In this issue
Beating Summer Fitness Woes
It’s summertime, and the living is mostly easy. But the hot temperatures and strong sun can bring on a new set of workout-related problems, like sweat-induced chafing and dehydration headaches. We asked the experts to offer solutions to four common warm-weather exercise issues.
Problem: Dehydration headaches
Beat the heat: “At the first sign of thirst, you’re already dehydrated,” says Courtney Pruitt, the coordinator of athletic training outreach at Scott & White Healthcare in Round Rock, Texas. This can lead to sluggishness and headaches. Pruitt recommends drinking one to two cups of liquid about two hours beforehand, and then one cup every 15 to 20 minutes of your workout. “Make sure that your urine is pale yellow in color,” she says. “If it’s darker, that means you’re not properly hydrated.”
Problem: Blisters and chafing
Beat the heat: The friction caused by sweaty clothing on skin can lead to uncomfortable blisters and chafing. Wearing moisture-wicking garments can help. “Try applying baby powder or petroleum jelly to the problem area,” suggests Pruitt. You can also pick up a tube of anti-chafe balm at a sporting goods store.
Problem: Stinky workout clothes
Beat the heat: To keep odors from setting in, hang up your clothes immediately after a workout—or, better yet, wash them ASAP. Adding a half-cup of baking soda along with your usual amount of detergent can also neutralize unpleasant smells.
Beat the heat: Pushing yourself too hard in the heat can prevent your body from regulating your body temperature, which can lead to heat cramps and dizziness. “Avoid exercise during the hottest time of the day, from around 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.,” suggests Pruitt. “And wear light-fitting clothing and sunscreen.” If you feel yourself becoming clammy or disoriented, take a breather to cool down. “Place a cool cloth under your neck or beneath your armpit to bring your body temperature down,” says Pruitt. “And drink plenty of fluids.”
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Now there’s no excuse to skip a workout. Thanks to smartphone apps, there’s always a Pilates workout at your fingertips. Consider downloading the following apps to have instruction on hand, no matter your location.
A. Yoga & Pilates With Kristen McGee (free; www.iTunes.com)
Celebrity instructor McGee offers 10-minute yoga and Pilates workouts that target specific body parts, such as the abs, arms and thighs. There are also instructional slides for moves and additional videos available for in-app purchase.
B. My Pilates Guru ($0.99; www.iTunes.com)
Consider this your dictionary of Pilates exercises: This program contains descriptions for nearly 100 moves, along with their benefits. Use the app to build your own Pilates routine or choose from one of the pre-built sessions.
C. Pilates Anytime (free; www.iTunes.com)
Play one of the more than 800 videos on your iPhone or iPad, or stream the workout directly to your Apple TV.
D. 5 Minutes Pilates HD ($0.99; www.iTunes.com)
On the run? No problem. This program features five-minute workouts synced to songs of your choice. You can also set an alarm to remind you to hit the mat.
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& A with Rael Isacowitz
Q: Does it matter what kind of certification my Pilates teacher has?
A: First, I should address the term “certification.” In a wonderful piece written by Ray Infante of the Pilates Method Alliance (PMA) that appears on www.BASIpilates.com, he explains that the PMA is the only organization today in the United States to issue a certification for Pilates teachers. But I assume that you’re referring to a “certificate” or “qualification” issued by other schools.
That said, your teacher’s qualification does matter. Unfortunately, the Pilates industry is unregulated, despite efforts by professionals, including myself, to create universally accepted standards. The PMA has made enormous strides in establishing the closest thing we have to a supported representative body.
Teacher-training programs vary greatly. Your instructor may have received a comprehensive education in the Pilates method, and the program itself may have met—or even exceeded—widely accepted standards. At the same time, he or she may have received a sub-par crash course in a diluted form of Pilates with minimal requirements. There are many courses that are offered online that don’t even have contact hours, or time spent learning from another instructor. Observation, student teaching and self-practice are a vital part laying a solid foundation. Nothing can replace experience, and studying with a more seasoned teacher will bring with it the knowledge, intuition and confidence gained over time.
How can you find a qualified instructor? The PMA offers a Registry of Schools (www.pilatemethodalliance.org), and although not all schools are included, it’s a start. A PMA certification also means that candidates receive comprehensive training versus learning one part of the Pilates method, such as only the mat or Reformer.
