The Benefits of Pilates

Becoming a healthier person is more than just watching what you eat. It involves exercise and an ability to be more flexible. This is why Pilates was first developed and why millions of people love doing this specific type of exercise to strengthen and lengthen their muscles for a toner and leaner look. Pilates is most often used in the dancing and ballet community as a way to keep dancers’ limbs flexible for tough routines. For the average person, you can begin developing long and lean dancer’s muscles by doing these exercises regularly.


What Is Pilates?

Developed in the 1920s by Joseph Pilates, this particular type of exercise was specifically designed for the purpose of rehabilitation. It was most often recommended to soldiers returning from war or for dancers who would experience aches and pains after tough routines. The exercises became more popular when people realized that not only was it ideal for rehabilitation purposes, but that it was also helping to tone up the body and create a lean and beautiful physique. Today, millions of people practice Pilates regularly and love the results that they get from doing it.


What are the Benefits?

The exercises work just about every muscle of the body, which means a leaner and stronger physique. It’s ideal for people who are trying to lose weight because it helps to tone up the body as you drop away the inches. For individuals who just want a stronger and leaner body, Pilates helps to tone up areas that you might have been struggling to tighten for years. It’s especially ideal for middle aged individuals who are noticing that their bodies just aren’t looking the way that they used to. You can recapture your youth by incorporating Pilates into your routine several times a week.


What to Expect

The great thing about the exercises is that, while incredibly effective, they are also easy on the joints and body. This is what makes it an ideal exercise for just about anyone and everyone who wants to get fit. It does not matter your age or current physical fitness level since Pilates can easily be incorporated into your life.


Here at Zero Gravity Fitness we offer a range of beginner and intermediate classes that are ideal for those who are just starting out and individuals who have been doing Pilates for years. For more information, feel free to schedule a consultation with one of our fitness experts to discuss your options and see which class is best fit for you. We are conveniently located in Ocoee, FL. Contact us to set up your appointment today!

How Exercise Helps Fight Stress

Stress has been linked to illnesses and a range of other health conditions. It has been proven to accelerate the aging process and can affect a person’s overall mental health. Research shows that exercise can be beneficial to those prone to stress.

If you’re feeling the burden of stress, come to Zero Gravity Fitness in Orlando, and our team of personal trainers will help you exercise your stress away. We offer a variety of services and classes from personal training and Pilates to group fitness and body shock training. Contact Zero Gravity Fitness today to schedule your next session.

Exercise helps restructure the brain

Physical activity has been shown to control the body’s response to stress in a way that reduces anxiety. Researchers at Princeton University published their findings in the Journal of Neuroscience. The mice were exposed to cold water as a part of the study. Physical activity reorganizes the brain so that its response to stress is reduced and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function, according to a research team based at Princeton University. Since the mice were permitted to exercise regularly, the anxiety levels were better controlled when an event occurred causing a spike in neuronal activity.

Exercise as a coping mechanism for anxiety

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health studied the impact of moderate exercise on the body’s capacity to manage anxiety levels over a prolonged period of time. Researchers discovered that exercise can help counter the effects of stress for a longer period of time in addition to reducing anxiety in the immediate future. In the study, some participants rested for 30 minutes while others participated in moderate cycling. Their anxiety levels were measured before and after the session. All were exposed to photographs and their anxiety levels were evaluated. Those who simply rested saw their anxiety levels increase while others who had exercised exhibited better control over their anxiety systems as time wore on.

How exercises reduces impact of stress on the heart

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that those diagnosed with heart disease in the past showed improvements in blood vessel dilation. In a group of 134 men and women between 40 and 84, medical care was provided. Some patients were assigned an aerobic exercise program while others attended a stress management class. One group only received medical care. Those who received only medical care showed the least improvement in their heart disease markers while those were required to attend a class or take a stress management showed better improvement.

Exercise dramatically improves the body’s overall response to stressors. Exercise reorganizes the brain. It also acts as a coping mechanism for anxiety. Exercise also improves the heart’s response to stress. It appears that exercise is essential to controlling stress levels and enhances the body’s capacity to respond appropriately to stressors.

Importance of Staying Hydrated in Fitness

Most sources agree that the human body needs an ounce to half an ounce of water for every pound of weight. However, there are a few other factors that can affect this general rule. The most significant factor is your fitness level. If you have a regular fitness regimen, then you want to drink regularly during your workout, and you also want to be consistent with how much you drink. Keeping your body hydrated during a workout has a number of significant benefits.

At Zero Gravity Fitness in Orlando, we understand the importance of having a regular fitness regimen, but we also understand the importance of taking care of your body. Our team of trainers encourages you to stay hydrated throughout the day to keep your body performing at its peak levels. To find out more health and fitness tips or to schedule a personal training session, contact Zero Gravity Fitness today.

Replenish Your Body

During a workout, your body is doing so much more than burning calories and building muscle. When you work out, your body also loses precious minerals and electrolytes as you sweat. The best way to replenish your body and to compensate for the loss is to replenish your body. The best way to know how much water you should consume to restore your body to an optimal level is to gauge your sweat rate. Understanding your sweat rate will ensure that you are properly hydrated after and before your next workout. Accounting for these factors improves your overall performance and your energy levels throughout the day.

A Better Workout Next Time

Your cells and 70 percent of your body are comprised of water. When your body is dehydrated, it is unable to perform at optimal levels. Therefore, keeping your body hydrated can ensure that your next workout is successful. For example, when your body is properly hydrated, your heart and other muscles do not need to work as hard to transport blood and nutrients to your body. With the right levels of hydration, your body is able to efficiently and easily perform the job it is designated to do. For the best results, you want to drink before, after, and during your workout.

Muscle Health

The body’s muscles also heavily rely upon hydration to perform well. Those who fail to properly hydrate their body during a workout are more likely to suffer from crippling muscle cramps during and after a workout. While many individuals will attribute muscle cramps to a simple consequence of working out, the reality is that most individuals are dehydrated. Muscles tighten because the water that they need to stay relaxed isn’t present. Aside from cramping, muscles will also be unable to build and become more prominent if they are not properly hydrated. Therefore, drinking enough water is the surest way to keep your muscles healthy and to avoid awful muscle cramps.

If you are going to put the time and effort into working out, then you should take the necessary steps to ensure that your workout leads to the best results possible. Care for your body the right way by drinking the necessary amount of water, relaxing your muscles and sore body with a massage, and treating yourself to relaxing therapies that lead to the results that you are looking for.

Exercise After Pregnancy

We know that exercise can benefit women during pregnancy. But what about after your baby is born?

The Mayo Clinic reports that exercising after pregnancy can help you get back to feeling your best.

At Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, Fla., we can design Pilates and personal training programs for pregnant women and new mothers. To learn more about our programs, contact Zero Gravity Fitness today.

Let’s face it, working out is likely low on your list of priorities after nine months of pregnancy and the birth of your child. The demands of caring for a new baby, family obligations and considering when or if you want to return to work are likely occupying your mind.

But the Mayo Clinic reports that exercise after pregnancy is among the best things you can do. Consistent exercise after pregnancy can:

  • Help you lose your baby weight, especially if you also reduce your calorie intake.
  • Bolster your cardiovascular system.
  • Help you regain muscle tone and strength.
  • Better condition abdominal muscles.
  • Increase your energy.
  • Improve mood.
  • Provide stress relief.
  • Help to prevent or recover from postpartum depression.

An added bonus: Adding exercise to your daily routine allows you to set a positive example for your child – today and for years to come.

Exercise and breast-feeding:

Mayo officials said exercise for most women does not adversely affect breast milk composition, or volume. Exercise also does not affect the growth of a nursing baby.

Some research indicates high-level exercise can cause lactic acid to form in breast milk. This may produce a sour taste that your child may not like.

If you are breast-feeding, you can avoid this problem by adhering to more moderate workouts. Remember to drink lots of fluids both during and after your workout.

If you want to make vigorous exercise a priority during the early stages of breast-feeding, you may want to feed your baby before you workout. Also, you can pump milk before your workout and feed your child your breast milk after you are done exercising.

This approach helps you feel comfortable during exercise.

Exercise impacts breast milk less after you have been breast-feeding for four or five months.

When to Start Exercising:

For years, doctors told women to wait six weeks or longer after giving birth before starting to exercise. Today, as long as you had a vaginal delivery without complications, it’s typically safe to start exercising as soon as you feel up to it.

If you underwent a C-section, vaginal repair or had other complications during birth, it’s best to speak with your health care provider about when is the best time to begin exercising.

Federal health officials recommend at least 2.5 hours per week of moderate aerobic activity, spread through the week.

Here are some exercise guidelines for new mothers:

  • Warm up and cool down.
  • Start slowly and gradually increase workout pace.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Wear a bra with plenty of support. Use nursing pads if you are breast-feeding in case of leakage.
  • If you feel any pain, stop your workout.
  • Avoid becoming too fatigued.

When you are ready, start your return to exercise with a simple walk.

Finding the time for exercise can be a challenge after you have given birth. There will be days when you are just too tired. That’s normal – but don’t ignore the need for physical activity. Make time for exercise. Call a friend to workout with you. Get your partner involved too.

At Zero Gravity Fitness, we understand that exercise after giving birth is not easy. But in the long run, working out is good for you and your baby.

Contact Zero Gravity Fitness today to learn how we can help.

Men And Pilates

While more women than men have practiced Pilates in recent years, more and more men are discovering its benefits and using Pilates to become healthier, more fit and gain increased vitality. Male professional athletes routinely utilize Pilates to improve their flexibility and focus, and the practice, once considered not macho enough for male athletes, is gaining male converts in droves. At Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, our professional, highly trained and friendly staff can teach you the benefits of Pilates, whether you are new to the practice or a long-time devotee. Men’s Fitness magazine recently reported on the benefits that Pilates can bring to men who may have been hesitant to try the program. While Pilates can be difficult, men who accept the challenging program can see benefits in many areas and improve their performance – from weightlifting and distance running to better overall health and well-being. Pilates exercises are subtle and concentrated movements that can help men and women. Men’s Fitness offered five areas where men especially can benefit. They include:

  • Strengthening muscles that have long been neglected:

Some muscles dominate everyday movements and thus are stronger than other muscles. With Pilates, you can focus on muscles that are often overlooked and do not get the attention they deserve. Pilates allows you to purposely move with motions designed to build muscles that you don’t develop while lifting weights.

  • Better flexibility:

Generally speaking, if your total muscle mass is pretty big, it’s likely that your flexibility suffers. With Pilates, you can focus on stretching. These movements help prevent sports and other injuries, including many muscle strains, while also improving your overall range of motion.

  • Creating better core strength:

Pilates exercises turn the spotlight on your core and help produce and increase limb movement. Pilates also focuses on transverse abdominal muscles, the base abdominal muscle located under your six-pack.

  • Improving focus:

Pilates is designed to increase your ability to pay attention. Focusing on breathing while performing each movement and concentration on proper form are key to Pilates success. If done correctly, a Pilates session should make you feel refreshed and relaxed, feelings which should carry into the day and even longer in some cases.

  • An enhanced sex life:
  • Pilates bolsters your core and the pelvic region. Experts report men who practice Pilates have more control over this part of the body and that regular Pilates workouts can improve your performance in the bedroom.

Millions of people around the world practice Pilates, with more and more men joining in each day. If you are interested in learning more about Pilates and how it can help you achieve better health and become more vital and into life, contact the professionals at Zero Gravity today.

Pregnancy and Exercise

For decades, pregnant women were advised to rest, take it easy and avoid any strenuous activity in the months leading up to the birth of their children.

While some women with medical issues are advised to stay off their feet and rest, many mothers-to-be are hitting the gym to stay in shape – which is good for them, and their babies.

At Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, we offer prenatal Pilates and other programs for pregnant women to help them stay healthy and active as they prepare to give birth.

The Mayo Clinic in Minnesota reports that simply sitting around while you are pregnant is not the best route for women to take, even if exercise has never been part of their lives.

Why should women exercise when pregnant? Here are some key reasons:

  • Reduce or eliminate back pain and other aches and pains that come while pregnant.
  • Improve your mood and boost your energy.
  • Sleep longer and more soundly.
  • Fight off weight gain.
  • Bolster stamina and increase your muscle strength.

Exercising while pregnant can also cut the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. It also can help ward off symptoms of postpartum depression. Your unborn child also can benefit from your exercise regimen before he or she comes into the world by decreasing the chance your baby is born with larger than average size, known as fetal macrosomia. While exercising while pregnant is a positive move for many women, it can cause health problems for others and complicate pregnancies. Be sure to check with your doctor before beginning any exercise regimen.

Some health issues that may keep you from exercising while pregnant include:

  • Lung or heart disease.
  • High blood pressure related to your pregnancy.
  • Cervical issues.
  • Vaginal bleeding.
  • Early labor during prior pregnancy.
  • Multiple pregnancy risk of preterm labor.

For most pregnant women, a moderate amount of exercise is fine, with a half hour workout recommended most days of the week. Walking is an easy and fun way to start because if offers a moderate aerobic workout and does not stress your joints. Other attractive workout choices are swimming, low-impact aerobics or riding a stationary bike. Lifting weights is fine – just stay away from the heavy numbers. Like everyone who exercises, warm up and cool down, and drink enough fluids to stay hydrated. The Mayo Clinic offers guidelines for the various fitness levels

Depending on your fitness history, consider these guidelines:

If it’s been a good while since you have exercised, start slowly. Five minutes a day is fine to start. Increase that time to 10 minutes, then to 15 and so on as your body adjusts and becomes stronger.

Before you know it, you will be up to the half-hour mark. If you exercised prior to becoming pregnant, you can stay at your current workout level while pregnant. But if you don’t feel right at some point, stop and check with your doctor.

Nine months of pregnancy does not have to mean nine months of couch potato inactivity.

Contact Zero Gravity Fitness to learn how you can stay in shape for a smoother and happier pregnancy.

Zero Gravity Fitness: Body Shock

There is no electric current used in our Body Shock fitness program, but you will find yourself energized and in better shape after taking part in this multi-faceted training approach.

At Zero Gravity Fitness in Ocoee, our trained professional staff can help you get in the best shape of your life with Body Shock – classes that offer a little bit of everything you need to achieve your fitness and weight loss goals.

Body Shock offers a variety of programs to improve your strength, agility and stamina. At Zero Gravity, our instructors can help you train with free weights, design sports drill regimens to meet your specific needs and cardiovascular work to achieve improved overall health and fitness.
When is the best time to begin Body Shock?
For most, it’s when your workout routine has become – too routine.
Many people settle in to workout regimens and stick with them, and that’s a good thing. You become more physically fit and your strength, stamina and other areas improve.
But eventually, the results you see from your regular routine begin to plateau. That’s because your body has become accustomed to the workout routine you have introduced it to – often again and again and again.
When your body catches up to your routine, it could be time for Body Shock.
Changing your workout regimen can shock muscles and improve your results. And it gives you a fresh workout to reinvigorate your fitness program, change that will keep you coming back to the gym and decreasing the chances you will become bored with your regimen.

One Zero Gravity client said she turned to Body Shock – and loved the results.
Danielle Murphy took part in 20 half-hour Body Shock workouts at Zero Gravity.
In three months, Danielle reported she dropped nearly 20 pounds.

”People were not recognizing me!” Murphy said. ”I have always worked out…but was never able to target the areas Body Shock was blasting. My arms were toning up, waist was slimming down, upper back was getting smaller and my “mommy” posture was improving! People were not recognizing me and I felt wonderful…I completed my first half marathon in 1:50 and was so excited that I broke two hours! I signed myself up for my first full marathon and bought another Body Shock package. I was hooked and determined to get into the best shape of my life! I continued to work…to balance my personal training, incorporating Pilates into my Body Shock routine, stretching, strength training, interval work, resistance training, you name it. I was doing things that I had not done in years; pull-ups, jumping on benches, frog jumps, kettle bell swings. It was great!
I ran my first marathon in a Boston qualifying time of 3:29! Zero Gravity was instrumental in achieving this overwhelming feat and has been a life-changing gym experience. This was something I never even dreamed I could accomplish.”

So if you are ready to shake up your workout regimen and achieve personal goals you once thought were beyond your grasp, contact Zero Gravity to start a Body Shock program today!

Zero Gravity Fitness