Exercise Can Prevent Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis can potentially be prevented with a good diet and regular exercise, a new expert review published in the Nature Reviews Rheumatology reports.

Researchers from the University of Surrey identified a crucial link between metabolism and osteoarthritis. Metabolic changes, caused by a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle, trigger’s the genetic reprogramming of cells in the body and joints.

The report states, “Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the United Kingdom with 8.75million people seeking medical advice for the condition. This debilitating condition disproportionately affects post-menopausal women who are more pre-disposed to the condition because of biology, genetics and hormones. Currently there is no effective treatment for this painful ailment, with only painkillers available to treat symptoms and no known cure.”

I, along with many representatives in the medical community, believe weight-bearing exercise can improve bone and joint health and thus, prevent osteoarthritis.

“Weight-lifting programs exist to increase muscular strength, but less research has examined what happens to bones during these types of exercises,” said Pam Hinton, an associate professor and the director of nutritional sciences graduate studies in the University of Missouri Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology.  “Exercise-based interventions work to increase bone density in middle-aged men with low bone mass who are otherwise healthy. These exercises could be prescribed to reverse bone loss associated with aging.”

I concur with Ms. Hinton.  As the founder of Fitness for Health, a therapeutic, exercise facility working with children through senior citizens in the Washington, DC, area, I have seen firsthand the power of weight-bearing exercise to improve bone and joint health in the middle age population and the importance of fitness for seniors. In fact, we are proud to have created a bone and joint health program for men and women as they age.

Fitness for Health provides 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.

Do You Have to Be Thin to Be an Athlete?

Close your eyes and think of an athlete’s body. Are you imagining six-pack abs, striated calves and rock-hard biceps? Are you envisioning someone thin?

Are you surprised to know that an athletic body is not necessarily what exercise and fitness experts have in mind when they speak of a fit body.  Athletes come in all sizes and shapes, and, in some sports, a successful athlete is not what you might initially envision. For example, a ballerina or a marathoner may tend to be very thin but with strong tendon muscles. On the other hand, a sumo wrestler, power lifter or football lineman may seem “obese” or overweight although these athletes are extremely successful in their sports and are in great health.

This is best explained in “Fit vs Athletic Bodies.” The article states, “Depending on the sport played, the athletic body is built and trained for strength, power, speed, agility, quickness, endurance or a combination of these attributes. But an athletic body that is built, for instance, for an endurance sport such as marathon racing may be severely limited when it comes to strength — particularly in the upper body, or even flexibility. While some sports, such as gymnastics may require the athlete to be proficient in most if not all of these attributes, others have more very specific requirements and therefore the body type of the athlete performing them may not be as well-rounded. An athlete’s body type more often than not reflects the most commonly relied upon skills needed for their sport.”

I recently read, “Plus-Size Runner Leads the Way for Overweight Athletes.” Mirna Valerio doesn’t have the typical body of a runner. In 2008, her doctor told her that, if she didn’t change her lifestyle, she would die. That prompted her to begin running one mile at a time. She now competes in ultra-marathons (100K races/62 miles) but she still hears, “Wow. You are a big girl. Are you sure you should be running?” She also began blogging about “being a runner in a big body” in her blog, Fat Girl Running, and has become an inspiration to overweight athletes.

As an Athletic Trainer for more than 30 years and the founder of Fitness for Health, a therapeutic fitness facility helping children with special needs, adults wanting to regain their athletic edge, senior citizens and professional athletes reach their full potential, I have seen firsthand how being thin doesn’t make you a better athlete and how being a great athlete won’t necessarily make you thin.

Although it is true that everyone – no matter of age, ability  or weight – needs to exercise in order to live long, healthy lives, we need to focus on becoming fit and not just “looking” fit. Fitness should be fun! You don’t need to train like Ms. Valerio and run marathons. But, you need to have Ms. Valerio’s mindset.

She said, “I think most people who are my size and in athletic pursuit, we exude something different. There is a joy in what we do and we love to spread that joy to other people. Especially if it motivates them and inspires them to be athletes.”

And, that’s the goal of being an athlete – finding joy in the pursuit of bettering yourself.

About Fitness for Health:

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?  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.

Do you want to improve your athletic skills?  Try our EDGE Training using our one-of-a-kind training regimen utilizing our state-of-the-art, high-tech equipment to give you the EDGE when you need to take your game to the next level.

EDGE Training is so much more than traditional training. We can help increase your visual acuity, balance, reaction time and speed. Want to know how we do this? Contact us at 301-231-7138 for a FREE, one hour workout!

Need an Energy Boost? Take the Stairs

Do you feel like you need a Starbucks break in order to get through the afternoon? Do you rely on caffeine to help you stay awake during mid-day budget meetings? Instead of drinking a Diet Coke to re-energize, try walking up the stairs!

In a new study published in the journal Physiology and Behavior, researchers in the University of Georgia’s College of Education found that 10 minutes of walking up and down stairs at a regular pace was more likely to make participants feel energized than ingesting 50 milligrams of caffeine-about the equivalent to the amount in a can of soda.

“We found, in both the caffeine and the placebo conditions, that there was not much change in how they felt,” said Patrick J. O’Connor, a professor in the department of kinesiology who co-authored the study with former graduate student Derek Randolph. “But with exercise they did feel more energetic and vigorous. It was a temporary feeling, felt immediately after the exercise, but with the 50 milligrams of caffeine, we didn’t get as big an effect.”

As a Certified Athletic Trainer and the founder of Fitness for Health, a therapeutic fitness center helping children, adults, senior citizens and professional athletes reach their full physical potential, I have firsthand experience that exercising increases your amount of energy.  Exercise can improve energy levels by strengthening the circulation and the heart muscle, and in return will improve energy levels. Scientists concur and have found that one of the best ways to beat fatigue and boost energy is to exercise more, not less.

So, the next time you need an energy boost before your Monday staff meeting, take the stairs!

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?  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 this spring.

Can Osteoporosis Be Reversed?

Did you know that 1 in 3 women over age 50 will experience osteoporotic fractures as will 1 in 5 men aged over 50, according to the International Osteoporosis Foundation?  That means more than 8.9 million fractures annually – resulting in an osteoporotic fracture every 3 seconds!

Wouldn’t it be great if osteoporosis could be reversed? Well, maybe it can.

Have you heard about bioDensity™?  bioDensity™ was created by Dr. John Jaquish.  Dr. Jaquish began his experience in life sciences after being told by his mother that she had been diagnosed with osteoporosis.  He, in an effort to help his mother, created a device to place axial loading through bone to safely cause osteogenic loading events. The device was to trigger the effects of high-impact loading, but without the risk of injury. After successfully reversing his mother’s osteoporosis, as part of his doctoral dissertation in biomedical engineering research at Rushmore University, he conducted four years of testing with human subjects focused on user comfort, biomechanics, and optimal musculoskeletal stimulation. Next, the device he designed – bioDensity™ – was put into production, and has since been placed in over 240 clinics worldwide.

As recently outlined in Crain’s Chicago Business, bioDensity™ “exerts force as great as nine times body weight to stimulate bone growth. Patients push against the machine but don’t break a sweat, and the treatment is only once a week for 10 minutes.”

Does it work? Yes.

Performance Health Systems conducted a 12-week trial focused on 60 men and women in their early 80’s and studied the effects of using bioDensity™ and Power Plate on strength (force production), balance, and functional independence at Springpoint Senior Living facilities. The results were decidedly impressive and included:

  • Significant increases in force production
  • Increase of 47-48% for chest press
  • Increase of 50-51% for leg press
  • Increase of 22-38% for vertical lift
  • Remarkable improvements in static and dynamic balance
  • Improved leg strength; reducing fall risk and incidence

Additionally, researchers found that certain types of weightlifting and jumping exercises (when done continuously for six months) improve bone density and could decrease osteoporosis by facilitating bone growth in active, middle-aged men with low bone mass.

“Weight-lifting programs exist to increase muscular strength, but less research has examined what happens to bones during these types of exercises,” said Pam Hinton, an associate professor and the director of nutritional sciences graduate studies in the MU Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. “Our study is the first to show that exercise-based interventions work to increase bone density in middle-aged men with low bone mass who are otherwise healthy. These exercises could be prescribed to reverse bone loss associated with aging.”

As the founder of Fitness for Health, a therapeutic, exercise facility working with children through senior citizens in the Washington, DC, area, I have seen firsthand the power of bioDensity™ and weight-bearing exercise to improve bone and joint health in the middle age population and the importance of fitness for seniors. In fact, we are proud to have created a bone and joint health program for women – and men – as they age.

Fitness for Health provides 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.

Have You Thought About Your New Year’s Resolutions Lately?

Chances are that you created at least one New Year’s resolution.  Did you vow to maintain weight management/lose weight, get fit, eat a healthier diet or improve your athletic training?  We are four months into the new year.  Have you adhered to your resolution(s)?  Or, has your promise already slipped to the wayside?

Don’t fret.  Here are a few suggestions to help you persevere.

  • Start making healthier food choices. Consulting a dietitian for nutrition advice may help. Healthy eating is an essential part of a good fitness or bone and joint health program. A person who works out a lot but does not nourish the body properly could be sabotaging or hiding the fruits of his labor. Dee Sandquist, MSRD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, advises having a general plan, and investing some time in advance to make it happen. “Taking five minutes on the weekend to plan your food for the week can pay huge dividends,” she says. “Look at your schedule for the upcoming week, and find out how many meals you’ll be eating in and how many meals you’ll be eating out. Make a list, and then go to the grocery store.”  Planning works regardless of your dietary goal. Some people may prefer to work on reducing fat in their diet, adding fruits and vegetables, watching portions, eating at a slower pace, or curbing junk food.
  • Exercise in the right way. Unless you are starring in a Gatorade commercial, you don’t need to bench press double your weight nor run a mile in under 6 minutes each morning. For the average person, a good athletic training program consists of exercises that work out the whole body – including your bones and joints. A cardio workout improves the function and health of the heart, lungs and blood vessels. Weight-bearing exercises improve your bone and joint health while enhancing the function of your muscles and connective tissues.
  • Switch up your exercise routines. Because bodies are living, breathing matter, they need to be stimulated in order to become more fit. This means exercise is ideally done just outside your comfort zone in order to improve.

Exercise does not have to be boring either. Unfortunately, as people grow up, they lose the connection between fun and movement – “playtime.”  Think about the kind of person you are and what you like to do. Some people may love going to the gym while others prefer to play club/team sports. Still others like walking the dog around the neighborhood or playing tag with their kids at the playground. Getting your children involved benefits not only you by adding fun to your fitness and athletic training routine, but it also teaches your kids the importance of exercise!

If you’ve totally run out of steam when it comes to keeping your resolutions, don’t despair. Start over again! Getting fit is a marathon, not a sprint. No one expects you to change your habits overnight – and you shouldn’t expect yourself to either.

Fitness for Health creates unique exercise programs based on a person’s individual fitness goals.  Do you want to lose weight, focus on 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.

Can Exercise Really Improve Kids’ Health?

Can exercise really improve kids’ health? Yes!  As little as 10 minutes a day of high-intensity physical activity could help some children reduce their risk of developing heart problems and metabolic diseases such as diabetes, according to a study led by a researcher at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and recently published in the journal, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

“The results suggest that substituting modest amounts of vigorous physical activity for longer-duration light exercise may have cardiometabolic benefits above and beyond those conveyed by moderate activity and the avoidance of sedentary behavior,” said the study’s lead author, Justin B. Moore, Ph.D., associate professor of family and community medicine at Wake Forest School of Medicine, part of Wake Forest Baptist.

How can parents encourage their children to be physically from the time they’re born?  In my opinion, make physical activities and games FUN for the whole family!  The key to successful participation is creativity and positive reinforcement as well as scheduling a regular time during the week as “family playtime” so children will learn to emulate their parents.  Families need to work – and play – together to enhance physical fitness while building stronger relationships.  With an integrated approach, parents, grandparents and children can create fun, recreational games that also increase self-esteem – and help families bond – while increasing kids’ physical activity.

  • Celebrate the beginning of spring and get moving!  Schedule one afternoon a week for the family to do yard work together.  (Even if your toddler just plays in the dirt with sticks.)  Studies show that you can burn about 350 calories an hour mowing the lawn or 175 calories for 30 minutes of raking last year’s remaining leaves.  Not only will you get a great workout, your yard will look great too.
  • Help kids read between the lines.  Toby Smithson, RDN, CDE, founder of DiabetesEveryDay.com and coauthor of the new book, Diabetes Meal Planning and Nutrition for Dummies, explains that it’s key to teach kids, even from a very young age, to be food media literate. “It’s important for parents and children to understand food advertising and to take a stand against it by not always giving in to it, Smithson says. Because children are exposed to thousands of hours of targeted advertising for fast food, snacks, and sugar-sweetened cereal, Smithson urges parents to help their kids read between the lines of food marketing strategies. (You can learn more about food marketing and children by checking out Food Marketing to Youth and other info from Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.)
  • Play actively. It’s critical to keep your kids moving throughout the day as much as possible (and to join in on the fun when you can).  Physical activity naturally stimulates chemicals that help clear glucose out of the blood and helps to prevent diabetes.  For most kids, 60 minutes or more of physical activity is recommended daily. (For more ideas to help your kids – and entire family – stay fit, check out Tips for Getting Active by the National Heart Lung, & Blood Institute (NHLBI)).

Do want your kids to get off the couch?  Concerned about their weight management?  Searching for a physical activity where your children will have fun and want to keep coming back?  Fitness for Health’s Healthy Heart class is just the ticket.  Your kids will have a blast while breaking a sweat with our heart-pumping, exergaming program.  Using our state-of-the-art equipment, kids will get fit, feel good and get healthy.

This program is a cardio clinic used to help children that are overweight. It is a successful product of our collaboration with Potomac Pediatrics to help improve kids’ health and fitness for kids.

Join the fight against childhood obesity and register for our Healthy Heart program today!

Tips to Help Kids with Autism Get Excited About Fitness

April is National Autism Awareness Month.  To celebrate, I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of athletic training and kids’ health in the autism and special needs communities.

A great – and beneficial – activity for people with autism is exercise.

In particular, studies have shown that exercise reduces problem behaviors such as the need for repetition, disruptiveness, aggression and self-injury in people with autism.  And, these benefits can last for several hours during and after exercise.

According to Stephen M. Edelson, Ph.D. in his paper, “Physical Exercise and Autism,” for the Autism Institute, “One of the most effective treatments for autistic people is exercise. Vigorous exercise means a 20-minute or longer aerobic workout, 3 to 4 days a week; mild exercise has little effect on behavior. Many autistic children gain weight if they have an inactive lifestyle, and weight gain brings another set of problems.”

Motivating children can be difficult.  Motivating a child with special needs to exercise can really be a challenge.  Here are a few tips to help your child with autism become excited to participate in a fitness program and improve kids’ health.

  • Create progress sheets/displays. Everyone likes to see improvement.  Create a visual representation that shows where your child began (ie – 3 sit-ups), where you child is now (5 sit-ups) and displays your child’s goal (10 sit-ups).
  • Does your child have a specific interest? Shape the exercise routine to fit your child’s hobbies.  For example, if your child enjoys comic books, create an obstacle course based on a scenario from Marvel’s The Avengers using old sheets, lawn chairs, boxes or even sofa cushions and mattresses.  Pretend Loki has returned to Earth.  Your child should choose his/her favorite Avenger and use that character’s power to conquer the maze and save the planet.
  • Include the whole family. Everyone can benefit from additional exercise so become a role model for your kids by helping them try new activities.  Show them that fitness for kids can be exciting and can be easily incorporated into daily life.  Make fitness fun and teach your kids the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle from a young age.  The younger a child is when this lesson is learned, the more opportunity for a healthy adulthood.
  • Reward difficult exercises with 10 minutes of a fun activity your child selects. I’ve found that the children I train in my therapeutic fitness center for people with special needs, Fitness for Health, try their best to complete difficult tasks in order to have the freedom to choose their own ending activity.  This helps build self-esteem and empowers the child to make decisions about his/her fitness routine.

