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Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

American Heart Month Means Time to Get in Shape

February 6th, 2014 Raquel Rothe

María Simón

Celebrity fitness trainer, volunteer

So it’s February, and although resolutions are beginning to fade, they’re still there, shining dimly in the background of your mental to-do list. The determination to get back in shape is still alive, but already unforgiving schedules, nagging colds, and less-than-optimal weather conditions have gotten in the way.

Whatever you do, don’t give up… February is here to the rescue! What better time to get back on the wagon than during American Heart Month! Whether your goal is to lose weight, lower your blood pressure or simply become more active, the path is clear and, contrary to what the negative voices in our heads are saying, these goals are attainable.

I’m all for vanity as a great motivator to get healthy, but let’s not lose sight of the most important goal: to live longer and stronger. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women, even more than all cancers… combined! Obviously, excess fat is a contributing factor, and dropping a few pounds greatly improves heart health. Nevertheless, losing weight shouldn’t be the only focus. After all, in case you haven’t heard, strong is the new skinny! It is important to be informed and have realistic goals.

Research by the American Heart Association has shown that visceral (abdominal) fat is directly related to higher incidences of heart health issues. But before you throw yourself to the floor in a frantic attempt to do as many crunches as humanly possible, know that six-pack abs are no more healthier than those with reasonable height-to-weight ratios. The American Heart Association recommends a waist circumference that is less than 35 inches for women. However, this is relative to height. Therefore, a waist circumference that is less than half of one’s height is another guideline toward procuring a healthy size, as opposed to going by the air-brushed model on the cover of your favorite magazine.

By now, we’ve been bombarded with every lose-weight-quick diet tip and get-flat-abs-quicker exercise routine. Fitness professionals, like myself, are forever searching for exciting exercise combinations in order to motivate our clients. But between you and me, the truth is, simple is best. Sometimes, just finding the time (and a wearable sports bra) is complicated enough.

The American Heart Association recommends at least 30-45 minutes of any exercise to achieve a healthier lifestyle. The keyword here is “any.” You don’t have to be drenched in sweat and feel like you’re about to die in order to have accomplished a good work-out, but if you’re determined, a lot can be done in just 30 minutes.

Start with a casual warm-up, jogging in place for a minute, increase to sprinting for another minute, and add jumping jacks for yet another minute. You can go back to sprinting, then jogging to bring your intensity down before stopping. Add some arm circles and leg swings for dynamic stretches while keeping your heart rate somewhat elevated.

Now that you’re all warmed up, let’s use your home as a gym. The bottom two steps of any stairway can be used as a “stepper” to do alternating step-ups, adding knee raises to work the quadriceps and then heel lifts to work the hamstrings and glutes. Use a dining room chair for tricep dips, and you can even sit in the chair, hold on to your seat (literally), bring your knees into your chest and extend your legs for a great abdominal workout.

Finally, take it to the floor and add some planks to the mix, going from elbows to hands to make it a little more interesting (if not entertaining) for an effective core and upper body exercise. Spend a couple of minutes at each of your homemade stations, take a one-minute water break, and repeat three times. End your at-home exercise routine by holding a few static stretches and you are good to go!

Find out more information about Health Benefits of Weight Training for Women,Abdominal Exercises that Strengthen Your Core and other heart-healthy routines by visiting Go Red For Women.

This blog post is part of a series produced by The Huffington Post andlesscancer.org, in recognition of both World Cancer Day and National Cancer Prevention Day (both Feb. 4), and in conjunction with lesscancer.org’s panel oncancer in Washington that day. To see all the other posts in the series, clickhere. For more information about lesscancer.org, click here


July 19th, 2013 Raquel Rothe
Posted July 18, 2013 at 10:19 am

by Laurie Saloman/El Dorado Springs Sun

Take a page from the olden days and get enough rest despite the challenges of today’s modern life.

Have you ever wondered if a good night’s sleep was more easily achieved a century ago than today? While our basic human need for rest remains the same, the landscape of modern life looks very different than it did 100 or more years ago. And while some developments have made life easier, certain inventions have made it harder to get much-needed rest:

Electronics. There certainly were no cell phones, TVs or iPads at the turn of the last century. Home lighting, if there was any, was far more rudimentary than it is today. Many families relied on candlelight. Inconvenient, perhaps, but the lack of electricity and electronic devices meant people generally went to bed once it was dark outside. Today, there are a myriad of distractions that may keep you from your bed. Compounding the problem is that studies show exposure to light stimulates our brains and can keep you awake long after you’ve finally shut down electronics. Experts recommend keeping computers, TVs, cell phones, and other light-emitting devices out of the bedroom, or at least powering them down so they don’t give off ambient light.

Automated Work. In the last century, physical labor was common. Most people didn’t have cars, so they walked more. Many people had to work hard to grow and prepare their own food. Life was not spent sitting behind the wheel or behind a desk, the way it is now for so many of us. A hundred years ago nobody went to the gym after work, because they didn’t have to—they got plenty of physical exercise just going about their day. This activity no doubt helped them fall asleep easily at bedtime and sleep more soundly. In contrast, people who don’t hit the gym until 8 p.m. may be wired well past midnight, as experts say it takes hours after exercise for body temperature to drop enough to induce sleep.

Blackout shades and sleep masks. Many people rely on these so daylight streaming in through the curtains doesn’t disturb them. But 100 years ago, people often got up when the sun rose. Just as they didn’t rely on artificial light to keep them up at night, they didn’t depend on artificial dark to keep them asleep in the morning. Research at the University of Toronto shows that early birds are happier and healthier than night owls, so open your shades and let nature guide your sleep habits.

