Pilates Louisville & Yoga by Holly

March 2015

Out with the Winter, in with the Stretch!

The winter chill has made all of us a little cramped in the hips and shoulders, so I'm dedicating this issue to stretching out and warming up, Pilates style. The fabulous cover models below show plenty of range on three different Pilates apparatuses. As we count down the days until spring, let's remember to stay loose and get limber.

Calling all Pilates videos

I happily lend Pilates and yoga DVDs and books from my extensive collection...but then I forget who has borrowed what! If anyone has videos from the Jennifer Kries Master Trainer series (I think I'm missing the Mat and Ladder Barrel discs), please return them to me at your earliest convenience. Thanks, from your forgetful librarian!

Schedule changes

The last leg of my winter travel season will take me to Houston on March 20-23 so I will not be able to conduct classes on those days. Sorry, once again, for the disruptions to your regular training schedules. I don't anticipate any more trips coming between you and a good Pilates or yoga class until the end of May.

Research Review

I like to share research and information that can help keep us on our toes. Here's a sampling:

  • Research published in Global Advances in Health and Medicine found that scoliosis patients who held Side Plank Pose for 90 seconds per day for about 7 months reduced their spinal curvature by an average of 32 percent. (See me for details about how to position yourself correctly.)
  • In a 2014 meta-analysis of studies, researchers at Johns Hopkins University found that mindfulness meditation might be on par with antidepressants in treating depressive symptoms. Essentially, mindfulness meditation reduces anxiety by improving mood and enhancing cognitive control mechanisms. (To get started on basic breath and meditation techniques, join our Slow Flow yoga class on Saturdays at 12:30 p.m. Check with me about the off-site location.)
  • You don't have to sweat to get a good workout. Sweating is simply the process your body uses to maintain its normal temperature, says Jessica Matthews, a senior health and fitness expert for the American Council on Exercise. In the April issue of Real Simple magazine, she reports that "Some people perspire heavily even during very light physical activity, and some barely sweat during intense exercise. Neither is necessarily cause for alarm."
  • Want to know if your metabolism is fast or slow? Use the following formula to determine a woman's basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the minimum number of calories you need to keep your body working on a day when you do nothing but act like a sloth: 655 + (4.35 X weight in pounds) + (4.7 X height in inches) - 4.7 X (age in years). The average woman has a BMR of about 1,500 calories a day. If yours is lower than that, your metabolism might be on the sluggish side. If you have a lot of lean muscle on your body, your BMR is probably higher than the formula's results.