Monday, January 31, 2011

End of the Month Assessment #1

Hi Team:

Here we are, at the end of the first month of 2011. How did your goals come along for the month? Remember, it is by the daily decisions and choices we make, which will determine our outcome. Look at where you are, make note what has been accomplished, and give yourself a pat on the back!

Look at what didn't get accomplished and figure out why, and what course of action needs to be taken to get the job done, and done right. Get a mentor if you do not currently have one. Get educated on whatever subject it is you need educating on. Determination and inner drive are key elements to any successful endeavor. What's your rate of both on a scale of one to ten? Rate yourself honestly, for if you do not have the necessary drive or determination, you could very well be traveling down the wrong path. For the things we greatly desire tend to come with both (drive and determination) price tags firmly attached, no refunds, no exchanges.

I always view month one of the new year as a proving ground for self-success, self-awareness, and inner drive, as well as test grounds for my plans to reach desired goals and outcomes. You can easily see where your shortcomings are, and the trail of pitfalls that tend to be marked the same. This is a call to action. This is your ticket to improving your plan, yourself, and your mental toughness. 

Each month is the time to assess, implement, and bump it up a notch, no excuses. Do your best to fill in any missing gaps. Know the teacher always appears, when the student is (truly) ready. 


Thursday, January 27, 2011


Whether your old or young, student or graduate, married or single, no matter your career, background, skin color, or health, we all are in need of a mentor.

According to Webster’s Dictionary a mentor is:

“One who is a loyal advisor, a wise and trusted counselor.”

Such a short definition, yet profound in meaning. Think about it closely. First off, having an individual in your life who is loyal, is one of the greatest gifts life has to offer.

According to Webster’s: Loyalty is faithfulness to commitments and/or obligations, it’s a faithful adherence to government, a leader, cause, etc. Loyalty is consistent, it’s a sense of duty, it’s support.

Whether that loyalty comes in the form of a loyal spouse, loyal friend, loyal confident, boss, caregiver, attorney, physician, daycare provider, coach, trainer, etc. Loyalty is royal. This is why so many folks get pets (especially dogs), these animals can become loyal friends, for some, family.

People are always coming and going in our lives, few are what I refer to as ‘keepers’. Generally, the ‘keepers’ are loyal individuals. Loyalty is one element of a ‘keeper’. Think about it, you’ve gone through elementary school, perhaps moved several times, high school, and college. You see first hand how many people have come and gone in your life. Some people are in our lives for a short time, yet in that short time, manage to have a great deal of impact, which can last throughout our entire life. Others remain in our lives for decades, and barely leave a print.

Back to the meaning of Mentor: A loyal advisor. Yes, a loyal person is a gift of itself, add to that the ability to advise wisely, and you have one Golden Nugget in your life. Next in the meaning comes the word, 'trusted counselor'. 

According to Webster’s: Trust is to be able to rely on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person. It’s confident expectation. Hope. One on whom one relies. Generally, where there is trust, therein will confidence be placed.

According to Webster’s: A counselor is someone who gives counsel, advises.

It means to search out mentor(s) in your life. It’s quite obvious Mentors are an asset. Mentors come from all walks of life, and come in all shapes and sizes. Some mentors are highly recognizable, others are quiet gems waiting to be stumbled upon. I believe we are all mentors at one time or another, depending on who comes our way, and what time and season we, and they are in. One must be attuned to recognize the attributes of a mentor. I will not give you these attributes, as this would be too easy. You must seek out this information for yourself, if finding a mentor is a worthwhile endeavor for you, it will not be hard, and well worth your effort.

Now that we know what a mentor is, let’s look at:


1. VALUABLE INSIGHT: Mentors have already trudged the road you’re traveling. They’ve learned many lessons from the school of success and failure. If you keep you mouth closed while they’re speaking, and truly listen, you will discover and learn many techniques and strategies to avoid unnecessary pitfalls.

2. MANNERISMS: You will notice specific mannerisms of your mentor, contemplate on these, and you will learn much about your mentor and surprisingly, about yourself.

3. HABITS: Notice the habits of your mentor. The things, places, and people your mentor refers to over and over again, take note, follow up on these resources and decide for yourself what is to be gained by them.

