Terre Pruitt's Blog

In the realm of health, wellness, fitness, and the like, or whatever inspires me.

  • I teach Nia, yoga and stretch!

    Nia: Thurs at 9 am

    Yin Yoga: Mons at 11:30 am

    Gentle Yoga: Tues at 10:30 am and Thurs at 6:00 pm

    Stretch: Thurs at 10:30 am

    Please see my website for details! I sub for the City of San Jose and the YMCA so check my website for dates and times!

    I am also available for private Nia / yoga / Personal Training!

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • My Bloggey Past

  • ******

    Chose a month above to visit archives, or click below to visit a page.

Posts Tagged ‘exercises’

Nia Crosses The Line

Posted by terrepruitt on September 27, 2014

I teach a cardio dance exercise called Nia.  But it is more than that.  At one point in its history Nia was NIA and stood for Neuromuscular Integrative Action.  I have mentioned this before.  I have also mentioned that I am not sure why the name has gone through many changes.  I personally think that Nia has changed its name trying to find a wide audience.  Trying to become more popular.  It is sometimes the way with things that there has to be a catchy name or something in order to get people’s attention.  Sometimes the name that best describes something is not catchy or marketable enough to attract people.   Neuromuscular Integrative Action is really a great name.  It describes Nia very well.  But I don’t think it is very catching.  It is difficult for some to remember, perhaps, and it might not come easy to understand to many people.  But it really is a perfect name for Nia.

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary states:

Full Definition of NEUROMUSCULAR:

of or relating to nerves and muscles; especially : jointly involving or affecting nervous and muscular elements

 

A Google search shows the following:

integrative:

serving or intending to unify separate things.

[In]  •    Medicine — combining allopathic and complementary therapies.

So the actions during the workout will have to do with nerves and muscles.  The movements, in addition to moving the entire body, also bring together the Body, Mind, Emotions, and Spirit (BMES).  So it truly is Neuromuscular Integrative Action.  But that truly is a mouthful.  Even though it is a great, descriptive name, I think it might have been decided it was too difficult.  I don’t know.  I am just speculating.

I mentioned in my post about Knee Sweeps how it is beneficial to the brain for our limbs to cross over the midline of the body.  I want to write a little more on that . . . . imagine you have a string that starts at the top of your forehead and it fall down the middle of your forehead, down the middle of your nose, in between your breast down the middle of your chest, over your belly button, continuing down in between your legs.  That is the MIDLINE of your body.  So when your cross your left hand/arm or foot/leg over to the right side of that line you are crossing the midline.  And vice-versa.  This type of action is good for your brain.  This type of action is good for your nervous system.  It is action relating to nerves and muscles.  You use your muscles in action and this stimulates your nervous system.

I often remind my class how we are “working” the brain when we cross the midline of the body, when it really is so much more than that.  Because, as you know, the each side of the body are controlled by opposite sides of the brain so when you cross the midline both sides of the brain are forced into working.  Both sides must communicate with each other.  This communication with the nerve-cell pathways linking both sides, but strengthening them.

Many exercise classes do this.  That is because it is important (I believe I have said this before.)  Even yoga does it in some of its asanas.  So the crossing does not have to happen in a cardio class or during a cardio exercise.  Crossing the midline in stretches also helps “stretch” the brain.  So even if you don’t participate in Nia, you can do things to help your brain.  But I just wanted to share again – I know I’ve mentioned some of this a few times – how Nia is a lot more than a dance exercise, it really is neuromuscular integrative action.

So, with the reminder that it is good for your brain and nervous system, are you gonna cross that line?

 

Posted in Nia | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Wednesday I have Nia

Posted by terrepruitt on June 15, 2011

Ok, so it is Wednesday and as you might notice, it is 1:00 am and I am not in bed yet.  This means I have a few more things to do before I get to bed, which means I will not be up at 6:00 am doing my Ten Minute Workout, drinking my coffee, reviewing my Nia Routine, deciding on a Nia focus, and popping out the door in time to be at the studio 15 minutes early for my Nia class.  In fact, around here, when the weather is nice traffic is worse, at least lately because our weather in the San Francisco Bay Area has been so wet and rainy, I think when it is sunny people think they have to be out.  If it stays like this, then people will settle down and it won’t be so bad . . . . I hope, but on Wednesday, it is ALWAYS worse than Mondays and Fridays.  Go figure.  (I have my theories.)  On Wednesdays I have to leave a few minutes before I do on Mondays.

