Electrolyte Drink Recipe

Electrolytes are essential for the body to function well.  For example, they help maintain electrical neutrality in cells, and generate and conduct actions in the nerves and muscles.

Sodium, potassium, and chloride are the significant electrolytes along with magnesium, calcium, phosphate, and bicarbonates.

Warm, sunny days mean being properly hydrated and maintaining electrolyte balance is even more important, particularly if you’re doing a lot of exercise outdoors.  Avoid muscle cramps, fatigue, headaches, dizziness/light-headedness, confusion, weakness and bowel complaints, just by drinking the right thing.

Below is the recipe for my home-made electrolyte drink, which I use before, during (on the bike) and after training or racing.  Cheaper than using hydro tabs or buying electrolyte drinks from the supermarket, takes less time to make than it takes to dissolve a hydro tab in water and has 100% natural ingredients – no artificial sweeteners or other nasties.

Just wizz the following ingredients in a blender and enjoy.

1 cup/240ml organic 100% pure coconut water. I like Jax Coco, Mindful Chef and Cocofina, all available online and from good supermarkets.

1 cup/240ml filtered water.

1/8 teaspoon of pink Himalayan rock salt.

Juice of 1 lime or lemon.

1/2 teaspoon of potassium magnesium citrate or calcium magnesium powder.  Viridian has a good range.

1 teaspoon of pure strawberry or raspberry or blueberry or beetroot powder.  I like Arctic Power Berries and Honeyberry.

If you have medical condition and need to avoid certain foods e.g. salt, please consult your GP before trying the recipe.

To close, Julia Jacklin’s fab Tiny Desk Concert from many moons ago.  Perfect drowsy ballads for a warm, sunny day.  Just need a hammock and a big old tree…

Client Feedback on Recorded Class

The new Recorded Class launched last weekend has been well-received.  Yey!  Thanks to all the pioneers who gave it a try last Sunday.

Here are a couple of testimonials from some of those who kindly emailed me with feedback afterwards…

“I really enjoyed today’s recorded class. It meant I could choose when I watched it to avoid interruptions.  Although I try to exercise on my own it tends to be rushed and I avoid the floor work, which I know is what I need. The weekly classes often clash with childcare, which takes a lot of my time. So, at last, I can see a way forward.  Many thanks.”

“Just done the recorded lesson and really enjoyed it.  I’m so glad that despite being away for a few days and work commitments I could still do my lesson. The technique tips were really clear and always a good reminder. Thank you.”

Fancy trying the Recorded Class for yourself this weekend?  Easy-peasy.  Just book online here.

To close, here’s a track from PJ Harvey’s upcoming new album.  Slightly excited.  Might wear my PJH t shirt to class this week.  Warning – the slogan is a song lyric not an instruction…

Weekend Pilates

The new weekly RECORDED Pilates x Melissa class launches this coming weekend.  It will be available to book on Fridays from noon and is viewable on Sundays until 2359.  The class is an hour long and costs £7.

Full details including who the recorded class is suitable for and how to purchase and access it, can be found on this new page of my website.

Before you go, you might like this.  Pole dancing in glass platform stilettos – respect!

Beginner and Rehab Pilates

One of the distinguishing features of the Pilates Method over other forms of exercise is that anyone can do it.  No matter how severe an injury or medical condition a person might have, in time and with a little more care and attention there is always a way that Pilates can help.

If you are new to Pilates or you’ve been unwell, have had an injury or surgery, or have a chronic complaint, you will probably benefit from attending my Tuesday morning online Pilates class (0930 to 1030).  In this session I provide lots more adaptations to the exercises as well as alternatives to ensure everyone can practise Pilates safely and at their own level.

At the end of each session is a short Q&A.  This is for anyone who would like to ask a question about the specific exercises we performed in our hour of practice or any general teaching points I made along the way. The post-class Q&A means you can check you’re doing the exercises correctly and ask for further guidance on any adaptations or alternative exercises I provided.

