Happy Earth Day, Everyday!

by on April 24th, 2017

Happy Earth Day, Everyday! From Leisure Fitness

Happy Earth Day, Everyday!!

In honor of Earth Day, we challenge you to try a different form of transportation that is beneficial for the environment, your health, and your wallet! Try biking or walking to work, the grocery store, or anywhere else today!

We live here, so we think every day should be Earth Day!

Benefits:
• Ditching your car for the day saves the environment from the pollutants it emits while running!
• Biking or walking instead of driving is a free and easy way to workout and burn calories!
• Physical activity from the commute will release endorphins, wake you up and make you ready to take on the day!
• On top of these benefits, you will save that is normally spent on gas!

Remember to Log Your Exercise with our Leisure Fitness Be Fit, Stay Fit Challenge Site & App!

#earthday #biking #walking #health #fitness #earthdayeveryday

Leisure Fitness and Johns Hopkins Medicine – Partners in Wellness

by on May 11th, 2015

Leisure Fitness and Johns Hopkins Medicine - Partners in Wellness

Leisure Fitness provides quarterly health & wellness seminars for our wellness partner, Johns Hopkins Medicine! Providing health and wellness information is a critical initiative for Leisure Fitness. We are very happy to work with companies like Johns Hopkins that are helping and healing so many people.

Leisure Fitness Wellness Outreach Health Seminars

About Us – Leisure Fitness Wellness Outreach Program:
Leisure Fitness works with local organizations to support wellness events like health fairs and other health initiatives.
If you are interested in doing something to promote health & wellness for your organization – Leisure Fitness offers free Health & Fitness Seminar Series at your organization please Contact Us. No tricks or sales pitch, the seminars are accredited by the American Council on Exercise and are approved for Continuing Education Credits for Personal Trainers. The seminars are fun, informational, and motivational – we have a vested interest in creating a more health conscious country! Let us help get you started on your journey to a healthy and fit lifestyle!

We look forward to hearing from you!
Leisure Fitness – Wellness Team

#leisurefitness #wellness #corporatewellness

10 Reasons Why Your Workout Does Not Work…And How to Fix it!

by on February 24th, 2015

Leisure Fitness Corporate Wellness
Leisure Fitness Corporate Wellness Outreach Program presented the ’10 Reasons Why Your Workout Doesn’t Work…& How to Fix It!’ to Ashland Water Technologies in Wilmington, Delaware today! We are very happy to provide wellness support for the organization of such amazing people!

For more information about becoming a wellness partner & receiving our free support of your events and to receive free wellness seminars – Contact Us!

#leisurefitness #wellnessoutreach #fitness #corporatewellness #strength #fitness

Topic of the Month July 2014: Pass (On) The Sugar

by on July 23rd, 2014

Doctor Paul Kennedy

Topic of the Month July 2014: Pass (On) The Sugar
It’s been nearly two years since I commented on sugar consumption in the USA. New research evidence has surfaced that indicates a continued overconsumption of sugar and “sweeteners” by many even though the sugar content of many processed and prepared foods has slowly (finally?) been reduced. It should be no surprise that the age groups most associated with sugar overconsumption are comparatively younger Americans. This does not mean that dietary levels of sugar in older populations have decreased significantly but it does indicate that younger people are still drinking highly sweetened beverages at an unhealthy pace. Parental control in this matter is, many times, non-existent and, therefore, young children and teenagers continue to consume sugar sweetened beverages at an unhealthy rate.

Although it is difficult to determine how much is too much when it comes to sweetened beverages and these sweeteners include high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) which has become ubiquitous in our total food supply and can be found in almost every “prepared” food. What are the health issues related to sugar and HFCS consumption? Well, aside from the high caloric intake which causes overweight and obesity, the nutritional value is nearly zero. As a result of high levels of dietary sugar and HFCS, circulatory issues tend to arise along with fat weight gain and obesity.

In fact, there have been over a dozen studies (involving over 400,000 subjects) showing a correlation between sugar and/or HFCS intake to hypertension (high blood pressure)—even in teenagers. This condition seems to occur slowly and innocuously over time but research has shown that hypertension becomes a real possibility after about 18 months of regular consumption of sweetened beverages and foods.

