Thursday, May 5, 2011

Did you hate recess as a kid? ( And are you a fitbot?)


Remember in school when you had three recesses, a total of 60 minutes spent outside whether you liked it or not.

You might have wasted a few minutes wondering about, hemhauling... But eventually you'd find something. It was often active, a jaunt across the monkey bars, swinging, tetherball or tag.

Kids need those recesses. They play. They get some fresh air. Soak up some Vitamin D. And oddly enough, they release energy and refresh energy.


Don't you need release and refresh too?

Many working men and women get breaks. But they rarely take a real recess.

Maybe it's the higher process thinking of adults. We can blame it on responsibilities and rationalization. There are just too many other things to do.

Or maybe it's just not ideal enough to get outside. Too cold, too gray, too warm, too bright...

And then the over-used excuse... I'm tired!

Perhaps we need an authoritave figure shoving us out the door each day to remind us of what's good for us. HINT - It's not more screen time.

When you play, you work better. When you breathe, you feel better. When you get some sun, you start to sing.

It's not scientific. But I dare you to test it.

Take plenty of recesses this month. You might be surprised how it affects your total health.


When did we become programmed to think that the only way to get fit is to become a slave to a computerized machine?

Many people join a gym--kudos, really--but they don't enjoy getting fit. It's like they're robots doing the same program day-after-day, just to reach a goal. And some never reach it, because they can't be fitbots. It's against their nature.

Now, to be clear here, setting goals and follow-through is good... But you don't have to be a fit-bot!

There are too many other things that we have to do on auto-pilot. Staying (getting) fit doesn't have to be one.

Humanize your program. Interact with others AND have fun getting fit. Take classes. Join sport groups. Find a routine that allows for variety.

A Combination of an Hour at the Gym and Recess -- YES! Beach Bootcamp is back!

Often, what you don't need is a personal trainer.

What you need is that cool gym teacher that watched over the long recess period.

The one that got everyone involved and joined in the fun.

The one that let you play a minute or two longer after the bell rings.

If you didn't have that great experience with school or if you're tired of the fitbot thing, get outside this month with me and experience recess like you've never experienced.

Starting this coming week--May 10th and 12th. I'll be kicking off fitness workshops each Tuesday and Thursday morning at 9 to 10 AM.

Forget coffee and sugar. This is your morning rev.

Meet me at the Lake Harbor Park.

Bring a towel, bring water, wear sunscreen, and tell a friend.

Just $5 per class. Chewing gum is allowed.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Panic-Free Guide to a Slimmer, Stronger You!

Indifference to weight gain during winter can often turn to panic and extreme measures. Don't do anything crazy this spring. You can and will lose the extra inches--the healthy way. Here's how!


1. Don't panic! Most people gain a little winter weight. Take deep breaths when you start to feel anxious about it and remember that it is a temporary situation. You have the ability to do something about it. And remember, your value is not in your body shape, size or how you look.

2. Forget the temptation of crash diets. You might lose weight but you won't look better and you certainly won't feel better. Besides, it's usually a temporary weight loss. You cannot become healthy by harming yourself.

3. Develop a reasonable weight-loss plan. Utilize the S.M.A.R.T. goal setting method. An acronym for...
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Time Sensitive
4. Keep it balanced. You may begin with SMART goals, but it is easy to become off-balanced. Don't get so excited about your new goals that you put off what is really, bottom-line important to you. If you make drastic changes in 3 weeks because that is your only focus. You're probably not going finish your race. There is more to life than fitness and weight-loss.

5. Get accountability. Recruit positive, balanced, goal-setting, health-focused people, preferably someone you won't feel resentful towards. Keep a journal of how you're doing with daily goals and share them with someone non-judgemental and enthusiastic about your success.

6. Stop comparing yourself to everyone else. This is your life, your unique journey. When and how you get to your end-result is unique, too.

7. Focus on personal growth during this journey. One of the most positive traits of successful persons is perseverence.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize Like an entrepreneur needs a business plan and vision, you with the fitness and health goals need a visual reminder of your goals and how you're going to get there. It becomes a constant source of motivation and weeds out unimportant distractions.

- Write down 5 steps you are going to take to reach the big goal; include the estimated starting date.

