Should Pilates make you sweaty? Melanie Griffith has an opinion

Chris Hunt Pilates Melanie Griffith

Should Pilates make you sweaty? Melanie Griffith has an opinion

I wrote yesterday about hot Pilates and yoga (Hot Pilates and yoga: Is it just a lot of hot air?), but today I want to ask another question about getting sweaty and today it’s nothing to do with high temperatures in the room.

It’s Friday so I have that Celebrity feeling again, my compromise after a week of serious blogs. I have explained before that I am not obsessed with celebrity. I have never bought Hello Magazine. What I am obsessed with is Pilates. And whilst not every one agrees, it’s my opinion that if someone starts Pilates because their friend, neighbour, sporting hero or favourite celebrity does Pilates, then why not?

I’ve had comments about glamorising Pilates, about how privileged celebrities are, about creating false hope, about living on a different planet… Whilst I always respect the opinion of everyone, it is my humble opinion that these people are missing the point of my posts and they are taking everything a little too seriously. All I am doing is raising the awareness of Pilates. If you do not or can not understand that, then I am sorry for wasting your time and please do not read my blog today! :)

The media reported this week that Melanie Griffith “proved she was putting plenty of effort into improving her mental and physical well being on Wednesday afternoon when she stepped out with sweat-soaked hair following an intense Pilates class. The Working Girl actress showcased her gym-honed shape as she left her class looking exhausted behind her shades as she left the Los Angeles session.”

Melanie has her Pilates sessions with Mari Winsor, a famous celebrity trainer in the US who studied with Romana. Melanie boasted on Twitter about her Pilates instructor later that day: ‘Check out my gorgeous kick ass Pilates instructor @mariwinsor. She rocks!!!’ Clearly she is very happy with the exercise she is getting.

Whilst her “sweat-soaked hair” maybe more as a result of a shower after the session, for the media to infer that people do and should leave a Pilates session looking exhausted and very sweaty is not a general image of Pilates that I endorse. Whilst everyone sweats to varying degrees depending on many different factors, my general question to you today is how sweaty do you make your clients and do you agree that Pilates should make them very sweaty?

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

 

Scientific Studies into Pilates: Where is the evidence?

Chris Hunt Pilates

Scientific Studies into Pilates: Where is the evidence?

Today there have been media reports of a new study into the effects of Pilates.

It is argued in certain quaters that there remains a distinct lack of scientific evidence that categorically proves the beneficial effects of Pilates. Whilst the anecdotal evidence of Pilates practitioners and others in the areas of rehabilitation and health such as physiotherapists is conclusive, sceptics are still not all convinced.

Because of this, I find any new scientific study into Pilates very interesting.

Dr. Bijan Najafi is an Associate Professor of Surgery and a member of the University of Arizona Centre on Aging. According to Najafi, the science between aging and exercise is simple. Exercises, like Pilates, allow the brain to correct motor errors, and in layman’s terms, retrain the brain to move correctly.

A recent study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science he concludes that Pilates can help balance ability in senior citizens. “Of course, the general term is that you should, ‘move it or lose it,'” Associate Professor of Surgery and member of the University of Arizona Center on Aging, Dr. Bijan Najafi said. “Usually, if you become very active, you can overcome many pains,” Najafi added.

I have written before about Pilates in older age, for example the British Actress Felicity Kendal is a great example at the age of 67, read Felicity Kendal at 67: Pilates is better than botox.

I am still trying to obtain a full copy of Dr Najafi’s study because the above quotes are far from convincing and can mostly be put down to common sense. As soon as I have the study I will publish it here.

In the meantime, I am interested to know which previous studies you rely on when substantiating the benefits of Pilates to those who require more than anecdotal evidence. It will be useful I am sure if we compile a “top-ten” scientific studies that teachers can draw upon.

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

Пилатес и танцы: Не зашли ли мы слишком далеко?

Chris Hunt Pilates Pilates and Dance blog www.pilatesevo.com

Пилатес и танцы: Что влияет на что?

Пилатес и танцы: Не зашли ли мы слишком далеко?
Я не ищу полемики, но в тоже время, я не боюсь высказывать свое мнение, ведь блог должен быть для этого. Я не пишу статьи для создания враждебности или нерпиятных чувств, по этому, помните об этом, прежде чем читать эту статью или оставить комментарий. Я пишу опираясь на собственное мнение, по этому очевидно, что вы, возможно, будете думать, что я прав или неправ в зависимости от вашего собственного мнения, но у всех нас есть право на наш собственный взгляд. Я уважаю ваше мнение, поэтому, пожалуйста, уважайте и моё.

С учетом сказанного я хочу поговорить о пилатесе и танецах. Мы все знаем, что Джозеф Пилатес не был танцовщиком, и что в его ранние дни он не работал с танцорами. Любовный роман между пилатесом и танецем начался с открытия полатес студии по соседству с Балетом Нью-Йорка,и продолжается по сей день.
Мы также знаем точно, почему Пилатес настолько подходит для танцоров, так что я не буду одсуждать это сегодня. Сегодня я хочу поговорить о не столько, о том как Пилатес повлиял на танец и танцоров, а насколько танец и танцоры влияют на пилатес.

Я знаю много бывших танцоров которые являются замечательными преподавателями пилатеса, некоторые из которых были моими первыми преподавателями и оказали влияние на моё решение стать Пилатес профессионалом. Однако, я вижу , как некоторые ведущие призентеры преобразовывают пилатес в танцевальную хореографию. Это означает, что я встречаю пилатес учителей, которые были подготовленны и обученны только в этом направлении и поэтому их идея пилатеса четко и принципиально зависит от танца.

Так как же научить учителей новым методам Пилатеса?
У каждого свой индивидуальный взгляд на нашу любимую систему, включая и меня (см пилатес EVO: От Сердца ). Я уважаю идеи каждого, и многие из этих индивидуальных подходов замечательны. Но для меня основные принципы священны и являются классической основой. Я преподаю и обучаю пилатес EVO только учителям, которые уже имеют полную квалификацию. Я вижу это в качестве дополнения к фундаментальным знаниям людей, а не начальную точку.

Я не думаю, что это хорошо, когда люди не имеют фундаментальной подготовки и изучают различные типы пилатеса, потаму что в этом случае, очень сложно действительно понять, что разные презентнры изменяют и как интерпритируют метод.
Так что вы думаете о пилатесе и танецах? Согласны ли вы, что есть доля правды в том, что я говорю, или вы думаете по-другому? Я хотел бы знать. Поэтому, пожалуйста, поделитесь своим нением.

 

 

Olympic snowboarder’s rehabilitation creates a new Pilates teacher

Chris Hunt Pilates Pilates Rehab

www.chrishuntpilates.com

Olympic snowboarder’s rehabilitation creates a new Pilates teacher

We all know that Pilates is great for rehabilitation from many different injuries and conditions.

I love a happy ending. Some people have accused me of being negative in some of my articles (it’s impossible to please everyone and of course when reaching such conclusions, people are often reflecting their own negativity). Life is not always fluffy and sunny, there are sometimes difficult issues that I feel need to be discussed and not avoided: not because I like negativity, but because I am not afraid to speak my mind and debate issues that others may rather avoid.

In fact I am a very positive person. I practise mindfulness meditation and I am Buddhist. So back to my blog today, which is about two of my very favourite things in the world: Pilates and snowboarding. One of the reasons that I moved to Barcelona was because it is very close to the Spanish Pyrenees.

Today I want you to know about the Olympian who broke her back attempting a snowboard jump, spent four years in rehabilitation, found Pilates, and now she’s a Pilates instructor.

Steph Prem had one bad jump in the World Cup finals in Italy in 2010 changed the Olympian snowboarder’s life forever. The 24-year-old from Melbourne fractured vertebrae, compressed discs, dislocated her hip, broke five ribs and tore her pelvis and hamstring. She is now 29, and having had to give up her snowboarding career she discovered Pilates and teaches others from her own studio.

During her rehabilitation she finally accepted that she would never snowboard competitively again but by then she had gained a love of Pilates throughout her long and arduous road to recovery. She tried everything for her constant pain including Valium, spinal cortisone injections and nerve ending operations but nothing worked.

