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“Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.” - Joseph Campbell

During my 28 years in the fitness industry, my body has undergone significant demands. I was a competitive bodybuilder for over two decades and I've been a spin instructor for 12 years.

I train hard. I ride fast. Without making excuses, I know that I often haven’t taken the time to provide proper self-care for my body.

As a result of my aggressive exercise regimen, I have had a serious left hip impingement for the last five years. I am a corrective exercise specialist. I have employed many techniques to address my pain and discomfort.

I would apply a post-surgery hip replacement regime to my workouts weekly to open up the external and internal rotation of my hip. This process would allow for me to move freely through my workouts, as well as my spin classes. I have also used a range of foam-rolling devices on the target area.

Nothing I tried would provide proper relief, however.

My wife, a massage therapist, would administer massage techniques along with Thai stretching which would provide temporary relief. Inevitably and quickly, the pain returned.

I continued to feel a strong sensation of tightness due to over-activity and had chalked it up to the demand being placed on my body.

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Rachel Stinar, Core Flyte Master Instructor

I was impressed when I watched some Core Flyte videos on Facebook and Instagram. The product appeared to be one that virtually anyone could use. The fact that Core Flytes work in a transverse plane of motion was super-appealing to me as this was the plane I would mostly try to accomplish to repair my hip challenges. I took the liberty of reposting the videos onto my pages of both social media platforms as I wanted to share the amazing display of exercise with my clients, colleagues, and friends.

A couple of months ago, I saw the Core Flyte Master Instructor application postings on social media. I had been thinking for a while, “How long am I going to count reps and ride bikes for a living?” I've been a Master Trainer for a long time and the thought of leaving the weight floor and spin bike frightens me, but I thought the end might be near as I was having so many complications with my hip. I thought by applying for another instructing avenue I might be able to age gracefully through the end of my career.

After applying to become one of the first Core Flyte Master Instructors, I received an email requesting an interview. I was shocked and excited! I had my interview, and was invited to join the Flyte Team! My excitement was through the roof! However, I was a little hesitant coming to the instruction weekend with my injury. I knew that I had to not only sit for long periods of time, but also perform various exercises using Core Flytes.

At the end of the first day of our workshop, we performed a challenging series of Core Flyte exercises in an intense workout. It was demanding for all nine of us, but it also moved my body in ways that were new to me. As I was sitting during a discussion on the second day of our workshop, it suddenly occurred to me that my hip was pain-free. Then, before I performed the Core Flyte plank pike for my chosen exercise, I thought, "Oh boy, this is going to be good...I can't ever get any height with this exercise!" To my astonishment, I was able to perform the exercise with a considerably larger range of motion.

I returned to my club this week and I noticed that I was pain-free a couple of hours after my spin class and training clients. The worst for me is sitting for long periods of time, then spinning, then standing still. The aching I would have is unbearable at times. The Core Flyte exercises help alleviate my pain… I believe for good.

I know so many people who have hip problems such as mine from the demand they place on themselves physically. I cannot wait to share my experience with them. I'm very grateful to be able to have my hip feel normal again.

A valuable component in my training life as a Master Trainer or Master Instructor is to be a "product of a product." The fact that I can speak with heartfelt conviction and personal experience with such an amazing piece of equipment is remarkable.

Before going to the Core Flyte Master Instructor workshop, I was planning to taper down my activities in my career, but now I feel as if I've been given the greatest gift: additional years added to do the things I love in the world of health and fitness.

We’d love to hear from you. What do you think about my experience? Comment below or on our Facebook page or tweet us at @flytefitness.

Be Flyte Fit,

Rachel Stinar
Core Flyte Master Instructor, Flyte Fitness

P.S. DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR FITNESS UPDATES! CLICK THE BOX AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE!

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“Once you choose hope, anything is possible.” - Christopher Reeve

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“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.” - President John F. Kennedy

After what seems like an eternity of a pre-primary season, Americans will finally cast the first votes of the 2016 presidential election next week. Our ranking of the fitness levels of each of the candidates’ supporters was published in Politico last month. Today, we’re going to look back at our nation’s 43 presidents and identify those who stand out for their outstanding fitness.

I’m sorry, William Howard Taft fans: This blog is not for you. President Taft’s 340 pound stature and 43.2 B.M.I. (Body Mass Index) are records that will likely stand for a long time. Laggards Grover Cleveland (who once said, “Bodily movement alone ... is among the dreary and unsatisfying things of life.") and Bill Clinton (whose wife famously said, “"The good news is, my husband loves to eat and enjoys it.”) didn’t make our list.

This article celebrates the presidents – regardless of political affiliation or competence in office – who we believe are the fittest of all time. These presidents belong on a Mount Rushmore of Presidential Fitness.

Theodore Roosevelt: Rough & Tough
Roosevelt suffered from severe asthma as a child. He was by all accounts sickly growing up. However, he pushed through his ailments and became an accomplished boxer and rower while at Harvard. He served as New York’s police commissioner and spent late nights on the streets supervising his officers. During the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt resigned his position as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and created a cavalry of volunteers known as the “Rough Riders.” His legendary experience leading the Rough Riders helped catapult him to the presidency. As president, Roosevelt built a boxing ring in the White House and was blinded in one eye by a punch. For fun, he would swim across near-frozen rivers and took on judo (for which he earned a brown belt).

Gerald Ford: Not Chevy Chase
Despite Saturday Night Live’s portrayal of Ford (played by Chevy Chase) as a clumsy, weak man with bad knees, Ford was an exceptional athlete. In fact, it’s because of his early athletic pursuits that Ford’s body was beat up by the time he served as president. Ford was the starting center on two national championship football teams for the University of Michigan. He turned down contract offers to play pro football for the Green Bay Packers and the Detroit Lions in order to attend Yale Law School. Although he won on the football field, Ford never won a presidential election. He became vice president when Spiro Agnew resigned, and, the following year, became president upon Richard Nixon’s resignation. Following his electoral loss to Jimmy Carter, Ford nailed a hole in one in a pro-am golf tournament.

George Washington: Overcoming 18th Century Medicine
We haven’t seen photos of George Washington, let alone his B.M.I., resting heart rate, or max bench press. However, we can rely on accounts of his fitness from those who served with him on the battlefield when he led the Continental Army in the American Revolutionary War. Historian David McCullough described him as “a strapping man of commanding presence, he stood six feet two inches tall and weighed perhaps 190 pounds. There was not a King in Europe that would not look like a valet by his side.” Washington was tough. While leading his men during the French and Indian War, he was stricken with dysentery and severe hemorrhoids. In those days, doctors drew blood in an effort to eliminate “ill humors,” and Washington was severely depleted as a result. However, Washington overcame his pain and weakness, lifted himself upon his horse, and led his troops into battle.

Ronald Reagan: Staying Fit Late in Life
At nearly 70, Reagan was the oldest person sworn into the office of the presidency. Therefore, many of our memories of him are of an older man. In his youth, however, Reagan was extremely athletic. During his teen years, Reagan rescued 77 people as a lifeguard. He was captain of the swim team at Eureka College, where he was also a member of the football team. As an actor, he often played roles requiring a high level of fitness, such as cowboys and military men, and of course his famous role as Notre Dame footballer George Gipp in “Knute Rockne, All American.” While in office, Reagan had a rigorous workout routine. He penned an article titled “How to Stay Fit” in Parade magazine, in which he detailed his resistance training regimen involving bursts of high weight exercises.

We’d love to hear from you. What do you think about the presidents we listed? Comment below or on our Facebook page or tweet us at @flytefitness.

Be Flyte Fit,

Jeremy Greenberg
Co-Founder & CEO
Flyte Fitness

P.S. DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR FITNESS UPDATES! CLICK THE BOX AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE!

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“My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four. Unless there are three other people.” – Orson Welles

If scientists have concluded that the average temperature on the moon is about 10 degrees Fahrenheit, it certainly seems like a habitable temperature for humans, right? But what if I added that the temperature soars to over 250 degrees during the day and plummets to -250 degrees during the night? This tremendous fluctuation is primarily the result of the atmosphere’s limited ability to temper the sun’s rays when the moon is exposed, or trap heat when the moon is hidden. So, concluding that the moon had a livable temperature based on the average would not be so smart.

