during the recovery phase. NOT during your workout. The workout is the vehicle in which your body is forced to change to adapt to the intensity you just placed on it. And this is all done during the recovery phase.

Do you use heat for recovery? If not what do you do?

For more Health and Fitness Information please visit our ongoing blog at


Ice, Ice Baby!!!…….What do you do for recovery??

August 17, 2012

This will be the first in a series about recovery modalities. What assists your muscles during the recovery phase so that they can be ready for another workout in order to continue to increase your fitness levels?

My muscles are sore!!! ……Well how does that happen and what can you do about it?

DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is the pain felt in muscles several hours to days after strenuous exercise. DOMS is the result of ruptures within the muscle, as well as damage to the muscle’s connective tissue.

So what can you do about it?

ICE, ICE, ICE!!!!!!

I have made this recommendation to those suffering countless times. It shocks me when someone comes in the gym complaining of an injury. I ask them if they’ve iced and they just look at me with a distant stare.

But it really can be that simple.

The application of cold for the treatment of injury is widespread in sports medicine today.  Ice applied to the injured area will help prevent or reduce swelling. Which then will allow the tissues and muscle to repair quicker than if it is still fighting off the inflammation first. Ice packs, ice massage, gel packs can all be used to reduce inflammation. Hence reduce the soreness you are feeling and then allowing you to hit it hard in the weight room quicker than if you don’t bring the inflammation down.

Ice should be left in place for approximately 15-20 minutes. You won’t get any additional effect by applying it any longer.

In the future we will explore the use of heat and moist heat when recovering from one workout and getting ready for the next.

For more Health and Fitness information please visit our ongoing blog at

Got Your Back????

May 31, 2011

How’s your neck feel? How about the top of your shoulders? Do you have a tightness between your shoulder blades?

Well it turns out your not alone.

In the last couple of years I’ve had several of the executives I train complain of these symptoms. Even to the point of seeking out medical advice.

I only bring up that they’re executives because this is one of a few things that these people have in common. They sit at a desk in front of a computer. Other common traits are that they are in high stress occupations. And another is that they workout every chance that they can (very frequently). You would think that the latter would be their saving grace.

When it comes to weight training balance is what you want to strive for. You see the one body part you don’t want to forget about is your BACK. The reason that a lot of people who do resistance training suffer with upper back problems is that they forget to include back exercises. The tone and muscle that is made, especially with chest moves pulls your shoulders in and forward. Combine this with sitting at a desk and not taking the time to consider correct posture and you’ve got the formula for a tight neck and shoulders…..OF COURSE!!!

But take time to strengthen your back and you can counteract this.

In a previous post I listed chest and back as the 2 upper body parts to always train. But you must include your back both upper and lower. Lowers should be trained with your ab moves to make it a complete core workout. And upper back is just as important due to its connection with your posture.

Back exercises include dumbbell rows, lat pulldowns and pullovers and the list goes on and on. There are plenty of movements to perform so that you can counter the effect your other upper body training is doing to your posture.

For more Health & Fitness information please visit our ongoing blog at

One on One vs Group Training

May 3, 2011

In most cases there are two types of training that you can receive from a trainer. The first one is one on one and the second is group training. First off the type of training I do is one on one. There are times that I will see two people at a time, but rarely if ever do I train more than two. So I’m a little biased as to my approach. But let it be known that there are positives to both and yes negatives as well. Let’s explore both.

Advantages of Group Training include

  • Affordability
  • Energy from the group to keep you motivated
  • Social

Advantages of One on One Training include

  • Focused attention
  • Increased availability by the Trainer
  • Sessions are directed to your goals not the group

Disadvantages of Group Training include

  • Lack of attention by the group trainer (especially when the group has over 6 participants)
  • Time – The participants have to train at the same time (not flexible)
  • Difficult to individualize goals

Disadvantages of One on One Training include

  • Expense
  • Have to have a good rapport with the trainer in order for the program to be effective
  • Sorry I told you I was biased

Since I have been in the fitness industry for many years now I have seen both the good sides and the bad to both styles of training. If you are a self-motivated person and don’t need a lot of attention, then group training may be for you. If you seek guidance and need direction then one on one training may be what works best for you.

So what say you? Have you worked with trainers in the past? Did they provide one on one or were you in a group setting? What worked best for your needs? Trainers, although I realize that groups can be very lucrative, what kind of training do you do? Did you start training in one type and then evolve into another, and how did that evolution take place and why?

For more Health & Fitness information please visit our ongoing blog at


April 20, 2011

Napping. Yes what we’re talking about is that brief time period we have when we lie down during the course of our day to recharge our body’s batteries. What?!?!?! You mean you don’t NAP? Maybe you should.

We are told that it is best to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. But the reality is that most of us live very busy lives. It is more likely that we are getting 6 to 7 hours of sleep and maybe even less. The average sleep duration is now almost 2 hours shorter per night than it was 50 years ago. Although this may not seem like a significant difference when we continually sleep this way we’re actually causing a “sleep debt”. Which can then show up as poor physical health, increased stress and emotional instability. Sleeping less has been linked to increased risk of hypertension and cardiovascular problems.

Benefits of napping include:

  • Relaxation
  • Reduced fatigue
  • Increased alertness
  • Improved mood
  • Improved performance, including quicker reaction time, better memory, less confusion, and fewer accidents and mistakes

So how long should you nap? And is there an ideal time of day to do this?

Naps should be kept short. 15 to 30 minutes is optimal. Napping longer does have its benefits but you can also risk disrupting your sleep later in the evening. As far as what time of day, many studies have been completed and there are many variables to be considered. But typically after lunch our bodies go through what is known as a “post-lunch dip” in wakefulness. This is a time when sleep propensity is at its highest. So if you can the ideal time would be an hour and a half to two hours after lunch. This is the time that you can recharge your batteries in order to end your day with a flourish of energy.

Truth be told due to the hours I sometimes work. I’ve been known to sneak out to my truck even at a late morning hour and grab 15 minutes in order to refresh. So when the need hits don’t fear the nap. Embrace it! It’ll do your body good!

For more Health and Fitness information please visit our ongoing blog at

What Have They Done To Oatmeal?!?!?

February 28, 2011

Oatmeal – Known to be one the best choices for breakfast. Has recently been trumpeted by the fast-food industry as evidence of their attempts to present the public with “wholesome” food. Once gain, BUYER BEWARE!!

We all know oatmeal’s health benefits. It is known to

  • Reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol without lowering HDL (good) cholesterol
  • Fight heart disease
  • Have cancer-fighting properties
  • Slows down the digestion of starch which then prevents a sharp rise in blood sugar
  • Is a good source of protein

So when McDonalds recently started serving oatmeal it perked a few ears up. In a recent article in the New York Times, Mark Bitman attacks Mickey D’s pointing out how they took a natural meal item and added their own ingredients. This more than doubled the calorie, fat, carbs, cholesterol, sodium and sugar content in comparison to natural instant oatmeal.

Several months ago Starbucks rolled out their oatmeal. After reviewing their nutritional information what we found was that as long as you don’t add any of the items they also give you (in separate pouches) then they are very comparable to the natural oatmeal you should be eating. The troubling part about McDonalds is that they don’t give you that option.

So as always. We all have decisions to make. What are you going to decide to put in your mouth for breakfast? What healthy alternatives have you found? How do you spice up your eating plan?

For more Health & Fitness information please visit our ongoing blog at

Holy Guacamole!!!

February 5, 2011

The BIG game is upon us. What are you going to serve? There seems to be a misunderstanding about some of the foods involved. Yes there are plenty of BAD foods. But there is also the inevitable silver lining. Yes, I’m talking about Guacamole!

Guacamole in some circles gets a bad rap. Isn’t it high in fat? High in calories??

Let’s talk first about the nutritional benefits of Avocados. Avocados are the basic ingredient of guacamole.

  • About 75% of an avocado’s calories do come from fat. But most of that is monounsaturated fat.
  • Avocados also have 60% more potassium than bananas. They are rich in B vitamins, vitamin E and K.
  • Avocados are high in fiber.

High avocado intake has been shown to benefit cholesterol levels. Lowering LDLs and raising HDLs. And by the way this is due to its high level of monounsaturated fats.

Now the bad news. Yes the calorie count is something to take notice of. 1 tablespoon of guacamole dip has 94 calories while a whole cup (how can you eat just one tablespoon) has a whopping 1500 calories.

So if you’re going to indulge in dips while cheering on your favorite team. Pass the guac and the leave the other dips for everyone else.

A special thanks goes out to Al for inspiring this blog.

For more Health & Fitness information please visit our ongoing blog at

I Deserve That!!!!

December 1, 2010

After a recent group hike several of us stopped on the way home to get something to eat. One of the hikers ordered what seemed like everything that was on the menu. By the way this person stands to lose about 20 pounds. After devouring everything in sight. He looked over at me and said quite proudly, “I worked really hard today, I deserved that!”


What has happened to us that we justify behavior like this? Certainly someone who is not over weight has a little more room to indulge than those who are struggling. But to feel that they “deserve” to eat in a way that is going to keep adding on to their waistline, is just mind boggling.

If your goals include weight loss, then you’re not going to lose weight while you’re in the gym. Don’t get me wrong cardio workouts will burn calories. But true weight loss is going to occur once you change how and what you put in your mouth.

Burning calories is calculated by activity and weight of the person. For instance if you are 150 lbs and run a 10 minute mile then you are going to burn 113 calories per mile. 113 calories per mile?!?! (See this chart to calculate for your weight.) So if you run 5 miles then you’ve burnt 565 calories. Eat a big meal afterwards? And you guessed it. You just evened out. So it really doesn’t create a deficit in your calorie count if you continue to eat large amounts of food.

If you are going to eat like a king after a hard workout, don’t fool yourself by thinking that you “deserve it”. Instead enjoy your meal and open your belt buckle another notch because you have done NOTHING to create the deficit you need.

What about you? Have you made silly excuses in order to justify “silly” behavior?

For more Health & Fitness information please visit our ongoing blog at

Water???….Why not??

August 8, 2009

Although most of us are drinking a lot of water these days, it amazes me how there still are those who just won’t let go of their sugar-laden, artificially flavored drinks. I’m not completely guilt-free of this. After working in the gym all day and drinking nothing but water throughout the day, I enjoy having someting with flavor to it as well. I spoke to a group of car salesman this week about how to take care of themselves while having to work outside. This past July was recorded as our hottest yet. At one point in the discussion I found myself in a confrontation with a fellow who would just not let go of the idea that it was ok to drink several energy drinks during his day. We all have a right to put in us whatever we want. And let it be known that I completely respect his right to do this as well. Know this. Nothing absorbs and then hydrates us as quickly as water. This does include sports drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade. Sports drinks which include electrolytes are meant for endurance athletes that are working out for an hour or more at a high intensity. If you’re not this active then back to basics – water is your friend!!

Hello World!

July 19, 2009

Longevity Personal Training has now entered the blogosphere. Our purpose is to discuss information with you about the Health & Fitness world. Stay tuned for updates.