Yoga.  Some people swear by it, others say “what’s the point?”   But, can yoga make a difference ...

Can Yoga Help YOU

Yoga.  Some people swear by it, others say “what’s the point?”  But, can yoga make a difference in your life? Our lives are filled with many stressors which could possibly lead to chronic disease or injury.  As seen through the eyes of many yoga haters, yoga appears to be just about twisting your body into weird poses and making ridiculous sounds.  But is that all that meets the eye? Can yoga possibly help you?  Let’s review what our Lifebridge Health yoga expert, Tammie Zeilinger.  Tammie had to say. Tammie is an OMEGA Institute certified registered yoga instructor with 20 years of experience. 

1. What are the benefits of doing yoga?      
Tammie stated that yoga may help decrease blood pressure, blood sugar, and stress levels.  It may also help improve balance, increase muscular strength, reduce joint comprehensive forces, and restore or maintain proper postural alignment.

2. Would you recommend yoga to an individual who is interested in building strength?
Tammie enthusiastically says "yes." Yoga is great for improving core strength, mindfulness and body awareness. Learning mindfulness will help you hone in on the correct muscle which should be contracting during a specific movement. A lack of mindfulness in movement is often seen during strength training when               the individual is just "going thru the motions."  Body awareness, aka, proprioception, is the body's ability to sense joint angles and positioning without looking at the body part. 

3. What would you say to people who believe they are not flexible enough?
Tammie states that you should “start where you are.”  Nobody is super flexible. Your flexibility will improve as you continue.

4. Do you need good balance to practice yoga?
“Balance is not static,” Tammie explains. The body's ability to balance is                        constantly changing, as our bodies are fluent.  Balance can be effected by what you eat, your sleep habits and stress.

5. There are some people who view yoga as not being exercise.  What would you say to those people?
It seems yoga can benefit just about anyone.  Tammie says yoga can benefit anyonewith a chronic health condition, overuse injury, back pain, irregular blood sugar or anyone being medicated.

How is is it that yoga can help with chronic health conditions like hypertension or diabetes? Lets dig a little deeper into that. As Tammie explains, yoga places great emphasis on proper breathing techniques. Something so simple as breathing can create physiological changes in the body.  Yoga encourages inhaling and exhaling through the nose. Nose breathing has great benefits as compared to mouth breathing. Mouth breathing is a stress response reaction which creates oxygen deprivation, thereby worsening asthma, sleep apnea, hypertension, allergies and elevation of heart rate. A higher stress level causes increases in blood sugar and cortisol. Nose breathing reduces stress reactions in the body.  Breathing through the nose will help the body absorb more oxygen into the bloodstream because it takes longer to breathe through the nose as compared to the mouth. No matter if you suffer from sleep apnea or you're training to increase strength, I would say learning how to breathe properly can have some major advantages.

For more yoga related questions please contact Tammie Zeilinger at

Written by Tameka Means, M.S., ATC, CPT

Most people are well aware that what you eat will make or break your ability to lose weight or incr...

What To Eat Post-Workout

Most people are well aware that what you eat will make or break your ability to lose weight or increase muscle mass. However, just eating the right foods is not enough!  When you eat is just as important as what you eat. Nutrient timing, or the time you eat your post-workout meal, can either enhance or deter your body’s recovery.

Whether you are doing cardio or resistance training, your muscles become depleted of glycogen, and muscle is being broken down. Glycogen is simply how glucose is stored in your body. The purpose of the post-workout meal is to decrease muscle protein breakdown, increase muscle protein synthesis and replenish muscle glycogen stores.  Immediately after your workout, there is a very short window of opportunity wherein adequate nutrients are needed for optimal recovery. If you do not take advantage of this window, you will have slower muscle recovery and less energy for your next workout.  Poor nutrient timing post-workout means your body will build muscle at a slower rate.  You will also have less energy for your next workout, therefore decreasing your ability to exercise longer or at a higher intensity. This outcome will negatively affect your ability to lose weight as well.

Eat immediately after your workout! The longer you wait, the smaller the window of opportunity becomes. Eat carbohydrates and proteins, but avoid fats immediately post-workout. The rate of muscle glycogen repletion is greater immediately post-workout.  Waiting, two hours post-workout will decrease the rate of muscle glycogen repletion by 50%. Eating carbohydrates releases insulin, which helps rebuild muscle and replenish glycogen. Exercise stimulates GLUT4 expression, which works similar to insulin by helping to push glucose back into muscle cells. Again, take advantage of this opportunity by eating as soon as possible!

