How are you moving today?
How are you moving today?
We all get sidetracked from our health and fitness goals from time to time, because life just happens. As a fitness professional, I have been there and completely understand. But instead of beating myself up over it, I have chosen to get back on track.
Here are a few tips that has helped me to refocus:
What has helped you to bounce back and get back on track? Share in the comments below.
According to Wikipedia habits are defined as a routine of behavior that is repeated regularly and tends to occur subconsciously.
We all have habits or rituals we repeat daily, some good and some not so much and its the latter we want to change.
There is research that says it takes 21 days to form new habits, so it’s not going to happen overnight. Whenever, I want to break a bad habit or habits and implement a new one, I first start with my mindset. Secondly, I then have a mental plan on how overcome any road blocks that may occur and how to successfully deal with them. I have discovered over time, that it is best to be patient with myself and to focus on only changing one habit at a time. It all starts with making the decision to change.
Happy Monday!! Our bodies are amazing!!!!When we really think about all ours bodies are able to do for us, without us having to put much thought or effort into it. If we get a cut, our body is able to heal it, when we eat we are able to digest the food which is used for nourishment and give us the needed energy etc.
I think it is time we show ourselves some love and appreciation. This is something I have had to work on in the past as well so I understand it will be a work in progress. But, shifting our mindset will not only benefit us mentally, but emotionally and physically as well.
Let’s work with what we have instead of tearing ourselves down by focusing on what we don’t like about ourselves or comparing ourselves to others, whether it’s a celebrity, a model etc. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong in wanting to improve on certain areas of our bodies, for example, having strong shoulders or a stronger core or a strong back, which will improve our posture but, constantly obsessing and comparing ourselves to others is putting unnecessary stress on ourselves. I do not like stress!
Focus on having a strong body. Feed our bodies well and remember, our body hears everything our mind says.
Let’s show our bodies some appreciation and love and treat ourselves well.
What will you do this week to show your body love? It can be as simple as drinking more water or going outside more. Let’s have a conversation.
Have a great week.
A continuation from last weeks movements explained.
In Pilates we have two types of bridges, articulated and neutral. An articulated is emphasizes spinal flexibility. Where as in the neutral bridge the spine moves as one piece.
In this position your knees are bent and your feet off the floor and your inner thighs are lightly engaged. This position teaches you how to effectively “train” the abdominals really challenging the transverse abdominus.
Below are two specific movements that are taught and many times mentioned in Pilates classes.
The C-Curve describes the shape of the back after the deep abdominal scoop. This is also a great stretch for the spine. One classic Pilates exercise that uses this shape is the Spine Stretch Forward.
In this position you are balancing slightly behind your tailbone. The key in maintaining this perfectly balanced position is to engage or pull in your deep abdominals. Another classic exercise that uses this position is the Rolling like a Ball.
In the next few weeks I will explain a few more of these Pilates movements.
Let’s dive right into a few Pilates equipment exercises to implement in the cyclists cross training program.
Pilates Footwork: This is is great for proper knee and leg alignment, stretches calves and strengthens and mobilizes ankles.
Stomach Massage Flat:
Feet in Straps Circles:
Side Lying Push Away: Strengthens the outer thighs
Chest Expansion: Opens the Chest
Supine Arms: Builds Strength in the Upper Body
Long Box Pulling Straps: Strengthens back.
Articulated Bridge and Push Away: Strengthens the Hamstrings and Low Back.
Superman: Back Strengthener
Standing Splits: Strengthens Inner and Outer Thighs
Pike and Reverse Pike: Strengthens Upper Body and Abdominals.
Reverse Pike/Tendo Stretch
* There are many more exercises in the Pilates repertoire as mentioned above these are just a few.
As always don’t forget to stretch.
This next post is a little different from my usual ones however, I think it is imperative to share.
I am sure we all know someone that has had a stroke and depending on the severity of it is either going through therapy/rehab or has had therapy/rehab in the past. Below are a few signs to note if some one is having a stroke and if so seek medical attention immediately. This is what I remember from my CPR and First Aid course.
For more information look to The National Stroke Association website.
Here are a few modifications that I have used on myself as well as my clients when the hips pop, for example when doing single leg circles in Pilates.
Important point, if your hip hurts then before doing any modifications see your doctor before hand , these modifications are only if the hips are pain free.
Hope this helps.
The weather is nice and an increasing number of cyclists are out, whether they are riding for fun or riding for a cause or riding in a studio/ gym class. Cycling is a great low impact form of exercise, however the downfall of cycling it often times leads to imbalances in the body. When cycling, the main focus is on the lower body, as a result this leads to overly developed quads and calves, tight hamstrings and low back, overworked and tight hip flexors and the bent over or rounded shape of the spine and shoulders leads to poor posture, resulting in rounded shoulders and thoracic kyphosis, and low back pain.
It is recommended to add cross training to your routine in order to work different muscles. By doing this you will strengthen the areas that are weak, stretch where you are tight and as result balance your body. Yep, I am saying it, adding Pilates to your weekly routine will help with your overall performance.
The focus on the “power house” or “core” in Pilates will allow cyclists to have more “oomph” or power from their lower body to pedal along with improving flexibility and strength and proper alignment. Your upper body strength will increase, low back pain will be prevented, improved balance, with the different types of breathing used in Pilates sessions the ability to ride for longer periods of time will improve and as mentioned before any imbalances in the body you may have will be corrected.
I will be sharing a few Pilates exercises both equipment based and ones performed on the mat for those of you that are not able to make it a studio.
Part One: Mat Work
Great for spinal articulation and strengthens the low back.
Increases spinal rotation and strengthens the core. Great stretch for back .
Leg Pull Down:
Stretches the Achilles Tendon, strengthens the core, the scapular and lumbopelvic stabilizers, hip flexors, hamstrings and gluteus maximus.
Works the powerhouse and hamstrings, back extensors and glutes.
Stretches and strengthens the quadriceps, increases torso stabilization, and strengthens the back.
Kneeling Side Kicks:
Strengthens the abductors hip flexors, shoulders, lats. Great for hamstring flexibility and stabilizes pelvis.
Strengthens the back and hip extensors and works the glutes at the same time. Great for pelvic stability.
Side Leg Bananas:
Strengthens the hips and obliques and great for torso stability.
Single Leg Kick:
Strengthens the hamstrings,back extensors and glutes. Stretches the quads and improves the stability of the shoulders.
Strengthens the entire body and improves upper body strength.
Side Leg Bicycle:
Strengthens the hips and glutes and improves the stability of the pelvis and torso.
Great for balance and coordination. Fantastic massage for the spine and just plain fun.
These are just a few of the Pilates mat exercises that can be included in your daily routine. Stay tuned for part two , equipment based Pilates exercises in the next few weeks.