Tag Archives: detox

Lifestyle causes cancer

Chris hunt pilates

Lifestyle causes cancer

www.barcelonabienestar.com

Lifestyle causes cancer. It’s quite a statement to accept.

My regular readers will know that I have a big interest in the connection  between lifestyle and health; between physical and mental. I call this “total fitness” and I have written before that we have to consider every single factor when training. It is also something that I stress to clients on my PilatesEVO educations and on my healthy holidays and wellness retreats organised in Barcelona.

So a recent study that concludes  up to nine in ten common cancers are caused by the way people live, futher strenthens my opinions.

Research found that diet, a lack of exercise, pollution and stress lead to the overwhelming majority of cancers of the breast, prostate or lung, which kill tens of thousands of Britons a year.

The findings mean that simple measures such as brisk walking, cutting down on sugar, giving up smoking or living in green areas could have a greater impact on reducing the risk of cancer than some studies have shown.

Scientists said the emphasis was now firmly on the individual to make better lifestyle choices rather than considering cancer to be the result of “bad luck”.

The paper, published in the journal Nature, challenges the controversial theory that a large proportion of cancers are the inevitable result of cellular mistakes in the human body. Researchers at Stony Brook University in New York examined the genetic “fingerprints” of several cancers to calculate how much of the risk was down to environmental factors.

They estimated that between 70 and 90 per cent of the most widespread cancers had extrinsic causes, which include ultraviolet radiation, pollution, stress and other factors that are within people’s control. However, other kinds such as brain cancers are much more likely to be the result of the body’s natural repair mechanisms going haywire.

Cancers arise when defective DNA in cells sends their growth into overdrive. Sometimes this is caused by random copying errors but often the mistakes are introduced by stresses on the cells. Telling the two apart can be difficult.

Over the past year scientists have been arguing about the role of luck after two studies suggested it played a bigger role than previously thought. One, by by Cancer Research UK, found that about 40 per cent of cancer cases could be avoided by adopting a better lifestyle. This amounts to more than 130,000 a year in Britain.

More than a third were linked to smoking, diet, alcohol consumption and excess weight. Tobacco alone was found to cause 23 per cent of cases in men and 16 per cent in women. Experts said the “compelling” new figures were strong evidence that people had a great deal of control over their cancer risk.

Kevin McConway, professor of applied statistics at the Open University, said the study implied that the majority of cases of several major cancers could be avoided if the world could “magic away” controllable risks.

“They do provide pretty convincing evidence that external factors play a major role in many cancers, including some of the most common,” he said.

“Even if someone is exposed to important external risk factors, of course it isn’t certain that they will develop a cancer — chance is always involved. But this study demonstrates again that we have to look well beyond pure chance and luck to understand and protect against cancers.”

Jian-Min Yuan, professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, pointed to research showing that people who stopped smoking at the age of 55 had half the lung cancer risk of those who quit at 85. The hepatitis B vaccine has also been shown to cut cases of hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of liver cancer, by 70 per cent.

Emma Smith, the senior science information officer at Cancer Research UK, said: “It definitely means that many, many cases of cancer could be easily avoided. We have power over extrinsic factors.

“We can make changes like not smoking, having a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight. If people make those choices you cannot guarantee that there won’t be cancer cases but you can really improve the odds.”

This study does somewhat contradict other studies that found a higher degree of bad luck was involved. But as far as I am concerned, it is a much better thing if we think that we can control cancer by making healthy choices, rather than living unhealthily and putting anything negative down to bad luck. And there is a clear message that it is never too late to make changes that can make a real difference.

Detox with me in Janaury in Barcelona! Click HERE for more information.

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.

What is a detox?

What is a detox

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.

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Your greatest New Year resolution!

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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.

Pilates, cowboys and horse riding: Perfect partners or a load of bull?

Barcelona Pilates Holidays

Pilates, cowboys and horse riding: Perfect partners or a load of bull?

www.chrishuntpilates.com

It’s been a chilly week in Barcelona and London, although I know it’s all relative as some of you will be experiencing much colder temperatures. There were even some snow flurries today in Barcelona, which is probably contrary to what most people expect.

Contrary thoughts and expectations are the theme of my blog today, along with of course Pilates.

I was reading an interesting article this week. Let me tell you the story…

Two hours before he was scheduled to do battle with a 1,900-pound bull named Blurred, Matt Dunsmore was searching for bliss. A professional bull rider from Elk River, Minn., Duns¬more was competing in the World’s Toughest Rodeo tour stop over the weekend at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. He found a quiet corner tucked underneath the stands, and there, amid the solitude, he went through his yoga routine. The yoga was a must, he explained later, because he had missed his Pilates class.

Not the typical view of a rodeo rider perhaps. Not what we would expect of a cowboy? Dunsmore explained “We take this seriously as a sport. We’re athletes. I don’t smoke, I watch what I eat, and I work out every day. The yoga is for stretching my muscles and helping me focus. The Pilates builds core strength and hones my balance.”

We all know that Pilates can help strengthen the core muscles that riders use, and it will restore the body’s balance. Whilst Pilates helps with many sports and everyday life, the fact that its benefits include improved posture and muscle tone as well as increased stability for the pelvis and shoulders, makes it essential for the rider.

Improved core stability will mean less work for the rider’s back and improved independent movement of limbs without unbalancing the torso. The rider’s I have worked with in the UK and in Barcelona and Ibiza on our Barcelona Bienestar horse-riding holidays learn to concentrate and to breathe more deeply which can help control their heart-rate, and their flexibility will also increase. They achieve better harmony with their horse, removing imbalances that are commonly transferred between the horse and rider. Their balance improves helping with jumping, as does their coordination and stamina.

Pilates is also an excellent way to avoid common associated injuries such as shoulder and back pain, and groin strains, or to recover from injury more quickly. Most commons injuries are caused by falls or during stable duties. About 80% of injuries occur while riding, and these respond very well to Pilates as it improves balance and postural awareness which help to reduce the risk of falling. Pilates can also help to improve spatial awareness which means that the rider can react more quickly when faced with the unpredictability of their horse.

I want to give Dunsmore the final word today, after only lasting 2 seconds on his bull : “I’ll go home and lick my wounds and come back tomorrow,” he vowed. “My philosophy is that if I’m not chasing something, I’m not living.”

Chris Hunt 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 Pilates events, 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.
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Kelly Brook: Pilates or bust?

Kelly Brook Pilates Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntpilates.com

Kelly Brook: Pilates or bust?

I have explained before that I am not obsessed with celebrity. Honestly. 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, even about living on a different planet. But I am sure that I live on planet Earth (most of the time) and so whilst I always respect everyone’s opinion, 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 it is your choice not to read my blog today! :)

Kelly Brook knows how to manipulate the media, but there is no doubting her committment to her Pilates practise. The British model and actress knows a thing or two as well about taking a selfie that accentuates her figure and maximises exposure.

So Pilates is in the news again thanks to Kelly and her camera angle.

Chris Hunt 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 Pilates events, 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.

 

Guilt-free fitness and sport holidays and retreats in Barcelona and Ibiza 2015

Barcelona SUP fitness sport holidays

www.barcelonabienestar.com

Guilt-free fitness and sport holidays and retreats in Barcelona and Ibiza 2015

It’s the time for New Year Resolutions, many of which will be about health, weight-loss, fitness and happiness. If we pray or ask the Universe for happiness, the Universe will not give us happiness, it will give us the opportunity to find happiness. If we ask for health, we are not given health, we are given the opportunity to get healthy. I’m sure you get the principle.

With this in mind, I want to ask you what will you be doing on your holiday this year? Have you ever had a “guilt-free” holiday? In the past, many people saw their holiday as not only a time to relax and get away from the stress and strains of everyday life, but also a time to forget fitness and health regimes, and eat, drink and then eat some more.

The popularity of the “all-inclusive” holiday has only made things worse. If the food and drink is free, then why not make a pig of yourself? Besides, you are on holiday so there are no rules!

I have never understood the mentality of some people that when they are on holiday think it’s OK to forget all common sense about diet and behaviour, and see those few weeks every year as a time to “live a little”, cut loose and try to justify all this out-of-character behaviour by saying “it’s OK, I’m on holiday!”

The notion that overeating and drinking is “living a little” or even “treating” yourself makes absolutely no sense at all. So this year instead of spending the winter and spring months dieting and working-out in order to look good on holiday, then pig-out for a couple of weeks whilst away, and then start losing weight again ready for the annual Christmas binge, I have a suggestion. Why not have a holiday where you do not undo all the hard work you do for the rest of the year? Why not have a holiday where you do not have to feel guilty everyday and even more so when you get home? Why not have a holiday where you go home fitter, stronger, more relaxed and proud about having achieved some new experiences?

You do not have to pray for this, it is all possible, and with Barcelona Bienestar together we can make it happen. Bienestar is Spanish for “wellness”, and my business offers fitness holidays, sports holidays and many retreats to Barcelona and Ibiza. We offer 17 different sports (including hiking, cycling, golf, surfing, stand up paddling, mountain biking, scuba diving, tennis, horse riding etc), all of which can be done by anyone, from experts who want to improve to first-timers who want to learn. We offer dozens of fitness activities and techniques (including Pilates, TRX, HIIT, boxing, group training, personal training, circuit training, boot camp, tabata etc), and these again are suitable for beginners and more experienced exercisers. Lastly we offer several different retreats (such as wellness, detox, weight loss, meditation, yoga, team-building and corporate). We also offer family activity holidays.

The beauty of our holidays are that as well as offering packages that we have built for you, we also offer you the chance to totally build your own holiday from scratch. You can choose any of the sports and any of the fitness activities in any combination. We can arrange your accommodation for you (from beautiful farmhouses with private pools to apartments in the city), transfers and help you with any other aspects of your holiday.

Do not misunderstand me. As the pictures on my social network sites show, I love to enjoy myself in the best bars and clubs in Barcelona and Ibiza. I love the wonderful food here. Play hard is all part of a balanced life. But to do these and not feel guilty, to do these things knowing they are part of a healthy lifestyle, is truly having fun. With this in mind, we can also organise excursions to the wonderful local attractions, and nights out for you and your group. And of course there is always time to relax on the beach and have one of our relaxing massages. You can do as much or as little as you want to.

Interested? Well it gets better. If you bring with you a group of 8 people, then as organiser you get your accommodation and all activities for free! We can even pay for your flight (or at least contribute towards this dependant on the total cost). So for a little bit of organising, you can have a free holiday, or share this discount with the rest of your group. You will be surprised as to the cost of our holidays, as they are typically much cheaper than you might think.

There is lots more information on our website, www.barcelonabienestar.com and you can ask as many questions as you wish.

In your photo album, or on your Facebook and Instagram account this year, as well as the typical images of you on a sunbed and drinking an exotic cocktail, wouldn’t you prefer to post extra pictures to all your friends of you surfing? Or rock-climbing? Or swimming, cycling, hiking, SUP, playing tennis, volleyball, snorkelling? Well, as we like to say in Spain, “Todo Es Posible!”

Chris Hunt 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 retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona and Ibiza, 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.

 

2015 Another Year another diet?

Chris Hunt Wellness Measure

2015 Another Year, another diet. How to succeed this time!

At the start of every New Year, I am asked the same questions about weight loss and diets. Every year magazine editors are urged to end “reckless” promotion of “irresponsible, short-term solutions” to weight loss, and reduce the pressure to conform to “impossible” stereotypes that damage women and men by lowering self-esteem while promoting depression and eating disorders. Yet still the post-Christmas editions of magazines were publishing with cover lines such as “Festive Flab fighter! Lose 7lb in 7 days” and “Flat tum tricks! Try our 3-day diet plan.”

The stories I have heard from my clients who have joined me on my weight-loss, detox and health retreats in Barcelona and Ibiza with my company Barcelona Bienestar (www.barcelonabienestar.com) has taught me that people who are desperate to loss weight are willing to try any latest fad to get results. What I try to do is to educate people so they leave one of my retreats with new knowledge and inspiration.

The World Health Organisation has talked about halving the amount of sugar that it recommends people should have in their diet, reducing down to 5% the number of total calories. Let me explain how these two issues are related.

Recent Evidence
Robert Lustig, a American academic who has spent 16 years treating obese children, believes that most diets, even combined with exercise, do not last long. Almost any change of lifestyle works for the first three to six months, he says, but then the weight comes rolling back on leaving the dieter often at a loss to understand why the fat is returning. In fact, says Lustig in his book, Fat Chance, which draws on more than 300 scientific papers, today’s children in the developed world are likely to be the first to die younger than their parents because they are being slowly poisoned by a colossal dietary error a generation ago.

It’s a big claim, based on a simple premise: when the Americans were hunting for the cause of rising rates of heart disease in the 1960s and the 1970s, there were two candidates. One was sugar and the other was dietary fat such as cholesterol. The Americans decided fat was the enemy and by the 1980s a low-fat diet was being recommended in a message that spread worldwide. As the £1.2 trillion industry removed fat from processed products, it raised sugar levels to keep them palatable.

“The goal was to alter our diet for the better,” says Lustig. “Instead, we’ve laid waste to every nutritional hypothesis, lost the public’s trust and killed countless millions.” The fundamental change in our diet that resulted helps to explain why nearly 4,000 American teenagers are now diagnosed annually with type-2 diabetes — once so rare in the young that it was known as “adult” diabetes — and why more than 40% of US death certificates list diabetes, up from 13% two decades ago. The UK, says Lustig, is “right behind”.

A sugary surfeit
Even giving young children organic juice instead of the whole fruit can set them on a path of sugar addiction that leads to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and possibly dementia, he warns. Why? The answer is food is processed differently when it arrives in a sugary surfeit. Fructose, a component of sugar, gets metabolised into fat, including a dangerous form of liver fat. It also activates a liver enzyme, setting off a chain reaction that makes the pancreas release more insulin, the hormone that tells the body to store energy as fat.

The majority of humans, regardless of weight, release twice as much insulin as they did 30 years ago. This extra insulin is believed to block a signal from another hormone, leptin, that tells the brain when you can stop eating. Without this signal, the brain boosts your appetite even if you are full and sends you to the sofa to conserve energy. Something similar happens in a diet of the kind that involves skipping meals.

Your leptin concentrations drop faster than your fat stores. You have not lost any weight yet. But your fat cells tell your brain you are starving, your sympathetic nervous system goes into energy-conservation mode and the vagus nerve, which connects the brain with the abdomen, goes into overdrive, boosting your appetite and ordering the release of insulin to tell your body to store some fat.

Our Second Brain
This raises another important topic, that of our “second brain”. As well as the one in your head, our bodies contain a separate nervous system that comprises an  estimated 500 million neurons. Embedded in the wall of the gut, the enteric nervous system (ENS) not only controls digestion, it also plays an important role in our  physical and mental well-being. It can work both independently of and in conjunction with the brain in your head, and your ENS helps you sense environmental threats and then influences your response. Your ENS oversees your digestion, and it alerts the brain if it finds dangerous invaders such as bacteria and viruses.

The “feel good” molecule
Our second brain produces a wide range of hormones and around 40 neurotransmitters. This is important as also transmitting signals in your ENS is serotonin, the “feel good” molecule that prevents depression and regulates sleep, body  temperature and crucially appetite. Research has shown that nerve signals sent from the gut to the brain do affect our mood. These signals may also explain why fatty foods make us feel good, as when ingested, fatty acids are detected by cell receptors in the gut which send nerve signals to the brain. Why is all this important? Simply because a lot of information about our environment comes from out gut. You are what you eat?

Lustig challenges assumptions by dieticians and doctors that to lose weight we must eat less or exercise more; that a   calorie is a calorie, wherever it comes from; and that to shed the pounds we need fewer calories. Not true, he says. The type of food we eat is crucial. Successful diets do exist and have two things in common: they are low in sugar and high in fibre.

Flawed Diets
Even some popular diets work, although they are flawed. The Atkins diet, a low-carbohydrate regime in which you keep the burger but ditch the bun, is effective for weight loss and improved metabolic health. But it can result in inadequate micronutrients and compromised bone health. The Ornish diet, a low-fat, no-fun diet has been proven not only to promote weight loss but to reverse heart disease. The Mediterranean diet — olive oil, legumes (beans, lentils and peas), fruits, vegetables, unrefined grains, dairy products and eggs, fish and wine in moderation — is excellent, as is the South Beach diet, which keeps insulin low, has plenty of fibre, and avoids added sugar.

But the number of people who can stick to any diet is exceedingly small. So the key is to follow some other simple principles, chief among them shopping on the periphery of the supermarket, where the “real food” is kept, not on the shelves.  Real food does not have, or need, a label showing nutritional values. The more labels you read, the more rubbish is in your trolley. Real food takes time to cook but eating it will raise your levels of micronutrients and reduce your fructose. “If you eat real food, your weight will take care of itself, just as it did for the 50,000 years since irrigation and the taming of fire,” says Lustig. “We have no choice but to try to recreate the kind of food supply our grandparents had, before the food processors tainted it.” To make sure, take all your recipes and cut the amount of sugar by a third. And do not forget to exercise.

Traffic light food guide
Lustig uses traffic lights to divide food into three types, a system that might help you with your food choices: greens are “real” foods you can eat as often as you like; yellows are “minimally processed” and can be consumed three to five times a week; and highly processed reds are to be avoided or are for rare occasions.

Green foods include high-fibre cereals such as porridge and shredded wheat. Eggs, milk, grass-fed beef, wild fish, lamb, turkey and free-range chicken can also be eaten without restraint, as can wild or brown rice, whole-grain bread, and home-made salad dressing. Nuts and seeds, fruit and vegetables, plain yoghurt, beans, butter, cheddar cheese — you don’t have to think, just put them in your trolley. Overall, the green foods are high in fibre and low in sugar and “bad” omega-6 and trans fats. They also include tea, coffee and red wine in moderation.

Yellow foods include whole-grain pasta, pitta bread, baked beans, dried fruit and processed meats such as bacon, salami and hamburgers.

The red list has the surprises. Some foods we think of as healthy — bagels, baked potatoes, basmati rice, couscous, fruit juice, rice cakes — are in the danger zone with white bread, pizza and doughnuts.

Don’t compromise your long-term health by believing the fads and trying too hard to lose weight too quickly. By nourishing your body you nourish your second brain, which can all help you feel and look much better, and with an appropriate exercise regime, help you lose weight in a controlled and sustainable way. And after all, that’s what most of us want isn’t it?

Chris Hunt 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 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.

 

Fifty Shades of Grey: Dakota Johnson, sex and Pilates

fifty shades of grey Chris Hunt Pilates

Fifty Shades of Grey: Dakota Johnson, sex and Pilates

With little over two months until Fifty Shades Of Grey hits cinemas, Dakota Johnson is keeping up with her fitness regime while she can. The actress, who will be hitting the road on promotional duties for the raunchy flick very soon, was seen leaving a Pilates class in West Hollywood last Friday.

This is going to be a massive movie event of 2015 whether we like it or not, but irrespective of the soft-porn appeal of this movie, it is another opportunity for members of the public to see a celebrity who uses Pilates as part of her fitness regime.

The daughter of Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson stars as Anastasia Steele in the bestselling erotic book turned movie with Jamie Dornan, who plays the title character Christian Grey. The film, which is directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, will be released on Valentine’s Day. How very romantic…

The film’s trailer topped at 93 million Youtube views, besting the new Star Wars: Episode VII teaser, which placed at the second spot with 81 million views. So there is clearly a demand for some excitement in the lives of many people.

This book (which I have not read myself) is the talk of the town, including here in Barcelona. It really seems to have grabbed the attention and interest of many people across the world. I am often asked by people attending one of my Pilates, sport and fitness holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza about the benefits of Pilates and exercise on sexual performance. Maybe I should create a Sex Retreat on the Barcelona Bienestar calendar for 2015!

It is also a topic that I speak about during my PilatesEVO educations around the world.

This is not the first time I have blogged about Pilates and sex. I’d like you to read my previous article “Sex and Pilates, but Mostly Sex” because this sets out my opinion about the possible links between the two. Many people I have spoken to are convinced that regular Pilates has improved their sexual performance, so I am interested to know your opinions.

I am fully aware that some of you reading this will be rolling your rolls and itching to start deriding this article accusing me of glamorising Pilates and cheapening our beloved system for the sake of a few hits on my blog. To you I say this. Firstly all profits of this blog go to charity so I hope I do get lots of clicks. Secondly, as I have said many times before, the aim of this blog is to publicise Pilates and get more people reading about it, understanding it and ultimately doing it. If more people are aware of Pilates, even if it is on the back of a soft-porn film, then I really cannot see that can do any harm.

Many people in your studio, many of your clients will be talking about Fifty Shades of Grey in the coming months. As long as we base our comments in fact and reality, why not use this to further promote what we do and the benefits it can bring?

Chris Hunt 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 Pilates events, 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.

Manchester United Footballer turns to Pilates

Barcelona Bienestar Man Utd

Manchester United Footballer turns to Pilates

I love writing about Pilates, but I especially love writing about Pilates and men. I have done it many times before, and I hope that I will do it many times again.

To read my previous articles you can click on:

http://www.chrishuntblog.com/2014/03/20/men-do-pilates-ask-dwayne-allen/

http://www.chrishuntblog.com/2014/06/17/you-do-pilates-are-you-gay-pilates-for-men-landon-donovan-and-moscow-time/

http://www.chrishuntblog.com/2014/11/03/pilates-for-men-ex-england-football-captain-steven-gerrard-says-yes/

The reason I love it so much is that we all know just how much benefit men get from doing Pilates, so it is a crying shame that more don’t do it. We all know the facts; that Joseph Pilates was a man, and that he trained other men many years before Pilates become synonymous in many people’s minds with dancers and women.

Here in Barcelona, I have lots of men who come on my Barcelona Bienestar  fitness and sport holidays where Pilates forms an integral part of the training.

I hope that Phil Jones’ story might encourage a few more men to venture into a local Pilates studio or join a class.

Manchester United defender Phil Jones is the latest Premier League footballer that has turned Pilates in a bid to overcome the injury problems that have blighted his early years at Old Trafford.
The England international made his latest comeback for Louis van Gaal’s team in the recent 3-0 Barclays Premier League win over rivals Liverpool.

Jones was rushed back ahead of schedule but came through unscathed and afterwards he revealed he has turned to some of the game’s more modern conditioning methods as he bids to maintain fitness.

‘I started the pre-season and played every single game and every single training session,’ he said. ‘Then, on international duty, I pulled my hamstring and I have never had a muscle injury so it was disappointing. When I was coming back I then had shin splints. It has been unfortunate. I have been doing a lot of work in the gym and hopefully that will stand me in good stead for the rest of the season. It is strength work, yoga and Pilates and loads of stuff. I will do anything I can to improve myself. My aim right now is to stay fit and stay focused and get a run of games under my belt.’

I hope that Phil Jones’ story might inspire more men to take up Pilates.

Chris Hunt 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 retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona. 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.

Free Retreats, Fitness and Sports holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza!

Barcelona Ibiza Free Holiday

www.barcelonabienestar.com

Free Retreats, Fitness and Sports holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza!

Free Retreats, fitness and sports holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza? Really? Surely in this day and age nothing comes for free, afterall, there’s no such thing as a free lunch? Maybe, but here is a wonderful opportunity that for just a little effort, you can get yourself a free fitness or sport holiday in Barcelona or Ibiza.

Who are Barcelona Bienestar?
First things first, who are Barcelona Bienestar and what does bienestar mean? It’s Spanish for “wellness”, and it’s what we offer to people from all over the world. Barcelona Bienestar are the experts in retreats, fitness and sports holidays to Barcelona and Ibiza. We offer a VIP tailor-made service to clients from all over the world. Our clients have visited us from places including Russia, the USA, China, Germany, France, Italy, the UK, Canada, Brazil, Latvia, Australia and Thailand. Why? Because everyone loves Barcelona and Ibiza! They are on most people’s wish-lists for a vacation, so what better than a dream holiday that includes health, fitness and sport?

So what do we offer our multi-national clients? Simple answer is anything they want. We have no barriers, no limitations. We have never failed to deliver exactly what our clients ask for. From fitness, sports, restaurants, secluded farmhouses, night-club entry to privates cruises on a beautiful yacht. We teach in English, Spanish and Russian. Todo es posible as we like to say in Spain.

Sports
We offer an amazing range of sports because in and around Barcelona and Ibiza there are so many possibilities. Sports we specialise in include surfing, SUP, snowboarding, skiing, mountain biking, kite surfing, rock climbing, hiking, golf, football, scuba diving and tennis. Our holidays will give you the chance to have specialist training for the sports of your choice, and also the chance to take part in that sport, everyday of your holiday if you wish. So if you want to learn a new sport, or get better at a sport you already love, then we can help.

Fitness
We help our clients to achieve many different fitness goals including cardio fitness, muscle gain, weight loss, and we love to teach people new techniques. We use many different methods including personal training, group training, Pilates, yoga, HIIT, TRX, body weight training, boxing, kettlebells, tabata, weighted vests, circuit training and many more. We can train you inside, or even better outside. We use quiet secluded places, and we use the beach, parks and the mountains.

Retreats
We offer a wide range of retreats including:
1) Leadership
2) Teambuilding
3) Corporate
4) Detox
5) Meditation
6) Wellness
7) Weightloss
8) NLP
9) Life coaching

We work with many businesses to orgainse leadership and teambuilding events that are always very popular. You are free to choose one or many of these activities to make your retreat perfect.

Our Packages
We can help organise as much or as little of your holiday as you wish. You only have a to organise your flights and we can do all the rest. We can arrange accommodation to suit your budget and your needs, from private farmhouses to beautiful hotels. We can give you a special diet or detox. Even after your daily program of sport and fitness, there will still be plenty of time to explore, enjoy and relax. We will help you hire a car or even better a bike. We will tell you the best beaches in around Barcelona and Ibiza, and the best restaurants. We can usually get you a reduced or free entry into the best discos, bars and places to dance all night. We know how to train hard, but we also know how to play hard as well.

We also offer a personal photographer to capture some of the special moments of your holiday.

We can also organise excursions to the famous landmarks in and around Barcelona and Ibiza. We can book you treatments including sport massage, relaxation massage, physiotherapy and chiropractic. Remember, todo es posible.

Even after your sport or fitness holiday or retreat to Barcelona or Ibiza is over, our service does not stop there. We offer online programs to keep up the good habits you started on holiday with us. We will also keep you updated about sport and events and when you come back for another holiday (over 75% of our clients come back) then you get a special loyalty discount.

Free holidays
So, enough talk you are thinking, how do I get a free holiday? It’s simple, and here’s how.

First, please like and share our FACEBOOK page.  We will be checking! :)

If you are a trainer or club owner, then bring a group of your clients (minimum number of 8), then you get your holiday for free! You can either enjoy receiving fitness sessions for a nice change, or if you love what you do so much that you just can’t stop teaching, and you are a certified and qualified trainer, then we can incorporate some of your own training sessions into the holiday. If we like what you do, we might invite you back to Barcelona or Ibiza as one of our trainers.

If you are not a trainer but just love keeping fit or playing sport, why not get a group of your friends or sports club together and enjoy a fitness or sport holiday in sunny Barcelona or Ibiza. Again, all you need to do is bring 8 or more friends and you will get you holiday for free.

We only have a limited number of weeks available next year for this special offer, so please contact us as soon as you can so we can discuss your requirements, and start planning your dream holiday.

You will have a holiday in Barcelona or Ibiza that you will never forget. Remember, when you chose Barcelona Bienestar, todo es posible!

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 retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona. 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.

 

 

Our proud Pilates Community; we are stronger together

www.chrishuntwellness.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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