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Preparation for the Boston Marathon

15 Apr

Tomorrow, Monday April 16th, thousands of runners will be running the Boston marathonBoston is the Mac Daddy of all marathons and one of the hardest to qualify for.  I am so proud of all of you who qualified!   In your honor, I wanted to share some tips that helped make my marathon enjoyable! 

Last month I ran the New Orleans Rock & Roll marathon.  I train year round and I will say that the training is everything.  The marathon is just the icing on the cake, but its really the long weekend runs that matter.  In fact, it’s the journey that shapes your life so I cannot say enough about consistency in training.  That being said, it is very important to be prepared the morning of the marathon so I wanted to share with you my tips at 5am on March 2nd, thirty minutes before my friends and I were leaving to run 26.2 miles.

Using the tips, I had a great marathon.  The only other thing I would highly recommend is making sure you use the bathroom before the start.  My friend and I both stopped to go to the bathroom and it added several minutes to our time.  So go ahead, watch the tips I have used for the last 50 marathons and half marathons, and let me know if there is anything that works well for you! 

It is going to be hot tomorrow so drink plenty of water!  I wish all the Boston marathoners A LOT of luck, so go out and have fun!  Make this a wonderful experience!

Heading out for a run myself!

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente

Getting Outside the Comfort Zone

12 Apr

Life is easy when you live in the comfort zone, but what would you do today if you knew you wouldn’t fail?  I’m sure a whole list of things come to mind.  Perhaps you could start your own company, go skydiving, scuba in Australia, or mabye even fall in love. 

It’s the risks that make us uneasy and can scare us. 

Risks are scary because there isn’t any guarantee we will succeed, but without taking risks, how do you find out what you are capable of?  When we get outside our comfort zone we learn more about ourselves and become stronger individuals.  It can be scary but it is the most wonderful feeling when you succeed.

This past weekend I taught a cycle class at Zengofitness.  Afterwards I went mountain biking with my friend.  I hadn’t been mountain biking in ten years.  In fact, my bike was so old, I had to get a new one.  I didn’t know if I would succeed.  I didn’t know if I’d be able to jump the logs, and I could have easily gotten hurt, what if I couldn’t keep up?  However, I am not the person who lets fears prevent me from doing something.

Saturday I got on my new mountain bike and followed my friends to the trail.  I flew past the trees down the dirt path, through a stream, and up a hill.  I caught a glimpse of the sun shining through the trees, and I thought to myself, “I am so lucky to be here and there is no where else I’d rather be!”

Now I did fall climbing one of the hills, and at one point my chain came off, but it made the adventure all that more fun.  Getting out into nature and challenging myself to give more, be more, and live more is how I hope to live every day.  Below is a picture of me after the ride. 

What is one risk you can take today that will bring you closer to the life you dream of?

Share your adventure with me, comment to this blog….

Be sure to check out tomorrow’s blog for some more great Life Coaching tips….

In Health and Happiness,


Core Training

2 Apr

Over the last several years, there has been an influx of Core classes, Core exercises, and articles in every magazine about strengthening the core.  Core training is important for improving your strength, flexibility, as well as decreasing your risk for injury.  Core exercises will help you improve your game and nothing is hotter than tight abs so check out my video below for the AB runner.  Do 15 repetitions on each leg for 3 sets when you wake up or before you go to bed!  After you do it, send me your comments!

Song of the Day:  Give Me Everything Tonight by Pitbull

Free download:

In Health and Happiness,


What impression do you leave?

23 Mar

In a society where we’ve become so consumed with looking like Hollywood, when you meet someone that stands out for who they are and how they make you feel, rather than their looks, it leaves a lasting impression.  That’s why I’ve dedicated this blog to Jesse and my spin class.

Jesse Hartle first came to my spinning class at 6am one Thursday morning at the DAC Merritt Athletic Club.  I didn’t realize he was blind until I saw his walking stick.  This was his first spinning class so I prepared him for the torture, but I told him he was here to work hard and have fun.  He had a huge smile on his face and his excitement was contagious.  The class challenged Jesse, but his determination was much greater than his fears.  At the end of class, I asked him if he would be back, and soon after Jesse became a regular.  He was there almost every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 6am!  Every class he became better and I remember looking at him one time as he was standing, thinking that his form was amazing (REALLY AMAZING).

