Fitness Friday with Coach K…Shoulder Health.

Fitness Friday Mid American Fitness in Farmington Hills20160311123313_2403312_ver1.0_1280_720

The shoulder is arguably the most complex joint in all of the human body.  Anatomically referred to as the glenohumeral joint, this ball and socket joint offers us an amazing array of movements in all directions and planes of the body.  In fact, the shoulder allows for so much movement, it increases the probability of muscular imbalances, joint instabilities and unfortunately, injuries.  One can see why a specific shoulder stretching routine can be beneficial in arm movement, posture, and continued activities of daily living.  We have compiled a list of our 3 favorite stretches that target all three muscles that make up the deltoid.


Anterior (front) Deltoid stretch

The Anterior Deltoid stretches the front shoulder muscles. These muscles assist in activities like pushing a cart, brushing your teeth and squeezing someone tight!

~Position both arms behind the back, locking the fingers together, thumbs in and approximately waist height. If range of motion does not allow for this, no problem.  You can start with one arm at your side, behind your back propped atop a chair or counter top.

~Begin by gradually raising the arm(s) until you reach the point that you begin to feel a comfortable lengthening in the front of the shoulder. Keep your chest up and arms strait.

~Hold this position for 15-20 seconds.  

~Slowly release the tension placed on the shoulders, unlock fingers, and return the arms to a neutral position for completion of one set.

~Perform 3-5 sets in one session.


Lateral (medial) Deltoid stretch:

Utilizing the Lateral Deltoid stretch targets the middle shoulder muscles. Imagine you’re carrying a briefcase or luggage at your side…lateral deltoid. Brushing your hair or putting on a hat…lateral deltoid!

~To prepare for this stretch, take the arm across the front of your lower chest. Keep it tight and against the body with the palm facing backward.

~Begin by gently cupping above the elbow with the opposing hand. Be cautious not to pull directly on the elbow joint, but just above it.

~Hold stretch for 15-20 seconds for each arm.

~Perform 3-5 times in one stretching session.


Posterior (rear) Deltoid stretch:

Performing the Posterior Deltoid stretch will target the back of the shoulder muscles. Perhaps you’ve moved about the bed with your elbows to reposition your head, or maybe you’ve pulled in a lunker of a redfish on a recent fishing excursion. These movements all require the assistance of the rear shoulder muscles.

~To prepare for this stretch, take the arm across the front of the upper chest and neck. Keep it tight and against the body.

~With the free hand running below the stretched arm, gently cup and cradle above the elbow with the free hand. Again, avoid direct pressure on the elbow joint as this can cause injury.

~Hold stretch for 15-20 seconds for each arm.

~Perform 3-5 time each arm in one session.


Stretching is crucial to holistic health and sadly takes a back seat to the more enjoyable things in life. But, did you know, stretching is a natural stress reliever and its affects are immediate!  It’s free, and the only equipment you need is YOU!!  Do your mind and body a huge favor, stretch early and often!  



Kirt Lietzow, Co-founde


~ Did you know? 

Biological Age is Modifiable!  Want to learn more?  Contact Boomers N Motion to Empower and Reset YOUR body’s physiology TODAY!



Wellness Wednesday…Quinoa


Happy Wellness Wednesday! Today we’re going to continue our series on using food as medicine. There really are so many healthy, beneficial foods out there, and I’m so excited to be sharing them with you. Today we look at quinoa.

Quinoa has become a popular food over the past few years for a very good reason…it is SUPER nutritious. If you’ve heard of the term, “superfoods,” you’ve probably seen quinoa on the list. (Oh, and by the way, the word, “superfoods,” is a made up word created primarily for marketing reasons. There is no exact definition for the term.)   Anyway, quinoa is a good source of protein, fiber, and numerous vitamins and minerals.

Quinoa-2011-04-25_NC-Food-QuinoaIf you’ve tried quinoa before, there’s a good chance you consider it to be a grain. I know I did because I find it similar to rice. Quinoa, however, is actually a seed. For this reason, quinoa is a gluten-free food. It has a slightly nutty taste and can also be made into flour, flakes, and various products like pasta and bread. Regardless of the type of quinoa you like, here’s a list of some of the amazing health benefits you get from eating it.


Health Benefits


Good Source of Protein

crockpot-quinoa-stuffed-peppers-FBProtein is made up of smaller units called amino acids, and there are a total of 20 amino acids. Your body can make 11 of them, and you need to get the additional 9 from food. These 9 are referred to as “essential amino acids” because your body can’t produce them on its own. So, what does this have to do with quinoa? Quinoa is one of the only plant foods that supplies a complete protein, meaning it contains all 9 essential amino acids in a healthy balance.


Fights Inflammation

Quinoa may help to reduce the risk of dangerous inflammation in your body by promoting healthy gut bacteria. This is important in preventing obesity, inflammation, and disease. In addition to promoting healthy bacteria, quinoa also contains anti-inflammatory nutrients, including saponins.   A study conducted at the Chinese Academy of Agriculture in 2014 showed that saponins in quinoa may be used as functional food components in preventing and treating inflammation. Moreover, flavonoids in quinoa are also known to have anti-inflammatory properties.


Lowers Cholesterol

Quinoa-Supports-Muscle-MetabolismQuinoa has a high fiber content that has led to lower cholesterol levels. This works because fiber stimulates digestion, which requires bile acids. These bile acids are partly made with cholesterol, and as your digestion improves, the liver pulls cholesterol from the blood to create more bile acid. This, in turn, reduces the amount of LDL, the bad cholesterol, from your blood. Interestingly, a study published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition found that rats that had consumed a high level of fructose and were then fed a quinoa diet decreased their LDL cholesterol by 57%.


Improves Heart Health

quinoa-heart-health-benefitWe just learned that quinoa can help to lower your LDL cholesterol, but it can help your heart in other ways too. Quinoa can provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fat through its oleic acid content as well as alpha-linolenic acids and omega-3 fatty acids. Most foods can lose their healthy fatty acids when prepared and oxidized, but quinoa’s nutrients hold up to boiling, steaming, and simmering. In addition, a study published in the Journal of Food Lipids reported that quinoa seeds contain many of the dietary flavonoids shown to inversely correlate with mortality from heart disease.


Reduces Risk of Diabetes and Hypertension

Numerous studies have shown the health benefits of consuming quinoa in regards to diabetes. One such study, mentioned above, published in 2010 in Plant Foods for Human Nutrition found that quinoa helped reduce blood sugar levels, total cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels in rats fed a high-fructose diet. And, another study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food researched quinoa’s role in diabetes management and hypertension along with 10 traditional Peruvian grains and legumes. They found that quinoa was especially rich in an antioxidant called quercetin, and that quinoa had the highest overall antioxidant activity (86%) of all 10 foods studied.


Promotes Longevity

20120702-dinner-tonight-lemon-herb-quinoaYes, that’s right…quinoa could actually help you live longer! This has to do with the fiber found in quinoa, as a study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology concluded that high dietary fiber intake may reduce the risk of total mortality. Two additional studies show this to be true by noting the positive results found between whole-grain consumption and death from chronic diseases such as cancer cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and more.


Quinoa has so many wonderful health benefits. In fact, there are too many to list. We didn’t even get to the part about quinoa’s role in preventing anemia due to its high iron content, preventing osteoporosis due to the magnesium, and preventing kidney stones due to the potassium.   The list just goes on and on.


How to Add Quinoa to YOUR Diet

As with all foods, I say get creative! Here are some suggestions to get you started:


  • Use it in place of rice in any recipe.
  • Use it in place of oatmeal for breakfast.
  • Serve it cold on a salad.
  • Use it to thicken soups and stews.
  • Try quinoa flour for gluten-free baking.



Recipe Tip

Apple-Cinnamon-Breakfast-QuinoaFor a supercharged breakfast, try incorporating all 3 foods from our Food = Medicine series. Make a warm bowl of quinoa and top it with chopped apples and ginger. It’s delicious and a healthy way to start your day!




Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!



DSC00164  DSC00149Melissa Merkle and Kirt Lietzow own Boomers N Motion, an exercise and health coaching business focused on keeping baby boomers and older adults healthy into their golden years.  For more information on group classes and private, in-home coaching, please contact Melissa and Kirt at

Fitness Friday With Coach Kirt…FIT FIVE!

Fitness Friday Mid American Fitness in Farmington Hills20160311123313_2403312_ver1.0_1280_720Perhaps you know someone who can do 10-pushups, but can not walk for 10 minutes? Maybe you have a relative that’s as strong as an ox yet would likely crumble at the sight of a yoga mat? These are just a few examples of fitness imbalances. Today we’re going to look at the Five Components of Fitness and how they apply to physical fitness so you can avoid the above scenarios.


  1. Cardiorespiratory Endurance.tumblr_nnw9hxRjQB1rog5d1o1_400

Cardiorespiratory endurance is a measurement of how efficient your heart and lungs function to keep your body moving during an extended period of time. Increasing cardiorespiratory endurance can come from any exercises that increase your heart rate for a sustained amount of time. This can come from walking, jogging, running, rowing, and cycling.


  1. Muscular Strength.

Muscular strength refers to the amount of force a muscle can produce and is measured by the maximum amount of force a muscle can produce in a single effort (maximal effort). The simplest method for increasing muscular strength is to implement resistance training such as free weights, resistance machines or body weight exercises.


  1. Muscular Endurance.Competitive runners in a cross country race.

Muscular endurance is defined as a muscle or group of muscles that repeatedly exert force against a resistance for any length of time. Muscular endurance can be enhanced via walking, pushups, squats, hiking, bicycling, rowing, and dancing.


  1. Body Composition.

Body composition is the relative percentage of bony minerals, cell mass, lean body mass, body fat, and water within the entire body. Body composition may be utilized when assessing ones muscle to fat ratio therefore overall likelihood to health risks. Regular activity and quality nutrition are major contributors and can help maintain a healthy body composition.pinwheel_flexibility

  1. Flexibility.

Flexibility is the range of motion (ROM) around a normal functioning joint. Good flexibility can help in the prevention of injuries throughout all age groups. To improve flexibility, try exercises or activities that lengthen muscles such as yoga or water activities like swimming. You can also implement a daily stretching program that targets larger muscle groups to improve overall flexibility.6fe3908433a813adf541e21aadd13455


Remember, it’s important to develop the body as a whole; therefore we must address all systems of the body independently from one another to reap the benefits. Becoming familiar and regularly practicing all of the five components of physical fitness will surely lead to a better more complete you!


Wellness Wednesday…Apples


“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” We’ve all heard it before, but I honestly had no idea how true that statement really was until I started digging through the research. I think you’ll be surprised by all the health benefits. I know I was.  Such an easy, convenient, portable little fruit can do so much good for your body. Eating for you health does not have to be complicated or confusing. It really is as easy as an apple a day. Here’s why:

Health Benefits


Neurological Conditions –Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease

3d-representation-of-a-brainAmazingly, apples show a positive impact on neurological issues, especially Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease suggested that apple juice consumption may increase the production of the essential neurotransmitter acetylcholine. An increased amount of acetylcholine in the brain is linked to improved concentration, problem solving, and memory. In terms of Parkinson’s, apples appear to stop the gradual breakdown of dopamine-producing nerve cells, which can be an underlying cause of Parkinson’s.


Cancer Prevention – Breast, Colon, Lung

Cancer-Prevention-6Most fruits and vegetables have some anti-cancer effects, but apples top the list for some specific types of cancers. According to Rui Hai Liu, a prominent Cornell researcher, there is growing evidence suggesting that an apple a day may help prevent breast cancer. She believes fruits, like apples, provide you with more phenolics, which are proving to have important health benefits. In regards to lung cancer, studies have suggested that apples show a distinct and undeniable capacity to reduce lung cancer and slow its spread if it does develop. This is believed to take place because of apples’ high phytonutrient content, including kaempferol and quercetin.


Reduce Risk of Stroke

o-APPLE-facebookResearchers concluded that the intake of apples is related to a decreased risk of thrombotic stroke. They discovered this after studying 9,208 men and women. Over the course of a 28-year period, the men and women who ate the most apples had the lowest risk of stroke.


Lowering Cholesterol

Dairy-causes-cholesterol-build-upApples are good for your heart in that they lower the level of cholesterol in the body. A group of researchers from The Florida State University found that older women who ate apples everyday had 23% less bad cholesterol (LDL) and 4% more good cholesterol (HDL) after just six months. The antioxidant activity in apples reduces the oxidation of fats, called lipid peroxidation and includes neutralizing triglycerides and various fats found between blood vessels that can exert dangerous pressure.  


Managing and Reducing the Risk of Diabetes

493x335_type2_diabetes_rmqIf you have diabetes, you know that controlling blood sugar is essential to your health. It turns out that the polyphenols in apples have been directly linked to reducing the uptake of carbohydrates by the body. This, in turn, reduces the fluctuation of blood sugar levels that occur in your bloodstream. These polyphenols also stimulate the insulin receptors on the cells throughout your body. This speeds up the removal of sugar from your blood stream and gets it into your cells. This is needed for metabolism and proper organ function.

And, there’s good news if you don’t have diabetes. A study involving 187,382 people found that people who ate three servings per week of apples, grapes, raisins, blueberries, or pears had a 7% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who did not.


Lose Weight

Yes, that’s right…apples can help you lose weight! According to a study in Food Chemistry, apples contain non-digestable compounds that promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut associated with weight loss.

apple-diet-CROPPEDHere’s how it works: Fiber and polyphenols, the non-digestable compounds, remain in the colon until they’re fermented. This is a good thing because they act as food for good bacteria and help your body outweigh the bad bacteria that thrives on junk food. This restored microbial balance appears to reduce chronic inflammation, which increases the risk of obesity and boosts feelings of fullness to keep you from overeating.


Aren’t you amazed by all the incredible things apples do for your body? And, believe it or not, that’s not all. Apples also can have a positive impact on those with anemia, rheumatism, eye disorders, and digestive issues. The list just goes on and on. I encourage you to start eating an apple a day. It might not keep the doctor away forever, but it will have a positive impact on your health.


Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!






Melissa Merkle and Kirt Lietzow own Boomers N Motion, an exercise and health coaching business focused on keeping baby boomers and older adults healthy into their golden years.  For more information on group classes and private, in-home coaching, please contact Melissa and Kirt at

Fitness Friday With Coach Kirt…Neck Flexibility.

Fitness Friday Mid American Fitness in Farmington Hills20160311123313_2403312_ver1.0_1280_720Suppose you wake one morning after what you thought was a good nights sleep, or perhaps you’ve rested your head in your hand for an abnormal amount of time. We’ve all been there… a stiff neck!! Below you’ll find some of our favorite stretches to help prevent and alleviate those tense muscles while increasing overall neck flexibility.  


  • Ear to Shoulder Stretch

Standing or seated, allow your shoulders to relax to a natural position. Look strait ahead with the tip of your chin slightly forward. While maintaining relaxed shoulders, slowly draw your head down to the right or left side, towards your shoulder. An ear to shoulder stretch will make you feel as though you’re lengthening the muscles that attach the base of your skull to the outer most portion of the shoulder girdle. When comfortable, you may apply slow, gentle pressure to the top of your head with the opposing hand.

Ear shoulder



* Alternate stretch, left/right.

* 20-30 seconds each side.

* 2-3 times each side.



  • Neck Rotation Stretch

Standing or seated, allow the shoulders to relax to a natural position. Look strait ahead with the tip of your chin slightly forward and elevated. While maintaining “head up, chin up” posture, gently turn your head left or right until the chin aligns with the shoulder. This stretch will benefit the muscles that run along the cervical spine as well as the larger muscles that run from the lower ear to the collarbone. To advance this stretch, gently apply hand pressure from the opposite direction you’re rotating.



* Alternate stretch, left/right.

* 10-20 seconds each side.

* 8-10 times each side.


  • Neck Extension Stretch

While seated, allow the shoulders to relax to a natural position. Start with a neutral head, forward position. Very slowly, allow the head to extend backward toward your back. When in the finished position, your chin will likely be pointed toward the ceiling. Gently return head to neutral. Slowly allow the chin to flex forward towards the top of the chest, so you are looking down at the floor. To complete, return the head to a neutral position.



* Alternate stretch, backward/forward.

* 10-15 seconds each direction.

* 2-3 times each direction.


Sadly, when thinking about stretching, the neck is often overlooked. Incorporating just a few neck stretches throughout your day can help you create a healthy posture. It’s been said, “Wherever your head goes, your body follows;” therefore, keep those neck muscles loose and limber!

Wellness Wednesday…Ginger


As we learned last week, food is powerful!  Today, let’s dive right into our first medicinal food…GINGER!

Ginger has become one of my new favorite things. I don’t know how I survived so long without it. The taste gives my smoothies an extra kick that I love. And, much to my surprise, I actually like ginger tea. I’m not a big tea drinker, so I was shocked. Besides the taste, this food has so many benefits that I just had to make it our first food in this series.

Health Benefits:


pinesmoothie92628Ginger has been used for years to reduce inflammation and treat inflammatory diseases. It’s filled with phytonutrients which may help explain its apparent ability to reduce joint pain, swelling, and stiffness in people with arthritis. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory actions may also prove beneficial for combatting cancer, heart disease, and the growing list of other diseases that are being linked to chronic inflammation in the body.


Pain Reduction

maxresdefault-4A University of Miami study suggested that ginger extract could one day be a substitute to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The study compared the effects of a highly concentrated ginger extract to a placebo in 247 patients with osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee. The ginger reduced pain and stiffness in knee joints by 40% over the placebo.

Another study conducted at the University of Georgia found that daily ginger supplementation reduced exercise-induced muscle pain by 25%.



Chewing ginger or drinking ginger tea is a common home remedy for nausea associated with chemotherapy. A few studies suggest that ginger reduces the severity and duration of nausea, but not vomiting during cancer treatment. More research is needed.

In addition to nausea associated with chemotherapy, other studies indicate that ginger is helpful in relieving the symptoms of motion sickness and morning sickness during pregnancy.


Digestive Issues

Digestion-MocktailThe phenolic compounds in ginger are known to help relieve gastrointestinal irritation, stimulate saliva and bile production, and aid in the movement of food and fluids through the GI tract.   Another great benefit of ginger is it’s prebiotic content, which is a plant-based fiber that causes good bacteria to grow in your digestive tract.


Available Forms

I know, I know…you must be so excited to rush out to the store and buy ginger now. Before you jump in your car, though, check this out so you know what to buy.

Ginger comes in many forms. You can buy fresh ginger root, or other options including ginger powders, extracts, tinctures, capsules, and oils. My favorite and go-to is fresh ginger root because it’s a real, natural food. With the supplemental form (like capsules and oils), you don’t always know what you’re getting. And, remember, this series is called food = medicine, not supplements equal medicine.



How to Prepare It

how-to-chop-ginger-method-3-1024x683So, now you have this ginger root. It looks kind of funky, and you don’t know what to do with the thing. Don’t worry…it’s actually very easy. Take the edge of a spoon or vegetable peeler and peel the outside edge. Once peeled, you can grate or chop it to your liking.


Ways to Use It

Get creative! Once you try it with a few things, you’ll start finding all kinds of ways to add it to your normal meals. Be careful when you first start. It’s pretty powerful, so don’t use too much. You can adjust how much you use as you get used it, but start with small amounts. Here are some suggestions to start:

  • Ginger teaSmoothies and juices – The ginger will give these drinks an awesome boost!
  • Ginger tea – I take 2 cups of water and about a tablespoon of chopped ginger. (You can adjust this amount to your tasting.) I boil them together for about 10 minutes, and voila…you have ginger tea! You can add lemon or a drop of honey for a little extra flavor, if desired.
  • Oatmeal – Try sprinking some grated ginger on your oatmeal with some cinnamon and berries on top. It’s tasty!
  • Stir-fry or Homemade Salad Dressing – I haven’t tried this yet, but both sound delicious.



It is rare to have side effects from ginger, especially in the food-form. However, herbs like ginger can trigger side effects and interact with other herbs, supplements, and medication. For these reasons, you should always check with your doctor first. Here are a few possible interactions:

Blood-thinning medications: Ginger may increase the risk of bleeding. Talk to your doctor before taking ginger if you take blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin.

Diabetes medications: Ginger may lower blood sugar. That can raise the risk of developing hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

High blood pressure medications: Ginger may lower blood pressure, raising the risk of low blood pressure or irregular heartbeat.


Have fun this week with ginger, and stay tuned for our next supercharged food next week!


Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!




Fitness Friday…Rep Tempo

Want to fire up those repetitions within your resistance training? Dial in the Repetition Tempo method!

WHAT is Rep-Tempo?clock_PNG6614

Rep-Tempo is the rate or pace at which you perform one repetition or movement. In writing, it looks similar to the following:

(2-1-2) or (2-1-2-3) numbers represent second(s).

Breaking It Down.

  • 1st number (2) is the eccentric movement (lowering or negative) portion of the repetition.
  • 2nd number (1) represents how long the load would be at the bottom of the repetition.
  • 3rd number (2) is the concentric (lifting or positive) portion bringing the load back to the starting position.
  • When utilizing the four number method, (3) represents how long the load would be at the top of the lift.


WHY you want to implement these methods?

Evidence supports that focused time-under-tension will elicit a neuromuscular response, translating into greater muscle recruitment. Below, are a just a few additional advantages to increasing “concentrated contractions”.

  • Increased bone mass.exercise-muscles
  • Increased muscle mass.
  • Increased muscle tone.
  • Increased muscle endurance.
  • Increased balance and stability.
  • Increased ligament and tendon strength.
  • Increased neuromusculature contraction.
  • Increased mental awareness and body control.


WHO Benefits?

Anyone and everyone can benefit from the varying methods of Rep-Tempo training! As a novice, it is best to start low and go slow. A simple 3-1-2-1 is an optimal tempo to start! Be it that the resistance will be strictly controlled throughout the entire movement, exercisers will need to decease the resistance that they normally would use. Possibly by as much as 65% depending on the movement! When advancing, proper body alignment for that specific movement is a must. Do this, and you will likely notice one of the benefits listed above within the first few bouts of exercise.


HOW to Implement Rep Tempo.

Rep Tempo can be mixed into any routine fairly easy. It can be applied to nearly all types of resistance training. For example, you can utilize it with resistance bands, free weights, machines and even body weight exercises. The benefit is hidden in the manipulation of the seconds.

  1. Controlled Eccentric Rep-Tempo.


Ideal For: Any exercise.

Controlled eccentrics are perhaps the most studied and proven method of Rep-Tempo manipulation. Resistance is applied to the muscle fibers during the lengthening phase of the contraction thus creating large amount of muscle recruitment. This is also an excellent entry point for a new exerciser as it helps develop proper lifting technic!


  1. Pause Rep-Tempo.images

(1-3-1) or (1-4-1-1)

Ideal For: Squat variations, Push-Ups, or Leg press machine.

Time under tension is maximized here, which in turn creates an optimal environment of physiological adaptations and growth. Be sure to have warmed up properly before attempting long pause rep-tempos!


Is your program become the same old routine? Toss in some Rep-Tempo methods and you will likely FEEL and SEE the difference in no time. Remember to start low and go slow, literally!


~ Did you know? 

Biological Age is Modifiable!  Want to learn more?  Contact Boomers N Motion to Empower and Reset YOUR body’s physiology TODAY!