Optimal Health Uncovered

Podcast

We created our podcast Optimal Health Uncovered to empower you to live better. Our team of professionals is dedicated to providing our community with educational deep dives into the world of health. From tackling specific injuries to general fitness trends, diets to sleep habits, Performance's group of specialists are dedicated to bringing you the latest evidence-based research on the topics that matter most.

Hosted by Todd Wilkowski, PT, OCS, SCS, founder of Performance Optimal Health, and Michael Beecher, DPT, OCS, SCS.


The rising cost of illness

90% of the nation's $3.8 trillion in annual health care costs is for people with chronic conditions, and those numbers are only going to go up. Yet these increases are preventable: if we prevent the chronic illnesses, we can prevent an exponential increase in healthcare costs.

By focusing on our diet, exercising and maintaining healthy habits, we can make a difference in our futures, ensuring we stay healthier longer — and pay less later.

Read more from the CDC:
Costs of chronic diseases: https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/costs/index.htm
Preventing chronic diseases: https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/about/prevent/index.htm


Is the keto diet actually good for you?

The keto diet consists mostly of eating fats, aiming to put the person into a state of ketosis, during which the body burns fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. What seems like an easy way to lose weight can actually be a dangerous diet if done without supervision. From experiencing the keto flu to impaired bone health, the keto diet comes with a variety of warnings.

But there's more to it than meets the eye; the keto diet can be a great approach to alleviating symptoms and delaying the onset of some diseases, including some cancers. By breaking down fats instead of glucose, the keto diet can slow a tumor from growing.

Listen to Mike's interview with nutritionist Francine Blinten, CCN, CNS, about the benefits — and possible negative side effects — of trying a keto diet.


Does a cup of joe a day keep the doctor away?

Chances are, there's probably a coffee shop within five minutes of where you are currently located. It seems like everyone of age drinks it — with creamers, syrups and plenty of caffeine. In this episode, Mike & Todd break down not just the makeup of coffee, but what exactly it can do to your body and how much is safe to drink.

While coffee has plenty of benefits, the way you prepare and drink it can make all the difference.

Read more about the benefits of coffee from The New York Times.


Chlorophyll: The good, the bad & the green

Fads come and go, capturing the attention of health nuts everywhere. The latest trend? Chlorophyll supplements. Purported to benefit skin health, increase energy and act as a natural deodorant, among others, chlorophyll seems like a miracle supplement.

But is it? Mike and Todd break down the research and let you know whether chlorophyll is actually worth a shot.

Read more:
Benefits of chlorophyll (Healthline)
Are there benefits to chlorophyll? (The New York Times)


Revolutionizing the running shoe fitting process (with Dave Wright)

Running shoes are always being updated, and we've come a long way from those leather uppers. Nowadays, Fleet Feet is revolutionizing the way we choose our running shoes with 3D fit id® scanning. Fleet Feet Westport owner Dave Wright takes Mike through the process of evaluating foot shape, gait pattern and pressure points in order to get the best fitting shoe possible.

They also dive into the community-based aspect of owning a shoe store. Whether he is leading training programs, getting kids involved in physical activity or engaging with local nonprofits, Dave is bringing people together while teaching them how to take care of their bodies at the same time.

Check out the Fleet Feet Westport website, or follow them on Instagram: @fleetfeetwestport.


Breaking down cardio myths

Is running the answer to weight loss? Does cardio slow your gains? Can walking increase your life span? Todd & Mike break down what's true and what's not, and share some surprising statistics about the relationship between exercise and heart health.

Read more:
Association of Exercise Preconditioning With Immediate Cardioprotection from The Journal of the American Medical Association.
Walking an Extra 1,000 Steps May Increase Your Life Span
Does the Cardio 'Interference Effect' Really Slow Your Gains?


Plant-based diets & healthier hearts

There are a plethora of popular diets that claim to be best for you, but they often come with a catch or even turn out to be detrimental to your health. A plant-based diet, however, is proven to improve heart health and lower risks of cardiovascular disease & mortality.

Registered dietitian Jacqueline Ballou Erdos, MS, explains how a plant-based diet, if executed properly, can make a huge impact on your blood markers and overall health. From increasing energy to reducing risk of disease, a plant-based diet goes a long way.

Read more in the Journal of the American Heart Association.


Women's Health Month – Embracing menopause (with Dr. Bronwyn Fitz)

Mike is joined by integrated health specialist Dr. Bronwyn Fitz, and they go in depth on the ways of embracing menopause and taking control of the symptoms and life change.

Be sure to check out Dr. Bronwyn Fitz at Women's Integrative Health.

Want more No Snooze? Find them on Instagram!🎙 Dave Reggina + Mike Parelli (@nosnoozepodcast)


Accountability, fitness and lifestyle with No Snooze Podcast

Dave Reggina and Mike Parelli of @nosnoozepodcast join us to discuss the "no snooze" mentality, the importance of creating goals and what it means to take control of your life. They reflect on personal experiences that have helped them establish their own lifestyle habits, from working on professional development to creating disciplined health and fitness regimens.

Want more No Snooze? Find them on Instagram!🎙 Dave Reggina + Mike Parelli (@nosnoozepodcast)


HIIT – Know your limits

Have you noticed that your energy or power production is decreasing, but you haven't changed your exercise routine? You might be overdoing high-intensity interval training (HIIT). In this episode, Mike and Todd dive into a recent study published in Cell Metabolism where researchers looked to determine the optimal amount of high-intensity exercise. Hear us break down the study and learn more about what HIIT frequency could be right for you.


Exercising at work: not as healthy as you may think

In this episode, Mike and Todd review an article recently published in the European Society of Cardiology that explains why exercising at work may not be the healthiest option.


Training with a greater purpose with Chris Vasami

Former MLB baseball player and founder of Vasami Training, Chris Vasami, dives into his baseball career and how his own experiences inspired him to start a training business to help athletes improve performance. Chris discusses the importance of understanding the mind-body connection, believing in the training process and adapting to the needs of every individual.


Understanding stress & finding your balance

Whether it's work stress, financial stress, physical stress or emotional stress, everyone experiences some form on a daily basis. Finding the balance between your negative and positive stressors is critical to helping your body adapt and become stronger, and everyone's balance is different on goals and lifestyles. In this episode, Mike and Todd explain the key components of stress, why you need stress to progress and how to manage your stress to optimize your health.


Beyond the kegel: understanding pelvic health

Whether you are pregnant, postpartum or just struggling with daily discomfort, Jen Morgan, DPT, is here to discuss the importance of optimizing your health through your pelvic floor. She discussed the importance of raising awareness about pelvic health physical therapy, normalizing the conversations, and proactively advocating for your health. As a women's pelvic health specialist, Jen is passionate about making pelvic health care more accessible for both men and women and provides tips and resources that can help you determine if you could benefit from pelvic health treatment. Pause your kegels and give this episode a listen!


The dangers of working from home

Working from home can have a negative impact on your physical health. Physical Therapist Ashley Moriarty joins Mike to dive into desk ergonomics, screen time, blue light and more. Ashley also provides exercises and tips to improve posture and ways to take a step back from your desk!


Weight training to match your lifestyle

Strength and conditioning coaches Megan Kudrick worked with Division 1 athletes at Quinnipiac University and is a USA Weightlifting Level 1 Coach who focuses on recovery and injury prevention for athletes. She discusses different types of weight training programs, including those centered around strength, power and mobility. Each program produces different results, but can be optimized for anyone — from beginners to long-time athletes. Whether you're just starting out in the weight training world or want a leg up, you'll learn something new.


Achieving longevity like Tom Brady: Tips, habits and the TB12 Method

Mike and Todd dive into the lifestyle and habits of seven-time Super Bowl champion, Tom Brady. From nutrition to sleep habits, they discuss longevity and how Tom Brady has been able to perform at such an elite level for over 21 years due to his lifestyle that prioritizes the Four Pillars of Optimal Health. They analyze the TB12 Method and give you key takeaways that can be applied to your own life, whether you are a high-performing athlete or just trying to improve the quality of your life.


Eliminate toxins to optimize wellness: Tips from toxicologist Dr. Joe Nieusma

This week, Mike is joined by toxicologist Dr. Joe Nieusma, CEO of Superior Toxicology & Wellness. For the past 30 years, Dr. Nieusma has been involved in toxicology research, focusing on empowering his clients to take control of their medications and advocate for their own health. Rather than relying on prescriptions, he is a proponent of incorporating hydration, nutrition and quality sleep to optimize wellness. He also discusses the importance of understanding the environments in which we live and provides simple tips to eliminate common toxins, from water filtration systems to air ionizers.


The power of proper running shoes: substitute pain for distance

In this episode, Todd is joined by Kevin Cota, Heather Pech, and Ridgefield Running owner Megan Searfoss. They discuss all things running, including how training has changed during the pandemic, how to get fitted for proper running shoes and making the most of your training.


The impact of psychology on athletic performance

Riley Fitzgerald, a Sport Psychology Service Coordinator at Boston University has worked with numerous teams and organizations helping athletes develop their mental game in order to compete and perform at their best on a consistent basis. He has provided mental performance services to competitive athletes in the collegiate setting and beyond, including those at BU, Tufts, Endicott, and in the East Coast Hockey League. Riley discusses his journey to working with athletes at the collegiate level, the challenges of blazing the trail in his field, and how his services impact the athletes and clients he sees everyday.


Preventing disease through nutrition

Mike takes the host mic solo in Todd's absence as he is joined by Francine Blinten, a nutritionist at Performance. Francine works with a unique segment of the population including oncology patients, substance abusers and generally sick individuals to get them back to healthy state. Mike and Francine discuss specific diseases and ways to reduce the risk through what you eat and drink. Francine also gives listeners some great advice that can be applied to your everyday nutrition.


Move better with Hyperice

It's time to revolutionize the way we move, and Director of Physical Therapy and Chiropractic Sales at Hyperice Eric Fernandez is doing just that. He joins Todd & Mike this week to discuss the importance of body maintenance and how percussion and thermal vibration can help soft tissue movement. This in turn helps speed up recovery, improve range of motion, decrease stiffness, accelerate a warmup and more.


How to have a healthy relationship with food

Guest this week is dietician Jacqueline Ballou Erdos specializes in weight management, sports nutrition and pediatrics. Jackie works with a range of clients, from working adults to high performance dancers at the Juilliard School in New York City. In this episode, Jackie discusses the "non-diet" approach to nutrition, how to develop realistic goals in weight management and dealing with the female athlete triad.


Lara Spencer — a client's perspective on Optimal Health

Todd welcomes special guest and Good Morning America host, Lara Spencer, to the podcast. Lara Spencer is also the star of Flea Market Flip on HGTV. A a long-time client at Performance, Lara discusses her journey towards Optimal Health, as well as her life-changing hip surgery and what she does to stay fit and healthy in its aftermath. Lara and Todd also touch upon her health and wellness lifestyle as a television star, mother, wife and athlete.


Orthopedic injuries with surgeon Dr. Ted Blaine

Todd and Mike are joined by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Ted Blaine to discuss the latest orthopedic surgeries, techniques that are being used, and what to prepare for if you need surgery. They also discuss what to do if you're facing an upcoming orthopedic surgery.


Can acupuncture relieve my pain?

Chinese medicine specialist, Casey Potetz, joins the podcast to discuss how acupuncture can complement other recovery and physical therapy methods. Casey Potetz holds a degree in Kinesiology from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Science in Oriental Medicine and is a licensed Acupuncturist, and a Diplomate of Acupuncture (NCCAOM). She practices acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine along with a variety of clinical healing techniques including cupping, Chinese nutritional counseling and electro-stimulation.


How can fasting help me lose weight?

Have you heard about fasting, but were unsure if it was right for you? Review all the benefits of fasting, including weight loss, energy gain and generally feeling more clear-headed.


