Benefits of Pilates

Pilates was developed by Joseph Hubertus Pilates, born in 1883. He spent his life studying the body's healthy movement patterns, first in Germany and later in New York, USA, developing a system called Contrology.

In his beginnings, Joseph worked in a hospital at the end of World War I and originally his exercises were primarily used as rehabilitation for wounded soldiers. Joseph, with his wife, then brought his method to the United States in 1923 and spent years refining his approach for all bodies.

Pilates can be performed on the mat using props or on the equipment, called “apparatus”. Pilates equipment (reformer, cadillac/tower, barrel, stability chair) are unique as it only uses springs, levers, and your own body weight to provide resistance. Pilates mat props (bands, gliders, light hand weights, rings) mimic equipment style movements, maximizing their benefits. 

Pilates movements work the whole body as every muscle gets worked from the inside out. Most of...

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Successful Habit Change

habits health nutrition Oct 09, 2020

Most of you don't know that my older brother is a really cool guy and we have the most interesting conversations (some of you know my older sister as she comes to my classes and she is awesome too). My brother Ron is a Mindful Habit coach. If you are interested he wrote 100+ Habits of Great Leaders

Habit change is super important for exercise and nutrition. If we can master our habits, then we have the ability to get the body and health we desire. But as we all know, incorporating and sustaining healthy habits can be very challenging. 

I enjoy the way James Clear of Atomic Habits describes habit change. I have summarized his main takeaways below:

Clear says "your entire day is a summary of your life's habits." Powerful stuff to ponder!

He says "what you repeatedly do ultimately forms the person you are, the things you believe, and the personality you portray."

Clear has broken the process of building a habit into 4 steps: cue, craving, response, and reward

The cue...

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Benefits of Strength Training PLUS Workout Described Below

 

Exactly what is strength training? Strength training is any planned exercise that challenges your muscles by adding load (weight) to your movements.

By challenging your muscular system you slowly and gradually built your lean muscle mass. As an added bonus you also strengthen your ligaments and tendons that surround your joints. 

Why is this important? Strength training lays the foundation to building a highly functional body. In the end this helps your body perform optimally so that it eases the demands on the body when you go about your daily activities. 

One of the cool side effects of exercising consistently is your body functions better even at the cellular level. That is why after a couple of weeks of exercising, you gain more energy. Amazing that when you exercise you are even making your cells stronger and more efficient! 

Other Benefits of Strength Training:

  • Increases in muscle mass increase metabolism, meaning our bodies are able to...
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Journey of the Running Shoe

injury running Sep 20, 2020
 

I am always on the hunt for the best running shoe. It’s a little obsession of mine.

Why it matters so much to me is that a few years back I chose a super cushioned running shoe that impacted my foot’s ability to support itself and the arches of my feet began to weaken and fall which contributed to knee pain during my runs. Now I don’t think it was solely the shoe’s fault, I think it was that I wore that same runner for all my daily activities.

Thankfully I went to a physiotherapist when my knee pain first began who informed me of my fallen arches and I immediately began to fix it. How I fixed it is further down this article.

For years and years I was loyal to the Asics Kayano, which is a huge stability shoe. I have run many races in various versions of this make and model. Never failed me. I then switched to the Altra Torin a couple of years ago and used it for everything: standing on the gym floor for hours on end, teaching fitness classes, personal training...

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Top Six Reasons Why Running Rocks!

fitness health running workout Aug 30, 2020

1) Running is Good for Your Heart

Running doesn’t just strengthen your heart muscle, but also improves your entire circulatory system by making the lining of your blood vessels more flexible. When your blood vessels are more flexible the heart doesn’t have to work so hard to pump blood throughout your body. Another bonus is blood vessels of a fit person tend to accumulate less plaque than those of an unfit person, leading to a much lower risk of a heart attack or stroke.

2) Running Boosts Your Mood

When you run, your brain pumps out a feel-good hormone called endorphins. Endorphins are natural pain killers. The cool thing is these endorphins don’t just last during your run, but they also stay in your body for hours after, helping to boost your mood throughout the day.

3) Running Strengthens Your Bones and Joints

A recent study showed that runners were half as likely to suffer from knee osteoarthritis compared with walkers. The reason for this is every time your...

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Living with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

health recipes Aug 24, 2020

This isn't something I often advertise to my clients, but I have a condition called IBS: Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I was diagnosed in my early 20s and I have lived with it's symptoms for over 25 years. I attribute it to beginning my mission to eat healthy. 

IBS is caused by abnormal muscle contractions in the intestine. What causes these atypical  contractions is unknown, however, specialists believe that abnormalities in the nerves in the digestive system can cause a faulty connection between your brain and your large intestine, causing it to either slow down contractions or speed it up. There are certain triggers: specific foods, stress, hormones, and the condition may be hereditary. 

Symptoms of IBS

  • the number one symptom is severe diarrhea
  • the other symptom is constipation, though I rarely experienced this, I know other IBS sufferers do
  • pain in the lower abdominal area
  • bloated abdominal area
  • fatigue (from lack of nutrients being absorbed)

When I...

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The Importance of Exercise Recovery: Step 6 Sleep Hygiene

Sleep Hygiene: What Is It and Why Do We Need It?

Over the past several weeks I have been exploring methods of recovery. It’s not simply about resting the body after an exercise session, but about intelligently helping the body heal and move to reach healthy balance within the body.

In the first post I explain there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other parts of the body function best when flexible and mobile.

In the second post I explore how strength training helps build the body to function optimally. I highly recommend strength training with a plan designed by a certified personal trainer, as it’s important to have a solid program and system built to work with your unique set of strengths and weaknesses. More info about training here.

In the third post I delve into stretching and self-massage.

In the forth post, I explored how stress can limit...

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Chicken Protein Bowl

recipes Aug 09, 2020

 

 

Several years ago my husband and I had a quick lunch at Nature's Fare grocery store in Langley. They have a small cafeteria in their store with lots of healthy options available. Being allergic to gluten and dairy is sometimes challenging when eating out, but I can always trust that at Nature's Fare there are a few healthy options available. 

I discovered their "protein bowl" which was a yummy mix of baked sweet potato cubes, chickpeas, 3oz of chicken breast, and pumpkin seeds drizzled with a tahini dressing all on a bed of spring mix. 

Since that lunch I have been making this protein bowl at home almost every week. 

Chicken Protein Bowl

  • 4-5oz baked skinless, boneless chicken breast (45min in 350 degree oven, check internal temperature 165F) (150 calories)
  • 1/2 cup baked cubed sweet potatoes (30min in 400 degree oven) (200 calories)
  • 1/8 cup chickpeas (100 calories)
  • 1/2 tbsp walnut pieces (25 calories)
  • 1/2 tbsp cashew pieces (25 calories)
  • 1...
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The Importance of Exercise Recovery: Step 5 Post-Workout Nutrition

nutrition recovery Aug 09, 2020

Over the past several weeks I have been exploring methods of recovery. It’s not simply about resting the body after an exercise session, but about intelligently helping the body heal and move to reach healthy balance within the body.

In the first post I explain there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other parts of the body function best when flexible and mobile.

In the second post I explore how strength training helps build the body to function optimally. I highly recommend strength training with a plan designed by a certified personal trainer, as it’s important to have a solid program and system built to work with your unique set of strengths and weaknesses. More info about training here.

In the third post I delve into stretching and self-massage.

In the forth post, I explored how stress can limit your ability to lose weight and become healthy. 

In...

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Strength Circuit Aug 8 2020

 

I taught this strength circuit three times this week: to the Wednesday evening crew, Thursday morning Older Adult 55+ crew, and the Friday morning crew. All thought it was pretty intense...however my Older Adults crew didn't complain too much. I promised my clients I would also be tortured by it Friday afternoon. I had so much fun I decided to film myself to share :)

Being my first time filming myself performing a workout, I realize after the fact that horizontal filming is the way to go (not vertical as most of this footage is) and definitely some of my camera angles need improvement, a bit too much of the bright ceiling light. Oops!

I did not make all my clients work as hard as the video shows...well except for my client Agnes! All exercises can be modified. The wonderful thing about small group personal training is I tailor the exercise to suit each client to be successful and safe in their joints. 

The workout:

Warm-up

5min dynamic stretches and...

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