Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy and Healthy Holidays without the Expansion

Dear Reader,
With the first calorie slugfest behind us and the two biggest coming up I decided it was time to write about the challenge of expansion during the Holidays. The average American gains roughly five pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year’s. Studies show that most calories are not consumed on the specific Holiday itself, but that it is rather the seemingly endless holiday-parties and the grazing in between that add up. While weight loss programs during the holidays are almost certain to be doomed and unrealistic, maintaining your weight is not!

Here are a few tips for Healthy Holidays:
  • Make an effort to continue your regular exercise program even in the middle of all the holiday bustle and hustle. Plan ahead by scheduling exercises around holiday commitments and then stick to the schedule! Exercising is the key to maintaining good health and a healthy weight.
  • Don’t try to lose weight, just maintain your weight and you come out a winner.
  • Don’t deprive yourself of holiday goodies such as eggnog, candied sweet potatoes and the occasional piece of chocolate. Instead choose small portions of those calorie laden foods and fill your plate with low fat choices such as fruit, vegetables.
  •  Try to move your holiday get-togethers into a different arena or setting. Instead of indulging over a table of food, meet at the Holiday Ice Skating rink or at a Holiday Play such as the “Nutcracker”. Even Bowling can be a welcomed change to your holiday party routine.
  • When invited to parties offer to bring a favorite low-calorie healthy alternative dish. That leaves you with at least one “safe” item available.
  • Consume alcohol in moderate amounts. Alcohol is high in calories and can lead to overeating. Try to consume a glass of water for every glass of alcohol you consume! Also when at a party always keep a little in your class, that way the host won't refill every time he or she passes you.
I hope this handful of tips will make your Holiday Season a time to relax and enjoy the company of those you love and cherish without stressing over possible weight-gains!

Happy Holidays,

Monday, October 31, 2011

Updated Exercise Guidelines by American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)

ACSM recently updated it's 1998 version of Exercise Guidelines. This post is trying to give you an overview of ACSM's current position regarding exercise quantity and quality.

 1. Health Benefits of Cardiorespiratory-, Strength and Resistance-, Flexibility- and Neuromotor Training
  • reducing the risk of developing cardio-vascular disease
  • improving insulin sensitivity
  • improving cholesterol values, elevating HDL-
  • reducing blood pressure values in hypertensive individuals
  • enhancing mental outlook - improving mood disorders
  • improving body-composition/weight-management
  • preventing, improving or reversing osteoporosis/osteopinea
  • preventing or improving osteoarthritis
  • reducing risk of falling
  • reducing risk for diabetes type 2 and metabolic syndrome
  • reducing risk of stroke as well as breast and colon cancer
Overall it can be said that regular exercising not only decreases a persons risk of developing diseases that can significantly reduce his/her quality of life, but that it leads to increased levels of well-being.

