(gtag.js) Why Choose Pilates? How to be Fit and Healthy at Any Age

Don't Ignore Your Pelvic Floor - A Pilates Perspective

pilates & pelvic floor Mar 23, 2019

In my experience, the pelvic floor has proven to be a mystery for the majority of my clients when they first start Pilates. Some have been taught how to do pelvic floor exercises incorrectly while most have never heard of it at all. When they are currently dealing with a pelvic floor issue, however, suddenly the pelvic floor takes on a new level of importance. 

What is the Pelvic Floor?
The pelvic floor is a horizontal muscle group consisting of several layers of muscles which form the base of the pelvis. It supports organs such as the bladder and bowel in men and the bladder, bowel and uterus in women. It goes from the pubic bone at the front, to the tailbone at the back and to each sitting bone at the sides. It can be helpful to imagine it as a trampoline or hammock. 

Why is the Pelvic Floor so important?
For both men and women, the pelvic floor forms part of the core and helps to stabilise and support the pelvis and spine and is important for bladder and bowel control...

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Client Spotlight - My Eldest Pilates Client

Currently, I have clients in my studio in all age groups but my eldest client is 78 years young and just happens to be my Mum, Pam.
Recently I asked her to reflect on what  Pilates means to her and to describe the positive changes she has experienced since she first began her practice.

What was your first experience of Pilates?
Well, it was probably a very different experience to the usual as I was used as a guinea pig while you were completing your Pilates training at University in 2004. You taught me the basics and then practiced various new exercises and techniques on me. I suppose we were both learning together. I found the exercises interesting and I was amazed when I saw an improvement in the chronic sciatic pain I'd suffered for years. 

How often do you practice Pilates?
Daily, but this wasn't always the case. Since 2004 I've made the mistake of thinking that I could take a break from Pilates because  I felt great. I've since discovered that its necessary to...

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Building Healthy Bones - A Pilates Perspective

Why are Healthy Bones so Important?

Many people don't realise that bone is living, growing tissue that is constantly changing and adapting in response to the forces placed on it. Bones allow for movement as they act as attachment sites for muscle tendons and as the muscle contracts it pulls on the bone which facilitates movement.  Bones also have a protective function such as the rib cage which protects the heart and lungs and the skull which protects the brain.  Among other functions, they are also a storehouse for minerals such as calcium and phosphorus which are released as needed by the body.  Maintaining bone mineral density should be an important consideration when choosing an exercise program as brittle or porous bones known as Osteoporosis can lead to fracture.  Bones are our internal framework and Pilates is ideal for maintaining good bone health as long as the exercises selected incorporate weight-bearing and resistance. 

Pilates for...

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What to Expect When You Start Pilates

pilates starting pilates Feb 10, 2019

In 10 sessions you'll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you'll see a difference, and in 30 sessions you'll have a whole new body" Joseph Pilates 

Starting Pilates for the first time can be both an exciting and sometimes slightly daunting time, so today I'm going to share some pointers with you from both my own and some of my client's early experiences. Like many people before me, I was slightly underwhelmed during my first 10 sessions of Pilates. I had a few favorite exercises but many seemed very basic to me.  Being an experienced dance teacher at the time, I felt I was capable of more complex movements. How wrong I was! It's essential to begin with the basics - correct Pilates breathing techniques and learning how to connect your abdominal muscles and how to stabilise your abdominals as you add a simple movement. There are no shortcuts. It takes time to establish these connections both mentally and physically and the first 10 sessions are a steep learning curve as...

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Lumbar Disc Issues? Become Pain-Free with Pilates

 
What is a Lumbar disc issue?
You may have heard people say they have slipped a disc, but what they really mean is they have a disc issue such as a bulging, herniated, dessicated or ruptured disc.  This can occur anywhere along the spine but today I'll be discussing Lumbar disc issues. The intervertebral discs are like small sponges between each spinal vertebrae and act as supportive cushions and among other functions help to absorb impact. Each one is filled with fluid and is made up of an inner nucleus pulposus surrounded by an annulus fibrosis which allows the disc to withstand various forces and also helps to draw water into the discs. Bulging discs are common as we age as the fluid in the discs begins to dry out and can be present on CT scans but don't necessarily always cause pain. It's usually when the disc is compressing a spinal nerve that people experience back pain and or nerve pain radiating down the legs and sometimes numbness in the feet. ...
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New Year, New Opportunities - Meal Prep Tips and Tricks

