Tag Archives: strength and conditioning

Living healthy

Fitness Exercise Guru Jack Lalanne Epitomized A Healthy Lifestyle — And You Can, Too

Having demonstrated his strength by pulling a locomotive with his teeth, Jack LaLanne left no doubt about the benefits of his daily exercise and diet routine. LaLanne, who passed away recently at the age of 96 years young, was ahead of his time in not only promoting, but also performing and teaching proper exercise, strength and conditioning routines. While we don’t know how much LaLanne’s genes played a part in his longevity, we do know that it took hard work and commitment to gain his chiseled physique and stamina.

Much has been written about LaLanne over the years. He demonstrated his commitment to health and exercise by opening the nation’s first health and fitness center in 1936, which included a gym, juice bar and health food store. While a great idea in hindsight, he once told the New York Times that most people weren’t ready to bet on a healthy living craze.

“People thought I was a charlatan and a nut,” he told the Times. “The doctors were against me. They said that working out with weights would give people heart attacks and they would lose their sex drive.”

Even in his 90s, LaLanne began each day with a two-hour workout that included weight training and swimming. It’s a lesson in wellness we could all heed and one that doesn’t involve complex diets, gym equipment or pricey trainers.

As 2011 begins, many of us are vowing to start or resume a healthy living routine. Some baseline suggestions include:

  • If you smoke, commit to quitting. If you need help, see your primary care provider to discuss a plan to help you achieve success.
  • Start exercising. No matter what your age or medical history, some form of exercise is a good and healthy idea — and one that LaLanne surely recognized. Your physician will know your health status and can help recommend an exercise program that includes at least four days a week at 30 minutes each time. Try to take the time, find a friend and make it fun. If you haven’t exercised regularly, at the outset you should start slowly and gradually work up in duration of activity. Remember that your physician should be your guide.
  • Improve your diet. Try cooking meals that use fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Reduce your consumption of soda and fast food. Concentrated sweets (candies and such) should be minimized, and if you take the time to read food labels you’ll be surprised by the amount of sugar and sodium hidden in foods. Finally, be adventurous; try new recipes and healthy cuisine. Spices tend to be low in calories, sodium and have no fat, so they are good, favorable salt substitutes.
  • Avoid stress. Today, we are busier than ever, so staying stress free and living a healthy lifestyle are all the more challenging. Try participating in simple stress-reducing techniques such as yoga, reading, meditation, journaling and exercise. Reducing stress can go a long way toward fulfilling a healthy lifestyle.
  • Routine and preventative care. You are the only one who knows how you feel. You should make regular visits to your primary care provider and complete regular screenings. Heed warning signs, know what to watch for and remember to follow your physician’s advice.

While no one will recommend pulling a locomotive with your teeth, we would all do well to remember LaLanne’s oft-quoted mantra: “The only way you can hurt the body is not use it. Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it’s never too late.”

CrossFit Push Up

Building A Better Body And Community

Plastered against the windows of the entrance to an intense workout company in Scottsdale is a sign that reads: Motivated People Only.

CrossFit Scottsdale, started by husband-and-wife team Luke and Najla Kayyem in 2008, is striving to provide the best results to their clients while building a positive community atmosphere.

The CrossFit method shies away from typical workouts seen at traditional gyms. Instead, it focuses on sessions that involve strength and conditioning training programs with exercises that are executed at high intensity.

“It may look a little intimidating, but we scale everything,” says Najla Kayyem, co-owner and coach. “We’ve got a very wide spectrum of skill-level, from at-home moms to military personnel; everybody can benefit.”

Classes are led by one of the three coaches and workouts are kept under an hour. Some are even as short as 10 minutes, depending on the intensity level. Routines are constantly varied so that different muscle groups are worked and progress can be made.

CrossFit Scottsdale features a new Workout of the Day, or WOD, which often is named after a CrossFit member. The WOD is performed in class as directed by a coach and can also be found online for those who are unable to make it to class.

All of the coaches at CrossFit are trained to enforce basic nutrition policies to their students. Members are taught that proper nutrition maximizes recovery and refuels their body after workouts.

“Accountability is big here,” said Tiffany Divelbiss, CrossFit nutritionist and coach. “Whether it’s showing me a food journal or talking to me about what they ate, it helps our clients stick to their plans.”

Food and Fuel classes are offered for free along with cooking seminars that suggest quick and easy food to pack for on-the-go meals.

CrossFit Scottsdale even offers members a chance to meet with a coach for one-on-one grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s to help choose the right foods to fuel their bodies.

Not only is nutritional support readily available to members, but CrossFit Scottsdale also works to foster a strong sense of community.

While stretching out before the WOD, new and returning members introduce themselves and tell how long they have been attending CrossFit Scottsdale.

Along with building community, accountability is highly valued.

“We have agreements with them,” Najla Kayyem says. “We’ll call, e-mail, or even call them out on Facebook; anything to help them achieve their goals.”

At the end of each workout, members record their personal fitness goals and time frames on a whiteboard that is openly displayed so that they can be held accountable.

“It was really difficult for me to get started,” says Don Wong, who has been going to CrossFit Scottsdale for more than a year. “But being a part of this community and people who are motivating and encouraging has really helped me reach my goals.”

CrossFit Scottsdale Connections, a once a month networking event held over lunch, creates even more of a sense of community among coaches and members.

During lunch, members and coaches learn about each other’s professional lives in addition to their fitness life and network their businesses with one another.

CrossFit Scottsdale also offers a kids program that focuses on teaching teamwork, fitness and nutrition at a young age.

“We’re changing people’s lives,” Divelbiss says. “They’re not here for a workout. They’re here for a full lifestyle change and because of that we get results really quickly.”

CrossFit Scottsdale memberships run between $99 and $289 a month. For more information visit www.crossfitscottsdale.com or call (480) 922-3253.

CrossFit Workout

CrossFit Workouts

Arizona Business Magazine's Editor-in-Chief Janet Perez

The Buzz on AZNow.Biz – December 20, 2010

This week on AZNow.Biz, learn about CrossFit Scottsdale, a training method that focuses on sessions that involve strength and conditioning training programs, with exercises that are executed at high intensity. Also, our work force columnist, Marcia Rhodes offers a list of the dos and don’ts of employee evaluations.