Blog Posts by TheDailyZeel

  • Pilates for Muscular Re-Patterning

    By: StacyAtZeel

    There's no doubt that shaping up after a big fall can be tough. That's one of the reasons why Pilates can be so incredibly useful, says Zeel expert and NYC studio owner Halle Clarke.

    When it comes to rehabilitation (whether due to Bouncing back after an injury is easier and faster with stronger muscles, joints, and bonesBouncing back after an injury is easier and faster with stronger muscles, joints, and bonesinjury or to years of inactivity), it's not just about getting back to a place of physical fitness; it's equally important for your muscles to relearn certain movements that may have become inhibited over time. Pilates does just that, and can be applied as both an exercise and a neuromuscular re-patterning technique. Halle explains what you need to know.

    Compensation patterns. Imagine this. If you hurt your left leg, naturally, you'll start placing more weight on your right leg to compensate for the injured limb. As you begin to heal, you continue to place added pressure on the right leg because your muscles have become accustomed to functioning in a new manner-even if it's a less efficient one. In the end, that added weight can cause a

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  • Iron Clad: The Best Ways to Consume This Vital Nutrient

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Most health nuts associate iron with lean biceps and dumbbells, and yet, as a mineral, iron is vitally important too. What's its role? Iron is responsible for delivering oxygen to the various muscles and tissues throughout your body. Not enough iron results in a condition known as anemia, the symptoms of which are fatigue and loss of appetite.Pumping iron...through your dietPumping iron...through your diet

    Fact: Iron deficiency is the primary cause of nearly 50 percent of all cases of anemia, so it's no wonder why many of you want to know what foods you can eat to get the most out of this essential nutrient. Here's the deal.

    Meat-derived sources of iron. "The best sources of bio-available iron are from meats," says Alyssa Chicci, a trusted dietitian in the Zeel network. Contrary to popular belief, that doesn't mean you have to scarf down a burger (although beef and venison contain ample amounts). Chicken, fish, turkey and white pork loin all contain significant levels of iron as well.

    Iron for vegetarians. While meat-based sources

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  • Fit for Two: Maintaining Muscle Mass While Pregnant

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Exercise may be great for you and your baby, says a new study published in the March edition of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. The study, which evaluated 45 healthy pregnant women-15 who rarely exercised, 15 who regularly exercised and 15 who were highly active before their pregnancies-looked at the fetal response to physical activity, concluding that women can in fact exercise throughout their pregnancy (of course, at the discretion of their physician) without causing harm to their baby.
    Remember that a pregnant woman does weighted squats each time she gets up and downRemember that a pregnant woman does weighted squats each time she gets up and down
    While the good news is that you don't have to cancel your membership at Equinox, you may still be wondering how you can work out in a way that retains the muscle you worked so hard to build pre-bump.

    What can you do at the gym to avoid losing muscle mass during pregnancy? Zeel fitness experts from around the country weigh in.

    Light weights, more reps.
    Elite Conditioning owner Jon McQueen suggests light to moderate resistance bands and dumbbells. "Since high-intensity

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  • Massage for Healthy Bodies, Inside and Out

    By: StacyAtZeel

    It looks like we have some science-y readers out there. Because while some think of massage only as a way to relax and unwind, others are wondering how bodywork can benefit the integumentary (organs like skin, hair and nails), respiratory (your airways and lungs) and cardiovascular (the heart, blood and vessels) systems.Massage may be used for more than muscle.Massage may be used for more than muscle.

    No need to hit the books, thanks to Chavez Walden, the South Carolina-based expert massage therapist with all the answers. As Chavez knows, massage can be beneficial in many aspects. Here's what he has to say.

    Integumentary System
    What it is: Your skin, hair, fingernails and other protective barriers.

    Benefits of Massage: Move beyond the surface of your skin and you'll come across another protective barrier known as the fascia-a water-based substance that separates muscle groups. When the fascia cools, it becomes gel-like. Friction from a massage will provide the heat necessary to warm up the fascia, returning it to a more liquid-and therefore

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  • Use Your Yogi Breath: Improving Digestion

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Let's be honest: The average Joe probably doesn't think about how interconnected their organ systems truly are. Biology? We left that back in high school with 90210 and hammer pants.The highest concentration of nerves in your body is in the gut, second only to the brain.The highest concentration of nerves in your body is in the gut, second only to the brain.

    Welcome to adulthood. As New York City's own yoga instructors and movement educators Melissa Gutierrez and Kim-Lien Kendall explain, it's important to consider how your body functions in order to ensure long-lasting health. For instance, did you know that the quality of your breath can determine the quality of your digestion?

    Picture this. When functioning at their best, your organs "dance" with every breath cycle, say Melissa and Kim, meaning that they fluidly shift around inside your body as you inhale and exhale in order to make room for the movement of the lungs. This movement also facilitates natural processes like digestion of food, peristalsis (digestive muscle contractions) and the absorption of nutrients.

    This process doesn't always go off without a hitch, and there are a couple

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  • 5 Reasons to Take a Walk Outside—Now!

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Under normal circumstances, winter air would drive most of us to take public transportation to get from one place to another. But this year, with the temperatures as they are, we've run out of excuses.

    "Go take a brisk walk in the sun!" suggests Zeel Sunshine and exercise is good for kids and adults.Sunshine and exercise is good for kids and adults.massage therapist and holistic health expert Madeline Michaels. "The body needs sunshine and oxygen to thrive just as plants do."

    Besides the chance to move your legs and squeeze a bit of added exercise into an otherwise sedentary day at the office, Madeline gives us five more reasons to get up and get out. Happy trails!

    Soak up the sun-and vitamin D. Sunshine on your face and body increases vitamin D synthesis. Just 10 to 15 minutes a day can do the trick. Vitamin D is known to regulate cell growth and ward off the formation of cancerous cells and bone disease. Something else it's good for? Your noggin.

    Burn baby burn.
    For some, walking can be a great way to lose weight. Brisk walking raises the metabolism. In fact,

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  • Weekly Workout Plan: Cardio Vs. Weight Training

    By: StacyAtZeel
    No excusesNo excuses
    Runners need to lift, and lifters need to run. It's a common quandary, really, that could all be avoided if someone would finally answer the question:

    How many times a week should I work out to build muscle strength and tone, and how many times should I do cardio exercise?

    Zeel fitness experts have all the details.

    Spencer Hughes, New York, NY

    That depends on your goals, says Spencer. Individuals with weight-loss goals can rarely incorporate too much cardio. "On the other hand, if your goals are more tone or strength based, you'll want to spend more time lifting weights," he explains.

    To build a solid foundation for your fitness routine, Spencer recommends doing cardio at least three times a week and weight training three times a week. "Tailor it to your schedule and your goals," he encourages. "If you're looking for more muscle tone and development, weight train four times a week with a higher intensity and then do cardio twice. If you have a busy schedule, do

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  • Banishing Bellyaches with Yoga

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Stomach gurgling? Don't reach for the Pepto, at least not yet. These Zeel Yogis have all the key poses for improving digestion.Adjusting your posture and breathing can help with certain digestive issuesAdjusting your posture and breathing can help with certain digestive issues

    Restorative Yoga

    Kim-Lien Kendall, a yoga instructor and movement educator in New York City, recommends restorative yoga. "For immediate relief (for instance if you ate a meal not so long ago, or are feeling bloated or experiencing indigestion) the best kind of yoga is restorative yoga," she says. "This generally involves making a supportive base (with props) for a non-strenuous posture. Stay in it and relax for a few minutes. Whatever position you choose, be sure that it does not require a great deal of effort."

    Kim goes on to explain that the logic behind this is that it's important to balance the parasympathetic and sympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system. The sympathetic branch is known as the "fight or flight" branch, and the parasympathetic is "rest and digest." One branch often works better when the other branch is at

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  • Heart Healthy: 7 Valentine's Day Ideas You’ll Love

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Diamonds and chocolate and overpriced roses, oh my! Why not make this Valentine's Day one you can feel good about? Vicki Vara, founder of the comprehensive wellness program known as the v.method, outlines creative, healthy and wallet-friendly ideas for you and your loved one to fall head-over-heels for.
    Think a bit outside the box (of chocolate) to transform the normal routine to a romantic oneThink a bit outside the box (of chocolate) to transform the normal routine to a romantic one
    Plan the day together. Schedule a Valentine's Day pre-date to determine what activities would make both you and your partner equally happy. Runners? Plan a moonlit route. Movie buffs? Pick out a flick you'll both enjoy, and buy tickets in advance. When each side has the opportunity to input their ideas, the couple tends to enjoy the date more.

    Table for two-at home. Plan a romantic dinner at home. Better yet, cook it! Most restaurants are crowded and have fixed Valentine's Day menus. (Do you really need two desserts?) Plus, not only can restaurant dining be unhealthy; eating out can be quite pricy too. Choose a meal you'll both enjoy, plan the shopping list and set a

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  • Q&A: Can Massage Help Manage Stress and Depression?

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Anyone who's ever suffered a bout of depression-whether short or long-term-knows that, at the time, it can feel as though there is little that can help. Yet more and more, massage is earning a name for itself as more than just a feel-good service. Today, it's a viable means of relief.
    Massage as relief in the short- and long-termMassage as relief in the short- and long-term
    First, we turn to science.

    One comprehensive analysis of 37 studies supports the basic conclusion that massage therapy is an effective alternative treatment for the symptoms of depression.

    More specifically, a single session can reduce "state" anxiety, or stress that arises in light of a specific situation, lowering a person's blood pressure and heart rate. Multiple sessions, on the other hand, are better for "trait" anxiety-the type that lingers longer. (Atlanta-based massage therapist Amor Largo supports this with her answer to the original question: "Yes, massage could help. [You] probably need more than one massage, however.)

    Now, we turn to our equally

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