The first component of stomach fat is the visceral layer around and between your organs. Visceral fat is used as protection. When you are overweight it will also act as a storage area. Visceral fat is tight, so even though your stomach will bulge it will feel tight.
The second type is subcutaneous fat. This is the layer directly under the skin. This is the fat that feels and looks ‘flabby’. Woman store more subcutaneous fat than men (mainly for use during child rearing). Men with excess abdominal fat generally have hard or tight tummies while woman have loose and flabby tummies. This is due women storing fat in the subcutaneous layer as opposed to visceral layer.
The third cause of flabby tummy is weak core muscles and this is where Pilates can be a huge benefit. Not only for strengthening and tightening the core muscles but also for burning fat and increasing blood oxygenation which burns more calories and increases cell renewal.
Since it is not possible to directly lose fat from just your stomach, you have to lose fat from all over your body. To do that you have to increase your cardiovascular work, eat less, breath properly and of course do pilates!
The one place we can ‘spot’ train is a weak core and the ideal form of exercise to do that is Pilates. In fact the whole basis of Pilates is about core strength in the pelvic floor, abdomen and back. For visceral and subcutaneous fat, they have to be burned off with the rest of the fat in the body. Pilates makes your muscles stronger and more efficient at burning fat, it also trains the muscles that help you breath (the intercostals ) and makes your lung capacity bigger and more flexible. The easier and faster exchange of oxygen into carbon the more calories you burn and this increased exchange also increases cell function by pumping more oxygen into the blood. However Pilates on its own will not burn large amounts of calories. Which is why we recommend another form of cardio exercise, walking, swimming and cycling are perfect.
There are a few other things to consider in relation to the fat on our stomachs. We all have different genetic make up and some people store fat more on the stomach. Some store on the hips and thighs etc. Also the place that you last stored fat will be the first place that it comes off when you lose fat. Woman tend to store fat on the stomach and thighs first so this will potentially be the last place that will shed excess weight.
There is another factor that will effect stomach fat – stress. When we have a lot of stress in our lives (who doesn’t have a lot of stress in their lives these days?) we release more of the hormone called cortisol which triggers fat storage in the abdomen. Pilates helps to address the stress in our lives because it takes you out of your day completely for one. two or three hours a week. You focus on your breathing, your body and your mind and that is deeply relaxing and stress reducing.
Yes! By doing Pilates to strengthen core muscles, increasing the fat burning efficiency of the body, and by reducing stress in your life. In fact Pilates combined with another form of cardiovascular workout can provide huge weight loss benefits. But a one off session once a week for three or four weeks will only give you a basic understanding of Pilates principles. You will need a more intensive practice of 3 or 4 times per week, plus some form of fat burning cardio exercise, and address the stress in your life, eat a healthy balanced diet to get really great results.
To get the most and best results, it is always advised to train with an expert and we invite you to join us at The Hundred Wellness Center in Dubai with our watchful Pilates experts to reap the best in your workout. We offer private and small group classes to ensure best results, from Mat Pilates to Reformer, Cadillac, Pole, Chair….don’t let those names scare you off!
Late Night – Midnight Snacking….can be hazardous to your waistline. Eat early, eat slow and eat when you aren’t stressed out. But if the late night munchies are calling out to you and you cannot ignore them, here are some great snacks to dive into:
1) Plain Popcorn (without the butter)- has just 31calories a cup. Make your own at home with store-bought kernels and avoid the calorie-dense microwave packed versions.
2) In-Shell Pistachios – Possibly due to the fact that by the time you’ve removed those delicious pistachios from their shell, you are ready to hit the sack and have consumed 41% fewer calories than if they were out of their shells already.
3) Frozen Grapes – They have a creamy texture making it the perfect treat when you’re on the hunt for something cold and sweet.
4) String Cheese – Not just for kids! Low fat string cheese pack protein to help satisfy those cravings and peeling them strip by strip mentally gives your mind a satisfied feeling. The Syrian String Cheese called “Jibneh mshallaleh” is an excellent replacement to the “Western” version if you enjoy it! Get it at your local carrefour or union co-op store.
5) Kiwi – These fuzzy fruits are the ultimate snooze snack as researched by Taiwanese scientists. Have one before bedtime and you might snooze 45 minutes faster with better sleep.
6) Baby Carrots – These bite-sized gems that pack a crunch and are sweet while being loaded with vitamin A to improve vision, immunity and bone health are the perfect treat. Sure, you can dip them in hummus too – just don’t go for a whole bowl as it’s close to midnight!
