22 minute read

SRQ | January 2020


Happiness often renders health, longevity, well-being and success. But happiness isn’t something that just happens. Optimists may look at the glass half full, pessimists rather see it bleakly emptied. But opportunists, they grab the glass and go fill it themselves. Everyone has the power to make small changes in their lifestyle—from surroundings, relationships and mindfulness, to diet, fitness and sleep behavior—that can help set the course for a brighter mood and sunny disposition. With the dawn of a new decade, get strong, be well and prosper. Bring on 2020.


Sleep Tight

Soothing, serene sleep is elusive to many. But there are few things more important to wellness than quality rest, local board-certified sleep medicine doctors say. For those with little idea where to begin, Dr. Jeffrey Ortstadt of Pinnacle Medical Group in Bradenton suggests aiming for seven to nine hours of sleep nightly. “Individual sleep needs vary, with some people requiring eight hours or more to feel well and some requiring less,” Ortstadt says. “Research shows that seven to nine hours nightly is the optimal range for humans to perform best during the day, and to live the longest, healthiest lives.”

Waking at the same time each day is an equally efficient activity. Patients should head outdoors within 30 minutes of rising, and soak up the daylight for 10 to 20 minutes without wearing sunglasses. “Unfiltered sunlight exposure is a strong stimulus to train your internal clock (circadian rhythm) to awaken at the same time each day and to fall asleep near the same time each night,” Ortstadt says. “If you can’t go outdoors, sit in a sunny room facing east with the curtains open for 10 to 20 minutes.” Patients who wake before sunrise and cannot get immediate daylight exposure, or those who live where there is not easy access to daylight, should purchase a 10,000-lux light-emitting diode bright-light therapy lamp (and sit near the fully illuminated lamp for 15 to 30 minutes each morning). This is even more crucial during the fall and winter months, Ortstadt says, when daylight hours are shorter and the sun rises later. “Also, get some daily aerobic exercise for 30 to 40 minutes,” Ortstadt says. “Exercise such as yoga, Pilates, cycling, jogging, the elliptical trainer and swimming help improve the mood, reduce anxiety, enhance brain and heart health, and improve sleep quality.” Like Ortstadt, Dr. Steven Scheer of Optimal Sleep Health in Sarasota agrees that sleep problems often come down to a number of behavioral patterns that occur during the day. “There are so many ways to not get a good night’s sleep, which is part of the reason there is a sleep medicine subspecialty in the medical community,” Scheer says.

So evaluation and questioning is key when prescribing treatment. Questions are raised about recent health changes, sleeping partners, pre-bedtime routines, caffeine and alcohol consumption, and anxiety and depression history.“Medication history is especially important, not only with sleeping pill and over-the-counter drug usage, but also with non-sleep medicines that affect sleep,” Scheer says. “Not all people who are referred to a sleep specialist need a sleep study. I am thinking, for example, of the patient I saw with a chief complaint of insomnia who was consuming a dozen Diet Cokes a day—and this was a very intelligent man.”

Dr. Matthew Edlund of the Center for Circadian Medicine in Sarasota says the significance of sleep cannot be downplayed. “Sleep is like food. It’s necessary for survival. Every animal experimentally studied eventually dies from sleep deprivation. We love food, enjoy food, so we should love sleep,” Edlund says. “The body is an information system that has to learn and get rebuilt to survive. We rebuild in sleep, regenerate and renew, which means we need to give sleep enough time.” This can be done by properly timing the body’s inner clocks, he says. “Time rules life. Body clocks time our lives. If our clocks are tight, we live a whole lot better. If they are off, things don’t work so well,” Edlund says. “Whether you are an owl or lark, or a night or morning person, you want to have your inner clocks timed right.”—AW

SOURCES Pinnacle Medical Group: 7005 Cortez Rd. W., Bradenton, 941-465-4800, pinnacledoctors.com. Optimal Sleep Health: 2020 Cattlemen Rd., Ste. 400, Sarasota, 941-342-3400, optimalsleephealth.com. The Center for Circadian Medicine, 1241 S. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-365-4308, regenerationhealthnews.com/sleep-center.

