Three Positive Benefits of Getting Outdoors

Article by Daniel Browne 06.04.16

April has arrived, which means we’re now well into spring and the weather is getting warmer. It’s the perfect time to start thinking about going outdoors more and exploring the world.

I’m a pretty outdoorsy type. I love long dog walks, exploring the countryside and being with nature. Maybe you are two. Or perhaps you’re not. Either way, there are huge benefits to spending time outdoors and here are my top three.

1. Being outdoors provides you with time to disconnect from life. Getting outside to do some kind of activity or even just to relax gives you time to switch off mentally. This in turn can help to reduce feelings of stress or anxiety. Being outdoors is good for a healthy mind.

2. Getting outdoors helps your creative side. Research has shown that being outdoors, even for something simple like a walk, can help to get your creative juices flowing. So if you’re struggling for new ideas or wondering how to solve a problem, put your shoes on and go for a walk. Being outside surrounded by nature is inspiring.

3. You’ll get a top up of Vitamin D. That big yellow ball in the sky is one of the best natural sources of Vitamin D. Getting a top up of it will help maintain the health of your bones, and being out in the sunshine is simply nice anyway. Just remember to use sun cream.

  
Daniel Browne is a hypnotherapist and wellbeing expert with practices in Warwick and Evesham. Please visit http://www.daniel-browne.co.uk to discover more about his work.

Pilates with Diane

Article by Diane Clark 01.014.16

Hello, I’m Diane Clark the owner of Pilates with Diane.

I’ve been practising Pilates for 10 years. I started attending Pilates classes at my local Leisure Centre as well as working out in the Gym and going swimming. After only a few sessions I was “hooked” on Pilates and haven’t looked back since.

Every week I’ll be bringing you a new exercise that you can try. 

This week’s exercise is Pilates Roll-Down from Kneeling. This exercise is an adaptation of the traditional Roll-Down (Standing) exercise.

 ROLL-DOWN – KNEELING

It aims to mobilise the back and stretch out the back and shoulders. In stages 2-4 the abdominal muscles are engaged as the torso rolls forwards and towards the floor. On the way up the upper abs (rectus abdominus) engage to restack the spine from the lumbar spine right up to the cervical spine of the neck. Complete 5 repetitions, then relax into Child’s Pose – Position 5 but with the head resting on the mat and the bottom on the heels – for 10 breaths.

  
1. Kneel with back straight, shoulders rolled down & back, head looking forwards. Engage stomach muscles. Inhale to prepare (1)

  

 2. Exhale & (nodding head down first) roll down until the hands reach the mat (2) & (3)

  
3. Inhale to prepare, then exhale & walk hands out onto mat, taking head in line with arms (4). Feel the stretch under the arms and in the upper back.

  
4. Feel the stretch under the arms and in the upper back. Also have a slight bend in the elbows so they rest on the mat. The tail bone should be positioned a few inches above the heels. Hold

  
5. Inhale (keeping the tummy hollowed)

6. Exhale & slowly slide the hands in, bringing the thighs to an upright position. (3) then (2). Inhale at the knees and tucking the pelvis under, roll up bringing the head up last to end in (1)

Repeat 5 more times

Hope you enjoy the series and see you next week for your Pilates Exercise of the Week!

Diane Clark

  

Tel: 07809 621142

Email: diane66pilates@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PilateswithDiane66

Twitter: @Pilates_Diane

  

 

Spring into Action this Spring

Article by Daniel Browne 23.03.16

Winter is coming to an end, which means spring will soon be here. We’ve already seen signs of it as we head towards the end of February, with beautiful sunny days gracing us.

Spring is my favourite season. I love everything about it – the warmer weather, sunnier and longer days, seeing all the new-born lambs in fields, noticing more wildlife, and the general lifting of everyone’s mood as the gloom of winter is dusted away. It’s a wonderful time of year and perfect for getting things done.

It’s around this time of year that I typically start talking about spring cleaning your mind. In fact, I wrote an article about spring cleaning your mind for Grow Leamington last year. It’s a great way of making sure you’re happy with all areas of your life and identifying any changes that need to be made. I’m going to give that a miss on this occasion, but do have a look at that previous article.

At the turn of the year you may have made New Year’s resolutions. It’s good to have goals for the year ahead and to work on achieving them. However, it can be quite difficult to do so during the winter months and so many people simply give up by the end of January. That is why, if you’ve got any goals to achieve, now is the time to spring into action. With everything seeming a bit better as winter comes to an end, and with summer soon to be in sight, the beginning of March is a perfect time to get cracking on achieving your goals.

Maybe you want to lose weight. Perhaps you want to finally give up smoking. Or maybe there’s another positive change you’d like to make in your life. It’s never too late to get started. In fact, in the last few months I’ve helped a 75 year old man lose weight and an 81 year old lady quit smoking after she’d smoked for 65 years! See… It’s never too late to achieve your goals.

So as we head into spring, what will you be working on achieving?
  
Daniel Browne is a hypnotherapist with practices in Warwick and Evesham. Please visit http://www.daniel-browne.co.uk to discover more about his work.

How can Pilates with Diane help you?

Article by Diane Clark 18.03.16

Pilates improves core strength which in turn will help your posture. It tones all parts of the body and is especially good for easing low level back pain. Not only does it work your body but as you are concentrating on the lateral breathing pattern and what movements you are doing it is also working your mind. Many clients have said although they know they have worked out after a class they feel relaxed and stretched out too.

“I now have improved mobility in my shoulder” – Southam College Class Client

“Diane is an excellent tutor & the classes are varied” – Ufton Class Client

“I like the feeling of wellbeing after the sessions..” – Client of 4 years

Look out for these Pilates Exercises in my weekly Grow Leamington blog:

Roll-down Kneeling –

Stretch out the back and sides & relax

Stage 1-  
Stage 2-

  
Stage 3- 

 
Here’s details of my Classes in Leamington Spa:

Intermediate Pilates Class Wednesday @ 6.15pm
& Friday Beginners Pilates Class @ 2.30pm
both held at The Cloister’s Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic in Lower Leam Street Leamington Spa.

Both classes at The Cloisters have a maximum of 10 clients attending in order for me to give personal help when needed. Telephone 01926 316420 and speak to Sarah to book your place.

I also teach 1:1’s & 1:2’s in my Studio in Southam. These are an hour long and cost only £35.
Ideal for complete beginners or those who are recovering from injury. These are good if you prefer a personal rather than group session. Some of my 1:1 clients have later come to my classes or vice versa.

  
Hope you enjoy the series and see you next week for your Pilates Exercise of the Week! 

Diane Clark

  
Tel: 07809 621142

Email: diane66pilates@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PilateswithDiane66 

Twitter: @Pilates_Diane

Roll-Back with Leg Lifts

Article by Diane Clark 04.03.16

  

I’m Diane Clark the owner of Pilates with Diane. I’ve been practising Pilates for 10 years. I started attending Pilates classes at my local Leisure Centre as well as working out in the Gym and going swimming. After only a few sessions I was “hooked” on Pilates and haven’t looked back since.

Every week I’ll be bringing you a new exercise that you can try. 

This week- Roll- Backs

Roll-Backs mobilise the spine also strengthening the abdominals & the lower back. You are also stretching out the outer thigh & hamstrings when you carry out the leg-lifts.

This is an intermediate level exercise that can be done with or without the Pilates ball in the small of the back

 
1 Sit up with a straight back and knees bent with abs engaged.

Inhale and bring arms out at shoulder height.

  
2 Exhale and slowly roll back, curving the upper back and slightly hollowing the stomach.

Keep feet on the floor and a small space between the chin and the collar bone.

  
3 Inhale and Lift left leg up and out.

  
4 Exhale and lower the leg at the same time as rolling back up to position 1.

5 Exhale and slowly return to position 1.

  
Repeat positions 1-4 with the Right leg and altogether carry out 8 to 10 repetitions on each side.

  
To make the exercise harder you can lengthen the legs out as in the photo below. But this is an advanced move.

  
Another option is not to have the Pilates Ball in the small of your back.

  
Look out for next week’s instalment from Pilates with Diane.

 

Diane teaches Pilates classes in Harbury, Ufton, Southam and Leamington. If you’d rather have Personal (1:1) Pilates tuition then contact Diane for more details.

 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PilateswithDiane66

Twitter: @Pilates_Diane

Email: diane66pilates@gmail.com

Tel: 07809 621142

 

Mindfulness for Baby Swimming?

Article by Jo 22.02.16

Of course, there are always the obvious benefits of baby swimming that have always been there… 

Physical: strengthen heart/lungs

Social: learning to take turns, making friends.

Vital safety skills: turning to the side, back floating, rotations.

  
But has anyone thought of it having also having the most powerful notion of teaching parents to relax, live in the moment, and to have open hearts? 

In today’s busy world, baby swimming could have an ever greater role to play in teaching our water parents to ‘live in the moment and to really connect’ with their baby. Facilitating strong, powerful bonds between parent and baby.

  
Due to our busy lives, one where we are constantly bombarded with images and words via the Internet. We are becoming so connected to the tech world that we have forgotten to connect to the people around us.
We have become a society that creates ‘to do lists’, planning and thinking about the future and sometimes we get caught up in comparing our lives with others. Do we have a true sense of identity or have we lost who we are as we are surrounded by what others are doing? Our minds are preoccupied with taking photos or writing the moment for others, that we actually forget to live and enjoy the moment our self. How many of us check in daily with our heart and soul? Feel the sun, smell the aromas around us, listen or feel our breath?
We often miss the beauty around us. Opening our hearts and minds and offering compassion and love.

Children are so much better than us, living in the moment… But as they grow and adapt their environment …

Perhaps baby swimming can facilitate mindful practises for both parent and child?

Can we help increase our awareness of our senses, which in turn might help reduce anxieties and fears? 
  
How can baby swimming help promote a mindful presence?

*We can ask our swimming parents to check in. Are they participating in the classes or just going through the motions?

* We can offer a couple of moments at the start of the class to have ‘an open awareness’. To take a deep breath in and to release any tensions. 

* To start in a wide stance on the pool floor … To feel safe and grounded. allowing gentle movements to flow naturally.

You don’t have to go into full ‘yogic detail’ but just a few kind words, to create a sense of calm at the start of the class… A gentle reminder to watch our babies cues, ensuring they are happy throughout all of our swimming practises. And by ending the class with a lovely swim together, where parent and child can connect and enjoy the moment….

Reminding our selves to tune into their laughter, smiles, playful nature that the water brings. Creating a non-competitive environment through our swimming practises, where our swimming parents feel nurtured, safe our babies feel protected.

An environment where we are NOT teaching our babies to swim…. As that will just happen over time with patience…

But one that creates a powerful environment where we can truly relax, enjoy the water ….

One where we can escape just for 1/2 hour with our babies and dream and grow together. 

  

Pilates with Diane

Article by Diane Clark 18.02.16

I’m Diane Clark the owner of Pilates with Diane. I’ve been practising Pilates for 10 years. I started attending Pilates classes at my local Leisure Centre as well as working out in the Gym and going swimming. After only a few sessions I was “hooked” on Pilates and haven’t looked back since.

Every week I’ll be bringing you a new exercise that you can try. 

This week- Pilates Bridge 

This mobilises the spine, strengthening the abdominals & hip flexors at the same time. It also tones the bottom & works the hamstrings.  

Lie down in position (1) and find neutral spine. Pull up the pelvic floor muscles and feel a slight tension in the abdominal muscles by breathing the navel towards the spine. Ensure the abs are engaged throughout the exercise. Inhale to prepare 

 

 Exhale, tilt the pelvis up from the mat then the lower back, finally the mid back.

 

 Inhale again and bring the arms up above the chest.

 
 Gently exhale and release the back down to the mat.

 Turn the arms so the palms face the knees and slowly return to the mat. (4)
The feet can be directly on the mat or the floor. Mine are on the 1⁄2 roller to make the exercise more difficult.

After photo 3 roll the back down slowly before returning the arms to the mat.
Repeat 10 x
Hope you enjoy and I’ll see you next week. 

