How you can strengthen your core safely for a strong, pain-free back


Courtesy of PhysioFit
The forearm plank, demonstrated above, can help strengthen one’s core and back, according to Kim Gladfelter of PhysioFit.

When it comes to having a strong, healthy body and a flexible, pain-free back, you can’t do better than having a good, strong core. But what does that even mean? What, exactly, is the core? And why is it so important?

It’s common for people to associate the abdominal muscles with core strength, but your core is made up of much more than abs. There is some controversy about what is considered the core. Core muscles can be divided into two groups: (1) local muscles that help stabilize your spine, including the transversus abdominis, internal obliques, multifidi, pelvic floor and diaphragm, and (2) global muscles that assist in moving your spine, such as the rectus abdominis, external obliques, erector spinae, latissimus dorsi and various hip muscles.

Ways to combat colds and the flu this season

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the 2018 cold and flu season is looking to be one of the worst since 2015 and is severely affecting many states in the U.S., including California.

To prevent or best manage colds and the flu, the following are things we can do to stay as healthy as possible.

Grateful hearts: local transplant patients encourage organ donation


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Susan Roberts holds the Stanford heart pillow she received after her transplant.

This month marks the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. adult heart transplant, spearheaded by Norman Shumway, M.D., at Stanford Hospital Jan. 6, 1968. Since then, the procedure has saved more than 60,000 lives, including that of Los Altos resident Susan Roberts, chairwoman of Stanford’s Heart Transplant Patient and Family Advisory Council.

Tips aim to help busy moms claim some 'me time'

According to a study on WebMD, many people, especially women, are less happy than they were 40 years ago due to a lack of time for themselves.

Moms, in particular, struggle with finding balance because they’re so busy meeting work and/or volunteer deadlines and tending to the needs of their families and homes.

Explore the transformational power of Pilates


Photo Courtesy of Kim Gladfelter
Pilates instructors use the Trapeze Table to prepare clients for mat classes, which some people think are more difficult. The Trapeze Table supports shoulder girdle strength and alignment through hanging excercises.

For years now, people ranging from health experts to celebrities have touted the benefits of Pilates, singing the praise of how the regimen sculpts the body without the bulk of weightlifting.

But there are many advantages beyond that toned behind. Following are a few reasons you should consider trying a Pilates class.

Research shows happy romantic relationships boast physical health benefits

We don’t need science to tell us that love makes us happier, but thanks to a new body of research, it’s clear that a healthy relationship is good for your physical well-being.

Love sounds like a magic bullet: A healthy relationship can make you happier, live longer, age more gracefully, reduce stress, improve mental health, reduce pain, prevent a heart attack, improve your sleep and heal faster, according to Business Insider. Skeptical? Let’s look at some of the research.


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