Thursday, November 8, 2012

6 Green Superfoods to Add to Your Diet

The USDA recommends a minimum of 3 cups of greens per week, and many people are not even getting that amount. Greens are the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food and deliver some of the most vitamins and minerals to our bodies.

Loaded with vitamins A and K this helps regulate blood clotting and many prevent some inflammatory diseases. It is also loaded with calcium, magnesium and folate ( an essential B vitamin that is crucial for women).

Part of the cruciferous vegetable family, Cabbage is loaded with vitamin C, which has been shown to reduce the risk of several types of cancer. Other vegetables in this family include broccoli, kale, collard greens, and brussel sprouts, all can lower the risk of prostate and breast cancer.

High in monounsaturated fat Avocados are a healthy fat that can help lower cholesterol. They contain 30 percent more potassium than a single banana, plus vitamin E, K, fiber and oleic acid, which can offer protection against the development of breast cancer.

Did you know that Oregano is a highly effective antibacterial agent? Oregano contains certain oils that are able to inhibit the growth of several types of bacteria. This is a powerful antioxidant that contains more than the vitamin C filled orange.

High in vitamins A,C and K and one of the highest food sources of folate, an essential B vitamin that is crucial for heart health and reproduction. Asparagus is also a natural diuretic and contains inulin which promotes healthy digestion.

Green Peppers
Loaded with vitamin C Green Peppers promote healthy skin and works to heal wounds. They help to lower cholesterol while also being one of the best immunity boosting foods. One serving exceeds the daily requirements of vitamin C.

Kiwi contains more potassium than a banana and is also an outstanding source of vitamins C and E. They are also very high in fiber which helps improve diabetes because of it s ability to control sugar levels.

So enjoy these great green fruits and vegetables. Add some to your salads or a healthy snack!!

Written by Jennifer Washburn, FACTS Fitness Personal Trainer

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Exercise and Hypertension

Hypertension is when blood pressure is greater than or equal to 140 mmHg in Systolic Blood Pressure (top number) and greater than or equal to 90 mmHg (bottom number). Normal blood pressure is 120 SBP over 80 DBP. This is a very prominent disease in the USA, according to the American College of Sports medicine; about 65 million Americans have this disease. Many Americans have hypertension, but many do not know because hypertension does not show symptoms, which is why hypertension is also known as the “Silent Killer.” A person with hypertension doubles their risk of cardiovascular disease; they can have a stroke, heart failure, chronic kidney disease, and other complications.
The good news: you can head hypertension off at the pass. How? Regular exercise and weight loss are paramount in the lowering of blood pressure. Daily physical activity strengthens your heart so it can pump the blood flows through easier. In your fitness plan, it is aerobic activity that will get your heart pumping and help to lower blood pressure. Aerobic activities include walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, playing sports and even household chores! This is a drug-free approach to controlling your blood pressure and will help you feel better overall. If you have or think you have hypertension, consult your doctor before exercise.
Written by Derek Tancredi, Personal Trainer

Monday, August 20, 2012

Don't Go No Fat, Go Good Fat!

Healthy fats are important to include in your daily nutrition. They help to manage your moods, stay on top of your mental game, fight fatigue, and even control your weight.
Too many people decide to cut out almost all fat sources from their diet when trying to loose weight. It's learning to make healthy choices and to replace bad fats with good ones that promote health. It's not fat that causes weight gain but rather eating more calories than your body needs.
Not all dietary fats are the same!
Bad fats, such as saturated fats and trans fats, are guilty of the unhealthy things all fats have been blamed for—weight gain, clogged arteries, and so forth. But good fats such as the monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and omega-3s have the opposite effect.

Post written by Amy Wimer, FACTS Fitness Personal Trainer, Steel Fitness Riverport in Bethlehem, PA

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Are you being consistent?

“In essence, if we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.”
Anthony Robbins

It can be difficult for a busy executive or working parent to find time to work out with consistency, but this important for achieving fitness results. Having a workout plan will help you to achieve greater consistency.

Once you have decided on the type of exercise that you would like to engage in, you'll need to schedule it. Please be realistic when determining frequency and intensity. Create a workout schedule that involves at least a few minutes a day for a warm up, 20 minutes for a cardio activity and additional time for strength training and a cool down. I highly recommend writing down your schedule to solidify your commitment to your exercise plan.

Written by Amy Wimer, Personal Trainer at FACTS Fitness facility, Steel Fitness Riverport

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

3 Foundational Elements of a Successful Wellness Program

A successful corporate wellness program starts with an engaged workforce and consistent participation. There are three foundational steps to building a successful program that will encourage employee engagement:

1.)  Strong support from upper management: The goal is to have a wellness mindset established at the top level in a company which filters down to have a positive impact on all levels of employees. This gives each employee the sense that he or she is a valued asset of the company.

2.)  Educating employees: It is extremely important to educate employees about wellness and fitness, especially to reach the non-wellness segment of the workforce. The sedentary population will be the most challenging to engage, so it is important to have the necessary educational materials available. The non-wellness segment of the workforce must be educated to understand the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle and how to make the changes necessary to accomplish this goal.

3.)  Offering incentives for participation: Incentives are a fundamental element necessary to engage employees in a wellness program. These can be tailored to the workforce in consideration and can range from cash, prizes or free lunches; to half-day Fridays or dress down days. Being incentivized for performance tends to keep participation consistent.
Although there are other considerations, these three elements are an integral part of a successful program. A happy, healthy workforce is of vital importance for your company.For additional information, contact us as
Written by Deborah MacArthur, ISSA, AAAI/ISMA, Director of Marketing, FACTS Fitness

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Why Water Is Important

Water is ranked second only to oxygen as essential for life. Your overall body weight is 2/3 water. A person can survive about two months without food, but only a few days without water. Every system in your body depends on water to function. Water is essential to your body's temperature regulation, keeping it cool through perspiration. It flushes out toxins and wastes. Also is a major component of blood which carries nutrients and oxygen to and from all cells.

Additionally, water provides a moist environment for all body tissues. It is the major component of saliva and mucous which lubricates the membranes that line our digestive system beginning with the mouth. Mucous membranes in the nose and eyes function better when well hydrated. It cushions joints and protects tissues and organs like the brain from shock and damage. Water helps maintain a healthy weight. It is hard to distinguish between hunger and thirst. If you feel hungry, drink some water first and then reassess your hunger status. Each day your body can lose 2-3 quarts of water through sweat, urination, excretion and breathing.

The body loses even more water if you exercise, live in hot or dry climates, consume high fiber diets, and consume caffeine or alcohol. It is recommended to drink 8-10 cups of fluid a day. So don't wait till your thirsty, you may already be dehydrated.

Post written by Michael Massafra, Training Director, FACTS Fitness

Friday, April 6, 2012

Brief Workouts Will Help You to Stay the Course

For many of you, you have been working out for about 2 months after making your New Years Resolution towards exercise.   This 2-3 month period now is a very critical time in terms of reaching your goals and staying the course.  This is actually a time when many people drop off because of reasons such as boredom, fatigue, burnout, injury, different schedule, and misguidance.  
            To stay the course, here a few suggestions:

            1.)  Are you fatigued?: When you shorten the time of your workouts you allow your body to recover.  It is called active recovery.   Your workouts were very long before and your body cannot keep up throughout the whole year going 4-5 days a week spending an hour or more in the gym.   Cut your time in half for a month and then see what your body feels like after that month.  I guarantee you will feel a lot better.

            2.)  Bored with your workout?: This is a good time to change it up.   Instead of using the treadmill for 45 minutes, go for a brisk walk outside or a bike ride for 20 30 minutes since the weather is gradually getting warmer.   There are many other activities as well.   This allows you to be active while trying different things.  

             3.) Do you feel burned out?: Athletes get burned out from competing and keeping themselves in shape.   They need a break and have to cut down on their training.   They are human and so are we.   They know that when they come back their bodies are stronger.   Again, cut down on the time for a month then see how you feel.

            4.) Has your schedule changed?: At the beginning of the year, everyone had exercise as a top priority.  Now there are work issues, family issues, and maybe unexpected events as well.   Short workouts allow you to maintain your fit level while you get through a busy time.

            5.)  Have you experienced an injury? : Most injuries from exercise happen from overuse.   People spending a lot of time running, biking, weights, or whatever it might be that your are doing.   And the only way to alleviate the pain is to shorten your routine and let your body catch-up.   Try to  cut down for about a month and see what your body feels like.  This will give you time to recover.

            Remember, the idea is to maintain an exercise routine for the course of a whole year.   It is ok to reduce exercise for a month or two to let your body rejuvenate.   You will be surprised how much better you will feel after you cut down on your exercise. 

Jeremy Workman, Personal Trainer at FACTS Fitness corporate facility, Motivation Fitness


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

5 Suggestions to Establish Corporate Fitness for Your Workforce

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.

5.) Be the leader! Top management set the tone for the company culture regarding fitness & wellness initiatives!

Written by Deborah MacArthur, Director of Markeing, FACTS Fitness

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

8 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 a free consultation, contact us at or 610-355-3236.

Monday, February 27, 2012

CFITS: Creative Fitness IT Solutions

A cutting edge way to engage employees in a corporate wellness program is through technology. This concept will transform corporate wellness programming. By combining social media and fitness you will open up numerous avenues for employees to engage and participate in your company wellness program as well with coworkers. This will bridge the gap between the physical fitness facility and your employees.