The thing about Jessie is that he didn’t make excuses, he didn’t use his blindness to avoid the hill.  He wanted the challenge and never backed down, because as the theme of the class has bcome, “if it doens’t kill you, it makes you stronger”.  He even entered physical fitness contests at work, and worked on choosing healthier options while traveling.  He inspired me and the spinners in the class.

This class is very unique in that there are people with all different backgrounds, fitness levels, and goals, but what makes it so special is the group dynamic.  We celebrate each other’s birthdays with a 90 minute spin class.  We share stories and the group not only takes an interest in each other, but they truly care.  

When I found out Jessie had been hit by a car when he was walking home from work, I was very upset and so was the class.  We don’t know if the driver who hit Jessie was texting, talking on the phone, or eating pizza, but they weren’t paying attention to the wonderful man, father, husband, friend, and spinner who was walking across the street.  From being struck by the car, Jessie fractured one of his vertabrae and is in a back brace.  I found this out because Jessie emailed me that he wasn’t being a slacker and he can’t wait to get back to spin class and see the group! In honor of Jessie, we got him a gift card for a local store, so he and his family could get groceries delivered to his house.  I am honored to teach such amazing people!

Take a look at the video in honor of Jessie with a song he will remember singing, and this was taken AFTER 90 minutes of cycling with the crew that survived!  Love Motel, Hotel, Holiday Inn by Pitbull.  If you’re working out, you might as well be having fun.  Life is too short to be grumpy!

In Health and Happiness,


Reward Yourself

16 Mar

We spend so much time trying to achieve the next goal, that sometimes we forget to reward our hard work.  Why not?  You earned it, plus planning for that reward can give yourself more motivation to achieve that goal.

I spent the last several months training for the New Orleans marathon, teaching, and training, so I decided to take a few days to teach in Jamaica and relax, and I bought myself a super cute Lululemon oulfit.  The running skirt is adorable with a ton of ruffles and a zipper in the back to hold my hotel room key when I ran here in Dallas.

So choose a goal, devise a training plan and then decide how you will reward yourself when you achieve that goal.  Tell me how you will reward yourself or if you need help developing a plan to help you succeed.

Here are some ideas for rewards you can give yourself :

1. A fun weekend trip

2.  An oulfit for a night out on the town

3.  New pair of shoes

4.   Cool workout gear (check out my Lululemon oulfit)

5.  Massage

Tell me what you will do!

In Health and Happiness,


Interval Training

14 Mar

I just got back from the ECA World Fitness Conference in NYC to learn, get inspired, and sweat! The classes were amazing and I had the opportunity to train in so many different things. I worked out with Shaun T from the Insanity workout, as well as Mindy Mylrea, the inventory of the Tabata bootcamp, and Josh Taylor from Spinning, to name a few. This year the hype is interval training with less recovery. Why? You burn more calories in less time. The goal is to make every moment in your workout count. People are busy so they have less time and interval type workouts are going to give you more bang for your buck.

I love endurance sports, but interval training makes the biggest difference in my body. That is why I love Rhianna‘s words, “Go hard or go home.” If you are going for it, give it your all and you will always be happy with your results. It may be painful, but the pain is temporary, and the benefits far outweigh the cost.

My favorite move is a burpee. Check out the video below to see how it’s done. I made it a little more challenging by jumping onto the Step 360. It is a lot of fun. Try it and let me know what you think!

Song of the day:  Go Hard by Rhianna

Free download:

In Health and Happiness from Dallas,


Working Out to End Domestic Violence

12 Mar

When Kaitlyn, Miss Maryland 2011 and Alpha Chi Omega sorority member asked me to teach a class at Zengofitness for her sorority to help raise money to end domestic violence, I was honored and excited!

“Like most sororities and fraternities, Alpha Chi Omega is committed to community service. It’s not only the right thing to do, but also makes a difference in the world while developing life-enhancing servant-leadership skills for our members. The organization has adopted several national causes over the years. Currently, almost all of our chapters, both collegiate and alumnae, work to end domestic violence.  Among other activities, their members raise money through the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation, staff domestic violence hotlines, volunteer at their local women’s shelters, and collect needed items for women and children living in shelters. They also organize awareness events. For example, on some campuses, they ask the Greek community to join  in lighting luminarias along walkways—a powerful and symbolic way to shed light on a problem that is often shrouded in secrecy.”

