Vitality Life Center has added light emitting diode (LED) phototherapy to its menu of services. According to owner Andy Hopkins, LED phototherapy is cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for pain management and skin care. Continue Reading
How to Stay Healthy, Flexible and Strong
“When thinking about the best forms of exercise as we enter midlife and beyond, we should first clarify some myths and preconceptions,” says Michael Spitzer, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, biochemist, fitness expert and author of Fitness at 40, 50, 60 and Beyond. “In our society, there’s a mindset that once we pass our 40th year, it’s all downhill from there. Our metabolism slows and we gain weight, lose mobility and flexibility, deal with more aches and pains, experience shortness of breath and the list goes on.”
Workouts Burn Fat and Tone Muscle
Kettlebell training promotes fat loss, toning of major muscle groups and greater functional strength, while requiring less time than its dumbbell counterpart.
“Kettlebells can replace almost all other exercise equipment in providing an all-in-one workout, combining strength and cardio benefits,” explains Shelly Bumpus, an Athletics and Fitness Association of America-certified personal trainer and owner of the Studio Women’s Fitness Center, in Scott, Louisiana. Bumpus often uses kettlebells in strength and conditioning exercise classes to afford a balanced full-body workout that’s fun and engaging.
New Year’s Resolutions that Stick
Every January, we rally our hopes, vowing that this time our New Year’s resolutions will finally stick. However, “If you don’t have a plan, plan to fail,” says Kansas City, Missouri, personal trainer Jake Albracht. We can make our health and fitness goals for 2017 a reality instead of just wishful thinking.
Find a good trainer. “A personal trainer provides a helpful base of knowledge because the hardest part for most people is a lack of planning and diligence in following up. Trainers can step in to help a client achieve their goals,” says Albracht.
New Fusions with Yoga, Dance and Boxing
by Aimee Hughes
With 11,000 studios across the U.S., “Pilates continues to grow because an increasingly wide spectrum of people are discovering how it can benefit them,” says Elizabeth Anderson, executive director of the Pilates Method Alliance, in Miami.
Pilates instructor Amanda January, who works at The Carriage Club, in Kansas City, eventually became an instructor because, “I love the challenge of it. I had always been a dancer, and found Pilates provides the movement therapy that my dance classes lack.”
BY: GINA MCGALLIARD
The Calming and Centering Effects of Labyrinths
An archetypal labyrinth gently leads us in a circular path inward toward a center and then back out again. Found in ancient cultures from African, Celtic and Greek to Native American, they became especially popular fixtures in Medieval European churches; one of the most renowned is in France’s Chartres Cathedral.
Restorative Yoga Poses Foster Healing
The physical, mental and spiritual benefits are similar to those of active yoga, but because poses are held longer and supported by props such as bolsters, blankets, belts and blocks, “There’s no stress on the tissue and joints. Each pose gifts us with longerlasting benefits, including more time for the mind to unwind,” advises Carey.
“Restorative yoga allows both muscles and the brain to recover from fatigue, so we are stronger, sharper and better able to act in the world afterward,” explains Roger Cole, Ph.D., a certified Iyengar yoga teacher in Del Mar, California, and a research scientist studying the physiology of relaxation, sleep and biological rhythms. He attests that it also serves as preparation for pranayama (mindful yoga breathing) and meditation, which require a clear, well-rested, focused mind.
Perfect for beginners and used by longtime practitioners to complement other yoga styles, restorative poses are designed to accurately realign and reshape the body. They also can be therapeutically tailored to support natural healing for issues related to tension, premenstrual syndrome, weak immune functioning, back pain, pregnancy and recovery for athletes. “Poses for healing may require targeted gentle stretching, but prop use will coax the body into desired positions without requiring muscular effort,” says Cole.
Natural Awakenings asked several nearby yoga teachers about their favorite pose (asana) and why they love it.
Kirsten Joy Burch: Twisted Pigeon
This pose is a variation of the Pigeon pose. To add the twist, you must surrender and allow your breath to release tension. You must let go of mental and physical constraints and focus solely on moving slowly into the position using proper form. Pigeon is considered the king of hip-openers and supports the low back, when done properly. It helps reduce or slow our bumper-to-bumper thoughts. Continue Reading
22 Minutes a Day Boosts Well-Being
Even mainstream media have picked up on the many physical and mental benefits of walking, including weight loss, reduced stress, increased energy and better sleep, and that’s only the beginning. These additional compelling effects may well catalyze us to consistently step out for a daily walk, understanding that cumulative steps count, too. For more inspiration, check out this month’s race walking at the Summer Olympics.
Walking helps heart health and diabetes. According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking program launched last fall, the risk of heart disease and diabetes can be significantly reduced via an average of 22 minutes a day of brisk walking. “Physical activity has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, certain cancers, osteoporosis, cognitive decline and even depression,” says Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of the division of preventive medicine at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “Can you imagine if there was a pill that could simultaneously have all those benefits? Everyone would be clamoring for it.”
Walking reduces anxiety and clears thinking. The results of a national survey of nearly 3,000 women between the ages of 42 and 52 published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that those that walked as part of a regular physical activity showed fewer signs of depression compared with inactive women. The more physical activity a woman logged, the less likely she was to exhibit such symptoms, suggesting that moderate-to-intense levels of exercise may help protect against mental illness. The survey further revealed that 85 percent believe walking helps reduce any present anxiety and feelings of depression, while two-thirds reported that walking stimulates their thinking. READ MORE