Monthly Archives: February 2016

February 29, 2016

Fat 101

I received a request on Facebook to discuss body fat in more detail. Consider this Body Fat 101. Body fat can be complex, as there are different types of fat and various reasons for it to be stored. Specifically, there are two types of body fat. The first is white adipose tissue, where energy is stored as fat. The second type of fat is brown adipose tissue, which generates heat. Brown adipose tissue is something you will want to have.

It’s also important to consider where the body fat is stored. Visceral or abdominal fat is packed between the organs. This is a bad fat. Abdominal fat is linked to insulin resistance, heart disease, and inflammatory disease. It is more common in men, but as women get older, their bodies may shift toward a tendency to store more body fat in the abdomen. Subcutaneous fat is located under the skin and muscles. This type is not as dangerous as the abdominal fat. If you are in good shape, simply try to keep your body fat in a reasonable, healthy range.

It’s important to note that eating dietary fat does not give you body fat. In fact, it is the insulin response to blood sugar that causes fat storage. When you eat simple carbohydrates and processed foods loaded with sugar, your blood sugar and insulin will spike and lead to a gain in body fat. This is why it is important to eat sensible, real food and avoid processed foods.

Contrary to popular belief, the scale is not an accurate way to measure body fat. Great ways to get an accurate body fat measurement include being evaluated by a professional or using a DEXA scan. The DEXA scan will not only measure body fat, but also indicate your bone density.

To better understand your personal Body Fat 101, be sure to take measurements of your body and use tools at your disposal to estimate your body fat. For more information on health and fitness measures, visit http://older.fitness/measures to obtain a helpful guide.

How to of strength and mass


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 26, 2016

Deanna gets momentum

Deanna Gets MomentumDeanna is a homeschooling mom of six who lives a very busy lifestyle. However, she’s also a runner who has gained momentum and improved her health and fitness. She wasn’t always this way though. In fact, she used to feel as though she was in a rut. She didn’t get out of the house a lot and wasn’t involved in anything. She felt frumpy and lacked motivation.

Over the years, she would work out on and off. She would walk every day or do fitness videos, but nothing really stuck. At the beginning of 2013, Deanna didn’t want to be a “frumpy hermit” anymore. She logged into My Fitness Pal and the rest is history. Since then, she has logged into My Fitness Pal each and every day. She had always known what she needed to do, but never really set her mind to it until 2013.

She started running and doing strength training. Deanna also did the Couch to 5k program. She remembers it as being difficult to run for one minute. If one week of training was too difficult, she repeated it. She felt it was important to listen to her body. She didn’t want to overtax herself and risk injury, so she took it slow. Though she continued to wonder—what else can I do? Her positive momentum and drive to succeed was still pushing her forward.

For Deanna, it all started with a decision and commitment. She pushed through and continued to challenge herself with a progressive program. She has seen fundamental changes in her body composition and health as a result. Though she never imagined this level of fitness, she knows it is a lifelong pursuit. She advises others to find something they’re passionate about. Try different fitness routines until you find what you like. Have patience and persistence, and soon you will create a momentum that will lead to progression. To connect with Deanna, send her a message on My Fitness Pal as RunningForeverMama.

Mel goes from couch to infinity


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music


February 25, 2016

How is sleep affecting my weight loss?

It’s true that sleep has a significant impact on your health, and more specifically, your weight loss. This was shown in a study from November 2015 called “Interactions Between Sleep, Stress, and Metabolism.”

The study pulled together information to explain how a lack of sleep can adversely affect one’s health. It found that sleep is a major component to keeping the body healthy and the metabolism working well. When you’re not getting enough sleep, your body continues to stay in a stress mode. The body is not fully recovering, adrenals are being overstimulated, and cortisol is being produced. Excess cortisol can lead to weight gain.

