Archives for May 2015

The Vestibular System

The Vestibular System

By Jennifer Davis

image from Science is beauty; tumblr

 

What is that?!

This is your vestibular system. Still confused? This very small but extremely important system supports us in everything that we do. It basically keeps us upright. Let me break it down for you.

Where is it located?

The vestibular organs are embedded in bone deep inside the skull.

Image from www .humanneurophysiology.com

Anatomy of the Vestibular System

  1. Semi-Circular canals (Horizontal, Superior, Posterior)
  2. The otolith organs (Utricle, Saccule)
  3. The vestibulocochlear nerve

Its Job

1. To let us know which way is up and

2. To let us know which way we are going

So we know the vestibular system exists to tell us where we are in space. It tells us which way we are going. It
helps us keep our balance and communicates with our postural muscles so they know what to do whether that means to relax or to tense up.

The vestibular system is so important that it is the first system to develop for a baby when it is still in the womb.

Semi-Circular Canals

You have three of these canals as a part of each inner ear. Each canal has a name based on its position in relationship to the other two canals:

1. Horizontal

2. Superior/Anterior

3. Posterior

These canals are oriented at 90° to one another. As a result, they can signal head movement in any plane or combinations of planes.

These Canals have an important job
1. They Sense Head Motion and how fast the head is moving

2. Enable the VOR (Vestibulo-Ocular Reflex)

(if you are a client at the fit life fusion gym you are familiar with us having you do drills that involve gaze stabilization. We are checking your VOR.)

Did you know that the function of your eyes is closely connected to the function of your inner ear and vice versa? So poor visual skills or function can be damaging to inner ear function while inner ear injury or poor skills can be damaging to your eyes.

3. Each canal is formed by bone and filled with a thick gel something like Jell-O called endolymph. At the bottom of each canal, because they form a loop, there is an bulb called the ampulla. Sitting inside the ampulla is a sail shaped structure called the cupula. Attached to the bottom of the cupula is a nerve. When the head moves, this causes the fluid in the ear to bend the sail in one direction or the other. Depending on which direction the sail bends, the nerve either fires with greater or lesser frequency.

No single canal is designed to work alone. They all have partners on the opposite side of the head, and they work in what is called a PUSH/PULL arrangement.

  • Horizontal Canals: when we turn our head from Left to Right.
  • Left Anterior and Right Posterior Canals: When we move our head down and to the left diagonally.
  • Right Anterior and Left Posterior Canals: When we move our head down and to the right diagonally.So this is what happens when we rotate our heads.
  1. If you turn your head to the right, the fluid in your RIGHT HORIZONTAL CANAL bends the sail (cupula) in a direction that INCREASES the firing rate in the RIGHT vestibulocochlear nerve.
  2. At the same time, the fluid in your LEFT HORIZONTAL CANAL bends its sail in a direction that DECREASES the firing rate in the LEFT vestibulocochlear nerve.
  1. Your brain INTERPRETS this change in signaling from each ear as, “I just turned my head right.”
  2. Your brain will ALSO COMPARE this vestibular input with input from the visual and proprioceptive systems to make sure that all three are saying the same thing.So why is this information important for you? Let’s say you have had small injury (even if was extremely small) to your right inner ear. The injury causes the firing rate to be CONSTANTLY DECREASED. What this would mean over time is that the brain would be getting mixed signals and your brain now is viewing a natural movement that should be easy to do as a threat. As a trainer I will see decreased range of motion, lack of strength, issue in watching your gate, and very common enough you might be feeling pain somewhere.What if you don’t notice some of the symptoms mentioned above… Have you ever dealt with Vertigo, Motion Sickness, or maybe you notice you like to walk on your tippy toes a lot. These are some of the signs of a vestibular issue. In my next blog I will be doing a video showing certain drills that we like to use at the #FitLife Fusion gym that will fix vestibular issues. I hope this Blog was educational and interesting for you, please feel free to e-mail me with any comments or questions you may have about this blog.

Jennifer’s E-mail: jennifer@fitlifefusion.com

Living Room Workout

 

image from Philadelphia Magazine

Hey Everyone! For those of you who went on the Red Rock hike Thank you so much for coming! Looking Forward to doing it again. While I was on the hike I asked some people if anyone had any questions about nutrition or fitness… And fitness won!

So I wanted to share a full-body workout plan that you can do 2x a week and in your own living room. It will burn Fat, increase muscle tone and help you with your endurance. Most of these exercises don’t require dumbbells but you can always add weight to increase the intensity. You want to use a weight that by the end of the last 2 reps its challenging to finish.
Start by doing 1-2 mobility,visual or vestibular drill

Warm-up
20 sec jumping jacks
20 sec High Knees
20 sec sit-throughs
10 push-ups

FIRST HALF
Military press with Dumbbells 8-10 REPS (when holding the dumbbells palms face forward)

REST for 45 sec

Biceps Curls with Dumbbells 8-10 REPS

REST for 45 sec

Push-ups (as many as you can do)

REST for 60 sec

REPEAT Set 2 more times
SECOND HALF

Jump Squats 8-12 reps

REST 45 sec-1 min

Suitcase deadlift with Kettlebell or Dumbbell 8-10 reps Tempo : squat down for 3 sec and come up for 1 sec

REST 45-60 sec

Wall Squat 60-120 sec * To increase intensity you can hold hands above head or hold a KettleBell or Dumbbell while in squat

REST 60-120 sec

REPEAT 1-2 more times

**BONUS ABS WORKOUT**

Sit-ups 20-30 reps

REST 20 sec

Hip Raises 15-20 reps

REST 20 sec

Plank 60 sec

REPEAT 3 times

Finish by drinking a nice cold 24 0z glass of OJ with a pinch of salt

How to Avoid Additives that Wreak Havoc in Your Body

3 Questions about additives in foods and how to avoid them.

Eva's interview with Peter for her 5th grade science project on additives in food.

Eva’s interview with Peter for her 5th grade science project on additives in food.

This past week one I was paid a visit by a young lady whose 5th grade science experiment was based on preservatives and additives in foods and what they do to our bodies.  She came in very prepared for her interview with me.   Confidently, she asked me question after question writing my responses word for word in her notebook.  In fact, she had good questions.  Her interview inspired me to write a bit on this topic, because her reaction (and her mother’s reaction) was of genuine shock when they heard what I had to say about preservatives. So he
Question 1:  What are preservatives and what do they do to the foods they’re in?
To understand how preservatives preserve food we must first have a basic understanding of what mold, a preservative’s mortal enemy, actually is.  Mold is a fungus.  It’s a micro-organism which travels in the form of spores through our atmosphere.  Mold decomposes dead organic plant material like wood, leaves, and plants. Mold needs a few things to grow.  A food source, oxygen, water, and a temperature somewhere between 40 and 100 degrees.
Preservatives like polysorbates, nitrites, and sulfites are used to combat mold by making the enzymes mold uses to break down food ineffective. Others come in contact with the mold and have an antimicrobial effect entering the cells of the fungus and wreaking havoc essentially killing it.
Question #2:  What do preservatives to our bodies?Remember, our gut has a variety of bacteria and enzymes in it to break down our food sources.  Foods with a whole lot of preservatives causes stress on our digestive track.  If the food is more difficult to break down and go through enzymatic processes then our absorption of the nutrients in the food is negatively affected.
This can also cause an imbalance in our gut flora resulting in the overgrowth of some bacteria in our gut which then can lead to many other illnesses over time.
Preservatives aren’t the only enemies lurking around in our foods.  Other additives like carrageenan and gums are used as thickening agents to make foods and drinks have a creamer texture making them more palatable. These additives can have highly allergenic reactions in our guts causing all kinds of stress and the stress hormone cascades that go along with it.
Our gut is referred to as the “second brain” quite often in the world of physiology.  It has the largest amount of neurons than any other system in our body, second only to the brain.  Our digestive track has a big job to do in breaking down foods and utilizing the nutrients from them. So think twice when putting something in it that may stress it out!
Question 3:  Then what are some good “on the go” options?
This was a tough question.  At first my answers were “fresh fruit, quality cheese, milk and coffee…”  These were not the answers she was looking for.  What she really wanted to know was where could she go to pick up healthy food on the go.  Unfortunately there aren’t a whole lot of places you can grab quick meals on the go because you don’t really know what they have in their foods or what oils their using to cook the food with, etc.  If you are planning on looking for a healthy restaurant of any kind to grab food on the go there’s something you have to keep in mind.  Depending on the restaurant, their objective is to serve thousands of customers per month, and therefor the have to stock a lot of food.  Business varies week to week, month to month, so in order to save money they use foods with the longest shelf life possible.  It only makes sense from a business standpoint, or at least a numbers standpoint, for restaurants to use foods with preservatives in them.  Keeping that in mind it’s hard to trust that you’re going to be able to buy truly healthy food on the go.  In my opinion you can count on the fact that any restaurant is going to sacrifice health for profit margin.
So what can you do?
1.  Keep it simple.
Fresh fruit, cheese, milk, orange juice, carrots, hard boiled or deviled eggs, maybe a little beef jerky from time to time.  These are the things you can grab on the go that are healthy.  The key is to make sure each time you eat you have sugar (carb), protein, and fat (primarily saturated).  Having all of these nutrients in the meal help to keep your metabolism running properly and your blood-sugar level.
2.  Prepare your meals.
Learning to cook a few basic things that you really like can help tremendously.  I feel like society has brain-washed us to believe we don’t have enough time in the week to take care of ourselves.  Cooking for ourselves is seemingly becoming a thing of the past.  Start by trying to few recipes that are quick, easy and something you’d be willing to pack.  You’ll be amazed at how much time you’ll save and work you’ll be able to get done the next day having all your food prepared!
3.  If you are out at a restaurant there are a few things you can do in order to try to get the healthiest meal preparation as possible.
     –  Ask them to cook your food with butter or coconut oil.  Butter is usually the easier request to fulfill.  If they are using vegetable oil or a spray oil ask them to wipe the grip before cooking your meat on it.  These kinds of oils wreak havoc in our body by damaging our immune system and coating our cells, making it difficult for them to respire.
     – Meat, fruit, veggies, starches like potatoes are ok.
     – Keep away from bread and pastas
     – Make sure the meal has all 3 kinds of nutrients in it; sugar, protein, fat.
If you want more information please visit our website www.fitlifefusion.com and contact us for a free consult.

FitLife Fusion’s Member of the Month for MAY

FullSizeRender

The FitLife Fusion member of the month Jason Manning has diligently chosen to experience a transformation with his body and health. This person has awoken his inner leader and has taken charge of his health and inspiring others to do likewise. Embodying our core values and focused on true health this individual is a beacon of light in a world that has dimmed the need for self responsibility.

Have a healthy day!

Best regards,

Team FitLife

FitLifeFusion.com

Info@FitLifeFusion.com

(702) 220-8222

How to Avoid Additives That Wreak Havoc on Your Body

This past week I was paid a visit by a young lady whose 5th grade science experiment was based on preservatives and additives in foods and what they do to our bodies.  She came in very prepared for her interview with me.   Confidently, she asked me question after question writing my responses word for word in her notebook.  In fact, she had very good questions.  Her interview inspired me to write a bit on this topic because her reaction (and her mother’s reaction) was of genuine shock when they heard what I had to say about preservatives.
Question 1:  What are preservatives and what do they do to the foods they’re in?
To understand how preservatives preserve food, we must first have a basic understanding of what mold, a preservative’s mortal enemy, actually is.
Mold is a fungus.  It’s a micro-organism which travels in the form of spores through our atmosphere.  Mold decomposes dead organic plant material like wood, leaves, and plants. Mold needs a few things to grow.  A food source, oxygen, water, and a temperature somewhere between 40 and 100 degrees.
Preservatives like polysorbates, nitrites, and sulfites are used to combat mold by making the enzymes mold uses to break down food ineffective. Others come in contact with the mold and have an antimicrobial effect entering the cells of the fungus and wreaking havoc essentially killing it.
Question #2:  What do preservatives to our bodies?
Remember, our gut has a variety of bacteria and enzymes in it to break down our food sources.  Foods with a whole lot of preservatives cause stress on our digestive track.  If the food is more difficult to break down and go through enzymatic processes, then our absorption of the nutrients in the food is negatively affected.  This can also cause an imbalance in our gut flora resulting in the overgrowth of some bacteria in our gut which then can lead to many other illnesses over time.
Preservatives aren’t the only enemies lurking around in our foods.  Other additives like carrageenan and gums are used as thickening agents to make foods and drinks have a creamer texture making them more palatable. These additives can have highly allergenic reactions in our guts causing all kinds of stress and the stress hormone cascades that go along with it.
Our gut is referred to as the “second brain” quite often in the world of physiology.  It has the largest amount of neurons than any other system in our body, second only to the brain.  Our digestive track has a big job to do in breaking down foods and utilizing the nutrients from them. So think twice when putting something in it that may stress it out!
Question 3:  Then what are some good “on the go” options?
This was a tough question.  At first my answers were, “fresh fruit, quality cheese, milk and coffee…”  but these were not the answers she was looking for.  What she really wanted to know was where could she go to pick up healthy food on the go.  Unfortunately there aren’t a whole lot of places you can grab quick meals on the go because you don’t really know what they have in their foods or what oils they’re using to cook the food with.  If you are planning on looking for a healthy restaurant of any kind to grab food on the go there’s something you have to keep in mind.  Depending on the restaurant, their objective is to serve thousands of customers per month, and therefor the have to stock a lot of food.  Business varies week to week, month to month, so in order to save money they use foods with the longest shelf life possible.  It only makes sense from a business standpoint, or at least a numbers standpoint, for restaurants to use foods with preservatives in them.  Keeping that in mind it’s hard to trust that you’re going to be able to buy truly healthy food on the go.  In my opinion, you can count on the fact that any restaurant is going to sacrifice health for profit margin.
Question 4:  So what CAN you do?
1.  Keep it simple.
Fresh fruit, cheese, milk, orange juice, carrots, hard boiled or deviled eggs, maybe a little beef jerky from time to time.  These are the things you can grab on the go that are healthy.  The key is to make sure each time you eat you have sugar (carb), protein, and fat (primarily saturated). Having all of these nutrients in the meal help to keep your metabolism running properly and your blood-sugar level stays level.
2.  Prepare your meals.
Learning to cook a few basic things that you really like can help tremendously.  I feel like society has brain-washed us to believe we don’t have enough time in the week to take care of ourselves. Cooking for ourselves is seemingly becoming a thing of the past.  Start by trying to few recipes that are quick, easy, and something you’d be willing to pack.  You’ll be amazed at how much time you’ll save and work you’ll be able to get done the next day having all your food prepared!
3.  If you are out at a restaurant there are a few things you can do in order to try to get the healthiest meal preparation as possible.
     –  Ask them to cook your food with butter or coconut oil.  Butter is usually the easier request to fulfill.  If they are using vegetable oil or a spray oil ask them to wipe the grip before cooking your meat on it.  These kinds of oils wreak havoc in our body by damaging our immune system and coating our cells, making it difficult for them to respire.
     – Meat, fruit, veggies, starches like potatoes are ok.
     – Keep away from bread and pastas
     – Make sure the meal has all 3 kinds of nutrients in it; sugar, protein, fat.
If you want more information please visit our website www.fitlifefusion.com and contact us for a free consult.

 

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