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How the Jump Board Can Add Fun Cardio to your Pilates Routine!

When you think of Pilates, you don’t typically think of cardio. Which is fair enough! In general, Pilates is a great whole-body workout focused on strength, flexibility, and alignment in the body, so many of our exercises don’t stem from the goal of an elevated heart rate.

But cardiovascular exercise is an important component of your overall wellness routine, especially for heart health. On top of that, sometimes it’s fun to switch things up – especially in the winter months, when we all need a little jump start.

Enter the jump board!

The jump board is a fantastic addition to any Pilates class to integrate cardio and elevate that heart rate. It can even be used as a central component of classes to balance out strength and conditioning exercises with cardio.

So let’s discuss what the jump board is, exactly, why it’s so great for you, what jump board exercises might look like in a class setting, and how you can try it out with RTR Pilates this winter.

What the jump board is

The jump board is a padded plate that replaces the foot bar on the reformer. Placed at the end of the reformer, it creates a soft platform with some give, which you can then use to “jump” against spring resistance while laying down.

Overall, the jump board is a great non-weight bearing method to increase heart rate. It’s safe, and much easier on the joints than running – no jarring of the knee joints here!

When integrated into a class, the jump board is a fun cardio exercise that challenges your core, elevates the heart rate, and improves coordination.

Jump board exercises and what they do

During jump board exercises in class, the plate allows you to simulate the cardio of jumping, without the impact of actually jumping up and down.

It’s a low-impact exercise that provides an aerobic exercise while protecting your body from the impact of landing. You are “jumping” while lying down. The low impact exercise gives you the aerobic benefit of a rebounder while protecting your knees and back from the jarring impact of landing.

In addition to elevating your heart rate, the jump board can work different muscle groups, depending on your reformer’s settings and your instructors intentions. The spring settings themselves control how quickly you return to the jump board, which will alter its effects.

When using a light spring setting, the jump board can be a fun abdominal workout, because your abs need to work overtime. On a lighter resistance, your abs have to hold your legs up. Typically a light spring setting has a greater focus on endurance, and clients will experience more static holds, hovering in place, and pushing through exercises for a longer period of time.

On the other hand, a heavier spring setting is great for your lower muscle groups. With a heavier resistance setting, you will return to the board faster, which places more emphasis on your quads and the associated muscle groups, while still acting as a low-impact cardio exercise.

Circuit classes featuring the jump board

In the winter months, when running or biking outdoors can become uncomfortable, it’s fun to switch up classes and integrate cardio into your Pilates routine.

At RTR Pilates, we will integrate the jump board into our regular classes for variety. For these regular classes, the jump board exercises will typically take up just 5 minutes of class to increase your heart rate.

For anyone interested in a fuller jump board experience, we also offer our circuit classes throughout the week at our studios.

Our circuit classes utilize the jump board throughout the entire class, alternating regular exercises on the reformer with jump board-specific exercises to keep your heart rate up throughout class. This is a really fun way to switch up your workout routine and integrate some heart-healthy cardio exercise!

If you are interested in attending a circuit class, we typically offer them at each studio, with the class time varying at each location. So if you can’t find a circuit class at a preferred time in your typical studio, be sure to look at the schedules for our other studio locations in the DMV.

💡 “When it comes to Jump Board I often think of it like a puzzle. I like to give my clients the pieces – jump combinations like the Pilates v, mogul, parallel, and split – one at a time. Then, I give the overall picture, like doing certain variations in a certain order and at a certain pace. This actively engages both the mind and the body. Plus, constantly mixing it up is just straight-up fun.” – RTR Instructor Christopher B.

Can I use the jump board if I have back/knee/ankle pain?

Absolutely – with a doctor’s permission, and depending on the severity of your issue.

The non-weight bearing method of the jump board is excellent for those who have knee and ankle issues. With proper positioning, you should not experience any additional impact on these areas.

Plus, one of the great things about the reformer is that its springs act as a spectrum of support, while still providing an efficient whole-body workout. More springs provide more support, so we can always start with more support and adjust spring settings as you continue to build strength. Clients can always add or take away spring weights to provide additional support or challenge the muscles further.

As always, it’s important to work with your instructor to find the right spring settings that align with your body and your specific fitness goals.

Sign up for a circuit class today!

If you’re ready to try something new and add some fun variety to your workout routine, then our circuit class is for you!

Sign up for a circuit class today.

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The RTR Pilates Story: An Accidental Expansion
by Reina Offutt

RTR Pilates started as a single location in 2006 in the Potomac area of Washington, D.C. After 6 years, I began plans to expand into a second studio.

What I didn’t expect was to go from 1 to 3 studios in the course of seven months. That was…a bit of an accident.

2012 was an exciting year, to say the least!

An accidental opportunity

I wish I could say my expansion from 1 to 3 studios in just 7 months was a strategic decision thought out years in advance. In reality, it was more of an accidental opportunity. Because sometimes business is about seeing the potential and running with it.

Back in summer 2012, we were in the works to open our second location in Chevy Chase, in the shopping center above Whole Foods. I had 11 reformers purchased and set to arrive that September. The lease was signed and we were all set to move forward on the renovation process…or so we thought.

While we were working through the drawings and permitting process, it was determined that the plumbing for our studio would have to go through the ceiling above the meat department in Whole Foods. There was no way around it.

Obviously, Whole Foods was not thrilled.

As a result of the meat department/plumbing conflict, our renovations were put on hold while the landlord negotiated with Whole Foods. We soon found out that this would go on for a while. In the meantime, I still had 11 brand new reformers set to arrive, and no space in my house to put them.

So when it became apparent that the Whole Foods negotiations would take longer than we planned, I decided to pivot.

In August 2012, I decided to open a third studio.

The Palisades

I already knew that I wanted a third studio location in the Palisades to create the most convenient network of studio locations. After a bit of research, I approached the landlord of a shell commercial space that had formally been an H&R block. It was August, when half of D.C. went on vacation and no one got anything done. But I told the landlord that if we could finalize the lease negotiations in just 2 weeks, then I would take the space as-is.

Somehow, with a lot of elbow grease and persistence, it worked! Of course, we hadn’t prepared to pay rent on 3 studio locations. We negotiated 6 months of free rent for the Palisades location, which allowed us the grace period to set up the space and begin taking in revenue for the location, which could then be used to fund further renovations at the Chevy Chase location.

In what was a completely insane project timeline, we signed the lease, added a new coat of paint, slapped mirrors on the wall, installed our beautiful new reformers, and opened our Palisades location on September 6, 2012.

Chevy Chase

While we opened our Palisades studio, things finally began to move again in the Chevy Chase location in late fall 2012. Whole Foods agreed to let the plumbing go through the ceiling, but there were still a few speed bumps.

In order to move our plumbing through the ceiling, we had to drill through 3 feet of concrete and make sure that we wouldn’t hit any rebar or essential building elements. Unfortunately, in order to run the scans we needed, we had to bring a special x-ray into Whole Foods…and we couldn’t let anyone within 100 feet of it.

Now, during the holiday season, Whole Foods runs as a 24/7 operation, from accepting deliveries to stocking shelves. Understandably, Whole Foods did not want us to section off their entire meat department during the holidays.

As a result, we set up a time to scan the concrete ceiling after the holidays, on January 5. At 4:00am, with a hired security team (I wish I was joking).

But luckily, after an interesting all-nighter in the Whole Foods meat department, we were able to core drill through the concrete and get our plumbing in order.

Finally, in March 2013, more than 18 months after we negotiated the lease for our Chevy Chase location, we opened our third studio location.

Lessons learned

Opening our Palisades location was a bit of an accident. The Chevy Chase delay was a giant rock that landed in the middle of the path I planned for my business. But instead of slamming into the rock over and over again, I decided to go around it, and move forward on a slightly different road.

Hacking the learning curve

As a business owner, scaling from 1 to 3 studio locations came with a big learning curve. I went from being present at 1 location, 100% of the time, to splitting my attention across 3 locations. It wasn’t a straight line of success. At first, I felt spread thin.

In order to manage my business efficiently, I had to systemize the way I worked. As an engineer, I knew that systems and automation were key to increasing output. So, just like we focus on efficient systems in our classes, I created as many systems as possible in our studio operations.

