Dietary Fats: Not the Boogeymen You May Think!

Dietary fats… There was a time (specifically, the nineties) when even the mere mention of dietary fats was enough to make a nutritionist tremble. Unfortunately, for many, that time has not yet passed. Even today, many so-called “health” foods tout low-fat labels, claiming that it’s better for you.

It’s time to lay these claims to rest.

To begin, I’d just like to spell out that eating fat does not necessarily make you fat.

While fat does contain twice the calories per gram as proteins or carbohydrates (9 grams, to their 4), they’re still just calories. There’s nothing special about fat that makes you gain weight. A low-fat diet may lower your overall calorie intake (or it might not, since simple sugars often replace any calories saved by lowering fat content), but fat is a key macronutrient for the body, actually aiding in absorption of beneficial nutrients and maintaining energy and hormone production, so proper amounts should always be consumed for good health!

However, what about fat and heart disease? Well, that’s where it gets a little complicated. There are many different kinds of fat, at least one of which, trans fat, is definitely bad for you – there is total agreement on that. Trans fats are purely synthetic FrankenFats, made in labs and injected into processed foods as preservatives. The evidence against them is clear: they lower good cholesterol and raise bad cholesterol and likely have even more onerous consequences.

Saturated fats have often received similar accusations, but in light of more recent research, the consensus among experts now is… “maybe.” Since 2010, there have been six major scientific studies on saturated fats and heart disease, and they’re divided 3-3 on whether there is a negative link. Mono- and poly-unsaturated fats are the heart-healthy fats, with minimal risks involved compared to their benefits. These are the ones you want to look for on the label. Common examples include olive oil, almonds and salmon.

So, what’s my verdict? Cut out trans fats, eat saturated fats with at least some degree of moderation, and eat as much mono- and poly-unsaturated fat as you need! Always remember that fats are an essential macro-nutrient that we would die without.

A food plan is an important element of your personal ultimate fitness plan and part of the discussion in your current fitness assessment. Call us at The Fitness Clinic gym for a goal oriented food plan to complement your ultimate fitness regimen. Get scientifically based guidance for all your fitness needs from professionals dedicated to achieving your goals. Call Nick or Fred at 954-491-4969.

Weight Training and Bone Density

So what about Weight Training and Bone Density – The first thing that pops into anyone’s head when they hear the words “work out,” “fitness,” or “exercise” is typically the muscular system. It does perform the bulk of the work in any given exercise, along with the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, so this just makes sense.

That’s precisely why this article isn’t going to be about your muscles. It won’t be about your hearts or lungs either, for that matter. The truth of the matter is that there’s another often overlooked key player in fitness considerations, and therefore another key beneficiary when you exercise — what is it?

Yup, it’s your bones! And congratulations if you didn’t cheat by looking at the title again!

So, what do bones have to do with exercise? Let’s start by stressing just how important it is to maintain a healthy skeleton, then talk about how exercise can help increase your bone density and strength.

Maintaining the health of your skeletal system may, to some, seem only to be a concern for older folks. While it’s true that it becomes more and more critical as one ages, it’s still important to take good care of your bones at every life stage. Healthy bones have a lower chance of developing osteoporosis, breaking or splintering under pressure, and numerous other deficiencies. Everyone, from kids to seniors and every age in between should be working to build optimal bone structure!

With that out of the way, the time has come to discuss how exercise can strengthen our bones! It’s a widely known fact that exercise builds muscle. Duh, right? Well, a slightly lesser known fact is that at the same time that you’re packing on muscle mass, you’re also building bone mass as well. In short: high impact and resistance exercises build bone density.

The way it works is similar in some ways to building muscle. Say you’re sprinting — as your foot hits the ground, the immense pressure applied in that split second of time is registered by your nerves, and bone cells know, as osteoblasts begin to form at the site of impact (in this sprinting example, the entire surface of every bone in your leg). Those cells release collagen and other proteins across the surface of the stressed bone, which harden in time. Congratulations, you’ve started gaining bone mass!

