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Exploring Whole Body Health and the Mind, Body, Spirit Connection

Upgrading and Downgrading Your Health:  How Imbalances Can Affect the Performance of your Body to Maintain and Enjoy Optimal Whole-Body Health

Whole-Body Health

Most of the time what I write and share on my blog are my thoughts, comments, and exercise tips and perhaps an occasional guest article post.  But today, I’ve got something special!  I’m blessed to have had many wonderful health practitioners and healers come in and out of my life.  Some are life-long friends, some have helped me on my journey to re-gain whole-body health, and some are only acquaintances that I’ve met briefly during my studies of Pilates and other mind-body alternative health care practices.  The bottom line is that as health care practitioners, we’re all striving to keep our bodies healthy and pay it forward to help others too!  Optimal whole-body health for some is easy to achieve.  Yes, it takes hard work and dedication, but for some it seems to be no big deal to make it happen.  For others, there always seems to be something wrong, out of balance, or “off” just enough that the body hurts.  It’s learning to pay attention and take the steps needed that can help us quickly re-balance and make whatever corrections are necessary that can help us achieve and maintain better whole-body health.

My friend, Eric Goodbar, from Fast Track Pain & Mobility Solutions  (who is an amazing guy if you ever need his help!) shared what I’m about to share with you, in a Facebook post a while back.  It really resonated with me, so I saved it and Eric has been kind enough to let me share it with you!

As a Pilates teacher I’m 100% committed to helping my clients improve whole-body health.  I’ve studied Touch for Health, Kinesiology; Rossiter® Stretching; BiGu Qi Gong and have spent years getting in touch with my Spiritual, psychic self.  I understand that there is a huge connection to mind, body, and spirit.  But in the fitness world, we focus primarily on the body.  With Pilates, the mind, body connection gets a little more action.  But for the most part, the Spiritual aspect of things doesn’t really get discussed.  It’s a little tricky to toss “Spirit” into conversations because it can quickly become religious which is not the direction it’s meant to go.  Personally, I’m very spiritual, but not too religious – and I struggle, as I’m sure a lot of folks do, with bringing more Spirit into the conversation because “preachy” feels pushy to me.  In a similar way, it’s sometimes challenging to talk about the emotional component that can be a part of pain patterns that might be restricting our ability to truly achieve whole body health.

Eric very eloquently explains the difference between whole body health functioning optimally, or in a downgraded way, and has a pretty cool “Spiritual” connection to add to it.  I’m to the point of babbling aimlessly now, so am just going to cut and paste his entire post in here for you to enjoy.

“People don’t really recognize how everything is connected in so many ways. A little wordy but hang in there….

Some of my clients have gotten a quick blurb from me about how everything in your body works together as 100%, whether in an optimal way or a downgraded way in function. So, if ANY part(s) in your body that is “off” or downgraded (working either too hard or not hard enough) to some degree from it’s normal, or neutral, or center, then the whole body will downgrade in performance accordingly. How much these parts are “off” will determine how much the performance (output) of the whole body is off.

Therefore, if ANY part(s) are brought ANY closer towards functioning more normal, neutral, or center to work better than their current state, the whole body will upgrade in performance accordingly. You will likely never get everything working completely normal, but the closer you get back to normal, or neutral, or center in ANY fashion, the more your whole body will be upgrading to a more optimal state and function better.

So, remember if you ignore a back pain, neck pain, poor movement in a joint, or really any problem, just remember that it’s affecting 100% off you in a downgraded way. Improve the problem ANY and improve everything too.

What I came across this morning that was so cool was that while I was in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 I saw scripture that made me think of what I just wrote out above. Lines 25 and 26 say

“25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.”

That was definitely inspiring to me as a bodyworker, so I wanted to share and maybe will inspire some of you in some way. This truth can really be applied to everything in your life.”

Thanks Eric, I’m super-happy that you opened your heart to share these powerful truths with your friends and clients.  And I’m pleased that you’ve let me share these enlightening words with my tribe too!

Are you working on upgrading your whole-body health, or putting up with compensation patterns that are keeping you functioning at less than optimal? Strive to connect mind, body, and spirit, and take the steps necessary to get your body in balance.  It’s your birthright to enjoy optimal whole-body health!

Posted by administrator in Mind-Body Health.

What Are Your Excuses to Avoid Taking Care of Your Health?

Are you stuck in a cycle of Unhealthy, Sick, Tired, Injured, In Pain, or Full of Complaints?


What’s your excuse? Or are there multiple excuses getting in the way of you taking responsibility and care of your body and your health? Is it easy to complain about what hurts, not ever getting around to doing something about it? Or, the plan is to rest until nothing hurts and then you’ll start exercising? (Meanwhile, your body is getting weaker, stiffer, heavier, more lethargic…and the aches and pains you started with don’t seem to be getting better at all!)

