Feel good, not guilty: Tips for happy balanced eating

By How To No Comments

It seems like every day someone asks me, “Is (insert a food here) bad for you?” It’s also common for people to insist on me hearing their “food confessions,” and accompanying excuses. These often sound something like: “I’m trying to quit red meat because I know it’s bad, but once a week the guys and I go to Capital Grill and I get the rib-eye, I can’t stop doing that.” Read More

Claims About Supplements Starting to Sound Fishy

By Featured, News, Uncategorized No Comments

If you’re currently taking Broga classes, or even contemplating signing up for your first one, you are already making progress toward improving your overall health.  The next step may be to give some thought to your diet if total body wellness is a goal of yours.  As you begin to contemplate your personal nutrition goals, you may at some point also begin to contemplate taking supplements.  Buyer beware, be sure to stay current on your research.  Shelling out big bucks on pills may be a waste of resources better spent on real food.Fish Pills

In spite of previous studies linking the omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil pills to heart health, new research featured in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that taking fish oil supplements may in fact provide no significant cardio vascular benefits. 

So are fish oil supplements still worth buying? Doesn’t it always seem like the news about nutrition is changing?  One day something is good for you, and the next, not so much right? 

Nutritional research is still fairly young, as medical research goes.  We are still learning so much about how the body processes nutrients and which ones (and how much of them) it needs most. 

Any medical research is complicated to decipher, but I think I got this one. It’s generally accepted in medical communities that omega-3 fatty acids play a role in heart health.  We know that certain fish are known sources of omega-3s.  If you connect the dots then, fish=heart health.  Pretty simple stuff so far. 

Fish oil supplementation has risen in popularity in the past few years because it was thought that we could isolate the good omega-3s from real fish, and put them in a pill.  If people took these pills, it seemed logical that the increase in their diet in omega-3s would lead to healthier hearts.  This logic wasn’t exactly wrong, but there is likely more to the story than we thought. 

What this new information really means is that there may be more to fish that is good for your heart than just its omega-3s.  The same fish that are rich in omega-3s are also rich in selenium and Vitamin D (among other things.)  It is possible that omega-3s are most helpful to our cardiovascular health when consumed with other nutrients.  Just like we know that calcium needs Vitamin D to be fully functional in our bodies, omega-3 fatty acids may be most beneficial when accompanied by other nutrients.  Further research will need to be done to see if this is in fact the case.

SalmonSo what’s your action item?  If your doctor has suggested taking a fish oil supplement, I wouldn’t toss them in the trash because of one study’s findings.  If you are concerned about heart health (and aren’t we all) try to increase your intake of omega-3 rich fish to at least 2-3 meals per week.  Approachable fish rich in omega-3s are salmon, anchovies, and bluefish. 

Your fish oil pills are not likely doing you any harm, and may still be doing some good, but it’s almost always best to get your nutrients from real foods when you can instead of supplements.  

Consider your likes and dislikes and your current dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and try to add more.  Don’t write off supplements in general, some do great things, but my advice is to look at them with healthy skepticism and always ask yourself if you can get what you are looking for from real food first.

 

 

What do you think? Do you have a post-workout favorite food? Maybe a smoothie recipe you’d be willing to share? Share your input in the comment section below!

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jen JasminJennifer Jasmin is a nutritionist and freelance writer living in Watertown, Massachusetts.  She holds a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College, and a Graduate Certificate in Dietetics from Simmons College.  In her work, Jen strives to help people find balance between real nutrition facts, and realistic health and fitness goals.   Her background also includes over 15 years working in the food service industry, which adds to her unique perspective on eating well.  She shares her insights, personal cooking lessons, and recipe ideas on her blog at: www.skeletonsinmykitchen.com.  In addition to writing, Jen shares her passion about healthy eating in casual, approachable nutrition seminars and workshops in both corporate and community settings.  To Jen, the journey to wellness is incredibly personal, and should be approached in a way that is individual, actionable and unpretentious.

 

Feelin’ the Burn? How to Relieve Muscle Soreness After Broga

By Classes, How To, Students One Comment

Feelin’ the Burn?

It’s totally common to feel a bit worse for the wear the morning after your first Broga class. Introducing any new exercise to your fitness routine, or lack there of, stresses and strains your muscles in new ways, causing actual cell damage that takes time to heal.  It’s this damage, and the inflammatory-repair response that it triggers, that cause stiffness and soreness for typically 24 to 72 hours after a workout. It’s so common it even has a name: Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness – or DOMS. So you’re sore, and now you know why…what do you do about it?

Broga

Back-to-Back Broga:

Don’t be discouraged! In fact, get off the couch, stretch out, and go for a walk, or better yet, take another Broga class ASAP! I know this seems counter-intuitive, but it really works! One of the fastest ways to silence achy muscles is to stretch them out, and get them moving again. You may feel like you lack some range of motion due to muscle tightness, so don’t over do it. Let your instructor know that you are feeling a bit sore so he can let you in on any modifications that may be a bit lower-impact.

Refuel:

After Broga SmoothieYour muscles need fuel for repairs. A post-workout snack may help provide your muscles with the necessary tools to begin repairs quickly, resulting in less soreness the next day. It’s pretty common knowledge that protein is essential to muscle building, but you won’t return to pain free movement if you neglect other key macronutrients. Carbohydrate rich foods help the body restore muscle glycogen (stored energy your muscles need to function) quickly and fat is essential for cell repair. An ideal post-workout snack should be mostly carbs, some protein, and a little fat. Oh, and don’t forget to drink lots of water!

Chocolate milk has been touted as the ultimate post workout snack because it loosely meets the guidelines above. But before you grab the Hershey’s syrup, ask yourself, do you really think there is a nutritional benefit to chocolate syrup?   Make each part of your snack count by smartly selecting carbohydrate, protein and fat sources that are all beneficial to your body. Many super foods have anti-inflammatory properties, and work essentially the same way that NSAID pain relievers (like ibuprofen and aspirin) do. Try to work them into your snack routine.

So, what’s the ideal snack for post-Broga muscle repair? Try low-fat yogurt with fresh (or dried) blueberries, or cherries, with a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. If you like the idea of a beverage better, add some ice, or better yet use frozen fruit, and turn this combo into a smoothie. Feelin’ better already?

Interested in learning more about the nuts and bolts of muscle response to exercise? Check out this article from Scientific American.

What do you think? Do you have a post-workout favorite food? Maybe a smoothie recipe you’d be willing to share? Share your input in the comment section below!

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Jen JasminJennifer Jasmin is a nutritionist and freelance writer living in Watertown, Massachusetts.  She holds a B.S. in Communications from Emerson College, and a Graduate Certificate in Dietetics from Simmons College.  In her work, Jen strives to help people find balance between real nutrition facts, and realistic health and fitness goals.   Her background also includes over 15 years working in the food service industry, which adds to her unique perspective on eating well.  She shares her insights, personal cooking lessons, and recipe ideas on her blog at: www.skeletonsinmykitchen.com.  In addition to writing, Jen shares her passion about healthy eating in casual, approachable nutrition seminars and workshops in both corporate and community settings.  To Jen, the journey to wellness is incredibly personal, and should be approached in a way that is individual, actionable and unpretentious.

3 Simple Ways (For Men) to Avoid Injury in a Yoga Class

By How To, Students, Uncategorized 2 Comments

Like running, skiing, playing basketball, lifting weights, shoveling heavy snow, or anything else that involves pushing your body’s range of motion and stamina, practicing yoga can lead to injury if not done with care, moderation, and self-awareness.

Here are 3 simple ways to avoid injuring yourself as you tap into the many benefits of yoga.

1.) Go to an appropriate class (in two parts).

Part 1 – Choose the right class – i.e. type of yoga & level of class:
If you are new to yoga (even if you’ve taken a few classes), are slightly out of shape, don’t get a lot of exercise, have some chronic pain, or know that you are a little stiff in the joints, you should ONLY be taking an introductory yoga class. Don’t push it. I’ve been practicing yoga for almost two years and still get just as much out of an introductory class as I get out of an intermediate level class. I know people who have practiced much longer than I have and they say the same thing. We see a lot of guys who show up to our Broga II class (presumably believing that the Broga I class is too easy) that really shouldn’t be there. We make sure to communicate this professionally and respectfully whenever necessary and recommend the Broga I class, but you (the student) should recognize when you’re out of your comfort zone. When you’re in the right class, you’ll know it because it will feel right.

There are many types of yoga and many types of classes. Our recommendation is that you find a yoga class that is specifically designed for you. You wouldn’t go to a prenatal yoga class (unless it was prenatal for couples) right? If you look around you’ll find a class that is specifically for you.

Part 2 – Choose the right instructor:
Once you find the type of class that you want to attend, you should then find the best available instructor for that class. Friends and colleagues can give you a good recommendation, but you need to ask the right questions. If someone who has been practicing yoga for 10 years recommends a yoga instructor, ask if that instructor pushes them. If so, it’s probably something that they appreciate, but you won’t (unless you have also been practicing yoga for 10 years). You need an instructor that will guide you through every movement with clarity and care.

