Barcelona: A runner’s dream

The Streets 1

www.chrishuntwellness.com

“I see drawings and pictures in the dirtiest of corners”: Van Gogh

Everytime I run around Barcelona, it gives me so many photo opportunities. For such a small city, it’s jam-packed with beauty.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

 

 

Chris Hunt Blog is moving!

So, after having so much fun with my blog over the past few months, the limitations of having it on the free WordPress hosting have become just too unbearable. So today my blog will be moved to the new domain address of www.chrishuntblog.com.

This move should be seamless, and the new domain hosting should be up and running by this evening, but if there are any problems then please let me know because I do not want to lose any of my valued subscribers or readers.

So here’s to a brave new world. Well, it’s not so new. And it isn’t really brave either.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

 

Free Pilates Session: The more we give, the more we recieve

Chris Hunt Pilates

You want a free Pilates session with Chris Hunt? Tweet “I want Chris Hunt Pilates” with the hashtags #chp, #pilates and #barcelona and you can win!

www.chrishuntwellness.com

I talk a lot about being Buddhist and about giving. In these times of austerity, maybe we do not have as much money to give away, but no matter what our financial situation, we can always give away our time and our expertise. And I have absolutely no doubt that the more we give, the more we receive.

So, as I am someone who practises what I preach, I will be giving away a free Pilates session with me every week. You can have the session in person if you are in Barcelona, we can arrange to meet if I will be travelling to your country soon, or you can have the session online.

All you have to do is follow me on twitter www.twitter.com/thechrishunt and tweet “I want Chris Hunt Pilates” with the hashtags #chp, #pilates and #Barcelona. Simple.  You can enter each week as many times as you want to and I will announce the winner every Friday. So good luck, and I hope to see you soon for a private Pilates session!

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

 

I’m a 20k blogger and I’m a little proud!

Blog June 2014

www.chrishuntwellness.com

So I am blogging about my blog. That must be kind of ironic or maybe just a little sad?!?! But I am proud to be a 20,000 blogger in only 7 months, and saying that on my blog has some poetic justice about it.

So thank you to everyone for spending your precious time and reading my ramblings, some of which I hope you liked. And here is to the next 20,000 hits. I won’t let it go to my head…. :)

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

 

 

 

Our proud Pilates Community; we are stronger together

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Usually in my blog I try to bring a more light-hearted look to Pilates and health. I was going to write today about Pilates in Russia following my latest visit. But if you have been reading my articles over the past months you will see that I have a big interest in the issues of mental health and depression and their link to physical exercise. I do not seek controversy, but I am not afraid to talk about the topics that some people would rather ignore. I could write interesting articles about Shoulder Bridge, but I leave such articles to other people.

I lost my father to Alzheimer’s (see my blog “I lost my father, don’t lose yours” and I have also talked about depression and the link between mental and physical health in several previous articles. So it was with great sadness that over the weekend I read about the suicide of a 34 year-old Pilates teacher in New York last week, who jumped from her Upper West Side building.  My deepest and sincere condolences to her family and friends. I am sure that some people reading this article will know the lady in question, so I hope you will forgive me for writing about this tragic event.

There are suggestions about incurable disease and mental health issues. I have personal experience of the dark places that can lead people to depression and even suicide. I lost a close friend many years ago and I found it very difficult to understand how I did not see the signs. But the truth is that as teachers we are performers, so most of us have a great “game face” that we switch on during those times when we would rather be anywhere else than standing smiling in front of a group of people. As much as we all love Pilates and bringing our knowledge to the communities that we live in, we are human as well, so we have difficult situations to deal with and we are allowed to be sad sometimes. “The show must go on” is an old cliché but it has a lot of relevance for many people every day.

I love being a Pilates teacher, and I love helping people to change their lives (it is important to remember that we do not change people’s lives, we simply give people the knowledge and belief so that they can change their own lives). I also love the Pilates community. Sure, people criticize me and the things that I write in my blogs sometimes, and of course I do not and cannot expect everyone to always agree with my point of view. And there are also always people in every walk of life who try to make a name for themselves by being negative as they find it easier to criticize than praise. But everywhere I travel from Russia to the US, and every Pilates forum and group I am a member of,  I always have a strong sense of community, a sense that the vast majority of Pilates professionals want only to help each other, want to share their knowledge and experience.

It is for this reason that I love our community, and I always try to give more than I receive. It is also for this reason that I created Pilates Carnival, conventions that give all profits to children’s charities and where I ask everyone including the presenters (and of course me) to work for no money, donating their time and energy for the good of our community. Of course some presenters are horrified with this thought and I have been accused of cheapening Pilates and devaluing the system. Whilst I always respect the opinions of other people, I think these people simply do not get it. They are so commercially orientated they fail to see that by promoting themselves and Pilates in an environment that benefits charities as well, they are creating a positive energy that no money can buy. And of course it is not rocket science for these people to realise that if you do a Pilates convention for charity attended by over 100 Pilates teachers/studio owners and hundred’s of member’s of the public, you might just get some good exposure and new clients from the experience. But I respect their life choices, thank them for their time, and I simply do not work with them because they are not “my type” of people.

But I am happy that the majority of Pilates people are my type, they give more than they take, love much more than they hate. To paraphrase Lennon and McCartney, in the end the love we save is equal to the love we gave. So let’s keep supporting each other, looking after each other and looking out for each other. Most things in life are more important than money or reputation. Much more important.

In the U.S.: If you are contemplating attempting suicide, there are people who can help. Call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

In the U.K.: For confidential support call the Samaritans  on 08457 90 90 90 or visit a local Samaritans branch

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

Exercising on the beach: Is it more than sandcastles and ice-cream?

Healthy Beach Barcelona

www.chrishuntwellness.com

I am excited. Those who know me will also know that I get excited a lot, and it’s usually to do with either snowboarding, surfing, a new guitar, TRX training, ice-cream, or most typically Pilates.

Today I am excited about my new project in Barcelona, Healthy Beach Barcelona. I have said many times that health must be holistic. You cannot just run, life weights, eat tomatoes or even only do Pilates. To be truly healthy, sure you can do all those things and more, but you also need spiritual and mental health. And we all know the psychological effects of feeling and looking good. Wellness is a word that is used a lot nowadays, and for me wellness encapsulates (a word that is not used enough nowadays) the holistic nature of health. So Healthy Beach Barcelona offers Pilates (naturally), fitness, nutrition, massage, meditation, NLP, Life Coaching and a range of beauty procedures.

So why am I excited about Healthy Beach Barcelona? It is because Pilates specifically and wellness generally has historically been the reserve and the domain of more mature people, but with Healthy Beach Barcelona I am introducing many concepts to a much younger audience. Starting here on the beach in Barcelona. Which brings my onto the purpose of my article, what are the benefits of exercising outside?

I grew up with Aerobics Oz Style on Sky Sports, which is certainly not a bad way to start the day. But there are other more serious benefits, and I think the most obvious is that the scenery and fresh air (assuming you are not exercising next to a major road) simply raise the spirits and are great for emotional well-being.

But my favourite place is the beach. Sand is constantly shifting and changing, demanding various muscles in the body to come into play that might not normally engage on a pavement or gym floor workout. For example when doing Pilates, sand is on different levels, and you have to adjust to that difference which brings a new element to exercise. It also removes the issue of the hard surface on your knees. When you kneel on your mat laid over the sand, your joints are cushioned.

Running in the sand is also kinder on the joints than running on pavement because there is less impact on the body. I am using my bodyFUNC© functional training system for Healthy Beach Barcelona, and running and movement through sand forces you to use a fuller range of motion as it requires the body to move through a full range of motion, which stretches your muscles more than running on the pavement. Studies suggest that it is possible to burn up to 1.6 times as many calories for that extra effort. Sand develops the arch strength in your foot, the calves and all the muscles below the knee, as well as the quads.

However, a word of warning, you need to work up to a sand run or workout because it might be very different to what you and your body are used to. Start by the shoreline where the sand is flat and it’s packed down. When you feel comfortable, you can mix up your run by moving into the softer sand for a minute, like doing an interval workout, and then moving back into the harder sand. Tread carefully and go at a slower pace than what you’re used to.

Barefoot is a popular today (I have previously written articles for Barefoot Running Magazine and I will write about that next week) as it is argued that it is good for building up muscles in the foot and creating a more natural gait, as opposed to shoes dictating the gait. Beach running is a great way to try the method out. When I train people on the beach, I build them up in their running shoes by the shoreline and then the softer sand and then go for a short run on the harder sand with no shoes on.

Obviously there are considerations to be aware of when training on the beach. Look out for debris, such as bottles and sticks, wear sun-block, don’t trend on people sunbathing or little Johnny’s sandcastle,  and most important for me (see reasons why I get excited above) keep clear of ice-cream sellers.

By the way, for those who were wondering where my celebrity was today, my picture today is of actress Ileana D’Cruz, someone who regularly does Pilates and exercises outside. She credits Pilates with her health so that is how she earns her place in my blog today. Celebrity watchers can now relax. I nearly went a whole blog without a celebrity! It’s not possible…. ;)

Health and wellness are all about feeling good, and for me there is no better place to feel good than in the fresh air on a beach. If you haven’t tried it, then I recommend that you do. And next time you are in Barcelona, click on Healthy Beach Barcelona and pop along for a session, or contact me before you arrive and we can organise a beautiful retreat.

If life is a beach, then why not be a healthy beach?

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

 

“You do Pilates? Are you gay?” Pilates for men, Landon Donovan and Moscow time.

Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com 

The World Cup is in full swing, so do we really need another football related story from me? I think yes, as it relates to the most beautiful game of all, Pilates.

My article today is (not for the first time) about men and Pilates. My celebrity headliner is considered by many to be the best player in Major League Soccer history and he is the national team’s all-time leading scorer, L.A. Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan.

He may have been left out of the US World Cup team in Brazil, but he is still a superstar. As retirement approaches for the 32year old, in a recent interview he revealed one of the secrets of his prolonged success: “I do Pilates. I love Pilates because we do very specific training in soccer for the same six or seven muscles, but we neglect so many other muscles. So when I do Pilates it helps get all the rest of the muscles in shape and gets them working together.” Wise words indeed about our holistic exercise system from a top athlete and sportsman who has firsthand experience of the benefits Pilates brings.

So back to my headline and Pilates for men in general. I am just back to Barcelona (via  two days in London) after spending a wonderful 10 days in Moscow teaching Pilates EVO© to Pilates teachers, and as with my previous visits, I found the Russian people to be really wonderful. It’s a little annoying that I am writing this blog at 5 am in Barcelona because clearly I am still on Russian time! More about my visit to Moscow and Pilates in Russia in my blog later this week. Today I want to talk more about the ignorant attitudes towards Pilates that still exist today.

Whilst in London, I was asked the question again that forms the title of my blog today. I have lost count of the number of times people question my sexuality because I am a man who teaches Pilates. Whilst I take such comments as a compliment, they would be quite funny if it was not such an ignorant attitude. I am not gay, not that it matters, but I still find it interesting and disturbing in equal measures why some people make a link between men doing Pilates and their sexuality. I have some very close friends in the fitness industry and in the Pilates community who are openly gay, but there are also others who hide their sexuality, presumably for fear of suffering the prejudice that regrettably still exists in society today.

One of the (many) wonderful things about living in Barcelona is the openness of most of the people. There is a strong gay community and I am happy and honored that my Pilates sessions are popular with that community.

There are so many men in the public eye who do Pilates now, it never ceases to surprise me that there remains a section of society that is still so ignorant. I wrote previously about Dwayne Allen (see my article “Men do Pilates, ask Dwayne Allen”) and I could (and no doubt will) write about many other men including most football and rugby teams.

Such comments do make me all the more determined to continue to change attitudes towards men and Pilates. It is a battle, but it is one that we can and will win.

It’s breakfast time in Moscow now, Barcelona will not be waking up for a while yet….

Chris is the creator of Pilates EVO©,  and an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is also the creator of bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. His business Barcelona Bienestar in Barcelona offers services including Pilates, functional training, personal training, wellness retreats, massage, NLP, life coaching, meditation and beauty treatments. Healthy Beach Barcelona also offers a range of wellness services including Pilates and training on the beach. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

Demi Moore: Pilates and you are what you eat, no excuses!

 

Pilates EVO Demi Moorewww.chrishuntwellness.com

I like Demi Moore. Maybe it’s because she had a hard childhood, maybe it’s because of the scene with Patrick Swayze and the potter’s wheel in the film “Ghost”, maybe it’s because she is an intelligent and likeable person who has stood the test of time.

I certainly like the fact that she does Pilates, and at 51 as the picture above shows, she is in an amazing condition.

Demi follows a raw vegan diet, so as I am a vegetarian I appreciate that about her as well. There is no doubt at all that to achieve a healthy body (and mind) we must look holistically at how we live and how we train. Diet of course is a vital part of that jigsaw. It never ceases to amaze me that people will train their bodies really hard then eat some crap food, justifying it by saying (and clearly believing) that “I have earnt that”.

The idea that junk food is some sort of treat is one that I find interesting and disturbing in equal measures. Here in Barcelona I often hear people say “have a cake, treat yourself”. What I am saying is if you want to eat food that is full of fat or sugar then I have no big problem with this, as my philosophy is everything in moderation, but please do not think of it as a treat or a reward, because that is dangerous.

We can speculate as to where these thoughts come from, maybe rationing in the war, but in my opinion, such an attitude is only (and quite literally) fuelling the obesity epidemic that is sweeping the world.

Another scary thing I hear people say is that eat junk food because their body is telling then to eat it because it needs some type of particular ingredient. And people actually believe this nonsense. Take it from me, it has nothing to do with your bodies nutritional needs.

Another chestnut I hear is that diet is influenced by blood-type. Particularly popular is the belief that people must eat meat because they have the “meat blood group”. Let’s just spend one moment to consider this. They must eat meat because our ancestors ate meat? It is no surprise that the vast majority of respected medical experts do not support the idea that blood group has any affect what-so-ever on dietary needs. Worry about your blood group when you need a transfusion, not lunch. It’s dangerous to be thinking that it’s due to 50,000 years of evolution that our blood type is the reason we feel the need to eat a certain type of food.

The moral of my story? Eat what you want, but if you want to be healthy then try to eat a balanced diet. But for the love of God, do not try to justify your eating habits with outlandish, nonsensical and irrational excuses. We are what we eat. And what you eat is not the fault or influence of your ancestors, World War 2 or the little voice in your head. It is your choice. Pure and simple. And the sooner you stop making excuses and accept that and accept responsibility for what you put into your mouth, the sooner you can start to change things.

I want Demi to have the last words on this blog.

“I have had a love-hate relationship with my body. I sit today in a place of greater acceptance of my body. And that includes not just my weight, but all of the things that come with your changing body.”

After decades of suffering a neurotic preoccupation with being sexy, Moore said she ultimately found that beauty and thinness never truly made her happy. “I had an extreme obsession with my body,” she said. “I made it a measure of my own value. I tried to dominate it, which I did, and I changed it multiple times over. But it never lasted, and ultimately it didn’t bring me anything but temporary happiness.”

I think these are wise words indeed.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about the services that Chris offers in Barcelona including Pilates, functional training, massage, NLP, coaching and beauty treatments, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barcelona Pilates Classes: Under the sun with sand in between your toes

Healthy Beach Barcelona 1

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Barcelona has everything. Sun, sea, beaches, restaurants, shopping, mountains, culture, architecture to name just few. And now it has professional fitness classes as well.

I have created in Barcelona, as a subsidiary of my business Barcelona Bienestar, a new venture called Healthy Beach Barcelona. People say that life is a beach, so why not make it a healthy beach?!?!

Healthy Beach Barcelona offers Pilates but much more. To maximise health and wellness, our bodies need much more than Pilates. So with Healthy Beach Barcelona you can get everything you need to be a God or Goddess. We offer functional and cardio training sessions on the beach and on the terrace in small groups or on a one-to-one basis. We also many other services including massage, meditation, NLP, life coaching, nutrition advice and beauty treatments including gel nails and eye-lash extensions. We offer everything you need to help you become the best you can be.

