Tuesday, December 11, 2012

SERIOUS Weight Loss Warning Released Today

A study released today contains a serious warning with it:

"Severe toxicity" to your internal organs.

Sounds terrible doesn't it

The study warned of kidney, liver, and other organ damage from
the most popular weight loss drugs on the market.

Orlistat, called Xenical in prescription and Alli in over-the-counter drugs, can cause "severe toxicity" of your internal organs.

A study funded by the National Institutes of Health worried respected pharmacologist, Bingfan Yan, enough to report the findings immediately to the FDA which approved the drug in 1999.

As if organ damage wasn't bad enough, they also found Orlistat's metabolic actions can reduce the effectiveness of many medications. They even reported cancer cells multiplied faster on the medication.

The FDA warned of liver toxicity for Xenical and Alli in 2010, but glossed over the seriousness of it.

This is another case on our continued search for a magic little pill. But this situation begs the question...

Is it worth it?

Believe you me, I know the importance of losing weight. I know what looking good and feeling good can do for you. I know what that can do for your mind, for your health, and your overall outlook on life.

I know it's important.

But at what cost?

Believe it or not, I realize that exercising and sticking to a diet is not easy or much fun. I realize that you have to sacrifice some of your time and pass on some really good foods. But the only side effects to diet and exercise are burning body fat, improving your health, and feeling good about yourself (among a myriad of others).

No liver toxicity. No internal bleeding. No complications with medications.

None of that.

But regardless of those facts, we will continue to search for that elusive, magic little pill. My hope is you end your search quickly and realize the only little pill that truly works is diet and exercise

To your health,

Tim Chudy
Fitness Together

P.S. You should really check out the "pill" our clients are popping. You can see the list of side effects they're experiencing too.  

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

5 Key Strategies for Staying Healthy this Winter

Americans get more than one billion colds a year. And we still haven’t found one solid medicine for it.

Viruses are smart. Any one of hundreds of viruses could launch a cold or flu attack. And chances are that this year's flu virus won't be the same as last year's. That's because viruses have the uncanny ability to constantly morph into new variations, making it nearly impossible to develop a simple cure.

But medication isn’t always the best answer anyway. There's still a lot you can do to stay strong and healthy this winter. Here are 5 strategies to staying well.

  1. Wash Your Hands: Washing hands remains the most effective way to protect yourself and your family from colds and flu. Lather, rinse, repeat throughout the day. Can’t get to a sink? Use antibacterial hand sanitizer.
  2. Get Enough Sleep: According to recent scientific research, less than 7 hours of sleep a night made people three times more likely to catch a cold than those who got 8 or more hours of zzzs. Skip Letterman and get to bed.
  3. Exercise: While high intensity/metabolic physical activity can put a damper on your immune system, most scientists agree that moderate physical activity actually helps boost the immune cells that fight off invaders. A good rule of thumb is if you’re sick above the neck, workout. If you’re sick below the neck, take a day of rest. 
  4. Fuel Yourself with Good Nutrition: An orange a day (along with strawberries, bell peppers, potatoes, and other vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables) can help keep the doctor away. Lean meat, fish, and other protein sources also provide the amino acids needed to help maintain your immune system. Don’t forget to fill in nutritional gaps with immune supporting nutrients like zinc and vitamins D, A, C and E. Harvard scientists even suggest vitamin D supplements may help reduce the occurrences of colds. The scientists found low vitamin D levels in nearly 20,000 Americans increased their cold and flu risk.
  5. Power up with Plant Extracts: Scientific research has led to the discovery of a combination of plant extracts that naturally boost the body’s own production of interferon, a component of the immune system that helps fight off viruses. Other plant compounds found in elderberry and echinacea extracts can help, too. 

A common mistake is to start taking these once you're sick. Think preventatively. At the first sign of a tickle or a sniffle, start taking these and continue taking them for about a week as needed.

On a personal note, my wife Joella use to get sick ALL the time. And it was never just a head cold. It might start there but get much worse. She was sick once for 6 solid weeks! Once I started her on Nutriferon she stopped getting sick. Completely.

If you get sick often - 2 or more times a year - give this a try. It works.

And then don't forget the first four!

To your Winter health,

Tim Chudy
Fitness Together

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Crucial Catch

Unless you’ve been asleep this entire month, you’ve  noticed our Ram’s players, as well as other NFL teams, sporting pink with the Crucial Catch campaign. Pink gloves, shoes, towels, even mouthguards.

It’s not just a mass movement of football players getting in touch with their feminine side. But an effort to support Breast Cancer awareness. (You can find out more about the NFL's campaign here.)

Even as big as the Komen walk is every year, I think having NFL athletes sporting pink has a much broader reach. It's one of the smartest marketing partnerships I've ever seen.

Today I have a suggestion for you and a way to support Breast Cancer awareness (as well as other deadly cancers).

As a fitness professional for over 12 years I’ve always encouraged everyone and anyone to exercise more. Doesn’t matter what your motive is. Just get moving.

Recently, the medical community has further supported the importance of encouraging adults to be more physically active, especially for individuals who have or are at high risk for life-threatening diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.*

I think that is the very first line of support for Breast Cancer awareness. Yes, you should wear pink, participate in the Komen walk, and support the cause in other ways. But there is no better way to start than with yourself. Especially if you have specific risk factors associated with breast cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), more than 572,000 Americans die of cancer each year, with 1/3 of the deaths linked to poor diet, physical inactivity and being overweight.* The most important things you can do to help reduce cancer risk for you and your family include:

  • Establishing and maintaining a healthy weight. 
  • Incorporating regular, consistent physical activity into your lifestyle. 
  • Making healthy food choices with a focus on plant-based foods. 

The latest recommendations from the ACS in regard to healthy physical activity levels for adults include 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activities each week.

As I tell our clients make sure you distinguish between exercise and activity. Walking your dog while she stops to go to the bathroom and sniffs the bushes is NOT exercise. Brisk walking, biking and hiking would be moderate while vigorous activities would be a Fitness Together workout.:-) There's no time for Fido to distract you here!

In addition to adding regular workout sessions into your daily schedule, you also can begin incorporating more active habits into your normal daily routine. Starting today, try incorporating as many of the following approaches (suggested by ACS) as possible to support an active and healthy lifestyle.

  • Use the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Walk or bike to your destination. 
  • Be active at lunch with your co-workers, family, or friends.
  • Take a 20-minute activity break at work to stretch, or take a quick walk.
  • Walk to visit co-workers instead of sending an e-mail message.
  • Go dancing with your spouse or friends.
  • Plan active vacations, rather than driving trips.
  • Wear a pedometer every day to increase your number of daily steps.
  • Join a sports or recreation team.
  • Use a stationary bicycle or treadmill while watching TV.
  • Plan your activity routine to slowly increase the days per week and minutes per session. 2

Breast cancer is a deadly disease that continues to take the lives of too many mothers, sisters, wives, grandmothers, aunts and best friends in our community every year. And it doesn’t have to be this deadly (remember, 1/3 of the deaths are linked to poor diet, lack of exercise and being overweight).

But it’s gotta start with you.

Before  you point your finger elsewhere, point it at yourself. Not only will you help yourself, but you’ll set a positive example for your kids, siblings, friends, and others.

My mission in life is to help people get healthy and fit. I don't care what your reason is. But supporting breast cancer is a great way to get motivated and help reduce the risk of this life-threatening disease.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Make a point to not only support awareness in our community, but take a step to a healthier you. If you're struggling with motivation visit the Komen website. They have an awesome series called "31 Days of Impact". It highlights women and their stories behind this disease.

In health,
Tim Chudy
Fitness Together

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." Mahatma Gandhi

*Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, www.cdc.gov.
*American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

How To Curb Nighttime Snacking

In this blog post you'll learn a simple strategy to curb nighttime snacking. But first, a question...

Did your Mom or Dad ever say - after your pleading for a curfew extension - "Nothing good happens after midnight. Be home by 12."

Mine did. And I never understood why they couldn't see it from my point of view. (Until I became a parent!:-)

For the most part, nothing good does happen after midnight. So here's the link to nighttime snacking.

During a nutrition consultation the other day I discovered one of our clients was struggling with nighttime snacking.

When she's up late, either working on her laptop or watching TV, she wanders into the kitchen. Sometimes she's hungry. Other times bored.  But she always ends up in either the fridge or the pantry.

Ever happen to you?

Well, just as you had a curfew for going out in high school, so too do you need one for eating.

Because for the most part, "Nothing good happens (in the kitchen) after 8 o'clock."

Once dinner is over, that should be it. Kitchen closed. Shut 'r down. That's all she wrote.

A few years back I bought some yellow CAUTION tape and gave it to a client telling her to literally close down the kitchen and string the tape across so no one can get by.

Sometimes it takes a little bit of ridiculousness to get a point across. But she did it. And you know what? It worked!

When dinner ends, make it official. Close the kitchen. For YOU and your family. Plus, wouldn't it be great to see your spouse's face when they see a padlock on the fridge!;-)

To your health and fitness,
Tim Chudy

P.S. This is a BIG benefit to you. But an even bigger benefit to your kids. Teaching them how to eat (when, where, etc...) is just as important, if not more, than what to eat. Time to close the kitchen.

P.P.S. Nighttime snacking is just one of the deadly sins of diet failure. There are more. Wanna find out how many you're committing and how to fix them? Let's talk.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Common, Serious, and Costly

Wanna guess what's common, serious, and costly to Americans?

Car accidents, unemployment, or heart surgery? Those are all good guesses. But not the right one this week.

The correct answer is obesity. The CDC released new statistics on the obesity epidemic in our country and said it's common, serious, and costly.

Common: More than one-third of U.S. adults (35.7%) are obese.

Serious: Obesity-related conditions include heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer, some of the leading causes of preventable death.

Costly: In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $147 billion; the medical costs for people who are obese were $1,429 higher than those of normal weight.

Houst....America, we have a problem.

And what's more important for us (since most reading this blog live here in St. Louis) Missouri falls in the top 25% of states with over 30% of the population being obese.

But by now, you probably know it's a problem. You've seen the news, watched a documentary on fast food, or read a book claiming a cause for the state of America's health.

But with everything talked about on obesity, little is spent on fixing the problem. People love to talk about the problem itself. But what about fixing it?

In the recent article, Are Americans Ready To Solve the Weight Of the Nation? published in The New England Journal of Medicine they talk about individual, societal, even political reasons and responsibilities for obesity. It's a well written article. But it doesn't solve the problem.

So I'm not going to slop around about whether low or high income, ethnic background, or 1 and 2 parent households are more prone to becoming obese. I'm going to spend time on how to fix it.

And know this - it IS in your control to fix the problem. 

I've helped non athletic people lose weight. I've helped "big-boned" people lose weight. I've helped emotional eaters lose weight.

We all have issues. But YOU CAN take control and lose weight. If you want to.

How To Lose Weight

(There are numerous entries throughout this blog on weight loss. No need to jump back into ALL of the info. I'm keeping it simple.)

1.) Eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day. By now, everyone's heard this advice. But few heed it. No more skipping meals. No more big, bigger, and biggest meals of the day. 5-6 balanced meals. Period.

2.) Cut your carb intake. A lot. A good way to start is cutting the carbs from your dinner time meal. No more baked potato, no more rice, no more french fries. And puh-lease, stop eating fruit when you're trying to lose weight. I don't care if it's in season. Don't eat it!

3.) Exercise. A high school friend of mine recently asked me for an exercise plan. He's never really been a "workout" guy. So I said, "Listen, I'll create a workout plan for you ONLY if you follow through with it." Nothing fires me up more than spending time on something he'll just set aside for later.

He's been diligent over the past 6 weeks and is  starting to see some very positive changes. His excitement and commitment have grown tremendously. And I dare see he's caught the "workout bug"!

He shared with me what he tells himself during his 6am workouts. When he feels like quitting or if the set is getting hard he says, "Don't be a wuss Andy." He says this to himself and pictures me standing over him. It motivates him and he finishes every time without fail.

A saying like that can be VERY powerful. Because we're human. We easily tell ourselves to stop short. (That's why having a coach is so effective.)

Don't worry about what type of exercise you do in the beginning. Dance, run, jump, lift... Just start! And do it with intention and intensity.

If you have to lose weight realize this will be a challenging journey. If you wanted to learn a second language or how to water ski, it would be hard too. This is no different. You will have to make sacrifices and likely do things you don't necessarily want to do.

But losing a lot of weight will be much much more rewarding. And completely worth the sacrifice and hard work. Cindy is a terrific example (4th person down).

I'm currently working with a select group of individuals right now that need to lose 50 pounds or more. A serious commitment is required and I only have the ability to coach 7 more . If you'd like more details please email me with Weight Loss in the subject line.

To your weight loss,

Tim Chudy
Fitness Together

P.S. If you don't know whether you're obese or not, see the BMI table below. I've been saying for years how BMI is not the best way to determine obesity. But the government hasn't listened to me yet.;-) We'll discuss this when I go over the details of my Weight Loss coaching program. Remember to email with Weight Loss in the subject line.

P.P.S. A quick look at Missouri's Policy Tracking System for obesity, nutrition, and physical activity shows that just under 75% of the policies are dead in the water. That means the government won't help you out as much. YOU need to take more responsibility. But YOU and you alone, CAN make the change.

P.P.P.S. The CDC also reported that childhood obesity has almost tripled over the last 30 years. And that trend does not seem to be slowing. Our friend Jean Huelsing is championing the fight against childhood obesity. If your child struggles with their weight Camp Jump Start is worth investigating.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Barefoot Running: Good or Bad?

If you've registered in any race over the past few years you've seen someone wearing what look like water moccasins with toes. Or maybe even someone just running with no shoes and socks at all like the guy pictured at right. I haven't seen any runners forgoing their shoes in the Olympics, but I'm sure there's one or two out there.

Barefoot running has been gaining popularity over the past few years in part from the book Born To Run. Author Christopher McDougall touts the benefits of barefoot running and bases the book on the Tarahumara, Native Americans to Northwest Mexico.

But even before McDougall's book an Ethiopian runner made barefoot running popular after winning Gold in the 1960 Olympics. Abebe Bikila was a late entry and the shoes he was given for the race didn't fit properly. (No shoe contracts back then.) So he ditched them and decided to go barefoot. After all, that's how he trained for the Olympics back home. Bikila went on to win back-to-back Gold medals and set the world record in the '64 Games.

After McDougall's book and the resurgence of barefoot running (there's now a national association solely for barefoot running), shoe manufacturers have been quick to develop shoes that mimic barefoot running. People are flocking to this style of running for the main reason of preventing injuries, but also as a way to better run times and performance.

"The research is really not conclusive on whether one approach is better than the other," says Carey Rothschild, an instructor of physical therapy at the University of Central Florida. "What is clear is that it's really a matter of developing a good running form and sticking to it, not suddenly changing it."

She surveyed over 6,000 runners and what she found was very interesting.

Most people, as mentioned, turned to barefoot running in the hopes of improving performance and reducing injuries. Ironically, those who said they never tried it, avoided it for fear of injury and slower running times.

However, research shows that there are risks to running no matter what someone puts on his or her feet.

With barefoot running you tend to land on your forefoot rather than on your heel as with shoe running. Shoes try to absorb the shock of the heel strike by the extra cushioning.

One camp will tell you barefoot runners will suffer more stress fractures and calf soreness, while the other will tell you shoe runners will suffer more knee and hip injuries.

Clearly, "There is no perfect recipe," says Rothschild.

She published a paper in this month's issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning reviewing the research and providing a guide for barefoot running.

"The bottom line is that when a runner goes from shoes to no shoes, their body may not automatically change it's gait. But there are ways to help make that transition smoother and lower the risk of injury," says Rothschild.

So there you have it - barefoot running is neither good nor bad. It's just a way to run. Whether you run barefoot or in a new pair of Nike's, proper training and conditioning is essential.

So put on a pair of shoes - or don't - and go run somewhere!

Tim Chudy
Fitness Together
This is Abebe Bikila running barefoot in the 1960 Olympics! He was the first runner to ever win back-to-back Gold medals in the marathon.

Have you tried running barefoot? What's your take? Post it below.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

An Awesome Weight Loss Strategy You Have Access To Right Now (But Don't Even Know It!)

I want to share an awesome weight loss strategy with you today. You can use it immediately since you already have access to it.

This isn't a workout strategy or something to add or subtract from your diet.

What is this weight loss strategy I'm talking about?

It's social pressure. Specifically social-networking pressure.

I learned a few years ago that when you stretch yourself, in any area of your life, you'll grow farther and faster than if you hadn't.

Basically, when you put yourself on the line, you will respond.

Let me give you a real life example...

Pam started training with us a few weeks ago. She announced to her social network that she was embarking on a weight loss and fitness journey. (#1)

She came busting out of the gates and lost 8 pounds in her first week! She was religious with her program. She told her network how well she was doing and received a lot of positive reinforcement. (#2)

Then Pam hit a speed bump. She had some issues with her eyes and couldn't train for two weeks. Talk about taking the wind out of your sail. So instead of charging forward, she took a couple steps back. And again, let her network know. (#3)

Here's the power in this...

