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What is Pilates? A Beginner’s Guide

Pilates is an exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates. It is practiced worldwide, especially in countries such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Globally, there are about 11 million people practicing Pilates on a regular basis. To discover why this form of exercise has become so popular, read this article to know what is Pilates.

History of Pilates

Pilates was developed by Joseph Pilates from Germany. His father was a gymnast while his mother is a naturopath. During the first half of the 20th century, Pilates developed an exercise system to strengthen the mind and body. He believed that physical and mental health are interconnected.

The inspiration for his method came during World War I, while he was being held at an internment camp. For four years he developed his method there, working with his fellow internees.

His method was accompanied by a variety of equipment (or apparatus). The best-known apparatus is the Reformer. Eventually, Pilates designed others, such as the Cadillac, Wunda Chair, Spine Corrector, and Ladder Barrel. Each apparatus was designed to accelerate the process of stretching, body alignment, and strengthening.

What is Pilates?

Women Doing PilatesPilates moves may look simple, but they require a lot of control and precision. There is a strong emphasis on technique. You can do Pilates on a mat, either at home or in a class. Or you can go to a studio or gym that has special equipment and a trainer who can supervise you.

If you want to maintain good posture and strengthen your abdomen and pelvis, then this exercise may be good for you. In some ways it’s like yoga, but with a more intense core workout. Pilates works primarily on your core, which includes the abdominal area and the spinal area. Other areas of the body that are toned and strengthened through Pilates include the legs, upper thighs, and buttocks.

Similar to yoga, Pilates focuses on posture, balance, and flexibility. It also highlights the connection between the mind and body. You’ll be aware of your breathing as well as the way your body moves.

Health Benefits of Pilates

Good posture

Pilates can help you achieve and maintain good posture. The exercises require your body to be always in alignment. This can be beneficial if you have lower back pain.

Muscle tone

After the initial soreness, you will find that your muscles will become more toned. Because muscle tone can be lost with inactivity, this form of exercise is good for people who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

Flexibility

Woman Doing Pilates on a MatAs we age, we tend to lose our flexibility. Pilates will help restore it, slowly but surely. After a while, you will be amazed at how more flexible your body has become.

Improves balance

Through the mind-body connection taught in Pilates, you’ll become more aware of how your body moves. Pilates not only improves physical balance through proper posture, but also promotes mind-body balance.

Reduces stress

Group of People Doing PilatesWhen doing Pilates, you’ll be totally focused and won’t be able to think about the stressors that weigh you down. You’ll concentrate on your breathing and the moves you’re making with your body. It is an effective way to relieve stress.

Precautions

Pilates is NOT suitable for you if you have the following conditions:

  • Unstable blood pressure
  • Severe osteoporosis
  • Herniated disk(s)
  • Risk of blood clots

Also, before trying Pilates, check with your doctor if you have not exercised for a while, are older, pregnant, or have health problems.

Conclusion

After knowing what is Pilates, you now have a better understanding of this form of exercise. Bear in mind that although Pilates provides some health benefits, it is not considered as an aerobic exercise. If you want to lose weight, you should combine Pilates with a healthy diet and a fitness program that will help you burn calories and tone/build muscle, such as FITin56.

10 Health Benefits of Apples that You Should Know

Apple Trees and Barrels of ApplesWill eating an apple a day keep the doctor away? Apples are sweet, edible fruits produced by the apple tree (Malus pumila). There are over 7,500 varieties of apples; they come in red, yellow, and green. The skin is thin but sturdy, while the inner flesh is thick and juicy. It’s not surprising why apples are very popular in many parts of the world. They are both delicious and nutritious. In this post, we will enumerate 10 health benefits of apples.

Health Benefits of Apples

1. Prevent Heart Diseases

Apples help lower the risk of heart ailments. The antioxidants in apples reduce the oxidation of fats. They also neutralize fats found in blood vessels. Furthermore, the flavonoid quercetin reduces inflammation in the blood vessels, while the polyphenol epicatechin lowers blood pressure.

2. Aid in Digestion

Digestive SystemApples are rich in soluble fiber, which helps in the digestive process. Incorporating apples into your diet ensures smooth bowel movement and the prevention of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, and other stomach disorders. In addition, fiber stimulates the release of gastric and digestive juices for a more efficient uptake of nutrients.

3. Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Eating whole apples (as opposed to juice) can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. In particular, women who eat at least one apple a day have a 28% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who are non-apple eaters. The polyphenols present in apples stimulate insulin receptors in cells, which speeds up removal of sugar from the bloodstream, delivering it to cells for metabolism and proper organ function.

4. Boost Immune System

Apples are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that can help boost immune function. They are also great for detoxifying the body and improving overall health.

5. Anticancer Potential

Regular consumption of at least one apple a day may reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as colon and lung cancer. Hypotheses usually point to the fruit’s high phytonutrient content, including quercetin and kaempferol, but the exact mechanism or impact on cancer needs further research.

6. Lower Bad Cholesterol

Eating apples everyday can result in a considerable decrease in bad cholesterol (LDL) and a slight increase in good cholesterol (HDL) in just three months. This is confirmed by a study performed by researchers at The Florida State University on 160 post-menopausal women.

7. Improve Bone Health

Compounds like quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin present in apples have been associated with reducing inflammatory conditions like gout and arthritis. People suffering from rheumatism will also find apples useful because they can aid in the healing process.

8. Treat Anemia

Apples can be useful in treating anemia since they contain iron. They also ensure proper oxygenation of organ systems by increasing the number of red blood cells. This results in proper functioning of organs and enhanced blood circulation.

9. Skin Care

Antioxidants in apples fight off free radicals, which are linked to premature aging, age spots, wrinkles, and other age-related conditions. Apples increase circulation, which can help keep the skin looking young. They stimulate the replacement and repair of damaged cells. The fruit is also helpful in preventing acne.

10. Weight Loss

Apple for Weight LossThe water and fiber in this nutritious fruit increase satiety, reducing appetite and overeating. Apples speed up metabolism – calories are burned off faster, which is great news for people struggling with obesity.

Apple Side Effects

While there are numerous health benefits of apples, the fruit can also produce side effects. Take note of the following:

Poisoning – Apple seeds contain cyanide. Because cyanide is poisonous, excessive consumption of apple seeds can be toxic and dangerous. Don’t eat the seeds!

Pregnancy and breastfeeding – Expecting and breastfeeding mothers should avoid apple tea because it may harm a growing fetus or infant.

Allergy – Apples may cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Medication – Apples may interfere with certain medications. If you are taking any medicines, consult your doctor before incorporating apples into your diet.

Conclusion

Apples are good for you. This fruit contains essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Incorporating apples into your diet may lower your risk for many diseases, including diabetes and cancer. Apples also contain soluble fiber, which is good for digestive health and weight loss. So, in fact, there is truth to the old proverb that “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Finding Time to Exercise Despite a Busy Schedule

We all know that exercise is very important. Yet, one common excuse for not exercising enough is “I don’t have time.” While it can be difficult to find time to exercise, that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to live a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise provides a lot of health benefits, that’s why finding time to exercise is essential.

Finding Time to Exercise

1. Get up early

Wake Up EarlyRegardless of your schedule and occupation, the fact remains that there are 24 hours in a day. Maybe all you have to do is use time differently. Try being an early bird. Get up early in the morning to fit in your workout. Sleep is super important, though, so make sure you always get enough sleep. If you are going to get up early, make sure you discipline yourself to go to bed early, too.

2. Turn off the TV

Every week, the average American spends 34 hours watching TV. Watching TV can be a big time consumer. You don’t have to miss your favorite TV shows and movies, though. Use time wisely and record your favorite shows and set a specific time to watch them. Avoid sitting on the couch or laying in bed all the time. And set aside a certain amount of time per day to exercise.

3. Have a workout partner

Exercise TogetherWorking out with a family member, friend, or special someone can be a great motivating factor. You are more likely to make time for exercise if you know that someone is waiting for you. If you don’t show up, you’re letting not only yourself down, but your partner as well. Working out together can also help when one of you is feeling tired or down. The other can then help with motivation. You can also set fitness goals together, and help each other to attain them.

4. Combine exercise and transportation

Walking to WorkSometimes, we overlook the fact that getting from point A to point B can be a good opportunity to exercise. This is becoming a trend in some cities. Here are some things you can do:

  • Bike or walk to work/school
  • Bike to the supermarket/grocery store
  • Walk or bike to the coffee shop
  • Walk to your place of worship
  • Walk over to a friend’s house

5. You don’t have to go to the gym

Going to a gym definitely has its advantages and disadvantages. A gym is equipped with various fitness equipment that will allow you to do a wide range of exercises. However, not everyone can do that on a regular basis, especially with a busy schedule. You also have to pay gym membership fees. If you have limited time and resources, why not consider doing workouts at home? For example, FITin56 is a great fitness program that you can do in the convenience of your own home.

How Often Should You Exercise?

The American Heart Association provides these minimum exercise guidelines for healthy adults aged 18 to 65:

  • Moderate intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes, 5 days per week (for example, brisk walk) or;
  • Vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity for 20 minutes, 3 days per week (for example, jogging) or;
  • A combination of moderate intensity and vigorous intensity.

Conclusion

The keys to finding time to exercise are flexibility, discipline, a regular schedule, and making fitness a way of life. Plan ahead so other to-do items don’t push exercise off your radar. Try a top quality home exercise program like FITin56. Remember, physical activity translates to a healthier you!

About Us

FITin56® is a revolutionary fitness program that helps anyone get fit in 56 days — and stay fit! Members get online access to workout videos, exercise videos, and a nutrition plan. Lose weight, tone, or build muscle — follow the plan that best meets your goals. Get fit and healthy in only 30 minutes per day!

FITin56® is a registered trademark of CREATIVE PRODUCTS, LLC.

Founded in 1989, CREATIVE PRODUCTS was built with the vision of providing hard to find, innovative, useful, and creative products to customers worldwide. We strive to bring our customers only the best products and services available.