4. WISDOM: Mentors have a wealth of wisdom. You could be surprised to find what areas of expertise this wisdom falls in. It might not be what you went to visit your mentor about at all, it could be something completely off the topic, listen.

5. ENCOURAGEMENT: We all have our highs and lows, periods of growth, times of disappointment. A mentor can help you see things objectively, giving you a new perspective and help you to learn to do this on your own, as well.

6. MOTIVATION: Mentors have a way of infusing us with their energy, and creativity. Their attitudes are contagious. You will leave your mentor feeling alive, invigorated, and with a new sense of purpose.

7. ADVICE: Your mentor can give you advice you can count on. Since a mentor has your best interest at heart, you can trust what they say is what they mean, and get to it.

8. GUIDANCE: Mentors can help you stay on track with both short-term and long-term goals. This guidance can come in the form of advice, literature, people, places, etc. One must keep an open mind to the guidance given.

9. GOAL-SETTING: Mentors can help you set up your goals, according to your means, available resources, and circumstances, which would allow for the most growth, and education along the way.

Your mentor is a person whom you respect, and as such can be a strength unsurpassed, at any given time. Simply looking at their picture, reading one of their quotes, or hearing their words in your head, can have a tremendous impact on your choices, attitude, and direction. Some mentors hold their ‘students’ accountable in some way, this may appear as a burden to begin with, yet down the road looked upon as a necessary step in your progression.

I'd love to hear who your mentor is, and why: A grandpa, uncle, teacher, coach, parent, sibling, associate, neighbor, self-made millionaire?

Mentors come into our lives for a reason. Cease the moment, embrace the opportunity, give thanks.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Attention Competitors

Competition season is right around the corner. Whether you're interested in bikini, physique, fitness, or bodybuilding, let me know if I can be of service to you. I can get you on a solid training program, workable, effective meal plan, and be a mentor and support throughout your journey.

Body fat is of particular concern for many athletes competing on stage. Be sure to practice 'mindful' eating. Hydrate well, be educated about every morsel you allow into your body, and train effectively and efficiently.

I'm available for the beginner, as well as, the seasoned, hardcore Pro. Drop me an e-mail, or contact me by phone. My contact information is available online at:


Wednesday, January 19, 2011


We’ve all heard how good fish oil is for us. How fatty fish such as salmon, a couple times a week, can improve many qualities of our lives. Fish oil has so much more to offer than many people realize.

To gain the benefits from fish oil, one must consume it regularly, meaning in a sufficient amount, on a daily basis. It might not be realistic or even palatable, for people to consume salmon every day, especially in the amounts necessary to reap health benefits. Sure, there are other fish we can get these precious oils from, however, there’s controversy over contamination of these fish due to pollution, chemical dumping, and other environmental, as well as, manmade toxins.


- Reduces symptoms from food allergies.
- Helps to alleviate depression (post-partum depression, as well).
- Lowers cholesterol.
- Lowers blood triglycerides.
- Improves brain function.
- Slows macular degeneration.
- Speeds recovery from ulcers.
- Improves complexion.
- Reduces risk of heart disease.
- Strengthens vision.
- Reduces inflammation, which in turn leads to quicker recovery whether
  from illness or exercising.
- Reduces joint pain.
- Promotes elimination of stored fat.
- Improves concentration.
- Strengthens the immune system.
- Reduces acne.
- Helps maintain and regulate organs.
- Reduces wrinkles.
- Promotes overall skin health.
- Assists in the elimination of toxins from the system.
- Crucial for brain development in fetus’s, babies, infants, and children.
- Promotes macular health.
- Aids digestion.

So how can we reap the benefits of fish oil without having to eat a lot of fish? Simple. Buy fish oil. Before you run out to purchase fish oil, be sure you know what you’re looking for. Always look for pure, non-synthetic, fish oil. A couple reputable brands I like are: ‘Udo’s’, and the Twinlab formula. My kids will even get into the fridge and take the Twinlab on their own because it’s emulsified, and naturally flavored. No one likes to be burping up a fish all day. Emulsified, pure fish oils from Twinlab taste great, and are good quality.

Udo’s oil has been around for a long, long, time. Erasmus Udo has done extensive research with oils, and came up with his own ‘ideal’ oil. Ideal it is, a bit more expensive than other brands, but well worth it.

I’m sure there are other good quality oils on the market, as well. Do some research of your own, ask around, shop at health food stores and ask what the most popular fish oil supplement is they sell, and why.

Whether you choose capsules, for ease to carry around with you, or liquid, be sure to keep your oils refrigerated. If you purchase more than one bottle, keep it closed until you're ready to use it, and store it in a cool dark place, or in your fridge.

If you find you cannot tolerate a particular brand, don’t give up, keep looking, and soon you’ll find one that your taste buds and digestive system will agree with.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Massage: For Health and Healing

Okay, we all know a massage feels great. Period. Whether it’s after a good hard workout, a nice cardio session, long day at the office, a flight or other travel, that required you to sit for great lengths of time, or simply feeling under the weather…. a massage can work miracles!
I learned the art of reflexology over a decade ago, and haven’t stopped using it since. I’ve taught all my older kids the art, and hope to hand it down throughout many generations. Our family has witnessed first hand just how therapeutic reflexology is. I’ve seen many gidgets and gadgets come and go over the years, as well. However, no piece of electronic equipment can compare with the touch of a human hand, especially when it’s a caring touch, from a caring person, who recognizes and knows you, and your needs.
Reflexology, simply put, is a massage of the foot, and ankle area. The foot encompasses all the organs, tissues, and bone structure of our body, each foot contains the blueprint of our systems laid out throughout our feet. One does not necessarily need to be educated in reflexology to benefit from its use, but I find it is much more useful when you know what you’re aiming to work on, in a specific area.
Beyond reflexology, is regular massage, a complete body massage from scalp to toes. Again, there are many tools for the trade, but nothing compares with human touch. Add to this, an essential oil of your choosing, and whoolah, a miracle is to be had. Whether you’re seeking relaxation, working out knotted, tight muscles, soreness, aches, pains, the stimulation of toxin release, or pleasure, a massage can do it all.
1. Stress reduction.
2. Strengthens the immune system.
3. Improves circulation of the lymph and blood.
4. Helps relieve headaches.
5. Aids healing of stressed muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
6. Helps with concentration.
7. Improves circulation of blood (oxygen).
8. Human touch in and of it-self is therapeutic.
9. Slows heart rate.
10. Induces sleep.
11. Helps with Charlie Horses, and other cramps.
12. Loosens up the joints.
Deep tissue massage is also highly beneficial. Again, one does not necessarily need to be trained in deep tissue massage to perform a deep tissue massage, but training is highly recommended and encouraged, to receive the most benefits and avoid injury, and/or a release of too many toxins.  Deep tissue massage is very cleansing, and very effective. The masseur uses their elbows, knuckles, and fingers, to get deep into the muscle tissue. If you’ve never had one, be sure to ask around from your trusted friends, get their opinions, do some research on your own as well, perhaps even check with your insurance provider to get their input. Some insurance plans will cover a percentage of the massage, others will not.
Be sure to communicate clearly with your masseur, when receiving a deep tissue massage. Many will constantly ask you for your feedback, others go to it quietly assuming you will tell them if the pressure gets to be too much.
I always recommend drinking plenty of lemon water (minimum 1 quart), before receiving a deep tissue massage, and at least another quart after. Be sure to continue flushing out your system for a good 24-72 hours after a deep tissue massage, to help flush toxins, clear your skin, prime the organs, and assist your body overall with elimination.
1. Relieves IT Band pain, and/or joint pain.
2. Speeds/Aids in the healing of strained muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
3. Helps with inflammation.
4. Helps with insomnia.
5. Can help regain a straight posture.
6. Improves joint mobility.
7. Can break up knotted/tight muscles.
8. Pain relief.
Massage is for everyone: the old, the young, active, inactive, healthy, ill, athlete, pencil pusher, you name it. We can all use a massage. I’m so grateful for my masseur, he knows just what I need, when I need it, where I need it, how much pressure, what kind of kneading, when to go deep tissue, and when to simply go light. I’m very spoiled, thanks to my husband, who’s mastered the art of massage over the last twenty-three years.
May we all be blessed with the art of human touch.

Friday, January 14, 2011

A New Year....What's the Big Deal?

It's OPPORTUNITY! Let’s face it, when we do the same things day after day, after day, at the same location, with the same people, it’s like a military drill “1,2,3,4,…1,2,3,4”. The job that once excited us, loses its zest. The people we love dearly start to grow on our nerves. The room we once looked at as an opportunity, and place to grow, can appear a prison cell.

We all have the ‘cement items’, in our lives. Cement items, are the things you must do each day, such as: Shower, work, appointments, school, kids, etc. They are the items we must tend to each day. The only way we can take a break from these ‘cement items’ is to actually schedule time off, and get our bases covered during our leave time.

Yes, schedule time off. You deserve it. You need it. Your family, friends, and loved ones will thank you for it, so long as you continue to give them their space, as well. You see, the only way you can get ‘The Big Picture’, of your life, is to take a few steps back, long enough to really examine what you’re doing with your life, time, finances, energy, love, talents, and goals.

People get too in the habit of living day to day, much like living paycheck to paycheck, and with the same results. You feel like you’re getting nowhere, just ‘getting by’. Well, if getting by is helping you reach your goals, making you successful in your area of expertise, and enriching your life and relationships, then keep at it. For most, this is not a working plan. This is why you need to take a break. Make time for a break. Express your needs to the people necessary in your life, and ask for their support. If you get their support, great, if not, you’ll have to go it alone.

When you’ve scheduled your time off, start making preparations on where you want to be during this allotted time. Perhaps, you have a few locations of solitude available to you. Take advantage of what you can, so long as it doesn’t add further stress to your life. Next, decide what your top five matters of importance are that you’d like to contemplate, maybe something like: self, relationships, work, study, future, goals and desires, for each category. Write your thoughts down. Next, write dates next to what you’d like to do, and approximately when. Finally, pencil in ‘why’ this is so important to you.  

It’s 2011 folks. Everyone’s lives are jam packed with much to do, we have plenty of responsibilities. Unless you take the time to see what you’re doing with your life, and other areas in your life, how will you ever be able to know what you desire for yourself in the future. It’s like running a relay race: I’m going to do this, no that, and eventually become frustrated because nothing was ever really thought out carefully, and prepared for.   

You must have some time away from your ‘cement items’. Whether it’s a drive home alone, a few hours on a weekend, perhaps in the evening. Be diligent in using that time to assess your life, and future goals. Keep pen and paper with you at all times, write down the thoughts, ideas, people, places, and events that interest you. Ask yourself why they interest you.

Examine the areas of your life that have lost their spark. Ask yourself, why? Is it time for a change? Most people fear change. People like security, habits, and comfort, there is nothing wrong with this. However, we must be brave enough, and honest enough to do a thorough examination of our lives to see if we’re truly on track or not.

Look at what’s working and why. Decide what you will do with what’s not working in your life. Should you replace it with something that will help you grow as a person, and bring you happiness, or find another way of dealing with it? Write it all down.

Indeed, a New Year, New Beginnings. Please, don’t let the mark of this New Year pass you by in staleness. Grab it tight, embrace its goodness, and step forward in faith. Make 2011 your year. Share your exciting results and progress with me on my blog, I’d love to hear from you.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year....Much To Do!

Hi Team:

I've been keeping busy this past week with schooling, and this coming week, testing. Know I will be working on a blog, as soon as the moment presents itself. In the meantime, eat well, train hard, breathe deep, get plenty of fresh air, hopefully sunshine, too, hydrate, surround yourself  with goodness, embrace all you love and enjoy in life, make a plan, run with it, and enjoy the ride. Now, let's get to it!!!


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Jill's Top 10 Items of Importance

Hi Team:

I just want to remind you of a few things that could help you get the most from your training, recover faster, and perform more efficiently.


1. Mental State of Mind:
Be prepared to work. You'll never know what you'll be asked to do, so prepare for anything. Visualize,  and realize failure and success are both determined in the mind before you ever begin your training. Decide who you are. Who you want to become. Look at what you have to work with, and get to it. Be in the moment. Learn the art of both concentration and focus. Breathe. Become one with your environment. Don't look forward to 'the end', for it will only be prolonged. Embrace the opportunity to strengthen your mind, body, and spirit. 

2. Be Well Rested:
I know you are busy. We are all busy. Prepare. Do the best you can, where you're at, with what you   have. Shoot for minimum eight hours a night each night, catch a power nap if you can during the day (15-20 minutes), and look for opportunities to catch some extra Zzz’s on the weekend. Meditation cannot be overemphasized here. Realize studies show across the board that deep meditation is healing on all levels, mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual. In other words, deep meditation helps you recover faster, think with clarity, enhances physical performance, and increases your spirituality.

3. Hydrate:
Take your bodyweight, divide it in half, then divide that number by 32. This number is the number of quarts minimum you need to drink each day. If you tend to sweat a lot then increase water intake. If you're and endurance athlete drink plenty more. Now, most people believe drinking water is what 'hydrates' them, it does, to a point, however, this is where electrolytes step in. Electrolytes provide the keys to electrolyte balance meaning.... allows the water proper entrance and exit of the cell as well as, proper ratio's thereof. So, to properly hydrate one needs both water and electrolytes. Our bodies our indeed electric, energy, and needs conductive material to meet various supplies and demands.

4. Eat Clean, Healthy, Live Food:
Stay away from processed, refined garbage, it fails to build a healthy, strong body. Eat fresh fruits in the morning, with lean, clean proteins, and healthy fats. Eat fresh vegetables after 12:00 p.m. with your  lean proteins and healthy carbs. Fill each plate you eat with 1/2 plate vegetables, dark, leafy is great, but go for variety of color as well. A quarter of your plate lean protein, and the other quarter of your plate complex carbs. This is a general rule for most athletes and common folk looking to improve their health, build muscle, and burn fat.

5. Cardio:
Learn to breathe with the exercise you're doing. Pace your breathe with your activity, learn to slow it    down, hence, less panting. Perform cardio three to five times a week. Your lungs and heart appreciate an uptick each day to move waste material along, burn it up, and detoxify. Cardio also gives your mental faculties a boost, and you finish with a sense of feeling renewed, alive and alert. If you're doing HIIT I recommend three times a week. If you're performing more of a steady state I recommend five times a week. If you're endurance,  just once or twice a week.

6. Weight Training:
Weight train five days a week. Make one day heavy weights, low reps, the other day higher reps, lighter weight. Mix it up on the other three days, be creative. Work your chest, back, tri's, bi's, legs (quads, hamstrings, and calves), glutes, and ab's.  This is what I call Standard Operating Procedure (SOP).  Now, if you're one of my Extreme athletes you know this is but a warm-up for you. 

7. Power Breathe.
Breathe as though you’re telling someone to shush up “Ssshhhhh” on the exhale, force the abdominal muscles to respond. A Russian comrade taught me about Power Breathing. I saw how much he was able to take physically both in combative ways and in output through the implementation of Power Breathing. This type of breathing oxygenates your blood. The more clean oxygen in your blood, the better you feel, think, perform, and stave off dis-ease. Power Breathing can be likened to moving an engine for normal into Turbo. This is FREE stuff folks, you breathe everyday, all day long. Why not start concentrating on some of those breathes and oxygenate your blood. Your body and brain will thank you for it. Note: most people are 'shallow breathers', and know it not. Diseases thrive in a low oxygenated body.

8. Post-Workout Nutrition:
Be sure to hit up your post-workout meal somewhere between 15 minutes and 1 hour max, ideally. This is the window of opportunity. Generally for EXTREME workouts: Males 35-45 grams protein (depending on your size and output during session), 40-70 grams carbs, no fat. Females: 30-40 grams protein, 35-45 grams carb, no fat. Immediately after training your cells receptor sites are wide open looking for nourishment to store for the day's output. The longer you wait, the less responsive the cells are. 

