1. November Thoughts & 3 Week Extras

    3 Week Extras –

    Perform 100 rope jumps during 2 minutes of your usual “rest” time.  Add a penalty of 3 rope jumps for each rope jump shorted (if any) – AFTER the workout. IOW (In Other Words), if you only get 50 of the prescribed 100, you are to add 150 rope jumps after the workout.

    General Thoughts for November:

    CaptureWe’ve only a few weeks until the holiday season tries to take over our life. From this moment until about the week of Thanksgiving you’ll have a chance to off-set some of your “cheat” eating. But you MUST focus.

    We challenge you to give some deliberate effort to your nutrition and exercise for the next 3 weeks. We’ll help you! Starts to focus today!

    TODAY, we challenge you to:

    1. Clean up your worst meal. If you “cheat” eat at dinner – STOP cheating! Stop it NOW! Choose a “healthy meal” that you know will serve you. Here are some ideas on meals (from breakfast to dinner selections). Plan your meals ahead. If you blow it and don’t eat the “healthy meal” you intended to eat, make a rule right now that you can only eat a single protein bar or shake for that meal NEXT time. That’s it, NOTHING else!  Drink all the water you need.

    2. Do the 3 week extras. For the next 3 weeks we’ll post some extras on our Facebook site for you to do. These will be aimed toward increasing your over-all fitness.

    3. POST your comments! Let’s try this. We are more successful with community support. Community cannot happen without communication. If you accept our challenges, please indicate that you are out there daily. Just add a little comment of accountability, or of encouragement, or of whatever you feel would add to the collective community in positive ways.

    We’ll see you at the studio and/or in the comments!


  2. Do You Know What Your Basal Metabolic Rate Is?

    By Terry Cobb, CPT-CES

    Lisa and I had a very good conversation this morning around caloric intake and the need for people to realize that drastically cutting calories,  does their body a grave disservice.  We were discussing our new Weight Management program and the great information found in the manuals the participants will receive.   BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is discussed in detail in one of the chapters.

     BMR supports your bodily functions that occur without conscious awareness.  This includes heartbeat, breathing, maintenance of body temperature and the sending of nerve and hormonal messages to direct these activities.  They are the basal processes that maintain life.  The amount of energy required to maintain these functions is called your BMR.  For example, Lisa and I must consume between 1233 and 1277 calories, respectively, just to maintain our processes of life. Please note, this doesn’t include calories needed for daily physical activities.  You would need additional calories for that.   The chart below will give you a brief idea of how those calories are used:

    Energy expenditure breakdown

    Liver 27%
    Brain 19%
    Heart 7%
    Kidneys 10%
    Skeletal muscle 18%
    Other organs 19%

    BMR generally decreases with age and with the decrease in lean body mass (as may happen with aging).   Increasing your muscle mass, increases BMR.

    Illness, previously consumed food and beverages, environmental temperature, and stress levels can affect one’s overall energy expenditure as well as one’s BMR.  Any decrease in calories below this BMR will result in a decrease in lean muscle tissue.  This slows the metabolism which leads, eventually to an increase in body fat to protect the body from the perceived starvation.  So, you see, there is a science behind healthy weight loss and/or maintenance.  Use the handy link below to discover your own Basal Metabolic Rate.  How are you doing?



  3. They Like Spiders Too!


    Halloween candy is yummy, but kids like spiders too…spider rings that is!  The truth is; although kids love to get candy, many of them would like just as much to get some cool new Halloween pencils or pens, spooky stickers, tattoos, or spider rings.



    Or, you might even try one of these options:

    • Mini rice cereal bites
    • Packages of trail mix
    • Cereal or energy bars
    • Small boxes of raisins
    • Small packages of dried fruit
    • Sugar-free gum
    • Mini juice boxes

    You may not be the “coolest” adult on the block, but  at least you can feel good about the fact that you’re not sending your neighbors’ kids into sugar oblivion!

    Here are some other tips to putting a limit on the sugar factor around your house…

    Don’t buy it now: You may be tempted to get organized and purchase your Halloween candy now. But that’s the worse thing you can do because most likely you will all eat it before Halloween and will have to go and purchase more. Purchase your Halloween candy on Halloween day to avoid an excess consumption of calories before the actual holiday.

    Control consumption: If you leave it up to the kids, they’ll have half their candy eaten before bed-time on Halloween night! Instead, sit down with their stash, and separate it into small-sized snack pouches that limit how much candy they have per day. Not that we’re saying that kids need candy every day but at least it’s a start!

    Move it to lose it: I like that Halloween gets families outdoors walking the neighborhood, and what if we do that on more nights other than just Halloween? Without the candy. Please take this time of the year as an opportunity to promote an active lifestyle and get outside for a hike, a long walk or a bike ride. Your bodies will thank you for it!

    Remember to consistently instill a love for exercise with your kids/grand kids and start them off young with lots of exercise and healthy foods…it will pay off in the end and you will have fun along the way.



  4. Pros and Cons of Chiropractic Medicine

    Chiropractic medicine focuses on musculoskeletal and nervous system disorders. Care is directed mainly at reducing back, neck and joint pain, as well as headaches.  Chiropractic medicine offers numerous benefits to patients, including drug-free treatment for

    chronic and acute pain that is both safe and effective. It also focuses on hands-on therapeutic procedures, rehabilitative exercises, and nutritional and lifestyle changes. Most ailments are treated with a procedure called spinal manipulation, which helps to restorejoint mobility through the use of controlled forced directed at hypo-mobile joints. Effective manipulation relieves pain, decreases muscle tension, and allows the healing of damaged tissues to take place.

    The benefits of chiropractic care have been experienced by many.  Some benefits extend beyond musculoskeletal and different people who suffer from these illnesses experience varying results as well:

    • For pregnant women, they are able to deliver much easier.
    • For babies, they have improved developmental abilities and prevent the possibility of acquiring scoliosis.
    • For kids, it helps prevent asthma, ear infection, bedwetting, among other things.
    • For adults, they are able to generate more energy and increase productivity.
    • Better balance and less injury is attained by senior citizens.

    Meanwhile, overall results and benefits reported from patients who’ve undergone chiropractic care includes the following:

    • Boost in the functions of the immune and nervous system.
    • Patients attain improved vitality.
    • Breathing becomes easier.
    • Great digestive functions.
    • flawless vision.
    • Improved overall health.

    There are some cons regarding chiropractic care, as well.   In some cases, various degrees of discomfort and/or stiffness may follow a chiropractic adjustment, but this discomfort typically resolves within one to two days. While not every health insurance plan currently offers coverage for chiropractic care, most  larger insurance providers do cover all or some of the expenses related to treatment by a doctor of chiropractic medicine. However, because chiropractic treatment often involves multiple office visits, costs can quickly add up for those without insurance coverage. Frequent trips to the doctor’s office may be inconvenient for many people, especially for those dealing with acute pain or another disability, and chiropractic care is not suitable for all people. People with certain medical conditions, such as acute gout, bone cancer, excessive osteoporosis or existing bone or joint fractures may not be suitable candidates for spinal manipulation.

    Several different modalities are used during chiropractic care.  One modality that is used as part of chiropractic therapy is electric stimulation.  The primary use of this tool is for muscle relaxation and pain relief.

    The treatment improves healing to the area and causes the muscles to relax, releases chemical pain relievers and temporarily confuses the nervous system so that it is not able to transmit pain signals as well.  In essence you get temporary pain relief and improved healing.

    Chiropractic care has been found to be quite successful for many people.   While not a “cure-all”,  it can definitely bring relief for many patients seeking  an alternative to traditional medicine or drug therapy. We recently had the opportunity to interview  Armadillo Sports Chiropractic’s Dr. Chad Peters. We’d like to share our interview with you. Find it here, enjoy!

    Read more: Pros and Cons of Chiropractic Medicine & here 

  5. Menopause and Spontaneous Exercise

    As we women age, most of us will inevitably enter into a new phase of life.  Menopause.  Ahhhh….Some would define menopause as “the end of menses”.  Others, “the change”.  One client described it a bit more colorfully.  She called it her “personal summer” while she was having a major hot flash!  Regardless of what word you use to describe it, menopause is real and has definite effects on the female body.  Besides the hot flashes, loss of libido and the threat of osteoporosis looming ahead, the most common complaint we hear at the studio is the sudden weight gain. Some feel it’s inevitable.  A loss of muscle mass and an increase in abdominal fat are common at the time of menopause; however it DOES NOT have to be a given that you WILL gain an extra 10 or 20 pounds.  Although common-not absolute!  If you remain active and continue with strength training, regular cardiovascular training and modify your eating habits, you CAN maintain your weight.  A major reason so many women DO gain weight is that they become more sedentary.  A sedentary lifestyle is conducive to muscle loss. With muscle loss comes a decrease resting metabolic rate.  Also, during the cessation of menses, women burn about 40-70 less calories per day, due to the declining estrogen levels. Oftentimes, calorie intake is increased.  Studies show that women eat more calories as estrogen declines and that we crave more fat and sugar and less nutritious, more satisfying foods that have protein and fiber. The amount of calories expended must be equal to the amount of calories taken in if we want to maintain our weight.  A simple mathematical fact.

    This exact question was posed to the panel of experts we spoke with while at the IDEA Fitness Convention in San Diego.  “What can menopausal women do to combat weight gain?”   With the obvious mentioned above, it was also stressed that during this phase of a woman’s life, spontaneous exercise is just what the doctor ordered.  Spontaneous exercise is any type of exercise that you do that is not necessarily planned.  ie:  Take a stroll around the mall in between each store you stop in, do lunges or squats during a t.v. commercial or park further away from your car and walk the few extra steps.   You get the idea.  Spontaneity! What a great idea….easy, cheap and very doable at an age where we all don’t need one more planned activity on our plate.  So get out there and burn off those extra calories.  Remember, you CAN maintain your weight during this phase of your life.  It’s a new chapter, so keep your shape and enjoy your life!


  6. Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation for Injury Treatment

    Courtesy of the National Athletic Trainers Alliance

    R = Rest
    Resting an injured area is necessary to allow the body time to get the effects of the trauma under control and avoid additional stress and damage to the injured tissue. The period of rest required will vary depending on the severity of the injury (e.g. days to weeks). People who do not rest an acute (sudden or traumatic) injury can prolong the inflammation period and increase the healing time required, thereby delaying the recovery.

    I = Ice
    Ice applied promptly to an injury can slow down or minimize some of the inflammation. The cold causes a closing of the arterioles in the tissue, which reduces the bleeding. The local tissue metabolism slows down reducing its need for oxygen and nutrients, and the nerve impulses are slowed considerably to reduce the pain that’s felt, providing a numbing effect.

    Examples of ice treatment include using an ice bag or ice bucket for 15-20 minutes or ice massage for 7-10. Heat should only be applied after you are sure that the bleeding and swelling has stopped completely; otherwise, an individual’s recovery time will be delayed.

    C = Compression
    Compression is an application of an Ace Bandage or similar item around the injured area. Its purpose is to help control swelling and to provide mild support.

    Any wrap should be applied carefully. Too tight a bandage could constrict or interrupt vital circulation to the area.

    E = Elevation
    Elevation involves raising the injured area above the level of the heart as much as possible. This position promotes the lessening or elimination of swelling through the use of gravity and lymph drainage system.

    To prevent injuries, athletes should:

    • Be in proper physical condition.
    • Warm up and stretch before participating in any sports or exercise.
    • Always wear properly fitting shoes, and replace athletic shoes as soon as the tread wears out or the heel wears down on one side.
    • Nourish their muscles by eating a well-balanced diet.
    • Use or wear appropriate protective equipment.
    • Maintain hydration.
    • Maintain a healthy weight.
    • Avoid exercising or playing sports when tired or in pain.
    • Walk and work on even surfaces.


  7. Ice or Heat?

    Ice or Heat?
    Should you use Ice or Heat for Pain and Inflammation?

    By Lisa Wright, CFT-LCI

    The following guidelines may help you sort it out.

    Acute and Chronic Pain
    There are two basic types of athletic injuries: acute and chronic.

    Acute Pain is of rapid onset and short-lived.
    Chronic Pain develops slowly and is persistent and long-lasting.

    Acute and Chronic Injuries
    Acute injuries are sudden, sharp, traumatic injuries that occur immediately (or within hours) and cause pain (possibly severe pain). Most often acute injuries result from some sort of impact or trauma such as a fall, sprain, or collision and it’s pretty obvious what caused the injury.

    Acute injuries also cause common signs and symptoms of injury such as pain, tenderness, redness, skin that is warm to the touch, swelling and inflammation. If you have swelling, you have an acute injury.

    Chronic injuries, on the other hand, can be subtle and slow to develop. They sometimes come and go, and may cause dull pain or soreness. They are often the result of overuse, but sometimes develop when an acute injury is not properly treated and doesn’t heal.

    Cold therapy with Ice
    Cold therapy with ice is the best immediate treatment for acute injuries because it reduces swelling and pain. Ice is a vaso-constrictor (it causes the blood vessels to narrow) and it limits internal bleeding at the injury site.

    To ice an injury, wrap ice in a thin towel and place it on the affected area for 10 minutes at a time. Allow the skin temperature to return to normal before icing a second or third time. You can ice an acute injury several times a day for up to three days.

    Cold therapy is also helpful in treating some overuse injuries or chronic pain. A person who has chronic knee pain that increases after running may want to ice the injured area after each run to reduce or prevent inflammation.

    The best way to ice an injury is with a high quality ice pack that conforms to the body part being iced. You can also get good results from a bag of frozen peas, an ice massage with water frozen in a paper cup (peel the cup down as the ice melts) or a bag of ice.

    Heat Therapy
    Heat is generally used for chronic injuries or injuries that have no inflammation or swelling. Sore, stiff, nagging muscle or joint pain is ideal for the use of heat therapy. Heat therapy may be used before exercise to increase the elasticity of joint connective tissues and to stimulate blood flow. Heat can also help relax tight muscles or muscle spasms. Don’t apply heat after exercise. After a workout, ice is the better choice on a chronic injury.

    Because heat increases circulation and raises skin temperature, you should not apply heat to acute injuries or injuries that show signs of inflammation. Safely apply heat to an injury 15 to 20 minutes at a time and use enough layers between your skin and the heating source to prevent burns.

    Moist heat is best, try using a hot wet towel.  Never leave heating pads on for more than 20 minutes at a time or while sleeping.

    Because some injuries can be serious, you should see your doctor if your injury does not improve (or gets worse) within 48 hours.

    Source: Sports Medicine

  8. An Interview with Podiatrist – Dr. Al Kline


    As we continuously push our aging client base to be more active, we want to provide the best information we can for them and our readers. Industry leader of Podiatric Medicine and Surgery and cycling friend, Dr. Al Kline recently allowed an interview with us. A big thank you to him for allowing us to feature this interview as one of our blog posts.


    What is a podiatrist?

    A podiatrist has earned a 4 year specialized medical degree as a “Doctor of Podiatric Medicine”.   The Doctor of Podiatric Medicine is one of four medical disciplines (DO, MD, DPM and DVM) that can prescribe medications, practice medicine and perform surgery of the foot and ankle.  Most DPM’s will have a 4 year undergraduate degree, 4 years of specialized medical school training and at least 2 years of residency training and other specialized training if performing surgery.   Most schools of Podiatric Medicine are associated with accredited Medical Schools that are in place across the nation.

    Who might benefit from seeing a podiatrist?

    Anyone with a foot or ankle problem or concerns about their feet or ankles might benefit seeing us. We see patients of all ages from infants and children to adults and the elderly.   Most patients with diabetes would also benefit by a routine examination every 6 months.  Diabetes can cause neuropathy or vascular changes to the feet that can cause secondary problems that could lead to hospitalizations and even worse, amputations.

    What are some of the most common foot problems you see in active people ages 45 and up?

    We see all types of problems in the office including ingrown toenails, athlete’s foot, ankle sprains, foot fractures, acute and even chronic injuries.  Probably the most common issue that I see is heel pain or arch strain in the form of ‘plantar fasciitis’.  This is a very common in sports as well.  

    What effect does exercise in general have on foot health?

