Chocolate: Cravings, myths and some facts

Chocolate Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Do you spend your year ploughing through pile after pile of chocolate?  Valentine’s Day chocolate (having previously just finished the Christmas chocolate bonanza), then Easter, and birthdays and dark nights and mother’s/father’s day etc etc. The chocoholic’s calendar is usually very busy.

It will come as no surprise at all that chocolate is the most frequently craved food, with 40% of women and 15% of men claiming chocolate yearnings (Yanovski 2003). My dear Mum used to say that chocolate cravings were caused by the body asking for the “goodness” found only in that magical wrapper. But are chocolate cravings based in science or psychology, or both?

It is complicated. Chocolate comprises a complex medley of over 400 distinct components that gives it that unique taste, texture and aroma. It has properties that enhance our urge for sensory gratification, so simply seeing or smelling it can trigger cravings. Even writing about it is making me want to reach for that Malteasers Easter Egg hidden away as a present for my Niece.

Like drug addictions, food cravings alter potent neurotransmitters that regulate our mood. Cocoa butter changes from solid to liquid at mouth temperature (the melt-in-your-mouth quality), which causes the brain to release a flood of endorphins, the body’s natural pain killers, producing temporary feelings of warmth and euphoria. The analgesic effect of chocolate may be a source of sensory addiction for some.

The sugar in chocolate stimulates serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and provides a sense of calm and well-being. Chocolate may help chase the blues by raising serotonin levels, though the science behind this is disputed.

Chocolate contains psychoactive agents that can change mood. Theobromine, a chemical similar to caffeine, is absorbed quickly, mildly stimulating the nervous system to increase the heart rate and can give a mild energy surge. Chocolate is rich in phenylethylamine (PEA) another stimulant. PEA levels are enhanced in people in love, so eating chocolate may temporarily mimic the love vibe, without the need to pay it compliments or take it out to dinner.

And if that was not enough, recent research suggests that people who eat chocolate regularly tend to be thinner. The findings come from a study of nearly 1,000 US people that looked at diet, calorie intake and body mass index (BMI) – a measure of obesity. It found those who ate chocolate a few times a week were, on average, slimmer than those who ate it occasionally. Even though chocolate is loaded with calories, it contains ingredients that may favour weight loss rather than fat synthesis, scientists believe.

Despite boosting calorie intake, regular chocolate consumption was related to lower BMI in the study. The link remained even when other factors, like how much exercise individuals did, were taken into account. And it appears it is how often you eat chocolate that is important, rather than how much of it you eat. The study found no link with quantity consumed.

According to the researchers, there is only one chance in a hundred that their findings could be explained by chance alone. But the findings only suggest a link – not proof that one factor causes the other. Lead author Dr Beatrice Golomb, from the University of California at San Diego, said: “Our findings appear to add to a body of information suggesting that the composition of calories, not just the number of them, matters for determining their ultimate impact on weight.”

This is not the first time scientists have suggested that chocolate in moderation may be healthy for us. Other studies have claimed chocolate may be good for the heart. Consumption of certain types of chocolate has been linked to some favourable changes in blood pressure, insulin sensitivity and cholesterol level. And chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, does contain antioxidants which can help to mop up harmful free radicals – unstable chemicals that can damage our cells

Dr Golomb and her team believe that antioxidant compounds, called catechins, can improve lean muscle mass and reduce weight – at least studies in rodents would suggest this might be so. Mice fed for 15 days with epicatechin (present in dark chocolate) had improved exercise performance and observable changes to their muscle composition. They say clinical trials are now needed in humans to see if this is the case. There will no doubt be a long queue of willing human guinea pigs willing to risk their health by eating chocolate in the name of science.

But there are still lots of unanswered questions. So while there’s no harm in allowing yourself chocolate now and again, eating too much might be harmful because it often contains a lot of sugar and fat. So if you are looking to change your diet, you are likely to benefit most from eating more fresh fruits and vegetables.

OK, now where did I hide that Easter Egg….

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 can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays 50% of any money 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 clothes: Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Hudgens

Miley and Vanessa Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com

After a week of serious blog posts, I have that Friday Feeling again….

Celebrity posts always get a huge reaction in my blogs as clearly some people feel strongly that celebrities do not warrant any web-space, so this is my compromise. Friday is now my day for celebrity Pilates posts. #pilatescelebfriday.

I have explained before, 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 with me, it’s my opinion that if someone starts Pilates because their friend, neighbour, sporting hero or favourite celebrity does Pilates, then why not? It’s our job as teachers to use that enthusiasm people have and turn it into reality.

I’ve had all the comments about glamorising Pilates, about how privileged celebrities are, about creating false hope, about living on a different planet from “real life”. Whilst I 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 way to seriously in an insular way. All I am doing is raising the awareness of Pilates. Plain and simple. And if you do not or can not understand that, then I am sorry for wasting your time and please do not read my blog on a Friday! :)

Today I want to talk about the oh-so important topic of what to wear for a Pilates session if you are a celebrity.

For this in-depth scientific study in the human psyche, I’m using Miley Cyrus and Vanessa Hudgens, two very fine examples of Pilates addicts and two people who are not shy of the camera and some publicity. Both are regularly snapped leaving their Pilates classes in a range of attire that the celebrity websites just love to drool over and retail outlets count the benefits.

So my question today is what do you like to wear for your Pilates teaching or class? Do you have a favourite style, designer, manufacturer, colour? Even better, please post a picture of you in your favourite Pilates dress-code with the hashtag #pilatesfinery.

The days of “wear something loose-fitting” seem to be over so today let’s move with the times and get our style juices flowing!

Have a great Friday!

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 can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays 50% of any money 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 EVO: From the heart

The Pilates EVO logo is based on the Arcane Wheel
The Pilates EVO logo is based on the Arcane Wheel

www.pilatesevo.com

When we create something ourselves, it can be a difficult step to share our creation with the world. What will people think? Will they like it? Will they criticize or praise? Will it be a success? I have always followed the words of Aristotle, who famously said, “there is only one way to avoid criticism: do nothing, say nothing and be nothing”.

When I was young, I suffered from a lot of back pain. I was born with a spine defect and that led to poor posture which made my problem worse. Hours spent playing sports and practising the piano further added to my problems. I tried many things to help, but Pilates was the thing that really changed my life. It enabled me to live a full life, to run marathons, to snowboard, surf, play golf and never think twice about my back before trying something new. From that day forward, I had a passionate belief that Pilates could help many people improve their quality of life.

In the early days, whilst still practising and studying Pilates I was worked in the City of London as an Insurance Manager. I continue to this day working as a Senior Business Consultant so my life has an excellent balance.

I travelled the world teaching Piates and learning (we never stop learning, and anyone who says any different is very sadly mistaken). As well as Pilates, I was interested in kundalini and other methods of functional training. I also developed a deep love of meditation which took me to the Buddhist Temples of Thailand. Whilst there, I also discovered and studied meridians, becoming qualified in Thai Massage. It was not just the body that interested me. I had always been interested in psychology, in what I saw as “total fitness”. I studied Buddhist psychology and other modern concepts such as Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP).

As I travelled teaching Pilates, within my subconscious there was a seed that was growing, an idea that I could use all my knowledge to create a different type of Pilates that reflected the ancient and modern. I am classically trained, and it pains me to see some of the new systems that claim to be “Pilates” when they are clearly nothing of the sort. So I took my time to think about how my new system could stay true to the principles of Pilates, to my principles, but how I could add to the experience my own knowledge, character and ideas.

It was important for to me to create a system from my heart, a system where everything has meaning and purpose. In my opinion there are too many systems and teachers who teach not from their heart, but from their bank balance. To quote Einstein, “Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty.”

From this melting pot evolved my system, and whilst meditating it became obvious to me that I should call it Pilates EVO©, as EVO is an English abbreviation of evolution.

I believe that BLOGS should be as short (and hopefully sweet) as possible, so what in as few words as possible is my system about?

During my travels I was disappointed to see that many people treated people Pilates as purely a physical system. So one of my main aims was that Pilates EVO© expands the mind and body element of Pilates by incorporating Neuro-Linguistic Programming, Mindfulness Meditation techniques and mantras to maximise the psychological and physical benefits, making clients emotionally, mentally and spiritually fitter whilst still improving motor fitness such as agility, balance, speed, co-ordination, reaction time and power.

