Fitness & Wellness

Is Loneliness Deadly

Is Loneliness Deadly

I don’t normally blog about things like loneliness and stick normally with fitness topics, like exercise and diet. However, I was just reading about the effects of loneliness on health and realized that it not only is becoming an epidemic, it’s almost as lethal as obesity. Unfortunately, when people are obese, they also isolate themselves from others, creating a double dose of problems. Even though everyone in Louisville KY is friendly, there’s still an epidemic of loneliness here. It’s one reason that people often find that our group training provides more benefits. Not only are the participants getting a great workout and expert nutritional advice, they’re also making friends and having social interaction that’s fun.

Being alone isn’t the same as being lonely.

Some people prefer more solitude than others do. They may not have social interaction for weeks and never feel lonely. Others may be in the public or surrounded by people and still feel lonely. It’s the interaction and common bond that brings people together. It’s one reason people tend to benefit from group workouts. Let’s face it, as the trainer who pushes each person, I become the “Frenemy.” In case you aren’t familiar with the term, it’s both a friend and enemy. That common enemy and common goal creates a strong bond. The workout burns off the hormones of stress, boosts the happy hormones and creates a group that bonds over the common goal of fitness.

Why is loneliness so harmful?

Loneliness often leads to bad habits, such as alcohol abuse, overeating and over medicating. The toll these take on the immune system and overall health is huge. Obesity increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and other serious conditions. Alcohol abuse and addiction to opioids or painkillers also take their toll on both the body and the mind. Loneliness is also known to increase both stress hormones and raise blood pressure levels.

Is more online interaction than face time the cause?

You would probably think that it would be, but studies indicate that people who use social media frequently are no more lonely than those that don’t. However, it doesn’t mention the level of loneliness of those who live with those that are online frequently. I do like to combine online with live interaction, which is why I always encourage people who use the online training and weight loss program to find a workout buddy.

  • Studies show that loneliness is more prevalent in younger people and the very old. It’s an internal reaction and not limited to those who are isolated. Exercise can help reduce the effect.
  • Besides exercise, getting outdoors can help lift the feeling of loneliness. The sunshine and fresh air can boost serotonin levels. Take off your shoes and walk barefoot, while you soak up the sun.
  • Turn off electronics for a day and spend time with your family. If you live alone, plan a day with friends or in a social setting. It may be a good day to start an exercise program.
  • Eating healthy can also help prevent depression, which is closely associated with loneliness. You can boost your social circle by taking a healthy cooking class or hosting a “healthy menu party” for friends.

Should You Eat More Often For Weight Loss?

Should You Eat More Often For Weight Loss?

If you’ve followed every diet, you’ve probably eating every two hours, had normal meals or packed all your meals into a short time frame in an effort to lose weight. It’s been popular for weight loss experts to tell clients to eat more often for weight loss, because some studies showed that it boosts metabolism and keeps you burning calories in high gear throughout the day. However, other studies show that eating normal meals works just as well. Finally, there are also studies that show that intermittent fasting for 16 hours and eating all meals in an eight hour window also has weight loss and other benefits. Which one is right? Maybe they all are.

The benefits of eating small meals throughout the day.

Just when you think you have the world of fat conquered and found the perfect way, based on science, to help you lose weight more easily, another study comes along to burst your bubble. That’s what happened to the theory of eating smaller meals throughout the day to boost metabolism and lose weight faster. While it works well for some people, new studies show that it has no effect on the number of calories burnt and doesn’t really affect overall hunger. In fact, in some people, it actually induced them to eat more.

So it’s intermittent fasting that’s the key to the golden gate of weight loss?

Well, yes and no. Packing all your food into an eight hour window of time may boost your metabolism, at least that’s what the last scientific study showed. While long term fasting slows the metabolism, these short 16 hour fasts actually boost it by 14 percent, according to ONE study. It does boost fat loss and help prevent muscle tissue loss, too. Since you’re not giving up food altogether, just ending your eating at around five, six or seven and starting back again at nine, ten or eleven, it can be incorporated into a lifestyle. There are other reported benefits, such as improved skin, a more robust immune system, increased longevity and improved heart function.

