Tag Archives: chrishuntpilates

Chris Hunt Blog is moving!

So, after having so much fun with my blog over the past few months, the limitations of having it on the free WordPress hosting have become just too unbearable. So today my blog will be moved to the new domain address of www.chrishuntblog.com.

This move should be seamless, and the new domain hosting should be up and running by this evening, but if there are any problems then please let me know because I do not want to lose any of my valued subscribers or readers.

So here’s to a brave new world. Well, it’s not so new. And it isn’t really brave either.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator based in Barcelona, Spain. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnival and Fitness Carnival, conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. For more information about Pilates with Chris in Barcelona, please click on Barcelona Bienestar. To learn more about Chris, please read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway?

 

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It must be Friday: a bear doing Pilates?

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OK, so it’s Friday and sometimes we all need to relax and chill a little. This brown bear is having a nice work-out, maybe he’s trying teaser? Whilst I am of course a big Pilates and fitness fan, I do not suggest that you make a habit of eating raw dandelions whilst you exercise! But cooked they are nutritious and delicious. 🙂

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Mila Kunis Pregnancy Pilates

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Mila Kunis’ pregnancy seems to be the worst kept Hollywood secret. Whilst news she is expecting may have broken the hearts of millions of men, she is doing all the right things with her exercise regime. The 30-year-old was spotted leaving a Pilates class last week.

The actress, who is engaged to Ashton Kutcher, is rumoured to be having a girl, but of course we are not concerned with Hollywood gossip, we are concerned with the amazing benefits that Pilates can bring during pregnancy.

So why is Pilates such a great exercise system before, during and after pregnancy? There are many reasons, and I want to keep this blog short and sweet so for the benefit of those who are not so familiar with Pilates, I will try to briefly explain some of the reasons why Mila will benefit from her regular Pilates sessions.

The beauty of many Pilates exercises that can be used during pregnancy is that they can help with body awareness, they can help to maintain good posture, and they can help to reduce some of the typical aches and pains that most women will experience at some point. Pilates is just about the safest exercise system out there and because it can be adapted, it remains relevant and safe throughout all the stages of pregnancy.

It’s never too late to start either. Even if an expectant mum has never done Pilates before (or even any other form of exercise) it will still provide many benefits. Plus it can help to reduce the recovery period after baby is born. Pilates can and should be last form of exercise a pregnant mum does before the birth, and it can be the first exercises she does after the birth.

There are of course some serious considerations that any Pilates teacher should be aware of when instructing pregnant clients as the pregnancy develops, not least minimizing the time spent lying on the back as this can in rare cases cause nausea and dizziness. Supine hypotensive syndrome is where the weight of the developing baby can prevent normal circulation of blood which can in theory lead to a lack of oxygen which affects baby’s blood supply. Of course exercise should be stopped immediately if any pain or uncomfortable sensations occur. It’s also important to ask all the usual questions about health and previous issues/injuries rather than just concentrate on the fact your client is pregnant.

In my system Pilates EVO Pregnancy© (www.pilatesevo.com) the sequences of movements ensure that no more than 5 minutes is spent on the back at any one time. The NLP, mindfulness meditation and meridian aspects work perfectly in conjunction with traditional Pilates to create a full mind and body experience. I also teach how we can appropriately touch and instruct a pregnant client, and all the special considerations that must be taken into account.

There are of course considerations, and it is this attention to detail that makes professional Pilates teachers such experts. But this should not detract from the fact that Pilates can be totally safe during pregnancy, and it is the perfect way to prepare your body and mind.

I’m happy as always to chat in more detail about Pilates during pregnancy and Pilates EVO Pregnancy© so please get in touch via my website or Facebook.

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Kathleen Turner: Pilates helped fight rheumatoid arthritis

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It can be inspiring (if not a little tiring) to see an article about another actress with a flat belly that she has achieved through Pilates. My blog today is about a famous actress, but it is an altogether more inspiring story, and another great example of why Pilates has changed so many people’s lives. Kathleen Turner says it saved her life.

The 59-year-old was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis in 1992 and has had 12 operations over a 12 year period to combat the painful disease.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the joints. The main symptoms are joint pain and swelling.  You can find out more by clicking on www.arthritisresearchuk.org.

Kathleen was told that she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair after she was reduced to shuffling up stairs on her bottom. However Kathleen, who is currently starring in the new West End production, Bakersfield Mist, says she maintains her strength and flexibility because she practices Pilates. ‘Pilates, baby! Twice a week. Pilates saved my life,’ the actress told The Times Newspaper in London.

Rheumatoid arthritis in women can be common for those in their late 30s and early 40s, after they have given birth. Kathleen was told by a physician that she would spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair, but rather than accept the diagnosis, she fired that doctor and endured a staggering number of surgeries.

She shot to cinematic fame opposite William Hurt in the 1981 classic Body Heat, and over the years has proven her worth in films like Romancing The Stone, Peggy Sue Got Married, and even voiced the animated character of Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Now she is back on the stage and citing Pilates as the main reason why she can still act.

Another Pilates “good news” story. It works for Kathleen, and it works for over 11 million people who regularly do Pilates around the world. 

If you want to find out more about how Pilates can help with many different issues, then please contact me.

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Pilates EVO: The Past is Dead

The Past is Dead

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Since its birth around 100 years ago, the Pilates method has been modified and arguably made more effective by some distinguished presenters, but diluted and the basic principles largely ignored by less scrupulous teachers.

Pilates EVO© (EVO is an abbreviation of evolution) is like no other Pilates class you have ever been to. Developed by Chris Hunt Pilates in London, it takes Pilates in a new and exciting direction incorporating more functional training methods and movement patterns, whilst staying true to traditional Pilates principles.

Pilates EVO© expands the mind and body element of Pilates by incorporating Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Mindfulness Meditation techniques to maximise the psychological and physical benefits, improving concentration and making clients emotionally, mentally and spiritually fitter. It improves motor fitness such as agility, balance, speed, co-ordination, reaction time and power. Pilates EVO© also draws on the thousands of years of teachings from Kundalini yoga and meridian stretches to enhance the overall experience.

It has more flow and movement with sequences of moves made up from the sacred numbers 3, 7 and 21, and it uses unique, uplifting soundtracks mixed in London by DJ Shameless to enable clients to really connect with how their body is moving and working, giving a far deeper and rewarding experience. Most moves have different levels progressing muscular fitness using repetitions, range of motion, rate and resistance. This creates a system that will remain challenging to a wide range of training goals from elite athletes, people seeking everyday fitness, to clients rehabilitating following accident or injury.

This system increases muscular strength and endurance as well as flexibility, and helps prevent injury and improve performance with movements that are applicable to life and sport.

Pilates EVO© is more than an exercise system, it is a way of life. A way to maximise your potential physically, mentally and emotionally.

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Pilates helps Boston bombing survivors

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Pilates means many different things to different people. It changed my life by helping me to recover from a serious back condition, and for that reason I will always be passionate about it. As I tell me Pilates EVO students, I want teachers who teach from their heart because they believe in the system, not those who teach from their bank balance.

Pilates has helped to change many people’s lives, and this week it was reported that Celeste Corcoran is using Pilates to change her everyday life.  She is getting free Pilates sessions three times a week.

If you are not familiar with the name, Celeste and her daughter Sydney are survivors of the Boston Marathon bombings. In addition to having both legs amputated (one above the knee and one below), Celeste also had both ear drums blown out. Sydney, a freshman at Merrimack College in Andover, severed her femoral artery and nearly bled to death. While both women are healing, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

Celeste has new prosthetics, but she needed a lot of strength both physically and mentally to move on with her life. About Pilates, she says “This is absolutely what I need in order to be strong and walk comfortably and to have my balance,” Celeste says. “Because my legs were taken away, there are muscles that I hadn’t used before. I wasn’t in the greatest shape. I noticed a difference almost immediately in my balance, like just standing. I believe that it’s absolutely because of Pilates.”

Pilates is the perfect rehabilitation technique because it not only gives many benefits including strength and flexibility, but it also teaches body control and muscle movement. In a rehabilitation scenario it can help to give people back control of their bodies and their lives. As it is not simply a hands-on method, it also gives people responsibility for their own rehabilitation. Whilst this may sound grandiose, I have experienced it first hand working with many clients via my organisation Pilates Rehab Limited so it is not inflated rhetoric.

I am always stressing the body control aspect of Pilates to my students as it saddens me to see some Pilates methods and teachers neglecting this crucial area. In my system Pilates EVO I use NLP and mindfulness meditation techniques to really enhance the mind and body experience for both the teacher and the student.

Pilates is not only celebrity pictures. It is a very real system that is changing the lives of millions of people around the world. I am very proud to be a small part of this global phenomenon and I will be forever grateful for the change in my life that Pilates bought about.

If you want any more information about Pilates, Pilates EVO or Pilates Rehab then please get in touch.

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Kelly Smith: Pilates extends football career

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As a Pilates presenter, my different Pilates businesses work with a range of people, from those rehabilitating following serious injury (www.pilatesrehab.co.uk), to elite sportsmen and women trying to gain that sporting edge (www.sportcorestrength.com).

Footballers have long used Pilates and core training to help them improve their game and reduce the risk of injury. Players like David Beckham and Ryan Giggs are well documented Pilates fans.

Last week Kelly Smith, a footballer for England and Arsenal in London, confirmed that she is using Pilates to prolong her playing career. Smith, 35, has an eye on the World Cup in Canada in the summer of next year, which she believes could see an explosion in the women’s game.

“At my age it takes a lot longer to recover after games, three or four days, when it used to be one or two,” she said.

“About 18 months ago I took up Pilates off my own back and that has really helped. “I go once or twice a week and it keeps me supple and fresh. With the BBC taking up the rights to the Women’s World Cup in 2015, giving the public access to it, it should give a huge lift to the game and see people start going to matches or supporting a team. I’d love to be there, so I’ll be pushing to make the squad.”

Smith has scored 46 appearances in 115 appearances for England.

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If you would like more information about using Pilates for football or soccer teams, then click on www.footballcorestrength.com or please contact me on my website above or via Facebook (please see link below).

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Exercise is only one part of “Total Fitness”

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Regular readers of my blog will know that I have written before about Alzheimer’s and mental conditions, as this is a very personal issue for me (see Dementia: I lost my father, don’t lose yours, Mental health and exercise and Let’s talk about depression).

So as a fitness professional and a Pilates and functional training presenter,  I am very interested by studies that link exercise with mental health and brain function, and I am convinced that this link exists and should influence us as trainers and the public in general.

All Pilates teachers will be very familiar with the mind and body link, but in my opinion every trainer should also consider this. I am  happy to report to you about a recent study in the US that suggests that aerobic exercise in your 20s may protect the brain in middle age. Activities that maintain cardio fitness such as running, swimming and cycling, led to better thinking skills and memory 20 years on.

Scientists say the research adds to evidence the brain benefits from good heart health. As fitness professionals will know, cardio fitness is a measure of how well the body absorbs oxygen during exercise and transports it to the muscles. Researchers at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, tested almost 3,000 healthy people with an average age of 25. They underwent treadmill tests of cardiovascular fitness during the first year of the study and again 20 years later. They were asked to run for as long as possible before they became exhausted or short of breath.

Cognitive tests taken 25 years after the start of the study measured memory and thinking skills. People who ran for longer on the treadmill performed better at tests of memory and thinking skills 25 years on, even after adjusting for factors such as smoking, diabetes and high cholesterol. People who had smaller time differences in their treadmill test 20 years later were more likely to perform better on the executive function test than those who had bigger differences.

“Many studies show the benefits to the brain of good heart health,” said study author Dr David Jacobs. “This is one more important study that should remind young adults of the brain health benefits of cardio fitness activities such as running, swimming, biking or cardio fitness classes.” Dr Jacobs said a concept was emerging of total fitness, incorporating social, physical and mental aspects of health. “It’s really a total package of how your body is and the linkage of that entire package of performance – that’s related to cognitive function many years later and in mid-life,”

Dr Simon Ridley, Head of Research at Alzheimer’s Research UK said: “A growing body of evidence suggests exercise may reduce the risk of cognitive decline and dementia, and much research has shown a link between healthy habits in mid-life and better health in old age. Investment in research is vital to better understand how we can protect our brains as we age.”

So this information, taken in conjunction with previous studies detailed in my previous blogs, continues to add weight to the body of evidence that suggests our physical and our mental state are inextricably linked. The concept of “total fitness”, meaning that all trainers should be thinking about advising their clients of the social and mental aspects of their health as well as the physical aspects, is something that I incorporated into my Pilates EVO© and my bodyFUNC© systems several years ago.

If we want to get the best results for our clients, and give the best possible service, it is not enough to simply give them a training problem for their gym sessions. Our advice must go much further and much deeper.

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