To keep our reformers and studios running, we brought on Bill, our amazing handyman and unsung hero who cares for 58 reformers across our (now 5) studio locations.

To bring on the instructors we needed for all three studios, we created our in-house instructor training program, to foster expert instructors who were ready to hit the ground running.

In the end

Opening Palisades ended up being the best thing ever for RTR and its clients. We created a triangulated footprint in the area, which made our classes accessible and convenient for a wider client base. We were able to leverage the revenue from Palisades to fund the Chevy Chase renovation, and scale exponentially.

It served as a huge challenge and opportunity for me as a business owner, and I am so proud of how the team moved forward to make it happen. And of course, it was only possible because of our amazing community.

Here’s to finding new ways to navigate the challenges that comes your way, and making the most of every opportunity!

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Pilates for Neck Pain: Exercises that Support and Protect the Spine

Neck pain is a common issue that can stem from any number of causes. From sleep, stress, or posture, there are a wide variety of culprits.

Luckily, depending on the cause – and with a doctor’s approval – Pilates can help prevent and alleviate neck pain, so you can return to feeling your best.

Instructor modifications

If you are experiencing neck pain and are interested in taking a Pilates class, you definitely can. Again, this depends on the source of the issue, i.e. if it’s from sleeping poorly or some sort of injury. If you experience moderate or severe neck pain or have any concerns, we always recommend consulting with a doctor and following their recommendations.

If you have light to moderate neck pain and limited range of motion from the daily wear and tear of life, then Pilates could be a great way to alleviate symptoms and prevent further aches and pains.

If you come to a class with any sort of injury or pain, it’s important to discuss these issues with the instructor before class.

Our instructors are trained to modify exercises for anyone who needs it, but they can’t help you if they don’t know about it! So always discuss any limitations with instructors before class. They’ll help you modify exercises to protect your body, while still providing you with a great workout.

“If a client comes to me with neck pain, I usually recommend lighter weights for arm work and a decreased range of motion (hands stay below shoulders). I advise against crunches while we focus on the client’s core getting stronger to avoid any neck straining. I’ll also pay closer attention to the client’s form throughout class, making sure their shoulders stay relaxed and away from the ears and find proper core engagement. Most importantly, I encourage clients to listen to their bodies and to take breaks!” – Alex G.M., RTR instructor

How Pilates can alleviate neck pain

Increased tension and fatigue on the neck and shoulder muscles can happen for several reasons, but we are seeing an increasing number of issues related to the neck due to poor posture and hunching over computer screens. Working a desk job, in addition to being stressful, can create a number of posture-related issues.

Neck pain can also lead to shoulder pain, tight muscles, and headaches. That said, multiple studies have found that regular Pilates exercises can significantly decrease neck pain in a relatively short period of time.

Strengthening the muscles that support an upright and aligned posture can promote improved spinal stability, which decreases neck tension and pain.

Supporting the spine

Pilates focuses on building core strength, flexibility, and stability in the body. By strengthening the core, lower back, pelvis, and glutes, a regular Pilates routine can build foundational muscle groups that are instrumental in supporting the spine. Over time, these exercises can improve posture and alignment and decrease neck pain.

Posture and alignment

Your abs and back muscles work together to support your spine and neck. If these muscles are underdeveloped, then your neck and scapula take on additional pressure, which can make it difficult to experience a full range of motion without pain.

In reformer Pilates, we target the muscles in the neck and upper back that help keep your spine upright, which can improve posture. We help bring the spine back to its natural, neutral position, with your head and neck in line with your shoulders.

I’d say the most common complaints we have from clients are neck and low back pain. Most clients note that they see significant improvements once their cores and backs get stronger and they stretch out their chest muscles.” – Alex G.M., RTR Instructor

Breath work

Many people experiencing neck pain hold increased tension in their bodies. Pilates’ focus on deep breathing promotes healthy habits that release unwanted tension around the neck.

Stress release

Neck pain is often the result of significant stress. In general, a regular exercise routine decreases stress and anxiety to improve overall mood and well-being. Pilates specifically is great for stress release because of the focus on centered alignment, breathing, and control over the body. These moments of stillness and inward focus promote stress relief that will follow you outside the studio and into your daily life.

If you experience neck pain during class

Always let an instructor know if you are experiencing pain in your neck during class. They can evaluate your form, provide suggestions, or help you modify exercises to alleviate any pain.

Similarly, it’s important to let your instructor know if you are new to Pilates. They can help keep an eye on your form in order to provide additional instructions as necessary, so you can get the most out of your workout and prevent injuries.

Remember: our instructors are here to help you get the most out of your time in our class. If you have any questions, ask!

Start reducing your neck pain today

Join our community at RTR Pilates and experience the power of Pilates firsthand! Get your first month of unlimited classes for just $129.

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Pilates for Skiing: How to Train Off the Slopes for Your Best Ski Season Yet

Pilates is a great way to cross-train for almost any sport. As an efficient, whole-body workout focused on strength, flexibility, and balance, it’s the perfect compliment to a well-rounded exercise routine. For many of us this winter, that means hitting the slopes!

Whether you’re focused on injury prevention or beating your PR on that black diamond, regular Pilates can help you reach your goals this ski season.

Your body on the slopes

Skiing is a full-body workout that tests your mobility, flexibility, core strength, balance, and control (not to mention – it’s a fantastic leg workout). It can also put your body to the test, and push you to your limits. It’s physically demanding, and particularly injury-prone as a sport.

Winter sports like skiing and snowboarding work most of the major muscle groups, with particular pressure on the back, abs, glutes, and hamstrings, as well as the knee and ankle joints.

Common injuries during ski season include knee and ankle sprains, shoulder dislocations, fractured wrists, and spinal injuries. Obviously, wearing proper equipment (especially a helmet) are critical components of injury prevention. But many of these injuries are caused by overextension, and improper form.

Prepare your body before you hit the slopes to improve performance and avoid injuries and falls. Regular Pilates practice in the weeks before a ski vacation can improve your form, muscle control, and overall performance, while decreasing the risk of injury.*

*You should 100% still wear a helmet at all times. Please.

“Pilates is a great exercise for skiers! Through spine strengthening exercises as well as ab/oblique exercises, your body can more easily transfer force from the lower limbs to create better movement and rotation in the torso, without putting too much pressure on one joint.” – RTR Instructor Gina D.

Mobility and flexibility

A wide range of motion for the spine, hip, and ankle are essential for skiing and snowboarding. This need for mobility and flexibility is critical for your form on the slopes, and it’s not a static ability.

Our reformer Pilates classes focus on moving from the core and using abdominals to stabilize the spine. This focus on spinal rotation helps our students maneuver on skis, while balance disk exercises imitate the transfer of weight you’ll need to race down the slopes.

A stable, mobile spine will help skiers avoid the stress and fatigue that comes from a long day on the mountain, while spinal rotation emphasizes the correct form to pivot during turns.

Plus, a mobile and flexible body has another advantage: it can protect you from injury if (and let’s be honest, when) you do fall. A good range of motion will help you recover if you fall, or if you twist suddenly to avoid another skier.

Building strength = more time on the mountain

Pilates is a great way for skiers to strengthen their abdominals, obliques, glutes, and hamstrings, all essential components of your form.

A strong and stable core is absolutely vital for a skier’s endurance because when you ski, your core needs to stay relatively still, with the majority of movement concentrated in the legs. Unnecessary upper body movement can hinder form, which consumes unnecessary energy and makes you more injury-prone.

For all that lower-body movement, Pilates exercises like bridging will build strength in the glutes and hamstrings. Because the classic ski squat stance puts so much pressure on the quads, our lower muscle groups can become unbalanced and more injury-prone, especially in our hamstrings. Pilates exercises will strengthen the hamstrings to balance the body, protecting your knees and the surrounding muscle groups.

Overall, skiing can put disproportionate pressure on one side of the body on your dominant side, putting your body off-balance and under-developing critical muscle groups. Pilates’ single leg work exercises help even out your muscle development, so both sides of your body are equally strong and capable.

Legwork & Footwork

In our Pilates classes, we often focus on exercises in parallel, external, and internal rotations, all of which help build strength in the muscles supporting the ankles, knees, and hips. These exercises improve mobility, so you can move your body with confidence.

Footwork is another critical Pilates component for skiers of all skill levels. Footwork will strengthen your feet and ankles, and ensure that you use your entire foot while skiing, not just one part. The foot is the foundation of all movement, so the stronger and more balanced you are in the foot, the more that balance and control will extend through all other movements.

Good Pilates exercises for skiers will help with alignment, strengthening the core, and improving flexibility. Some great moves include footwork, bridging, short box abs, side box abs, long stretch, feet in straps- focusing on the hamstrings, adductor stretches, and piriformis stretching. – RTR Instructor Gina D.

Perfecting your form

Proper alignment and form are so important for skiing. Knees should be aligned correctly with ankles and feet for stability and injury prevention, while all those side-to-side hip movements need some seriously strong lateral muscles and control.

Again, Pilates is a perfect way to increase your ability and awareness to control your body movements. Pilates improves alignment from head to toe and fosters an awareness of the body that will improve your performance as a skier.

See the results for yourself

Sign up for RTR Pilates and experience the results for yourself – on and off the slopes! Get your first month of unlimited classes for just $129.

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RTR Pilates’ Costa Rica Retreat – Everything You Need to Know!

Join RTR Pilates’ first annual Costa Rica Retreat April 16-21, 2023 for a week of yoga, mat Pilates, adventure, and connection in the beautiful landscape of Nosara, Costa Rica!

Whether it’s deepening your practice, relaxing on a pristine beach, making new friends, or escaping dreary winter weather, there’s somethinGeg for everyone.

The details

Join us Sunday, April 16 to Friday, April 21, 2023 for a Pilates & yoga retreat in the beautiful seaside town of Nosara, Costa Rica.

💡 What: A 4-night, 5-day retreat hosted at the relaxing Norte Nosara boutique hotel.

💡 Who: Join RTR founder Reina Offutt, alongside our tenured (and amazing!) instructors Jordan and Alex as we relax, connect, challenge our bodies, and explore a beautiful coastal community.

💡 How: Email retreats@rtrpilates.com by December 15 to reserve your spot

💡 Price: $2,300 per person

What’s included

  • 4 nights and 5 days at the Norte Nosara Hotel, a small boutique hotel just steps away from pristine beaches and a friendly town with plenty of shops and restaurants
  • 3 mat Pilates and yoga classes per day
  • Breakfast & lunch every day
  • Welcome happy hour
  • Farewell dinner
  • A Pilates gift set sponsored by MoveActive
  • Conservation activity to support the local environment

*Not included: airfare, travel from the airport to the resort, dinners aside from the welcome happy hour and farewell dinner, and optional excursions to be priced separately

Make the most of your adventure

  • Join optional planned excursions (or plan your own!) to experience:
    • Zip lining in the lush surrounding jungle
    • Surf lessons
    • Coffee plantation tours
    • And more!

Imagine the possibilities

We’ve designed this trip to be a guided yet flexible retreat suitable for individuals at any level in their Pilates practice.

Our optional daily Pilates and yoga classes take place in the early-morning, mid-morning, and at sunset, allowing you to pick the classes that work for you.

Use the remainder of your day to relax on the beach, learn how to surf, explore the local community, join a pre-planned excursion, or plan your own solo adventure!

Get away from a hectic (and cold!) time of year to bask in the warm sun in a lush tropical landscape.

Have extra days off? Feel free to extend your trip for some solo time exploring Costa Rica before or after our retreat.

Connection + community

This Costa Rica retreat is years in the making for our team, and we are beyond thrilled to invite you to experience the laid-back yoga/Pilates/surfing culture of Nosara.

Take this time to build community, connect with fellow Pilates enthusiasts, deepen friendships, and create space for balance in your life.

Community is an integral part of the RTR family, and we can’t wait to bring our community together in a new and exciting way.

Jordan, Reina, and Alex – your retreat instructors!

How to sign up

Email us at retreats@rtrpilates.com to sign up!

Sign up by March 15 to reserve your spot.

We are so excited to host this incredible retreat for you. With that in mind, we do need a certain number of confirmed attendees to properly plan the retreat. If we do not receive the necessary number of confirmed attendees by December 15, then we may move the retreat to a later date, when more people can attend.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Who can sign up for the retreat?

Anyone. This retreat is designed for Pilates practitioners of all levels – whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced pro.

No matter how long you’ve been with RTR, or how often you come to class, everyone is welcome. Want to bring a friend who’s never been to a class? No problem. There’s something for everyone.

Which instructors will teach during the retreat?

Reina, Jordan, and Alex will lead Pilates classes during the retreat, so you know you’re in good hands. Yoga classes will be led by Alex.

Will reformer Pilates be a part of the retreat?

Full-sized Pilates reformers don’t travel well on commercial flights, so all Pilates classes during this retreat will be mat Pilates. But don’t worry – they’ll still challenge you, no matter your skill level.

“People sometimes think that reformer Pilates is harder than mat Pilates – but that’s not the case. Not only are there plenty of hard exercises and movements, but by switching things up, we can get a better understanding of our muscular anatomy and engagement. We are so used to having the resistance of the reformer do a lot of the heavy lifting for us. For example, just try doing leg circles without feet in straps! – Alex, RTR Retreat Instructor

I can’t stay the full week. Can I come for part of the retreat?

Absolutely. While we can’t price partial stays separately, this retreat is built for you. So if you can only stay 4 or 5 nights, you are still more than welcome to join our team for as long as you can.

Which city should we fly into for the retreat?

Attendees should fly into either San Jose or Liberia. We will coordinate with our attendee’s flight schedules and help arrange for transportation to our retreat location.

Can you tell me more about where we’re staying?

The recently-opened Norte Nosara is a boutique, family-owned and operated hotel just steps away from Playa Guiones, a beautiful tree-lined beach famed for its surf and lush coastline.

Norte Nosara offers daily yoga and movement classes taught by world-class teachers in a relaxed and stylish atmosphere. The location also offers a pool, bar, and access to a neighboring restaurant.

Are there things to do in Nosara?

Absolutely! Nosara is famous for its laidback surfing and yoga community, and there are countless ways to explore the area. From incredible restaurants to hiking, kayaking, and wildlife sanctuaries, there’s something for everyone.

While we will offer optional group excursions, you are completely free to structure your trip around the things you want to explore during your time in Costa Rica.

Why host the retreat in Costa Rica?

We have been dreaming of hosting a retreat in Costa Rica for years now, ever since our amazing instructor Alex moved there in 2018 to immerse herself in the yoga, surf, and Pilates lifestyle famous in Nosara. Alex has stayed an amazing part of the RTR community, returning to DC every year to help guide our instructor training programs, and has been an integral part of planning this retreat for our community.

We are so excited for our clients to experience this incredible destination to relax, recharge, and reconnect with our bodies and our community.

Have more questions? Email us at retreats@rtrpilates.com

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The Essential Wellness Pyramid

Regular exercise, like Pilates, is an important component of our holistic health and wellbeing. Regular exercise improves muscle tone, and can make dramatic changes in our quality of life through changes such as improved confidence, increased self-awareness, and reduce the aches and pains that are commonly associated with aging.

That said, exercise is just one component of a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to create room for balance in our day-to-day lives, even in the crazy hectic DC area.

Breaking Down the Essential Wellness Pyramid

Sleep

Sleep is, without a doubt, the most important component that goes into how we live our daily lives. Science suggests that most adults need somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. It depends on the person – one person may be able to get by on 7 hours regularly, while others really do need a full 9 hours to function at their best.

That said, the CDC estimates that at least 1 in 3 adults don’t get enough sleep. This statistic is scary, because lack of sleep is associated with a whole host of increased health risks (not to mention, general irritation).

“Sleeping less than seven hours per day is associated with an increased risk of developing chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and frequent mental distress.” – The CDC

Lack of sleep has also been associated with memory loss and decreased brain function in the areas of logical problem-solving, reaction time, and decision making.

In the same vein, getting enough **sleep has incredible benefits, including improved focus, mental health, mood, stress levels, immune system, and heart health, alongside decreased inflammation.

Sleep is your body’s best tool to repair itself – so let it do its job.

✨ “I often find it tricky to fall asleep when I’m anxious. When I need to calm down and get to sleep, I break the thought spiral cycle using this technique from the Navy Seals. Afterwards, I feel relaxed and ready to fall asleep!” – Reina Offut

Water

After sleep, water is the next, and perhaps most obvious, step in the pyramid of overall wellness. Water makes up the vast majority of our bodies – it is integral not only to our survival, but also to the optimization of our body as an operating system.

Even though we all know how important it is to drink water, 43% of adults drink less than four cups of water a day. In general, studies suggest that adults should consume somewhere between 2.7-3.7 liters of water per day.

“Mentally and physically, we’re better off being hydrated. The human body is about 70 percent water; we need it. It helps our circulation, makes us feel better, helps rid our bodies of toxins and prevents constipation. And drinking water before meals helps you eat less if you’re trying to lose weight.” – Paula Burke, clinical dietitian at MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island

Water helps every single part of our body. Sufficient water consumption:

  • Supports healthy joints
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Supports the liver’s detoxification process
  • Protects key body parts, especially the brain and spinal cord
  • Improves digestion
  • Reduces inflammation

Nutrition

Nutrition is probably one of the most talked-about health topics. In general, the most important thing to figure out is a way of healthy eating that doesn’t feel like a diet – because diets are often unsustainable.

Experts suggest building your diet around the 80/20 rule: roughly 80% of your diet should revolve around nutritious food, including whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean meat, and limited healthy fats. The other 20% should be foods that you truly enjoy, but might not have much nutritional value.

So many of us just see food as something that increases or decreases our waistlines. But food is also the fuel we need to operate our bodies. It’s critical energy. Nutritious foods make it easier for our bodies to process and consume that energy, and obtain the nutrients we need to power our mind and bodies throughout the day.

If you are thinking of altering your eating habits, or have a specific goal in mind, we always recommend working with a qualified nutritionist who can help you identify strategies and plans that will help you achieve your goals based on your specific lifestyle and needs.

“Fitness”

We use fitness in quotation marks above because, well, fitness can sound scary. When we think of fitness, we often think of long runs, push ups, and lots of sweat.

While moderate- to high-intensity workouts are an important part of our body’s health (like an RTR Pilates class!), fitness can also apply to the general level of activity that we have in our lives.

Maybe you don’t have time to work out 5 days a week – but with so many of us working in sedentary office jobs, it’s critical that we find ways to move our bodies throughout the day. There are some easy steps to increase your step count, such as:

  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Parking further away from the store
  • Taking a 10 minute walk at lunch

Our bodies are built to move – so let your body do what it does best!

In addition to daily activity, we suggest a balanced fitness routine that includes some forms of cardio, stretching, and strength training.

Pilates is an effective, efficient full-body workout that takes less than an hour a day. Try it out for yourself and feel the difference immediately!

Habits

Finally, at the top of the pyramid, our habits are the things that help us to automatically make healthy choices as we move throughout consistently inconsistent lives.

Habits are the unconscious decisions we make without thinking, and 40% of our daily behaviors are driven by habit.

Healthy habits are critical to lowering the barriers to the lifestyle choices that make us feel good, inside and out. When we make habits automatic, we create something called “habit loops.”

Habit loops are great ways to program our minds to reach for that 10 minute walk, 10pm bed time, and extra glass of water before our morning coffee.

Learn more about habit loops here

Small steps make a big difference

At the end of the day, it’s impossible to get things “right” 100% of the time – even 80% can be a stretch some days. When it comes to wellness, the goal is small, attainable changes that lead to a more well-balanced life.

Here at RTR, we’ve worked to remove as many barriers as possible to joining a class, so it’s easy to say yes to your health and wellness.

With five locations across the DMV, we’ve purposefully chosen locations that are 20 minutes apart. We offer more than 300 classes/week, varying from 6:15am – 7:15pm. All of our class packages apply to any class in any RTR studio location, and we’ve focused our membership pricing towards making regular classes affordable, with both monthly class packages and student pricing.

💡 No matter where you are or when you have the time, there’s a Pilates class that can work with your schedule.

Join us today and learn how RTR Pilates fits into your consistently inconsistent life.