Woman doing pilates

More than a decade ago I discovered the incredible virtues of Pilates.

I’d read information about this form of exercise for about 5 years before I finally decided to give it a try. Once the initial nervousness went away, I realized just how much pilates helps the body, and I felt silly for letting the seeming difficulty of the moves stop me from trying it. Whether individuals are beginners or experienced exercisers, the benefits of pilates are undeniable.

List of Health Effects

Improved Core Strength

One of the benefits of Pilates is that it focuses on the core muscles; these muscles include the abdominals and the back. Many individuals, even seasoned exercisers, often neglect some part of their core. However, the variety of Pilates moves works the complete muscle group. It does a better job than traditional crunches in strengthening and toning the abdominals. Toned abdominals not only look good but, in addition to a strong back, helps overall posture.

Greater Flexibility

Pilates improves flexibility and coordination. Everybody loses flexibility as they get older; however, adding Pilates to a workout program will help most people regain some of their flexibility. Individuals may not be able to do cartwheels or handsprings, but they will be able to move better in their daily activities. A flexible individual is less prone to injuries because of their muscles ability to move in more directions and bounce back in place. Improved flexibility related to a Pilate’s routine benefits the body in other ways, too.

Excellent Cross Training Activity

Cross training helps athletes to improve in their primary sports by doing secondary activities. Many athletes of other sports can benefit from doing pilates, particularly gymnasts and dancers, and especially those who cannot afford the special equipment needed to practice outside the gym. For example, instead of going out and buying a home gymnastics bar they can simply find an open space within their home to do pilates.

Pain Relief

Another benefit of Pilates is alleviation of pain, particularly the back and joints. Pilates helps the back by strengthening the spine and making it more flexible. A Pilate’s routine also minimized joint strains as well. Many rehabilitation centers use Pilates to help patients who have back and joint injuries because of the fluid movements entailed in this form of exercise. It also relieves pressures related to exercises that are hard on muscles and joints.

Provides Toned Muscle

Pilates tones the body without adding bulky muscles. Many women don’t want to lift weights because they are afraid that they will build big muscles. In reality, most women don’t have enough testosterone to look like a body builder. For those not convinced about the virtues of weight lifting, Pilates is a good alternative because it builds lean, long muscles. Building muscle, particularly for women, is important for preventing osteoporosis. For aesthetic reasons, lean muscles minimize sagging skin.

Anybody Can Do It

Pilates class

Pilates can be performed by people of any size. Although many people are accustomed to watching skinny people perform Pilates, even new exercisers with a lot of weight to loss can do this type of program. Most of the moved can be modified for those who are not size 2s. Because it is low impact, it’s a good way to begin working out without harming the knees. While a larger person many not see the scale move as quickly as they would like, the benefits of Pilates can be felt in loosening clothes and increased flexibility.

Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

Pilates also benefits the mind, potentially helping with disorders like depression. Because the movements are focused on internal muscles, individuals have to pay attention to what they are doing. Unlike cardiovascular exercise, it is not just a matter of moving to see benefits. Individuals have to be aware of what muscles are working to get the full benefits of Pilates, especially if the movement includes balancing your own body weight. A residual affect is improved concentration in other activities.

Pilates is not a new form of exercise. Dancers have done it for years. For almost 20 years, though, others who want to build long, lean muscles have adopted pilates as a part of their exercise routine. They’ve come to appreciate the benefits of Pilates as part of their overall well-being. For those who are apprehensive about Pilates, get a Pilates DVD or check out a class at a local gym. For all that it does for the body and mind, it is worth a try.

Once you establish a fitness goal(s), it becomes extremely important for you to take ownership of that goal(s).

Many people do not reach their fitness goals because of their lack of accountability to themselves.

For example, if you are overweight and your goal is to lose 30 pounds in 3 months, then you need to take ownership of this goal and the time frame to reach it. If an individual doesn’t take ownership of his/her health goals, then those goals are not authentic. They aren’t real or tangible. The goals become abstract or blurred. Accountability to oneself is lost. The work, energy, time, and effort involved during the process phase of a person’s fitness goals does not occur.

Taking ownership over your fitness goals provides that individual with true meaning for one’s goals.

It allows for people to take the initiative to improve their own well-being. By taking ownership, the person becomes accountable to oneself. Meaning, initiative, and accountability as linked to an individual’s fitness goals offers one a deep sense of fulfillment.

Having this strong foundation in place when taking the first steps toward one’s health goals is critical to the achievement of those goals.

Being responsible for your own goals, habits, behaviors, and lifestyle is vital to fitness success. Establishing ownership of your fitness goals and getting the results you need will give you a tremendous sense of accomplishment.

You will not only be able to transfer this approach from one fitness goal to the next, but you’ll also be able to convey the knowledge you gain from your fitness journey to other areas of your life, such as work, family, finance, and so on.

The foundation for achievement of any fitness goal(s) begins with claiming that goal(s) as your own. It provides us with a powerful blueprint to follow on life’s path.

So, take ownership of your fitness. Best of luck to you.

Doing pushups on the go

If you don’t have one already I encourage you to acquire a gym membership. I do and as fitness trainer I find myself to be lucky in the sense that my office is the gym.

So what about when we travel? What if we can’t locate a gym? I want to work out, but my time limits me from doing so. Have no fear, your trainer Aaron is here. When I travel, I don’t want to lose all the hard work I’ve been putting into the gym. If I cannot find a gym, I will build a gym. That’s right; I transform my hotel room into a lean mean body building machine. Body-weight exercises can be your best friend. No equipment needed other than what’s already in a standard hotel room.

So take notes and listen up, because I am about to give you a great workout.

CHEST- 4 sets of 15-25 reps

  • PUSH-UPS – Assuming the push-up position, prevent your back from slouching by keeping your butt and upper back align. Start by placing your hands a little wider than shoulder width. When lowering yourself keep your elbows at a 90 degree angle. Upon coming up you’re going to exhale. You can increase difficulty by re-positioning your hands. Placing your hands shoulder width apart works outer chest while bringing them in closer will work inner chest. Decline your body position by placing your feet up on the edge the bed while placing your hands accordingly to on the floor. Now let’s take it up one more notch by raising one leg up in the air while the other leg is placed securely on the edge of the bed (again place hands where desired; switch legs when set is completed).

Triceps- 3 sets of 10-15 reps

  • DIPS– Take the table chair and position it so you have a clear path of at least 3 feet in front of it. Sitting in the chair, take both hands and grip both sides of the base. Hands still positioned, sit-up and away from the chair placing your knees at a 90 degree angle. With feet planted firmly on the ground, bend your elbows to a 90 angle and return by exhaling and contracting your triceps to the start position and repeat.

LEGS- 4 sets of 15-20 reps

  • SQUATS– Start by placing your back up against an open wall. Place your feet shoulder width apart with your arms in and hands out in front. With your back up against the wall, slide-down it by squatting and bending the knees to a 90 degree angle (exhale on return). For added difficulty, grab both sides of your suitcase (packed) and perform.

BICEPS- 3 sets of 10-15 reps

  • INWARD BICEP CURL– With acquired clothes for inside weight, take hold of both sides of your suitcase. With feet shoulder width apart raise suitcase to chest level. Begin by extending your arms outward as if you were going to hand your suitcase off to someone. Keep your elbows at 90 degree angle. Maintain your form by keeping your shoulders back and chest sticking outward (exhale going away).

ABS- 3 sets of 15-25 reps

  • With the standard AB exercises of crunches and sit-ups, perform these by either crossing both arms across your chest or hands in a fist position to the side of your head. Avoid grabbing your neck from behind as it tends to put added stress on it and unwanted pressure in your back. Focus on control and muscle contraction as oppose to momentum.

Kids running on track

Today, society as a whole is classified as obese especially in the United States. Most health experts claim that the reason that people in the United States are obese or at the very least overweight is due to the lack of portion control.

People today just seem to eat and eat and eat, even if they are full. It seems like bad eating and exercising habits start in early childhood; that is why gyms for kids are very important.

Health Habits Start In Childhood

Fitness is very important for both children and adults. It has been suggested that people should have about an hour of continuous exercise per day.

This exercise can be a variety of activities such as swimming, running, jogging, yoga, biking, rowing, weight lifting, roller or ice skating. In addition to this list of physical activities many people have memberships to gyms that they are supposed to use at least three times a week.

Usually with the gym membership there is a personal trainer that is assigned to a group of people and the personal trainer creates a personal exercise and nutrition program for each of his clients in order for them to achieve their fitness goals. Since adults have a variety of fitness gyms to choose from it makes perfect sense that gyms for kids should be an option for exercise conscious children and adults as well.

Stick to Your Health Plan

Having a good exercise and a good nutrition plan is very important for the goal of good health. A great rule of thumb is that people should exercise at least three times a week and rest for at least two times a week.

In fact, in most gyms exercise programs are set up to be performed three days a week and one weekend day. Don’t worry because gyms for kids usually have a variety of dance classes for children to participate in such as ballet, tap, and jazz dance class. Moreover, there are different levels of dance classes so that children can advance and thrive in these dance classes. Ballet and other dance classes in gyms for kids can help children gain self confidence and have a creative outlet to express themselves.

In gyms for kids it is important to remember that children will most likely only engage in exercise when they believe that they are having fun and dance classes for children especially ballet and jazz dance classes seem like much fun for children. In addition, dance classes that are designed for both parents and children are also very enjoyable.

Follow a Healthy Diet

As it has been stated before it is crucial that both children and adults have a good exercise and nutritional plan in order to maintain good health.

A good nutritional plan includes getting a certain amount of calories per day. A good amount of calories per day is about 2,000 calories. These calories need to be consumed in a certain way. There is a nutritional pyramid that doctors fitness instructors, and nutritionists ask people to follow in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

There are certain servings of types of general food groups that need to be eaten daily in order to maintain a healthy body and mind. People should consume a certain amount of servings of dairy, protein, fruit and vegetables, grains and cereals, and a small bit of fats. Apples, strawberries, blueberries, and bananas are good fruits to eat and a nice salad with dinner will work to satisfy the vegetable intake. A variety of cheeses such as cheddar, feta, and American plus yogurt and cottage cheese are excellent sources of dairy. Spaghetti and meat sauce take care of your proteins and your carbohydrates. A bit of fat in any diet is okay I am a big fan of eating a small amount of ice cream from time to time.

There are many benefits of fitness, such as having lots of energy, less fatigue, better cardiovascular health, a better immune system, and so much more.

Gyms for kids can make sure that children learn to have a good exercise and nutrition program at a very early age.