Check out my most recent article in the Neighborhood Trainer August newsletter!

Urban FitnessJim

by Jim Fantone, personal trainer

It’s just another day in the city. Not just any city though. We, here in New York City are fortunate to have opportunities on every corner and in every neighborhood for exercise.

First of all, we walk. A lot. I do anyway. It’s a choice to walk 20 blocks each way to my next client rather than take the bus or subway. If I do ride the subway, at the end of each ride is yet another opportunity. Subway stairs are notorious for taking your breath away. I see a set of stairs and I see quads and glutes in action! Take two steps at a time and I see extreme walking lunges. Man, that feels good. A little bit of cardio too. Just don’t stop right at the top please. Don’t get me started!
I find exercise everywhere. As I’m walking up Broadway toward home, I encounter people walking haphazardly across the sidewalk. My friend calls them Diagonerds. You know those people who seem to be angling to the left until you try to go around to the right, and just then they change tactics and begin to go to the right, right in front of you! Back and forth they go. Almost like they’re blocking for you. My take on this is they are my offensive line and I am a running back following my blocking until we get clear of the oncoming traffic (the tacklers) and then I don’t need them anymore and I shoot the gap and fly past them. Thank you!
With so many obstacles and challenges in a city like this, there is no excuse for not exercising. None! Use a backpack so your shoulders are even and the weight of your stuff is not hanging off to one side and get out there and move! Raining? Snowing? It just adds resistance to the exercise. Use the energy to navigate rather than complain. Let’s use our bodies the way they were meant to be used. Moving! You will feel better, guaranteed.

 

Leaning Into 60. Finally it is here!

60 Is The New Sexy! Well, that’s what I’ve been telling myself all year. It’s a good example of my approach to life. I want to lean into it, rather than fear it.

Today is the 60th anniversary of my birth. That’s right, I have now been alive for 60 years. Man, I am amazing! Wooohoooo!

I spent a good part of my life fearing things. Basically everything! That makes for a rough road! As a result of getting sober in 1979 I have a new lease on life. Aside from a four year relapse in the early 2000’s I have spent most of my adult life working on a change of attitude.

Now, I like to live in the present moment. It makes life so much easier but not only that, it’s more fun! So, one day at a time, I have managed to stay alive for all of these 60 years and for that I am grateful.

All of that being said, I think staying physically fit is so important to enjoying life. I don’t fear aging, rather I look forward to it. There is always something new to learn. I am wise because of my age. I am experienced because of my age. I am leaning into 60 because I know I will continue to get better with time.

How’s that for sexy!

 

Real Fitness For Real People

Does fitness elude you? Is it something always on the horizon but seemingly out of reach? Does it seem like it’s something others are able to do easily but you might never achieve? This article is for you!

I am a certified personal trainer in New York City. I have been at it for over 26 years and I am still working on being fit and healthy every day at the ripe new age of 59! I’ll show you my pic if you’ll show me yours. At 59 I’m still fighting the fight to keep in shape and I will admit its not easy. But I am winning the battle because I think of fitness as a lifestyle. In order to be fit and stay fit I must have a plan. An exercise plan and a nutrition plan. I also have a very positive attitude that I have cultivated over the years. None of this came naturally to me. I was addicted to alcohol and drugs for many years as a teenager and young adult. I got sober and lived a better life for 20 years until my relapse. After 4 years binging on alcohol and drugs in my early forties, I got sober again.

I have been back on a healthy lifestyle now for almost 14 years and I know now that living a healthy life is a lot easier than living in an unhealthy one. I have taken my addictions and used them to my advantage. I eat food that I cook every day. I exercise almost every day and I surround myself with people who support that kind of lifestyle. I don’t think I would be able to do it alone. And I certainly couldn’t do it if I was hanging around people who were still partying and eating unhealthy every day.

I believe we need a support system. It works with addictions of all kinds, so why wouldn’t it work with a positive lifestyle? It does. So, invest in yourself and hire a personal trainer to help guide you through the maze of exercise and nutrition chaos that seems to elude you on your own. We are out here waiting to become part of your nutrition exercise support system.

I provide healthy eating tips and practical training advice for real people who want real fitness. I’m Jim Fantone and I’m a recovering alcoholic.

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140 lbs. 8.5% body fat

We’re 12 weeks into 2017. Are you ready for Spring?

On January 2nd My body fat percentage was 11.4 and I weighed 150.6 pounds.

Not bad for a 58 year old man, right?

12 Weeks later after many Tabata drills and a clean diet, I am pleased to say I have accomplished the mission!

March 31st. 8.5% body fat. 140.8 pounds.

I did not starve myself, on the contrary, I ate 3 to 4 meals every day and occasionally I squeezed in a fifth.

So, in three months I dropped nearly 10 pounds and decreased my body fat by nearly 3 percent.

I’d like to point out that to lose weight in a healthy way, requires a healthy lifestyle. That means taking the time to eat right and exercise regularly.

And it’s fun!

That’s it! There are no quick fixes or special tricks to being fit. It takes work and discipline.

It’s not for everybody. Thanks for watching.

Jim

Rest and Recovery

Rest and recovery.

 

Most people run themselves ragged. I like to rest whenever I can. I believe that rest and sleep are the one thing we take for granted that can have a huge impact on our health. If you’re a busy person and you must work many hours each day, I feel for you. That’s not my style. I work just a few hours each day and still I need my beauty rest.

Rest helps your body repair itself. At the cellular level you need recovery. This is not a preference thing. Some people say they only need 4 hours of sleep and they are just fine. Well they may feel fine for now. If that becomes a regular pattern they run the risk of lowering their immune system as well as their metabolism. In order to function properly, the body needs rest. Sleep is best, but I find even just sitting or lying down for a while allows my body to recover.

I am usually very energetic but sometimes I just feel a little less enthusiastic about getting up and getting going. That is a sign for me to take note and get a little more rest than usual. One has to learn how to hear what the body is saying. All of your aches and pains are telling you something. It may not be a big deal, but it is important to get to know when you should pay attention and adjust your activity, and when to just be aware. When you are feeling tired, you are tired and to ignore that on a regular basis is asking for trouble.

Learn to listen, listen to learn.

Rest and Recovery

Loss

Today I’m thinking about “loss” in a different way. I feel a sense of loss today that I can live with. It starts out feeling empty and for a moment it hurts. If I am still, that moment passes. If I don’t try to hold onto it, it goes rather quickly. On the other hand, if I want to keep that feeling of loss, I can create attachments that keep it with me. For example, I feel the loss of a relationship and it hurts for a moment. That feeling is sadness in my gut. I begin to cry and that experience starts to tell me things like I’m losing a part of myself, I’m never going to have another relationship, I will be so alone, I have failed. I ask myself, what have I done to deserve this. That kind of reaction will undoubtedly create more pain and sadness.

But, as I said, I am experiencing loss in a different way today. It’s more like this; I am feeling sadness over the change in my relationship, I breathe and start to cry. Crying is, in my opinion, one of they truest forms of expression there is, so I am going to enjoy this cry. My heart is full, not empty, if I am crying. It feels full! I am letting out the pain of this loss. Is it pain? Yes, it hurts. I feel suddenly alone. Wait. I like being alone. I do. It allows me to reflect on the beauty of my life, which, if I look back at it I realize that the challenges I have faced in my life have always forced me to grow in ways I otherwise might never have. Now that feels less sad. In fact the feeling I now have is gratitude. I am grateful for all of the sad times and the losses in my life because they have given me growth. I have grown considerably over the course of my life, but never as much as when I have been hurting. I am grateful.

This is a true story. Life isn’t good, or bad. Life is Life. How I choose to experience life dictates the quality of my life. Deepak Chopra has a quote I use to remind me of this. “Because I accept life as life, in my world, nothing ever goes wrong.” I am grateful today. I am happy.Image