Fitness News & Views
A Publication of Graham Fitness
Sept. 15, 2015
1 Corinthians 6: 19-20

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          You probably already know that antioxidants are good for you, because they neutralize free radicals.   But what are free radicals and antioxidants?
            First off, not all free radicals are bad. Some are beneficial, such as those involved in muscle contraction and in the immune response. Others are destructive, especially those involved in oxygen toxicity.
            An oxygen free radical has one unpaired electron. As a result, it wants to take an electron from other molecules, particularly fatty acids and proteins. When an oxygen free radical grabs an electron from functional molecules like cell membranes or protein enzymes, it leaves them ineffective. In addition, they become free radicals themselves and start grabbing more electrons starting a chain of destructive events.
            Antioxidants are molecules which can safely interact with these free radicals and terminate the chain reactions before vital molecules are destroyed. Antioxidants include vitamins C and E, selenium, and carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, a pigment that adds color to fruits and vegetables.
            The best way to ingest antioxidants is by eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. Some of the richest sources of antioxidants are prunes, blueberries, strawberries, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, and collards. Other foods besides fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants, including whole grains, nuts, and fish.

        For best results, it is important that you keep your workouts from becoming stale. This is one of the things I try to emphasize to my clients. If you don't change your exercise routine around from time to time, your body will adjust to it, and you will be working harder with less to show for it.
     Changing your routine can be very simple. If you're lifting weights and you've been exercising your quads by doing leg extensions for a month or so, it is time to change to squats or lunges or maybe the leg press machine. For every muscle or muscle group, there are several alternative exercises. Find out what they are and how to do them properly and mix them up regularly. Even simply changing from a barbell to dumbbells will shock the muscles and get them growing again.
       Sometimes you can change your entire workout. I recently went to a routine where I do light weights and high reps (15 to 20) one day, then normal weights and 8 to 12 reps the next workout, and finally heavy weights and low reps (3 to 6) the third workout of the week.
            You need to change your aerobic workout from time to time as well. It's usually a good idea to incorporate several different options. For instance, you could run one day, bicycle another, use the elliptical trainer another day, swim the fourth day, and walk the fifth day. If you are like me and only want to run, you can still add variety and keep your muscles guessing. For example, you could run on hills one day, add interval work another, or plug in a longer run or some trail work. 

            If you want to live to be a hundred or more, it would probably be a good idea to get some suggestions from those who have achieved that lofty goal, right? Yahoo Health did just that, and here are some of the responses they received:
            Agnes Fenton of New Jersey (110) said three bottles of Miller High Life and a glass of whiskey every day was her secret. Note: She has lived 110 years, but she only remembers 56 of them. (That's a joke. I couldn't resist it. Sorry.)
            Gertrude Weaver died in April at the age of 116. Her advice: Treat people nice and don't drink or smoke and get plenty of sleep.
            Jessie Gallan passed away in January. She was 109. She ate porridge and shunned men. "They're more trouble than they're worth," she said.
            Alexander Imich of New York City was 111 when he died in 2014. He stayed in shape by eating healthy, abstaining from alcohol, and exercising well into his old age.
            Another New York City resident, Duranord Veillard is 108. He starts each day with oatmeal, fruit, and a cup of tea and ends with fish and vegetables. He has always done 5 to 7 pushups every day, even now. He has been married 82 years, and his wife Jeanne turned 105 in May.
            Adelina Domingues lived to be 114. Her secret: Never wearing makeup. "I've never been to a beauty shop," she said. (No mention of whether there were any men in her life.)
            Susannah Mushatt Jones turned 116 in July, making her the oldest living person in the world. She said she gets lots of sleep and eats bacon, eggs, and grits for breakfast every day.
            Ruth Cohen is a mere 103, but she still lifts weights and practices Pilates. She said she celebrates every day and never looks at the calendar.
            And finally there's Paul Marcus who is 101 and still goes to his local health club regularly. He credits his long life to three things: "One, you gotta have good genes. Two, you gotta be (expletive) lucky for 100 years. And three, try not to eat anything that's healthy. The secret to longevity is ice cream."

Every year the editors of "Active Times" compile a list of the Top 50 Fittest Colleges. They look at factors such as the number of students participating in intra-mural sports, the number and quality of workout facilities and athletic fields, and healthy dining options. In addition, they interview many of the students to find out what they think. When it's all done, they issue their list of the 50 schools they rank as the country's healthiest. Here are the top 15 as ranked by "Active Times":
         15, Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, PA
         14. Michigan State in East Lansing, MI
         13. Notre Dame in South Bend, IN
         12. UCLA in Los Angeles, CA
         11. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in Champaign, IL
         10. Stanford in Stanford, CA
          9, Penn State in State College, PA
          8. University of Georgia in Athens, GA
          7. Rice University in Houston, TX
          6. Bowdoin College in Brunswick ME
          5. University of Dayton in Dayton, OH
          4. Washington University in St. Louis, MO
          3. Ohio State in Columbus, OH
          2. Claremont McKenna College in Claremont,CA          
          1. Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA

         That's the list, and I can't really comment one way or the other, although if any of those schools have a nicer fitness center than the Strom at Carolina, I'd like to see it.

