HIIT Pilates - The best of both worlds?

The latest fitness trend to be big in the UK is HIIT - High Intensity Interval Training.  Everyone is doing it, teaching it, and apparently loving it.  Last week I saw HIIT Pilates classes using Pilates equipment to gain the high intensity workouts.  My reaction to that was simply WHY?  Pilates and HIIT are two different regimes with different aims.  I don’t believe they mix at all.Pilates is a fabulous fitness programme which tones specific areas, encourages the correct muscle engagement, uses breath, focus and concentration to achieve great posture, alignment and muscle balance.
Pilates can be practised as rehabilitation post-surgery or as an exercise programme to help with arthritis or other chronic conditions.
Pilates concentrates on small, slow, controlled movements to train the body to engage the correct muscles for everyday movement and strengthen them where they are weak.
Pilates is suitable for almost everybody.
Pilates is NOT intended to be an aerobic work-out.  It will not improve your stamina nor enable you to lift heavy weights
HIIT on the other hand is targeted to improve your stamina and dynamic fitness, a completely different aim.

So, is HIIT something you should be doing as well?
That depends on the benefit you are seeking to gain and how much effort you are prepared and able to put in to achieve it.
If you are healthy, enjoy pushing yourself to meet new physical challenges and are looking to increase strength and cardiovascular capacity it could definitely help you.  If you are an athlete or sportsman looking to improve your performance then HIIT could be a beneficial part of your program, as could a bio-mechanics program and regular Pilates classes.
On the other hand, remember that it is high intensity exercise. If you have any medical history which precludes pushing your heart rate up this is not for you.  If you have joint pain or disease it could aggravate it.  If you do not use correct technique it is easy to pick up injuries.  And finally remember that it’s not the only exercise programme which delivers results, a gentler progressive programme may suit you better.
Don’t follow the latest trend because it is promoted in the glossy magazines with celebrity endorsements, choose a programme that gives you the benefits you are looking for.

HIIT Pilates is ‘HIIT’ using Pilates equipment.  It is not Pilates in any shape or form. Don’t be confused.

Emotional Overeating

What is Emotional Overeating?
Emotional Overeating is a condition in which your desire to consume food is linked to your emotional state.  You turn to food in difficult times and lose control of how much you eat.

Could you be an Emotional Overeater?
Do you eat more than you would like?Do you turn to food at times of stress?Have you tried a number of different diets, which have all, ultimately failed to help?Are you ashamed of your own body?

If you can not categorically answer NO to all these questions then you may be suffering from an
Emotional Overeating Disorder.

Where can you get help?

There are specialists working to help people overcome Emotional Overeating.
Kimberley Warwick has an Emotional Overeating Disorder herself, and has it under control, so she can help you do the same.

Kimberley has some answers as to why people can’t or won’t change their behaviour to improve their health
There is a reason why people overeat. Together you will identify the individual reason why you turn to food and lose control. Once you understand the reasons you can work to find coping strategies.

There is no cure for this condition but with expert help and support, Emotional Overeating can be kept under control.

Want to know more?

Kimberley practises at The Studio Warwick and by Skype across the UK.
She offers telephone consultations and email support.
Get in touch with her, or ask me to put you in touch.

Exercise v Manual Work

Exercise or Manual Work?

Strenuous occupational physical activity in midlife increases the risk of mobility limitation in old age, whereas leisure-time physical activity decreases the risk. This is found in a study which followed up 5,200 public sector employees for 28 years. The study was conducted at the Gerontology Research Center in Finland and the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

Heavy physical labour is often repetitive, wears the body and lasts for several hours a day. On the contrast, leisure-time physical activity is designed to improve fitness and provide recreation and a typical exercise session lasts for one or two hours. Even though both are based on muscle activity and result in energy expenditure, their long-term consequences are different.

The functional ability in old age is a result of processes which may have started already in midlife - some of them have supported the health of the person while others may have been detrimental to the health. The current research results suggest that a marked decline in mobility occurs only in the last years of life.

The results were published in The Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The research was funded by the Academy of Finland.
This study highlights the effect of our daily work on our physical health. I see many clients (especially those in nursing) with low back pain from degenerative conditions which have been caused by lifting during their working life. I would expect that we will see many more problems with the thoracic spine from the next generation to reach retirement as so many people spend their work life bent over a computer screen or sitting in the car.

Exercise to correct the muscular imbalances created by work positions will be increasingly important to prevent pain later in life. I would suggest that if you have limited time it is more beneficial to work on achieving good posture through muscular support rather than doing exercises just to ‘be fit’.

Sugar - why you should cut down

SUGAR – Why you should avoid it

This week sugar and the negative effect it has on our bodies has featured in several news articles so here are the facts that you need to bear in mind when reviewing your sugar intake:

Firstly, in really simple terms: Sugar can play havoc with your weight, hormones, energy, and give you tooth decay. Eating sugar offers you ’empty’ calories – i.e. no benefit and lots of potential for harm. Therefore you should be looking to reduce your sugar intake.

When you shop, look at the labels of everything you buy. Sugar can be found in a surprising array of foods. Be especially careful when buying breakfast cereal and processed food such as ready prepared meals, including soups or cooking sauces since these often contain unexpectedly high levels of sugar.

Run through the list of negative effects below to remind yourself of why you should be avoiding sugar:
- Consuming sugar makes your blood sugar levels rise quickly. The pancreas is stimulated, it produces insulin to stabilise the blood sugar levels. Insulin is known to promote the storage of fat so more sugar = more insulin = more fat stored.
- The high level of insulin production not only encourages the body to store fat, but is the main risk factor in diabetes.
- High blood sugar levels damage artery walls, making it easier for cholesterol and fat to build up. This causes heart disease and high blood pressure.
- A raised insulin level affects the immune system lowering resistance to disease.
- Sugar puts stress on the kidneys and can interfere with absorption of some essential minerals. This can contribute to osteoporosis.
- Sugar can cause free radical formation in the blood, this causes damage to each cell in your body. It speeds up the ageing process which you’ll see as wrinkles. Some studies have suggested that it also speeds the deterioration of brain cells and contributes to dementia.
- Sugar can increase fermentation during the digestion process causing bloating.
- Since insulin is a hormone it is an intrinsic part of the body’s hormonal balance. Abnormal variations in that balance are known to cause fatigue, depression, weight gain, fluid retention, and so on.

For all these reasons cut down your sugar intake and enjoy better health!
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