Category Archives: Health & Wellness

As Seen In The Palm Beach Post: “Full-time job … full-time family man … full-time fitness!”

Earlier this month I mentioned that my BlueIvy Communications client Stephen Walker (of the West Palm Beach law firm Critton, Luttier & Coleman) would be featured in The Palm Beach Post’s monthly “Healthy Living” magazine in honor of men’s health month. He was recognized as the pinnacle of men’s health: excelling at his career, in family life and with fitness/health. Well, the feature article came out this past Tuesday, and here it is. Be sure to read up on Steve’s schedule and his tips for others seeking the ideal balance of fitness, family and career!

Read the Online article

Read the text here:

You see it all too often: healthy, active, fit man graduates from school, starts career and family, hits 35, then becomes sedentary, tired, out-of-shape professional.

But not 37-year-old Jupiter resident Stephen Walker!

Full-time job … full-time family man … full-time fitness! photo
Steve Walker performing a deadlift.
Walker is a partner with the West Palm Beach-based Law Firm of Critton, Luttier & Coleman (www.lawclc.com) where he focuses his practice on high-end marital and family law and complex commercial and construction litigation. He has been with the firm since 2012. “It’s a sedentary job,” Walker explained. “During a trial or deposition, you could literally be sitting for hours. And standing up to stretch out is usually not an option.”

When Walker isn’t at the office (where he typically spends around 60 hours a week), he’s focused on keeping a healthy work-life balance.

During the workweek, Walker wakes up at 5 a.m., kisses his wife Robyn and their two daughters — Madelyn, 5; Lillian, 1 – goodbye and heads to CrossFit Palm Beach (crossfitpalmbeach.com) for the daily 6 a.m. Workout of the Day (WOD). He leaves the gym and goes directly to the office, where he showers and gets dressed before a full day of work. On the weekends, he’s back at the gym for an early morning workout — Saturday and Sunday.
His consistency at the gym is impeccable. According to CrossFit Palm Beach co-owner Tony Frezza, “Steve may have better attendance than most of our instructors. Heck, even me!” Walker also admits having to call the gym on the rare occasion he is traveling and can’t make it in. “So they don’t worry,” Walker joked.

Walker works out seven days a week — always in the morning. Most workouts include strength training and a high-intensity workout that, in total, usually lasts less than an hour. His workouts typically include a mix of cardio, stretching, strength, core, and calisthenics. He also runs and surfs on his own; competes in one to two triathlons a year; and makes sure he is active on the weekends (surfing, running on the beach, paddle boarding, golf, swimming in the ocean, and playing with his daughters).

“I just don’t feel right unless I stay active and get in some physical activity every day,” Walker explains. “It is a significant stress mitigator. I also feel like I am investing not only in my health, but in time. Every workout, every day, I am adding quality time to the end of my life.”

Moreover, Walker said, any soreness or fatigue he feels is far outweighed by the emotional benefits of increased energy, stress management, and overall happiness. His wife, Robyn, a psychologist and Pilates instructor would agree. “She always recommends exercise for stress management for her patients, so she thinks getting some form of exercise every day is a great thing for me,” Walker said.

Walker’s diet is just as impressive – consisting mainly of meat, veggies, fruit and other forms of protein. He doesn’t have specifically planned “cheat days” but won’t refuse some of his favorites: chocolate chip cookies, French fries and potato chips. He drinks alcohol and eats dairy and peanuts but won’t eat bread or pasta. And he’s found that changing his diet was a big part of his success in the gym.

Walker says he’s been pretty healthy and active since his college days. But when he entered his 30s, he noticed his metabolism started to slow; he immediately adjusted his workout schedule and diet. “It sort of became a constant experiment for me,” Walker said. “Work out seven days a week and see what happens; clean up my diet by removing starches and breads; add cardio; and so on.” Walker saw the results immediately – after six weeks straight of everyday workouts back in 2012, he had gained seven pounds of muscle and lost an inch on his waist. He said he hasn’t looked back since.

Full-time job … full-time family man … full-time fitness! photo
Steve Walker doing pull-ups.
And it’s the results that keep him motivated every day. “It comes down to making the time and prioritizing your health,” Walker said. “My job is mentally intensive and sedentary, so it helps to balance that, manage stress and keep me focused.”

