Core Work to Control Your Halloween Candy Cravings!
Pilates connects us to our deep core muscles physically, which directly affects us mentally. The more core control we develop, the easier it is for us to stay centered and in control of our lives. When we practice Pilates, we end up making better choices for our entire body throughout the day. We feel stronger, more flexible and balanced; and we stand taller and breathe deeper.
Joseph Pilates originally named his work “Contrology”. The reason I love Pilates so much is it always makes me feel good. Think of gaining control in your core as a way to be more in control of your inner guide. We can’t control what goes on around us; but we can control the way we react. When I think of control in a Pilates sense, it’s less rigid and more about connecting with ourselves and learning how to correct ourselves in a positive constructive way.
Halloween is a fun time and one that’s meant to be enjoyed. You can still have your treats when you practice Pilates on a regular basis because you’ll feel in control! Just because you ate it doesn’t mean you have to negate it; but if you do have a few too many treats (and let’s face it we all do from time to time), here are some Candy Control Core moves to get you back in to a healthy mental and physical state. Do this quick little routine for a full mini sized workout or drop and perform one of these moves before your candy hankering strikes, then enjoy your fun size treat!
The Hundred—start lying on your back lift your legs to forty-five degrees off the mat and lengthen out through your arms as you lift your head, neck and shoulders up off the floor. Pump the arm vigorously up and down five times on an inhalation and five times on an exhalation. Repeat 10 times for 100 pumps. Burn a mini milky way 38 calories 5 grams of carb.
Single Leg Circles—Start lying on your back lift your right leg up and keep your body still as you make 8 circles in clockwise, then counter clockwise. Repeat with the left leg. Work off a fun size twix bar 50 calories 7 grams of carb.
Single Leg Straight Leg Stretch—Start lying on your back lift your head, neck and shoulders up. Kick your right leg straight up and pull twice with your hands as you lengthen your left leg long, then switch and pull the left leg. Continue alternating legs for 8 reps. Burn off a mini box of milk duds 54 calories 9 grams of carb.
Double Leg Stretch—Pull your knees to your chest and lift your head and neck off the floor. Extend your arms long overhead and your legs out to forty-five degrees then circle your arms around and pull your knees back in to your chest. Repeat 8 times. Work off a fun size M&M’s package 88 calories 12 grams of carb.
Small Circles—Start lying on your side with your legs slightly in front of your hips. Lift your top leg a few inches turn the toes up to the ceiling and circle the leg forward 8 times then backwards 8 times making tiny circles. Don’t let your body rock at all stay solid in your center. Repeat on the left side. Enjoy a packet of smarties 25 calories 6 grams of carb.
Side Kicks—Start lying on your side with your legs slightly in front of your hips. Turn your right toes up to the ceiling then lift and lower the leg eight times without letting the hips rock backwards. Keep your core tight the entire time. Repeat on the left side. Work off a small hot tamales package, 50 calories 12 grams of carb.
Swan—Start lying on your stomach with your arms by your sides. Lift your torso and legs up off the mat as you lengthen your arms forward by your ears reaching long from fingers to toes. Lower down to starting position. Repeat 3-5 times. Burn off your candy corn, 11 pieces weighs in at 70 calories 18 grams of carb.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is currently teaching yoga with Peloton. She is the star of over 100 videos, seen in several magazines and tv shows and is a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!