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News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Exercise regimen improves strength, flexibility


Photo By: Courtesy of Kim Gladfelter
Photo Courtesy Of Kim Gladfelter

Pilates employs stretching exercises that strengthen muscles, promote flexibility and improve coordination.

Pilates is a great way to address muscle imbalances that eventually cause pain. Those who practice it can improve their health and state of mind far beyond their exercise sessions once they grasp the basic principles. Over time, Pilates helps develop intense body awareness to control pain and injury.

Pilates boasts a number of benefits that set it apart from other forms of exercise.

• Awareness and concentration. A strong sense of body awareness is at the heart of Pilates. Nothing beats the individual guidance to help engage the weakest muscles and eliminate common compensations that lead to injury. The ability to derive results quickly is an added benefit.

• Balance. Pilates has a unique way of accomplishing gains in strength and flexibility simultaneously. The result is that those who practice it will feel good even while they are exercising.

• Breathing. Once an exercise is grasped, more attention is placed on breathing to deepen the benefit.

• Centering. Focusing on the core is part of every Pilates movement because it protects the spine. Many people are drawn to Pilates because it offers an ideal way to control back pain.

• Control and precision. As Pilates movements become more advanced, the control of the movement adds a fun challenge. The end result is a fluid exercise that looks effortless.

• Efficiency/flow of movement. Pilates emphasizes movement versus holding a position to ensure a carryover into how you move in your daily life to avoid injury.

The types and benefits of Pilates

There are two types of Pilates: mat and apparatus (equipment). Mat work uses the body to challenge the core. Apparatus work provides a more comprehensive body workout with a higher repertoire of exercise possibilities. Apparatus work can assist or challenge a regular exercise regimen. Pilates works best when both are practiced.

Beginning with a private session or small group can provide an opportunity to develop the groundwork for successful results. It requires good individual guidance to ensure that beginners are not compensating with muscles that are already overworking.

Pilates tends to be more challenging over time as those who practice it fine-tune their movements to engage weak muscles more effectively.

With guidance from a physical therapist trained in Pilates principles, Pilates can help rehabilitate an injury, pain and/or dysfunction. It may also prove beneficial in the post-rehabilitative stage of injury to maintain the patient’s achievements.

Those new to a regular fitness routine can learn proper form from Pilates to achieve a more beneficial result.

Diehard fitness fans can benefit by working toward a more challenging, fluid program. Athletes from a variety of sports choose Pilates to cross-train and avoid injuries. Sport-specific exercises on the apparatus can be used for performance enhancement.

No matter what your level of fitness is when you start, Pilates can accomplish desired results with its balanced program.

Kim Gladfelter is a physical therapist and Pilates instructor at PhysioFit Physical Therapy and Wellness in Los Altos. For more information, call 947-8500 or visit www.physiofitpt.com.

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