A Summer Guide to Better Health
Writer / Stephanie Carlson Miller
Do you want to feel energetic? Prevent illness? Ease chronic pain? Relieve stress? Remove toxins and heal naturally?
Get moving on the path toward improving your quality of life by transforming your mind, body and spirit. Dive into goal setting and commit to wellness, a habit-forming, motivating way to live a more balanced and productive life.
Regardless of your current level of fitness or age, from young mothers and seniors to cancer patients and those who suffer from serious ailments, a community of competent coaches and specialists are lined up to help jumpstart your sprint or marathon race to a healthy lifestyle.
“Support and accountability creates a platform for success,” says Matt Shade, founder of Team Fit Livin’ who firmly believes individuals are responsible for taking ownership of their health. “In my 20 years as a personal trainer, I found that being part of a community of support encourages and motivates people, especially those who might feel intimidated or unsure of what activity to participate in. We organize group workouts, swims, runs, training rides, team racing and social events,” Shade said. “Whether your goal is to run your first 5K or you dream of completing an Ironman triathlon, crossing the finish line is inspiring at any level.”
Inwelligent is a unique healthcare clinic that delivers personalized holistic wellness solutions including therapeutic yoga, Pilates, acupuncture, massage therapy, nutrition counseling, health coaching and corporate wellness programs. Many services may be covered by health insurance. Practitioners collaborate closely with physicians to integrate care complementary to other treatments. The clinic is open to everyone and offers the most successful clinically-tested therapeutics. Practitioners work with patients and individuals to customize personalized plans for overall healthy lifestyle experiences.
“Yoga’s benefits extend across the spectrum of human need,” according to Emily Frank, M.D., a specialist in internal medicine and bone health at St. Vincent and yoga instructor at Inwelligent located in the St. Vincent Carmel Women’s Center. “The care of a patient means to help them with their entire wellbeing. My class targets the older individual who might have concerns about their bones or joints. I use a multi-faceted approach to keep my patients upright, moving and injury-free. The benefits are nearly immediate and far-reaching.”
Kate Downes, licensed acupuncturist and trained in life sciences, integrated and herbal medicine, administers acupuncture at Inwelligent’s clinic. This form of traditional Chinese medicine stimulates the body’s natural healing abilities using thin needles applied to specific points on the body. “Acupuncture improves blood flow and circulation that heals tissues throughout the body, reversing the negative effects of stress,” Downes said. “I really get to the root of the issue by getting to know my patients. Fertility issues, pain, stress relief, digestive problems, sleep deprivation, weight loss and more, my goal is to help your system function properly.” To get a better understanding of the benefits of acupuncture, Downes shares her expertise at katedownesacu.com.
Downes works closely with oncologists to determine proper treatments for cancer patients and with obstetricians to implement plans that help pregnant women find relief from the stress of growing a human prior to delivery. In fact, Inwelligent’s mission is to build partnerships with hospitals and healthcare providers in order to complement a patient’s treatments, thus enhancing their ability to heal from an illness or injury and calm anxieties.
“Modern science has clearly demonstrated the relationship between physical activity and good health,” explained Joan O’Kane, a certified yoga instructor. “Yoga takes this understanding a step further by explaining that even a few moments of yoga allow the central nervous system to shift from ‘fight or flight’ to ‘rest, heal, and digest.’” Ancient yogis knew this, and modern scientists and medical professionals now agree. “At Inwelligent, we blend Eastern medicine with traditional Western practices, treating acute conditions and providing people, in general, with well-rounded health solutions.”
Like Inwelligent, Body Outfitters, located in downtown Zionsville, also takes a one-on-one approach to taking care of clients. Personal trainer Mark Moreland believes people who are strong and healthy are able to more fully engage in life. “Skilled coaches are effective and hold you accountable,” Moreland said. “Programming encompasses all areas of fitness designed specifically to suit the individual’s needs and goals.”
Considering the variety of wellness opportunities, Indianapolis (including Carmel and Anderson) ranks as the least fit city out of 50 metropolitan areas across the nation in the 2016 American College of Sports Medicine American Fitness Index. The data in this report reveals “a composite of personal health measures, preventative behaviors, levels of chronic disease conditions as well as environment and community resources and policies that support physical activity.” The Scientific Snapshot of the State of Health and Fitness at the Metropolitan Level is available at americanfitnessindex.org/report.
New to the area, training in group workouts developed by Orange Theory Fitness breaks out intervals of cardiovascular and strength training. Cherie Palma leads classes and pushes participants to work hard and do their best. “This workout is based on science and spans a wide range of fitness levels, from those who are new to exercise to professional athletes. Each class is different, and every session is energetic. The results? More energy, visible toning and extra calorie burn.” Palma refers to the “Orange Effect” – the x-factor to a totally new you.
The hour-long workout includes a rotation using a variety of equipment such as rowing machines, treadmills, TRX suspension training and free weights. “Participants wear heart monitors. Heart rates and training zones are displayed on screens in the studio, so I can gauge exertion levels,” Palma said.
Koko Fit Club also closely watches workouts using technology to coach. The club is nothing like traditional gyms. A quiet studio encourages members to engage in short 45-minute workouts tailored to desired fitness accomplishments. Coined Smartraining, the facility features around-the-clock access to audio-coached fitness sessions and guided, high-intensity interval training that automatically tracks and records progress, emailing results after each workout.
According to certified FitCoach H.B. Hayes, the gym was founded to change lives – to help people get fit and stay fit. “Smartraining encompasses three components: strength training, cardio and custom nutrition plans,” says Hayes, describing a 13-week program that teaches healthy habits that enable people to train their minds to make healthy living a way of life. “In 30 days, our clients feel so much better without enduring the intimidation of a traditional gym setting. Fit checks measure lean muscle and Enhanced BMI early on to motivate, create accountability for personal fitness and gauge success of each individual.”
Each of these activities are open to everyone and anyone. Dave Kaplan, Cyclist and President of Team Nebo Ridge, welcomes novice and experienced riders. “What makes the cycling club and team so much fun is there is a diversity of riders. We enjoy seeing a new person participate in the sport and get an opportunity to ride with a group.” According to Kaplan, a few members who had not picked up a bike in 20 years are now competing at a national level. While road biking is most common, some growing disciplines are cyclocross where athletes run over hills and carry their bikes through mud, gravel grinding, mountain biking, and ultra-long distance rides of 200 miles or more.
“Everyone starts in the same place, don’t know what they are doing and are afraid of doing something wrong,” Kaplan said. “I really like the social aspect of cycling, making connections and improving fitness. Whether a rider joins the group on a beach cruiser or hi-tech road bike, we mentor, support and encourage everyone.”
In addition to individual health, Inwelligent and Fit Livin’ believe in engaging corporations in wellness solutions, promoting preventative healthcare maintenance, overall fitness, lower healthcare costs and improved productivity for their employees. “The longer term benefit is you lead by example, and making this world a better, healthier place is inspiring,” Shade said. Fit Livin’ has designed an IOS and Android mobile app to be launched in July with the mission of helping users make fitness a reality.
Ultimately, the right dose of exercise and healthy lifestyle choices will help you achieve your fitness, wellness and corporate health goals. Treatments focused on ailing patients or seniors as well as those new to workouts or fully engaged in fitness, blended with the customized healing and stress-busting wellness offerings at Inwelligent’s integrative healthcare clinic, are literally just what the doctor ordered.