Hiking China Flat

It was early evening on a hot day in May when I headed out with my two friends and two dogs to see the last of the wildflowers on the China Flat trail.

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The hills were still green from the winter rains. The peach and pink mountains created a lovely backdrop for the green and silver scrub.

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The hike started out with a gentile rise that gradually grew steeper. We would be going up to an elevation of 1,081 feet.

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As we rounded the bend, the mountains gave us some much-needed shade. Mornings or early evenings are good times to hike this trail because it can get very hot.

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We were starting to break a sweat from the climb; the shade felt good. My two Maltese were also very happy to cool down.

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I wasn’t long before we were greeted by an oasis of yellow wildflowers, natures rock garden!

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As we traversed higher we began to get a good workout. Hiking is a great way to keep your heart healthy. My friends and I were beginning to see some amazing views of Oak Park.

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It was about here where one of my dogs put the brakes on and stopped to rest. After a few minutes, I picked him up and continued on.

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We came across some yellow-orange Monkey flowers. I paused to admire their natural beauty.

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Hiking in nature always refreshes my mind. The panorama was stunning up this high, looking over towards Agoura Hills!

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On the way down this lollipop shaped trail, we saw more wildflowers, like this pretty Wild Lilac.

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The hike up China Flat is 4.1 miles out and back. This trail in Oak Park, California, is a good one for beginners, if you go at a leisurely pace, and it offers lots of natural beauty to entertain your eyes along the way.

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Happy trails, Linda

 

For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth the heights of the mountains are his also. – Psalm 95: 3-4

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Eternal Summer – Yoga For Mid-Life and Beyond

If you’re a beach goer and live in Southern California, the words “eternal summer” probably have a wonderful meaning to you. Some of our best beach days are in the fall and later in the year. Life is beautiful at the beach!

One spectacular day this October, a family outing to Zuma Beach turned into an impromptu, Yoga session with fellow yogini’s, Maria and Marianna. My sister, Maria and I are yoga instructors, so we were showing off for each other, just a little, doing a few postures we don’t usually get to use in our classes.

Rejoicing in Health – Enjoying Fitness Yoga 

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My boogie board came in handy as a platform for my headstand.

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Playing in the ocean, Maria practices her yoga wheel.

We practically had the beach to ourselves that day. We made it our own glorious playground. My niece, Marianna joined in the fun; and she had a few good yoga poses of her own.

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Marianna takes crow pose to the extreme, balancing on one leg.

After our exercise, we took our boogie boards into the waves. Got to love Southern California’s eternal summer but if you’re a woman going through menopause, the “eternal summer”’ can have entirely different and maybe not so pleasurable meaning.

YOGA FOR MID-LIFE (or Any Time of Life)

Hot flashes, night sweats and mood swings. Oh my! During Menopause we lose estrogen and progesterone, two hormones that cause these changes in our bodies. Yoga can physically help our body’s hormone system.

SLEEP BETTER

Yoga can help relieve menopausal and postmenopausal symptoms such as hot flashes and insomnia. 

A Brazilian study published in a 2012 issue of the journal, Menopause had three groups of women participate in either a passive stretching regimen with a physical therapist, a specific series of yoga classes or no change in their routine. After four months the women who practiced yoga for one hour, twice per week had significantly fewer hot flashes and slept better than the other two groups. The women were so pleased with the results, 75 percent of the yoga group continued with yoga classes after the study.

BALANCE YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM

Yoga keeps your systems fluid and balanced.

As you move your body, the brain, nervous system and endocrine system all work together. “The brain commands the action, the nervous system carries the message and the endocrine system is responsible for long-term body maintenance using glands and hormones”. Yoga is very beneficial for Hormonal Health.

The twisting and bending in yoga energize the adrenals and thyroid gland.

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Just like there are many styles of yoga, there is more than one way to do a yoga pose. Your instructor can give modifications that work for you.

EMOTIONAL HEALTH

Hormones affect your mood. I have been told by many of my friends, that for them, the worst part of going through menopause was the mood swings. I have to agree. A yoga practice can help you relax by focusing the mind. I am allowing myself the time and space to use whatever natural tools are available to reduce stress in my life and protect my nervous system.

INNER BEAUTY

Learn, Love, Grow, Discover! Prayer, deepening my relationship with God, meditating on His word and living in the joy of God’s Son and His creation, has strengthened my inner being more than I can say. Dependence on God has brought certain aspects of yoga into the harmony of my life. I feel I am living the words of the song I sang in Community Bible Study this week with the worship team, “Surely the Presence of the Lord is in This Place,” and yes, that is a very excellent place to be.

