Yogi on the go
You can get food to go. So why not yoga? Naples instructor Grace Ballenger is expanding the concept of “yogi on the go,” conducing private one-on-one or group classes at her clients’ home. The idea behind it is that yoga can be for everyone, which often gets lost in the fallacy that yoga involves twisting yourself in to a pretzel to be effective. Most of her clients are seniors or people with medical conditions who need routines tailored specifically to them. “I try to bring people a level of peace,” she says. Contact Ballenger at 821-8400.
Think positively about aging
A study conducted at the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging found that people who had strong negative perceptions about getting older also had a higher risk of developing dementia.
Fitness Tip of the Month
As we age, it becomes more important to start focusing on balance in our workouts. Unfortunately, many people overlook that. “We don’t think about it until we fall or something bad happens,” says Fran Fidler, a personal trainer with NCH Healthcare System. Fidler frequently works with his older clients on balance. One key piece of equipment is a flat, rectangular foam block called an Airex pad. His clients frequently work with it at home in a daily routine that involves stepping on and off one foot at a time while steadying themselves on something like a counter top. It’s a simple routine—but can work wonders for staying on top of balance exercises, he says.
An apple a day keeps the pounds away
A study in PLOS Medicine showed which fruits and veggies are best for losing weight. The winners: apples, pears, berries, soybeans, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and leafy greens.
Florida middle of the health pack
How healthy are we in Florida? Eh, could be better. The United Health Foundation’s annual rankings put the Sunshine State at No. 33 overall.
Battle fat with lasers
A new procedure to get lean has come to Southwest Florida. Late last year, the FDA approved a noninvasive treatment called SculpSure. It’s an alternative to liposuction that uses a system of lasers to “zap” the fat without burning the skin. The added positive is that it takes only about half an hour to complete, and, because no anesthesia is necessary, patients have very little downtime afterward. Assuage Medical Spa, which opened last year in Naples (and also has a location in Fort Myers), has started offering the treatment. “SculpSure represents an entirely new approach,” Dr. Stephen Prendiville said in a press release. Get more details at assuagecenters.com.
Imagine your way to a diet
That big piece of chocolate cake sure can be tempting. Next time, just imagine you’re taking a bite of it. You’ll be surprised how it can help. A study from the French business school INSEAD found that people who vividly imagined eating treats—picturing the cake, smelling the cake, biting into the cake—ended up taking smaller portions of the actual treat when offered. The key was the multisensory triggers—smell, taste, sight, etc. In the end, their cravings were met—somewhat. It’s not like anyone turned it away.
How to live to 100
Is there some kind of secret to reaching triple digits? Exercise? Healthy eating? Just plain old good luck? A new study in PLOS Genetics sheds light into the secrets of centenarians. Contrary to previous research, the study showed that the 100-plus crowd lacks some of the genes that help cause major illnesses. Basically, they “live longer because they don’t get sick,” researcher Stuart Kim of Stanford University told Time. Of course, this isn’t the whole story. Scientists still have reason to believe centenarians may have anti-aging genes, but exactly what they are or why they have them is still largely a mystery.
Post-workout beers, anyone?
Yes, beer has calories. But maybe you shouldn’t feel too bad with that celebratory drink after a good workout. As The New York Times noted, two new studies have shown a strong link between drinking and exercise. A Penn State study showed that the more people exercised in a given day, the more they drank. A separate study published in the Frontiers in Psychiatry suggested the link is due to the fact that people may want to extend that natural “workout high” by imbibing in something else pleasurable. Just be sure you’re not “rewarding” yourself too much.
How smart are your socks?
Everything is smart these days—even your socks. In the ever-continuing quest to quantify our workouts, our socks can give us feedback. Sensoria has started making Fitness Socks complete with sensors that communicate with an anklet that collects information on steps taken, foot roll and other info useful to serious runners (it also has a feature that lets you know when it’s time to get a new pair of sneakers). The anklet then forwards that info to an app on the runner’s mobile phone. So, put away that pedometer—if you want to know how you’re doing, just ask your socks.