10 Fitness Hacks for Easier Excercise

    1. Gamify your workouts.

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    Utilize fun applications like my fitness pal to gamify your workouts!

    2.Work out clothes

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    You will feel much more confident working out in aesthetically pleasing workout clothing.

    3. Make a schedule

    Richard Battista

    Make a schedule for your week to ensure that you have an adequte amount of time set aside for working out.

    4. Make play-lists

    Richard Battista Quincy

    Playlists help kill time especially if the play lists length matches your work out time.

    5. Add frozen fruit to your water bottle

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    Frozen fruits enhance the taste of plain water!

    6. Pay yourself every time you exercise

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    Reward your self after completing your fitness challenge!

    7. Join a nice gym – fancy amenities

    Richard Battista

    8. Always keep a gym bag in your car or at work, even if you weren’t planning to work out.


    9. Invest in activity monitors.

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    Make working out fun and easy!

    10. Make a plan and stick to it.



    Meet Martha Beck, The Life Coach!

    At a California horse ranch on a mid-September afternoon, Martha Beck blindfolds two men and instrRichard Battistaucts them to think themselves as animals and using only their sense of hearing to tag each other. The crouching men, one pretending to be a mountain lion or bobcat, and the other pretending to be a monkey are a lawyer and tech executive respectively. Martha Beck, on the other hand, is a life coach and owner of the horse ranch. The men are there as part of a weekend getaway and training session, provided by Ms. Beck, which she calls “Escape from the Man Cage.” The purpose of this eccentric training exercise is to awaken the senses and instincts that have been deadened by desk jobs and smartphones.

    As the men stood frozen, neither making a move, Ms. Beck told them, “the way we do anything is the way we do everything.” Waiting for their turn were 10 other men, all of whom paid $3,000 to be there and take part in Martha Beck’s exercises. For years, Ms. Beck has been offering such weekend retreats, targeting individuals who may be unhappy with their current careers or lifestyles, but has so far mostly attracted women. However, believing that men too could use help, coaching and the chance to be happy, Ms. Beck has begun tailoring specific training sessions for men.

    The price tag, as hefty as it may seem, is well understood given Martha Beck’richard battistas meteoric rise in popularity and demand within the nearly $2 billion coaching industry. Ms. Beck is well known among female-centric circles, particularly among women who are fans of The Oprah Winfrey Show, on which she has made guest appearances, or the fans who read her monthly column on O, Oprah Winfrey’s magazine. In 1999, Martha Beck published her best-seller, “Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth and Everyday Magic,” about her journey with her middle-son, Adam, who was diagnosed with down syndrome in-utero. After appearing on Oprah in 2000, her coaching services were in such high demand that she formed her own company, Martha Beck Inc.

    Martha Beck has turned her life coaching services into a multimillion dollar business, with clients like General Electric and individuals spanning across various career fields. Part of Martha Beck Inc. is also dedicated to training new people in becoming life coaches and passing on the “Martha Beck method.”


    Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/29/business/the-merchant-of-just-be-happy.html


    Smoking Effects Weight Stability?

    Nicotine is a very addictive substance and is highly contained in cigarettes. Cigarette smoking is usually higher in substance and alcohol addicts. Smoking generally harms and reduces blood circulation to your vital organs. Moreover, this terrible habit can lead to heart disease and or speed up progression of diseases to those who are already prone to it. cigaretteFor those who smoke regularly, a lost of appetite is normally experienced due to nicotine cravings. This is one of the most un-healthiest ways to lose weight due to the fact that most smokers tend to skip one or more meals and decide to smoke instead. Although the weight lost is relevant, the body is not being fed adequate energy, minerals and nutrients.

    On the other end of the spectrum, some also gain weight while smoking. This is a result of becoming stationary while smoking and eating high calorie foods. According to drugabuse.com, weight gain is a common problem for individuals who stop smoking. It seems to be linked with substituting food with prior smoking habits. Due to the weight gain, it is extremely hard for most to follow through with quitting. For those who do not quit risk suffering from:

    • Heart disease
    • Heart attack
    • Lung disease
    • Lung cancer
    • Stroke
    • Diabetes
    • Arthritis
    (Source: http://drugabuse.com/guides/substance-abuse-and-weight-change/#c05)

    Healthy Eating Tips

    First things first, there seems to be this misconception that healthrichardbattistaquincy-healthyliving1y eating means strict dietary limitations, staying extremely thin, or separating yourself from the foods you love. Instead people should consider that healthy eating simply means  feeling great, increasing your energy and constantly working to stabilize your mood. If you feel overwhelmed by all the conflicting nutrition and diet advice out there, consider this… YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Regardless for every person that says a food group/food is good for you, you will find someone saying the exact opposite. By utilizing these tips, you can learn how to create a tasty, but healthy life.


