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What Is Reformer Pilates?

Reformer Pilates is similar yet very different to mat based Pilates. Reformer Pilates is done using the Pilates reformer machine and is generally more intense and more dynamic than mat-based Pilates as it adds resistance to the Pilates exercises via the use of the springs which form part of the machine.

What can Reformer Pilates do for you?

  1. Full body workout Using a Reformer to perform specific, individualised movements will give you a balanced, full body workout. The subtly of the springs on a Reformer, globally strengthens the whole body to not just target the large muscle movers, but also activate the smaller stabilisers. Where there is uneven weakness, you are also able to work unilaterally to focus in and correct imbalances.
  2. Builds strength and tones muscles Reformer Pilates allows you to move through full range while working on strengthening muscles. This dynamic form of exercise cleverly uses the machine’s springs and levers to create resistance and allow for equal focus on the concentric and eccentric contractions to create long, lean, toned muscles. It not only targets major muscle groups, but also the small stabilising muscles are called to action when working on a reformer machine.
  3. Low impact (but high intensity) – Meaning it is great for anyone with injury Reformer Pilates is ideal, under professional guidance, for anyone suffering and recovering from an injury. The springs and ropes are specifically designed to enable you to work in the horizontal plane rather than weight bearing, reducing the load through your body. The low impact allows for repetitive movements to occur which in turn tones and strengthens the injured areas to speed recovery.
  4. Improves core and posture Many of the exercises performed on a Reformer machine target the core whilst working the peripheral postural muscles at the same time. A stronger core is essential for ideal posture.

When should I recommend Reformer? If you know anyone with the following goals:

  • Getting stronger
  • Recovery from injury
  • Flexibility
  • Mental health
  • Core strength
  • Postnatal recovery
  • Toning
  • Postural alignment

What can a client expect?

Reformer is the exercise of choice for those looking to strengthen, balance, lengthen and tone. The 50min class is suitable to everybody. From beginners right through to the more advanced Pilates student. Strengthen your core and develop long lean muscles using spring loaded resistance on a reformer machine.

Try Reformer Pilates!

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5 Ways to Improve Your Gut Health

It’s easy to forget about your gut, but did you know that your gut health affects much more than just your digestive system? The gut is one of the most important elements to proper bodily functioning! The gut is where the food is broken down and transferred to other parts of the body. It is also filled with living bacteria that keep you alive, but when things turn for the worst, can also be your worst enemies!

Gut health is easy to neglect, and for that reason it is super important to give your gut some love, so it can give it back to you! Outlined below are some steps that you can take to help keep your gut healthy and happy.

1. CHEW

Do you remember being reprimanded by your mum about chewing slowly? Well she had a point! Slowly chewing your food and mashing it up makes it much easier for your body to digest it and absorb all of the proper nutrients. Your saliva contains enzymes which break down the food in your mouth that make it more bioavailable for the rest of our digestive system!

An additional benefit of chewing slowly is that it can aid in fat loss! Chewing slowly allows your body extra time to signal your brain that you are getting full. It takes 20 minutes from when you are completely full for your body to send a signal to your brain that gives the “fullness” sensation.

2. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER

The golden rule that most of us neglect on a daily basis! Water is the foundation of life, yet most of us forget to get our 8 cups in. Staying hydrated is essential for proper gut health!

Drinking enough water ensures that your stool isn’t difficult to pass. When you are dehydrated, passing stool can be an uncomfortable experience and one that puts stress on your bowels. Too much stress on your bowls can cause a rupture in the bowel walls, which is not only extremely painful, but also can release bacteria into the bloodstream, affecting a wide range of bodily functions.

3. TAKE PROBIOTICS

Your gut is filled with millions of good bacteria, designed to break down the food you’re eating. However, among the good there are some bacteria is not good for your body and can actually cause you to crave unhealthy foods.

A poor diet, can cause an imbalance between the good and bad bacteria, leading the bad to take over the good! This is where digestive issues arise, in some cases it can also lead to allergies and even mental instability such as depression. With this in mind, it’s crucial to get the right kind of bacteria in charge.

Taking a probiotic supplement (such as Yakult) or foods with naturally high probiotics (such as natural yogurt, kimchi, kefir or fermented foods) can help you restore that balance in your gut. It’s important to take these supplements daily, as research suggests it needs to be a daily intake in order for the effects to be fully realised.

4. AVOID INFLAMMATORY FOODS

Although we all have different definitions of what constitutes “inflammatory foods”, it is safe to say that most refined carbs, like candy or fast food, are bad for gut health.

These foods can inflame the digestive tract, and destroy the villi (small, finger-like projections on the walls of the intestines that absorb nutrients from food) in the intestines. This can have serious consequences on your gut health and health in general, as it reduces the level of nutrition that is able to be absorbed from the food you eat.

A good rule of thumb is to go for unrefined whole foods, with plenty of fruits and vegetables.

5. TRY A PERIOD OF INTERMITTENT FASTING

Intermittent fasting has recently risen up as one of the fastest growing diet trends in the recent years, however unlike many other diet fads, this fab has proven to be beneficial to your holistic health, including the gut!

Taking a break from eating food for blocks of time, gives your digestive tract the opportunity to rest and clear out. This can also allow your gut flora to focus on things unrelated to digestion, i.e. populating themselves.

So, don’t you forget about the gut! It is one of the most vital bodily systems that keep you alive and healthy on a daily basis! Make sure to follow these steps and care of it, so it can take care of you!

5 Minor Diet Changes That Help with Weight Loss

Dieting doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Losing weight is hard, and making large lifestyle changes can make the journey seem impossible. Luckily, the difference between your current weight and a lower one doesn’t require large lifestyle changes. You can make some minor diet changes that you won’t even notice after the first few weeks of practicing them, and you’ll be surprised by your weight loss over time.

Portion Control

Portion control is one of the biggest hurdles for those trying to lose weight. Your change to your portions doesn’t have to be major, however. Take a slightly smaller serving than usual, even just a bite less. You’ll be just as satisfied from your meal after you’ve done this a few times.

Food Colour Variety

Make sure you’re eating a variety of colons in each of your meals. The thought behind this is that most foods that are colourful are vegetables and fruit, so this small check you do at each meal helps you loosely measure your fruit and veggie intake. Vegetables and fruit are generally lower in calories than carbs and protein, and they provide a variety of helpful nutrients you won’t get otherwise.

Fill Up On a Little Protein

Though it can be calorie dense, protein is great for making you feel full. If you start getting hungry in your day, consider having a small protein-filled snack instead of a full meal. Some good examples of protein snacks are almonds or jerky. Protein snacks are delicious and will usually help tide you over until your next meal.

Food, Not Drinks

It’s surprising how many calories are in the drinks you buy. The average can of soda contains around 150 calories. You can lose a lot of weight from cutting out drinks like these, or you can try replacing your sodas or other caloric beverages with snacks such as almonds or popcorn to feel less hungry throughout the day.

Fewer Extras

The recipe for a meal might say that a serving is only 300 calories, but this is before any additional ingredients you add in, such as oils, butter, cheese, and more. Try adding fewer of these fats to your cooking for fewer unknown calories. If nothing else, measure these add ins and calculate just how much you’re including calorically so you can take that into account for the rest of your day’s calories.

Losing weight doesn’t have to be a dramatic lifestyle change. Small changes such as having healthy snacks to avoid binge-eating at meals, drinking fewer calories, or eating just a bite less at dinner will cause a small decline in weight over time. Weight loss doesn’t have to be a rush, it can be a slow journey you take one small step at a time with manageable eating changes and goals.