Essential Oil Series: Bergamot

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nashville weight lossBergamot essential oil comes from the unripe citrus fruit of the Bergamot tree which originated in tropical Asia. It was brought to Bergamot, Italy in the 15th century (purportedly by Christopher Columbus!). It is also grown in California, Florida, and the Caribbean. Here’s a little essential oil trivia for you: the unique fragrance and flavor of Earl Grey tea is brought to you by bergamot oil and Earl Charles Grey, a British Prime Minister who popularized this flavored tea in the 1830’s. Besides smelling and tasting wonderful, bergamot oil has a positive effect on a host of physical issues. It has a “tonic” or strengthening effect on the respiratory, digestive, excretory, and nervous system, and is often used to help alleviate feelings of sadness and anxiousness.

In terms of physical support, there are components of bergamot essential oil that are great cleaning agents for your body,–they inhibit the growth of certain threats. When used in soaps or bath water, bergamot helps protect skin from infections. It also helps support functions of the colon, intestines, urinary tract, and kidneys. Not only does bergamot have these wonderful properties, it also promotes great skin health.

For head tension, sprains, and muscle aches, bergamot can be used to help with discomfort, because it stimulates secretions of certain hormones that lessen the sensitivity of nerves to pain.

Bergamot also affects digestion by activating and increasing secretions of digestive acids, enzymes and bile. It quickens the digestive process and reduces strain on your intestinal tract.

A great component of bergamot is its ability to assist the body in occasional hot feeling. It does this by stimulating the metabolic system and gland secretions which provide a feeling of warmth to the body. This causes the body to sweat which reduces body temperature and cleans out glands and pores of toxins.

Bergamot is great for muscles. It relaxes nerves and helps to soothe muscles for quick relief of muscle discomfort. Bergamot is also great to diffuse in the classroom, at work, or at home when stress levels or tension is high.

Although more research needs to be done to determine exactly how aromatherapy affects the brain, some scientists believe that your sense of smell communicates with parts of your brain that store memories and emotions. Other researchers believe that molecules from essential oils may interact in the blood with hormones or enzymes to influence the body and brain. Two of the three hundred components of bergamot are alpha pinene and limonene which are antidepressant and stimulating in nature. Bergamot is used to relieve feelings of deep sadness, anxious feelings, and to reduce stress. It is often mentioned as helping in the process of overcoming addictive behaviors. The scent of bergamot is only second to lavender in it’s ability to relax brain waves.

Last but not least, cosmetics and skin care products frequently contain bergamot oil because it has a property that helps the appearance of scars and marks on the skin fade and disappear. It also makes the distribution of melanin in the skin more uniform. It’s interesting to note that approximately half of women’s perfumes and one third of all men’s colognes contain bergamot.

Bergamot’s multiple uses make it a valuable addition to your health and fitness tool belt!

How to use bergamot oil:
*A precaution for bergamot oil is that it needs to be mixed with a carrier oil like coconut or almond oil before it’s applied to the skin as it contains bergaptene which causes photosensitivity in some people. There are essential oil companies that sell a “deterpeneized” version that causes less sensitivity. Bergamot oil should not be used on children under five years old.

AROMATICALLY
– Depression or stress: use in a diffuser or rub 1 drop into palms and cup over the nose and mouth for up to 1 min several times per day. (Also apply 1 drop over the abdomen several times per day.)

TOPICALLY
– Mouth irritation: 1 drop to 1-3 tsp carrier oil, apply several times per day
– Skin health: mix several drops with one tsp of coconut oil and apply to affected area 1-2x pr day, or more as needed
– Internal cleaning: apply 1-2 drops over the abdomen several times per day
– Skin irritation: apply 1-2 drops over or around the area of concern
– Deodorant: 10 drops per ounce of witch hazel solution from the drugstore (Has a pleasant scent and kills bacteria that are responsible for odor)

INTERNALLY
– The BRAND MUST BE HIGHEST GRADE (Therapeutic) AND “GENERALLY RECOGNIZED AS SAFE” BY THE FDA. CARE SHOULD BE USED WHEN TAKING BERGAMOT ESSENTIAL OIL INTERNALLY. IT MAY BE USED AS A DIETARY SUPPLEMENT WITH THE ADVISE OF A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL.


Life Fitness Academy is an independent consultant for essential oils and can help guide you to which essential oils might be helpful for you. Contact us if you have any questions.


WHITEBOARD WORKOUT – #147

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LFA’s whiteboard workout of the day. Get your workout in today!

5 min warm up

20 resistance waddles
10 25lb side lunges (each side)
10 heavy squats
20 speed skaters
Repeat 3 times

2 min plank
1 min side plank (each side)
10 renegade rows
20 resistance band rows
Repeat 3 times

50 mountain climbers
50 jumping jacks
Repeat 4 times

Essential Oil Series: Lavender

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best personal trainerAll essential oils are useful for multiple purposes. One such common multi-purpose oil is lavender. The oil is obtained by steam distilling the flowering tops of the plant. There are several types of lavender, and like anything else, quality is important. Many oils sold in stores can be labeled 100% oil and contain only a fraction of the essential oil with added fillers. Lavender is often used in perfumes and personal care items simply for the smell, but it has therapeutic benefits as well. Lavender is soothing and calming. Applied to the bottoms of feet, it can help with sleep and relaxation. It can be applied topically to the skin on minor cuts, bruises and burns to help support your immune system. It can soothe skin around an acne breakout. Lavender has great properties to promote a healthy inflammatory response and uplift your mood. Therefore, it is useful for joint discomfort, protection against winter threats, feelings of sadness, head tension, stress… etc. When diffused in a room it has a calming effect and is safe and effective on children. Lavender can be added to a bath for a relaxing soak.


