Lanza Blog

“STRESSED” TO KILL! By James Lanza, CPFI

WE’VE MOVED!  That’s my stress! I HATE to move. I HATE to buy a car. More stress. I HATE tax season. More stress. Stress is bad. I mean really bad. And it’s also unfortunate that stress can kill you. I mean that literally, not figuratively. No, really, I’m serious. Stress can kill you. Dead, gone, good-by.

When people joke that they are so stressed that they could die, it may, unfortunately, be true.  But stress is no laughing matter, especially for people with coronary artery disease (CAD).

According to a study by Sheps and colleagues in the March 26 rapid access issue of Circulation:  A Journal of the American Heart Association, mental stress can increase the risk of death in people with CAD. Sheps notes that mental stress increases oxygen demand by causing an elevation in blood pressure and heart rate. “It is important to find out which patients are at risk and learn ways to tailor treatment to those at risk” he says. For clients with and without heart disease, participating in mind-body exercise programs can help reduce stress and increase well being. What kind of exercise? Well, the kind we do here at Lanza Fitness Personal Training!

Published investigations have concluded that exercise can help individuals manage stress much more effectively. Aerobic exercise appears to effectuate stress reduction the most. Some research (still preliminary, though quite fascinating) has hinted that the more aerobically fit an individual is, the better the person manages stress.

In addition, some studies have described the role of exercise as a preventative intervention in managing stress, as opposed to a corrective intervention. Other activities, of course, are yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, massage, meditation, walking, running or just sitting down with a good book.

Now, some people handle stress by undertaking great challenges and reaching for the stars.  Other people, most in fact, react to pressure by reaching for a bag of chocolate chip cookies. The relationship between stress and eating behavior is a complicated one. Does stress simply reduce our willpower to make good food choices, or does it actually increase our appetite?  Answer:  When faced with a stressful situation, our brains signal the adrenal glands to release a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol, in turn, releases glucose and fatty acids in the bloodstream in order to provide energy to the muscles. Cortisol also has a direct impact on the body’s blood sugar levels.  If too little cortisol is released, hyperglycemia can develop, which can increase the risk for developing diabetes.

When stress is chronic in nature, cortisol levels remain elevated for long periods of time.  Eventually, the adrenal glands become overworked and the cortisol release becomes lowered, or blunted. Researchers studying the link between stress and weight gain have found that men and women with a blunted pattern of cortisol secretion response were more likely to have increased body fat around the waist, higher blood pressure and blood sugar imbalances. So, where do we go from here? Well, for starters:

* Don’t worry, be happy! When things become stressful, take charge! Don’t be the victim.

* Eat a variety of REAL foods throughout the day.  Not sugary substitutes.

* Replenish vitamins and minerals. Stress burns these up. Talk to us about “Custom Vitamins”!

* As I said before, get physical. Resistance, core and balance training. We can show you how!

* Avoid dieting!  You’ll only deprive yourself of required minerals and nutrients.

* Last, but not least, get plenty of rest. Sleep deprivation affects blood sugar levels, reduces the production of human growth hormone, increases the secretion of cortisol and reduces the production of leptin (a hormone that signals satiety).

So now that you’re armed with this information, use it to your advantage. Have a wonderfully stress free day and thanks for listening!

Posted in Baby Boomers, Childhood Obesity, Dieting, Exercise, Fast Food, healthy body, Healthy Lifestyles, Muscle Growth, Nutrition, Senior Exercise | Tagged , | Comments Off

THE IMPORTANCE OF BUSINESS OWNERSHIP AND GOOD HEALTH. By James Lanza, CPFI

As a business owner, I’m always approached by people wanting to know how I got here. They always think that my life is charmed. Well, actually it is, but not because I’m a business owner. It’s because I have a loving and supportive family, a slew of good friends, a plethora of wonderful clients and good health. Actually, great health.

I try and explain to people that being a small business owner is not everything it’s cracked up to be. Then I get..”But you’re your own boss!”  No, I explain. I’m beholden to the insurance company, DWP, the Gas Company, my clients and the landlord. But, not being in the corporate world, I don’t have to have a meeting to decide if I have to have a meeting. The corporate world was never for me.

Anyway, let’s get back to the charmed part of my life. Specifically the health. As a business owner, I can’t stress enough how important it is to keep yourself in shape, be healthy and manage stress. If you’re not all of these, you will fail, your family life will suffer, and your business will go kaput.

So, as my lovely wife would say, “how to do?” Well, for starters, get in shape. Start walking each day; eat right, work out with weights or bands (and not the kind that play music, although I could work out with Bruce and the E Street Band.)  You can work out at home with simple weights or resistance bands.

You can join a gym and actually go three or four times a week. It’s not enough to just join.

Eat breakfast. Eat breakfast. Eat breakfast. Would you get in the car and head to San Francisco without putting gas in the car? Eat breakfast. And then lunch and dinner.

Eat lots of vegetables. And not from the jar, can or box. Keep fresh.

Stay away from fast food. Yes. You heard me. NO FAST FOOD! It’s what’s killing us. It’s all processed, full of fats, additives and stuff I can’t even pronounce. And have I mentioned to join a gym?

Another option? Yes, you guessed it. Right here at Lanza Fitness Personal Training. We can show you how to exercise safely, effectively and properly.

How to eat right, what choices to make, how much and how often.

And then there’s the cardio. Very important for stress relief, calorie burn and having fun.

Studies have shown that business’s that offer or subsidize an exercise program have less absenteeism, less on the job injuries, higher productivity and happier employees.

The same can work for those of us who are the backbone of this country. The small business owner.

The bottom line is this…You have got to be and stay healthy! You don’t want to have to close early because you’re not feeling well. You don’t want to have to close for a few days because you’re too sick to get out of bed. You don’t want to have to close because you’re dead.

Stay healthy, strong and alive!

If you would like to talk, or have questions feel free to call. I’m always here. Happy and healthy.

Thanks for listening and have a healthy day!

Posted in Baby Boomers, Childhood Obesity, Dieting, Exercise, Fast Food, healthy body, Healthy Lifestyles, Muscle Growth, Nutrition, Senior Exercise | Comments Off

NEW STUDY FINDS A “FATSO” GENE. By James Lanza, CPFI

Ain’t that a kick in the pants? A new study that appeared in the April edition of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine claims that researchers found a gene in the body that causes obesity in children! It’s called the FTO gene and it causes weight gain when it shows up in a variant form. Adults who carry two copies of the variant form-about one in six-weigh an average of seven pounds more than people who don’t. Go figure! All these years I’ve been blaming my Italian mother and her pasta. And here it was the FTO gene! Sorry Mom!!

Anyway, in the study, 752 teenagers had their blood tested for the gene and wore monitoring devices during waking hours to measure their physical activity. They found that exercising an hour a day made a big difference in the teens who were genetically predisposed to the gene. And the teens that didn’t exercise had bigger waist lines, more body fat and higher Body Mass Indexes.

The research was funded by Spain, Sweden and the European Union. The findings coincide with U.S. Government regulations on childhood obesity.

So, bottom line is this. Children need to exercise at least one hour a day. Whether they have the gene or not. If they do have the gene, exercise helps. If they don’t, exercise won’t hurt.

And guess what else? Parents could use a little kick in the pants as well. Go out with your kids and play ball. Ride a bike. Walk the dog together. Go for a run or hike a hill. Play hide and seek. Play “hike” and seek. Whatever. But it would be a great precedent to set for your kids. If they see you do it, they might be more inclined to do it.

We have great programs here for parents and kids. Come and take a few sessions with your son or daughter. We’ll make it exciting and fun. It’ll be safe but very motivating. And you’ll love it!

So get up and move and let’s kick that “fatso” gene right in the keister!

Thanks for listening and have a healthy day!

Posted in Baby Boomers, Childhood Obesity, Dieting, Exercise, healthy body, Healthy Lifestyles, Muscle Growth, Nutrition, Senior Exercise | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

CHILDREN, EXERCISE AND MATH. By James Lanza, CPFI

What do they have in common? Everything! A new study that was published and presented at the American College of Sports Medicine’s 57th annual meeting in Baltimore suggested that students who were more physically fit did better in standardized testing than students who were not.

A study that was done on sixth graders in a middle school in Illinois showed remarkable differences in students who met cardiovascular fitness than those who were not in the same shape. The students who were more active and physically fit were six times more likely to meet or exceed the reading standards and two and a half times to meet the math standards.

WOW! Do you think it’s now time to get little Johnny and Suzy off the couch and take them to a park?

For years I’ve been writing about our children and the future. With all of the research and studies that have been done we know we have an epidemic in this country. We are a fat nation. We have fat children.

I know I might offend some of you but you know what? I don’t care. Maybe that needs to hit home a little. We have the opportunities. We have the information. We have the knowledge. We have the sources. We have a private training facility! Now go out and use them!

Children are getting diabetes. High cholesterol. High blood pressure. Heart problems. Bone and joint problems.

I’ve lived my whole life with a fat child inside me. I know how it feels. And I’m not going to put the blame on a child. It’s mom and dad who bring them to these garbage dumps for a diet of Burger King slop or McDonalds crap. Because that’s what it is. Slop and crap. There’s no nutritional value in any of those places. Stay away from them. They’re bad for you!!!!!!

Now that we have more information regarding our children and the fact that exercise improves not only health but reading and math skills let’s do it!

Get them away from the T.V., the computer and the video games and get them outside! Maybe you can join them. Hey..There’s an idea. Join them.

Thanks for listening and have a healthy day!

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

EXERCISE FOR OLDER ADULTS By James Lanza, CPFI

I can just hear it now. Some valley girl spouting the words “Oh My God! Is he talking about me? Am I an older adult?” And that is from a seventy eight year old grandmother of sixteen grandchildren. YES!! I am talking about you!! But wait a minute. There’s a forty four year old mother of two (No Grandchildren yet); and she’s on the phone with her therapist in Encino shouting “is he talking about meeeeee!!” Yes. And finally there’s a post grad student doing an apprenticeship somewhere in West Hollywood shouting “he’s not talking about me!!! No F’in way!”

Watch Lanza smile. I have a grin from ear to ear. Yes!! I’m talking about all of you. Everyone over the age of ten years needs to work out. At the risk of being redundant I’ll repeat myself for the umpteenth time. WE ARE A NATION OF FATTIES! Get your F’in butts out there and exercise!!

However, for the sake of this article I’ll release those of you under the age of fifty. Just for the purpose of this specific article. Because I want to address the specific options of those of us over fifty. Those of us who have not been in a gym, or facsimile of, in the last thirty years. (Have you read Barry’s article in this issue??)

There is so much going on with our bodies as we get older. Things happen. Gravity takes over and body parts start to droop. Hair grows in places where it should not grow. Aches and pains appear as if they were invited. Arthritis, osteoporosis and sarcopenia become common in our everyday conversations.

There is one thing I want to highlight while we’re on the subject. Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD). This is common in some older adults. PAD is a very real thing and it can be very painful. PAD happens when plaque builds up in the arteries of the legs and blood flow is decreased. Blood carries oxygen and therefore the muscles and tissues of the legs don’t get enough.  And guess what happens? Anyone? Anyone? You with the blue shirt and jeans. You had your hand up first. Yes! That’s correct. Pain happens. Especially when you exercise. PAD causes discomfort in the lower extremities and therefore people don’t want to move. And exercise is out of the question. Just hurts too damn much. But here’s the kicker. Exercise can help people with PAD. It’s been shown that because exercise increases blood flow it can increase the functional capacity of the muscles.

As the disease gets worse people can become incapacitated. They don’t want to move and the muscles will then atrophy. And remember what I said in the last article…use it or lose it. Muscle degeneration, loss of strength, the inability to move or get up from a chair, these are all of the signs of inactivity.

So if you are inflicted or diagnosed with PAD or sarcopenia or you just haven’t moved in the last forty years it’s time. Time to exercise. Time to move. Time to get rid of that “no can do” attitude and give me a call. Yes, I can help. And it won’t be painful. I can show you how to do it correctly, safely and effectively. And you’ll have fun. Promise.

Remember that “Fitness is a journey. Not a destination!” Take the journey with us here at Lanza Fitness and see where it takes you.

Thanks for listening and have a healthy day!

Posted in Baby Boomers, Childhood Obesity, Dieting, Exercise, Fast Food, healthy body, Healthy Lifestyles, Muscle Growth, Nutrition, Senior Exercise | Comments Off