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Ron Krit, contributing blogger

Ron Krit has been giving seminars, training clients, and writing about fitness for over 15 years! His philosophy centers on making fitness fun so that you look forward to working out and getting healthy. Ron has trained 4-year-olds up to 90-year-olds, of all ability levels. He's run bootcamps, pre/postnatal fitness classes, and corporate wellness workshops and gives seminars on fitness, healthy cooking, and self-defense. He educates clients on proper exercise form, portion control, cardio, weight-training, stretching and massage. He is a certified personal trainer through the International Sports and Science Association. During the day, Ron works at JUF, where he markets endowment vehicles. He lives with his wife and sons in Highland Park.

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Remember when you were ten, you didn’t need a low carb diet, points or a personal trainer—you simply played. You didn’t go to a group fitness class for spinning or weights, you didn’t even have a membership, but you worked out.  Whether you were riding bikes, shooting hoops or just playing tag, you were exercising.

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Gluttony hides in a Corner Bakery Salad with 61 grams of fat (yes, a salad), or a Panera chicken sandwich with 1,000 calories. You could eat almost two nasty Big Macs instead of one Panera sandwich. Now if you think your fancy meal at a steak house is better, you’re wrong. Most restaurants don’t even list calories, fat, sodium, fiber...because if you knew how much fat was in your steak and potatoes, you might never dine out.

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Do any of you watch the Biggest Loser? My wife loves it, so I watch it. I think it’s great that people lose all that weight, but in my professional opinion it’s too fast and that’s why so many contestants gain the weight right back. Anyway, this article is not about the show, but rather it’s about a gadget used on the show—the bodybugg.

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Dropping a few pounds takes more than blueberries, elliptical trainers, Pilates, and lean chicken. Yes, you need to work out, eat right and sleep to be healthy—but there’s more. I’m not going to get all Yogi or Tai Chi on you and tell you inner peace is the answer to a thinner waist and Madonna arms. However, one piece of the puzzle is how you see yourself.

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When a writer for Men’s Health magazine recently described a college athlete as a “mensch,” I knew I had to interview him. You don’t see Yiddish often in the sports world. The author of said article turned out to be Northbrook native, Adam Bornstein. He’s a Men’s Health fitness editor, which might be one of the coolest jobs a self described fitness fanatic, could land.

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“I’m eating right and doing cardio, why aren’t I losing weight?” I hear that all the time. Usually there are two things going on:
1)      Your eating habits are solid—but your drinking habits (i.e. booze) are not
2)      Where’s the weight training?

Moving Pains photo_th

This month I’m stepping outside my fitness expertise to discuss a wonderful yet painful process—buying a condo. By describing the buying and moving process I hope to entertain and offer some helpful insight.

For the fitness freak in your family photo_th

Owning a treadmill, belonging to a gym, even hiring a personal trainer does not guarantee that your skinny jeans, or any jeans, will fit perfectly.  But, the right fitness equipment can help. With all the crap being sold at 3 a.m., SPAM mail guaranteeing “Drastic Rapid Weight loss” (amongst other things), and magazine ads, it’s difficult to know what equipment is truly worth four installments of $19.95.

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It’s that time of year again— have you made your New Year’s resolutions yet? You knew the fitness expert wasn’t going to let go of an opportunity to encourage you to make some healthy resolutions for 2010. The trick to a lasting resolution is attainability.

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It’s happened to me. Some, I didn’t work hard enough; others, I worked too hard. One time, this woman called me and said, “I have severe post workout muscle soreness, I can’t come anymore.” Another time, I had a slick trainer steal my client with a smooth promotion...Sure I was pissed at first, but that client started busting her butt and working out everyday and I’m proud of her. If you’re not getting the results you want, speak up and make a change.

The Spain Diet photo_th

What if I told you, you could eat bread, pizza, potatoes, wine and pastries and still be thin? Oh, and you can eat dinner at 10 p.m. Carbs, alcohol, sugar and some more carbs do not add up to a diet most people think of as healthy. Dr. Atkin’s would be shocked.

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Summer is coming and it’s no coincidence that I start to get busier about this time every year. Most people gain five extra pounds during the colder months, hence the term-“winter weight.” The problem is, most people only lose four of those pounds. This spring, I’ll tell you how you can lose all five pounds and maybe a few extra inches.

