Pilates: A physical therapy alternative

Courtesy of Kim Gladfelter
Pilates, an exercise program that serves people of all health backgrounds and ages, is an option for those seeking rehabilitation from injuries but who are wary of causing more damage.

A woman named Sandra asked me a great question recently. I get this question so often that I thought I’d share it with you and fully explain my answer:

“Kim, I’m desperate to get back into shape after suffering with a back injury for a long time. Physical therapy is a great help, but I want to do more by myself while I’m receiving treatment – I’m just scared, a bit nervous and don’t know what type of exercise is safe.”

Reasons to change up your workouts and try new fitness activities


According to the American Council on Exercise, research shows that people who vary their exercise routines can increase their chances of sticking to their regimens and avoid reaching a plateau in training. Following are four additional reasons to change up your workouts and try new fitness activities.

Prevent injuries

When you do the same workouts, sports activities or exercises over and over again, you’re at a much greater risk for overuse injuries. Some examples include tendinitis, shin splints, stress fractures and heel inflammation. These types of injuries can often take a long time to heal if they go untreated for extended periods of time, which can set you back in your health and fitness goals.

After holiday, Red Cross issues emergency call for blood donors

The American Red Cross issued an emergency call for eligible individuals of all blood types to give immediately and prevent delays in care after a difficult Fourth of July week for blood and platelet donations and ongoing challenges finding new blood donors.

Businesses and other community groups organized approximately 450 fewer blood drives over the Independence Day week than during a typical week due to the large number of people across the country celebrating the holiday, Red Cross officials said in a statement.

Aloha: This time, it's not a goodbye: LA trainer relocates, streams classes at request of students

Courtesy of Michelle Melendez
Michelle Melendez, appearing on-screen in the background as she livestreams from Hawaii, leads a Pilates class for students at Marti’s Dance Studio in Los Altos.

Pilates Full Body instructor Michelle Melendez’s move from the Bay Area to the Big Island of Hawaii in January was inevitable, she said.

“I had been there on and off for the last 20 years,” Melendez said in a phone interview with the Town Crier last week. “Have you ever heard the expression ‘Hawaii calls you’? The islands call people.”

Arthritis Foundation honors local for thriving in college

Courtesy of Suzanne Taves
Los Altos native and rising University of San Francisco sophomore Katie Taves speaks at the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk to Cure Arthritis, at which she was honored, in June.

Scheduling classes is a struggle for most college students. It’s even more challenging for Los Altos native Katie Taves, who must consider several factors when selecting her classes at the University of San Francisco.

Taves, a rising sophomore diagnosed with juvenile idiopathic arthritis at age 9, must allot “crash days” with fewer classes. She doesn’t take a class before 10 a.m. to account for morning stiffness, when fluid gathers in her joints and makes movement difficult. And she blocks out time for her treatments and makes sure she has the 13 pills she takes daily.

'Mummy tummy': The postpartum problem no one wants to talk about

Courtesy of Michelle Reynolds
Physical therapist and Town Crier columnist Kim Gladfelter conducts a test on a patient to determine whether she is suffering from diastasis recti, a separation of the ab muscles.

The “mummy tummy,” or “mommy pooch,” may be one of the top concerns postpartum women want to discuss but avoid out of embarrassment.

The reality is, mummy tummy – that extra shelf of abdominal tissue that has a pooch-like appearance – is nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s an extremely common, albeit frustrating, issue for many women, whether they are new moms or have children graduating from high school.

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