Which way will help you shed those pounds? It doesn’t matter.

Everyone is different. Some people fare far better eating small meals throughout the day. It helps prevent a feeding frenzy at meal time. For others, just eating normal meals works like a charm. Finally, there are those people who simply aren’t morning people and can survive on a cup of coffee for the first six hours of the day. Intermittent fasting was made for them. What does matter, far more than meal timing, is what you eat and the number of calories consumed. It doesn’t matter how often you eat, if you’re eating healthy, high nutrition, lower calorie foods, you’ll lose weight.

  • Eating whole foods, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, is important. Not only are they lower in calories, they’re also higher in fiber. That helps boost the feeling of fullness.
  • If you’re using the grazing method, eating more frequently, make sure you plan meals and snacks to include all nutrients. One easy technique is creating three balanced meals and break them down to six smaller ones.
  • While intermittent fasting may have other benefits, the weight loss benefits occur because you don’t have as much time to eat as many calories. You won’t lose weight if you gorge yourself when during the eating phase.
  • Make sure you have high quality protein in your diet and healthy fats. Nuts, seeds and hard boiled eggs are good sources of protein, while avocado, nuts (yes, again), egg yolk (or a whole hard boiled egg) and cheese provide healthy fat.

What's An Adaptogen

What’s An Adaptogen

I’m always telling clients to learn to use herbs and spices when cooking, to boost flavor and add nutrients without adding extra calories. There’s a number of special herbs that play an even more vital role in health. They’re called adaptogens. An adaptogen provides the material to help your body cope more easily with the stresses of living that can suck the energy out of it. They help boost the immune system, provide aid in keeping weight under control, improve endurance, make you feel better and even improve your mood.

You don’t have to take a pill or create a special mix in the lab.

Consider eating Thai food or including one of the ingredients often used in it in your diet, Tulsi—also known as Holy Basil. Holy basil isn’t like regular sweet basil found in Italian cooking. It has a taste described by some as a citrus mint and by others as peppery. It’s used in Pho and stir-fry and adding it to your diet just means adding it to dishes you might already eat. It’s been used for centuries for anxiety, diabetes, stress, colds, flu, asthma, bronchitis, headache, earache, heart disease, fever, insomnia and more. It has both anti-inflammatory an antioxidant effects on the body, which is why it’s believed to be so beneficial for a number of diseases. There’s even research being done on its cancer fighting benefits.

That yellow color could mean you’ve discovered fitness gold.

Turmeric has been boosted to the top of the herb and spice chain by the studies that show it might help Alzheimer’s. It’s the curcumin in turmeric that makes it such a powerful health aid. You can cook with it and it adds a bit of a mellow flavor to food. While I think it makes it taste richer, others don’t care for it. It took me a long time to discover that the yellow rice I saw in Asian cooking actually came from a bit of turmeric added to the mix. There are a number of health benefits attributed to turmeric, which include anti-inflammatory benefits, slower blood clotting, pain relief for arthritis, improved skin, aid for diabetics, prevention of some forms of cancer, anti-depressant, aid to reduce obesity, lower cholesterol and aid for IBS. After a tough workout, sprinkle some turmeric on your meal and it might be just what you need to reduce the aches and pains of overdoing.

Adaptogens can be mushrooms or fungi.

One of the most potent fungi for a boost in health is the Ophiocordyceps sinensis—cordycep, a fungus that originally invaded the body of a specific type of dead caterpillar found only high in the mountain regions of Tibet. It’s also called the Zombie Mushroom for a very good reason. The spores infect the larvae of ghost moths—sounding spooky already? As the larvae grows to a caterpillar, the spores munch on the insides of it, killing it in the process. It gets even spookier. The tendrils sprout out of the caterpillars head and push through the soil. If the thought of eating a zombie caterpillar isn’t for you, now supplement makers produce this fungus in the lab. It has huge benefits, such as improved metabolism, enhanced performance, boost and regulates the immune system, lowered insulin resistance, improved kidney and liver health. You can use it in Asian cooking or add it to your favorite soup.

  • Rosemary is an adaptogen that contain caffeic acid and romarinic acid for heart health, better digestion and liver support. It’s also good to aid in stress relief.
  • Add some maca—a root found in the Andes—to your smoothie. It has a malt like flavor and boosts energy levels, relieve stress, improve your sex drive and balance hormones.
  • Licorice root is one of the adaptogens that’s found mostly in sweet and savory recipes. It promotes wellness by working with metabolic functions and is good for its anti-viral and anti-microbial benefits, plus aiding digestion and adrenal fatigue. Avoid licorice root if you have high blood pressure.
  • Even if you’re just cooking with these adaptogens, always check with your physician to ensure they won’t interfere with present medications or exacerbate an ongoing condition.

Total Body Benefits Of Massage

Total Body Benefits Of Massage

Sure, a massage feels good, but there are also other body benefits of massage that can improve your functioning and health. After a tough workout, it can help to improve circulation and loosen tight muscles and tendons. That allows blood to circulate better and can whisk off the build up lactic acid in your muscle fiber. You’ll speed recovery time and have better pain management. Some athletes like their massage before a workout to warm muscle tissue and improve flexibility. Either way, a massage provides benefits.

A full body massage can help reduce pain.

Sometimes, the pain you feel is tough to identify. It may be referred pain, where one region is tight, but it affects another area. When you have a full body massage, it not only loosens the tight area, it works on the “trigger points” where referred pain begins. You can take pain medications to relieve pain, but you just block the pain and don’t address the source. A full body massage does focus on the original source and helps eliminate the pain entirely.

You can exercise to improve your range of motion or boost your exercise efforts with a massage.

If you’ve never focused on flexibility exercises, but just worked on strength, your likelihood of facing serious injuries is great. People who start exercising later in life find that they no longer have the range of motion or flexibility they require to exercise safely. Using exercises that boost their range of motion is a start, but adding massage to the mix can speed the results. The massage helps work the connective tissues, tendons, muscles and ligaments, just like exercise does. It also boosts the production of natural lubricants, too. If you’re just getting back to the gym or recovering from injury, massage can help you reach your goals faster.

While you’re working out to lose weight and lower blood pressure, let massage help you now.

Exercising and healthy eating is one way to lower blood pressure. However, to boost its power and get faster results, consider adding massage therapy to the mix. One study found in the peer review, Biological Research for Nursing shows that people who received a back massage three times a week lowered their blood pressure more than those who just spent that ten minutes relaxing.

  • You’ll boost your immunity with a massage. It stimulates the immune system and increases the number of lymphocytes, white blood cells that protect the body, while reducing cortisol and levels of cytokines, which are part of the process of inflammation.
  • You’ll eliminate toxins by stimulating the lymphatic system and soft tissues.
  • Massages help boost your mood and lift depression, while also energizing you and reducing anxiety.
  • A massage can help reduce pain, such as the pain from Fibromyalgia, headache and back pain. It can also reduce the pain of surgery and help you heal and get back on your feet faster.

Not All Health Foods Are Healthy

Not All Health Foods Are Healthy

If you’re trying to eat healthy and just take the advice of television commercials or the hype on the labels, you’ll soon realize that not all health foods are healthy. One look at the label that reads like a college chemistry formula should scare you into doing far more research than ever. Even though that tub of margarine says vegan, it doesn’t mean its healthier than butter—especially butter from the milk of grass fed raised cows. Butter has been part of the human diet for almost 4000 years. It has just one, possibly two ingredients if its salted, unlike many of the margarine “health food” butters. Many of the “healthy” non-butter alternatives contain far more ingredients with things like “natural flavors” (code word for chemicals) and substances not in a whole food diet.

Fat free and low fat milk products should be eliminated from your shopping list.

There’s nothing wrong with a little fat in your diet. In fact, it actually may help you lose weight. It leaves you feeling fuller. Studies show that people who drink whole milk have a 46 percent lower risk of diabetes and 8 percent lower risk of obesity. When fat is removed from milk, it’s often replaced with sugar for added flavor. About everyone is now aware of the dangers of consuming sugar, so why add it to your diet when you don’t need it? The best milk to drink comes from cows that were pasture raised and is 100% organic. While raw milk isn’t allowed for sale in most areas, it’s a healthy option too.

Non-organic or overcooked meat can have its health risks.

When you eat meat, you eat what the animal ate. If it’s not organic, you could be consuming not only what the animal ate, but also what it was subjected to in life. If it had high amounts of hormones and antibiotics, that could be part of your meal, too. Consider the rise of superbugs. They not only occur because of over prescribing antibiotics, the use of antibiotics in the meat industry also fuels them. Overcooking meat also creates HCA—heterocyclic amines. These are listed as cancer causing agents.

Granola and granola bars may be just glorified candy bars.

You grab a granola bar or two for a snack and congratulate yourself on making such a healthy choice, but are you? Many of the bars have loads of added sugar, artificial flavor, preservatives and refined oils. When you read the label, it’s not just natural ingredients. High fiber bars are also poor contenders for since much of the fiber doesn’t come from traditional sources, but chicory root or other tasteless added fiber sources. You’re far better off eating granola bars where the fiber comes from whole grains or nuts. The shorter the list of ingredients, the better.

  • Don’t be tricked into buying food just because it says gluten free. Many foods are naturally gluten free. Unless you have celiac disease, choose your healthy product based on nutritional value.
  • Pre-prepared frozen diet food in a tray may look easy, but it often lacks the nutrients you need in a meal and frequently leaves you hungry. Fresh vegetables can make a quick meal that’s far more nutritious and with no extra chemicals or preservatives.
  • Frozen yogurt sounds like a healthy food, but it’s packed with sugar and flavoring. Just say no and grab a live culture yogurt—Greek is really tasty—and top it with fresh fruit.
  • Skip the veggie burger if it’s made from “textured vegetable protein” or soy. It doesn’t contain veggies. Look for alternatives that actually contain vegetables or grill a portabella mushroom burger for a real taste treat.

Warm Smoothies For A Chilly Morning Or Soothing Dinner

Warm Smoothies For A Chilly Morning Or Soothing Dinner


Everyone loves green smoothies and those icy cold drinks that cool you down and taste a bit like drinking a fruity malt, but did you know warm smoothies can be just as inviting, especially on cold days. Whether it’s winter or just a chilly spring or fall day, a warm smoothie can be just what you need to boost more vegetable intake and cut back on fruit that most cold smoothies contain.

Add some bone broth to your smoothie.

If you aren’t aware of the nutritional values of bone broth, it’s time to learn them. Bone broth is high in collagen, which is great for the skin. It also is high in calcium, protein, magnesium, boron, iron, vitamin A, phosphorus, vitamin D, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin C, zinc, copper, manganese and the B vitamins. It has many benefits for the body, including better joints, boosting the immune system, reducing cellulite, reducing allergies and treating leaky gut syndrome. You can make bone broth smoothies with any number of vegetables. I like to add a cup of dice carrots, 3 cups of Kale, a cup of leaks or onions chopped and cilantro (approximately 1/3 C) to four cups of bone broth. You can saute the veggies in coconut oil before you add the bone broth to make it tastier. Sprinkle in a little lemon juice and sea salt, then simmer for 25 minutes and blend. It’s a yummy drink that’s good both cold and hot, so if you have some leftover, store in the frig for later.

Try a hot smoothie for breakfast.

This is one of my favorite recipes, frankly it’s because it reminds me a bit of warm nutty pumpkin pie! Best of all, it’s pretty easy to make. You do have to cook a 1/2 large sweet potato, but if you peel it and cut it in cubes, that doesn’t take long. You can also cook and mash it ahead of time, then throw it in with the unsweetened almond milk that you heat on the stovetop to warm it. You need 1 cup of unsweetened almond mild, the half of a sweet potato cooked and mashed, 1/2 inch of ginger grated—use an inch if you like it, a teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup and 2 tablespoons of almond butter. Add a bit of nutmeg, clove and ground allspice if you want a flavor that’s even closer to pumpkin pie. Blend until smooth and serve warm. YUM!

Supplement your dinner menu with this smoothie.

You can have a salad and some soup when you add this warm smoothie that doubles as a drink and dessert. It tastes a lot like apple pie to me, but the flavor changed entirely when I added some nut butter to it. Use 1/2 plain yogurt or water, a whole apple peeled, cored and cut into small chunks, a splash of vanilla extract, plus half that amount of allspice and nutmeg. Top it off with a tablespoon of maple syrup and a scoop of vanilla protein powder. For the nutty flavor add a tablespoon or two of your favorite nut butter. Blend it and microwave until warm and sprinkle with cinnamon. Consider a “chunky” soup instead of a smoothie. Boil bone broth. Pour it over finely chopped veggies and let set a few minutes. The veggies will cook in the hot broth, but some will have a little crunch. It’s my version of pho that’s healthy and delicious.

  • Melt the dark chocolate in the microwave with slightly more than 3/4 cup of almond milk. Put two squares of dark chocolate, 1/4 c rolled oats, 1/2 a banana, almond milk, 1 tsp chia seeds a handful of almonds in the blender and mix with a few tablespoons of water and a tablespoon of the hot almond milk/chocolate mixture. Blend and slowly add the rest of the milk/chocolate mix for a warm breakfast smoothie.
  • Use hot green tea to make warm smoothies. Pour a tablespoon of cold water and a tablespoon of green tea into the blender with apples, bananas, peaches, berries, kale and/or dates. Blend until smooth and pour the mixture in your cup. Pour hot green tea over it and mix for a tasty warm smoothie.
  • Be careful of relying too heavily on smoothies for fruit and veggie requirements. Most are made with lots of fruit and very little vegetables. Warm soup-like smoothies provide more veggies.

Personal Training For People On The Go

Personal Training For People On The Go

If you’ve tried to schedule time at the gym and found it is almost impossible to fit into your schedule or you simply can’t get out of the house to do it, you need to consider the type of personal training for people on the go that works with your hours and situation. Even the best laid plans and scheduled times are sometimes difficult to keep, when it happens consistently, going back to the drawing board and creating another option is probably the best way to handle the situation.

Have the personal trainer come to you.

The gym might not be the best location for you, It might be far enough away that just driving there and home takes more time than the workout. You might be a new mother who isn’t ready to leave the baby in another’s care or a seasoned parent that doesn’t have a reliable sitter that can be there at a specific time. In cases like this, consider having the trainer come to your home. Seriously, for the $15 extra for an hour long session, you’ll probably save money over what it costs for a baby sitter and gas, especially if you have a longer drive.

Make it a couple’s time or workout with a work friend.

If you have access to an open area where you work, consider the option of having a trainer come to you. You can make it even more cost effective by working out with a friend on your lunch hour. It’s just another $15 extra to add a friend and that reduces the cost for both of you. You and your significant other can make it a date night without the hassle of having to go out to the gym. Best of all, it’s far more fun to workout with someone else and there’s more motivation to continue when you workout with a friend. When we come to you, there’s no decision whether you’ll go to the gym.

Consider online training if you’re on the fly.

