The benefits of exercise for people living with MS are well-known, with research showing that regular and moderate activity can actually reduce fatigue levels, as well as improve muscular strength to support the skeletal system, increase mobility and help with regular bowel and bladder function.
From Zumba to spinning, deep water exercise to running, people with MS often tell us about the weird and wonderful exercise classes they partake in and how much it has helped them to manage their MS. One type of exercise which is proving particularly popular among the MS community is Pilates, with research showing that this core-strengthening exercise can improve balance, mobility and muscle strength, plus lead to greater improvements in cognitive symptoms and quality of life when compared to more traditional exercise.
For those unacquainted, Pilates – according to the NHS website – is a form of exercise “that aims to strengthen the body in an even way, correcting any imbalances present throughout the body, with particular emphasis on core strength to improve general fitness and well being.” Developed by German-born Joseph Pilates, who believed mental and physical health were closely connected, Pilates exercises are often done on a mat or using special equipment like soft balls and bands which are easily transferable for workouts clients can do at home. At Archer Pilates, we have the benefits of additional equipment, that many studios in our area do not have access to. Our Studio has the Reformer, Chair, Cadillac, and Barrel, which allow for a greater array of balance and strength exercises. The resistance from the Springs on our specialized equipment, is ideal for clients living with MS to regain the muscle strength lost, that is unfortunately one of the most debilitating symptoms of their disease.
Pilates exercises are low-impact but work every part of the body, and we at Archer Pilates have seen first-hand just how much of a difference this type of exercise can make to people with MS. There are a huge number of benefits. Our focus is building strength and control of the muscles, which then helps support the joints and skeletal system. It can improve balance, posture and body awareness, and just general well being, so if you’re feeling particularly tense or tight, Pilates really help you to relax and generally gets everything moving in a well balanced fashion.
We’ve seen huge improvements in all of our clients here which is so rewarding to see. It doesn’t happen overnight, and you have to work hard, but long-term we have seen changes and we know they would all agree. You can see first hand from one of our long term clients Toni Patillo, with her video testimonial here, on how much her life has improved through our Program at Archer Pilates.
There are many reasons why using Pilates is effective for conditioning or rehabilitation of a client with Fibromyalgia. Pilates is a low impact program that focuses not only on core strength and stability, but the use of breathing and breath work. Breathing oxygenates blood and increases circulation to all regions of the body. With recent studies showing that breathing while incorporated during exercise can increase relaxation of muscles and thus avoid undue tension, the use of Pilates is a “no brainer”.
A strong tendency for those suffering from Fibromyalgia is to “disconnect” from their body. Pilates’ emphasis on the connection of the mind to the body, can also be a huge benefit. Clients’ ability to participate in an exercise program from which there is no exacerbation of symptoms can greatly improve their sense of well being. From a musculoskeletal standpoint, it also allows for the improvement in articular mobility of the spine in a very gentle and supported environment.
Hypermobility has been reported to be an additional factor affecting clients with Fibromyalgia. There is a greater tendency for the muscles to rotate, causing imbalances and trigger points. (Travell and Simmons 1983)
Key areas of focus for this type of program design are primarily endurance, posture and managing fatigue. One strategy for optimizing the exercise experience for the client is timing their sessions earlier in the day. By starting the day with an oxygenating breathing-focused routine, the onset of fatigue can be pushed back in some cases.
Clients with FMS will improve best with personalized programs, which can be accomplished with Pilates. The focus should be on gentle stretching exercises and on deep, core stabilization work for both pelvic and scapula stabilization.
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Yield: 12
- Category: Breakfast, Gluten Free, Vegan
- 4 cups old fashioned oats, gluten free certified if necessary
- 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2⅓ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup
- 1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds
- Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and mix well until everything is combined.
- Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray and scoop oatmeal mixture in using a large ice cream scoop or a 1/4 measuring cup. The mixture will be a little watery, so it’s important to mix well before each scoop to make sure you get an even combination of milk and oats.
- Bake oatmeal cups for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.
This is a simple and delicious Mediterranean inspired vegetarian roasted chickpea wrap with refreshing tzatziki sauce. Who doesn’t like to take a quick break from meat every now and then? This is the perfect way to quench your appetite and still get delicious plant based protein. I hope you all enjoy it!!
- 1 15 oz can chickpeas 425 g, 1 ½ cup soaked chickpeas if starting from dry, drained and rinsed
- 1 Tbsp olive oil 15 mL
- 1 Tbsp paprika* 7 g
- 1 tsp ground black pepper 3 g
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1.5 g
- 1/4 tsp salt 1.5 g
- 4 pita flatbreads
- 1 cup tzatziki (click for recipe) 250 g, use ⅓ recipe if you’re just making it for these gyros
- 1/4 red onion cut into strips
- 2 lettuce leaves roughly chopped
- 1 tomato sliced
Roast: Spread chickpeas onto a greased rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned but not hard.
Assemble: Spread some tzatziki onto one side of the pita, then sprinkle in ¼ of the chickpeas and add veggies. Fold in half and enjoy!
- *If you don’t like spicy foods, halve the amount paprika, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Taste a chickpea before baking and adjust flavors as needed.
- If your pita breads crack when you fold them, cover them with a moist paper towel and microwave for 20 to 30 seconds. Assemble your sandwich immediately after microwaving.
Fried tofu adds a delicious crunch to this cucumber and cashew-filled vegan quinoa bowl.
- 14 oz. extra-firm tofu
- 1/2 small red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1/4 c. red wine vinegar
- 1/4 c. Thai sweet chili sauce
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 seedless cucumber, chopped
- 3 tbsp. cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 c. quinoa, cooked
- 2 tbsp. roasted cashew halves
- Parsley leaves, for garnish
- Slice tofu 1/4 inch thick. Place on cutting board between paper towels; top with baking sheet. Top with large cans or other weight; let stand 10 minutes. Soak red onion in cold water.
- Whisk red wine vinegar and Thai sweet chili sauce, olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Pat onion dry; toss with half of vinaigrette and cucumber.
- Sprinkle tofu on both sides with cornstarch. In 12-inch skillet, heat vegetable oil on medium-high until hot. Carefully add tofu. Cook until deep golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels.
- Divide quinoa among 4 bowls. Top each with salad, roasted cashew halves, parsley leaves and tofu.
Test Kitchen Tip: Love your tofu extra crispy? Let stand 30 minutes instead of 10.
Saturday April 14th 12:30pm – 4:30pm
This Workshop is recommended for anyone interested in learning more about the intricate details of Pilates and how to maintain correct form during your Pilates Workouts. Get the most out of any and every Pilates class you take, by spending the day learning about the Fundamentals of the moves you’re doing, what parts of your body you’re working, and most importantly WHY you’re doing them!
If you are enrolling in the Teacher Training Program, this workshop is mandatory. But whether you’re planning on becoming an instructor, or just love Pilates and want to learn more, this is the workshop for you!
I swear tacos are my downfall!! Here is a delicious easy healthy shredded chicken taco recipe to satisfy your craving. You can always add more veggies, or avocado to freshen them up as well. Have some delicious black beans on the side and dig in. I hope you all enjoy these!.
- 2 thinly sliced chicken breasts
- 2 Tbsp Sriracha
- 6 corn tortillas
- 1 cup chopped red cabbage
- 1/2 cup chopped peppers
- 1/4 cup feta cheese
- 1 lime
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place the chicken breasts on a baking sheet and top with Sriracha. Bake for 30 minutes (or until they’re fully cooked).
While the chicken is baking, heat the tortillas up (optional).
Top each tortilla with chopped red cabbage and chopped peppers.
When the chicken has finished baking, shred it and place in the tortillas.
Top each taco with feta cheese and a drizzle of lime. Enjoy!
Sometimes, it can be pretty hard finishing a strenuous workout on your own. Especially in the cold and dark time of the year. Training with a partner (both male or female), however, opens up a whole new range of possibilities for motivation. Your training partner can help you hang tough and achieve your goals, regardless of how far away they may seem at first. We would like to share with you five good reasons to exercise with your friends.
1. More motivation and no lame excuses
It is a pleasant Saturday afternoon and you are lazing on the couch. Your favorite TV series is just coming on. Sounds like the perfect excuse to skip today’s training, right? Not if you are training with a partner, it doesn’t! Regular workout times with your friends help you to stick it out and finish your routine. The chances of you choosing your couch over your training session are much lower in this case. It would be pretty embarrassing, wouldn’t it, if you cancelled on your friends because “you didn’t feel like it”? But don’t just take my word for it: Psychologists at Stony Brook University in New York have found that the exercise habits of friends and family members affect personal motivation. The evidence showed that the motivation of the people closest to us has a positive influence on us and encourages us to do more sports. So what does this mean? It means you should put on some running clothes and a pair of good shoes, meet your friend in the park and leave your weaker self back home on the couch.
2. It makes training more fun
Many “training moments” aren’t really funny if you don’t have someone to laugh with. One way of increasing the fun factor is to come up with new ideas on how you can modify your exercises or make your runs together more interesting. For example, instead of just doing a plank challenge, try one with partner hand slaps. Or throw a ball back and forth while doing sit-ups. There are lots of ways you can shake up your training plan – but the craziest and funniest ideas will come to you when you brainstorm together with a friend. These change-ups will make the time fly and – whoosh! – before you know it, an hour will have passed. And the best thing is that you didn’t look at the clock once
3. You push each other
When you feel close to giving up, a training partner can be all the more important because they can help you build up your motivation again. A sporting challenge among friends can help you to push each other and stretch your limits. Consider the following: In England, women were surveyed on their exercise behavior. The study found that 64% of women who train with their best friends were more likely to push their workouts to the limit than those who exercised on their own. Does this mean you are doomed if you can’t find time to work out together? Hardly. You can share your achievements with your friends on Archer Pilates social media and push each other to new personal bests. Who will run the most kilometers in November? Who can do the most burpees in a minute?
4. Sport brings people together
Did you know that more than 40% of participants drop a fitness course shortly after it begins if they attend on their own? But if they work out with a friend, the dropout rate decreases to 6%. This suggests that one of the best reasons for exercising with friends is the social interaction. People who train together form a group identity and no longer feel alone. When you accomplish something on your own, of course, it’s amazing. Sharing your successes with your friends who know how hard you’ve worked to conquer your inner couch potato feels even better. And if things don’t go as planned? Who cares? A pat on the back from a friend can make things seem half as bad. These simple acts create a kind of connection between people. And it is this kind of experience that bonds people together and makes their friendship that much stronger.
5. Train together, stay together
You should also consider training with your romantic partner. Studies have shown that couples who exercise together regularly are happier in their relationship. Working out together strengthens the relationship and enhances sexual attraction. A morning run, a gym date in the evening or a bike trip on the weekend can heat things up – isn’t that reason enough to work out with your better half?
So, are you still vegging on the couch, or are you already out there racing your partner? Let us know if and why you like training with friends