Blog Posts by TheDailyZeel

  • 3 Ways Pilates Perfectly Complements Winter Sports

    By: StacyAtZeel

    While summer days are often characterized by lazy afternoons at the shore, come winter, many of us head to the mountains for sports of a more extreme kind. Did you know that Pilates can be a wonderful way to supplement your winter fitness routine?

    Says Zeel Expert Halle Clarke, owner of Soho's Mongoose Bodyworks: "Pilates is a perfect complement to the rigorous and repetitive nature of winter sports." Halle adds that, as with many athletic endeavors, winter sports like skiing, snowboarding and even ice skating rely on repetitive movements that can take a toll on the body. Here, she gives us three ways Pilates can counteract these effects.

    Build endurance and strength. Because of the personalized nature of the practice, Pilates can uniquely create endurance and strength in the specific muscles needed to ski and skate-and to do them well! When flying down the mountain at high speeds, for example, one needs to remain in a position with bent knees for

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  • The Ketogenic Diet: A Do or Don't?

    By: StacyAtZeel

    chicken-flickr-citechicken-flickr-citeConsidered extreme even among the strictest of dieters, a ketogenic diet is one that is high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates, making it especially difficult to maintain. One Zeel member expressed their concerns recently, writing in, "I have been trying to get my body to a ketogenic state, but I am having trouble."

    Zeel Nutrition Expert Natasha Uspensky responds.

    Although a ketogenic diet is recommended for those looking to treat epilepsy, it is generally not a very healthy, long-term diet for most people. Increasing fat and protein, specifically from meat and dairy, is very dangerous for heart health, cholesterol and longevity, and cutting out vegetables and whole grains deprives your body of vital nutrients.

    Before taking on an extreme and potentially hazardous diet such as this one, I recommend consulting with a nutritionist to find a healthier alternative for you to achieve maximum weight loss without dangerous effects on your

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  • 5 Reasons to Get a Massage—Now!

    By: Zeel Guest Blogger

    Victoria Edwards is the Social Media Marketing Manager at GuideWell. You can find her Tweeting for GuideWell at @GuideWellHealth or on her own personal handle, @TallChickVic.

    As I am writing this post, my back is killing me. I am an active person; I do cardio and I strength train at least six days a week. I love to run, but a lot of the time, running does not love me.

    At six-feet tall, I tend to have lower back pain that only gets worse with physical activity. And while I know that massage can do wonders for low-back issues (and other kinds, of course), I'm not the type of person who books health and wellness appointments on a regular basis, and so I've continued to live with aches and pains.

    In need of a little inspiration, I decided to do a bit of research on the topic and found some very interesting benefits to massage therapy! I know there are others out there who are apprehensive about massage, but perhaps after learning about these

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  • 2 Basic Stretches for Sciatic Nerve Pain

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Sciatica is a common condition among women and men, creating a sense of discomfort in the legs and lower back that can render the simplest of tasks both taxing and tiresome. Although a trip to the doctor may be in order for some sciatica sufferers, many can find relief from the comfort of home by drawing on a few simple stretches and exercises. Here, Zeel Chiropractic Experts offer up their favorites.

    Go after the piriformis muscle. "Stretching the muscles of the buttocks and thighs is often a significant relief for lower back pain and sciatica. Specifically the piriformis muscle," explains Richard Sternberg, a doctor of chiropractic medicine based in Rego Park, N.Y. "You can accomplish this by laying on your back, bringing your knee to your chest and externally rotating your hip by bringing your foot toward the opposite hip."

    Richard reminds us to be mindful of pain. While discomforts may arise, it should be localized within the muscle group you

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  • All the Right Moves: Mastering the Proper Yoga Twist

    By: StacyAtZeel

    September is National Yoga Month. And while that might inspire many of us to run out to the nearest studio and sign up for an hour-long flow, one instructor-and Zeel Yoga Expert!-cautions us to beware.

    "Often in yoga classes, we are directed to turn the head in the opposite direction of the knees to "increase the twist,"' writes Melissa Gutierrez,SMARTer Bodies co-founder and yogi extraordinaire. "But it may be more important to track the subtle sensations and know from where we are twisting than be concerned about how far we can go."

    "Sometimes turning the head can make us lose track of those sensations," Melissa continues, reminding us that, in yoga, less can sometimes be more. "Yoga provides an opportunity for self-exploration that can be more valuable than shape making. So let us explore what's going on and what contributes to what we feel."

    Complements of Melissa, here are a few tips to keep in mind as we work on mastering the proper yoga

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  • Ask the Expert: Can Vegans Consume Enough Vitamin B12?

    By: StacyAtZeel

    It can be hard enough to follow a vegan diet when seemingly acceptable supermarket items (like Jell-O!) contain traces of animal products. One rule that many of us certainly understand? Burgers, bacon and sea bass are definitely off limits.

    In the absence of meat, fish and poultry, vitamin deficiencies - especially a deficiency of vitamin B12 - can become a real problem for many vegan dieters. But despite popular belief, "There are plenty of vegan-friendly options to help you achieve your vitamin B12 RDA (recommended daily allowance),"Manhattan-based Registered Dietitian and Zeel Expert Lauren Antonucci assures us. "Even if you are not eating animal products, you should have no problem getting enough vitamin B12 in you as long as you are eating fortified foods and a varied, balanced diet."

    Here, Lauren shares with us some of her recommendations for maintain a diet that is bountiful in B12.

    Carb conscious. When choosing breakfast cereals and

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  • Fall Fitness: 3 Total Body Exercises Using Only a Park Bench!

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Fall is one of the best times of the year to take our workouts outdoors. Take advantage of the crisp, cool temperatures - not to mention the swanky seasonal fashion - with certified personal trainer, ibodyfit founder and Zeel Expert Franklin Antoian's total body workout, coming soon to a park bench near you.

    1. Decline Push-Up

    If you've ever stopped in a park mid-run, then you've also most likely done a push-up against a wall or park bench. Try a "decline push-up" to add an additional challenge to your arms, legs and core.

    • Face away from the bench.
    • Squat down to the ground.
    • With your hands in traditional push-up position, put your feet up on the ends of the bench.
    • Repeat

    2. Side Step-Up Lunge

    Most of us have performed step-ups in the gym or a park bench to work the fronts of our legs. Spice up your step-up by trying a "side step-up lunge" to work the outside of your legs.

    • Begin by standing parallel with
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  • Ask the Expert: What Distinguishes an Oncology Massage?

    By: StacyAtZeel

    In times of physical and emotional need, massage therapy, for many cancer patients, is a breath of fresh air. With special training through the Peregrine Institute in Santa Fe, N.M., licensed massage therapist and Zeel Expert Jacqueline George-Algaier would know; many of her clients have special oncology needs as well.

    What may be less obvious to some is that those in search of oncology-specific bodywork can't just make an appointment at the nearest spa. "Massage is massage is massage is massage, right? Well, not exactly," says Jacqueline. "For persons living with cancer, massage is still a viable option for relaxation, decreasing anxiety and reducing pain and nausea, as well as many other potential benefits. But massage for people living with cancer is different."

    Jacqueline goes on to explain what you need to know.

    • Massage for people receiving radiation or chemotherapy requires a therapist who has the knowledge and ability to assess the
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  • In Knead of Relief: Low Back Pain

    By: StacyAtZeel

    Desk job? Then you're probably no stranger to lower back pain - the achy feeling that lingers long after you've left the office.

    As Zeel Expert Minki Kim explains, "Western culture requires us to sit for prolonged periods of time, drive for hours on end, and relax while seated, watching TV or playing video games." Lower back pain is also a common symptom of-besides years of built-up tension-structural imbalances, poor movement habits and emotional trauma.

    The problem: Once stress manifests itself in the lower region of the back and spine, it can be difficult to eliminate. One solution may be structural integration, a field Minki specializes in. He goes on to explain how.
    Zeel Expert and Structural Integration Professional Minki KimZeel Expert and Structural Integration Professional Minki Kim
    Fascia, the protective sheath of connective tissue that protects our entire body and gives us our shape and form, tends to conform to our most common postures. This contributes to structural imbalances and back pain. For example, if you are sitting at your desk for prolonged periods of time in a

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  • Ask the Expert: 4 Steps to Healthy Skin Through Fall

    By: StacyAtZeel

    The following article was contributed by Zeel Skincare Expert Barbara Lynn Cantone, President of Body & Soul Restorations, Inc.

    The signs of summer's end are slowly drawing near. Labor Day weekend seems like ages ago; the kids are back in school; and the days are ever-so-slowly becoming shorter, the evenings ever-so-slightly turning cooler. Yet while we'll soon be sporting sweaters and scarves, we should also be thinking about how to protect our skin, keeping it healthy and hydrated as arid autumn air arrives. Here's what I recommend.

    1. Slough it off! As the summer sun sets, it can leave a layer of dead surface-level skin cells behind. If you normally have an oil-poor/dry complexion, the accumulation of these dead cells can result in skin that looks dehydrated, accentuating fine lines and wrinkles. If you have an oily/acne-prone complexion, an overabundance of dead cells can cause blackheads and breakouts.

    The answer to either problem is to

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