Instant Low Back Pain Relief

I realize many of you experience pain in your lower back on occasion (or more then on occasion) and I have addressed treating your own back in a previous blog entry. Today I’m giving you a visual of the basic relief exercises to do if the book I recommended isn’t handy, but access to the internet is; click on this blog.

Lay down first, as shown here, holding for a few seconds and taking some deep breaths to RELAX removing tension.  Turn head to one side; arms beside your body.layingdown1

Now place your elbows below your shoulders leaning on forearms. Hold this for a couple minutes and take deep breaths to RELAX low back muscles.


Only after these two above, commence by pressing yourself up to straighten your elbows, RELAXING your torso, pelvis and legs allowing yourself to sag. Hold for a second or two, lower and repeat several times. You may maintain the up position longer, if any discomfort starts to wane, and low back starts to relax.


In the event you are unable to lay down where you are, do this standing back extension; although it may not be as effective as laying down, it will absolutely help. It is also effective in the prevention of further low back issues. Keep knees straight, feet slightly apart, maintain backbend for a moment or two then repeat going further to maximum degree.


Take care of your back, and it will take care of you!

Warm regards,



Treat Your Own Back & Neck


Activity is a necessity for most of us in this world, yet in our society, backache is the most common musculoskeletal ailment and cause for inactivity. These McKenzie exercises are different than the usual programs focused on muscle strengthening. These exercises are focused at improving the structure and metabolism of the soft tissues, including the discs. This treatment can be done by YOU, and requires very little effort. Over the years I have regularly practiced McKenize exercises for “healing your own neck”. I consider these movements lifelong; part of my lifestyle for soft tissue and spine health.

Since these are not just for curing, but also for maintenance and prevention,  I do many of these with several of you already for neck and back health. I am pleased to recommend these books “Treat Your Own Back” and “Treat Your Own Neck” by Robin McKenzie.  If you are experiencing pain now, in your lower back and legs and/or  neck, these exercises can improve your quality of life dramatically, often without surgery. How many of you have neck and upper shoulder pain?  I use to, until I healed my own neck.


Warm regards,



What’s Your Real Age?

What is your REAL age, versus your calendar/chronological age? Take this fun test to find out. It’s interesting to see all the things taken into account that you may not even think matter.  Some of you have probably seen this before, and as a result made some lifestyle changes (or not?!). :-)  No time like the present.

WHAT’S IT GONNA BE?????                                                                              WHEWY!




Jumping Rope


You’ve all heard of jumping rope or skipping rope, and probably did it as a kid. Well, we’re all just big kids, so think about incorporating it back into your exercise routine.  Right away many of you may think “but my knees”. Jumping two-footed lessens the single leg impact that occurs when running, and is done in short spurts to start. Jumping and/or skipping with the rope strengthens your shoulders and arms, and last but not least, it strengthens your heart. Those few seconds (and that is where you start, a few seconds) will relieve stress immediately, and help build coordination.  With practice you can skip rope for longer periods of time, and get a fabulous aerobic workout and burn major calories.

You can do it with your kids as it works for all ages and fitness levels. Jumping rope is perfect when combined with other activities such as walking, strength, and flexibility training.

I prefer the beaded type, shown above, since it’s light, easy to adjust, and is slippery on most any surface.

Okay, I tried to get a shot of me in motion; even smiling!!!!   jumpingrope

Warm regards,



Through Rain, Sleet, Heat, & Snow


As I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing!

If you like being outdoors, be outdoors. In a bad mood? Go take a walk. Need to de-stress? Go take a walk. Shake it off and take a short (or not so short) walk. It’s the quickest picker upper of body, mind and spirit that’s right outside your door, no matter where you are.

I’ll be the voice of your body for you. Just like a dog cannot speak to you and say “walk me”, nor can your body. So, here and now, I will be the voice of YOUR BODY. If it could talk to you, it would be saying:  “move me, please…walk me…move me !!!!!” :-)

Take care of you, no matter the weather.

Very sincerely,



Weighted Body Bar


For those of you looking for an alternative to dumbbells, a weighted body bar can be a nice addition. They vary in weight size from 8 to upwards of 20 lbs.  I use them for shoulders, arms, lower back, thighs, tush, upper back and chest. You can do it all with one single bar! Storage is a snap, as it stands up in a corner taking up no space at all.  I’ll list just a few of many exercises you can do with this body bar:

  • Bicep Curls
  • Tricep Press
  • Dead lifts for lower back and hamstrings
  • Squats for thighs and tush
  • Chest press (laying down, pressing bar upwards)
  • Rowing for lats
  • Overhead press for shoulders

These are just a few basics you may recognize; I’m happy to show you other exercises that make for great “muscle confusion”!  (Confusion is what your muscles want to keep things fresh and effective.)

Warm regards,



Vitamins – Facts & Myths


Over the years many of my clients have asked about what vitamin supplements to take. Many have come to me with a litany of things they take in pill form from one multi-vitamin to up to 15 or more pills and capsules per day! Chances are someone they know distributed this stuff and talked them into the ‘health benefits’. Just because it probably won’t hurt you, there is no proof for 90% of the crap sold today improves your health; it mostly empties your wallet. The FDA is very lax on this stuff. “Vitamin water” is a classic example of brilliant marketing; please go read my past blog post on that product!

