5 Reasons to Take Your Exercise Routine Outdoors

beach 2Sick of the gym and the same exercise routine you’ve been doing all winter? Spring is here, and summer is finally right around the corner. As the weather continues to warm up and sun stays out longer, now is the perfect time to take your exercise routine outdoors!

We all love the newness and a fresh start with the change in the seasons including a change in your workout and exercise routine. Take out the staleness, monotony, and amp it up with some new inspiration.

Here’s 5 reasons to take your workout outside.

  1. Brave the Elements:

The elements of your environment can increase the intensity of your workout, take in your atmosphere and add some obstacles like wind, snow, and heat to give you a challenge.  Bike during a heavy rain or paddle board when the winds are high and the water is choppy. Got a humid day? Run in the afternoon when the temperatures are even hotter. Why not try swimming laps in the ocean with a big swell!

  1. Vitamin D and Fresh Air:

After being stuck inside all winter, a little Vitamin D, sunshine, and fresh air can always do everyone some good.  Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and muscles and it can also help reduce illnesses and infections. Think about how much better you feel when you step outside on a warm sunny morning? We tend to have better moods and improved well-being, more energy and motivation, and feel a lot better about ourselves and our body image.

  1. Challenge Yourself:

Take it to the extremes, change it up, skip the same boring exercise routine. Challenge yourself! Live near the mountains? Use them for intensity, altitude, and temperature changes. Live near the beach? Use the sand, sun, and surf to up your game. Grab a friend for a little competition and extra push, race the clock or decrease your resting time. Give yourself a deadline, visualize your goals, extend the finish line, even changing your mindset can add more challenges to your work outs.

  1. Skip the Germs:

Getting outside for your workout can greatly reduce the exposure to all the germs that you’ve been befriending in the gym all winter. Think about all those coughing, sneezing, sweating people you’ve been sharing treadmills, mats, and equipment with for all those dark, cold months. Trade up for the fresh air, sunshine, and a lot less people in a confined space. Getting outside more can help you avoid everything from the stomach bug to ringworm and from Staph infections to Ecoli. (Ewww!)

  1. Try Something New:

Step out of your comfort zone and try something new! Look for something you wouldn’t normally do for exercise. Grab your tutu and sign up for a color run, meditate ocean side, go old school and dust of the old roller skates or rollerblades, or sign up for those group surf lessons you’ve been dying to try. Take a Pilates class on the beach or boot camp in a park. Go the sports route and jump into a basketball or volleyball game. Want to go more extreme? Try kite surfing or rock climbing, or how about checking out the new trapeze workouts.

So skip the gym and the germs, and hit the streets, beach, or mountains for some extra challenges and soak up some sunshine and fresh air. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new this season, you may possibly find the exercise can’t live with out.

 

 

 

 

Celebrate World Health Day!

DSC_5821Celebrate World Health Day! Today is the day! Show your awareness for health and wellness. Today can be the new starting point for yourself as a personal goal. It can be the day you decide to stand up for anything you believe in, whether you want everyone in the world to be able to have clean drinking water, you’re thinking of becoming vegan, maybe you want to give back to your community and start a garden to help the hungry. Maybe you’ve decided it’s time to take back your health, so you’re starting a new exercise routine, you’re changing your eating habits, you’re going to start meditating, and you’ve decided 8 hours of sleep is what you need to look and feel your best.

Today is the day to take back your health and know that what you put in is what you get out. You can also make a difference in someone’s life just by being there for them, offering a hand or your resources when you can, anything to give back. Health and wellness is something we all need to implement and take back for ourselves, our families, and for the world.

This year’s World Health Day focuses on depression. Depression affects any age, gender, race, in any country, and all walks of life. It has become a serious epidemic in our society. Mental health has been over looked for years and if we don’t take a stand against it, it will consume our friends, families, our lives, and the world we live in.

