Here's Your October Quiz.
How Many Can You Answer?
- Nationwide, the average cost of a personal trainer is
Which of these is not one of the 10 weight loss recommendations of the Nutrition Twins?
- $30 an hour
- $100 an hour
- $40 an hour
- $55 an hour
Smoking is the number one cause of strokes worldwide.
Of the following statements, which one is not true.
- Eat a handful of almonds 30 minutes before a meal.
- Drink a glass of water before each meal.
- Never look at pictures of food before eating.
- Learn to love hot peppers.
Exercise decreases your appetite in the short term, so in order to lose weight, take a walk before eating.
- Pushups and bench presses are examples of bodyweight exercises.
- Americans spend over $3 billion on running shoes annually.
- A pastor in Virginia used the bible as his workout manual and lost over 100 pounds.
- Of the top 10 causes of stroke, all of them can be corrected by medications or lifestyle changes.
By the way, if you haven't checked out my updated website lately, I'd like to invite you to visit it: www.grahamfitness.com
Bodyweight workouts are popular these days. These are "no excuse" workouts, because you don't need any extra equipment to do them. Here's one that takes bodyweight workouts to a new level - literally - and the only extra equipment you need is stadium steps. Most of us live near a high school stadium, so it shouldn't be too difficult to find someplace to do this workout. It combines strength and cardio into one, but be forewarned, it's tough.
- Begin with pushups. Do 15 incline pushups with your hands on a higher step than your feet.
- Next are split squats. Facing the playing field, place one foot on the higher step behind you and the other on the next step down. Squat until you lower your back knee almost to the ground. Do 8 to 10 reps and then reverse your feet.
- Now do some stair crawls. Climb the length of the stadium steps on all fours like you would climb a ladder. If the stadium has more than about 30 steps from bottom to top, you can call a halt at that point unless you want to keep going.
- Step lunges are next. Climb the length of the steps, or 30 steps, whichever comes first, doing a lunge at each step. Use alternating legs.
- The next one is the hardest, at least for me. Do a burbee and then jump up to the next step. Do another burpee and jump down to the lower step where you started. Repeat this 8 to 10 times. To increase the difficulty, jump up to the next level after each burpee. And just for the record, you're jumping sideways. Don't turn to face the step before jumping.
- Broad jumps are next. Facing the step in front of you, drop down into a quarter-squat, then jump up onto the step you're facing. Eight to 10 steps should be enough. If not, add a few more.
- Dips are next. Sitting on one step with your feet on the next lower step, do 15 dips
- The final exercise is simply to sprint the length of the steps.
If you're in great shape, do a second circuit of the entire workout. If you try it, let me know how you like it.
If you think the cost of fitness is going up, you're right. When I first started running in 1978, I went to Sears and bought a pair of running shoes for $6. I put on a pair of gym shorts and a t-shirt and took off. These days, I pay about $130 for a pair of running shoes, and a pair of running shorts these days could run you $25 or $30 or more depending on how stylish you want to be. Here are some other figures as compiled by the Physical Activity Council's 2015 Participation Report:
* The average monthly cost of a gym membership is $58.
* The average hourly rate of a personal trainer is $55
* Active wear sales accounted for $33.7 billion in 2014, representing 16 percent of total apparel sales for the year.
* U.S. consumers spent $3.09 billion on running shoes in 2013.
* American households spend an average of $130 annually on sports and exercise equipment.
* If you want to run in the Boston Marathon, the total cost including travel, hotel accommodations, and fees will be from $1145 to $4000.
Steve Reynolds, senior pastor at Capital Baptist Church in Annandale, Virginia, was a "temple-trasher." That's how he described himself when he weighed 340 pounds and took eight medications for diabetes and other diseases. The bible verse noted at the top of this newsletter since its inception says, "Don't you know your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? ... Therefore honor God with your body." But Pastor Reynolds was eating out of control and exercising not at all until he decided to take that verse and many others seriously.
He searched the bible for instruction on how to eat and become more active. He found that, in his words, in many ways, the bible is a "health book." Using the guidance he found there, Reynolds, who is 58 years old, lost 100 pounds and is now disease-free. Since his transformation, Reynolds has written a book Bod4God which outlines his bible-inspired prescription for lifestyle change.
Meanwhile, in Reynolds' church, members have lost more than 12 tons - that's 24,000 pounds - through weight-loss challenges, walking groups, and a commitment to healthy food options at any church events involving food. Maybe it's time some other church pastors and congregations took this issue more seriously as well, since obesity rates among church attendees are actually higher than the national average, and that should not be.
A recent article on the American Council on Exercise (ACE) website, written by Tammie and Lyssie Lakatos, listed 10 ways to avoid overeating. If you're trying to lose weight, you must alter your eating habits. As I tell all my clients who want to drop some weight, you can't exercise enough to overcome bad eating habits. So here are the tips from the Nutrition Twins:
- Start your meal with a bit of protein. One suggestion: Eat about 9 or 10 almonds about 30 minutes before each meal.
- Fill up on fiber rich foods like fruits and vegetables.
- Drink a glass of water before every meal.
- Take a short walk before sitting down to eat. Exercise actually helps to curb your appetite.
- Look at pictures of food before eating. A recent study found that people who did this were less apt to overeat than a control group that didn't do it..
- Eat slower. This gives your brain time to catch up to your stomach. You have to make a conscious effort to do this. Chew your food longer. Put your fork down between bites. Don't eat while watching TV.
- Keep tempting foods out of the house. If that bag of Oreo's isn't in the cupboard, you won't eat any.
- Don't sit down to a big meal when you're really hungry. Eat a handful of almonds 30 minutes before the meal. (See number 1.)
- Don't eat mindlessly. This happens often in the evening when you're watching TV. You grab a bag of chips and before you know it, you've ingested three or four hundred calories. Before grabbing those chips, ask yourself why you want them. Are you really hungry or just bored?
- Learn to love hot peppers. Capsaicin, an active ingredient in chili peppers has been shown to help curb your appetite.
There you go: Ten helpful tips to help you lose weight by eating less. Do I do all those things? No, but I would if I needed to lose weight.
One of my clients sends me lots of humorous material. He recently sent me several items under the title "Senior Stuff." If you're near my age (69), I think you'll appreciate these:
* Someone just honked to get me out of a parking spot sooner, so now I have to sit here until both of us are dead.
* Going to bed early, not leaving my house, not going to a party - my childhood punishments have become my adult goals.
* It's never too late to be what you want to be, unless you want to be younger. Then you're screwed.
* What did our parents do to kill boredom before the internet? I asked my 12 brothers and sisters and they didn't know either.
* I think I'm starting to lose my mind. But as long as I keep the part that tells me when I gotta pee, I should be okay.
Alright, that's enough of that.
Every October I give myself a Fitness Profile. I've been doing this for 11 years now. I check my weight, body fat percentage, and waist measurement. I also time myself in a three mile run, determine my 1RM (1 repetition max) for a bench press, and see how many pushups I can do. Here are my results for this year at age 69 compared to my numbers in 2006 at age 59. The numbers in parentheses are the 2006 results.
Weight - 139 lbs. (144 lbs.)
Waist - 33 inches (32 inches)
Body fat % -- 10.2% (8.3%)
3-mile run - 33:13/11:04 per mile (27:12/9:04)
1RM Bench - 135 lbs (165 lbs.)
Pushups - 65 (51)
Worldwide 15 million people a year have a stroke. That's equal to the population of Los Angeles. Six million of them die, and 5 million are permanently disabled. Researchers recently compiled a list of modifiable behaviors that together account for over 90 percent of all strokes. At the top of the list is hypertension, or high blood pressure. This is one condition that can be controlled by medication. Have your blood pressure checked and follow your doctor's instructions. The next biggest cause of strokes is physical inactivity. If you are not exercising now, start. It could save your life. High cholesterol is next on the list followed in order by poor diet, obesity, smoking, cardiac causes, alcohol intake, stress, and diabetes.
As you can see, everything on this list can be treated effectively either with medication or by changing behavior. Don't become a stroke statistic.
Two fun things to do in public to liven up a boring day:
* Fill an empty Windex bottle with blue Gatorade, take it to the gym, drink it, and double over in pain.
* Go to Petsmart, buy some birdseed, and ask the cashier how long it will take for the birds to grow.
ACE Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Nutrition Specialist
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