The Morphe Method: Philosophy Coaching

Breakthroughs begin here: This truly unique consulting experience is the starting place for fundamental life transformation. The Morphe Method stresses positive thinking, visualization, and daily discipline as core steps toward the fulfillment of your goals. Aware and empowered as never before, you’ll create a solid platform on which to build your life and your organization.

The Morphe Method: Personal Care Coaching

The ultimate in total wellness: Experience customized personal care with an expert consultation that focuses on one thing: you. Here we discuss your challenges, goals, habits, patterns and physical as well as psychological limitations; the focus is on altering your behavior in small and significant ways on a regular basis to guide you on the path to achieving your goals and feeling more healthy and balanced in mind, body and spirit.

The Morphe Method: Nutritional Guidance

Reach your weight goals, eat for optimal performance, energize your workouts, and build muscle strength. Sessions are designed to assess your specific nutritional needs and include a computer-generated nutritional analysis to help you make better nutritional choices and learn what foods most benefit you as an individual.

The Morphe Method: Individual Cardio Boxing & Kickboxing

Cardio Boxing or Kickboxing is a style of Martial Art training that emphasizes cardiovascular conditioning and toning thru the practice and application of Martial Arts striking techniques. This practice builds strength, balance, focus, flexibility, and reinforces physical as well as mental agility, without the often harsh discipline and contact common to other forms of Martial Art training.

The Morphe Method for Total Fitness: Happy Mind, Healthy Body & Strong Soul

The Morphe Method incorporates every aspect of wellness into a series of classes and treatment options that address physical, mental, and spiritual conditioning: building strength, balance, endurance, and inner peace.  Let’s select which Method components are right for you and get you on the road to total, holistic self-renewal!

Roberto Santamarina, CSCS, is a Master Trainer dedicated to health, fitness and life coaching. Morphe Studios is Roberto’s Gift to his beloved Miami – a boutique fitness studio devoted to unleashing your hidden potential for growth and life transformation through physical activity, spiritual awareness and positive habits that help you achieve all of your personal goals.

The Morphe Method, rooted in Roberto’s philosophy of unifying mind, body and soul, along with his caring approach of focused personal attention to each client, guarantees that your experience at Morphe will be specifically tailored to satisfy your individual needs. Roberto has assembled a team of masters in health, wellness, fitness and spa treatments to ensure your results will encompass every area of your life to guide you toward the total transformation that you dream of!

“The Key to achieving a true metamorphosis is to think positive, take action and develop a well-balanced you.”
—Roberto Santamarina

Stretch, Breathe & Relax

Beginning in October 2013, Wednesday evenings at Morphe will be the place to be to get your regenerative groove on.  Stretch, Breathe & Relax is the newest of our class offerings, focusing on the regeneration and rejuvenation of the mind, body, and soul by combining total-body stretching with profound breathing techniques, visualization, and deep relaxation.

Rooted in such ancient practices as Yoga, the practice of uniting breath and motion to rejuvenate the body, mind, and spirit is not new.  What many don’t realize, however, is that stretching exercises often cause a slew of injuries: in fact, it is in the act of stretching that human muscles are most easily injured.  Stretching exercises must be done in a proper sequence, with the breath used as an instrument to support the intensity and variety of different movements.  This workshop will guide you through a series of physical movements that allow your entire body to stretch and release physical as well as emotional tension by using the breath in harmony with the body to achieve maximum results.

It is important to warm up and cool down the body at the beginning and end of any stretching routine.  It is also extremely important to utilize breathing techniques to allow for greater extension and increased physical flexibility.  The combination of deep breathing, visualization, and physical movement working in deliberate harmony allows for a far deeper experience of stretching, elongating muscles, promoting balance and proper posture, and releasing psychological, emotional and physical stress.

The act of stretching, done properly in conjunction with deep breathing, relieves muscle tension and pain, increases suppleness and elasticity in the joints, and promotes blood circulation to the entire body, including the internal organs. It also strengthens the core, tones the entire body, quiets the mind, and builds physical, emotional, and spiritual strength, endurance, balance and flexibility: the path to holistic rejuvenation.

Play better, Enjoy more: Improve Your Game with Flex Training

As both an avid golf enthusiast and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist working with all sorts of athletes for over 15 years, I can attest to the contribution that flex training can add to your golf game.  In fact, I’d like to share a story with you of one golfer who lowered his handicap from 20 to 10 in less than a years’ time by working to improve his overall balance, strength, and flexibility.

In my work with professional athletes, both targeted at improving general fitness and/or working to rehabilitate injuries, I have learned the benefits that all-around flexibility, balance and strength training can bring to an athlete’s performance. So when Victor came into my studio with the specific goal of lowering his golf handicap, I was prepared to coach him to a whole new level as a golfer.

Initially, we incorporated Ultrasound Therapy and P.N.F. (Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation) Stretching, a series of specialized stretching techniques commonly used by clinical therapists, to rapidly improve his overall range of motion and bring fast relief from chronic tendonitis, a problem he’d suffered with for years.

We then began working on bio-mechanic strengthening and core conditioning through Gravity Training and Kinesiology, which relieved his chronic lower back pain, a problem he attributed to his long hours of sitting at a desk during his day job.  This system also improves balance and overall flexibility while building strength in the entire body, improving rotation and general mobility, maintaining proper weight, increasing muscle tone and definition, and lengthening the spine, improving overall posture.

To that, we added Swing Fan Drills, Medicine Ball and Plyometric Workouts, a series of specialized exercises targeted specifically to improving his rotation, swing and golf performance, lowering his handicap from 20 to 10 over a period of 11 months.  We also worked to develop a series of appropriate pre and post training exercises to not only improve Victor’s overall performance on the green, but also to decrease his risk of injury and maintain his flexibility, even through his long days at the office.

Today, this enthusiastic golfer has found a renewed interest in his favorite sport. His health is greatly improved, as is his game, and he is able to enjoy playing more often, free of pain. A testament to the holistic principle of overall physical conditioning, his is just one more example of what a focused and balanced training regimen can do to benefit any athlete, from beginner, to pro, to weekend warrior.

Crazy for Kombucha

Hey, have you tried Kombucha yet?

It’s an exotic, ancient effervescent drink that some call “mushroom tea” although there are no mushrooms in it.  Actually, Kombucha is a sparkling tea drink made from tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast.  This mix is then fermented to create a bacterial colony or “mother” and this colony—a slimy, sludgy looking thing—is then brewed with sugar and tea, allowing the mix to ferment. The resulting bubbly beverage tastes a bit vinegary, and contains B vitamins and other nutritional compounds.

Many claim that Kombucha tea promotes an array of amazing health benefits such as strengthening and boosting the immune system, preventing the formation of cancerous tumors, lowering harmful cholesterol, relieving PMS, enhancing overall digestion and liver function, and even promoting hair growth.  In fact, Kombucha’s recent ascent to the heights of health-nut popularity is part of a larger trend in foods that contain live bacteria or probiotics, which are known to benefit digestion and naturally boost the immune system.   Probiotics are those living organisms that feed off the “bad bacteria” in our bodies.  So, yes, this is basically good stuff.

But, as with everything good, some points need to be acknowledged and taken into consideration.  For example, even though Kombucha and/or some variation of fermented tea has been prized as a health tonic in China for over 2,000 years, fermented tea is actually a very acidic drink and should be taken strictly in moderation.  Many well-respected health experts have published warnings regarding the excessive use of Kombucha and the possibility of resulting complications such as hyperacidity and the typical side effects seen during detox or “healing crisis” such as skin rashes, headaches and loose stools.  And honestly, none of us should take lightly the fact that no real scientific studies have been done to establish that Kombucha does indeed live up to all of its health claims, even though it has been respected as a natural remedy for centuries.  So, the best advice is to enjoy the drink in moderation and judge for yourself whether or not it is working for you.  At most, enjoy 4 oz. of Kombucha daily, and increase your intake gradually as your body adjusts to the live probiotics.

Here at Morphe, we do occasionally brew a bit of the sparkling refreshment.  Many of my clients claim that it really does give them increased energy, and more than one has mentioned that the tea has helped tremendously with their digestion.

Today, the hippest of foodies and health enthusiasts are cultivating their own “mothers,” and selling or giving away the “daughters” or “kombucha babies” as starter kits for enthusiastic wannabe Kombucha brewers.  And many of these new starter kits have also added additional healthful ingredients such as Spirulina and Vitamin C.  So if you’re looking to start brewing your own Kombucha, you should have no trouble getting a hold of a good “mother” to help you get started.   Just remember that moderation is key with this wonder drink.

Walk Your Way to Health

Probably the most essential aerobic exercise for the overall well being of the human body is walking.  Unfortunately, this is the one activity that most people don’t practice enough.  Walking lowers (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol and increases (HDL or “good”) cholesterol.  It helps manage blood pressure and diabetes, and reduces your risk for either condition. Brisk walking also releases endorphins, which keep you emotionally balanced and feeling optimistic.  Walking trims the waistline by subtly strengthening the core, while also strengthening the muscles and bones in the entire body.  Walking is also the form of exercise least likely to lead to injury, particularly if you walk on a footpath that is relatively clear.  For maximum spiritual, emotional and physical benefits, take a walk outdoors, surrounded by nature.