Who would benefit from attending the Tuesday morning Pilates class

  • Anyone recovering from illness.
  • Anyone recovering from giving birth who has been cleared by their health professional to resume exercising.
  • Anyone with an injury that has sufficiently recovered to be able to exercise without the need for painkillers.
  • Anyone prone to injury in a certain area.
  • Anyone who has had surgery and been cleared to start exercising again.
  • Anyone with the following types of medical condition:
    • osteoporosis or osteopenia,
    • arthritis,
    • multiple sclerosis,
    • Parkinson’s Disease,
    • scoliosis,
    • fibromyalgia,
    • polymyalgia,
    • chronic back pain,
    • chronic fatigue syndrome.
  • A beginner who would prefer a less demanding class to help them master the basics of the Pilates Method.
  • Anyone who has difficulty getting up and down from the floor and finds changing positions while on the mat takes a bit more time and effort.
  • Anyone who finds the other Pilates classes on the timetable a little too strenuous or challenging.

What to expect from the Tuesday morning Pilates class

  • No advanced level exercises from the Pilates Method repertoire.
  • More adaptations to exercises.
  • More alternative exercises.
  • Greater focus on core stability and alignment.
  • More emphasis on co-ordination and balance.
  • Slightly less load-bearing.

To book a place on the Tuesday morning Pilates session at 0930, please visit the book a class page of my website and follow the three easy steps to join the class.

If you have any questions about beginner or rehabilitative Pilates and whether the Tuesday morning class is right for you, please get in touch.

New Pilates x Melissa Class Timetable

Thanks again for taking the time to complete the recent survey.  Your responses were very helpful in understanding what type of classes you want and when going forward.

The LIVE ONLINE sessions remain the most popular choice so all four of the existing classes will continue at the same day and time as now.

The idea of a RECORDED ONLINE class viewable at the weekend also received a lot of support so I will introduce this into the schedule in May.

There is clearly demand for the STUDIO classes.  Unfortunately, despite my best efforts I haven’t been able to make these happen with the venue I’d found.  The search continues for a studio in Clevedon where I can secure 1-3 regular weekly slots, which is large enough to be safe and comfortable, and able to provide a quiet environment compatible with practising Pilates. Not as easy as you might think.  I’ll keep you posted.

The survey results showed there is interest in doing Pilates on BANK HOLIDAYS so I will continue to offer classes on such days (except Christmas and New Year when I suspect it would be just me teaching myself.)  There are loads of Bank Holidays in May of course so do join me if you want to escape the M5 car park, the Coronation celebrations and the English spring weather.

So, in summary the Pilates x Melissa class schedule going forward is…

  • Mondays 1800-1900 Online Live Small Equipment Pilates class
  • Tuesdays 0930-1030 Online Live Pilates class
  • Wednesdays 1900-2000 Online Live Pilates class
  • Fridays 0930-1030 Online Live Pilates class
  • Sundays 0900 to 2359 Online Recorded Pilates class (coming in May)

In the coming weeks I’ll be introducing more NEW CONTENT into the classes based on recent continuing professional development training courses and workshops.  I’m looking forward to sharing this latest insight with you, all of it tried and tested on myself… no guinea pigs were harmed in the testing of these new exercises.

To close, here’s the “bad boy of ballet”, Sergei Polunin modelling what could be my new favourite teaching outfit…a tattoo body stocking…

Pilates with Added Balls!

Please could you add a tennis ball or similar to the Pilates kit you have available for each class.  We will be using this small ball in exercises to improve:

  • the function of our feet, ankles and lower legs;
  • our balance and coordination by taking the proprioception work we do to the next level.

Proprioception is your body’s ability to sense how it is moving in relation to the environment. It involves a close relationship between the nervous system, soft tissues and proprioceptors.

Proprioceptors are clever sensors located on nerve endings in your muscles, tendons, joints, skin and inner ear. These sensors deliver information to your brain about changes in movement, position, tension, force and environment.

As an example, you experience proprioception when you’re out walking or running and detect small deviations such as holes or stones or ice on the pavement. To prevent injury your body adjusts, stabilizing your foot and ankle in response to the feedback picked up by your lower limb proprioceptors.

Proprioception is one of the sensory systems associated with balance.  We will be using the tennis ball as part of our proprioceptive training to improve balance and spatial awareness.  This will help you to stay upright and move with control wherever you are and whatever you’re doing in your daily life.

To close, here’s a track from Arctic Monkeys’ latest album, The Car which I’m currently playing to death.  If you have a tennis ball-sized mirror ball, you’re welcome to use that in class…to dance under obvs.