Another interesting study showed the connection between sleep deprived individuals and exposure to unnatural light in the evenings, such as from a television or computer. This stimulation from the unnatural light was throwing off the individuals’ hormone cycles. As a result, they were gaining more weight than those who were only sleep deprived and not exposed to the unnatural light. This is a cautionary tale to those who stay up late to watch TV or work on the computer, as these activities could be adversely affecting fat loss.

The key is to maintain good sleep hygiene and adopt a pattern of behavior that will allow you to enter and stay in a rested state for the night. Be sure to select a noise-neutral location. Don’t eat or drink things that could be disruptive to sleep, such as caffeine or alcohol. There are also apps that can monitor your sleep and provide information as to how long you maintain a deep sleep or if you have issues with snoring or sleep apnea. Sleep studies can also be an option. Simply find tools that will help you to manage your sleep better.

If you’re not sleeping well, you will struggle in getting healthy. Sleep is so very important to your overall health, including your weight loss. Getting adequate, solid sleep will allow you to have more energy, feel better, and experience fat loss.


Sleep smarter | Shawn Stevenson

The magic of sleep


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

Note: Link to episode 107

February 24, 2016

How to not die of diabetes | Dr. Michael Greger

This episode contains Part 2 of a two-part series with Dr. Michael Greger, author of How Not To Die. Dr. Greger’s book includes information and real stories of individuals who were able to reverse the signs of diabetes simply by adopting a plant-based diet.

The health benefits of a plant-based diet are incredible. In fact, the plant-based diet is the only diet that has ever been proved to reverse heart disease. In the 1930s, the first studies that showed the reversal of Type 2 diabetes with a plant-based diet were released. Individuals who went on this diet were essentially cured. Their blood sugar levels became normal and they were able to go off all of their medication.

The truth is, there is no excuse to not eat healthier, especially for those who have diabetes. Dr. Greger discussed his “Daily Dozen” – a checklist of all the things one should fit into their daily routine. This includes the best greens, berries, nuts and seeds, and beverages to consume, as well as how much exercise to get.

After all, diet is the key driver to the reversal of diseases including hypertension, heart disease, and chronic diseases in general including diabetes. Premature deaths are preventable with simple changes in diet. The key is to recognize that we are all on the path to gradually improve our diets. Any steps we take will accrue significant health benefits.

In the last few decades, much awareness has been brought forward, but there is still work to be done. One issue is that people have a tendency to underestimate the power of diet and its effect on our bodies. Switching to a plant-based diet is a proven method of reversing Type 2 diabetes and has many other health benefits. Be sure to make any changes with the supervision of a physician, who can keep a close eye on your levels and remove any medications at the proper time. To connect with Dr. Michael Greger, author of How Not To Die, go to www.nutritionfacts.org to find his contact information.

How to not die of heart disease | Dr. Michael Greger

Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 23, 2016

Do you have patience, persistence, and progression

It’s time to check in with clients, John and Tammy. Their journey has been one of patience, persistence, and progression, and they’re not done yet.

Tammy mentioned that while she was on the treadmill, she was watching her heart rate. She can actually gauge the intensity of her workout based on her heart rate. The maximum heart rate to achieve during a workout is calculated by subtracting one’s age from 220. Of course, there are varying levels that can be achieved depending on where one’s heart rate falls. In an aerobic state, the body is getting plenty of oxygen and burning fat. In a more intense anaerobic state, the body burns sugar and not so much fat. In either case, the body is burning some fat. While Tammy was on the treadmill, she noted that her heart rate did not exceed 110. This may indicate that she should add intensity to her workout to give her a greater challenge. This will allow her body to respond by burning more fat. However, any physical activity is burning calories and improving her cardiovascular health.

Tammy explained that she was unable to do squats like John, but that she used dumbbells and did the leg press. In doing the leg press, it is important to be cognizant of form. She will want to ensure she has a solid base and keeps her knees from extending beyond her toes. Doing this exercise will help to build her strength.

