Energy In VS Energy Out - Understanding the Energy Balance Equation

A beautiful summer sunset walk on Naples Beach, walking off a delightful dinner on 5th Ave South. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

Have you ever felt that you are up against a brick wall when it comes to weight loss?

You are not alone.

Many people struggle with the weight loss dilemma daily. Metabolism is a complex subject with a plethora of variables but we are going to break down a few basics to help you. 

First, understand that you need a certain amount of energy (calories) to stay alive, as well as to move around.

You can get this energy from food, or you can retrieve it from stored energy (fat reserves) in the body.

If you consume less energy than you expend, you will lose weight – and if you consume more energy than you expend, you will gain weight. 

This relationship between ‘energy in’ and ‘energy out’ is called the Energy Balance Equation, and it’s the most commonly accepted model for calculating how much weight you...

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5 Simple Self-Care Tips to Try Today!

Take or make time to exercise, then rest & reset - two couple of today's tips can happen on the beautiful beach!  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

When life gets busy, it can be easy forget to take care of yourself.

This is especially true during the holidays. End of year deadlines can make work stressful, plus there are more family commitments and personal goals you are working to achieve.

You can be so focused on the end result that you don’t notice you’re burning your candle at both ends until the wick runs out.

Self-care refers to supporting your physical, mental, and emotional health through activities and practices.

These activities don’t have to be over-the-top or costly.

Some are simply nothing more than a few moments of your time.

However, these simple practices can help to keep you happy and healthy, through the holidays and beyond.

1. Take a moment to stop and reset.

The first step toward prioritizing self-care can be as easy as taking a...

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Ramp Up Your Run By Hitting the Beach

Enjoy miles of brisk walking (even running) on our beautiful beaches in Southwest Florida! Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

Southwest Florida is packed with runners and beaches!

And sometimes, the beaches are packed with runners! But while navigating the streets and sidewalks has its own kind of challenges, running on sand is definitely a step up when it comes to intensity.

With all the beauty and natural resources of the beach surrounding us when we run, we might forget we're working out if it wasn't for the increased effort required.

There are three important aspects of running on the sand:

  • aerobic fitness,
  • muscular endurance, and
  • specific technique.

Obviously, you need to have a good aerobic capacity to run in the sand --

On a basic level, running requires your body to burn a lot of energy or calories, and the body functions best and can go longer when it gets plenty of oxygen into the lungs, blood stream and muscles.

So you need an aerobic fitness base to tackle the...

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Don't Let Leg Cramps Cramp Your Style!

Plumeria (above) and Gardenia's are in bloom in Lakes Park (Fort Myers), right now, for you to enjoy! They're smelling SOOO good!  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

Most people have suffered the excruciatingly painful experience of a leg cramp at least once in their life, often in bed at night.

A cramp is a painful spasm or contraction (shortening) of the muscle, usually in the calf, but sometimes in the foot or thigh muscles.

Cramps are involuntary – you have no control over the muscle spasm.

Fortunately, cramps usually only last a few seconds or minutes and usually get better when you stretch the affected muscles.

Walking around often helps relieve foot cramps.

After a cramp, the affected muscles may be sore and tender for a few hours.

Sometimes there is even mild swelling afterwards. Although they are extremely painful, ordinary leg cramps are more of a nuisance than anything else and are not usually a sign of anything seriously wrong.

Leg cramps (especially night...

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Balance Training (It's Not Just for Seniors)

Last Friday's Southwest Florida sunset on Naples Beach was gorgeous!  Enjoy exercise wherever and whenever you can, even walking the beach!  Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

How often do you incorporate balance work into your training sessions?

I’m going to hedge a guess at not much. Most people don’t even think about our body’s ability to balance.

After all, that’s just a concern for the elderly, right?

Well, no. 

Balance training is important for everyone.

It is as important a factor in fitness as cardiovascular, resistance and flexibility training.

In fact, without good balance, your ability to perform the other components smoothly and with efficiency is compromised.  

Good balance not only plays a significant role in strengthening and stabilizing joints but it also increases proprioception, or the body’s ability to recognize where it is in space and to help control movements.

With increased proprioception, the body is able...

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Office Based Exercise - Increase Productivity & Reduce Health Care Costs

If you can't get to the beach to walk or run, here's some ideas for exercising from the office!  Naples Beach - March 18, 2022. Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

It’s never ending...

Clients are referred to exercise physiologists because they either have several risk factors predisposing them to chronic disease and/or conditions (i.e. high blood pressure, high cholesterol), or they have developed a chronic disease and/or condition and their health care provider wants exercise to be a component of their treatment.

Simple, or at least you’d think so right?

Many of these referred patients have very busy lives: work and family (kids and often grandchildren too), so a big part of successful planning is to find ‘potential exercise/physical activity’ time in their day, which is often no easy task.

If the average person sleeps 7.5 hours per night, that leaves potentially 16.5 hours, to complete 30 minutes of exercise (minimum recommended daily amount by the...

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Rediscover Your Exercise Routine

A beautiful late February day for running, walking or biking in Lakes Park (Fort Myers). Photo Courtesy of Charly Caldwell II.

We're two months into 2022, and...

People have been asking how to restart their fitness program!

If your last workout feels like a distant memory, do not despair.

Now is a perfect time to find your way back into a fitness routine.

However, be mindful. You don’t need to rush into it head first.

By doing a little planning and adopting a gradual approach, you will reduce your risk of injury and perhaps even get a little more enjoyment from it.

First, be realistic.

If you’ve ever taken a break from exercise (holiday, injury), you know trying to fit the weeks you have missed into the first two weeks back doesn’t work.

I have an adage I use in these situations:

‘It’s not about where you’ve been, it’s about where you’re going.’

When it comes to the cardio, go easy on yourself here too.

This means being able to...

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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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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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