You are what you eat photo_th

As a personal trainer, I get asked nutritional questions all the time. The thing is, I’m not a nutritionist—I’m just a really opinionated personal trainer. I do, however, have several nutritionist friends, so I went to one with an expertise in celiac disease to learn about allergies, organic food, and of course weight loss tips.

Secrets of an injured trainer photo_th

My workouts used to be intense. I rested only when I needed it. The pace of the workout was fast, and I mixed in weight training with cardio. When it was over, I was ravenous and pumped. Fast forward three slightly painful years later.

Does this make me look fat? photo_th

First off stop thinking that! Not many people have the shape they want, and everyone has one body part they wished was smaller. Step one: Do not refer to yourself as fat. And don’t ask anyone, what my sister asked me in 1995: “Am I fat?”

Fit With Krit photo_th

Did you ever work out with a personal trainer? Have you ever wondered what type of trainer I am? Watch and learn! This video blog contains a fun, full-body workout, with two trainees—Cheryl and Stefanie, your favorite Oy! editors. Watch them struggle and laugh as we work on posture, abs, arms, cardio, medicine ball, sled…. Enjoy!

How to find the perfect diet for you photo_th

There is a perfect diet.  It will help you fit into your skinny jeans, and help you gain muscle.  It works for everyone.  This magical meal planning will help you feel energetic, sleep soundly, gain muscle and drop fat.  You can either hire me to tell you this secret, or just keep reading.

Why I hate The Biggest Loser photo_th

Unrealistic expectations kill more diets than Häagen-Dazs.  People watch the show “The Biggest Loser” (TBL) and want to drop some serious pounds yesterday.  I’m all for jump starting your fitness plan but the show is ridiculous.

Napping and ice cream photo_th

I’m at a party and my friend tells me her boyfriend works out seven days a week.  I give him a high five.  But, I added, take a day off.  We all need a day off.  And stay with me, I’ll get to the ice cream.

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I’ve been cut twice recently.  Both surgeries were to fix lingering hip and shoulder issues.  I’m talking 7-8 years of discomfort.  I’m not addicted to surgery like some reality television star, or Joan Rivers.  I really tried everything first...

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Let’s cut through all the crap and talk about how you can get in shape this year. There will be no yelling trainer, no super hype infomercial, no “miracle pill” just simple advice for a fitter you in 2011.

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Have you noticed the gym is already a little less crowded then it was a month ago?  And Crumbs Bake Shop opened in the Loop, challenging diets left and right.  Temptation and life get in the way of training and eating healthy.  Trust me, I get it.

Ron’s rant: smoking sucks photo_th

As I sit in my office and hear some smoker in the alley yelling at her smoking buddy, I feel bad for them.  Smokers are second class citizens.  They can’t smoke in bars, restaurants, or even in front of offices in the city of Chicago.

Meet Matt Matros photo_th

I recently sat down and interviewed a fellow health nut and owner of Protein Bar, Matt Matros. This was very exciting for me, as I love Protein Bar. It’s not too often I find a spot that offers amazing food that’s low in fat and calories, high in protein, and for a great value.

What’s cooking photo_th

If you workout really hard, you could burn between 300-500 calories. If you are running or biking a ton, you could get that number even higher. And then you can have one meal of 1200 calories and the calories you burned in your workout are instantly negated.

Jessica’s Natural Foods photo_th

I fell in love—with chocolate chip granola! Not just any brand, but Jessica’s Natural Foods granola. I was in Michigan with my wife visiting family and I ran into a Plum Market. Someone, possibly Jessica, was handing out samples of this awesome tasting treat.

What do I do with my exercise ball photo

After the question, “Can I eat anything I want if I workout?” and “Do I do cardio or weights?” I get the question, “What do I do with my exercise ball?” My answer is a video.


A horribly selfish and loud neighbor guided us to the suburbs. It was bound to happen at some point. Eventually we were going to head north. Our plan was to live in the city for a few more years, maybe five, but here we are—minutes from Target, malls, and the Metra. And with a baby, that’s very convenient.

