Saturday, August 28, 2010

Solo or Group Exercises--What recharges you?

They say that if you look at two different personality types of people, the extrovert and the introvert, they're both unique in the way in which they recharge. Extroverts-the outgoing and more outspoken personality-get recharged in group settings. Introverts, however, crave alone time, and feel rejuvenated after quiet alone time.

Just understanding your personality type can help you find an exercise routine that will become what exercise should be--therapeutic, fun, reinvigorating!

But whether you prefer working out with a buddy or two--three, four or ten, or whether you enjoy going solo with just you and your music, I'm learning that all personality types get a charge out of an occasional group fitness setting, extroverted or not. It's like being a kid again and playing with all your cousins at the reunion. Sure, you may not know them that well, but you have fun together! And if you keep coming to the gathering, they become friends!

So, what am I saying? Whether you're a solo or group exerciser, try a fitness class. If it doesn't enhance your fitness life--which I'm betting it will--it will enhance your social life. Introverts may try to deny it, but the truth is: people need people--period! A smile and a kind word always lift the spirit!

Speaking of classes, a good dose of exercise, mixed with socialization and placed in the outdoor air is a recipe for good health, inside and out. Come to a class at Lake Harbor Park, Norton Shores. We meet in the parking lot and take it out to the beach. It's a great time. The people are nice, the instructor is fun to make fun of and you will be recharged.

How much?
Just $5 per class, free for 17 years and under. And if you're really recharged and love the group setting, there are discounts for multiple sessions within a week. I like to keep this commitment-free. You only pay for what you want--and what you want often changes weekly. I understand!

Of course, if you're a more introverted personality but like the idea of personalized instruction, contact me. I offer free initial consultations and short- term packages just to get you conditioned and ready for an independent exercise program!


Despite the cool new moves in the most current body building books and magazines, there are some things that don't change. I'll let you in on the basics of bodybuilding, month by month. If you want to transform your body into a calorie-burning, sculpted machine, pay attention.

This month's spotlight? LEGS!

My big 3 for the LEGS are: LUNGES, SQUATS, DEADLIFTS. No big surprise if you've ever spent time exercising either with a trainer, fitness class or video...

Just to let you know, if you're a cardiovascular king or queen and enjoy running and other leg-emphasizing exercise, this is good, but it's not enough. If you want tight, toned, sculpted legs, you have to do resistance exercise. If you want to prevent injury and keep running--or whatever it is, these three exercises will keep you on your course.

AND for the weight lifter, DO NOT not train legs. I don't care what your excuse is. If you only work your upper body, you'll create unhealthy imbalance. Do it consistently and (good form too, and) you'll see great results.

That's it for this month...Stay tuned this month, as we'll feature some healthy recipes and other fitness/health morsels.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Healthy Breakfast Ideas & Exciting Outdoor Fitness Ops

Our August Fit 'N Healthy Time E-letter was void a featured recipe! OH NO! To make up for it, we've got a couple of great breakfast ideas we love!

But before that, we've got some great, AFFORDABLE, local fitness opportunities--all meeting at the scenic Norton Shores park, Lake Harbor Park. Here's the schedule and pricing.

Monday through Thursday -- 10:30 to 11:30 am

Monday/Wednesday -- 6:00 to 7:00 pm
Tuesday/Thursday -- 7:15 to 8:15 pm

The rates per class are $5. However, if you plan on being there as much as possible, we have multiple weekly session discounts and a monthly unlimited sessions plan, too.

Speaking of kids, kids 17 and under work out for free! I want to lighten the load for parents and kids!

For more information contact me! Friend me on Facebook and you can get daily workout reminders and announcements too. Just search for me: Boualem Aggoune!

WHAT TO BRING??? While we're taking it in the water--the water temp has been PERFECT.... bring a towel, some sandals or flip-flops for after the class, plenty of water to drink and depending on the time of day, sunscreen. Otherwise that, just bring YOU and someone you want to get fit with! SEE YOU SOON.

FUN, FIT BREAKFAST IDEAS (Besides Oatmeal & Egg Whites!)

Nutritious eating is about deprivation and starvation?!? Au contraire! It's about eating, enjoying what you're eating and knowing that what you're eating has not only immediate benefits, but long-lasting benefits.

Eat! The body needs food. But eat well. A wholesome, well-rounded breakfast is an important key to a smooth-running metabolism.

Place 1 cup of old fashioned oats in hot skillet. Stir and cook until oats brown. Mix with unsalted, roasted sunflowers and raisins. Store in container and use to sprinkle on PLAIN, REDUCED FAT YOGURT. Layer with blueberries or strawberries or a natural (and reduced sugar) fruit spread and it makes a great parfait.

2. WHOLE WHEAT CREPES: Who said French crepes have to be unhealthy?!? There's always a healthier twist... But you might want to skip the Nutella!

1 C whole wheat flour
3 eggs
2 cups of fat-free milk
2 T of canola oil or walnut oil
1/4 salt - optional
1 t sugar - totally optional

Mix batter. (It will be runny.) Let stand overnight for best results. Place 1/4 C of batter in hot griddle and spread batter by tilting griddle. It will take a little longer than regular pancakes on each side, maybe about 2 minutes--until a little browned. If you're not used to making crepes it takes practice to get a nice rounded crepe, but the taste is what counts. Healthy fillers are naturally sweetened jam or grilled/baked fruit. Low-fat cheeses also work nice in a crepe.

Just remember--save some room for protein. Don't fill up on carbs.

3.) WHOLE WHEAT PROTEIN PANCAKES - A meal in one. For best results, avoid the temptation of drowning your pancake in syrup. Choose a fruit spread instead.

2 scoops whey protein (preferably the pure kind--unsweetened, etc.)
1 c whole wheat flour (red wheat flour)
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 tsp sea salt--dissolved in buttermilk
1 large egg
1/2 c canola oil

Mix all dry ingredients, except the sea salt. Whisk the wet ingredients including the sea salt and combine with dry ingredients. Use 1/4 c of batter per pancake and cook in non-stick skillet or skillet until it bubbles and flip.

4. THE JUICIEST IDEA -- We don't drink juice. That makes it simple. But for all those juice people, here's a great idea to cut down on fast carb calories. Instead of drinking a full glass of juice, use half juice and half carbonated water. That's what the French do... Errr, well, that's what author of French Women Don't Get Fat says. (Which by the way--kind of snobby and kind of right on the money, but French people don't really know a whole lot about nutrition. (And that's coming from a French guy!)


Oh, you've seen those ads for Frosted Mini Wheats, right? Kids going off to school full of fiber and full of focus. Hmmm. Focus? For how long? I love Frosted Mini Wheats, and considering some cereals, they probably do keep kids fuller longer, but have you taken a look at the sugar in those cereals? Unless your kids aren't eating anything else with sugar for the rest of the day, it's too much per serving!

If you or your children must eat cereal, choose the unsweetened brands. And some nutritionists recommend putting sugar bowls back on the breakfast table. Most likely the kids (or the grown-up) will add less sugar than what the sweetened cereals contain or it will remain at the bottom of the bowl with the leftover milk!

One more breakfast note--don't forget the protein. It takes more than whole grains and carbohydrates to keep your brain fresh and focused. Choose an egg, natural peanut butter (think NO extra ingredients, like the KREMA brand), PLAIN yogurt and even REDUCED-FAT cheese--stop worrying about fat myths and calories and think about balanced health! Most kids and working adults won't eat for hours after their first meal.

Hope you enjoyed this mid-month morsel. Bon appetit, and see you at the park! We've got a few more day of WATER WORKOUTS. Let's not miss out before the fall chill.

Did you miss out on August's E-letter? Take a look right here:

Monday, August 9, 2010



Another BEACH WORKOUT ala Boualem!

WHEN? Monday & Wednesday Evenings @ 6 PM.
WHERE? Lake Harbor Park, Norton Shores
(Take Pontaluna west toward and past P.J. Hoffmaster, past Maranatha, on your left after the bridge.)

Meet in the parking lot and we'll take it on out to the beach.

Bring water to drink, a towel (or two) and wear clothes you don't mind getting wet (or dirty)! It's fun and fresh air!

Don't waste anymore days of summer....


Looking for Tuesday & Thursdays classes at the beach????
7:15 PM!!!!

Contact us for more details.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rethinking Exercise, part 2 (Time & Attitude)

I asked a busy mom of 5 young children how she makes time for fitness--no gym membership, no personal trainer and no nanny! This is what she says:

Well, right now the training program only takes about 25 minutes and if one is honest, they can find 25 minutes to do something if they REALLY WANT TO. To say "I don't have 25 minutes to exercise" is a cop out, in my opinion.

I find that if I don't do it sometime in the morning, it doesn't get done. Once the twins go down for their morning nap, I tell the older children I'm going to exercise and I get on the treadmill. I'm firm about this. They aren't allowed to talk to me or ask me any questions. On the weekend, my husband knows that if its my morning to run (right now its every other day) then that is my top priority, period. I don't care if we are late. He will let me exercise or I won't go . . . . . whereever it is he might want or need to go.

The fact of the matter is that our families will make their priority whatever we impress upon them is OUR priority. At some point in time, I HAVE to take care of myself. That is reasonable. EVERYONE has needs, including Mom.

That might sound a little harsh but its been a journey to get myself there and my family now understands that for these moments when Mom is exercising, Mom is first, and that is ok.

As a personal trainer, I love reading this! Don't get me wrong, I love training people. That's my job--my passion. But when I see this kind of self-motivation, I am thrilled. I wished everyone would have this kind of attitude. This mom--who has plenty of excuses NOT to exercise knows what I know: exercise is more than beneficial. It's essential. And thank you Kelly! Keep at it.

Here's a thought... If you don't know how to take care of yourself, how can you know how to take care of others?

Looking Past the Barrier
Many times, the reason for not exercising is a lack of vision. Sure, you have visions of a fit, trim beach bods, but the picture of the path getting you there is blurred. It's marred by misconceptions--that exercise is hard, a burden and time-consuming... If this is you, you're missing the best part! Exercise is a gift all by itself.


1.) Exercise has immediate benefits!
For example: Exercise reduces stress--naturally and clears the mind. People who exercise actually sleep better and have more self-confidence. A little bit of self-confidence can do amazing things for relationships, careers and general quality of life.

2.) Exercise is fun--find YOUR thing! There's something out there for everyone! Timid young ladies may find their love for boxing. Macho men may find yoga exhilarating! Be open to new things. There isn't just one way to get fit.

3.) Exercise gives back time! You read it right. When you go home from work or school, really--how productive are you? You're all tired out! Make time for exercise and I guarantee, you're going to have more energy and get more things done after work than you ever have!

4.) Exercise fights depression. This goes along with #1-3. Exercise helps our bodies naturally feel better. It's an actual physical thing, too--it's not just all in our heads.

5. Exercise has many definitions. Think outside of the body-building box. If you can take five minute breaks every hour, take some time to clear your head and do something physical. Do a couple set of wall push-ups one time, dips another time, walk briskly up and down there stairs the next time... You really won't break that much of a sweat.


Despite the cool new moves in the most current body building books and magazines, there are some things that don't change. I'll let you in on the basics of bodybuilding, month by month. If you want to transform your body into a calorie-burning, sculpted machine, pay attention.

This month's spotlight? SHOULDERS!

Don't forget shoulders in the workout routine! (And I'm really talking to the ladies here. Most weight-lifting men wouldn't dare miss shoulders!) It's good for posture--and it looks great! Strong shoulders complete and compliment the silhouette.


I advise many to do their shoulders all on a day of their own. For the serious bodybuilders, I also prescribe trapezoid (traps) exercises on shoulders day. (Trapezoids are muscles in the back, often not targeted in certain back exercises.)

Coming mid-month...