Turns out I have a blog!!

March 8th, 2016
My sister and business partner, Amanda and me

My sister and business partner, Amanda and me


Hi! Welcome to the Daily Teaser! We set this site up years ago as a way to share thoughts and news about the Pilates and wellness lifestyle. Shamefully, I got busy and haven’t written anything for years. But so much is happening everyday in the Pilates/fitness/wellness business and I find myself wanting to share thoughts again.
So who am I? I’m Carrie Cohn, MBA, PMA-CPT, I founded Personal Best Fitness, a Pilates-only fitness studio in the Kansas City Area in 2000. In response to what we perceived as low quality, high-cost, inconvenient Pilates teacher training in our area, my sister, Amanda, and I started Personal Best Pilates Instructor Academy in 2003. More about Pilates teacher training in future posts (it’s a topic in which I’m very interested). For now, I’d like to share a little about me. I’m a middle-aged (ahem) former aerobics and group fitness instructor, and breast cancer survivor (4 years now!!) I’m married with no children. I was never a skinny dancer. Consequently, I have felt like an “outsider” in this industry – no more so than when I served as the Secretary on the Board of
Directors of the PMA. More discussion on what I perceive as the exclusiveness of the Pilates industry to come.
What do I want to talk about? Pilates exercise, owning a Pilates business, leadership, Pilates teacher training and the future of the Pilates industry. And finally, I’d like this blog to be a space for rational, thoughtful and respectful discussion. If you spend anytime at all on some popular facebook Pilates groups, you know what I mean. The level of rancor between certain factions in our industry may be entertaining, but not at all productive for the rest of us. If you don’t know what I mean… stay tuned.
So who are you? What do YOU want to talk about? Are you a Pilates studio owner? If so – what issues are you dealing with? Are you a Pilates teacher? I hope you will share your thoughts, challenges and ideas with me!

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Teaching Your Teen To Like Carrots In A World Full Of Potato Chips

March 25th, 2013

Ever feel like everything you say to your teen goes in one ear and out the other?  Although you may not realize it, some things do stick.  So, what’s important enough for you to make sure it sticks besides good values and morals?  How about, how to live a healthy life?  As your teens grow up and leave the house they are so excited to be out on their own that healthy eating, healthy living, and healthy habits that aren’t ingrained are usually forgotten for a few years.  Here are some ways to ingrain healthy habits in your children and teens now, so that when you’re not around they can still stick to it.

  1. Be the Example.  Nobody learns from “do what I say, not what I do” attitudes.  If you want your children to live healthy lives, then you must show them how by living a healthy life yourself.  They will learn from your example if you continuously make exercise a priority in your schedule.
  2. Get Them Involved.  Cooking inexpensive yet healthy meals is harder than it seems.  Teach your teens how to cook for themselves by assigning them a night to cook dinner each week that provides all the food groups.  Start out by helping them until they’re confident enough to cook on their own.
  3. Transition Their Taste Buds.  Every one of us has a sweet tooth once in a while.  Maintaining a healthy diet though means that you enjoy healthy foods more often than you indulge in a little dessert.  However, that desire to eat healthy is a matter of your taste buds, which comes down to the foods you keep around the house.  Keep a fridge stocked with fruits and veggies, healthy pastas, and pantry with whole grains while you limit the chips, sodas, and easy snacks.  When your children are used to a wholesome diet, they won’t last long on junk food and will quickly find a way back to their roots.
  4. Encourage Exercise.  Take a time-out from TV and kick those teens outside for some exercise.  It doesn’t have to be running or lifting weights, but keeping them active will set the stage for regular activity throughout the rest of their lives.
  5. Sign Up For Sports.  Even if they’re not the best, being on a team requires dedication, hard work, and a lot of exercise.  They will soon realize that eating healthy is the only way to last when it comes to game time and when it’s time for them to leave the house, the habit of exercise will already be established.

When you’re teen leaves the house it’s hard enough, but teaching them the importance of living a healthy lifestyle will give you that much more assurance that you’ve done a good job.  So take action in your own life, and the life of your family, to create a healthier and brighter future through living a little bit healthier today and every day.

Randi Upshaw is a Certified Athletic Trainer who loves health and fitness and enjoys sharing it with others.  Like what she writes?  Then check out http://www.homegymreview.net/.

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How to Prepare for a Workout at a Pilates Fitness Studio

October 27th, 2012

Pilates is a workout experience unlike any other. It puts your mind to ease and creates longer and leaner muscles. It is known as one of the most relaxing yet tightening exercises that will wash away your stress for the day. You will need to the right atmosphere to d your Pilates in, which is what specialized a pilates fitness studio will provide for you. You will need to prepare yourself for this energizing workout before attending a class, here are some tips in order to do that.

Wear Comfortable Clothing

Don’t wear anything too tight and constricting to your Pilate class. Tight clothes will only cause you to lose your ability to concentrate. For pants, wear something loose like pajama style pants. Your top can either be a fitted tee shirt or a tank as long as it isn’t too constricting. A track suit with sweats is also an option as long as it isn’t too snug around the stomach, since most of the Pilates training uses this area as the core of the workout experience.

Consider a Mat Work Class

The very fundamentals of a Pilates work out are included in mat work. At our Pilates fitness studio, we provide a variety of flexible schedule mat work classes to cater to your needs. Mat exercises are perfectly acceptable for newcomers and will give you the flexibility and strength that you are hoping to achieve.

Bring the Necessary Items

Prepare yourself for class by taking deep and shallow breaths. Focus on each large breath you take as it enters your lungs, and excel gradually. This will loosen you up and prepare you for stretching out your muscles. Most people enjoy bringing their own mat to class, so try to find the perfect thick mat that will be the most comfortable to you. Also bring your own water bottle so you are hydrated before you start your training.

Remember to follow these tips before you consider to take a Pilates class. If you have any questions about applying to a Pilates fitness studio, contact us, and we’ll give you a full schedule plan perfect for your needs.

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Benefits of Pilates for Runners

October 20th, 2012

Every runner knows that incorporating a variety of other exercises into their routine can increase their performance without the risk of injury that running typically carries.  Running can give your body quite a pounding, especially your knees, hips and joints.  Think about Pilates.

The benefits of pilates for a runner include increased endurance, better running form and faster running time.

Pilates focuses on working the core of the body. According to The Balanced Life, “Improper running form is a fast-track to injury. Without proper core strength, and muscle development running can cause a significant amount of stress on your joints. Increasing your core strength relieves pressure from your joints, improves your balance and reduces your overall risk of injury.” While running and other forms of exercise do contribute to strengthening your overall core, Pilates is a great cross-training tactic to make up the imbalance. Runners who don’t focus on the strength of their core muscles may have an increased rate of injury and a poor running form since other muscles will have to compensate for the lack of core performance.

Pilates is such an attractive cross-training technique to use with running because it can be performed immediately before or after a running session. This makes it convenient when compared to other activities such as bicycling or swimming, which can’t always be so easily integrated into your running routine. Pilates also has the advantage of delivering observable results even with minimal workout time.

Anyone who has done pilates knows that is works your core muscles quickly and effectively. Take the time to contact us at Personal Best Pilates Studio to enhance your Pilates technique.

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Pilates for Golf – Just What the (Golf) Doctor Ordered

October 11th, 2012

Golfing is strenuous to the body. The repeated movements required during the game cause pain, overuse and in turn, weakness. Back problems and pains are common in golfers. If your muscles are weak and your body is unbalanced your golf game will suffer. Pilates is fast becoming popular among golfers as a way to improve their game.

Pilates exercises promote balance and strength. It was originally developed as a form of rehabilitation because it focuses on specific muscle recruitment. Pilates can be used to strengthen and condition the specific sets of muscles used in golf.

Pilates can improve a golfer’s game by strengthening the core muscles, correcting the body’s alignment and promoting balance. Drives become more accurate and longer as the core muscles become toned and the body’s posture is improved.

Performing Pilates exercises will also minimize the chance at golf related injuries. Muscles are tender and sore when they are unused and weak. Golfers who perform regular Pilates have toned their core muscles making them flexible, limber and resistant to strain.

Many Pilates studios have developed specific classes for golfers. These classes go through Pilates basics but also focus on those core muscles so important to the game player. Men, women and adolescents are all becoming aware of the benefits of Pilates for golf players.

Pilates for golf can be done on a mat or with Pilates equipment depending on your level of fitness, skill and previous Pilates experience.

Besides toning the body Pilates is known for sharpening the mind, another useful tool in golf. Performing the exercises takes concentration and a focus on the specific muscles and their movements which can also be applied when playing golf.

This is definitely a win/win situation.

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What is Classical Pilates?

October 4th, 2012

While Pilates has changed somewhat through the years to accommodate varying health goals, classical Pilates is still the basis of the exercises. Classical Pilates is the actual exercises developed by Joseph Pilates in the order he arranged them with the intentions that he had in mind.

Classical Pilates is still taught all over the world and although there are a few variations in teaching styles it is still considered classical Pilates. Modified versions of the exercises may be taught in an attempt to ready the client for the actual Pilates exercise. In some cases clients are unable to do the true exercise immediately and must work up to it.

Classical Pilates is done in a specific order. This order was developed by Mr. Pilates to obtain the maximum benefit of the exercises. However, exercises in this order may be skipped and still be considered classical Pilates.

These specific exercises are sometimes omitted to suit the client. Beginning, intermediate and expert practitioners are not always able to perform the exercises the same. The order of the exercises is intended to warm up, exercise and cool down the muscles in one routine. Skipping an exercise while still following the order still allows the natural processes to take place.

Classical Pilates is simply sticking to the original lineup of exercises in the order that Mr. Pilates developed them for the intention in which it was devised. The benefits of classical Pilates are still as relevant today as when they were created.

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Benefits of Pilates Classes

October 3rd, 2012

More and more people are taking Pilates classes these days. Whether they are men or women, these classes have many different benefits associated with them.

One of the main reasons why people look to partake in these classes is because they can benefit people’s health.  These classes are great for those looking to increase their flexibility and also their physical conditioning.  This can then increase their health because they can shed excess weight and fat off in order to live a healthier lifestyle.

Another reason why Pilates is beneficial is because it is very therapeutic.  These classes work on stretching and body motion, which can allow a person to relieve stress.  Breathing techniques also are employed in these classes, which also gives people a way to cut down on anxiety.

It is a very therapeutic process and allows people to shut out anything else that might be going on in their lives.  These classes will motivate them to come back stronger and better each time that they visit.  They will have some self-worth because they will be feeling like they have a goal to achieve.

Pilates classes are also great for those who want to meet new people and socialize.  Many different types of people attend these classes, and they are always friendly.  These classes give people a way to become better connected with others because they are trying to achieve the same goals.  People can build rapports with the instructors and other people in the class, which is great for those who like engaging others in a friendly environment.

Pilates classes are also great for strengthening core muscles and enhancing one’s stretching abilities.  This will make them more flexible, which is what every athlete wants.  People can increase their muscle tone with Pilates classes, and they can feel better about the way they look.  People will get a better definition in their muscles.  For more information about these classes contact us.

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Five Tips for Continuing Pilates During Your Pregnancy

September 27th, 2012

One of the biggest mistakes newly pregnant women do is assume that because they are pregnant, they can no longer exercise. No only is this notion wrong, it’s the opposite of what actually happens!

Exercise can help your pregnancy go smoothly and more comfortably. You may worry if you can continue pilates during your pregnancy and the answer is a clear and loud YES! Here are 5 tips to help you continue with pilates from beginning of your pregnancy to the very end:

  1. Avoid poses which force you to lay on your back, especially for a long period of time. Laying on your back shifts the weight of the baby onto your spine and can decrease the blood flow to your brain, and to your uterus. So self modify those exercises or ask your KC Pilates instructor for simple ways to modify. This tip is mainly for those in their second and third trimesters. In the first trimester, the baby and weight is small enough that modifying poses isn’t as important.
  2. Be aware of your balance. Part of the beauty of Pilates is how the body balances itself, the grace of the body as it naturally forms a pose. But when you’re pregnant, the weight you’re used to balancing is redistributed and you gain more weight in the front. This changes how to carry your weight, putting more pressure on your lower back. You might not realize the differences when you are doing daily tasks, but when you begin Pilates, you’ll notice a drastic difference in how your body responds to your usual routine. So be aware that your body won’t balance the same, and be cautious as you transition from pose to pose. Again, you can modify to provide additional stability.
  3. Drink enough water. Your pregnant body is needing more water- and when you exercise, that water isn’t getting through your body the way it should, instead, you’re sweating it out. So take breaks and stay hydrated throughout your instruction.
  4. Don’t overstretch. Your muscles begin to relax and stretch naturally as your body prepares itself for labor- if you overstretch it won’t snap back as easily as previously- causing you more pain and stress than you need. So don’t try to push your muscles to the limit- instead, keep to gentle stretches.
  5. Perhaps what should be listed as the number one thing to keep in mind- check in with your doctor. If you’ve never been active before pregnancy- starting during pregnancy with Pilates- where movements are precise and muscles are tested, might not be a healthy idea. So check in with your doctor to confirm that

By following these few tips, you can ensure you’ll have a safe and happy pregnancy. For more information on being happy and healthy during your pregnancy by using pilates, please contact us today!

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Pilates Personal Training Brings Symmetry to Your Life

September 20th, 2012

Life’s hectic schedule adds much stress to your life, stress that can have negative impacts on your health. Fortunately, there are a variety of fitness regimens today that help you combat your stress levels. A Pilates personal training routine will set both your mind and body at ease.

So exactly how does Pilates combat stress? When Joseph Pilates developed his excercise regimen in 1920, he focused on six principles that hit upon some of the most proven methods for managing stress: relaxation, breath, concentration, guided imagery, heightened body awareness and mindfulness.

  1. Joseph Pilates once said, “one must move without tenseness.” That is easier said than done, however. You probably even carry tension in your body without being aware of its effects. Pilates works to break this pattern as it only targets the muscles needed for a particular movement while the rest remains in a relaxed state.
  2. Relaxed breathing is key to fighting stress. The diaphragmatic breathing used in Pilates teaches its users to better their awareness of each moment. If stress appears on the horizon, Pilates trains you to react in a positive, healthy manner through purposeful breathing, not panic.
  3. Concentration is focal when contracting or relaxing a variety of muscle groups, especially when done in patterns. This concentration also be used to relax the tensions that reside in your muscles due to stress.
  4. Guided imagery takes you to that special place in your mind where you are free from stress and worry. While you will need an instructor’s guidance to achieve this state of mind at first, its technique will prove so invaluable that it will become second nature.
  5. Pilates gives you an awareness of your own body. The exercise requires you to become aware of each movement’s symmetry and coordination, or the lack thereof in some cases. Many of our daily aches and pains are caused simply because we are not caring for our core as we should. Hence, you suffer from a crick in your neck or an ache in your spine after sitting at a computer all day. The body awareness you develop through instruction will help you carry over your skills to the daily activities in your life.
  6. Every aspect above will train you to be mindful of the moment at hand. Pilates forces you to exist in that very second, appreciating all that your body must perform. Stress just does not evade such an intimate awareness.

Pilates possesses real life implications for all. With the proper instructor you will soon find your own synergy, improving how you feel in all aspects of your life. Please contact us today to find your inner balance to a stress feel existence.

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Stand up for the benefits of pilates

August 29th, 2012

It’s time to stand up and proclaim the benefits of Pilates.

(No, really. Go ahead and stand up — it’s good for you.)

Yes, merely getting out of your chair and standing up is one of the most effective things you can do to reclaim your fitness — and maybe even extend your life.

In fact, a new study finds that if Americans would cut the amount of time they sit to less than three hours per day, they’d add an average of two years to their lives.

The study, led by Peter Katzmarzyk of Pennington Biological Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., has just been released in the journal BMJ Open.

“It’s about the inactivity in your muscles,” Katzmarzyk tells Bloomberg. “When you’re sitting your legs are completely inactive.”

OK, now that you’re up, you might as well do some Pilates, right?

And just as a reminder, let’s review some of those benefits:

• Body awareness — Done correctly, Pilates helps you sync your mind and your body, making your mind more aware of how your body is performing and feeling. That can help prevent or heal injuries that come from everything from poor posture or mechanical motion to lack of activity.

• A stronger core — That poor posture we just mentioned? It gets better when your core muscles — front, back and sides — are stronger. Pilates helps all that, too.

• Body control — Better posture and stronger core muscles work together for more efficient and healthier motion. And that’s the whole goal: Keeping you healthy and active.

Wait, wait. Don’t sit down yet. Contact us, and we’ll have you back on your feet in no time.

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