Apples, Pears, Plums… Can I Enjoy It?

Apple, pear, tape and glucometerI love it when my clients get excited. Not just about fitness, either! I love hearing about what my clients are up to outside of the immediate realm of fitness, whether it’s hobbies they enjoy, weekend plans they are looking forward to, or just daily updates.

One client of mine, Jon, has been telling me all about the fruit trees he has planted in his backyard. He is stoked that his micro orchard, if you can call five trees and orchard, are going gangbusters. Despite the heat, the trees have been producing a lot of fruit, and it looks like he has a lot of dishes that include apples, plums, and pears in his immediate future.

You can see where I’m going with this, right? I bet you can!

During the late summer, a lot of fruit starts to make its way to the market. I see a lot of independent entrepreneurs on street corners selling fresh apples, pears, plums, peaches, and cherries. As a chef, it’s a great time to take advantage of seasonal foods.

Now for the most part, fruits seem to get a bad rap at the surface. Fruits are seen as sugar packing desserts, inferior to vegetables. It’s true, in some cases: many fruits are used in dessert items, like cherry pie, apple strudel, plum pudding… and yes, these items are not on your diet plan! But that doesn’t mean fruits as a whole should be taken out of your diet.

Fruits are still a huge part of the food pyramid, and while they should be regulated like any other portion of food, you should still include healthy fruits into your diet. Take a look at some of the most important aspects of keeping fruit in your diet:

Fruits don’t contain cholesterol – That’s right! Cholesterol free! Fruits are also low in sodium, unhealthy fats, and calories.

Fruits are sources of nutrients – As a whole, most Americans lack a healthy source of potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamin C. Guess what many fruits have? All of these, especially bananas, prunes, peaches, apricots, and cantaloupe.

Fruits reduce heart disease – Because of these nutrients I just listed, fruits are amazing at preventing heart disease, which includes risk of heart attack and stroke.

Fiber! – Fiber is essential to any diet as you get older, as it helps protect against types of cancers, creates a sense of fullness, and helps proper bowel movement.

So don’t feel bad by grabbing an apple for the afternoon snack, or grabbing a few plums for lunch. Enjoy the treat! Be sure to talk to a personal trainer at Boomer Fitness to see how we can fully incorporate a healthy amount of fruit into your daily diet.

 

The Traits of a Good Personal Trainer, Part I

DSC_1198Most fitness blogs talk about the right nutrition you need to look for in a diet plan. Most will write about the kinds of exercises you need to be focusing on to properly work your biceps, triceps, glutes, core… Any muscle you might want to focus an exercise on.

My own blog features a long list of these subjects. I’ve got write-ups and videos detailing the most important nutritional aspects of any good diet. I’ve got a long list of write-ups and videos detailing various workout routines you can do at home.

But how do you know that what I’m saying is true? Or for that matter, how do you know if any personal trainer is worthwhile? If you’re going to be spending a lot of time making progress with your own personal trainer, you want to make sure he or she knows what they’re talking about, not just blowing hot air.

Not all personal trainers are created equal. True, we all go through rigorous training. We get certifications and credentials. We’re required to endure years of reviews, self appraisals, and tests before we begin training. But even after all this, some bad trainers still manage to slip through the cracks at larger corporate gyms. It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.

So what do you look for in a good trainer? At Boomer Fitness, I put a lot of pride in my team of personal trainers. I know they are some of the best trainers in the area, and I wouldn’t invite them to the gym if I was not 100% sure of that fact. Take a look at some of the things you should look for in a personal trainer, and some of the things we do here at Boomer Fitness:

Assessments – I love recording data. To me, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing quantifiable results when coming to the gym. But more importantly, it is a sign of a good trainer to make assessments of your improvement. This includes the initial measurement, and standard measurements every few weeks to record change.

At Boomer Fitness, we take this measurement process very seriously. The very first thing you do when starting work with a personal trainer is an assessment of your body. This gives us a baseline to judge your improvement every four weeks. During one of our assessments, we measure your range of movement, weight, diet, and even your willingness to make changes to your daily life. If it’s quantifiable, we will record it.

Want a quick telltale whether a personal trainer is measuring you? See if they’re carrying a clipboard with them through the gym. If they’re not, they aren’t measuring nearly as much as a trainer should be.

Planning and Setting Goals – One of the most important aspects of heading to the gym is having a goal for the future. Without a goal, we don’t have a direction to align ourselves toward, or a rudder to steer us. With a goal, we know where we will be in 3 months time. A good trainer knows how important planning is, and will sit down with you in the beginning of your fitness regimen to help you plan your future.

At Boomer Fitness, we always discuss goals as a part of our initial assessment. When we know where you want to be down the road, we begin planning out 4 week milestones to gauge your success factors. No matter how well trained we are or how sophisticated the gym equipment is, we cannot make progress without a game plan.

Integration of Training and Nutrition – Exercise alone does not get you results. You can spend hours each week at the gym, but if you don’t make the change to your diet as well, your time is going to make little to no change on your lifestyle. A good diet will ensure you’re getting the nutrition you need, without excessive sugars or carbs that usually are found in unhealthy diets. Good trainers know the relation between nutrition and fitness, and create dietary plans as well as fitness plans.

Trainers at Boomer Fitness don’t stop their work when you leave the gym. We make sure we outline a dietary plan to accompany your total fitness plan. This way, your fitness plan will be the most effective at helping you reach your goals.

This isn’t even half of the traits found in good trainers. Be sure to check my blog next week for more traits you want to look for when choosing a Personal Trainer, and all the traits you will find at Boomer Fitness. And when you’re ready to make a healthy change with some of the best personal trainers around, contact us for more information!

Fitness – Do it for your Health

Bored, overweight man sits on the sofaTo some, fitness might be seen a hobby, or something to pass the time. It might be something a family member does, or even something you’re planning on doing in the future.

Have you ever noticed that the future always seems to be a week away? It’s always something that will get done eventually, when you have more time. When it’s more convenient. But we always seem to find time to catch up on that show we’re watching.

If you know me, you know I don’t like to sugar coat things. To me, the truth is always more important than lies meant to make us feel better, no matter how hard it is to hear.

So let me put it bluntly. Personal fitness is not something you can afford to delay for the future. Personal fitness is the first step of combatting an early death.

I do not say this lightly. The world we live in today is extremely tough for our body. We eat processed foods full of sugar and unnecessary carbohydrates. We lounge on our day off, and pour ourselves an extra drink after working in the yard.

If you’re not getting yourself to the gym, you’re putting yourself in danger many issues surrounding a stagnant lifestyle. Dangers that are much more inconvenient than a trip to the gym, I might add. Most of those who choose not to exercise are at a high risk without even knowing it.  Here are just a few of the big name issues you’re going to be facing:

Prone to Type II Diabetes – The more sugar in your diet, the more insulin your body has to produce. The more insulin your pancreas produces, the harder it works, which can lead to a shut-down and lead to Type II Diabetes. Sugar is found in many processed foods, in places you might least expect. Check out this trailer for Fed Up, a movie which documents how prevalent sugar is in our food.

Higher Risk of Heart Disease – Build-up of body fat means a build-up of plaque in your arteries, which means your heart is going to be working on overtime to get blood to your extremities. This means you’re going to have a higher risk of heart attacks, higher blood pressure, and discomfort with minor exertion.

Higher Risk of Stroke – Your heart isn’t the only victim of plaque in the arteries. Blood clots can form, which means your going to be at a much higher risk of stroke.

Sleep Apnea – When your body becomes overweight, you will begin to struggle for breath as you sleep. To breath properly as you sleep, doctors will sometimes prescribe a mask to wear at night which assists in breathing.

Prone to Gallstones – Your body is working at full capacity just to keep you functioning while you’re overweight. This means some parts of your body, like your gall bladder, are going to be working on overtime. Gallstones are made of cholesterol, and can cause some severe stomach and back pain.

There’s no way to pretend these issues don’t take their toll on your body. But it’s never hopeless. Even if you already have some of these issues, it is never too late to start making progress. At Boomer Fitness, we’re dedicated to making sure you have the knowledge and foresight to turn your life around and start making the healthy choices.

Give me a call when you’re ready to make the change, and we’ll set you up with a tour of the gym!

Superbowl Snack Aftermath: Part 2

TiStock_000009709487XSmallhis last Tuesday, I wrote about some of the less-than healthy food you might have been enjoying during the Superbowl. Like I wrote before, hindsight is always 20/20, but I feel it’s important to acknowledge the reasons why we are making changes. Especially when it’s a daily change, like our diet.

Today, I want to highlight healthy foods, things you can enjoy without worrying about empty calories, excessive carbs, or high levels of salt.

