Author: Brian Cole

I say that’s up to us

While this is kind of old news for me — I mean I often wake up with health and fitness (anatomy, physiology, kinesiology) questions to research — most of my readers aren’t similar geeks. So, I’m going to write about the difference between life spans and health spans. They are two dramatically different things. Life span… Read more »

Remember this…

While I don’t know your age, if you’ve ever struggled to remember someone’s name, a name you should know well, and are aware you’re losing your memory, read on. First, you’re not losing your memory.  An analogy: if I asked you to walk or run a short distance as fast as… Read more »

You can do this

It seems everyone wants a quick fix and a simple solution to issues that are complex. Headlines like: ‘Four simple exercises to do at home and in just 30 days you can have that beach body of your dreams!” Or: “Well known cardiologist says to eat this every day and… Read more »

Crab Pots and Aging

A big nor’easter (high winds from the northeast) storm can be more disruptive than many hurricanes to the beach and to my old weathered beach cottage. Last year one brought some crab pots up to my dune grasses and then half buried them with sand.

Nice people

My last Viewpoint column, “I’m Confused,” in December was about all the people who seem so angry about this life when we have so much to be thankful for. It concluded, kind of revealed itself to me as I wrote, that it was a matter of “personal choice” based on… Read more »

Working through stuff…together

HER: I don’t understand why this bothers you. I mean, why would I talk it over with you first? If I’d been unsure, I would’ve, but it wasn’t like that. I knew my position on it. HIM: Well, it’s just that it was a major decision and I guess I’ve… Read more »

First, let’s agree on the goal…

There are many different approaches to effective exercise with different goals for different folks. Many of them are perfectly valid to achieve valid goals. I’m not writing this to establish right/wrong or good/bad. I’m writing about what makes sense to me; my focus. I’m saying if you want to pose… Read more »

It’s my viewpoint. What’s yours?

In my life there have been plenty of times I’ve had to be decisive. No room for wishy-washy gray area indecision. Leadership requires being sure of oneself, taking charge and acting with strong, certain confidence. When that is needed, there’s no substitute. “To be or not to be…” was insightfully… Read more »

Is age just a number?

A framed quote by my desk is: “Everything should be made as simple as possible. But not simpler.” It’s obviously by someone with a subtle sense of humor. It’s by Albert Einstein. And I’m applying it to my opening question. Most of you reading this have experienced something age related that… Read more »

May I be blunt? PART 2

Please read or re-read last month’s column (“May I be blunt?” on our website and Oyster Pointer’s July “To Your Health” column). It’ll make what follows more meaningful. In the closing last month, I said I’d tell you how to get rid of that dangerous, deep, heart-encompassing visceral fat. And the… Read more »

May I be blunt?

A few years ago a very bright lady (but also the most divisive person I’ve known) told me that before she says something uncomfortable she asks: “May I be blunt?” Rarely will someone reply: “No thanks, I’d rather you be vague.” So that gives license to say whatever you want/need… Read more »


As I’m writing this, I’ve just finished a four-day Personal Fitness Trainer Conference in Washington, D.C., which I attend regularly. While the workshops and lectures are different every year, there are common denominators. The presenters are educated, knowledgeable and excellent! They’re the opposite of what you may picture. They’re not… Read more »

At any age

My primary purpose in writing these columns is to offer practical functional information to improve your health and your daily life. For that purpose, I’ve not written a more important column. Walking, with good posture and a clear mind, is the most beneficial activity we can do. Doing this will… Read more »

Well, it’s 2018 already!

Before we get into this month’s column, I’m going to mention what’s become my January mantra. Every year, because I get lots of positive feedback, I say some version of: Another year just flew by. And this year will fly by quickly too. Here’s the fact to focus on: You… Read more »

Be gentle. Be safe.

While my August Oyster Pointer column on not trying to stretch hamstrings seems to have triggered a good bit of attention, as promised, I’m now going to address the whole concept of “stretching.” (You can read or re-read it here.) I don’t have enough column space to be diplomatic, and I prefer blunt… Read more »

Please stop doing that

A few years ago a local physical therapist and I developed and patented a low-back strengthening machine—The Back Unit. We developed it because we each were familiar with the research that clearly proved that with low back problems, strengthening—not stretching—is the key. I’m going to expand that to other muscles,… Read more »

Be thankful; sweat

First, I think we should all acknowledge that we’re living in the easiest conditions ever known to our species. While I can fill this page enumerating the advantages we all share, asking you to take a moment and think about it for a bit will personalize the acknowledgment. I rarely… Read more »

Intentions, actions and outcomes

When I started Personal Training Associates more than 20 years ago, my written intention statement was to first “Help as many people as I can live healthier, more fit lives.” And second, “Help as many people as I can to do this as a career.” The first comes from growing up with a wonderful father who was… Read more »

Our health insurance

Individual opinions are all over the place regarding our health insurance. Should it be offered by private companies or provided by our government through taxes? Or some combination of both? Should insurance companies be able to charge more for someone with pre-existing expensive health problems? Should they be able to raise rates… Read more »

Discouraged or disappointed during 2016?

It’s always seemed to me that the dual goal is to accept reality while not losing sight of our ideals, our values. In a full life, disappointment is a reality. So much happens beyond our control. Avoiding acknowledgment of disappointments is denial. Denial gets us nowhere. Allowing disappointments to distract… Read more »