THE NATURAL WAY

Good health is a personal journey, it’s a blessing and it is worth striving toward. With God’s guidance, I have been able to get through menopause using these natural methods and without the use of hormones or prescription drugs. For that, I am very thankful.

With a grateful heart, Linda

 

I look up to the hills, but where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. ~ Psalm 121: 1-2 NCV

 

Disclaimer: See a fitness or medical health professional to see if yoga is right for you. © CopyrightAll rights reserved. May not be used without written permission.

The Uphill Climb – Health Care

We have all been hearing a lot of arguing about health care on the news. Who can come up with the perfect plan that is thorough enough to solve all our health care problems? I am not interested in getting into the political side of the debate but I agree, we are in a crisis and we have to do something.

“One out of three children is considered obese. Without committing to a healthier lifestyle, one in three children born since 2000 will develop diabetes.” [1]

This is shocking! One in three children!

My father was willing to sacrifice just about anything for his family to have a legacy of good health. His suffering in hospitals as a youth, from chronic digestive illness brought on by what was considered a typical Italian diet, changed his thinking and way of life. He became the model of a healthy lifestyle.

I am so proud of my husband, Steven. He recently lost 11 lbs. and was able to get rid of his blood pressure medication! We can begin taking on the health care crisis by making health a priority for ourselves and our family. “A better YOU will unlock your entire family’s potential.” [2]

My daughter, Lindsay and I, as well as other family members, enjoy hiking and even a little mountain climbing to stay fit. At our last outing, my sister Maria and I met some new friends while we were stretching on our way up the mountain.

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Fellow mountain climber follows Maria Lauren in a split – hamstring stretch.

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Those with a flexible back will not get bent out of shape. ~ Linda Eichberg

Father of Fitness

Today, is the “Father of Fitness,” Jack LaLanne’s birthday. He worked tirelessly to create a healthier world. Although he has left this world, his legacy lives on. He passed on his knowledge and enthusiasm for health and fitness to my dad who passed it on to his children. When I was growing up, Jack was spreading the news about the health benefits of drinking fresh raw vegetable juices while the majority of the world bought into the fast food – junk food mindset. I had the honor of meeting Jack and being on the Jack LaLanne TV show back in the mid 80’s. What an amazing man! We met again in 2009 for his 95th birthday celebration. The Fitness Instructors of Total Woman Gym saluted him with 95 jumping jacks. My sister, Maria, representing Kaiser Permanente’s Fitness Team was leading the group!

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The Biggest Mountain Of All

Besides the benefits of good health, I am grateful to my parents for giving me many wonderful life skills. My parents worked hard all their lives and finally achieved their dream of providing their children with a large home in the suburbs. One day a fire took it all. Our beautiful family home burned to the ground along with all the contents and cherished photos. Conquering the ‘mountain’ of loss is one of the hardest things to do. My parents and siblings were resilient; faith in God, love and thankfulness held them together.

Maria and I had just moved out of the house before the time of the fire. We were working in the television industry. I am grateful we had a few family photos with us. These photos are practically the only ones left from my youth of my family and I having fitness fun together!

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Family fitness fun!

Although we lost our home and possessions, I have learned to say, “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” [3]

Wishing you a healthy transformation and radiant health! Linda

“The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” – Psalm 19:7-8

Refrences:

1) http://www.letsmove.gov/learn-facts/epidemic-childhood-obesity

2) http://www.lindaeichberg.com/

3) Job 1:21

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. This blog does not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employers. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits.

Keeping Your Split

I love my work as a fitness instructor! I have the opportunity to teach wonderful woman of all ages in my job at Total Woman Gym. Although I am beginning my senior years, being a dancer in my youth, I am very grateful to have retained most of my flexibility and core strength.

About two years ago I challenged the women in my Yoga and Pilates classes to try and do a split. I heard a few giggles and groans when I went into my split for the class. I know they were saying to themselves, “Ha ha ha, you’re funny Linda; that’s not going to happen.” I’m happy to say, a couple of adventurous ladies did try it.

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I continued the challenge every other week or so (I didn’t want to scare away the new people). Now I have several ladies in my classes, from their 20’s to their 60’s, doing splits. Many are only a few inches away. They kept coming to class and they kept trying. Class by class, inch by inch, and then one day, they had it, a full split!!

Together, my sister and I enjoy giving ‘infotainment’ talks on fitness and woman’s empowerment. Maria is also a fitness trainer and she is a lifestyle educator at Kaiser Permanente. We both have a passion for helping women be the best they can be in body. mind and spirit.

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ALBERICI SISTERS Maria & Linda talk YOU GOT THE POWER – Be Positive, Be Fit

During a recent wellness forum and fitness demo, Maria and I talked about “keeping our split.” I have to say, when we simultaneously demonstrated our splits for the women, they were surprised and really perked up! In addition to speaking on exercise, gratitude and positive thinking are key talking points for us as well as the value of eating fresh whole foods.

Iron Sharpens Iron [1]

Maria and I influence other instructors as well. My gal pal, Colleen Kincaid Jackson, who is a fitness and water aerobics instructor came home from one of our presentations with a fresh vision for herself. She told me, “I warned my students, they are ‘in for it’, now that I have the goal of recovering my split!” Colleen is equally inspiring to me as she exudes the inner beauty that comes with a close walk with Jesus. She and her husband, Randy, have poured out a good portion of their lives into their ministry in “Young Life”. [2]

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Linda Eichberg and Colleen Jackson

Colleen, Maria and I met up again last month at a national reunion of the Dean Martin Show. We were all singers and dancers on that show in the “Golddiggers” group. So many of the cast and crew showed up for the reunion. It was a blast!

Photo: Colleen, Maria and I back in the day as Dean Martin Golddiggers

The Golddiggers - 1973, from left to right: Patti Pivarnik Gribow, Linda Alberici Eichberg, Robin Hoctor-Horneff, Maria Lauren. Colleen Kincaid Jackson, Deborah Pratt, Susan Buckner, Lee Nolting

THE GOLDDIGGERS – 1973, from left to right: Patti Pivarnik Gribow, Linda Alberici Eichberg, Robin Hoctor-Horneff, Maria Lauren, Colleen Kincaid Jackson, Deborah Pratt, Susan Buckner & Lee Nolting

Some of Dean’s celebrity guest stars from the television show also made an appearance at the event. I had the pleasure of sharing some TV memories with Florence Henderson. You might remember her best as the mom from The Brady Bunch TV series. She has a lovely spirit. I enjoyed talking with her.

Florence Henderson with Linda Eichberg

Florence Henderson with Linda Eichberg

This occasion brought together all the different generations of Dean Martin’s Golddiggers groups. It was great to reconnect with the ladies I performed with for so many years and have the opportunity to meet other woman who shared the “Golddiggers” name. The highlight of the “Gold Event” was when we all came together for some singing and dancing!

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THE GOLDDIGGERS of the Dean Martin Show – 1968 to 1991 at the 2013 “Gold Event” Reunion

“Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver and the other is gold.”… as in “Golddiggers.” 

I have great appreciation for everyone who put this reunion together. There is something to be said for being with and working with friends who have known you for so long and know the good and the not so good about you. True love to be sure!

“If power doesn’t mean that you have the opportunity to work with the people that you love , then you haven’t really got any.” – Frank Sinatra

Working on the Dean Martin Show and touring with the Rat Pack, was an amazing time in our lives. Check out our book, BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS. It’s a fun read that will transport you back to that glamorous time!

~ All the best, Linda

Beyond Our Wildest Dreams

BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS by The Alberici Sisters, is available at Amazon.com and BarnesNoble.com.

 

References:

1) “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17

2) Young Life – http://www.younglife.org/us

 

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. This blog does not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employers. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits.

Healthy Hips Rx – Gaga’s Hip Tear

The pop icon had been hiding a show injury for a while. Not wanting to disappoint her fans she ignored the chronic pain she endured. “I’ve been praying it would heal. I hid it from my staff,” wrote Lady Gaga. ¹ Eventually, she was no longer able to walk and had to cancel her tour. Lady Gaga, underwent hip surgery, last month, for what turn out to be a right labral hip tear. We might not think of this type of injury happening to someone as young and physically fit as she is, but according to Allston Stubbs, an orthopedic surgeon at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, “(A labral tear) affects a younger subset of patients,” ²

I don’t usually ‘follow’ Lady Gaga but when I heard her unfortunate news, I was eager to learn more about how labral injuries develop so I could safe guard myself and my clients from the pain and discomfort associated with them. As a singer/dancer and a fitness trainer, certified in Pilates, I frequently get asked questions about hip pain and tightness.

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Lunges like peaceful warrior and warrior one from yoga are excellent for opening the hips and increasing blood flow. For people with sedentary occupations, it’s important to correct the prolonged hip flexion of sitting. 

Risk Factors For Hip Tears
The labrum is a ring of soft cartilage formed around the edge of the bony socket of the hip joint. It helps provide stability and flexibility to the joint. Lady Gaga’s high energy routines require repeated high intensity movements which can lead to hip labral damage. UNFORTUNATELY, Dancers and athletes are at higher risk for this type of injury. That would include my students who participate in multiple dance aerobics classes that involve repetitive twisting and pivoting motions. In addition to overuse, pre-existing conditions are also risk factors.

