Bring on the Holidays!

5 Hints from Julie Erickson, Owner and Master Trainer for Endurance Pilates and Yoga for Keeping Your Fitness Goals throughout the holiday season.

I’ve got the check suitcases down from the attic for our trip to Antigua to celebrate Thanksgiving and our 20th wedding anniversary- woo hoo hoo!  And, the very first things that I packed are workout clothes.  I love the workouts that I do and not only do I workout while I’m away, I’m excited to have some extra free time to get some longer runs in and to check out the yoga pavilion at the resort.  Find your form of exercise and LOVE it so very much that you want to do it every single day, even when you are on vacation!

We are heading into the fun and celebration of another holiday season!  Be kind to yourself, breathe and be sure to make time for self-care along with your soirees!

1.  Show yourself a little bit of compassion and celebrate yourself this holiday season!

One missed workout, an extra glass of wine can quickly spiral into an entire week without lacing up our sneakers or unrolling our mats if we take an all or nothing approach.  “I didn’t get to it today, so why even bother tomorrow?” becomes an easy mantra, but try not to beat yourself up for missing one or two workouts or even a week if life, work events or day to day responsibilities take precedence during the busy holiday season.   Be grateful that you were able to fit in the workouts that you do and be sure to choose activities that you enjoy to make you happy and energized!  Celebrate the fact that you can move your body, enjoy the endorphins and appreciate the fact that you find ways to fit fitness into your life!  If you miss a workout, just look forward to your next scheduled class and plan to get as much out of it as you can- give it your all!

2.  Add water to every drink or treat!

Had a glass of red wine- chase it with a glass of water!  Cookie- finish it with seltzer water.  Coffee- grab a can of LaCroix too!  Staying hydrated is key during a season where we are indoors, in heated spaces working, working out and living our lives.  Ensuring that our bodies are taking in adequate fluids not only helps to keep our workouts safe and productive, it helps to ensure that all of our systems are working properly.  Up to 60% of the adult human body is water and it is imperative to every single system that keeps us going!  Even a small amount of dehydration leads to a serious decrease in athletic performance, so be sure to stay hydrated throughout the day and during your workouts.  You will feel better, run better, sleep better, stretch better with an adequate fluid consumption.  Even before activity, an adult male requires 3 liters of water per day, an adult female 2.2 liters- some of which can be consumed in food, but be sure to account for activity levels too!

3.  Meet up with a friend for class before a party or instead of drinks

Nix the coffee meetup and schedule that spin class or run.  Encourage friends and colleagues to get a little more movement in by scheduling an achievable workout while talking shop.  Even better, find a studio that will schedule a group workout for you and your team of friends or associates- spend some time networking, working out and then heading out to your venue of choice or keeping the party in and among your closest friends.  Make fitness your priority and share that with those that are closest to you.

4.  Break your workouts up into smaller pieces and keep track of the little things

Don’t have an hour?  Spend 20 minutes on the treadmill or on a brisk walk outdoors in the morning.  Wear your workout gear to bed and even if you just stumble out of bed and start to move, you will feel better by the time you hit the shower to get your day going.  Add in another 20-30 minutes at the end of the day to add in some core exercises, a little stretch, maybe a tabata sequence to rev things up.  Grab a jump rope and spend 2 minutes jump roping- every little piece of exercise and movement counts! 

Get a FitBit or a pedometer- I had no idea how much I was moving until I started tracking my steps while I was teaching many classes in my new location last winter.  I would walk 3 miles in a 600 square foot space while teaching classes on a Saturday morning!  Think your trip to the mall doesn’t count- think again- depending on how much shopping you are doing- you could fit in all of the desired 10,000 daily steps that you are looking to achieve in a little over an hour by moving in and out of your destination stores!

5.  Enjoy the holiday season and plan your workouts around

From Halloween until New Years, we are bombarded with events, obligations and FUN!  Be sure that you partake in those social situations that are enjoyable!  And of course you want to stick with your run/workout schedule, but be prepared to move workouts, shorten others and share with your friends and family as appropriate.  Keep you workouts plentiful and your eating clean- no chemicals, gums, preservatives and you are on the right track for a fantastic 2017!

Service

From a speech I was so proud to give at a fundraiser for the YMCA.  As we go into a very heated political weekend, I just want folks to remember, how much more there is to live and give xo.
I had a teacher when I was in 5th grade that told us, “Whatever you decide to do with your life, don’t neglect to share your gifts. Be sure to use your own very special and unique God-given skills to create the best you possible and to use that strong and smart self to help others. The only real sin in life is to ignore or neglect these skills and to keep them from helping others.” When you are 11 years old and you hear these words, it is really difficult to translate this meaning into a pre-teen life mostly spent caring about how your hair looks, who is friends with whom, which of your friends are boyfriend and girlfriend and what brand of jeans you are wearing. But, her words clearly spoke to me then and always stuck with me- even now, 32 years later.
I am very very lucky. Where many folks wander a bit and try on different jobs, fields of study, other things, I am very clear. I know EXACTLY why I am here and what my job on this earth is. Of course, it also took me a couple years to begin my path along this calling post college and eighteen years to fully realize the magnitude to which I could help folks live better- by a lot, not just physically, but within every other aspect of their lives as well. I train professional athletes and I train folks that are quadriplegic.  And, I also train folks with every ability in between. And, I am very blessed to know exactly how to maximize the extent that each person can move efficiently, with minimal pain and maximal movement with the most precise and perfect movement pattern possible. I am also very lucky to have had the opportunity to share this gift with many folks- I have a very successful training business in Boston, but my most important work is done on a volunteer basis and mostly on living room floors or basement floors, couches, in apartment gyms.    
I am very lucky to have trained a couple of folks in this room. And, even more so, have gone beyond just a pure trainer and motivator relationship with these amazing students- we are now friends- very good friends. When Jessica and I first started texting to meet, Jaz was still very early post injury. We worked out on their living room floor- doing very important, challenging exercises that would translate into making Jaz a better mover and we did so every week. And Jess paid attention- to the point where she was very interested in what we were doing and how we were training- so that she could help her son move better in every workout he was doing- whether it was at the YMCA or at their home or on the basketball court. I sincerely believe that, once Jaz is back at 100%, Jess will love moving into a world where she can help other folks move better- I am very much looking forward to helping her and mentoring her into this important and natural role for her. In working with Celeste, I found another sister, another family and one of my very best friends. When I heard the news that Celeste’s legs had been amputated, the very first thing I thought of was, I can help her- I can help a lot of these folks. My mom was a juvenile diabetic who lived for 10 years as a single and then a double amputee. I knew exactly the type of movement training these folks would need. I have been very lucky to have shared my gift of movement training with several of the folks injured in the bombings, I’ve even trained 2 of their family members to teach Pilates. And, in doing so, have received rewards for this service that I have a difficult time putting into words. When I see Celeste in Jaz standing so confidently in their legs, I sometimes get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes- I helped them learn how to do this. I am helping them not only move better, but to move beyond their injuries and back into their lives. So, I would encourage you to really listen to what you love to do. Where can you help to serve others- great penmanship- help with thank you notes, good driver, help get somebody unable to drive to a doctors appointments. I love to workout, I have made a career out of teaching people how to move better so that they can safely participate in whatever activity they love. In sharing this gift of service post injury and recovery, I have helped to make a difference in the lives of many people. I would encourage you to look within your life, to discover your own special gifts in order that you are able to do the same!

 

Stress Less at Endurance

Stress Less at Endurance!  Because for One Hour, all you will be able to think about is you!

Joseph Pilates called his method Contrology and according to him….

“The acquirement and enjoyment of physical well-being, mental calm and spiritual peace are priceless to their possessors if there be any such so fortunate living among us today. However, it is the ideal to strive for, and in our opinion, it is only through Contrology [Pilates] that this unique trinity of a balanced body, mind, and spirit can ever be attained.” Joseph Pilates

Want to take your mind off everything else going on around you- for an hour?  I will admit it- I seriously started doing Pilates because I needed at least one hour in my life on most days of the week where I didn’t have to think about anything else except exactly what I was doing with my body at that particular moment.  I couldn’t think of my grocery list or the 10 things I had to do when I went back to the office after my evening class.  Lots has changed since then, but I still use my Pilates workouts to get away from the rest of the world.  I can’t check my email, texts or monthly sales numbers when I’m backbending on the reformer.   I could do other forms of exercise session- spin, step…get on a treadmilll or elliptical and try and zone out, but everything I had to do or was worried about would creep into my mind.  That is certainly not the case with Pilates!

When students perform Pilates exercises at Endurance, we give them lots of direction as to how to move precisely and with control- there are no haphazard movements in a Pilates class.  Once we’ve established a certain level of control, we add in more flow and more moving pieces to control.  It’s the “mind over movement” that makes Pilates the ideal workout for stress relief.  During a particular exercise, you will be told how to do it, where to feel it, how to make it even better for your spine and overall physique.  Our instructors have taken years to learn Pilates in their own bodies and have plenty of practice “squeezing the juice” out of each and every exercise.  They when it is time to slow the workout down for precision and when to speed it up to flow.  Ever had a difficult time meditating?  Because you were trying to clear your mind and all those to-dos kept creeping back in?  We guarantee that for one hour, the only thing you will be able to think about is your tummy, tush and inner thighs working really hard to move your body in a more perfect and precise way in just about anything that you do outside the studio!  Come clear your mind with us and get a great butt and flat abs while you leave your cars by the door!

“Ideally, our muscles should obey our will. Reasonably, our will should not be dominated by the reflex actions of our muscles.” Joseph Pilates

Photo by Servidone Studios