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My wife gets mad at me— as she should— when I judge her sweet tooth. The truth is, I also have a mean sweet tooth. I try and avoid the office M&M’s and the giant sized cupcakes being sold in trucks and bakeries on every street corner, but I’m only human.

Baby Pump photo_th

Henry, my son, is almost three months old. He has beautiful chubby cheeks and fat thighs. No, he does not need a personal trainer, but I’m there if he needs me. We do make him exercise— don’t call DCFS, it’s just tummy time and moving his arms and legs around.

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I’m always looking for healthy products, something that will give me a bigger bang for my nutritional buck. I took a wild night out recently and strolled the aisles of Whole Foods, and found a litany of items I’ve never seen before. My main objective was to buy some milk, but I made a few other purchases. One of which was a cool product I saw online called, Garden Good, from Mama Jess.

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It happens to all of us. Some of us sooner than others, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Yes, this article is about aging—you’re never too young to start taking good care of your mind and body.

The truth about six packs photo_th

"Pot bellies are sexy," was a line from Pulp Fiction, and I'm not sure how many of us would agree with that statement. I have never had a client request a pot belly, unless they were talking about the cookies from Potbelly's (which are unhealthy and amazing).

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No, I'm not talking about wine. This is a full body workout that you can do at home with little equipment. I used a band and my bodyweight to get a quick workout. If you do each exercise for 30 seconds and repeat the circuit five times, only resting a minute at the end of each circuit, you will have burned a ton of calories in 30 minutes!

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Insanity, P90X, Biggest Loser, Crossfit… the trends in fitness today are scary. You listen to experts talking about lifting fast heavy weights, and it just irks me. Everyone is different, and there’s no one routine, or diet that will get you fit. Especially as we age, some exercises are just not good for us.

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Spice it up! Instead of adding salt, butter, or oil to your meals, add some flavor! My number one cooking tip— flavor lightly, you can always add more spice, but if you drop in too much Tabasco, it’s over.

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If you want a shock, Google your favorite Chinese or Thai recipe. The calories, fat and sodium are usually ridiculously high. As most would expect fried rice is not a health food. I created a similar taste with a drop of oil and a lot of flavor.

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A crucial part of your exercise regimen should include a full body warm-up. A good warm-up helps joints, muscles and tendons get ready to move. Getting your body ready for exercise can prevent strains and other issues. If I don’t warm up, I have knee and shoulder pain.

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When I say NEAT I am referring to Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. It’s basically the calories you burn when you are not exercising. Many studies show, people who burn a lot of these calories are thinner than their counterparts.

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Skinny fat is a term that’s thrown around all the time. It’s not like jumbo shrimp, but figuring out the term might require fuzzy logic. For a visual definition of skinny fat, think of the last time you were at the pool or beach. You see someone who has thin arms and legs with a gut. I’m afraid that my love handles (we all have them) will morph into a gut.

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I once had a client drop 12 pounds and lower his body fat percentage by 10% in just four weeks. I often have pregnant clients who have babies and come back thinner than before. I am constantly amazed by the transformations I see in my clients. I get to witness the “after” picture all the time and it’s pretty amazing.

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My eight-year-old nephew slept over a few weeks ago. Like most eight-year-olds, he loves to just run around. He doesn't need to play baseball or shoot hoops, but whatever he does is fun. As adults we somehow lose the fun factor. People walk by my office with this look of dread on their face and whimper, "tell me I should work out today." And of course, I oblige.

Thank you Sprout Fitness photo_th

Sprout Fitness started about five years ago when my friend and fellow trainer Kim and I thought it was a good idea to have pre/postnatal fitness classes. We were both certified to work with the populations and our friends were just starting to have babies.

Holiday Health photo_th

Halloween is a killer, not in the gory-scary-chainsaw massacre way but in the belly. It starts the holiday season with miniature morsels of goodness. Even if you are not knocking on doors begging for candy, you have some. And it’s in your office too, there’s no escaping Halloween candy.

Waiting for Jan 1 photo_th

Every year, I have one or more friends that tell me the same thing: “I’m going to start January 1st. I will work out all the time and eat nothing but veggies and protein!” And it never happens. It’s like a heart patient telling their doctor, “After a triple bypass I’ll start exercising.” What are you waiting for?

