I Wish My Mom Would Engage a Personal Trainer

My mom used to be very active until she turned around 60.  She lives in Florida and I live in Washington State.  Mom is trying to do some activity like aquatics but I know it isn’t enough. She has balance problems and fell a few years ago and fractured her wrist.  Now she tells me she has some PAD (Peripheral Artery Disease.)

I went to visit her last year and we stayed at the beach.  The motel had a pool and the beach was right beyond the pool.  My mom wanted to walk out on the beach to see the ocean waves but she told me she could not go because she would fall and it was too much trouble.  Then she told me she hadn’t been to the beach in years and she lives in Florida.  Another time we went on a trip to the East coast.  We took a bus tour.  My mom could not get up and out of the bus to see many of the sights because it was too much trouble for her.  She spent most of the trip just sitting in the tour bus waiting for me to come back.  One time when I finally got her out of the bus her knee bothered her so much from just walking down the street that I had to hail a taxi to take her back to the tour bus.  I’m a personal trainer and I can tell her on the phone until the cows come home about starting a weight training program but she won’t listen.  If I lived there I could get her to do it; but I don’t live near her.  I wish I could help her do the things she would like to do.

How many of you who are reading this either have parents similar to mine or are the parents who maybe can’t walk on that beach?  Maybe you can’t go on that trip you have always wanted to go on because you are afraid you can’t handle climbing stairs or getting in and out of tour buses? Maybe it is as simple as not being able to do hobbies like gardening that you so much loved to do or walking your dog around the block or two.                                                                                                                            Frail

Unless people do regular strength exercise, they lose over five pounds of muscle and significant amounts of bone mass every decade of their adult life.  This results in a progressively slower metabolism and is associated with numerous degenerative problems and diseases, such as low back pain, obesity, heart disease, adult diabetes, and certain types of cancer.

What if there was a solution for people just like you… who aren’t looking for the latest “fat loss” craze or looking to become the fittest person in the world?  What if there was a solution that improved your functional ability and energy levels and was tailored to your abilities?  A solution to:

Discover renewed energy so that you can do the things you’re doing now… even BETTER.

Improve your confidence in your physical abilities so you get much more out of life and can say “Yes I am going to take that walk on the beach”, instead of “no thanks I can’t.”

Dramatically increase your stamina and endurance so you can play a full round of golf, work in the garden without your body being stiff and sore later, or volunteer at the local elementary school.

Reduce or even eliminate any discomfort so you can actually get on the floor to play with your grandkids get up again.

Be confident that you will have the physical ability to enjoy all the adventures and wonders you have yet to accomplish.                                                                                         Personal training Blog

There is a solution:  a personal trainer!  A personal trainer can design a program just for you.  A trainer can sit with you to see what you really want out of life and help you achieve that goal or goals.  A trainer can help you with that knee replacement you had that is still stiff or help you to maintain your balance so you don’t have to use your cane anymore.  A personal trainer can help you achieve mobility and give you your freedom again!

If you are interested in personal training please check out our website at:   http://www.fit4lifesequim.com/ or call us at 360-928-7107 or just stop in at Fit4Life Studio at 1247 W. Washington St., Sequim, WA.  98382


What is Metabolism? And Why You Should Care.

By Ryan Juel, Certified Personal Trainer

People are constantly talking about boosting their metabolism. What foods should be eaten and when for a higher metabolism; how you should drink water first thing in the morning to jumpstart your metabolism. The word gets thrown around constantly, but what are we actually talking about? What is the process that happens in our bodies? That’s exactly what I’m going to explore today.

An Overview

In short, metabolism is the chemical process inside a living organism in order to maintain life. Energy is essential in maintaining all process within the body. These processes include:

  • Chemical
  • Biological
  • Mechanical
  • Temperature regulation.

