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!

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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

Continuing Education With Our Instructors – The 3 Core Perspectives Workshop

Wendy_Leblanc-ArbuckleOver this past weekend, renowned Pilates elder, Wendy Leblanc Arbuckle (Pilates Center of Austin) held an intensive workshop at Victoria Pilates. Most of our instructors were in attendance, along with professionals from the USA and other areas of BC.

Victoria Pilates owner, Susan Van Cadsand, has known Wendy for a number of years, and shares an aligned vision with Wendy’s teaching style and techniques. Susan asked Wendy to instruct her “3 Core Connections Perspective” to help further educate Pilates instructors and movement professionals in how to develop their instruction styles.

Wendy helped instructors develop their cuing techniques and to further understand the deep relationships between all of the body systems, and human movement potential.

Anyone familiar with Pilates understands that core control involves the entire body. However, Wendy’s perspective elaborates further, and helps instructors to gain a better understanding of how this happens through core coordination. Through cue refining and learning about the core as a relationship with ourselves and our environment, practitioners were able to gain a more intuitive perspective of body awareness and intelligence.

Everyone who attended the workshop enjoyed it and look forward to sharing Wendy’s teachings with you!

Life is Motion!

 

While Pilates exercises seek to restore the body’s capacity for flowing motion, osteopathic treatment seeks to restore the inherent motility of each body part.  By restoring the individual parts, and integrating the parts into the whole, health and harmony are achieved.

Optimum health depends upon the free movement of the joints, bones, organs, muscles, and connective tissues.  The heart must beat fully and the lungs expand freely for vibrant health.  Other organs also must move in their natural rhythms.  The gut must pulsate enthusiastically as it pulls in nutrients.  The liver must rock as it processes toxins to render them harmless.  And the most essential organ—the brain—must expand and contract six to fourteen times a minute to enliven the whole body.  Restriction of any of these critical motions can damage health.

Because the body parts are interconnected, restriction of motion in one area can have profound effects elsewhere.  An ankle sprain doesn’t just restrict the normal range of motion of the foot.  It can have a ripple effect elsewhere, as other joints are strained, stretched and pushed out of alignment as they try to compensate for the ankle’s dysfunction.  Low back pain may originate as an ankle problem.  As the pelvis reacts to the ankle’s instability, the sacrum rotates out of alignment, twisting the vertebrae above, and trapping nerves.   Hence a sprained ankle may lead to sciatica, low-back pain, headaches, and pain in the opposite shoulder.

Injury to one kind of structure can also cause a problem in a completely different system of the body.   A fall on the ice can jar the spine resulting in a blockage of spinal nerves at any level, perhaps those that feed the uterus and reproductive organs, leading to painful menstrual cramps.

Just as essential as the motion of the tissues is the free flow of fluids that permeate the body.  Injury can twist the blood vessels that bring nutrients to damaged tissue and the lymphatic channels that wash away inflammation-causing debris.  The injured site then becomes increasingly compromised.  Further, injury can constrict the nerves that manage the complex task of healing.  Restoring motion to all these systems, not just to the joints, is essential to healing.

Once the somatic dysfunction is identified—an area of restriction or rigidity—the area can be aligned, its fluid pathway can be restored, and it can be integrated with the rest of the body.  The body orients naturally towards health.  When anatomic restrictions are removed, the body’s self-regulating mechanisms are liberated to optimize the healing process.

For an osteopathic practitioner, the basic principle is to find what is not moving, invite it to move, and trust the body’s capacity to heal itself.

-Article by Jenny Trost

 

Jenny Trost is a certified Osteopath. Through her business, Pacific Osteopathy, Jenny offers treatments from her studio as well as out of the Victoria Pilates studio. For an appointment with Jenny, contact her at 250-891-2391 or jenny@pacificosteopathy.ca