For everyone who has never asked – why choose Pilates?

Regularly practising Pilates increases flexibility of the body and helps lengthen muscles, actually giving you a leaner look. This is why Pilates was originally developed as an exercise form to increase muscle strength for strenuous performances. If practised regularly, it shows better results in a shorter time than visiting the gym. Pilates is not a cardiovascular workout and so needs another form of exercise to complement it. Pilates moves are either strength or suppleness based and sometimes a combination of the two. The routine is like yoga where maintaining balance, doing stretches, and using resistance against your own weight are required. One of the ways Pilates differs from yoga however is in the number of repetitions of each movement, another way is with the use of equipment (eg. balls or bands). When you watch someone doing a Pilates move, it may seem easy, but it actually involves a lot of effort. The effects are subtle but will help you with any...
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Yoga and (lack of) sleep

Worryingly, it’s not just a matter of exhaustion. Insomnia sufferers are also at significantly higher risk of major health problems, ranging from depression and anxiety to immune deficiency and heart disease. Additionally, compared with people who sleep well, people with insomnia are more likely to experience low mood, lack concentration and struggle to ‘get things done’ at work or at home, and to suffer from lack of energy. The depressing list goes on, as disrupted sleep is also associated with weight gain and obesity. If lack of sleep is an issue for you, yoga can help give you the good night’s rest you crave. Through the gentle physical exercise, breathing techniques and complete relaxation yoga encourages, you can promote regular and restful sleep patterns without resorting to medication. As a starting point, simply lie on your back either with your legs straight and apart, your feet falling to the side or with your knees bent and the soles of your feet flat...
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7 strategies for weight loss success

Keep track of everything you eat – you may be surprised how much you consume without even thinking about it. Weigh yourself only once each week – ensure that this is at the same time of day and on the same scales. Don’t be obsessed, losing half to two pounds each week is normal. The fit of your clothes is a much better indication of your progress. Lose weight with a friend – a supportive buddy will strengthen your resolve. Do exercise which you enjoy – if you exercise as well as changing your eating habits, you should lose weight quicker and tone your body at the same time. Forget fad diets – there is no magic solution to weight loss. A healthy food plan which does not leave you feeling hungry and allows an occasional treat will easier to commit to in the long term. Watch out for weekends – plan for occasional splurges by eating a little less during the week. You will...
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First thoughts

I read this as part of an article by Mark Rice-Oxley in the Guardian Weekly.  It’s about how overthinking is spoiling our ability to simply be.   “Instead of obsessing about things we don’t have, we need to accept and celebrate what we do. Instead of worrying about things we can’t control – people’s opinion of us for example- we need to direct our attentions to things we can influence and leave the rest be. Instead of judging each other, and – worse – ourselves, let us simply take as we find. Instead of ruining our short time alive by setting expectations of how we think everything should be, from our jobs to our love lives, our children to our prospects, let us accept that some things will not always go as we wish.  You’re not who you think you are. You’re so much more than that.”  ...
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