How does this hypertension happen?

It has to do with how our arterial function and how dietary sugar and HFCS make our arteries struggle to maintain proper blood flow.

Our arteries are amazing in that they carry oxygen and glucose (energy from the food we eat) to the cells to help us produce energy for our daily lives and activities. When we exercise, the inner membrane cell walls of our arteries give off a chemical called nitric oxide which allows our arteries to open even wider (known as vasodilation) to allow greater blood flow when we need it. This nitric oxide is essential for arterial health and performance and allows our heart to work more efficiently. Sadly, sugar-sweetened beverages can–and will–lower nitric oxide levels in the blood. This means that the arteries become narrower and more constricted which, in turn, causes blood pressure to rise. Similarly, another essential nutrient that helps normalize and/or control blood pressure that is negatively affected by sugar intake is magnesium. The more sugar in the system, the more tense the smooth muscles of the blood vessels become and the higher the blood pressure due to lower levels of magnesium. This is why high blood pressure in teens as well as adults appears to be strongly related to the consumption of sweeteners like sugar and HFCS.

How much is too much?

Research seems to indicate that more than one serving PER DAY may be associated with a higher risk hypertension and high blood pressure. And don’t forget that higher sugar intake is also related to the risk for Type II diabetes—particularly in the absence of regular and vigorous exercise. Kidney stones have also been linked to sugar/sweetener consumption. As usual, moderation of sugar and sugar-sweetened beverage intake is major key to better health.  Remember that every 12 ounce can of sweetened “soda” and many iced teas contain the equivalent of 10 teaspoons of sugar!! And don’t forget to look for and avoid the hidden sugar in many prepared foods when you shop. In other words, read and compare labels when you shop. The closer that one gets to fresh or frozen food without the added sugar or sweeteners, the lower the risk of many of the conditions and diseases discussed above. It all adds up!

I’m Dr. Paul Kennedy and that’s the “Be Fit, Stay Fit” Topic of the Month for July, 2014. Good luck with YOUR program! I KNOW you can do it!

Weston Solutions Employee Health Fair

by on October 24th, 2012

Weston Health Fair

Weston Solutions held their annual health fair on October 11th, 2012. Leisure Fitness was proud to participate as part of the vendors. The company, committed to increasing overall health and wellness of employees, urged employees to participate in all health risk assessment stations. Employees were screened for bone density, blood pressure, vision, cholesterol, and pulmonary function. Additionally, employees visited vendors like The Paoli Chiropractic Group, Podiatry Care Specialists, Acac Fitness & Wellness Centers, and of course, Leisure Fitness Equipment.

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‘Be Fit, Stay Fit America’ Radio Show with Dr. Paul Kennedy

by on October 11th, 2012

Dr. Paul Kennedy with Be Fit Stay Fit America Radio Show

Introducing “Be Fit, Stay Fit America”  with Dr. Paul Kennedy, the Leisure Fitness Director of Wellness Outreach!

105.7 The Fan | Saturday’s at 7AM to 8AM | Starting October 13th, 2012!!

As an advocate for creating and maintaining wellness, Dr. Paul will take calls from listeners to discuss how to integrate fitness into you and your family’s daily routine. The new show will feature relevant fitness and wellness topics.

Listeners can call in to chat with Dr. Paul with questions, concerns, and general commentary.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – An Update

by on December 2nd, 2011

Dr. Paul Kennedy

It’s been nearly eight years since I addressed the relationship between exercise and a condition known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD). It usually seems to happen around the holiday season but, indeed, can even happen in the spring and summer. It seems, perhaps, to be more apparent during the holidays because it’s supposed to be “happy time” with friends and family but may become exactly the opposite. Symptoms include agitation, anxiety, changes in appetite, lack of energy, lack of concentration and even depression. There are, of course, many “levels” of depression but SAD seems a bit more pervasive and difficult to define. Is it the holiday season that makes us feel this way? Are the many relatives and loved ones that drop in driving us crazy? Are we simply lonely because we DON’T have family nearby during this festive season that runs from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day? It’s hard to say. But what we DO know is that regular exercise, for a variety of reasons, seems to help us cope a little better with all the pressures and expectations that the holidays can bring. Even something as a brisk, extended walk can be good for the heart in both physical and emotional ways.

