Never Give Up Fitness

Personal Training & Fitness Programs

Exercise and Mental Illness

Paul L. Barr, founder of Never Give Up Fitness, discusses how exercise can help those with a mental illness.  The show is called “Community Corner”.

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30 Must-Follow Health and Fitness Pinterest Boards

#1 on your list should be the Never Give Up Fitness board

by Laura Schwecherl –

  1. Fitness Fitness Fitness, by Mariah Hofstad. Is that health and fitness routine getting a little old? This board has a ton of great ideas to spice things up, from interval workouts to fun ways to use protein powder (no shake or straw included!).
  2. Health and Fitness, by Lindsey Bray. This board has it all: how-to workout videos, quick exercise ideas, and inspiration to get the most out of that sweat session.
  3. Inspiration inspiration inspiration, by Patty Hensley. The positive quotes on this board will add a little hope and brightness to anyone’s day, inspiring us all to keep on keepin’ on.
  4. Food That’s Healthy, by How Does She. There are green smoothies, then there are green smoothies turned into popsicles. And then the homemade fruit roll-ups. There’s no clicking the back button from this board.
  5. FITNESS, by Inge Falappino. Want to learn how to sculpt every part of the body with some fun workouts? Then head over to this board for over 200 pins of training plans and workout guides.
  6. Motivation, motivation, motivation, by Amanda Haddon. Sometimes all it takes are some simple words to inspire that inner Greatist! So for some motivation and mood lifting, check out what this board has to say.
  7. Healthy food, by Ves151. Nectarine pizza with a side of toasted coconut quinoa? Sign us up! Check out these innovative recipes that’ll satisfy every healthy taste bud.
  8. Fitness and Health, by Kate @ 26TL. If ever in need of some incentive to get that butt out of bed, head here. Our favorite pin? This quote: “Don’t just get skinny, get in the best shape of your f*!$king life.”
  9. Food — Healthy, by Janet Marie. Welcome to Food Nutrition 101! Venture here for information on what sugar actually does to the body, what foods are best to help burn fat, and how fish oil may help our health.
  10. Recipes/Healthy Food That Looks Good!, by Angela Palmer. Undecided about what’s for dinner? That’s now a problem of the past, thanks to this board! Check it out, and baked eggplant fries and Moroccan chicken could be on tonight’s dinner table!
  11. I Work Out, by Holly Johnston.  Keep calm and do some P90X. Then eat a (healthy) cream cheese brownie. These pins — and much much more — make up this killer board.
  12. Looks Delicious, by Susan Sweet. The colors on this board scream healthy and delicious. With hearty dinner ideas and just enough sweet-treats, these recipe ideas will surely be a hit among any crowd, big or small.
  13. Healthy Me, by Paula Carangan. This well-rounded board has everything to keep that health in check. Core exercises and healthier Starbucks options are just the beginning!
  14. Fitness Fitness Fitness, by Brianna Lynne. Side bends, v-sits, and straddle-squeezes oh my! Make this a go-to stop to find ideas to work any muscle group the right way.
  15. Eat Your Veggies, by Whole Foods. This health-conscious grocery chain goes beyond aisle five. Browse around to see some of their favorite fruits n’ veggies and how to spice em up. (Fig Brulee, anyone?)
  16. All About Avocado, by Small Kitchen College. It’s not just for guac. From avocado pound cake, to deep-fried avocado (yep, they went there), there’s nothing this green little fruit can’t do.
  17. Motivation, Motivation, Motivation!, by Stacy Seyfang. Sometimes we all need a little tough love to start putting those goals into action. This board can help remind us all that it doesn’t get easier — we just get better.
  18. Inspire me to Inspire you, by Autumn Spicer. For some kind and practical advice, this is the place to go. Let the words of others inspire us all to be a bit stronger!
  19. Get Moving Get Buff, by Hannah Chapman. Need a quick workout idea for every day of the week (and a smoothie to go along with it?!) This board will have everyone lacing up those sneaks and refueling right.
  20. Eat Up, by Michael Kors. Kors shares more than fashion tips with this board. Maple grilled salmon and stuffed peppers, for instance. Who said eating deliciously (and fashionably) doesn’t also mean nutritiously, too?
  21. Healthy Food, by Barb Kelly. The pins on this board are perfect for summer. From smoothies to salads, there’s enough to keep the body cool and appetite content all hours of the day.
  22. Smoothies, by Karen Dugan. From post-workout smoothies, to breakfast blends and after-dinner treats, this board has every smoothie need covered. We dare you not to start salivating after taking a look!
  23. Fitness Fitness Fitness, by Alex Blocher. A water bottle that calculates how much water is required for that workout, a killer 5K plan, and 100 kick-ass workout songs? Say no more — this board fulfills all our fitness-needs!
  24. Chobani Kitchen, by Chobani. From their kitchen to our computer screen! While their yogurt is perfect in parfait form, there are other endless ways to get creative with Greek yogurt for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  25. Salads and Veggies, by Serious Eats. Take that garden salad up a notch! These salad ideas will make eating all your veggies as easy as…pie.
  26. Low-Calorie Cocktails, by Fitsugar. Enjoying a few drinks doesn’t have to equal crazy amounts of calories. Learn the best ways to take back the booze (or tasty mocktails!) without the extra sugar.
  27. Fit, by Erin Freedman. What’s the point of working out if it isn’t a blast? Check out this board for videos, tips, and products that make fitness fun! (Our favorite? The “Beach Workout” pin!)
  28. Healthy Healthy Healthy, by Brittany McClendon. From healthier grilled cheese to baking with chickpeas, these healthier spins on some favorite eats are finally at our fingertips.
  29. Motivation, Motivation, Motivation, by Kristin Riggs. For help sticking to healthy diet and fitting in those daily workouts, this board is the place to go! With some killer workout ideas along with mantras to push us along, it’ll be hard to stay stuck on the couch.
  30. From the Greatist Team, by Greatist. Let’s be honest, heading over to the Greatist team board can offer some light-hearted laughs. Besides, what better way to get motivated than learning you can have a water cooler dispense white wine?!