Also, once you identify what seems like the best class and teacher, go a little early – good teachers (often) have full classes. Don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to the teacher and see #2.

If your first class isn’t what you’d hoped or expected DON’T GIVE UP. You’ll have good days and bad days (so will teachers) so assume it just wasn’t a great day and try again. You should give it at least a second chance before you decide to throw in the towel or look for another class/instructor. On the other hand, if you’ve done a bit of research, you’ve probably found the best class right away. If so, it should be a challenging, but rewarding first experience.

2.) Tell your instructor if you have any injuries or limitations or concerns.

Most good instructors will ask if anyone has any injuries or limitations at the beginning of every single class. If you do have an injury, even if you don’t think it’s a big deal, MAKE SURE YOU TELL THE INSTRUCTOR. If the instructor doesn’t ask, he/she isn’t being responsible (dock them 10 points and don’t go back), but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t speak up. Your yoga class is FOR YOU, not your teacher or even the other students. Be smart. Be a little selfish. Protect yourself. Make sure you are clear, even if it feels weird to speak up, about your injuries or limitations or concerns. Most good instructors will keep you in mind throughout the class and will give you variations of poses to help you get the most out of the class – without hurting yourself.

3.) If it don’t feel right, don’t do it!

There is absolutely no reason that you should do anything in a yoga class if it doesn’t feel right. If you’ve been injured before, you know that “Uh-oh” feeling when some part of your body goes past the point of no return. If you are paying attention to your body (as you should be in a yoga class) you’ll sense when your knee, or neck, or back, or hip starts to feel a little “tweaky”. When you feel that, back off. A yoga practice should challenge you, push you to your edge, cultivate a sense of awareness, and help you improve your body and mind, but it shouldn’t push you past your edge, make you take risks, spur a sense of competitiveness, or cause injury. If it don’t feel right, don’t do it!

Bonus: Be your own advocate and guide. Go with intention. It takes motivation, maybe some encouragement from friends or relatives, and willpower to go to a yoga class. Maybe there are other things you could be doing or maybe you went out last night or you have a cold or you’re “just not feeling it”, etc. When you do surmount your personal obstacles and decide to go to a class, go with a good attitude. Go with intention. Go with a desire to learn something “about yourself” and to take yourself to the edge. Go with the intention of coming home and feeling better than you did when you left. And go knowing that you won’t hurt yourself.

How did we do? Have you been injured in a yoga class (and learned something from it)? Did we miss any tips? Let us know! Leave a comment.

 

Broga & Movember

Men’s Health Awareness Month: Broga Donating to Prostate Cancer Research

By Events, News No Comments

Here’s the deal: You commit to your health & we’ll commit to donating

In honor of your commitment to your health and Men’s Health Awareness Month (November), Broga is donating funds go the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF).

  • Option 1 – Come to 3 Broga classes this month (yes, we know there are only a few weeks left) and we’ll donate 50% of your class payments to PCF and list your name (if you want) on a special page on our website acknowledging you as a contributor.
  • Option 2 – Come to any Broga class with a mustache (men only, please) – you know, for ‘Movember’ – we’ll donate that class payment to PCF.
  • Option 3 – Buy a T-shirt this month, we’ll donate 100% of the proceeds (after our T-shirt production costs) to PCF.

As you’d probably expect, men’s health is a major concern of ours. Through Broga, we are offering men a powerful opportunity to take charge of their personal well-being as they both improve their current quality of life and, hopefully, stave off the many ailments that afflict the sedentary at much higher rates than the active.

Exercise is good for you, but unfortunately, we live with the reality that no matter what we do, bad things can happen to, and in, our bodies. Prostate cancer is one of them. So this month, we’re going to make a contribution to the world-class research being conducted by the PCF.

We hope to make a sizable donation at the end of the month. Lets do this – because we can!

Broga Featured in Martha’s Vineyard Magazine

By News No Comments

Earlier this week, the September issue of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine came out with an extended special section featuring Broga.

We just want to thank Justin Ahren, Jocelyn Filley, and the MV Magazine crew.

Justin, great writing – anything that mentions Fight Club and Charles Bukowski in the same article would generally be awesome in my book, but that they were both mentioned in regards to Broga… well, it’s an honor.

Jocelyn, the photos were/are great. You really captured the essence of Broga – no small feat for a foggy day like the one we had for the shoot.

