Archive for April, 2013

The A’s of April: Are You Worth It?

Money fork

I’ve been working on a number of home improvement projects lately.  This weekend I tackled the kitchen, walk-​​in pantry and guest bathroom — Ugh!  What astonished me in cleaning out cabinets was all of the stuff I’ve accumulated from wedding gifts, to inherited treasures, to just plain junk.  The hardest part of de-​​cluttering for me is letting go of things.  It is a family characteristic to keep things if they pass two basic tests:  could it be worth money or will I potentially need it someday.  Forget the fact that just a minute ago I didn’t even know I owned it!  Maybe you’re guilty of the same behavior especially when it comes to your health.  You may not know what your health is worth until you lose it.  As we close out April, let’s do some spring cleaning of our own and find out what your health is worth, now and later. 

Tactical Fitness and Special Ops Training

Tactical Fitness and Special Ops Training

Hey Stew, I am working on a project and was curious what your opinion on today’s warrior and Special Ops fitness and which training disciplines best achieve this?

Great question!  Over the past decade Special Ops Fitness has morphed into a new fitness genre along with military, police, and fire fighter fitness called Tactical Fitness.  In fact, the National Strength and Conditioning Association has created the Tactical Strength and Conditioning Certification Program and hold some of the best conferences I have ever been to.  Speakers include those physiologists and athletic trainers who train active duty Special Ops Team such as Delta Force and SEAL Team Six.  But the real progress in training is in the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, FBI, Border Patrol, and other federal law enforcement programs.  Now many of our nation’s branches of service are hiring sports team trainers to run their indoctrination (boot camp), special operations maintenance and injury /​ rehabilitation programs for instance.

Wanna Grab a Quickie? The 2 Minute Workout that Will Kick Your Butt!

Quick WorkoutI don’t know about you, but I have too much stuff to do. Like you, every day I deal with email, Facebook, tweets, work, pets, family, and so on. Finding time to go to the gym is getting harder and harder each day. Well, have no fear. I have assembled for you a workout you can do anywhere called the 2 Minute Workout that only takes, you guessed it, 2 minutes! This workout will get your blood pumping, increase your energy level, burn some calories and strengthen muscles.  Not a bad way to spend 2 minutes!

The Best Bodybuilding Supplements to Build Muscle When You Sleep

The Best Bodybuilding Supplements to Build Muscle When You Sleep

You do not build muscle while you are exercising in a fitness center. The body builds muscle soon after you workout once it can get over your workout routines, using power and size in order to deal with the additional intensity. Typically the ideal time the body has for the purpose of recovery as well as muscle development is actually as you sleep. Using the best bodybuilding supplements at night will certainly actually assist you to develop more muscle whilst you sleep.

The A’s of April: Attitude


Tysen Ober is a 23 year old soldier who recently returned from an overseas deployment to Kuwait.  With no job, no school, and no relationship awaiting his return, Tysen knew this was his moment to do something big.  And boy is it big!  Tysen will be running 3,500 miles from California to Maine to raise money for wounded warriors.  His hope is to inspire others to “get out, get active and get involved in giving back to this country.”  His drive and vision inspired me to talk about how far we can all go with the right attitude (see the bottom of this article for ways to support Tysen’s quest).

Home Invasion Survival: The Home Invader Mind-​​Set

Let’s face it…we aren’t nearly as trusting in society as we once were, are we?

Behaviors that were once commonplace, indicating a much greater level of comfort with what we thought was a safe and civilized society, have changed to reflect more fear, more prudent caution, and even more paranoia.

We keep a much closer eye on our kids, for fear that some pervert will snatch them.

We’re nervous in parking garages.

We lock our doors at night.

We’re suspicious of the knock at the door.

And with good reason…

The average citizen is easy pickings for the predatory class of criminals categorized as “home invaders”.

To Bar or not to Bar: “Nutritional” Bars Put to the Test

Nutrition Bars

Nutrition bars are increasingly popular. but you may need to take a closer look at the labels. You might be consuming more sugar and calories then you would from a candy bar, you might be surprised to see what else is in them! Check out my Fox & Friends First segment for what to look for if you are supplementing your diet with these bars.

My advice, skip the bar for real, non-​​processed food like hard boiled eggs, apples, milk, yogurt and almonds. The only bar I lift is a barbell.

The A’s of April: Apples

Military child enjoying an apple

It must be a right of passage for most kids, watching classic Disney films like Cinderella, Snow White, Dumbo, and Pinocchio, just to name a few.  In true Disney form, there is always a hero or heroine who must overcome his or her fears to defeat the evil witch, monster or various inanimate objects brought to life by overzealous animators.  To this day I can’t tell you everything that happened in those movies as my view was inevitably obstructed by the clever hands-​​over-​​eyes technique employed whenever something scary was about to happen like the Evil Queen who tempts innocent Snow White to bite into a poisonous apple.  “This is no ordinary apple.  It’s a magic wishing apple,” says the queen, enticingly.  Fortunately, for us, our apple crunching outcome is far more positive.  As apple trees begin to blossom, check out the amazing health benefits of apples. 

Sitting is the New Smoking: Office Workout Moves

Office Workout Moves

Ever wonder how bad sitting behind a desk all day is for you? Maybe you used to be in the field and now think that your 30 minutes at the gym is enough to combat 8 hours behind a desk? Studies show that you are better off working out at the office several times a day than sitting and then hitting the gym!

Do my suggested office workout several times a day and you will fight that sitting disease.

What is Your Answer for the Obesity Epidemic?


The following question was asked to SGT Michael Volkin, military fitness expert, best-​​selling author and inventor of Strength Stack 52 fitness cards — the ultimate 52 card workout. Is SGT Volkin right? Sound off and let’s hear your comments.

SGT Volkin what is your answer for the obesity epidemic?

I don’t like the argument some experts say that UN-​​nutritious food is too available to us.  We are human beings, not animals, we have choices when we eat.  The problem is, Americans more-​​so than any other country in the world eats with their eyes and not their stomach.  Americans eat with their eyes because we act on cravings. So if we can control our cravings then we would only eat when we are actually hungry, when our body actually needs food and not just wants it. It all has to do with cravings. There are a few ways to learn to control cravings.

The A’s of April: Acupuncture

Acupuncture treatment

With four rambunctious children in the house, my parents always found creative ways to burn off our endless energy/​wear us down in the evening.  One of my favorite memories was going to the old fashioned drive-​​in movie theatre in town possibly because it was the only time we were allowed to dress in our pajamas in public!  We cuddled under blankets and watched The Jungle Book.  Big old  Baloo was my favorite character, a lumbering bear who didn’t have a care in the world and yet was full of wisdom for a wide-​​eyed jungle boy named Mowgli.  One  thing for sure about Baloo was his ability to enjoy the “simple bare necessities of life” from back scratches on the bark of a tree to picking “a pawpaw or a prickly pear.”  Maybe Baloo was onto something -  the right prick can be painless and may just heal what ails you…”You better believe it baby.” 

This Aint no 9–5 Gig: Sleep Deprivation and Shift Work

sleep deprivation and shift work1

Being a soldier is not a 9–5 job. Especially in combat. You don’t clock in after your morning cup of joe, or clock out when the factory whistle blows. Being a soldier has its perks, and you can have a deep sense of satisfaction and personal enjoyment for what you do.

It’s just that soldiers don’t work normal shifts…and the effects of sleep deprivation on your body can negatively affect your work unless you strengthen your system with the right fitness and best dietary supplement routine.

You need the nutrients that will help handle sleep deprivation and extreme conditions and still have peak performance in everything you do. For some, odd shifts may be temporary as in military training; other times it will continue for an extended period. Know how to keep your rhythm in check and keep healthy.

The A’s of April: Aromatherapy

Gardenia flower

In desperate need of a warm up, we ventured down to sunny Florida last week.  Mark’s parents have a lovely home there and it has become our winter respite.  Our daily routine includes tennis, golf and a swim in the pool which includes a walk by the neighbors Gardenia bush — my favorite flower.  In fact,  Gardenias were the centerpiece of my high school prom bouquet.  While other girls had corsages, my date went all out with a bridal like bouquet that he insisted I carry it all evening.  Okay, awkward!  Even though the details of the dance have faded, I am amazed at the power of scent to trigger memories.  It’s no wonder aromatherapy has become such a beneficial tool in our wellness arsenal.  What better way to celebrate the bloom of spring than with the power of the flower.

When a Marine Becomes a Marine: Marines Hell Week

marines hell week3

At what point do you make the transformation from civilian to Marine?

For some men it’s going through the Marines Hell Week (its unofficial name). It’s that moment when you climb “the Reaper.”

As one recent graduate commented, “When you get to the top, you’re basically a Marine…”

And getting to the top, instead of having to ring out is the main challenge during the Marines Hell week. After all, many go into the Military service with the hope that their lives will mean something…they will make a difference.

And some join the Marines out of spite. As one veteran said, “My father, a U.S. Army vet, told me to join any branch of the armed forces except the Marines. Thus I joined the Marines.”

Others out of pride when their dad says, “Remember, you are representing the family.”

And still others, such as DeContee Socree who grew up in the war-​​torn country of Liberia, join because of what they saw, “Because of the help the Marines gave to my people, I decided to join the Marine Corps.”

Those who survive the Marines Hell Week become part of a family that is larger than yourself. A family that leaves no man behind.

The Crucible is the test. The Eagle Globe and Anchor is the emblem that is earned, not given, by the men and women who take on the mental and physical challenges of military training.

Not Your Mothers Cardio


When most people hear the word cardio, they sigh, and dread what is about to follow. The days of running on a treadmill, parking your butt on a bike, or rolling around on an elliptical are over. Cardio today, is not what it was 20 years ago. There are some great ways to get your conditioning in without being bored to death. I have three great variations you can add to your workout regimen today.

Marathon Training: What About Tempo Runs and Lactate-​​Thresholds?

marine marathon training 4

There are several marathon training programs to help prepare you for race day. And, those workout plans will vary depending on your own personal goals. However, you will see some similarities. The kind of running that you will do may include: Tempo runs, Interval training, and Marathon Pace running.

No matter the pace, duration, or miles covered during each training day, every run should include a warm-​​up, a cool-​​down, and a good, healthy stretch to avoid muscle strains, tendinitis, joint pain or shin splints.

Easy Weight Loss with the Right Cardio Training

Easy weight loss 3

If you’ve put on a few pounds since bootcamp and want an easy way to lose weight, then this is perfect for you. If you’ve got something coming up, a sports event, a fitness test, a class reunion, or beach vacation where that gut you’ve been sucking in will be unleashed (or unbuckled), then this is for you too.

Losing weight doesn’t have to be a losing battle. And as they say, starting is the hardest part. Sure, some people say sticking with it is harder, but when you see results and you feel those results, then sticking with the workout plan becomes very easy…and we’re going to talk about how to easily burn those calories, lose the fat, and get in better shape in just weeks.

The A’s of April: Alzheimer’s


Did you ever read the book, Captains Courageous by Rudyard Kipling?  It was my favorite book growing up.  Every summer I would lose myself in the mishaps and adventures of young Harvey, a spoiled rich kid lost at sea after falling off a luxury ship.  Hoisted aboard a fishing vessel, he begrudgingly matured through discipline, responsibility and self-​​reliance.  Little did I know that Harvey was based on a real person, Arthur Parker, and the two authentic fishing vessels, the We’re Here and the So Are We.  It turns out the ships and many of their crew were my husband’s ancestors, go figure!  Mark can date his American heritage back to the 1500’s.  Knowing your roots isn’t just entertaining, it’s also vital to your health especially when it comes to Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). 

Take Your Winter Workout Outside for Spring

Take Your Winter Workout Outdoors for Spring

Warmer weather is here, and if you’ve been hiding inside the gym on machines all winter, here are some ways to get outside without crashing your workout.

1) Treadmill to Running Outside: When you run keep the incline at 3 on the treadmill to simulate outdoor track where the ground doesn’t automatically move away from your feet. Add hills and inclines to 10 height for about 60 seconds, then back down to 3. If you like doing intervals on your treadmill, you can buy a timer. I like GymBoss​.com. Its smaller than a beeper and made for fitness interval timing.

2) Spin to Biking: Make sure you do those “hills” in spin class or if you do stationary bike alone, be sure to add hills where you have to stand up on your pedals. Outfit yourself in reflective, warm and breathable clothing. Like to read a magazine or book on the bike? Try MacMillan Audiobooks. They have a “Listen while you work out campaign” where the books like Family Pictures have timed chapter tracks so you can figure out how many calories you burn per chapter!

The A’s of April: ADHD

I’ve always had a pretty wild imagination so it was no surprise when my mom enrolled me and my sister in an after school program called “Peter Pan Players.”  We were encouraged to channel our energy, both physical and mental, into interactive games.  One time, we were asked to close our eyes and share what we envisioned.  I described, in exhaustive detail, a horse drawn carriage gliding through a snow kissed forest with sleigh bells ringing out a haunting melody…ever sight and sound imaginable until the teacher finally had to stop me.  When she got to my sister and asked what she saw, Marie frankly stated, “I can’t see anything, my eyes are closed!”  It was obvious that we were wired very differently.  How about you?  Let’s delve a little deeper to learn more about our brains and behavior.