Florida Fitness Magazine: flafitness.com

FLORIDA FITNESS MAGAZINE (http://www.flafitness.com/) is a great resource of gyms, health clubs, personal trainers, yoga classes, boot camps and martial arts programs in Florida.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Make it a Gym Date by Bonnie Phiester

When you think of going on a date most people think of going to dinner or a movie. Although there are more creative date ideas, food and entertainment tend to top the list.

When I began dating Steve, he worked three jobs and went to school. We had to find time to share with each other. He would go to church with me and I’d go to the gym with him. Since working out was something he did every day, the gym was a big part of our date life – and what a great date idea.

First, a gym date is healthy. As stress continues to inhabit our lifestyles, we need to workout more than ever. Busy schedules leave us very little spare time so a gym date kills two birds with one stone, allowing you to spend more time with the love of your life and take care of yourself too.

Second, a gym date is sexy. Dare I say sexy? There is something attractive about a person who takes care of their body. I’m not talking about beautiful looking people wearing tight fitness clothes. I’m simply talking about the attractiveness of someone who is disciplined. Maybe it would be easier to understand the opposite - laziness is unattractive.

In addition, working out makes you feel attractive too. I know I am the most confident and feel the best about myself when I’m working out the most. This type of confidence greatly affects how someone receives and gives love.

Next, a gym date says “I love and support you”. Everyone needs to exercise, but some people may need it more than the others. When you go to the gym together you are telling your spouse you love and support them. The accountability and support of doing it together can speak volumes.

Another important part of gym dating is making couple time without the kids. Since most clubs offer childcare, parents can spend time together as a couple without the worry of getting a sitter. The time you spend in they gym will make you a better spouse and parent.

Lastly a gym date is very affordable. Monthly dues for the entire month equal what most people spend on one dinner date. In today’s economy, an affordable date is a welcomed. If you think about the number of gym dates you could have in a month’s time compared to the equal cost of other dates, you can see there is a lot of bang for the buck.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting you cancel your dinner reservations for Valentines Day so you can hit the gym. What I am suggesting is a gym date is a great date idea with endless benefits – and what better time to start gym dating than the month of love!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The ABC Diet Doesn’t Always Work by Bonnie Pfiester

The ABC Diet Doesn’t Always Work by Bonnie Pfiester

Most people are overwhelmed when it comes to dieting. So much so, many would just prefer to be told what to do. That’s why diets are so tempting. Regimented diets tell you what to eat so you don’t have to think.

I refer to this type of step-by-step diet program as the “ABC Diet”. This is when a diet program gives you a list of things you can and cannot eat. At first, this seems like the logical plan, but eventually the limited selection gets old.

Let use my favorite analogy - money. Let’s say I gave you $500 for a shopping spree for clothes and I told you exactly what to buy in order to stay within your budget. That sounds perfect until you realize I’m sending you to the local discount clothing mart.

Although you are not too excited about shopping for your new wardrobe at the savings mart, you go anyway. The styles on the list aren’t your favorite, but you suck it up and stick to the plan.

The problem arises when one day you find yourself in a nice mall looking at all the beautiful clothes that aren’t on your list. Suddenly you feel deprived so you decide to splurge. After buying the greatest outfit, you realize how unsatisfied you are with your discount clothes. You decide the strict shopping rules aren’t for you.

Do you see the parallel? This is why ABC Diets don’t always work. The emphasis is often on what you can and cannot eat instead of the actual budget, when the budget is what makes any ABC Diet Plan successful.

Let’s go back to the analogy. What if I didn’t give you a list of things to buy but just gave you a budget. You could shop anywhere you wanted and buy all the styles you liked – I even bet you’d get some great deals too! This is exactly how you should look at dieting.

Start with using the same caloric budget as most ABC Diet Plans - 1200 calories for women and 1500 calories for men. Next, find foods that fit your budget. Just like you compare prices, you need to compare calories. Lastly, shop for quality foods. The same way quality fabrics last longer, quality foods keep you fueled longer – which means one very satisfied dieter.

Dieting, like shopping on a budget, takes a little work. However, with a little education and research you can find delicious foods that meet your caloric budget and satisfy your taste buds.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Investing in fitness can save you money

by Bonnie Pfiester

When it comes to luxuries, a health club membership is one of few luxuries that often prove be a good investment. However, a gym membership is commonly one of the first things to go when money gets tight

Somehow we justify the need for television and other extras over the need to stay healthy. Don't get me wrong, if you tried to take my satellite TV away I would put up a pretty good fight too. Interestingly enough, some of the same people crunching numbers to make wise investments are unaware of the return on fitness.

First, healthy people have fewer hospital admissions, shorter hospital stays and lower medical expenses. One of our members recently bragged "I feel great and am taking half of the medication I needed before." Although most of our members are just excited to feel good again, it's also financially rewarding.

Second, healthy people have the opportunity to make more money. Fewer medical issues mean fewer sick days and more money in your pocket. Not only are you able to work more hours but you become a more valuable employee, increasing job security.

Another plus to being fit is healthy people tend to land more jobs than overweight, out of shape individuals. Employers are more likely to invest in healthy employees merely because they are more likely to be energetic, disciplined and productive.

Next to physical health is the positive affect fitness has to our mental health. Physical activity actually helps manage depression and anxiety. A Harvard study once found that strength training reduced clinical depression symptoms more than counseling. This is particularly helpful for women since women are the least likely to lift weights and twice as likely to suffer from depression. Mental healthcare cost money, so the more stable we become mentally and emotionally the more money we can save.

Furthermore, exercise builds confidence and increases self esteem, which can have a major impact on someone's career. People who once lacked the confidence they needed to chase their dreams begin to have more drive than ever. One of our members recently said "I now have the confidence to believe I can accomplish anything I set my mind to." This newfound confidence can take you places in your career you never thought possible.

Besides all the obvious savings, healthy people save in many other ways. Whether it's walking 9 holes instead of renting a golf cart or using a city sidewalk instead of taking a cab, healthy people have more options to save money.

So whether you decide to invest in a good pair of tennis shoes or decide to join a gym, investing in fitness is one investment worth making.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

What Eating Personality Are You? by Bonnie

I have found there are several common eating personalities that can sabotage a diet in a heartbeat. No matter what eating personality you are, you can still succeed with a little self-examination and planning. Which eating personality are you?

The Entertainment Eater: Are you at every social event and dinner party? Since dining out and eating hors d'oeuvres can ruin any diet, you must learn to prepare. Prevent overeating or making poor choices by eating a small snack or meal prior to your engagement. Once you are at the event, choose beverages you can sip on like coffee or wine rather than soda, beer or high-calorie cocktails. If you have a say in where to dine, don’t be shy and suggest a place that offers healthy alternatives.

The On-the-Go Eater: Are you always on the go? Do you eat more fast food than you’d like to admit? If this is you, you just need to plan ahead for your busy day. If you have a microwave or fridge at work, bring your lunch and stock up on healthy snacks. If you are on the road, research restaurants ahead of time so you know what fast foods fit your diet plan. Always carry a healthy snack to tide you over in case you get in a bind.

The Boredom Eater: This is SO me! I could go all day without thinking about food and then come home, watch TV, and suddenly all I can think about is eating. So, to keep my weight from getting out of control I make sure I’m always stocked up on low-calorie treats I can eat or drink while watching my favorite show. I also avoid stocking up on bad foods because if it’s in my pantry I’ll eat it! The best way to avoid temptation is to simply not have it around to tempt you.

