~Workout Wednesday~

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I have a special Workout Wednesday for you….Pilates Strong Advance.  It is currently available on my new YouTube Channel titled Pilates Strong Video.  And here is the link: http://youtu.be/DTUhCAcQqj4

It is a challenging full body workout and it only takes 26 minutes!  Plus you can do it anywhere!  Give it a try this Wednesday and get your workout in 🙂

 

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Pilates is for Everyone

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Pilates is a full body workout that is low impact which makes it great for anyone, at any age.  Pilates helps people to move better, feel better, and perform at their best.  This wonderful exercise system was developed by Joseph Pilates helps people:

  1. Build strength and tone muscles
  2. Improve balance
  3. Increase flexibility and mobility
  4. Develop core strength

Joseph Pilates created Contrology which later turned into Pilates, over 80 years ago.  Exercises are performed on a mat or a specially designed Pilates equipment including the Reformer, the Trapeze Table or Cadillac, the Wunda Chair, the Magic Circle, and Barrels.  The Pilates system includes exercises for every part of the body and applications for every kind of activity.  When Pilates was first created, it was so far ahead of its time that it did not begin to achieve popular recognition until the first few years of the 21st century.  Over 10 million people are now practicing Pilates in the United States and numbers are growing every year.

People with back injuries may also benefit from practicing Pilates as the movements performed help to strengthen the back muscles without placing any pressure on them particularly on the Reformer or Cadillac.

So why not give Pilates a try!!!

Pilates is for Everyone

 

~Workout Wednesday~

The Pilates Roll Over

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To start lie on your back with your hands at your sides, your legs together and your feet pointed.

Step 1: Exhale.  Engage your core and lift the legs up toward the ceiling to prepare.

Step 2: Inhale. Roll your lower back off the mat reaching your legs overhead until they are parallel to the ground.  Press your upper arms into the mat and roll up until you are balanced no higher than the top of your shoulder blades.  Do not roll up onto your neck!  (shown above)

Step 3:  Continue to inhale and open your legs shoulder width apart and flex your feet.

Step 4: Exhale. Roll down, keeping the legs shoulder width apart, engaging your core and pressing the upper arms into the mat to make the roll smooth and steady.  Keep the chest open and the back of the shoulders on the mat.  Lower the legs as far as possible without letting the back arch off the mat.

Step 5: Continue to exhale and bring your legs back together and point the feet to start again.

Do 3 reps beginning with toes pointed then do 3 reps beginning with feet flexed and shoulder width apart.

Not only is this exercise fun it also helps you develop core strength and control, increases your flexibility, teaches you how to articulate the spine, and stabilize your shoulders.

 

 

Feel The Burn… and The “After-Burn”

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Have you heard of the term “after-burn”???  After-burn occurs when someone engages in “vigorous” exercise they continue to burn calories even post workout.  For example, a 45 minute vigorous exercise increases metabolic rate for 14 hours.  So your latest cardio workout can keep on giving even after you leave the gym!

This “after-burn” effect is more officially known as “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” or EPOC.  Several studies suggest a strong correlation between the number of calories burned post-exercise and the activity’s intensity ((Exercise After-Burn: Research Update. Vella, C., and Kravitz, L. IDEA Fitness Journal, San Diego, CA. IDEA Fitness Journal 1 (5), 2004.)).  Basically, the longer and more intense the exercise, the more oxygen the body consumes afterward.  This means a higher sustained metabolic rate and thus more calories burned throughout the day.  In one study, participants who cycled vigorously for 45 minutes burned 190 more in the 14 hours after exercise than on days when they didn’t workout at all.

But what actually constitutes “vigorous” or intense exercise?  The number of calories burned both during and after exercise can vary greatly among individuals. Therefore most people, optimal post-exercise calorie burn will occur with exercise performed at 70 to 85 percent of individual max heart rate.  And the longer the duration of exercise, the more potent the effect and the more calories burned during rest.  And of course, all out 60 minutes session is not the friendliest workout several times a week, because it can be hard on your body, but shorter high intensity workouts have also been shown to trigger calorie after-burn.

And it is not just steady-state cardio that gets the metabolism going for hours afterward, high intensity interval training and resistance training has also shown to elicit an even greater post-workout burn.  So no matter the particular training regime, to keep burning calories long after the last mile or rep, it pays off to give your workouts intensity!

Fun & Fit Summer

“Summer time and the living easy…”  famous words and so true!  I know your summer is half way done but it is important to remember a few tips for the best fun and fit summer!!

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Here are my Top 10 Summer Time Tips!

1.  Drink lots of water!  The weather is hotter,  you may be more active, and all the more reasons why your body needs more water.  So drink up!!  Add fresh fruit to your water to mix it up.

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2. Sunscreen!   It is important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.  Make sure to apply an ample amount of sunscreen, reapply very 2-3 hours, and don’t forget your hands and feet.

3. Eat fresh!  There is so many wonderful fruits and vegetables that are in season this time of year, so take of advantage of this!

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4. Sleep.  With the busy summer days, and nights, still make sure you are getting enough sleep.

5. Stay cool.  Go to the pool, water park, splash pad.  But if it’s too hot for that, then stay in, go to the movies, play a game, do a project in your home.

6. Transform your activities into exercise.  Instead of laying out at pool, jump in and swim a few laps.  At the beach, try kayaking or paddling boarding.  At the park, try pull ups on the jungle gym.  Get creative and remember very little bit helps!

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7.  Try something new!  Summer is a perfect time to start a new workout program, try a new workout class at the gym or a studio. Changing up your workout program is also good for your body and working your muscles in a different way can give your metabolism a boost.

8. Relax and rejuvenate.  It’s great to be active in summer but take time to relax and rejuvenate.  Get a massage, take a nap, get your nails done, try yoga…

9.  Fun!  Fun is a must in the summer.  Make a summer bucket list of all the fun things you want to do!  They can be big or small as long as fun is involved!

10.  Read.  Reading is a perfect summer activity and a great exercise for your mind!

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Hope you enjoyed these tips and have the best fun and fit summer!

New Teaching Location!!!

I am so very excited to announce that I am now available to teach Private Pilates Sessions at Body Design in Newport Beach, CA.

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Body Design is one of Newport Beach’s premiere Pilates and Fitness Studios located above the Old Newport Theatre in Fashion Island.  Body Design has a beautiful Pilates studio overlooking the ocean and state of the art Pilates equipment.  Personally I have been taking classes there for months and have found it to be one of my favorites.

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Please contact me at TallGirlPilates@gmail.com to schedule your session today!!

 

Get The Skinny on Fat!

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Good fats, bad fats… what is the difference?  But there is a difference, there are good fats and bad fats to look for in your diet.

Fat is the target of much scorn, yet it serves up health benefits you can’t live without.  Fat supplies essential fatty acids (EFAs).  Your body is incapable of producing EFAs, known as linoleic acid and alpha-linolenic acid, so it must come from your diet.  In addition, fat carries vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are fat soluble vitamins, into and around the body.

Fat is also necessary for maintaining healthy skins, and plays an important role in promoting proper eyesight and brain develop in babies and children.

Although fat does good, it is usually the culprit in the battle of the bulge.  And it is easy to understand since fat contains 9 calories per gram.  Good fat or bad fat, it packs more than twice the calories per gram than carbohydrates and protein.  Yet, it’s a mistake to equate dietary fay with body fat.  You can get fat eating carbs and protein, even if you eat little dietary fat.  Excess calories from any source is what is responsible for weight gain, not fat per se.  If weight gain is your concern then watching your total calorie intake.

There is an established link between fat intake and heart disease and stroke.  Diets rich in saturated fat and trans fat, both “bad” fats, raise blood cholesterol concentrations, contributing to clogged arties that block the blood flow.

When it comes to fat quantity and quality count.  Make sure you read the labels on your food!

To understand the game, you need to know the players.  There are four major types of fats:

  • monounsaturated fats (good fats)
  • polyunsaturated fats (good fats)
  • trans fats (bad fats)
  • saturated fats (bad fats)
GOOD FATS
Monounsaturated fat Polyunsaturated fat
  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Sunflower oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews)
  • Peanut butter
  • Soybean oil
  • Corn oil
  • Safflower oil
  • Walnuts
  • Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
  • Flaxseed
  • Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines)
  • Soymilk
  • Tofu

 

Saturated fats and trans fats are known as the “bad fats” because they increase your risk of disease and elevate cholesterol.

Appearance-wise, saturated fats and trans fats tend to be solid at room temperature (think of butter or traditional stick margarine), while monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats tend to be liquid (think of olive or corn oil).

BAD FATS
Saturated fat Trans fat
  • High-fat cuts of meat (beef, lamb, pork)
  • Chicken with the skin
  • Whole-fat dairy products (milk and cream)
  • Butter
  • Cheese
  • Ice cream
  • Palm and coconut oil
  • Lard
  • Commercially-baked pastries, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, cakes, pizza dough
  • Packaged snack foods (crackers, microwave popcorn, chips)
  • Stick margarine
  • Vegetable shortening
  • Fried foods (French fries, fried chicken, chicken nuggets, breaded fish)
  • Candy bars

If you are concerned about your weight or heart health, rather than avoiding fat in your diet, try replacing trans fats and saturated fats with good fats. This might mean replacing fried chicken with fresh fish, swapping some of the meat you eat with beans and legumes, or using olive oil rather than butter.

  • Try to eliminate trans fats from your diet. Check food labels for trans fats. Avoiding commercially-baked goods goes a long way. Also limit fast food.
  • Limit your intake of saturated fats by cutting back on red meat and full-fat dairy foods. Try replacing red meat with beans, nuts, poultry, and fish whenever possible, and switching from whole milk and other full-fat dairy foods to lower fat versions.
  • Eat omega-3 fats every day. Good sources include fish, walnuts, ground flax seeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, and soybean oil.

Pilates Strong – Take 1

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That’s a wrap!!!  I just completed my first full length video shoot!!! The title is Pilates Strong, there is a beginning and advanced version.  I had a great team of people that I could not have done it without them.  I know that having a good team and surrounding yourself with positive people is important, and the way everything came together the day of the shoot was proof how important having a good team is!  I feel so blessed!

Pilates Strong is a name I came up with, very similar to the popular “Boston Strong” and several other catch phrases that have been popping up.  To me Pilates Strong means being strong from the inside out.  In Pilates we focus on your core, or center, and other deep muscles to support your skeletal structure, which is one side to being Pilates Strong.  Other side is the mental/ spiritual side. In Pilates every move is done by engaging the mind to focus on the muscles you are working in a particular exercise.  Then there is breathing, which is an essential link between the mind and the body.  Put that all together you have Pilates Strong.

So the day began at 6:30am with hair and makeup at Flawless Faces in Costa Mesa.  Carina did an amazing job and was super fast.  She made everything so easy and she was very professional.  I love her salon!!

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Then I was off to the shoot.  I had two my friends in the video with me, Melanie and Jenny.  Both beautiful and talented! We all were wearing beautiful Delano Wear!  The clothes were amazing and added so much to the video!  Check them out at www.delanowear.com.

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I also had the amazing and talented Cassie there to style the shoot, help me with my lines, and assist with all the details of the workout!  I was nervous and it was great to have someone there that has done this before and knows the industry.  She is seriously the best!!

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After everything was set up, it was ACTION time! And of course I had to play with the clapper!

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The hardest part was my part speaking in the beginning!  I was nervous!  But after a few takes….I got it!!!  Then it was on to the workout!  And I was in my element, I just taught as if I was teaching a normal class!  We had a good time and we were tired at the end!  We ran through the routine several times, everyone had to get their close ups with different camera angles.

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Then we were done with the beginning video!  My workout models left because the advance video only had me in it.  The advance video is a tough workout and by the end I was tired!  But I still had to shoot my top 6 nutrition tips for the video!  For this we went outside over looking the bay in Newport.  It was a beautiful clear day.  There was a few retakes of people walking by and random loud noises…but we did it!!

I can’t wait to see the final product and share it with all of you!!  This shows my love of Pilates and I hope you love it as much as I do!!

And don’t worry…. there will be more videos in the future!!

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I love chocolate chip cookies but I try and stay away from starchy white flour.  The reason why starch isn’t good for us is because it is digested way too fast, which causes insulin levels to spike.  Insulin (as you know) is a hormone and when it functions improperly it is linked to an array of physical problems.  When insulin levels are disturbed, it throws-off your whole body and everything has to compensate.  In addition, white flour is stripped of good parts.  Whole wheat consists of three parts: the bran, the germ, and the starch then they get rid of the two nutritious parts – the bran and and germ and leave just the starch in white flour.

So I was excited to find this recipe and changed it to make it a little healthier, feel free to add your touch.  These cookies have simple and quality ingredients (I always like simple!).  I actually think these cookies are even more delicious than normal cookies because of the soft chewy oats gives the cookies a flavor that really melts in your mouth!

Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sweetener (brown sugar, coconut sugar, or desired sugar substitute, don’t use white)
  • 1 tbsp coconut flakes
  • 2 tbsp chocolate chips (better if you can use dark chocolate)
  • 1 tbsp oil or melted margarine
  • 1-2 tbsp milk of choice

First, blend in a food processor or blender oats, baking soda, salt, sweetener, and coconut flakes for one to two minutes.  Then add chocolate chips, oil and milk and blend with a spoon.  Roll into balls about 1 inch and place on a baking sheet and cook for 6-7 minutes at 375.  Makes about 8-9 cookies. Each cookie has about 50-60 calories.

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My daughter who’s a big sugar lover, loved these cookies!  Give them a try and let me know what you think!

Beach Body Bootcamp

wedding lawn BBC I was asked by the Balboa Bay Club to teach a bootcamp class for a special group that is coming in for one day only.  Having taken bootcamp classes and teach Pilates, I decided to do some research and develop a full body workout that can be done anywhere without any props!  It has short but intense cardio intervals, full body strengthening moves,  and some killer ab work. There are 10 exercises which takes 10 minutes, then repeat the series 2 more times for a total of 3 sets for a killer 30 minute workout!  Do as many reps as you can for each exercise!

1. Jump Rope – 1 minute, 30 seconds

Jump rope in place as if you were holding a jump rope.

2. Squats – 2 minutes

Do as many as your can in 2 minutes with your knees shoulder width apart, feel slightly turned out squat down keeping chest open and weight in your heels.

3. Lunges – 1 minute

Step forward with one foot and lunge forward so that knee is above your foot and you are balancing on your ball of your back foot.  Step back and switch legs.

4. Crunches with Legs Extended – 30 seconds

Lie on your back with your legs and arms pointed straight upwards.  Keep legs together and lift your head, neck and shoulders reaching your hands towards your toes.  Keep head lifted as you crunch up and down and do as many as you can for 30 seconds.

5. Twist Crunches with Legs Extended – 30 seconds

This exercise is just like the previous one, but when reaching upwards you will add a rotation.  When you reach up you will bring your hand pass the opposite knee by twisting in your torso.

6. Flutter Kicks – 1 minute

Continue lying on your back, place your hands by your side (or under lower back for support) and have your legs extended about 1 foot above your mat.  Keep your back flat on your mat as you move one leg up and the other down, like you’re swimming in a pool.

7. Lower Back Bends – 30 seconds

Lie on your stomach with legs straight, feet shoulder-width apart, and the tops of your feet touching the mat.  Your arms should be bent at the elbows, hands slightly higher than your shoulders, and palms on the mat.  Flex your butt and lower back and slowly raise your legs and arms about 6 inches off the mat, then lower and repeat.

8. Push-Ups – 30 seconds

Get in push-up position with your feet a few inches apart, your arms straight, and your hands near your shoulders.  It is ok to start with your knees on the floor until you get stronger.  Your body should form straight line from your head to heels.  Bend both arms and lower until your an inch off the ground (or as close as you can) then return to the starting position.

9. Dive-Bomber Push Ups -30 seconds

From the push up positions, widen your feet about shoulder width.  Lower your body to the floor by slowly bending your arms then press your torso upward until arms are straight and back is arched into back extension.  Reserve the move back to the starting position.

10 Jumping Jacks – 2 minutes

Yes, a classic but a good one! Stand up with your legs together and arms down by your side.  Keeping your arms and legs straight, separate your legs about 3 feet and raise your arms above your head in one jumping movement.  Then return to the starting position.

 

Make sure you consult a doctor before starting any workout routine.  I suggest a 5-10 minute warm and a 5-10 minute cool down.  Ok, now it’s your turn!  Give it a try!!