Woman in Running Shoes
At Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s third annual health and wellness event on Jan. 14 at the University of Minnesota Recreation and Wellness Center, attend seminars and group fitness classes. Plus, shop and explore the expo filled with products, services, and treatments for a healthy lifestyle. Here's a sampling of what you’ll find at FitFest.
Overall wellness is the focus at Northwestern Health Sciences University, but it also offers a 3D medical technology so cutting-edge even Olympians are asking for it.
Imagine getting an in-depth reading of the mobility of your joints and impact of your gait, in under an hour, potentially saving you from severe injury or correcting an existing one. The 3D Movement Analysis System is so thorough it’s mostly used in the United States for research, but Northwestern Health Sciences University, presenting sponsor of FitFest, has one on its Bloomington campus that’s open to the public. Team USA Olympic runners Meghan Peyton and Heather Kampf have even gone in to get their own analyses.
“You don’t have to be an Olympian to come in for this technology—it’s for anyone experiencing pain or injury, or those who want to enhance their performance,” says Dr. Greg DeNunzio, DC, BSME, clinical coordinator, Sweere Center for Clinical Biomechanics at NWHSU. But it’s nice to know you can get the same treatment the best athletes in the world are getting to improve their performance.
After the one-hour digital reading, patients have a follow-up appointment with DeNunzio to go over results and recommendations for treatment, which takes place just steps away from the lab at NWHSU’s Sweere Center.
The center encompasses the whole-body wellness mission of NWHSU, including the 3D Movement Analysis System, and a team of doctors and specialists like physical therapists, acupuncturists, personal trainers, and massage therapists.
“The Sweere Center is a multidisciplinary clinic, so you get a variety of services depending on the need—the practitioners and doctors work together on treatment plans,” says DeNunzio. The cost is $295 for the digital reading and follow-up appointment, and may be partially covered by health insurance.
DeNunzio and a team from Northwestern Health Sciences University will be on hand at FitFest to talk about the 3D Movement Analysis System, and the variety of non-surgical therapies and treatments offered at the clinic.
YogaFit’s Equipment-Free Workout
Another fitness trend uses only your body to achieve desired results—no machines required. Yoga is a mind-body exercise, in which you’re focused on your breath as much as your body’s movement. This body-weight exercise boosts muscle strength and gets the heart pumping, without relying on machines or free weights. But a twist on traditional yoga is what makes YogaFit a different experience for all fitness levels.
“We have everything from classic restorative or vinyasa yoga for the beginner to the advanced yogi,” says Jen Wieck, director of programming at YogaFit. New classes, YogaBarre and YogaBurn, combine a more intense stretch and faster flow than the yoga you’re used to.
“YogaBarre and YogaBurn will make muscles you didn’t even know you had shake,” says Wieck. Armed with just a mat and a water bottle, you can work your entire body, balancing and stretching various muscle groups for a full-body workout that gets you strength and lean muscle mass, which makes injuries less likely in or outside the studio. Look out for Wieck, who will be teaching a class and answering questions at FitFest
The University of Minnesota Recreation and Wellness Center has a unique fitness tool available to the public. An egg-shaped machine, the BodPod opens up to a chair in which you sit while the machine scans your body for about two minutes, calculating fat mass and fat-free mass, and coming up with the body fat percent as a health or risk assessment. The BodPod experience is free to FitFest attendees. Not attending? At the U of M, it’s $40 for non-members, $25 for members, and $15 for students.
A Health Haven
The Wedge community co-op has its finger on the pulse of the local food scene.
For 42 years, the Wedge co-op has sourced from local organic farmers and makers, and adapted its store as consumer needs changed. The demand has grown for items in homemade blended drinks, nut-based dairy alternatives, and natural lifestyle products, requiring more space. In November, the Wedge remodeled its Whittier neighborhood shop. “We’ve expanded drastically. Our bulk section especially, which is one of the store’s flagship departments, now has more additives for smoothies and we’ve increased our selection of nuts-—we now carry about 50 varieties,” says Jessica Pierce, director of marketing at the Wedge. The Wedge has long been a haunt for vegan and gluten-free dieters seeking hard-to-find items, but it’s also a place those who are in neither camp go to shop and learn.
“Community and education are the core values for a cooperative. We do a lot of educational programming. Right now we have a segment called ‘Meet Your Maker,’ connecting our customers to the people who make their food,” she says. Events like this take place at the community space, Wedge Table, which offers an all-day café, market, and gathering space.
Look for the Wedge at FitFest. Pierce and product development chef Colin Cody will be on hand with cooking classes and answering questions about vegan and gluten-free diets, and more. Ask Pierce about all of the community offerings they’ve got, it seems they’re always expanding ways to reach more people in the community.
Attention Health Nuts
Nuts are a healthy addition to yogurt, trail mix, and smoothies—in moderation. Some nuts lower bad LDL cholesterol, and others boost omega-3 levels, which is beneficial to the heart and brain. Since nuts are high in calories, you’ve got to be cautious about how much you consume. According to a 2015 study by the International Journal of Epidemiology, adults who consume no more than 10 grams of nuts per day have a lower overall chance of dying from chronic illnesses and diseases. Peanuts are effective, but the study concludes that peanut butter is not.
Here’s what 10 grams of nuts look like:
- 12 peanuts
- 8-9 almonds
- 6 cashews
- 5 walnut halves
- 5 pecan halves