Update – Have Your Say

UPDATE: Thank you for taking the time to complete the survey, which has now closed.  I’m currently considering your responses regarding the class timetable and working on the best way forward.  The slight increase in price for the online classes mentioned in the survey now applies.  Thank you for your understanding.

Spring has sprung and as someone clever with words once wrote, ‘The trees are coming into leaf/Like something almost being said…’

Good news. I’ve found a studio in Clevedon with plenty of room for us to practise Pilates safely and in comfort – warm in Winter (underfloor heating – yey!), cool in Spring and Summer (doors which open out onto a garden view) – with some availability and not prohibitively expensive.

I therefore plan to offer a mix of studio and online (live and recorded) Pilates classes each week…but which ones?  I’d like you to decide from a number of options.  Please help me shape the new Pilates x Melissa class timetable by completing the short online survey below before it closes on Good Friday…

View Survey

Heatwave Class Cancellations

Feeling hot hot hot?! Me too.  With unprecedented (we’ve used that word a lot in recent years, haven’t we) red and amber weather warnings in place for the UK this Monday and Tuesday, I’ve decided it would be irresponsible of me to offer my usual Pilates classes on those days.

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) has issued its highest level four heat alert to health and care bodies warning illness and death could occur “among the fit and healthy”.  The body has to work hard to keep the core temperature stable in extreme heat. Exercising in high temperatures is therefore not a good idea. There is also the chance that broadband and mobile phone networks may be affected by the hot weather.  Unstable connections are not great when you’re doing a live online class.

This all means there will be no online Pilates X Melissa classes on Monday 18 July or Tuesday 19 July this week.  Maybe try some paddling Poolates instead…see what I did there.

All change for the weather from Wednesday with much cooler temperatures on the way so you still have an evening and a morning class available this week if you’d like to join me on Wednesday 20 July at 1900 and Friday 22 July at 0930.  The Friday class for this week only is available to those with osteoporosis and osteopenia.  I’d like you to still have the opportunity to practise Pilates this week despite there being no Tuesday session.

Sorry about the cancellations but I think it’s for the best.  Thank you for your understanding.

Keep cool, drink plenty of water, rest and look out for each other.

To close, Tim Buckley telling it like it is…

New Time and Pilates This Easter

The clocks have gone forward, the days are longer, the weather getting better.  With this in mind the Tuesday class will now begin half an hour earlier at 0930, leaving everyone more of the morning left to resume their work or head out to play.

The usual classes will run over the Easter weekend so if you’d like to join me for Pilates on Good Friday 15 April at 0930 or Small Equipment Pilates on Easter Monday 18 April at 1800, that would be great.  Rumours I’ll be teaching the classes dressed as the Easter Bunny are completely unfounded…I’ll save that outfit for Christmas.

Need cheering up?  Here’s Elvis with the best version of Are You Lonesome Tonight…”sing it, baby!”

PS. You’re not alone, never forget that.


Pilates and Body Awareness – New Research

Taught as the founder intended, Pilates is a very mindful form of exercise. Throughout my classes I encourage you to feel what is happening to your body as you perform the exercises and in the pauses between the movements.  You will hear me drawing your attention to your heart beat, postural tone, how and where you are breathing, the temperature of your body, the sensation of tissues lengthening, contracting and releasing, gurglings in the gut when you perform the navel to spine core engagement.  It is this aspect of our Pilates practice that helps us be more present in the body as we go about our day-to-day life and be more mindful of how well we’re moving.  Are we sitting, standing, walking with good posture?  Do we feel well-balanced?

New research from Anglia Ruskin University highlights another important benefit of being tuned into our body and the sensations we can feel happening inside us. In an interview with cognitive neuroscientist, Dr Jane Aspell on a recent edition of BBC Radio 4’s All in the Mind, developing this ability to detect physical sensations going on inside the body – or interoceptive awareness as it’s called – can have a positive effect on how we view our body, how we feel about our appearance.  The study showed that people who have stronger brain responses i.e. greater awareness of signals from inside the body (heart beat, rumblings in the gut) have a more positive body image.

Pilates is therefore a useful way of training ourselves to be more aware of what we can feel happening inside the body, which in turn helps us be more comfortable in our own skin and more in tune with our body’s physical and emotional needs.  Fascinating stuff.

The images in this post are of Peter Jansen’s Human Motions Sculptures. Another new discovery this week. Thank you!

To close, Bjork beautifully being herself…