Group fitness instructors needed in the bay area

Focus: Prevent falls, prevent chronic health , stimulate dopamine, and strengthen body for daily living functions and activities

Modalities: relaxation strategies, Tai Chi, massage, music, dance, range of motion movements, strategies for Parkinson and Alzheimers prevention and more

Teacher must be patient and open to holistic relaxation exercises for older adults. Immediate placement in various bay area facilities. Stanford train the trainer classes starts  every Saturdays.

Training Guide available for international train the trainer sessions. Email or text 408-854-1883

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Exercise and the brain


A person running


While much research has shown that exercise can be good for our brains, the link between how physical activity benefits the brain is not clearly understood. In a new study, researchers suggest the link between brain health and exercise could be a product of our evolutionary history and our hunter-gatherer past.  READ MORE…

Welness Mama: How to Avoid the Most Common Fitness Mistakes Women Make

How to make a foaming hydrosol face wash with essential oils

I’m a big fan of the oil cleansing method, and I’ve even been known to rub raw honey on my face. For those who are looking for a more traditional soapy way to cleanse skin, I’ve been experimenting with this foaming face wash recipe. It has a rich lather, and there are options for every…

Continue Reading…DIY Foaming Face Wash with Hydrosol & Essential Oils

How to Avoid the Most Common Fitness Mistakes Women Make

How to Avoid the Most Common Fitness Mistakes Women Make with Meredith Vieceli

As an athlete and a health coach, Meredith Vieceli sees women make all kinds of fitness mistakes. One of the most common? Not eating enough and training incorrectly or too hard! In this episode, she delves into these common problems, how to avoid them, and how to increase fitness safely and correctly. And Meredith is…

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Earthing & Grounding: Legit or Hype? (How to & When Not To)

Earthing and grounding- how to do it and when not to

Earthing (also called grounding) can be a controversial topic. Many people report amazing benefits, while critics point out the lack of solid scientific studies supporting this practice. Let’s delve into the evidence: What is Earthing or Grounding? In short, earthing or grounding is putting the body in direct and uninterrupted contact with the earth. This…

Continue Reading…Earthing & Grounding: Legit or Hype? (How to & When Not To)

92: A Holistic Pediatrician Talks Ear Infections, Fevers, & Vaccines

A Holistic Pediatrician Talks Ear Infections, Fevers, & Vaccines with Dr Elisa Song

Many of us dream of finding the perfect holistic pediatrician just a short drive from our homes. It’s not so easy, so today I bring one to you! Elisa Song, MD, is a holistic pediatrician, pediatric functional medicine expert, and mom of two. In this episode, she tackles all the tough subjects for parents and…

Continue Reading…92: A Holistic Pediatrician Talks Ear Infections, Fevers, & Vaccines

Stretching for seniors

stretching for seniors.JPG

Stretching is an excellent thing you can do for your health. These simple, yet effective moves can help you limber up for sports, improve your balance and prevent falls, increase your flexibility, and even help relieve arthritis, back, and knee pain.
  • Joints are the junctions that link bones together. The architecture of each joint — that is, whether its structure is a hinge, pivot, or ball-in-socket — determines how the bones can move.
  • Tendons are flexible cords of strong tissue that connect muscles to bones.
  • Ligaments are tough, fibrous bands of tissue that bind bone to bone, or bone to cartilage, at a joint. An example is the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), one of five ligaments that together control the movements of the knee. Among other things, the ACL keeps the knee joint from rotating too far.

When you stretch, you’re working muscles and tendons rather than ligaments. Ligaments are not supposed to be elastic. An overly stretchy ligament wouldn’t provide the stability and support needed for a safe range of movement.



Practice proper eating in training the night before your long runs/walks. Make sure to include protein with the carbohydrates, a little fat and only a little roughage to avoid stomach issues on race morning. Make your pre-race dinner look like your regular night-before training meal. Your meal the night before should not only be pasta; add some protein to have necessary amino acids on board for recovery.

Do not take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, NSAIDs, (Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Ibuprofen, etc,) the night before or during the race, as they are a risk for hyponatremia. If you must, take Tylenol (acetaminophen) during the race — only as prescribed on the bottle. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (Advil, Motrin, Aleve, Ibuprofen, etc.) can be taken only after you finish and have urinated once. By then you are no longer at risk for hyponatremia. These meds reduce inflammation and if they do not bother your stomach can be taken as recommended on the bottle.

Do not wear new shoes or clothing for race day. Be sure everything is worn in, and not too old by race day. This will help prevent blisters and chaffing.

Do not try any new stretches prior to the race or have someone stretch you out again until 72 hours have passed to allow for the soft tissues to heal and not be injured more. Make sure you have a good flexibility routine. Stick with what you have been doing. One month out, you should be in the same routine for the race.

During training, if you have a new ache or pain, get checked by a sports doctor early so it does not turn into something that will prevent you from participating. If you develop chest pain or shortness of breath during training, please go to the doctor and get checked before your event.

Practice only drinking for thirst and drinking the sports drink that will be on the course of your event; check the event website to find out what sports drink they will be serving.

The day of your race, eat the same as you do on long training runs/walks: same food, same number of hours before. You may like to try a pre-race meal, like the “Elvis Bagel” (peanut butter and banana on a bagel). This gives you some protein for muscle, ligament, and tendon repair as well as carbohydrates and energy for the event.

If you develop a pain that changes your running form, or if you just don’t “feel right” — stop at a medical station for a quick evaluation on the course. Our medical teams are there to help you.

After the event, within 2 hours of finishing, have a recovery drink with protein in it. There are commercial products, but chocolate milk works just as well.

“Marathon feet” are common for first timers to get in the middle of the night post race. This again is due to inflammation of the soft tissue structures and easily preventable. When you get back to your home or hotel room, a simple immersion in an ice bath for 15 minutes will help prevent this from happening.

If you feel really sore the next day, aside from taking cool showers and NSAIDs, talk to your sports doctor about a possible injection of Torodol, an injectable NSAID that has the pain-relieving effect of morphine without any narcotic side effects.

Give yourself two or three days of rest before starting your training again. Try a nice swim in these days, but allow yourself some recovery time. You will feel better for it.

Brain Evolved to Need Exercise

Summary: While much research has shown that exercise can be good for our brains, the link between how physical activity benefits the brain is not clearly understood. In a new study, researchers suggest the link between brain health and exercise could be a product of our evolutionary history and our hunter-gatherer past.

Source: University of Arizona.

Mounting scientific evidence shows that exercise is good not only for our bodies, but for our brains. Yet, exactly why physical activity benefits the brain is not well understood.

In a new article published in the journal Trends in Neurosciences, University of Arizona researchers suggest that the link between exercise and the brain is a product of our evolutionary history and our past as hunter-gatherers.

UA anthropologist David Raichlen and UA psychologist Gene Alexander, who together run a research program on exercise and the brain, propose an “adaptive capacity model” for understanding, from an evolutionary neuroscience perspective, how physical activity impacts brain structure and function.

Their argument: As humans transitioned from a relatively sedentary apelike existence to a more physically demanding hunter-gatherer lifestyle, starting around 2 million years ago, we began to engage in complex foraging tasks that were simultaneously physically and mentally demanding, and that may explain how physical activity and the brain came to be so connected.

“We think our physiology evolved to respond to those increases in physical activity levels, and those physiological adaptations go from your bones and your muscles, apparently all the way to your brain,” said Raichlen, an associate professor in the UA School of Anthropology in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

“It’s very odd to think that moving your body should affect your brain in this way — that exercise should have some beneficial impact on brain structure and function — but if you start thinking about it from an evolutionary perspective, you can start to piece together why that system would adaptively respond to exercise challenges and stresses,” he said.

Having this underlying understanding of the exercise-brain connection could help researchers come up with ways to enhance the benefits of exercise even further, and to develop effective interventions for age-related cognitive decline or even neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

Notably, the parts of the brain most taxed during a complex activity such as foraging — areas that play a key role in memory and executive functions such as problem solving and planning — are the same areas that seem to benefit from exercise in studies.

“Foraging is an incredibly complex cognitive behavior,” Raichlen said. “You’re moving on a landscape, you’re using memory not only to know where to go but also to navigate your way back, you’re paying attention to your surroundings. You’re multitasking the entire time because you’re making decisions while you’re paying attention to the environment, while you are also monitoring your motor systems over complex terrain. Putting all that together creates a very complex multitasking effort.”

The adaptive capacity model could help explain research findings such as those published by Raichlen and Alexander last year showing that runners’ brains appear to be more connected than brains of non-runners.

The model also could help inform interventions for the cognitive decline that often accompanies aging — in a period in life when physical activity levels tend to decline as well.

