Gluten is a particular kind of protein that is not found in eggs or meat but is in barley, rye, wheat and triticale (a cross between wheat and rye). Going gluten-free means avoiding these grains. A gluten-free diet is essential for those who have celiac disease, a condition that causes inflammation in the small intestines, or gluten allergies.  Symptoms of celiac disease include anemia, constipation or diarrhea, bloating, gas, headaches, skin rashes, joint pain and fatigue.



Have you noticed? Look around and you’ll see a majority of Americans who are either overweight or obese. Look in supermarkets and you’ll see a plethora of food products, many of them processed or high-fat and/or sweet laden.  Consuming such a diet often leads to poor health and weight gain. It is not surprising that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease. A number of diseases, including pre-diabetes, diabetes, stroke and depression, are linked to how we eat .....



Just what is in the food we eat? Considering the food chain, did you know adding antibiotics to food dates back to the 1940s? Antibiotic use has led to a dramatic reduction in illness and death from infectious diseases, yet there is a downside to this practice. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and others encourage health care professionals and patients to use antibiotics more wisely and seek education and understanding about both the risks and benefits of using them.


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information out there to sort out, especially if you have been inactive for a period of time and want to limit your chances of getting injured.”

While most people can think of a whole host of things they would rather be doing than exercising and things they’d rather be eating than salad, the fact remains exercise and nutrition are of vital importance as we age. Spaces to go to work out abound, as do places to get healthy food. Education on the two components remains sketchy for many people, even in a world where information is fast and prevalent.

What may come as a surprise is the affordability of high-end services at Body Structure, with rates starting at $39 and no initiation fees. If your doctor recommends you need to start an exercise program, you may use your FLEX spending or HSA account. Also, in the state of Kentucky you do not need a prescription to see a physical therapist. They offer a free consultation and, if treatment is needed, you can use your insurance.

Though Body Structure has done quite well over the past two decades, many Lexingtonians have no idea it exists nor of the full scope of service it offers.

“We’ve been located off Richmond Road behind The Chop House for years, but many people are oblivious to our presence,” Balcirak said.

The facility has many amenities people look for and appreciate in a workout facility. In addition to good parking and proximity to New Circle Road, Body Structure features an inviting, open lobby, with friendly staff greeting members as they come in. Top-of- the-line machines and personal trainers and physical therapists at work with various clients and groups make Body Structure a very warm and inviting place.

Perhaps the concept of combining fitness and medical care is hard to get across in advertising and branding. It seems when most people are looking to lose a few pounds or join a gym to find a social network, they usually just throw a dart at the Yellow Pages and see what they hit. Body Structure’s approach sets it apart from other local offerings, and so does the team feeling. A number of Balcirak’s employees have worked for him for many years, and that is always a great sign of proper management and good relations.

Dr. John Borders, medical director at Body Structure, has been practicing medicine for nearly four decades. When Balcirak first approached Borders about coming aboard as medical director, he was hoping to add the highest-caliber medical professional to his team. After all his years of practice, Borders was still interested in the best-quality medical care for his patients. He had come to see the general examination as the main tool in understanding a patient’s overall health and wellness.

“The general examination, traditionally speaking, is disease focused,” Borders said. “It is aimed fundamentally at detecting illness early. The examination I intend embraces time- honored screening concepts as I strive to better understand the patient’s body and lifestyle. I must come to understand my patient’s unique circumstances, such as risks related to family history and the cumulative choices of a lifetime. The traditional examination, if it stands alone, is of fairly marginal value, particularly without a continuum of care.

“I am humbled by my professional limitations,” Borders added. “I find it necessary to partner with colleagues who can best teach, model and mentor my patients in these life skills.”

Borders says a high-end commitment to exercise is the best predictor of quality aging. Fewer than 20 percent of adults approach excellence in this regard. By a generous estimation, only 20 percent of adults meet minimum nutritional standards.

“Traditional medical education remains largely focused on the vast array of human diseases and their presentations and, to a much lesser degree, their causes,” Borders said. “I have dis- covered a setting where trustworthy colleagues have inspired my patients to aim higher. These colleagues at Body Structure can provide a tailored, individualized approach to wellness far more effectively than I can provide in the tradi- tional medical environment. Additionally, I can trust those with physical challenges to properly credentialed professionals who can safely incorporate their special needs into a comprehensive recovery and wellness protocol.

Body Structure, which means updating, progress, better service and happier people. New machines are being installed, more TVs are being mounted and new decals are adorning select walls. The Wall of Success is complete with pictures of Body Structure’s medical staff, personal trainers and physical therapists. Letters detailing success stories are available for all to read, ensuring everyone knows the process worked for others and will work for you, too.

A well-constructed website (bodystructure.com) takes potential members through the Body Structure process. The ultimate goal is the transfer of “the knowledge to build a better body.” For more information about Body Structure, call (859) 268-8190 or visit the Web site.

Kevin Balcirak is not playing around when it comes to fitness and health.

For the past 20 years, Balcirak (pronounced Ball-sir-rack) has owned and operated Body Structure in Lexington. While a 5-second Google search will yield a long list of gyms in the Bluegrass, Body Structure among them, Balcirak’s concept is quite different from the rest.

“The major difference with us is that our average member is 52 years of age with several issues and we can safely get them started on a routine,” Balcirak said. “The first thing we do when a member signs up is to take them through a safety screening process. Then we talk to them about their goals, which can be very different for everyone.”

Some people are looking to lose weight; some need to strengthen; others want to look a certain way; and many have special medical needs. “We help people get to their goals with quality exercise and sound professional support,” Balcirak said.

So how did all this get started?

“We came to Lexington back in 1994,” Balcirak said. “I was a marketing director for a physical therapy company by day and personal trainer by night. Then in 1997 I developed the concept for Body Structure



Charles Sebastian is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

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and ran with it.

”The idea behind Body Structure is that people’s lives can be changed through safe exercise in a “MEDICAL FITNESS” setting. “We are so confident in our proven method of safely starting someone on a customized fitness program, we back it up with a guarantee,” Balcirak said. “Who does that in the fitness industry?”

The credentialed staff will perform a thorough assessment for each new client and help him or her establish specific goals, all with the idea of giving each person the best possible service.

“Eventually, we want people to get back on their own after getting the right information and understanding how to apply it,” said Balcirak.

The staff even calls and checks on members when they don’t see them. “Everyone needs some level of accountability,” Balcirak said. “There are so many different obstacles in life, not to mention the natural aging process, that need to be addressed when designing a program. Furthermore, there is a plethora of