Spring Into Your Best Self

Welcome to the latest edition of the Raby Institute newsletter. I have to admit-I'm feeling extra excited about this issue because everything is coming to life in Chicago again, including us!


We're partnering with local juice apothecary Owen+Alchemy to introduce our Spring Detox (#RIIMSpringDetox), so we all (our staff, providers, and YOU) can encourage and learn from each other as we get into shape and transform into our best selves for the summer ahead.


Much of our focus in the three-week detox will center on the effects of clean eating and supplement use. But equally important for your health is keeping active. As a formally trained dancer as well as a doctor who understands the value of physical activity, I'm constantly trying out new routines and approaches to fitness.


Throughout last year, I encouraged Raby Institute staff and providers to exercise with a private fitness instructor who would come to our space once a week. More recently, I've been working with Michael Wollpert, owner and personal trainer at Trainology, 309 W. Chicago Ave.


Michael developed an exercise method using treadmills and gliders that combines weight training with cardiovascular training. This high-intensity interval training (HIIT) approach burns more calories and keeps the overall heart rate higher than doing strength training or cardio alone.

But it's not just about calorie burning. Recent studies from the United States and around the world have shown that HIIT can reverse the effects of some chronic diseases-from diabetes and coronary artery disease to cardiopulmonary disease and stroke.

Researchers report that HIIT improves the body's ability to use oxygen. It helps people take in more oxygen, while simultaneously making blood vessels more flexible and improving the heart's pumping ability. (For a summary of all the latest research, check out this story from the New York Times, which ran in January.)

I've seen a difference in myself already since working with Michael. A personal trainer for more than 20 years, Michael was featured as one of the top fitness instructors in the country on "Live with Kelly and Michael." Trainology also received Chicago Magazine's "Best Gym for Cross-Training" in the 2014 Best of Chicago rankings.

I had to check it out for myself. Most mornings, I wake up before 6 a.m. to head to Trainology. My pre-exercise regime includes fasting before cardiovascular exercise to increase fat burning potential. I also drink a combination of Daxibe, ATP-Ignite, and L-glutamine powders (all available on ShopRaby.com or in Alma) with water an hour before I exercise to increase muscle mass, energy, and resting metabolic rate. Within a half hour after exercise, I make sure to take in a whey protein to increase muscle protein synthesis.


Like I do with my patients, Michael encourages us to make our intentions clear before we start and work to our best ability that given day-free of judgment. Michael shared with me that he started Trainology in part because he wants everyone to have a boutique studio that's welcoming and that enables them to achieve several total body workouts in one.


I can identify with Michael's goals because what he is doing in the fitness realm reflects what we do every day at the Raby Institute. We want to help people become their best selves by looking at what's going on with the whole body, instead of simply treating symptoms in isolation. Likewise, Michael exercises the whole body by combining different forms of fitness in a unique way.


In integrative medicine, we work from the perspective that everything is connected. So why should exercise be any different? Whether you're able to participate in our #RIIMSpringDetox or not, I hope you find a way to work clean eating and fitness into your own life. Make them a priority, and thank yourself for taking the time to do so.


Happy Spring,

Theri Griego Raby, MD, ABIHM

"The physicians and practitioners at the Raby Institute really work with me to educate me on how to take charge of my wellness. I am learning to be more aware of what my body, mind and spirit need to be healthy so I can live a full life."
- Raby Institute patient