I recently read an article that I found very interesting that talked about the onset of dementia and its correlation with blood sugar.  According to Dr. Steven Masley, elevated blood sugar levels are now considered the biggest reversible risk for memory loss.  He calls dementia “Type III Diabetes”, or “Diabetes Brain”.

His article details the huge impact that elevated blood sugar levels have on brain tissue, not to mention weight gain and all that that brings.  Elevated blood sugar levels are the #1 cause of cardiovascular disease, and a strong risk factor for memory loss.

All of this is reversible with some basic lifestyle changes that include:

  • Eat more fiber
  • Engage in activity every day
  • Get in the right amount of vitamins/minerals/essential fatty acids
  • Manage your stress

The entire article can be seen by clicking here.

Test for body fat

I used to test people’s body composition (body fat test) frequently.  I quit doing this a long time ago, unless it is requested.  I felt it pushed people in the direction of unhealthy eating behaviors, like deprivation for example.  Depriving yourself of treats or foods you enjoy is the wrong way to approach weight loss.  After a period of deprivation, you will binge and just make lifestyle change more difficult.  Anyway, if someone knew a body fat test was approaching they would eat super healthy, thinking it would impact the test.  Wrong.

If I were ever to surprise someone with a body composition test, they immediately would say “Oh, last night I met friends and had a glass of wine!”  A body composition test is more of a measurement of what you have eaten the past weeks or even months.  The past weeks and months is your lifestyle and this determines if you are fat….not what you ate last night.

I recommend people trying to lose weight to keep a food journal so that they can look at a full week in one glimpse.  Then take a highlighter and mark all the foods that are unhealthy or questionable.  If you see lots of highlighted items, work on knocking this number down.  Unfortunately, it is extremely rare for me to find someone who has an accurate understanding of what is healthy or questionable.  Most people have misconceptions, which explains the all to common “I am eating healthy and not losing weight”.

So back to body fat testing.  It can be a great tool, especially if you are strength training, as it will show the changes to your body fat levels, as well as lean muscle mass.  If you struggle with eating behaviors, or if this form of testing makes you self-conscious, I would stay away from it.  Instead, use how your clothes fit and how you feel.  After all, the main goal is health and feeling great right?

Most diagrams of the human body are shown in the correct “anatomical position”. This position is when the body is in an erect posture, facing forward, arms at side, palms of hand forward, with fingers and thumbs in extension. It is designated as the zero position for defining and measuring joint motions for most of the joints of the body.

The anatomy and physiology of human muscle is fascinating.  It is very complex, yet simple.  An example of this is Sherrington’s law of reciprocal inhibition.  This law states that when a muscle is activated, or contracting, it opposing muscle will relax.

Imagine you are doing a bicep curl, or simple lifting a water glass to your mouth.  If the bicep is contracting, trying to give you elbow flexion, the opposing muscle (triceps) must relax the same amount.  If the triceps did not relax, the elbow joint would be in a tug-of-war with one muscle trying to flex and the other muscle trying to extend the joint.

This is all carried out by the central nervous system and is done without thought or intent.  It allows for smooth and coordinated movement in the human body.

healthy tortilla

This is the tortilla that earned my endorsement many years ago. They are raw, and need to be browned in a skillet, but the end result is a much more flavorful tortilla. I actually will eat one plain while cooking the rest.

Outside of the flavor, the best part is that there is only 5 ingredients in these, with no preservatives. Once opened, they will grow mold after several days….a great sign that you are eating real food!

Two thumbs up from me!

Here is a freebie from our Muscle Anatomy DVD’s, and also from our award winning TV program.  Time for a human muscle anatomy lesson with the pectoralis major…your chest.  You must, you must, you must improve your bust!

A double jointed muscle (one that crosses two joints) can reach a length at which it cannot produce a significant amount of force.  This condition is called “actively insufficient”.  For example, when on tries to achieve full hip extension, while maintaining full knee flexion…the hamstrings (double jointed muscle) are unable to shorten enough to produce a full range of motion of both the knee and hip at the same time.

overweight person

You have probably heard of people that get out of prison and have a hard time adapting to life outside of the jail cell.  After spending years in prison, it becomes the “norm”.  Although an incredibly rough place to live, with often times very ugly things happening, and surrounded by potentially evil people…it becomes a normal way to live…and when this person enters the free world, they struggle greatly.  Their brain becomes reprogrammed, and life in prison is comfortable.  Movies have been made from this stuff…Shawshank Redemption is a classic.

People caught in vicious cycle of weight loss are the same way.  Eating crap and being inactive becomes the norm.  For years and years and years a person maintains unhealthy eating habits, and does little physical activity.  Attempts of being healthy are often switching to Lean Cuisine’s, starting a casual walking program or other exercise program that inevitably  performed at 50% intensity, instead of 90.  This person tells themselves that they are living healthy, but with marginal results at best, lose motivation and go back to the “norm”…the default position of an unhealthy lifestyle.

