Tag Archives: health

February is Heart Health Month!

Your heart is a muscle, and like all muscles, we want to keep it strong and flexible.

When one thinks of exercise to strengthen the heart, the mind generally focuses on cardio. But cardio isn’t really the place for us to turn for a stronger heart. As with any muscle, the heart’s strength comes from working against a resistance. In this case the resistance is your blood pressure. Strength training is the key to a stronger heart muscle. When the muscles in your arms and legs contract to move a weight, your blood pressure rises, making your heart squeeze harder to continue pushing blood around your body. Repeated squeezing against this resistance makes the heart muscle stronger.

But a strong muscle that is stiff is not as efficient as one that is supple. Cardio exercise is like yoga for the heart. When your heart rate rises, it pushes more blood around your body. What goes out, must come back. That high volume of blood traveling through your body gets forced back into your heart which stretches the heart muscle. The higher the heart rate, the greater the stretch. So doing some interval cardio, vacillating between higher and lower intensities is definitely beneficial.

Remember: these exercises do put a stress on your heart and your vascular system. If you have had any heart conditions or vascular issues such as a heart attack, stroke, or aneurysm, or you are not sure if you have any conditions, you should consult with your doctor before engaging in a resistance or higher intensity cardio exercise routine. I would also recommend working with a certified trainer who can show you how to perform these exercises correctly and safely.

** this article was originally published in the YMCA Buffalo Niagara newsletter. Its inclusion here does not imply endorsement from the YMCA

It’s About Fitness – Not What You Can Fit Into

Get a hot bikini body in just two weeks!

You believe that? Really?

I don’t. And I also know that attempting rapid weight loss can lead to more issues than the actual weight. It can lead to loss of lean muscle mass, digestive problems, dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and malnourishment. Severe, rapid weight loss can also play havoc with your body’s metabolism – which means it’s even easier to gain that weight back, and harder to take it off the next time.

There are a lot of positive reasons to increase your fitness level – but trying to drop a size for your trip to Florida next week is not one of them. Focusing on all over improvement of your health will make you more likely to achieve that goal.

You know your reasons and you know you’re ready!

We can help you get started – whether it’s making your best nutrition choices or putting together a workout program that works for you – or both!

Check out our programs here,

or drop us a line at BrianCassickFitness@gmail.com


Why Are You Here?

There are as many reasons for wanting to improve your health as there are people seeking help. It’s important that we at BCF understand your reasons, but it’s far more important that YOU understand your own reasons.

Do you want to fit back into clothes you have outgrown? Do you need to lower your blood pressure? Do you want to compete in an upcoming event? Are you a hiking enthusiast, and wish to improve your stamina? Do you want to lower your risk for certain diseases?

Keeping those reasons at the forefront of your mind will help you achieve your goals. I have my list of reasons on my daily “to do” list, and I review them every time I feel discouraged. Every reason I have matters to me a great deal, and when I focus on them, it’s easier to say no to cookies, and shoot for two more repetitions with my dumbbells.

Make your list! Read it every day!