Blog Archives

The Pilates Magic Ring

The Magic Ring is a portable piece of core exercise equipment invented by Joseph PILATES RING HORZPilates, the creator of the Pilates method of exercise.  Here are 10  important reasons that the Magic Ring used by Pilates practitioners, and anyone who wants a quick and easy way to get strong.

  1. Take it with you on vacation.
  2. Take it to a friend’s house, and practice together.
  3. The ring is very light, and will fit in a suitcase, or carry bag.
  4. The ring is easy to use.  Just squeeze and release while holding the handles.
  5. The ring builds arm, hip, thigh, abs, and back muscles.
  6. The results are powerful.
  7. The ring is affordable.  Prices range from $15.00 and up to around $49.00.
  8. Rings come in 3 resistance levels: light for beginners, medium for intermediate workouts, and strong for an advanced workout.
  9. The ring can be combined with both large and small Pilates equipment, to create more challenging workouts.
  10. The ring is versatile.  Use it in standing, seated, side lying, prone, and supine exercises.

IRENE PORTRAIT picassa blue borderIrene Pastore is a native New Yorker, health and fitness blogger, and personal trainer. Irene owns this website, and writes all the blog posts. For her complete bio, visit the About Page.

Copyright 2016 Irene Pastore and Tour De

Everyday Athletes

You’re not the athletic type. You never went out for high school sports, don’t carry a tennis racquet, or Yoga mat. You may be under 35, or over 50.  Weight rooms are not your thing, nor trampolines, or swinging a baseball bat.   But yet, you qualify for the title “Everyday Athlete”.  How is that?

You may need to rush to a meeting in a snowstorm, or hop over urban puddles on your way to catch a taxi.  You may be carrying a cord of wood to fire up your wood burning stove.  The activities of daily living, we take for granted, require strength, agility, fortitude, and stamina.  Congratulations, you’ve earned the title, “Everyday Athlete”.


– Stays slim.  Knows that gluttony isn’t cool.

– Climbs stairs at work, instead of taking the elevator.

– Abides by the less driving rule.

– Rides a bicycle, or walks to work.

– Grabs an umbrella, and strides through the rain.

– Unafraid to slog through snow.

– Stays strong through blustery winds.

– Tackles tire changing, and wiping down a snowy windshield.


The Everyday Athlete knows the importance of strengthening the core muscles.  That’s why they can fly over puddles, tackle snowstorms, zip up a flight of stairs, and never shrink from life’s difficult moments.  



Copyright Irene Pastore and Tour de Core Personal Training






Core Exercise For Equestrians

Back Strengthening Exercise

With the exception of a few urban areas, we live in a country that encourages sitting, because our towns and cities are planned around the automobile.

We sit at the computer, in front of the TV,  on the job, at the movies, dining out, and commuting to work.  .

Hamstring Stretch

In many cities and towns, sidewalks are inadequate for pedestrians,  making the car an absolute necessity, even for short, walkable errands.

Prolonged sitting weakens our muscles, makes us lethargic, creates a weak core, which in turn, develops poor posture. Medical doctors consider sitting to be the new smoking.

Do you have a job where you’re sitting most of the day?   Do you have chronic low back pain?  Does your neck feel stiff?  Are your muscles so sore you can’t sit down? Is the time spent riding your horse not as enjoyable as you’d like it to be?

Targeted exercise provides solutions to remedy these problems.


Yoga Warrior 2 Hip Stretch

The muscles of the abs, back, pelvis and hips, make up the core. Strengthening these muscles is important, because the core stabilizes the spine, and  protects it from injury,

While you’re moving, the core controls the position and motion of the torso over the pelvis.  A strong core improves sports performance, and maintains healthy posture.


Pilates Ab Exercise

Targeted exercise provides solutions to help you get rid of muscular tension, and weakness, develop better posture on and off the horse, and makes riding more effective.


Pilates Mat and Reformer exercises are designed to make your core muscles strong.

If you’re not inclined towards Pilates, no worries, you can opt in to a fitness-based core exercise routine, using specialized core equipment to get the job done.  Core exercises can also be performed without any equipment.


If you’re a Yoga fan, there are many poses that will strengthen your core muscles, stretch your Psoas, Back, and Hamstrings.

As you can see, there are many ways to stretch and strengthen your muscles.  Here are a few suggestions.

Stretch the Psoas Muscle because this inner hip muscle tightens up when you do alot of sitting.   Stretch your Back to release tension in tight muscles.

Yoga Back Stretch

The Hamstrings are the muscles of the posterior thigh.  Theses muscles tighten up from excessive sitting.  If you frequently do stair climbing, or cycling ,you should be stretching your Hamstrings on a regular basis.

Strengthen ;your Back and Abdominal Muscles, because these muscles work as a team to keep your posture healthy, and your spine well-supported.

Copyright 2015 Irene Pastore and Tour De Core Personal Training 


The Lunge Stretch For Tight Hips

Stretching 101

Basic Hamstring Stretches








Yoga Improves Senior Balance


There are many types of Yoga poses: standing, seated, twists, balancing, lying on your back, abdomen or side.

Balancing poses may be done while standing, seated, or on your hands.

Yoga can strengthen overall, and deep core muscles that are important for maintaining good balance.

If you’re over 55 and would like to learn a beginner level standing balancing pose, consider the Tree Pose a good choice.  The pose can be modified to suit individual ability.


Set up the pose as shown in the photograph above.

Stand on your right foot for 10 to 30 seconds.  Repeat on your left foot.

If you’ve never balanced on one foot, it might be difficult at first.  Just keep practicing, and don’t overdo it.

It’s traditional to do Yoga barefoot.  However, if you feel more comfortable wearing shoes, that’s fine, as long as the soles are non-skid.

Practice the Tree Pose on a non-slippery floor.  If you want to invest in equipment, purchase a sticky mat.  Go barefoot while using a mat. Socks can bunch up on a sticky mat, and cause you to trip.


Use A Wall For Support

Stand facing a wall.  Place both hands on the wall for support, instead of having your hands in front of you. Hands are shoulder width apart.

Use A Lower Foot Position

Place your foot on the lower part of your leg, instead of higher up.

Copyright 2013 Irene Pastore and Blue Moon Personal Training

Falling Down An Escalator Isn’t Funny


A Stay In The Hospital Is No Joy Ride

Anyone can lose their balance, fall, and injure themselves. Muscular weakness in older adults makes them especially vulnerable to hip fractures, and head trauma from falls. Those who keep their muscles strong and flexible, know that frailty isn’t inevitable with aging.

All Fours Balance Exercise

Brain injuries account for half of all injuries from falls, according to a 2005 study from the Centers For Disease Control. Read the rest of this entry