Month: May 2015
Sumbody Pilates studio has joined the Fostering Future Professionals Provider Program of the Pilates Method Alliance. The Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) is the international, not-for-profit, professional association and certifying agency dedicated to the teachings of Joseph H. and Clara Pilates. Their mission is to foster community, integrity, and respect for diversity; establish certification and continuing education standards; and promote the Pilates method of exercise.
Click for more information on our teacher training programs.
Do Pilates at least 3x per week!
Resistance training, especially Pilates and/or Gyrotonic, helps increase lean muscle mass and elongates your shape at the same time! Adding lean muscle increases your resting metabolic rate, so you burn more calories and lose weight. Pilates and/or Gyrotonic lengthens, tones, and increases flexibility without adding bulk. You will feel great too!
Get Your Beauty Sleep!
Most of us require 7-9 hours of sleep on a daily basis for optimum health. Hormones are released during sleep that control appetite and metabolic functioning, while growth hormones aid proper tissue repair and healing. Healthy sleep patterns promote an increased life expectancy, a strong cardiovascular system and better complexion. Lack of proper rest increases the likelihood of simple sugar cravings and weight gain.
Drink Lots of Water!
Drinking a generous amount of water throughout the day consistently flushes your body and helps eliminate toxins. The hydration process fuels your metabolism to improve fat burning and helps your skin maintain a more youthful and healthy glow.
Our body is comprised of 60-70% water and needs good hydration for all organ systems to function optimally. You may even feel relief from your usual aches and pains as water helps lubricate joints and all soft tissues in your body. The standard formula for determining the right amount of water to consume is as follows:
Take your weight in pounds, divide in half and this number will be the amount of ounces you should drink daily. For example, a man weighing 160 pounds, divides his weight in half, 160/2 = 80. If you divide 80 ounces/8, he determines that he needs to drink 10, 8 ounce glasses of water per day. Keep in mind that extra hydration is necessary to replenish fluid loss during and after exercise.
Do Aerobic Exercise at Least 3 days per Week.
Aerobic exercise is essential for weight loss and very effective for weight management. My number one choice, especially for women who want to maintain a long, lean, and sleek body is “power walking.” And yes, power walking can be as effective as running.
The key with power walking is duration and frequency! A consistent power walking program, a minimum of 3 days a week, 45-60 minutes per workout can deliver big dividends. The repetitive nature of this linear movement will help to slim and tone your hips, thighs and buttocks, especially if you add in hills! To intensify the upper body workout, try holding 1-2 lbs weights. In addition to fueling your metabolism, a good power walking program helps boost your immune system, can elevate your mood and is low impact.
Alcohol in Moderation!
Most people enjoy a glass of wine or indulging in a cocktail on occasion. Just beware that overconsumption of alcoholic beverages hampers your fat burning ability and can lead to weight gain. Additionally, alcohol can be very damaging and drying to your hair and skin. Premature aging, spotting and dark circles are possible side-effects of prolonged, excessive alcoholic consumption. So if you want to indulge every now and then, make sure you chase your drinks with plenty of water!
All of us are aware of the serious health risks of cancer and heart disease associated with smoking nicotine, but fewer of us are aware of the many other side effects of smoking that usurp beauty and vitality. The effect of nicotine on the body causes the narrowing of the blood vessels which results in reduced blood flow to the skin. This deficit of oxygen to the cells can result in premature aging, wrinkling and an overall grayish hue to the complexion. Nicotine also may cause hair loss, graying and a loss of luster and shine. Teeth may become discolored and lips darkened from cigarettes. This is one habit that has no redeeming qualities for overall health, wellness and appearances.
A Few Easy Diet and Nutrition Tips.
Try not to skip breakfast. Eat smaller and more frequent meals. Your last meal of the day should be the least caloric and finished at least 3 hours before you go to sleep. Eat more protein and less carbohydrates to lean out. Instead of counting calories, monitor the quality of your calories. Eat more whole foods and fewer processed foods.
Smile and Take Time Each Day to Break from Stress!
Life is pretty stressful. Taking at least 15-20 minutes daily to go for a walk, breathe deeply, close your eyes and meditate, or to practice energy balancing work like tai chi, chi gong or reiki is important for maintaining overall wellness. Sometimes laughter is the best medicine! Smiling sends neurosignals to all the cells in your body, promoting a greater sense of well-being whereas chronic stress may lead to health problems and premature aging.
Building strength and flexibility with balanced, graceful movements is the premise of the Pilates Method of Body Conditioning. Like many dancers, that’s what drew me to this extraordinary exercise regime. The “Art of Contrology” is the name Joseph Pilates gave to his ground-breaking system of low impact exercises, developed almost a century ago. Today, the Pilates system is recognized as one of the most viable exercise regimes for core strengthening, rehabilitation and overall fitness.
In 1994, I was very fortunate to begin my Pilates training with Romana Kryzanowska, a direct disciple of Joseph Pilates. I discovered very quickly that practicing Pilates benefited every aspect of my life. Little aches and pains from dancing seemed to vanish; my body became stronger, more supple, and I acquired better stamina for almost everything I tried. Pilates gave me a sense of physical power and well-being that I still have to this day.
As I began my teaching career, I couldn’t help but be impressed with the way Pilates seemed to cure a multitude of ailments. With consistent practice, most of my clients’ injuries seemed to vanish or resolve to the point where it was no longer a limiting factor in their lives. Everything from chronic back and neck issues, knee, shoulder and hip injuries, fibromyalgia, MS, asthma and much more were improved by consistent practice of this method. One by one I would pronounce to my clients, “another Pilates miracle!” Who wouldn’t want to do this for the rest of his/her life?
Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. As a frail child who suffered from asthma, rickets and scurvy, he was drawn to the pursuit of ultimate fitness, the marriage of mind, body and spirit in order to overcome his own physical deficits. His training included bodybuilding, boxing, gymnastics, yoga, martial arts, fencing, wrestling and boxing. During World War I, Pilates was interned at a prison camp in England. He used this misfortune to work with POWS, experimenting with rehabilitation techniques by attaching springs to hospital bedposts. Eventually his discoveries led Pilates to the development of his unique exercise equipment including the Cadillac, Universal Reformer and Wunda Chair.
In the mid 1920s, Joseph Pilates immigrated to the United States and opened a studio in New York City. His method was immediately recognized by the dance community, including such legends as George Balanchine, Martha Graham and Jerome Robbins. Additionally, Pilates trained world-class boxers and many of New York’s well known elite like the Rockefellers. Pilates felt that his method was 50 years before its time and since its early inception, now enjoys tremendous international acclaim and notoriety.
Joseph Pilates believed, “It is the mind itself which shapes the body” and that fewer reps could actually be more productive if an exercise is performed correctly. For this reason, in a traditional Pilates session, the client is directed to focus on economy of movement and do fewer repetitions than other exercise programs. Quality trumps quantity in the traditional Pilates system. In a typical, one-hour session, an instructor will lead the client through a series of movements on a mat and/or on specifically designed equipment as mentioned previously, (Cadillac, Reformer, Wunda Chair, etc.). To get the best results, it is recommended to train 3 days a week, practicing on both the mat and various apparatus’.
Pilates said, “You will feel better in 10 sessions, look better in 20 sessions, and have a completely new body in 30 sessions.” I believe that, with consistency, this is true. Some clients even see and feel a difference after their first session!
Traditional versus Progressive
I’ve been asked over the years what is the difference between the traditional Pilates method and the more progressive forms of Pilates that are offered to the public today? My answer is that Joseph Pilates designed his method to be performed in a specific sequence of movements for good reason. Each exercise and grouping of movements prepares the body for the next series of exercises in a logical, biomechanically sound progression. Much like the design of a ballet class where a student begins at the barre with a proper warm-up before progressing to the center floor to perform more complex combinations of movements. I’ve found over the years, that adhering to Joseph Pilates’ original sequence of exercises yields the best results.