Some of the reasons why we eat when we’re not hungry:


  1. Stress
    1. When under stress the body increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol and this increase your desire to eat. Try to control stress with forms of exercise, particularly outdoor exercise has been shown to reduce levels of stress.
  2. Emotional eating
    1. Eating foods that make you feel good like treats increase serotonin making you feel better, but this is only temporary and then followed with guilt. Try to reward yourself with other activities like pampering or exercise to make yourself feel better and to avoid overeating.
  3. Dehydration
    1. The body feels weak and dizzy when it’s dehydrated leading it to think that it may be hungry. Try drinking a glass of water before you decide to eat anything, this way you’re giving your body a chance to decide whether it really hungry or not.
  4. Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)
    1. Typically, those people with diabetes will suffer from hyperglycaemia but it can also affect people who skip meals or eat highly refined sugar foods which means their blood sugars yo-yo. Try to avoid simple carbohydrates, i.e. sugary foods and choose foods which are going to leave you feeling full for longer. Choose low glycaemic index foods.
  5. The body doesn’t know when it’s full
    1. Leptin helps you regulate your appetite and when your leptin levels rise, it sends signals to your brain that you’re full, so you’ll stop eating. Some people are resistant to the leptin effect, due to being overweight or having poor control over their diet. Try gentle regular exercise to help improve the bodies ability to read leptin signals.

What it means to be a Pilates &/or Yoga Teacher

  • Our hobby, became our passion; which then became our career.

So, despite the fact that we love what we do, it is still work and some days, we feel the same way about going to work as you do. We would much rather curl up with a book on the sofa with a glass of wine and some chocolates or actually ‘attend’ a Pilates or Yoga class for our own pleasure!

  • We go to work when you get home.

Which means that during the day, we are not ‘off’; we are actually doing all the things that you do in the evening.  We are putting the washing on, doing the shopping, ironing and planning for the next evening or day.

  • We never see our partners.

When they walk in, we walk out and many of us work weekends too because we have to be available to work when others are not! We fill the work spaces in the day that are not occupied by the ‘9-5ers’.

  • We struggle to spend quality time with our kids.

We drop them off at school, run around manically either teaching, planning our classes, planning and executing our marketing strategies, keeping our accounts and doing domestic admin or at least, trying to; before collecting children and taking them to after school clubs, dropping them home and going out to teach. And don’t forget weekend work or training courses!

  • It is not ‘ok for us’.

With reference to our bodies, it is not ‘ok for us’ because we are ‘working out all the time’ and can probably ‘eat whatever we want’.  I refer you to point number 1!  We are working, which means that we demonstrate an exercise or a pose, and then spend the time that you are concentrating; making sure that you are in the right position for maximum gain and minimising the risk of injury.  Often we demonstrate on our ‘good’ side so that you can see the best possible example of perfect execution but that means that our ‘less good’ or ‘less strong’ side just gets weaker and eventually, we get injured. And no, we cannot eat whatever we want – we have to eat sensibly just like everyone else. Working in fitness is not a free pass to puddings and cheese.

  • Owning a studio is not as much fun as you think.

As the boss, just like every other business; you have to be the manager, cleaner, data input clerk, marketing executive, mentor, counsellor, sales and tech support; and that’s before and after you’ve taught anything!  And no, we rarely get to ‘play’ on our kit; when the day is done (at 10pm) we just want to go home.

  • Self-employment does not mean freedom.

Being self-employed means that you don’t have 1 boss, you have hundreds!  We have to be available and fit in around the timetables set by our clients, sometimes that means sitting in a car doing paperwork or answering emails because it’s too early to turn up for the next appointment and the last one finished and hour ago. Our classes are also carved into stone on the studio timetable, to change it means re-organising up to 12 individuals.

  • We cannot just go on holiday whenever we want.

Our holidays, cost us double what they cost employed personnel.  Every day that we are not working, is a day’s pay lost.  No holiday pay here!  I can also guarantee that most teachers will be planning sessions either in their heads or in their notebooks while others around them sunbathe and read books.  (Our books by the way usually; have something to do with our discipline too).

  • Off sick?

If we cancel anything, you know that we are pretty much close to death.  We will work through most things because, guess what?  We don’t get sick pay!  Unfortunately, I’ve seen teachers get more and more poorly because they don’t give themselves time to recover and their immune systems become weak, which is why they constantly catch everything (so if you have a cold or feel under the weather, consider others before coming to class).