We all probably realize that the battle ground of weight loss is between the ears.  I have had countless clients have incredible results.  “I am off my insulin, am sleeping better, and am in jeans I have not worn for 6 years…I feel great.”  I think that they have “seen the light” that a healthy lifestyle brings, but no, they quit and go back to the prison of a crappy lifestyle.

I like the analogy of an unhealthy lifestyle being like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer.  Each blow of the hammer can be something like high cholesterol, having a fat butt, Diabetes, flabby arms, not being able to sleep, having no energy, a big belly….the list is endless.  And instead of living a healthy lifestyle, people instead say…..”No, give me that hammer….I want to hit myself in the head some more.”

People who have never been to prison cannot imagine how horrible it must be to live behind bars.  Likewise, people who embrace a healthy lifestyle cannot imagine how horrible it must be to live unhealthy and carry all the baggage it brings.  The first step in successful weight loss is reprogramming your brain.  Chances are you are not thinking clearly.

Many factors come into play with the return of muscular strength.  Weakness could have originally be caused by nerve involvement, atrophy from lack of use, stretch weakness, pain, or even fatigue.  Likewise the return of muscular strength can happen because of recovery from a disease process, healing of nerves after injury or trauma, hypertrophy of muscle fibers, increase musculature from exercises, or increase in strength after a stretch or strain has been relieved.

Musculoskeletal conditions often show patterns of muscle imbalances. This could be imbalance in strength, flexibility or both. Imbalance that affects body alignment is an important factor in many painful postural conditions. In the human muscle anatomy, imbalance may result from occupational or recreational activities in which there is persistent use of muscle, often without adequate exercise for the opposing muscle group.

“My mom was fat.”  I often hear this from overweight people, and sometimes it sounds like an easy way to condone an unhealthy lifestyle.  We do take on the genetics of our parents, but is obesity part of this genetic code?  Many professionals say no.

Consider that our genes only change about 2% every 20,000 years, and you can understand the critics that say genetics is not the biggest factor of obesity.  About 35% of American’s are obese today, but this was not the case 20 years ago.  And in 30 years it is predicted that 50% will be obese.  Is your genes changing this quickly, or could it be that we are eating about 152 pounds of sugar per year?  And 146 pounds of white flour!

Here is a segment from my TV show where a client spoke of her horrendous genes of obesity….

The general public often confuses ligaments for tendons, and sprains for strains.  Ligaments and tendons are two separate tissues in the human anatomy, with one of these connective tissues supporting one bony structure with another, and the other connecting muscles to bones.  When either of these tissues are injured, it is referred to as a sprain or a strain…but careful because they are not interchangeable and each term is specific to the type of tissue injured.  This video gives you an explanation of these two tissues of the human anatomy, and the correct terminology for describing injury to them.

105 year old man

This guy is 105 years old and just set a bicycling record in his age group of 14 miles in one hour.  Robert Marchand said that he could have done better.  His legs were not sore but his arms were from his “rheumatism”.

I feel bittersweet when I see things like this.  One side of me smiles from ear to ear in amazement and joy.  The other side of me gets extremely frustrated, as I see plenty of people less than half his age that come up with some kind of bull sh$t excuse on why they “can’t bicycle”, “can’t walk”, or “can’t exercise”.  The “excuse” used is actually the best damn reason why they should be doing something….bad knees, bad back, high blood pressure, etc.

With movement of the human body, the origin of the muscle is generally fixed.  When the origin is fixed and a muscle contracts, it will pull the insertion toward the origin.  This is always not the case however, as there are some instances when the insertion can be fixed, which will cause  the origin to move toward the insertion.  This is often the case with strength training exercises.  For instance, when doing a chin-up, the insertion of the bicep (near the elbow) is fixed, and the origin is getting pulled toward the insertion.  This is not the case with a traditional bicep curl, when the origin is fixed (near the shoulder), and the insertion gets pulled toward the origin.

How many New Year’s resolutions have you kept?  This is the time of year where mainstream gyms are packed with those chasing the scale…wanting to lose weight.  It drives the regular gym users crazy, as everyone knows they will all be gone in a few weeks.  In my opinion, a New Year’s resolution of losing weight is a waste of time.  Or at least the way people go about it is.

I do not weigh people at Sensible Fitness, because this puts the focus on weight, and drives people to chase a number on the scale.  It also messes with your self-esteem when you gain a pound or two, and a scale does not measure self-esteem.  I have actually toyed with the idea of getting rid of the scales in the bathrooms.  Ask someone who is thin and lives a healthy lifestyle “how many times do you weight yourself each week?” and the answer could likely be “I do not weigh myself.”  A scale does not measure a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy lifestyle is what makes you thin.  So ditch the scale.

I challenge you to either add a healthy trait as a resolution, or get rid of an unhealthy one.  I have challenged a couple of clients to use a cutting board 5 of 7 days each week.  Why?  If you are using a cutting board, you are killing two birds with one stone.  First, you are shopping in the produce aisle, and this produce will need to be chopped up.  Secondly, you are cooking.  When the majority of your food comes from a box or package (processed food), or from a restaurant, you are NOT living a healthy lifestyle.

