wellness

Foam Roller Stretching Galore

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Pilates, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We once again revisit the Foam Roller because it is one of the most versatile, beneficial inexpensive training props available.  Not only can almost anyone use it, but also it can be harnessed for both active exercise and strength-training purposes as well as stretching and relaxation.  In specific, the Foam Roller is fantastic for stretching out the spine.

Why stretch the spine?  Well…for one, it supports our head, our limbs, and many of our organs and so it needs TLC.  But more so, we spend so much time stooped over, in a state of flexion (think rounded shoulders, sitting at a desk, in front of the TV, or in the car) that moving in the opposite direction is vital to long-term spinal health and functionality.

As far as accurate, medically sound resources go, YouTube can be hit or miss; however, there are a number of short videos devoted to stretching the spine, especially in the Thoracic region (think ribcage area), that are easy to follow and impart sound advice.

Check out these spine stretches!!

If nothing else, lolling around on a foam roller for a few minutes before bed is a nice way to step away from the day and into ‘I really want to experience sleep soon’ mode.  Get ready to sleep tight…or better yet, sleep loose!

To strengthen that spine, and make those stretches even more rewarding, begin a fantastic Pilates program today! As we approach the holidays take the time to give yourself and your loved ones the gift of sound mind and body.  It will last a lot longer than a trendy sweater!

 


Nutritional Counseling…DO IT NOW!

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Pilates, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is easy to run off and buy the newest iPad, designer handbag, or splurge on a trip to Europe; these kinds of purchases are exciting and come with tangible objects or, in the case of travel, photos and memories that can be ascribed to a specific time and place.  It is a lot harder to invest in personal health and wellness, which often lacks tangible, day-to-day markers of success.  In a world of instant gratification, holding something in your hand can be a lot more fulfilling then knowing that your efforts will pay off a month or two or three down the road.  Those who take the time to help themselves are often shocked when they come to understand how much nutrition and personal eating habits play a role in physical health and sense of well being.  You can have all the cool technology in the world and a wardrobe that Kate Moss would die for, but if you do not feel healthy, energetic and full of life then you cannot fully enjoy your spoils.

Summer is the best time to invest in YOU by adding both new physical activities AND nutritional counseling to your regimen; the weather is great, the produce is fresh, and the fish are swimming.  Changing eating habits is hard, and while it might sounds simple enough to read a book and follow an arbitrary plan it is important to set yourself up for long-term success while creating a plan that caters to your specific goals.

Get started on becoming the healthiest version of yourself, and address some of the following issues:

  • Weight Management
  • Making sense of fad diets and understanding past success/failure
  • Diabetes and blood glucose management
  • Meal Planning
  • Healthy Snacking
  • Food Allergies
  • Aerobic / Cardiovascular health and wellness
  • Persistent Gastro-intestinal (G.I.) Problems
  • Breaking long-standing negative eating behaviors (e.g. night eating, stress eating)
  • Mindful Eating
  • Positive habits for Children and youth
  • Eating healthy on-the-go / during travel
  • Food journals and other tracking methods
  • Technology-driven tools for successful eating and living
  • Sustainable healthy eating practices

Visit our nutrition page to learn more and call 415-602-4291 for an in-person meeting or a phone/skype/video meeting from anywhere in the world!


The Importance of the Pilates Method for Children

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, News, Pilates, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out the following article on learning healthy habits at an early age / Pilates for kids written by Javier Bceiso Blanco of Body Arts and Science International (BASI) in Spain (there is even a photo of him / student in action) –

 

It is critically important to begin instilling healthy habits at an early age. That is probably how  I would sum up everything I have learned as a teacher and as a father.

I have worked with children for 15 years, and observing their physical, mental and spiritual development has been one of the great joys of my life. For me, the Pilates method has proven itself beyond any doubt as an essential aid in the development of children into socially-integrated adults with full physical and mental skills.

It’s a fact that the brain needs to lean on the physical self as it develops a solid basis for cognitive abilities. An example is the child’s use of the fingers when learning to count.  At the same time, a healthy mind-body connection contributes to less tangible, but just as important, skills, including open-mindedness, receptiveness to people and healthy habits of discipline. These, together with a strong pedagogical environment and a healthy family environment, create those important educational values which, unfortunately, seem to be on the wane nowadays.

Pilates is just as important for healthy children as it is for those with motor issues. For the latter, it assists in balancing the imbalances caused by their injuries, improving their muscular tone and building coordination, balance, breathing, ROM (range of movement), flexibility, strength and endurance – all of which are just as important for the healthy child. And, of course, all children need to understand their own bodies and develop self-awareness, control, concentration and discipline. Pilates helps every child avoid the modern evils of a sedentary life and obesity – along with all the problems that they entail.

Physical Education and sports as currently taught at school do not cover all the physical and mental dimensions that are necessary for childhood development. And, in many cases, schools reduce the time spent on these activities is favor of more “academic” subjects. At the same time, the US National Association of Physical Education has estimated that 300,000 people die every year due to deficient physical activity and bad diet. This number exceeds the number of people who die as a result of infections, car crashes and substance abuse.

This is the background to BASI’s Pilates for Kids: Healthy Development workshop, which integrates the Pilates method as an extracurricular tool in order to complete the physical education provided in school and to instill healthy habits into young bodies and minds.

The workshop focuses less on education (or re-education) than on maintenance. Children have a natural, inborn movement instinct which automatically reinforces their musculature and, in most cases prevents them from experiencing serious injury. The objective of the workshop is to strengthen and guide this instinct; to prevent it from falling into disuse, which is what happens with most adults.

The program is adaptable to all children and all phases of development, from psycho-motor development at an early age, which enables the child to acquire balance and coordination, through the development of elastic qualities and muscular strength to the development of coordination, fine skills, aerobic capabilities and, finally, maximum muscular strength.

It is important to emphasize that Pilates practice at an early age will avoid – or reduce – potential musculo-skeletal problems in childhood or in later life, as a consequence of bad posture, lack of flexibility, inadequate muscular tone, wrong breathing and bad joint mobility.

If parents and educators were aware of the importance of instilling healthy habits from childhood, many common adult diseases could be avoided. As Dr. Valentin Fuster writes in this book The Health Science “heart attacks suffered from the age of 45 begin to develop in childhood. Between 70% and 90% of the time, they are caused by an unhealthy lifestyle acquired since childhood”.

Pilates for Kids: Healthy Development teaches Pilates professionals to both build programs for children throughout the developmental cycle and to lead them through the process of acquiring discipline and healthy habits in a fun and healthy way.

Learn more about the BASI Pilates for Kids: Healthy development workshop.

 


3 Simple (Healthy) Rules for Weight Loss

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Pilates Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The elusive struggle to lose weight continues to confound most people.  It seems like the more articles / research / self-help books on weight loss, the bigger we get.  It is an inverse relationship that does not make logical sense, yet when we look at our current lifestyle choices it makes all the sense in the world.  People think losing weight is hard…and it is in some ways.  Truthfully, though, it is easy on a physiological level and difficult from a mental and personal perspective.  Losing weight is hard because people kinda don’t wanna do it.  They sorta don’t feel like changing their eating habits.  They really like chocolate, cookies and endless pasta bowls.  They like their routines, and we all are creatures of habit.  So what is a person to do?

Instead of trying to follow a super strict eating plan, start out with guidelines that create healthier habits.  Check out this article to find out about 3 simple ways to lose weight.  In summary, you want to:

  1. Keep a food journal and record what you eat
  2. Avoid skipping meals (do NOT skip)
  3. Minimize (or eliminate) eating out, especially at lunch

See…simple!  Just write it down (creating awareness and understanding habits), eat at regular intervals (never allowing yourself to get too hungry or over-eat down the line) and prepare your own food thereby maintaining control over what is in it and how many calories you consume.

Of course calories matter, and it is still a ‘calories in, calories out’ equation such that if you consume more than you burn you will gain weight.  There is no way around that one.

The last point made in the article, and one of the most important yet, is that losing weight and keeping it off VITALLY DEPENDS on regular physical activity.  Nothing is better than an up-tempo training session, so ditch the lasagna, check out our offerings, and sign up for Pilates Bootcamp today!


Fitness and Fashion Converge!

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Pilates Leave a comment   , , , , , , ,

Tomorrow is the June Portland First Thursday in the Pearl…and Leanna NYC is featuring local artists, musicians and fitness!

Rachel Rettman – Fitness. Nutrition. Lifestyle. will be raffling off private training, nutrition consultations, and free classes!  This is a great opportunity to ask fitness and nutrition questions, meet Rachel, and mingle with fun people.

More about the ‘LeannaNYC Keepin’ it Local First Thursday’ event can be found on Facebook

Get fit for those skinny jeans, find awesome summer fashions, and of course drink free booze.  Summer is back…so is First Thursday!


Navitas Naturals Sweet Cacao Nibs

Rachel Nutrition, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , ,

Healthy eating can be challenging, and even the most dedicated wellness enthusiast has moments of weakness.  But let’s think of these moments as opportunities…chances to get a little novelty into the diet!  There are ways to have your cake and eat it too.  Or in this case, have your Cacao nibs and eat them too.

Cacao nibs, especially when covered in sweet cocoa liquer and cane juice, are a delightful and healthy treat.  Although high in fat, cacao nibs are chock full of antioxidants and trace minerals like magnesium and iron; they even have some protein.  Additionally, they are VERY high in fiber…each serving of this particular brand of sweet cacao nibs has 5 grams of fiber!  5 grams of fiber is 20% of our recommended daily intake and that is a big deal!

