Monday, November 2, 2009

Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving!

Everyone associates Thanksgiving Day with food and family, but this year why not make it a healthier holiday. Change is good; a lifestyle change is even better. Even if you are not doing the cooking, you still can eat healthier and make this Thanksgiving the best ever. There is no reason to overstuff yourself and lay around after dinner watching football. You don’t have to deprive yourself of all the goodies served at the annual feast; it just means that with a few changes you can have a healthier holiday season.

Follow the simple steps below and enjoy a Healthier and Fit Thanksgiving.

1.) Eat a healthy breakfast. Oatmeal with blueberries (fresh or frozen) and almonds, Agave syrup if you need a sweetener, skim milk, coffee or tea.

2.)Take a walk. Get your body moving.

3.) If dinner will be late in the day, be sure to eat a light lunch. Don’t starve yourself waiting for dinner. Keep your metabolism burning.

4.) Use a smaller plate at dinner. A salad plate holds less than a dinner plate and you will be less likely to overeat.

5.) Do not let your foods touch on the plate. Smaller portions allow you to enjoy a little bit of everything without overeating.

6.) Quarter the pieces of pie and don’t pile whipped cream on top.

7.) Limit yourself to two glasses of wine at dinner.

8.) Drink water. It will help fill you up.

9.) Take another walk after dinner. Get your family members or friends moving instead of just sitting on a sofa. You can still talk, enjoy each other and the holiday while you work off that wonderful holiday dinner.

Healthy Thanksgiving tips from Pat McFerren, Personal Trainer and Instructor at Steel Fitness in Bethlehem.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Give Your Muscles Rest

When a muscle is forced to respond to any type of resistance, an increase of blood flow to your muscles is developed. Strength trainers call this “the pump”. What you are actually doing to the muscles when strength training is creating small tears in your muscle fibers. If proper rest is achieved before breaking down your muscle fibers again, progress and GROWTH are the results.

I strongly recommend that you split your strength training and cardio or group exercise workouts on separate days which will help you achieve maximum results. Your muscles will thank you and lean muscle mass will be created much faster.

By Mike Kramer, General Manager of Steel Fitness, Bethlehem, PA

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Jump Start Your Workouts

If you find yourself reaching a workout plateau, I recommend switching things up. Take home with you a copy of the aerobics schedule and pick three group fitness classes that you have never participated in. Make a commitment to attend all three classes.

Group fitness classes are the most effective way that a member can learn new exercises, meet people and have something to look forward to each week in addition to your routine workout.

If you want to commit to a healthy lifestyle, be sure that you are utilizing all resources that are surrounding you at the health club.

By: Mike Kramer, General Manager of Steel Fitness, Bethlehem, PA

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Common Sense Weight Loss (Part 2)

Eating Habits 101
What fill you up more: a one pound brick with no calories or one pound of potato chips containing 5000 calories?

Answer: The BRICK!

It is food density that curbs your appetite NOT caloric value. Pick foods high in density and low calories and you will find that you will eat less.

High Density Low Calorie Foods
1. Water, H20, Agua
2. Lean Meats
3. High Fiber Foods
4. Fruits/Vegetables
5. Unprocessed Starches

FAT IS NOT THE ENEMY! Fat in moderation is high in density and good for you as well!

Eat slowly…..Your stomach has a lag time to the brain of about 15 minutes. Many of us overeat due to not allowing the stomach enough time to communicate with the brain to say “I’m FULL”.

Know what a serving size is and what your daily servings are per food group. Knowing one without the other is useless. For example, it is OK to have a serving of pasta at a restaurant, but realize that you just had 5 of your 8 servings of starch for the day! It is far easier to count servings than to count calories.

Do not become consumed with counting servings either. Simply think about where your servings are when you are about three quarters of the way through your day, and eat accordingly from there.

Exercise is an important component of a healthy lifestyle. Watch for our next post about incorporating exercise for healthy weight loss.

