February is Heart Month

Each year, February marks Canada’s national Hearth Month. In Canada, cardiovascular disease is the second leading cause of death. Though many Canadians are affected by heart disease, there are ways for those who are afflicted to improve cardiovascular health, and ways for others to help prevent later onset.
Though heart disease may occur even in healthy individuals, who are not necessarily predisposed to medical conditions, certain activities and lifestyle choices can help increase both heart and overall health, including:
  • Eating a healthy and balanced diet, rich in vegetables
  • A healthy level of activity, suited for your own mobility and ability levels, whether that be running, walking, hiking, Pilates or other activities
  • Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke, and consume alcohol only in moderation
  • Educate yourself and those around you to recognize the symptoms of heart attacks and strokes – Early intervention is important for recovery
  • Reduce stress where possible, as research has shown that chronic stress can have a negative impact on both your overall and heart health
  • Get involved with local events and fundraisers to help raise awareness and funds for cardiovascular health in your community, province, and country.
Heart & Stroke Canada’s website has information, stories, and event listings to help inform Canadians on what’s going on in the world of cardiovascular health.

Victoria Pilates Studio Holiday Closure

Pilates_HolidayEach year, we close our doors for two weeks so that both staff and clientele can enjoy the holiday season! This year our closure will run from Sunday, December 23 until Sunday January 6th. Regular classes will begin at the same time as the school year, on Monday, January 7th.

While the holidays are filled with delicious food and drink, as well as visits with family and friends, it’s important to remember to take time for health and wellness (especially when Pilates classes are not running!)

While everybody’s health and fitness needs differ, some ways you can focus on your wellness over the holidays are:

  • Gentle stretching and breathing
  • Practicing Pilates at home (talk to your instructor about home exercises!)
  • Spending some time outside, perhaps going for a walk
  • Remembering to drink lots of water and eat fruits and veggies (in between all of the holiday feasting!)

Even with our best efforts, sometimes we still feel a bit sluggish after the holidays, so returning to Pilates (and your regular routine) may be a welcome start to the new year.

To help with new years resolutions and preparation for spring activities, we will be offering an array of workshops and specialty classes to help keep you healthy and motivated. We will offer a gardening workshop in January, a core series in February and a Hip & Knee workshop in February.

You can find sign up sheets and posters in the studio, so make sure to register soon if there is a workshop that interests you as spots fill up quickly!

Autumn Changes at Victoria Pilates

VictoriaPilatesStaffAfter an abrupt end to the summer, we’ve officially entered fall. Fall is a time of transition, and we’ve had a few changes at the studio. Nicole moved to Prince George to practice physiotherapy and we’ve made some changes in our equipment room. We’re now settling into the colder weather and getting used to all of the changes around the studio.
We have also welcomed Sara to our team! Originally from Iran, Sara moved to Canada in 2011. She has always been involved in physical activities and sports. She earned her black belt in Karate when she was 19 and taught Karate for over 10 years. Her love for exercise changed her life’s path, and after finishing her undergrad in Chemistry, she continued her studies in physical education and sports science. She is a certified personal trainer, and is currently working towards her master’s degree in Kinesiology while teaching exercise prescription at UVic.To add to her education, she is also completing her Pilates certification. In her spare time, she loves fishing and reading books.
All of our staff wishes you a happy start to the fall, filled with health, happiness and, of course, Pilates!

Five Tips for a Healthy Fall

Have you gotten out of your routine over the summer? Here are five tips to help you adjust to the fall:

1. Get enough sleep

The shifting sunrises and sunsets can be confusing for our internal clocks, especially after long summer nights when many of us stay up later than we usually would. Whether you’re heading back to work, school, or just looking to ease back into a regular sleeping pattern, setting yourself a regular bedtime and wake up alarm can be a great way to plan for your optimal amount of sleep. Most adults require between 7-9 hours per night! (We understand that those who work shifts may not be able to have a regular sleep schedule, but can hopefully still find their 7-9hours of sleep each day!)

2. Stay active and/or spend time outdoors

It’s easy to be outside during the pleasant summer months, but we all know that the grey skies and rains start to arrive in Victoria by mid-September (or October, if we’re lucky!). When the weather begins to shift, it’s important to remember to keep up with your exercise regime and to continue to spend time outdoors in the fresh air. However, make sure you listen to your body and what it needs – some people may benefit from simply sitting on a balcony to enjoy fresh air (especially those who have mobility concerns), while others may benefit from a walk, and others may need a high-intensity sport.

3. Eat regular meals and snacks

Whether you’re a morning or evening person, or someone who despises breakfast, establishing an eating pattern that works for you can be beneficial. In the chaos of summer, we may neglect hunger pangs during the day when we are out and about, but the fall is a great time to settle into a routine and find a meal schedule that works.

4.  Keep a day planner

Whether you are proficient with electronics or prefer a physical agenda, keeping track of your appointments and dates can be a great way to help you feel more organized, especially when you’ve booked something that is not in your regular routine. Many experts believe that the more organized we are, the less prone we are to stress.

5. Maintain your mind and body health through regular Pilates classes

Whether your goal is to be a professional athlete, to rehabilitate from a surgery or injury, to work with a neurological condition, or to maintain a balanced lifestyle, Pilates is a great enhancement. Pilates helps you reinforce healthy movement and breathing patterns that you can utilize in other areas of your life. By learning functional movement patterns, you will become more resilient to injuries from your every-day life.

How to keep a healthy routine over the summer!

Summer_PilatesWhile the summer months tend to keep us busy and outdoors, many of us lose track of our functional movement patterns when participating in repetitive activities such as golfing, gardening, or sitting for long periods in planes or cars while traveling.

To avoid vacation or travel injuries, it’s helpful to have a routine that keeps your movement patterns in check. Here are some helpful tips for keeping a healthy routine over the summer months:

  1. Attend your regular Pilates Class(es) if you’re in town!
  2. Check in with your instructor if you’ll be away and let them know what types of activities you’ll be doing. They can give you some tips to help keep you injury free while you’re away.
  3. If you’re going on a long trip, try to book a 1-hr private session with an instructor prior to your departure to have a short “home & travel” program custom built to your needs and activities.
  4. If you already have a home program or regularly do mat Pilates exercises, keep up with your routine while traveling. (*Make sure you have access to a good quality camping mat if you’re working on mat exercises to avoid joint pain).
  5. If you’re traveling near cities, check in with our instructors about Pilates studios where you’ll be traveling. Depending on the length and location of your vacation, Susan may be able to recommend local studios to attend!
  6. Regardless of the activities you end up doing, remember to listen to your body. Keep active when you’re feeling up for it, but also remember to rest and not to push past your limit.

If you have any questions about keeping healthy over the summer months, all of the instructors are happy to chat!

Pilates Day Open House – Sunday, May 6 2018!

Equipmen1
Our annual Pilates Day Open House will be held on Sunday, May 6th from 10am-4pm.

Stop by with your family and friends for equipment demonstrations and trials, refreshments/treats, and door prizes. Everyone (all ages) welcome! We are located in Cordova Bay, in the beautiful Mattick’s Farm complex.

In other news, throughout the month of May, we are also raising awareness and funds for neurological disorders through a coin drive. All proceeds will be donated to the Neurological Wellness Association.

Mat Pilates Books Available at Victoria Pilates

PilatesBookThese Pilates books are a perfect compliment to your studio practice – Through deepening your Pilates sessions and practicing at home in addition to your classes, you may just notice some positive benefits! These two books will guide you through your at home practice with full exercise and movement descriptions alongside vivid images displaying each movement.

Pilates Fundamental Mat Movement is great for those starting out, or returning to the basics, while Pilates Mat Repertoire is a more in depth book, with a complete list of exercises and variations. Both of these books were researched and written by Susan VanCadsand.

Pop by the studio or contact us to get your book(s)!

Victoria Pilates Welcomes Back Nicole & Welcomes Jessica!

As many of you know, Nicole Runcie has been away for the past two years, studying for her master’s degree in physical therapy at UBC. She is back with us as a Pilates instructor, as well as completing her interim physiotherapy hours at a local practice in Victoria. For those of you who have not yet met Nicole, she looks forward to meeting and working with you.
Jessica Vitrouk is new to our studio and we look forward to having her on our team. She is originally from Boston, Massachusetts, but has lived in many countries around the world. Originally a tax consultant with a degree in Russian studies, Jessica eventually decided to further her education in Pilates. She began her teacher training with Balanced Body in Boston, and continued her training in Brussels, Belgium. She looks forward to learning and growing with our team at Victoria Pilates!

Keeping a Healthy Lifestyle Over the Holidays

As the holidays approach, we tend to become relaxed on our health, wellness and fitness routines. With holiday gatherings, events and shopping (& those tasty treats), it can be tempting to skip your Pilates and other exercise classes.

While it’s important to enjoy the holiday festivities, it’s also important to remember to take care of yourself. Here are some great ways to take care of your mind and body during the busy holiday season:

  • Make your plans in advance. If you know when your big events are, it may be easier to plan around them and make sure you make it to your fitness commitments as well.
  • Try to get outside once a day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes, rain or shine!
  • Plan a health & wellness activity with a friend. Whether it’s a Pilates or other fitness class, a day at the spa, or a simple visit over tea, a visit with a friend is a great way to relax.
  • Plan outdoor holiday activities with your family when possible. Fresh air and light exercise (depending on yours and your family’s mobility level) is a great way to bond over the holidays. Whether it’s a trip to Butchart Gardens, or a walk through Sidney or Victoria to look at the lights, there are lots of outdoor winter activities to take part in.
  • Don’t overdo it! If you’re feeling tired or overwhelmed, remember that it’s okay to spend some time alone. Curl up with a book, have a nap, or head out for a walk alone.

 

If you’re looking for other ways to keep up with a healthy lifestyle over the holidays, join us for our De-Stress Workshop in November! Details in our Workshops & Specialty Class section!

Benefits of Pilates for Neurological Disorders

Neurological disorders affect the central nervous system (i.e. brain, spine, nerves, neuromuscular system, & muscles). Some of the most common neurological disorders are Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, and Lupus. However, neurological disorders can also arise from brain damage, severe injury or trauma, autoimmune disorders, cancers, viral, bacterial or parasitic infections and more.

Though each person with a neurological disorder may experience different symptoms or severity levels, Pilates can help improve a wide range of these symptoms. Alongside prescribed medication, Pilates is a great form of exercise to help combat some of the symptoms and side effects of neurological disorders. Though scientific research is limited, many studies are now showing that Pilates has a positive effect on those with MS and Parkinson’s. The MS Society is currently funding more studies and recommending more people diagnosed with MS to start a Pilates practice.

Working with a qualified Pilates instructor to create a program specific to your needs can help improve coordination, balance, range of motion and core strength, while also helping alleviate pain and discomfort. Victoria Pilates specializes in Pilates exercise programing for neurological conditions, and incorporate the latest research in neuroplasticity and neurorehabilitation into Pilates programs. Studio owner, Susan VanCadsand along with the team of instructors at Victoria Pilates, have completed advanced training for MS & other neurological conditions, as well as Traumatic Brain Injury, Ataxia, Parkinsonism, stroke and other neurological disorders.

Their studies have helped them create programming to overcome the most common symptoms of neurological disorders including balance difficulties, weakness, muscle spasticity, gait abnormalities, as well as the principles and applications of neuromuscular rehabilitation and neuroplasticity.

It can be hard for some people living with neurological disorders to participate in regular physical activities. Due to the uniqueness of Pilates and specialized equipment, programs and exercises are tailored to the exact needs of the participant. It is also important to remember that a sedentary lifestyle can further complicate the progression of many disorders, so maintaining movement is an important part of a complete health and wellness regime.

Victoria Pilates has created an exercise and rehabilitation approach that can provide positive relief to individuals who are experiencing conditions that affect their neurological system. It is a wonderful tool for individuals for the purpose of neurological rehabilitation. This specialized programing can be used to help relieve the challenges of neurological disorders at any stage of the injury or disease process but is especially promising in the early stages of the condition or injury.

Since little research has been done on the use of exercise for neurological conditions, Victoria Pilates has incorporated their own personal research on exercise and physical therapy for other neurological conditions and injuries, including stroke, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, Ataxia, and traumatic brain injury. The core program focuses on movement issues such as poor balance, muscle imbalances, and compensatory patterns. Susan’s personal experience working with the Parkinson and Epileptic Association, along with extensive experience working with other MS clients, she believes there to be significant potential for treating other conditions to positively impact those suffering from other neurological conditions.

During the Month of May, we will be raising awareness and funds for those with neurological disorders. All funds will be donated to the Neurological Wellness Association. We will also be offering complimentary 15 minute consultations, in person or over the phone, with studio owner and director, Susan VanCadsand, for anyone who is living with a neurological disorder and is interested in exploring Pilates.

For more information on Pilates and Neurological Wellness, take a peek at these resources:

https://mssociety.ca/research-news/article/ms-society-funds-three-new-studies-that-seek-to-provide-more-options-for-accessing-physical-activity-for-people-living-with-ms

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/elder/3354927/Parkinsons-Can-Pilates-help.html

http://www.pilates.com/BBAPP/V/pilates/library/articles/pilates-for-people-with-parkinsons-disease.html