           Someone recently emailed me several old magazine ads from the 40's and 50's. Some of the claims in those ads were pretty outlandish.
            For instance, an ad for Baby Ruth candy bars says that "Driving can be fatiguing. Many people have been known to fall asleep at the wheel." But by eating a Baby Ruth, "the big, delicious candy bar rich in pure Dextrose, the sugar your body uses directly for energy," you stay alert. The ad goes on to declare that "by actual calorimetric tests, a person weighing 120 pounds can drive a car continuously for 6 hours and 40 minutes on the food energy contained in one delicious 5 cent bar of Baby Ruth candy."
            On the other hand, if it's shopper's fatigue that's got you down, you might want to try an Alka Seltzer. The ad has this advice for the shop weary: "When two or three hours of shopping have tired you out and given you sore and aching muscles, stop at a convenient soda fountain. Relax and refresh yourself with a glass of peppy, sparkling Alka Seltzer. In just a few minutes you begin to feel better. More than this, fatigue acid is neutralized, and you are ready to go on with renewed energy."
            Now just in case you think we've come a long way since then, may I remind you that today we have infomercials making even more ridiculous claims, and people are still buying the products.

           Your body fat percentage is an important number that you should know and probably don't. This number tells you the amount of your weight that is fat as opposed to lean muscle, organs, and bones. We all need a certain amount of fat to live - about 3 percent for men and around 12 percent for women. This number is called your essential body fat, and it's the amount of fat necessary for normal physiologic function.
            Healthy body fat percentages vary with your age and gender, but very generally speaking, a healthy range for men is between 15 and 18 percent and for women between 19 and 23 percent. Elite male marathoners may be as low as 4 to 6 percent and football linemen are in the range of 17 to 23 percent. For the record, at 68 years old, my body fat is about 9 percent, but I work hard for that.           
            Once you know your body fat percentage and your actual weight, it's easy to determine exactly how much of your weight is fat. For instance, if you weight 175 pounds and your body fat is 15 percent, all you do is multiply 175 by .15 and you see you're carrying about 26 pounds of fat.
            There are many ways to measure your body fat. The most accurate method is hydrostatic weighing which involves being submerged in water, but this method is expensive and hard to find. Impedance monitors are available in many sporting goods stores, but these are notoriously inaccurate. The simplest method that is fairly accurate is measuring skin folds with a caliper. Most gyms offer this service, although you may have to pay a small fee for it. I offer this to my clients free of course, but I'll measure anyone's body fat for a small fee of $10. Just contact me, and we can set that up if you'd like.

       Weight lifters often refer to the swelling in a muscle immediately after lifting as the "pump." While it appears that the muscle is growing as you lift, what you see is actually the muscle becoming temporarily engorged with blood which is diverted to the muscle to provide extra oxygen needed during the lift. Unfortunately, it's not the same thing as when the muscles themselves grow.

      An elderly lady seated next to a man on a plane asked him what he did for a living. "I'm a Naval surgeon," he said.
     "My goodness," she replied. "How doctors do specialize these days."
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Rep & Run
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Discount Tire of Irmo
7948 Broad River Road
Irmo, SC 29063
Phone: 749-1633

When you need automotive service, go to Discount Tire of Irmo. They sell Michelin, Pirelli, Bridgestone, BF Goodrich and many other name brand tires at discount prices. If you need other automotive repair work, they will do the job and they'll do it right. From brakes to alignments and all kinds of mechanical repair, you can depend on them to do the work right and get your car back to you quickly, and all at a fair price. For integrity, dependability, and quality, call Larry Warner at Discount Tire of Irmo.

Harbison Recreation Center
106 Hillpine Road
Columbia, SC 29212
Phone: 781-2281

The Harbison Rec Center offers more facilities for less money than anywhere else in town These are just some of the features: a new weight room with all new machines, free weights, treadmills, ellipticals, and stationary bikes; a 25 meter junior Olympic size indoor heated swimming pool; sauna; whirlpool; racquet ball and tennis courts; a basketball gym; and miles of traffic-free trails for walking or jogging. There are classes for seniors as well as summer camp and after school programs for kids. Also newly remodeled locker rooms and an all-purpose room for large gatherings. All for only $315 a year for singles or $600 a year for families Check out their website:

Wolf's Fitness Center
5432 August Road
Lexington, SC 29072
Phone: 356-6400

Wolf's is a total fitness facility offering some great amenities. There's a huge weight room featuring free weights and machines. There is a cardio area with treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, stair steppers, and the cardio theater. Other amenities include an indoor walking/running track, sauna, child care facilities with an attendant, tanning beds, clean locker rooms and showers, and sports supplements. Prices are very reasonable and there are no enrollment fees ever. Wolf's also offers a full slate of fitness classes including kickboxing and pilates, as well as spinning classes. Check out their website, for rates and specials.