The most important thing to keep in mind when starting a walking regimen is to wear the right shoes. Look for solid arch support, a firm heel, and soles that are both thick and flexible enough to cushion your feet, absorb shock and allow for proper mobility. If you’re really serious about walking at least a mile daily, you will definitely need a pair of good quality running shoes.  Get them at a high-end athletic store and make sure you get fitted professionally.

Be sure to stretch gently before and after a long walk, particularly the hamstrings and the muscles of the ankles and feet. A few ankle rotations after a long walk will help relieve the tension built up around the ankle joint.

Using a pedometer can help you keep track of the number of steps you are taking, the distance that you have walked, and even the amount of calories and fat that your are burning while walking.  This useful tool can help motivate you to meet the goals that you set for your regimen.

The best time to take a walk is in the morning or early evening, after your morning and/or evening meal.  The regular practice of a nightly one-hour walk right after dinner, as practiced in many European countries, is an excellent aid to digestion, weight-loss and improved sleep.

8 Diet Busters to Avoid

Tips to Stop Sabotaging Your Weight-Loss Goals

Sometimes we just don’t understand why our weight-loss attempts are not working.  A lot of calories are hidden in daily habits that we don’t often pay attention to.  Here are some tips for avoiding the most common hidden hindrances to our best-laid diet plans.

  1. Liquid Calories: Watch out for empty calories in soft drinks, flavored water, and juices.  Your beverage of choice for quenching thirst should simply be plain water – and lots of it.
  2. Dinner rolls: Do you ever ask yourself: “How could I be gaining weight when all I’m eating is fish and salad?”  Bear in mind that those three rolls you ate with your fish and salad packed a fluffy 250-500 calories each, depending on what kind of roll it was and how much butter you used.
  3. Breakfast Cereal:  Our bodies don’t really need all those unnecessary and mostly nutritionally empty carb calories, especially at breakfast when the body’s insulin levels are being established for each day.  Try a protein breakfast of nuts, yoghurt, or eggs instead.
  4. Chips:  An 8 oz. bag of potato chips has about 1240 calories (an entire days’ worth) with virtually no nutritional value. No further comment.
  5. Granola Bars:  The average granola bar has about 120 calories (45 of those from fat), 8% Saturated Fat, and about 17 grams of sugar. Snack on an apple or a handful of fresh berries instead and skip the added sugar and fat.
  6. High Fructose Corn Syrup:  This hidden ingredient turns up in almost 95% of all processed supermarket foods and is believed by many nutrition experts to be a leading contributor to the growing problem of obesity in the U.S.
  7. Hydrogenated and Partially Hydrogenated Oils:  These processed fats accumulate in your body causing sluggishness, weight gain, and many experts have linked them to arteriosclerosis and hardening of the arteries.  They are found in processed breads, baked goods, chips, fast foods and breakfast cereals.
  8. Supersize Portions:  By some accounts, most food items should be eaten in portions about the size of what you can reasonably hold in the scooped palm of one hand.  If your portion of anything (except maybe salad greens) is bigger than that, you are probably eating too much.  Small frequent meals are better than isolated large ones.

5 Moves to Melt Belly-Fat Outside the Gym

If you’re noticing a little “extra love” around your midsection, here are some suggestions to get your core toned and tight.

  1. Walk:   Walking is the easiest way to burn fat around the midsection.  Purchase a good pair of walking shoes with excellent arch support and walk on different types of terrain such as asphalt, grass, sand and dirt.  Make sure you walk at least one hour each day for maximum results.  Try walking instead of driving when running errands.
  2. Jog or Run:  Jogging or running provides faster results than walking, but is harder for some people to commit to, and harder on the connective tissue and joints.  Even if you jog or run around the block once a day, you will see results within one week.  Again, choose the proper footwear to support your arches and protect your ankles, knees and hips from strains and injury.
  3. Bicycle:  Cycling tones the lower body while improving overall circulation.  Even if you only do it once a week, pedal for a period of at least one hour for best results.  Make sure your bike is the right height for you, and wear protective gear if riding in traffic.
  4. Crunches:  Everybody knows that in order to achieve a flat, tight belly, you must do crunches; and it seems that this is almost everyone’s least favorite exercise.  The best way to attack those crunches is to just DO them (make sure you’ve stretched and warmed up first).  Start with 2 sets of 15 reps the first week, then gradually increase the reps until you’re up to 100 per set. Results are instantly visible after 3 or 4 sets.
  5. Swimming:  An excellent total body workout, swimming not only tightens and tones the core, but works on the extremities and lateral muscles which are hard to target via other exercises. One or two hours a week is sufficient to produce dramatic results visible within the first month.