    Simplify Your Life

    It’s easier than you think. Instead of pinpointing your calorie intake and measuring your meal portions, think of your diet in terms freshness and variety. If you focus on how to make the food you love into an easier recipe and incorporate fresher ingredients your diet will seem significantly easier.

    Remain Focused

    Slowly but surely you will achieve your goal. All habits change over time and you can’t expect an overnight outcome when it comes to changing eating habits. Trying to transform to a healthier diet overnight just isn’t realistic. Focus on the now and what you can accomplish in this moment. Take small steps and gradually you will reap the benefits of committing to your new found eating habits.

    Be Your Own Moderator

    All or nothing huh? Incorrect.

    The key to healthy eating is moderation. This means eat as much food as your body needs. Despite the certain trendy diets that make you believe differently, balance is essential and the body needs a healthy dose of carbohydrates, protein, fat, fiber, vitamins, and minerals to sustain a healthy body.

    Don’t Forget the HOW Matters More Than the WHAT

    Leading a healthier lifestyle doesn’t necessarily begin with the food on your plate. Healthy eating is about more than that, it is also about HOW you think about the food. Eating healthier is something that you can learn and adapt to. During this process is it vital to slow down and think about food as nourishment rather than just something to gulp down in between meetings or on the way to pick up the kids after school.


    Can Mindfulness Improve Your Exercise Routine?

    Mindfulness is mental state that you can achieve once aware of the present moment and calmly accepting your 5 natural senses. Mindfulness is used as a therapeutic technique. A new study that was published by The Journal of Health Psychology decided to zero in on what exactly makes exercising feel more pleasurable. Researchers at Utrecht University in The Netherlands and many other universities have been researching the psychological foundation of exercise satisfaction.mindfulness

    How many of us have made a New Years resolution to exercise more? Or gave up unhealthy habits for a birthday, or even decided to use the winter as a season to tone your body? This new study offers encouragement stating that paying more attention to the actual experience of exercise itself might make the experience more pleasing. Like many of us. researchers have constantly studied the everlasting bah habits of inconsistent exercise routines. Possible reasons vary from personality traits, genetics and over all bad practices. According to Gretchen Rynolds of the NYTimes, “the most reliable factor that appears in most studies is whether people will continue to exercise is that they find exercise satisfying. They gain enjoyment from being active.”

    The ultimate concern with that is, does that statement really explain what exactly makes exercising? No. You can not simply tell someone to start enjoying their workouts with hopes of instant results. This is where Mindfulness comes in.

    Mindfulness and satisfaction in physical activity: A cross-sectional study in the Dutch population.

    Mindfulness is a popular term that most associate with meditating and spirituality. The term in highly subjective but does root back to experimental psychology. In experimental psychology, mindfulness is defined as “controlled attentiveness, a deliberate “awareness of what is happening in the present moment,” as the authors of the study wrote.

    Moreover,  there have been some associations between mindfulness and physical health. In regards to weight control, if you are mindful during meals then you are less likely to gain weight. But, although there are all these views on mindfulness and weight control there is  far less research devoted to the to study of mindfulness during exercise.


    Spirituality’s Influence on Mental Health

    spirituality improves mental health

    Spirituality can help protect one’s mental health and help them feel a sense of self-worth and direction.

    Spirituality is, by definition, varied; there is no one perfect definition of what one’s spirituality entails, according to an article recently completed by the Mental Health Foundation.  When someone speaks of their spirituality, they could be referring to their religion or faith, the direction in their life—the journey they believe themselves to be on, a way of understand the world and their place in it, a core aspect of their personality, identity and humanity, an existing feeling of belonging or a quest to find one such feeling or some form of a belief in a vague higher being or force greater than themselves. Generally speaking, the distinct difference between spirituality and religion is the broader use of the word; spiritual beliefs can be particular to the individual, whereas a large group shares religious beliefs and follow and expressed teaching.

    Just as definitions for the word vary, the development of one’s spirituality and the means of expressing it differ as well.  Traditionally, there are religious practices, such as worship, prayer and the reading of religious texts.  However, just as some of the definitions of spirituality could be considered alternative to mainstream religions, some forms of expression and development are just as varied.  A group could simply choose together casually as a spiritual community, to live together by certain values.  Rituals—thought of so fondly by many religious groups—also play a role in spirituality and the communities formed.  Particular foods or types of clothing could be use to mark a group of common beliefs.  Activities such as contemplation and yoga can be engaged in, to seek self-awareness.  Alternatively, some define an act of spirituality as something as simple as friendship or volunteer work.

    From these activities, the question is often raised as to the influence spirituality can have on mental health issues and members of the mental health service profession.  Spirituality can help maintain and protect mental health, as a general feeling of connectedness can help individuals cope with stress from everyday life.  Communities formed through spirituality can also provide a solid support group of friends.  But spirituality can also occasionally help those suffering from mental health issues, as it provides a means of coping to the individual’s mental resilience.  However, unfortunately, it can also do harm, as well as good.  If an individual disagrees with a certain belief system, and feels it is too repressive or judgmental, this can have a negative effect.  Overall, it is the duty of those in the mental health service profession to respect their patients’ spirituality for what it is—a human right.


    Senior Healthy Living Classes Encourage Not Sitting Down

    YMCA Senior Fit Classes

    YMCA Instructor, Nancy Johnson, advises her seniors to “never sit down” if they want to practice best health.

    The Stateline Family YMCA offers a variety of senior fitness classes, for a variety of fitness levels. Their Senior Fit class accommodates more active seniors, requiring a fair share of standing during the various exercises. Alternatively, the Silver Sneakers class is tailored to those seniors that wish to stay active, yet struggle to maintain overt exercises for extended periods of time; most or all of the exercises are completed from within a chair. The YMCA has such a large senior population in its membership, they have decided to dedicate October to celebrating said senior members, as they host Senior Appreciation Month. During the event, the staff will work with seniors to develop healthy lifestyles. In the process, the employees will use social media to promote their message of senior fitness and honor several of their active members.

    According to an article recently completed by Beloit Daily News, Nancy Johnson instructs one such class that consists of some of the YMCA’s regular senior members. Johnson is a fighter in her own right, having survived breast cancer, which has now been in remission for eleven years. In addition to this, Johnson is a recipient of open-heart surgery. The combination of these two experiences equips Johnson perfectly as the instructor of the class. Her motto, which results directly from her struggles, is to “never sit down.” To Johnson, this motto is the best means of living a healthy lifestyle and, as a result, she applies this belief to every single class she instructs with her seniors.

    The class, therefore, relies on quite a bit of movement. The instructional period starts with some low-key aerobics walking, before carrying on to more intensive practices, such as weight training, balance exercises, stretching, jumping jacks and other various practices in leg work. Through her dedication, Johnson has helped the class grow significantly; in the ten years she has been teaching it, the class has grown from eight participants to over forty students, all by way of word of mouth.


    MasterChef Winner to Headline Cruise

    MasterChef winner Courtney Lapresi

    Courtney Lapresi closes this past season of MasterChef as a winner of not only the title, but a cook book deal and a $250,000 price prize.

    Recently, Fox cooking reality television show MasterChef’s fifth season came to a close, pronouncing another winner in the process.  Courtney Lapresi outlasted dozens of competitors and managed to tolerate the terrible tongue of Gordon Ramsey—the show’s infamous host—to win the title of the MasterChef.  With the title came a cook book deal and a two hundred and fifty thousand dollar price prize.

    In addition to this achievement and winnings, recently Lapresi’s notoriety from her victory on MasterChef has earned her a new position; she has been chosen to headline a cruise, according to an article recently completed by USA Today.  The position is on a culinary cruise on Holland America Line’s Westerdam; the cruise takes place from the fifteenth to the eleventh of November. One thousand eight hundred and forty eight passengers will call the cruise home for the duration of the journey, as it pursues an itinerary through the Eastern Caribbean.  Stops on the trip include Grand Turk, San Juan, St. Thomas and Half Moon Cay, Holland America’s private island.

    Holland America Line's Westerdam

    The Westerdam of Holland America Cruise Line prepares for an Eastern Caribbean culinary cruise.

    The cruise is Holland America’s first MasterChef endeavor; Lapresi is the first headlining chef to run the culinary component of a cruise for Holland America to come from the reality show. For Lapresi’s contributions to the cruise, she will hold several panels.  One panel will focus on showing amateur chefs various tricks of the trade employed in professional kitchens.  Another panel focuses on tips for finishing touches to be placed on various dishes.  Specifically, the tips provided seek to help make dishes more appealing or delicious—small final flairs to add just a touch of something different, unique and tasty.  In addition to these panels, Lapresi will also be responsible for holding cooking sessions and mingling with guests at cocktail receptions.  Finally, Lapresi must take part in a mystery box challenge—an obstacle which seeks to replicate a challenge that Lapresi first faced in her time spent on MasterChef.


    Ceremony to Honor POW/MIA Service Members


    National Prisoners of War and Missing in Action soldiers’ were honored for 24 hours at a vigil in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

    On Friday, an event was held to commemorate National Prisoners of War and Missing in Action soldiers’ day.  The event was entitled the Twenty Seventh Annual Twenty Four Hour Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Vigil, according to an article recently completed by The Meadville Tribune.  For this year’s vigil, Nikki Mendicino, a POW/MIA advocate from near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, served as the keynote speaker.  Mendicino kept her comments brief, with perhaps the most noted part of her speech serving as her simply stating that she and the audience had come together to honor and remember all the heroes of war that did not make it back home.

    In attendance of the vigil, there were a series of a few noted guests.  Phil Davis, a veteran of the Vietnam War, introduced one of the most notable Prisoners of War attending the event—Harold Beerbower of Meadville.  The article offered Beerbower’s background, including how he found his way into the army and imprisonment in the opposing soldier’s camp.  Beerbower quit school and joined the army in 1951 to join the Korean War effort.  By April of that year, he served as a member of D company 7th Infantry Regiment, third Infantry Division.  However, on the twenty fifth of April 1951, he was captured.  For the next twenty eight months, Beerbower was kept as a Prisoner of War in a camp.

    One small blessing was that Beerbower was not alone in his imprisonment; Harold Andrews, a Crawford County native, was interred in the same prison with Beerbower.  The pair was held in the prison together until their release in August of 1953.  Typically, both Prisoners of War attend the Annual Twenty Four Hour Prisoners of War/Missing in Action Vigil together, in the hopes of someday helping in the return of the Missing in Action heroes.  However, unfortunately, this year Andrews had a family obligation and was unable to attend alongside his friend. Regardless, Beerbower proceeded to attend the event , as per usual, and continued to work towards bringing missing soldiers home.


    Life Coaching Growing in Demand in Turkey

    Turkey Life Coach, Esra Doyuk

    Turkey Life Coach, Esra Doyuk

    According to an article recently completed by Today’s Zaman, the number of self-proclaimed life coaches in Turkey is always increasing—growing quickly as a new profession.  However, according to Esra Doyuk, a life coach herself, many of her clients don’t even really understand or know what it means to be a life coach.  Doyuk is a graduate of Bilkent University, making her among the meager fifty to fifty five life coaches in the country with proper and official training for the profession of life coach; Doyuk acknowledges that, while the profession is steadily growing more popular, and demand for the service in the country is increasing, not many practicing the profession have adequate training to really embark on the career.  This is changing, however, as the Official Gazette of Turkey declared life coaching as an official profession on the twenty ninth of June in 2013.  The United Nations has also listed the job as one of the most promising professions of the next decade.

    However, showing a mere interest in the profession does not equip one to tackle it; there are many misinterpretations of the career circulating in Turkey.  Doyuk claims that her profession is often confused with the roles of mentors, therapists or consultants—various professionals who focus on past problems, as opposed to building bright futures.  To Doyuk, it is the latter that is the focus of a life coach’s job; the coach is to help in calling forth their client’s own potential by asking focused questions.  The proper life coach, to Doyuk, also believes that anyone can get what he or she wants; if one person can achieve a certain goal, it can be done again, by someone else.  Fundamentally, life coaches help their clients answer their questions of “how?”  Coaches never tell their clients what to do; instead, they focus in on the expressed wishes, and help the client find a way of making it become a reality.

    Specifically to Doyuk’s practice, questions were asked as to how her religion plays a roll in her duties as a life coach; she is the only coach in turkey to wear her religious head scarf.  Doyuk says coaching and religion fit well together—that coaching urges not to judge or force one’s own morality on a client, just as her religion preaches.