To Your Health Columns by Brian Cole


About 10 years ago, a local orthopedic practice ran an ad stating that our skeletons, specifically our spines, have the responsibility of supporting our bodies. In response I wrote a column titled “No, They Don’t” (which if the rest of this interests you, you can find on our website…page 4… Read more »

Planning, problem solving and imagination

Because being physically healthy has been my life-long interest (I grew up with a father who was a physical therapist), that’s the area I naturally gravitate toward in these “To Your Health” columns. During a recent search into self-motivation, self-discipline and focusing, I stumbled into some interesting information I’ll share in a minute. First… Read more »

On aging gracefully

Gracefully: “In an attractively elegant way. In a respectful and dignified way. Polite, kind, pleasant, mannerly, charming…” Those are some of the dictionary definitions and synonyms. While there’s a lot of good to say about them, from this man who’s clearly in his fourth quarter, I say BAH! Sounds too… Read more »

Please forget about increasing your life span

How’re you feeling? Are you tired? Sluggish? Have lots of surplus daily energy? Does your neck feel stiff and its range-of-motion restricted? How about your low back? Do you feel like you need to stretch just about everything and loosen up? Do you have arthritic joints? Too much body fat?… Read more »


I’m guessing the first thing that comes to mind is not falling. While there’s nothing more important, there are some additional considerations I’ll get to in a minute. But first let’s address not falling. If any of you have fallen, or had a friend or relative fall, you know how… Read more »

We won’t stay the same.

Even with its unique challenges and changes, 2020 went by fast. 2021 will too. Life and time don’t allow us to stay the same. We can improve ourselves in 2021 or we will decline. Because it’s January, lots of folks have good intentions (resolutions) for the New Year! And many of those… Read more »

If you’re starting to exercise at home…

…which, considering the obvious challenge of keeping crowded gym’s surfaces clean while practicing any semblance of distancing, makes a lot of sense for many. So to be safe and effective please consider: What is the actual function of the specific muscles you’re trying to train? And are you training them… 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 »

OK, but is it sustainable?

When I started with private clients more than 20 years ago, I inherited quite a few with similar stories. With minor variations they went something like: “I worked with a trainer a couple of years ago and it was really effective so I want to get started again.” Hmm… This… Read more »


Some of you reading this have made “resolutions” about various ways you’re going to improve in 2020. Because I help folks do that all year round, I’m going to write about how to be successful. The specific goals are yours and whether or not they’re realistic, well, that’s yours, too.… Read more »

“It’s up to you, but…”

The first goal of these health and fitness columns is to inspire you to do something additional to improve. You may be doing plenty but I doubt it’s enough to have zero room to step it up. If nothing else, more consistency (unless you’re OCD) is always beneficial. Some suggestions for consistency: Go to… Read more »


A few years ago while in Quebec City I noticed the dual trash and recycling bins on the sidewalks. The conscientious Canadians were responsibly separating their items to deposit as they walked by. Impressive. Especially as I recalled the fast food bags and beer cans casually thrown on the side of my Virginia roads. I… Read more »

Your butt… and low back issues

A few years ago a bright, successful local physical therapist and I invented and patented a piece of equipment to both prevent and address low back pain. During the year or so we spent developing it, a name consistently came up in the research: Dr. Stuart McGill. A professor with the… Read more »

Springtime in Virginia!

Let’s start with the sunrise! When I’m in my beach cottage, the sun rises over the water horizon and is a dependable reminder of all we have to be thankful for. Right now it’s combined with the uplifting mood of springtime in Virginia, which is as nice as anywhere on… 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 »