Fitness Equipment: Bells, Whistles and Reviews


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It’s the gifting time of the year.  Costco and other big box stores have loads of toys, trinkets, and goodies for sale.  It’s also the time of year the stores bring out on display the big ticket items, like fitness equipment and free weights sets.  As the new year approaches, many of us are setting our sights on fitness goals that make those big ticket items so tempting to buy for ourselves or loved ones.

It’s fascinating to observe people seriously contemplating buying fitness equipment.  You can almost hear what they’re thinking.  Here’s what I often see.

As they walk around that elliptical on display, they grab the handle and rattle it.  Seems stable. They step on and give it a try.  Hmm, they think it feels okay.  They study the dashboard with all of its buttons and numbers.  There’s got to be a manual setting button somewhere! As they step off and stare from a distance, they wonder about its quality and relative cost.

Research before you buy

Buying this equipment is an investment, and needs some serious research before making a decision.  When faced with such a task, look to to help you make an informed decision. contacted us a while ago to share with us their review on Elliptical Machines.  I was very impressed with the thoroughness of their research and clarity of reviews.  They offer reviews on a number of items and services, from 4G to Yoga Mats.  They regularly update their reviews so you know you are getting the latest information.

If you’re in the market for fitness related items, here are a few reviews you should read before you buy:

Create your fitness plan first

A final piece of advice.  Before you buy any fitness equipment, please be sure to have a realistic and well-thought out fitness plan.  How does this equipment fit into the plan? How often will you use the equipment?  Does it make sense to buy?

If you need advice on a fitness plan, contact Lia for a personalized consultation.

Note:  For your information, we have not received any compensation from





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Attention Caregivers: Tips for Staying Healthy

According to a National Institutes of Health report, the worldwide population aged 65 and over is expected to increase dramatically to 17% of the world’s population by 2050 (1.6 billion).

This dramatic change is not just a statistic; it is personal for many of us.  Our parents are getting older, living longer but with ailing condition.   We see our mothers, fathers, aunts or uncles tired and sleepless as they try to take care of a spouse who needs 24/7 care.

Our guest blogger, Marie Villeza, helps us navigate through the stress of caregiving, and provides us with tips for staying healthy.


How Caregivers Can Manage Stress And Take Care Of Themselves

By Marie Villeza

Photo via Pixabay by Maxlkt

Providing care for someone else is one of the most noble, fulfilling jobs, but it can also be one of the most stressful. Emotionally, physically, and mentally, taking care of a person’s needs at all hours of the day can be exhausting. It’s important for caregivers to understand their own needs and take steps to ensure they’re being met, as this prevents burnout and can help with depression and other mood disorders.

Whether you’re a nurse who works at a hospital or a concerned family member who oversees the care of a loved one, there are many ways you can take care of yourself and keep your own well-being in mind. Not only should you do this for your sake, but it’s a good way to keep being the best caregiver you can be.

Here are some tips on how to make sure your mind and body are taken care of.

Practice self-care

Self-care is one of the best ways to maintain a positive attitude, so take a timeout when you’re feeling stressed and do something that relaxes you. Read a book, take a hot bath, get some exercise. Turn your home–or, at the very least, your bedroom–into a soothing haven. Paint the walls a peaceful color, play soft music, light a scented candle, and leave everything else on the other side of the door when you enter. This will help you get some good rest and tend to your mental health. Here are more tips on how to create a relaxing home environment.

Stay social

This is especially important for caregivers who live with their patient or spend most of their time in the same place. Keeping a social life can be difficult when you need to be on call at all times, but one of the biggest factors in depression and anxiety for caregivers is isolation. Stay connected to your friends–even if it’s only through social media–and try to carve time out of your schedule at least once a week to go out and do something that you want to do.

Go easy on yourself

The AARP suggests that one of the easiest ways to get stressed out as a caregiver is to be hard on yourself in regards to the way you do your job. No one is perfect, and when it comes to taking care of nearly all of a person’s needs, there are bound to be learning curves. Take things one day at a time and ask for help when you need it. There may be days when you just can’t do everything yourself, and that’s okay.

Find resources

Look for resources for yourself and for your patient online. There may be support groups in your community that will help you get through the tough days, or home health care options for the times when you just need a break. Being able to talk to people who are going through the same things you are is extremely helpful and will allow you to gain valuable insight and feedback when it comes to your job. For more insight on how to find resources as a caregiver, read on here.

Set goals

One way to stay motivated and avoid burnout is to set realistic goals for yourself and your patient. Go day-to-day and start small; for instance, you might start with getting him to eat so much during each meal, or having him walk on his own to the restroom. Remember that these goals are only for your peace of mind and to assist with your mental health, so be patient and don’t fret if you don’t quite reach the goal for the day.

It can also be helpful to keep communication open with your friends and family about your daily duties. Find support so you can get through the hardest days unscathed.


To reach Marie Villeza or read more on elder care, please visit

We will be featuring more of Marie’s blogs and resources on Alzheimer’s in the future.




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