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Top 10 Pilates Reformer Exercises for Osteoporosis

54 million Americans have low bone mass, placing them at increased risk for osteoporosis. 

Osteoporosis is a disease characterized by too little bone formation, excessive bone loss, or a combination of both, leading to bone fragility and an increased risk of fractures. Studies suggest that approximately one in two women and up to one in four men age 50 and older will break a bone due to osteoporosis. (National Osteoporosis Foundation [NOF] 2015). Kind of motivates you to try to prevent this disease right? Well, the good news is- the fact that you’re reading a blog on a Pilates page written by a physical therapist means you’re already in the right place to start taking control of your bone density!

 

Exercises for Bone Density

There are two types of exercises that are important for building and maintaining bone density:  weight-bearing (high or low impact) and muscle-strengthening exercises (U.S. Department of Health and Human...

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10 Must-do’s in Miami: LOVE YOUR CITY MORE

Alix’s Top 10 Favorite Things to do in Miami

 

There’s no argument that we live in one of the most beautiful cities in the country, if not the world. Miami has amazing weather all year, lots of cultural activities (more and more every year!), great food, a blend of people, and countless others. Unfortunately, just like people in every other city, we need to work and many times, end up in that daily grind and forget to take advantage of our gorgeous city. These are my top 10 must-do’s in Miami – I hope you can get out there and try a few!

 

#1: Get out on the water: the best place to experience Miami, as far as I’m concerned, is to see it from the water. Go fishing, rent a paddleboard or a boat, take our Pilates H2O class, do anything to get out there!

 

#2: Explore our many state parks. Oleta, Bill Baggs, the Barnacle, and Matheson Hammock are steps from our front doors and have so much to offer! Coming from the Northeast, I can hardly...

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When My Life Changed

I am thankful, grateful, and blessed to have an amazing life.

I was born into a phenomenal family, who showered me with love and support. While my parents never had “tons” of money, they made sure that my life was always comfortable, which made for a fantastic childhood. I had all the things I needed and most of the things I wanted. I was spoiled with love and attention from my parents, grandparents, and other family members. I received a wonderful education from preschool all the way through grad school. I had lots of friends throughout all phases of life. I moved to Miami, continued to have amazing friends in my life, I had a blossoming career as a physical therapist. I bought a condo in Brickell and a new car. I had everything!

 

BUT. I wasn’t satisfied. Something was missing.

 

I was introduced to spirituality a few years ago, which was helpful. I began to meditate, I got to know myself better, I felt as though my eyes were much more open. Most...

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The Foundation of Health: Probiotics

Probiotics have become somewhat of a buzz word lately with food products like yogurt, smoothies, and drinks advertising “great source of probiotics!” 

But what exactly do probiotics do for us? Probiotics live inside and outside of our bodies but most reside in our guts. They create a physical barrier along the wall of our intestines that act like a security guard, choosing to allow in nutrients or keep out invaders. Regardless of how clean we eat and how much we remove chemicals from our homes our bodies are still fighting a war each day against bacteria, toxins in our environment, viruses, fungi, molds and yeast. A healthy gut that is lined with probiotics will be able to identify who should be allowed in and who should be kept out.  Toxins, chemicals, and waste products will be eliminated, while nutrients will be absorbed and delivered to cells throughout our body to maintain healthy cell function.

 

Probiotics do so much more though than just act as...

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Using a Pilates Jumpboard – Jump For Health!

I started practicing Pilates at a very young age.

I was told it would improve my balance, alignment and strengthen my core. I was also told Pilates would make me an all-around stronger dancer. I respected my mentors and believed everything they told me. But one thing I didn’t tell them was I dreaded going to Pilates. I have to confess. I thought it was boring. But you have to understand, as a teenager I wanted to turn, jump and just move. Then one day our instructor attached the Pilates jumpboard at the end of our reformers and converted it into a horizontal jumping machine. I loved it! Her choreography was fun and energetic, as she incorporated low impact petit allegro (small jumps) combinations to the routine. That young girl who thought Pilates was boring is solely devoted and made it her long life career.

 

I have clients asking me many times “what else can I do besides Pilates? How can I get more cardio?” I tell them, “Add a jumpboard class.”...

