The State House and Silver Linings. Today is a very special day. Today, I submitted a Bill at the Massachusetts State House to help prevent strokes in Women. This is something I am passionate about and something I have been working on for years. This is a bill that would ask doctors and health care providers to administer a blood test to women to see if they test positive for a blood clotting disorder, called Factor V Leiden, prior to women being put on birth control. Women who have factor V Leiden (FVL) are at a significant greater risk for a stroke when taking birth control pills. Factor V Leiden can also increase the risk of stroke during pregnancy and for a period of time post-partum. As of today, there is no existing set policy for screening women for FVL prior to giving them birth control pills. Today, with the support of Allyson Perron, Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association, and Massachusetts State Representative Dan Ryan this bill is being introduced. A big thank you to Sean Getchell, Representative Ryan’s aid, for the years and years he has spent listening to me talk about this, and to Allyson Perron who has also spent years helping me but this Bill together. This Bill still has a long way to go, but it is a start.Read More
Stand with your feet hip-width distance and parallel; softly bend both knees. Take one end of the resistance band and place it under the back of your left foot. Press your left heel firmly into the band to hold it in place.
. Lift the other end of the band up and over your head, and hold on to the band with both hands (adjust your position on the band to create your desired level of resistance). Make sure that your elbows are pointing forward and biceps are aligned with the ears. Relax the shoulders down the back and pull the abdominal muscles in
Lift the hands upward toward the ceiling until arms are almost straight or until you feel the triceps muscles engage (important to avoid fully extending the arms and locking out or hyperextending the elbows; keep a slight bend to the elbows).
Bend the elbows lowering hands downward behind your head until wrists are in line with your elbows. Engage the triceps to re-straighten the arms back over your head. Be mindful to keep the shoulders drawing down and away from the ears as you move the arms. Repeat 10 times. For an added challenge, you can add on the next two exercise variations. Variation 1: Slow down the movement by lowering the hands down for 2 counts and then lifting hands up over the head for 2 counts. Repeat 10 times. Variation 2: Hold the hands over the head (until arms are almost straight) and then bend the elbows, lowering hands behind your head just an inch and then lift the arms back up an inch. This small and controlled movement will deepen the muscle contraction. Repeat 10 times.
The abdominal muscles are very important when it comes to being able to move the body. The abdominal muscles are made up of many diverse fiber attachments on the front sides bottom, and back of the trunk, the mid-section and all the way down to the pelvis. Not only do these muscles flex, extend, bend and rotate the torso, the abdominal muscles can help move the pelvis, thigh, spine, head, and neck. Therefor it is important that abs muscles are strong enough to support movement and stability in the body. The abdominal muscles also play a role in breathing.Read More
Strong inner thighs are important for providing support and stability to the hips and the knees joints. I love this exercise because it allows for isolating and strengthen the inner thigh muscles without the added weight of a standing exercise which may put extra strain on the hips and/or low-back. If you do have any injuries, strains or weaknesses ( hips, knees, low back) this is a great option for a modification for thigh work. This move can also be done without a resistance band, just focusing on engaging (moving) the inner thigh muscles.Read More
This exercise is designed to tone, strengthen and create definition to the backs of the arm. If you do not have a resistance band you can use a towel.Read More
The glutes are one of the biggest muscles in your body, so working them is not always the easiest of feats, but getting into a workout that shows results and a workout that you can easily do at home will get you to booty happiness in no time.Read More
One of the most successful strategies I have been using with my students and clients who are already regular exercisers, but not seeing results they want is by encouraging them to embrace more mindful approach to their exercises and fitness routines. By mindful, I don’t just mean trying to be more present, more in the moment, more breathing, but this is more about incorporating the same type of balanced approach to exercise that most people do with their eating habits. For example, most people don’t eat the same foods every Monday, every Tuesday, every Saturday etc. etc.. year after year. Yet, when I hear from many of my students, I often hear a similar story like this “I spin on Mondays and Wednesdays, boot camp Tuesdays, Barre on Fridays, and Yoga on Saturdays. This has been my cross-training schedule for 5-10 years”. The type of exercises doesn’t really matter, it is the more the emphasis on a routine that people are following month after month without getting the results they are looking for. I hear this all of the time that people find a fitness routine that fits their schedule or, or a list of favorite instructors they follow, and they will stay with this exact plan for a long time, even if they are not seeing the results that they want, and even if it is not necessarily making them feel good.Read More
The chair pose why we love to hate it.
Chair pose sculpts and tones the quadriceps, creates that barre “burn” and works the thighs like no other move. Most barre enthusiasts love it even though it is challenging. Thankfully, it is quick and typically in class to only spend 1-2 minutes in chair. Chair pose in barre can feel very intense and fatigues muscles quickly. Completing just two minutes in chair can feel like a huge accomplishment. It is a vigorous exercise, so it is important to be patient as you build up to staying in the position for the full two minutes .Read More
I had a stroke on June 20, 2013 at the age of 36. I was in the shower when all the sudden I felt a jolt of pain shoot down the left side of my body leaving me with the feeling that I could not move my left arm or left leg. I was terrified because I knew something was wrong and I did not understand what was happening to me. I was later admitted to the hospital and diagnosed with having had a stroke. The morning of my stroke was like any other normal day, except, I vividly remember having this thought: “what if I suffered a major illness or accident, would I survive? Would I be able to handle something like that?” I remember thinking to myself, no, I don’t think I would be able to. Then, just hours later, I was in a hospital bed unable to control the movement in my left leg. Amid facing and adjusting to my new unwelcomed reality, I learned a lot about myself, and the importance of living a healthy lifestyle.Read More
I love cooking with only vegetables and I am always looking for new recipes that are delicious and has healthy as can be. This Vegan Bolognese recently topped my list because it is so delicious and seriously packed with so many different vegetables and flavors. I also love it because it is as satisfying and filling as a traditional meet bolgonese but without the heaviness I used to feel from eating a pasta with meat sauce. I served this over vegan pasta and with a simple green salad on the side. The best part...My husband and kids ate it too.Read More
As I stood testifying at the Massachusetts State house last spring in front of the Joint Committee on Health and Public Service to help influence improvements in the system of care for stroke survivors, I had this powerful sense that this was exactly where I was meant to be. This felt like my purpose in life and I realized then, that maybe my stroke wasn’t just this horrible thing that happened to me, but maybe a gift. I began to look at my situation differently. What initially had felt like an obstacle, I could see now as an opportunity. I realized I was lucky to have experienced and recovered from a stroke, and now can share that experience to help others. More importantly, I had realized that my stroke had set me back on a life path I thought was gone.Read More
The Heart Rates for Heart Beats event was a blast! So grateful to the many women who came out to celebrate National Heart Month by participating in a Kickboxing-Barre inspired workout and girls night out to benefit the American Heart and Stroke Association. The turnout was as amazing as the energy that filled Ink Block last Thursday night. Thank you Ink Block for hosting us in your beautiful space that was perfect for combining fitness and fun. I am truly touched by the support from the guests and the sponsors of the night including Gogarbaj, Organic Bath Company, Mother Juice, Inda Creations, and to Nick Cosky Photography for capturing the event. Thank you Fomo Prescription for helping to promote the evening!Read More
Happy National Heart Month! Valentine's Day is not the only way to celebrate the heart this month! Join me for a fun girls night out to raise heart beats and awareness on February 16, 2017 at 7pm at Ink Block Boston. The night will start off with a unique class created by myself and Kick It by Eliza founder Eliza Shirazi. The awesome workout we have put together combines Barre inspired sculpting techniques with the high energy, heart pumping cardio benefits of Eliza's kickboxing routine. After the class there will be shopping for quality, sustainable second hand clothing from GoGarbaj, and organic fair-trade products from Organic Bath Company, and cold- pressed juice refrechsmens from Mother Juice. Proceeds from the evening will go to The American Heart and American Stroke Association. I am so excited for this event and so grateful to Eliza and all of the sponsors for helping to raise awareness about heart disease and stroke and to support the the American Heart and Stroke Association. Since having my stroke four years ago, I have been on a journey to spread the message that embracing a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce ones risk of heart disease and stroke. I can think of no better way to celebrate heart month and continue to spread awareness then at this heart-healthy night out. Tickets are $15, and space is limited. Purchase link.Read More
Earlier the week I shared that one of my favorite things is Turmeric Tea. Mainly because of turmerics anti-inflammatory properties and also because turmeric tea has become my go to "swap" for trying to get myself off of my afternoon coffee habit. After doing a little more research on just why turmeric is is reported to have so many health benefits, I discovered a new way to love it! You may or may not have heard of "Golden Milk" ? If you haven't, I wanted to share this recipe definitely worth trying. I became very interested in anti-inflammatory foods during my recovering from my stroke. There has been a lot of research lately linking inflammation in the body to a whole lists of disease, including an increase risk of heart disease and stroke. I now try to get in as many anti-inflammatory foods as possible.Read More
All over national news this past week is the sad news that the talented Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds passed away from cardiac arrest and stroke.
The loses of two admired and adored public figures has helped shed more light on the number one killer of women, heart disease, and stroke, a leading cause of disability in women. What also has been highlighted, is that the fact that heart disease and stroke not only impact the very old, but women of all ages. My stroke occurred when I was 36, at an age I never thought I was at risk.Read More
Keeping myself committed to my workout routine through the freezing Boston winters is not easy . So, I try to stock up on a few favorite things to keep me warm, motivated and moving. A new challenge for me this winter... though a very cute one.. is my new goldendoodle puppy, Bella. She is 4 months old, a bundle of energy, and she sure loves her daily walks, which means I am outside a lot. Here are a few things I am loving for winter wellness and warmth:
In my gym bag: SkynGym lip treatment, Barre Socks, 50 oz water bottle ( this helps me make sure I am reaching my goal to drink half my body weight in oz of water a day), lightly scented perfume oil, ear buds/headphones, and raw unsalted almonds.Read More
I had a mild stroke at the age of 36. I had heard of stroke; I just didn’t know I was eligible for one in my thirties. I was having a stroke and did not even know it. Luckily, I went to the emergency room and was diagnosed right away. I was experiencing loss of control and feeling in the left side of my body, followed my an immensely painful headache and dizziness. Once I was admitted to the hospital and my stroke was diagnosed, doctors told me that I would likely be in the hospital and then a rehab hospital for 5 weeks, as I would need to retrain my brain to control my left leg, which I was unable to move at the time. I was shocked, and as a mother of two young children, wife, and fitness instructor,I was devastated. Fortunately, the day after my stroke, I regained movement of my left leg and was discharged just four days later. My doctors attribute my being in good physical health as big factor in recovering so quickly. My doctors determined my stroke was caused by a blood disorder, called factor V leiden, that increases risk of blood clotting, as well as they found I had a small hole in my heart that allowed a clot to pass to my brain.Read More
Not sure if a Spiritual and Wellness event is for you? Guess what? It is for everyone.
I used to get a little intimidated by these types of events, feeling unsure if I was "spiritual" enough to attend and/or even more to participate. What I know now, is Spirituality and Wellness is about the journey of self-improvement, and no matter where you are on that journey, there is always room for inspiration. And no previous experience is needed, just an open mind.Read More
If you have been taking my barre class, you've heard me talk about the “barre tuck” and the importance of not “over-tucking” or not exaggerating the tuck position. The term “tucking” has become as commonplace as barre socks in barre class. However, even though the term is pretty standard, the actual “tucking” has ended up having quite a few variations depending on which studio you are in. Many barre students head to their favorite class hoping to stay perfectly tucked the entire time. A lot of good intention here, however, performing the tuck out of proper alignment may be doing more harm than good. Tucking incorrectly over time can potentially cause injuries and strain to your hips, pelvis, and lower back.
What is the tuck?Read More
The best post-workout snack is the one that re-nourishes your body, so this will very based on the type, duration, and intensity of your fitness routine. For me, a typical workout includes an hour of Barre or resistance training.Read More