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June 25, 2018

Movement as a Cure(Guest Post)

Written By Robert Polenik

Robert Polenik is the owner of Brutal Iron Gym in Rock Hill, SC. He has many degrees and certifications in his 15 years of personal training history. His goal for Brutal Iron Gym is to teach people how to take control of their health and thus their happiness. The better a person feels both inside and out, the more likely they will be able to pursue their dreams.

Throughout the course of life, it’s an almost certainty that every person will suffer from restricted movement whether it’s due to an injury, muscular decay caused by inactivity, or even an issue related to over-activity. The human body is an amazing “machine” but, like all machines, it requires continual, intentional maintenance or it runs the risk of breaking down. Throughout my career as a personal trainer (15+ years) I’ve seen first-hand a multitude of physical issues such as injuries to the spinal cord, shoulders, hips, knees, ankles, and the list goes on. And, in every case, every single one, the “cure” was… movement!!!

A few years ago a man named Mike walked into my gym and introduced himself as “fat and lazy” and said he’d gotten that way due to a back injury. About 15 years prior to us meeting he experienced a back injury while knee-boarding and his doctor at that time told him he’d have restricted movement for the rest of his life and advised him to avoid strenuous activity. Well, that activity-avoidance quickly turned into muscle loss and fat gain to the point where one day, in his words, “I saw a picture of myself with a friend and it just struck me… I looked at myself in disbelief… who was that fat guy in the picture… is that really me?!” It was on that day, of seeing the picture, that he came to see me. That was 4 years ago, he was 50 years old at the time, and when we first started weight training he hadn’t performed basic lifts such as squats, bench press, or deadlifts in decades and he was experiencing daily, chronic back pain.

 Now, 4 years later, and at the age of 54 years old, he can squat over 450lbs, bench over 350lbs, and deadlift over 500lbs. And, the best number of all… he has zero back pain.

I have dozens and dozens of other similar stories; one of my other favorites is of my mother. At the age of 47 she was experiencing leg tingling and ankle pain at night to the point where she could barely fall asleep without an ordeal of wrapping her ankles, wearing multiple socks, and then still having to just endure the pain until she’d drift off to sleep from exhaustion. We soon began strength training with weights. Within a few months, she’d dropped a good bit of body fat and her legs and ankles had become stronger to the point where the nightly pains ended. But, she learned to love the process of working out so much that we continued to train and she did her first bodybuilding contest at the age of 50 years old. And since that contest she’s done 2 more and participated in 3 powerlifting meets. At the age of 59 years young she can squat 250lbs, bench 120lb (her body weight) and deadlift 290lbs!

These are just two examples of many of how inactivity, not moving, caused the body to decay and the person lost their health and happiness; however, through movement, through strengthening their bodies, they regained their health and even at “advanced age” they’re feeling stronger, healthier, and most importantly, happier than ever!

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June 11, 2018

4 Essential Legal Steps (Guest Post)

Written By Johannesmeyer & Sawyer, PLLC

You’ve worked hard your entire life to build financial security for your family. One day, you hope the legacy you leave allows your loved ones the financial peace-of-mind they need to lead happy, fulfilling lives. It’s a beautiful sentiment, but are you prepared?  At helm., we’ve provided legal counsel to all too many distraught families whose assets haven’t been managed – and planned for – correctly. We’ve learned that what you do today determines whether you leave behind uncertainty and confusion or hope for the future.

Here are four absolutely essential legal steps you need to take now to protect your family’s assets.

Write a Will

Everyone knows they need a will; no one wants to write one. We understand. Writing a will reminds you of your mortality and can bring up complicated questions about loyalty and family dynamics. Whatever unpleasantness you imagine would result from drafting a legal will now, multiply that tenfold once the pain of loss is added to the mix.

Regarless of your assets, they're going somewhere after you're gone. It's in the best interest of your family that you work with a licensed attorney to determine exactly how you'd like those funds administered, particularly if your family structure includes, minors, secondary spouses, or blended families.

Consider Trusts

There's a common misconception that trusts are only for the ultra-rich. This couldn't be further from the truth. Trusts are, in fact, excellent vehicles for your assets if you have specific wishes about how and when those assets should be distributed. They can also help your family avoid costly taxes or an extended probate period after you're gone.

There are literally dozens of types of trusts; a lawyer can help you determine which is best for your specific situation. A few of the most common kinds of trusts employed in an asset protection plan incude living trusts, special needs trusts, and trusts for minor children.

Power of Attorney

In the age of modern medicine, power of attorney is more crucial than ever. In the event you're unable to make decisions on your own (perhaps as a result of an accident, advanced-stage Alzheimer's, or a medical coma), having power of attorney documents in place can help your loved ones avoid painful feelings of doubt and regret.

The power of attorney documents you need to consider when estate planning include a financial power of attorney and a health power of attorney. In conjunction with the latterm it's also recommended that you draft a 'living will' which gives doctors (and your family) explicit instructions regarding your end-of-life care.

Review Your Plan

Many times people will spend a great deal of time and effort crafting a perfectly-viable estate plan for the future. Then ten years pass circumstances change, and that plan is no longer appropriate. An estate plan isn't much good to your family if it's outdated, incomplete, pr doesn't include directives regarding your current financial state.

Common life changes (divorce, births, switching jobs, moving to a new stat, etc.) can drastically alter the relevancy of your plan. It's a good idea once you create an estate plan to review it holistically with an attorney every 3-5 years.


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