Tag Archives: Health

I’m a 20k blogger and I’m a little proud!

Blog June 2014

http://www.chrishuntwellness.com

So I am blogging about my blog. That must be kind of ironic or maybe just a little sad?!?! But I am proud to be a 20,000 blogger in only 7 months, and saying that on my blog has some poetic justice about it.

So thank you to everyone for spending your precious time and reading my ramblings, some of which I hope you liked. And here is to the next 20,000 hits. I won’t let it go to my head…. 🙂

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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Barcelona Pilates Classes: Under the sun with sand in between your toes

Healthy Beach Barcelona 1

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Barcelona has everything. Sun, sea, beaches, restaurants, shopping, mountains, culture, architecture to name just few. And now it has professional fitness classes as well.

I have created in Barcelona, as a subsidiary of my business Barcelona Bienestar, a new venture called Healthy Beach Barcelona. People say that life is a beach, so why not make it a healthy beach?!?!

Healthy Beach Barcelona offers Pilates but much more. To maximise health and wellness, our bodies need much more than Pilates. So with Healthy Beach Barcelona you can get everything you need to be a God or Goddess. We offer functional and cardio training sessions on the beach and on the terrace in small groups or on a one-to-one basis. We also many other services including massage, meditation, NLP, life coaching, nutrition advice and beauty treatments including gel nails and eye-lash extensions. We offer everything you need to help you become the best you can be.

If you live in Barcelona then you can join us every day. If you coming on vacation then join us during your stay. Or even better, come to Barcelona on a Barcelona Bienestar Retreat and let us organise everything for you.

Life is a beach. Come to Barcelona and let us help you to be a healthy beach.

Find out more by clicking on Barcelona Bienestar or click on Healthy Beach Barcelona.

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?

 

The World Cup: Coleen Rooney, WAGS, and Pilates

Sport Core Strength Chris Hunt Pilates

www.chrishuntwellness.com

Any excuse to talk about football and I am there. I am a lifelong passionate fan of Arsenal and Barcelona. When I lived in London I was a regular at Highbury and then the Emirates, and now I am blessed to be in Barcelona watching one of the most beautiful football teams in the world. I played football for many years as a boy and young man, so applying my knowledge of Pilates to footballers is something I naturally enjoy.

Before the serious stuff, you might have noticed that the World Cup is almost upon us, and whilst the players are going through their final preparations, so too are the wives and girlfriends (WAGS). In the UK there is always s big fuss about the WAGS and their impact on the players.

Queen of the WAGS. mother of two and wife of England striker Wayne Rooney is Coleen Rooney. She took to twitter this week to tell us all about her fitness regime, which includes gym sessions, interval training and of course Pilates. She said “I always wear a bikini on holiday, they’re the first thing I think about packing. I have drawers full and I always take far too many away. But like anyone else I have to be careful about what I choose. There are certain shapes I’ve found that make me feel confident, so I stick to those. I tend to avoid anything too skimpy on the bottom half and I look for halter neck styles on top. My main problem area is my love handles so I don’t want to wear anything tight around my hips. Thin, stringy, tie-side briefs aren’t flattering so I always go for big bikini bottoms.”

With these inspiring words in mind, let me turn to the serious point of my blog today. I love to work with sportsmen and women. Whilst I get a massive sense of satisfaction when I see someone rehabilitate from injury or improve their posture, I also love to work with athletes to help them to improve even further their game. In Barcelona I am working with people involved in sports such as golf, surfing and rock climbing.

We are all very familiar with the benefits that Pilates brings, and specifically for football Pilates is relevant because it can help to: improve  flexibility, improve mobility, improve co-ordination, build overall fitness, improve endurance, build body awareness and focus, reduce the risk of injury, and help to rehabilitate after injury

Football demands rapid directional changes, often at near maximum pace, and the delivery of controlled power from unbalanced body positions. As our understanding of the demands placed upon footballers develops, so has the approach to training and injury prevention. The quiet revolution in training techniques is now not so quiet, with modern-day managers acknowledging the crucial importance that stretching, suppleness and flexibility gives their players. Pilates meets these demands perfectly, so an ever growing number of footballers use Pilates to improve their core strength, their co-ordination, mobility, flexibility and technique, as well as for prevention and rehabilitation from injuries.

Pilates is also a perfect form of warm-up prior to playing, and cooling down post-match. Any out-dated opinions of Pilates being a sedate pursuit for ladies only have long been extinguished, with many Premiership Football Teams including Pilates in their training schedule. The benefits are also used by other top sportsmen and women, such as the All Blacks Rugby Team, and individuals such as Tiger Woods.

Pilates is not only appropriate for the professional player. Youth players, semi professionals, and weekend players, whatever their age, sex and ability, would all gain enormous benefit from a regular Pilates’ routine.

I developed Sport Core Strength (http://www.sportcorestrength.com) in London and now in Barcelona to encourage more sportsmen and women to include Pilates in their regimes. Whilst working one-on-one is always a very effective way to teach (especially when most players will have their own specific issues), it is a lot of fun to work with whole teams as well, creating exercises in pairs and groups.

If you want to chat about Pilates for sports (including golf, football, cycling, surfing, tennis, skiing/snowboarding, running rock climbing etc), about Sport Core Strength, or about Pilates in Barcelona then please contact me.

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?

Pilates, baby tossing and butt training? Alessandra Ambrosio has some explaining to do

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There is something likeable about Alessandra Ambrosio. She is Brazilian, a 33 year-old model and a Victoria’s Secret Angel. But that is not why I like her, honestly.

I like her because she is open and honest, and she loves Pilates. The picture above is of her during a workout last week in a Santa Monica gym. She is also honest about her training and lifestyle. She recently said that she never exercised until after her daughter was born. She said: ‘When I started with Victoria’s Secret at 21, I never worked out. Then when I got pregnant with my daughter, I gained about 60 pounds and had to walk the Victoria’s Secret show three months later. That was the first time I had to really fight to get my body back into shape.’

I am very happy to let celebrities help me to promote Pilates, health and fitness. But I have to say that sometimes their lack of knowledge about training astounds me, and the things they say certainly do not help the public to understand what is important. Clearly sometimes money does not buy good advice.

Alessandra says that she doesn’t “do much” for her arms as she doesn’t think people notice them as much as the rest of her body. ‘When you’re in a bikini, your abs are the most important. I like doing bridges, and I’ll also finish a workout with 100 bicycle crunches. I’ll do three sets of 25 “Superman’s” to tone my back. I don’t really do much for my arms; throwing my kids in the air helps already. Plus, as a Brazilian, I know the last thing a man is going to look at – even after your feet – is your arms! I Spin on Monday, go to Pilates on Wednesday and yoga on Sunday. You have all these other things to put in front of [workouts] that you say are more important, but they’re not. Your health is most important.’

Where to start with these comments
. First let’s start with the positive. Regular Pilates and yoga is of course great, as is a varied fitness regime that includes cardio as well. Also “your health is most important” is clearly a good message to be getting out there.

But in my opinion as a Pilates teacher, a holistic exercise regime is vital, so neglecting any body part is flawed and an inadequate approach to health (throwing children in the air is not a recognisable training method and is probably dangerous and maybe illegal? I am sure that one day someone will try to launch it as a mother and toddler fitness concept
)

The part of this interview that I find most disturbing is the concept of training the part of your body that you think people look at most. Whilst I am sure (and I really hope I am right) that she was saying this with her tongue firmly in her cheek, the idea of training your abs and butt only because that is what men look at is not on any level a good message.

I think I should let Alessandra have the final say on this post: ‘Having a perfect body isn’t everything. I want my daughter to be nice, have a good education and be disciplined. That’s what makes people like her. A perfect butt doesn’t make an amazing person. It’s about feeling confident.’

“A perfect butt does not make an amazing person”. Inspiring words indeed. 😉

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator. 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. Read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? for more.

 

Does Gluten insensitivity actually exist? Maybe not…

model-bread

www.chrishuntwellness.com

In the past few days the results of a very interesting study have been published that really questions the long-held belief that gluten is the cause of so many gastrointestinal problems.

The study was carried out Peter Gibson, the same professor who in 2011 published the study that firmly pointed the finger at gluten as being the culprit.

Click the link at the end of this post to read a very interesting report by Forbes on the latest results.

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnivals, Pilates conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. Read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? for more.

Does Gluten insensitivity actually exisit?

Chinese Medicine on the NHS? Whatever next! Pilates?

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www.chrishuntwellness.com

Chinese medicine could be available on the NHS if there is enough evidence to prove that it would benefit patients, UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt has suggested. Let me repeat that. Chinese medicine could be available on the NHS. It’s not April 1st and I am not still suffering from an overdose of wine and cake after my birthday this week.

So, the NHS, that bastion of all that is traditionally British and not what you would ever describe as being particularly cutting edge when it comes to new therapies or treatments is considering integrating traditional Chinese medicines with Western medical techniques. Jeremy Hunt said his frequent travels to China (his wife’s home country) had taught him that it is important to “follow the scientific evidence” concerning Chinese medicine. He said that taxpayers’ money should never be spent on the traditional techniques if there was not “good evidence” that they would be beneficial.

He made the comments in the Commons on Tuesday in answer to a question from the Conservative MP David Tredinnick.“In your travels to the People’s Republic of China, what have you learnt about the integration of Western medicines with traditional Chinese medicine?” Mr Tredinnick asked. The Health Secretary replied: “What I’ve learnt is that the most important thing is to follow the scientific evidence and where there is good evidence for the impact of Chinese medicine then we should look at that but where there isn’t we shouldn’t spend NHS money on it.”

This is truly music to my ears, but why? As a Pilates teacher why do I care so much? The reason is that Chinese medicine can involve methods such as herbal remedies, acupuncture and massage therapy. The very fact that it is being discussed at the echelons of UK Government shows a huge shift in the way the Western world is thinking about health and healthcare. You could say that thinking is coming full circle.

I am Buddhist and I have studied Buddhism and spirituality. I am also qualified in Thai Massage. If you read my blog regularly you will know that I have a profound belief in the link between the mind and the body. You will also know that that I think tradition and science both have a vital role in our thinking. We all know that Pilates is holistic, mind and body. I have long believed that the mind connection is understated. This is why that in my system Pilates EVO I integrated NLP, meditation and most importantly for this article meridian exercises and stretches.

So what are meridians?
Meridians (also known as collaterals) circulate in each of us, and can be thought of as paths in which energy flows.  The central idea in Eastern medicine is the assumption that all physical problems are due to an inhibition of the energy flow and that the revival of this circulation can contribute to improving health and well-being. Meridian exercises can also be used as preparation for meditation. In a traditional sense Meridians are functionaries without substantial structure as most people cannot feel or see them. The discovery of the meridians was made possible only by a very sensitive perception of Chinese people and their close relationship with the nature. The twelve meridians in the YIN-YANG pairs are responsible for six basic functions. Six of the basic functions with six yang meridians and their associated organs refers to the more superficial layers of the body. The other six basic functions with six yin meridians refer to organs, and so are more inside the body.

It is my opinion that a knowledge and use of such ancient methods as meridian and meditation can perfectly complement modern exercise science and psychological methods such as NLP, which is why Pilates EVO includes all of these.

To see Chinese methods and also meditation (a future blog about this is coming…) potentially moving into the mainstream of Western healthcare is for me a wonderful step in the right direction. A shift away from drugs can only help us all as Pilates and yoga teachers as our holistic methods will increase in their value and acceptance.

If you want to talk more about Pilates EVO, meridians or Pilates then you know where I am 🙂

Chris is an international Pilates presenter and educator. He is the creator of Pilates EVO©, bodyFUNC©, and CEO of Pilates Rehab Limited and Sport Core Strength.  He also organises Pilates Carnivals, Pilates conventions where all profits go to local children’s charities. Read Just who is Chris Hunt anyway? for more.

Mila Kunis Pregnancy Pilates

mila-kunis-esquire

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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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Model Karena Graham wants to teach Pilates

Karena Graham Miss Irish Sun 2010

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It was reported this week in Ireland that Karena Graham is ready to wave goodbye to modelling and wants to move to LA for a major career change.

The 27-year-old model has decided that after 13 years behind the camera, she was to live in Hollywood and become a personal trainer. The Dublin-based model is also taking on a course to become a qualified Pilates instructor.

“I’ve had an offer to learn how to teach, so to get a job in Pilates when I land in LA would be ideal because working in that arena is what I really want to do,” she said.

“It’s a weird one, but I’m obsessed with fitness, and California is the ideal place to work in that area,” she said.

“I’ve been visiting LA for years and it’s just very me, it’s casual and chilled and I can wear my gym gear all day if I want to.”

About modelling, Karena says “It’s a great job and I’ll do it as long as I can here, but over in the US I want to focus on different things and I do want to get away from it in a sense.”

So welcome Karena to the Pilates family.

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Supplements: a waste of money?

Supplements

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The debate over vitamin supplements has been raging for many years, but new evidence suggests that people might be wasting their money.

As a nation, one third of adults in the UK take a nutritional supplement and annually spend a staggering ÂŁ650 million on supplements, including ÂŁ138.6m on multivitamins, and ÂŁ35.9m on vitamin C alone, citing reasons ranging from improving joints (36%), improving memory (5%) and protecting the heart (19%) as their justification for such an expense.

But academics from the John Hopkins University School of Medicine and the University of Warwick have concluded that evidence suggests the “supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults
.has no clear benefit and might even be harmful”. Three recent research papers, one of which analysed previous trials involving 450,000 people, found no beneficial effect on mortality from taking vitamins, no benefit slowing cognitive decline, and no impact on heart problems. The scientists concluded that not only was using supplements not justified, some such as Beta-carotene and Vitamin E could be harmful.

Their argument is that most of our diets are adequate and we therefore gain all we need from the food we eat, in fact as they argue many people over-eat. The Health Food Manufacturers’ Association which represents the supplement manufacturers argues that there are pockets of low vitamin intake both in the UK and other European countries, and that their products provide “important nutritional insurance.”

This comes at a time when the UK Government are considering making the inclusion of folic acid in bread compulsory, so the disagreement as to the value of supplementing our diets rages on.

There is an alternative. Simon Cowell and Gary Lineker have been rumoured to have tried an intravenous “cocktail of vitamin infusions” offered by private clinics. At £225 a pop, it’s not a financial viable option for most of us, and no doubt some scientists would be doubtful as to its benefits.

Whilst the arguments will continue to rage over the physical and psychosomatic benefits of pill popping, predictably the key here in eating a well balanced, well nourished diet that includes proper hydration.

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