Monthly Archives:March 2020

how I am dealing with the stress - Tiffany Burke 30 Mar

How I Am Dealing With The Stress Of Covid-19

How’s your anxiety level right about now?

On the surface and on social media I may look calm but I am not. Today I lost it at the breakfast table and began to cry. Our dog was barking, 1 kid was crying while the other one spilled a full glass of orange juice. All this while in the back of my mind was a list of all the classes I needed to film / edit for DPTV and, memberships I needed to place on hold or cancel for my studio because we are closing the studio do to COVID 19. Oh and do not forget about the dreaded “home schooling”. Thank god my kids are 3 and 5 years old because I am really half assing this parental duty. Just writing this has me taking deep breaths which is why I am writing this. Not only do I need a find a way to cope during this crazy quarantine life I need to find a way to thrive. My kids do not understand stress yet. To them this quarantine is life is just a really long weekend so they do not understand why mommy was crying at breakfast. The look on their faces when I began to cry was a bit of a wake up call. I need to do better then survive I need to find a authentic way of thriving for my sake and theirs. I say”authentic” because faking it will only cause me more stress. So after breakfast and another good cry I locked myself in my bedroom to breathe and press my reset button so to speak. 

Here are my top 4 steps to “reset” when dealing with stressful situations like COVID 19:

  1. BREATHE. First and foremost I BREATE. Breath is SO important when dealing with nerves and anxiety. Ever notice Olympic athletes such as figure skaters or down hill skiers take a deep breath just before their performance or race? I learned this technique as a competitive figure skater and still practice it to this day. Deep breathing comes from your diaphragm which causes your body to relax and can reduce anxiety. Taking long breaths from your diaphragm will also help:
    • Increase the amount of oxygen and release a sense of calm throughout your brain and body.
    • Lower your heart rate 
    • Relax your muscles
    • Focus your mind on your body and away from what is making you anxious. 
  1. GRATITUDE. Next, to put things into perspective I make a list of everything I was grateful for.  Finding gratitude helps my mindset big time. It also prevents me from feeling sorry for myself. 
  2. PRIORITIZE. With the stress loading building I find it helpful to make a lists. For me I make 3 lists. List 1: family, List 2: Studio and List 3: DPTV. Within those lists I prioritize which tasks are most important or time sensitive. 
  3. SAY NO TO NEGATIVITY I try my best to distance myself from negative outlets such as the media and negative friends. Negative energy can be contagious and damaging. I am not saying to bury your head in the sand but limit your exposure to the negativity. Setting some boundaries is very helpful fo me. 

I remind myself of a daily basis that worrying about things I cannot change or control  is counter productive and damaging to my mindset. Right now my focus is on the things I can control. COVID 19 will pass and my family and business will survive. I cannot let fear control me right now. I hope this helps someone. I am not perfect, I have spent a lifetime dealing with anxiety and this along with CBD (which is a post topic for another time) is what gets me through the tough times.

DPTV-Dumbells-and-Yoga-Mat 23 Mar

Your Home Workout Equipment Guide

It’s a funny old world we are living in at the moment, and without wanting to delve into our global pandemic on this platform (let’s face it we hear enough about it on a daily basis as it is!) Let’s try and focus on the positives and our physical and mental wellbeing.
Even more so than the physical effect of being cooped up all day, is how this is all effecting our mental health. Ironically, mental health has never been such a widely discussed topic and here we are today, putting each and every one of ours to the most extreme test it has probably ever faced. Now is the time more than ever we need a physical output, in order to keep ourselves marginally sane through all of this. The top and bottom of it is, we need exercise NOW more than ever before.
So, we realise that not everyone has fancy Pilates equipment in their own homes (we certainly don’t) so, with this in mind we are now releasing Dynamic Mat/floor work content and encouraging you all to move with us daily!
For many of our matwork classes you won’t need any props. However, props do make things more fun plus they can help challenge your abilities further.
So, what props do you need?
If I had to pick the basics that will see you through this spell, without having to invest too much or take up too much space in your home, I would say first of all a Mat, a Soft Pilates Ball, some Dumbells and some Loop Resistance bands.
Here’s my pick of the best:
Mat
If you don’t already have a mat, then go pretty! My Sugar Mat has the most gorgeous designs, they are super soft, plus they do these cute and convenient travel mats that fold up into a compact square.
Click Here To Discover The Sugar Mat Range
Soft Pilates Ball
These are so versatile and we use them a lot on the reformer as well as on the mat. They can really help assist and at variation to so many exercises, especially core work. You will need a 26cm ball (you could go slightly bigger).
Click Here To Check Out Sissle Pilates Ball. 
Dumbells 
Most people already have a pair of dumbells hanging around the house, and if you don’t then yes, you could use tins of beans etc, but in all honesty, they aren’t really heavy enough. I would go for a pair between 2- 5kg/5-11lbs for our workouts.
Loop Resistance Bands/Booty Bands 
These little bad boys are soooo good! They usually come in a pack with 5 different strengths and can be used for lower and upper body moves and adding that all essential burn factor! Plus, they are perfect for taking away on holidays for when all this is over!
VICTORIA HOOPER 16 Mar

What type of exercise can help boost our immune system?

Victoria Roper is a Stott Pilates Instructor Trainer and is passionate about anatomy and optimal movement. Check out her website for her up and coming workshops we have included a link at the footer of this article for you..
What type of exercise can help boost our immune system? 
It’s time to focus.
To focus on what we can do and not on what we can’t do
What we can do is look after ourselves (and loved ones) and most of all look after our bodies.
Before we start delving into what the science says about exercise and the immunity, I feel it’s important to mention that the clue is very much in the title…….immune SYSTEM.

This system does not work alone and therefore we must take into consideration what is already going on in the body. For example nutrition, daily habits, the gut brain axis, stress and psychological well being all play an important role in building a resilient immune system. There are still many fascinating studies ongoing that explore the role immunity plays within the body. The message, common within the conclusions of most research,  is that a balance of all the system within the body needs to be considered.

For example a poor diet, cannot be made up for by a multi vitamin supplement!
What we know for sure!
The benefits of exercise on heart health and maintaining optimum bone strength are all well documented and supported but what about training in such uncertain times. Can staying fit, keep us healthy? And if so what does the ideal fitness regime or workout look like?
Moderate intensity exercise over a long period has been shown to contribute to good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently. Macrophages, the cells which attack bacteria, see a temporary boost in production and continue to flow through the body at an increased rate for a few hours, following moderate intensity exercise. The more seasoned an exerciser, the greater this benefit is thought to be. The rhythmic action of most moderate intensity exercise methods such as brisk walking, swimming, Pilates and gymnastics, moves the joints, ensuring the lymphatic system pumps fluid around the body to remove debris effectively.

Dr. David Nieman found that 40 minutes of moderate exercise on most days was most beneficial and decreased the number of sick days due to cold and flu symptoms by half.

In fact patients with mild cold symptoms and no fever, partaking in light or moderate exercise may feel better and actually boost their immune system.
So why not try a brisk walk in the park or a Pilates class? Neither of these need to last more than an hour and science aside, I for one have never felt worse for going for a walk or taking a Pilates class!
So what about high intensity exercise? The kind of exercise that takes 100%of our effort and energy and at times can leave us feeling drained.Although there is a time and a place for this kind of exercise, does it play a role in our immunity?
The risk of illness was actually found to be increased as the intensity of training increased in a study conducted by Nieman and Wentz
This was generally supported in the research papers I went on to look at. Heavy/endurance style training, (longer than 90 minutes) was seen to have a negative impact on the immune system. This was due to a surge in the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which remained elevated in subjects for up to 72 hours post workout. These stress hormones suppress the immune system, leaving exercisers more susceptible to illness.
So we can see that too much of a good thing is not great for the immune system and that we need to be aiming for 40 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, on most days. For women especially weight bearing exercise or resistance training is a hot topic right now for the prevention of osteoporosis and osteopenia.
One area that is being looked at in particular is the reduction of bone marrow and therefore stem cells as we age. The stem cells are responsible for fighting off infection and are produced by bone marrow. Therefore if we can find out workout of moderate intensity that includes resistance training we could be on to a real winner in terms of immunity and long term health.
Reformer Pilates anyone?
Those of you that have ever taken part in Pilates will know that it is very hard to think about anything else. There is a strong mind muscle connection during the session, that, in a nut shell teaches us how to use the right muscle, at the right time and for the right purpose. The breathing pattern promoted in Pilates helps stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and relax our body. Via the release of hormones this can have a calming effect on the mind and body. Psychological stress, when too high has been shown to impair immunity and lead to an increase in cold and flu infections. Therefore by calming both the mind and body and linking the two together through mindful movement, we can can have a strong and positive outcome in the control of our stress hormones.
So I hope this round up helps you to choose your exercise wisely in the coming months. There is clearly no need to stop doing anything, but we also don’t want to be working out so intensely that we put ourselves on the back foot in terms of staying healthy.
VICTORIA HOOPER 16 Mar

What type of exercise can help boost our immune system?

Victoria Roper is a Stott Pilates Instructor Trainer and is passionate about anatomy and optimal movement. Check out her website for her up and coming workshops we have included a link at the footer of this article for you..
What type of exercise can help boost our immune system? 
It’s time to focus.
To focus on what we can do and not on what we can’t do
What we can do is look after ourselves (and loved ones) and most of all look after our bodies.
Before we start delving into what the science says about exercise and the immunity, I feel it’s important to mention that the clue is very much in the title…….immune SYSTEM.

This system does not work alone and therefore we must take into consideration what is already going on in the body. For example nutrition, daily habits, the gut brain axis, stress and psychological well being all play an important role in building a resilient immune system. There are still many fascinating studies ongoing that explore the role immunity plays within the body. The message, common within the conclusions of most research,  is that a balance of all the system within the body needs to be considered.

For example a poor diet, cannot be made up for by a multi vitamin supplement!
What we know for sure!
The benefits of exercise on heart health and maintaining optimum bone strength are all well documented and supported but what about training in such uncertain times. Can staying fit, keep us healthy? And if so what does the ideal fitness regime or workout look like?
Moderate intensity exercise over a long period has been shown to contribute to good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently. Macrophages, the cells which attack bacteria, see a temporary boost in production and continue to flow through the body at an increased rate for a few hours, following moderate intensity exercise. The more seasoned an exerciser, the greater this benefit is thought to be. The rhythmic action of most moderate intensity exercise methods such as brisk walking, swimming, Pilates and gymnastics, moves the joints, ensuring the lymphatic system pumps fluid around the body to remove debris effectively.

Dr. David Nieman found that 40 minutes of moderate exercise on most days was most beneficial and decreased the number of sick days due to cold and flu symptoms by half.

In fact patients with mild cold symptoms and no fever, partaking in light or moderate exercise may feel better and actually boost their immune system.
So why not try a brisk walk in the park or a Pilates class? Neither of these need to last more than an hour and science aside, I for one have never felt worse for going for a walk or taking a Pilates class!
So what about high intensity exercise? The kind of exercise that takes 100%of our effort and energy and at times can leave us feeling drained.Although there is a time and a place for this kind of exercise, does it play a role in our immunity?
The risk of illness was actually found to be increased as the intensity of training increased in a study conducted by Nieman and Wentz
This was generally supported in the research papers I went on to look at. Heavy/endurance style training, (longer than 90 minutes) was seen to have a negative impact on the immune system. This was due to a surge in the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which remained elevated in subjects for up to 72 hours post workout. These stress hormones suppress the immune system, leaving exercisers more susceptible to illness.
So we can see that too much of a good thing is not great for the immune system and that we need to be aiming for 40 minutes of moderate intensity exercise, on most days. For women especially weight bearing exercise or resistance training is a hot topic right now for the prevention of osteoporosis and osteopenia.
One area that is being looked at in particular is the reduction of bone marrow and therefore stem cells as we age. The stem cells are responsible for fighting off infection and are produced by bone marrow. Therefore if we can find out workout of moderate intensity that includes resistance training we could be on to a real winner in terms of immunity and long term health.
Reformer Pilates anyone?
Those of you that have ever taken part in Pilates will know that it is very hard to think about anything else. There is a strong mind muscle connection during the session, that, in a nut shell teaches us how to use the right muscle, at the right time and for the right purpose. The breathing pattern promoted in Pilates helps stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and relax our body. Via the release of hormones this can have a calming effect on the mind and body. Psychological stress, when too high has been shown to impair immunity and lead to an increase in cold and flu infections. Therefore by calming both the mind and body and linking the two together through mindful movement, we can can have a strong and positive outcome in the control of our stress hormones.
So I hope this round up helps you to choose your exercise wisely in the coming months. There is clearly no need to stop doing anything, but we also don’t want to be working out so intensely that we put ourselves on the back foot in terms of staying healthy.