By: Tony

    There was an astonishing article in Newsweek a few weeks back that just blew my mind/brain/cranium/noggin. Here's what I've learned from this article and further research. We all know that working out and exercising do amazing things for our body, and the benefits, other than weight loss and getting fit, are endless. Most of us also know that when our hearts, legs, and lungs get pumping, we feel much better than if we did nothing. Turns out that doing 20 minutes or more of cardiovascular and/or high-paced resistance workouts affects every aspect of our lives. The great thing about the Newsweek article is that it really laid out the scientific findings over the last few years. Here's the scope. When you're forced to pull more oxygen into the body through exercise, you break what's called "the blood-brain barrier." It happens when you climb a long flight of stairs and when you're busting through any kind of workout that gets your heart rate pumping. This oxygen-filled blood makes its way into the temporal lobe of the brain. Inside that temporal lobe is an area called the hippocampus. Inside the hippocampus lies the seahorse-shaped area known as the dentate gyrus. As you exercise, these oxygen-filled blood cells rush into this area of the brain. A chemical/protein called IGF-1 is formed and released inside the dentate gyrus, which ramps up another chemical/molecule called BDNF; both IGF-1 and BDNF are "Miracle-grow" for the brain.

    Studies with kids right up to seniors have proven that high-paced workouts ( Power 90®, Power Half Hour®, Power 90® Master Series, P90X®, Tony & the Kids!, etc.) cause the release of these chemicals into the brain. Combine this with even more "brain drugs" like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine and you've got yourself a feel-good party in your head. Aerobic physical movement causes the release of these chemicals, and they all help you focus and give you energy when you need it. They also help you relax and rest properly. It's like a homemade chemistry set inside your skull that produces a cocktail that simulates the effects of Prozac and Ritalin. Children who play outdoors more often score better on tests than kids who don't. Regular physical activity improves memory, mood, and problem-solving abilities. Consistent exercise raises self-esteem and decreases anxiety. Study after study has proven that people who exercise 5 to 6 days a week greatly decrease their need for psychotherapeutic drugs. If your brain goes without regular bouts of exercise, the hippocampus will shrink and erode, which can lead to neurological illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease. When the dentate gyrus is stimulated, neuro-genesis or neuro-plasticity occurs. I'm not talking about just slowing the aging process, I'm telling you that the brain creates new cells through exercise—brand new cells that assist in the reversal of aging. If you're looking for the fountain of youth, you can find it inside your head every time you exercise for more than 20 minutes. TMT X 2 anyone?

_ How to Avoid the Holiday Weight Gain!!

Why does it always seem to happen, every year more people pack on the pounds right around the holidays? It’s because Thanksgiving is the day when many gorge themselves and then Christmas follows with its candy and sweets and temptations! It happens to the best of us but here is how you can enjoy the holidays and AVOID the gain!

Make a plan before hand. Parties, dinners, and get togethers can truly wreck your diet and progress if you just graze the whole time! Tell yourself what you will do and how you will avoid over eating (if you need help with this feel free to contact me and I can help you out!)
Before the party…eat something healthy and light! This will prevent you from overeating later.
Bring the healthy food. This will allow you to have healthy snacks to eat at the party and avoid total junk!
Food tips… Eat the white meat (more lean and less calories!), fill up on fruits and veggies, avoid potatoes, use a small plate, avoid the alcohol (empty calories), and drink water!!
Hit the gym regularly and with intensity! Many people think that just because they are on leave or vacation from work that they don’t have to maintain their workouts but that is simply not the case!! Keep the schedule you would have had regardless!
Allow yourself one cheat. You can enjoy one piece of candy or cookie but DO NOT eat the whole batch!
At the party...focus on the party! Enjoy your friends and family you are spending time with!
Top Tips to Stay Fit

  • Workout 5-6 days a week
  • Drink a TON of water…8 glasses a day (8 fl oz each and carrying a bottle can really help with this)
  • Cardio exercise (3-4xs a week for beginners, 5-6xs for experienced!)- This meanseither long cardio (more than 45 minutes or HIIT training) - Just keep it intense!
  • Lift weights! Your body LOVES muscle and it will keep you young, toned, and burns a TON of calories!
  • Stretch!! In the beginning and the end of your workouts and try to make one workout a week purely stretching (yoga or Pilates)
  • Always maintain proper form! Never compromise this just to lift heavier or push further than your body is ready for.

Here is my best tip to you!! Schedule your workouts!!! You will never find the time, you must make the time!!
  • Schedule your workout           
  • Treat it just like you treat any other appointment
  • Make them non-negotiable
  • Use a calendar
  • Block out time every day and take the time for YOU!
  • Working out with someone keeps you accountable and makes you more likely to complete your workout!
  • Make progress goals for yourself and once you have reached them reward yourself.