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MedFit Care
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While Covid accentuated poor heath conditions in some, they were prevalent long before Covid. 

The Good News: Physical activity can positively affect over 30 chronic conditions, making it the best deterrent of chronic disease in primary and secondary prevention.

Health Statistics for adults in the U.S. 

  • 50-60% have at least one chronic disease; 25-40% have two or more.
  • Almost 40% are clinically obese.
  • Hypertension affects over 100 million.
  • Over 30 million have Type 2 diabetes.
  • Osteoarthritis affects over 30 million. It’s thought everyone over 60 has at least 1 joint affected.
  • Cardiovascular disease is responsible for almost 1 in every 4 deaths.

What is MedFit Care?

MedFit Care is a telehealth company offering medically necessary exercise prescriptions for consumers and patients nationwide.

A MedFit Care physician will write a medically necessary exercise prescription that can be used to pay for your MedFit Care fitness professional, who understands your unique needs and can work with you to improve your health and quality of life. With your prescription in hand, you are now able to use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), Health Savings Account (HSA), or your own funds as a medical expense tax deduction, to pay for the services of a qualified medical fitness specialist.

If you, a family member, or friend has health issues of concern, call our New Orleans Healing Center location at 504-754-1101 or​ stop by the New Orleans Healing Center to discuss your options.

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May is Melanoma and Skin Cancer Awareness Month
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​Non-melanoma skin cancer is a very common cancer in the United States, with more than 5 million people diagnosed each year. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, which are non-melanoma skin cancers, are the most common types of skin cancer. Non-melanoma skin cancers rarely spread to other parts of the body.

  • 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer by the age of 70.
  • More than 2 people die of skin cancer in the U.S. every hour.
  • Having 5 or more sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma.
  • When detected early, the 5-year survival rate for melanoma is 99 percent.

Melanoma:

Melanoma is an aggressive form of skin cancer. It is more likely to invade nearby tissues and spread to other parts of the body than the more common forms of skin cancer.

Melanoma is more common in men than women and among individuals of fair complexion. Unusual moles, exposure to natural sunlight or artificial sunlight (such as from tanning beds) over long periods of time, and health history can affect the risk of melanoma – American Association for Cancer Research.

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for melanoma in the United States for 2024 are:

  • About 100,640 new melanomas will be diagnosed (about 59,170 in men and 41,470 in women).
  • About 8,290 people are expected to die of melanoma (about 5,430 men and 2,860 women).

Less Common Skin Cancers:

1) Merkel cell carcinoma is a rare and aggressive type of skin cancer that develops in sun-exposed skin areas and has a high likelihood of spreading to other body parts.2) Skin lymphoma, also called Cutaneous lymphoma, is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that starts in the skin.3) Kaposi sarcoma is a type of cancer that starts in lymph or blood vessel cells and tends to appear in the mouth and as lesions on the skin, but may also develop in the lungs, liver and digestive tract.4) Skin adnexal tumors are tumors that start in hair follicles or skin glands.5) Sarcomas are soft tissue tumors that can begin in deep skin tissue.

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Things that put you at higher risk for getting skin cancer are called risk factors. The main risk factor for developing skin cancer is exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from:

1) Sunlight2) Tanning beds3) Sun lamps

Other factors that may contribute to developing skin cancer include:

– Having a history of severe, blistering sunburns- Having many, or unusual, moles- Being a blond or redhead, having fair skin that easily freckles or sunburns- Exposure to large amounts of toxic substances such as paraffin oil, coal tar and arsenic compounds- Family history of skin cancer- Previously being diagnosed with skin cancer- Being older, male- Having a weakened immune system- Having a rare inherited condition called xeroderma pigmentosum– People with darker complexions have a much lower risk of most types of skin cancer. When they do develop melanoma, people with darker skin types are much more likely to have rare types of melanoma such as acral lentiginous melanoma, an aggressive type affecting the palms of the hands, soles of the feet and nail bed. Melanoma can also develop in non-sun-exposed area such as the membranes of the mouth, gastrointestinal tract and female genital tract. The most important warning sign of skin cancer is a new spot on the skin, especially if that spot changes shape, color or size. Another potential symptom is a spot that looks different from all the others on your skin (known as the “ugly duckling sign”).

Other signs include:

– Red or pink patches with shiny, pearly-white raised edges- Non-healing open sores that bleed or develop a crust- Red scaly patches of skin that may bleed- Wart-like growths with crusted surfaces- Hard, waxy skin lumps with visible blood cells- A newly itchy, tender or painful sore


Good Cholesterol vs Bad Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is essential for building cell membranes and producing hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids that aid in digestion. However, having too much cholesterol, particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Here's a breakdown of the two main types of cholesterol:

  1. Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol:

    • Often referred to as "bad" cholesterol.
    • LDL cholesterol can build up on the walls of your arteries, forming plaque that can narrow and clog arteries, leading to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) and increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  2. High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol:

    • Referred to as "good" cholesterol.
    • HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL cholesterol from the arteries by transporting it to the liver, where it can be broken down and eliminated from the body. This process helps protect against heart disease.

In summary, high levels of LDL cholesterol can increase the risk of heart disease, while high levels of HDL cholesterol can help reduce that risk by removing excess cholesterol from the bloodstream. It's important to maintain a balance between these two types of cholesterol for optimal heart health.

Exercise and Cholesterol​

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Regular exercise can have a significant impact on cholesterol levels and overall heart health. Here's how exercise influences cholesterol:

  1. Raises HDL Cholesterol: Physical activity, especially aerobic exercise like brisk walking, running, swimming, or cycling, can increase the levels of HDL (good) cholesterol in the blood. This helps remove LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream, reducing the risk of plaque buildup in the arteries.

  2. Lowers LDL Cholesterol: Exercise can also lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. It does this by increasing the size of the particles that carry LDL cholesterol in the blood, which makes them less likely to contribute to plaque formation in the arteries. Additionally, regular physical activity can stimulate the liver to remove LDL cholesterol from the blood.

  3. Aids in Weight Management: Regular exercise helps with weight loss and weight management, which can indirectly improve cholesterol levels. Being overweight or obese is associated with higher LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol levels. Exercise helps maintain a healthy weight or achieve weight loss, which in turn can improve cholesterol profiles.

  4. Improves Overall Heart Health: Exercise strengthens the heart muscle, improves circulation, and reduces inflammation throughout the body. These benefits can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, which are often associated with high cholesterol levels.

  5. Reduces Triglycerides: Triglycerides are another type of fat in the blood that can increase the risk of heart disease when levels are too high. Regular exercise helps lower triglyceride levels, further improving heart health.

To reap the benefits of exercise on cholesterol levels, it's recommended to engage in moderate-intensity aerobic activity for at least 150 minutes per week, or vigorous-intensity aerobic activity for at least 75 minutes per week, along with muscle-strengthening activities on two or more days per week. However, even small amounts of physical activity can provide health benefits, so finding activities you enjoy and incorporating them into your routine is key.





How To Stay Active with Arthritis

Osteoarthritis Action Alliance

​More than 40% of adults with arthritis do not receive counseling from their health care providers on the benefits of physical activity for arthritis management.

-Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Arthritis can lead to severe joint pain and may limit your normal activities, but there are several ways you can reduce arthritis pain without medication. Research has shown being physically active is one of the best ways to treat arthritis. 

Physical activity can help your arthritis by: 

  • Reducing pain
  • Improving range of motion and function
  • Increasing energy
  • Improving mood
  • Supporting weight management
  • Preventing or improving other conditions like diabetes and heart disease.

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How much activity should you aim​ for? Try to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week - like brisk walking. This can be broken up into smaller segments such as 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Even if you can’t reach this goal, staying as active as you can is good for your health. Remember, any amount of physical activity is better than none!

What kinds of activities should you do? You should choose physical activities that are gentle on your body and joints to reduce the risk of injury. These activities can include:   

  • Brisk walking
  • Yoga
  • Gardening
  • Dancing
  • Swimming

Explore physical activity programs in your community that are designed to reduce arthritis symptoms and teach you how to safely increase your activity level. Many of these programs are free or low-cost and available at local YMCAs, parks, and recreation or community centers. Learn more about Arthritis-Appropriate Evidence-Based Interventions (AAEBIs) here

Remember, your doctor is a reliable source of information about physical activity. If you have concerns or questions, talk to your doctor about the right level of activity for your abilities and health goals. For more tips on staying active, go to the CDC website.





Group Circuit Training by Paul

Monday and Thursday 11:15 am-12:00pm

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​BENEFITS OF CIRCUIT TRAINING: 

  • Maximum results in minimum time
  • Challenge your whole body
  • Mix cardio and strength
  • Send your metabolism soaring
  • Never waste another minute
  • Beat gym boredom
  • All fitness levels welcome
  • Arrive early for instruction

Have questions? Call Paul @ 504.525-2956


Time to FINALLY make a change

It happens to everyone. That moment when you realize that it’s time to do something about your weight.

It may happen when you’re looking in the mirror or standing on the scale.

Your first thought is to go on a ‘diet’ but as quickly as that enters your mind the ghosts of a hundred diets past return…along with all the frustration.

Then you wonder, why bother?

The weight will come back, as it always has. Then you’ll be back in front of the mirror as discouraged as ever.

The answer is not to go on another diet.

The answer is to create a vision and make it a priority.

Creating a Vision. What exactly do you wish to accomplish? If it’s weight loss, exactly how much weight? What size will you be when your goal is accomplished? Can you picture what you’ll look and feel like? Take time to clearly visualize what you really want to accomplish. This is your vision.

Make it a Priority. Having a vision is great, but unless you make it a priority it will get lost and fade away. Embrace simple, small changes that will add up to big improvements in your lifestyle. Starting small allows you to stick with it, and to build upon your success. These are your main venues for change:

What You Eat. Let’s face it, most of the foods you eat aren’t the healthiest. Some are downright terrible (the burger and fries you had this weekend). While others are simply excessive (the snacks you eat while watching TV).

The solution to cleaning up your daily diet is NOT to go back on a ‘diet’. In fact, I never want you to go on a ‘diet’ again. (Yes, you heard me right!) Instead I want you to make permanent healthy changes to your eating habits.

Here are some practical examples:

  • Choose salad over chips or fries
  • Don’t add butter to your food
  • Eat fresh produce with every meal
  • Limit desserts to one per week
  • Cut out mindless snacking
  • Drink water, not soda

I don’t expect you to eat a perfect diet every day of the week – that’d be very difficult. You should, however, make MORE healthy choices every day than unhealthy ones.

How You Move. Exercise is a huge component to a healthy lifestyle, and quite frankly you’re not getting enough of it. How often does an entire week go by without you ever lacing up your tennis shoes? Don’t disregard the importance and power of a good workout.

Your new healthy lifestyle means exercising on most days of the week. This may seem tough, but I have the perfect solution – my boot camp sessions were created for busy people just like you who only have so much time to dedicate to exercise.

I understand how hard it is to find the motivation to stay consistent and to push yourself. Make exercise a no-brainer—contact me to get started on a lifestyle enhancing program today.

Here are simple ways to move more:

  • Watch less TV
  • Stretch stiff muscles every day
  • Play at the park with the kids
  • Go for a jog

Your lifestyle is the balance of all the choices that you make regarding your body. Swing the balance in your favor—make a majority of your choices health conscious.

So the next time you’re in front of the mirror you won’t worry about your weight.

You’ll relish it.

Are you ready to transform your lifestyle and body? Call or email me today to get started.

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Michael Roberts

Medical Fitness Specialist

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Downtown Fitness Center

2372 St Claude Ave Suite 264

New Orleans, LA 70117

5047541101


Small Degrees Of Change

True change happens in degrees, not in one fell swoop. This is a relief when you realize that you have miles to go on your goals. There is no need to attempt all of the change at once – simply nudge yourself in the right direction each and every day and maintain the small changes as you go.

Did you eat a big bowl of spaghetti noodles with your favorite sauce for dinner last night? Tonight eat a smaller bowl. Next week eat zucchini noodles and your favorite sauce. The following week eat zucchini noodles with the protein-filled sauce recipe below.

Small changes in the right direction, maintained over time, will make all of the difference as you strive toward the body and lifestyle that you desire.


Apple Fritter Protein Balls

Craving a donut? I’ve got you covered! Part of maintaining a fitness lifestyle is quenching your unhealthy cravings with healthier options, like these protein balls. You get to enjoy similar flavors to the food that you crave, while filling your body with usable, favorable nutrients rather than a bunch of sugar and flour.

The average apple fritter donut contains 450 calories, 17 grams of fat, 63 grams of carbs and 38 grams of sugar! Compare that to the 100 calories, 2 grams of fat, 14 grams of carbs, 16 grams of protein and only 2 grams of sugar found in 2 of these tasty protein balls!

Making smart food choices like this will transform your fitness goals from being merely a vision to being reality.

There are two super ingredients in these protein balls: protein powder and powdered greens. Yep, you read that correctly. These tasty, donut-replacing protein balls are not only super low in sugar, they also contain powdered super greens. Considering that only 14 percent of adults get adequate amounts of veggies and greens in their diet, we could all benefit from some super greens.

What you need
Serves 30

1 apple
1 teaspoon coconut oil
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ cups old fashion oats
¼ cup Powdered Greens
½ cup Vanilla Protein Powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 cup Almond Butter
3 tablespoons almond milk
1 tablespoon brown Swerve

Instructions

1. Seed and finely dice the apple. I leave the skin on for the added flavor and fiber.  

2. Place a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add the coconut oil, diced apple, and cinnamon. Mix until fully combined. Cook, stirring occasionally until the apples are tender. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer combine the oats, powdered greens, protein powder and sea salt. Mix until fully combined.

4. Add the almond butter, almond milk and cooked apples. Mix on medium-low until a soft, crumbly dough forms. Test pressing the dough together into a ball - if it doesn’t stick together then add an additional tablespoon of almond milk. 

5. Form the dough into 30 balls using a Tablespoon to scoop, and rolling the dough together in your hands. Roll the balls in the brown Swerve. Place the balls on a plate and chill in the fridge until you're ready to enjoy.

Nutrition
One ball equals: 50 calories, 1g fat, 21mg sodium, 7g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 1g sugar and 8g protein.

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