Although this moon example is an extreme one, the truth is that we make such false conclusions using averages (as well as medians, for the statisticians out there!) all the time. No, we aren’t going to live on the moon any time soon. But we do adjust our lifestyles all the time based on studies that look at averages. These studies can ignore our very important differences.

My Cholesterol Problem
Allow me to share a personal example of a study that impacted me. My family has a history of high cholesterol. My father takes Lipitor to manage it, and my mother eats a very clean diet to keep it in check. So, it wasn’t a shock that at age 30, my doctor prescribed me a cholesterol-reducing medication, as my “bad” cholesterol was quite high. I decided not to try the medicine and instead opt for a six-month period to adjust what I ate in order to see if I could reduce my cholesterol through better nutrition. I’m proud to say that my efforts paid off. My next cholesterol test showed results well within the normal range, somewhat surprising my doctor. I held lower blood-cholesterol levels through my mid-to-late 30’s without the assistance of medication.

And Then I Read A Study
In December 2014, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Council, the nation’s top nutrition panel reversed nearly 40 years of strict government warnings, stating that cholesterol in the diet is no longer a “nutrient of concern.” The group continued to warn about the dangers of “bad” cholesterol in the blood, but said that the food-blood link was tenuous. A study published by The Harvard School of Public Health also found that consumption of foods high in cholesterol did not raise serum cholesterol levels. The media happily shared the “good news,” and special attention was paid to one specific cholesterol-laden food: egg yolks. For decades, egg yolks were considered unhealthy due to their high cholesterol contents (one yolk provides 62% of the USDA’s daily recommended allowance of cholesterol). The benefits of yolks were touted: a great source of vitamin A, D, and E, folate, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Changing My Lifestyle
The government and Harvard had seemed to dismiss this red herring of cholesterol. It wasn’t the cholesterol we were eating that was leading to heart disease, they said, it was the amount of it and the level of saturated fats we consumed. Eggs – including the yolk – were now okay. Hurray! The tastiest, yellowiest, gooeyest part actually was good for me? Good deal. What a fool I had been for asking restaurant servers for egg-white-only omelettes all these years! How awful that I had deprived myself of eating the entirety of “The Incredible, Edible Egg!” The one hook was to keep to a one-yolk-a-day limit, the experts said, just to be safe. So I converted quickly. My daily breakfast that included a Nutribullet greens-centric juice and an egg white omelette turned into a Nutribullet greens-centric juice and a one egg omelette. I didn’t really miss the yolk, to be honest, but why would I take it out or buy pricey egg white cartons now that the code yellow warning had been lifted?

My daily routine went on for months. Then, in July, I had my annual physical. I figured it was going to be the usual routine: chit chat, give blood and urine, turn and cough, etc. And it was. But, to my astonishment, my doctor called me the following week and informed me that my “bad” cholesterol level had increased over 50 points and I had high cholesterol that needed to be addressed. We discussed what had changed in my lifestyle and diet over the last year and one thing was clear: I was eating an egg every day. I told him that I thought it was healthy, given all the research, and he reminded me of the fact that everyone is different. Everyone reacts differently to food, medicine, sleep, exercise, skin creams, sunlight, caffeine… the list goes on. We are not all the same. We are not all average. In fact, no one is average. No one has exactly average properties across every characteristic.

I had my cholesterol rechecked this week -- just three months after my last test. Most doctors don't recommend checking cholesterol so regularly since it takes time for the serum levels to adjust to behavioral changes. So, I didn't have high hopes for a dramatic turnaround from my bad cholesterol spike. However, the results were great. My overall cholesterol declined by 30 points, driven by my bad cholesterol dropping by 24 points. I think it's safe to say that the elimination of egg yolks from my diet is working for me. It may not work for everyone. It may not show up in a study. But it works for me.

Dangers of Believing in the Average
The moon may have an average surface temperature that may be habitable, and studies may conclude that the average person will not be adversely affected by the consumption of egg yolks. Yet, trusting in the average is dangerous, particularly when it comes to our health. “One trick pony, good news” diet trends have been around for a long time in our country.

In the ’30s and ’40s, smoking was widely considered a healthy way to lose weight, with cigarette brand Lucky Strike’s “Reach for a Lucky Instead of a Sweet” campaign leading the way.

In the ’50s, the industry known as “Christian dieting” exploded, with best-sellers such as “I Prayed Myself Slim,” convincing many that satisfying a spiritual hunger will lead to weight-loss.

The ’60s had The Cabbage Soup Diet, which promised dieters that they would drop 17 pounds despite the “gassy side effects.”

The ’70s entered into more dangerous territory, as miracle diet pills became the craze.

The ’80s were all about low-calorie and fat-free diets, which often resulted in over-consumption of processed foods.

The ’90s was the decade of the low-carb Atkins diet. “Eat all the fat and calories you want, but stay away from carbs and you’re good to go” went the mantra. It’s certainly a great example of a “one trick pony, good news” diet.

These days, we have all sorts of diets: gluten-free, organic-only, high-protein, and even, yes –I can’t make this stuff up – The Egg Diet. While I’m sure all of these diets “work” for someone, they do not work for all. Just as exercise routines should be customized for each of our individual bodies, preferences, and schedules, what we eat must be customized as well.

Guidelines on Nutrition
Even though we do not sell or provide any nutrition products or services, I am asked all the time to offer guidance on how someone can lose weight, get a six-pack, or just eat better. Aside from saying I’m not an expect and advising them to consult one, I say “it depends on you.” So, my request to you is that the next time you read another headline about the benefits of X or the drawbacks of Y, think about it in the context of your life. Do not take the average studies as gospel, especially when they recommend altering your lifestyle in a way that may be dangerous to your health.

We'd love to hear from you. How do you incorporate findings from all the health studies out there into your lifestyle? Comment below or on our Facebook page at facebook.com/flytefitness or tweet us at @flytefitness.

Be Flyte Fit,

Jeremy Greenberg
Co-Founder & CEO
Flyte Fitness

P.S. DON’T FORGET TO SIGN UP FOR FITNESS UPDATES! CLICK THE BOX AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE!

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The average career for NFL players is astonishingly short: 3.3 years overall and 4.9 years for kickers and punters. It's easy for those of us watching professional football players on TV, in a stadium, or through the lens of fantasy football points to miss the fact that these well-trained athletes are human. We put them on a pedestal when they succeed and we trash them when they don't perform well.

March, I met John Carney while I was working out with our Flyte Fitness partner Steve Weatherford in Southern California at John’s gym, Carney Training Facility. John and Steve were using Core Flyte stability trainers to train themselves, their NFL friends, and John’s clients. My first impression of John was that he is incredibly humble, very knowledgeable in exercise techniques, and open-minded with a thirst for learning and improving.

John Carney, now 51 years young, has a lot to be proud of. He is one of the most celebrated kickers in NFL history. He has 2,062 points scored (fifth in NFL history), played 23 seasons in the NFL, is one of two NFL players in history with four decades of active play, and was the oldest ever to play in a Pro Bowl at age 44.

Last week, John and I spoke about his NFL experience, his training program for kickers and punters, and his philosophy on fitness and longevity.

An Unlikely Road to the NFL
Growing up in Palm Beach, Florida, John loved soccer and played on his high school’s soccer team. Despite his passion for soccer, football was calling him. John recalled, “If you were a male at our high school, it was expected that you would try out for the team.” He initially tried out as a wide receiver, but felt that his soccer experience plus “a little bit of work” would get him on the field as a kicker and a punter.

John went to a kicking camp in Fort Lauderdale led by NFL kicking star Garo Yepremian. He made the junior varsity team as a kicker and a punter his sophomore year. Then, he played on the varsity squad his junior and senior years.

And that's where his football career nearly ended. John said, “I never really planned on playing football after high school. I wanted to play collegiate soccer, but I didn’t receive a lot of phone calls for soccer.”

John walked on to the football team at Notre Dame, which was his father's favorite school. Notre Dame had then, and still has now, one of the most competitive and storied programs in all of college football. John followed fellow high school teammate Alonzo Jefferson, Florida’s all-time leading rusher at the time, to the Golden Dome.

As a freshman at Notre Dame, John made the traveling team as the kickoff specialist. He proceeded to earn the field goal duties his sophomore through senior seasons. It was an exciting experience for John: “I loved the challenge to kick against exceptional programs like USC, Penn State, and Miami,” he said.

