Hydration and the Heart Attack Connection

December 19, 2016

Dr. Virend Somers is a Cardiologist from the Mayo Clinic and the lead

author of a report in the July 29, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. His research found that heart attacks can be triggered by dehydration. He has determined that there are certain times to hydrate during the day that maximize the effectiveness in our bodies. 

2 glasses of water after waking up - helps activate internal organs.

1 glass of water 30 minutes before a meal - helps digestion.

1 glass of water before taking a bath - helps lower blood pressure.

1 glass of water before going to bed - avoids stroke or heart attack.

Did you know ….water at bed time helps prevent night time leg cramps? These cramps are caused by our leg muscles seeking hydration. Drinking too much water late in the evening can cause some inconveniences. This happens because lying down brings your lower body 

(legs ect…)  level with your kidneys. Your kidneys then begin the process of removing the excess water in your system helping to flush toxins out of your body.  Inconvenient? Maybe not so much after all!

Website Grand Opening

November 28, 2016

    I love to be active and believe this is what makes life worth living. My goal is to provide the vitality and physical well being that energizes and inspires others. The studio is built around what my clients need and want. As a visitor I want you to know what we offer while you are in Cambria. Drop in classes you can attend while spending time in our small community.  Our website offers ongoing events, cost and descriptions of events and classes, activities exercise related one can explore while visiting Cambria and who i am and what I believe in. This is just the beginning... we will be adding other things to do exercise related while visiting the Central Coast. We are a small studio offering an intimate experience. It’s one of those few businesses where you can be on the front line of changing peoples’ lives. I believe that the best gym is the one you want to keep going back to. 

 My website http://fitnessforlifecambria.com

Good Posture Begins with Your Feet

November 14, 2016

    With strong posture the body aligns itself over the feet to  provide incredible stability. This is how healthy movement begins. Just like the foundation of a building must be stable to support walls and a roof, the feet must be stable to support the legs, torso, spine and head. If your feet are weak, they are unstable. When the feet become misaligned  the ankles, knees, hips, back, and shoulders follow. Misalignment creates dysfunctional movement which causes pain and injury. 
    By performing these exercises you will help strengthen the essential muscles of your foot and leg, you will challenge postural muscles, and train your foot and lower leg to stabilize. By doing these exercises 3 times a week for 8 weeks and adding them to your weekly exercise regime you can  help to maintain healthy movement for your entire body.

 Single Leg Stand

    Stand on each foot for one minute. Try to keep the inside ball, outside ball, and heel of the foot in contact with the ground for the entire minute. Do not use your opposite leg to stabilize.

Single Leg Stand on Unstable Surface
    Stand on a stability disc with each foot for one minute. Again remember not to use your opposite leg to stabilize.

Heal Raise

    Standing with your forefoot on a platform, press through the ball of your foot lifting your heel as high as you can. Then drop our heel making sure as you press, you don’t roll to the outside of the foot. Do 2-3 sets of 12-15

Foot Circles 
     From a seated or standing position, clench your toes and do 30 circles in each direction 10 times.

Celebrating Thanksgiving in a Healthy Way

October 31, 2016

      Those daily chores aren't so hard anymore. You're seeing the benefits of additional walking and workouts. You've been working hard at watching what you eat with all those fruits, vegetables whole grains and healthy carbs. You have more energy, you've lost some weight and you just feel better over all. Now it's time to think about Thanksgiving!!!

     I love this time of year especially because it's an opportunity to get together with family and friends. But there's also the risk that all the food and sitting around, starting at Thanksgiving and culminating after New Year's, can send us back to where we started in terms of fitness and diet. Can the holidays also include the blessing of health and wellness? Of course! So how do you get through it without sabotaging all the hard work you've already done?

Affirmations and Goals

      Let's say you're walking 10,000 steps everyday. How many are you going to take on Thanksgiving Day? Christmas Day? New Year's Day? First and foremost take time for yourself. Your workout is well deserved. It replenishes your reserve and helps give you the energy to do those additional things that are needed for the holidays. Go for a long walk and invite your company to come along or go alone. Reflect on how far you've come:

- You have set a goal and are working toward achieving that goal every day. 
- You have found personal weaknesses and overcome them. 
- You have found personal strengths and admired them. 
- You have  been making your health, fitness and mind the priority! Part of celebrating life is giving yourself the best things possible.

   Here are 4 dietary goals that are very doable for Thanksgiving that would benefit anyone.

- Eat at least one vegetable a day
- Eat at least one fruit a day 
- Eat breakfast every day 
- You get to splurge on Thursday but stay within your calorie range all other days
   Appreciate the Time Together

    Yes, Thanksgiving can throw a curve ball when it comes to exercise and fitness. But it can also be a challenge emotionally too. Gratitude is all about appreciating the things you have, everyday. Thanksgiving is one of a few special days when we get together over a special meal. Sharing conversation, stories and connections about family with the next generation. It's about spending time with loved ones appreciating and accepting them completely, no matter what their quirks are. We so often take people for granted only to miss them as soon as they have left. Many times loved ones leave and we wish we’d told them how much they mean to us. These connections to friends and family make us feel loved and connected.

Be Grateful

      I am grateful that I have a healthy body, an active mind and an understanding that this is truly a temporary state. As we age these things we take for granted change dramatically. Our bodies don't work like they use to. We have aches and pains in places we never used to and our digestive system gets cranky when we eat out of it's usual routine.

 Be Thankful

    The wonderful smell of the ocean air as I walk on Fiscalini Ranch or the blowing wind as I ride my bike along the coastline are to be enjoyed for this moment. There will come a time when I can no longer walk the two miles across the ranch or lift my leg to hop on my bicycle for a Sunday morning ride. It's about being grateful for what I have. Being mindful that there are many who have less. It's about appreciating those who hold a special place in my life and making sure that they know it. 

    By taking care of yourself emotionally and physically you are giving your family a real gift. These changes you've made are now a lifestyle, so share that lifestyle with those you love.



Do You Know How to Do a Proper Body Weight Squat?

October 17, 2016
     Can you do a body weight squat? If so is it a PROPER bodyweight squat? So now are you wondering what the difference is? Let me educate you... Don’t worry, it won't hurt your legs. These helpful suggestions will make your body feel good, and you’ll truly understand what a squat is.
Is Your Stance too Wide or too Narrow

    Genetically we are all different sizes and shapes with longer or shorter legs and torsos. But..there are some key points we can all follow.
When you stand too wide or too narrow your squat suffers because you cannot get low enough and your balance is then compromised. A big part of this is individual hip mobility – sometimes our bodies can’t get as low as we should be able to. So if you set your feet shoulder width apart and turn them slightly out you can get the best depth for your personal best. 

Are Your knees Tracking Over Your Feet

     If you drew a line from your heel to your toe, and extended that line in both directions your knees should bend and flex over that line. If the knees collapse inwards you will be putting a lot of stress on your knees. Your knee is supposed to be a hinge. Putting sideways stress on your knee is a bit like hanging off of a swinging door. Sure, you could do it, but it wasn't built to handle that kind of pressure. Start by turning your kneecaps out so that they are tracking right over your feet. Think "knees out." Think about your knees like a headlamp facing straight ahead.
Are You Squatting Deep Enough

     Squating is used in daily life when we get into a sit to stand position, lift up a small child or put our shoes on. A body squat position means getting your upper thighs parallel to the ground while sticking your bottom out like your getting ready to sit in a chair. 
Getting beyond parallel with your squat is better for your body because you get more muscle building activation with your flexed knees. In the long run this provides stronger more stable knees. The ability to squat deep is an indicator of the quality of overall movement in your lower body.

Is Your Back Straight and Core Tight

    When I say straight I mean that the natural curvature of your spine is held tightly throughout the squat. By keeping your chest up and tummy tight (think belly button to spine)  your back will be in the correct position as well as your core. 

Are You on Your Toes

    By keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground you are insuring you will maintain your balance while squatting. Stay back on your heels and push through them as if you are pushing the floor away from you when you squat.

    Strong legs are important for staying mobile as you get older, and squats are great for increasing leg strength. In addition your core and stabilizing muscles get stronger too. These stronger muscles help to maintain balance which help to prevent falls. Full body squats load the spine and have been found to significantly increase bone mineral density providing protection against fractures and osteoporosis. 

Body Composition and Your Health

October, 3, 2016

     What does the number on the weight scale really mean? In regard to overall health, weight is not nearly as important as the composition of that weight. More important, rather than tracking weight, we should be aware of our body composition. Stepping on a weight scale tells us the combined weight of all our body’s tissues.

    How can you determine your body composition? Body composition can be estimated through various techniques. Common methods of exploring the levels of adiposity include body fat percentage and body mass index (BMI). The results from your body composition assessment can be used to identify risks, personalize your exercise program or evaluate how well your current exercise and nutrition program is working for you.

Body Fat Percentage

    Body Fat Percentage is how much of your body is composed of fat (adipose tissue) and how much of your body is composed of muscle, bone, internal organs, skin, tissue, hair, etc.There are various methods such as Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA), Infrared Analysis on the Bicep and Skin Fold Calipers.  One variable that you need to take into consideration is that all of these tests do have a standard of error.

Body Mass Index

   Body mass index or  BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women. BMI is used as a screening tool to identify possible weight problems for adults. If your BMI is high, you may have an increased risk of developing certain diseases including: high blood pressure, heart disease, high cholesterol and blood lipids (LDL) -Type 2 Diabetes, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, female infertility, gastroesophageal reflux (GERD)  and urinary stress incontinence. The reason BMI is used for screening the health of the general population is due to the strong correlation between being overweight or obese and having health problems, chronic disease and premature death. 

Types of Fat

    There are two types: subcutaneous and visceral. Visceral fat is more quickly stored and more easily burned. This is because being deeper in the body it has a greater blood supply and is more sensitive to the fat burning catecholamines than in subcutaneous fat. It is located in the abdomen and surrounds your vital organs. It can infiltrate the liver and other organs, streak through your muscles and even strangle your heart; you can have it even if your thin. Visceral fat is linked to everything from bad cholesterol and hypertension to diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
    Subcutaneous fat is the type found just underneath the skin, which may cause dimpling and cellulite. The belly fat is stored when the combination of excess calories meets the hormonal influence of cortisol and insulin. This is important to understand because those losing weight and counting calories may find that the fat around their belly seems to burn off at a much slower rate. This is because belly fat is as much a hormonal phenomenon as it is a caloric one.
    Eating a well-balanced diet.... a diet high in whole grains, fresh fruits, vegetables, and lean protein in measured portions sets anyone up to be successful for gradual weight loss. The safe recommended amount is  1-2 pounds per week. Include plenty of sleep, minimal stress and plenty of exercise and you can become healthier person !



Vitamins for Anti-Aging

 September 12, 2016

     As we age we all know our tissues breakdown this is something we cannot escape. But, we can slow down the process of brittle bones, creaky joints, weak nails and saggy skin by following a health active lifestyle. Taking certain supplements can also be a good way to hold off the effects of aging and help reduce those fine lines, wrinkles, thinning hair and encourage health bones and joints. These ingredients can help...


    Biotin is water soluable and one of the B complex vitamins required for the formation of glucose and fatty acids, and for the metabolising of amino acids and carbohydrates. Biotin is needed to maintain healthy hair, nails, skin, sweat glands, nerves, bone marrow, and normal bone growth.  It is recommended that it is taken with a B complex. No RDA has been established in the US but daily dosages of 30 to 100 micrograms (mcg) are recommended.

Calcium with Vitamin D

    Wrinkles and sagging may be contributed to the bones in your face deteriorating. Doctors believe that these bones are like the foundation of a house and your skin is like the house itself; when the foundation starts to shift and crumble, the house will begin to do the same. In addition, calcium works with your skin to generate sebum and those who don’t have enough calcium in their skin end up with dry skin due to lack of sebum.  
     The body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium.They work as a team so that the calcium can be absorbed in the gut. Without enough vitamin D our bodies can’t form enough of the hormone calcitriol (known as the “active vitamin D”). Without Calcitron our bodies don't sufficiently absorb the calcium needed from our diets. When this happens  the body takes calcium from its stores in the skeleton, which weakens existing bone and prevents the formation of strong, new bone. Safe recommended daily amounts are 1,000mg of calcium and 2,000IU of D.

Glucosamine and Chondroitin

     Glucosamine is a substance that is extracted from the shells of crabs, lobsters and shrimps. It is also found in many plants. Your body uses glucosamine as a nutrient that strengthens the connective tissues in your joints, hair, skin and nails. These two supplements also support the structure of elasticity of joints and have been show to reduce pain and increase joint mobility in people with osteoarthritis. When applied to the skin, glucosamine helps stimulate the cellular renewal process helping to remove and replace old, dead and wrinkled skin with fresh and healthy skin. 

Cold or Heat for Muscle Soreness

August 29, 2016

    After a three day hike and thirty mile backpacking trip I had sore muscles everywhere. I started thinking about hot and cold treatments to help alleviate some of my discomfort and wondered which would be the best choice and why. My research gave me several options and choices. Let's start from the beginning.... creating the soreness. When we push ourselves much harder than usual we often cause  delayed-onset-muscle soreness or DOMS. DOMS typically starts the day after exertion and usually peaks on the second or third day after exercise. Two of the simplest ways to relieve this soreness is by applying heat and cold.  I wondered which one would be the best for my situation and here is what I found.

Cold Therapy

    When an injury or inflammation occurs tissues are damaged. Cold temperatures reduce nerve-cell activity while constricting blood vessels easing the swelling which can reduce pain, inflammation, bleeding and tenderness. For muscle soreness cold therapy works better than heat if applied within 24 hours after exercise has stopped. There are two types of cold packs that are very effective for this purpose.  Dampen a towel with cold water fold it and place it in a sealed plastic bag. Place the bag in the freezer for 15 minutes and then place it on the affected area. Do this 15-20 minutes 3 times a day for 48 hours. Another option is to fill a plastic bag with ice cubes or a package of frozen corn or peas wrap them in a cold towel and apply to the affected area. Placing ice directly on the skin is not recommended.  RICE which is an abbreviation for Rest-Ice-Compress-Elevate is usually recommended immediately after an injury.

Heat Therapy

    Use heat to soothe chronic pain that comes and goes over time (like lower back, neck or hamstrings) to relax tight muscles. It brings more blood to the area where it's applied and increases circulation as well as loosens the muscles which reduces joint stiffness and muscle spasms. Heat should not be used for the first 48 hours following an injury and it is recommended that one applies heat after the acute pain has passed. A specific type of heat therapy may feel better for one person than for another, requiring some experimentation when figuring out which one works best for you. There are a few ways one can apply heat. Hot water bottles, heating pads, gel packs and heat wraps are just a few. Hot water bottles tend to stay warm for 20 to 30 minutes.  Electric Heating pads maintain a constant level of heat as long as they are plugged in, a heated gel pack will stay warm for about 30 minutes and heat wraps around the the lower back and waist can be worn against the skin and under clothing for a low level of heat for several hours. Placing the heating element on the designated area for 15-20 minutes 3 times a day for as many days as needed as long as you feel pain or discomfort is what is recommended. Before treating with heat, consult a health professional if you have a skin condition, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, poor circulation or a vascular disease.

    Muscle aches are not always harmless, and in some instances home treatment isn’t enough to address the underlying cause. If that is the case then an appointment with your physician may be your next step. 

    Well, I've figured out what I need to do and I hope this helps you figure out what the best treatment for your muscle soreness is too.

    Is Hydration Necessary to our Overall Health?

    August 15, 2016

       Your body depends on water for survival. Every cell, tissue and organ needs water to function correctly. Your body uses water to maintain its temperature, remove waste and lubricate joints. It makes up a large percentage of blood, the life giving red liquid that brings oxygen and nutrients throughout your body. Vital processes, like your immune system, depend on it. Every day we lose water when we sweat, urinate and even breathe. When the weather is hot we lose water even faster. 

      We are made up of about 60 percent water. The lungs are 90 percent water, the brain is 70 percent and our blood is more than 80 percent. Thirst begins after we are mildly dehydrated. That means we shouldn't wait until we're thirsty to begin hydrating. Studies on dehydration and the  body indicate that deficits in coordination, work capacity and mental sharpness begin when we are at least 1 percent dehydrated. 

    Dehydration and Its Effects

       July, August and September are the hottest months of the year in California. If you’re not properly hydrated you may experience fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness or more serious symptoms. Many of us remember to drink water only after our bodies are already dehydrated. A simple way to detect this is through the color of our urine. Dark yellow or amber color is a sign of dehydration.

       Our kidneys function more efficiently when there is plenty of water in our bodies. If the kidneys have to economize on water, more energy is needed for the kidneys to function and that results in wear and tear on their tissues. This occurs when the kidneys are under stress or when the diet contains excessive amounts of salt or toxic substances that need to be eliminated. Dehydration also inhibits the effectiveness of our lymphatic system and allows cellular waste products to linger and create inflammation issues. It reduces the overall volume of blood and lymphatic fluids that are integral in a healthy immune system response. 

       Over time dehydration can cause central nervous system diseases such as vascular disorders, Parkinson's, muscular sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Huntington's disease, periphrial neuropathy, Alzheimer's and urinary tract infection. In extreme cases this can create confusion that is sometimes misinterpreted as dementia.The good news is eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help with those hydration issues. Iceberg and romaine lettuce, kale, mustard greens, cabbage, spinach, carrots and red tomatoes; melons, coconut, grapefruit, cucumbers, pears, strawberries, apples, blueberries and mangoes are loaded with water.

    How Much Should You Drink?

       The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake for men is roughly 13 cups of total beverages a day. For women it is about 9 cups. This includes fruit juices and herbal teas.

       When thinking about exercising and water intake there are no set guidelines. Heat, humidity, intensity and duration are all factors to consider. The American Council on Fitness recommends these basic water intake guidelines for people doing moderate-to-high intensity exercise:

    17 to 20 ounces of water 2 to 3 hours before you start exercising

    8 ounces of water 20 to 30 minutes before you start exercising or during your warm-up

    7 to 10 ounces of water every 10 to 20 minutes during exercise

    8 ounces of water no more than 30 minutes after you exercise


    15 Minute Mini Workout

    August 1, 2016

        It's summertime and most of us are spending the long days enjoying BBQ's with family and friends and vacations. These usually include camping, airplane flights and long car trips. Needless to say we are out of a routine and skipping workouts more frequently. Here is a short routine anyone can do anywhere to help you continue to stay active. 

       Complete each of these 3 exercises for one minute each with a 30 second rest at the end of each of the exercises. Repeat each exercise 3 more times for a total of 15 minutes. Don't forget  to take a few minutes to warm-up and cool-down.

    Fast Feet with a Side to Side Lunge

       Start by running your feet quickly in one spot 5x, step or hop to the side bending that knee in a side lunge and reach towards or touch your foot with the opposite hand. Return back to the center and complete another 5 fast feet and then jump or step to the other side and reach towards or touch your opposite foot. Continue for 1 minute.

    Squat Elbows to Knees

        Keep your knee caps pointing in the same direction of your toes and your feet shoulder or hip width apart. Squat down to a comfortable position reaching your elbows towards your knees and touch them. Return to the start and reach to the sky lifting your heels off the ground up on your toes. Maintaining an elongated spine keeping your core active and strong. Continue for 1 minute.

    Push-Ups With Rotation

        Lie on your stomach. Position your hands on the floor a few inches beside your shoulder. Make sure that your elbows are directly over top or to the inside of your wrists. Keep your abdominals contracted and your back in its neutral position. Now slowly push up from knees or toes. Once at the upper extended position, come down on both elbows and slowly lift one arm and rotate and reach that elbow to the ceiling.  If you need to drop the bottom knee for support. Return the hand back to the ground and repeat the reach rotating to the other side. Come back to  plank by raising your body up on elbows or hands for another push up. Continue for 1 minute. By placing your hands on an incline like a bench or step you will have an easier option.