Pilates || Breaking the Stereotype

"Pilates is so easy."

"Oh, so you're like, a yoga teacher?"

"Pilates is just for girls."

"Pilates is just stretching."

 

         Listed above are only a few of the common phrases/questions that we, as Pilates Instructors, hear quite often. The list goes on, but you get the point. Joseph Pilates, the mastermind behind this highly intelligent lifestyle, initially invented the movement for wounded German soldiers. Yup, you read that right - a man created Pilates for men. So, why in the world would it be JUST for women? Of course, the whole point of this article is not to talk about why we need to see more men doing Pilates (even though we do). We want to highlight what Pilates actually is and shed some light on how each person, regardless of age, sex, activity level, and fitness aspirations, can benefit from it.

         You might have noticed that earlier, I called Pilates a lifestyle. And that is exactly what it is. Recently, I had a new client come to me after a hip replacement and he (yes, a HE!), said "So, how long do people actually do this [Pilates] for?" I realized I had never been asked that question before, but my answer came easily and without hesitation, "Well, people don't come to us to simply get over something and leave once they feel better. It is a lifestyle, it is never mastered and there are always ways to continue to challenge." Yes, people may initially come to us because of a specific injury or pain. But what keeps them coming after that injury has long healed, is the realization of their new-found strength in ways they never thought possible.  The realization that this is a practice, and just like anything else, if you stop practicing, that strength goes away, and maybe that same injury returns. Which is why the importance of making Pilates a routine in your life cannot be underestimated. Our lovely Kaylyn said it perfectly "It's about bringing awareness from Pilates and translating it into life in order to live comfortably. Not just to look a certain way." We don't only heal - we make you the strongest version of yourself , so you can be your best self inside and out of the studio.

Which brings me to address the myth that Pilates is easy (*eye roll commence*). Whoever said that was either in a fake Pilates class (unfortunately, they exist), had a poorly-trained instructor (those exist, too), was zoning out, or was in too huge of a class that the teacher simply couldn't make it around the entire room. In Pilates, less is usually more, it's about the subtleties. Usually, it takes one simple tactile, visual, or verbal cue that can change the entire exercise and leave you shaking for a long time! It is entirely about quality of movement and if the integrity of the exercise is missing, it becomes mindless movement. Pilates has been deemed "mindful movement" for a reason, which is part of the beautiful challenge we face while practicing. It was created with the idea that the mind connects to and controls specific muscles. The mind-body connection paired with a smaller class size and a highly-trained instructor makes all the difference in the world!

I know this article has been all about Pilates, but I'm not saying that we should ONLY do Pilates everyday - absolutely not! There is a reason that we offer cardio and strength classes on top of Pilates. Life is all about balance, right? So, because our exercise regimen is part of our lifestyle, it must also be balanced! The reason I am addressing this is because another comment we hear often is that people do not need or want Pilates because they don't think they are getting enough cardio to lose weight. Now, I am the first person to tell a new client that if they really want to lose weight, they must keep their workouts varied. Doing Pilates alone will help gain and strengthen lean muscle, while simultaneously burning fat. Ultimately though, you will plateau. With any exercise form, it is important to mix up your regimen to see optimal results. BUT, with that being said - you also cannot solely rely on cardio. Muscle burns more calories than fat, so when you have more muscle, you burn more calories. Therefore, yes, you need Pilates to gain muscle to burn more calories, but you also need to add cardio in the mix on top of that. At Pure Power Pilates, we are bridging the gap between Pilates and Fitness, so that you can get the best benefits from both worlds.

 

Last but  not least, I want to highlight that Pilates does not discriminate. As I mentioned earlier, Pilates is truly for every single body, which I cannot say truthfully about any other form of exercise. The Pilates clientele is vast and varied from Professional athletes to rehab clients, from young Olympic hopefuls, to 90+ year olds trying to improve body mechanics. There is something for every age, every occupation, every lifestyle. We promise to debunk any and all of those myths you may have heard that ever made you think twice about signing up for that Pilates class!

 

 

Jumping for January

Jumping for January

Our goal in creating this blog is to be accessible to YOU one hundred percent of the time, even when we are not in the studio together! (As if we aren't in your head enough already, right?! Maybe correcting your posture in line at the grocery store? Jk, Jk, but not really). We are, of course, a studio of Pilates and fitness classes, but we view ourselves as so much more than that. We are a family that encourages and pushes one another to be the best version of ourselves each day, whether we are inside the studio or out.

The Teaser Super Set

The Pilates teaser exercise is part of the classical Pilates mat sequence. It has been notoriously challenging people for years. So don’t feel alone if you find this exercise difficult.

Nevertheless the teaser is an exercise worth learning. It takes a lot of strength, flexibility, control and balance — all things we like to develop in Pilates. Teaser, when done properly is one of those Pilates exercises that falls into the category of flat stomach exercises as well.

Client Spotlight – November 2015

Kathy is 64 years old. In her younger years was active in sports. When she had children in her 30’s, along with a full time job, there was not much time for her anymore. A couple of years ago she began taking tennis lessons and quickly realized that she did not have the endurance nor the strength to get through an hour tennis lesson, let alone a set. She retired just 2 years ago, and she knew it was necessary to alter her health and fitness routine, so she would be able to enjoy the next chapter of her life. Kathy has been lucky, she only suffers from a pinched nerve in her foot that prevents her from walking more than an hour.

We asked Kathy a few questions, this is what she had to say:

Q: What has been the biggest change in your fitness routine since joining our Studio?

A: The biggest change is that I actually come! For years and years I paid dues to a fitness center but never went. I did not enjoy the large classes or the individual machines, where I never knew if I was doing the exercises correctly. At this Studio, I get small group training, and a lot of individual instruction to make sure my form and breathing are correct. When I first came I could maybe do 1 sit up and forget about push-ups. Now, I can feel that my core and my muscles are continually getting stronger. “

Q: How many days a week do you train?

A: “Ideally, I like to train 4-5 days. I do 2 classes on the reformers, 2 classes of cardio, and 1 class with weights.”

Q: How do you feel after each workout?

A: “After working out I always am sweaty and feel amazing. The rest of the day I have a lot of energy.”

Q: What is your favorite part about training at Pure Power PILATES and Fitness?

A: “I love working out with all the different people, and I have made some good friends. It is a lot of fun and the 50 minutes really flies by.”

Q: What keeps you motivated?

A: “Lori, Lauren, and Kelly! Also 3 young grandchildren that need me to keep moving or dodging.”

Q: What are your future fitness goals?

A: “I want to keep getting stronger both in my core and my muscles. When I first came to the Studio my balance was horrific. My balance has improved significantly, but there is always room for more improvement.”

Client Spotlight – September 2015

Meet Nikki, our amazing client.  Her story will inspire you!

Nikki is 32 years old and has always been involved in sports.  After High School, she found it difficult to manage her weight with just cardio alone.  As she moved to California her fitness goals shifted as she wanted to take her health more seriously.  Nikki has Type 1 diabetes and relies on insulin injections to keep her healthy.  The insulin alone will not keep Nikki’s blood sugar level, she needs to maintain a well-balanced diet and regular exercise.  One form of exercise Nikki used to enjoy more was running, but over time her knee began to give her pain.  Then she found Pilates.  She started slow, learning the correct breathing and form by attending Mat Pilates classes.  After about a month, she began adding a variety of power classes to her weekly workout schedule, which is when she realized that Pure Power PILATES is nothing like anything she has ever tried before.  Nikki adds, “Not only do they help to push you to try new exercises that you never thought you would ever be able to do, they also keep you focused, motivated, and challenged!  I have even seen improvement in my knee, doesn’t hurt when I run.”

We asked Nikki a few questions, this is what she had to say:

 Q: What has been the biggest change in your fitness routine since joining our Studio?

A: “I think the biggest change since joining Pure Power Pilates has been really seeing and knowing that I am stronger since I first began.  I couldn’t do a pushup before starting and now I can do about 5.” 

 Q: How many days a week do you train?

A: “I go to Pilates at least 2 times a week which in the next week will bump to 4 due to the fact that I see and get results and having a scheduled class keeps me motivated and hold me accountable.  I do cardio 2-3 times a week as well.”

Q: How do you feel after each workout?

A: “I feel that I have accomplished something.  I’m always sweating and feeling the burn.  Following each class, I feel the soreness of the muscles worked and know that I pushed myself to get stronger.  IT’S A GOOD BURN!”

 Q: What is your favorite part about training at Pure Power PILATES and Fitness?

A: “I think my favorite part is that I am getting stronger with each class but it’s always a good group of people that you work out with and get trained by.  They make sure you really focus on getting the moves and breathing correctly, but also make you laugh and keep things interesting.” 

 Q: What keeps you motivated?

A: “I think the biggest thing that keeps me motivated is really knowing how important exercise is in managing my diabetes.  I can see a difference not only in how I feel when I don’t exercise but also in my sugar levels because they tend to run high when I don’t exercise for long periods of time.”

Q: What are your future fitness goals?

A:  “My future fitness goals are really to increase the amount of time that I am working out.  Being busy with a new job over the last 5 months has cut my exercise down from 4-6 days per wk. to about 2-3.  Adding the 2 classes of Pilates a week to hold me accountable is definitely going to help me get back at it and adding cardio 1-2 days per week will hopefully help me get focused to shed some extra pounds and firm up.”