#1 is making a public announcement. This allows you to feel the social pressure to do what you say you're going to do. There's no accountability in keeping it to yourself. It's much easier to tell yourself you failed, harder to tell others.

#2 is receiving positive reinforcement. Everyone loves to hear what a great job they've done. That reinforces the behavior changes you've made and you continue to take action toward your goals.

#3 is negative reinforcement. When you've made a public announcement and then told people of your mess up, they'll let you know how they feel. Depending on your friends, they'll hold your feet to the fire and really let you have it or they'll gently re-encourage you. Either way, it's motivation to refocus yourself.

The bottom line... social pressure solidifies your commitment to change and opens the door for support from those around you. And social networking sites like Facebook make this easier than ever.

Pam is back on track and lost 5 pounds last week. The posts on her wall are very encouraging. And I'm confident they'll continue to be.

But the fact that she made her goals public has dramatically increased her success rate. Great work Pam!

Now go post something to the public and achieve your goals.

To your success,

Tim Chudy
Fitness Together

P.S. Did you know we're on Facebook?! And we have a goal of 200 likes by the end of August. (See, I just made it public.) Can you help us? Please "Like" us now. And suggest us to your friends and family. We really appreciate your help.

P.P.S. The FT 'Beat Your Best' Challenge starts this week. Get in the Olympic spirit and take part in the challenge. Details here or call us at the studio to register.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

4 Tips To Beat The HOT Summer Heat

It's gonna get to the triple digits again today and tomorrow. The dog days of summer continue...sigh

As the heat wave continues to roll through, exercising (especially outdoors) can be quite challenging. When the barometer spikes into the 90 degree range and beyond, it is a natural tendency to sideline your exercise routine and replace it with more cooling activities, i.e. lounging at the pool, shopping at the mall or watching movies with the AC set low.

According to the CDC heat related illness accounts for 700 deaths per year and is the nation's #1 weather related killer. That's more than hurricanes, tornadoes, or freak tsunamis. The Madison, WI marathon was canceled at the end of May this year due to heat. It was projected only 1% of the runners would have finished had they gone through with the race. That's serious.

So to keep your summer exercise routine in full swing when temperatures rise and to get more out of your summer workouts, stick to these 4 high heat workout tips.

1. Hydrate More
Water should be one of the most important aspects of your workout year round, but in the hot summer months, hydrating properly is essential. The key to hydrating properly in the summer is to consistently drink water throughout the day to maintain your hydration level before, during and after your workouts. If you're endurance training consider using an electrolyte performance drink which rehydrates and replenishes better than water (see next tip).

2. Fuel More
As temperatures rise, it’s important to fuel your body with whole, nutrient-rich foods to support your active lifestyle. Hotter temperatures can increase your body’s exertion and sweat production and deplete nutrient  levels during exercise. Replenishment is a must to fuel your current and future workouts.

Fresh fruits such as berries, apples, bananas and oranges not only fuel your body with water nutrients, but they also are packed with antioxidants for optimizing muscle function and repair. In addition to ensuring the appropriate ratio of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fibers, vitamins and minerals in your diet, its also important to keep an eye on your sodium and electrolyte levels during hot summer temperatures. These two elements can quickly become depleted during heat-intense and high endurance workouts.

3. Recover More
Recovery is essential for your mind and body to get stronger, faster, leaner and more physically fit. The more intense your workouts (effort, heat, duration), the more important it is to recover. To complement heat-intense summer workouts, take time to focus on proper recovery by cooldown combined with stretching, post-workout nutrition, and proper sleep to boost your energy and performance levels.

4. Workout Indoors More
With longer days, more sunlight and warmer conditions, summer can be the season to take your workouts and fitness training outside. In the heat of the summer when temperatures reach record breaking levels, it may be more appropriate to bring your workouts back indoors.

If you are training for an endurance event like a triathlon or running race, consider breaking up your workouts between indoor and outdoor activities to maximize your training results safely.

Or, if you are unable to get outside early enough before the temperatures start to spike join us for a group fitness training session or one-on-one personal training session to complement your summer outdoor activities. We keep it at a cool 69 degrees at FT!

By sticking to these 4 tips you won't have to put your fitness routine on hold when it hits 100.

Train hard and stay cool,

Tim Chudy
Fitness Together

P.S. Our Beat Your Best Competition starts in honor of the Summer Olympics. 8 Challenges in 8 Weeks. Do you have what it takes to bring home the gold? More info at our website.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

5 Superfoods For The Grill

If you get our newsletter (What?! You don't? Sign up now!) you discovered which foods are better to buy organic or conventional. Today we're taking it a step further and giving you superfoods to incorporate into your summer grilling.

Grilling these superfoods will not only give your BBQ a healthy makeover, but they'll taste delicious. And no high sugar marinade is necessary. Just a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to caramelize and bring out the flavor!

So, the next time you're at the Farmer's Market look for these 5 superfoods:

1.  Pineapple. Most fruit is too fragile to grill. Not true for pineapple! Hearty pineapple is definitely an exception to this rule and tastes sweet and delicious after just a few minutes on the flame. Brush with a touch of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), toss on the grill and you have the perfect garnish to jazz up a burger or place under a grilled lobster tail. Pineapple is low in calories and packed with vitamin C. 1/2 cup provides you with 20% of your daily needs.

2.  Asparagus. A simple marinade of EVOO and balsamic vinegar makes this super easy to make and flavor-packed veggie a must grill side dish. Asparagus is actually a member of the lily family - extra low in calories yet rich in fiber, folic acid, potassium, thiamin, and vitamins A, B6, and C.

3.  Corn. Grilled corn-on-the-cob is a popular menu item for BBQs and clam bakes and fortunately is a healthy nutrition choice too. Grilling brings out the natural sweetness in corn and allows its natural sweet flavor to surface without the need for unhealthy additions. Roasting the corn in the husks is the best way to cook them (just be sure to soak in lightly salted water for 30 minutes before tossing them on the grill). Corn is filled with phytochemicals,  B vitamins, folic acid as well as a notable amount of protein.