2. Cardiorespiratory Training Guidelines (for apparently healthy adults)
  • The ACSM recommends to train 3-5 days per week at moderate (Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale: 12-13) to vigorous (RPE: 14-17) intensity levels.  This can be done on 5 days/week at moderate levels, 3 days at vigorous intensity, or 3-5 days at a combination of both levels. Moderate exercise levels should be performed for 30-60 minutes, vigorous exercise intensity should be performed for 20-60 minutes. These exercise sessions can be continuous or be broken up into multiple sessions during the same day. The cardiorespiratory training should be done purposeful and rhythmic involving all major muscle groups of the body. The training program should be gradually progressing in intensity, duration of each session, and frequency until set goals are achieved.
3. Strength Training Guidelines (for apparently healthy adults)
  • The ACSM recommends to strengthen all major muscle groups 2-3 days per week with 48 hour rest intervals. The prescribed intensity depends on age, experience, and goals. In order to increase strength very light to light loads are recommended for novice older adult and novice sedentary adult exercisers. (40-50% of one Repetition Maximum)  moderate to hard loads (60-70% of 1-RM) are suggested for novice or intermediate adult exercisers and hard to very hard loads (80-100%of 1-RM) are reserved for experienced weight lifters. If trying to improve strength endurance light to moderate loads are recommended. For power training extremely light to light loads are suggested for older adults. Strength training is prescribed in repetitions, sets and rest. 10-15 repetitions and single sets to increase strength in novice and older adult exercisers. 8-12 repetitions and 2-4 sets to increase strength and power in most adults. 15-20 repetitions and 2 or more sets to improve muscular endurance. Each set should be followed by 2-3 minutes of rest.
4. Flexibility/Stretching Exercise Guidelines
  • ACSM recommends to stretch all major muscle groups at least 2-3 days per week, with greater improvements being achieved through daily stretches. The stretch should be done in a static fashion to the point of light discomfort or a feeling of tightness in the muscle being stretched. Stretches should be held statically for 30-60 seconds for older adults and 10-30 seconds for most adults. Repeat each stretch 2-4 times per muscle for a total of 60 seconds per target muscle group.
5. Neuromotor Exercise Guidelines
  • Neuromotor exercises are geared to improve balance, coordination, agility and gait and are therefore extremely beneficial especially for the older adult to prevent falls and maintain physical independence. ACSM recommends the inclusion of such types of exercises in the work-out routines on at least 2-3 days per week for 20-30 minutes. There are no known recommendations yet on intensity and volume. Keep in mind that more complex and difficult balance- and coordination exercises trigger greater heart rate and blood pressure responses.
  • This newly released ACSM statement is the largest evidence based guide (over 400 cited references of publications and studies) to health and fitness professionals in creating individualized exercise and training prescriptions for healthy adults of all ages. It highlights the importance of qualified leadership through well educated fitness professionals and it's positive impact on the exercise experience for all adults, especially the novice adult exerciser. If you have difficulties getting started on your journey to get healthier and improve the quality of your life please consider contacting a Personal Fitness Trainer to help you get on the right track.

À Santé

Hartmut Broring, M.S. Physio Therapy
Founder and President
Back In Form, Inc.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fitness Tips for Tennis Players

To find out how to prepare for Tennis let’s look at the physical characteristics of the game and determine what attributes of physical performance should be addressed through training. Keep in mind: “we get fit to play a sport not playing a sport to get fit!” Tennis like most racquet sports is characterized by fast explosive movements like jumps and sprints. Recovery time in between points is usually rather short and total playing time varies between 30 and 180 minutes per match. There is a great amount of lateral movement as well as overhead racquet movement. Both movements carry an elevated risk for injury. A tennis player has to focus in his/her training therefore on a multitude of goals. Good muscular strength and flexibility help with injury prevention and explosive movement. Coordination and balance are important while chasing the ball with multidirectional runs. Anaerobic and aerobic capacity need to be trained parallel due to the stress placed on both energy systems with each point and the total length of the game.

Power and Explosiveness:
These anaerobe qualities can be trained in many different ways. I usually have my athletes go through sprint and plyometric drills and emphasize multi directional/planar exercises. I prefer to take the player off the court as much as possible in order to prevent overuse injuries due to the hard surface. Shuttle sprints over short distances, North, South East & West (forward sprints, lateral quick steps, reverse sprints), or Reaction Sprints (a partner throws a tennis ball over the athletes head, he turns sees the ball and retrieves it by sprint) are great ways of improving the sprint qualities and reaction time of tennis players. In addition I use medicine balls, reaction balls, agility ladders, elastic resistance, parachutes, hurdles, BOSU® and Plyometric Boxes to improve lower extremity power.

Muscular Strength
Tennis specific strength training should focus on balance and joint/core stability. That means you should avoid focusing on muscles of either front OR back of the body but rather engage in a work-out treating all muscle groups as equally important. In athletic performance training I prefer multi joint exercises over single joint exercises (typical for Body Building) as they are a better way of preventing muscular imbalances. I also introduce different plains of motion into exercises in order to emphasize joint stabilization in a multitude of directions. A few examples.: Forehand-Backhand Lunges; Chest Flys and Reverse Flys with multi directional lunges using elastic resistance or cable; Snatch, Cling and Jerk using moderate workloads; Medicine Ball Throws.
In addition I like to introduce my tennis players to a variety of exercises that help with overuse injury prevention. Exercises to stabilize the shoulder and prevent rotator cuff injuries such as internal/external shoulder rotation and “empty the can exercise”. Exercises to reduce lateral epicondylitis (aka tennis elbow) include wrist flexor/extensor stretches and strengthening of same muscle groups.

