Enjoying dinner in Athens, and it always makes me smile when people scoff at the prospect of eating a flower. It’s so ironic when people are happy to put all sorts of processed crap in their mouth but the thought of a little natural flower freaks them out. 😂😂
Are you a Pilates grunter?
In a week dominated by “that” Puppy Pilates video (has the world really gone that mad?) I noticed another news story about celeb Kate Hudson and the fact that she isn’t afraid to grunt whilst doing Pilates.
Kate is well-known for being a lover of Pilates, and the story got me thinking about the effects of grunting during exertion. Am I sure that you have experienced this in Pilates classes and we are all familiar with grunts on the tennis court. So is there any scientific evidence?
Of course there is! Researchers in past studies have looked at the effects of making noise during workouts, with two of the most notable cases being a 2014 study (The Effects of “Grunting” on Serve and Forehand Velocities in Collegiate Tennis Players: O’Connell, Dennis G.; Hinman, Martha R.; Hearne, Kevin F.; Michael, Zach S.; Nixon, Sam L.) examining tennis players and a 2015 study (Effect of Vocalization on Maximal Effort Dynamic Muscle Performance: Sinclair Smith and Justin Smith) dealing with jumping distances. In both cases, results showed that grunts and groans boosted athletes’ physical performance.
“Most investigators believe that the deep breath with the momentary breath hold actually helps to stabilize the spine during heavy efforts,” Dennis G. O’Connell, PhD, lead researcher of the tennis study explained. The sound-emitting portion of the breath cycle comes from exhaling, and the whole process contributes to a controlled breathing pattern. “This serves to protect the athlete from injury, and subsequently provides a stable base of support for a powerful effort.”
From a scientific standpoint, the grunting noise is made as we exhale against a closed, or partially closed, vocal fold. The vocal folds, or vocal cords, refer to the two bands of muscle tissue that open into the windpipe. The vocal folds are open and relaxed when we breathe in, sometimes producing a rushing noise. But when the vocal folds close as we exhale you might going to hear some turbulence. Some experts say that we get an extra Ooomph by grunting that is probably related to a communication signal from the part of the brain that controls breathing to the part that controls muscle function. When we forcefully push air out, the brain sends information down to the muscles, which either excites muscle groups or decreases inhibition — or both. The result might be enhanced performance.
Because making noises can be so beneficial, some trainers encourage it during their sessions with clients. I have also heard it said that making noise helps students channel their frustration or pain in a helpful way and remain focused.
Of course on the flip side is that particularly noisy clients can be a big distraction for other people trying to focus in a Pilates class.
Personally, I do not encourage grunting to the PilatesEVO students and trainers here in Barcelona as for Pilates I do not think it is appropriate, necessary or conducive for the correct form. So are you a Pilates grunter? What is your experience and opinion? Are you a Pilates grunter? Do you encourage or discourage grunting, or do you not mention it at all? Have you had a particularly noisy client and if so, how did you deal with the situation? Please let me know by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So this week we learned that Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez had a Pilates session together!! Wow, big news! But wait…. Before we dismiss this as throw-away celebrity nonsense, there are actually some good stories here. So what is Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez teach lessons about Hot Pilates all about?
Firstly, any time that Pilates makes the headlines is a good thing because raising public awareness is something that our industry always needs, even from the transient realms of pop stardom.
Secondly, for me a man doing Pilates and getting headlines is another step forward in the battle to show men everywhere that Pilates is for us too.
Thirdly I think it helps for the world to see that Pilates is for healthy, young people, and not only to be done after referral from their GP.
And lastly, I have always loved the idea of couples doing Pilates together. To share activities with your significant other (obviously we do not know if Justin and Selena are back together and let’s be honest, we really do not care that much….) is in my opinion something that is very healthy for any relationship.
So, from celebrity headlines we can take far more positives that you probably thought possible when you first saw this blog!
The title of this article is Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez teach lessons about Hot Pilates. So how is that possible? Well, the other thing worthy of note here is that the couple were reportedly doing Hot Pilates. This is a topic that I think needs some further thought. Unlike some, I am not against all new adaptations of our beloved Pilates system per se. The world is always changing, and to stay still is never such a good idea. If I can see that a new idea brings something new and beneficial without compromising on the principles and qualities that we all know and love, then I am open to try it.