    Exercise has a very positive impact on foot health.  Of course, wearing the right type of shoes is important to any particular exercise you choose.

    As a surgeon, I specialize in reconstructive surgery of the foot, especially if someone has deformities that prevent them from walking or exercising comfortably.  However, our practice is very conservative in nature, especially with foot deformities.  We believe that customized orthotics can go a long way in preventing injuries and supporting certain type of deformities allowing people to return to activities without pain.

    When should someone consider wearing a minimalist shoe?
    I don’t see any reason to wear a minimalist shoe.  I think shoes are very individual to the person.  With that said, most good running shoes and supportive shoes share common features.  Most good shoes will have a stable heel counter and material that is built to sustain high impact loads.

    Where can our clients go to receive maximum foot care, such as reflexology, if this is something you even recommend?

    I don’t believe in reflexology as a science.  I don’t think pushing on one area of the foot will cure your cancer, a UTI or your cold. There is no one nerve in the foot that is a direct link to the brain to address a certain symptom or organ as described on the reflexology chart.  It’s pure speculation and not rooted in science. A foot massage is probably just therapeutic.

    Why did you choose podiatry as a profession?

    I was educated in sports medicine and Health Science education, so it seemed like a perfect fit.

    How does cycling minimize issues with the feet or does it?

    Cycling is a low impact sport and is a good alternative to starting an exercise program.  I see many people take up exercise to lose weight and begin a high impact program that can actually lead t injuries and set you back in your pursuit of health.

    Dr. Al and Joann Kline have been practicing Podiatric Medicine and Surgery in the greater Corpus Christi area since 1994.  To make an appointment, call 361-884-3984.

  9. Is alcohol making me fat?

    A very timely question, we have been asked frequently around the Studio these days.   Now that the holidays are over, we are all trying to get back to our healthier eating and drinking routines.  No doubt around the holidays most of us indulged a bit more than we usually do.  More parties, dinners and socializing.  We all know that alcohol contains empty calories.  So, if you do indulge, think about the pros and cons. Weigh them for yourself and make the best choice for you.

    Alcohol, whether mixed, blended, on the rocks, with salt or without all has a moderately high caloric count.  (7 calories per gram,  to be exact)   Women’s Health Base gives you a look into just how many calories you are drinking in your Cosmo and how to make better decisions if you do indulge, here’s what we found on Women’s Health base:

    So, is there an upside to alcohol use at all?  Let’s take a look at a few popular drinks some of you may be drinking and see what the current science is telling us:

    Red Wine: Why It Wins

    Scientists single out the wine’s polyphenols (antioxidants occurring naturally in the grape skin) which protect the lining of the heart’s blood vessels. An antimicrobial substance called Reservatrol can also help prevent damage to blood vessels, discourage blood clotting, and reduce bad cholesterol. Recently, studies have shown that drinking red wine also can decrease lung cancer risk, along with those powerful polyphenols fighting off Alzheimer’s disease.

    White Wine: Still Good for the Heart, and More

    While many studies argue that white’s weak compared to red, others point to the lighter stuff being just as cardio-protective as the Merlot. What’s missing is the grape skin, removed for white wine fermentation, which provides those antioxidant and anti-bacterial benefits in darker wine. Meanwhile, though, any wine has been shown to control the growth of bacteria involved in tooth decay and sore throat.
    Whiskey: A Shot a Day Keeps the What Away?

    This question brought a smile to my face.  I remember taking a trip to Brownsville, Florida to a revival center a few years back.  The day I was there, just happened to be a parishioner’s 100th birthday. When the tea-totaling pastor asked her what her secret to longevity was, she smiled and said.  “I take a shot of whiskey in my orange juice every morning!”  Wow! Maybe she had something there!

    What if you could substitute the dark stuff for your morning OJ? That’s the good news coming from Australia’s Monash University, where they found a daily shot of Jack could provide the same antioxidant benefits as the recommended intake of Vitamin C. When whiskey is stored in oak barrels to mature, it also absorbs compounds that sheath our body’s healthy cells. Another whiskey substance — ellagic acid, which is found in fruits we eat — is said to help fight cancer by absorbing rogue cells, according to a 2005 conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

    Guinness: Heart-Attack Killer?

