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Moira's Blog Posts

Fall is the perfect time to RENEW!

Early September has always been my favorite time of the year... I don't know why but I love the sounds & sights of Autumn: crickets singing in the morning, leaves changing color, warm temperatures during the day but cooler at night, beautiful sunsets, the taste of soup or chili on your heart & the touch of a crisp apple from the farm, or the rustling of leaves in the garden. Even if you don't have children going back to school, change is in the air. Ready or not, the Winter is coming and Autumn asks us to check-in with ourselves.... "Am I in the right job?" "Did I enjoy the summer as much as I could have?" "Where do I stand with relationships?" "Have I planned my winter vacation yet?" or "Do I need some help regarding my fitness/nutrition or wellness?"

I'm not gonna lie~change is sometimes hard at the beginning. Then, when you're ready to step back and catch your breath, you can tune into your senses and feel the opportunities all around you. "Life is good, but it isn't perfect." So true... Let's support each other as women moving into this all-important season of transformation! And, when in doubt, workout!

Summer Kickstart Challenge

Join me in the Summer Kickstart Challenge! Every day, before you drink a coffee or a tea, blend a juice of celery, cucumber, lemon & ginger. Wait 30-45 minutes before you have breakfast…this will give your liver a “jumpstart” on the day, so that it will be better able to process toxins throughout the day! In addition, try to make good choices and cut back on alcohol intake and sweets. Reduce bloating, decrease fatigue, sleep better & lose a few pounds! Join me! Reach out with any questions or for a demo @

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Pilates Can Help to Prevent Injury

We’ve all heard those stories about people “pulling their back out” after simply reaching into the cabinet…or falling on ice and straining their shoulder & neck. What to do? Should we just all accept that we’re getting older and BE CAREFUL when moving at all?! Here’s my story to illustrate why the answer is “NO.” One day when I was putting groceries away in my garage I tripped on my clog and wiped out right on mu bottom! Oh no!! At first, I thought I hurt my hip or back… Nope~what ACHED was my ribcage… My CORE MUSCLES “caught” me on that cement floor. Pilates works. Bottom line, the more you take care of your self NOW, the stronger you will be, to move with ease. Aging gracefully takes work. You need to really decide WHY & HOW exercise will help to prevent injury, and then you will be more prone to follow through…. Start today and book two - three times each week into your schedule to exercise. Stretch each morning before you get into the shower. Walk after dinner with the warmer weather. All of these little things ADD UP and help you to keep moving. Now, adding CORE strengthening into that routine will certainly prevent injury, but helping you to “brace” that fall or “support” your reach into the cabinet. It’s true. When you decide to AWAKEN YOUR CORE ENERGY, you can definitely #keepthepeaceinyou.

Keep the Peace in You!

I adopted this slogan from my Mother who, while raising seven children used to wave a friendly goodbye to a friend and say, “Keep the Peace!” Currently, my teenage sons may say something similar, “Peace” when signing off from a phonecall.

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Plantar Fasciitis

Working out on the reformer can help to relieve and/or prevent any symptoms of “Plantar Fasciitis” — the sharp pain in the heel so many of us feel when walking. Lying down while doing squats and lunging with supported resistance on the reformer stretches the muscles from the toes to the hips and shoulders. Lengthen & strengthen functionally with spring resistance truly tones muscles the right way, leaving us with that long & lean look and feeling strong!

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Journaling to Achieve Your Goals

In Personal Training training, we were taught to create goals for people that are realistic & measurable.  Makes sense, right?  Short term goals & long term goals are equally important and are more easily attained by writing them down.  When your boss asks you what your goals are at work, you give it some thought and strategize how to accomplish them,  If only we could look at health & wellness the same way....  

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Exercise for Brainwaves

Worried you're becoming forgetful & absentminded?  Ever feel as though your conversations are like a gameshow--asking friends for actors names or dates of events?  ME TOO!  According to Self magazine, "brain games and word scrambles may make people better at a certain task but may not actually improve memory...exercise can really boost your cognitive abilities in a short time--bringing blood flow to the brain...and increasing your brain size over just six months!"




