How much exercise do you need to reap health benefits?

A georgeous February day in the Botanical Gardens of Lakes Park, Fort Myers, Florida.  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

People often ask me how much exercise they really need.

The answer depends on several factors, but primarily I tell them to consider their current health status and fitness goals.

A tedious answer, I know, but the amount of exercise someone needs and/or is capable of in order to shed 10 pounds is very different from the amount someone needs who simply wants to keep their cholesterol in check and their heart healthy.

The Institute of Medicine recommends:

“At least 60 minutes each day of moderately intense physical activity to prevent weight gain and achieve the full health benefits of activity,” a recommendation further endorsed by the American Council on Exercise.

An hour of physical activity each day appears to be the magic number to optimize health and reduce the risk of various disease processes including heart disease and cancer.

While an hour...

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15 Benefits of Exercise - Blood Pressure, Brain Health, Immunity and more!

Enjoying a brisk walk on this clear, crisp winter day in Lakes Park in Fort Myers. Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

People often associate exercise with weight loss as if the two a synonymous.

While it is true that people who exercise regularly tend to maintain a healthier weight, exercise has so many more benefits for the body.  

Here's 15 Benefits of Exercise:

1) Exercise helps your brain.

Exercise has been shown to ease anxiety, improve mood and fight depression. It promotes the release of a mood-lifting brain chemical called serotonin and the release of endorphins, natural feel-good painkilling substances. Exercise also improves cognitive function and decreases the risk of dementia.

2) Good for your skin.

Moderate exercise stimulates circulation and so brings oxygen and nutrients to the skin. Sweating allows the body to excrete wastes via the surface of the skin.

3) Lungs.

Regular exercise increases lung capacity and strengthens the respiratory muscles. Exercise also...

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Work Smart, Work Safe - When Working from Home

Take time to get up & move throughout your day.  Can you see the two people walking in the park? Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

There is no denying it, since the onset of the pandemic, a lot of things have changed.

For the most part, we're all navigating uncharted waters.

Whether you are home-schooling children, working from home or caring for an elderly family member, we all need to be aware of our actions and how these affect our health and well-being.

Our dependence on technology has been higher than ever.

People reach for portable electronic devices such as tablets, smartphones and laptops to remain socially connected and employable.

This increased reliance on technology combined with more extended periods of use can lead to an increased prevalence of postural low back and neck pain.

Such injuries typically occur because, unlike with desktop computers, we usually do not use portable devices within an ergonomic workstation setup.

The size of the screen, distance to...

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Muscle Soreness Post Workout IS A Good Indication Of...

Biking by the Lakes Park train on a beautiful January 2022 day.  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

Muscle soreness post workout is clinically known as DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

This muscle soreness is that distinctive aching, stiffness and tenderness that most of us experience after an unfamiliar or particularly taxing workout a day or two post exercising. 

The textbook definition describes DOMS as being caused by eccentric exercise (controlled elongation), somewhat through isometric exercise (static) and not at all with concentric contractions (active shortening).

Speak English please?

This is much easier to understand if we consider the differences in running in biking. 

RUNNING — 

When we run, our body weight is unsupported and our feet strike the ground with each step.

In turn, the joints through the lower body; the back, pelvis, knees and ankles must absorb 6-10 times our bodyweight with each step before propelling us forward again.

Our...

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Successful Goal Setting is a Process

Hitting the trail in 2022 for an evening run - let's CRUSH our health & fitness goals!
Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

With more than 25 years of experience working in the health and fitness industry, I have had countless clients, friends, and family members tell me about their fitness goals.

Some want to lift more weights, others want to improve their marathon time and of course, the old classic – everyone is trying to lose weight.

One thing they all share is that they are outcome focused.

Unfortunately, despite the best intentions, I rarely see enough people ever achieve their goals. 

I often end up in a conversation with someone about where they went wrong.

Was their goal too ambitious?
Were they lazy?
Did something outside of their control derail them?

Of course, it could be a combination of these factors, but I believe the real issue lies in poor planning. 

Statistically speaking, only a whopping 3% of people ever actually achieve their...

