America’s Least Fit (and Fittest) Cities

Americas Fittest Cities












In the recently released American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) 2015 American Fitness Index data report, 10 cities ranked lowest in overall health and fitness. Each city received a ranking and areas that needed “worked on” as a whole for the city.


#10: Dallas, Texas – score 38.8/100

#9: New Orleans, Louisiana – score 36.8/100

#8: Charlotte, North Carolina – score 37.4/100

#7: Birmingham, Alabama – score 34.5/100

#6: Nashville, Tennessee – score 33.0/100

#5: Louisville, Kentucky – score 32.1/100

#4: San Antonio, Texas – score 32.0/100

#3: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma – score 29.6/100

#2: Memphis, Tennessee – score 27.3/100

#1: Indianapolis, Indiana – score 26.8/100

To view the full report and see the full results of these cities and other major metropolitan cities included in the ACSM’s research, visit


And, the Fittest cities are…


#1: Washington, D.C.

#2: Minneapolis, Minnesota

#3: San Diego, California

#4: San Francisco, California

#5: Sacramento, California

#6: Denver, Colorado

#7: Portland, Oregon

#8: Seattle, Washington

#9: Boston, Massachusetts

#10: San Jose, California

Food for Thought

Top Reasons to Quit Soda Drinking… NOW














Gone are the days when everyone you ran into was drinking a sugary soda – whether regular or diet.  While you do still have those “die hards” who drink their soda every single chance they get, many others have caught onto all of the warnings that nutritionists have been telling us for years about the effects that soda has on our bodies.

But if you are still in the minority and enjoy your soda, here are some great reasons to quit drinking soda – both regular and diet – TODAY!

You eat less – in particular sweets.  At (on average) 150 calories per can, you can significantly reduce your sugar intake if you quit drinking soda.  The artificial sweeteners in diet soda are the worst for you, too, because they are 400 to 8,000 times sweeter than sugar.

You lose weight.  Even though diet drinks are calorie-free, they cause insulin to be released in your gut because of the artificial sweeteners and prevent weight loss.  Insulin is your body’s primary fat storage so it will have the body hold onto any extra fat.

You improve your immune system.  The acidity in soda is bad for your digestive system, erodes tooth enamel, and worsens acid reflux.  Research shows that artificial sweeteners affect our healthy gut bacteria, which can greatly affect our immune system.

You stop your bones from breaking down.  The caramel color in soda contains artificially created phosphorus that can be bad for long-term bone health.

Healthy Living

Got Mosquitoes? Myth vs. Fact!











It’s summertime and that means that the days are getting longer, the sun is shining later and the mosquitoes are biting everyone!

But how much do you know about these little buggers? Here we separate the myths from the facts:


MYTH: All mosquitoes will bite you.

It is only the female mosquito that bites you because she needs the blood for protein and energy to produce eggs. Male mosquitoes feed on flower nectar.


MYTH: Mosquitoes are more drawn to people who eat sweets.

Blood is blood. It is more how a person smells than how they taste, that attracts the most mosquitoes.


FACT: Mosquitoes prefer certain blood types.

Studies show that mosquitoes like to feast on Type O blood, but only the portion of O’s who are “secretors” meaning their bodies infuse specific molecules into their saliva, sweat and mucus.


FACT: Pregnancy increases your chances of being devoured by mosquitoes.

A study in 2000 reported that mosquitoes tend to bite expectant women more than others. Some think it is due to increased blood volume, while others believe it is due to pregnant women producing more heat and carbon dioxide, both which are bait for mosquitoes.


MYTH: Citronella and bug zappers are the best protectors against mosquitoes.

Actually your best defense is the 3 D’s – drain any standing water, dress in bright colors, and defend using Deet.


In the News

Fewer Adults Meeting Daily Food Guidelines


In the News










According to a recent study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), “less than 15 percent of adults eat enough fruits daily to meet federal recommendations, but the numbers are even worse in some states, dipping as low as 7.5 percent in Tennessee.”

Researchers also found that even fewer adults eat enough vegetables to meet daily recommendations.

The studies show that while the number of fruit and vegetable intake is low across the entire United States, the numbers are staggering in the Southern states.

Overall, the participants in the study consumed fruit less than once a day, and vegetables less than 1.7 times a day.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the model that the study was measured against, recommend that adults who get less than 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day should eat 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables daily.  More active people can eat more fruits and vegetables during their day without adding too many additional calories to their diet.

The guidelines also recommend that we increase our intake of dark green and orange vegetables, as well as beans.


Fruits and Vegetables that are in season year round:







Snow Peas





Bell Peppers

Bok Choy

Cherry Tomatoes


Fitness for All

Trainer Tips: Habits to Avoid for Success


Trainer Tips







If you feel like you have hit your plateau and aren’t seeing any results from your workouts lately, there may be more problems than just diet and exercise that are interfering with your goals.

Many people play the “blame game” and find a host of reasons why things have wrong awry.  But according to fitness trainers, there are a number of habits that you can be doing that will wreak havoc on any diet or exercise program that you participate in.

  1. You are doing workouts that you hate – if your schedule is full of workouts that you don’t like doing, chances are you are going to continuously skip them often!
  2. You always take the same class – if you continuously do the same class then your body will get accustomed to that same workout, creating fewer results.
  3. You aren’t making a plan – if you are always going to the gym and “just winging it” then you won’t be seeing any real results anytime soon.
  4. You aren’t “fueling” your body – it’s not enough to just do the exercises alone, you must fuel your body adequately to have the energy you need to complete your workout.
  5. You’re skipping your warm up – it is super important to always give your body time to warm up before your workout to prevent injury and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  6. You’re not getting enough sleep – lack of sleep is one of the biggest bad habits that all trainers talk to their clients about.  Sleep is critical for strength and recovery.  Your body must be rested in order to gain strength.


Eating Healthy – Spotlight on: Zucchini

Zucchini squash is one of the most popular summer squashes in America and Europe.  Almost all members of the squash family vegetables feature smooth skin, tender, crunchy flesh with small edible seeds and high moisture content.

Zucchini is one of the very low calorie vegetables, providing only 17 calories per 100 grams of zucchini.  It is also a very good source of potassium, an important intra-cellular electrolyte.

Zucchini is also rich in vitamins A and anti-oxidant vitamin C, plus they contain moderate levels of the B-complex group of vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc.














Recipe: Mom’s Zucchini Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 eggs

1 cup vegetable oil

2 ¼ cups white sugar

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 cups grated zucchini

1 cup chopped walnuts

Grease 2 – 4×8 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Sift flour, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.  Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour into pans. Bake 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes.


Recipe: Japanese Onions and Zucchini

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

2 medium zucchinis cut into thin strips

2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds

Ground black pepper

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in onions and cook for 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook, stirring about 1 minute. Stir in teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and sesame seeds.  Cook until zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in ground pepper and serve immediately.


Eating Healthy

Spotlight on: Bananas














Did you know that the banana is the most popular fruit eaten in the United States? It’s so popular that bananas are eaten in more quantities than apples and oranges COMBINED!

Fun facts about bananas include:

We consume about 25 pounds of bananas per person each year.

  • There are more than 1,000 varieties of bananas.
  • Bananas don’t grow on trees – trees have bark and banana plants don’t have bark.
  • Bananas are low in saturated fats, cholesterol and sodium.
  • A large portion of the calories in bananas come from sugars.


Recipe: Classic Banana Bread

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/3 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray

Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add banana, yogurt, and vanilla; beat until blended. Add flour mixture; beat at low speed just until moist. Spoon batter loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour. Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.


Recipe: Banana Chia Pudding

  • 1 ½ cups vanilla-flavored flax milk
  • 1 large banana cut in chunks
  • 7 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt

Put milk, banana, chia seeds, honey, vanilla extract, and sea salt in respective order in the blender; blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a bowl and refrigerate until thickened, at least 2 hours. Spoon mixture into small bowls to serve.



Osteoporosis Warning Signs Ways you can tell if you are on your way to this dreaded disease












Osteoporosis is one of the most common ailments of adults over the age of 50 and it is definitely a problem that people do not want to live with.  Weak bones lead to fractures and many other scary problems that could leave you disabled.

Before turning into full-blown osteoporosis, osteopenia – the process of thinning bones – precedes the ailment.  There are some warning signs to look for to determine if your bones are in fact thinning.

Here are some warning signs for osteoporosis:

  • Warning Sign #1 – You’ve had more than one fracture in the past two years or a fracture that seemed pretty severe considering the circumstances.
  • Warning Sign #2 – You are naturally a small or thin person.
  • Warning Sign #3 – You have an autoimmune condition that causes you to take prednisone or another corticosteroid.
  • Warning Sign #4 – You are a smoker and have been throughout your adult life.
  • Warning Sign #5 – You drink more than two alcoholic beverages a day.
  • Warning Sign #6 – You do not drink milk or you have a lactose intolerance that prevents you from drinking milk.
  • Warning Sign #7 – You have an eating disorder.
  • Warning Sign #8 – You are an Asian or Caucasian female over the age of 50.
  • Warning Sign #9 – You have a family member who had osteoporosis before the age of 50 or before menopause.

Monitoring Your Child’s Diet

Childhood obesity is constantly on the rise, so as parents we need to be sure that we are always monitoring our children’s fat intake.  In order to help your child maintain a healthy lifestyle, be sure to establish good eating habits like the following:

Monitoring your Childs Diet


    • Children with a family history of cholesterol and heart disease should drink 2 percent milk.
    • After their 2nd birthday, all kids should drink 1 percent milk.
    • Serve your child lean meats and fish.
    • Limit your child’s cheese intake.
    • Limit fruit juice intake to 4 to 6 ounces per day.
    • Offer low-fat snacks like yogurt, pretzels or fresh fruit.
    • Prepare foods using low-fat methods like broiling, steaming or roasting.

     Get Rid Of Your Belly!

    Have you been battling the belly bulge for way too long and are ready to finally fight it off?  Well then you need to start by ditching these food and lifestyle choices and say goodbye to your belly once and for all!


    • Eating out too often.  If you are eating out too often then you are definitely eating too many food items that are battered, breaded, fried and generally unhealthy for you.  You are also more than likely using far too much of condiments than you would if you were eating at home.
    • Drinking diet drinks.  It may be calorie-free, but studies show that people who drink diet sodas intake more calories in a day than those who don’t indulge in diet drinks.
    • Stress eating sugar.  Stress increases cortisol levels in the body, causing sugary and fatty cravings.
    • Smoking.  Smokers have a larger waist circumference than non-smokers. Plus smoking is all-around bad for you!


    Healthy Living – Manic Monday?

    What Successful People Do on Mondays

    Manic Monday






    You have seen all of the memes on social media that wage war on a “case of the Mondays” and declare that it is the worst day of the week. But, did you know that Monday is actually the most critical day of the entire work week?

    Experts say that because you took a two-day break from the trials and tribulations of your work week, Monday is your chance to make the entire week a memorable one.

    Not everyone hates Mondays, though. Many of the world’s most influential and successful people welcome Monday’s with open arms and look forward to starting their week anew.

    If you are looking to make your work week a more profitable one, starting with Monday, then follow what many successful leaders do:

    • Wake up early.
    • Exercise
    • Eat a healthy breakfast.
    • Arrive at work early.
    • Clear your desk and desktop.
    • Carve out time for unexpected projects and tasks.
    • Greet your team and boss.
    • Update your to-do list and weekly goals.
    • Visualize the success of the week.
    • Screen emails for urgent requests.
    • Tackle the tough challenges first.
    • Make an extra effort to smile.
    • Add a “blanket of humanity” to your emails. (Reread them for friendliness and clarity before you send them.)
    • Be able and learn to say “No”.
    • Stay focused.
    • Remember that there is “Tuesday”.