Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Guest Blog: The Fit Tutor on Breathing and Core Stability to Avoid Injury and Maintain Alignment

We all know exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. As someone who is also a recipient of upper cervical care, I understand you may be nervous about how to exercise while protecting your spine and holding your adjustment. How can you perform daily tasks like carrying groceries or picking up something heavy without affecting your alignment?

As a personal trainer, I’d love to help you understand how breathing properly and bracing your core can help you stay safe and hold your adjustment in both exercise and daily life. First off, let’s start with the basics. Have you heard of diaphragmatic breathing? This is when you breathe into your belly instead of your chest. Obviously you’re still using your lungs, but you should feel and see your belly expand instead of your chest and shoulders rise. This is important to do whenever you perform an exercise, like a squat, or carry boxes into your son’s new dorm room.

In fact, you should practice this type of breathing until it becomes a habit. If you feel tight in your chest and shoulders all the time, how you breathe could be the problem.

The technique we’re discussing can be applied to almost any type of exercise or lifting movement, but let’s simplify it by focusing on the squat. You squat multiple times per day whether you are working out or not. Protecting your spine while breathing into your belly should be your #1 goal.

Here’s a play-by-play of proper breathing technique for a safer squat:

1. With your feet facing forward, pretend like you’re lightly screwing them into the ground by twisting them out. Your feet aren’t actually twisting, but this activates your muscles to properly support your hips so your spine can stay aligned.

2. Next, squeeze your butt to put your hips and pelvis in a good position to support your spine. 

3. Before you squat, you’ll want to stand up tall and try to ensure your head is over your heart, and your heart is over your hips.

3a. Open your chest and roll your shoulders back if you feel like you’re still slouching.

4. Brace your abdominal area like someone is about to punch you in the gut. This is called “bracing” and is crucial for protecting your spine.

5. Next, take a normal-sized breath using diaphragmatic (belly) breathing, while at the same time, keeping your core braced for the punch.

6. Hold that breath in and feel how it locks your spine in place. Hold it as you lower into your squat.

7. Exhale as you stand back up.

8. (Pro tip: think about squeezing your knees out as you stand back up)

If holding your breath on your quick descent down makes you nervous or lightheaded, you can always inhale on your way down, while bracing your abs for a punch and breathing into your belly. Exhale while standing back up. Following these steps will keep your spine locked in a safe place while doing things like picking up your kids or a bootcamp workout!

For most of us, belly breathing and bracing won’t come naturally, but your body and mind are brilliant. With some practice you’ll get the hang of these in no time, and you’ll start doing them on your own without even thinking about it! Practicing should improve your posture as well- hooray!

Protecting your spine and holding your adjustment are obviously priorities for upper cervical care patients. Exercise and healthy eating are also important factors to help your body function optimally, heal itself, fight inflammation and pain, and eventually reaching your goal of only seeing Dr. Chad quarterly!

I know health and fitness can be confusing and hard to prioritize in your busy schedule. I’ve worked hard to make nutrition easy to understand and implement and in creating safe, efficient workouts people can do from home in my website thefittutor.com. There, I’ve created three main sections to tackle the biggest challenges of getting healthy and in shape:


Let’s face it, dieting is the worst. My Nutrition Course makes healthy eating and losing weight easy to understand. In it, you’ll learn healthy habits that give you the freedom to be able to know how to eat right without needing a diet. You’ll understand what, when, and how much to eat for you - including your goals and body type! You’ll be empowered to make good choices and end yo-yo dieting forever. The 6 weeks of meal plans make getting started a breeze.


Strength training helps keep you healthy and is the best weapon against age-related weight gain. The Fit Tutor has several different strength training programs to choose from, based on your schedule and goals. Each exercise has its own video, which includes safe instruction and modifications to make it both easier and harder! You’ll not only learn proper exercise form, but the workouts are designed to get results. They can all be done at home or the gym since the only thing you need is a pair of dumbbells! It’s like having your own personal trainer wherever you go. And don’t worry, strength training won’t make you bulky, it should actually make you leaner!


If you’ve started and stopped healthy habits in the past, accountability can be a game changer. A great workout program is worthless if you’re not doing it! As your trainer and coach, I offer check-ins, coaching calls, and am here to answer your questions. I spend a lot of time working with my clients to help them overcome obstacles and carve out time in their schedules. Accountability is tailored to each individual so that it actually works, and you get healthier and finally reach your goals!