Finally, Tammy wondered about the inside of her thighs, which have begun to droop since losing some weight. Fortunately, skin is very elastic and may retract over time. Though some areas of loose skin may not go away completely, this can be aided through using moisturizer and building muscle in these areas. If those alternatives do not fix the issue, skin removal surgery is always an option in extreme cases.

John and Tammy are getting stronger and building endurance every day. As they continue along their fitness journey, their success is evident in the patience, persistence, and progression they have displayed thus far.


You are in the gym, now what?

Stepping it up


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 22, 2016

What is high intensity interval training?

What exactly is HIIT or high intensity interval training? HIIT is an intense workout where you are giving a full 100% during your intense sessions. However, the intense sessions are followed by a recovery session that usually lasts three times the length of the intense session. HIIT is designed to put a metabolic challenge on your body, which helps to rev up your metabolism. HIIT is a quick and easy way to get an intense workout while improving your cardiovascular fitness and boosting your metabolism.

With HIIT, it’s important to focus on your diet first. When you do intense work, you burn certain calories and set up your metabolism for a post-workout burn. This increased metabolism can last as long as 24 hours. It’s important to know how your body will react, and then monitor what you’re eating. You will need enough fuel to fully recover before your next high intensity interval training.

In the work phase, you need to hit 100% effort. Move and work hard, but only do it for 30 seconds or less. An example of a good work phase would be doing sprints. Remember, the rest interval that follows will last three times the length of the work phase. This allows the body to hit recovery. During the work phase, a heart rate can go up to 190. Once the heart rate is back to 125, then it’s time for the next work phase.

When first starting high intensity interval training, you may only be able to do three or four rounds. That is normal. You want to take it slow at first. With HIIT, it is possible to over train and stress yourself. Because of this, you will never want to do more than 10 rounds in a session.

When trying high intensity interval training or HIIT, the key is to start slow and work hard. Try one session per week. If you’re recovering fully, add another. Give it a try and see what you think!

A secret weapon in your health and fitness journey


Ben Sound Royalty Free Music





February 19, 2016

Mel goes from couch to infinity

Mel, a 54 year-old married, mother of two, has a very inspiring story of how she was able to go from couch to 5K and beyond. She has even run an ultra-marathon! However, Mel wasn’t always so active. At one point, Mel weighed 275 pounds and was very inactive. She was on medication and oxygen 24/7. After moving to Mississippi, she saw a new doctor who had started to wean her off her medications, when she suddenly went toxic. Though she was OK after that incident, she lost 30 pounds during the process. She soon started to wonder if she could lose even more weight.

Mel began taking action. She started cooking recipes from diabetic cookbooks. She joined a gym and began participating in water aerobics. After making these initial changes, Mel dropped 65 pounds and was feeling better than ever. However, she still looked ahead to what else she could accomplish.

Mel’s sister asked her to do a Couch to 5K, as she didn’t want to do it alone. Mel agreed and promised her sister she would complete the Couch to 5K. Though it was challenging, Mel recognizes that it was one of the best ways to learn to run. At that point, Mel caught the running bug. Four years later, Mel has stuck with it. She ran her first 5K, then a 12K, then a 10K, half-marathons, full marathons, and even an ultra-marathon, which is any distance past 26.2 miles.

With running and using My Fitness Pal, Mel has lost a total of 170 pounds. She now has her life back. Though she worked her way up to running ultra-marathons, Mel really credits that initial Couch to 5K as being the game changer for her. Her biggest tip includes having patience with yourself. Forgive yourself for the days in which you don’t eat well. The weight will not come off overnight. It’s going to take time. Have patience and persistence, and don’t get caught up in the gimmicks. Eat smart and move more. To connect with Mel, find her on My Fitness Pal as MelisRunning.



The tao of running | Gary Dudney


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 18, 2016

Should I take protein supplements post-workout?

Have you ever wondered if using protein supplements after a workout is necessary? Many professionals will advise that you should take in protein and carbohydrates during a critical feeding window after a workout. During this window, muscles are able to absorb the nutrition and put it to use.