  • We love what we do and could never do, or be; anything else.

There are lots of difficulties faced by teachers of Yoga & Pilates, but for most us; it’s a calling.  You don’t find many spinning teachers dedicating their lives to the art of indoor cycling, or Aquacise instructors travelling the globe to practise with the gurus of water-based aerobics. You will sometimes find ‘former’ fitness professionals finding ‘conventional’ work in an office or in sales, but Pilates and Yoga Teachers, are ‘lifers’.

Fitt Meditation Course – Find the focus for both you and your clients to achieve those goals for 2016…

With Mind and Body Classes very much in demand on the studio timetable, more and more people are discovering the benefits of slowing down and being aware of both physical and mental wellbeing.  Participants are now far more open to alternative ways to train and looking for new dimensions to bring to their workout.

Fitt Exploring Meditation for Mind and Body Classes One Day Course was originally designed for instructors teaching within the field of Yoga, Pilates and Relaxation, however it has become apparent that many students  attend this course for their own personal development as well learning a skill to help their clients improve focus, concentration and de-stress, therefore a better outcome all round for training achievements.

Fitt Exploring Meditation for Mind and Body Classes


Our very only Fitt head of Pilates Tutoring Marie-Claire’s new book:
This book is the first of what will hopefully be a number of publications focussed on the ‘Opposition Method’.  A method suitable for both enthusiasts and teachers alike in order to create a deeper sense of body awareness and muscle connection whilst allowing for and respecting individuality.

Active IQ Level 4 Certificate in Physical Activity and Lifestyle Strategies for Managing Low Back Pain

This QCF qualification is for those instructors wanting to design and implement exercise programmes for clients with low back pain.
As a pre-requisite for this course, you will need to hold a Level 3 Exercise Referral Qualification.
This course will equip you with the underpinning knowledge and practical skills required to plan, deliver, manage and evaluate a safe, effective and progressive adapted physical activity programme to address the need of clients with low back pain.
During the course, you will cover the following units:
  • Unit 1 – Understanding low back pain and the effects of activity
  • Unit 2 – Progressive exercise programming for clients with low back pain
You will have a variety of assessments to demonstrate knowledge and understanding.
  • Worksheets
  • CaseStudy
  • PracticalObservation
  • SessionandSelf-evaluation
This course includes distance learning

The Importance of Maintaining Industry Standards and the role of Fitt

I am going to start this article with some history. In 1999 Michael King, Malcolm Muirhead and Nuala Coombs created a company called ‘The Pilates Institute’.  They were, at one point; the largest Pilates Training Centre in the City of London.  They had over 1500 teachers go through their programmes.  Then in 2002, they were the first Pilates organisation to work with a national accrediting organisation, called the OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and RSA Examinations) in order to make Pilates a nationally recognised qualification. It was set up to show competence in teaching skillsprofessionalism andresponsibility in the health and fitness Industry.
They recognised the need for standardisation within the industry and actively sought out regulation.
This was an important step in many ways, not just because of the need for standardisation but because in many European countries, you need insurance to be able to teach, and you cannot get that unless you have a nationally accredited qualification.


Also in 2002, the fitness industry saw the launch of The Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs).This is an independent, public register, which recognises the qualifications and expertise of health-enhancing exercise instructors in the UK.  REPs provide a system of regulation for instructors and trainers to ensure that they meet the health and fitness industry’s agreed National Occupational Standards.

It was developed to protect the public from ‘cowboy trainers’ who do not hold appropriate qualifications.  Fitness courses that meet National Standards are allowed to be ‘on the Register’ and teachers/instructors are required to choose their training from the list of recognised providers in order to meet their continuing professional development (CPD) commitments, and stay a member of the register.  Membership of REPs demonstrates to the public that both the instructor/teacher and/or training provider have met the standards as set by the industry.


For Pilates; in 2008, the qualification was upgraded from the lower ‘Level 2 Qualification’ to the higher ‘Level 3 Qualification’ (Advanced Instructor).  All the major Pilates organisations came together at the time and agreed on necessary criteria, as measured by both written and practical assessment.  This process was acknowledged and backed by REP’s, with the register supporting and promoting these training courses.