One of the most important points to consider is how to motivate your child to exercise of his/her own will. Asking your child to continually perform exercises just for a small reward will not last long, but helping your child to find enjoyment in exercise will promote lifelong fitness. This isn’t revolutionary, this is ABA applied to exercise.

About Fitness for Health:

A finalist for About.com’s Readers’ Choice Award for Best Special Needs Resource in the D.C. Region and voted Washington Family Magazine’s 2016 Best Special Needs Camp and Best Special Needs Program in the DC area, Fitness for Health, founded by Marc Sickel who also suffers from ADD, specializes in creating personalized, therapeutic programs for children with a broad range of special needs:

  • Sensory processing disorders
  • Gross motor delays
  • Autism spectrum disorders (ASD)
  • Pervasive developmental disorders
  • Down Syndrome
  • Asperger’s syndrome
  • ADD/ADHD/LD
  • Developmental and physical disabilities
  • Confidence and self-esteem issues
  • Emotional disturbances and anxiety disorders

At Fitness for Health, 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 while providing fitness for kids. As a parent, you’re involved every step of the way.  Learn more about our therapeutic exercise, occupational therapy services, and physical therapy services today.

Osteoporosis Affects Men Too

Although women are at greater risk, men can get osteoporosis as their bone and joint health decreases with age.

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation:

  • Up to one in four men over age 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis.
  • Approximately 2 million American men already have osteoporosis. About 12 million more are at risk.
  • Men older than 50 are more likely to break a bone due to osteoporosis than they are to get prostate cancer.
  • Each year, about 80,000 men will break a hip.
  • Men are more likely than women to die within a year after breaking a hip. This is due to problems related to the break.
  • Men can break bones in the spine or break a hip, but this usually happens at a later age than women.

Pamela Hinton, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology, has published the first study in men to show that long-term, weight-bearing exercises decrease sclerostin, a protein made in the bone, and increase IGF-1, a hormone associated with bone growth. These changes promote bone formation, increasing bone density.

Unlike sclerostin, IGF-1 triggers bone growth. The decrease of harmful sclerostin levels and the increase in beneficial IGF-1 levels confirmed Hinton’s prior research that found both resistance training and jump training have beneficial effects on bone growth.

To increase bone mass and prevent osteoporosis, Hinton recommends exercising specifically to target bone health. While exercises such as swimming and cycling are beneficial to overall health, these activities do not strengthen the skeleton. Hinton suggests also doing exercise targeted for bone health, such as resistance training and jump training.

I concur with Ms. Hinton. As the founder of Fitness for Health, a therapeutic, exercise facility working with children through senior citizens in the Washington, DC, area, I have seen firsthand the power of weight-bearing exercise to improve bone and joint health in the middle age population and the importance of fitness for seniors. In fact, we are proud to have created a bone and joint health program for men as they age.

Fitness for Health provides 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.

Are Americans Happy With Their Weight?

Although weight gain has continued among U.S. adults, fewer report trying to lose weight, according to a study appearing in the March 7 issue of JAMA.

Socially acceptable body weight is increasing. If more individuals who are overweight or obese are satisfied with their weight, fewer might be motivated to lose unhealthy weight.

While I hope that each person feels beautiful in his/her own skin and develops the self-confidence to truly be themselves, I am worried that obesity-related diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease, will continue to increase and take people’s lives at younger ages.

I applaud people for owning their body types and taking good care of their health while not worrying whether they’re a size 14 or a size 4, we need to remember the importance of good nutrition and exercising.

Many people say they hate working out because they haven’t found a fitness routine that matches their personality style.  Take inventory of your likes and dislikes: Do you like your workouts to be social, or do you really want some alone time? What about fast-paced workouts? Or, do you need quiet time to reflect the day’s happenings? Air conditioning or the outdoors? Use the answers to determine what types of exercise to try next.  The only way to find out what you like is to be open and try new things!

As a Certified Athletic Trainer and founder of Fitness for Health, a therapeutic exercise facility located in Rockville, MD, I understand that people like to do things that they’re good at—and express distaste for anything that doesn’t come to them at least somewhat naturally.  So, take advantage of your strengths to create an enjoyable exercise program.

A review published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found that people’s confidence in their exercise ability is the highest predictor of how often they exercise.  So, if you lack eye-hand coordination, maybe joining a rec league baseball team won’t e enjoyable. But, if you have those awesome “mom arms” that comes from carrying around a 30-pound toddler all day, weightlifting might be a fun fitness choice.

Whatever kind of daily exercise you choose – whether it’s kickboxing, group yoga, hiking or creating your own workouts using playground equipment while your kids are on the swings – make it fun for yourself and you’ll keep up with your fitness routine while seeing great results!

Are you in need of fitness assistance?  Fitness for Health can help you create a healthy, active lifestyle while having fun and sustaining weight management.  We offer customized exercise programs designed to fit your and your children’s exact needs while helping you reach your unique health goals. From first-time gym-goers to NFL professional athletes looking for athletic training, Fitness for Health has fitness programs to help people of all ages and abilities reach their fullest potential. And, we offer family workouts and Open Gym playtimes so families can become active together.

Do you want your tweens and teens to get off the couch?  Concerned about their weight management?  Searching for a physical activity where your children will have fun and want to keep coming back?  Fitness for Health’s Healthy Heart class is just the ticket.  Your kids will have a blast while breaking a sweat with our heart-pumping exergaming program.  Using our state-of-the-art equipment, kids will get fit, feel good and get healthy.

This program is a cardio clinic used to help children who are overweight. It is a successful product of our collaboration with Potomac Pediatrics to help improve kids’ health and fitness.

Join the fight against childhood obesity and register for our Healthy Heart program today!

Cure Your Blues by Making a Snowman Today

Although the U.S. has had a very mild winter, the last 48 hours have been especially harsh for a majority of the East Coast with quick snow falls, artic wind blasts and plunging temperatures. But, hope is on the way!

There’s only 6 days left in winter!

Until spring officially begins on March 20, you may be experiencing doldrums.  This is characterized by a lack of motivation, low energy and mild depression that many people experience during this season.

Is there a cure for your Snow Day Blues?  Exercise and athletic training!

Hundreds of studies link regular exercise to a better mood. In fact, according to the Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School, “A review of studies stretching back to 1981 concluded that regular exercise can improve mood in people with mild to moderate depression.  It also may play a supporting role in treating severe depression.”

Any activity – walking, doing the Zumba Fitness Dance Party DVD in your living room or playing Wii with your kids – can help alleviate symptoms, but exercising outside for 20 minutes at least three times a week in the fresh air and daylight is ideal.

Try adding these ideas to your snow day today:

  • Act like a kid again and go sledding.  Enjoy the remaining mounds of snow and burn up to 300 calories an hour frolicking with your kids.
  • Build a snowman with your family.
  • Bundle up and go for a winter walk.  Whether taking a brisk walk around the block with your dogs, taking a stroll to admire the winter wonderland of the woods with your family or taking a reflective hike, getting outside for 20 minutes will elevate your mood.
  • Need a commercial break?  When TV ads rotate between your favorite shows today, run outside and make a snow angel.
  • Instead of eating lunch at your desk, spend a few minutes making your own athletic memory at an outdoor ice rink.  There are numerous outdoor ice rinks that offer one hour lunchtime skates.  Bring a change of clothes, take a few laps around the rink and grab a salad with salmon, legumes and walnuts on your way back to the office.  (Foods rich in Omega 3’s have been shown to moderate hormone levels and help keep moods consistent.  So, load up on “fatty” fishes, edamame, enriched eggs and wild rices!)

You may notice a difference after just one workout, but it can take two weeks for your mood to turn around. Have fun in what’s left of the winter sun!

To learn how Fitness for Health can help you – and your kids – create an exciting, fitness routine while helping with weight management and improving athletic training, visit www.FitnessForHealth.org or call 301-231-7138.