Tips

Fitness – How to Mix it Up!

To keep things fresh – mixing it up a little in life and in fitness is the key! Sure, we all have our favourite exercise habits but after a while the same exercise can be repetitive on the mind and body to a point where the body does not get the desired results. This type of exercise becomes more of a maintenance program. Don’t get me wrong MOVEMENT is the key but MIXING IT UP with your movement can be even better!

In my many years in the fitness business, I see and speak to clients and members who are not getting results. They fall into the trap of doing the same thing when they come into the studio or club. This may feel safe for them as they are not getting out of their comfort zone or it may fit into the allotted time they come to exercise. I understand that CHANGE can be hard but hey sometimes we gotta make the change.

How do I mix it up?

Here is my easy “How To” when it comes to making some overdue changes to your fitness routine:

1. If you are a member of a gym then many health clubs offer small group training or personal training. These are particularly good if you have an injury or timeline to hit your goals as the PT will monitor you individually and give you new routines, exercises and thoughts

2. Add an outdoor run or walk to your weekly sessions or start training for an event, fun run or even a half marathon. You might even want to take it up a notch and make it a hike in the hinterland with a group of friends! Mt Warning is a ripper! Choose social but active fitness events.

3. Yoga or Pilates – these both tick the box for adding a bit YIN to your life. If you are fast paced like me and need to stop and practice a little deep breathing then add this to the repertoire! Increasing your recovery will increase your results!

4. Go to a group fitness class in your gym or studio that you normally would not attend like Zumba, Met con or Reformer HIIT as this helps you experience a new training format and have greater appreciation to other training modalities.

My list could go on but my challenge to you is to just make one achievable change and make it a high priority. Try a few different things until one resonates with you but it has to put you out of your comfort zone just a bit!

Are your discs affecting your Pilates practice?

Current studies show that at least half of herniated discs spontaneously de-herniate! In fact 66% of people in this study experienced disc reabsorption without surgery. This is a huge number and shows that in general, we get a little precious about our spinal discs. As a Pilates instructor, I meet people who have some sort of disc injury (past or present) nearly every day.

Our intervertebral discs are our spines shock absorbing system, cushioning between vertibra. The outer layer of the disc is annulus fibrosis which is a firm but flexible coating over the nucleus pulposis which is a softer jelly like substance. When the disc is herniated, the nucleus pulposis pushes through the annulus fibrosis causing irritation to nerves and potentially pain.

In my experience, most clients who have experienced disc injury tend to overprotect their spines, causing rigidity and tight muscles. Working with clients to move well, safely is so achievable! Pilates is a wonderful method of movement to create balance, strength and flexibility throughout the body as a whole, setting good postural habits for life. If you are experiencing any discomfort due to disc injury, contact a qualified clinical Pilates instructor near you or contact us for a clinical Pilates appointment – info@pilatesandco.com.au.

Belinda Survilla.

source: https://www.painscience.com/biblio/at-least-half-of-herniated-discs-spontaneously-de-herniate.html

Can Pilates help with Osteoporosis?

osteoporosis-bone

Osteo = bone

Porosis = cavity formation

When there is not enough Calcium in the blood for muscle contraction, our bones release Calcium for this very important function – everything we do relies on muscle contraction from blinking, breathing to the beating of our heart therefore muscle contraction trumps bone health in the organisation in our bodies function. Osteoporosis occurs when bone mineral density declines, not only is there loss of bone mass but the quality of bone is poorer.

There are no symptoms for osteoporosis, the two ways it is diagnosed is either through bone mineral density scan or through fracture. An individual over 60 years old that has a femoral fracture, has a 1 year mortality rate of 20%! This statistic is very concerning and is due to a spiral effect from hospitalisation, becoming sedentary, possible infections or other complications, moods impacted negatively etc.

With regards to dealing with osteoporosis, we not only want to build up the bones but it is critical to decrease risk of fracture. The best way to decrease the risk of fracture is through exercise and reformer Pilates is an ideal way to build this strength! Reformer Pilates incorporates building strength, balance and stability, all of which are important to avoid falls and in turn a possible fracture. There are no contraindications with regards to physical exercise and osteoporosis. Being as active as possible, including jogging or other ‘jumping’ sports are important for good bone health also.

To keep osteoporosis at bay – exercises that load bones and high impact exercise help to increase bone density along with a healthy diet. Lifting heavy weights, high impact sports and exercises like Reformer HIIT, Met.Con and Intermediate Reformers sessions are all very beneficial for good bone health. Make it your mission to keep your bones as healthy as possible by maintaining a healthful, nutritious and alkaline diet along with high impact and weight training exercises 3 times per week.

 

Belinda Survilla

Pilates and Posture 101

Do You Know Your Postural Type?

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The spine…it’s a beautiful structure, designed to support our bodies throughout life is segmented in to 3 sections –

  1. Cervical with 7 smaller, finer vertibra with a slight concave shape
  2. Thoracic with 12 vertibra with a slight convex shape
  3. Lumbar with 5 larger, more robust vertebra with a slight concave shape

Attached to the lumbar spine is the pelvic girdle, consisting of the sacrum, coccyx (tailbone) and the pelvic bones. Your posture type is based on a group of muscle imbalances which change the shape of the spine and pelvis.

A normal or ‘ideal’ posture is desirable however our curves are all a little different based on our movement patterns, lifestyle, hereditary factors, stress levels and personality. Pilates is amazing at addressing postural imbalance in the body which in turn can release pain and improve quality of life. Knowing what postural type you are can help you to work more effectively in your Pilates sessions to help improve your posture.

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SWAY BACK POSTURE

Sway Backs generally need to strengthen

  • lower external obliques
  • hip flexors
  • mid and low trapezius

Sway Backs generally need to lengthen

  • pectorals (especially pec minor)
  • glutes
  • upper abdominals
  • hamstrings
  • SCM (sternocleidomastoid)

Pilates exercises perfect for you are – 

Roll Over, Breast Stroke Prep, Swan dive, salute, open elbows, toe taps, front splits

FLAT BACK POSTURE

Flat Backs generally need to strengthen

  • upper abdominals
  • hip flexors
  • lower back extensors

Flat Backs generally need to lengthen

  • lower abdominals
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • upper back

Pilates exercises perfect for you are –

front splits, ab prep, short spine, cat stretch, supine psoas pull

MILITARY POSTURE

Militaries generally need to strengthen

  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • upper and lower abs

Militaries generally need to lengthen

  • upper back
  • lower back
  • hip flexors

Pilates exercises perfect for you are –

front splits, side leg work, supine psoas pull, ab prep

KYPHOSIS LORDOSIS POSTURE

K/L’s generally need to strengthen

  • lower abs
  • upper back
  • glutes
  • hamstrings
  • mid and low trapezius

K/L’s generally need to lengthen

  • lower back
  • upper back
  • hip flexors

Pilates exercises perfect for you are –

side leg work, toe taps, back rowing, front splits

It can be tricky to assess yourself! If you’d like to get a little more in depth on your posture type and how to improve it, book a one on one appointment for an individual assessment.

 

Bender, R. (2013) Breathe Pilates Mat and Reformer Applications Vol 1 & 2. Melbourne, VIC.

Kendall, H. (2005) Muscles: Testing and Function with Posture and Pain. Philadelphia, PA.

Are you ready to Find Your Flow?

We are so excited to share with you our brand new challenge! Kick Spring off to an awesome start getting stronger, leaner and more flexible on our Find Your Flow Membership. Sign up for 30 days and you’ll receive 4 sessions every week. This challenge costs $60 per weeks (4 weekly payments on direct debit). You can attend any Pilates Reformer or Met.Con session at any time on this Membership

You are also invited to attend our Find Your Flow Workshop on Saturday September 3rd at 11am where Pilates & Co team members will share some of their awesome knowledge about health and nutrition. We will also get the challenge started early with a full circuit challenge utilising the cadillac, chair, barrel and reformers!

The best part about this challenge is that it doesn’t end after 3o days, you have the opportunity to keep feeling and looking amazing with the Find Your Flow Membership, these memberships are strictly limited.

Contact us to sign up or for more information.

5 Tips to Keep you Active and Healthy this Winter

  • EAT REAL FOOD!

When you eat food, ensure that it’s not just empty calories but nutritious, whole foods that will support your immune system. Include garlic, ginger and onion to warm foods and make sure you include lots of fresh, organic produce. Stews, casseroles, curries and soups are the obvious winners for winter.

I found this awesome new product from Brio Emporium which is a sure fire winner for my busy family. It’s Mead & Marrow Bone Broth Concentrate which you mix up in a cup of hot water – instant broth! How amazing is that? It’s made from grass fed beef, made here on the Gold Coast and comes in a couple of flavours.

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  • KEEP YOUR WORKOUT ROUTINE GOING!

Yes, it’s cold – especially this week! Getting up at 5:30am to get your workout in before work feels insane when it looks like nighttime outside, right? If you stick to your consistent workout routine, your body will love you for it. Getting your body moving early in the morning will kick start a cold, drab day and keep your motivation up. If you can move your schedule back an hour, awesome, otherwise consider working out in the evening if you think it will be more achievable to stick to your workout routine.

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  • MAKE THE MOST OF THE SUNSHINE!

Catch some winter sun rays whenever you get the chance to boost your vitamin D levels. Winter sun on the Gold Coast is pretty glorious so soak it up! You’ll not only build up your immune system but also increase the oxygenation of your blood cells and tissues, lower blood pressure and lift your mood.

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  • DRY BRUSHING!

Tried dry brushing? Before you shower, right before you step in, take a medium bristle shower brush and vigorously brush your skin starting from your feet, up to your heart. Our skin is the largest organ of the body and it’s continuously shedding (bleh!). A regular 5 minute dry brush removes these dead layers of skin effectively leaving your skin fresh and vibrant, plus it helps to improve your circulation, warming your body all over. It’ll also stimulate your lymphatic system which helps eliminate toxins from your body!

Spa bath setting –brush ,towel and nature soap

  • STAY SOCIAL!

Avoid hibernation this winter by making regular meet ups with friends and family. Happy humans socialise, so take turns of catching up at a warm home – around a fire preferably. Socialisation helps to keep your mood elevated and has been proven to improve mental vigour and longevity.

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Good to the Bone

The thing I’ve come to learn is that the majority of us all have injuries. From issues that might cause infrequent discomfort to injuries that are a constant pain in the neck. Many of you love Pilates because of the support it offers, strengthening the small stabilising muscles and the bigger supporting muscles allowing greater movement, strength and flexibility.

Along with Pilates, another amazing modality to assist in pain relief and assisting you on the road to recovery is Osteopathy. One of the best Osteopaths around is Tracey Spruyt from Osteozone. We asked Tracey about what it is that she does and how she does it.

P&C: What does an Osteopath do? 
Tracey: An Osteopath specialises in musculoskeletal medicine and treats a range of conditions and injuries through manual treatment and exercise.  The key complaints I see in practice are chronic lower back pain with sciatic symptoms, neck pain, headaches and migraines, sporting injuries including rotator cuff and shoulder impingements, tennis elbow, ankle sprains and knee pain due to muscle instability and weakness.

P&C: What would a general appointment with you entail?
Tracey: The Osteopathic appointment (45min consult) includes a brief discussion of the patients presenting injury or condition, including the patients history and other pre-existing conditions.  The majority of the consultation is comprised of manual therapy to alleviate the patients pain symptoms, and prescription of simple exercises and advice such as ergonomics to prevent further injury.

P&C: Who can benefit from seeing an osteopath?
Tracey: Those who suffer from acute or chronic musculoskeletal pain as a result of sporting injuries, poor posture or ergonomics, pregnancy or post pregnancy, overuse injuries, or stress and anxiety.  People of all ages can benefit from Osteopathic treatment, particularly those with a sports background or those wishing to increase or return to an active lifestyle.

P&C: How hands on are you with clients? 
Tracey: As an Osteopath, manual therapy is the key component of the treatment which is individualised to the patient’s specific injury or condition. The types of hands on techniques include soft tissue manipulation, articular mobilisation, stretching, balancing, dry needling and sports kinesio taping.

P&C: How do you feel Pilates and Osteopathy work together?
Tracey: I believe that Pilates is an amazing adjunct to Osteopathic treatment as it addresses many of the muscle imbalances and weakness (especially core stability) which I see in practice every day.  Osteopathy can also benefit those who practice Pilates by addressing muscle tension and articular restrictions which may cause pain or repetitive strains.

Sweet Dreams…

So, how’s your sleep, are you getting enough? Studies show that a good night’s sleep improves learning, preparing your brain for the next day and forming new neural pathways to allow you to learn new stuff and remember it! I for one am a huge lover of sleep and have no issues popping right off, but I know a staggering amount of people who suffer from insomnia or who have kids that wake them continuously through the night.

We’ve all had a crappy nights sleep before and we all know that foggy brain next day feeling. The effects of sleep deprivation are pretty startling and effect us both mentally and physically.

Mental effects of sleep deficiency –

  • you may have trouble making decisions
  • you may have trouble solving problems
  • you may have issues controlling your emotions and behaviour
  • you may have trouble coping with change

Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.

Physical effects of sleep deficiency –

  • ongoing sleep deprivation is linked to heart disease. Your blood vessels and heart undergo healing and repair during sleep!
  • increased risk of obesity
  • lack of sleep causes hormonal imbalance. The hormone in charge of making you feel full (leptin) drops with lack of sleep and the hormone in charge of making you feel hungry (ghrelin) goes up!
  • changes how your body reacts to insulin
  • deep sleep supports healthy and normal growth and development in children and teens
  • deep sleep also helps to repair cells and tissues and build muscle mass
  • our immune system is compromised by lack of sleep

Here are some achievable tips on how to get (you and your kids) to sleep and stay there –

  1. Keep to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and rise at the same time, every day of the week
  2. Put down those laptops, phones and iPads a good hour (at least!) before your bedtime and make sure they are at least 2 metres away from your bed while you sleep
  3. Don’t have any caffeine after lunch time
  4. Take part in regular exercise. Pilates anyone?
  5. Use essential oils to help create a peaceful and relaxed state of mind. Lavender, ylang-ylang and chamomile activate the alpha wave activity in the brain. Try a roller with some diluted essential oil in carrier oil on your temples, the back of the neck or diffuse it in your bedroom.
  6. Make sure your bed and pillow are top notch. You spend a lot of time in your life in bed (hopefully) so get the best you can afford.

How much sleep should you be getting? Generally for adults, 7 – 9 hours is recommended. For teens, 8 – 10 hours and children age 6 – 13, 9 – 11 hours is recommended.

Stay Hydrated – even in winter

We all know that drinking adequate amounts of pure water is crucial for good health and that it’s important to increase our intake in the hotter months due to extra losses through perspiration.  We still need around 2L/8 glasses of water every day – even in winter.

Did you know that if you are only 2% dehydrated, your bodies physical performance can be affected due to the many processes that water is involved in? Even if you are slightly dehydrated, the activity of enzymes in the body can slow down which can lower metabolism and reduce your ability to exercise efficiently. Every cell in our bodies require water to function. It helps circulate nutrients around the body, regulates our body temperature, helps to improve our skins texture and colour, flushes toxins from the body and it keeps our joints healthy by hydrating cartilage. Research even shows that being dehydrated can make you grumpy and confused so drink up the good stuff!

Here’s our tips for keeping hydrated and staying hydrated:

  • Start your day with hot water and lemon juice or a herbal tea
  • Take a drink bottle with you everywhere you go
  • Try to drink a litre of water before 10am. Remember – by the time you feel dehydrated, you already are!
  • Drink water at room temperature if possible to help absorption
  • Use good quality salt (sea salt or himalayan salt) as they are rich in trace elements that are the foundation for optimum cell health and hydration
  • Reduce your caffeine consumption
  • If you need some flavour in your water, try a few drops of essential oils, an infuser with fresh fruit or Intra Strength
  • Mix it up with some coconut water which is rich in potassium, sodium and electrolytes

DIY Bliss Bombs

These nuggets of pure bliss are so easy to make and are such a luxurious treat for when you feel like giving yourself a little TLC. They also make gorgeous gifts for just about anyone so make plenty to share around!

Here’s what you need –

  • ½ cup cornflour
  • ¼ cup Epsom salt
  • 1 cup bicarbonate soda
  • ½ cup citric acid
  • ¾ tbsp water
  • 2¾ tbsp coconut oil
  • A few drops of your favourite pure essential oil
  • optional, moulds
  • optional, dried flowers
  • optional, natural colouring

Here’s what to do –

  1. Sift all of the dry ingredients together.
  2. In a separate mixing bowl mix all of the wet ingredients.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and quickly whisk together as the mixture will fizz. Keep whisking until the mixture resembles wet sand consistency.
  4. Now you can begin moulding your bliss balls, you may mould them into balls with your hands or use a mould for a more uniform finish.
  5. Set the bliss bombs aside to dry overnight.

Think about the mood you would like to create to decide which essential oil/s to add. If you want a relaxing, soothing experience good choices are lavender, bergamot, yang ylang and vetiver. For a more invigorating bath add grapefruit, orange or peppermint. When you add your bliss ball to the water, it will fizz and dissolve, releasing the delightful aroma of the essential oils along with the epsom salts and coconut oil. Your body will be revitalised and your skin silky smooth, enjoy!