These tips were compiled from Pilates Style and The Hundred Wellness Center – www.thehundred.ae
The cleanest sweetest treats for your soul, packed with 3 simple raw ingredients that will give other energy bars a run for their lives. This recipe is created by Noura El-Imam of Yogalates Bliss in Dubai. She’s delighted to share her simple yet extremely delicious and healthy raw truffles to you that cost little but are packed with healthy nutrients and without unwanted additives and excessive bad sugars.
*3 generous heaped tablespoons of dark cacao powder.
*1.5 cups of pitted soft medjool dates
*1 tsp of melted coconut virgin oil
** Blend away the above ingredients for a couple of minutes in a food processor (until they clump together). Scoop, roll the mixture into small balls with wet hands. Then roll the balls in anything your heart desires over baking paper. I coated them with cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, walnuts + ground coffee + pure maple syrup, rose essence, vanilla essence, cacao nibs, more dark cacao powder…cool them in the fridge for 10 minutes before engulfing them. If you can wait that long ofcourse!
Other innovative coatings can be sesame seeds, caramelized almonds or walnut pieces, pistachios, roasted rose petals, saffron, goji berries, maca….you name it! Play around, get creative!
In this day and age, humans are relying heavily and more on social media and technology to get around in their daily lives. While it has its positives, there is also a lot of natural stimulation, sensation, movement and spatial awareness being lost from sitting behind the desk and car for several hours on end. This month we take a look at how healthy animals move about throughout their day and how Pilates incorporates several of those “natural” movements in its exercise repertoire to allow for a healthier range of movement and a profound release on muscular tension.
Joseph Pilates, the founder of Pilates, was much inspired by the way animals naturally move with no pulled muscle or injuries (unless ofcourse they had to defend themselves in a fight). He went to zoos to watch animals in motion and encouraged students to observe the movement of animals which are wonderful teachers. In Joseph Pilates book, Return to Life through Contrology, he has a section where he talks about how the cat’s back muscles ripple as it stretches and relaxes itself. And about how the cat is so utterly relaxed when it sleeps. Pilates reminds us that his exercises encourage this constant stretching and relaxing. Cats move with grace and power, accomplishing what they need to do without overly-developed muscles — just as balanced and efficient muscular development is one of the priorities of the Pilates method.
“This true rhythm and control is observed both in domestic pets and wild animals – without exception.” – Joseph Pilates
Walid Tebarki, one of the Pilates instructors at The Hundred Pilates Studio, speaks out about the strong and healthy connection of Pilates movements named after an “animal” and the smart connection between their range of movements to how humans should apply in their daily lives.
“The core of the body as the center of the earth. Every thing is attracted to the center and moves without tension. Pilates Method is an evolution physical training.It is first neurogenic before myogenic. Animals are similar and that’s why Joe Pilates is using animals and kids images to bring us back to the original shape. Animals and/or Kids move effortlessly because they have the perfect balance between the inside and the outside world. It’s interesting to note that the moves of animals stimulate their fascia and they never work out by tiring one or two muscle groups as some fitness trainings do. The muscles of animals are interconnected meaning, the connective tissue is stimulated by being stretched and contracted at the same time which in return, strengthens the deep muscles.
And beyond the physical side of things, Pilates also focuses on a more holistic approach to this topic.
The Body is a place that we mostly ignore. Our own body is a landscape that is both remarkably familiar and strangely unfamiliar to us at the same time. If you are aware about the amazing world inside you. You will have the gift to change the word. This is also the power of being present in the “now”. – Walid Tebarki
So this month we ask Kara Martin – editor of Sport 360 newspaper in the UAE – to try out selected Pilates exercises that are named and inspired after animals such as cat, seal, swan, crab, elephant, monkey and frog – just to name a few – to connect with the natural movements animals go through in their daily life and talk about her experience of how she felt (body and mind) after performing those selected moves at The Hundred Pilates Studio.
We are excited to share with you a Gluten Free Granola recipe by Arwa Lootah, a talented baker based in Dubai and the creator of www.lamereculinaire.com
“Those Gluten Free Granola Bars I mentioned are so delicious and wholesome. They’re easy to make and not too sweet.
I chose to make them using 3 different kinds of ground nuts just to create different layers of flavour. You can use just one kind and increase the quantity. I like to experiment with different recipes for restricted diets because I have many friends who are gluten free, vegan or even follow the hardest diets due to health issues.” – Arwa.
1/3 Cup Raw Cashews, Ground
1/3 Cup Raw Pecans, Ground
1/3 Cup Raw Almonds, Ground
1 TSP Salt
1/2 TSP Cinnamon
A Pinch of Nutmeg
1/2 Cup Raw Sugar (or coconut sugar for a healthier sweetener option)
1 TBS Golden Flaxseeds
1 TBS Brown Flaxseeds
1/4 Cup Papitas, Roasted
1/4 Cup Sunflower Seeds, Roasted
1/2 Cup Dried Cranberries
2 Cups GF Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
2 Cups GF Puffed Rice Cereal
5 TBS Honey
5 TBS Coconut Oil, Melted
Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a rectangular baking tray with baking paper and place another same sized tray on the side along with another baking paper.
In large bowl, mix the ground nuts, salt and sugar (or sweetener), cinnamon and nutmeg until combined.
Add the flaxseeds, the papitas and the sunflower seeds and mix.
Add the oats, puffed rice, honey and coconut oil. Combine well.
Pour granola mix in the lined tray and level. Place the other baking paper on top of the granola and place the second tray on top of that.
Apply pressure on to ensure that the granola mixture is compressed. Remove the top tray and the top baking paper.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tray and then cut into bars.
Remove from tray and allow to cool completely. Store in an air tight container. Do not put in the fridge to cool or store. The granola bars will become soggy and fall apart.
Recipe sourced from: http://lamereculinaire.com/2013/10/#sthash.YRBBrhVP.dpuf
The “Let’s De-Stress” 7 Pilates inspired exercise series focuses on releasing tension and relaxing after a long busy day at work/family errands. You will also tone areas around your neck, chest, back, and legs which have either been over-used in stressful positions from your day, or immobile due to long hours sat behind the desk or car. This short video is great to practice on daily basis as you’ll feel less constricted, your breath will slow down to a healthier pace and your mind will de-clutter, all while reinvigorating your system again. So clear out your room and press play to begin!
Video link to the 7 part series: How to De-stress after work with tension relieving pilates inspired exercises
To find out how you can take your Pilates classes to a real “live” setting taught by our Pilates experts, visit our studio’s website – The Hundred Pilates Studio in Dubai, U.A.E at: http://www.thehundred.ae
Anyone with a job that requires hours of sitting and tapping on a keyboard knows the toll on back and shoulder muscles. Sedentary desk jobs can cause back pains, muscle aches, and joint problems. There is an increasing number of work-related illnesses because people ignore these symptoms and fail to remedy it. Aside from physical illness, working in an office can also cause stress. Office pressures such as a looming deadline or a demanding boss are damaging to the mental health. A good way to help the body fight and cope against these ills is by practicing Pilates.
Exercise for osteoporosis is a confusing subject. There are exercises for prevention. There are exercises for rehab. And, when osteoporosis is present, there is always the issue of exercise safety.
Pilates, specifically, is a form of exercise that is often mentioned with regard to osteoporosis. But in Pilates there are definite parameters as far as what exercises are appropriate for osteoporosis at the same time, Pilates exercises can be very beneficial for osteoporosis, improving bone density and muscle strength.
We must have strong bones that can bear our weight and allow us mobility. But with so many dynamics playing into the exercise for osteoporosis scenario, we really need to know what we are doing when we exercise for osteoporosis. In the interview below, Rebekah Rotstein, founder of Incorporating Movement, a Pilates and Movement education organization, and the designer of the Pilates for Buff Bones® workout, helps us clarify the role of exercise, Pilates, and Pilates equipment with regard to osteoporosis and bone strengthening. This is a great introduction for you when visiting The Hundred Pilates Studio and stepping onto the likes of the Pilates Reformer, Cadillac and the wonderful Wunda (chair)!
You have probably heard it several times now – the Pilates Powerhouse – and might still be intrigued to find out what it REALLY means and why the emphasis on “powerhouse” so much? The Pilates method is a comprehensive body-conditioning method that is directed toward the development of both the body and the mind of the individual. Toward this end, the Pilates method incorporates six key principles: centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow. The principle of centering refers to the concept that all movements of the human body emanate from the center or core or what Joseph Pilates called the powerhouse of the body. The Pilates method endeavors to strengthen the powerhouse as one of its primary goals. In effect, strengthening the powerhouse is core-stabilization.
With the move fast, work hard, multi-tasking culture we live in and go through, sometimes heading to bed in a frazzled state keeps us awake all night. Joseph Pilates – the founder of Pilates – said: “It is better to be tired from physical exertion than to be fatigued by the “poisons” generated by nervousness while lying awake.” Deep muscle relaxation in Pilates exercises reduces psychological tension, reducing anxiety as well as the treatment of muscular tension, insomnia, depression, fatigue, irritable bowels, muscle spasms, muscle guarding, neck and back pain, high blood pressure and stuttering. Joseph recommends getting out of bed and practicing a couple of extremely relaxing Pilates exercises as we introduce to you in our article below as well as the best advice on side/back/front sleepers and the type of pillow to aim for. We hope you get a more restful and relaxing sleep after reading (and practicing) this article: