Why it’s important to sleep enough

Why it’s important to sleep enough

Sleep plays a vital role in good health and well-being throughout your life. Getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.

The way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on what happens while you’re sleeping. During sleep, your body is working to support healthy brain function and maintain your physical health. In children and teens, sleep also helps support growth and development.

The damage from sleep deficiency can occur in an instant, or it can harm you over time. For example, ongoing sleep deficiency can raise your risk for some chronic health problems. It also can affect how well you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others….

Healthy Brain Function and Emotional Well-Being

Sleep helps your brain work properly. While you’re sleeping, your brain is preparing for the next day. It’s forming new pathways to help you learn and remember information.

Studies show that a good night’s sleep improves learning. Whether you’re learning math, how to play the piano, how to perfect your golf swing, or how to drive a car, sleep helps enhance your learning and problem-solving skills. Sleep also helps you pay attention, make decisions, and be creative.

Studies also show that sleep deficiency alters activity in some parts of the brain. If you are sleep deficient, you may have trouble making decisions, solving problems, controlling your emotions and behavior, and coping with change. Sleep deficiency also has been linked to depression, suicide, and risk-taking behavior.

Children and teens who are sleep deficient may have problems getting along with others. They may feel angry and impulsive, have mood swings, feel sad or depressed, or lack motivation. They also may have problems paying attention, and they may get lower grades and feel stressed.

Physical Health

Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of your heart and blood vessels. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke.

Sleep deficiency also increases the risk of obesity. For example, one study of teenagers showed that with each hour of sleep lost, the odds of becoming obese went up. Sleep deficiency increases the risk of obesity in other age groups as well.

Sleep also supports healthy growth and development. Deep sleep triggers the body to release the hormone that promotes normal growth in children and teens. This hormone also boosts muscle mass and helps repair cells and tissues in children, teens, and also in adults. Sleep also plays a role in puberty and fertility.

Your immune system relies on sleep to stay healthy. This system defends your body against foreign or harmful substances. Ongoing sleep deficiency can change the way in which your immune system responds. For example, if you’re sleep deficient, you may have trouble fighting common infections.

Daytime Performance and Safety

Getting enough quality sleep at the right times helps you function well throughout the day. People who are sleep deficient are less productive at work and school. They take longer to finish tasks, have a slower reaction time, and make more mistakes.

After several nights of losing sleep—even a loss of just 1–2 hours per night—your ability to function suffers as if you haven’t slept at all for a day or two.

Lack of sleep also may lead to microsleep. Microsleep refers to brief moments of sleep that occur when you’re normally awake. You can’t control microsleep, and you might not be aware of it. For example, have you ever driven somewhere and then not remembered part of the trip? If so, you may have experienced microsleep.

Even if you’re not driving, microsleep can affect how you function. If you’re listening to a lecture, for example, you might miss some of the information or feel like you don’t understand the point. In reality, though, you may have slept through part of the lecture and not been aware of it.

Some people aren’t aware of the risks of sleep deficiency. In fact, they may not even realize that they’re sleep deficient. Even with limited or poor-quality sleep, they may still think that they can function well.

For example, studies show that sleep deficiency harms your driving ability as much as, or more than, being drunk. It’s estimated that driver sleepiness is a factor in about 100,000 car accidents each year, resulting in about 1,500 deaths.

Drivers aren’t the only ones affected by sleep deficiency. It can affect people in all lines of work, including health care workers, pilots, students, lawyers, mechanics, and assembly line workers.

As a result, sleep deficiency is not only harmful on a personal level….

So sleep much and sleep well…OK?
During holiday days and on the days after…

#respirit #pilates

What is the difference between MAT & REFORMER?

What is the difference between MAT & REFORMER?

Pilates attracts everyone from grandmas to executives with its promise of core strength, flexibility, and lean muscle tone. Many newcomers wonder if they should be rolling out a mat to do their Pilates, or strapping into a Reformer – the equipment developed by Pilates creator Joseph Pilates.

Working against resistance is essential to the 500 classical Pilates exercises, which are designed to train the body’s ’powerhouse’ – the abdomen, lower back, hips, and buttocks. But you can accomplish that in Pilates using either a mat, where your own body weight creates resistance, or a Reformer, where pulleys and springs create resistance.

How Pilates on a #Mat works
Pilates Mat work is often done in classes, which are much easier to find than Reformer sessions. The good news is that in Respirit you can of course find both… 

Many Pilates experts recommend Mat classes as the best bet for beginners. It is always very important that new clients acquire a foundation on the mat before launching into apparatus work. Average students typically add Reformer work after three months of once-a-week mat classes. Mat work is a great option for beginners because of its emphasis on learning how to control the muscles during exercises.

While doing Pilates on a Mat instead of a Reformer may not seem as fun or challenging, many students see results – improved strength, posture, agility and flexibility, as well as toned muscles – within a few months from once-a-week Pilates mat sessions.

How Pilates on a #Reformer works
To some, Reformer equipment might resemble a torture apparatus, looking like a single bed frame but with a sliding carriage and adjustable springs to regulate tension and resistance. Cables, bars, straps, and pulleys allow exercises to be done from a variety of positions, even standing. The resistance created by the pulley and spring system can provide a more challenging strength and endurance workout than mat classes.

The Reformer is a carriage that moves forward and backward on rollers and uses springs for resistance. It also has a variety of other attachments for different movements and exercises. On the Mat you are supporting your body’s weight while doing each piece, which can be great for getting to know your own body, but it can also inhibit the range of motion you are able to achieve.

With the Reformer, your body’s weight is supported by the carriage allowing you to either simplify the movements or challenging yourself even more once you gain more strength and flexibility. Since your weight is supported by the carriage, it can take a lot of pressure off of troublesome joints during the exercises which gives you more opportunities to improve your Pilates practice.

This amazing machine is wonderful for correcting muscular imbalances, joints and giving your body a challenging workout. And you look so elegant and graceful while doing so Don’t let the appearance of the machine steer you away from giving it a shot! 

#respirit #pilates



Seeing skeletons, wandering about among many weird creatures this week, we have realized Halloween is the perfect time to talk about the importance of strong and healthy bones. Because our bony skeleton is a remarkable structure.

It supports our weight and posture, protects our internal organs and allows us to move. And not less importantly, it is the centre of blood cell production and a storehouse for essential minerals.

Quite some good reasons to pay attention to our bones, aren’t they?

By the end of your adolescent years, you have built up most of your bone mass. And though bone remodeling is a lifelong process, bone tissue withdrawal starts going faster than bone cell „deposit” after the early 30s and so we loose an average 1% of our bone mass each year thereafter. If this process is not attended to properly, you may experience osteoporosis on one hand, while diminishing bones also affect blood cell production and so the body’s immune system at a later stage.

The good news is that following a healthy diet with Calcium and Vitamin D intake together with plenty of physical activity can help keep your bones healthy for life. Because bones are living tissues and they respond to physical activity by growing stronger to support the stress the working muscles cause on them with the constant pulling during exercises.

It makes perfect sense, right?

But beware, not all sport activities promote bone growths. Regular weight bearing and muscle strengthening exercises are the ones to best induce bone reproduction. And you may be surprised to hear that Pilates can also be put on this list, especially if you get challenged by small weights and resistance bands or the springs of the famous Pilates apparatus.

You may want to give it a try and experience yourself…

One last remark…If you suffer from osteoporosis, be always sure to inform your Pilates instructor about your condition as certain Pilates exercises cannot be practiced or only with modifications.

by #piri #respirit



Movement – or sitting – are not the only kind of stresses that has the potential to hurt your back…Believe it or not,

mental or emotional stress can be just as damaging.

Many of us encounter stressful situations daily. In the short term, the tension created by emotional stress can give you a headache and/or pain in the back. If, however, experienced constantly, stress might set you up for a back injury, among other, more serious health problems, in the long run.

When discussing ‘health’ the majority of us most often focus on the aspects of physical health and we tend to overlook the psychological aspects. However, psychological health is now considered to be just as important to maintain optimal physical function. A lack of balance between body and mind has the potential to lead to a decline in our physical abilities.

Have you ever got back pain? For sure you wanted to know what was wrong and how to fix it. It is a necessity. But did you go further and look beyond the exact area of pain? Just because, research studies now suggest that spine problems or back pain are often the result of complex interactions involving both physical and psychological factors.

So, how to deal with the emotional stress once recognised?

Try to identify situations that tend to bother you. Maybe you can avoid some of them altogether — that would be the best medicine. In reality, though, some situations and people cannot be avoided, such as rush-hour traffic, deadlines at work, or an unyielding boss. Some anxiety is just part of everyday life.

The next best option is to learn how to anticipate these situations ahead of time and make the conscious decision not to let them bother you. You might want to plan a way to make the situation easier on yourself. Just imagine, if you have to go to the grocery store at peak hours and long queues… instead of going mad, bring a book to read. If you just can’t stand battling rush-hour traffic, why not planning to work out at the gym for an hour after work. You avoid traffic, relax your mind, and feed your back all at the same time.

You might want to try cutting down on some of the habits that can aggravate your already stressed out condition. Caffeine and nicotine can have the effect of creating a sense of anxiety even when you aren’t anxious about anything. Cutting down your intake of stimulants may help reduce your stress level.

Of course, there is always the old stand-by method for melting away stress. Find a quiet place to get away, close your eyes, listen to some relaxing music, breathe slowly and deeply, and imagine yourself at the beach, with warm sand, lapping waves, and a gentle breeze. Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

As you can see, there are almost as many ways to prevent back pain as there are bad behaviors that cause it. If you make these suggestions part of your everyday routine, your back should be strong and healthy


mental or emotional stress can be just as damaging.


Researches have shown that #conscious #deep #breathing help reduce anxiety and depression, which then further impacts stabilizing our blood pressure, increasing our energy levels and assist in muscle relaxation. Already a number of good reasons to take care of our breathing techniques.

But for many of us, when it comes to #improving our #health, changing our breathing somehow does not spring to mind as readily as changing our diet or exercise habits.
However, #healing the #body and #mind through targeted breathing exercises has already been part of many, mainly eastern, beliefs and practices for thousands of years.

“For breath is life and if you breathe well, you will live long on earth” (Sanksrit proverb)

The secret lies nowhere else but in our body, where with conscious deep and slow breathing you activate the parasympathetic #nervous #system, responsible for controlling and reversing the #stress-type responses in your body.

Besides this connection between breathing and the mind through our nervous system, breathing is also directly connected to our body through our xmuscles. Just have a look at our anatomical structure.

The main muscle responsible for breathing, the diaphragm, is well connected to our abdominal muscles, the secondary respiratory muscles, and together they largely contribute to #core #stabilization and #good #posture.

No wonder, therefore, that breathing is one of the cornerstones and principles of the Pilates movement system.

First, the conditioning of the respiratory muscles will result in improved efficiency of oxygen intake, which then will help to #relax both the body and the mind.

But then Pilates goes further, believing that breath is also the basis of conscious movement as breathing improves concentration. Working with the breath also brings a natural rhythm to the movement that greatly enhances the efficiency and experience of a workout.

In Pilates, the breath leads the movement and gives it power.

And this may be a good discipline to apply also in daily life. 

by #piri #Respirit



As a child, I used to love drawing with compasses during the math classes. I would admire these tools for their ability to draw perfect circles… and starting out from these circles: beautiful flowers and mandalas… But these amazing figures came to life only if we used the compass properly. If we positioned its pinned central arm incorrectly, the result rather resembled a potato. We used to laugh at it. 

Well, our #muscles#working always in #pairs, function in a very similar way. The ones that are responsible for #movement are always counter-balanced by those ensuring #stabililty: these are the muscles that hold bones in place and provide a solid basis of #support to prevent injury.

Pilates believed that:

There is no free movement without stability.

Think of drawing with a compass: you get a perfect circle only if the central arm is strongly fixed so that the one drawing the circle can focus on its work. This is exactly how our body is designed to work. Free movement happens when muscles perform their own role and do not take up the function of others. Deep #core muscles #stabilize your body and #protect your joints against the forces originating from the movement of the limbs and total body locomotion.

No wonder that we, pilates-lovers, like working out in the most ideal anatomical position. This is because the ideal human posture is the most stable and energy-efficient structure, and it provides the optimal position for our muscles to both support and complete our moves.

Our #mobility is truly dependent on our #posture and the #ability to achieve its #stability. In many cases, the loss of mobility in our joints originates from the compromised balance between the stabilizing and mobilizing muscles.

Would you have imagined that movement involves such a careful coordination of many, even contradictory, elements? Just like balancing firm bass with the subtle notes of soprano. Your body will be grateful if you orchestrate it with #care and #attention. And you will be grateful to see how Vanda Scaravelli’s words gain meaning for you in relation to your own body:

Movement is the song of the body.



Are you there?

The other day, after dropping my kids at school, I was driving through the town to the Studio. I took the usual route… at least I guess… I did all the things you are supposed to do (giving priority, stopping at the red light)… at least I hope so – as, in fact, at one of the crossings, I have suddenly realized that I had no memories whatsoever about my journey so far. This is a great and, at the same time, frightening example, of how we might often ‘not be there’ in the moment in our life.

‘Being there’, as opposed to this, is called ‘mindfulness’. This happens to me when I try to explain something to my kids or when I give a class and all my senses are sharpened to focus on my own moves, explain the exercises properly for you, and see how you are doing, whether anyone needs assistance. This is what we feel when we are reading a page-turner and when we are, in general, immersed in tasks that rather feel like a reward than a tiresome challenge. In short: when we do what we like.

However, it is not always so easy to find this state of mind that is often referred to as ‘the flow’. We might be pressed or constantly distracted by the people surrounding us, or stressed by an environment full of noise. We might have been so busy for a longer time already that we forgot about how to have some time and space for ourselves when we can fully focus on one thing – the thing that we want.

Pilates and Mindfulness…

Now, how does Pilates come into the picture?

For me, Pilates is one of the great ways to find my path back to the ability of being mindful.

Why am I saying this? Not only because Pilates is the passion of my life, however, this is certainly a key element in making me able to feel ‘the flow’. This might not be the case for you, however, and I am still pretty certain that it works as a path for you, too. To see why, we have to look into what we are exactly doing when doing Pilates.

First of all, when you decide to come to a class, you dedicate time to yourself. Time that is exclusively yours, and when your only task is to pay attention to your body and your mind. When you silence your phone and when there are no kids, colleagues or anyone else around, except for the people whose goals are exactly the same as yours.

Then, by carrying out the exercises, you are actually practicing the state of mindfulness and the skill of being mindful.

“The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning is the complete co-ordination of body, mind and spirit”. – Joseph Pilates

We have to learn to breathe in a specific way, and harmonize breathing with the exercises. We have to listen to our instructor, and, at the same time, try to imitate the movements, making clear distinction between which muscles to tense and which ones to relax. Such coordination requires an absolute focus of the mind, and a kind of attention that covers a wide range of things starting from our instructor’s words through our own movements to how we actually feel, all of them being connected to a single goal: performing Pilates exercises.

We ‘are there’. We ‘tune in’ on the moment. We act consciously. And we ‘feel’.

This is exactly what mindfulness is about. That’s why Pilates is exercising not only your body, but your mind and your ability of being mindful as well.

by #piri #respirit



Should it be the one with Elsa from Frozen, or rather with cutie little kittens instead? Or, if it is a boy the question is Spiderman or Teenage Turtles? Dilemmas for mothers and kids at the end of summer… But choosing a good #long#lasting and #healthy #schoolbag is lot more difficult than that.
I only realised this problem when some fellow-mothers called me anxiously with the same question, where we have got the schoolbag. I cannot tell you this but I tell you why and how we have chosen the right one.So, why does it matter which schoolbag we choose?
Back specialists claim that an increasing number of children suffer from #back or #neck #pain because of #overloaded#unhealthy #schoolbags.

Children who experienced back pain in childhood are more likely to suffer from long term effects as an adult.

Inappropriate, overloaded bags can also cause headache, poor, imbalanced posture, and may deform the spine. There are legal load carrying limits in many countries as recommended by physiotherapy associations.

A child between the age of 6 to 10 should carry less than 10-15 per cent of his or her own weight.

If you calculate it for your kid, it will make sense, right? That is why the school bags must be as #light as possible.

Children’s spines are still developing in school-age so it is super important to load them correctly.

Besides the excessive weight, unilateral loading may also cause spinal and muscle compression. That is the reason why #backpacks are healthier than trolley bags, or one-strapped bags.

The #size also matters. Always choose a bag in your child’s size, where you may find #narrower #models more appropriate. Don’t save money on school bags. It will serve your kid day after day for years.

Though they are more expensive, it is worth buying ergonomic bags.

What are the common features of #ergonomic #bags?

▷ Moulded frame.
▷ Padded backrest, meaning that the rear of the backpack is padded and comfortable.
▷ Two wide padded and adjustable schoulder straps.
▷ Sternum belt (chest-belt) is reccomended to fix schoulder straps.
▷ Adjustable hip or waist strap, so that the weight of the filled back pack will be distributed on your child’s pelvis instead of their shoulders and spine.
▷ Compartements and pockets instead of one single top loading opening, it makes easier to organise the items. Never forget to pack the heaviest items closest to the child’s back.

If all these criteria are fulfilled, you can possibly decide on Elsa, or Spiderman.

And one more thing…

If your child has a healthy bag, why don’t you have one for yourself?

One strapped fully packed handbag could harm your back as well if you wear it only on one side all the time..

Have a nice school start!

by #piri #respirit



Don`t you think that after the long summer break, it’s time you also take some You-Time while kids are in school?

Once the summer holidays are behind You, it is time to look ahead to the new Season and the new School Year. Kids are back to school, you are back to work or back to your regular daily routine at home.

The holidays tend to be quite a hectic period, and getting organized after can be even more stressful.

In order to stay on top of the post-holiday craziness, make a plan of the tasks you want to tackle at the very beginning of the new season and new shcool year. It will help you prioritize what needs to be done right away and what you can take your time doing.

But never forget Yourself!

If you are OK, your family is OK and everybody around you is OK! I speak from experience. So pay attention to Yourself, take Your Time and switch off for some time each day … or every second one…. and why not switching off with some exercising?

Count on us, your instructor team at Respirit Pilates and our clients – we are really a fin bunch together 

And above all, here you are some more pieces of good advice….to stay in shape, in good mood and especially healthy in your body and your mind 

▷ Get enough sleep
▷ Take 5 minutes each morning to just stretch and breathe
▷ Eat healthy and green food
▷ Take 5-minute mini-breaks each working hour
▷ Break your self-care habits into smaller tasks and do one each day
▷ Make a plan of everything that needs to be done
▷ Make sure you keep in touch with your friends
▷ Make room for rest
▷ Spend your lunchtime as sacred you-time
▷ Take a run or a long walk
▷ Wear your pretty clothes
▷ Go to a Pilates … or do other mindful exercises
▷ Create some routines
▷ Take the weekends completely off
▷ Get as much sunlight as you can .. remember, you need a reserve for the long winter
▷ Limit your media consumption
▷ But above all – accept Yourself as You Are

Now, the checklist is there …. so it is for sure easier now, isn`t it? 

#respirit #pilates



Today is Postive Thinking Day. A day to remember and reflect on all positive in our lives.

“The mind is everything. What you think you become.”

Says Buddha. Others say our mind is like a garden .. and the thoughts are beautiful flowers …. or useless weeds …. as we wish. Yes. As we wish…. Because we have that fundamental power to choose what we want to attend to..

Can you agree that our thoughts set our mood? And our mood has an impact on our actions.

With positive attitude you can experience pleasant and happy feelings. This brings brightness to your eyes, more energy and happiness. Your whole being broadcasts good will, happiness and success. Even your health is affected in a beneficial way. You walk tall, your voice is more powerful, and your body language shows the way you feel.

Contrarily, negative thoughts drain you of energy and keep you from being in the present moment. The more you give in to your negative thoughts, the stronger they become. Just imagine a small ball rolling along the ground, and as it rolls, it becomes bigger and faster…
That’s what one small negative thought can turn into: a huge, speeding ball of ugliness.

A small positive thought can have the same effect, but blossoming into a beautiful outcome.

But what can you do to overcome any negative thought?
Well…a lot of things…

▷ Meditate and do mindful physical exercises, such as Pilates or Yoga
▷ Smile
▷ Surround yourself with positive people
▷ Change the tone of your thoughts from negative to positive
▷ Believe that you create your life and can take responsibility. Is it worth playing the victim?
▷ List the things you are grateful in that moment … and do it often
▷ Remember that no-one is perfect and let yourself move forward
▷ Help someone
▷ Sing. Oh yes…

Change your thoughts …. and you change your world.

Find gratitude for the simplest things on Earth.

Celebrate today. This is going to be a very good day.

Happy Positive Thinking.

#respirit #pilates