2 Weeks Free

The Fit Tutor is a membership site, so it’s like Netflix for your health. A membership costs as little as $11.99/mo, and you can cancel easily at anytime. If you want to give it a try, you can for 2 weeks free! You’ll get to try some workouts, start your first healthy eating habit, and get to discuss your goals and start an optional accountability plan with me! The site is geared towards women, but if you’re a man who’s looking to get strong and lose weight, I assure you my programs will get you results, and I have plenty of men as members!

As you’re working to get healthier, my programs are a great asset to help you along your journey. Having a coach in your corner to answer your questions and help you follow through is a breath of fresh air. I hate how confusing health and fitness has become, and my aim is to simplify it for you and your life with thefittutor.com.

Check out my site here, and fill out the contact form on it if you have any questions!

Stay aligned my friends!

Allison Lambert
Personal Trainer
Nutrition Coach
The Fit Tutor

Monday, April 2, 2018

Who Are You? An Identity Theft Guide by Jan Nirri

Who Are You?
By Jan Nirri

Over 500 million identities have already been stolen. This has become the most pervasive crime of our day. Nearly half of the US population has already had an identity theft issue to some degree.

I’ve heard people say, “I don’t have much, so they won’t get much!”, but it goes much deeper than that. People tend to think identity theft is all about getting money, but there are many privileges a person can enjoy on your behalf besides taking your money and going on a vacation!

Now, before I go any further, I don’t agree with motivating people with scare tactics to get a desired response, but I have to say, if the house is on fire, I’m going to be screaming, “FIRE!!”, at the top of my lungs!! I’m a firm believer in taking stock of the facts and using them to make wise decision going forward. In that spirit, let’s look at the reality of what can happen with your identity if it falls into the wrong hands.

Let’s first consider your driver’s license number. It’s connected to the motor vehicle department, your vehicle registration, and voting, no biggie, right? But think about this, criminals who have your driver’s license number are able to create fake ID’s with their picture and information but with your license number. A driver’s license is often required as proof of identity for many things from employment to loans to vehicle purchases, voting, and many other things. Imagine being stopped for a minor traffic citation only to be arrested and detained because there was an outstanding warrant for your arrest. And you learn the perpetrator got a DUI, didn’t show up for the court date which you, of course, knew nothing about but were now being arrested for. One lady was arrested 6 times by different law enforcement entities because they couldn’t get the records straightened out. Each time, she had to go through the process again to try to convince them it wasn’t her because no effort or level of documentation, even affidavits from her employer stating she was at work when the crime was reportedly committed, would convince them she was not the person who committed the crime. Think about how much distress this created for this single mother, who worked three jobs, and who had to try to fix this mess, 6 times no less, by herself.

There have been cases where a person used a stolen identity to take a job. Can you imagine trying to convince the IRS that you never worked at company XYZ and earned that income!

A mother (we’ll call her Jane) of four children was detained and questioned and her children were in danger of being taken into child protective services because a woman, using Jane’s stolen identity, checked into a hospital, gave birth and then skipped out. The baby tested positive for drugs, so law enforcement was tracking down it’s mother and instead found Jane. Jane offered to have a physical done to prove she had not given birth recently, but the officials would not believe her and would not agree to giving her a physical exam. Jane’s insurance was hit for the birthing expenses so on top of the hospital, Social Services, and law enforcement, Jane had to deal with her insurance company. Of course, this put Jane, her husband, and her children through a lot of distress and took months to resolve.

You can see how something like your driver’s license which, honestly, until recently, I didn’t really think much of as far as identity theft, can turn into a huge, hairy, green eyeball of a problem, with no easy answers.

So, what can you do? I’d like to spend the rest of the article on solutions and how to evaluate many of the identity theft plans out there to know which ones are best.

Freezes or Locks

Many companies offer “Freezes” or “Locks” on your credit report.  A Freeze is where you request the credit bureau to freeze all activity. Nothing can get approved. No credit card charges, no employment credit checks, no new accounts opened, nothing. A freeze on your credit through the credit bureau is governed by laws that protect you.

