Your Ultimate Pilates Body Challenge by Brooke Siler

The author runs a prominent Pilates studio in Manhattan and trained with one of Joseph Pilates’s original students. However, despite that background, this book is less of an encyclopedia authentic Pilates exercises and instead a good shot at helping ordinary people (especially women apply Pilates to real life.)

Her point is that she’s seen too many students do well for an hour while being taught or working out, but then forget their Pilates when they leave the studio. They walk with a slump, slouch and so on.

She wants everybody to use Pilates when it’s meant to be used — all the time. You can’t do the exercises contuously, but you can and should keep your posture straight, you weight evenly distributed, your spine in alignment with your muscles.

It does little good for your health to practice correct movements three to five hours a week, but fall back into your unhealthy habits the rest of the time.

She starts off with basic background on Pilates and its principles, and on the concepts of Pilates movement: stability/mobility, resistance/operation, leverage, articulation and balance.

She goes over the benefits of good posture and breathing the Pilates way, as well as advice on how to sit and stand with good posture, so you don’t stress your joints.

Then she includes an unusual section: how to apply Pilates principles to working out on various pieces of exercise equipment: treadmills, elliptical machines, stationary bikes, stair machines, and rowing machines. She gives four variations on the usual way of using these machines, and advises spending two minutes apiece on them (the usual way plus four variations equals five), for a total ten.

Her advice here is to use each machine for the ten minutes total, then move on to the next one, for a workout that last nearly an hour. This is a cardio circuit.

She then gives a series of exercises and variations you can do at home and on the mat. Lifting free weights, jumping jacks, using flexible bands, jumping rope, the roll up, rolling like a ball, single leg stretch, double leg stretch, single straight leg stretch, double straight leg stretch, crisscross, spine stretch forward, open leg rocker, double leg kicks, and low back stretch.

She also includes information on the correct stance for common every day activities: sitting, standing, carrying bags of groceries, holding babies, sitting in front of your computer, using a photocopy machine and driving.

Another chapter covers applying Pilates to various sports such as golf (according to the author, Tiger Woods did), skiing, snowboarding and tennis.

This is a great beginners book to remind them to take their Pilates success from the studio into their daily lives. I doubt many people can do it by themselves unless they’re too young to have already developed a lot of bad habits.

But if you’re already in Pilates classes and therefore already strengthening your core, learning to align your spine, working out your muscles in a balanced way, and increasing your flexibility, this is a great guide on taking Pilates into your daily life, for increased progress and better health.

Living Well, Staying Healthy In Mind, Body and Spirit

I saw an ad the other day that said… “I don’t want to grow old gracefully, I’m going to fight it every step of the way”. I laughed, but also thought serious about what the commercial as saying. Of course their desire was to get me to buy something; instead it started me to thinking.

And thinking is exactly what I’m talking about; I enjoy my mind, it is sharp and active and sometimes I’m amazed at my memory, that isn’t something I want to lose, and YES, I will fight to maintain my health and acute mind and you should too. Forget growing old gracefully and letting the effects of gradually and graceful aging rob you of a sharp mind and healthy body, I say FIGHT.

Exercise, stay limber and active, get outside and enjoy life, smell the air, greet the neighbors, say hi to the postman, just be active. And then, and this is paramount, use what modern medical science has available with vitamin supplements.

Here’s what you should be aware of; your body (and particularly your brain) need essential fatty acids, getting your recommended daily allowance will aid in keeping your brain sharp as a tack and dementia merely a word used in scrabble.

The bible says…. “Take a little wine for thy stomach’s sake”. This isn’t a religious discussion, but research shows that Polyphenol, found in red grapes (and other less tantalizing plants) will aid in cognitive functions.

Here’s one I hadn’t heard of till researching this article; ALA or Alpha-Lipoic Acid, seems this one is a fighter (I like it already) and will attack (or interrupt) free radical damage and increase antioxidants in the brain and improve memory, sounds like a winner in my book.

Okay, getting older is a fact of life, so when we look at vitamin supplements and amino acids, we’ll want to find and take those that have proven benefits to brain functions. Enter Coenzyme Q10 which apparently is like a soldier with orders to… “Protect The Brain With Your Life” and do not let the enemy intrude at any cost.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and with time diminishes, but again, don’t let it happen gracefully, do everything possible to hold to health and longevity. Seems that might have been written as a banner for Vitamin E, known to keep our skin supple (it’s an antioxidant in our tissue) and our brains active. Make CERTAIN to get an ample dose of Vitamin E, it’s vital.

Here’s one that most of us HAVE heard about, good ‘ole Ginkgo Biloba, available at every drugstore and many convenience stores along the highways of life. It is powerful and known to increase blood flow to the brain (a good thing) and vital to keeping our brains in tip top condition. Use your brain, work puzzle, solve riddles, read books, STOP staring at the TV and take a daily dose of Ginkgo Biloba.

Remember the old “Bugs Bunny” cartoons. The wise cracking rabbit that was always one up on whatever situation he encountered? He was always munching on a carrot, and a carrot contains what? Why carotenoids of course which (when taken in a balanced manner) is a proven and powerful antioxidant.

FACTOID: Antioxidants are nutrients or chemicals that are free radical scavengers. Vitamins A, C, E and some B vitamins, beta-carotene, selenium and certain crucial enzymes in our bodies are antioxidants.

The letter B is beautiful, and it can represent so many words, emotions, and memories. And I’m going to focus on memory and speak of vitamins B6 and B12, which are crucial (did you hear that) for our brains to function properly. With these vitamins, we’ll slowly but surely begin to forget things, become confused and certainly NOT grow old gracefully. Make CERTAIN you are getting your recommended daily dose of this vitamin.

Life is about living, we are all on the same path and the path is beautiful indeed. Live well, stay healthy and be sure to take your vitamins.

The Truth About Hard Body Success Is Revealed!

Hard Body Success is the new book written by Scott Abbett which claims to be the answer to all man’s fitness problems. The revolutionary book gives tips on how to considerably improve body physique whilst spending just 2% of your time each month exercising.

There are countless advertisements for ‘get-fit-quick’ schemes. Some are machines, others are books, and others are videos. The fact of the matter is the fitness market is a very large one and there is a lot of competition to gain the approval of users and boost sales.

So if there are so many competitors out there all offering a similar service, what is it that makes Hard Body Success different to its competitors? I mean, it has the same testimonials from made-up characters who have found the book to be wonderfully helpful in giving them their perfect body. Some of them have miraculously found physique overnight. But despite its sceptics, Hard Body Success does have its undeniably unique and revolutionary ways.

For example, the book dwells on mental techniques to achieve fitness, which is always vitally underestimated when it comes to fitness. Secondly Hard Body Success is more specific than other such publications. I mean that it’s not ‘one size fits all’ generic stuff crammed into a few pages; the writer makes sure to touch on techniques for most physiques and lifestyles even if it takes him longer overall to write the book.

Whether Hard Body Success is worth the full cost is questionable, but at the half price cost being offered on the website, Hard Body Success is a worthwhile purchase for those who want a complete physical and psychological workout.

The main thing that might appeal to a reader when studying Hard Body Success is how frank the writer is with his audience. This may make them feel that he is simply one of them and they too can have a body like he does. On the flipside, it could also be a turn off for a reader who was looking for a more official read.

Scott Abbett always gets straight to the point when describing the stepping stones to a great body. Hard Body Success is a no nonsense guide to getting fit with the minimum of effort. This may lead some readers to question how believable this publication really is, because everyone knows that it takes a lot of hard work to get your self fit. But obviously no one told Scott Abbett this as he maintains his rugged stance on the road to fitness.