Who is the hero saving your life?

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, August 26, 2015

If you’ve been following my column, you’re familiar with my work in the medical industry. I’ve been involved with well over 1,000 knee replacements, plus I work with some outstanding medical professionals.

Recently, there was a situation where a patient went into cardiac arrest and my friend Ramon, who is a physician assistant, performed chest compressions for about 15 minutes and saved this man’s life.

Ramon was very humble over the situation and thought of it as another day on the job. 

Of course, we commend all other non-doctors who save lives like firefighters, EMS, nurses, policemen and women, and many others.

But, since this column is about “Simple Fitness,” it made me think about other professions that help save lives.

Let’s take nutritionists and personal trainers who do their best to change lives, but for some people, they’ve saved them or at least prolonged their lives.

There are people with diabetes, obesity and unhealthy lifestyles that are on the brink of catastrophe. They desperately needed guidance, planning, training and education to start or return to a healthier lifestyle.

But really, who is the biggest hero when it comes to saving your life? That person is you.

You’re the one who recognized that there’s a problem with what’s happened to your body. You realized that you no longer have control and a quicker death is inevitable. And now, you’re taking positive steps in seeking help.

You only have one life, take control for not only you, but for all the people who count on you. They deserve it and so do you.

Which cardio exercise is best for you?

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I frequently get asked which cardio exercise is best. I always answer with, “which one do you like the most?”

By far, the two most popular cardio machines are treadmills and ellipticals. Typically, there are more of these machines than any other in most gyms. They both provide effective cardiovascular workouts and caloric burning. 

There have been multiple studies comparing the benefits of each. A Mayo Clinic study shows ellipticals burns 50-75 more calories per hour than walking on treadmills. The Medical College of Wisconsin shows running on a treadmill burns more calories per hour than ellipticals.  

The benefits of treadmills create natural running mechanics with compound movements. This is useful for strengthening bones and muscles, which is important for people with osteoporosis. 

Treadmills can be uncomfortable for people with severe osteoarthritis due to joint pain.

The benefits of ellipticals are that it is non-weight bearing and much easier on joints, which is better for people with osteoarthritis. Also, with the use of handles, it includes an upper body workout.

But, let’s be for real. If you don’t like any of these exercises, you won’t spend an hour on them, if ever at all. That’s why I tell people, “which exercise do you like the most?”

Experiment with all the different types of cardio equipment. Maybe, you like several types, so mix it up and have fun. 

For me, I rarely ever get on treadmills or ellipticals. My cardio of choice has always been my bicycle. I love being outdoors, listening to music, feeling the breeze, and sight-seeing through all the neighborhoods and trails. Plus, it still makes me feel like a kid again — “look ma, no hands.”

The late Robin Williams was an avid bike rider. He said bicycle riding was the closest thing to flying. 

Be aware of ‘the zone,’ take life to a new level

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2015 

If you’ve ever played sports or at least watched sports, you’ve seen players get into what is called “the zone.” It’s the pinnacle of achievement for an athlete to perform at his or her best.

This phenomenon happens in all sports, but lets’ take basketball for our example. 

There were many instances during the basketball playoffs in which a team was down by 20 points, then all of sudden, they would get into the zone, and make a run for a lot of points. Typically, the opponent’s coach would call a timeout to get the other team out of the zone.

There have been multiple studies about the zone, and they all have a common explanation. First, an athlete must have mastered the basic fundamentals then clear their minds for all body senses to synergize together and become one. This is usually temporary but will take an athlete to their top performance. For an athlete, there is not a better intrinsic feeling and reward. 

Now, think about if we could tap into the zone in other areas of our lives. 

What would happen to your income if you could learn with consistency to tap into the zone at work? I’m sure raises and promotions would be in the immediate future. 

We’ve all experienced being in the zone — like house projects, studying for a test, cleaning house or cars, athletic events or even spiritually. 

What’s important is to become conscious of the zone then concentrate on getting your mind and body into it when it’s time to focus on something substantial. Imagine how productive and successful you’ll become. 

I once had a photo shoot for my abdominal invention and needed to lose substantial fat weight to dial in a ripped stomach. I consciously tapped into the zone and lost one pound a day for almost two weeks. 

We all have different needs and wants. Consciously tap into your zone and find a way to accomplish those needs. The reward of accomplishment puts you into a euphoric state of mind. 

Be aware of the zone and take your life to a whole new level.

There’s magic in volunteering and helping others

By DAVID TEPERA | Posted: Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Recently, I attended a comical magic show in which the magician pulled me on stage to perform some amazing magic tricks. He did his best to embarrass me, and it worked.

After the show, we had an opportunity for a brief discussion. The magician told me that he had went to school to be a psychologist, but chose magic as a profession because it made people laugh and feel good.

This made me think about my own life, and for others. Of course, we all can’t choose a profession that would make others happy because the world wouldn’t function, but what about our spare time?

How rewarding would it be if everyone volunteered or found ways to help others? It doesn’t matter how busy our lives are, we can still find ways of doing this. My mom volunteers at a local hospital and loves all the people she meets.

There are endless year-round youth sports in need of volunteers, coaches, referees and scoreboard help. 

My children and I collected used children’s books and school uniforms for Clear Creek ISD and Galveston ISD, volunteered at The Jesse Tree Foundation to help feed hundreds of families, walked the dogs at League City Animal Shelter, and played Superheroes at Space Center Houston teaching families and children about “Stranger Danger.”

When I was younger, I would mow an elderly neighbor’s yard and buy their prescriptions. 

Read your local newspapers and search the internet. There are numerous organizations looking for volunteers. Take you family, grandchildren, sports teams or anyone you know and lead them to help others. 

How about starting a volunteer program at your work and be the exceptional leader?

Of course, the biggest reward is how good you’ll feel knowing you made a difference in strangers’ lives.

There isn’t a magic show that can pull that out of a hat.