It's tough to make good choices, especially when you're traveling or working long hours~but here's food for thought regarding sugar:  (remember, when you're reading a food label...all the ingredients are in order of the weight or volume of each ingredient.) One recommendation would be to only buy foods that do not list "sugar" in the first five ingredients.  #shoptheperimeter

Research has linked sugar consumption to numerous health conditions, including:

• Premature aging
• Various cancers — breast, ovary, prostate, rectum, etc.
• Diabetes
• Digestive problems, including chronic indigestion
• Fatigue and low energy
• Heart disease
• Hyperactivity and concentration problems
• Loss of muscle mass
• Nutritional deficiencies, including decreased ability to absorb calcium and magnesium
• Osteoporosis
• Tooth decay and gum disease
• Yeast infections


So, do fitness instructors workout on vacation?  Or do they just let it all hang loose, like the rest of us, and order from the McDonalds drive thru?!  "What the heck, right?" The truth is...everyone makes different choices while traveling for work or away on vacation -- and yup, it's exhausting -- but it's good to get out of the routine.  Hotel gyms may not have reformers, but make the best of it and take 20 minutes on the treadmill, or stretch out in down dog after your shower~you'll feel better sitting at the desk (work travel) or even in the lounge chair drinking margueritas! (vacation) If you want to maintain good posture overall, stick with at least part of the program.:).  

And, if you really need to know...Do I workout on vacation? Sometimes.  Do I eat McDonalds French fries?  No.  Do I eat the local specialities?  Yes.  One cookie or one burger is not going to ruin your diet.  Think of it this way~"eat this, don't eat that."  Eat the cookie, then stay away from that extra glass of wine.  Eat the burger but stay away from dessert.  And, yes, workout a little when you're away!!  #reentry is easier!!

Reassess your goals for the new year!

This week I had lunch with an old friend who is considering Personal Training as a new job/career path.  It made me revisit my journey through the fitness world: first Pilates training and then TRX, Barre, Spinning, Kickboxing, Yoga, and even surfset, and reasses the reason for my own professional existence!  She inquired about my daily routine and asked, "What's the best part of your job?"  

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Find Time @ Work for the Fifteen Minute Workout

Under the gun at work?  Trying to find the time to exercise on your own?  In between training sessions, try to squeeze in an extra fifteen minutes…  Grab a sturdy chair and use your bodyweight~5 easy moves:

25 "Get Up/Sit Downs" -- keep looking ahead!

Hover over the chair for 60 seconds, then sit down and raise legs in front 25 times each leg

Hold onto the high back of the chair and do 25 step back lunges 

Still holding onto the back of the chair, turn right and then left to perform 26 leg lifts each side

Lie down on the floor and put feet on chair, lift 25x to bridge position

Continue with feet on chair, and work on 25 slow & then fast crunches -- then raise legs straight to the ceiling and breathe in and out for the remaining 3 minutes

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For those struggling with migraines and/or looking to achieve balance...

Moira Riccio

Words of wisdom from Acupuncturist, Eliza Mellen-Smith....for those struggling with migraines and/or looking to achieve balance. Fourteen ways to get rid of your migraine:
1. Acupuncture. I’d estimate I can control 80% of migraine cases with acupuncture alone. Other acupuncturists may fare better or worse than that. Ask if this is an area of focus for your acupuncturist. If not, you might consider someone else.
2. Massage. Get regular deep tissue massages. Have them focus on the base of your skull, the front, sides, and back of your neck, and especially the upper back, between your spine and shoulder blades. Between massages, or instead, get a lacrosse ball, lie on your back on a carpeted floor with bent knees, and place the ball under you, against the inside edge of your shoulder blade. Find every tender spot, put the ball there, relax for about 2 minutes, then go to the next one.
3. Hydrate. Drink half the number of pounds you weigh as ounces of water each day, evenly over the course of the day. (For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, drink 100 ounces of water a day.)

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"You're Nothing but a Pain in the Neck?"

If you are old enough to remember this expression, then you may have experienced this feeling…neck pain is no joke!  After all those hours at the computer, or driving the car, or bending down working with kids (I remember tying up those skates in the back of the minivan, then standing up~ouch!), your neck is held in that repetitive posture for long instances.  Then the tension travels down your shoulder blades, and then to the lunar spine.

I can assist you on and off the Reformer to alleviate these aches and pains….   I can also give you some exercises to do at home, such as:  stand in between the doorway and hold on to the walls, inching your feet forward to open up your tight and constricted chest muscles/sidebend when waking up in the morning/grab your hand towel and tug the corners apart to stretch your shoulders and mid back.:)

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Moira Riccio

TOO BUSY TO WORKOUT? But hey, what's the alternative? Well, we end up with sore and tired backs, weak core muscles and bad posture. We may even feel a little sad if we are sitting too much at the desk. Gotta move it or lose it:) Here are some ideas for you to start your week~

1. Cultivate A Morning Ritual:
* Water upon waking up.
* Stretch for 5-10 minutes, even if it's while the water gets hot for the shower…forward fold, sidebend, breathe! 
* Eat breakfast. Many people skip it, or just grab a coffee and a bagel/muffin and go. By noon, their energy levels drop significantly. Implement a new habit of starting the day with a Green Shake.

2. Write down your goals for the week or month. Post your thoughts to the dashboard or fridge. Grab a friend and walk at lunch! (giving yourself a destination is a good one, too...walk to lunch, for example.)

3. Get motivated by putting on headphones and workout song by song~squats & lunges to Taylor Swift, planks & pushups to Justin Timberlake. Even if it's only 20 minutes a day~that's ok~YAY!

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Staying Hydrated

"Staying hydrated" is one of those phrases we use more of we we grow older, right?!  But, it's important....  According to Prevention magazine, staying hydrated may help strengthen your immunity as well.  "Your mucous membranes and the immune cells in their secretions defend against cold viruses, and they can't work as well if you're dehydrated." It's just the doctor told you~drink your fluids!   How much fluid intake for you each day?  Divide your weight into 3, and that tells you how many ounces of fluid you need, plus an extra glass of water for every cup of coffee or alcoholic beverage.

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Stabilizing Your Blood Sugar

What does this mean?!  Your body needs to refuel as it moves throughout the day, and needs to be fed consistently.  If you exercise in the morning, eat something beforehand, even if it's just a banana or granola bar. The goal is to eat every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day until bedtime.  Balance each meal with protein, carbohydrates & healthy fat.

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Alternatives to Gatorade

Before you stop by the store for a Gatorade on the way to the game, try making your own natural version! It is easy, just as fast, and a lot more healthy.

Regular Gatorade contains: Water, sucrose syrup, glucose-fructose syrup, citric acid, natural grape flavor with other natural flavors, salt, sodium citrate, monopotassium phosphate, red 40, Blue 1. (This is from a picture of the grape flavored Gatorade label).

Homemade Natural Energy and Sports Drink Recipe

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Spring Cleaning & Cleansing

Moira Riccio

How's your Spring Cleaning going?   I know, "Spring Cleaning" typically means changing your closet from Winter attire to Summer, and dusting off the flip flops and t-shirts and shorts to enjoy the warmer weather.  And that's all good~but what about your Spring Cleansing?  Have you considered changing your eating habits so that you feel lighter and happier?  Do you want to have more energy (to workout more, right?!) or just look and feel better about yourself.

You know what they say, "Getting healthy starts at Moirasfitness studio, but losing weight starts in the kitchen!"

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Fitness Goals

Moira Riccio

While you perhaps may be re-assessing your fitness and overall goals for 2015…remember that you are a work in progress!  If you need to get motivated, inspired, fit & focused~write down your goals and read them aloud each night before you go to sleep.  Visualize, listen and feel yourself striving to attain those goals.  Change doesn't happen overnight.  We all need to figure out what works best for us.

Your Goals should be "SMART" ~ Specific, Measurable, Active, Realistic, Timed

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