Microwaves. Studies indicate that eating too close to bedtime can cause abdominal discomfort and interfere with sleep. A century ago, it was much more of an effort to prepare or reheat a meal. Today, it’s all too easy to press a few buttons and have a meal at any hour. Try to eat dinner at a reasonably early hour every night, and you’ll go to bed feeling satisfied, not uncomfortably full.

Patient-Athletes and The Spectrum of Health

June 12th, 2013 Raquel Rothe

By David Lain, PhD, JD, FAARC, FCCP, RRT, RCP

Posted on: June 5, 2013
The Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans 2013 is in the books. Race day was April 21st. The conditions were nearly perfect and the professional athletes provided one of the most exciting finishes for 70.3 miles on record. My time was not as impressive as the professionals — not even close to my best time — but I raced for another reason. I raced to support Ochsner.

Years ago, I worked at Memorial Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia. There, we had a top-level neonatal unit, and like all NICUs, we’d occasionally reach capacity. As part of our neonatal program we had a neonatal transport team, of which I was a member. We’d transport babies to and from our hospital via ambulance, helicopter and fixed wing. Some of our longest transports landed us at Ochsner. While I never worked at Ochsner, those transports, their receiving teams, and the shared spirit left me with a binding impression. I was determined to race the Ironman 70.3 in New Orleans because of Ochsner.

What is impressive is that Ochsner supports an event where the participants are often at the opposite end of a spectrum of wellness compared to the individuals they treat. Ochsner is not alone in this pursuit.

Herman Hospital in Texas supports an Ironman 140.6 event. This is the longest Ironman distance made popular by the annual Ironman World Championship held in Kona, Hawaii. Kaiser-Permanente sponsors an event, as do many other hospitals with events ranging from 5K runs to marathons as well as triathlons. Hospitals offer more to the community than a place to go when you are sick or injured.

Hospitals are vital to a community. Of course, they are the haven for health care, but health care goes beyond managing the infirmed. One hospital, and probably others, offers a fitness gym within its Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab Center. The patient with lung disease or the runner preparing for her next 10K race could occupy treadmills positioned side-by-side. There, in that center, side-by-side, were athletes and patient-athletes.

At a rehab program in Tennessee I was introduced to two gentlemen just after they’d finished an hour on a treadmill. During their workout they were side-by-side and glancing over observing the speed to which their neighbor’s treadmill had been set. It was possible to watch one, see him cut his eyes over, and then momentarily increase is speed. Then, naturally, his colleague repeated the maneuver. What I learned is that neither man could make it into the building without assistance when they enrolled into the program. Several weeks later, both men completed the hospital’s 5K event. They didn’t set records or place in their age groups. But they both earned more than a finisher’s medal.

Hospitals can inspire individuals; they are filled with inspiring people. When our hospitals extend and promote health and wellness it goes noticed. Those of us that participate in sporting events and work in health care recognize that at anytime we can become patient-athletes.

Exercise and sleep

July 13th, 2012 Raquel Rothe

Did you know: doing aerobic exercise in the morning at least once a week will give you a better, deeper sleep.

Sleep tracking brings new info to athletes

June 27th, 2012 Raquel Rothe

Great article by ESPN Sports so I wanted to share it with you.  It is about athletes and their sleep:


21 Easy Tweaks for 2012

January 3rd, 2012 Raquel Rothe


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21 Easy Tweaks for the New Year

January 3rd, 2012 Raquel Rothe

NFL’s #1 Draft Pick Claims Sleep Apnea Slowed Him Down

November 13th, 2011 Raquel Rothe

NFL’s #1 Draft Pick Claims Sleep Apnea Slowed Him Down

Sleep apnea weaved its way into the national consciousness back in 2004 when legendary NFL lineman Reggie White died in his sleep at the age of 43. The NFL-apnea connection appeared yet again in a late October 2011 article in Sports Illustrated that documented the rise and dramatic fall of the Oakland Raiders’ #1 overall pick in the 2007 draft.

Many NFL fans remember JaMarcus Russell, a 6-foot, 7-inch quarterback with a rocket arm who flamed out of the league, a victim of a questionable work ethic that may have been made worse by sleep apnea.

Russell reports that the condition contributed to lethargic practices and less-than-alert film sessions. “In the NFL, my first year, I had to be there at 6:30 before practice and be on the treadmill for an hour,” said Russell in the article by L. Jon Wertheim. “Then meetings come, I sit down, eat my fruit. We watch film, and maybe I got tired. Coach Flip [quarterback coach John DeFilippo] pulled me aside and said, ‘What are you doing for night life?’ I said, ‘Coach, I’m just chilling.’ He said, ‘I need to get you checked out.’ I did the sleep test, and they said I had apnea.”

At another point in the article, Russell’s former “life coach,” ex NBA player John Lucas, said: “JaMarcus is a good kid, I’m telling you, who just needs to find his motivation. But we still talk. Have him tell you about his sleep apnea. A lot [of his issues] come from that. And no one knows it.” The article does not mention CPAP, oral appliances, compliance, or whether Russell underwent any therapy for the condition.

Almost 7 years after her husband’s death, Reggie White’s widow went on television this week to spread the word about sleep apnea. Last week, former San Diego Chargers’ offensive lineman Aaron Taylor, along with Rolf Benirschke, a kicker for the Chargers, attended yet another media event to talk about their own battles with sleep apnea.

link to the Benirschke article.


link to the Sports Illustrated article


October Marie Claire Magazine has Narcolepsy Article

September 22nd, 2011 Raquel Rothe

New Guidelines for Exercise in Type 2 Diabetes

September 2nd, 2011 Raquel Rothe

It is now well established that participation in regular physical activity improves blood glucose control and can prevent or delay type 2 diabetes mellitus, along with positively affecting lipids, blood pressure, cardiovascular events, mortality, and quality of life.