John had an outstanding career at Notre Dame. His 51 field goals remain the most in history. Despite John’s talent and track record, it wasn't easy for him to make it into the NFL. He went undrafted and it took him three years to break through and make an active NFL roster for the regular season. Reflecting back, John said, “The long road paid off. I had an opportunity to work my craft and get better and stronger and more serious about becoming an NFL placekicker.”

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"You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” –Comedian George Burns

Older Americans are often underestimated… in the boardroom, on stage, and yes, in the gym. I’ve spoken with a handful of people who see me using Core Flytes at the gym or watch a Core Flyte video and say “that’s looks too hard for me… it must be only for young athletes.” Oh no it’s not! Yes, NFL players are using it in their offseason to train, but older folks are as well. Just last month, we had a grandmother of two using the Core Flytes – four of them! – one under each foot and each hand, while doing pushups at a trade show in Manhattan. We nicknamed her “Super Gramma!”

Rocco Marianni: Survivor, Golfer, and Core Flyte Enthusiast

In February, I sent a pair of Core Flytes to strength and conditioning coach Christopher Costa for him to use with his clients. Christopher is a well-known product reviewer and writer, and serves as an Expert Contributor for STACK media. I asked Christopher which of his clients is getting the most out of the Core Flytes. His answer: 72-year-old Rocco Marianni. I’ll admit… I was surprised.

It turns out that Rocco is in great shape, yet he has dealt with the normal challenging that accompany the aging process, as well as some very serious health issues. Rocco had open-heart surgery following a “widow maker” heart attack. Following successful surgery for the blockage, he regained his strength and worked with Christopher to improve his athletic performance. This was important to him. Rocco discovered a love for golf in his 50’s. Herniated discs led to back pain which had to be addressed. Christopher explains, “We’ve been working on strengthening his core because strong core muscles support the back much better. I have him use the Core Flytes with planks. He does pikes and lunges with them… he loves them. Rocco also does legs curls rolling the Core Flytes towards himself, hip ups and glute bridges.”

Rocco uses the Core Flytes with Christopher twice a week. Christopher highlights another benefit for Rocco: newness. Christopher says, “The Core Flyte really offers him change: a different way to work out. A lot of people get bored with their workouts. It’s not weight-bearing so it is great for those recovering from injury… and it’s challenging.” Rocco is active outside the gym too: he owns and operates an interior design firm in Haddonfield, New Jersey.

Exercise is Very Important for Older Adults

Most older Americans aren’t like Rocco. Only 22% of Americans age 65 or older report engaging in regular physical activity. The average duration of this physical activity is 17 minutes – compared with 258 average minutes for watching TV.

Leading a sedentary life gets us all intro trouble… from obesity, to diabetes, to high stress. The list goes on. As we age, remaining active is very important for our health. “A central goal of aging research is the identification of what can be done to promote healthy aging,” says National Institute on Aging Director Dr. Richard J. Hodes. “One of the best-established interventions capable of improving health at all ages, including older ages, is exercise.”

Dr. Chhanda Gutta, chief of the NIA’s Clinical Gerontology Branch, says that the research has evolved over the last decade, now placing more emphasis on the value of exercise. Dr. Gutta says, “Ten years ago, there was a mindset that as you become older, you become frail. Since then, we’ve learned a lot more about the capabilities of older adults to exercise. Just because you’re older doesn’t mean you’re going to become frail.”

There are four types of exercise recommended by the National Institute on Aging’s exercise guide:

Endurance: increase the heart rate and breathing with brisk walking, swimming, or dancing

Flexibility: keep your body limber with stretching and proper warmup and cool down

Strength: build and maintain muscle by lifting weights – including using one’s bodyweight

Balance: strengthen the core with stability training, yoga, or Pilates

Each of these, in addition to maintaining a healthy diet and sleep schedule, is important for older adults.

We'd love to hear from you. Who is an older athlete that you know or look up to? Comment below or on our Facebook page, or tweet us at @flytefitness.

Be Flyte Fit,

Jeremy Greenberg

Co-Founder & CEO
Flyte Fitness

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