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A Message from Mike the CEO

First I would like to thank you, The Elite Family, for all the support over the last 15 years. Rachel and I feel so blessed to have an extended FAMILY in you that has been so loyal and committed to our mission over the years. Our goal is to positively impact the lives of each end every person that walks through our doors at Elite Fitness Plus, via the vehicle of an overall preventative and comprehensive wellness program. We hope you had a wonderful, relaxing and safe time with your family and friends on Thanksgiving. Rachel and I were able to spend time enjoying family and friends and of course eating way too much.

During this Holiday season we want to personally say THANK YOU, and pray we will have the opportunity to serve all you and your family’s “wellness” needs for many years to come!

Thanksgiving has passed: too much food has been eaten, family has dispersed, you clothes are fitting a little tighter and the scale is reading slightly higher than before. We all understand the frustration of putting on the extra pounds over the holiday season, and most of us are glad the holidays only come around once a year.

Here are a few holiday tips to help prevent extra weight and increased body composition from being one of your holiday gifts:

Exercise Daily: Exercise as a family and make it FUN! We decrease our exercise significantly, almost becoming sedentary, over the Holidays. GET UP AND MOVE!!! Walk, Hike, Jog / Run, Bike: Min 20 minutes /day Resistance Train: Min three times a week. We tend to slow down during this season due to family visiting, increase stress, decrease sleep, shopping, cooking, weather change, and the excuse that it’s the holidays. On average Americans gain 5-7 pounds from Thanksgiving to the New Year celebration. The majority of those who experience this weight gain will not lose this weight by the following Holiday season.

Food Preparedness: Mentally and physically prepare for your daily consumption. This will significantly increase your chances of making healthier food choices, maintain your regular meal routine, and decrease the likelihood of overeating.

Pantry Raid: Clean out your pantry. Get rid of the unhealthy snacks, sweets, sodas and alcohol around the house during the holidays. Even though you may think you have strong will power, you will eventually give in. The excess junk food laying around the house and in your pantries during the Holidays may be the main culprit for your increased weight gain!

Rachel and I would like to wish you and your family a season of health, happiness, and reflection!

When you think of physical fitness, perhaps your mind reflects back on the fitness tests you performed in elementary and secondary school. If so, you may recall a running test to assess your aerobic capacity, a pull-up or push-up test to measure your muscle strength, a sit-up or squat jump test to estimate your muscle endurance, and a sit and reach test to determine your joint flexibility. Although aerobic capacity, muscle strength, muscle endurance and joint flexibility are important components of overall physical fitness, they pale in comparison to the role of body composition.

Body composition is not something you do, like 10 push-ups or 50 sit-ups. Body composition is something you are, but it has a lot to do with what you do. Basically, Your body is composed of two types of tissues known as fat weight and lean weight. Fat weight is the fat stored in fat cells throughout the body. Lean weight includes all other tissues, such as organs, bones, blood, skin, and muscle. Approximately half of our lean weight is muscle which, along with fat, is most likely to change during our adult years.

As we age, we typically lose about five pounds of muscle and add about 15 pounds of fat every decade of life. While this represents a 10-pound change in bodyweight, it is actually a 20-pound change in body composition. The muscle loss adversely affects our physical function and personal appearance. Perhaps more importantly, it results in a reduced metabolic rate that facilitates fat gain. This is because every pound of muscle loss reduces our resting metabolism by at least 35 calories per day. Assuming we eat approximately the same amount of food, calories that were previously used for muscle maintenance are now placed into fat storage, resulting in creeping obesity.

Excess body fat is a major health risk associated with many medical problems including low back pain, type II diabetes, various forms of cancer, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Most people understand this, and half of all Americans are presently on low calorie diet plans to reduce unwanted fat. Unfortunately, dieting alone has a dismal record of success, with over 90 percent of dieters regaining all of this fat weight within one year.

Even worse, about one-quarter of the weight lost through dieting is muscle, further reducing this vital tissue and resting metabolic rate. No wonder a return to normal and necessary eating behavior results in fat regain.

Because the deterioration in body composition is a two-fold problem (too little muscle and too much fat), restoration of desirable body composition requires a dual solution (muscle replacement and fat reduction). Obviously, regular exercise is essential for replacing muscle tissue. However, only strength training is effective for this purpose. Endurance exercise is ideal for improving cardiovascular fitness, but it neither builds muscle nor prevents the loss of muscle during our adult years.

In all probability, the three-pronged approach is best for permanent weight management and optimal body composition. The most important component is strength training (two - three 25 - minute sessions per week are minimal) to replace muscle, raise resting metabolic rate, and improve physical function. The second component is aerobic exercise (three 25-minute sessions per week is minimal) to reduce fat stores and increase cardiovascular fitness. The third component is a commitment to better eating habits and sound nutrition, which typically requires more food rather than less. This is because the recommended foods (grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products) generally have fewer calories per serving than the less-nutritious foods that they replace (popular fast foods, fried foods, fat foods, and snack foods).

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