Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Benefits of Pilates

When it comes to Pilates, most women either are die-hard enthusiasts or have never stepped foot in a Pilates studio. Are you in the latter group? Tons of research on the benefits of Pilates would suggest you switch camps. Here are some reasons why women should try Pilates.

It's Ah-Mazing for your Abs
Pilates hits your core (or, in Pilates speak, your "powerhouse") unlike any other workout. In fact, after completing 36 weeks of Pilates training, women strengthened their rectus abdominis (the muscle responsible for six-packs) by an average of 21 percent, while eliminating muscle imbalances between the right and left sides of their cores, according to a Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study.

Pilates can ease back pain
A stronger core equals a better back, says Tracy Zindell, Flex Pilates Chicago founder and master instructor. That's why those with chronic lower back pain who practiced Pilates for just four weeks experienced more relief than those who visited a physician and other specialists, says a Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy study. What's more, their pain stayed away for a full year post-Pilates. Researchers believe that by stabilizing the core's lumbar-pelvic (lower-back) region, Pilates alleviates stress on the area and ups mobility.

It is easy on your joints
Pilates' slow and controlled movements puts minimal impact on your joints. Bonus if you're using the Pilates reformer: "The padding on a Pilates reformer is as thick as 10 yoga mats," says Zindell. "It takes the pressure off of your back and knees."

Pilates hones your focus
Pilates urges you to focus on 1) your breath, 2) your body, and 3) how they move together. It takes a lot of concentration, says Zindell. "You can't zone out." That means you're forced to forget about work, bills, boyfriends, and other drama for a full hour. Ahh.

It Improves Sports Performance
"When you start focusing on your core, you realize that all of your muscles are connected through your core. Try doing lunges without your abdominals. You'll crumble over," says Zindel, who has trained everyday athletes and professional ones including Chicago Bulls player Joakim Noah. "With a stronger core, you can run faster, your yoga is on point, and overall, the rest of your workouts improve," she says. Plus, by working in small groups or one-on-one with a Pilates instructor, you can learn moves that mimic and improve performance in your sport of choice.

It makes you more flexible
"I always hear people saying, 'I've never been flexible, I can't do Pilates.' But that's why they should be doing it," Zindell says. In one Brazilian study, when young women (without any prior Pilates experience) performed 20 Pilates sessions, they became 19.1 percent more flexible. When you're tight, you shorten your muscle and limit your body's range of motion, she says. At best, that can hurt your exercise performance. At worst, it can cause injury.

It Boosts your Brainpower
Joseph Pilates called his workout method "the thinking man's exercise." It could very well be. When Chinese researchers measured changes in women's brain activity after 10 weeks of Pilates training, they found an increase in the brain's alpha peak power, which is related to neural network activity, memory performance, and other cognitive functions. Researchers believe Pilates may even hold potential as a treatment option for people with brain-degenerative diseases and cognitive dysfunctions.

Think no further, try out our affordable Private Pilates classes where you have the luxury of having 1-1 quality classes at your home!


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

6 Tips to Stay Fit despite a Busy Work life

How to stay fit despite a busy work schedule

We know that most people have a very busy schedule in Singapore. We have one of the longest working hours in the world, and working so long is bound to give you health problems.

We also know it is not easy to take time out to go to the gym or head for fitness classes, so we came up with 6 quick tips for you to stay relatively fit.

Here are some 6 ways we know that you can keep fit even if you have with a busy office job: 

1. Assess your current abilities and choose the right program

You want to stay fit even with a busy workload. However, your goal has no meaning if you do not account for the starting point. Assess your current physical abilities and then plot your workout routine to fit your goals. 

Choose the correct type of class that offers you the time flexibility and focus on the type of lessons that meet your specific goals. This is so you get the most concentrated results without wasting too much time.

2. Focus on working out efficiently 

Choose a workout routine that you can do almost anywhere. It should be a form of exercise that does not require much in terms of preparation or equipment. Make sure when you start the exercise, you give yourself a time limit - say 1 hour - and you aim to put in all your energy into that 1 hour.

