fitness

How to Work Smarter with Pilates

It's not just about sharing juice recipes and stretching in patterned spandex, although we all wish that was the case! Pilates is about a lot more. The benefits of Pilates and yoga go way beyond the studio, popping up to guide you through that 8am meeting right up until that 3pm deadline. Pilates and yoga teach you the following benefits to improve your work life: 

1. How to focus: Just 10 weeks of Pilates practice has been linked to improved brain function, can improve your focus and help you process information faster. Posture practices are effective for concentrating and drowning out other distractions. 

2. How to sit smarter: Text neck is a real thing! Pilates improves your posture and the strength of your core and back, which makes sitting more comfortable. Solid posture is also linked with more efficient breathing, fewer headaches, and less stress, which - in my opinion - is one of the best benefits of Pilates and yoga there is. You can strengthen your lower back at home through superman holds, use dolphin planks to build up your core and get a really good back and shoulder stretch with upward facing dog. 

3. How to chill out: As far as stress boosters go, yoga and Pilates have proven to be the brain's natural anti-anxiety drug of choice. Yoga has been linked to a boost in mood and reduced anxiety, thanks in part to an increase in Gaba receptors (neurotransmitters linked to stress relief) in the brain. Meanwhile research shows the mindfulness techniques used in Pilates have been linked to lower stress and improve sleeping habits. 

4. How to breathe through a situation: Breathing is, thankfully, one of those automatic functions done without thinking. But there are times when focusing on your breath (and not holding it) can serve you well. In both Pilates and yoga, both breath awareness and intentional practices (like a long exhale) make practicing controlled breathing in real life a no brainer.

5. How to focus in the moment and forget about your day: When I focus in the moment during my class, my to-do list melts away. Students are in that room - both physically and mentally and when the workout is over, students are refreshed, relaxed, reinvigorated and most of all DE-STRESSED! 

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8 Ways To Stay Fit While Traveling

Our normal routines get completely thrown out the window when traveling and staying true to your fitness routine on the road may be the last thing on your mind as you negotiate the airport or highways this holiday season. Exercise, however, could be your best defense against holiday stress, illness and the dreaded holiday weight gain. 

The best exercises are often ones you can do with your own body, you can leave your dumbbells and weight resistance bands at home. Here are 8 tips to stay fit while traveling: 

1. Exercise needs to become your constant while traveling. Make a commitment to yourself that you will find 20 minutes every other day to exercise - NO EXCUSES! 

2. Work out where you can. You might have a decent hotel room, you might need to do lunges in your mother's hallway, or maybe you can find a park or school playground somewhere. Turn any environment into your personal gym. 

3. On travel day pack some healthy snacks with you in your bag. Apples and almonds are my go-to.

4. If you're going out to eat, find the restaurant online and decide what you're having before you get to the restaurant. Stick to high protein and veggie options. Doesn't hurt to ask for double veggies on the side. 

5. Ask around the neighborhood for a nearby boutique gym or studio that takes walk ins and join in on a class or two. 

6. Go on walks. Walking is a great form of aerobic exercise almost anyone can do anywhere. If you're driving take the rest stops at parks or near a trailhead, and take a brief walk before hitting the road again. 

7. Wear comfy sneakers to the airport and get your steps in. Walk instead of taking the shuttle or moving sidewalks. 

8. Yoga is a great way to stretch after a long and cramped flight. Some airports offer yoga or meditation rooms to help you create your moment of zen. 

If you follow these few tips and understand the importance of keeping up your regular routine even while traveling, you'll be able to come back without skipping a beat. We are creatures of habit at the end of the day. Add a workout to your calendar, set up an appointment reminder, do whatever it takes, but don't take no for an answer. 

Happy Holidays! 

Real Men Do Pilates

LADIES, stop what you're doing, grab your man and start reading! 

To my loving husband who refuses to go to my pilates classes with me,

There's a reason why your wife can't get enough of her pilates classes. Whether you're a power lifter, a golfer, a swimmer or even a marathon wannabe, a pilates class can help fine-tune your performance, even in the bedroom! ;)

Pilates was invented by Joseph Pilates, a MAN. Pilates was a boxer and gymnast who trained military personnel. Pilates was first created as a workout to help wounded soldiers with limited mobility rehab from their hospital beds. Today, Pilates is for a number of male professional athletes, including LeBron James. Pilates will leave you feeling challenged, refreshed, leaner and longer, without feeling the draining side effects weight training and other "manly" exercises have on your body the next day. 

1. Pilates helps you develop new muscles. Some of your muscles, like those that dominate your daily movements, are stronger than others. Pilates focuses on your neglected muscles - muscles that don't get a lot of attention.

2. Pilates helps improve your flexibility. Fact, the more muscle mass you have the less flexible you are. Stretching helps prevent injuries, negates muscle strain and increases your range of motion. 

3. Pilates helps build core strength. Every Pilates exercise utilizes your core to power movement to your limbs, specifically your transverse abdominals (that base ab muscle under your six pack). 

4. Pilates improves your golf swing. Sometimes the key to a better swing isn't on the green, but on the reformer. Pilates has been proven to help golfers hit the ball in a straighter direction, hit the ball more accurately and even further distances.

5. Pilates improves your sex life. As mentioned above, Pilates helps strengthen your core but also helps strengthen your pubococcygeus (PC muscle). In other words, you'll have greater control over your pelvic region - need I say more?!

So there ya have it. Pilates can get you better sex, a better golf swing, builds out your core, improves your flexibility and helps develop new muscles. Real men do Pilates. I encourage you to try a reformer class on us to discover what real strength feels like. 

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School + Schedule = Time for Fitness

School + Schedule = Time for Fitness

This week the kids headed back to school and whether you were the mom that cried in the parking lot or the mom the popped some bubbly to celebrate it's impossible to deny this school year brings with it a flurry of activities and with that less "me" time.

Below are tips to maximize your time and energy this school year and be the fittest and healthiest mom you can be! Tips apply for all working moms, homeschool moms, wannabe trophy wives and ordinary women just like me! 

“Consistency” Wins The Race

“Consistency” Wins The Race

Committing to a fitness regiment doesn’t mean running for five miles on one day only to avoid exercising for the next two weeks. Committing to a fitness regiment means mapping out a plan that can be done, and yes you’re going to hear me say this word a lot, a plan that can be done “consistently.” 

Creating a workout plan will help you achieve greater consistency and improve your overall health and well being. 

Are ‘New Year weight loss/gain’ in your resolutions for 2016?

We make the same New Year Resolutions and how many of us stick to them? Maybe for the first three months? I’ll even give it six, but after that, what happens? The New Year celebration has come and gone. Valentine’s Day has come and gone (and let’s not act like we’re not trying to stay wine fine for our hunny on that special date night). Spring Break has come and gone and then, we start to feel unmotivated when summer starts. But, you’d think that we’d WANT to stay in shape for the summer? Life simply gets in the way.