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About the Author

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Deena Russo

Deena Russo is a certified personal trainer and body-sculpting specialist in Los Angeles. Her clientele are men and women of all ages from high school students to senior citizens.  She has experience with prenatal and postnatal exercise techniques and encourages women to stay fit during and after pregnancy. She has been involved in the fitness industry in New York and Los Angeles for the past 14 years.

Her New York experience as an aerobics instructor and private trainer includes training groups at Nassau College on Long Island as well as many fitness establishments in the tri-state area.  Deena has trained with fitness experts in many fields of fitness including core training, flexibility and balance, bodybuilding, and yoga.

She currently resides in West Los Angeles, CA   and is training at a variety of locations including private homes and gyms. She enjoys occasionally taking clients on an outdoor excursion where aerobic activity is mixed with resistance training for body sculpting.

Deena works together with chiropractors and holistic doctors for clients that have special rehabilitation needs and limitations. She has recently trained clients for the Avon Breast Cancer Walk in San Diego.

Her career in fitness began as a talk show host for a New York based television health show entitled “Creative Wellness. The show covered such topics as exercise, nutrition, self-empowerment and holistic healing. She has worked as a self-esteem coach and has led guided meditation and goal setting groups.

If it’s a trainer who genuinely cares about people and motivates her clients to push past their comfort zones and become leaner, stronger, healthier and more self confident, it’s Deena you want. Strongbodyforlife.com or 310-948-2364 Santa Monica

The Author's web site

Best Boomer Towns Columns

After 55

Stretching Your Way To Wellness

When done properly, stretching feels good. The more you make the effort to stretch, the easier it gets and the more flexible you become. It’s that simple.

As an exercise specialist, Iíve encountered clients that say their muscles are tight and they wish they weren’t so achy. After we stretch for 5 minutes, the results are always the same. They feel relieved and more relaxed, they have more energy and they realize that it’s pretty simple to do.

To get started, it’s important to warm up the muscles and get the blood pumping first. A brisk walk for a few minutes is one way to do this. Any exercise equipment that you have handy such as a stationery bike or treadmill will suffice.

After you’ve warmed up, start with gentle stretching on a mat on the floor. Sit with you legs straight out in front of you. Make sure your knees are not locked and are slightly bent. Take a deep breath from your diaphragm (just below your navel) and as you exhale reach your hands to your knees. Now hold that position and take another breath. As you exhale, reach a little closer to your ankles. Don’t bounce while stretching. Hold these static stretches. Using your breathing will help you to exhale and relax into the stretch. Take your time with the stretch and let it be at your pace. This is a process that will get easier the more that you do it. Be consistent and youíll be able to stretch with more range of motion each time. Doing it a little each day will gain better results and be safer than trying to over do it. Slow and gentle works best.

Another popular exercise that works wonders on stretching out the back is the cat stretch. On your knees and hands (on your elbows if your wrists aren’t up for it) make your back flat like a table and inhale. As you exhale round your back up like a giant C shape and stretch. Do this 5 times slowly then gently sit back on your feet and stretch your arms long. Come up slowly to your knees and then holding on to something stable gently stand up. For better balance, it’s always better to have something stable like a wall to lean against while getting in and out of exercise positions.

The more you stretch and exercise the more flexible you’ll feel and the more youthful and energetic you will be. Once you’ve attained greater flexibility, it’s important to maintain it and continue to stretch and exercise in ways that you find enjoyable.

If you want to try something fun, try a beginner dance class or yoga. This will focus on flexibility and get you out having fun and moving your body. Life is meant to be enjoyed at every age! Have fun with it!!

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