Wellness Article

Even a Little Weight Training May Cut the Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke - The New York Times – by Gretchen Reynolds
Despite the muscle-building, flab-trimming and, according to recent research, mood-boosting benefits of lifting weights, such resistance exercise has generally been thought not to contribute much to heart health, as endurance workouts like jogging and cycling do. But a study published in October in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise provides evidence for the first time that even a little weight training might reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke. People appear to gain this benefit whether or not they also engage in frequent aerobic exercise.

The study drew from an invaluable cache of health data gathered at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, where thousands of men and women have been undergoing annual checkups, which include filling out detailed questionnaires about their exercise habits and medical history. More than 12,500 records were anonymized for men and women, most of them middle-aged, who had visited the clinic at least twice between 1987 and 2006. The subjects were categorized according to their reported resistance exercise routines, ranging from those who never lifted to those who completed one, two, three or more weekly sessions (or whether they lifted for more or less than an hour each week). Another category was aerobic exercise and whether subjects met the standard recommendation of 150 minutes per week of brisk workouts. This exercise data was then crosschecked against heart attacks, strokes and deaths during the 11 years or so after each participant’s last clinic visit.

The findings were dramatic: The risk of experiencing these events was roughly 50 percent lower for those who lifted weights occasionally, compared with those who never did – even when they were not doing the recommended endurance exercise. People who lifted twice a week, for about an hour or so in total, had the greatest declines in risk. (Interestingly, the subjects who reported weight training four or more times per week did not show any significant health benefits compared with those who never lifted, although the researchers believe this finding is probably a statistical anomaly.)

“The good news,” says Duck-chul Lee, an associate professor of kinesiology at Iowa State University and co-author of the study, “is that we found substantial heart benefits associated with a very small amount of resistance exercise.” (full story)

Wellness Article

11 Benefits of Strength Training That Have Nothing to Do With Muscle Size
U.S. News & World Report – by K. Alec

If you want to build bigger biceps or get an elusive six-pack, strength training is an essential component for making it happen. But even if maxing out your muscle size isn’t your objective, strength training might still be the best way to hit your health goals.

“A lot of people believe that if they don’t want to look like a bodybuilder, they shouldn’t perform resistance training,” says Michael Rebold, director of integrative exercise sciences at Hiram College in Ohio. “So the only form of exercise they do is aerobic – and then they wonder why they are having trouble making significant improvements in their health,” he explains.

Plus, building muscle bulk requires specialized and intense training and nutrition, and it doesn’t happen on accident, Rebold adds.

Before your next workout, consider these 11 science-backed benefits of strength training.

1. Lower abdominal fat. In a 2014 study published in the research journal Obesity, Harvard researchers followed 10,500 men over the course of 12 years and found that strength training is more effective at preventing increases in abdominal fat than cardiovascular exercise.

“When people incorporate strength training into their exercise routine, they not only burn calories, but increase lean muscle mass, which stimulates the metabolism,” Rebold says. Muscle mass is a major determiner of basal metabolic rate, or the number of calories the body burns per day to sustain physiologic functions. (source)

Partner Personal Training


Get healthier as spring rolls along!
This new offering at WHS could be just what you need to get ready for summer’s activities. An exercise partner helps you remain motivated and accountable. With similar goals for your workouts, you can both make progress and save a little money. It could also just be fun to spend time with a friend getting healthier.

MELANIE DEAN, M. Sc., CSCS, holds a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology in addition to her Bachelor’s degree in Human Performance & Wellness. Among her certifications are: NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and NSPA Post Rehab Specialist.

Tuesdays & Thursdays by appointment. Call 919.489.5355 to schedule.

New Personal Trainer at WHS

Kathy Lawrence second photo blastAnnouncing Kathy Lawrence

Fitness Training
Working with a personal trainer is one of the most successful ways to improve your health and fitness and to help make lifestyle changes that you may not be able to achieve on your own. If you want to accelerate your progress, fitness training can move you to the next level. Your workouts will be more efficient, effective and results-driven.

kathy lawrence racingSport-specific Training
Each sport has unique demands for length of activity and movements required. Athletes can benefit from a program designed to enhance individual performance and sharpen specific skills. Whether you’re a recreational athlete or high-level athlete, sport-specific training can increase your agility and conditioning and help prevent injury.

Learn more about Kathy Lawrence.

Cycling and Running Training

WHS Exercise Physiologist and Personal Trainer, Melanie Dean, is conducting two really great new classes May 17 & May 31 – one for cyclists and the other for runners. You meet for two sessions with a week in between. The second session gives you more information and the opportunity to report on your progress and field any questions to help refine your progress.

learn to boost your cycling power safely durhamCycling
Saturday 12:00-1:30 PM
5/17 & 5/31
Learn to ride more powerfully so you’ll finish stronger than ever! This two-session cycling training class will help you boost your cycling power and endurance.

Schedule your Cycling Training class


Runninglearn to optimize your running regimen more safely durham
Saturday 1:30-3:00 PM
5/17 & 5/31
In addition to focusing on increased strength and flexibility of your thigh and calf muscles (and their Achilles tendon), we’ll work to improve your core strength to take advantage of gravity rather than working against it.
Schedule your Running Training class

Read about the trainer, Melanie Dean


New Instructors, New Classes

Visit the respective pages for these classes to find out more!

The new year here at Wholistic Health Studio kicks off with an amazing lineup of new classes and special events. We’re also very pleased to have added several new instructors to our team – Anna Barker, Leigh Johnson and Sabine Mead.

Abs Plus with Melanie Dean
Flexibility/Balance with Melanie Dean
Melanie, our fitness instructor and exercise physiologist, will be teaching these two new ongoing classes. Both are a great addition to our already popular lineup of Senior Fitness and Pilates classes.

She will also conduct two workshops: one for cyclists and the other for runners. These two-day instructional sessions are designed to optimize performance and give you the knowledge to engage in your sport safely as you achieve your goals.

Leigh Johnson, Sabine Mead and Anna Barker

Leigh Johnson, Sabine Mead and Anna Barker






Pilates/Ballet Barre Fusion with Anna Barker
Using a synthesis of Pilates-based core work and ballet barre exercises, this class helps you develop strength and balance while encouraging uniform development of muscles.

MELT Method with Leigh Johnson
This class may transform the way you care for your body. Myofascial Energetic Length Technique is a simple, proactive, self-treatment method for the resolution of muscular and fascial tensions.

Continuum Movement with Sabine Mead
Continuum Movement uses breath, sound and movement sequences to awaken perception of fluid circulation throughout one’s body.

Red Carpet Rolling Out For Fall

Two Free Classes

We hope all of you are enjoying this relatively cool and wet summer. It’s been most amazing; do any of you remember anything like this? Our garden could have been growing lettuce this whole time if we had known about this temperature change. Preparation has already begun for the fall garden.

Similarly, we are now working hard for our fall schedule of new classes and services. Our website is undergoing a major reorganization; poster cards and brochures are being upgraded and printed. I must give great credit to the WHS staff – Marion Bolz and Sabrina West – whose tireless efforts and endless patience make all of this production possible. Both have had to tread into new skill sets with computers, e-blasts, design software and web page programming revisions. All of this is designed to help you to become aware of our fine instructors and their upcoming fitness and wellness classes.

Wholistic Health Studio rolls out the red carpet with two free classes for many of our new class series to encourage you to participate. Please pass this great news along to friends who might be interested. See you in class soon! Stewart Walker