Meditation 101

Meditation 101

Many of us know we should probably meditate more to help reduce stress, improve brain functioning and even to reduce pain. But like lots of good intentions we forget, get frustrated or just flat out don’t know where to start. Here’s a little secret: you can meditate for as little as two minutes a day and you don’t have to do it perfectly. In this post I share the highlights from one of my most popular corporate wellness workshops: Meditation 101. With an open mind, patience and consistency anyone can begin to benefit from this mindfulness practice.

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E-Stim, Cupping, Compression and K-Tape for Pain Management

E-Stim, Cupping, Compression and K-Tape for Pain Management

I suffer from occasional muscle spasms in my back, hip and leg due to an old injury. Years of mobility, strength and core training plus the care of some amazing chiropractors, physical therapists and CMTs have minimized my flare ups. As long as I’m careful and catch signs of trouble early I’m usually golden. But every once and a while I get a doozy of an attack and when I do, in addition to traditional chiropractic and massage, these four treatments help reduce my pain and get me back on my feet again.

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The Best 5 Minute Warm Up and 14 Other Running Tips

The Best 5 Minute Warm Up and 14 Other Running Tips

If you follow me on Facebook or IG you know I caught the running bug this year. I finished my first half marathon in under two hours and managed to log 13-20 mile runs four weeks in a row without injury. This is a huge change for me. Before this year I’d never managed to get more than 5 miles without pain. I credit my improvement to working on my ankle mobility, having my gait analyzed and spending just five minutes prepping my body to run with this simple, effective warm up routine. Check it out along with 14 of my other best running tips.

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Roll Your Feet for Improved Mobility and Performance

Roll Your Feet for Improved Mobility and Performance

Too many people overlook the all important foot when warming up for cardio or lifting. Dysfunction in the feet leads to pain, injury, poor performance up the chain and a bevy of other nasty stuff. Simply rolling your feet for ~90s/day stimulates proprioceptors that send important information to the brain, fixes many common form issues and keeps the fascia, intrinsic muscles and joints of the feet mobile and healthy.

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You Exercise and Eat Right. Now, About Those Sleep Habits

You Exercise and Eat Right. Now, About Those Sleep Habits

As a personal trainer and a wellness consultant I work with a lot of folks struggling to balance the stresses of life. Those who carve out time to exercise and eat healthy often sacrifice sleep to get it all done.Only 2.5% of the population has a sleep need less than six hours per night. The average person needs 7-8 hours of QUALITY sleep. Making sleep a priority can be challenging, but it is equally as important to our well-being as nutrition and exercise. These 11 tips have helped my clients improve their sleep behaviors making them healthier humans and better professionals.

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Kinesiology Taping for Pain, Posture and Performance

Kinesiology Taping for Pain, Posture and Performance

I recently spent an entire weekend geeking out over fascia, feet and movement with the amazing Dr. Courtney Conley. It was awesome to be in a room with dozens of physical therapists, chiropractors, emergency responders and massage therapists all focused on helping our clients reduce pain and improve their movement. I left the weekend not only with two FMT certifications for assessing clients and applying kinesiology tape, but with a renewed passion and fascination for how the brain and body are connected and how we can improve that connection through physical stimulus like kinesiology tape. 

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The Best Stretches to Help with Back and Hip Pain

The Best Stretches to Help with Back and Hip Pain

Lower back and hip pain is incredibly common thanks to the hours and hours we spend sitting and toiling away on computers and devices. Finding the right stretches, mobility drills and strengthening exercises that will help reset your body and spending a few minutes each day consistently performing them can help keep you pain free and tracking toward your fitness goals. If lower back and hip aches and pains are slowing you down, give these exercises a try. 

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Here’s Where You’ll Be Hurting After Starting to Work Out Again

Here’s Where You’ll Be Hurting After Starting to Work Out Again

Thanks to my pal Andrew Fiouzi for including me in this feature in MEL Magazine on how you can avoid unnecessary pain from your workouts. It’s a new year and perhaps you’re like the millions of other people around the world dedicated to finally getting, like, totally ripped, brah. What this means in practical terms is that if you haven’t worked out since fourth-grade gym class, you’re going to be hurting in a lot of new and interesting places this month. But what kind of pain does your journey to You 2.0 (or 1.1) have in store? Jonathan Jordan, an award-winning trainer, explains how each type of workout will hurt, and how to heal more quickly.

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10 Simple Ways to Reduce Chronic Stress for Improved Fitness

10 Simple Ways to Reduce Chronic Stress for Improved Fitness

Thanks to today's fast-paced, technology-centric world coupled with sedentary lifestyles, we are bombarded constantly with low and high levels of mental, physical, emotional and physiological stress. These chronic stresses are inhibiting our bodies' natural self-repair mechanisms that fix broken proteins, kill cancer cells, retard aging and fight infections. We are the most overweight, under active generation in history existing on diets of processed foods and suffering from damaging mindsets. In this post I'll explore some practical, scientifically proven methods for reducing stress that can take as little as one minute/day. 

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What We Can Learn from Metabolic Testing

What We Can Learn from Metabolic Testing

I'm a big fan of knowing what's going on with my body. And if there are simple, affordable tests I can take that can give me useful, actionable data to improve my health and inform my fitness program I'm all for it. So I recently engaged a local office of DexaFit to obtain a Dexa Scan Body Composition Analysis, RMR (Resting Metabolic Rate) Test, V02 Max Test and  Fit3D Posture Scan. In this post I outline what I learned from these tests and how I am applying that knowledge to optimize my fitness program. I've also included links to my full reports and photos from my experience to help you decide if similar testing makes sense for you.

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Why Returning to the Gym Is So Tough After a Long Break

Why Returning to the Gym Is So Tough After a Long Break

If you're making it back to the gym after an August hiatus (or longer), you may be in for an uncomfortable reacclimation period. If you've been on a break, don't expect to jump right back in where you left off. You may need to cull it back a bit and be prepared for some soreness and possible nausea or dizziness. My pal and writer Ian Lecklitner chronicled his return to the #fitfam life in his MEL Magazine story You’ll Feel Like Crap for at Least Two Weeks After You Start Working Out Again. Check it out for tips from me on what you can expect and how you can minimize your pain. 

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Why Your Devices May Be Ruining Your Health (and What To Do About It)

Why Your Devices May Be Ruining Your Health (and What To Do About It)

As a personal trainer in the heart of San Francisco's financial district, I've worked with hundreds of stressed out, A-type technology junkies (and I love them all!). Every day I see firsthand the negative impact computers, cell phones and other devices is having on our mental and physical health. Whether you are reading a scathing email from your boss or scrolling through funny cat videos on Facebook, the impact on the body and central nervous system can be damaging.  But there are some simple inventions/lifestyle adjustments you can do to help mitigate these effects without going completely off grid.

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Curious About Cupping? Dr. Jay and JJ Demo How It Can Improve Fascia

Curious About Cupping? Dr. Jay and JJ Demo How It Can Improve Fascia

From Michael Phelps to Ryan Seacrest to the girl squatting next to you in the gym, cupping (or "myofascial decompression") is becoming an increasingly popular modality to help with fascial dysfunction. Perfectly round telltale "bruises" are making their way onto backs, shoulders and hips everywhere and are raising eyebrows from those who don't understand what they are. I've personally experienced positive results from cupping as part of an integrated physical therapy program in the past. So I enlisted the awesome Dr. Sarah Jay from GSPORTS Physical Therapy to discuss and demonstrate how cupping can help improve fascial health and mobility. 

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SF's Top Spin Gurus Share Form Fixes, Coaching Tips and Programming Recommendations

SF's Top Spin Gurus Share Form Fixes, Coaching Tips and Programming Recommendations

Whether you're an avid cyclist, an occasional spin class warrior or are considering your first ride there are four spin instructors in SF that you want to know: Andrew Stinger, Marcia Robles, Danny Baker and Caroline Jordan. These four "Spin Ninjas" have uniquely different styles and while different are all grounded in safety, effectiveness and kick ass energy. Each was was kind enough to share with me how to avoid the most common and dangerous form issues; how to overcome common mental challenges; and their take on how often someone "should" spin, intervals-vs-steady state and what to do in between rides. 

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What's the Best Position for Sleeping?

What's the Best Position for Sleeping?

Most people know that muscle and joint pain, particularly in the lower back, can be linked to chronic sitting, a weak core, lazy glutes and poor form in the gym. But the very thing that is supposed to restore and regenerate our bodies (sleep) can also contribute to pain and injury. Poor positioning of the legs can further compress already tight hip muscles. Twisting of the spin or pelvis can cause fussy muscles like the quadratus lumborum to become hypertonic. And acrobatic-like arm contortions can cause nerve pain. I asked my physical therapist and friend what the "best" position is for sleeping for most people.  

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What Should I Eat Before and After a Workout?

What Should I Eat Before and After a Workout?

I get this question a lot. I get it from clients. I get it from friends. I even get it from the coolest fit-tech companies in the world! And it's a GREAT question. How we fuel our bodies affects our performance in the gym, our recovery (and results) from a workout and even the microscopic cells that make us what we are. Food is important. If what you're doing is working for you and you just want to maintain, cool. Keep doing what you're doing. But if you want to change consider changing you're pre- and post-workout nutrition first.

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How to Focus Your Yoga Practice: Foundations for Beginner and Advanced Students

How to Focus Your Yoga Practice: Foundations for Beginner and Advanced Students

Yoga means to yoke or to union. It’s a practice meant to connect us with ourselves and to put us at harmony with the world around us. But we live in fast-paced, technology-driven times and many of us demand perfection of ourselves at work, at home and even on the mat. Whether you’re contemplating taking your first yoga class or you’re a yoga veteran struggling to find that union during your Asanas practice, watch this two minute video of the lovely and amazing Morgan McEvilly. Morgan then demonstrates and cues three foundational poses you can use both at home on your own and in practically any typical yoga class.

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Do You Have to Give Up Alcohol to Meet Your Health Goals?

Do You Have to Give Up Alcohol to Meet Your Health Goals?

I work with loads of successful, social and often high-stressed individuals who enjoy the occasional (or more than occasional) glass (or two or three or four) of wine (or cocktails) at the end of the day. Usually at some point (typically during a plateau) I end up being asked what a reasonable alcohol intake looks like for their fitness and health goals. I don’t tell people what to do. I provide them information and tools and serve as a resource to hold them accountable to what they decide. With that said, I’ll just leave this right here. ::wink:: It’s a fantastic and informative article by Camille DePutter of Precision Nutrition which explores the real tradeoffs of alcohol consumption.

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Should You Exercise When Sick?

Should You Exercise When Sick?

It’s that time of year. Everyone around you is getting sick. Again. Those who were once your family, friends and colleagues are now the enemy. They’ve become evil germ zombies come to destroy your gains and screw up your perfect rhythm of work and life. Like death and taxes, it happens to us all and despite your best efforts, you likely will get sick at some point in 2016. I am frequently asked whether working out will help or hurt when under the weather. So I’m sharing my go-to reference for deciding.

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