It should be a workout routine that aims at accomplishing substantial physical gains in a short time. Some examples are high-intensity interval training or bodyweight exercises. 
3. Make a schedule that you stick with 

The most common excuse we hear for not working out that usually goes something like this: “I had too much to do today that I just couldn’t fit my 5 minute quick workout session.” That is just not cool. 

To stay fit with busy work you need a dedicated schedule that you stick to week in and week out. 

Working out is a long-term, high-rewards deal. You have to put in the work consistently for life, to reap the benefits. So, make a schedule and keep to it because you know that staying fit is a top priority for a healthy future. 

4. Simple exercises to do at the desk 

If you are REALLY devoid of free time, what you can try are some simple exercises that you can near at or at your desk.

• Stair master: Take the stairs. Avoid the elevators. 

• Wall sit: This is great for building strength and endurance. To do it stand with your back against the wall, bend your-knees and slide-your back down-the wall until you're sitting on midair. Try to get your thighs to be parallel to-the floor. Hold this position for 30 – 60 seconds, maybe while reading a magazine. To go up a level, cross your left ankle over your right knee for 15 seconds. Now switch. 

• Fist Pump: Did I hear someone say that you are getting a bonus this month? Fist pump into the air like the champion that you are!!! Seriously though, punch your fists toward the ceiling for 2 minutes. 

• Shoulder shrug: Raise your shoulders up towards your ears, hold for 5 seconds and relax. Do this 15 times or reps. Try the advanced method and hold heavy books or paper reams in each hand while you shoulder shrug. 

• Perfect your posture: Adjust your chair height. Make sure that your feet, arms and hips are at a 90 degree angle to the floor. This will engage the core of your body. Keep your back straight through the day. Do not slouch. Ever. 

5. Have a good diet 

A healthy diet is essential to keeping fit. Exercise can only do so much to help you attain a healthy lifestyle.

• Make sure to eat breakfast. 
• Stay off excess coffee. Too much coffee can have bad effects on your liver. 
• Drink more water. 
• Eat whole foods, and not junk food. 
• Limit how much alcohol you drink 
• Carry healthy snacks with you. Pieces of fruit and such are great energy boosters. 
• Don’t get stuffed when you eat. Don’t overeat. It slows your digestion down and tires you out. 
• Avoid eating late. This stresses your body. Your metabolism is slowed after 8pm. You don’t want to be overworking your already tired body when you should be resting. 
• Increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Eat 3 servings of fruit a day. 

6. Work with a personal home fitness instructor 

And we’re here at our favorite piece of advice. It’s a sure fact that bringing a personal trainer into your life is a sound decision. Having a dedicated fitness trainer to back you up in achieving your fitness goals is a smart-workout strategy. We’ll support you in assessing your abilities and come up with a relevant workout plan.

We also guide you through overcoming emotional & physical roadblocks, thus getting you the real results much faster than any of the above tips. You'll get all the motivation you need.

Some useful tips to keep in mind are that you and your trainer are going to be spending a lot of time together, so you should try your utmost best to find someone who has the right skills and rapport with you. Also, you have to be ready to do your share of the work when it comes to actually working out.

Stay committed. 
personal fitness instructor at work
Working out with a personal fitness trainer will help you get more focused results in tight schedules

Friday, November 24, 2017

8 crucial things you must first tell your fitness instructor

things to tell your personal fitness trainer

​One major benefit of working with Fitness LX personal fitness trainers and yoga instructors is that we are able to customize and personalize training packages to suit you. To maximise this advantage, make sure you discuss these 8 things with your fitness trainer before you start training!

1. Major goals you want to attain

For a start, it is important to inform us about the goals you want to attain. We have met many people with a wide range of goals. This is because each person has specific goals they want to meet.

It is by the knowledge of the goals that we will give you instructions and guide you in ways that will help you attain them. For instance, if your major goal is to lose weight or build more muscles, you need to inform us. We have ample knowledge on how to help each person attain the set goals in an effective manner.

