December 24, 2010 The Unbiased Writer

Founded in 2008, KINECTED, is owned and operated by medical doctors and provides New Yorkers with a full-service Pilates and GYROTONIC® studio specializing in injury care and prevention. Located in Chelsea, the studio provides visitors with smart, well-rounded workouts and services. Kinected’s mission is to empower people to take responsibility for their health through learning physical awareness. As Dr. McCulloch puts it, “How can you expect to stay healthy when you know more about your smart phone than you do your own body?” The result of Kinected’s comprehensive approach is a body that stays happy, fit and injury free. The Unbiased Writer recently had the chance to sit down with the owners Carrie McCulloch, MD, and Matt McCulloch for a special Q & A session:

Q) What would you recommend to stay active and lean during the holiday season?

A) Here are 5 sure fire ways to stay on track with your health and fitness goals over the holidays:

1. 31 days of workouts: During December, focus on consistency, not the length of your workout. Commit to a physical activity every day (i.e., if you can’t make it to the gym one day, then resolve to take the stairs while at work), and you will be much more likely to stay active throughout the entire season.

2. Bundle up, and get thee outside! Love each season, including the winter, and relish your time spent outdoors…the pretty lights, the salvation santas, the grey skies. Whether for a crisp, after-dinner walk or a sampling of snow-shoeing, make an effort to get & stay out!

3. Have flex band, will travel! When traveling for the holidays, pack a flex band for effective on-the-go workouts. Check out online websites like Yoga Today and Pilates Anytime for downloadable workouts, or before you leave town, ask your instructor or trainer to create a 15-30 minute morning routine that you practice before embarking on a family breakfast extravaganza.

4. Cultivate a stress strategy. Entering into the holiday season means you’re entering into a time of known stress… food stress, family stress, whatever takes a toll on you. So  know, beforehand, that more of your personal resources are going to need to be marshaled to not overindulge, keep your cool, etc. Make a preemptive plan before heading into known battle, and then there will be no more battle.

5. Snacks for shopping attacks! Keep a stash of satisfying snacks (i.e., a bag of almonds, a protein bar) and a bottle water on your person at all times during the holiday season. They will come in handy as healthy sustenance to ward off fast-food cravings and maintain focus on the gifting mission at hand.

Q) What are common mistakes people make when starting a fitness routine?

A) Mistake # 1: Trying to ch-ch-ch-change everything. Don’t attempt to make too many changes at once, or changes that are too drastic; rather, envision your end goal, but then take baby steps to get there. It’s like eating a tangerine… one slice at a time, and before you know it, you’ve eaten the whole thing.

Mistake # 2: Blinded by numbers. Instead of focusing on an arbitrary outcome (i.e., “I must lose 5 lbs by March 31st!”), make your goal the change in your habits itself. Enjoy the process, and be present in it–recognize, acknowledge, and perhaps even journal the emotions and thoughts (both elating and frustrating) that arise during the journey.  The strength afforded by your newfound awareness alone may surprise you!

Mistake #3: Self-punishment. Don’t punish yourself for “slipping.” Meaningful change is a lifelong process…you’ve got time. And during that time, expect to slip-up. Progress isn’t an upward, linear progression; it’s full of ups and downs.

Mistake #4: Falling for the same shtick, year after year. If your attempt at regular morning “Rocky” runs has failed miserably for the past few years, then let that resolution go and try something new. Perhaps running bored you, or maybe it did not suit your schedule or body type. Whatever the reason for your prior fitness resolution fumbles, acknowledge them and move on. Staying healthy takes commitment, but it should also be fun. So take a step out of your comfort zone and experiment a little—-try a swing class, dabble in water aerobics, fly on a trapeze–until you find an activity you enjoy!

Q) Kinected is designed as a wellness studio that brings medicine to movement. How did this concept come about?

A) Kinected was inspired by frustrations and conversations we had while I was attending medical school and we were both working in the Pilates industry. Despite a common healthy goal, the medical and fitness worlds always seemed worlds apart–your physician, physical therapist, and Pilates may all aim to heal what ails you, but communication and synchronization between these entities is often non-existent. As a result, much healing potential is “lost in translation.” With Kinected, we aimed to solve this problem. We combined Matt’s expertise as a master Pilates instructor and mine as a physician and Pilates instructor to integrate the aims of our respective fields and bridge gaps between health and fitness. And now, with the addition of a physical therapy program into our mix of top-notch Pilates and GYROTONIC services, we have become a one-stop facility for integrative health. Clients can receive high-quality clinical care, recover from injury, and stay healthy–all under one convenient roof.

Q) How can people keep their New Year’s fitness routines intact?

A) 1. Location! Location! Location! Commit to a fitness location (a gym, Pilates studio, yoga studio, etc.) that is close to your work and where you live.

2. Put your money where your muscle is. Commit to a decent-sized package (5-10 sessions) of classes or private instruction. In these tight times, if you make the monetary investment up front, you’ll be more inclined to follow through and get your full value.

3. Strength in numbers: Pick a partner (a friend, co-worker, a significant other) and sign up for workouts together. Accountability does a body good.

4. Spice it up. Seek out a fitness studio that offers a smattering of fitness options (classes and privates, yoga and pilates, etc). Variety will keep you balanced–both physically and emotionally–and keep you interested at the same time (remember your brain requires a workouts as well!).

5. Give it 3 months. Realize that change–both in habit and body–takes time. Set up a 3-month plan with your trainer that will progress you safely and successfully to your goals

Q) How much weight can you expect to lose through Pilates or GYROTONIC® sessions?

A) This really depends on how often you practice and what other healthy lifestyle choices you make. Practiced 2-3 times per week–in combination with a solid cardio routine (at least five 30-min sessions per week) and a balanced diet, Pilates and GYROTONIC® can bring major changes to the body in about two months. But remember–both Pilates and GYROTONIC® reform the body by building long, lean muscles; as muscle weighs more than fat, clients might not see the numbers drop on a scale, but they will see their waistline shrink, their arms define, and their legs slim and elongate. Most importantly, clients feel better–their core is alive and well, their backs are stabilized, and their posture improves significantly (most devotees report gaining an inch or so in height!).

Q) What other forms of movement exercises can be combined with Pilates to change the body’s shape?

A) Pilates is a perfect cross-training option because in addition to building core strength, the method inspires physical awareness. It teaches you how you hold tension in your shoulders, how you round your back too much, how you hyperextend your knees while standing, These are meaningful lessons that can be parlayed into any other form of exercise–from running marathons to yoga class–to reform the body’s shape.

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