- Write down the specific benefits that you will gain by taking these steps.

- Write down the date that you wish to have accomplished your bigger goal and how you're going to reward yourself.

- Make that plain piece of paper, posterboard or memo board catch your eye. Finish it off with inspirational quotes, pictures, etc. If you use paper, make copies of it and hang it near places of tempation.


Now, are you ready for some great fitness changes? Are you ready to feel better in your skin? Have more energy?

Well, I've got a great fitness option. It's been called kickboxing, but I'm changing the name to BodySculpt Kickbox, because it's more than a taste of martial arts. It's an all-over body transformation bootcamp. Come check it out.


AFTERNOON CLASSES Monday thru Thursday, 4:30 - 5:30 pm
MORNING CLASSES Friday, 10:30 - 11:30 am Saturday, 9:00 - 10:00 am

32 E. Broadway, Muskegon Hts

How much! $8 per class APRIL DISCOUNT!
-Unlimited monthly $50, now $35 -New Saturday-only monthly package, $20
Hurry, offer ends March 30, 2011.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Do you have the winter blahs?

Fitness, like most things in life, has its seasons. There are seasons where you can aggressively pursue fitness. And you love it. You're in the honeymoon stage, spring.

There's the summer season, when you realize it's hot. In other words, it's not always easy or comfortable to fit in fitness, but you do it anyway because it's still fun and always worth it. You definitely see progress.

But then there are our fall seasons... Sometimes we have less time to devote to our workout and we see our progress slow.

And sometimes, just sometimes, it all stops. Is there any beauty in a fitness winter?

As a personal trainer, even I struggle with fitness winters. I accept this season as a part of the cycle. Sometimes it's an injury and a vacation, a plateau or a lack of drive.

How about you? Have you ever experienced a fitness winter?

Now, this is not a post for the couch potato. This is a post for those who have been working out regularly. This is for those who've experienced recently a fitness spring and summer, wondering why they've lost their drive or how they can wait out an injury.

Many get down on themselves in a fitness winter. And many give up. Those people get stuck in a perpetual fitness winter. Just as seasonal affect disorder (SAD) takes its toll during a dark, cold winter, a fitness winter that lasts too long will take its toll too.

Here's a thought. Instead of feeling guilty about a fitness winter, take the time to enjoy the break. Take inventory of what's going on inside of you, physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually... Maybe you need to sit and rest for a while. Surround yourself with thoughts of a fitness spring, but enjoy the moment. Have a good attitude about rest and recover and winter passes quickly. You'll start to hear the birds singing and a new season springs forth. Regression is reversed.

Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) and Exercise

SAD is a sympathetic response to our environment, says Rich Maloof for MSN Health & Fitness. In fact, he goes on to say that we experience mood and physiological changes each season--spring fever, summer insomnia... It makes sense.

But what's one way to keep centered during the fluctuations of seasons? You guessed it--EXERCISE!

So, if all this gray weather and dirty snow is getting you down, get out, go in--wherever--and exercise.

Not all of us can afford a trip to sunny Hawaii, but we can take a brisk walk, turn on the tunes and jump around. You can lunge around the kitchen table--all these things are free. Exercise will boost your energy, shed some stress and bring back that vitality we love about spring and summer. TRY IT!


Looking for group fitness opportunities? Come join me, Boualem Aggoune, CPT (W.I.T.S) and many other fitness enthusiasts. We have tons of fun in our fitness classes.

BODY SCULPTING KICKBOXING classes are held Monday through Saturday at Muskegon Height's Karate Academy, 32 E. Broadway.

Mon/Wed/Fri at 10:30 to 11:30 am
Tues/Thurs at 9:00 to 10:00 am
Sat at 9:00 am

Mon through Thurs at 4:30 to 5:30 pm

Want a dose of fresh air, Vitamin D and some good old-fashioned exercise?

OUTDOOR FITNESS CLASSES are held every Saturday at Lake Harbor Park, Norton Shores.

Saturday at 10:30 to 11:30 am

*For more information on rates, send me a message on Facebook (Boualem Aggoune), e-mail us or call us at (231) 773-8926.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Magic of a New Year! (Group Fitness Schedule Attached)

Happy 2011. I hope you enjoyed a warm, festive holiday season with lots of family, friends and good health, of course.