Quiet Moments


Bird’s Eye


Mega Omegas

Omegas—the fatty acids with a fountain-of-youth-type magic—keep the skin, brain and body fit and fresh. “Omega-3s are important for the proper functioning of every cell in the body for people at all stages of life,” says Dr. Anne-Marie Chalmers of Omega3 Innovations in Venice. “But 98 percent of Americans have low levels, even people with otherwise healthy diets.” To combat this, patients need to eat foods (various types of fish, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits) or take supplements to get an effective omega-3 dose. At least 2,000 milligrams of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) daily is recommended, Chalmers says. “Omega-3s, omega-6s and omega-9s are all important fatty acids,” says Dr. Dan Watts of The Renewal Point in Sarasota. “In younger people, they improve brain function, guard against attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, improve communication and social skills, and decrease behavioral problems and risks of developmental delay.” Chalmers has also seen remarkable stories of improvement from children on the autism spectrum. “One mom shared with me that her daughter now has one temper tantrum a week rather than several per day,” Chalmers says. “Another parent shared that her son was now able to sit still while she read him an entire picture book. These seemingly small improvements can be life-changing for families.” In adults, omega-3 consumption is linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmunity and mental disorders. It aids bone and joint health, sleep, anxiety and depression. “While omega oils do not cause an immediate effect on the body, people who eat whole foods chock-full of omega oils should experience better health over time,” Watts says. “The anti-inflammatory effects are usually seen the quickest, while metabolic and skin improvements happen a little later. Over time, the brain function and overall psyche should improve.” —AW

Keto Connection

Adult-onset diabetes is often a diet-fueled dilemma, but a ketogenic regimen can keep the disease at bay and boost energy in the process. Dr. Rebecca Patton, a chiropractor at Revolution Health Sarasota, regularly recommends this popular high-fat, low-carbohydrate, moderateprotein option to her clients. “Keto refers to ketone or ketosis—this is where your body gets some of its energy from fat. It either will make ketones from the fat you eat or the fat stores you already have in your body or both,” Patton says. “The concept is to switch the body from using carbohydrates to fat as its main source of fuel.” When a patient has Type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance, “they are changing the source of energy that their body is using,” Patton says. This is important because it can help eliminate large spikes in blood sugar, reducing the need for insulin. There is much more energy in one molecule of fat than there is in one molecule of sugar (or carbohydrate). “There is also more energy production from following a ketogenic diet. It’s like rocket fuel for your brain and your metabolism, and it doesn’t require insulin to get into the cell the same way,” Patton says. “It is a completely different source and there is more energy in the fat than there is in carbohydrates. The ketogenic diet is very effective, especially when combined with intermittent fasting, as the body will rely on burning fat.” Typically, the body derives its energy from glucose, which requires insulin. When patients are in nutritional ketosis, their bodies become fat burners and not sugar burners. “I have had patients who have followed a ketogenic diet who not only were able to reduce or come off their diabetic medications,” Patton says, “but they saw improvement in their cognition as well.” —AW

SOURCES The Renewal Point: 4905 Clark Rd., Sarasota, 941-926-4905, therenewalpoint.com. Omega3 Innovations: 727 Commerce Dr., Venice, 941-485-4400, omega3innovations.com. Revolution Health, Sarasota, 9025 Town Center Pkwy., Lakewood Ranch, 941-900-4500, revolutionhealthlwr.com



Yoga—an ancient spiritual practice that dates back to 6th-century B.C. India—is still evolving on the 21st-century Gulf Coast.

Human yoga classes with the aid of animals are a growing fad, and they are as adorable for photos as they are effective for fitness. A study by the National Institutes of Health in 2012 found that, when people interact with animals, it triggers a release of feel-good chemicals in the brain that can lessen stress. Fruitville Grove has capitalized on the goat yoga trend, calling itself “the home of the original Sarasota Goat Yoga” where patrons can “get a good workout, find your center and hang out with some adorable goats.” Even less cutesy creatures are inching their way into the yoga universe. Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium has invited patrons to “om for the oceans” during its “Yoga with the Sharks” events, held in the courtyard overlooking the Shark Tracker exhibit. The sea predators swim while practitioners pose. Of course, there are still the traditional yoga standbys: the Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Iyengar, Bikram, Hatha, Sivananda, Vedic Thai, Yin and Power varieties. But, sometimes, people just need to think outside the bendy box and commune with a furry fitness friend between postures. Hanging upside down from the ceiling in a sling hammock while holding a headstand or going on an overseas yoga retreat doesn’t hurt either.

“We offer yoga retreat excursions in different areas of the world, such as Cuba and Bali,”
— Jamie Coffey, yoga instructor and founder/director of Sarasota’s Be Hummingbird.
“These are designed to get people out of their comfort zone and into a new and unfamiliar culture. We practice daily meditation and yoga and explore the sights, but also give back to the community.”

CircuSoul Yoga

Specializing in hot, warm and Yin yoga, as well as yoga therapy and aerial yoga, this studio offers public classes, workshops, continuing education and teacher trainings. It is the only school in the nation to offer a comprehensive aerial yoga certification and is the premier location for this training. There is even specialized care for injured students via private yoga, Vedic Thai yoga and yoga therapy. 4141 S. Tamiami Trl., Ste. 6, Sarasota, 941-922-9642, circusoul.com.

The Yoga Shack

A warm power Vinyasa community “with splashes of yin and yang,” this locale invites practitioners to sweat out their stress while improving their yoga postures. There are Vinyasa flow classes in 85- to 95-degree heated rooms; and blends of Ashtanga and Vinyasa classes at 80 degrees. The studio’s one-hour labs (workshop-style classes) give patrons the space to “experiment, discover and explore different parts” of the yoga practice. 514 Central Ave., Sarasota; and 5302 Paylor Ln., Sarasota, 941- 217-6066, theyogashack.com.

Iyengar Yoga Sarasota

An ideal choice for students new to yoga, the Iyengar method at this studio focuses on classical postures and helps build foundations. Students develop flexibility and body awareness, learn proper alignment, and are taught how to incorporate props. The class is held as a weekly series, beginning with basic standing and seated poses. There is even an Iyengar yoga and Ayurvedic retreat in Costa Rica.312 N. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-363-1085, iyengaryogasarasota.com.

Yoga from the Heart

Beginners, athletes and advanced practitioners intermingle at this studio, where there is a class for every skill level. Yoga and Restoratives helps practitioners focus on rest and revitalization; Beginners’ Yoga and Meditation teaches the basics of breathing and postures; Community Drop-In Yoga is offered at a discounted rate of $10; and Basics for Beginners establishes an understanding of the practice in a simple, straightforward way. 2010 Pine Ter., Ste. B, Sarasota, 941-929- 9878, yogafromtheheart.com.

Thavma Premium Yoga Studio

Thavma means “miracle,” which is what this studio’s owners have experienced after decades of practicing Hatha yoga. The classes include Bikram yoga, a 90-minute hot yoga class with 26 postures; the Thavma method, which is a synergy of Bikram and Vinyasa with Iyengar holds, fused with core- and glute-sculpting exercises; and the Thavma Phoenix method, a Hatha yoga class designed for people dealing with injuries. 3800 S. Tamiami Trl., #17, Sarasota; and 1821 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton, 941-914- 4538, thavmayoga.com.

