A New Spring in Your Step

Stay young and spirited this spring with these helpful tips from local experts.

Springtime in New Orleans bustles with activity thanks to often-gorgeous weather and a full calendar of social activities. Among the excitement of festivals, crawfish boils, vacations, graduations and more, you’ll want to look and feel your best. Tune in your body and mind to the season of renewal and, by adding some spring to your routine, experience a physical renewal all your own.

With the help of local physicians and experts, we’ve compiled a few tips for those wanting to renew their younger, more exuberant selves. From resting your body and mind to utilizing the latest medical breakthroughs, plenty of life-changing opportunities are available in the metropolitan region.

One of the most beneficial and restorative processes we experience is often neglected and overlooked in its importance. According to experts at Ochsner Sleep Centers (2700 Napoleon Ave., inside Ochsner Baptist Medical Center, 842-3980, Ochsner.org), sleep directly affects our alertness, energy levels, memory and emotions, and a lack of sleep is harmful to one’s health. How much sleep do we need? On average, people need eight hours of sleep a night. For some the number drops to six, and for others it rises to as much as 10.

“If people are already doing what they can to get enough hours of sleep and they’re still feeling sleepy, they should be evaluated,” says Dr. Stuart Busby, Medical Director of the Ochsner Sleep Center. “Unexplained sense of fatigue, sleepiness throughout the workday and drowsiness while driving are all areas of concern both for your health and safety.”

The Ochsner Sleep Center treats a number of sleep disorders, including restless legs, narcolepsy, insomnia, sleepwalking or sleep behavior. Your primary care physician can refer you for an evaluation or you can call to schedule a comprehensive evaluation with a Sleep Practitioner.

Despite the didactic and insightful nature of the saying, people almost always judge a book by its cover, and for us, well, our skin tells volumes. At the Lupo Center for Aesthetic and General Dermatology (145 Robert E. Lee Blvd., 288-2381, DrMaryLupo.com), Dr. Mary Lupo specializes in helping patients look rested, refreshed and natural.

“I want people to think my patients look good, not ‘done.’ Never pulled, plastic or over-done,” says Lupo. By combining injectables such as Botox/Dysport, fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane, Radiesse and Sculptra, and various laser treatments, Dr. Lupo is able to rejuvenate the skin, making patients look better and younger.

Founding co-director of the Cosmetic Boot Camp, Dr. Lupo teaches these medical techniques to other physicians. As a Clinical Professor of Dermatology at Tulane University, Lupo also teaches non-surgical rejuvenation to the resident doctors.

“I emphasize healthy habits to complement my treatment plans and always work to make skin color and texture smooth and bright,” says Lupo. Some such healthy habits include staying out of the sun, never smoking, sleeping on your back, drinking water and green tea and eating a significant amount of veggies and proteins.

Non-surgical techniques abound in New Orleans, and Le Visage Day Spa (8110 Hampson St., 265-8018) now offers the latest trend in anti-aging treatments, the Ultra Facial. A multi-step process, the treatment utilizes tiny electrical impulses, which, once transmitted into the skin, strengthen and tone the muscles while increasing the oxygen levels of the skin.

According to Le Visage co-founder Marlen Almendares, the Ultra Facial was originally designed to strengthen the muscles of stroke victims but has since taken on a more cosmetic calling by virtue of its ability to promote cell growth and produce collagen.

“Customers in their 20s and 30s can start it as part of a preventative measure to help keep their facial muscles in shape,” says Almendares, “And, of course, customers in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s can use it to look younger and help to turn back the hands of time.” Depending on the individual, the treatment requires between six and 15 sessions.

Dr. Ali Sadeghi of Sadeghi Plastic Surgery (3434 Prytania St., Suite 420, 210-3831, SadeghiPlasticSurgery.com) knows well the spectrum of options one has when pursuing vibrant, smooth skin or a body type just out of reach.

“It begins with prevention: having a healthy exercise regimen, protecting yourself from environmental factors and not smoking,” states Sadeghi. “When you’re older and want some maintenance done, we can remove wrinkles and smooth the skin with Botox and fillers. At the end of the spectrum is surgery.”

Dr. Sadeghi, who offers a wide variety of aesthetic surgeries, is also well known for his work with Omega Hospital in Metairie, where he specializes in breast reconstructive surgery that helps cancer survivors with mastectomies complete the healing process. In the DIEP flap procedure, breasts are reconstructed from the patient’s own abdominal tissue, providing a simultaneous tummy tuck. The procedure is often offered at the time of mastectomy for the added benefit of the patient both psychologically and financially.

Besides our skin, another quick indicator of age (even if misleadingly so) is our hair, and in some cases the lack thereof. After watching family members struggle with hair thinning and then enduring numerous unsuccessful over-the-counter treatments himself, C. Pete Zito discovered the treatment programs of the Hair Loss Control Clinic (HLCC). After seeing immediate results, Zito decided to help others suffering from hair loss by opening the Hair Loss Control Clinic of New Orleans (4300 S. Interstate-10 Service Road, Suite 117, Metairie, 304-HAIR (4247), HLCCNola.com).

The clinic offers individualized treatment programs designed to meet the specific needs of each patient. Progress is carefully monitored and recorded so that the treatment may be continually refined. Having just opened in 2011, the clinic has already outgrown its location and added additional space.

“Through it all, my work remains a labor of love for my mother,” says Zito. “I remember how upset and frustrated she was by her own thinning before she passed away in 2006, and it’s in her memory that I dedicate my work.”

If you or a family member are experiencing hair loss or thinning, Zito recommends calling the HLCC for a free consultation to see if they have a treatment that will work for you.

Outside of looking young, you want your body to feel young, strong and healthy. Adding physical activity to your routine will help enhance the strength of your muscles and bones while shaving off unnecessary pounds.

Together with Martin LaRocca, Certified Personal Trainer Kurt Weiser co-founded the Uptown Athletic Club (4834 Pitt St., 304-3614, UACNola.com), bringing the upscale, private gym to quiet and convenient Pitt Street. Knowing the importance of individualized attention and personalized training programs, Weiser and LaRocca offer involved personal training in geometrics, speed training, weight training and agility. The club also offers a wide range of classes, which include a yoga/Pilates class, boxing cardio and one-on-one boxing instruction.

If you’re seeking a new fitness routine, be aware that what works for a family member or friend may not be the answer for you. Personal trainer Eduardo Yibrin ((225) 588-0045, EduardoYibrin.com) emphasizes the knowledge and guidance that a personal trainer brings to the table.

“If you’re going to invest in a gym membership, make sure you also invest in guidance. Let someone guide you with an honest approach and who has knowledge in nutrition as well as training,” says Yibrin. He recommends dedicating four to five hours a week to personal fitness. You should also enjoy some activities on your own, what Yibrin calls “active rest,” activities such as walking the dog, riding your bicycle, etc.
Everyone has a different goal when it comes to looks and strength, and no matter yours, spring is the perfect time to set out and achieve it.

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