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Five Starr Pilates & Fitness – The Only Medically Endorsed Pilates & Cycling Studio in Long Beach

Spine and Sports Medicine Expert by Your Side

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Hi everyone!  I would like to introduce myself.  I am Dr Danh Ngo and I help people find an alternative to pain killers, medications, procedures, and to avoid surgery.  Besides the medical title (label), I am more proud of being a father of two children.  I love being a father and I decided to venture into this small business arena to spend more time with them.  I love to listen to other parent’s story because no two stories are the same.  We all try our best to do our part in raising our little ones into wholesome and caring adults.

I would like to take this time to applaud everyone that is on this fitness journey.  If you are reading this article, you deserve an extra pat on the back for appreciating what us real humans have to say.  As a spine and sports medicine expert, I can lecture all the benefits of exercise and why one should do it.  I am NOT going to do that, but I would like to take this time to extend my medical expertise and background to keep you on this fitness train.

You may have heard that the hardest part of anything is the first step.  My opinion is that the hardest part is consistency and grit after the first step.   The secret ingredient to “GREAT” change, whether it is for weight loss or confidence within yourself, is having guidance.   A journey time frame cannot be predicted.  I can predict that it will come with many different emotions, like fear, insecurity, excitement, and life distractions that will cause you to lose focus.

This is one reason that I am taking the time to slow life down to introduce myself, not as a medical expert only, but a person that understands real things happen to real people.  If you are worried about that nagging stiffness when you exercise or after, I am here to provide guidance (only if you act on it).  If you are nervous about starting the fitness class after an extended period of absence, you are not alone.  Take that extra step and request a chat with me at revitalizerehab@gmail.com.

One LOVE,

Dr Danh Ngo

562.548.0876

Archive for the ‘Mind-Body Connection’ Category

What a Mom Wants…

We’re proud moms, but that doesn’t mean that all of our jewelry has to be engraved with our children’s names or that the only artwork we want on display is an abstract doodle by a 4-year-old. And it certainly doesn’t mean that we want another machine-washable “handbag.” This Mother’s Day, the items topping our real wish list aren’t exclusive to moms, they’re not necessarily practical, and they’re definitely not for sale at Babies”R”Us. Consider this a list of what we really want this year . . . or any day we need a reminder that while we’re moms, we’re also just women who love a good spa treatment.

Stylish Sunglasses

A Body Scrub Treatment

Nice Perfume

Artwork

An Ongoing Supply of Wine

A Future Heirloom

Unique Flowers

A Designer Handbag

A Decorative Object

Stud Earrings

A Memorable Experience

 

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Should your skin feel “squeaky” clean after cleansing?

Article provided by Christal Petrak, owner of the Skin Spa Institute in Signal Hill, Ca.

The short answer is absolutely not. Squeaky or tight skin after cleansing equals dry or dehydrated skin. This will lead to fine lines, wrinkles and pre-mature aging. Something we all definitely want to avoid.

If the skin feels tight after washing, it is a sign that the skin has been stripped of its precious water and oil, the natural barrier components your skin needs to stay youthful and healthy.   Consequently the skin will struggle to balance its water/oil protective structure by stimulating the oil glands to produce excess oil, which will clog the pores causing congestion and acne breakouts. Ever wonder why your skin feels dry and oily at the same time? It’s because the skin is being stripped from cleansing with harsh chemicals and drying ingredients.  Then you rush to put your moisturize on to replenish the moisture that you just took out – which makes absolutely no sense!

Historically most facial cleansers were in the form of a bar soap or thick cold cream. People had become accustomed to a tight or squeaky clean feeling after washing, writing it off as a “normal feeling.” In the past 20 years with advancements in skin care ingredients, sophisticated or smart cleansers have evolved in the form of gels and lotions to gently clean and replenish the skin, thus eliminating stripping and the tight feeling afterwards.

So what should you look for in a cleanser? Toss the bar soap, and the exfoliating cleansers – even if it says it’s moisturizing or gentle. The fillers and binders that hold a bar soap and most over the counter cleansers together  have a high pH, so they will naturally be drying and dehydrating.   Instead, choose cleansing gels or lotions that avoid the ingredients Sodium Lauryl (or Laureth) Sulfate and Ammonium Lauryl (or Laureth) Sulfate –or look for those listed as “sulfate-free”. Sulfates are found in many gel and foaming cleansers and can be equally drying as bar soaps.  Also, avoid exfoliating ingredients in your daily cleanser, such as benzyl peroxide or glycolic and salicylic acids.   These ingredients will also add to dehydration and should only be using sparingly 2-3 times per week, depending on the condition of the skin.

Tip: If you like that squeaky clean feeling after cleansing your face, use a gently wash cloth and cold water when you are rinsing your cleanser. This will help make the skin feel squeaky clean without depleting its water level.

Need expert advice from a licensed skin therapist?
 Schedule a skincare coaching appointment to get customized product and facial advice in person.

Call the Skin Spa Institute at 562-427-1025

Visit their website

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Self Love…what is this all about?

From my Tiny Buddha subscription…

“Self-love requires you to be honest about your current choices and thought patterns and undertake new practices that reflect self-worth.” ~Caroline Kirk

If one more person told me to go love myself I was going to levitate into the air and pull one of those impossible martial arts moves from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I was sick of it!

What the heck does loving myself mean? Were they talking about bubble baths, pedicures, and cucumber masks? It turns out there is so much more to self-love than just pampering ourselves. I found this out the hard way.

About a year and a half ago, I almost died after a bad breakup. I had devoted so much of my energy to making the relationship work that I had completely neglected my own needs, and had given away my power and my responsibility for happiness.

As I wrote about here, when I finally developed the courage to end an addictive and painful relationship, I had to live with the effects of lack of self-love.

I struggled to eat, sleep, or continue my daily functioning. I spent every waking hour to myself, trying to understand how and why I had gotten there. I had to know, because whatever it was, if I did not attend to it, this was going to be the end of the road for me. I knew it.

I made mixed media collages, journaled, watched The Notebook five more times, cried, and called up friends to keep me company while I ate my few bites each day.

During this whole time, I found places in my story where I was not present to my own life, my body or my spirit. I was just there. I found the places where I had abandoned myself and then gotten mad at the other person for not meeting my needs.

The truth was, I did not have a big enough inner container to hold the love I so desired even if I received it, because my self-love tank had shrunk down to the size of a bottle cap.

It finally became very clear to me that there was one core reason I had gotten there: I did not know anything about self-love.

This realization launched me into a relentless search for the meaning of self-love, internally and externally.

I found that self-love is a not a destination; it’s a practice.Self-love is the foundation on which we build a happy life. Without self-love, we have nowhere to put the love or abundance that comes to us.

Not sure what it looks like to love yourself? Here is what I’ve learned. Self-love is…

1. Choosing ourselves, even if it means upsetting others and not being popular anymore. Even if it means we leave a party before anyone else because we feel tired, overwhelmed, or just plain feel done with the crowd.

2. Telling what is true for us, not swallowing words that express what we truly feel, think, or want to do.

3. Giving our body the nurturing, rest, exercise, and comfort it needs to the best of our ability.

4. Wearing clothes that make us feel good and fit our personality instead of wearing clothes that are in fashion that we use to impress others.

5. Building a life that we love while we are single instead of waiting for our prince/princess to show up to explore life and to be happy.

6. Accepting ourselves with the good, the bad, the ugly, the sexy, and the smelly—all of it—and appreciating ourselves as whole people.

7. Making time to do whatever we love, just to play, without worrying about wasting time.

8. Owning our inner and outer beauty and complimenting ourselves without feeling guilty, arrogant, or entitled.

9. Not rehashing our past mistakes and dragging ourselves to a dark place when we know that we can only learn from the past; we can’t change it.

10. Spending some quality, connected time with ourselves instead of always watching TV or wasting time on the Internet.

11. Using discretion when sharing our heart, self, and dreams with others.

12. Trusting the path that our soul is on and making a genuine effort to become a conscious co-creator of our destiny.

13. Not blaming our parents for our current issues, and looking for ways to heal our wounds and change our dysfunctional patterned behaviors by reaching out to ministers, therapists, coaches, and healers.

14. Following what our gut/intuition says instead of living out of our brain and ego.

15. Staying in our integrity, both when it comes to ourselves and when interacting with others out in the world. This includes keeping ourselves in check regarding patterns such as lying, manipulating, co-depending, withholding, and pretending.

16. Allowing ourselves to dream big, without contaminating these dreams with judgments, our perceived limitations, or a lack of sense of deserving.

17. Knowing how we’re spending our emotional, mental, financial, and physical energy, and whether these activities bring back joy, connection, nurturing, rest, and creativity to our lives.

18. Taking responsibility for all of our experiences. Knowing that we have the ability for deeper self-awareness and access to our intuition when it comes to making life choices.

19. Not labeling ourselves with others’ opinions of us, while having the courage to look inside to see if there might be some truth to them.

20. Learning to set boundaries that protect and nurture our relationships, with ourselves and others.

21. Allowing ourselves to make mistakes and not berating ourselves for making them. Instead, choosing to appreciate our desire to learn and grow.

22. Refusing to seek permission or approval to be ourselves. Recognizing that we, like everyone else, deserve to take up space on this planet just as who we are right now.

And lastly, self-love is:

23. Loving and accepting ourselves even when we fail miserably at some of these self-love goals.

No one else can offer these things to us. No one else can take our vitamins for us or prevent us from going into a self-loathing attack.

Even if we land the best partner on the planet, this person won’t be able to make us happy and feel loved unless we create the space for it inside by practicing self-love. This is why self-love is an inside job.

From my heart to your heart…

by B Sekendur

 

Archive for the ‘Mind-Body Connection’ Category

How to apply sunscreen

How to apply sunscreen

Sunscreen is safe and can protect your skin against skin cancer and premature aging. However, it is not as effective unless it’s applied correctly. Follow these tips from dermatologists when applying sunscreen:

Choose a sunscreen that has an SPF of 30 or higher, is water resistant, and provides broad-spectrum coverage, which means it protects you from UVA and UVB rays. Follow these helpful tips when selecting a sunscreen.

    1. Apply sunscreen generously before going outdoors. It takes approximately 15 minutes for your skin to absorb the sunscreen and protect you. If you wait until you are in the sun to apply sunscreen, your skin is unprotected and can burn.
    1. Use enough sunscreen. Most adults need at least one ounce of sunscreen, about the amount you can hold in your palm, to fully cover all exposed areas of your body. Rub the sunscreen thoroughly into your skin.
    1. Apply sunscreen to all bare skin. Remember your neck, face, ears, tops of your feet and legs. For hard‐to‐reach areas like your back, ask someone to help you or use a spray sunscreen. If you have thinning hair, either apply sunscreen to your scalp or wear a wide‐brimmed hat. To protect your lips, apply a lip balm with a SPF of at least 15.
  1. Reapply sunscreen at least every two hours to remain protected, or immediately after swimming or excessively sweating. People who get sunburned usually didn’t use enough sunscreen, didn’t reapply it after being in the sun, or used an expired product. Your skin is exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays every time you go outside, even on cloudy days and in the winter. So whether you are on vacation or taking a brisk fall walk in your neighborhood, remember to use sunscreen. For more skin cancer prevention tips, see a board-certified dermatologist.

People who get sunburned  usually didn’t use enough sunscreen, didn’t reapply it after being in the sun, or used an expired product.

Your skin is exposed to the sun’s harmful UV rays every time you go outside, even on cloudy days and in the winter. So whether you are on vacation or taking a brisk fall walk in your neighborhood, remember to use sunscreen.

For more skin cancer prevention tips, see a board-certified dermatologist.

Archive for the ‘Mind-Body Connection’ Category

2016 Fitness Trends

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Archive for the ‘Mind-Body Connection’ Category

Plan a meal today…..

Check out these two salad recipes…DELICIOUS!!!!

