Dave Weiner, 40—co-owner of downtown Sarasota’s Definition Fit—was active for most of his life. “I’d always been an athlete,” he says, “playing casual sports and doing ‘weekend warrior’-type things.” But five years ago, when his wife got pregnant with their first child, “I managed to let myself go pretty well,” he says. “It was a really fantastic effort to get way out of shape.”
When he saw some unflattering pictures of himself holding his baby girl, Weiner had his “aha” moment. So he hired a personal trainer and, along the way, realized he wanted to share what he was learning with others. “I thought, ‘If I can whip myself back into shape, then other people can, too,’” he explains. Now, with an Ironman triathlon and five years at Definition Fit under his belt, Weiner focuses on creating unique programs for each of his clients. Here are some of his tried-and-true tips—just in time for the new year.
Do your research. When hiring a personal trainer or seeking out a gym, you have to find the one that’s right for you. “Go check out places. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s an interview process,” Weiner says. “This is the best way I can explain it: Would you trust your kids’ education to just anybody? No. Then why would you do that to your own body?”
It’s a process. “You’re not going to lose 30 pounds in three weeks,” Weiner says. “You need to be invested in your program and comfortable with the fact that [change] is not going to happen overnight.” And, he says, you have to commit. “It takes time and patience and frustration, and battles won and battles lost, but ultimately you’re going to win the war if you stick with it.”
Ask for a fitness assessment. When Weiner hires trainers at Definition Fit, he asks them to perform a fitness assessment as part of the interview process—something that’s good for both trainers and clients. “Every client is starting from a different background,” he explains. “If you get that assessment done, you’re giving yourself a better path to get to your end goal.”
Ease in. “A lot of people make that resolution, and on Jan. 2, they’re hitting that gym hard,” Weiner says. “They’re there for three hours, thinking, ‘I’ve never felt better in my life!’—and then they wake up Jan. 3 and they’re so sore, and it’s not until Jan. 8 that they say, ‘Oh, maybe I can get back to the gym again, but I don’t really have time,’ and all of the sudden they’re done. You have to ease your way into it.” And, he says, if you’re just starting, it’s a good idea to seek guidance from a professional.
Keep it simple. “As easy as it is to become overwhelmed by the tidal wave of information out there—whether it’s on YouTube or Instagram or somewhere else—there’s still a simple formula here: exercise and a clean-ish diet will equal an increase in fitness and weight loss,” Weiner says. “And remember that anything is better than nothing.” –Megan McDonald
LiveStrong Cancer Program Comes to Sarasota Y
Once upon a time, doctors told cancer patients to rest and avoid exertion. Now that medical mindset has changed gears, as physicians recognize the importance of exercise in improving a patient’s physical and mental health.
LiveStrong, an international force in supporting cancer survivors, has awarded the Sarasota YMCA a grant to implement its whole-body health curriculum here; the local nonprofit is only the 21st Y in the country to be awarded the program. (LiveStrong plans to eventually partner with upwards of 450 cities.) The Frank G. Berlin Sr. branch will be the first to offer the program in the coming weeks, with the Evalyn Sadlier Jones branch to begin offering it this spring.
LiveStrong designed the 12-week curriculum to improve survivors’ physical health while also empowering them and increasing overall quality of life. It involves a combination of fitness and strength programs performed in a guided, small-group environment, and it will be offered free to cancer survivors.
Right, Left and Mixed
When it comes to hand dominance, we tend to think in binary terms: right-handed or left-handed. A vast majority of people in the world are right-handed, naturally writing, eating, throwing and kicking with that side of their body, while only 10 percent or so of the population uses the left hand or foot for such activities.
But doctors are increasingly recognizing a third category, called “cross-dominance” or “mixed-handedness.” Not to be confused with ambidextrousness (the unusual condition of being equally able with both hands), mixed-handed people are much more comfortable and capable using one side of their body for some tasks but the opposite side for others. A mixed-handed person might naturally write or hold a fork in the left hand, but throw a ball with the right. Or even be dominant with the right eye but prefer to listen intently with the left ear.
If this describes you, then the next time someone asks if you’re right-handed or left-handed, feel free to respond, “neither.”
Monitoring a Broken Heart
A miniature sensor that detects worsening heart failure.
What it is: The CardioMEMS Heart Failure (HF) System, a new miniaturized, wireless monitoring sensor to manage heart failure. Manatee Memorial recently became the first hospital in the area to implant the device.
Where it goes: The device is permanently implanted into the pulmonary artery in the heart via a nonsurgical, catheter-guided procedure.
What it does: Monitors the blood pressure in the pulmonary artery. Increased blood pressure there is often an early sign of worsening heart failure, well before other symptoms arise.
How it works: The wireless sensor sends daily blood pressure readings direction to the cardiologist’s office. Doctors can then adjust treatment accordingly.