After much trial and error, it was a combination of both traditional methods along with alternative measures that has worked for her. She says ‘I had to try a lot of different things and be open-minded to a lot of different treatments because I was finding I was in a lot of pain for a long time and not a lot was helping.’

But it wasn’t until she tried Pilates three years ago that she discovered exercises she could do without experiencing any pain. After that she says that her quality of life improved out of sight. ‘It completely changed my whole way of being because before the accident I was addicted to daily exercise as a professional athlete but I lost that with my injury,’ she said. ‘I had been so limited and restricted in what I could do that it was so awesome to discover Pilates because a lot of the work was protected using the machinery. But also the lower deeper intrinsic work that I was doing gave me back that daily outlet and there was so much I could achieve,’ she said. ‘It gives you strength from the inside out – it helped me massively mentally and physically because I could do something again.’

Whilst my own story is nothing as extreme as Prem’s, my journey of acute back pain due to a spinal condition I was born with to marathon runner, amateur snowboarder, surfer and most importantly professional Pilates presenter, does have some similarities as Pilates was the rehabilitation technique that also changed my life. This is why I will always be so passionate about it (read more about Pilates EVO from the heart).

I created Pilates Rehab Limited in the UK to give easy access to a range of people who want and need professional Pilates services they can trust and rely on. Still to this day nothing gives me more satisfaction that knowing that I am helping too provide people with the means for them to take responsibility for their rehabilitation and improve their quality of life. I also love to work with sportsmen and women in the UK and in Barcelona.

I am very interested to hear your personal stories of your own rehabilitation thanks to Pilates or those of your clients. The more we can share experiences and raise awareness, the more people we can help to help themselves to a better quality of life.

That was a happy ending and a positively sunny blog for a Monday.

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

Fitness-und Sporturlaub in Barcelona, Spanien

Personal training and fitness holidays in Barcelona www.barcelonabienestar.com

Fitness- und Sporturlaub in Barcelona, Spanien

Urlaub bedeutet für jeden etwas anderes!

Manche Menschen machen Urlaub in einem Strandresort, um in der Sonne zu entspannen, andere sind eher auf Abenteuerurlaub aus. Wiederum andere entscheiden sich für Sightseeing oder Gastroferien, um die Kultur besser kennen zu lernen. Manche machen Sport- bzw. Fitnessurlaub, um ihrem Hobby nachzugehen oder aber um andere Sportarten wie Golf, Reiten, Skifahren, Snowboarden, Mountainbiken, Kitesurfen, Wellenreiten, SUP (Stand Up Paddle) oder Wandern auszuprobieren.

Also wieso sollte man sich für Urlaub in Barcelona entscheiden? Ganz einfach – hier ist all dies möglich!

Die Tage der Pauschalreisen sind in Zeiten des Internets gezählt. Jeder von uns möchte gerne einen indiviudellen Urlaub, geplant nach seinen eigenen Wünschen und Vorstellungen sowie nach seinem individuellen Zeitplan, geniessen.

Genau dort setzt Bienestar an. Hier wird auf die einzelnen Bedürfnisse eingegangen. Es gibt nichts, was wir nicht für unsere Reisenden aus aller Welt organisieren. Barcelona ist eine unglaublich vielseitige und pulsierende Stadt. Wir helfen Ihnen, dies zu entdecken, indem wir einen persönlichen Urlaubsplan für Sie erstellen.

Wir bieten Gesundheits- und Wellnesspakete ganz auf Ihren Geschmack abgestimmt an. Unsere Fitnessaktivitäten umfassen Personal Training, Pilates, TRX, Boxen, weight vest training, funktionelles Training, HIIT, sowie Programme für spezifische Sportarten wie Stand Up Paddle (SUP), Fitness, Ski / Snowboard, Surfen, Wandern, Mountainbiken, Klettern und vieles mehr. Für all diese Aktivitäten organisieren wir nicht nur ein Sportprogramm sondern Sie haben auch die Zeit, das Meer, die Piste und die Berge zu geniessen.

Aber wir bieten nicht nur sportliche Aktivitäten an sondern auch Wellness- und Beautybehandlungen wie bspw. Massagen, Ernährungsberatung, Abnehmkurse, Mani- und Pediküre. Des Weiteren organisieren wir Kunst- und Gastrotouren, empfehlen landestypische Lokale und Trips zu den schönsten Sehenswürdigkeiten.

Wir nehmen Ihnen den Organisationsstress ab, aber Sie bestimmen weiterhin Ihr individuelles Programm. Also ein massgeschneiderter Urlaub – ganz ohne Hektik. Hotels, Transfers, Sportaktivitäten, Kultur, Ausflüge etc. – Sie entscheiden was gefällt und wir kümmern uns darum.

Unsere Urlauber kommen aus aller Welt, z.B. Amerika, England, Deutschland, Schweden, Russland, China, Frankreich, Italien, Holland sowie Australien.

Für weitere Informationen klicken Sie auf www.barcelonabienestar.com oder kontaktieren Sie uns für die Organistion Ihres Traumurlaubes. Barcelona und das Bienestarteam warten auf Sie!

www.barcelonabienestar.com

 

 

How we define ourselves: Tinder, Facebook and Kung Fu Panda

Chris Hunt Pilates WellnessAfter a week of writing (quite) serious articles about subjects like Action Bias and fitness, and why I think Pilates has been influenced too much by some Pilates educators who were former dancers, it’s the weekend so it’s the time when I talk more personally about life (and clearly write very long sentences…)

Before I begin, how many song titles did you get in my post last week?

Today I want to write about how we perceive ourselves, and how we present ourselves to others.

Social media and online dating has given us previously unknown ways to present ourselves to the world, and it fascinates me how some people do it. Maybe in a simple picture we can see how an individual portrays them self, what they think defines them.

For example, Tinder Man has recently had a lot of publicity. If you do not know what Tinder is, it’s a simple dating app where you are matched with people close to you by using a very simple set of criteria, and whether you accept the matches is pretty much determined by one picture and a simple swipe left for no or right for yes. Tinder Man has become famous by copying in his own style some of the funnier pictures that people use. And believe me people use very funny pictures of themselves. But it’s not just the strange pictures that people choose that I find interesting. I think it can be pertinent when people use pictures of their children, friends or their pets. As a way to introduce yourself to a potential partner, I think that a picture of anything or anyone that is not you is a rather interesting statement to be making to the world about yourself.

People define themselves by using very different things. It can be their children or dog, or it can be a club they support, a pop star they idolise, and sometimes by their partner. I am not criticising anyone, all I am suggesting is that my profile on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter is my profile, so why would I use for my profile picture anything other than a picture of me? That’s not being conceited or ostentatious, it’s simply my profile. My passport does not have a picture of a dog. :)

Whilst you will tell that I’m not being totally serious about the profile picture discussion, I have said before that for me the important question is “am I someone” not “am I with someone”. I meet a lot of people and I know lots of people are with someone, but I’m not sure they are someone.

Those immortal words uttered by Tom Cruise “you complete me” only serve to perpetuate the popular myth many people have that we need someone or something else to somehow complete us. Of course this is not and never can be true. The only person or thing that can “complete” us is our-selves. Even Kung Fu Panda learnt this with the Dragon Scroll that contained the secret of limitless power being a reflection of himself. Any other “fix” is a temporary band-aid to try to cover our inadequacies or issues. As we know, after a few showers, a band-aid will lose its adhesive and fall away to leave exposed the wound we are trying to hide, and so it is in relationships as well.

It also interests me how we create an image of our life using social media which is not always a true reflection of the life we are living, it’s only a glimpse. Often it an image of the life we want to have, but is not always the real life we are living. Of course it’s true as well that for every picture we post on Instagram, we live through 10,000 other life experiences that we chose not to share with the world. Would be get so many hits if we posted a picture of us crying or feeling sad, bored or lonely? No, let’s go for the one of us on holiday holding a cocktail and laughing with friends on the beach.

Talking about online image, having just flown from Barcelona to London, it always makes me smile at airports to see people standing next to the VIP lounge so they can post and tag themselves as being in that lounge. But then again, it’s also a little sad when people who are actually in those lounges post their location as some sort of status symbol? Well I’m here to tell those people that you are impressing no one, and if by chance someone is impressed, then they are probably not worth impressing.

People have lost their job, not new jobs, lost relationships and much more seriously caused upset and even suicide by using social media. Some people have also met their partner and shared a lot of love and happiness with their pictures.

We have power at our finger-tips like never before. I hope we use it wisely for good, never forgetting who we are.

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and 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. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

Pilates and Dance: What is influencing what?

Chris Hunt Pilates Pilates and Dance blog

Pilates and Dance: Have we gone too far?

I do not go looking for controversy, but I am not afraid to speak my mind either, and after all that is what a blog should be for. I certainly do not write articles to create animosity or bad feeling, so please understand that before you read this article or comment upon it. I write from my own opinion, so obviously you might think me right or wrong depending on your own opinion, but we all have the right to our opinion. I respect yours, so please respect mine.

With that said I want to talk about Pilates and dance. We all know that Joseph Pilates was not a dancer, and that in his early days he did not work to any great extent with dancers. It was opening his studio next door to the New York City Ballet that really began the love affair between Pilates and dance, and that affair is still going strong today.

We also all know exactly why Pilates is so suited to dancers so it is not my intention to discuss that here today. What I want to talk about is not so much how much Pilates has influenced dance and dancers, but how much dance and dancers are influencing Pilates.

I know many wonderful Pilates teachers who are former dancers, some of who were integral in my first Pilates experiences and my decision to become a Pilates professional. What concerns me are presenters who are turning Pilates into dance choreography. This means that I come across Pilates teachers who have only ever trained with certain presenters so their idea of Pilates is clearly and fundamentally influenced by dance.

So how should the Pilates method be taught to new teachers?

Everybody has their own individual take on our beloved system, me included (see Pilates EVO: From the Heart). I respect everyone’s ideas, and many of those individual “takes” are wonderful and enhance the experience.  But for me the basic principles are sacrosanct and so is a more classical grounding. I only teach Pilates EVO to teachers who are already fully qualified. I see it as an add-on to people’s fundamental knowledge, not the starting point.

I do not think it is good that people do not experience fundamental training and then different types of Pilates, so they can understand that different presenters do sometimes have very different interpretations of the method. I see conventions year after year that feature the same list of presenters, and whilst I am not questioning the value of anyone’s integrity, ability, knowledge or professionalism, in my opinion that can continue to perpetuate the insular beliefs and experiences in some teacher’s minds about what Pilates is.

So what is your opinion about Pilates and dance? Do you agree that there is some truth in what I say, or is your opinion different? I would love to know, so please share.

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and 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. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

 

Pilates services for people living in the UK

Pilates Rehab Chris Hunt

www.pilatesrehab.co.uk

Pilates service for people living in the UK

If you are the type of person who wants to be responsible for your own health and rehabilitation, we can help you. If your business suffers from absenteeism due to injuries and back problems, we can help you.

How can we help you?
We can help you with many things such as whiplash injuries, pre and post pregnancy training and others including the following issues:

• Neck and back injuries
• Shoulder injuries and tendonitis
• Hip injuries and bursitis
• Ankle injuries
• Knee injuries and total knee/hip replacements
• Sciatica
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Fibromyalgia
• Scoliosis
• Repetitive stress injuries

Why do we do what we do?
Because at Pilates Rehab Limited we are passionate about Pilates. We believe that many people can gain great benefit from regular, structured Pilates sessions. Our purpose is to deliver Pilates to everyone in the UK who wants or needs it, in an approachable, friendly and efficient way, whilst achieving the very highest levels of customer care and service.

How do we do it?
We provide a single point of contact for the provision of Pilates throughout the UK via our own network of highly qualified teachers. Pilates Rehab aim to teach you a new system of exercise and body use, so you take more control and responsibility for your rehabilitation, helping you to recover from any specific complaint, and also improving your posture and flexibility. You will also have access to our life-time support package.

Pilates Rehab Ltd can work in conjunction with your GP, Consultant or physio/osteopath, and our teachers all work to our strict service standards and the highest levels of treatment and customer care. Pilates Rehab is a signatory of the BICMA Quality Standards for Rehabilitation Providers whilst operating in accordance with the UKRC Rehabilitation Standards.

What do we do?
Pilates Rehab Ltd offers excellent value for money as our prices are cheaper than other alternatives. Treatment is also more convenient, as sessions are typically carried out at client’s homes or places of work. Our strict Code of Practise ensures timely and relevant reports and information are provided to any referring organisation.

Pilates Rehab Ltd brings together expertise in the handling of injury claims and the rehabilitation process, professional treatment, and the highest standards of customer service, to help our clients achieve an earlier return to best recovery, and reduce the likelihood of a relapse.

We also work with sportsmen and women to help them recover from injury or to improve their performance, and we use other techniques including personal training to help our clients acheive their goals.  We can also give you advice on diet and nutrition.

We are the answer for all your Pilates and wellness needs where ever you are in the UK.

 

Action bias: Are fitness and Pilates systems guilty?

Chris Hunt Pilates BarcelonaAction bias: Are fitness and Pilates systems guilty?

It has been a rainy day in Barcelona, so not much fitness training going on outside but lots of time to read. I read a lot, but I am of the opinion that we cannot read too much. I also like to think alot, and to apply principles of life and science to exercise and fitness.

Action bias is an interesting subject. The more I see “new” systems of exercise and Pilates, the more I think that people are falling into the action bias trap.

So what exactly is action bias? It basically means look active even if it achieves nothing. Move even when not moving makes more sense. Do something, anything, even if it makes things worse. Goalkeepers when facing a penalty suffer from it. Even doctors can be guilty because there is a human tendency to want to do anything but be still and wait.

Maybe we can trace this back to our hunter-gatherer ancestors who quickly learnt that to move was a better way of staying alive than staying put. But in this day and age, even though we value contemplation more, we can still view total inaction as a cardinal sin. But whilst society at large may still prefer rash action to a sensible wait-and-see strategy, how can we apply this to fitness?

In my system Pilates EVO, I make sure that there are regular pauses. I see these as vital, a time to receive, to understand, stillness to gain appreciation and understanding. This is prevalent in Kundalini as well. I like the definition of meditation that concentrates on the gap in between thoughts. Inaction that in my opinion at the right time can bring far more benefits than constant movement. People say to me that Pilates is about movement. But what about awareness? If we are always moving our level of awareness can be negatively effected.

Whilst I cannot see Les Mills introducing stillness into bodyPUMP anytime soon, as a Pilates teacher I see it as an important part of my teaching, and when I am in the gym in between sets I stop and bring my awareness inside my body, especially the body part I was just exercising. When I am training people here in Barcelona even in the total action sports including surfing, mountain biking and snowboarding, stopping and inaction are important parts of the experience and learning process.

I am interested to hear about your opinion on this subject. Do you like to keep people moving or do you have a different take?

I think that Welsh Poet W H Davies had a point in his appropriately entitled poem “Leisure” in 1911 when he said:

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training 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. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

Everything happens for a reason

Chris Hunt Pilates Wellness

Everything happens for a reason

It has been a wet and rainy day here in Barcelona, which is stark contrast to yesterday which was gloriously hot and sunny. How things change, and what a difference a day makes!

When I started this blog, I had an air of enthusiastic nievevity. This was my chance to vent my spleen, to tell whoever wanted to listen exactly what I was thinking and feeling.

All the articles that claim to have the secrets to a successful blog say make it personal, connect with your readers and they will keep coming back. But I also wanted my blog to be a source of information and a place to debate issues that I think need to be debated. So, in keeping with many things in my life, it was getting complicated by the number of things I was trying to achieve at the same time. Andy, a good friend of mine once bought me a book called ” Simplify your Life”. I wish I had read it.

I want to get back to my original intentions and write not only about health and fitness, but also once a week to get off my chest my thoughts and emotions. I have lots of those. Sometimes I put them into the songs I write, sometimes I tell anyone and everyone who will listen, and other times I keep them inside (that is the most dangerous scenario). I once wrote a song I called “I think I thought too much”. Maybe the next song I write should be “I think I talk too much”.

Please remember that what I write here cannot be wrong as much as it cannot be right, because ultimately it’s my opinion, an opinion that may or my not mean anything to you, but to me it means everything.

We live in a world of celebrity, where substance seems to be less important than superficial. That applies to all areas of life I see (including the world of fitness) where appearance and commerciality seem more important to many people than honesty, integrity and character. In Pilates we talk about deep lying muscles and superficial muscles. The superficial is all too easy to see, whereas anything deeper is often hidden or very under developed. There is a tendency to glorify the superficial when we should we looking inside.

If you ask someone about a particular movie, you might get from them their opinion if they have seen it, or a sample of reviews they have read, but usually and ultimately you are getting their opinion. That is all they can give. So many times we will take that opinion and make decisions based upon it. The more people we ask the more opinions we will have to draw on, but still we are gathering subjective information based upon other people’s complex decision making processes which can go back to childhood experiences and include everything else that has happened to them since then. Whether we like it or not, throughout out life, especially when we are children, we are being programmed by our parents, teachers, and the society we live in. Of course the vast majority of that programming is done with the best of intentions. But it is still programming. Some is necessary and very helpful. But some leaves us with the residue of other people’s programmed fears and negative experiences and it can take a lifetime to shake the disease off.

In my life I lived to a program for many years, always knowing deep down that it was not the program for me. But programming can be very strong. Mostly with intention, during the last 10 years of my life I have given up most of the things that were important to me (or at least I thought they were). Some people call it a mid-life crisis. I prefer mid-life enlightenment. It’s an incredibly liberating experience, but also scary, thought provoking and at time panic inducing. But I’m still standing. Repeat after me, “we grow the most when we are outside our comfort zone”. I can confirm this to be true. In fact never has a truer word been spoken. Apart from “don’t pay the ferryman until he gets you to the other side”.

I’ve learnt not to get attached. Silly example, last week my Dr Dre Mixr Beats snapped in half. In the balance of life a very trivial thing, but as anyone who knows me (check out my pictures as well) will know that music is an integral and vital part of my life, and my Beats are the instrument that delivers this life-enhancing nectar to my ears, thus we are inseparable. So whilst I was a little inconvenienced, it was not so much a material heartache, more a musical heartache (Bonnie Tyler or Pepsi and Shirley. I’ll give you that one just incase you hadn’t noticed all the song titles in my words so far. Pay attention now… This shit’s about to get heavy.)

To be “happy” or “enlightened” (as I am buddhist) does not mean you have to throw away all material possessions. It’s perfectly ok to have nice things, expensive things, designer things. The key point here is that you must not become attached to those objects. They must not be the meaning of your life. The same logic can be applied to relationships. Enjoy the things you have in your life, be grateful, but always remember, there’s never a forever thing.

The most important lesson I have learnt through out my life experiences and studying Buddhism and psychology is the old truism that everything happens for a reason. Cliched it might be, but it’s incredibly powerful if you embrace it and really believe it. It gives you the power to take set-backs and even body blows but get up again, trusting that the Universe (or God if you prefer) has a master-plan. Of course even if you don’t believe in a divine roadmap, the truth is there is usually nothing you can do after a setback other than learn the lessons you need to learn, and move forwards and upwards. But if you believe that everything happens for a reason, it opens your heart and mind to new possibilities that in other circumstances you might have missed. Everything that happens to us in life can be seen as a lesson. And if you keep getting the same lessons (“why do I always end up with a bad partner”, “why do my bosses always take advantage of me”, “why does my weight fluctuate so much”, “why is it I never have any money/time/friends”) it’s probably because you aren’t learning your lesson and you are repeating patterns of behaviour that are not getting you what you want. So guess what? You will keep getting the same results until you change your behaviour. That’s not rocket science, so you do not have to be a scientist to understand it.

So why did my Dr Dre’s break? A faulty headband? Me being too heavy handed? A message from the Divine? Maybe. But what it did do was stop me being in a cocoon of music and open my ears on that flight to Barcelona and no surprises, I met a very intesting person to whom I talked.

My last thought for today’s blog. When things go wrong, it is very easy to wallow in self-pity and memories of what we remember as “better times”. Usually we only look back at our past because we do have a clear future. But we can have a clear future if that is what we choose to have.

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. He organises fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona, as well as retreats. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.