It’s a man’s world (or it can be)… Pilates

by Pamela Arevalo, Certified Pilates Instructor

It can be hard to be a man in today’s fitness world. Many people think that group classes, especially Pilates and Yoga are only for women- that they aren’t manly.  I feel for you, I really do. You sit for long hours at your desk looking at your computer, you sit in your recliner watching the game… you are so focused, so entertained that you can’t hear your spine yelling at you and begging you to correct your posture! Yes, YOU, YOU, YOU… You can feel the back pain, you know your muscles are getting stiff, but stepping into a group class for stretching is intimidating—especially with so many of the group classes being dominated by women.   So you just sit back and sigh and your muscles get tighter and tighter and your back pain gets worse and worse.

Well, smile! A man just like you, Joseph Hubertus Pilates, many years ago thought about you. Smile more! Your club thought about you and has a fully equipped Pilates studio with top notch equipment to help you improve flexibility and posture. We offer small group training and one-on-one sessions, and yes, it’s waiting for YOU!

In today’s health and wellness world there is no need for you to have tight hamstrings and hip flexors, or shoulder and neck stiffness, a flat back or rounded shoulders. It’s not fair to deprive yourself from enjoying life without pain, and Pilates offers the possibility to become more flexible, to develop core strength, to improve your game. The possibilities are endless! So breathe and relax because Pilates could be your answer… and don’t worry, not ballerina moves for you.

We know you love facts so here you go:

  • Pilates is a mindful and comprehensive way of exercising the body. It provides you with unique and effective ways to increase flexibility in tight areas such as the hamstrings, lower back, and shoulders by lengthening the muscles against resistance. Pilates equipment is a unique tool: it allows for eccentric muscle contractions—muscle lengthening as it resists a force—key for improving flexibility and for achieving long and strong muscles.
  • Pilates focuses on recruiting, engaging, aligning, and strengthening the core muscles (the trunk, shoulder girdles, and pelvis) as well as local global body stabilizers. Pilates knows and addresses the pain that can come from and inactive gluteus that tightens the hip flexors.
  • Pilates reeducates the body, teaching it how to be mindful while in movement. It gives powerful insights on how to integrate the pelvis, trunk, and shoulder girdle in a harmonious, yet powerful way.
  • Pilates accommodates for full range of motion, hence it allows you to perform slow, controlled and flowing movements that will target specific muscle groups necessary to stabilize the body.
  • Pilates will improve coordination, balance, bone density, spine articulation, breathing patterns, and functional movement.
  • Pilates leads to better posture, efficient movement, decreased risk of injury, increased range of motion, increased athletic performance, effective post-rehabilitation, longer and leaner muscles, and for many, relief from pain associated with physical imbalances such as low back pain, scoliosis, tight hip flexors, and pain related to shoulder injuries.


The Beginner’s Guide
By Jaimie Peacock, Group Fitness Instructor

Are you an avid runner, walker, or just want to try something new? A cycling class is a great way to mix it up and challenge your body in a different way! Cycling burns calories quickly, provides a safe ride in the comfort of the indoors, and is super fun!

All you need to get started is comfortable workout clothes, and sneakers. Some people wear padded biking shorts and cycling shoes, but they are not necessary to get started. Also bring plenty of water to stay hydrated. Our bikes have heart monitors so that you can track your progress during class.

The instructor guides your workout and the high-energy music keeps you motivated. The pace and speed varies throughout the workout, sometimes you work with high-speed and low resistance and other times you pedal at low-speed and heavy resistance. Sometimes you are in the seat and sometimes you move to a standing position on the bike. Don’t worry, the instructor will offer alternatives so you can adjust your intensity according to your fitness level.

If you are intimidated, don’t be! I have been teaching for 15 years, and Spinning is just like riding outside. No one knows how much tension you put on your flywheel so start out easy and dial it up if you are feeling great. Dial it down if you feel like you need a break. I always tell people, “you are in charge. I am here to motivate you, but you do the work.”

Hopping on an indoor bike gives you the opportunity to use different muscles, to do some cross training and to burn calories faster. So what are you waiting for, get pedaling!

Beginning October 24, Spin will be offered on Mondays, Tuesdays, & Thursdays at 9:00 a.m, on Wednesdays at 3:00 p.m, and on Saturdays at 9:00 a.m.

Click on the video below to learn how to pair the heart rate monitors and to adjust the bike to fit you!


Exercise 101: Tips for Getting Started and Staying Motivated

by Lucio Ojeda, ACSM Certified Health and Fitness Specialist

lucio-ojedaWant to start working out but don’t know what to do?  Afraid of hurting yourself in the gym?  Looking for ideas to help you maximize you workouts or to help you stay motivated?  Here are a few tips that I find helpful in maximizing your success in the gym:

1. Set realistic goals:  It is important for our goals to be achievable so that we can gradually raise the bar.  Start small and build momentum.

2. Avoid the all or nothing attitude:  research has shown that benefits occur with 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week.  This breaks down to only 30 minutes, 5 times/ week.  Something is always better than nothing.  Moderate intensity is characterized by slightly harder breathing than normal.  If you cannot carry on a conversation through exercise, then you may be working too hard.

3. The rule of moderation:  When making changes to your diet, it is important to start by making small changes… replace high calorie, sugary drinks with water or zero calorie drinks.  Replace crackers and chips with a healthier snack.  Little by little (meal by meal and snack by snack), you will develop healthier eating habits.

4. Reward yourself:  It can be as simple as having a small portion of your favorite “cheat meal” or even better, treat yourself to a relaxing massage.

5. Prepare for the workout:  It is proven that if you pack a bag for the following day, you will be more likely to follow through with your exercise.

6. Find alternative activities to the gym:  Hiking, biking, golf, tennis, group fitness, roller blading, and paddle boarding are good alternatives to your normal workouts in the gym.

7. Invite others:  You will be more likely to participate in exercise with a friend or a family member.

REST:  This is one of the most important aspects to stay efficient and focused when exercising.  When you exercise, you are essentially breaking down muscle.  Many of the gains come as a result of what you do when you are not at the gym.  Our bodies need proper rest and fuel to repair the muscle that was broken down during exercise, and you will also need the energy to maintain a consistent routine.

I hope that these tips will be helpful, and I wish you the best on your journey to better health!  If you find that you need more help getting started, attend one of our daily equipment orientations at 10:00 a.m. M-F for a brief overview of the equipment or to get a more customized plan, you can book a session with me or one of our other Personal Trainers.

Hope to see you at the Fitness Center!

*Lucio is an ACSM Certified Health and Fitness Specialist and a graduate of FGCU.  Before coming to Bonita Bay, he worked as a Strength & Conditioning Coach alongside the Florida Everblades and as a Wellness Specialist for Naples Community Hospital. 


World of Pilates!

Welcome to the World of Pilates!  Pilates delivers profound results and will gently help align, strengthen, stabilize, and stretch your body.  Although Pilates doesn’t revolve around a one-size fits all formula, I want to share with you what I feel are the essentials or five basic principles of Stott Pilates.  Click on the video below to learn and practice these exercises.

Stott Pilates is a more contemporary approach to Pilates.  It incorporates the fundamentals of Joseph Pilates’ original teachings with what we have learned throughout the years. 

Pamela is certified in Stott Pilates and teaches Thursday’s Pain Free Posture Class.  Beginning the week of October 24, she will also teach Barre on Mondays at 10:00 a.m., and an Essentials/ Beginner level Reformer Class on Fridays at 9:00 a.m. and on Saturdays at 10:00 a.m. In addition, she will begin teaching Pain Free Posture on Saturdays at 9:00 a.m.  Pamela is also available for one-one-one Reformer sessions by appointment.