Improving Your Health and Relationships Via Exercise


Top 10 Fitness Facts

Want to be sharper at work? Feel less tired at home? Spend some quality time with your spouse? How about enjoying a cookie without guilt?

If you answered “yes” to all of these questions (and who wouldn’t?), exercise is the answer. Being physically active offers benefits far beyond the obvious. Of course, an improved physique and a clean bill of health aren’t too shabby, either.

If you’ve been looking for the motivation to begin an exercise program or get back into working out regularly, here are 10 fitness facts that may help inspire you to get off the couch.

  1. Exercise Boosts Brainpower
    “Not only does exercise improve your body, it helps your mental function,” says certified trainer David Atkinson. “Exercise increases energy levels and increases serotonin in the brain, which leads to improved mental clarity,” says Atkinson, director of program development for Cooper Ventures, a division of the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas.”It is clear that those who are active and who exercise are much more productive at work,” says Todd A. Astorino, assistant professor of kinesiology at California State University-San Marcos.
  2. Movement Melts Away StressAs much as it may stress you out just to think about exercising, once you actually start working out, you’ll experience less stress in every part of your life.

    “Exercise produces a relaxation response that serves as a positive distraction,” says Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. He says it also helps elevate your mood and keep depression at bay.

    You’re not the only person who will benefit from more happiness and less stress in your life. “When you’re less stressed, you’re less irritable,” Atkinson says — and that could improve relationships with your partner, kids, and co-workers.

  3. Exercise Gives You EnergyYou might be surprised at how, say, popping in a workout tape for 30 minutes in the morning can change your whole day. “When endorphins are released into your bloodstream during exercise,” says Astorino, “you feel much more energized the rest of the day.” Partners:

And when you improve your strength and stamina, it’s easier to accomplish everyday tasks like carrying groceries and climbing stairs. This also helps you feel more energetic over the course of the day.

  1. It’s Not That Hard to Find Time for Fitness
    “The key,” says Atkinson, “is to use your time more wisely. Think about killing two birds with one stone.”“Take your kids to the park or ride bikes together, and you’re getting physical activity while enjoying family time,” he says. Beyond that, go for a hike, take the kids swimming, or play hide-and-seek, tag, softball, or horseshoes in the backyard.

    Also, forget the idea that you have to trudge to the gym and spend an hour or more doing a formal workout. Instead, you can work short spurts of physical activity into your day. “Everyone has 20 minutes,” Atkinson says. “Everyone has 10 minutes to jump rope, and sometimes that’s better than 20 minutes of walking or running.”

    “Indeed, squeezing in two or three bouts of 15 or 20 minutes of activity is just as effective as doing it all at once,” says Astorino. “Vacuuming the house in the morning, riding bikes in the park with the kids in the afternoon, then taking a brisk walk in the evening can add up to an active day.”

    “Recent U.S. government guidelines say that to lose weight and keep it weight off, you should accumulate at least 60 minutes of exercise a day,” says Astorino. “But half an hour a day is all you need to reap the health and disease-fighting benefits of exercise.”

  2. Fitness Can Help Build RelationshipsThink of what exercising with a partner can do for a relationship, whether it’s with a spouse, a sibling, or a friend you used to go to lunch with once a week.

    “Not only that,” says Astorino, “but exercise is always more fun when there’s someone to do it with. So plan to walk with your spouse after dinner every night. Meet your sister or that friend for tennis or an aerobics class instead of lunch.”

    “Besides,” Astorino says, “people who have exercise partners stay with their programs and reach their goals more often than those who try to go it alone.”

  3. Exercise Helps Ward Off Disease
    “Research has shown that exercise can slow or help prevent heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, arthritis, osteoporosis (bone loss), and loss of muscle mass,” says Astorino. Partners:

It also helps ease some aspects of the aging process.
“Because exercise strengthens the muscles and joints, it is going to reduce your odds of having some of those aches and pains and problems most adults have, mostly because of the inactive lives they lead,” Bryant says.

“Provided you don’t overdo it,” he says, “exercise can even boost immune function — so you spend less time down with a cold or flu.”

  1. Fitness Pumps Up Your Heart
    “Not only does exercise help fight disease,” says Bryant, “it creates a stronger heart — the most important muscle in the body. That helps makes exercise — and the activities of daily life — feel easier.””Your heart and cardiovascular system will function more effectively,” says Bryant. “The heart will build up less plaque. It will become a more efficient pump.”

    “Within only a couple days after you start exercising,” Astorino says, “the body readily adapts to the stimulus it’s getting and it becomes easier. You will feel less fatigue. It will not take as much effort when it comes to breathing. You shouldn’t have as much pain or soreness.”

  2. Exercise Lets You Eat MorePound for pound, muscle burns more calories at rest than body fat. So the more muscle you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate. And, of course, you also burn calories while you’re actually exercising.

    All this means that “cheating” with a cookie once in a while isn’t going to take you back 10 steps. “Can you eat anything? No,” says Atkinson. “But you can afford to enjoy some of the things you really like when you exercise regularly. You can better get away with those things in moderation than you can when you’re not working out.”

  3. Exercise Boosts Performance“After a few weeks of consistent exercise, you may feel your clothes fitting differently and see that your muscle tone has improved,” Atkinson says.

