Improving Bone Density

Osteoporosis is a condition which affects bones causing them to become fragile and brittle. The word osteoporosis literally translating from “osteo” meaning “bone” and the Greek word “poros” meaning “porous”. Osteoporosis affects over three million people in the UK and women are more at risk of developing osteoporosis than men.

From around the age of 35 onward bone material begins to decrease in strength and density. If you have a large decrease in bone density this is known as osteoporosis. When you have this condition you are more likely to suffer from breaks or fractures of the bones.

When diagnosed with osteoporosis, individuals are usually recommended exercises which involve an element of weight bearing. This includes day-to-day activities such as walking. Pilates is also highly recommended. Weight bearing exercises help to improve bone density by increasing the force placed through the bones which enables them to grow stronger and denser.

Pilates is a great form of exercise to help to improve bone density, especially in exercises where the body works in opposition to gravitational pull which acts on the body (e.g. in an exercise like femur arcs). Pilates also helps to strengthen muscles which support bone structures and joints and this in turn can help to prevent fractures.

It is important to note that not all Pilates exercises are recommended for those with osteoporosis and if you are planning on attending a Pilates class, make sure you tell your teacher about your health history. If you have osteoporosis it is contraindicated to perform exercises which involve full range rotation and side bending or forwards flexion as this can increase the risk of fractures within the spine.

A great exercise for those with osteoporosis is called quadruped. Benefits of quadruped include: weight bearing, strengthening of musculature, coordination and balance.

To perform quadruped bring yourself to a strong hands and knees position where your hands are in line with your shoulders and your knees are in line with your hips.

Version 1: Slide one foot along the floor away from the body whilst still keeping both hands and the opposite knee in contact with the floor. Keep the hips level.

Version 2: Lift the leg as you lengthen it away from the body.

Version 3: As you straighten and lengthen through one leg, reach the opposite arm away from you at shoulder height in line with the head.

This article was featured in the Summer 2018 edition of Valley Life Magazine.

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February Footwork Focus

In February I have been making time to focus more on mobilising, moving and strengthening my feet.

Even if you’re not the biggest fan of feet you’ve got to appreciate how much they actually do for us: The feet are our key foundation and the part of our body that first connects us to the ground, they give us support, feedback about the environment we are moving in and are our primary method for getting from A to B.

I’m a big Die Hard fan. If you’ve watched it you may remember at the beginning of the film when John McClane is sat on the plane and he receives advice to combat jet lag by taking his shoes and socks off (when he arrives!) and making fists with his toes.

Now, I’m not sure how well this helps you fight jet lag but I have a couple of ideas as to why it might help which can be summarised as this:

By moving your feet you are stimulating acupressure points in the feet and sending feedback all the way through the rest of your body and nervous system to keep the brain alert.

Getting your feet moving at any time is great advice. We spend so much of our day with our feet cramped up in shoes, restricting foot and ankle movement and then expecting our feet and our bodies to be able to function fully despite not letting them move most of the time!!

This is why I’m a fan of freeing your feet as much as possible and getting them out of your shoes where possible! When you get in from work get your shoes off and get your feet moving!! Here are some different ideas of what you can do to free your feet:

  • Sitting on the floor bring one foot to your hands and gently using your hands give the foot a little massage on the top and the sole of the foot. There are lots of nerve endings in the feet and by giving them a little massage you can help to improve balance, strength and stability.
  • Following the foot massage, use the hands to manipulate the ankle in to a circling motion and then a flex and a point through the foot.
  • In a standing position, try picking up things with the toes and the feet. I sometimes scatter pens and pieces of material around the room and then use my feet to try to pick them up!
  • Standing Heel Raises: stand with legs in parallel, hip distance apart. Lift heels whilst keeping weight through the whole of the front of the foot. Slowly lower your heel back to the floor whilst reaching your heels backwards.
  • Standing Achilles Stretch: stand on a step with your legs in parallel, heels off the edge of the step. Reach your heels down towards the floor to stretch through the back of the ankles and legs.

Let me know how you get on!

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Christmas Gift List

Please see below our Christmas Offers List. There are some great gift ideas for family or friends who are planning on making Pilates a priority in 2018!

With discounts and special pricing bundles offering between 5-20% off these are a great value gift!

To take advantage of these Christmas offers, or to purchase them as a Gift Card contact Bryony on 07963805951 or email bryony@thebridgepilatesstudio.co.uk

 

Offers are available until the 24th December 2017.

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Pilatesathon

Pilatesathon – Sunday 26 November 7am-7pm 

UPDATE!!!

Raising Awareness, Raising Funds and Raising Spirits with Pilates!

 

Join us on Sunday 26th November for a Pilatesathon to raise money for Stroke Association, Mind and WomenCentre Halifax.

Classes will be running from 7am, every hour until 7pm, with a host of different Pilates instructors and styles of classes throughout the day. Class information is now available! 

 

Here’s the timetable for the day…

If you’d like to join us for a specific time slot you can book in advance in three ways:

Email us

Find us on Facebook

Call 07963805951

There are several different ways you can get involved: 

Sponsor Me! 

I am planning on teaching or participating in all TWELVE sessions throughout the day. You can sponsor me, and give me that extra BOOST to keep on going throughout the day!

 

Join Me!

Instead of sponsoring me, why not support the day by coming and joining in for an hour, two or more!

For every hour that you join in we request a  £5 donation (for up to four classes, after that it’s free, or you can donate as you feel appropriate for the rest of the day!). You can stay for consecutive classes or come and go throughout the day.

 

Get Sponsors for You! 

If you’re joining in on the day, why not set up your own sponsorship?

You could come in fancy dress, complete the 12 hours or maybe even attending one of the hours would be a great achievement for you! Ask your friends and family to sponsor you to come along, contact me to be added to my team of fundraisers online, or for a printed sponsorship form for the event.

 

Registering your interest

Booking isn’t essential, but to help us get an idea of how many mats and props to bring please register your interest by emailing me: bryony@thebridgepilatesstudio.co.uk

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Move Well…. Balance

In 2017 I wrote a few articles for Valley Life magazine focusing on some of the principles of Pilates. Here’s an article I wrote about Balance:

 

Balance is a fundamental principle in Pilates and crucial in everyday life when performing activities such as sitting, walking, reaching or carrying something as well as in sports activities.

When thinking about balance we often relate it to our ability to orientate ourselves to the space around us, however in Pilates, balance relates to orientating the body in relation to itself as much as to the world around it. Through finding balance and coordination the body can function and move in a much more efficient way. Within Pilates we look at balancing movement through the left and right side of the body, the relationship between equal strength and effort through the front and back lines of the body and synchronizing and organising the upper body in relation to the lower body.

Try this: Stand with both feet on the floor. Notice where your weight is through your feet, are you standing with more weight towards your big toe, your little toe or your heel? Imagine a triangle of support through the foot that spreads the weight between the heel and across the front of the foot. Take a rise, pressing down through the front of the feet and lift your heels off the floor. Keep the weight spread through from the ball of the big toe to the little toe.

Notice what happens in the body as you do this. When the front of the foot is pressing down in to the floor this creates length through the front of the ankles and hips. This downward pressure through the front of the foot has the opposite upward movement effect in the heel, which is going up. When you find good balance in this rise it is due to finding balance not just through the feet but through the whole of the body and finding equal forces and pressure in opposite directions.

 

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FAQ

Your Questions Answered

How long is a session?

1-2-1s, 2-2-1s and group sessions are scheduled for 1hour, however if you would like to book a longer or shorter session this can be arranged by request.

 

What can I expect from my first session?

Your first 1-2-1 session is an opportunity to introduce you to the full Pilates equipment. We will look at several assessment exercises to enable me to gauge which pieces of equipment would suit you best. We will discuss your goals for Pilates and the ways in which Pilates can complement your daily life and activities.

Over the following weeks, we will develop your movement vocabulary on the equipment and combine your studio equipment sessions with home exercises to give you the best possible Pilates experience.

 

How do I book?

To book your sessions visit our booking page, call 07963805951 or email bryony@thebridgepilatesstudio.co.uk Together we can find the perfect time for you to visit the studio.

 

How do I pay?

Payments can be made in cash or cheque at the studio or online via PayPal. You can book all your sessions in advance by contacting me and requesting a regular 1-2-1 slot.

 

Can group sessions be booked?

Yes, at the Bridge Pilates Studio private group sessions can be booked for a maximum of 4 people. The cost for a single private group sessions is £50 which can be split between the members of the group. Group classes run on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday however you must have attended an initial introductory 1-2-1 prior to joining the group sessions.

 

What do the group sessions involve?

Group sessions allow you to work on a personal Pilates programme of exercise which has been developed based on your personal needs and your goals for your Pilates experience.

 

What do I wear?

Please wear clothing that is comfortable to move in with some stretch such as leggings or jogging bottoms and a fitted top. You can either have bare feet or wear socks. I would recommend socks with grip on the bottom. These can be purchase at the studio.

 

Do I need to bring any equipment?

No, all you need to bring is yourself and be ready to move! All the equipment you need is provided at the studio.

 

How often should I attend classes?

The World Health Organisation recommends that we exercise a minimum of three times a week. I would recommend a weekly 1-2-1 session as well as practicing Pilates at home daily. As part of your 1-2-1 experience I can develop a personal programme of exercises which you can perform at home in your own time.

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