Be Hummingbird

Inspired by yogic connection, this studio’s mission is to share daily meditation and yoga, and help practitioners recreate in nature. Vinyasa and Hatha practices are taught here, as well as Morning Glory Gentle Yoga (which involves awakening the senses, calming the “monkey mind” and stretching the body in a restorative and safe environment). Classes are held at Rosemary Court Yoga. There are overseas retreats too. P.O. Box 2065, Sarasota (classes often held at Rosemary Court Yoga, 810 Central Ave., Sarasota), 941-350-5120, behummingbird.com. —A.Weingarten

Moving Toward Mindfulness

Jamie Coffey of Be Hummingbird

Mindfulness—the ability to stay fully present in the moment—is not easily attained in a hyper-chaotic culture. But meditation helps. So does yoga. The combination of the two is even better. “Every day, we are bombarded by sensory information at a dizzying rate, and the effects of media exposure and stress are being seen across all age groups,” says Claudia Baeza, the owner of Pineapple Yoga + Cycling Studio in Sarasota, who trained in mindfulness and meditation at the Kripalu School of Yoga. “Starting a mindfulness practice is one easy way that can help ameliorate these effects, and it should be used daily for a healthier, happier life.” Most Westerners are not taught how to access a state of calm mental clarity, so teachers like Baeza act as guides.“I nurture the inner witness through both yoga postures and guided meditation,” Baeza says. “Through yoga, the mind is purified of falsehoods so that impediments can slowly be removed as the body becomes stronger. The mind and body work together so the practitioner can feel more joy and happiness.” Jamie Coffey, a yoga instructor and the founder/director of Sarasota’s Be Hummingbird, believes this mind-body-spirit connection all begins with breath. “It is the most sacred thing we do, inhaling and exhaling. It’s everything. When you’re truly with your breath, you’re nowhere else but in that moment,” Coffey says. “And that leads us to a state of absolute mindfulness and presence, which inherently brings about the qualities of balance, bliss, compassion and gratitude.” —AW

Claudia Baeza of Pineapple Yoga
MINDFULNESS SOURCES Claudia Baeza (bottom right) of Pineapple Yoga + Cycling Studio: 517 S. Pineapple Ave., Sarasota, 941-210-3739, pineappleyogastudio.net. Jamie Coffey (bottom left) of Be Hummingbird: P.O. Box 2065, Sarasota (classes often held at Rosemary Court Yoga, 810 Central Ave., Sarasota), 941-350-5120, behummingbird.com. BELOW Iyengar Yoga (left) and Yoga Shack (center and right).

Seriously Strong

With an eye for fitness potential and the prowess to maximize it, personal trainer Justin Bond pushes his clients to excel. “I see what people are capable of and I expose it,” says Bond, who is based at Sarasota’s Crunch Fitness on Lockwood Ridge Road. This foresight gives Bond the edge when it comes to cultivating the hardestworking clients: —the ones with the goals, guts and grit. By customtailoring their routines—from cross-training to resistance-focused exercises—and continually upping the intensity, Bond helps them achieve head-turning transformations (and major mental fortitude). “Physical fitness brings out the best in people. It’s a place where you can let your mind go and put everything into it,” Bond says. “The harder you push yourself to be the best, the easier life gets.” Bond knows this firsthand. A basketball and bodybuilding athlete, Bond has pushed himself past multiple sports injuries, including three anterior cruciate ligament tears. The setbacks gave him humility and inspired him to instill tenacity in others. He recently taught this to one of his young male clients, helping him lose 55 pounds and gain lean muscle (and big self-esteem) on his way to college. “He was tired of how he looked and felt about himself, so I helped him build confidence, discipline and a work ethic that few have,” Bond says. “He accomplished what he wanted because he put the work in. He can carry that same mindset into his future, where he can be anything he sets his mind to.” —AW

Aging and Active

Revving up clients’ muscles and stamina as they age, trainer Michele Rose is the right-hand woman for retired gym-goers. The owner of BeFitSRQ in Sarasota, Rose keeps her clients injury-free by teaching them the most up-to-date full-body exercises. Drawing from her background in cycling, running, swimming and tennis, she helps aging clients with balance, mobility and muscle-building. “Most of my clients have had some kind of issue, whether it’s a knee, back, hip or shoulder problem. They may have previously gotten hurt at a gym or are afraid to work out by themselves or just need motivation,” Rose says. “I want my clients to be confident and strong. When older clients come in to see me, they will say, ‘I’m old. I have aches and pains because I’m old.’ I reply, ‘Are you sure it’s because you’re old or because you do not move?’” Rose offers them the example of the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz who does not functionally move until his body is oiled. “Our bodies work the same. If we don’t move, we become stiff, inflexible and immobile. Once we start to move, we produce more of what’s called synovial fluid in our joints, and this synovial fluid lubricates everything,” Rose says. “To maintain balance, preserve mobility and stay strong as we age, we have to successfully incorporate a movement and exercise program into our daily lives. I show my clients that it’s easy and fun. This is the key to happy longevity.” —AW

Busy and Buff

Give personal trainer Patricia Dore 30 minutes and she’ll utilize every second to the fullest, getting her busy clients into shape in the short amounts of time they can spare. At Studio South Fitness in Sarasota, Dore brings her dance, yoga and bodybuilding experience into her coaching methods—and packs it all into a well-rounded (and often brief ) workout. “You’d be amazed at how much I can accomplish in a 30-minute session. I use lots of compound movements, and my workouts flow dynamically from one exercise to the next, like a dance,” Dore says. “I use proprioceptive tools and awkward objects to make the brain work harder to inform the muscles. I keep the mood light and fun, even though my clients are working hard.” To work her clients as effectively and quickly as possible, Dore opts for a “functional fitness” style— exercises that move the body as a whole. “We don’t go through life moving one muscle group at a time, so weight machines that isolate muscle groups will only get you so far,” Dore says. “I want my clients to move with ease, balance and strength throughout their lives, and functional fitness accomplishes that.” Her knowledge of posture, balance, alignment and body biomechanics (learned from dancing) seamlessly translate into training, she says. “It’s as if I can feel what my client is physically feeling, and I choose the best exercises for them,” Dore says. “It’s so gratifying to see people transform and become the best versions of themselves.” —AW

Wading Around


Sunset Hour


The Balanced Life

Gracefully aging or chronically aching? Improper balance could be the culprit. During the transition to the senior years, stability can suffer due to a number of factors—from tight muscles to dizziness brought on by medications—and it can have a degenerative effect if it is not treated quickly.

“To maintain your balance as you age, you want to maintain the appropriate strength because, when you have a strong core and foundation, your chances of losing balance, having a misstep or falling substantially decrease,” says Tim Burnell, the owner of Back In Motion Physical Therapy in Sarasota. Burnell helps his clients embark on strength-training programs to promote a toned, stable core. Often, the regimens start in the office and evolve into homebased routines. Something as simple as rigid calf muscles, for example, can lead to stumbling. Vertigo is also a common problem.

“A lot of people don’t realize that vertigo can be quickly remedied, and we have a very high success rate of curing certain types of vertigo in just a couple of treatments,” Burnell says. “We can move the head in a series of positions to help those canals that have been occluded.” To stay proactive about balance, seniors should undergo annual vision and hearing screenings, says Chip Fisher, co-owner of FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers in Sarasota. Patients can take it further by reducing tripping hazards in the home, keeping adequate lighting and installing grab bars.

“Often, someone who has had a fall develops a fear of falling, which may cause them to further limit their activities. If this is the case, it’s very important to see a physical therapist to safely return to normal activity and mobility,” Fisher says. “Our balance programs focus on strength, endurance, motion, gait training and coordination for safe walking and prevention of falls. It’s important that the exercises focus on increasing leg strength.”

James Niswander, a 76-year-old Sarasota resident who is legally blind, knows the benefits of undergoing physical therapy for balance. His experience at FYZICAL, three times a week for eight weeks, transformed his fitness level.

