And decrease the aging process:
If you are already doing them, congratulations! If not, you can start doing most of them without sacrificing much. Itís up to you!
1. 1. Breathe! Be aware of your breathing. Are you breathing from your belly or from your upper chest? Notice your breath while you are driving, walking, watching TV, etc. Ten deep breaths help release tension and clear your thoughts anytime, anywhere.
2. 2. Drink Water. Substitute soft drinks and high-sugar drinks with water. One way to know if you need water is to check if you feel thirsty and the color of your urine: The more yellow it is, the more water you need to drink.
3. 3. Be aware of how you sit, sleep and use office equipment. Your furniture and office equipment might be giving you a headache and/or body pain. Check your chairs. Are you touching the floor when you sit? If not, get another chair or a step. What about your computer? Are your eyes level with the middle of the screen?
What about your car seat? Are you shrugging your shoulders? Can you adjust the steering wheel? In bed, are you tossing and turning because your mattress is too old? (A mattress that is more than 7 years old, needs to be thrown out). Some of these suggestions only take minutes to revise and adjust. Others such as the mattress are more expensive but a well rested body is worth millions in terms of productivity, health and happiness during your waking hours.
4. 4. Exercise. There are plenty of choices when it comes to exercising and having fun at the same time. You can choose more traditional ways of exercising such as going to the gym, running and/or walking or less conventional activities such as dancing, martial arts and playing freebee as long as you do it for at least 45 minutes to an hour, a minimum of three times a week to be healthy and more times a week to lose weight.
5. 5. Floss. According to Sherwing Meskia, DDS, flossing is one the most important health habits you want to maintain. Furthermore, scientists at the Mayo Clinic have discovered that poor dental health habits can lead to cardiovascular disease, premature births, diabetes and osteoporosis.
6. 6. Say yes to consuming more raw food. (I mean more fruits and vegetables). This is very simple, if you replace half of your processed foods with raw foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and certain grains, you will begin to feel more alert mentally and physically. Besides, it will also help you lose weight!
7. 7. Drink green tea. Green tea has antioxidants that help you reenergize and fend off free radicals. Plus, this tea can help with weight loss and preventing colds; just be aware of the caffeine content so you donít get dehydrated.
8. 8. Eliminate sugar. This is a tough one for all of us because we live in a society that adores sugar. Try seasoning food with natural sweeteners such as honey or stevia.
9. 9. Say no to alcohol, recreational drugs and smoking. I am not talking about the benefits of one glass of wine. Remember, moderation is key. Alcohol becomes sugar, and sugar converts into fat.
1010. Last but not least, manage stress. Meditation, yoga or other body-mind techniques will help you deal with every day stress and, overtime, you will have a more positive attitude toward life.
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PILATES BIBLIOGRAPHY: BOOKS
There is no substitute for having life instruction, but sometime you want to learn modified moves that fit your needs or want to do Pilates at home on our own time.
What is the best book for Pilates? My response is the one you can relate understand and fit your specific needs.
1. Gallager, S. & Kryzanowska, R. (1999). The
Pilates Method of Body Conditioning.
Romana Kryzanwska is Pilates' first student who he entrusted the proliferation of the method. This book is becoming a classical literature for scholars who study under the system. If you want to check out the Pilates equipment check out this book. The book is good for all levels. A very traditional approach, I mean, Pilates old school.
2. Herman, Ellie (2002). Pilates for
3.King, Michael (2001). Pilates Workbook
illustrated step-by-step guide to matwork techniques.
Good book for beginners and intermediate students. Different body types doing the exercises.
4. Kries, Jennifer (2001). Pilates Plus method.
She presents a blend of Pilates, yoga and dance. Some of the exercises you have seen in class. However, I like her original video better than her book.
5. Robinson L, Fisher H, Knox J, Thomson G, (2000).
The Official Body Control Pilates Manual
This book is the British style of Pilates. The movements are done on smaller scale and from the physical therapist perspective. Some of the beginning exercises we do in class come from this book. There is a good section for people with different conditions, ages, physical activities and recovery from injury. Highly recommended!
6. Siler, Brooke (2000). The Pilates Body
This is a good book for all levels. It has pictures and fully explains the exercises in plain English. It gives you alternative to follow once you master the next level. It also has pictures of Joseph Pilates and the history. Some of the exercises are too advance for some people so be wise with your body! You might need supervision.
7. Siler, Brooke (2005). Your Ultimate Pilates Body Challenge.
PILATES BIBLIOGRAPHY: VIDEOS
There is no substitute for having life instruction, but sometime due to time constrains, weather, and finances one must relay on a video.
Students keep asking the same questions: What is the best Pilates video? My response is the one you can follow easily, keep you motivated and challenge you in a safe manner.
1. For Beginners:
a) Pilates Workout for Dummies with Michelle Dozois. This DVD/Video has two workouts one for beginners (she is very good explaining the exercises) and a second workout once you master the basic moves. Some times I do the beginners to slow down my own pace and work more. Highly Recommended.
b) From THE METHOD precision Toning (1996). Parade Video. Taught by Jennifer Kries. I like this video because it has a fifteen minutes workout one can do every day and an extensive workout for advance beginners and/or for working out two to three times a week. Kries is very knowledgeable and goes slow enough for you to follow her.
NOTE: have your remote ready to stop and go in order to do the work out at your own pace.
2. For Experienced Pilates Students.
a) The two workouts I already mentioned are great choices especially if you have done Pilates less than a year.
If you have done Pilates for more than a year or have extensive background in movement, dance, martial arts, gymnastics or circus arts go ahead and try the following:
b) Jennifer Kriesí New Body Pilates (2007) two workouts to choose from, one on the mat, the other with the Pilates ring (similar to the small balls we use in class)
c) Romanaís Pilates Mat challenge Workout (intermediate/advance) Naturals Journeys videos (2003).
d) Romanaís Pilates Powerhouse Mat Workout (advance and very fast)
Naturals Journeys videos (2003).
The last two DVDís are very good but you must know what you are doing! I always have my remote ready to stop and go so I do the moves on my own time.