Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Try a Smoothie this Spring

Making a smoothie is a great addition to your daily routine.  Here are a few advantages to pulling out that blender and making your own smoothie:
- easy & fast
- get your fruits and veggies in your diet
- improve digestion
- meal flexibility
- reduce cravings
- gives you energy

A great smoothie to try this Spring...

1 cup coconut water
1 large handful of raw spinach
1/2 banana
1/2 cup raw beets
1/2 avocado
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 scoop Chocolate Complete by Juice Plus+ Shake Mix

Mix the above in a blender and enjoy.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Confessions of a Pilates Instructor

We work out everyday.  FALSE

We only eat healthy food.  FALSE

We can do all the exercises we teach, and we have perfect form.  FALSE

We only wear workout clothes.  SOMETIMES TRUE

I think we have the goal of working out frequently during the week, but life happens... sickness, kids, family, vacation, holidays.  We have different seasons of life and different seasons of exercise.
From our instructors:
"I never exercise on vacations, but generally do workout a little each day."
"I struggle with consistency in my own workouts."
"I try and workout 4 times a week."

Not all Pilates instructors are health food addicts.  We have to reward ourselves sometimes.
From our instructors:
"I love sweets!"
"I like to know where my food comes from, however, on occasion, I do love a spicy chicken sandwich from Chick Fil A."
"I love chocolate. A lot!"
"I put a lot of sugar in my coffee, and I love baked goods."

Like our clients, we are always learning and trying to better ourselves.  We would love to be able to do all the exercises perfect every time, but honestly, there are some very challenging Pilates exercises.  We, too, have to practice these exercises.
From our instructors:
"I can do exercises with modifications sometimes."
"Sometimes I can only do one really good teaser."
"Perfect every time... Heavens No!"

We do like wearing workout clothes.  Aren't they more comfortable?
From our instructors:
"I wear 'normal' clothes 2 days a week."
"I own one pair of jeans.  Everything else is athletic wear."
"I have more athletic pants hanging in my closet than any other kind of pants."

So, there's a little bit of honesty from us.  We have goals of being healthy but life tends to get in the way sometimes... even for Pilates instructors.  We break the rules and allow ourselves to have a chocolate cookie.  It's all about finding balance in your life... A little good and a little bad.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

My Pilates Journey

I LOVE PILATES and teaching it! I love what it has done for my body and my health! I love imparting that knowledge and helping others to find their health through Pilates. 

I learned about Pilates, about 17 years ago, when I was going to a small, local gym to workout. This older woman, laid down on the floor and started pumping her arms up and down while her feet were in the air. As most of you know, I can talk to anybody and as my husband, frequently tells me, “You have never met a stranger!”; of course, I had to ask her what she was doing. She told me Pilates. I decided to check out a, now defunct, studio and started taking classes. I loved it! Even then, the thought went through my head that I would like to teach Pilates. However, having two young daughters at home and a husband with a demanding job, traveling to NYC or California was not a possibility. Eventually, I stopped doing Pilates and moved on to kick boxing, gym memberships, etc. and started getting injured. The YMCA opened near us and I knew I had to do something for me; so I joined and they had mat Pilates! Yes! I had a wonderful instructor and started talking to her about going through the training. She told me about a studio in Charlotte that was a STOTT studio, I researched it and asked my husband for Pilates training that Christmas, 6 years ago.

I began my training in Mat in Charlotte and did not realize the journey I had begun! (I had earned my degree in Nursing at the University of Vermont and thought, ehhh, anatomy, okay, I’ve done this before. WELL, eye opener! I had to re-learn my anatomy and learned more than I had needed for nursing school! Muscles, bones, origin, insertion, action, muscle direction.... ) I tested out and became certified in Mat through STOTT Pilates. I started teaching at my Y and reached out, by accident, to Inner Strength Pilates. That was a God led moment because He took me to right studio for me. I began teaching mat and soon realized I wanted to train on the equipment as well. So, my patient family supported me as I traveled back and forth to Charlotte to train on the equipment. That studio had to change affiliations and became a Pilates Academy International training facility, went through more changes and finally, there was no place to go to finish my training and certification process.  Amy had just started offering Polestar Pilates training at the studio and after talking with her, watching her work with clients and learning more about the physical therapy emphasis of Polestar, which, for me, fit with my nursing background; I decided to take Polestar’s Comprehensive Training through their Bridge Program.

Becoming a certified Pilates instructor is hard work. You have your actual training, then you have to have several hundred, combined, hours of observing instructors, teaching, and physical review-practicing the exercises yourself before you can sit for the exam, along with12 fitness screenings and developing beginner, intermediate and advanced programming for those clients (mine were family and friends). You have to know the exercise, the correct name, the springs, modifications for clients with scoliosis, osteoporosis, spinal fusions, hip replacements, knee replacements, pregnancy, etc.  My Polestar Pilates exam was two days. It consisted of a multiple choice test of Polestar Principles, Pilates history-ask me about Joe sometime; exercises, proper modifications; then a case study from which I had to develop a beginner, intermediate and advanced program, I had to do a fitness screening on two different “body’s”,  real people, and from that screening develop a beginning and advanced program, teach and afterwards write down what I had taught, then I had to demonstrate 4 intermediate and advanced exercises on each piece of equipment plus mat. You think an hour is long...try two hours, non stop! Exhausting physically and mentally.

Every time I have taken a new training or a continuing education class, I have learned and layered my knowledge to create a toolbox to help you, our clients, practice Pilates safely and without injury. Polestar Pilates deepened my knowledge base allowing me to create a safe and efficient workout for you, to see you, to meet you where you are at and to try and progress you on your Pilates journey. #iampolestarpilates #itisajourney

Remember that older woman at the beginning?....she was doing the 100!

By Lisa Crozier

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Keeping Up With the Holiday Workouts

Ready or not... the holidays are here!  With all the to-do-lists we have to get ready for the holidays, it's hard to squeeze in that workout.  Here are a few tips to keep you on track with your fitness goals.

1 - Put it on the calendar - Take a few minutes to plan out your week with workouts you are going to do, and write them on your calendar.

2 - Get it done! - Workout first thing in the morning.  Our will power is stronger in the morning so we are less likely to let other things step in the way of our workout.

3 - Grab a buddy - Find a friend to workout with and check in with them daily.  You are less likely to skip a workout if you have to be accountable to someone else.

4 - Plan for travel - If you have to travel get your workout in before you leave.  Find a place to workout at your destination or pack weights, bands, and athletic shoes in your luggage to do a quick workout while you are away.

5 - A little is better than nothing - Get some sort of exercise in.  30 minutes of walking is better than nothing.  Run up the stairs in the hotel instead of walking or taking the elevator.

With all the feasting, shopping, party-going, family obligations, and year end budgeting exercise can be hard to fit it.  Make it a priority and stay motivated.  Good luck!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Pumpkin Chili

What are a few things that come to mind during this time of year?

Cool weather?

How about cooking pumpkin chili on these cool fall days for the football games?
Here's a recipe to try.

Pumpkin Chili

2 pounds of ground turkey
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup canned pumpkin
2-14 oz cans tomatoes, diced
1-16 oz can kidney beans
12 oz chili sauce
1-2 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Coat large skillet with cooking spray. Brown ground turkey and onions.  Drain liquid.  Transfer to large pot.  Add all remaining ingredients.  Mix thoroughly.  Simmer for 30 minutes.

Let us know if you try this!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Why you should practice Pilates during pregnancy

Two of us have recently had babies, and I feel Pilates has helped me have easy pregnancies, both during the pregnancy and after.  Having a baby definitely changes the body, but Pilates can help combat the discomforts and issues.  Here are a few reasons why to continue a Pilates routine:

- Decrease pain in lower back - Pilates exercises target the strength and stability of the pelvis and low back.  The baby grows... the belly grows.  This creates increased pressure on the lower back and possible posture changes.  If the stabilizing muscles around these areas are weak, pain is a result.  Pilates aims to prevent this from happening.

- Pelvic floor strength - As the uterus gets bigger it puts pressure on the pelvic floor.  Your muscles are asked to support this increasing pressure, but Pilates helps to strengthen these muscles.  It also strengthens the push during labor.

- Improve core strength - Pilates targets the deepest abdominal muscles, the transverse abdominis.  During pregnancy the fascia of the rectus abdominis, a more superficial muscle, will stretch and thin. If the fascia separates too much, problems can arise.  Strengthening the transverse abdominis will support the rectus to prevent increased separation of the fascia.

- Stress relief - Being pregnant can create a lot of anxiety for some women.  Pilates and other exercises decrease this feeling.

- Improve breathing - There's a lot of breathing in Pilates.  As the uterus expands, it puts pressure on the diaphragm and makes it hard to breath.  Pilates helps to combat this by tapping into the intercostal  muscles lining the ribcage so women still feel like they can take deep breathes.  Also with the breathing connection that occurs during Pilates, the breathing can make labor a little easier.

- Quicker recovery - The stronger the body is before delivery, the stronger the body will be after.   If moms have the connection to their abdominals before pregnancy they will regain that connection quicker than if they didn't have that connection in the first place.  And don't forgot about all the lifting and bending over to take care of the baby... and maybe any older children.  Strong arms and back will prevent injury, tension, and imbalances due to these activities.

Of course my body is different after my third pregnancy, but I felt strong after delivery.  I didn't have much of a down time afterwards.  I truly believe that practicing Pilates all these years has made my body strong enough to have pregnancies with little discomfort and to bounce back quickly after delivery.

- Mandy Harris

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Have you ever wondered what Microdermabrasion is?

Microdermabrasion is a minimally invasive procedure that gently sands off the outer layers of skin improving overall texture and improvement.  

What does it do?
- revitalizes dull skin
- reduces large pores
- erases fine lines and wrinkles
- treat sun damage
- reduce acne scars
- reduces mild pigment irregularities (hyperpigmentation), stretch marks and age spots. 

It is equally effective for reducing superficial imperfections and, most importantly, it allows you to get back to your daily routine immediately after treatment and even put makeup on right after. This patented Turbo System provides a controlled safe and even exfoliating process. One treatment will show improvement but a series of 6 is recommended for best results.  4 weeks should be scheduled between each treatment.