What the experts are saying...We have all heard the saying "Abs are made in the kitchen." But what if consistent Pilates classes could not only strengthen your abs but also help you make better food choices? A recent Michigan State University study thinks so.
"The research analyzed 2,680 young adults in an intensive, 15-week exercise program and found they were less likely to snack or follow a typical Western diet high in fat and carbohydrates, and more likely to choose fruits, vegetables and low-fat alternatives."
I've seen similar results with Starr Pilates regulars. One Starr Pilates client who had experienced weight gain due to health issues hadn't seen the scale budge until she started twice weekly Pilates classes. Two months in and she has seen a seven pound weight loss along with feeling stronger and more energized. Give it a try for yourself and let us know what you think.*
I started Starr Pilates as a privates and duets only studio because I craved personal connection with clients and loved seeing them improve. Then I noticed how much my duet clients really looked forward to seeing their partners every week. "I like working out with Peg, it reminds me to breathe," one client said.
Google any sort of tips on how to stick with a workout program getting an accountability buddy or finding your tribe is high on the list.
Experts are finding that having a community is just as important to a healthy lifestyle as working out and eating well. Scientists are able to prove that people who have stronger friendships have better biomarkers and less inflammation. Two of my super in-shape clients like to go for donuts after Reformer class. Maybe the Pilates/friendship combo is the antidote to refined sugar?
Truth be told, when I work myself out in the studio what motivates me most is finding new exercises and flows to share with my clients and pass along to my instructors. Good friend and mentor, Karen Schwalbe Jones of Pilates.Evolved. told me "people need community." And that includes Pilates teachers. Thanks for being part of mine.
March is here... It seems like the past two months have just flown by.
Life gets busy. I've put together a short list of items that are great when you're traveling, stuck at a desk for hours or even expecting a new family member! Read on for a description and links on where to find these products.
Merrithew Stability Disk: Perfect if your job requires lots of sitting and great for improving posture. Relieves pressure on the low back, tailbone, neck and shoulders. I use this in the studio to help activate core muscles.
Therabands: I love a good theraband workout. They're great for stretching neck and shoulders. They can also be used to increase flexibility and ankle stability. These travel well, clients take them in their suitcases. Many exercises done with a theraband are safe for expecting women and new mothers. Schedule a private HERE if you want some ideas on how to use the theraband.
Natural Calm: This magnesium supplement is great to take before bed and helps relax tense muscles. I also recommend this for trouble sleeping and neck a shoulder tension. There's no hangover effect so it's perfect if you're flying for business and need to get back on a good sleep schedule right away.
If you happen to be in town come check out a group reformer class. These classes are limited to 4 people only. Book your spot from anywhere using MindBodyOnline. Check out our class schedule HERE. See you at the studio!
5:30am- Alarm goes off, I head to the kitchen where the coffee maker is already on a timer. Our cat Jack will most likely trip me on the way as a reminder that he needs breakfast first. I check emails and do a quick list for the day. One of my ballet teachers Mary Margaret Holt insisted we be up two hours before class and the habit has stuck with me ever since.
6:45am- Teeth brushed, sunscreen on, wearing a favorite pair of my Carbon 38 pants I walk to work. When I first started teaching 12 years ago there was no such thing as athleisure so I am so thankful to have built up a collection of workout clothes that I love. Some pieces I've had for years. They stand up to daily abuse I put them through. I just can't say enough. Click HERE to get a discount on your first Carbon 38 Purchase.
7am- Clients! I lucked out to have such a fun group of hardworking clients. I love teaching privates because I can see all the progress that they make week after week. Just seeing how my clients can change their bodies is a great daily reminder of how effective Pilates really is.
Noon- Speaking of how effective Pilates really is... it's time for me to get my workout in. On the days I have rehearsals I'll workshop about 30 minutes of Pilates to get inspired for sessions and warm me up for dance. Starr Pilates has Cadillac, Wunda Chair and Reformers so the possibilities are endless. Changing up the routine and using all the different equipment really keeps Pilates fun and challenging. I love a midday workout it helps re-energize me and clear my mind. If I have a lighter day I'll take a reformer class for myself. No matter if you're a beginner or an expert it always helps to have an outside perspective.
2 pm- Meetings, emails and a banana-date cacao smoothie. I found that if I don't restrict or diet and focus on eating whole, fresh foods my body feels better. If my day is crazy I'll pack some almonds or hardboiled eggs to eat on the go. I'm pretty boring during the week, hummus and vegetables is a go-to snack if I need something before dinner. Planning ahead always helps because if I get too hungry all bets are off. A couple times a week I'll stream an online yoga class if I haven't gotten a workout in yet. Usually in my living room. With the cat.
4pm- I grab a cup of green tea and off to teach clients. Starr Pilates is convenient to downtown so a lot of clients stop through after work to break up the commute and shake of the day. The energy of the afternoon and evening clients is so different from the mornings. I love it. If I don't have afternoon clients I'll head to a networking event or catch up on administrative work.
7pm- Walk home. Ever since we got back from Europe I've really been trying to get those extra steps in. There's a lot of small businesses in the area so it's fun to see them in full swing. I'll have a hot bath, a quick dinner (if I'm organized I've prepped something like No-Noodle Pad Thai from the Minimalist Baker).
10pm- Bed! I'm pretty good sleeper, I take a Magnesium Supplement every night to help relax my muscles. Getting plenty of rest helps me stay present and injury-free during the day. I also know I have fewer junk food cravings when I sleep well!
Now that you've seen what a day in the life of a Pilates teacher is like check out the video above for a glimpse into the Pilates studio. Come by and say hi and CLICK HERE to book you next appointment. Looking forward to seeing you in the studio!
It's understandable that investing in Private Pilates sessions can seem a little overwhelming or even indulgent. However, neglecting your health can be pretty costly in the long run as well. Starr Pilates client, actress Lila Claghorn is a perfect illustration of how Pilates really does deliver a great value.
Lila came to Starr Pilates in March of 2017. She'd been a lifelong hockey player and had an incredibly hard work ethic, however she wasn't seeing results from workouts and had developed some muscle imbalances. Initial Pilates sessions focused on opening her shoulders and training her deep abdominal muscles. Little did she know that she had two herniated discs that had calcified as a result of having disclocated her pelvis years ago in a hockey game. While she was traveling over the holidays a fragment of one of the discs broke off pressing on a nerve in her back sending debilitating pain all the way down her left leg and causing "dropfoot" in her left foot (meaning she could not lift or move her foot). She said that the abdominal strength from regular Pilates sessions helped alleviate the pain of getting around while seeing doctors and getting an MRI. "As I walked across the street to the ER that morning it took a full 30 minutes...to cross the street and every time that I truly engaged my core for even a second I found relief from the consistent pain."
Back in Los Angeles, Pilates was doctor recommended and the only workout Lila could safely do while waiting for a prognosis from her surgeon. Two months later after bi-weekly Pilates sessions totalling approximately $1280, the nerve pain had subsided. Most importantly her foot was strong enough that her neurosurgeon cleared her from having to undergo a procedure that would have cost anywhere from $10,000-$50,000- not including lost wages during recovery time and additional stress. Her doctor's orders: "keep doing Pilates."
Lila credits the challenging yet careful instruction at Starr Pilates with keeping her fit and healthy. Lila describes her sessions with Elaine, "You love her and hate her at the same time... Which is exactly how you should feel about a Pilates instructor!" She also works out with Nabila, who passes what Lila calls the "Shampoo Test...as in my arms are too sore to shampoo my hair the next day!"... not to worry she does anyway.
Here at Starr Pilates we'd like to believe that you CAN have it all. Investing in your health pays off in the long run. Book your appointment today to start feeling and looking your best. See you in the studio!