Range of motion (ROM) is for a tennis player as vital as it is for most other athletes. A decrease in ROM due to tight muscles and tendons prohibits accurate biomechanics, diminishes your technique and reduces the accuracy and force with which you are hitting the ball. It furthermore leads to an increase in wear and tear on joints and muscles and therefore more time on the injury reserve list. Use dynamic stretching before your games in order to increase blood flow to the area and static stretching after your game to restore proper muscles length! Muscles groups in desperate need for stretching are hamstrings, quadriceps and gastrocnemius as well as pectoralis, rhomboids, trapezes and triceps.
I hope you find these tips helpful and wish you a lifetime of great tennis!

A Santé,
Hartmut Broring – M.S. Exercise Therapy

Monday, August 8, 2011

Los Gatos Rec Department "55 Plus" offers Back In Form classes

BACK IN FORM has joined forces with the Los Gatos Recreation Department and their "55 Plus" program. Starting this fall we will start offering two classes, "Balance and Fall Prevention" and "Yogilates". For more information see links below. These classes are available for all ages but geared towards the mature adult. Los Gatos residency is not required. If you have a relative, friend, neighbor or colleague that could benefit from participation in these classes please pass the info along. As always, thank you for your friendship and support.

In good health, Hartmut Broring

Links to the LG Rec Fall Catalog:
"Balance and Fall Prevention":

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer Round-Up

Dear Friends,

Each year during the summer time Back In Form is asking friends, colleagues as well as previous and current clients for their help with our "New Client Round-Up".

Our services include:
Personal Fitness Training
Rehab Exercises (Neurology, Orthopedics, Internal Medicine)
Fitness for Seniors (any level, fit to frail or healthy to ill)
Massage Therapy
Variety of Fitness Classes
Brown Bag Lectures

We offer our services to private individuals as well as companies and residential communities of any size. All services are conveniently offered at the clients home or work-site.

If you know of any friend, neighbor, relative or colleague that could be interested and benefit from our services please pass this information on and claim your reward.

REWARD: $50.00 to the referral source and the new client. Simply have the new client provide your name when signing a contract with BACK IN FORM and we will send you a check for $50.00 in the mail.

Thank you so much for your time and help!

Hartmut Broring -- M.S. Exercise Therapy
Founder & President
(408) 455-2887

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fitness Tips for Golfers

This article will try to explain the importance of fitness training for Golfers, discuss the elements of a Golf specific training program and offer a few exercises that can make a difference in your game.
Golf is a sport that requires a great deal of athletic abilities such as strength and power, flexibility, coordination, balance and endurance. The golf game itself does not provide enough of a training stimulus to anyone of these areas to significantly improve those abilities. To minimize age related fitness losses, to maintain or improve physical fitness a golf player has to participate in a physical fitness program off the course!
Why does a golf player need strength, flexibility etc.? The golf swing is a very complex movement requiring the use of a great number of muscles that takes coordination from both sides of the body to ensure a smooth motion and to secure the body’s position throughout the whole swing. Only an optimal conditioned body allows the golfer to use those muscle groups involved to create a fluid, consistent and powerful swing. A well conditioned body will further more reduce the risk for musculoskeletal injuries. Strength and power combined with good flexibility and greater range of motion translates to greater club-head speed, greater distance and more accuracy. Endurance means less fatigue which helps the player to stay focused throughout his whole game and make difficult puts even on the back nine!
When designing a training plan for golfers I usually divide the process into three phases.
  • Off-Season: General conditioning including resistance training, stretching and aerobic cardio-vascular training.
  • Pre-Season: Sport specific training, transferring the generally improved physical condition to build golf specific fitness
  • In-Season: Maintenance, working on different skills at lower intensity to preserve energy and keep fitness peak level.
Golf is a sport utilizing upper extremity, torso and lower extremity strength and flexibility and that should reflect in your choice of exercises. Whatever you do, do not simulate your golf swing while strength training. Using free weights while going through the swing motion will only ruining your mechanics!
Recommended Strength/Resistance Training:
3 days per week 2 sets of 12-15 repetitions, moderate workloads
I suggest you start with multi joint exercises progressing to single joint exercises such as:
  • Leg Extremity Exercises: Squat, Lunge, Leg Press, Leg Curl, Leg Extension, Heel Raises
  • Upper Body Exercises: Chest Press, Push Up, Bent Over Row, Upright Row, Military Press, Lateral Deltoid Raises, External/Internal Shoulder Rotation
  • Torso Strength Exercises: Abs Crunch, Oblique Crunch, Back Extension
Recommended Flexibility Training:
3 days per week
  • Upper Extremities: Deltoid Stretch, Triceps Stretch, Rhomboids Stretch, Wrist Flexor/Wrist Extensor Stretches
  • Lower Extremities: Hamstring Stretch, Quadriceps Stretch, Piriformis / Hip Oblique Stretch,
  • Torso Stretches: Trunk Rotation Stretch, Quadratus Lumborum Stretch, Lateral Trunk Stretch
Recommended Aerobic Training:
3-4 days per week
  • Intensity: 65-75% of Maximum Heart Rate
  • Duration: 20-30 Minutes
  • Treadmill walking/jogging, stationary cycling, stair climbing etc.
Please be advised to check with your physician before starting any exercise program. Use good common sense and caution while exercising. I hope this handful of exercises will help you to improve your game, reduce your risk for injury and ensure a lifetime of fun on the course!
A Santé,

Hartmut Broring – M.S. Exercise Therapy

Sunday, April 24, 2011

TNT Update

Dear Friends,

it's been a while since I mailed my last update. The last 6 weeks where a very mixed bag of training. As the weather turned cold and rainy a few weeks back I reduced my time on the bike and took care of other aspects of fitness by hitting the gym and work on core stability and plyometrics to improve leg power. In addition I spoiled myself with the occasional massage. The last couple of weeks the sun has put me back on the bike and road entering into the final weeks of preparation for the Lake Tahoe 100 mile race. My rides during the week are usually short and highly intensive while I use the weekends to build endurance.  Will touch base with all of you in a couple of weeks.

I am raising funds for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) as a participant in their Team In Training program and I'm asking you to help by making a donation to my fundraising campaign.
   Please use the link in this email to donate online quickly and securely plus learn more about my progress.  You will receive a confirmation of your donation by email and I will be notified as soon as you make your donation.
   Each donation helps accelerate finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Nearly 958,000 Americans are battling these blood cancers.  I am hoping that my participation in Team In Training will help bring them hope and support.
   On behalf of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, thank you very much for your support.  I greatly appreciate your generosity.
   Thank you,
   Hartmut Broring
   P.S. I would appreciate it if you would forward this email to as many people as you can to encourage them to donate as well. Thanks again.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Too busy to stay healthy!?

This months health tip focuses on the most popular and common reason why all good intentions to make health and fitness a priority fail.
“I just don’t have enough time!”
Are you really that busy that your health has to take a back seat? Is it really impossible to make some time available and fit fitness in? I hope that our tip of the months will help you ease into a schedule that balances time spent on yourself and everyday chores in a way that improves the way you look and feel.
Before starting to make changes to your current life style assess realistically the time you need to spend on fitness per day, week or month. The next step is going to set your priorities. Take out a sheet of paper and list on the left side of the page the 10 most important things in your life (family, friends, health, financial security etc.), number 1 being the most important item.
List #1: 10 most important things in my life
Now continue to add a second list on the right side of the page which details items you spend the most time on every day (work, commute, shopping, cleaning etc.). Again number 1 being the item you spend the most time on.
List #2: Top 10 ways of spending daily time
At this time compare the two sides of the page and find out whether you spent most of your time in accordance with your priorities or if time spent and priorities are misaligned. I am not suggesting that you can avoid wasting time all together but I do believe you can make some changes that will help you to safe time for a personal fitness and health improvement program.
Making your own health and fitness a top priority will not only improve the way you feel but also help you address all the other important items on list number 1 with more energy and greater ease leaving even more time for yourself and those you love.
In good health,
Hartmut Broring

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Your greatest financial asset is you!

The best investment I have ever made!

Spring is a time for taxes and a reminder for me to check up on my current investment plans and investigate future opportunities. This time around I thought I would share my best investment tip with you that offers high returns with minimal risk. Do yourself a favor and invest in health, to be more exact in your own health; present and future.
Is regular exercising a part of your current portfolio? If not please add it as soon as possible; and here is why.
If investing in the market you are probably weighing the potential for growth and profitability against the risk of loosing part or all of your investment. Let’s do the same for fitness and exercising. Your investment could be a new Fitness Center membership, a home gym or a Personal Fitness Trainer. Memberships run somewhere between $60.00 and $100.00 per month ($85.00-$150.00 for families), quality cardio equipment starts at about $1,500.00, home gyms cost between $2,500.00 and $6,000.00, a Personal Trainer here in the Bay Area charges on an average $65.00 per hour. Hiring a trainer for two meetings per week would cost you therefore an estimated $6,500.00 per year.
The next step would be to examine the chances for growth. In order to do that we need to understand what it is we are investing in and how it can help us save money. If you have access to the internet (I already know you do as you are reading this article on my website) you can research the benefits of exercising on health simply by using your search engine. You will find thousands of studies that deliver not just probabilities but proof that regular fitness training can help you get and stay healthy. I am sure none of your current investments came with proof beyond reasonable doubt!
Now let’s look at the possibilities for making money. I believe you are starting to get early returns on your “Health Investment” within a short period of time. You will feel more energetic and are less likely to get ill which leads to increased productivity and a chance for greater income as well as savings in health care (lower amounts on co-payments for doctor visits and medication). Beyond that regular exercisers report an increase in quality of life which I can’t place an exact amount on. The far larger return on this investment however reaches you at a time when you need it most, the time of retirement.
As our population’s life expectancy and average lifespan has increased so has the need for care. Assisted Living Homes and Nursing Homes are being built at every other corner in major cities around the country. According to a Met Life market survey from 2006 the average nationwide cost for assisted living is $35,616 per year, with an average cost of $43,632in the San Francisco Bay Area. The average nationwide cost for nursing care (semi-private room) is $75,190 annually with an average annual cost of $110,000 here in the Bay Area. The average home health care aide cost $17.00 per hour nationwide and approximately $21.00 per hour in San Francisco. All of these costs are expected to rise over the next years and decades. This explosion in the cost for health care is your opportunity to make money. If a regular fitness program with an average investment of $2,500 per year can help you stay out of Assisted Living for an additional three years and out of Nursing Care for an additional year or two you can save somewhere between $250,000 nationwide or $350,000 in the Bay Area. And these savings don’t include further price hikes for assisted living and nursing care. I am sure after doing the math you will agree with me this is an investment opportunity you can’t afford to miss out on.
A Sante,
Hartmut Broring

Friday, February 18, 2011

Common mistakes made while engaging in strength and resistance training

In continuation of the last health tip I decided to take this time a closer look at “common mistakes made while engaging in strength and resistance training”.

  1. Failure to prepare
    Choose exercises specifically helpful to your particular training goals. Therefore plan ahead when starting a strength training routine.
  2. Choosing the wrong intensity
    No matter what the goal of your routine, whether you want to increase muscular strength or strength endurance (fatigue resistance) you need to place the right amount of demand on the muscle trained. The goal is to overload the muscle by using large workloads or through the number of sets and repetitions (work volume). Demanding less of your muscle than it can handle results in no or small gains. Too great of a demand can result in an incorrect performance of the exercise and expose you to an undue risk of injury.
  3. Ignoring the principal of “Super compensation”
    After overloading the muscle during strength training you need to give the muscles, ligaments and tendons the appropriate time for recovery. Too little time means the physiological adaptation (super compensation) to the training stimulus will not be complete (risk of over training). Too much time will lead to a reversal of the super compensation and a return to the level you started from. Typically we recommend strength training on 2-3 non-consecutive days per week.
  4. Too much too soon
    Successful strength training programs should be progressive in nature. As your muscle grows stronger and is able to handle larger work loads or work volumes you should increase the stress placed on the muscle if further gains are your goal. Ignoring the principal of gradual progression and starting to lift too much too soon can result in injury.
  5. Minimize the risks for failure and injury by:
    using proper technique when lifting, pulling or pushing a
    work load.
    Lift and lower the weight in a controlled fashion. Never “throw“ the weight!

    Synchronizing breathing and strength training. Remind yourself to exhale into the exertion part of the exercise, never hold your breath while strength training!

    maintaining the proportionate strength relationship of muscles that oppose each other (work on the same joint in opposite direction, i.e. biceps and triceps: one flexes the elbow the other extends the elbow). If this relationship looses it’ s relative strength balance the risk for injury increases!
I hope these tips will make your strength training safer and more effective.
In good health,
Hartmut Broring – M.S. Physio Therapy

My resolve is greater then ever!

When getting back from today's ride, freezing cold, wet to the bones and dirty and grimy I found an e-mail in my inbox send by one of our Team's Honorees (someone living with a form of blood cancer) that made me forget about my ride instantly and strengthened my resolve. I would like to share this e-mail with you.

"Hi Team,
This is important and I don’t want you to have to stand in the cold trying to hear it.  Saturday when it’s a little cold and maybe there’s a little spritz of rain and you’re wondering why you’re on a bike instead of inside a warm building I’d like you to think about someone-- Barbara Thomsen.  She has leukemia. It’s terminal--a matter of days.  I told her brother the team would keep her, her family, and him in our thoughts and prayers as we ride on Saturday.  If you’ve never had to watch a loved one die I can’t explain the agony.  If you have, you know what this family is going through.
I met her brother in an odd way.  On Wednesday I called customer service at Shurflo, a company in southern CA.  They make a product I need and while discussing it I realized they might also make one I could use for the team.  They do and I was told to send an email request to customer service and maybe I could get a donation. The message would be directed to the appropriate person.
I usually make requests for TNT via personal contact and although I had the email ready to send I just didn’t feel right about it. So I called the company and was directed to the appropriate person, Chris.  We had a 45 second conversation. He asked for info via email and said he’d take care of us. It was no big deal and literally took 45 seconds max. Within an hour Chris emailed me back with the details of what he was going to send us. This was so simple and fast I wondered why I bothered with the call. Twenty minutes later he emailed again.  This time it was to tell me his younger sister was terminal with leukemia and that he may not get back to Minneapolis in time to see her before she died.
It’s going to be cold tomorrow, and maybe even a little wet.  I guarantee you there are tens of thousands of blood cancer victims who wish they could do what you’re going to do tomorrow; families that would crawl the distance on their hands and knees if it would save a loved one.  So, here’s a real person and her brother. He’s doing what he can to help us. Let’s do this tomorrow as a gesture of support for Barbara, her family, and Chris. In two weeks I’ll have some cards you can sign and a team photo we can send. I thank you in advance.

To help me fight cancer please visit my web-site and donate to a very worthy cause.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Team In Training Update

Finished week 3 of Team In Training. This week I reduced cycling to three days and 110 miles in order to do bike and body maintenance. My week included, core stability training, TRX work-out, Yoga and a massage. Mi bike got new tubes, tires, pedals and a full cleaning and lubrication. yeah.

Please consider helping the Team that saves lives!
Find out more at:

Some of the most common mistakes made by exercisers engaging in aerobic activities

  1. Choice of inadequate work-out intensity
    To ensure a successful work-out you have to chose the right training intensity for yourself. Work-outs below this intensity zone fail to produce the desired results, work-outs above the zone increase your risk for injury or can reduce your wok-out time to the point where training results are diminished.

    • Intensity should range from 60% - 90% of ones maximum heart rate (220 beats per minute minus age = 100%; valid for healthy individuals only)

    • Your overall perception of effort should correlate with a feeling of “somewhat hard” (Rate of Perceived Exertion = RPE)

    • You should be able to keep up a conversation while exercising with a partner. Avoid huffing and puffing as it indicates a switch from an aerobic to an anaerobic work-out intensity.

  2. Failure to warm-up
    We suggest that our clients aim for a 45 minute aerobic work-out on 4-5 days per week (experienced exercisers can go beyond this recommendation). Our 45 minute recommendation is separated into 3 phases; warm-up – 10 minutes, zone training – 30 minutes, and cool-down – 5 minutes. Warming up and easing yourself into your “training zone” helps prevent an excessive build up of lactic acid at the beginning of your work-out and allows for a safer and more effective training.

  3. Failure to rest
    Even though you might feel like aerobic activities could go on forever and you could do them every day, your body does need an occasional day or two off to recover from the physical demands aerobic activities are placing on muscles and joint structures.

  4. Exercise in vain
    Too many of us are more worried about the way we look in the gym or on the track rather than paying attention to comfort and practicality when deciding what to wear. Chose lightweight clothes that are made with breathable materials and keep the sweat off the skin. Further ensure proper footwear, with good shock absorption and support for food and ankle structures.

  5. Adding ankle and/or wrist weights
    Beside offering very limited training benefits, weights attached to wrist and ankle can change your gait and exercise mechanics and place undue stress on muscles and joints.

  6. Aerobic monotony
    Many aerobic exercisers are engaging in the same type of exercise (most commonly walking or jogging) for weeks, months and years. Adding a variety of different types of aerobic activities such as swimming, cycling, or roller-blading to your routine will not only improve your aerobic capacity but also help avoid repetitive stress injuries (different exercises place stress on different muscles and joints) and exercise boredom.
In good health,
Hartmut Broring

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I need your help!

Dear Friend,

in the next couple of months some of my blogs (the fitness adviser will continue paralell) will be dedicated to a personal effort that is close to my heart. I have become a member of TEAM IN TRAINING, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's main fund raising event and am training to ride the "Lake Tahoe Century" as well as the "Seattle to Portland Classic".

I just finished my second week of cycling and fundraising to saves lives. It was a great week as the weather allowed me to ride another 150 miles. My legs are starting to move more and more like pistons, I am getting faster, stronger and climbs seem easier than just a few weeks ago.

This was also an eventful week. On Thursday we had the official "Spring Season Team In Training Kick-Off Party" . Participants of all the disciplines (cycling, running, hiking, tri-athlon) came together to start their journey to raise money and race to save lives together as members of one TEAM. Today our group (Cyclists) had their first official Team training ride. We split into three groups of different levels and enjoyed a rather smooth and leisure ride that was followed by a Honoree Potluck at McKenzie Park in Los Altos. Meeting our Honorees and listening to their stories and hardships was not only inspirational, but it truly injected motivation into all of us that joined Team In Training.

In my headline I am asking you for your help. Your help can come in different ways:

1. Motivate and Inspire.
Please send me the name of anyone you know, family, friend, neighbor or colleague whose life has been touched or ended by Blood Cancer. I will add their names to my jersey and ride in their honor.

2. Donation:
Please consider making a donation to this great cause and help me win the "race to save lives". When making a donation please check with your employer to see if your company matches donations to non-profits.
To donate please visit:

3. Sponsorship:
If you are a business owner or working for a company that is willing to sponsor my effort to find a cure and win the race I will add your company logo to my jersey and feature you on my LLS website, Facebook site, Blog and all future correspondence. Sponsorship starts  as little as $250.00 per company. Jersey space is limited! :-)
To donate please visit:

4. Spread the word
By sharing my TEAM IN TRAINING story with  your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues and others you will help me raise more money and give all those currently living with the disease hope and a chance to survive. 1 in 8 Americans either has, or knows of someone who has Blood Cancer.

   Thank you so much for being part of this!
   Hartmut Broring
   P.S. I would appreciate it if you would forward this email to as many people as you can to encourage them to donate as well. Thanks again.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New Years Resolutions: Stick To it

