Pilates For Rehab

For those seeking a challenging, fun and rewarding Pilates routine, you have found the perfect studio for dynamic Pilates manly. Pilates is one of the fastest growing exercise programs in the country and with good reason. With its focus on stability, core strength and dynamic flexibility, Pilates benefits many different populations with a variety of needs and issues. Joseph Pilates used his earliest exercise equipment to rehabilitate injured World War 1 veterans who had been confined to bed and had lost strength and mobility as a result. He used the hospital bed, traction and bed springs to rehab these injured soldiers so they could get out of bed and back to their lives. He focused on precise and controlled movement so there was no waste of energy. When he moved to America he opened up his studio down the street from a dance company. Soon dancers with career ending back or hip injuries were coming to him to heal their bodies and save their careers. Pilates focuses on deep postural muscles to support each movement of the body. At every joint in the body you have a variety of muscles that create, enable and stabilize movement.

The deepest muscles around each joint are slow twitch muscles better known to a Pilates instructor as local stabilizers. These are the smallest muscles around a joint with a lot of endurance that control range of motion when they are working properly. But in an injured body these muscles will turn off and then the body must rely on the bigger global muscles to do all the work. No one is really sure why this happens. The muscles that we need desperately to control range of motion and prevent injury are the first to turn off when we become injured. At first our injury might seem like just a nagging pain or nuisance and we try to just shake it off. Sometimes we don’t really know there is a problem until it progresses to a point it can no longer be ignored. After our injury has been diagnosed by a physician and we have been treated and released from a physician’s care then we are ready to start our rehab program. We must take special care in our rehab program to get these muscles firing properly or we will be prone to injury once again. Done properly, it takes 500,000 repetitions to retrain a muscle to fire correctly. That is a lot of visualization and repetition. Haphazard work will not get us the results we need to return to our life pre-injury. You must use caution when learning and practicing Pilates. Even though some of the exercises may seem too easy or simple to be effective, go slowly.

So, how do we train these stabilizer muscles? We work with low loads and slow, focused repetitions. When we work with heavy weight loads the bigger, stronger global muscles kick in to get the job done because that is what they are supposed to do. Stabilizer muscles weren’t made for heavy loads, so if we want to get them firing properly we must keep the work load low until they fire automatically without conscious thought. In the beginning you will have to really think in order to connect with the muscles you are trying to train to fire at will and then teach them to fire effortlessly. Remember it takes 500,000 repetitions to get a muscle to fire properly, so as bad as we want to get in there, train hard and whip our body back into shape, slow, focused training with a low load is what we need to concentrate on in the beginning. When the movement becomes automatic without conscious thought then we can progress to more challenging exercises with heavier loads to strengthen our muscles and get them to fire in proper order.

But what if you don’t have an injury but an orthopedic issue to deal with? Using Pilates as a rehab therapy doesn’t mean we will always be able to heal our bodies. Often times we use Pilates to slow down a disease process or to manage pain and improve functional fitness. Focusing on form and proper muscle firing patterns is often key when there is a neurological process going on such as multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease. Working to keep range of motion in all of the joints especially the trunk, pelvis and shoulder girdle is a primary goal for these populations. A well trained Pilates instructor can adapt the pilates repertoire to fit an individual’s special needs. There is no cookie cutter program where one size fits all. By working with the client and what is occurring in their body on any given day they will reap maximum physical benefits as well as the emotional benefits of exercising and doing what they can to control their symptoms.

Perhaps what Pilates is best known for is its ability to relieve and sometimes heal back pain. By teaching clients to find the stabilizer muscles for the torso, the transverse abdominis and the multifidus, back pain that hasn’t progressed to an actual fracture or herniated disc can be healed. Learning to stabilize the torso is vital to daily life activities as well as sports and recreation. The recreational dancer won’t be dancing for long if her core is not strong, the elite marathoner must have a strong core to endure all those miles and keep a healthy back, and even your average Joe needs a strong core. Sitting at a desk all day is not good for our postural muscles (upper back included). We need a focused program to keep our postural muscles strong and our backs healthy.

Since Pilates is a non impact exercise program it adapts well with many different conditions and injuries. The exercises were designed to be rehabilitative. They are great for the healthy, but they were designed for the injured. After a Pilates workout you feel calm and relaxed rather than exhausted. There are no quick or jerky movements -all motion is slow and controlled. And that is as it should be since Joseph Pilates called his exercise program “Contrology” or the study of control.

Rene Craig, owner of The Pilates Edge, is the only STOTT PILATES studio in Oklahoma City. She has been in the fitness industry for 10 years teaching group fitness, personal training as well as pilates.


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Surf Fitness – A 3 Step Plan For Your Next Surfing Holiday

During surf contest it is inevitable that sometimes there are sharks circling in the waves as well. I love to surf. I love to travel. The great thing about these 2 loves is that they go han d in hand. I’ve gone a little bit further than most people though, and made these passions my life. I moved to Australia’s Gold Coast and set up a surfboard rental company that endeavours to bring together, all the services the travelling surfer needs.

The business is based around a long term surfboard rental concept which includes services such as delivery and pickup. This part is great. I make sure I deliver as many boards as I can as it affords me the luxury of chatting to my clients about the passions we share. Usually these conversations are packed with useful tips about the services they’d like to see next year. So I try to listen, improve my business and provide them with those services when they return.

“I wish I was a little bit fitter for this holiday”, so many of my clients tell me when returning their surfboards. This is the number 1 desire of the travelling surfers who use my services. The want a higher level of surfing fitness for their holidays. It makes sense really. When you go on a surfing trip, you end up surfing 2 – 3 times a day, which will probably equates to 4 – 6 hours a day in the water. This you do consistently over a period of 5 – 10 days. It is a lot of surfing. No matter how much you surf at home, you will be surfing more when on holiday.

So how can we condition ourselves for a surfing holiday. (Ie. When on holiday, you will spend much more time in the water paddling than you will at home, your fitness needs to be much higher) In this article we will look at a 3 point plan. The first 2 points should be part of your commitment to general fitness, the last will be to give your fitness a quick boost before your holiday.

The first thing you need to take care of is your general level of endurance. You need to be fit enough to go hard for 10 – 15 minutes minimum, as often this is the minimum paddling requirement for getting through the breakers and out the back.

This requirement needs to be specific to the water though. You need to be water fit. Endurance in the water is so different to endurance on land. Moving through the water is almost a feeling, an art. The worse your feel for the water is, the more energy you’ll burn up when you take to it.

So you really need to get into the water for some form of exercise at least twice a week. This could mean swimming with a swim squad at your local pool, surfing your local break, or do what I did and join the local surf lifesavers. Their training sessions have me in the water all the time. You need to view this as a life commitment (training in the water that is). Get into the water twice a week for the rest of your life, thats the only way you’ll build and maintain water specific endurance.

The second key is flexibility and core strength. These two facets can not be developed quickly, they must be developed over the long term. And by long term, I mean years. So don’t put this off. Start working on your flexibility and core strength today. I know, the exercises can be boring, but it all pays off on the waves.

There is one thing I do to take care of my core strength and flexibility. Yoga. Yoga is so good in this regard for surfers, its almost as if yoga was invented for surfing. My suggestion, get yourself a yoga for surfing dvd and do the program twice a week. Its a little bit cheaper than going to the yoga clinic twice a week anyway.

Also, even the simple act of paddling requires you to over-arch your back, creating a distortion in the development of your back muscles. Yoga sorts all these types of issues out, as well as conditioning your body. My advice, get yourself a surf specific yoga DVD and do it 2 or 3 times a week.

If you take care of the two items above (Ie water fitness and flexibility/core strength) you can give your surfing fitness a real booster by doing a functional training program specific to surfing. The point of functional training is it focuses in on the specific muscle and fitness requirements of a sport (in this case surfing) and trains those muscles in accordance with the needs of the sport.

To embellish, you’re reasonably fit and flexible because of the healthy outdoors lifestyle you lead. However, in recognising the additional load the surfing holiday is going to put on your body, you give it a short and sharp boost right where it needs it, so you can cope better and recover quicker from any session in the water. Which is exactly what you want on holiday as your next session is only hours away.

I hope this helps you prepare for your next surfing trip where ever it may be. We all know training can sometimes be a bit of a drag, just remember how much more fun those surfing days are when the waves, your skill and your body all come together at the same time, so you can catch that elusive perfect wave.

Damian Papworth is the owner of Gold Coast Surfboards, a company that finds services for travelling surfers’ requirements. From board hire to surfing fitness, they’ll sort it out for you.

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How to Calculate Food Amounts for Catering

Choose from a wide selection of meats, fresh salads, tasty sides, sweets, condiments and spreads for your bbq catering Sydney menu. When a client comes to you for a catering job, the possibilities seem endless. Will they want fluted salads, ornate appetizer platters or a simple plated meal? Will you be serving food at a wedding, corporate retreat or anniversary party? How much food you’ll provide depends, of course, on several factors, including the type of event and how many people are attending.

Start With the People

Always start with a count of the number of people attending the event. To get the most accurate headcount possible, give a deadline to your client so you know the number of people will not change. Let the client know that having an accurate headcount will help to eliminate extra expenses and food waste. A deadline also ensures you have enough time to purchase and prepare the food.

Gather all the Details

You’ll also need to consider if the event is formal, like a wedding, or casual, like a retirement party. This may affect the type of food being served as well as the quantities and price. At formal events, guests typically eat one serving, but guests may graze or go back for seconds at a casual event.

You will also need to take into account how the food will be served, such as plated or buffet style. It is often a little more expensive to serve plated food because servers will need to attend to the tables and guests. The same is true if servers will be passing around hors d’oeuvres versus having them set at a table. Again, people are likely to help themselves to more food at a buffet than if it’s plated and served.

Specify a Budget Limit

Some clients want to keep costs very low while throwing a lavish party. For others, cost is not an issue. Knowing what money you have at your disposal will help you determine how to better plan the menu and figure out how much food to serve.

Create the Menu

Once you have all of this information in hand, start planning the menu by asking your client if there are any specific food requests or any restrictions. Get a feel for what type of food he wants and how he wants it served. If he wants some higher-priced items like seafood served along with a simple salad, you’ll be able to let him know in advance how that will affect the budget. You and your client may have to hold several conversations as you finalize the menu.

Determine the Amount of Food

Now comes the fun part: purchasing the food. Think in terms of 1 ½ pounds of food per person as a starting place. In most situations this is more than enough food, so don’t worry if you end up actually making a little less. Divide this amount among the various dishes you will be making, and assess which menu items people are likely to eat in the largest quantities. People generally take more of the main dishes and less of the side dishes.

Figure at least two units per person for finger food items served as discrete units (such as stuffed grape leaves or canapes). Prepare more of a particular dish if there will be a limited number of appetizers and less if there will be a substantial variety.

For proteins, one chicken breast, three to four lamb cutlets or two lamb chops or about ½ pound of beef per person should be adequate. If you’re serving 50 people, for example, you’ll need something along the lines of 25 pounds of chicken breast, 20 pounds of pork or 15 pounds of fish. For 100 people, those numbers would double.

When serving large groups, it’s often easier to purchase by weight instead of individually. That way you err on the side of having extra just in case you need it. That includes condiments such as butter that you’ll need as well.

Catering to Special Dietary Restrictions

The reality in the catering world today is that a good number of your clients will ask for meals that incorporate special dietary restrictions. This will skew your numbers on a wide variety of food categories.

With vegetarian meals, of course, you’ll save money by eliminating meat, poultry and seafood courses, but that could be offset by an increased number of vegetable dishes. In addition, you’ll need to pay special attention to providing dishes that include vegetable protein such as beans, tofu and nuts.

The increasing number of people with diabetes can create a customer base looking for low-carb menus. In addition, the Keto low-carb lifestyle is one of the most popular weight-loss programs in the country. Catering to a low-carb crowd will mean additional meat servings as well as a larger variety of vegetable and dairy dishes while restricting or eliminating pasta, bread, potatoes, fruit and other catering staple items.