Saturday, June 15, 2019
786-505-1817 info@thefloridavillager.com
Health & Wellness

Health+Fitness: A New Year, A New You

From pilates to CBD, here are the South Florida thought-leaders and business owners who are making a difference in our everyday health and wellness in 2019

Arturo Rodriguez

Zativa Life Health & Wellness (zativalifehw.com)

Rodriguez sees the connection between health and wellness as a personal one, noting that she can suggest and advise, but the investment of time and energy comes from the client. “It’s important to come to terms with how much you are willing to invest in yourself and your well being,” he says. “The person that is going to benefit the most is you. There’s no need to follow anyone else’s lead. Achieving wellness success should come from an organic place within yourself.” To that end Rodriguez suggests trying a new way of thinking or shaking things up in your wellness routine. For example, he notes, swapping a dreaded exercise class with a Zativa IV therapy. “A lot of us need to change our frame of thinking,” he says. “Think of how well you are treating yourself/your body by dedicating that hour to your health and wellness. After all it’s just 4 percent of your day.” Rodriguez is a big believer in his own offerings: the growing business of IV therapy. “Dehydration and vitamin deficiencies are much more visible and common than some think. With IV Vitamin Therapy 99.9 percent of the vitamins and minerals infused are absorbed,” he says. “As we all know wellness trends come and go but I think it goes without saying that this is going to stick around for the long haul.”

South Florida Fit Tip
“Integrating CBD into our daily lives is huge right now. At Zativa Life we have created our own line of CBD products starting with sublingual oils that help relieve everything from pain, anxiety, insomnia and inflammation. We also carry topical pain creams that target local rather than systemic symptoms of pain. In 2019 we are looking to launch skincare products infused with CBD.”


Yolanda Padron

Fitness Together South Miami (fitnesstogether.com/south-miami)
For Padron, investing in health is no different than investing in one’s education, or even home, accomplishing goals to keep your own value on the upswing. As for 2019 goals, Padron’s advice is simple. “Write it down,” she says. “Give that goal tangible form. Otherwise it’s just a fantasy. Set a deadline on your goal and sub-deadlines if necessary. When you have a plan of what you need to do, commitment becomes easier, results start happening.” Helping with those goals, in her eyes, are the now-ubiquitous fitness trackers, a tech advancement that has her excited for the future. “The merging of fitness and tech shows no signs of going anywhere, so expect to see even more ways to track and monitor your fitness in 2019,” says Padron.

South Florida Fit Tip
“South Florida is definitely a unique place full diversity, but what’s more amazing is its ability to adapt to change. The awareness around living a healthier lifestyle has grown exponentially over the past few years, and with that more restaurants with healthier options have popped up. No matter where you go you’ll find one or two restaurants that cater to those who are pursuing a healthy lifestyle.”


Christa Gurka

Pilates in the Grove (pilatesinthegrove.com)
With almost 20 years of experience in physical therapy, and more than a decade as a studio owner, Gurka has seen it all when it comes to fitness trends, but says individualized attention and small class size is a constant in her book when it comes to actual success. While her South Miami and Coconut Grove studios remain at just eight-or-nine students per class, 2019 will see Gurka bring an even more personalized focus to students. “We’re looking at software where we can email exercises and show students their progress, give them progress charts, and possibly integrate with a Fitbit or Apple Watch,” says Gurka of her “in-progress” technology. Pilates in the Grove’s dedication to a boutique feel also fuels it’s student population, drawing clients who appreciate the instructors’ knowledge and their ability to modify or create exercises for specific injuries or pain. “Students want to be observed by people who understand their injury or their specific needs,” says Gurka. “Even those who come in purely for fitness are still coming because of the value proposition we offer them.” Also motivating students is the community that Gurka has built within her studios, offering clients more than just a pilates class. “We do talks about nutrition, blog posts, social posts,” she says. “We have meditation. We educate students on CBD oil. We try to promote healthy living throughout the entire spectrum; how to be a better individual in mind, body and spirit.”

South Florida Fit Tip
“We really push that it’s not just about the exercise, it’s what you put into your body. I think people really understand it, especially the older generation. They don’t want to be on medication. It’s challenging but it’s doable. Health benefits can come simply from adjusting what you’re eating, not how much.”

Andrea Carneiro
the authorAndrea Carneiro