On the Ball Pilates Fitness with LIZBETH GARCIA

by Christine Lynn Harvey

Lizbeth Garcia is the new star of Natural Journey’s “On the Ball Pilates for Beginners.” Garcia was always in involved in some kind of movement exercise from taking dance classes when she was younger to aerobics later on. Garcia has been teaching Pilates for the past 6 years. She taught mat classes and when she implemented using a stability ball into her classes, she realized it had a lot more to offer her clients.

A stability ball is also known as a FitBall, fitness ball or a Swiss Ball and more people are using them in their fitness regimes today. So how does a stability ball which is burst-proof and holds up to 700 pounds make a difference? It offers support, conforms to each person’s unique anatomy and provides challenges for diverse workouts. Stability Ball training has its roots in rehabilitation. Physical therapists and doctors have been using fitness balls since the early 1900s. Using a stability ball stimulates the body’s natural motor reflexes and encourages it to act as a connected, integrated unit. It requires the whole body to participate in order to maintain correct posture and balance, flexibility, strength, cardiovascular fitness, coordination and neuromotor training. The stability ball has many benefits. It can be used at home, or when traveling since it is deflatable and lightweight; it can be adapted to all age and fitness levels. It is maintenance-free and is inexpensive compared to other fitness equipment.

What is different about Garcia’s program, as opposed to others on the market is more stability and awareness about the ball for beginners and it creates more challenge for advanced. It increases balance, strength and flexibility. Working with a ball is great for bodybuilders. “Bodybuilders tend to be very short and tight with their muscles,” says Garcia. “The ball helps elongate their muscles to a more eccentric contraction as opposed to concentric shape and maintains strength. The result is taller, longer, leaner posture overall. When competing, it would translate into more even, more graceful movements in the competitive arena. It eases their movement and makes them more fluid on stage.”

As for her own fitness regimen, Garcia does 30 minutes of aerobics a day like surfing, running, stationary bike, elliptical and she teaches aerobics, “even Sunday,” says Garcia. She also does Pilates 15 minutes every day.Garcia uses a whey protein shake in the morning. She is a grazing snacker eating 3-4 hours, consuming almonds, oranges or apples or something else healthy. The rest of her diet consists of salads and lean protein. But she does have her cheat meal every so once and a while. “Every one needs their cheat meal,” she says.

Garcia does meditation when she does yoga. “I enjoy that quieting of the mind,” she says. As for finding something that will keep you healthy and on track with your fitness program Garcia says: “Do something you enjoy. If you have fun with the program, you are more than likely going to revisit the program. Also find people to work out with for comraderie, team support, a family member, even a workout buddy. My surfing and working out in a gym always includes a buddy and it makes it much more enjoyable.”
“I take in the traditional Pilates exercise and include the ball for support to make the workouts more challenging. So it’s more creative and gives you more variety. The program on my DVD gives you more of a upper body and lower body tone.” As for words of encouragement Garcia says: “Believe in yourself. If you believe in it, you can create.”

For more info on the DVD, please visit: www.naturaljourneys.com or call 1-800-737-1825. For more info on Lizbeth Garcia, please visit www.lizbethgarcia.com