    University of Wisconsin researchers found that a pint of Guinness Extra Stout was about as effective as low-dose aspirin in preventing dogs’ blood platelets from clotting — and reducing their risk of a heart attack. Don’t expect the benefit to carry over to your Bud Light, though: the researchers pointed to Guinness’ flavanoid antioxidants (which work as anti-inflammatories) as a possible reason for the difference. And they found that the darker beer was three times as likely as lighter beers to inhibit clotting.

    Other Beer: What’s (Sorta) Good for You

    Any brew — no matter its type — will be a source of silicon, which can contribute to bone growth and development. That’s according to scientists who studied seventy-six brands of beers, only to discover that this staple was a “major contributor” to silicon intake in the Western diet. Other scientists have found that particularly hoppy beers contain a micronutrient called xanthohumol, which can inhibit the growth of tumors and the enzymes that activate cancer cells. In other words, drink up.

     Remember, as with most things in life, moderation is key to a happy and healthy life!  Cheers!

    To find more information regarding alcohol and your body read more on Esquire.


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  10. Correct Posture in the New Year

    Always be aware of your posture!  Correct standing posture is: Stomach in, Chest up, Shoulders back and Knees soft.

    Stomach in:  What does that really mean?  This means that you should pull your abdominal muscles into your spine.  Think about introducing your belly button to your spine, this has to be practiced as many people will associate sucking in air to pull their stomach in and that is NOT correct.  Practice by placing your hands just below your umbilicus.  Try feeling the muscles move inward as you purposely pull them in.   This should be practiced in both standing and sitting positions.

    Chest up:  Think about elevating your breast bone.  Just by imagining you are lifting your breast bone up, your chest will rise, thus creating a more erect stance.  This too, should be practiced while both sitting and standing.

    Shoulders back:  When standing or sitting for that matter, most people have forward rounded shoulders.  This occurs, as many of our daily activities are in front of us, creating tightness in our chest muscles and weakness in our upper back.  To improve this imbalance, pull/pinch shoulder blades together without drastically moving your shoulders/ arms.

    Knees soft:  When people stand, they tend to “lock” their knees.  This “locking” position creates a hyper-extension of the knee joint, which puts additional stress on your knee ligaments and your back.  A “soft knee” creates a small, un-noticeable bend in the knee.   Practice by standing purposely- pull your knees all the way straight so they “lock” then relax the joint just enough to “unlock” the knee.  This position is a “soft knee.  Standing in line is a great place to practice and master this skill.

    Remember for pain-free exercise:

    • Use slow and controlled movements
    • Start slow and GRADUALLY increase activities
    • Avoid high joint stress movements
    • Vary the routine
    • Muscles soreness the next day is normal…joint pain is NOT
    • Exercises should NEVER increase pain
    • The Arthritis Foundation states, pain that does NOT relieve itself within 1 hour is an indication that the exercise session was too intense

    Posture Modifications are necessary when posture effects normal position and can create other challenges/pains if not corrected.

    Every effort should be made to correct postural challenges before initiating exercises.  It will not only reduce overall pain, but will also re-educate the body as to what “normal” is and the body will learn to adjust to the new corrected alignment.

    Use of pillows, towel rolls, etc. can be used to help improve postural deficits.

    How To Do A One Arm Row Correctly

    Exercise Instructions:

    Setup for the one arm dumbbell row:  Grab a flat bench and set a dumbbell or kettleball on the left hand side at one end. Position yourself on the left side of the bench with your right knee and right hand resting on the bench using a neutral grip, pick up the dumbbell with your left hand. Pull your shoulder blade back while keeping your arm straight, engaging the scapula. This is the starting position for the exercise. Slowly pull the dumbbell up as far as possible, exhaling through your mouth.  Pause and squeeze your shoulder blades together, then slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position, inhaling through the nose.  Repeat for desired reps.


    Your shoulder blades should be pulled back throughout the set. Do not let the working shoulder drop down at the bottom of the movement.  Keep your entire torso fixed-naval pulled back toward the spine and back flat.   Pull the weight straight up while keeping your elbow tucked in.

     Check out the rest of the exercise pics by clicking here or on the photo!

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