Monthly Archives: February 2017

7 Reasons Teen Athletes Should Practice Yoga

EVENT: Sports Nutrition Workshop Series  
WHERE: KareBoost Health (107 Cedar Grove, Suite 100, Somerset, NJ 08873)
TIME: Tuesdays at 6:30pm on March 14 and April 4, 2017 
Also, Come Check out our Yoga Class Schedule for You and Your Teen. We have GlowGa Family Yoga every month which is Glow in the Dark Yoga.  
            While you might think that gaining flexibility is the reason athletes should practice yoga, there is a lot more to yoga that can be beneficial to your teen athlete.    Here are 7 reasons to consider, and how to get started.
1.     Improve the mind-body connection.  Because yoga focuses on not only the physical work but also the mental aspect of movement, people who regularly practice yoga report an increased ability to use their thoughts to influence how they feel. 
2.     Influence breathing.  Yoga focuses on paying attention to the breath, partly to increase awareness of the body.  This increased awareness and improved breathing translates well into other physical activity.
3.     Provide cross-training.   No matter what activity your child is involved in, cross-training is a good idea.  Moving the body in different ways through various activities may help to prevent repetitive stress injuries and stave off boredom. 
4.     Improve proprioception.  Proprioception is the awareness one has of their body in space.  Because yoga emphasizes remaining present and increases the mind-body connection, it can increase proprioception.
5.     Work on balance.  Many traditional sports often do not include balancing work.  Practicing balance poses can help to correct muscle imbalances and improve body mechanics.
6.     Something for everyone.  There is so many different style of yoga that with some patience, your teen can find a class they really enjoy.  Try different classes, from more athletic style classes to restorative classes that help to relax and calm the nervous system.
7.     Provide a non-competitive activity.  While team sports have many benefits, adding a yoga class to your teen athlete’s activities may provide a welcome reprieve from competitive sports.  Because yoga focuses on the internal world, teens can focus on how they feel and unwind. 
            Besides increased strength and flexibility, yoga offers a multitude of benefits.  If your teen has been avoiding yoga because they think they are not flexible, let them know that yoga is about a lot more than stretching!  If you are looking for an opportunity to have your teen athlete try yoga, KareBoost offers yoga classes specifically for teens and families.  Also stay tuned for a workshop focused on teen athletes and yoga. 
Come Check out our first Sports Nutrition Workshop on Tuesday, March 14 and April 4 at 6:30pm!!
Also, Come Check out our Yoga Class Schedule for You and Your Teen. We have GlowGa Family Yoga every month which is Glow in the Dark Yoga.  
Kara Unal JD, RYT,
KareBoost Health

7 Great Benefits of Massage

Getting a massage certainly feels beneficial.  But massage and bodywork is more than a wonderful indulgence for a special occasion.  Massage has physical and mental health benefits and can be appropriate for everyone, including athletes, chronic pain sufferers and expectant mothers. 
Here are 7 great benefits of massage.
1.      Alleviate Stress.  Many diseases are caused or aggravated by stress.  Massage can help to manage stress and decrease anxiety.  It can also help to enhance sleep quality and increase energy.  Massage can also help to increase emotional well-being by producing feelings of caring and connection. 
2.      Enhance Immunity.  Massage stimulates lymph flow and increases circulation, helping your body’s natural defense system.  Reducing stress also enhances immunity.
3.      Recover.  Whether you are an athlete, a weekend warrior, or new to exercise, bodywork can help your muscles recover from those hard workouts.  By increasing circulation and promoting tissue regeneration, massage can help you to lessen sore muscles and get back to the activities you love.
4.      Lessen Pain.  Massage is a wonderful alternative to medication and more invasive procedures for chronic pain sufferers.  Arthritis patients report fewer aches and less stiffness and pain with regular massage, and massage can provide relief for non-specific back pain.  Massage has also been found to help manage symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome and temporomandibular joint pain (TMJ). 
5.      Complement Existing Treatment.  The medical community has begun to recognize the benefits of massage, and massage is often incorporated into hospital settings such as neonatal intensive care and hospices.  By reducing pain, massage can help lessen the need for medications and can aid the recovery process from surgery.  Massage is often portrayed as a treat, but it has serious benefits that can work with your existing self-care plan.
If you are interested in massage and would like more information, contact KareBoost Health to learn more about the benefits of massage and to establish a treatment schedule that meets your needs.  Our therapists offer a wide variety of massage styles, including Swedish, Deep Tissue, Medical Massage, Orthopedic Massage, Hot Stone, Sports Massage, Prenatal Massage and Oncology Massage. 
Come Make an appointment for your first Massage!!
Check out our Great Deals on Massage on WWW.KAREBOOST.COM.
Kara Unal JD, RYT
KareBoost Health

