Heath & Fitness Articles

  • The Power of Sleep

    The Power of Sleep

    The nation’s population is “intoxicated” due to sleep loss. Sadly, poor sleep is more the rule than the exception. According to the Institute of Medicine, 50-70 million adults in the United States have sleep or wakefulness disorders. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider poor sleep a “public health problem.” Ultimately, this means more Americans are at an increased risk for developing other health concerns if they are getting insufficient sleep.

    March is National Sleep Month, which is an ideal time to learn more about how sleep impacts the pursuit and achievement of health and fitness goals.

  • Drinking Baking Soda for Your Health

  • 5 Yoga Poses to Do Before You Go To Sleep

    Yoga has a way of calming the nervous system. Through deep breathing, long stretches and relaxing postures, yoga can help induce a good night’s sleep so you feel rested and ready for the day that lies ahead.

    This simple yoga sequence is easy to do right before bed. Gather a pillow or two and find a wall with a little space around it. You may want to put on some soothing music, dim the lights and put on your cozy pajamas before you practice, as you will want to head straight to bed following the sequence.

    Begin by sitting comfortably on the floor or on your bed.

    Alternate-nostril Breathing (nadi shodhan pranayama)


    As a 40-something woman, I'm living with the changes a woman's body goes through prior to menopause. As a trainer, I also work with many women in the same phase of life. They work at making many of the same changes typical of our clients—they want to eat more healthfully and get the most from their exercise programs. They focus on decreasing their stress levels and getting more rest. And yet many of these same clients have great difficulty losing body fat. Yes, thanks to their efforts, they get stronger and feel better. They celebrate their small successes along the way, as they begin to be able to do things they couldn't before—they just can't seem to get leaner.

    As much as I've always hated blaming hormones on mood and other physical changes, increasing evidence suggests they may be at the root of—or at least a contributing factor to—many health challenges. It is important to note, however, that the purpose of this article is NOT to make it possible for you to diagnose a hormonal imbalance in your clients. Rather, this information is provided to give you a better understanding of obstacles to fat loss, as well as limitations within your practice and when it may be time to refer a client to her healthcare practitioner.

  • Meditate - Anytime.. Anywhere..

    A misconception about meditation is that it requires you to sit in a certain position, with your eyes closed and fight your mind. Practicing meditation in such a way leaves people feeling frustrated and pointless, creating a sense of failure.

  • 5 Reasons Why You Should Try Yoga

    Yoga has been around for centuries. It is the union of mind and body and one of the most widely practiced forms of exercise in the world. Yoga consists of patterns of stretches, balances, and strengthening movements focused with conscious breathing techniques. As it has become more main stream, many people are finding the benefits of a regular practice. Here are 5 reasons why yoga may be right for you.

    1. Reduce, prevent and manage back pain.

    Recent studies show that for people with chronic low-back pain, yoga may reduce pain and improve function. Group Health Research Institute in Seattle launched a clinical trial that enrolled 228 adults. All had moderate low back pain that had lasted for at least 3 months. Of the three groups, two groups received 12 weekly 75-minute classes of either yoga (92 participants) or stretching exercises led by a licensed physical therapist (91 participants). They were asked to practice at home on off days for at least 20 minutes. The remaining 45 volunteers were asked to follow a self-care book that described the causes of back pain and suggested exercise and lifestyle changes to reduce pain. After three months the yoga group had the best outcomes and improved more after six months. (Archives of Internal Medicine)

  • Exercise Myths vs. Realities

    Exercise Myths vs. Realities

    Exercise Myths

    “You need a sports drink after you work out to help your body recover.” Sound familiar? The world of exercise is cluttered with myths and misperceptions. Many of these myths persist because of the way fitness is portrayed in the media; other myths withstand the test of time because there’s a lot of money behind them. The fitness industry is a multi-billion dollar business, after all. Let’s take a look at six common exercise myths and realities.

    Do you believe that exercise doesn’t work for you? Do you think that walking doesn’t count as exercise? You’ve come to the right place. Here are the realities behind six common exercise myths.

  • Want a low-cost, gym-free exercise? Try climbing stairs

    By Anne Ryan, USA TODAY

    Lindy Goss says she is the anti-jock.

    The mother of three daughters and wife of a golf coach has zero interest in hitting the gym or a golf ball.

    But don't underestimate her fitness level: Goss is hooked on a form of exercise that is rising in popularity.

    It has helped her drop a dress size, improved her overall strength and endurance and supports a cause close to her heart.

    Goss, 38, is training to climb the 103 floors of the Willis Tower when the second annual SkyRise Chicago takes place Nov. 14. She and several girlfriends are lifers, she says, after trekking up the 2,109 steps last year and helping raise funds for the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. "I'm definitely healthier because of this," says Goss, whose father-in-law has been a patient at the institute. "We weren't at all winded afterwards."


    By Susan M. Kleiner, Ph.D., R.D.

    Science moves quickly, but urban legends move with the speed of light. Sometimes the most well-meaning scientists and educators get caught up in the lighting strike (including this author). The glycemic index (GI) is the science, but the following three myths surrounding it are the urban legends that have been caught up in the lightning strike surrounding the science.

    Myth #1: The glycemic index is a measure of how fast the carbohydrates from a food, drink or supplement are digested and absorbed after consuming a specific amount.

    True or False?

  • Why Am I Always Hungry After a Workout?

    “I'm so hungry, I could eat a _____(fill in the blank)!”

    Does this sound like you after a tough workout? How about the rest of the day? Do you find yourself hungry all day long? If you can't seem to satisfy the hunger that follows exercise, you're not alone.