Are You Doing Enough to Stay Healthy? 5 Simple Ways to Boost Your Immune System 

Have you noticed lately that people of all ages are focused on how to stay healthy or should I say how to “Not get Covid-19?” As I scurry out of the door with my two younger children I am constantly repeating,  “Don’t forget your mask.. and don’t forget your hand sanitizer!” We wash our hands obsessively and take preventative measures to “Not get sick.” After I finally got over my fear to go back to the supermarket, the gym and go out to a restaurant again (in that order), I did my research on how we can all boost our immune system. The immune system is the body’s first line of defense against illness. A stronger immune system means there is less of a chance of getting sick. Let’s face it, don’t we all want a stronger immune system to live longer healthier lives? I know I do! There is something liberating about letting go of that which we can’t control and focusing on what we can, our health and vitality. Take a look below to see the following simple methods we can use to boost our immune system. 


A recent study was done by UCSF showing that people that slept less than 6 hours a night were 4 times more likely to catch a cold when exposed to the virus as opposed to people who slept 7 hours or more. Scientists have long known that sleep is an essential part of well-being and now more than ever we need our sleep!


Studies show a direct link between stress and dehydration. High levels of stress can weaken the immune system but proper hydration can actually improve how your body intakes nutrients. Another important aspect of water is that it cleanses your body of toxins. Try drinking a glass of water with lemon in it in the morning. Lemons have high levels of Vitamin C which aids in boosting your immune system and detoxification.


Exercising is my favorite of the list and if you are reading this it may be yours too! The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week to stimulate your immune system. That’s only 30 minutes for 5 days or a 50 minute Mantra class at least 3 days a week. Exercise actually causes change in antibodies and white blood cells. The white blood cells are the body’s immune system cells that fight disease. Who’s ready to work out today?

Healthy Diet

Although this one seems like the most evident to a healthy immune system it also can be the most challenging to maintain. Experts say that the body absorbs it’s vitamins best directly from the source of food; it is important to note what we may not be getting enough of and take vitamins to supplement ourselves. According to Harvard Chan School of Public Health, the nutrients that are critical for essential growth and function of immune cells are as follows, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, zinc, selenium, iron and protein. 

Stress less

Scientists have found that when we are stressed the immune system’s ability to fight off antigens is reduced. So how do we stress less? Everyone has different methods that are effective for them including breathing exercises, meditation, prayer etc. Practicing gratitude daily can also help reduce stress. When we are truly grateful for the things that are going right in our lives it shifts our mind set for a more positive day!

There you have it, 5 simple methods to ensure your immune system stays supercharged! One more thing, don’t leave home without your hand sanitizer and your face mask. Stay healthy and stay positive!

The Many Benefits of Buddy Workouts



Solo workouts often feel like…work. You’re by yourself, earbuds in, and counting down the songs before you’re finally done. Classes can also make you feel awkward or overwhelmed—you don’t know anybody, you have trouble figuring it out, and you’re not even sure you want to come back.

Buddy Workouts are fast replacing solo workouts because working out with a buddy provides motivation, accountability, and, most of all, fun! Studies have shown that being part of a team helps to decrease anxiety and increase your potential for meeting challenges and achieving success. Your endorphins also kick in at a higher rate, too. 

You work out and perk out when you couple up, and here’s why:

  1. FUN. When you look forward to seeing your friend and working out together, you’re going to do it. Keeping it fun keeps it going! When we go it alone, we’re much more likely to find excuses for not maintaining our routine. Buddy-up with a friend who makes you laugh through the sweat and tears, and feel how much more fun a brutal workout can be when done together.
  2. ACCOUNTABILITY. When you want to waver, a good workout buddy has your number. Your buddy will keep you accountable and on track, like a coach, “You can do this!,” or a sponsor, “You can’t do that!,” which is why we want a workout buddy in the first place. When you take advantage of this great buddy system, where you’re giving and receiving, you discover what an amazing gift it truly is. Together you keep each other strong and on the same page, making progress and meeting your goals.
  3. CHALLENGING (EACH OTHER). A dream team works together as a unit, providing encouragement when you need it and kudos for a job well done. The best buddies know when it’s time to kick it up a step and challenge one another towards new and amazing goals. That’s when the fun really happens! Keep the pressure on, strive forward, and journey on to excellence as a team.
  4. MOTIVATION. We’re only human, which means there are times when we feel less than powerful, more like lazy…or sad. A good workout buddy knows better than to make us feel worse—he or she will know how to get us going, inch by inch, even when it seems impossible. Think about the times you’ve been alone and unhappy; then think about being unhappy when you’re with a friend. It never lasts. Let your workout buddy motivate you to act, no matter how small your action may be. Each step matters because you matter. And, like the best relationships, the encouragement and motivation is a two-way street: you encourage and motivate your buddy; your buddy encourages and motivates you.
  5. LONG-TERM COMMITMENT.  The relationship you always dreamed of may be the one that’s best for your body and mind, too. Buddy workouts are built on compatibility, a shared interest in physical fitness, and a commitment to overall health. What’s more, with the right partner you’re less likely to lose interest and quit.

6. REWARD. Workout buddies are constantly rewarded, with fitness, friendship, and a powerful sense of accomplishment. Through thick and thin, sun and rain, and wherever our bodies are at the moment, we feel the rewards of having kept to our programs and achieved our goals. A tight backside is one thing; a tight friendship is everything!

So where do you find this perfect partner? Is there a dating app “All Workout, No Play”? Or Here are some tips for finding the best workout buddy for you:

At the gym: There are tons of people working out alongside you at the gym or fitness center, and you see them every time you’re there. If they seem interested in the same equipment or share the same style of workout, be brave and strike up a conversation to see if you’re a match. You could also check with the trainer on site to see if there are members looking for workout buddies, because chances are good there are.

Classes: When you’re enrolled in a class, it’s a safe bet that the people there also enjoy Pilates, yoga, spin—whichever activity you’re already doing. For example, all classes at Mantra are great buddy workouts because it’s tough but also fun to share the burn and results as a team. Buddy-up for future classes together and before you know it you’re a workout duo!

Friends: You know who your friends are, so if you throw out a massive invite to work out the next day, don’t be surprised if only one or two agree to Lagree with you. It’s not personal; it’s who they are. Best to leave your bestie at home with her selfies and connect with a buddy who really wants the workout you do. Friends may still come around, but a workout buddy is in it for the long haul.

Online sites: There are workout sites available, but use caution when seeking out a buddy you’ve never met. Make sure any apps you use are pre-screened (check ratings) and offer details. If you don’t feel comfortable, honor your instincts and take a pass.

Colleagues: Mixing work with working out can be great or a total bust. Nothing is worse than having to see someone every day after a workout buddy disaster. Like any good office romance that hits the skids, it’s hard to share the microwave, let alone a boardroom, without misery. Think hard before entering this zone—your friends you can forgive because they love you; your boss, well, that’s another story.

Keep in mind that a workout buddy is for working out. Make sure you share the same interests and goals for achieving a healthy, positive, and successful workout experience. Your workout buddy doesn’t have to be your closest girlfriend but someone who respects your time and is equally dedicated to making it work. 

Of course, if that is your BFF, then go for it! Nothing beats hanging out with your bestie, unless, of course, you’re both getting fit at the same time! 

BUDDY-UP MANTRA STYLE!!! Our 30-Day Buddy Challenge kicks off January 15 and runs through February 14. Take 24 classes with your buddy and you both win our specially designed Mantra tank! You’ll also be entered to win a free month of classes, along with other fabulous prizes. Bring your sweetheart and get in shape, just in time for Valentine’s Day!!!


Megastar Makes the Cut at Mantra Grand Opening!

It’s ribbon cutting time at Mantra Fitness OC, and we’re so excited to welcome world-famous fitness founder Sebastien Lagree to our Grand Opening next month!! The legendary Lagree—who transformed the fitness industry with his Megaformer machine and Lagree Method of training—will share in the festivities and bring his own brand of health and wellness through tips, how-to’s, and special class activities. This amazing event will underscore why this French-American fitness phenom is the real deal: he understands body mechanics firsthand—what works and what won’t. ​

Too Much Too Soon 

Lagree has spent decades devoted to fitness and wellbeing, and is passionate about sharing the experience—both good and bad. An early start as a body builder quickly escalated into a nightmare, with an unhealthy obsession for exercise that dominated his life. Looking back, he realizes he spent his 20s over-exercising, strict dieting, and engaging in a hyper-regimented schedule, which included working out 40 hours a week, countless step-aerobics classes monthly, and hitting the gym three times per day. “My life was regimented from 5:30 AM until midnight,” Lagree says. “I was obsessed with bodybuilding and getting to the next repetition.” Not only was this lifestyle hard on his body, he was missing out on life: “It becomes unhealthy when you stop going out…when you start to analyze everything you do (and eat); that’s when you’re going too far.” Lagree’s intense training resulted in struggles with insomnia, overworked muscles, and back spasms. When an X-ray at his doctor’s office revealed the onset of a crossed spine from overexertion, Lagree stepped back and re-evaluated his life. “I started to rest and then I went to a nutritionist and he told me I needed to eat fat,” Lagree recalls, pointing to a dangerously lean diet which was compounding his poor health. “There was no fat in my system.” It was a wake-up call. 

The Key to Lagree 

The Lagree Method is a 50-minute combination resistance and cardio workout, focused on tightening, strengthening, and toning the body, with form and balance in mind. Spring-based equipment (the Megaformer) allows for training tailored to your range, which is a critical component to achieving results without injury. Using resistance in sequence, spaced with periods of zero gravity at peak muscle contraction, flexibility and strengthening occurs, along with natural muscle elongation. Often dubbed “the next evolution in physical fitness,” the Lagree Method’s innovative approach accomplishes maximum full-body conditioning at a low risk in a short amount of time. 


elongated muscles 
enhanced postural alignment 
increased mobility 
restoration of the body’s natural balance 
improved posture 

In addition, the Lagree Method has been shown to burn more calories by triggering the “post-cardio effect,” which results in a higher continuous rate of calories burned, making the Lagree Method the workout that keeps working! 

​​The Lagree Legacy 

Two decades later, with some 300 Lagree-licensed fitness studios across the globe, Lagree currently holds 66 patents in the science and technology field of fitness. The CEO/Founder/Inventor has recently become a filmmaker, too, presenting his documentary “The Future of Fitness,” which examines first-hand accounts of health and fitness throughout our nation. Next up, a new core-burning Supra 2.0 he’s developing…and more and more. For Lagree, it’s a world of updating, tweaking, refining, and finding ways to enhance his machines, aiming always for a “smart, efficient, smooth workout for the user.” Users are clearly happy, too, and their numbers reflect that—the Lagree Method continues to be one of the fastest growing fitness workouts in the industry. From celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Nicole Kidman, and Sofia Vergara, to countless clients worldwide—including the amazing OC Pilates bodies of our own community—we at Mantra OC embrace our hardcore workouts! What Joseph Pilates founded nearly 100 years ago, Sebastien Lagree has evolved into the perfect workout for our time. Thanks to Lagree’s vitality, vision, and his continued commitment towards innovative health and fitness, we can all benefit from the lasting legacy of Lagree. 

Meet the Man behind the Machine at Mantra OC!! Grand Opening Sept. 7, 10 AM-1 PM. Fitness Founder Sebastien Lagree joins our special event…attend a class, raffles, prizes, giveaways, braid bar, live DJ, and more…Mark your calendars; see you at Mantra!

Summer Sweat: Feeling Confident in Your Swimsuit

Summer is here and it’s time to shine like the sun! Everyone has a beach body but many still struggle with being able to rock it. Mantra Fitness has put together a few tips to help overcome those insecurities and boost your confidence about enjoying the summer sun.

We love the phrase, “Everyone has a bikini body. You simply put on a bikini and get your booty out in the sun.” There is no need to go to extremes—like crash dieting, juicing, or dehydrating your body—to rock a summer swimsuit. There is freedom to eat, be the weight you are currently at, and have a few extra cocktails. Summer is made to enjoy long days with good company, not stress about what others think of you.

We understand it’s easier said than done. A swimsuit is half the amount of clothing you normally wear and you’re wearing it in front of an audience. That is why we have created these tips to help you strip and feel incredible in your swimsuit.

There is a whole lot of skin showing when you’re in a swimsuit, and using an exfoliant will help it to look bright and glowy. Use a gentle sugar or salt exfoliant in the shower and follow it up with a good moisturizer when you get out. This will get rid of any dry patches and make your skin look hydrated!​

Mirror Talk
This may sound a little odd, but telling yourself you look incredible will train your brain to believe it. Each day as you are getting ready for the day look in the mirror and give yourself three compliments. Say things like, “I am smart! I am stunning! I am perfect the way I was created! I look amazing in a swimsuit! I can do anything I put my mind to!” Get creative and speak what you need to hear. Do it every day of summer and you’ll be shocked at who you become in three months!


It’s NOT One Trend Fits All
String bikinis are not for everyone. Check out different brands and find the one you feel fits well. It may take going to several different stores to find YOUR suit. When you find the one that flatters you most, you confidence meter will go up.

Become Bronzed
We’re not talking about going and frying in the sun or even hitting the tanning beds. A spray tanis a lot safer for your skin and full of vitamins your skin needs. A darker color can make your muscles appear more toned and improve the appearance of cellulite (if you have any!).

Eat Good to Feel Good
Choose foods that will give you energy throughout the day. Delicious summer fruits and vegetables are in season and cheap at your local grocery store. Make good choices: Leafy greens are healthy vegetables that are anti bloating, keep your stomach flat, and help you feel full. Instead of potato chips or cookies, substitute a fresh peach or a summer salad. Eating good equals feeling good!

Get a Good Sweat Session in
Mantra offers classes every day of the week, morning and evening. Our form of Pilates, Lagree, is designed to burn calories while toning muscle with low impact, targeted exercises. In just a few sessions you’ll see results: your arms get toned, your tummy tightens, and your legs become lean. Check out the studio near you for our schedule and find class times that work best for you.

Fix Your Posture
Even toned girls don’t feel their best hunched over. Work on pulling your shoulders back and stop worrying about sucking in your stomach. When you stand tall you look lean and confident. While at Mantra focus on building your back muscles to assist in having great posture. Ask your instructor to let you know when you are doing an exercise that focuses on back muscles and key in.

To all girls with butts, boobs, hips, and a waist, I say, Put on a bikini, put it on and stay strong!
– Jennifer Love Hewitt

The Guide to Summer Self-Care

5 ways to keep your self-care sizzling

School’s out for summer! You know what that means: the kids are home and your self-care routine tends to fall by the wayside. Don’t let the rising temps and the kiddos’ new schedule affect your commitment to put yourself first. Instead, work in quick and easy self-care rituals that keep your routine on track and enhance those long, sunshine-filled days.


I don’t know about you, but this time of year I seem to never drink enough water. Between pool days, BBQ’s and late-night slumber parties, hydrating never seems to be top of mind. The thing that always keeps me going back for more water is to add a little flavor! Each morning, “spice” up your water with fresh fruit, herbs, or oils! Fill a carafe or glass water bottle with filtered water, followed by the juice of half a lemon and four mint leaves. Keep it in the fridge for a cool, refreshing treat every time you visit the kitchen.

SPF & Body Oil

Sun’s out, SPF on! Even on a cloudy day, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV rays can pass through clouds (according to the SCF), so make sure you’re never without protection this summer. My daily SPF ritual is made easy when it’s done first thing. After your morning shower, combine your favorite reef safe SPF with your body oil! Apply to damp skin and make sure to blend thoroughly. Not only will you protect your skin from further damage but you’ll have hydrated skin, too!

Peppermint Oil
Can’t seem to beat the heat? I find when I am outside all day, hiking, gardening, or even playing at the beach, my body sometimes has difficulty cooling down. Take a few drops of peppermint oil and apply to the nape of the neck, just below the hairline. Doing so will help to cool your central nervous system, making it easier to withstand high temperatures and sweltering humidity.

Farmers Market
Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of seasonal produce! Visit your local farmers market to taste the bounty of summer, try vine-ripened tomatoes, melons, stone fruit, fresh herbs, beets, cherries, corn, and peppers. Bring your reusable bag and stock up on the flavors of summer! Added bonus: Buy tomatoes in bulk and try preserving the season! Enjoy pizza and pasta sauce all year long with this canning recipe.

Try something new
Take that class you’ve been wanting to try, enjoy a hike on a new trail, take your summer read to the hammock, or meditate outdoors! Increasing your opportunity to soak up vitamin D has a positive impact on your mental and physical health. Take happy hour to the beach (my favorite recipe below from Shut the Fig Up) or enjoy a walk with that neighbor you’d like to know better. Either way, it’s the perfect season to get out there and try something you’ve never done before.

Hibiscus Booch Paloma
Yields one serving:⁣
2oz freshly squeezed grapefruit juice⁣
2oz Power Flower hibiscus Brew Dr. Kombucha ⁣
1oz   tequila⁣
Juice of 1 lime⁣
Optional sweetener: 1 tsp organic agave or monk fruit sugar
Pour in a salted-rim glass over ice & stir. Garnish with fresh grapefruit & lime!
Recipe by Manta Fitness Ambassador Jessica Schnitzer of @shutthefigup

Looking to try something new this summer? Jessica Schnitzer of Shut The Fig Up and I are hosting a 4 day, 3-night retreat to Baja California August 2-5th! Enjoy round-trip transportation, organic, plant-based meals, nightly happy hours, horseback riding in the Baja hills, daily yoga, reiki healing, meditation workshops, and self-care tools to bring home with you. Click here to learn more and reserve your space!Mention your Mantra Fitness membership and receive $100 off your reservation! Book by June 30th, 2019.

Blogger Bio:
Grace Blacksea is a Southern California based blogger and social media expert. She is the boss lady behind the social space, Quench (@quench-collective). Her wellness-based brand provides tools for intentional living. With a strong passion for collaboration, Grace works with like-minded women and brands to showcase knowledge of self-care, mindfulness + productivity. When she’s not inspiring others, you can find her enjoying the great outdoors with her husband and pup, sharing a bottle of (organic) wine with friends, or in the kitchen trying out new recipes to nourish her family.

Meet Mark McDevitt – Why Men Should Mega at Mantra!

1.How did you hear about Mantra? I had jogged by the studio many, many times on my daily runs/jogs … But things really changed when I met Danielle and Christina at a pop-up event at the Siesta Key Mother’s Day Race.

2.How long have you been coming to Mantra? 13 months
3. What were the reasons you chose to start coming here? I’ve always done a lot of cardio, but was looking for BETTER BALANCE and improved flexibility, stretching/lengthening, and a stronger core. 

4.What are the changes you’ve noticed mentally and physically since coming to Mantra? I feel better post workout, a stronger core and faster race times, not to mention an improvement in my overall level of PATIENCE, because Mantra has forced me to go SLOW. 

5. What was your fitness goal when you came to Mantra? I was looking for better BALANCE to my workouts and overall fitness routine. 

6. Have you reached that goal? Yes and no: I have more flexibility and a much stronger core, but I want to keep getting stronger. 

7. What methods of working out did you do before you came to Mantra? Running, Elliptical/Stairmaster/Bike, Orange Theory

8. What inspires you to come every day? A guarantee of being pushed and challenged.

9. What are your favorite things about Mantra? No two classes are the same! Great trainers/coaches and a fun atmosphere.

10. What’s your favorite mega move? My favorite moves are a Reverse Bear off the back of the machine, Nighthawk (best oblique move), and I “love to hate” the leg straps …. they “hurt so good.” 

11. What advice would you give to new clients who are just starting their journey at Mantra? Do what you can do, modify where you need to, and don’t give up: you will be surprised that you can push yourself further and harder. After all, you can do anything for 30 seconds to one minute! Keep coming back …. you will LOVE the results!!!

We recently interviewed Mark on our Instagram Channel. To watch Mark’s LIVE interview click below…

Benefits of Cryotherapy


Cryotherapy (cold therapy) is the process of immersing the whole body or target areas to just-above-freezing temperatures. Invented by Dr. Toshima Yamauchi in 1978, cryotherapy was originally used to treat pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, but has since evolved into a global sensation—literally—with fans of freezing therapies worldwide.

Why the Big Chill?

The benefits of cryotherapy range from pain management to giving our metabolism boost—great for athletes as well as aging or compromised immune systems. Patients can opt for a cryosauna, where they are encased from the shoulders down, or stroll through a walk-in cryochamber. In both cases the body is immersed in close-to-freezing temps for three minutes (the standard length of time), after which some amazing things happen:

Why Ice is Nice
Pain Management: 
Cryotherapy is known for pain management and helping cortisol levels decrease. The cold treatment reduces skin temps and, when administered often enough, can actually reduce the body’s core temp slightly. Athletes love the freeze to treat injuries by reducing inflammation and swelling and to effectively address short-term pain management.

Metabolism Boost: Because your body temp drops after just one session, your metabolism kick-starts to raise core temps, burning calories faster. Not just right after but going forward—it’s really a perfect re-boot if you’re looking to shed a few pounds quickly.

Endorphin Activator: This could be where the phrase “just chill” came from. Cryotherapy can assist in releasing endorphins—our positive mood responders—acting like an anti-depressant in some cases. 

Youthful Glow: Cool temps do wonders for our complexion, stimulating an increase in collagen production, which helps fight wrinkles and boosts regeneration at a cellular level. Skin feels tighter, youthful flow and glow enhanced—we look and feel brighter!

Brain Power: A blast of icy temps clears out cobwebs fast by increasing oxygen levels linked to our cognitive abilities: focus is restored; we concentrate better and improve clarity.

Body Power: Cryotherapy has been linked to increased energy levels, helping us recover from injuries and improving levels of fatigue. When blood flow is increased through vasodilation, high blood pressure decreases, muscles are rested, and healing is improved.

Insomnia: Advocates of a good night’s rest point to cryotherapy for helping with insomnia and troubled sleep patterns by increasing the melatonin production that promotes sleep. We rest better, and better sleep also enables us to fight off sickness by keeping our immune systems healthy and running smoothly.

Overall Boost: As part of our physical maintenance strategy, cryotherapy enhances our fatigue fighters by helping us to sustain work levels overall. Improved mental and physical health creates greater potential for achievement in all of our activities, benefiting our immune systems, too.

With any new treatment it’s important to research companies and find the one that feels best to you and fits your goals. Also, get medical input from your doctor if you feel at risk with any procedure. For those of you ready to take the plunge, you’ll be in great company—cryotherapy is spreading quickly as the positive results pour in. Freeze? Please!!

Summer sun and Mantra fun! Come join one of our sizzling sessions or sign up booty camp-style for beach body perfection. Pilates Reformer, intense class Megaformer—we’ve got you covered. Check us out in Tampa, Sarasota, and OC Mantra studios. Save on season specials and ab-fab offers on memberships now!

Mantra Through Every Season of Life, Even Pregnancy

Member Highlight:

Allison is worthy of the spotlight. She is a mom, wife, and all around super hero woman. She is here to give all you moms and moms to be her first hand experience of doing Lagree at Mantra Fitness before, during, and after pregnancy. 

When did you start working out at Mantra Fitness? What drew you to the studio?
I started working out at Mantra in Tampawhen it opened four years ago. I had done
traditional mat and reformer pilates for years but was looking for something different and more challenging, which I have definitely found at Mantra!

How long into working out did you get pregnant? Is this your first pregnancy?
I’ve had two Mantra babies: a two and a half year old and seven month old! I got
pregnant with my first baby about two years after I started at Mantra and then again last year. I worked out at Mantra throughout both pregnancies.

What benefits did you notice in your body from doing lagree? Better sleep? Easy labor? Less bloating? Etc.
I think exercising in general helped with my nausea. I also felt really strong during both
of my pregnancies and always felt in control of my body and my balance. In fact, my
legs and arms got stronger as my pregnancies progressed because of the additional
bodyweight I was supporting during my workouts. I think lagree contributed to an easier
pregnancy and recovery.

How was the Megaformer helpful in exercising while pregnant? What was your favorite exercise?
The ability to modify exercises on the reformer and the low impact workout made it
possible for me to continue to exercise throughout my pregnancies. My favorite
exercises while pregnant were wheelbarrow and spider kicks (and bear was the death
of me!).

What was it like bouncing back postpartum? 
Pregnancy isn’t easy and my body has definitely changed. I’m not sure if I’ve “bounced
back” and maybe I’ll never get back to my pre-pregnancy self, but I’m ok with that. I will
always look for ways to get stronger and hope that my dedication to exercise and health reflects positively on my children.

How did the ladies of Mantra Fitness help in your journey?
The instructors are knowledgeable and supportive and helped me come up with
different modifications throughout my pregnancies. It’s easy to get frustrated with
yourself when you can no longer do certain exercises but the environment at Mantra was so encouraging that I did not feel out of place even at 9 months pregnant!

Tips for future moms that helped you during your pregnancy.
Don’t feel like you need to keep up with the class or even with your pre-pregnancy self. Your body changes every single day and its ok to modify exercises or miss a class when you’re tired. Do what feels best for you. I’ve made the mistake of rushing back
into exercise too soon after having a baby, so my advice would be to take it easy – the
exercise or class will always be there when you are ready.

Simple Self-Care Ideas for Busy Moms

As Moms we’re busier than ever these days—working, planning, managing, and schlepping kids and jobs and errands and family. Where do we find a moment to ourselves…and what do we do when we get one??

Self-care is critical for everyone but especially for those who nurture others full time, like Moms. For Mother’s Day here’s a gift: simple and smart self-care ideas that will relax and restore us throughout the day:

BREATHE, REGROUP. Every day offers challenges, and some moments are worse than others. Before a stressful situation (interview, presentation, parent-teacher conference, etc.), take a couple of minutes to center yourself with deep-breathing exercises. Studies have shown that inhaling and exhaling, slowly and mindfully, can re-set and reduce stress levels through oxygen intake and focused activity. If you get more time, 30 minutes of meditation helps clear the chaos, too. The main thing is to stop and re-group. Deep-breathing, relaxing, slowing your pulse and your pace will work wonders. What’s more, a clear mind leads to better decision-making because you’re coming from a calmer, more positive place.

JUST MOVE IT. Physical activity is by far the best de-stressor there is, so when you can’t get to the gym, your five-mile run, or your Pilates class, just move it! Self-care is all about finding those moments throughout the day to make the most of what have, when you can. If that means walking to the store or, at least, parking a good distance away so you get a nice trek in, do it. Your brain and your body work together—a maxed-out mind needs movement so much more than a martini. Have the cocktail after.​SWEET DREAMS. Get enough sleep and the world is wonderful…right? Most of us don’t get adequate rest at night, and the lack of a good night’s sleep can negatively impact the next day. Figuring out the best time to get to bed means listening to your body and not pushing yourself past the point of exhaustion by trying to get every little thing done. A solid 7 to 9 hours of sleep is ideal, and putting yourself into a bedtime routine around the same time each night will set up an internal clock for your body—and your brain. That’s right, your brain needs rest, too, so put your phone away and get some zzzzzz’s 

TREAT YOURSELF. Treating yourself like the goddess you are and making room for those moments that mean something to you—that’s the essence of self-care. If there’s a fragrance you like, a meal that’s special, or a Netflix you’re all over, treat yourself! The incredible truth is that the happier you are as a Mom, the happier people will feel around you. If you’re always doing for others and not yourself, you’re not playing the game right—and you’ll never win.

​UNPLUG DAILY. We spend an inordinate amount of time on our phones and tablets every day, so it’s crucial to have quality, no-tech time with loved ones, and, even more importantly, with ourselves. The world is a beautiful place, best experienced live and connecting with it! Gardening, roaming, strolling by the sea—nature is the ultimate playground and not that difficult to find. Doing a creative activity like art or playing music also feeds your soul and guides your spirit to a happy place—it just does!

MIND OVER MUTTER. This could be the most significant aspect of self-care: how you talk to yourself. Do you take a negative approach to most things? Are you comparing yourself to others? Are you trying too hard to be perfect or have your kids be perfect? Are you saying kind and respectful things…to yourself??

When we are too hard on ourselves the message we send—and receive—is counter-productive. We don’t work faster or look better or are any more successful at an activity if we’re not enjoying our lives. In fact, all that negative self-talk creates more conflict, adding challenges we don’t need. How we feel about ourselves is in direct proportion to how we care about ourselves. What we think matters. Self-care is not a selfish luxury but a true reflection of our own value…and we’re worth it.

Being a Mom is rewarding, frightening, challenging, entertaining…work and more work. We never stop. We never want to! But taking time for ourselves where we can is critical to our physical and mental health. Motherhood is a crazy, amazing journey, and we need to remember ourselves the way we remember everything and everybody else, like other people’s birthdays and how much detergent to use, where the stapler went, the last time the dog got a bath, which kid is allergic to what… 

Happy Mother’s Day to all the busy, amazing Moms everywhere….and, don’t forget: self-care!!!

MANTRA LOVES MOMS! That’s right, head into one of our studios for Mother’s Day specials….Feel the burn you love with Pilates and Lagree. Sign up and we’ll see you at one of our Tampa, Sarasota, and Orange County Mantra Fitness locations, where super self-care starts with sizzling classes for busy Moms. Love you Moms!!

How to Hydrate Right and Age Less – the Real Dirt on Hydration

With warmer months ahead, it’s easy to remember to hydrate…because we’re HOT!! What we might forget for the rest of the year is just how crucial proper hydration is to our overall body function and skin care regimen. Simply put, dehydration ages you faster than hydration will.

But it’s not enough to just drink tons of water throughout the day (though that’s a great start), you have to make sure you are combining H20 intake with proper minerals and vitamins for maximum absorption.
​According to Dr. Stacey Shillington, MD, being well-hydrated on a cellular basis is key:
“If your mineral balance is off, chances are the water you drink gets eliminated almost immediately without going where it really needs to go: the cells of your body. Your cells remain dehydrated and filled with toxins.”

Shillington and other medical experts point to trace minerals as being critical in maximum hydration, benefiting your body at its basic, cellular level, where you will see and feel results.

But what are those “trace minerals” everyone keeps talking about? And where can I get them??

Rocks of Ages
Minerals are inorganic substances you’ll find in non-living environments, like water, rocks, or soil. Vitamins are considered organic compounds made by living organisms, such as plants and animals. The difference is that vitamins are great for helping your body run smoothly, but not all minerals are. The best minerals for overall health—and to help keep you hydrated and functioning—are these rock stars:

The Nine Fine Rock Stars of Trace Minerals:

  1. Zinc: Helps promote strong immune system and support normal growth and development. Also helps with your sense of smell and vision. Food sources: meat, beans, whole grains, spinach, or zinc supplements
  2. Iron: Vital for healthy blood, iron helps your red blood cells function and carry oxygen throughout your body, also assisting in removing the carbon dioxide. When you’re iron deficient you run the risk of getting anemia—not good. Food sources: red meat, egg yolks, spinach, artichokes, dried fruit. Supplements work.
  3. Copper: Helps us produce connective tissues and healthy bones, along with absorbing iron into our bodies. Deficiencies can lead to osteoporosis and other joint issues. Careful…too much copper can be poisonous, so limit your intake to 2 mg a day. Food sources: shellfish (lobster, crabs, oysters), and plants like kale and avocado, nuts, and seeds. Supplements that contain copper are perfect.
  4. Iodine: Helps promote healthy thyroid function and regulating growth and metabolism. Combined with potassium, iodine helps support your thyroid health. Too much or too little iodine can lead to hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism, conditions that need to be monitored. Food sources: seafood and seaweed, potatoes, eggs, and milk.
  5. Selenium: For your heart. This anti-oxidant works to help ensure a healthy immune system and calibrates with the Vitamin E in your body. Food sources include cereals, meats, fish, and dairy, as well as legumes, fruits, vegetables, Brazil nuts. Supplements are good.
  6. Manganese: Supports our enzyme functions and helps our bodies absorb nutrients by also breaking down carbs and cholesterol. We need manganese for strong bones and joints. Food sources: spinach, kale, black tea, beans, seafood, whole wheat bread. Supplements work.
  7. Chromium: Helps regulate blood sugar levels and insulin. Food sources include broccoli, Brewer’s yeast, molasses, barley and oats, along with meat. Supplements work.
  8. Fluoride: The body needs small amounts to promote our bone formation along with strong teeth. It may or may not be part of your water system, but you will get fluoride in most toothpastes. 
  9. Molybdenum: For normal growth and development, molybdenum helps with enzymes in our bodies that break down proteins. Food sources: dairy, beans and legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, cereals, and nuts. You can also take a liquid supplement.​  

As with any new addition to your dietary routine, read labels carefully and follow dosing instructions. For all supplements (vitamins) you’ll take in combination with y
RESTORE & REFRESH Mantra style at one of our fitness studios this spring: Sarasota, Tampa, Orange County. We’ll get your Pilates bodies in shape for summer! Class specials and membership events are happening all season long.

Catch & Match this wave: Our nonprofit last month was the Surfrider Mantra will match all client donations through the end of this week to support this amazing organization. Hang Ten and Drop 100…or more!our trace minerals, the same rules apply.

Just think, all this time we’ve been drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day without fully reaping the rewards. Cheers to a better understanding of our bodies and what they need to keep us looking and feeling our best. Vitamins and minerals and water, rock on!!