Now, we’d like to draw your attention to the fact that we used sprinting as our example in the last paragraph. Not all exercise builds bone, and some builds bone much better than others.

Generally, as stated before, a workout needs to have a certain degree of impact and/or resistance, a threshold known as minimal essential strain, past which bone growth occurs.

Low impact, low resistance movements often won’t meet that threshold to spur collagen deposition. That means exercises such as swimming and elliptical work, while having significant cardio effect, will have little to no effect at all on your bones. Running is an excellent high impact workout for building leg bones, and the resistance you have to overcome when doing a bench press can help strengthen your arm bones. While impact is the best way to build density and solidity, you can’t discount the benefits of a good set of weights. Olympic weightlifting, such as the snatch and clean & jerk provide both impact and resistance in wonderful quantities, so it’s an excellent consideration, as long as you’re supervised by a professional and already have healthy enough bones to execute them.

Speaking of which, it’s always a smart idea to consult a trainer first, as well as your doctor, to determine how healthy your bones are at the moment. While sprinting, heavy squats, and hang cleans are great for building up bones that are already somewhat strong, they’re not for everyone. If your bones are weakened, exercises such as jogging or power walking may be better suited for you in the beginning, as well as lower weight resistance training. Remember, you can’t make any progress if you injure yourself!

For those short on time, we’ll quickly summarize some exercises and how well they can spur bone growth. Remember that high growth can also mean high risk if your bones aren’t strong enough to do them, so don’t be afraid to work your way up!

High Growth
• Sprinting and running
• Olympic weightlifting (snatch, clean & jerk variations)
• Heavy resistance training (bench press, squat, dead lift, etc)
Medium Growth
• Jogging and power walking
• Bodybuilding/isolation exercises (bicep curl, hamstring curl) that target individual bones with relatively low weights
• Aerobics (such as jumping jacks, hiking and kickboxing)
Low/No Growth
• Casual walking
• Swimming
• Low impact cardio (such as elliptical work)

Now you know everything you need to know to get started on building bones of steel, to stave off osteoporosis and broken bones, and keep yourself strong and moving for decades to come!

The Fitness Clinic gym in Fort Lauderdale has been dedicated to your best fitness and health for over thirty years and has the success stories to prove it! Our scientific approach to fitness, and private club atmosphere, all contribute to your overall well being – weight training, cardio training, bone density, balance – whatever your goals, we’ll help you design a personal ultimate fitness plan to achieve them. Call Fred or Nick at 954-491-4969 to get started today.

SPECIALTY SPINNING WITH ANGELIA – ST. PATRICK’S DAY RIDE

You are invited to join us for a specialty Spinning class on Wednesday March 15th at 6:30 pm at The Fitness Clinic.
SPECIALTY SPINNING WITH ANGELIA – ST. PATRICK’S DAY RIDE – WEDNESDAY AT 6:30PM!

Travel to Ireland and participate in a pilgrimage ascending Croagh Patrick and follow in the footsteps of St. Patrick. We will then ride to the Skellig Islands and climb Skellig Michael where part of Star Wars 7 “The Force Awakens” was filmed. Also on our journey we will climb the Cliffs of Moher and witness breathtaking views from the tops of the cliffs. We will end your journey participating in an Irish pub crawl along the streets of Dublin. Join Angelia on a fabulous ride along the Irish countryside – lush green pastures and rolling hills. You might even see a Leprechaun or two during your journey!! Video and photos will be presented during your journey and this class will be a little over an hour.

Bring a friend and enjoy this special event.

Fitness and Your Resting Heart Rate

So today, let’s talk about fitness and your resting heart rate. Resting heart rate refers to a person’s average number of beats per minute when they are in a relaxed or resting state. A variety of factors can affect heart rate, and a lower resting heart rate generally indicates better overall heart health and cardiovascular fitness. Experts at Harvard Medical School suggest using resting heart rate as an indicator of good health. While heart rate tends to increase slightly with age, an unusual increase in resting heart rate could mean an increased risk of heart disease. Average resting rates are between 70 and 90. A healthy resting rate that is likely to result in lower risk of heart disease is below 70, and healthy athletes tend to have resting rates in the high 40s and 50s.

The most important factors in maintaining a low resting heart rate are exercise, your eating plan and your weight. The heart is a muscle, and like all other muscles in the body, the more it is worked the stronger it becomes. A strong heart is less prone to disease. It also works as a stronger and more efficient pump. This means that the heart can beat less to move the same amount of blood, and that has important implications for the circulatory system. Each beat puts a small amount of strain on artery walls. Fewer beats means less strain and stronger arterial walls as we all age. Cardiovascular exercise, monitored at The Fitness Clinic gym in Fort Lauderdale to make certain the exercise is intensive enough to maintain an optimum training heart rate over an extended period of time, will improve heart strength. Many exercises and sports activities accomplish this, including jogging, cycling, swimming, and weight lifting, all of which may be part of your Fitness Clinic personal ultimate fitness plan, determined with your fitness advisor or trainer. Walking is generally not intensive enough to raise heart rate sufficiently, but it’s always a good place to start.

Your eating plan and weight are the other keys to a healthy heart. Food Plans [never say diet!] high in healthy fats, such as those from olive oil or coconut oil, whole grains and plenty of fruits and vegetables will help improve cardiovascular health and overall body health. A proper eating plan will also help maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight or obese makes it harder for the heart to move blood throughout the body, increasing overall heart rate and resting heart rate and putting more strain on the heart. The Fitness Clinic gym in Fort Lauderdale has a 30+ year success record, not only helping clients maintain a healthy weight, but actually turning back the clock. And it’s guaranteed!

Maintaining a proper body weight is one of the best things you can do to lower your resting heart rate. For more information on attaining and maintaining a healthy resting heart rate as well as slowing or stopping the aging process, please call Fred or Nick at The Fitness Clinic gym Fort Lauderdale for an appointment and tour, at 954-491-4969 – you’ll like our private club atmosphere and scientific approach to your best health and fitness.

You’re Tired –

Of course You’re Tired – Why wouldn’t you be? Everything in your life is an energy drain, right? We really need to start asking ourselves: “Why?” Tired has many causes and we probably need to make a lot of life changes to fix that. If you are tired, in most cases it is because you are not excited about life.

I guarantee you, that even as tired as you are right now, if I told you that you had just won the lottery, you would tap into an instant source of abundant energy right within your own self. Tired is a state of mind that affects the state of your body and affects the outcomes of your life. We have to start somewhere to make a life change and gain life energy. I am personally right now going to buy a lottery ticket. See you at Publix.

There is one spiritual discipline that looks at an object from six different approaches to determine its truth. Take a look at your well being from these approaches: mental, physical, emotional, spiritual, geographical and interpersonal. You may need to fix them all, but like the human glandular system, by healing one part, you improve the overall well being of all the parts. Exercise is proven to help as well, and at The Fitness Clinic gym Fort Lauderdale we can actually work on all the parts of you. Great People work and train at The Fitness Clinic, and they all care. If you’re tired and you haven’t come in for a visit, add it to your list and do it now. Call 954-491-4969 for an introduction and a tour, you’ll like the small club atmosphere and thirty years of success stories. If you’d like to take advantage of the best personal trainer programs in South Florida at The Fitness Clinic gym Fort Lauderdale, call Fred or Nick today.

This post includes material from the book You’re Fat and She’s Not, by Sachin Mayi. Sachin is the Founder of ShareAPet.org, a 501(c)3 charitable organization providing canine therapy and facilitating reading fluency improvement in Elementary School children through their Pawsitive Reading program.

The Fitness Clinic Fort Lauderdale is Way More than a Gym – We’ll See You at Your Best!
We think The Fitness Clinic is the Best Fort Lauderdale Gym. How can we get your vote?

Finding Balance in Life (Literally)

Balance-Core-Training-The-Fitness-Clinic-Gym-Fort-Lauderdale-Joe-Devlin-Personal-Training

In this day and age, it’s true that as we find more and more ways to entertain ourselves, many of us exercise less and less. While less activity may predict future problems with loss of muscle mass, reduced strength and the specter of obesity, it also poses more subtle concerns. For example, if we never learn and use proper balance techniques by strengthening our core stabilizer muscles and training our central nervous system to properly react to a variety of movements, we’re putting ourselves at dire risk of injury in our everyday lives. Finding balance in life (literally) is just one factor in living a life of quality activity.

We’ve discussed and written about functional fitness often. Proper balance is crucial to protecting yourself in potentially dangerous situations, from the petty, like stepping off a sidewalk or curb, all the way up to life threatening, and vital for accident prevention. That’s why it’s increasingly important to train core for balance and stability, as well as train using a variety of methods for flexibility and recovery, targeting reactions to prevent an actual fall. Whether you’re young or old, athletic or non-athletic, a busy parent that’s let their fitness goals go by the wayside, an athlete with special needs, or a senior looking to live the longest healthiest possible life, balance training is essential to your lifestyle, whatever your goals.

First, let’s take a look at what balance training does, and how it works. Balance training has two primary goals: to strengthen deep core stabilizer muscles, and to train the nervous system to react quickly and forcefully.

Deep core stabilizer muscles, such as the transversus abdominus, multifidus, and many others, are the small muscles that control minute and precise movements. They’re essential to balance because they make those small adjustments that, at the most basic for example, keep you from falling over every time you take a step.

Your nervous system efficiency, which is also trained by normal compound workouts, is a function of how quickly your nervous system delivers a message to your muscles once your brain sends it, as well as how forcefully your nervous system is able to contract that muscle. Thus, it affects your reaction time and how efficiently your muscles can react, move and respond.

These two aspects make up the majority of what we call our sense of balance. While there are other aspects, such as inner ear health and mental state, those are subjects requiring more compensatory techniques and can’t necessarily be trained away. We’ll be leaving them out for now, but call The Fitness Clinic to discuss a regimen for specialized compensatory training for more complex issues or special needs training programs. We’ve been providing specialized personal fitness programs for over thirty years.

So how does one train their sense of balance? By challenging it, of course! While you could always try it at home by, say, standing on one foot, the best balance training is done with specialized equipment, under the guidance and supervision of trained fitness professionals (as is the case with all types of physical training). While balance training is generally used as a supplement to a more comprehensive fitness program, those with exceptional need may elect to make core stability a higher priority in their program, and even dedicate workouts specifically to improvement in this area.

So what are some good exercises?

You’ll find your best core training on top of a BOSU® ball. A BOSU® ball, for those who don’t know, is half of a large rubber ball — Basically, it’s half of a Swiss ball. The other half is just a flat, hard rubber surface. Because it’s full of air, and one side is curved, standing on either side, curved or flat, will challenge your sense of balance.

There are tons of possible BOSU® ball exercises. The simplest and easiest, for those just starting balance training, can just be standing on the ball at all. As you gain core fitness and find and improve your sense of balance more, you can eventually move to standing on one foot, to doing squats while standing on it, to weighted squats, even to one legged squats (known as pistol squats). Squats on the BOSU® ball are particularly effective at challenging your balance, as you have to fire your large “mover” muscles and your deep stabilizer muscles simultaneously. This has great benefit, because it teaches the two muscle groups to work together, and can therefore help make you immensely stronger as a side perk. Once you’re rolling, have your Fitness Clinic personal trainer demonstrate the BOSU® jump squat! Have them show you several times 😉 They all love it 😀

But – the possibilities for BOSU® balls don’t stop there. Almost any exercise can be performed with a BOSU® ball to add an element of balance training. For example, try laying the BOSU® ball with the curved side down, and then place your hands on either side of the flat side while doing pushups, planks, or side planks.

You can also lay it flat side down and do burpees on it. Your hands will be on the curved side on the pushup portion, and when you jump, you’ll jump on the BOSU® ball as well. This will challenge both your upper and lower body stability in a tough cardio exercise.

Another great tool you can use is the BOSU® ball’s big sister: the Swiss ball. This ball is just a large, inflated rubber ball with no flat sides, and comes with its own set of exercises to challenge your core and give you the balance you need. Since it doesn’t have a flat side, many exercises can become vastly more challenging with it. Try doing a few push-ups with your feet placed on top of the Swiss ball, or even something as simple as sitting or laying on it and trying not to fall off (sitting balance exercises are good for whenever you want to challenge yourself without really working up a sweat).

Including some TRX inspired exercises in your balance focused fitness program can contribute mightily to balance and central nervous system efficiency improvement, and fine-tune your ability to react to slips and trips. The TRX straps can assist in making the pistol squat a fantastic and attainable balance challenge, and mastering the TRX side lunge will make you a balance PRO! Ask your Fitness Clinic personal trainer which TRX-type exercises worked into your regimen will contribute the most to your stability and progress.

Lastly, a note on safety: Although technically anything that puts you off balance can be a balance exercise, it’s very important to train safely, and these exercises are no exception. Nothing puts a halt to progress faster than an injury, so don’t be tight-rope walking curbs where you can fall off, because a rolled or sprained ankle definitely does not improve your balance. Start on a 2X4 or fitness step with a spotter if you are just starting out. The old rule about consulting a professional and being in a specialized fitness center are especially important. Not only will you receive personalized training programs, but a trainer can give you the low-down on what to do as well as how to do it, and when we start a balance fitness program performing new exercises or using unfamiliar equipment, a spotter’s helping hand can be especially useful and reassuring.

With these exercises, ranging from beginner all the way to advanced levels, you have everything you need to live a safer more stable and vibrant life. Integrate them into a full fitness regimen, or just do them a bit on the side to keep yourself spry. Either way, they’re guaranteed to show results; and as long as you play it safe, you’ll be a balance master in no time!

If you’ve started or are still considering a new personal fitness program for 2017, please review The Fitness Clinic articles on resolutions, persistence and consistency, and our guaranteed ultimate personal fitness plans:

Click on the links below for more information:
Commit to a reasonable time-frame for those resolutions!

Guarantee Your Success – Your Personal Ultimate Fitness Plan

The Fitness Clinic personal trainers can help you stick to your fitness goals and 2017 Resolutions on so many levels. Challenge them to help you fulfill your goals and expectations this year. For a complimentary fitness assessment and a special offer to help motivate you to attack your fitness challenges, call Fred or Nick at The Fitness Clinic gym in the Imperial Square Plaza – 954-491-4969 – Over thirty years of success stories have started here.

Accountability in Your Commitment to Fitness

Accountability-Your-Best-Self-The-Fitness-Clinic-gym-Fort-Lauderdale-Joe-Devlin

Do you really want to succeed in your fitness goals? You have to WANT it. Remind yourself every chance you get of why you want to become more fit and healthy, and make it a priority in your life. This is often the hardest aspect, because – in the moment – we can be prone to impulse. Consistently remind yourself how important your fitness is to you and why – it’s a promise you make to yourself. The secret to your success might just be – ACCOUNTABILITY. That means telling your spouse or significant other, all your friends, someone in the gym you respect and admire…and asking them to make sure they hold you to your professed shared goals. They must be people you trust to ask you ‘straight up’ how it’s going…people who don’t ‘blow smoke’ or tell you what they think you want to hear. Honest, frank accountability partners…

For more on this topic and making your quest for personal fitness easy and straightforward, click here to read FITNESS IS EASY – HAVE A PLAN, WORK YOUR PLAN

Your Personal Ultimate Fitness Plan

ATHLETIC TRAINING , BALANCED WEIGHT TRAINING , Brett Renner , Fort Lauderdale Gym , New Year's Resolutions , PERSONAL FITNESS ROUTINE , PERSONAL TRAINER , personal training , SOCCER SPECIFIC TRAINING , Soccer Training , Soccer Training Specialist , Sport Specific Training , The Fitness Clinic Gym , Training Goals , Your Personal Ultimate Fitness Plan

What do you do when you are finally ready to start your personal ultimate fitness plan? If you live in Fort Lauderdale or the immediate surrounding area, you’re going to head over to The Fitness Clinic gym and sit down for your complimentary fitness assessment and receive your exercise prescription. The Fitness Clinic is way more than a gym, and we don’t have ‘members,’ we have Clients. Most people join gyms with good intentions but perhaps unrealistic expectations, and unfortunately many do not see results and quit soon thereafter. Don’t join a gym to ‘get in shape’ – read on, and see if this process makes sense to you…

WHEN:
When you begin a program at The Fitness Clinic, the best Fort Lauderdale gym, we’ll start with a comprehensive fitness assessment. This includes Blood Pressure, Resting Heart Rate and medical history. We take into account any medications, limitations and any injuries you may have or have had. We test your Strength, Flexibility, Body Composition [Body Fat %] and Cardiovascular fitness along with a few measurements for future comparison. During this phase, we consider the results of your assessment and create and develop a program for you. No two people are quite the same; therefore no two people should have the exact same program. Together, we set goals and objectives encompassing your past experiences and consider your current schedule before we develop your program. Now set a time frame. Three months is usually a good initial timeline when beginning, and your commitment will govern your results over the three month period.

WHERE:
Our unique approach to fitness maximizes your chances for success, and that unique approach has been working for our clients for over thirty years! We don’t give you a membership card; we give you a personalized fitness program. When you have a plan, you’re more likely to stick with it, and when your program is consistently completed, you’ll start feeling better and start seeing results almost immediately. This increases your motivation geometrically. Have a plan, work your plan – your plan will work for you. Results equal compliance, and compliance and consistent completion create more results – and before you know it, you’re on your way to achieving your goals. Don’t just join another gym; let The Fitness Clinic in Fort Lauderdale help you shape a healthy lifestyle. You will begin your new dedicated program at The Fitness Clinic, and depending on your preference, as motivation builds, you may find yourself also frequenting various bodies of water, biking courses and running courses…

HOW:
Most of our programs will include a combination of Cardiovascular Exercise, Strength Training, Flexibility, Nutrition and Core & Balance exercise. How much of each is determined by your current condition and your specific goals. We will create a personalized “fitness formula” for you in a safe, efficient and effective program — that guarantees results. On a one-to-one basis we will instruct you and implement your personal program and guarantee your results through science and supervision. You will become familiar with and be trained on a variety of equipment, your physical exercise time will be determined by your schedule, goals and motivation, and you’ll commit to a concentrated effort on healthy well-balanced eating. We will set up initial appointments for the purposes of instructing you on the details of your plan. During this time we will show you every aspect of what you’ll be doing at The Fitness Clinic gym.

WHY:
To establish a once-and-for-all life program in which compliance is achievable, variety is present, and results are measurable and quantifiable. How much, how long, how hard and how often are all detailed; which exercises, how many reps and sets and when to increase, are all written on your chart – which is kept here. This helps us keep track of your attendance and progress. This is one of the main differences between joining a gym and being a Client at The Fitness Clinic in Fort Lauderdale.

WHAT:
Each week you will comply and complete your exercise prescription as outlined for that time period. It will include resistance training, which can encompass bands, straps, slides, free-weights, machines, balls and more, along with cardiovascular training [Embrace Cardio!]. Cardio can include any of our brand new cardio equipment, or any of the great classes at The Fitness Clinic, or outside pursuits including running, swimming and biking. Again, your days and times will be determined by your schedule and needs.

The Good News

YOU MUST HAVE ONE OR TWO DAYS OFF EACH WEEK! That’s right, rest and recovery are as important as your exercise prescription, and should be written into your personal Ultimate Fitness Plan. As we consider measurable and quantifiable guaranteed results, we will press for a pre-test and post-test based on your chosen timeline, and update all the statistics compiled at your initial comprehensive fitness assessment – and update again at each of your timeline milestones as you progress.

Please call Fred or Nick at The Fitness Clinic gym in Fort Lauderdale for an appointment and tour, 954-491-4969 – you’ll like our private club atmosphere. Ask about the best personal training programs in South Florida.

The Fitness Clinic in Fort Lauderdale is Way More than a Gym – We’ll See You at Your Best!
We think The Fitness Clinic is the Best Fort Lauderdale Gym. How can we get your vote?

Your 2017 Fitness Resolutions! Commit to a Reasonable Time Frame…

As the holidays approach, so do opportunities to overindulge and get sidetracked from a diet plan or exercise regimen, so commit to your 2017 Fitness Resolutions! Commit to a Reasonable Time Frame… As a personal trainer for ten years, I’ve seen people flood into gyms after every New Year, eager to burn off the extra pounds gained during the holidays. Most gym-goers have seen this surge of people in early January and it becomes a topic of conversation, “How long do you think they’ll last this year?” But why wait for the New Year?

The truth is that as a society, we’ve become so used to instant gratification we become quickly discouraged when things don’t go our way within a relatively short amount of time. Speaking from my personal experience in fitness and my collegiate soccer program, becoming healthy and establishing a regular gym routine is not something done overnight. The point here is this; patience and hard work are required to see results. This can be a cold hard truth to some people, but when starting a workout program with my own clients and assessing their stated goals, I have to be realistic and tell them exactly what is expected if they want to see those goals achieved. Don’t make procrastination a self-indulgence, get an early start on your Resolutions and increase your odds for success.

One of the first things I usually say is to give it time, and I’m not talking about just two weeks and giving it up. I’m talking about starting with a solid 12 weeks of consistent exercise at a proper intensity, and then I could guarantee that regardless of your current state of fitness, you would see significant progress within the first three months. Being that most people aren’t willing to commit to anything for longer than a couple of weeks, the best intentioned New Year’s Resolutions quickly go by the wayside – only about 8% will actually achieve their 2017 goals. Whether or not you’ve been guilty of this in the past, anytime you want to set a goal for yourself give it a reasonable amount of time to work; otherwise you’ll never know your true capabilities.

I’ve seen some really amazing transformations – people who didn’t think they could ever develop and look the way they do now. Do your body a favor this Holiday Season, if you’re thinking about pursuing a more healthy lifestyle commit to whatever you’re going to do for a specified amount of time. In fact, commit and start right now. You’ll already be rolling by New Year’s Eve and on your way to achieving your goals. Making yourself accountable to a friend or spouse for this time commitment also helps the process, so take that leap this year and commit to becoming a healthier version of yourself. I personally promise that if you stick to a program, you’ll get so much satisfaction out of it you’ll wonder what took you so long. This year, make a concerted effort to be one of those people that sticks around after the ‘New Year’s Resolutioners’ have already given up and gone home – you’ll be happy you did. For questions about your personal fitness plan or guidance on fulfilling your 2017 New Year’s Fitness Resolutions, call me at The Fitness Clinic – (815) 994-1026.

Functional Strength in Everyday Life

Functional Strength The Fitness Clinic Gym Fort Lauderdale Personal Training

When someone says the word “fitness,” we tend to think of bodybuilders, or sprinters built like gazelles, or basketball players that could jump over a small car. We imagine star athletes at the peak of their physical potential, not functional strength in everyday life…

But of course, fitness encompasses way more.

Fitness is also being able to sit down in a chair and then stand up. It’s being able to walk
up a flight of stairs, and being able to carry your groceries in from the car. It’s being able to walk the dog and throw its toy for retrieval. There are many who take these common day-to-day tasks for granted, but there’s no denying that they too involve a level of fitness. As we get older, it’s important to maintain the strength of everyday life, not only for our health, but for convenience, happiness, independence, and quality of life…

So how do we maintain a functional level of fitness for everyday life, even if we aren’t avid gym-goers? The best strategy is to just do little things every day that will challenge you and keep you in top shape. Here are some suggestions for keeping you up and at it well into your golden years:

See a personal trainer or join a gym and work with fitness professionals. These trainers don’t just work with bodybuilders and athletes! Personal trainers provide you with a personalized plan to address your specific needs, which makes them by far the wisest option for those wanting to be strong for everyday life!

Try getting up from a chair with a neutral spine without using your arms to brace you. This mimics an actual gym-style workout exercise called the box squat, and will, over time, provide your legs with the pushing power to hop in and out of chairs for decades with no trouble.

This one’s a bit cliché, true, but always take the stairs if you can. Those looking for an added challenge can even take two steps at a time. In general, the more you walk and move, the healthier you’ll be, especially later in life.

Build a strong upper back by never wimping out on how many bags of groceries you can take in at once. Make sure you grab close to equal weight in both hands, and try to get them inside in as few trips as you can. This also mimics a common exercise, known as the farmer’s walk. In the gym, your trainer will probably add lunges to your farmer’s walk, but that will come in good time!

Never, never fall into “I’m too old for this” thought patterns. The things we tell ourselves, we subconsciously make into our reality. A professional baseball player would never tell themselves they can’t run the bases well enough, and neither should you tell yourself you can’t walk your dog anymore, or carry a big load of groceries in from the car.

Of course, with all that said, there’s also the reality that as we get older, we can become more prone to injury, especially if we have not exercised throughout our lives. While keeping good physical fitness can go a long way toward helping to build resilience, it’s also important whenever you perform strenuous activity in your day-to-day life to make certain that you do it safely and with good form. The most important factor is watching your back! Your spine has normal curves when viewed from the side. These curves help to better absorb the loads applied to the spine from the weight of the body. Here are some tips to keep your spine in good shape, which will go a long way toward keeping your whole body in good shape:

Always keep an eye on your posture. As we grow older, many tend to “hunch” the upper back, a condition known as kyphosis. Postural kyphosis is caused by poor posture and the weakening of the muscles and ligaments in the back (paraspinous muscles). As you stand and walk, periodically check yourself and make sure that your shoulders are pulled back, your chest is out, your chin is tucked with your head pointing straight forward in a neutral position (not up or down), and your hips are square beneath you (that is to say, you’re not sticking your butt out or rocking your pelvis forward). Your personal trainer is a great choice to assess your current posture and design a plan to help you correct any posture mistakes.

When it comes time to lift and carry something, what they always told you at work is true: bend at the knees, keep a flat neutral spine, and lift with your legs. There is no better way to herniate a disk and never walk without pain again than to lift a heavy object with a rounded back. If you feel your back starting to round while lifting, set the object back down, take in a deep breath, straighten your back and attempt the lift again.

In keeping with these last two points on proper back posture, let’s just round this up by emphasizing further, that at all times, the integrity of your back is paramount. Watch yourself during everyday tasks: if you torque your back to “whip” the hatch down on your SUV, or if you hunch over your knee when bending over to tie your shoe instead of bending at the hips, you’re creating compromising positions that will in time deprive you of the strength for everyday life!

There you have it, some advice on both how to build strength and endurance to get you through a functional day, and also how to keep your body in proper working order to keep that strength – functional strength in everyday life… Use these tips well, incorporate a personal fitness plan, and you’ll be spry and strong well into your seventies, eighties, nineties, and beyond!

Whatever your current level, fitness is personal, and your fitness plan should be too. In this time of personal promises and resolutions, The Fitness Clinic gym in Imperial Square Plaza encourages you to call for a complimentary personal fitness assessment.

If you are already exercising, maybe you could benefit from a more personal customized approach, and if you are committing to starting a new program in the New Year, give yourself the best chance for success. The Fitness Clinic has over thirty years of success stories and you can fit right in with our limited membership and be next. For the greatest chance of success, your best bet is to start your resolutions in December!

Call Fred or Nick at The Fitness Clinic gym, and let’s get you started right now – For more information on the best personal trainer programs in Broward or directed independent training programs, please call us at The Fitness Clinic gym: 954-491-4969, or email in confidence to: info@fitclinic.com.