Five S.M.A.R.T Goals for your Healthiest Family Yet

EVENTS: Health Coaching for Kids (>8yo) Workshop Series on SMART Goals  
WHERE: KareBoost Health (107 Cedar Grove, Suite 100, Somerset, NJ 08873)
TIME: Tuesdays at 4:30pm and 6:30pm on March, April, and May (link to Upcoming events)
            A S.M.A.R.T. goal is a goal that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-framed.  While this is a great framework for goal setting in general, today we will discuss how to apply S.M.A.R.T. goals to implement healthy habits for the whole family.
1.      Specific:  It is wonderful to start out with goals like “I would like to eat healthier” or “I would like to move more”, but defining what that means for you and your family will make your goals more attainable and sustainable.  Narrow down your goals and be as clear as possible.  A specific goal is “All family members will include a piece of fruit with their breakfast” or “ Dinner will always include 2 different vegetables”.
2.      Measurable:  Set goals that are easily quantified.  For example, instead of “the whole family will get outside more”, try “5 nights a week, after dinner, we will enjoy a 30 minutes walk as a family”. 
3.      Attainable:  To set goals that are achievable, work together as a whole family to brainstorm changes you would like to make.  For example, setting a goal to get up and work out at 5 am will most likely not work for the whole family.  Your family is much more likely to stick to a plan that they have input on and agree with.  Part of instilling healthy habits for life is helping your kids to realize that movement and cooking are fun, not tasks to dread. 
4.      Relevant:   Avoid setting yourself up to fail by setting realistic goals.  If dinner is usually a rushed affair, do not expect to stick to a goal that involves concocting a three-course meal five days a week.  While you might not have a long time to cook, using a slow cooker to prepare healthy meals while you are at work may fit your schedule better.
5.      Time-framed:  One of the biggest obstacles to healthy eating is time.  Setting out sustainable goals in advance will help you to form a healthy eating plan.  Planning and shopping for weekly meals in advance will help to prevent ordering a pizza when everyone is starving and there is no food in the house. 
            Even with your S.M.A.R.T. goals in mind, know that challenges will arise.  Be flexible and open to adjusting your goals as it becomes clear to you what is working and what is not.  A healthy diet is a sustainable diet, and all sustainable diets have room for change- and dessert!  Set goals that focus on increasing not only health but also happiness, and remember that you are the biggest influence on how your children eat. 
Come Check out our SMART Goals for Healthy Families on Tuesdays in March 2017 with our Health Coach! 
Greg Bing, M.Ed., A.C.E. Certified Trainer, Youth Fitness Specialist
Kara Unal JD, RYT
KareBoost Health

Good Snacks For Active Kids (Part 1)

EVENT: Sports Nutrition Workshop Series 
WHERE: KareBoost Health (107 Cedar Grove, Suite 100, Somerset, NJ 08873)
TIME: Tuesdays at 6:30pm on February 14, March 14 and April 4, 2017 
Everybody loves snacks, and knowing how to snack smart is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight. When it comes to everyday snacking for kids it is a good idea to reach for fruits, vegetables, and other foods low in sugar, calories, and fat.
But physical activity is also an important part of maintaining a healthy weight, and parents of kids involved in sports often wonder if there are special guidelines for what to feed their kids before and after physical activity.
Here are some pointers:
Even when your child is very active, overeating should be avoided. It is tempting to think that doing a bit of exercise means one can eat whatever one wants, but (sadly) this is not the case.
Research shows people are prone to overestimate how many calories they have burned by exercising and simultaneously underestimate the amount of calories they are consuming by eating. This can lead to the frustrating experience of exercising regularly, but still not making progress on one’s weight goals.
Food serves several important functions in relation to overall health and physical activity.
Here are the most important:

  • Food provides the raw energy needed to perform any physical activity.


  • Food provides fluids that keep the body cool. Of course, drinking water accomplishes this goal, too, but you might be surprised at how much water is in many foods.


  • Food provides nutrients needed for growth, development, and improvements in strength and speed.


  • Food helps with recovery after exercise.

