Tag Archives: fitness holidays

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.

https://www.facebook.com/events/434444700080846/
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.

Processed Meat Causes Cancer

Processed meat causes cancer

Processed Meat Causes Cancer

www.barcelonabienestar.com

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.

Health Retreats Barcelona are in fashion

health retreats barcelona

Health Retreats Barcelona are in fashion

Recent surveys show that more and more people are choosing a healthy holiday

The Great British Public are, finally, changing their holiday habits. New research we are studying at Barcelona Bienestar, a health, fitness and sport holiday business based in Catalunya, shows that the number of British people planning a fitness holiday has doubled in the past year, with around one in two people considering an activity-based break as opposed to the traditional ‘fly and flop’ vacation.

The survey found that one in the three people wanted to ‘tone up’ whilst on holiday and a quarter of people surveyed said they would like to lose weight. In contrast, only one out of twenty people said they would want to go on a group drinking holiday. Separate research by a travel company found that staying active while on vacation is now important for 82 percent of people.

Most popular activiites included Pilates, yoga, boot camp, walking and cycling.

More and more people are saying no thanks to over indulging on holiday, and instead they are choosing much healthier pursuits. It’s way too early to think that this could be the demise of the boozy Brits abroad stereotype, but it is a very positive step in the right direction.

health retreats barcelona

At Barcelona Bienestar fitness, sport and wellbeing holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza, we give people the chance to get away from their normal life with all the associated stresses and strains on a health retreat Barcelona, and spend quality time in beautiful locations whilst also refreshing their body and mind. We have a wide range of holidays. On our detox, yoga and meditation retreats, clients immerse themselves into programs designed to make mind and body healthier. Our fitness holidays feature many different activities in both personal training and group training, such as boot camp, Pilates, boxing, HIIT and TRX. These are designed for all levels of fitness, and we work closely with you to achieve all your goals. We also offer sport holidays where you can try new sports such as SUP, surfing, snowboarding, beach volleyball, cycling, hiking, golf, kite surfing and many more.

All of our fitness professionals you will meet on Health Retreat Barcelona are fully qualified in everything they teach. Most countries are not as regulated as the UK when it comes to fitness and health instruction, so be careful when abroad. You can trust Health Retreat Barcelona with you health and fitness.

Health Retreats Barcelona can be designed to meet all requirements, so for example you can have a mixture of fitness sessions and trying different sports. Also do not forget that you are on holiday in beautiful locations, so the full holiday experience can also include day trips, city tours, time to relax on beautiful beaches, and also entry to the best restaurants and clubs.

The attitude that a holiday should be over-indulging and going over the top are long gone. We know that you can return from a holiday feeling refreshed, fitter, healthier and having tried and learnt new training techniques and sports. You can also have a personally designed health and fitness plan to continue to follow.

Pilates EVO Training Week Barcelona May 2015

Chris Hunt Pilates EVO Barcelona www.chrishuntpilates.com

Pilates EVO Training Week Barcelona May 2015

“Life is always moving forward, always changing, always evolving. When we awaken to the fact that we cannot stop or control change, that we should embrace change, then we are able to move forward as well. From this philosophy I created Pilates EVO. We should never forget our past. It built the foundation that our present so depends. But the past is not an excuse to stay still and not plan for a different future. I hope that you enjoy the journey you are about to start. Every journey begins with an intention and a small step. You have taken your first step.”
Chris Hunt, creator of PilatesEVO.

PilatesEVO©: The history
Since its birth around 100 years ago, 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.

Pilates EVO©(EVO is an abbreviation of evolution) is like no other Pilates system you have ever known. Developed by Chris Hunt Pilates in London, it takes Pilates in a new and exciting direction incorporating more functional training methods and movement patterns, whilst staying true to traditional Pilates principles.

Pilates EVO© expands the mind and body element of Pilates by incorporating Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Mindfulness Meditation techniques to maximise the psychological and physical benefits, improving concentration and making clients emotionally, mentally and spiritually fitter. It improves motor fitness such as agility, balance, speed, co-ordination, reaction time and power. Pilates EVO© also draws on the thousands of years of teachings from Kundalini yoga and meridian stretches to impact energy flow and enhance the overall experience.

It has more flow and movement with sequences of moves made up from the sacred numbers 3, 7 and 21, and it uses unique, uplifting soundtracks mixed in London by DJ Shameless to enable clients to really connect with how their body is moving and working, giving a far deeper and rewarding experience. Most moves have different levels progressing muscular fitness using repetitions, range of motion, rate and resistance. This creates a system that will remain challenging to a wide range of training goals from elite athletes, people seeking everyday fitness, to clients rehabilitating following accident or injury.

This system increases muscular strength and endurance as well as flexibility, and helps prevent injury and improve performance with movements that are applicable to life and sport.

Pilates EVO© is more than an exercise system, it is a way of life. A way to maximise your potential physically, mentally and emotionally.

PilatesEVO© Barcelona Training Week May 2015
You can experience PilatesEVO© in Barcelona in May 2015. This event is organised by Barcelona Bienestar (www.barcelonabienestar.com), who organise fitness and sport holidays and wellness retreats all year in Barcelona and Ibiza, and personal training.

Chris Hunt will be running 5 days of masterclasses and workshops from Monday 4th to Friday 8th May. You do not have to be a PilatesEVO© qualified teacher to attend, as all the information and training can be used by any Pilates or functional training teacher in standard Pilates sessions or in any type of functional training sessions.

The program of courses is as follows:

Monday May 4th PilatesEVO© Introduction update
If you are an existing PilatesEVO© teacher you will learn new PilatesEVO© combinations. If you are new to the PilatesEVO© concept then you will gain a basic understanding of the system and ideas and moves you can use in your own Pilates sessions.

Tuesday May 5th PilatesEVO© Tactility© Module
This is the most popular PilatesEVO© course which is useful for any Pilates teacher. It gives invaluable information about how to correctly touch and guide people during a Pilates class, ensuring that your positioning, corrections and hands-on guidance give your clients the best possible learning experience.

Wednesday May 6th PilatesEVO© Pregnancy Module
This module will teach you how to modify your Pilates exercises and sessions for all stages of pregnancy.

Thursday May 7th PilatesEVO© Rehabilitation Module
This module will give you information on how you deal with some of the most common conditions that some of your clients will present with and how you can best help them to rehabilitate.

Friday May 8th PilatesEVO© Advanced Module
Not all clients come to Pilates for rehabilitation. This exciting module gives you advanced movements for advanced clients.

Cost of training
You can attend as many of the training days as you wish. The more days you attend, the less you pay:

Cost for 1 Day: 59€
Cost for 2 Days: 118€
Cost for 3 Days: 164€
Cost for 4 Days: 199€
Cost for 5 Days: 225€

All qualified PilatesEVO© teachers (who have a minimum of the PilatesEVO© Foundation Course qualification) receive a discount of 20% on the above prices.

Pilates & Functional Training Convention
Immediately following the training week, you can attend Pilates and Functional Training Carnival on the 9th and 10th May. This event is truly unique in the fitness industry as all profits are given to a local Children’s Charity, Fundació Pere Tarrés. There is a full weekend of classes from International Presenters and the only charge is a donation of 50€. This is not a typical convention full of egos and reputations. This is the people’s convention and it is a breath of fresh air.

If you attend all 5 days of the PilatesEVO© training week then you get FREE entry to Pilates and Functional Training Carnival (Chris Hunt will donate your 50€)! All qualified PilatesEVO© teachers also receive free entry to the Carnival.

For more information on PilatesEVO© Barcelona 2015 training week and on Pilates & Functional Training Convention 2015, please contact chris@chrishuntpilates.com.

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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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.

 

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.

Jacqueline Fernandez loves Pilates in 2015

jacqueline fernandez pilates

Jacqueline Fernandez loves Pilates in 2015!

I have explained before that I am not obsessed with celebrity. I have never bought Hello Magazine. What I am obsessed with is Pilates. And whilst not every one agrees, it’s my opinion that if someone starts Pilates because their friend, neighbour, sporting hero or favourite celebrity does Pilates, then why not?

I’ve had comments about glamorising Pilates, about how privileged celebrities are, about creating false hope, 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 I am sorry for wasting your time and please do not read my blog today! :)

The actress posted pictures of herself saying that she is starting her 2015 with Pilates. I think this is a very good idea of course! On Monday I will post my diet plan for you to get fit and healthy in 2015. We can achieve anything we want to. Together we are stronger.

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.