Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Group Reformer Add Ins

No matter the level or ability of your clients in a group equipment class setting it is always good to sprinkle in some "extras" which add in some functional balance and posture work.  

Seated Triceps dips off a box or Reformer bed
Image result for standing footwork, pilates

Magic Circle Standing Routine (arms/legs)

Seated Side Bends/Twists/Circle Squeezes

Functional Standing Footwork (Squat to Seated)- drive through your heels, can be modified by doing off the reformer bed to standing or use a wall with hands for balance

Standing Arm Weight Series (or without weight if injured)
or more of a Barre version of Arm Weight Series

Standing Single-Leg Stretch (one legged balance/knee hug ins)

Shoulder Opener swings to help poor computer posture from Jay Grimes video

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Break It Down: Double Straight Leg Lower Lift (Part 4 of Series of 5)

Purpose- teaches how to work in opposition, strengthens core, 

Preps- 100s, Double Leg Stretch, Feet in straps, Double knee folds, Leg Springs (Frogs, Lower/Lifts),Corkscrew 

Form- hollow out abs, hold by knee or ankle of single leg, scissor legs in air, pull into midline throughout, tips of shoulder blades on the mat

*May not be appropriate for those with low back or neck issues.  See modifications below.

Modifications- hands support head or keep head down, less lower for more support, hands under bottom for more low back support, cross at ankles or soft bend in knees

How to Advance- Magic circle/ball/band in hands or feet, weights in hands, perform on Reformer with hands holding straps  

Challenges- connect right from Scissors without lowering head, add in more reps

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Health Advice: What do my food cravings mean?

Q: I will admit, I get food cravings.  Sometimes they are after work with wanting a salty treat like chips/pretzels.  Other times they are probably more hormonal based when wanting a chocolate dessert.  What do my cravings mean and how can I cope?

A: Great question!  Many people struggle with food craving like you have expressed.  The three common ones would be for salt, sugar and carbs.  Usually eating more protein and fats in our diet will help correct this imbalance.  

However, it's not always easy to recognize when we are hungry compared to having a food craving.  Sometimes our body is actually thirsty and we confuse this for hunger too.  

Below is a helpful food chart that provides some solutions to alternative food choices when craving hit:

Image result for food craving meaning

Most of the time there is an emotional connection to the foods we crave.  Remember back in the day being a kid and the times you got ice cream as a treat from your parents?  Or that first time you had coffee and felt your day was more successful?  Yes, food is powerful.  It sends chemicals to your brain and has a rewards system already built in.  No wonder we want certain foods on a regular basis.  

Here are some common emotional themes I notice in clients:

  1. Baked sweets/chocolate/ice cream (joy/love) 
Read a good book, take a walk on your lunch hour, go for a weekly massage or plan a date night (even if its just with yourself).  This is a great time to break out your bucket list and get back to hobbies you used to love such as knitting, painting or sports.  Even volunteering or donating a box of belongings to those in need can be beneficial to help spread the love. 
  1. Caffeine (needing more rest/meditation)
What to be more mentally sharp?  Go to a yin yoga class, book a massage or even just get into a better sleep habit.  Allow your brain to shut off with some hypnosis or meditation.  Break out a coloring book or take a relaxing bath.  Anything to soothe your mind and ease back into your busy life works well.
  1. Spicy (action/adventure)
Try something new like a trampoline class, archery, or hot air balloon ride.  Plan a vacation or road trip.  Get out there and enjoy the world even if its just having some frog legs or sea urchin at a restaurant down the street.
  1. Crunchy/Salty (attention/repressed anger) 
Try writing out your emotions in a journal, going for a run (anything highly physical), or go out for some karaoke.  Anything that can help you express yourself better or put you in the spotlight. 
  1. Carbs/Starch (comfort/companionship)
Call up a friend, join a support group, or talk to a therapist.  Pop in your favorite movie, take the dog for a walk, and plan an impromptu dinner party.  Do what makes you feel connected to the world and other humans.