“What we’re proposing is, if you’re not sufficiently engaged in this kind of cognitively challenging aerobic activity, then this may be responsible for what we often see as healthy brain aging, where people start to show some diminished cognitive abilities,” said Alexander, a UA professor of psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience and physiological sciences. “So the natural aging process might really be part of a reduced capacity in response to not being engaged enough.”

Reduced capacity refers to what can happen in organ systems throughout the body when they are deprived of exercise.

“Our organ systems adapt to the stresses they undergo,” said Raichlen, an avid runner and expert on running. “For example, if you engage in exercise, your cardiovascular system has to adapt to expand capacity, be it through enlarging your heart or increasing your vasculature, and that takes energy. So if you’re not challenging it in that way — if you’re not engaging in aerobic exercise — to save energy, your body simply reduces that capacity.”

In the case of the brain, if it is not being stressed enough it may begin to atrophy. This may be especially concerning, considering how much more sedentary humans’ lifestyles have become.

“Our evolutionary history suggests that we are, fundamentally, cognitively engaged endurance athletes, and that if we don’t remain active we’re going to have this loss of capacity in response to that,” said Alexander, who studies brain aging and Alzheimer’s disease as a member of the UA’s Evelyn F. McKnight Brain Institute. “So there really may be a mismatch between our relatively sedentary lifestyles of today and how we evolved.”

Alexander and Raichlen say future research should look at how different levels of exercise intensity, as well as different types of exercise, or exercise paired specifically with cognitive tasks, affect the brain.

For example, exercising in a novel environment that poses a new mental challenge, may prove to be especially beneficial, Raichlen said.

A person running

“Most of the research in this area puts people in a cognitively impoverished environment. They put people in a lab and have them run on a treadmill or exercise bike, and you don’t really have to do as much, so it’s possible that we’re missing something by not increasing novelty,” he said.

Alexander and Raichlen say they hope the adaptive capacity model will help advance research on exercise and the brain.

“This evolutionary neuroscience perspective is something that’s been generally lacking in the field,” Alexander said. “And we think this might be helpful to advance research and help develop some new specific hypotheses and ways to identify more universally effective interventions that could be helpful to everyone.”


Source: Alexis Blue – University of Arizona
Image Source: image is credited to University of Arizona.
Original Research: Abstract for “Adaptive Capacity: An Evolutionary Neuroscience Model Linking Exercise, Cognition, and Brain Health” by David A. Raichlen and Gene E. Alexander in Trends in Neurosciences. Published online June 10 2017 doi:10.1016/j.tins.2017.05.001

University of Arizona “Brain Evolved to Need Exercise.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 26 June 2017.


“Predicting the Brain Activation Pattern Associated With the Propositional Content of a Sentence: Modeling Neural Representations of Events and States”

The field of cognitive neuroscience was transformed by the discovery that exercise induces neurogenesis in the adult brain, with the potential to improve brain health and stave off the effects of neurodegenerative disease. However, the basic mechanisms underlying exercise–brain connections are not well understood. We use an evolutionary neuroscience approach to develop the adaptive capacity model (ACM), detailing how and why physical activity improves brain function based on an energy-minimizing strategy. Building on studies showing a combined benefit of exercise and cognitive challenge to enhance neuroplasticity, our ACM addresses two fundamental questions: (i) what are the proximate and ultimate mechanisms underlying age-related brain atrophy, and (ii) how do lifestyle changes influence the trajectory of healthy and pathological aging?


Recent work has shown that exercise can significantly improve brain structure and function in adults, especially during aging.

We currently lack a comprehensive theoretical model to explain why exercise can lead to improved brain function.

Taking an evolutionary neuroscience approach suggests that physiological systems, including the brain, respond to activity-related stress by expanding capacity, and that reductions in capacity represent an energy-minimizing strategy in response to inactivity.

From an evolutionary neuroscience perspective, physical activity stresses brain function because of the cognitively demanding foraging context in which our ancestors engaged in aerobic physical activity.

The ACM links evolutionary theory with cognitive neuroscience to show that cognitively demanding exercise is beneficial to brain structure and function, and that we can take advantage of this adaptation to help prevent declines due to aging and to developing neurological disease.

“Adaptive Capacity: An Evolutionary Neuroscience Model Linking Exercise, Cognition, and Brain Health” by David A. Raichlen and Gene E. Alexander in Trends in Neurosciences. Published online June 10 2017 doi:10.1016/j.tins.2017.05.001