Thursday, September 25, 2014

Watch What You Drink to Combat Obesity

Although I try to drink plenty of water (especially flavored water) throughout the day, I too am guilty of indulging with an iced tea or soda every once in a while.

Did you know that each 7.5 ounce can of Classic Coke has 90 calories? 
You may be sabotaging your diet by satisfying your thirst with the “wrong” drink.

On Tuesday, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr. Pepper Snapple pledged to provide smaller-sized bottles, and more water and other low- or no-calorie beverages, to the market to help bring down per-person consumption of their high-sugar drinks that some say are a cause of obesity – especially childhood obesity.
These soft-drinks giants promised to work to reduce the country's beverage calorie consumption by 20 percent by 2025 in a campaign to counter obesity trends.

How can you begin to combat obesity?  Drink more water.
As I wrote about in my blog on April 29, 2014, the human body is comprised of roughly 60% water and water is vital to your health. 

·    You will lose weight if you stay hydrated.  If your belly feels full, you won’t be as hungry and won’t overeat.

·    Staying hydrated will help you exercise because you will have less joint pain.  Your joints are fluid filled and you have to drink enough water in order for them to work properly. This is especially true of the discs between your vertebrae. If you suffer from low back pain, drinking water can help. This is also true for your knees. Water is vital to your joints and keeps them moving freely. Drinking water can reduce pain in your joints by keeping the cartilage soft and hydrated. This is actually how glucosamine helps reduce joint pain, by aiding in cartilage’s absorption of water.  Less pain means more opportunity to exercise and stay fit.

Water is the building block of life and helps with critical functions such as maintaining body temperature, cushioning and protecting vital organs and aiding in digestion.  Therefore, it is vital that you try to drink half your bodyweight in ounces of water (if you weigh 120 pounds, drink 60 ounces of water) each day.  Your body will thank you!
Don’t think you can break the soda habit?  Help your family swap out one sugary drink a day with water and save yourself – and your kids - 90 calories! By substituting just one can of soda a day, you will lose 14.6 pounds a year, according to researchers.

Fitness for Health can help you build a healthier body by creating a customized, exercise regimen that addresses your unique concerns.  Whether you want to decrease your weight, tone, build muscle, increase flexibility or improve your athleticism, we can help you reach your goals!  Visit to learn how we can help you – and your children – combat obesity.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Counting Calories Can Be Easy

Now that autumn is upon us, unfortunately, we won’t have the opportunity to bask in the sun exercising.  So, we have to turn our attention to fun ways to burn calories while ensuring proper diets.

When you think of counting – and decreasing – your calories, do you automatically think of crunches and restrictive diets?  It doesn’t have to be that way! Lessening your caloric intake can be easy – and fun.
The following simple changes to your daily routine could help get your body to burn extra calories.

·    Exercise before bed.  Do you give into your cravings while watching TV at night?  Try exercising instead. According to an April 2013 study in the journal, Obesity, our circadian system makes us hungriest a few hours before bedtime. But you may feel fuller after working out: A different study in the journal Metabolism found that perceived fullness was higher among participants after 12 weeks of aerobic training than before they were exercising. So a brisk walk after dinner each night may make you less likely to snack before bed.

·    Eat fruit before your meal.  Are you truly hungry or are you just bored? Try this test.  Once you feel hungry, eat a piece of fruit.  If you don’t want the fruit as a snack, you aren’t that hungry and you just saved yourself calories!

·    Snack.  Yes, I encourage snacking.  Eating small meals throughout the day helps metabolize your food and keeps you feeling full throughout the day.  Although, ensure you are eating healthy snacks such as nuts, fruit, cheese or popcorn which provide protein and vitamins to your diet.

·    Play with your dog.  As many of my blog readers know, I am an avid pet lover who also believes that pets enrich our lives and encourage us to lead health, active lifestyles.  Researchers at Michigan State University found that having a dog is linked with burning 200 extra calories per week. Registered dietitian Keeley Mezzancello, who’s also a certified strength and conditioning specialist, says people who own and walk their dogs are 34% more likely than people who don’t to meet the American Heart Association's recommended 150 minutes of physical activity a week. Dog-walkers generally strolled about an hour longer per week than non-dog-walkers, which translates to an additional 230 calories burned a week.

·    Have a sit-down, family meal.  Studies have shown that actually sitting down and conversing while eating helps you be more mindful of your portions and the amount of food you are ingesting.  Also, making time for a family meal helps strengthen the bonds with your children and loved ones.  It’s a win-win!

Do you prefer to work out with a friend in order to make fitness more fun?  Fitness for Health offers a one-hour, group exercise program utilizing exergaming fitness equipment which is cutting edge and state-of-the-art.  Visit to learn about our Tuesday/Thursday group program from 11am – 12pm. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Could ADHD Play a Role in Obesity?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common behavioral disorder in children, affecting three to five percent of that age group, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

ADHD results in problems with inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness, which can affect social interactions, work or school productivity and self-esteem. Research suggests that attention deficit disorder may be also linked with another rising disorder — obesity.
A new study in the Western Journal of Nursing Research suggests the possibility of screening anyone with a chronic weight issue for ADHD since one in five adults who were obese turned out to have multiple symptoms of it, compared with around one in thirty in the general adult population. Previous studies have also found that children and adults with ADHD are significantly more likely to be overweight.

According to Psychology Today, “The link between ADHD and poor eating habits isn't surprising when you consider that it is a disorder of executive function, a set of cognitive skills which act as our brain manager. Executive function impacts almost every aspect of living, encompassing our ability to self-regulate, organize, plan, prioritize and anticipate the future. Eating is only one of many facets of ordinary life influenced by ADHD, yet typically flies under the radar.”
What can be done?

·    Set a good example for your family.  Children emulate their parents.  If you make healthy food choices so will your kids.

·    When having dinner as a family, don’t eat in front of the TV.  This way, you and your children will know exactly how much you are consuming.  Talk during dinner and place your utensils on your plate when you are speaking.  This will encourage you – and your family – to eat more slowly and actually participate in conversation.

·    Children are easily distracted – especially kids with ADHD.  If you don’t want your children consuming junk food out of boredom or low self-esteem, don’t keep junk food in your pantry.  Treat chips, cake and cookies as a treat for special occasions or a weekend indulgence.

·    Don’t use food to calm an agitated child.  Young kids will learn to connect food with their emotions and, later in life, could use food to try to ward off sadness and, thus, creating weight issues.

·    Establish healthy eating – and exercise – habits from an early age.  As I wrote about in my blog, “Exercise Helps Children with ADHD,” regular, half-hour sessions of aerobic activity before school helped young children with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder become more attentive.  So, make exercise fun!  Rake leaves, walk around the neighborhood or play tag in the backyard as a family.  Not only will you burn calories and help your family members with ADHD lessen their symptoms, you will create lifelong memories together and teach your children the value of an ongoing healthy, active lifestyle.
To learn how Fitness for Health helps children and adults with ADD and ADHD improve their cognitive abilities through exercise, visit or call 301-231-7138 to schedule a free tour of our facility.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Are Diabetes and Depression Linked?

We all know that how you feel physically affects how you feel mentally - and vice-versa.

Do you have diabetes?  Are you depressed?  Ongoing research suggests that people with either health condition are at higher risk of developing the other.
Numerous studies have explored the link between diabetes and depression but scientists are still unsure if diabetes causes depression or depression causes diabetes. The latest research suggests the influence may go both ways, although depression seems less likely to lead to diabetes.

Because caring for diabetes can be stressful and overwhelming, it may lead to anxiety and depression.  On the other hand, if you are depressed, you may not be taking care of yourself – not eating healthily and not exercising - which, ultimately, can lead to diabetes.
According to Sara Foster, RN, MPH, “A recent review of 16 studies with nearly 500,000 participants found that people with type 2 diabetes were more likely to have depression than those without the disease. Past research reported a 24 percent higher risk for depression in people with type 2 diabetes. Those younger than 45 may be at particular risk for depression or type 2 diabetes if they already have the other condition.”

Proper treatment for both can make a difference. A recent study in the Annals of Family Medicine found that, “by treating diabetes and depression at the same time patients fared better. In fact, study participants who were given such integrated care had better blood sugar control and fewer symptoms of depression.”
If you think that you may be depressed, try exercise.

Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
To learn how Fitness for Health can help you improve your mind-body connection utilizing state-of-the-art fitness technology, visit or call 301-231-7138.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Exercise Helps Children with ADHD

Have you heard?  Exercise can help children with ADHD.

As many of you know, I have ADD and created Fitness for Health because I wanted to help children faced with the same challenges and assist them in achieving their maximize potential via physical fitness.
I wrote about “Exercise as Medicine for ADD and ADHD” in my blog on January 29, 2014.  And, a study published on Tuesday in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology confirms that exercise can treat the symptoms of ADHD.