The breakdown of nutrients yields a high-energy compound called adenosine triphosphate (ATP) that provides energy to the body and therefore life is maintained. However, metabolism isn’t just about breaking down nutrients. The process of metabolism is divided into two categories, catabolism and anabolism. Catabolism is the breakdown of molecules to obtain energy while anabolism is the synthesis of compounds needed by the cells. Because our main goal is to understand how the nutrients we eat provide energy to our bodies, specifically to do mechanical work, I’ll focus on catabolism. However, be aware that there is another side to metabolism. Catabolism can be broken down into three general categories:

  • Fermentation
  • Aerobic (with oxygen)
  • Anaerobic (without oxygen).

Again, I’ll narrow this down and for our purposes, aerobic and anaerobic metabolism will be the focus.

In the process of preforming mechanical work, energy demands increase substantially. There is only enough ATP stored in muscles to provide approximately 4 seconds of a strength or power exercise such as a golf swing. Therefore, ATP must be readily synthesized to maintain the energy requirements of exercise. This energy production relies on the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, which provide oxygen and nutrients (from foods we consume) as well as remove waste products to maintain a cellular equilibrium. ATP releases energy when the enzyme ATPase catalyzes the hydrolysis of ATP to ADP (adenosine diphosphate), phosphate, and energy (produced in the breaking of the phosphate bond). This breaking of the phosphate bond helps facilitate skeletal muscle contraction (I’ll talk about the physiological steps involved in muscle contraction in the future). Now I’ll break it down a little bit further into the three main energy pathways.

Anaerobic Processes (without oxygen)

There are two anaerobic metabolic processes the phosphagen pathway and glycolysis. In the phophagen pathway, creatine phosphate (CP), which is stored in skeletal muscle, transfers its phosphate to ADP to create ATP with the assistance of a creatine kinase enzyme. Because this reaction is only one step it happens rapidly but it is short lived, as there is only a finite amount of CP stored in cells. Creatine most be rephosphorylated using ATP in the mitochondria of the cell before more energy can be provided to the muscle. Depending on the level of CP depletion in the muscle it can take 1-2 minutes for creatine to be rephosphorylated. The CP that is stored in the muscle provides approximately 5-10 seconds of sustained power exercise such as sprinting.

Glycolysis provides approximately 1.5 minutes of endurance exercises like a short dash or swimming a lap. Glycolysis is the breakdown of carbohydrate molecules (glycogen or glucose) and produces ATP rapidly. This process requires a series of steps catalyzed by enzymes just as the other processes described. Glycolysis produces ATP as well as pyruvate or lactate. Although glycolysis is an anaerobic process if there is sufficient oxygen quantities in the cell pyruvate can participate in the aerobic production of ATP as well. Lactate can also be resynthesized for ATP production however it accumulates in the muscle faster than it can be removed during exercise, which contributes to fatigue. As oxygen becomes available during rest lactate is oxidized and used for ATP production.

Aerobic Processes (with oxygen)

Aerobic production of ATP involves two very complex metabolic processes, the Krebs cycle and the electron transport chain (ETC). This process occurs within the mitochondria of the cell. This process can use fat, protein, and carbohydrates to produce ATP. I won’t go into the details of this complex process but it is important to know that aerobic metabolism requires steady concentrations of oxygen and allows the muscle to sustain high rates of ATP production for muscular energy over long periods of sustained endurance exercises. For aerobic exercise, carbohydrates and fat are the main sources of fuel although protein can be used as well. Usually, carbohydrates are used first and as the duration of the exercise increases there is a gradual shift to the use of fats as fuel.

Why you should care…

For these processes to work properly and allow us to do our best in any task, we have to provide our bodies with the right nutrients. If the body is not fed properly to support the energy demands of mechanical work our speed, agility, strength, balance, or any other aspect of desired performance will suffer.

So how do we fuel our bodies in order to meet our physical goals? What effects do proteins, carbohydrates, and fats have on our bodies in order to help us preform better? I’ll delve into these specifics over the next few weeks. 

A (Very) Quick Review

  • Food is metabolized to ATP.
  • ATP goes through hydrolysis to break the phosphate bond and produce energy.
  • The energy is used to contract muscles.
  • ATP must be continually synthesized to provide energy to our muscles during work, this is accomplished either anaerobically or aerobically.


Metabolism. 2015. In Merriam-Webster.com.

Retrieved March 20, 2015, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/metabolism

Acsm’s Resources for the Personal Trainer, 4th Ed. Wolters Kluwer Health, 2014. Print.

How to Use the Power of Intention to Crush Procrastination and Transform Your Life

By Tamatha Bechtel,  Certified Professional Life Coach, Certified Personal Trainer

I know I’m not alone in suffering from Analysis Paralysis. “Analysis paralysis” is the condition of thinking about something for so long that it never gets done. It’s one of the common themes in my life coaching practice where I’m helping over-busy women create balance in their lives.

This phenomena stems from 4 basic roots and 3 of the 4 are actually positive traits:

  1. Loving research
  2. Wanting to do it right or not do it at all
  3. Lacking confidence
  4. A creative mind that is always looking for improvement

And what’s the end result of this?  That loathsome “p” word:  procrastination!

Just because I’m a life coach doesn’t mean I don’t get hung up on this.  But it does mean I can’t settle for it.

if not now when

So I decided to put “have a good idea and act on it immediately” on my checklist of things I do every day, and I’m really getting a kick out of it.  The energy of a new idea is so invigorating and acting upon it is just plain fun!  In fact I might even go so far as to say it’s joyful.

Now, “have a good idea and act on it immediately” is an INTENTION, because it’s not what I usually do.

I intend to not just have good ideas that keep coming in a never-ending flow, not to just have good ideas and shelf them while they turn in to better ideas, not to just have good ideas and research the heck out of them to make sure that I’m sure that I’m sure that they are good ideas.  Nope.  I INTEND to have a good idea and act upon it immediately. 


I put this intention to have a good idea and act on it immediately on my daily checklist and two days later I woke up at 5 am and decided our fitness studio needed a blog to let people know that we are not just your average place to work out—that there is a depth and breadth of knowledge, passion, compassion and skills that you don’t find just anywhere.  I’m proud of Fit4Life Studio and the quality of instructors and members that we attract and I think it’s important that our little community of Sequim knows how much we want to share the mojo with them.  We are always looking for ways to add value to their lives and in return, we also are enriched.  I just love that!


So around 5:05 I sent a FB message to my awesome partners Pauline Geraci and Ryan Juel to ask them if they would be game to start a blog.  I spelled out how Pauline would focus her writing on her passion of Exercise as Medicine.  Ryan would focus on her passion for diet and nutrition as 85% of weight loss success.  And I would focus on my passion for acknowledging your whole person- body, mind and spirit- and using that to transform and balance your life.

By the time I was done teaching my 9:15 am body sculpting class, Ryan and Pauline were at the front desk figuring out some of the technical stuff about how to get a blog up and running, and I hadn’t even seen their “yes” response yet!  I couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear.

Then, much to my surprise, Pauline sends us a link at 2:55 pm saying “done” and giving us the link to her first blog post.

doneSo I immediately posted it to our Fit4Life Studio Members Facebook Group and voila!  We officially have a Fit4Life Studio blog.


Here’s another story about the power of intention that has been transformational.  One of my MELTDOWN clients was starting to decline in her physical vitality rather than grow and that was disconcerting to both of us.  We discovered that she had some body mechanics that were not quite right and causing her to overuse her quads.  Thus she was starting to feel the uncomfortable effects of overuse.

She decided to temporarily switch her focus from fat loss to body mechanics using personal training.

Good decision!personal trainer13

She stated the INTENTION to develop top notch body mechanics so she could continue with the high intensity interval training she loves without suffering an overuse injury.  We began doing just the opposite of high intensity.  We were very slow and very purposefully examining her posture and movement from all angles and fine tuning her body positioning as needed—a very tedious, patient, and loving process.

She held firm to her intention and started noticing her body mechanics at home, while driving, while chatting with me after her personal training session.

Two weeks later, we progressed from this super-attentive practice to doing one set with light weights, one set with heavier weights, and one set of a body weight cardio exercise that required the same body mechanics.

Now she is more comfortable than she has been in years.  She is also regaining energy and is able to continue on with her long term goal of fat loss, which was her intention a year ago.  She has had great success with that, too.

butterfly transformation

She has participated in MELTDOWN 4 times and has gone from the obese category to the acceptable category to the fitness category and she now has stated her intention to go for the athletic category.  She never dreamed she would learn that she loves high intensity interval training at the age of 63 when she’s never been an athlete and didn’t even like working out.  Her intention and the discovery around it has transformed her life for the better for once and for all!

Now THAT’S the POWER OF INTENTION, TWICE!  Once to intend to lose body fat and once to intend to be more comfortable doing it.

And what’s the ripple in the pond effect of this?  She has more energy and mobility to play with her grandchildren.  She has more strength and comfort to work in the garden with her husband.  She is an example for the gals in her Bible study.  In short, using the power of intention to transform her life is creating quality relationships, body, mind and spirit, with the people that matter most to her.butterfly7

I am a firm believer that the power of intention can be used by anybody to stop procrastinating and get on with life in any area that you struggle with.

Tamatha Bechtel is known as The Body Mind and Spirit Coach who helps over-busy women bring balance to their lives and have time for the things that matter most to them.  She uses the transforming power of life coaching in all the ways she passionately and purposefully helps people:  life coaching, fat loss mentoring, personal training, group fitness instructing, and developing business for Fit4Life Studio in Sequim, WA.  The common pursuit in all these endeavors is a joyful life with the freedom to be the uniquely wonderful person you were created to be.

This Simple Exercise Offers Many Benefits to Health

By Pauline Geraci

There are countless physical activities out there, but there is one simple activity that has so many benefits! It’s not a new fad with a fancy name; it’s walking.  Of all the physical activities that you can engage in, walking has the lowest dropout rate of them all! It’s the simplest positive change you can make to effectively improve your heart health.  Even Hippocrates, the father of medicine during 5th century Athens said, “Walking is man’s best medicine.”

Research has shown that the benefits of walking and moderate physical activity for at least 30 minutes a day can help you:

  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
  • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Improve blood lipid profile
  • Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
  • Enhance mental well being
  • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  • Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
  • Reduce the risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetes
  • Reduce the recurrence of some cancers
  • Have a more positive attitude toward physical activity
  • Improve resting heart rate
  • Lower body fat and total cholesterol.
  • Improve lung power, overall physical functioning, and general fitness
  • Reduces the risk of breast cancer.  Women who performed the equivalent of one hour and 15 minutes to two and a half hours per week of brisk walking had an 18% decreased risk of breast cancer compared with inactive women.
  • Lowers the risk of vascular dementia by about 70-75%
  • Reduces the risk of hip fracture for post- menopausal women who walked 4 hours a week by 41%

The latest addition to that research comes from the Norwich Medical School at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England.  Their conclusion: Risk of stroke, coronary heart disease, depression and other life-threatening conditions can be reduced through regular outdoor walking in groups.

According to the data, regular participation in a group walking program offers many benefits. “Statistically significant improvements were found in a range of widely used health measures; systolic and diastolic blood pressure resting heart rate, body fat, BMI, total cholesterol, VO2max, depression, 6-minute walk time, and quality of life for physical functioning,” the authors explained.  Researchers also found that walking is a cost-effective and low-risk way of improving overall health. The researchers also suggested that doctors should prescribe that patients join a walking group for added health benefits.

Exercise, especially walking, is indeed medicine!


By Pauline Geraci, Certified Personal Trainer and Owner Fit4Life Studio where every day we ask ourselves how we can add value to our clients’ lives beyond just a good workout.

I live in a predominantley retirement town.  I see many people using walkers that move slowly, are hunched over and don’t look very comfortable.  They also rely on friends and family to get their food for them, to do things for them that they would normally do for themselves limiting their mobility even further. I ususally ask myself “Do they really need a walker?”

