Why I love Pilates mat:
Practicing Pilates mat helps build a strong, balanced body inside and out, while increasing flexibility through dynamic stretching movements.
As you progress in your practice you will notice improvements in breathing, focus, stress management, and body awareness.
Pilates mat is perfect for beginners because you only need your own body, a mat, and some floor space to start. And perhaps investing in a light set of hand weights down the road.
My Pilates Fit classes take all that is good with classical Pilates and put a functional fitness training twist to the class. Adding light hand weights and/or a long resistance band to some of the exercises challenge our entire musculoskeletal system to improve...
I rarely purchase packaged snacks, but I always have sugar, butter, and flour for my kids to make their own snacks.
Lately my daughters have been making chocolate covered biscottis which look soooo good. I am allergic to gluten and dairy so I can't eat theirs, but my craving was strong enough to bake my own.
I used to bake amazing "paleo" biscottis from one of my favourite cookbooks called Make Ahead Paleo by Tammy Credicott. So I pulled out my old cookbook and in the end the biscottis are as yummy as I remember!
Preheat oven 350F
Combine all dry ingredients. Combine...
Given that we are seeing rising numbers of those affected with COVID, it often feels like this whole situation is beyond our control. I don't know about you, but lately I have felt overwhelmed with the amount of unknowns. I thought to write an article about the tiny bit we can control.
We can try to boost our immune system by eating healthy foods, especially a diet rich with a colourful variety of fruits and vegetables.
Another great way to boost our immune system is through exercising with moderate intensity. This is one of the main reasons I am so passionate about teaching healthy movements for our bodies and minds (mental health).
Studies show exercise:
Diets don't work. Clients may lose weight initially, but diets don't get to the root of the issue. The main issue concerns your habits.
Focusing on changing habits is much less painful than starvation diets where you have to rely on pure discipline and willpower.
40-45% of your decisions actually come from your habits. A problem emerges here because most of our habits are autopilot. Habits are more powerful than conscious thought and willpower.
We can use habits for positive or negative ends. We have "bad" habits (we can break those with skillful strategies); however, we can use this autopilot habit feature to create "good" habits too.
Many of our current habits help us feel safe and secure. When we feel stressed a certain part of the brain is activated which then gives us a powerful urge to do something to relieve that stressful feeling. When the distress is relieved, our brain relaxes and it remembers that habit for next time.
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...
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.
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:
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...
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...
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