Anyone who knows my workout routine knows that I love my Pilates. I’ve tried yoga and even have a daughter who teaches it but prefer Pilates for two reasons: you can talk to your neighbors during class and it focuses on core strength in plain English (no fancy names). I started going to Lisa’s class at Ken Caryl Community Center about ten years ago and soon became a regular. Most of my working out tends to be very active — running, swimming, biking, skiing, boot camp, weight lifting, etc. but surprisingly, I found that Pilates offers a great balance to all the pushing I do in very active sports and actually, helps me feel better and takes away a lot of the aches and pains. After a few years of regular Pilates, I actually measured three quarters of an inch taller!
There are two types of Pilates: on the reformer and on the mat. I do Mat Pilates which is done on the floor using an exercise or yoga mat and employs controlled breathing during body weight resisted movement to build core strength. A typical class lasts about 45-60 minutes.
After going back to work last year, I was unable to attend my regular class and could only manage to squeeze in a few evening classes a month. I was excited to hear about an online option from a gal in my running group. For a low monthly fee, Robin Long, a Pilates instructor based in Boulder (now Santa Barbara) teaches classes five days a week. After hearing about her program, I immediately checked it out and signed up for a mere $9/month. I love the flexibility of Robin’s program as well as her encouraging upbeat personality, shorter workouts designed for busy moms and women and well as the support offered by her online community known at the Balanced Life Sisterhood.
In addition to the daily workouts, Robin offers lots other cool things like:
- Special live streamed workouts on Periscope
- A monthly mission like getting organized, being mindful, setting goals, etc.
- A weekly digest email
- A new spa retreat in Santa Barbara
- Facebook posts with personal updates
- Special free programs like the 21 days challenge in February 2017
- A blog
- New healthy recipes each month. Here’s a family favorite: https://thebalancedlifeonline.com/slow-cooker-chicken-tacos/
Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos
- 1 ¼ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, preferably organic
- 15 ounces low-sodium black beans, drained
- 14 ounces frozen corn, preferably organic, straight from freezer
- 16 ounces mild store-bought salsa, preferably organic
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 cup fresh cilantro, minced
- Whole wheat tortillas (optional/we used corn to keep it gluten free)
Add all ingredients except the cilantro and tortillas to the slow cooker. Mix well.
Cook on low for approximately 8 hours undisturbed. Prior to serving, shred chicken, add cilantro and mix well.
Here’s another link to one of Robin’s YouTube workouts:
If you’re interested in trying Pilates, I encourage you to check out Robin’s free workouts available on her website or on YouTube. I think registration for the Balanced Life Sisterhood will open up again in September 2017. It so awesome to feel stronger with her 10-35 minute home workouts. Let me know what you think!