July 3, 2019

My Health Studio has a heart for those who may feel turned off by big-box gyms.  We offer unique fitness programs to cater to this population, however, group exercise and private training is only the tip of the iceberg here at MHS.

We have become a one-stop-shop for multiple health and wellness offerings, including the all-important recovery component of fitness. From HydroMassage to Power Plate Vibration, My Health Studio offers customers the tools they need to feel the benefits of fitness while reducing strain on the body and bringing much needed relief to sore muscles. As the last blog described, fitness and health are not a destination but, rather, a series of small routine changes culminating in the elimination of poor habits and an overall lifestyle change. One of the side effects of embarking on a fitness regimen is the need for recovery programs. As effective and necessary as exercise is, certain forms of movement (i.e., High-Intensity Interval Training) may result in stress to the body. The fitness lifestyle must be paired with a recovery program to minimize injury. This can be a larger issue with gyms that do not have recovery services. Trainers may recommend stretches, refer clients to a massage therapist, or plan out a recovery schedule, but My Health Studio has in-house options for our customers. We are on a mission to provide our clients with the convenience of having everything they need under one roof.

In our previous Live @ 5 on Facebook we spoke with Yossi Galam of Stretch Vibes to discuss assisted stretching. He conveyed the importance of pairing fitness with muscle relief for injury prevention. In the video he shows us a ham string stretch, but stretching is beneficial for all parts of the body. Yossi’s Stretch Vibes is focused on athletic recovery, rehabilitation and the maintenance that comes with fitness lifestyles. Yossi uses our studio and he can be contacted through his Facebook page or website for a recovery session.

To elaborate on the Power Plate and HydroMassage, these are additional modalities available to clients for recovery. Despite its name, HyrdoMassage is a completely dry full-body massage that uses internal pressurized water in an open bed design. Each session can be fully tailored to the users’ needs and the system delivers an “all sides” body massage. The Power Plate is somewhat different, as it can be used to both recover and build muscles. Power Plate is a vibrating platform that helps you prepare faster, perform better, and recover quicker. It makes you feel better by stimulating natural reflexes, increasing muscle activation, and improving circulation. Power Plate enhances any movement, simple or complex, typically performed on the ground. The full list of benefits can be found on our Power Plate page, but for recovery especially, this piece of equipment can reduce pain, increase flexibility as well as range of motion. The expertise of those at My Health Studio translates into more available options to assist customers on the road to improved fitness.

Most clients underestimate the value and importance of recovery. Our years of experience in the fitness arena allow us to recognize when clients need to take time for rehabilitation, recuperation and healing, and which recovery modalities will best meet their needs. Stop by My Health Studio to learn more about how fitness and recovery can go hand in hand to create a smooth fitness journey.

May 27, 2019

So you’ve decided it’s time to get “in shape.”  Most of my clients walk in the door with pre-conceived notions about what “getting started” looks like.  The reality is that embarking on a journey to health has less to do with how to start than how to stay on course.  There are many fitness clichĂ©s, but the most frequently stated is that “fitness” is a lifestyle and not simply a temporary challenge to overcome.  What do fitness experts mean by this ideology?  To state it simply, becoming “fit” is much less about going from overtly unhealthy to being magically active by showing up at the gym or employing a clean eating program. It has much more to do with a gradual transformation through course corrections and adjustments until the unhealthy habits are diminished.  My clients have heard me say that small changes implemented consistently over time can lead to huge results.  Everyone can achieve a fitness goal, but maintaining that accomplishment requires a team.

Small steps equate to fitness goals that are achieved and subsequently maintained.  It’s not about running a race to reach a finish line but, instead, about breaking your exercise routine into small “bite size” portions that make success inevitable.  See that’s the real hard part – to become healthy you must adopt fitness as a part of your life and practice it whenever possible.  The good news is that it gets easier over time.  Therefore the hurdle people must overcome to become fit is less about starting and more about starting correctly.  The adoption of a team and coach will help you to stay on course and to adjust when necessary.

My Health Studio understands that there are many effective ways to become fit, such as fitness coaching, improving nutrition and even incorporating small things like a morning walk or run, though each of these requires some level of discipline that not everyone has. We feel, however, that the best “loophole” to getting in shape is Group Fitness Classes.  Instead of forcing people into drastic life changes, which can cause burn-out, Group Fitness Classes offer a more gradual transition with many powerful benefits.

Accountability: When left to their own devices, fitness novices are likely to workout incorrectly, overexert themselves or becomes frustrated and give up easily. By joining a Group Fitness Class, not only is there a set schedule that members can abide by, there is also a system in place to track progress and make sure everyone meeting their goals. Instead of randomly guessing and going at it alone, members can rely on the Studio to keep them honest and keep their attendance consistent.

Guidance: Without experienced fitness professionals guiding members, getting in shape can be a very tricky road to navigate. Having a guru help members every step of the way, allows even the most challenging exercises and fitness goals to become standard.

Encouragement/Community: This is the hidden gem of group fitness – a family that forms around each member as they get deeper into the fitness lifestyle. Everyone is at their own level of experience and having the support of fellow members allows everyone to dig a bit deeper and push a little harder. Going to the gym alone can be a daunting task, but with your friends ready to greet you every day at your Group Fitness Class, it becomes a much more exciting prospect.

Fitness is not a hard code to crack, it simply requires small changes to an unhealthy lifestyle to gradually build better habits. Group Fitness Classes are one of the best ways to achieve fitness goals and maintain the fitness lifestyle with a lower risk of burn-out. Stop by My Health Studio today and take your first class for free or contact us to learn more about why we choose Group Fitness Classes as one of our main offerings.

April 23, 2018

Starting in May, My Health Studio will be offering two new bungee fitness training semi-private workshops, under the trademark Just Bungee 4 Life. One workshop is designed for fitness beginners, while the other is designed for therapeutic purposes. Once we are underway, we anticipate adding Intermediate, Advanced and other class modalities such as Tabata, Dance and Rhythm classes. We’ll be combining strengthening moves with elements of dance, creating a series of amazing and fun workouts. Don’t be fooled though… these workouts will provide more-than-ample caloric burn. We’re planning to take bungee workouts to a new level. Rather than using bungees simply to add resistance to movement, these bungees are designed to both add and/or subtract resistance. Based on the movement and position, these bungees can provide a sense of buoyancy, enabling users to perform exercises they may not have been able to accomplish before. Conversely, when working against the resistance, the ability to strengthen muscles and enhance cardiovascular endurance can also be accomplished.

In other words, when a properly configured bungee is hanging from the ceiling directly above you, it pulls you up and provides a feeling of buoyancy similar to what you might experience in a pool. It helps, in small measure, to defy gravity, making exercises like squats and push-ups considerably easier, eliminating some of the stress that traditional exercises can exert on joints. On the flip side of the coin, the further away from the point of anchor you move, the more resistance you must overcome. As with all sessions, safety comes first, so we are working diligently to be absolutely sure all anchor points are professionally installed and safely in place.

We’ve chosen Astro-Durance™ Bungee Training Systems because they are designed to meet the needs of everyday people. All ages, sizes, fitness levels and those with physical limitations. We also chose Astro-Durance because of the level of support we received throughout the decision-making process. In short, they care. It is our goal at My Health Studio to provide you with the most amazing bungee experience you can imagine… one that will enhance individual fitness goals and provide the most uplifting and fun experience. Click here to learn more about our semi-private bungee workshops.

March 5, 2018

In fitness, we’ve heard that “Winners Never Quit and Quitters Never Win,” but is this really true? Before I start this conversation, I want to clarify one thing: in my mind, it’s NEVER okay to quit adopting a healthier lifestyle. What is okay, is to change course when something is not working.

I am a problem solver. If I have a client on a program and they’re not seeing results, I don’t let my ego get the best of me. I help them to change it up. Keep tweaking. In fact, I believe it’s necessary to tweak both food intake and exercise plans to provide variety and to keep muscles confused. I prefer to replace the word quitting, with a change of plans or changing course. Outside of the obvious items, like quitting something that is doing more harm to you or others, let’s talk about sometimes when it’s okay to “move on.”

  1. When pursing your goal is making you miserable.
  2. When your inability to accomplish your goal is causing self-loathing.
  3. When you moving on to something better would make you happier.

This all boils down to achieving true sustainability of fitness routines. I want to facilitate a set of habits that are repeatable and easy to maintain. So, what stops us from making changes? I tell my clients that if they “quit,” their fates are sealed. What I mean is that if they quit trying to find new, sustainable solutions to stay healthy and fit, their fates are sealed. What I DON’T mean is that they should quit looking for solutions, sit on the sofa and eat donuts and ice cream. It’s all about finding the perfect balance that keeps us motivated to continue going strong. If a roadblock presents itself that limits, hinders or pushes us in the wrong direction, that’s not an excuse to give up, but an opportunity to adjust the routine to account for issues.