A study that was featured in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2013 examined this very dilemma. The study entitled, “Effects of Whey Proteins and Carbohydrates on the Efficiency of Resistance Training in Elderly People,” evaluated 141 men and women between the ages of 65 and 91 over a 12-week period. These people participated in resistance training three times per week. Some then consumed 20 grams of whey protein after their workout, while a control group did not.

So what happened? As it turns out, there was no real difference in the results of both groups. All participants gained strength and saw increases in muscle mass, but didn’t show a sizeable difference from the protein supplements.

The truth is, you don’t need a ton of protein. In fact, excess protein is converted to sugar in your blood. Then insulin kicks in and can lead to weight gain. Of course you need to ensure you’re getting enough protein, as it is a building block for building muscles, but be sure to avoid consuming too much.

Instead of opting for a protein shake, consider swapping it out with other foods that contain protein and have other nutritional benefits. Think about it more holistically. There’s also a cost factor involved with protein shakes and bars, as they can get a little pricey. They may be quick and convenient, but you are essentially paying for that convenience.

While elite athletes may see a small percentage difference in using these protein supplements, the rest of us may not find that they’re worthwhile. Focus on the larger picture and get nutrition from whole foods. You’ll feel healthier and you’ll likely safe a few bucks in the process.



Creatine 101

Understanding macros


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 17, 2016

How to not die of heart disease | Dr. Michael Greger

This is the part one of a two-part series with Dr. Michael Greger. He is the author of the book “How Not To Die”.
Dr. Greger says the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States is heart disease. The good news is a vast majority of premature death due to heart disease is preventable.

Inflammation is the primary cause of heart disease. Death from heart disease occurs when a plaque within the arterial wall of our coronary arteries bursts. Coronary arteries feed oxygen to the heart muscles. When blood flow is cut off due to this bursting plaque, a part of the heart dies. This can lead to certain cardiac death. One of the first stages is the buildup of cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol in blood

One of the first stages is the buildup of cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol in blood damages the wall of the arteries.  White blood cells go into the arterial wall and eat up the cholesterol. This results in the eventual bursting of a plaque.

Heart disease is preventable without drugs and surgery. Simple changes in our diet can be enough to reverse heart disease.  He recommends a plant-based diet to prevent and reverse heart disease.

To connect with Dr. Michael Greger, author of How Not To Die, go to www.nutritionfacts.org to find his contact information.


How to not die of diabetes | Dr. Michael Greger

Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 16, 2016

You are in the gym, now what?

Today we'll meet up with John and Tammy and discuss their recent gym sessions. They share their workout and relate some great experiences as they work to improve their health and fitness.

John discusses his efforts to make going to the gym a new routine.  John says he's a little embarrassed to be working with just the bar during squats, but recognizes he has to improve his form before he begins adding weight. This is really important because, as Allan says, safety first.Another important thing is to limit complex carbs, especially the “white foods” (“Don’t eat anything white”, as sweet potatoes, bread, pasta, rice and privileging another kind of grains, as quinoa or such.

On the food side of things, Allan recommends that in addition to cutting sugar, it is good to reduce simple carbs. Staying away from “white foods” such as potatoes, rice, bread, and pasta will help accelerate fat loss.  If you want a grain, you're better off with those that are more complex and nutrient dense like quinoa.Tammy’s turn. Allan is interested in her bike workout. Tammy has some problems with her back, but as we know, the body tends to heal itself, especially with muscles, so it is very important to not stress it out with workout over the limits. Tammy had a surgery too, so for her, it is mandatory to work always safely and carefully.

During Tammy’s turn, they discuss her workout, which involved riding the stationary bike. Tammy is suffering from back pain and isn't ready to begin a resistance program.  Her health and fitness goals are more about the food, but after she heals, she should consider working on strength and muscle mass.

Ready to Rumble

Do you have patience, persistence, and progression


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 15, 2016

Dealing with pain and injury

Today we'll discuss  pain and injury.  When we start an exercise program and begin pushing ourselves, most of us expect we will feel some pain. It can be difficult for people to know when enough is enough, when to carry on and when to stop.  In this episode, I want to help you identify when to push and when to stop.

When we work on our muscles, we tear the muscle fiber down.  Our bodies were designed to respond to this.  The muscles are repaired and in that process, they're made bigger and stronger.  But this can only happen when we make sure to get appropriate rest and take in the right amount of protein. The cycle entails the following: challenge, feed, and recover.  During the challenge phase, it is common to have a little bit of discomfort and pain. And it’s fine to continue with such pain.

When you're new to resistance exercise, it is not uncommon to suffer rather extreme muscle soreness. It means that you've done enough work with that muscle to elicit growth. You'll want to ensure you give the muscle enough time to recover. It takes roughly 48 – 72 hours to recover from intense resistance exercise.

Another type of pain, which is most often associated with running is called a stitch. It is a sharp pain in the lower abdomen. This is believed to occur when there is a mismatch between abdominal muscles and the diaphragm. The stitch can be very painful, bu it is nothing to worry about.

Injuries require a lot more care.  The previous pain issues we covered will go away with rest.  With injuries, that's usually not the case.

Most common exercise-induced injuries are damage to a tendon, ligament, muscle or bone.  You should make sure you seek medical attention for injuries.  The doctor will give you information on how to repair the damage and begin rehabilitation.  I can't stress enough how important it is to follow your doctor's instructions.  Injuries can put an end to exercise permanently if you don't address the underlying issue.

How you should approach pain and injury will depend on the nature of the pain. Make sure you properly asscess your pain and injury before you decide how to go ahead.   There is some pain to get gain, but you'll need to know which type of pain is getting you gains or is going to sideline you.

What is high intensity interval training?

Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 12, 2016

Joel Boggess ReLaunches his health

Joel Boggess, the mastermind behind the wildly popular podcast ReLaunch, joins us today. Joel has an inspiring story to share that shows how he was able to relaunch health as a part of his life, like so many others are trying to do.

In his younger years, Joel was very interested in fitness. He actually worked his way through graduate school as personal trainer with 24 Hour Fitness. He soon found himself as the top producing personal trainer in the region. He enjoyed helping people realize their potential.

Over time, life got in the way. Joel got caught up in his responsibilities and lost touch with his love for fitness. By his mid 40s, he knew he needed to make a lifestyle change. At 5’5”, Joel weighed in at 223 pounds at his heaviest point.

One of the biggest decisions Joel made was to quit drinking. In his 40s, he recognized that he was drinking often and seeing the results in his waist line. While he still has an occasional drink, he has largely cut alcohol out of his life. Joel also began drinking more water and started going to the gym three or more times per week. After all of these changes, Joel is now down to 150 pounds.

Joel believes planning is essential to success. Create a plan that is disciplined and focused on your fitness goals.

  1. Regardless of your goal, make a decision and commitment. Promise yourself that you will see it through. Your goals have to be meaningful and real.
  2. Break the plan into manageable chunks. Be sure to put it together in a way that’s executable.
  3. Find the time in your schedule to put one foot in front of the other and take action.

Many people set unrealistic expectations that they can’t follow through with. Start small and get your momentum going. Soon enough you will have relaunched your health just as Joel Boggess was able to do.

Robin sets a stretch goal


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music


February 11, 2016

Bone health with Dr. Susan Brown

Dr. Susan Brown is an acclaimed medical anthropologist, nutritionist, and author of Better Bones, Better Body. She has more than 20 years of experience in the area of bone health and is widely consulted with on many health issues. Today she is sharing a few ways to build and maintain bone health.

One of the keys in building and maintaining bone health is proper nutrition. In fact, there are 20 nutrients that are essential for bone health. You can find a complete list of these at www.betterbones.com. Most people will need to supplement, as it is difficult to get the proper amount in a typical diet. However, a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and protein is a great start.

Most people have heard that milk is essential to creating healthy bones. While it is a factor, it has been proven that a higher dairy intake does not necessarily prevent fractures and may actually cause other problems such as hardening of arteries and development of kidney stones. It really takes a balance of all the nutrients.

Another key in building bone health is exercise. Building muscle will build bone. Activities that are great for building bone health including walking, perhaps with a weighted vest, and jumping or hopping. Exercises that build the back muscles are also great techniques to incorporate.

In addition to nutrition and exercise, reducing stress is another key to great bone health. Stress, cortisol, and adrenaline can damage bone. Introducing mindful exercises like yoga can prove to be helpful. This will put a load on the bones, while also reducing hormones of distress.

If your bone density is low, consider working with a physician or bone health center to uncover the causes of your bone loss. To connect directly with Dr. Susan Brown or to learn more about her bone health programs, visit www.betterbones.com.

The menopause solution | Dr. Stephanie Faubion

Music used for the podcast Intro and Outro: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

February 10, 2016

Should I do yoga? | Julie Zuzek

In this episode, we get into Yoga Basics with Julie Zuzek. Julie is the founder Corporate Yogi. She helps entrepreneurs grow businesses that are purpose driven and profitable. She is a business coach, a yoga teacher, and host of a podcast.

Julie points out the key benefits of yoga. Yoga iis not just physical, rather it is something that goes deep into our minds. She talks about the physical benefits of Yoga.  It is great for developing flexibility. Just like strength training increases our muscle mass, yoga lengthens our muscles. Then, it increases our body strength. Yoga uses only human body-weight and not any equipment or machines. So, it tends to be a safe way for people to exercise.

Julie mentions how Yoga can help us reduce stress in our life. Relearning to breathe is something people struggle when they first come to yoga. Yoga tends to allow one to breathe in a larger capacity. And that is what allows one to reduce stress in one’s life.

Julie explains different types of Yoga. Bikram style of Yoga is one of the major modalities she teaches. It is something that involves a specific series of 26 poses and two breathing exercises. Ashtanga is another series she teaches. Another yoga type she mentions is Yin Yoga. It takes 4-10 minutes to complete a single posture. It allows us to focus on our breath and also reduce stress. She also mentions Iyengar which is quite popular as well.  It teaches one how to align the body. These are the common styles in the yoga spectrum.

Julie believes one should keep trying Yoga until he or she finds the right type that is for him or her. Finding a connectable, accessible and trustable teacher is important as well.

Hope you enjoyed the session!



Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 9, 2016

Ready to Rumble

This week, John and Tammy are ready to rumble. To this point, they’ve been persistent and shown patience, but now it’s time for progression. They’re charged with stretching what they’re capable of doing and experimenting with pushing those boundaries. They’ve built a good foundation, but now it’s time to build the house upon that foundation.

John’s approach will be to rebuild his athleticism. He will want to mix focus and play with added intensity. Both John and Tammy will reconnect with that competitive spirit, only this time they are competing against the John and Tammy of yesterday.

Last week was a busy week for Tammy and she did not have as much opportunity to practice focus and play. However in the afternoons, she had some down time and was able to do some squats and other physical activity. She even encouraged some of her coworkers to participate. Tammy used to be a dancer, so one approach that might work for her is to adopt some sort of dance in her workout routine—perhaps Zumba or watching dance routines from YouTube videos.

The changes that John and Tammy have been making are clear, as people are starting to notice a change in their physical appearance. This has helped to encourage Tammy’s sister to begin her own fitness program soon. Though John’s physical results appear to be more obvious than Tammy’s, she is not letting herself get discouraged. After all, they are both making progress and each person’s success is a success for them both as a couple.

John and Tammy are ready to rumble, as they are now focused on their progression. This week, they will find ways to add intensity to their workouts, while finding their inner beast.

Discussions about sleep

You are in the gym, now what?

Music used for the podcast Intro and Outro: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music