We are more and more technologically driven, even with fitness. There are apps for everything and now you can even have access to a personalized workout program online. Just imagine, you’re carrying your personal trainer with you continuously, so failing to workout isn’t an option. Online training has a customized program, aid in learning how to eat healthier and a great deal of information to help you get fitter faster. Most of all, you work with a personal trainer, so you’re held accountable for your success. Unlike a workout video, you have someone that holds you accountable.

  • With all the options for securing training beyond the confines of the gym, the excuse that there’s no time is removed, so you’re more apt to be successful.
  • Some people, particularly those who travel, work with a personal trainer in the gym, but also have the trainer create workouts for them when they’re on the road. It’s a great blend of face time and away time.
  • Online training is not only easily accessible and convenient, it’s also budget friendly. If you’ve always wanted to work with a personal trainer, but were on a limited budget, it’s a great way to get started.
  • No matter what option you choose for training, always make sure you find a program that includes both a nutritional plan and workout plan.

Does The P90X Workout Get Results

Does The P90X Workout Get Results

If you’re a sucker for watching infomercials or stay up late watching TV, you may have watched Tony Horton promoting the wonderful results of his P90X workout. You can get the whole miracle package for up to $350 and within 90 days looked ripped and fit, with a significant amount of body fat replaced with rippling muscles like Tony.   The question include, is this the real miracle that Tony says it is? Does everyone get results? Why does it work?


Tony says it causes “muscle confusion.”

While muscle confusion may be a new term, the concept isn’t new. If you do the same workout continuously, your body becomes adept at the movements and efficient. That efficiency means you’ll burn fewer calories, which can cause plateauing. Personal trainers have always varied the workout to prevent plateauing from occurring. It’s not a new concept, but it is a valid one. Your muscles aren’t confused, however, just not as efficient as they would become doing the same exercise continuously.

The workout uses a circuit format

The workout does contain most of the exercises you’ll get from any personal trainer. The program also has a nutrition plan. According to the plan, you’ll workout hard for an hour to an hour and a half, six to seven days a week. It offers workouts for specific muscle groups, plymetric workouts, yoga, Kenpo, stretching and core synergistics.

The problem is that it’s not for everyone.

  • Those severely out of shape shouldn’t attempt to tackle the workout. It’s great for those already fit, but can be extremely taxing and even dangerous for the obese, the out of shape and people with physical limitations. It does get your heart rate racing, but if you’re unfit, the chances of falling behind and eventually quitting are great. Unless Tony was working with you on a one-to-one basis, you won’t get the workout based on your fitness level. You also don’t have the advantage of someone watching you to ensure your form is perfect.
  • As a personal trainer, I understand the benefits of the P90X workout and find it great if you’re already in shape and want to try something different. I highly recommend a more personalized approach for everyone else.
  • The nutritional plan isn’t recommended for long term use. Therefore, you aren’t learning to make lifestyle changes to use the rest of your life. It has the same drawbacks of type of diet that isn’t healthy eating.
  • P90X doesn’t build strength as much as tone since there’s no rest between the exercises. You need to rest muscles between exercises for about a minute to build strength. If you want a workout designed specifically for your needs and one that holds you accountable, use the services of a personal trainer who creates a plan specifically for you.

Habits Of Healthy People

Habits Of Healthy People

There’s no magic to becoming fit. It’s nothing more than learning the habits of healthy people and develop those habits. Even though it’s not magic, it doesn’t mean it’s easy. In fact, if you have unhealthy habits, such as smoking, think of how hard it is to quit. In reality, you’re really relearning the habit of not smoking. It’s easy to identify some of the habits like not smoking, avoid illegal substances or excessive drinking, but not all habits are that easily identified.

Eat healthy whole foods.

