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Online dating can be tricky business – perfectly-angled photos, witty bios and just enough sarcastic humour so your potential match knows what they're getting themselves in for.

You could easily spend hours curating your profile in an attempt to highlight your most attractive traits, but it seems those efforts could be in vain if you fail to mention one particular exercise routine.

A survey conducted by dating website Zoosk found that including the word 'pilates' in your dating profile could increase your number of matches by up to 160 per cent.

The workout was deemed to be the sexiest activity a potential partner could partake in, with 65 per cent of participants saying that it was important for them to date someone who exercised regularly.

But don't worry if pilates aren't your thing – kick-boxing, zumba and yoga were also found to be a major turn-on.

In fact, an active lifestyle is deemed so desirable that 11 per cent of millennials admitted to pretending to like exercise to impress a potential love interest.

However, if you haven't yet jumped on board the fitness wagon, all hope is not lost.

Research also found that people who expressed a love of particular food also saw an increase in matches.

It seems that the mere mention of guacamole is enough to get some people all hot and bothered, with guac-loving profiles receiving up to 144 per cent more messages.

(Definitely worth the extra €0.85 if you ask us). 

So, to sum up, if you're on the hunt for a bit of romance this Valentines' Day, pilates and Mexican food might, for once, be a winning combination. 

 

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Listen, anything with the word 'prosecco' in it and we're there, but this event taking place at the end of the month sounds pretty delightful.

Hayley and Annie from Project Revive will be escaping to The Dean Hotel on July 29 for the ultimate summer fitness event.

The announcement, which was shared on Facebook, read: "This Pilates event caters for all levels, ages and abilities, from complete beginners to those who have done Pilates before.

"We are so looking forward to seeing you for some Pilates, prosecco, food bites, chats, and fun."

Yep, so after you break a sweat, you can sit down and refuel your body with some tasty treats.

The event is on in The Blue Room of The Dean Hotel between 12pm – 3pm.

Tickets are €40 and you can buy them here.

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I’m one of those people completely caught up in the Instagram ‘fitspiration’ revolution. I follow posters of pics of coconut protein balls and juices, stare in awe at flexible yoginis doing crow poses on the beach in their Lululemons and find myself hypnotised by the effect the simple squat can have on your arse.

Pity all I’m doing is following, staring and finding myself hypnotised – I’ve yet to, ahem, actually DO anything.

So when the opportunity came up to give Proformer Pilates a go at Pilates Plus Dublin (with ambassador Rosanna Davison – eep!) I jumped at the chance. Who better to take my cues from than model and all-round health and fitness guru Rosanna?

My history with exercise is spasmodic at best, but with a definite pattern. I try different things all the time (pole dancing/aerobics in community halls with ladies of a certain vintage/boxercise) going hell for leather for a few months to lose a bit of weight. Then, when my jeans get a bit looser, I get complacent and quit.

But I’m getting older now, and trying to get back into it each time is getting harder and harder. I’ve been unfit for so long now that I need to find a consistent form of fitness I’m going to keep up. Could Proformer Pilates be what I was looking for?

So I pulled on my brand new ‘tights’ (prior to that I exercised in scuzzy trackie bottoms because I couldn’t fathom wasting money on sportswear – how times have changed) and a sports bra and vest from Penneys (because I’m easing myself in gently obvs) and bounced out the door, a little apprehensive but excited. I even slicked on some lippy, mascara and blusher, because, well, Rosanna.

As a complete newbie to Proformer Pilates, I got a bit of a fright when I arrived in the Dun Laoghaire studio – the machines had an air of the medieval torture chamber about them, something I joked about nervously. And when Rosanna was asked how hard the class was, she responded by laughing: “The first time I did it I sat in the car afterwards with my legs shaking”.

A groan of terror moved like a Mexican wave throughout the group.

Proformer Pilates is a full body workout using resistance and stretching on the Proformer machine, all while keeping the core engaged. Developed in LA (where else?) the workout is a favourite of the Victoria’s Secrets Angels, Michelle Obama and Kimmy Kay, and can burn up to 700 calories in one session.

Not the worst credentials.

It was time. Pilates Plus owner Emma Forsyth was bubbly and encouraging, and told us to get ready to use muscles we had never used before – gulp. Lying down on the machine, I was resigned to the fact I would probably make a holy show of myself, but hey, I was making a holy show of myself for work, so what harm, right?

Saying that, I had a moment of panic when I noticed there was a photographer snapping away at the class. I’m a notoriously minging exerciser, red-faced and sweaty with an unappealing expression that generally says, “Help me” or “Make it stop”. And now it was going to be captured in HD? Christ on a mountain bike.

We started with arm exercises using the straps, and just when it got to the point I couldn’t do any more, we suddenly stopped and moved to the next exercise. Bit by bit we worked out all muscle groups slowly, smoothly and with control – but don’t get me wrong, it was intense.

The 40 minute class actually passed in no time – and I put that down to the fact we moved so quickly from exercise to exercise, so I never got too sore or too bored: two things that usually characterise how I feel when working out. Props to Emma too for being so helpful and chatty throughout.  

Would I do it again? Deffo. I loved the way I didn’t have to run around like a lunatic with my boobs bouncing all over the place. I actually could LIE DOWN for most of this workout – while still busting my arse.

The dream.

Yep, this could definitely be new favourite exercise.

You can find out more about Emma's Pilates Plus studio and Proformer Pilates here.

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Khloé Kardashian, Kate Hudson, Karlie Kloss, Lea Michele, Vanessa Hudgens… Reformer Pilates has countless celebrity fans, but what exactly is it?

The Reformer is a machine developed by Pilates creator Joseph Pilates, consisting of a bed-style frame with a flat moving platform on top of it.

A mix of springs and straps mean that the Reformer offers more resistance during Pilates exercises than simply using a mat alone.

Here are just five of the reasons to give this Hollywood exercise favourite a go (there are plenty of studios around Ireland so you've no excuse)…

1. It's an all-over body workout
The Reformer is large enough to accommodate a full range of motion, and your legs and arms play a big part in every exercise, improving strength and flexibility all over. The stability challenge of working on a Reformer means that you have to work hard to support your own body weight.

 

2. You'll get A-list arms
Want long, lean arms? Get yourself to a Pilates class, stat. One of the big positives of Pilates exercises is that they put an emphasis on 'eccentric muscle contraction,' where a muscle lengthens (rather than shortens) as it resists a force, meaning no bulkiness. 

 

3. It improves posture
Bad posture and a misaligned spine don't just make you look slouched, they can contribute to a whole range of ailments, from joint pain to migraines. Pilates was initially created as a form of rehabilitation for injuries, and it is centred on building a strong core and lengthening the body.

 

4. It's a good fat burning tool
Fat burning and weight loss are not the main aims of Pilates, but it's the perfect complement to cardio work. So team that morning jog with a Pilates class and you'll see results far faster than doing either alone. Pilates might be relatively low impact, but that does not mean it's easy, and with Reformer classes you can expect to break a serious sweat.

 

5. It's the perfect de-stresser
Not only is Pilates a time-efficient workout, it's also a hugely mindful form of exercise. You'll need to tune into your body and listen to each instruction carefully to ensure you're activating the correct muscles, which in turn stimulates mental focus and leaves you feeling clear-headed.

 

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Not only can good posture keep your spine, hips and other joints in good condition, it can also make you appear taller and in better shape – and who doesn’t want that?!

Here are some super simple ways you can perfect your posture:

1. Ensure your ears are in line with your shoulders
By checking up on this a couple of time throughout the day you can make sure your posture is on your mind and keep those shoulders straight.

2. Don’t cross your legs
You’re doing it right now aren’t you? Don’t lie… By uncrossing your legs you ensure your back is straight and you’re not leaning to one side.

3. Pilates
Regular Pilates can really work wonders for your posture. By discovering your core you’ll soon find yourself feeling and looking taller. You don’t have to fork out money for classes either, just purchase a mat and use great YouTube channels like Blogilates to get you started.

4. Step away from the desk
Nobody wants to be the girl who does desk exercises – we get it. So why not try this: go out to the hall or even to the bathroom and just drop your head to your feet as low as you can go and slowly come back up giving your back a good long stretch as you do. You’ll be amazed how good you after and no one has to see you!

 

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So you’re a fitness enthusiast? Or you’re looking for an excuse to scrape yourself of the couch? This might just do it for you…as this is pilates as you’ve never seen it!

Niamh from SHEmazing! TV went along to the launch of Pilates Performance’s new refurbished studio in Rathfarnham in Dublin where Ryan Thomas, better know as Coronation Street’s heart throb Jason Grimshaw was showcasing the pilates machines…which looked a lot more fifty shades than one would expect!

Not to be missed!

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