Happy Holidays

Hi everybody!

We are winding down another year, and what a year it has been!  I’m continuing to be fascinated by the subtleties of gait, and the importance of keeping our feet strong, active and the 37 or so joints and bones moving.  My feet are being reborn as I spend more time barefoot,  balancing  on one foot and doing 3-D movement to get my feet and brain rewired to respond to the ground and to give my walking a sense of lightness and vitality that I haven’t experienced in years.  It is so rewarding to feel this work in my own body and to be able to say that we can effect change in our bodies, no matter how long we have been stuck in sub-optimal movement patterns.

So, 2015 is approaching,  and I have some rare openings in my schedule.  Let’s get a fitness program started for the new year.  Our health is our greatest asset. When you give your body the gift of time and conscious movement, it will reward you tenfold.  Give me a call  to set up a consultation.   I look forward to hearing from you.  Jeffrey. 415.596.6505

A Better Sweetener

I found this piece on “Zen to Life” blog.  Blackstrap molasses is a great addition to our diet. Compared to  sugar or artificial sweeteners, molasses (non-sulfuric and organic) is a smart, nutrient-dense alternative.  There are several grades of molasses, which is made by boiling sugar cane one to three times.  What separates bootstrap molasses from mild or first molasses and second molasses?  Bootstrap is the third boiling, which removes most of the original sucrose, so there is a smaller amount of sugars remaining.  http://zentofitness.com/the-benefits-of-blackstrap-molasses/

From One Who Knew:

“The only way you can hurt the body is not use it. Inactivity is the killer and, remember, it’s never too late.” – Jack LaLanne (9/26/1914 – 1/23/2011)

Improving Hip Health and Mobility

This is a good post from todays’ the Zen To Fitness blog:


There is more and more evidence that our sedentary lifestyle is detrimental to our health.  There is an increase in obesity, cardiovascular disease, and type II diabetes to name a few.  Tight hips and reduced mobility is another consideration. Our long bouts of continual sitting shorten our hamstrings and hip flexors, and can cause lower back pain, and reduced mobility.   The blog also talks about some helpful exercises to counter tight hips, such as hip raises, lunges and yoga.  I recommend incorporating breaks in our sitting during the day.  Every 30 minutes, get up from your chair and walk around for a few minutes.  Swing your legs, do some sit and stands from your chair.   The goal is to keep your muscles around your hips from getting short and tight.  Sitting too much is not good for our bodies!   Get up frequently from your desk and move . This stuff really works!

Rebuilding the injured body

“Constant feedback and careful progressions are essential
for helping one client improve functional mobility.” Idea Fitness
Journal, December, 2010. I liked this article because it addresses the re-building of injured muscle. Throughout our life, muscle and connective tissue can get injured due to trauma, or to improper mechanics.  The rebuilding process may be slow, and there may be a instances where we revisiting pain, but hopefully over time the muscle(s) can be retrained.  Once we focus on increasing joint mobility and in making the body move freer and with less effort, the lesser the chance that we are going to injure the body.

Holiday Meditation

I get a little lonesome and scattered over the holidays. Meditation is my life-saver to stay connected to myself, and then ultimately with others. The best way for me to meditate is to sit still and be quiet for 15 to 30 minutes shortly after waking up. I also take advantage of my solitary daily runs to meditate. My meditation is basically quieting my thoughts so there are spaces of stillness. If my mind dwells to a thought, I take that opportunity to focus on the inhale and exhale of my breath. It’s as simple as that. These periods of quiet are so healthy for my mind and soul. They act as a gentle regulator for keeping my body actually more alert and ready to receive what life has to offer me.

The Cure for the Fall Blues

We just turned the clocks back.  It gets dark early, it’s cold,  and summer is long gone.  I get a little sad with the diminishing light.  I have found that the best way to deal with my “fall blues” is to get out and move.  I pull on my cap and gloves, and get outside for a cool, rainy day run in Sausalito.  Nature is slowing down in our Northern Hemisphere, and perhaps we can slow down a little, too.  But don’t stop completely!  The change of seasons from summer to fall is a wonderful time.  What leaves remain on the trees are colorful.  The last few flowers are bravely hanging on, and have a poignancy about them.  The cool, fresh air has scents of wood fireplaces.  The autumn sunlight is spectacular with long shadows.

Go out and see the transformation, and then come inside and curl up with a book.

Post-Run Stretching part 3

4). Supine bridge-ups. Laying on your back, bend your knees and bring your feet flat, almost against your butt, and about 3 inches apart. Toes are pointing forward and feet are parallel. On an exhale, peal your butt, low and mid back off the floor. Lengthen the back of your neck. Belly button to spine. Hold the stretch for 60 seconds. On an exhale, lower your upper back, mid and lower back and butt to the floor (visualize each individual vertebrae peeling down one at a time). Repeat two more times. Going a little deeper into the stretch each time, and always relaxed in the neck and shoulders.

Stretching Post Run (Part 2)

Next area to focus on stretching after a run:

3) Standing on one leg and holding on to a wall or chair, or using no help like the below picture. The supporting leg is slightly bent, not locked, and the pelvis is Neutral (This is very important, as the pelvis likes to tilt forward in this position). Hold the stretch for at least 60 seconds each leg. Alternate between flexing the quad and pushing the foot into your hand, and exhaling and pulling the foot even tighter toward, or past, your butt.

Mindful Pushups

In yoga we do a modified pushup starting in a plank, and very slowly lowering the body to the floor with your elbows pointing to the back. This modified pushup is called “Chaturanga Dandasana” or “four limbed staff pose”.  The work here isn’t just limited to the arms, but includes the shoulders and the scapula. The shoulders have to continue to roll back externally as you lower. This isnt easy, as you have to body sense that the shoulders move freely down and externally as the scapulas remain wide, and roll down the back. Yoga rocks! Always striving for the perfect in the pose. I can do dozens of regular pushup, but only 5 yoga pushups.

Here is a detailed description of the pose from Yoga Journal.