This government backed accreditation process ensured that no one training provider could overly influence the content of the courses, and with an unbiased assessment process; the only thing that mattered was that people were being trained to teach safe and effective Pilates, AND every other fitness or movement practise.  From Boxercise to Yoga, the world of health and fitness had a governing body, setting and maintaining high standards within a previously unregulated industry.

At the same time as the standardisation of the Pilates industry, Fitt started running fully accreditedcourses for, Skills Active, REPs, ActiveIQ & CYQ:
Exercise to Music, Gym Instructor, Personal Training Diploma, Nutrition, Spinning, Pilates (plus CPD) Yoga (plus CPD) and so on….

This company is run by a team of dedicated fitness professionals with many years experience, of working within the fitness industry.
All the tutors that work for Fitt are experienced and qualified tutors and experts within their own discipline.

Fitt pride themselves on offering quality education that can be used by students to gain work within the fitness industry or start their own businesses. Fitt concentrate on quality and safety, helping our students to become the best they can possibly be, before they go out into the world of fitness and provideexceptional services to the public.

Fitt believe in good quality face-to-face tutoring to help students become the best they can be, in terms of being a fitness professional. The potential return on investment from good quality education and certification has been proven from the many testimonials from our past students, where they have up-skilled or entered the new exciting career pathway of fitness.

Since the dedication of Michael King’s team and many other professionals within different disciplines worked tirelessly to standardise the industry and ensure that training was of an exceptional quality and nationally accredited, there has recently been a resurgence of companies offering training in courses that are not nationally recognised.

This is of great concern to the Fitt Team.
Primarilyinsurance companies these days do not do a background check on the certification that an instructor may present to them on application for insurance.  The mere presence of a certificate is enough in many cases, for the insurance company to offer cover. However, should there be an incident whereby the instructor finds themselves on the end of litigation; they may find that because the course they took was not accredited by a nationally awarding body, they are in fact NOT COVERED.
There are two main elements that a ‘wannabe’ or ‘up-skilling’ instructor or teacher should consider before undertaking a course.
  1. Has your course been accredited by a UK government based accredited agency?  Without this element you are unlikely to be covered by any insurance for which you are paying.  You are also unlikely to get certain jobs, where employers actually DO check your certification. You will also lose your credibility very quickly with members of the public that understand the accreditation system in the UK.


  1. It’s not just about the certificate; it’s about the quality of the training and education that you undertake. You are not just gaining a certificate you are gaining a whole wealth of new knowledge that you can use to improve your professionalism, provide you with more customers, ensure YOU get the next job and help all those clients that are coming to you for advice, training and support. It’s critical that you come away with the best possible foundation of knowledge within your chosen area of study and the Fitt tutors are experts in providing you with real world knowledge and information that you can start using immediately.


There needs to be a determination from all of us, to ensure that the high standards that the professionals before us worked so hard to establish, are not tarnished by this recent rise in online fitness courses, distance learning massage courses with no practical element and DVD’s replacing face-to-face tutoring.  The classroom environment is more than just learning from your tutor, it’s about the sharing of information between students, networking and yes; being able to ask your tutor any question that comes into your head at that moment.
I would like to reiterate, that to be a tutor; you have to be not just an expert in your field, but you need to be a qualified teacher and in many cases, a qualified assessor too. To be a training provider; you need a solid team of dedicated professionals working together both for the benefit of the student and the development of the company.  We need to insure ourselves, our students and our venues.  All our courses are fully accredited and approved by REPs. We need to be ready to show our commitment to the students and our professionalism in managing the business to the National Accrediting Organisation in order to maintain our status as a training provider.  We respect and maintain the highest of standards.

Standing may not be enough to offset the health hazards of sitting for long periods of time