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Are you busy? The number one excuse I get for not exercising is time. Well Mr. or Ms. Too Busy, I have some shorts (video shorts) for you! You do not need to work out for 60 minutes, or even 30 minutes to reap the benefits of exercise.

Goodbye Corolla photo_th

The tech bubble burst in the early 2000s and I was a casualty. Two companies I worked for went out of business. My career as an underpaid consultant was not leading me to a lucrative career. I traveled 100% of the time for the first company I worked for. I was in towns like Macon, Enid, Muskogee, and other exciting towns like Rockford.

A retrospective on V-Day photo_th

On paper I probably sound like a good husband. Take out garbage, move heavy objects, cook, grocery shop. Hey, I’m pretty good at getting my chores done. I get my son up every other morning and usually I give the crazy man baths. Occasionally I will surprise my wife with flowers or a treat. This all sounds probably above average, but there’s much more. I am a huge pain in the butt.

A few of my favorite foods photo_th

That picture is my son burying his face in ice cream, or is it? It’s actually Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla Greek Yogurt. They only sell it at the ice cream shop. It’s lower in sugar, much higher in protein, and tastes great. My 19-month-old son had no idea it wasn’t regular ice cream.

Simple Health Trick: Make it fun! photo_th

The other day I was visiting some friends and per usual, their six-year-old son wanted to play floor hockey with me in their basement. I came prepared this time—I was wearing two layers, brought a stick for me (he’s a lefty) and the fun began.

My Desk Made Me Fat photo_th

We are a nation with a gut. The US is one of the fattest countries in the world. We eat too much, sit too much, and exercise too little.

Moving Back photo_th

My famous last words: “I will not move back to Highland Park.” That’s what I told my wife when we were looking for a house. I grew up in Highland Park and though I loved elementary and middle school, high school I could’ve done without. I think that can be said for many people. Instead, I had a suburbs crush on Glenview.

Dieter’s Dilemma photo_th

Who doesn’t want to feel better, sleep better, and look leaner? We all do, and these are the promises of many diets. The current popular diet is the Paleo diet. This diet recommends you eat the food cavemen ate, back when there was no means of processing food.

Posture Perfect photo_th

Somewhere in the world a mother is ordering a child to “Stand up straight!” Is it that easy? Can you simply stand up or sit up straight to fix your posture?

Health Kid Tangent photo_th

I remember when I was in junior high; there was one “big boned” kid. Now, experts use terms like epidemic, pre-diabetic, and obesity to describe what’s happening to kids today. A mixture of video games, social media and Flaming Hot Cheetos are making overweight the norm.

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I love working out at lunch time. I am incredibly lucky to have a gym that I can walk to and if it’s raining outside, I won’t even get wet. When I get back to the office I am pumped up and ready to take on the rest of the day – before passing out for 30 minutes on the Metra ride home.

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If you are reading this post expecting a secret recipe to drop weight fast in advance of the holidays, you are out of luck. The truth is there is no magic bullet (for weight loss) or supplement to melt a few pounds off your belly. However, you do not have to starve yourself or workout for hours on end to escape the holiday bulge.

The Greatest Gift photo_th

Tablets, flat screen TVs, and blenders are all great gifts. Who doesn't want a shiny cool new gadget? But the greatest gift you can get is more basic than that – it's health. I know, boring and cliché, but true. If you don't have your health, nothing else matters.

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It was time for a new workout. Partly out of boredom and partly because everyone should mix up their routine every six weeks seeing as your body adjusts to how you train. Also, I’m past the stage of wanting to be a muscle man; I want to be lean and healthy.

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Everything is in fives these days: 5 top ways to burn calories, 5 best exercises, 5 healthy desserts … I’m not sure if it’s because of our short attention spans, or writers are getting lazy.

Meathead Myths photo_th

There are so many myths out there that I wanted to tackle four that can be overheard in gyms and blogs everywhere. 

Tone Deaf Daddy photo_th

I am taking a break from fitness writing this month to write a story for Mother’s Day and poke some fun at myself.

Summer Fitness Guide photo_th

Marketing terms like “beach body ready,” start popping up in April, making everyone feel guilty for their winter indiscretions. The moment T-shirt and shorts weather hits, people are hounding me for advice and sessions.

Motivational Potty Training photo_th

Ok, so this is not the usual fitness/wellness piece, but the lessons learned can be applied to reaching any goal. My objective was to potty train my almost 3-year-old son.

Don’t Avoid the Cookie photo_th

“I’m not eating carbs this week, I feel so fat,” says your friend who is – by most definitions – skinny. And you want to scream, because there are people who really need to lose weight and can’t.

Talk Yourself into Shape photo_th

Who tells you not to eat the last bite? Who forces you to split a dessert instead of eating your own? And who makes you work out when all you want to do is watch television and veg?

Things I don’t want to forget photo_th

Graduations, recitals, and sporting events are big moments parents don’t forget, but there are so many little things you want to remember too. With another child about to join the Krit clan, I wanted to share a few of my favorite Henry moments.

‘Fit’ it in photo_th

I’m not selling a fitness DVD or my training services – this is free advice to get in shape in less time. Who doesn’t want that? Having a 3-year-old and a one-month-old, my workout time has shrunk. I have to squeeze in fitness into 20-30 minute increments. How can you do that and stay in shape? Depth training is the answer.

Bad Advice photo_th

There is no shortage of bad training advice online. I see it all the time: some writer jots down the best moves for torching fat and one of those moves is a bicep curl. I’m not against the bicep curl, but the bicep is a small muscle, and if you’re only listing the four “best” moves, I would not include the bicep curl.

The Absolute Perfect Time photo_th

I am going to tell you the best time to start working on your goals and it’s not “After New Year’s.” Around the holidays people are big on that comment, especially with diet and exercise. People often set goals/resolutions in the New Year; it’s the perfect time to achieve your dreams – or is it?

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Squeezing in exercise throughout the day is a great way to fit in some fitness. One simple way to fit it in is with mini-bands.

4 Tips for Fat Trimming photo_th

Don’t get me wrong, we need fat. Fat stores energy; it is needed for growth, development, and function when there is a shortage of food supply. Fat also helps to keep you full.

My 2015 Fractured Fairy Tale photo_th

I was debating calling this article “My Country Western Song,” but since I do not have a dog or a pick-up truck, I thought this was more apropos. With 2014 ending on a high note, 2015 has been a little rough, but I think I finally learned an important lesson.

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Between performing surgeries, my friend and sports medicine orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Josh Alpert, carved out (bad pun intended) some time to talk injury prevention with me.

If a Cookie Could Talk photo_th

If your favorite cookie could talk, what would it say? An Oreo might warn you, “I’m more addicting than cocaine! 

Kettlebells Rock photo_th

The first time I saw a trainer using a kettlebell, I judged him. With his thick Russian accent he would yell at his clients, “Pop your hips. Use your legs.” I cringed as another trainer tossed a 30-pound kettlebell in the air and caught it with the other hand. Part of me thought, that can’t be good for your joints.

Busting Plateaus photo_th

One of the “it” phrases in the fitness world is muscle confusion. If you stay up late enough and watch a few infomercials, you are bound to hear some meathead selling a DVD using this buzz word. I hear muscles get really confused with algebra…

Hacking Holiday Heft photo_th

To survive hibernation, bears pack on the pounds in autumn. We do the same thing, even though binge watching Netflix is not the same as hibernating.

15 Years photo_th

I’m getting a little nostalgic. This is my 15th year of being a certified fitness trainer. I never imagined I would be in the fitness world this long. Training has moved from hobby and part-time job, to full-time passion. When I received my updated training card I couldn’t help but reflect back on all the people and places that have influenced me and my training style.

The Grocery Shopper’s Dilemma—why buy organic? photo_th

I know that organic food uses less pesticide, no synthetic pesticides, and no antibiotics -- but are those reasons enough to buy organic?

Fit at 40 and Beyond photo_th

I am not one of those people who think 40 is old. I’m a few weeks from hitting that milestone, and I’m not having a midlife crisis -- well, at least not yet.

My Wonderful Little Monsters photo_th

I cannot believe one of my sons is about to graduate from daycare. I know this does not sound like a milestone, but it is.



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