A Surprising Tool To Help You With COPD


 Lung COPD
Have a chronic cough? Difficulty breathing with minimal amounts of exertion? These and other symptoms could be diagnosed by your doctor as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, better known as COPD.  It goes without saying that the diagnosis of COPD is obviously bad news.  The good news is that with the right positive mindset, tools and for a very low budget you can help ease the effects of COPD.  Read on to find out more about COPD, how it effects the body and what you can do to help yourself!


What is COPD?


COPD is a group of diseases that inhibit airway function, greatly impacting quality of life and level of function.  COPD is currently the third leading cause of death in the US (following heart disease and cancer) and costs over $40 billion dollars annually in direct and indirect costs.  The two most common diseases associated with COPD include chronic bronchitis and emphysema.


How does COPD affect lung function?


First let’s look get a basic understanding of how our lungs work. The job of our pulmonary system is to take the oxygen out of the air we breathe in and deliver it to our bodies’ tissues to be used for everyday function and operation. This demand increases as activity level increases. Once our body has used the oxygen, it is removed in the form of carbon dioxide which we exhale. Inside our lungs (which are like balloons that can inflate and deflate) are what looks like upside down trees. It’s in the “tree trunks” and “branches” that we see the effects of COPD.


Chronic Bronchitis is a result of increased mucous production in a main branch of the lungs (in the trees inside the balloons) called the bronchioles. This increase in mucous makes it very difficult for the body to take the oxygen in from the outside environment and disperse it to tissue. People with Chronic Bronchitis have a significant cough and often have mucous expelled in their cough.


Emphysema works further on the tree branches in little air sacs called aveoli. Imagine the aveoli like a bunch of little balloons tied together (ie: buds on a tree), expanding and contracting with each breath. With Emphysema, these balloons lose their ability to contract with exhaling and even some of the inner walls become damaged or destroyed. Someone who has Emphysema can get oxygen into their body but have great difficulty getting the waste products out because of the limited flexibility of the aveoli.  Shortness of breath  is common because they cannot take a deep enough breath. Significant cough is also associated with Emphysema.


What causes COPD?


The main leading causes of COPD are cigarette smoking and environmental pollutants, such as smog, that irritate and inflame pulmonary (lung) tissue and cause responses in the body that over time lead to disease.  There are genetic components that can predispose an individual to having COPD, but are less common.


What can you do about it?


COPD is progressive and its effects are irreversible, so early diagnosis is key for symptom management and slowing the advancement of the disease. Exercise plays a very major role in living with COPD, which we will cover later on.


SO, how does exercise help?


Great question!!


Exercise, particularly for those diagnosed with COPD, helps the body maintain and promote lung function much like we work a muscle to make it stronger.


What types of exercise?


Breathing exercises may be initiated to aid in the delivery of oxygen to the body.


Aquatic exercise has proven effective at promoting level of fitness in those with COPD since the demands can be less on the body than when out of the water. Also, the more humid environment of a pool makes breathing slightly easier than a drier climate such as outdoors on a cold day.


Aerobic activities like walking, cycling, etc.


Resistance training has also proven beneficial for individuals with COPD.


How much exercise is needed?


For those with COPD who are not accustomed to exercise, starting at lighter intensities 2-3 days per week may work best, eventually aiming for 3-5 days of activity for aerobic-type work (ie: walking, aquatic workouts or cycling).


Gradually increase the time or duration you can exercise as tolerated.


Additionally, intermittent exercise may be another alternative to promote exercise tolerance –performing light to moderate to even vigorous intensity exercise for only a few minutes followed by a rest.


There you have it!  You may not be able to get rid of COPD but you certainly can do something about it.  Get started today, move, make it a habit.  We’re here to help!


Disclaimer: As always consult with your physician before beginning any exercise program.  


BabyBoom CTA.1


Image courtesy of bplanet at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Body By Brent Personal Training Celebrates 2 Years


I cannot believe that it’s been two years.  Times flies when your helping, coaching and educating clients to successfully reach their goals!  Two years ago Body By Brent opened the doors to our very own personal training studio, B3 Personal Training.  This allowed clients to come to us, expanding upon our current in home personal training services.