We have all heard of Hot Yoga, and many of us have had the pleasure of using a studio after a hot yoga session and having to open windows to disperse the heat and the smell. Pilates seems to be following with more and more hot classes springing up, but is there any proven benefit in exercising in high temperatures that make the body sweat? We have moved on from running in bin bags, but is hot exercise just the same but trendy because they do it in Hollywood?
Having looked at recent research, I have to say that it does not look good for exercising in heat. Some experts say that it only serves to raise heart rate and blood pressure which for some people will be a lethal cocktail. A study in 2013 conducted by the University of Wisconsin concluded that the effort required to do a Bikram-style yoga class was all but identical to that required to do a normal yoga class (the exercise intensity was on average around 56 to 57% of maximal heart rate, which would classify both as “light exercise not dissimilar to a light walk). Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise said that the benefits of heat are largely perceptual. “People think that the degree of sweat is the quality of the workout, but that is not the reality. It does not correlate to burning calories”.
So if it does not burn more calories then what exactly does it do? There is some anecdotal evidence that saunas have health and stress-relief benefits and can help in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (click to read my article about Pilates and RA). But the importance of sweating can be overplayed. After all it is the body’s heat control mechanism, a vital means of keeping the body cool. It’s the evaporation of sweat that actually cools the body, and as we will all know from our gym experience, no two people sweat the same, but this is not an indication of their fitness or health. There is also no evidence that sweat purifies the body. Sweat comprises mainly water with some electrolytes. It’s the liver and kidneys that filter out the toxins, not the sweat glands. Research by the University of California found sweating eliminates less than 1% of toxic metals expelled by the body, so clearly sweating is by no means the most important. It’s safe to conclude that sweat is just that, sweat, and nothing else.
From the traditional side of the argument, I know many yoga masters who have a great dislike of hot yoga. They say it drains your adrenals and kidneys. This is one of three subtle energies called ‘Ojas’. In Chinese medicine it is called your ‘Jing’ energy. You are born with this energy, and when you burn it up it is very difficult to get it back. When you drain it you get more paranoia, impaired energy level and quality. Actual Yoga is said to build this energy very slowly over years and years.
They also argue that doing asanas in extreme heat mean that muscles, which would in normal temperatures protect the joint from overextending, become atrophied. The extreme heat makes the muscles flaccid and limp, and then the movement of the exercises hyperextend the joint beyond its normal range of motion. This stretches the tendons and ligaments, instead of lengthening the muscle. This creates instability and weakness in the joint. As a result the muscles have to over overcompensate to do the job that the tendons and ligaments would normally do. The body becomes bendy, but not truly open and flexible and strong. It is good to practice in a warm room, a reasonable temperature of up to about 30 degrees, but to practice yoga is temperatures up to 40 degrees they argue is harmful, and absurd.
When doing Yoga asanas the breath is essentially the thread that ties all the elements together. In the ancient text, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, it is said, ‘the mind is the king of the body, and the breath is the king of the mind.’ So the breath is the master that controls everything – the body and the mind. This works as the nerves that run through the central nervous system are connected to the top of the nose, this point in Yoga is known as ‘trikut́i’. When you learn through your regular practice how to control the breath through the nose, the vital air will stimulate the nervous system so that it slows the rhythmic pulsation of the nerves and then the mind and the body will be at peace and calm. However, if you are doing postures in 40 degrees heat, then the density and atmosphere of the environment will make the breathing techniques used in Yoga asanas impossible. It is argued that the heated, humid and smelly atmosphere is a terrible environment to be in period, let alone do Yoga asanas in.
Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez teach lessons about Hot Pilates, which side of the argument are you on? Do you have personal experience of hot Pilates or yoga? Justin or Selena? Are hot classes just another way to get people into studios? Does it really matter as long as people are exercising? I’d love to hear your opinions.
In my Pilates EVO teacher training I tell my students that they must never switch off from their intuition and be influenced by marketing ploys. I tell them to listen to their body. Your nervous system and your body are telling you all you need to know if you just take the time to listen. You’ll feel the truth there.
What is PilatesEVO?
Since its birth, the Pilates method has been modified and arguably made more effective by some distinguished presenters, but diluted and the basic principles largely ignored by less scrupulous teachers. Also, there are so many commercially orientated systems on the market today that tell teachers exactly what to do and when to do it, because they do not trust them to think for themselves. Welcome to a breath of fresh air; welcome to the world of PilatesEVO©.
So what is PilatesEVO©? Firstly, EVO is an abbreviation of evolution. It is like no other Pilates system. Developed by Chris Hunt in London and the PilatesEVO© School in Barcelona, it takes Pilates in a new, deeper and exciting direction by:
- Incorporating more functional training methods and movement patterns
- Using NLP techniques to engage clients and improve teaching methods
- Using kundalini movements for flow
- Incorporating meridian lines
- Expanding the mind and body connection using mindfulness meditation to maximise the psychological and physical benefits, improving concentration and making clients emotionally, mentally and spiritually fitter
- Using sequences of movements made up from sacred numbers
- Using a unique soundtrack mixed in London
Despite these enhancements, PilatesEVO© still stays true to traditional Pilates principles (it is worth remembering that the accepted Principles of Pilates were not created by Joseph Pilates, but were introduced long after his death).
PilatesEVO© is a complete system in itself, but crucially all the ideas it teaches can also be used to enhance the teaching of any other Pilates method and any other Pilates class. The training includes how to deliver a Pilates class by using NLP nethods to make better teachers who understand their clients more. Connecting with clients on the right levels and in the right ways not only helps to retain them, but it will also ensure that their progress far exceeds training where there is no such connection.
PilatesEVO© is the only system in the world that allows its teachers to create their own exercise combinations, that if approved by Chris Hunt can then be introduced to the system worldwide. That is a massive change when compared to all other systems which basically tell the teachers exactly what to do and say. PilatesEVO© does not just tell its teachers what to do and when to do it as if they were robots; it actively encourages them to bring their own personality and ideas to the system and to thus create their own Universe. What other systems allows such freedom? What other systems have such trust in their teachers?
Pilates EVO© is 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. The mind and body are inextricably linked; we cannot progress one without the other. PilatesEVO© is more than an exercise system, it is a way of life, a way to maximise potential physically, mentally and emotionally.
What is PilatesEVO? For more information on the PilatesEVO© School in Barcelona, online courses and our educations around the world, please click on www.pilatesevo.com.
New Year Resolutions: Don’t Fail this year
On January 1st, millions of people began the annual ritual of New Year’s Resolutions. Memberships at health clubs and diet programs soar, whilst sales of chocolate and alcohol decline. People take a long, hard look at their spending habits as they sort through the January bills.
Here in Barcelona, the number of people booking onto my wellness and detox retreats rocket, as do bookings for my fitness and sport holidays. Also, people are signing up to my PilatesEVO online training with excited enthusiasm.
Now we a few days into the New Year and despite all this good intention, most people (hopefully not my clients of course!) will fail at their resolutions. Come February, most New Year’s resolutions will be a dim memory. How can such apparently strong determination fizzle out so quickly? What can we do to increase the likelihood that our desire for change will translate into permanent positive change?
New Year Resolutions: Don’t Fail this year
Let’s first examine the psychology of the New Year’s Resolution. During the month of December people tend to overindulge in eating, drinking, spending money and neglecting exercise. Rather than moderate these behaviours, we promise ourselves that after the holiday season is over, we will definitely take control. In the meantime, we give ourselves permission to overindulge without guilt. Our resolve is at its peak when we feel full, drunk, or broke. It’s easy to think about going on a diet as we groan from a bloating holiday meal. It’s no problem to plan to quit smoking when we’ve just had a cigarette and replenished our nicotine level. At this point we feel confident about our New Year’s resolutions because we have not yet confronted any prolonged physical deprivation or discomfort.
In early January, we are often so sick of rich food and drinks, and feeling so sluggish from lack of vigorous physical activity that it’s not difficult to abstain from overindulgence. In fact, some people look forward to more structure and discipline in their lives. However, a few weeks into the new discipline, our appetites have returned, and we start to feel deprived. It is at this point that we are most at risk for reverting back to old behaviours.
Soon we start rationalizing that this is not a good time of year, what with cold weather and our numerous obligations. When spring comes, we’ll really get into shape. Thus, we make another promise to ourselves, and, now free of guilt, put off habit change for another few months. Chances are that when spring arrives, we will have another temporary surge of motivation, only to abandon it within a few weeks.
So why do people abandon their resolutions? One reason is that we become discouraged when results don’t come quickly enough, or when we find that we are not necessarily happier because of them. Behavioural change requires sustained effort and commitment. It is also typically accompanied by physical discomfort. For example, reducing food, alcohol or nicotine intake from a level to which you have become accustomed, results in cravings. Forcing yourself to get off your cosy chair to exercise is often difficult when you’re tired. And of course, it’s easy to procrastinate until tomorrow, so that you can rationalise not disciplining yourself today.
Therefore, if you are going to try to keep your New Year’s resolutions this year, be sure you are ready for the challenge. My experience has shown me time and time again that it possible if you know how. Here are some tips to maximize your success that I use at the PilatesEVO School and at my retreats in Barcelona and also in my online training for clients. My experience is that they really work:
1. Examine your motivation for change
Are you just feeling full and bloated at this moment? Do you have a hangover from last night? Did your last cigarette give you have a hacking cough? Or is there a more enduring reason for your desire to change? If you can’t think of a better reason than the fact that you’re uncomfortable at this moment, then you’re better off not making promises to yourself that you probably won’t keep. However, if you are realistic and accept the responsibility of discipline required for change, your motivation will be sustained long after the discomfort from over-indulgence has passed.
2. Set realistic goals
Habits and behaviours that are changed gradually have a greater chance of success.
3. Focus on the behavioural change more than on the goal
For example, if you decide to control your eating, your goal for the day is not to lose a specific number of pounds, but to stick to your program. Such focus on your behaviour will help you feel in control of your life. You will gain satisfaction from making sensible choices several times throughout the day.
4. Learn to redefine physical sensations of discomfort
Whenever we restrict ourselves, we have both physical and mental reactions. For example, a smoker feels bodily sensations when his nicotine level drops. However, he has a choice as to how he interprets these symptoms. He can define them as extremely unpleasant, or alternatively he can interpret them as his body cleansing itself of the drug.
5. Make tasks non-negotiable
People who are most successful at implementing such changes are those who make their tasks non-negotiable. For example, if you debate with yourself at 5:30 a.m. whether you feel like getting up to exercise, you will probably opt for staying in bed for another half hour. But if getting up for exercise is no more negotiable than getting up for work, then you’ll do it regardless of how you feel about it. The same goes for organising your closet or taking charge of your finances. One can almost always find an excuse not to do these things. However, if you make a non-negotiable decision that’s based on a sound logical reason rather than on how you feel at the moment, you will be successful.
6. Allow for imperfection.
No one is exactly on target all the time. In fact you should expect to falter every now and then. If you give in to temptation, do not use this as an excuse to abandon the whole program. Learn from your mistake and move on.
7. Do it now.
If you’re waiting for a more convenient time to begin behavioural change, it won’t happen. It’s almost never convenient to change ingrained habits. Now is just as convenient as any time.
I hope in this blog New Year Resolutions: Don’t Fail this year I have give you some (low fat) food for thought! I could say good luck, but we all know that it has very little to do with luck. It has everything to do with commitment and planning. If you want some help with that then contact me about online support and training, and also my retreats in Barcelona and Ibiza. I am very happy to give free advice because I know how hard it can be to make a lasting change. But everything is possible. How much do you want it?
Chris Hunt is an international consultant and Pilates/functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, a revolutionary system that uses NLP, mindfulness, meridains and traditional Pilates and kundalini to create a deep practise. He is also the creator of bodyFUNC©, educations that teach how to incorporate old and new practises into any fitness training regime to increase results. He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. Based at the PilatesEVO School in Barcelona, he organises Pilates events, retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona or online, please click on PilatesEVO or Barcelona Bienestar. You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.
Meditation helps lower back pain
Meditaiton helps lower back pain: this is a heading that some will find surprising, but to some of us it is absolutely no surprise at all.
Pain management is a complex issue that varies from person to person; no two people experience pain the same way. But a recent study suggests that training the brain to respond differently to pain signals may be an effective pain relief tool.
Researchers examined mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and compared it to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) which is a typical care for back pain. 342 patients in the US trial aged between 20 and 70 were divided into three groups. The scientists from the Group Health Research Institute in Washington found that MBSR led to “meaningful improvements” in patient’s pain.
After six months, 61% of patients who received MBSR and 58% who had CBT showed improvements in their functional limitations, compared to 44% who only had usual care including pysiotherapy. Interestingly, the improvements in the MBSR group persisted a year later.
The study concluded something that we have all known for a long time, and one of the main reasons that I created my system PilatesEVO several years ago; that the mind and body are intimately intertwined, and this includes how we sense and respond to pain.
These findings are totally inline with my experience as a Pilates teacher, and this is why I introduced Mindfulness Meditation into my system, PilatesEVO. I am convinced that teaching mindfulness incorporated with traditional Pilates methods give me results that far exceed the results I got from teaching Pilates in the more traditional way.
A minority of one-dimensional people critisize me for including mindfulness in PilatesEVO, saying that Joseph Pilates did not include meditation in this original system. My answer is that science is moving forwards, and to ignore new evidence is ignorant and does a disservice to our clients, the people we are trying to help. I respect the principles of Pilates (although these were only classified after Joseph’s death) but I will do all I can to give my rehabilitation clients the best possible chance of making a full recovery. It has been my opinion for many years even before I created PilatesEVO that mindfulness meditation sits perfectly within a Pilates environment and new research such as this reinforces my opinion. And I know that my PilatesEVO clients and teachers agree too.
If you want to learn more about mindfulness meditation and PilatesEVO then please contact me by emailing email@example.com.
Let’s keep an open mind, and let’s keep learning.
Chris Hunt is a Business Consultant and Pilates/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, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises Pilates events, mind and body retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris Hunt, 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 Hunt 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.
The next PilatesEVO educations are in:
Sao Paulo, Brazil May 2016
Barcelona, Spain July 2016
Miami, USA September 2016
Brighton, UK October 2016
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org
What is a Detox?
So what is a detox, and why it is incredibly important to your body?
The word Detox is just short for detoxification. DETOXification is the body’s natural, ongoing process of neutralizing or eliminating toxins from the body. If so, what are toxins? Toxins are anything that can potentially harm body tissue, including waste products that result from normal cell activity, such as ammonia, lactic acid and homocysteine, and human-made toxins that we are exposed to in our environment, food, and water. Normally, our bodies are designed to be able to get rid of these toxins naturally. The body itself performs detoxification daily via the liver, intestines, kidneys, lungs, skin, blood and lymphatic system. All these systems work together to ensure that toxins are transformed chemically to less harmful compounds and excreted from the body. The lungs excrete toxic gases from the blood and gets fresh oxygen from the air. Heavy metals are excreted via sweat and urine while solid waste and other toxins are eliminated via the faeces.
But our bodies can become just overloaded.
If you are not living under a glass dome where all the microbes are killed, where you breathe pure pine-forest-like-oxygen and eat only organically grown raw vegetables and fruits and drink only spring water, then most likely that your body is full of all kinds of toxins. So that will be all of us then! Simply because many of the chemicals we ingest daily through food, water, and air can become deposited in fat cells in our bodies. Toxins include pesticides, antibiotics and hormones in food, chemicals from food packaging, household cleaners, detergents, food additives, heavy metals, pollution, drugs, and cigarette smoke. We are getting these toxins into our bodies on an everyday basis, and some of those things on this list we cannot easily avoid.
Our lives become very hectic at times and it is hard to lead a healthy way of life on an everyday basis. Diets that are high in saturated fat can lead to fat build up in the arteries. Cholesterol, Xenobiotics and inorganic chemicals can build up on the internal organs, affecting their ability to detoxify. After several years of exposure to chemicals, the body can no longer efficiently eliminate these toxic substances inside the body and toxins get re-circulated into the bloodstream which causes more damage in the body. The gastrointestinal tract can have ulcerations, imbalance in the acidity, growth of tumours and polyps. We choose the easier ways and grab a hamburger or sandwich when we would better make a salad. As a result of normal metabolic function our bodies produce and accumulate more waste products.