2. Medical history

It can be dangerous if you start doing the training without informing us of your health history. It is important you inform us of any chronic health condition you suffer. You should also tell us if you have any type of medications that you usually take.

In addition, it is also advisable you inform us of any other diseases you might have been diagnosed that might affect your training. Any good personal fitness trainer will be able to come up with a training plan that is personalized to meet your needs according to your health status.

3. Tell us what you like doing during the training

It is worth noting that it is you who will be doing the training, and  not us. Therefore, it is important that we give you an opportunity to do what you enjoy doing as you train. Inform the trainer of the things you enjoy doing in your fitness class.
By discussing what you liked with your trainer, it will be possible for us to come up with a more customized training program that fits your specific likes. Enjoying your lessons more will help with motivation to continue.

4. Inform us of any injuries you have or suffered before

You need to tell our personal trainer of injuries you have or suffered before. In case there is an injury that keeps on bothering you, let us know. This will ensure that we do not make you perform exercises that will aggravate the problem.

Since we have the right knowledge, we will even instruct you on strength work that will ensure that the injury does not recur again. We also get professional advice on the best practices that will help you avoid suffering from injuries as you do the training.

5. Your work schedule

It is important as home trainers, we understand your work schedule. This will help in developing a training program that suits your schedule. We will know when you have a more demanding or intense schedule, thus scale down your training regime.

When you do not have a more intense schedule, we will be able to scale up your training. All these will ensure that you do not get strained or overworked leading to fatigue that will hinder attainment of your set goals.

6. Your preferred area of focus

You might want to undergo our training program with special focus on some parts of your body. For instance, you can do the workouts that can reduce belly fat or gain more muscles.

Since we do not know your area of focus, it is advisable you inform us, so that we come up with training techniques to help you attain the objectives you have regarding those areas. We have ample knowledge on the best training that will help you get the best results.

7. Your past success and failures

It is vital you inform us of the success you have made and where you have failed. Tell us some of the reasons that made you succeed and also reasons for the failures.

This is necessary so that our trainer can understand how to create a training  program that will ensure that you only succeed and avoid failure or disappointment. We will know how to keep you motivated throughout to boost your success rate.

8. Timeline

When you begin your training program, you must have a timeline set to have attained some of your goals. You will need to share this with us, so that we come up with strategies that will ensure you can attain the goals within this timeline. We will also advice you if the timeline you have set is realistic or not.

Are you ready to start getting fit? Now that you know how to get the best out of working with personal trainers, make sure you communicate well us.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

4 Best Home Exercises to Strengthen Your Core

exercises to strengthen core

​​As a personal fitness trainer, many of my  clients are  keen on ways to make their core stronger. While I do core strengthening exercises with them in the gym using some equipment, I also understand that many are not as comfortable in the gym.
If you prefer to try exercising by yourself at home, here are my 4 recommendations for exercises that can strengthen your core. These are very basic exercises that anyone can do. 
​1. Abdominal Crunch

Let's start with the most well known - widely known as the dreaded crunches.

There are many different ways you can do a crunch, and they are all beneficial for strengthening your core.

The main form a crunch involves laying on your back, and moving your upper half towards your legs. However, due to the possibility of straining your neck during this exercises, there are other ways to do that will involve less risk. 

For instance, You can lay your back on the floor, and bring your legs up to your chest. This can be far easier for many people who want stronger core muscles. 

15-25 crunches are a great starter to get working on those core muscles. 
​2. Planking

Like with abdominal crunches, there is a lot of variety when it comes to this exercise. A regular plank involves laying on the floor and supporting your sore using your elbows to prop you up. This works out a variety of core muscles, including your obliques, as well as your abdomen.

Modifications to this can lower the intensity, but still work out those prime muscles.  Such as a Modified Plank, which is just like a regular plank, except that you are on your knees. Side Planks also work very well in working out a specific oblique muscle. 

One is called the Sliding Pike. In this position, you put a towel under your feet and take a planking position. Then you slide your feet forward, jutting your butt into the air. This works out not only your core muscles, but some of your arm and leg muscles as well. 

You should hold these for about 10 seconds and gradually increase the duration to 60 seconds. 
​3. Knee Tuck

This is where you sit tall, with your knees bent, but forced apart using a ball. An exercise ball works best, but even a child's toy ball will work for this. Then, while keeping your upper body still, lift your knees, and using your arms, pull your knees towards your shoulders. You don't have to place anything between your knees too.

Knee Ticks are similar to a sit up, but can cause less neck strain. This mainly works out your abdominal muscles. I would  recommend that you repeat this 15-20 times or more. 
​4. Leg Extensions

Lay on your hands and knees. Now kick backwards, making a kick with each leg one rep. This will help you work on core muscles as well as your glutes. This is also low impact, which makes it good for beginners as well as seasoned professionals. Unlike the others, there isn't too many alternatives that can be done with these, so it is best to do them by the book.

It is best to do 10-15 leg extensions per set. This is good for starting off. You can do more sets if you have more muscles and endurance.
​Aim for 2-3 reps per exercise and you can see the improvements soon.

Think these 4 are too easy? Here are some other exercises you can do.

Having a strong core is key to having a strong body. If your core is strong, you'll have no problems with physical activities up to old age.

If these are too difficult for you, you can also look into Yoga classes or Pilates lessons with us. If you need a more customized training plan, don't be afraid to talk to us about your requirements too.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

What is the Difference Between Yoga and Pilates?

​​Both yoga and Pilates have become very popular in recent years because they each have incredible benefits for your health. But the question we at Fitness LX get asked the most is what the difference is between the two of them.

​Aren’t they the same thing?

The short answer is no, but allow me to explain what the difference is between yoga compared to Pilates

What is Yoga about?

First, let’s talk yoga.

Yoga is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. We're mostly referring to the physical practice of Yoga, commonly known as Hatha yoga

Things most commonly done in a yoga session:
  • Breathing exercises
  • Stretches
  • Posture exercises
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness 

Yoga is great for uniting your holy trinity of mind, body and spirit. I teach you how to use your mind and body as one. Yoga is also a wonderful way to heal your body and bring harmony to a discordant and busy mind. If you’ve suffered from an injury or have health issues, yoga is a gentle and therapeutic way to gain more flexibility and train your mind to relax. 

​With yoga, movements are performed on an exercise mat and your body’s own weight is used to provide resistance in the exercises. It takes focus and practice to perform these poses. With my instruction, I can help you go from beginner to advanced right in the privacy of your own home. 
What about Pilates?

​​Now, let’s talk about Pilates.

Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, after whom it was named.

Things most commonly done in a Pilates session:
  • Breathing exercises
  • Emphasis on alignment
  • Controlled movements
  • Core exercises 

There are definitely some similarities between yoga and Pilates. One of the biggest differences is that with Pilates, there are often exercise machines or resistance bands involved.

Pilates also works out the body in a more vigorous way with an intensive focus on the core of the body. It’s by establishing a strong core that we are able to enjoy greater body strength. Every movement of our bodies originates from the core. Here, there is a balance between your flexibility and strength, which in turn leads to stronger, leaner muscles. 
​Of course, you can choose to do both of these types of exercises. They each can relieve your stress, improve your flexibility, give you better strength, increase your control, and lead you to better endurance. Those looking for more peace of mind and better flexibility might want to give yoga a try while Pilates can give you more flexibility and muscle strength.

Yoga or Pilates?

You don’t need to decide right now whether yoga or Pilates is better for you.

I’ve found that many of my clients have tried both of them out to see which one they like. Yoga isn’t for everyone, and some people truly prefer how Pilates really gets you to focus on your muscle groups and train them. It works some of your more intricate muscles and for those wanting to get in better shape and health, Pilates really can make a hugely positive impact on your physique. 