FOOD is your best source for nutrition (see book “In Defense of Food, blog before this one) versus packaged, fast food (no drive-thrus) or processed stuff.

Vitamins and supplements are a gazillion dollar industry, yet you all know I do not sell ANYTHING. I’m okay, however, recommending products; steering you in the right direction for wellness and healthy lifestyle. 

Two words come to my mind regarding most marketed supplements for otherwise healthy adults: Expensive urine. That is generally how I feel about most highly marketed juices, powders, berry drinks, and pills “systems” from “health” stores, internet (spam) ads, and multi-level marketing organizations. I do endorse a basic over-the-counter multi-vitamin, and for women of X age, a calcium supplement. 

On that note, I’m reprinting some basic Facts and Myths:

Myth: Organic vitamins (from nature: food, etc.) are better than synthetic ones.
Fact: The body cannot tell the difference between organic or synthetic vitamins. However, the food that the organic vitamins come from can give you fiber and other nutrients that synthetic vitamins cannot.

Myth: The more vitamins you take, the better for you.
Fact: Certain vitamins taken in large amounts can be harmful to you. 

Myth: By taking vitamins regularly, we don’t need to exercise.
Fact: That’s a lazy person’s excuse. In fact, a daily 30 minute quick walk will do more for you than taking supplements, especially if you have high-blood pressure, or a heart conditon, or are overweight.

Myth: If vitamins and supplements are taken, then you can eat whatever you want.
Fact: Pills do not provide all the food components that a healthy body requires, they are supplements dealing with deficiency. Nothing replaces a healthy diet.

Myth: Supplements are safe otherwise they would not be on the market.
Fact: There is no official pre-market approval of supplements.(vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements). The FDA does not limit the concentration or quantity of nutrients in a pill (exception: folacin).

Myth: Taking vitamins is the best way to ensure health for us and our children.
Fact:: The body actually has limited storage for these nutrients and supplements. A lot of these are excreted from our bodies. The best way is to do regular exercise and eat a wide variety of food based on their nutritional values.

Myth: Herbal supplements cannot be harmful because they are natural .
Fact: Some naturally obtained substances can be deadly or very harmful to the body, such as Arsenic and fungus. Correct dosage is the key. Overdose on some supplements can cause damage to our health, some even permanent.

Myth: We can eat very little food if we take vitamins.
Fact: Vitamins do not function without the energy generated from food such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The best way is to eat a variety of food that can both give us energy and supply the vitamins naturally, then vitamins and mineral pills only act as additional supplements that our bodies require to compensate the deficiencies.

Myth: Vitamins are best taken on empty stomach for maximum absorption.
Fact: All supplements are best taken during meals or with food. Small amounts with several meals are better than a large dosage at one time. Fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,&K)are best absorbed if there is fat present. Also, taking supplements with meals will help us get into the habit of taking them more regularly.

Warm regards, and happy, healthy eating to you all,



Eating Breakfast


If you are acquainted with me, then you’ve heard from me how important a proper breakfast is. A donut? Not! Missing all together? Not good either.  Skipping the most important meal of  your day starts you off on the wrong foot on so many levels. Having a proper breakfast on the hand other, levels your blood sugar, helps promote weight loss if you’re on a weight loss program, increases energy, helps you feel less stressed, and on and on. I’m going to list my favorite and easiest (easy is key) breakfast. For you time crunched folks…it’s quick, tastes great, and is good for you. Yeah, yeah, I realize the lettering is backwards..but you can see the labels. I love Skippy Natural as it’s void of trans fats (the bad stuff) and does NOT require refrigeration, and stays solid at room temperature!!! 

I prefer to spread it onto a toasted Pita Pocket, also shown backwards. For you Austin folks, I can tell you it’s on a low shelf in front of the HEB deli sliced meat area.  In most all bread isles are an alternate I also like; low carb tortillas by Mission – right out of the bag and/or toasted, with Peanut Butter.

I know a few of you have peanut allergies; I’m sorry! A great substitute for PB is Whipped Cream Cheese, or Cottage Cheese or Eggs! I’m just pluggin the PB thing here today. 

Warm regards,



De-Stress by Elevating Your Legs and Feet


Kick your feet up, literally. Take 5. Granted if you work in an office this is harder to do on the floor, haha. Often times I just need to take a few minutes and get off of – and elevate – my feet. If you sit at a desk, or stand all day, you certainly know the feeling of just wanting to elevate your legs and feet. Do it. Put ’em up on your desk. It feels SO GOOD, this simple act of pleasure. I just plopped onto the floor to elevate my legs/feet and poochie came over down next to me (so I snapped a pik with my cell).  Those 2 or 3 minutes refreshed me; took gravity off the feet and legs for just long enough to go “ahhhhhh”. 

Do it if you can….and go ahhhhhhhh




Play with your Pet for Exercise


A way to exercise and break a sweat is to play with your pet! Chase your cat, romp with your dog. Many of you romp with Chloe here and know how those few minutes bring a sense of well being and stress relief. Your pet will love it and your body and brain will appreciate it too!

Happy Monday,