If you would rather ditch an unhealthy trait, consider never skipping breakfast or stop eating 3-4 hours before bed.  Strengthening, firming, sculpting, and boosting your metabolism happens in the gym.  Weight loss usually happens in the kitchen, as this is where most blow it!

Healthy oil for Cincinnati residents

I personally eat a very large salad every day for lunch, putting olive oil and balsamic vinegar on it for dressing.  I also use olive oil to cook with the majority of the time.  I did this because of the belief that olive oil was “healthier” than other oils.  But Dr. Fuhrman, a nutrition expert, says no!

Here is just a piece of what he says in an interesting article…

Olive oil is not a whole food—it is a fattening, low-nutrient, processed food, consisting of 100% fat. One tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories, as do all oils. One-quarter cup has 500 calories. Healthy salads are definitely a way of life for people who want to lose weight or improve health, but many of the benefits of a salad are lost when the calorie count is increased ten-fold with oil.

Olive oil polyphenols (like the polyphenols from berries and other plant foods) have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.  Also, because olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, using olive oil in place of animal fat or other oils higher in saturated fat reduces total and LDL cholesterol.  When olive oil is substituted for animal fats, there is a reduction in risk because you are replacing a more dangerous fat with a less dangerous fat. Olive oil is a better choice than animal products or other vegetable oils, however nuts and seeds are a better choice than olive oil.

Top your salad with nuts and seeds instead of olive oil.

Nuts and seeds, are associated with reduced cholesterol levels and dramatic protection against coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death. Since fats help you absorb the nutrients in vegetables, replacing the olive oil on your salad with nuts and seeds reduces cardiovascular risk and calories absorbed while providing the maximum nutrient value from the salad.  In addition to increasing the absorption of nutrients in vegetables, nuts and seeds supply their own spectrum of micronutrients including plant sterols, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus several seeds and nuts (flax, hemp, chia, walnuts) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial for heart and brain health. Some seeds—flax, chia and sesame in particular—are rich in lignans, plant estrogens that protect against breast cancer.  Nuts and seeds also promote a healthy weight and protect against diabetes.  Replacing olive oil-based dressings with vinegar, fruit and nut-based dressings are definitely the way to go. Nuts and seeds, not oil, have shown dramatic protection against heart disease. We need to get more of our fats from these wholesome foods and less from processed oils.

To see this entire article, click here.

Researchers have found that a honey and water solution can be a useful weapon in fighting infections in hospital patients.  They have found that this solution can stop bacteria from forming on the plastic catheters of patients.  They are also looking into flushing catheters with this honey dilution to keep them clean while they remain in the bladder.

Honey has been used as a natural antiseptic for centuries, and also has been used to treat burns and wounds.  Even at the low dilution of 3.3%, the honey solution stopped the bacteria from clustering together.  Nobody knows exactly how or why honey works as an antibacterial.

The researchers are currently looking into how well the bladder will tolerate honey, as not to irritate it.

raw blue ash ohio honey

The bad news in 2016 was that I lost 3 hives.  This could be because of beekeeper error, but my mentor says it could just be “beekeeping”, as you never really know why this happens.  While I was letting all 3 of these lost hives build up honey stores for the winter, when they die, guess who gets the honey?  You do!  All clients got a bottle of honey for Christmas this year.  This honey was simply put through a strainer to filter out wax or pollen particles, and is as raw as it can get.  Super sweet stuff!

For those newsletter readers that are not clients, let me explain the Uncle Donkey’s honey name.  When my young nephew could not pronounce Uncle Dougie, “Uncle Donkey” was born…HEE HAW!

This is the time of year to prepare for spring by building more hive structures if needed.  I am set and will be capturing a couple of swarms this spring to have a total of 3 hives…being optimistic that my current colony will survive the winter.

Your patella is more that just a kneecap.  Take a minute to watch this quick lesson….

Betty zipling

85 years young!  At 85, Betty decided to try zip-lining and loved it.  After going once, she exclaimed “That was fun!  Can we do it again?”, and of course she zipped a second time.

The employees said they had never seen someone her age go zipping before and offered a few extra free passes for next time!

The quality of life that health and fitness gives a person is the ultimate reward.  For myself as a trainer, and for the client that gets to live large.

Kathy has lost over 100 pounds, but that is not the best part.

When Kathy started, she walked from our parking lot straight into the bathroom to sit on a toilet and rest…she was exhausted just walking a couple hundred feet.

Recently, Kathy worked for days including plenty of lifting in preparation for a fundraiser….but it gets better. The night of the fundraiser, she danced ALL night!    Kathy said that last year at the fundraiser, she only sat and watched people dance.  It was incredible to see this transformation in quality of life.

Kathy Dancing

Dan without diabetes

Not only did Dan insist on being put in our newsletter, but he also suggested that his achievement can compare to those of Jeremy Hedman, our most inspirational client of all time (his post is available if you scroll down a ways).

Dan is actually worthy of being in our newsletter, as he came in for a workout on Monday, had knee surgery on Tuesday, and then attended his normally scheduled workout on Friday.  While this does not put him anywhere close to Jeremy’s league, it is commendable and a statement of dedication to his health.  He is certainly making those that cancel for a measly “sore knee” look bad, when he comes in just a few days after surgery.


My best story of all-time with “refusing to cancel an appointment” comes from April Kerley.  April was born with only one hand, and while in a foot race in here against another client, twisted her ankle and broke her foot.  Now imagine a woman with one hand and one foot, using a crutch, hobbling around yet never missing a single workout.  April came to Sensible Fitness to prepare for the Paralympics in Beijing, China, and successfully represented the United States.

The knowledge and experience of Sensible Fitness means that you never have to miss a workout!

Time for me to vent a little bit.  Most people associate weight loss with starving themselves.  Itsy-bitsy portions, and always being hungry…never satisfied.  BULL CRAP!  Now if you are eating calorie dense food, portion control is a huge factor in losing weight, as most people eating a traditional American diet are pounding down sugar, fat, and salt.  But if you are eating healthy, many of your food selections will have unlimited portion sizes.


But can you lose weight will eating huge portions sizes?  Oh hell yes!  First let’s be more specific.  I am talking about losing fat, and not necessarily losing “weight”.  Most people diet away a bunch of muscle with their fat, and end up with a super-slow metabolism.  With the proper nutrition program, you will eat so much you will be sick of eating, and still lose fat.

Case and point.  Here is a picture of me as Mr. Ohio, with about 2% body fat.  During this phase in my training, my portions for meals were HUGE.  A dozen egg whites with oatmeal, three times a day.  Two full chicken breasts with pasta and veggies twice a day, a full bag of rice cakes…all examples of massive quantities.  And I lost fat.  While this is an unrealistic example of a diet for you to follow, I do not want you miss my point.  Eating healthy means eating a lot.

Part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle includes the knowledge of nutrition that goes along with it.  And thinking that you have to eat like a bird to lose weight is totally false.  It all boils down to what you are eating!

While on the topic of weight loss, let’s touch base on the holidays.  The holidays is not the time to focus on weight loss.  In fact, maintaining weight or just gaining a pound or two is a victory!  You should not deprive yourself of holiday festivities, but at the same time it is not a “get out of jail free card” for gluttony.  Thanksgiving dinner is only one meal, so that will not have a big impact unless you turn it into a feast over several days.  Enjoying the multiple parties and holidays in December/January will have a greater impact, but remember it is not the time between Thanksgiving and New Years that make you fat….it is the time between New Years and Thanksgiving.  Lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle!

Here is a graphic that Patty shared with me that is a great visual to this topic….


Exposure to bright light can lead to greater sexual satisfaction in men who have low sexual desire, a new study suggests.

Scientists from the University of Siena in Italy found that using a light box, similar to those used to treat some forms of depression, increased testosterone levels.  And this led to greater reported levels of sexual satisfaction.

The researchers carried out their study on 38 men who had been diagnosed with disorders which cause a lack of interest in sex.

One half of the group was treated with a light box, while the other half was treated with an adapted light box which gave out significantly less light.  They were treated for half an hour early in the morning for two weeks.

When they retested the participants, they found that the group exposed to the bright light tripled their sexual satisfaction scores while the control group’s scores stayed roughly the same.

Light therapy is where a special lamp called a light box is used to simulate exposure to sunlight. A light box contains very bright fluorescent tubes – usually at least 10 times the intensity of household lights.  They are commonly used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Some people seem to need a lot more light than others for their body to function normally.

In the northern hemisphere, the body’s testosterone production naturally declines from November through until April and then rises steadily through the spring and summer with a peak in October.  You see the effect of this in reproductive rates, with the month of June showing the highest rate of conception. The use of the light box really mimics what nature does.

Men should avoid looking directly into the sun, no matter how good it feels, as this can cause blindness.  Ha, ha!

The gift that keeps on giving would certainly be a healthy lifestyle.   It could be a session or two to learn a program to do on your own, or a package of sessions to insure a successful transition into thinner, firmer, healthier, and happier person.  From now until December 15th, we are offering 20% off of your gift certificate purchase for a new client.

20% off personal training

Experts have recently found that milk from a Tasmanian devil can kill hard-to-treat infections (superbugs), including MRSA.

They believe the peptides in the milk help their young grow stronger, as they are raised in very dirty environments.  These peptides have also been found in the milk of wallabies, opossums, and they are now looking at koala’s.

A recent review has warned that by 2050, superbugs could kill one person every three seconds across the world unless critical action is taken.


This is a great article forwarded to me from a client that appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

Click here to read it.

A giant hairball was found in a 38-year old Arizona woman’s stomach, after she developed sudden vomiting and constipation.  During this, her stomach swelled as it filled with liquids and gas.

Surgery revealed a 6”X4” hairball in her stomach and a smaller one in her small intestine.

There are not a lot of documented cases of “Rapunzel syndrome” which is caused by people eating their own hair.  This syndrome has two elements to it. One being Trichotillomania, which is the irresistible urge to pull out hair, and Trichophagia, which is compulsively eating hair.

Although incredibly rare, Rapunzel Syndrome usually is seen in children under 10 years of age.


As winter approaches, the population of the hive decreases and all the boys (drones) are kicked out, as they are useless this time of year.  The only time they are really needed is in the spring and summer when a queen needs mated, otherwise they perform absolutely no duties around the hive.

As the temperatures drop, the bees form a cluster around the queen and buzz their wings to generate heat and keep her warm.  The temperature in the hive will stay 92 degrees, no matter how cold it gets outside.  The cluster will migrate around the inside of the hive to reach the stores of honey, which they eat to survive.

It is not advised to open the hive until the temperatures get above 55 degrees in the spring, although some beekeepers take a quick peek to look for low honey stores, which could require emergency feeding.  Many colonies die of starvation in winter and especially early spring, before flower plants give them a food source again.


If I had to pick one person to represent the success of Sensible Fitness, it would be Jeremy Hedman. Hands down. Nobody else comes close.

Imagine waking up in a hospital of a foreign country, missing an arm, needing a ventilator to breath, unable to communicate, and not remembering anything from recent history. This is only an abbreviated version of injuries to Jeremy who was in a tragic industrial explosion, while working in Brazil for a local company. But from Jeremy’s life changing tragedy, comes a story of triumph and inspiration.

In 2008, Jeremy was admitted into a Brazilian hospital, after an industrial furnace he was working on exploded, traumatically amputating his right arm, crushing his trachea, causing head/brain injuries, sternal fracture, two collapsed lungs, ruptured jugular vein, trauma to his aorta and subclavian arteries, and damage to his spine. Others were killed.

After spending a lengthy term in a Brazilan hospital, he was transported to Cincinnati, where his hospital stay continued. To add insult to injury, it became apparent that Jeremy had suffered a stroke at some point in time, causing catastrophic loss of muscle control throughout his body, which disastrously included his only remaining arm.

Without the use of muscles in his left arm, Jeremy’s independence and quality of life would be minimal.  The muscles that straighten his elbow, and the muscles that control his wrist and fingers were non-functional.  This means that Jeremy could not perform the simplest of tasks.  Imagine not being able to straighten your elbow or to use the muscles in your only remaining hand.  You could not reach for and pick up a fork, a toothbrush, or a tissue to blow your nose.  You become dependent for everything.

To increase his functional ability, Jeremy underwent a series of surgeries to transfer muscles in his left arm.  The biceps, a muscle that bends the elbow, was detached and moved to help assist in straightening the elbow.  Other muscles were also moved that gave him minimal control of his wrist. Still more were moved simply to allow him to move his fingers.  While these surgeries increased his ability to move his elbow, wrist, and fingers in some directions, it hindered his ability to move in others.  Simply put, you cannot rob Peter to pay Paul when it comes to function….something pays the price somewhere.  None-the-less, the surgeries were the lesser of two evils.

After post-operative physical and occupational therapy, Jeremy was discharged, while still being severely limited in his ability to perform many of the daily tasks that you and I take for granted.  He remained largely dependent on others, and had a diminished quality of life.

This is when Jeremy’s employer, being dedicated to his full recovery and providing all means necessary, brought Jeremy to Sensible Fitness.  Knowing of our education and experience, and also that we embrace challenges, hoped that something else could be done to help him.

Jeremy walked through our doors barely able to walk to the bathroom independently, and had the simplest of goals. He wanted to be able to walk through Wal-Mart without getting tired, and he wanted to fasten his own seat belt.

Putting together a plan of attack for Jeremy’s program was not easily done. It took a few sessions to simply figure out which muscles were working and which were not, as his medical records did not agree with the reality of what I was seeing from a functional sense. Jeremy jokingly said that his medical records should simply say, “broken”.

Exercises for Jeremy had to be uniquely designed, because of his compromised functional ability. When muscles that gives your body a certain motion are not working, you have to strengthen accessory muscles and find other means to accomplish the task at hand. More and more exercises were developed as Jeremy’s fiancée (now wife), Amber, shared her thoughts on improving his day-to-day function, as she was witnessing his struggles first hand.

Jeremy had horrendous balance issues from his injuries. He also could not pour his own glass of milk, or even get up from the floor independently. As time went on, Jeremy’s list of goals increased, yet remained simple goals of performing daily tasks. Weeks into his program, Jeremy was gaining more function, as his muscles were getting stronger. As he got stronger, more advanced exercises could be added, that further enhanced his abilities. The goal of fastening his seat belt was reached, and a new goal of being able to drive was established.