pilates & healthy diet Jan 13, 2019

When you are nourishing your body with all those juicy Pilates exercises, you want to be able to back it up with a healthy eating plan and organisation is key.  If you are on track in this department that's wonderful. However, if this is an area of your life you would like to improve, you've come to the right place! 
As a reformed junk food addict myself I understand how daunting it can be to break bad habits and establish new healthy eating patterns, but I can assure you it can be done. Sometimes I amaze myself with how far I've come in my food journey with an ever-expanding repertoire of healthy meals I can competently produce and it all comes down to -  planning ahead and organisation. 

Complete a Weekly Meal Plan
 Many years ago now, I use to wait until I was ravenous before I would even begin to think about what I was going to eat for dinner.  Definitely not good for the blood sugar levels and usually resulted in another takeaway, selected by...
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Achieve your Pilates and Health Goals for 2019

Its hard to believe yet another year is drawing to a close and amidst all the celebrations, many of us will be thinking about our New Year's  Resolutions. If you are anything like me,  you start off with the best of intentions but usually, these somehow get lost along the way after the holiday period ends and the reality of the everyday working life sets in. Come mid-year, most people have completely forgotten about New Year altogether and any resolutions they may have made are a dim memory.
For this reason, I prefer to set written goals as opposed to making resolutions and based on past experience this really method produces results.

Reflection  Time
Find somewhere quiet where you can reflect on how you feel about your health and fitness during this previous year and ask yourself some questions.  Be as honest as you can with yourself in your responses. Am I happy with where I am physically and mentally? Am I  dealing with any pain or discomfort that I have...

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Pilates and Knee Health

knee injuries pilates Dec 15, 2018
 

Knee issues and injuries are a debilitating problem for people of all ages, however,  there has been a shocking  70% increase in young Australians having ACL reconstruction surgery over the last 15 years. This is largely due to sports that involve impact and sudden direction changes such as skiing, netball, football and martial arts.  As children's sport becomes more professional and the demands on young bodies more rigorous,  solutions are needed to reduce the rate of knee injury which is also putting them at risk of Osteoarthritis in later life. 
Many of my Pilates clients deal with knee pain at some point in their lives due to a large and varied number of reasons.

How Does Pilates  Offer Solutions?
Pilates provides the perfect tools to assist with stabilizing the knee joint and strengthening the surrounding muscles,  but as muscles don't work in isolation it's necessary to view the body as a whole.  Everything...
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Pilates for Prevention - Future Proof your Body

Early Years

In 1928, Joseph Pilates emigrated to the USA from Europe and coincidentally opened his studio in the same building as the New York City Ballet.  The dancers of the company were among his clientele and they discovered that his Method was ideal for rehabilitating their many dance-related injuries. Soon his exercises became part of the dancers daily strength and conditioning routine, for ultimately preventing injury and future-proofing their bodies and in this case, careers. 

Pilates for Prevention Today

Now practiced worldwide, the Pilates Method is ideal for preventing injury, not only in the dance world but can be extremely beneficial to both elite and amateur athletes of all ages. There are numerous benefits for the general population who want to enjoy a high quality of health and fitness throughout their lives and remain fit and active during retirement. As is the case in my own studio, many people use Pilates as an alternative to surgery such as joint...

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Solutions for Prolonged Sitting - A Pilates Perspective

Everyone has heard the negative publicity surrounding long periods of sitting which has been declared to be more detrimental to our health than smoking. Research has linked it to everything from obesity and diabetes to heart disease and everything in between.
With so many of us in sedentary desk jobs, how do we counteract this by-product of the Information age?
 
Human beings are designed to move and if I ever needed evidence of this, I don't need to look any further than the many clients I have assessed over the years and seen firsthand the effects of prolonged sitting on their bodies.
In general and to varying degrees, posture is compromised with a forward head position and rounded shoulders leading to poor alignment of the shoulder joints leaving them susceptible to injury. The chest is compressed which restricts the diaphragm and inhibits breathing. Hip flexors become tight and shortened and the glutes switch off leaving the lower back vulnerable often resulting...
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