If you workout regularly or are maintain a high level of activity on a daily basis, then you likely know about the importance of protein soon after you finish. Simply put, consuming protein is essential for optimal muscle growth and repair.
Pittsburgh is lucky to be home to Zire Nutrition, a company that makes it its mission to empower people to do their best every single day. And they do just that with a selection of health and wellness products designed to keep our bodies moving.
Zire Nutrition was officially founded in 2019 by Josh Rulnick, though the team might backdate that to about five years ago, when Josh’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, Josh knew that lifestyle changes, including dietary changes, were imminent and that he would want to support his mom in any way that he could.
“No matter what anyone is facing, they deserve access to wholesome dietary options,” Josh explained. “Our team of food scientists, nutrition advisors, and brand developers work hard day-in and day-out to build awareness around health products through education. People need to know what’s going in their bodies so that they can make the right decisions that align with their health and lifestyle goals.”
For Zire Nutrition, that means a researched selection that boasts products containing real, wholesome ingredients….products such as:
Better Peanut Butter and Crazy Over Cocoa Protein Bars
Steady-Release Pre-workout Powders in Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch and Pink Lemonade
Joint Dynamics to support mobility and flexibility
C3 Bliss to support cognitive clarity and stress response
Digestive Synergy to support digestion and nutrient absorption
“Our nutrition labels are transparent and showcase the natural and clinically researched ingredients that we use in all of our products,” Josh said. “Best of all, our in-house food scientists and nutrition advisors are the people who create our formulas.”
According to Josh, Zire Nutrition doesn’t rely on factory recommended formulas that are designed to maximize profits. Instead, they research and test their own formulas to help people to be and do their best.
The Pre-Workout Drink
As with all of their products, it’s not just about what’s in it, it’s also about what’s NOT in it. Take the Pre-Workout Drink, for example. You won’t find any artificial sweeteners, sugar or single-source caffeine.
“Pre-workout drinks are often misunderstood because people tend to associate them with huge muscles and explosive workouts that make you feel like you want to run through a wall,” Josh said. “While these products do exist for a certain type of fitness buff, that’s not why we created it.”
Zire Pre-Workout Drinks, which are available in three flavors — Blue Raspberry, Fruit Punch and Pink Lemonade – help our bodies create energy through two types of caffeine, green tea, and green coffee bean extract. While Zire calls it a time-released formula, it’s more like a combination of rapid build-up and steadily built energy. In fact, people following the most popular types of workouts – cardio, HIIT, Crossfit, and strength training – use Zire Pre-Workout Drinks because it powers them through their workouts without the typical post-workout crash.
Here is a photo of the nutrition label of the Pre-Workout Drink:
And Josh is just as much of a Zire customer as he is the founder, as he practices what he preaches. Zire created the Pre-Workout Drink to serve his demanding lifestyle as a dad of two young kids, someone who never misses his daily workout and Zire founder. Like many others, Josh’s life demands a pre-workout drink that helps him power through his entire day, not just his workouts.
Though customers praise the Blue Raspberry flavor, the Fruit Punch receives a lot of love, as does the new Pink Lemonade flavor.
Zire Nutrition shares its love with SweatNET Pittsburgh members by offering an exclusive 15 percent discount on all orders. New customers can save $5 on their first order just by signing up for an account. Check them out at zirenutrition.com
I joined Sydney with Performance Unlimited on this BIG golf course lawn for a bootcamp workout. When first arriving, Sydney was so welcoming and excited to be instructing the class, which made everyone even more happier to be there! I’ve never seen someone have a smile on their face the entire while working out until I met Sydney…. I don’t know how she does it, because I know I was looking like a mess!
She started the class with some joint mobility movements to get our bodies ready to exercise. These movements seemed to really work because my joints were popping and cracking and felt my joints loosen up! The workout was split up into 50 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for 2 exercises back to back. After that, we would go through some more joint mobility movements to take a breather, but also still doing some type of work. We did this for 3 rounds of 12 different exercises, and let me tell you, Sydney knows how to make you feel weak in the knees. We did full body exercises such as sideways bear crawl, inchworms, pushups, anything and everything to get that body burn we all love.
I’ve always worked out in gyms mostly, but I am loving these outside workouts. With it finally starting to get warmer outside you get that extra sweat in, but also feel a VERY nice breeze. You’ll start to appreciate the wind during a workout like this. And who would’ve thought exercising on a golf course would be a new thing that I’m obsessed with?!…
For those loyal fans of the Be Amazing podcast who tune in weekly, you may remember episode 38 when I interviewed Grace Gallagher, founder and owner of SweatNet. Well, today I am excited to introduce you all to Ashley Fortune, one of the most recent affiliates to join the SweatNet family in Pittsburgh, PA. SweatNet is an online and monthly event based fitness community that brings fitness lovers and boutique fitness studios together for fun, fitness, savings and friendship….
If you have had digestive distress and discomfort for some time it’s likely you’ve been diagnosed with IBS-C or D, acid reflux or food poisoning. You’ve been put on proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), laxatives, fiber supplements, pain medication or antidepressants. Maybe the medicines along with a food plan helped temporarily alleviate symptoms. More often than not your troubles come back. As you turn to the internet to learn about your symptoms and treatments you have come across the term leaky gut. Have you wondered what it means?
Inside our digestive tract, we have an extensive intestinal lining covering more than 4,000 square feet of surface area. When working properly, it forms a tight barrier that controls what gets absorbed into the bloodstream. An unhealthy intestinal lining may have large cracks or holes, allowing partially digested food, toxins, and bugs to penetrate the tissues beneath it. This may trigger inflammation and changes in the gut flora (normal bacteria) that could lead to problems within the digestive tract and beyond. It is at the root of many gut and health disorders including those mentioned above. Your gastrointestinal tract is meant to digest food, break it down into its component parts, and absorb what is needed for nutrition while keeping out infectious organisms, such as harmful bacteria, parasites, and yeast.
We all have some degree of leaky gut, as this barrier is not completely impenetrable (and isn’t supposed to be!). Some of us may have a genetic predisposition and may be more sensitive to changes in the digestive system, but our DNA is just one possible cause. Modern life may actually be the main driver of gut inflammation. There is emerging research that the standard American diet, which is low in fiber and high in sugar and saturated fats, may initiate this process. Heavy alcohol use, chronic stress, infections, low stomach acid, antibiotic use and anti-inflammatory drug use also seem to disrupt the balance and cause leaky gut.
What are the Symptoms of Leaky Gut?
Digestive system changes like bloating, diarrhea, gas, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
Hormonal imbalances like PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome) and PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome).
Autoimmune diseases like Rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease.
Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
Mental health issues like depression, anxiety, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Skin conditions like acne, rosacea, or eczema.
Candida overgrowth, which is a fungal infection in humans.
Food allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances.
A Weak or poor immune system.
Arthritis or joint pain.
Although it is unusual to hear the term “increased intestinal permeability” or “leaky gut” in most doctors’ offices, alternative and integrative medicine practitioners have successfully worked on gut healing as an initial step to treat chronic diseases for decades. Other cultures around the world often recommend specific diets based on leaky gut to make people feel better. Treatment plans need to be flexible based on the clients specific symptom presentation and lifestyle but dietary change is a standard component to healing. Typically alternative medicine practitioners follow a 5 R Protocol: Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, Repair and Rebalance.
And to answer that question in your mind – Yes! Leaky gut can be healed. With this healing you can also see a reversal of other conditions like IBS and Autoimmune Disease. The process can take several months but the reward is unquestionably worth it. No more embarrassing restroom emergencies, looking 6 months pregnant by 6pm and no more lifelong prescription medications. When I started my journey of healing over a decade ago there weren’t nearly as many resources as there are today. The options for supplementations are endless and thanks to bold and brave patients like yourself there are caring practitioners and health coaches who want to help you get well as much as you do. If this sounds familiar and you want to learn more about the possibility that leaky gut is plaguing you please send me a message. My absolute joy is to help others overcome their issues without spending years and $$$$ chasing a diagnoses and program you have to run alone. I can’t wait to help you!
I joined ISI Elite Training in Ballantyne for their bootcamp workout, and holy $%*#…. If you haven’t tried a workout with them, then now is the time!
All it took was 50 minutes for Bekah to get my heart pumping and my body sweating. A LOT. This full body workout consisted of multiple EMOM rounds with either a 10 or 20 second rest in between each round. Or if you’re really wanting a challenge, you can do a plank instead of resting. I’m not going to lie, I chose to rest a couple of times. With a workout infused with tabata, cardio AND strength all in one, it’s okay to take a little break every once in a while!
What I loved about this class, is you’re doing it in a group setting so all of you are in it together. Yes, you’ll be tired, but Bekah does an amazing job at making you push yourself and to keep going. She challenges you in multiple ways by encouraging you to run a bit farther, squat a little lower, while also giving modifications if you need them. With this being said, you can count on burning up to 1,000 calories per session!
They have so many resources to help you along your fitness journey, including in body testing that’s free for members, baseline testing to see where you’re currently at, and also accountability check ups. They also have tons of giveaways! They offered me and a friend of my choosing a FREE 3 day pass to their facility as a token of their appreciation for joining their class.
I have recommended this class to so many people because of how amazing not only the workout is, but also the instructors. You can count on seeing me at ISI Ballantyne in my free time!
If you’re anything like me, nutrition is the most challenging part of living a healthy lifestyle. And to add to my junk food temptation – it’s Reeses’s egg season (which are far superior to the OG Reeses’s cups.) I’m not a great cook, so trying to plan and prepare healthy meals is an anxiety-inducing process. I used to spend hours every Sunday in the kitchen preparing meals for the week ahead, then I discovered Longevity Life, and it’s made my life so much easier.
Longevity Life is simple, easy, and delivered right to your doorstep. Unlike other meal services, Longevity comes without chopping, slicing, or dicing. You don’t have to follow a recipe or even turn on the stove. Each meal comes fresh and ready to eat.
Every week you log in and select your meal options – which feature selections like chicken bacon ranch, steak fajitas, and shrimp penne alla vodka. You can choose weekly or bi-weekly delivery to accommodate your schedule. Longevity’s signature neon containers are microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe. Every meal can be found in the MyFitnessPal app for those who like to track macros.
Having macro-friendly meals in the fridge makes reaching my goals one step easier. I choose the bi-weekly option since I have to work in the office every other week, and having healthy lunches saves me time and money when I can’t prepare food at home.
Want to try it for yourself? SweatNET members receive 15% off their first order!…
If you’ve been running for a while, you may be experiencing some new twinges or aches and pains. Don’t worry, that happens to runners of all levels.
Here are some common injuries that can dampen your road to getting some miles in:
IT Band Syndrome — this pain runs down the outside of your upper leg and sometimes radiates into the actual knee
Plantar Fasciitis — this soreness in your heel can feel worse in the mornings
Runner’s Knee — the front of the knee is the sport for this ailment, especially when going down steps
Shin Splints— this hurts, well, on your shins and can feel like a dull ache, it’s generally along the length of the bone
How do you know when to just throw some ice on those hurt parts and keep running, take some time off, or go see a professional? Well, local Chiropractor Dr. Clay Sankey IS a professional, so we asked him:
When does a nagging injury cross the line to deserving rest?
Dr. Sankey: If something causes you to alter the way you run and/or leads to pain at rest you need to dial it back. It may be appropriate to “run through” certain injuries as long as the pain is minimal, but some injuries require complete rest. Let a medical professional make that call for you!
What is the deciding factor for seeing a professional?
Dr. Sankey: Routine muscle soreness is to be expected, but pain isn’t something you should attempt to manage on your own.
What advice would you give new runners to avoid these injuries?
Dr. Sankey: Most running injuries occur because the stress you’re putting on your body exceeds your body’s ability to handle that stress. The best way to improve as a runner and reduce the risk of injury is to allow for proper recovery. Strength training is also something most runners do not do enough. Strength training improves muscle metabolism, bone density, and motor control, all of which can have carryover into running performance.
So, what to do?
Simple: listen to your body. Don’t ignore nagging pains and always err on the side of caution– a day off isn’t going to completely wreck your running plan and may help you feel better. If it does, maybe a few days off is all you need. You can always cross-train: riding a stationary bike is a great option.
Add miles slowly. A good rule of thumb is to add no more than 10% of your weekly total: so, if you’re running 15 miles a week, don’t add more than 1.5 miles a week, even if you’re feeling great. It’s tempting, we know, but don’t do it.
The goal is always to be able to run for a long time — as in you want to be able to continue doing this mode of exercise for years. Starting out slowly and consistently and taking care of yourself is the best way to do this!…
I took my very first POUND class with Lauren Voohries, and holy cow, I was sore for days after this workout (in a good way, of course!) POUND is a mix of yoga, pilates, and cardio while using lightweight drumsticks and jammin’ out to music that will seriously get you pumped. Oh, and this is all done on a rooftop overlooking the city…. Can’t get much better than that!
Lauren was joined by some other ladies that taught us some basic moves that we would be doing, and then they each took turns doing their own routine. Their #1 rule: don’t leave without pounding the crap out of that rooftop and be LOUD! These ladies will really take you out of your comfort zone, while also giving you such a fun experience that will leave you feeling so energized.
POUND is a whole body workout. Core, legs, arms, you name it! And in order to use those drumsticks, your booty has to get low… like really low. But what fun would it be if you aren’t using those drumsticks to their full potential?? They are also a GREAT stress reliever.
I was honestly so surprised at how great of a workout this class gave me. I was sweaty and sore, but also felt as if I could take on anything that was thrown my way. It really is like a party on the rooftop. So if you like to have fun and get your sweat on, then POUND is exactly what you need!…
I couldn’t be more excited to introduce this week’s guest on the Be Amazing podcast, my new friend from Hotlanta, Missy Mostrom “aka” Miss Priss. Missy and her best friend and business partner opened VESTA Movement kickboxing studio in 2014….
Whether you are a Weekend Warrior or a seasoned athlete, you likely are familiar with the aches and
pains that are all-to-often associated with that “all or nothing” style of workout. Beyond stretching and
self-care, there is another option that can help you work through those aches and pains and recover
safely and effectively, keeping you ready for your next workout, while decreasing the likelihood of
The Athlete Recovery Lounge, located two minutes off of the Wilkinsburg exit of the Parkway East,
offers an array of services to keep you healthy and feeling your best. From red light therapy, cold tubs
and hot tubs, compression therapy and infrared sauna, you can find it at the Athlete Recovery Lounge.
“Our Lounge is membership-based, which allows our clients to experience the freedom of trying all
recovery services at any time,” said Mandy Zimmerman, DC, “Dr. Mandy,” owner of the Lounge. “Our
members have unlimited access to a wide array of services that will help them maintain their health and
keep them active.”
These services include:
Clearlight Infrared Sauna: Increased circulation, which improves range of motion, allowing ou to not only
feel like you just took a 90 minute hot yoga class, but also detoxes the lymphatic system.
Joovv Red Light (PhotoBioModulation Therapy): Allows for increased Vitamin D absorption, increased
production of feel good hormones, decreases the likelihood of seasonal affective disorder, stimulates
hormonal production and helps with skin conditions such as eczema.
ColdTub cold tub: This is set from 42 to 46 degrees and produces decreased inflammation post-training.
It is a great modality for preventing future injuries and helps with immunity. Reap the benefits in just
Hot Tub: The hot tub is set at 100 to 103 degrees and allows your muscles to completely relax.
Experience better mobility and mental health after just six to 10 minutes in the hot tub.
Normatec Compression Therapy: This modality acts as a pump system for your veins. Whether you are
training, standing or sitting all day, the heart can pump fresh blood to our extremities, but the veins
have to deliver that deoxygenated blood back to the heart to repeat the process. The veins do not have
pump, however, and have to fight gravity unless you are sleeping or laying down. These compression
therapy pumps allow that deoxygenated blood to pump back to the heart, leading to faster recovery.
Fifteen minutes in the therapy boots is equivalent to about three hours of sleep or laying flat.
Hypervolts: This is a vibration percussion massage gun that is an effective way to loosen tight muscles.
Chiropractic: Helps put mobility back in the spine, allowing for proper motion and less muscular
Massage: Decreases the likelihood of injury by allowing mobility in the muscles.
Stretch Therapy: Performed by Stretch Therapists and allows for you to move carefully beyond your
range of motion, while adding motion in the joints.
InBody Scanner: Analyzes your ratio of body fat, muscle, and water weight. This is a great way to see
what your body is comprised of!
“We offer our memberships based on two visits per week,” Dr. Mandy explained. “We prefer at least
two 90-minute sessions of recovery for most athletes or anyone sedentary.”
Due to Covid restrictions, appointments are preferred, as a maximum of 12 people can be
accommodated at one time. Appointments can be made easily on MindBody, under Sports Performance
As an added perk, SweatNET Pittsburgh members receive 20 percent off of a membership package!
Call for more information at (412) 723-2735 or visit their website at www.recoverybySPS.com, or email
the staff at recoverybySPS@gmail.com….
Rooftop yoga is not just like any other normal yoga class. Trust me, I’ve taken many and I’ve never experienced something like this before. This Power Flow class was taught by Dani Bernal who is a yoga instructor at Charlotte Yoga, and she really knows how to make you feel very centered and forget about all of the negative stuff that’s going on around us. Not to mention, we were on the rooftop of the Metropolitan where you get this amazing view over the entire city… How could you NOT forget about everything else?!
The class began at 6:00pm, which was the perfect temperature: not too hot and not too cold. She started off by going through some simple stretches to release any tension we might have throughout the body, and talking us through forgetting about everything that might be going through our lives. This was our time to relax. Dani wanted us to close our eyes to focus on our breath, but I remember thinking about how beautiful the scenery was and couldn’t help but to sneak a peak of the city every few seconds.
This Power Flow was infused with relaxing and energizing poses that will have all of your muscles working. Dani gave many modifications to each pose, and even gave time for us to be creative with poses we wanted to work on, which I loved! Even the music seemed to go perfectly with each portion of the class.
By the end of the class, the sun was setting and the clouds were touching the skylines in all of the right places. It. Was. Stunning. I felt relaxation on a whole new level. It was like everything going around us stood still. Feeling the breeze on my skin, hearing birds singing in the distance, all with a beautiful view was the perfect way to end the day. This took a normal yoga routine and made it into an incredible experience. You can’t ask for anything more!
Do yourself a favor and join everyone on the rooftop for an experience you won’t forget!…
If you’ve ever done any online workouts you very likely already know a bit about my next guest on the Be Amazing Podcast. Sydney Cummings has become a YouTube sensation providing free online workouts every single day at 5am. Sydney and her fiancé Dustin have scaled this free online fitness page to a multi-faceted fitness and nutrition conglomerate that includes everything from custom merchandise, nutritional products, an online paid membership community, and complete fitness media company.…
Running is, in my opinion, by far the easiest training — as we’ve mentioned a few times before, all you really have to do is step out your front door and GO. That’s part of the reason we all love it so much.
Running can be repetitive, though, and if you do it everyday, you may need to add some variety to your exercise schedule. It’s also a good idea to change up your activity so that you use different muscles and avoid those common overuse injuries.
A good cross training schedule involves exercise that actually compliments running and can even make you even stronger of a runner. You should also enjoy it; this isn’t punishment!
We’re lucky to have so many resources in our area. It can be a bit overwhelming to choose what to do, though. SweatNET, a fitness resource that has a membership component, is great for trying out new activities and studios / facilities without a huge obligation.
Don’t roll your eyes or discount this one right away. It’s not just for 85 year olds or injured runners. Aqua jogging is a really great way to give your legs a break and it will actually help improve your running on land. Because you can really focus on your form, it can make you more efficient as a runner when you do lace ‘em up.
A few tips:
Get the belt.
Focus on your form. You may think you’re going to die of boredom while running in place in a pool, but if you can keep your focus on really moving your legs through the correct running motion, that will keep you engaged. The resistance of the water will help your running muscles work during the full cycle of motion; that translates to stronger strides on land.
Mix it up: try doing a workout instead of just doing the same thing for 30+ minutes. Your mind will thank you. You can use the clock and your perceived rate of effort to keep it simple. Try something like a 5 minute warm up at an easy “jog” followed by 3 minutes at an effort of 8 out of 10, 2 minutes at an effort of 5 out of 10, and repeat as long as you want.
If you have a bike, use it! It’s always easiest to hop on and go from your house– again, that’s the reason we love running so much, convenience is key.
If you don’t, or aren’t comfortable riding on the road, a cycle class or just doing your own thing on a spin bike is another option. The cardio workout cycling can provide is definitely transferable to your running performance. It can also help your muscles recover by promoting blood circulation by doing a non-impact activity.
There are some studios in Charlotte that have classes. You can also do a workout on your own on a spin bike at the gym, and hello, Peloton! For a simple workout on your own, hop on a spin bike, put in some earphones with some music and pedal at easy intensity (how difficult it is to pedal) and cadence (how fast your legs go around on those pedals) during the slow parts and make it more difficult during the fast parts of a song. This doesn’t have to be rocket science!
This is always a welcomed cross train day in my book. Not only does yoga force me to be in the moment because I’ve got to really focus on not falling, it helps me stretch and use muscles in a different way. There are tons of options for yoga sessions in Charlotte, and again, SweatNET partners with a lot of them.
Finally, if all else fails and you haven’t looked at class schedules, don’t have time to go to a gym, don’t want to pull that bike out of the garage, but just feel like you want a break for running, head out the door and walk. Do it with purpose and get your heartrate up, maybe pick a hilly route and pump those arms, and walking can be an effective cross train day. …
Stress is something that everyone has dealt with before and will definitely go through again. Whether it be stress from work, completing deadlines on time, school, or just simply having a bad week. There have been times where I just can’t seem to go to sleep because of everything that’s on my mind, and recently, it has been a lot so I knew I needed to try something I’ve never done before. But where should I start?? I’ve always heard mixed feelings about meditation, and I honestly didn’t think it would work for me….. until it did.
I started on a Sunday night right before bed. I wasn’t really sure if I should sit in a crossed-legged position like I’ve seen people on TV do, have the lights turned on or off, or if I needed to hum to really get the whole experience. But none of that sounded like me. Instead, I decided to lie down in my bed with all of the lights off and just get as comfortable as I could. I ended up listening to a 10 minute meditation that SweatNET provides called “Just Breathe w/ Carianna”. I figured this one would be most appropriate because I really just needed a breather that day.
I’m lying there with my eyes closed, and felt like I was totally doing it wrong. My mind is still going a mile a minute! Then Carianna starts talking about paying attention to the sounds we hear. My window was open so I heard the leaves blowing in the wind, some cars passing by, a dog barking next door. How was I supposed to focus on breathing when I hear all of these noises?? But then it became very calming to hear the leaves and the whistling of the wind. She talks in such a calm and soothing voice that I sort of forgot that it was even bothering me in the first place. I remember feeling about half way through (I think?) that my arms felt like they could float. I was more focused on my breath, and those thoughts that were running through my head starting to slow down. And before I knew it, I was asleep!
I listened to a meditation every night before bed for a week, and it really did make me feel more relaxed and fall asleep quicker! I’m not saying that I think meditation is for everyone, or that it will give you the same feelings I felt, because everyone’s body and mind is different. Do I think I will do more meditating? YES. Did I feel less tension in my body after a long day? DOUBLE YES. But I think it is all about trying to find something that works for you, and I’m very happy that SweatNET provides all different types of meditations for whatever stress reliever I might need at the time….
What is Dry Needling
Dry Needling is a treatment technique that uses thin needles to decrease pain and restore function. This is accomplished by increasing blood circulation to an injured area to aid in restoring your body’s natural ability to heal and decreasing muscle tension by directly breaking through trigger points, which are defined as tender and tight bands of muscle.
Is it the same thing as acupuncture?
Dry needling may look like acupuncture but beyond both using thin needles to break the skin. There are significant differences with the intention that the needles are used.
Acupuncture has been around for centuries and based around ancient Chinese medicine. Acupuncture’s goal is to relieve pain by altering or restoring the body’s energy flow.
Modern day dry needling dates back to the 1940’s, when the concept of muscular trigger points were discovered by Dr. Janet Travell, also known as President John F. Kennedy’s personal physician. Today dry needling has become a commonly used treatment intervention performed by physical therapists and other approved medical health professionals. Instead of trying to change the body’s energy flow, it focuses on restoring mechanical dysfunctions within the body such as tight muscles and poor circulation.
Are there side effects or risk?
Whenever something is entering your body and breaking through the protective barrier that is your skin, there are potential risks. However, in regards to dry needling those risks are very minimal when performed by a trained/licensed professional. The most common side effects include:
What are the benefits of Dry Needling?
Dry needling is the most invasive treatment technique available to physical therapists and can be extremely effective in resolving pain and helping in the recovery from an injury, especially if you’ve gone through more traditional types of physical therapy without the results you were hoping for. The greatest benefits of dry needling include:
Reduce muscle tension
Restore your body’s natural healing process
Lasting pain relieve
Improve function and performance
Still not sure if Dry Needling is right for you?
If you’re still having questions it’s always best to consult with your local physical therapist or health care provider that is familiar with the Dry needling and the specific issues you’re having. At Activade Health we work with athletes and the active population in Charlotte, NC who have suffered from an injury or are dealing with a chronic pain condition through the use of dry needling in conjunction with other physical therapy treatments to correct the problem and get our clients back to doing the sports and activities they love most!
***CONTACT US TODAY TO SCHEDULE YOUR FREE CONSULTATION***
(Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is presented for the purpose of education only. Nothing contained in this report is intended to be instructional for medical diagnosis or treatment.
The information should not be considered complete, nor should it be relied on to suggest a course of treatment for a particular individual. It should not be used in place of a visit, call, consultation or the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider. Information obtained in this report is not exhaustive and does not cover all diseases, ailments, physical conditions or their treatment. Should you have any health care related questions, please call or see your physician or other qualified healthcare provider promptly. Always consult with your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before embarking on a new treatment, diet or fitness program. You should never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this report. )
We all know that our posture is poor! Most of us are sitting in a slumped over position while we work, while we are texting on our phones, eating our food, watching Netflix, doing homework, basically throughout the majority of the day! And we wonder why we have back pain, headaches, and tightness in our neck and shoulders. But not only does our poor posture lead to rather insignificant pains, it can take us down a path towards more serious injuries. Let me explain how. Posture is a HUGE deal my friends.
Let’s start off with different types of posture so we can then delve into the implications. Types of Posture There is not necessarily a “perfect” posture, but there is such a thing as a balanced or neutral spine. The first type of posture variation is called Lordosis. Lordosis A lordosis is an excessive inward curvature beyond a normal range. Both the lumbar spine and cervical spine naturally have a lordotic curve (a “C” shape), but having an increased curve in these segments can lead to an abnormality which can also be referred to as swayback in which not only is there an increased lordotic curve, there is then an increased kyphotic curve in the thoracic spine as a compensation. This type of posture can occur from extreme extension movements seen in dance, cheerleading, gymnastics, and pole vaulting or high jump. Typically, swayback will come with ligamentous laxity (looseness) which then creates instability in those joints. This can occur from other conditions such as pregnancy, obesity, cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy.
Kyphosis A kyphosis is an excessive forward curvature of the spine resulting in a “rounding” of the back. The thoracic spine has a natural kyphotic curve to it. When this curve becomes excessive, it then requires the cervical spine to deviate into a forward head posture (we will get to this!). Kyphosis can occur from consistent slouching or rounding of the back (sound familiar?), developmental abnormality acquired congenitally, or from a severe structural deformity. One thing to note about this type of postural abnormality is the effect on the lungs. With a drastic abnormality in the thoracic spine, the lungs are directly in front of the thoracic column and will be most likely impacted!
Flat Back A flat back variation of posture will be displayed with a decrease in curvature throughout the spine, making the spine appear “flat” or straight. Usually this is seen in the thoracic and lumbar segments of the spine. With this straightness that occurs, usually the hips must compensate and will naturally rotate posteriorly to adjust. The posterior hip rotation then changes the entire lower body mechanics. Most often, flat back is developed from constant sitting, however, this type of abnormality can be developed as a result of injury. Which then leads to more injury. Fun right?!
Scoliosis The last type of postural variation is scoliosis. This abnormality involves a lateral curvature to the spine and can occur in any segment. Scoliosis can be considered functional or structural. Functional scoliosis occurs when the spine is compensating to maintain correct head positioning. This occurs with some type of muscle imbalance, muscle guarding due to injury, or a leg length discrepancy. Typical conditions in which a functional scoliosis is seen is in muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, or other birth defects to the vertebrae. Structural scoliosis is caused by a defect or congenital bony deformation. Some scoliosis cases can be classified by both functional and structural. The main concern with any type of postural variation, but in particular, scoliosis variations, is the long term health of the spine and the curvatures getting worse. This then can compromise the integrity of the spinal cord and/or nerve roots.
Next we need to look at the shoulders and scapula, as they play a large role in posture. (This is my favorite!)
A rounded shoulder posture is soooooooo common now-a-days. It can be a compensation from another posture variation, but it usually goes hand in hand with the wonderful slouched position we are all in. Sometimes, this posture can also be related to mental health and body acceptance. If depression or anxiety is a factor, individuals tend to stand with less attention creating a slouch. Or if a woman is well endowed in the chest, subconsciously she may resort to a rounded posture to remove attention. When the shoulders are rounded forward, the scapulae are next to follow. The scapulae will protract or slide forward/around the thoracic cage. When this occurs, the muscles that are responsible for keeping the scapulas retracted or back (I.e. the rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, serratus anterior, middle and lower trapezius) will be placed in a lengthened position and therefore lose strength from not being active. This may also bring about a scapular winging position in which the scapula are rotated off of the thoracic cage and protrude posteriorly. Along with this, rounded shoulder posture will cause the pectoralis major and pectoralis minor to be in a shortened position and create tightness. Lastly, in order for us to see being in a rounded shoulder posture, we have to extend the neck to make our head level. That brings me to the next postural variation.
Forward Head Forward head posture is exactly what it sounds like, bringing the head forward and extended. Forward head posture is also called “Text Neck”. This creates a shortening of the posterior neck musculature and therefore an extreme tightness. This combined with “holding our stress” in the neck and shoulders creates a very uncomfortable section of the body. The head itself weighs approximately 13 lbs. When a forward head posture is developed, the displacement of the weight of the head moves anteriorly creating an increase in muscle activity posteriorly in the neck and shoulders. So not only are the neck muscles shortened and tight, they are needing to work harder to support the weight of the head. These muscles are the levator scapulae, upper trapezius, scalenes, and the suboccipial muscles.
What do all of the postural variations mean?
When it is all put together, you get: Upper Crossed Syndrome and Lower Crossed Syndrome
Upper Crossed Syndrome These are the complexities created with the slouched posture. Rounded shoulders and forward head creates a tightness in the upper trapezius and levator scapulae (tight posterior neck) and a weakness in the neck flexors. Along with this, there is the cross of tightness in the pectorals and weakness in the rhomboids, latissimus dorsi, serratus anterior, and lower trapezius. In combination with these imbalances, the anterior portion of the shoulder has a lot less space for the tendons to fit properly and the angle of pull on the muscles then changes as well. These all become a problem when going to perform overhead movements. Whether that is lifting a barbell overhead, spiking a volleyball, swinging a golf club, lifting your baby up in the air, or jackhammering cement. How can it be expected to perform these movements well and pain free with the entire upper body alignment unbalanced?
Possible Injuries as a Result of Upper Crossed Syndrome
Rotator Cuff Tear
Chronic Migraines and Headaches
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Lower Crossed Syndrome These are the complexities created with a postural variation involving the lumbar or thoracic spine. This causes tight erector spinae muscles that run along either side of the spine and weak abdominal muscles. This syndrome also leads to the imbalance of weak glute muscles and tight hip flexors. Again, these imbalances become a factor when trying to perform movements such as squats, lunges, kicking a soccer ball, running, jumping, swinging. In actuality, upper crossed syndrome factors can contribute to lower crossed syndrome imbalances as compensation. If an individual is unable to lift a weight overhead properly, the lumbar spine and hips will compensate to help and create the possibility of further injury.
Possible Injuries as a Result of Lower Crossed Syndrome
Spondylolisthesis (sliding or slippage of the vertebrae)
Nerve root impingement
Poor patellar tracking and patellar dislocation
Ok, so my posture sucks. What do I do for it? First off, give me a call! I would love the opportunity to help you create better posture and eliminate the risk of future injury. Posture dysfunction is literally my favorite to correct (only those in the healthcare field get excited about these things!) Second, understand that having good posture is a lot more than just “sitting up straight”. It is re-educating the body of what correct posture feels like. It is re-teaching the weak muscles to activate properly again. It is stretching the tight muscles. Correcting posture takes WORK. But, by putting in the WORK, you are reducing injury risk, reducing pain, and re-aligning the body naturally so you don’t have to think about “sitting up straight”. Third, here are some great exercises to get you started on your path to better posture!
But wait… can’t I just wear a posture correction brace?
Sure, you definitely can. But, it will not help long term. The brace will put you in a better posture, but the problems will still exist. You have to strengthen the weak muscles, stretch the tight muscles, and teach the body. A brace cannot do that.
What about Kinesio tape?
Sure, you can wear Kinesio tape to help correct posture. But, it will not help long term. The tape may remind you to sit up straight, but again, it is not correcting the problems.
Our world has dramatically changed in the past year. One thing that has remained the same, though, is that exercise and moving your body is an important part of staying healthy both mentally and physically. In times like these, it’s great to have something that will help reduce anxiety and relieve some stress, not to mention burn a few of those calories from the extra snacks that you may be eating.
A lot of us are used to meeting up with friends and classes to exercise. We love our group runs! Working out with other people helps with accountability and motivation, that’s for sure. Right now it’s vital that we all run solo to help flatten the curve. How are we supposed to get up early to run if we aren’t meeting someone to do it?
The great thing about the active community of Charlotte is that there are many places to find motivation. We’ve got wonderful personal trainers and groups who have some major fitness challenges going on right now. They don’t all have to do with running, and a lot of them have prizes involved like gift cards to local breweries– how’s that for some motivation?
A lot of local races have shifted to a virtual option. This has some benefits, especially for those who have just started to run and may be intimidated to line up at a starting line. Most offer a tee shirt, medal, and other swag and all you have to do is complete the distance on your own time.
Social Media is a great way to stay connected. runCLTrun has a fabulous family of runners who are great motivators! Simply by following the account on Instagram and Facebook and using the hashtag #runCLTrun, you will find an instant circle of support. This is one of the very best things about our running community– they’ll encourage and motivate you without ever having met you!
Get out and move. Connect with others. Encourage your significant other and kids to do the same. This won’t last forever. We’re all in this together, even though we’re apart. We’ll come out stronger on the other side!…
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is the name given to a condition that effects the digestive system. It consists of frequent abdominal discomfort and bowel symptoms that cause either constipation, diarrhea, or a combination of both that cannot be explained by any other disease. Roughly 60 millions Americans (20%) deal with IBS.
There is no single effective treatment. It is different for everyone so the symptoms one person experiences will be different for another. In the same way, what treatment works for one person won’t work for another.
What are the symptoms of IBS?
The symptoms vary from person to person affecting people at different times and in different ways. If a person is going through a particularly stressful time, the stress and anxiety may cause a flare-up of their IBS or intensify their symptoms.
Abdominal cramps, often relieved by going to the toilet
Heartburn and indigestion
Needing to pass urine frequently
Ringing in the ears
What can you do to treat IBS?
There is no one treatment that works for everyone. If you have heard from a doctor that you are going to have to deal with IBS for the rest of your life because there is no cure, have no fear! You may have even heard that IBS is all in your head and been prescribed an anti-depressant. This just covers up the symptoms temporarily. The key to living well with IBS is self-management. This means learning to recognize your triggers and understanding your symptoms. Once you have a better understanding of what is happening in your body you will be able to explore what treatments work best for you. In a future blog I will discuss the benefits of keeping a wellness and food journal where you can track symptoms and triggers.
Can IBS be cured?
Absolutely! The key is an individualized approach. You can take all the prescriptions to stop stomach spasms, prevent diarrhea and treat depression but they don’t address the root cause. IBS can be cured naturally.
The first step to understanding your root cause and coming up with a treatment plan is to test. Testing for food allergies or sensitivities will give you an idea which foods you should crowd out over the course of 8 – 12 weeks or longer. You could alternatively try an elimination diet for a three weeks. With this food plan you eliminate the most common food allergens for 3 weeks and then reintroduce them to see if they cause symptoms. This is an effective way to isolate the foods that may be causing you problems.
Additionally, you may want to test for an infection such as SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). If that test is positive, you’ll want to get rid of the unwanted visitors in your small intestine. This can be treated with a longer course antibiotic or natural antimicrobial.
Once you have removed trigger foods and replaced with more gut appropriate food options, you’ll want to repopulate your digestive tract with good bacteria. Probiotics are very individualized but, I tend to recommend soil-based organism probiotics. Ones that are shelf stable and don’t require refrigeration. I like Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus subtillis, Bacillus clausii and S. boulardii.
I always recommend digestive enzymes with meals to help break down food while your gut heals. You also may benefit from nutrients that help heal the lining of the gut including glutamine, marshmallow root, licorice root and zinc.
How does stress play a role?
A key component to overcoming IBS is to find ways to address stress in your life. New research is consistently coming out that shows the connect between the gut and brain. In fact there is now a term for this connection – the gut–brain axis (GBA). It consists of bidirectional communication between the central and the enteric nervous system, linking emotional and cognitive centers of the brain with peripheral intestinal functions.
If the gut and brain are so directly connected it would make sense that only taking care of the physical side of bowel function without addressing the mental aspect will yield low success. The ways in which stress can be addressed are numerous. For some simply setting aside 5 minutes at the start of the day for meditation and reflection will be enough. For others a more consistent yoga practice or nightly journaling exercises will be needed.
I have only begun to scratch the surface on IBS but, if you are tired of suffering with the debilitating symptoms of IBS and are feeling ready to work with a health practitioner on your gut health: book a free consult with me and let’s see how I can support you. I highly recommend before you take on any dietary adjustments or lifestyle changes that you talk with and consider working with a professional who is skilled in understanding your bioindividual needs….
Today’s guest is Grace Gallagher, an entrepreneur, lover of all things fitness, and a new mom to a baby boy. Grace is a former athlete having swam and played soccer all growing up to swimming throughout high school and college….
Hey Charlotte athletes! We at Catalyze Performance wanted to reach out and introduce ourselves. Catalyze Performance focuses on personal training, injury prevention, and performance training (in person and online) to help people stay healthy and perform at their best. Some of you may have seen us already out at local fitness studios or with exercise groups running injury prevention workshops. For those of you who we have not met, it is so nice to meet you! We are thrilled to be a part of the SweatNet community and look forward to helping you stay healthy and training at your best!
Meet the Team
Ryan Cullen, PT, DPT, OCS, CPT
Ryan Cullen is one of our co-founders and lives in Uptown Charlotte! Ryan is a Doctor of Physical Therapy, Personal Trainer, Performance Coach, and is a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist. He specializes in helping local athletes to reach their maximal potential while staying healthy and reducing injury risk. Ryan is originally from Burnt Hills, NY, and graduated from SUNY Oneonta (Oneonta, NY) for his undergraduate and SUNY Upstate Medical University (Syracuse, NY) for his Doctorate. He went on to complete advanced training in Orthopedics through Upstream Rehab Institute’s Residency program, and specializes in the injury management of fitness athletes.
When he is not running workshops with local fitness groups and coaching athletes, Ryan loves to spend time enjoying the local CLT breweries and food scene. Ryan enjoys working out at his local CrossFit gym, checking out local hiking spots, and traveling to new places!
Joe Villecco, PT, DPT, OCS, CPT
Joe Villecco is a fellow co-founder of Catalyze Performance and is based out of Raleigh, NC. He grew up in upstate New York (Binghamton, NY), earned his Bachelors in Biology from SUNY Oneonta (Oneonta, NY), and received his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Upstate Medical University (Syracuse, NY). He has since gone on to complete an Orthopedic Residency to become a Board Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist. Joe has been working in outpatient physical therapy for over 3.5 years now and focuses on improving his patient’s beyond their previous baseline level and educating them on the importance of lifelong fitness.
Joe has been personal training for nearly 8 years now and integrates his knowledge of physical therapy into his personal training to emphasize injury prevention and optimal performance.
Joe focuses primarily on a blended approach of powerlifting and hypertrophy training when he is in the gym. When, and if, he stops thinking about fitness and wellness, you can probably find him at a local brewery, at the beach with his wife, or sitting down to enjoy some Xbox with his friends! …
Since COVID has hit us, I have had to try and figure out some new ways to exercise. I enjoy running outside, playing sand volleyball, hiking, basically anything you can think of that you can do in the fresh air. Then the winter season came around, and it was hard for me to exercise and actually ENJOY it.
This is when I was introduced to SweatNET! I was so shocked to see how many different types of workouts they had to stream right from home. From cycling, to strength, to cardio yoga – they have it all. What I really love is that there are so many different choices to choose from, and a bunch of them are styles that I’ve never tried before! I can even customize it to a specific workout length for those days where I’m either in a rush or have a little extra time on my hands.
I live with 3 other girls, and they see me doing these new workouts all of the time. One of them came up to me and said, “Where are you finding all of these different workouts? It actually looks like you’re having fun!” And that’s exactly what I’m doing. I got her to take one of the Pilate classes with me, and she was so surprised at how great of a workout she got in while actually enjoying it. She now workouts with me on most days of the week, and they are all videos that I stream from SweatNET! I feel more motivated to workout knowing that I have a huge variety to choose from, all while having a friend by my side to enjoy it with!…
The pelvic floor consists of three layers of muscle that span across the bottom of your pelvis between your hips, pubic bone and tailbone like a hammock. They are tasked with important bodily functions and when they are functioning properly, life is great! But when there is weakness, imbalance or dysfunction the resulting symptoms can be embarrassing and painful.
Imagine, if you will, your core as a pop can. The lid would be your diaphragm, our major breathing muscle, which lies horizontally just below your sternum and within you ribcage. The circular sides of the can would encompass your abdominals, erector spinae and multifidi muscles that reach around your core from your belly button to your spine. Last (but not least!), the base of the can would be your PELVIC FLOOR MUSCLES! Together this group is known as your can of stability”.
You may also envision the pelvis and the pelvic floor muscles as a bowl. The top of the pelvis, the pelvic ring, is the brim of the bowl, while the pelvic floor muscles form the bowl shape to support its contents (the organs!).
Why is the pelvic floor so important?
The pelvic floor is responsible for some of your body’s most vital and necessary daily functions.
Like I mentioned above, the pelvic floor is made up of three layers of muscle. The first and second layers are in charge of controlling the opening and closure of the urethral, vaginal and anal openings, which are important for functions of peeing, pooping, giving birth and sexual intercourse. The third layer of muscle is primarily responsible for supporting the pelvic organs (bladder, uterus and rectum) as well as maintaining core stability and intra-abdominal pressure with movement.
Any weakness or imbalances in your can of stability, as described above, can lead to pelvic floor dysfunction which can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life.
What does pelvic floor dysfunction look like?
Common pelvic floor dysfunctions include urinary and bowel incontinence and urgency, constipation, pelvic organ prolapse, and pain with intercourse. Dysfunction may also encompass diastasis recti abdominis (DRA), low back, hip, tailbone and pubic symphysis pain.
These symptoms may be due to a combination of problems, including muscles that are too weak, too tight or uncoordinated. They may also be influenced by daily stress, anxiety or depression as well as past experiences such as abdominal surgeries, birth or sexual trauma.
If you are struggling with any of the above stated problems, email Dr. Hayley VanBeek at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask any questions and set up a consultation.
Visit us on our site for more helpful hints and for more info.…
How about spring time to get started on your running goals? Often times, new runners know how to start, but may not know how to keep it going. With spring weather just around the corner (it’s coming, right?), now is a great time to lace up those shoes and get going. We’ve pulled together a few simple tips to make it happen and keep happening.
1. Do a little every day. Every. Single. Day.
It takes a while for a habit to form. In order not to get bored or discouraged, start out with small increments of running. Something like a brisk walk for 20 minutes is a great place to start if you are totally new to it. Then, a 5 minute run/5 minute walk pattern for 20 minutes is the next step a week or so later. Don’t overcomplicate it—just move your body in some way every day. Soon you really will miss it if you don’t do it.
2. Find a friend to hold you accountable.
We all are more likely to stick to something we’ve told someone about. If you’re on social media, there are exercise groups that can offer support and ideas. If you like to run with people, there are a lot of different run clubs that meet almost every day of the week, at different times. Those groups can offer encouragement and advice because there are usually some runners who have been running for a while. And yes, there will be someone your pace. Promise.
3. Pick a goal.
Pick a goal, whether it’s an official race or a personal distance you do on any given day, circle a date on the calendar a few months out and focus on it! Virtual Races are all the rage, and these can be a great way to complete a new distance on a course you pick and are familiar with at whatever time works best for you! The medal and swag will be a fun reminder of you reaching a goal you set and completed.
4. Mix it up.
Running can get monotonous. Even professional runners do cross-training. Do yoga. Try a spin class. Do some weights. Do a Fitness Blender from YouTube. Just do something. Every. Single. Day.
5. Take it one day at a time.
Don’t think about doing something for the rest of the entire year. Think about doing something just for one day. Then do it again the next day.
6. Keep it simple.
As you can tell from these tips, we’re all about keeping things simple. The more basic you can keep it, the likelier you are to stick with it. Who likes a 15 step routine? That’s why we love running so much. Get some shoes, step out your door and go!
Lucky #7. Take it easy on yourself.
Miss a day? Miss a few days? That’s ok! Don’t beat yourself up over it. Just start again the next day. Here’s a little secret: you can start over as many times as you want.
Whatever you do, please make sure you’re safe. Our local running stores sell reflective gear and safety accessories. Run with a friend if you can and let someone know where you will be running.
You’re on a mission to be the best version of yourself that you can possibly be. Whether that means
daily gym time, a power yoga class or a restorative stretch, eating well, or going for a long run on a
peaceful trail, you make it a priority to take care of your body.
Pittsburgh’s Restore makes it their mission to help you do just that by making Hyper Wellness® widely
accessible and affordable, enabling their clients to do more of what they love.
Founded in 2015, Restore is the market leader in one of the fastest growing segments of healthcare. The
company helps people in need of chronic pain management, accelerated injury recovery, improved
athletic performance and health span longevity. To achieve this, they offer a range of services that
include everything from cryotherapy to IV therapy.
No matter your goals, Restore can help you achieve them through a multitude of services, including:
Whole Body Cryotherapy: A maximum 3-minute service that reduces inflammation, boosts endorphins,
burns 500-800 calories, increases the body’s collagen production, and helps improve sleep.
Local Cryotherapy: Known as the ice pack on steroids, local cryotherapy is a great option for people who
prefer to spot treat in one specific area of their body. This service is about 10 to 15 minutes, just as you
would ice an injury.
Compression Therapy: This modality increases blood flow and circulation, promotes healing and
recovery, and decreases muscle fatigue after exercise. Similar to compression socks, compression
therapy works wonders at elevating soreness after a workout and pulling fluid from extremities.
Infrared Sauna: Different from a traditional sauna, the infrared sauna is set at a much lower
temperature, provides a dry heat and is operated by infrared panels designed to heat you from the
inside out. For most people who use this service, it’s much more comfortable than a traditional sauna,
enabling a longer stay. It’s a great way to detox the body and get the heart pumping, similar to a HIIT
Photobiomodulation, or PBM: If you’ve lived in Pittsburgh for an extended amount of time, you likely
are familiar with its somewhat gloomy days, having recently been ranked as the fourth gloomiest city in
the United States. PBM combats that gloominess by working on a cellular level to produce ATP within
the body, thus producing more Vitamin D, which gives us that happy, uplifting feeling that we normally
get from the sun. PBM is an effective way to ease the effects of seasonal affective disorder.
Stretch Therapy: A great way to increase flexibility and mobility, stretch therapy is performed by
mobility specialists who begin each session by warming the muscles with a hyper volt massage gun. They
then move the body through a series of stretches and movements. Available in 30, 45 and 60-minute
IV Drip Therapy: This service involves administering essential vitamins, minerals and hydration, delivered
intraveneously. The benefits? 100 percent bioavailability directly to the bloodstream, compared to 15 to
20 percent when taken orally. Experience near immediate results!
Hyperbaric Oxygen: A noninvasive therapy, hyperbaric oxygen involves the user lying in a pressurized
chamber while breathing 90 to 95 percent oxygen. With more oxygen, all of the cells in the body can
produce energy more effectively, enabling the body to heal itself in profound ways. Hyperbaric oxygen
therapy has been shown to heal traumatic brain injuries, help fight cancer, and heal tissue that is
generally slow to recover.
Hydrafacial: This therapy serves to cleanse, extract and hydrate and was designed to be a quick, but
efficient, way to extract the dirt and grime, slough off dead skin and rough texture, leaving the face with
that signature hydrafacial glow.
Cryoskin: This slimming, toning and facial service is designed to target troublesome areas of fat, reduce
fine lines and wrinkles, reduce cellulite, and boost collagen production.
One of the most popular services at Restore is the IV Drip Therapy.
“We offer pre-made drips for immune support, energy, weight management, detoxification, anti-aging,
recovery, beauty, stress management, allergies, and more, that take the thinking out of the process and
help make coming in the fire time less intimidating” said Emily Ehlert, Restore general manager. “You
don’t have to know what you want when you come in. The nurse will help educate you on the different
vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. All drips are customizable, so if you do our micronutrient test to see
what you are deficient in, then your drip can be tailored to what your body needs.”
One IV Drip Therapy, in particular, the Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+) plays an important
role in regulating biological and physiological functions, mainly metabolism and cellular repair.
