Rock Steady Boxing Packs a Powerful Punch

Rock Steady Boxing Packs a Powerful Punch

For Those With Parkinson’s 


Various studies in the 1980s and 1990s supported the notion that rigorous exercise, emphasizing gross motor movement, balance, core strength, and rhythm, could favorably impact range of motion, flexibility, posture, gait, and activities of daily living for those with Parkinson’s Disease. More recent studies, most notably at Cleveland Clinic, focus on the concept of intense “forced” exercise, and have begun to suggest that certain kinds of exercise may be neuro-protective, i.e., actually slowing disease progression.

Why Boxing?

Boxers condition for optimal agility, speed, muscular endurance, accuracy, balance, hand-eye coordination, footwork and overall strength to defend against and overcome opponents. At Rock Steady the opponent is Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s causes a loss in many of the same elements that boxers condition to improve. And published medical research has shown that forced, intense exercise can reduce, reverse and delay Parkinson’s symptoms. We also know that a diversity of symptoms needs to be addressed simultaneously.

In comparison with other sports, boxing is the most physically demanding styles of training, according to a study conducted by ESPN and by people who have done it! But in addition to being an intense, diverse form of training, boxing is also an incredible stress reliever, confidence booster and FUN!


Rock Steady Is Here!

We are now offering Rock Steady Boxing classes for club members on Tuesdays at 11:00am , Thursdays at 11:00am, and Saturdays at 1:00pm. For more information on the program including pricing and how to get started or to speak to one of our Rock Steady Boxing coaches, please call 495-1937 or stop by the Fitness Center.

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Why am I addicted to Junk Food


Losing weight and staying fit are usually in the top five for New Year’s resolutions.  Year after year, people make these resolutions and year after year, only about 8% of those who make resolutions actually are successful.  Some experts believe that this is because we don’t have a plan for achieving our goals and others believe that it because our goals are too lofty and we get frustrated.  This year, have a plan and hold yourself accountable, but be forgiving.  And, make lifestyle changes that will help you maintain the healthy weight that you are striving for.

Losing weight is a journey… a lifestyle change.  Don’t think of it as another diet that you will start over again on Monday.

Why am I addicted to junk food? 

auld-heatherContributed by Dr. Heather Auld

Integrative Medicine, Lee Health

It seems clever food manufacturers know just how to tantalize our taste buds.  For a long time sugar was considered the number one “addictive” food additive.  Along come fat and salt whose cravings may be just as bad, if not more habit-forming than sugar.

According to Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss, simply spotting French fries in a fast food commercial can send dopamine surging into our brains.  Dopamine is a natural chemical that helps control the brain’s reward and pleasure centers.

You can retrain your brain by cooking whole foods with a variety of spices.  Be creative.  At first the food may seem bland compared to what you are used to, but eventually (in roughly four to twelve weeks) the subtlety of flavors will reawake your taste buds.

Two programs that will help you with your healthy transformation:

Learn about the 10 Day Detox by Metagenics

January 23

11:15 a.m.

Lecture:  complimentary

Cost of 10 day detox: $320 payable to LeeHealth Integrative Medicine

The 10 Day Detox is not a colon cleanse.  It is a scientifically-based eating program that will enhance the body’s natural metabolic detoxification process whole providing fuel to your body for not only cleansing but other daily activities.  This is a great way to jump start your weight loss and Healthy Transformation.

Healthy Transformation

Kickoff Meeting, Wednesday, February 8

11:15 a.m.

Lecture:  complimentary

Cost of the Healthy Transformation: $1200 payable to Integrative Medicine, LeeHealth

Look and feel better with this medically-supervised program headed by Dr. Heather Auld and Naturopath, Teresa Spano from LeeHealth’s Integrative Medicine.  The Healthy Transformation program includes three convenient kits, each with a 30-day supply of targeted nutritional products, five BIA’s (body comp analysis), five interpretations, and a series of group classes.  The Healthy Transformation is a great way to follow up the jump start from the 10-day detox.

Stress, the Holidays, and Your Blood Pressure


Stress, the Holidays, and Your Blood Pressure

For the 80 million Americans with high blood pressure, the hectic holiday crunch is cause for a little extra caution.


