LOOKING FOR A FLAT(TER) STOMACH?

Are six pack abs your goal? A smaller middle not only boosts your confidence but also reduces your risk of disease. Hundreds of crunches will NOT get you there, but these tips will:
• Fat loss is 75% nutrition. You already have muscle in your stomach; it might just be covered with fat. The goal is to get the fat off, not just build more muscle. Sugar, processed food and soda will not get you six pack abs. You will get results directly related to what you put in, literally.
• Exercise daily and live an active lifestyle. Our society has confused the two. If we walk our dog, we consider that our exercise for the day. It is not. Exercise: cardio, strength training, group fitness classes, yoga, Pilates, etc. Active lifestyle: taking a walk, leisure bike ride or family hike, walking the dog, etc. Aim to exercise at least four days a week. I would recommend three to four days of cardio and two to three days for strength training.
• Do more than just crunches. Meet with a trainer or try Pilates for some new moves.
• Drink half your body weight in ounces of water daily. Muscles are approximately 70% water.
• Veggies: Love ’em or hate ’em? Learn to love ’em! You may not love veggies but the more you eat them, the better you will feel, the quicker you will hit a weight loss goal, the more energy you will have and the healthier you will be.

Try these five veggie tips:
1) Pvegetablesick your favorite three and stick mainly with these to start.
2) Try a new veggie (or one you think you don’t like) once a week. My favorite: red bell pepper, eaten like an apple. It’s juicy, sweet and convenient, plus one pepper is two veggie servings.
3) Buy organic frozen. They’re cheaper and they won’t spoil.
4) Eat one salad a day. Every grocery store offers the organic pre-washed salad greens: baby kale, baby spinach and arugula are the most nutritious.
5) Be sure to incorporate veggies into three meals and/or snacks per day.

What are you going to change today?

Kristin Burgess, Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer

FIVE REASONS MEN SHOULD DO PILATES

There is a reason the females in your life can’t get enough Pilates–it works! From a stronger core to feeling better on a daily basis, here’s why Pilates is great for guys too.

Pilates, created by German born Joseph Pilates, was JoePilatesoriginally developed for men. Mr. Pilates lived in England working as a circus performer and boxer, when he was placed in forced internment in England at the outbreak of WWI. While in the internment camp, he began to develop the floor exercises that evolved into what we now know as the mat work. As time passed, Joseph Pilates began to work with rehabilitating detainees who were suffering from diseases and injuries. Unhealthy as a child, Joseph Pilates personally studied many kinds of self-improvement systems. He drew from Eastern practices and Zen Buddhism, and was inspired by the ancient Greek ideal of man perfected in development of body, mind and spirit. On his way to developing the Pilates Method, Joseph Pilates studied anatomy and developed himself as a body builder, a wrestler, gymnast, boxer, skier and diver. While women tend to dominate mat classes, Pilates holds plenty of benefits for men who rise to the challenge. Yes, it’s hard! Whether you’re a weight lifter or prepping for your first marathon, a Pilates class can help fine-tune your performance.

Exercises are made up of subtle, concentrated movements that can help you do the following:
1. Connect with often neglected muscle groups. Some of your muscles, like those that dominate your daily movements, are stronger than others, and a big part of Pilates is focusing on those muscles that don’t typically get a lot of attention. During Pilates you consciously move in certain ways to build muscles that you don’t hit while lifting.
2. Improve flexibility. In general, the more muscle mass you have, the less flexible you are. Pilates’ focus on lengthening helps prevent injuries and muscle strains, and increases range of motion.
3. Build core strength. Every Pilates exercise focuses on using your core to initiate movement in your limbs. Pilates also hits your transverse abdominals, the base ab muscle under your six-pack.
4. Live more consciously. Pilates forces you to pay attention-you’ve got to focus on your breath while working through each movement and concentrate on proper form. After a Pilates session, you’ll feel refreshed and relaxed, which can even carry over into the next day.
5. Prevent injury. This kind of core training makes Pilates an excellent technique for whole-body fitness, as well as a foundation for cross training with other kinds of sports and exercise to balance out the way you move all week.

StrengthCondwebAt Greenwood, we offer a Men’s Only Pilates class where it is just you and the guys. The class is geared to meet the needs of men, including heavier spring loads, upper back and hip stretches and many exercises for the core. This class is offered on Thursdays at 1:00pm. Sign up the day before class and reward yourself with a discount!

Sara Talbert, Director of Pilates