“Our NAD+ drip gives the bod a jumpstart to help repair the body the most natural and safest way,”
Emily explained. “NAD+ rejuvenates the mitochondria, the powerhouse of our cells, which slows the
aging process at a cellular level. This particular drip helps the body “clean house” of damaged cells and
provides a cellular health reset.
As a special perk to SweatNET Pittsburgh members, Restore offers 50 percent off of the first Restore or
Wellness service, and 20 percent off of the first aesthetic service such as Hydrafacial or Cryoskin.
Hours of Operation:
Monday-Friday: 10 am to 7 pm
Saturday: 9 am to 5 pm
Sunday: Noon to 4 pm
Phone: (412) 409-2890
Website: www.Restore.com, or find the Pittsburgh (Upper St. Clair) location on the MindBody app.
Walk-ins are welcome!
Curious about what Restore does? Stop by to talk to someone or ask for a tour!…
“I’m not doing that because as soon as the Challenge is over I’ll gain back all the weight I lost.”
An actual quote, from a real live person, and an opportunity for education.
I was having a conversation with someone about a Nutritional Challenge I was running and I asked if she had planned to join. Her response smacked me in the face. Why? Because there is still so much misinformation being circulated about how health and wellness work within the real world.
It’s about education, not perfection. If you hang out with me for any length of time, you’ll hear me say that over and over again. Life is not perfect. It’s messy, complicated, fast paced, and beautiful all at once. That doesn’t mean that we cannot lead healthy, well balanced lives while raising intelligent and well rounded families. I’m asking that you reject the notion that Health = Perfection. This is a falsehood. Health and wellness are a journey; a process. That process ebbs and flows and looks differently for each person. And just like things in nature, life is made up of seasons; and seasons vary from person to person.
Seasonal adherence does not mean failure. In fact, I’d argue that being skilled in seasonal adherence makes you more successful over the long run, because again… THIS IS A PROCESS. January turns to March and then before you know it, it’s July and you’re headed to the beach for some fun and sun. You don’t have to completely give up on your goals for the year because you have plans.
Take an inventory of the year. What do you have on your calendar? Big trips, exams, holidays, presentations? Find a couple times throughout the year that feel like you are mentally capable of tackling a period of strict adherence. If we can make health and fitness a part of our routine when we’re feeling good, then it is easier to stick to when we’re stressed and busier. Being in a mental state composed enough to tackle a season of strict adherence; we are continuing a healthy habit versus creating a dreaded chore. I don’t recommend trying to cram for your finals/presentation while trying to track your macros, or stay in a season of strict compliance. Why? Because then it becomes stress. This is a lifestyle – it should not be stressful. Feeling stressed makes it difficult to maintain a healthy eating pattern and hormone balance.
When we feel stressed or anxious our body is triggered to release a higher level of the hormone called Cortisol. Consistently elevated levels of Cortisol can cause flushing of the face, rapid weight gain in the face and abdomen, high blood pressure, increased thirst and frequent urination. Bad news all the way around. Just like we aim to keep our insulin levels nice and even throughout the day, we should aim to keep our cortisol levels even (aside from natural fluctuations varied by time of day) as well. Keep a handle on your stress, friends.
Aim to set aside two to three small “seasons” to strictly dial in your nutrition. Make sure these periods align with your plans. Don’t overload yourself. Adding undue stress to your already full agenda will only create further stress.
Will your weight/muscle/fat fluctuate throughout the year? YES! That is okay! Hear me when I say, everyone goes through this. Seasonal adherence is normal and healthy. Our bodies and minds need a reset.
LIVE YOUR LIFE!
You heard me. Live your life. This is a lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean that you have to put your life on hold to maintain it. This is what you do, not who you are. …
“Charlotte Family Yoga?! Where is that?!” That’s what owners Vicie Moran and Kara Vincent usually hear from the Charlotte-area yogis. Charlotte Family Yoga is one of few hot yoga studio on the north side of Charlotte. The studio has several different types of classes, but Hot Power classes, heated to 98 degrees, is the most frequent class on the schedule. If Power is not your jam, no worries! There is truly something for everyone at Charlotte Family Yoga: Yin Yoga, Power Sculpt, Deep Stretch, Long/Slow/Deep, Power Fusion, Yoga Flow (Gentle/Slow Flow), Power Mix (music!), Hot Power, Rocket Yoga and Kids Yoga! Classes are offered 7 days a week and usually includes one of the faster, vinyasa classes and a stretch class.
Prior to COVID, the three roomed studio on the line of Charlotte/Concord maxed out classes at 25 in the Heated Studio and 9 in the Non-Heated Studio. In the last year, Charlotte Family Yoga drastically reduced class sizes; 9 in the Heated studio and 6 in Non-Heated, and pivoted to online and in-studio classes. Although the studio went through the same challenges as every other studio during the pandemic, Vicie and Kara are committed to continuing to love, support and serve the #cfcytribe! Rent and client retention is REAL!
How can you support Charlotte Family Yoga? Swing by the website virtually or visit the studio at their location on Poplar Tent and take a class, buy a new mat or accessory, or say hi! Every interaction is an opportunity to not only encourage, but support a local small business! Not ready to travel to the north side of town? Catch Vicie teaching a Drop Sound Power Flow at the The Met with Sweat Net Charlotte on March 2, 2021 at 6:00 PM! Vicie loves music almost more than yoga so it’s sure to be a pop party on the mat!
Want to learn more about the offerings at Charlotte Family Yoga? Follow the studio and owners on Instagram @charlottefamilyyoga @vicieyoga @runyogakara13
There is nothing quite like a run or bike ride on a clear and sunny day to clear your head. Endurance training is a fantastic way to stay in shape, destress and escape the daily grind. Many athletes love that “exercise high” where they feel like they can go for 100 miles and nothing can stop them….except for nagging knee/ankle/hip soreness.
Do you ever wonder what it would be like to run, bike or row, and feel like you are at the top of your game? Combining strength training–which helps to build stronger muscles, tendons and joints–with endurance training is a great way to stay healthy. Strength training consists of shorter duration exercises using weight (bodyweight, dumbbells, bands), compared to endurance training, which consists of longer duration movements. Often, injuries occur during workouts because an athlete is overtrained or they have gaps in their program. Supplementing your endurance workout with “accessory movements” such as squats, calf raises, lunges and deadlifts, which help to target the quads, hamstrings and calf muscles, is vital for success with endurance training.
Catalyze Performance has created a program to help incorporate strength training into any workout, in an effort to help our athletes feel at the top of their game. Our online program, InjuryPrevention for Endurance Training, has workouts designed by Doctors of Physical Therapy (PT), with exercises to address the most common injury areas that we see in our injured athletes (knee pain, hip pain, ankle issues, achilles strains, hamstring pulls, etc.). The main focus of the program is to build lower body strength and enhance tendon health to optimize performance within an endurance sport. We have taken our favorite rehab exercises from the PT clinic and built them into a complete strength and conditioning program. This online program consists of two workouts per week for a month, and includes easy to follow exercise videos on our mobile app. It can be done at home or in a gym, and is designed to take 30 minutes or less per session. Best of all, you can try the program for free for one week to see if it is right for you. Once you decide you love it, the program is just a $25 flat, one time fee, and once complete, we provide a PDF of the entire program so you can refer back to the exercises at any time. Are you ready to take your health and fitness to the next level in 2021? Connect with us below. We look forward to having you on our team!
Subscribe to our newsletter at www.catalyzeperformance.comto get a code for 10% off any program!
Meredith Opsahl is a bright, blonde-haired, energetic force. In February 2020, the Pilates instructor, owner, and former advertising sales exec opened the doors of boutique studio BK Pilates in Charlotte’s South End. She’d just landed from New York City, where Meredith and Marina Kaydanova, the founder of BK Pilates NYC, met.
This is the first franchise studio outside of the Big Apple, where Kaydanova has five other locations. Through a series of life events and major decisions, Meredith took the BK Pilates workouts with her to the South, introducing a style that’s all about alignment and slow, controlled movements for tone, endurance, and good posture.
BK Pilates, housed in an intimate, airy, walkable location, displays a careful attention to healthful movement under the tag line: Be Kind to your Body. Their average class currently is 45 minutes and most often delivers a challenging, low-impact full body workout.
Tell us about your average client and who BK is right for.
They need to have a body (as we all do!), and then we’ll adjust accordingly to that person’s own goals. Many of our clients are brand-new to Pilates and the reformer machine [a device, similar to a bed-like frame, invented by Pilates founder Joseph Pilates]. There really is no average client, because Pilates is a movement and a lifestyle. We want our clients to achieve their personal and movement goals: If it’s toning up, working on balance, working on losing weight… [it all can] happen with consistency and balance.
Meredith, when did your love of fitness begin?
I think my love of fitness really has existed throughout my entire life. I was a ballet dancer as a kid, then a gymnast and cheerleader my entire childhood. It moved into Pilates after I graduated from college in 2009. I was living in Hoboken, NJ and working in corporate America. I tried a small, local studio and was hooked.
How did you and Marina [BK’s founder] meet and decide to work together?
When I moved to NYC in 2012, I searched for Pilates studios close to my house in Chelsea, and stumbled upon BK Pilates on 25th and Lexington. The rest is history: I was hooked as a client and really loved the way Marina connected with clients and her teaching style; not to mention, the way I felt after leaving her classes. We had a lot of similarities and became nice friends over time.
Marina, tell us about business ownership in NYC and about transitioning into the Charlotte market.
New York is a very competitive but very rewarding city. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere in the world! My goal was to build a happy place where no one is intimidated and everyone is included and feels cared for, all while achieving their mind and body goals. By slowly opening one studio a year, I built a beautiful, diverse community that felt like family. And now, as Meredith has brought the brand to Charlotte, I walk into a class here and it also feels like home.
We have to ask: Meredith, tell us about opening a business in 2020.
It has been one the most rewarding and challenging years of my entire life. We opened the studio in February, and while other curve balls were thrown my way this year with moving and settling into a new life, closing a business after six weeks of it being opened was surely not anticipated. I won’t beat a dead horse, but the process was challenging. But it also was really fun to me, to get creative, get inquisitive, get curious, and get building! It’s a lot of work, but it’s worth every minute.
Ok.. fine. I get it. You’re reading this because you want to make a change in your life for the better. You are here because you care about your health, what foods go into your body and want to clean up your diet and ultimately feel better, look better, and perform better. Caring about what the scale says isn’t vain, and it isn’t wrong. But my point is, it’s not the only thing you should care about. Stepping on and off the same scale multiple times of day will not give you anything more than data. What does that number tell you? Does it make you feel a certain way? Does that number accurately portray all the hard work you’ve put into yourself in the gym and in the kitchen? Shift your mindset to one of gratitude for your health, for a body that carries you every day, for a community of people working toward the same goal. Health and wellness is a journey.
It’s Just Data.
It’s just data. Plain and simple. Data cannot be inherently good or bad. Data (in this case) is merely a tool to educate us on the impact our nutrition and exercise have on our lives. And over time, data changes… We want this data to change. Therein lies progress and transformation.
The scale doesn’t tell the whole story.
Odds are, you don’t have an Inbody scanner in your bathroom. You probably own a square, glass scale that flashes 0.00 when you get on and a different number when you step off. That scale isn’t telling you much, other than what you weigh at this current moment. It may change first thing in the morning, or at night, or depending on what you have on… but it’s not telling you much other than that. Unlike the Inbody, the household bathroom scale does not give you your lean muscle or skeletal mass. It does not tell you what your current body fat % is either. Nor will it tell you how hard you worked in the gym that day. It is merely data. Your bathroom scale will fluctuate based on calibration, battery life, and environmental factors such as temperature and placement. Bottom line, don’t be a slave to the scale. If we wanted you to weigh yourself daily, we would have you get on the Inbody every day for the rest of your life and odds are, you would not enjoy it.
Negative Self Talk – Cut that crap out!
Allowing a number on a scale to define how we feel and talk to ourselves is giving too much power to a finite piece of data. That number will ultimately change, but the damage we’ve done to ourselves via our internal negative self talk will last far beyond a mere couple of pounds. Consider, you wouldn’t dream of saying something unkind or negative to your child/spouse/best friend about their appearance, why should you treat yourself any differently? Studies have linked negative self talk with higher levels of stress (hello Cortisol) and lower levels of self esteem, both of which can lead to decreased motivation. Negative self talk can manifest itself in the form of perfectionism. Let me be clear, high achievers tend to have a perfectionistic streak to them. That does not mean they are suffering from negative self talk. But when perfectionism is coupled with negative self esteem or negative self talk, it no longer becomes productive.
How do we stop it? When you hear yourself talking in a way that does not align with your true self, stop and recognize it. Take one bad thing you just said and swap it for a good thing. Put it into perspective. “The scale hasn’t moved, but I have so much more energy this week! I know I’m on the right track!”
Create a mantra. Write it down and put it on your mirror, or directly on your scale. See it every day. “Progress, not perfection.” or “I am thankful for my health and a body that carries me every day.” “I am strong and capable.” “I choose me.”…
Looking back on the day that I first walked into VIBE5, I honestly didn’t have any idea what to expect. I hadn’t been to a yoga class, or any class for that matter, since COVID-19 hit us so it had been a while for me. Let me start off with how incredibly nice everyone was at VIBE5! This is the type of place where you look forward to working out. Everyone, the staff and the people joining the class, were smiling and genuinely looked excited to be there. You know how you have to drag yourself to some places, and you’re really not looking forward to being there? Well don’t worry, because this is not one of those places at all!
I took a Strong VIBE5 class with Virginia Saylor. The only type of yoga I’ve done before was the gentle and relaxing kind, so I was excited to try something new.
And this class did not disappoint! If you are looking for a workout that is upbeat, incorporates yoga AND strength training, then this is the one for you. We used dumbbells, bands, and sliding pads for a full body burn that left me feeling very energized (and a little sore). Virginia made the workout suitable and fun for all ages and fitness levels by providing modifications to each exercise, and having a variety of weights and resistance bands for everyone’s liking.
VIBE5 was honestly just what I needed to make me push myself harder than usual, and a big part of that was Virginia because she motivates you to keep going. I’m not going to lie and say it wasn’t hard, because it was definitely challenging. But in a good way! It was the feeling of knowing that I had a great workout while also having fun and enjoying it that will make me go back to VIBE5….
Your thing. Your story. Your why. Maybe it’s a feeling when you exercise, or a sense of belonging to a community. Maybe it’s a redemption story. Perhaps you struggled with chronic illness or injury and found renewed health and wellness through exercise and community. Maybe the community you discovered in your local gym, your workout buddy, your online community pulled you out of a dark time, separating you from some unhealthy addictions or vices and breathed promise and new vision into your life. We all have a story.
Everyone has one; a ‘why’. What’s yours? And what does your story tell? And better yet – who is watching/listening to your story?
Exercise and proper nutrition are a gift. They are a celebration of what our bodies can do. The potential for transformation and progress should excite and inspire you. What a wonderful feeling! Health and wellness is not only a physical choice, there is a mental component to it as well. A healthy mindset is critical to your continued wellbeing and I would argue just as important as the physical component. If we are just making it through the next workout, or eating a certain way because we “have to” then it is not sustainable. View those choices as exercise of your right to choose well and feel well.
So many times we hear people grumbling about the way they feel or “I have to workout” vs. “I get to workout.” We can all fall into that season where life seems crazier than ever and we just don’t feel like working out. Stop your procrastination, realize what you need and go do it. Not every workout is going to feel like a personal best. Not every workout will leave you feeling like you accomplished something either. Those type of workouts are okay. Why? Because the “I don’t wanna..” workouts are just deposits into your overall health bank. View those workouts as “sweat equity.” We may not be in the right frame of mind, or maybe we don’t have defined goals for this particular season in life, but that doesn’t mean a workout has gone to waste. You’ve probably heard that old adage “The only bad workout is the one you didn’t do.” It’s true. Sweat equity, friends. Every workout, every healthy meal choice; they all add up to big accomplishments over the long haul. Put in the work and the results will show.
When we step back and look at the bigger picture; what we say and do resonates with others beyond our own recognition. The things we say about ourselves, about the way we eat and/or feel, and our desires to exercise are being absorbed by those around us. From the very tiny eyes and ears to our peers and those who come in contact with us every day. What part of your story is being told? Is our healthy mindset and passion for overall health the main character in your story? Don’t let exercise become the villain.
You know how most people think that ALL green smoothies are bound to taste terrible? Well do not let those people fool you! I drank this smoothie once a day for two weeks straight (literally). The best thing about this smoothie is that it tastes just like mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Yes, you heard me correctly. ICE CREAM!