The Emotional Eater: This is a popular one. Some people look to food for comfort. Whether they are sad, mad, stressed, angry, happy or confused, people often turn to the fridge or restaurant for their favorite high-calorie fix. When we are happy we tend to celebrate with food and drinks. When we are sad we are also just as likely to turn to food and drinks. If this sounds like you, the first step is recognizing the pattern and repercussions. If you are sad, you’ll just be more upset when you can no longer fit into your jeans.

The bottom line is we need to learn to react in a healthier way. Treat yourself to a new outfit or a massage as a calorie-free reward or pick-me-up. If you are stressed out or having a difficult time, keep busy. Do some spring cleaning, start a hobby, exercise or invest in a project that will bring you a lot of joy when it’s complete.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Getting healthy results requires change by Bonnie Pfiester

When you are in the fitness business, people want your advice. I am always getting questioned about how to get in shape or lose weight. I think some people are just hoping for a new weight loss trick or gimmick.

In many cases, when I mention diet and exercise I begin to notice the eyes glazing over from boredom. My mom and I were discussing this topic the other day. Someone recently asked her how she lost weight. Maybe they were expecting her to say gastric bypass or name some new diet. As soon as she talked about calories in versus calories out my mom watched the person lose interest.

Unfortunately, it's easy to become a little cynical. Many times it's difficult to determine if someone truly wants your help or not. So many people really only want help if it's easy - and healthy living isn't always easy. However, being overweight or unhealthy isn't easy either.

My mom still talks about how being heavy was harder than working out and dieting. She sweat every morning while getting ready for work. Simple chores were taxing and keeping up with a teenage daughter was next to impossible with the extra 90 pounds she was carrying.

People fool themselves into thinking it's easier to not doing anything about their weight than to tackle it. On the other hand, the people who have tried to do something about it and failed would rather believe they are just an exception to the diet and fitness rule. No one wants to think they may be doing something wrong.

You can't expect change, unless you are willing to make a change. Many people never alter their eating or exercise program enough to dictate a noticeable result. There must come a time when poor results are no longer acceptable.

My challenge to you today is to entertain making a change. Although you may be doing a lot right, you are probably missing something. Believe me, my mom swore she had tried everything - acupuncture, dieting, jazzercise, diet support groups, workout gadgets and even fasting. Now she'll be the first to admit she never did it right until she was willing to admit she might be doing something wrong.

Learning how to lose weight the right way takes an open mind and admitting errors. You have to be honest with yourself and you must be willing to search for mistakes. The person who succeeds is never content until they get results. Are you glazing over right now or are you ready to take the bull by the horns and get fit once and for all.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Fueling up for Fitness is Key to Success by Bonnie Pfiester

Fueling up for Fitness is Key to Success

Choosing the right fuel for a workout depends on the workout you’re fueling up for. It’s like fueling up a car. The fuel used for drag racing is totally different than fuel used for Nascar. Dragsters just need to get to the finish line as fast as possible, which is only about a thousand feet away. Nascar fuel needs to help you go fast, steady and strong so you can go the distance. In many ways the same principles apply to fitness.

Fueling up for fitness and weight loss can be very different. For instance, if you need to make it through an intense workout, like weight training or a boot camp style class, you’ll need something that can power you through your entire workout. Lifting a weight or powering a jump requires blood sugar readily available.

Unfortunately, if you choose the wrong fuel or don’t to fuel up at all you’ll end up broken down on the side of road for sure. Every time someone falls out in boot camp or weight training it’s because someone either didn’t’ eat - or didn’t eat right. A sugary Slim Fast drink or a 100 Calorie breakfast bar won’t last 15 minutes through intense training. That’s like putting dragster fuel in a Nascar. It’s simply not made to go the distance.

A dragster can go through more than twenty gallons of top fuel from warm-up to finish line. The same thing happens when you fuel up with high-processed foods or foods high in sugar– you simply burn through it too quickly. Once your body uses it all up, your blood sugar drops, leaving you dizzy, light-headed and often nauseous.

You need a fuel source that will help you go the distance. Low Glycemic foods like oatmeal, long grain rice, nuts and many vegetables take longer for the body to break down, releasing glucose more slowly and steadily. This means a steady and reliable energy source for your workout.

On the other hand, a fat-burning workout doesn’t require the same fuel source for energy. Of matter of fact, you want to force your body to use fat stores for energy instead of food. Since low-impact aerobics, jogging and walking don’t require instant power, you can wait for your body to make the blood sugar needed to keep you moving. Much like a hybrid, you can use stored up energy, or fat stores, for fuel.

When it comes to fueling up for fitness, choosing the right fuel for the right exercise is key to success. Now that you’re all fueled up, like Darrel Waltrip says, “Boogity, boogity, boogity! Let's go racin' boys!"

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Exercise alone is over-rated

by Bonnie Pfeister

Exercise can be a lot of hard work for very little reward if you’re just relying on exercise alone to help you drop weight. At the end of the day, sometimes it can almost seem like it’s not even worth the energy.

If that time paid off on the scale, no one would complain. It’s when the scale stands still people want to give up. So how do you make it pay off for you?

I find most people beginning an exercise program don’t really change their diet as much as they rely on the exercise to do all the work. It seems to make sense. I mean, exercise is very hard – it should melt the calories away. Right?

While exercise is important, I think you’ll be shocked to see just how slow the weight loss process can be with exercise alone.

Let’s say you workout 4 days a week and each time you exercise you burn 400 calories. If your diet remains the same you’re in for a long haul.

Unfortunately, most people who start working out eat more because their appetite increases due to the extra activity. People also tend to splurge when they workout because they feel they deserve it – ultimately replacing calories they burned off in the gym

I’ll explain. Since someone needs to burn 3500 calories if they were to lose one pound of fat, the 4 day workout would burn off less than a half a pound a week. Yet, one order of cheese fries at a popular restaurant (a whopping 2900 calories) could erase 7 days of exercise.

So how can you boost results? Increase your caloric deficit by reducing your calories. If you reduce your calories 500 calories a day, plus continue working out four days a week, you will lose an extra pound a week. Most people can reduce their intake by 1,000 calories and still eat 1200 calories a day.

Next, become as protective over your calories as you are over your money. You work hard to erase those calories so don’t squander your hard earned caloric deficit on eating poorly.

Lastly, stay consistent with your exercise routine. It’s a lot easier to stay disciplined with your diet when you’re disciplined in the gym.

If you want to feel great and get fast results you need to combine exercise and diet together so your hard work in the gym pays off once and for all.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Think outside the recipe box by Bonnie Pfiester

When it comes to cooking, sometimes we don’t think out side the box – the recipe box that is. It’s so easy to be a creature of habit and miss out on the opportunity to try healthy alternatives.

For instance, eggs are one of the most common ingredients used in many recipes. Meatloafs, casseroles, pancakes, pies, batters, baked goods and sauces often call for eggs as a key ingredient. Eggs are also one of the easiest foods to substitute thanks to Egg Beaters. However, many people still have never even tried them.

Let’s look at the facts. Two scrambled eggs can range from 150 to 180 calories depending on the cook’s choice of milk, butter or oil. Although an average omelet only uses three eggs, once you add all the extra goodies, you can easily rack up 500 to 900 calories in no time – and that’s without all the popular breakfast side dishes.

Most of today’s breakfast hot spots offer egg substitutes which can cut the calories in half. In addition to cutting calories, you save 5 grams of fat per egg not to mention an enormous amount of cholesterol. Two regular eggs exceed the recommended daily limit of 300mg of cholesterol while egg beaters have zero cholesterol.

Finally, egg substitutes are even easier to use than eggs. I don’t know about you, but I’ve pulled my fair share of shells out of mixing bowls. Cracking an egg is one step I don’t mind skipping. Egg substitute measure out easily, as a quarter cup equals one egg. Egg substitutes prove to be healthy, convenient and tasty too.

