A tribute to Jack LeLanne

Many times referred to as the “godfather of fitness,” world-famous Jack LeLanne was the epitome of role models for fitness and health. As we mourn his recent passing, we remember and reflect upon his great achievements throughout his life. His positive and endearing image remains behind for all of us to remember and to emulate, especially for Baby Boomers. He is someone who lived life to the fullest and never missed an opportunity to make exercise fun and enjoyable, especially to his students.

LeLanne’s life is especially inspirational to the Baby Boomer population because he maintained impeccable health well into his years. His longevity attests to the fact that over the course of his long life, he took care of his body. He advocated health for everyone and especially stressed that senior health is just as achievable as that of much younger generations.

Over the course of his life, LeLanne couldn’t help but keep talking about the importance of physical fitness and good nutrition. For the Baby Boomer population, these top five LeLanne guidelines for life are more important now than ever:
Exercise is enjoyable. On his fitness show, Jack showed how fun fitness can be. He said that people want to make excuses of how grueling exercise can be. So, he would just call it something else. One of his words for it? “Trimnastics.”

Anyone can exercise. LeLanne advocated exercise for everyone, whether they were elderly, disabled, young or tired. Whatever age or condition, exercise is almost always possible. LeLanne proved this as he accomplished major feats when he was the same age of many Baby Boomers today. In fact, at age 70 he pulled dozens of boats loaded with people for one and a half miles in Long Beach Harbor. Oh, and that’s not all: He swam against unruly currents while handcuffed and tied up.

Good nutrition makes you feel better. That’s basically what he said to his wife, Elaine, when they first met. He also once said, “The food you eat today is walking and talking tomorrow.” It’s all about putting in good stuff and getting good stuff out. At age 15, he turned to good nutrition and advocated it for the rest of his life.

Exercise and good nutrition go hand in hand. LeLanne said, “Exercise is King, nutrition is Queen, put them together and you’ve got a kingdom.” He knew that one couldn’t truly exist without the other, and when you match them up you are bound to have a healthy and fulfilling life.

If you put your mind to it, you can do it. LeLanne was not only a fitness guru, but he was also the master of positive thinking: “Anything in life is possible if you make it happen.” He dedicated his life to healthy living and passing his knowledge and passion on to others. To LeLanne, everything can be an achievement if you let it be an achievement – a timeless piece of advice to anyone, but especially to Baby Boomers.

A Healthy You Starts With Food

As I was walking in the park today I happened to notice an overweight man puffing through the park, obviously in a hurry. He was sweating and red in the face and he was shoving what looked like the remains of a street vendor hotdog down his throat.
I stopped to sit on a bench for a bit and started paying attention to the other pedestrians enjoying the sunny fall day. As I watched I saw another man, older then the first one, walking his terrier and eating a pretzel. You know what I’m talking about? Those huge ones that you dip in cheese sauce? As I watched him I noticed two things. One he was overweight. Two, so was his dog. I guess walking and eating junk doesn’t work. For man or beast!

I scanned the park looking for one person who was eating something healthy, and there she was. The woman every man dreams about. She was dressed as a business woman, but that didn’t hide the fact that she had a greatly toned and fit body. I tried to see what she was eating, but her bench was a ways down from mine. As nonchalantly as I could, I walked to her way. I just knew she was going to be eating something healthy and sure enough, there she was with a bag of carrots, almonds and celery. I tried not to stare, but I had to. She was eating those vegetables as if they were pieces of chocolate! She was enjoying them!

Before she could yell stalker, I continued my walk through the park, but my mind wasn’t interested in the surroundings anymore. I was thinking about what people eat and how it shapes who they are.
It seemed that anybody I saw who looked to be in good shape was eating or drinking something healthy. Those who were overweight or just had a flabby and unhealthy look to them, were eating some type of junk food.

A walk for exercise is a great thing; any type of exercise is a great thing. But if you’re not eating healthy then none of that matters.
A good balance of grains, wheat, vegetables, fruit, dairy and meats is the healthiest way to eat. Need to eat on the run? Keep granola, yogurt and fresh cut veggies handy. You don’t need to go hungry to be healthy — in fact, that is very unhealthy! You just need to find the right balance.

A perfect plated meal should look like this:
Half of your plate should be full of fruit, vegetables or a salad
A quarter of your plate should be a lean protein, such as fish or chicken
The remaining quarter should contain a healthy carb, such as whole wheat rice
Top your meal off with fat free milk and your full AND healthy!

How to Find a Good Personal Trainer for Weight Loss

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Now that you understand just how worthwhile it is for you to hire a personal trainer to help you lose weight, it’s important to find a good one.  But how does one find a good personal trainer, when there are so many out there?

Make no mistake about it.  It can be a real mine field out there, working your way through telephone directories and Google listings for good personal trainers local to you.  In helping you find the right trainer for your weight loss and health goals, here are a few handy tips that will help you hire the right one:

  • Check out the personal trainer’s qualifications and certification:  Good personal trainers will have qualifications in either health promotion, physiology, athletic training, kinesiology or fields like this.  In addition they should have certification in first aid and CPR.  Check out any professional memberships and certifications they may have as well.  It certainly adds to the credibility factor.  This information should be on the trainer’s website.
  • Read client testimonials:  You will find these on a personal trainer’s website.  Read up and see what past and present clients have to say. 
  • Google the personal trainer:  Find out what mentions there are online of the personal trainer you are considering.  This will give you an insight into that personal trainer’s reputation.
  • Ensure they have liability insurance:  A personal trainer should always have liability insurance.
  • Find out how the personal trainer works:  This is information you’re likely to find on their website.  I’m talking here about things including the services they offer, costs, cancellation policy, contract information (if there are contracts) and of course, any emergency procedures they may have. 
  • Ask if they require a medical clearance form from you before working with you:  A good personal trainer will require this, to ensure that you are in reasonably good health before any training commences.  This covers you both.
  • Call the trainer or meet them to see how you get along:  It’s important that your personal trainer is somebody you can get along well with.  After all, we’re talking here about your weight loss and overall health goals.

Keep these tips in mind when you start researching potential personal trainers to work with, and you’re well on your way to making the right decision.

Happy personal trainer hunting!

To find some of the best personal trainers around go checkout your local 24hour fitness in your area.

In it for the long haul!

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Just recently I read a really inspirational story about an ordinary lady by the name of Linda Pottinger.  Linda’s story featured on the USA Today website, and like you, she too is in the process of dropping weight.

Already she has gone from 178 pounds down to 158 pounds – and her approach has been simple.  She has made lifestyle changes, and she is dedicated to sticking to it.

In the past, like many people, Linda found that she just wasn’t getting anywhere in her mission to lose weight.  That’s because she expected immediate results.

Immediate results to drop the pounds is what the diet industry has promised decade after decade.  All of these promises of losing weight without having to make changes to diet and fitness is what the diet industry has churned out, in an effort to suck people in!  Everybody wants a quick fix without too much effort – and that’s why the diet industry makes such outrageous promises!

As a personal trainer, I know just how crazy this belief is.  There just isn’t a magic pill to losing weight loss and there never will be.  You have to put the effort in and change your lifestyle.  There’s just no other way to do it.

So how do you actually do it?

Linda does what I recommend my clients do, and this is all there is to it:

  • Create a calorie deficit:  You need to ensure that you burn more calories than you consume.  For weight loss, experts typically say 1500 calories per day is fine.  By exercising 30-45 minutes per day, doing exercise that gets you sweating will help you to drop about 0.5-1 pound per week.
  • Keep a food log:  Keep track of how many calories you consume per day by creating a food log.  Record what you eat and how many calories you consume in one day.
  • Keep active:  Do at least 30-45 minutes of moderate physical activity each day, to burn calories and create that calorie deficit.
  • Have a real purpose for weight loss:  Ask yourself why you want to lose weight and what it will mean for you to lose the weight.  Focus on the reasons first thing in the morning and the last thing you do before going to bed.  Keep your purposes fresh in your mind and remind yourself of them when you feel lacking in motivation.
  • Ensure you stick to your healthy schedule even when you’re away:  Linda travels a lot with her work, but she always ensures she fills her days with plenty of extra exercise walking around the airport and eating fresh fruit and vegetables as snacks.  It’s really not that hard to stick to this once you make the decision to lose the weight.

Remember, once you make the decision to lose weight you must stick to it.  There is no other way around it.  Make it fun and see the healthy diet and exercise as something to enjoy – not something to struggle and endure.  It’s all about lifestyle change and making the most of your downsizing experience.

As soon as you really understand and accept the fact that there is no quick fix to weight loss, you will set out to make changes to your lifestyle.  All it takes is 30 days for you to replace bad habits with healthy ones – and that goes for diet and exercise.

So if you get started today, in about one month’s time you should be well on track to achieving a healthy lifestyle for life!