Tag Archives: Health Assessments

ARE YOU (REALLY) HUNGRY?

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Society may be losing touch with a human basic instinct.

Blame the world we live in. Even for the health-conscious, outside factors can dictate when (a set lunch break), why (a client in town), and how much (a to-go container) to eat, says Ryan Andrews, R.D., C.S.C.S., a nutritionist at Precision Nutrition. At some point down the line, we started listening to those factors more than our bodies.

“Most people are aware of the extremes—when they are extremely hungry or extremely full,” says Andrews. But distinguishing subtler signs—a slightly rumbling stomach, a hollow feeling in the gut; and as you grow hungrier, shakiness, irritability, short-temperedness, light-headedness, or a headache—is important, too.

It’s not a bad thing to let your body go there. For healthy people, being hungry isn’t an emergency: “It’s a necessary and normal physiological signal that will return again and again just like getting tired, thirsty, or having to go to the bathroom,” says Andrews. (You just don’t want to let it take over, since going into a meal famished can lead you to overeat.)

Your goal is a reasonable sensation of true hunger, which can make eating more enjoyable, says Andrews. To find it, follow Andrews’ suggestions: 

 
  • IDENTIFY WHICH FOODS SATISFY YOU.

    Some breakfasts leave you full till lunch, others leave you craving more. “If I have a bowl of oatmeal with soy milk, fruit, flax, and walnuts, I’m satisfied until around lunch. I know that about myself,” says Andrews. Finding patterns that work for your body is an important factor in allowing hunger to do its job, he says.

    Look for foods and amounts that keep you full for three to five hours. “If you’re hungry after an hour, you probably didn’t eat enough of the right foods at the previous meal. If you aren’t hungry after three to five hours, you probably ate too much.”

    Junk food is never a good bet, either: “The pleasure they can bring during the eating process can overrun any natural body cues that are saying ‘stop eating!’.”

  • KEEP GOOD FOODS IN SIGHT.

    What we see and smell can fool our bodies into thinking we’re hungry even when we’re not, says Andrews. At home, keep groceries stored away. And make sure the food you can see is good for you. Cornell research shows that we’re more likely to eat what we see—for your health’s sake, it’s better to have a fruit bowl than a candy jar.

  • DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN EMOTIONS AND HUNGER.

    Comfort food: The idea that certain foods make us feel good. Unfortunately, if you always eat when you’re feeling a certain way (like stressed), your body might confuse that emotion with hunger, says Andrews. Connecting with a dietician or counselor to troubleshoot the issue is well worth it, as the habit can take a toll on your overall health, he notes.

  • SLOW DOWN.

    If dinner takes you less than 15 minutes or so to finish, you’ll likely still be hungry. “This is because you didn’t give your body enough time to register the original feelings of fullness,” says Andrews. It takes some time for that to set in, sometimes 20 minutes or more. Slowing down can help you pick up on signs of satiety.

  • EAT WHAT YOU WANT (IN MODERATION).

    Splurging every now and then is okay. In fact, not doing so could just leave you craving what you’re really after. If someone wants a cookie, but doesn’t eat it because it’s a ‘junk’ food—and opts for a protein bar instead—“they didn’t scratch their itch,” says Andrews. “They end up eating the cookie anyway.”

  • THINK HIGH-VOLUME, LOW-CALORIE.

    “Volume isn’t the only factor that triggers fullness, but it’s a piece of the puzzle,” says Andrews. Case in point: One pound of spinach has the same number of calories as one slice of bacon, he says. “Obviously, one slice of bacon isn’t very filling for most people, but one pound of spinach is.”

  • CHECK YOUR THIRST.

    Your body can confuse hunger with thirst. Try a glass of water, give yourself a few minutes, and reassess.

    For full article by Cassie Shortsleeve, visit http://furthermore.equinox.com/articles/2016/02/are-you-hungry?emmcid=emm-newsletter&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email%20member&utm_campaign=0210&emmcid=EMM-0210Furthermore2102016

Chiropractic care for pain relief

Chiropractic is a health care system that holds that the structure of the body, particularly the spine, affects the function of every part of the body. Chiropractors try to correct the body’s alignment to relieve pain and improve function and to help the body heal itself.

While the mainstay of chiropractic is spinal manipulation, chiropractic care now includes a wide variety of other treatments, including manual or manipulative therapies, postural and exercise education, ergonomic training (how to walk, sit, and stand to limit back strain), nutritional consultation, and even ultrasound and laser therapies. In addition, chiropractors today often work in conjunction with primary care doctors, pain experts, and surgeons to treat patients with pain.

Most research on chiropractic has focused on spinal manipulation for back pain. Chiropractic treatment for many other problems—including other musculoskeletal pain, headaches, asthma, carpal tunnel syndrome, and fibromyalgia—has also been studied. A recent review concluded that chiropractic spinal manipulation may be helpful for back pain, migraine, neck pain, and whiplash.

There have been reports of serious complications, including stroke, following spinal manipulation of the neck, although this is very rare and some studies suggest this may not be directly caused by the treatment.

Spinal manipulation” is a generic term used for any kind of therapeutic movement of the spine, but used more precisely it is the application of quick but strong pressure on a joint between two vertebrae of the spine. That pressure twists or rotates the joint beyond its normal range of motion and causes a sharp cracking noise. That distinctive noise is believed to be caused by the breaking of a vacuum or the release of a bubble into the synovial fluid, the clear, thick fluid that lubricates the spinal and other joints. Spinal manipulation can be done either directly by pushing on the vertebrae or indirectly by twisting the neck or upper part of the body. It should be done to only one spinal joint at a time. Chiropractors and other practitioners accomplish this by positioning the body so the force they exert is focused on one joint while parts of the spine above and below it are held very still. Most spinal manipulation treatments take somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes and are scheduled two or three times a week initially. Look for improvements in your symptoms after a couple of weeks.

In addition, a chiropractor may advise you about changing your biomechanics and posture and suggest other treatments and techniques. The ultimate goal of chiropractic is to help relieve pain and help patients better manage their condition at home.

For full article please visit:  http://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/chiropractic-care-for-pain-relief

IT DOES A BODY GOOD

Massage

New research finds that even a 10-minute massage soothes more than just the soul.

A dimly lit room. Calming, muted music. Sixty minutes of pure “me time” while stress melts away. There’s no question that a massage is the ultimate good-for-you indulgence; but according to a new study, attacking those knots may pay off even more than researchers initially thought.

The tension-relieving benefits of massage therapy are well-documented, but the new findings suggest that a mere 10-minute massage can also help reduce inflammation in muscles, an underlying factor in chronic diseases like arthritis. The research, which appeared in the journalScience Translational Medicine, showed that when muscles are stretched they receive a signal to build more mitochondria, which are vital for healing — making massages potentially helpful for injury recovery.

After assessing the fitness level of 11 men in their twenties, the study’s researchers at McManus University asked each participant to cycle to the point of exhaustion (more than 70 minutes). The subjects were then allowed to rest while a massage therapist performed a 10-minute massage on one leg. While the massage didn’t help clear lactic acid from the tired muscles — a widely spread exercise myth — noticeably reduced inflammation was observed in the massaged leg.

When muscles are stretched they receive a signal to build more mitochondria, which are vital for healing.

Why? “Anytime we stimulate the nerves we send messages to the brain about the area,” explains Equinox trainer and master therapist Susan Stanley, RKC, FMS, LMT, “the brain then responds in a variety of ways, including nervous and chemical.”

She adds that massage techniques have an effect on more than just muscle. “In fact,” says Stanley, “fascia, a layer of fibrous tissue that surrounds muscles, is probably the most affected tissue and it contains far more nervous tissue than muscle.”

The almost-immediate effects of massage found in the study don’t surprise Stanley. “The inflammation process begins at the moment of insult to the tissue, so the moment that tissue is given a different stimulus, the brain can change its response instantaneously, too,” she says. That said, she underscores that the study was conducted on a small, specialized group.

A typical relaxation massage triggers the parasympathetic nervous system — or relax response — in the body, which stimulates healing and immunity. Lymphatic Drainage massage, an example of very light work, is designed specifically to address inflammation and edema (potentially damaging fluid accumulation), and stimulate the lymph system, which is the body’s mechanism to rid the body of toxins and waste.

Soul-soothing properties aside, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the body-benefits of massage therapy are not to be taken lightly. Something to remember the next time you’re debating whether or not to hit the table.

For full article by Sharon Feiereisen please visit http://q.equinox.com/articles/2012/03/it-does-a-body-good?emmcid=emm-newsletter-1012&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email%20member&utm_campaign=1012&emmcid=EMM-1012QWeekly10122015

BUILD A YOUNGER BRAIN

New research identifies markers of diseases like Alzheimer’s much earlier than ever before. Protect yourself today.

When a recent Northwestern University study discovered the hallmark Alzheimer’s proteins in the brains of 20 year olds, many wondered: Is brain health a younger person’s concern? 

After all, these are the youngest human brains to date in which amyloids, the signature proteins, have been found. And while the majority of people impacted by dementia and Alzheimer’s are older than 65, experts will tell you that taking action now could help prevent damage down the line. 

You may have more control than you realize, says Gary Small, M.D., author of Two Weeks to a Younger Brain: “The brain is sensitive to stimulation from moment to moment—if we are engaging certain neural circuits, they strengthen—if we neglect others, we don’t give the brain the opportunity to strengthen,” Small says. “But whether that impacts one’s risk of Alzheimer’s, we just don’t know.”

What we do know: No matter your age, there is a significant correlation between a healthy diet, regular exercise, not smoking, and having fewer memory complaints. If you’re already living a healthy lifestyle, there’s more you can do to cut your risk and protect your brain, starting with the five habits below.

1

Rewire with meditation

Lower stress levels are intimately connected to an improved cognitive performance. But deep breaths aren’t the only way to get there. “We’ve got studies that show that meditation or tai chi or other kinds of stress-reducing exercises will rewire your brain’s neural circuitry,” says Small.

2

Meet in person

“With all of the new technology, we’re not communicating face-to-face as much,” says Small. “Even though there is social connection through social media, it’s not as powerful as meeting people in real time and space.” Specifically, there are clear advantages to face-to-face conversation in terms of empathy skills, he says, noting that empathy is linked to strong social communication skills in personal and professional life. Even more: Studies show traditional social connections lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

3

Avoid email benders

If you work a lot on the computer, don’t spend hours on hours answering emails, says Small. “Shake up your tasks. Cross-train your brain. You’ll activate different neural circuits.” There are a lot of upsides to technology — certain programs can improve multitasking and cognitive skills, he says. “Surgeons who play video games make fewer errors in surgery.”

4

Choose mood-boosting exercise

“There’s a lot of evidence that mental stimulation is linked to brain health — but that evidence is not as compelling as physical exercise,” says Small. But which fitness routine is most worthy? There are data showing that strength training and cardiovascular conditioning have benefits for brain health. I suggest both,” says Small.

When it comes to intensity, the jury is still out: One study found that just 90 minutes of brisk walking lowers Alzheimer’s risk; others find that 5 minutes of intense interval training helps. Small’s advice: Check your mood. “Anyone who exercises knows about the endorphin benefits and how exercise improves mood — that’s probably a good measure of whether you’re getting a brain benefit.”

5

Adjust your omegas ratio

Diet is ever important when it comes to brain health. But beyond controlling portions and eating enough fruits and vegetables, balance your fats. “Too many people eat too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3s,” says Small. Omega-6 is found in meats and vegetable oils, while omega-3s are found in fish, nuts, and flax seed.

