Lower Your Golf Score and Elevate Your Fitness Commitment is Key

Tom Carlstrom has been training with NASM Certified Personal Trainer and TPI Certified Golf Fitness Professional, Steve Kois for over six weeks now, and he is hitting the ball between 40 and 50 yards further. Tom says that he has gone from 180 yards on his drive to 230 and beyond and his handicap will drop from 25 to about 17 once his wife’s scores are removed from his account.

He also says that he is a “believer”, but he wasn’t when he first started. “It opened my eyes to my potential despite my getting older,” Mr. Carlstrom said. He goes on, “golf changes when you turn 70…balance, strength and all of that. I appreciate the non-machine workout.”

The Train Like a Pro package which is a six-week commitment to a customized workout program with one of our TPI Certified Golf Fitness Professionals, a movement screen, a customized workout program and 12 one-on-one golf fitness training sessions (two per week for six weeks). Steve feels that committing to the package was one of the biggest reasons that Tom has seen so much improvement. He also tells us that he is seeing similar results in other players who have committed to a package. “The number one factor in the success of any program is committing to the program and adhering to that program,” Steve tells us.

By signing up for the Train Like a Pro package, the member commits to twelve workouts with a Certified Golf Fitness Professional, and the fitness professional oversees their workout. This ensures that the member has proper form for maximal safety, and it also means that the trainer can progress the workouts at the right times, challenging the member to improve over the course of the six weeks.

Additionally, we encourage all of our golf-fitness clients to work with a Golf Professional as well as our Fitness Professional so that the physical improvements that they are making in the gym can be relayed on the golf course. Having a “team of professionals” with the purpose of improving performance is exactly how the PGA Pros get better.

To find out more about golf-specific training and our packages, contact us in the Fitness Center at 495-1937.

Bonita Bay Club Chefs Always go Above and Beyond!

The pork station was a hit during The Men’s Classic last Thursday at BBC Naples.  Three days worth of preparation and dedication went into getting four 70-pound pigs ready to go into the smoker for a full 12 hours.

At 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday night, Bonita Bay Club’s Executive Chef Richard Brumm and BBC Naples Sous Chef Scott Whidden loaded the pigs into an enormous double-barrel smoker. Both Chef Richard and Scott spent the entire night tending to the pigs by adding wood to the smoker every 25 minutes, until they were perfectly cooked and ready to be served to the 288 Classic participants.

The indirect heat of the smoker and the commitment to a classic slow cooking process provided the men with the best pork station that Bonita Bay Club has ever produced.


Mobility: What is it, why don’t I have it, and how do I get it?

Mobility: What is it, why don’t I have it, and how do I get it?

By Sutter Caton NSCA- Certified Strength & Conditioning Coach


One of the biggest misnomers in the fitness industry is the use of the word mobility to mean flexibility and vice-versa. This incorrectly implies that mobility can be gained through passive stretching but this is not the case. I define flexibility as the ability for a muscle, or group of muscles, to lengthen through a range of motion passively. Mobility is defined as the ability of a joint, and all associated structures, to move through a range of motion actively. Two key points should jump out at you: 1) The concept of joint mobility and the difference between passive and active range of motion.

When the goal is to gain mobility in a joint, stretching individual muscles is only a small part of a bigger picture. Ligaments, tendons, neurovascular tissue, and fascia (as well as the muscles) play a role in the joints ability to properly move through its full range of motion. If just one of these components is dysfunctional proper motion can be impaired and no amount of stretching, or flexibility, will fix it. Soft tissue work including massage and foam rolling can be helpful when addressing limitations in these tissues.

IMG_1841 IMG_1846

Now, let’s move onto the concept of active vs. passive motion. Active range of motion (AROM) means that you move the joint through a specific range. To do this requires input from your nervous system and the strength to complete the motion. When you are able to complete the motion yourself, your brain knows that this motion is safe for you to perform and will not prevent you from doing so. On the other hand, passive stretching does not require input from your nervous system and thus your body may not recognize the range of motion as safe and may fight your attempts to perform the desired movement. To test this theory, put your leg straight out to the side onto a chair about hip height while standing. If you can perform this on each leg, you have demonstrated that you have the flexibility to perform the splits, yet how many of us can actually do the splits? The reason for this is that you lack the neurological control and the muscular strength required to pull yourself into and out of the splits. Your brain instinctively knows this and will prevent you from completing the splits for your own safety.

