The Secret to Sleeping More, and Better!

by Corbin Burkard, Head Trainer, Burn Boot Camp – Eau Claire 

I am the head trainer at Burn Boot Camp – Eau Claire, which if you don’t already know is a gym where 99% of our camps are female only! In my time here, I have learned that strong, hard working women seem to value the little sleep they get. 🙂 Aside from getting in your workout, sending the kids off to school, running to work, somehow putting food on the table, tucking your kid into bed for “the last time”, your day is full of time for naps, I am sure!

I am ready to let y’all in on a little secret about how to fall asleep quicker, stay asleep longer, and overall, sleep better. Exercise. Really, it can be that simple!

Exercise helps the release of chemicals in your body such as serotonin, and dopamine which are some of your “feel good” chemicals. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that assists in your sleep cycle. This chemical helps to influence your mood, and high levels can assist in decreasing anxiety and stress. One way to elevate this is through consistent exercise! Aside from directly helping you sleep, it also is a destressor which allows you to wind down after a long day and get to sleep quicker, rather than lying awake thinking about everything!

Dopamine is another chemical that is released during exercise. People commonly refer to this chemical as the one that makes you happy. Again, increased levels of dopamine help to decrease stress, and give you the feeling of a “runners high”.

Even though this is an article relating to how exercise affects sleep, it is still important to know that one of the first changes you will notice, when you begin exercising is having more energy! Exercise does make you tired, and will help wear you out to sleep better at night, but when in a regular exercise routine, those people have more energy throughout the day, and have an easier time getting up and out of bed in the morning!

Sleep is important in your day to day life, and is especially important when in a regular exercise routine. The time that your body is asleep, is the time that your body uses to recover! This can often be overlooked, when we are a society driven by success, and we don’t typically give ourselves 6-8 hours a night for quality sleep. A suggestion I usually make is set an alarm when it is time for you to go to bed, and stick to it!

There are so many various benefits to sleep, and we need to unlock ways to get more rest, maybe, as it turns out, we have had the answer right in front of us the whole time. So next time someone tells you they go to bed at 8:30, you should follow their lead!



POUND Your Way Fit

Pure Fitness 4 You is owned and managed by Brenda Jane Crass, wife and mother of two. “Owning a fitness studio is an amazing opportunity for me to share my love of health and fitness with others and to be a role model,” she says. Why did she decide to start this business? “I wanted to have classes in the area that all fitness levels would be able to do,” she explains. “I love helping people, seeing their progress, and knowing I’m making a difference.” All classes at Pure Fitness 4 You are for all fitness levels as the instructors will always show modifications, regular, and advanced moves, but

Why did she decide to start this business? “I wanted to have classes in the area that all fitness levels would be able to do,” she explains. “I love helping people, seeing their progress, and knowing I’m making a difference.” All classes at Pure Fitness 4 You are for all fitness levels as the instructors will always show modifications, regular, and advanced moves, but Crass adds, “If you ever come to class and have questions about moves, just ask as there are always ways to make the moves work for each individual ability level.”

Crass seeks to make Pure Fitness 4 You stand out in the community. “Pure Fitness 4 You offers unique to-the-area classes and really goes all out with the personal touch of letting our members know we are here! Once you’ve stepped into the doors at Pure Fitness 4 You, you become family!” Crass notes. One example of that uniqueness is the POUND class, which is a group fitness class that is inspired by drumming. It lets you be a part of the music as you are getting a

One example of that uniqueness is the POUND class, which is a group fitness class that is inspired by drumming. It lets you be a part of the music as you are getting a head to-toe workout. Crass assures, “It’s low impact but high intensity, so you’ll burn calories having a blast!” It’s new to the Chippewa Valley and is taking a lot of places, like New York City, by storm. So far there has been a lot of interest in POUND, and Crass says her regulars are addicted to it. She cautions not to worry about an inability to keep to the rhythm, explaining that the instructor keeps you on track and you soon fall in love with being a part of the music and being able to “pound out the day.” Her enthusiasm for this class couldn’t be any greater. “POUND lets you be a rock star!” Exemplifying the welcoming spirit of Pure Fitness 4 You,

She cautions not to worry about an inability to keep to the rhythm, explaining that the instructor keeps you on track and you soon fall in love with being a part of the music and being able to “pound out the day.”

Her enthusiasm for this class couldn’t be any greater. “POUND lets you be a rock star!”

Exemplifying the welcoming spirit of Pure Fitness 4 You, Crass exclaims, “If you are looking for an amazing atmosphere to work out in, Pure Fitness 4 You is it! We make you a part of a family, and everyone will have your back each step of the way.”

For more information, see, call 715-456-1182, or visit them at 1423 South Hastings Way, in Eau Claire.

Photo by Angi Randall Photography.

The Need for the Proper Form of Folate in Chronically Ill People

by Heidi Toy, NTP

In my practice, I meet with some clients with who are chronically unresponsive to medical treatments who have been very sick for a very long time. Some medical professionals around the area see me as clients and they also refer their patients to me. One of the primary items I see in chronically ill people that doctors often miss is the person’s need for the proper form of Vitamin B9 or folate. Let’s explore why this nutrient is so important and how we can avoid missing it.

First, the term folic acid refers to the synthetic form used in some supplements and in food fortification. Folic acid is in an oxidized form and must be converted by the body to the reduced form called folate. When we take a synthetic form of folic acid either as a stand-alone or in a multivitamin, we are not doing ourselves any favors. Be very cautious of buying drug store vitamins or anything fortified with folic acid rather than folate, simply because the body doesn’t know what to do with this synthetic form, and you could be blocking your cell’s receptor sites for the natural form 5-MTHF.

In the body, folate is converted to dihydrofolate then into tetrahydrofolate then into methylene tetrahydrofolate and finally into the 5-methyltetrahydrofolate or 5-MTHF. Or very simply, Folate  →  5- MTHF.

It may seem a little technical, but having a practitioner who understands this conversion and if the person can properly make the conversion is crucial. The inability to make the conversion in some folks is because they have what is called a mutation on their genetic personality or more technically known as a single nucleotide polymorphism or SNP, which is pronounced “snip.”

In the very simplest genetics explanation, we know that every living person has their own genetic code and that they got this DNA from their parents. One half of our DNA came from our mom and one half came from our dad. Along the DNA strand are alleles, which means “one member of a pair.” Alleles will be either negative (-) or positive (+), and if we received two positive alleles (+/+) one from each of our parents on the SNP known as C677T, then we have the most severe mutation and a decreased ability to convert folate to 5-MTHF.

About 40 percent of the population, myself included, has a mutation on this SNP (C677T). And while a person could have zero symptoms at all, they could also have increased homocysteine, pro inflammatory immune reaction resulting in hundreds of disorders including heart disease, progressive neurological disorders, or cancer. Moreover, folate is essential for vitamin B12 metabolism as well as in the functioning of the central nervous system and the immune system. It also means that the body has impaired ability to detox.

We have had these mutations on our SNPs since the beginning of man; however, we live in a very toxic world and our bodies’ ability to rid themselves of the toxins we encounter daily is crucial for health and wellbeing. Consider the facts of toxins in our immediate world for one minute.

Nearly 80,000 new synthetic chemicals have been released into the environment. Over 350 different pesticides are used on the food we eat. Roughly 300 known harmful substances can be found in most blood samples. Newborn babies typically contain 50 to 70 dangerous toxins at birth. The average home contains 3 to 10 gallons of hazardous materials. In the United States alone, over 4 billion pounds of pesticides are used every year. There are at least 5,000 chemical ingredients in cosmetics. Prescription medications are now showing up in our water supply. And to add insult to injury, certain medications referred to as “drug muggers” actually steal vitamin B9/folate from the body.

These staggering toxicity exposure statistics coupled with the fact that over one third of the world’s population lacks the ability to adequately convert folate to 5-MTHF has set us up for what I refer to as the perfect storm. No wonder we are chronically ill as are our children.

Finding out if you have a SNP mutation is easy. It also arms you with the knowledge of what you need to do to get, and stay, healthy in our ever-increasing world of toxicity. I offer a free fifteen-minute discovery consult call to new clients where you can find out the right course of action for you to take charge of your health today.

Heidi Toy is a functional medicine nutritional therapist, and the owner of Educated Nutrition, located in Altoona, Wisconsin. Her focus is helping people heal holistically, with an emphasis on digestion, weight loss, depression, female hormone issues, and fatigue. 

The Yoga Room

By Wendy Oberg, Owner & Teacher, The Yoga Room

The Yoga Room is brand-new business featuring some of Eau Claire’s long-time yoga teachers.  We kicked off our first class on Sunday, November 27, with a sold-out class. We are in the location of the former Orange Leaf (by Festival Foods). There are two studios: one is non-heated and the other is our HOT studio. The excitement and support has been amazing!

This space has sixteen dynamic and unique yoga teachers all in one easy-to-find location. Finding where the area teachers are has been challenging for people, so The Yoga Room was born out of the necessity to make it easier to find a class at pretty much any time of the day in one location. Yoga is not a “one-size-fits-all” practice. It comes in a variety of ways and flavors. Yoga is something very different to everyone. Some people find their yoga while moving through the postures in a 100-degree room, building physical strength, balance, and flexibility, while another finds it in a seated meditation with calming poses. The intention with The Yoga Room is to create a space where people can practice a wide variety of yoga styles with a unique variety of yoga teachers. This enables the students to find a class and a teacher that works for them. We have fifty-two classes a week on the regular schedule. We have some signature classes called the YogaRoom Flow, and we have several specialty classes, including Prenatal, Yoga Sculpt, Yoga for Runners, Easy Does It (for seniors), Yin, Tantra, AcroYoga, kids, and Power, to name a few.

Finding Balance and Peace
Yoga is a science of linking breath and body movements (yoga poses) to create a positive change. The best part of a yoga practice is the only thing you have to do to start seeing the changes is simply show up! The yoga will do everything else. Harvard has a recent study showing how yoga helps rebuild your brain’s gray matter. There is a reason that yoga has been around for over 5,000 years. It works!

What If I Am a Beginner?
Yoga is the MOST accepting practice. We were all beginners at one point, and what is hard today will be easy tomorrow. You will actually start to feel and see the changes very fast. You are never meant to do anything perfect in yoga. It’s all about the process.
My favorite quote about starting a practice is from T.K.V Desikachar in The Heart of Yoga: “We begin where we are and how we are, and whatever happens, happens.”

How Often Is Needed to Get the Benefits?
One yoga class can change your life. That sounds a bit dramatic, I know, but it’s true! Just like anything, once you make a commitment to something, you will reap the greatest benefits. If you can make it to your mat two times a week, you WILL feel the difference.

Trained, Experienced Teachers
The tribe of teachers at The Yoga Room is simply unbelievable, and the experience they bring to this space is a dream come true for yogis. All the teachers are at least 200-hour trained through accredited Yoga Alliance schools. Several have additional specialty certifications and training. They also have deep backgrounds in areas outside of yoga that complement their understanding of the body and allow for a richer yoga experience in a safely guided class setting. The Yoga Room tribe is made up of several teachers, including massage therapists, nurses, physicians, and occupational and physical therapists. It is a kind-hearted group of teachers committed to bringing more joy to people.

Advice for Yoga as a New Year’s Resolution
Keep your goals bite-size. They are easier to stick with than the really big ones. I feel that two classes a week is a perfect place to start. Be kind to yourself and just keep showing up, even if it’s been “too long” since your last class.  Every time you get on the mat, it’s your chance to reinvent yourself, wipe the slate clean, and start over.

Our Mission
We have one very solid mission at The Yoga Room. We want to make it as easy as possible for everyone to practice yoga. The Yoga Room . . . Room for Everyone. Be Happy, Be Healthy, Do Yoga!

For more information visit

Use Chiropractic to Stay Healthy This Winter

By Lisa Arkowski, DC at  Gonstead, Stangl & Arkowski Gonstead, Stangl & Arkowski

Once again, cold and flu season is upon us. There’s an endless list of things that we can do to keep ourselves healthy this time of year. Maintaining good sleep, drinking water, and keeping sugar intake and stress levels down are all things we often know we should be doing. Making sure we’re eating our veggies and possibly adding some supplements can all help us stay healthy through the winter season.

But could chiropractic play a role in this too? Chiropractic care is often thought of when your back “goes out,” when you sleep funny, get a headache, or if your hands or feet start to tingle. But how can it help you get through the winter season? This time of year we tend to go into hibernation mode—we’re inside more, outside less. We bundle up when we go outside (and sometimes inside), and often we just start to feel tight all over just from the thought of the first snowfall. Spending hours in the kitchen cooking big meals for large family gatherings, sitting in the car to drive to see the ones you love, or even just sleeping in a different bed than usual are all activities that are necessary to see the friends and family we care dearly about. Unfortunately they can also lead to their own aches and pains down the line.

Sugar and stress often take more of a toll than we realize, leading to inflammation in the body. This in turn may make us more susceptible to both those holiday aches and pains as well as the more acute neck and back pain injuries.

Once the holidays are over we still don’t get off easy. The snow keeps falling and you have to put it somewhere. Icy sidewalks and parking lots create a slippery surface that creates extra work just to keep yourself up on your feet. Even those winter illnesses lead to more problems. Starting to get that cough going around the office? After a little while you may start straining your ribs and back, and you’ll get a quick reminder of just how many muscles and parts of your spine are involved in something as simple as a cough.

Chiropractic care can have a large impact on how comfortably you make it through this season. Chiropractors address the body as a whole, which leads to improved function, alleviated pain, and support for the body’s natural ability to heal itself. They evaluate the body and spine to see what’s working, and more importantly, what isn’t. In addition, chiropractors can teach you ergonomics so you’re moving right when you’re clearing those snow piles and skidding across those icy patches. They can give advice on what to do with all the driving and travel. Many chiropractors have additional training in nutritional counseling so they can help you get your body what it needs to stay healthy. They can help you address your health top to bottom, inside out.

Whether it’s staying proactive and taking care of yourself before those holiday aches and pain set in, or after you get through those activities and your body starts to tell you how much you’ve put it through, chiropractic can help you feel your best so you can focus on enjoying the season. Which is what it’s all supposed to be about anyway!