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What is Pilates?

Pilates is one of the most popular exercises in the World. Pilates was created by a man named Joseph Pilates. It seems like everywhere you turn, someone is doing it from seniors to teenagers. Many people have ideas what Pilates is but not many people know six Pilates principles.

Pilates is Adaptable

Pilates is great for beginners and advanced exercisers because it is fairly easy to modify the exercises. In fact, Pilate’s experts say all Pilate’s exercises were designed with a modification in mind. This makes Pilates a great one size fits all type exercise.

The Six Principles of Pilates


You must concentrate on your movements at all times, making your movements smooth and fluid. The concentration aspect of Pilate is linked as a pain relief for those with back pain or Parkinson’s disease.


Joseph Pilates referred to the control aspect of Pilates ‘Contrology”. Pilates works by controlling the smooth muscle movements. Pilates will teach you to work with your body not be at its mercy to be kind to you.


Centering is used very often in Pilates. In order to succeed in Pilates once must finding their center or powerhouse as many Pilates practicer refer to it as. The movements will then come from the center or powerhouse, out to the limbs. Many times the center will be the abdominal region.


Flow is the movement from the core to the extremities. The movements should be coordinated and smooth. Once the basic exercises are achieved, you would try an even more difficult exercise and master that one, and move to the next level.


Precision is the practice of doing Pilates correctly. In theory, if you would incorrectly do Pilates, it erases all the value of doing the exercise in the first place. For this reason, they recommend you complete the Pilates exercises slow, carefully watching your form.


Breathing is the center component of Pilates. Pilate instructors teach their classes to breathe very deeply often using the terms ‘breathing from the back’. They will use breathing instruction with the exercises typical. Learning to breathe correctly will help improve the blood circulation.

Pilates is a well-rounded exercise that is fit for all, even pregnant women. If expecting, it is important to see the advice of your doctor and take a class from a professional who has experience with pregnant moms. Pilate can help you increase your flexibility, strength while increasing you’re your self- confidence in the process. Pilate will help your muscle feel stretched and relax your body. It is an amazing work out that is great for all to do either regularly or occasionally.

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Cross Training

Cross training is the new in exercise. Everywhere you turn, it seems like someone is talking about going to a cross training class or developing their own routine. But, what is cross training exactly?
Cross training is very simple in principle and the exercise practice is not new. Cross training is essentially circuit training.

Circuit training, what’s that?

Circuit training is implementing different exercise routines in one exercise routine. One commonly will use martial arts, aerobics, or calisthenics in one routine. This method became very popular after the fitness gurus Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper developed the 3 2 1 method. They use three minutes of strength, two minutes of abdominal work, and one minute of cardiovascular exercise. One workout will consist of 4 to 8 circuits or rounds of this method.

Why it is popular

This method is so popular for a few reasons with the most common reason being it works. It creates muscle confusion. When it is no longer hard for you to complete, you can add heavier weight. This will create more resistance and stimulate more muscle growth. Another reason it is popular is it helps the exerciser not feel bored with the exercises. This is because it combines many different exercises in one short exercise. It will also allow you to have results much sooner than if you did not cross train or use circuit training.

How can I start

Starting is not difficult. The first step is to figure out which exercises you really like doing. If you are a big fan of martial arts then use kick boxing as part of your routine. Pushups, jumping jacks, and squats are a wonderful exercise to use as your cardio exercises. For the ab workout, you can complete crunches, bicycle crunches, or toe touches. Or if you do not wish to develop your own routine, you can buy a Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper DVD. They retail for around $10USD.

The fact is that it doesn’t matter what exercises you do, as long as you are active. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you take in. This can be done by using stairs instead of the elevator or walking instead of driving the car. Move your body more, and you will achieve your fitness goals. If strength training, it is also important not to use the scale as your only gauge. Since you will be add muscle to your body composition, experts advise you to use the tape measure to determine your body fat.

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Key factors in losing weight

Losing weight can happen with baby steps. There is no need to totally over haul your life in order to get healthy. There is no need to not indulge in your favorite foods once in a while. Losing weight does not mean you cannot have fun. It doesn’t mean you become someone else. Follow these simple steps to lose weight, easily and for good.

Drink More Water

One thing that is always true in the surveys is that obese people do not get enough water. The truth is most people today will confuse thirsty with hunger. The general recommendation is to water one to two glasses of water, and if still hunger after ten to fifteen minutes, then eat a small snack. Human beings need at least eight glasses of water a day. This is the minimum and the standard for an average sized person. The best way to know how much water to drink is to take your body weight and divide by two. That is how many oz you need daily.

Avoid Artificial Sweeteners, White Sugar, and Refined Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the foundation of most of the World’s diet. They should make up only 40% of our diet, yet in most parts of the world they make up at least 60 if not 75% of the diet. Think of the typical breakfast. One may see pancakes, syrup, hash browns ( or some other potato), oatmeal, and maybe eggs. In order to lose weight it must be balanced. A better choice would be eggs, turkey bacon, and oatmeal. Artificial sweetener is another bad idea. We have gotten used to the fact it is calorie free so we think it is okay to use it. Many people drink diet soda thinking it is healthy. A new study suggests that regular soda is much better for you than diet soda. Artificial sweetener is also a typical migraine trigger. This is important to know for those of you (myself included ) that suffer from migraine disorder.

Stay active

Exercise does not have to be hard. It can be fun. If you do not enjoy it, true is you will always find a way not to do it. Find an activity you enjoy. There are so many options. One can choose from jogging, aerobics, kick boxing, marital arts, walking, weights, circuit training, cross training, and bicycling. These are just a few of the options. I have used my daily activity by playing in the park with my kids. Or walking my dog. The options are endless. The important part is just being active. Get your heart rate up and keep it up.

Let’s face it, we all have reasons to quit. We have busy lives. What separates the dedicated from the others is they keep pushing through when life gets out of control. They keep trying new things. They will get up when knocked down. They will never quit trying even if they tried one million times. They believe they can succeed, the faith in themselves will help them achieve their goals.

Just for today say to yourself, “ I can do this”. Just for today believe you are a warrior. Just for today thank God for all that you have. To quote Buddha “ In order to choose the path to walk, you must first become the path”. Become that path, control your destiny. Become a fit person inside and out!

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How to Develop a Circuit Training Workout

We’ve all wondered watching a exercise video, I could do that. You can and should develop your own routine. It will help you not be bored with your exercise and will help you develop exercises targeting the muscle groups you want to ficus on. So how do you do a circuit exercise?

Start with Warm up

First is the warm up. You probably should select 4 exercises to do in this routine and repeat them once. If following like Jillian Michaels warm up, she does each exercise for about 30 seconds repeating once. The point of the warm up is to warm up your muscles to avoid injury.


The key points are to pick exercises you can do with ease even when tired. This workout will be from 20 to 60 minutes long so you will be tired and wanting it to be over in the end. So it must be simple yet effect exercises. Good exercises are crunches, bicycles crunches, reverse crunches, jumping rope, jumping jacks, push ups, and strength training.

Another tip is to go slow before going intense. What this means is to master the exercise in form before going at it hard and intense. Form is so important in exercise. If the form is not done correctly, you might as well not do it at all.

The last tip is keep it simple. If you keep things simple not just in exercise but in life you will have a better change at success. Circuit training does not need to be perform daily either. Doing it daily will increase the chance of being injured by not allowing yourself time to recover.

Circuit training is a great tool. It allows you to reduce the training time by cross training in strength and cardio at the same time in 30 to 60 minutes time. It can help define and sculpt your body in ways you never imagined. It is hard work. It is definitely a you reap what you sow type of work out routine.
Design your own exercises. Allow your self to work hard. Put your whole heart into the workout and see how your body will transform. The amazing part is when your body transforms, so will your emotional state. You will change from the inside, out.

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Health Benefits to Receiving a Massage

Massages are not good for you just because they feel good. They have health benefits for the person receiving the massage. Massages can be healing, relaxing, and a stress reliever. In fact, many rehabilitation programs for physical therapy incorporates massages.


The benefits to massages are endless. It can reduce pain and swelling with torn ligament or muscle injuries. It can also help relieve pain associate with back injuries. Massages can bring a feeling of calmness restoring a serene feeling for your nervous system. This alone can be very healing for the body. Many disorders are caused by being nervous, scared, or anxious.

Massages promote blood circulation. They encourage your body to have better blood flow. This will cause your body to feel better, be able to be more active, and to promote restful sleep. The blood circulation will help promote muscle recovery in post exercise or injury. The massage will lessen or reduce the number of muscle cramps or spasms one experiences.

Massages also stimulate the body to get rid of toxins. Our world is so full of toxins, so this may be the best benefit to massages. They help support your lymphic system which carries waste from the body. This will lead to clearer skin, more energy, and a refreshed mind.

Who should not have a Massage?

Massages are not for everyone. Some people should not have one or they risk being more injured or sick. Those people with fevers, infections, or bone disorders should not get a massage. When getting a massage, one should disclose their health information to the massacre technician so they will know if you are a candidate for a massage or if they should modify the massage for you.

Reaction to Massage?

In rare circumstances, a massage can cause an allergic reaction or other reaction. One of the most common reactions is a reaction to the massage oils or lotions. If this occurs, you simple avoid that lotion/oil and request a hypo-allergic option. Other risk associated with massages are internal bleeding, nerve damage, muscle injury , or paralysis (temporary).

A massage can be a great experience leading to relaxed muscles and less stressed out body. IT can be a wonderful tool for overall health and should be utilized by those who are good candidates. If combining massage with yoga and mediation; you will see the health beenfits.

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Low Carb Diets, Where do they go wrong?

We have all heard the headlines that low carb diets are the way to lose weight quickly and keep it off. They advertise that you can lose weight, never counting calories, and feel satisfied. Many celebrities swear by this method. So, is this method to good to be true

No calorie counting but high in fat

Low carb diets can be confusing. They require you to count your carbs and figure your net carbs. This would not be less time consuming than counting calories. They lack calcium in the diet and typically will have to much fats in the daily diet. Many calcium and vitamin C eaten daily is through fruits, this is why it is lacking. The high protein diets are mainly meats, cheeses, and milks are high in fat because they are animal products. They have more fat than we are designed to consume. The lack of calcium will put you at risk for bone diseases.

Where’s the fiber?

Low carb diets are typically very low in dietary fiber. People need fiber to have a healthy digestive system. Fiber will help fight off diseases, overcoming or preventing obesity, and cancer. It will help keep you feeling fuller longer so you will need to eat less frequently. Fiber is needed in your diet. Experts recommend adults consuming about 30 grams of fiber a day.

Kidney damage, really?

A high protein diet can give you a condition called ketosis. This is caused by consuming too few carbohydrates. It can lead to kidney disease and in some rare cases kidney or renal failure. High protein diets are even more caution against being used by diabetic patients. They are at risk for kidney and renal failure with having diabetes.

Lacking Vitamins and Minerals

Low carb and high protein diets are severally lacking many nutrients. They remove many fruits which contain many vitamins that cannot be absorbed in the body through a multivitamin. When you adapt a diet that severely limits certain food groups, it will also be lacking the nutrition.

The best way to lose weight is simple reduce your calorie intake and eat as natural as possible. One of the main reasons for the obesity epidemic is too many people are eating processed foods. When one decides to take charge of their food intake, concentrate on whole foods, they will see a loss. The perfect diet is a diet that is balanced in carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. This includes fruits, vegetables and animal protein.

Adjustable Weights

Those who work out regularly know how annoying it can be to have a pair of 5 pounds, 8 pounds, 10pounds, 12 pounds, 15 pounds, and 20 pound weights your living room or bedroom. What if there was an easier way to store them. What if you could find adjustable weights. So what is adjustable weights exactly? Adjustable weights are a weight set, dumbbells actually, that are adjustable usually in half pound increments. There is no need to have multiple dumbbells anymore. The adjust weights allow you to dial the weight you need and lift it and exercise.

The Cost

The cost of the weight set is varied. It will depend on which model you choose. There are models that are about $60 or as high as $500 for Bow flex models. The difference in price is about the features. The Reebok model weight only goes to 12.5 pounds where the Bow flex model weight goes from 2.5 pounds to 52 pounds. The Bow flex model replaces up to 30 dumbbells, making this model cost effective.

How to Use

Using the adjustable weights is not hard. You decide what weight you would like to use. Turn the dial on the end of the weight and lift the weight up and use. There is no assembly at all. It is ready to go right away. They are used just like the typical dumbbell sets.


Storing is easy. They store like they are one set. They can easily go under a bed, in a closet or in the corner of a living room. They are perfect for those homes that do not have much space. When lifting the whole unit to store the weights, take caution lifting. They whole weight set is heavy.

Investing in an adjustable weight set is a great option for the serious fitness person. It is a big investment but the bottom line is you are worth the investment. The result you will see with your new weight set will be amazing. Aside from the weight lifting results, it will save space and time. How many times have you struggled to get the clip off the bar. It can take five minutes or more to get the weight back on. At that time your heart rate has already come down, and you have to work harder now to get it back up. Simplify your workout by investing in yourself with adjustable weights.

Signs of Dehydration

The fact is according to most experts that most people are chronically dehydrated. In fact, they are so dehydrated that they do not realize how badly they need fluids until they are severely dehydrated. It is extremely helpful to know the symptoms so you can avoid a health crisis and hospital visit.

The First Signs( first 2% lost)

The most common first sign of dehydration is excessive thirst. Scientist claim that once you feel thirst, you have lost about two percent of your fluid. This is the reason they say once you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. You may also feel tired or fatigued, a head rush when standing, loss of appetite, chills and dry skin.

Moderate loss (5%)

if the person does not increase their fluid intake by water or other fluids, they will continue to go downhill. They will continue to have worsening symptoms. They will have a increased heart rate and respiration. They will sweat much less. They will be urinating much less if at all. They will have a increased body temperature. They will experience headaches and muscle cramps. They will be completely miserable.

Severe (10%)

This stage is often fatal. In this stage, one may lose consciousness. They will often hurt all over. They have loose skin from the loss of fluids. They will be confused when talking to you. Urination will be difficult and painful. Breathing will be painful and difficult. They may have vomiting with nausea.
Dehydration is preventable. Drink enough fluids outside if you need to be outside if it is hot. Stay inside if it is too hot. The signs of dehydration in a infant or elderly person will be much quicker than a young health person.

If a person exercises heavily, they can lose up to 100 ounces of water per hour. This usually is not a big deal as they will just drink water or other liquids after they exercise. People also lose up to 100 ounces per day through normal body functions throughout the day.

The recommendation for water needed per person is half their body weight or generally eight glasses of water a day. If someone is severely dehydrated, they should drink water slowly not to over load their body to quickly. If they drink to quickly, they can cause a electrolyte imbalance which is a emergency that needed to trip to the hospital.

Protein Shakes

Protein shakes are very common in the fitness circles. Many consumers will argue which on is better, and there are those who believe they are not a good source of soluble protein. One fact that cannot be debated is that protein is a building block for muscles, hair, skin, and the brain. This is what makes these shakes so popular. One shake can contain from 20-40 grams of protein in a single serving.

Why use protein shakes?

Protein shakes are ideal for those who are watching their calories or nutrients they eat every day. They typically have very little carbohydrates and fat. They offer sometimes ¼ of the needed protein for the day. The protein shakes come in a variety of great tasting flavors such as vanilla, coffee, vanilla, strawberry, or tropical berry.

Benefits to Protein Shakes?

Protein shakes can help relieve the soreness associated with an intense exercise workout. It can also help your muscle rebuild and repair muscles. Researchers claim the protein shakes may also help with weight management. If you consume enough protein, you will not be as hungry as the person who consumes mostly carbohydrates. The real benefit to drinking protein shakes is on average you will experience less heat exhaustion, less muscle soreness, and less infections according to the research.

How much protein do you need daily?

On average, most people need between 45 and 66 grams a day. If you are trying to gain muscle mass, you would need double to triple that number to maintain your muscle growth. The protein shakes can be an excellent recovery or pre-workout boast for those who regularly workout hard. One of the most common protein drinks is Muscle Milk. Another popular drink among the more advanced exercisers is Shakeology.

Who Should Not Use Protein Shakes?

Those who are allergic to eggs, soy, milk, casein should not drink protein shakes. Many protein shakes combine whey, soy, and casein to create a fast absorbing and powerful protein supplement. In the last few years, manufacturers have created a vegan protein shake. This contains no milk, eggs, or other animal byproducts. The two most common are Shakeology and Vega One.

Protein shakes are a wonderful tool to use with exercise and eating well. They can help you feel full, help your muscle recover, and help you feel energized. Protein shakes can be a full meal. Try adding fruits or vegetable with ice in the blender. You can use either almond milk, coconut milk, or cow’s milk for more nutrient and extra protein. Protein shakes can be a delicious, full of nutrients snack to help rebuild and feed your muscles.