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Support Your Body With the Right Shoes

Enjoy a beautiful December, Southwest Florida Sunset on Naples Beach. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

It only takes one pound – ONE – of extra weight to add 10 pounds of additional pressure to your feet and ankles.

Coupled with the estimated 77 per cent of American’s suffering from an over-pronating foot (the foot collapse inward and downward), and the 83 per cent of American’s who report they would be more active if they didn’t suffer chronic foot pain, makes the importance of proper footwear imperative. 

Whether you have an over-pronating foot or not, here are 5 bad shoe choices that directly affect our daily health and wellbeing.

  1. High heels
    High heels may look great, and many women would never give them up, but the trade-off can be painful, putting pressure on your lower back and knees, and creating tight calf muscles which often leads to other issues.
    Consequence: Strained calf muscles are a precursor to Achilles...
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Avoid Mishaps and Hazards for a Joyous and Injury Free Holiday Season

Enjoying a beautiful December day in Lakes Park (Fort Myers, Florida). Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

The holidays are that time each year when people come together to celebrate, be merry, let bygones be bygones and love our neighbors.

As lovely as this sounds, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), it is also one of the most dangerous times for our health and wellbeing!

You read that right.

Beneath all the tinsel, carefully wrapped presents and winter activities, there is a frenzy of injuries just waiting to happen.

Considering this revelation, I am taking a slightly different approach this week and taking it upon myself to expose the dangers of the holidays with the hopes of maximizing your joy and eliminating or at least minimizing your risk of harm and injury this season.

In 2017, 3.5 trillion was paid in national health expenditures, which was up 3.9% from the previous year.

Of those health care expenditures, nearly 10,000 involved injuries to children...

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Ring in 2022 with Better Sleep

Guitar strapped to his back, enjoying a nice December evening in beautiful Lakes Park (Fort Myers, Florida). Walk every day for 30 minutes to increase the quality of your sleep. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

Ring in the New Year with Better Sleep — well, here’s an oxymoron:

An article about sleeping on New Year’s Eve.

While it may see counterintuitive to talk about sleeping on the one night most of the world doesn’t sleep enough, it’s worth a conversation.

The health costs that arise from sleep deprivation include over $2+ billion spent treating conditions associated with sleep deprivation including:

  • sleep apnea,
  • narcolepsy,
  • restless leg syndrome and
  • seizures.

Accidents result in the loss of a further $3.5 billion, and economic inefficiency costs more than $400 billion.

The study titled ‘Why sleep matters..’ as reported in Fortune magazine determined that lack of sleep or poor sleep habits is costing the US workforce...

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Exercise Treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - An Increasing Trend with Positive Outcomes

The water is clear and cool on Southwest Florida's beaches this time of year!  Get outdoors, walk and take deep breaths to feel even better.  Photo courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

As recent as this past decade, working with athletes with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was not common place.

Up until about 7 years ago I could count the number of athletes coming to me with PTSD on one hand.

However, just as Bob Dylan once said; “For the times, they are a changing”.

As our population ages, we are seeing more survivors from 9-11, the armed forces, mass shootings and even sporting events (Boston marathon) turn to exercise to help manage and provide relief from the symptoms associated with this disorder including:

  • flashbacks,
  • nightmares,
  • isolation,
  • insomnia,
  • feelings of anger,
  • frustration,
  • irritability and
  • memory loss

to name a few.

Constantly gearing up psychologically for fight or flight can be wear on us physically mentally and emotionally. 

Therefore, it...

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Social Media, Fitness Influencers and YOU!

Gorgeous November Day for a run in Lakes Park, Fort Myers. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II

Social media has had a huge impact on the fitness industry - from the instantaneous interaction we have with people all over the world - to content being accessible to anyone anytime.  

We live in a world where we have never been more connected and influenced by social media.

We have so much information readily available and it has opened incredible opportunities for self-promotion, support networks, and research.

However, we have also opened the door for exploitation.

People have become ‘Insta famous’ with hundreds of thousands of people following their photos and content and because of their aesthetics, claim to be fitness experts.

These people now have a platform to exploit the opinions of the public and their desires around fitness.

As a community, we must aim to use social media as a positive influence by promoting healthy and ethical fitness practices that support...

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