Experts recommend consuming 1.5 grams carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight within the two-hour window. Protein intake should be 0.5 grams per kilogram of body weight within the two-hour window. Considering that liquids are absorbed faster than solids, a liquid food may be more optimal immediately following your workout. A great example of a post-workout food is fat-free milk. Plan ahead so that you are able to eat your post-workout food immediately. As soon as you are able to, eat a full meal. It is okay to include fat during this meal. Making this small change in your routine will create big results toward your goal!

Written by: Tameka Means, M.S. 
Lifebridge Personal Trainer

So, you want to lose weight. You head straight to the elliptical and bang out 90 minutes of cardio, ...

Lose Weight FASTER!

So, you want to lose weight. You head straight to the elliptical and bang out 90 minutes of cardio, and then follow it up with an additional 60 minutes of cardio on the treadmill. Now that’s a fat-blasting workout! WRONG! Doing too much cardio can be too much of a good thing. Yes, cardio is an integral part of weight loss, but too much may actually be detrimental to your weight loss goal. Excessive amounts of cardio may be contributing to a decrease in muscle mass. Losing muscle will have a negative effect by reducing your metabolism and decreasing your strength. A sluggish metabolism makes it more difficult to lose weight, and a reduction in strength will put you at risk for injury. Both are killers for your weight loss goal.

Making the mistake of not including resistance training into your routine means you are not taking full advantage of the muscle’s energy-burning capabilities. There is a misconception that resistance training is strictly for muscle gain and cardio is for weight loss. WRONG! Let’s set the record straight. If you want to lose weight, you absolutely want to incorporate resistance training. The amount of energy you burn for resting muscle metabolism is directly related to the amount of muscle mass you have. In other words, the body is burning more calories when you increase your muscle mass. Still not convinced? Stay tuned for more.

Written by: Tameka Means, M.S., LBHF Personal Trainer

Pilates at LifeBridge Health and Fitness Are you looking for a new, challenging path to impro...

Challenge Yourself with Pilates

Pilates at LifeBridge Health and Fitness

Are you looking for a new, challenging path to improving your strength, flexibility, balance, concentration and more? STOTT® Pilates may be the ideal route for you. With an emphasis on breath, core conditioning and body awareness, STOTT PILATES® exercise is a safe and highly effective way to stretch, strengthen and streamline your body without building bulk or stressing your joints. Performed on a mat or specialized equipment, STOTT PILATES® is a fitness regime for a lifetime. The perfect complement to cardiovascular exercise, sports, rehab and life, STOTT PILATES® will leave you looking toned, feeling revitalized and moving with ease.  


The benefits of STOTT PILATES® include:
  • Longer, leaner muscles (less bulk, more freedom of movement)
  • Improved posture
  • Increased core strength/stability and peripheral mobility
  • Injury prevention
  • Enhanced functional fitness and ease of movement
  • Balance, strength and flexibility
  • Heightened body awareness
  • No-impact – easy on the joints
  • Can be customized to suit everyone from rehab patients to elite athletes
  • Complements other methods of exercise
  • Improved performance in sports (golf, skiing, skating, etc.)
  • Improved coordination and circulation

For more information on Pilates and our private, duet and group classes please contact:
Kimberlee Strome

Spring is finally on its way which means it's time for a little spring cleaning. Here's a...

4 Ways to Spring Clean Your Life

Spring is finally on its way which means it's time for a little spring cleaning. Here's a list of the top four things you can do to clean your body and soul for a better you.

  1.  Cleanse Your Aura

    Have you been feeling anxious, depressed or lethargic? These are signs of negative emotional and environmental triggers effecting your body. Daily stressors can build and build until your energy is depleted and you're left alone to clean up the mess. It's time to fight back with these easy tricks.

    Treat yourself. Once a week light some candles, put on some relaxing music and take in a bath. Add in a little Epsom salt or Dead Sea salt to increase the effectiveness. Get outside. Nature has its own calming powers. Whether you chose to go on a hike, garden or lay by the shore, let Mother Nature do her thing.
  2.  Clean Eating

    Clean eating is easier than it looks. The idea is about eating whole foods, or "real" foods — meaning not processed, refined, and handled, making them as close to their natural form as possible. Look at the nutrition labels on your foods. Does it list sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial coloring and flavor? Beware, these are all contributors to weight gain and diseases like diabetes. Focus and stock up on items that don't come in a package or a tin. Look for fresh and healthy items like fruits and vegetables, nuts, farm-fresh eggs, quinoa, unprocessed meats and poultry, healthy oils, etc. If you're going to buy packaged goods, make sure the ingredients list is short and you know all the words.
  3.  Straighten Out Your Finances

    Are you constantly checking your bank account? Take a look at your spending habits. Do restaurants and happy hours pop up too often? Are your daily (sometimes twice) Starbucks fixes putting you in the red? Think about budgeting and making new choices to reduce financial stress. Try packing your lunch 4 times a week and treating yourself once. While a friendly barista can put a smile on your face, so can saving $50 a week doing a home brew session. Little changes can have a big effect on your wallet and happiness. If you have a great month saving, treat yourself to something like a manicure or a personal training session.
  4.  Clear Out the Clutter

    Can you see your kitchen table? Do you keep tripping over that pile of shoes? It may be time to declutter. Go through your closets and your 50 piles and counting. Decide what you need, what you can toss and what you can donate to charity. If you haven't worn that top in 2 years, perhaps it's time to say "bon voyage". If your magazine collection doubles as a coffee table, try going through them, cut out the articles you love and keep them in an organized folder for reference. Decluttering is not only good for making more space to live in, but it's a good mental booster.

What is HIIT? HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. It is a cardiovascular exercise ...


What is HIIT?

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. It is a cardiovascular exercise technique that alternates short periods of intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. Typically HIIT sessions may vary in length from 4 to 30 minutes.

What are the benefits of HIIT?

It's Efficient: It's the perfect workout for a busy schedule—you can easily fit in a workout during your lunch break or get in shape for a fast-approaching event. Did you know you can achieve more progress in a mere 15 minutes of HIIT three times a week than jogging on the treadmill for an hour? Less time, better results? Where do we sign up?

It Does a Body Good: During a HIIT workout you burn more calories, plus the effect of all that intense exertion kicks your body's repair cycle into hyperdrive. Therefore, your workout keeps working after you do, burning more fat and calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout than a traditional steady-pace run. Paired with weight training, you'll continue to build and maintain muscle mass while losing fat. Results you can't see on the outside are a healthier heart, better cardiovascular endurance, and a boost in your metabolism thanks to stimulated production of human growth hormone (HGH).

It's Low Maintenance: Everyone loves low maintenance. It's practically music to our ears. HIIT workouts are so great that you can literally do them anywhere because equipment isn't required. This means you can travel all over the globe and never miss a workout session. All you need is a 4-30 minutes.

Calories Burned Comparison:
For a person weighing 150 lbs:
500 = 30 minute HIIT
112 calories = 30 minutes of general weight lifting
335 calories = elliptical
372 = jogging 10 minutes/mile

HIIT Workout Ideas

Remember 20 on, 10 off. 20 seconds of work and then rest for 10 seconds, repeating 8-20 times total. You can do this on an Airdyne bike, a treadmill, while jumping rope or doing box jumps. No equipment required ideas are jumping lunges, jump squats, mountain climbers and high knees.

Downloadable Workouts

Looking for a versatile treat that can be enjoyed alone, as a partner in delicious crime, or mix...

Hummous and Your Health

Looking for a versatile treat that can be enjoyed alone, as a partner in delicious crime, or mixed in as a healthy substitute? Hummous is your guy! Made from mashed chickpeas and traditionally mixed with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic, hummous is a creamy and decadent Middle Eastern spread now enjoyed around the globe. 

Deemed a "superfood" hummous is heart-healthy and is known to deliver countless benefits for the mind, body, and soul. Hummous, when consumed in proper serving sizes, can alleviate anemia due to the iron in the chickpeas. Chickpeas are also rich in vitamin E and K which are natural blood thinners and can reduce blood clots. Hummous is a complex carbohydrate so it won't cause a spike in blood sugar levels due to time released energy which helps your overall fitness and well-being, regulates your hormones, and triggers your body to burn stored fat. Some additional benefits are a reduction in high cholesterol levels and weight management thanks to the fiber. 

Add hummous into your weekly menu as a dip with veggies or whole wheat pita triangles. You can also spread it on sandwiches with chicken breast or make a veggie powerhouse. The Wild Pea, a local Baltimore favorite, has innovative and exciting ways to work hummous into some delicious recipes

Be healthy and enjoy!

Hummous Pancakes

  • 8oz container of The Wild Pea Cinnamon Raisin Hummous
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt (optional)

Blend all ingredients in a blender. Heat your pan or griddle and proceed like normal pancakes. For those watching your sugar, find a good sugar free syrup.

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