We often forget that mental and emotional health are huge factors in our health and wellness. Often we tend to focus on what we’re eating, weight loss, and BMI. And we tend to forget to focus on personal time, healing, relaxation, reducing stress, enjoying the simple things, and getting rid of the toxic people and things in our lives that continue to make us unhappy and unhealthy.

Today is your starting point to make a difference in your life as well as someone else’s. Vow to eat one meal healthier, get outside for some movement and exercise, meditate even it’s only for 3 minutes, turn off the tv and go to bed earlier, journal or read that book you’ve been putting off. Find time to heal your soul, clear your mind, and better yourself as a whole, not just little pieces of you.

Food Revolution Day 2016

2016 fr dayIt’s that time again! Food Revolution Day!! The perfect time to teach your kids, your neighbors kids, classmates, friends, and family the value of being able to prepare, cook, and enjoy a healthy, nutritious meal. Like I’ve said before teaching your children or our next generation how to cook for themselves is an asset to their health, livelihood, and longevity. It’s a skill that they keep for their lifetime and it could possibly save their health and allow them to live a long life, free of disease and illness. Every child deserves to be healthy.

Every year Jamie Oliver challenges his Food Revolution Ambassadors to go out and make a difference in the lives of the people around them by teaching the skill of preparing a recipe. Usually the focus is on the younger ones, since they will be our advocates as we age as well as their own. This year’s challenge was making your own omelette. That’s something my kids and I do personally at least once a week. So instead since I have access to my little crew of gardeners through my Farm Foodie Fitness Edible School Garden, I decided to visit my first graders and we made healthy smoothies using local strawberries, peaches, and blueberries that my kids and I harvested and froze from last summer. So we spent 45 minutes talking about health and wellness and then made killer smoothies! They loved it!

So, I’m challenging you all out there to make a difference in someone’s health this weekend and spend sometime in the kitchen teaching, showing, and preparing a recipe. If you want to take the challenge of the omelette, their easy and fun for kids to help in the kitchen. If you’re up for something else go for it! Make sure to check back in and let us know what you made and how it went. In the mean time, check out my crew of Food Revolutioners and if you’re looking for help or need some ideas with kids gardening and cooking. Check out my Kid’s gardening and cook book! You can grab a copy from our website!!

Happy Food Revolution Day! Here’s to Jamie Oliver for making a difference in all of us and the world! #foodrevolution

 

 

Teaching Basics to Our Next Generation

mbs esg16There are two things you can teach your kids that they can take with them forever no matter where they go and you know they’ll be able to live a longer, healthier lives. And you can also look at it this way, one day we will be relying on them to help us with our health and wellness at some point as we age, don’t we want them to be able to give us the best opportunity to heal, grow, and live longer healthier lives as well???

I get so excited to do this every year just to see their little faces get so involved and light up when they know the answer or have something to share. Mind you my garden is way behind this year, between a 5 month old added to my mix, a busy studio, (which is a great problem to have) and the continual and constant rain we’re getting; I’ve not been able to tackle the school garden yet. So on our rainy day yesterday I headed to my edible school garden, but of course we were inside with the Pre-K4, Kindergarten, and First Graders teaching them two basic fundamentals of survival… learning how to grow their own food and how then how to prepare it once it’s grown and harvested.

These two basic skills could mean life or early death for our next generation. We’re so on the go and running around we never slow down long enough to enjoy the time we have with our families, let alone eat a meal sitting down together, and to even think of growing some of our own food and then coming in and preparing it and skipping that nasty drive through or running to the next restaurant chain. We owe it to the next generation for them and ourselves (they will be caring for our health at some point in our later years) to teach the simple tasks of growing a vegetable or fruit and learning to how to prepare and cook something wholesome, nutritious, and make it still taste good!

It’s May now is the perfect time to get kids out in the dirt and teaching them how things grow, where food comes from, how they can be apart of it, how they can change their health and be in control of it. A lot of them think the food just shows up at the grocery store or to the restaurant. (kind of like we all thought our parents pulled dollar bills from the trees- if only right??!!)

Sometimes it’s a little overwhelming. Start small and if you want a little more help. Grab my kids cooking and gardening book from my site for some healthy recipes and how to start your own little garden with your favorite little one! www.beachpilatesandwellness.com.

Here’s to healthy, happier, longer lives for our next generations!!

 

Pilates. Why it Should be Apart of Your Workout Routine, No Excuses.

beach picPilates… by now we all know what Pilates is and what it can do for our bodies. Gain coordination, flexibility, balance, core strength, build muscles with resistance and assistance, etc. 10 years ago trying to explain to people what I taught was a huge task, trying to get them to pronounce it correctly was a whole other ball game. 🙂 Flash forward to now, teaching and explaining is definitely a lot easier but occasionally I will get people who have never heard of Pilates or its benefits. Only makes teaching a little more fun and a little more challenging but that’s why instructors teach to see the results they give their clients and students. To watch them grow and develop, to become more confident with their form and bodies, even to become pain-free.

But why should it be apart of everyone’s workout routine? Keep reading to find out! 🙂

Have you ever watched a baby suck on their toes, or a 5-year-old place their head on their knee effortlessly? How about a ballet dancer or gymnast contort themselves into the most pain-thought provoking positions you’ve ever seen and you still say to yourself I wish I could do that? Or how about an athlete or some one that has a Pilates or even Yoga practice do something as easy as bending from the waist and placing their hands on the flat to the floor without hesitation. (But you think to yourself “yea if I did that I’d rip a hamstring or there is no way that will ever happen! But I still wish I could do it!)  🙂

As we age through our life cycle, our bodies continually change from coming down the birth canal to becoming elderly. Each step in our life requires a body fundamental that is continually changing throughout the course of our lives and it goes along with what activities you decide to do from age 5 to age 95.

So lets start from the beginning as a baby and a child you naturally have the flexibility and pretty good balance because you haven’t developed any bad habits yet and your center of gravity is closer to the ground. Go to a child in 4th grade, now for the past 4-5 years you’ve been sitting at a school desk for a good 6 hours a day/ 5 days a week. The muscles that used to be in continual movement have now become stagnant and the muscles begin to shorten and tighten. Next look at a child in high school, now puberty has begun so you’ve added more years of sitting, growth spurts, hormone changes, maybe they’re not as active anymore with sports or activities and sitting more in front of the TV or playing video games. 20’s-40’s most people are driving cars with a lot of travel involved, sitting behind a desk 5-6 days a week, even sitting with computers 15-18 hours a day. The posture has now completely changed, causing us to have tighter hamstrings, low back pain, rounded shoulders, forward head, maybe an injury has caused a complete muscle imbalance throughout the whole body. See the pattern here…

Getting into middle age, we have wear and tear on the joints and muscles, making it more prone to injury, joint replacements, and surgery, menopause for women cause complete body changes from excess body fat and weight gain to muscle and  bone loss, even multiple pregnancies can alter the bodies form as well. As we get older and even more elderly we face the every day challenge of losing our balance, lack of coordination, agility and flexibility go quickly, muscles and bones lose a lot of strength, and then injuries and falls often happen when these things start to fade.

So how does Pilates help from childhood till the day your body just says it’s done? By incorporating Pilates into your weekly routine you can reverse muscle imbalances, poor posture, develop core strength to increase balance and coordination. A strong core keeps you upright and center of gravity level so that you’re less likely to fall. Pilates is low-impact great for people with weakening bone density or osteoporosis because it’s weight-baring (You just have to know your limitations when it comes to having health concerns like osteoporosis. That’s why you always want to have a certified instructor before you jump into a class or sign up for any kind of workout)

Pilates can rehabilitate an injury, prevent injury, and it develops body awareness. Not everyone is built the same or have the same fitness levels. Pilates allows for a range of any limitation, injury, disease, or illness. It was designed for men but women tend to embrace it more. But men can achieve huge goals and levels through out their practice just as easily as women. Pilates can change and improve your abilities of any desired sports, activity, and every day functional movement.

Remember it is a practice, it takes time to reverse imbalances, injuries, improper muscle development. Muscles do have memory, they will go back to where they should but with Pilates it becomes a lifestyle something you have to continue to do, there is no quick fix, but there is change that you can see with in the first 5-10 sessions or classes you begin to take. So ponder the next time you’re the gym thinking about the Pilates class you’ve always wanted to take, or passing the window of the new studio right down the street from your house, don’t worry about the most flexible person in the class and if you’ll ever get to the point of putting your head to your knee again. Focus on feeling better, what goals you want to accomplish, living pain and injury free, as an active healthy person living a long life!

 

 

How to Keep Your Kids Healthy Now that Schools Back!!

kellan healthySchool is finally in full swing and fall is here, which means cooler days, more time spent inside soon, and that means our favorite people will be sharing sneezes, runny noses, coughs, and every other microscopic cootie out there! YUCK!

So how do we keep our little ones as healthy as possible…here are a few ideas!

  1. Skip all the juices and opt for water more. Flushing their systems and keeping them hydrated will keep them bug-free longer. Save the juice boxes as a treat on the weekends. Get a stainless steel refillable water bottle and send them to school with a fresh bottle of filtered water. Kids not big fans of water. Change it up every day with a slice of lemon, raspberries, or cucumbers. Add some flavor, while adding extra antioxidants and nutrients.
  2. Sideline all the sugar. Sugar is hiding everywhere especially in “kid foods.” Peanut butter, jellies or jams, cookies, cakes, candy, fruit snacks, you name it, it’s in there. Sugar depresses the immune system. Try to avoid the processed sugars and opt for more fresh fruits.
  3. Up the probiotics. Gut heath is so important. They healthier your gut the healthier you stay. They don’t call the gut, “your second brain” for no reason. It doesn’t function when it’s filled with processed foods, lots of sugar, and lots of junk. Probiotics help to boost immunity and help fight off germs and bacteria. Make sure to buy probiotics with live cultures. They should be in the refrigerator when you buy them and should be stored in the fridge when you get home.
  4. Make sure they’re getting enough sleep. It’s the key to staying healthy. A full nights rest let’s the body re-cooperate and heal as you sleep. It also helps with boosting the immune system, mood, and helps with focusing.
  5. Wash hands. Kids hate to do it, but make it a necessity. Always wash hands before eating, after bathroom breaks, being outside or playing with other kids. Try to keep kids from putting hands in eyes, nose, and mouth as much as possible. Yeah right! That’s a battle in itself! 😉 Letting them know that how they get sick sometimes help with them thinking about washing their hands more often.

Hope these ideas keep your little ones feeling great and as healthy as they can be in school and through the upcoming cold and flu season. Here’s to healthy kids and happy parents! 🙂

 

Food Revolution Day- Fight for Healthy Kids & Food Education

Photo credit: jamie oliver

Photo credit: jamie oliver

Today is Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day! He’s always been a huge inspiration to me and I’ve been following him for almost 10 years. I love everything he stands for and his campaign to fight for food education and healthy kids is one of my passions as well! Today is his day to get the world involved and stand  up for our children not only in the UK and the US but all over the world.

The generation of children today are at a high risk of dying before their parents. That’s terrifying! Our children are our future and we’re not even giving them the chance to thrive, live healthy active lives, and understand that what they are consuming is slowly killing them.

As a mama of two beautiful little ones, I do my part every day to make sure they are getting the best nutrition I can possibly give them and yes they are kids they want their treats and sweets and I indulge them some times. Life is short and beautiful, you have to enjoy the sweet and yummy things in life just in moderation.

As a Certified Holistic Health Coach and Master Gardener, I’ve made it my mission to try to spread the word on health and wellness, how to grow your own food and start your own garden, how to shop locally, and for the past 2 years I’ve started a nutrition program and edible school garden at one of the local elementary schools. I love being able to be out there with the little guys, and they get so excited to know what is growing, things they can make and cook with what they have harvested, and know that what they are eating is actually fueling their body to run, learn, read, and play.

Jamie’s big thing this year is to make “Squash It Sandwiches.” Simple, fun and healthy food to have the kids get involved and make their own. (See video) Teachers, Parents, Food Revolution Ambassadors, celebrities, and schools all over the world will be getting involved today. See how you can!

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National Pilates Day

DSC_8740National Pilates Day is this Saturday, May 2nd. If you’ve never done Pilates before, today is the perfect day to get out and try it! Grab a friend and check out the studio in your area. Most studios will have special events or promotions for Saturday! Some may even be holding classes in a park, on the beach, on a SUP board, or even check what time the class is at your local gym.

Pilates has been a part of my life for over 13 years as a student and 9 years as an instructor. I got into Pilates after a bad car accident left me with serious neck injuries. So much I could barely get out of bed some days. Pilates was the only thing that relieved the pain and tension and didn’t leave me still in bed in tears every morning. Flash forward to now, I’m training people with knee and hip replacements, chronic illness, scoliosis, osteoporosis, athletes, men, and women. After some health issues of my own for the past year,  (which by the way is the most frustrating thing for a healthy and mindful person to have health concerns out of their control.) I learned Monday of my diagnosis and the specialist eased my mind that I have been rehabilitating and healing myself for over 10 years now. To think what I could be like today, if Pilates was not already apart of my life!

So if there is some reluctancy or you’re nervous to go a class alone, grab a friend, talk to the instructor before class about your concerns, may be Pilates will be your answer to healing and it could possibly change your life forever.

Benefits of Pilates:

  • injury and prevention
  • strong core
  • long lean muscles
  • resistance and assistance training
  • weight loss
  • rehabilitation
  • increased flexibility
  • coordination and balance improves
  • mind-body connection
  • learn coastal breathing or lateral breath
  • low impact
  • great for anyone
  • can be done anywhere
  • pain management

The list continues on and on. So this Saturday celebrate National Pilates Day whether you’re a newbie or a veteran! If you take class, message me and let me know how it goes!

Earth Day 2015

Today is the perfect to start giving back to Mother Nature! The world, climate, food, ecosystems, etc are changing so rapidly once we finally realize the damage we are continuing to do every day it may be too late. And yes we may not see the end results in our lifetime but think about your kids, grandkids, great-grans, nieces, and nephews. What kind of world our we leaving behind for the next generation?

I don’t mean run out and put solar panels on your entire roof, become completely vegan, or sell your gas guzzler for an electric! Even the littlest things can cause a ripple effect and can set the world in motion to make a change to the world that offers us so much. Teaching ourselves, loved ones, the public, and the next generation could be the deciding factor to global warming, our water resources, our food supply, air quality, and livelihoods.

Here are some small changes to make a bigger difference.

  • Turn off all lights, appliances, radios, etc when not in use. (I send my little ones around the house to turn things off all the time, just so they get in the habit of turning things off-plus your electric bill will go down! Bonus for everyone!)
  • Learn and teach how to recycle. Reduce your trash. Once you start recycling you’ll realize how much can actually be reused and yes I know it’s another thing on your to do list on Saturday morning, get the kids or neighborhood involved. Make it fun to take “the chore” out of it.
  • Turn off the water while you brush your teeth and wash dishes. Run full loads of laundry. Track the rain- do you really need to water the lawn in the morning if it’s going to rain in the afternoon. (If you pay for your own water, this will be huge for your bill too!)
  • Start a garden. It doesn’t have to be huge, you can even just do a couple pots. Save money and gas, running to the store and know where your food is coming from and pick it from your own yard!
  • Garden too much for you to handle this year? Buy local and seasonally! Shop farmers markets and produce stands. Reduce your carbon footprint and keep money in your own community. Plus you can always ask the farmers questions. Even join a CSA and get a share delivered each week to your front door!
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle- Pass down unwanted clothes and shoes or have them donated. Sell things on consignment. Find ways to reuse materials, boxes, bags, wood, furniture, paper, etc
  • Buy a water filter, cut back on plastic bottle use. Filter your own water. Keep the money in your wallet more often and control the amount of BPA you’re exposed to on a daily basis. Have half glasses of water or bottles lying all over the place? Don’t just dump it down the sink. Water your plants with the left over water. It’s just another way to save on your water usage!

The ideas are endless! These are just a few to get you started! Enjoy Earth Day this year. If you’re lucky like me today it’s 70 and sunny. At the very least get outside for some fresh air on your back porch, go for a walk and get some Vitamin D, listen to the birds chirp, enjoy nature and the world today. Be grateful for everything we have! Happy Earth Day Everyone! Make sure to check out Earth Day 2015 for more ideas on how to contribute today and in the future.

 

5 Reasons Everyone Should Try Pilates…

2014-09-16 05.53.30If you didn’t catch my original post to Mind Body Green you can check it out on their site. It’s gotten almost 13,000 likes! I was so excited to have this article accepted and to see if it travel around the world. I got lots of feedback and some great response so I thought I would share it will all of you guys! Here is the link if you want to also check out their great site of health and wellness! 

Have an injury? Does chronic pain or illness make it hard for you to exercise? Feel like you don’t have a lot of time with your busy schedule? Want to build core strength and long lean muscles? Ready to see your body transform right before your eyes? Pilates is your golden ticket!

Originally invented for men and athletes in the early 1920’s, people around the globe are experiencing the lifelong benefits of Joseph Pilates’ vision and how it can change your body and life forever. Here are five reasons you should try it, even if you’re not sure it’s for you.

1. Prevent injuries.

Injuries can leave us incapacitated for weeks, months … even years. But what if we could use exercise as a way to prevent injuries rather than cause them?

Pilates focuses on your core, strengthening your abdominals and back muscles. Take a second to think about how much you use your core every day without even realizing: to stand up, walk, bend over, even to sit in a chair. If you suffer from back pain, it’s probably because these muscles are weak. If you strengthen them, it’ll got a long way to alleviate current woes and help prevent future pain.

2. Build core strength and long, lean muscles.

For most of us, the core is the weakest part of our bodies, but it’s our center, where all our strength originates from. When it’s weak, the entire body is weak.

Pilates focuses on exercises that constantly engage the core, leading to flat abs and a strong back. Unlike weight lifting that can cause muscles to shorten and bulk, Pilates focuses on resistance and assistance training to work both sides of muscles simultaneously. This allows the muscles to elongate to get that long, lengthened, toned muscle.

3. Increase flexibility, coordination and balance.

Not surprisingly, your balance and coordination come from your core as well. When Pilates strengthens your core, those muscles that control balance and coordination are also strengthened, helping to prevent falls and injuries. Increased flexibility also allows muscles to lengthen and be more pliable so they can bend and stretch further to alleviate the possibility of injury.

4. Pilates is for everyone.

Women, men, children, the elderly, anyone with chronic illness and pain, athletes, dancers, and even pregnant mothers can benefit from Pilates. It builds a stronger core, betters balance, increases flexibility and promotes stability. Pilates improves posture, body awareness, builds optimal health and helps you to move more efficiently. It’s gentle while also challenging. It’s proven to aid with treating and managing pain because low-impact exercises take the stress off joints and bones. There are no excuses NOT to give it a try.

5. You can do it anywhere.

Pilates is so versatile that you can do it almost anywhere: at home, in the gym or studio, in a hotel room, even on the beach! Even if all you’ve got to spare are 15 minutes, you can reap the benefits just from doing warm up exercises. All you need is your own body weight to use as the resistance. Want to up your practice? Add balls, bands and other small equipment to increase the intensity and resistance.

Still wondering if Pilates is right for you? Joseph Pilates once said, in “10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body.” Doesn’t that seem like something worthwhile?