A tear can occur from an isolated traumatic event or from repetitive trauma. It can also form from the natural progression of aged joints. [4] 
Symptoms may include one or more of the following:

  • A locking, clicking or catching sensation in your hip joint
  • Pain in your hip or groin
  • Stiffness or limited range of motion in your hip joint. 

Recovery – Maintenance – Prevention

After a period of rest and recovery, in her stylish 24-Karat gold-plated wheelchair, Lady Gaga will most likely have a program of physical rehabilitation. Integrating Pilates into her physical therapy is important in that it would open up a wider range of new exercises an experienced dancer like her needs to keep from getting bored. The beneficial qualities of Pilates in enhancing flexibility, core strength and muscle balance are valuable. Combined with physical therapy, Pilates can greatly improve function with labral injuries. [5]

A predictable pattern of muscular imbalances in the pelvis, has been discovered with labral tears, known as lower crossed syndrome. Tightness of the hip flexors and lumbar erector spinae with weak abdominal and glutial muscles are typical of this syndrome. The imbalance leads to increased hip flexion, anterior pelvic tilt and a hyperlordosis of the lumbar spine. [6] These problems may be improved by a Pilates program prescribed by a doctor or physical therapist. Most important, before problems occur, consider making Pilates part of your fitness training while your hips are healthy.

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Sitting for long periods can tighten the hip flexors and weaken the glutes. This standing bow pose (dancers pose) I am demonstrating, can help correct this imbalance by lengthening the hip flexors and strengthen the glutes.

A Better YOU

We often neglect ourselves while striving to take care of the needs of others until mental, emotional or physical discomfort occurs. Lack of exercise, stress and poor nutrition all lead to dis-ease. I help my clients aspire to achieve their best physical condition in body, mind and spirit. I do this by encouraging them to combine their fitness with several factors considered valuable to overall wellness. You can have radiant health and together we will enjoy achieving it!

Fitness is Better Together

Exercising with a friend is fun and it will help you stick with it. My sister Maria Lauren and I love presenting positive fitness techniques together. Here, we are doing a modified back bend or half camel. This is a great stretch for the front of the body and for improving spinal flexibility. A wonderful remedy for tightness if you spend a lot of time hunched over a computer.

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It’s important to remember that camel pose is not about reaching your heel. It’s more about opening your entire spine in a large arch. Keep in mind that with half camel, your hips should press forward, your heart needs to open and expand upward and your glutes move away from your heels.

Diagnosing Hip Pain

The source of hip pain can be very difficult to interpret and treat. Pain can result from under or over use of muscles, tightness, or excess length. These muscular imbalances may be the result of neurological changes, not only structural changes in the muscle. [7] Diagnosing anterior hip pain is very complicated because the multiple structures in the hip have the potential to produce similar pain syndromes. [8] If you are experiencing pain please see your doctor or physical therapist for a proper evaluation and discuss any new exercise programs with them.

Enjoy daily hip flexor stretches. Take a deep breath and spend a moment being grateful. May you be blessed with a lifetime of healthy hips,

In health ~ Linda

http://www.LindaEichberg.com

“Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.” Jeremiah 17:14

References:

1) Facebook – Lady Gaga, February 12

2) CNN Health February 15, 2013 Gaga’s injury related to ‘being active’ by Caitlin Hagan

3) Hip Laberal Tear – Symptoms, Causes – Mayo Clinic  http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hip-labral-tear/basics/causes/con-20031062

4) A comprehensive review of hip labral tears – Megan M. Groh and Joseph Herrera PMCID: PMC2697339, 2009 April 7

5) Pilates Program Design for Acetabular Labral Rehab, , Kristine Reynolds – Put Me Back Together

6) Janda, Vladimir. Evaluation of muscular imbalance: rehabilitation of the spine. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 1996. p. 97–112

7) Rehabilitating Psoas Tendonitis: A Case Report Jaime Edelstein, PT, MSPT, CSCS – PMCID:2642547 HSSJ (2009) 5: 78–82)

8) Anterior Hip Pain – John W. O’Kane, M.D., University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington – American Family Physician. 1999 Oct 15;60(6):1687-1696.

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal Blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer, past or present, or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits.

Expressing Gratitude

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Expressing Gratitude

As the sun sets on a beautiful day at Crystal Cove, my soul sends up a grateful salutation to our Creator.

“Gratitude is the path to the joy and peace we all desire. Our soul longs to express gratitude.” – Linda Alberici Eichberg

“Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts.” Colossians 3:16 (NLT)

 

DISCLAIMER: This is a personal blog, reflecting my personal opinions and its contents are not intended to offer personal medical advice. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of my employer or any other organization with which I may be affiliated. All content is copyrighted. Photo credit is given when know but some photos of unknown origin may appear on this blog. Please contact me if you have additional information about photo credits.