The only way to help ourselves and reduce accumulation of external toxins in our bodies is to get rid of toxins at least once a year. It is definitely better than nothing. Of cause, you may do body detox a couple of times a year for better result, but even if you go through a purification program once a year, you will feel a difference for months to come and most likely that you will try keep to continue your healthy life style.
Detox diets can take many different forms. Though methods vary but many of them are performed for short durations only. One type involves reducing the amount of chemicals consumed and consuming organic food instead. Others ingest antioxidant-rich foods that supply the body vitamins and nutrients that are required for getting rid of toxins from the system. Some take in foods high in fibre that help remove toxins by increasing bowel movements.
But mainly Detox diets are divided into two categories. The first one is aimed on natural body detox thus it requires an all-natural detox diet from fruits and vegetables. The second type of detox diet involves the use of synthetic chemicals which increases the rate of body detoxification. However, it is important to note that synthetic chemicals used in a body detox could also generate waste products that could become toxins! Therefore, it is always better to use first type of detox when you going through natural detox and also creating a new healthy life habits.
There are many methods recommend to help you detox. Of course, a big part of most detox plans is making dietary changes, but also with detox diet in combination working well saunas, different types of massages and body brushing, special breathing techniques to help your systems get rich of oxygen and get rid of toxins. If your gastrointestinal system feels slower than usual or if you feel weak, you may benefit from a detox.
Check out our next detox retreat in Barcelona. A detox of physical, emotional and spiritual aspects.
Your greatest New Year resolution!
Chris Hunt is a Business Consultant and Pilates/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 Pilates events, mind and body retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris Hunt, 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 Hunt 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.
Seja o melhor que você pode ser: Corpo e mente são vias de mão única – Por Chris Hunt
Neste artigo quero falar sobre o ligação entre nossa mente e corpo. Sempre tive muito interesse nesse assunto e meu interesse aumentou quando meu pai faleceu devido à complicações do Alzheimer.
É comum pensarmos que nossa mente está no controle dizendo ao nosso corpo o que fazer. Mas há inúmeras evidências científicas que mostram que comunicações entre mente e corpo acorrem e o corpo é parte integral de como pensamos.
Em meus cursos de PilatesEVO e BodyFUNC (método de treinamento functional), eu incentivo meus alunos a abrirem suas mentes ao fato de que mente e corpo têm as mesmas intenções e propostas e trabalham juntos. Uma parte significante do curso é sobre o nível psicológico, visto que percebo que a grande maioria dos treinamentos focam somente na parte física o que, na minha opinião, é um grande erro. Então, dou a meus alunos ferramentas e técnicas que possam usar todos os dias em seus próprios treinos e no treino de seus clientes. Como Joseph Pilates disse “O Método Pilates de Condicionamento do Corpo é a completa combinação de corpo, mente e espírito”.
Até que aceitemos esse fato, acredito que não poderemos ser melhores instrutores. Há ainda muitas pessoas que se preocupam apenas com o nível físico. Hoje, há um crescimento muito grande de evidências científicas que vão de encontro ao meu pensamento indicando que pensar nesse todo indivisível, podemos atingir de maneira impactante os resultados que queremos, psicológica e fisicamente.
Movimentos e a atividades físicas envolvem a todos, começando com bebês e crianças pequenas. Crianças que se movem, atingem marcos cognitivos mais rápidos. Usar fraldas por muito tempo e andadores por exemplo, pode limitar a capacidade da criança pequena a interagir com o mundo e dificultar o processo de aprendizagem do andar. Quanto mais rápido as crianças aprendem a andar e explorar, mais rápido e melhor se desenvolve a parte cognitiva.
Trazer a atividade física em várias matérias pode ajudar as crianças na escola. Não podemos apenas confinar nossos alunos em suas cadeiras – devemos fazê-los levanter e se movimentar! Quando a matéria for matemática ou física, trazer os alunos para experiências físicas, pode mudar como seus cérebros processam as informações e pode trazer um melhor desempenho em uma prova, por exemplo. O movimento também ajuda a explicar a conexão entre a música e a matemática. Por que as crianças tendem a se destacar e ambas matérias? Porque as áreas do cérebro que controlam a destreza dos dedos e números tendem a se sobrepor em grande parte delas.
