Celebrating National Physical Fitness and Sports Month

A Q&A with Reliv Distributor and Fit3 Champions Challenge Finalist Richard Brandl

By Director of Product Development and Fit3 Trainer Tina Van Horn

In 1983, the President’s Council on Fitness designated May as National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. This was done in an effort to promote healthy lifestyles among all Americans and improve our quality of life. The hashtag “#MoveInMay” has been trending, and it’s my hope that people will remember to keep fitness a priority all of the other months of the year as well.

Fitness as a Lifestyle

For some of us, our fitness journey was launched through participation in youth sports. Others turn to fitness later in life for the health benefits, as well as the social connections. Regardless of age or whether you are fueled by competition or more intrinsic incentives, physical activity is a celebration of what our bodies can do.

Meet Richard

Richard Brandl, a self-proclaimed “jock” was a recent runner- up in the men’s division of the Q1 2020 Reliv Champions Challenge. He has been on a journey of physical fitness for more than 40 years. Now at age 60, Richard has no intention of slowing down. A former competitive body builder, Richard is currently training for obstacle course runs and uses Reliv nutrition to give him a competitive edge over his children and the younger competition.

Richard joined the Reliv Champions Challenge to jump start his training for the 2020 race season. He achieved his personal challenge goal to reduce his body fat percentage while maintain lean muscle. He was anticipating breaking some personal records in the upcoming season before his training was derailed by quarantine restrictions.

Modifying the Program

Even though his race plans are currently on hold and he has had to modify his strength training program, Richard is lifting and running and training with the equipment he has at home. Admittedly, he is still driven to be better than the other aging jocks and there is still a smidge of vanity behind his motivation. Ultimately though, he is determined to stay healthy and avoid the chronic health conditions that are in his family’s health history.

Motivation for Decades

Having seen Richard’s pictures from his prime body-building days, I was curious (and maybe a little envious) about how his fitness journey has evolved over the last 40 years and what really keeps pushing him to maintain physical fitness so I threw a few questions his way. His responses certainly resonated with my inner athlete, while validating the principles that the Fit3 program is build upon.

Tina: Fitness has been a part of your life for a very long time. Tell us a little bit about your history and what your fitness routine looks like today?

Richard: I started weightlifting in 1979, and got into bodybuilding in 1980, while I was assigned to my first duty station in the Army. I generally worked out for every day for about two hours, depending on the specific day and routine. I was always trying to progress weight and trained primarily for muscle mass, so cardio was minimal. I was really strict with my diet all of the time to maintain a body fat percentage below 8%. I participated in bodybuilding competitions from 1982 through 1986, but maintained this routine throughout the 80s.

Today my workouts last a maximum of 45 minutes, unless I am specifically training for a rucking event. I focus on circuit type training with minimal rest to be efficient with time. I definitely use more moderate weights and I stay with basic lifts that are multi joint and functional most of the time. Of course, I still like to maintain as much muscle as I can but realize that I’m not 26 anymore. I’m not lifting super heavy weights anymore because that might do more harm than good at my age. For cardio I use high-intensity interval training (HIIT) to get me ready for the obstacle course events

Tina: What are your motivations to keep moving and stay active? How are your motivations different today than 10, 20 or 30 years ago?

Richard: We all have certain level of vanity and I’m no exception. I like to look the part of a fitness professional. I also use the obstacle course runs as a motivator to be more structured and consistent with workouts. I am also motivated to stay healthy and to avoid serious illness. And I still have that competitive fire to be better than the other aging jocks.

Tina: What do you do when you don’t feel motivated?

Richard: When my motivation is low I know that I probably need to take a break from lifting, without feeling guilty. Sometimes I will substitute walks or biking for an active rest or really shorten workouts just to stay in the habit. If all else fails, I try something new, like the Reliv Champions Challenge. I see myself as an ongoing experiment to maintain as much muscle as I can. It’s a game that I play with myself when I have been slacking off.

Tina: Do you every take time off from exercise? How did you get started again?

Richard: Yes, I do take time off. After 40 years, I do experience burnout and to be honest it gets boring. When that happens, I join a class just to do something different and see what the trends are.

To get motivated I look in the mirror and do a “pec check” and decide I look puny and decide to get back to it; vanity again. I start slow, maybe a week of circuits and some cardio to get ready to increase intensity. I also have to get the mind ready as well. I’m also motivated by like class reunions, wedding things that I want to look good for. It’s a mental thing I have about that.

Tina: Tell us a little about your Reliv health story:  How did you find Reliv, what have been your results with the products?

Richard: I found Reliv about 7 years ago when I heard about it on a radio ad. I had always used supplements and I was curious as to the results I would get compared to the past. I have certainly seen improvements with sustained energysleep, muscle recovery and management of joint discomfort. As I get older and with my profession as a physical therapy assistant, I definitely put more emphasis on joint health and workout recovery.

Supplement technology is so much more advanced today than it was 30 years ago. We have a new understanding of nutrition through the lens of epigenetics. Health issues run in my family and I know that optimal nutrition will benefit me in many ways. I’m committed to doing everything I can to stay healthy and keep my body in top shape.

Tina: What prompted you to join the Fit3 Challenge and what kind of results did you experience?

Richard: Initially my goal was to use the 90-day challenge to jump start my training in January as preparation for obstacle course training in the spring. The first event was supposed be in June, but has been canceled because of the pandemic. I also wanted to see how much body fat I could reduce while maintaining my weight and muscle mass. I also wanted to increase the weight I was lifting without causing joint discomfort. Really, I just to see what I could do at 60 years old.

Throughout the challenge, I lost about 1.8% body fat and my weight was stable. I was lifting heavier weights, too, before the pandemic restrictions took effect. I am happy to report my shoulder and knee discomfort was all but eliminated. I never say eliminated because I just don’t think it’s possible with as much activity I do and my age.

Tina: What advice would you give to someone afraid to take that first step on their fitness journey?

Richard: I suggest finding a trustworthy and practical coach to get you started and keep you accountable. Master the fundamentals that match your goals and commitment level. Ignore all the latest trends that promise rapid results. Instead think long term overall lifestyle habits. Keep it simple and be sensible!

If you are intimidated by a long laundry list of do’s and don’ts, just work on a couple of easier ones. Give yourself a chance to experience success and build your confidence. We live once and I encourage people to enjoy those parties but maintain a level of composure and to be ready to “work” it off. You’ve got to enjoy life and find a balance that works for you.

 

Reliv Champions Challenge Winners Announced – 3rd Quarter 2019

By Director of Product Development & Fit3 Trainer Tina Van Horn

Join us in congratulating the winners of the most recent Reliv Fit3 Champions Challenge! They worked hard at making positive lifestyle choices to complete all of the challenge criteria. With the support of Reliv’s optimal nutrition and the Fit3 Facebook community, each of the winners celebrated non-scale victories along with their measurable results to earn some fantastic prizes. Be sure to search #RelivChampionsChallenge to follow their journeys.

Grand Prize: $500 Cash

Mary Murray, North Carolina

“Since 2016, I have been on a weight loss and fitness journey. After my progress lagged in early 2019, I needed encouragement and accountability to achieve greater weight loss and resume exercise in earnest. With persistence and HARD work, I lost 13 lbs. in 15 weeks during this challenge.* What is so important is that I am not willing to give up!  

I don’t have a sense of dread about getting healthy because I’m DOING it! I have learned to get excited over great food choices instead of pining for unhealthy treats! The secret weapon is that Fit3 is a One-DayProgram! There is always a fresh start born every day!

I know that my nutritional foundation, Reliv products, are the best of the best! My net loss is 54 pounds, and I am not done yet! I’m a Reliv Champion because I’m committed to living well and embracing great health. 

I’ve got six grandchildren to keep up with and I want to be able to sit on the floor and play with them! That’s ultimately what motivates me. I’m a Reliv Champion because I’m committed to living well and embracing great health.  I’m not done yet, but I’m not giving up! Every day is a fresh start to learn and make better choices.”

To hear Mary’s reaction to winning the challenge and learn more about her journey, check out the latest episode of “The Reliv Podcast: Get Healthier, Live Happier.”

Once again the competition was fierce and the stories were so inspiring, we couldn’t pick just one winner, so we are doling out some additional product credits to these amazing challengers who have all followed Fit3 for years. Their persistence paid off!

Special Recognition: $250 Product Credit

April Reynolds, Utah

“A champion is someone who succeeds, who pushes past roadblocks to obtain their goal. I thought my goal was to be strong enough to do much of our landscaping myself and to have the vigor to enjoy going on mountain hikes. But I have found that those are just benchmarks along the road. The journey is what is really important and making healthy choices daily. The obstacles I have faced these past few months have caused me to push forward and be quite creative about it, but I have done it!”

Kathleen Morgan, Missouri 

“I finally lost my “freshman 15.” It’s taken about two years of working out consistently and this is the challenge where it finally came off. I worked really hard and consistently to exercise every day and eat healthier. I am a Reliv Champion because I still completed the challenge while being super busy with school and work, finding a workout schedule that fits with my life.”

Laurie Eaton, South Dakota

“What makes me a Reliv champion is staying the course, doing the exercises and staying connected to the Reliv Fit3 group that helps me stay accountable. Challenging myself and learning to have better eating habits has not been hard but fun and the rewards of watching my body transform have been amazing. I’m so excited to be able to do more and more…there was a time that my hip hurt so bad I couldn’t do much exercising. I stayed the course and I have surprised myself more and more of what I can do as I continue to strengthen my body. I feel strong and healthy at 67 and not old and hurting! Staying the course! That makes me a champion.”

The challenge criteria called for the participants to use Reliv products consistently throughout the challenge, commit to lifestyle changes promoted through the Fit3 program and complete weekly social media posts to encourage others and build a personal brand in the wellness space.  All participants who completed the above requirements AND lost 10 pounds (or experienced other measurable results) were considered for the grand prize and have been awarded a $100 Reliv product credit.

All Challenge Finishers: $100 Product Credit

  • Angela Malis
  • Angie Chinn
  • April Reynolds
  • Barry Williams
  • Brenda Guess
  • Brenda Lowder
  • Cathy Sudo
  • Chris “Christine” Ciccone
  • Dawn Tucci
  • Dodi McCune
  • Donna Markham
  • Dorothy Post
  • Esther Clegg
  • Linda Mosler
  • Louise Kohl
  • Luzia Hanna
  • Margie Stump
  • Mary Kathleen Morgan
  • Mike Greenwood
  • Naomi Lydick
  • Pam Thielen
  • Rebecca Moseley
  • Rene’ Kisrow
  • Renee Schwarck Nawaz
  • Ritchie Burns
  • Yvette Dickey

Make plans now to join the next Reliv Champions Challenge, which is set to kick off on January 1, 2020. Registration opens December 15, 2019.

*Results vary based on starting point and effort. Results achieved with Fit3 fitness program.

Why Supplement for Weight Loss

By Director of Product Development & Fit3 Trainer Tina Van Horn

According to recent studies, more than 30 percent of Americans eat a diet that falls short of nutrients like magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin A. It is also estimated that more than 80 percent of Americans have low vitamin D levels. Nine out of 10 people are deficient in omega-3 fatty acids which, among other things, help cool inflammation and control blood sugar levels.

Empty Calories and Malnourishment

According to functional medicine advocate, Dr. Mark Hyman, “Research also shows that since 1970, we have been eating an average of 500 additional calories a day, mostly from high fructose corn syrup and other carbohydrates. These nutrient-poor, calorie-dense, high-carbohydrate foods crowd out healthier choices while creating nutritional deficiencies like omega-3 fats, magnesium, zinc, and vitamin D – negatively affecting our metabolism and our overall health.”

Simply put, Americans have been overfed and undernourished for a very long time. In fact, most obese children and adults are actually malnourished.

Nutrition and Metabolism

While that might sound contradictory, an abundance of calories does not necessarily deliver the right nutrients that your body needs. Actually, the very opposite is true: Overeating can create nutrient deficiencies.  You can eat too many calories and too few nutrients. And guess what: You need vitamins and minerals to process all those empty calories. Low levels of nutrients lead to a poorly functioning metabolism.

Dr. Hyman adds, “When deficiencies become the underlying cause of weight loss resistance, I find nutrient-based treatment can often help reset my patients’ metabolisms to balance out body chemistry. Getting the correct amount of nutrients can help you burn fat, balance blood sugar, stabilize hormones and build and maintain muscle mass.”

Optimal Nutrition to the Rescue

Reliv’s core nutrition products are loaded with protein, and more than 25 vitamins, minerals, and super-powered antioxidants to provide comprehensive supplementation for a healthy metabolism and optimal health with one delicious shake per day.

Active is an ideal snack or healthy meal that fuels lean muscle development, increased energy and improves workout recovery with a synergistic combination of proteins, amino acids and key nutrients that also support metabolic health.

If you’re trying to lose weight, exercise alone won’t be enough. Make sure your diet is packed with nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins, and give your metabolism a jump start by adding Reliv nutrition to the mix. Give your body what it needs to stay healthy as you work toward weight loss goals.

Source:  https://drhyman.com/blog/2016/06/02/8-ways-nutrient-deficiencies-cause-weight-loss-resistance/

Why You Should Do Every Fit3 Challenge

By Reliv Key Director Dawn Tucci

The Reliv® Fit3™ community hosts several fitness challenges each year, encouraging members to sign up, track their fitness goals and report their success. There are obvious reasons to sign up for a challenge like this. Having a smart eating plan that still allows you to have your favorite foods is a good idea. Having support and encouragement from a like-minded community working on a similar goal is excellent.

The first time I signed up for a Fit3 Challenge I figured it would be fun. I knew I’d be completing the challenge with a friend, and thought maybe I would lose some fat and get in a little better shape. WOW did I underestimate what would happen! I’m in the best shape of my life! Now that I have completed several Fit3 Challenges, I can hardly think of a reason not to do it.

I am also thrilled to say that the Fit3 Challenges have helped my business as well! Do you find this surprising? So did I, but it’s the truth. Here’s how the Fit3 Challenge improved my Reliv business.

At a New Year’s Eve party, my friend, Cindy, mentioned that she needed to get back on track with healthy eating and nutrition, and I agreed that I did too. The next day, I heard about the Fit3 Fitness Friends Challenge and thought about Cindy.

I called her and she was all in! We had a great time working out together and posting our results on Facebook. Our bodies started changing and all we were doing was following the challenge and having fun! We were also motivated to win the prize, which was an all-expenses-paid trip to Reliv Live in California and a couple of extra days of shopping and spa treatments. We entered just to get healthy, but the crazy thing is that we won the grand prize!

I couldn’t have imagined how wonderful that trip was going to be. Being part of the Challenge and winning it has changed me for the better. This whole experience boosted my confidence, introduced me to some new friends, and began a friendship with my fitness friend Cindy. She is my running partner and we have enjoyed spending time together. Her business has been revitalized as well, and we are working together.

When I began, I thought the Challenge was just about fitness, but it also changed my business. Because the Challenge required me to post on Facebook, my business has taken on a whole new life and become visible to so many new people. Strangers began to approach me at the grocery store and ask “what are you doing?” This led me to several new customers. Fit3 Challenges have given me a new way to introduce people to Reliv and to help them begin their health and fitness journey. What a great opportunity to introduce people to Reliv! The exposure online has trickled into real life and influenced people to seek what I have.

Because I was required to post on Facebook, I became comfortable with Facebook Live and sharing information. It is now part of my business. I recently gained a new online customer after posting my personal results along with a Reliv blog. It was so easy! Interacting with others in the Fit3 community as a participant has allowed me to make connections with people and offer them support. This group provides credibility and support for both health and business.

Cindy’s business has been reignited and she is now in great shape; she lost 15 pounds and is considering running a half marathon. Because we are working together we held some local fashion and fitness events which lead to exposure and new contacts for potential business. As new people join me in Reliv, I connect them to Fit3 as another tool for them to spread the word.

