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Family Fitness

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Childhood obesity is on the rise as children spend less time being active and too much time watching TV or playing video games. If you are an engaged parent, it is hard to miss this information. The news reports it, parenting magazines write about it, and teachers and physicians send information home about how inactive and unhealthy kids are these days.

As parents we want what is best for our kids, but balancing work and family schedules can be challenging. So how can we make sure that we are giving our families the best opportunities for a healthy active life now and into the future?

RS2051 Doctors WEBFirst, some facts:

  • Childhood obesity is on the rise
  • Over a 32-year period (1980-2012), there was an 11% increase in obesity for ages 6-11 and 16% for ages 12-19;
  • More than one-third of children and adolescents is classified as overweight or obese;
  • The annual cost of obesity in the United States is $14 billion;
  • Overweight children and adolescents have a 70% greater chance of becoming overweight adults.

How can you prevent your child from becoming an obesity statistic?  The best advice out there regarding family fitness is to model what you want for your kids. Again, as with most parenting tasks, finding the balance in life to include exercise for yourself and your family can be difficult.

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A New Way to GO

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eliptigoIs pain keeping you from running or walking?  Does riding a bicycle hurt your back or give you ‘saddle sore’? Are you bored on the cardio machines at the gym or at home? Are you looking to improve your time in your next race? 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, the ElliptiGO may be the tool for you.

What is it:  Think bicycle plus elliptical machine.  The ElliptiGO was invented in Southern California and came to the market around 2010.  It has the familiar bicycle components (handlebars for steering, hand brakes, gears, two wheels) with a stride similar to the elliptical machine.  The stride is very comfortable and smooth.  It is slightly longer and narrower than the average indoor machine to match your running stride better. The handle bars and stride length can be adjusted to accommodate heights of 5’ 0” to 6'8". 

What the research says:

A recent research study by Rendler and colleagues found that workouts on ElliptiGO improve cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition in line with fitness industry standards and American College of Sports Medicine guidelines.  (You can read the full article here)

ElliptiGO riding expends 33% more energy compared to cycling at the same speed.

ElliptiGO also conducted many case studies with their elite athletes that you can check out.

Who uses it?

The ElliptiGO is a useful tool for all runners and fitness enthusiasts.  Elite runners are using it to supplement their training and achieve their goals.  Former runners who are unable to run due to pain use it to get the ‘runner’s high’ and build fitness without pain.  Injured runners use it in their rehabilitation to keep fit while allowing their injuries to heal.

If you do not have pain, the ElliptiGO can supplement your training to improve your cardiovascular fitness without the impact that running puts on your body.  Recovery is an important part of training.  You can add additional training time without putting excessive stress on your body.  My friend Tina Muir, an elite marathon runner, posted a blog about the benefits of cross training for runners.  You can check it out here.

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Youth Strength Training

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Recent literature and studies have shown incredible evidence in support of Off-Season Strength & Conditioning programs. The Center's contracted schools are continually implementing year-round Strength & Conditioning programs into their school districts, which is helping to reduce incidence of injury and introduce safe, effective, movement patterns to provide all of our athletes a strong base for athletic performance. Here is a blog on the benefits and safety of youth strength training.


Some of the documented and researched findings in support of youth strength training are coming from position statements from the NSCA, ACSM, AAP, AOSSM and MAYO Clinic. These statements are in favor of fundamental strength and fitness training that will prepare athletes for multi sport success with added benefits including:

            • Creating healthy body composition when training in conjunction with a healthy diet
            • Helping promote healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
            • Increasing muscular strength, power and endurance essential for sports performance
            • Strengthening bones
            • Helping to reduce incidence of injury in sport and recreational activities

BalanceVestibularRehab 550x450 3I was struggling to come up with a blog topic this time around.  It seems as if I always come back to balance-related topics; whether it’s balancing your body through diet or exercise.  So here you have it, another discussion on balance!  This one in particular was very inspiring to me and hopefully will inspire you or someone you know as well.

I woke up Sunday morning and found myself hooked watching a special on CBS Sunday Morning (not a show I typically watch).  This episode was regarding a specific treatment called Rock Steady Boxing for those battling Parkinson’s Disease.  

Earlier in my schooling and career I performed research, had publications and became certified as an LSVT-BIG therapist for management of Parkinson’s Disease.  While watching this video on CBS, I couldn’t help but compare it to my background knowledge in Parkinson’s and training in LSVT-BIG, which closely resembles many of the treatment principles used in Rock Steady Boxing.

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