Why Exercise?

I know not every person loves to exercise. But exercise doesn’t have to be a chore! With the right fitness program and the right motivation, exercise can become a habit that you actually look forward to doing. There are so many great reasons to workout, and many have been scientifically proven. For example, on the days you workout you are more creative, smarter, kinder, and you’ll sleep better that night.  Exercise can help you live longer, it makes you healthier, it can prevent many types of diseases, it makes you happy, and the list goes on and on.

Why don’t some people like exercise?

People who don’t like exercise are usually doing it for the wrong reasons. If your reason to workout is to lose weight, then you will get disappointed and most likely quit.  Humans love instant gratification, but losing weight is more of a long-term benefit. Some people approach exercise as a punishment for overeating or drinking too much. While other people may associate exercise with a negative experience from their childhood like getting chosen last for dodge ball or being pushed into a sport like tennis when they wanted to play ice hockey.

The first step in learning to like exercise is to do it for the right reasons. If your reason to exercise is to feel better, be smarter and more focused, be happier, sleep better, increase your energy, put a spark back into your sex life, and to have fun then you will be successful because exercise does provide these benefits.   And, guess what?  You’ll feel them right away!  There’s your instant gratification.

How can I make exercise a habit?

The best way to start making exercise a habit is to exercise at the same time every day. I love to exercise.  I can do it morning, afternoon, or evening but it is already a habit for me. Choose a time that is realistic.  Whether that is first thing in the morning before kids wake up or directly after work, it is important to find a time when you can’t be interrupted. I know things come up, but you and your health should be a priority. One of the many reasons why I like group classes or personal training session is that you are not holding your phone in your hand while working out which minimizes distractions and you get a better workout. The environment where you workout should be a place that is convenient and a place that you find enjoyable.  Likewise, you should enjoy the people that you see while exercising.

Another great way to make it a habit is to set triggers to remind you to exercise. You can set your workout clothes out the night before so that when you see them, it is a reminder that you planned on going to the club today. Another idea is to set an alarm on your phone for the time to go to the club or meet your trainer. These things will create triggers in your brain to workout and thus creating the habit.

How do I know what type of exercise to do?

Think back to when you were a kid. What types of movement did you do? Was it a sport, riding your bike, playing on the jungle gym, dance, running? I loved riding my bike as a kid; I would ride it over to my friends house, and we ride our bikes around the neighborhood for hours! Hello, exercise! But as a kid, we didn’t think of it like that. I believe that is one of the many reasons I like indoor cycling. Maybe there was a sport you loved to play as a kid; find the adult version. If you loved to dance, then try Zumba.

The key is to try various types of exercises and mix it up, so you don’t get bored. Find a workout that when you are done, you think to yourself, wow I did that! Feel empowered! Find something that you can do. Keep trying different workouts till you find the one or better yet two you like.

I teach Pilates and fitness to people of all levels and abilities. We find out what they like and set a goal. Together, we customize a program that works, challenges them, and encourages them!

Improving your physical well-being will improve your mental well-being, your relationships, and makes you feel good about yourself. Creating an exercise habit is the perfect way to achieve these benefits.

~Workout Wednesday~

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Pilates is for Everyone

 

Start by lying on your back with hands behind your head, the head and upper body lifted off the mat, one leg bent in towards the chest and the other leg reaching out away from the body.  The back is in imprint or supported neutral until you can keep the back absolutely still as the legs lower.

EXHALE – rotate the torso and reach the rib cage towards the opposite knee while keeping the elbows wide and the abdominals engaged.  The lower abdomen stays still and both hips stay on the mat.  No rock and roll!

INAHLE – as you switch sides.

Keep the lower abdomen and hips still while rotating the upper body as far as possible in each direction; lower the straight leg so it is on the same level as your eyes.

Do 8-12 sets!!!

~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

 

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.

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!!

What’s the deal with Cardio?

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What is the deal with cardio? Why should we do cardio?  And how much?  I get these questions about cardio so often.  Many of us are confused about what to do because there are conflicting opinions about how much cardio we really need. The guidelines published by the American College of Sports Medicine is this:

 

“Cardio exercise is any rhythmic activity performed continuously and can include activities like walking, running, aerobics,cycling, swimming, and dancing. Cardio strengthens the heart and lungs, increases endurance and burns calories which helps you lose weight. While you should always stick with a cardio program that fits with your fitness level, the general guidelines for cardio exercise include:

  • For health benefits, do moderately intense cardio 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, OR
  • Vigorous cardio 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week
  • For weight loss, you may need to do 60-90 minutes of activity several days a week

Working at a moderate intensity means you’re working, but still able to talk.”

 

 

Now we know what cardio is and how much to do, but why do we do cardio?  Here are 3 simple reasons why cardio is important to add to your workout routine:

1. Our Bodies Are Made to Move

If you have a sedentary job, think about how your body feels at end of the day. Do you have tight muscles, an aching back, feel exhausted even though you haven’t done anything physical? Maybe your shoulders burn from tension and your head hurts from staring at a computer screen for too long. Now, think about how your body feels after a workout. Your muscles are warm and flexible, the blood is pumping through your body, providing oxygen and energy. You feel energized, confident, proud of yourself and ready to take on the world. It’s so different! Our bodies are made to move–not sit around all day and yet, that’s exactly what we’re doing.

2. Remember all the benefits of cardio exercise:

  • Weight loss
  • Stronger heart and lungs
  • Increased bone density
  • Reduced stress
  • Reduced risk of heart disease and some types of cancer
  • Temporary relief from depression and anxiety
  • More confidence about how you feel and how you look
  • Better sleep
  • More energy
  • Setting a good example for your kids to stay active as they get older

Notice that weight loss, while a big focus for many people, is only one benefit of cardio. Despite that, weight loss is not our only goal, but to look good. While there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good, having that as our only goal can make exercise harder. Why? Because losing weight takes time…what happens if you don’t see results on your timetable? Where will your motivation go if the scale doesn’t cooperate? Open your mind to other reasons to exercise–you might just find new ways to make exercising easier.

3. Cardio for Better Quality of Life

Appearance is important. That’s why I take a shower every day, make sure my clothes match and check that I don’t have anything green stuck in my teeth. But I worry that we’ve gotten so obsessed with how we look that we no longer care about how we feel. If you look at the benefits listed above, all of them translate into feeling good now and in the future. Despite that, we still seem more entranced with getting six-pack abs than feeling good, both physically and mentally.

Have we forgotten that being active can make our lives better? Moving around increases blood flow to our muscles, strengthens the heart and lungs and teaches the heart to work more efficiently. Not only that, when you exercise you set a good example for your kids to do the same, which could mean a better future for them.

Here is a great high intensity workout on the Stair Master, I posted earlier this week on my Instagram.  And GO MOVE YOUR BODY!!!

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What is your core?

What is your core?

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We hear so much about the importance of the core muscles and having a strong core.  We know that Pilates is great for strengthening your core, but what exactly is your core? While most people think it’s simply your abdominal muscles, it is actually much more.

The core, or powerhouse, is the foundation of every exercise in Pilates and in life. Learning to use it as a dynamic center is the key to efficient, graceful, and balanced movement. The elements of the core include:

  • Transverse Abdominis (deepest abdominal layer)
  • Pelvic floor
  • Multifidius (muscle along your spine)
  • Diaphragm

 

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These four systems work together to stabilize the pelvis and lumbar spine when stress is placed on them as in lifting, bending, sitting, twisting, walking, running, or jumping. Lumbopelvic stabilization is important, because the bones of the spine are both mobile and delicate without the stabilization provided by the deep muscles that surround then.

The core stabilizes the spine through a complex series of interconnections between muscles and fascia.  The first link in the chain consists of one set of the deep muscles of the spine, the multifidi.  The second link in the chain, the transverse abdomens, acts like a corset to draw in the abdominal muscles and decrease the diameter of the waist.  When the transverses abdomens contracts, it creates tension on the lumbodorsal fascia which surrounds the multifidi.  The pressure of the casing against the multifidi also helps to create space between the vertebra which is called decompression or axial elongation.

The pelvic floor acts in conjunction with the diaphragm to create the top and bottom of the cylinder formed by the  transverse abdomens, the spine, and the spinal muscles.  The primary purpose of the pelvic floor is to hold the contents of the abdomen up against gravity and to control what comes out and when.

A great exercise for the core is a plank.  Line your hands under your shoulders and keep a straight line from your shoulders to your feet and make sure to keep your hips in line with your body.  Then hold for 60 seconds, break for 60 seconds, then repeat two times doing a total of 3 planks.

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“Don’t Sacrifice Style for Functionality”




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I wanted to share my experience I had the other day…..  I was introduced to a clothing company from a good friend of mine.  I am looking for something fabulous for an upcoming video shoot for a Pilates DVD I am making (more details to come!!!).  They told me about this company based in Newport Beach and raved about the quality and style.  So I went to check out their collection on this past Monday and I fell in love!!!!  The company is Delanowear.

Here is more about Delanowear found on their website www.Delanowear.com:

 

 

Sparked by their love of dance, Tamara and Britt, a mother and daughter duo, created this high-end active wear line to be multifunctional and stylish for every-day comfort. “Sacrificing style for functionality is not part of our philosophy,” says Tamara. Wanting to fulfill a void in luxury women’s active wear, this duo created Delanowear to satisfy those women who crave fashion forward designs in everything they wear.

Based in Newport Beach, California, the Delanowear collection delivers versatility while focusing on comfort, high quality, and everyday functionality. The collection is hand-crafted in the USA and constructed of some of the most durable sportswear fabrics such as Supplex®.  We have a custom blend cashmere that has the stretch of our Supplex® but the feel of your favorite sweater. This lightweight, indestructible, and fade-resistant fabric feels like cotton, but has the sustainability of nylon. This wrinkle-free and quick drying fabric can be worn throughout your day. All garments are crafted and embellished with fabrics from Brazil, zippers from Switzerland, and only the finest trims available.

 

 

Check them out at www.Delanowear.com you will not be disappointed!!!  And stay tuned for more on my upcoming workout video wearing the Delanowear collection!

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