Your July Newsletter – July Newsletter

July 3, 2017 by simpilates

Time to soak up vitamin D.

I am dodging out of town to the Florida Keys for my annual family vacation.  Fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming and hanging with my family is the plan. Lets face it, who wants to be outside in 117 degree weather, not me. I know, its hot and humid there too, but I am in the water most of the time, and my skin can use the moisture from the humidity. With that being said, there has been lots of talk about the importance of vitamin D and all the health benefits. All from a little thing we call, sunshine! Always being mindful of protecting yourself from UVB rays with sunscreen and picking certain times of day when the sun is not at its hottest… its time to get outside for the summer and play. Lots of our clients are jetting out of town too.  I know they are all looking forward to some summer fun as well. Those of you that are here, be smart, there are lots of activities close by!  We have Mt. Charleston for one.  There you can enjoy some hiking beautiful and the weather is way cooler.  How about driving to Zion for a little day trip or stay and camp? We have Lake Powell close too!  We also have lots of indoor sports, like indoor soccer or if you are feeling adventurous, how about indoor skydiving!?

To help explain the many benefits of playing smart in the sun, I found this article on 5 reasons to get outside and soak up vitamin. Have a great summer friends stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and get outside.

Thinking of hibernating until spring comes? Resist the urge and get outside instead. TIME recently featured 5 great reasons to do so if you’re looking for a bit of extra motivation.
1. Boost Your Creativity and Focus
If you’re trying to solve a problem or come up with a brilliant idea, take a walk outside. One study found walking increased 81 percent of participants’ creativity, but walking outside produced “the most novel and highest quality analogies.”
Among children with ADHD, meanwhile, spending time in nature leads to improvements in focus and higher scores on concentration tests. Richard Louv, in his book Last Child in the Woods, even used the term “nature-deficit disorder” to describe behavioral problems he believes stem from spending less time outdoors.
2. Improve Your Mood and Self-Esteem
“Green exercise,” which is exercise in the presence of nature, has unique benefits above and beyond indoor exercise. One meta-analysis of 10 studies found that physical activity outdoors for as little as five minutes leads to measurable improvements in mood and self-esteem.
While every “green environment” studied led to these improvements, exercise near water generated the greatest effects. Researcher Jules Pretty from the University of Essex said:
“You get a very substantial benefit from the first five minutes. We should be encouraging people in busy and stressed environments to get outside regularly, even for short bits of time.”
Spending time outdoors is also a recommended treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is sometimes called “winter depression.” Outdoor light exposure may help your mood even if it’s cold and cloudy. According to the Mayo Clinic:
“Even on cold or cloudy days, outdoor light can help — especially if you spend some time outside within two hours of getting up in the morning.”
I typically walk 90 minutes every day barefoot on the beach around solar noon for vitamin D (unless it is raining) and this really refreshes me. It also allows me to read one book a week.
3. Increase Your Vitamin D Levels
It’s estimated that over 95 percent of US senior citizens may be deficient in vitamin D, along with 85 percent of the American public.
Researchers have noted that vitamin D deficiency is prevalent in adults of all ages who have increased skin pigmentation (such as those whose ancestors are from Africa, the Middle East, or India), or who always wear sun protection or limit their outdoor activities.
Increasing your vitamin D levels is important, as researchers have pointed out that increasing levels of vitamin D3 among the general population could prevent chronic diseases that claim nearly one million lives throughout the world each year. Incidence of several types of cancer could also be slashed in half.
Vitamin D also fights infections, including colds and the flu, as it regulates the expression of genes that influence your immune system to attack and destroy bacteria and viruses.
I firmly believe that appropriate sun exposure is the best way to optimize your vitamin D levels, and the more time you spend outdoors, the easier it will be for you to naturally keep your vitamin D levels in the therapeutic range of 50-70 ng/ml.
4. Improve Your Workouts
As mentioned, exercising outdoors yields increased benefits over indoor exercise. In addition to boosting your mood, outdoor exercise can be more challenging, leading to greater physical gains. For instance, if you walk, jog, or cycle outdoors, you’ll have to expend more energy to overcome wind and changes in terrain.1
Among older adults (a population that generally tends to spend very little time outdoors), those who exercise outdoors accumulated significantly more physical activity than those who exercised indoors.  There’s even research showing levels of the stress hormone cortisol are lower when people exercise outdoors as opposed to indoors.

5. Healing Potential
There’s something inherently healing about spending time outdoors. Part of it has to do with exposure to natural light. One study found people exposed to 46 percent more sunlight after surgery used 22 percent less pain medication per hour.
However, there are likely benefits even beyond the light exposure. Research shows, for instance, that older adults who spend more time outdoors have less pain, sleep better and have less functional decline in their ability to carry out their daily activities.  According to research published in Biopsychosocial Medicine.

Hugs & Wellness,

6 Moves to Strengthen & Power Your Core For Summer Fun

In the summer, many people try new activities like water-skiing, hiking, biking, and running on different terrain for the first time. While enjoying the summer sunshine and outdoor activities, and perhaps some R&R, you may want to center your mind on your core. It’s more important than you think!
Where is your core? What muscles does it consist of? Why is core training so important?
Our powerhouse is the center of strength for our bodies.  Your core muscles are from shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip, and your lower back musculature. Main core muscles include: rectus abdominis, transversus, internal and external obliques, erector spinae, and the pelvic floor muscles.
Core strength is important whether you are standing, sitting at a computer, side bending, running, swimming, salsa dancing, playing tennis, golfing, or even shopping. A strong core helps to better execute arm and leg movement during activities, prevent back pain, improve posture, allow for better breathing, secure strength for the spinal column and rib cage, and support balance during movement.
When it comes to posture, people often neglect activating their abdominals. We often think of standing tall, with our shoulders back and chest lifted high. However, many people tend to exaggerate the arch in their low back, lumbar. We should engage the abdominal muscles to strengthen the core, to improve posture, whether you are standing up, or sitting in a chair and yes, even while you are on vacation!
To strengthen your core, when sitting in a chair, try this:

  1. While sitting tall, feet planted firmly on the floor, knees hip width apart. Inhale, through your nose, ribs expand laterally, exhale through your mouth and pull your navel into your spine, activating your abs. Repeat this 5 times.
  1. Sitting tall again, hips stationary, knees hip width apart. Place your hands behind your head, elbows wide. Inhale, twist your torso to the right, exhale, pull abs in. Inhale back to center, exhale and twist your torso to the left. Repeat 5 times. This will activate your spine extensors as well.

 Here are some Pilates core strengthening exercises for those fun summer activities!
1. Standing Side Lunge w/Rotation (Works rotators of the spine and obliques)
Using a ball or 5 pound weight in hands, make a round “basket” type position with arms. Shoulders are stabilized and arms out in front of torso. Stand in a side lunge position – right knee bent/behind toes, back left leg extends. Stay on the ball of back foot.  Inhale and rotate ball/weight to the right, twisting from the core, exhale and contract abs. Inhale, return your arms to center, exhale and rotate right. Repeat 10 times and switch your lunge to the other side and repeat on left side
2. Single Leg Plank on Forearms – intermediate (works entire core)
In a plank position on forearms and elbows under shoulders, palms flat, keeping your inner thighs together. Pull your navel in to engage ab muscles, to prevent arching your low back. Inhale, and bend your right knee, point foot to the sky, exhale, and pull your abs in tight. Inhale again, exhale release foot to the floor. Inhale, bend left knee, and lift left foot to the sky, exhale. Inhale, release foot to the floor, exhale. Repeat sequence 5 times each side.
3. Pilates Criss Cross
Lying on your back, spine in neutral, with no arching/space in the low back. Hands behind head, chin tucked slightly, elbows wide. Left leg extends out as right is bent.  Inhale and twist right elbow to left knee. Exhale engage abdominal muscles and switch legs, opposite elbow to knee.  Inhale, switch to the other side, opposite elbow to knee, and exhale. Repeat 10 times.   Remember to keep elbows wide and work from your abs and side, refrain from pulling on your neck. Repeat 5 times each side.

4. A) Modified Single Leg “V” lift (works Rectus Abdominis)
Lying on your back, in neutral spine. Place hands behind your head, elbows wide, chin slightly tucked in. Extend your right leg out a few inches off the floor. Inhale and lift your leg as high as the other knee, lift your head a few inches, until you feel your abs engage, and exhale. Inhale, release your head and leg, exhale lift leg and head, pulling your navel to your spine. Repeat 5 times. Repeat with the left leg 5times.
B) Intermediate/Advanced – Bridging with single leg lift. (Works entire core, abs/lower back)
On your back, arms to the side, head in neutral, knees bent. Inhale and roll your glutes off the floor and keep your knees in line with hips, and exhale. Inhale and extend your right leg straight out, exhale, and contract/engage your entire core. Keep your hips level “square”, without dropping to the right side. Release the leg and bend knee back to starting position. *Flex foot up, if hamstring starts to cramp
Bonus Bridge Challenge – (works it all, even glutes and hamstrings)
To make this bridging exercise even more challenging, start in a bridge position. Inhale and extend your right leg and lift it to the sky, straight up, exhale. Inhale and lower straight down, just to the knee, exhale and lift straight back up. Repeat 5 times on each side.
And voila! Now you now have a great base of exercises to strengthen your center for those summer activities!

CLOSED: July 1 to July 7 and opening again July 8th (Saturday) for classes bright and early! 



Snow cones come in two basic varieties: First, there’s the shaved iced concoction that’s popular at summertime fairs and festivals. You typically make them by scooping ice chips into a paper cone and then pouring a sugary syrup over the top for flavor. Some people also take the term literally and scoop wintertime snow into a bowl, cup or paper cone to create a true “snow” cone. Both varieties typically depend on some kind of topping for flavor. What you put into that flavoring determines how healthy the snow cone will be. However, it’s also possible to make healthy snow cone-like treats without using ice or snow.

Juice and Gelatin Cones

If you want to avoid the prepackaged sugary syrup toppings, there are ways to make a healthier cone. You can try pouring thawed but undiluted orange juice concentrate over the snow or ice. You can also mix your favorite fruit-flavored gelatin mix with water and pour it over your icy base instead of letting it gel. If you want to avoid sugar, use a sugar-free gelatin mix.

Berry Snow Cones

Another option is to create a syrup from fresh or frozen berries. Using a blender or food processor, puree the fruit and add a minimum amount of sugar or another sweetener like agave syrup or a sugar substitute. The sweeter the fruit, the less sweetener you have to add. You can also add a small amount of unsweetened fruit juice to the mix. Pour the berry mixture over a cone or cup of shaved ice.

Juice Snow Cones

For another twist on the traditional snow cone, instead of pouring a syrup over the top, create flavored ice shavings instead. Take any unsweetened juice or nectar that you enjoy, add a bit of sugar or other sweetener if you feel it needs it, and then pour the mixture into ice cube trays. Put the trays into the freezer for at least two hours or until the juice is frozen firm. Once the juice is hard, run the cubes through a snow-cone maker or ice shaver and spoon the shavings into cones or cups. The flavor is packed inside.

Melon Snow Cone

You can also take the “snow” out of the snow cone and use fresh melon to make a snow cone-like treat. Any variety of melon, such as a ripe watermelon or honeydew, will do. Cut the melon in half and use an ice cream scoop to carve out a large ball. Put the melon ball on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and set it in the freezer for no more than an hour. After it’s chilled, roll the ball in low-fat vanilla yogurt and some coconut. Garnish with a few sprinkles for color.

Fresh Banana Snow Cone

Another snow cone-like option is to use frozen bananas instead of the ice. Once your bananas are frozen, run them through an ice shaver or snow cone machine. Scoop the banana shavings into your snow cone cup. Top with chopped nuts to add texture to this creamy treat.


Saturday August 12th from 12-3:30pm  $195
Pilates teaches useful skills to utilize during your everyday practices as it encourages your body to be functional and mobile. Alongside its rehabilitative and core strengthening qualities it can help to improve the physical and mental quality of our lives.  Please join us on Saturday August 12th from 12-3:30pm and learn how to apply these tools to your everyday life.  Introducing Chandra Le, who resides in Macau China has over 14 years of experience in the fitness and Pilates community.  Her extensive training includes an initial Pilates certification in 2003, a personal training certification through the American Council of Exercise – ACE in 2005, followed by Gyrotonic Expansion System Level 1 in 2007 and Booty Barre in 2011.  Chandra furthered her knowledge and became a Balanced Body faculty member in 2013 allowing her to certify future Pilates instructors.  In 2015, Chandra became the Education Director for Absolute Pilates in Bangkok, Thailand.  Currently, Chandra offers classes, workshops and Balanced Body education around the world.  Cost of workshop is $195 and spaces are limited.
Reserve before July 15th and receive an early bird rate of $175!
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