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It had been a dream of mine to one day open and run my own gym and I was able to fulfill that dream.  The process started by transforming a brightly colored space with green/purple doors, purple counter-tops and star-burst carpet with peach (I guess?) colored floors to a personal training gym.  We had our work cut out for us.  Here are a few pictures of the space before it began to take shape as a gym…


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And the completed space!  It was a lot of work and in the end it was all worth it.


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We would like to thank everyone, friends, family and clients who have helped make these last two years possible.  As we look towards the future, we invite you to be a part of it!


BabyBoom CTA.1




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If You Had An Opportunity To Start Your Day Off Great Would You Be Interested?


How do you set the tone for your day when you are trying to lose weight and get into the best shape of your life?


What if I told you it could also reduce risk factors such as high blood pressure (hypertension), high cholesterol (hypercholesteremia) and diabetes?


AND on top of reducing risk factors those people lost more weight and more inches off of their waist?


The answer is easy.  Listen in as we discuss what could be so be important!


Current Fitness Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with B3 Fit with Body By Brent on BlogTalkRadio

Find out more about Jennifer Lynn-Pullman, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist of Nourished Simply, and Brent Hartman Certified Personal Trainer of Body By Brent.
BabyBoom CTA.1

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Peanut Butter Banana Dream Dessert for Weight Loss


Do you feel like a casualty of weight loss?
Does this story sound familiar? One day your at work and when you climb to the top of the stairs it didn’t feel so easy. You  decide to lose weight and begin to exercise and eat well. Then at 9:00 PM one night that craving sneaks up on you and you give in and gorge yourself on ice cream.
What if I told you eating delicious dessert and losing weight doesn’t have to be so difficult? With proper preparation and simple kitchen tools you can easily create healthy, quick and delicious desserts without wasting your time in the gym!
There is a popsicle maker named Zoku (I’m in no way sponsored or receiving anything from them for this post) which can create a popsicle in about 7 minutes.  They store well in the freezer for when you need them. And the best part? The recipe I’m sharing with you is 85 calories, 6 grams of protein and packed full of flavor!
Follow along with these 3 easy steps to making one of my favorite popsicle recipes.

Peanut Butter Banana Dream


1) Place the Zoku in the freezer. We leave ours in the freezer at all times!
2) Combine the plain greek yogurt, honey, peanut butter and banana by hand or with a blender.
Chocolate Banana Popsicle 2
3) Pour the mixture into the Zoku up to the fill line, place the popsicle stick in and wait 7 minutes! Now is the time to squeeze in push ups, a plank, etc.


Chocolate Banana Popsicle Final
And just like that you have a fulfilling delightful snack. Next time, choosing a healthy alternative for that dessert craving won’t feel so difficult!
What name and flavor would you create?

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Nothing Could Be Easier Then This 2 Minute Fix


Business People Tired

Image courtesy of Ambro / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Who has ever been sick and tired of sitting in their desk chair all day pounding away at the keyboard?


When you sit all day for your job, you get tired, your back and hips become stiff, destroying any concentration you may have.  It’s a daunting enough task to report on the latest findings of your newest marketing client or finish end of the month financials – never mind doing them with restless legs!


Well, there’s good news: Creating those reports doesn’t have to be done with stiffness and in pain.  With the right exercise tools at your disposal, you can reduce stress levels, improve circulation, decrease stiffness and improve concentration - all without spending hours at the gym exercising!


Follow the four easy stretches that we have outlined for you in this post, we’ll walk you through how to use them.  When we’re done you’ll be able to reduce your tension and enhance your mobility. Let’s get started!


Here are the 4 Easy Stretches


Hold each stretch for 30-60 seconds and repeat 4 times.  As with all stretching you will want to hold the stretch (DO NOT bounce), stretch until you feel mild discomfort and continue to breath while holding the stretch.


(Think 4 times is too much?  If you were to do them mid morning, lunch and mid afternoon it would take you 2-4 minutes and you would done 3 of the 4 stretch sessions!)


 Seated Chest Stretch – This will increase mobility in the chest area as well as improve posture. Squeeze in between shoulder blades while holding the stretch.

Standing Hamstring Stretch – It is important to keep both feet facing forward during this stretch. Only lean into the stretch while keeping your back and the leg being on the chair straight. You will feel this in the back of your thigh.


