Sunday, February 19, 2023

Fat Burn, Muscle Burn, and Detoxing

I have few fitness pet peeves and I need to tell you about them. I'm currently studying for my Personal Training certification as part of my prep for entering a Physical Therapist Assistant program and also to enrich my knowledge base about health and wellness.

Myth 1: Lactic Acid buildup causes sore muscles. This is scientifically inaccurate and also silly to say. People latch on to the idea I think because they think "acid" and "ouch" but the explanation is more complicated and related to blood pH, ATP production from energy sources, and the body's ability to recover from exercise.

The story starts with the fact that lactic acid is the FUEL for the muscles but read for yourself.,thus%20energy%20production%E2%80%94to%20continue,of%20skeletal%20muscles%20to%20contract

Myth 2: Getting to the "anaerobic phase" during strenuous exercise is the only "fat burning zone." It's an inaccurate, mostly marketing way people refer to how you can burn fat calories to pitch pushing yourself too hard, or buying some hokey exercise plan, or just trying to sound cool when you are doing cardio kick boxing. You burn fat all the time when you are existing in your life, even when you are sitting on the couch. The percentage of fat burned depends on the type of exercise. Anaerobic work (like HIIT) kicks you into a mode where you burn a lot more calories in general and fat has high energy per gram (energy = calories = 9 per gram). You will burn fat as a fuel in a slightly higher percentage but you will also torch through carbs as well. It's just fat is a slightly higher percentage of calories burned at high intensity than at low intensity. But it's not the only way to burn fat, just letting you know, so that you don't end up in a puddle trying to run 10 miles thinking it's the only way to do this. Plus you CANNOT spot reduce. In fact, mixing up aerobic (not as high intensity) as well as anaerobic is the best way to train your body.

(There's more to this, that involves understanding slow and fast twitch muscles, how mitochondria get energy - ATP - from fat and carbohydrates, but hopefully there is enough info here to help you understand that the body gets energy from both molecules).

Hobson, Katherine. “The 'Fat-Burning Zone': A Fitness Myth Debunked.” U.S. News, 3 Mar. 2009, Kelliher, Steven. “Aerobic Versus Anaerobic Fat Burning.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 11 Jan. 2014, Tremblay, MSc Sylvie. “Fat Burning Vs. Carbohydrate Burning.” LIVESTRONG.COM, Leaf Group, 18 July 2017,

Myth 3: Yoga spinal twists and hot yoga detoxy the body. No no a thousand times no. First, spinal twists are actually abdominal and spinal muscle twists. They can be active (often done seated) or more passive (often supine). Any time your body is working against gravity the pose should be active to support body weight. Supine with support (blocks blankets bolsters) can be taken more passively to stretch muscles versus create tonality. But the internal organs are really not affected that much - they are too deep to be actually "squeezed" in any detoxing sense. Kidneys (and liver) filter blood - that's what they do to eliminate waste as part of their actual function (and return nutrients back to the blood).  You can create a intestinal compression that might assist digestion, but toxin removal, other than a catchall and misleading term, is not part of the twist benefits.  Twists can enhance mobility and done properly assist with back health.

As for hot yoga, saying that you sweat out toxins is inaccurate and perpetuates delegitimization of yoga as a viable form of health and wellness by making instructors sound scientifically ignorant. Hearing people in my profession, who are supposed to study anatomy and physiology, blindly parrot what some uninformed other teacher imparted to them is frustrating. 

What really happens in hot yoga? You sweat, and you can stimulate a large increase is BPM due to your body not being able to cool down as efficiently, so your body temperature controlling centers send more sweat to the skin in a effort to "for the love of all that is holy cool this organic system down." As long as you stay hydrated (and by the way you are supposed to completely replenish the sweat "weight" you lost for optimal health), you can improve your cardiovascular and circulatory systems and feel good for having worked out. You've also consumed calories (and when you exhale the CO2 that's the byproduct of metabolism aka calorie burn). But there is no detoxification (unless you consider water and salt "toxins").

All this is said with the purpose of helping you think anatomically and physiologically correctly about how your body works, so that you prevent injury, move with attention to intention, and feel good in your skin! 

Monday, January 2, 2023

Welcome to 2023 Yoga!

Because we are starting off our New Year's schedule on a Tuesday and we rearranged some classes, I wanted to post a summary update:

• La Mesa Library Chair Yoga starts Wednesday 1/4/23 at 11:00 AM.

• Bonita Library Chair Yoga starts Monday 1/9/23 at 11:00 AM.

• Serra Mesa Library Chair Yoga starts Tuesday 1/3/23 at 11:30 AM.

• Park De La Cruz Rec Center Fun Fitness (eight-class session for active older adults) starts Friday 1/27/23 at 12:30 PM (register at

• PDLC Demonstration of Fun Fitness on Friday 1/13/23 from 11:30-2:30 PM (Call 619-229-7362 to register).

• YMCA (Copley-Price) classes restart on 1/3/23 with the same schedule: Active Yoga at 8:30 and Gentle Yoga at 9:30 on Tuesdays, Vinyasa Yoga at 9:30 on Sundays.

• Water Conservation Garden Chair Yoga restarts on Thursday 1/5/23 at 9:15 AM in the Gazebo (Education Center on wet/cold days - ask at the kiosk). 

• San Carlos Library Kids Yoga restarts on Wednesday 1/6/23 at 2:30 PM.

Happy New Year and I hope to see you "on the mat!"

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

End of Year Schedule Changes (see also Calendar)

 Quick up date for those wanting to plan:

La Mesa Library Chair Yoga

The library will not be hosting any classes for the entire month of December. We will also be off on  November 22. So we we only meet 11/8, 11/15, and 11/29. 

Then, starting in the new year on 1/4/23, this class moves to Wednesdays at 11AM (same time, new day).

Bonita Library Chair Yoga

We will not be having our Monday class the week of Thanksgiving (11/21), nor Christmas Day (12/26) or New Year's (1/2) as both Holidays are observed with library closures on Mondays. 

Class returns to meeting inside the conference room next week 11/14.

Serra Mesa Library Chair Yoga

We will not meet on: Thanksgiving (11/24), first day of December (12/1/22), the week of Christmas (12/22).

Starting in the New Year on 1/3/23, this class moves to Tuesdays at 11:30AM-12:45PM (instead of Thursdays).

Park De La Cruz Rec Center (Age Well/Therapeutic Rec)

Our last yoga session ended on 11/4. We are on a break until late January, when we will be bringing a new format to you: Fun Fitness! This new class to upbeat music will be chair based, with low impact aerobic activity, light weight training (one to five pound hand weights), coordinated movement with stretch bands, and of course, a hearty stretch at the end. Suitable for all "active adults!" Session to start 1/27/23 for eight weeks. 

Come to the demonstration on 1/13 during the Therapeutic Recreation Service special event to create aware of services for Brain Injuries @ Park de La Cruz! Check out all their services at

YMCA (Copley-Price)

We now have not one but TWO classes on Tuesdays. At 8:30 we have a more active yoga class, and at 9:30 a more gentle class suitable for anyone that wouldn't normally want to go "up and down" during class. This is not a chair yoga class but if you are able to get on the floor (and up after class) this might be suitable for you. Both classes require YMCA membership, and pickup up a class pass at the Fitness Desk.

Water Conservation Garden

Our classes will continue to meet on Thursdays at 9:15, except we changed the location from the Butterfly Amphitheater to the Gazebo. This location is more central to the garden and has more room for people to stretch. If you need assistance getting to the gazebo, the garden is providing shuttle transport by 9:05 AM! On cold/rainy days we will meet in the Education Center; please always check in at the kiosk. We will not be meeting on the Thursday of Thanksgiving (11/24), nor Christmas (12/22).

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Senior Fitness, Yoga, Tai Chi, Walking, and MORE - DOWNLOADABLE LIST

Inspired by the list created by someone that comes to classes, I created a large (but far from exhaustive) list of Free (or low cost) fitness based activities around East/East-Central/Southeast/South San Diego (my area). I realize this doesn't cover EVERYONE so if you need classes for North County, the city, the beaches, North Central, etc., you can still utilize the links at the bottom of this post to find what you need (or a quick google search). The City of San Diego parks and Rec website is quite useful (especially AgeWell services), as are the library websites.

So without further ado, here is the link to the downloadable form that includes classes the I teach and quite a bit more: Yoga, Tai Chi, Feeling Fit exercise, and virtual classes as well.

sneak peak:

Useful Links (including some activities not listed):

City Libraries:

County Libraries:

Santee Activities:

Walking Groups:

George L Stevens 4th District Senior Resource Center:

Chula Vista Norman Park Resource Center:

Feeling Fit Schedule:

Park De La Cruz Age Well Services:

San Carlos Rec Center:

City of San Diego Parks and Rec AgeWell Services:

Registration for City Park and Rec: