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Ask the Trainer:

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Samir Becic



Q:  How does eating healthy and exercising impact my health?

A: With proper exercise and nutrition, you can control, manage or completely avoid 60-70% of illnesses such as: heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, colon cancer, breast cancer, stroke, heart attack, arthritis, etc.  Working out improves your confidence and self-esteem. It aids you in getting better sleep and giving you more energy and stamina throughout the day. Exercising slows down the aging process, improves sexual performance and restores libido. Last but not least, a healthy lifestyle builds and maintains healthy bones, muscles and joints while simultaneously increasing your immune system.

Q: How is my social life affecting my health?

A: Being healthy isn’t just a lack of illness, it’s a positive balance between body, mind and soul. In order for your social life to affect your life in a positive way, you need to create a healthy environment to socialize in. Socialize in a physically friendly a environment with walks in the park, meeting in an exercise facility for a class, biking, hiking, volleyball or tennis. Surround yourself with people who believe in healthy lifestyle and encourage your friends to join you. If you need to meet in a restaurant or a bar, choose healthy foods and low calorie drinks to stay on track.

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Finish Line

SeanBurksThe seeds were planted when Sean Burks was still in grade school. “My father was a powerlifter and bodybuilder. I used to watch him workout with his friend, George Geihner, a guard for the Houston Oilers,” Burks recalls. “It was back in the late 1970s, and I was amazed at how much weight those two could lift and how consistently they trained. I thought to myself, ‘that’s what I want to be when I grow up.’ ”

That’s exactly what happened. Burks, 35, who was born and raised in Houston, is a trainer at the 24 Hour Fitness location on Richmond at Post Oak.

“I have been a trainer the last four years and love watching people’s lives transform in front of me. I am a master trainer with three national certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).”

Burks has been an athlete all his life. “I grew up playing sports, but found my true talent on the tennis court. I idolized and studied Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi, and became serious about tennis in high school at Strake Jesuit. I eventually made it to the final rounds of the Texas State Tournament and played collegiate tennis during my freshman year at Sienna Heights College in Michigan but, after one year on the team, I decided to devote my time to studying. I knew professional tennis was not in my future.”

Burks graduated from the University of Toledo (Ohio), with a degree in marketing.

“I became a residential loan officer, and after three years of doing that, became executive assistant to the CEO of Alamex, an international real estate and investment company. During that time, I continued to expand my physical training. When many of my co-workers became interested in working out with me, I realized I was on to something.”

That’s when he launched his career in personal training.

“I take pride in educating my clients on using correct form rather than excessive weight. My workouts are difficult, so I prepare my clients psychologically so they are able to give me their absolute best performance. They find something personal in their lives to motivate them. Working toward an ideal weight is good, but something tangible, like fitting into a dress size they haven’t worn in 20 years, is more exciting.

“My greatest weight-loss success story is Karen Schescke. I helped her lose over 100 pounds, increase her distance running ability from one-half mile to six, quit smoking after 25 years and to no longer need the medications she took as a result of excessive weight.”

Sean stays in shape by sticking to a regular workout and eating routine that encompasses weight training five days a week and using a common sense approach to nutrition that includes eating five to six small meals per day.

Burks is not married, but hints that may not be the case for much longer. “I have been in a loving relationship with my girlfriend, Katye Neff, for two years. We spend as much time as possible together. I plan to ask for her hand in marriage next year. Of course, after getting her father’s permission.”

Allison Stephan

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