Unfortunately, we can’t cook with egg substitute if we don’t buy it. Healthy eating begins at the grocery store. It is much easier to eat healthier if you buy healthy foods. Here are some other healthy alternatives you may want to add to your grocery list.

Splenda – Since Splenda measures out like sugar, splenda and Splenda Brown Sugar blend are great for baking, however cooking time may be a bit shorter. Splenda also works well in teas and other beverages.
Butter Spray – This is a staple in our house. We use butter spray instead of butter on potatoes, grits, oatmeal and steamed vegetables. Butter spray is also great on microwavable popcorn!
Applesauce – Applesauce or prune puree can be used in place of half the oil, butter or shortening when baking. It keeps baked goods moist, plus it adds an extra touch of sweetness.
Low fat cottage cheese – Cottage cheese can be a healthy alternative for ricotta cheese in recipes like lasagna and quiche. Cottage cheese can also be blended smooth to replace cream cheese in some recipes. We use cottage cheese as a healthier alternative to sour cream on top of baked potatoes and Mexican dishes.
Pam - Non-stick sprays and non-stick frying pans are a must in a dieter’s kitchen. Other great alternatives to frying food is cooking food in broth or water instead of oil.
Less Oil – In most cases, you can us a quarter less oil, shortening or butter in recipes and still get the same great taste.
Cool Whip – Frozen Cool Whip can be a great creamy alternative to ice cream. Add sliced strawberries and a sprinkle of Grape Nuts and you’ve got yourself a real treat!

Thinking outside the recipe box may take a little getting used to, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how healthy food substitutes taste and how it affects your waist!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Pets don’t always make good workout partners

by Bonnie Pfiester

Someone recently asked my opinion on power-walking with a pet. Although I don’t personally recommend pets for workout partners, I feel the same way about partnering up with anyone who could slow down your intensity or distract you.

My suggestion would be to completely separate walking your pet and exercising your body. Walking a pet is great for daily activity, but not for fat-burning cardiovascular exercise. Many people would consider their morning walk exercise. However, most people don’t get their heart rate high enough to be considered exercise.

Your exercise regimen should be very purposeful, with as little distractions as possible.  For a fat-burning workout, it is important to keep your heart rate up and keep it steady. Your pace must be set by you, not your pet. Exercising with a pet only works if your pet is a well-trained and experienced fitness partner.

From time to time I will see a person power walking or running very effectively with their dog. Nevertheless, this is extremely rare. A dog would have to learn how to consistently "heel", staying right by your side, while keeping up with your pace.

Another reason you would need a well-trained dog is because you would need to be able to swing your arms freely for the most effective workout. This means your pet would need to stay by your side while allowing the leash to hang freely. If you are controlling your pet with one hand, you are unable to add upper body rotation which increases the heart rate and tightens the mid-section.

Although my dog, Tank, walks very nicely by my side and even allows me to swing my arms, he's a slow-poke.  I have to admit I love walking my dog, but the only one exercising his Tank - not me.
There are simply too many variables when you bring your pet along. People will want to stop and pet your dog. If you are like me, you are proud of your pet and enjoy showing your "baby" off. Another obstacle is animals are easily distracted which can also slow you down. Dogs will want to stop and sniff things or use the restroom. Each time they slow down, or stop, so does your heart rate.  
Unless your dog is in better shape than you are or you need your dog to drag you around the block in order to get you out of the house, I say leave the pet at home. When it comes to choosing a workout partner, pet or not, your ideal partner should match or challenge your own intensity and pace.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

Fitness After Forty - Hope for Aging Baby Boomers

By Maria Walker

Where did my waist go and how do I find it again?
As baby boomers move through the middle age years they find their bodies aren't what they used to be. Their, once upon a time, firm abdomens now have a Pillsbury dough boy quality about them that extends completely around to their side abdomen. While this was an adorable quality in the TV character, any resemblance to this in ourselves sends most of us shrieking where did my waist go and when did I lose it? Once perky buttocks are reaching toward the floor and flesh is no longer tight but loose and beginning to sag.

What has happened to our bodies?
Unfortunately, we have reached middle age. The benefits of hitting middle age is that we are more financially stable, having perhaps achieved personal or professional goals that we set for ourselves in our early years. We are enjoying the fruits of our labor, put our kids through college and are traveling and enjoying our life. The downside of middle age is that our bodies don't quite work like they used to. We are in the years where our muscle mass begins to atrophy, our bones are not as strong as they used to be and our metabolism does not seem to keep up with the quantity and quality of foods that we are eating. Therefore, the inevitable weight gain and middle aged mid-section. Go ahead, just say it, belly fat!!!!

Fit after Forty
The good news is that we do not have to accept this. Unlike our parents, we grew up in age of fitness. Whether you are someone who incorporated exercise into your life at a young age and are finding that it might take a change in that program to manage your weight through the middle years, or are someone that never really had to exercise and find yourself in a position of needing to start a program mid-life to feel better and keep in shape, it is something you can control and take charge of.

If your goal is to gain muscle mass and lose the fat, then a balance of cardio, weight bearing exercise and proper nutrition are key to achieving that goal. Weight bearing exercises several times a week will not only increase your bone mass, which we lose as we age, but it will also help to boost your metabolism and therefore burn calories. Exercises such as walking, jogging, and biking will improve cardiovascular health.

Before you begin any exercise, stretching is recommended. Our body loses it's elasticity as we age and so stretching becomes more and more important in order to maintain and/or improve flexibility and mobility. Make your middle years fun and healthy. Find activities you enjoy that will also help keep you fit and feeling good into your later years. At this age, it's all about quality of life. Make the most of yours.

Author Resource:-> Maria Walker is the founder of Getway Fitness Inc., a destination fitness retreat held at luxury resorts in and outside the U.S. To learn more about our fun fitness retreats and and obtain information on our Fit After Forty Retreat visit us at Getaway Fitness Retreats

Article From Article Health And Fitness

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Come and join our growing Fitness family

come and join us...
we have had excellent response to our online Magazine - we are still trying to go to press but are having are go of it. meanwhile, we do offer our online printable and will be posting two new issues in the next couple weeks.

feel free to join our family. any articles, blog posts and links are welome
tony j.
florida fitness magazine

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Thursday, July 31, 2008


The best way to burn belly fat is a shock to most men and women. Even most personal trainers usually guess, "Crunches", "Situps", or "aerobic cardio" as the best way to lose stomach fat. But none of those work best, or even work at all!

In fact, I often get asked, What’s the best way to burn fat and lose my belly? Do aerobics work better than interval training? Does resistance training help at all? What should I eat to lose stomach fat? All of those are common questions.

Now here’s the truth. Cardio is not the best way to burn fat. In fact, I’ve met very few people who have successfully used cardio to lose stomach fat. And most of those people were young men, and anything works for them when they want to burn fat.

While walking is a good start, and its better than nothing, if you want to seriously ramp up your belly fat burning, you need to do more than just take a stroll.

Of course, your diet is essential. In fact, I always give more credit to nutrition for being a key factor in fat burning than I do exercise. Remember this: You can’t out-train a bad diet! So cut excess sugar from your diet, and increase your protein and fiber intake (through fruits, vegetables, and nuts) to lose belly fat.

When it comes to exercise, if you want to lose stomach fat fast, you need to increase the intensity of your workout by using both resistance training and interval training to lose stomach fat.

Australian researchers, such as Professor Steve Boucher, even believe that interval training can lead to a spot reduction of belly fat. That’s something that no amount of abdominal training can do!