9. Post-Workout Hydration:
The only way to know exactly how much fluid needs to be replaced is to weigh yourself pre-workout, then weigh again post-workout. For every pound you lost during training, drink 16 oz. of water. For example: If you weighed 190 before, and 187 after, you would need to drink 48 oz. or 1 quart 16 oz.  Some people need less, that's okay. Find the amount that works for you.

10. Cleanliness:
Shower/bathe as soon as possible after your workout to keep your pores open and clean, so your skin  an breathe and detoxify. The sweat is easily washed off the sooner you bathe. The longer it sits, the stickier it becomes, clogging pores, and causing irritation. I carry wipes with me for times I cannot get bathed soon after and it makes a world of difference. Be sure to pay close attention to your feet if you've been in moist shoes for several hours (or longer). Let your feet 'air out', and feel natural surfaces in bare feet. Apply foot powder to feet before training.


1. Illness
If you are ill DO NOT train. Call it a rest day. Make it active recovery, if you can safely. Stretch. Read a book or something and educate yourself in the process. Far too many people become OCD thinking they 'can't miss a workout'. This is a myth. The body needs to heal, besides no one wants to train with a partner who's coughing relentlessly, sounds like Rudolph, or is dragging their ass around. Do yourself and others a favor and rest, hydrate, and recover. 

2. Injury:
If you become injured think through the injury. Yes, listen to what the doctor says, and use your common sense. It’s your body. With most situations, you can still do something. Do not try to rush healing. It will not work. Healing is like love and education, you simply cannot rush it. Utilize time wisely and keep your spirit up.

I greatly desire for all my Teams to achieve their goals regardless of size, strength, gender, location, etc. It’s all about attitude, my friends. Work it. Enjoy it. You will grow from the experience in every aspect of your life. No joke.

Go to for all your Health and Fitness needs. 
I’d love to be of service.


Monday, January 3, 2011

Increasing Lung Capacity and Strength

As a child I grew up with lung issues. In and out of the hospital on a regular basis, medications, injections, IV’s, breathing machines, so on and so forth. Many of you know my story. I was asked to share my story with readers on my blogspot.

I grew up with unrelenting breathing problems. I was diagnosed with asthma at age two. The cycle of drugs, hospitals, emergency room visits, and so forth went on for over a decade, before I was seen by the best of the best, a specialist, from India. After many months of seeing him a couple times a week, many tests, and still getting nowhere, I was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). I was twelve years old. Life span for COPD isn’t all that great. I didn’t think much of it at the time, I was frustrated I was surrounded by air and just couldn’t get enough of it.

It was suggested I not play sports, as it generally ended up with me in the emergency room, on a breathing machine. I did play softball whenever I could, but spent most of my time eating, watching television, and getting fat. Until one day, when I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I put on my tennis shoes and headed for the door. I was sixteen.

It went something like this:
Mom: “Where are you going?”
Jill: “For a run.”
Mom: “You can’t run Jill.”
Jill: “I’m going to.”

I ran one block, couldn’t breathe, and was rushed to the emergency room.

Next day went something like this……I put on my shoes again.
Mom: “Where do you think you’re going today?”
Jill: “For a run. Don’t worry Mom, I feel good about it. I’ll do better than yesterday.”

I got half a block, couldn’t breathe, and went back to the ER. The same doctor happened to be working, he looks me in the eye and says, “Don’t you understand you will NEVER be able to run! You can’t run!”

Meanwhile, I’m thinking, “What do you mean I can’t run, I just ran half a block!”

The next day went something like this…..I put on my shoes again.
Mom: Speechless.
Jill: “Don’t worry, Mom. I have a plan, really. I’m going to use my inhalers right now. I just used the breathing machine. I’m going to walk from crack to crack in the sidewalk, then I’ll jog from the next crack to crack, and keep alternating until I can go a little farther. When I get home, have the adrenaline shot ready for me, okay?”
Mom: Speechless.

I followed my plan. I walked/jogged for one mile, came home, got the adrenaline shot, and continued with my plan day after day until three months later I was actually jogging one whole mile without stopping. Within two years I could run two miles without stopping. Then I got a job teaching fitness classes. Of course, I told the gym I was in excellent health. I took my meds, used my breathing machine in a remote room at the gym, and used my inhalers before class. I learned to give myself adrenaline shots, and did so after class.