Each year millions decide to change their lives, exercise more and make better food choices. Unfortunately most of those quit as work, school, kids and other demands become overwhelming just weeks into their New Years Resolutions. Last month I wrote about choosing a Personal Trainer as one way of turning resolutions into results. This month I would like to share a few tips on how you can help yourself and STICK TO IT when fighting the urge to give up!
  1. Set yourself up for success by gaining a positive attitude towards exercising and other healthy lifestyle choices. Exercising is about stress relief and improving the way we look and feel!
  2. Be realistic when setting goals. That pertains to the time that you can and are willing to commit to change, as well as the time frame in which you want to accomplish those changes. Set short-term, mid-term and long-term goals. That way you won’t have to wait for success too long! Measure initial success by the way you feel rather than by a number on your scale!
  3. Once you have set your goals schedule the work-outs just like any other appointment and commit to them.
  4. Record your work-outs to see how you progress over time. Seeing how far you have come can be a positive reinforcement and provides a visual feedback of your commitment.
  5. Reward yourself each time after reaching another stage on your way to the finish line! Chose healthy and positive rewards such as spa treatments, massages or a new exercise outfit.
  6. Keep your work-outs interesting by varying the contents. Try different cardio classes at your gym in addition to walking, jogging or cycling.
  7. Talk to friends, colleagues and neighbors and find out if somebody is interested in joining you as a work-out buddy. Exercising is for many of us more fun if done with a partner. A work-out partner is also a great motivational help when you are feeling overwhelmed or tired.
  8. Learn about healthy eating and lifestyle habits using educational materials available online, at your gym or check with a trainer and dietitian.
  9. Forgive yourself. Taking a break once in a while, even for a couple of weeks is no reason to assume failure. All of us take the exits on the road to success from time to time. Just get back to the onramp and continue the journey!
  10. Reconsider the option of a Personal Trainer as a short term motivator or long term travel companion!
I hope these tips will help you to accomplish what you set out to do! And wish you once again a healthy and successful year!
A Sante,
Hartmut Broring – M.S. Exercise Therapy

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Happy New Year: "How to choose a Fitness Trainer"

Happy New Year

As at the beginning of every New Year I am certain many of you have made New Years Resolutions for 2011. Whether it’s to loose weight, exercise more regular, make better food choices, or improve your overall level of health and fitness, a Personal Trainer can make the difference and turn resolutions into results.
A trainer can be your regular guide on the way to accomplish the desired goals or you can hire the Trainer on a consulting basis, designing a personalized program and update it periodically.
No matter who you choose, the trainer should have a motivating personality and a sound educational background in exercise science. Before hiring your trainer I suggest you interview several different ones to separate the good from the bad.
IDEA offers a Personal Trainer search engine that can help you find trainers in your area and give valuable information regarding their experience education and specialties. Visit for more information. You can find trainers also by looking in your local newspapers, yellow pages or check for referrals with your physician and therapist.
The following questions can be helpful when choosing a quality trainer (adapted from IDEA work-sheet “How to Choose a Quality Personal Trainer”):
  1. Does the Personal Trainer have a sound background in exercise physiology, anatomy, and injury prevention as evidenced by a degree or a certification through a nationally recognized organization (ACE, ACSM, NASM etc.)?
    A certification is proving at least basic knowledge in the field of fitness training!
  2. Is the trainer experienced in fitness training or a novice? Does he/she keep up with the latest in exercise science and research through memberships and associations?
    Membership in organizations such as IDEA, ACSM or ACE show that the trainer is making an effort to stay current!
  3. Is the trainer certified in CPR and first aid?
    A current certification gives you assurance that the trainer knows how to respond in an emergency!
  4. Is the trainer screening your health risk situation and ask for your physicians consent?
    Only if your trainer asks about past and current health risks can he/she design an appropriate exercise regimen!
  5. Does the trainer keep records of your meetings and progress?
    A professional trainer will help you establish realistic short and long term goals and assess your progress to help motivate you!
  6. Does the trainer have liability insurance?
    A professional trainer will be able to provide you with a copy of his/her insurance policy that will cover your expenses should you get injured through the trainer’s negligence!
  7. Is the trainer interested in helping you to maintain an overall healthy lifestyle?
    Exercising is only a part of a healthy lifestyle. Positive food choices, plenty of rest and sleep as well as stress management are other important pieces to the puzzle!
  8. Does the trainer demonstrate good listening and communication skills?
    Only if the trainer listens can he/she retrieve information necessary for a successful program design. Communicating effectively the hows and whys of the program will increase your motivation and ensure better results!
  9. Do you and your trainer click?
    In order to have a successful professional relationship it is important that you and your trainer get along!
I hope this year your resolutions make it past February and turn into the desired results so that 2011 is going to be the Healthy and Happy New Year you deserve!

In good health,
Hartmut Broring – M.S. Exercise Therapy