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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.

 

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.

 

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

Melanoma at age 24; What are the signs?

baldnessUnbelievable article in this morning’s Palm Beach Post by writer Steve Dorfman. It tells the story of Lauren Race from Colorado, who lived a fun-loving, relaxed, outdoor, sun-kissed life until last year when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 or 5 melanoma (skin cancer). Read the full article here.

And for all those runners and athletes, please wear the sun screen whenever you can. And keep in mind these signs of skin cancer.

  • A change in an existing mole
  • The development of new pigment or an unusual-looking growth on your skin.

Keep in mind your ABCDE’s as well. Details here from SkinCancer.org.

The ABCDEs.

Single, Fit? Boca Raton is the place for you!

Those of us that live here, in Boca Raton, have known it forever! Between the beaches, the warm weather, and the money to spend – Boca Raton affords a lifestyle and location for the single and fit that can’t be beat. Now the rest of the world knows it as well! Check out this great article by my good friend, Steve Dorfman, reporter at The Palm Beach Post.

If you live in Boca, you’ll totally agree. And if you don’t, you’ll be looking for a way to move here ASAP.

Palm Beach Post: Single, Healthy, Looking for Love?

Good news for health-conscious singles who are ready to mingle — and live in southern Palm Beach County.

In a study released earlier this month of its multimillion-member database, the matchmaking website Chemistry.com (a subsidiary of Match.com) ranked Boca Raton No. 3 in the nation for cities whose single residents pursue a fit, healthful lifestyle, and highly value similar traits in a potential mate.

According to Chemistry.com Chief Scientific Advisor Dr. Helen Fisher, “The site tallied profile information on factors such as active hobbies, commitment to exercise, alcohol-intake patterns and smoking habits. Boca Raton ranked among the top across the board.”

Doesn’t surprise me a bit.

(Although Boca Raton ranking behind some place called “Shawnee Mission, Kansas” — a sleepy little suburb of Kansas City — was not something I would’ve expected.)

I don’t reside in Boca, but live close enough that I’m quite familiar with how high a priority its populace — both single and married — place on recreational sports, health and nutrition. To wit:

  • The scores of runners, cyclists and power walkers inhabiting the city’s ubiquitous residential fitness pathways every morning
  • The numerous, immaculately maintained — and perpetually crowded — golf courses and tennis centers (both private and public)
  • Gyms and health clubs of seemingly every size and ilk (including a half-dozen Cross-Fit “boxes”) permeating the primary thoroughfares, from State Road A1A west to U.S. 441.

Read the full article here.

 

Palm Beach Post, Steve Dorfman Column: “Pinning Pain Relief on Acupuncture”

Integrated Holistic Medicine (Boca Raton) Co-Owners and Acupuncturists Su Sandy Aung and Carlos Restrepo

Great column from The Palm Beach Post by my friend and fantastic health reporter/editor Steve Dorfman. Enjoy!

 

Should you pin your pain relief on acupuncture?

By Steve Dorfman

Way back in the day, circa early 1970s, my mom was one of South Florida’s earliest acupuncture patients. She regularly underwent the then-exotic treatments in order to relieve searing pain in her surgically-repaired spine.

Hence, I’ve always been intrigued by alternative, and holistic, forms of Eastern medicine.

Non-invasive and chemical/drug-free, they tend to rely partly on science — and greatly on the intuition of the practitioner.

Do they require leaps of faith?

Absolutely.

But then again, so does undergoing anesthesia, surgery and a host of other invasive, commonly-accepted Western practices to which we give little critical thought.

Actually, the practice of all medicine really is part-art, part-science — and a whole lot of faith.

So, when Carlos Restrepo, one of the co-owners of Integrated Holistic Medicine in Boca Raton (ihmhealing.com) offered me a complimentary acupuncture session, I gladly accepted.

Read what happened…here.

Related articles:

Jobs with Benefits

Examiner – WPB

 

 

The Road Warriors

Brandon Mercado is one of the kids on the Spanish River Cross Country and Track teams that I’ve truly enjoyed coaching. He is not only a dedicated runner, but a great, kind and respectful kid. He and his best friend Ramiro Melendez or “Romo” that I have also gotten to know this year have been working toward a huge goal – an 1800 mile run from Florida to Michigan. Their story is inspirational and I am proud to be a witness to it.

Please find a fantastic article from the Palm Beach Post, which features the boys, their mentor Brian Thomas and much more! Enjoy and thanks to the Palm Beach Post and Willie Howard for writing such a worthy piece.

Palm Beach County Road Warriors to run 1,800 miles to raise money for colon cancer patients

Photo from Palm Beach Post; Damon Higgins

By Willie Howard, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Two former Okeeheelee Middle School students, their track coach and three other members of the Road Warriors running team are preparing to run 1,800 miles from Greenacres to Michigan in June to raise money for colon cancer patients.

The two former Okeeheelee Middle students, Brandon Mercado and Ramiro Melendez, persuaded their coach and science teacher, Brian Thomas, to organize the long-distance run after hearing of a charity run from Michigan to St. Augustine that Thomas did in 2002.

Mercado and Melendez have since become competitive runners for their high school teams. Both are graduating this month, one of Thomas’ prerequisites for participating in the multi-state run.

“We stuck with it and showed him passion,” said Mercado, 18, who ran track and cross country for Spanish River High School and wants to become a physical therapist.

The other members of the Road Warriors team are Stephanie Schreiber, Thomas’ friend from Michigan; Ricky Montez of Palm Beach Gardens; and Mattie Maley of Lantana.

Thomas and members of the Road Warriors team will present their story to the Wellness Promotion Task Force at 3:30 p.m. Thursday at the Palm Beach County School District headquarters .

“This shows how passionate teachers influence our children,” said Paula Triana, co-chair of the Wellness Promotion Task Force. “He goes above and beyond.”

Okeeheelee Middle Principal David Samore said Thomas and other male teachers serve as mentors for boys at the school through a program called Bridges.

“There is no question in my mind that Brian Thomas is a life-changer for some kids,” Samore said. “This is a man who will put himself out there if the cause is a worthy effort.”

The Road Warriors plan to begin their run at Okeeheelee Middle on the morning of June 9.

They’re using their website, roadwarriorscorp.org, to raise money for the 1,800-mile trip and for the Colon Cancer Alliance, which uses donations to help patients with expenses as well as prevention awareness.

So far, they’ve raised $7,500 from private donations and the sale of T-shirts and wrist bands.

Running as a relay team, the Road Warriors plan to average 80 miles a day while moving north through eight states to their destination in Thomas’ hometown of Lake Orion, Mich.

They hope to arrive by June 30 and will post updates on Facebook along the way.

Okeeheelee Middle student Tyler Monsour is selling bracelets and donating a portion of the proceeds to the Road Warriors – an example of the ripple effect the run is having on Okeeheelee students.

Mercado and Melendez – who ran for Palm Beach Central – chose to support the colon cancer organization with donations raised through the long-distance run after seeing Okeeheelee Middle librarian Julie Greene recover from stage-3 colon cancer and start running half-marathons six months later.

“Brian and his young Road Warriors were always there with messages that helped me through training for my first half marathons,” Greene wrote in a letter on the Road Warriors’ website. “When I found out they planned on running from Florida to Michigan to raise money for colon cancer, I was honored.”