The media has us thinking that if we can’t go the extra mile or stick to something there’s automatically something wrong with us. There may just be something wrong with the routine, not the individual.  Remember, each of us is different and many of us are not “cut out” for “cookie-cutter” workouts. Some of us just need proper guidance or counsel to help facilitate that small bit of change needed to find a sustainable solution. Remember, it’s not quitting, it’s simply seeking new solutions to help us reach our fitness goals.

Keep up with our weekly Facebook live posts HERE

February 2, 2018

Over 3 million Americans struggle with cellulite, which manifests itself as the the dimpling of skin or bumpy tissue around the pelvic region, buttocks, lower limbs, and abdomen. This issue is more predominant in females over males due to how fat within fibrous connective tissue is stored. For men, a lattice of overlapping crossed fibers keeps cellulite from forming as easily while in women this lattice is composed of parallel fibers resulting in fat being stored differently, yielding bumps and lumpy skin. Factors like hormones (estrogen), genetics, and even stress (cortisol) can increase an individual’s risk for cellulite formation. Recent research has shown that proper diet and exercise can help to reduce cellulite through weight loss. There are other techniques to reduce these fat deposits such as radio frequency treatments and non-invasive skin care therapy.

My Health Studio recognizes how common cellulite is and the desire to treat it, which is why we have recommended Power Plate since its introduction to our facility. Originally intended to be used as a way of reducing abdominal fat, this machine works by using vibrations to engage muscle groups to compliment a normal exercise routine. Common exercises performed on the Power Plate, such as squatting or balancing, expand and loosen muscles increasing blood flow while burning fat. Continued use of the Power Plate has been shown to improve circulation which translates to faster recovery from injuries or muscle atrophy. Other benefits include increased bone density, reversal of bone loss, reduced pain and it can be used to eliminate osteoporosis. Aside from increasing strength, balance and endurance, research has also yielded interesting results regarding Cellulite. When using the Power Plate alone, users reported a 25% reduction in Cellulite, while users who add Power Plate to cardio exercises show as 32% reduction in Cellulite. This is significant considering the Power Plate can be a simple addition to any normal work-out routine.

There are many powerful benefits of the Power Plate, backed by extensive research, proving that this piece of powerful equipment can be used to fight both Cellulite and osteoporosis. Its recovery effects also warrant at least one trial run for anyone curious about the machine. Join us at My Health Studio to try the Power Plate or speak to us about reducing Cellulite through a dedicated weight loss exercise routine. More information about the Power Plate can be found HERE. Catch up on this topic and more in our weekly Facebook Live video series found HERE.

January 22, 2018

What most people fail to realize about their health, is how influential certain key hormones are in weight loss. The five critical weight loss hormones are: cortisol, insulin, thyroid, testosterone in men, and progesterone in women. From excessive stress to overeating, these chemicals can have a large effect on metabolism, counteracting dedicated dieting and fitness efforts. Imbalance of hormones can impact each person differently, but it will likely throw off even the most proven weight loss methods.

Cortisol is the body’s reaction to stress. From mental stress and emotional stress to physical stress and environmental stress cortisol is produced as a result. Generally released during the “fight or flight” response system, an extended period of cortisol will start to negatively impact metabolism. Sometimes high intensity workouts will contribute to an already stressed body, creating unhealthy levels of cortisol. A week of chronic stress is not the best time to use this type of training and lowered intensity can assist the body to recover from elevated cortisol levels. During these periods, recovery-focused activities can help to lower stress while staying active, returning cortisol to healthy levels. It’s also recommended to use medication, guided breathing or simply catching up on sleep to lower Cortisol. 

Insulin is the pancreas’ response to increased glucose levels in the blood, allowing the body to process energy or store it for later use. Normally, small insulin levels are beneficial as it allows the body to regulate fat effectively, but when this hormone is continuously released over long periods of time, a resistance forms and the body begins to react differently. This built up immunity to insulin leads to decreased metabolism yielding higher fat retention and increased inflammation. The best way to curb insulin resistance is to eat balanced meals, never over eat and maintain a proper exercise balance with some high intensity training. Since HIIT carries the risk of elevating cortisol, it should be limit to only a few sessions per week coupled with lower intensity recovery-focused exercise. This combination will allow for a healthy amount of both cortisol and insulin.

Thyroid hormone, from the throat’s thyroid gland is the hormone most responsible for affecting metabolism rates in the body. The initial hormone created is thyroxine4 and is metabolically inactive; to regulate metabolism it must be converted into thyroxine3. Too often, people are mislabeled as possessing a hypothyroid when in reality, they have a perfectly functioning thyroid, but their thyroxine4 is not converted to thyroxine3 at normal rates. This results in doctors assigning drugs to fix the problem, when there are other factors to consider before resorting to prescriptions. The first step to counteracting lowered levels of thyroxine3 is through cardiovascular exercise which has a positive effect on thyroid hormones. It has been shown that increased cardiovascular intensity can return thyroid hormones to a healthy state over time.

Testosterone is the main sex hormone in men while Progesterone is the main sex hormone in women. Lowered testosterone in men results in a loss of energy, inability to gain or maintain muscle mass and finally, loss in libido. For women, loss of progesterone causes unhealthy estrogen to progesterone ratios creating irregular menstrual cycles, pre-menopausal symptoms and fat retention around the hips and triceps. Stress, nutrient loss and pesticides are leading contributors to unhealthy levels of both sex hormones. To safeguard against these factors, sessions of high intensity training can boost testosterone in men while cardio and resistance training help better regulate progesterone levels in women.

To craft an exercise regimen specific to each person and their lifestyle, its best to seek a professional experienced in these key hormones. Keep in mind that too much high intensity training without proper guidance can increase cortisol and actively work against weight loss. Only a fitness professional knows how to properly implement recovery and exercise to achieve hormonal balance. To learn more about hormones and weight loss come speak to our My Health Studio experts or read more on the subject through this recent NASM article.


December 18, 2017

Recently, I have been broadcasting videos via Facebook Live as a way of connecting with many of you for fitness advice and to share my experience in the field. I want to thank those of you that have tuned in to watch it live, but to those that may have missed a session, you can find them all on our Facebook. Additionally, I want to extend my appreciation for those that have been putting in extra effort to help with the fires that have been affecting residents of Ventura County. We need to continue to show support and assist those that have lost so much due to this natural disaster. I also want to profusely thank those of you that participated in our Toy for Tots event; you have made an impact that will help many people.

On a separate note, we are now entering into full Holiday season with parties scheduled for every weekend. With Thanksgiving over, we may think ourselves “in the clear” in terms of eating right and sticking to our fitness goals, but every holiday meal is an opportunity to persevere. The fallacy that eating poorly immediately fails someone trying to become healthier or embark on a weight loss journey, is often given too much credit in the fitness community. Eating a plate of holiday treats and snacks doesn’t mean you have done anything permanent, it just means that some follow-up is required to compensate. My rule is: if there is a dish you want to indulge in, which is unique and homemade, there’s no shame in eating some of it because you will not find it again easily. That is not an excuse to eat everything in sight nor should it be viewed as a rule preventing you from eating what you want. Just understand that when you choose to partake, it means that actions must be taken to maintain a healthy balance in these situations.

My holiday tips to help you get through or offset these party temptations are as follows:

  1. Drink tons of water! This will not only keep you hydrated with the heat and wind, but also keep you full as to not binge on holiday food.
    1. If there is alcohol, drink responsibly, but also maybe choose a spritzer over wine to drink more with less.
  2. Exercise and keep moving. December is not an exception to your fitness routine. Stay committed.
  3. Have a plan. Don’t assume there will always be healthy options at a party. If you are going to eat party food, factor that into your next workout session.
  4. Have a team. Its important to surround yourself with people who can hold you accountable to your fitness standards or weight loss goals. Support is the key to success.

Follow these small steps and you may make it out of this season more ahead than you thought. Please check out our Facebook Live videos or catch the broadcast every Monday at 5:00pm PST.

December 4, 2017

Removing Obstacles From Your Fitness Plan

We are approaching the final months of the year. Many of us set goals back in January to be a certain weight or look a certain way by the year’s end. Some of us reached our goals, or at least party reached them, but as with every new year new resolutions will be made. January will soon be here again and we’re about to be inundated with advertising and hype with the latest and greatest products and services promising to make 2018 our year for fitness success! Americans will spend over $60 billion annually attempting to lose weight and look younger. NO matter what methods we embrace, one thing is for sure: ongoing change is imminent.

Before I embark upon the nuts and bolts of some basic fitness additions and modifications, I would be remiss if I did not address the most significant component of achieving physical health – your thought process. In nearly every article I write, I include my conviction that mindset is a critical piece of the good health puzzle. Our input driver our thoughts and beliefs, and what we believe drives our actions. It’s critical that we control our input! New York Time best-selling author, Dave Barry, asserts “My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start So far I’ve finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.” Once we receive positive input, it’s essential to weave it into the fabric of fitness rather than a fabric of failure.

As a fitness professional, many of my clients are surprised that I don’t believe in “diets” or austere food or movement plans. As a matter of fact, I’ve tried most of these fitness regimens. It’s my sincere belief that the first thing you lose on a diet and crazy exercise programs is your sense of humor! How then is it possible to attain improved health without employing extreme fitness programs? As long as you’re not looking for a quick fix, it may be easier than you think.

