3 Minutes to A Healthy Back!

 

 

Photographs by Casey Steffens

If you’re an athlete, being sidelined with an injury sucks. So many of us (myself included) don’t take simple preventative measures to keep them from happening, particularly when it comes to the spine. According to Dr. Scott Duke of Duke Chiropractic, our go-to resource for all things sports medicine, 80% of the walking population will eventually have some kind of back injury. We asked Dr.Duke for a quick, no-excuses routine anybody could do to keep their back healthy and ready for action!

The 3 X 3 Back to Back routine is 3 part series of moves that takes just 3 minutes!  This is an easy everyday workout designed to mobilize, stretch, and strengthen the spine without spending a lot of time. It’s a perfect warm up before working out that preps the body for activity and keeps us doing all those crazy workouts we love. Each section below is 1 minute.

 

PART 1: MOBILITY

This is your warm up, designed to loosen up and lubricate the spine. Each exercise is 20 seconds of continuous movement at your own pace.

 

1. Cat-Cow

On all fours, flex and extend spine. Head should move in line with spine.

 

2. Pelvic Release

Lie flat on back with left foot crossed on right. Arms flat at 90 degree angle. Drop left knee out to the side while turning head to right. Switch legs and repeat.

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Don’t Forget The Sunscreen

 

Happy Summer 2017!

With the season officially open for business, it’s time to slather that sunscreen on!

Water-resistant, with UVA and UVB protection, these are our 8 picks for the best sunscreens to keep you sporty folks safe out there having fun in the sun.

 
ROW 1: MDSolarSciences Mineral Moisture Defense SPF 50. Developed by doctors, this Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen is a luxurious, non-whitening lotion that glides on fast and blends easily for full body protection. Rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, green tea, cranberry and pomegranate extracts, it’s oil free, safe for kids, and water-resistant up to 80 minutes. Available in 30 SPF & 50 SPF.

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light SPF 60 Face Sunscreen. Advanced Broad Spectrum sunscreen protection in a revolutionary ultra-light matte texture, Anthelios Ultra Light features new Cell-Ox Shield XL™ antioxidant technology that’s fast absorbing and water resistant to 80 minutes.

Soleil Toujours Soleil Du Midi Mineral Based Broad Spectrum SPF 30. This mineral sunscreen continuous mist is fortified with potent antioxidants, vitamins and botanicals that moisturize, nourish, and protect skin. Its EcoSunComplex™ is a power packed natural formulation of organic ingredients, like green tea leaf extract, aloe vera leaf juice, sunflower oil and red algae, that help guard against UV-induced immunosuppression and other cancer-causing skin damage.
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May Madness: 31 Days to Rock That Summer Body!

 

Hello May! With the first day of the month and the first day of the week coinciding, what a perfect moment to kick off a month long challenge! 

Memorial Day is almost here and the official start of bathing suit season. Many of us have a little extra something from the winter we’d prefer not to, so we’re sharing something new everyday this month to help you do just that. A new exercise, piece of equipment, food, supplement, and much more… stay tuned for a month filled with great tips and products to get you ready to rock that summer body!

I would like to highlight that we are not paid to write about these products. They are all things we use, think are great, and would like to share!

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Double Vision. One Focus.

 

 

“On 4/3/15 I woke up like the picture on the left. I’d had a stroke in my sleep which caused a palsy in the 3rd nerve of my brain, causing my right eye to swing out. I saw two of everything and could only see straight if I closed one eye. It’s taken over a year and a half, 3 surgeries, an ocean of tears, and the desperate need to regain my life to get ME back. I took the pic on the right just after taking my new SoulCycle instructor photos — hence the incredible and very fake lashes. I never imagined having the courage to share the ‘before’ pic, but think it’s important to recognize and celebrate the journey, no matter how painful. Unlike so many stories, this one has a happy ending, one that will hopefully inspire determination and hope!”

-Emma Zaks, Facebook post, November 18, 2016

This is the story of Emma Zaks, a bubbly, energetic, and very popular SoulCycle instructor. Those who ride with Emma watched this healthy and fit 33-year old woman go through an unimaginable two-year journey — becoming increasingly ill with debilitating symptoms, both gastro-intestinal and neurological, that ultimately resulted in a stroke.

On and off the SoulCycle schedule at first, Emma began subbing out her classes for other instructors. Then followed a long absence. She would later return to teach — a patch on one eye and face swollen from the steroids doctors had prescribed for devastating symptoms no one really could explain. An autoimmune disease of some sort was the rumor. As is her nature, Emma remained her upbeat self through it all, or so it appeared, never letting her riders see the pain and fear going on inside.

Luckily, this story has a happy ending. After her illness was finally diagnosed and treated, Emma started posting little bits of her journey on Facebook. So moved and overwhelmed by her strength and bravery, we asked her to tell us what happened from beginning to end. This is her story in her own words…. and her Facebook posts.
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Savory Goodness! 9 Healthy Snacks

 

 

We’ve expounded on our love of snacks in many a post. Being as active as we are, and working the long hours that we do, we are always looking for healthy treats to keep us going in between meals. We last shared our favorite sweets in Super Sweets, and now we’re on to the savory. Here’s 9 of our go-to favorites!

ROW 1: HARD BOILED EGG. At about 80 calories with 7 grams of protein, a hard boiled egg is a filling snack that doesn’t fill you up. There is ongoing discussion about the cholesterol count, but recent research has concluded that infrequent egg consumption does not increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Conveniently packaged in its own natural carrying case, boil them up and take them to go!

SEASNAX. Seasnax roasted seaweed sheets are marketed as “strangely addictive” and that they are. This is great news as seaweed is nutrient packed! It’s one of the richest sources of minerals, high in Iodine, Vitamin B12 and potassium. Seasnax come in convenient single serve packs that are a ridiculously low 15 calories a piece. Read More

 

The New Year’s Cleanse

 

 

Happy New Year! As we head into the first week of the year, many of us may be feeling the results of all that holiday fun. Perhaps a few pounds from 2016 have decided they might like to hang around for 2017. Well not so fast! As quickly as they joined your waistline, you can bid them farewell. From juices to shakes to teas to food based cleanses, there are a number of popular and effective ways to quickly shed that extra weight. Even a short 3 day cleanse is a great way to jump start your New Year’s goals, and get you mentally and physically back on track.

A cleanse gives the internal organs a break from having to digest processed and fatty foods, sugar, and alcohol, which is energy depleting too. Limiting your food choices takes unhealthy options out of the equation and forces you to regain your healthy focus. As that food fog lifts, mental clarity, more energy, better sleep, and clearer skin are other benefits that will leave you feeling rejuvenated. Plus that quick weight loss, while initially it may be mostly water, will leave you feeling lighter and less bloated — and everybody loves the confidence boost of their jeans being loose again!

Here is round up of the tried and true, and most popular new cleanses. 3 days, 1 week, 14 days or a month long, even if you’re not letter perfect, you’ll be feeling better and ready to the new year!

FOOD BASED CLEANSES

These food based cleanses feature a combination of healthy eating, along with protein shakes and nutritional supplements that support the body during detox and weight loss. They are most non-restrictive and are ideal for those looking for a regimented cleanse with something they can chew on.

Burn & Build Body

Burn & Build Body offers a variety of different cleanses. From their 7-Day Fit Kit ($129) to their 14 Day Detox ($229) to their 28 Day Protein Lean Power Food Diet ($295), they feature a combination of healthy food choices and protein shakes, along with nutritional and energy supplements. Each program has a different focus, from weight loss to anti-aging detox to fat burning, but all three are designed to detox the system, reshape eating habits, and increase energy. Dairy, sugar, and gluten are eliminated, along with processed and prepared foods, and replaced with lean proteins, whole grains (restricted amounts), fruits and vegetables. Protein shakes are consumed as snacks or meal replacements, depending on the cleanse. Burn & Build Body cleanses have been featured in The Oprah Magazine, Mens Fitness, T The New York Time Style Magazine, and Harpers Bazaar, among numerous other fashion and health publications, and are favorite of  your editor for a quick tune up. And for you Style of Sport readers, get a special 25% discount with code: SOS2016 at checkout!
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Super Sweets

 

 
As hard-charging athletes and hard-working editors, we are always on the quest at STYLE of SPORT for healthy, great-tasting energy snacks to keep us going while satisfying a bit of a sweet tooth too. From the most basic banana to an ice cream bar (yes, you heard right!), here are 9 of the favorite go-to treats that keep us fueled, happy and ready for action around here. Some are more nutritious than others, but if you’re going to indulge a craving here’s how to do it right!

TOP ROW: CLIF BAR NUT BUTTER FILLED. Clif Bars are this editor’s go to fuel before a long race, packed with nutritious whole-grain organic carbohydrates and available in a wide range of great tasting flavors like White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Peanut Toffee Buzz and Oatmeal Raisin Walnut. New from Clif Bar are their Nut Butter Filled bars in delicious flavors like Coconut Almond Butter and Chocolate Hazlenut Butter. With 230 calories, 27 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of protein (depending on the flavor), and 11 grams of healthy fats (the monounsaturated kind that raise the good cholesterol, HDL, and lower the bad, LDL) these bars are new faves around here!

BANANA. Nature’s original snack bar, pre-packaged in a convenient skin for easy portablity, bananas are kind of the perfect food. Loaded with potassium, an essential mineral for cardiovascular health and endurance athletes in particular, and high in fiber, keeping their sugar content low on the glycemic scale for a steady source of energy, they are great tasting, easily digested, and very inexpensive too!

BROOKSIDE CHOCOLATE COVERED SNACKS. Let’s call these healthy Raisinettes and Goobers. As candy goes Brookside Chocolate Covered Snacks are not too bad for you. Available in a variety of different fruits and nuts, they come in single serve 180-210 calorie bags so you can’t overdo it. They are made with dark chocolate, which contains antioxidants and is lower in sugar than other chocolates, and other natural ingredients that when consumed in moderation are not such a big deal. If you’ve got a craving for chocolate, these are a satisfying way to go!
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Keep Calm & Meditate On

 

THE DEN

While you might consider meditation a discipline for only the deeply spiritual or those still stuck in the 70’s, it is now one of the hottest new wellness trends. Meditation studios have been popping up all over the country, many designed with the modern feel of a boutique fitness or yoga studio, and with a variety of class options. Chic, contemporary, and very zen, these drop-in studios offer a new spin on traditional meditation practices.

Tal Rabinowitz, founder and owner of LA’s newest drop-in meditation studio The DEN, started penciling meditation into her daily schedule as an NBC executive. She and several colleagues would try to block off time in their busy days to reflect and unwind. But she wasn’t satisfied, saying, “Sometimes it’s hard on your own. I wanted something better and something regular, before work or after work, kind of like exercise classes.”

That’s when she came up with The DEN. Rabinowitz’s studio is a beautifully designed multi-use space which she says embodies “exactly who I am.” She and her clients can not only take a class, but also lounge, relax and read with a cup of tea. The DEN is unique because of its variety of offerings and evoked feelings of “home.”

While the aesthetics may have changed, the benefits of meditation remain the same, and are perhaps more important than ever. Meditation is proven to reduce tension and anxiety; improve mood and focus; and boost energy and creativity. In this digital era in which we are always connected to the outside, meditation provides an opportunity to unplug and re-focus on the inside. Says Rabinowitz, “We’re all just craving a moment of balance.”

From NYC to LA, here are the new meditation studios that have got even the busiest learning to check out to check in:
 

MNDFL NYC

MNDFL

MNDFL is located in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. MNDFL’s inventors, spiritual blogger Ellie Burrows and The Buddha Walks Into A Bar author Lodro Rinzler, dreamed of a non-traditional, non-religious space to meditate. The modern studio at MNDFL features exposed brick walls, large greenery and neutral-colored plush cushions. MNDFL offers drop in classes for 30 or 45 minutes of modern guided meditation. When you book your cushion, you chose from a “menu” of meditations catered to your mood or current state; for example, there is MNDFL Breath for relaxation, MNDFL Mamas for expecting mothers, or MNDFL Sleep for insomniacs. When classes aren’t taking place, the studio is open to the public for self-guided practice. 10 East 8th St, New York, NY. Photograph: Stephen Wilson

