Brian Betancourt

Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains, with a digital imaging, three simple exercises for beginning a routine.

He says these exercises can be done at a gym as well as at home if the person does not have enough budget. Vegetables, whole grains, lean protein and fruits are the main components when planning the food for the week.

Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian, and Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, agree about how important it is cooking at home and, in many cases, preparing enough food to take at work. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida and Cathy Clark-Reyes, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health Primary Care agree that being fit and being in shape are both one and the same.

But she considers the most important thing is to be healthy even if the person is thin.

She affirms it is essential to focus on what people are eating in order to achieve that health. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, says it is important to understand your level of fitness will not be the same level of another person, it is about what you are capable of doing and what is going to be challenging to improve.

“You never want to do exercise that has pain, you should feel challenging and you will see you can progress little by little and that will improve your overall health,” he explains. Exercise and diet complement each other. According to Cathy Clark-Reyes, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health Primary Care, 70% is about eating and 30% about exercise.

Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, also considers the quality of the food, because the big determining factor for losing weight is diet. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains when people do exercises their weight may not decrease because they’re putting on lean mass.

Cathy Clark-Reyes, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health Primary Care, explains muscles are more effective at burning calories.

Eating correctly It’s not just about eating less calories; It’s about where those calories are coming from, she explains. When people eat at home they can control everything they put onto the plate, serving size and how the meals are prepared in order to have a healthier diet.

Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida and Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at the same place, also consider cooking at home is a good idea for involving family and making the experience enjoyable. Parents model their children behavior. Kids need to learn how to eat and they need to see at home being served healthy food on their plates, affirms Cathy Clark-Reyes, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health Primary Care.

Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, considers the small steps is important when someone considers to start a healthy lifestyle. Not all activity has to be in a gym either. Walking is a good option when a person takes a vacation. Trying to establish a routine and trying to find a way to do something similar are the recommendations of Dr. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida.

Travelling is a good idea even for maintaining an exercise and healthy eating routine. Always there will be options in order to move and eat healthy. Dr. Castro compares it with tooth brushing. “When you are on, vacation you still brush your teeth. If you’re gonna have a routine, at least make an effort to continue to do that,” she says. Even though it is not easy, when a person starts feeling good with a healthy lifestyle, others see the change in perception, the change of attitude and the change of personality, says Dr. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida.

Changes occur when these people put themselves first in their priorities and change their way of life. The specialists are there to support them because they know that gaining weight is easy, but getting rid of the extra pounds is difficult, says Dr. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian, at Baptist Health South Florida. Sometimes in extreme situations as a shark attack, people do not feel any kind of pain. Diana Solares, Physical Therapist at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, explains this happens because the brain is worried about survival, the body is just trying to survive at all times.

Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, says you have to think the brain is a company, it’s got an executive function that tells whether the brain is in control or not.

“Essentially when you’re rubbing your knee or rubbing your head you are distracting it from that pain,” he points out. Doctors Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist, and Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, consider if a person can get his day starting off on the right foot, one of the things is getting motivated to get out of the bed and start moving.

Doctor Betancourt recommends doing an exercise routine early in the morning. “If you don’t get it done in the morning, it’s going to be hard in the evening. If you make that a priority that’s going to make a huge difference,” he says.

Dr. Castro also recommends having a good breakfast or having at least something in a stomach instead of just plain coffee. “You have to fuel your body correctly. If not, you’re going to end up in a bad mood and get cranky,” she affirms. Using cans or bottles as weights, using chairs and stools, hitting the stairs, getting fitness DVDs or video games, investing in cheaper fitness items and using technology are some suggestions of Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida and Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at the same place, in order to create a home gym.

They suggest using things around the house or doing some outside exercises like walking or jogging.

Also, they recommend eating healthy. “We don’t have to buy the most expensive fanciest food,” she says. “The best advice is starting exercising off gradually with something that’s a low skill gross movement such as stepping, like getting the stairs or stepping up into a box exercise, squats, sitting to a chair and standing back up several times,” says Dr. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida.

In addition to endorphins, the impact that exercise has on medicine is huge. It helps fight off any form of metabolic disease. Other problems like hypertension or diabetes can be managed by exercise.

Also the Doctor recommends staying away from machine-based exercises if there’s no professional guidance. Being overweight plays a role in chronic pain. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Hospital South Florida, says carrying all the extra weight and putting a little bit more stress on the bones is just going to affect some other things.

“When you are overweight and you have obesity, that comes in conjunction with metabolic disease, so that can exasperate your pain because at that point you are changing some of the hormonal responses,” he explains. Some of the patients get dependent on physical therapy because they lose a little bit of weight with the exercises. When do we have to manage arthritis and chronic pain with physical therapy? Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Hospital South Florida, says the most important thing to do is picking low skill moderate exercises people feel comfortable doing.

Diana Solares, Physical Therapist at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, points out stress is going to make your brain feel more in danger, more in threat and it is going to make everything feel more painful. Pain can cause depression. Dr. Jose Mena, Interventional Spine Specialist at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute, explains chronic pain can be treated with medications that are also antidepressants.

Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, says exercise helps chronic pain and depression, because adrenaline is generated and will create a better feeling in the patient with pain and also in their mood. Treating chronic pain is different from treating other types of pain. Diana Solares, Physical Therapist at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, says pain does not mean that your tissues are still hurt; at that point your tissues are most likely healed, but the nerves are extra sensitives to any kind of stimulus.

Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Hospital South Florida, points out patients have to understand the brain is only an output of the nervous system, so pain is not that the tissues are actually damaged. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, says the best exercises for lowering blood pressure are going to be the ones that just get you moving. “You don’t want to be anywhere you feel like your eyeballs are gonna come out of your head. Walking, biking and swimming at a moderate to low intensity, so if it’s a low intensity a longer duration, if it’s a moderate intensity slightly less than that, that’s gonna be your best exercise for lowering your blood pressure,” he explains.

He recommends doing something every day, because the effect that exercise has on blood pressure is progressive. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, explains exercise helps with hypertension if you consistently exercise. “Exercise one time it’s not gonna help your blood pressure except for that one time, because it uses steroids which is a hormone that relaxes the arteries,” he says.

He also explains the systolic blood pressure is the top number and the diastolic blood pressure is the bottom number. He recommends walking 30 or 45 minutes, then go home, relax and take your blood pressure, you will see the numbers go down. The easiest thing to do, when people think about starting an exercise plan, is to start off with something that people realistically achieve and continue to do such as walking.
Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, considers that any exercise routine has to be progressive.

Start bringing down the amount of sugar that people consume is the main thing to do when someone decides to start a healthy diet, advises Cathy Clark-Reyes, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health Primary Care.

She also recommends watching the snack consumption and bringing those things down and replacing them with fruits and vegetables. Doctors Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist, and Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, agree that when a person has a failure, the important thing is the patient looks at this, recognizes the fault and thinks how he can improve and avoid making the same mistake again.

“The focus would be on what the patient learned from the mistake and try to reframe it in the positive,” he says.

Dr. Castro states if there is a meal that the person wants a lot, he recommends the person to enjoy but then just move on to the next thing. She also recommends to take a smaller portion and for the next meal to select a healthy one. Currently there are many myths that have been extended to make people believe there is a quick and easy way to lose weight. Specialists Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian, and Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, advise not getting fooled by these ads.

A good weight loss requires a very healthy diet and a good exercise routine, experts agree and add it is not necessary to spend a lot of money to do that. “Your body is a gym,” he says. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Hospital South Florida, says it is possible to exercise at an old age. “If somebody has some knee arthritis, he can do something simple like stepping up onto a low box,” he explains.

Diana Solares, Physical Therapist at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, highlights arthritis is a lot of the time the reason why movement is so important, because it is necessary for the knee joint, for example. The way that knee gets nutrition is through movement. There are options to do physical activities in a daily routine, like climbing the stairs. “Think of it this way: however much you weigh, every step is a rep. Multiply that by how much you weigh and that’s how much weigh you have moved over time and that’s just how much exercise you have done instead of taking the elevator,” says Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida.

He recommends finding activities you enjoy (taking salsa lessons, tango lessons or zumba classes, for example). Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains the American College of Sports Medicine developed the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire as a guideline prior to exercise, just to avoid sudden cardiac death during exercise. “It’s very rare but some people go and exercise, get a heart attack then they pass.”

He also says the PAR-Q plus is a three-page questionnaire with questions like do you have lower back pain, do you have a heart condition, and have you ever had a heart attack. If you answered no to all of them, it will tell you are good to exercise on moderate and low intensity physical activity and then you can build your way up to a vigorous program. Thinking of your fitness goals, eating well and getting proper nutrition, and doing both cardiovascular and strength training are some tips to achieve your goals.

Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says abs are made in the kitchen and it is important to have the proper nutrition to recover from each hour of exercise. He points out you have to do both cardiovascular and strength training. “If your heart’s not in shape to lift weight, it doesn’t matter how much, don’t do it, because at the end of the day your heart is the most important part of your body.” Carlos Fernandez, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says for having a complete and balanced workout program you need to be able to hit every body part in a healthy way, and be able to have your joints, your back, your glutes healthy, because they are where you see a lot of injuries and hamstrings as well.

Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says you can work out the whole body in a day or doing split routines just to keep it safe. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, recommends if you do not have any health issues, you just work out to whatever is going to best fit your schedule, but if you have a pre-existing condition, like type-2 diabetes or diabetes in general, try not to exercise late evenings to avoid any hypoglycemia when you sleep.

About how many days a week and how long your workout should be, he says the minimum in terms of resistance training is 2 to 3 days per week. To prevent injuries when you exercise, Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, recommends if you are using free weights, learn how to rack and unrack the weights. “When you’re unwrapping the weights make sure that you’re not in a hunched over position over the dumbbell rack and you’re not pulling anything with your back, you’re going to be setting yourself in a position where you can use your legs to help you lift.”

He also says if you have never lifted weights you shouldn’t be trying to pick up 70, 80 pound, 60 pound dumbbells. It is better to start with the 10, the 5-pound dumbbells, because you can always go up. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, explains some good exercises for the core. For example, one of them is a Half-Kneeling Cable Chop: “The whole thing here is not to rotate, so the resistance is working your transverse abdominis and rectus abdominis”.

Another one is a Palloff Press, which is an anti rotational core exercise. The idea is to work out your muscles to avoid any problems, like back pain. Dancing, sports, yoga, Pilates, and rock climbing are alternative ways to stay fit. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, recommends doing something you can take your family with. He also says rock climbing is very safe, because they make you take a course; you have to become certified before you can climb on your own.

He also points out when you have a shoulder issue, you should not be doing anything completely overhead. It is better to do the exercises that are in an angle to keep the back safe. Exercise can help deal with arthritis. “People with arthritis or medical conditions try to be more sedentary, because they are thinking about their pain. But it has to be the opposite, we want to lubricate those joints,” says Dr. Jose Mena, Interventional Spine Specialist at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute.

Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, explains it is important to consult with your doctor, because you want to have an understanding of any conditions you have. When someone starts exercise program at home, he should do those moves that he does every day. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, considers it is the very easy way to start it.

He recommends exercises such as squats, push-ups, planks, hollow holds, yoga and jumping jack, among others. No equipment is required because the body is essentially a gym, he affirms.

Cathy Clark-Reyes, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health Primary Care, thinks the biggest challenge for people who are exercising at home is having that motivation. She recommends seeing video routines and involving any family member. Carlos Fernandez, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says at home you can do bodyweight, squats and push-ups. “You can do a lot of single leg stuff if you get to that level, a lot of core stuff at home. If you get a pull-up bar, very inexpensive, put that on the doorframe and workout,” he points out.

Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, highlights a small home gym is a very inexpensive thing, you can buy suspension trainer, bands for suspension trains and rings that you can hook up to a door. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, explains DASH stands for Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension and it is about eating more wholesome foods, more fruits and vegetables and whole grains for healthy eating and modifying your lifestyle.

According to her, the foods to add to your diet are whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy; and candy, cakes, pastry, fried food, salt, sugar soft drinks and sodium-heavy processed foods are the ones to drop. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist at Baptist Health South Florida, says diet and exercise are ideal in terms of dealing with any chronic disease, especially hypertension. How can doing squat improve your health? Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, talks about the benefits of squats for your lower limbs and glutes, and explains some squat variations. What are the differences between an exercise physiologist and a trainer? Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains this and what he does as an exercise physiologist to use exercise as a preventive medicine to help patients with diseases like diabetes to improve their lifestyle. When is it necessary to see an exercise physiologist? Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains how an exercise physiologist in the ER and in conjunction with their primary care physician helps patients, and talks about the amount of exercise recommended. What are the types of exercise you should be doing? Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says any type of exercise is going to be beneficial for your health, and talks about the importance of dieting to be healthy and see the results of the gym work. What are the benefits of doing cardio exercises? Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains how cardiovascular activity is the safest type of exercise you can do without having the risk of injury, and gives some recommendations to do interval training. What are the core muscles? Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains the importance and the types of core exercises to improve the strength of the muscles that protect the spine, and how core exercises ease back pain. Warming up, developing a good technique, and having a spotter are some tips to prevent an injury while exercising. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains these and more tips, such as staying hydrated, and eating well. During exercising, the most important thing is focusing on the muscles of the upper back for improving posture, affirms Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida.

The expert affirms those exercises will help the muscles get the endurance they require.

Dr. Jose Mena, Interventional Spine Specialist with Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute, agree with Betancourt and says buttocks should be close to the edge of the chair when someone is seating. It’s essential to have a good alignment in order to not stressing the back when someone is in that position, he says. Overuse injuries, exhaustion, “burn out”, stress and anxiety to perform well, and boredom with sport are some of the dangers of early specialization in sports for young athletes.

Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says kids specialized in baseball, for example, can have Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL) injuries. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says there are fitness apps that can track your exercise and tell you how many squats and push-ups you did, and how long you can sustain the plank exercise.

He also recommends if you don’t have the technology or don’t want to get all the apps, to make your own journal that lets you track a habit, activity, or goal. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says looking at pictures to compare themselves to other people on social media is a terrible habit, because you are comparing yourself to someone with different genetics, lifestyle, habits and sleep patterns.

“The only person you should be comparing yourself to is yourself. That is the only way you will be truly successful.” Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says the science of strength training is about what is the most efficient for getting you healthier, faster, stronger, and reducing the amount of injuries you could potentially get during an activity.

He explains it is called exercise physiology and involves things like assessment, calculating load, monitoring volume, and heart rate, among others. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says CrossFit is gymnastics, weightlifting, and conditioning to create an exercise program. He highlights it is not regulated, and to get a certification in CrossFit you only need a weekend.

Carlos Fernandez, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says it is a sport and you have to understand it has different rules, specific lifts and timing. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, and Dr. Jose Mena, Interventional Spine Specialist with Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute describe the muscles that make up the neck area and how they keep it strong and stable.

They describe the muscles that make up the neck area and how they keep it strong and stable. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says if someone does not want to work out, because they do not want to be in the gym, they have to find something they enjoy.

He also explains people lose the motivation over time, but the important thing is putting yourself first and removing the barrier in front of you when you are going to the fitness center. ‘I hate exercising’, ‘I’m too busy’, ‘I’m too tired’, ‘exercise is too difficult and painful’, and’ I’m not athletic’ are some of the excuses for not working out.

Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says if a person is not getting enough sleep, exercising could be detrimental, but if they are well rested and just don’t want to work out, it is just an excuse. Cervical spine should be as stable as possible when people do neck exercises, says Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida.
He explains the correct form to do those exercises. He affirms it’s important to consult with the physician prior to start any program. Patients can do a low easy impact exercise every day, the expert says. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains when you start working out too fast and too soon, you do not develop habits.

He recommends starting in the kitchen to build better eating habits, like not eating anything that is processed. “That will easy develop some processes and habits that will help you in the long term.” Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says nutrition is the easiest habit you can build, and it can sustain everything else, because if you are eating healthy and you stop working out, you can maintain your weight.

He also points out SMART is a framework for creating effective goals, and it stands for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. He explains the goals have to be realistic to complete. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says he recommends a coach or a parent to give their kid an off-season of some kind to prevent overtraining injuries in young athletes.

He also explains one of the first indicators of someone who has been overtraining is that they are having issues sleeping. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains bodybuilding is purely for aesthetic reasons and it is a sport. There are bodybuilding and figure competitions, but that does not mean you are going to be an all-star athlete. “Just because you can leg press a bunch of weights does not mean you can catch a ball.”

He says if you are an athlete and train as a bodybuilder to perform a sport, it is probably a bad idea because your training needs to be specific to what sport you are going to perform. Dr. Jose Mena, Interventional Spine Specialist with Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute, affirms people who put more pressure on the neck, apply more stress on those muscles as well in the discs and the joints in the neck.
He explains these people, over time, can become painful related to cellphone use and they develop cervical problems, or neck problems.
In order to avoid this, Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, advises taking breaks, trying to do things at eye level and stretching. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says one of the reasons to not get back to exercising is the fear of failure. People start to avoid those who have been helping, because of the fear of being judged.

He explains you have to look at failure as a stepping stone to success, to start asking yourself questions, to being introspective, and to reflect upon yourself with the goal of learn something and continue working out. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says one of the biggest concerns for lifting weights is bad technique in young athletes. He explains at every hinge of joint people have growth plates, and if they fracture those plates while lifting weights, it will cost them some armed discrepancy.

He also points out exercising at any age is going to be beneficial, and you can lift weights as a young kid and get strong, and then as you get older you will notice you are more coordinated than your friends that did not exercise. Anytime that patient is not keeping the neck in a neutral position, he’s messing around with nerves and they can cause pain, explains Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida.

Dr. Jose Mena, Interventional Spine Specialist with Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute, advises trying to maintain a good posture during the day, with the intention of building the back muscles and having a good posture. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains if you have gotten to the point where you have pain in any range of motion, that is a sign that you took the training too far and you possibly have a strain. He recommends if the pain lasts for a few days, going to a primary care physician.

Carlos Fernandez, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says you do not want to push through the pain while working out, because pain is your body telling you are doing something is wrong. He suggest not keeping pushing through pain or you will hurt yourself further. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains a three season athlete is an athlete that plays the same sport all year round and never stops; and a three sport athlete plays different sports in different seasons.

He also says the benefits of being a three sport athlete are that you are exposed to all of those different motor patterns, and you get a broader skill set. Felix Flores, Strength and Conditioning Specialist with DBC Fitness, says overuse injuries do exist and you have to monitor those types of injuries and the movements, so you are not constantly overstressing the ligaments and joints.

Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains as people become more intelligent as a society and more advanced in science, they have realized the “no pain, no gain” mentality was a bad idea. Felix Flores, Strength and Conditioning Specialist with DBC Fitness, says early specialization in sports occurs when parents have aspirations of their children to be professional athletes, and they think the sooner the kids can start to work on that craft and that skill, the higher success rate they may have.

Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains doing the same movement in a sport will improve that movement or skill, but the issue is that if you only rely on the skills related to that sport, you will not be a complete athlete. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains the long-term athletic development model consists of 10 pillars to develop a young athlete into a professional athlete or a better athlete.

Some of the pillars are: adjusting for individualized development of youth, promoting both physical fitness and psychosocial wellbeing, focusing on motor skill and strength development, and encouraging an early sampling approach. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, explains sarcopenia is the muscle loss or the change of fiber types. He says the way you can stop the muscle loss is by challenging that muscle with exercising, lifting weights, or having an activity that is very physically demanding.

He also recommends moving quickly, for example, ladder drills can help with coordination and lose that fiber type depreciation with aging. Dr. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, says fat is an essential part of nutrients a person needs. “We need healthy fats, carbohydrate and protein for a balanced healthy meal,” she adds.

Consumed in correct portions, fats are a part of balanced meal. Nuts, seeds, avocado are options when the person wants to try to avoid animal fats.

She recommends to avoid saturated fats (french fries, bacon, butter) because they can case clogs more of the arteries. One packet of artificial sweetener is about 600 times sweeter to the taste than regular sugar, explains Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida.

She says it is good to reduce the amount of artificial sweeteners, because it can cause more cravings.

On the other hand, she affirms sweeteners are very expensive. Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, advises never to put the neck in an extreme position such as extreme forms of flexion or lateral deviations.
Also, Dr. Jose Mena, Interventional Spine Specialist with Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute, recommends being the neck as neutral as possible at the time of sleep and keeping the alignment of the spine. With a neck prototype, Claudia Hogdson, Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner with Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute, describes how herniated disk happens. She explains sometimes herniated disk compresses the nerves, and patients will have some of the symptoms: burning, numbness and pain.
Jose Mena, Interventional Spine Specialist with Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute, says a physical therapy program is the first step to treat herniated disks.
Brian Betancourt, Exercise Physiologist with Baptist Health South Florida, recommends a lot of pulling exercises. Preparing the food to eat at lunch or snack, but if the person is not at home, is a better option than eating daily in restaurants, according to Dr. Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian, at Baptist Health South Florida.

She mentions food can include a healthy lunch, pack in a refrigerated bag, a portion of quinoa, meat, some vegetables, fruit and yogurt and almond for snack. She also says home cooked meals are the best choice, because the person has a control over what the ingredients are. Dr. Jose Mena, Interventional Spine Specialist at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute, explains steroids injections are an option to relieve pain caused by exercising. “It is used for medical purposes to bring the inflammation down, it’s a medication that we inject into the body part aiming to try to relieve the symptoms,” he says.

He also points out the injection is not a cure of the symptoms, it is a tool they use to supplement the exercise program. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, says a DASH eating plan of 2,000 calories is more for an active male, between 20 and 30 years old, and for a female she recommends consuming 1,800 calories.

You can consume 6 to 8 servings per day of grains, lean meat, poultry and fish; 4 to 5 servings per day of vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds; and 2 to 3 servings per day of low-fat dairy. Diana Solares, Physical Therapist at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, explains there are the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. The first one is involved in chronic pain and the second one would be when you are resting or digesting.

“One of the easiest ways to tap into that parasympathetic nervous system is just to take nice deep breaths, because when you are with the sympathetic nervous system your breaths get shallower and faster,” she recommends.

This is a simple and great technique for pain relief. Angie Placeres, Registered Dietitian at Baptist Health South Florida, says it is important if you are going to exercise in the afternoon, to make sure you are eating well throughout the day.

“Make sure you eat enough complex carbs or starches so that you have that energy source to exercise,” she recommends. She also explains within two hours of exercising you should eat some protein, because you need to supply the body with energy resources. Diana Solares, Physical Therapist at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, explains the difference between acute and chronic pain. “It comes down to timing. Acute pain is something that happens very recently and it’ll last anywhere from about three to six months,” she says.

Solares points out after the six-month point you are getting into chronic pain. The theory on pain shows there are inputs into the brain and then the brain processes the information. “Pain is actually an output of the body,” she highlights. Besides being healthier, cooking at home is also cheaper, according to Natalie Castro, Registered Dietitian with Baptist Health South Florida’s explanation.

With some products on the table, the specialist describes how much it costs to eat at a restaurant, take frozen food to the office and do a similar preparation at home. Some of the benefits of exercise are it prevents chronic diseases, it improves mood, it helps you to have better sleep and it also improves brain health.

Dr. Jose Mena, Interventional Spine Specialist at Miami Orthopedics & Sports Medicine Institute, says exercise will help us to strengthen the body and the heart, to avoid and also treat chronic conditions. “The exercise program is a key point for every single condition,” he highlights.

Videos

DISCLAIMER: The information and opinions expressed in the programs on this channel and website are intended to address specific questions asked or situations described in each particular program, are for educational purposes only, and are not designed to constitute advice or recommendations as to any disease, ailment, or physical condition. You should not act or rely upon any information contained in these programs without seeking the advice of your personal physician or a qualified medical provider. If you have any questions about the information or opinions expressed, please contact your doctor or other medical professional.