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An Interview with Lou Ferrigno

"Your health is your best wealth." says Lou Ferrigno, who talks about weightlifting, wine and how his career kept his life on the right track. All that and more in the following interview with William Shatner.

How to Reduce Stress using Exercise, Diet and Sleep



I have a very busy schedule with work and it is extremely stressful. It isn't really a lot of hours, but its the stress and I am not sleeping properly either. I want to exercise more, and I do have time on the weekends, but I don't feel motivated because I am so exhausted and stressed out from work. HELP!

Seriously, any advice would be extremely helpful.

- Jonathan R."

Stop stressing out!

Hey Jonathan!

I am sorry to hear work has got you down so much. But let me try to help you with some very sound advice (which I have separated into three sections below).


I noticed you didn't mention your diet at all. What you are eating is often largely responsible for how you are feeling. From a nutritionist perspective diet plays a huge a role (about 80%) in everything we do. Sleep and exercise also plays a role, but the percentage of each is small in contrast.

When people are stressed out they tend to crave comfort food. Foods that are high in carbs, sugar, etc. Breads, pasta, ice cream, chocolate, and also salty junk food. The reason is because these foods cause a temporary boost in endorphin levels. They're like a drug and they are addictive. The extra carbs later makes you feel worse, bloated and depressed, so you go back for more just so you can get that temporary boost in endorphins. Its a horrible cycle and its only made worse if you are under a lot of stress.

So how do you fix this?

STEP ONE - Don't go grocery shopping when depressed. Go when you are in a positive mood and only buy things that are good for you. Whole wheat breads/pastas, get yogurt instead of ice cream, buy lots of veggies and fruits (LOTS!), skim milk instead of 2%.

STEP TWO - When hungry, snack on healthy things. Don't starve yourself until later. Eat now and eat healthy. Starving yourself is both unhealthy and adds more to your stress levels.

STEP THREE - Plan your meals ahead of time to make healthier meals. Doing so will help regulate your stress levels.

STEP FOUR - Don't get rid of carbs completely. You still need them. That is why whole wheat bread/pasta is good for you.

STEP FIVE - Avoid junk food, but don't be afraid to indulge during parties and special events. You are there to have fun and relax. Enjoy! Don't punish yourself either.


Many people who come home from work and are exhausted just want to chill in front of a TV and not doing anything active all evening. However exercising for 30 minutes to 60 minutes between 6 PM and 8 PM will also help you get a better night's sleep and will reduce your stress levels dramatically. I don't recommend exercising after 9 PM because then you can get insomnia from getting "too pumped up". Basically if the sun is still up, its a good time to exercise. Once the sun sets, its time to relax and get ready for bed.

Plus some exercises are really good at lowering stress levels. But what exercises can you do at home that help lower stress?

OPTION ONE - Boxing. I love boxing myself. It is very good for cardio. Just doing shadow boxing by yourself for 30 minutes every night will both provide exercise and reduce stress. Other forms of martial arts are also handy, but more difficult for beginners to learn and do at home.

OPTION TWO - Yoga. Yoga is great for developing your core muscles and also reducing stress.

OPTION THREE - Weightlifting. Try getting some dumbbells to start off and lifting weights while watching your favourite TV shows. During commercial breaks do jumping jacks and then go back to the dumbbells. If you progress further with this get a barbell and do deadlifts during the commercial breaks, but be sure to learn how to do a proper Olympic style deadlift so your form is correct and you don't hurt yourself. Start off with weights that are just heavy enough that doing 10 reps is a challenge. If you can only do 5 they are too heavy. If you can do 30 without feeling a challenge, they are too light.

OPTION FOUR - For the weekends look for exercises you can do that get you outside and are either "low stress exercises" like going for nature walks and similar "low cardio exercises", or alternatively try "stress release exercises" like archery, boxing, martial arts. Look for fun exercises that you can enjoy again and again every weekend.

You may be exhausted after work and on the weekends. But if you make a plan to do these things you will find the motivation because you've made it part of a schedule.


Having a balanced diet and regular exercise will help you sleep better, but there are also other ways to improve your sleep patterns.

#1. Close the drapes / get thicker/blacker drapes so you can block out the light. This way you don't have the light bothering you while you are trying to sleep.

#2. Get more comfortable pillows.

#3. Clean your bedsheets and make your bed regularly. A smooth and comfortable (and clean) bed will help you sleep better because it will be more comfortable.

#4. Some people prefer to fall asleep to music. Get a stereo or program on your computer (or app on your smartphone) with a timer which will play music and then shut off automatically after 45 minutes or so.

#5. Seek psychiatric help. Some people have problems sleeping at night because of old guilt / unresolved feelings. Might even be giving them nightmares. Facing your demons, apologizing to past enemies, visiting the gravestones of your loved ones, etc can also help you to sleep better at night once you've figured out what is stressing you out.

#6. Sex. Ahem. Yes, that could certainly help you sleep too. Great for reducing stress too! And its exercise!

If it is really purely work that is stressing you out and you can afford to make a career change, you might also consider that as a possibility. It really depends on how much you love your job or whether you only do it because you are chasing the almighty dollar. That is for you to determine, not me. I will say however that money is not everything and learning to let go of our stress over money can also lead to a happier and healthier life.

A career change, taking a year off to travel and relax, taking a sabbatical - they are all options if you have the resources and/or will.

How to Hire an In Home Personal Trainer

Its Spring. April. The time of year when many young people want to start losing weight so they can get that "Beach Perfect Body" for the summer.

Chances are likely you spent the winter hibernating indoors (because lets face it, even Toronto gets cold in the winter despite being one of the warmer places in Canada). You might still even have some extra weight from Christmas, which is no big deal.

And if you are like me, you probably just ate a chocolate bunny or multiple chocolate eggs during Easter long weekend. Unlike me, you might not be so active that you burn off the extra sugar from the chocolate bunny so quickly.

So in an effort to stay on top of your personal fitness regimen, or get started on a program, since you've never really taken exercise seriously before, you start thinking about hiring a personal trainer. A personal trainer who will not only design a custom program to address your individual goals, strengths and limitations, but will also provide accountability, consistency and constant motivation to help achieve your goals more quickly, and in a healthy manner.

Now when it comes to in-home training services all you really need to do is find a personal trainer you like. Some people prefer more of a drill sergeant routine and some people prefer a personal trainer who is more like their best friend / coach. I am the latter, I am extremely talkative. Once you do find a trainer who suits your needs then you just need to workout a schedule, a location, a payment plan... and that is it! You're done.

The personal trainer comes to your house or condo or local park (some people prefer to train outdoors when the weather is nice) and you do your workout with privacy and without silly onlookers gawking at the person doing jumping jacks, punching a boxing pad, etc. Or maybe you are more confident and just don't care that people gawk at you.
The convenience of completing workouts in the comfort of your own home or condo gym helps make sure you stick to workouts because its part of a schedule and people crave regular schedules. Having a personal trainer who is punctual, extremely reliable, and results driven also means that you keep coming back for more (although maybe not until next year, when its that time to get ready for summer again).

The best part is once you get into the rhythm of regular exercise it becomes a lifestyle change and begin to feel younger, stronger, faster, fitter and more confident about yourself.

Don't just get in shape for Summer. Get in shape for LIFE!

What the eff is FOC Weight? Plus Archery Acronyms

The first time you hear an experienced archer say the words "FOC Weight" you might think they are using a bad word that starts with F.

They're not. Its just an acronym.

FOC stands for "Front of Center" and its weight refers to the weight of the arrowhead on the arrow and where the arrow's balancing point should be.

Arrowheads are largely interchangeable and different weights of arrowheads are better for shooting different distances, depending on the type of bow you are using. Higher weight target arrowheads are often used by archers who also do hunting, because hunting arrowheads tend to weigh a lot more - and thus they need to practice using the heavier arrowheads.

Arrowhead weight is measured in Grains.

Thus you can get arrowheads in 50 grain, 75 grain, 100 grain, 125 grain or 150 grain. There are many more size than those I am listing here. Most beginner archers use a lighter grain. Experienced archers don't get into experimenting with different grains until they've been doing archery for a few years already.

