It’s Valentine’s Month and the perfect time to take true stock of where we are romantically... right? Sure, we all want that amazing intimate relationship--or maybe we’re already in one--but finding and keeping love can feel very different and sometimes downright scary. How do I keep it fresh and exciting? Am I going to mess this up (like I always do??) Is he/she going to cheat on me? Am I too quiet/too loud/too out of shape? Does this dress make me look cheap??!
The real deal about our love lives has little to do with... sex.... and everything to do with how we feel about ourselves. We lead with our confidence. Passion is our fashion. But how do we get from anxious to awesome? How do we improve and move our love life like never before??
Here are 5 Fast Ways to Improve Your Love Life:
1. REAL FEEL DEAL - If you psyche yourself up and get all angsty about your relationship it’s going to show. So stop it. Quit with the negative self-talk. Embrace what’s amazing and own the issues you want to improve. There’s nothing more attractive than confidence--fake it til you make it and in no time it’s real!!
2. KEEP IT PHYSICAL - This goes for a good work out, between the sheets and beyond. When you’re in strong physical shape, your heart is pumping at peak potential-- plus you just feel better all the way around. Fitness isn’t an app you can just tap and have it delivered (I wish) so maintaining lean muscle, tone and strength really matters. Moving and maximizing your exercise is key to being ready, willing, and oh so able to improve your love life now!!
3. JUST DUO-IT - There are fabulous perks to coupling and here are some great ideas for play & foreplay:
4. FUN & FLOWERS - Romance in a rut? Endorphins in need of charging? Anything on this list leads to laughter and love-- you just need to remember to have fun and make it happen:
5. PRICELESS - We put a lot of stock (and cash) into things that aren’t nearly as important as our partners. Remember to show gratitude for your special Valentine with an abundance of the little things you do for them--coffee, flowers, special notes, tokens, gestures, etc. Invest in and value your relationship, mark your milestones, create an amazing space for each other in the home of your hearts. Remember... actively love the life you have together.... and your love life will follow!!!
START WITH YOUR HEART: Mantra is showing some kinda love this month with our February is Friends are Free!! Sign up at all three studios-- Tampa, Sarasota and OC-- for special schedules and events. And don’t miss our annual affirmations from the heart!! This year when you tell us “Why You Love Mantra” we’ll donate $1 to the Make-a-Wish Foundation® for every heart put on the wall in each of our studio locations. A Pilates-body and Valentiny tone... what’s not to love?!!
Britta Wilder is a writer based in San Clemente. With a background in film and journalism, she is currently working on a novel. Plus, improving her love life.
We do this every year. Make a list of all the things we plan on changing, then a month (okay, a week) rolls by and we’ve forgotten everything. How about making a list with items we’ll actually keep??
The key to keeping our Resolutions is in making them MORE about what we want and LESS about what we don’t. If you focus on what’s positive it’s amazing how the negative just....drifts...away. It’s more-or-less perfect.
1. SLEEP MORE, STRESS LESS -
A good night’s rest not only keeps you looking your best, but feeling your best, too. After 6-8 hours of quality sleep (optimum time) we feel relaxed, refreshed and ready to take on the day. We’re more alert and less-prone to poor decision-making (diet/exercise/work/family/relationships) and empower ourselves to function at our top level.
Recent studies indicate a solid link between lack-of-sleep and mental and physical health: cognitive thinking is impacted, as well as putting us at greater risk for obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. What’s more, bedtime bliss does wonders for those fine lines furrowing your face--just be sure to sleep face up on your pillow, not buried under blankets or squished to the side.
This is an amazingly eazzzzzz’sy resolution to keep... just get enough sleep!!
2. EAT MORE, STORE LESS -
Yes, you can and will lose weight this year by following one simple plan: Grazing. This means eating smaller mini-meals throughout the day instead of those traditional “three-squares” that tend to be larger and heavier, leading to weight gain and storing unhealthy fat.
Grazing not only gives your body a chance to burn and refuel regularly throughout the day, but it works perfectly with our metabolism. When we keep our body’s sugar levels stable it naturally leads to less hunger, moodiness, fatigue--all those negative responses we get when we’re “dieting” or trying to cut back on foods. Health experts also note improved immune systems, lower blood cholesterol and more maneagable hormone stress levels in patients who graze versus gorge.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a real New Year’s Resolution list without a “lose weight” item on it, right? Just think, if you follow this simple Eat More/Store Less plan now, next year you won’t even need it!!
3. EXERCISE MORE IN LESS TIME -
If you think about it, there’s a lot of exercise we could be doing during the course of our day that we don’t even consider-- walk to the store, bike to our office, run the dogs-- etc. If we really moved like that everyday, can you imagine the calories we’d burn just doing all the normal things we have to do, anyway??!
A lot. Unfortunately, a time crunch and a schedule and a car are hard to get away from for most of us, so while we can add those walks/runs/dancing moves into our activities, let’s focus on work outs that do more for us in less time:
Cardio - Any time your body’s in high motion (running, extreme training, court sports) and you get your heart rate up, you’re using optimum power for strength and burning calories. Depending on your program, you can achieve an intense work out in little time if you turn up reisistance and keep it challenging. (Example, go from 45 minutes to 60; add weights or distance, etc.) Of course, if adding time to an already packed schedule doesn’t work, try this next one....
Pilates Megaformer - This may sound like a commercial but it’s really an endorsement from someone who’s tried any and everything to burn-and-build my body without spending hours doing it. I can be lazy! The Megaformer works like a charm because it’s super-efficient, focusing on your core and developing strength and lean muscle without the endless repition other work outs demand (that often lead to injury, too). You feel the results and, better yet, you’ get to see them! This really is Mega-more in less time!!!
4. MORE WATER, LESS WINE -
This should be a no-brainer, but let’s go over it one more time: Hydrate!!! When you keep your body hydrated throughout the day (H20) it will perform at its best and so will your brain. Every hour on the hour, take a sip or a slug of water--keep it going and you’ll be amazed at how refreshed you continue to feel, how your entire digestive and nervous system runs at top level.
When you’re out mixing it up at happy hour with your friends, have a cocktail! Just don’t forget to order a glass of water with every drink-- it really aids in not only helping keep pace with your alcohol intake, but wards off dismal after-effects... like those pesky had-one-too-many hangovers we suffer once in a while.
If that doesn’t remind you, your appearance will-- more water and less wine keeps you less puffy and more glowing everytime!!
5. MORE GRATITUDE, LESS ATTITUDE -
We all have our issues--challenges we find difficult to deal with, deadlines impossible to meet. No one lives a completely stress-free life, no matter how happy they appear. The difference between those people who look burdened and those who don’t has everything to do with... attitude.
Are we grateful for all the amazing things in our lives? Do we feel blessed or do we feel bitter?
There are so many situations we cannot change, but the one thing we can change is how we choose to approach these events. Viewing the world as filled with opportunities for growth and improvement empowers us to live more meaningful lives in connection with our community. We naturally become less-stressed when we reach out to others or reach into ourselves, our hearts, and truly appreciate all the wonderful people and moments we share, every day.
More gratitude and less attitude is a resolution that will enhance every aspect of your life, not to mention your entire list of resolves. It costs nothing, no equipment needed, and will change your life. Always for the better!!
Mantra Fitness is your Resolution Solution!! Come check out our New Year new membership specials, kickin’ class kits and other amazing offers and account upgrades this month. No time like today to get Pilates Reformer, LaGree and Megaformer fit at our Tampa, Sarasota and OC studios. Book it now!
Britta Wilder is a writer based in San Clemente. With a background in film and journalism, she is currently working on a novel. Along with her New Year’s resolutions.
Top Tips to Stress Less This Season
It’s that magical time of year again!! The decorations are out, your kids are in, and everywhere you go there’s holiday cheer... and lines... and food... and traffic... and not enough time to get everything done.
SLOW DOWN... Instead of making yourself Christmas-crazy, here are some sure-fire ways to avoid going all Scrooge and staying the Super Elf you know you are:
DON’T HAVE A FIT, STAY FIT:
MENTAL-PEACE (the ultimate mantlepiece!)
Mantra Holiday Cheer: Come check out our specials this month and membership must-haves to start off the New Year right. Tampa, Sarasota and our new OC Studios are offering stocking-stuffer sizzle and go-to gift cards-- a Pilates-body is the best gift ever! Sign up for classes and download our app for holiday schedules. We wish everyone the Happiest of Holidays and Merry Christmas, from Santa Mantra to YOU!!!
Britta Wilder is a writer based in San Clemente. With a background in film and journalism, she is currently working on a novel. She still believes in Santa.
Why a Strong Core Rocks
November is the time of year we are filled with gratitude... that we survived Halloween, another election, and got to set our clocks back for Daylight’s Savings, woo hoo! It’s also about giving thanks around the table for our family, friends and fitness-- but in our case, we call it PLANKSGIVING!!
That’s right. This month we celebrate the almighty CORE and give thanks (and plenty of planks) for all the amazing perks a healthy, strong, Pilates-pumped core can bring to our lives everyday. If you haven’t heard, or need a serious Reformer reminder, here it goes:
Your ‘core’ is your midsection--the powerhouse--the center of your body that houses your deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. When you work out your core and keep it strong, your entire body benefits.
Planks A lot
Plank poses (‘the push up-and-hold’) are perfect core conditioners because they integrate your trunk-pelvis-shoulder girdle areas-- the top trio tighteners-- for flat and flexible fitness. It’s considered one of the go-to core positions as you’re engaging your abs, back and core, but also enhancing glutes and hamstrings. You can also vary plank poses but the key is always the same--endurance and holding tight. In no time you’ll see and feel incredible results!
Benefits of a Strong Core
When your core is weak your entire body is more likely to experience fatigue, weight gain and injury due to muscle loss and atrophy. Basically a major buzz kill for your bod. When you start strengthening your core, it’s amazing what happens:
Core training is not about killing your abs the first time out, it’s about leaning in and learning those techniques that will bring you the best results. We’ve all been to the gym pumping weights and pushing reps that focus on building short, bulky muscles--and lots of potential for injury, too.
Pilates focuses on efficient training, quality over quantity, with the hard-core goal of overall body improvement. It’s a mind-body work out, with added benefits of proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment, and concentrating on smooth and flowing movements. You’ll not only learn how to control and master the movement in your work out, you’ll see optimum results in reduced time and gain the muscle tone and flexbility you’ve always wanted. Keep it up and it’s yours to keep!!
Planksgiving at Mantra: This month we give thanks to strong cores everywhere with our mighty Mantra “Plankathon”!!! Join the ranks with planks at all three studios-- Tampa, Sarasota and OC-- sign ups ready to roll. Speaking of rolls--we’re your home away from kitchen for some Megaformer pre-holiday classes and studio specials, guaranteed to de-stress and delight. Check out schedules and upcoming festive fit fun... Happy Turkey Day from all of us to all of you!!
Britta Wilder is a writer based in San Clemente. With a background in film and journalism, she is currently working on a novel. She gives planks everyday for Mantra.
October could be our most important month of the year. Of course, there’s Columbus Day (oh, look--we discovered land!), and Halloween (oh, look--trick or treat!) but what we’re really talking about is the biggest event of all: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer found in women. According to government health agencies, about one in eight females born today in the United States will get breast cancer at some point. Those are scary statistics, but the good news is we can prevent the worst case outcome with early detection.
Most women can survive breast cancer if it’s found and treated early. Which means scheduling our annual screenings (mammograms) and staying on top of our overall health. What’s really exciting are the many new ways we are learning to predict and detect cancer. As medical technology keeps improving, our ability to find data and use it (genetic testing) helps us to better understand our bodies and why some of us are more likely to develop cancer.
Here’s a breakdown on MUST-DO screenings, along with new options to help predict and prevent breast cancer:
Mammogram - This image-based screening is still considered the go-to test for detecting abnormal activity in breast tissue. It’s uncomfortable and a pain-in-the-boob, but it can also save your life. Once a year you gotta Squeeze to be safe!!
Self-screen - Monthly massage/checking for yourself is a great way to, literally, ‘keep a breast’ of sudden lumps or swelling. If something doesn’t feel right, or you detect a cyst, call your doctor right away and schedule an appointment.
Technology has made in-patient and home-use genetic testing available (like “23 and Me”) which can help determine your risk for certain kinds of cancer. These DNA-based tests assist doctors in looking for mutations or changes in specific genes, also helping link you to vital information concerning BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes (cancerous).
If you have a mutation in the BRCA1 gene or the BRCA2 gene, you are more likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer. You could also be at higher risk for developing other types of cancer, too.
Genetic testing may be important to you if you have:
-a family member who had breast cancer before age 50;
-a family member who had cancer in both breasts;
-a family member who had both breast and ovarian cancer;
-a male family member who had breast cancer;
-two or more family members who had breast cancer;
-Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish heritage
If breast or ovarian cancer runs in your family, it’s especially important to keep on top of all your screenings as the genetic link plays a big role in your chances of developing these cancers. What’s more, men are impacted, too--over 2,000 men are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
Talk with your doctor about all of your family history and discuss options for screenings and further predict-and-prevent genetic testing. Most mammograms are covered by insurance for women over 40, so find out if you qualify.
‘Screen’ or ‘Gene,’ these tests should top the TO-DO for yourself and your loved ones. Make a date, go with your bestie and get your breasties examed today!!
Burn for Breast Cancer 2018: Mantra Sarasota and Tampa studios are teaming up with Fit 4 Prevention to host special donation classes to support the “Keep A Breast” charity. Sign up now to reserve your spot and raise funds for this fierce cause!!
New Addition Update: Mantra is expanding our family of fitness (as many of you know) and our latest studio is scheduled to open this month in Orange County, CA!!! We love our coasts and our sunshine, our Megaformers, our Lagree, our pilates, so look for amazing offers and sweet treats for members to help celebrate our Mantrapolis!!
Mantra Fitness OC