This is actually one of the biggest reasons why I love this recipe so much. I am a huge ice cream lover, and mint chocolate chip is my go-to flavor. And now I don’t have to feel bad about having it everyday! This smoothie not only tastes amazing, but it is packed with vegetables and nutrients such as spinach, bananas, and avocado, which might seem a little weird but there is no avocado flavor. It is super quick and easy to make, perfect for those days where you are needing something fast because you slept a little bit longer than usual (we’ve all been there), but still want something that tastes good and leaves you feeling satisfied. If I’m craving something sweet at the end of the day I’ll even make this for desert! It’s that good, I promise.
Feel free to make this recipe your own by adding or substituting ingredients. Sometimes when I make it as a desert I will throw in some honey to add just a little extra sweetness or top it with some whipped cream! Either way, I hope you love this just as much as I do so be sure to click here for the full recipe and try it out!
AM I HUNGRY?
Hunger is your body’s signal that you need nourishment to fuel yourself and ensure your body operates at its fullest potential. Real hunger does not come on suddenly. It is a gradual process and begins to increase as time goes on. When your body tells you that you are hungry, it’s time to eat and refuel with food that provides nourishment. However, be aware of the difference between hungry and other emotional reasons you might want to eat. If you are not hungry, then continue to walk through the steps of HALT, and identify the reason you want to turn to food.
Tip: Do the holidays cause food to be on your mind constantly? Grab a nutritious snack like almonds, Greek yogurt, or a cup of fruit or vegetables to hold you over until the holiday feast begins. Incorporate a glass of water with your snack to help you feel satisfied.
AM I ANGRY OR ANXIOUS?
The holidays bring to the surface a mix of emotions, but being aware of the feelings can promote care for your mental and physical health. Anger and anxiety are both associated with stress and can cause an increase in appetite. Start by slowing down, taking a deep breath, and working through why you are angry or anxious. Exercise is another healthy outlet to turn to instead of food to reduce your stress.
Tip: Does the holiday traffic have your blood boiling? Take time to reflect on the situation by journaling how the situation made you feel and how you can confront it. Go for a walk, scream into a pillow, paint, or turn on music and clean out that closet you have been eager to start.
AM I LONELY?
Loneliness is a common reason people turn to food for comfort, especially during the holiday season. Food, especially choices high in refined carbohydrates and sugar, send the “feel good” hormone serotonin to the brain. This is why it seems that food brings comfort, and mindlessly eating can become an unhealthy habit, especially during stressful times. Reaching out to your support system will help suppress the sense of loneliness, anxiety, and depressed feelings that the holidays may bring.
Tip: If the holidays are making you feel lonely, decorate your home, cook yourself a nutritious-packed meal, and curl up on the couch and watch funny Christmas movies. Call a friend, or find someone and give them a hug. Immerse yourself into laughter by watching funny dog videos or your favorite sitcom. Attend a local group meeting, visit family or friends, or take a walk around the neighborhood.
AM I TIRED?
The hustle and bustle of the holidays can take a toll on the mind, body, and spirit. Tiredness is also a sign of being overworked and overwhelmed, and the need for rest can easily be confused with the desire for food. When you feel exhausted, you crave carbohydrates to fill that void, which gives you a quick energy rush. However, this leaves you feeling empty in nutrients and in the same restless cycle. Inadequate sleep can also interfere with your hormones, ghrelin, and leptin, which can also lead to an increase in appetite. It is essential to your health emotionally, physically, and mental to establish a time each day to get food sleep and rest.
Tip: Is the holiday season wearing you down? Set your alarm clock, and take a power nap to satisfy the need to sleep, rest, and rejuvenate. Relax and enjoy a bubble bath, meditate, participate in music therapy to help you relax, or go for a walk instead of rummaging through your cabinets….
Let’s all go ahead and admit that we’ve made mistakes. We are human. It’s part of the learning process. How can you expect to learn anything if you do everything perfectly from the get go?
Ready for change. We all have an area that can use growth somewhere within ourselves. Be it physical, mental or emotional… we all have that ONE thing.. or maybe it’s two or three things. Guess what, that makes you who YOU are MEANT to be. It sounds like I’m celebrating failure. I’m not. I celebrate the potential for growth and regrowth within each of us. Why do I say ‘regrowth’ you ask? Because this is a process and becoming stagnant in any state is never good. This is the part where you acknowledge your opportunity for growth, see it for what it is, and make a plan for how you are going to grow.
So what happens when we mess up? There can be negative consequences associated with the mistake, yes. But what about the positive?
Let’s put this in terms of a New Year Challenge…
What was the mistake?
Who did it affect?
Why did it happen?
What can I do differently next time?
Maybe you went to an event or gathering and had some cake. OK, today is today and tomorrow is still tomorrow. That happened today, and tomorrow is another opportunity to get it right. Don’t beat yourself up. Give yourself some grace and room to view mistakes as nothing more than opportunities for growth.
We all want to start the New Year with a clean eating routine but sometimes the holiday spirit can carry on into January a little too long. Before you know it, it’s February 1st. It’s never too late to change things up! Eating intuitively is a practice that takes patience and routine. Luckily, West Michigan is booming with places to help you out along the way. Meal prep can be a beast (and a big bummer on Sunday evenings!). Our top tip for clean eating success is to incorporate a few pre-made meals into your meal prep throughout the week. Check out our partners for special SweatNet deals!
The perfect post-workout boost! Clean Juice features a wide selection of juice to-go, smoothies, acai bowls, and more. Bonus – they’re serving up lots of immune-boosting shots to keep you healthy through the winter months.
At Malamiah, they strive to provide a joyful environment that enhances the mood of all who interact with their business and delicious, nutritious foods. Their extensive menu offers bottled juices, smoothies, Acai Bowls, toast, oatmeal, grain bowls, salads, and more!
Feed your soul with delicious, healthy, and clean food. Core Life makes it easy with a customizable menu that allows you to create your own plates, bowls, soups, and more. Power up with easy, quick, and delicious meals.
Eating clean has never been easier! The team at Root Functional Medicine has designed customized meal plans based on genomics and microbiome to help you restore wellness. Their team works with clients as consultants over a period of 3-6 months in order to find root causes and support you through a holistic healing plan.
Impacting the community with healthy shakes that are packed with 24g protein, 21 vitamins/minerals & under 250 calories, energizing teas that are loaded with vitamin B & protein iced coffee that is 15g protein, 100 calories, and only 4g sugar. Cheers to positiviTEA!
Nothing tastes better before or after a workout than a fresh bowl of acai, fruit, and nut butter. The Acai bowls at Fruition are top-notch! Explore their full menu of juices, smoothies, avocado bowls, and more. Breakfast, lunch, or dinner are as easy as order, grab and go.
Nourishing and filling salads & wraps? Sign us up! Bliss & Vinegar offers over 60 toppings with house dressings, made from scratch with zero preservatives. Eat healthy food that isn’t bland or boring and discover your bliss.
Vitality Bowls specializes in making delicious açaí bowls, which are a thick blend of the açaí berry topped with organic granola and a selection of superfood ingredients. Additional antioxidant-rich menu items include smoothies, fresh juices, soups, salads, and panini. Fuel up for your next workout with their fresh and high-quality meals.
At MIX in East Grand Rapids, they believe in and are committed to creating a healthy and active community! They offer a wide menu of energizing teas, healthy shakes, and protein coffee to provide a simple and delicious way to stay healthy.
New year, new me. Right? And after the dumpster fire that was 2020, we’re all looking towards a brighter future. Unfortunately, over 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail within the first month. Those who have fallen off the bandwagon have cited a lack of support, resistance, and unwillingness to alter consciousness as reasons for throwing in the towel. Sticking to resolutions requires a behavior change. Behavior is a product of our habits. Changing our habits to align with our goals is the ultimate secret to success.
So how the heck do we modify our behavior? Enter Atomic Habits. James Clear, a leading expert on habit formation, compiled a comprehensive guide to create good habits and kick the bad ones to the curb. Whether your New Year’s Resolution is to get in better shape, quit smoking, or start that business – Atomic Habits will help you build systems to meet your goal. James outlines self-improvement tips and explains them in ways that are easy to apply. Here are some of my favorites.
Winners and losers have the same goal. Olympian track stars who finish first and last in a race have the same goal – to win the race. So, what ultimately separates these two competitors?
Goals are great for direction, but they can’t stand alone. When making resolutions, we focus too much on the end result while ignoring the game plan for how we will get there.
Systems focus on the process, while goals focus on results. Your systems are a collection of daily habits. Solving problems on the results level only resolves them temporarily. Undesirable outcomes are a lagging measure of our habits.
The definition of ‘atomic habits’ can be summed up into this – small changes that, if repeated over time, compound into remarkable results.
Eating one salad won’t make you healthy, just as writing one paragraph won’t make you a New York Times best-seller. But our habits are a compound interest of self-improvement.
Getting 1% better is barely noticeable. But if you commit to becoming 1% better every day, you’ll end up thirty-seven times better at the end of the year. Small improvements don’t make much difference at the time but set you on a positive trajectory over the long-term.
My biggest takeaway from Atomic Habits is the theory of building identity-based habits. Your current behavior is a reflection of your current identity. When changing habits to align with goals, it’s imperative to alter your self-image to reflect who you want to become.
My New Year’s resolution is to grow my blog and become a better writer. I become a better writer by acting as though I already am one. When shaping my systems, I ask myself – what would a writer do?
Every action or habit is a vote cast for your desired identity. Completing an exercise is a vote for being an athlete, and writing a sentence is a vote for being a writer. Changing your identity doesn’t require a perfect score – a majority of votes win….
Create a grocery list ahead of time around a couple meals you want to make for the week. I usually plan for 3-4 meals/week at home and 1-2 meals out. This will save you time AND money.
Look at sale items at your grocery store. This not only saves you money, it can also give you ideas on what meals to make. For example, if it’s buy one, get one free chicken thighs, I’ll choose that as my protein and base one meal around that.
A co-worker and I created a grocery list template that you have access to. Feel free to use this to help you organize your list and plan your meals for the week.
There are also apps that you can download that help make your grocery list. I use “To Do” which allows you to invite other people so they can also add to your list. This way, if you live with others, everyone can help add food items they want to the list vs. you being the only one responsible.
Keep it Simple Sweetie
Choose easy options to save you time or if you’re not as confident with your cooking skills. Some favorites of mine include:
Rotisserie chicken, already marinated meats
Pre-cut veggies, frozen or canned chopped veggies Frozen fruit, applesauce
Single serving packages of tuna/chicken
Veggie burgers or pre-cooked turkey/beef burgers
Always Have Easy Staples On Hand
You really can pull together a fast and healthy meal from your pantry and freezer.
Pasta with sauce such as pesto or marinara (pro tip: choose lentil pasta or cheese tortellini to increase the protein content)
Frozen/canned veggies and meat Beans and rice
Frozen meals (there are lots of healthy, lower-sodium options)
Frozen breakfast sandwiches, frozen waffles
Bread, bagels, English muffins, buns (pro tip: freeze bread products to make them last longer)
Make Some Items Ahead of Time
Cook a big batch of these things to easily re-heat throughout the week:
Meet Carrie Veal, one of Eat The Frog’s original founding members and hear what she loves about her home studio and their signature FrogFit Nutrition program! Carrie was one of the first members when the Charlotte studio opened in November 2019 and it was then that she realized she wanted to further her fitness journey and joined the FrogFit Nutrition Program in January. With her hard work and dedication, along with the help from her accountability and fitness coaches, Carrie was able to make great strides by shedding fat and gaining muscle.
We asked Carrie:
How long have you been a member at Eat the Frog?
I was one of the first members of Eat the Frog in the fall of 2019.
What is your favorite part of the workout?
The cool-down is my favorite, not because it means the workout is done, but because it gives me a moment to thank my body for the hard work it did, to reflect on how 50 minutes sets my intention for the rest of the day, and to notice where I pushed myself and where I need to keep pushing.
What type of workout is your favorite? Cardio, Strength or Agility?
Strength! Even though I do not hit the “Red Zone” as often as in cardio, knowing that I am getting stronger, physically and mentally, is a big deal for me!
How has the new FrogFit Jumpstart program helped you with your goals?
It refocused my attention to what really matters. Yes, I want to look better, but I want to feel better too. Having a program that weaves nutrition and exercise together is a big deal. And the DAILY accountability with a coach is a huge help.
How has the program and workout helped you in your daily life during the crazy months of this past year?
Having the “On the Go” workouts was a lifesaver! I need routine, and on the days when I might not feel like driving to the gym, I know I can still get a great workout designed by the same team. Knowing that my FrogFit Coach can see/know that I am putting in the work is also a big part of maintaining my goals. I feel better when I have no REAL excuse not to get things done!
Want to try Eat the Frog?? They will be teaching a pop up class at the Metropolitan on February 16th at 6PM, so head here to grab your ticket! Free for Members, $15 for General Public…
Low back pain is one of the most common complaints that I receive from athletes and non-athletes alike. It can be due to tough workouts, bending over to pick up something up off of the floor, sitting at a desk working all day, or even having a job that utilizes heavy and awkward equipment such as videographers or police officers. Whatever the cause of low back pain may be, a lot of times what seems to be low back pain is actually stemming from a different location. This location is the SacroIliac joint or “SI” joint for short. Injury to this joint can very easily mimic low back or hip pain. Let me explain how and why this joint can create pain.
Sacroiliac Joint Anatomy
To start off, it is important to look at the anatomy of the sacroiliac joint. This joint is where the pelvis joins together with the spine, specifically at the sacrum which sits just below the lumbar spine (aka the common area considered as the low back). There is an SI joint on both right and left sides of the body where each hips attaches. This joint provides very limited movement, but it does allow for shock absorption to take place between the upper body and pelvis and legs. There are ligaments that attach the pelvis to the sacrum and it is those ligaments that can become injured along with cartilage that sits between the two bones as well.
Sacroiliac Joint Movement
Now that we know what the sacroiliac joint looks like, let’s talk about how it moves. The primary movements of the SI joint are anterior-posterior (forward-backward) movement and superior-inferior (upward-downward) movement. These movements can then be combined based on how the hip is needing to move. As an example, if the leg needs to be brought up toward the chest, the SI joint will then move posteriorly and inferiorly to allow for the hip movement. It is when extreme movements take place that put the SI joint in a more vulnerable position. Sports such as dance, soccer, crossfit, or volleyball in which being able to reach the end ranges of a movement are necessary is when SI joint needs to be as mobile and as stable as possible.
Many muscles help with creating stability for the SI joints which can also lead to the misleading belief of low back pain. The back muscles such as the erector spinae, multifidi, and the quadratus lumborum help support the posterior aspect of the SI joint. Along with the back musculature, the gluteus maximus, piriformis, and hamstrings help posteriorly as well. Due to this, the misdiagnosis of sciatica is seen. Hip muscles such as the iliopsoas and the gluteus medius help create stability for the SI joints from a lateral perspective. Core musculature such as the rectus abdominus and internal and external obliques helps out the anterior aspect. All in all, it is very easy to assume one of the larger muscles to be the source of pain rather than examining how someone is moving in relation to the hips and SI joints to find the source.
Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction
Ultimately, the injuries that can occur at the SI joint are going to be related to either: too much movement or not enough movement. This is generally called SI Joint Dysfunction meaning the joint is not functioning how it should be. Hypermobility of the SI joint (too much movement) can create pain from being unstable. This causes the surrounding musculature to work harder to help create stability and therefore mimic back pain. Hypomobility of the SI joint (too little movement) can also create pain from being “stuck” for lack of a better term. Usually hypomobility will cause complaints of tightness or a “pinching” feeling in the low back. Along with the SI joint, the musculature will tend to be tighter as well trying to guard and protect the SI joint. Another term that is sometimes interchangeable with Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction is Sacroiliitis. This term refers to a chronic inflammation that has developed over time due to the increased or decreased movement at the SI joint. This inflammation then causes pain on top of the underlying movement issues of the SI joint.
So how do you know if the pain is from the SI joint or from the low back? Great question! It takes a full functional evaluation, a thorough medical history, and maybe a little bit of luck (just kidding!) to tell where the source of pain is coming from. The evaluation should involve a thorough look at the spine, the hips, and the core and how they all are working together. It really is essential to determine if the SI joint is a factor because if only the hips and core are treated and not the SI joint, the pain will still persist. It is also important to look into everyday life factors (sleep position, sitting position while working, types of surfaces ran on, types of shoes worn, etc..)
What do I do if I have SI Joint Dysfunction?
Call me so I can help you! Other than that, here are a few good exercises to help the SI joint:
Single Knee to Chest Stretch
This exercise is great for getting more movement at the SI joint. The further the knee is brought towards the chest, the more rotation that will occur at the SI joint. Hold this stretch for at least 30 seconds per leg. Repeat 2-3 times.
This exercise is a great one to help with stability of the SI joint. Start off with bracing the core and tucking the hips under the make the back flat against the floor. Press down through the heels and lift the hips up high while squeezing the glutes. Control back down to the floor. Complete 10-15 reps for 2-3 sets.
The bird dog exercise is fantastic because it not only is helping with SI joint stability, but it is also engaging the core and hip musculature as well to create even more stability for the SI joint. Starting off on the hands and knees, make sure the brace the core and tuck the hips under. With control, lift the opposite arm and opposite leg to full extension being careful to not allow the low back to arch. Control both limbs back to the floor and repeat on the opposite side. Complete 10-15 reps of 2-3 sets.
Can it be done? Absolutely. Will you need to be intentional about it? For sure!!
You aren’t careless with your goals, obviously because you’re here, so planning for success over the next 6 weeks is no different. Failing to create a plan for your success, a guide map to your goals if you will, will only result in spending more time and money than you’d like.
You can absolutely do this. And I’m going to show you how.
Clean Eating: Moderate fat, moderate protein, moderate to low carb, but not necessarily high dollar. Yes, the ultimate goal is to buy pasture raised, farm fresh, grass-fed meats and produce, but you don’t have to mortgage the house to do it. You can live a clean lifestyle a lot more affordably than you think.
SHOP IN BULK!
Hello Costco. (Insert all the heart eye emojis for Costco here.)
No, but seriously.. It doesn’t have to be Costco, or Sam’s Club or BJ’s, but a grocery store that offers a wide variety of items at a lower cost point based on quantity is going to add some major bang to your buck. Buying items that have a longer shelf life in large volume will save you so much on your weekly grocery bill. These items include; Avocado Oil/ Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Ghee, Almond Flour, and nuts like Cashews, Pistachios and Almonds. Unless you buy your meat directly from a farmer, the most cost effective place to buy your meat will likely be a place like Costco, Sam’s or Bj’s. That being said, not all meats are created equal and not all things advertised are a good deal. If you can find a clean bacon (no nitrates/nitrites and no sugar) for under $6 per lb – BUY IT ALL! Keep your eyes peeled for a bargain and then stock up!
Choose cheaper cuts or bone-in cuts of meat.
Back to buying your meat in bulk. You can save some money by choosing a cheaper cut of meat, trimming the fat yourself and removing the bone. I like to buy several pounds of pork, bone in steak, or beef and trim and remove the bone, then portion out the meat to be frozen and used later. The type of cut can save you money too. Buying a shoulder, shank or hock will be much cheaper per pound than other cuts. Take these larger, seemingly “tougher” cuts of meat and cook them down in a slow cooker with some spices and liquid and you have a delicious meal. It takes a little bit longer than other cuts, but definitely worth your time. A whole chicken is simple to roast and then use for several meals throughout the week vs. cooking several batches per week. Don’t toss those bones either! Use them to create your stock which can also be stored or frozen for later use. And let’s not forget our ground meat! Ground meat is versatile while still cost effective!
Buy “in-season” items from your local farmers market.
Shopping your local farmers market for in season fruits and veggies can save you big on your produce bill. Oftentimes farmers will have a surge of one or two products and you can score some ultra fresh produce for pennies on the dollar. Think outside the box here too… you can buy tomatoes from the market, remove the seeds, boil them down and make your own pasta sauce that can easily be frozen and stored for later. Same with fruits and veggies. Chop and freeze for smoothies and recipes in the future.
Grow it yourself.
I have to be upfront with you about this one…I am not the best when it comes to gardening. However, there are many items that grow quite well in a pot or small bed. Lettuce, herbs, peppers and other produce can thrive in smaller maintained plots. If I can do it, trust me… you can too.
Buy frozen fruits and veggies.
There are many fruits and veggies that retain their nutritional value when frozen. Keep your eyes open for deals on frozen fruits and veggies. ‘Buy 2, Get 3 Free’ is a fantastic way to stock up on these items. Be sure to check for the ingredients. We want to make sure there are no added oils, sauces or sugars.
Conclusion; spending a little extra thought at the store, will save you tons on your grocery bill. Think outside the box, stick to your goals and you’re on your way to being a budgetary ninja! …
Ok – I’m officially a sucker for low-impact workouts. As a recovering HIIT junkie, I never appreciated the training style that barre classes bring to the table. I figured if I wasn’t walking out of the studio dripping in sweat, it wasn’t a good workout.
I was a little intimidated by the dance aspect of Pure Barre. Although I have a mean shuffle ball change, I’m the farthest thing from flexible. The Pure Reform class brings together the benefits of traditional ballet and pairs it with resistance training to create those long, lean muscles we all crave.
Pure Barre focuses on small movements that yield big results. Their full-body workouts target major muscle groups to tone your arms, lift your booty, sculpt your abs and chisel your legs. What more could a girl ask for?
The Pure Reform Experience
The barre studio was divided into COVID-friendly stations that contained the equipment needed for class – sliders and resistance tubes. Because I was a newbie, the instructor reviewed the flow of class, offered some modifications, and helped me get acquainted with the Pure Barre lingo. I slipped on my sticky socks, and I was ready to go.
Pure Barre is fast-paced, and I struggled to keep up at first. Everyone else moved in unison, so I’m assuming you get the hang of it after a few classes. I was skeptical whether Pure Reform would be challenging enough for me, and boy, was I wrong. In a matter of minutes, my body was shaking as I moved through each position. My favorite part of Pure Reform was the emphasis on unilateral compound movements. For example – while we were pulsing in a squat, we were simultaneously performing bicep curls. Training more than one major muscle group at the same time burns more calories, ignites your whole body, and elevates your heart rate.
Pure Reform is an incredible strength workout – I could still feel the effects of barre training days later. I walked into the studio a little skeptical, and I walked out a true believer in the methodology of training by small, controlled movements. It was my first time at Pure Barre Mt. Lebanon, but it certainly won’t be my last.
Want to try a Pure Reform class? SweatNET members save $5 on drop-in classes!…
Strap on your winter hiking boots and embrace the cold this season by exploring one of our many beautiful hikes in West Michigan. Alison Glowinski, owner of Happy People Hike, shared her tips and top picks for winter hikes throughout the area. Happy People Hike is an apparel and lifestyle brand on a mission to take people outdoors to experience the best parts of nature through an activity available to all size, gender and ages…hiking!
Why do you enjoy hiking West Michigan trails in winter?
I enjoy winter hiking because of how peaceful it is. The trails are significantly less crowded this time of year and there is something magical about hiking in the snow. Normally in the summer months I prefer hiking with a group. In winter, it’s more about some quiet time to myself.
Is there a specific time of day you enjoy hiking in winter?
Sunrise! I prefer there to be some light but enjoy going as early in the day as possible. If we’re lucky enough to get some sun this time of year, a snowy sunrise hike is beautiful!
What are your top tips for making hiking in the cold weather more enjoyable?
Lots and lots of layers. I am always cold so making sure I have a good base layer and that everything on top is removable in case I do get too warm. Warm socks and boots with good traction are key. You want to be able to enjoy your time out there and not worry about being too cold or sliding around. If the hike is long enough, add a thermos of warm coffee to your backpack.
What are your top 5 favorite winter hiking trails in West Michigan?
Richmond Park – It’s the perfect spot for a shorter, hilly hike.
Highlands at Blandford Nature Center – The area is more open so it’s a nice change of scenery from the typical wooded trails.
Pickeral Lake – It’s just really pretty and a fairly easy loop around the lake with beautiful views the whole way.
Siedman Park – I like this one because you can add some distance with the various loops, and it has some hilly parts. This is a good spot for more of a workout hike.
Coolbough Natural Area – It’s a little further out of town (Newaygo) but absolutely worth the drive. It’s never busy and has a wide range of terrain. I think it’s more beautiful in the winter than summer.
How can people stay connected and up to date with Happy People Hike?
We’re on Instagram and Facebook @happypeoplehike or visit our website where you can sign up for our newsletter!…
In today’s health climate, Restore Southpark provides a respite for staying well and improving your physical + mental health…and seeing friendly faces! Restore is the passage for all things wellness…we make wellness affordable and accessible to everyone, because wellness shouldn’t be restricted. Hyper-Wellness is a lifestyle that improves the lives of our customers.
As many of us are working from home these days, there are a number of services at Restore that are amazing in helping us stay healthy and feeling our best.
Tired eyes or headaches from looking at screens all day? Come in and try PBM! Photobiomodulation (PBM) Therapy uses near infrared (NIR) light to reduce pain, inflammation, and drastically aid recovery as well as helping reduce the side effects from blue light fatigue to our eyes and brain.
Is your neck sore from looking down at your computer or talking on the phone? Our Stretch team is ready to treat you with a personalized neck massage and stretch to get you feeling good and ready to take on a new day.
Are your hips and hamstrings tight and/or are you experiencing lower back pain from sitting too much during the day? We are ready with a personalized Stretch experience as well as Whole Body Cryotherapy + Compression. Cryotherapy has shown to reduce inflammation and releases endorphins that help alleviate pain, boost energy and metabolism, and increase the body’s natural healing abilities. And Compression Therapy maximizes circulation throughout the body to help you feel better faster. After this trio of services, you’ll be feeling like a new you!
Need an energy boost, feeling dehydrated, or need a dose of Vitamin D? Our IV’s + IM Shot’s are the perfect way to ensure your body is given the essential nutrients it needs.
The above services are only a handful of what we have to offer at Restore Southpark. Whether it’s keeping ourselves healthy and feeling good during the circumstances of the pandemic or getting our bodies ready for training or sports, everyone can benefit from Hyper-Wellness. We are here to help you Restore your health and do more of what you love.
Move With Me Studio, founded by SweatNET Pittsburgh Ambassador, Lindsay Kober, is the latest fitness studio to hit Pittsburgh. Built on the belief that movement is for life, Lindsay’s goal is to teach physical and mental wellbeing for the long run.
Offering personal training, partner training, and group classes – there’s something for everyone at Move With Me Studio!
Come sweat with the Move With Me community when the doors open on January 4th!
*SweatNET Member Discounts*
1st class FREE
20% off the first month of Unlimited Membership
$10 off 8, 12, and 16 Class Packages
I love the name Move With Me – it’s simple, welcoming, and inclusive. What’s the inspiration behind your brand?
Thank you! I wanted to create a brand that was exactly that- welcoming and inclusive. I believe that movement looks different for everybody, but I want to help people find that style of movement that’s going to work for them! I want people to come to MWMS excited, I want them to leave in a better mood, I want them to feel stronger, to feel accomplished, and to feel like they want to move and want to come back!
Obviously, you’re the definition of #bodygoals. How long have you been a personal trainer, and what motivates you to show up for yourself every day?
You’re too sweet! I started my career in personal training in 2015 and haven’t wanted to change that since! I truly am motivated by my clients… One of my mottos is “I will never make you do anything that I wouldn’t do.” I do every single class I teach; I always have, and I always will because I truly believe in what I am coaching, and I try my best to lead by example. If my clients are willing to show up for themselves, I’m going to show up for myself.
Having worked in gyms for years, I’m sure you’ve seen it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly. What makes Move With Me Studio unique?
This is HUGE for me. Move With Me Studio is a small personal studio that I am starting on my own so I am determined to always remember where I came from and remember how important the community was in helping me get to this point. The majority of my clientele has been with me for 4 years now and I make it a priority to get to know every single member I work with. This definitely isn’t a studio you’re going to come in and out of quietly- our community is everything and you’re going to end up making friends! My clients are definitely more than just clients for me! Oh….. and I’m a serious stickler for doing things right so you’ll slowly learn to love my corrections 🙂
What kind of classes and training will you offer?
MWMS will have personal training and group training options. The group training option is called STUDIO SWEAT! The workouts follow a schedule of upper dominant day, lower dominant day, full-body day, and repeat! The workouts are always changing and will incorporate both strength and cardio. The studio has free weights, TRX, ropes, kettlebells, and more to give you a wide variety!
For those not ready to be back in the studio, how can people access your workouts from home?
MWMS actually began because of my home workout program back in March! We are now on week 40 and it’s been so helpful and motivating for me through the shutdown! I do the home workouts every day and they will be similar to the ones in the studio, only the home program only requires dumbbells, and, in the studio, we have a wide range of equipment to use. The home workouts are written out and you are given a video demonstration of all moves to complete on your own time. You can access them on our Facebook, Instagram, and google drive, and once enrolled, you get access to all previous workouts and 5 new workouts a week!
When COVID-19 hit, every business had to pivot. What’s one thing you’ve learned over these past few months?
I think I can speak for everyone when I say that nothing is certain, and life is short. If there is one thing I have always believed and it’s only strengthened in the last few months, is that you need to prioritize the things that you CAN control. Fitness is a blessing, nutrition is healing, and your health is worth fighting for. You have control over your daily actions, so treat your body well and move 🙂
How can people reach you and join the Move With Me community?
I cannot wait to grow the Move With Me Community!!!!! Email email@example.com for any questions or if you’re interested in trying a class! I will be able to help you find the option best for you :)…
The days are growing shorter and the nights are getting colder. It is a sure sign that it is winter in Michigan which means it is time to start prioritizing self-care. While we think self-care is perfect year-round, there is never a better time than now. Beat the winter blues and shop local this holiday season by picking up a few gift cards or self-care goodies from local partners.
Spend 30 or 45 minutes in one of the infrared saunas and you will be dreaming of Tahiti! Saunas lower your levels of cortisol, which is your body’s main stress hormone. Sweating also reduces feelings of anxiety and frustration, which helps you feel more relaxed and at ease.
BANG Blow Dry Bar & Salon
Nothing can turn a sour mood into sunshine like a great hair day. Let the team at BANG Blow Dry Bar work their magic and walk away with the supermodel hair of your dreams.
Holiday hangover? We don’t know her. The experienced team at RevIVed help create curated IV experiences to meet you where you are at. You will recover better, sleep harder, boost immunity, and get glowing skin, all from their unique revitalizing vitamin infusions.
If there is one place we would rather be in the middle of winter, it is floating in the ocean in a sunny vacation destination. The next best thing is experiencing one of the sensory deprivation tanks at plot in Grand Rapids. Close your eyes and let your worries drift away while you imagine yourself under the rays of the Hawaii sun.
All the built-up stress and tension from work, the pandemic and holiday shopping are creeping up to your ears…literally! Release your shoulders and stretch your way to a better, more relaxed, you with the unique fascia stretch therapy provided by the experienced team at Healix. Table assisted stretch therapy can help increase circulation, improve sports performance, assist with weight loss, reduce pain and much more.
Grand City Tanning
While the sun hides away until June, we will be at Grand City Tanning working on our fake tan glow! This is not your 2000’s era spray tan. The team at Grand City Tanning know how to create the perfect tan for any skin tone. Their mission is to educate the West Michigan community on the dangers of indoor tanning while providing a safe and affordable alternative. All products that we carry are gluten and paraben free, 100% vegan and nut allergen free.
Chasing Vanity Salon
This year, cute New Year’s nails are a must! Who cares if nobody can see them? They will make you feel great while lounging in your sweats counting down the minutes until midnight. From hair, nails, massage, aesthetics, injectables and skincare, and more, Chasing Vanity is a one-stop shop for all thing’s beauty.
Wanderlux Beauty and Wellness
Go all out with a full spa day experience by booking a few services off the extensive menu at Wanderlux Beauty and Wellness. They offer services that include natural, organic, and clinical skin care treatments, reiki energy healing, infrared sauna, brow & lash services, and body work. Grab a few natural beauty products on your way out to keep the self-care treatments going while at home.
For years we’ve been taught or believed that in order to achieve a healthy, lean body we should do cardio, cardio, cardio. I’m here to tell you, as someone who was guilty of just that, that you need to incorporate some type of resistance training to achieve the sculpted look you’re probably working for. Cardio absolutely has its place in a well-rounded workout routine, but you’re missing out on so many benefits by not making resistance training a priority. Aside from aesthetics, resistance training will make you a stronger runner, cyclist and overall athlete. This is where Hilliard Studio Method comes in. Hilliard Studio Method is a unique workout that combines barre, Pilates, yoga and strength training into an effective and efficient total body workout. Let’s examine how this can help you as a runner/cyclist.
HSM classes are centered around the core. You work your abs from the very beginning of class to the very end. This is key as a stronger core is arguably the most important muscle group for running. Deep core muscles work to more evenly distribute the load of a run, allowing for better performance and endurance.
We also emphasize balance in our classes, as many exercises are done on one foot, or on high heels, or unilaterally. Balancing poses can help strengthen small muscles in the ankles, legs and core that you need to move fast and efficiently. This not only helps runners as they land one foot at a time, but for everyday walking as well. Single side work will also help bring awareness to any imbalances that exist from one side of the body vs the other, which is very common!
A similarity that our classes have with running or cycling is that they are challenging from the beginning until the very end. Your body benefits physically from the exercises and you benefit mentally as well. Focusing on form and breathing helps you connect inward, and you need to practice these techniques to get you through races or long runs outside of the studio. You learn how to be comfortable being uncomfortable.
We can’t forget the obvious way that strength training helps in our cardio performance as well. Stronger bodies make everything we do easier, faster and more powerful. At HSM, we use various weights, body weight, balls, gliders and bands to challenge the body in different ways to build muscular endurance and strength.
I can’t encourage you enough to try one of our classes either in-studio, on zoom, in the parking lot or through our library of streaming classes. Our goal is to see you become your most powerful version of yourself!
MEGHAN LEE – Hilliard Studio Method Instructor + Fitness Enthusiast. Follow @meghan.lee.clt…
It’s here! The most wonderful time of the year. Right?
The holidays certainly look different this year, and while the convenience of curbside shopping and the cancelation of complicated family reunions may have reduced a few of the usual stressors, that doesn’t mean that the hustle and bustle of the holidays has disappeared.
2020 has really shown us the significance of self-care and wellness, but it’s still so easy to get swept up in the “busyness” of things. As yoga teachers and owners of Charlotte Pop-Up Yoga, Natalie and I teach the importance of connection, flow, and intentionality on the yoga mat, but it’s just as important to carry that intention off the mat. That’s why we’re sharing five simple ways you can practice self-care and wellness this holiday season.
1. Move for 15 minutes each day.
Our schedules tend to get jam packed around the holidays. Often our exercise plans are the first thing to go in order to make time for something else. But you don’t always need to block an hour for a yoga class or thirty minutes for a run. When you find yourself struggling to exercise this month, set a goal to move for at least fifteen minutes each day. That can be playing with your kids on a playground, going for walk at work, taking a short jog around the block…anything!
2. Get outside daily.
Since we’re a little more homebound this year, it’s easy for an entire day at the home office to go by without ever stepping outside. Set an alarm and get out for a few minutes each day. Rainy or cold day? Grab that all-weather gear and get yourself outside. You might dread it initially, but you’ll be happy you did.
3. Practice Simplicity. Less is More.
It’s easy to feel the need to buy lots of gifts or gadgets to pick up the mood this year. But don’t get pressured into spending too much money or having the perfect outdoor holiday lights. Find some small intentional gifts (support local with wellness products, pre-packaged health foods, candles, and more) and stick to what you know and enjoy. Remember, true joy comes from inside and has nothing to do what others do, say, or think of you. When you find things getting stressful or chaotic, take a deep breath and use the mantra, “Keep it Simple.”
4. Just Go With the Flow.
There’s a good chance that even the reduced holiday plans you have will see some changes. With COVID restrictions and unexpected exposures, you might find yourself having to unexpectedly pivot and adapt (there’s that word “pivot” again…). Set your expectations low and keep them simple. Deep breaths. You will get through it. 2020 has been tough, but so are you.
5. Practice Gratitude.
Although this may seem obvious, many of us forget to actually do it. Make a point to inhale, exhale, and list three gratitudes each day. I promise, everyone has something to be thankful for. Remember, “it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.” – David Steindl-Rast Looking for more help staying mindful or well this season?
WOW! I feel like I blinked and this year-long membership just flew by. Anyone else have a year that felt like it dragged on forever but was super quick at the same time? Hitting that year mark means that my one-year membership at Title Boxing Club- Grandville will be over with. Like many do at the end of a year, I feel like this is a great time to reflect on what I’ve learned and taken away from this membership.
One thing I’ve learned over the course of this year is that not everyone is internally motivated to exercise. Some people are and that’s awesome, but others really match the energy of a group fitness class and need that little kick of contagious motivation to work hard. This has been a tough lesson in my fitness journey because on social media and other platforms, it seems that all fit people are so happy and motivated and energized. It made me feel that I had to be like them in order to be a “fit girl”. This year-long membership has allowed me to accept the fact that I just do better with groups. Participating in fun, energizing classes makes me want to keep going back.
Another thing I have learned during my one-year membership is how important it is to spice up your exercise routine! It is so easy for people to get stuck in the habit of doing the same exercises or simply just stuck in their normal routine. Adding new moves and branching out to join different groups is honestly life changing. You not only learn new skills that you are able to take away and incorporate into your routine, but it makes exercising exciting! If you asked me a year ago what a jab cross was, I probably would have thought you were crazy. Now I can add a jab cross, upper cut, even lead AND rear hooks into my routine….
In West Michigan, we are blessed with four beautiful seasons. Unfortunately, one of those seasons presents unique challenges when it comes to exercising outdoors. With many gyms limiting class sizes due to the Pandemic, there’s never been a better time to experiment with outdoor exercise during winter. Exercising outdoors is proven to benefit both physical and mental health. Don’t wait until spring to exercise outdoors again! The key to enjoying it? Layers, staying safe and mindset.
Here are our top tips for exercising in West Michigan winters.
1.) Stay Warm and Dry
When you think of exercising in winter the first thought that comes to mind is staying warm. But, the quickest way to lose body heat is by getting wet. To stay dry during your entire workout, skip activewear clothes made from cotton and opt for synthetic fibers such as polyester..,
cPrepping your outfit for an outdoor winter workout doesn’t stop at fabric choice. Picking the correct layers is critical to keeping heat close to your body. The first step is a thin synthetic fiber base layer to pull sweat away from the skin and keep you dry. For extremely cold days, add a second layer, like a fleece quarter zip, for extra warmth. Top it all off with an outer shell that is resistant to the elements (wind and water) to keep you toasty and dry. If you’re working out at night, make sure to wear reflective clothing!
When it comes time to fill out your winter exercise wardrobe, head to Lole in East Grand Rapids or TO & FRO in Ada to stock up on cute, comfortable and highly effective winter activewear.
Remove Those Layers
Now that you spent all that time creating the perfect concoction of layers to keep you warm, it’s time to take them off! Well, not immediately but as soon as you feel your body hit a baseline temperature, begin removing layers and tying them around your waist. If you start to feel cold again, pull them back on. One of the biggest mistakes when exercising outside in winter is piling on layers and keeping them on. When your body starts to sweat and warm-up, you need to remove those layers to help keep you dry and safe.
Protect Your Skin
Your skin is going to be the main part of your body exposed to the elements when exercising outdoors in winter. As much as you’ll try to cover every inch of your body, parts of your face will still be exposed and that means dry, cold air. Keeping cracked skin at bay is as simple as applying an ultra-hydrating moisturizer to your face and lips before heading outdoors. Whatever moisturizer you choose, make sure it has SPF. Even though the temperatures are cold and the sky is cloudy, the UV rays can still reach (and damage!) your skin without protection.
Check Your Footwear
Rainy days mixed with freezing temperatures create slick and dangerous sidewalks that don’t mix well with traditional tennis shoes. If the sidewalks are dry, your regular kicks will do just fine if you layer up with moisture wicking thick socks. When slippery roads are unavoidable, level up your footwear with ice spikes, available for purchase at Gazelle Sports. Just make sure you stay off pavement when running on spikes – they’re designed specifically for running on snow or ice.
You know what makes working out in cold weather easier? Being warm before you start. The hardest part about any workout is getting started. It’s 10x easier to not end your workout and run back inside seeking warmth if you take 10-15 minutes to break a sweat indoors first.
Cool Down and Change
Once you stop moving, you’re going to cool down fast – literally. No matter the weather, it’s important for your heart and muscles to take the time to do a proper cool down. Start by decreasing the intensity of your exercise 5-10 minutes before you plan to end your workout and finish with some of the same exercises you did in your warm-up.
Once you’re cooled down, remove damp clothes, which suck away warmth from your body, and change into something dry. Or, kick it up a notch by finishing with a hot shower and cup of herbal tea. The best part about working out in winter is the warm dry feeling you have afterward!
Ready or not, here comes winter! As we look forward to the holiday season, do not forget about YOU. It is easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season, but we are here for you whether that means a gift card for a loved one or a NuCalm Deep Meditation session for yourself to ease the stress of the holidays. NuCalm can be added to Microblading, Skin Treatment, a Shape House session, or CoolSculpting treatment. Sometimes it can be hard to put yourself first during this time of year, but it is not selfish to prioritize your mental health and self-care.
Dominate This Season
Although the daylight hours are decreasing, the days often feel longer as we approach colder weather. Utilize one of our most popular wellness services, and get a B12 shot; this will give you that needed energy as well as boosting your immune system to kick the cold and flu season to the curb. Check out our wellness booster bar options we have to offer at our Northville location. Get ahead of the season and book now before you head into hibernation.
Holiday Prep – Modern Beauty Style
It is not uncommon to start to feel a bit drab in the Winter, but that does not need to be the case. We all want to look our best at our holiday parties, so why not start prepping now? We offer many ways to look and feel your best, check out our personalized treatment plans for cosmetic injections, and get your best skin with our skin treatments to conquer the upcoming season with confidence. Start out this season by putting YOU first and book your modern beauty and wellness experience at Urban You in Northville.
Paul and Dallas are the founders of PlantFolk Juice Co; There story begins in the midst of a pandemic where they found each other and the passion that turned into a flourishing juice company.
Paul is originally from Charlotte and moved to Miami for a few years to pursue a career in modeling. Soon after his career took him to Los Angeles where the connection between food and wellness came to light. Paul spent his years traveling and exploring the depths of each culture he came across making lasting impressions and connections around the world3. Paul is often described as the “most social person in the room.” He cares about the planet and the people who inhabit it and wishes to love the people through lots of laughs, and endless adventures. Because of the pandemic, Paul decided to quarantine with his family in Charlotte where soon after he met Dallas. Dallas grew up in Palm Beach, Florida, where her passion for health originated. She remembers watching her mom gather herbs and veggies from the garden to cook for dinner and that was the most inspired she had felt. Becoming more curious about the connection between food and health, Dallas decided to take several Matthew Kenney workshops and packed her bags to stay in Bali to study plant-based cooking. A year later, Dallas landed in Charlotte where she worked side by side with Chef Carla Sinteff of Sprouts in Gastonia.
Now for a little love story…
Early 2020 Paul met Dallas in Charlotte. Later, they decided to move Paul back to Charlotte from California and drove across the US on the ultimate test of love adventure. Surpassing the expectations they took their relationship a step further and moved in together. With Dallas’s knowledge of health and Paul’s connections to the Charlotte area they decided to cultivate a business that would be exemplary of their lifestyle and let cold-pressed juice be the focal point. Juicing has allowed them to meet some of the health conscious people of Charlotte and has given them the ability to educate people on what juice is and why it’s so good for you. They hope to meet you and let them inspire you to live full of passion and love!
To order DM us @plantfolkwellness on instagram where we will send you our current menu! All Sweatnet members will receive a free juice after every purchase of two!…
Black Friday and Small Business Saturday are coming up fast, and our SweatNET partners in Grand Rapids have some seriously sweet deals for you! We have compiled a list of some of these crazy good sales. The best part? These bargains are mutually beneficial for you AND the businesses that we all love! Support local this holiday season. Our community and friends need us more than ever.
BONUS: Anyone who redeems one of these deals will receive one month of SweatNET for FREE! Email firstname.lastname@example.org with proof of purchase and we will give you your first month of SweatNET for free or add a free month to your current subscription!
A Lululemon mat + 30 days of unlimited virtual yoga for $125!
Burn Boot Camp Grand Rapids
15% off monthly memberships; 20% off if paid in full 6& 12 month.
CKO Kickboxing Grand Rapids/ Kentwood
Buy a Portable Boxing bag and one year of CKO on-demand for $369. Usually the on demand alone is $360!
Nov 22-30: $70 off BT Hypervolt and Hypervolt Plus –30% other tech (Vyper, Venom, Hypersphere)!
Funky Buddha Yoga
3 Class Pack for $30! (available through Dec 30th at midnight!)
Grand City Tanning
2 for $50 tie dye loungewear; 3 for $20 tie dye facewear; buy $50 get $10 giftcard; Buy $100 get $20 gift card; Service deals ONLINE ONLY- $25 off teeth whitening; babe above the mask package $99; The glow up package $199; Buy 2 get 1 Spray Tan!
Heights Yoga Project
$7 drop-ins throughout the month of December (virtual and in-person classes!)
Michigan Center for Holistic Medicine
80 min organic facial with FREE service add of choice + more! Head to their Instagram to check out their full week of specials!
Kula Yoga Grand Rapids
$40/month for the Kula Virtual Studio!
Lole Grand Rapids
20% off outerwear; 40% off everything else now until end of Nov.!
Orange Theory Fitness- Knapp & Holland
BOGO Monthly Membership; 30% off retail items!
2 floats for $99 – starting Black Friday- end of year!
Spoke Cycle & Strength
open 11-1- offering refreshments and goodie bags; clients that tour will be entered to win class packs& swag!!
Studio Barre Grand Rapids
25% off boutique purchases in studio and online. Use code BLACKFRIDAY; 3 weeks of unlimited virtual classes for just $29!
The Barre Code
Buy 5 classes, get 3 free ($90); Buy 10 classes, get 5 free ($165); Buy 20 classes, get 10 free ($300); 1/2 off unlimited membership for the first month- code: POWHER1STGR
The Urban You
Filler specials, Botox deals, Product sales, gift cards BOGOs, Cool Sculpting specials and Microblading deals!
The Dailey Method
5 class pack for $80 ($16/ class), 10 class pack for $150 ($15/class), 15 class pack fro $210 ($14/class). TIEM shoes, 25% off; Sticky socks–buy 2, get 1 free; Vie activewear (40% off with code TDMEastown). Class pack deals expire midnight on 11/28; retail deals expire midnight on 11/30
The Feral Yogi
Pre-order NOW and use the code SWEATNET (all caps) to receive $30.00 off the ‘Find Your Peace’ seven day challenge that launches next Monday, 11/30. FYP is a 7 day challenge designed to help you cut through the noise of life and reconnect with the peace within. The Feral Yogi and Dr. Janna Hibler masterfully crafted this immersive experience combining mindset, movement, and meaningful nutrition. Receive mantras, breathing techniques, yoga postures, tips on meditation, creating “sacred space”,recipes, essential oils, exercises, contemplations etc. to help cut through the noise of life and find the peace within. Sign up here!!
Title Boxing Grandville & Grand Rapids
All memberships receive a discount this month; Free pair of handwraps & 1 free PT session; free mat with unlimited membership; Everyone gets 3 free days in a row to tryout the studio this month!
TRV Fit SW
3 Month Package: Includes 3 mo. unltd membership + 1 month of semi-private training + free protein(choice of vegan of whey) or greens $345; Buy 6 Months Get 1 Free $654; 9 Months Unltd + Free Limited Edition Funnel Neck Hoodie or Black Camo Hoodie $855; limited edition beanies for sale priced around $20
free smoothie with an in store purchase of a gift card for $40 or more!
Save 15% on all orders with BFSALE; Save 30% on all orders over $100 with BF 2020
Black Friday and Small Business Saturday are coming up fast, and our SweatNET partners in Columbus have some seriously sweet deals for you! We have compiled a list of some of these crazy good sales. The best part? These bargains are mutually beneficial for you AND the businesses that we all love! Support local this holiday season. Our community and friends need us more than ever.
Fitness: Shed Fitness Columbus – On sale this Friday at 5am,$100 GIFT CARDS for only $10…WHAT? Plus, lots of amazing class pack/membership deals! On sale now, all apparel is 25% off & new customers can get 5 weeks for only $99 dollars.
Cyclebar Upper Arlington– Deals on deals on deals. On sale now, all retail items are 40% off.
Plus, class packs are seriously discounted: – 100 classes for $899 – 50 classes for $499
– 30 classes for $399
– 5 classes for $49 Studio86 – Black Friday sale is happening now until Monday Nov. 30th!
– $100 off private packages – $235/month
– $2,725/year Club Pilates (Grandview Yard, Powell, New Albany)– Black Friday Deals you can take advantage of 11/27-11/29. – 40% off sale rack – all items are final sale! Non-sale rack retail (all other clothing, excluding socks):
– 10% off 1 item – 20% off 2 items – 30% off 3 items
– 40% off 4 items. – 20% off on everything else (excluding socks) – Masks, Accessories, At Home Work-Out Equipment Row House Polaris– Starting Saturday 11/21 Row House Polaris will have amazing discounts onunlimited membership and class packages (DM them on Instagram for more info).
Starting Thanksgiving day, in–studio retail will all be 40% off! Don’t forget to check out the $10, $15, and $20 bins too! Dynamic Souls– 11/25-11/29 only! – Save 25% on Annual Membership
– Save 20% on 6 Month Membership
– Save 15% on 8 Visit, 6 Month Memberships
– Save 25% on 5, 10 & 20 Class Packages
– Save 30% on Virtual Membership (6 classes/week, 6 month commitment)
SweatNET Columbus – DM us on Instagram to purchase SweatNETapparel. – Tanks: 1 for $14 or 2 for $20
– Tees: 1 for $22 or 2 for $40 – Cropped Sweatshirts: 1 for $30 or 2 for $50.