Every March 1st Alpha Chi Omega celebrates Hera Day, our day or service. In honor of Hera Day 2012, the Beta Rho chapter of American University hosted a spinning class at ZenGo Fitness that I taught in Bethesda to raise money to donate to our national philanthropy. While as a chapter they have potential to raise a couple hundred dollars, it would mean the world to the Kaitlyn and her sorority sisters if you could donate additional funds to their cause. Most people ask for money, but these girls worked hard to end violence.  If you are interested in doing so, please send a check to:

Alpha Chi Omega Beta Rho

4425 River Rd NW, Washington DC 20016

Not one of the girls gave up, in fact, they gave it their all!

Check out the videos below to see them in action!

Song of the day:  Smack that by Akon

In Health and Happiness from Dallas,


The Skinny on Heart Rate Training

26 Feb

I’ve had a lot of questions regarding heart rate monitors in the last several weeks so I’ve decided to dedicate this blog to the low down on heart rate training.  Heart rate training is quite popular among endurance athletes like marathoners, cyclists, and triathletes.

I first learned about heart rate training when I started training in Spinning back in 1992.  In the beginning it seemed like too much information to me, but after using heart rate training for racing and training athletes, I started to like what I saw .  Heart rate training showed me a lot about my clients.  It taught me when I should push them, when I should force them to go slower, and when they needed rest.  It also made me realize that there was a big difference between how hard the heart was working and how hard people thought they were working.  Through heart rate training I helped people achieve more and learn more about their bodies and abilities.

In many group exercise classes, I teach by RPEs, which is an individuals Rate of Perceived Exertion.  If someone has a heart rate monitor on, I can give them target heart rate zones, but I don’t always like to do that because most people don’t truly know what their heart rate training zone is.  Why?  Because there is a magic formula that most people use that does not account for their fitness level.  What is that magical formula?  220-age will give you your maximum heart rate.  However, if that is the only information you needed, how can you tell me that couch potato and the marathoner have the same heart rate during one of my spinning classes?  You can’t, which is why, if you have a heart rate monitor, you should be using the Karvonen formula, which is the goal standard, to determine target heart rate zones.

Below I have listed an awesome calculator for you to use, once you know your resting heart rate.  All you need to do is enter your resting heart rate and the rest is calculated for you.  To truly determine your resting heart rate, I would advise sleeping with yoru heart rate monitor on a day when you don’t have to set an alarm, which for most people would be a weekend day. Once you wake up, look at your heart rate.  Repeat this on another day and that should be your resting heart rate number.  The reason you don’t want to do it the day you set an alarm, is that your reaction to the alarm could cause your resting heart rate to be much higher.  It could also be higher if you are not well rested.  The lower your resting heart rate, the better.  Keep in mind, genetics do play a role in determining your resting heart rate, but so does does training.  I can remember training a local celebrity who had an extremely low resting heart rate.  Her husband could not understand why hers was lower than his.  She was in excellent shape and her numbers proved it!

To find out your max, you can use the equation, 220-age or when you are working out, sprint as fast as you can and use the highest number you see.  Your max heart rate may differ from one sport to another.  Your maximum heart rate is genetic.

The calculation you use for the Karvonen formula is listed below or you can plug your numbers into an online calculator (see the link below).

The Karvonen formula:

The Karvonen method factors in resting heart rate (HRrest) to calculate target heart rate (THR), using a range of 50–85% intensity:

THR = ((HRmax − HRrest) × % intensity) + HRrest

Example for someone with a HRmax of 180 and a HRrest of 70:

50% Intensity: ((180 − 70) × 0.50) + 70 = 125 bpm
85% Intensity: ((180 − 70) × 0.85) + 70 = 163 bpm

To make it simple, use these five training zones:                                                  1.  Recovery=60-70%                                                                                             2.  Endurance=71-80%                                                                                        3.  Strength=81-85%                                                                                             4.  Intervals/Race pace=86-90%                                                                         5.  Speed/Shorter Racing=91-100%

Try doing the equation or plug your numbers into the online calculator:

I have also included a link on where you can get one and how much you can expect to pay.  I would NOT recommend any heart rate monitor that does not use a chest strap.  Chest straps are for accuracy, so if it doesn’t have a chest strap, I can’t say it’s accurate.  I have been using Polar heart rate monitors since 1996 so I highly recommend any Polar heart rate monitor.  If you are looking for a monitor that just does heart rate training, I recommend a simple model, the Polar FT1 Fitness Heart Rate Monitor, listed in the link below, which is only $41 online.  Other models may include the number of calories you burn and more.  If you are a triathlete, you may want to consider a Garmin, Timex, or Polar watch that monitors your heart rate and also has a GPS functionality.

Go to this link to see the different models and prices:

The 411 on the chest strap, wet the center of the plastic piece with some water from your water bottle.  Women, put it at the bottom of your sports bra and men, place it right above your rib cage.  Once you wear it a few times, you will get used to having it on.  Try to keep the chest strap in the same place so you don’t lose it.

More questions?  Post a comment to this blog or send me an email at

In Health and Happiness from Jamaica,



Becoming a Fitness Professional

25 Feb

Becoming a fitness professional definately has it’s perks.  Yes, you get paid to work out!  Now who doesn’t want to get paid to look great!   Sounds like a great job, so today I’m going to tell you how you get started  Well, it’s like any other job.  You have to have experience to get hired at any good club, but how do you get experience if you can’t get a job?  The lovely Catch 22!  Read on….

I started directing group exercise programs when I was 21.  That’s not common, but having those jobs gave me a lot of experience on hiring, firing, training, developing new fitness programs, and understanding the member’s needs.  Hiring instructors was often the toughest part because it was a challenge to find good instructors that the members would actually like.  When people came to me wanting to teach at one of my gyms, I wanted to know where they were currently teaching and what they did for training.  I could care less if they were certified or not.  Now of course they needed to be certified, but a certification told me very little about their teaching ability.  It’s like any profession.  Anyone can take an exam, but being able to execute, that’s another story.

That being said, I have trained so many people in the last 15 years to become instructors because I needed more talent for the programs I brought to different cities.  I needed to be able to take vacation and have someone teach while I was away.   And then I realized there were some people who loved my classes so much, that I just knew that had the ability, so I trained them.  That was when I had time because there have really been no formal programs to train new and experienced instructors to become great instructors until now.  

So if you are interested in becoming a fitness professional, there now exists a course at the prestigious Equinox health club with Robert Sherman, an amazing international presenter.  The Equinox Group Fitness Training Institute offers a progressive curriculum that covers the vast knowledge and unique skill-set required to be a successful group leader.  Want to know more, check out the curriculum at

If you have more questions, contact information is listed below:

If you are on the East Coast, contact Robert Sherman at 301-652-1078 x3707,

If you are on the West Coast, contact Jeffrey Scott at 917-608-0891,

Song of the day:  Rack City by Tyga

Free download:

In Health and Happiness,

Madeline Dolente

Vitamin D-The Proactive Vitamin

21 Feb

Are performance, energy, and recovery important to you? If so, today’s blog is for you.

Most people go to the doctor when they are sick, not every year like they should. Why? Most people think they’re healthy, so it doesn’t matter, but what if you could prevent yourself from getting sick? What if you could prevent yourself from breaking a bone? What if you could speed up your recovery time? Would you?

This is exactly why you should go to the doctor. Last month I went to the doctor and when my doctor looked at lab work, he said I was deficient in Vitamin D. Me?!?! I asked him how significant it was. He said Vitamin D affects 15 different functions and he wanted me to start taking a Vitamin D supplement on a daily basis. Due to the fact that sunlight is one of the biggest sources of vitamin D, I didn’t think I could be low because I run outside several days a week. My doctor said that many people are low in Vitamin D, especially during the winter.

I started doing research, only to find articles on Vitamin D in several magazines this month. Apparently most of the major magazine publications think it’s important too. So here’s why you should get your Vitamin D checked:

1. Essential for the absorption of calcium to maintain healthy bones.
2. Helps to regulate your immune system and may help prevent disorders like the common cold.
3. Has a key role in keeping the brain functional in later years.
4. Protects against damage from low levels of radiation.
5. Shown to reduce the likelihood of overuse injuries and reduce soreness after a hard workout.
6. Helps regulate blood pressure, reduce stress and tension, aid in insulin secretion, helps fight depression, reduces wrinkles, and more.

UV rays are one of the best sources of Vitamin D, but sunscreen can cut production by 99%, so the other options are food or supplements. Egg yolks, mushrooms, fatty fish, and milk are great sources of vitamin D. Supplements may also be needed. How much Vitamin D should you take? Check with your doctor to get a blood test and see how much you need.

Be proactive for your overall health and make your appointment today! Let me know what your Vitamin D levels were and if this made a difference for you! Share your stories!

In Health and Happiness,