I’m happy to schedule a private instruction for yoga or Pilates in your own home at your convenience. Give them both a try and see which one you like the best. Who knows…you might even like them both and want to incorporate each of them into your weekly routine!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Yoga or Pilates: Which is better for me?

yoga vs pilates which is better
Yoga VS Pilates

As a yoga and pilates instructor, it is common for me to hear this question from my students: "is yoga or pilates better for me?". Well, answering this question is not as simple as choosing whether to play football or go swimming.

Both Yoga and Pilates practice can make you feel better, but there are also some differences that may affect your choice. The best way to make the right choice is to ask  the right questions.

Here are some questions for you and please, be completely honest with yourself. These little questions are going to help you find the right answers and to make your choice easier than you think.

What benefits are you looking for?

What do you want to get from the practice? 

If what you want to get is just a toned body, the better choice would be pilates, which is considered more strenuous than most yoga classes.

If, in addition to physically practicing, you are looking for a mental balance and wanting to improve your life even in other aspects (nutrition, ethics, tranquility, discipline, ego, etc ...) most likely the best choice you can do is to orient yourself towards yoga. You will be surprised how, what is apparently a purely physical practice can affect many other aspects of life.

How would you like to practice?

This is another way to understand what is best for you. If you prefer to practice without any tools, you will probably love yoga more as what you need is just your body and your mat; except for some particular yoga styles.

If you like doing a practice that is closer to a workout where you use medicine balls, machines and rollers you are up to something more similar to pilates, for sure!

Where do you want to practice?

Sure,  you can easily practice both disciplines at home (or at least the most traditional style of these disciplines), you have to taken into consideration that in order to take things to the next level in pilates, you might have to use specialized equipment at the gym.

Yoga is different.

Yes, you may need a couple of props to deepen your practice but we are talking about buying yoga blocks or yoga mats; so it is easier to keep things at home. So, if you are willing to go to a gym for more advanced sessions, go with pilates; if you want to keep things easy and you want to keep practicing at home you have to rely on yoga.

Do you want to relax or you want to tone your body up?

Both yoga and pilates involve some stretching. Is pilates or yoga better for toning?

If you're looking for a type of physical exercise that focuses on body toning, perhaps pilates is the perfect choice for you. If you are looking for a type of physical activity that focuses on body and mind relaxation, yoga is the way.

You want to correct posture problems?

Should you go for yoga or pilates for posture improvements?

If you have some posture problems you want to solve in a dynamic but gentle way you should rely more on pilates as it’s the perfect discipline to help you have a better posture and even recover from injuries.

Instead, if you suffer from back pain’s episodes, neck stress and so on, you could rely on yoga as a gentle stretch and a way to relax all the muscles and all the tension of our every day’s life and bad posture habits.

Give them a try
The advice I can give you is to follow your own instinct and to really listen to your body and soul during the practice. After having tried both yoga and pilates, try to understand what you really need and what is best for you.
Whatever you need at this particular moment in time try to consider it as a moment of personal care, a moment to challenge yourself to get better in both your body and spirit. This is the main key to find what suits you most and to find your perfect path for a healthier and happier relationship with yourself…as, at the end of the day, this is what this kind of fitness journeys are all about
Feel free to tell us what are your goals, and we can recommend what is best for you too!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Introduction to Fitness LX's new blog

Hi everyone, this post will be a quick announcement that Fitness LX's blog will be going live.

We will be covering topics mainly about health and fitness. Of course, our specialties are in personal fitness, Yoga, cardio, Pilates, and Zumba.

This blog will help serve our greater purpose of educating people about having a healthier lifestyle.

If you want us to cover any specific topics or if you want us to answer any questions about health and fitness, feel free to let us know!

Until then, stay tuned to our next article.


Leo and Kim

Benefits of Pilates

When it comes to Pilates, most women either are die-hard enthusiasts or have never stepped foot in a Pilates studio. Are you in the latter g...