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Twenty years on and I find myself grateful

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Movement and Mental Health

I hope you're enjoying the beautiful weather we've got at the moment!

Sitting in the sun is a great way to help your mental health - the boost to serotonin levels can make you feel so good!  

Another way to help your mental health is with exercise

I know for myself and for many of my classmates, mental wellbeing is one of the top reasons for exercising - alongside physical health.  That is why I was so pleased to see it as a theme for Mental Health Awareness week - which finishes today

Exerc…

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Celebrating National Pilates Day

The first Saturday in May is National Pilates Day, so to celebrate I thought I'd share one of my classes with you!

It uses a towel to help you get some strength and stretch to your upper body with some back mobility work too - I hope you enjoy it!

Pilates - 2_5_24 with a towel

It's a good example of the way I teach Pilates and the benefits you can get from it:

  • improving posture
  • easing aches and pains
  • core and pelvic floor strength without the strain
  • back care
  • whole body strengthening
  • mobility
  • balance work
  • b…

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I'm about to tape my mouth closed to sleep better

So I just did a thing

I've been working on my breath for a while now - first to help with pelvic floor issues (thank you Hypopressives), then to help with stress (Hyoppressives and slow breathing techniques along with vagal nerve work)

These have been very effective and are easy to fit in

But there are two markers that have been bothering me for a while

One is my average number of breaths per minute

When I first started it was around 16 breaths.  According to Patrick McKeown anything above …

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Getting back my balance

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Back mobility exercises

As part of March Matness this week I'm looking at exercises you can do to help your back mobility.

Working on back mobility can help with stiffness, pain, pelvic floor issues and core strength as well as help to avoid injury

All the moves should feel comfortable - we're not trying to push 

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Heart health - the final part of the puzzle

So far we've looked at a few things that can help with heart health, for various reasons:

  • cardio exercise - strengthens the heart and lungs
  • strength exercise - lowers blood pressure
  • Pilates/yoga/mobility - reducing stiffness in the upper body, which will reduce arterial stiffness

The final part to consider is - relaxation, stress management and sleep

Insomnia at midlife can raise a woman's risk of a heart attack by 70%

Exercising can help with stress reduction, relaxation and sleep - j…

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Muscular stiffness and your heart

So far we've looked at heart health in women, particularly around menopause, and how movement can help you - both cardio and strength workouts.

But where does that leave mind body exercises like Pilates and yoga?

As I said last week, bodyweight strength counts as much as lifting weights does - so any squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull moves you might be doing will help with lowering blood pressure in the same way.

But there is another reason why it helps

Stiffness in the upper body is related t…

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Upper body mobility sequence

A few upper body moves you can easily fit into your day - even while sat at your desk!

Tightness in the upper body can affect your posture, ability to reach, create pain in the jaw, neck, shoulders and low back, contribute to pelvic floor dysfunction and can even affect your heart!

So getting more movement in is key - how many ways can you move your ribs?

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