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Heart Disease, Diabetes, Body Weight and Genetics

by on June 30th, 2011

Doctor Paul KennedyWe have known for years (decades really) that individuals that are overweight or obese are far more likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes than those that are leaner or “skinny”. Clearly, there is much truth to that statement but some new genetic research has identified a gene known as IRS1 that is linked not only to having less body fat but, in addition, is linked to higher risk of heart

disease and greater chances of acquiring diabetes (Type 2). Many people always wonder what role genetics can play in a variety of diseases and conditions but the identification of this newly discovered genetic relationship is important.

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Wholly Guacamole

by on June 21st, 2011

Doctor Paul Kennedy
Summer makes me think of two of my favorite thing: Skinny Girl margaritas and guacamole! I usually make my own guacamole, but I noticed All Natural Wholly Guacamole in the produce section of the grocery store and thought I would give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised to see only a handful

of casino online ingredients: Hass avocados, Jalapeno puree, onion, salt and and NO additives, preservatives or trans fats. In addition, each serving contains heart healthy monounsaturated fat as well as folic acid, potassium and fiber. Now the important

part…the casino taste! Wholly guacamole has a very smooth and creamy consistency with a few chunks of avocado and just the right amount of spice and garlic. Serve with baked whole wheat pita chips for a healthy snack, or use on sandwiches, salads or grilled chicken for generic cialis a quick and easy dinner. My personal favorite is Wholly guacamole with scrambled egg whites and fresh tomatoes…delicious! Bottom line: a quick and easy alternative to homemade guacamole that tastes fresh and is loaded with heart healthy nutrients.

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Obesity and Immune Response

by on May 27th, 2011

Doctor Paul Kennedy
I have written before that it is possible to be fit AND fat. If measurements of resting blood pressure, heart rate and blood lipids (fats in the blood) are within normal ranges, a person that is considered fat or obese by typical measures might still be considered healthy. Realistically though, these “healthy” signs or indicators are likely to occur in less than two out of ten people that are obese or considerably overweight. The real question has become whether people in the significantly overweight or obese category are more predisposed to certain diseases and “conditions” that might cause significant health problems and even premature death. For example, two of the top three causes of cancer are now considered directly related to inactivity and obesity. As a result, much of the discussion and research in recent years has turned to the immune system. And the news is not considered good.
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Fit and Fat? How Can That Be?

by on May 2nd, 2011

Doctor Paul KennedyWe’ve known for years that some people that are considered significantly overweight or “fat” seem to be able to accomplish activities that require significantly higher levels of fitness (based upon heart rate response and work load). A recent long-term study, for example, involving over 11 thousand women and lasting nearly thirty-five years showed that this is clearly possible. Studies involving men have also shown this to be true but the study referenced above showed that women too can improve their cardiovascular fitness and reap the benefits of a fitter body without necessarily being “slender” or “thin”. The bottom line in terms of what factor was important to longevity and cause of death in the women studied was cardiorespiratory fitness (or CRF). CRF is measured using a graded exercise test (usually on a treadmill or a stationary bike) that gradually increases resistance or workload while measuring and/or analyzing expired air and heart rate. In addition, time to fatigue may also be measured to determine endurance. But all of these tests are a way of finding out just how efficient the heart, lungs and circulatory are at delivering oxygen to the cells for the production of energy. Moreover, it is understood that the more oxygen that can be delivered and/or exchanged is an indication of better general fitness. This is also why resting heart rate is also considered a good measure of general fitness.

Once baseline and subsequent measures of fitness (described above) are determined and recorded over time, an analysis can be accomplished using other fitness indicators such as percentage of body fat, body mass index ( or BMI—see archive ), waist circumference and waist-to-height ratio to determine if a relationship exists. It was found that life expectancy for individuals that were overweight or obese, a higher level of cardiorespirartory fitness for all women studied was directly related to increased longevity regardless of the amount of additional adipose tissue (fatness). In other words, even when fat, women who were able to maintain a lower resting heart rate and higher fitness levels (due in large part to higher levels of regular physical activity) lived longer and, ostensibly, had lower rates of acquired diseases such as diabetes and many circulatory diseases.

Indeed, lower levels of cardiorespiratory (also known as “cardiovascular”) fitness was “a significant independent predictor of all-cause mortality”. In other words, the

higher the fitness level, the longer the life span regardless of the cause of death (other than accidental causes). The conclusion of the study is that predicting cause of death in an individual due to bodyweight factors such as obesity must take into account the health of the heart, lungs and circulatory system. It also indicates that being fit and carrying additional weight is not necessarily an indicator of an early death. Clearly, excess weight and especially obesity is a factor in individual health and mortality but being fit is also possible for those who struggle with their weight and can help to live a longer and more disease free life.

It should also be understood that part of a healthy lifestyle is related to nutrition habits. For most people, being overweight or obese is multi-causal. Exercising regularly and eating poorly is just as counterproductive as eating well and not exercising with respect to gaining unwanted pounds. Is there a genetic predisposition for overweight and obesity? Of course! But almost anyone can keep those unwanted pounds from happening with a little foresight, a little exercise and a little self-control with respect to calorie intake. But remember that regardless of body weight, improved fitness is possible, desirable and will allow the individual to live a longer and healthier life. If you struggle with your weight, you owe it to yourself to get started or RE-started on a fitness program that will improve your level of health. And there’s no time like the present!

I’m Dr. Paul Kennedy and that’s the “Be Fit, Stay Fit” Topic of the Month for May, 2011. Good luck with your program. I KNOW you can do it!

The Acid Test

by on March 1st, 2009

Most people don’t realize that our bodies have an optimal acid balance. One might remember from high school chemistry that it is possible to test almost any chemical substance for acidity or alkalinity using litmus paper. On a scale of 0 to 14, acids would show a pH less than 7 and a base (or alkaline) substance would have a pH greater than seven. A measurement of 7.0 is considered neutral. The human body when healthy normally scores in the range of 7.35 to 7.45 (slightly alkaline). Usually, saliva and/or blood are the testing material or substrate. Now that the chemistry review is over, it should be noted that as we age, the body appears to have more difficulty shedding excess acid. There are many downsides to this challenge

of aging in terms of disease prevention but one of the most disconcerting is increased bone loss.

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Stroke

by on February 1st, 2009

I have written many times about the number one and number two causes of death in the Unite States (heart disease and cancer). Of course, the focus was always about the fact that both the incidence and severity of these diseases were largely preventable and controllable with proper lifestyle habits related to diet and exercise. But a new study, published

last fall in the journal “Circulation” has shown that the condition known as a stroke “generally caused by an interruption or disruption of blood flow to the brain” clearly follows a similar pattern in terms of cause and prevention. As the number three killer of Americans (nearly 150,000 deaths per year), it is perhaps a good idea to review the findings of the above referenced study.

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Mitochondria — Part Two

by on December 1st, 2008

Nearly

three years ago, in January 2006, I wrote about the importance of exercise and weight loss with respect to the increase in the mitochondria of the cells (“Mitochondria-The Little Engines That Will!”). These mitochondria, as stated in the article, were just then being seen as an important part of any weight loss or weight management program. As it turns out, some new research has shown that this is, indeed, the case. In the most recent issue of my favorite nutrition periodical, “Nutrition Action” (published by the non-profit group The Center for Science in the Public Interest), the role of the mitochondria has been put into even clearer perspective. Usually, “Nutrition Action” rarely gets into the physiology of exercise and the components that contribute to weight management outside the realm of food rip-offs and diet control. However, it appears that the contribution of mitochondrial development as a result of proper exercise programs and its effect on “natural” and healthy forms of weight loss were too big to ignore.

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Diet and Brain Function

by on October 1st, 2008

I have written before about the obvious effects of diet and its relationship to various conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. The pervading factors in this relationship are usually high levels of fat (especially saturated fats) as well as excess calories. I’ve also discussed on some occasions the positive links between regular exercise and improved brain function. But the connection between diet and brain function is a little more tenuous and murky. Fortunately, some recent research has begun to show that there is a positive response by the brain (either reactive or proactive) to a proper diet that is lower in fat and calories – especially where it involves memory.

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The Wonderful World Of Research — Part Deux

by on November 19th, 2007

In a recent article in ”Nutrition Action” (2007,vol. 34, no.9) concerning the immune system response in children and its relationship to commercial vegetable and fruit drinks that had been supplemented with specific nutrients, a sub-text was uncovered that was related top a TOTW from last January (see TOTW, ”The Wonderful World of Research”). The January TOTW was about how ”research” is, many times, manipulated in a variety of ways so that specific foods or drinks are touted as ”essential” to good health and, in this case, a healthier immune system. Dr. David Nieman, one of America’s top health and nutrition experts, found that diet had less to do with a healthy immune system (in already healthy populations) than regular exercise. On the surface, that would seem like a perfectly reasonable, although unexpected, result of his research (Dr. Nieman is widely known and respected for his research accuracy and lack of bias) but there was a ”problem” with the results. It was not the accuracy of his results or even the experimental design of the project that caused the ”problem”—it was the angst of the company that PAID for the research. Why? Because the results did not match the results that the company was expecting since, as a producer of food and beverages, they were hoping to use the results in a subsequent advertising campaign centered on a healthy diet that included their own products.

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Myostatin – A Preview

by on November 5th, 2007

It wasn’t that long ago that myostatin was simply considered a small part of an amino acid chain. Few knew or even cared about this substance known as ”growth differentiation factor-8” or GDF-8. Its function histochemically is to control muscle growth. During the last year or so, photos of incredibly muscular dogs started to appear on the Internet. These dogs (mostly racing whippets) showed a muscularity that was freakishly large. The public, of course, assumed that a medication or supplement of some sort was being given to these animals to produce the hypertrophic muscularity. In fact, they were simply being bred to be more muscular by mating dogs that were identified genetically as ”myostatin deficient”. Some breeds of cattle are also bred in this manner to produce more muscle (i.e. meat). Ahhhhh, the wonders of DNA testing and experimentation.

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Lifestyle And Heart Disease

by on June 25th, 2007

In reviewing my notes on heart disease, I came across a study that was completed over two years and subsequently published in the journal ”Circulation”. What really caught my eye was the age of the participants in the study (middle aged to elderly), the length or span of the study (16 years) and the comparisons made concerning certain ”lifestyle” factors throughout the study. These ”factors” are the same ones that you have probably read about in this space before but it was great to see them analyzed collectively by unbiased researchers (the only sponsor was the American heart Association). So forgive me if it seems like I’ve suggested this ”stuff” before but suffice it to say, ”I told you so!”

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Exercise and Dementia

by on June 4th, 2007

Regular readers of the TOTW will know that I often use the phrase ”Exercise is medicine”. It never ceases to amaze me about the number of people who discover, through properly administered regular exercise, that a more physically active body (lifestyle?) is a healthier body-on a variety of levels. I have even written before about the suspected relationship between exercise and brain function. Some recent evidence seems to point in that very direction. In the last couple of years, the ”link” between brain function and exercise adherence has become stronger and stronger. The reason for the ”link”, at least according to scientists that do this sort of research, is ”theoretical” but the following example of research in this field may serve to show the obvious—at least to me.

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C-Reactive Protein — Part Two

by on August 28th, 2006

I wrote over two years ago about C-Reactive Protein (CRP) and its use as a marker for cardiovascular disease. I also briefly mentioned the contribution that lifestyle can play in reducing the level of CRP naturally. Indeed, CRP blood levels continue to be accepted as an even better and more accurate indication of potential heart disease than cholesterol. The increased presence of CRP is, as you recall from my previous TOTW on the subject, a response to higher levels of inflammation in the body from a variety of causes. Fortunately, many of these ”causes” are preventable or controllable and this can result in lowered blood CRP. Let’s take a closer look as to how this can occur.

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