If you live in Barcelona then you can join us every day. If you coming on vacation then join us during your stay. Or even better, come to Barcelona on a Barcelona Bienestar Retreat and let us organise everything for you.

Life is a beach. Come to Barcelona and let us help you to be a healthy beach.

Find out more by clicking on Barcelona Bienestar or click on Healthy Beach Barcelona.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

 

The World Cup: Coleen Rooney, WAGS, and Pilates

Sport Core Strength Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Any excuse to talk about football and I am there. I am a lifelong passionate fan of Arsenal and Barcelona. When I lived in London I was a regular at Highbury and then the Emirates, and now I am blessed to be in Barcelona watching one of the most beautiful football teams in the world. I played football for many years as a boy and young man, so applying my knowledge of Pilates to footballers is something I naturally enjoy.

Before the serious stuff, you might have noticed that the World Cup is almost upon us, and whilst the players are going through their final preparations, so too are the wives and girlfriends (WAGS). In the UK there is always s big fuss about the WAGS and their impact on the players.

Queen of the WAGS. mother of two and wife of England striker Wayne Rooney is Coleen Rooney. She took to twitter this week to tell us all about her fitness regime, which includes gym sessions, interval training and of course Pilates. She said “I always wear a bikini on holiday, they’re the first thing I think about packing. I have drawers full and I always take far too many away. But like anyone else I have to be careful about what I choose. There are certain shapes I’ve found that make me feel confident, so I stick to those. I tend to avoid anything too skimpy on the bottom half and I look for halter neck styles on top. My main problem area is my love handles so I don’t want to wear anything tight around my hips. Thin, stringy, tie-side briefs aren’t flattering so I always go for big bikini bottoms.”

With these inspiring words in mind, let me turn to the serious point of my blog today. I love to work with sportsmen and women. Whilst I get a massive sense of satisfaction when I see someone rehabilitate from injury or improve their posture, I also love to work with athletes to help them to improve even further their game. In Barcelona I am working with people involved in sports such as golf, surfing and rock climbing.

We are all very familiar with the benefits that Pilates brings, and specifically for football Pilates is relevant because it can help to: improve  flexibility, improve mobility, improve co-ordination, build overall fitness, improve endurance, build body awareness and focus, reduce the risk of injury, and help to rehabilitate after injury

Football demands rapid directional changes, often at near maximum pace, and the delivery of controlled power from unbalanced body positions. As our understanding of the demands placed upon footballers develops, so has the approach to training and injury prevention. The quiet revolution in training techniques is now not so quiet, with modern-day managers acknowledging the crucial importance that stretching, suppleness and flexibility gives their players. Pilates meets these demands perfectly, so an ever growing number of footballers use Pilates to improve their core strength, their co-ordination, mobility, flexibility and technique, as well as for prevention and rehabilitation from injuries.

Pilates is also a perfect form of warm-up prior to playing, and cooling down post-match. Any out-dated opinions of Pilates being a sedate pursuit for ladies only have long been extinguished, with many Premiership Football Teams including Pilates in their training schedule. The benefits are also used by other top sportsmen and women, such as the All Blacks Rugby Team, and individuals such as Tiger Woods.

Pilates is not only appropriate for the professional player. Youth players, semi professionals, and weekend players, whatever their age, sex and ability, would all gain enormous benefit from a regular Pilates’ routine.

I developed Sport Core Strength (http://www.sportcorestrength.com) in London and now in Barcelona to encourage more sportsmen and women to include Pilates in their regimes. Whilst working one-on-one is always a very effective way to teach (especially when most players will have their own specific issues), it is a lot of fun to work with whole teams as well, creating exercises in pairs and groups.

If you want to chat about Pilates for sports (including golf, football, cycling, surfing, tennis, skiing/snowboarding, running rock climbing etc), about Sport Core Strength, or about Pilates in Barcelona then please contact me.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?