Pilates vs. Yoga. What’s the Difference?

Sara Talbert, Director of Pilates

Pilates and yoga have many of the same goals in mind, and many see the value in both. So, what’s the difference?

The purpose of yoga is to unite the mind, body and spirit. Yoga teachers see the mind and body as one. Yoga is considered a therapeutic activity: it can be a way to heal the body and find mental harmony. It gives your body more flexibility and promotes relaxation even in the most stressful of times. Many people start taking yoga to reduce stress.

In yoga, several movements are performed on a yoga mat and the weight of the body is used as resistance. This takes a great amount of focus, and the flow in and out of each position is fluid. There are many types of yoga classes available, from very athletic Power Vinyasa to very gentle Hatha.

In Pilates, the focus is on the core, specifically the spine, so the rest of the body can move freely and grow stronger both inside and out. The work is geared towards balancing flexibility and strength, resulting in a stronger body. The major difference from yoga is, in addition to mat work, Pilates incorporates difference exercise machines.

Using Your Breath

  • Yoga might be the most effective exercise to combat depression or anxiety because it focuses on the mind as well as the body. In yoga, the breathing exercises help you to achieve relaxation. Throughout a yoga routine, it’s important to continuously concentrate on how the breath is being employed. Sending the breath to areas that may be tight or are holding stress can help relax these specific muscle groups in your body.
  • In Pilates, the breath is guided by the direction of body movement. For example, you would inhale when the body extends and exhale when the body flexes. The breath is used as a technique to provide muscles with the energy needed to exercise effectively. Concentrating on breathing technique throughout Pilates will help you engage the deeper stabilizing muscles in the body. When doing Pilates, one movement connects to the next with the mantra that movement heals.

Developing Abdominal Muscles

  • Yoga and Pilates both contain several poses and exercises that are suitable for toning the abdominal muscles. One of the best Pilates exercises for the core is the first exercise in the mat work named the Hundred. The jump-board is another way to target the deeper layer of abdominals. In yoga, every time you do a plank, you are using your abdominals.

Dealing with Back Pain

  • For individuals with back pain, both yoga and Pilates poses can provide results for stronger and more supportive back muscles. Care has to be taken with some yoga poses and Pilates exercises, as they can actually make the existing problems worse. Be sure to talk with your instructor prior to a session.

Improving Flexibility and Strength

  • Yoga can be used for improving the flexibility of the body, and it will also gradually increase the flexibility of your joints. Pilates focuses on trying to relax tense muscles and providing strengthening and connecting to the deeper stabilizers in the body.
  • Yoga and Pilates are both wonderful for toning and strengthening all of the muscles groups in your body. Pilates equipment uses springs, which provide a resistance on the body that will help build muscle and prevent bone loss.

In the end, the easiest way to decide whether Pilates or yoga is best for you is to have a go at both! Try one class of each and see what you think. You may also find you like both, as they pair well with each other. Both Pilates and yoga strengthen your muscles, get your body in better shape, relieve stress and expand flexibility.

Sara Talbert, Director of Pilates
303.770.2582 x375 | SaraT@GreenwoodATC.com

Reach New Limits in the Water

Crystal Garland, Director of Aquatics

When you challenge yourself to accomplish something you never thought you could, you find you can overcome anything. At Greenwood, our aquatics coaches and instructors are here to help you reach your goals. Whether you’re ready to take on a triathlon or your kids are thinking about becoming lifeguards, we’re here to push you and your family to new limits. And what better time to start than right now?

Join the GATC Triathlon Team 

Challenge yourself to become a better athlete by joining the triathlon team. The team trains Mondays at 6am, April to July, but it’s not too late to join! Train with brick and high-intensity workouts, as well as mini triathlons, both outdoors and at Greenwood. Coach Cyndie sends out personalized workouts, modified for your fitness level, every week. You choose your event, and Coach Cyndie will make sure you’re race ready. Many athletes decide on a sprint or Olympic distance race, but your goal is up to you.

Sign Up for the Kids Tri-Our-Village Triathlon

Have your young triathletes swim, bike and run at our 11th Annual Tri-Our-Village Kids Triathlon on September 16! “The race was challenging and a really fun time. My favorite part is running the laps around the lake and cheering on all of the other kids,” past participant Spencer Hola 
said.

Train with the American Red Cross

American Red Cross training provides young adults a rewarding opportunity to keep pools safe and to save lives. We provide classes right here at Greenwood with Jan Marie Smith. Greenwood employee Michael Zotto took a class and said, “My lifeguard certification class with Jan Smith was amazing. Jan is a fun and inclusive instructor with a wealth of information and she delivers all the necessary skills needed for the job.”

