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Instructor Showing Health Results On Clipboard To Senior Couple

Respiratory Disease and Exercise

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hundreds of millions of people suffer every day from chronic respiratory diseases (CRD).  Currently in the United States, 24.6 million people have asthma1, 15.7 million people have chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)2 while greater than 50 million people have allergic rhinitis3 and other often-underdiagnosed chronic respiratory diseases.  Respiratory diseases do not discriminate and affect people of every race, sex, and age.  While most chronic respiratory diseases are manageable and some even preventable, this is what is known about the nature of chronic respiratory diseases4:

  • Chronic disease epidemics take decades to become fully established.
  • Chronic diseases often begin in childhood.
  • Because of their slow evolution and chronic nature, chronic diseases present opportunities for prevention.
  • Many different chronic diseases may occur in the same patient (e.g. chronic respiratory diseases, cardiovascular disease and cancer).
  • The treatment of chronic diseases demands a long-term and systematic approach.
  • Care for patients with chronic diseases should be an integral part of the activities of health services, alongside care for patients with acute and infectious diseases.

Exercise and CRD

If you are a health and fitness professional, some of your clients may be suffering from a chronic respiratory disease and you may be an important source for relief.  Moderate exercise is known to improve use of oxygen, energy levels, anxiety, stress and depression, sleep, self-esteem, cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, and shortness of breath. While it might seem odd that exercise improves breathing when one is short of breath, exercising really does help one with respiratory disease.  Exercise helps the blood circulate and helps the heart send oxygen to the rest of the body.  Exercise also strengthens the respiratory muscles which can make it easier to breathe.

Beneficial Types of Exercise

There are several challenges to exercise prescription and physical activity participation in this population, but a large body of evidence demonstrates important health benefits from aerobic exercise.  Resistance training has also been shown to increase muscle mass and strength, enhancing individuals’ ability to perform tasks of daily living and improving health-related quality of life.5

Aerobic exercise is good for the heart and lungs and allows one to use oxygen more efficiently. Walking, biking, and swimming are great examples of aerobic exercise. The guidelines are approximately the same as generally healthy individuals.  One should attempt to train the cardiorespiratory system 3-5 days a week for 30 minutes per session.  One should exercise at an intensity level of 3-4 on the Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale (Scale Rating from 0 Nothing at All-10 Very, Very, Heavy).

Resistance exercise increases muscular strength including the respiratory muscles that assist in breathing.  Resistance training usually involves weights or resistance bands but using one’s own body weight works just as well depending on the severity of the symptoms.  It is recommended that one should perform high repetitions with low weight to fatigue the muscles.  This type of resistance training also improves muscular endurance important for those with CRD.  Resistance training should be performed 2-3 days a week working all major muscle groups.

Stretching exercises relax and improve one’s flexibility.  When stretching, one should practice slow and controlled breathing.  Not only does proper breathing help to deepen the stretch, but it also helps one to increase lung capacity.  One should gently stretch all major muscles to the point of mild discomfort while holding the stretch for 15 to 30 seconds, slowly breathing in and out. Repeat each stretch 2-3 times.  Stretching is an effective method to warming up and cooling down before and after workout sessions.

When exercising, it is important to remember to inhale in preparation of the movement and exhale on the exertion phase of the movement.  An individual should take slow deep breaths and pace him/herself.  It is recommended to purse the lips while exhaling.

Use of Medication

If an individual uses medication for the treatment of respiratory disease, he/she should continue to take the medication based on his/her doctor’s advice.  His/her doctor may adjust the dosage according to the physical activity demands.  For example, the doctor may adjust the flow rate of oxygen during exercise if one is using an oxygen tank.  In addition, one should have his/her inhaler on hand in case of a need due to the increase of oxygen demand during exercise.

Fitness professionals can effectively work with those who have a chronic respiratory disease providing them with a better quality of life through movement.  You as their health and fitness coach can provide a positive experience to facilitate an effective path to better health and wellness.