[1st NOTE - If you don't like experimenting you can also try just measuring. On a 30 inch arrow the balancing point of the arrow should be 12 inches from the tip of the arrow. At that location you should be fine for most of the things you do archery wise. Only people who are trying to get an extra edge should worry about finding the perfect FOC Weight for their arrow.]

[2nd NOTE - A handy rule of thumb, on a 30 inch arrow the optimal balance point will be approx 30 cm in from the tip. On a 29 inch arrow it will be 29 cm. On a 34 inch arrow, 34 cm. Basically the ratio of inches to cm is almost exactly the ideal balancing point. It will be off ever so slightly (by like an eighth of an inch) but the difference is negligible. So if you want to calculate the balancing point very quickly just get a measuring tape or ruler that has both inches and cm.]

But lets pretend for a moment that you have been doing archery for a few years. How do you experiment with it?

Well, the truth is you have to be really scientific about it. My recommendation is taking 12 of your favourite arrows (that are all the same size, correct length for your draw) and then buy 12 arrowheads of 3 different sizes (eg. 50, 100, 125) and then experiment at your local archery range with the different arrowheads and record each round the quality of your shots.

For best results use a scoring method with the target, possibly even standard archery competition scoring.

Try different ranges of distance too. See which arrowheads work best depending on the distance.

Watch out for fishtailing arrows. If your arrow is doing that often then that means you are using the wrong weight of arrowhead. Your end goal is to get good distance and accuracy with your arrows with very little fishtailing.

In short, just keep experimenting until you determine which arrowheads work best for you. You can read more into FOC Weight on other websites, I am just doing a generic posting for now to explain what FOC Weight is.


ASA - Archery Shooters Association

ATA - Archery Trade Association

BH  - Broadhead (Arrowhead that is wider)

BP - Bullet Point (Arrowhead)

BT - Back Tension

CS - Compound Shooter

DL - Draw Length

DLDW - Draw Length and Draw Weight

DW - Draw Weight

FITA - International Archery Federation (English name), the French name is Federation Internationale de Tir a l'Arc.

FP - Field Point (Arrowhead)

GPI - Grains Per Inch (measurement of arrow weight)

IBO - International Bowhunting Organization

IOC - International Olympic Committee

NEWB - Not an actual acronym, just means someone who is New to the sport.

NFAA - National Field Archers Association

RED or LED - Right Eye Dominant or Left Eye Dominant

RH or LH - Right Hand or Left Hand

TJFA - Tree Jumped in Front of my Arrow

TS - Traditional Shooter

April Exercise Motivational Quotes

"Live life to the fullest and you will never find an excuse not to exercise."
- Charles Moffat

"Good for the body is the work of the body, and good for the soul is the work of the soul, and good for either is the work of the other."
- Henry David Thoreau
"Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow."
- Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros
"Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty."
- Frank Herbert
"The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself; to be conquered by yourself is of all things most shameful and vile."
- Plato
"Excess on occasion is exhilirating. It prevents moderation from acquiring the deadening effect of a habit."
- W. Somerset Maugham

"The vow that binds too strictly snaps itself."
- Alfred Lord Tennyson

"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."
- Leonardo da Vinci

"Successful people aren't born that way. They become successful by establishing the habit of doing things unsuccessful people don't like to do. The successful people don't always like these things themselves; they just get on and do them."
- Unknown

"Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment."
- Oprah Winfrey

"The higher your energy level, the more efficient your body The more efficient your body, the better you feel and the more you will use your talent to produce outstanding results."
- Anthony Robbins

"Little by little one walks far"
- Peruvian Proverb 

"Sometimes the most urgent thing you can possibly do is take a complete rest."
- Ashleigh Brilliant

"Rest when you're weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work."
- Ralph Marston

"Rest: the sweet sauce of labor."
- Plutarch

"It is not good for all our wishes to be filled; through sickness we recognize the value of health; through evil, the value of good; through hunger, the value of food; through exertion, the value of rest."
- Dorothy Canfield Fisher 

"I still need more healthy rest in order to work at my best. My health is the main capital I have and I want to administer it intelligently."
- Ernest Hemingway
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