Walker’s colleagues at Critton, Luttier & Coleman have noticed. Partner Robert D. Critton Jr, who also works out with Walker at CrossFit Palm Beach, said: “Steve is a great role model for attorneys and everyone who claims that they have no time to exercise.”

And Walker has no plans to slow down — ever: “My plan is to exercise and stay active every day for the rest of my life.”

STEVE WALKER’S TIPS FOR A FIT LIFESTYLE

  • Keep your alarm clock on the other side of the room so that you have to get up to turn it off.
  • Shower at the gym or your place of work.
  • Morning workouts are key! It means you are not giving up family dinners, networking opportunities or spontaneous nights out.
  • Make nutrition convenient. I keep a 5-pound tub of protein powder in my office, which means whenever I’m hungry or feeling lethargic, I can get an energy boost quickly.
  • Be flexible. Indulge in your favorite foods in moderation every so often.

 

20 Years of Running; First Dog Bite

Dog Bite 1
At Dr. G’s Urgent Care Center in Delray Beach

I’ve been running for about 20 years now and for the first time ever was bit by a dog…Now I wasn’t chased or mauled by the dog…but rather quickly and suddently bit (not a small bite).  So my post is more of a “be aware” note and advice on what to do just in case you are bit as well.

The situtation/what happened: I was running last Wednesday evening with my high school team when about 10 of us decided to veer off to a quiet nature trail in east Boca we sometimes venture off on. It’s basically a one-mile paved sidewalk that goes by bushes, plants and a lake. But a nice change-up. Anyway – the ten of us (all boys, one girl and myself) were running on the sidewalk past the lake when a couple with four dogs approached. We naturally went into our single file line and ran on the right side of the path. We were in the middle of talking about whatever when as I passed the couple (fourth in line for our group), one of the dogs (Australian Shepard) jumped up out of no where and bit me. (Not sure if it was on a leash or not, but it was with the couple and three smaller dogs.)

I immediately dropped to the ground in shock and a little bit of pain and the kids circled me. The couple and dogs were right there as well and seemed shocked as well. I had the kids check out the injury unsure as to how bad it was (a scratch, or more?) and the female owner came over to see as well. We all realized that it wasn’t a scratch at that point. The woman texted me her information so I could keep in touch as I still wasn’t sure how bad it was…or what my next steps would be. I pulled up my shorts to prevent any additional chafing and the kids and I ran back to our cars at Spanish River park.

When I got back, two of the girls (Sydney and Bailey) helped clean up the injury in the bathroom with soap and water before I jumped in the car with the plan to have it checked out by a doctor. It was at this point that the pain escalated and I realized I would have to rush to an ER Clinic/MDNow.

Bruise three days later
Bruise four days later

What the doctor said: My brother and friend met me at the clinic where the doctor cleaned me up, gave me antiobiotics and pain medicine. He mentioned that while only 5% of dog bites get infected (side note: 85% of cat bites get infected), that I should still watch it and come back if the injury turns red, gets inflamed. He also made sure that I had a tetinus shot and asked that I get the Rabies records from the dog owner’s vet.

No inflammation resulted the following day but the bruising has been pretty bad. And kept getting worse the first few days. Now it has calmed down a bit. Running was impossible the two days following the incident (felt super sore) but has been okay the last couple of days. (Sorta running through the pain a tad…)

The dog owner has been very attentive and checked in on me daily. She has agreed to buy me a new pair of shorts (the ones I was wearing were ripped) and pay for my co-pay/prescription (medical bills). We are both very lucky it wasn’t worse!

Lessons Learned: While honestly there was no way for me to have prevented this incident…I have learned a few things that I’ll share here:

  1. Run with a phone…I didn’t have a way to get the dog owner’s contact information. Luckily she had a phone and texted me her correct information.
  2. Don’t just run on the opposite side of the sidewalk…potentially run off on the grass if possible. Even if the dog is on a leash with owners…even if you look strange running so far away – it’s for your safety.
  3. Get the other person’s contact info no matter how bad (or not bad) the bite was. I didn’t think it was that bad at first. The adrenaline was pumping apparently. Get the information just in case.
  4. Be kind. It stinks to be bitten by a dog…but dogs are animals. And it’s not necessarily the fault of the owner (or you obviously). So be kind with each other…and see the situtation for what it is. I was lucky to have an attentive and caring owner that teared up when she saw how I was hurt….and I’m sure she felt lucky that I was understanding and not immediately threatening, yelling, etc. So be fair and kind.

*THANKFUL: Super thankful it was me that was bit and not one of the student-athletes I was running with…

Resources:

Run Eat Repeat Blog: Runner Bit by Dog

Runner’s World: Mean Dogs Bite

Great Fitness Experiment: Dog Attack!

UPDATED: So randomly, I learned that last week was National Dog Bite Prevention Week. Random! Details on the week here.

Perfect Balance: This High Profile Attorney Finds the Time For Work, Family & CrossFit

Steve Walker working out at CrossFit Palm Beach in Jupiter, Florida.
Steve Walker working out at CrossFit Palm Beach in Jupiter, Florida.

I was recently charged with the task of writing an article on a Palm Beach County resident who represented the ideal of “men’s health.” Well it wasn’t a difficult assignment to meet. I knew exactly who I would profile for the feature – my client, attorney Steve Walker from the Law Firm of Critton, Luttier & Coleman, LLP. I knew Steve as a great, successful attorney in the areas of complex family & divorce law as well as complex commercial & construction litigation. I also knew him as a loving husband and father of two girls. And thanks to jokes and ribbing around the office, I heard of his consistent workout and training schedule. What I didn’t know what how consistent and intense his workout actually was.

I won’t ruin the entire article that was written up and which will be featured in the June 2015 issue of Health Living Magazine, distributed by The Palm Beach Post. But I will share with you a few fun tidbits that Steve shared with me. (Stay tuned for the full article next month!)

“I just don’t feel right unless I stay active and get in some physical activity every day,” Steve said. “It is a significant stress mitigator. I also feel like I am investing not only in my health, but in time. Every workout, every day, I am adding quality time to the end of my life.”

Steve Walker’s Typical Day

  • 5am: Wake up, get dressed, and gather my things (I drink a protein shake and take my vitamins).
  • 6am: Workout of the Day (WOD) at CrossFit Palm Beach in Jupiter. His workouts typically include a mix of cardio, stretching, strength, core, and calisthenics. He also runs and surfs on his own; competes in one to two triathlons a year; and makes sure he is active on the weekends (surfing, running on the beach, paddle boarding, golf, swimming in the ocean, and playing with his daughters).
  • 7am: Head to the office; during drive, drink a protein shake, have an apple or banana, and green tea; at the office, shower and get ready.
  • 8am: At desk or getting ready for Court or a deposition; if I’m at my desk, I try to stand as much as possible while working.
  • 10am: If I can, I drink a protein shake.
  • 12pm: Go to lunch; working in downtown WPB, we pretty much eat out every day. Trying to make smart choices from the menus on Clematis is a workout in and of itself.
  • 1-6 or 7pm: Still working…I try to get a high-protein snack or shake around 3pm.
  • 7-7:30pm: Try to get home before the girls go to bed, bath and story time, eat dinner and relax (or stretch) in front of the TV and/or get some more work done.
  • 9-9:30pm: Bedtime; if I ate relatively early, I will drink a protein shake with slow-digesting protein so that I don’t wake up hungry at 3 or 4am.

 

Running, Sweating and Beer Drinking?!

jcc sweat beersWhat could be better you ask? Nothing! As defending champion of the Levis JCC Run, Sweat and Beers 5K hosted in Boca Raton, Florida on a hot July night (7:00pm), I feel I can make that statement! The 5K is now in its 5th year and keeps getting better. Plus, if you’ve never run an evening race…you’ve got to try it! (Side note, for winning, I received a case of beer…so you may want to start training now!)

Details below:

What: 5th Annual JCC Run, Sweat & Beers 5K

When: Thursday, July 16, 2015; race starts just after 7:00pm

Where: South County Regional Park; 11200 Park Access Rd, Boca Raton, Florida 33498; Race start is just outside Ampitheater/Dog Park; follow the signs!