Join CarolAnn for her upcoming webinar, Exercise and Allergies: How to Train Clients When They Can’t Breathe

Known as the trainers’ trainer, CarolAnn has become one of the country’s leading fitness educators, authors, and national presenters. Combining a Master’s degree in Exercise Science/Health Promotion with several fitness certifications/memberships such as FiTOUR, ACSM, ACE, AFAA, and LMI, she has been actively involved in the fitness industry for over 25 years. She is currently the Founder and Director of Education for Chiseled Faith, a Faith Based Health and Fitness Program for churches. Visit her website, www.CarolAnn.Fitness


  1. 2015. NHIS Data; Table 3-1. www.cdc.gov/asthma/nhis/2015/table3-1.htm
  2. Mannino DM, Gagnon RC, Petty TL, Lydick E. Obstructive lung disease and low lung function in adults in the United States: data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1988-1994. Arch Intern Med. 2000;160:1683–1689.
  3. CDC, Gateway to Health Communication and Social Marketing Practice. Allergies. https://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/toolstemplates/entertainmented/tips/Allergies.html
  4. World Health Organization http://www.who.int/gard/publications/chronic_respiratory_diseases.pdf
  5. Eves ND, Davidson WJ. Evidence-based risk assessment and recommendations for physical activity clearance: respiratory disease. Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism. 2011;36(Suppl 1):S80–100. [PubMed]
Tattoos Sweat Less Gym

Tattoos & Heat Loss During Exercise

Tattoos are personal permanent images on our body that carry meaning and commemoration. At least 14% of U.S. adults have at least one tattoo and the popularity of getting inked is on the rise. Nearly 36% of millennials have a tattoo and it seems to be a reoccurring trend. The athletic community also has a high incidence of players with tattoos. 

As much color as these skin decorations bring to the body, they may actually affect cause thermoregulatory problems. This is particularly true for people with sleeves, because the arms have a lot of sweat glands. Compared to a person with no tattoos, skin with ink on it sweats about 50% less. The type of sweat released on a tattooed area contains more concentrated amounts of sodium. Dyed skin changes the saltiness of our sweat. When the dye is injected into the skin, its home is same layer where our sweat glands live. Sweat glands excrete liquid onto the surface of the skin, but before it dries or we whip it away, our skin usually reabsorbs quite a bit of the lost sodium and electrolytes. Tattoos block this reabsorption. The age of tattoo does not influence this sweat alteration. New or old, about 50% of sweat is being produced. It is possible that the sweat glands after being inflamed from the 3,000 or more needles puncturing the skin, are now physiologically different. 

This is not a serious condition to sweat about. The body is still able to cool itself down despite tattoos covering perspiration avenues. A person who is covered in tattoos, exercising or working in high heat, or are sensitive to heat, might be at risk. When we exercise we do want to be able to cool down to keep our stamina and performance up. Research has not been adequately performed to determine if the areas of the skin lacking tattoos make up for the sweat not readily perspired by the covered tattoo areas. Don’t worry that if you sweat less you will lose less weight. We all perspire different amounts and quantity of sweat does not equate to quantity of weight loss. As soon as the body become rehydrated, that water loss is replenished. Excessive sweating for weight loss with saunas or body wraps are popular methods among wrestlers and boxers. Maybe they should skip out on marking their bodies. 

Sweat is the body’s air conditioning system. Tattoos might alter the desired temperature. 50% of NBA players have multiple tattoos and there hasn’t been a report yet of tattoo related injuries. Your skin will still get shiny with perspiration, but maybe not the same amount or with added salt. Be sure to hydrate, be sure to exercise, and be sure to get a tattoo you want to keep. 

Dr. Megan Johnson McCullough, owner of Every BODY’s Fit in Oceanside CA, is a NASM Master Trainer, AFAA group exercise instructor, and specializes in Fitness Nutrition, Weight Management, Senior Fitness, Corrective Exercise, and Drug and Alcohol Recovery. She’s also a Wellness Coach, holds an M.A. Physical Education & Health and a Ph.D in Health and Human Performance. She is a professional natural bodybuilder, fitness model, and published author.



STRESS pencil

A Stress Management Plan for an Aging Population

April is National Stress Awareness Month!

Fortunately today, there are many tools to help individuals cope with stress. The first step is to acknowledge that you are stressed and to know what is stressing you. Once you are aware of your stressors, you need to make a stress management plan to follow. The journey may not be perfect but it is a work in progress. Most individuals aren’t going to know how to develop a plan or where to start. A trained individual such as a certified personal trainer can help to formulate the best plan for each client and make changes as the client achieves each milestone in the process.

As many as 20% of people experience depression in their later years

A stress management prescription is also needed for aging adults since the mind and body become slower to adaptations. The stress response lasts longer and seniors experience different symptoms then younger adults. Some key symptoms can be: crying, overeating, wounds taking longer to heal, heart palpitations, anxiety and depression. As a trainer, you will most likely be working with the client’s doctor who is treating them for these symptoms. There is a myriad of modalities that you can use to help your client drastically reduce their stress levels while they heal. As a fitness professional, incorporating meditation, exercise, yoga, Pilates, and many other techniques can help your client’s symptoms improve mentally and physically. The question is can we do more than telling clients to take a class? The answer to this question is an emphatic yes!

The causes of stress for this population are also different and depend on which decade in life they are in. Some examples are: loneliness, being institutionalized, fear of having enough money for retirement, loss of independence and many other causes. The problem is that many people can’t asses their own stress level and don’t know where to turn for answers. Chronic stress is harmful in many ways, but can be minimized once the individual becomes aware of their stress level and knows there are stress management professionals who can help.

Today, 53% of Baby Boomers are using complementary approaches to try and relieve stress and help with other conditions such as: anxiety, depression, chronic pain, stress, and hypertension. Complementary approaches are not limited to but include; exercise, nutrition, yoga, Pilates and Tai-Chi. Research conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health shows that meditation can help to relieve symptoms for example chronic pain. As a fitness professional it is important to realize that these modalities must be used in conjunction with conventional medicine.

When training clients, it is important to see them as a whole person through the dimensions of wellness. As people, we have many things going on mentally and physically that are very complex. A stress management plan helps to streamline what can work best for your client and their current needs. The plan can evolve and most likely will depending on what is going on in your client’s life at the time. When you can assess and classify your clients you then know which complimentary approaches will work better for them. This will in turn, will help to keep your client engaged and on track with their goals.

Robyn Kade is the Founder of The Stress Management Institute for Health and Fitness Professionals. She has 18 years of experience in medical based fitness. Become a Stress Management Exercise Specialist today!




Why Use Foam Rollers?

We see many claims about fitness tools but they often don’t live up to the hype when reviewed by experts. Numerous claims have been made that foam rolling increases blood flow, is useful in warming up the muscle prior to exercise, and assists in post-exercise recovery. A study reported in the respected Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research determined that foam rolling is worth the effort: areas massaged with the foam roller saw increased arterial blood flow. The foam roller lives up to the claims; it is a useful tool that should be part of your exercise tool belt.

Foam rollers were once used exclusively in a physical therapy setting. Dr. Moshé Feldenkrais is credited with being the first person to use rollers for therapeutic purposes (for instance, improving body alignment, reducing muscle tightness, teaching body awareness) in the late 1950s. Foam rollers have been used by a variety of clients with conditions ranging from multiple sclerosis to common orthopedic concerns. The beauty of the foam roller is that it can be used by almost everyone.

Research has shown that stretching, relaxation, meditation, foam rolling, and biofeedback techniques all ease muscle tension, which contributes to pain and common muscle stiffness. A massage is a favorite method of stretching and relaxing tight muscles. It enhances functional range of motion, aids in the healing process, decreases muscle reflex activity, inhibits motor-neuron excitability, and contributes to relaxation. However, not many people can afford a daily or weekly massage session. A regular foam roller session can provide many of the benefits same benefits as and prolong the benefits of a massage while adding diversity and challenge to your standard exercise program.

Designing a balanced exercise routine that includes flexibility movements with strength training, cardiovascular exercise, and relaxation can reduce chronic discomfort and stress. Since foam rollers break up interwoven muscle fibers and help move oxygenated blood into those muscles, they’re an excellent device with which to release tight spots in the muscles (the technical term is “myofascial release”) and return the muscles to a more optimal state. This can be done prior to exercising to improve range of motion, after a workout, or during a break at work to relax tight muscles and reduce soreness from sitting too long.

From the Foam Roller Workbook, by Karl Knopf. Reprinted with permission from Karl Knopf

Karl Knopf, Ed.D, served as the Director of The Fitness Therapy Program at Foothill College for almost 40 years. He has worked in almost every aspect of the industry from personal trainer and therapist to consultant to major Universities such as Stanford, Univ. of North Carolina, and the Univ. of California well as the State of California and numerous professional organizations. Dr. Knopf was the President and Founder of Fitness Educators Of Older Adults for 15 years. Currently, he is the director of ISSA’s Fitness Therapy and Senior Fitness Programs and writer. Dr. Knopf has authored numerous articles, and written more than 17 books including topics on Water Exercise, Weights for 50 Plus to Fitness Therapy.

woman lifting crossfit-534615_1280

Why Women Should Lift

Just a generation ago, women’s weight-lifting was largely isolated to professional athletes and competitive body-builders. Men have been lifting weights for years, but it has not come into the mainstream for women until the past 10-15 years. 

Some of the barriers to the barbell for women may include fear of injury, lack of accessibility to an environment where they can learn and lift weights safely, and even more compelling are concerns about body image: “I don’t want to get too bulky”. Today, we know so much more about the overall health and athletic performance benefits of weight training. As more women have flooded competitive and professional sports and with the emergence of CrossFit and other resistance based group fitness classes, weight training has become commonplace in women’s organized sports and recreational fitness programs. But still today, the barriers to the barbell still exist with many misconceptions about risk of injury and body image concerns. 

The Effect of Aging on our Muscles and Joints

Being a well-rounded athlete includes not only endurance, flexibility and agility, but also muscular strength.  Our muscles move our skeleton, protect our joints, are a major source of energy expenditure and play an important role in blood sugar management. Like our heart and lungs, our skeletal muscles need exercise to stay healthy so they can continue to carry out these functions for our entire lives. Over time, especially into the menopausal years, women begin to lose muscle mass and bone density. Decline in estrogen levels increases the rate of bone loss and joint laxity leaving us more vulnerable to injury and fractures. With the loss of muscle mass, our metabolism slows and activities may become limited. But it doesn’t have to be this way. One important weapon to combat these natural changes is the all-mighty barbell! 

Health Benefits of Weight Training

As young women, weight training helps performance across a spectrum of recreational and professional sports and builds a solid foundation of lean body mass, strength and functionality for the future. Starting from puberty, bone density increases until it peaks in our early 30’s.  Weight-bearing exercise, along with sound nutrition, optimizes bone density development to prevent osteoporosis and fractures later in life. Into our 40’s, 50’s and beyond, weight training and attention to nutrition and recovery can not only slow the loss of bone density and muscle mass that comes with menopause, but may even result in continued improvement– especially if weight training was not started until later in life. Increasing and maintaining muscle mass in this age group also affords stability to joints such as shoulders, knees and hips thus preventing injury. But what if I’m already in my 60’s and beyond and I have never lifted weights before? Is it too late to start? Absolutely not! At age 89, my mother started doing deadlifts and chair squats with gallon milk jugs. Weight training for beginners can start with weighted household items, progress to dumbbells and to group classes such as Boot Camps, Crossfit and other similar type classes. In all age groups, like with any new sport or activity, beginners should focus on strict technique and mechanics with an experienced coach or instructor before increasing load and intensity.

A Word about Body Image

When I started weight training in the mid-1980’s, skinny was in. I was always self-conscious about doing too much leg work because my legs became very muscular. So I stopped training my legs – for literally decades. And now I am paying the price. But through Crossfit I have regained a lot of what I could have developed in my younger years. Today, I very much regret surrendering to the societal ideal at the time. Because “society” doesn’t have to contend with my personal struggle to start rebuilding leg strength after age 45. Fortunately, today is different, “Strong is the new sexy”. But the body-shamers and the haters still exist and feel compelled to impose their beliefs and ideals on others. But the truth is that your strongest, healthiest, most confident self is your most beautiful self – not some societal ideal. So whether you are 18 or 80, grab those weights and give your body the gift of strength that will keep you healthy, active and living life to the fullest for years to come.

Dr. Carla DiGirolamo is a double Board-Certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist and Reproductive Endocrinologist who specializes in the care of reproductive age and mid-life women. Carla completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Brown University Medical School/Women and Infants’ Hospital and her Reproductive Endocrinology training at the Massachusetts General Hospital at Harvard Medical School. She is a North American Menopause Society (NAMS) Certified Menopause Practitioner and has been featured in multiple podcasts and speakerships at various events discussing the physiology of the hormonal changes of menopause, hormone therapy and functional fitness training.


So, your doctor told you to start exercising! Now what?

Have you ever been given this very simple, yet incredibly complicated advice from your doctor? 

“You could really benefit from starting an exercise program.” 

If so, you are lucky to have a doctor who understands the power of exercise! In fact, exercise has been proven to help prevent diseases, reduce pain, decrease dependency on medications and improve overall quality of life. (1) The benefits are seemingly endless. However, are you someone who hasn’t the slightest clue as to what to do next? Where should you go? Who should you ask for help? Fear not, because you are not alone! Take a deep breath and follow these simple steps to begin a safe, effective and lasting exercise program today. 

Identify the Why! 

If a medical professional suggests you begin an exercise program, what is their reasoning behind it? While “obesity is linked to more than 60 chronic diseases”, your doctor may not be suggesting that you need to lose weight, but instead, suggesting that you need to address a specific weakness. (2) Do you have a medical condition where weight loss or improved cardiovascular health could add more quality years to your life or reduce your dependency on medications? Asking your doctor to fully explain these questions will help you understand how specific exercises can improve your physical and mental wellbeing. 

For example, if you have a heightened risk for falls, improving strength and balance is of utmost importance. However, if you are overly dependent on high blood pressure medications, your goal may be to improve cardiovascular health through aerobic activities. If you suffer from chronic pain or various forms of arthritis, the objective of your exercise routine will be more focused on enhancing mobility and flexibility, improving muscle imbalances and strength, as well as assisting with pain management through mindfulness techniques. Knowing your “why” is the first step towards clarifying your “how”. 

Invest in Yourself 

The most important things in life are NOT things. -Anthony D’Angelo 

It is rumored that Tom Brady, better known as the G.O.A.T. and the winningest quarterback in the NFL, spends over a million dollars a year on his health. Odell Beckham Jr., another famous NFL star, says that “I take care of my body each and every day. I put, probably, over $300,000 in my body in the offseason… It’s a lot to upkeep. I don’t ever want to decline.” (3) In all honesty, do you blame these athletes for spending so much money on their health when their health is their livelihood? 

When a medical professional suggests that you begin an exercise program, it is because they believe it will help your overall mental and physical well-being. While you may not be a professional athlete, you may be someone who wishes to remain active and independent for the remainder of your life. Therefore, it is paramount to invest in a certified fitness professional or medical fitness trainer to help create a program that meets your individual needs. 

Think about it like this, when your car needs to be fixed, do you try to fix it yourself or do you seek a certified specialist who will make an educated assessment, create a game plan and implement the necessary changes? I think it is safe to say that you will spend money on your car, but may scoff at the thought of hiring a trainer. What is more important? Things can be replaced, but people are irreplaceable. There are certified fitness professionals in your area you can find via a simple internet search or by posing a question on social media to your local chamber of commerce. With that being said, don’t be afraid to shop around and interview various trainers to make sure they are a good fit for you! 

Find a Match 

Find a job that you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life. -Mark Twain 

Mark Twain was onto something when he spoke about the importance of enjoying what you do! This same principle applies when you set out on an exercise journey. If swimming scares you or you have nightmares about running, then pick exercises that you enjoy. Do you love to dance? Try taking some dance classes! Do you enjoy riding your bike? Let that be a part of your new exercise routine. If you dread your exercise sessions, loathe your trainer or hate every minute of your workout, then it is not going to last. If it feels like work, it’s not going to work! Exercise should be an enjoyable, yet challenging, part of your day! 

In addition, be sure that you take the time to assess how you are feeling and clearly communicate this to your trainer. If you are feeling run down, overly sore, or under-the-weather, your body is trying to tell you something. All of these signs are extremely important when it comes to enjoying the endless benefits of making exercise a part of your life. Now, let’s take action and begin to take control of your health. 

