Tag: women’s health

Yoga Workshop

Yoga Workshop with Fran Gallo. Workshop Name: Strong.

For details, please contact Fran GalloYoga Instructor at fran@frangallo.com.

Saturday, January 28th.

3:00pm to 5:00pm.

SAC Members $25. Guests $35.

Yoga postures help us to become centered, flexible, and strong. This workshop will focus on yoga poses that build strength. We will practice the poses that help us gain strength (modifications will be suggested if needed) and reserve the last 15 minutes for deep relaxation (shavasana). All levels!

Women’s Health Facts

The CDC states that a women’s involvement in various modes of physical activity can help improve day to day function, especially women with heart disease or arthritis.  Here are some tips on how to start to become involved in more physical activity:

Start to fit health and wellness it into you busy schedule

    • If you can’t set aside one block of time, do short activities throughout the day, such as three 10-minute walks.


    • Create opportunities for activity. Try parking your car farther away from where you are headed. If you ride the bus or train, get off one or two stops early and walk.


    • Walk or bike to work or to the store.


    • Use stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.


    • Take breaks at work to stretch or take quick walks, or do something active with coworkers at lunch.


    • Walk while you talk, if you’re using a cell phone or cordless phone.


    • Doing yard work or household chores counts as physical activity. Turn on some upbeat music to help you do chores faster and speed up your heart rate.


Make health and wellness fun

    • Choose activities that you enjoy.


    • Vary your activities, so you don’t get bored. For instance, use different jogging, walking, or biking paths. Or bike one day, and jog the next.


    • Reward yourself when you achieve your weekly goals. For instance, reward yourself by going to a movie.


    • If you have children, make time to play with them outside. Set a good example!


    • Plan active vacations that will keep you moving, such as taking tours and sightseeing on foot.


Make health and wellness social

    • Join a hiking or running club.


    • Go dancing with your partner or friends.


    • Turn activities into social occasions — for example, go to a movie after you and a friend work out.


Overcome challenges

    • Don’t let cold weather keep you on the couch. You can find activities to do in the winter, such as indoor fitness classes or exercising to a workout video.


  • If you live in a neighborhood where it is unsafe to be active outdoors, contact your local recreational center or church to see if they have indoor activity programs that you can join. You can also find ways to be active at home. For instance, you can do push-ups or lift hand weights. If you don’t have hand weights, you can use canned foods or bottles filled with water or sand.

Know your numbers
High cholesterol increases your risk for heart disease. People at any age can take steps to keep cholesterol levels normal, like eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising regularly.  (http://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/

Desirable Cholesterol Levels:

    • Total cholesterol Less than 200 mg/dL


    • LDL (“bad” cholesterol) Less than 100 mg/dL


    • HDL (“good” cholesterol)40 mg/dL or higher


  • Triglycerides Less than 150 mg/dL

Get screened regularly
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among American women. Having regular mammograms can lower the risk of dying from breast cancer. If you are 50 to 74 years old, be sure to have a screening mammogram every two years. If you are 40 to 49 years old, talk to your doctor about when to start and how often to get a screening mammogram. (http://www.cdc.gov/cancer

Every year in the United States, about 12,000 women get cervical cancer and almost 4,000 women die from it. But it is the most preventable female cancer with regular screening tests and early treatment. (http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/hpv/)

By Fitness Intern Kathleen Reno

Strength Training for Women: Dispelling Misconception

Myth 1: Strength training causes women to become larger and heavier.
Actually, strength training helps in decreasing body fat and increasing lean body mass (muscle mass). Many people when trying to lose weight overlook the benefits of strength training for fear of weight gain. Now, there may be a slight increase in body weight initially but the key to losing weight has very little to do with the number on your bathroom scale. “Your weight reflects only the amount of fat, muscle and other substances in your body; if you lose weight you cannot determine what you have lost, fat or muscle.” This is why your metabolic rate (metabolism) is important. Metabolism is the rate at which your body burns calories. This figure is mostly dependent upon your specific body composition, the relative amounts of fat and muscle in your body. Muscle burns more calories than fat! With understanding this concept, if weight loss is your goal you should focus on fat loss and muscle gain. Lowering your overall bodyfat and increasing your lean body mass (muscle) will help you to burn more calories throughout the whole day.