While bodybuilders and young guys without any cares in the world can spend an hour a day on cardio - and sometimes get results - men and women who only have 45 minutes, 3 times per week for exercise just can’t depend on slow cardio workouts to burn belly fat.

Let’s take a look at the perfect workout plan to get you maximum fat burning results in minimum workout time.

Here are the keys.

First, start with a circuit of bodyweight exercises to prepare your body for a fat burning workout. This should only take 5 minutes.

Follow that up with supersets of resistance training using multi-muscle exercises for maximum metabolism boosting. This works so much for post-exercise calorie burning than slow cardio workouts. That will lead to more belly fat burning as well.

After 15 minutes of resistance training, finish with 15-20 minutes of interval training. Use a warmup, then do a few intervals, and then cool-down. You don’t need a lot of intervals to get great fat burning results.

With that workout schedule, you’ll be in and out of the gym in 45 minutes, three times per week.

Compare that to what most people do, which is run, jog, cycle or use the cardio machines for 45 minutes straight. Sure, that will burn calories, but it doesn’t build a better body.

Men and women love the fast fat burning results they get from short burst exercise sessions. Your body was not meant to run marathons. Instead, it was meant to perform quick bursts of exercise, and that is why resistance training and interval training sculpt a better body than long, slow cardio.

The best way to lose stomach fat is to use the following three exercise methods.

1) Bodyweight circuit training to warm-up the body

2) Resistance training supersets to boost the metabolism

3) Interval training to burn belly fat

Put those three, short exercise methods together into one great belly fat burning workout if you want to lose stomach fat fast!

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Can you cheat on your diet and lose weight? by Bonnie Pfiester

During a recent business trip, I decided to pick up a couple of magazines in the hotel gift shop. We had just finished teaching a seminar on diet where we addressed some hot topics like cheating. Ironically, one magazine caught my eye with its catchy bold heading proclaiming "cheat on a diet and still get results". That's when I realized maybe it's time to define the word "cheat".

Of course everyone would like to believe you can get results and still have ice cream too. Every diet program on the market relies on this belief system to help pull consumers in by using ads to make people believe their program allows you to still indulge while losing weight. Although this may be somewhat true the overall message is misleading.

First, let's address the word "cheat". I believe we think of the word as if it means "treat" but Webster would give you synonyms like deceive, trick and con. Unfortunately, the only one you are deceiving is yourself. It's not like you are cheating on your diet and your body doesn't pick up on the extra calories.

When I think of cheating on a diet, I think of going to my favorite restaurant or getting some ice cream. Since I don't visit my favorite restaurant or ice cream parlor very often, they are always a big treat to me. However, many people "cheat' weekly and sometimes daily. This is not cheating – this is just a bad habit.

Secondly, cheating on a diet means different things to different people. Some dieters can have a 300 calorie small cup or ice cream once a week and call it cheating. Other people may diet during the week and go wild over the weekend, eating countless calories, and call that cheating. Both are cheating, but one is cheating responsibly and another is not.

Let's compare dieting to saving money. Can you save money and splurge every once and a while? Sure, but there must be limits on what "splurging" means. Splurging for some is buying a Lou Vuitton handbag while splurging for others means going to the movies. What you splurge on should be based on what you can "afford". Either way, the less you splurge the more you save. The same principles apply to weight loss.

The more you cheat, the more you slow down your progress. If you must have your chocolate, then work it into your caloric allowance. Basically you need to "budget" it in your diet. If you are really watching your calories during the week, you need to keep track of how many calories you are taking in over the weekend too – that includes cheating.

Lastly, there must be different rules for different people. If you have more than one child you know you can't expect each one to react the same. My two sisters and I are all very different. My mom could tell one sister not to touch the stove and she'd never touch it again. On the other hand, if she told my other sister not to touch the stove we might as well get the First Aid kit.

It's not fair to expect everyone to be able to play by the same rules. We are all different and have different personalities and weaknesses. My husband, for instance, loves Tostitos Restaurant Style with a Hint of Lime Tortilla Chips. Steve knows he can't act responsibly when it comes to these chips. If he eats one, he will eat the whole bag so we can't buy them when we are dieting. Just because others can lose weight and still have Tostitos chips doesn't mean he can. You must know your limits.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Some fitness articles do more harm than good

Some fitness articles do more harm than good

By Bonnie Pfiester

I often cringe when I read fitness articles. Although many articles have a little truth in them, since many writers are not in the fitness industry, some articles can mislead readers rather than help them.

Magazines like to use catchy phrases and flashy titles to grab consumer's attention. Although most of us would realize titles like "10-minute abs" or "lose your belly in 3 weeks" is unrealistic, there are still many people who believe the nonsense. No wonder people lose hope so fast – almost every article in every magazine promises fast results with little effort.

Even as many controversial articles as I have read, none have been as disturbing as a recent article my mom passed along to me this past week. The opening statement printed in oversized text said "if you belong to a gym, it's likely that most of what you are doing there is nearly useless – and might be ruining your chances of getting fit". If that was the case, I'd pack up shop today.

The writer even attempted to blame health clubs for the obesity epidemic saying the problem with obesity followed the rise in health clubs. Did the writer ever think the rise in health clubs is due to America's obesity problem – not a result of it? As my grandmother would say, "Brother!"

As health clubs strive to pick out the best equipment, hire the friendliest people and offer the most effective programs, it's disheartening to think someone could actually believe the one place dedicated to fitness could "ruin your chance of getting fit". This is a perfect example of how an article can do more harm than good.

Everyone has a tendency to point the finger and I even understand why people are intimidated by health clubs. Ironically, this particular writer actually blamed fitness equipment – complete with a list of "the 10 machines you must avoid", many of which included machines available in most rehabilitation centers.

As if there were not enough things about joining a gym to fear, now you need to be afraid of gym equipment? It's frightening to think of all the people who were on the verge of getting help and joining a gym who may never get the help they need because of this one ridiculous article.

Are gym goers really wasting their time? Can you really get abs in ten minutes? If it sounds ridiculous, it probably is. In my opinion, no one is really responsible for obesity but the individual who continues to eat too much. There is also no real trick to weight loss - living fit takes work.

Despite what an article may say – there are people, like my self, who dedicate our lives to helping people get results. Just be careful what you read because what you read may be fueled by increased magazine sales rather than a genuine desire to help people.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Once on the lips, forever on the hips

I think we've all heard the saying before, "Once on the lips, forever on the hips". Although it may just seem like a catchy saying, I believe there is some truth behind it. I'm not talking about the actual placement of the weight going to the hips, but the truth behind the comparison. I'm referring to the short amount of time you actually enjoy the food compared to the long amount of time it seems to stick with us.

Let's look at this a little deeper. Someone can easily consume 2,000 calories with one entrée alone - without a drink, appetizer, side salad or dessert. Burning 2,000 calories is another story. It may take you fifteen miles to burn that many calories.

The bottom line is, the few minutes your taste buds enjoy the meal can take hours to burn off with exercise. If you aren't willing to do what it takes to burn off the extra calories, or don't live a lifestyle that affords you those extra calories, then a little simple pleasure can literally stay with you forever.

It's like a debt that is never paid. It won't go away until you pay it off. Our weight basically fluctuates based on charges and payments. We make pricey charges with every high calorie bite we eat. The payment is what we must do to erase the debt. For many this is a lifelong struggle. For others, it is a lesson learned and a lifestyle change that is required - a lifestyle centered on limitations and living more responsibly.

One of my favorite sayings is "being skinny feels better than any food tastes". The coolest part about that saying is that feeling skinny also lasts longer than the taste of food. Believe me, when I eat chocolate I hold it in my mouth as long as I can before I swallow it in order to savor every bit of flavor - and it still only last a minute or so. You are stuck with your body the rest of the day - whether you like or not.

Next time you are being tempted, maybe reciting the saying "once on the lips, forever on the hips" is not a bad idea if it helps prevent you from making a mistake.

Bonnie Pfiester

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Just Dance

What is your preferred form of exercise? Do you like to work out on the treadmill at the gym or would you rather climb onto a stationary bike at home? Or are you the type who gets bored with a rote exercise routine? The good news is that exercise doesn't have to be a chore, and there are options to suit all tastes. Just taking a daily walk outside is one way to beat the monotony of an exercise plan. Personally I prefer something more active, entertaining, and fun
-- dance!

Whether it be square dance, hip hop, the waltz, or belly dancing, to name just a few, dancing offers a fabulous workout. And while dance may not take care of all your health needs - it comes with some surprising benefits.

Dancing helps strengthen your legs and knees, and it can also slow down the process of osteoporosis. And the benefits to heart health are even better. If you dance regularly, especially if you can get in an hour several times a week, you can lower your heart rate, drop your blood pressure, and boost the good HDL cholesterol while lowering the bad LDL cholesterol.

In addition, dancing burns calories and lots of them. A one-hour dance session can help you drop between 400 and 800 calories, depending on how vigorous your dances are. Those figures rival the number of calories you can burn riding a bike, walking, or swimming laps.

Dancing also comes with the additional benefits of a group activity by offering opportunities to socialize and build relationships, both of which influence our overall outlook on life.

Then again, if you are someone who doesn't feel comfortable dancing in public, you can dance in private. All you need to do is to crank up the radio at home, move the coffee table out of the way, do a few stretches to limber up, and move to the beat of your favorite music. By the way, you don't have to stick to a specific dance step either. It is the movement that is important.

Whether you are up for dancing or not, I hope my thoughts have inspired you to get in some regular exercise.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008



Summer is here and you know what that means - great movies! The summer is always known for its great new flicks, but with new movies comes added temptations for dieters. I mean, what's a movie without that delicious movie theater popcorn and soda pop?!

As a big fan of popcorn, smelling the buttery aroma of freshly popped movie theater popcorn without partaking in the salty treat is simply torture for me. Even as much as I love the fluffy stuff, I have to wonder if it is worth all the extra calories.

Although popcorn can be healthy when cooked at home, the healthy snack can get really unhealthy in a movie theater minute - adding up to 1,500 calories and 76 grams of fat for a large buttered popcorn. To help put things in perspective, 1500 calories is what most dieters allot for an entire day's worth of food. To take things a step further, this high-calorie snack could take approximately 10 miles to walk off, the equivalent of three hours of aerobics classes.

One cup of air-popped popcorn is only 31 calories per cup according to Calorie-Count.com so where do the extra calories come from? It would seem like all you would have to do to cut calories is leave off the butter but, surprisingly enough, a large popcorn without butter would still be around 1,100 calories because of all the oil that's used to pop it. Since a large popcorn averages 20 cups of popcorn, the other issue is simply the portion size. So what's a girl to do?

Here are a few tips to making a trip to the movies a little healthier.

1. Eat a small meal or snack before you head to the theater so you're not tempted to overindulge.

2. Drink diet soda or bottled water instead of coke, saving you over 350 calories.

3. Order a small popcorn with no butter (500 calories instead of 1,500 calories).

4. Lower your calories throughout the day to balance out the extra calories from the snacks.

5. Watch a matinee and go for a brisk walk after the movie.

6. Do your homework. Look up your favorite movie foods online for nutritional information.

7. Just say no. If you have really been working hard to lose weight you might just want to say no to the added calories and just enjoy the show.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Common Diet Mistakes By Bonnie Pfiester

Common Diet Mistakes by Bonnie Pfiester

Ladies share their diet struggles with me all the time. They tell me how they've tried every diet on the planet but never got results or how they used to workout but that didn't work either. Most of the time they just didn't stick with it long enough or their regime was just too unrealistic to maintain long-term. My favorite one of all is the one where they tell me how they're doing all the right things and still can't lose weight. It happens all the time. They tell me how hard they work out and how well they eat, but they just can't work out that hard, eat right and NOT lose weight. It's just science. If you are taking in fewer calories than you're burning – you WILL lose weight. So what's their problem? Well, it seems there are a few common scenarios.

There is the person that really does eat very well…..MOST of the time – and that's their problem. This person eats very few calories during the week but completely blows it on the weekends. This eating pattern is more for someone in the maintenance stage of their diet. If they want to lose weight, they need to eat right seven days a week until they lose a significant amount of weight. It may take a few weeks, but it is crucial for weight loss. After they lose their first chunk of weight they can celebrate and cheat a little but they have to get right back on their diet until they reach their goal.

Another type of person is the person that just has no clue what they are eating. They really believe they are eating well, but are just relying on guess work. For example, I had a woman tell me that she was on a "No-Carb" Diet (which is a whole other topic to be discussed), but she couldn't understand why she wasn't losing weight. I asked her to give me an example of what she was eating and the first three things she listed were all high-carb/high-calorie items. She simply didn't know any better. Her knowledge was limited. In this situation it is imperative that this type of person get the knowledge they need to make the right choices.

Other people eat healthy, but still eat too many calories. This person avoids all the obvious high-calorie foods like ice cream, french fries and cream sauces but still gets too many calories from other foods or from overeating. Their mistake is they don't count fruits and vegetables, or other items that sound healthy, but are still calories. They fix healthy meals but they eat too much or they forget all the extra items like alcohol, sauces, dressings, etc. This person just needs to keep better track of what they are eating so they can find the hidden calories. My suggestion would be for this person to buy a calorie book and keep a diet diary, writing everything down that goes in their mouth. This is normally a big eye-opener.

The bottom line is calories are calories, no matter where it comes and whether you know you are eating them or not. When it comes to losing weight, it doesn't matter if the calories are coming from unhealthy foods or healthy foods. Whether you try a fad diet or make up your own, it all boils down to eating fewer calories than you are burning. It's just that simple.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Get a Grip on Childhood Obesity

Get a Grip on Childhood Obesity
By Bonnie Pfiester

Since obesity in adolescents has nearly tripled in the past 2 decades, it’s an important topic to discuss. Unfortunately, childhood obesity is a sensitive subject for many and often ignored. Some parents cling to the hope that their child will grow out of their weight problem and others just simply ignore there is one, but it can’t be ignored any longer.

Parents often are afraid of discussing a sensitive topic like this with their child but I guarantee you that it is being discussed among peers. Fat jokes and being the last one picked for kickball can cut much deeper than a parent discussing truth in love. It’s up to the parents to be in control of this topic and offer opportunities to discuss it in a positive and loving environment.

Also, a parent must not ignore the topic because they have the same problem. Discussing a weight problem a parent and child both share would force the parent to also take action. This often stands in the way of ever bringing the ugly topic up. It is vital that parents put aside their own struggles and insecurities to do what’s best for the family.

Parents must offer hope whether they truly believe it or not. Most of the time, an overweight child can lose weight simply by changing their eating patterns and activity level. My younger sister is a perfect example of a child’s potential. When she was a 200lb, 13 year old girl, my family made excuses for her weight. They said she was big boned and that she really didn’t eat that much. After she lost 45 pounds with a simple diet and exercise program, the truth started coming out. Basic physiology proved that she had been taking in more calories than she was burning – period.