 
AVOCADO-KALE CAESAR SALAD
serves 4
1 bunch lacinato kale, tough ribs removed, leaves torn
½ Fuji apple, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
1 avocado, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tablespoons hulled hemp seeds
LIGHT CAESAR DRESSING
2 tablespoons olive oil mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Prep the vegetables for the salad. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, lemon juice, pepper, sea salt, and Worcestershire sauce. Add the chopped kale and Fuji apple slices to the bowl and toss well to coat with the vinaigrette. Plate the salad and top with the avocado cubes and hulled hemp seeds.
LEMON-SOY EDAMAME BARLEY BOWL
Serves 4
4 cups cooked pearl or hulled barley*
4½ cups water
1½ cups shelled, organic edamame
2 cups wild baby arugula
2 blocks savory, baked, organic tofu (firm or extra-firm), cut into 3⁄4-inch cubes
1 ripe avocado, halved and thinly sliced
LEMON TAMARI DRESSING
4 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest (optional)
Combine the barley and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 40 to 50 minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sesame oil, lemon juice, oregano, and lemon zest until well combined. Add the slightly cooled barley to the bowl and toss to coat.
Add the shelled edamame and arugula and toss gently to combine. To serve, divide the barley salad among four bowls and top with tofu and avocado slices.
* Hulled barley is barley in its most natural state, which means it needs to cook for quite a bit longer than pearl barley — 1 to 1½ hours longer. Pearl barley has the hull removed and is therefore less tough. Adjust your cooking time based on the variety you choose.

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MUMMY TREATS!

low-sugar-halloween-treats-02Makes:  12-15 Mummies/Things
Active Time:  30 minutes
Total Time:  3-4 hours

Ingredients:

3 large BANANAS
3 tablespoons gently melted, food grade COCOA BUTTER
3 tablespoons powdered COCONUT SUGAR
CANDY EYES, “safe” chocolate chips, currants or raisins

Directions:

Have the kids peel and slice (butter knife it) the bananas into 1-1/2″ chunks. Skewer bananas with lollipop sticks (available at most craft stores), or use kabob skewers cut in half using wire cutters as I did. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and freeze.

For the candy coating; in a small bowl, mix the melted cocoa butter with the powdered sugar.

Spoon a little drop of candy coating on a frozen banana and stick on an eye (or two, or three). Using a spoon, have the kids drizzle candy coating over the bananas in all directions, avoiding the eye.

An egg carton turned upside down with little holes poked in the bottom made a good stand as we worked on them.

For the “Things”; We made the orange shredded coconut by mixing a few drops of yellow and a drop of red India Tree Liquid Natural Decorating Colors with some unsweetened shredded coconut. We opted to toast the coconut for a few minutes. Voila, colored sprinkles. To assemble the “Things”: Attach eyes with a dot of candy coating. Drizzle candy coating on to coat front, avoiding eye(s). Sprinkle with coconut. Drizzle to coat back. Sprinkle again. Drizzle to coat top. Sprinkle again. You gotta work in stages as the candy coat hardens real quick on the frozen bananas.

 

 

 

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Get some ZZZZZZZZ’s

Surprising Health Benefits of Sleep

Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.

Sleep makes you feel better, but its importance goes way beyond just boosting your mood or banishing under-eye circles.
Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.
Not anymore. Here are some health benefits researchers have discovered about a good night’s sleep.

Improve memory

Your mind is surprisingly busy while you snooze. During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake (it’s a process called consolidation).  In other words if you’re trying to learn something new—whether it’s Spanish or a new tennis swing—you’ll perform better after sleeping.

Live longer?

Too much or too little sleep is associated with a shorter lifespan—although it’s not clear if it’s a cause or effect. (Illnesses may affect sleep patterns too.)  In a 2010 study of women ages 50 to 79, more deaths occurred in women who got less than five hours or more than six and a half hours of sleep per night.  Sleep also affects quality of life.

Curb inflammation

Inflammation is linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. Research indicates that people who get less sleep—six or fewer hours a night—have higher blood levels of inflammatory proteins than those who get more.  A 2010 study found that C-reactive protein, which is associated with heart attack risk, was higher in people who got six or fewer hours of sleep a night.  People who have sleep apnea or insomnia can have an improvement in blood pressure and inflammation with treatment of the sleep disorders.

Spur creativity

Get a good night’s sleep before getting out the easel and paintbrushes or the pen and paper.  In addition to consolidating memories, or making them stronger, your brain appears to reorganize and restructure them, which may result in more creativity as well.  Researchers at Harvard University and Boston College found that people seem to strengthen the emotional components of a memory during sleep, which may help spur the creative process.

Be a winner

If you’re an athlete, there may be one simple way to improve your performance: sleep.  A Stanford University study found that college football players who tried to sleep at least 10 hours a night for seven to eight weeks improved their average sprint time and had less daytime fatigue and more stamina.   The results of this study reflect previous findings seen in tennis players and swimmers.

Improve your grades

Children between the ages of 10 and 16 who have sleep disordered breathing, which includes snoring, sleep apnea, and other types of interrupted breathing during sleep, are more likely to have problems with attention and learning, according to a 2010 study in the journal Sleep. This could lead to significant functional impairment at school.    In another study, college students who didn’t get enough sleep had worse grades than those who did.

Sharpen attention

A lack of sleep can result in ADHD-like symptoms in kids.    Kids don’t react the same way to sleep deprivation as adults do.  Whereas adults get sleepy, kids tend to get hyperactive.  A 2009 study in the journal Pediatricsfound that children ages seven and eight who got less than about eight hours of sleep a night were more likely to be hyperactive, inattentive, and impulsive.

Have a healthy weight

If you are thinking about going on a diet, you might want to plan an earlier bedtime too.  Researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who were well rested lost more fat—56% of their weight loss—than those who were sleep deprived, who lost more muscle mass. (They shed similar amounts of total weight regardless of sleep.)  Dieters in the study also felt more hungry when they got less sleep.  Sleep and metabolism are controlled by the same sectors of the brain.  When you are sleepy, certain hormones go up in your blood, and those same hormones drive appetite.

Lower stress

When it comes to our health stress and sleep are nearly one and the same—and both can affect cardiovascular health.   Sleep can definitely reduce levels of stress, and with that people can have better control of their blood pressure.  It’s also believed that sleep effects cholesterol levels, which plays a significant role in heart disease.

Avoid accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported in 2009 that being tired accounted for the highest number of fatal single-car run-off-the-road crashes due to the driver’s performance—even more than alcohol! Sleepiness is grossly underrated as a problem by most people, but the cost to society is enormous.  Sleeplessness affects reaction time and decision making.  Insufficient sleep for just one night can be as detrimental to your driving ability as having an alcoholic drink.

Steer clear of depression

Sleeping well means more to our overall well-being than simply avoiding irritability.  A lack of sleep can contribute to depression.  A good night’s sleep can really help a moody person decrease their anxiety. You get more emotional stability with good sleep.  If you think the long hours put in during the week are the cause of your anxiety or impatience,  sleep cannot necessarily be made up during the weekend.  If you sleep more on the weekends, you simply aren’t sleeping enough in the week. It’s all about finding a balance.

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Mix It Up!

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In a world of constant change and innovation we all are trying to stay up to date and current on anything in the news about health, aging, nutrition, and exercise.

Research shows that mixing up your workouts is a good idea. Not only do you add some variety, but you also give your metabolism a shot in the arm with a new class here and there.

If a regular workout routine works for you, why should you change up your fitness style? Here’s why it’s important to mix it up every now and then.

  1. You don’t want to plateau. Adding variety to your workouts will keep your exercises from becoming ineffective. If you run at the same speed on the treadmill everyday for 20 minutes, your body will eventually hit a plateau. You will still be burning calories, but you’ll need to increase your resistance levels or speed if you want to really maximize results. This is why personal trainers always push their clients to do more reps each workout session, because it helps boost their metabolism and as your strength and endurance grows, so should your workout.
  2. Your body needs time to repair itself. A friend of mine has the best workout routine: Mondays and Wednesdays she goes to yoga and Tuesdays and Thursdays she runs five miles. Because running can be hard on her body, she gives herself a day or two in between to recuperate. If you do the same intense workout each day, you won’t be giving certain muscle groups enough time to heal between each workout, and you increase your chances of being injured. Just make sure you have low-intensity workout days between your intense workouts to prevent your body from becoming overtrained.
  3. Burnout prevention. The last thing you want is to get bored with something because you do it so much. Loved biking as a kid but now it only reminds you of your loathed spinning class? Here’s the thing: if you keep doing the same workout routine each day and your results start dropping, you’re more likely to get bored and give up on your fitness goals. To prevent this from happening, always keep your workout schedule mixed up so things don’t become repetitive and boring.

We have added some new fitness classes to our schedule for this exact reason.  We are even offering YOUR FIRST CLASS FREE so you can try it out and see for yourself how great you feel!  Come join Johnny for CORE CAMP – The class on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6pm or Saturdays at 7am.  Karla and Sarah teach BODY BLAST – you and gravity on Monday and Wednesday mornings at 7am.  Just call the studio to sign up for your free class today!  562-595-7888