Check out Navitas naturals here; they also have tons of other great products which are both nutritious and delectable!  Next time you need a sweet treat try these out; you wont be sorry!

 


5 Great Ways to Eat Blueberries!

Rachel Lifestyle, Nutrition Leave a comment   , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guess what…It’s blueberry season!  Blueberries are one of those powerhouse foods that make every ‘most nutritious’ or ‘top 10 must have’ foods list.  Rarely does one come across a person that does not like blueberries, and kids can also love them because they are both sweet and, well, blue!

There are many great ways to incorporate blueberries into one’s diet, including my top 5 recommendations:

  1. Freeze them – Begin by washing a pint or two of blueberries, letting them air dry, and then freezing them overnight in Ziploc freezer bags.  They make a great snack and last a long time since they are frozen and take longer to eat.  They also taste like little popsicle bites…
  2. Mix with Greek Yogurt, Stevia, and chopped nuts – not only does this make a balanced meal (healthy fat from nuts, protein from yogurt, and fiber/carbs from berries), but also it tastes like dessert!
  3. Sprinkle over salads – start with spinach, then add goat cheese, pecans, and a little vinaigrette; top with a generous handful of blueberries.  To add a bit more substance, mix in some Quinoa or another light grain of choice.
  4. Oatmeal!  Try oatmeal or oat bran topped with our fruit du jour.  For added sweetness and texture sprinkle in ground flax seeds and a little brown sugar or maple syrup (or stevia for a no-calorie alternative).
  5. Shake it up – a cup of Blueberries along with a cup of ice, 1/2 cup milk of choice, protein powder (something organic with few ingredients and little processing, see www.wholefoods.com for options) and sweetener if desired tastes like ice cream while serving as a filling snack or meal replacement option.

Always remember to wash your berries well…you can also soak them in grapefruit seed extract (3-5 minutes) for a natural fruit and vegetable cleaning option.  Check out Nutribiotic Grapefruit Seed Extract.

Most of all, enjoy one of the best foods of spring and summer!

 


Optimal Class Schedules

Rachel Fitness, Nutrition, Pilates Leave a comment   , , , , , , ,

One of the more challenging aspects of having your own little fitness business and being a solo-preneur is class scheduling!  There is the desire to please everyone but the need to have classes with enough people to pay the bills.

The next month or two will be spent figuring out an optimal mat and reformer class schedule to allow everyone who wants to attend classes with Rachel Rettman – Fitness. Nutrition. Lifestyle to do so.  Whether you are a current client or a potential client, please please email us and let us know when you want to have Pilates and Pilates-inspired mat and reformer classes!

To sign up for classes, book here!

All comments will be taken under advisement, with the ultimate goal of best serving YOU!

Also, anyone who loves Pilates should purchase a ‘Friends Don’t Let Friends Skip Pilates Class’ t-shirt; contact us to purchase!


Spend Your Tax Refund on Your Health!

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle, Money, Nutrition, Pilates, Wisdom Leave a comment   , , , , , , ,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So you received your tax refund…now what?

Sure, there are always new pairs of shoes, new purses or that really cool necklace to be had, but the best thing to spend your tax refund on is personal enrichment in the form of health and fitness activities and classes!  No matter what, a healthy body and mind will take you far in life, and lets be honest…next season that purse will be in the back of the closet.

Take this time to invest in YOU…in your future and your well being.  Try something new, do something you already like, it does not matter; as long as it makes you happy and is healthy then you are golden!

Of course Pilates is the BEST thing to take up, but there are so many exercise programs, methods and ideas out there to explore; if you need any ideas feel free to reach out to us here!

Be happy, be healthy!


Get Great Exercise Running Stairs!

Rachel Fitness, Lifestyle Leave a comment   , , , , , , , ,

Portland OR is home to some great urban staircases…the best of which is located in Mt. Tabor Park.  This 280-stair monstrosity is like a playground for those of us who love to feel the burn, torch calories, release a tidal wave of endorphins, and generally have fun (athletic fun).  At any time of the day there are people slowly strolling up the stairs and avid fitness enthusiasts running up and down as fast as possible without tripping.  Either way, it is both FREE and REALLY GOOD FOR YOU.

Check out this article outlining all of the exercise (and more) opportunities in Mt. Tabor Park.  Then walk, run, skip, hop, jump or bike (or drive if you live across town but love this park despite the drive) there as soon as possible to begin spring training!

 

 

 

 

 

Runner up Portland staircases:

  • Large staircase off of 12th Ave in Downtown, by Portland State University and into Goose Hollow.
  • Staircase off of NW Cornell (a little hard to find, off of a neighborhood street) as you head up towards Pittock Mansion.

  • Connect!

    Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. You can find us in your favorite social media outlets. Look forward to hearing from you!