Fit, healthy people sometimes grab a piece of pie or pig out on a bag of chips, but most of the time, they bypass processed foods and opt for whole foods or ones where they know the ingredients because they made the dish. Healthy eating includes lots of fruits and vegetables, lean meat or vegetarian alternative and whole grains. Sugar is limited in a healthy person’s diet. They don’t worry about calories, but make sure their plate is a rainbow of colors from the brilliant red of tomatoes to deep purple berries.

Healthy people exercise regularly.

Whether they have an organized exercise program at a gym or just are extremely active, healthy people are always on the move. One study showed that people with longer strides—meaning they walked faster—lived longer. Healthy people don’t spend leisure time in front of the computer or television. They’re more involved with activities that aren’t passive.

Healthy people drink plenty of water.

You’ll often find a healthy person has a water bottle in their car, in their hand or on their desk. They drink water throughout the day. Water is necessary to sustain life and too frequently people don’t get enough of it. It cleanses you from the inside and provides hydration for every cell in the body. Up to 60 percent of the average person’s body is water with the heart and brain being 73% water.

  • Healthy people stay positive and surround themselves with positive people. It’s hard to stay smiling if you have a Negative Nelly whispering in your ear. Studies show that people who smile live longer.
  • Healthy people get adequate sleep. Sleep is a time for the body and mind to renew and refresh. Lack of sleep is unhealthy for your heart.
  • Healthy people don’t sweat the small stuff and find that almost all of it is small stuff. They learn to handle stress.
  • Healthy people are grateful for what they have and happy for others that have more. They don’t bother being envious.

Ease Into Exercise

Ease Into Exercise

Not everyone works with a personal trainer who pushes them hard to achieve the best possible results. For those working out on their own, it may be better to ease into exercise to help prevent injury and avoid the aches and pains that often put exercising on the bench. Even trainers may recommend starting slow at first, particularly for those incredibly out of shape or who have health conditions that might be exacerbated by too much, too soon.

Listen to your body, no matter what your fitness level.

There are dangers in overdoing. One of the problems faced by anyone that wants to push their body to the limits is that they reach their limits and sometimes beyond. If you push your body beyond the point your body is prepared to handle, you can cause intense stress to the body. It’s the same stress that comes from a massive injury. The stress makes the muscle tissue rapidly break down, giving off byproducts from the cells in the process. One of those byproducts is myoglobin. If there’s too much to filter out of the blood, it can overwhelm the kidneys and lead to failure. That creates a condition called rhabdomyolysis. If no action is taken it can lead to death. Symptoms include a decreased amount of urine, muscle aches and weakness. The most easily recognized symptom is really dark, reddish colored urine.

Even if you’re taking it slow, always check with your health care professional before starting a workout program.

Going from couch potato to marathon runner doesn’t happen overnight and you shouldn’t push yourself like it does. Taking it easy at first is important. It doesn’t leave you turned off to exercise because of soreness and pain. It also doesn’t put you in danger of potential health problems. Sometimes, you have an underlying condition that isn’t diagnosed, so if you have an odd heartbeat, get leg cramps, feel dizzy, get short on breath when you normally wouldn’t or have chest pain, seek medical attention.

Don’t confuse a hard workout with overworking your body.

Sure you’re going to have aches and pains, that’s part of getting into shape, badge of honor that says you’ve worked hard. There’s a difference between a sore muscle, but goes away quickly, and unbearable pain. If you move your arm lightly and break out in a sweat from the pain, you have some real damage and need medical attention. Shortness of breath is normal with a exertion, It needs immediate medical attention if it occurs with minimal exertion or persits long after exercise ends.

  • Choose something you like to do when starting an exercise program. If you like fast dancing, turn on the music and dance away, stopping when you feel it’s time. Record the number of minutes you’ve danced and try to increase that time a little each week.
  • Start with walking more. Take an early morning stroll. Park further from the store and walk. Take the stairs, not the elevator.
  • If you’ve been sedentary for a long time, get the help of a trainer who will help you learn the right way to do each exercise and make sure you aren’t overdoing.
  • Track your progress. Winners keep score.