Many children don’t even know they are doing anything wrong because they’ve never done anything right. Most obese children often have never practiced healthy living for any length of time. They only know what they are taught - and most children are not taught very much when it comes to diet and exercise. They must be taught guidelines, eating limitations and portion control. Accountability and activity also play a big roll. Then it’s only a matter of time before they begin to look and feel better.

If your child has a weight problem, do not let it get away from you. You have the power and the responsibility to influence your child while they are still under your roof. The battle against obesity goes beyond vanity. You have the opportunity to improve their health and change their future.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

How to Reduce Stress

Feeling Stressed Out? Try stretching! Not only will stretching reduce stress, but it is also an essential component of a successful exercise routine. Stretching will assist in increasing physical performance, decreasing risk of injury, increasing coordination, blood flow and balance, reducing stress and will enhance enjoyment.

To get the most benefit from a stretching routine:
1 Always warm-up before stretching
2 Stretching should be slow and controlled without any bouncing.
3 Hold each stretch at a point of mild tension for 10 to 30 seconds.
Repeat this routine 3 to 5 times.
4 Do not excessively extend, flex, twist or lock any joints.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Nutritional Information

Need for more nutrition information?  Look for reputable sources like Registered Dietitians (RD) and the American Dietetic Association.  They are your most reliable sources of information. You can also find plenty of reputable registered dietitian resources on the internet. If you have a medical condition or need medical advice, your best bet is to initially speak with your personal physician.

Friday, April 21, 2006

jog in your backyard pool

Florida summers... are hot... really HOT... like being in an oven HHHOOOTTTT! Taking a walk outdoors can be just brutal. And running and jogging outdoors... unthinkable! So when the heat buckles the asphalt and running, power walking, or just taking the evening stroll becomes less fun and way too sweaty, you may want to take your workouts to a cooler place, your own backyard pool.

Running, jogging and walking underwater not only strengthens the leg and hip muscles - the quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteals - but helps to develop cardio respiratory fitness.

Pool walking/jogging and any water aerobic activity is a great all-around form of exercise as the water is easy on the joints and is excellent for those recovering from injuries. The ease of working out in the water may seem disarming, but don’t be fooled - you will feel the burn.

If you are new to this form of exercise, the key is to take it easy in the beginning. At first, lightly exercise in the shallow end of the pool -- walking at this stage will be enough for you to start feeling some cardio.

As your confidence improves, move gradually to thigh-deep and later chest deep, increasing your speed as you go. Use the water as resistance, landing in a heel-ball-toe action and maintaining an upright stance being careful not to just stay on your toes. Pump your arms as if walking or jogging on land and eventually feel free to add small weights.

After developing a good technique which is comfortable for you, your aim to walk or jog underwater should last between 20 to 40 minutes per exercise session.
An added benefit using this style of exercise is the ability to burn more calories much more efficiently.

Based on the following estimates of calorie consumption for a 30 minute workout see the below comparative chart:

Land: 135 calories
Deep water: 264 calories

Land: 240 calories
Deep water: 340 calories

Saturday, April 08, 2006

We Welcome Articles of Health and Fitness

Florida Fitness Magazine (flafitness.com) welcomes writers to submit health and fitness related articles. We publish articles here on this blog and on the PDF printed version of the magazine at flafitness.com. In return for published articles we will list any contact information that you would like such as email, website, etc. We also ask for a reciprical link and/or "as published in" listed on your website.

Of course, Florida Fitness Magazine reserves the right to publish any article, comment or editorial it so chooses. Thanks.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Squat to a Perfect You!

When performing squats, it's important to keep your body weight
on your heels and not on your toes. If your heels rise off the
floor as you bend, too much pressure can be placed on your knees
- especially if you are using heavy weights.

If staying flat-footed during the squat is difficult, it's best
to perfect your form over time. Squat down only as far as you can
go without lifting your heels; then, as bending beyond this point
becomes easier, gradually bend down more. Keep in mind
that your ultimate goal is not a very deep squat, but rather one
that brings your thighs to a position that's parallel with the
floor; a 90-degree angle.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Get a Buddy!

Are you finding it hard to stick to your diet or exercise plan? Find a friend or spouse to join in your efforts. Even if they don't need to lose weight they should want to stay in shape. Your chances of sticking with your program double when you have a partner. Find someone who is reliable and at the same fitness level or a little higher. With a partner, you can accomplish more than you thought possible.

Sunday, March 19, 2006


To increase progress and decrease the possibility of injury, it is essential to rest after a strength-training workout. During this recovery period, muscles rebuild themselves and develop higher levels of strength. An adequate time to rest each muscle group is 48-72 hours between workouts. So don't overdue it by working out every muscle group every day. Distribute your workouts so different muscle groups can adjust and heal in between.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

ME and MY PAL(sy)

Me and My Pal(sy)
by Anthony Jenners

And so it begins... 41 years old. FORTY-ONE! Arrrggggghhhh!

Okay, not too bad. Some aches, some pains now and then, bagginess under my eyes - had some of those mornings in my 20s and 30s, so not really a problem. So what then is the problem? The seeming beginnings of slow physical deterioration - THAT's a problem.

I am a big guy, always have been; proportioned well, not bad in the face - a nice, big Italian guy, a Tony Soprano of sorts. I have always been fairly strong and surprisingly limber - with big arms and legs thanks to years of working out with weights, step classes, aerobics, yoga and kickboxing.

The problem started over this past summer, a few weeks after my 41st birthday in June. One night out with friends, I noticed that when I drank, I dribbled out of the side of my mouth. Very strange. I certainly never had a problem with that before. Of course, I never realized that I would be entertaining a "twilight zone" of living for the next 4 months - Happy Birthday!

Over the next few days I began to notice my speech becoming, well, sort of strange and kind of garbling. And every time I drank - dribbling and drooling became de rigueur and an added attraction for friends. Okay, I laughed, figuring that I have turned the page from my youth and that the next 40 or so years was going to be a hoot. NO KIDDING! About a week into this, I began choking and gagging while alone in my apartment and this was no hair ball, I was choking on my own saliva. Nor was I laughing anymore... something was most definitely wrong and at the urgings of my private doctor, partner, family and friends - I was convinced to go to the emergency room. This being a new experience as I have never been in a hospital before except for a broken leg about 20 years ago. Within two hours from the choking incident my speech had deteriorated from waxing brilliant (I studied vocal a few years ago) to an incoherent mumble. I really thought I was having a stroke - as did everyone else.

Well, my continuing adventure reached new heights at the emergency room. The ER has all kinds of posters and all on the possibility of having a stroke, so I was a bit comforted thinking that I would be seen immediately as my condition was getting worse and worse. HAH!! - after a 12 hour wait, a five second CAT scan, and an IV drip, all tests showed me healthy as a horse. A bit big in the belly but otherwise, textbook health … no stroke, no traumas, no bleeding in the brain and a "please provide arrangements to pay your $5,000" ER tab on the way out. Some bill of fare - no meals, nothing to drink… not even an aspirin, the nurses were nice though.

The hospital scheduled a neurologist for later in the week, who, determined that it was Bells Palsy - or it could be, he really wasn't sure. Please pay $250 and come back in a few weeks for another possible determination. Of which I never did return.

Okay, so now I am in for $5,250, no diagnosis or treatment in sight - suffering awful headaches (which I rarely get), the right eye stuck on "open", although wearing an eye patch did give an air of mystery. My eyes were constantly tearing and I had a constant saliva dribbling out of my mouth - maybe I should try and be a model on South Beach. My left arm suddenly and inexplicably weakened and began to atrophy while I suddenly couldn't lift my left arm. Finally, and the only nice thing about all of this was the loss of 35 pounds putting Atkins and South Beach diets to shame as I can only eat through a straw. Over the next 3 months further deterioration had also affected my throat - making the simple act of drinking and swallowing a lovely day in hell. I could't swallow an aspirin if I tried. Ok, so… this is "middle age" for generation X - does Madonna go through this?