Take Private Swim Lessons 

Want to learn to swim or need more practice with a specific skill? Our coaches are here to accommodate varying needs with private swim lessons. Private lessons are a great way to develop skills in a structured and safe environment. “Private swim lessons at Greenwood fundamentally altered my daughter’s confidence in the water and her ability to successfully swim without fear. Our instructor taught my daughter the core concepts of safe swimming in a way that made it fun and highly learnable. After a year of private lessons, I take huge joy and satisfaction in knowing she is a capable and safe swimmer and has really learned to love the water!” Elizoebeth Lunsford said.

Interested in these or other aquatics opportunities at Greenwood? Contact Crystal Garland at CrystalG@GreenwoodATC.com to find the swim program for you.

Crystal Garland, Director of Aquatics
303.770.2582 x325 | CrystalG@GreenwoodATC.com

Benefits of Summer Recreation for Kids

Danielle Cavanaugh, Youth Programs Coordinator

Imagine what your child could do if they have the opportunity to…

Be Healthy!

The majority of youth programs available today include some sort of physical activity. With so much focus on childhood obesity, there is no better time to focus on being healthy! Learning the importance of having an active lifestyle at an early age can help children stay healthy throughout their lives. Those who are taught the value of participating in recreation programs from an early age are more likely to partake in similar activities as adults. Give your child the best chance of living a long, healthy life!

Be Educated!

Where did you learn how to play hopscotch? Or foursquare? What about soccer? You probably didn’t learn the rules and strategies by reading them on the internet. More than likely, you learned them by participating in an organized program or activity, including recess. There are so many games, sports, and pastimes out there. In order for children to know where their interests lie, they need to be shown the options. Give them the opportunity to try it all!

Be Confident!

Recreation programs can help to teach children the importance of trust, healthy risk-taking and overcoming personal challenges. The feeling a child gets from accomplishing something they’ve set out to do helps to build motivation to continue to work hard and take on the next challenge. The confidence that comes with becoming an autonomous participant is priceless.

Be Relaxed!

Just like adults, when kids participate in activities they enjoy they can become less stressed. We often forget that there are many pressures that come with being a kid. Getting them into programs they enjoy can help to manage that pressure.

Be Involved!

Not bored! Regardless of the activity, structured and organized participation helps kids develop better focus. They will be practicing skills like listening to instruction, staying on task, and following multi-step directions. These skills they will use for the rest of their lives.

Make Friends!

It has been said that social bonds form stronger when those involved are doing something adventurous. The thrill and excitement of a new challenge or journey brings people together in ways other activities cannot. These friendships are vital to childhood. Even without these types of friendships, children need social interaction to develop. Whether its basketball practice or chess club, being involved in activities helps children feel like they belong.

Be Happier!

Take a look back at this list. If a child has a chance to experience all of this, there’s only one thing they can be — happy! There is so much to do at Greenwood Athletic and Tennis Club. Let’s get started! Imagine what your child could do if they have the opportunity to be healthy, be educated, be confident, be relaxed, be involved, make friends, and most importantly be HAPPY!

Danielle Cavanaugh, Youth Programs Coordinator
303-770-2582 x287 | DanielleC@GreenwoodATC.com

Pushing Through the Fear of Beginning

Shaun Cook, Personal Training Coordinator

With many new beginnings, a large and seemingly immovable boulder blocks the road to success. In life, that boulder has many names but, at its core, it’s fear. And fear has one objective: to keep us from our greatest selves. Fear wants to keep us painfully mediocre, or just okay.

How do you get past fear? Push into it. It’s the only way to continue your journey to the greater you.

There’s an upfront cost to pushing forward. It’s going to take time, energy and other valuable resources. More than all of that, it’s going to take consistency.

Many people give up in front of the boulder. Lies like, “you’re not enough,” “you don’t have what it takes,” and “you’re too late,” swirl in our minds. “You have to do it perfectly,” keeps us from even starting. But when you push through the noise and discomfort, you’ll find what you thought was immovable begins to roll away.

When you push through the noise and discomfort, you’ll find what you thought was immovable begins to roll away.

Momentum. If you make it to this stage, the game changes. It takes work to keep moving forward, but less than before, because you’re already moving!

At Greenwood, we’re all on this journey together. And, together, we’re growing against the resistance. Our personal trainers are here to help you develop abundant energy and vitality, to look your best and perform at your peak ability, and to free your spirit to change the world. We’ll provide the tools for your success down this road to greatness, but it’s up to you to fearlessly lean into the boulder that’s holding you back.

Ready to start? Let’s go.

Chair Yoga is for Everyone

Join us for Introduction to Chair Yoga during Yoga Immersion Weekend on Sunday, April 29, 2:15­–3:30pm. A six-class series will follow in May.

Chair yoga is often misunderstood to be an age-specific practice. The truth is we would all be better off with a few chair yoga sequences under our belt, especially when back care is a concern. These days, with long hours sitting at the office or while traveling, none of us are exempt from the benefits of chair yoga.

Chair yoga uses modified poses that can be done while seated in a chair, which alleviates the up and down requirements of most yoga classes. It’s a safe and accessible practice for anyone, of any age, particularly for those who are living with physical limitations and have difficulty getting up and down in a typical yoga class.

Conquering the Physical Challenges of Aging

For seniors navigating the physical challenges that come with aging, chair yoga is an ideal practice to reap of the many benefits of yoga with the added support of the chair. Improved body awareness, balance, strength, mobility, circulation, lung capacity, digestion, mental clarity, stress and anxiety relief are a few of the many benefits that keep people coming back to their practice.

Managing Pain and Healing

Chair yoga can be a valuable part of the healing process for those facing the challenges that come with injury, surgery, chronic pain, debilitating illnesses or any condition that causes limited mobility or restricted activity. Chair yoga compliments traditional physical therapy and chemotherapy recovery, soothes and rejuvenates the body that struggles with fatigue, and relieves pain for many who suffer from arthritis, fibromyalgia and other chronic pain conditions.

Combating the Effects of Sitting

Learning chair yoga sequences is also valuable for anyone whose lifestyle requires long hours of sitting. We live in an age where long periods of sitting occur whether you want them to or not, and learning some chair yoga sequences will equip you with a number of preventative tools to alleviate back and neck discomfort, keep your joints well-lubricated and your blood circulating properly, and reduce muscle tension and atrophy.

Join us for Introduction to Chair Yoga during Yoga Immersion Weekend on Sunday, April 29, 2:15­–3:30pm. A six-class series will follow in May.

Fit Family: The Hudsons

Getting Stronger in Community

Christine Marquez-Hudson starts her days early at Greenwood’s Breakfast Club group fitness class. For Christine, participation in the class has lead not only to greater motivation and better fitness, but also to good friendships.

“When you finally get motivated to do something, you really start to realize this club is more than a place to work out. It’s a real community of members, trainers and staff,” Christine says. “It feels like a family. Greenwood is a home away from home for us.”

Mateo, Christine, Julia and Andrew Hudson

“You can let working out be intimidating,” Andrew Hudson explains. “But once you ask for help, the staff and trainers have a wealth of information and are so easy to approach. The more I ask and engage, the more I understand and the more excited I am. Everything is so doable with their help.”

Andrew takes advantage of the variety of classes offered at Greenwood. He participates in H.I.I.T., yoga, indoor cycling, and, his current favorite, PWRFIT. But he hasn’t always been so active.

When Andrew was 40, his doctor told him he’d be a heart attack statistic by his 50th birthday if he didn’t take control of his health. He started with small steps. One of his first milestones was running the 3-mile loop around Sloan Lake. A year later, he ran the Chicago Marathon. Since then, he’s run 15 half-marathons.

“When I ran the Chicago Marathon, I remember telling myself, ‘Look at what you can do,” Andrew says. “A regular concentration on fitness just gives me the sense of, ‘I can do this’ that translates into other aspects of my life.”

The whole Hudson family has found their place at Greenwood. Mateo (5) and Julia (8) enjoy Kid’s Club, summer and holiday camps, swimming and tennis classes, and, of course, the outdoor pool. Nick (17) plays basketball or lifts weights with his buddies.

“Not a day goes by without someone saying, ‘Can we go to the gym?’” Christine says.


When the Hudson family is not at Greenwood, you can find them skiing in Winter Park or cycling around Cherry Creek Reservoir. Christine, a UCLA graduate with a Masters from Regis University, leads the Denver Foundation as executive director. Andrew is a former press secretary to the Mayor of Denver and ran the popular talking animals ad campaign for Frontier Airlines. For the past 20 years, he has been running his popular Colorado job board www.andrewhudsonsjobslist.com and, as a professional bassist, performs in jazz clubs and music festivals throughout Colorado.

What is Functional Fitness?

Lindsey Green, Personal Trainer

I believe we all have a right to a quality life. We all deserve to live long and we all deserve to live well. But sometimes we don’t know how to achieve that on our own. We make certain food choices we think are healthy and we go to the gym to spend a given amount of time exercising because we think it’s what we should do.

As a new trainer here at GATC, I have quickly learned that I do not do things the traditional way. As someone who firmly believes working out on a machine is not the most beneficial, I have established myself as a trainer who is passionate about functional training and educating people inside the gym so they are better off outside of the gym. So what does this mean?

My answer is simple. It’s in the everyday movements you already do outside of the gym. It’s found in real, whole foods that consist of tons of micronutrients and good sources of carbohydrates, fats and protein. It’s learning how to eat and move in a way that supports a long, healthy and energetic life. It’s also about finding a confidence in yourself you never knew existed.

When you sit down in a chair, pick something up off the floor, carry your groceries into the house or put your luggage into the overhead compartment, you’re doing functional movements. They’re functional because they help you accomplish whatever task you’re doing at that given time. Wouldn’t it be ideal to train these movements in the club so we can decrease our risk of injury, become stronger and more efficient? The confidence alone that comes with being more independent and strong is incomparable.

Isolating your muscles on a given machine is never a movement we see outside of the gym. At what point in your day do you use only your triceps to move an object? The answer is you never do. You do complex, multi-joint movements. Add some weight and a little intensity and you’re not only on your way to becoming a fitter version of yourself, but you will look and feel the way you’ve always wanted to.

Doing constantly varied, functional movements at a high intensity is the answer. If you’re training with me, you’ll quickly learn there’s nothing easy about this, but it’s a really fun way of learning something new that will benefit you for years to come!

Lindsey Green, Personal Trainer
303.770.2582 x369 | LindseyG@GreenwoodATC.com

Yoga for Back Pain

Marda Zechiel, Yoga Manager

Are you suffering from chronic or occasional back pain? Multiple studies have shown that yoga can be the solution to relieving back soreness if particular attention is given to the correct muscular usage and alignment. In fact, several studies have discovered that yoga can be even more beneficial than the usual care for back pain when it comes to improving back function. According to a study published in the journal, Archives of Internal Medicine, people who took yoga or stretching classes are twice as likely to cut back on pain medications for their back aches as people who managed symptoms on their own.

There are certain yoga postures that can stretch and strengthen your muscles and return your back to its proper alignment.

*It is always a good idea to consult with your doctor before starting any new exercise routine, especially if you are prone to pain. Once you receive the approval of your doctor, try these soothing poses in the sequence below.*

Child’s Pose

A great way to begin or wind down your day. Start on all fours on your hands and knees. Bring your knees as wide as your mat with your big toes touching. Then, stretch your arms out in front of you, sinking your hips down on your heels and resting your forehead on the mat. Hold for 10 breaths.

Table Top to Cow and Cat pose

Come up from Child’s pose and position knees under hip bones and wrists under shoulders, aligning or stacking your joints into Table Top position. You can start by dropping your head and letting your neck muscles relax. As you inhale, go into Cow pose by lifting your head and tailbone and letting your belly drop toward the floor. Keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. As you exhale, come into Cat pose by pulling your belly up, rounding your spine toward the ceiling and tucking your chin toward your chest.

Continue to synchronize these movements with your breath or spend a few extra breaths in Cow, as this really helps to open the lower back. Take 5-10 breaths here.

Downward Facing Dog

From Table Top, tuck your toes and begin to straighten your legs and lift your hips, coming into an inverted “V” shape. Move your hands forward slightly if needed and actively push the floor away. If you feel back pain beyond a gentle stretch, or if your spine rounds due to short hamstrings, try bending your knees and pressing your chest towards your thighs. Move gently in the pose for a few breaths, bending and straightening legs and then hold for 5-10 breaths.

Standing forward bend or Rag Doll

From Downward Facing Dog, walk your feet toward your hands, bringing them hip distance apart. Bend your knees slightly and fold your torso over your thighs, touching your belly to your legs if possible. Allow your arms to hang toward the floor or grab your elbows with the opposite hand. Let your head hang freely. Stay here for 10 breaths.

Plank to Cobra or Upward Facing Dog

Cobra pose-from a Plank, lower to your belly and position your hands under your shoulders. As you inhale, press your hands into mat and lift your chest. Keep your core engaged (drawing your belly button to your spine) and point your toes so that your knee caps lift off the mat.

Upward Facing Dog pose-if Cobra feels like it is enough, stay with this pose. If you want to move into Upward Facing Dog, press into the mat, further straightening your arms and keeping your wrists under shoulders. Press the tops of your feet and hands into the flooras they are the only points in contact with the mat. Make sure to keep an engaged core, draw  shoulders back and lift sternum forward.

Come back to Downward Facing Dog for a few breaths and then complete this sequence with Child’s pose.

The above series can get you started. If you are newer to yoga, do this sequence once or twice a day, trying to stay in each posture for the recommended breaths. If you have any questions about these poses, please ask any of your GATC Yoga instructors. We would be happy to help!

Marda Zechiel, Yoga Manager | 303.770.2582 x324 | MardaZ@GreenwoodATC.com

 

Tips for Raising Healthy Athletes

Here are some great ideas from our registered dietician Kristin Burgess on what kinds of drinks and foods you can give your children to help them be at their healthiest when they are doing sports:

 

 

Sports Drinks:

  • Water is the only fluid needed by the body for under 60 minutes of exercise

-Exceptions are exercising in extreme heat and excessive sweating or more than 60 minutes of moderate activity. In this situation, a healthy sports drink would be in order. Look for one with less than 10 grams of sugar per eight ounces and is free of all alternative sweeteners, artificial sweeteners, dyes, colors and flavors.

Healthy any time snacks:

-Fruit or dried fruit

-Small chocolate milk

-Nuts or trail mix if no allergies

-Fruit snacks are ok as long as they are free of artificial sweeteners, colors, dyes and flavors.

 

Pre exercise meals and snacks:

  • Meal

-one hour to ninety minutes before exercise

-include a healthy carbohydrate, protein and fat such as a grain, fruit, milk, yogurt, eggs, meat, nut butter, veggies

  • Snacks

-thirty to sixty minutes before exercise

-include a healthy carbohydrate plus protein, such as fruit, yogurt, nuts, nut butter, milk, cheese

Post exercise meals and snacks:

  • Meal

-a protein, healthy carbohydrate and fat such as meat, nuts, cheese, fruit, grain, avocado

  • Snack

-healthy carbohydrate and protein such as fruit, nuts, cheese, milk, yogurt

  • WATER!

If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment to discuss your athletes specific needs, just give Kristin Burgess a call at 303-770-2582 x382.

Cross Training: Better Results, Fewer Injuries

Perhaps you’ve found yourself dedicated to a certain sport, class or treadmill. That dedication is reflected in the fact that bike number 33 is yours, that second treadmill in the upper cardiovascular area facing out has your name on it or that floor space in Jade or Studio 1 is clearly your real estate. That kind of dedication can bring great success, forge strong friendships and open doors of opportunity. But if that dedication hasn’t addressed cross training, it may have left you struggling with overuse injuries or looking to try something new. Fall is the perfect time to give your fitness regimen a tune up and consider the benefits of cross training.

By incorporating a nice variety of cardio, strength and flexibility, you can balance your workouts in a way that will increase your performance and overall fitness without repeatedly stressing the same muscles and putting yourself at risk for injury. This variety will also help you to be more functionally fit and able to complete daily tasks with greater ease.

To get the most out of any activity, and to do it safely, it’s important to consider all of the muscles involved, not just the ones directly related to that activity. That’s where cross training comes in.

For a single-sport athlete, cross training can mean anything outside the athlete’s primary sport, while for the fitness enthusiast, it means using many different activities to ensure total fitness. For some, it simply means living a varied and physically active life.

So where’s the best place to start?

1. Consider your favorite activities, what components are necessary to do them and which ones might be missing from your current fitness regimen.

2. Consider challenges you may have planned in the next three months and what changes in your workouts might help you better achieve them.

3. Look at ways to re-energize your workouts by trying something new.

4. Review the 130+ classes offered each week on our complimentary Group Fitness schedule and find the classes that address what you’re missing.

  • For strength, try BODYPUMP, CXWORX or Power Hour
  • For intense cardio blocks with some strength, consider HIIT, INSANITY, BODYSTEP, BODYCOMBAT or Breakfast Club
  • For other cardio options, try one of our indoor cycling classes, ZUMBA, CVI or Hi NRG Cardio
  • For flexibility with some strength, consider one of our Vinyasa classes or willPower and grade
  • For more flexibility with balance, try Thermal, Vin/Yin, Restorative or Kundalini Yoga.

5. Decide which classes will best complement your overall fitness objectives.

6. Make an appointment with yourself to attend those classes.

7. Share your goals, successes and struggles with your instructor. They can help you navigate through this process and provide accountability.

By adding variety and balance to your training you will set yourself up for better results and fewer injuries. And, not to worry, that studio space or bike you claimed can remain yours throughout your happy, healthy life!

Andrea Morris, Director of Group Fitness at Greenwood Athletic Club