As you can see, this is a complex topic, and one that I feel passionately about. In summation, I’ll say that it is worthwhile doing thorough research before embarking on what will hopefully become a lifelong commitment.
Rael Isacowitz, MA, has been practicing Pilates for more than 30 years and is recognized internationally as an expert in the field. In 1989, Rael founded BASI Pilates®, a comprehensive Pilates education organization represented throughout the world. For more information, visit www.basipilates.com.
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Close Up: Pilates Push-Ups and Beach Ball Balance Challenge
By Patricia Friberg; photography by Palimor Studios
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In the July/August issue, STOTT PILATES® instructor Patricia Friberg shared a workout to tone your entire body on the beach. Not only is sand easy on your joints, but it also adds an extra challenge, she says. Grab a beach ball and mat for these two bonus moves.
Purpose: strengthens the upper body and core
Setup: Get into a push-up position, with your feet and shins on the ball and hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart on the mat.
1. Keeping your abdominals drawing inward, absorb your ribs into your body and draw your shoulders away from our ears.
2. Bend your elbows to lower your chest downward. Exhale, pressing yourself back up to the starting position. Do 10–30 reps.
Modification: Do the exercise with your thighs on the ball.
Beach Ball Balance Challenge
Purpose: promotes better balance
Setup: Get on all fours on the ball.
1. Slowly, with one hand at a time, lift your body into a knee balance on the ball.
Fitness veteran Patricia Friberg is certified with Stott Pilates, Gyrotonic, ACE and in yoga. She is best known for her award-winning Belly Beautiful pre- and postnatal and Power for Pink Workout DVDs. For more information, visit www.patriciafriberg.com.
The Big Chill: 3 Healthy Frozen Dessert Recipes
During the dog days of summer, nothing’s more refreshing than an icy treat. But scooping up ice cream on the regular won’t do your waistline any favors. To the rescue: These icy recipes from Tess Masters, author of The Blender Girl, are as delicious as they are healthy. Get ready to put the freeze on your dessert!
Mango Fire and Ice
1 cup coconut water
4 cups fresh or defrosted frozen chopped mango
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ teaspoon finely chopped green serrano chile, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons finely grated lime zest, plus more to garnish
1. Put all of the ingredients into your blender and blast on high for 30–60 seconds, until smooth and creamy. Add more chile to taste.
2. Transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, cover and freeze for 1 hour.
3. Remove the granita from the freezer and stir it with a fork, mashing up any frozen chunks. Cover and freeze for another 2 hours, until the granita is firm. Using a fork, scrape the granita vigorously to form icy flakes. Serve in glasses garnished with lime zest.
Mint Chip Ice Cream
Makes 1¼ quarts
1 cup firmly packed baby spinach
1/3 cup water
3 cups canned coconut milk (shake, then pour)
¾ cup unsweetened almond or soy milk
½ cup raw light agave or other light-colored sweetener
1½ teaspoons peppermint extract, plus more to taste
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
¼ cup mint leaves
¾ cup finely chopped vegan chocolate or semisweet chocolate chips
1. In a blender, blend the spinach and water on high for 20 seconds, until well combined. Strain the juice through a fine-mesh sieve. Measure out and reserve 3 tablespoons. (Use the remaining juice and fiber for smoothies.)
2. Pour the coconut milk, almond or soy milk, peppermint extract, vanilla extract and mint leaves into the blender and blend on high for about 1 minute, until combined. Add the spinach juice and blend. Pour the mixture into a bowl and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
3. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In the last 10 minutes, add the chocolate. Freeze at least 12 hours before serving.
“Key Lime” Pudding
1/3 cup light agave nectar, plus more to taste
½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
2 cups chopped bananas (about 2 bananas)
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon finely grated lime zest
1. Toss all of the ingredients in your blender and puree on high for 2 minutes, until well combined. You may need to stop your machine and scrape down the sides of the container to make sure that everything is incorporated evenly. Add more sweetener to taste.
2. Divide the pudding mixture into four serving glasses and chill in the fridge for about 3 hours, or until thick. Serve the same day, chilled.
Recipes reprinted with permission from The Blender Girl: Super-Easy, Super-Healthy Meals, Snacks, Desserts, and Drinks—100 Gluten-Free, Vegan Recipes! By Tess Masters, copyright © 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
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