Since I am not a morning person that means, I will do my Ten Ten in Ten after my class.  But YOU can do it anytime.  And the beauty of it is . . . . you can share . . . .

So . . . . tell me . . . . how is it going?  What are you doing with it?  What questions do you have?  One of my readers I am lucky enough to actually see in person so I was able to answer some of her questions, what about you?  What do you want to know about this workout?

___________________________________________________________________________________________

June 15, 2011 at 3:21 pm

Ok, after 3:00, but I did it.  This workout is really meant to be something that easily fits in your day.  If completing it is a challenge then it seems like ten minutes is a good start to a workout.  If it is not challenging and you want more than you can add reps, sets, or weight.  Or it could be that you are adding it to something else you are doing.

It really is something that can work for anyone if they want.  If the way it is presented is not “working” for you but you want to do it, let me know.  You can always send me an e-mail if you don’t want to comment.

Cheers!

Posted in Ten Minute Workout check-in | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Stretching BEFORE Workout

Posted by terrepruitt on June 10, 2010

When I was young the thing to do, what we were taught to do, before exercise was to stretch.  Static stretching, moving into a position that stretches the muscle, then hold it for about 30 seconds.  The idea was to stretch every muscle in the body, from the top to the bottom or the bottom to the top.  This was considered a proper warm-up.  This was the correct way to get our bodies ready for exercise.  This we were told would prevent injury. Research and knowledge has changed that.

With advances in exercise technology and body knowledge, it is now a popular belief that this type of stretching, static stretching could actual harm the muscles or in the very least keep them from operating at their peak.  Some researchers believe that stretching before exercise actually causes the muscle to contract and tire, therefore not perform as efficiently.

A study done by the University of Nevada found that athlete’s muscle strength was decreased by as much as 30%.  If a muscles strength is decreased you are either going to be able to do less or injure yourself trying to do more than you muscle is able to do at the time.

So many of us have been taught to warm up this way for so long it is difficult for us to let go and to move on to the correct way to warm up.  This type of stretching — static stretch — is best left for the purpose of improving flexibility (and strength in the case of asanas) and is best done after a workout (unless it IS your workout as in the case of a yoga).  What type of warm up do you do?  Do you stretch before or after a workout?

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Push Workout – Sample

Posted by terrepruitt on November 24, 2009

–Push Ups (So many versions, pick one)
–Squats on BOSU (standing on the rounded side)

–Chest press with dumbbells lying on stability ball
–Wall Squats with stability ball

–Flyes lying on stability ball
–Air bench (“sitting” back against wall)

–Triceps Dip
–Side Step Drill using BOSU

–Triceps Kickbacks using bench
–Calf raises on BOSU (standing on the rounded side)

This is just a generic sample of a push workout.  There are so many ways to do push ups you should do them however you safely are able and however best fits your goals. 

Squats on the BOSU can also be done standing on the flat side, which would be more of a challenge.

With the chest press and the flyes on the stability ball you are keeping your upper back supported by the ball, but to get a bit of lower body in there and some stability practice your hips are off the ball and level with the floor.

Wall squats can be done with one leg.

The side step drill can be timed.

This was initially created for the exercises to be done in pairs as listed; one set of push-ups, one set of squats, then back to push ups, then squats, then on to the next pairing. But just like the Pull Workout, the weight used, the reps done, the speed in which do it and how many times you do it all depends on what you are trying to accomplish.

Try squeezing a workout in between all the Holiday Happenings and New Moon risings, even if you have to do it during the twilight hours.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Push-Pull Workout

Posted by terrepruitt on November 17, 2009

Recently I was listening to a discussion about Push Workouts and Pull Workouts.   One person wasn’t understanding the Push/Pull phrase because technically (as the other person pointed out) all muscles pull on bone to move it.  We move because a muscle contracts and pulls the bone in the direction of the contraction so the Push/Pull workout wasn’t registering for this person.

What the Push/Pull Workout phrase means is that the muscles USED to push or pull are being worked.  So a push workout would primarily work the muscles in the front of the body and a pull workout would work the muscles in the back.  That is just a generalization for some people it helps and some people it doesn’t because it is not entirely accurate.  As you know for some muscle groups and for some exercises it is not possible to JUST use one muscle group or one side of the body

A pull workout works “primarily” the lats, back, biceps, glutes, and hamstrings.  Where a push workout includes exercises that “primarily” work the chest, shoulders, triceps, quads, and calves.  It would typically be done on alternating days. 

This type of workout could be seen as a functional type workout since when you think about it we do a lot of pushing and pulling.  Think of grocery shopping, who has not had to yank a cart out of a row of carts, then pull the groceries out of the cart once they are bagged, then push them into the back of the SUV, then pull them out again.  Pull, push, pull, push . . . . Its a very functional workout.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

BOSU

Posted by terrepruitt on October 13, 2009

 

Know what a BOSU is?  It is a piece of exercise equipment.  Picture a stability ball, you know those round ones full of air that you can sit on?  Picture that cut in half with a plastic “cap” on the flat side.  It is very versatile.  It can be used for a variety of exercises and it can be used on either side.  The flat side can be placed on the ground so you are working on the rounded side or you can place the rounded side on the ground and do your work on the flat side.

Flat side on ground, standing on rounded sideEither way–depending on what you are doing–you are going to be challenging your stabilizing muscles in addition to the muscles you are exercising.  That is a great way to get more muscles working during your workout, burn more calories, and make you a more strong and stable body.

You can stand on either side (the flat side or the rounded side) and do dumbbell work: biceps curls, shoulder presses, upright rows, lateral and rear deltoid raises, bent over rows, etc.

You can lie on either side (the flat side or the rounded side) and do dumbbell chest presses, supine triceps extensions, curls, crunches, and sit-ups to name just a few.

Using either side you can do push-ups, mountain climbers, or add it to your burpee.

With push-ups you can either put your feet on it or hold it with your hands.They can also be used for cardio work.  They can be jumped on and off of, they can be used for lunges, or as I mentioned before, they can be used for mountain climbers and burpees.

I think they might be a favorite of personal trainers because there is so much you can do with it.

To me they are a little easier to store than a stability ball because they take up less space, but unlike a ball they won’t really challenge your muscles just by sitting on them.  But as I mentioned above you can use them for a lot of different exercises and they will add an additional challenge to almost any workout routine. I think I have see them in the Target by my house in San Jose, so I am sure you can buy them at Targets or stores where they sell sports equipment/exercise equipment.

As with any exercise equipment you use and as with any exercise you do–caution is required.

Posted in Exercise and Working Out | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

My Favorite Flower

Posted by terrepruitt on April 2, 2009

 

My blogging intent was to blog about healthful things, exercises, nutrition, but I keep thinking that readers might like other things too.  And I keep thinking of things I want to share.  I have so much I keep learning about Nia, we are doing more things in San Jose, and life is just full of stuff.   I am going to try to start posting three times a week instead of two.  I think that I am going to keep up with my opinion on healthful things on Tuesdays and Saturdays, but on Thursdays my posts will be different.  We will see how this all goes.

With my first post that is less-in-the-realm-of-wellness-and-the-like will be simple.  I wanted to share, that my house smells like flowers.  I love Star Gazers** and recently (almost two weeks ago), my husband bought me some.  He bought roses and Star Gazers, but the Star Gazers have lasted longer.  And they make our living room and dining room smell so nice.

You cannot walk down the stairs or sit on the couch without getting a big whiff.

They are so gorgeous.  What is your favorite flower?

Star Gazer

**Lilium “Stargazer” (the Stargazer lily) is a hybrid lily of the Oriental group according to Wiki

Posted in Flowers, Star Gazers | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »