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What’s on your mind? Ask Dr. Kasia

Katarzyna M. Ostrzenska, M.D. Bay Medical Center Medical Director 7001 Central Avenue, Suite 3 Saint Petersburg, FL 33710

What’s on your mind? Ask Dr. Kasia Hello. I am Dr. Kasia. I am a Board Certified Internist practicing in Saint Petersburg Florida for the past 10 years. I specialize in preventative and anti-aging medicine, as well as weight loss and fitness. Every month I will be highlighting a few of the readers’ questions regarding general health and wellness. Here are this Month’s questions:

What is the number one factor in weight loss success? Weight loss is quite complicated. ALL diets are designed to work only WHILE you are on them. Once you stop your “diet”, you essentially stop your weight loss. So, we diet, we lose weight, we pat ourselves on the back, and we gain it all back… and maybe a little extra. The only way to permanently lose weight is to: First, understand what foods make us gain weight, and more importantly, which foods prevent us from losing weight. Secondly, develop a good working knowledge of the way our body uses fuel to sustain itself. Finally, change our eating habits to force our body to burn the fat and at the same time build muscle. Unfortunately this is not an easy task. To accomplish this we need to take in at least ½ of your lean body weight in grams of protein and dramatically decrease our carbohydrate intake. Our modern day, processed food, diet does very little to help us. The

foods we eat and “love” are loaded with carbohydrates and fats, and contain very little quality proteins. So you must find a good protein source. Limit your meats and increase your plant based protein intake. At the same time, decrease your carbohydrate intake to minimal and do not start exercising until you are ½ way through your weight loss program (I thought you would like that). For more detailed information Bay Medical Center offers free seminars to the public every month!

What is cosmetic Gynecology? This new and innovative cosmetic service is growing in popularity. The many different procedures are designed to address a number of different problems faced by Women who have given birth, are going through hormonal changes or just dislike the way they look “down there”. Some of the procedures available include: Vaginal tightening, G-spot amplification, and labioplasty which reduces the size of genital lips. There are many Gynecologists offering these procedures, and they are not covered by insurance. These procedures can be tricky and it is vital to choose an experienced Gynecologist to attain the desired effects and to minimize complications. You can contact me directly if you need help choosing someone in this area. For next month’s questions please e-mail me directly at

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How To Improve Your Balance in Five Minutes As a medical exercise specialist; I work with a lot of people who come to me with injuries. Broken bones, twisted or sprained ankles, dislocations, broken noses, injured elbows and knees, hurt backs, and hip problems. Often these injuries are due to a fall because of poor balance. The amazing thing is most people believe they have good balance. In fact, they haven’t, and with a few quick assessments we can prove it. Poor balance is common in people who do not engage in regular physical activity. Surprisingly, I also see poor balance in avid runners, strength trainers, marshal artists, hikers, cyclists... just about everyone I assess.

As well as reducing the risk of injury, good balance strengthens and stabilizes joints, and creates more efficient body movement. This allows for smoother overall daily functioning, and enhanced sports performance.


use their eyes to maintain their bal2. Balance on the ance. As soon as the other leg eyes are taken out of How was that? Many the equation, we ofpeople find that they ten lose our balance, can balance better and this is when acon one leg than the cidents happen. Let’s other. face it, when you are walking to your 3. Balance on one house carrying bags leg with your eyes of groceries, and you closed trip on something in Assessing Your Bal- How did that work the driveway, you ance in 3 Easy Steps for you? A little harddon’t have time to (Stand beside a wall er I’ll bet. focus your eyes on when doing these If you were able to the horizon to regain assessments in case balance for thirty your balance. Nope, you need something seconds without falit’s over, and you’re stable to lean on) tering, then you are flat on your face. doing pretty well. If 1. Lift one leg not, you’ve got some How long can you work to do. How to Improve remain balanced, Your Balance without putting your Did closing your I train people to hone foot down, or holdeyes make it more their internal baling onto the wall for difficult to stay balance autopilot, so support? Did your anced? I bet it did. when the body feels ankle wobble around Why? Because most the slightest sense a lot? Did it feel un- people mistakenly of instability, it can

automatically right itself. This is safer, more functional, and highly efficient.

stage. Hold a ball in your hands, and balance on one leg. While balancing, toss the ball against the Stage 1 wall, and catch it. Practice balance by Playing catch with simply standing on yourself forces your one leg for as long mind to concentrate as you can. While on catching the ball, balancing, move leaving your body your head from side to focus on balance. to side, and up and This really hones down. Never allow your balance autoyour eyes to focus on pilot. It’s even more a particular spot for fun to play catch more than one secwith a friend who is ond. This will force also balancing. you to balance with your body, rather Stage 3 than your eyes. Your Once you have goal is to be able to reached the stage 2 remain stable for one goal, you can adminute. vance to this next stage. Begin by balStage 2 ancing on one leg. When you have Hop into the air, and reached the Stage 1 land on the opposite goal, you can progleg. Once you are ress to this next stable, hop into the

air again, and land on the other leg. Your goal is to be able to hop from one leg to the other for three to five minutes without faltering. Mastered this? Then find a friend, and play catch with each other while hopping about the room. Be prepared to laugh, a lot! You’ll be amazed how much your balance improves by practicing just five minutes each day. Have fun with this, and notice how quickly you see improvements. Astrid Whiting, author, columnist, Medical Exercise Specialist, CPT.

The Truth Aout Fitness Myths By: Kathy A. Johnson

You’ve heard crunches are the cure-all for the lower belly pooch. You’ve seen fellow joggers lugging dumbbells on their treks. You’ve even tried working out hard every day to get fit because your friends tell you more is better. But, do these widely spread fitness myths really get the fitness job done? The truth is that fitness myths actually can keep you from exercising effectively, may put you at risk for injury, and even discourage you from working out at all because they set you up to have unrealistic expectations. Here we bust 10 fitness myths that may be keeping you from reaching your fitness goals.

Fitness myth #1: Crunches will give you a flat belly. Sorry: You can’t choose where you lose fat. Abdominal workouts strengthen your muscles but won’t melt away the fat that lies over them. Burn belly fat the same way you burn all excess fat: by doing cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Fitness myth #2: Weight machines are better than free weights. “Not necessarily,” says Paul Killian, a strength and conditioning specialist certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). “If you’re doing a routine that is appropriate for you, then using free weights is just as safe. Don’t limit yourself to machines.” Machines must be adjusted correctly for your height and weight to be safe, also. Without a professional to help with the right settings, you put yourself at risk for injury.

Fitness myth #3: Holding weights while doing cardio burns more calories. You’ve seen them -- those power walkers swinging dumbbells while racking up the miles. While you do burn slightly more calories this way, you also increase your risk of injury, especially to your elbows or shoulders. A safer way to pump up your calorie burn is to increase your workout intensity (for example, jog instead of walk) or add interval training to your cardio workouts. Fitness myth #4: Yoga and stretching will make your muscles long and lean. Yoga and stretching both benefit your body, but they can’t permanently lengthen your muscles. The only way to look leaner is to lose body fat through diet and exercise. Fitness myth #5: Being skinny is the same as being fit. True fitness is more than a number on the scale or a jeans size. You can be quite slender but still fail to have a healthy cardiovascular system and strong and flexible muscles. Fitness myth #6: No pain, no gain. Killian notes, “Pain is an indication that you’re overtraining or that you’re simply doing the exercise wrong. Repeated bouts of painful exercise can lead to injury and permanent damage. Only go to the point of mild discomfort.” If you want to make sure you’re working hard enough, Killian recommends using “perceived exertion,” or how hard you feel your body is working based on physical sensations such as increased heart rate, respiration and muscle fatigue. (See the CDC’s Perceived Exertion Scale for more information.) Fitness myth #7:

Lifting weights give women bulky muscles. To build big, bodybuilder-style muscles, you need plenty of testosterone. The average woman simply doesn’t produce enough. What weight lifting will do is build strong muscles, and help you lose weight faster by increasing your metabolism. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue. Fitness myth #8: If you can’t work out enough to lose weight, don’t bother. Many studies have demonstrated that physical activity improves health and quality of life. “Every system of the body benefits from exercise,” says Killian. “It improves your mental attitude and also helps ward off heart disease, which is the number-one killer of women.” Fitness myth #9: You can’t work out too much. Overtraining puts you at risk for injury and burnout. Some experts say that, in general, an hour a day is enough. Also, allow a day of rest between strength training sessions to give your muscles a chance to recover. Fitness myth #10: If you stop working out, your muscles will turn to fat. It’s physically impossible for muscle to turn to fat because they are two different types of tissues. You can lose muscle mass if you stop working out, and the result may be weight (fat) gain, particularly if you continue to eat as much as you did while you were working out and burning more calories. Don’t let fitness myths keep you from feeling and looking your best. Consult with a fitness professional if you have questions about an activity’s safety.

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October Monica  
October Monica  

October edition of Images Elite Magazine featuring Monica from Tampa