    “You may also notice your newly pumped-up muscles in other ways, especially if you’re a recreational golfer or tennis player, or like a friendly game of pick-up basketball,” says Atkinson. “Exercising consistently will strengthen your muscles, increase flexibility, and improve your overall performance.”

    “Your muscles will work much more efficiently and you’ll gain a greater sense of endurance,” says Bryant. “In addition,” he says, “your reaction time and balance will Partners:


10. Weight Loss Is Not the Most Important Goal

Weight loss is the reason many people exercise in the first place. But it’s certainly not the sole benefit of an exercise program.

Bryant says the long-term goal of weight loss is sold too heavily to people starting fitness programs, and that can be discouraging. People have trouble sticking with something if they don’t see results quickly.

“Really, they should think about the level of functioning in the activities of daily living,” says Bryant. “That can serve as the motivation to keep them coming back for more.”

So whatever weight loss goal you have when starting a fitness program, don’t make it

your only goal. Strive to feel better, to have more energy, to be less stressed. Notice the

small things that exercise does for you quickly, rather than getting hung up on the narrow

goal of the number on a scale.

SOURCE:WebMD, Top 10 Fitness Facts, Retrieved on March 10, 2014, from,

10 Tips for Working Out With Your Significant Other

Working out with your significant other (or even a platonic buddy) can reap benefits. It’s often more fun to exercise with company, you motivate each other to actually get out the door, and your workout gets a shakeup. Here are some tips on how to make a double workout work:

  1. Be open to trying something differentFor many people, exercise is a strict and unvarying routine limited to one or two activities. But you’d be surprised what you may enjoy if you give something else a try. When your partner offers to teach you to shoot a basketball, even though you haven’t played since elementary school, suspend your disbelief or your fear of humiliation rather than reflexively saying, “I’d rather be swimming.”
  2. Switch off being the leaderTwo type A personalities attempting to direct the same workout can lead to butting heads. Let one person plan how you’ll spend your half-hour of weights or pick the mountain biking route; think of it as having your own personal trainer, and allow your own brain to shut off.
  3. Learn something new togetherHe’s a spin class veteran, and you’d rather do yoga? Try something totally new for both of you; buy a package of tennis lessons, or join a hiking club. Besides being fun, trying novel activities together is good for your love life. Partners:

  1. Try activities you can do at different pacesIf you’ve run for years but your boyfriend is a newbie, your easy 4-mile jog can be his weekly speed workout. If you both like to cycle, the faster person can sprint ahead, then circle back and ride with the slower one. Or, if you’re at the gym, you can work out on adjoining machines and pick your own pace.
  2. Pick different by compatible activitiesWorking out together doesn’t always mean doing the same thing. Maybe one person wants to use the elliptical machine, and the other wants to lift weights nearby. Or one wants to make a 1-mile loop on in-line skates while the other does faster loops on a bike.
  3. Push yourself…but don’t overdo itIt’s tempting to try to imitate the pretzel-like pose that your yogi boyfriend can do or to take the double black-diamond ski trail to keep up with your girlfriend the expert; one of the best parts of working out à deux is getting motivated to go farther than you think you can. However, don’t hurt yourself. Test, but don’t exceed, your limits, and you’ll live to pose or ski another day.
  4. Take cues from your workout buddySome people like to chat nonstop; others prefer companionable silence or even exercising together while listening to the same iPod playlist. Be aware of what your partner enjoys, compromise, and figure out what works for you both.
  5. Be supportivePeople are more likely to keep up an exercise routine if it’s fun. “Fun” doesn’t include being snapped at for not catching on to the downward dog quickly enough or getting an eye-roll when you can’t match your partner’s 7-minute-per-mile running pace. Be kind and encouraging.
  6. If it goes well, incorporate the kids once in a while tooResearch suggests that their family’s lifestyle influences teens’ weight. And what family couldn’t use more time together? Family hikes or pickup games make for excellent exercise.

10. Make sure your own workout needs get met too

If you’re training for a marathon and he’s not, you probably won’t be able to run together every day. If you need more of a challenge and can’t figure out a way to exercise together, don’t be afraid to tell him you need several workouts a week to yourself, too. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. Partners:

SOURCE:U.S. News & World Report, 10 Tips for Working Out with Your Significant Other, Retrieved on March 10, 2014, from, working-out-with-your-significant-other

For More Information

• Go4Life


• Partners:

Weight-Management University is HERE! Learn more about the Self Guided Educational Course that will teach you what you need to know to make exercise and nutrition a part of your healthy lifestyle for a permanent weight management solution. Free Open Enrollment!

If you live in the Gilbert area, treat yourself  right by calling or emailing today to get started on an exercise program that will change your  life for the best.

Proper nutrition plays a key role in your journey to a healthy lifestyle and to meet your fitness goals. Planning a well balanced diet can be extremely overwhelming and time consuming. That is why I have teamed up with Personal Trainer Food to help make it easy for you. Click here for your $50 coupon and to place your order. The quality of the food is second to none.

Please email me with any questions and visit:

Subscribe to My Newsletter
Get motivating health and fitness articles sent directly to your inbox.