If stretching seems to make no difference in your range of motion or pain then the limitation might be in the nervous system. In these cases, it can be very helpful to see a personal trainer to assess your individual mobility limitations and have a program of exercises made for you. Your trainer will be able to choose the most effective exercises for you and ensure you’re doing them properly. Gains in mobility are easy to keep as long as you perform all exercises with a full range of motion and stay active.




Megan’s February Charity Involvement

In February, Megan participated in two Charity tournaments one for the Children’s Hospital and the other to benefit paralyzed veterans.   

 Megan Padua teamed up with the Boston Red Sox and The Forest Country Club at the Celebrity Classic.  This wonderful event raised over 1 million dollars for the Children’s Hospital. See picture below.

megan golf photo1

Pictured below is Megan’s visit to The Legacy Club in Orlando to volunteer for the Paralyzed Veterans Association Event.   She was able to work with participants and help them achieve more success and enjoyment on the course. 

Megan golf photo2

megan golf photo3

Natural Approaches to Sleeping Better

Getting a good night’s rest is an important part of maintaining good health.  Good sleep hygiene (finding the right sleep ritual) prevents sleep disorders and is imperative to ensuring quality sleep and daytime alertness.  We each have our own sleep needs, which may require more or less than the recommended eight hours per night.  While we cannot force ourselves to sleep, there are several natural ways to promote relaxation and slumber:


Bedtime routine.  Try taking a warm bath with Epsom salts before bedtime to help the body relax.  Mind-–body can also be helpful. These include breathing techniques, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, self-hypnosis and heart rate variability bio-feedback.  Whatever you choose, make it routine – a nightly ritual that signals your body that it’s time to wind down and rest.


Sleep environment.  Think comfort, relaxation and quiet.  No bright lights.  You may also want to make your bedroom nice and chilly, about 68 degrees, and have an air filter for good breathing.


Regular sleep and wake times.  It’s very important to go to bed at the same time every night and to wake at the same time every morning.  Do not spend excessive time in bed.  You want to associate the bed with sleep (and intimacy) only.  And get some sun!  It helps to regulate the sleep cycle.


Exercise.  Vigorous exercise may help you sleep better, but should take place more than four hours before bedtime because it raises your body temperature which can inhibit sleep.  If you’re nearing bedtime, try yoga with meditation or relaxing stretches.


Short naps. A 15 minute cat nap can be very refreshing, but when we nap too long, it depletes our need for sleep at night.  This can lead to difficulty getting to sleep, sleep disturbance, and insomnia.


No stimulants.  This includes caffeine, alcohol, nicotine and certain foods 6-8 hours before bed.  Keep in mind, the effects can last several hours, so even if you had coffee in the afternoon it may affect your sleep at night.  Try to avoid large meals and spicy dishes before bed.  Eating high sugar foods or “gassy” foods may also keep you awake. Instead try whole grains or complex carbohydrates which help Tryptophan, a precursor to Melatonin, enter your brain.


No electronics.  Electronics are also stimulating – no TV, phones, tablets one hour before bed.  These activities keep the brain very active; and, as a source of light they cut down on the release of melatonin, a hormone that helps you sleep.  Think of your bed as a sanctuary for sleeping and intimacy only.  It may also be helpful to turn your clock face away from view to avoid “clock watching.”


No lying in bed.  If you wake up and cannot return to sleep for more than 15 to 20 minutes, get out of bed. Let your mind race in another room.  Go somewhere dark and sit quietly doing nothing. This is not the time to go on the computer or watch TV as the blue light further depresses melatonin. As soon as you nod once, go back to bed.  It’s OK if you have to get up several times throughout the night, just remember to stick to your bed and wake time and do not nap during the day.  It may take time to form these new habits and to see results, but stick with it.


Sleep aids.  Natural botanicals may be very helpful in inducing sleep without some of the side effects of pharmaceuticals. Valerian root or hops and Lemon Balm tea may help break the insomnia pattern.  Mind-–body techniques have been found to be superior to sleeping pills in the long run, and Melatonin (up to 3 mg), may be helpful in maintaining circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycles).



Contributed by Dr. Heather Auld, Integrative Medicine

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

This type of work out has become increasingly popular because of its benefits and ability to be modified for all fitness levels. HIIT workouts typically burn more calories due to the high intensity and can even be completed without equipment. They can provide the same benefits as a long cardiovascular endurance workout, but in a much shorter period of time.

HIIT has been shown to improve:

  • Cholesterol levels
  • Blood pressure and Cardiovascular health
  • Body’s ability to use glucose for fuel to convert to energy while exercising
  • Abdominal fat and body weight

Developing a HIIT workout:

When choosing to develop a HIIT program it is important to always be aware of safety and the individual’s current fitness level. The foundation for developing a dynamic HIIT program will be determining your high intensity and recovery intervals. Referring to your estimated target heart zones is the best method for choosing these work loads.

Moderate to high intensity interval – this bout of exercise should feel “hard” to “very hard” and should be at 80-95% of an individual’s maximal heart rate

Recovery interval– this bout of exercise should be a very comfortable activity that allows you to “rest” for your next interval of high intensity exercise

Popular HIIT interval ratios:

  • 1:1 intervals – high intensity intervals are equal to recovery intervals

For example: 3 min of running followed by 3 minutes of walking with the combo repeated several times depending on desired total workout time

  • Spring training interval method– 30 seconds of near max effort followed by 4-4.5 minutes of recovery interval

For example: 30 seconds of max effort sprint followed by a 4 minute walk with the combo repeated 3-5 times

Examples of aerobic exercises used for a HIIT program could include walking, running, rowing, swimming, and stair climbing


Choosing to start an exercise program is a great way to feel better and gain health benefits.  However, knowing how hard to exercise can be challenging.  How can you tell if you are working too hard or not hard enough? Your target heart rate helps you determine a safe and healthy range for exercise intensity.

Before determining your target heart zone you must first calculate your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR).

  • Estimated using the formula: 220-age = MHR
  • MHR represents the number of beats per minute your heart should not exceed during exercise.

Target Heart Rate zone (THR)

  • Estimated using the following formula:

Moderate intensity (50-69%):  MHR x .50 = _____ to MHR x .69 = ______

High intensity (70-90%):  MHR x .70 = _____ to MHR x .90 = ______

40 90-153 bpm 180 bpm
45 88-149 175
50 85-145 170
55 83-140 165
60 80-136 160
65 78-132 155
70 75-128 150
75 72-123 145
80 70-119 140


The chart above is estimated moderate and high intensity target heart zones for a variety of age ranges.

It’s important to remember that these are estimated values.  Stop exercising immediately if you have chest pain, shortness of breath, or dizziness.

While exercising regularly check to see if you are working with in your recommended target heart zone.

  • Find your pulse on  your wrist by using your first two fingers
  • Count your pulse for 10 seconds and multiply by 6 to find your beats per minute. This number represents your current heart rate in beats per minute.
  • Check to see if you are within your recommended target heart rate zone

If you are taking medication that affects your heart rate or you are new to exercise, always consult your doctor to find out what your target heart rate should be or if you should be using another method for determining the intensity of your workouts. 


Is there any way to slow down the aging process?

Is there any way to slow down the aging process?


The Center for Disease Control cites three main things you can do to live a longer, healthier life. The first is to stop smoking, which is associated with cell aging at three times the normal rate.  The second is to eat healthy foods, and the third is to exercise moderately most days of the week. Can these longevity factors be measured?

In 2009 Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn won a Nobel Prize for her discovery of telomerase, an enzyme that may protect and rebuild our DNA. All of our 46 chromosomes which look similar to a big “X” are sealed at the ends by something called telomeres. As we age, these sealed ends of the chromosomes unravel much like a fraying rope. When the seals completely disappear, we’ve reached our life’s end. If we can keep them from fraying or even lengthen them, we “reverse” the aging process. Science now has the ability to actually measure your chromosomal age. It is also possible to see improvement in the telomere unraveling after lifestyle changes. Many micronutrients support healthy telomeres and these too can be measured at the cellular level. These tests are now available and no longer just in an experimental lab.

Inflammation seems to be the common denominator in all chronic diseases including heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s and autoimmune problems. Risk factors like stress, exposure to environmental toxins, genetic predisposition, lack of exercise and poor diet all contribute to inflammation. Improving your diet with specific foods that decrease inflammation is the single most important step in the anti-aging process. In general, eat a colorful variety of foods, preferably fresh.  Try to eliminate pre-packaged or processed foods that have preservatives or artificial coloring. Sugar and white flour need to be greatly reduced. Make vegetables and fruits your main source of calories. Limit the amount of animal protein you eat except wild-caught fish. Always avoid margarine and shortening, and instead substitute nuts, avocados and olive oil. Don’t forget to drink plenty of filtered water.

Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) are highly anti-inflammatory. These are found in nuts and seeds as well as in wild, cold water-caught fish, and are key micronutrients which may increase our lifespan.  Studies have reinforced DHA supplementation in pregnant and nursing women to promote fetal brain and nervous system development. Not only are Omega-3s anti-inflammatory, but they improve lipids, decrease blood clots, and inhibit hardening of the arteries. DHA may also have an important role in brain health and guard against disorders like ADHD. Fish oil may help artery elasticity and reduce heart rate and abnormal heart rhythms. Supplementing with a high quality Omega-3 fatty acid may also reduce oxidative stress and prevent telomere shortening.

Take the challenge – have your genetic age measured by an Integrative specialty lab . Then adopt a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise, stress reduction and a non-processed, mainly plant-based diet. According  to Dr. Leonard Hayflick  our lifespan may be extended to 125 years. Recheck your chromosomes in six months and see if you aren’t “aging in reverse.”



Contributed by Dr. Heather Auld, Integrative Medicine







The Effects of Exercise on the Brain and Alzheimer’s Disease


Research has told us for decades that exercise lowers the risk of heart disease, strengthens bones and muscles, reduces stress, and helps manage weight. However, it offers far more benefits that are not quite as obvious.  Studies have shown that exercise can improve cognitive function. This evidence leads researchers to believe that exercise may be beneficial for individuals at risk for developing Alzheimer’s or for those that already have the disease.  Brain functions such as memory loss, reasoning, and judgment all decline as the disease progresses.  For the longest time many would suggest medication was the best treatment for Alzheimer’s, but now research shows behavior intervention can be used in adjunction to medication to slow down brain aging associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s.  Exercise can lead the way in behavior intervention for individuals suffering with Alzheimer’s.

How does exercise benefit the brain?

Research suggests that 30-60 min of daily exercise, several times a week, could delay the start or slow the progress of Alzheimer’s disease. Human studies show that the probability that someone will lose cognitive function in the short term is reduced by exercise. Physical activity seems to help the brain not only by keeping your blood flowing, but also by increasing chemicals that protect the brain.  Physical activity also tends to counter some of the natural reduction in brain connections that occurs with aging (Mayo Clinic).

Neuroscientists have known for many years that a normal protein, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), is released during aerobic exercise and stimulates the growth of new neurons. Recently, Dr. Carl W. Cotman of the University of California performed a study using animal subjects.  His findings suggest that exercise may be the most ideal and beneficial behavior change to preserve the brain.

Dr. Cotman’s study consisted of two groups. One group had access to a running wheel at night and the other group that was forced to be sedentary with no access to a wheel.  Animal subjects that exercised in the running wheel at night had better problem solving and reasoning skills when put in a Morris Water Maze. Subjects that had been exercising were consistently able to locate the platform, just underneath the surface of the water, significantly faster than sedentary subjects.   The studies showed that exercised subjects were able to learn faster and better than sedentary subjects. Cotman stated, “BDNF was increased in the part of the brain that controls thinking and learning.  The same part of the brain that is vulnerable to Alzheimer’s disease. The brain showed a self preservation mechanism that also made it smarter” (Alzheimer’s Project).

Based on these animal model studies, Cotman stated in his conclusion, “Exercise increases the BDNF and acts as a nutrient or “fertilizer” for neurons.  Exercise can induce growth factors, help build neurons, synapses, and improve learning” (Alzheimer’s Project). These findings show that a simple behavior change such as exercise can help delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and improve cognitive function.


Mayo Clinic

“The Alzheimer’s Project”, a presentation of HBO Documentary Films & the National Institute on Aging at the National Institute of Health in association with Alzheimer’s Association

To learn more about Alzheimer’s Disease, Join Mental Health Therapist, Angel Duncan from the Neuropsychiatric Research Center of Southwest Florida for “Understanding Alzheimer’s:  Facts, Figures, and Future Outlook” on Monday, February 6th at 11:15am.  This is a complimentary lecture, but we ask that you call the Fitness Center at 495-1937 or stop by the Fitness Center to register as space is limited.