Envigour Pilates

Get ready for summer with one-on-one Pilates coaching

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Many people lead sedentary lives during the cold winter months, but when summer arrives there is less excuse to not stay fit. One-on-one Pilates coaching provides a fitness plan that is tailored to your immediate body and fitness goals. The flexible, adaptable system offer multiple benefits, from promoting the development of long and lean muscle to easing back pain and improving posture.


Why one-on-one Pilates?
Pilates group classes are popular, but in a group setting you do not get the extended individual attention that will help you master Pilates exercises and good form quickly. In a private class, you can work at your ideal pace and your instructor will be able to correct any negative physical habits even quicker. If you are serious about getting in shape for summer, a private class can be your personal boot camp.


Why is Pilates the ideal fitness solution for summer?
Summer usually means a time of increased outdoor activity. Besides helping you look your best in more revealing clothing, Pilates helps you develop your core. This internal muscle system is responsible for absorbing shocks and transferring force, and a stronger core can help to reduce risk of injury when you are more active and spend more time outdoors.


Other preparatory measures for summer
Besides a physical fitness routine, it is worth investing in other aspects of health and beauty so that you can start your summer off feeling fantastic. Plant-powered skincare and cosmetics are kind to skin that has been subjected to the harsh winter weather. Supplementing your diet with plant-based supplements that are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants will also help to ward off the passing illnesses that often arrive with a change in seasons.


Combine good nutrition, a holistic Pilates fitness plan and a summer-ready beauty regimen and you will enter the warmer months feeling reinvigorated and prepared. 

Contact Belinda here to find out more about private Pilates classes and Arbonne skincare, supplements and cosmetics that are packed with the nutritious power of plants. 


Pilates for lower back pain (LBP)

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Back pain is a very common cause of disability and absence from work. Exercise is often recommended as a way of managing chronic LBP especially Pilates which is increasingly used by people with LBP.

So what is the effect of Pilates on LBP in terms of muscle endurance or range of motion? Pilates quite simply improves muscle strength, joint movement and balance. Strength, mobility and balance are needed when doing sport and leisure activities, as well as everyday living such at washing, dressing, shopping, working and being able to sit/stand with ideal posture.


People with back pain sometimes avoid moving and doing exercise due to the fear of making things worse, which can quickly result in the loss of muscle strength and joint movement. This in turn will have a negative impact on their overall health and wellbeing.

Pilates exercises can start at a very low level and progress to a much higher level of exercise and the role of your teacher is to educate and alleviate why you may have ongoing pain. Attending a class can help lessen any fear associated with movement, correct any poor movement habits and postures, and teach ways to improve how the body performs at home, work and in sport.

Being able to move more easily will help people to do activities to maintain and improve overall health and wellbeing.

Pilates is more effective than most other forms of exercise for those with low back pain that do pilates on a regular basis ; whether the exercise is delivered as a class or 1:1, any exercise to be beneficial needs to be started at the right level for the individual, and be repeated on a regular basis.

Remember, Pilates is one of the few exercise types that you can perform every day without the worries of over-stressing the joints, skeletal structure, or soft tissue.

Feeling Stressed? Could it be your diet?

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Don’t cut all fat from your diet?

Today, many people still believe you have to drastically reduce your fat intake to lose weight. The good news is this is not true. After many different crazes over the years we have learnt that sacrificing fat is not an automatic win when it comes to weight loss.

It might even be working against you. How? Fat intake and body fat stores effect your metabolism in a variety of ways, and getting too little can affect how you feel – especially when you’re trying to eat less. Similar to protein, eating moderate amounts of fat can actually help you lose weight faster, without feeling deprived.

Here are 5 reasons why keeping the fat in your diet may help with weight loss:

1. Fat keeps you full and satisfied for longer. Being full-up is a symptom or feeling that is created during digestion, when fat triggers the release of cholecystokinin, a hormone that slows down how fast the stomach empties food into your intestines. This not only helps you get full but also ensures you’ll stay full for a longer period of time. Consequently, you need less food to feel satisfied, compared with a diet lower in fat.

2. Fat helps you balance GettyImages-545866217-57efb14a5f9b586c3559e1c5blood sugar. Your blood sugar level impacts insulin levels, which can affect your mood, cravings and food choices. Additionally, eating sugary foods with too many refined carbohydrates and not enough fat (and protein) can cause your blood sugar levels to spike and subsequently crash. Including healthy fats with your meals and snacks can help keep your blood sugar balanced throughout the day.

3. Fat helps you absorb nutrients. Ordering that salad with low- or fat-free dressing might be doing more harm than good. Why? You need a little fat to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K), beta-carotene (a carotenoid that makes vitamin A) and other carotenoids found in leafy greens and salad veggies. If you dress your salad on the lighter side, make sure to throw in some healthy fats like walnuts or avocado.

4. Fat is essential for good health. Your body is capable of making its own fats, but there are some fats you must get from your diet or you risk becoming deficient. These are called “essential fats,” and they include omegas-3 and -6. Most of us get plenty of omega-6 fats in our diets; however, omega-3 fats may be a little harder to come by. Consuming a low-fat diet can magnify the problem. As you’re cutting calories for weight loss, choose fat sources rich in these essential fats because they are important for optimal functioning of our brains, hearts and body cells.

5. Fat is real food. Another compelling reason to keep fat in your diet is because fat makes food taste good! Fat is responsible for the creamy texture and amazing smell of the foods we love to eat.

How to Choose the Best Fats

Plant-based fats should make up the bulk of your intake, as they contain the healthiest types of fatty acids.

The plant-based fats listed below are a great place to start:

  • Avocados and avocado oil
  • Nuts and nut buttersbigstock-Food-fish-Unsaturated-Fats-52226848
  • Seeds and seed butters
  • Cooking oils (including olive, coconut and grapeseed)
  • Moderate amounts of animal fat are fine. When choosing animal-based fats, opt for:
  • Fatty fish (including sardines, mackerel, herring and wild salmon)
  • Lean cuts of meat for beef, pork, chicken, turkey
  • Egg and low-fat cheeses (including part-skim mozzarella, ricotta and cottage cheese)

It’s also important to remember anything can be overdone, even healthy fats. Just because a little bit is good, it doesn’t mean a lot is better.

How Pilates Aids Weight Loss

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Creating muscle mass is one of the best ways to increase your calorie-burning potential. Pilates can help you accomplish that in spades. Simply stated, Pilates is strength training. We work with resistance to increase strength and hence, muscle mass. Using springs and different apparatus to increase strength the load to the muscles, we can affect a metabolic increase by building lean muscle mass.

You can add a variety of tools to your basic Pilates mat routine to help tone muscles all over, and avoid boredom. Resistance bands are easily portable, yet create a notable amount of challenging resistance to help firm and tone. The body ring, well known among Pilates fans, is another resistance tool used during mat exercising, often focusing on the lower body and core muscles.

One of the best ways to look and feel thinner is to have good posture. Pilates helps create better posture by firming not only your abs, but your back too. All Pilates work is performed with proper alignment and attention to posture. By establishing optimal spinal alignment, you can facilitate better circulation, improved lymphatic flow and increased stamina of the muscles along the spine.. Not only will toned spinal muscles help you continue to lose weight via increased metabolism, standing up straight will automatically make you look thinner, thereby increasing your confidence as well.Pilates-for-weight-loss-Pilates-yoga.-2

Pilates is all about core strength. The benefits of core strength of way beyond flat abdominals, but it is the flat ab results of doing Pilates that help make it as popular as it is. Your core is made up of not only your front and side abdominals, but your entire back as well. Pilates teaches people how to use their abdominals correctly—how to contract the abdominal wall rather than let it distend. This simple mechanism can be used 24/7 in your daily life. Lugging groceries, toiling in the garden, reading on the beach—flat abs come in handy all the time! Both toned abs and a strong back have many benefits, such as helping to prevent injury, improve posture, reduce lower back pain, and even promote proper bowel function!

Toned core, strong back, increased metabolism—it’s easy to see how Pilates could make someone a bit more confident. The benefits spill over into other aspects of your life. You will immediately stand taller, hold your waist tighter and feel stronger. This increased body awareness will make you less likely to indulge in unhealthy habits. Seeing the incredible feats your body is capable of is incredibly motivating. You will have a new respect for your body and are more likely to take better care of it.

No Pilates for weight loss regimen is complete without good old-fashioned cardio work. Combining the strength training benefits of Pilates and a consistent cardio workout, you’ll lose weight and tone up nearly twice as fast as just doing either routine on its own. You don’t need any fancy equipment either – enjoy walking the hills – Consider swimming, running, or cycling.

Envigour Nutrition Tips

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The new year brings out the inner athlete in all of us. The average couch potato decides to get moving, the weekend warrior steps it up a notch, and the competitive athlete gets a little more competitive.

No matter which camp you fall into, your efforts can fall flat when not supported by a sound approach to nutrition. What you eat, or don’t eat, can make or break your new fitness habits. Here is how to ensure success:

  • Be Nice to Yourself
  • Ask Yourself if You’re Really Hungry
  • Stop Dwelling on What You Shouldn’t Eat
  • Eat Whole, Not “Health” Foods
  • Move More
  • Don’t Ditch (all) the Fat
  • Remember omega-3s in fatty fish like salmon, and monounsaturated fatty acids in foods such as avocado and olive oil have been linked to healthier waistlines.
  • Make a Plan
  • Rework Your Favourite Meals
  • Make Changes You Can Stick With
  • Follow Your Own Path
  • Don’t Forget Calories
  • Take Things Slow

2017 New Year’s Resolution (mine) what’s yours?

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Every year I write down one overall goal for the year and then I write down 10 steps to achieve that goal. I am reading a really helpful book given to me by a dear friend called Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy – Sarah Ban Breathnach, which I recommend to get some headspace and some me time, let’s face it we all need it.

So this year I want to be happy (ier).bm036-300x300

Be grateful. Don’t take anything for granted.

Stop comparing myself to others. Be the best version of ME!

Get rid of the negativity. Find the silver lining.

Surround myself with people who make me feel good and inspire me to be better.

Find new activities that make me smile. Stop engaging in behaviours that don’t.

Continue to be active. Endorphins….(word of the month endorphin – any of a group of hormones secreted within the brain and nervous system and having a number of physiological functions. They are peptides which activate the body's opiate receptors, causing an analgesic effect)

Learn to forgive…myself and others.

Compliment and more importantly accept compliments.

Make a conscious decision to be happy.

Do more Pilates!

5 benefits of ballet barre Pilates

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The Pilates fitness approach pioneered by Joseph Pilates has long been popular in the dance world. Ballet dancers practice Pilates because it develops core strength while promoting long, elegantly-shaped muscles.  Ballet barre Pilates is a hybrid form of Pilates practice that incorporates the barre (a stationary handrail that is used for balancing and warm-up exercises in ballet training) along with poses from yoga.


These are 5 of the benefits of ballet barre Pilates:

  1. Ballet barre Pilates is kind on joints

Many fitness approaches, including cross-training, are hard on the joints. Impact activities such as jogging contribute to joint degeneration over time, whereas ballet barre Pilates uses natural body resistance to provide a good workout that doesn’t place undue stress on the joints. This makes it especially useful as a fitness approach for dancers who wish to maintain and increase their mobility and flexibility.

  1. It offers a full workout

 The second benefit of ballet barre Pilates is that it provides a full body workout. Stretches are typically incorporated into classes to ensure that no single muscle group is overworked or inadequately warmed up.

  3. It can be modified for every experience level

Whether you have experience in ballet training or none at all, you can take part in a ballet barre Pilates class. Movements are small and easily learned but effective for toning, elongating the limbs and attaining general physical fitness.

            4. Exercises involving the barre increase core strength

Many exercises that involve the barre include corporate balancing and this helps to tone while building core strength. Building a strong core reduces your risk of injury through exercise, and has additional benefits such as improving posture.

             5.  Ballet barre Pilates combines the gracefulness of ballet with the fun                     of a workout

The steps and poses learned in ballet training are graceful and are excellent for developing good posture. Yet ballet barre classes offer the best of both worlds: The sleek elegance of ballet and the sociable workout of a group fitness class.

In addition to the five benefits outlined above, this particular type of Pilates fosters flexibility and yields rapid results. If you exercise two to four times weekly, you’re likely to see changes within a month (including improved posture, more toned thighs, arms as well as flatter abs). If you’re interested in finding out more about ballet barre Pilates, attend an introductory class this week.

5 myths about lower back pain and Pilates dispelled

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The majority of adults will suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain can be highly distressing, and if left to worsen can result in conditions such as bulging discs that are even more painful. Pilates has long been used to alleviate lower back pain. Yet there are many sources of misinformation about the holistic fitness system. Here are 5 common myths about Pilates and lower back pain and why they are untrue:

Myth 1 Pilates will worsen your back pain

Pilates, like any good exercise approach, is scalable. This means you can adjust your routine according to where your body is currently at. A qualified, careful Pilate’s instructor will not push you beyond what is safe for your back’s current state.

  • In order to make sure that you don’t inadvertently worsen your back pain while doing Pilates:
  • Communicate your current degree of back pain to your instructor
  • Immediately inform your instructor if any exercise feels too uncomfortable or if any exercise causes a spike in pain
  • Provided that you place yourself in good hands, Pilates should not worsen your back pain.

Myth 2 Pilates will cure all your aches and pains

  • Pilates is a means to an end rather than a panacea. Over time, with diligent practice, you will discover greater flexibility, ease-of-movement, and reduced back pain. This takes some commitment for the full benefits to be felt.

Myth 3 Pilates can cure back injuries

  • Pilates is an effective system for strengthening your core muscles and building a stronger, better aligned back with better posture. These elements will help you to avoid future back injuries, but if your back is currently in a bad way it is important to take any necessary resting time before commencing or returning to Pilates classes.

Myth 4 Pilates is not as effective as painkiller medication for alleviating back pain

  • The problem with taking painkillers is that they target the symptoms rather than the underlying problem itself. Pilates will help you to strengthen your back so that you won’t need to take painkillers as often in the future.

Myth 5 You need special equipment to strengthen your lower back with Pilates

  • Although your instructor will likely use specialised Pilates fitness equipment with you during your sessions, your instructor can also show you mat exercises that will strengthen your lower back.

Pilates is not a panacea for back injuries, but if you attend sessions with a qualified practitioner, communicate clearly with your instructor and don’t push yourself beyond your limits, you will reap the full rewards of improved core strength and a stronger, aligned and flexible back.

Want to build a healthier back? Contact Belinda today to find out more about a group or private Pilates classes.

Pilates for Beginners: 5 Facts about the Holistic Fitness Approach

  • If you currently are not experiencing any non-specific lower back pain, you might prefer to join Envigour Pilates’ ‘healthy back’ class. This is the perfect option for anyone who would like to build and maintain the mobility and strength necessary for ongoing back health.

Pilates is a holistic fitness system, meaning that it works with mind and body rather than simply targeting a single area of physique. If you are new to Pilates, you will discover the toning, muscle-loosening and other benefits of sustained Pilates practice. Here are 5 facts about Pilates that will clarify its uses and benefits:

  1. Pilates helps to develop your core

The core is the complex system of muscles beneath the exterior, superficial muscles that are usually the target of gym training. The core acts as a stabilizing and force transfer centre rather than being the generating source of movement (unlike the arms and legs) so it helps to absorb shocks and keep the muscles of the body working seamlessly in support of each movement. Developing your core is important for several reasons:

  • It promotes good posture
  • A stronger core lowers your risk of physical injury
  • A stronger core allows more efficient movement
  1. Pilates enhances flexibility

Like yoga, Pilates makes use of sequences of exercises which work different muscle groups. Because stretching is a pivotal component of Pilates exercises, the system helps to promote flexibility, keeping you suppler.

  1. Pilates eases back pain

Back pain is most commonly linked to poor posture and weak core strength. Pilates uses tested exercises to build core and back strength, redistributing the way you carry your weight. Besides alleviating pain, the system helps to build a healthy back that will stand you in good stead for life.

  1. Pilates assists mental relaxation

Besides the numerous physical benefits of Pilates, it also offer mental health benefits. The focused movements performed in a Pilates session still anxiety and help you to relax fully. You can also tailor your regimen to perform only the gentler, most relaxing exercises if necessary.

  1. Pilates develops long, lean muscle

Some exercise approaches that use high repetition and burst movements develop shorter muscles that are easily injured. This is not the case with Pilates. The fitness system develops long, lean muscles. This makes the musculature of the body more flexible and efficient at supporting physical activity. If you’re ready to schedule your first Pilates class, call Belinda today.



Pilates – A Beginners Guide

  • If you currently are not experiencing any non-specific lower back pain, you might prefer to join Envigour Pilates’ ‘healthy back’ class. This is the perfect option for anyone who would like to build and maintain the mobility and strength necessary for ongoing back health.

Acquiring a strong core and optimal posture are two investments in your health that will last a lifetime. Pilates is a holistic fitness approach that unites mind and body in creating physical and inner strength and resilience. Read this guide to learn more about Pilates: Its origins, purpose, and many benefits:

What is Pilates?

Pilates is an adaptable fitness approach combining the use of specialised equipment with carefully calibrated movements. The system was founded by Joseph Pilates, a performer and boxer who was interned in a camp in Lancaster, England during the First World War.

Pilates helped others in the camp stay fit with a collection of exercises he developed himself. It was while appointed as a nurse and caretaker of other prisoners of war in later years that Pilates honed his fitness method. He incorporated exercise equipment that used resistance to facilitate movement and physical rehabilitation.

I’m new to Pilates – why should I join a class?

The purpose of Pilates is to harness natural, controlled movement and promote flexibility, toning and increased strength. Pilates is especially useful for older people, since it can be adjusted to the fitness levels and capabilities of different age groups and fitness levels.

Pilates helps to promote healthy breathing or breath control, promoting optimal use of oxygen. Mindful breathing is crucial for both physical health and mental relaxation. Pilates increases body awareness too. This is one of the many reasons why it was widely adopted in the dance world and continues to be an important component of professional dance training.

You may wish to join a Pilates class if you:

  • Experience frequent back pain
  • Have poor posture
  • Are unfit
  • Breathe shallowly
  • Have poor coordination

These are just some of the reasons why many people choose to do Pilates.

What are the core benefits of Pilates?

The benefits of regular Pilates are numerous:

  • Increased lung capacity and better circulation through optimal breathing
  • Greater physical strength and flexibility, particularly in the abdomen and lower back
  • Enhanced coordination and body awareness
  • Improved bone density and joint health
  • Healthy uniting of the mind and body through focused movement

If you’re ready to experience the many health benefits of Pilates, join a class today.