Wellness in the RGV

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Did you know the rate of diabetes is about 27% in the Valley, which is almost three times as high as the national average? As we have recently discovered, diabetes is a common denominator in severe COVID-19 cases. Now, more than ever, adopting a healthy lifestyle is critical. Lucky for us, we have experts in the RGV to help us navigate this new world of health and wellness. 

PERSONAL TRAINING AND NUTRITION

Personal trainer, nutritionist, and owner of Fit Science LLC Candace Foxx competes in and hosts bodybuilding competitions all over Texas. However, you don’t have to be a bodybuilder to reap the benefits of a healthy diet and weightlifting regimen! 

Foxx confirmed what most fitness experts have been telling us for years: the 80/20 Rule. The 80/20 rule suggests that 80% of your efforts should go to nutrition and 20% to fitness to see results. 

Foxx is a firm believer in building health and muscle in a natural way. “Nutrition and weightlifting has changed my life,” she said. “Nutrition is the real fountain of youth.” Here are a few of her tips for a healthy diet:

  1. Clean Eating – While the “healthy” meals in the freezer section may be a good place to start, they are extremely processed and loaded with sodium, which will eventually cause you to plateau. “The best source of food is clean, whole food,” Foxx said. “You may need to cook quite a bit and do more dishes than usual, but your body will thank you!”
  2. Portions – Half of your plate should be veggies, a quarter should be protein, and the other quarter carbs. Fad diets don’t last and are a fad for a reason. It is better to introduce healthy foods slowly over time so the food you consume becomes a way of life versus another short-term diet fix.
  3. Buy Smaller Plates – The smaller the plate, the less space you will feel the need to fill. It’s a psychological hack! “Most restaurants give three to four times the necessary serving size,” Foxx said. “Keep this in mind when brunching with friends!”

At the end of the day, every person has different goals and challenges. Consult with a certified nutritionist, like Foxx, so you can better discover how to fuel your body for maximal health. Pair a healthy diet with the proper exercise regimen, and the results will come at a much faster rate. Message fitsciencellc@gmail.com or @candacemfoxx on Instagram to learn more about how Foxx can help you.

YOGA AND STRESS MANAGEMENT

Every single one of us experiences stress. Did you know your stress could be the sneaky little culprit behind your inability to lose weight? Did you know stress is responsible for heart disease, irritable bowel disease, and migraines? Long-term chronic stress increases cortisol, a hormone in our system that signals distress in the body. Many of us live our lives with heightened levels of cortisol in our system, and we don’t even know it! Sometimes, it takes slowing things down to be our best. 

“The three main components of yoga are postures, breath, and spirit,” said Christina Martinez, a level 2 Baptiste yoga instructor and owner of Casa Om Yoga in McAllen. “At my studio, we want you to sweat, move, and meditate!” Some of the things you can expect when you visit Casa Om Yoga are:

  1. Mindfulness – Yoga is a great resource for stress and anxiety management. Through easy breathing and internal composure, this practice gives you the tools to navigate tough moments. Deep breathing calms the nervous system while being mindful and aware of your inner dialogue helps you to move through your practice — and life — in a more peaceful way.
  2. Get Your Sweat On! – At this hot yoga studio, you’ll definitely sweat, which is an incredibly important process for irrigating and detoxing the body. Sweating helps us detox heavy metals and chemicals and cleanses bacteria.
  3. Community – Casa Om Yoga is a great place to find your tribe! Community is such an important part of yoga, as practitioners believe we are all one. In fact, the term OM means exactly that.

If you’re interested in low-impact exercise that not only gives you a good sweat but connects you with your spiritual side, yoga could be the way for you. To connect with Martinez, follow her Instagram @casaomyoga or send her an email at casasomyoga@gmail.com.

PILATES

Another incredible form of low-impact movement that will have you toned in no time is pilates! Bridgette Castañeda of Aramat Pilates shared the top three benefits included in a consistent pilates practice:

  1. Injury Prevention – Pilates actually goes beyond shape and is great for both injury prevention and rehabilitation. After having suffered collapsed discs in her lumbar spine, Castañeda found pilates to be her saving grace. Through this setback, she has been able to help countless students and athletes repair their injuries and prepare for competition. In pilates, it is extremely important to have a strong core.
  2. Body Awareness – In a 50-minute class, the goal is to focus purely on the way your body moves. Castañeda says that pilates helps her clients “reset the way the body and the brain function. It is beyond the way you look. Pilates is a mind and body connection. Pilates helps us age gracefully and function in daily life.”
  3. Release Tension – Pilates creates lean muscle and targets fascia, the thin casing of connective tissue that encapsulates our muscles which can cause tension, pain, and tightness.

With over 14 years of experience, Castañeda is equipped to help practitioners in every stage of life. Her services are so high in demand; she has a waitlist! To connect with Aramat Pilates, email aramatpilates@gmail.com.

Katie Goodman