So, the trick is to help your child eat right in relation to exercise.
Come Check out our first Sports Nutrition Workshop on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 6:30pm!!
Andrea Berez MS, RD, CSP
KareBoost Health

Keeping Your Cool Can Be Good For You Too (Part 1)

Most people do not like to get angry, and recent research suggests getting angry often is not just unpleasant emotionally; it can be bad for your health.
According to David Allan, editorial director of CNN Health and Wellness, “constant stress and aggravation is linked to a range of issues including overeating, insomnia and depression, and angry outbursts increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes.”
The bad news is: Situations that can lead to stress and aggravation are unavoidable. Everyone will have some setbacks and stress in their lives. The good news is: There are research-based methods for handling and reducing stress. Before we take a look at how to manage stress, let’s first talk about what stress is and why it can be harmful to one’s health.
Here is what Pyschology Today has to say about stress:
Stress is simply a reaction to a stimulus that disturbs our physical or mental equilibrium. In other words, it’s an omnipresent part of life. A stressful event can trigger the “fight-or-flight” response, causing hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol to surge through the body. A little bit of stress, known as “acute stress,” can be exciting—it keeps us active and alert. But long-term, or “chronic stress,” can have detrimental effects on health. You may not be able to control the stressors in your world, but you can alter your reaction to them.”
The “fight-or-flight” response mentioned in the definition is a term used to describe the changes our bodies automatically undergo when we are stressed. The “fight-or-flight” response evolved in humans in the distant past, when humans were often faced with physical danger, so the changes brought on by the “fight-or-flight” response were actually very helpful for an early human facing a situation where he might actually have to fight or run away. The “fight-or-flight” response causes our heart rate to rise; we may breathe more quickly; blood flows away from our stomachs and to our muscles; we may be more apt to do or say things impulsively.
While all of these responses were helpful for an early human fleeing a predator or trying to hunt down prey, they can be less useful, and sometimes even counterproductive for people living in the modern world. Nowadays, most people in the US are not often faced with mortal danger in the form of a saber-toothed tiger, and our stress responses are more likely to be triggered by things like a traffic jam or feeling overwhelmed with work or family tasks. So, we have a situation where stress is common, and people’s “fight-or-flight” responses can be triggered too often, and this can be bad for one’s health. 
Now that we have taken a look at what stress is and where it comes from, we will take a look at how to manage it in Part 2 of this Blog Series.
Come Check out our Yoga Classes that can be very relaxing and calming.
Greg Bing, M.Ed., A.C.E. Certified Trainer, Youth Fitness Specialist
KareBoost Health

3 Reasons Kids Should Not Focus On One Sport

EVENT: Sports Nutrition Workshop Series  
WHERE: KareBoost Health (107 Cedar Grove, Suite 100, Somerset, NJ 08873)
TIME: Tuesdays at 6:30pm on February 14, March 14 and April 4, 2017
            If your children are involved in athletics, you are probably familiar with the pressure to have your child specialize in one sport.  Maybe you want to see them succeed in high school athletics, or earn a college scholarship.  While that goal is worthwhile, it is important to keep in mind that it is not necessary, or even helpful, to have young children specialize in one sport in order to succeed. 
            1) Consider the evidence.  Focusing on one sport early one does not guarantee success in that sport later on, and it may even be damaging.  According to a 2016 study from the University of Texas, kids who begin specializing in a single sport as young as seven are more likely to get hurt than kids who play multiple sports.
            2) Reduce Injury.  One important reason to consider varying your children’s routine is the risk of repetitive stress injuries.  Using the same muscles over and over again for repetitive movements, such as throwing a ball or swinging a bat, can lead to muscle strains and tears, stress fractures and growth plate injuries.  A 2015 Loyola University Chicago study found that children who specialized in one sport were 73 to 90 percent more likely to sustain injuries compared to children who played multiple sports.  Especially given how intense sports training has become, children who only play one sport can be at risk for overuse injuries. 
            3) Encourage a healthy attitude. It’s also important to remember the real reasons behind why you wanted your children to play sports in the first place.  It probably was not to make your kids into Olympic athletes!  Exposing children to a variety of sports and activities teaches them important life lessons and establishes healthy habits for life.  The extreme pressure and risk of burnout simply may not be worth having a young child specialize in one activity.  Even if your child is the next Michael Jordan, remember, Michael Jordan played baseball and basketball growing up. 
            A good guideline to follow is to have younger children play their main sport for as many hours a week as they are old.  For example, a ten year old should practice 10 hours a week.  Also incorporate one day of rest a week.  Encouraging your children to try new sports and activities is important.  Being able to adapt to change makes life a lot easier as an adult- why not establish and encourage a love for the unknown in your kids? 
Come Check out our first Sports Nutrition Workshop on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 6:30pm!! 

