Before You Start an Exercise Program...

Be sure to get permission from your physician before beginning any exercise program. Always start out slow with beginner exercises, and work your way up to more advanced exercises. You must use proper form. If you're not sure if about your form, I suggest you engage the services of a qualified trainer to assist you.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cancer Ingredient Hiding in These Popular Snacks

Are These Snacks Worth the Cancer Risk? You Decide

Does anyone know anyone who has battled or died from cancer? Of course, we all do. Do you ever wonder why cancer rates are running so high these days?

While I'm happy about the advances that have been made over the course of my lifetime in finding medicines and treatments for cancer...I'm still disappointed that our country has not done a better job at helping to 'PREVENT' this and other diseases.

There are probably 'many' ways that we can become exposed to harmful poisons that can lead to disease. But certainly, one of the ways YOU can take control of right now this very day, is changing what you put in your body.

The best way to protect yourself and your family is to become educated on this topic. Without having to spend your life doing research, I post things that will bring you up to speed very quickly. If you don't think it's worth a few minutes of your time, pass on watching the video.

If you do, you may not let your loved ones eat chips or fries for a while. No matter what the current source is. You'll see why in the video.

While few people eat 'totally clean' as we say, it makes sense to make at least some small changes...wouldn't you agree?

Click the video link below to watch the 5 minute informative video. You'll see why at least for now, you should avoid popular snacks like french fries and potatoe chips. The scientific proof is in and the food companies like PepsiCo are currently working to make changes quickly.

I'm encouraged to see companies like PepsiCo taking the lead to make these changes. Our voices are being heard loudly everyday from many consumers. They will be one of the first major companies to benefit financially from creating safer products for us to consume. But you'll always have to be an educated shopper to avoid the harmful ingredients.

So, (after you view the short video linked below) now you know the current scoop on chips and fries. Pass on them for now. Healthier versions will soon be made available. Whenever you see a site that asks you to sign a petition for food companies to have to 'label' their foods in any can do your part by signing it.

Your voice can only be heard if you participate in the cause. Otherwise, these harmful foods will continue to be on store shelves with harmful ingredients you will not know about.

Click here to watch Video

Yours in good health,
Mike Mastro

Thursday, July 18, 2013

What you need to know about GMO foods

The concept was a good one, unfortunately it comes with a price...YOUR HEALTH

You may be hearing by now the 'buzz' growing about GMO foods. One of the current disputes is the fact that we as consumers should at least have the right to know which foods are and are not GMO. But big companies that have in interest in bigger profits do not want us to know, nor do they want us to know about the potential dangers the GMO foods pose.

The link below is to a very brief article that will give you a quick insight as to 'why' the foods may pose a health risk to us. When you consider how many foods we eat, if most or all of them contain these 'genetically changed' ingredients, then we may be at bigger risk than we think.

At this point, I eat a large amount of 'organic' foods, especially ones that are specifically labeled, 'non-GMO.'  The first thing I'd like to see done is the laws passed that make in MANDATORY for these food companies to have to label any and all GMO foods appropriately...that way, YOU as the consumer can make the healthy choice for you and your family.

But right now, I want to share with you 'what' GMO implies as far as what it does to our foods. I for one, do NOT want to comsume these hazardous chemicals.

Click the link below to read the one page informative article on GMO in foods, why they put them there, and how they may be harmful to us.

You see, we're beginning to make headway in this cause. Once the food companies realize we're switching to non-GMO foods, they'll be forced into producing them and selling them at a competitive price. If they don't they'll lose too much in sales.

If we, however, continue to buy these chemically altered foods, they'll keep on making and selling them. The choice is yours. The first step is to understand what they're doing.

Click here for GMO info you should know

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Major Cause of Foot Pain in Women

Foot disorders in women are quite common and the number one reason is explained in the article below.

It seems in health & fitness, many articles bring up negative topics like pain, injuries, etc. This is because every week, we as trainers hear about many problems that people experience. Through speaking with them and their doctors, therapists, chiropractors, etc...we are able to find the causes and the best possible cures or fixes.

Having had my share of injuries, I'm always trying to help my clients avoid pain and injury whenever possible.

In the following article, find out what you can do to avoid serious foot problems that could eventually lead to extreme pain and possible surgery to correct.

Even though this particular article is directed at women, you men should read it you can share it with the special women in your life.

Women May Pay Steep Price for Wearing High Heels

• Written by Jeff Behar, MS, MBA

The incline of high heels causes the calf muscles to contract and over time this causes the muscle fibers to shorten and the Achilles tendon to thicken, so much so that some women feel foot pain even when they stop wearing high-heels.

For the study, Marco Narici of Manchester Metropolitan University and colleagues recruited 80 women aged 20 to 50 who had been wearing heels of at least 2 inches almost daily for two years or more. Of those, 11 said they experienced discomfort when walking in flatter shoes.

When compared with women who did not wear heels, ultrasounds revealed the women who wore heels had calf muscle fibers that were 13% shorter, while MRIs showed the Achilles tendon, which attaches the heel bone to the calf muscle, was stiffer and thicker.

High heels look beautiful, but the body isn't meant to wear them. High-heels can cause a lot of damage according to Dr. Youner. For example:

• Squeezing into high heels with narrow toe boxes can cause a condition called Morton's neuroma, a painful thickening of tissue between the third and fourth toes.

• Haglund's deformity, sometimes called the "pump bump," occurs when back straps of heels dig into the tissue around the Achilles tendon.

• High heels put stress on the back and knees.

• Too-tight shoes can bring on bunions, an enlargement of bone or tissue at the base of the big toe that pushes the big toe toward the second toe.

• Pointy shoes can worsen hammertoe by forcing the toes to bend at the middle joints, eventually causing them to stay bent and rigid even when barefoot.

• And then there are those uneven-sidewalk wipe-outs that lead to ankle sprains and breaks.

The fix for many of these conditions, podiatrists said, may come as bad news for those emulating "Sex and the City" fashionista Carrie Bradshaw: Box up your stilettos, take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories if necessary, and wear more sensible footwear.

"I tell a lot of women to put on sneakers and take Aleve," Youner said. "A heel will make a woman's butt stick out and makes the body look taller, thinner. Society pushes us to look a certain way, and all women want to look attractive. In reality, it can be crippling, and it is literally changing the shape of the body."

And don't think those now ubiquitous flip-flops are your solution. Flip-flops offer no arch support or shock absorption, and the toes have to scrunch with every step to keep the foot from slipping, foot experts said.

"I have recently seen some lovely flip-flops injuries," Youner said. "Flip flops are meant for the beach, not for walking on cement or on vacation or at an amusement park. If you wear them, you are treating your feet poorly and you will eventually pay for it."

If you must wear heels, minimize the time you spend on your feet, wear wider heels that distribute the weight better and shop for shoes at the end of the day when your foot is larger, says Hannan

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What's First, Cardio or Resistance Training?

Which do you do first? Do you get some cardio work in prior to resistance training, or do you go right to the workout and do cardio after?

Trainees in their 20's can get away with just going straight into their workout, however, I would still advise doing some type of warm-up prior to resistance training. There are a couple of ways you can do it. You don't necessarily have to do a full blown cardio workout first. But I highly advise some kind of warm up.

First, let me cover 'why' it will benefit you. I will refer to the #1 rule of training, "do no harm."  Injury prevention is the main reason to warm up prior to your workout. Increasing your body temperature helps prevent strains and pulls of muscles.

During the warm up, you will increase your heart rate, sending blood to all the working muscles of the body, increasing your 'core' temperature. Joints (like shoulders, hips and knees) will move more freely, muscles will warm and be able to perform better at their function of moving the body. You will have a greater range of motion when warmed up.

What's the Best Way to Warm-Up?

I suggest choosing a piece of cardio equipment that you enjoy the most, although most any will do the job. I prefer the elliptical since it mimics a running motion without the impact. Most ellipticals now come with the moving arms so you now get the lower and upper body warming up together. However, feel free to use the treadmill, stair climber, bicycle, etc.

The first 2-3 minutes you should ease into the warm up, starting slowly. After 3 minutes you can step up the pace a bit. You should aim to keep your heart rate at the lower end of your target heart range. You will get a warm up, but not burn out. (most all cardio equipment now have heart rate monitors built in so this sould be easy to track). This would be around 60%-70% of your THR....(target heart rate). Just take 220, subtract your age, and multiply by 60% or 70%.

For example if you are 50, you would take 220-50=170 x 70% = you'd aim for a THR of about 119. I would do a minimum of 10 minutes in this zone. If you do, you will feel much more ready to tackle the workout your about to do. It works great, and you have done a world of good for your heart and for injury prevention.

That's it...You Did it!

Now after your resistance workout, if you feel up to it, you can do additional cardio training if you like, but if you train with me, you probably won't need it. That's because I train my clients to eventually work 'hard' and get a great workout in the time we're together. When we're done, they like to just lie on the mat for a bit...

I'd rather they come back tomorrow, and do another cardio workout on their 'off' days with me. That cardio workout, I'd set them up to train higher into their THR zone, and keep them on their for 20-30 minutes. (I may address what that 'cardio' workout entails at another time. But believe me, I make them intense! But that's why you end up looking so darn great)!

Some clients prefer it when I warm them up. I use lots of different movements for the body on the gym floor using bands, medicine ball, swill ball, jump rope, etc., to give as great warm up in 5-10 minutes. Then we proceed to the more 'intense' exercises.

In conclusion, 'how' you warm up is not as important as the fact that you 'do' warm up. Trainees have various ways they prefer to get to body warmed up and prepared for training. Find your preferred method(s) and enjoy the process.

I teach those even in their 20's to do this, because the older you get, the more importance you will have to place on it. So, everyone might as well adopt these good habits now.

Until next time...train hard, but train smart.
Mike Mastro

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Facts About Cholesterol...Good and Bad. Do You Really Need to Take a Medicine to Control it?

When a topic comes up more than a few times in just a short period of time, I figure it's time to address the issue. Here's what I can tell you from my experience with a 'high' or 'bad' cholesterol result from a blood test. First of all, we have to make sure you actually fasted 12 entire hours before giving the blood. If not, I don't think the results are valid, and you should be tested again.

The most important part of the cholesterol reading is not necessarily the 'total' cholesterol count...but the 'ratio' of good (HDL's) vs. bad (LDL's) cholesterol. From the Cooper insitute in Dallas, TX, where Dr. Ken Cooper has made a life study on heart health, he echoes this fact. You will have to bring this up to your practicioner when you go over your results.

It is my belief that you have the responsiblity to work on your health 'with' your doctor. Otherwise, you may not get the best care. I won't blame doctors here. They are busy...very busy. And they only have a few minutes for you, so make the best of it by being armed with info and questions while you are there.

I am including a very brief video here. In it, the doctor will address 'bad' cholesterol, how and why you may have it, and what you can do about it without taking a prescription medicine. There may be a few cases where an individual will 'have' to take it, but like all drugs, I think they are handed out a bit too swiftly today.

Listen, if you don't mind risking all the negative side effects of a drug on your body, just disregard this message entirely. But I urge you to at least question a finding before you go on a drug...especially one that you will be instructed to take for the rest of your life. The link is below.

Best of health.

Mike Mastro

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Could This Daily Activity Cause Breast Cancer?

The Case for a Possible Contributing Cause of Breast Cancer

I have to tell you, I get so saddened everytime I hear about someone I know getting breast cancer. Even when it's not someone I know, but when it's their friend or relative.

I'm simply reporting to you what I have found by doing my research. I will let you draw your own conclusions. But it appears to me that we do have 'smoke' here, and where there's smoke...

I"ve heard for years about the possible connections between 'aluminum' ingredients in our diets, as well as many of our cosmetic items. On a positive note, our bodies are supposedly very efficient at eliminating aluminum from our systems. So, that's a plus. But here's where it gets dicey...


Some interesting findings...

A recent study from Reading University on anti-perspirants containing aluminum chlorhydrate found cancerous tumors most likely to appear in the parts of the female breast which is closest to where antiperspirants are applied. (This in my opinion is 'red flag' number one).

In the same study, it was found that cysts in the armpit area of the breast had 25x more aluminum than the common amount found in the blood. (red flag number two). Furthermore, aluminum acts with an estrogenic effect on the body, known to increase the incidence of breast tumors when in excess. (that's 3 red flags).

The human body has several places on it where we purge toxins from. These are the armpits, behind the knees, behind the ears, the groin area to name a few. The toxins are purged through perspiration, so the term itself 'anti'perspirant in fact suggests it prevents this purging of toxins in that area.

It is of the opinion of several health practicioners that instead of being released, these toxins are instead deposited into the Lymph nodes below the arms, since the body can't sweat them out. A concentration of toxins then builds up which can lead to cell mutations, which is cancer.

Are women more at risk?

According to Dr. Kris McGrath, a Chicago allergist, the culprits are the 'aluminum' ingredients found in the antiperspirant products.  He says they don't normally penetrate the skin enough to cause a problem - unless the skin is shaven. Well, I don't know too many women who don't shave their underarms. If you don't, I mean no offense. But in our culture it's a common practice.

Dr. McGrath believes when the skin is shaven, it opens the door, because just under the skin is the lymphatic system which is connected to the breast.

I know what you're thinking, because I think the same way. We use these products so we don't all walk around smelling with huge wet stains under our arms. So, my question there an underarm product that DOES NOT contain aluminum (or any other harmful suspect ingredients like parabens) that can at least keep us from emitting an offensive odor?

What I found...

After finding a few that definitely don't work, I have found a product called CRYSTAL. Maybe you've heard of it or seen it. It is now widely sold on shelves at Walgreens, Wal-Mart and Rite-Aid to name a few places. Instead of using these potentially harmful ingredients, they use natural salts as the main ingredient. (No parabens). The concept is that these natural mineral salts kill bacteria which can cause odor.

While these products may or may not keep you quite as dry, they might make a good alternative to using the more questionable products. They are sold as a deodorant, NOT an anti-perspirant.

I am including a link to the company's web page that has good info for you to review. (See link below) On their site, they even offer a money-saving coupon you can print to try their products.

Again, I only want to share this info and let you make the decision that is best for you and your family. I have no personal interest in this company whatsoever. I'm only your messenger and health 'watchguard.'

I must tell you that I'm uncertain there is absolute 'proof' here, but I do want to share with you these findings. Who knows? What if you could totally prevent breast cancer, or put it off for 20 years or more?

If you know of a product/products that work for you, please let me know so we can get the word out. You can always reach my inbox at:

The more information I looked at, the more it made sense especially in the case of women. Until next time. Train hard and stay healthy!


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Amazing Benefits of Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe Vera Juice...One of the Best Liquids You Can Put in Your Body!

I'm going to share with you here what I believe is one of the most beneficial natural substances you could possibly use. For maintaining overall health and preventing many forms of disease, there are not many things that can equal Aloe Vera gel or juice.

Here, in no particular order, is a guide to the top ten health benefits of drinking aloe vera juice:

1. Detox - Aloe vera juice is a great natural aid to detox. With our stressful lives, the pollution around us and the junk foods we eat, we all need to cleanse our systems from time to time. Some people more often than others! Drinking aloe vera juice provides a fantastically rich cocktail of vitamins, minerals and trace elements to help our bodies deal with these stresses and strains everyday.

2. Healthy Digestion - A healthy digestive system makes sure that we absorb as many of the nutrients as possible from the foods we eat. Aloe vera juice has natural detoxifying abilities; and drinking aloe vera juice seems to improve bowel regularity and increases protein absorption. It also helps to decrease the amount of unfriendly bacteria and yeast in our gut. Aloe vera has been shown to help reduce and soothe heartburn and other digestive problems.

3. Natural Immune Support - Aloe vera is full of anti-oxidants – natural immune enhancers which fight free radicals within our body. Free radicals are the unstable compounds produced as a side-effect of our metabolism. They are thought to cause various ailments, as well as contributing to the ageing process. Drinking aloe vera juice regularly gives the body a regular supply of anti-oxidants, which can boost and enhance the immune system.

4. Reduce Inflammation - Aloe vera juice contains 12 substances which can slow down or inhibit inflammation, without any side-effects. Some people say that drinking aloe vera juice helps with their stiff, swollen or painful joints.

5. Collagen and Elastin Repair for Healthy Skin - Drinking aloe vera juice adds a rich supply of raw materials to your diet, which can produce and maintain really healthy skin. The skin replaces itself every 28 days. Using the nutritional building blocks of aloe vera, the skin can use these nutrients daily to help combat the effects of ageing. Aloe vera also helps in soothing minor burns, cuts, scrapes and skin irritations.

6. Regulate Weight and Energy Levels - Drinking aloe vera juice naturally allows the body to cleanse the digestive system. Our diets include many substances which can cause fatigue and exhaustion. Taken regularly, aloe vera juice ensures a greater feeling of well-being, allowing energy levels to increase and helps maintain a healthy body weight.

7. Daily Dose of Vitamins & Minerals - Aloe vera juice contains vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B12 (the aloe vera plant is one of the few plants in the world to contain vitamin B12), C, E, Folic Acid and Niacin. The human body cannot store some of these vitamins, so we need to supplement them regularly through our diet. The minerals found in aloe vera include Calcium, Sodium, Iron, Potassium, Copper, Zinc, Manganese, Magnesium, Chromium and more… Plenty of good nutrition in aloe vera juice!

8. Amino Acids - The human body requires 20 amino acids to build protein; 8 of these amino acids are ‘essential’ which means the body can’t make them itself. Aloe vera contains 19 of these amino acids, and 7 of the essential amino acids. So drinking aloe vera juice tops up your body’s daily supply.

9. Dental Health - Aloe vera is extremely helpful for your mouth and gums. As well as its natural anti-bacterial and anti-microbial actions, it contains vitamins and minerals which promote cell growth and healing. There are some aloe vera toothgels available which contain a high level of pure aloe vera, which may help with bleeding gums and mouth ulcers.

10. Better than Nutritional Supplements - Recent research has shown that adding good foods to our diets, rich in naturally occurring vitamins and minerals, is far better than adding supplements alone. The good news is that Aloe Vera juice is considered a food, rather than a manufactured supplement. So drinking aloe vera juice is probably better than taking supplements alone, because our bodies can absorb all the nutrients in aloe vera more easily, and utilize them more effectively.


This guide is by no means exhaustive, and is not meant to diagnose or treat any specific condition or ailment. But we do hope it has given you a good overview of some of the possible health benefits of drinking aloe vera juice. This information is sourced from Forever Living Products.