Martial Arts for Life

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Family Safety: Holiday Shopping Safety

As featured on the New Providence Patch: Read our Blog on The New Providence Patch

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Let’s keep it that way by staying healthy and safe this holiday season. Now that Black Friday has officially kicked off the holiday shopping season, many of us will be hitting shopping centers and malls in search of good deals on gifts for friends and family.

Statistics show that crime typically increases during and after the holiday season. This is because more people with cash, gifts, gift cards, etc. are out and about, which presents more opportunities for the criminal looking for an easy score.

Crimes of Opportunity

Crimes of opportunity are those resulting from spontaneous, unlawful action due to a situation that presents itself without prior planning. Such acts have little or no premeditation. For example, a criminal who notices a vehicle in an isolated section of a parking garage filled with shopping bags and then takes the opportunity to break into the vehicle to steal the contents is committing a crime of opportunity.

Our main goal is to avoid providing an easy opportunity for criminals. Here are some ways to avoid being targeted during holiday shopping trips:

1.) Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you have to shop at night, go with friends or other family members. Avoid shopping alone at night.

2.) Avoid wearing expensive jewelry or anything that would attract unwanted attention from a potential mugger or thief.

3.) When approaching your car check to see if anyone is hiding underneath the vehicle. It is possible for someone to hide under your vehicle and grab you as you get in. There have also been cases of assailants using a knife or other weapon to slash or attack their victim’s leg from under the vehicle, making it difficult to run or fight back.

4.) Don’t carry too many packages at once. It is important to have clear visibility and freedom to move. Consolidate your purchases into a small number of bags. Do not make it appear that you have purchased a large number of items.  

5.) Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay with a check or credit card instead.

6.) ALWAYS stay alert. Be on the lookout for anyone in the vicinity of your vehicle that is acting strangely. People do not typically hang around parking lots or parked cars, particularly if they are not carrying any packages, do not have their keys out, etc. Return to the store immediately if you see any suspicious activity near your car.

7.) Tell a friend or family member when and where you’re going, and when you’re expected to return.

8.) Do not purchase items from non-licensed solicitors in parking lots. The goods being offered are often counterfeit or stolen. Even more dangerous, these types of deals are often a set-up for a mugging or robbery attempt.

9.) Make sure any valuables are out of sight or locked in your trunk. Remember, MP3 players, iPods, cell phones, laptop computers, GPS systems, satellite radios and other small electronic devices are a car burglar’s dream.

10.) If you see something, say something! Contact mall security or your local police department if you witness any suspicious or criminal activity while doing your holiday shopping.  If you need immediate response, or anticipate personal safety could be a legitimate concern, call 9-1-1 immediately. And never, ever attempt to investigate suspicious activity on your own. Contacting mall security or police if you witness odd behavior – like someone wiggling the door handles on a vehicle – can help prevent potential crimes like car burglaries and auto theft.

Finally, I want to offer a word of caution on one safety tip that has been taught to people for years, particularly in women’s self-defense courses. It is often recommended that you have your keys ready, in your hand, prior to leaving the store you are shopping in. A few years ago, I learned of a case where the FBI had apprehended a criminal who had abducted and subsequently murdered nearly thirty women across the country over the span of several years. He had approached all his victims in mall parking lots. When the Federal agents were interviewing this career criminal, they asked him how he went about selecting his victims. He stated that he looked for women who had car keys in their hand because that meant they were not being picked up by anyone and were alone. I do think it is a good idea to have your keys (or key fob) in your hand, just keep that hand in a pocket or out of plain view.

If you are unable to follow these suggestions, I recommend doing your holiday shopping online with reputable websites in order to avoid putting yourself at risk.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

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November 28, 2012 Posted by | Personal Safety | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

After The Holidays…

As featured on the New Providence Patch: Read our Blog on The New Providence Patch

The six week period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day is perhaps the most challenging part of the year to stay consistent with a workout plan and maintain a healthy diet. Many folks simply stop trying during this time of year and pledge they will get back to exercising and eating right “after the holidays.”

If you choose to take a break, do not underestimate the physical and mental output required to make a 180 degree turn when the season ends. It is incredibly difficult to switch from practicing minimal self-discipline to working out regularly and eating a proper diet. Every January many people’s resolution to exercise and eat right end up failing because of the tremendous effort required.

Slacking off on your workout routine is especially dangerous if you are new to the fitness game. It is very easy to slip out of your routine and lose the results you have worked hard for. In addition, when you decide to get back on track, you will lack the stamina and fitness level needed to exercise with the same intensity. In fact, it is estimated that after four to five weeks without exercise your fitness level may decreases by as much as fifty-percent!

However, the fact remains that the holiday season is a tough time. There are more temptations than usual with office parties, holiday dinners, and family gatherings. Holiday shopping and visits make scheduling workouts difficult. Your goal should be to take a balanced approach that allows you to keep the gains you have worked hard for and also indulge in some holiday cheer.

Here are 5 ways to find balance this Holiday Season:

1.) Decide In Advance. Decide in advance to exercise moderation when it comes to food and drink. Before attending holiday celebrations, make a decision to limit yourself to one slice of pumpkin pie instead of two – or two cocktails instead of three. Many holiday dishes and treats are high in calories. For example, one cup of egg nog contains nearly 350 calories and a slice of pumpkin pie has about 320 calories and 17 grams of fat!

2.) Avoid An All Or Nothing Approach. Even if you cannot maintain your regular workout schedule, you should still stay physically active. Remember the concept “to maintain is to gain.” If you are able to maintain your current fitness level (or a portion of it), that is an achievement in and of itself. Even small things like walking more or taking the stairs is helpful.

3.) Eat Before You Go. Consider eating a lean, high-protein meal and/or drinking plenty of water before attending a holiday event. This strategy will help curb your hunger and prevent you from completely overindulging.

4.) Observe the 70/30 Rule. During the holiday season, eat healthfully and avoid excess sugar, alcohol and fatty foods seventy percent of the time. The other thirty percent of the time allow yourself to enjoy your holiday favorites (without going completely overboard).

5.) Get Enough Rest. Many times feeling tired or stressed is mistaken for hunger. Proper rest also helps you to deal with the stressors that often accompany a hectic holiday season.

If all else fails, be sure to get back on track as soon as possible. Try to follow a simple rule: If you eat more, exercise more.

Martial Arts for Life New Providence, NJ

Making our community healthier & safer, one person at a time.

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs.

Martial Arts for Life

November 15, 2012 Posted by | Health & Nutrition | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Diet, Exercise, or Both?

Most adults decide at some point in their life (or are told by a physician) that it is time to lose weight. This weight loss varies from dropping a few “vanity” pounds to drastically changing one’s physique. One of the most frequent questions we receive is, “What is more effective for weight loss: changing my diet or exercising regularly?”

When it comes to the diet versus exercise debate, diet will always trump exercise. Simply put, someone who does not exercise and adjusts their caloric intake will lose weight. The simple fact is that diets result in weight loss.

The Diet Solution?: Diets get a bad rap because of the fad diets that have become so popular in recent years (Atkins, Low Carb, Grapefruit Diet, etc.). These diet plans tend to work on a very short term basis. There are two reasons for this: Number one, many times there are adverse health effects if these diets are followed for an extended period of time. Number two, most people do not have the self-discipline to follow a diet regiment that requires them to eat things they find distasteful or deny themselves foods they enjoy on a long term basis. Furthermore, diet alone does nothing to sculpt muscles or provide the lean, toned physique most people desire.

The Exercise Solution?: Although exercise has many well-documented health benefits, some individuals that exercise do not lose weight or struggle to lose any significant body fat. This is because many people fail to participate in a well-structured exercise program that includes both cardiovascular and resistance training at a high enough intensity to get results. Furthermore, many people exercise and then use that as license to eat a poor diet.

The Balanced Approach: In our experience, a combination of regular cardiovascular exercise and resistance training along with a balanced nutritional plan works well for most people. A proper exercise program revs up metabolism, strengthens, tones and burns fat. When consistent physical training is combined with a sensible, nutritious diet amazing results can occur.

We encourage individuals to find a workout program they find both stimulating and challenging. This physical training should be combined with what we call the 70/30 nutritional plan. This plan means that 70% of your meals are healthy and nourishing and 30% are things that you will enjoy in moderation, but provide little benefit to your health. Most people find this ratio very achievable with a little self-discipline.

This article was written by Rich Brugger. He holds a Strength Conditioning and Weight Training Certification from ISMA and is Black Belt Master Instructor. He co-owns and operates Martial Arts for Life in New Providence, NJ with his wife Michelle (a certified personal fitness trainer, a certified nutritional consultant and Black Belt Instructor).

If you’d like to learn more about making a healthy transformation check out our Thai Kickboxing program which includes physical training and nutritional consulting to help you reach your goals and be your best!

Martial Arts for Life

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs

Martial Arts for Life

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May 7, 2011 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is your body type?

One of the things to consider when formulating an effective diet and workout plan is body type. When formulating a workout and nutrition plan for our students we always consider their body type. Read on and see if you can find your body type…

Endomorph: Typically endomorphs have a slow metabolism and gain both muscle and fat fairly easily. Their body is characterized by a “round appearance.” Endomorphs typically have a short and stocky build with strong muscles. Due to their propensity to gain fat, endomorphs must get regular cardiovascular exercise in addition to resistance training in order to maintain a healthy body weight and stay fit. This body type must avoid eating too many carbohydrates. Crash diets are also off limits.

Mesomorph: The mesomorph body type is characterized by a naturally athletic physique including a large bone structure and large muscles. Naturally strong, mesomorphs often find it easy to both gain and lose weight when desired. Mesomorphs respond well to any type of resistance training. A balanced regimen of strength and cardiovascular training is recommended for mesomorphs.

Ectomorph: Characterized by a small frame and bone structure, ectomorphs are thin, have a fast metabolism and find it difficult to gain weight and muscle mass. Ectomorphs looking to gain muscle require a huge amount of calories. Short, intense workouts focusing on compound movements are necessary to gain strength and mass. Despite their fast metabolism, ectomorphs should still avoid empty (unhealthy) calories. Bruce Lee is a great example of an ectomorph.

It is important to note that many folks have a combination of two body types. For example mesomorph / endomorph or ectomorph/mesomorph. Remember that regardless of your body type it is possible to build a healthy, sculpted physique with the proper diet, exercise plan and coaching.

This article was written by Rich Brugger. He holds a Strength Conditioning and Weight Training Certification from ISMA and is Black Belt Master Instructor. He co-owns and operates Martial Arts for Life in New Providence, NJ with his wife Michelle (a certified personal fitness trainer, a certified nutritional consultant and Black Belt Instructor).

Martial Arts for Life

The Village Shopping Center, 1260 Springfield Ave., New Providence, NJ 07974

Proud to offer Martial Arts, Fitness, Nutrition & Personal Protection Strategies to residents of New Providence NJ, Berkeley Heights NJ, Chatham NJ, Stirling NJ, Gillette NJ, Summit NJ, Union County NJ, Morris County NJ and all surrounding areas.

P.S. Visit our website at http://www.BeginKarate.com to learn about our Academy and our programs

Martial Arts for Life

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April 8, 2011 Posted by | Martial Arts & Fitness | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment