Island Pilates by Rose

Where personal attention leads to positive results

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Regaining muscle mass after age 60 is more than nostalgia


Remember muscle? Those fine-cut abs and deltoids, those broad shoulders and sprinter’s legs? Yeah, we had so much of it back in our Twenties and Thirties, then came the kids, the mortgage, the job …..

Losing muscle is normal but — and here’s the good news — regaining it is normal, too.

Yes, even when you are over 60, according to New York Times Well columnist Gretchen Reynolds.

“But the process of bulking up works differently in older people than in the young,” writes Reynolds in quoting University of Alabama exercise researcher Marcas Bamman.

His key to regaining muscle after 60 is “regular and progressive weight training” (aka resistance training).

You can read more about Bamman’s work in this Ask Well blog post by Reynolds.


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Would you exercise twice a week for a longer, healthier life?

pilatescollageThe key to a longer life may be as simple as lifting weights or regular resistance exercise (think Pilates!), according to a new analysis of older adults which showed twice-weekly strength training resulted in lower odds of dying. In fact, the odds of death for any reason was 46 percent lower in those who trained with resistance compared to those who did not.

Older adults who met twice-weekly strength training guidelines had lower odds of dying in a study by researchers at Penn State College of Medicine, Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center and Columbia University. The study is the first to demonstrate the association in a large, nationally representative sample over an extended time period, particularly in an older population.

Many studies have previously found that older adults who are physically active have better quality of life and a lower risk of mortality. Regular exercise is associated with health benefits, including preventing early death, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some cancers.

You can read more here at the Next Avenue website — and get motivated!

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TIME: Even a little bit of this goes a long way

exercise-cover-finalDo you know what single thing can improve brain function, shrink fat cells, make you happier and help you age slower?

Wait for it….


I know. Right? Shocking.

Time magazine’s cover story this week includes these among seven key benefits that scientists are saying can now be linked to even a minimum level of physical exercise every week. Says Time: “New research is revealing that even small amounts of physical activity trigger dozens of beneficial changes in the body.”

Just imagine what Pilates is doing for you!

But here’s the bad news: “Only 20% of Americans get the recommended 150 minutes of strength and cardiovascular physical activity per week, more than half of all baby boomers report doing no exercise whatsoever, and 80.2 million Americans over age 6 are entirely inactive.”

Congratulations if you are taking care of yourself by exercising!

Read a nice summary of the Time article here.

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Best foods to eat before and after your workout

eat-workoutFrom Rose Alcantara:

I love good food.

That probably is no shock to those who know me.

But I can’t always eat what I want, when I want. Especially if I am teaching Pilates classes. If you think it is hard exercising on a full stomach, try teaching all day that way!

But there are good foods to eat before working out (in moderation of course) — and foods that will maximize the benefits of your workout to eat when you are done.

Todd McCullough, founder of TMAC Fitness in California, offers some good suggestions for fueling up before a workout and replenishing afterward.  Read all about it right here.

McCullough’s philosophy on eating is kind of interesting, too: “If I can plant it, pick it or catch it, then I can eat it. If not, then I stay away.”

What do you think about that?

Want more tips?

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When good things happen to positive people

Chelsea Roff gets the surprise of her life.

Chelsea Roff gets the surprise of her life.

Leading a positive life can be richly rewarding, for you and those around you. Chelsea Roff is a yoga teacher who owns a non-profit studio that specializes in helping people recovering from eating disorders.

Her own life has been filled with challenges and she has met them all with a most positive outlook. (This most inspirational video is a glimpse into how challenging her life was growing up.)

That positive outlook has not gone unnoticed by her coworkers, friends and other people she has touched through her life. Continue reading

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For Rose, Sundays are all about chilled eucalyptus-scented towels

Miss Rose is enveloped in the cooling scent of eucalyptus as she prepares chilled towels for her Pilates classes for the week.

Miss Rose is enveloped in the cooling scent of eucalyptus as she prepares chilled towels for her Pilates classes for the week.

At the end of every Pilates session, private or group, Rose loves to hand out chilled towels scented with eucalyptus oil.  Nothing revives you after a hard workout like resting on your back with a scented towel over your face, breathing in the cool invigorating eucalyptus scent.

This is a picture of Rose this afternoon, dipping her freshly washed towels in the eucalyptus water, then rolling them up before packaging in sealed plastic bags.

She is starting the week off with 40 scented towels and will likely rewash, scent and chill them again by Thursday.

Rose brings towels for her two floor Pilates classes at Zen Belize, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. Some Pilates students are so refreshed they stay for the 11 a.m. yoga class with Tara!

On the first Friday of every month Rose has extra towels ready for the all-volunteer Tres Cocos Roadside & Beach cleanup crew which ends the day at Daydreamin’ Belize Bed & Breakfast and Marbucks Coffee House. In both cases, Rose never knows how many people to expect so she always prepares extras, just to be on the safe side!

If you have never experienced the feel of a chilled eucalyptus-scented towel on your face as you rest on the mat at the end of a vigorous workout, you are missing a real treat.

Come try a Pilates floor session at Zen Belize and feel the coolness at the end of class!

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10 ways to ease those sore muscles from your workout

The POPSUGAR website recommends 10 things you can do to avoid muscle soreness after a good workout. (Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography)

The POPSUGAR website recommends 10 things you can do to avoid muscle soreness after a good workout. (Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography)

I love hearing how sore some people are two and three days after a Pilates session on the reformer. It is called delayed onset muscle soreness and it means we got into areas that aren’t used to being worked.

Understand, the pain gives me no pleasure but the message it is sending to your body does.

Once you have received that message — that those muscles have been worked hard —  you don’t want it to linger, do you?

Here’s a quick list of 10 steps you should always take before, during, and after a workout.