Category Archives: Articles

Participate in Life!

Dave Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer, NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist


I recently returned from our annual Dad/Girls trip. These are annual trips I take with just my daughters, Katelyn and Abby, that allow me to spend focused time with just them without life’s distractions. Deb does the same type of trip in July. This year we ventured a little further than usual to Sedona, AZ and the Grand Canyon. If you’ve not been, it’s a must do trip. I’m not one usually at a loss for words, but Sedona is a tough place to put into words. There’s a presence there like I’ve felt nowhere else. Likewise, the Grand Canyon is so immense that the brain can’t comprehend it.

While we were hiking the first day it hit me that trips like these are thebest reason to be in good shape. Because when you can do things like hike, bike, travel with your kids or with a friend or spouse you are Participating in Life! In doing so, you’ll experience a deep peace and satisfaction that cannot be duplicated in any other way. The memories and sites we experienced on our trip will be with us forever.

One of the hikes that stands out was our hike up into the Cathedral Rocks, one of the vortex sites. While it’s only about a mile to the top, it’s straight up the side of a mountain, all rocks, with 1076’ feet of elevation gain in that short distance. Once up there we hiked and scrambled around the rocks with ever-changing views.

While on this hike we came across a family that did not make it to the top. The Mom and kids (probably in their late teens) were both overweight and sadly the Mom was unable to even start the hike due to sore knees and steps she needed to go down. The kids started the hike, but did not seem to make the top. When we carry extra weight on our bodies, it prevents us from truly Participating in Life. I know, I was there 15 years ago, weighing 30 pounds more than I do now. There’s no way I could have done the hikes and bike rides I do today. If I had not lost the weight years ago, I can’t imagine how many of the amazing memories I have with Deb and the kids would have been lost.

You may remember we profiled Paul Colangelo’s amazing weight-loss journey in January. Paul continues to expand his limits and recently completed the Elephant Rock 27 mile off-road mountain bike ride. Afterwards he sent Deb and I an email titled Redefining Physical Limits talking about the positive impacts of being healthier. Paul is now able to participate in activities that before would have be impossible 21 months ago.

Losing weight, lowering high blood pressure or getting diabetes under control is incredible. But along the journey the true gem is being able to Participate in Life and create experiences and memories that will last a lifetime.

Top Ten Reasons to Work with a Personal Trainer

Dave & Deb Brown, NSCA Certified Personal Trainer

Working with a certified personal trainer can provide multiple advantages over just working out on your own. This article will discuss the top ten reasons to work with a certified personal trainer, whether you have been working out for a while or are just starting a fitness program.

  1. Motivation – you will work harder with a personal trainer than you will on your own. When you have someone standing behind you and encouraging you, you will be pleasantly surprised about what you can accomplish.
  2. Accountability – when you work with a trainer and you have an appointment set up, it provides for a structured fitness schedule.
  3. A personalized program – a good personal trainer knows how to work around previous injuries and current weaknesses. He/she will also know how to design an appropriate and safe workout for those with chronic disease or conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
  4. A support system for weight loss efforts – a good trainer can provide a structured program for weight loss including the proper combination of good nutrition, cardiovascular and strength training.
  5. Efficiency – everyone is so busy these days with jobs, commutes, kids, volunteer work, etc. A trainer will design a program that can be done in a focused period of time.
  6. Constant Change – it’s important that you challenge your body in new and different ways. A trainer will work to keep your routine creative and changing every 4-6 weeks so that you will stay interested and engaged.
  7. Customized workout for home/travel –a trainer can put together a plan for you to do if you will be working out at home or if you are a frequent traveler, no matter what equipment you have available.
  8. Correct Form and Technique – a trainer will ensure that you are doing your exercises correctly and with the proper amount of weight. This helps you avoid injury and make progress without being too sore.
  9. Specificity – A trainer will look at movements you make in life, at work and for outdoor activities/ sports and design a program accordingly. There is no “cookie cutter” workout when you are working with a trainer.
  10. Fun! Yes, you CAN actually have fun working out. A trainer can keep the workout creative and fun; and the rapport you develop with a trainer can make your workout time fly by. Before you know it, you have completed another workout and will be that much closer to your goal.