Is Laughter really medicine?


Ever notice how when others start laughing… you start laughing? 

That’s because the premotor cortical region of your brain is triggered by the sounds of laughter, which causes movement of your facial muscles to respond with sound and prepare you to join in. Basically when something is funny… your facial muscles go into uncontrollable spasm.  Being surrounded by others is the main trigger for laughter, not a joke or a funny movie like you would think.   Studies show that social laughter occurs 30 times more frequently than solitary laughter. So next time your in a large group, start a little laugh and see what happens!

Laughing Burns Calories…. yep you heard me right! 

Laughing can raises your energy and heart rate approximately 10% to 20%. Which means you could burn around 10-40 calories by laughing for 10 to 15 minutes. However, you would have to laugh for a solid hour or more for calorie burning to be effective.  Just don’t laugh so hard you pee  your pants!

Laughing could be Good for Your Relationship!

Couples who laugh and smile together while discussing touchy subjects have a higher success rate and are more satisfied in their relationship.  Next time you and your loved one have a little spat, try a little haha, hahahaha, hahahahahahahahah. Maybe it will lighten the mood 🙂

Want to be attractive???

Looking for Mr. or Mrs. right? When looking for a mate, studies show that 62% of women mention laughter as an important trait that they are looking for in a man. And men tend to use humor to be attracted too! Who new all we had to do was just laugh, skip the flowers and chocolate and just give a belly laugh, may just save you some money!

……..So there you have it, some days laughing can be just the right medicine for you!

The Habits That Make You

I’ve been thinking a lot about habits lately. Everyone has them and some of them are good and some of them are bad. Some of them start out okay and then become bad habits. Like my daughter sucking her thumb. What we thought was just a fine way for her to soothe herself as a baby has become a VERY hard habit for her to break even as an 8 year old now.  Being around  kids a lot it’s easy to  recognize a pattern forming and if it’s something the child shouldn’t be doing you can try to stop the behavior before it becomes a habit. Adults are the same way….it’s just sometimes we’re so caught up in everything else that we don’t realize what has become a “habit”.  When looking at my own life and habits I know I really like routine and can create habits pretty easily.   I am in the habit of getting up early in the morning to get my workout in. I’ve always been a morning person but after 4 years of teaching/attending the 5:45am boot camp it’s become more of a habit.  And every winter I develop a habit of going downstairs and putting hot water on the stove so that I have hot tea to sip on while I drive to boot camp each morning. It just feels cozy to me and I associate the cold mornings with a cup of tea.  I’m also  in the habit of wearing certain clothes, eating pretty much the same breakfast and lunch each day, and going to bed at the same time most nights.
Most of those things are my good habits.
However, I’m just as guilty as the next person of falling into bad habits from time to time.
I go in phases where I include more sweets into my diet than I should.  A couple weeks go by and I start to notice that every time I’m done with a meal I look to have some sort of “treat”.
Or, this past summer I got more in the habit of  having a glass of wine or drink with dinner. And then it started happening a few nights a week and then it quickly became a “habit” of just what I wanted to go along with preparing dinner or unwinding from the day.
 I encourage you to take a moment to think about some of your habits….Do you eat the same thing for lunch, go through the same exercise routine, and fall into bed at the same time each night?

Or maybe you’ve made a habit out of eating whatever looks good, avoiding the gym, and staying up as late as possible.

It’s pretty clear that the habits you adopt will shape who you are.

When it comes to your body, the two habits that define your physique are your eating and exercise habits. I know that for me, when I developed some bad habits of including daily alcohol or sugar into my “routine” I didn’t look OR feel the way I wanted. It was important to break the bad habits I mentioned above and my mind and body respond very positively.

If you aren’t currently happy with your body- you need to take a hard look at your habits and make adjustments.

Here are a couple tips:1) Decide on the ONE habit that you would like to develop. It’s tempting to pick up 3 or 4 healthy habits, but choosing just one new habit is realistic and doable.

Here are some healthy habit ideas:

  • Do not eat after 7pm each night.
  • Drink only water (it’s truly all your body needs!)
  • Bring your lunch to work instead of eating fast food.
  • Exercise 4 times a week after work for 45 minutes each time.
  • Only eat fruits and veggies as your afternoon snack.
  • Get 7-8 hours of sleep per night- no exceptions.

It helps to write your new habit down on paper. Also include your 3 main motivators for developing this new habit, the obstacles you’ll face, and your strategies for overcoming these obstacles.

Here’s an example:

  • My new habit is to go to boot camp 3 times each week.
  • My 3 main motivators are 1) to feel confident in my bathing suit this summer, 2) to have more energy, and 3) to fit into my skinny jeans.
  • The obstacles I will face are 1) not having the energy to go to my session after work, 2) not having enough money to pay for sessions, and 3) not having my spouse’s support.
  • I will overcome these obstacles by 1) doing my workouts before work instead of after work, so I have more energy, 2) cutting down on frivolous spending to ensure that I can afford it, and 3) asking my spouse to join me so we can get in shape together.

Make sure you are committing fully to your new habit, and using others to help hold you accountable. This is a huge part of our Mastermind group at Altman Fitness and our members make huge strides each week by using the tools they learn and the group support.  The great news is that once you make that commitment and break that habit or swap it out for something healthy each day will get easier.  Even if you have a little slip up from time to time it’s okay! Give yourself a break.  It’s not like you can’t EVER have that drink with dinner or the piece of chocolate after lunch- it’s just you don’t want it to happen every single day.  Slip ups are normal- just get back on track immediately after and remind yourself why it’s worth it to live this way.

You can do anything you want with the right mental attitude!


The Top 7 Reasons to Exercise

The Top 7 Reasons to Exercise

Why do you exercise?  I know for me it’s so I feel and look how I want so that I can stay young and healthy for Kelly (my wife) and 3 kids. Here are the top 7 reasons to exercise:

Reason #1: To Melt Fat Away

The most coveted side effect of exercise is, of course, fat burn. The combination of a challenging exercise routine and a balanced meal plan is the best known way to lose fat. Here’s what losing fat feels like:

  • Your pants become loose
  • People around you begin to say that you look great
  • A glance at yourself in the mirror makes you smile
  • Your energy levels soar
  • You feel amazing

Reason #2: To Alleviate Pain

Regular exercise is a great way to alleviate chronic muscle and joint pain. Persistent back pain can be lessened by strengthening your core, and you’ll protect yourself against injury. It amazes people when the chronic pain that they’ve lived with for years begins to fade after starting a regular exercise program.

Reason #3: To Increase Lean Tissue

More muscle is good for many reasons. You see, muscle requires many more calories each day than fatty tissue. In fact, one pound of muscle burns 30-50 calories each day at rest – compared to a measly 9 calories per pound of fat.

When you exercise your body composition will change to contain more lean tissue, thus resulting in extra calories burned while you sleep. What could be better than that?

Reason #4: To Stay Young

Tim D. Spector, a professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College in London, led a study on the effects of exercise on aging. The results were astounding. They found that exercise appears to slow the shriveling of the protective tips on bundles of genes inside cells (called telomeres), which means a slowing of the aging process.

“These data suggest that the act of exercising may actually protect the body against the aging process,” said Spector.

Here’s the study in a nutshell:

  • Telomeres cap the ends of chromosomes and every time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter.
  • Once a telomere gets too short, that cell can no longer divide.
  • Aging occurs as more and more cells reach the end of their telomeres and die. This results in weakened muscles, skin wrinkles, loss of eyesight and hearing, organ failure and slowed metal functioning.
  • The study analyzed the telomeres from the white bloods cells of twins over a 10-year period. Telomere length was used as a marker for the rate of biological aging.
  • It was found that the length of telomeres was directly related to that twin’s activity level. “There was a gradient,” Spector said. “As the amount of exercise increased, the telomere length increased.”
  • People who did 100 minutes of weekly exercise had telomeres that looked like those from someone about 5-6 years younger than those who did 16 minutes of exercise each week.
  • People who did 3 hours of vigorous exercise each week had telomeres that looked like those from someone about 9 years younger.

Reason #5: To Prevent or Control Type 2 Diabetes

Regular exercise helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. This is something that people with type 2 diabetes, or at risk for type 2 diabete, gain substantial benefits from.

Exercise improves the body’s use of insulin, and the related weight loss improves insulin sensitivity. Of course patients with type 2 diabetes need to get guidelines from their doctor before starting an exercise program.

Reason #6: To Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels

Exercise has shown to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels for these two reasons:

  • Weak Heart Muscles pump little blood with lots of effort. By exercising you strengthen your heart muscles and train them to pump more blood with less effort. The stronger your heart is the less pressure will be exerted on your arteries.
  • Exercise Increases HDL levels in some people – this means a decrease in your risk for heart disease. Other heart disease risk factors such as weight, diabetes and high blood pressure all show improvement with regular exercise.

Reason #7: To Feel Great

The first thing that clients tell me after starting an exercise program is how much better they feel.

Most didn’t even realize how bad they felt. It is easy to get used to feeling sluggish, achy and unmotivated.

Exercise boosts your energy levels and makes you feel amazing.

The quickest, easiest way to guarantee that you’ll meet your fitness and weight loss goals is to work with a qualified fitness professional. You’ll be held accountable with your workouts and you’ll be instructed properly and shown techniques and strategies that will expedite your results.

Call 612-454-6409 or email today to get started on a program that will take the guesswork out of fitness and to set your results on fire.

What are you waiting for? Lace up your shoes and get moving!

Your fitness and fat loss guy,



Pioneer Press featuring Jenny Flynn

Pioneer Press featuring Jenny Flynn


You may recognize this picture….. It was posted Sunday April 6th, 2014 in the St. Paul Pioneer press. Our very own Jen Flynn was featured in the “turning point” column of the Pioneer press.  To see the full article click here:

Pioneer Press Article Featuring our very own Jenny Flynn

As you know Jen has lost all of her 100+ lbs here at Altman Fitness and I couldn’t be more proud of her. She has overcome so many obstacles.  Utilizing the programs available: boot camp classes the 28 day nutrition program, and most recently our Master Mind program, setting specific goals and taking action steps is what has made this transformation a reality.

If you’re searching for a place to get fit and lose weight well then you have found it. I am so confident that myself and my team can get you to your fitness and fat loss goals that I have a 100% guarantee. Yes, that means if you don’t make your goal, I give you your money back!

What are you waiting for…. Like Jen says in the article…..take that next step, pick up your phone now and call 612-454-6409 to come in and see what we are about. Or email us at: and write in the subject line: I’m taking a step!

Even if you do not live near Edina, Minnesota we can still help you in a big way.  We work with people all over the United States and have solutions to not only get you started down the path, but more importantly to keep you going.  After all that’s what it’s all about right?

Come meet myself, Jay Altman, Jen and the rest of our trainers and let us help you get on the path toward success!

Take the first step today.  You will not regret that and you know it.

Committed to your success,