Restore – Now through Sunday, save 20% on Cryo, PBM, Compression, Stretch, Sauna, IV Drip & Shot packages. Also, save on CryoSkin and NAD+! Don’t miss out!
Propello Life–SAVE 30% + GIVEAWAY. Stock up, try something new, and get some swag (hoodies, tees, tanks, shakers, and more!). Use code:BLACKFRIDAY2020 at checkout to save 30%. Offer valid: Nov 23-30, 2020. In addition to the 30% off sale visit their Instagram page to enter a giveaway for a chance to win a $150 @lululemon gift card!
Hydrate Me– So. Many. Deals. – Receive $25 for every $100 gift card you purchase! – Purchase 3 Diamondglow facials & receive your 4th one FREE! – Purchase a vial of Kybella for $499 ($100 savings). – Buy 4 B-12 shots, get your 5th FREE! – Buy 4 IV’s, get your 5th one FREE! – $100 off any syringe! – Buy 3 Microneedling sessions, get your 4th one FREE! – Purchase our NAD+ bundle for $2,000 ($1,000 savings).
Ohio Cryo – On sale now, save 35% on EVERYTHING. Code: save35
A lot of hard work goes into making memories and keeping traditions alive! This holiday season don’t let discomfort put a damper on the celebration. Here are a few recommendations to ease the strain on your body when preparing those delicious meals. Plan.
– Create your menu
– Online shop for your groceries then pick-up or better yet, have them delivered
– Spread prep out over the days leading up to the event. Get a head start by chopping produce or pre-making casseroles that you can pop into the oven day of
– Sprinkle in some restaurant sides
– When people ask you what they can bring, tell them!
Prepare. Wear supportive shoes and compression stockings. Unless you are a chef, work in retail, or other jobs that condition you for prolonged standing, you are going to be on your feet longer than you are during your normal day to day activities.
Plan on alternating static tasks with movement tasks and consider completing in different positions. Static tasks like chopping, dicing, slicing can easily be performed in a seated position. While movement tasks like mixing, flipping, stirring (…the gravy…my least favorite task) typically need to be completed in standing. Check out some examples of movement here
Endurance and muscular fatigue can set in with static, prolonged, or repetitive activity even if not considered “strenuous.” When you have been on your feet for a while or if you start to feel a little achy, use a foot stool to offset your weight (see photo) or complete a postural reset and check in to “wake up” those stabilizer muscles that work hard for your body in these positions.
Take breaks. For my desk job clients, I recommend taking a break every 30 minutes and at the very least every 60 minutes.
Set a timer as reminder! This break can be for 30 seconds but I encourage your to move into a position opposite of the position your body is currently working. So if you have been standing leaning over the stove then stretch out the front of your body by arching backwards or complete a standing side bend stretch. Check out this ✨video✨ for a quick demo and some other ideas.
Enjoy. Hopefully this helps curb stress on mind and body this holiday season. I hope you are able to take a breath, be present, give thanks, and enjoy the company of friends & family in person or in 2020 fashion…virtually. Enjoy the experience you created.
Pain, physical limitations, or want to kick up your fit game? Meaningful Movement would love to help. Reach out to learn more about the services offered and how we can move you towards your Meaningful Movement!
Waterfall hikes are what we live for up here in the PNWonderland. Rain or shine, we slip on our hiking boots and head out to explore all that nature has to offer. Portland has no shortage of beautiful waterfall trails, so here is a roundup of the 5 best waterfall hikes near the city of roses:
Easily one of the most iconic waterfalls in Oregon, Multnomah Falls is just about 30 minutes outside of the city (making it also one of the most trafficked waterfalls — for good reason). These falls are surrounded by a few different hiking trails, but our favorite is the Multnomah-Wahkeena loop which is just under 5 miles total. We highly recommend parking near the Multnomah Falls Lodge so that you can stop in for some coffee or hot chocolate before heading back into town.
The moss that lays across the rocks where the waterfall drops is so neon green in color that you think it might be glowing! Rain or shine, the view from the bottom of this waterfall is breathtaking. The trail one direction is about 1.2 miles and the trail from the other direction is .8 miles creating the perfect trail loop for your afternoon hike. The main perk of walking the full loop… you see not one, but two waterfalls!
Trail of Ten Falls
Yep, you read that right. Ten Falls! This nearly nine-mile loop in Silver Falls State Park (an hour south of Portland) passes ten stunning falls, including three you can walk behind. We definitely recommend packing some lunch and a few snacks as this is an all day trip, but it is so worth it. If you can, plan your visit in the winter or spring because that is when the waterfalls are in full force.
Bridal Veil Falls
This is the perfect waterfall hike for the whole family, including the small kiddos. The full loop is less than a mile and is fully paved, making it doable for less-mobile hikers. Although it may be an easy trip, it should not be overlooked. The landscape surrounding the waterfall is full of fluffy, green foliage that just makes your eyes pop! This waterfall is the perfect place to cool off during the hot summer months. But I will warn you, the water is still pretty cold!
Another quick 30 minutes or so outside of town is a spot composed of actually two waterfalls: Horsetail Falls (lower falls) and Ponytail falls (upper falls). Named due to their resemblance of a Horses tail, the falls are one of the most serene in the Columbia River Gorge. There is a large area around the base of the waterfall which might be the most picturesque spot of them all!
That you can be fit without restricting your food intake.
That your health can be a top priority and you don’t have to be on a diet.
That you can eat healthy food and not be on a diet.
Listen up fam: you can prioritize your nutrition and make healthy food choices without being on a diet.
You absolutely have to pay attention to your mindset in how you approach food choices. You have to learn to implement habits that shift the attention away from restriction and dieting. Focusing on the healthy habits that nourish your body instead of the ones that restrict it is essential for this to happen.
So let’s do it. Keep reading for four simple ways to get started NOT dieting today.
1. Eat more veggies
Vegetables have vitamins and minerals that your body NEEDS to perform optimally.
Eat a serving of vegetables at lunch and dinner
Upgrade: fill 1/2 your plate with veggies
Snack on cut up raw veggies & dip instead of typical cheese & crackers
2. Make a swap
Swap your snack from more processed to less processed
example: Greek yogurt & berries instead of chips & dip
Switch up your morning pastry for soft boiled eggs and your favorite fruit
Drink a sparkling water instead of more sugary coffee/soda/alcohol
3. Prioritize protein
Prioritize protein at every meal. Thats it. It’s that simple.
Most of you are not eating enough protein. Protein is literally the building blocks of your physical body. Each meal should have a serving of protein. The size of your palm is a great starting point. Aim for 1-2 palm sized portions.
Pro tip – Prep it ahead of time so it’s readily available.
Water is your friend.
You need to drink it. Start with a glass every morning, as soon as you wake up.
Yes, before coffee.
Then, start including a glass of water with each meal.
And always drink water in between alcoholic beverages.
The real talk.
Good nutrition isn’t about dieting.
It’s about making healthy habits part of your life, not “your life.”
It’s about eating to nourish your body, not restrict it.
Your mindset matters, how you approach your eating matters, and your consistency matters.
Not dieting is awesome. Eating food to support your body and help it thrive instead of focusing on restrictive behaviors is the key to long-term health. Try it today….
Stress can make us feel all out of sorts, or even ill. It is a response to daily life and can affect us emotionally, behaviorally and physically.
When it comes to emotional stress, it can take over and be a huge hurdle to overcome. Managing your physical and nutritional stress can boost your mental health and enable you to tackle every day with ease.
Below are the Top 4 stressors that can impair your body’s ability to optimally function.
1. Lack of sleep
2. Poor diet
4. Imbalanced exercise programs
While you’re sleeping, your body is still working hard to keep you healthy. It is prime time for your body to replenish energy, repair cells, and produce certain proteins that protect your body from viruses, etc. Averaging 7-9 hours of sleep will leave you energized and help you tackle the day’s stress more easily.
A healthy balanced diet with nutrient dense foods will promote your health and reduce stress levels. By consciously choosing more nutrient-dense foods, such as vegetables, fruits, lean protein, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, you’ll get the beneficial nutrients your body needs. Refined sugars, saturated fats, high calorie foods, caffeine and alcohol can leave us feeling lethargic, requiring our body to use all of its energy to break down and store indigestible foods.Additionally, as we ingest certain foods, our blood sugar levels may peak and drop causing symptoms such as mood swings, irritability, brain fog, anxiety and depression.Consider the quality of sugar if you are looking to indulge!
Hydration allows a smooth exchange of nutrients through the body. Water is crucial for proper waste management and toxin removal. Water plays a role in the digestion and absorption of food.Push your fluids to improve your oxygen flow to tissues that may be fighting an unwanted virus off.
Exercise is more than just burning calories and building strength. It is important to find a healthy balance of time spent moving your body on a daily basis. A well rounded routine that includes strength training and cardiovascular is extremely beneficial to ensure ample blood circulation and elimination of toxins building up.Our blood carries white blood cells that improve your immunity and help kill off any virus or bacteria you may have come in contact with. If your body is stressed and physically overworked, your immunity can be challenged and your body will not have the energy or ability to fight any sort of immunity challenge or illness. If you lack exercise, arteries and blood cells cannot do their job of repairing, increasing antibody production which increases the production of cells that seek, attack and kill unwanted viruses, etc.
It is so easy to take our health for granted. Take the necessary steps to stay in tune with your body to reduce stress levels. Create attainable, realistic habits that will last. Be well, be calm and take care of yourself.
By: Katrina Cicirello
If you’re interested in learning more, I’m offering 4 and 8 week wellness programs! Find out more on katrinacicirello.com…
We know…working out in a mask isn’t ideal. But, it is doable and after a while, you will adjust to it. It’s a simple tradeoff to be able to work out in the gyms and studios we love again!
First, it’s doubly important to wear a mask when exercising because it can be hard, if not impossible, to maintain the recommended 6ft of distance. Remaining distant while also wearing a mask are important guidelines for helping to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading Coronavirus.
Yes, wearing a mask while working out does feel different. But, it doesn’t have to completely disrupt your workout. Here’s what you need to know.
Wearing a Mask While Working Out is Different, But You’ll Adjust
Regardless of what exercise you’re doing, wearing a mask can make it feel like you can’t get enough air or just make it harder to breathe in general. The reason it happens is simple: anything covering your nose and mouth will block airflow. Because of this added resistance, you’ll have to breathe faster. Don’t let that scare you! You’ll still be able to get the air you need, you’ll just work harder to get it.
This also means your heart rate will also likely be higher during workouts because your body is under greater cardiovascular demand. Additionally, workouts might feel harder because you’re hotter. It would be the same effect if you wore a sweatshirt for an entire kickboxing class. On top of that, the very real fact is that many of us have lost our normal exercise routine due to the pandemic and are still working to regain the level of fitness we had at the start of the year.
So, it’s important to remember to take your time. You might move slower but moving is always better than not moving.
Exercising in a Mask is Perfectly Safe (for Most People)
It’s always a good idea to check with your doctor if you have any concerns about exercising with a mask, or if you have a pre-existing medical condition. For most people, working out in a face covering is perfectly safe. The beauty of the human body is that it was built to adapt! While working out in a face mask might be difficult for the first few weeks, your body will gradually adapt to make breathing while exercising with a face covering a little easier.
Still, it’s important to listen to your body. If you start to feel dizzy, unsteady, or lightheaded, head outside and remove your mask (socially distanced from others), and take some deep breaths.
Remember to Hydrate
It seems silly, but something about wearing a mask seems to prevent us from drinking as much water as we should. But hydrating while exercising in a face covering is more important due to the increased heart rate and cardiovascular stress you’ll be under.
There’s no hard rule on how much water you should drink during a workout but stopping to hydrate regularly is a good practice. Plus, it will give you a chance to rest, take a deep breath, and get back to crushing your gym goals.
Pick the Right Mask
When it’s all said and done, working out in a mask really boils down to what mask you choose to wear. Similar to the perfect pair of leggings, there is no one size fits all mask…everyone will like something different! We recommend a few options to try out if you still haven’t found the perfect fit:
Athleta Made to Move Mask: Adjustable, breathable fabric and available in sets of 3 so you’ll always have a fresh mask ready for your next workout.
UA Sportsmask: Designed to sit high off the face for added breathability and comfort.
Onzie Mindful Mask: Created from performance fabrics for ultimate moisture-wicking and durability.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve been feeling lots of extra stress lately. We’re talking more than the typical holiday stress. For many, that means holding stress not only mentally but physically as well. If you’re reading this, take a deep breath, lower your shoulders, exhale…do you feel a little better?
Mental stress may cause your body to tighten to protect itself against potential injury or harm. Relaxing those muscles through a series of gentle stretches and exercises can send calming signals to the brain that could help lower stress levels.
Grab a cup of tea, or your favorite evening beverage, queue up a soothing Spotify playlist and take a moment to flow through these relaxing eight exercises to help lower your stress level during the holiday season.
1.) Childs Pose
Find a kneeling position on a mat or carpeted floor with your hands under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
Extend your arms long overhead, reaching for the edge of your mat, and set your glutes heavy towards your heels. You should feel a deep stretch from the tailbone to the crown of the head.
Think about lengthening the neck and spine by pulling your ribs away from your tailbone and the crown of the head away from your shoulders.
With each exhale, allow yourself to melt down into your mat a little deeper, feeling the shoulders open and the tailbone heavy towards your heels.
2.) Plank to Downward Dog
Start in a high plank with your hands and feet planted on your mat. Lift your knees to extend your arms and legs, holding your body in a long straight line with your gaze down to the floor.
Actively pushing into the ground with your hands, lift your hips to the ceiling as you drop your heels towards the floor and push your shoulders open. Think about reaching your chest towards the top of your thighs.
On an inhale, ground into the floor as you slowly transition back to a high plank. Hold for a moment and then exhale to lift the hips back to downward dog.
Continue to transition through both movements, finding a pace that flows steadily with your breath.
3.) Ragdoll Pose
Begin with the feet right underneath the hips. Inhale the arms overhead and exhale softly into a forward fold. Keep the knees slightly bent and all 10 toes rooted into your mat.
Let your head hang heavy, giving it a gentle shake yes and no. Take your hand to the opposite elbow and find a slow sway side to side.
Hold for a few deep breaths.
On a mat or soft surface, find a kneeling position on all fours. The knees should be under the hips with the wrists under the shoulders. The spine is neutral with the tailbone reaching long behind you and the crown of the head reaching in front. Keep your gaze neutral and down to the floor.
Take a slow inhale and on the exhale round your spine and drop your head toward the floor. Think about pushing your hands and feet into the floor as hard as you can to work deeper into the posture.
Inhale and lift your head, chest, and tailbone toward the ceiling as you arch your back.
Flow with your breath between the two postures. You should feel a stretch through the spine and possibly the glutes.
5.) Supine Spinal Twist
Laying on your back with your legs long and arms by your side, lift your right knee to your chest and give it a gentle pull towards your right armpit with your right hand holding your shin.
Inhale. Exhale and drop the right knee over the left leg, letting it fall heave towards the floor.
If able, take your gaze over to the right, being aware of any tension this might bring into your neck. If you feel discomfort, ease off the twist for a few breaths and then try to relax deeper into the posture.
Work to keep the shoulders flat to the floor. Think about taking deep belly breaths while wringing out your spine like a washcloth.
Exhale and bring the right knee back to the center.
Repeat on the other side.
6.) Pigeon Pose
From downward dog, lift your right leg towards the ceiling. Then, bring your right leg underneath your body and place it on the floor with your shin parallel to the front of your mat. Feel free to tuck your foot as close to your body as needed to make the pose more comfortable.
Extend your left leg long behind you, finding length from the left toes to the crown of the head
If able, drop your forearms down to the mat. Feel free to use a yoga block for assistance.
Work on keeping the right foot flexed and the left hip turned down to the mat as much as possible.
7.) Hip Flexor Stretch
Kneel on your right knee. Place the left foot out in front of you, with the ankle underneath the knee, as if you were going to press up into a lunge.
Work on shifting your left foot farther away from your body as you gently press the hips forward to open up through the right side of the body.
Play around with the hands on your front (left) knee or overhead, with a gentle lean side to side.
Squeeze your glutes to activate the hip flexor stretch even deeper.
If the grounded knee hurts, try placing a towel or small throw pillow underneath. Ease your way into the stretch and back off when needed.
8.) Plow Pose
Lie down with your head and back on the mat, legs extended long in front of you.
Swing both legs back and up over the head to rest your toes on the floor.
Stay in the posture for a few slow deep breaths.
Keep your hands flat on the floor or rest them on your mid-back to provide some support.
Slowly roll out of the pose and lay still on your mat for a few deep inhales and exhales. You should feel the stress melting off your shoulders already.