25 10, 2013

Zoo Elephants Join U.S. Dogs at Fat Camp — New Study on Elephant Health Uncovers Obesity Problem

By |2016-12-15T19:51:55+00:00October 25th, 2013|animal, Fitness, health, news|0 Comments


by Alexis Croswell

First, American dogs are reported as getting hefty around the middle, and now it’s America’s captive zoo elephants that might have to work it off. A soon to be released, and fairly comprehensive, nationwide study of zoo elephant health has already unveiled some surprising results.

St. Lois Today reports, “Over three years, the

[27 member] team examined more than 100,000 pages of medical records, 6,000 blood samples and 40,000 pounds of elephant dung. Subjects included 255 elephants in 70 zoos from Mexico to St. Louis to Miami.”

The researchers developed a one to five scale to rate each elephant on the roundness of their rumps and the bulge in their backbones. Only four percent were tagged as too skinny, nearly three quarters of the elephants scored a four or five — overweight. This condition can lead to a decline in female reproductivity, which is something zoos monitor closely.

Two-thirds of the animals studied behaved in repetitive manners, such as swaying or pacing, which are often considered signs of mental or physical stress.

“Housing elephants in captivity in zoos is a growing controversy,” said Nicole Meyer, director of the elephant protection campaign for In Defense of Animals, a California advocacy group.

The report focuses mainly on the physical health of elephants in zoos, and not as much on their mental health.

Like we’ve said before, even with more spacious enclosures and enrichment opportunities, zoos cannot replace or truly recreate life in the wild.

Elephants are incredibly social and intelligent animals, they understand teamwork, help others in distress, and can understand the human gesture of pointing, to cite a few examples.

The study may provide some suggestions to improve the lives of elephants in zoos, and it’s great if such measures are taken to improve conditions for captive elephants that cannot for some reason be returned to the wild. However, this report and these suggestions should not be used to provide support for continuing captive elephant exhibits, no matter how well planned they may be.

Image Source: dalvenjah/Flickr

3 04, 2013

International Fitness and Nutrition Expert Michael Torchia Teams up with Intelligent Avatar

By |2016-12-15T19:51:55+00:00April 3rd, 2013|Fitness, health, news, technology|0 Comments

blog-avatarBeverly Hills, California, April 3, 2013 — Intelligent Avatar  announced today that it has teamed up with renowned fitness expert Michael Torchia of Operation Fitness. “In unveiling our first set of products to the world, we’re thrilled to team up with Michael Torchia to provide a new tool for teaching correct methods of exercise and proper nutrition,” stated Alison Savitch, VP of Intelligent Fitness “Michael is unquestionably the most diverse and qualified fitness expert in the world today.”

Michael Torchia has created a multi-disciplined lifestyle conglomerate, the first in its category that focuses on every phase of the lifestyle process, including physical fitness and nutritional solutions. He offers a fresh, effective approach to fitness that helps the entire family create and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Torchia’s innovative programs are interactive and help both children and adults achieve optimal fitness levels through age-appropriate exercise and nutritious eating. Michael – whose expertise has made him a public person as well, brings to his clients a personalized program that combines diet, physical training, and mental acuity. Michael has worked extensively with members of the Royal Families of Saudi Arabia, Brunei, Qatar and is affectionately termed by them as the “Beverly Hills Healer.”

“Unlike many famous trainers who tout their celebrity clientele, Michael steps up and changes lives on a grander scale,” continued Savitch. “Michael has created new ways of life for tens of thousands of individuals around the world and is the fitness advisor to such luminaries as Kevin Spacey, Al Pacino and Matt Damon, to name a few.”

“For over 2 decades, my clients have said over and over how they wish I could be cloned,” stated Michael Torchia, founder of Operation Fitness. “Now through our partnership with Intelligent Fitness, we can make this happen. I’m looking forward to taking my diverse expertise in health and fitness and making it available to everyone.”

According to sources close to the Company, Michael is dedicated in helping as many people as possible, and has a special place in his heart to cure the child obesity epidemic. “I was an obese child growing up,” continued Torchia. “The doctor called me and my mother into his office and told me that if I didn’t lose weight, I would be stricken with health problems such as diabetes and heart disease when I was older; I quickly changed my lifestyle.” Michael works with some of the most influential child health advocates in the world including the current U.S. Surgeon General and First Lady Michelle Obama to promote proper nutrition and daily exercise among children across the nation.

“What makes Michael different from the ‘celebrity trainer’ is that Michael not only develops health and fitness programs for his clientele, he develops new ways of life,” stated Jerry, Director of Intelligent Avatar. “Michael genuinely wants to make a difference in the lives of everyday people as expressed by his campaign to Shape Up America and globally recognizable Operation Fitness. We’re thrilled about our new relationship with a man who wears so many hats so successfully, yet continues to promote a healthy lifestyle to anyone in the world who seeks it.”

The mission of Operation Fitness is to educate, motivate and inspire people to lead healthier lives by using technology and multiple distribution platforms and venues. “After interacting with the Intelligent Avatar board of directors for the past few weeks, we concluded that this would be the perfect platform to offer individualized health and fitness programs, to bring about a positive change in the lives of people around the world,” continued Torchia. “Using powerful artificial intelligence technology, we plan to reach people on a much greater scale and improve the populations’ health, millions of people at a time.”

For more information on the Intelligent Avatar and Operation Fitness, please e-mail a package request to or call 800.933.8633. You can also make comments via Twitter (

1 04, 2013

Joe Weider, legendary bodybuilding and fitness icon, dies at 93

By |2016-12-15T19:51:55+00:00April 1st, 2013|Fitness, health, news|0 Comments

By Megan Garvey,0,6121077.story


Joe Weider, who made millions from a fitness empire and mentored a young Austrian bodybuilder who went on to become a major movie star and governor of California, has died.

Weider, 93, passed away Saturday of heart failure  at his home in Los Angeles, according to a news release. The multimillion-dollar publishing empire he built included Muscle and Fitness, Flex, Shape, and Men’s Fitness magazines.

His death was marked by his protege Arnold Schwarzenegger, who called Weider “the godfather of fitness.”

“Joe didn’t just inspire my earliest dreams; he made them come true the day he invited me to move to America to pursue my bodybuilding career,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement. “I will never forget his generosity.”

Weider was born Nov. 20, 1920, in Montreal. He first dreamed of power as a young teenager living in a gang-infested ghetto there. When he was 13, he crafted crude dumbbells and then worked out until he was able to stand down bullies who beat him up.

He created the Mr. Olympia event in 1965.  Two years later, Weider discovered Schwarzenegger at a body-building contest in Europe.

He soon invited Schwarzenegger to move to California and funded the young bodybuilder’s first apartment in Santa Monica, giving him enough money to make ends meet. Weider also orchestrated Schwarzenegger’s first acting role in a TV movie.

Asked by the producers of “Hercules Goes Bananas” for a “a muscleman who could act a little,” Weider pointed them to Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger told The Times in 1989 that Weider pumped up his resume to get him the job, telling the producers that Schwarzenegger had done Shakespearean plays in Germany.

“It was all bull,” Schwarzenegger admitted. “I didn’t speak much English at all. We went to meet these guys and Joe said, ‘Don’t say anything. I’ll do the talking.’ ”

While he had staunch supporters, Weider’s critics complained about his outsized ego and bruising business style. Weider at times called himself the Jesus Christ, the Mahatma Gandhi and the Karl Marx of his field.

He studied the tactics of leaders who inspired the masses, including Winston Churchill, Moses, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler, and collected the original letters of men like George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein and Sigmund Freud.

“You think anybody says negative things about Jesus? About Moses?” Weider asked The Times during a 1989 interview. “You get a lot of atheists and devil worshipers that hate God. Why should I be loved by everybody?”

He is survived by his wife, Betty Weider.

MORE ON JOE WEIDER: Joe Weider dies at 93; pioneer bodybuilder and publisher