Will Inflammation Knock You Out?

TKO

It’s a well-​​known fact that grandfathers do no wrong.  They can fix anything and know everything, at least in the eyes of their grandchildren.  I was certainly no exception.  My grandpas were as tough as nails and always pushed me to be the best I could be.  “Grandpa T” was a police officer and a former boxer.  He had a speed bag in the basement and I remember watching with wide-​​eyed fascination as he pummeled away on that bag, not missing a single shot.  Apparently, that wasn’t the case for Manny Pacquiao in his bout against Floyd Mayweather.  Rumor has it that inflammation from a shoulder injury may have knocked Manny out before he even entered the ring.  Is inflammation keeping you from your best shot?

5 May Moves for Muscles Before Memorial Day

5 May Moves for Muscles Before Memorial Day

My 5 May Moves for getting the beach body before Memorial Day are here! Follow these steps with 5-​​10lb weights and you manage to sculpt your triceps, biceps, shoulders, chest, upper back, lower back, glutes, inner thighs, calves, quads and abs!

Butter Me Up!

butter

Growing up in the “Dairy State” of Wisconsin, cows reign supreme and dairy products are mandatory staples: a fact I had forgotten when I left home and began my professional career.  The memories came flooding back, however, when I attended one of my dad’s Rotary meetings.  Here sat 40+ local business, academic and government leaders appropriately dressed in suits and ties.  It seemed like a typical business luncheon until the waitstaff brought out beverage trays loaded with tall glasses of whole milk and bowls stacked with creamy pads of butter.  Each leader studiously drank his or her glass and generously slathered butter onto warm rolls without a bit of concern over the inevitable milk mustaches and extra calories.  That experience got me thinking about how we often give up things in our lives that may be pretty good for us after all.  

Warriors Healing and Wellness Event

Warriors for Healing

April is National Stress Awareness Month and May is National Military Appreciation Month as well as National Meditation Month; making it the perfect time for some expert tips on ways to manage stress and the powerful benefits of meditation and yoga.

Clean Plate Club

science-picky-eaters-vi

When I was a child, I was a very finicky eater.  I remember sitting at the kitchen table staring at an uneaten sandwich and a bowl of chicken soup for what seemed like an eternity.  My siblings had long since cleaned their plates and were outside playing while I felt imprisoned by slimy noodles and sandwich meat.  I pleaded with my mother that I was full and showed evidence of my compliance by the empty glass of milk on the table.  Later, she caught onto my little ploy by keeping the milk out of reach until my meal was consumed to her satisfaction.  Even as adults, we all have foods we choose to avoid for one reason or another — even those foods that are really good for our health.  Maybe it’s time to rethink your “no” list.

Eye Got This

Close-up of beautiful woman face. On white background

I guess I am a self-​​confessed safety freak.  Whether its mowing the lawn, wielding a hammer, or riding my bike, I always protect my eyes with an assortment of safety glasses, shields, or googles.  Of course, that opens me up to a more than my share of teasing from family and friends as a simple task takes on the preparation of a NASA astronaut heading out on a space-​​walk!  Hey, I’ll take the heat if it means that my windows to the world are fully protected from every seen and unseen threat.  While protecting your eyes from the outside in is wise, have you ever thought about how to protect them in the other direction?

Invest in Rest

U.S. Air Force illustration/Staff Sgt. Brandon Shapiro

After a very long day of appointments, phone calls, presentations and emails yesterday, I finished my last meeting at 8pm only to be met with a 90 minute drive home.  Now, I’m not complaining since my work is devoted to veterans especially the Travis Mills Foundation.  A long day worth every minute when it positively impacts veteran families.  Even with purpose and passion, full schedules can still take their toll on our health.  If you find yourself overworked and overloaded, your best Rx may be a prescription for rest.

RockMyRun: Free App to Rock Your Workout World!

Rock My Run app

This March, you can run to the beat of your own drummer. Literally.

RockMyRun is a fantastic new app that not only blends music to a set workout-​​paced BPM (beats per minute), it also gives you the option of sensing your own beat – how fast your feet like to run, jump or do cardio in general – and pacing the music to your very own speed! (See below for a free offer!)

It’s All In Your Head

brain_f3

Did you ever have one of those aggravating days when things seemed to conspire against you?  I had that day yesterday when everything from email to both printers to my phone stopped functioning simultaneously. It was as if they had formed some sort of electronic coupe against me to halt my productivity in its track.  In that moment of sheer frustration, my mother called.  Amazing, isn’t it, how mothers call at the very moment you need them most?  She talked me down from the ceiling and shared the “good old days” when you went to a printer to run off copies and sat by the phone because the cord was so short.  It made me wonder how we can truly wrap our brains around technology’s role in the future of our health.

hiit the game

The Top 13 Reasons Why You Need to Start Doing Bodyweight Exercises

I’ll admit it; I am hooked on bodyweight exercises. I have been working out for 2 decades, rotating through dozens of different workout fads, but one aspect to my workout programs that have always been consistent are the use of bodyweight exercises.

This article was authored by Sergeant Michael Volkin, inventor of HIIT the Game now on Kickstarter –the most fun way to get fit!

Unstoppable

Brian Stoltz and Mario Cicconetti

Have you ever gotten yourself into a really good habit?  A habit or a routine that was so good, it made you feel unstoppable — like nothing and no one could get in your way?  Maybe you crushed basic training, aced your college finals, completed a marathon, or landed a huge account at work.  You felt driven, focused, determined and king kong!  Then, for whatever reason, you slipped, lost all of your gains and went back to old, destructive habits.  Isn’t it funny how we quickly we forget our potential?  Maybe it’s time to recalibrate, reload and refresh your efforts to achieve your goals.  An easy place to start is with a simple secret weapon especially if you are ready to stay on track with your weight loss goals!

Listen to Science, HIIT Will Transform Your Body

HIIT the Game

Fitness fads come and go, but this new fad called High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) might be here to stay.

HIIT uses a combination of quick intervals of intense exercise and short recovery periods to increase your heart rate, burn fat and work muscles in a short amount of time. In fact, HIIT is becoming the go-​​to training method for many professional fitness instructors. The allure lies in the ability to complete an entire workout in less than 20 minutes and burn fat. In fact, this type of training burns more fat than a regular 45 minute cardio session since it keeps your heart rate up and gives your metabolic rate a boost.

The Power of Focus

patriots

While I’ve never considered myself a fanatical football fan, I did grow up in Wisconsin where every Sunday a mandatory migration occurs away from weekend chores to sanctum sanctorum itself…Lambeau Field.  Since my Packers collapsed during the playoffs (ugh!), I was pleased to find my second string team ready for the task.  It was especially gratifying watching a rookie’s determination to intercept a pass in the last 26 seconds of the game securing the Patriot’s Superbowl victory.  In his post-​​game interview,  Malcolm Butler said the play was all about focus and preparation.  While you may not find yourself in the middle of a clutch play of that magnitude, focus and preparation can get you to your goals faster that you may think.

As the Blizzard Blows

Blizzard

I’m writing this article on the eve of a blizzard bearing down on the East Coast.  Having spent a majority of my life in northern climates, I’ve come to expect whatever Mother Nature chooses to throw my way.  However, I also believe in the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” so a little time spent preparing for power outages and snowpack is certainly well spent.  We now have extra supplies of water and batteries with a row of flashlights and candles set up on the kitchen counter.  The cell phones and tablets — definite necessities! -  are fully charged and an emergency radio is also nearby.  Isn’t it funny how so many of us heed the warnings of an imminent threat but fail to properly prepare for catastrophes that may be far more devastating when it comes to our health?  Over the next few weeks, we’ll focus on how to prevent diseases with proper planning. 

Beat the Blahs

boxing

Typically, I am an early morning workout advocate.  I love getting outside, pumping fresh air through my lungs and starting the day like Rocky training to take on Apollo Creed, minus the raw egg cocktail, of course.  Lately, as the temperatures seem determined to linger well below zero, my mornings are a bit less inspiring as I’m more inclined to curl up on the couch with a warm cup of tea.  Hardly a rousing way to start the day, I’ll admit.  The good news is that I rally quickly and make it a priority to get a good workout in even if it is indoors on the treadmill next to the wood stove!  Often, winter takes its toll on our fitness intentions and there may be a very good reason for it.

Put on your Skinny Genes

jeans

We have a new family who just moved in next door.  They are from California so our harsh Maine winter is beginning to take it’s toll.  Fortunately, they love to entertain and to cook.  Those traits gain them big points in our neighborhood.  Unfortunately, the daughters are half Greek and make a decadent baklava.  Needless to say, I’m spending the better part of the New Year on the treadmill!  Actually, I’m not a fan of New Year’s resolutions and fad diets or exercise programs that are unsustainable for most folks by February.  It may sound bland, but consistent exercise and a balanced diet are always the best long term approach to good health and weight maintenance.  There may be other factors in play, however, that may help you revamp your resolutions once and for all.

NikkiFitness Two-​​Week Resolution Kick-​​start Plan!

Slimnastics

It’s here. 2015. To make sure you can accomplish your strength, cardio, toning and weight loss goals (not to mention those awesome, feel-​​good endorphins), follow my plan.

Visions of Sugar Plums

Christmassleigh

It is a Christmas Eve tradition for my nephew, Lorenzo, to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, so every time I think about that captivating poem, memories of the past five Christmases we’ve spent together fill my heart.  From sledding down a mountainside to ice skating on a crystal clear lake to getting stuck in an assortment of ice, snow and sleet storms, all of our Christmas adventures have one thing in common — precious time spent together.  This year, we’ll have to rely on technology (as so many families, especially our military do) to bring us together.  So, I appreciate your indulgence in sharing this Christmas message along with a few fun tips to help you enjoy some holiday cheer wherever you are this year. 

Sleepin’ Like Santa

Santa2014

While the rest of the world may rationalize away this season as a homogenized, hectic and hassle-​​filled holiday, I, on the other hand, confess my allegiance as an unapologetic, unabashed, unrelenting fan of Santa Claus.  That’s right, I love that rosy cheeked big boy with all the toys…which may explain my obsession with all things Christmas, especially the perpetual parade of holiday movies that re-​​rack every December.  From the quintessential struggle of a family man finding purpose in “It’s a Wonderful Life” to a reluctant father whose fate intersects with misfortune in “The Santa Clause,” I’m certain I can recite every line by heart.  What’s interesting about both of these men is that they find themselves at the end of their tether and something magical happens that changes their lives and the lives of the people they love forever.  The good news is that your change of fortune may be easier to attain than you believe.  

Heavy Hump Day (Workout #26)

zpp2

Here is the 26th favorite workout of the week posted on the Military​.com Fitness Forums.

During the winter cycle, we start to add in more heavy lifting workouts but we always like to keep with the “heavy weights of the PT exercise world” — the pullup.  You can also add in some weighted pullup sets if you prefer.  Here is a fun cycle of building up to near 1 rep max level weight in the following lifts: