Sunday, July 31, 2011

community in fitness

when you're around people who are active and have a healthy attitude about physical fitness, you are part of a very special community. you will find inspiration, many laughs and long-standing camaraderie amongst these people.

i’ve always loved the tagline “it’s not fitness, it’s life” for equinox fitness clubs. this declaration is quite accurate for me and the many of the dedicated friends and colleagues i've met through the fitness community. we often say how people approach their workout in the gym/studio is a direct reflection of how they live their lives outside of it.

people who consistently make time for their workouts are adaptable, sexy, vivacious, hopeful, driven and success-oriented. they deal with stress a little better. they aim to eat well and consider what they put in their bodies. generally speaking, their serotonin is at a good level and they know how great endorphins can be. they not only look good, but they smell good too!

consistent activity results in improved blood and oxygen circulation as well as digestive function which, in turn, effectively flushes out toxins that cause disease. with the management and prevention of disease, one naturally has a healthy state of mind. needless to say, this existence is quite attractive and pleases all of the senses - vision, smell, touch, etc...

i am so thankful for my spirited friends and colleagues in this community. our lifestyles have resulted in a great way to live. we inspire and motivate each other. we maintain a healthy sense of discipline and competition. from this, we all respect one another for our commitment to ourselves as individuals, knowing that we each are a direct reflection of our collective selves.

Monday, July 11, 2011

rehab and muscle conditioning

there is a reason why injured or recovering people incorporate pilates in their rehabilitative and exercise programs. not only does the method reinforce fundamental core stability with every exercise, it also conditions the complex network of muscles in the joints with controlled, precise and low-impact movements.

an unstable core will put more pressure on the muscles of the appendages (the arms and legs) to work more than they have to. so many injuries and ailments are actually caused by instability and imbalance in these key areas.

for example, painful shoulder impingement (or even an aching neck!) might be caused by an over-contraction of muscles that elevate the shoulders towards the ears and rotate them in towards the chest. deliberate and low-impact exercises like “side arm push downs”, "long back stretch", “pulling straps” and “T” encourage proper alignment in joint mobility by strengthening muscles that rotate the shoulders outward and depress them securely toward the ribcage.

rehabilitation and muscle conditioning with pilates guarantees unnecessary stress on the body that is often found in high-impact, ballistic or heavy weight-bearing exercise. even the most advanced and challenging moves shift the body position in the most subtle ways! many of the controlled, low-impact movements could be deceivingly subtle. this is because the work is very deep and precise, calling for the student to keenly prioritize core integration with safe ranges of motion and balance of movement.