Thursday, August 23, 2007


During the years I have been a fitness instructor and personal trainer, I've noticed the tendency in many exercisers to skip two very important parts of a workout. Some students race into a fitness class 5 to 10 minutes late and begin with the "serious exercise," and/or they grab their gear right after the aerobic section and race out, their hearts still pounding. The solitary exerciser often minimizes the time spent on the warm-up and cool-down when not under the watchful eye of his or her personal trainer.

"Serious exercise" starts with a warm-up and ends with a cool-down. The first step in helping students and clients to include warm-ups and cool-downs in their workouts is educating them about the benefits:

  1. Warming up raises the temperature of the body. For each degree of temperature elevation, the metabolic rate of the cells increases by about 13 percent.
  2. The blood supply to the muscles increases, permitting a greater release of oxygen to feed them.
  3. The speed and force of muscle contractions improve, along with a faster nerve impulse transmission.
  4. Warming up helps prevent injuries. Muscle elasticity and the flexibility of the tendons and ligaments are increased. Synovial fluid, which lubricates the joints, is released during easy activity.
  5. Heart function is improved and ready for the increased demand of intense exercise.

Warm-up activities are movement activities. Stretching is not a warm-up exercise because it does not raise the body temperature. In fact, an exerciser can tear cold muscles by stretching them.

To warm-up, use large movements at an easy pace to heat the entire body. Gradually increase the intensity. Some examples of warm-up are slow jogging or walking, easy biking, slow jump roping, and slow aerobic dance patterns. If you are warming up for a sport, do the movements for the sport but at a slow pace. This will produce a rehearsal effect and your muscles will remember the movement and respond faster during the sports play.

The warm-up should produce light perspiration. When this occurs, you can do some light pre-exercise stretching. However, deep stretching should be performed after the workout is over.

After heavy exercise it is time to taper off with a good cool-down, which is just as important as the warm-up.

  1. Respiration, body temperature, and heart rate are gradually returned to normal, preventing an irregular heart beat that may be life threatening.
  2. The cool-down assists the return of blood to your heart. Suddenly stopping aerobic activity causes blood to pool in the legs instead of circulating to the brain. This can cause dizziness or light-headedness.
  3. Skeletal muscles are shielded from injured by gentle stretching.
  4. Cool-downs relax you emotionally and physically.
  5. Your flexibility is increased.

There are two parts to a complete cool-down. The first follows the cardiovascular exercise and allows the heart to return to 120 beats per minute or less. Activities for this resemble warm-up activities - large movements at a slow pace.

The second part of cooling down is the stretching. This increases flexibility and range of motion, and allows you to relax. Static stretching is recommended. Stretch the muscle until it feels tight, not painful, and hold it for about 30 seconds. Never bounce the stretch.

After stretching, many exercisers use progressive relaxation and deep breathing to enhance the feeling of well-being. This activity helps return the body to normal function.

Besides education, how can fitness instructors increase the number of students who include the warm-up and cool-down in their fitness routines?

  1. Use a heart rate monitor or monitor the pulse manually every 60 seconds to demonstrate to the student how the heart rate gradually increases during the warm-up.
  2. Make the warm-up fun and interesting.
  3. Regularly assess your students' and clients' flexibility to demonstrate the improvements in stretching ability.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Eat Cookies Lose Weight

I want to say that coming from a Fitness arena the word "DIET" is being trashed and getting people scared about what is the mostessential way for the body to exist and that's EATING! And the way wego about it is going on a diet ONLY when we're out of handle with ourweight, doctors orders, the way we look and lastly the way we feel.

I found out that many people don't want to talk about it but, yetthey want to do a quick fix not realizing that if we have a good timemaking small changes and become more proactive introducing greatalternatives to nurturing our body and start feeling great that's itFEELING GREAT!So what I did was to introduce to my family, clients and closefriends "The World's GREATEST Diet cookie"!

And what happened is theyloved it! some said no good but, for the most part they realized thatall the BAD rap about getting in to a regimen of healthy eatinghabits no need to be rabbit food but great choices of healthy foodand have "The World's GREATEST Diet Cookie" on a daily bases makes abigdifference in they're diet so FEELING GREAT will come out from theinside out.Let's keep up the goo dwork and spread the NEWS and share yourvictories and tips with "The World's GREATEST Diet Cookie"

Alfredo Zapata

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Strength Training Minimizes Risk of Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a condition of several risk factors that place individuals at high risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Research to date suggests that higher levels of activity and fitness protect against developing metabolic syndrome, but what has not yet been established is whether resistance exercise provides a benefit similar to that of cardiovascular exercise. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of muscular strength on the incidence of metabolic syndrome in men.

Participants were 3,233 men ranging in age from 20 to 80 who were initially free of metabolic disease. Two clinical examinations were performed between 1980 and 2003; these exams which included baseline muscular strength assessments.

A total of 480 men developed metabolic syndrome during the study period. Compared to the lowest strength category, the men in the highest strength category had a 39% lower risk of metabolic syndrome than overweight and obese men. This inverse relationship was independent of age and other risk factors such as smoking, hypertension, family history, alcohol intake, and premature coronary disease.

The results of this study indicate an inverse and independent relationship between muscular strength and the incidence of metabolic syndrome in healthy men. Fitness Professionals should consider resistance exercise as a primary means of prevention of metabolic syndrome.

Jurca, Radim, et al. Association of muscular strength with incidence of metabolic syndrome in men. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 2005: 37(11), 1849-1855.

Walking shown to be most
Effective for Maintaining Weight Loss

Research continues to point to exercise as the key to maintaining weight loss. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of exercise on weight maintenance.

Subjects were 191 adult women, most of whom where obese, averaging 30 or more pounds over a healthy weight. Participants were advised to follow a low-fat eating program ranging from 1,200-1,500 calories a day. Different exercise intensities were assigned to the participants during the two-year period. Eighty percent of the subjects chose to walk briskly, but the amount of time subjects actually exercised varied from 150 minutes per week to more than 200 minutes per week.

All subjects lost weight, but the women who exercised the most, more than 309 minutes per week the first year and more than 270 minutes per week the second year, lost and kept off the most weight. They lost an average of 13% of their starting weight, which amounted to 25 to 30 pounds.

The results of this study indicate that approximately 50 minutes of brisk walking five days per week can initiate and maintain a 25 to 30 pound weight loss in overweight and obese populations. It is important to note that the walk needs to be done briskly, at a speed equal to or greater than 3 miles per hour. This amount of exercise can also be accumulated throughout the day rather than done in one continuous session.

Jakicic, John et al. University of Pittsburgh. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Obesity Society in Vancouver, B.C. Reported in USA Today, October 24, 2005 page 7D.

Obese Patients May Require
Plus-sized Hypodermic Needles

The obesity epidemic has another unexpected side effect: Heavier patients now require plus sized needles for injections.

Researchers in Ireland have discovered that fatter rear ends are causing drug injections to lose their efficacy. The issue is that standard sized needles discharge the drugs into the fatty tissue of the butt as opposed to into the muscle tissue, where, thanks to increased blood flow, the medicine is carried through the body more efficiently. The researchers found that 2/3 of the heavier patients did not receive the full dosage of the medicine since the depth of their fat exceeded the lengthy of the hypodermic needle.

As reported by Reuters, 11-28-05.

Fitness for Dancing

Engage your brain switch it up! Take a cue from square dancing caller and do-si-do and switch partners when it comes to your body fitness workout routines and improve your balance and coordination on the dance floor.

Varying your dance routines and introducing workout routines will make your dance performance more exciting and will keep you from reaching a plateau. Try these tips on how to spice up your dance:

• Vary your routine by pumping iron-workout plan and target different areas of your body on different days take a day off and get back to the dance floor.

• Sign up for something different like swing or salsa dancing lessons.

• Try alternating your dance and dumbbell workout with stretching. (such as yoga, core or Pilates)

• Mix in a little tai chi for grace and swimming for cardio and fat burning.

•And last, keep a sensitive diet, eating light will keep you healthy and ready to move…Who says dancing & workout routines have to be boring?

It is important to challenge your brain to learn new and novel tasks, especially processes that you've never done before. Examples include different dance style, tai chi, yoga or Inside out fitness programs.

Have questions?? Call:

Alfredo Zapata
Fitness Expert

Monday, July 23, 2007


Try to follow these nutritional rules daily:

* 3-5 servings of vegetables.

* 2-4 servings of fruit.

* 6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice and pasta.

* 2-3 servings of low-fat milk and milk products.

* 2-3 serving of lean meat, poultry, fish, dried beans, eggs and nuts.

* Prepare meals with little or no added fat (try to avoid saturated fat), salt and sugar.

* Drink plenty of liquids each day.

* Look at your portions.

* Cut the fat* Watch the calories.

* Making healthy choices when eating out.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

How to Look and Feel Great than in Years

"How To Get Maximum Weight Loss & Fitness Results In Minimum Time”

16 Tips for Looking and Feeling Better than You Have in Years

Top Certified Fitness Expert Reveals The Essential Strategies For Lasting Weight Loss And Lifelong Fitness

By Alfredo Zapata CPT B.A Nutrition

Do you want to improve the quality of your life?

Do you want to look and feel better than you have in years – maybe better than you ever have before?

Do you want to protect yourself from disease and injury? And do you want to live a longer, more vital life?

I’m confident that you answered YES! To each of those questions, just as have the hundreds of individuals I’ve counseled, coached, and trained in my career as a Certified Personal Fitness Trainer and Nutrition Expert.

Right now I’m going to reveal to you the 16 essential strategies that have enabled my clients to achieve these important goals.

These simple strategies can be immediately implemented into your lifestyle with little sacrifice on your part (okay, if not eating artery clogging fast food burgers and fries is a big thing for you, then maybe you won’t look at that sacrifice as “easy,” but I guarantee you it will add quality years to your life).

So let’s get right into it.

But before we do, I want to let you know you can easily obtain even more health and fitness advice from a certified expert on a regular basis by requesting a free subscription to my newsletter. You can get your fitness tips by email at or by calling my office at: 310-701-2957.

Without further ado, turn the page to discover…

16 Essential Weight Loss, Health And Fitness Strategies

“How To Get Maximum Weight Loss & Fitness Results In
Minimum Time”

1. In the beginning, your fitness plan should not be overly aggressive. One of the biggest problems most people encounter when starting a fitness program is rapidly depleted motivation after only a few weeks due to an overly ambitious fitness plan. Two days per week of 20-minute low-intensity cardiovascular exercise (walking, jogging, biking, swimming); and two days per week of 30-minute light resistance training (using weights or resistance machines) is adequate in the beginning. As you become acclimated to the lifestyle “shift” you can add more days and get improved results. But beware: if you try to do too much too fast, you may end up quitting altogether. If you’ve tried and failed doing it alone, then I suggest you get a training partner or personal trainer who will help you sustain your motivation.

2. If your goal is fat-loss, then your cardiovascular exercise should be low intensity. Your heart rate during cardio exercise should not exceed 50% to 70% of your maximum heart rate. The simple formula for calculating your 100% maximum heart rate is 220 minus your age. If the intensity of your exercise increases your heart rate beyond 70% (which can occur very easily if you are in poor shape), you start shifting from using body fat as your energy source to relying on glucose metabolism. Your personal trainer can supply you with a simple heart rate monitor you can wear during exercise so you always stay in your peak fat-burning range.

3. Don’t waste your time working small muscles with isolated movements. If you don’t enjoy doing resistance training or are pressed for time, concentrate on working the largest muscle groups with compound resistance movements. When I see overweight people doing wrist curls or lateral raises, I wonder why. It’s generally just a lack of understanding of how their bodies work. Most people want to lose fat and tone and firm their bodies. The way to do that is to use resistance (weights or machines) to train the large muscle groups. Men should be concentrating on legs, chest and back. Women should concentrate more on their legs and back. The best exercises for legs are lunges or squats (your personal trainer will show you the proper form and then monitor you during the exercise) and leg press. The best chest exercise is bench press, and the best back exercise is the seated row. All of these are compound movements, which means they incorporate multiple muscle groups.

4. Always, always, always stretch. Stretching improves flexibility, blood flow, muscle recovery, low back pain and a host of other things. Additionally, stretching can prevent injury, make you sleep better and improve your performance in all sports. Always stretch, but be certain not to stretch cold muscles. You should always warm up before stretching. However, it is very important that you know how to stretch. Never bounce! Your personal trainer will show you the proper execution and timing of your stretches.

5. Never, ever do a traditional sit-up. Unless you are super athlete with an incredibly well-developed midsection, sit-ups can lead to a strained lower back and possibly lumbar injuries. But it gets worse. Rather than hitting your abdominal section, sit-ups can shift exercise tension to your hip flexors – which defeats the purpose. There is so much misinformation about how to strengthen, tone and firm the midsection, it’s almost frightening. It is very difficult to learn proper abdominal exercise technique by reading about it or watching it demonstrated on a video. You need to do it with supervision and get feedback about your form from a knowledgeable source. And keep in mind that you use your abdominal muscles in almost every single movement you make. Strengthening your abdominal region is the single most effective way to prevent, or recover from, low back pain.

6. Set realistically attainable goals. You must have tangible, quantifiable, short-term and long-term goals for your fitness program so you can gauge your progress. It’s crucial to have a “baseline” before you begin, so you can measure success. Your health club or personal trainer can give you a complete fitness analysis (don’t be shy – you need this) that will aid you or your trainer in developing a personalized fitness program which addresses your particular needs. Having goals, particularly short-term goals, allows you to track your progress and keep you motivated when times are tough and you don’t feel like exercising. Keeping a journal of your cardio and resistance training workouts, as well as tracking what you eat is truly a fitness success “secret.” Just remember that your goals should be realistic and attainable. The best way for you to understand what is realistic and attainable for you is to talk to a fitness professional – not to buy into the “hype” of infomercials, diet and fitness products that blatantly mislead.

7. Set exercise appointments with yourself. Use your day-timer to set appointments for exercise – and then stick to them. You wouldn’t miss a business meeting or client appointment, would you? So don’t miss your exercise appointment with yourself. Nothing is more important than your health. Nothing. Everything else will crumble around you if your health goes south. So make your exercise appointments a priority. If you find it difficult to keep these appointments, then consider hiring a personal trainer who will hold you to your commitment. When you have money invested, and someone waiting for you to show up – you are much more likely to actually show up!

8. Remember the benefits of exercise. Remember that feeling of euphoria you experienced after a particularly good work-out? You experienced that feeling because the most powerful “feel good” drug in the world – endorphins – are coursing through your veins. If there is a panacea, it’s exercise. Nothing feels better than the post-work-out high you experience after exercising. Revel in that feeling. Let it wash over you and truly experience it. Etch that feeling in your brain. It will fuel your motivation on those inevitable days when you just don’t feel like exercising. Being physically fit affects every single aspect of your life: you sleep better, eat better, love better, overcome stress better, work better, communicate better, and live better!

9. Exercise correctly. So much time is wasted doing, at best, unproductive exercise, or at worst, dangerous exercise. Get educated on how to exercise correctly. And the absolute best way to do that is to hire a personal trainer to develop a program for you and then teach you what to do and how to do it right. Personal training does not have to be an ongoing process. You can hire a personal trainer for whatever length of time you need to learn the ropes. It could be five sessions, or it could be fifteen sessions. It’s completely up to you. But statistics prove that those who understand how to exercise correctly, get better, faster results. And that’s what you want, right? Results!

10. Enjoy yourself. The most difficult thing is actually getting into your running shoes or going to the gym. But once you begin your work-out, relax and enjoy the process. Don’t fight it. Make exercise your personal time. When you are exercising you can focus completely on yourself. Yes, exercising can and should be somewhat rigorous (depending on your level of fitness), but it is just that investment which makes it supremely rewarding. As with anything, if you are in the moment, you can fully appreciate the experience and truly enjoy the process.

11. Americans eat too many carbohydrates for our lifestyles. I’m not advocating the high protein, high saturated fat diet that you hear so much about (frankly, it’s dangerous). But I am advocating minimizing your intake of bread, pasta, rice, potato and of course, all sugary drinks. We are no longer an agrarian society participating in manual labor. Most of us are fairly sedentary throughout the day and therefore do not need the high levels of carbohydrates to sustain our energy. Additionally, carbohydrates are addictive. The more donuts you eat, the more you want. The bulk of your carbohydrates should come from vegetables and fruit. And those with high water content, such as cucumbers, grapefruit, tomatoes, cantaloupe, strawberries and even vegetable soups (watch out for high sodium), will fill you up nicely. By the way, numerous studies have conclusively proven that the quarter of the population eating the most vegetables get half the cancer of the quarter eating the least!

12. Deep-fried food has no nutritional value – none! Almost every food, whether it’s steak, chocolate or red wine, has some nutrients to contribute. But one thing is absolute: fried foods are garbage. Potato chips, French fries, onion rings, breaded chicken strips and all the rest of the deep-fried junk are pregnant with saturated fat and calories, and they contain almost zero nutritional value. If you’re trying to lose weight and/or reduce fat, simply eliminate fried foods completely from your diet. Yikes! That stuff is scary.

13. Never, ever skip breakfast. If you want to maximize your fitness results or fat-loss efforts, you’ve got to eat breakfast. Even if you don’t exercise at all – breakfast remains the most important meal of the day. Your breakfast should contain complete proteins and complex carbohydrates (if you’re trying to lose weight, you should eat the bulk of your complex carbohydrates at breakfast and lunch and only have vegetable carbohydrates at dinner). A great breakfast is oatmeal (not the pre-packaged, pre-sweetened kind) with a little honey and banana and a protein drink. Or try scrambled egg whites with Healthy Choice turkey sausage.

14. Eat fat to lose fat. Healthy fats are necessary to your body for a bunch of reasons: regulating hormonal production, improving immune function, lowering total cholesterol, lubricating joints, and providing the basics for healthy hair, nails and skin. The singular distinction you must be aware of is the difference between healthy “good” fats, and dangerous “bad” fats. Good fats are monounsaturated fats like olive, peanut and canola oil, avocados, all natural peanut butter and nuts; and omega-3 fats like salmon and mackerel and soy-based foods. Bad fats are saturated fats, partially hydrogenated fats (killers!), and trans fats. Your personal trainer can provide you with a simple diet program that will complement your exercise to help you live longer, feel better and boost your immune system. The bottom line is that your body needs good fats – and will revolt if you attempt to abstain from them – and absolutely does not need bad fats.

15. Drink plenty of fresh, clean water. Yes, I know that you’ve heard this over and over again. But there’s a reason for that – it’s the gospel truth! The recommended amount is approximately eight glasses, or 64 ounces, of water every day. When you are exercising, you need to drink even more. Over 75% of your body is water (even bone is more than 20% water). When you don’t drink enough water, and substitute diuretics like coffee, tea and caffeinated sodas, you dehydrate your body, your blood doesn’t flow properly and your digestive system doesn’t operate smoothly (among other problems). Even a small deficit of water can radically affect how your body performs. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you’re urine is a dark yellow and/or has a strong odor, you’re not drinking enough water. Drink up!

16. Eat regularly throughout the day. Fasting or overly restrictive diets will enable you to lose weight – in the short run. Because the weight you lose is primarily water weight and lean muscle mass. But in the long-run, it has exactly the opposite effect you want. When you restrict your diet, your body instinctively thinks it’s being starved and shifts into a protective mode by storing fat. Energy expenditures are fueled by your lean muscles. Therefore your body fat remains essentially the same and you lose vital fluids and muscle instead. The less muscle you have, the slower your metabolism becomes, and the less fat you burn. You should be eating three nutritionally balanced meals each day, and you should have at least one or two healthy snacks. This keeps your metabolic furnace stoked, so you burn more at a faster rate. I know, it’s counter-intuitive, but it’s the gospel truth!

There you have it, 16 essential strategies for an effective weight loss and fitness program that will have you looking and feeling better than you have in years – maybe ever!

I realize that starting (or re-starting) a productive and effective health and fitness program is not easy. That’s why I encourage you to get help.

If you’re sick, you go to the doctor. If you’ve got a tax problem, you see an accountant (or an attorney!). Have a toothache? You’re off to the dentist. Leaky pipes result in a call to the plumber. So why is it that so many people attempt to solve their health and fitness problems without consulting an expert? I don’t know exactly, but I encourage you to make the investment in yourself – in your quality of life – by hiring a qualified professional to educate you and help you get started…

…because the hardest part is just getting started and sustaining your motivation until fitness becomes habitual. Once you develop the habit, which can take as little as thirty days, your whole life will change for the better.

If I can be of any assistance to you, please don’t hesitate to call me. I’m happy to speak with you and give you my recommendations without any sales pressure (I hate it when people try to “sell” me, so I wouldn’t try that on you).

Please visit my web site at, email at or call my office at 310-701-2957 to initiate your subscription to my free health and fitness newsletter or to obtain any additional information you may need. Thank you.

Yours in good health,
Alfredo Zapata

Nutrition & Fitness Expert

P.S. If you are interested in getting started immediately, I have taken the liberty of included one of my guaranteed results Fitness Jump-Start Training Program (only $297). This special offer is only good December 31, 2007, so please don’t delay. Call my office today to schedule your complete health and fitness analysis). 310-701-2957

P.P.S. Bring a training buddy (spouse, friend or family member) and he or she can take advantage of the same special offer!!!

NOTE: This publication is not intended for use as a source of medical advice. You should obtain medical advice from your private healthcare practitioner. Before beginning any exercise or dietary program, consult with your physician to ensure that you are in proper health and that this or any exercise or dietary program will not put you at risk.