How can I improve my golf game over winter?

Todd and Mike review TrackMan technology and using an indoor golf simulator as a tool to get better, particularly during the winter. They also discuss the metrics and how to use these data points to their advantage to help golfers get better.


Is alcohol good for my health?

Many Americans drink alcohol, but may not necessarily know about its effects on the body. Learn about the mental impact it can have as well as alcohol's effect on your weight and ability to burn fat, and how often one should drink and when it becomes too much.


How do I train for a marathon?

RRCA Running Coach Britt Gunsser talks all things running and how it relates to Optimal Health. She covers how to train for a marathon, 10k, 5k, or any race that you have coming up, as well as proper gait, shoes, and how to correct those flaws. Britt also gives some nuggets of wisdom on how to train your body to peak at the right time.


Can NormaTec help my body feel better?

Learn about NormaTec and how compression therapy works and how it can help you. It's a great way to enjoy lymphatic drainage right after a strenuous workout.


Is COVID causing an increase in athletic injuries?

The number of athletic injuries across all sports is rising. Across professional, college and high school ranks, data is showing a higher rate of injuries with the significant layoff period. Todd and Mike review data from professional sport lockouts from years past including the injury rates after the 2011 NFL lockout, comparing it to today.


Can wearable technology detect COVID-19?

Learn about OURA ring, whoop straps, the Apple watch, Withings, and others and how they relate to optimal health. They review the abilities of these wearables to detect abnormalities in the body and possibly even detect early onset of COVID-19 (coronavirus) symptoms.


Can CBD help you feel better?

In this episode, Todd and Mike are joined by fellow physical therapist and CBD (cannabidiol) expert Kevin Cota. They discuss all things CBD and debunk the myths about the trending product. They also discuss how to choose an appropriate CBD product for you and where to go to find more answers about CBD.


Nutrition and diet myths, tips and fads with Jenn Trepeck (Pt. 2)

In the second and final part, Mike and Todd finish their conversation with Jenn Trepeck, founder of the podcast "Salad with a Side of Fries." They discuss all things nutrition and the latest truths and myths about diets and what is trending today. Jenn covers tips and tricks you can use in your daily life to improve your eating habits and how you diet.


Nutrition and diet myths, tips and fads with Jenn Trepeck (Pt. 1)

Renowned nutrition expert Jenn Trepeck joined the podcast to discuss all things nutrition and break down common myths and fads in dieting. Jenn is the founder and host of the podcast "Salad with a Side of Fries" and you can check out her website here. She offers listeners tips and tricks for eating healthy and finding optimal health in what they eat each and every day.


Is a blood panel right for me? with Trevor Perry

Todd and Mike are joined by Trevor Perry, founder and CEO of Goodcell Health Technology Platform. Goodcell takes blood panels by drawing blood and uses that data to create actionable steps to improving your health, whether that be biomarkers for potential diseases or susceptibility to injury. Trevor discusses the process of the Goodcell blood paneling, what it means, and how it could benefit a client.


How Pilates can benefit you with Christina Merrill

Certified Pilates instructor and dancer Christina Merrill is an expert in the field of Pilates. She joins the podcast to discuss the history of Pilates, differences between Yoga and Pilates, and who should incorporate Pilates into their fitness and health routine.


Reducing back pain, scoliosis, and the Schroth method with Shane Foley

Shane Foley, DPT, specializes in back patients, scoliosis rehabilitation and is a certified Schroth professional. They discuss the benefits of using the Schroth method for scoliotic patients and tips for helping reduce back pain using this same method. cardiologist, or colorectal surgeons.


Men's health awareness and how you can help with Jay Myerson

Up to 16% of men experience pelvic pain or disfunction in their lives. Physical Therapist Jay Myerson, who specializes in men's health, health risks, and prevention techniques joined the podcast to speak about cancer, prostates, and diabetes, among others. They also discuss regular check-ups and who to see about getting these regular check-ups, whether it's your primary care physician, cardiologist, or colorectal surgeons.


Training during a pandemic with Mike Ranfone

Long-time training coach and founder of Ranfone Training Systems, Mike Ranfone, joins the podcast to discuss training and exercise through the Covid-19 pandemic and how it's affected business. They dig into what the pandemic has caused for athletes at every level and how to overcome challenges you face in your training.


Is dry needling right for you?

Mike is certified in dry needling and covers how he got certified, who is able to get certified, why it's beneficial, who should have it done, and the process of dry needling a patient. They also reveal what the research says about dry needling and what happens in the skin and tissues during a dry needling session.


Are you setting the right goals in your exercise routine?

Mathew Welch, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and certified athletic trainer, discusses the importance of conditioning your body for exercise and making sure you're setting appropriate goals in your routines. He reviews specific exercises and training techniques that anyone can benefit from.


Is COVID-19 preventable?

Todd and Mike talk about how COVID-19 is changing and affecting the medical world, some of their personal experiences during the pandemic, how its changing Performance and the rapid emergence of telehealth and virtual healthcare. They also discuss ways to help prevent contracting the disease, safety measures to protect yourself and others, and what the virus might look like in the future.


How does fitness affect my golf swing?

In this episode, Todd and Mike discuss golf fitness, being certified Titleist Performance Institute professionals, and golf injuries. Zack Buechner hosts this podcast and asks the questions. Todd, Mike, and Zack cover golf fitness evaluations at Performance and in the clinic and how they approach golf injuries. They review the benefits of having TPI Certified professionals doing golf fitness evaluations, treat golf injuries and help golfers improve their game.


How can exercise improve my tennis game?

Todd and Mike review health and fitness as it relates to tennis and other racket sport athletes, in the wake of the 2020 Wimbledon tournament cancellation.


How to prevent ACL injures with Dr. Paul Sethi

Dr. Paul Sethi joins Todd and Mike to do a deep dive into ACL injuries. Dr. Sethi is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon at the Orthopedic and Neurosurgery Specialists center in Greenwich, Connecticut who specializes in sports medicine, particularly the knee joint as well as the elbow and shoulder.


Can cryotherapy help boost my immunity?

Why endure an ice bath when you can do cryotherapy? It aides recovery, reduces inflammation, improves sleep and respiratory function, prevents disease, and boosts the immune system. What's not to love?


What are the top four injuries in sports and how can I prevent them?

Athletes experience all kinds of injuries, but there are four that we see most often: low back pain, knee injuries (i.e. ACL tears), shoulder injuries, and overuse injuries (i.e. tennis elbow). The good news is, there are ways to prevent these injuries from happening.


Will using a sauna strengthen my immune system?

Discover the benefits of saunas and how to incorporate them into your life. Learn how different types of heat therapy such as paraffin baths, infrared saunas, traditional saunas and steam saunas work and discover their many benefits including lowering cholesterol, decreasing hypertension (high blood pressure), reducing risk of depression, combating disease and improving or enhancing immune function.


The four pillars of optimal health

What are the four pillars of Optimal Health (Nutrition, Stress, Recovery, and Exercise)? Todd and Mike explain each pillar in broad strokes to explain to importance of the balance, then detail their own experiences and personal tips and tricks from their own journeys to achieving optimal health.


Exercise and maximizing your training

Explore how to maximize your training whether you fall into the sedentary group, moderate/healthy group, or the high-level athlete group. Training through injuries, losing weight, tracking data points or competing for an event are all discussed while Todd and Mike emphasize the importance of recovery, sleep, setting reasonable goals, variety of training (cardiovascular, resistance or weight training and cross training), and supplementing proper nutrition. The 5 training zones are detailed as well as hacks and tips for optimal exercise.


Who we are

In this introduction episode, Todd and Mike talk a little about themselves and why they created a podcast about optimal health. They take us through a brief history of Performance as a company and how they came to work together.


Sleep and its effect on the body

Learn about the phases of sleep, REM cycles and diseases related to a lack of sleep. Todd and Mike also review the latest wearable technology that track sleeping habits as well as hacks for sleeping better.


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