Battle Rope Workout

Battle Rope workout Benefits:
They are FUN! You know I always stress you have to find what YOU enjoy. Using tools like the ropes is a breath of fresh air for most people; it creates excitement, it is unique, and it gets people “playing” again adding much-needed variety to a dull, repetitive workout plan.
Total Body Training. While you can definitely use the ropes for an upper body cardio movement, the entire body should be utilized to increase power and efficiency. Your legs help generate power through your core into and through the arms.
Unilateral dominance/imbalance – The waves tell a story. If you watch the movements carefully, you will notice that one side of your body may move differently than the other; It may generate a smaller wave, be more uncoordinated, etc. The cool part about Rope Training is that over time, these differences go away.
With just a few helpful tips to keep in mind, you can grab a heavy rope and start enjoying a full-body, ropes-based workout.
Starts with the Grip
There are two main types of grip used in heavy rope training:
  1. Handshake (overhand) grip
  2. Microphone (underhand) grip
Make Waves The visual feedback by the rope is a great indication of the quality of the effort.
  • Slam – aggressive movement with the direction of force down toward the ground
  • Waves – alternating, asymmetrical pattern with the direction of force toward the anchor
  • Whip – symmetrical pattern with the primary direction of force toward the anchor
*It feels like playing a game even when you are working hard.
The Workout:
Rope exercises also feature the primary movement patterns: squats, lunges, pushes, pulls, and rotations… and move through the sagittal, frontal and transverse planes for a total-body workout.
These exercises can be used in a variety of ways, including various intervals for specific time and/or for distance. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination. When trying the waves for the first time, 20 seconds will feel like an eternity. Let’s try for 5 seconds each and see how many I can do before going to commercial!
  • Alternating Waves (Karate kid painting the fence)
  • Waves (stage coach)
  • Circles
  • Alternating Wave with Alternating Lunge
  • Squat with Wave
  • Snowboarder with Waves
  • Slams / Jump Slams / Jumping Jacks / Figure 8’s, Grapplers throw
Move in Many Directions
Don’t just wave the ropes up and down. Try different motions to work different muscles and skills. Going from side to side, for example, places more emphasis on your hips and core, building total-body stability. Moving the ropes in circles improves shoulder mobility and range of motion, boosting athleticism and reducing your risk of injury. Switching among different motions in your training sessions will help you sculpt functional real-world strength.
TIP** Relax and Breathe
Learning to relax under stress is vital. Rope exercises are 100% output, meaning that there is no rest. Many people grip the ropes hard and tense up their bodies, leading to quick exhaustion. Grip the rope lightly, relax your arms, shoulders, torso, and even your face; you will be able to move faster and maintain intensity for longer periods of time. Novices to Rope Training tend to hold their breath and hurt their performance. Try and match your movement with your breathing pattern; as speed and intensity increases, your breathing should too.
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LEAP Day Fitness Challenge!

Set a Goal. Decide what you want to be good at doing. The more specific you are about what you want to become good at doing, the easier it is for you to train for success. It doesn’t even have to be the “best” decision. Choose something that you want to become good at doing and start moving in that direction. There will be plenty of time for adjustments and optimization.

Assess Your Fitness Level. You probably have some idea of how fit (or unfit) you are. But assessing and recording baseline fitness levels can give you benchmarks against which to measure your progress. Log your weight, take some photos from the front and side, and take measurements of your waist. You could do a self-assessment in just a few minutes.

*Don’t Freak out. No one likes his or her Day 1 photos or measurements. But, by capturing all of the basic information (how much you weigh, how big your waist is, what you look like shirtless or in a bikini), you’ll establish a starting place.

Get the Idea, not the DetailsWhen you’re starting a new workout routine, the thing that matters is getting started. Get the main idea, stick to the schedule, and the details will begin to fall into place. In the beginning the real goal is to make it as simple as possible. This is where most people give up and never get going with their new routine.

*Don’t Stress the Details. Should I do 3 sets of 10 reps, 5 sets or 6 reps? Should rest for 30 seconds or 1 minute? The truth is the details don’t matter AS MUCH in the beginning. You’ll have plenty of time to figure out technique, rest periods, volume, etc. When it comes to fitness there is unfortunately no “one thing” that works for everyone.

Go Slow. Most of the time when we decide to start a new workout routine it’s because we’re motivated. Remember, the goal is to get in the habit of doing the workouts and in the beginning, you want the workouts to be easy. This is true for the first 3 or 4 weeks. Your only goal is to stick to the schedule and build the capacity to do the workout. Performance doesn’t matter. It seems like this is the exact opposite of what most people do. The typical approach is to go from sitting on your couch to doing P90X for six days every week. With a switch like that, it’s no wonder that most people give up after a week.

More TIPS for beginning your New Workout Routine

Do: Eat for the body you want – not the one you have
Don’t: Cut out all of your favorite foods. If you really want to be miserable and set yourself up for failure, cut out everything you like to eat. If your diet is really bad, a lot of stuff you like might have to go. Soda, fried food, super sugary coffee drinks…Think of this new journey like you’re training for the body you’ve always wanted. So feed that body with the food it needs. Lean proteins, complex carbs, and lots of nutrient-packed vegetables.

