Are You a Senior? Need a Brain Boost? Exercise

Beginning or maintaining a fitness for seniors program can be a challenge. You may feel discouraged by illness, ongoing health problems or concerns about injuries or falls. Or, if you’ve never exercised before, you may not know where to begin.

While these may seem like good reasons to slow down and take it easy as you age, they’re actually even better reasons to get moving. Exercise can release endorphins that make you feel happier, relieve stress, help you manage symptoms of illness and pain, and improve your overall sense of well-being. In fact, exercise is the key to staying strong, energetic and healthy as you get older.

A study from the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois reveals the connection between brain activation, cardiorespiratory fitness, and executive function in senior citizens.  They found that “Dual-task processing in a core executive function brain region is associated with higher cardiorespiratory fitness and dual-task performance.”

The study states, “The aging process is associated with declines in brain function, including memory and how fast our brain processes information, yet previous research has found that higher levels of cardiorespiratory fitness in older adults leads to better executive function in the brain, which helps with reasoning and problem solving. Higher cardiorespiratory fitness levels have also been found to increase brain volume in key brain regions.”

As you age, regular exercise is more important than ever to your body and mind.  And, it can be fun!

Physical health benefits of fitness for seniors:

  • Exercise reduces the impact of illness and chronic disease. Among the many benefits of exercise for adults over 60 include improved immune function, better heart health and blood pressure and better bone density (bone and joint health). People who exercise also have a lowered risk of several chronic conditions including Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and colon cancer.

In fact, Fitness for Health’s Fitness for Seniors program incorporates state-of-                        the-art technology aimed at maintaining weight management while specifically                      improving bone and joint health.

  • Exercise enhances mobility, flexibility, and balance in adults over 65. Exercise improves your strength, flexibility and posture, which in turn will help with balance, coordination, and reduce the risk of falls. Strength training also helps alleviate the symptoms of chronic conditions such as arthritis.

Mental health benefits of exercise and fitness for seniors:

  • Exercise boosts mood and self-confidence.  Seniors have a higher rate of depression.  Endorphins produced by exercise can actually help you feel better and reduce feelings of sadness. Being active and feeling strong naturally helps you feel more self-confident and improves your self-image.
  • Exercise is good for the brain. Exercise benefits regular brain functions and can help keep the brain active, which can prevent memory loss, cognitive decline, and dementia. Exercise may even help slow the progression of brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Do you have an older loved one who could use assistance to improve balance, maintain weight management or better bone and joint health?  We can help.

Fitness for Health is proud to provide a revolutionary, 12-week Bone and Joint Health Program for adults and seniors that capitalizes on weight-bearing, fitness activities.  This groundbreaking program helps to improve posture and increase bone density, strength and balance while counteracting the effects of osteoporosis, osteopenia and aging.

The Bone and Joint Health Program elicits results faster and more effectively than traditional exercise (fitness for seniors) or pharmaceuticals through two state-of-the-art fitness technologies:

  • bioDensity™ – Weight-bearing exercises are the key to stimulating bone growth, and the greater the weight applied, the better the results. The osteogenic loading that patients receive is multiples of bodyweight, and beyond what is typically seen in exercise. Research has shown, bone density gains that averaged 7% in the hip and 7.7% in the spine over one year using bioDensity (Jaquish, 2013). These results are multiples of what the current interventions can do for bone density.
  • Power Plate™ – Power Plate is a whole body vibration platform that allows for reflexive engagement of the neuromuscular system at rapid and repeatable oscillation. This intervention has been clinically shown to increase balance and stability in both healthy and aging-frail populations.

When used once a week, research has shown the bioDensity system alone has significantly increased bone mass density, stability and functional movement with multiple ages, health conditions and for both genders.

Learn more about how we can help you create a customized fitness for seniors program that counteracts the signs of aging while helping to maintain weight management and increase bone and joint health.

Celebrate Your Heart This Valentine’s Day

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

Are you ready to exercise?

I have heart-healthy tips for you!

Today is Valentine’s Day.  Does the love of your life make your heart beat a little faster and your body temperature rise? So does exercise and athletic training!

By exercising for as little as 30 minutes a day, you can reduce your risk of heart disease by 30% – 40% and your risk of having a stroke by 25%.  Medical research even shows that for every minute of walking, you may increase your life expectancy by seven minutes!

In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are some heart-healthy exercise tips from the American Heart Association’s website:

Make the time!

  • Start slowly. Gradually build up to at least 30 minutes of activity on most or all days of the week (or whatever your doctor recommends).
  • Exercise at the same time of day so it becomes a regular part of your lifestyle. For example, you might walk every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from noon to 12:30 p.m.
  • Find a convenient time and place to do activities or fitness for seniors. Try to make it a habit, but be flexible. If you miss an exercise opportunity, work activity into your day another way.

Keep reasonable expectations of yourself.

  • If you’ve been sedentary for a long time, are overweight or need to maintain weight management, have a high risk of coronary heart disease or some other chronic health problem, see your doctor for a medical evaluation before beginning a physical activity program.
  • Look for chances to be more active during the day. Walk the mall before shopping, take the stairs instead of the escalator or take 10–15 minute breaks while watching TV or sitting for walking or some other activity.

Make it fun!

  • Choose activities that are fun, not exhausting. Add variety. Develop a repertoire of several activities that you can enjoy. That way, fitness will never seem boring or routine.
  • Ask family and friends to join you. You’ll be more likely to stick with it if you have company. Join an exercise group or fitness facility. There are even programs specifically for tween and teens to have fun and make new friends while combatting childhood obesity and maintaining weight management.
  • Use variety to keep your interest up. Walk one day, swim the next, then go for a bike ride on the weekend.
  • Use music to keep you entertained.

Track and celebrate your success!

  • Note your activities on a calendar or in a logbook. Write down the distance or length of time of your activity and how you feel after each session.
  • Keep a record of your activities. Reward yourself at special milestones. Nothing motivates like success!
  • Visit the American Heart Association’s website – StartWalkingNow.org – to find all the resources you need to get moving and stay motivated.

Valentine’s Day comes just once a year, but your heart needs daily attention.  Celebrate today by beginning a heart-healthy exercise regimen – not only for your health, but also for the sake of your loved ones.

Learn how Fitness for Health can help you create a heart-healthy and fun, exercise program to reach your personal goals. Whether you prefer EDGE – our athletic training system, Healthy Heart – our weight management program for tweens and teens, or fitness for seniors, we can create a customized exercise program to fit your unique needs.

February is Heart Disease Awareness Month

February is Heart Disease Awareness Month.  So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, celebrate your heart!

Follow these heart-healthy tips to keep your ticker ticking:

  • Don’t smoke or use tobacco. This nasty habit is one of the most controllable risk factors for heart disease. You start to improve your heart health within minutes of quitting. After one year, your heart disease risk is cut in half and, after 10 years of not smoking, your heart disease risk is the same as for someone who has never smoked.
  • Exercise for 30 minutes on most days of the week. Whether you hit the elliptical, jog around your neighborhood or participate in a fitness for seniors class, make your athletic training routine fun!  Play tag with your kids or take your dog on a long walk.  By involving the whole family in your workout, you can spend extra time bonding and creating lifelong memories while maintaining weight management and improving bone and joint health.
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet. Eat foods that are low in fat, cholesterol and salt. Your diet should be high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products which can help protect your heart.  Beans, other low-fat sources of protein and certain types of fish also can reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Maintain weight management. You don’t have to be super-thin or stick to a rigid athletic training routine to reap the benefits of a smaller waistline, but according to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, carrying too much weight around the middle raises blood pressure, affects blood lipids and does damage to the heart. Abdominal exercises are good, but remember that it’s calories in (what you eat) and calories out (how you exercise) that will make a difference.
  • Get regular health screenings. Keeping your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides in check are important for good heart health. Learn your optimal levels and don’t skip your annual physical exam.

Even small, steady changes in your life can help create a stronger, more efficient heart.  More than half of heart disease is preventable, and studies have shown that 90% of heart attacks can be prevented by eating a lot of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fish and legumes; exercising; weight management; and not smoking. And, you’re never too old – or too young – to start thinking about a stronger heart!

Do you need help creating an exercise program that will benefit your heart – no matter if you are interested in athletic training or fitness for seniors?  Learn about our convenient training sessions that can be scheduled before work, during lunch or in the evenings.  We even offer child and teen-specific weight management programs targeting childhood obesity.

Think It, Move It

Have you ever thought about the importance of teaching young children social skills?

Social skills form the foundation of our ability to make lifelong, personal connections.  They are the basis for our home, community and school relationships which tie us to other people.

Now that we are beginning a new year, let’s focus on the importance of school relationships.  School is a great venue where children in preschool and kindergarten learn cooperation, develop friendships, improve self-esteem and establish positive outlooks while ultimately improving kids’ health.

How can you help your child – with or without special needs – improve his/her social skills this year?

  • Smile and initiate conversation. Ask your child to smile and greet one new child each day. Just say, “Hi” while making eye contact.  This is often enough to reduce the pressure and begin some conversations that build toward relationships.
  • Teach your child that conversations are a 2-way street.  Just as your child would like her opinions heard, her new friend would like to discuss her thoughts and feelings.
  • Asking others polite questions about themselves is a great way for your child to learn about his new friend and look for common interests for building friendships. Teach your child how having others talk about themselves is a good way for your child to help others feel important and valued. It also removes pressure from your child because he does not have to carry the conversation. In time, he will begin to feel more comfortable around these students and interacting with others.
  • Remind your child to always be sensitive to others’ reactions. She should not only think of herself but also consider the feelings of others. Remember, empathy begins home and children mimic the actions of their family members.
  • Take risks. Putting yourself out there to meet new people can be scary – for children and adults alike.  Encourage your child to take small steps and don’t be upset if every interaction isn’t perfect.  The important part is your child is trying to make new friends.

On behalf of Fitness for Health, I wish you and your child a happy, new year filled with new friends!

Do you have children in preschool and/or kindergarten?  Would you like them to develop stronger social skills that will help them succeed in elementary school and throughout their lives? Try our Think It, Move It program beginning on this Friday, February 3, and ending on Friday, March 10!

In this program where Fitness for Health is partnering with Sue Abrams, M.A. CCC-SLP, of the Center for Communication and Learning, children will learn and practice core social concepts while on the move. Skills will be introduced in a fun and motivating way, encouraging children to improve their social thinking skills and enhance their motor development. Learn more here.  To register for Think It, Move It, click here.

Does your son have low self-esteem? Does your daughter experience difficulty while trying to make new friends?  Does your child have special needs? Fitness for Health can help your child blossom.

At Fitness for Health, a state-of-the-art, therapeutic fitness facility in the Washington, DC, Area created to improve adult and fitness for kids, you get a complete team—including pediatric fitness specialists, physical therapists and occupational therapists—working together to create a full-service plan of care that’s expertly tailored to your child’s developmental, skill and comfort levels. As a parent, you’re involved every step of the way.

Each plan of care combines evidence-based, therapeutic techniques with our innovative exergaming equipment—from a 30-foot trampoline to a 3-D virtual reality gaming system—to help your child improve his/her motor skills, fitness and self-esteem in the most fun way imaginable. Learn how Fitness for Health can help your child reach his/her full potential.

Is Exercise an Antidote for Behavioral Issues?

Did you know that children with serious behavioral issues “fare better” in school when they are given the chance to move in class and burn off excess energy?

A new study focuses on children and teenagers with autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and depression.  Researchers, led by April Bowling, who was a doctoral student at Harvard University at the time of the study and is currently an assistant professor of health sciences at Merrimack College in North Andover, Mass., looked at whether structured exercise during the school day — in the form of stationary “cybercycles” — could help ease students’ behavioral issues in the classroom.  Over a period of seven weeks, the study found it did.

The study states, “Kids were about one-third to 50 percent less likely to act out in class, compared to a seven-week period when they took standard gym classes.”

“On days that the students biked, they were less likely to be taken out of the classroom for unacceptable behavior,” said Bowling. “That’s important for their learning, and for their relationships with their teachers and other kids in class.”

I agree because I was one of those kids.

As many of you know, I have ADD and created Fitness for Health because I wanted to help children faced with the same challenges and assist them in achieving their maximize potential via physical fitness.

Research concurs.  “Exercise turns on the attention system, the so-called executive functions — sequencing, working memory, prioritizing, inhibiting, and sustaining attention,” explains John Ratey, M.D., an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and author of Spark: The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain (Little, Brown).  “On a practical level, it causes kids to be less impulsive, which makes them more primed to learn.”

Exercise is essential for everyone – especially children with ADD, ADHD, autism, anxiety and other special needs.  Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and, in the process, stimulates the release of brain-derived neurotropic factors (BDNF) which promote the growth of new brain cells (neurons).  When you exercise, your brain releases chemicals called neurotransmitters, including dopamine, which helps with attention and clear thinking. People with special needs often have less dopamine than usual in their brains.  Therefore, exercise is a vital component of treatment and is something that makes it easier to sustain mental focus for extended periods of time.

If you or a loved one have special needs or behavioral difficulties, the daily demands of school, (home)work and family can seem overwhelming. But, by using exercise as an “antidote,” you can become more organized, better able to concentrate and use your newfound focus to tackle new challenges.

To learn how Fitness for Health helps children and adults with special and/or behavioral difficulties improve their cognitive abilities through exercise, call us at 301-231-7138 to schedule a free tour of our facility.

About Fitness for Health:

Fitness for Health has been recognized as Washington Family Magazine’s 2016 Best Special Needs Program and Best Special Needs Camp in the DC Area and a finalist for About.com’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Special Needs Resource in the D.C. Region.  At Fitness for Health, you get a complete team—including fitness specialists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists—working together to create a full-service plan of care that’s expertly tailored to you or your child’s developmental, skill and comfort levels while using cutting-edge, exergaming technology. As a parent, you’re involved every step of the way.

Areas of improvement may include:

  • Functional movement / play skills
  • Gross motor function and coordination
  • Crossing the midline
  • Mental processing
  • Motor planning and motor sequencing
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Locomotor skills
  • Visual motor/perceptual motor skills
  • Proprioception and balance
  • Age-appropriate social skills

Most of Fitness for Health’s exergaming equipment tracks results as they happen, so your child can gain the confidence that comes from seeing his or her performance improve over time. Learn more about our Success Builds Success approach.

Attend our Open House for Prospective Families from 5pm – 6pm on Sunday, February 5, and learn how our therapeutic exerciseoccupational therapy services, and physical therapy services can help your family members reach their full potential.

How to Help Your Kids Thrive in Our Toxic (and nutrient deficient) World

Registration not required but appreciated, info@fitnessforhealth.org; www.fitnessforhealth.org

We know as moms and dads that our children are facing a world different than we did, and the research is accumulating on how this impacts our kids both in short- and long-term health effects.  

Hannah Bradford who is an acupuncturist and health researcher will first provide an overview and case examples of how nutrition, herbal medicine, homeopathy, and supplements can make a big difference in children’s health.

She will then show how various diagnostic techniques such as Autonomic Response Testing (ART) are used to precisely determine the type of foods, herbs, homeopathic medicine, or supplements that children should take for optimum health.

It is these unique testing techniques that take the guesswork out of what each child needs, since many children may react differently to various forms of healing.

Hannah is certified in Biological Medicine through the Paracelsus Klinik in Switzerland and has completed further training at the Klinghardt Academy in the United States. Her training with Dietrich Klinghardt MD, PhD includes Autonomic Response Testing, neural therapy, light therapy, and detoxification and immune system regeneration strategies.

Cost: FREE

Date and Time:  February 28 from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Location: Fitness for Health

11140 Rockville Pike, Rockville, Maryland 20852

(intersection of Edson Lane and Rockville Pike)

Enter 5410 Edson Lane if using GPS

Free Parking:  Enter parking garage from Edson Lane



 

 

The Importance of Exercise for Children and Adults with Special Needs

EVERYONE can benefit from the release of excess energy, burning unwanted calories and the pure enjoyment of physical activities.  This also includes children and adults with special needs.  People with physical or emotional difficulties are not always encouraged to exercise because the fear of injuries or frustration completing the activity.  However, fitness is critical for EVERYONE’s health.

Being physically active can impact a people with special needs’ development skills, helping implant a sense of self-confidence by improving social skills and leadership development. It can also help weight management by keeping the person healthy and strong in the short and long-term.

Kids and adults with physical disabilities face challenges. Some people have limited mobility and/or tire more easily than their peers. For some people with sensory issues, communication challenges or difficulties with social skills, team sports are simply not fun. Kids and adults with side effects from medication, those who are always overtired from lack of quality sleep and people who are overweight and not physically fit will not enjoy many organized activity programs. What is the solution?

Have you heard of ZamDance?  ZamDance is a FUN, dance fitness program especially created for children and adults (ages 8 – adult) with developmental and physical differences.  The program introduces a structured environment while allowing participants with special needs to move at their own pace.  This class also keeps dancers happily engaged while learning different dance steps such as MERENGUE, JAZZ, and HIP-HOP and making new friends with their peers!

The movement of their bodies to the rhythmic music has many health benefits that transcend aerobic activity and the simple of burning of calories though.  This program allows participants with special needs to express themselves through dance in a way that builds confidence, creates empowerment and unites a community that accepts them as they are – while learning the importance of sustained physical activity.

Fitness for Health is proud to partner with Jackie Zamora to offer ZamDance from 6pm – 7pm on Friday nights now through March 3 in the 1st floor gym of Fitness for Health located at 11140 Rockville Pike in Rockville, MD.  Click here to register for ZamDance – our weekly, glow-in-the-dark, dance party for the special needs community.

As the founder of Fitness for Health (a therapeutic fitness facility located in Rockville, MD, that helps the special needs community obtain the physical, emotional and social skills to reach their full potential) and a certified Athletic Trainer for more than 25 years, I believe that many people with special needs believe that exercise has to be boring and unenjoyable due to potential time spent completing traditional occupational and/or physical therapies that do not incorporate exergaming or cutting-edge technology.  People assume exercising has to be sit-ups, running on a treadmill or playing a fast-paced, team sport.  Fitness needs to be fun and can be ANY physical activity that gets you moving!

Do you or a loved one want to burn calories while expressing your creative side and making new friends with similar interests?  Try our weekly, glow-in-the-dark ZamDance class!

About Fitness for Health:

Fitness for Health has been recognized as Washington Family Magazine’s 2016 Best Special Needs Program and Best Special Needs Camp in the DC Area and a finalist for About.com’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Special Needs Resource in the D.C. Region.  At Fitness for Health, you get a complete team—including fitness specialists, physical therapists, and occupational therapists—working together to create a full-service plan of care that’s expertly tailored to you or your child’s developmental, skill and comfort levels while using cutting-edge, exergaming technology. As a parent, you’re involved every step of the way.

Areas of improvement may include:

  • Functional movement / play skills
  • Gross motor function and coordination
  • Crossing the midline
  • Mental processing
  • Motor planning and motor sequencing
  • Eye-hand coordination
  • Locomotor skills
  • Visual motor/perceptual motor skills
  • Proprioception and balance
  • Age-appropriate social skills

Most of Fitness for Health’s exergaming equipment tracks results as they happen, so your child can gain the confidence that comes from seeing his or her performance improve over time. Learn more about our Success Builds Success approach.

Attend our Open House for Prospective Families from 5pm – 6pm on Sunday, February 5, and learn how our therapeutic exerciseoccupational therapy services, and physical therapy services can help your family members reach their full potential.

When Exercising, Simpler Can Be Better

If you’re not an athlete or serious exerciser — and you just want to work out for your health or to fit in your clothes better — beginning a fitness routine can be intimidating and overwhelming.

Yet some of the best physical activities for your body don’t require rigorous athletic training or require you to be train to run a marathon. A walking “workout” can do wonders for your health. It’ll help weight management, improve your balance and range of motion, increase bone and joint health, help prevent cancer and even ward off memory loss.

No matter your fitness level, walking is the simplest, cheapest and most convenient way to exercise. But if your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight “fast,” an easy stroll isn’t going to cut it.  A 150-pound person burns less than 100 calories on a leisurely half-hour walk.  But, take heart.  Those burned calories add up.  Over a year, a daily, 30-minute walk could mean a 10-pound weight loss!

According to a recent report on NBC Nightly News, walking just 20 minutes a day can help save your life. “Twice as many deaths were tied to lack of exercise than to obesity” and “A 20-minute daily walk reduces a person’s risk of early death by 30%.”

As the founder of Fitness for Health and a certified Athletic Trainer for more than 25 years, I believe that people honestly don’t think of walking as exercise.  They assume exercising has to be sit-ups, running on a treadmill or playing a fast-paced sport.

As I explain to the participants in Fitness for Health’s therapeutic exercise, occupational therapy and physical therapy programs, you can obtain exercise by any sustained movement that raises your heartbeat and that you’ll continue to do because you enjoy it.  The key to an exercise routine is remembering that fitness is fun!

There’s a misconception that walking is boring. Why not make it more exciting by walking with a buddy?  Activities – especially athletic training – are always more fun with a friend.  Research confirms that a support system helps maintain long-term, weight management.  So, find a fun, walking partner.  According to 30 Tips When You’re Walking for Weight Loss by Eat This Not That!, “It’s no joke: genuine laughter may cause a 10–20 percent increase in basal energy expenditure and resting heart-rate, according to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity. That means a 10-15 minute giggle fest could burn up 40 to 170 calories.”

Regular exercise – especially walking – is beneficial for people of all ages.  Exercise helps to improve muscle and joint flexibility and keeps your heart healthy while improving bone and joint health.  It also can improve sleep and helps weight management.

Fitness for Health creates unique exercise programs based on a person’s individual fitness goals.  Want to lose weight or maintain weight management as an adult or combat childhood obesity?  Interested in toning your body?  Aspiring to improve your athletic edge?  No problem!  Whether you are a child or a senior citizen, Fitness for Health can you help you and your loved ones reach your full potential.

Repeated Dieting Leads to Weight GAIN

New research by the universities of Exeter and Bristol suggests that repeated dieting may lead to weight gain because the brain interprets the diets as short famines and urges the dieter to store more fat for future shortages.

Have you ever wondered why people who try low-calorie diets often overeat when not dieting and, therefore, aren’t able to obtain weight management? This could be the answer.

The study, published in the journal, Evolution, Medicine and Public Health, is based on observations of animals such as birds and may explain how people who don’t diet learn that food supplies are reliable and don’t need to store so much fat.

Animals respond to the risk of food shortage by gaining weight, which is why garden birds are fatter in the winter when seeds and insects are hard to find.

The study shows, “If food supply is often restricted (as it is when dieting) an optimal animal — the one with the best chance of passing on its genes — should gain excess weight between food shortages.”

Dr. Andrew Higginson, Senior Lecturer in psychology at the University of Exeter, explains, “Surprisingly, our model predicts that the average weight gain for dieters will actually be greater than those who never diet.  This happens because non-dieters learn that the food supply is reliable so there is less need for the insurance of fat stores.”

With the new year comes New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier, do athletic training more often and set updated wellness goals. Unfortunately, the new year is also a time of fad diets to lose weight or find a “miracle diet” to improve weight management.

Fad diets, as their name implies, are short-term quick fixes that actually set many dieters up for weight-loss failure. If a diet or product sounds too good to be true, it is.

Unfortunately, there are no “magic” foods or pills that burn fat. No super foods or fitness products that will speed your metabolism to the point where “fat melts away” while you watch TV or sleep.  And, some ingredients in supplements and herbal products can actually be fatal.

Life is already complicated enough. Limiting food choices or following rigid meal plans can be an overwhelming, distasteful task. With any new diet, always ask yourself: “Can I eat this way for the rest of my life?” If the answer is no, don’t do it.

So, how can people keep the weight off and improve weight management?  It’s simple – exercise. 

Regular physical activity is essential for good health and healthy weight management. The key to success is to find physical activities that you enjoy and then to aim for 30 to 60 minutes of activity or athletic training every day.  Make it a family endeavor!  Exercise as a family.  Play a quick game of basketball after lunch on a weekend, plan a pajama Zumba party in the living room or take the pets for a walk.  You don’t have to use a Stair Master to get a great workout.  You just need to use your imagination.

If you want to maintain a healthy weight, build muscle and lose fat, the best path is a lifelong combination of eating smarter and getting moving.

Doesn’t that sound better than a lifelong diet?  And, it’ll benefit your long-term health and your kids’ health by showing them that childhood obesity can be avoided while having a little family fun. It’s a win-win!

Learn more about how Fitness for Health can help you create a customized fitness program or athletic training that is fun for the whole family (kids too) while helping to improve weight management and increase bone and joint health in the new year.  Check out our weight management program for pre-teens and teens!

Made Your New Year’s Resolutions Yet?

Are you thinking about reinventing yourself in 2017? Or, using the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad nutritional habits or improve your athletic training to maintain weight management? You’re not alone.

According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, in 2015, 45% of people made New Year’s resolutions.  Can you guess which resolution was most popular? If you guessed losing weight or maintaining weight management, you are correct!  (“Enjoying life to the fullest” came in #4 and “staying fit and healthy” came in #5.)

Don’t set yourself up for failure in 2017 by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead, follow a few suggestions for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to – for the long haul.

  • Focus on one aspect. If you want to change your life or your lifestyle, don’t try to change everything at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin. Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change, you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of 2017 and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.
  • Pick a start date. You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day.  Pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people who can help you stay on track.
  • Put your heart into it. Go for it 100% beginning on your chosen start day.  Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet, keep in your gym bag or display by your bed and/or on your bathroom mirror. For example, your mantra could be “I will exercise to improve my bone and joint health” or “I will go to the gym for athletic training twice a week.”  Choose a place that you view the card often in order to give yourself positive reinforcement.
  • Remember that nobody is perfect. Don’t become discouraged if you don’t immediately achieve your New Year’s resolutions or if you have a setback in your quest for weight management. Losing weight is a journey; not a sprint. Weight loss won’t be permanently achieved overnight. (Wouldn’t it be great if you could eat a hot fudge sundae before bed and, by morning, lose 5 pounds?) The most important aspect of a resolution is that you keep trying.

Whatever your plans and goals are for 2017, I wish you luck!  But, remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.  Decide what you want to accomplish in 2017, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on!

Fitness for Health creates unique exercise programs based on a person’s individual fitness goals.  Want to lose weight or maintain weight management for adults or kids in 2017?  Interested in toning your body?  Aspiring to improve your athletic edge?  No problem!  Whether you are a young child or a senior citizen, Fitness for Health can you help you and your loved ones reach your full potential – and your New Year’s resolutions – this year. Visit www.FitnessForHealth.org to learn more.