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Man Utd star loves Pilates for men

Pilates EVO London Educations

Man Utd star loves Pilates for Men

Man Utd star loves Pilates for men
www.chrishuntpilates.com

Daley Blind reveals how he is preparing for the new season.

Man Utd star loves Pilates for men. A headline to warm the cockles of my heart. Regular readers of my blog will know that there is very little I like more than a good Pilates for men type story. My opinion is that more men should be doing Pilates, so any reason to get guys thinking about Pilates is a good thing, and a Premier League Footballer is as good a story as any other to get some headlines.

Daley Blind will return to Manchester United’s Carrington training complex tomorrow having already hit the ground running. The Dutch international enjoyed a short beach break after the season ended, but last week Blind got down to serious solo training, working out at home and pushing himself to the limit on long, gruelling runs.

Blind also turned to his favourite pastime of Pilates for men to make sure he passes all the fitness tests ordered by Man Utd boss Louis van Gaal when his squad starts preparing for the new campaign in earnest this morning. He’s confident he’ll pass the tale of the tape and get down to even harder work before heading off with the rest of the squad for United’s pre-season US mini tour.

Blind said: “The club gave me three weeks off and I’m cautious with what I eat and drink. I make sure I’m responsible. For me, the summer holidays are about letting everything go and spending quality time with my family and friends. I like to relax on the beach, play some tennis or have a kickabout with my mates. My mindset changes so I can recharge my body and mind after a long, hard season. During the last week of my holiday, I started running and stretching to get my body going again”.

“I worked out at home or outside, focusing on Pilates. This helps with stability and agility. And I focused on eating healthy food like fruit and veg. Bad food makes you feel lethargic and bloated and who wants to feel like that?”

Blind is not the only footballer or sports professional to use Pilates as part of their training program. I have written before about other stars including Steven Gerrard and Landon Donovan. I am really pleased to see more and more men attending my PilatesEVO educations and sessions, and there is a growing demand here in Barcelona for fitness and wellness based retreats for specific sports, not only the traditional wellness retreats (see www.barcelonabienestar.com for more)  .

As for writing about celebrities, I have said before that even if one man tries Pilates for the first time as a result of reading about a footballer doing it, then that is a success.

So we will keep championing the Pilates cause among men, and wish Daley Blind good luck next season in the English Premier League. But not too much success as I am an Arsenal supporter!

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, 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.chrishuntpilates.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

PilatesEVO London Educations Oct 2015 v.1PilatesEVO Cotswolds Educations Oct 2015 v.1

You want to be the best you can be? Mind and body is a 2-way street

Mind and Body Chris Hunt BlogYou want to be the best you can be? Mind and body is a 2-way street

My regular readers will know that I have a great interest in the link between mind and body. I have always been interested in this topic, but my interest was heightened following the death of my father from Alzheimer’s (please read Dementia, I lost my father, don’t lose yours).

Here in Barcelona I organise wellness retreats that treat our healt holistically, a real mind and body experience.

It is common to think that our mind is in control and telling our body what to do. But there is a lot of scientific evidence that shows the chatter between mind and body goes two ways, and the body is an integral part of how we think. I was therefore very interested to read a new book How the Body Knows Its Mind, by Prof. Sian Beilock, who provides the latest scientific evidence about the body’s influence on our psyche, drawing on work from her own laboratory and from colleagues around the world.

On my PilatesEVO© and bodyFUNC© fitness educations, I encourage my students to open their minds to the fact that the body and the mind are to all intents and purposes one and the same. A significant part of my training is about the psychological level, whereas I find that the vast majority of training educations focus only on the physical which is my opinion a big mistake. So I give my student the tools and techniques they can use everyday in their training for themselves and their clients.

I give similar talks to senior management when acting as a consultant to business. Until we accept this fact, it is my contention that we can never be the best teacher we can be, or the best manager we can be. There are still many people who operate in the physical plane only, and there is growing scientific evidence that supports my teachings that to do so is seriously and critically impacting on our ability to achieve the results we want, both physical and psychological.
Beilock, a leading expert on the brain science behind human performance, believes the body-mind connection starts early.

“Movement matters with everyone, but it is especially important for babies and young children,” said Beilock. “Mobile kids hit cognitive milestones faster.” She said that simple steps like allowing babies to run around naked — when appropriate — can help them explore their worlds. Beilock said wearing diapers and using baby walkers can limit a baby’s ability to interact with the world and hinder the process of learning how to walk. The more quickly children learn how to walk and explore, the faster their cognitive development.

Incorporating physical activity into more subjects can help kids learn in school, according to Beilock.

“We can’t just keep students confined to their chairs — we have to get them up, out and moving,” Beilock said. “When the subjects are math or physics, getting students to actually physically experience some of the concepts they’re learning about changes how their brains process the information and can lead to better performance on a test.” Movement also helps explain the connection between music and math. Why do kids tend to excel in both? It’s because the brain areas controlling finger dexterity and number largely overlap. Beilock unpacks the latest research showing that when kids exercise their fingers through regular piano play, their grasp of numbers improves.
An area of particular interest to me that the idea that exercise can aid mental health as well as academic achievement. According to Beilock. “The research shows that getting kids moving is important not only for their physical well-being, but for their mental well-being, too.” She said schools need to emphasize “the “4 Rs” — reading, (w)riting, (a)rithmetic and recess. Boys’ academic achievement may especially benefit from recess, she added.

Exercise is equally important for older adults, as it can promote healthy aging mentally and physically. “There are clear differences in brain health in fit, older adults compared with their more sedentary counterparts,” said Beilock. “And these differences carry consequences for thinking and reasoning as well as for memory.” Beilock stressed that aerobic exercise, which can alter the structure and functioning of the brain, is key for improving mental health. Activities like swimming, running, cycling, walking briskly or even doing household chores at a vigorous pace can benefit the brain, in addition to keeping the body fit.

There are some simple mind and body ideas that you can incorporate into your training, or you everyday life:

• Take active breaks from work or vexing problems to give your brain a chance to regroup and reboot. Physically walking away from the problem for a few minutes may help you solve it.
• Your body’s posture and expressions are not just reflections of your mind — they can influence your mood. Stand tall to help give yourself confidence and to send a signal to those around you that you have brought your “A” game to the table. And be mindful of your facial expressions. Your brain uses your expressions as cues to feel emotions. Smiling can actually make you feel happier.
• Practice in the real conditions under which you will have to perform — whether it’s public speaking, a test or an important match. It’s also good to practice in front of others so when all eyes are on you, it’s nothing new.
• Write it out. Journaling can help you deal with the stress of a test or your worries in daily life. Physically downloading worries from your mind (by putting pen to paper) has positive performance outcomes and reducing that stress affects your health in good ways, too.
• Spend time in nature as often as you can, and find time to meditate. New science shows that a walk in the woods rejuvenates our minds and improves our ability to pay attention and focus. Meditation for even a few minutes a day can help alleviate anxiety and chronic pain. It also can help with self-control that may be helpful for working to break bad habits, like smoking.
“Little things we do can have a big effect,” said Beilock.
We do not have to spend hours every day in order to improve our physical and mental health. By applying some simple techniques, we can begin to make a major shift in our life.

Chris Hunt is a Pilates and functional training presenter and educator based in London and Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also created Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. He organises Pilates events, mind and body retreats, fitness holidays and sports holidays in Barcelona and Ibiza. For more information about training with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris Hunt, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? You can also subscribe by completing the form on the this BLOG to receive articles and special offers straight to your inbox.

Chris Hunt pays all profits made from this BLOG to his charity partners. More details can be found by clicking on www.chrishuntwellness.com and selecting the “charity partners” tab.

Pilates Training: Are you faithful or adulterous?

Pilates Training: Are you faithful or adulterous?

www.chrishuntpilates.com

Pilates Training: Are you faithful or adulterous?

Is being faithful to your Pilates system for life a good thing or not? I think this is an interesting question, but why am I asking it today?

Let me rewind a little. I was checking my emails on Sunday evening after the end of another successful Wellness Retreat here in Barcelona. My inbox was full of the usual spam emails that none of us like getting, but I accept that if we put ourselves out there in the virtual world of social media, websites, blogs etc, then we can hardly complain too loudly when someone picks up our details and contacts us can we? On the contrary, it means that our advertising is working! When it happens to me (and it does around 100 times everyday), I really do not let it spoil my day, in the same way I do not let junk post spoil my day, or TV adverts spoil my day, or phone calls trying to sell me something I do not want or need spoil my day, or leaflets that fall out of the magazines I buy spoil my day… Spamming (did you know the phrase “spam” comes from the Monty Python sketch first published in 1970? If you haven’t seen it then CLICK HERE to watch it. English sense of humour is required!) has been going on for ever just in different forms. I reply if think it’s worthy, or I simply lift my finger and press the delete button. My blood pressure doesn’t change and neither does my mood.

Ok, I digress, let me get back to the title of my blog, Pilates Training. But the purpose for this foray into cyberland etiquette is that in my inbox (amoung the spam) was a message from one of my PilatesEVO master-trainers from Europe. Whilst promoting a PilatesEVO© education, she was in contact with a Pilates teacher in London. I decided to write this article not so much because the Pilates teacher in question wrote back to a perfectly polite email in an incredibly rude and disingenuous way (and they did not even use salutation which is really just either lazy or bad form, or both), it was more about what she said. Her words were that didn’t my colleague realise who she was, and that she had been affiliated to the same school of Pilates for more than 15 years and she would never ever even think about learning any other form of Pilates.

Whilst I wonder how any one who can write such an email can possibly be a good, professional teacher, we all know there are many systems of Pilates, and no doubt we have our favourite which is probably the one we studied first. But the purpose of my article today is to ask the question is being totally faithful to your Pilates system for life a good thing or not?

My opinion is that it absolutely is not. Whether you like my PilatesEVO© system or any other system that is not your “usual” system, I totally respect your opinion. This article is not about the rights or wrongs of different systems. But to never try anything else is like saying that Ford is the best manufacturer of cars when all you have owned is a Ford. How can you even have an opinion? Even if you do not buy another car, at least take a few test drives!

I believe that diversity in training and experience is what makes the best teachers, and those who have an insular attitude are missing out on potentially interesting and informative ideas that could complement or even add to their favourite way of teaching. I know Pilates schools that actively discourage their pupils from going over to the “dark side” and trying another school. What exactly are they afraid of? Are they so insecure about their method, or just afraid that one of their disciples might find a different system a revelation? I cannot see any negative reason for not being open minded about how and what other people teach. At the very least it might confirm to you that your system is the best one for you, but there is also a very high chance that you might just learn something new that will make you a better teacher.

I always try to keep an open mind. I always except that I do not know everything (you should avoid at all costs anyone who ever tells you that they do because they are fools) and there is always room for new experiences and knowledge. But what’s your opinion? Have you always only practised one form of Pilates training? Who out there can speak of positive experiences from trying other types? I’d love you opinions and thoughts.

As for me, I’ll have spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, egg and chips please. :)

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, 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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