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...
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:
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:
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...
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.
5min dynamic stretches and...
Pre-habilitation is a proactive approach to avoiding injury. Professional athletes know of its importance, but it is often the missing component in the exercise programs of recreational fitness enthusiasts.
All experts agree exercise is key to health and longevity. Exercise helps with:
One of the biggest issues with starting an exercise routine is muscle imbalances and repetitive motion with incorrect form that often leads to injury. I see this quite often with new clients coming to me for advice.
With pre-habilitation, qualified trainers use specific exercises to strengthen vulnerable areas, while lengthening tight areas of the body to avoid injury. Each body is different, depending on its own set of habitual movement...
Staying motivated can definitely be much harder than initially starting an exercise plan. It’s just a fact of life. Starting a new habit and sticking to it is super hard. In this article, I am going to provide a few helpful tips to stay consistent with your habits so you can reach your health and fitness goals.
Just as we gradually train our bodies to develop strength and endurance, so need to do the same for our minds.
Now that is an important topic we all are hoping for, eh? Now let’s see if I can deliver…
I am super passionate about this. I’ve been for quite a while. It’s always been a focus, but definitely since I had my rotator cuff (the muscles under and over your shoulder blades) injury back in August 2018. You can read about it on my blog here.
At the time, I read a book about shoulder injuries called Framework for the Shoulder and the author, Nicholas DiNubile, mentioned that once we are in our 40s the rotator cuff muscles have received so much wear and tear and with changes in our tissue composition as we age we are quite likely to injure those muscles. A bit disheartening I should say, but I wasn’t satisfied with that answer. Nope. My plan is to not experience that pain again.
Being a Corrective Exercise Specialist with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) I knew exactly what happened. I was training 6 times a week with heavy weights with...
I have been purposely practicing movement since I was a child. From the age of five doing acrobatics and ballet to aerobics (think bright purple unitard with leg warmers) at my local community centres in my teens.
I have always loved movement so deciding to become a fitness professional in my 20s was a no brainer.
In my 20s, while personal training my Toronto clientele, I also trained as an endurance athlete, and also in my early 30s when my children were little. I moved into heavy weight lifting in my late 30s. During these years I always practiced yoga as a recovery method, balancing my other activities and trying to stay injury free.
In my mid-40s, I found Barre, and have enjoyed the amazing transformation in my body. And then recently, about one year ago, I discovered Pilates. I immediately fell in love with the practice. I found the articulation of the spine (flexion, extension, rotation, and side flexion) fascinating. In yoga, we mainly keep the spine...
Strengthening the rotator cuff muscles is integral to keeping your shoulder joint strong and injury free. For a detailed description of what causes shoulder impingement, please visit my blog post on that topic here.
The rotator cuff consists of four small muscles. The supraspinatus is the topmost muscle. It lays across the top of the scapula (shoulder blade). The muscles (laying posteriorly - the closest to the skin) are the teres minor and the infraspinatus. The muscle under the scapula (laying anteriorly) is the subscapularis.
The supraspinatus, along with the deltoid, abducts (lifts up from the side) the arm. The teres minor and infraspinatus externally rotates the arm. The subscapularis internally rotates the arm.
The rotator cuff muscle that gets most injured is the supraspinatus. The muscle I strained was my left supraspinatus.
Rounded shoulders = winged scapula
Our rounded shoulders are the main reason we injure our rotator cuff muscles. Most of us have...