For full article by Cassie Shortsleeve, visit:  http://q.equinox.com/articles/2015/04/build-a-younger-brain?emlcid=EML-newsletters_2015_05_06&emmcid=EMM-0506QWeekly562015

IT’S TIME FOR A RUNNING SHOE REFRESH

SKYMARK HEALTH AND FITNESS IS RUNNING IN THE SAL GUZZO LLB RELAY CHALLENGE (MISSISSAUGA MARATHON)….COME ON OUT AND SUPPORT US!!  WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU!!

We scoured the market. These are the spring sneakers to know.

Save maybe undergarments, there is no item more personal for which to shop than the running shoe. And while we know there will never be a one-size-fits-all solution, the sneaker spread below represents the season’s top performers for almost every preference. 

1

Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit

This smooth, lightweight shoe with a minimal, 6mm heel-to-forefoot drop allows you to maintain a more natural stride, while still offering just-enough cushioning. A stretchy Flyknit upper hugs your foot, hexagonal grooves on the outsole improve flexibility and a molded sock-liner provides good arch support.Women’s > I Men’s >

2

Skechers GOrun 4

Every time we see Olympian Meb Keflezighi crush a race (ala winning last year’s Boston Marathon), we have to wonder if the Skechers’ athlete is on to something… The breathable GOrun4 training shoe is a great way to test that theory. It encourages a midfoot strike via a short, 4mm drop, a barely-there weight of 5.2 ounces (women’s) and really responsive cushioning.
Women’s > I Men’s >

3

New Balance Fresh Foam Zante

With a more form-fitting last, a low-to-the-ground profile and a moderate, 6mm heel-to-forefoot drop, the sweet Fresh Foam Zante gives you a fast, neutral ride. Plus, its soft, no-sew upper and springy midsole keeps you feeling (ahem) fresh as you bound through those miles.
Women’s > I Men’s >

4

Brooks Transcend 2

For runners who tend to overpronate (foot turns inward as you strike), the Transcend 2 provides a little bit of stability to help keep your form in check. It features an 8mm drop, a breathable mesh upper, a cushy biodegradable foam midsole and a segmented outsole that helps absorb—and more evenly distribute— impact along your foot.
Women’s > I Men’s >

5

Hoka One One Challenger ATR

This fat, all-terrain sneaker gives you plush cushioning and plenty of stability out on the trails. Aggressive, 4mm lugs on its outsole keep you stable on uneven surfaces, a rocker technology in the midsole helps propel you forward, and a 5mm heel-to-forefoot drop allows you to maintain a more natural stride.
Women’s > I Men’s >

6

Adidas Ultra Boost

There are a reported 3,000 energy capsules in the Ultra Boost’s firm, yet cushy midsole, which gives you amazing bounce-back every time you strike. It also features a slipper-like, breathable, mesh knit upper, a solid 10mm heel-to-forefoot drop and a molded heel for extra support.
Women’s > I Men’s >

7

Asics 33-DFA

Designed for neutral runners who aren’t afraid to push the pace, the 33-DFA has a rounded last that allows all 33 joints of your foot to move more freely (hence, the name). With a seamless (chafe-free) upper, a minimal 4mm drop and deep flex grooves on its outsole, this lightweight (8.7 ounces for guys) sneaker is ready for the starting line.
Women’s > I Men’s >

8

Saucony Zealot ISO

These colorful kicks are a beautiful blend of comfort and support. A molded heel counter and structured mesh upper helps get your gait in line whenever you even start to overpronate, while a stacked midsole provides 20 percent more cushioning than normal. Plus, with only a 4mm drop, the Zealot is still perfect for runners with a neutral stride.
Women’s > I Men’s >

For full article by Lindsey Emery visit  http://q.equinox.com/articles/2015/04/spring-sneaker-roundup?emlcid=EML-newsletters_2015_04_29&emmcid=EMM-0429QWeekly4292015

THE GREAT DEBATE: CAN YOU SPOT REDUCE FAT?

A new technology is reigniting the age-old controversy.

