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So far Eric Foxman has created 277 blog entries.
Not sure what to get your spouse, relative or friend this holiday season? Give a gift that will make a positive difference in their life. Buy a package of personal training for that special person. Don’t stress out standing in long lines at the store or throw money at another electronic device that will be obsolete in one year or wonder if your on-line order will be delivered in time. Personal training is an experience and not just another thing that you pull off a shelf. A personal training gift certificate shows that you care about a person’s health and well-being. It’s also a great way to help someone achieve their fitness goals faster, stay on track, and have fun along the way. I have four private training packages to choose from. If you are having difficulty choosing, here’s some motivation. From now through the end of the month, you can buy any training package (1, 5, 10 or 20 sessions) at my best session price of $65/session if paid by check or cash. That’s a $15 savings for a single session and a $50 savings for the 5 and 10 session packages. For your convenience, I can attach a gift certificate to print out or email. So don’t wait. The clock is ticking.
Contact me today (608)798-0081 or firstname.lastname@example.org
QUESTION: How can you develop leg strength, kinesthetic awareness, flexibility and balance? ANSWER: By doing single leg squats on a step stool. The great thing is that you’re able modify the exercises to fit your abilities. Maybe you start just by balancing on one foot in the middle of the stool. Or you begin by squatting with one leg lifted behind you. If you’re looking for more of a challenge you can do an entire set of pistol squats. Remember it’s all about performing the movements safely and effectively and finding what works best for you. Enjoy the video!
The July 2017 magazine The Costco Connection featured a healthy and delicious quinoa recipe that reminded me of Thanksgiving stuffing. Since we had just picked up a 4.5 lb bag of organic quinoa, I thought we should give it a try. Why quinoa? It has nice flavor, it’s easy-to-prepare and is high in protein. To suit our palettes and to feed a ravenous family of five, I modified the recipe. So here you go!
2 cups quinoa
4 cups water
1 lb grilled chicken, chopped (I used boneless thigh meat which was grilled with poultry seasoning and dried thyme.)
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup celery, diced
1 small red onion, minced
1 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
garnish with fresh thyme (optional)
1/3 cup olive oil (extra virgin if you have some)
1/3 cup white wine vinegar
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
The recipe also called for 1 tsp of sugar and minced garlic which I omitted. I felt that the white wine vinegar and cherries would add enough sweetness (which they did) and raw garlic has a tendency to make me burp.
Rinse and drain quinoa in a strainer. Bring water and quinoa to boil in medium/large saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 12 minutes. Then add chicken pieces, cherries, walnuts, celery and minced onion. [This is a change from the original recipe that calls for adding the chicken, cherries, celery and onion after the quinoa has cooled. I wanted to slightly rehydrate the cherries and warm the celery and onions so their flavor was milder.] Mix well and let stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and let cool.
Place the cooled quinoa mixture in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, white white vinegar and black pepper. Pour over salad. Toss well to coat.
Ready to serve, eat and enjoy!
Do you want to add variety to your workout routine? Do you want to improve your balance and core strength? Do you want to make exercise more fun? Then the stability ball is the fitness tool for you. It kind of reminds me of the hopper balls I used to bounce on in preschool. Jumping around and laughing until I fell off or my legs gave out. Watch my video as I demonstrate a few exercises that you can start doing today!
Above I have included both produce shopper’s guides. The guides reflect “the overall pesticide loads of common fruits and vegetables.” The fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen list have the most pesticide residues. If possible, buy these organic. The Clean Fifteen lists fruits and vegetables that have the least, if any, pesticide residues. It’s okay to buy these non-organic off the shelf. Why is this important? One of the main reasons is organophosphate, which is the basis for many insecticides and herbicides. According to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), organophosphates are “very highly acutely toxic to bees, wildlife, and humans”.
In 2012, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued an important report that said children have “unique susceptibilities to [pesticide residues’] potential toxicity.” The pediatricians’ organization cited research that linked pesticide exposures in early life to “pediatric cancers, decreased cognitive function, and behavioral problems.” It advised its members to urge parents to consult “reliable resources that provide information on the relative pesticide content of various fruits and vegetables.” (ewg.org)
How can EWG help? Started in 1993 the Environmental Working Group educates people about what’s in their drinking water, household cleaners, farming practices, pesticides used on produce and much more. They empower you to know your environment, to protect your health and to help you make better choices.
Remember that living a healthy lifestyle is not all about proteins, fats and carbohydrates. That’s an overly simplistic view of food. Try taking a more holistic approach. Think about where your food comes from. No, not the local grocery store. Before that. Where and how were those potatoes grown? How about the fish you baked last night? Conventional farming practices, for example, not only affect the food you eat but also the water you drink, the air you breathe, the people working on the farm, the landscape and nearby wildlife. These are just a few of the reasons we have begun to buy more organic foods for our family. Buying organic helps to support sustainable practices. For more information about this topic, please read the article The Case For Organic Fruits and Veggies. It’s a great starting point.
When I was growing up, my mom encouraged me to wear flip flops at the public swimming pool and in the school locker rooms, especially the shower area. Even when I was at a friend’s house for a sleep over she suggested that I avoid going barefoot in the house and always wear socks. Was my mom being overly cautious? No, I totally agree with her. Germs, fungi and viruses spread quickly person to person. My clients know that I keep my fitness studio clean. Freshly laundered towels are readily available, and after every session the exercise equipment is ALWAYS “sprayed down” with a botanical cleaner that kills 99.99% of germs. Surfaces like stretch mats, benches and bicycle seats are also cleaned. And I do my best not to forget equipment with handles like the assisted tower (for doing pull ups, dips and knee raises), recumbent bike, ab wheel and suspension straps.
Next time you’re at the gym or grocery store or pretty much anywhere you see people all the time touching their faces, rubbing their eyes, or (eww!) picking their noses. So besides sharing with you that I’m a little bit of a germaphobe, I’d like to share with you the two times I picked up athlete’s foot at the gym. The first time was a few years ago when I was a member of the Princeton Club on Madison’s west side (yes, personal trainers like to get out of their own studio now and then). I had been a member for a while and really enjoyed the set up, floorpan and equipment. But, since I did Personal Training at a gym in California for a number of years, I was always finding myself reporting to staff when the a/c vents were in need of being cleaned or when I saw a science experiment in the corner of the men’s locker room. Yes, I’m that guy. You’re welcome.
During one of my workouts I added in the seated triceps extension machine. Just to do something different. The next day, I noticed a rash on my right elbow and forearm. As the day progressed, it became red and blistery. Yikes!! I jumped online and checked out tons of images and info of skin rashes/lesions/blisters. Ick! Some of them were reactions to certain plants, others were bacterial. The image that most closely resembled mine was athlete’s foot . . . Except mine was on my arm. I learned later that the fungus that cause athlete’s foot didn’t have to be on my feet. A few days went by and the alien on my arm did not go away by itself. So I did as most physicians, nurses and other medical personnel suggest against. I treated it myself. I picked up an anti fungal cream from CVS. Clotrimazole 1% was written in a large font on the side of the tube. It did the trick. After just a few applications, the redness greatly reduced, it was no longer itchy and the blisters subsided. I did have to apply it for a few weeks, so a bit of a hassle, but whew, problem solved.
More recently, I was working out at Planet Fitness and ran into my old friend Mr. Athlete’s Foot again. I have been working out there for a year and have been impressed with the number of disinfectant spray bottles and paper towels strategically located throughout the gym. In addition, the members seem to be meticulous about spraying equipment after use. So chances were that the hamstring curl machine was clean before I using it. Sometimes I am extra fastidious and hose down the equipment BEFORE using it. Just in case. The day after my workout I noticed a couple bumps on my right hand between the second and third knuckles. Huh. I’ve been known to “react” to certain plants, animals, stings, bites and even wool sweaters so I wasn’t too concerned . . . until it began to form a bubble and blister the following day. Here we go again. Treatment was the same, anti fungal cream until the symptoms were erdicated. Where do I think I picked it up? Honestly, looking back at my workout, I’m confident it was actually by picking up one of the spray bottles. Ironic isn’t it. Eric are you sure? Maybe you were in the yard or your gardening gloves were damp? Nope. Ruled that out. It was the gym again.
How do I avoid getting athlete’s foot again? Should I wear workout gloves? Should I stop going to the gym? Remember there was a time when men and women wore gloves all the time. Not just for fashion, but also for function . . . and to avoid germs. Time to go on to Amazon.com and check out their Weightlifting Gloves.
Training Rick was such a pleasure. With his optimism and willingness to learn, he made my job easy. We trained twice a week for 2 1/2 years, and I always looked forward to his appointments. He recently moved to Florida and sent me this testimonial. Here you go!
“I first heard Eric Foxman’s name mentioned at a dinner with some friends. They had commented on some press he had received which named him “Healthiest Man in America”. They were clients and indicated he lived in the town of Middleton where he operated his studio. I filed it away as a curiosity, until ironically about a year later I met the man himself—as an opponent on the tennis court. I say ironically, as I was to find out that we are both passionate about the sport, often supplementing workouts hitting.
A few months later I retired from my job and got to thinking about personal training. I believed I was reasonably fit for a 61 year old; I started seriously running in the early 1980s, completed several marathons, and could still run a sub 8-minute mile consistently. Plus I played tennis most every day of the week. But something was missing. I lacked upper body strength and core fitness, probably at least as important for seniors to maintain, if not more so than aerobics.
I called Eric, reminded him that we had met, and expressed interest in his services. Of course, the first few sessions were intimidating to me. I felt self-conscious about the exercises, at least happy that I wasn’t making a fool out of myself in public. Eric has a knack for being encouraging and supportive each and every session. So as time progressed, I began to feel more comfortable and looked forward to the twice weekly sessions.
Over 2 1/2 years later, I’m glad I made that call. I’ve recently relocated to Florida, but I believe the foundation is in place, and I will continue with Eric in spirit. So give him a call. You won’t be disappointed.”
Of course, this is a loaded question. And you know my answer is “It depends.” It depends on what else you are eating throughout the day, what you are drinking, what types of activities you are doing, your health & fitness goals, etc. Remember, all food has nutritional value whether it’s an apple slice, cup of yogurt, turkey sandwich or a piece of cheesecake. So instead of going down that path, I’d just like to review the PROBAR – Superfood Slam that a client gave me to try after a training session.
Describing a Pro Bar is really a mouthful, literally. Har-har-har. The Pro Bar can best be described as a meal replacement bar along the lines of a Cliff Bar. At first glance, the bar appears to have a fair amount of carbs and fat. (See the Nutritional Info below.) Eric, 19 grams of fat!! Yes, mostly unsaturated fats derived from seeds, nuts and canola oil. And remember this is a meal replacement and may represent 20% or even 25% of a person’s daily caloric intake. The next time you eat a sandwich, bowl of soup or a plate full of food, look at your meal in its entirety. The calories can really add up. The Pro Bar is an all-in-one meal or snack.
How does it taste? I was pleasantly surprised with all of its nuts, fruits and seeds. It is complex and there isn’t one dominant flavor coming through. Plus, compared to many meal replacement and protein bars out there it doesn’t leave you with a synthetic aftertaste that gives you what I call “protein breath”. Texture wise, it has a nice “chew factor” and is not chalky or dry. So, yes, it tastes good. But it has too many carbs for my liking, leaving me with a “sweet” after taste. Meaning? Meaning that after eating the bar I wanted to eat something with carbs. Remember “Carbs beget carbs.” I would prefer a bar with less carbs and fat and more crunch. Hey, that’s a Cliff Bar. For me personally, a bowl of oatmeal topped with a handful of sliced nuts, diced fruit and seeds sounds better. On the plus side, I had no GI or stomach discomfort afterwards. What am I trying to delicately say? NO GAS and NO BLOATING. Again for those of you who have tried different drink mixes, shakes and bars, you know what I’m talking about. This is a big deal.
The Pro Bar has a many healthy ingredients that you may not have in your current diet. Granted, there is only so much that you can pack into a 3 ounce bar. In addition it is gluten free (great for people with celiac disease) and is organic. These two items separate it from the pack.
In conclusion, if you are looking for the convenience of a healthy, tasty, shelf stable meal, then this is right up your alley. Not for everyday eating, but just in case you forget to pack a lunch one day or are in a rush out the door. If that’s the case, I would focus on meal preparation and time management.
I recently picked up the book Game Changers: The Unsung Heroines of Sports History from the Middleton Public Library. Next to the gym, tennis courts and my own house, I visit the library quite often. I was perusing new books in the sports section and saw Game Changers. It almost jumped out at me. As a side note, I have always enjoyed reading sports biographies, especially when it’s a sport that I follow or have played myself. Not only do I enjoy the athlete’s/coach’s/team’s personal story (where they grew up, how they became interested in their sport, etc) but good authors often delve into the social, economic and political arenas as well. When I read the books Cinderella Man and Seabiscuit, both professional boxer James J. Braddock and racehorse Seabiscuit were seen as the unlikely underdogs who everyone cheered for during the Great Depression. To many people they represented the working man and uplifted them. In the double biography Sound and Fury, Howard Cosell’s and Muhammad Ali’s stories were quite similar and different at the same time. One white, the other black, one a Jew and the other Muslim. The Civil Rights Era was the perfect backdrop. In The Rivals, not only did we learn about professional tennis players Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, but the book also explored women’s rights, gay rights, and our view of Eastern Europe.
I was immediately intrigued after flipping through the first few pages of Game Changers. Each page shares an athlete or team, many of whom I had never heard of. And while reading a couple paragraphs doesn’t give the whole picture, I’m already making a list of whom I’d like to learn more. For example, did you know of Alice Marble, a professional tennis player who won eighteen Grand Slam championships, (I should know this, right?) and was also recruited by the American intelligence to work as a spy during World War II? Or how about Alison Jane Hargreaves, the first climber to solo all six of the great North faces of the Alps in a single season? Or Jutta Kelinschmidt, who became the first (and only) woman and only German national driver to win the Paris-Dakar rally in the car category? Or Wilma Rudolph (yes, I have heard of her) who became the first American woman to win three gold medals at a single Olympics? Makes you want to read this book, right? It’s definitely not a quick read as hundreds of athletes are depicted in different eras and different sports. Author Molly Schiot did extensive research to put this book together. It’s inspiring, educational and gives a glimpse into the lives of women athletes from around the world.