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Jan’s Wellness Journey

Jan’s Wellness Journey

Author: Jan Frazier, Member

I embarked on my fitness journey at age 67 mostly out of desperation. I needed a program to help me walk, stand and sit without pain. My job required standing (on concrete floors) for several hours at a time. Because of the standing and incorrect posture, I developed sciatica. I started my program at a commercial gym. After about six weeks or so, I knew that what I was doing there was not working for me. I was not seeing the results that I had hoped for and was looking for help in other areas. I heard about Achieve Wellness and decided to see what they had to offer. First, I scheduled a therapeutic massage and then another one. I was amazed at what the massage alone did for the pain. I then scheduled an appointment with a trainer who started me out with stretching and using a foam roller. More progress after those sessions made me realize that this was the place for me.

I was beginning to experience some relief from the sciatic pain because of the stretching and roller use and even more relief when the stretching session was preceded with a 30 minute therapeutic massage. When I began this program, I had never really thought about a fitness goal other than finding a program that would eliminate the pain I was living with. I have since revised that goal to include milestones that I felt I needed to achieve for my personal satisfaction and well-being. During the past six months I have worked diligently at home as well as with the trainers at Achieve Wellness.

I cannot say enough about the caring attitude of the staff and their dedication to the health, well-being and success of their clientele. They also emphasize the importance of proper form and posture as a must to prevent injuries. Not only have I thrived from the individual attention from the trainers, but I have found other benefits at Achieve Wellness which contribute to my own well-being and success. Due to an equilibrium problem caused by partial hearing loss, the beginning Yoga class has helped a great deal in achieving stability and increased flexibility as well.

The nutrition class was an eye opener in that I have never been told that I needed to eat more! My food diary reflected a lack of balance in the protein/carbohydrates/fat percentages in my diet. I have progressed from stretching to more intensive muscle strengthening. The sciatica is now history. And yet another surprise: I have lost ten pounds along the way! Even more recently, I had to go through radiation treatments. My doctors recommended that I stay active and take yoga classes during the course of my treatments to alleviate symptoms of fatigue. I continued with the exercise and yoga routine and both have helped tremendously. I have literally “sailed” through my treatments with no adverse effects.

 

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Hydrate for Health

Hydrate for Health

Author: Joe Sage, NASM-CPT, FNS, WLS, CES

With warmer temperatures on the way we might not be thinking about our water intake as much as we do in the wintertime. Since our bodies are not able to store extra water, we need to make sure we are drinking enough water daily for our bodies to function properly. For some of us, if we’re not doing any physical activity it might be easy to overlook how much water we are consuming throughout the day. We lose water from sweating, urinating, bowel movements, and exhaling. When we feel thirsty we have already put ourselves in a state of mild dehydration. Water plays an important role in bodily functions including regulating temperature, lubricating joints, moistens and protects tissues and organs, helps with digestion, prevents constipation, and helps eliminate waste.

So, how do we know if we are getting enough? The simplest way is by the color of our urine. If the color is yellow, we need to be drinking more, and if it is clear, then our body is properly hydrated. A basic equation for determining the amount of water we should drink is half of our body weight in ounces. So, if we have someone who weighs 180 lbs. that person should be drinking 90 ounces of water a day. Also keep in mind the amount of activity performed daily, as this would increase our water intake from excess sweat. Making sure we drink water throughout the day and knowing what to look for (feeling thirsty, yellow urine) can help ensure that we are giving our body what it needs to maintain proper hydration.

water

 

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Massage and Myofascial Release

Massage and Myofascial Release

Author: Achieve Wellness Staff

Many use massage to pamper themselves on vacation or maybe de-stress from an intense work week, but what is really happening to the muscle getting massaged? Everyone has tight muscles of some sort, whether from stress or muscle imbalances from overuse and massage helps those muscles to relax and release. Another name for this reaction is called myofascial release.

massage-therapy        Most feel a large amount of work related stress on top of any personal obstacles they may have at any given time. We have all heard the phrase: “the weight of the world on my shoulders.” This phrase is more accurate than one might think. A natural reaction for most of us when stressed is to tense our shoulders and raise them towards our ears. Overtime this tension will cause over-active trapezius and levator scapulae muscles, which can cause headaches and limit the range of motion for the neck and shoulders.

Tight muscles can cause many different issues that one may not realize. For instance, tight pectorals—chest muscles—can limit the range of motion for the arms. Most don’t realize this because we always reach forward instead of backward. The same can be said for the legs, there is a certain degree that one should be able to freely move without much resistance. Due to repetitious movements and daily rituals, our muscles become tight and slowly lose the range of motion our bodies should have.

Massage really helps to regain full range of motion by creating a myofascial release. Not only does massage create myofascial release, but it also draws blood to the area. Myofascial release is simply the soft tissue of the body— i.e. muscles and connective tissue—loosening up and allowing more movement in the area and blood to flow more freely, allowing the body to repair itself. Blood is vital for healing. The more nutrient and oxygen rich blood in the area the quicker the body is capable of healing. Massage can improve your quality of life. Massages are not only for vacation, but an important tool as we continuously strive to achieve wellness.

 

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