Pilates EVO© is still predominantly Pilates, but it also draws on the thousands of years of teachings from Kundalini yoga and meridian stretches to further increase muscular strength, endurance and flexibility, and help prevent injury and improve performance for life and sport.

Pilates EVO© has a constant flow of movement with combinations of moves called Rites created using the sacred numbers 3, 7 and 21 linked by transitional movements. The sequences have different levels progressing muscular fitness using repetitions, range of motion, rate and resistance. This creates a system that will remain challenging to a wide range of training goals from elite athletes, people seeking everyday fitness, to clients rehabilitating following accident or injury. Whilst at its lowest levels Pilates EVO© is appropriate for beginners to Pilates, the beauty of the system means that at higher levels it can provide even the most experienced and advanced athletes with a very challenging work-out.

Music has always been a massive part of my life. I am a classically trained pianist and I play guitar, sing and write songs. I wanted every detail of EVO to maximise the total experience, so it has its own unique uplifting soundtracks mixed in London designed to enable clients to really connect with how their body is moving and working, giving a deep and rewarding experience.

It was very important to me to ensure that the teachers I trained to deliver Pilates EVO© understood all of the theory, spirituality and science behind the system. Pilates EVO© can be practised as a purely physical system , but by doing so the student is missing out on the deeper potential of the system.  I did not want the training to be just another weekend studying choreography and creating robots. Every EVO© teacher has to feel the system in their heart, if not I will not pass them. They must understand where the system comes from, otherwise they could not possibly be able to teach it properly. Pilates EVO© offers an extensive technical, in-depth anatomical teacher training program that includes Foundation and Advanced level qualifications, and seven specialist modules (including EVO Tactility© that teaches appropriate contact and cueing, EVO Forever Young© for the over 60’s and EVO Pregnancy©) enabling teachers to become experts in many areas.

I accept Pilates teachers from all schools of Pilates into my training program, but everyone who comes to the education must have a formal recognisable Pilates qualification. Part of the educations are aimed at giving teachers the skills and knowledge to enable them to become better teachers; not just better Pilates EVO© teachers, but in anything they teach. The knowledge they gain can also be used in everyday life in relationships with friends, partners and family.

I do not see Pilates EVO© as something I own or something I must have absolute control over. Dictatorships rarely last long. I wanted the system to be flexible so another aspect of Pilates EVO© is that at Advanced Level, teachers are empowered to create their own combinations of moves, so of which I use at future educations. To me this creates an ever evolving system that every qualified teacher can enhance with their own direction and imagination. Pilates EVO© is a community with all members contributing with ideas and energy.

Of course Pilates EVO© will not be for everyone. I expect and even welcome the negative comments because every positive value has its price in negative terms. I see negativity as an opportunity for me to explain more. I am happy that the positive comments have far outweighed the negative, and that the vast majority of people can see what it is I am trying to achieve and that I am passionate about it. So even if they do not fully agree with my methods, they respect my reasons for trying.

I feel blessed that Pilates EVO© is being taught throughout Europe and Russia and I now have Pilates EVO© teachers in over 12 countries. Its amazing growth has only been limited by the fact that I insist on training each and every potential EVO teacher personally, but that will never change.

Life is always moving forward, always changing, always evolving. When we awaken to the fact that we cannot stop or control change, that we should embrace change, then we are able to move forward as well. From this philosophy I created Pilates EVO©.

We should never forget our past. It built the foundation that our present so depends. But the past is not an excuse to stay still and not plan for a different future.

If you would like more details about the system, about how to become a Pilates EVO© teacher, about hosting an education or masterclass, or you just want to chat, then please contact me via Facebook or email the team on evolve@pilatesevo.com.

Chris is an international Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©.  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.

 

 

Barcelona Graffiti: Robin Williams

Barcelona Graffiti Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Another amazing example of Barcelona Street Art. There are some very talented people around this city. So please by all the comments on my article from Monday about mental illness. There are some very  compassionate  people in this world.

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 can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays 50% of any money 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.

 

La Fiesta de Gracia, Barcelona

Fiesta de Gracia 2014 Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com

This is a wonderful annual event in Barcelona. The idea is that each  street competes with each other to have the best decorated street. Each street chooses a theme, this year we had everything from Amazonia complete with rain forest, to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory with a chocolate fountain!

There is always lots to eat and drink, and lots of things to buy, but essentially this is a free event which makes it even cooler.

The streets were packed with a wonderful atmosphere, so a very nice way to spend a Sunday evening.

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 can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris pays 50% of any money 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: Mental Illness, Robin Williams and Ignorance

Robin Williams Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com

If you read my blog regularly, you will know that I feel very passionate about mental illness and its link with physical fitness. If this topic interests you, then you can read Let’s talk about depression: Is it Real?, Depression: Positive Thinking, and Exercise is only one part of Total Fitness.

As I said in a previous blog, “If you know someone who is suffering from depression, don’t judge or offer them advice. They don’t need that and it doesn’t help. They need your understanding and support. Question is, can you give them only that?”

My father died whilst suffering from Alzheimer’s. “Dementia: I lost my father, don’t lose yours” was the hardest post I have ever written. So it’s with interest that I have been watching the media following the tragic death of Robin Williams.

The increasing number of public figures who are having to apologise for comments they made in the past few days clearly shows the absolute and total ignorance some people have when it comes to depression. There is no excuse, no excuse to make such stupid comments, especially when you are in a position where some misguided people may actually listen to you and take your words for the truth.

Rock star Gene Simmons has apologised about his “spur of the moment” remarks about people who suffer from depression. The Kiss singer and bassist sparked outrage after saying he is “the guy who says ‘Jump'” to those who are suicidal. He is quoted as also saying that his advice was that if you are depressed you should “kill yourself”.

Robin Williams’ daughter Zelda has quit Twitter following the abuse she got from followers. People were telling her that her Dad was selfish and a coward to kill himself. Fox News TV anchor Shepard Smith sparked criticism after also suggesting the actor was a “coward” to kill himself. Meanwhile TalkSport in the UK has apologised after its radio presenter Alan Brazil said he had “no sympathy” for suicide.

All of these people have now apologised of course, no doubt worried about their ratings and future job prospects, but I have little doubt that their first words were the true way they feel about depression. And that worries and scares me in equal measures.

Make no mistake, anyone who thinks that Robin Williams is a coward or that he is selfish, or that suicidal people should “jump”, have a serious problem. These people should go educate themselves about depression and think before they make totally ignorant statements. I am serious. If there is even 10% of your mind that when reading this is thinking “they should pull themselves together” then please read my blog articles above and then go educate yourself because you are misinformed.

In my blog today I want to ask you to share your opinions and experience with clients who suffer from depression. Many distinguished Pilates teachers say that Pilates can help people suffering from depression. Pilates without doubt helps to relax the mind and energise the body, gives body awareness, can improve self-image and has meditative qualities if taught in the correct way. I found meditation after my own personal experience with depression, and this is why I travelled to Bangkok to study meditation in a Buddhist monastery. This is also why in my Pilates system Pilates EVO, I integrated mindfulness meditation. When I am travelling the world to train new Pilates EVO teachers, this is one of my favourite parts of the education because most teachers have little or no experience of meditation, and at first some find the whole concept very difficult to grasp.

Meditation is becoming more and more acceptable and proven in Western medicine as a treatment for depression. There are many books on the market, but one of my favourites is The Mindful Way Through Depression. Click on the picture below to read more.

Thank you Robin Williams for all the joy you bought into this world. You will be missed. I hope that your torment will continue to bring the debate about depression to a wider audience, and I hope that more and more people will gain a greater understanding.

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 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.

 

 

 

 

 

Barcelona in the rain

Wet Barcelona Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Rain in Barcelona in August?? Very unusual but not so bad as the City will have a wash and a freshen up before the hot sun returns.

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 pays 50% of any money made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

 

 

Denise Richards: Celebrity Pilates for the over 40’s

Denise Richards Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Celebrity posts always get a huge reaction in my blogs. Clearly some people feel strongly that celebrities do not warrant any web-space, so this is my compromise. Friday is now my day for celebrity Pilates posts. #pilatescelebfriday.

I have explained before, 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 with me, it’s my opinion that if someone starts Pilates because their friend, neighbour, sporting hero or favourite celebrity does Pilates, then why not? It’s our job as teachers to use that enthusiasm people have and turn it into reality.

I’ve had all the comments about glamorising Pilates, about how privileged celebrities are, about creating false hope, about living on a different planet from “real life”. Whilst I 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 way to seriously in an insular way. All I am doing is raising the awareness of Pilates. Plain and simple. And if you do not or can not understand that, then I am sorry for wasting your time and please do not read my blog on a Friday! :)

This week, Denise Richards, the 43-year-old actress, showed off her figure whilst shopping in Beverly Hills. The mother-of-three looked busy as she padded down the street with her hands full with shopping bags on Monday.

Denise is a devout Pilates practitioner, and the reports of her clearly felt that her “fitness regimen had been paying off, as her toned arms and pins were put on full display”.

She was with her daughters, who were fathered by ex-husband Charlie Sheen.

I think it is useful that people realise Pilates brings benefits to people of all ages. Whilst Denise probably falls into the demographic that a lot of people associate with Pilates, as teachers we have seen the benefits that Pilates can bring to all ages from children to pensioners.

So that was celebrity Friday. Thank you Denise for your dedication to Pilates.

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 pays 50% of any money made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

 

Barcelona Streetart/graffiti: Zebras

Barcelona Streetart Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com

If you read my blog regularly (and if you do not then why not?!?! ha ha), you will know that I love the street-art and graffiti around the streets of Barcelona.

This example I saw outside Parc Guell. Apart from being a wonderful picture of running Zebras, I love the idea that the zebras are running away from the motorcycles!

If you have any examples of street-art from your city then please share them.

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 pays 50% of any money made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

 

 

 

Pilates for Golf


Chris Hunt Pilates for Golf

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Wednesday is sport day. Today I want to talk about Pilates for golf.

There are a growing number of “Pilates for golf” type books and DVDs on the market. As a keen golfer (I have never had the time to get my handicap below 18 though), I must say that many of these publications strike me as people jumping on the bandwagon rather than a serious attempt to improve a golfer’s performance. Many are written by people who have clearly never swung a golf club, and others are so general that they could be a book to improve golf/running/tennis/most other sports.

But the biggest criticism I have is that to actually be useful to golfers, any such material must be written in a way that actually engages club golfers. The average club golfer may have never exercised. Most I work with have never been to a gym or attended an exercise session. I joke that most golfer’s warm-up is a bacon sandwich, and cool-down is a pint of lager! Whilst golf is increasingly a younger person’s game and it is crossing the gender barrier, the basic fact remains that it is still dominated at club level by middle-aged and retired men. As Pilates teachers, I am sure we all know that this demographic is possible the hardest one to get engaged in Pilates!

Those of you who have read my blog before will know that it is a crusade of mine to get more men doing Pilates (for example see “You do Pilates, are you gay?” and “Men do Pilates”) and the fact remains that that nearly all golfers I have ever met would see a big improvement in their game if they did Pilates. So why is this?

I have worked with many golf Pro’s as by working together on technique and body function, we can get the best results. Whilst a golf pro can say to a golfer “swing this way”, many golfer’s cannot swing the way they should because their body can’t physically do it. By doing Pilates, a golfer can make corrections to their body; strengthen the core, increase flexibility, build stability in the pelvis and shoulder girdles, and balance both sides of the body, all of which will allow the golfer to hit the ball farther, straighter and more accurately. But these are just some of the benefits that Pilates can have.

The most successful way for a golfer to reduce their handicap and improve consistency is not to spend hundreds of pounds on new clubs. It is the golfer that plays the game, and not his equipment. As long as the clubs are capable, the biggest results can be achieved by changing the qualities of the golfer. It is for this reason that Pilates has been used by professional golfers such as Tiger Woods for many years.

Why is Pilates so good for golf? I produced a document for the World Golf Federation in which I tried to simply explain the benefits using the most common questions that I have been asked throughout the years by club golfers. To view this document please click the link below.

Pilates for Golf

I hope that this will help many club golfers to understand exactly why they should be doing regular Pilates, not just from a book or DVD, but from their local Pilates teacher! You can also click on www.sportcorestrength.com to see how Pilates can help other sportsmen and women.

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.