Whether you can or cannot choose where you lose fat in your body is one of the most polarizing topics in the fitness field. Anecdotal evidence has surfaced over the years suggesting that various forms of programming, supplementation and technology may in fact be able to target specific areas in the body where fat is stored. But science holds firm that the answer is a resounding no—a safe bet as there is no peer-reviewed clinical research suggesting otherwise.

“Body fat is lost in the same way that you put it on—slowly and all over,” says Dr. Justin Mager, an exercise physiologist in Mill Valley, CA, and founder of Health Incite, a holistic wellness clinic. “You can spot-reduce, but it has nothing to do with exercise and diet. It’s called liposuction.”

Besides surgical liposuction, there’s a newer, non-invasive “laser lipolysis,” which uses a laser to effectively ‘melt’ unwanted fat, which is then metabolized by the body. But neither addresses the underlying diet and exercise lifestyle issues that led to the fat build-up in the first place. Enter: red light lipolysis.

According to Rolando Garcia III, manager of the Columbus Circle location of E at Equinox, the combination of a structured workout plan and red light lipolysis treatments via a device called Pure Light seems promising for problem areas. Used in physical therapy environments for years to break up scar tissue, red light lipolysis aims an external infrared light generated by an LED (light-emitting diode) system at unwanted fat stores. “This breaks the bonds between fats, which allows you to utilize fat as fuel when you exercise,” he says.

Intrigued, Garcia tested the system himself for 8 weeks, targeting belly fat. “I focused little on my diet and reduced my training to 3 times a week, and I lost an inch off my waist after 10 sessions. Screenings showed that all my other measurements—arms, chest, shoulders—were the same. But because of my stomach, my total body fat went from 13.3% to 12.2%.”

Next up: E clients. In the protocol Garcia has developed, participants will follow a red-light lipolysis treatment (which involves wearing a belt of 8 cell-phone-sized LED pads each for 15 minutes). They will then exercise until they’ve burned 350 calories—enough to burn up those excess fatty acids before they get stored as fat again. “No research papers and clinical trials have validated this approach yet, “ admits Garcia, “but we have to start somewhere.”

Until there is, Dr. Mager suggests his approach: “First, I recommend that people de-stress their lives, which reduces the production of stress hormones like cortisol that cause fat to accumulate around your vital organs to protect them,” he says, “Then do strength and posture work,” which serves to properly line-up muscles and joints, often de-emphasizing fat stores.

A safe bet for now, but there’s no harm in a little experimentation.

To see full article go to http://q.equinox.com/articles/2015/02/spot-reduction?emlcid=EML-newsletters_2015_02_04&emlcid=EML-QWeekly-0204242015.  Article written by Roy M. Wallack, Photography by Trunk Archive

VIDEO: WHY I TRAIN PREGNANT

 

Like so many expectant mothers who exercise, Linda Baltes deals with criticism. But she hasn’t let it stop her.

Despite the near-total eradication of gender lines in fitness, to this day, when a pregnant woman walks into the gym, eyebrows inevitably raise.

“When you’re training pregnant, you get a lot of people questioning you,” says Linda Baltes, who is expecting her first child later this month. “They’re questioning whether you’re doing this because you’re vain.”

For Baltes, it made perfect sense to continue training through her pregnancy. The Santa Monica-based triathlete—who serves in the Air Force Reserves and works for a molecular diagnostics company—has been active and athletic her entire life. But that didn’t make her immune to this specific brand of fit-shaming.

“Pregnancy is not a disease,” says Jacques Moritz, M.D., director of the division of gynecology at New York City’s Mount Sinai Roosevelt and Mount Sinai St. Luke’s. “It’s a condition. As long as one doesn’t go overboard, pregnant women not only should, but are encouraged to work out.”

Watch the video above to glimpse Baltes’ prenatal routine and hear why she believes that fitness has a place of utmost importance in these nine months of her life, and even more so in the months and years that follow.

For full article please visit http://q.equinox.com/articles/2015/02/pregnancy-workout-video?emlcid=EML-newsletters_2015_02_11&emacid=EMA-QWeekly-02112122015.  Article written by Sheila Monaghan

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