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Absolute Blog
Sun, February 8, 2015

5 Super Food Powders to Try Now!


It's a jungle out there. How are we supposed to know what Super Food powders to choose? Some of them do indeed stem from the real jungle, but what are the health benefits?

Super Food powders are a great way of adding an extra boost to your diet and provide you with benefits that are very hard to find from any other nutritional source. Just a teaspoon is often enough to ensure you get your dose of goodness. There are so many alternatives out there, so this week, we've listed 5 of the most popular on the market. All the powders we've here can be mixed into smoothies, juices, water, porridge, yoghurt, soups - even when baking!

Make sure you get 100% certified organic products when shopping for these. It's important to know that they have been responsibly sourced in order to make sure the product will give you all the benefits you're after. Stores like Holland & Barrett and Whole Foods have a wide selection, and you can also shop the products online.

We at Absolute Studio's believe that one of the best ways to refuel after a hard core class is with a smoothie, juice or shake containing one (or more!) of these healthy ingredients. So, which one is your favorite? Have you noticed any positive changes in your diet since starting with these supplements? We would love to hear your thoughts and recommendations!

Acai : These berries are sourced in the Amazon and are high in Vitamin A, monosaturated fats, calcium, fiber and iron. What makes this super food unique is that it contains so many healthy compounds found in no other plant, fruit or berry on the planet - plus it contains massive amounts of protein! The purple color is instantly recognizable, and the juices that are made from the acai is also very popular. Why not add a teaspoon to your daily juice or smoothie? There's a reason they call it the 'Beauty Berry' in Brazil... Just saying...

Wheatgrass: Fuel up with Vitamin E, Zinc, Copper and Chlorophyll - 70%!- with this highly detoxifying medicinal herb. Due to the high level of chlorophyll, it cleanses your blood and organs. It's iron levels are super high and taken as a daily supplement, it can help improve digestion and suppress hunger because of the high fiber content.

Maca: Add this to your morning juice or smoothie to get an instant energy boost! Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron and Zinc are major player in the Maca powder. It can help balance everything from your mood to problems in your skin - it is known for helping with fatigue, balancing hormones and boosting the immune system. It stems from a root and adds a warm, sweet touch to your food or drink.

Spirulina: Get ready for a B12 bomb! This incredibly popular super food contains over 6800% of your daily reference intake of B12. This will help you boost your muscle growth and maintenance, increase fat burning, and alkalize your body. This algae has been used for thousands of years as a nutritional supplement and it is probably the supplement on this list that ranks highest in terms of power.

Lucuma: Your bones, teeth, hair and nails will love this super food due to the high level of zinc here. Lucuma is also great for beating fatigue, leveling blood pressure and contains a lot of potassium. This is a Peruvian powder has a sweet and creamy taste, great for baking and for mixing into smoothies, instead of adding a sweetener.
Sun, January 25, 2015

9 Benefits of Reformer Pilates


What do Karlie Kloss, Alessandra Ambrosio, Kelly Brook and Vanessa Hudgens have in common? Awesome bodies, yes. But how do they get it?

These stars are all fans of reformer Pilates. It's no news that Pilates is an amazing type of exercise, but what exactly are the benefits of this type of practice?The Reformer is a piece of equipment that further aids the practice with different spring options for more resistance, equipment such as light weights and the magic circle. The classes are usually 50-60 minutes long and will include breathing exercises, stretching and sculpting work, using your whole body, all while listening to select playlists with good tunes to get you going. We've listed 9 incredible reasons for you to discover some of the benefits of doing reformer pilates - let this inspire and encourage you to come and try a class at our beautiful Parsons Green Studio!

1. Everyone can do it!
Some forms of exercise may seem daunting if you're unsure of your own physical capabilities, but Pilates really is something everyone can do. The classes are small - only 9 reformers at Absolute - and the teacher will always give you individual attention to assist you with any problems you may have. It is the most gentle, safe and effective way to exercise, and the beauty of doing it on the reformer is that you can adjust the level of intensity to suit your own body, using the springs.

2. Tone and Reshape.
If you've done mat Pilates before, you're likely to know what amazing core-strengthening work it is. Now add on the resistance of the reformer as well as the light weights and you got yourself a whole new artillery to tone up your body with! It is unquestionable that reformer Pilates is a way to - literally - reshape your body. You will never bulk up with Pilates- instead, you can expect that envious long, lean, graceful tone. “In 10 sessions, you feel better, 20 sessions you look better, 30 sessions you have a completely new body.”- that is a quote from the founder of the practice, Joseph Pilates. We can testify to the truth of this saying. Don't believe us? Come and try our intro offer - 3 classes for £24 - and see what you think!

3. Rehabilitate
The reformer is a great way to start exercising after an injury. The equipment is so gentle, and this combined with the fundamental principles of Pilates - precise movements performed in a safe way - will help you regain your strength and posture. If you have back injuries or muscular imbalance, it's a great way to regain your strength. The focus on postural work during class will help your spinal alignment and continued practice will help decrease the risk of future injuries.