Sign up/Register: https://runsignup.com/Race/FL/BocaRaton/LevisJCCRunSweatBeers5k

Extras: Wings, snacks and beer ( 21+) following the race. First 500 to register will receive a free dri-fit shirt! Registration and packet pickup at South County Regional Park, 7:00pm prior to race!

Fleet Feet Sports Delray Beach Now Open!

fleet feet 1Welcome to Delray Beach Fleet Feet Sports! Our friend (and fellow South Florida Runs member) Nicholas Stump just celebrated the grand opening of his new store Fleet Feet Sports Delray Beach and we’re super excited for him and his wife Mackenzie.

We’ve had the pleasure of hearing some of the fun (and challenging) stories as they prepared for opening and we are thrilled to hear the store is open and shoppable!!! Be sure to check them out on the North-East corner of Linton Blvd and Federal in Delray Beach (same shopping plaza as Panera, Fresh Market and Zone Fresca)!

More about Fleet Feet Sports

At Fleet Feet Sports, you will find a welcoming environment where runners, walkers and fitness enthusiasts of all abilities receive unparalleled service and support. Fleet Feet Sports’ Fitlosophy is to help you find the right ”FIT” in every facet of your active lifestyle. Our goal is to engage and inspire all ages to live a fit and healthy lifestyle. We are committed to helping everyone achieve their goals, celebrate their accomplishments, and win everyday! Whether you walk, run, or simply need a good fitting pair of shoes, the educators at Fleet Feet Sports will work with you to evaluate your foot’s gait and natural biomechanics to help you select a shoe that offers the best fit and function for you. Fleet Feet Sports is committed to enhancing and growing our local running and walking communities, and offering educational resources and training opportunities to assist you in achieving your fitness goals.  Each store is locally owned and operated.

Learn more at www.fleetfeetdelray.com or at www.facebook.com/fleetfeetdelray.

From Asthma to COPD: This Runner Promises to Keep Going

IMG_1944Ailments, illnesses, sicknesses…they all seem so distant, foreign, disconnected from you…until someone close to you, a friend, family member, etc., is diagnosed, assigned that title, matched with said “situation.” And from then on, that name, acronym, label is no longer someone else’s problem or sad story…it’s now yours as well.

This was never so true as when my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer and then passed away two very short years later. But today, I’m referencing COPD. Sure, the commercials on TV are pretty common, the pretend definition “chronic old people’s disease” always a throught or two away, but in reality did I know what COPD actually was? No, and I am pretty sure the majority of people out there don’t either. That was until, my friend and running buddy Sam informed me via text one afternoon that he had just been diagnosed with COPD. He was telling me not to spread the word or make some official announcement, but rather because I had put out a feeler via social media asking friends if anyone knew someone with COPD, asthma, or some other related breating ailment. (You see, my other friend / Palm Beach Post reporter Steve was looking for a local person to be profiled for the next issue of Health Living Mag, distributed by the Post.)

Sam let me know that he was probably the ideal candidate for the profile – having had asthma as a kid…and now only months early being diagnosed with COPD. He wasn’t sure if he really wanted to spread the word and announce to people he had COPD…but figured it was a good thing to tell his story in the hopes of helping, informing someone else. So he put his own concerns, selfish feelings to the side and offered up his full story. Sam and I sat outside Starbucks one morning…and he told me what a diagnosis of COPD really meant, when he received it, what his plans were, and what he was scared of…

And that’s where the story becomes real. Sam’s real fear/concern in telling me (and the Post and its hundreds of thousands of readers) his story…is that by putting it in writing, out there for everyone to read and hear, was making it real. He knew he couldn’t avoid it anymore, pretend he didn’t receive this news from his doctor, etc. He’d have to accept it, strategize, plan, and go-on with his life – different or not. I think the fear is still there…Sam acknowledges he is dealing with it still…and probably will for a while. But what I told him (and will say again here) is that life can’t always be planned. Diagnoses, changes, challenges happen. And if you focus too much on them and what will happen next, you will miss out on today. So yes, plan and strategize and do what you need to do to keep yourself healthy…but be sure to live every day life to the fullest, unconcerned with what you can’t control, and focused on being happy.

