Welcome to my latest Snap Pilates Videos shot in Barcelona at Studio Australia Barcelona.
This is the Tricep Dip on the Wunda Chair. This is a very versatile piece of equipment and an excellent exercise to really target the triceps to strengthen and tone them.
The debate over vitamin supplements has been raging for many years, but new evidence suggests that people might be wasting their money.
As a nation, one third of adults in the UK take a nutritional supplement and annually spend a staggering £650 million on supplements, including £138.6m on multivitamins, and £35.9m on vitamin C alone, citing reasons ranging from improving joints (36%), improving memory (5%) and protecting the heart (19%) as their justification for such an expense.
But academics from the John Hopkins University School of Medicine and the University of Warwick have concluded that evidence suggests the “supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults….has no clear benefit and might even be harmful”. Three recent research papers, one of which analysed previous trials involving 450,000 people, found no beneficial effect on mortality from taking vitamins, no benefit slowing cognitive decline, and no impact on heart problems. The scientists concluded that not only was using supplements not justified, some such as Beta-carotene and Vitamin E could be harmful.
Their argument is that most of our diets are adequate and we therefore gain all we need from the food we eat, in fact as they argue many people over-eat. The Health Food Manufacturers’ Association which represents the supplement manufacturers argues that there are pockets of low vitamin intake both in the UK and other European countries, and that their products provide “important nutritional insurance.”
This comes at a time when the UK Government are considering making the inclusion of folic acid in bread compulsory, so the disagreement as to the value of supplementing our diets rages on.
There is an alternative. Simon Cowell and Gary Lineker have been rumoured to have tried an intravenous “cocktail of vitamin infusions” offered by private clinics. At £225 a pop, it’s not a financial viable option for most of us, and no doubt some scientists would be doubtful as to its benefits.
Whilst the arguments will continue to rage over the physical and psychosomatic benefits of pill popping, predictably the key here in eating a well balanced, well nourished diet that includes proper hydration.
Pilates is for girls right?
Are there really still people out there that believe this? Apart from the fact that Joseph Pilates was a man and worked with men himself, and the fact that I am a man (oh yes), the old view in some quarters of Pilates being only for women was never correct and today is utter nonsense.
If you have any lingering doubts, then as Dwayne Allen. They don’t come more manly than Dwain. The tight end Colt’s player suffered a season-ending injury but he is now back to full fitness.
Colt’s General Manager Ryan Grigson indicated last month that he was optimistic that Dwayne would be ready to go in time for training camp this summer. For Allen, that’s even more time than he says he needs. He is doing pilates three days a week as part of his overall rehab schedule and says that he feels totally back after the October hip surgery that brought his season to a premature end.
“I’m great. I’m actually back to 100%” Allen said, via the team’s website.
I think it’s very important that stories such as Dwain’s get as much coverage as possible, because Pilates can be a wonderful system for men to use, whether they are rehabilitating from injury or if they are “fit” but want to get stronger, more flexible, and understand their body more.
So people, Pilates is for men. And if you still don’t believe me, I will give Dwain your number…
She is an actress and a former model. And Uma Thurman’s toned body shows no signs of any middle-age spread. So how does the mother-of-three do it? Thurman, 43, says she ‘fits in workouts when she can’ with plenty of walking, Pilates and yoga. She also stays active with regular snowboarding, skiing and horse riding so she has a nice range of activities to keep her fit and in shape.
She began her career as a model, yet, after so many years and childbirth, she is still one of the fittest, most beautiful women in showbiz.
Uma, the Kill Bill star, it seems, is a fervent believer in exercise anywhere, anytime, including as a passenger on a flight from JFK to Salt Lake City. It’s reported that she started doing yoga and Pilates exercises in the aisle of the plane.
Oscar winning movie. Whilst I was wowed by the amazing cinematography and special effects, the most remarkable thing about the film for me is Sandra Bullock. She is simply amazing.
The actress and producer is an incredible 49 years old, and is a testament to the fact that the aging process is not necessarily as unavoidable as many people think.
So how does she do it? How does she look so great? In her own words, “I do a lot of Pilates, kick boxing, and weight training in L.A. and when I’m in Austin I run or ride a bike,” She puts in an hour at the gym 6 times a week and boy does it show.
Whilst other actresses claim with some justification that Hollywood is ageist and roles diminish when they get towards 50, Sandra’s career is booming with Gravity being her most commercially and critically successful film yet.
Once again Pilates is at the heart of a successful career, and Sandra is truly an inspiration.
The beautiful model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley has posted some pictures of her doing Pilates, and she looks great.
The British model is best known for her modelling work with Victoria’s Secret and Burberry, and Pilates is an important part of her exercise regime.
I cannot promise you a body like Rosie’s, but Pilates will certainly help you to achieve the body that you want.
Dementia and mental illness are not the most common subjects of Hollywood Blockbusters, but their have been some notable exceptions, for example the excellent performance of Bradley Cooper in Silver Linings Playbook depicting someone with Bipolar Disorder.
As a fitness professional and as someone who lost my father to dementia (I wrote in a previous blog, “Dementia: I lost my father, don’t lose yours” about my very personal experience with Alzheimer’s disease) the link between exercise and diet is one that really interests me.
Since my last blog on this topic then, there has been new evidence linking diet and exercise to the avoidance of dementia, an illness that is reaching epidemic proportions in our aging population.
A recent study by the University of California has concluded that high levels of “bad” cholesterol are linked to the presence of abnormal brain proteins that are seen in Alzheimer’s disease. Whereas previous studies have linked high cholesterol to Alzheimer’s, this is the first direct link between cholesterol levels in the blood to the concentration of amyloid plaques, the hallmark of this degenerative disease, in the brains of living patients.
The study reached the conclusion that whilst effects were small to moderate, over a prolonged period they can make a significant difference in reducing the prevalence of Alzheimer’s. Eating foods such as lentils, garlic, oily fish and avocados, and avoided saturated fats can help to lower “bad” cholesterol levels.
Another study reported in the US at the University of Pittsburgh concluded that physical exercise is as important in reducing the risk of dementia as keeping the mind active. By simply taking a brisk walk three of four times a week can effectively grow back the brain. The study involved 120 people aged 60 to 80. Half of the group had a brisk walk for 30 to 45 minutes three to four times a week. The other half only did light stretching exercises. After the 12 month test period, cognitive tests and MRI scans showed that the group who walked had a 2% growth of their hippocampus region of the brain, the part that is crucial for memory, and a similar growth in the pre-frontal cortex, the area involved in decision making and social behaviour. By contrast, the people in the other group showed a reduction in brain size which is in keeping with the “expected” rate of decline in the elderly.
It is not clear yet exactly how exercising can make the brain grow and improve brain function, but it is possible that the increase in blood flow improves the oxygen supply to the brain. Another possibility is that exercise encourages growth genes to trigger new connections between neurons.
Neural plasticity is a growing area of interest to science, and studies such as this one clearly show that the brain is able to grow well into old age, and that the “inevitable” decline in function is not as inevitable as was once thought.
Guess who is back? Yes, Madonna has again been seen leaving her Pilates second Pilates class this week, so she seems to be increasing her Pilates workouts.
Earlier this week I blogged about Madonna as the Queen of Pilates (http://thechrishuntblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/madonna-queen-of-pilates/) as she left her session. This time Madge left with wet hair which shows that she isn’t shy to shower at the studio and bear all. Although she has been doing that most of her career, but then who wouldn’t want to show off such an amazing body!
Thank you Madge for flying the Pilates flag!
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?