A ‘Lock” on your account is governed by the company you signed up with for the credit monitoring service. The lock is often not all inclusive, meaning that certain situations like a credit check from an employer may still be allowed, and as we’ve already seen, that’s not necessarily secure. These credit monitoring companies may also include language making them not liable if the lock does not perform as advertised. Be sure to read the contract.

Companies may advertise freezes or locks as a free service, but be aware, nothing is ever FREE! They may offer a free “Lock” but charge for freezes or vice versa, or offer the lock or freeze for free in exchange for allowing your information to be sent to advertisers… uh, still not secure!

Consumer Reports agrees that a freeze is better in general than a lock simply because it is governed by laws and not by what some company decides to put in their contract to protect themselves from liability in case their service doesn’t work.

What to Look for in Identity Theft Protection

-Make sure the company you go with will provide information regarding questions you may have about best practices, current trends, consumer privacy, shopping online, about your credit report, common scams, and so forth. And even provide support in the event you lose your wallet.
-The company should be able to consult with you and provide information about the various methods of identity theft including medical, deceased, and minor identity theft.
-Be sure you understand who the investigating authority is behind the company or how they are backing the protection services they are offering you.
-Many companies are touting that they are monitoring Black Market sites. Be sure that includes global black-market sites, IRC (Internet Relay Chat) channels, chat rooms, Peer to peer sharing networks, and social feeds for your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) which would look for matches on things like your name, birth date, SSN, email addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license number, passport number, or medical ID numbers.
-Social Media monitoring to include privacy and reputational risks
-Monitoring for address changes
-Monitoring for Credit card, bank account, store care account information activity and changes
-Monitoring court records for any criminal activity with your information on it across county, state, and federal data sources.
-Credit monitoring & inquiry alerts
-Payday loan monitoring
-Minor identity protection
-Make sure public records are monitored in all 50 states to include real estate data, new mover information, property and recorder of deed registration, county assessor/record data, internet job site providers, state occupational license data providers, voter information, public records/court proceedings, bankruptcies, liens, and judgments.

What to Look for in Identity Restoration

-Make sure first of all, that YOU won’t be the one doing the restoration!
-Make sure the company you go with is backed with licensed and experienced investigators who can deal with the issues in multiple countries.
-Be aware that you will need to authorize these investigators to be able to act on your behalf. They may request documentation from you in order to proceed.
-Be sure they will handle all the research into the depth your identity has been compromised and will handle dealing with those agencies where your records have been corrupted such as the DMV, collection agencies, local and federal law enforcement, FTC, State Attorney General’s office, Federal -Reserve Bank, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Association of Collection Professionals International, and others as deemed necessary by your case.
-As with any plan there are exclusions which may include things like: if you refuse to provide information required for the investigation to proceed or are unwilling to prosecute the perpetrator, if you knowingly participated in the deception of your identity, if you knew about the identity breach before enrolling in the program
-Financial losses as a result of the identity breach
-Be sure you understand what will be done on your behalf, what the exclusions are, and what the guarantee is. The best guarantee I’ve seen promised to completely restore your identity, no matter what it takes or how long it takes.

How much should it cost?

In general, 2018 pricing for ID Theft Protection plans range from $17-$27/month. A word of caution though: Be careful with online reviews. A top ten review of 2018 companies does not even include the company I consider to top them all. Their review of the ten companies states:

All the services we reviewed offer a $1 million recovery insurance policy. This covers any out-of-pocket costs you may incur as you work to recover from the theft of your identity.” 

“Most basic ID theft services will provide you with contact information and written instructions for dealing with identity theft.”

This kind of plan is like having a heart attack and having the doctor give you a list of instructions on how to give yourself CPR and open-heart surgery.

The key here is catching the data breach immediately. It is like a fire that starts with a spark. The longer it takes to find the smoke the more likely it will become a fire and left unattended it can burn the house down. The more pieces of your information data that are monitored and the more places that data is monitored exponentially increases the likelihood that your data breach will be caught before it has a chance to do much damage. Early detection followed by swift and thorough freezes and complete restoration are the best way to handle your identity in the event it is compromised.

So, just remember, catching the breach early is powerful, but the real strength of the plan is having the backing of an international team of investigators to deal with the issues of getting your identity restored. At the writing of this article, I have only found one plan that meets all the criteria mentioned. If you’d like to know more about plans and pricing specific to your state, please contact me or visit my Website.

Jan Nirri
(803) 767-2755