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Pilates: Power Pose Your Way To Success

In 2012 Amy Cuddy gave a TED talk that became a sensation… and is now the second most viewed TED talk that has ever been recorded. It’s become such a sensation because the information she shares might actually change your life.

 

Amy Cuddy is a researcher out of Harvard who studies posture and it’s impact on your blood chemistry, mood, and how you are perceived by others. In her TED talk she discusses her amazing research on nonverbal behavior, body language, posture and how people can literally “fake it until they make it”- i.e. acting strong and powerful until their brain believes it to be true. She has demonstrated a significant change in hormone levels: increased testosterone (our confidence/dominance hormone) and decreased cortisol (our stress hormone) after just 2 minutes of what she calls, POWER POSING. This means that after doing a power pose, people have more confidence, and feel more assertive and powerful and are perceived as being...

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What’s the Big Deal about Fascia?

As far as I’m concerned, everyone with a body needs to know about fascia – especially everyone with a body who has pain. 

Fascia can be a complicated thing to conceptualize, so I’ll start with the basics and go from there.

 

The first question about fascia: what is it?

 

Fascia is a connective tissue that is comprised of mostly collagen.  The fibers of the fascia form dense bands and sheets that wrap around our muscles and organs to keep everything in neat, little packages.  Essentially, fascia is like a plastic wrap for our body.  In addition to being plastic wrap, fascia also serves as a mechanism to distribute forces of muscles and external stresses and reduce friction in our bodies.

 

For many years, fascia was thought of as fairly unimportant to how our bodies mechanically function; muscles and bones took the lead in mechanical functioning, fascia just supported the body in a passive way and held stuff together in bits and...

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The Power of Now

family motivation Aug 03, 2015

I’m currently reading Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” and there are so many wonderful, practical messages about how to live a better life and be more present that I wanted to share it with you.

 Even before reading this book, one of my many mini New Years resolutions was to be more present. I would find myself driving to the grocery store on a Sunday thinking about a million things and before I new it I was actually driving to work. My brain had gone into autopilot and I had completely lost focus on the present. For another example of not living in the moment I’m going to call out a friend- you know who you are.  I have a great friend who whenever we got out to lunch is always on the phone- planning her schedule, checking Instagram, texting a friend, etc. – and it drives me crazy. To be honest, I am also guilty of this sometimes, especially with the Instagram… But recognizing the problem is the first step to recovery...

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Raw Chocolate Coconut Balls (Just Like Bounty Truffles!) [Vegan, Gluten-Free]

food and nutrition Jul 27, 2015

The “good-ole” coconut; exotic, sweet, pure, white flesh with a tropical flavor.

I have been crazy about coconut beauty products and scents for years.  But my favorite thing is to eat them. And my favorite combination is chocolate and coconut. But the ever so popular combo is loaded with sugar and fat. So off I go, searching the Internet for a healthier recipe of my favorite treat. What I found is absolutely delicious and totally satisfies my coconut and chocolate craving. The recipe below is vegan, gluten free and healthy.

 

Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

 

Coconut Filling:

  • 1 cup of dried coconut
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Himalayan crystal salt or sea salt

 

Chocolate Coating:

  • ½ cup of extra virgin coconut oil, melted
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons of cacao powder, unsweetened
  • 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
  • 1 pinch of Himalayan crystal salt or...
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The Physical Therapist’s Guide to Traveling

Summer is finally here! For many of us summer means it’s time for vacation with friends and family.

Having recently returned from my honeymoon, I know that the down side of vacations can be the travel there and back. Whether you’re driving or flying to your destination, you’ll likely be spending many hours sitting.

 

As a physical therapist, I’m aware of the potential risks of sitting in the same position for several hours but, to be honest, I never thought it applied to me because I’m healthy, active, and young. That was until Serena Williams had a Pulmonary Embolism in 2011 after traveling on an airplane. Our veins are responsible for sending blood back to our heart and lungs and they’re designed with flaps to help prevent the backflow of blood. Unfortunately, as we get older these valves become less effective. So what sends blood back to the heart? Gravity can help but with your legs down in sitting gravity is actually working against the...

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