4.  Zucchini. Zucchini, sliced lengthwise, are super easy to grill and with their ability to capture those perfect crosshatch grill marks make them a nice visual addition to your menu. Flavor with a touch of EVOO and lemon juice, toss on a low heat and you ’re good to go. Zucchini is a super low calorie vegetable - one entire zucchini contains a measly 20 calories. And for those 20 calories, you get a nice amount of vitamin C, vitamin A, fiber, calcium and iron.

5.  Portobello mushrooms. Marinate these meaty mushrooms in a little EVOO, balsamic vinegar, garlic and onion for an hour, toss them onto a hot grill and it just doesn't get any better than this for both taste and nutrition. Dense and flavorful, you can use them as a burger substitute, make them into pizzas, or serve them sliced as a side dish. Any way you eat them; these super-tasty and hearty mushrooms are the perfect low-calorie addition to your summer BBQ. Mushrooms pack a wallop of healthy stuff. For 70 calories you get a nice amount of B vitamins, vitamin D, potassium and copper.

Add these five superfoods to your summer menu and enjoy the flavor and health benefits of bringing your nutrition outdoors! Tap into the season’s bounty of fresh nutrient-packed foods. Use grilling for a flavor-packed light and healthy meal and enjoy the perfect outdoor cooking method.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Men's Health

This is National Men's Health Week. I'll guess you didn't know about it. Let's be honest, wearing pink is much more popular than wearing blue (yes, there really is a wear blue for men ribbon).

But your lack of awareness for a blue ribbon is much less important than awareness of your own health. Or lack thereof.

If you haven't been, or don't go, to the doctor in the last couple of years, it'd be wise to pay him or her a visit. Especially if you're at the 30, 40, or 50 years old mark. Those are the years to start keeping an eye on certain things.

Better to catch it now rather than later. (It's a Benjamin Franklin kind of mindset - "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure").

Here are 8 tips to get healthy and stay healthy.

You've likely heard most if not all of them. Maybe from your doc, from me, the news, your next door neighbor, or even your spouse or significant other. There's a reason you're hearing it from many different sources. It's good advice! Follow it. Get healthy. And live a great life.

==Don't smoke. Yes, even with smoking bans and laws, people still smoke. Soon, you might have to climb 500 feet in the air and blow into a FDA inspected bag. But people will continue to smoke. Not smoking is probably the single most important health decision you can make.

==Control your weight. This is a biggie. No pun intended. Although weight is not directly related to illness and disease as smoking is, it's still very bad for you. And it causes a lot of problems beyond just feeling terrible about yourself.

==Drink alcohol in moderation. Key word is moderation. Yes, go ahead and imbibe when the occasion warrants it. But just because it's 5 o'clock somewhere doesn't mean martinis should be poured. 1-2 drinks a few days out of the week should be it. If you're trying to fix number 2 then it's much less. ;-)

==Exercise regularly. Exercise lowers high blood pressure and cholesterol, reduces the risk of diabetes and obesity, osteoporosis, improves mood and reduces depression, makes you smarter, increases energy, makes you stronger, more confident and look better. It attracts females - (a fit guy is always more attractive than an unfit guy!). There are HUNDREDS of other benefits. And I can come up with more that haven't been proven by scientists but by average Joe's.

==Know your numbers. Do you know your lipid profile? Or do you at least know if it's good or bad? Regular cholesterol and blood pressure tests, diabetes, prostate, colon, and so many more numbers are critical to preventing disease. We're back to Ben's advice. Ask your doctor what tests are necessary for your age and family history.

==Take a baby aspirin every day (for most men). This daily dose of aspirin is one of the most beneficial and simple things you can do. It acts to reduce the risk of clot formation in the arteries leading to your heart and brain, thereby reducing the risk of both heart attacks and strokes. As always, see your doc on this one.

==Use a sunscreen of at least 15 SPF. Skin cancers are the most common of all cancers by far. Fortunately, most of them (basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas) are rarely lethal. This is of the utmost importance if you're in the sun a lot. Yard work, pool, or at the Lake. Make sure it's on!

==YOU time. Find time for some kind of meditation and/or relaxation. This goal is very flexible. It is more important to set aside some time for relaxation than it is to worry about a specific relaxation technique. Even physical activity that is "relaxing" in the sense that it gets your mind away from stressful thoughts can be helpful. All of us should take the time to "get away" mentally and emotionally at least once a day, wherever we are, or whatever we are doing.

Hope this helps. I hope it at least helps encourage you to tackle a few of these items.

Don't get overwhelmed by it. Pick one or two and get it under control. You'll be on the road to healthy living in no time!

Here's to you fellas,

Tim Chudy

P.S. Father's Day is this Sunday, June 17th. A great gift is that of fitness. Gift Certificates are available. Call me at the studio for details, 314.909.9565.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Smoking, BPA, the Sun and now THIS Are Linked To Cancer

It seems every time we turn around something else is linked to cancer. Soon we'll all have to live in a bubble and eat freeze dried space-food to be safe. :-)

THIS has also been associated with increased risks of hypertension, cardiovascular disease, depression, and early death in earlier studies. But this is the first human study to link it with cancer.

Researchers still have a long way to go as they cannot yet prove a cause and effect relationship. But there is a "very solid association".

What is it? (hint: it's tough to know because you could sleep right through it.)

Sleep Apnea, the silent killer. Press release here.

Common causes of sleep apnea are:
  • Excess weight
  • Neck circumference - greater than 17 inches
  • High blood pressure
  • A narrowed airway
  • Being male
  • Being older - 2-3x more often in adults older than 65
  • Family history
  • Use of alcohol, sedatives or tranquilizers
  • Smoking
  • Prolonged sitting

I've said it before and I'll continue to say it, if there is a panacea, it's exercise.