Things to watch out for:

  • Salty snacks: There’s no shortage of salty snacks around the holidays, but we aware that increased sodium intake has been shown to increase blood pressure and causes the body to retain fluids that place an increased burden on your heart.
  • Holiday Stress: For some, the holidays bring great joy, but for others, the crowds, the quest to find the perfect gift, the economic uncertainty, the back to back parties, missing loved ones, and the lack of sleep that goes with the hustle and bustle of the season can be overwhelming. And while not all stress is bad, chronic stress can cause your body to go into high gear for days and weeks at a time which may not directly cause an increase in blood pressure but can lead to unhealthy lifestyle choices as a coping mechanism to combat the stresses of the holiday season.
  • Take Your Medication: It is quite literally sabotaging yourself if you don’t take the medications that your doctor has prescribed. The holidays can be stressful and hectic, but don’t forget or skip taking them as is can literally increase your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
  • Beware of over the counter medications: Colds and the flu run rampant this time of the year. Many of the over the counter medications that combat colds and the flu can increase your blood pressure. Always check with your doctor and/or pharmacist before mixing your medications.



This holiday season, take time to relax and remember what’s important. Go for a walk or a run. Volunteer your time to help others; it will help you keep perspective and helping others in need can help you feel less isolated.  



Understanding Blood Pressure

How do I read my blood pressure?

Blood pressure readings consist of two numbers:

  • Systolic (top number) measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats or contracts.
  • Diastolic (bottom number) measures the pressure in the arteries during the rest period while the chambers are refilling with blood.

Which number is more important, top (systolic) or bottom (diastolic)?

Typically more attention is given to the top number (the systolic blood pressure) as a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease for people over 50 years old. In most people, systolic blood pressure rises steadily with age due to increasing stiffness of large arteries, long-term build-up of plaque, and increased incidence of cardiac and vascular disease.

When is an individual considered to be at risk for hypertension?


The chart above shows the ranges of blood pressure readings that are considered normal or could be cause for concern.

Why is managing blood pressure important?

Possible health consequences that can happen over time when high blood pressure is left untreated include:

Damage to the heart and coronary arteries, including heart attack, heart disease, congestive heart failure, aortic dissection and atherosclerosis (fatty buildups in the arteries that cause them to harden), stroke, kidney damage, vision loss, erectile dysfunction, memory loss, fluid in the lungs, Angina, Peripheral artery disease

When should I take my blood pressure?

It is important to remember that blood pressure can fluctuate so taking readings at home is beneficial for monitoring blood pressure. Remember to take readings at the same time each day, such as morning and evening, or as your healthcare professional recommends.



What do I do if I am diagnosed with high blood pressure (hypertension)?

When your blood pressure is 140 or higher for your systolic pressure (top number) OR 90 or higher for your diastolic pressure (bottom number), a healthcare provider may prescribe a medication to help you maintain a healthy blood pressure. In addition to medication your healthcare provider will recommend following these guidelines:



Sources: American Heart Association


Should I exercise when I’m sick?

Should I exercise when I’m sick?

You wake up Monday morning with a runny nose and a scratchy throat, but you had every intention of doing a full-blown work out today. Should you still work out even though you are in the midst of a cold? Many of us dedicated to our daily exercise routines go back and forth with this dilemma. The simplest answer is to allow a few days of rest. However, for most individuals dedicated to their fitness routines that isn’t an option. If you choose to continue to exercise use the suggested guidelines for exercising when dealing with an illness.


  • When you feel a cold or flu coming on it is okay to continue to exercise. However, if your symptoms worsen after a workout then consider cutting back to 50% of your effort /intensity. For example, try walking for your desired workout time instead of running. Cutting back on the number of sets during strength training sessions is another way to reduce intensity when dealing with illness.


  • Use the above -the-neck rule: If your symptoms include a runny nose, dry cough, or sneezing, you should be fine to exercise. But if your symptoms are below the neck, such a chest congestion, muscle aches, upset stomach, etc., make sure to rest. If you have a fever you are contagious for the first five to seven days.


  • It is important to drink plenty of water and get extra sleep to help with the recovery process. Also refrain from consuming alcohol. When you decide to return to your normal exercise routine remember to do it gradually. Starting at 75% will help you ease back into exercising, while reducing the risk of increasing your recovery time. Always listen to your own body.


Source:  Raul Seballos, M.D., vice-chair of the department of preventive medicine at the Cleveland Clinic


Fight Back against Parkinson’s Disease


Fight Back against Parkinson’s Disease




Have you ever tried buttoning up your shirt with gloves on? How about handwriting a letter in a moving car? What if you tried walking around during the day with shoe laces that will suddenly tie themselves together? What I’ve just described is what over a million Americans with Parkinson’s experience everyday of their life.


This condition has a way of chipping away at the seemingly simple things we do on a daily bases, first, by physically altering the way a person moves their limbs, walks and eventually stands up. But, social isolation, depression, and cognitive decline can also slowly take their life away.


The good news for you or that person you know with Parkinson’s is that we have found a way to FIGHT BACK! A way to stand up to Parkinson’s and live a good, full life, with hope and dignity! It is called Rock Steady Boxing, a nationally recognized and global movement to combat this progressive, degenerative neurological disorder.


Rock Steady Boxing at Bonita Bay will offer a challenging workout that is fun and appropriate for this group. Boxing seeks to improve the very elements Parkinson’s disease takes away, agility, speed, muscular endurance, accuracy, balance, hand-eye coordination, footwork and overall strength. Each facet is trained under the supervision of caring professionals in a group setting with other folks going through the same thing together. One of the greatest benefits of this program is the social interaction between the members as they share similar struggles and fight the same battle. The exercises bring in traditional boxing style moves while adjusting for each person’s fitness level. Before you go out and buy a mouth guard though, these are non-contact exercises so no one gets hurt but everyone gets a great workout!


Men and women, young and old, newly diagnosed and those living with it for decades… each and every person affected by Parkinson’s as well as their loved ones and caregivers should attend the lecture on December 12th at 11:15am . Dr. Amanda Avila, a Neurologist and Movement Disorder Specialist and the Medical Director for Hope Parkinson’s program in Fort Myers will give an overview of the disease including symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options and the latest research. We will also hear from Dr. Heather Ault and Naturopath Teresa Spano from Integrative Medicine on the nutritional approach for managing Parkinson’s. Finally, we will preview the details of our upcoming programs for those with Parkinson’s including Rock Steady Boxing.


Please call to pre-register for this event.  



Get Moving!

Ever heard of Newton’s law… a body at rest stays at rest and a body in motion stays in motion?  This is especially true of the human body.  Humans were made to MOVE!

Think about it, you wake up in the morning and you are stiff and sore but once you start moving around, you feel so much better.  Likewise, when you sit for too long, your back, your neck, and your shoulders start to ache.  Now there are times after a significant injury or surgery that you must rest, but otherwise, getting up and moving around is good for you- even if you are in pain and you don’t really feel like it… especially if you don’t feel like it!

Resting may feel good temporarily, but the long-term effects of inactivity will take their toll.  A sedentary lifestyle may lead to obesity which in turn will increase the stress on your joints like your spine, hips, and knees.  Some may experience depression which often associated with chronic pain and fatigue.  In addition, a sedentary lifestyle puts you at an increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.

The bottom line is that movement is good!  According to Stanford senior research scientist, Bonnie Bruce, DRPH, MPH, RD, those who exercise regularly have 25% less musculoskeletal pain that their couch-bound peers).  In a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill study, arthritis sufferers experienced 25% less pain and 16% less stiffness after 6 months of low-impact exercise like balance and strengthening moves (

The key is finding something that you enjoy doing.  Maybe that’s going for a walk, maybe that’s riding your bike, or maybe that’s taking a group fitness class.  Here are some suggestions:

lets-dance5,6,7,8 Let’s Dance.  This is a low impact class in which our instructor will lead you through some easy-to-follow dance steps.  You will learn old favorites in addition to some of the latest line dances.  Class incorporates a variety of music styles like the Oldies, Rock, Pop, Country, Latin, and R&B.  You don’t need any experience and you don’t need a partner.  5,6,7,8 Let’s Dance is offered on Mondays at 8:00 a.m.

Those who suffer from arthritis often do well with pool exercises.  Many people enjoy water aerobics because the instructor can guide you through the exercises and you have the company of others to make exercising more enjoyable.  We offer water aerobics on Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays at 10:15 a.m.

Believe it or not, spin is a good option for those with arthritis.  It is a non-weight bearing workout that can be as tough or as easy as you want/ need it to be.   The instructor is there to motivate you and guide you, but you are in control of the resistance and whether you sit or stand during the class!  Spin is offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 9:00 a.m. and on Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m.


Don’t Use the Season as a Reason to Splurge


Don’t Use the Season as a Reason to Splurge


Remember they call it a holi-DAY, not a holi-WEEK. It’s ok to indulge a little during the holidays, but stay focused on your long-term goals. And, make sure what you are splurging on is worth it… think of it like this, those holiday desserts and cocktails, those second helping or other food temptations are “akin to a tattoo: you’d better like it because it will be a part of your from now on!” –Robert S Wieder for Calorie Lab Counter News.


Try some of these simple swaps from MyFitnessPal for a thinner Thanksgiving

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Final thought:

Instead of focusing on food this holiday season, focus on family and the things that you are most grateful for. Read below to see what your Fitness Staff is giving thanks for this holiday season.

“I am thankful for my Florida family and friends who help to make Florida feel like home.” – Erica Hemmer

“I am thankful to have wonderful people by my side in the present and to know that they will be a part of my future.”- Mallory Yerkovich

“I am thankful for my amazing family and friends, for good health, weekends, sunshine, my new puppy, and work friends. Life is what you make it!”- Kristen Ramirez

“I am thankful for my family and for my momma’s cookin!”- Lucio Ojeda

“I am grateful for so many things in my life… my family, my good friends, for my health and the health of those that I care about. I am grateful to have a job that I love coming to everyday (for so many reasons) and for a good sense of humor.”- Tammy Mugavero


And here’s what our members are thankful for:


“I am thankful to wake up every day, and to be able to enjoy my time at the fitness center.”- George Longtin

“I am thankful for my wife, my children, my grandchildren, and for living in Bonita Bay.”- Doug Loth

“I am very thankful that my daughter is moving closer and that I am healthy and able to exercise.”- Lee Driscoll



Pilates is Like Happy Hour for Your Body

By Elaine Entenza, Certified Pilates Instructor & ACSM Health & Fitness Specialist

Pilates is a conditioning program designed to align your spine and strengthen your core. As a result, it is a very effective exercise option for everyone, especially those looking to relieve chronic back pain. Here’s how it works and why you should give it a try.

Pilates is one of the best methods for core strengthening because the exercises are designed to strengthen the body’s stabilizing muscles; smaller muscles that closely line the joints and play an important role in both initiating movement and stabilizing joints. And these smaller muscles can often be overlooked in a typical gym workout. I like to use the house analogy with my clients; what good is a highly decorated home if the foundation is weak? The same is true for your body. Strong bis and tris and quads may look nice, but if your core musculature is weak, the external looking “strength” more closely resembles a façade, and the lack of foundational strength can set the body up for long term muscular imbalances.

Pilates is also a two for one deal; every exercise you practice works on lengthening AND strengthening your muscles at the same time. It’s like a happy hour for your body! Balance is achieved because we move through full ranges of motion while under tension, controlling both the lengthening phase and eccentric return. The result is strong AND flexible muscles that create equal tension across joints, which increases stability and lessens the risk of injury along the spine and other joints.

These benefits carry on outside of the gym and into your every day life and daily activities. Strong, stable, pain-free bodies are the pinnacle of happy living! So why not step outside the gym box and into the studio to try something new? The only things you have to lose are joint pain, poor posture and maybe a few strokes off your handicap.

pilates4-wellness-dayNote:   Pilates is therapeutic and rehabilitative for CHRONIC CONDITIONS ONLY. Acute injuries such as slipped discs, torn meniscus,etc – ie injuries caused from accident or immediate trauma need to recover past inflammation stage before starting or returning to a Pilates regime.

Exercise is Powerful Medicine

Exercise is Powerful Medicine


By: Tammy Mugavero MS, L/ATC, CSCS, TPI Level 2 Medical Certified


            Regular exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health. The benefits are well documented and include a reduced risk for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and osteoporosis. Exercise also helps to control stress, boosts mood, improves sleep, decreases the risk of falling, and improves cognitive function in older adults. Research even shows that exercise helps you live longer (and better), but how much is enough? And, how hard do you have to work to get some (or all) of the benefits?

Well, let me start by saying that any and all movement is good, but exercise must challenge you. Exercise is work, and it should never be “easy.” The industry’s recommendations for time, intensity, and frequency vary a little depending on your goals, but most agree that a general goal for physical activity is 30 minutes per day on most days of the week, or 150 minutes of physical activity per week including both strength and cardio-vascular exercise. However, there is some research that suggests that you can get similar benefits in short intense bouts of “all-out” interval training as you get in a typical 45-50 minute session of moderate intensity exercise.

Here is the bottom line as I see it—anything is better than nothing when it comes to physical activity but most experts agree that more is better. Now, I am not suggesting that we have to become a slave to the gym but I am saying that exercise is as important (and less expensive) for your overall health as the pills that you take to control your blood-glucose levels, or your medication to control your high blood pressure. I am saying that those who live sedentary lives have a 6x’s greater chance of dying from heart disease over the course of 15 years. I am saying that what you do outside of the gym is as important as what you do in the gym. You can’t work out really hard for an hour and then spend the rest of your waking day in front of the TV or computer. And lastly, I am saying that it’s never too late to benefit from an exercise program.

After all, we don’t just want to live longer; we also want to live better, and there’s no denying that exercise goes a long way in letting us do that.

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Final thought: There is some research that shows that exercise slows the aging process at the cellular level by increasing the levels of a molecule that protects the “end caps” of our chromosomes (Time Magazine. Sept. 1, 2016. “7 Surprising Benefits of Exercise”).