Here are some nutrition tips to help you get back on track.
If you would like lots more information on nutrition, recipes, mindset and exercise then sign up to our Leap Out of Lockdown plan.
- Make friends with fibre. Since your gut bacteria are so important in determining the amount of the feel-good hormone that is made, you need to make sure you keep them well-nourished as well. Gut bacteria like fibre-rich foods. Ensure that your diet does not totally cut out the carbs, but rather includes wholegrains, beans and lentils, as well as a variety of vegetables and fruit.
- Go easy on the processed food. Highly processed foods, which are high in food additives and preservatives, disrupt the healthy bacteria in your gut, so keep these foods to a minimum.
- Eat at regular times. Steady and stable blood sugar levels help you stay focused. Avoid skipping meals, particularly when you are feeling stressed. Eat at regular intervals.
- Have a handful of nuts a day. Nuts like brazil nuts, almonds and pine nuts are particularly high in zinc, selenium and tryptophan, I also love Walnuts – all these nutrients support brain function and lower your risk of depression.
- Indulge in chocolate. Dark chocolate (>70%) is rich in many mood-boosting compounds , which have all been linked to improved mood. The bonus is that research also shows that the bitterness in chocolate is also thought to help diminish cravings for sweet things. I know it’s difficult with children but my house has gradually converted to dark chocolate- who knew dark chocolate Kit Kats tasted so good!
With Spring in the air, it is definitely a great time to reflect and re-assess your lifestyle, exercise and healthy habits. Lighter mornings and evenings are perfect for getting out and about more and ensuring you get those steps in whether running, walking or cycling. It is lovely to hear the birds so loud at the moment, even if they do wake me up at silly o clock 🙂
Leap Out of Lockdown- join our online group
Are feeling a bit sluggish? Need some help and support to kickstart and get back in shape post lockdown ? If yes then join in our Leap out of Lockdown! This starts on 29th March and runs for 1 month in a private group on Facebook. It will include:
-x2 weekly 20 minutes workouts,
-nutrition advice on healthy eating
-plus fitness and lifestyle tips to help you re-energise and get back in shape post lockdown.
Come on board for the month and benefit from a whole package of exercise, advice and tips for £20 to kick start your exercise or compliment your existing regime.
Spring is in the Air- we’ve got this together.
Email me to sign up
I am sure you may feel like many of us now with cabin fever and just needing a break from the new norm. Don’t beat yourself up if you have bad or low days- we are all with you on that. Keep moving/exercising and stay in positive mode as much as possible. Look at the simple things in life- daffodils and snowdrops in the garden/woods, birds singing louder in the morning, lighter evenings and all your older relatives, friends, neighbours and yourself now having access to the vaccine. It’s been a long slog but we will get there!
Weekly Zoom Pilates and Barre Classes
We are going to continue in half term , week of 15th Feb,( as no one will be away!) and so the next block will run for 7 weeks:
– £70 for all Monday and Tuesday Pilates classes
– Monday barre £49 ( 45 mins class)
– Thursday barre- £60 ( no class in half term)
Also have the option of unlimited classes of pilates and barre for £90
Payable via bank transfer please
6.15pm Disco Barre
7pm Pilates Advance
7pm Pilates all levels
8pm Pilates Bootcamp
1030 am Barre Bootcamp ( no class nex week)
Private sessions with friends and Corporate Pilates
We are also running private small groups (for friends), 121s and also corporate pilates and wellbeing sessions to help with wfh and homeschooling.
Please do email me for any more information or visit the website https://www.hertspilates.co.uk
So how is the plank daily challenge going? We have embraced the minute a day in our house with everyone coming on board. This week it is 2 minutes a day.Options are:
– 2 minutes normal plank – in one g or split up throughout the day
– 1 min plank and 30 seconds each side of side plank ( see below)
Isn’t it funny how pets always want to be involved 🙂 They are definitely enjoying lockdown!
Let me know how you are getting on?
Take care, have a good week, stay positive and keep safe
Well done! We’ve made it through the longest month of the year ( well it always feels like the longest and even more so this year!)
Onwards and upwards to a shorter February, lighter evenings, Spring is definitely on the way and bundles of Hope too.
I am re-naming February “Fit Feb” this year! After Dry January, Red January, Veganuary, Running January and so many other ways to keep everyone fit and healthy I want to keep the healthy lifestyles going! Let’s do this 🙂
Daily Plank Challenge (for the whole family)
So I am starting you off with the Plank Challenge- every day in February (it’s a family challenge in our house 🙂
Week One- 1-minute plank a day. Don’t worry if you can’t do a whole minute you can split into 30 seconds morning and evening.
The Plank is a fantastic exercise to really focus on strengthening our core, shoulders and arms.
It works all our stomach muscles strengthening the core which helps support the lower back. Also great for shoulders, arms and posture which are all suffering due to most of us WFH.
How to Plank:
Ensure body is parallel to the floor
Belly button pulled in
No arching of lower back (tuck pelvis)
Glutes (bum) squeezed and engaged
Shoulders over the wrist ( arms straight_
Option 2- arms bent ( see images below)
Have a go for 1 minute a day this week and we will add to as the week’s progress. Try and get the whole family involved too 🙂 (please note not suitable during pregnancy)
A book to read
If you haven’t read The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Mackesy then please do. It’s packed with positivity and has been sat on our coffee table throughout lockdown- it is so inspiring.
Here is one from the book which I think sums up the end of January. Onwards and Upwards 🙂
Stay safe and take care
Isn’t it amazing how a change in weather and a difference from the new normal can really boost morale and raise positivity? It was great to see the snow-covered gardens, trees, hedgerows and an army of snowmen whilst out dog walking . Everyone seemed to have a spring in their step and the sky was filled with laughter, which was much needed. The lighter evenings also for me have a huge impact on wellbeing and signs of life in the garden with snowdrops and even the odd daffodil starting to sprout. All of these are huge steps in the right direction from the current time of working from home, homeschooling, struggling with the new norm.
Here is our sausage dog Dude after a long walk in the snow 🙂
The good news is we are nearly there! The hardest month of the year where 4 weeks feels like 14! The one where healthy eating is so hard when there is Christmas chocolate in the house! January 2021 is nearly complete!
This week is also Wellbeing week and so if you haven’t already now is the time to focus on YOU. Think about anything you can improve in your day and how you feel. This could be from drinking more water, getting up 15 minutes earlier to exercise or meditate, to more regular breaks at the PC, longer walks, finding time to read a book, giving the children household chores to help, having a good look at your nutrition and mixing up your meals or buying some house plants to add more greenery. Tiny tweaks can make a huge difference and so see how you can improve your wellbeing this week. Exercise is obviously a massive help too.
Here to help..
Last week I started new online classes and also had enquires from a variety of groups. This included:
– A local business who want to offer more wellbeing for their staff by running some 30 and 45 minutes away from your desk Pilates sessions,
– Mums who wanted some “Me” time and to exercise with friends after a day of homeschooling
– A 121 session for someone coming back to Pilates.
I hope all of these help in our journey to ensure we get through this lockdown and come out stronger, both physically and mentally. If you know of anyone/ any businesses or groups who would also like some sessions to focus on wellbeing and exercise please just let me know. Always happy to help.
Have a good week and remember to make time for you.
I hope to see you in our Barre and Pilates online sessions. Also please keep an eye out for more mini sessions via email and also on social you can do in your homes.
Stay safe and take care
I have a confession to make- I get bored very easily and have a short attention span! When it comes to exercise I have to mix it up . However even with over 20 years teaching experience in the fitness industry, I am still finding the usual fitness mad January a bit overwhelming this year. We are being hit from all directions on all channels and media. Now on the flip side, this is not a bad thing as a healthy mind and body will definitely help us all get through another lockdown but it can still sometimes be overpowering with so many options available. Where do we begin?
I can honestly say the best type of exercise is something you enjoy. More than ever now we see that life is too short so why put yourself through something that you don’t like doing? It really doesn’t matter what it is either as long as it helps get the happy endorphins flowing around your body and helps to make you feel stronger and fitter, both inside and out.
I have friends who are avid runners and that is all they like to do as they like being outside clearing their heads and raising their heart rates which is great. I know others who find a good brisk dog walk a day really helps alongside a pilates session and some who have tried so many different Instagram or YouTube videos with varying success. I don’t want to bombard you with lots more advice but did want to share a few fun things to help stay fit, strong and healthy:
1 Club Kitchen- every Saturday night since the first lockdown and still now we turn up the tunes, bust some moves and have a really good dance in our kitchen. We take it in turns to choose the playlist and have a good boogie (it also burns over 400 calories according to my watch)
- Be outside, wrap up and walk, run, cycle- fresh air and nature are so important. I don’t know what is going on in our garden these last few weeks but the blue tits, robins and sparrows are in abundance.
- In the summer we made circuits in the garden and this time around we are devising core HITT workouts (again in the kitchen) which the whole family can do.
- Calm App- I love it. To be honest, every time we turn the news on at the moment it is pretty stressful and so in order to reduce anxiety and focus on mindfulness the calm app is brilliant. With 10 minute options to a lot longer sessions, it is great to switch your thoughts away from the noise and just focus on you. Also, Headspace (another mindfulness app) and Netflix have joined forces to show mindfulness programmes on TV
- Think about your posture. If you are hunched forward, head down you will feel low. If you stand tall with shoulders back it instantly helps to lift you up.
If you have a routine that works for you then great, if you are stuck in rut or can’t decide from too many options then go for the fun factor. As I mentioned variety works for me and so a combination of strength (pilates and HITT), cardio (running and dancing) and mindfulness (calm app and nature dog walks) throughout the week. I have practised Pilates for over 25 years and find for me it is the glue that keeps everything together. Sometimes the balance is skewed but I think as long as we can re-address this regularly we can all feel and be the strongest and healthiest individuals, all working together to get through this.
Stay strong and keep smiling.
We’ve got this x
|You may have woken up this week with a new sense of dread because of the latest lockdown news but we are in this together and can get through this ????
Thank you for coming along to our Zoom classes, reading my emails, working hard and having fun. The class chats and banter are still fantastic and make the sessions even more special . The funniest so far is being when one of our teachers was kicked off zoom for 10 mins, got back into class to find the attendees chatting and drinking wine/beer in their separate abodes ! That takes “grab a drink ” to a new level ! ????
As it gets darker and colder it is so important to work on your health and fitness, to keep your immune system high and to concentrate on your mental health and keep a positive attitude. On the plus side the Autumnal colours have been stunning this year and Strictly is back on for my annual dose of sequins !
So, the good news is we are going to continue with our online Zoom classes plus add an extra Monday evening barre class to help ensure we get a good mix of exercise . The lockdown offer continues, which we’ve been running since the first wave , of £10 which secures your place in your regular class but also enables you to come to the other classes on offer at no extra cost:
7pm Pilates intermediate/advance
8pm Barre -* new class with Claire*
7pm Pilates improvers
8pm Pilates intermediated/advanced
Watch out also for some fitness challenges in lockdown ( on Facebook page ) and also please don’t forget about your wellbeing and mindset. I first read “Mindfulness in a Frantic World” 7 years ago and it had such a positive impact on my outlook ( I am re- reading at the moment!) . Also the apps Headspace and Calm are fantastic for a short re- focus, re- boot on a regular basis .
Take care, stay strong and keep smiling
Having just returned from a long weekend in wet and slightly wild Wales I am now looking forward to more Spring like weather.
Driving through Crickhowell, along roads which had morphed into rivers and fields into lakes really portrayed the power of nature.We love the Brecon Beacons with its wild and unforgiving landscape which is why the army were also out in force training – it looked a bit like the Who Dares Wins SAS programme on Channel 4!
So the good news is the mornings and evenings are getting lighter which means more time outdoors to walk the dog, go for a run, walk more and do some gardening or just generally get more Vitamin D! Hooray!
Class wise- we have a 6 week block of Pilates and Barre starting next week 24th February.
We look forward to seeing you in class.
So it’s February already and there may still be snow lingering but at least the mornings and evenings are getting lighter and the snowdrops are starting to appear.
We at Herts Pilates HQ have survived dry January, detox January (no sugar, dairy or caffeine) and feel fighting fit to face February (with the odd glass of wine in front of the fire).
It is amazing though how a few changes including drinking more water everyday, increasing daily exercise, cutting out the snacks and re-tweaking your mindset can have such a positive effect on your well-being. Now I know lots of people join the gym, have new resolutions, start dry January but as an individual effort they may not last long or have a huge impact. Putting them together eg more daily exercise, steps, no snacking, cut back on coffee, 5 minutes a day meditation (look at apps HeadSpace and Calm) can have a massive positive effect. It really doesn’t matter if you have an off day or can’t stick to something rigidly- small changes offer big rewards.
So, go on give it a try and remember with fitness and well-being it is not just the outcome that we focus on but the journey along the way.
At Herts Pilates HQ we love Strictly Come Dancing… the razle, dazzle, amazing choreography and dancer’s journey.
This year Johnnie Peacock in particular has been a complete inspiration! Having never danced before and being the first Paraolympian on the show, and always wanting to be treated equal – he has been fantastic. He really does show that if you put your mind to it anything is possible.
So like us if you have been struggling with the early mornings since the clocks changed, are dreading all the Xmas to do lists, have piles of paperwork that just seems to move around the house , don’t worry! Sit down have a cup of tea and think about what is possible today in the timescales and in your mindset. If you don’t want to tackle the paperwork today don’t do it- tomorrow you may wake up feeling ready for it! If you are feeling rundown then don’t go out on a 5km run today, instead try some relaxation or meditation.
So, don’t worry/panic if you can’t tackle everything in one go. Prioritise in relation to how you feel and urgency of the task in hand and ensure you have time to rest as this time of year gets a little crazy! If you you are starting to look at New Years Resolutions think about Johnnie Peacock and aim high and above all enjoy!
Yes the sun is starting to shine, the trees are budding, birds are singing and the lighter days and evenings puts everyone in a better mood. I don’t know about you but I always go into spring cleaning mode at this time of year- cleaning out cupboards, numerous trips to the local dump, bags to local charity shops and generally trying to feel more organised. This is all great for your house and helps to de-fog the brain but let’s focus on you and your body a bit more now before the summer comes:
Top Tips for Feeling Energised
- Keep hydrated- try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and if possible ditch/switch caffeine for herbal teas
- Swap processed meals for cook from scratch scrumptious meals. This takes a little bit of organising initially but you will feel much fuller for longer.
- Get organised for “me” time- 5-10 minutes a day of quiet time does wonders for your thought process. You may just sit and focus on breathing, read a book, have a cup of tea (herbal:) just try and clear your thoughts rushing around
- Plan a routine-Get up 10 minutes earlier (no excuse now its lighter) and practise 10 minutes of Pilates to start the day feeling fab!
- Get out and about- don’t sit at your desk for lunch, walk the longer way to work, park further away from school- whatever it takes to get walking and aim for minimum 10,000 steps a day (ideally 12-15000)
So let’s do this and start your journey to feeling fab for summer..
This was on the front page of The Times newspaper on Friday 3rd Feb. We knew this already though:) Pilates keeps you strong, fit and healthy and is the best way to stay and feel great for your future. Have a fab week x
Are You ready to make 2017 the year for YOU? Book Pilates via Our App, FitBit links for Class and introducing new S.H.A.PE Online
I hope you have had a wonderful Christmas break. It is such a special time of the year to spend time with friends and family and remembering loved ones. We had an amazing few days of hosting, eating, drinking, singing, dancing and much laughter at our house. This was followed by a pyjama day on the 27th!
Back at Work or in Hibernation? If you are now back at work well done you- hopefully it is a quieter time of year to catch up on any outstanding work and just generally get organised for the New Year. If you are still in hibernation mode having lazy mornings walking around with severe bed hair, watching Christmas classics and trying not to stand on random bits of Lego- well done you too. It’s a great time to re-charge batteries and have some important downtime.
Did you get a fitbit tracker for Christmas? Or want to book classes even quicker with our Pilates Mindbody App?
You can sync the MINDBODY® app with your Fitbit® activity tracker to quickly access data on your classes, appointments, and enrollments. The app will show active minutes and calories burned during your workout, as well as heart rate data if you have a compatible device. Plus, it will retroactively sync with past workouts-even if you’re new to the MINDBODY app. Download the Pilates Booking App Don’t forget to book your regular classes , (spaces filling up fast) We are running extra evening Barre and Beginners pilates from the 16th January too. Book Pilates and Barre classes via www.hertspilates.co.uk/timetable or the app
Here we come 2017..
Looking forward now to 2017 its time to really focus on you and turning your awareness to your mind, body and fitness . It’s about thinking about the little things that help yo live your life to its full potential. A written goal really helps to pave the way…
This might be starting the year having a real sort out at home- streamlining your wardrobe to feel less cluttered. It may be eating more fruit and veg, or to cut down on food wastage with more innovative healthy recipes. Or ensuring you have important “me ” time. Write out your goal(s), several times on post it notes and stick it various places around the house eg drink 2 litres water a day, cut out caffeine, 15,000 steps as day. It really helps!
Finally do you fancy joining me on my New Year journey? S.H.A.P.E online:
Strengthen and Tone
Pilates Based Workouts
Starting 9th January- once all festive food is out of house!
*Daily motivational emails from me- no slacking
*Info including nutrition, time management, lifestyle, home workouts
*Brand new Pilates, barre, tone and strength exercises you can do at home (daily 10 mins)
* Easy, quick and easy healthy recipes
*Guaranteed to increase energy levels, tone, change body shape (no scales required- they are only for fish!)
Join my journey- starting 9th Jan- 2 weeks- £45 includes all home workouts, personal fitness and nutritional advice from me as well as heaps of lifestyle tips. Click here to find out more and book The best way to start 2017. Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year.
Many thanks Claire and the team
Can you believe it is December this week?
Don’t worry though , you still have time to get ready for those Christmas parties.
Come along to our St Albans Zumba and shake it, move it, burn it off! (new start time 7.45pm- can sneak in a bit late if helps:) Or come along to a Barre Class trial. Check out Class Timetable
We only have 2 classes left before we break for festivities so really hope you can come along either tonight or next week on the 5th December.
NB there will be a hint of Christmas songs next week (only a little:)
Look forward to seeing you either tonight or 5th December (then we break until classes start back on 9th January
**St Albans Pilates and Barre classes run right up until 21st December:)**
When the days are grey and the nights are long its hard sometimes to not let the dark affect us. SAD or “winter blues” are common in lots of the UK population and its often hard to stay on track with your fitness, health and well being. All your summer good eating and activities can go out of the window as you crave carbs, sugar and the sofa.
SAD is linked to reduced exposure to the sunlight which can cause a part of the brain called hypothalamus working properly. This in turn may affect:
– melatonin production- hormone that makes you feel sleepy
– Serotonin production- hormone that affects appetite, sleep and mood
– bodys internal clock- your body uses sunlight for various functions such as waking up so lower levels of light disrupt yur body.
I suppose the easy answer is to emigrate for the winter 🙂
However, not always possible (!) so I hope these tips below will help to banish any winter blues too:
1) Pack in the Vitamin D. Eat more: salmon, fresh tuna, mushrooms, organic vegetables and just vegetables in general!
2) Take regular exercise to kick start the happy hormones and raise your spirit and motivation.
3) Get as much natural sunlight as possible. Get out for a walk at lunchtime, open the windows and enjoy the fresh air.
Have a fantastic week and I hope you enjoy your classes. NB Zumba is now at 7.45 pm from tonight (starting earlier- not because of light though:)
What a beautiful time of year. The trees are starting to turn and we have lovely, bright, crisp days. It’s also time to start piling the layers on, dusting down the slow cooker, digging out the soup recipes and snuffling on the sofa to enjoy a plethora of Autumn TV.
Alas! Please do not hide beneath your layers or melt into the sofa. It is official, (drum roll)….the run up to Christmas has begun! You can’t enter a supermarket without nearly knocking down a stack of mince pies and the top toys for 2016 have already been unleashed!
Don’t worry though we are here to help you stay energised, fit, healthy and sane (!) in these busy times with oodles of classes on offer (and more to come).
The November/December classes are open for booking so please book asap . Some classes have been full with wait lists this term so don’t miss out on your favourite session. www.hertspilates.co.uk/timetable
**Newsflash** I have launched our new Children’ Pilates website- Core For Kids. Take a look www.coreforkids.co.uk continuing our quest for strong, healthy kids. The classes are so much fun and popular with parents, children and schools.ps don’t laugh at my pirate costume! We are also on Facebook www.facebook.com/coreforkids
Look After Yourself (please)
Bugs and illnesses love this time of year too so its important to keep fit and healthy:
– drink lots of fluids
– ensure you get a good nights sleep (and make a routine )
– banish the processed food- eat fresh
– cut back on caffeine, alcohol, sugar (yes that is cakes and biscuits)
– Take 5 mins time out a day to think, be still, meditate.
– Set realistic goals you can strive for – whether health, home or work
– Smile/laugh every day
– Compliment someone every day
Enjoy everyday and stay healthy.
Can you believe September is here already! After an amazing summer of sunshine, Olympics, holiday adventures, late nights and epic blackberry picking (what a crop this year!) it is now officially time to Get Back On it…
If you are a parent it is time to get some normality and routine back in your life. The last mad dash to make sure your lovelies have done their homework, realised they had any homework and dusted down their pencil cases..
For all workers it’s that time of year again whereby your commute will just start to take that bit longer and busier again.
For TV viewers it’s the best time of year… it’s time for :
and the return of the Classic… Cold Feet! Can’t wait!
Let the battle of dramas commence between the channels. Perfect entertainment as the nights draw in.
Most importantly it’s time to have a re-focus on YOU. If you’ve over indulged over the summer, got out of routine, deperate to do more exercise on your own or just shed a few pounds before the C word (I am not going to mention it yet!)… then this is the time to GET BACk ON IT!
I will let you into a little secret.. it is actually a bit of a myth that the busiest time in the exercise world is January, it is not, it’s actually September. This is the month that anyone who is serious about making a difference actually does it and sticks at it… so if you haven’t got sorted yet or its at the bottom of your list, then STOP, re-jig that list and think about YOU…
-Start walking those 10,000+ steps (do it for Cancer research this month)
-Don’t be so sedantary at work- ensure you have a walk break at least once an hour
-Have walking meetings- its all the thing in Silicon Valley
-Start doing a bit of HIIT workout- walk for 1 min, jog for 1mim, walk for 1 min etc
-Stretch- every day (this is one I am really focussing on myself!)
-Build in 5-10 mins of core strength exercises everyday- ab preps, shoulder briedge, side lying clam, 1 leg circle – so quick and easy to do (watch this space for more of this)
-Book your space in class for barre, pilates or come and try Zumba (for that cardio/core blast combo)
Let’s do this!
Also very important.. dont forget to cheer on the GB Paralympic team over the next few weeks. Team GB.
We really hope to see you in class over the next few weeks. Pilates and Barre starts this week (5th), you are welcome to come along for a trial of a new class eg barre and Zumba starts back on the 12th.
All class info and booking at www.hertspilates.co.uk/timetable
Go for it this September- it’s time for you!
Claire and the team
Summer Holidays are whizzing by ! For those of you that have been lucky enough to have some time off I hope you are enjoying the lazy mornings, ice creams and not having to stick to a daily regime! The Olympics coverage has been immense and really sad it is all over . The stories, heroes, determination and utter brilliance of all the athletes involved is so inspiring and just makes you want to get out and exercise (especially the weather at the mo!).
We are really looking forward to the Paralympics now. Go Team GB!
We are in our last 2 weeks of Summer holidays St Albans Pilates and Barre classes now and then ready to start back with our September timetable.
Classes for next 2 weeks are on a reduced timetable as holiday time:
Tuesday 23rd and 30th August- Pilates 7.30pm class for all levels at the Jubilee Centre
Wednesday 31st August- Barre all levels at All Saints Studios
St Albans Pilates and Barre starts back week of 5th September .
September is often a busy time for new attendees to come to class and I would not want any of you to miss out on your slot.
So, if you haven’t already please book your spaces now for class at www.hertspilates.co.uk/timetable .
If you want to try a different class/day/level that’s fine .
As always remember you can catch up for any missed classes within the current course.