Cycling is a fantastic aerobic exercise or sport that will help build and maintain your cardiovascular health.  But riding for prolonged periods of time can stress the body, causing low back pain, tension in the shoulders, and strain on the wrists, as well as feeding muscular imbalances.   Because cycling is a lower body dominant exercise, the upper body and core is often neglected in training. Cyclists need to train their core muscles to support their spine to maintain the proper riding position for the duration of their ride.  A strong core will help the cyclist generate more power in his or her pedaling rate. Pilates will help a cyclists over all flexibility, core strength, improve their balance, Pilates will also help to correct muscular imbalances and improve your posture and create balnce and stability in the scapula.

Pilates exercises to include in your training:


Part 1

The Hundred

The Roll up

The Plank

The Pilates Swan

Pilates Swimming

The Spine Twist

The Teaser

Single leg kick

Double leg kick

The Pilates Pushup


Giveaway time!!!!!!!!!!!!! The very generous Mary at Total Fitness DVDS has agreed to giveaway a  Gaiam Pilates Sculpt and Tone 2 DVD Set and CD to Jodie Pilates reader.


A FEW WAYS  TO ENTER: Please leave a separate comment for each entry.

1. Visit the website and  leave a comment letting  me know which DVD you really want to add to your library.

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Contest will close  midnight Friday April 9th 2010. Open to US residents only.


Joseph Hubertus Pilates was born in 1880 near Düsseldorf, Germany. His father was a Greek gymnast and his German mom was a naturopath. Growing up Mr. Pilates was a small and sickly child; he was afflicted with asthma, rickets, and rheumatic fever. Determined to improve his own health and overcome his many illnesses Mr. Pilates began to study anatomy, bodybuilding, wrestling, yoga, gymnastics, and martial arts thus strengthening his mind and body.  He was so successful in overcoming his illnesses and became so fit he was asked to pose for anatomy charts.

Mr. Pilates believed the body’s ability to heal itself once your mind was “onboard”. Joseph Pilates was touring in England with a boxer when WW1 broke out. He was detained in a camp with other German nationals for the extent of the war. While imprisoned he shared his exercise method with his fellow prisoners by leading a daily exercises routine. Story has it that this routine was so successful that when the influenza epidemic broke out in 1918, none of the inmates that followed his exercise method got sick. As a result of this, Mr. Pilates was given the job of working in a hospital as an orderly.   While in the hospital he worked with bedridden patients everyday by exercising whatever they could move. His exercises helped these patients to recover faster.  Working in the hospital on the bedridden, led to the invention of one his first pieces of equipment, which we use today, it was the Cadillac. He did this by attaching springs to the bed frames, which enabled his patients to move their arms and legs all the while lying flat.   He later fled to the United States via boat and subsequently met his wife Clara who was a nurse. Upon arriving in New York, they rented a small studio and started teaching Contrology, which is the name he called his method.   Although he worked with many different clients, professional dancers were his main clients because they were always getting injured and needed rehabilitation. Mr. Pilates was also an inventor because for the rest of his life, he continued to develop new pieces of exercise equipment. He created the Universal Reformer, the Wunda Chair, and the Ladder barrel among many others. Mr. Pilate’s studio was destroyed in 1967 and later died from smoke inhalation; his wife continued his work until her death in 1977. Several of their former students, went on to open their own studios to carry on his teachings. As a result Pilates has become a household name.

You can find more information on Joseph Pilates here  Wikipedia.

Here are some fun videos of Joseph Pilates with his students.Joseph Pilates Teaches Reformer

Hope you enjoy the videos. Let me know what you think.

Fitness tip:  When training your abs, make sure you train your back and obliques as well, this creates proper muscle balance. Have a good evening.


This guest post is from Amanda Clary at Nutrition Certification

FRUITSVEGE1What skills does a nutritionist use?

A nutritionist is a health care professional who assists individuals or groups of individuals (such as a sports team) to achieve their health and nutrition goals. In some cases, nutritionists may also be found at large institutions, such as hospitals or schools, where they assess the facility’s dietary needs and create appropriate meal plans.

A nutritionist relies upon the following skills:

* Knowledge and understanding of nutrition: Most professional nutritionists are required by state guidelines to have graduated from an accredited four-year college or university with a Bachelor’s degree in nutrition or dietetics. This education gives them an in-depth understanding of human physiology, biology, and nutrition; as well as a rudimentary understanding of pharmacology, epidemiology and public health matters, chemistry and biochemistry, psychology, and kinesiology.

* People skills: As most nutritionists work closely with clients or patients to develop appropriate dietary plans for their individual situation, it’s essential that nutritionists have good people skills. They need to be able to listen to their clients to understand their needs and wishes; they need to be able to clearly explain to their clients how to implement a dietary plan; and they need to “read between the lines” in order to pick up on non-verbal cues their clients give them.

* Critical thinking and problem-solving: Nutritionists need to be able to assess a client’s current physical and dietary condition, and from that initial assessment, the nutritionist needs to recommend appropriate changes. A nutritionist needs to see all sides of a nutritional plan clearly, taking into account any physical conditions a client might have (such as diabetes or high blood pressure), cultural restrictions on diet (for example, some religions dictate a vegetarian diet), and an individual’s personal temperament in order to create a dietary plan to meet their needs.

* Time management and organizational skills: Because many nutritionists work with individuals as a consultant, just like a doctor, a nutritionist needs to manage his or her time well. Nutritionists need to be able to schedule clients without overbooking, and organize their client information in such a way that they can find it again quickly and easily.

* Using medical and scientific equipment: In the course of their work, nutritionists will often rely upon various pieces of medical and/or scientific equipment, including but not limited to: computers and computer software (such as medical software and Microsoft Office programs), bioelectric impedance machines, skinfold calipers for skinfold measurements, exercise equipment, and various bodyweight scales, including hydrostatic weighing machines. If you have an interest in nutrition and you have these skills (or can learn them), becoming a nutritionist might be an excellent career choice for you.



As active people we sometimes have difficulty finding the “perfect” workout apparel.  Over the next few weeks I will be featuring athletic wear from various companies. These items can be worn by runners, cyclists, Pilates enthusiasts, walkers etc.

First up is ellasport according to their website “At ellasport, we make technical athletic apparel that makes you look and feel amazing”. Who doesn’t want to look amazing when working out.   Oh and cute.:)

Here are a few pieces I like:

Chloe Long -Sleeve Tee The back of the Chloe Long -Sleeve Tee
 chloe-long-sleeve-tee-19967  chloe-long-sleeve-tee-382-back


Stanton Sport Tank back view which I love.
stanton-464-201x300 stanton-485-BACK1


We all need a Workout Skirt


power-capris-712Power Capris power-capris-712 Don’t you just love the design on the leg? Notice their logo?  The four petals represent desire, power, strength, and femininity.

You should check out the website, while you are there watch the behind the scenes video of the photoshoot.





What are your workout plans for the week?

 I will be doing  a little of this:    And this:
control-balance woman-running
 And this:   And this:
 wt-lifting  ballet-barre

Though not as graceful:) And this:


Eating a lot of this:                  And this:
 fruits-y2wo_small1  veges-in-basket

And drinking lots of this:


Have a great week.


bigstockphoto_Chocolate_Craving_16174-200x300Cravings explained.

While flipping through a health magazine I came across an interesting chart.  The chart explains what your craving means, and then it gives healthy food choices to satisfy the craving. Here it is below:

If you crave:  Chocolate you need Magnesium. Healthy food choices include: Raw nuts, seeds, legumes, fruits.

If you crave: Sugar you need Chromium and other trace minerals (Including carbon. phosphorus, and sulfur), tryptophan. Healthy food choices:  Broccoli, (and other cruciferous vegetables), grapes, cheese, dried beans, chicken, eggs, fruits, dairy products, legumes, whole grains, sweet potatoes.

If you crave:  Carbohydrates you need Nitrogen and protein. Healthy food choices: High protein foods, fish, meat, poultry, nuts beans.

If you crave: Salty foods you need Chloride, sodium, iodine. Healthy food choices: Raw goat’s milk, fish, unrefined sea salt, sea vegetables.

If you crave: Dairy foods you need Calcium. Healthy food choices: Dark leafy greens, broccoli, legumes, cheese, sesame seeds.

If you crave: Fatty foods you need Good fats. Healthy food choices: Flax oils or seeds, olive oil, fatty fish (baked or steamed) Source

Another reason to get fit………….. According to a 20 year study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, the more fit you are, the longer you are likely to live. Researchers found that the risk of death among the fit was less than one quarter the risk facing the least fit. Try and do something active everyday.  Split your day into 4 ten minute segments, take the stairs, walk the dog etc. BERRIES, BERRIES, BERRIES… (High in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals)

According to Edward Group 111, DC, ND the top 7 berries are: Acai Goji berries Bilberries Blackberries Blueberries Cherries Strawberries. Source

Stay healthy and fit.


The Pilates Roll Up.

The Roll Up increases abdominal strength as well as increasing the flexibility and articulation of the spine. A few key points to remember when performing this exercise: Use your breath to help control your movements. Roll up one vertebra at a time (deeply engage your abdominals in order to peel your back off the mat). Keep your shoulders away from your ears. Keep your legs and hip firmly anchored in to the mat as well as keeping your feet flexed and ankle anchored to you mat. Keep your chin tucked in to your chest as you roll up and down, this will ensure you are not pulling from your neck. Lift your head from your rib cage not your neck. Move smoothly through the exercise, avoid using momentum.

Below I have included a video of the Roll Up being performed:

Roll Up Video As with all exercises there are modifications. The first modification is the Roll Down. You will begin by sitting up with your knees bent and your feet on the floor. Place your hands on the sides of your thighs, and roll down using your hands to assist you.  Then curl up using your hands for assistance. The second modification is Bent Knees. Lie on your back with knees bent, as you begin to roll up, straighten your legs. While rolling down and returning to the start bend your knees. The third modification is the Partial Roll Up. Roll up only until you get the “sticky” point and roll back down. The fourth modification is using a ‘prop”, in this case it is a Resistance Band. Place the band around your feet and holding each end in your hands. Keeping your legs straight and feet flexed, use the band to assist you with the roll up. If the full Roll Up is a challenge try the various modifications until you are able to perform the exercise with proper form. Let me know what you think.

As always consult your physician before beginning a workout plan.