Because of Fit3 Challenges, I control overeating, have a sense of accomplishment and a community around me with common goals. They continually offer me a way to bring people to Reliv just by doing life and in turn, they can do the same. You can expect to see me participating in every Fit3 Challenge, and I hope you will, too!

How Women’s Nutritional Needs Change

By Director of Product Development & Fit3 Trainer Tina Van Horn

There are so many quotes and social media tags promoting strong women, but the truth is, it takes a lot more than just a hashtag and a motivational quote for women to be authentic #bossbabes. I will be the first to admit that my strength has been built on the support of a tribe of amazing women that never let me give up on myself.

Taking On Roles

Not only does it take a great community to nourish your spirit, but also it takes intentional nutrition to fuel your girl power and help you meet the daily demands of being a mom, daughter, wife, friend, aunt, sister, student, athlete, caregiver, entrepreneur—Wonder Woman.

Wakeup Call

The funny thing is that while we are so busy wearing all of those hats and our own birthdays come and go without much fanfare, we often don’t realize how much our own nutrition needs change with age. We wake up one day, say around age 40, and realize that not only do we need to update our wardrobe but also it may be time to reevaluate some of our lifestyle habits.

Steady Change

It’s pretty obvious that our outward appearance changes with age, so we give up crop tops and skinny jeans. But, you may not be aware of the subtle changes that are happening on the inside. Hello hormones, right? Those sneaky little chemicals are responsible for the obvious and not-so-obvious changes that come without any warning. Lower levels of estrogen obviously affect reproductive health, but they also raise your risk for chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

If that wasn’t enough, it goes to work slowing down our metabolism. Combine that with the age-related loss of lean muscle mass because of waning testosterone levels (yes, ladies, we have testosterone, too) and you have the perfect storm for weight gain, especially around your belly. Women lose about half a pound of lean muscle per year starting around the age of 40.  And for the guys who are following along here, you don’t fare much better. Most men will lose about 30% of their muscle mass during their lifetime.

Choose Wisely

Pardon me while I step up on my soapbox and repeat myself very loudly! We naturally lose lean muscle mass as we age. That not only impacts our metabolism but also has a profound effect on our physical strength. You have two choices here: 

  1. Ignore and deny the changes, accepting the decline leading to weight gain and loss of functional abilities.
  2. Channel your inner boss and make the nutrition and lifestyle changes you need to stay strong, no matter how many birthdays you have celebrated.

Maintaining and building lean muscle absolutely requires attention to your diet. But that doesn’t mean you have to do anything absurd. Successful aging is still about following those basic diet principles that apply to any age and that are promoted through the Fit3 program:

  • Choose a variety of vegetables, including dark green, red and orange, beans and peas, starchy and non-starchy.
  • Eat a variety of fruits.
  • Include grains in your daily diet. Half of your grains should be whole grains.
  • Reduce added sugars and avoid saturated fats.
  • Have protein at every meal/snack. Healthy protein includes lean meat (chicken), seafood, eggs, beans and peas, nuts, seeds, and soy products.
  • Use healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocados, and nuts.
  • Supplement daily with a quality core nutrition product to cover nutrient gaps.

Supplemental Material

Since our need for specific nutrients change as we go through different life stages, additional supplementation with targeted solutions is recommended to meet the unique needs for each individual and/or stage of life. During the teen years, girls need more calcium and vitamin D to build strong bones and support growth. Protein, iron, calcium and folic acid are critical for young women. Calcium, iron, B-vitamins and vitamin D are key to good health, stress relief and energy levels in women prior to menopause. After menopause protein, vitamin D, calcium, fiber and anti-oxidants combat age-related physical and cognitive decline.

Nutrition At Every Stage

Reliv’s core nutrition products in combination with the targeted solution formulas allow you to create a customized nutrition program to meet your unique needs during each stage of life, whether you are worried about pimples or wrinkles. Just remember that your daily regimen is likely to change along with your age. So even though 50 is the new 30, the regimen that worked for you when you were 30 might need some refreshing if you are approaching a different decade!