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Duo Session anyone? Having a partner can increase your success rate!

For those of you out there that are looking to make your new years resolution stick throughout the year, DUO SESSIONS may be the ticket. At Pilates O Ka La many couples, friends, and families have found it incredibly helpful to stay motivated with a partner. Here's an article proving why...

Want to get healthy? Having a partner can increase your success rate

(CNN) - Want to double your chances of success in making a positive lifestyle change? Just add a loved one.

Researchers at University College London found that couples who adopted a new and positive health behavior were more successful than those doing it on their own.

For the study, researchers followed nearly 4,000 married and cohabitating couples, and studied their unhealthy habits in three areas: smoking, obesity and physical activity.

They found 48 percent of men were able to stop smoking if their partner also quit. Compare that to just 8 percent who had partners who did not quit.

For women, the success rate was half.

When it came to physical activity, both men and women had about a 66 percent success rate starting an exercise routine with their partner versus about 24-percent if they started alone.

And 36 percent of women lost weight if their partners joined them in a weight loss plan, compared to 15 percent without a supportive partner.

The men had a 26 percent success rate with a partner and 10-percent losing weight alone.

It's unclear why the relationship matters, but having some support, or a dose of plain ole healthy competition, may just be enough to put you over the edge.

The study is published in the latest edition of the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

Copyright 2015 CNN. All rights reserved.


Pilates 8 Movement Principles...

In case you missed our latest newsletter....




This week I'd like to share with you a little Pilates knowledge to help you get even more out of your Pilates Practice. 


And please feel free to ask any questions or share with friends!


Pilates 8 Movement Principles:


The movement principles are elements that are present in the successful performance of all the Pilates exercises: 


1. BREATHING: Breathing promotes natural body movement, tones our respiratory muscles, & improves the flow of oxygen throughout our tissues. It also helps us bring our wandering mind back into our bodies in order to focus on the task at hand, promoting mind-body awareness.


2. CONCENTRATION: You will get more benefit if you really focus on what you are doing. As Joesph Pilates often said: "It is better to do 5 repetitions perfectly than 20 without paying attention."


3. CONTROL: Have the proper form & alignment, & use only the necessary muscles and effort for each movement.


4. CENTERING: This is what sets Pilates apart from other fitness methods. In Pilates all movement radiates outward from the center of the body (your "core", or "powerhouse"). All of your power is generated from your center - which we define as your abdominals, lower back, and pelvis. Not only do we develop strength in these areas, but we create stability & flexibility!


5. PRECISION: Exact, defined, specific, & intentional movement is necessary for correct form.


6. BALANCED MUSCLE DEVELOPMENT: Strengthening weaker muscles and stretching the over-worked ones creates more efficient movement, proper joint mechanics, & a more balanced body.


7. RHYTHM: All movements in Pilates are performed with a certain rhythm, or flow. It decreases stress placed on our joints and develops movement patterns that integrate our body into a smoothly moving whole.


8. WHOLE BODY MOVEMENT: Pilates is fundamentally about integrating your mind & body. By working your whole body efficiently, with all the above principles, you will attain a strong mind/body connection, creating better health & happiness!


 Copyright Pilates O Ka La, adapted from The PMA Study Guide, & Balanced Body Inc. Manual

One HOT workout minute...

In case you missed it in our newsletter:



A fitness tip: make sure you're "squeezing properly" & engaging the correct part of the muscle.


If you don't do this already, you're about to grow leaps & bounds!

 1) When engaging your abdominals, you want to think about drawing the area 2" below your navel in, NOT sucking in from your navel. Envision trying to put on a pair of pants that are too tight - that muscle is your Transversus Abdominus - your deepest ab muscle. THAT'S the one that we focus on in Pilates; that's the one that best supports your spine, pelvis, & good posture.


2) When squeezing your glute muscles (okole) - think about aiming for engaging in the area at the top of your leg/bottom of your okole, NOT up by your tailbone/low back (this compresses the nerves in the area and can lead to a pinching sensation). Think about this when doing anything from your footwork, to "Going up Front" (pictured above) on the Wunda Chair.





Muscle recovery - take it to the next level...!

The key to taking your fitness to the next level is speeding up your muscle recovery time. If you cut down on how sore you feel between resistance training sessions (pilates, yoga, weights, etc...), you can do more and in turn feel more energized and get stronger. Here are a few tips I share with clients all the time:

1) HYDRATE:  if you’re not hydrated properly, your muscles will become stiff and prone to injury. Drink more than 8 glasses/day, make sure you're drinking throughout the day - especially before, during, and after your workout. Another tip - drink a tall glass of water right when you get up in the morning, especially if you drink caffeine. You are dehydrated when you wake up, racing for your morning coffee right away only further dehydrates you.

2) EPSOM SALTS: epsom salts are made of magnesium sulfate: Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant, and as a salt they help reduce tissue swelling. Dissolve one or two cups of Epsom salts into warm bath water and soak for 15 minutes or until the water has cooled. Or if it's too hot for a bath, make a compress. Pour 8 oz. of water into a bowl. Stir in 2 tbsp. Epsom salts until all the salts are dissolved. Soak a washcloth in the Epsom salts and water solution. Remove the washcloth from the water and squeeze out the excess water. The cloth should be damp, but not dripping. Lay the cloth over the area you want to treat. Allow it to remain in place for 20 minutes. Rewet the cloth in the Epsom salts solution if it begins to dry out. The skin will absorb the Epsom salts.

3) DRINK TART CHERRY JUICE: studies suggest tart cherries may be more effective than aspirin at relieving pain and reducing inflammation, thanks to the antioxidant anthocyanins, which can help minimize swelling in sore muscles. Drink about an ounce of cherry concentrate right before your workout – or, if cherries aren’t your thing, enjoy other foods that are rich in antioxidants like quinoa, kale and blueberries.

4) HEAT: heat increases the flow of oxygen and nutrients to sore muscles while suppressing the pain signals being sent to your brain. Apply some form of heat – hot water bottle, heating pad, or a hot towel – to sore areas.

5) ICE: with pain comes inflammation – and ice is the best natural remedy. It also acts as an anesthetic, essentially numbing the effected area and giving you a muscle recovery breather.

6) STRETCH: here’s the thing about muscle pain: It limits your movement, which ironically makes the pain even worse. Make sure to get your stretch on as often as possible – especially after sitting for extended periods of time or before an intense workout. Once you’ve incorporated more stretching into your day, muscle recovery will be a snap.

7) EXERCISE: you know how they say the best thing you can do to cure a hangover is to drink what caused the hangover? This can work for sore muscles too. So try to switch up your routine, don't overdo it, but keep working out!

8) REST: especially after trying an intense workout you’re not used to, it’s best not to overdo it: If you sense an injury coming on, rest up before taking the plunge again. Listen to your body, and it’ll take care of the rest.

9) ACCUPUNCTURE: it can not only relieve pain and allow your muscles to relax, but it can speed up your healing time, increase blood flow, and boost your energy and ability to get good restful sleep.

10) SPORTS MASSAGE/BODYWORK: massage can suppress inflammation and actually enhance cell recovery.

What works best for you? Feel free to share your ideas here. Hope this helps!

See you at the studio!