4. Pregnancy Friendly
During pregnancy, it can be hard to find workouts to suit your changing body. Pilates is excellent for expecting women, as it incorporates core, pelvic floor and posture exercises. Doing Pilates while you're pregnant will significantly help you recover after giving birth - not only will you have an easier time physically caring for your new bundle of joy, you will also bounce back quicker to the shape you were before. If you have questions about working out during pregnancy, don't hesitate to ask at reception - we offer 1-1 consultation on exercise and nutrition, which can help you during and after your 9 months!

5. Weight Loss
Strengthening exercises are imperative to any weigh loss regime. You already know the reformer can work wonders to tone you up, but it can also help you shred. During class, you will definitely feel your heart racing, and depending on the level of the class and your own fitness, practice can get positively sweat-dripping. For an extremely intense cardio workout, we offer amazing Cardio Pilates classes. These 50 minute classes offer you a variety of intervall, HIIT type training - on and off the reformer - as well as the classic sculpting work. This type of class is incredible if you want to switch it up and take your fitness routine to the next level.

Not only will you strengthen and slim down - you'll also get more flexible from doing reformer Pilates. Being more flexible will reduce any stiffness and soreness as well as aid that quest for those long, lean muscles.

7. Everyday
The beauty of reformer Pilates is that, unlike some other physical activity, it can be done everyday. It is gentle enough that it wont tear our muscles, yet can be challenging enough to keep you excited. One important difference between mat Pilates and reformer Pilates is that there are so many more movements and exercises on the reformer - without even getting too into the equipment, there are over 250 movements! The variety of the classes teamed with the skill and focus of the trainer will ensure that your class will always be different, hitting your body and your mind from all different angles :)

8. Breathing
Breathing exercises are always part of the class. Your breathing is absolutely fundamental for your well being, and if you come to class, you'll discover new ways to utilizing your breath to maximize your energy. Building on the concept of core, back and postural strength, the breath links it all together and if you know how to breathe right, you can reduce stress levels and find focus easier in your daily life as well as during class.

Exercising is one of the key players in getting that extra energy we all want and need. It is just incredible how much just a little difference in your physical habits can make - after a class of reformer pilates, you will immediately feel better - exercise releases endorphins, also known as the happy hormone. But you wont only feel it after class - regular exercise will help you gain more energy everyday, even on days you're not working out. So you can ditch the redbull - do some Pilates instead!
Sun, November 30, 2014

Pilates Clothes - What Do I Need?

Back in the day, gym clothes used to be ill fitting garments we all dreaded to put on - some of the sports fashion in recent history has been straight up appalling. However, today's fitness market is abundant in choices when it comes to clothing. So much so that it can get a little confusing - what exactly do you need during a Pilates class? Stepping into the sports department of a store can be stressful unless you know what you're looking for, so let's break it down: What should you look for when buying workout gear for Pilates?

1. Fit. This might seem obvious - of course it should fit well. But let's dig a little deeper - what does fit actually mean? When doing Pilates reformer classes, it's good to wear clothes that are soft and supportive at once. If you wear trousers or tops that are designed to look very lose or oversized, you run the risk of the fabric getting caught in the reformer machine. Also, it's important for the teacher to be able to see your body movement, so anything to large and floppy might make this hard. Comfortable leggings are always a good bet! If you're unsure about your size, get someone at the store to help you - the right size can make a big difference! Sometimes, we like to buy clothes a size smaller in the hopes that we will fit into them soon, but what about...

2. Comfort. In order to get the most out of your practice, choose clothes that make you feel comfortable, confident and strong. Do you want to wear leggings so tight they are see through? Not really, unless you're Sofia Vergara. Is blue your favorite color? Go for it! Do you love working out in shorts? Do it! This is your time to work on your mind and body, so make sure your garments will make you feel your best!But it's not only about what everyone else see's you in, but also about the...

3. Undergarments. Excuse the intimate tone here, but it really is very important to wear underwear that will make your practice easy and comfortable. Stay away from underwear that doesnt stay in place. Wear natural fibers. And of course - it's all about the sports bra! During a class of pilates, you spend a lot of time on your back. Therefore, many people find it uncomfortable to wear sports bras with clasps in the back, since they can 'dig in' to your skin whilst exercising. We recommend a seamless bra with medium support, unless you're doing a cardio pilates class, in which case you'll need high support. During cardio classes, the time is split evenly between floor work and work on the reformer, so the issue with the clasps in the back might be less irritating. Alright, then, so that's the undergarments. How about some....

4. Socks. Whether you use socks or not during class is completely up to you. Some people prefer having special Pilates socks with a bit of rubber underneath for better grip on the reformer and floor. This can certainly help, but it's not a necessity during class. Last but not least...

5. Style. There are SO many amazing labels who make beautiful clothes aimed at fitness. They're so nice, you can actually wear them everyday! Brands like Sweaty Betty, Manuka, Lululemon and Every Second Counts (The latter is pictured above) make clothes that will make you feel like a million bucks. In fact, we love Lululemon and Every Second Counts, you can find it here at the studio!

If you feel inspired, why not come and ask us at reception for more info on what clothes we sell here at Absolute? We have a feeling you might want to change that Christmas wishlist... ;)