Thursday, September 25, 2014

What is Fascia? How does it Affect You?

In the fitness industry right now, "fascia" is the latest buzzword….but watch out, it's could be here to stay!

Fascia is defined as:  A sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue enveloping, separating, or binding together organs and other soft structures of the body.

"Fascia" is multi-layered, and a whole network of connective tissue surrounding individual elements of the body…including organs, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels.  In essence, fascia assists with turning muscle contraction into coordinated movements with minimal wear and tear on your joints.  Research shows that breaking up the tight connective tissue~fascia~surrounding your muscles and joints will help you to move more freely.

When the fascia gets too tight, the muscles are constricted and "tight," and then pulling on ligaments, tendons and ultimately even shifting bone structure.  Ask a massage therapist about how he/she can help you or try using a foam roller yourself.  As you grow older, if you want to stay active, you will need to figure out a way to keep "Fascia fit."

Friday, September 19, 2014

More Energy!

That's right, exercising brings you more energy….   And, I don't know about you, but it really helps me to stay on top of it and in a good mood to deal with my life!

When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins -- "feel good" chemicals that improve your mood.  So if you feel sad or anxious, slide on your toe sox and get to one of my classes!  Or walk around the block after dinner~even on a crisp Autumn evening it's totally refreshing!  You will certainly get a better night's sleep.

Other incentives: 30 minutes of physical activity also burns calories and may control hot flashes!
Who knew?!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Super Immunity

That's the title of this book by Joel Fuhrman, MD.  "People who exercise regularly have fewer and milder colds--at least that's what we perceive, and exercise enthusiasts brag about not being as sick as sedentary folks."  However the author goes on to tell us that studies do show the following:

*  Frequency of colds among people who exercise 5 or more times each week was 46% less than those people who did not exercise.
*  Participants were quizzed about their lifestyle, dietary patterns, and stressful events, all of which can affect the immune system.
*   Exercise not only helps your immune system fight off simple bacterial infections; it also decreases your chances of developing heart disease, osteoporosis, and cancer. (!)
*   When middle-aged men were followed for 26 years, researchers found that those who exercised rigorously lived the longest.

"It truly is 'survival of the fittest'!"

Monday, September 8, 2014

Which Diet is the Best Long Term?

This is according to The Boston Globe's "G" section today….the Annals of Internal Medicine randomly assigned 150 people to follow either a low fat or low carbohydrate diet plan, and found that those who followed the first choice -- low carbohydrates -- lost 8 more pounds than the low fat plan.

But what kinds of "carbohydrates" and "fats" were they using?   And how much physical activity were these candidates doing?  You need carbs to move.  You need healthy fats to digest.  An overall combination of carbs, fats and proteins is the best choice.   

Here's the skinny:

1.     Replace refined carbohydrates with fruits & vegetables~stock your fridge for the week
2.     If you're willing to change the foods you eat, you will change slowly over time (#lifestyle)
3.     Calories are calories, however combining healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts) with protein and carbohydrates will definitely leave you feeling more satisfied

Eating tip of the day~instead of having that afternoon coffee or snack to get you through the commute and dinner, have a hot/cold tea and add apple cider vinegar.  It levels out your pH balance and you will notice you are not so hungry;)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Words of Wisdom

So this summer, Oprah sponsored a line of teas at Starbucks and offered her words of wisdom on the sleeves on the cardboard cups.  Every day when I order my "venti pike," I would read one of the five sentences offering advice.  Here they are…

"Live from the heart of yourself.  Seek to be whole, not perfect."    (does this mean, "condition from the inside out?"  or maybe, "Smell the roses, and blow out the birthday candles?")

"The only courage you ever need is the courage to live the life you want."  (now I definitely think this relates to single thigh stretch, tendon stretch, or long stretch on Reformer, don't you?  let's face it, standing, kneeling, or holding a plank on a moving platform is rockstar status!)

"Your life is big.  Keep reaching."  (Core fitness, right here, baby~does "8 more" ring a bell?  or "now add a pulse…";))

"You are here not to shrink down to less, but to blossom into more of who you really are."  (Not sure about this one…I think we all wish we could "shrink down" a little bit, don't you?!  Ok, yes, I know…whoops~be happy with your body!!)

"No experience is ever wasted."  (I totally get this one: read, "Slumdog Millionare" -- didn't you love that movie??  It's such a great story of things falling into place and that you are smarter just because you have lived more experiences.  Yes!  We ARE wiser just for being older…   It's really cool to not care about who's who anymore.  And, it really gives you good material.  You just need to make sure you don't start to repeat yourself.)  

So here are my words of wisdom:

"We are all a work in progress."  
"It's all connected…"
"Sometimes we have time to exercise and sometimes we don't, because 'life gets in the way.'"
"Just stick together…it's really wonderful to feel the strength and support of those people around you."  
"It's the relationships we build with that make a difference."
"Put exercise into your routine."
and finally: "Inhale, Exhale…"

Should I mail this to Oprah?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Motivation is what gets you started, Habit is what keeps you going

"Should I exercise in the morning or evening?"   Ultimately, the best time to workout is whenever you can squeeze it in….   It's most productive if you can ask a friend to join you~ think the "buddy system."

Research has shown that those who exercise in the morning receive five additional benefits however:

1.   Greater overall lifelong adherence rate
2.   Higher number of endorphins produced
3.   More productive ensuing workday
4.   Better sleep patterns
5.   Overall boosted metabolism

If you are planning to set the alarm for 5am, then here's a tip~lie out your clothes the night before;)  The hardest part is putting your feet on the floor!