The Health Benefits of Pilates

Pilates is now known across the world, mostly for the extreme health benefits that it brings to the table. It doesn’t matter what age you are or your fitness level; anyone can benefit from Pilates. It is estimated that over 20 million people around the world take a Pilates class or do Pilates exercises in some form or another. This exercise regime is said to give people many physical and mental benefits.

Get Thrive Yoga Pants
Get Thrive Yoga Pants

Makes You More Flexible

Stretching overtime and using the “Reformer” on a regular basis not only extends your range of motion, but it makes you more flexible as well. This will eventually make your body feel looser and give it the ability to do exercises and activities that you never could before. Becoming more flexible will also help you achieve other physical improvements, such as reducing back pain.

Can Improve Your Breathing

When you are in a Pilates class, careful attention is paid to your breathing patterns. Proper breathing also helps with your blood circulation, which will make you feel fresh, energized, and happy even long after the Pilates class ends.

Deep breathing gives your body a better supply of oxygen, an elemental part of almost all chemical reactions that take place in your body. Oxygen gives you energy. Exhaling rids carbon dioxide, or waste, from your body. Therefore, deep breathing is a great way to cleanse!

Helps to Improve Posture

No matter what you are doing when going about your everyday life, taking Pilates reminds you that you need to pull your stomach in, pull your shoulders back and maintain the good posture that makes it possible to be fit and live healthily.

Not only does perfecting your posture make you look better, but it can also help alleviate shoulder tension and upper back pain. The focus on posture in your Pilates class will change the way you carry yourself outside of class as well.

Ergonomic High-Back Chair
Ergonomic High-Back
Chair

Helps to Build Better Balance and Core Strength

Using a Pilates ball or a Reformer utilizes physical coordination and also helps to build balance. Balance exercises also strengthen core muscles. This is where structuring good posture comes in.

“Active awareness” of your core muscles while performing Pilates balancing exercises helps you maintain your posture. And, because the core contains and controls your diaphragm, this can also improve the deep breathing we discussed earlier.

Overall: Makes Your Body More Efficient

Pilates is the type of exercise that tones your body, improves your breathing and posture, and makes you more flexible. In other words, Pilates allows your body to be more efficient every time you take a class.

Pilates is sweeping the nation and can help you become a better you. Try a class—you’ve got everything to gain!

 

Hiking, Hello? 15 Things Good and Bad You Need to Know

Hello. Hiking is a great form of exercise for your body and mind. But, it also has its pitfalls (pun intended). Don’t be scared. You can master your workout on safe ground, no problem.  With a few tips, you can conquer your fears along with your highest peaks!

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough…

First off, as far as hiking goes, let’s agree that it doesn’t have to happen in the mountains. Hiking encompasses brisk walking and sometimes up and down hills. It usually includes a trail and it is always done outside. Hiking is a form of exercise that allows you to convene with nature and de-stress while working tons of muscles.

Let’s Exercise the Good and the Bad

1) You can maintain or lose weight. An hour-long hike, depending on your speed, the incline, and how much weight’s in your pack, you can burn between 350 and 550 calories. A hearty two-hour hike can conceivably consume half of your day’s caloric intake.

2) You can be out of shape and hike. You can start anytime. Just begin slowly and choose level paths.

3) There’s no competition; no classes are required, and it’s free. You can do it anywhere. If you’re not in a particularly scenic area, it’s suggested to imagine a beautiful place you’ve seen before or in a picture.

Keep on Hiking!

4) Hiking uses muscles in almost every part of your body. It’s especially toning for your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core. Your calves will start shaping up quickly as will your triceps if you use trekking poles.

5) Hiking improves your cardiovascular fitness. Your heart rate rises, and you can break a good sweat. But, don’t forget your water! Bring plenty of H2O, but also bring a filter in a case you get in sticky (dry) situation.

6) Hikers have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, and high cholesterol than those who do not exercise.

7) Hiking is a weight-bearing exercise. For women, this is especially important because it maintains bone density. (Or, at least slows down the loss of mass.)

Up, Up, Up, We Go!

8) Hiking improves your core strength. This, in turn, improves your sense of balance.

9) Hiking stimulates the release of endorphins. You feel good during and after.

10) Going on a hike with a group allows for some great social time (especially if you stop for a snack in the middle.)

11) You shouldn’t go hiking alone. If you insist on going solo, make sure you tell someone exactly where you’re going. Bring regular supplies, but especially a whistle.

12) It can be too hot. You can burn or dehydrate. Choose morning hikes. Always bring a lot of water. Wear and bring sunscreen as well as a hat like Columbia Sportswear Bora Bora Booney II Sun Hats.


It can also be too cold. Wear layers of clothing. Make sure there’s good tread on your shoes in case of ice. It can also rain. Pack a poncho and prepare for slippery mud.

Keep On Climbing!

13) If you hike in higher altitude than you’re used to, you can get sick. You may feel nauseas, lightheaded, and dehydrated. Drink water and rest.

You may feel nauseous, lightheaded, and dehydrated. Drink and rest. Drinking water— and having a hydration backpack and/or bladder will help a camel-ton.

You’re Just Near the End!!!!

14) You can slip and fall. Always be aware of your surroundings and the conditions. Carry a small first aid kit for minor injuries and also for blisters. Have a cell phone, map, and a GPS (or app.)

15) You might run into a snake, bear, mountain lion, or poison oak. Know what kind of creatures and plants are on your trail. Carry a deterrent and also learn how to discourage a real confrontation.

With that said, hopefully, you are not scared off from taking a hike. As you can see, the benefits are significantly higher. Hiking can keep the body in shape, but it can also fulfill the soul. It’s truly a light form of exercise—one that almost seems effortless! (Until you get to that big rocky hill. But don’t think about it.) Just enjoy…

How Hybrid Exercising Can Give You the Body You’ve Always Wanted

Getting into the best shape possible requires that you switch up your exercise routine before your body adapts to it. You want to confuse your muscles. Combining two forms of training in one session makes for a successful hybrid experience.

Just like the “two heads are better than one” adage, the same holds true when it comes to getting the best physical results. Ideally, you’ll want to combine aerobic and anaerobic exercises.

For example, dancing (aerobic) with weight-lifting (anaerobic), or Pilates with jumping rope, or yoga with sprinting intervals. The combinations are endless.

Double-dipping will actually allow you to lower your body fat while improving cardiovascular and muscle strength. One trainer offers a compelling list of classes offered around the U.S. Other formats include pairing trampolines with spinning with TRX with indoor wakeboards with ballet, and classes with live DJs, adding to the fun.

Hybrid workouts can keep you motivated, challenged, and get you to a whole new fitness level. Mix it up!

 

 

Another Vitamin D Benefit

According to a new study, postmenopausal women can increase muscle strength with Vitamin D supplementation.

Help! I’ve fallen … and I can get up

Over a nine-month period, the trial (giving Vitamin D Supplements) revealed greater muscle mass and handgrip strength. In fact, results of the test conducted in Brazil showed that the chances of falling were actually decreased. Overall muscle strength was shown to increase by approximately 25%.

Older, Wiser, and Stronger

Often postmenopausal women are deficient in Vitamin D. What this study proved was that with taking supplements, muscle strength was increased and frailty was reduced significantly. Additionally, the supplementation also showed to provide protection from another symptom of post-menopause, which is

Often postmenopausal women are deficient in Vitamin D. What this study proved was that with taking supplements, muscle strength was increased and frailty was reduced significantly. Additionally, the supplementation also showed to provide protection from another symptom of post-menopause, which is degenerative loss of skeletal muscle.

There are still more studies to be done on Vitamin D supplementation, but this is great news for women. Staying strong is needed, especially as we age.