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A Five Starr Pilates & Fitness Shining Star!

By Laura Scavuzzo Wheeler
Professor of English at Long Beach City College for (can it be?) twenty years.
I’ve been scheduling in an hour of Pilates six days a week for about two years now. Because I teach English, I spend inordinate amounts of time—hours and hours every weekend in addition to moments snatched between my classes and office hours—grading essays. After a good ten hours of grading, I can feel myself transforming into a hunched gargoyle; Pilates has helped to keep my posture and mood elevated and my days balanced. Nutritionally, I aim for moderation: I cook the meals for our family nearly every night, striving to help our family eat tasty, healthy, nourishing foods. Our daughter is off at college; our son, who’s a junior in high school, is often ravenous when it’s time for dinner, having run cross country and being, of course, a teenage boy. I don’t do diets or any extreme regimens. Instead, we eat lots of Mediterranean dinners, a nod to my Italian heritage—I could never renounce carbs!—and lots of fruit and fresh veggies, which I love. An occasional indulgence—cheese, wine, dessert—is part of the pleasures of life.
As someone who grew up not playing sports but studying ballet, I find that Pilates appeals to my sense of discipline—ballet emphasizes form and control—and leaves me feeling better than when I came into the studio. Five Starr Pilates has been wonderful. Not only is it close to where I live, but its schedule allows me to manage a class after work and before I make dinner, or to come in early on Saturdays before the real day’s activities begin. The variety of instructors keeps classes from feeling routine. I am consistently amazed at the creativity the instructors bring to their approaches—some emphasize breathing and form and classical Pilates moves, others more athletic conditioning and cardiovascular challenges. My running days are, I think, past—I find the notion of running uninspiring now that I seem to develop shin splints!—and intense training that involves my being yelled at has never been appealing. But Pilates offers me an avenue to fitness that I can sustain, and I can feel the ways in which I’ve grown stronger as I’ve made Pilates a consistent part of my routine. Once it’s scheduled, my time in Pilates becomes part of my day, and even when I’m exhausted on my way to class, I’m always glad I’ve gone as we finish and stretch. I’ve been inspired to see my classmates in Pilates who have been doing this form of exercise for many more years than I have, and I hope to be able to keep up my flexibility, strength, and balance for years to come as a result of this practice.

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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

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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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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.

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2016 Fitness Trends

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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

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Too Busy to workout?

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Too swamped with work, family, and life responsibilities? Do you struggle with fitting your workouts into your busy schedule, yet feel anxious about missing your exercise sessions and meeting your fitness goals? How do we get out of this bind? Fitting in your strength training and cardiovascular workouts takes careful planning. Dwell less and take action instead. Following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll save time and get closer to meet your fitness goals.

Step 1:  Select a time for a weekly planning session. In order to locate pockets of time for each upcoming week, get your calendar out; you won’t need more than 15 minutes to organize your schedule. To keep yourself reminded of the time you’ve designated, make sure this information is available on the calendar you’re most likely to look at daily.

Step 2:  Record all of your obligations for the week. Fill in everything you can think of that requires your time.

  • Do you or someone in your family have a dentist appointment? An appointment with a hairstylist? A project to complete?
  • Record it all

Step 3:  Look at the pockets of available time between activities or appointments.This is where you’ll schedule your daily workout routines.

  • Highlight your open windows of time. Identify varying time slots in order to tailor your workouts to the available time you have. The more time you have, the better. No matter what time slots you have, there are resources available to fit your lifestyle:
    • 60 minutes or more?
    • 50 minutes
    • 40 minutes
    • 30 minutes
    • 20 minutes
    • 10 minutes

Step 4:  For optimal results, schedule 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise 3 to 4 times per week. Many people find cardiovascular exercise a daunting task because they try to get in way too much cardio. That’s right – too much! To achieve most fitness goals, you’ll want to do 30 to 50 minutes of cardio three times per week at your target heart rate. This means that you can get yourself changed, sneakers on, and complete your cardio workout in a total of 30 to 50 minutes!

  • Be sure to pick something you’re willing to do. Without choosing what you enjoy doing, you can have a hard time getting motivated to do cardio.
  • Write down “cardiovascular exercise” in time slots that give you 30 to 50 minutes of free time. Go ahead, fill in 3 of these slots:
    • If your knees bother you, choose a stationary bike, an elliptical machine, or go for a swim.  Take a 30 minute cycling class!
    • Is a brisk walk or run in your neighborhood appealing?
    • How about those stairs at the office? Walk up and down for the allotted time.
    • Do you prefer a class at a local club or town hall?
    • A video in your living room?
    • Don’t know what you like? Try some different options and find what you are most likely to stick with.

Step 5:  Schedule 30 minutes of strength/resistance training exercise at least three times per week. Taking that first step is often the toughest. Make yourself accountable by signing up for a personal training session, signing up for a Pilates Reformer class or partnering with a friend. 40 minutes of strength training is optimal; however, you can fit some exercises in as little as 10 minutes if you’re prepared to optimize those short bursts of free time.

  • Have a set of dumbbells ready to go under your desk.
  • Throw some tubing or bands in a desk drawer for easy access.
  • Book 2 to 3 pilates reformer classes a week…these classes get the spine moving in every direction, strengthen the core, improve balance, agility and flexibility.  There truly is no better option if you are interested in making the most of your limited time.

Step 6:  Look your schedule over.

  • Have you fit in 3 sessions of cardiovascular exercise for 30- 50 minutes each in your week?
  • How did you do with strength/resistance training? Have you scheduled at least three sessions for the week?

Step 7:  Stick with your schedule for the week. Following through with your exercise plan will give you a sense of accomplishment. You can tweak your routine next week if necessary.

  • When you’ve completed each workout, check it off on your calendar, PDA, cell phone, etc.
  • Notice what works for you and what doesn’t so you can make changes when planning day comes around again.

Step 8:  Repeat each week. By sticking with a planning day and creating a schedule each week, you’re more likely to stick with your plan and reach your goals.

  • At the end of each week, note what worked and what needs to be changed.
  • If your plan worked well for you this week, repeat. If not, make the necessary changes.

YOU CAN DO THIS…SUCCESS IS YOURS!!!

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Why Try Indoor Cycling?

WHY SHOULD YOU TRY INDOOR CYCLING?

Indoor cycling is a popular method of cardiovascular exercise.  The average indoor cycling participant burns anywhere from 500-700 calories in a 60 minute class – making indoor cycling a great choice.  With the use of the M3 Indoor Cycle – Keiser’s award-winning, third-generation, indoor cycle, the benefits of indoor cycling are many.

Bike-motion-FINAL_webLow Impact
One of the major benefits of cycling is that it’s a low impact workout, meaning that it is gentle on your joints, especially the knees. This makes it an ideal exercise for those with knee problems or who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis. Those who are inactive because of these conditions tend to develop balance problems. Stationary cycling allows them to perform cardiovascular exercise without the fear of falling or worrying about steering a traditional bike. They can work on their balance without the fear of an injury.

Weight Loss
Regular indoor cycling is an effective way to lose weight or maintain a healthful weight. In an hour, a 155-pound person will burn 493 calories cycling at a moderate pace, according to NutriStrategy.com. To increase your caloric burn, pedal faster or with increased resistance. If possible, stand and sprint on the bike or perform short intervals to elevate your heart rate.

Overall Health
Cycling is an aerobic and an anaerobic workout. According to MayoClinic.com, this decreases your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Regular exercise also lowers your risk of metabolic syndrome and certain types of cancers. It’s also an effective way to manage chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol and it increases your stamina.

Other Benefits
Stationary cycling has many health benefits. It strengthens your heart, lungs and immune system. Cycling also builds strength and tones your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and glutes. According to MayoClinic.com, a study found that when older adults exercised for at least 30 minutes, three times a week, they had a decrease in cognitive decline. Indoor cycling also increases mobility and joint flexibility in older adults. It’s also an ideal workout for those with back problems because it isn’t jarring to the spine.

WE INVITE YOU TO VIEW A COMPLETE LIST OF OUR INDOOR CYCLING, PILATES, & FITNESS CLASSES AND BEGIN YOUR JOURNEY.

 

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What is at your CORE?

Your core is a complex series of muscles, extending far beyond your abs, including everything besides your arms and legs. It is incorporated in almost every movement of the human body.  These muscles can act as an isometric or dynamic stabilizer for movement, transfer force from one extremity to another, or initiate movement itself.  Our core has three-dimensional depth and functional movement in all three planes of motion.Many of the muscles are hidden beneath the exterior musculature people typically train. The deeper muscles include the transverse abdominals, multifidus, diaphragm, pelvic floor, and many other deeper muscles.

What the Core Does

Your core most often acts as a stabilizer and force transfer center rather than a prime mover. Yet consistently people focus on training their core as a prime mover and in isolation. This would be doing crunches or back extensions versus functional movements like deadlifts, overhead squats, and pushups, among many other functional closed chain exercises.1 By training that way, not only are you missing out on a major function of the core, but also better strength gains, more efficient movement, and longevity of health.  We must look at core strength as the ability to produce force with respect to core stability, which is the ability to control the force we produce.  There are five different components of core stability: strength, endurance, flexibility, motor control, and function. Without motor control and function, the other three components are useless, like a fish flopping out of water no matter how strong you are or how much endurance you have.

It is important to first achieve core stability to protect the spine and surrounding musculature from injury in static and then dynamic movements. Second, we want to effectively and efficiently transfer and produce force during dynamic movements while maintaining core stability. This can include running, performing Olympic lifts, or picking up the gallon of milk far back in the fridge while keeping your back safe. Research has shown that athletes with higher core stability have a lower risk of injury. shutterstock111578147copy