“I had had some problems walking and I had fallen a couple times so, at my wife’s insistence, I went to physical therapy. They helped me get back into shape,” Niswander says. “Now I can walk in the community, whereas, for a while, I wasn’t even able to do that. So I’m very grateful.” —AW

SOURCES FYZICAL Therapy and Balance Centers: 5922 Cattlemen Ln., Ste. 100, Sarasota, 941-378-8977, fyzical. com. Back In Motion Physical Therapy: 3920 Bee Ridge Rd., Building E, Unit G, Sarasota, 941-925-2700, backinmotionfl.com. Yamuna® Body Rolling with Dianne Glass (shown left). Keep track of upcoming classes and workshops at bodyrollingdianneglass.com or channel into her YBR Anytime, an online video subscription to tune into self-care routines at home, in the office or on-the-go.

Salt Therapy

Salt heals—most locals living near the coast are well aware of this truth. But now an indoor type of saline fix is captivating the Sarasota area: the emergence of salt therapy rooms. This allnatural treatment uses salt’s antibacterial, antiinflammatory and ultra-absorbent properties to relieve respiratory and skin conditions. Dressed patrons sit in salt caves, booths, rooms and suites (or sometimes lie on salt beds) for 30 to 45 minutes and inhale kinetically-activated pure dry salt particles. These particles travel deep into the body to soak up moisture and break up mucus, widening the breathing pathways and boosting the immune response. “Our rooms are very relaxing and have been shown to calm the central nervous system. This is very important to reduce the inflammation response that creates pain and dysfunction,” says Gena Lewis Schibler, a senior partner at Sarasota’s Fusion Therapy. “Dry salt therapy has even been proven to shorten the duration of colds and flus.” Fusion Therapy’s rooms are covered from floor to ceiling in Dead Sea salt, and there are zero-gravity recliners, blankets and music. At Salt of the Earth Sarasota, the Zen-like spaces are stocked with lounge chairs, booths (with Bluetooth hookups) and heated salt beds. All ages are welcome at both locales. “When you walk through the doors, you leave all your worries behind and just take time for yourself to relax and heal,” says Dianna Manoogian, owner of Salt of the Earth Sarasota. “Doing this therapy on a regular basis helps keep symptoms at bay.” —AW

Rolling Therapy

Dianne Glass of Yamuna® Body Rolling (YBR)

Over 30 years ago Dianne Glass met Yamuna Zake, the founder of Yamuna® Body Rolling (YBR), as she was creating the self-healing method to relax muscles, tone the body and melt stress by using a variety of workout balls. “I was desperately seeking relief from the wear and tear wrecking my body as a massage therapist and body rolling worked for me. Thirty years later, it’s still working for me,” she shares. Glass became one of the early teacher trainers of Yamuna® Body Rolling and has certified thousands of teachers all over the world, including in Japan and Europe. The local YBR instructor teaches targeted classes focused on problem areas around Sarasota, but also hosts certification workshops as well as destination retreats in various locations. Wherever she goes, she brings along her arsenal of different-size balls to work the entire body, from your feet to your face. “The smaller balls sink deep for more detailed muscle and tissue work,” she explains. “The larger balls release tension to create relaxation and space.” She also carries harder half domes that stretch and strengthen the feet, and a small soft face ball to roll out facial tension. YBR techniques are also great for short, recharging breaks in the office to relieve muscle tension from sitting at a desk for hours on end, or to destress the mind at the end of a busy day. Glass notes that taking the balls to bed to roll restoratively is a relaxing way to help get a restful night’s sleep. “After rolling, you feel the results immediately—ease of movement, a lifted posture and a free flow of energy throughout your body,” she says. “YBR gives you the power to self-treat your own stress, inflexibility and discomfort—keeping you strong and toned, while preventing and even treating painful conditions.” —BM

SOURCES Salt of the Earth Sarasota (shown below) 4037 Clark Rd., Sarasota, 941-702-8300, sotesarasota.com. Fusion Therapy: 7069 S. Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-921-7900, fusiontherapysarasota.com.
This story is from: