Healthy Living

Too little movement or too much food?

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Take a Booster Break!

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booster breakHow do you spend your work breaks?  Do you find yourself munching on M&Ms, smoking a cigarette, or even working more?  A qualitative analysis conducted at the University of Texas investigated the effectiveness of structured work-break activities designed to enhance physical and psychological health.

The study involved 35 subjects across 5 worksites and was conducted over a period of 6 months to one year.   While Booster Breaks may involve physical activity, meditation, and rhythmic breathing, this study focused on using physical activity oriented breaks to reduce sedentary behavior.  Subjects were required to participate in one 15-minute physical activity booster break per work day.  Researchers found three themes among the subjects response:

  • Reduced stress and increased workplace enjoyment.

  • Increased health awareness and facilitate positive behavior changes outside of the workplace.

  • Enhanced interpersonal relationships with coworkers.

Subjects noted two barriers to participation in the interventions:

  • Desire for greater variety in intervention’s activities.

  • Lack of permission, encouragement, and support from managers and supervisors.

To support workplace health promotion, Bodytonic Pilates is now offering 30-minute private sessions!  We hope your bosses support you in creating a healthier, happier, and more efficient workplace.   See our rates page for more pricing details.  For a limited time we will be offering a booster break promotion:

3 30-minute private lessons for $99!

 

References

Taylor W. C., King K. E.,  Shegog R., Paxton R. J., Evans-Hudnall G. L., Rempel D. M., Chen V., Yancey A. K. (2013).  Booster Breaks in the workplace: participants’ perspectives on health-promoting work breaks.  Oxford University Press Health Education Research, 28(3), 414-425.   doi:  10.1093/her/cyt001

 

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PNW Hikes

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summerlandI’ll admit it, when it comes to outdoor exercise I’m a fair-weather friend.  I consider myself, of course with the proper skin protection, much more of a sun bird than a snow bunny.  Yesterday was the most gorgeous spring day I can remember in Seattle with temperatures reaching the mid-80s.  All this sunshine has me really excited for an amazing Pacific Northwest Spring and Summer full of beautiful and temperate, outdoor exercise.  In my enthusiasm, I created a pinterest board of hikes within a 3 hours drive from Seattle and with a minimum roundtrip distance of 5 miles.  All of these hikes feature waterfalls, rivers, lakes, and/or wildflowers.  I guess I’m a sun and water bird!

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The Limitations of “No Pain, No Gain”

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23physed-tmagArticleA New York Times article published on April 23rd, 2014 references a study conducted at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City that investigates the the relationship between neuromuscular activity and perceived as opposed to actual fatigue.  During the study mice were injected with equal amounts of lactate, adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and other chemicals.  The scientist found that the neuromuscular response demonstrated in the mice varied depending on how much lactate, ATP, and other chemicals were injected.  Next, the scientist injected the abductor pollis brevis muscle (thumb) of ten humans.  The scientists produced three different dosages of these chemicals to simulate the amounts that would be found in the muscle during moderate exercise, strenuous exercise, and finally muscular exhaustion.  Following the moderate exercise dosage, subjects reported feelings of fatigue, puffiness, and tiredness in their thumbs.  The strenuous dosage was associated with increased fatigue and the onset of slight pains and aches, and the muscular exhaustion dosage was associated with considerable soreness.  The findings as interpreted by NYT reporter, Gretchen Reynolds (2014), suggests that “Each subsequent increase in the levels of lactate and other substances amplifies the sense of fatigue, Dr. Light said, until the substances become so concentrated that they apparently activate a different set of neurons, related to feelings of pain”.  Furthermore the article suggest that working through some levels of fatigue and achiness is associated with improved physical performance, though working through symptoms of pain can cause muscle damage.  Hence the adage “no pain, no gain” is not the wisest strategy to use in improving athletic performance.

I appreciate and agree with Reynolds conclusion that “no pain, no gain” is an antiquated training approach.  She references the original article (which unfortunately was not available in it’s full version on pubmed) and sought out to personally interview a researcher associated with the study, which lends to the article’s credibility.  Though one issue takes away from her credibly; she states that ATP is released during muscular activity, whereas according to sliding filament theory, it is actually hydrolyzed during muscular activity.  In other words, Reynolds suggestion that ATP is released or produced during muscular activity is incorrect, rather ATP is consumed and broken down during muscular activity.

Aside from the details relating to sliding filament theory, I like and appreciate this article.  I believe the attitude “no pain, no gain” has cummulative negative effects on the physical activity levels of communities.  The belief that exercise should be painful not only discourages people from participating in physical activity, it also creates more injuries and prevents people from exercise.  It’s important for people to have healthy and realistic expectations for themselves with regard to athletic performance and understand that experiencing some fatigue and mild to moderate discomfort can improve athletic performance, but acute pain is more frequently associate with damage and injury and will likely impede, if not recede athletic performance and health.

Reynolds, G.  (2014).  The Limit’s of No Pain, No Gain.  The New York Times.  Retieved from: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/04/23/with-exercise-the-limits-of-no-pain-no-gain/?partner=rss&emc=rss

 

Exercise and Your Pleasure Center

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09well_physed-tmagArticleYesterday, the New York Times published an article titled “Are you programmed to Enjoy Exercise?”  The article reports on a study conducted by the University of Missouri-Columbia and published by the Journal of Physiology that investigates the genetic and environmental influences that impact the subjects behavior surrounding exercise.  In this study, the subjects were rats who were bred and divided into two subgroups; one group consisted of rats who spent hours on running wheels and the second group consisted of rats that spent zero to little time on running wheels.  The NYT article implies that active rats were hypothesized to produce active offspring and inactive rats were hypothesized to produce inactive offspring.  It was discovered that a portion of the brain called the nucleus accumbens was more developed in the rats who liked to run as opposed to the rats who did not like to run.  The nucleus accumbens is the portion of the brain, sometimes referred to as the “pleasure center” and is associated with motivation, pleasure, and addiction.  Two other noteworthy facts were discovered: 1) regardless of running behavior, the rats who were bred to run had a more developed nucleus accumbens than those rats who were bred for malaise and 2) when the non-running rats were encouraged to exercise on the running wheels, they started to develop more mature neurons in their nucleus accumbens.  In essence, both genetic and environmental factors influenced the rats behavior with regard to physical activity, and specifically the environmental factors may have a long-term influence over genetic factors.

Examples of Rehab-Pilates in action!

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Check out this great video produced by the Pilates Method Alliance featuring their new intiative “Heros in Motion”, which is aimed at the rehabilitation of people with conditions that include, but are not limited to polytrauma, vestibular disorders, prosthetic limb(s) and traumatic brain injury.

 

New Mat & Make-up Classes Start Next Week!

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April Mat Classes Begin Next Week

Reserve your spot today!

 
MaxMix                                                  Tuesdays, 11:30am
Instructor: Nadia                                    April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Cost: Full Monthly Series – $90 ($18/class)           Drop in – $20/class
This mixed level mat class is open to all students, from beginner to advanced experience levels.  The focus of the class will be on strengthening your upper and lower abdominals, pelvic floor, shoulder and hip girdles, and or course your back!
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MaxMix New Day!                                          Thursdays, 6:00pm
Instructor: Keta                                             April 3,10, 17, 24
Cost: Full Monthly Series – $72 ($18/class)           Drop in – $20/class
This mixed level mat class is open to all students, from beginner to advanced experience levels.  The focus of the class will be on strengthening your upper and lower abdominals, pelvic floor, shoulder and hip girdles, and or course your back!
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Pilates/Ballet Fusion                                        Fridays, 12:00pm

Instructor: Jessica                                           April 4, 11, 18, 25
Cost: Full Monthly Series – $72 ($18/class)           Drop in – $20/class
This 50 minute mat class blends pilates mats exercises with standing ballet-based conditioning exercises. Build a strong core, develop elongated and toned limbs, and learn to have an elevated carriage of the upper torso. You’ll leave this class feeling light and graceful!

unlimited monthly passes are also available!

Duet & Trio Students

 
New make-up classes are up!  If you need to sign up for a make up class check out the available classes!
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Are you planning to miss any of your regularly scheduled lessons in the next one or two months?
If so, please email Nadia with the dates you are planning to miss.
Thanks!!

The association between exercise and academic success

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Top Ten States for Healthy Eating & Exercise

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Apparently the Northwest is a great place to be if you are looking to live a healthy lifestyle!  An article published by the Huffington Post reports Oregon as ranking among the top ten states for both healthy eating and exercise, Idaho among the top ten for exercise, and Washington among the top ten for healthy eating.  Bodytonic is proud to a be a small business contributing to the health and wellness of our community, though we did find it surprising we weren’t ranked among the top ten for exercise.  Are you meeting your exercise goals?

Snots not Hot

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flu

The cold and flu season is upon us!  If you have a cold or the flu, please be considerate of your work out buddies and instructors and stay home from Pilates.  Workout environments are especially conducive to spreading germs, and while we are very careful about disinfecting equipment between sessions, we need your help to keep our community healthy and happy.

Private clients, if you feel like you are fighting off a cold or the flu, cancel with at least 24-hours notice to avoid being charged.

Duet, trio, and mat clients, you can always sign up for a make-up class if you are sick or fighting a bug off!  Plus you’ll benefit from and enjoy your workout more when you are closer to 100%. 😉

Need to make-up an equipment class, sign-up for an equipment make-up or a mat class!

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