Busy, Busy, Busy: How to Fit Fitness Into the Busiest Schedule

Let’s face it – we live in busy times. People are busier today it seems than ever before. And all these things that are keeping us busy, busy, busy are leading many of us to feel that we don’t have time for fitness. Well, I’m hear to tell you that you do have the time, and you must make the time because being healthy and fit needs to be your top priority!


Let me tell you a story to which I think many of you can relate. Several years ago I was working 12 hours a day in the military, week after week. Yet, I was also a personal trainer and had clients that I needed, and wanted, to help. In addition to all that, I still had friends, family, and a girlfriend I needed to keep up with everything. And as you know, building and keeping strong relationships requires putting in time.

Thing was, I was busy as busy can be, but I didn’t let it keep me from having fitness be a part of my life. And there are several reasons why, which may also work for you, too. These reasons include:

Mindset. Having the right mindset makes a world of difference. You have to think positively and focus on what it is that you want, rather than what it is that you don’t want or all the excuses that you can conjure up. Remain positive and remind yourself of what it is you want.

Forget perfection. If you wait around until the time is perfect in order to start working out and getting fit, it will likely never come. You can’t wait for things to get perfect to start taking care of your health. You need to do it now!

Auto-pilot. Just like you brush your teeth and always seem to have time for it, working out will become the same way. Once you get used to doing it, you will want to do it just like you do all the other daily auto-pilot things each day.

Focus. Don’t make fitness a bigger issue than it really is. Focus on the smaller things that you can do and that are still just as important. Focus on where you are and where you want to be, not any barriers you may come across along the way.

Nutrition. This is a big part of being healthy. It doesn’t have to be a time-consuming task. Just plan ahead, even make meals ahead of time, and make sure that the food you purchase and fix are complimentary to a healthy lifestyle, rather than detrimental.

Work out. Being fit requires working out regularly. Make it a part of your weekly routine, just as you will make meeting friends for lunch, getting your hair done, or any number of other things you schedule routinely. Make it happen!

Life is busy, that is true. But being healthy and fit will do more for adding years to your life than will most of the other things for which you are finding time. Even fitting in short 20 minute workouts will help you stay focused and will give you the benefits you need. Remember, it’s about a lifestyle and making progress, not perfection. By making progress you will be stronger and healthier, rather than the other way around!

An Interview with Personal Trainer, Brian Stecker

Brian Stecker is a certified personal trainer who specializes in helping baby boomers achieve fitness. When he is not busy with his clients in the gym, he is working on his blog, getting the fitness message out there in a variety ways, and even creating videos that demonstrate how to make some healthy recipes!

Q. What made you want to focus on the baby boomer area of fitness?

A. The baby boomers, those people who were born after 1940, make up a large portion of our population. They are also often overlooked by many people who are on a mission to help people become more fit. The number one reason I like to work with them is mobility. It is important to baby boomers in order to stay independent and maintain longevity. One my biggest motivations for focusing on the baby boomer area was my grandfather. While he was once able to get around the farm doing all the things he had always been used to doing, like milking cows and working in the fields, he ended up needing knee surgery and then struggled to do the things he was used to doing. I realized by watching how he struggled, that we often learn our fitness habits from our parents. Baby boomers didn’t have the solution, which is why Americans are struggling so much, and I want to focus on that and help them. In doing so, my goal is that they will be able to maintain doing all those things they have always loved doing.

Q. What is your fitness plan with helping baby boomers start out?

A. When a baby boomer first gets started in adopting a fitness routine, it is always best to work with a personal trainer. What I do with my clients is to help them get off to a good start that will help prevent injuries, but will also help them meet their goals and progress at a pace that is challenging, but appropriate for their current fitness level.

Q. Why is there an emphasis on helping baby boomers build strength?

A. Having a strong body will help reduce risks of injuries from falls, and will help keep people mobile, active and independent. With aging, people often fear losing their mobility and independence. Maintaining a strong, active body can help to prevent this from happening.

Q. What is the typical mindset of a baby boomer when it comes to fitness?

A. I find that most of them that I work with are surprised what they are actually capable of achieving. Society has led them to believe that it is time to take a seat and rest. Once I start working with them, I am able to change their mind set and show them that they are able to achieve fitness goals, and their body is much better off for doing so.

Q. What is your background with fitness?

A. I have been a personal trainer for 10 years, working with mostly baby boomers, and I have a degree in exercise science strength and conditioning.

Q. What is one thing you want baby boomers to know about fitness?

A. Getting fit, and working out regularly, is the best possible way that you can turn back the clock. It will help your body get in shape, keep you feeling great, and is the best anti-aging solution that there is. Baby boomers who keep active and work out add years to their life, help maintain their mobility and independence, and just all around feel better, making it so worthwhile!


Thinking About Lap-Band Surgery? Think again!

Each year there are millions of people who consider getting lap-band surgery. Many of them decide in favor of it and go through with the risky procedure. Problem is, some of them don’t make it because they end up dying from the procedure or some form of complication following it. There are so many reasons why lap-band surgery is not the way to go!

Lap-band surgery, also referred to as laparoscopic surgery or gastric bypass surgery, is a surgical procedure that takes about four hours. Through it, a surgeon essentially alters the size of your stomach so that it can’t hold as much food. In theory, this is supposed to make you eat less, so t you take in fewer calories and end up losing weight. However, it doesn’t always work out as smoothly as planned.

Some people never make it off the operating table when they go in for lap-band surgery. Imagine, families losing someone they love simply because they were dying to be thinner. It’s a needless death that never needs to happen. In addition, there are many risks that come along with the lap-band surgery, including vomiting if you eat too much, repeat maintenances surgeries, anemia, osteoporosis, gastritis, kidney stones, and dumping syndrome, where your food moves too rapidly through your body.

The real problem with weight issues lies in things that can’t be fixed with a lap-band surgery. No surgery will address the causes of what made someone gain the weight in the first place. Emotional eating, improper nutrition, and not exercising are all things that the lap-band surgery does nothing to correct.

If you or someone you know is considering lap-band surgery, I urge you to choose not to do this. That temporary fix will cost you thousands of dollars, will put your health and life at risk, and will not get to the root of the problem or teach you how to adopt a healthy lifestyle that leads to maintaining fitness.

What does work to get, and stay, fit is to work with a personal trainer. A personal trainer will guide you on the path of health by assessing where you currently are and creating a plan to safely help you progress and get to where you need to be. Forget the risks, going into debt, and problems that come with lap-band surgery. Doing it the natural way will leave you feeling better and your pocketbook with money with which you can take a relaxing vacation. Commit to working out and becoming fit and it will happen!


Making Healthy Eating Choices at Buffalo Wild Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings is a place that I like to go to with the guys to watch the Packers game. A lot of people do! That’s why it’s always so noisy in there. Whether you are letting loose with friends as you watch the game or you just want to have some fun, it’s a great place to do either. But the last thing that I – and most likely you – want is to have that meal out end up sabotaging our fitness and dieting goals. The good news it that you can make healthier food choices, even when you eat at Buffalo Wild Wings!

There are some things you will absolutely want to avoid at Buffalo Wild Wings, because they will not help you meet your fitness goals. These things include a lot of the appetizers, which are often loaded with fat, calories, and salt. For example, the crispy southwest dippers alone have 630 calories, the chicken quesadilla has 800 calories, and the nachos pack a powerful 960 calories. And this is all before you have even had your meal!

Healthier choices can be made at Buffalo Wild Wings, but you need to be proactive in seeking them out. To start with, choose a beverage that is not going to add empty calories to your meal. The best options are water or unsweetened tea. While I am not a fan of recommending diet soda, even that will help you avoid the empty calories found in the sugary beverages. And try to avoid the alcohol, as difficult as that may sound, because it will also add a lot of empty calories to your meal.

Ideal foods to order include the naked tenders, which only have 260 calories, and the boneless wings, as well as the naked tenders wrap without chips, which has 600 calories. The grilled chicken sandwich, without fries, is also a healthier option, with only 470 calories. Another good option is the garden burger, without fries, which has only 250 calories. For sides, skip the fries, which add an additional 300-600 calories, depending on whether you get a regular or basket size.

Salads also make an ideal option, as long as you pay attention to the dressing you choose (which goes for your wings, as well). Avoid the ranch and bleu cheese dressings, which have around 300 calories for a small serving of each. Instead, opt for the honey mustard, honey barbecue, and sweet barbeque sauces.

Oh, and skip the dessert, as well, even though it may be tempting to have it. One slice of the chocolate fudge cake with vanilla ice cream will set you back about 820 calories! That’s more than (hopefully) the entire meal you had picked out.

We live in a world that makes it nearly impossible to avoid eating out all together. And why would you want to do that? After all, eating out, especially with friends, is fun (even if it is noisy), and you get to try different foods that you may not make at home. Dining out doesn’t have to come between you and your fitness goals. You just need to focus on making healthier choices, because they are out there!


Fitness Questions and Answers for Baby Boomers

Being a personal trainer I can say I get my fair share of questions. My clients, and even those who are not my clients, are always posing workout and health related questions to me. So I decided today I would answer several of those questions, just in case there are others out there that may be looking for the same answers.

Q. Brian, I see there are so many exercises you can do for your legs, but what is the best one? Which should I do if I want to build up strength and get a nice shape?

A. If you want the best possible exercise you can do for you legs, work squats into your workout. Squats work nearly every muscle in the body and can really do a lot for you. Start out small, be sure you are doing them correctly by maintaining the proper positioning, and slowly progress in the number you do and the weight that you add. Squats are a safe bet for anyone looking to give their legs a great workout!

Q. Many people today use heart rate monitors, but I just don’t see that I will gain any benefits from one. What can a heart rate monitor do for me and is it worth investing in?

A. Heart rate monitors are especially helpful for baby boomers who are working out. They have been designed to keep you in the know about what your heart rate is, so that  you know if you are working out too hard, need to step it up a bit, or if you are right about where you need to be. The more you train at an ideal heart rate for working out, the better benefit you will get from the workout. Heart rate monitors are a good idea to use. They will give you a quick snapshot look at how your heart is responding to the workout.

Q. I love cappuccino, but I want to be healthy and fit. Do I really have to give up my daily cappuccino in order to be fit?

Let’s face it, we all have something that we love and the thought of giving it up is, well, a bit frightening. I totally get it! While the cappuccino may not be the healthiest beverage choices you can grab, it also isn’t the worst. If you are drinking one cappuccino per day, you don’t have to worry too much about excessive caffeine or calories. One small cappuccino has about 75 calories on average. Having one per day, providing you are keeping the rest of your diet and workout routine in check, you should be completely fine. Have one for me!

If you have questions you would like answered, feel free to contact me. Maybe your question will make the list of the next round of questions. I look forward to hearing from you!