I can argue that if you were to lose weight alone you'd fix a slue of (potential) problems. And losing weight, of course, starts with diet and exercise. But know that by just getting more muscularly stronger and more aerobically fit helps regulate your metabolism and body rhythms. There's a lot to be said for getting hungry when you're suppose to and getting tired when you're supposed to. Eating your first meal at 2pm is not normal, nor is getting tired and falling asleep at 2am. Even if you do wake up at noon.

Get better sleep, get fit, and stay healthy.  

In other (bad) health news... 

2/3 of obese teens and 1/2 of overweight teens already have at least one risk factor for heart disease.

Teens! And heart disease! Can you believe that?

So much for the story of a normal 40 year old dying of a heart attack. It won't be long before a 20 year old dies from a heart attack.

We MUST get childhood obesity under control. Our friend Jean Huelsing is a champion in this arena and has been working hard at it for years. If you have a teen that is overweight or obese or know of one, I'd encourage you to look Jean up. Her program is top notch.

Age is just a number...

I've made a case against your age, or being "old", preventing you from accomplishing your fitness goals. Japanese mountaineer, Tamae Watanabe, blew that argument out of the water. She's a 73 year old climber and just set a world record May 19 by becoming the oldest woman to scale Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. She broke her own record set when she was 62.

So there you go. Your age can't keep you from reaching the top of the world!

FYI - my previous argument that Tamae shattered was Dara Torres competing in her 5th Olympics in Beijing at age 41. She's 45 now and going for her 6th in London!!! Let those two be inspiration for you this summer!

To your health,
Tim Chudy

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A common, rare disease

I know that subject line sounds a little oxy-moronic, but hear me out.

You've probably never heard of Anton's disease. It is a rare condition where a person is unable to accept the fact that they are blind. They make excuses that they can see despite medical evidence telling them they're blind.

For example, when a doctor holds up 3 fingers in front of someone with Anton's disease, their brain will say, "I see 2 fingers." The doctor follows with "Am I wearing glasses?" And they say "No." When in fact he is.

The patient logically knows what the medical evidence shows - that they're blind. But the patient's brain won't acknowledge it and can thus "see".

It's basically a legitimate lie.

Isn't the brain interesting? Somehow the trauma this patient suffered from has left her blind, but the brain refuses to accept it.

That got me thinking. Aren't we all legitimate liars?

When I talk to people that want to lose weight, tone and firm their bodies, increase their energy, and ultimately feel better, I show them exactly how our program achieves those results. This process is based on sound, scientific evidence complete with real life proof. It is a logical solution.

But some people still don't believe. They say (usually to themselves) "That won't work for me because..."

Maybe they lost weight with Atkins and gained it all back. Maybe they bought a Buns of Steal machine back in the day and their buns didn't turn to steel. Or maybe they just had the wrong expectations.

Whatever it was, it has led them to believe it won't work. They are legitimate liars.

I can't argue whatever it was they tried didn't work. So legitimately they can say, "That won't work for me."

But I also can't deny the evidence on our program. Simply put - our 5 step system, complete with coaching, support, and accountability produces weight loss and fitness results. Period.

And the same goes for Anton's disease. They can't argue the medical evidence that they're blind. But their brain won't let them believe it.

Why is that?

Well, I'll leave Anton's disease for the medical experts. (Get to work Paul.;)

But when it comes to weight loss it's usually one of two issues.

1. Whatever they tried in the past didn't work because it was an incomplete solution, i.e. infomercial product, fad diet, "miracle pill" supplement, etc... OR
2. There was no support, accountability, and coaching.

Search as you may any "easy" solution likely won't work. The fact is losing weight and getting in shape is NOT easy.

Stacy just got back from a lot of travel and has been off of the program for awhile. Right now workouts are harder than ever. And she knows it (and hates it). She also knows it's gonna take a massive amount of effort to get back where she was.

If you need to lose 40 pounds, you know full well you didn't gain it overnight. You also know you certainly won't lose it overnight. It takes work.

It is NOT easy. But it is simple.

It's as simple as exercise and nutrition. If you're failing with your weight loss and fitness goals take a look in the mirror and see if you're (legitimately) lying to yourself. Try and find out why.

I'll bet if you do some digging you'll find out some pretty interesting things about yourself.

I'm here if you need some help.

To your fitness success,
Tim Chudy

Friday, April 20, 2012

Weight Loss: The Funny and Ridiculous ;-)

Happy Friday!

I'm going to keep it light today with 2 weight loss categories.

The Funny:

You'll notice the pictures below. All of them are advertisements for weight loss or fitness centers. All of them are pretty darn funny! And guaranteed to catch your attention wouldn't you say?

The Ridiculous:

This one is so ridiculous that it's almost funny. (Ok, it's not almost funny, it is funny.)

The newest weight loss fad to hit the marketplace is the K-E Diet. If you're tuned into the news it probably caught your attention.

The K-E Diet, also known as the feeding tube diet, is helping brides shed pounds right before the big day. You can lose up to 15 pounds in just 10 days following this doctor administered diet. And it really doesn't take much effort. The main complaint from those on it is explaining why a tube is running up your nose!


Can you imagine trying to hold a (serious) conversation with someone that has a tube running up their nose and clipped to an IV bag on their hip? Sheesh.

I can't imagine what's next. Maybe something with aliens.

Hope this made you smile today. Have a great weekend!

Tim Chudy
Fitness Together

Thursday, April 12, 2012

ONE Sentence That Can Change Your Diet

A friend of mine was visiting over the weekend and
we were hanging out with my new baby daughter Estelle. His eyes wandered over to my bookcase and he walked over and picked out a book from the bottom shelf.

"Every time I take a bite of food I think of a
sentence I read in this book."

Very curious, I asked which sentence.

As he thumbed through the book to find the exact sentence he said, "I don't always follow it, but seriously, every time I take a bite of food this goes through my mind."

Now I'm thinking this has got to be the most profound nutritional sentence ever!

"I got it, here it is."

"Within a year, virtually every cell which makes up your body right now will be gone."

Are you serious? You think about THAT every time you eat? Why?

"Well, it goes on."

"...your entire body is "re-created" every year. Out with the old, in with the new. Your skin, your muscles, even your organs are constantly degenerating and regenerating. It's going on right now."

It goes on...

"Now, what do you think your body uses to re-create itself? Where does it get the raw materials to construct new skin cells, brain cells, muscle cells, bone cells, new blood, and even a new heart?"

"If you guessed food, you're right. You see, in a very literal way, that old saying "You are what you eat" is true."

Ok. I can see how you think about that when you eat.

As I kept thinking about it, it made a lot of really good sense.

Think about it... if you knew you had to re-create your heart with the food you ate, wouldn't you think twice before eating a double cheeseburger and fries? Don't you think you'd be actively seeking out healthy food?

Of course you would! We all would be going for good wholesome nutritious food.

The beauty of it is that we have a choice. We have the choice to eat for life or eat for death. It sounds a little gruesome, but it's the truth.

Whether you've maintained a bad diet for 10 years or 10 days you can change it anytime at will. It's never too late to choose change.

If you're ready to change your ways and start re-creating a healthy, vibrant body call the studio to set up your nutrition analysis. Discover what you're doing - right and wrong, what to change, and how to change it. Call us at 314.909.9565.


Tim Chudy

P.S. That sentence is from the now infamous book Body For Life by Bill Phillips. Do you have a profound nutrition sentence that sticks out in your mind? Please take just a second and share it with others in the comment section below.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Attention Golfers: 2 Steps to Becoming #1 in the World

If you like playing golf, you're going to like this. And if you're competitive at golf, you'll like it even more.

You probably know Rory McIlroy is now ranked the #1 golfer in the world. His surge over the past year has been nothing less than phenomenal.

If you're familiar with his game, then you know he's got a great swing. Jack Nicklaus has called his golf swing "the most natural motion in the game today."

So if he has a great swing, how has he risen to such great heights?

Do you wanna know how he's done it?

It's just two words.

His fitness (strength and endurance) and his flexibility.

First, just look at his picture above. He's not the lanky teenage golfer he once was. He's taken his game AND his fitness to another level. He recently interviewed with Men's Health, but here's what he changed.

His girlfriend is professional tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, which happened to help his golf game . After seeing her workouts he was humbled. "They work so hard. That sort of made me realize that I could probably work harder, and gave me a little bit more motivation to go in the gym and hit more balls. It’s definitely paid off."

Rory began working with Lee Westwood's (#3 in the world) trainer, Steve McGregor, Ph.D. Steve basically hooked up Rory to sensors to determine where and when his muscles were firing during his swing. He discovered a lot of imbalances between his left and right sides and upper and lower body. He also had a weak core, low back, and glutes. All of those led to overcompensation in other areas.

He focused on single leg and arm movements and put a major focus on the lower body where your true source of power lies.

"I feel like I can hit it harder without losing balance. The length of my driver hasn't increased that much but I just feel like I don't have to go after it as much to get the length."

And if you think it's all exercise, you're wrong. He coupled it with healthy eating, a lot of chicken and broccoli. He ended up burning 6% of body fat. At his weight that's almost 10 pounds of fat!

You see, most golfers focus on the wrong thing to better their game. The simple fact is, golfing is
less about the clubs, the type of ball you hit, your swing, course, etc... It's more about your fitness (strength and endurance) and flexibility. Both of which you can start improving today.

Rory is a force to be reckoned with in the PGA. Although a win slipped away from him last weekend he will certainly be one to watch at Augusta.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

"I want to burn calories and build muscle. Please help!"

Got this email from a lady "at her wits end":

I read your article in the January newsletter and
I’m really hoping that you can point me in the
right direction. I had lap band surgery in Dec
2009 with very little success. I originally lost
about 40lbs from my surgery to August of 2010. I
went from 293 down to 256 and hit a wall. Slowly
the weight started to return and my metabolism
slowed down drastically. I am now back up to 269
and at my wits end! I am very frustrated and
disappointed in myself. I honestly don’t know
where to start or how to get back on track.
My husband and I recently got a Y membership and
I’m excited about it, but I still don’t know where
to begin. I want to focus on burning the calories
and hopefully increasing muscle mass.

Could you please help me map out a plan to get
back on track??? Also, is it worth restarting some
sort of protein shake/supplement? I was on those
for a few months after my surgery and it seemed to
help, but now, I’m not so sure.

Thank you so much for listening and please respond
at your convenience.


My reply:


First, thanks for your question. Being at your
"wits end" sounds terrible and I'll do whatever I can to help. But it sounds like you're ready to move forward. And that's an important first step.

It sounds like after your surgery you failed to do
one major thing... change your behaviors.

You see, whether it's lap band, HCG, PX90, or any
other fix, you not only have to change your
attitudes, but your behaviors too.

No one has ever called me without good intent. The
intent is always there. But it's after your
intent when things fall short.

And likely why you've gained back most of your

If you do not establish new and permanent
behaviors you will slowly start to slide back. Part
of our successful 'secret sauce' here at Fitness Together
is accountability and support.

You cannot fail with your intent to lose weight
combined with our structured program,
accountability to that program, and the support
along the way.

Surgery, diets, fitness dvd's, and the worst of
all, home exercise equipment all fall short with
behavior modification.

===end email===

I can tell you with certainty that buying a
treadmill will NOT turn you into a runner. (But it
makes a great drying rack for your clothes!:-)

When you're looking to lose weight, get in shape,
feel better, or whatever your goal is, make sure
your solution will help change your behaviors
and then support you with those changes. You can
accomplish both here.

To your fitness and weight loss success,

Tim Chudy
Fitness Together

Monday, January 23, 2012

Contrary to popular belief...

Contrary to popular belief the busiest time of
year for us here at Fitness Together is NOT
January 1st.

That mad New Year rush happens at big box gyms.

Starting today, January 23rd, however, is our
busiest time.


Because once people realize a gym cannot solve
their weight loss and fitness problems they call

It takes 21 days to adopt a new habit. Since
roughly 80% of gym members don't actually use the
gym on a regular basis, they fail.

A gym or health club lacks accountability,
support, and guidance.

When most walk in to the gym they ask themselves,
"Now what?"

So that "solution" quickly fails.

The intent is there. Which is important. But it
lacks structure.

This is when we come in.

Our programs consist of the three core components
to weight loss and fitness results; strength
training, cardiovascular training and nutrition.
But what's more important is the accountability,
support, motivation, education, inspiration, and
customization. That's what really makes it a
successful program.

If you started a New Year's resolution or you're
trying to live a healthier life, we can help.

Download our info-pack and request a complimentary
. You're not making a commitment to us
by doing so. Yet. But you will find out what a
program for YOU will look like and be able to
determine if it's the right fit.

Whether you call me or not, realize you must add
accountability, support, and structure to your
program if you want results. Joining a gym or
buying a fitness DVD will not solve your problems.

I hope we get the chance to help you.


Tim Chudy
Fitness Together
314.909.9565 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 314.909.9565 end_of_the_skype_highlighting

P.S. Great games yesterday. I'm pulling for Eli's
second Super Bowl win!

P.P.S. There's no risk and no obligation to your
consultation. All I ask is you investigate, then decide.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

10 Weight Loss Strategies That Work

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and
the University of Colorado set out to determine
what lifestyle changes were needed to lose weight
AND keep it off. They began an on-going study
called the National Weight Control Registry(www.nwcr.ws).

This registry does not list all of their test
subjects. In order to make it you had to lose over
30 pounds AND keep it off for a year. So they did
a good job qualifying success.

What they found was intersting.

And the numbers they compiled don't lie.

The findings are listed into 10 lifestyle changes.

Here are the 10 habits of these successful weight

1. 98 percent of registry participants reported
that they modified their food intake in some way
to lose weight
. Ok, kinda obvious. But you must
change your eating habits in some way (i.e. fewer
calories) to lose weight.

2. Most registry members reported consuming less
high-fat dense food groups and more low-fat dense
food groups
resulting in a lower daily calorie
intake and greater weight loss. Eat lighter and
cleaner. Stay away from fried, high fat foods and
eat more fresh fruits and veggies.

3. 94 percent of registry participants reported
increasing their physical activity. Again, kinda
obvious. More out, less in.

4. 90 percent reported exercising, on average,
about one hour per day
. Note the difference of
activity and exercise. Yesterday a client ran 1
mile and also played in a basketball game. She
asked if the game counted for cardio. I said no.
Walking your kids around the block, golfing and
gardening are all activity. But exercise is
strength and cardio training. There IS a

5. 78 percent reported eating breakfast daily.
I'll venture to say they didn't eat donuts.

6. 75 percent of registry participants reported
weighing themselves at least once a week. The
interval can and should vary, but measurment of
progress is essential. It helps you stay
accountable and also provides motivation, which fuels your efforts.

7. 62 percent watched TV less than 10 hours/week.
More TV means a more sedentary lifestyle. Do you
know how much TV you watch? Try tracking it. I bet
you'd be surprised.

8. 42% of the sample reported that maintaining
their weight loss was less difficult than losing
. This is VERY IMPORTANT. Because I see this
mistake all the time.

In the beginning, when you're trying to lose
weight, you CANNOT afford to cheat. You MUST
remain committed to your program and keep the 'dial turned up'. Then, once you've reached your goal you can afford to cheat here and there. If you start to backslide you simply 'turn the dial back up.'

9. Nearly all registry members stated that weight
loss led to improvements in their level of energy,
physical mobility, general mood, self-confidence,
and physical health
. I won't begin to list the
benefits of losing weight and getting in shape. You're smart, and I'm sure you know there are TONS of them. Life is better when you look good and feel good about yourself.

10. For those who did regain weight, weight regain
was due, at least in part, to failure to maintain
behavior changes
. This clearly tells us "diets"
don't work. If you don't continue to pay attention
to your health and fitness you will backslide.

There's a lot of wisdom in these 10 strategies.

In the book Switch by Dan and Chip Heath, they
discuss how one guy solved a major
malnutrition problem in Vietnam back in the 90s. He did so by looking at the "bright spots" of other villages without the problem.

He didn't try to solve all of the other underlying problems; poor sanitation, rampant poverty, ignorance to nutrition, etc... He looked to the villages that did not have any malnourishment problems and followed their success.

You can learn a lot by finding the "bright spots"
and then implement them in your own life.

Stop trying to find more time - you'll never have it. Stop trying to set aside enough money - you'll never have it. Stop trying to fix other problems and issues. Make a few changes that other successful people have done and lose the weight.

In addition to the weight loss registry mentioned
above our very own Fitness Together clients, maybe
some of them your neighbors, are another place to
find bright spots.

Jan just joined the FT family and starts her training program tomorrow. She said her friend of the same age lost a lot of weight last year. "And if she can do it, by golly I can do it!"

Sometimes we need to see the possiblities. We need
the motivation and inspiration of others that have
gone before us.

I hope the findings from 5,000 successful weight loss subjects and that of your very own neighbors motivates you to create change in your own life.

To your weight loss success,

Tim Chudy

P.S. So maybe you didn't start fresh on January 1st. Big deal. It's never too late to get started. Jan, whom I mentioned earlier consulted with me 2 years ago! And she's just now starting. It's your time. Schedule your consultation now.