Healthy Living

Happy & Healthy 2014!

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At Bodytonic we feel we are off to a great start recovering from holiday overindulgence and beginning 2014 with a commitment to self-care.  Self-care can manifest in many different ways; for BTP owner, Nadia Rodriguez, her self-care manifests by attentively balancing work, school, family/friend social time, while eating healthy lunches like smoothies or salads, and of course combining regular strength and cardiovascular training.  Nadia of course fulfills her strength training via Pilates at the studio, but some of you may be interested to know that she has also become quiet fond of zumba and kickboxing which she utilizes to fulfill her cardiovascular training.  Nadia’s standards are quiet high with regard to fitness instruction and given this, we’d like to share her picks for the best zumba and kickboxing instructors in the city!  These women teach challenging and intelligently designed classes and if you are looking to integrate more cardiovascular training we highly recommend them!

Zumba with Jennifer Cepeda

http://jennifercepeda.zumba.com/
Mondays – 7:30pm
Tuesdays – 6:15pm
Thursdays – 4:30pm
Saturdays – 9:45am
Saturdays – 12pm
 

Kickboxing with Nikki Williams

West Seattle Athletic Club (formerly All Star)
Tuesdays – 6:30pm
Thursdays – 4:15pm
Sunday – 10:30am
 
 

Benefits of Physical Activity

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brainDid you know your visits to Bodytonic Pilates are both a physical and mental experience? Physical exercise improves memory performance and cognition. A recent study shows exercises, such as Pilates, strengthens the areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease. Next time you visit the studio, keep in mind that every drop of sweat increases brain blood flow in a key regions of the brain.

 

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Sleep Vs. Excercise

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sleep or exerciseGretchen Reynolds discusses the importance of understanding the correlation between sleep and exercise. This article is based off of Dr. Phyllis Zee’s expertise as a scholar in neurology and sleep disorders. We are all familiar with the importance of sleep and exercise, interestingly though a person must equally prioritize each one in order to reach his or her health goals. Dr. Zee describes this connection as a “bidirectional relationship”. Next time you feel sluggish before arriving to class, ask yourself “Did I get at least seven hours of sleep?” : )

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Be Happy

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happy jellysWhat gets you through your day? This article captures the natural beauty we tend to desert on this beautiful planet. When Reddit user, AaronM97, looked to his community for comfort, thousands of posts brought laughter and a smile to his day. The assortment of pictures submitted illustrate the diversity of joy. Next time you visit Bodytonic Pilates make sure you leave with a smile and pass the smile along.

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Slooow Down – The Benefits of Eccentric Contractions

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eccentric-contraction-m

Has your Pilates instructor ever directed you to sloow down? If you’ve worked out at Bodytonic Pilates, you’ve certainly heard this cue in one if not many of your classes. While this direction could be stemming from a number of objectives, one of the most common reasons to slow down while you are working out is to elongate and emphasize the time spent time spent in eccentric contractions, basically that part of the exercise that your muscles are producing force and lengthening as opposed to producing force and shortening (concentric). For those of who are familiar with the Pilates exercise the Teaser, when you are rolling up into your teaser you are contracting rectus abdominis (6-pack abs) concentrically, when you roll down and out of your teaser you are contracting rectus abdominis eccentrically. Now, if you let gravity take over and just plop down out of your Teaser, you reap little of the benefits that eccentrically contracting rectus abdominis has to offer. Focusing on eccentric contractions is a very efficient way to develop strength and flexibility, and increase metabolism.

The following two articles nicely cover the benefits of eccentric contractions. The first is a nice layman’s read and the second is a little bit more scholarly and geeky, it goes into muscle cell structure and biomechanics (sliding filament theory).

Read the layman’s article

Read the geeky article

Sitting & Mortality rates, the Importance of Integrating exercise into lifestyle.

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The Mount Baker Hill Climb road race.

Prolonged sitting is a risk factor for all-cause mortality, independent of physical activity. Public health programs should focus on reducing sitting time in addition to increasing physical activity levels…So, the key idea is for committed exercisers, and really the population as a whole, to find ways to build more physical activity into their day at work.
Michael J. Joyner, M.D.  “Why Exercise isn’t Enough”. Outside.

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