Member Spotlight | Devin Ryan: My Journey in Fitness

Member Spotlight | Devin Ryan: My Journey in Fitness

Fitness was indoctrinated very early on in my life. Healthy competition and athleticism began with seasons of tee-ball, basketball summer camps, and track and field in high school, supplemented by dance on the offseason. With a buzzing household of four active boys and my bountiful curious female presence, my parents always encouraged us to “go outside and play.” My household was never not moving!

My earliest (and perhaps fondest) memory of fitness was watching my mother every day after school. She hastily preheated the oven before going to her bedroom as she got us settled into our school work. There, she removed her tailored office clothes, kicked off her favorite black patent-leather “cockroach-killer” heels and traded them for one of my dad’s t-shirts and her favorite spandex biker shorts. With her work files piled high on the kitchen counter, she threw some pasta sauce on the stove with a heaping amount of fresh and dry herbs simmering over low heat for that evening’s dinner. At exactly 3:30 pm every afternoon, she popped in her early 90s aerobics VHS tape and jumped right into her enthusiastic stepping. I marveled at the overly-animated, permed out fitness instructor sporting spandex and white ankle socks motivating my super-hero of a mom to “go for another 30 seconds more” as she panted between incoming house calls and me racing my sibling’s toy-cars by her feet.

This image of my multi-faceted mother trying to balance work, family, and self-care is forever engraved in my mind. I understand now why it was necessary for my mother to commit to fitness. To my mother, fitness was loving herself and caring about how she felt regardless of the external demands life asked of her to fulfill. To this day, I credit my mother for not only being an example for healthy living but continuing it as a practice today. She was, after all, the person I went to get a gym membership with. We worked out together, supported each other, and reminded one another (while thrift shopping) that the number on the tag of that dress is not as important as the way you feel in it.


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Does Love Really Affect the Heart?

Does Love Really Affect the Heart?

Ah, love. Is there anything more freeing than the feeling of being completely, utterly, and hopelessly in love? When suddenly, the world seems calmer, colors seem brighter, and you just can’t hide the smile that stays stuck to your face. True love is pretty wonderful because it makes us the best version of ourselves – and often, the best version of ourselves makes others want to be the best version of themselves. It’s an ooey-gooey cheesy feeling that is truly amazing.

Reflecting upon how good love makes us feel inside, we reached out to American Heart Association volunteer John A. Osborne, MD, PhD, the director of Preventive Cardiology at State of The Heart Cardiology in Dallas, TX to understand if these feel-good feelings actually affect the heart.

Dr. Osborne, is this true, does love really have an effect on the heart?

Absolutely!  As anyone who has ever been in love (or read about it) knows!  It not only makes one’s heart “pitter-patter” and makes us feel wondrous, it may actually be good for your heart health!  When you are in love (and feel loved), one’s blood pressure responds to that peace and calm and may translate to lower blood pressure.  High Blood Pressure is the most common form of cardiovascular disease and affects about one-half of US adults.  If this “silent killer” is not identified, treated, and controlled, it could take between 5 to 7 years off the average lifespan!  In fact, those who are married or in long -term supportive relationships live longer and have better recoveries if they do encounter heart problems.  Patients who have a good social support system had better recoveries and survival rates after bypass surgery than those who did not.  This survival benefit also extends to our four-legged friends as well!  Don’t forget about them on Valentine’s Day either!

What about the opposite – can you really die of a broken heart?

The short answer is yes!  Only in the 1980s was this described in the medical literature, although for centuries that concept of “dying from a broken heart” has been well described in literature, operas, plays, and, most recently, movies!  It is called “Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy” and is more common in women and looks like a typical heart attack, but in this case, there are no blockages in the blood vessels unlike how the vast majority of heart attacks occur.  It is felt that a sudden, massive release of catecholamines (the stress hormones such as epinephrine, norepinephrine, and other stress hormones) can cause severe vasoconstriction of the blood vessels to the heart and cause a heart attack, heart damage, heart failure, and even sudden death!   Fortunately, if diagnosed properly and with appropriate medical care, the damage can be prevented, and our heart can heal itself with time and medications.

What are some ways you can make your heart feel happier and stronger?

A good diet (the Mediterranean Diet was voted, yet again, the best overall diet in 2019) and regular exercise along with a no tobacco lifestyle are the foundations for excellent cardiovascular and all-around health.  A small amount of dark chocolate – with its blood pressure lowering anti-oxidants, flavonols, and catechins, and best of all shared with your loved one(s) – can’t hurt!  The AHA has a great app to help with this called “My Cardiac Coach” that is available for your smartphone and large number of resources on the web at www.heart.org.

Responses above provided by American Heart Association volunteer, John A. Osborne, MD, Ph.D., the director of Preventive Cardiology at State of The Heart Cardiology in Dallas, TX. 


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Member Spotlight | Let’s HIIT It!

Member Spotlight | Let’s HIIT It!

You’re never too old to HIIT it!

I want to say thank you to Master Trainer Lauren H. at LA Fitness in Tinley Park for working with me over the past year.

I’m 67 years old. I have a history [of] knee issues and a partial knee replacement on my right leg.

After I recovered from my knee surgery, I promised myself to get back in shape, so I joined LA Fitness. I worked with a personal trainer for about four years [and] lost about 60 pounds. Unfortunately, I was upset when I was told my trainer was leaving because we worked together so well!

So, I started working out on my own. I wasn’t pleased with myself and started to have knee problems again. I stopped going to LA for a number of months. I went back to see my doctor and he gave me a cortisone shot and sent me to physical therapy. I started to feel better again.

I started going back to LA Fitness again and was on the search to find a new personal trainer, and that’s when I met Lauren.

Lauren has done a terrific job working with me, she knows my limits on what I can and can’t do and finds alternative exercises. Lauren has gotten my knees back in shape by teaching proper body alignment/exercises to take the pressure off the knees. My flexibility/posture has improved as well!

LA Fitness just recently started High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes. I decided to try one class to see if I could survive it. I was amazed [by] how I got through it. So, I signed up! This is the best thing that I could have done for myself. I just completed my 30th HIIT session and moved up to the second level, which is Bronze status. I continue to burn up to 900+ calories per HIIT session and I feel great. I’m so motivated about my results and look forward to the next session. Now I’m trying to watch my calorie intake and add protein to my diet. Lauren suggested an app to track my daily calorie intake.

Lauren is an exceptional trainer, motivator and friend.

Again, I want to thank Lauren for working with me I couldn’t have done it without her.

I’m excited to see what’s in store for 2019.

Let’s HIIT it!

– Ed B., HIIT by LAF® Member


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The Basics of Health, Fitness, and Nutrition – Podcast Ep. 16

The Basics of Health, Fitness, and Nutrition – Podcast Ep. 16


Welcome to the 16th episode of the Living Healthy Podcast, presented by LA Fitness.

On this episode of the Living Healthy Podcast, we speak with a doctor named Bobby, a dietitian named Candy, and a personal trainer named Mark(y). (I may have added the “y” just to keep things consistent.)

All guests are experts in their field and share their knowledge with us on the topics of health, nutrition, and fitness. This episode may be all about the basics, but it’s anything but boring.

Stick around to the end of the episode for a special announcement (Hint: you may win something pretty cool!)

This podcast should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.


Timecard Markers – The Basics – Podcast Ep. 16

Intro    

Begins at 0:01    

**Part 1 – Health** 

Dr. Bobby Davari (of Kaiser Permanente Orange County), Joins the Show 

Begins at 1:00   

How Do Doctors Determine Health? 

1:17 

How to Keep Blood Sugar from Spiking 

4:10  

The Waist-to-Hip Circumference: Truth or Fiction? 

5:55 

Is “Skinny Fat” Really a Thing? 

8:45 

Does Fat Help the Body at All? 

10:35 

What Are Some Simple Things Listeners Can Do to Improve Their Health?  

11:47 

**Part 2 – Nutrition** 

Candice Maher, RDN, (of Kaiser Permanente Orange County), Joins the Show 

13:56 

How Many Calories a Day Do You Generally Need?  

14:15 

Can You Eat Whatever You Want If You Stay Within Your Caloric Limits? 

15:48 

How Much Does It Matter to Cut Out Soda and Fruit Juice When It Comes to Dieting?  

16:28 

Are Natural Sugars (Like from Fruit Juice) Healthier for the Body? 

18:32 

What Are Some of the Most Important Things Our Listeners Should Know About Improving Their Nutrition 

20:29 

**Part 3 – Fitness** 

LA Fitness, Personal Training Director, Mark Joseph de Guzman, Joins the Show 

22:27 

What Are Some of the Differences Between: Bodyweight, Selectorized and Free Weight Training?  

23:08 

What Should Beginners Begin With? 

24:07 

Do You Need to Strength Train and Cardio Train to Achieve Results? 

25:04 

What’s Involved in a LAF Fitness Assessment? 

27:34 

How Many Times Should You Aim to Work Out?  

28:41  

How Many Rest Days Should You Give Yourself? Should You Still Keep Active on Rest Days? 

29:33 

What Are Some Basic Things Our Listeners Should Take Away About Fitness?  

30:29 

Outro (AND SUPER EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!!)  

 30:57  


Recommended Podcast Episodes 

AAT: Ep. 38 – How Can I Maintain My Muscle?

AAT: Ep. 38 – How Can I Maintain My Muscle?

Ask A Trainer: Featured Question of the Week

LA Fitness Pro Results® Master Trainer, Morgan C., gives her expert advice on how to properly maintain muscle mass.


Do you have a fitness question? Ask one of our certified Pro Results® trainers here! Your question may be featured in an upcoming Ask Our Trainer video.**

14 + 11 =

**Selected submissions will be featured on the LA Fitness blog and possibly other LA Fitness digital media entities & websites. By making a submission, you hereby grant LA Fitness a non-exclusive, perpetual, worldwide, irrevocable license to use and make copies of the contents of such submission for any purpose and in any medium whatsoever, and you hereby waive and relinquish any copyright or other intellectual property right you may have in the contents of such submission and your right to pursue any claim for LA Fitness’s violation of those intellectual property rights.


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