Rina started her weight loss journey at 300 lbs. She underwent bariatric surgery in in August of 2017. After trying a few different Pilates studios she came to Starr Pilates in October 2017. After five months of Pilates three to four times a week she is down 100 pounds with noticeable muscle tone and definition in her arms and legs. She went from wearing a size 22 to down a size 10. She credits the focused instruction and the caring dedicated teachers at Starr Pilates with helping her transform. "Elaine is laser focused on you getting the most out of your work out! You will definitely see results and feel amazing every time you leave your session," Rina says.
Since regular Pilates sessions are now her "zen" Rina works with Starr Pilates instructor Nabila de Raco in addition to Elaine to stay consistent. "I've already had a few sessions with her and I can tell you she is wonderful . She knows what she's doing and really cares about your workout and what works for your body... you will not be disappointed and she is a great addition to the Starr Pilates facility!"
Rina is now picking out swimsuits for a trip to Hawaii in May and planning to go through Pilates teacher training in September. We are so thankful to Rina for sharing her story and being a part of Starr Pilates! Contact us today to start creating YOUR dream body.
When I was dancing with the ballet company we had company class each day. The artistic director gave us a solid technical foundation that I use in my Pilates teaching on a daily basis. Then we had the ballet mistress and the associate artistic directors who would also coach and teach us. Some had years of experience and brought vast knowledge to the table. Others were new to coaching a company but brought fresh knowledge and enthusiasm. Getting the dancers out of our normal routine would be a challenge. Sighs of frustration could be heard across the studio as dancers tried a familiar step with a new approach. Then something magical would happen: movements became more effortless, turns multiplied and limbs lengthened. We came to accept the transition period and began to look forward to fresh insights and information. I think about how I'd like my clients to experience Pilates and I go back to my days dancing with a company. My goal is to instill in clients the knowledge, self-confidence and appreciation for their bodies that allows them to feel free to experiment, change and grow. I am proud to see Starr Pilates grow into a studio that is a collective of well-trained teachers offering a variety of perspectives and styles. I sincerely hope you enjoy it as well.
In my last post I talked about how restrictive dieting can take time and energy away from the things you truly love, friends, family and career goals. If you're sitting at work or in traffic trying to figure out what to have for dinner that won't blow your calorie count that's time taken away from figuring out how to solve that problem with a co-worker or how to plan that dream trip to Europe. And during the holidays it can get really tricky to stay balanced with all the parties and events.
Here's where meal planning comes into the picture. Meal planning is the opposite of dieting. Meal planning is making sure you have healthy, nutrient rich snacks and foods available at crucial times. The more nutrients your body has the less likely you'll want to reach for an extra cookie when you hit that sugar crash. The more stable your blood sugar levels, the better you're able to handle holiday and end of the year stress.
Here's a recipe for Carrot Cake Energy Bites from Running on Real Food. I love it because carrots have tons of nutrients and any vegetable is going to contain antioxidants that will take your stress levels down. Let me know what you think!
This took me a while to write A) because I'm not a nutritionist and B) I don't think I have the perfect body or have the perfect diet. However, as a professional dancer and pilates instructor of ten years I've picked up a few things along the way that helped me and I felt it was important to share. In my personal experience and from what I have seen with my clients, focusing on being healthier and happier actually results in positive physical change. We have all fallen into the trap of thinking that when you reach that certain size all problems will be solved. But being thin doesn't automatically fix relationship problems or money issues or guarantee that you'll never have a bad day again. In fact restrictive diet and compulsive exercise can actually take time and energy away from creating that perfect life. However, when people have a strong support system and know how to problem solve when issues arise they are less likely to overeat which results in weight loss. So I'd like to encourage you to try the next time you start obsessing about food take a moment and think about what would really make you happy. And do that instead. Let me know how it goes.
For another article on the topic of food and emotion I highly recommend this article by Kelsey Miller for Refinery 29 "What to say instead of 'You're Not Fat.'"