WORK IT: Pilates routines on the web!

I adore pilates and have practised for some time. I love the way it makes you feel tighter, stronger, leaner and more elegant all at once. Pilates is boss for creating defined, lean and strong muscles whilst giving you a focussed, challenging, (somewhat) relaxing low impact workout.
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Although I don’t always devote enough time to trying out new routines, I have a standby list of vids I turn to when I’m pressed for time and just want to get the job done as quickly as possible. Lately I thought I should try and expand my horizons and find some new faves! Below are some that I’ve found in my web explorations. I’ve tried them and I like them all. There’s a couple of really quick ones, and there are some that are longer, slower and will give you a more rounded workout. Either way, there’s something for everyone in this list so give it a go if you’ve got a spare 10- 30 minutes. Try one every second day to really see results!

Ultimate 30-Minute Cardio Pilates Burner

Lisa Corsello, the founder of Burn SF, leads you through 30 minutes of her signature fitness routine, weaving pilates core exercise with classic lifting moves and cardio bursts. The varied workout, combining pilates with hand weights and cardio, means you won’t get bored. The result is a super fun and effective workout. I love it!

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POP Pilates: Muffintop Massacre

Cassey Ho created POP Pilates, a vibrant, fun and peppy series of pilates workouts that bring the smiles back to working out. With 1.5 million subscribers on her youtube channel ‘blogilates’, Cassey’s videos are as popular as they are effective and fun. Cassey has an infectious and energetic style which helps you get through some of the more challenging and difficult moves in her videos.

Cassey’s a certified Pilates and fitness instructor, winner of YouTube Next Trainer, and was also recently named FITNESS Magazine’s Best Healthy Living Blogger, and in this video shares her newest moves to melt down your muffintop in a 17 minute workout.

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Pilates Ab Workout: Define Your Waistline

Celeb trainer Juliet Kaska brings us a quick and efficient 10 minute workout to help you whip that midsection into shape. No props needed! Press play, pull your navel to your spine, and get ready to work those abs.

 

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Pilates Class 1, Renee’s 30 Minute class

If you have a little bit more time, this comprehensive pilates routine will take you through the foundation movements of pilates with lots of emphasis on the core, proper alignment and breathing techniques. Renee s a certified instructor who has been teaching pilates since 2006, and in this series takes you through a wide variety of exercises and poses in a varied, challenging and flowing routine. There’s lots of instructions and its not too rushed, so its a nice one for beginners.

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30 min Intermediate Core Blasting Pilates Workout #1

Monica is a top pilates instructor in LA. Starting with the signature pilates move, the 100’s, this vid gets straight into the core work from the first minute. Its a serious core strengthening routine with a focus on core, abs and back. Perfect to try at home (check out that fireplace int he background!) or on the-go. Save it to a playlist and load it up on your mobile device when you’re travelling- perfect if you don’t have much space to workout. Your abs will love you for it.

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So there you have it- my current Top 5 pilates routines on the web. Have a try and see if any of these could become one of your new go-to workouts!

If you have a favourite you’d love to share, feel free to link to it in the comments! I’m always looking for something new to try.

xxDS

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NOURISH: Pomegranate love

I just LOVE pomegranates! Everything about them screams fun, from their succulent, bright flesh to their amazing flavour, and those awesome little seeds which pop in your mouth. Mmm. Turns out they pack some punch in the health stakes too, chock full of flavonoids, fibre, enzymes and those all important anti-oxidants. Thanks to Eat, Pray, Love Fitness for this top 5 on why pomegranates are great for you!! xx

Eat,Pray, Love Fitness

5 Reasons to love pomegranates

1. They keep your teeth clean.
Rich in polyphenolic flavonoids—compounds with antibacterial properties—pomegranate juice has been found to be just as effective as prescription mouthwash at ridding the mouth of plaque, the bacteria that causes cavities and gingivitis.

2. They regulate cholesterol.
Pomegranates contain paraoxonase—a naturally occurring enzyme in the body that helps keep LDL (bad cholesterol) from accumulating in arteries. In one study, subjects who drank pomegranate juice for two weeks had an 18% increase in production of the enzyme.

3. They can help prevent arthritis.
Studies have shown that both pomegranate seed oil and pomegranate fruit extract have anti-inflammatory effects that stop the destruction of joints caused by osteoarthritis.

4. They are a great source of fiber.
“A single pomegranate contains nearly a quarter of the USDA’s daily recommended amount of dietary fiber, which helps you feel full and maintain a healthy weight,”…

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NOURISH: health inspirations

I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and articles lately on the topic of a more natural way of living, getting back to basics if you will.

In particular Jessica Ainscough’s site ‘The Wellness Warrior‘.  Jessica is just an amazing and inspiring person, and has such a wonderful story.  After developing a rare form of cancer a few years back she managed to avoid having her arm amputated, which was what her doctors suggested she do as the only way to stop it from spreading.  Instead she chose an alternative holistic pathway to healing as she believed that chemotherapy and radiation therapy are truly toxic to the body and can massively debilitate its ability to heal. Now, several years on and after following a strict (and hard!) natural regime and healing herself with food, Jessica has beaten the cancer with a holistic, healthy and natural approach.  The particular brand of therapy she underwent is called Gerson Therapy and its pretty hardcore- we’re talking several coffee enemas a day, frequent fresh juices (as in, being chained to a juicer practically) and shots of castor oil every other day. Blech. But hey- it seems to have worked for her and countless others- so its pretty amazing. Google it if you’re interested in what it entails – it’s a really intense but  interesting treatment protocol.

Jessica is living proof that with the right mindset and a will to discover alternative ways around things, anything is possible. She’s a hugely inspiring person with her amazing strength, resilience and motivation. She possesses and inspires a huge sense of faith in the body healing itself if given the right tools and support.  Her blog is a great read, with a wealth of information on nutrition, healing and clean products and ways of life; it really does make your own battles oh-so-insignificant.

The fact is, after enduring my own set of concerns (nothing as serious as cancer mind, let me put that into perspective) I’ve really opened my mind up, more than I ever have before, to the possibilities that exist in the natural world for healing and living abundantly. A couple of posts on Jessica’s blog about what products she uses and those she avoids have really driven this home for me.

I quit smoking 4 months ago (yay me! a massive milestone) and have recently decided to abstain from alcohol for a length of time greater than my previously held record of 6 days. I’ve embarked on a pretty rigorous detox program prescribed by my naturopath, with the aim of stimulating and kickstarting my immune system out of its state of rigidity; involving lots of water, clean eating, supplementation, homeopathics, no baddies, plenty of sleep and exercise.

However, it’s occurred to me that despite the steps I take to minimise exposure to hormone-altering nasties in my environment, there’s still a lot more I can do, especially in the area of personal care.  If I’m eating pretty cleanly, and living as cleanly as I can, wouldn’t it make sense to only put clean products on my skin?

It’s becoming scarily clear that we have much higher incidences of diabetes, cancer, hormonal imbalances, thyroid issues, obesity, food allergies, sensitivities, and digestive ailments, than ANY other population before us. Why? Mass industrialisation saw the introduction of a slew of toxic preservatives and chemical compounds to manufactured goods in order to improve productivity, efficiency, shelf life and reduce costs. Most, if not all, having detrimental effects on our health and that of the greater ecosystem and planet Earth.  And as one of your body’s major organs, your skin is the first point of entry for many of these harmful toxins and additives. Sometimes it seems to much to comprehend. Its overwhelming how much junk we come into contact with every day that pollutes our air, our space, our skin.

For me, its time to get empowered to make the changes towards a more improved and healthier life.  I need to go all the way, Mae.  And that starts with what I put on my skin. I know I want to lead as toxic-free life as POSSIBLE, whilst learning and educating my dear friends, family and readers about the hidden nasties in top-selling beauty & lifestyle brands.  Enough dipping my toe into trying natural this and natural that, whilst still succumbing to the allure of a tried and tested old trusty brand that is full of junk.  I’m going to reassess my living needs and my ideas about what I use and make a commitment to better my world.

So now over to you. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this. Are you ready to give toxic preservatives and chemical compounds in our manufactured goods the boot? Have you already done so? How are you finding your way?

Please leave me a comment below and lets start a dialogue!

Good health be yours lovers!

xDS