Written by Tom Fenstermacher, Owner and President of FACTS Fitness.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Common Sense Weight Loss

The following post was written by Tom Fenstermacher, Owner and President of FACTS Fitness. Watch for the follow up post: Eating Habits 101

Common sense tells you that to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. This means you will change your daily patterns by increasing physical activity while decreasing food consumption.

A person can exist in the following 3 states of energy balance:

1. Neutral Energy Balance – You burn what you consume and will stay the same as you are today.

2. Positive Energy Balance – You consume more than you burn and will gain weight. If you require 2000 calories and consume 2,100 per day, even if the extra 100 calories is a banana you stand to be 700 calories per week in positive energy balance. This will eventually result in 36,400 excess calories per year divided by 3,600 calories per pound of fat is over 10 pounds of weight gain per year.

3. Negative Energy Balance - You consume less than you burn and will lose weight. Reverse the scenario above and you can see over 10 pounds of weight loss per year from that same banana!

Diets DO NOT WORK! – Wouldn’t you rather be in negative energy balance due to an exercise regimen that burns excess calories and increase 24 hour a day metabolism and will ultimately help you live longer and reduce your risk factors and improve quality of life?

CRASH DIETS ARE ESPECIALLY BAD!! Consider this: You go on a crash diet and begin to deprive your body of its essential needs. Your body doesn’t know you are trying to lose weight, it assumes there is a food shortage in nature and goes into survival mode.

What is survival mode?

It is conservation of energy stores.

What are energy stores?


Your body will burn anything it can EXCEPT fat. So, when you lose your 20 pounds on your crash diet and 10 pounds of that loss was in lean muscle that your body consumed what do you think happens?

For starters, it is important to understand that your lean muscle is the key to your METABOLIC RATE or your daily caloric requirement and the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you will burn.

It’s a fact that 98% of people on crash diets gain the weight back. Consider the information above: when you gain your 20 pounds back, the muscle will not return so the net gain is all fat. So all that your CRASH Diet helped you do is become fatter! The problem is that now you have less muscle to burn calories on a 24 hour basis, so you will be predisposed to gaining even more weight.

When attempting to loss weight, check with your doctor first. The next step is to combine common sense food choices and start with an exercise program that will fit your lifestyle. Start slow and work your way into moderate levels of exercise.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Exercises You Can Do at Your Desk

Instead of sitting at work all day with no movement why not perform a few simple exercises. You can try having some kind of movement will help your blood pump through your body which helps spread nutrients throughout your body and helps reduce the chance of developing blood clots in your legs.

Here are a few simple exercises you can do at your desk:

1)Glut Squeezes: Squeeze your butt cheeks together and hold for 5 seconds.

2)Ankle Pumps: Point your feet up and down repeatedly.

3)Abdominal Tightening: Suck in your gut and hold for 5 seconds.

4)Marching: Stand up and march in place every hour for a couple of minutes.

5)Wrist Rom: Bend your wrists up and down repeatedly.

Written by Huda Ahmed, MS, ACSM Personal Trainer at Motivation Fitness, West Conshohocken, PA

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Establish Corporate Fitness Program For Your Employees

There are some basic activities that you can start in your company that will get your employees interested in starting a healthy lifestyle:

1.) Distribute a newsletter with fitness and healthy living information to educate your employees.

2.) Have those employees who are enthusiastic about the wellness initiative encourage coworkers to join in.

3.) Reimburse or subsidize employees gym memberships, group fitness registrations, etc.

4.) Offer employees flex time options to encourage participation in fitness activities.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Benefits of Corporate Fitness Programs

The overall objective of a Corporate Fitness/Wellness program is to create an environment within the company of fitness and healthy living. Companies who have a Corporate Fitness program will experience many benefits including:

1.) Savings on Healthcare costs
2.) Increased productivity
3.) Decreased absenteeism
4.) Fit employees have more energy and are more focused
5.) Better coping skills
6.) More positive attitudes
7.) Your company will attract new workers who are dedicated to fitness
8.) Lower incidences of chronic sicknesses

For additional information on Corporate Fitness visit

Friday, March 20, 2009

Workplace Exercises Suggestions

While you shouldn't give up on your home or gym exercise routine, you can certainly supplement it with exercises done at your desk (and, on those extra-long workdays, it's much better than doing nothing.)

Here are a few aerobic tricks to try during your next break between tasks:

1.) Glance at the wall clock and rip off a minute's worth of jumping jacks. If you're a beginner, try the low-impact version (raise your right arm and tap your left toe to the side while keeping your right foot on the floor; alternate sides)

2.) Do a football-like drill of running in place for 60 seconds. Get those knees up! (Beginners, march in place.)

3.) Simulate jumping rope for a minute: Hop on alternate feet, or on both feet at once. An easier version is to simulate the arm motion of turning a rope, while alternately tapping the toes of each leg in front.

4.) While seated, pump both arms over your head for 30 seconds, then rapidly tap your feet on the floor, football-drill style, for 30 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times.

5.) If you can step into a vacant office or conference room, shadow box for a minute or two. Or just walk around the room as fast as you can. Or do walk-lunges in your office or a vacant room. (You could also amuse your co-workers by doing these in the hall; remember Monty Python's "Ministry of Silly Walks" comedy routine?). Set your PDA to beep you into action.

No conference room? Take to the stairs -- two at a time if you need a harder workout!

Do this 5-7 times a day.


Monday, March 9, 2009

First Steps to Creating a Successful Corporate Fitness Program

A key element to creating a successful corporate fitness program is for the senior managers to promote, support and participate in the program. This is critical not only for the success of the program, but also for the health and well being of senior management. Participation and support of senior management will also help the employees to take the corporate fitness program seriously.

Another key ingredient to a successful program include forming a corporate fitness committee to organize and facilitate communication of the program. This committee would also educate employees about the various elements of the program. Remember communication and education are key elements to employee participation leading to the success of your corporate fitness program.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The 4 'P's' of a Successful Corporate Fitness Program

According to Tom Fenstermacher, Owner and President of FACTS Fitness, there are 4 'P's' to creating a successful Corporate Fitness Program.

Participation is the overall goal and key to the success of your Corporate Fitness and Wellness Program that can only be achieved through the implementation of the following elements:

· Presence: Highly Trained Goal Oriented Personnel
· Programming: Cutting Edge Execution of Services
· Promotion: Targeted Internal Marketing Efforts on a Global Level

Achieving the 4 'P's" of success will happen through the support and commitment of upper level management in a comprehensive manner. To learn more about creating a successful Corporate Fitness and Wellness Programming, visit us at

Monday, February 2, 2009

Your Corporate Wellness Program Can Succeed

Your company can be among the 12% who succeed with a Corporate Wellness program. Here are a few tips to creating a successful Corporate Wellness program:

  • In addition to boosting a fitness venue, educate your employees with health and fitness information.
  • Survey your employees and tailor a program to their requirements.
  • Have a professional trainer on hand to teach and instruct your employees as they head down the road of a healthy lifestyle. Some of your employees may have experience with this, but others will need the guidance.
  • Have a resource center where your employees can have access to information about fitness, risk reduction, healthy lifestyle choices, etc.
  • Lastly, it is imperative to have the support and participation of upper level management.

FACTS Fitness has the experience and resources to meet any corporate or commercial fitness need. Visit us at for additional information on Corporate Wellness Programming.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Corporate Wellness and the Bottom Line

Having a Corporate Wellness program that supports the ability for your employees to exercise will have a direct impact on your bottom line. Studies have shown time and time again that employees who exercise are more productive and efficient.

By having the opportunity to exercise, your employees will be re-energized which will have a direct impact on their ability to concentrate and problem solve. This is a winning formula for any company.

For additional information on Corporate Wellness, visit us at