From injury prevention to warm up to cool down, massage therapy can benefit every part of an athletes training program.  Properly administered sports massage can improve your overal athletic readiness and treat specific problems that may be holding you back in your training.

Pain Reduction Massage can help reduce the pain from recovering injuries or tight areas of your muscle.  Massage also promotes the proper healing of scar tissue and provides a soothing effect to any injured areas.

Injury Prevention:  During your massage, your muscles will be stretched and your joints will be moved through their proper range of motion.  This acts just like a pre-event warm up.  The massage ensures that your muscles are in a pliable state and that your joints are warmed up and ready to go.  Limber muscles and joints at the start of your event help prevent injury during the physical exertion.

Relaxation and Focus:  A massage can help you “bring it” to your game or athletic event.  A massage decreases stress and increases focus, which can put you in a good phychological state before your event.  The brisk movements incorporated into the massage can also leave you with a feeling of invigoration, which you can carry to the event.

Post-Event Recovery:  If your muscles are sore and tired after a sports event.  massage can help the healing process.  Massage mimics the normal flow of the lymphatic and circulatory system, which drain wastes from the muscle tissue.  Massage can help dissolve waste fluids such as lactic acid and lead to a shorter recovery time.


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The 6 Principles of Pilates

It is important to note that Joseph Pilates did not directly set out the Pilates principles. They are concepts distilled from Joseph Pilates’ work by later instructors. Because of this, there is not always agreement in the Pilates community about the order of the principles, the specific words used for certain concepts, or the number of principles. Nevertheless, you will find some version of the Pilates principles–similar to what I present here–to be part of almost any Pilates training program you pursue.

Joseph Pilates originally called his work “contrology.” He considered this to be a body/mind/spirit approach to movement founded on the integrative effect of principles such as centering, concentration, control, precision, breath, and flow. Whether one is working out on a mat or using Pilates equipment, like the reformer or cadillac, these basic principles infuse each exercise with intention and fullness of expression:

Centering: Physically bringing the focus to the center of the body, the powerhouse area between the lower ribs and pubic bone.

Concentration: If one brings full attention to the exercise and does it with full commitment, maximum value will be obtained from each movement.

Control: Every Pilates exercise is done with complete muscular control. No body part is left to its own devices.

Precision: In Pilates, awareness is sustained throughout each movement. There is an appropriate placement, alignment relative to other body parts, and trajectory for each part of the body.

Breath: Joseph Pilates advocated thinking of the lungs as a bellows — using them strongly to pump the air fully in and out of the body. Most Pilates exercises coordinate with the breath, and using the breath properly is an integral part of Pilates exercise.

Flow: Pilates exercise is done in a flowing manner. Fluidity, grace, and ease are goals applied to all exercises. The Pilates principles may sound a bit abstract, but the integration of these principles accounts for the balance, grace, and ease that one can experience as a result of practicing Pilates.


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Nutritious Ways

One of the biggest limiting factors preventing people from achieving their goals is “time.” This single limiting factor is often just a minor speed bump that can be easily by passed or run over. Nutrition is 80% of all fitness goals and when you get your nutrition to work for you, you will sleep better, play harder, recover faster, resist illnesses, and feel better.

Cook in larger quantities – Whether you are cooking some grass-fed beef or making a vegetable stir fry, you will save yourself time and effort if you cook more than one serving at a time. Some people make all their lunches for the week on Sunday, or even make 2 extra servings at dinner for lunch the following day. Almost anything can be stored and eaten the next day or put things in the freezer for later in the week.


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Massage and Stress

Experts estimate that 80 percent to 90 percent of disease is stress-related. Massage and bodywork is there to combat that frightening number by helping us remember what it means to relax. The physical changes massage brings to your body can have a positive effect in many areas of your life. Besides increasing relaxation and decreasing anxiety, massage lowers your blood pressure, increases circulation, improves recovery from injury, helps you to sleep better and can increase your concentration. It reduces fatigue and gives you more energy to handle stressful situations.


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Kettlebells

Kettlebells are perhaps the biggest trend in fitness. But if you’ve never used one, you might wonder, “What’s the big deal? They’re basically just a different kind of dumbbell.” Well, that’s what makes them special. These Russian imports—which look like bowling balls with handles—can be used like dumbbells, but you’ll find that they can make the same exercises more challenging. That’s because the weight is off-center, which forces your stabilizer muscles to work even harder.


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