When I start working with a new client, I never prescribe a fitness plan I think they can’t (or won’t) stick to. The first step on the road to improved health for all of us is to take an inventory of what changes we will implement at least 80% of the time, for life. This includes making a list of food we loath and movements we’re either afraid of or intensely dislike. I’m aware that this is a counter-intuitive approach, but I’ve learned that it’s nearly impossible to make someone do what they hate, especially for the long term. Once we’ve established what we absolutely will NOT do, everything else is fair game. Then, and only then, can we create an individually-tailored program that can be adhered to for a lifetime.

So before you decide to “drink all your meals” or eliminate any one of the food groups from your eating plan, remember, strategies for attaining proper weight, body composition and health are not “one size fits all” propositions. It’s important to seek the services of an accredited fitness professional who can assist you with your customized long-term fitness plan. Only through a personalized approach can a fitness plan, goal, or resolution be achieved without “falling off the wagon” over the long-term. When January gets here, be sure to have a plan in place that will last a lifetime.

November 6, 2017

End The Trauma.

It hurts when we lose someone close to us. We can’t end all suffering and death in our lives as it a part of being alive. There are, however, things we can do to prevent it from causing more damage. With trauma being the leading cause of death for Americans under age 46, stopping the bleed is important. In 1-3 minutes bleeding can be fatal. Empty a 2-liter bottle sometime. It empties fast. And, if it’s an arterial bleed, it’s even faster. We hear about CPR a lot and that nationally less than eight percent of people who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive. Forty-five percent of heart attacks occur among people under 65 years of age.  Ventura County leads the nation in successful 911 cardiac calls and bystander assistance but that’s Ventura County. Where do you live and work?

TraumaThe solution? Learn both. Become part of the local vanguard. Do something. When seconds count and help is miles away, you may be the determining factor. If you don’t have a tourniquet, get one. If you have one, get another. People who were at the Las Vegas shooting reported seeing bystanders using belts as tourniquets. The trick with tourniquets is, when applied successfully, there is no bleed and no pulse. If you still have a pulse in that extremity you’re doing it wrong. Learn how to pack a wound because you can’t use a tourniquet for all forms of trauma. Learn pressure points and how to slow and stop the flow. CPR is hard and fast in the middle of the chest. Nothing fancy just do it.

I hope you’ll never need these skills but knowing you can may help ease the pain. Preparedness for disaster scenarios, including trauma, can be the difference between living with a loss and knowing you prevented a death.

October 9, 2017

Laughter – Medicine. Make Fitness Fun!

Laughter MedicineWhen you’re suffering from chronic illness and riding the roller coast of improving health, there are always rays of sunshine – those small feel-good moments when the anger, frustration and sadness abide, and determination once again abounds. When you feel the clouds lift, it’s time to incorporate one of the most necessary tools of life – laughter. Let’s face it, life is better with laughter. Laughter can contribute to improved health. While there are still those who doubt its affects, there are many research studies that substantiate this phenomenon.

The concept that laughter benefits health has been around for many years and stands up to the test of time. One notable example is the story of Norman Cousins the editor of the Saturday Review for 30 years. In 1976, he was diagnosed with an extremely painful, life-threatening illness and was given a pessimistic diagnosis by his doctor. He described his self-treatment with humor in an article in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1976. As it turned out, when traditional medicine could not mitigate his pain, Cousins left the hospital, checked into a hotel, tool large doses of Vitamin C and watched the Marx Brothers films and TV sitcoms, finding that 10 minutes of belly laughter allowed a two hour reprieve. He was finally able to fall asleep and escape from his constant pain.

He eventually recovered and wrote a series of best-selling books on humor and its healing effects. Norman Cousins’ account of healing through laughter was described in his ground-breaking book, “Anatomy of an Illness,” which inspired research into the effect of emotions on health that continues to this day. Admittedly, when I’m negatively impacted by some occurrence in my life just before teaching on of our fitness classes, there is a part of me that would love to crawl back to bed and hide from the world. However, I’m keenly aware that the class attendees draw their energy from me, whether positive or negative.  When I put my trouble aside, smile and serve the class, my problems are decidedly diminished. It’s an opportunity to serve others that assists in my own personal healing.

Laughter is a free gift, capable of reducing conflict, pain, anxiety and tension. Very few remedies work more quickly or reliably to restore balance than a good laugh. Last, but certainly not least, laughter is contagious. So let’s giggle, shriek, chuckle and howl our way to improved health!