Bar Method, a new exercise system, borrows from Pilates and ballet

Fitness Q & A

Health & Fitness

May 02, 2004|By Gailor Large | Gailor Large,Special to the Sun

I recently visited a friend in Los Angeles who's really into the Bar Method. Are there studios around here where I can take classes?

The Bar Method, a sort of Pilates-ballet combination, is a trend that has caught on in cities from San Francisco to Greenwich, Conn.

Like yoga and Pilates, the Bar Method is great for both flexibility and strength. Many of the exercises are done on a ballet barre, hence the name.

While we don't know of any classes in Baltimore yet, they're sure to appear soon. Can't wait? To get a head start, visit www.barmethod.com and go to the "Exercises" section. There you can familiarize yourself with this hot new practice.

I heard a doctor on TV say to stay away from foods with high glycemic loads. What does that mean, and which foods should I avoid?

Some carbohydrates significantly affect blood-sugar levels. Others don't. Simple sugars and refined flour have high glycemic loads, meaning they are easily digested in the body and cause blood sugar levels to spike, then plummet.

Carbohydrates with lower glycemic loads (like whole grains, beans and fruit) take longer for the body to break down. Blood-sugar levels remain more steady and you feel fuller longer.

So at breakfast stick with All-Bran over corn flakes and, at dessert time, opt for fresh fruit over sugary treats. These small changes will make a world of difference when it comes to your energy level and appetite.

Is it true that pinching your earlobes as an acupressure technique makes food craving disappear?

When it comes to quick fixes, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Yes, acupuncturists often target the ear area when treating smoking and other addictions. But, sadly, pinching your earlobes will not stop cravings any more than wiggling your toes will firm up your abs. While the ears contain pressure points that affect anxiety connected with addiction, pinching the lobes to stop cravings is a myth.

Do you have a fitness question? Write to Fitness, The Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278. You can also fax questions to 410-783-2519 or e-mail fitness@ baltsun.com.

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