We didn’t know my mom would be diagnosed with cancer and die two years later. We couldn’t plan for that…but what we can do, is make sure we are living every day to its fullest while we are here. It’s the only way to win at life, regardless of what is thrown your way (good or bad).

So with that said, please read on…Here’s the Palm Beach Post, Healthy Living Magazine cover feature story on my good friend Sam.

Healthy Living: Can this Boynton Beach Man Out Run COPD?

PB Post Healthy Living - 2 PB Post Healthy Living - 3 PB Post Healthy Living - Cover

Healthy Living: Couple’s Workout

I have a great relationship with a Palm Beach Post reporter that allows me to write for the paper and its supplemental magazine “Healthy Living” every so often. Here is my most recent feauture story on a wonderful couple that I had the pleasure of meeting, interviewing and photographing. Enjoy! Read it on the Palm Beach Post’s website here.

Debbie & Ron Schwartz work out at the Adolplh & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center gym in Boca Raton.
Debbie & Ron Schwartz work out at the Adolplh & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center gym in Boca Raton.

Healthy Living Magazine
Palm Beach Post
February 15, 2015

Debbie and Ron Schwartz have been happily married for 47 years. So what do they attribute their success as a couple to? Well working out, together of course. Debbie, age 68, and Ron, 71, workout together at the Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center (Levis JCC) in Boca Raton three days a week for 60 minutes…sometimes more. They typically begin each session with legs and lower body and end with biceps; Debbie adds on between 15 and 30 minutes of cardio after her weights; Ron skips the cardio trying not to slim down too much.

According to Debbie, the couple has always worked out together. “It motivates you,” she says. “On days I don’t feel like working out, Ron pushes me. And vice versa. It makes you really enjoy working out and being together. It’s our time. We can share it and be together with no distractions.”

Ron, who is also Debbie’s personal trainer, adds: “Debbie never complains. I’m truly amazed at what she can do. She is absolutely my favorite student.”

Ron, who has been working out since age 15, first taught Debbie his healthy lifestyle ways when the two got married. Since then the two have taken up the “get healthy cause” together and share it with everyone they come in contact with – from their social circle to other Levis JCC gym members to their two young grandsons. “Our focus is on staying healthy and hopefully living a little longer,” says Ron. “Appearance and health motivate us; working out and eating healthy are what get us there. Hopefully we can share our message with those around us.”

Debbie adds that nutrition and eating healthy have been a huge component of the healthy lifestyle for her. Just three years ago she lost the extra thirty pounds she had been carrying around thanks to Ron’s training schedule and a focus on cleaning up her diet. “For me, I had to start watching what I was eating more,” Debbie says. “Just working out was no longer enough. We now eat salads every night and lots of vegetables, fish and turkey burgers. We’re not perfect but try to eat well about 95% of the time.”

Pull Quote: “It is a lifestyle. We are not suffering. We love working out and we love eating healthy because we know it is good for us.” – Debbie Schwartz.

Debbie Schwartz: Age 68, Lives in West Boca Raton, Works full-time as an insurance agent at Century Risk Advisors.

Ron Schwartz: Age 71, Lives in West Boca Raton; Retired from IBM and Office Depot where he worked for more than 40 years total as an IT Systems Analyst.

Health Living Tips from Ron and Debbie Schwartz:

  1. Visit your doctor to get medically checked before starting any physical exercise or nutritional program.
  2. Join a gym (like the Levis JCC in Boca Raton)!
  3. Get a trainer and/or find a partner. If you don’t have a partner, working out is much harder and definitely not as much fun. Plus a partner/trainer gives you accountability, motivation and guilt – all the emotions that will keep you going back!
  4. Educate yourself: Learn how to work out before you even step out onto the gym floor or pick up a weight. Understand the process first and then start. Otherwise you risk injury.
  5. Eat healthy. It is not a diet, but rather a way of life. We recommend more vegetable and lean proteins!

About the Levis JCC Sports & Wellness Program
The Levis JCC Fitness Center is an affordable way to incorporate health and wellness into your life. With a variety of membership options, members can make working out fit both their budget and schedule.