Now, I get a lot of questions regarding size and strength training. “I don’t want to get big.” Women that get big in the weight room already have a genetic predisposition for muscle growth (hypertrophy) and train with high volume, high intensity exercise programs. The best way to increase muscle size is by lifting light weights with more repetitions and to increase strength by lifting heavy weights with low repetitions. Muscle size will usually not increase as much as it will with lighter weights and more repetitions. A general rule is that heavy weights for about five reps or less is better for strength and more reps and lighter weight is better for size. Therefore, an exercise program that varies the intensity from heavier weights, fewer reps (5–8) to lighter weight more reps (12–15) 2 – 3 days per week is just what you need to give your metabolism that boost to help you “loss weight” without “getting big”.

Myth 2: Women should use different exercise programs than men.
It was once thought that using free weights, plyometrics (high velocity, low force) body weight or even manual resistance would cause injury.

In fact, there is no evidence that woman are more likely to be injured during strength training than man. Using proper form and technique when exercising is the key for both men and women in reducing the risk of injury. Following a strength-training program that gradually increases the intensity and load will also help in reducing the risk of injuries.

Myth 3: Women should avoid high-intensity or high-load training.
Strength training programs that most women perform are light weight in nature. Often such programs are below those necessary for physiologic adaptations and are much lower than those used by men.

“Most women are able to train at higher volumes and intensities than previously believed. In fact, women need to train at intensities high enough to cause adaptation in bone, muscle, cartilage, ligaments and tendons.” Thus, training at lower levels will keep physiologic benefits to a minimum and in turn, will keep you from reaching your goals. To get the most benefit from your strength training program, one should, occasionally lift weights at or near repetition maximum for each exercise.

Using the OVERLOAD principle is one way to ensure you get the most out of your strength training routine. There are three ways one can overload: by increasing the weight, the repetitions, and the sets. As discussed earlier, strength is increase more by lifting heavy loads for fewer repetitions than by lifting light loads for higher repetitions. So, if you are now able to lift a given amount of weight 15 times instead of 8 times, you are ready for an overload change. Here we have used both weight and repetitions as the overload. You can also use just repetitions as a way to overload. Trying to increase the reps puts added stress on the muscles. As muscle strength increases the number of reps you can do increase. Be aware that at some point weight will need to be increased as well to ensure proper overloading. Also, by adding a second or third set will allow those muscles to work harder even at the same intensity.

Remember, that lifting weights (strength training) is a great tool for increasing ones strength for overall functioning, preventing osteoporosis, speeding up your metabolism and losing weight. It takes a lot of hard work with varying intensities, rest periods between sets and how much food you consume to “get big” in the weight room. And that bathroom scale isn’t showing you the whole truth.

How Pilates May Be Able to Help in Pregnancy

Amy B. is no stranger to Pilates, but was still amazed at how her Pilates sessions helped her through pregnancy, delivery, and being a busy, working mom of 2 lively kids. In San Francisco and Seattle, Amy took Pilates Mat classes for 7 years before the birth of her first child. After Amy’s baby was born, she felt strained in her back and shoulders due to lugging around a car seat with a growing baby. She wanted an efficient workout; something that combined strength and flexibility, because with a new baby she no longer had time to separately do strength conditioning and yoga — she needed to cram it all into an hour if possible. Lastly, she wanted her pre-pregnancy body back and to fit into her clothes again. She contacted Jocelyn and decided to start private sessions once a week.

Fast-forward two years; Amy is expecting her second baby. Amy says, “I felt very strong this pregnancy, which I attribute to consistently running and doing Pilates for the two years prior. For the first several months, I kept with the same exercises, but as my belly started to grow there were obviously some exercises we had to cut out or adjust to not lay on my belly or put unnecessary strain on my back”.

Amy was elated to learn that she could be tired during the day, but a Pilates session with Jocelyn after work would energize her and she’d feel great! She did Pilates right up until the end of her pregnancy, 10 days before she gave birth to Emilia.

According to Amy, delivery was “easy”! It took 5 minutes for her daughter to join the world with no medical interventions. Recovery was much easier this time too. She was pushing a stroller around Green Lake a week later, and resumed Pilates sessions with Jocelyn about a month later.