Jeremy had no use of his chest muscles, and was unable to completely turn a steering wheel to the right. Again a series of unique exercises were developed, which included turning a 100 pound suspended weight plate that mimicked a steering wheel.


P1000419 - Version 2


Today, Jeremy is not only fastening his own seat belt, but he is also driving independently.  He is getting up from the floor independently (with weights added), and pouring his own glass of milk.

And what about Jeremy’s goal to walk through Wal-Mart without getting tired?  To date Jeremy has completed four 5K (3.1 mile) walks, and recently celebrated a belated honeymoon in Yellowstone that included much walking.  Amber also says he is not dropping and breaking dishes like he used to, because his grip/arm strength is greatly improved.

Jeremy is in continual total-body pain from the trauma to his central nervous system, and he never speaks a word of it.  He will have this pain for life.  Even though he is always hurting, Jeremy comes to every personal training session and does everything that we ask of him, without complaint.  He is happy to have the ability to perform the exercises we give him.

Jeremy is an amazing man, and has humbled many clients at Sensible Fitness, as the modest ache or pain does not seem worthy of complaint after seeing the challenges he overcomes each and every day.  He demonstrates incredible courage and bravery….you know, the stuff movies are made of.  I am proud to say he is my most incredible client ever, and my friend.

A two-year study was performed to find the effectiveness of wearing a FitBit, or other fitness tracker.  500 people were split into two groups, with one wearing a fitness tracker.  By the end of the trial the group wearing the tracker had lost less weight than the group not wearing the device.

Although the popularity of fitness trackers is growing, there are very few studies that look at their results.  One study done by the University of Pittsburgh found that volunteers who wore the device lost 8 pounds, while the control group (not wearing) lost 13 pounds.

A drop off in the usage data occurred as the study went on, suggesting that the novelty of the device wore off.  The doctor leading the research also thought that people might become fixated on exercise while wearing the device and not concentrating on nutrition as well.  “You might think to yourself ‘I’m being more active, so now I can eat a red velvet cupcake’”, said Dr. Jakicic.

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For the exception of taking folic acid and vitamin D, multivitamins taken during pregnancy do not boost the health of mothers or babies.  And surprisingly, too much vitamin A can cause harm to the baby.

Researchers made these statements in Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, saying they looked at all evidence.  A balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended along with folic acid and vitamin D supplementation.

They recommend women resist the marketing claims that taking multivitamins will give their baby a better start in life.

A neuropsychopharmacologist from London, David Nutt, claims that a synthetic he patented will eliminate hangovers completely.  “Alcosynth” will be dispensed into your cocktail and you will enjoy all the pleasure without damaging your heart or liver.  Alcosynth affects the brain in a similar way to alcohol, Nutt says, but doesn’t cause mouth dryness, nausea, headaches or other long lasting health issues.

Critics are very skeptical, saying, “there’s no free ride in the brain” and feel some other side effect will present itself.   They added there are plenty of ways to consume alcohol that do not result in a hangover, and the incentive to chose something that is “hangover free” is low, unless you are a binge drinker.

Nutt says that his product can completely replace alcohol by 2050.

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Exposure to germs often strengthens the body’s immune system and this is the explanation for nail biters and thumb suckers having less allergies among 1000 people followed in New Zealand.

About 1/3 of the children followed until age 32 were nail biters or thumb suckers, and by the age of 13, were significantly less likely to have allergies. This protection appears to last into adulthood.

In a study done at Sensible Fitness, we found that biting the nails of a personal trainer has been proven to boost your immune system the most, and Doug is currently booking appointments in 5 minutes increments


Odor analysts have determined that polyester gets much smellier than cotton or wool. But sweat is not to blame, because sweat itself does not stink. It is the bacteria that live in your armpit and groin that produce the funk.

Up to 300 types of bacteria inhabit your armpit. Some are associated with normal body odor, while others produce more unpleasant smells. Interestingly, the bacteria that has a “normal” smell is more prominent in a female armpit, while men tend to have more of the stinky version.

But why does this affect your clothes? Natural fibers like cotton absorb moisture (and stink) where they are trapped and cannot reach our noses. Not the case with the moisture wicking synthetic fabrics, which do not absorb moisture. Instead they attract oils from your sweat, which sits on your clothing like a buffet, waiting for stinky bacteria to eat it up.

The Sensible Fitness beehives are down to one.  Mid-summer, I lost a queen in two hives and am not sure why.  This led to the loss of both hives, since it is too late in the year to introduce a new queen and get the populations back up for winter.

While I have not ruled out being a bad beekeeper, my mentor who has tremendous experience says no, it is just a part of beekeeping.  The remaining hive has been treated again for mites and appears healthy and strong.  It has plenty of honey to survive the winter, which is a primary concern.

In a month, I will need to prepare the hive for the colder temperatures of winter.   I will be sharing those chores with you in the next newsletter!

bees bearding on a hive


Brains of overweight people look 10 years older than those of leaner people.

When looking at 473 people aged between 20 and 87, it has been found that overweight people have significantly less white matter in their brain. This is especially apparent in middle-aged people, suggesting that our brains can be especially vulnerable during these years of aging.

There was no difference in how the lean vs. overweight groups scored in tests of knowledge and understanding. Researchers say more work is needed in following people to see who develops conditions such as dementia.

They also were not sure if obesity affected the brain, or if the brain affected the obesity. They are still trying to figure out which came first, the chicken or the egg. While we know a tremendous amount about the negative impact of obesity on the body, we are just starting to understand what it does to the brain.

Straight from a journal called Appetite, researchers studied how simply eating in “moderation” would impact a person’s ability to control their weight.

They did multiple studies, trying to address this from a variety of different angles. When they tallied the results of three studies they concluded that “moderation” had a wide range of interpretations.

Most people deemed “moderation” as anything more than they are currently eating. This means no matter how much a person was actually consuming, they felt they were eating less than a moderate amount.  The conclusion of the study stated that messages of eating in moderation are unlikely to be effective for weight loss and weight control.

This crushes my long-time philosophy of telling clients “everything in moderation”. I made an incorrect assumption that everyone would recognize moderation, and they clearly do not. Drinking 32 oz. of Diet Coke each day is excess in the eyes of most health professionals, but according to this research, the person typically drinking this feels it is a quantity less than a moderate amount.


A new class of antibiotics has been discovered by analyzing the “bacteria wars” that are happening in your nose right now. While the vast majority of antibiotics have been found in soil bacteria, a research team is now turning to the human body.

The superbug, MRSA, is found in the noses of 30% of all people, but why not all? It seems that if people have a “rival bug” in their noses, this rival can win the battle over MRSA. This is literally a battle between bacterium in your nose. And by looking at the genetic code of this rival, they can develop antibiotics.

Researcher find this “natural antibiotic” promising and hope this and future studies can be used to fight off bacterial infections.

Sprain, strain, tendons, and ligaments.  More often than not, lay people use the wrong terminology when describing injuries and probably one of the most common is when describing a “strain” or a “sprain”.  The terms are used to not only describe the type of soft-tissue injury but also is referencing the type of tissue in the human body that is affected.  Watch this explanation and get an easy to understand human muscle anatomy lesson.  Never get this wrong again after watching…

My sister and her family were fortunate enough to recently get a private tour of the White House. They simply wrote to their state representative and requested one.

She found it just as interesting to go through all the security before entering, as the actual tour itself. While each family member had to go through the standard metal detectors and pat-downs, she found the last step of security the most interesting.

Each family member had to individually enter a small room and stand in front of a fan for a few minutes that was blowing toward a screen. On the other side of the screen was a dog sniffing the air.

Cincinnati Sister's tour


This time of year there is very little nectar available for the bees, so I have been feeding them a homemade version, which is one part water and one part sugar. This makes sugar syrup, and the girls are devouring it. At the peak of their hunger, I have been going through nearly 100 pounds of sugar a week for the 3 hives!

This is also the time of year when mites can start building their population. I recently tested for mites, and although the hives have them present, they are at low enough levels that I do not need to treat them. I will continue to test, as this can change at anytime.

The population of a beehive declines as we head toward winter, and all the females will soon be kicking the boys out of the hive to die. Male bees, drones, do not help with duties around the hive and only eat the food stores needed to survive the winter, so the girls force them out! This is a strategy humans should consider. Boys, either help out around the house, or your butt gets kicked out!

Our government has approved a number of weight loss techniques.  All of them fail to address the root problem, which is changing a person’s behavior.  But surely there will be many that look to this as an easy way to lose weight, and sadly will try one of these.

One is an inflatable stomach-filling balloon. A balloon is inserted down a person’s throat, while sedated, and then the balloon is filled with saline. In company trials, obese patients lost about 7% of their body weight over a 6-month period. But you cannot live with this in your stomach forever, and when it was removed patients regained over 2/3 of the weight back within 6 months.

And we have all probably heard of the LAP-band, which is a stomach shrinking banding technique. Obese patients can lose as much as 17% of their body weight, but around 20% regain the weight within 3 years.

What about zapping a nerve to curb hunger? The FDA approved just that, with a device that will shock a person’s vagal nerve, which they think blocks communication between the brain and the stomach. Normally, the nerve tells the brain whether the stomach is empty or full. The system has 3 implanted devices and includes a pulse generator in the upper left chest, and 2 wires that go into the abdomen on the vagal nerve. After 12 months, obese participants lost 9% of their body weight.

And I must save the best weight loss system for the last. How about being able to eat whatever you want and as much as you want? You can do just that with the newly approved stomach-emptying device that will let you dump 1/3 of your stomach’s content into the toilet via a drain implanted in the stomach. It is basically the opposite of a feeding tube used in hospital for patients that cannot eat. In one trial, obese patients lost 12% of their body weight. The system has an automatic shut off valve after 115 “dumps”, requiring the patient to see the doctor again.

lifestyle change works!

Do any of these techniques solve the problem?   As our client Freddie Thoman, who had gastric bypass surgery, pointed out in our recent newsletter, weight loss surgery does not solve the problem. The problem is lifestyle and your issues will continue, as will your weight gain.

In my 25+ years in the industry, I have known many that have tried surgeries, liposuction, or pills, potions, and lotions.  Not one has been successful in weight control, not one.

Lifestyle change is what works. Just ask Kate Thesing, who lost 80+ pounds and has kept it off!  She will be the first to tell you that her life has been given back to her!


There is much more to the human wrist than most people think.  When someone says they “broke their wrist”, most people would think it is a single bone, when in fact the human wrist has a host of bones, and is really has a quite complicated anatomical make-up.  This lesson gives you a general overview of the bones that make up the human wrist, with discussion of the muscle anatomy as well.  Let’s take a closer look….

blue ohio personal training client

Three years ago this month, Ryan Davis at 16 years years old, crushed a 160+ pound bench press and won a silver medal
at the World Dwarf Games.  The international field of seasoned veterans included men
twice his age with many years of training under their belt.

sensible fitness champion

Helping him reach this incredible accomplishment, and actually seeing it unfold was one of the coolest things
I have ever experienced in my professional career.

As you can see, I played it calm and cool and
remained stone-faced.

blue ash ohio personal trainer

Traci with her husband

My sister is a massage therapist and has been telling me about her client, Traci Lindholm for years.   I finally had the chance to meet Traci and her husband Curt a few weeks ago. What an incredible couple with an “out of this world” story of inspiration….

In 1986, at age 17, life as I knew it changed in an instant. I was in a car accident that left me on a ventilator and paralyzed from the neck down. Between the ICU and rehabilitation, I spent 6 months in the hospital. Though the doctors were able to wean me off the respirator, I remained paralyzed from the neck down with limited use of my left arm. I had to figure out a new way of living. I was faced with a decision, a decision I have to make every day: sit around and be miserable or live the best life possible.  On August 16th, 2016, I will celebrate 30 years of living with a C2-C3 spinal cord injury and 13 years of marriage to my husband, Curt, who also has a spinal cord injury.

During my rehabilitation, I ended up an outpatient at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, home to one of the best spinal cord injury centers in the world. This is where I began see that part of living the best life possible means staying active. Fortunately, I was able to train my legs using FES (Functional Electric Stimulation).  I purchased an Ergys bike, with my mom’s help, and I have bike shorts equipped with electrodes that allow me to ride.

By staying as active as possible, people with paralysis can experience:

  1. Reduction in muscle spasms
  2. Prevention or retardation of muscle atrophy
  3. Increased blood circulation
  4. Muscle re-education
  5. Maintained or increased range of motion
  6. Prevention of venous thrombosis post-surgery
  7. Other physical and psychological benefits

In addition to staying fit and active–despite my physical limitations–I maintain a sensible diet. I drink a lot of water and NEVER leave home without it.  I love to eat, but I limit desserts and junk foods. I never deprive myself of any particular food, but you won’t find me eating a whole piece of cake by myself. I will typically share a dessert with somebody or simply limit myself to a few bites.

I try to keep my brain active as well. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Drake University with a Bachelor’s degree in finance and my Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling.  I also have a home-based business selling Rodan + Fields skin care products.  Not only have I finally found a product that treats my acne, I’ve also found a business I can work into my life as a quadriplegic.  I am also a big sunscreen advocate after being diagnosed with early stage melanoma in January 2016.

After almost 30 years of paralysis, I have had very few complications. I attribute this to “riding” my bike, twice-a-day range of motion, maintaining a sensible diet, trying to lead a “normal” life, and a supportive husband, family, and friends.  I could not ask for more!

My husband, Curt, sums up life pretty well, “If you can’t change your situation, change your attitude.”

Traci on her bike

Straight out of the “I told you so” files at Sensible Fitness, researchers at Johns Hopkins University studied 24,000 people over 10 years and found those drinking diet soda eat more.

The study revealed that obese people who drank diet drinks ate 100-150 calories more per day than those drinking full strength sugary drinks. This adds up to about 10-15 pounds of weight gain per year. Experts believe that people think they have a “cushion” and can eat more since they are drinking a low calorie or zero-calorie beverage.

The leading author of the study said that when paired with other research, the results suggest that artificial sweeteners may affect a person’s metabolism or cravings as well.

The moral of this story: If you want to be skinny, drink water.

unhealthy consumption

With the days not only getting hotter, but also getting shorter at the same time, I though I would give you something to cool down with.

As if pulling the tire with a 45-pound weight on it is not hard enough, it was just a few short months ago that Bill Matulewicz did that with an additional load of heavy wet snow!  It was a butt kicker, but he did it.

Did you know that daylight is shortening by around 2 minutes every day this time of year?

Bill pulls the tire

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