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Teen Motherhood Linked to High Osteoporosis Rates

By ANN LUKITS – Wall Street Journal, June 4, 2012

Women who had their first babies during adolescence have significantly higher rates of post-menopausal osteoporosis than older first-time mothers, according to a study in the journal Menopause. About 40% of a woman’s adult bone mass forms during her teens. Bone density decreases during pregnancy because of calcium demands by the fetus.

Researchers used data from a 2008 national health survey to analyze osteoporosis risk in 719 Korean women, of whom 93 had their first babies at about age 18. On average, the non-adolescent mothers were 24 when they gave birth for the first time. Smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, physical activity, and use of post-menopausal hormones were also considered.

The rate of osteoporosis was 62.4% in adolescent mothers and 35.8% in non-adolescent mothers. Fracture rates in the two groups were 5.4% and 2.2% respectively, though hormone use was significantly higher in non-adolescent mothers.


Socioeconomic and nutritional information reflected the subjects’ status during the menopause period but not during adolescence. Most of the subjects who gave birth as teens were born before 1950 and would have been adolescents during the Second World War and Korean War, when access to nutritious food was severely limited in Korea, researchers said.

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10 Things Fitness Magazines Won’t Tell You

The Final Diet Solution Does NOT Exist

I do my best to keep myself healthy year round. This means exercising consistently 3 to 4 times a week, and eating healthy. Sometimes I’m able to train more, and other times less. But at the end of the day, I’m very consistent. Two times in my life I’ve worked my way into what most people would call “tremendous” shape. I was lean, muscular, and felt great.

The problem? Each time I took completely different approaches. In one situation I was eating 6 meals a day, training 6 days per week, and eating so many carbs that you would expect my insulin levels to explode. The other time I was “only” training 3 days per week, practicing intermittent fasting while eating 2 to 3 meals per day, and generally following a Paleo-type approach of protein, fat, and veggies. (For the record, I now eat much closer to the latter description and keep carbs lower. Hard to deny the growing research over the years)

My results were essentially identical, which taught me a simple lesson: Many diet and fitness strategies can work. Anyone who tells you otherwise is just trying to fight for a particular viewpoint. Yes, some diets are good and have a basis. Others are genuinely bad. But most diets depend on an unpredictable variable–YOU. You need to find a plan that you can sustain. One that keeps you happy, works for your schedule and life, and is sustainable.

I know this should seem like common sense, but too many people are either looking for a quick 4-week fix (doesn’t exist), or the one solution that will solve everyone’s problems. Not going to happen.

Here’s what does: Finding the symptoms that lead to your dietary struggles; taking a step-by-step approach to changing the behaviors that make following a healthy diet difficult. This incremental approach is behavioral psychology 101. Before you can find the miracle diet, you must identify why you struggle. Make a list of everything that is difficult (hungry all morning, overeating at night, no time to exercise, no fruits or vegetables, lack of protein, oversnacking at work), and then begin working one step at a time. You’ll not only end up finding which diet will play to your strengths, you’ll also have a better idea of the real enemy.

Some Experts are A-Holes

This needs to be said for the sake of your sanity. Some fitness and nutrition experts really don’t care about you. I’ve worked with many people who are blinded by their own arrogance, and interviewed several others who have masqueraded as those who offer a good solution to your health only to be completely driven by the wrong motivations. But there are two important distinctions:

1)      Just because someone is trying to make money, that doesn’t mean they aren’t an expert or don’t want to help. Some of the best programs or influencers I’ve met are labeled as “internet marketers.” Some of the worst people I’ve met also fall into that category. Discovering who has good content and who genuinely works hard to guarantee results is the bottom line.

2)      Just because you try a program and it doesn’t work, that isn’t an excuse to condemn the entire fitness industry. Don’t let the charlatans of the world ruin what is, in general, a very altruistic field filled with incredible people, brilliant minds, and those who work themselves to the bone to help others.

It unfortunate when people are misled, especially in an industry where many people are vulnerable. Those with knowledge are the gatekeepers of your health. It’s why I’m constantly working to help you identify the best experts. I want LIVESTRONG.COM to be the site where you can find great information and experts you can trust. That starts with our advisors, and continues with the people who write our feature articles and contribute to these blogs.

In the end, sometimes you might become frustrated by sensational “sells.” And that can lead to frustration so intense that you quit on your health. Don’t do that. Forget the negative energy and the failed attempts. Push it out of your life. Feeling sorry for yourself or expecting others to feel sorry for you won’t change the fact that you still need to find a way to be healthy. Complain about what you don’t like. Get it out of your system. And then smile.

Remind yourself that a solution does exist. And then get back to work and find a better one. This is a much better approach. And in the end, the assholes will still be assholes. And you will have found a way to live a healthier, happier life.

You can Survive with Less Sleep

Don’t take this the wrong way–sleep is still one of the most important elements of good health. Most of the time all you hear is that you need 7, 8, or 9 hours of sleep to be healthy. This is true, but there are exceptions. Sometimes you’re just not going to get that much sleep. And you know what? It doesn’t mean your body has to fall apart. If you can improve the quality of your sleep, you can survive in the short term without missing a beat. (But then please make sure you prioritize sleep because it really is important.)

For better quality, you should focus on a few key aspects. To start, it’d be great if you could avoid electronic media before you go to bed. The light from a TV or your computer actually affects your brain in a way that negatively affects your sleep. Research has even confirmed this theory.

Exercise can also help you sleep better by priming your hormones for restfulness and recovery. This can be something as simple as a 30-minute walk. Avoiding alcohol, eating carbs (they’ll make you sleepy), or even a colder room can all make for a better night of sleep. Try it and improve your quality so you can feel more rested despite falling short of the optimal number of hours.

Reps and Sets are Misleading

I highly suggest that everyone read this great article by Jon Goodman. In it, you’ll learn (if you didn’t know it already) the prototypical recipe for building muscle, adding strength, or losing fat. But as Goodman points out, the rules of reps and sets are not written in stone. And oftentimes, the best thing you can do is to break the rules and train in a different rep range than what is typically prescribed. There are personality variables that can impact the results that you experience. And there’s also another little known fact…

Muscle “Tone” is BS

Sorry, muscle “tone” is one of the most misleading concepts in fitness. Most people are familiar with this idea: Train high reps for “muscle tone.” Only problem? High reps oftentimes won’t make your muscles look more toned. It’ll do the opposite.

In reality, there are two types of “tone”: neurogenic and myogenic. That’s a lot of jargon that fitness and science nerds tend to care about. What it means: You want myogenic tone, but that happens best with heavier weights at lower reps. That’s exactly why women should be lifting weights–and not just the tiny ones.

Does this mean you can’t get “toned” without lifting heavy? Of course not. Plenty of women have shown that this can happen with higher reps. But many more have proven that you’ll get the lean look you want–FASTER–by using heavier weights. Push the intensity–whether you’re a man or woman–and you’ll be surprised how quickly your body will change in the way you want. Men will look healthier and stronger and women will look leaner and sexier. Trust me on this one.

Muscle Confusion is Confusing

This is not an attack on P90X. This is just a mega-dose of reality for people who wonder why they oftentimes don’t see physical improvements. There’s no need to change programs so often. In fact, taking a little more time with the same program will probably do your body good. Changing programs too often is a quick road to failure. This is exercise science and something that’s been proven for decades.

I know that you don’t want to become bored with your training. But a good program doesn’t mean that each and every workout has to be the same. Someone who understands how to design a workout should have enough variability to keep you challenged and entertained. More importantly, you’ll be seeing results. And no matter how “fresh” a workout might seem, let’s be honest–that’s the payoff your really want from your time in the gym.

Science is Great–Sometimes

I love research as much as anyone. I read journals every morning at the crack of dawn, and usually finish each night reading a few more. The majority of my Twitter feed is usually filled up with cool studies that I’ve read–and that’s really only a small fraction of what I see. (I have subscription services and I can’t link you to the full text articles)

In the field of health and fitness, science SHOULD lead the way with what we know and understand. It substantiates claims and helps guide us to what we “know” is correct. But there are two problems:

1)      Study limitations: That is, many studies don’t research the topics we want. Why? Because some very cool topics just don’t receive funding. It’s the unwritten rule of academia: You need money to run a study. No money, no science to back up claims. This is why oftentimes what happens on the training room floor or in your nutritionists office is AHEAD of the research. Research and published studies are oftentimes behind the trends.

This is dangerous, though, as many “experts” take advantage of this reality to claim that they know the next big thing in health and fitness. It’s made it more difficult to differentiate the real experts from those who are just full of crap. But that doesn’t diminish the fact that everything that works can’t or isn’t proved by science–at least not in real time.

2)      Studies need time to be proven both reliable and valid. What we find out today might not be true 5 years from now. That’s just the nature of the business. People become frustrated by the overwhelming literature on different foods, exercise techniques, and health trends. But this is all part of the learning process and the need to be flexible. Just because you alter your stance on something doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. It just means you’re becoming smarter and improving. If we steadfastly held to the belief that all fat was bad, then we’d be stubbornly following a pattern that will lead to unhealthy habits.

The bottom line is simple: Science is the foundation of what we know, but it’s not all we know. Use it as a basis of knowledge and a way to confirm certain ideas, but understand that if a fact isn’t backed by science, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. It could just be that it hasn’t been tested yet.

Being In Good Shape Makes Life Easier

This isn’t arrogance–it’s just the cold, hard truth. The leaner you are the easier it becomes to maintain your body, pack on new muscle, and eat the foods that you like. A variety of factors play into this, but improved insulin sensitivity (from lower levels of fat) is a big influence.

Is this meant to discourage you? No! It should provide you with even more motivation to get into the type of shape you want. Because once you do, everything becomes easier. In reality, it’s no different than anything else in life. With your job, you typically have to grind until you reach the top. Once you do, you have more perks and benefits. Your body is the same way. Remember that, and take an “intern” mentality to your work ethic, your workouts, and your diet. Like your career, a relentless attitude will pay off and be worth the time and effort you spent.

Genetics Count

Here’s a story that will either make you feel better or worse about your situation. For years I would supervise fitness shoots when I worked as a magazine editor. The models, as you could imagine, were all in phenomenal condition. They looked great. The problem? Many of them didn’t perform exercises so well–even some of the most basic moves.

On one instance, it was so bad that we spent more than an hour just trying to shoot a pushup. Yep–just your traditional pushup. Should this Greek God have been able to perform a pushup with ease? Of course. Was his body more show than go and the benefit of great genetics? Probably.

I know lots of people who are strong, healthy, and fit and could never appear on the cover of a magazine. Does that make them unhealthy? NO. Does it mean they can’t have abs? Also no. I know that anyone can get abs; it just takes some more time than others.

Some people have it easier, but that’s not an excuse. Come to terms with reality, and then enjoy what you have and make the best of it. The longer journey to success will taste even sweeter when you remember where you started.

Diet is More Important Than Exercise

Getting back in shape is not an equal relationship. If you want to lose weight or gain muscle, diet is the more important element of the equation. That’s not to say exercise isn’t important. It’s extremely valuable for many reasons. But as the saying goes, “You can’t out-exercise a bad diet.” It’s true. And it’s the reason why many people who do everything right in the gym still are frustrated with how they look and feel.

Track your foods to improve your awareness of what you eat. Focus on small behavioral changes. And be patient. Diet changes don’t have to be difficult. And they don’t have to include complete withdrawal of all your favorite foods. But change must occur on some level if your goals are aesthetically based. Sorry, but gym time alone won’t cut it.

-Adam Bornstein,

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2 Ways to Recycle Your Running Shoes

By Jacquie Cattanach • For

Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe Program

Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program takes old running shoes and breaks them down into their component parts to be recycled into new applications. These components are combined with what’s known as pre-consumer material, that is, factory defects that are normally discarded as waste. The Reuse-A-Shoe program has collected over 25 million shoes since 1990 and re-used them for worthwhile sporting applications.

The rubber from the soles of the shoes gets melted down for use in rubberized surfaces for running tracks, footpaths and playgrounds. The foam of the midsole is turned into underlay material for basketball courts and other surfaces while the fabric from the shoe’s upper is recycled into padding for facilities such as basketball courts or football goal posts.

To donate your old shoes to the Reuse-A-Shoe program, simply drop your shoes off at any Nike or Converse store in the United States, or participating Nike stores around the world.

One World Running

On the other hand, if your shoes are still in relatively good shape—perhaps the size wasn’t quite right or they didn’t feel quite comfortable after a few runs—you might prefer to donate them to One World Running.

One World Running is a nonprofit organization headquartered in Boulder, Colorado, that was founded in 1986 by runner and author Michael Sandrock. The original name for the organization was Shoes for Africa, but the distribution has since expanded to other areas of the globe, particularly Central America (there’s also another nonprofit named Shoe for Africa that accepts and distributes shoes to runners in Africa), and even some of the poorest areas of the United States as well.

Sandrock, a sub-2:30 marathoner, was taken aback by the need for shoes and other basic clothing items for athletes and the general population while on a trip to Africa, and decided to do something about it. In addition to accepting donations of shoes, T-shirts, shorts and other clothing, One World Running also sponsor fun runs to promote fitness across the globe.

The organization also raises cash to send shoes to underprivileged areas of the world. One World Running accepts donations at many local running stores. Any shoes you wish to donate should be washed and air-dried, since the heat from a standard clothes dryer can melt the glue that holds shoes together. Any shoes that are deemed too old or worn are donated to Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe program.

It can be hard for many runners to give up their old shoes, but donating them to One World Running or the Reuse-A-Shoe program is one way to be socially and environmentally responsible while supporting runners all over the globe. When it comes to reducing our environmental impact, every lit bit helps. 

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