Do: Expect to be a little hungry and maybe a little grumpy in the beginning.
Don’t: Fall back into old bad habits. No matter what change you’re making – whether it’s a new fitness routine or a cross-country move – there are bound to be growing pains. Change is uncomfortable. Prepare to feel a little out of sorts – you might be hungry, you might feel sore, you might be a little grumpy in response – and it’s more likely you’ll have an easier transition into your new lifestyle.

Do: Get back on program if you fall off.
Don’t: Don’t beat yourself up, feel like you’ve failed, or wait until the next day/week/month to start over. No one is perfect. Not me, not you, and not our trainers. Everyone has an unhealthy meal sometimes or misses a workout. Don’t let that define your day, your week, or your month. Just get right back on track. You’re on a journey and along the way, there are going to be a few misses. If you pick yourself right back up and keep going, you’ll get there.

Do: Share what you’re doing and find people who will keep you accountable
Don’t: Listen to the haters. If you share what you’re doing with those around you, there’s a greater likelihood you’ll succeed because you’re creating a social support system that you’re accountable to. There might be people who pooh-pooh your journey, but ignore them. They have their reasons for doing so (usually the reasons stem from jealousy or fear), so just stay positive and reach out to your support system when you need help.

Mike’s “LEAP YEAR” Fitness Challenge

The number one excuse I hear for not working out is “no time” so for those who complain that they never have extra time or can’t find the time to do healthy things for themselves, I’d like to point out the additional 24 hours added this Monday February 29th, 2016. My fitness challenge to everyone out there is to try at least one thing on the 29th that you wouldn’t ordinarily do, or seize the EXTRA day to get started on your routine. I’ll give any local Wink Viewer a FREE week membership if they call me on Monday. I’ll even have one of my certified staff do your initial assessment.

Call MIKE at FYZICAL FITNESS @ 239-561-1177

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Healthy Exercise For Parkinson's Disease Fort Myers

There’s no overestimating the benefits of exercise for individuals with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders. WINK News Fitness Expert Mike Drumm talks about fitness tips and both the physical and psychological benefits of exercise for people living with Parkinson’s Disease.

Parkinson’s Specific Exercise Benefits

Maintaining your motivation to exercise when you have rigidity or tremors from a movement disorder isn’t easy. A fitness program designed to empower people with PD to take control of the disease with daily exercise and can help with:

  • Moving about with ease and confidence in a crowd
  • Getting out of bed or rising from a chair independently
  •  Improved handwriting; dressing independently
  • Diminishing worry that stiffness, slow steps and other symptoms are obvious, regaining a sense of moving with normality

Are certain types of exercise best for people with Parkinson’s?

The best exercise is the one that your care team approves of and that appeals to you, because you’ll stick with it. Some options seem to be working particularly well for people with PD:

  • Tai Chi or “moving meditation,” is a slow, graceful, and relaxed series of movements that combines flexibility and balance exercise with deep breathing and meditation.
  • Boxing is gaining popularity among some people with PD, who find they gain hope and improve quality of life through a non-contact-boxing-based fitness curriculum.

The Hope Parkinson Program provides support, counseling and other services needed for quality of life. For our local Parkinson’s Community Hope Parkison and sign-up for their newsletter. They offer many support groups a classes FREE of charge.

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Healthy & Happy Kids

When most adults think about exercise they imagine working out in the gym, running on a treadmill, or lifting weights.  What about the kids?
Children need 60 minutes of activity every day. Wink News Fitness Expert Mike Drumm helps us keep our kids healthy and happy.

WARM-UP – Always start your workout with a warm-up and end with a cool down. Today we aren’t going to need any equipment.

  • March in Place
  • Inch Worms – stand with feet together, bend forward and walk hands away from you

RED LIGHT GREEN LIGHT – When I say “Red Light”, stop whatever exercise you are doing and freeze. When I say “Green Light”, go right back into the exercise.

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Frog Jump – squat and put your hands on the floor by your feet then JUMP up!

MORE FUN ANIMAL-THEMED EXERCISES: Crab Walks, Bear Crawls, Bunny Hops

JUMP or DROP – Do repetitions of a regular exercise, but when I say “Jump”, you have to stop what you are doing and jump up as high as you can. When I say “Drop”, stop what you are doing and drop to the floor in a high plank as if you were going to do a push up.

  • Jog in Place
  • Standing Punches

OTHER Great Ideas

·         Create an obstacle course and race through it with your kids, best time wins!

·         Give children toys that encourage physical activity like balls, kites, and jump ropes.

·         Encourage children to join a sports team or try a new physical activity.

·         Limit TV time and keep the TV out of a child’s bedroom.

·         Make a new house rule: no sitting still during television commercials.