One misconception I hear a lot is healthy food is simply boring food. It can be bland, repetitive, and at the end of the day, simply doesn’t taste good. We all know these culprits of the bland food crime: Celery sticks, plain kale salad, white fish a la carte. Trust me, after a week of nothing but white fish for dinner, even those plain corn chips in the cupboard start to look really, really good.

It doesn’t have to be this way. You can still enjoy healthy food without forcing yourself to endure tasteless, repetitive health foods we start to dread.

The Right Carbohydrates – Carbs are not the enemy! A lot of people who come to the gym tell me they’re trying to eliminate all carbohydrates from their diet. It’s important to remember that carbs are not the only enemy, and in fact give you the energy to hit the day. What we do want to do is reduce carbohydrates, and get them from the right sources.

I recommend adding Quinoa, Brown Rice, and Oatmeal to your diet. These are full of fiber and protein, getting us the nutrients we need to hit the day running.

Proteins: Not just for Bodybuilders  – Protein seems to be the big word that comes to mind when you think of weight training, bodybuilding, marathon running, and so forth. But it’s important to remember that proteins are also an important part of a healthy diet. Whether you’re an herbivore, a carnivore, or somewhere in between, it’s important to get yourself the right amount of protein in your diet.

I recommend unprocessed cheese, greek yogurt, beans, eggs, and lean meats, like chicken breast and lean beef. These get us high amounts of protein and other supplements our bodies need, while avoiding unhealthy levels of sodium or other unnecessary byproducts.

Fats are you Friend –  Fats usually get a bad rap in a lot of conventional diets, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Healthy fats, like those found in olive oil, give us healthy hormones and some structure in our body composition. Like everything else, the real culprit is the amount of fats that we consume.

I recommend almond butter, avocados, olive oil, and nuts to get your daily dose of fats. These give you the energy your body needs, while avoiding excessive saturated fats.

iStock_000018256851XSmallThe More Natural Color, the Better – It might sound ridiculous to judge foods on color, but it gives you a visual gauge of how healthy and unprocessed a meal is. And in the end, colorful food looks a lot more appetizing than the greys and tans of processed foods.

When I’m in the kitchen, I like to include as many colors as possible in each dish. This can include vegetables like bell peppers carrots, radishes, zucchini, and fruits like blueberries, strawberries, bananas, apples, and oranges.

So a lot of tips, right? You might be thinking it’s easier said than done, throwing all these suggestions into action. That’s why I’ve got a couple of recipes to show you that health food done right doesn’t have to be bland food.

Breakfast Burrito – To start the day, I like to throw together something quick and easy, so I can take it out the door if necessary. To start, I like to gather some eggs (high protein), red bell peppers (vitamin C) , kale (fiber), pesto (healthy fats), non processed cheese (more protein, and flavor!), and a corn tortilla (magnesium and fiber). Then, I crack some eggs on a medium powered skillet, add the ingredients, and then wrap it all up in the tortilla. Now I’ve got a healthy meal I can take on the road if need be.

Tuna Sandwich – Nothing hits the spot for lunch like a classic tuna sandwich. I like to use whole grain bread, spinach, hummus, sun dried tomatoes, and a can of tuna. This combination gives us a lot of fiber from the bread, iron from the spinach, chickpeas, olive oil, and carbs from the hummus, and lean, low fat protein from the tuna. And best of all, it’s quick, easy, and tastes better than celery sticks.

Chicken and Rice, with a side of Salad – Not ground breaking, but a good way to prove to yourself that healthy can be tasty! For dinner, I like to cook lean chicken breast (healthy protein) using olive oil (healthy fats) and combine it with peppers and squash (vitamins). I also cook up some brown rice to serve under the chicken (for healthy carbs) and add a side salad of kale mixed with cranberries, feta cheese, sun dried tomatoes, and a light dressing.

Getting hungry? I know I was when writing this. Next time you come in to the gym, talk to us about making some changes to your diet. We can give you some in-depth ideas of restructuring your meals.

Top 10 Health Problems and Prevention

The US is in the midst of a health crisis! It is unavoidable that we all get sick at some time or another, but when it happens it’s always costly. It causes you to miss work and sometimes that can mean you forfeit income. And Medical bills add up and can create further strain on your household income! It definitely costs employers as well to not have you at work.

The good news is that many of the prevalent illnesses and diseases that affect US citizens are ones that can be avoided! How, you ask? By taking the correct preventative measures!

What Top 10 ailments that affect the US population?

Heart Disease

Heart Disease is by far, the most ruthless disease that affects Americans. It impacts 631,636 individuals per year and doesn’t discriminate between men and women. This disease is the leading killer of all American between the age of 35 and 65. Heart Disease costs the nation well over $290 Billion dollars each year! It is quite staggering to learn the Heart Disease kills more people than all the types of cancer combined!

Prevention

The risk of Heart Disease can be drastically reduced by:

Quitting smoking,
Cutting out alcohol and
Maintaining a healthy weight
Regular Exercise
Balanced diet.

Cancer

Cancer is the second greatest killer amongst Americans with it affecting 559,888 people per year. This includes all forms of cancer. Lung cancer is the leading form of this disease that affects both men and women. Women are also significantly affected by breast cancer

Prevention

Studies have shown that you are less susceptible to cancer if you follow a healthy diet, are regularly physically active and do not smoke. You can further reduce the odds by:

Using sunscreen
Attend regular cancer screenings

Stroke

Stroke (also known as Cerebrovascular Disease) impacts 137,119 Americans yearly. It is caused by problems with arteries that supply blood within or to the brain. It primarily affects those who have diabetes, smoke or have heart disease.

Prevention

Simply by altering your lifestyle, you can experience amazing results, with regards to reducing your risk of stroke and many other illnesses at the same time!

Give up smoking,
Exercise regularly
Maintain healthy food habits
Lose any excessive weight

Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases

Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases affect 124,583 people, within the population, each year. This disease damages the airways and lungs, making it difficult to breathe. The two main diseases that result from this are Bronchitis and Emphysema.

Bronchitis – Caused by the obstruction and narrowing of the airways usually caused by mucus.

Emphysema – Refers to the damage inflicted upon the air sacs within the lungs. This makes it increasingly difficult for the lungs to acquire required levels of oxygen.

Prevention

Cigarette smoking is the main culprit for Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases. The chance of falling victim to lung cancer also increases if you suffer from these diseases. It is shocking to learn that smokers are 12 times more likely to suffer from Respiratory Diseases than someone who does not smoke!

It is easy to see that the best way to avoid this type of disease is to:

Stay away from cigarettes
Avoid inhaling second hand smoke

Accidental Injuries

The main cause of this type of injury is caused by motor vehicle accidents. It equally affects men and women with 121,599 harmed a year!

Prevention

Vehicle accidents can be greatly reduced by doing the following:

Do not consume alcohol or drugs before or during the operation of any vehicle
Wear a seatbelt
Drive carefully and always be on alert

Diabetes

An estimated 72,449 Americans fall victim to diabetes every year! It is a condition where normal blood glucose levels cannot be maintained. This problem affects both men and women and can lead to heart disease, kidney disease, limb amputation and blindness.

Prevention

It is helpful to realize that this disease is greatly influences by our lifestyle. By making changes it can prevent or delay the onset of diabetes. Even small changes can have a positive effect in reducing your risk!

Healthy eating
Active Lifestyle
Lose excess weight.

Alzheimer’s disease

This is a progressive disease that impairs the high brain functions such as thinking, personality and memory. Alzheimer’s disease strikes 72,432 Americans. The cause of this disease is mostly unknown but a link has been found between head injuries as well as heart disease.

Prevention

Reduce the risks of Heart Disease

Influenza and Pneumonia

To most healthy people, a case of influenza is something that is easily recovered from. However, for around 56,326 Americans the complications such as Pneumonia can arise.

Prevention

Good hygiene
Healthy Diet and Exercise
Vaccinations

Kidney Diseases

Kidney Diseases including Nephritis, Nephritic Syndrome, and Nephrosis, refer to the disorder where the kidneys are damaged and leak large quantities of protein. It inflicts 45,344 Americans and has been found that Kidney Disease can occur as a result of Diabetes or High Blood Pressure.

Prevention

Have your blood sugar checked regularly
Balanced diet
Physical activity

Septicemia

This condition is also known as blood poisoning. It is caused by the presence of bacteria within the blood that often accompanies sever infections throughout the body. 34,234 people suffer from Septicemia every year.

Prevention

Good hygiene practices
Seek treatment for any infection as soon as possible
Visit your doctor if you have come in close contact with someone with Septicemia

Start implementing healthy changes to your lifestyle today, and you will reduce your risks of so many of the diseases and health problems discussed today. Replace old habits with new healthy ones…and the new behavior will become second nature in about 30 days!