Christine M. Conti, BA, M.Ed, is an international fitness educator and presenter. She currently serves as the Director of Membership for MedFit Network, sits on the MedFit Education Advisory Board and is a course author for MedFit Classroom. She is also CEO and founder of ContiFit.com and Let’s FACE It Together™ Facial Fitness & Rehabilitation and co-host of Two Fit Crazies & A Microphone Podcast


1 Roy-Britt. “How Diet and Exercise Can Prevent Disease. January 8th, 2020. www.elemental.medium.com How Diet and Exercise Can Prevent Disease | Elemental (medium.com)

2 Holland, Kimberly. “Obesity Facts in America.” Healthline. January 18th, 2022. www.healthline.com 

3 Zeegers, Madilyn. Tom Brady Inspired Odell Beckham Jr. to Invest in his Body. April 6th, 2020. Tom Brady Inspired Odell Beckham Jr. to Invest in His Body (sportscasting.com)


Power Up Your Planks!

You know the importance of core strength — tone abdominals, obliques, and glutes. Thanks to spinal health, gone are jerky sit-ups. Ab crunches increase the “C” curve we have from sitting. New research says isometric planks are not effective. How can we improve our functional core stability? The answer is power! 

Power = Work X Speed 

We need power to avoid a fall. We use power to stand gracefully. What is a power plank? Consider Yoga — unison of breathing with posture and mental focus. Let’s skip the Sanskrit. Simply focus only on the exhale phase, to drive each outgoing breath with an abdominal contraction, about once or twice per second.

Plank Basics

Depending on comfort, support yourself on hands or forearms, and on knees or toes. Plank means straight hips. To protect your lumbar, lengthen it. Our sedentary lifestyle puts extra curve in the back. For neutral pelvis, slightly tuck your tail. Then, tuck your lower ribs. Don’t reference online photos. Society likes a curvy look, but it hurts your back. 

Your upper back should neither be rounded nor collapsed. Tuck your chin slightly and draw back to align your head with the spine.

A Power Plank

In your well-aligned plank pose, add quick, punchy exhales, like blowing out a candle. Use your nostrils or mouth but make a sound. As you draw your abdominals toward the spine, your hips may lift.

Once confident with the power plank, add a stability ball under the hands or forearms. Or place it under your shins or toes! This adds bounce to those abdominal punches.

To progress, add balance disks under your knees or toes, while the ball supports your hands or forearms. Nothing touches the floor! Use the disks under your hands or forearms, while the ball supports your knees or toes.

With a suspension trainer, start with ankles in the loops and hands or forearms on the mat. Progress to balance disks under hands or forearms.

Side Planks Anyone?

For obliques, do power side planks. Start on one forearm with the other hand on the mat, knees and feet on the mat. Hips straight, stacked vertically, with top foot in front. As you lengthen, slightly tuck the lower rib toward your lower hip. Use this action to power your exhales. 

Add a stability ball under the forearm or under the lower legs. If the big ball rolls, tuck it into a corner. Ready? Put the balance disk under your knees or feet while your arm is on the ball. Or place the disks under your forearm, while your legs are on the ball. Your top foot goes in front, to prevent rolling backwards!

Power planks are intense, so shorten your usual time. Then repeat. Of course, your simplest ab move is extended, deep, belly laughter! Either way, have fun and do these often. The abs “live in the pantry,” so they won’t tire easily. Keep it up!

ACE-certified Medical Exercise Specialist and ERYT-500, Emma Spanda Johnson designs fitness solutions for clients of all abilities. Watch her video demonstration of these techniques during a free trial at https://well.burnalong.com/pss/class/16318 . With an Orthopedic Specialty, Emma offers online personal training via www.FlightLive.US and your first 60 minutes are free.



  1.  James W, Kendra C, Erin E, Stephanie D, Nicole L. John H. Hollman. Magnitudes of muscle activation of spine stabilizers in healthy adults during prone on elbow planking exercises with and without a fitness ball. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice.2018:34:
  2. Escamilla RF, Lewis C, Pecson A, Imamura R, Andrews JR. Muscle Activation Among Supine, Prone, and Side Position Exercises With and Without a Swiss Ball. Sports Health. 2016 Jul;8(4):372-9. doi: 10.1177/1941738116653931. Epub 2016 Jun 14. PMID: 27302152; PMCID: PMC4922527.
  3. Badau D, Badau A, Manolache G, Ene MI, Neofit A, Grosu VT, Tudor V, Sasu R, Moraru R, Moraru L. The Motor Impact of the Static Balance in the Up Plank Position on Three Different Balls in Physical Activities of Physical Education Students. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Feb 19;18(4):2043. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18042043. PMID: 33669792; PMCID: PMC7922917.



The Moment of Truth

According to the Advanced English Dictionary, © HarperCollins Publishers, “if you refer to a time or event as the moment of truth, you mean that it is an important time when you must make a decision quickly, and whatever you decide will have important consequences in the future. Both men knew the moment of truth had arrived. (As a sentence example)

We all come to crossroads in life when we are faced with a decision that will change our life’s direction one way or the other. You have to make that decision quickly, without procrastination, and decide where you are headed. Sometimes, if you get old enough like me, these times come more than once. They are said to be our “moment of truth”.

In September of 2017, I started a closed Facebook Group called MS Fitness Challenge GYM for those of us with MS who are doing their best to beat MS through fitness. It is a platform for MSers to be educated on exercise, nutrition and mindset in the battle against this disease. It’s also a place where we can interact, share our goals, talk about our trials and victories and be able to connect with like-minded MSers who want to encourage and uplift each other in a positive atmosphere of health. We currently have, at the time of this writing, over 7,000 members.

Every day, I read a post about how hard it is to exercise and follow a strict nutrition plan from the members enrolled. The member’s post about the limitations, pain and issues of their symptoms that make it difficult to follow through with exercise. And, they talk about the mental blocks to sticking with an exercise or diet program.

I know. It’s not easy having MS or any challenge in life and dealing with our ups and downs let alone trying to push ourselves to get to a gym or work-out at home and follow a diet that is ONLY full of great foods and supplements for MS. I get it!

But what I’d like you to look at is the consequence of NOT getting into a regular fitness routine, NOT watching what you put into your body, and NOT setting your mindset to the positive dial. MS will not go away; it’s incurable (right now). And the disease symptoms will not improve unless you take a proactive stance against it. Exercise, nutrition and the thoughts in your mind has been proven, through programs such as my MS Fitness Challenge and many others, to help MSers in one way or another in this battle. You can read over and over again, in a multitude of platforms, the testimonials from MSers who have switched to an MS-based diet and implemented an exercise routine seeing great improvement in their quality of life. We are not talking cure here. We are talking a better day-to-day existence despite MS. And, really, this translates to any obstacle you have in your mental or physical health. The choice is yours. Do you want to choose the road that takes the work necessary to a more fulfilled lifetime, or let whatever your challenge is tell you how to live? This is the moment of truth.

The first step is getting your thoughts, motivation and determination in order. Your body will not go where your mind doesn’t take it. So fitness starts in the most influential muscle in your body… your brain. Getting revved up and ready to take on your barrier through fitness is a choice that has to be made. It is not something that most have waiting to come out. It is a desire found deep in your thoughts and feelings. You have to dig down and pull it out because there is a serious amount of action that needs to be put into play with the reaction of… “I want to beat MS” or “I’m tired of being obese” or whatever your challenge is.  And once you make this choice in your moment of truth, you do not want to look back.

When your choice to overcome your challenge is made, now it’s time to settle in on the exercise and nutrition programs that will kick start this new truth in your life. I understand the confusion of where to begin; what are the best programs for you; who helps you? This is where research and support comes in and why I founded my MS Fitness Challenge charity. We are the MS cause dedicated to educating, training and inspiring people with MS to live a lifestyle of fitness through knowledge.

So, who’s ready to stand at that fork in your road, look at it hard and tell it you are going down the road to fitness?  I’ve been traveling that road my whole life, without MS and with MS and there is no better path to follow. Your moment of truth has arrived…

Fitness Professionals and Personal Trainers: Improve the Lives of Those with MS

Become a Multiple Sclerosis Fitness Specialist! This MedFit Classroom online course, co-authored by David Lyons and CarolAnn, will prepare you to work with clients with MS to help develop strength, flexibility, balance, breathing, and improve their quality of life.

Multiple Sclerosis Fitness Specialist

David Lyons, BS, CPT, is the founder of the MS Bodybuilding Challenge and co-founder of the MS Fitness Challenge with wife Kendra. He has dedicated his life to helping people with MS understand and be educated on the importance of fitness in their lives. He is an author and sought after motivational speaker, dedicated to helping others by sharing the lessons gained from his life experience.  His most recent book, Everyday Health & Fitness with Multiple Sclerosis was a #1 New Release on Amazon at its release. He is the 2013 recipient of the Health Advocate of the Year Award; in 2015, he received the first ever Health Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Lifetime Fitness Inspiration Award in Feb 2016. In 2017, David received the Special Recognition Award from the National Fitness Hall of Fame.


The New PPE: Post Pandemic Era | Wellness Reimagined

In an age where the words PPE, boosters, and “the new normal” seem to be a part of everyday vernacular, it is time to ask some essential questions:

  • Where do we go from here?
  • How do we best move from a Pandemic state of stress and inflammation to a new state of calm and boosted immunity?
  • How do we step into the New PPE, the New Post Pandemic Era in a way that brings about lasting change?

The answer to those questions lies within a Reimagined approach to “Wellness.”

Wellness, as defined in Dictionary.com[1], is “the quality or state of being healthy in body and mind, especially as the result of deliberate effort.” While this definition is suggestive of a more holistic approach to wellness, it is still does not adequately address the challenges now faced by the world community due to the devastating impact the pandemic has wrought.

As a result of COVID-19 and its resulting policies, there has been a profound impact on the mental and physical health of the world population resulting in higher instances of stress, depression, insomnia, PTSD, and anxiety.[2] Stress can activate inflammation in the brain and the body which is a common risk factor of 75%–90% diseases linked to morbidity and mortality (CVD, i.e., hypertension and atherosclerosis, metabolic diseases, i.e., diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and neurodegenerative disorders (i.e., depression, Alzheimer’s disease, AD and Parkinson’s disease, PD), cancer. [3]

The Wellness industry is booming, with people investing in their health more than ever before. But for some, this means they buy the latest fads and trends in hopes that it will lead to a healthier lifestyle. The truth is that unless you make a commitment to changing your life and taking control of your wellness goals, you’ll never see the results you want.

To move into the New Post Pandemic Era with a focus on long-term change, an integrated health approach is required. Understanding, not only how we move and fuel our bodies, but also how we relate and interact with the people, places and situations that make up our world is a key towards advancing beyond this pandemic. This New PPE approach will represent Wellness Reimaged, better positioning us to experience long-term health benefits.

There are countless programs – too many to name -that teach the what, when, and how’s of eating and moving. There are also an equal number of programs where mind set is in focus. While many of those programs provide essential information as to how to advance health, it is time to explore what may be missing to experience a state of “true wellness”. The road to attaining “true wellness” lies within the following 3-Step Process.


  • The Yes! Mindset – a positive, purposeful Mindset focused on achieving goals and discovering the authentic you.


  • The Brain/Body Connection in how you Breath, Move and Eat, and
  • The A.G.E. Life Framework where you Age with Grace and Excellence.


  • The Yes! Life of Constant Challenge of the Brain, Body and limiting Beliefs where personal goals are reached and your Life Vision realized.

Are you ready to create a Wellness Revolution?

Free Webinar with Lisa Charles

Join Yes! Coach Lisa Charles for a free webinar from MedFit Classroom, The New PPE: Post Pandemic Era

Lisa Charles is a federal prosecutor turned singer/actress, wellness expert, certified health coach/consultant, and an acclaimed speaker. She served as the Fitness/Wellness Research Coordinator for the Rutgers University Aging & Brain Health Alliance, and is the CEO of Embrace Your Fitness, LLC, and the Author of YES! COMMIT. DO. LIVE.



  1. https://www.dictionary.com/browse/wellness
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7689353/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7689353/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5476783/#B15