With the blend of social media and fitness, your employees can communicate with each other online which will create team building, bonding and even healthy competition. Each participating employee will have access to online nutrition, health and fitness tools. This electronic tool includes educational health and fitness blogs, networking with colleagues, forums, and a comprehensive calendar of healthy events within the company community. This type of platform will tie together the entire corporate wellness program through open communication between coworkers, education, rewards and incentives.

Your corporate wellness program will become a desired commodity within the company which will encourage the engagement and participation necessary to drive results and eventually the ROI the company is looking for from the investment. For additional information, call 610-355-3236 or email

Written by Deborah MacArthur, ISSA, AAAI/ISMA
Director of Marketing and PR for FACTS Fitness

Friday, February 24, 2012

3 Ways to Engage Your Employees in a Wellness Program

The first step in creating a successful wellness program is the support of management. Once you have strong management support for the corporate wellness program, you will have to plan how to engage employees in the program. As you plan your wellness program, it is important to keep in mind that you need a variety of options to offer the workforce.

Below are a few suggestions to encourage employee engagement. You may also come up with an original idea that will speak specifically to your workforce:
Education: By educating your employees, especially the sedentary or non-wellness population, you can draw them into the program. This is a vital part of any successful health and wellness program. The sedentary population of your workforce needs to know and understand the many benefits of living a healthy lifestyle and how to make those changes. This will be the most challenging group to reach, but once you do it will be the most rewarding.

Incentives: Depending upon the culture of your company this can be a fundamental method to engage your employees in a wellness program, especially when the incentive is monetary. But keep in mind that this can also provide a temporary motivation when the goal is to create long term positive behavioral changes.

On-site fitness professional: Whether you have a fitness center within your company or not, you can hire someone to perform fitness assessments, personal training or to teach classes. This shows each employee that you are serious about the wellness programming. Having a fitness professional on-site also gives your employees a resource for health and fitness information, support and motivation.

Once an employee engages in wellness and fitness programming, he or she will feel better about life and work. The employee will exhibit a more positive outlook regarding work product and the work environment. There is a two-way benefit for the employee and the company. A win-win, if you will.
Written by Deborah MacArthur, ISSA, AAAI/ISMA
Director of Marketing & PR for FACTS Fitness

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Make New Habits Permanent

Set your goal and go for It: Know exactly what you want...improve health, lose weight, gain strength etc. Make sure goals are specific and measurable.  Write down what needs to happen along with dates and review this often.

Set both long term and short term goals: Reaching certain goals can take longer than others. To stay motivated, be sure to set realistic short term goals that will lead you to your final goal. Develop a plan and brainstorm strategies to keep you moving closer to that goal.

Reward Yourself: Be sure to attach a reward to each part of your goal. Select small rewards for short term goals (going to the movies, new clothing etc.). Plan bigger rewards (vacation, buying new furniture etc.) for long term goals.

Track Your Lifestyle Habits:Keep a daily log of what you eat and feelings that contribute to your food choices. Many people do not realize how negative feelings and thoughts can trigger emotional eating and bad food choices. Keeping a log of this will help you make better choices.

Talk Yourself Into Success: It is perfectly natural to talk to yourself! What you say is very important. Be your own cheerleader! Self talk is critical to changing your lifestyle habits! Your thoughts will directly change your attitude and overall feelings of well being. This will keep you focused and help you succeed!!

So set those goals and get ready to succed!!

Written by Jennifer Washburn, Personal Trainer and Instructor at Steel Fitness in Bethlehem, PA

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Benefits of Exercise for Cancer Patients

In recent years, exercise has been nationally promoted, due to the excessive obesity rate. Though many people associate exercise with weight loss, there are many health benefits, as well. In fact, exercise is now a factor for recovering cancer patients.

Of course, exercise does not only benefit recovering patients. Health experts recommend cancer patients in every stage to maintain a regular workout routine. However, patients who are undergoing aggressive treatment may require an assigned trainer to help them. For example, patients undergoing mesothelioma treatment will be subject to different types of radiation treatment and surgery than a patient who is undergoing breast cancer treatment.

Nevertheless, exercise benefits patients in a few primary ways.

1. Increased energy

Exercising for energy may seem like an oxymoron to many people, especially cancer patients, who often suffer fro extreme fatigue. However, it is widely known that people who maintain a regular workout routine are benefited with increased energy.

When you become inactive, your body's metabolism slows down. It is a natural safety mechanism in cases of emergency, where you may be deprived of a reliable food source. As a result, the inactive body becomes used to not using energy, so it does not require much energy to survive. When you become active, your metabolism kicks into gear and your body gets used to the increased flow of energy.

2. Relieved pain

Treatment and surgery do well to remove cancerous cells, however, it can cause some pain and discomfort as a side effect. Most cancer patients can attest to the pain from which they suffer during times of recovery. In fact, even some patients in remission still suffer from slightly painful side effects.

Exercise increases blood flow, which carries essential vitamins and minerals to the other parts of the body. This results in a better immune system and a greater white blood cell count. These two things combined can help relieve the pain for cancer patients.

3. Better outlook on life

If cancer patients are entitled to only one thing, it should be to feel depressed. Such a condition can naturally cause a person to become anxious. However, being optimistic during times of treatment and recovery are very important. Studies show that optimistic people typically heal faster, as well as have a greater immune system.

Exercise releases endorphins, a natural hormone that helps people stay positive. Most patients claim they feel better about themselves and their condition after a good workout.


Fitness is not a cure for cancer. Only a professional cancer center can help cure a patient. Regardless, fitness can greatly benefit a patient. Here is an article that lists the benefits of fitness for cancer patients.

 David Haas, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Guest Blogger  

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shape Up Your Abs

There are three things to remember when giving your abdominals a workout: protect your neck and lower back; work all three sets of abs for symmetry; and, work slowly to get noticeable results.

Many ab exercises put unnecessary strain on the lower back. In every ab exercise, engage the muscles by contracting towards the spine. In a traditional crunch, the temptation is to pull on the neck and use momentum to lift the chest rather than use the lower belly muscles. Flatten the chest and lift from the core abdominal muscles. You will feel your core working.

Most people focus on the “six pack” muscles of the middle of the midsection of rectus abdominals. It is important to equally develop all three major ab muscle groups to not create an imbalance. Only developing the six pack group can create a posture that slouches forward. Work on crunches, but also side to side actions and curl ups to develop all the abs equally.

Fast movements in ab exercises do not work effectively to shape the muscles. Rushing through sit ups, for example, uses the hip flexor muscles and not the abs. If you rush through the exercises, the work is no longer muscle dependent and you will not get the desired muscle development or visible shaping. Doing three sets of ten repetitions slowly is better than doing thirty reps quickly.

Michael Kasprenski, Wellness Coach, Steel Fitness

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Do You Know Your Trainer?

Do you know your trainer? Fitness professionals get a bad rap at times, and most of the time they’ve earned it. There are many trainers out there that are more interested in their self gratification rather than taking care what is most important, the client.

As I have observed trainers with their clients, I’ve noticed that there are two types of trainers. There is the one who stands there looking disinterested and distracted. They may have their arms crossed and are not engaging the client in conversation, and even more important they are not correcting the form of their client.

Then there is a 2ndtype of trainer, the fitness professional. One that looks the part, and is engaging with the client to be sure that each step of the way the client is using proper form. This trainer is standing a sports stance ready to help the client focused on their client and having a conversation.

I sometimes ask why some trainers got into this profession. You should ask yourself the same thing if your trainer is like the 1st type of trainer, or if they are more like the 2nd type of trainer that I described. If so, then they are well worth the money you invested in your health and fitness. You will have a great workout and experience the results you desire.

Post Written by Michael Massafra, Fitness Director, FACTS Fitness

Monday, January 9, 2012

How Goal Setting Can Improve Your Results

Are you working out just to workout, or do you have a specific reason?  Have you been doing the same workout for years?  You know it’s good for you, but do you wonder what exactly exercise can do for you?

Goal setting is possibly the most important part of exercise.  Without stating what you’d like to accomplish, there’s no way to achieve it.  So what can exercise do for you?  With proper direction and motivation, exercise can affect many positive changes, including the following:

· Improvement in a specific sport

· Decrease the risk for diseases (arthritis, Alzheimer’s, various forms of cancer)

· Increase flexibility

· Better balance and coordination

· Avoid or get rid of joint pain

Setting goals takes several steps, but is easy.  You must begin by questioning yourself. “What do I want to accomplish?” “What is my current health status?” “Is this goal a credible goal?” “What are the steps I need to take in order to get to my goal?”  You must follow these questions by establishing a way to measure the movement towards your goal; for example, a valid fitness assessment.  Track your workouts. Write  down your activities and their difficulty levels.  Lastly, you must be prepared to do a full re-assessment after three months and make any modifications to keep you on course.

Some examples of valid goals are; “Improve my tennis game” “Get rid of my knee pain” “Walk down the street and not be afraid of falling” “Be able to bend over and touch my toes” “Climb stairs without getting winded.”

Goal setting gives your workouts a focus.  Rather than just going through the motions, pick a direction and work hard to achieve what you want!

Written by Micah Josephson, Personal Trainer for FACTS Fitness