Thanks again!

Broga photo from "Only a Game"

Broga on NPR’s “Only A Game”

By News No Comments

We’re very excited to announce that this coming Saturday, August 20th, Broga will be featured on NPR’s “Only A Game.”

We were visited by “Only a Game” Producer Doug Tribou two weeks ago in Somerville, so we’re anxious to hear the feature. If you can, tune into your local NPR station this Saturday and let us know you heard it.

Here is a listing of NPR member stations and the “Only A Game” timeslot nationally.

See you on air!

1st Broga Class: What to Expect

By Classes, Featured 3 Comments

We’ve had a few people asking us what they should expect at their first Broga class. I thought I’d address this question in a quick post.

For those unfamiliar with yoga or group fitness classes, the idea of working out with a group of strangers can be intimidating. But honestly, it’s only awkward in your head. Once you get in the room, on the mat, the music starts playing, and the Broga moves start flowin’, you’ll be fine. Broga is all about making your yoga experience comfortable. It’s our specialty.

Here’s a few bits on what you can expect when you jump in to your first class…

What to expect:
-The class will be in a medium-sized room with open floors and plenty of space.
-When you arrive, you’ll be asked to sign a waiver and a sign-in sheet (so we can keep track of your classes and add you to the newsletter if you want some newsletter action).
-As you know, Broga is designed specifically for men, but women often attend and many women have become broga regulars.

What to bring:
-mats are available, but bring your own if you have one
-wear comfortable clothes that you’d work out in
-wear light clothes – you’ll probably work up a sweat
-wear a headband if you’re into that kind of thing (Adam is)

Before the class starts:
-let the instructor know if you have any injuries, limitations, or health concerns

When the class starts:
-listen and have fun!

If you have any questions or concerns please give us a call or submit a note on the contact us page.

Broga Sandstand

Broga for Father’s Day

By Events, Featured No Comments

Broga is for Dads!

This Father’s Day, give your Dad (or a Dad you know) a meaningful, lasting, and important gift – the gift of health!

A Broga Dad

For you, it will cost nothing. For Dad, it’ll be worth a lot.

To claim 5 free classes for Dads, do the following by 10pm on Sunday, June 19th, 2011:

1.) Twitter: Tweet “Giving Dad [or man’s name] free broga classes for Father’s Day! #brogafordad https://brogayoga.com”
OR
1.) Facebook: Post on your Facebook wall “Giving Dad [or man’s name] free broga classes for Father’s Day! https://brogayoga.com”

THEN

2.) Email adam@brogayoga.com with the subject “brogafordad”, a link to your post, and your Dad’s name.

We’ll email you a customized, printable voucher. Or if you prefer, we’ll snail mail a hard copy to you or your Dad. (Provide mailing address. Must be received by end of the day, Tuesday, June 14th to reach recipient in time).

Healthy men are happier, stronger, feel better about themselves, and most importantly, they live longer! Tell your Dad you love him by telling him you want him to live a long life! If that doesn’t fit, just tell him that a little broga will improve his golf swing, strengthen his aching back, tighten his core, and give him a ripped chest.

One more thing: So he doesn’t have to venture alone into the new world of broga, your Dad will be encouraged to bring a free guest with him to each of his free classes! If you secretly want to check out broga yourself, just know that your altruism will be rewarded.

One other thing: Know more than one Dad? There is no limit to how many 5-class vouchers you can claim. Go nuts with the posts and we’ll go nuts with vouchers for you!

Broga Partners with the City of Somerville, MA

By Featured, News No Comments

Broga, in partnership with Somerville’s Mayor Joseph Curtatone and his “Mayor’s Fitness Challenge,” is very excited to announce the launch of a new class serving the greater Boston area. Beginning on April 23, 2011 Broga will be taught each Saturday at 10am at the Somerville Armory.

The successful Shape Up Somerville Initiative and the Mayor’s Fitness Challenge, now both going into their second year, were designed to encourage residents and city workers to take charge of their personal health and well-being through organized events and incentive programs.

In honor and support of this program, Broga will be offering anyone involved in the Mayor’s Fitness Challenge free classes through the month of May.

Any other first-time attendees will be granted one complimentary pass. After that, all classes will be donation-based, with a $10 recommended donation.

Classes will be taught at the Shanti at the Armory studio on the first floor of the Armory. For schedule information and a map, see the schedule page.

For more information on Broga, check out the home page or contact us via form, email or phone through the contact page.

Your move. Your life. Get ‘real. fit.’

See you there!

 

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