A new study suggests that engaging in low intensity activities such as standing may not be enough to offset the health hazards of sitting for long periods of time. On the bright side, adding two minutes of walking each hour to your routine just might do the trick. These findings were published in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN).
Numerous studies have shown that sitting for extended periods of time each day leads to increased risk for early death, as well as heart disease, diabetes and other health conditions. Considering that 80 percent of people fall short of completing the recommended amount of exercise, 2.5 hours of moderate activity each week, it seems unrealistic to expect that people will replace sitting with even more exercise.
With this in mind, scientists at the University of Utah School of Medicine investigated the health benefits of a more achievable goal, trading sitting for lighter activities for short periods of time. They used observational data from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to examine whether longer durations of low intensity activities (e.g. standing), and light intensity activities (e.g. casual walking, light gardening, cleaning) extends the life span of people who are sedentary for more than half of their waking hours.
They found that there is no benefit to decreasing sitting by two minutes each hour, and adding a corresponding two minutes more of low intensity activities. However, a “trade-off”of sitting for light intensity activities for two minutes each hour was associated with a 33 percent lower risk of dying.
“It was fascinating to see the results because the current national focus is on moderate or vigorous activity. To see that light activity had an association with lower mortality is intriguing,” says lead author Srinivasan Beddhu, M.D., professor of internal medicine.
Beddhu explains that while it’s obvious that it takes energy to exercise, strolling and other light activities use energy, too. Even short walks add up to a lot when repeated many times over the course of a week.
Assuming 16 awake hours each day, two minutes of strolling each hour expends 400 kcal each week. That number approaches the 600 kcal it takes to accomplish the recommended weekly goal of moderate exercise. It is also substantially larger than the 50 kcal needed to complete low intensity activities for two minutes each awake hour over the course of one week.
“Based on these results we would recommend adding two minutes of walking each hour in combination with normal activities, which should include 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week,” says Beddhu.
Moderate exercise strengthens the heart, muscles, and bones, and confers health benefits that low and light intensity activities can’t.
“Exercise is great, but the reality is that the practical amount of vigorous exercise that can be achieved is limited. Our study suggests that even small changes can have a big impact,” says senior author Tom Greene, Ph.D., director of the Study Design and Biostatistics Center at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

Core Focus

The tradition is to do abdominal exercises at the end of a workout which probably equates to about 5 or 10% of your overall workout focus. However Fitt recommend changing this traditional way of working the core and concentrate the other 90 to 95% on working with your centre engaged. You need to focus all of your attention into providing a strong centre in terms of all the exercises that you perform. Consider the anatomy and physiology of the core carefully in terms of the way that it provides a stable foundation for all of your body to move. The muscles and their fibres that make up the walls of the abdomen, the lower back and the mid-back are multi-directional, this allows the body to twist and turn in every angle. In order to train the core effectively we need to concentrate on functional exercises that mirror the body’s everyday challenges. Not only will this approach give us the strength in our centre which then has the ability to radiate outward allowing us to perform better and stronger, but as well this type of training encourages the beautifully flat abdominals that everybody wishes to get, but think that you have to perform 1000 sit-ups in order to achieve.

The art of engaging your centre before you move the rest of your body is one that you’ll have to work hard at to start with, soon the body gets used to it, the engagement and contraction of your inner core will happen subconsciously and before any other part of your body starts to move.

Kettlebells are fantastic for focusing the mind on drawing in on the inner core muscles. Try several basic Kettlebell exercises, like the Kettlebell swing and the clean press. Before you take hold of the Kettlebell draw your bellybutton in and toward your backbone, keep your shoulder blades down and together, and your rib cage pulled in, perform the exercises and focus on feeling the core muscles as they engage. The stability ball is also a fantastic tool that allows you to focus on functional exercises which concentrate the mind into providing a strong centre core with which you can then add strength and power.

The teacher training courses on using Kettlebells, stability ball see

Exercise is better

Big news: Exercise is better than some of the over-the-counter medications for controlling chronic pain. Particularly things like Pilates, strengthening and stretching have been shown to be beneficial when managing all types of chronic pain, like back pain or osteoarthritis. It’s time the health professionals joined forces with the fitness professionals in managing some of these chronic long-term conditions.
Work on the core strength, stretching and watch the posture on your clients, focus on functional fitness.

Fitt level 3 certified Exercise Referral Course

This week is the start of another Fitt level 3 certified Exercise Referral Course. The level 3 Exercise Referral course is a prerequisite for all fitness professionals wanting to develop their skills and move up to level 4 qualifications. Fitt are now seeing a increase in students coming onto the Exercise Referral Course, this is brilliant news and means that our UK-based fitness professionals are continuing to develop, learn and progress in all areas of professionalism.
Fitt believe that the NHS is now starting to take notice of the work that the healthcare professional can offer in providing not just solutions but also prevention in some of our chronic long-term conditions like: obesity, back pain, diabetes, asthma, mental health and many more.
The newly designed NHS now puts the GP indirect control of the healthcare budgets as the CCGs become more effective in budgetary control and service redesign we will see a greater integration between the health professional and the fitness professional and also the use of fitness professionals within the multidisciplinary healthcare teams.