Diane Clark
Pilates with Diane

Tel: 07809 621142

Email: diane66pilates@gmail.com

Twitter: @Pilates_Diane

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PilateswithDiane66 

 

Rediscover Your Mojo

Article by Daniel Browne 17.02.15

Do you ever feel like you’ve lost your mojo? I’m sure we’ve all had that thought at some point and wondered where the hell it ran off to. You know, that feeling when you wake up in the morning and simply cannot be bothered to do anything. It’s not a nice way to feel, but it only needs to be a temporary issue as there are a number of ways to rediscover your lost mojo.

Losing your mojo isn’t simply having an off day. Every single one of us will have had an off day from time to time, but found that it soon passes and we feel good again. Unfortunately, losing your mojo can be the start of a downward spiral, during which you lose all motivation and feel overwhelmed by life. If you identify with this, read on for my top tips for rediscovering your mojo. After all, you have a life to enjoy.

1. Take some time out. When was the last time you had some ‘me time’? When did you last take the time to recharge? If you can’t remember, or it’s been longer than a couple of months, it has been too long. Taking a little bit of time out for yourself can do wonders, so be sure to commit to doing that. Make sure it’s on a regular basis too. That will reduce the risk of losing your mojo again in the future. Taking time out for yourself isn’t selfish; it’s an essential part of your wellbeing.

2. Be strict with yourself. If you have a huge to do list but haven’t been very productive for a period of more than half an hour, have a break. Go and do something else and then come back to your to do list with a commitment to work through it. Switch off all distractions, including Facebook. You’ll thank yourself for it.

3. Have a look at your environment and take notice of how it makes you feel. Does the space you are in inspire you? If not, have a clear-out or make some changes. The trick here is to create a space that inspires and empowers you. An uninspiring space isn’t good for your mojo.

4. If you have a huge to do list, allocate a set amount of time for each task. Getting on with stuff in that way doesn’t leave room for procrastination. By giving yourself an allocated time for each task, you may discover just how productive you can be.

5. Reward yourself when you have done something that you needed to do. That feeling of knowing you have something nice to look forward to at the end of something should inspire you to simply crack on. So go on, you deserve it.

You can apply these tips to any area of your life; whether it’s personal or professional, and by following these tips you will soon rediscover your mojo and never lose it again.

Daniel Browne is a hypnotherapist who can help you to find your mojo. See http://www.daniel-browne.co.uk to discover more.

Pilates with Diane

Article by Diane Clark 12.02.16

  

I’m Diane Clark the owner of Pilates with Diane. I’ve been practising Pilates for 10 years. I started attending Pilates classes at my local Leisure Centre as well as working out in the Gym and going swimming. After only a few sessions I was “hooked” on Pilates and haven’t looked back since.

I left the Corporate world as a PA at a National Utility Company HQ six years ago to retrain as a Pilates Instructor. After completing a Pilates Foundation course at a dedicated Pilates Studio, I then completed my Teaching Qualification – CYQ Level 3 in Teaching Mat Pilates – at Warwickshire College in 2010. The following year I also qualified as a Gym Instructor. I’m a member of. Also fully insured with Public Liability Insurance which is updated annually and I hold a current First Aid Certificate. To keep up to date I regularly attend workshops or training courses.

I include adaptations of the original Pilates exercises with Resistance Bands, Pilates Balls and Foam Rollers in my classes. Resistance bands are used for strength: Pilates balls to work on balance and coordination and Foam Rollers for back and pelvic stability work.

How can Pilates with Diane help you?

Pilates improves core strength which in turn will help your posture. It tones all parts of the body and is especially good for easing low level back pain. Not only does it work your body but as you are concentrating on the lateral breathing pattern and what movements you are doing it is also working your mind. Many clients have said although they know they have worked out after a class they feel relaxed and stretched out too.

“I now have improved mobility in my shoulder” – Southam College Class Client

“Diane is an excellent tutor & the classes are varied” – Ufton Class

“I like the feeling of wellbeing after the sessions..” – Client of 4 years

Each week I’ll be bringing you a new exercise to help you improve your fitness, posture and mobility. 

Hope you enjoy the series and see you next week!

Diane Clark

  
Tel: 07809 621142

Email: diane66pilates@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PilateswithDiane66

Twitter: @Pilates_Diane