5 Simple Ways to Increase Positivity

EVENT: Finding Your Happiness with Guest Speaker, Diane Lange
WHERE: KareBoost Health (107 Cedar Grove, Suite 100, Somerset, NJ 08873)
TIME: Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 7pm
            In our previous blog on positivity, we discussed how the power of positive thinking may lead to better health.  Today, we will address the steps you can take to harness positivity and improve your mental and physical well-being.
`1. Lead with the Positive.  Try starting off a conversation with something good that happened to you, instead of leading with the negative.  Even if it is something simple, like a nice cup of coffee that you enjoyed this afternoon, it starts your conversation off with a positive tone. 

2. Volunteer.  Caring for others leads to a marked decrease in depressive symptoms.  If you do not have a lot of time or energy outside of work and family responsibilities, know that just reaching out to a struggling friend or classmate leads to the same benefits as volunteering for an organized group.

3. Exercise!  Simply moving has a large clinical impact of depression, but you do not have to run miles a day or take up Cross Fit to reap the benefits.  Taking a 30-minute walk or starting a gentle yoga practice will lift your spirits.  Most importantly, find an activity that you enjoy and look forward to.  To get the most benefits, try to move for 30 minutes 5 days a week.

4. Write it down.  Habits are more easily created when we write them down, and the same applies to the power of positive thinking.  Keep a small notepad in a place that is convenient for you, maybe at your desk or bedside table, and every day write down 3 things that went well for you.  Remember, you do not have to get a promotion every day or win the Nobel Prize to have something positive to write down.  It can be as simple as enjoying a nice walk, spending time with a friend, or treasuring a few moments with a pet. 

5.  Focus on what you can control.  People who focus on thinking positively about the things that are in their control have the most success.  While great events do not happen every day, focusing on small successes is a productive way to increase health and happiness. 
            If you are seeking a source of support while incorporating healthy changes, KareBoost offers numerous holistic health services, including yoga, massage and Stress Reduction Coaching.  Change can be overwhelming, but you do not need to do it alone! 
Kara Unal JD, RYT
Greg Bing, M.Ed., Certified Personal Trainer
KareBoost Health

Play Ball! Tips for the Weekend Baseball Warrior

EVENT: Sports Nutrition Workshop Series  
WHERE: KareBoost Health (107 Cedar Grove, Suite 100, Somerset, NJ 08873)
TIME: Tuesdays at 6:30pm on February 14, March 14 and April 4, 2017 
Eating and Drinking Right for Peak Athletic Performance

You probably already know nutrition plays a key role in supporting good health, but did you know eating right can boost athletic performance? As it turns out, the right choices about nutrition and hydration can improve reaction time, focus, and stamina during athletic events.
Here is what to do when it comes to eating and drinking before an athletic event.
Eating Before the Event

3-4 hours before your athletic event, eat a balanced meal consisting of whole grains, lean protein (like fish, beans, eggs, or chicken), and vegetables. Stay away from rich, heavy foods high in fat.
30 minutes to 1 hour before your event, eat a piece of fruit.
Drink Plenty of Water (And Maybe Some Sports Drinks)

Drinking the right amount of water is essential. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps, joint pain, fatigue, headaches, decreased reaction time, and worsened concentration. Most experts recommend drinking at least 16 ounces of water 2 hours before your event, then another 8 ounces about 15 minutes before your event.
If your athletic event is a long one, you should drink 4-8 ounces of water every 15 minutes. For events less than an hour, you probably do not need to drink a sports drink, but after an hour, consuming moderate amount of a sports drink can help replace electrolytes you may have lost due to sweating, as well as carbohydrates your muscles may have burned.

After your event is over, drinking water is important. You can actually weigh yourself to see how much water you lost during your event, and how much water you should drink to replenish your body. For every pound you lost during your event, drink 16-24 ounces of water. If you consistently find yourself losing several pounds during athletic events, this is probably a sign you should up your fluid intake during your event.

About 30 minutes after your event is over, eat a snack that has carbohydrates and protein, like a peanut butter sandwich or yogurt with fruit in it. This will help replenish your energy stores and help repair your muscles.
Come Check out our first Sports Nutrition Workshop on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 6:30pm!! 
Greg Bing, M.Ed., A.C.E. Certified Trainer, Youth Fitness Specialist
KareBoost Health


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