Uma área de especial interesse para mim é a ideia de que o exercício pode ajudar na saúde mental, bem como no desempenho acadêmico.
Pesquisas mostram que manter crianças em atividade física é importante não só para o seu bem-estar físico, mas para o seu bem-estar mental. O exercício é igualmente importante para os adultos mais velhos pois, pode promover o envelhecimento saudável mental e fisico. Existem diferenças claras na saúde do cérebro de idosos que praticam alguma atividade física, em comparação com os idosos mais sedentários, principalmente nos aspectos de pensamento, raciocínio e memória. Sabemos que o exercício aeróbico pode alterar a estrutura e funcionamento do cérebro, sendo então a chave para melhorar a saúde mental. Atividades como nadar, correr , andar de bicicleta, caminhar ou até mesmo fazer as tarefas domésticas em um ritmo vigoroso pode beneficiar o cérebro, além de manter o corpo em forma.
Aqui estão algumas idéias simples que você pode utilizar em suas aulas e em sua própria vida diária:
-Faça pausas durante o trabalho ou durante algum problema inquietante para dar chance ao seu cérebro de se “reagrupar” e “reiniciar”. Caminhar para longe do problema com pausas envolvendo atividades físicas te ajudam a resolvê-lo.
-A postura do seu corpo e as expressões não são apenas reflexos de sua mente – elas podem influenciar em seu humor. Fique em pé para dar confiança a você mesmo e esteja consciente de suas expressões faciais. Seu cérebro usa suas expressões como pistas para sentir as emoções. Sorrir pode realmente te fazer sentir mais feliz.
-Pratique em reais condições em que você terá que realizar – mesmo se for falar em público, uma prova ou um encontro importante. Também é bom praticar em frente à outras pessoas então quando todos os olhos estão em você, não é nada novo.
-Escreva, “coloque para fora”. Transferir o que sente para o papel pode te ajudar a lidar com o stress de um teste ou preocupações do dia-à-dia. Colocar preocupações no papel, te ajuda a reduzir stress e o quanto ele pode afetar sua saúde.
-Passe um tempo no meio da natureza com a maior frequência que puder e encontre tempo para meditar. A ciência mostra que caminhar no meio de um bosque rejuvenece nossas mentes e melhora nossa habilidade de prestar atenção e a focar em objetivos. Meditação por alguns minutos durante o dia pode ajudar a aliviar a ansiedade e a dor crônica. Também melhora o auto-controle ajudando-nos no trabalho e a quebrar hábitos ruins, como fumar.
Pequenas coisas que fazemos podem trazer grandes efeitos positivos. Não temos que gastar horas tentando melhorar nossa saúde física e mental mas, aplicando técnicas simples, podemos começar a fazer mudanças importantes em nossas vidas e nas vidas dos nossos alunos!
Chris Hunt – Nascido em Londres/Criador do Método PilatesEVO que utiliza movimentos mais funcionais, PNL, meridianos e meditação (utilizado por muitos instrutores de Pilates em vários países incluindo Russia e toda a Europa, chegando agora no Brasil!).Trabalha com Pilates há 25 anos. Parceiro da MR3 – Sport/Training/Nutrição em São Paulo (com Marcelo Capella). Cursos no Brasil (São Paulo, dias 19, 20, 21 e 22 de Maio). Contato: email@example.com
Traduzido pela fisioterapeuta Dra. Renata Barros dos Santos (MR3 – Sport/Training/Nutrição)
Processed Meat Causes Cancer
So the news is out. The grapevine has been full of rumours that appear to be based in truth: that The World Health Organisation is reportedly planning to declare that bacon, sausages and other processed meat cause cancer. Red meat is also expected to be listed as being “probably carcinogenic to humans”. Carcinogenic means “having the potential to cause cancer”.
Another health scare story? One would hope not as it is coming from the WHO. This announcement is expected to be made today which will put processed meat in the same category as cigarettes, alcohol and asbestos. Yes, you read that right.
It was suggested to me by a contact at the WHO that this classification in the highest risk group doesn’t necessarily mean that processed meat is as dangerous as smoking or asbestos, but it does mean that there is as strong scientific proof that it can cause cancer.
The UK NHS Choices website says that “evidence shows that there is probably a link between eating red and processed meat and the risk of bowel cancer. People who eat a lot of these meats are at higher risk of bowel cancer than those who eat small amounts.”
However, it also says that beef, lamb and pork “can form part of a healthy diet” and that red meat is “a good source of protein and provides vitamins and minerals, such as iron and zinc”.
The World Cancer Research Fund says: “There is strong evidence that eating a lot of these foods [red and processed meat] increases your risk of bowel cancer.”
So the consensus of opinion is that processed meat causes cancer.
Naturally farmers and the meat industry have expressed concern about the impact on sales if the WHO lists processed meat as a carcinogen. Betsy Booren, of the North American Meat Institute, said recently: “If they determine that red and processed meat causes cancer – and I think they will – that moniker will stick … It could take decades and billions of dollars to change that.” Don’t worry Betsy, the sugar industry can testify that spending billions buys scientists and people in high places.
The UK Government previously warned the public in 2011 about the dangers of excessive amounts of red meat, and over the past week it is coming under increasing pressure to release the findings or a report that it is suggested recommends a Sugar Tax.
So once again what we eat is making the front pages of newspapers, but does it really come as any surprise to us that processed meat is not good for us? Surely not.
Chris Hunt is a 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 Pilates events, mind and body retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris Hunt, 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 Hunt 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 our labour of love.
How many hours a week do you and your staff work teaching Pilates?
August in Barcelona is a experience, this year more than most. Usually the over-bearing heat and humidity coupled with the fact that many offices close down means that many of the locals pack-up and leave, and the city is taken over by hoards of tourists. This year the number of visitors throughout all of Spain has broken records, and whilst the weather also broke heat records earlier in the year, August is proving to be fresher, cloudier and wetter than most people expected. So when it comes to business here, the emphasis moves from the regular trade of locals to the seasonal trade of tourists. Many Pilates studios go to shorter working weeks due to the lack in demand, or even shut down for a few weeks.
The story seems to be somewhat different if we believe a Pilates teacher in New York. Today the New York Post reports that a Queens Pilates studio was an unlawful sweatshop, according to a former instructor who says he was forced to work 105-hour weeks there with no overtime. Marcos Leyton, 35, says that the owner of Pilates Bodies New York demanded he toil for 15 hours a day, seven days a week at Vibez in Bayside, without even a break between classes, according to his recently filed Brooklyn federal court lawsuit. His claims are being disputed by the studio owner, but whatever the truth is in this particular case, the story got me to thinking about how many hours we Pilates professionals actually work.
Many studio owners and freelance teachers work long and exhausting hours to make ends meet, and the vast majority are honest and faithful to their staff. Here in Barcelona however I have firsthand experience of less scrupulous studio owners who take advantage of the many Pilates teachers who want to move to Barcelona by getting them to work for free or next to nothing.
So my question today is how many hours do you typically work and are you happy about this? Of course I am not only talking about hours spent teaching, but also all the host of other things many teachers do for themselves from IT to accounts, bookings to cleaning.
Of course one of the main reasons for most of us to teach Pilates is that we love what we do and we hardly consider it to be “work”. This is one reason that we do not often complain. However most of us have also worked gruelling teaching schedules that we would have found totally unacceptable if we had been working for someone else or in a different profession that we were not so passionate about.
People often say to me that I am “very lucky” to be able to live and work in Barcelona, and to travel the world teaching PilatesEVO and acting as a business consultant. My stock reply to this is that I do not believe in luck; I believe in cause and effect. I always add a smilie after this :). The truth is that all us Pilates teachers probably work many more hours than a lot of people, for example, working in offices, as we are self-employed and we really care about our clients and our work.
I have given advice to many Pilates professionals who decided to work for themselves to give them greater freedom and control, but then soon discovered that they had much less free time and often felt totally out of control.
A work-life balance is vital in any profession, no matter how much we love our work. Do you think you have the balance right?
Chris Hunt is a Pilates and functional training presenter and educator and a business consultant 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, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises Pilates events, retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza, for more information please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To speak to Chris about his consultancy services, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more about Chris Hunt, 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 Hunt pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntpilates.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.