Excuses I often hear people say are: “Pilates is so expensive.” “I can’t afford private lessons.” “I’m too busy, and don’t have time to schedule Pilates 2-3 days a week.” “My job keeps me working long hours, I’m too tired to exercise.” “My kids have a lot of extracurricular activities and I’m the one that has to be their chauffeur.”

It’s not just doing Pilates that these excuses come up for, it’s anything that might be a positive step to take better care of your health, regardless of how you choose to do it!

All these excuses are keeping you from living your optimal life! There are a million reasons that can steal your time, and one big reason to make time and take care of you anyway.

Your #1 Priority Needs to be YOUR HEALTH! Today, Tomorrow, and Always.

Think of it this way… If you’re not healthy, how the heck are you going to be able to earn a living, take care of yourself, your kids, your family? Do you really want to spend a good chunk of your income on doctors, medications, surgeries…things that aren’t really going to improve your quality of life? I’m not saying to stop taking your medications. There are reasons why we need medicine! But the healthier you are, the less likely you are to need as much and there may be a chance that (under doctor’s supervision) you can get off your meds completely!

I spoke with a friend recently, someone I really look up to as a health professional. We’ve known each other for more than 20 years. And over the last few years, his health has taken a turn for the worse. He was the last person I’d ever expect to really get sick. In the process, he almost lost everything. But with a determined attitude and a shift in priorities, he’s put himself first – but it was because he had to! And the comments he made to me that made the biggest impact, “With everything else I’ve had to sacrifice, I never compromised on what I’ve been eating.” As tight as his budget has been, without money to spend on necessities – he never sacrificed eating clean, healthy, organic, nutritious foods! And now instead of “working” and helping clients for 8,10, 12 hours a day, he might work 3-4 hours. What takes up the other 20 hours a day? Taking care of himself. Diligently striving to regain the strength, health, and mobility he lost by not listening to his body and doing something about it sooner!

Can we recover from serious injuries, accidents, and illnesses – YES. People do it all the time. The people that enjoy a full recovery don’t let excuses stop them. They are motivated to keep a positive attitude and do whatever is necessary, whatever it takes, to get well and stay well.

The conversation with my friend really stuck with me. On some level, we all know that “You are what you eat!” and that “The body is a Temple.” But truly, how well are we really taking care of ourselves? Do we really rest to fully recover when we’re sick? If we get hurt, do we go to the doctor – follow recommendations – stop doing things that hurt to aggravate whatever injury we’ve incurred? Avoid eating the things we know are un-healthy, or that we’re sensitive or allergic to? Are we pro-active to get check-ups, eat healthy, exercise, get adequate rest to ensure that we’re doing all we can to maintain our good health? Or is life spent partying like there’s no tomorrow, until you’re facing the fact that your body can’t handle the stress and abuse you’ve put on it and there might not be a tomorrow?

I’ve battled with depression and more weird, physical ailments that I can count. Some years I’m in pretty good shape; other years the ride is a rollercoaster of emotions and physical health challenges. It’s almost a game of bouncing between pro-active and reactive! When the body feels good, it’s easy to just coast along, do whatever you want and not worry about how it might be affecting you. Until the moment that something hurts or isn’t functioning properly, then the mindset shifts into reactive mode, scrambling to figure out what’s wrong and how to fix it – willing to spend every cent to make the pain go away. How much of this could be prevented with a more proactive lifestyle and a few less excuses?

It’s not just exercise, it’s not just diet, it’s not just getting enough sleep, it’s not just managing stress… It’s about being more responsible to take care of everything. To balance work and play, rest and exercise, social time and alone time. It’s about nourishing body, mind, and Spirit.

Sometimes we really do know what to do, we’re just not doing it. Other times we need a little extra support, advice, counseling, or expertise to help guide us in the right direction.

Getting to the point where we confidently understanding what to do to start bridging the gap between thinking about doing it – and doing what’s required with dedication and consistency will lead us to the happy, healthy life that each of us is destined to live.

Exercise has always been a priority in my life. But I must admit that in other areas, I’ve not been quite as diligent in the self-care arena. What excuses are you ready to let go of? What areas of your life are important to re-evaluate, and prioritize to be more pro-active to take better care of your health? What can you start doing today to release the excuses that have kept you stuck in a cycle of unhealthy habits? The time is NOW to move yourself up to #1 on your priority list – You are Worth It!


Sign Up for the Centerworks Wellness Success eNews – Enjoy motivation, inspiration, and exercise tips to keep you moving forward to a healthier, happier YOU!

