August 2011 Issue


Fitness Article: There's No Off-Season, Pre-Season, or In-Season for “Corporate Athletes
by David Bluman (Owner of the Fitness Education Institute)

Executives are performance driven individuals or what I prefer to term as “corporate professional athletes”. A professional athlete has an off season, pre-season, in-season training and recuperation regimen. Unfortunately a corporate athlete does not have this luxury. Most executives are under continuous stress. They are type A personalities that tend to burn the candle 24/7. They subject themselves to the adverse affects of stress on a daily basis with little or no opportunity to alleviate the deleterious effects of that stress. They frequently travel, eat in restaurants and sleep very little if at all. Just as a professional athlete goes through a cycle of training, recuperation and preparation, a “corporate athlete” needs a similar cycle to prepare for the rigors of their world. The type of “off court” preparation can mean the difference between being an average performer or someone who excels.

Executives are masters of “time management”. As an executive/corporate trainer the time assigned for training must be equally as efficient as that individual. This training must incorporate preparation for performance. Interval and circuit training approximate the daily stress and the physiological responses that a “corporate athlete” is subjected to. Exercise in and of itself is a stress. It is however, a “recoverable, adaptable stress.” Integrating interspersed high intensity training with periods of rest creates adaptation to that stress. A simulation of our “corporate athletes” board room in the weight room provide the functional physical benefits but more importantly provides them an ability to adapt and dissipate the effects of stress on a physiological level. Whether a stress is induced through exercise, physical activity, a high level negotiation or an annoying unexpected phone call the physiological response is the same.

Interval and circuit training are both time efficient and physiologically efficient methods for a “corporate athlete”. Another benefit to this training method is EPOC. Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption which equates to the “after-burn” of training. Your metabolic rate stays elevated for an extended period of time thereby “utilizing more calories” post exercise. So not only is this an efficient preparatory for the board room it’s a great method for improving your body composition.

Please remember if you are undertaking any type of exercise regimen make sure a qualified professional does a full assessment and provides a safe and effective program based on your current level of fitness. If necessary you may need a doctor’s clearance.

Check out David Bluman's website:

Geri Zatcoff, M.S.Ed., M.S., C.N.S

There is one very important point that we all must remember when we embark on a program to lose weight.
And that is, there is no one diet that works for everyone. One must develop one’s own diet or rather, a style
of eating that is appropriate for the individual. That comes from trial and error and may in fact, take years
to refine. The one concept that is universal to weight loss is that energy expenditure (burning calories) must
be greater than energy intake (food). Successful weight loss (kept off for 5 years or more) is accomplished
with a combination of a mild caloric restriction and an increase in energy expenditure through exercise.
While the research shows that those who simply restrict calories may lose more weight in the beginning,
those who exercise tend to keep it off. The weight loss of those who restrict calories only, tends to include
loss of body protein and that means lean body mass. This is detrimental to long-term weight maintenance
because it results in a decreased metabolic rate. Those who exercise maintain and increase their lean-body
mass while losing increased amounts of bodyfat. The scale moves a little slower, but the weight loss is a
true loss of body fat.

We all know that muscle weighs more and takes up less space than fat. The important point is that muscle is a metabolic tissue and requires energy to be synthesized and maintained, approximately 50 calories per pound per day. So the more muscle you have on your body, the more calories you burn all day, not just for the few hours after an exercise bout, which is what happens with cardiovascular exercise. Don’t get me
wrong, cardiovascular exercise is important to weight loss but resistance or weight training is equally as important, especially for weight maintenance.

Back to diets. A lot of people find initial success with the Weight Watcher’s Points Program. This program can be a good start because it provides for a mild caloric restriction and people are allowed to eat whatever foods they choose provided they stay within the number of points they have been assigned. The number of points (calories) that a person is allowed per day depends on their current weight and decreases as the
person loses weight. The number of points/calories drops because the need for energy decreases as weight decreases.

There is no denying that people can and do lose weight with this system. However, it does not distinguish between food choices or provide for sufficient intake of nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants or phytochemicals (not unlike the Atkin’s Diet), all of which have been correlated to good health and prevention of disease. It’s okay to eat pizza, chips and chocolate cake as long as you stay within your
points. This can be very helpful in the beginning as it allows people to eat the foods they like and drop the first few, very important, motivating pounds without drastic lifestyle changes. Group counseling sessions are beneficial, but permanent behavioral changes are needed to sustain a long-term weight loss and that requires at least 8 to 12 weeks of practicing the desired behavior.

Weight Watchers has a success rate of 4%, the same as most other “diets”. Sound impressive? That’s a ninty-six percent failure rate. Why? Because people are good at losing weight, they just can’t keep it off! Remember, a successful weight loss is one that is maintained for five years.

The problem essentially starts with the word “diet”. Look at the first three letters of the word. It spells “die”. Doesn’t that make you feel good? Diets inherently mean denial and deprivation. Losing weight is a tough proposition that requires mental fortitude and a real desire to change. So why go through all that work only to gain the weight back? How many people do you know that have lost the same fifteen or twenty pounds over and over again? Every time we lose weight and gain it back, the metabolism slows a little because the body thinks we are trying to kill it. Every time we lose weight, the toxins that are stored in adipose tissue get released into the bloodstream. That’s why it’s so important to drink lots of water if you are trying to lose weight. Repeated losing and gaining of weight is called “yo-yo” dieting and it puts tremendous stress on the body.

So if you’re considering going on a “diet”, think about not only what you want to look like in five years, but how you want to feel. Do you want to live long and die short or live short and die long, all the while consuming hundreds of dollars of prescription medications every month for various degenerative diseases. Your long-term health is directly related to your nutrition. So use whatever “diet” works best for you to get you started but remember that there are no shortcuts. You must do the work necessary to make permanent lifestyle changes. And that includes exercise and behavior modification. The good news is that there’s room for everything in a healthy diet, including pizza and chocolate cake. You can have your favorite foods by learning how to incorporate them with healthy choices and practicing a little restraint. You can have what you want, you just can’t have it all the time. Pick your poison carefully. Personally, I prefer a nice glass of red wine to dessert most anytime. But that’s just me.

Zatcoff Wellness
90 Main Street
Westport, CT 06880
Fax: 203-454-5569
E mail:

Professional of the Month: Natalie Heckert (Trainer & Inventor)

Since 1986, Natalie Heckert has demonstrated that she is a positive, high-energy presenter and personal trainer that specializes in working with individuals, groups, and corporations to inspire wellness practices that can be realistically incorporated into everyday life and the workplace. Natalie is dedicated to finding easy, effective exercise solutions to get our bodies in shape. There are no gimmicks in what she teaches! Natalie will be the first to tell you, “If you want to achieve a healthy lifestyle it takes hard work, dedication and a willingness to learn about yourself and your health habits.” Natalie has helped thousands of clients achieve their personal health and life-balance goals.

Natalie has a four-year degree in Sports Science, Community Health and Coaching and is certified as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor. Prior to moving to Minnesota, Natalie worked as an aerobic instructor, personal trainer and motivational speaker in the Los Angeles, California area.

Her resume is a testament to her professional capabilities. During her career, Natalie has been involved in every aspect of the health and fitness industry. Natalie is the CEO of NATS (Nutrition & Aerobic Training Service) and the inventor of the NATS Total E Fit Gym, Slide and Glide and Mini E Fit. She also has her own line of nutritional supplements and a series of exercise videos. Natalie designed, developed, and implemented a state-of-the-art wellness center at Tastefully Simple Inc. She originated and developed a two-year Health & Fitness Specialist Degree program in partnership with the Alexandria Technical College. She serves as an adjunct teacher for this program.

Natalie has given professional speeches in a variety of setting to clients of all ages at venues like the Tastefully Simple National Convention, Women and Wellness seminars, as part of the Girl Power learning seminars, and to a variety of civic and non-profit organizations to name a few. She has worked with large insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield to lower insurance premiums and offer employees wellness incentives. Natalie has organized corporate health fairs and community-wide fitness challenges as well as presented at the international level.

When it comes to promoting health nobody does it better than Natalie. She is passionate about her career. She is motivated to help individuals and organizations achieve their health, fitness, and life-balance goals. Natalie teaches her clients how to maintain a positive, “can do“ attitude.

For more information about NATS LLC or any of her products, please visit her website at or call Natalie at 320-815-5665. You may also email Natalie at Natalie will encourage you to live a healthier life. When you work with Natalie, you can be guaranteed that your life will never be the same!

POP Pilates Video:
Total Body Sculpt Workout - Abs, Butt, Thighs, Legs, Arms! (Full 10 min)
by Cassey Ho


Cassey Ho is a pilates instructor & designer with a zest for life, a love for drawing, a fancy for dancing, cooking super healthy versions of everything, and smiling. All the time. She loves teaching Pilates so much - it gets her high on life after each session. Cassey feels lucky to be around such awesome people who want to push themselves to their fitness limits constantly...and with a smile.

Cassey is living the uncertain but exciting life of a young entrepreneur designing yoga bags, gym bags, and all kinds of fashionable fitness gear. oGorgeous has been featured in SHAPE Magazine, Daily Candy, the Wendy Williams Show etc.

She is the Founder and Designer of the oGorgeous yoga bags. In college, she made the first bag for herself after running into trouble trying to find a cute mat carrier. When the original Beverly Bowtie was seen in her Pilates class, she realized that she wasn't the only one who was vying for fashionable yoga bags. Senior year 2009, Cassey debuted her first line. Since then, the bags have been featured in major publications such as SHAPE Magazine and on national talk shows such as the Wendy Williams Show. Cassey is currently working on the second line of bags which will include mat carriers for women, mat carriers for men, and a whole new collection of exciting women's gym bags. When not designing, Cassey teaches Pilates mat and reformer classes. When not teaching, she films workout videos for her Pop Pilates YouTube Channel while maintaining her Blogilates health & fitness blog.

Visit Cassey's Website:

Kids Health & Fitness Article: Dance Fitness & Step Aerobics for Kids
by Paul Eugene

Dance Fitness is a fun way to workout. There are many ways of dancing your way to fitness. Every culture on earth has some dance in and people have been dancing since man could walk. But it was not termed as fitness. Depending on where one lives and likes pretty much determine what kind of dance workout works best. There are people who like to keep it low and funky or as it is called today "Hip Hop". Some like it Latin, some like it country, some like it jazz, the list of different taste could go on and on. Dance Fitness has it benefits in helping to you to get or stay in shape, but it is only one of the components. Strength Training, other cardio workouts and stretching are necessary in order to have a well rounded workout which uses all if not most of the muscles of the body.

Step Aerobics has been around for quite some time and it still is a demand for it. The problem is not enough instructors around. Step is one workout that I do at least once a week. Well I am the instructor but I do enjoy it. It's another break from dancing. It takes a skill to teach step, unlike some dance fitness classes where are you do is jump around and don't say a word with your mouth. I'll get off that soapbox. Anyway, i Like the challenge it gives me. There so many styles and ways it is taught. I like to give my students a challenge so we do vertical, double and horizontal step. If you have a step in your closet or under your bed, get it out.

Check out this great kids fitness video

About Paul Eugene:(
Fitness Instructor Certifications: AFAA, Zumba, & CPR
Classes Taught: Dance Fitness, HiLo, Boot Camp, Funk/Hip Hop Aerobics, Gospel Aerobics, Kick Boxing, Strength and Zumba
Television: Producer / Host "Paul Eugene Fitness Show"
Other Accomplishments:
Finalist in 2004 Ginn Miller Step Choreography Contest
Represented my home town Pittsburgh, PA in 1975 Soul Train International Dance Contest
Danced on the late James Brown "Future Shock" dance show.
Hobbies: Computer Programming, Video and Music Production, Love running, Passion is Dance, Traveling

Recipe of the Month: Gluten-Free and Vegan Healthy Recipe: Easy Summer Potato Salad (Serves 4)
By:Amie Valpone (Culinary Marketing Consultant)

• 2 lbs. small red new potatoes, scrubbed
• 1/2 cup fresh curly parsley, finely chopped plus more for garnish
• 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
• 1/4 cup pine nuts
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 2 tsp. white balsamic vinegar
• Sea salt and pepper, to taste
• 1/4 tsp. curry
• 1/4 tsp. chili powder

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; cook potatoes until soft but not falling apart, approximately 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine parsley, mint, pine nuts, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, sea salt and pepper; pulse until well combined. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Drain potatoes; slice in half as soon as they’re cool enough to handle. Gently toss potatoes with parsley pesto mixture; season with curry and chili powder.
4. Garnish with additional parsley; serve chilled or at room temperature.
5. Enjoy!

Valpone HHP, AADP Culinary Nutritionist and author of The Healthy Apple,Consultant, recipe developer and food writer.

Amie shares her passion for Gluten-Free Clean Eating through her blog, The Healthy Apple by focusing on natural, whole foods and ingredients working as a Food Allergy Concierge and Healthy Family Pantry Stylist. She is a Gluten-Free Industry Innovator when it comes to helping clients, the community, companies and clients live a healthy and happy life. Amie is a contributing editor for YahooShine!, WebMD, StyleCaster,, Foodista, Foodily, the NY Times Best Seller Series Skinny Bitch, Healthy Bitch Daily and Gluten-Free Faces and is the Gluten-Free Manhattan Editor for the Examiner.

Campus Corner: What is diastasis recti?
by Kim Raubenheimer

A diastasis is a separation of the outer most abdominal muscles, the rectus abdominus or “six pack” muscles. With a diastasis, the connective tissue (linea alba) that connects the two halves of the recti abdominis becomes thin and fails to protect the organs. If the separation is severe the organs will actually protrude, creating that unsightly bulge in the belly. If there is trauma to the abdominal area and the connective tissue is torn away from the muscle, a ventral hernia can develop and surgery will be required.

What is the cause of a diastasis?
The cause of a diastasis is a forceful forward pressure on the weak spot (belly button) of the connective tissue from:
1. Doing crunches or abdominal work incorrectly
2. Pilates 100's incorrectly
3. Pregnancy
4. Beer belly

You don’t have to have had a child to have one. You can create one by doing abdominal exercises incorrectly.

How can I check if I have one?
A diastasis is measured in fingers because that’s the easiest way for you to tell exactly how far your muscles have separated. Given that everyone's fingers are different sizes this is not a perfect form of measurement; but the important factor is that you can easily check and measure a diastasis on your own.

1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and your head on the floor.
2. Place your hand on your stomach with the palm of your hand facing your face. Be sure your hand is vertically pressing into your abdomen.
3. Press your middle three fingers into your belly button.
4. Relax your abdominal muscles and gently lift your head, drawing your chin towards your chest. If you are holding your abdominal muscles in as you check it will give you a false reading as this will make the diastasis appear smaller. The muscles will also get closer together the higher you lift your head. Be sure to start with a relaxed abdomen.
5. If you have a diastasis you will be able to feel the rectus abdominis tightening up on either side of your fingers. If you cannot feel this muscular contraction you may need to place more fingers in the gap between the muscles so you can measure it correctly. You might also see a football shaped ridge coming up between the muscles. In some cases this gap may be 10+ fingers wide. You may need to lift and lower your head a few times in order to feel the muscles engage and get a reading.
6. You also want to determine the condition of the connective tissue. The deeper your fingers will go towards your spine, the weaker the connective tissue. If you feel a pulsing while you are checking, this is a sign of very weak connective tissue.
7. If, when you raise your head, you simply feel your stomach muscles tighten underneath your fingertips without a gap underneath, then you do not have a diastasis.
If you find you have a diastasis stop doing any type of crunches, back bends, any/or any cross over forward forceful movement. These types of movements will make it worse. You need to heal your connective tissue and the separated muscles.
How can I heal my diastasis?
You could have a tummy tuck. But this involves costly surgery and stitching. This will not cure your diastasis, if you continue to do any forward forceful movement; which could ultimately tear the stitching. You would still need to strengthen your abdominal muscles before any surgery.
A more cost effective and less invasive course of action would be to learn a research-based effective core strengthening exercise program that will help bring the separated muscles closer together and help heal the connective tissue. The Tupler Technique™, developed by Julie Tupler, RN and childbirth educator. But the exercise is not just for women!! Men can benefit as well. The exercise program will strengthen your core from the inside out and help support your back and organs while creating a flatter stomach and often a smaller waist size.
I lost 1 ¼ inches off my waist in 6 weeks and more importantly I brought my separation in from 4 finger width at my belly button down to 1 ½ fingers. I no longer have that hip and lower back pain I had every time I ran or exercised! So lose the crunches and close the gap!!

Kim Raubenheimer
Certified Nutrition and Fitness Coach
Licensed Tupler Technique Provider
877.NUTRIFY (688-7439)

Health & Fitness Business:

Using Social Media: Five Key Questions You Should Ask Yourself:
by Frank Rotella (President of Rofami Inc. & Founder of the Rofami Inc. Health & Wellness Newsletter)

If you’re not using social media these days you are missing out on a number of opportunities. Social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are great resources for obtaining new business and also for networking with individuals who have common interests. If you don’t have a social media presence, get with the times and you’ll see how it can be a great marketing tool.

1. Why you should use Social Media? OPPORTUNTY for viral branding! Here’s the lowdown on the number of people actively using social media, and many of them are your friends, family, colleagues, competitors, and clients/customers. Facebook has over 500 million active users. LinkedIn has over 100 million active users, and Twitter has over 200 million users. These individuals are not only accessing their accounts at home & work, but they are also accessing their accounts through their smartphones.

2. How should I use social media? Social media can be used for personal reasons, but it should really be focused on your business. A part of your marketing/advertising plan should include social media. It is critical to stay on top of your profile updates and understand the value of social media etiquette (this is the topic of another upcoming issue).

3. Who should you connect with? Connecting with people you haven’t seen in years (high school friends, college friends, former co-workers, etc.) can be exciting, but you should also connect with people who you think you might become potential clients or promoters of your business/mission. Read each person’s profile before you accept or request them as a connection to be certain they are someone who can help you promote your business /mission.

4. Which social media site(s) should you use? There are a number of social media sites, but at this point in time it appears that Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are the most popular. You have to keep up with the time and understand what the benefits are to each of the different sites. Facebook is very “friends” oriented while LinkedIn is very “business” oriented. Twitter is the “Her and Now” site (approximately 95 million tweets per day).

5. What information should I post on my profile? Try to keep your personal and business profiles separate. Whether you’re registering an account as an individual or business you want to post as much descriptive info as possible along with testimonials/recommendations. . BUT…. Don’t post too much personal info (date of birth, social security number, home address, kid’s names, etc). For example if you have your home address posted and you send out a message that says you and your family are enjoying a great trip in the Bahamas; you might open yourself up to a potential home invasion/robbery. Also, don’t post any trade secrets or business strategies that you wouldn’t want your competitors to read. Be smart about what you post and think about why you’re posting your information. There should be a reason why you post specific information whether it’s to promote a product, service, or yourself.
Understanding Social Media is critical for branding purposes and for marketing yourself / business. If you have any questions about your social media exposure, let us know and we can help you through the process.

Frank Rotella
Rofami Inc.

Newsletter Q & A Section:

My kids were watching some videos online and asked me about PARKOUR. I'm a fitness professional and have been reading your newsletter for the past six months. What is parkour and how can I learn more about it?
(Robert - Denver, CO)
Answered by Rofami Inc. Staff


Thanks for the great questions. Parkour is definitely an interesting sport. About 3 years ago I was at a working at a fitness expo and was introduced to Parkour. This is a very demanding training style and technique is critical to avoid injuries.

I think a great resource for you to learn more about Parkour would be the American Parkour Website. Below is a definition of Parkour from the American Parkour website.

"Parkour is the physical discipline of training to overcome any obstacle within one's path by adapting one's movements to the environment.

Parkour requires... consistent, disciplined training with an emphasis on functional strength, physical conditioning, balance, creativity, fluidity, control, precision, spatial awareness, and looking beyond the traditional use of objects.

Parkour movements typically include... running, jumping, vaulting, climbing, balancing, and quadrupedal movement. Movements from other physical disciplines are often incorporated, but acrobatics or tricking alone do not constitute parkour.

Parkour training focuses on... safety, longevity, personal responsibility, and self-improvement. It discourages reckless behavior, showing off, and dangerous stunts.

Parkour practitioners value... community, humility, positive collaboration, sharing of knowledge, and the importance of play in human life, while demonstrating respect for all people, places, and spaces."

Check out some great Parkour events in your area:

Thank you to American Parkour.

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