Friday, August 28, 2015

Free Zumba Classes


Zumba classes Saturday afternoons in September

Are you looking for a group to motivate you to maintain your workouts, challenge your fitness level and to just have fun with? It's been proven that people imitate the behaviors of the groups they spend time with. What a great idea to spend time with people who model healthy lifestyles. Try something new in 2015, add variety to your workout program and meet new people.

September 12, 19 and 26

12 - 1 pm

Bring water, towel, family, friends & kids!

Taught by my friend and colleague JoDee Geryak
AFAA certified and Zumba certified instructor at the Burbank YMCA

Classes are absolutely free!

Classes will be held at St. Francis Xavier Church
Holy Cross Hall
3801 Scott Road, Burbank

Friday, August 21, 2015

Benefits of Massage

We all know massage will ease those sore muscles after a tough workout. Just 10 minutes can reduce inflammation, which can help your body recover. However, the health benefits of touch extend beyond simply soothing aches and pains. Here are just three benefits you might not know about:

It counteracts all that sitting you do
“Most individuals are dealing with some kind of postural stress,” says Aaron Tanason, registered massage therapist and kinesiologist. “More often than not [that stress] tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck.” More advanced forms of postural stress “show up as pain or weakness in the low back and gluteals caused by prolonged periods of sitting.” Massage can counteract the imbalance caused from sitting.
It can reduce stress and pain
In a review of research on the topic, it was determined that massage therapy lowers cortisol, a hormone that’s produced in response to stress, by an average of 31 percent. And when cortisol levels decline, serotonin, one of the body’s anti-pain mechanisms, increases. In the review, serotonin grew by an average of 28 percent after massage therapy. So by lowering cortisol, you boost your ability to fend off pain.  Research found that a single session of massage therapy has an immediate effect on perceived pain in patients with chronic tension headaches.

It boosts immunity
Studies of women with breast cancer found that when cortisol levels are up, natural killer (NK) cells are down. Natural killer cells are the front line of the immune system. They kill cancer cells, viral cells and bacterial cells, so you definitely want them up. In one study, for instance, women with stages 1 and 2 breast cancer were given 30-minute massages three times a week for five weeks. At the end of the study, the women had lower depression and hostility levels and increased urinary levels of serotonin, dopamine, NK cells and lymphocytes—all of which suggested their immune systems were stronger. Another study found that massage boosts patients' white blood cell count (which plays a large role in defending the body from disease).

Treat Your Body Well and Get a Massage This Week

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Exercise Outdoors

Last weekend, I hiked with my cousin during our Girl's Weekend Getaway in Phoenix. Despite the desert heat, it was great to move our bodies, experience the mountains up close and chat with other hikers on the trail. Exercising outdoors has been shown to be significantly different than indoor workouts.

Science suggests there are benefits to exercising outdoors that can’t be replicated on a treadmill or a track. You stride differently when running outdoors, for one thing. Generally, people flex their ankles more when they run outside. They also, at least occasionally, run downhill, a movement that isn’t easily done on a treadmill and that stresses muscles differently than running on flat or uphill terrain. Outdoor exercise tends, too, to be more strenuous than the indoor version. In studies comparing the exertion of running on a treadmill and the exertion of running outside, treadmill runners expended less energy to cover the same distance as those striding across the ground outside, primarily because indoor exercisers face no wind resistance or changes in terrain, no matter how subtle.

In another study, volunteers were asked to go for two walks for the same time or distance — one inside, usually on a treadmill or around a track, the other outdoors. In virtually all of the studies, the volunteers reported enjoying the outside activity more and, on subsequent psychological tests, scored significantly higher on measures of vitality, enthusiasm, pleasure and self-esteem and lower on tension, depression and fatigue after they walked outside.

Another small study found that people have lower blood levels of cortisol, a hormone related to stress, after exerting themselves outside as compared with inside. There’s speculation, too, that exposure to direct sunlight, known to affect mood, plays a role.

Take Your Workout Outside This Week
Stay Active and Enjoy Your Food

Friday, August 7, 2015

Smoothies Can Be a Healthy Choice

Smoothies are thick shake-type drinks filled mainly with fruit or vegetables and other nutrient dense ingredients.  They make wonderful options for a meal or a snack when made with natural items. The number of healthy ingredients available for smoothies is practically limitless. After your basic fruits and vegetables, you can add an array of the various spices, herbs, seeds, nuts and more. The possibilities and combinations are endless.

Will drinking a meal make me ravenous?
Studies show that consuming protein, fiber or fat helps you feel full. A drink that packs all three is satisfying. Be sure to carefully choose your ingredients to create a complete meal. Also; blend, blend, blend - up to five minutes. Another study found that incorporating air into the the liquid makes the drink more filling.  

Practice calorie and portion control
Smoothies do provide fiber, as the entire fruit often goes into the blender, skins and all, but they still contain a lot of calories. Choosing a vegetable-based juice in your smoothie is one way to reduce the sugar content. We all crave sweets from time to time. Replace the treat you would normally splurge on with a healthy alternative in a smoothie. But remember, practice portion control. Smoothies are a meal-replacement.

Avoid pre-made smoothies
Don't be fooled by the claims that smoothies made from prepackaged mixes with chemically altered ingredients are a wise health food option and weight loss tool.  These products are purely a marketing ploy to make you think you are living healthfully. 

Try this Apple Pie Smoothie
In a blender, pulse, five raw almonds. Add an apple (leave the skin on), 3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup nonfat milk, one banana, and 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Delicious!

Drink a Smoothie, Stay Active and Enjoy Your Food