·         Be sure that children get the sleep they need. Most children under age five need to sleep for 11 hours or more per day, children age five to 10 need 10 hours of sleep or more per day, and children over age 10 need at least nine hours per day.

Raising Fit Kids

Combining regular physical activity with a healthy diet is the key to a healthy lifestyle.

Here are some tips for raising fit kids:

  • Establish a regular schedule for physical activity.
  • Embrace a healthier lifestyle yourself, so you’ll be a positive role model for your family.
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Helpful Tips for Gym Beginners

It’s the second week in Jan. and there’s a logical reason for the crowd at the gym. The promise to eat healthy and exercise is the most common new year’s resolution and health clubs across the country experience an increase in membership.

FYZICAL Fitness Expert stopped by the studio and joined WINK News This Morning with his tips for beginners.

Doctors know best. Check with your doctor first to make sure you’re ready for an exercise program.

Slow and Steady. Wins the race. Start slow, and build on to it. 30 minutes is more than enough for beginners.

Know The Rules. Each gym has its own set of do’s and don’ts from locker usage to attire. The more familiar you are with these rules, the more comfortable you will be, and the less likely to break one.

Follow Gym Etiquette. Learn to “work in” with people who are using the same machines or benches, re-rack your weights after using them, wipe off any sweat from a bench or machine, and don’t talk on your cellphone while people are working out around you.

Don’t Stop Eating. Never hit the gym without proper nutrition. Not only will you not get the workout you want, but you may cause serious risk to your health. You should reach for a healthy meal packed with protein, carbs and good fats at least one hour before training.

Get The Right Equipment. You should wear supportive running shoes or a cross-trainer shoe. You need

Speak up. If you don’t know how to use a machine, ask a professional how to do so.

Don’t ignore pain. Feeling soreness or pain after working out is normal. Feeling pain during is not.

Treat your body right. Treat your body right and give it the food, water, and rest it needs.

(For the Seasoned Member) Switch up your workout. Coming in just a half hour earlier or later might make a huge difference in terms of crowds. Remember, you are a gym veteran! You know where everything is and what will be crowded. Find a small space in the gym and do a challenging 30- to 45-minute circuit.

*Bonus Tip: You do not need to lose weight BEFORE joining a gym.

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Rock Steady Boxing Fort Myers

If you want a ringside seat to watch folks fight for their lives, you can spend a morning at Angie Moran's Rock Steady Boxing Class at Fyzical Fitness in Fort Myers, FL.

It isn't just any boxing class, every move in the class is calculated to throw a punch at Parkinson's Disease.

FYZICAL Fitness Instructor Angie Moran says Parkinson disease doesn't just affect the nervous system causing tremors in the body. 

"In Parkinson's disease everything becomes diminished, smaller movements, softer voice, everything folds in."

Moran says studies have shown Rock Steady Boxing helps stop the progression of the disease and bring out each person's personality a little more.

"It's big," Moran said. "Big movements, lots of fun. It makes everybody here lift their knees up a little higher, walk a little prouder, and just hold themselves better."

While boxing can't cure Parkinson's disease, Dr. Chris Mulvey says the sport is used as a form of treatment.

"This helps to improve trunk rotation and work on tremors through coordination and speed bags," Mulvey said. "As well as working on balance through footwork and drills."

The group work on drills focusing on mobility, agility, and speed to help people like Deb Tubergen sucker punch core issues of the disease.

"I don't think it will cure my Parkinson but I do think it will stop the progression," Tubergen said. "I feel like I have hope. Boxing is my life line."

A life line for some, but a reward for others.

"It has to be one of the most rewarding classes I've ever taught," Boxing class instructor, Angie Moran said. "It's just fabulous when someone comes up to me and says, 'Look, I'm turning in a circle without shuffling, I'm stepping in a circle now.' That is a big achievement when you have Parkinson's."

If you would like more information about Rock Steady Boxing at FYZICAL Fitness, contact Mike Drumm at (239) 561-1177. 

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A New Year = New Fitness Goals

For many people, a new year provides a great excuse to begin something different, or to simply wipe the slate clean and try again.

Losing weight, getting fit, and saving money are the most common resolutions, but they also tend to be the most quickly dropped.

Wink News fitness expert Mike Drumm is here today with his strategies to make your fitness resolutions stick, and help you sidestep obstacles on your way to workout success! 

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FYZICAL TV Episode 5 - Plantar Fasciitis

Dr. Chris Mulvey, PT, DPT explains to Andy Burrell the causes, symptoms, and provides treatment remedies for plantar fasciitis. May the force be with you. 

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Elevate Your Tennis Game

Not only is tennis a fun and engaging sport, but similar to golf, it can be played well into a person’s retirement years.

The game itself is a killer workout as you use your entire body to react quickly, jump, sprint and make sudden changes in direction.

FYZICAL Fitness Expert Mike Drumm is serving up his fitness tips that will help tennis players at any age elevate their game on WINK News.


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FYZICAL TV Episode 4 - Golf Tips

NAPLES - FYZICAL Therapy & Balance Centers' golf guru Gene Giamarino shares his knowledge for the perfect golf pro evaluation.

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FYZICAL TV Episode 3 - Holiday Fitness Tips

With the holiday season upon us, FYZICAL's fitness expert Mike Drumm has some important quick hitting tips that can help you manage your weight this season.

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FYZICAL TV Episode 2 - BodyQ

This episode of FYZICAL TV is all about the BodyQ Assessment. BodyQ is a unique, integrated body testing tool used for assessing movement,function,general health,balance, and recovery. For a limited time, we are offering BodyQ Assessments for only $99 ($100 off). Stop by or call (239) 561-1177 for more details. 



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Introducing FYZICAL TV

Every week FYZICAL Fort Myers will be bringing you interviews with doctors, testimonials from patients & members along with valuable insights into health and wellness! We are excited to provide you with an inside look of our 14,000 square foot medically based fitness facility and a look inside of Fort Myers only Balance Center!

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel: FYZICAL TV 

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Halloween Health

The scariest part of Halloween isn’t the ghouls, ghosts and goblins. It’s the ever abundant candy stash.  Most people blame Thanksgiving and Christmas for their holiday weight gain, but Halloween is actually the start of the season. FYZICAL Fitness Expert Mike Drumm gives us his survival plan for the scariest night of the year for your waist line.

Be Calorie Conscious
Weight management is always a challenge but more so during the holidays. The secret to success is calorie intake, which means choosing appropriate portions and remembering that extra bites add up. It takes only an additional 100 calories a day above what you need to lead to extra 10lb weight gain in a year. Don’t be fooled by words like “fun size” and “snack size.” The next thing you know, one little bite-sized candy bar has become 10. No one eats just one! But just like everything you eat counts, any exercise you do adds up too!

Work out on Halloween morning! Obviously exercise burns calories, but lifting weights can also reduce levels of blood sugar by providing energy for your workouts, instead of making your belly grow. Do something FUN! This Saturday at Fyzical we have a Zumba class at 10am and everyone loves to dress up! Trick or Treating can help you get in your 10,000 steps!

Eat Before You Trick or Treat
Eat a healthy meal before the fun begins, just like you shouldn’t go to the grocery store when you’re hungry. This way you and the kids will not be tempted to eat candy along the way. You’ll walk while trick or treating, and afterwards sort the candy and set boundaries on an amount to be eaten over a period of many days. It’s alright to indulge, just don’t forget to practice moderation.

Treats to Promote Activity
Encourage kids to be more physically active by giving small, inexpensive toys to get them up and moving such as bouncy balls, fake spider rings, glow sticks. Help kids enjoy Halloween without overindulging. This can be challenging since the goal of most children is to get as much Halloween candy as possible!


Frankenstein Walk
Add this fun and effective move to your dynamic warm-up to help increase body temperature while functionally preparing the body for the exercises to come. Beginning in a standing position, step forward with the right foot and swing the left leg out in front of the body, drawing the right hand toward the left foot. Step down with the left foot and swing the right leg out, reaching the left hand toward the right foot. Repeat this cycle of movement as you walk across the floor. Limited space? No problem! This exercise can also be done standing in place.

Spider Pushups
Starting in a high push-up position, move your left hand forward and bend the elbow while simultaneously stepping forward with the left foot, drawing the knee to the elbow. Keep the body as low to the ground as possible and repeat on the opposite side (right hand forward, right knee to right elbow). To minimize the amount of rotation in the hips and torso, continue to keep the abdominal muscles engaged throughout the entire exercise and focus on controlling your speed of movement.

You need to remember that Halloween is just one day, the eating behavior that is part of the holiday should last just one day as well. To get yourself back on track after the holiday start the next day off with some physical activity and a healthy breakfast. So when you turn the clocks back, get rid of the candy! Don’t let this behavior develop into a habit and let the holiday lifestyle follow & put off losing weight until the New Year’s Resolution.

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Get Moving to Manage Stress

As we get closer to the holiday season, things get busier, days get shorter, and for most of us that means more stress.

Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, and stimulates the production of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. Although the feeling is often referred to as a runner’s high, an interval workout or spin class can have the same affect.

The problem is that much of today’s stress doesn’t require either physical fighting or running away. But your body still provides the chemicals for it. The best and most logical way to deal with the chemicals is to actually do some exercise.

Some exercise, like jumping rope, running, or cycling, let you get into a rhythm. That rhythmic flow of a repeated action relaxes your mind. It’s a bit like focusing on nothing and everything at the same time.

Lack of sleep often leads to a vicious cycle. You become more stressed and anxious during the day, which means it’s even harder to sleep at night. Exercise helps break that cycle. When you sleep well, you’ll have more energy and be more productive.

As your waistline shrinks and your strength and stamina increase, your self-image will improve. You’ll earn a sense of pride and self-confidence. Regular exercise is proven to increase self-confidence and lower the symptoms associated with mild depression and anxiety.

If stressful days have you reaching for a pint of ice cream you’re giving your body a double whammy of bad. Do some exercise instead! Exercise becomes the outlet instead of self-sabotaging with a diet derailer.

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Body-Weight Workout Tips

You don’t have to lift weights to get fit. Your body can’t tell the difference between lifting a barbell, a dumbbell, a kettlebell, or its own bodyweight. It only knows how hard it needs to work in order to move the resistance it’s up against. Simple bodyweight exercises like the Squat and Push-Up can be a great choice for getting stronger, building endurance, burning fat, and getting in the best shape of your life.

FYZICAL Fitness Expert Mike Drumm is here today with his Body-Weight Workout Tips and to show us all how to make some simple movements tough!

Your body is the most effective muscle-building tool on the planet, but it’s all in how you use it. Both men and women can sculpt chiseled physiques without ever lifting a weight when training like some of the fittest people in the world: boxers, gymnasts, soldiers, etc. Body-weight training develops and even incentivizes an entirely different body type than weightlifting does.

Work on your Diet

Extra mass becomes a limiting factor for both performance and athleticism. Carrying around an additional 20 pounds is like wearing a weight vest. So the incentive is to get lean as quickly as possible, and exercise alone won’t do that. You also need to dial in your diet. Tracking what you eat is the most important thing you can do! Focus on total calories, understanding portion sizes and how those relate to your macro nutrient goals. Consume your carbs around the times you need the most energy (your workouts) and great place to Start is by cutting sneaky sugars, particularly in the form of empty liquid calories and condiments.

Make Easy Moves Hard 

The reality is that your muscles can’t tell the difference between your body weight and a barbell. They know time and tension that’s it. As long as an exercise is sufficiently challenging, you don’t need to add weight to trigger muscle growth. If your goal is to increase strength, then most of the body-weight sets that you do should be challenging in the 5- to 10-repetition range. Once you get the basic movements down, it’s easy to make any body weight exercise harder. Here again, just like your diet, your focus should be on consistency.

Form is Everything

Every rep of a body-weight movement recruits more muscles, better engages your core, and places a greater demand on your nervous system than most weight-based exercises and machines. That makes technique all the more important. You want to put yourself in a position that maximizes your training effect while minimizing wear and tear.

Interval Training: The MOST efficient workouts, try alternating between these moves

Master Fewer Moves 

Next to lack of motivation, the biggest roadblock for people who are just starting a fitness program is exercise ADD. When you constantly switch things up, you never fully master the skills associated with executing an exercise perfectly. You also never fully realize its fat-burning and muscle-building potential.

FYZICAL Fitness is medically based fitness for adults seeking safe and effective exercise programs. Unlike other gyms, FYZICAL provides medically evidenced methods of exercising that provides successful whole-body outcomes while reducing the risk of injury.

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Decade-by-Decade Guide to Exercise

If there's a magic pill for staying youthful, it may be one that's hard to swallow: exercise. Daily doses have been proven to thwart a number of aging factors -- stress, obesity, heart disease, diabetes -- and the longer you're physically active, the less you'll notice getting older. 

The catch is that a 50-year-old's body is not the same as a 20-year-old's; you can't push it the same way you once did, nor should you if you want to keep it in working-out order. 

So listen to these coaches -- they're talking not just professionally but also firsthand -- on how to remain fit, and proud of it, through the decades.

Find the perfect fit for any age!

There's a big difference between how we should work out in our 20s and how we should work out when ... we're no longer 20. Find your perfect fit.

The 20s

Rx: 30 minutes of weight training followed by 30 minutes of cardio 3x a week, plus 45 to 60 minutes of straight cardio 3x a week. One day of rest.

The great thing about being in your 20s is that your body is so strong, you can get away with abusing it. The bad thing is that you often do, punishing it with late nights and bad eating habits. And you routinely fail to appreciate what you've got. 

This is the decade of anxiety -- frantic exercise, fad diets, the mad pursuit of pinup perfection and self-hatred when you fail to meet it. The fitness challenge of these years: Get over it.

"I tell my young clients, 'Forget looking like Jessica Simpson or Halle Berry, and forget weight; think health,'" says Jeanette Jenkins, 32, a Los Angeles based private trainer who has worked with rapper Queen Latifah and actress Taryn Manning. 

The mistake many 20-somethings make is simply opting for "endless cardio and crunches," adds Vanessa Carver, 25, a personal trainer at Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, whose clients include professional ice skaters and dancers.

Lots of cardio is great, she says, especially if you mix it up so you're really pushing the body. But it's weight training that builds muscle definition, not to mention bone density, which will be crucial for staying active later on and preventing osteoporosis. 

"You've got to lift more than just three or five pounds," she says. "If you can do 10 to 15 repetitions of a weight with no real effort, it's too light. The last four or five reps should be challenging enough that you feel your muscles getting fatigued." And put your mind into it, she says. "Lifting weights while chatting on the cell phone is a joke."

The 30s

Rx: One hour of circuit training (cardio and resistance) 4x a week, plus at least one day of cardio for 45 to 60 minutes at a high intensity. Take one day off.

With the 30s, you start noticing that weight doesn't come off quite as easily as it used to. This is because after age 20, your basal metabolism drops by 1 to 2 percent every decade, and as lean muscle decreases and body fat increases, you don't need as many calories to sustain yourself. 

"Exercise is the number one form of preventive medicine," says Jillian Michaels, 32, who was a trainer on the first three seasons of NBC's "The Biggest Loser" and is the author of "Winning by Losing: Drop the Weight, Change Your Life." 

"You won't see that big a difference between 31 and 39 if you've been living a healthy lifestyle, but if not, you'll see a huge difference in muscle tone, weight, and shape."

In this decade, experts agree, keeping fit means working harder. Jenkins favors circuit training -- a series of resistance and cardio exercises done swiftly and back-to-back. But however you do it, Michaels advises strength training each muscle group twice a week with two days of rest between sessions. Don't stick with heavy weights/low reps or low weight/many reps, she says; switch it around to keep your body from getting used to the routine. One day of rest a week is crucial.

After pregnancy a program like Pilates can be invaluable in "pulling everything back in and up," says Brooke Siler, 38, whose re:AB studio in New York City has attracted famous figures like Amber Valletta, Madonna, and Liv Tyler. "I especially like exercises that involve standing, because they teach you to fight what nature wants you to do, which is slump," says Siler, the author of "The Pilates Body."

Now is the time to make good fitness habits a part of everyday life. "You always want to be standing instead of sitting, taking stairs instead of elevators," says Siler. "I'm constantly aware of how I sit and stand and walk down the street. I'm forever pulling in and up. These invisible workouts are really important for a woman in her 30s. It's how you start preparing your body for what's to come."

The 40s

Rx: One hour of weight training 3 days a week if you do your whole body at once (4 days for half an hour if you split it up), plus 45 minutes of cardio 5 days a week (it's more than in the 20s and 30s but with less impact and intensity). Take one day off.

This is the decade of the triple whammy: gravity, hormones, and yet more slowing of metabolism as lean muscle mass continues to decrease and body fat increases. Even women who don't put on a pound may expand, according to Pamela Peeke, M.D., author of "Body for Life for Women." 

"After 40 and certainly after 50, virtually all women find that they gain fat more easily in the torso -- below the bra, through the triceps area, on the back, and in the belly," she says. "You're not doing anything wrong; your body composition is changing."

Cardio work at least three days a week is still important for keeping weight under control, but resistance training is crucial now. "Women should be doing more weight training -- and really going for it," says New York City based celebrity trainer Kacy Duke, who is in her 40s. "You have to find the time to do it consistently and train hard." If you're just starting, says Peeke, "you must learn proper form -- take a class, get a trainer, make sure someone is there to correct you so you don't get hurt. And add intensity."

Certain body parts may call out for extra attention. "Pilates can help some with the midsection," says fitness veteran Karen Voight, who teaches and writes a workout column for the "Los Angeles Times." 

To tone the back of the upper arm, she instructs, "get on all fours in a bent-knee push-up position, with fingers facing forward and hands directly under your shoulders. Make sure your elbows point backward when they bend, and lower only halfway, which works the muscle but avoids strain on the joints." 

Then there's the butt. "For that," says Voight, who is in her 40s, "I'd try squats with weights or stair-climbing."

It's also about enjoyment. "I find exercise that's satisfying on a deeper level," says Donna Richardson Joyner, 43, creator of the video "Sweating in the Spirit" and a recent appointee to the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. "It's not just about moving my body -- it's about strengthening my mind and my spirit."

The 50s

Rx: 4 to 6 cardio sessions a week, 20 to 40 minutes each, with an intensity that lets you answer a simple question but not chat, plus half an hour of weight training twice a week, 8 to 12 repetitions of each exercise, or 15 to 20 using lighter weights. Always stretch afterward.

If your metabolism feels like it's slowing to a crawl, it's not in your mind. Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh studying 541 midlife women found an average gain of 12 pounds eight years after menopause. We also tend to gain a little potbelly, what Peeke calls the menopot. And other places begin to droop noticeably. "At this point, loss of muscle mass and tone really shows," says longtime fitness expert Kathy Smith, 54. "It can actually start to change your posture."

The classic shoulder slump from years of hunching over a desk or computer "will really age you," says Smith, who suggests this stretch: Clasp your hands behind your back at the level of your butt and squeeze your shoulder blades together, pinching your spine. Try, with straight arms, to stretch your fingertips toward the floor until you notice a tug between your ears and shoulders, then lift your hands as high as you can, feeling the stretch in your chest.

"If you haven't started weight training, you must," says Smith, "although if you're a beginner, I really recommend guidance. Women in their 70s have doubled their strength in nine weeks. If you feel intimidated going to a gym, you can rent videos to do at home. You want to hit all the major muscle groups, and you can do the whole cycle in 15 minutes if you keep some dumbbells around."

Yoga -- along with tai chi, dance, and the Bosu ball (a soft half-dome used for standing and sitting exercises) -- is great for balance, which will become an increasingly important issue. While the physical changes this decade brings may be hard to take at first, ultimately, says Smith, "you shift into an acceptance mode. You change what you can, and live with what you can't. It's a gentler way."

The 60s

Rx: 3 days a week of challenging but not exhausting cardio, such as a slow jog, plus 3 days of weight training, using lighter weights and slower, more controlled movements combined with slow, sustained stretching. Walk whenever possible, and do daily balance exercises.

In the 60s, problems like arthritis, bad knees, and spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spaces between bones that can put painful pressure on the spinal cord) become common. 

"But aches and pains shouldn't be an excuse for giving up on exercise," says Marilyn Moffat, Ph.D., a professor of physical therapy at New York University and co-author of "Age-Defying Fitness." "We now know that a decline in strength and fitness isn't entirely a natural consequence of the aging process but is also due to lack of use. We need to push ourselves physically no matter how old we are -- we just may need to alter the activity."

Adapting a workout routine for the 60s sometimes means giving up aerobic exercise that jars and stresses the joints -- for example, replacing long runs with jogging one or two miles, jogging in a pool, swimming, or riding a stationary bicycle. (Women with bad backs may need to use a recumbent bicycle.) Moffat, who is 65, says that, on average, she walks three to five miles a day because it offers both cardio and bone-strengthening benefits.

Resistance training is still important, "but I would not advise anyone to lift heavy weights if it aggravates your joints," Moffat says. And stretching and balance are absolute musts. If you don't stretch now, "by the time you're in your 80s, your joints will have lost their flexibility." 

One of Moffat's favorite stretches is holding the head tilted earlobe to shoulder for 60 seconds; another (if you don't have osteoporosis) is sitting on the floor with legs straight out in front of you, feet flexed, and lowering your head toward your knees. For balance, she suggests "rising up on the toes of one foot and trying to hold the position for a minute. You can do this while brushing your teeth."

In fact, that's a good image for any age -- the sooner exercise becomes like brushing your teeth, the longer you'll feel younger than your years.

By Carol Mithers (


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FYZICAL Fall Prevention Awareness Day - Sept. 23rd

September is Falls Prevention Awareness month and the National Council on Aging says we all need to “Take a Stand to Prevent Falls.”

While falls are the leading cause of both fatal and nonfatal injury for those 65 years of age and older, they are not an inevitable part of aging.

Simply the fear of falling can be terrifying, leading to a less active lifestyle that adds to the issue. But contrary to popular assumptions, falling is not an inevitable part of aging. With individualized exercise and balance therapy, you can “Fight the Fall.”

Balance facts

  • 1/3 of the population over 65 falls each year
  • Falls account for 25% of all hospital admissions
  • 1 out of 5 hip fractures dies within one year after injury
  • Falls are the leading cause of death due to injury among elderly

Seven steps to prevent a fall:

  1. Find a good balance and exercise program to build balance, strength and flexibility.
  2. Talk to a healthcare provider about personal history of falls and ask for a fall risk assessment.
  3. Review medications with a doctor or pharmacist to make sure effects aren’t increasing a risk of falling.
  4. Get annual vision and hearing checks and keep eyeglasses updated.
  5. Keep homes safe from tripping hazards, increase lighting, make stairs safe, install grab bars in key areas.
  6. Talk to family members to enlist their support in taking simple steps to stay safe.
  7. Test Your Stability

Answer these questions to help determine if you may have a balance or dizziness disorder.

  • Have you fallen more than once in the past year?
  • Do you feel dizzy or unsteady if you make sudden changes, such as bending down or turning quickly?
  • Do you feel unsteady when you are walking, climbing stairs stepping up or down a curb?
  • Do you feel unsteady walking on uneven surfaces such as grass, gravel or sand?
  • Do you have difficulty sitting down or getting up from a seated or lying position?
  • Have you had a stroke or other neurological problem that has affected your balance?
  • Do you have numbness or loss of sensation in your legs and/or feet?
  • Do you use a walker or wheel chair, or do you need assistance to get around?
  • Are you inactive? (Do you walk or exercise less than 60-90 minutes total per week?)
  • Do you take medication for two or more of the following: heart disease, hypertension, arthritis?

If you can answer “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may be at risk for a balance or dizziness disorder. Give FYZICAL a call today at 239.561.5616 to schedule your FREE balance assessment!

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Age-Defying Fitness

There’s no doubt our bodies change with age. We experience a decline in strength, flexibility and endurance.

FYZICAL fitness expert Mike Drumm says these issues are not an inevitable part of getting older.

Posture: Posture is the position of your body while standing, sitting and performing daily tasks. You really have to think of your posture in all activities. Sit straight during meals, driving, watching T.V, and using your computer. You must stand straight while walking, working in the kitchen, getting ready for work and even standing in the grocery line. Good posture is also important while you are working out in the gym.

Strength: Strength is a muscle’s ability to produce force or do work, such as lift a weight or climb a stair, and strong muscles help you move easily and enjoy life. We lose strength as we age, a 30 percent loss between the ages of 30 and 80 years. The sooner you start the better. If we do the appropriate strength training, strength will not decline as we age… muscle strength can be increased at any age, even in our 90s! Toe Raises.

Balance: Balance is the ability of your body to maintain equilibrium when you stand, walk or perform any other daily activity. If we do not have sufficient muscle strength in our legs, maintaining balance is difficult. Balance is also affected by vision, your environment, and inner ear. The easiest way to practice balance is to stand on one leg while brushing your teeth. Improved balance is particularly important for helping to prevent falls.

Flexibility: Flexibility is the ability of the body parts to bend without breaking. Being limber provides freedom of movement and allows joints to bend repeatedly without damage or injury. We don’t spend as much time stretching as we should. The best time to stretch is after aerobic exercise because the muscles are warm and more pliable. Just remember to use slow controlled movements.

Endurance: Endurance is a combination of aerobic capacity and stamina. Endurance enables you to do what you want to do for as long as you want to do it. The age changes that occur with endurance are related to our heart, lungs, and muscles. It is important to choose an endurance activity that you like and is easy to incorporate in your lifestyle like walking, jogging, cycling, jumping rope, aerobic classes, or climbing ten flights of stairs!

Conclusion: Make exercise a priority. The five domains of fitness are very achievable. Simply work on your posture, strength, flexibility, balance and endurance. Age-Defying Fitness encourages you to take responsibility for your physical well-being, and offers an easy everyday approach to achieving better health.

FYZICAL Fitness is medically based fitness for adults seeking safe and effective exercise programs. Unlike other gyms, FYZICAL provides medically evidenced methods of exercising that provides successful whole-body outcomes while  reducing the risk of injury.

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A Medical Fitness Facility is NOT a Gym

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“Medical fitness facilities are beginning to take a huge part in the health care reform by offering integrated services with health care and offering services guided by qualified professionals. “

The fitness industry has grown considerably with the increase of preventable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and lung disease. There are more commercial gyms now than ever before, but are they staying within the guidelines of evidence based exercise?  Most “gyms” hire staff that focuses more on physical appearance and developing “fun” exercises than actually practicing safe and effective programs that focus on health and wellness. Any fitness commercial you see on TV will support this claim. This has made health care professionals weary on where to send their patients for needed exercise.  Medical exercise facilities have been taking hold for just this reason. Medical exercise is the seamless integration of healthcare services, wellness, and fitness programs to provide preventative and rehabilitative care to members, patients, and the surrounding community. Today, these medically integrated facilities create vibrant and energetic environments where personal health and development flourish through the guidance of trained fitness professionals.

There are several important differences between medical fitness facilities and other gyms. Medical fitness facilities are the next logical step in the continued care model and use evidence based practices to reduce unwanted variations. This means that all exercise programs designed by the staff follow techniques that are approved by medical professionals and tie perfectly with the health care system. Gyms that aren’t medically guided may not follow correct procedures and therefore may not be safe or effective. Many of the programs in these types of gyms tend to be based on what the public perceives as “the new thing” or what feels right to them. At a medical fitness facility, the staff is qualified to teach sound techniques for improving one’s life quality, and does allow unsupported trends and fads effect what they do.

Since medical fitness facilities are integrated with health care, they have many other resources at their disposal that other gyms simply cannot duplicate. Using a medically based fitness facility will ensure that the exercise specialist has a network of medical professionals such as doctors, dieticians, and therapists that they can refer you too if needed. This also keeps them up to date in the health care industry and better ensures that the exercise prescription they give you ties in seamlessly to the recommendations given by the health care professional.

This integration with healthcare calls for highly qualified fitness staffing. Because of this, medical fitness staff must be degreed and certified. Other gyms are not regulated this way. In fact, the entire fitness industry itself is quite unregulated in general. There are no required qualifications to become a trainer in a typical gym. Many gyms do check for a certification, but most certifications don’t actually require a bachelor’s degree. Therefore there are many fitness trainers with only a crash course in personal training who don’t understand the basic physiology of exercise.

With their qualified staff, medical fitness facilities can focus on two aspects of community wellness: Prevention of disease and management of disease. Unless a gym has a qualified staff that can work with special populations they should not be working with those with cardiovascular, pulmonary, or metabolic diseases. If you have any of these conditions, personal trainers are not qualified to work with you until you have worked with a Fitness Specialist. Gyms can only work on those who are perceived as asymptomatic. This allows them only to work on preventing conditions, not managing them.

Medical fitness facilities are beginning to grow just as the fitness industry did; reassuring physician’s that there are facilities that follow strict guidelines regarding exercise. There is a lot of misleading information out there that can create an awful amount of confusion when it comes to your health. It is just as important for the general public to know what really is “true north” in the exercise industry. If you’re looking for the correct information and the right care, a medical fitness facility is what you should be looking for because of their high standards and qualifications.

By Theodore Santaniello, CSCS

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