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How Facebook Can Make You Healthier!

There one simple reason that using Social Media can make you healthier, happier, and possible just a bit more fit.  You connect with people who either know how to do it (and they can show you) or you connect with other people looking for the same guidance & inspiration.

Facebook is a great way to find both of these types of people.  While Twitter helps you get little tidbits throughout the day and pointed in new directions on the web, Facebook helps you become part of communities that and really get to know people.

There are many well known organizations that have created Groups and Pages to get people with similar interests and goals together.  You can leave questions, make comments, chat with others in the group or other fans of the page.

My favorite pages/groups are:

Celebrity Trainer Valerie Waters who I mention often on this blog, has a Facebook Page where you can interact with other women getting in shape.  Many of the members are people who are part of her Red Carpet Ready club and are doing her latest program the Action Hero Babe Training System.  It’s a great place to find out what she’s about and see if her programs are right for you.  But also, the people you will find there will motivate you just by seeing how dedicated they are to their health & fitness.

Pilates On 5th is a great pilates organization based in NYC.  They offer many different types of pilates classes but also provide online pilates workouts you can purchase.  They do a fun podcast that’s available on itunes.  If you become a fan of their page, you will be notified when they put up new material on their blog or upload new video podcasts!

Anne Samoilov Pilates – Yes, even I have a pilates facebook page.  I use the page to tell my Facebook friends when I have a new post on my blog, but also to inform people of new classes and share links that I find inspirational to my own fitness journey.

To find Groups or Pages to follow is search in the box at the top of your main profile page for a name or subject.  If that doesn’t get you results you want, click on your INFO tab and scroll down to your groups/pages section…by clicking see all, you will find a search box to do a search there too!

If you are kind of confused at this point…and want to know the difference between Facebook Groups & Facebook Pages…check out this blog post from Mashable.com: Facebook Groups vs. Facebook Pages.

Keep in mind that you should be very picky about the Pages and Groups your follow/join.  Don’t overload your Facebook profile with so much info that you can’t sift through it easily and get motivated!  Also, once you join a group or become a fan of a page, you may get messages in your inbox from that group.  Usually, it’ll be information that you will find interesting, but sometimes it gets a little too sales-y…if that happens and you don’t like it…just leave the group!

Let me know if you find a fun group to follow or a page to become a fan of…I’m always looking for inspiration to keep myself & my clients living their healthiest lives!

10 ways To Get In Shape with Twitter!

Ok – This is a quick list I made – off the top of my head. I was brainstorming ways that I use Twitter to stay in Shape…
Whether it’s pilates, kettlebells, yoga, or hiking…you will find people doing your favorite activity on Twitter. If you haven’t checked Twitter out yet, you should…It’s fun…and clearly as I share below…it can help you get & stay in shape.

  1. Find a Workout Buddy
  2. Tweet your food journal
  3. Keep In Touch with your trainer or class teacher
  4. Get new workouts & tips from your trainer
  5. Find fitness tips from other trainers and resources
  6. Stay motivated by learning what other people are doing
  7. Post your daily workout to share with friends and your trainer
  8. Find someone that inspires you to get in shape and follow them–i.e. Jen Garner, Jennifer Biel, Rachel Nichols
  9. Read, Post, and Share Motivational Quotes
  10. Create a blog and post on twitter when you update it.

Here’s the top people/users I would follow just be on top of different ways of getting in shape, eating right and living a healthy lifestyle:

  • @livewell360
  • @healthyirishman
  • @valeriewaters
  • @ideafit
  • @annesamoilov
  • @WeightWatchers
  • @toscareno
  • @toneitup
  • @jillianmichaels
  • @mbthin (one of my workout buddies!)

There are a ton more to follow.  Do a search for different people or companies or “diet” names — or anyone that you might know and think can give you good information.

The importance of Twitter is in helping you join/build a tribe of people that share a common goal.  Sure you could get carried away with how many people are following you, but if you go into Twitter with the goal of gaining new knowledge, you won’t go wrong.  You might meet some fun new people going through exactly what you are!

If you’d like to try pilates and get more information on joining the Twitter tweeters, reserve your first private pilates session with me today!

Become An Action Hero Babe: You all knew it…

When I dressed up like Lara Croft for Halloween years ago – because of the video game, not the movie (which wasn’t out yet), you KNEW I had some sort of sick fantasy of being an action hero babe…well, now I’m finally getting the strength to get the job done! (On a side note, I need to find that picture!!)

So, here’s a picture of me and my gal Valerie Waters right after she’d kicked my butt with her latest Action Hero Babe workout. She’s the trainer who has helped me drop 4 inches in my waist, 2 1/2 (maybe 3 by now) in my hips…and is helping me look leaner and stronger every single day.

Val puts together health & fitness programs that work.  I’ve done 3 of them now and I know.  I really do. I’m not saying that you will have the same results I have had. I’m not saying that her programs are right for you, but I will say that she has changed my life.  When I started moving again, my body & brain got back into shape and I was able to handle life again.  That first year with Mila was a tough one.

So – now, Valerie’s latest program is one that I’ve been waiting for for a long time.  The name is so me and I know you’ll agree.  I’ve been working at the plan for about 3 weeks now — and have increased, visible muscle tone, am maintaining my weight, and am eating better than I ever have–except for the occasional fall off the wagon at California Pizza Kitchen.

If you want to learn how and when to EXERCISE & EAT CLEAN, you’ll get this specific program.

There are workout DVDs to follow.  The kit comes with her Valslides (don’t get me started on those — so fun!) and some exercise bands. There are bonus DVDs, which i can’t tell you about until you check out the actual home page for the program.  There are 2 different meal plans/recipes/food ideas to try out.  There’s a slick binder that holds everything!

I’m so impressed with the Action Hero Babe Training System that I couldn’t help but share it with you.  I’d love to have another workout partner and I really hope you check this program out.

How to Become An Action Hero Babe:

  1. Check out the homepage for the Action Hero Babe Training System
  2. Do a search for reviews for the Action Hero Babe program given by the women who’ve already done the program.
  3. Read even more reviews from women in Valerie Waters Red Carpet Ready club.
  4. Leave me a comment with questions about the program and if you have purchased it!
  5. Purchase it and Get Moving!

For anyone who signs up through my link, I will offer you a success report on how to use the program – and how I personally used the program again and again to get myself back in shape!

*Please note, the link on this page is an affiliate link.  When you sign up through my link, I will receive a small commission…but it doesn’t change that I firmly stand behind Valerie Waters work.

 


Pilates Breathing for Beginners – When Do I Breathe and Why?

Pilates beginners are always asking me the question, “Am I doing it right?”  Most of the time, it’s a question about their movement.  I think what trips them up is that the movements themselves are often “simplistic” so they think they might be missing something.

Most of the time, all they are missing is the right breath and muscle recruitment before the move begins.

So, here’s my simple beginner’s cheat-sheet on Pilates breathing. These are not hard and fast rules.  Just as you get used to them, your instructor might cue you differently, have you exhale when you used to be inhaling…just to shake things up.

First – How Do You Breathe?

>Inhale through the nose

>Exhale through the mouth – with lips slightly pursed to help connect more to those abs!

Second – When Should I Breath?

Generally, you should be exhale:

  1. On the Exertion – pressing out during Footwork, pulling your hands down during the arm series on the reformer, as you lift your head and shoulders, whenever you need to hollow out your abs to create a c-curve.
  2. During Flexion – whenever the body needs to round forward — as in c-curve exercises.

Try to Inhale:

  1. In preparation for most movements – Inhale & engage your abs to move with stability through an exercise.
  2. To Increase  Back Extension — Swimming, Breastroke, Pulling Straps, Swan Dive.   Anytime you open your chest and “bend backward”, the inhale helps to increase this extension.
  3. To Increase Rotation – Instead of exhale each time you twist your torso, try to inhale through your nose as if you are filling up your rib cabge. Exhale to release back to center.

Here are some exceptions found in reformer exercises where you might feel like you are doing the opposite breathing:

  1. Elephant – I ask you to INHALE as you press out and EXHALE as your legs come back in.  You might think think you need to exhale on the exertion as you push your heels into the shoulder rests, but the hip and torso flexion as you come in is a more important place to put the exhale to get the abs firing.
  2. Knee Stretches – same thing here. You are pushing out with your feet against those shoulder rests, but you inhale as you push out, exhale to quickly bring the knees back underneath you.

Third – How Do I Improve My Breathing?

  1. Try to focus on breathing deeply and evenly throughout your pilates session or class.  Stay focused on the quality of your breath.  If you start thinking about other topics, your teacher will most likely see you glaze over and bring your attention back!
  2. Make your breath as important as the spring setting on your machine or the ball between your knees or any other part of the exercise.  Start with a good deep breath before your class and then try to find the breath just before the exercise to get the most out of it.
  3. Let others hear you….especially your teacher!  Keep your breathing even, but let your teacher hear it.  If he/she doesn’t, it makes it more difficult for them to deepen the exercise for you.  I’ve seen people with their mouth closed the entire class, no matter what I say…Give me a good exhale once in awhile so I know you are listening!  Even more than that…breathe so I know you aren’t holding your breath!

For more Detailed Breathing Exercises and Advice:

Learn to Breathe More Deeply: About.com’s Pilates Guide Marguerite Ogle has compiled a lot of useful and clear information on how to learn to breathe more deeply.  She even gives advice on different types of breathing — another way to improve your pilates practice.

Pilates Breathing: Easy Vigour is a great site for pilates information. This section on pilates breathing has a few diagrams and instructs the beginner on how to do pilates style breathing. Pilates breathing exercises are included as well!

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