As much fun as it was, I get excited for the "normal" routine of life to eek it's way back in... In fact, I love January! It's a time for hope, a time for action, a time for plans. (Not necessarily in that order.)

But there is something magical in a new calendar.

*Speaking of a calendar, I am posting my fitness class schedule at the end of the newsletter.

What is your hope for 2011?

There are lots of good things to hope for--some of the best things to hope for are intangible.

For many, health is the hope of the New Year...

For some, weight loss is the goal. Maybe it's just to lose a pants size. Or maybe it's more serious--to reduce joint stress and reduce the chances or surgery. Some are hoping to lose weight and get better control with blood sugar disorders.

For others, it's to reduce stress. Stress has a way of knocking out energy and creating physical havoc in our stomachs, intestines, our skin...

And yet, for some, nutrition is the year's major concern. Bad nutritional habits take a toll on the body, regardless of body size, shape or weight.

No matter your health-focused resolution, let me sell you on making goals. And not just making them, but planning for them.

"Fail to plan and plan to fail."

If you really want something. You have to plan for it. It doesn't have to be a perfect plan. But you have to make a plan. Nothing elaborate. Just some simple steps to climb your way to success.

For example, 10 minutes each week consider how you can find more time to cook or reduce temptations to eat out or order take out. Maybe build in more time for grocery shopping too--read the labels and see what you're filling your cupboard with.

If fitness and stress is a concern, treat it like you do business or family appointments--pencil it in. Your health is important.

Need to lose weight?

You might find that fitting in exercise is a lot easier than severely restriction calories and fat.

You may also find that doing it alone is 10x harder than joining a support group or buddy-ing up with another like-minded friend for accountability.

Consider the options and take action. Don't just torture yourself with "I should" statements...

Need to reduce stress?

There are lots of action points. If you don't exercise, engaging in physical activity will help you reduce your stress, help you sleep better at night and keep a more clear, positive outlook.

Other things to do are meditation, taking 5 minute joy breaks refresh and refocus--maybe even give yourself a little attitude check.

Taking care of your body by stretching, re-hydrating with water and refueling with clean energy takes a great deal of edge off your stress.

Implement a stress-reducing action each day.

Need to eat healthier?

Many times, people take one large goal and put it into motion all at once.

Yes, it's great to have determination, but don't set yourself up for failure. Dietary changes are hard. They're hard on tastebuds, cooking habits and comfort-related rituals.

Consider making baby steps and incorporating once healthy dietary change per week, growing it and growing it. If you regress, who cares! You can start over, it's no big deal.

Also consider rubbing shoulders with health-minded people. The peer pressure is great.

Need to get more physical activity?

Get moving. It only takes one intense 10-minute activity. 10-minutes. Did you know that?

That's an easy starting point. But if you're ready for the next level, you've got many options: joining a gym, joining group fitness ops, taking on a 5K or marathon or hiring a personal trainer.

I've got a schedule full of body sculpting classes, kickboxing and some general outdoor fitness fun.

Body Toning classes are held Monday through Friday at Muskegon Height's Karate Academy, 32 E. Broadway.

Mon/Wed/Fri at 10:30 to 11:30 am
Tues/Thurs at 9:00 to 10:00 am

*Great for getting firm and shaping up the Christmas cookie jiggle?

Need an intense, butt-kicking, butt-lifting cardio and strength increasing activity?

Kickboxing classes are held Monday through Thursday and Saturdays at Muskegon Height's Karate Academy, 32 E. Broadway.

Monday - Thursday at 4:30 to 5:30 pm
Saturday at 9:00 to 10:00 am

*There's really nothing like it. If you've seen the pictures, it may look a little crazy, but if you try it you'll find it's just crazy FUN. And when was the last time you did something just for fun?

Want a dose of fresh air, Vitamin D and some good old-fashioned exercise?

Outdoor fitness classes are held every Saturday at Lake Harbor Park, Norton Shores.

Saturday at 10:30 to 11:30 am

May the magic of January keep your resolve all year long. Change is worth it. Health is worth it!