Finally, I found a practitioner of acupressure in Montreal, who at $50 a session, found the cause of my Bell's Palsy - a pinched nerve in my shoulder/neck area which created a spiral effect healing one side of my body while shutting other parts down. The true culprit was caused by doing heavy lifting a month before becoming ill which severely aggravated an old workout injury in my shoulder. Two sessions later and for $100 - I actually felt my turning point and was able to begin eating again - the "straw" is still my best friend, and so began a few more months of recovery. By Christmas I was almost as good as new except for a lingering dry eye and some difficulty reading, which in my research of Bell's Palsy and other similar maladies, I may never recover from.

Not sure as to the lessons learned from all of this, I do question the validity of Western medicine versus Eastern philosophies and truly question the outrageous service and pricing of our hospitals. For those of us without health insurance as I did not have at the time of my episode - I do suggest putting the screws back to these greedy hospitals, I know it is soooo politically incorrect and goes against the Republican grain but I say use fake IDs, fake social security numbers - whatever it takes. Sitting all day in the emergency room is not a $5000 vacation, they couldn't even get me a sandwich or a glass of water. Also as we age - no matter what your health situation is, one needs to pay closer attention to some of those aches and pains.

I am back at the gym and reworking the incredible blockage that caused my arm to atrophy and allowing more time for the healing of my shoulder. I have lots of aspirin, an eye patch, boxes of straws and an incredible hospital bill to pay. Oh and welcome to middle age!!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Legacy: The Power Within

Every once in a while we like to review certain health and fitness related books and publications as they get passed around the office.

One such book recently read and from a local South Florida writer is called: "Legacy: The Power Within" by Tony DeLiso.

In the genre of self help. "Legacy: The Power Within" offers pretty much the same rotation of self-help advice, with an interesting use of the author's own life experiences and his helpful tips on how to reflect on one's thoughts, life processes and attaining all the the things that we desire in our lives.

We did enjoy the paperback "Legacy: The Power Within", as it was an easy read, thoughtful and presented additional tools for one to use in the quest of self fulfillment and finding that kernel of happiness and peace in a crazy and oftimes negative world.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Replace Your Sweet Tooth!

Make fruit kebabs for a nutrient packed and energy boosting dessert. Pineapples, bananas, apples and pears all cook well directly on the grill or wrapped in tinfoil first. Serve with a nonfat yogurt or fat-free whip cream topped with Flax seeds for an added healthy boost.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Looking for Models

Attention Fitness Models:
We are looking for models... male and female over the age of 18 who would like to be featured in our ezine and printed magazine: Florida Fitness Magazine. We are not looking for porn just fitness poses, yoga, aerobics, weightlifting, running, etc.

You must have a model / photographer release and be over the age of 18. In addition, we need a signed copy of a release from your photographer indicating your right (permission) and ours in publishing your photos. Photographers and models do receive credit if and when posted so please submit legible and correct spelling.

Models at Florida Fitness

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thank you Berry much!

Berries are sweet, small and snack-like, but easy to underestimate. Research shows that these tiny treats pack a powerful nutritional punch. Strawberries are so high in vitamin C that you can meet the recommended daily allowance (RDA) by eating as few as 10 to 15 a day. Blueberries are one of the first berries to be recognized for their antioxidant value. Grab a handful today!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Structural Yoga Therapy by Mukunda Tom Stiles

It is important to know your starting point in yoga. Without knowing this it is at best difficult to evaluate your progress. By knowing yourself and making a regular commitment to re-evaluate yourself you can know that you are making progress in the multitude of layers of your body/mind/Spirit that can express the natural harmony of your True Self. Continue to allow yourself to be re-appraised by colleagues, teachers or even the Yogini you meet on the street. By exercising self-study (svadhyaya) you can watch your freedom in Yoga grow being nurtured by your commitment to yourself.

I recognize three levels of students in Yoga. These levels are not determined by flexibility but rather on a number of factors that reveal a change to the total personality. This chart summarizes those phases of progress. You might find that according to my summary you are a beginner in some areas, regular student in other areas or even a committed student in one or two areas. These differences are natural. Yet I would encourage you to aim to stabilize the practice until your Yoga practice (sadhana) has become more fully integrated with the rest of your life.

In the same manner that the preceding factors have levels so also I find levels for the mastery of each of the techniques presented within my book. A brief summation of all the practices for the Structural Yoga Therapy process include:
Joint freeing series
Strength exercises
Yoga asanas

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Hurricane Wilma Photos

here is the picture gallery of wilma... we lost 3 big trees.

a big oak that barely missed the house.
a huge ficus (the bane of florida) that fell into the pool
and a beautiful 60 foot pine that broke into three pieces and became missiles that also missed the house. just a lot of cleanup but everything else including the car and truck were fine!

here is the picture gallery of wilma... we lost 3 big trees.

a big oak that barely missed the house.
a huge ficus (the bane of florida) that fell into the pool
and a beautiful 60 foot pine that broke into three pieces and became missiles that also missed the house. just a lot of cleanup but everything else including the car and truck were fine!

Hurricane Wilma Photos

Saturday, October 22, 2005

South Florida Cardio Workout!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

why are you so sore!

One of the main reasons many people discontinue a fitness program is due to the fact that muscle soreness or discomfort may accompany fitness activities. Well in this issue we will describe fitness related muscle soreness and try to help you understand what you can do about it.

There are two primary types of soreness that are associated with fitness activities, the first is acute soreness and the second is delayed soreness. Acute soreness, which occurs during exercise or immediately following, is in most cases due to the build up of chemical waste products in the muscle, and fatigue. It usually subsides within a few minutes of rest. You can then continue exercising. If the soreness persists after a period of rest you should not continue to work that body part and exercise should not be resumed for that muscle group until exercise can be performed without pain. The second type of soreness we will talk about is delayed soreness also known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). DOMS is thought to be caused by microscopic tearing in muscle fibers during exercise. The amount of tearing appears to be due to the intensity and the type of exercise you do. Exercises that emphasize "eccentric" contraction tend to cause the most muscle tearing. Eccentric contraction is when a muscle contracts forcefully while lengthening. Eccentric contraction is also known as "negative" contraction of muscle fiber. For example, when performing a dumbbell bicep curl, the downward movement of the arm is an eccentric contraction of the bicep. In addition to the microtearing, swelling can occur in and around a muscle causing and increase in DOMS.

Now that you know what types of soreness occur during and after exercise we can talk about ways to minimize this soreness. One of the best ways to prevent or minimize DOMS is to warm up completely before exercising and to cool down after. This can be done by performing a few minutes of aerobics exercise, i.e. walking, step machine, before you begin. Stretching should be performed but only after the muscles have been warmed up and are best saved until after you have exercised as part of your cool down. When engaging in weight training in addition to the aerobic warm up you should also perform a warm up set for each exercise. Select a weight that is comfortable and less than your usual start weight.

If you do suffer from DOMS here are some suggestions on how to deal with it. Most experts agree that the soreness should go away without any treatment within 3 - 7 days. You should avoid any vigorous activity that increases soreness in the muscle, a light aerobic workout will help by increasing blood flow to the muscle and help to decrease soreness. Light stretching can be performed after warming up. Other management techniques include applying ice, and massage. Non steroidal drugs such as Ibuprophen or aspirin can help with the soreness although they will not speed the healing. It should be noted that recent studies have shown that the anti-inflammatory affects of these drugs can also reduce muscle tissue growth post exercise and should not be used frequently by those wishing to increase muscle mass. Finally, you should allow the soreness to subside in the muscle before exercising that particular muscle group again. If you are still sore your body is telling you it is not ready to exercise again. Typically you should rest 72 hours before working a muscle group again as part of a weight training program. If you have pain that persists beyond 7 days you should consult your physician. As usual you should also consult your physician before beginning any exercise program.

Dr. David M. Hohimer Jr., CSCS is the owner of Pump'n Inc., a private personal fitness training center located in Oakland Park, FL. Pump'n Inc. offers one on one fitness training, nutritional counseling, and massage therapy in a state of the art facility with new equipment, featuring the Polar HealthFirst TriFit body age assessment system. Visit Pump'n Inc. on the web at pumpninc.com or call 954-630-2600

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Massage Therapy

Today, we already know what’s happening in the field of massage therapy. It’s growing extremely fast. Our society is still looking for new approaches to deal with pain, stress, anxiety, etc in order to improve their quality of life. Even though massage has been practiced for more than 3000 years, some people still don’t know what massage is all about. That’s where a licensed massage therapist comes into play. We have a responsibility in society to educate the public as to the variety of treatment options available to them. A sample of these treatments includes Myofascial Release, Neuromuscular therapy and Sports Massage. Some of the benefits of massage include improvement of energy flow, encourages general relaxation, and alleviates tension headaches and muscular aches and soreness. People in the 21st century still think that a massage is only a rub down. Massage is more than that. It is an approach that can make drastic changes in people’s lives.

Before we can educate our clients, we must first educate ourselves. Students of massage therapy sometimes overlook the importance of knowledge. Knowledge is power, but better than that, the applied knowledge is even more powerful. Every single lecture, while in school, is a fragment of the real world of a massage therapist. Every class you attend, you are learning how to answer a possible question from your clients.

A student should seriously commit their time and devote their efforts to studying and practicing the theory and bodywork of massage. This will increase opportunities of becoming a successful massage therapist. A massage therapist must posses a thorough understanding of the body’s anatomy and physiology. This knowledge is one of the essential tools needed to develop your assessment abilities and appropriate treatment protocols.

Take advantage of your time at school. Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to learn. There are no stupid questions. A stupid question is the one that is not asked. The industry is looking for well prepared and educated massage therapists that can make a difference in people’s lives. Remember, as a massage therapist, you are a reflection of the entire field. Let the world experience the power of touch.

David R. Gonzalez is an Anatomy and Physiology professor at FCNH in Miami. He is a personal trainer and a LMT and is also the owner of the Institute of Functional Performance, a massage and fitness studio in North Miami Beach, FL. He can be contacted at ifp@bellsouth.net

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Send Some Damn Fries

I know this is supposed to be a health and fitness blog to compliment my website at flafitness.com, but watching CNN, Fox, MSNBC and others news stations ad nauseum, I really feel the need to comment on those who should help victims of Katrina.

I have spent the last couple of hours e-mailing various companies and posting to any blog that I could find, not my usual behavoral problem, begging them to step up to the plate and help people in the Gulf.

For instance, cruise lines which are primarily based here in South Florida and gratefully recieved an awful lot of money and support during our own Hurricane Andrew should send some of their "tubs" up to New Orleans and/or anywhere else that is needed along the coast. Thousands of people can stay onboard - quickly and comfortably. Supposedly the government actually asked Carnvial yesterday to do just that and they wimped on about how complicated "that" would be.

This has been mentioned on CNN as well, so the thought is not new.

Another example are the cell phone companies. Can they not float several towers for temporary service? Drop down to the police fresh phones or other communication devices? I am sure they are still billing their customers in the Gulf states as people are forced to pay monthly fees and not a per call rate.

To lose out helping on a humanity level and even scoring a probable publicity bonanza is beyond the scope of sadness. We people need to think about all of this and we should stop supporting these money mongers. Please email your service providers, your vacation providers, even companies like Burger King, whose corporate office was also obliterated in Miami during Andrew. Tell them to send some damn fries!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Dirty Rice in New Orleans

Such a shame that people are still looting and shooting in the streets of New Orleans, that people are still stranded in New Orleans, no water, no food... NOTHING.

The incessant posturing of all of the politicos and homeland security folk is getting really boring. Why can't the rescue helicopters drop a few bags of water or food on hotel roofs or other buildings. People just need a few things to keep sated for a little while as they wait and wait and wait for someone to make a decision.

When Bush flew over today, couldn't he at least drop down a bag of chips? Instead of his willy, nilly "In God We Trust" crap - and his usual manifesto of "the long haul" yet, again?

Seems like New Orleans will become the new Iraq as the thugs are allowed to control the streets. Why aren't fresh police radios being dropped down - wireless communications, notebook computers - ANYTHING to get some type of control or for that matter state troopers from Texas? And the National Guard - where are they? They are supposed to guard the nation - NOT be in Iraq.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Hurricane Katrina

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and families affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Katrina barely touched us last Thursday, here in Boca Raton, Florida; and it was only at a Cat 1 status. In addition, we went through several feeder bands on Friday after the storm unexpectedly turned southwards into the Keys. I will say that even as a Cat 1 - there were several very scary moments and was already proving to be very violent and nasty - so we can only imagine what folk actually went through on the Gulf coast.

As a survivor of Hurricane Andrew and witnessing how much stress and how many months it actually took for South Florida to get it back together - we can only offer to people to stay patient and try and not give up. Hurricane Andrew pales in light of Katrina especially with the horrible amounts of water that is involved. This is just a terrible, terrible tragedy.

tj at flafitness.com

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Celebrating Dade County Parks

celebrating parks in paradise

For 75 years, the Parks Department of Miami-Dade county has provided the community with outstanding recreational and cultural activities as well as preserved the area’s natural beauty. This year will be a time of reflection and celebration, marked by a number of exciting community events in honor of the 75th Anniversary in paradise.

miami-dade parks' history
Miami-Dade Parks began as a Division of the County Road and Bridge Department in 1929, planting trees along our community's highways. A.D. Barnes, a leader in the National Park and Recreation movement, persuaded Commodore Matheson to donate 80 acres of land for, the first county park, Matheson Hammock Park.

Miami-Dade Parks now manages more than 12,000 acres and has more than 280 parks, recreational facilities and greenways. It continues to provide outstanding recreational facilities and programming to more than 25 million residents and visitors, making it one of the nation’s largest and busiest leisure service agencies. A three-time national Gold medal winner for excellence in park and recreation administration, it is the only municipal park system of its size to be awarded National Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies.

With 15 swimming pools, 50 multi-court tennis facilities, six full-service marinas, six golf courses, world-renowned beachfront parks such as Crandon and Haulover and top attractions like Miami Metrozoo, Fruit & Spice Park and the historic Deering Estate at Cutler, Miami-Dade Parks has something for everyone. International sporting events such as the NASDAQ-100 Open and the Royal Caribbean Senior Classic at Crandon Park draw thousands of celebrities and fans to Miami each year. Other celebrities find the Caribbean Senior Classic at Crandon Park draw thousands of celebrities and fans to Miami each year. Other celebrities find the County Auditorium, Joseph Caleb Auditorium and the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center.

Miami-Dade Parks also hosts a multitude of annual events that celebrate our community's rich culture and diversity, such as Kwanzaa, Cornucopia of the Arts, the Redland Natural Arts Festival, the Miami-Dade County Fair and the In the Company of Women awards ceremony during Women's History Month. Programs including summer camps, after-school camps and eco-adventures offer learning experiences for residents and visitors of all ages.