The study found, “regular, half-hour sessions of aerobic activity before school helped young children with symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder become more attentive and less moody.”  Other research found that a single bout of exercise improved students’ attentions and academic success.
“This is the first large-scale demonstration of improvements in ADHD symptoms from aerobic physical activity using a randomized control trial methodology,” said Betsy Hoza, lead author of the study and professor of psychological science at the University of Vermont.  “This shows promise as a new avenue of treatment for ADHD but more work needs to be done before we know for sure if it really is.”

If you or a loved one have ADD or ADHD, the daily demands of school, work and family can seem overwhelming. But, by using exercise as a “medicine,” you can become more organized, better able to concentrate and use your newfound focus to tackle new challenges.
To learn how Fitness for Health helps children and adults with ADD and ADHD improve their cognitive abilities through exercise, visit or call 301-231-7138 to schedule a free tour of our facility.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The State of American Obesity

Have you heard? Washington, DC, is the third least obese “state.”

The Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released its annual report on obesity this week.  According to the latest data, adult obesity rates increased in six states (Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, New Jersey, Tennessee and Wyoming) over the last year.  Mississippi and West Virginia have the highest rates of obesity at 35.1 percent, while Colorado has the lowest rate at 21.3 percent. The report further states,” Twenty states have rates at or above 30 percent, 43 states have rates of at least 25 percent and every state is above 20 percent.”  Obesity rates did not decline in a single state.
“Until we start moving more and think more about the quality of the food we’re eating, we’re not going to fully reverse this epidemic,” said Jeffrey Levi, PhD, executive director of the Trust for America's Health (TFAH), in a press conference, reported TIME. He attributed the historic number to bad eating habits, lack of physical activity, fast-food chains, and scarcity of affordable nutritious foods in many areas.

The silver lining? While cheap sugary treats and lack of exercise still put kids at risk, especially those in the black and Latino communities, the prevalence of obesity among all American children has leveled off.  Last February, the CDC reported that childhood obesity rates in the U.S. dropped 43 percent from 2003 to 2012.
Do you prefer to work out with a friend in order to make fitness more fun?  Fitness for Health offers a one-hour, group exercise program utilizing exergaming fitness equipment which is cutting edge and state-of-the-art.  Call us at 301-2131-7138 to learn about our Tuesday/Thursday group program from 11am – 12pm. 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Is Your Child Scared of Gym Class?

It is back-to-school time!  And, that means the return of the sometimes dreaded gym class.

Physical education (PE) classes at school cause fear and anxiety for many children. If your child is nervous at gym class time, these tips will help your child address his/her anxieties and learn to manage anxious situations.
Some kids love PE and look forward to burning off energy during gym class, but for others, PE is the most dreaded time of the school day. They may be embarrassed about their lack of athletic ability or self-conscious about their weight.

As I’ve seen firsthand many times, fear of gym class can keep kids from enjoying school, social activities and prohibit them from achieving a healthy lifestyle now and later in life.
Here are three tips for parents of children nervous about PE:

·    Be proactive.  Find out which sports/physical activities your child will play in gym class. Practice ahead of time with your child so he/she won’t be as self-conscious when playing those games with peers at school. Kick the soccer ball around the backyard, shoot baskets in the driveway or work on serving for volleyball.

·     If you are unable to practice with your child, contact a children’s gym to register him/her for fitness or sports classes.  Children’s gyms can be a fun transition into PE class because the child can learn that fitness can be enjoyable and that all sports skills can be learned with dedication and hardwork over time.  It also gives the child positive reinforcement while working at his/her own pace and the self-confidence to try new skills without the fear of peer ridicule. 

·    Help your child laugh at himself/herself. Playing with your child is a great time to demonstrate how to make light of your personal, athletic weaknesses. Keep the games lighthearted and fun and don’t forget to ensure that your child understands that gym class doesn’t need to be taken so seriously.

·    Encourage your child to embrace a lifelong, healthy active lifestyle. There are many ways to stay fit, not just team sports. Give your child the opportunity to try out different activities, from swimming to hiking to dance to flag football. Some kids may like working out at a fitness center while others may like to take a jog around the neighborhood while taking that time to reflect on the day’s events.

It’s hard to watch your child suffer. But, PE class can offer a teachable moment by allowing your child to learn to overcome difficult situations with grace and determination.  A child won’t like every sport played in gym class, but maybe he/she will find a new physical activity that will be loved into adulthood!
To learn how Fitness for Health can help your child improve his or her gym class fundamentals by participating in fun, fitness programs designed specifically for children and teenagers, visit or call 301-231-7138 to schedule a free tour of our children’s fitness facility.