 
Unplug Meditation Center

UNPLUG 

Founded by Suze Yalof Schwartz, former executive fashion editor at Glamour magazine, LA-based UNPLUG was the first of its kind as a chic, boutique meditation studio. Clients can “drop-in” for 30 or 45-minute guided meditation classes, a format that the The New York Times described as “a Drybar for meditation” UNPLUG’s minimalist aesthetics make it a peaceful and uncluttered place to unwind. The classes focus on mindfulness, breath work, and imagination, and the “drop-in” style allows people to investigate the practice of meditation. UNPLUG offers crafted unique meditation programs for kids and corporate groups, too. 12401 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, Ca.
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Another Cup of Coffee? Research Says Yes!

 

SURFER LAIRD HAMILTON WITH HIS NEW LINE OF COFFEE AND CREAMERS

For years coffee drinkers have been told that their love of the buzz was bad for their health. Studies in the 1970s and 80s showed that the ingredients in coffee were tied to increased risk of cancer and heart disease. It is time now to rejoice! In recent years, researchers around the globe have learned that coffee may not be so bad for you after all, and in fact there are quite a few health benefits in that cup o’ joe. Coffee is…

1. A MOOD BOOSTER
We all know that coffee makes you feel more alert and energetic, but researchers report that those who consume 4 cups a day were 20% less likely to be clinically depressed than those having just one cup. Caffeine stimulates the brain’s release of dopamine for mood and anxiety regulation.

2. A HEART NOURISHER
Several studies have found that coffee fanatics drinking 3-5 cups a day have the lowest risk for cardiovascular disease. Please take note this means plain black coffee. Hold the milk and sugar!

3. A METABOLISM SUPPORTER
Caffeine has been linked with weight loss and prevention of weight gain because it can suppress appetite and stimulate calorie burning.

4. A NATURAL LAXATIVE
If you’re feeling backed up, coffee may be able to help. Many ingredients, namely chlorogenic acid, stimulate the distal colon which helps to quickly rid waste from the body.

5. A CANCER FIGHTER
In early 2015, three studies were published that found coffee to reduce risk of skin, endometrial and liver cancer. The National Cancer Institute published a study showing that people who drank four cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 20 percent lower risk of melanoma than non-coffee drinkers. An AACR journal found that women who drink four cups a day have a reduced risk of endometrial cancer. U.K. researchers released an analysis of 34 studies conducted around the world and concluded that coffee consumption—even just one cup a day—reduces the risk of liver cancer.
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Snacking in the Raw

 

 

As I have reported in previous posts, we are big snackers at Style of Sport and always on the lookout for a tasty treat. We recently discovered Go Raw Spirulina Super Chips and Pumpkin Super Chips, a slightly sweet and savory raw chip that has proven to be very addictive around the office. Having heard about the benefits of a raw food diet, we decided to find out more and check out some other raw chips on the market.

The fundamental principle behind a raw food diet is that plant foods in their most natural state, uncooked and unprocessed, are the most wholesome for the body. Staples of the raw food diet include seeds, sprouts, seaweed, whole grains, beans, dried fruits and nuts. Many swear by this way of eating, crediting a raw food diet with weight loss, lowered cholesterol, improved digestion, better immunity, and increased energy, but it is challenging way to live, and not the most fun. When it comes to snacks however, raw chips and crackers are a great healthy alternative to the other baked and fried products on the market.

Raw foods are loaded with enzymes to help the body properly digest and assimilate foods for optimal nutritional value. Raw chips are not cooked, but dehydrated, preserving the nutrients in the ingredients. Organic vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds pack these chips with protein, fiber, omegas, vitamins and minerals. Plus they are naturally low carb and gluten free. Read More

 

Whey, Hemp, Soy & More: The Scoop on Protein Powder

 

 

When recently ordering a protein shake at my favorite local juice bar, Juice Generation, I was offered the choice of soy, hemp or whey protein powder. Not really having any clue about the difference, I ordered whey and then consulted with my contributing fitness and nutrition editor, David Kirsch, to get the scoop on the pros and cons of each.

David Kirsch is the founder and owner of Madison Square Club, a state-of-the-art fitness training and nutritional counseling center in NYC. He is one of the most highly regarded trainers in the fitness industry, sought after by some of the biggest names in the entertainment and fashion worlds — Liv Tyler, Kerry Washington, Julia Roberts, Heidi Klum and Kate Upton, just to name a few. David has his own line extensive line of nutritional products, and vast knowledge of what the body needs to get in shape, look great and function at its best. Below is David’s guide, created just for STYLE OF SPORT, on everything you need to know about protein powder in 750 words or less!

PROTEIN POWDER SUPPLEMENTS – WHICH ONE IS BEST? By David Kirsch

Ideally, the path to optimal health is through consuming a balanced diet of nutrient rich foods in all of the food categories – carbohydrate, protein, fruits, vegetables, dairy and some healthy fat. Eating up to 5 small meals a day every three or so hours is the way to do it. Having said that, the reality is few of us have the time to eat that way. Add to that one’s busy, active lifestyle, the stress of work and life, and one can see why supplements factor in to many people’s diets. This article is going to focus on protein supplements. There are so many choices out there. Which is best and how should they be used? Read More

 

Snack Time: The Best of the Bar

 

 

Late afternoons I often find myself a bit peckish. As an NYC woman on the go, I am always on the quest for a healthy snack bar, one that is easy to find when I’m hungry.  My first grab is usually the KIND BAR, which due to some major distribution, is available at most markets, delis and drugstores.  I happen to love dried fruit and nut clusters, and that is essentially what these are in a pre-packaged bar. They have 200 calories you can easily burn, 1 serving of protein to keep you full (7g) and are relatively low in carbs (17g). There are lots of tasty flavors to choose from, and right in line with the dietary obsession of the moment, are all Gluten free!

The best snack bars have a good balance of protein, carbs, fat and fiber to satisfy your hunger and keep the blood sugar stable. I look for bars with all natural ingredients and whole foods, ones that are low in sugar, have around 200 calories, 7-10 grams of protein and 16-24 grams of carbs. I am not as concerned about fat, 10-12 grams is fine, as long as its coming from things like nuts and the bars are high fiber. Read More

 

Snack Crackin’

 

 

We love a snack at Style Of Sport, especially a crunchy salty one, and know our readers do too. For the last few weeks we have been combing the shelves of Whole Foods and other health food stores, on the quest for healthy cracker to quell our cravings for the savory. We have found some tasty treats that pack a satisfying and nutritious crunch. Below are a few of our favorites that we think you will enjoy as well.

MARYS GONE CRACKERS. Organic, vegan, kosher, soy and gluten-free, relatively low carb and high protein… these whole grain and seed crackers are as delicious as they are nutritious!

BLUE DIAMOND ARTISAN NUT THINS. From the folks who bring you the almonds, and available at most grocery stores, are these delicious wheat and gluten-free brown rice, almond, flax and sesame seed baked crackers.

DOCTOR KRACKER SNACKERS. Artisan bakery inspired, these hearty little crackers are rich and flavorful. Available in varieties like Pumpkin Seed Chedder and Klassic 3 Seed, they are made from organic whole seeds and whole grains, are low carb, and also contain about a serving of protein. Doctor Kracker makes delicious Crispbreads and Crisps as well.

SKINNY CRISPS. Very low carb, high fiber and gluten-free, Skinny Crisps are nutritious and satisfying little cracker chips. They are available in such tasty flavors as Toasty Onion, Say Cheese, The Whole Shebang, and even Chocolate Chip Brownie Crisp for a sweet treat.

BACK TO NATURE CRACKERS. Available in varieties like Classic Rounds, Harvest Whole Wheat and Crispy Chedder, and tasting like a Ritz, Triscuit or Cheez-It, these crackers the healthy alternative to your unhealthy favorites.

CRUNCHMASTER MULTI-SEED CRACKERS. You gotta love the name! Certified gluten-free, these thin crunchy crackers are oven baked, made with a blend of whole grains and seeds, and available in three delicious flavors.

 

WANT MORE HEALTHY SNACKS? CHECK OUT OUR PICKS FOR THE BEST SNACK BARS

 
 

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