Membership includes brand new, state-of-the-art fitness center (bikes, elliptical machines, treadmills, Stairmasters, strength training equipment and free weights. Fitness staff, trainers on-site. Unlimited group exercise classes (Zumba, Body Pump, Cardio Kickboxing, Yoga) in new studio; Spinning in new, neon room with top instructors; six tennis courts and two full indoor basketball courts. Locker rooms with sauna, steam room and showers. Learn more at http://www.levisjcc.org/sports-and-wellness/fitness-membership/.

Adolph & Rose Levis Jewish Community Center
9801 Donna Klein Boulevard | Boca Raton, Florida 33428
561-852-3200 | info@levisjcc.org

Session Two of Boca Raton Kids Run Club Kicks Off in March!

Thanks to our friends at ModernBocaMom.com for featuring this awesome Kids Running program. Learn more HERE:

Kids Complete Session One of the Kids Run Club at the Holiday Mile Run in Boca Raton in December 2014.
Kids Complete Session One of the Kids Run Club at the Holiday Mile Run in Boca Raton in December 2014.
Runner’s Edge Boca Raton is partnering with The City of Boca Raton and Run for Funds Florida, a school and organization fundraising/event management business, to launch a highly requested Kids Run Club here in Boca starting March 3rd.
The Kids Run Club is open to first through sixth graders or kids ages 7 to 11. The kids meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:45 to 4:45 pm at the Spanish River Athletic Complex (across from Spanish River Library).
Lacey Chimienti, a teacher and track coach in Boca Raton and a weekend Runner’s Edge Boca Raton employee, is the head coach of the program; she is assisted by Runner’s Edge owners (and runners) Tom Vladimir and Carol Virga.
To participate in the Runner’s Edge “Kids Run Club,” please call Runner’s Edge Boca Raton at 561-361-1950 and/or email Coach Lacey at lacey@runforfundsflorida.com to sign-up to receive details on registration.
The cost of the Kids Run Club is $75 for residents and $93.75 for non-residents. The Spring session will kick off on March 3 and end April 23, 2015. Kids will race in the Run for the Rays race on April 26th in Boca Raton.

How’s that New Year Resolution Going? Couch to 5K Training Program

The 2013 Couch to 5K Training Program
The 2013 Couch to 5K Training Program Participants

We are just two weeks into the New Year! So…how’s that New Year resolution to get in shape, to finally run a 5K race, to feel better…going? Well let the Runner’s Edge Boca Raton training team help! Whether you are a self-labeled “couch potato” or a regular runner looking to race faster, the Runner’s Edge has a training program for you. Read on:

  • Runner’s Edge Boca Raton’s 2015 Carol’s Couch Potato 5K Training Program (aka “Zero to 5K”) (Feb 12-April 26, 2015) designed for beginners! This program is built around interval training (run/walk) and the focus is on fitness, not competition. Includes: personalized coaching, schedule, discount on store purchases, t-shirt, free entry to Run From the Rays 5K, alumni pace leaders, and three group meetings/classes per week. Cost is $99 for 10 weeks. Orientation Thursday, Feb 12th.
  • Runner’s Edge Boca Raton’s 2015 5K/10K Training program (Feb 12-April 26, 2015) designed for runners of all levels. The goal is to improve speed and conditioning and includes coaching seminars, individualized training, group runs (three-times a week), daily training schedule for 11 weeks, alumni pace leaders, free entry into Run From the Rays 5K on April 26th, training t-shirt and discount on purchases at Runner’s Edge. Cost is $99. Orientation is Thursday, Feb 12th.

Learn more and sign up at http://www.runnersedgeboca.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/zeroto5kbrochure15.pdf

Runner’s Edge Boca Raton
3195 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33431
561-361-1950

Turkey Trots Galore!

Thankgiving is in fact the biggest day for 5Ks in South Florida…so join in on the fun and participate in a Turkey Trot near you! I personally will be racing in the Levis JCC Turkey Trot on Thursday morning at 7:30am at South County Regional Park in West Boca Raton! Hope to see you there! Details below!

Register here.

Sun-Sentinel - Turkey