Pilates and Nutrition

Can You Eat Your Way to 100? 
The best advice is still - eat food, but not too much.

While there isn't any magic to living to 100, there are certainly things you can do to improve your odds.

When it comes to food, eating in moderation, along with the following science-backed strategies may help:

1.  Eat five fruits and veggies a day, preferably more to slash your risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

2.  Work in low-fat yogurt daily. It's packed with probiotics, a major focus of current research for its immune-boosting potential.

3.  Have fish 2-3 times a week. Make at least one an oily fish like salmon for the omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to reduce disease-causing inflammation.

4.  Snack on nuts like pistachios and walnuts to fight heart disease. Stick to a handful a day.

5.  Get fiber - at least 25 grams a day - by eating fruits, veggies, and whole grains. A high-fiber diet can lower your risk of dying from any cause, say researchers from the National Cancer Institute.

Stay on Course
Don't Let the Holidays Derail Your Fitness Goals

It happens every year - those darn holiday calories - oh, how they can creep up and before you know it, you've gained weight. Then comes the New Year's resolution to loose the weight.  This year, try making a End of Year resolution to not let it happen to you again by not only watching what you consume but sticking to your Pilates fitness goals as well.

Pilates can help to build and maintain lean muscle mass while you are losing/watching your weight because you become much more aware of your body, and in turn, treat it better by making better food choices.

Here are the top five ways to become trim and toned through Pilates:

Burn More Calories

Creating muscle mass is one of the best ways to increase calorie-burning potential. Pilates can help accomplish that in spades. Simply stated, Pilates is strength training because it works with resistance to increase strength and hence, muscle mass. This can  create  a metabolic increase and build lean muscle mass.

A variety of tools can be added to a basic Pilates mat routine to help tone muscles all over and avoid boredom. Adding bands, rings and light weights provides variety and challenges your muscles in different ways. Resistance bands and the ring are easily portable, yet create a considerable amount of challenging resistance to help firm and tone, so you can take your Pilates routine anywhere you go this holiday season.

Look Thinner

One of the best ways to look and feel thinner is to maintain good posture. Pilates helps create better posture by firming not only the abs, but the back, as well. Since all Pilates work is performed with proper alignment and attention to posture; it helps to establish optimal spinal alignment, facilitate better circulation, improved lymphatic flow, and increased stamina of the muscles along the spine. Not only will toned spinal muscles help with continued weight loss vis-à-vis increased metabolism, standing up straight will automatically make a person appear thinner, thereby increasing your confidence, as well. The end result: you will stand taller, hold your waist tighter and feel stronger.

Build Core Muscles

Pilates is all about strengthening the core (front and side abdominals) and the entire back. Toned abs and a strong back help prevent injury, improve posture, reduce lower back pain and even promote proper bowel function. But the most popular result is flat abdominals.

Pilates teaches you how to use your abdominals correctly - how to contract the abdominal wall, rather than just letting it distend. This simple act can be used 24/7 in your everyday life. It's the single reason that Pilates flattens abs so quickly.

Improve Eating Habits

Increased body awareness also makes you less likely to indulge in unhealthy eating habits. Seeing the improvements to your body and of what it's capable of is incredibly motivating. You will not only have a new respect for your body but, you will be more likely to take better care of it.

Complete with Cardio

No weight loss regimen is complete without cardiovascular work. Combining the strength training of Pilates and a consistent cardio session works to help you lose weight and tone up twice as fast as just doing either routine on its own. Try walking up hills, or to add variety and challenge, consider trying Pilates Jump Board, Spinning, swimming, or running.

The Bottom Line - the holidays are one of the most important times of the year to not let your fitness goals slide. By staying focused, you will not need a New Year's resolution to loose weight in the new year because being healthy has become a way of life instead of a short term fix.