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.