Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Group Exercise Program Recap

I finished teaching a Group Exercise program today for city employees in Woburn, MA. The participants were outstanding and the attendance was some of the best I've ever seen. Many times, people don't stick to the program but they did and I appreciate that. In addition, the feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive. I have individuals complete evaluations after the programs end and I wanted to share some of the wonderful comments I received:
  • "The Conditioning ('Cardio') component felt that Paul was not easy on us; he really made us work and I enjoyed that"
  • "Paul pushed everyone to do what they didn't think they were capable of"
  • "Paul was extremely motivating and utilized fantastic music every class"
Admittedly, I was humbled to receive a very lengthy and extremely positive feedback from one participant who has battled Plantarfasciits. Having been through it myself, I know how painful and frustrating it can be. She wrote the following:
"Paul was available before & after class and via e-mail. I was having pain and e-mailed Paul about it. He responded almost immediately, with suggestions to alleviate the pain and included video attachments to show me what to do. His information was very helpful. I was able to attend the last class with zero additional pain. He also provided modified versions of his exercises to help me not put too much pressure on my feet. Paul has e-mailed the group weekly with informative newsletters. He really puts it all out there for us and cares. This is my 2nd time attending a class with Paul as an instructor. He is an asset to the program. He really provides a great workout. His pleasant demeanor and sense of humor make the class enjoyable."

Reading the aforementioned comments from group exercise participants and receiving daily positive feedback from clients continues to reaffirm my thought process that I know I picked the right career path! It's amazing how fulfilling it is watching people make positive changes in their lives through dedication and consistent hard work. It honestly makes me work harder. Positivity is contagious.

Friday, March 25, 2011

MORE good news for sleep

Sometimes I feel like I'm turning into "Dr. Sleep," but once again research has emerged espousing the benefits of sleep. Researchers @ Columbia University found that people who are sleep-deprived eat nearly 300 calories more than those who are well-rested. With previous research detailing a correlation between sleep deprivation and diabetes, I think it's time more people put more thought into getting some good quality shut-eye.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Icky Shuffle Agility Ladder Drill

Looking to improve your agility, foot speed, or neuromuscular coordination? If so, give my favorite Agility Ladder drill, the "Icky Shuffle," a try. Check out the video above for a breakdown.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Come on Honey. Live a Little.

I've worked with many small groups over the years, but one specific type of group that never fails to be an interesting experience is when I work with couples. Specifically, when it's a couple of significant others. Often times, there is a "weaker link in the chain," but we make it work. One situation that admittedly bothers me is when I work with an individual and their significant other who doesn't exercise or eat right brings the person I am training down.

Ironically, the Boston Globe ran an article on this very topic a few days ago. The article discusses what happens when one spouse's enjoyment is another's blown diet. Like the article mentions, I've certainly experienced a situation where the "lazy weak link" at home feels threatened by their newly-confident partner. Additionally, feelings of guilt are often present in these types of scenarios. Check out the full article by clicking the following link:

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Back from PB Seminar

I had the opportunity to attend the annual Perform Better 1-day Learn by Doing Seminar @ The Reggie Lewis Track & Athletic Seminar today. It was fantastic and I was able to network with a lot of folks. My April newsletter will contain a list of the top 10 things I picked up from the seminar. The seminar was a nice blend of both personal and professional improvement approaches. If you have a chance to check it out, I highly recommend it.

Perform Better is the company that I obtain all my fitness equipment from. You can check them out here:

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Eat up that fish ladies!

The Harvard Women's Health Study recently concluded that consumption of fish wards off age-related macular degeneration. I am constantly recommending fatty fish (i.e. wild salmon) to my clients. I eat 3-4 fish meals/week and love it. Check this link out for more info:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Avoiding Basketball Injuries

Exercises are performed in the athletic strength and conditioning world to improve performance, but more importantly, to prevent injury. While jumping higher and running faster are critical to many athletic endeavors, preventing an ankle sprain or a knee injury are more important.

Exercises to prevent injuries include Mini Band Walks (seen below):

For many more exercises to implement, check out the following URL:

Have a few lbs. to lose? Get a dog!

I remember at a lecture I was giving recently someone asking me for weight loss tips. While most answers you hear boil down to "move more and eat less," I chose to reply with something that perked a few ears up, "get a dog" I said to the woman.

This week, the New York Times ran an article discussing this very subject. Check it out here:

Got Knee Pain?

Millions of people worldwide suffer from some form of knee pain. As a personal trainer, being able to apply a "training effect" without causing more knee pain is always a goal. A fantastic exercise for those suffering from knee pain, performed above by Coach Mike Boyle, is the Barbell 2-arm/1-leg Stiff-Legged Deadlift. It's a great way to strengthen the glutes, hamstrings, and hips as well.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Game Day Napping for Athletes

I know, I know...."ENOUGH about sleep already Paul!" I'll save your breath, but I wouldn't keep harping about it if it weren't true. It helps with weight loss, strength gains, and reducing stress so why don't people place more focus on it?

Check out this article, recently published on Jonathan Abrams' NBA Blog:

On the Left Hand, There Are No Easy Answers

Recent left-handed presidents include, from left, Gerald R. Ford, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
Roughly 90 percent of people are right-handed. Personally, I'm in the minority on this one and I'm glad to be in some good left-handed company. I like (prefer) being different, although truth be told the only things I do left-handed are writing and eating. The New York Times ran an interesting article this week on this very topic. Check it out here:

Monday, March 07, 2011

What You Must Ask Your Doctor

The Dr. Oz Show recently aired a segment called "What You Must Ask Your Doctor." There was a Registered Nurse on the program who acts as a patient advocate and she discusses with the in-studio audience what you should be discussing with your doctor. With my annual physical right around the corner, it was nice to hear some suggestions for me to ask my own doctor.

Banning Tanning Beds for Teens

The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement recently supporting a ban on the use of tanning beds by teens. They reported that even tanning once in a while can increase skin cancer risk by 75 percent. Nearly one in four white teens have reported at least one visit to a salon.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

No more PT @ Planet Fitness

Planet Fitness made a bold move recently when their CEO made the bold (stupid) decision to discontinue Personal Training. They already have no group exercise option, and now they eliminate PT. Talk about the continued movement toward continued elimination of interpersonal socialization. Geez...

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Exercise Seen to Reduce Signs of Aging

The New York Times ran a very good article in today's edition. Scientists looked at mitochondrial repair in mice that proved quite interesting. Check it out here:

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

5 Steps for Brain Health

Preserving physical health as we age is undoubtedly critical, but let's not neglect preservation of mental health. 5 quality steps to keep your brain in shape are the following:
  1. Eat a brain healthy diet (plenty of Omega 3's and fruits/veggies)
  2. Stay mentally healthy (learn new skills such as dancing; learn a new language, practice crossword puzzles and take classes)
  3. Stay social
  4. Get plenty of sleep (how often do I rant about this?!?!)
  5. Manage stress (incorporate meditation into your day)

Omega 3's for Dry Eye Syndrome

I was reviewing some info. recently on Omega 3 intake and their ability to combat Dry Eye Syndrome. Personally, the use of Thera Tears ( and my consistent intake of Omega 3's has helped. To support general eye health, try increasing your intake of oily, cold-water fish such as wild Alaskan salmon, mackerel, herring and black cod, as well as walnuts and freshly ground flaxseed. If you suffer from dry eye syndrome, you may also want to consider supplementing with a high-quality fish oil product (