Yes, there are many people who have fallen and are afraid of falling again but do they really need a walker prescribed because of their fear?  Yes, some people broke a hip and have limited mobility but do they really need a walker for the rest of their life?  I am not talking about people who have MS or other clearly physical issues who need a walker.

You would think walking devices may be a hard sell to older adults. They’re associated with aging and dependence in an elderly person’s mind. Researchers have determined that mobility is the most important factor in an older person’s perceived health and well-being. So why would you want to lose your independence with a walker or cane when you don’t have to?

Yes, I know there are factors that can lead to problems with balance in older people include leg muscle weakness, illnesses, medication side effects, vision problems and problems with proprioception. Proprioception is the ability to know where your body’s position and movement is in relation to the environment. As we age, this sensory ability weakens, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t something that can be do about it.  We do have the power to help ourselves get stronger and more mobile.

Yes, studies have shown that a walking aid will allow someone to do more, maintain their level of activities, if not increase them. People can typically walk further with assistive devices, which is also good for their overall health, but strengthening your muscles rather than relying on a walker goes a long way for your overall health and independence as well.

Did you know studies show that those using walkers perceive themselves to have lower physical functioning, poorer general health, and more role limitations due to physical problems than nonusers? Nurses have described the use of a walker as a stigma associated with old age, affecting an elderly person’s sense of identity and self-worth, and often resulting in a withdrawal from social interactions (Rush and Ouellet 1997).  So when doctors prescribe a walker first before exercise they are causing their patients to focus on their limited mobility, resulting in a perception of decreased health and quality of life.

Exercise and mobility and stability Interventions can delay or even eliminate the need for walkers in certain individuals.  Exercise, mobility and balance training is certainly less restrictive than walkers or canes.  Yes it is more work.  Yes you might have to spend some extra money on a gym membership or personal training sessions.  Isn’t independence worth it?

Why am I against the overuse of walkers or canes?  Using a walker stops people from practicing their normal gait.  Many walkers are not fitted properly to the patient so they patient ends up stooped and shuffling. A walker is a psychological crutch.  A walker should only be prescribed if there is no other option for reasonably safe mobility.

Even if you use a walker, it is important to wean yourself away from it by attending strength training classes or mobility and stability classes.  People too many times become dependent on the walker and not their own bodies.  Strengthening your body will help you become more confident in your capabilities and less fearful of falling and thus lead to a more independent life.


By Pauline Geraci, Owner Fit4Life Studio and Certified Personal Trainer (CPT)

Do you know that physical inactivity is a fast-growing public health problem and contributes to a variety of chronic diseases and health complications, including obesity, diabetes and cancer. In addition to improving a patient’s overall health, increasing physical activity has proven effective in the treatment and prevention of chronic diseases. Even with all the benefits of physical activity, there are still people around the world and right here on the Olympic Peninsula who don’t exercise at all! So here are the statistics again about physical inactivity:

  • According to the World Health Organization’s most recent Global Health Risks data (2004) after high blood pressure, tobacco use and high blood glucose, physical inactivity constitutes the 4th leading cause of death globally, with about 3.3 million attributed deaths per year. More recent evidence (2009) using direct measure, rather than survey data shows physical inactivity to be the leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • More than half of adults (56%) do not meet the recommendations for sufficient physical activity in the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines.
  • In a study of older adolescents and adults in the U.S., participants spent almost eight hours a day in sedentary behaviors, while as much as 36% of adults engaged in no leisure-time physical activity at all.
  • A study in 2008 shows that physical inactivity costs the U.S. Health Care System $330 per person each year, which equals more than $102 billion dollars annually.
  • 40% of U.S. primary care doctors and 36% of US medical students do not meet 2008 federal physical activity guidelines. Physically inactive doctors are less likely to provide exercise counseling to patients and provide less credible role models for the adoption of healthy behaviors.Not surprisingly, only 34% of U.S. adults report having received exercise counseling at their last medical visit.

So what is our medical community right here on the Olympic Peninsula doing about their patients inactivity?  What are YOU doing about your inactivity?