Things were going well, but obviously, not the ideal. To make a long story short, I eventually married, had six wonderful children, and in the process found myself struggling to breathe all over again, as in my youth. I had kept up on exercising both with weights and cardio, but something was going amiss. My lungs were shutting down, hence COPD/meds gone crazy. I was thirty-three. Up until this time I had only been to medical doctors, my mother was a nurse. A neighbor suggested I see a Naturopath. I was hesitant, but after the death of my oldest son, I felt open to just about anything. I saw this new ‘Medicine Man’, went home, and studied everything he told me. I got everything he told me, and began taking everything he said, as outlined. I took three dixie size cups a day of supplements and herbs. I felt sick for days, then suddenly, each day became easier to breathe, to think, and exercise. Within three months time, I was off ALL medications, inhalers, breathing machines, etc., for the first time since two years old! Drug free at thirty-three for the first time I could ever remember. I was elated.

I wanted to see what my body could do. I began pushing myself to all sorts of limits, as I continue to, to this day. I reluctantly admit I’ve put myself into Rhabo on two occasions, but have learned a tremendous amount in the meantime.

I’m telling you this because I’ve learned a few things about strengthening the lungs over the last several decades. I’ve learned through much trial and error what works, and what doesn’t. Of course, we are all different, but generally the same outline fits just about everyone.

Eat whole foods, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains (if you’re into grains), and lean, clean proteins. Stay away from the manmade garbage. Manmade equals less vitality. Manmade is mucous. Manmade generally equals ‘DEAD’ food. Dead foods, acid forming foods, and items such as dairy, will leave you full of mucous. If you want to breathe easier, eliminate the mucous first. Your body will always have an amount of mucous anyway, eating ‘DEAD’ foods, or manmade garbage, increases it significantly. Too much mucous in the system overwhelms the detoxification process. As the good guys go after the bad guys in your bloodstream, it’s the difference between walking through a room vs. walking through a pool in water up to your neck. The good guys have to work that much harder to get to where they need to be, and depending on the amount of sludge in the blood, they might not ever get there. 

When you exercise you’re either working your lungs capacity and/or strengthening them. For instance, running sprints, makes you breathe hard and fast, not deep. However, you’re strengthening them. When you are through with the sprint, you need to recover, and the deeper breathes begin, use this to your advantage, whether you’re on a treadmill, stair climber, bike, rowing machine, or hiking. Especially when hiking, breath deep, as the air is much cleaner, the environment of trees and flowers, etc., offer an abundance of oxygen.

When you participate in yoga, you’re hardly huffing and puffing, however, you are using breathe control in such a way as to fill the lungs to capacity, which, when done consistently, will increase lung capacity very nicely. Some state capacity cannot be increased. I disagree.

Keep Inflammation to a Low
Any inflammation in the body will cause a decrease in lung capacity. Liken inflammation to putting down a hefty meal. When the digestive system is so full it decreases lung capacity, much the same way inflammation does. The foods you consume will either contribute to inflammation, or reduce it. For instance, foods high in sugars will ALWAYS cause inflammation, even though you do not see it, or feel it, it affects your lungs, and other vital organs, and could eventually lead to such diseases as cancer.

Deep Breathe
I blogged on this recently, if you’re not sure how to properly deep breathe, look it up, or contact me. My contact information is available online at either: or

Perform Cardiovascular Exercise / Play Sports / Recreational Activities
Do anything and everything you can think of. Challenge your lungs in various ways. Run, bike, hike, take aerobic classes (there are many to choose from), or swim. Trained swimmers lungs can use oxygen three times more efficiently than the average person. In fact, exercise alone in water makes your lungs work harder. Submerge yourself up to your neck and go for it, swim front stoke, side, breast, you’ll understand what I mean. Your lungs will have to work up to 75% harder to accommodate the resistance. As your lungs strengthen, so will their efficiency. You must swim on a regular basis to receive these benefits.

Various sports offer a cardiovascular challenge: basketball, football, soccer, tennis, look around you, find out what’s available, it will also help you with your speed and agility.

Skiing, snowboarding, surfing, rock climbing, skateboarding, and other recreational activities are highly beneficial, as well. So whether you’re on vacation, on assignment, or at home, there’s always something you can do to improve your lung strength and capacity.

Blow Up Balloons
Yes, blow them up over and over again. The fresher the balloon, the better it is for you. I use to hate blowing up a balloon because it was so hard to breathe. The resistance forces your lungs to expand as you blow hard to get the balloon going. You could save money and latex, by simply taking in a deep breath through your nose, and slightly parting your lips, to force the air through. Same concept.

Counting was one of my favorite things to do as my lungs became stronger. I would count as fast, and far as I could. It was easier than reading, because you don’t have to look at a book, and register words/speech.

Yoga / Pilates
Various forms of both yoga and Pilates use breathe control. If you’ve never tried either, please do, you might be pleasantly surprised! I’ve seen more and more men coming to yoga over the last couple years.

For the EXTREME folks, there is training and there is EXTREME cardiovascular training. You can exercise at higher altitudes for a challenge, in the heat, cold, and go it EXTREME exercises while you’re at it. Runners use this trick all the time. They train at higher altitudes then the race they are going to run. When race day comes, it’s a breeze for them. Are you an Elite athlete looking to up your game? Push yourself. Box jumps, high jumps, sprints in between, and swim like crazy!!! Mountain runs, uphill, downhill, rough terrain, forest areas. Go off the beaten path and make one of your own. Jump up into the trees, across rivers, work it and work it good. Your lungs will feel like bursting, use caution. Be sure of your physical condition prior to such a choice, as it could result in an untimely death if not carried out properly.

You can generally tell by how hard your effort is to breathe, and recover from cardiovascular exercise. A more accurate method is using a spirometer. Inhale as much as possible through the nose, then forcibly exhale through your mouth into the spirometer. The force of your breath pushes the needle on the spirometer along a set of numbers. Log your numbers on a regular basis, and you will have a nice track record of how well your lungs are responding to the specific drills performed for your lungs. This way you can see what type of training is working the best for you. Whether you’re using a spirometer or not, keep in mind women generally have anywhere from 20-25% less lung capacity than men. Tall people generally have greater lung capacity then short people. So if you’re a short female like me, you’ll have to work extra hard to maintain your lung capacity. Also note, the older you become, the harder you must work, as well.

I filled my dixie cups with antioxidant supplements such as:
- Vitamin A (Taken in the form of Beta Carotene for safety)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E

I ate plenty of these nutrient dense fruits and vegetables, as well. I ALWAYS prefer food over supplements, however, in severe causes such as mine at the time, supplementing can be highly beneficial. Talk to someone knowledgeable on supplements if you’re considering supplementing, and only supplement for the purpose intended, then discontinue its use.

Don’t allow yourself to become comfortable wherever you are at. Sure, stop and enjoy the pace here and there, use it as a refresh day, but don’t ever get stuck where you’re at, keep pressing forward. Sure, I could have accepted what the doctors/specialists told me, and lived the remainder of my days in a box, but I chose not too. I figured if I were to die, I might as well die trying. Yes, it was uncomfortable. Yes, I hated every minute of it, however, when progress was made I could not deny it, and kept pressing forward until perceived obstacles were behind me. Trust me, if I can do it, surely you can, too. One day at a time, my friends.

You must perform cardiovascular exercise on a daily basis if you want to get your lungs opened up. You must learn breath control and deep breathing to keep the lungs clear, and help you learn to pace yourself through breathe control when performing various activities. Push yourself, and push yourself hard. Yes, it gets uncomfortable. Yes, it can seem unbearable at times. Deal with it. Listen to your body. If you’re new, go slow, be consistent, and the progress will come. If you’re Elite, Advanced, or Extreme, work it baby! If you need help drawing up a plan for yourself e-mail me. I can help you, or draw one up for you. Especially the Elite/Advanced/Extremists, you are my specialty! I do not dare make outlines on my blog, as it would spell disaster if a newbie went crazy with it.

Eat well. Drink good water. Exercise. Breathe deep. Sound familiar? Good!