Life Fitness Academy is an independent consultant for essential oils and can help guide you to which essential oils might be helpful for you. Contact us if you have any questions.


WHITEBOARD WORKOUT – #116

LFA’s whiteboard workout of the day.

5 min warm up
100 finger tip push-ups

25 resistance band curls
25 resistance upright rows
25 shoulder presses per arm
25 resistance band high rows
25 resistance band chest presses
2 min isometric crunch
25 leg raise to hip raise
25 plank jacks!
Repeat 4 times

WHITEBOARD WORKOUT – #115

Life Fitness Academy regularly posts whiteboard workouts from the gym. Check back here in the workouts section to get your workout in for the day.

5 min warm up

100 elevated feet finger tip push-ups

25 bosu side lunges
25 super mans
25 resistance band squats
25 donkey kicks w/ankle weight
25 bench dips
Ball alphabet
25 bosu crunches
25 hanging leg raises
Repeat 4 times

WHITEBOARD WORKOUT – #105

LFA’s whiteboard workout from the gym. Boom. Check it. Wreck it.

5 min jog

10 resistance side lunges
15 kettle bell pistol squats
20 hanging leg raise swimmers
10 wide pull-ups
Repeat 3 times

10 single leg dead lift to upright rows per leg
30 sec donkey kick hold (isometric)
1 min resistance waddle
20 weight abductor squats
Repeat 3 times

10 L sit chin-ups
10 renegade rows
1 min side plank holds per side
Repeat 3 times

Sprint 8 x’s

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Recently, I spent a week dealing with bad inflammation in my hip. The pain was very hard to deal with! I literally could not walk for a day and a half! No fun!I went to a primary care physician to get it checked out when I wasn’t 100% sure it was inflammation, which he confirmed. Of course, the doctor wanted to medicate me in order to hide and mask the symptom. I politely said no thank you and decided to increase my intake of anti-inflammatory foods and it helped clear my inflammation up!

You know we always will go to food first at Life Fitness Academy! If you are experiencing joint pain or just want to jump the gun on prevention, here are some important foods to include in your diet in order to fight off joint inflammation.

DARK LEAFY GREENS
Who would have thought that nutrient dense greens would make an appearance on this list? You can pretty much bet that greens will make a star appearance on most lists regarding your health! Dark leafy greens such as kale, broccoli, spinach, and collard greens contain a high amount of vitamin E which has been linked with reducing inflammation. In fact, they contain a high amount of many essential vitamins and minerals including calcium and iron which are essential to reducing inflammation as well.

HEALTHY FATS AND OMEGA 3’S – NUTS, COCONUT OIL, OLIVE OIL, AVOCADO, SALMON
Fatty foods also play an essential role in fighting inflammation, particularly, omega 3’s. Omega 3 fatty acids have long been linked to good heart health which naturally means they can go a long way in helping with inflammation all over the body. Coconut oil and avocado oil are our two favorite oils and are high in essential fats. Nuts are very good as well and ideally should be consumed raw to get the full balance of nutrients. Salmon is extremely high in Omega 3’s and a great source to get it from as long as you get wild salmon as opposed to farm raised. Most farm raised salmon is treated with chemicals to give it that “pink” color you expect from wild fish. No bueno.

TURMERIC AND GINGER
Turmeric is an Asian spice that is a true ninja when it comes to fighting inflammation. Turmeric contains an active component called curcurmin which is so strong and important that it can be taken alone and fight inflammation. But the spice should be taken in its whole form to get the most effect out of it. Ginger is another great food you can use, but it isn’t quite as effective as turmeric. You can use ginger in its spice or root form.

BERRIES
Berries are an extremely delicious food that help fight inflammation. They are extremely low in sugar and still have a sweet taste. Also, they are loaded with antioxidants which control inflammation. The downside with berries is that conventional crops are loaded with pesticides as the skin is so thin. So you always need to buy berries organic or just pass on them all together.

SWEET POTATOES
Just like with whole grains, you should ignore refined white potatoes and go for sweet potatoes. The vitamin B6 and C as well as the high fiber, beta-carotene and manganese help fight off inflammation in the body.

These are some of my favorite anti-inflammatory foods! Use these while cutting back on refined sugar, refined white carbs, trans fats, and common cooking oils (vegetable, soy, safflower, cottonseed, sunflower). In addition, we recommend you always stay away from conventional dairy (opt for raw when going for dairy if possible) and staying away from feedlot-raised meat (aim for grassfed, organic meat).

Want a quick anti-inflammatory fix? Make a smoothie! Grab your blender and using water as a base, throw in some organic frozen berries, a handful of two of spinach (if you’re not a fan, you won’t taste it I promise!) and throw a little bit of turmeric in there with it, blend it up and enjoy!

WHITEBOARD WORKOUT – #101

LFA’s whiteboard workout of the day!

2 min jumping jacks

1 min squats w/ yoga block between knees
5 heavy squats
10 box jumps
1 min wall sit on toes
25 fire hydrant kicks
Repeat 4 times

1 min super mans
1 min plank
10 slow chin-ups
5 heavy lat pull downs
5 dumbbell rows
25 toe touches
Repeat 4 times

8 sprints!