The Secret to Staying on the Workout Wagon

I wake up early.  I love hot beverages and even if it’s summertime in Texas I have an aversion to air conditioning! I’m obsessed with dogs and trees. In fact, as a child, I drew the same thing over and over again – a dog walking through a landscape tall green of trees!  I bring this up as a reminder for you to work with what you are. You have built-in preferences, inclinations and personality traits, many of which are non-negotiable. For me, going...

Ellen Barrett Mindful Movement

Always Be Stretching

There are so many subtle things we can do to help ourselves look good, feel great and shine bright, so many action steps we can take for empowered wellness. One that I’ve been borderline obsessed about lately is stretching throughout the day. I think between stress, cold weather, and lots of sitting around, our bodies lose space. Here’s what a lack of space in the body looks like: 1. feeling and looking shorter and stockier, 2. pain when...

Ellen Barrett 2024

Add an Earthquake to the list

A man carrying a long ladder walked between me and my students midway through the very first aerobics class I ever taught at age 18. It was awkward to say the least! Since then, so many unplanned, quirky things have occurred during my classes, from power outages to chipmunks scurrying over people’s bodies while they were lying in shavasana. When I was working for Club Med in the nineties, someone sat down on their mat...

My Two-Cents

There are several health and fitness related questions I get asked repeatedly. Some of them, I’ve been asked about since day one of being a fit pro. Some of them, have popped up only recently. Here they are along with a quick answer:  Is there an energy bar you recommend?I’m not a fan of 99.9percent of them. I try to avoid packaged food, and energy bars are packaged food. However, if I have to pick...

Ellen Barrett

Focus on Function

Did you know there’s a chain of gyms called Fitness For Life? (I think it’s the best name ever…says it all!) Well, fitness is for life, for a good, capable, high quality life. Mud doesn’t stop me from taking my two labrador retrievers on a hike. Sometimes I think it should, as the clean up required post-hike is urgent, physically demanding, a little gross, time consuming, and not fun! At any rate, here’s how it typically goes: I get the...

Book Smarts

I’d like for you to do one of two things: 1. imagine balancing a book on your head, or 2. grab an actual book and place it on your head. If you can, do it right now and then walk around for a minute or two, or go from sitting to standing a couple of times, all while maintaining the position of the book. Notice anything?  What you probably notice is your head is micro-aligning...

Ellen Barrett 2024

What’s “The Best” Workout?

I want to go way back to the day I met Pilates. It was in the mid-nineties and at the time I was fully invested in the workout world, teaching aerobics classes. These classes were all standing, lots of jumping, double knotting sneakers, and moving fast, like a tiger was chasing you. Pilates Mat couldn’t have been more opposite. First off, in Pilates we left our shoes at the door. This was revolutionary to me....

The Most Ignored Beauty Treatment There Ever Was

I just listened to a podcast discussion between a celebrity stylist and a magazine editor. The topic was beauty tips. The entire 90minute show was spent discussing skincare creams and potions, eye masks and exfoliants. Beauty, according to these two women, seems to be all about maintaining youthful skin with products. Look, I like a good serum as much as the next person, and it’s true what they say – hydrated and nourished skin looks and feels...

You’re in Training

‘Tis the season for parent-teacher conferences and while there is a Zoom option, I really like having them the old fashioned way, in-person. It’s nice to sit face to face with each teacher, in each classroom.  The conferences are set up like this: parents are booked for 10minutes with each teacher, and then there’s five minutes between each appointment to travel from classroom to classroom.  We follow the same order as the child does in...

Ellen Barrett Let's Move!

Optimism is Optimal

I bet you have a pessimistic friend or family member. This is a person who tends to think about the worse case scenario, or perhaps they offer a negative comment here and there. Sometimes this person is super funny and pessimism is part of their humor. They crack you up and their words are benign to your psyche. Other times, this person is bad for your health. (Not kidding!) I’ve recently distanced myself from a...