Seated Trunk Rotation – Use the armrests and seat back for added support. Move your head along with your torso. Keep both feet flat on the floor, hip width apart.


Seated Hip Rotation Stretch – Keep your back straight as you lean into the stretch. Be gentle with your pressure at first, as this can be an intense stretch. If needed, apply downward pressure onto the knee of the leg that is crossed, for greater stretch sensation.


2 minute fix


Last, but certainly not least, you will want to take frequent breaks throughout your work day. This way, standing up and incorporating a brief walk around the office or outside or exercising over your lunch break will help keep mobility.


Now you know what stretches to do to reduce tension and stress and improve circulation.  And the best part?  You back won’t get so stiff from all that typing away on the keyboard!


Want to know more about the fabulous benefits of exercise?  B3 awesome and answer our Facebook question!



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Discover Exercises for Beginners in Souderton


We recently have expanded our service provider area to include the Indian Valley. This includes the communities of Franconia, Hatfield, Lower Salford, Upper Salford, Salford, Skippack, Souderton, Telford, Towamencin and West Rockhill.  To celebrate this news we are offering a special introductory rate for an outdoor small group training class.


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Spots are filling up quickly, so sign up before it’s too late! We hope to see you there with your friends!

B3 Fit Now

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You’ve Had A Stroke, Now What is Exercise Good For?


Image Courtesy of smarnad/Freedigitalphotos.net


Chances are you would never think or dream of finding yourself in a situation where you experienced a stroke.  We all read news and tips on what we can do to reduce the risk of having a stroke and how we can eat to reduce the risk of stroke.  How does exercise fit into the post-stroke event?


The Problem


The unfortunate truth is that most stroke survivors never fully recover and six months post event 40% of survivors have trouble performing simple tasks such as getting dressed.  Stroke is the leading cause of long term disability in the United States.  Long term disability may be a result of:


      • Reduced performance in activities of daily living.
      • Increased risk of falling.
      • Increased risk of another stroke of heart related event.


Researchers have found that the activity limitations often lead to a sedentary lifestyle despite the ability to perform higher levels of exercise.

This leads us to the solution to living a chronic sedentary lifestyle.

The current standard of care is for early mobilization post event.  Then once medically cleared to begin an exercise program with Physical and Occupational Therapists designed for the following goals:


      • improve motor recovery (function, balance & strength)
      • motor skills
      • occupational and leisure activities


Once someone has gone through stroke rehabilitation with Physical and Occupational Therapists they should focus on developing and maintaining an active lifestyle that meets recommended physical activity and exercise guidelines for prevention of recurrent stroke and cardiac events and improving function.


Remember to always follow your doctor’s and physical and occupational therapists recommendations before beginning an exercise program.  


Body By Brent has the necessary experience to help those individuals who have suffered a stroke and have gone through stroke rehabilitation.  We will sit down and talk about where you are now physically and design the exercise program to reach the following goals:


      • Improved cardiovascular fitness
      • Improved walking ability
      • Improved muscle strength


Don’t delay and get your function back today!


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Discover the Stroke Reducing Secret You’ve Always Dreamed Of




Image Courtesy of  bplanet/FreeDigitalPhotos.net


What if I told you there was something you could do to reduce your risk of stroke that was so easy, inexpensive and relative painless?  Would you believe me?


The current incidence rate of stroke in America is astounding.


    • 1 person has a stroke about every 40 seconds in the United States per year.1
    • 25% of those strokes are recurrent.1
    • Stroke is the 4th leading cause of death.1
    • The prevalence of stroke will increase about 25% by the year 2030.1


The incidence of stroke is projected to increase over the next 16 years due in part largely to the escalating epidemic of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors, one of which is physical inactivity.1  Physical inactivity is a very important modifiable risk factor because you can change it RIGHT NOW.


The opposite of physical INACTIVITY is physical ACTIVITY.  Physical activity can be defined as “any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure.”1  That’s a pretty broad statement that essentially means MOVE.


Frequent physical activity is an important behavior for individual and population health.2   This is why the recommendations for physical activity for the general public and to reduce your risk of stroke are:


      • 30 minutes of moderate exercise, 5 days week

o   Example:  Brisk walk that accelerates the heart rate

      • 20 minutes of vigorous exercise, 3 days week

o   Example: Rapid breathing and substantial increase in heart rate


These recommendations are for aerobic exercise and are in addition to activities of daily living (ADL’s).  That being that ADL’s tend to be short in nature, less then 10 minutes, and lighter intensity. 


      • 8-10 exercises for the major muscle groups, 2 non-consecutive days of the week

o   Example: Push ups, squats, lunges, crunches, plank, pull ups, etc.


These recommendations are the minimum for increasing and maintaining muscle strength and endurance.



Now you must ask the question, where do you start?


Simple answer, get out there and move doing what you know how to do.


If you are unsure where to start, we’ll be happy to help!  Contact us and we’ll be sure to create an individualized program for you!


Free Session


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The Role of Diet in Stroke Prevention


We would like to share with you the first ever Body By Brent podcast radio show!  We’re still working out all of the bumps in the road but we hope that you will share in our excitement as we share our excitement of health and fitness with you!


Listen To Fitness Internet Radio Stations with B3 Fit with Body By Brent on BlogTalkRadio


By visiting our podcast homepage, ‘B3 Fit with Body By Brent’, you can also download the podcast through Itunes and take it with you in the car, go for a run or even fold your laundry!




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Save Money on Health Insurance

Corp Meditate by stockimages

Would you like to save money on your health insurance?  


Now that I have your attention you must know that I’m not handing out free coupons or health insurance.  Instead I want to tell you about three amazing ways to reduce your health care expenditures.  Since 2000, health care expenditures have increased $7,400 per person or 14% (1).  These expenses include physician visits, hospital care, prescription drugs and nursing home care.  Here are three more mind blowing stats:


The economic cost of heart disease and stroke were estimated at $475,300,000,000 (1)


The medical cost of diabetes included: $27,000,000,000 diabetic care, $58,000,000,000 diabetic related conditions and  $38,000,000,000 in excess general medical costs (1)


Health care cost associated with obesity = $147,000,000,000 (1)


With the rising cost of health care and constant change or reform of healthcare the only true way to save yourself money is to take ownership of your own health.  Taking ownership of your own health consists of three areas:


1) Develop an exercise program that fits your schedule and works for you.


2) Develop healthy nutrition and dietary habits that you can follow for a lifetime.  These habits come from learning about yourself.


What cues you to over eat?  Do you ruin your waistline by going out to eat?


3) Make behavior and lifestyle changes that affect your wellness.


The emphasis this month has been on reducing stress and promoting relaxation.  Adopting a healthy outlook on fitness is also important for overall wellness.


Employers read on!


A study comparing the relationship of health care costs and ten modifiable risk factors concluded that there were higher short term health expenditures. (2)  The risk factors that had significantly higher health care costs were:


      • Depression
      • Stress
      • High blood pressure
      • Overweight/Obesity
      • Underweight
      • Tobacco use
      • High blood glucose levels


Approximately one third of corporate costs in medical claims, pharmacy claims, and time away from work could be defined as excess costs associated with excess health risks.  The highest risk participants were almost four times more likely to incur excess health risks. (3)


Twelve months of implementing a walking program for sedentary employees resulted in (4):


      • increases in job satisfaction
      • quality and quantity
      • and positive outlook
      • supervisors also reported greater interaction


Don’t bust your financial waistline instead you must take ownership of your own health. Employees and employers will also benefit by taking action in order to reduce your bottom line and not flat line!


Do you participate or does your company offer wellness programs or incentives?  We would love to hear about them!


1) Rising Health Care Costs are Unsustainable. October 23, 2013.  Retrieved on April 24, 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/businesscase/reasons/rising.html
2) Goetzel, RZ et al. (1998). The relationship between modifiable health risks and health care expenditures. An analysis of the multi-employer HERO health risk and cost database. J Occup Environ Med. 1998 Oct;40(10):843-54.
3) Yen, L et al. (2006).  Financial costs due to excess health risks among active employees of a utility company. J Occup Environ Med. 2006 Sep;48(9):896-905.
4) Ben-Ner, A. et al. “Treadmill Workstations: The Effects of Walking while Working on Physical Activity and Work Performance.” PLoS ONE 9.2 (2014): 1-11. Academic Search Premier. Web. 23 Apr. 2014.


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