Posted by administrator in Health.

Sit or MOVE? Which One is Best for Your Body and Your Health?

And why does it matter if you sit or MOVE anyway?

Sit or Move

Let’s face it, we’re spending way too much time parked on our rumps, not thinking about whether we sit or move.  You know it’s bad when they start naming new health problems that are directly related to how much we’re sitting.  Have you heard of gluteal amnesia? It can be directly related to lack of movement and muscle atrophy because we’re not doing what we need to be doing to activate, strengthen, and use our muscles to MOVE! Sit on your butt for too many hours a day and your glutes get lazy, hips, hamstrings, and quads get tighter which leads to more low back pain, as well as hip pain, knee pain, and problems with your neck and shoulders.

It’s so “relaxing” to park your butt in a chair and chill out, but is this really in the best interest of your body and helping to maintain your good health? Or, would a wiser choice to be getting up and doing something a little bit more active?

Whether you’re sitting, standing, or moving, good posture matters to keep your muscles working well.  And if that’s not enough motivation for you, studies have shown that the more you sit, the higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. We have to decide to sit or MOVE more to help improve whole-body health.

A quick 60 minute workout 2-3 days a week isn’t going to undo 8-10 hours with zero movement and poor posture while you’re tush is parked at your desk working all day.  Sit with good posture and you’re a step ahead to keep your body strong, fit, and flexible. Get a little extra time standing up and moving around and your body, and brain will be even happier.

Do you find yourself exhausted from a long day at work? How is sitting in front of the TV going to perk up your energy level?  Chances are it’s not. But, maybe that snack you grab will do the trick. Unfortunately, you’ll likely end up burning fewer calories because you’re too sedentary, while eating more because you’re desperate for energy.  Did you know that standing burns 30% more calories than sitting and you can up that number even more if you move! We have to make a conscious decision to sit or MOVE throughout the day.

Our muscles only get stronger when we use them.  We only get more flexible when we work our joints through their full range of motion.  Our circulatory system (heart), respiratory system (breathing), and digestive system all function better when we are active so whether we sit or move, our bodies are impacted.

Shift Your Mindset from: “I HAVE to Sit Down” to “I just need to MOVE for a Minute.”  Then I challenge you to follow the wise advice that just came out of your mouth and do it.  Set a timer, get up, and move for at least ONE Minute (every hour of the day)! 




Looking for a quick 10 minute workout to re-energize your whole body for better health?  Check out the ebook: Pulse Power! The Daily Dozen






Interested in getting better benefits from every step you take?  Discover an easy to learn system to help you enhance your whole-body health by fine-tuning your gait with Pilates Walk: Tips, Techniques and Exercises for a Healthy Stride.

Posted by administrator in Alleviating Pain & Chronic Health Problems. Ranks as One of the Top 75 Pilates Blogs

How cool is this?  To get an email, out of the blue telling me that has been ranked by Feedspot as having one of the Top 75 Pilates Blogs on the web for 2017.

Then to find out that out of 75 Pilates blogs, Centerworks is ranked 11th!  Woo Hoo!! I love teaching Pilates, and for all the people out there that can’t make it to my studio to take Private lessons and classes with me, I’m glad you’re finding and reading my blog posts.

I truly hope that whether you are a fellow Pilates teacher, avid student, or just getting started discovering what Pilates is, what it can do, and how it can help improve your whole-body health, that reading the articles on my blog spark an idea, educate you to think about how your stand, sit, and move, or inspire you to delve even deeper into paying attention to how your body is put together to move well.  Better posture, breathing, and body awareness to improve functional movement and achieve wellness success is the message I want to help spread to the world.  I strongly believe that the Pilates Method is one of the best systems available to help maintain good health.

Our bodies were designed to move.  When we’re moving well, nothing hurts, and everything stays healthy.  Life throws us curveballs and challenges which is why Pilates is a practice.  But with so many wonderful Pilates exercises and such brilliantly designed Pilates equipment to play on – every workout can be a health-enhancing experience.  Plus, I consider Pilates to be a “rabbit-hole” of opportunities to further develop the mind-body connection while improving strength, flexibility, and fitness.

It’s hard to believe that I’m now twenty-five years into my full-time career as a Pilates Teacher and studio owner.  And still, every single day I learn something new about the body that can help me help my clients improve their health!

My goal with the blog is to share some of these little ah-ha moments with you!  If you’re a fan of Centerworks and my blog posts – THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart! Blogging is a lonely job… I don’t always hear from my readers to know who’s enjoying my posts, but I’m very glad you’re out there.

If you’re interested in gleaning more tidbits of health inspiration from other experts in the Pilates industry, and are curious to see who else made the list. I hope you’ll check out this article to learn more — Top 75 Pilates Blogs.

And, if you want to stay in the loop for what’s happening at Centerworks – I hope you’ll get on the list for my Wellness Success eNews and updates.  I’ve never been one to clutter your inbox with mail – but do promise to give you good usable content to help you keep moving in a positive direction to improve your health.

Posted by administrator in Book Reviews, Pilates.

Healthy Recipes: Protein-Packed Chocolate Pudding with Blueberries

Chocolate Pudding

This protein-packed chocolate pudding really is one of my favorite “comfort” desserts (also great for breakfast, lunch, or an afternoon snack!). Eating this brings back memories… When I was a kid, my Aunt Rachel made the best Chocolate Cream Pie on the planet!  For every holiday, birthday, or special family get-together, she always made me a chocolate pie.  In the early years, she’d ask what I wanted for dessert.  But after a while it became obvious that she could ask, but my special request was always going to be her amazing chocolate pie!  I miss both her, and her pie, dearly…I suppose that’s why I have such sweet memories every time I take a bite of this pudding I whipped up one day on a whim.

I keep thinking that I’m going to get some of my favorite recipes compiled into a cookbook.  But when you’re somebody that cooks by the seat of your pants, rarely making the same thing twice…it’s a challenge to nail down a recipe.  Recipes to me are more like suggestions!  A springboard from which to start making changes.  And, since over the years I’ve dealt with tons of food sensitivities, allergies, and intolerances, the question of what CAN I eat that my body will take and use appropriately continues to be a moving target.

So, if you’re anything like me, the ingredients below for my yummy protein-packed chocolate pudding with blueberries will be recommended “suggestions.”  Feel free to modify and adapt based on your body’s desires and needs for the right foods.

This is a sugar-free recipe (until you add the blueberries!). So, if you’re looking to cut sugar completely out of your life, you can still enjoy this chocolate pudding, just skip the fruit.

Remember – it’s a-ok to swap out ingredients and find the right combination of things that work best for you!  Sometimes I leave the chia seeds out… Sometimes I leave the protein powder out…  Sometimes I add more protein powder…  Or more yogurt and no water… You could add different berries, cacao nibs for a little crunch.  Eat with a gluten-free graham cracker for that “pie” feeling.  Or add a dollop of coconut or cashew cream for an extra kick!  The possibilities are endless.  Here’s my base recipe to get you started:

Aliesa’s Healthy Protein-Packed Chocolate Pudding with Blueberries


  • ½ Cup Plain Yogurt (I used to use non-fat plain Greek yogurt… currently I prefer a dairy-free Coconut yogurt, or other Nut milk yogurt – homemade when I have time to whip up a batch.)
  • ½ C water
  • 1 T Chia Seeds
  • 1 t Cacao Powder (Hershey’s Cocoa Powder works fine too)
  • 4 drops liquid stevia dark chocolate flavored (more or less to taste)
  • 2 T Sunflower Nut Butter (I use Organic SunButter – it’s just nuts no added oils or sugars)
  • 1 Fuxion Ganomas Cappuccino packet (dry)
  • 1/4 package of Fuxion BioPro Active Chocolate Hazelnut Protein Powder (dry)
  • ½ Cup fresh Blueberries


Place all ingredients in a bowl, except blueberries. Use a spoon to hand mix until thoroughly blended.  Add blueberries, stir, put on the lid, and refrigerate to let the chia seeds soak.

Helpful hint – I usually make this in a Mason Jar.  It’s easy, serving sized, and quick to make ahead to grab and go.

Serving Size and Calories

It depends on how many calories you’re counting to calculate a serving size.  For me, the recipe above is 1 very generous LARGE meal-sized serving (I estimate approximately 432 calories with a whopping 28.1 g of plant-based protein).  Or 2 Medium-sized servings (approx. 216 calories).  If you were into a 2-bite dessert you could probably make this into 4-6 servings!  I happen to be a pudding pig and this usually becomes a high-protein, morning or mid-afternoon meal for me.

Getting All the Ingredients

Don’t have the Fuxion products in your kitchen pantry? Swap it out for something else (but I can’t guarantee the taste!). If you’re interested in ordering the Ganomas Cappuccino mix, and BioPro X Active Chocolate Hazelnut Protein Powder that I used in this recipe, or trying some of the other healthy sugar-free Fuxion functional beverage drinks that I enjoy and cook with regularly,  click here to visit my Fuxion virtual shop scroll thru to find the products you want, and order a box today!

It’s not my Aunt Rachel’s chocolate cream pie.  But I know it’s better for me!  Quick and easy, and oh so yummy.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Posted by administrator in Food and Nutrition, Recipes for Healthy Eating.

You CAN Eliminate Back Pain with Pilates Core Exercises

Use Pilates to help eliminate back painAre you ready to kick your back pain problems to the curb?

Get ready to eliminate back pain… You can start feeling better fast!

Back pain is a significant problem in the USA.  There can be a variety of different reasons to end up challenged with back pain problems, and it can be extremely aggravating to figure out how to feel better.  But there are lots of different exercises that can be done to eliminate back pain, and Pilates can be an excellent choice in the process of improving posture, strength, flexibility, and developing healthy movement habits to enjoy life.

I was recently contacted by Natalie, at Runway Pilates to be a contributor to an article she was writing 11 Pilates Instructors Reveal the Best Core Exercises For Back Pain.  It was awesome to be asked to share my insights.  Then I realized that I needed to be succinct in my response! With my own personal low back issues, and having worked with lots of clients over the past two-plus decades of teaching Pilates, I’ve got so many thoughts to share on the subject of eliminating back pain problems.

Posted by administrator in Back Pain, Pilates.

The Many Ways Pilates Improves Your Health

Pilates ImprovesInherently, all physical fitness systems work, in one way or another, toward improving the health of anyone who takes them up. However, Pilates is head and shoulders above most fitness programs when it comes to health benefits, achieving them in a much less strenuous way. Pilates improves whole-body health without straining muscles and joints.

Since its introduction by Joseph Pilates all those years ago, Pilates has earned a reputation as a great way of strengthening the “core,” which mainly refers to the abdominal and trunk muscles. This incredible fitness system, however, does more than just give you great and strong abs, which many people (mistakenly) believe is what Pilates is solely about. Let’s look at the many ways Pilates improves your health. You might be surprised at what it can do for you.

Pilates improves your posture

If you know people who have been doing Pilates for some time, you will notice that they have good posture. That’s because smoothly doing Pilates exercises requires laser focus, and this level of concentration makes one more naturally aware of their posture at all times. Eventually, Pilates enthusiasts automatically correct their posture and spinal alignment even when they’re outside of classes and going about their daily lives.

Pilates improves circulation

Pilates emphasizes deep, proper breathing. With this kind of breathing, the flow of your blood becomes freer, and the delivery of precious oxygen to your organs and muscles becomes more efficient resulting in improved function.

Pilates lowers blood pressure

A 2015 study had 44 hypertensive women split into two groups as subjects, with one group performing twice-a-week, 60-minute Mat Pilates sessions for 16 weeks, and the other group maintaining their daily activities without any special exercise training. The results were encouraging, as it found out that Mat Pilates “reduces clinical and ambulatory blood pressure.”

Pilates improves your balance

Many Pilates exercises constantly make use of apparatus and props that promote stabilization. As your core muscles gain strength and your spine realigns, your balance, as well as your coordination, improves as well. Pilates is absolutely great for the elderly since improved balance means lesser risk for falls.

Pilates helps with back pain

If you’ve been suffering from chronic back pain and traditional treatments didn’t work for you, you might want to give Pilates a try. There are specific Pilates exercises that are designed to relieve back pain, and there have been studies that say they can be more effective than conventional back pain treatments. Many Pilates enthusiasts already claim that the system has given them relief for their back pain, which Pilates can also help prevent.

Pilates improves flexibility

Every single Pilates class will require you to perform multiple active stretches all throughout, which will improve your joints’ range of motion with every session. Your body will feel looser and relaxed, which is always a good thing.

Pilates boosts spinal strength and health

With all the multiplanar core exercises that you will have to do in Pilates class, you will feel your spine become stronger, more flexible, and better aligned. A 2014 study also affirms that there is a link between spinal health and Pilates.

Pilates enhances joint mobility

Pilates exercises strengthen and elongate muscles as well as improve the mobility of your joints. They can also reduce your risk of suffering from stiff or weak joints. As Pilates exercises also help to balance the musculature within your joints, you will become less prone to arthritis.

Pilates lowers stress levels

Deep, proper breathing, which is a core Pilates principle, plays a huge role in reducing your stress levels. With deep and proper breaths, your blood gets more oxygen, and the improved circulation makes delivery of oxygen to the brain more efficient. When your brain gets its fair share of oxygen, a response telling it to calm down is triggered, and that should relax your brain enough to keep your stress levels down.

These are just some of the ways Pilates can improve your health. If Pilates intimidates you, know that anyone can do it, no matter what your age or weight. Pilates Improves It may prove challenging at first but you will get the hang of it eventually, and you will soon achieve the health gains mentioned above, and more.

Guest post for Centerworks® by Cindy Ayres.

Owner/Instructor, Cindy Ayres, excels at challenging the most seasoned of athletes, but she also has made it her life’s mission to help bodies that hurt, regularly working with students with injuries, special conditions, and functionality issues. Beyond Fit Pilates in Scottsdale, Arizona was created to teach all levels of high quality Pilates instruction, write fitness and wellness content, and speak in health and fitness forums.

Posted by administrator in Pilates.

Finding the Best Workouts for Your Personality Type

best workoutsHello there! Quick question! How many times did you skip your workout this week? Twice? Thrice? We have all been there – paying for an annual gym membership and visiting the gym once in a blue moon. Most people think fitness is a one-fit for all. If you are someone who thinks the same, keep reading!

The best way to make the most of your workout routine is to identify the workout that matches your personality type.  Let’s take a look at various personality types and the workout that suits each of them.

The Control Freak

Control freaks are very precise, calculative, organized and punctual. They are looking for a perfect workout session where they can sweat it out. The best types of workouts that will suit this personality type are full body intense workouts. Barre workout which is a combination of Yoga, Pilates and Ballet is one good example. This workout is very specific and tough. It delivers a very precise and controlled exercise experience. If you are a control freak, try your hand at Barre and feel the grace of Ballet along with the intensity of Pilates.  

The Lazy Bug

A lot of us fall into this category. We snooze the alarm at least three times before we finally get out of bed. If you are someone who can relate to this, work out with a friend who is a fitness freak. You can even try your hand at group workout activities. There are many exciting group workouts like Yoga, Pilates, Zumba, Cardio kickboxing, and Group cycling which are very engaging.

Go for fun workout sessions and boot camps which have a high-energy atmosphere and great music. If none of this seems to work, choose a personal trainer or Pilates teacher who will never let you skip a workout.  Having the encouragement of a motivational instructor can also help you do better.

The Competitor

Some people just love competition. They live for challenges and thrive for competitive workout regimes. Winning and achieving the goal matters the most to them. Crossfit is the ultimate workout for those who are looking for a challenge. It is extremely tough and pushes your limits. The excessive number of repetitions in the limited amount of time is not an easy thing to do. Crossfit also has a big workout community where you can share your results and set higher goals for the next workout regime.

High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is also an excellent choice for people who are looking to challenge themselves with some tough workouts.  Both the competitor and the control freak will enjoy High-Intensity Interval Training workouts.

The Adventure Lover

Adventure lovers are always looking for something new and get easily bored with stale workout routines. They want flexibility and are always looking for a room to experiment with new things. Workout routines which involve a lot of variety and creativity are the best choice for them.  A 5-minute intense workout on different machines is good to start with. Power Yoga is another workout which involves a lot of poses in different degrees which are challenging at the same time very interesting. Zumba dance and  Aerobics are also for adventure lovers who are looking for something exciting and fun.  But even more than indoor workouts, the adventure lover is going to want to be outdoors. Activities like running, biking, hiking,  or obstacle racing and triathlon training can provide both a change of scenery for your workouts, and the variety needed to stay engaged.

The Night Owl

The most common reason people skip a workout is that they have to wake up early. Good news to all of you night owls out there! There is no hard and fast rule that you should work out only in the mornings. If you are someone who finds it easy to stay up late but don’t like waking up early here’s a tip: workout when you want to!  Find a time that fits your schedule.  Lots of health clubs are open 24 hours these days, and even with minimal equipment, there is lots you can do at-home in your living room for cardio, strength training, HIIT, and even Pilates Matwork, and Yoga.

Regardless of your personality type, what’s important is that you find fitness activities that you enjoy and want to incorporate into your weekly workout routine. Whether you’re at the gym, a Crossfit box, Pilates or Yoga studio, Barre or Boxing club, at-home in your living room, or enjoying the great outdoors, finding the best workouts for your personality type can help you stick with your fitness plan.

In fact, night workouts have a lot of benefits. To begin with, you don’t have to fight the crowd, and you may have the gym all to yourself. This leaves you with many options to exercise. You can let out all the frustration from a tough day and have calmer mornings. Night workouts are the best way to de-stress. All the sweat you break can help you sleep better at nights as well.

The Early Riser

The lucky lot are here! People who find it easy to beat the alarm, have a lot of time for everything. Nothing can beat a dawn-breaking sweat session. Since you are up early, you have ample time to complete your workout. You can schedule your week with specific routines for each day. Monday can be abs, Tuesday for arms and so on. Getting a personal trainer can make your workout session all the more effective.

There are many personality tests online which you can take to identify your type and begin with the workout routine that will suit you.  To all the lazy bugs out there, the most important thing to remember while working out is to keep it consistent. If you are a control freak make sure you give your body the appropriate rest. Stay fit! Stay happy!

Guest post for Centerworks® by Edgar James.

Edgar James is a prolific fitness writer and editor for He writes in-depth fitness equipment reviews for home gym owners and motivates others with his personal experiences. A true naturalist and outdoors-man, Edgar loves hiking through forests and reconnecting with nature.

Posted by administrator in Exercise and Fitness, Guest Bloggers.

Take the 2017 Centerworks Holiday Health CHALLENGE

Centerworks Holiday Health ChallengeWhat better way to get your Holiday’s off to a good start than to add just one more thing to the “To-Do” list, and commit to the Centerworks Holiday Health Challenge!  I know you’re laughing right now, but I’m serious…

This is the time of the year that everything else seems to take priority – parties, shopping, time with friends and family, big meals, baking cookies, eating, eating, and more eating… with a promise to yourself that your New Year’s resolution will be to take more time for you, ramp up your workouts, and get back on track with healthy habits starting “next year.”

Sure body weight can fluctuate and it might only be 1 extra pound, or up to 5 or 10 pounds…  You know your typical November and December Holiday eating and activity patterns.

One study has shown that the extra weight you put on between Haloween and Christmas can take more than 5 months to lose.  Do you really want to spend almost half the year trying to shed the extra “present” you gave yourself.  Or would you prefer to present yourself with a healthy jump-start on that promise to take better care of your body inside and out?

It’s not so much about what you eat, we all know that you’ll never out-exrcise your diet.  But what’s more important is how much you’re MOVING your body, managing your stress, making smart healthier choices with holiday treats, and managing portion sizes.

Let’s make this your best Holiday Season ever!  Give YOURSELF the Gift of Good Health.

Here’s the Centerworks Holiday Health Challenge
Ready… 4,3,2,1, GO… 

  • 4 Days a week (minimum)
  • 30 minutes of Cardio
  • 20 Minutes of Strength & Conditioning
  • 10 Minutes of Stretching

Workout a minimum of 4 Days a week from NOW until the NEW Year!  You pick the days you’re going to do the work, and the activities you enjoy.  And if you get carried away and do a 45 min walk/jog instead of 30 min – SWEET! You’ve just given yourself a bonus fifteen minute health boost!  (But, here’s the catch, your extra minutes do not carry over for you to “skip out” on another day’s workout.)

Cardio Workouts
Options include but are not limited to:
(Any activity that gets your heart-rate up and blood pumping!)

  • Walk
  • Run
  • Bike
  • Swim
  • Row
  • Jump Rope
  • Climb Stairs
  • Elliptical
  • Aerobics
  • Dance
  • Hike
  • Ski
  • Skate
  • Any other Aerobic activities you enjoy!

Strength & Conditioning
(Any activity/exercise that is working your muscles to develop better muscle tone, and strength.)

  • Pilates
  • Weight Lifting
  • Calesthetics
  • Foam Roller / Fit Ball
  • Pulse-Power Daily Dozen
  • CrossFit
  • TRX
  • Any other Strength and Conditioning exercises you enjoy!

Stretching & Flexibility 
(Any activity/exercise that is focused on improving range of movement and flexibility from your head to your toes.)

Your Workouts for this challenge do NOT have to be completed in one continuous hour. It is perfectly ok, to break it up throughout your day.  Only have 15 minutes?  Go for a WALK and you’ve got half of your cardio completed for the day!  Squeeze in another 15 minutes of Cardio plus your 20 minutes Strength and 10 minutes of Stretching exercises before the sun goes down. JUST strive to get everything done that you’ve committed to with this challenge, to take care of YOU before your head hits the pillow.  OH and if you’re bursting with extra energy and nothing else to do…feel free to do MORE than 4 days of workouts a week, but at a bare minimum this challenge is to get you to commit 4 of the 168 hours you’ve got each week to take care of your mind and body through the Holidays.

Are you Ready to commit to the Centerworks Holiday Health Challenge?
I hope you’ll join me.

Start at any time.  There is no cost, and no catch, to participate in this Centerworks Challenge… Use the at-home training tools you have now.  Get outside, Hit the gym, count your Pilates and Yoga workouts, (or while you’re shopping for everybody else,  treat yourself to a new training resource from Centerworks that you know you’ll benefit from now and in the year to come!)  Just be sure you’re being consistent to meet the requirements of this challenge, because after all, the person that is going to benefit the most from this Holiday Health Challenges is YOU!

Download your Centerworks Holiday Health Challenge Workout tracker now.

Posted by administrator in Health.

Thanksgiving and the Art of Being Thankful

Sharing the Gift of Gratitude with the Ones You Love

Being Thankful

Are you being thankful and living every day to its fullest?

This has been another challenging year when I find being thankful difficult. And yet, I’ve been given great opportunities to see the power of grace, gratitude, and thankfulness in action.  With the world seemingly in chaos with natural disasters, fires, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, the threats of nuclear war, an absurd government, as much “fake” news as actual information… We have all this craziness surrounding our everyday lives, and then there is life.  I am reminded this year, more than ever, how precious life really is.

My step-son has been battling lung cancer for the past year and a half.  As I write this, we are not sure how much time he has left.  By the time this posts he might still be here, or he might be gone.  But what I’ve seen unfold in what just might be the last few weeks of his life has been amazing!  You see, my step-son Logan believes in miracles.  He has fought through it all without complaint.  I’ve never heard a “why me?”  or even a second of sniveling because he hurts, feels like crap, can barely breathe, has difficulty speaking, chemo has kicked his butt twice… There have been surgeries, stem-cell therapy. They’ve tried almost everything!  Up until a week or two ago he was still going to the gym, playing golf, and even continued to play ice and roller hockey with his buddies.  Can you imagine playing hockey and sprinting up and down the ice post-chemo with only one working lung?  Now, as tumors have spread from his lung to his spine causing pain and paralysis, he’s still putting on a smile. He has more energy than the rest of us and eagerly and graciously wants to see and speak with everyone that is stopping by to show their support.  At any given moment, there are at least 10-40 friends and close family at the hospital – all packed into his room swapping stories, sharing laughs, and cherishing every minute we have to be together.  This is the art of being thankful in action.

I am thankful to have been gifted the opportunity to have Logan as a step-son.  I am filled with gratitude to see the army of “earth angels” that are surrounding him to show their support, love, and compassion.  Logan’s presence is a gift to us, and our presence is a gift to him.  The energy exchange is palpable.  And while there is sadness, it is still being overpowered by pure joy.

Why am I sharing this personal story?  Because it’s the best example I have right now of being thankful.  Sure, we give lip service to this idea on a regular basis.  But why wait until push comes to shove to live in gratitude and be filled with thankfulness?  Can you imagine what it would be like if this concept was a part of our actual being?  It is for some people.  Like Logan.  Every day is a miracle, and he exudes thankfulness from every fiber of his being.  And it’s reciprocated ten-fold by his close friends, their wives, mothers, and fathers. In fact, everyone who knows him.

We shouldn’t wait for big, life altering experiences to be thankful.  There is a lot of power in embracing the gift of gratitude for the little things in life, too.  A wet kiss from your puppy, watching a butterfly, the sun on your face, wind in your hair, listening to the birds sing, children on a playground, music, art, good food, friends, a restful night’s sleep, a funny joke, the purr of your cat, listening to a thunderstorm, learning something new…

My clients have expressed thanks over the years for things that Pilates has helped them achieve to enjoy a better quality of life: being able to get up off the toilet, being able to bend over and tie their shoes, the ability to balance on one leg to put their pants on, being able to more easily turn their head to check for cars for a lane change, walking without foot pain, using their arms without shoulder pain, being able to take a deep breath, being able to walk up and down stairs without fear of falling… and the list goes on.  None of these are earth-shattering challenges. But, to live and enjoy a healthy life, it’s the little things that sometimes make the biggest difference; we shouldn’t wait until we’ve lost it all to appreciate and be thankful for what we have.

Give yourself the gift of gratitude and appreciate how the power of being thankful for what you can do, the health you do have, and the support that surrounds you impacts your well-being. The mindset of being thankful can help carry you forward with grace and gratitude.

This Thanksgiving I encourage you to take a moment and reach out to people in your life that you are thankful for.  Perhaps you’re already close and see each other often.  Don’t take your time together for granted – tell them how special they are and how thankful you are that they are a part of your life.  Perhaps you have people in your life that you rarely see or visit with, but in some way, they have made a huge impact on your life.  Reach out.  Thinking about someone is nice, but sharing your heartfelt appreciation with them is better.  Maybe it’s just a note, phone call, text message, or email.  Create a quick video to send them to share your thoughts. Or maybe you are fortunate enough to get together for an old-fashioned face-to-face chat.  Cherish your friends, be grateful for your family, and give thanks for your mentors.

We’re on this planet together, let’s show each other how much we care.

I challenge you to reach out to 5 people who have made a positive impact on your life and share with them your gratitude for their love and support.  Let them know the role they’ve played and how important they are to you.  Put into practice the art of being thankful. It’s a beautiful thing.

Ready, Set, Go forth and Give the Gift of Thankfulness.


(Logan Vinopal,  7-11-1988 to 10-28-2017)

Posted by administrator in Mind-Body Health, Motivation, Inspiration & Goal Setting.


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