Health Benefits of Drinking Lemon Cucumber Water

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The temperatures in San Diego have been unusually warm this winter. Stay cool and hydrated with Lemon Cucumber Water. It’s a refreshing way to supercharge your water and reap the amazing health benefits.

7 Reasons Why You Should Drink Lemon Cucumber Water
1. Alkalizes the Body
“Disease cannot thrive in an alkaline body.” Lemons and cucumbers are alkaline forming foods that will help your body to function at its optimal level. A balanced pH is everything if you want to stay healthy.
2. Clear Skin
Lemon Cucumber Water is packed with Vitamin C, antioxidants, and silica. Silica is nature’s anti-aging secret. Lemon Cucumber water will cleanse toxins from your body that would normally erupt as unsightly blemishes
3. Muscular Health
The silica in cucumbers is a mineral necessary to keep connective tissue healthy. Add a few slices to your workout water bottle.
4. Promotes Healing
Vitamin C and anti-oxidants double as an immune system booster. Helping to fight free radicals and stay well.
5. Aids in Digestion
Citrus flavonoids stimulate and purify the liver. This is good if you’ve been partying hard and want to go on a liquor cleanse to re-balance your body. An entire cucumber averages about 45 calories and a lemon only 17, so a few slices in your water is not adding many additional calories.
6. May help you to drink more water
We like things that taste good. Better tasting water just may prompt you to drink more of it. Lemon & cucumber worked for me.
7. Boosts Energy Levels
Lemon Cucumber water first thing in the morning gives a nice boost. All thanks to the Vitamin C, potassium, and phytonutrients.

How To Make Lemon Cucumber Water
Add a few slices of cucumber and lemons to filtered water. When choosing lemons and cucumbers it’s best to buy organic. Look for cucumbers that are firm with smooth skin. Choose heavy lemons that have firm skin.

A New Year... A New You!

What resolutions did you make for 2015? Are you sticking to them? Here’s an even better question, have you ever turned a New Year’s Resolution into a lifestyle change?

Whether your goal for the year or even better for the future is to lose weight, strengthen your body, increase your cardiovascular heath, relieve pain, recover from an injury, or most importantly a better equality of life! You owe it to yourself to give us a try!

Here at Pure Power PILATES and Fitness, we have created a friendly environment that offers private and small group training for all ages and levels of fitness. Our studio combines the STOTT PILATES® method with revolutionary fitness knowledge creating an ideal fitness studio.

We believe to obtain good health that is sustainable; your fitness routine must be diverse. Our studio’s trainers design each class to continuously challenge your body and keep you coming back for more.

We enjoy changing lives, making our clients feel stronger, happier, and healthier!
Make this the last time this is your New Year’s Resolution.

Put the "ME" in Merry

Are you feeling over scheduled this time of year? Between parties, gifts to buy, cookies to bake – – the most wonderful time of the year quickly becomes the most stressful. Taking some time for yourself may be the last thing on your never ending to-do list, but it’s an essential step to keeping the inner Grinch away.

You must first take care of yourself. It does no one any good if you’re down and out.

Follow these four steps to a stay sane guide to getting through the holidays with a smile, and starting the New Year off with a bang.

    1. Do you feel overwhelmed or literally feel yourself becoming tense? We carry much of our stress in our muscles. Exercise is a healthy way to work out the frustration of the season. And it’s customizable to your mood and personality. Maybe a high intensity interval training class works for you or a PILATES class that will challenge your mind and body. Need to vent? Take a brisk walk around the neighborhood with a friend.
    2. Do you worry about catching a cold or flu? It is very hard to avoid germs when you are busy visiting family and friends and shopping in crowded malls. If you want to lower your chances of catching a cold this season, then regular exercise may be just what the doctor ordered. Findings show that exercise helps your immune system fight simple infections such as colds and flu, so prevention is key.
    3. Do you get the holiday blues? For some the holiday season can be very a difficult time of the year. It’s a time of sadness, a time of self-evaluation and reflecting about the past year and a time of anxiety about the future year. Regular exercise is an excellent way to boost your mood and get in shape. When you exercise, your body releases a chemical call endorphins. Endorphins trigger a positive feeling in the body which can create a more positive and energizing outlook on life.
    4. Treat yourself . . . a massage is a perfect way to honor and center yourself during the holiday season. Schedule one ahead of time.

Above all, remember that the holidays are for celebrating the season and spending quality time with friends and loved ones. As long as you keep that in mind, you’ll feel energized for the New Year ahead.

Until next time . . .