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Showing all posts tagged: pilates
Remember what it was like to play when you were little? All that wriggling about & NEVER getting stiff or sore??
Then we start to sit more as we work more, and we run ourselves into near burn-out, maybe forgetting the reason behind alll the work in the first place...
I'm here to let you know it's time to top-up your energy bank account. That play is important & you can feel really good in your muscles in the process.
After all, self-care is healthcare...so it's time to roll out your fitball for this weeks installment of strength training your core (whilst playing with a fitball!) If you didn't catch the stretches last week, you may want to look at these here before doing the moves below.
Sounds like fun? Roll out your fitball & let's try out at home what we are doing in the Monday night & Friday morning Pilates classes this term:
Have you been hunched over the desk, driving, or daycare for kiddies??
It's time to dust off your fitball. I know you've got one looking sad & deflated in the back of your wardrobe...they are the most versatile piece of kit...& it's time to get some fresh moves to feel eased out & energized.
Today we are looking at stretching/releasing out the stuck connective tissue that gets us feeling all stiff when we hold our shoulders hunched all day...breathing into these muscles really calms the system.
Then next week we'll be looking at 'connection'...how to build strength once we have a good foundation.
1st up, let's ease into a good posture:
The (upper) Back Stretch
Even just looking at this picture makes me feel better, but we have got to take action...so blow your ball up, have a seat & slowly walk your feet down until all of your spine is in contact with the ball.
Open your chest, palms up to the ceiling and breathe deep into your belly, waist & back muscles.
Have a little rock about, do what feels good in your body, and when you are finished slowly walk your bottom down to the floor to come off.
Are you struggling to heal your tummy-gap (diastasis) after having your baby (no matter how many Years ago)?
Or maybe you are not sure if you have a tummy gap, but you have back pain or feel your strength isn't what it was?
A tummy-gap, or diastasis, is the thinning of the connective tissue, mid-line of the abdominals. This happens in most cases:
- for women during pregnancy as baby grows,
- men & women that have had too much pressure in their core from lifting heavy beyond their strength
- men & women that have very tight muscles that pulls their midline/core out of alignment
- men & women that have visceral fat creating pressure on their midline.
The connective tissue that joins the mid line of our tummy together creates a 'corset like' affect, which supports our back & helps as part of the team for optimal pelvic function.
It's optimal to get your tummy assessed, but alongside that, these strategies are also things you can do straight away...which are KEY for healing:
1) Exercise incorporating your pelvic floor, as these muscles work like a team. Make sure the intensity matches what you can do with really good form, and get checked that you are breathing well. For results, progess your exercise steadily, rather than jumping from 'rehab' mode to full on weight training.
2) Your connective tissue is made in part of water. Get drinking for optimal healing 💧💧💧 Without taking water on board, the healing process will be impaired.
3) Your connective tissue is made of protein substances and collagen. You can get these sources from REAL food and they directly help your healing. Key vitamins like Vitamin C also speed healing. It's important you get good quality sources into your daily diet.
Food Fuels Healing 101 + Recipe⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Here are some key foods you can point your fork towards for faster healing, boosting your immune system & knitting the scar and/or the tummy-gap connective tissues together again:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
I go into depth in my 1:1s, and the EveryWoman course, so it's hard to pick just 1 nutrient here, but I'd have to say Vitamin C is truly important in healing.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
It helps mop up debris, boosts immunity & helps produce collagen (which makes your connective tissue)🤗⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
👉dark leafy veg⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Have you got a favourite here? ⠀⠀
Your connective tissue is made of a protein substance called collagen, as well as elastin & water. As mentioned above, vitamin C is important to make collagen, AND you can also directly consume collagen to support healing, bones & skin regeneration. The best way to eat it is via making a bone broth, or you can buy it powdered (I like 'Great Lakes' brand for their pasture-raised source)
Try this slow-cooker recipe out & let me know what you think!
Do you feel that having good posture seems like a tricky thing to have?
In it's essence, we want our muscles to do the right thing, at the right time for us. Given half the chance...they will work really well for us.
By releasing off tight areas, the rest of the team of muscles have the ability to then function optimally!
Try these two moves, multiple times a day, where-ever you are, for as little as 60 seconds a time, and see how fab you feel!
The right fuel can:
- give us stamina
- give us energy
- keep our tummy settled
- Timing matters
- Portion size helps
- How digestible the food is really helps
I aim to eat 2 hours before exercise so that I'm not in digestive mode whilst trying to jump up & down. But, due to other commitments, if I am exercising on an evening & can't access the kitchen 2 hours beforehand - you may also see me eating really close to my workout. But what I eat changes.
Portion size helps
The closer to my workout I eat, the smaller the portion size, again for me, this comes down to being able to digest it, and not have it sitting in my stomach whilst my blood is aiming to pump through the muscular system. We all need protein, good fats & complex carbohydrates. The good news is, if you are eating very close to your workout, and especially if you are going to sweat...you can have a simple carbohydrate as it will give you energy, and you'll use it right up! (ideas below)
How digestible it is helps
The more dense a meal is, the longer it will take to digest. Meats, fish & fats will all take longer to digest. Which is a good thing post-workout, to repair us & to stop us craving. But, before exercise, it's great to choose a meal that you can digest easier:
- A slow cooked meal with chicken, & veg
- A soup
- A large smoothie
Ideas & recipes
Here are some ideas if you eat 20 mins before your workout (please note, these are female portion sizes taken from my Goddess recipe book & program):
- a banana & 5 walnuts
- 2 sticks celery with nut butter spread inside
- a breakfast cookie (recipe here)
- 2 squares of dark chocolate & 2-4 brazil nuts
- a 1/2 portion of a smoothie with spinach & berries, hemp seeds for protein (or a clean powder) and chia or coconut for good fats. See a recipe from my recipe book here.
If I am eating 2 hours beforehand:
- My portion size may still be slightly smaller than a usual evening meal.
- I choose carbs like sweet potato for energy or beetroot as it oxygenates our body which is wicked for endurance.
- I am a huge faan of one-pots & soups. I think Sallys tagine in my recipe book is a firm favouite!
- Prep-ahead salads like this one
I hope this has been really helpful for you, if so, please do share it on your social media for everyone to access.
What do you think, would a post-workout blog be useful?
Are You Ready To Feel Supple & Strong This Summer??? Commit To 5 Weeks And Be Sunshine Ready!!
Get ready - Our Challenge Starts Monday 1st July & Ends 2nd August
This Summer you may be jetting off to the sun & need to carry heavy luggage, OR you might need to improve your balancing skills for more than just a cocktail or two...
Anyone can join. Pick one of the 4 categories below that best fit your lifestyle:
COMMIT TO ONCE A WEEK
Commit to attending one class a week > 5 classes in total
COMMIT TO TWICE A WEEK
Commit to attending two classes each week > 10 in total
COMMIT TO THRICE A WEEK
Commit to attending 3 classes each week > 15 in total!
There are prizes to be won!
Complete the challenge to be entered into our prize draw to be drawn on 5th August.
Get an extra ticket into the prize draw by sharing/liking/commenting on a Vitality Centre social media post each week throughout the challenge!
You could win:
- FREE ONE CLASS A WEEK MEMBERSHIP FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR (Sept-Dec '19)
- a FREE spa evening for 2
- FREE access to my online Vitality Goddess 4 Week interactive program!
- Products at the studio - Neals Yard & Wild Nutrition & Pukka goodies to win!!
Everyone who completes the challenge will receive a little goodie - Hurray!!
Make it a success for yourself - add accountability by Inviting your friends!! This Summer, let's do this!
Do you need to make sure you are near a loo when you are out?
Do you hope for the best when you sneeze?
Or maybe.....you have low back pain BUT it appears fine on an MRI scan?
If you know me, you'll know I'm a *little* obsessed with pelvic floor work, as it is a MUCH needed area of support. I can LITERALLY feel the revolution of change in womens Health & Wellness, especially when it comes to holistic programming!
That said, at the moment...pelvic floor is still a very taboo subject & it isn't widely known YET that you can TAKE CONTROL & BE IN CONTROL once more, with your bladder.
In fact almost 50% Women have a Bladder & Pelvic Health issue....yet wait 6.5 Years before they put themselves first, to get it sorted - when in many cases it can be resolved in 6 weeks!!
So, I'm here to spread the word that there is LOTS that can be done....and I cannot wait to share it with you! So don't wait until you have a cold & get really fed up of your bladder. Let's get pro-active now!
"If we've been continent once (ie - when potty trained) We CAN be continent again" ~ Michelle Lyons, Pelvic Health Physio
Could any of these 3 symptoms be driving your bladder issues?
1) Impact. It is common to leak when you sneeze, cough or jump...BUT I think it is largely mistaken for being 'normal'.
For MOST of us...it is 100% fixable to return to a fully functional pelvic floor (joy!) This means running about after your little ones with confidence. Or, Leaving the house NOT worrying about where the nearest toilet is! Doesn't that sound amazing!
Calling all post-natal ladies that are concerned with your tummy! (no matter how old your child is now)
Do you feel concerned with your core?
Are you worried about the 'gap' or doming down the midline of your tummy?
Would you like to feel more at home with your new body?
As someone who has been in this field for the last almost 14 years....I am concerned A LOT by what I see on social media...
Is it reality to think that we can go back to having a tummy like our 20 year old self?
I strongly believe this idealism does not do our sense of worth any favours (or acknowledge the miracle that our body has performed)
I am passionate about ladies feeling at home in their new body, and also about them being SAFE with the strategies they use to 'get fit' postpartum.
Most ladies, post-partum, have a gap in their mid-line, because of accomodating room for baby during pregnancy.
Why would strengthening our posture help our pelvic floor?
Nothing in our body works in isolation. Old text books used to display the start & end of a muscle, however, what we know through scientific research more recently, is that the muscles are bound toegther in a 'web' of connective tissue. So if we have a 'chink' in the chain, this is going to have effect along the system.
One of the 6 chains is here - the superficial posterior line: