Posts tagged with "Good Morning America"

Why is Pilates so popular?

September 1, 2022

Australian-based Pilates instructor and influencer Bailey Brown summed up the Pilates craze succinctly in a now-famous TikTok: “Gorgeous, gorgeous girls do Pilates. Pilates girls are hot.”

Brown’s post has gained the attention of millions, and the audio has been shared numerous times on TikTok, reports Good Morning America.

The now-trending exercise has also become a favorite among celebrities like Duchess Meghan and Jennifer Aniston. It was name-dropped recently on the Met Gala red carpet by beauty entrepreneur Lori Harvey when she pointed to Pilates when Essence‘s beauty and style editor Blake Newby asked, “What’s the trick to the abs?”

While most market research doesn’t track Pilates separately from yoga, in a report by Research Dive, the global Pilates and yoga studios market was expected to pull in revenue of $269.3 billion by 2028 compared to $127.7 billion in 2021—a compound annual growth rate of 10%.

Fitness influencers Elizabeth Endres and Dale Stabler of Sweats & The City told Good Morning America that they were initially “intimidated” to try Pilates.

“However, when New York Pilates opened in their beautiful space in SoHo, it felt more approachable with class names like ‘ABS ARMS A**’.” We felt like they were trying to get the younger generation onto Pilates and make it fun,” says Stabler.

Enres adds, “Pilates is a challenging, low-impact exercise that really works muscles and parts of your body in ways no other exercise can. It’s about form and alignment and building a really strong foundation. We think a lot of people became tired of breaking their bodies down and wanted to explore all the benefits of Pilates. Not to mention, a lot of amazing studios have popped up in the last year or so.”

But what, exactly, is Pilates? Created by German physical trainer Joseph Pilates in the 1920s, Pilates is a low-impact exercise focused on form and alignment to enhance strength building as well as flexibility. It can be done on a mat or reformer and practiced through other Pilates apparatuses.

Club Pilates master trainer Shepherd Joseph tells GMA that the most popular form of Pilates right now is performed on the reformer apparatus, which has springs that create multiple levels of resistance and straps for your arms and feet to move on a pulley system. “The reformer resembles a bed, as it was originally designed after a hospital bed when Joseph Pilates was rehabbing injured soldiers,” she explains.

Joseph went on to break down different types of Pilates—including everything from “classical” to “apparatus” formats:

  • Classical vs. Contemporary Pilates: Classical Pilates is a style that stays true to the original Pilates method, called Contrology, created by Joseph Pilates. Contemporary Pilates, seen at Club Pilates, is more of a blend of Joseph Pilates’ original method, and new-age research and exercises adapted from physical therapy.
  • Mat Pilates vs. Reformer Apparatus Pilates: Mat Pilates is a series of full-body exercises performed supine on a Pilates mat—prone, kneeling or standing. Reformer Pilates uses the Mat Pilates principles and performs the exercises with resistance and the pulley system—creating more intensity or assistance depending on the exercise.

Pilates has a wide range of important health, fitness and overall wellness benefits.

Cedric X. Bryant, president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, tells GMA that it also can “improve muscular endurance, flexibility and posture, and in combination can lead to a reduced risk of injury as well as a decrease in existing chronic pain. And, because of the focus on mindfulness, Pilates can reduce stress levels, anxiety and depression.”

He also added that Pilates can be an excellent option for people just starting an exercise routine, as well as those recovering from injury.

“It’s great for at-home workouts and can be done in short bouts of around ten minutes, so there is no need to perform a 60-minute workout to reap the benefits,” Bryant explains.

Additionally, several studies show that Pilates can be beneficial in everything from reducing chronic low back pain to reducing stress and anxiety.

Modernized boutiques and offerings have also sprung up along with the growing interest. Andersen credited some of the success of her airy, bright New York Pilates studios to the company’s use of social media and making it appealing to downtown New Yorkers. “Pilates is not a trend, it’s a movement,” says New York Pilates founder Heather Andersen

She adds, “By creating beautiful environments that feel more like homes instead of gyms, NYP has created a space that people want to work out in. You’ll feel like you’re working out in the apartment of your dreams. We hire the absolute best 400-hour certified Pilates instructors and students have started realizing just how effective Pilates can be.”

But that beauty comes with a price: Many people have called out the price, which can vary anywhere from $35 for a single group class to upward of $120 for one-on-one sessions.

Ife Obi, a certified Pilates teacher, personal trainer and founder of Brooklyn-based studio,  The Fit In, tells GMA that much of the pricing is influenced by keeping up with the current market rate; as well as high associated costs for certifications plus purchasing equipment that can total anywhere from $5,500 to $9,000—and doesn’t include any continuing education.

“While the prices are getting pretty ridiculous, there is in-depth anatomy, alignment, equipment and movement knowledge that you have to know in order to be a quality teacher,” said Obi. She also highlights that much of the in-depth knowledge isn’t included in standard personal training certification and can pack on an extra $1,000 in costs.

“And because of this, you generally don’t teach more than six people in a group Pilates equipment class — whereas in other modalities you can pack 30 or 40 people into a room because there’s not as much attention to detail,” Obi added. “But, you still have to cover the costs of the studio.”

Obi also mentioned that most Pilates studios in New York have opted for affluent neighborhoods, which results in higher rents and higher overall costs for sessions.

Another major drawback: Obi, who is a woman of color, says that Pilates has been inaccessible to many people of color for a number of reasons.

“From the beginning, it was seen as a modality for soldiers in Germany; then, eventually, dancers and celebrities in [the United States],” Obi says. “You didn’t really see us in those groups and in turn, you didn’t really see us in Pilates.”

First-generation Pilates teacher Kathy Grant, who was Black, studied directly under Joseph Pilates; but aside from her, master trainer Lolita San Miguel, who is Puerto Rican, said there weren’t many other advocates pushing to extend access of the method to people of color, according to Diversity in Pilates.

Liz Polk, co-founder of Speir Pilates, attributes the lack of representation to an underdeveloped pipeline of Pilates professionals and a gap in financial resources and support for Black-owned fitness businesses.

“There are so many amazing small Black fitness entrepreneurs out there, but their ability to grow and scale in a competitive way is severely limited when the funding is not available to them and they, instead, need to use their personal savings and/or money from friends and family to bootstrap the business,” said Polk.

“At Speir, we are actively addressing this pipeline issue by sponsoring trainees from underrepresented communities and seeing them through certification,” Polk reveals. “We’ve even offered our trainees open positions at Speir during their certification process. To date, we’ve sponsored the certification of several Pilates instructors and we plan to scale our training and certification programs to truly make a positive impact on this pipeline issue.”

Research contact: @GMA

Dad wows the Internet by modeling his daughter’s crochet crop tops

August 8, 2022

This dad loves to model his daughter’s crochet designs—from cool crop tops to beautiful bucket hats. But he’s not just any dad. He’s Jeff Beaver of Arkansas, reports ABC News.

Across several social media platforms—including  Instagram,  TikTok  and more—the dedicated dad can be seen dancing, twirling, laughing, and posing in looks from the LoveBeav product line.

Emily has been crocheting since 2015, but started noticing her business really take off during the summer of 2021, thanks to social media. When she began scouting her parents to model her designs, the business saw an immediate upswwing.

“My dad has never been afraid to look silly, especially if he’s having fun doing it, so there was never any hesitation on his part,” Emily told ABC’s morning show, Good Morning America. “The most important thing for me and my parents is that we are spending quality time laughing and enjoying what we are doing.”

“We could care less what other people think about how silly it might look,” she added.

After noticing how well a video performed that featured her mother, Amy Beaver, wearing one of her crochet designs, Emily thought, “Why not try including Dad, as well?”

“The Internet totally ate it up and every time I included my parents, I knew that there was something special about the concept of a family wearing crochet tops together,” Emily said.

Since making the decision to include her parents in content creation, Emily’s business has continued to grow at a rapid rate and she has seen a large increase in followers.

The 28-year-old crochet artist and content creator was able to quit her previous day job to solely focus on art and content creation full-time because of the increase in engagement and sales.

“I went from barely any sales at all, to usually selling out my entire restock each month,” Emily said. “The biggest win for me, however, has been the opportunities I’ve had to partner with some of my favorite brands, like Michael’s Craft Store. I’ve been shopping at Michael’s since I started crocheting, so to be able to partner with them and create videos for them has been an absolute dream.”

When it comes to the Beaver family’s newfound Internet fame, Emily said they are all “loving it,” adding, “I’m still not sure we have even processed it completely.”

Emily recalls attending the Electric Forest Festival and finding it absolutely mind-blowing how many fans they met. “We were getting asked for pictures about every five feet. It has been such an awesome experience to do this together, and we are looking forward to seeing where this leads.”

From cool crop tops to beautiful bucket hats, all of Emily’s crochet designs can be found on her company’s website. However, social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and  Facebook are the best way to find her and her family’s latest viral moments.

Research contact: @ABC

Perk up: Drinking sweetened or unsweetened coffee is linked with lower death risk

June 2, 2022

Drinking a few cups of coffee a day —even with sugar —is linked to a lower risk of death, new research shows, reports Good Morning America.

People who drank a moderate amount of coffee every day, either plain or sweetened with around a teaspoon of sugar, were about 30% less likely to die from any cause during a seven-year period compared with non-coffee drinkers, according to findings from the U.K. Biobank cohort, an ongoing study of health information in the United Kingdom.

Results were less consistent for people who used artificial sweeteners in their coffee, reported Dr. Chen Mao, of Southern Medical University in Guangzhou, China, and co-authors in Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of dying whether or not you added sugar,” said Dr. Christina Wee, deputy editor of Annals of Internal Medicine, who drinks coffee with cream and sugar regularly and enjoys it.

“The authors defined moderate levels of coffee drinking as drinking one and a half to three and a half cups of coffee,” she noted. “They found that drinking moderate levels of coffee regularly was associated with a lower risk of dying from any cause, dying from cancer, and dying from heart disease.”

“The lower risk of dying associated with moderate levels of coffee drinking was true regardless of whether you drank decaffeinated coffee, instant coffee or ground coffee,” Wee added.

The new research looked at the health effects of the popular beverage with a new twist, focusing on whether adding real or artificial sugar counteracted coffee’s potential health benefits.

However, the benefits of coffee are far from settled science, Wee noted. And this study doesn’t really answer what many Americans need to know, she observed.

“The average dose of added sugar per cup of sweetened coffee was only a little over a teaspoon, or about 4 grams,” she pointed out. “This is a far cry from the 15 grams of sugar in an 8-ounce cup of caramel macchiato at a popular U.S. coffee chain.”

“Although we cannot definitively conclude that drinking coffee reduces mortality risk, the totality of the evidence does not suggest a need for most coffee drinkers —particularly those who drink it with no or modest amounts of sugar— to eliminate coffee,” Wee wrote.

“So drink up,” she added, “but it would be prudent to avoid too many caramel macchiatos while more evidence brews.”

Research contact: @GMA

Barbie releases Queen Elizabeth II doll on occasion of her 96th birthday

April 22, 2022

Barbie is officially releasing a Queen Elizabeth II doll to celebrate both the queen’s 96th birthday and her Platinum Jubilee, which marks 70 years on the throne, reports Good Morning America.

The Queen Elizabeth II Barbie doll, part of Barbie’s Tribute Collection series, debuted on Thursday, which is April 21, the U.K. queen’s birthday.

It marks the first Barbie made in Queen Elizabeth’s likeness, according to Mattel.

The doll is dressed in an ivory gown inspired by the “style and color of a gown that she’s favored in royal portraits of herself,” Mattel said in a statement.

The Queen Elizabeth II doll also features regal details, such as Queen Mary’s fringe tiara, which Queen Elizabeth wore on her wedding day, and medallions of the orders of the royal family.

The doll’s packaging is inspired by Buckingham Palace, the queen’s residence in London, with red carpeting, a crest-shaped logo and a badge marking the queen’s Platinum Jubilee, according to Mattel.

“In 1952, when she came to the throne, women were not encouraged to work and politicians expressed doubts about a young female monarch — but she showed them wrong, proved herself an adept leader and diplomat,” Kate Williams, author of “Our Queen Elizabeth,” a picture book on the queen, said in a statement provided by Mattel.

“As Her Majesty celebrates this milestone jubilee, it is wonderful to see an iconic brand like Barbie share important historical female figures impact as leaders, creators and pioneers to new generations.”

Research contact: @GMA

Amazon to launch brick-and-mortar clothing store in Los Angeles

January 25, 2022

Amazon is preparing to launch a brick-and-mortar clothing store, the company announced on Thursday, January 20, according to a report by Good Morning America.

Specifically, the e-commerce giant intends to open an Amazon Style fashion retail space at The Americana at Brand shopping mall in Los Angeles.

The new concept will offer a selection of apparel, footwear, and accessories. The items will have QR codes providing information from sizing to customer ratings, the company said.

With the Amazon Shopping app, users also can send items to a fitting room—where they can use a touch screen to look through more options as well as request more sizes or styles to be delivered directly to their room, according to Amazon.

While Amazon has not revealed which specific brands will be featured, it said customers will have the option to browse emerging designers across hundreds of its top brands.

“Shoppers will find great looks at a broad range of prices, including trend-inspired pieces at affordable price points and sought-after styles that will become wardrobe staples,” wrote in the company’s blog. “With Amazon’s vast fulfillment center network, the selection at Amazon Style will be frequently updated so customers can discover new items each time they visit.”

The clothing store isn’t Amazon’s first foray into a physical fashion store: The retail conglomerate has opened physical grocery stores, book stores; and, in 2017, it bought Whole Foods Market.

In 2021, Amazon launched a hair salon in London for augmented reality hair consultations.

An exact date for Amazon Style’s store opening has yet to be announced, but the company said it will be inviting a select group of customers to experience the store “soon” in its announcement.

Research contact: @GMA

Honor Betty White with your passion for pets

January 10, 2022

Fans of the late Betty White have found a great way to honor the beloved actress and animal activist, reports Good Morning America.

The Betty White Challenge—an online event set for January 17, on what would’ve been the TV icon’s 100th birthday—has been gaining steam among fans online. The social media challenge encourages people to donate $5 to animal rescues or shelters in her name.

Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane, told Good Morning America on Thursday, January 6, that the organization already has “seen … an uptick in donations” following White’s death.

White, best known for her television roles as Sue Ann Nivens on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and Rose Nylund on “The Golden Girls,” was known for her love of animals.

In 2011, she published a book, “Betty & Friends: My Life at the Zoo (G.P. Putnam’s Sons) in which she spoke about her work with animal nonprofits.

White died on December 31 at the age of 99. Jeff Witjas, her close friend and agent, told ABC News that the Emmy winner died of natural causes in her sleep in her own bed.

“Betty didn’t have illnesses. She didn’t have anything. People are putting it out there that she had the booster on Dec. 28 and that she had [side] effects. She never had a booster,” Witjas added. “They’re politicizing her death, and they shouldn’t do that, because she wasn’t that type of person in life.”

Witjas told ABC News that he visited White in her home about a month before she died and found her to be “all there,” albeit physically frail. “We were laughing, her sense of humor was there,” he said.

Research contact: @GMA

This baby and his swim instructor are friendship goals

October 22, 2021

A baby and his swim lesson instructor are the cutest friends and now the two are going viral on TikTok.

Tracey Martorana put her son, Lucas, now ten months old, in group swim lessons at three months at Saf-T-Swim in Wantagh, New York. He immediately formed a bond with one of the swim instructors, Carlson Rogers, and has been doing private lessons once a week with him ever since.

“Being a pandemic baby, our circle is really small,” Martorana recently told ABC-TV’s Good Morning America. “He knows the grandparents, immediate family and then there’s Carlson. Carlson is a part of our crew.”

Martorana said Carlson is the best swim instructor for Lucas because he goes with the flow and doesn’t push him too hard. If Lucas is crying, she said Carlson will give him time to sort it out; but if Lucas is splashing, he loves to splash and play along with him.

“I love watching the relationship,” Martorana said. “Carlson is a big strapping man and Lucas loves to hug him and hold onto him.”

While Lucas was at a recent swim lesson, Martorana took a video of a touching moment between Lucas and Carlson and posted it to TikTok.

“The comment section is hysterical. Everyone loves Carlson,” Martorana said. “I think it was just something important for people to see. Love knows no bounds.”

Research contact: @GMA

Third grader wins White House Historical Association’s National Student Art Competition

August 16, 2021

A pair of shackled African American hands cradles the White House against a backdrop of the American flag in a winning piece of art that is now on display in the White House, Good Morning America reports.

Gabrielle Faisal’s “Enslaved African Americans Built the White House” took home the top prize in the White House Historical Association‘s national student art competition for her creative interpretation of this year’s theme, “The White House: An American Story.”v

The nine-year-old from Detroit said her artwork represents history lessons that she has learned and read about.

“The White House is a symbol of America that was built by enslaved African Americans. The red stripes symbolize our struggle for freedom. The white stripes symbolize the purity of our struggle. Blue is the symbol of justice for all people no matter what color,” Faisal told ABC News Detroit affiliate WXYZ. “The stars represent the unity of all people coming together. The shackled hands are the hands of enslaved Africans who built the White House.”

The competition, now in its 60th year, received submissions from more than 500 students nationwide, GMA reports.

Gabrielle’s piece will be displayed until September 22. The display will also include the runners-up in Gabrielle’s age bracket, as well as art from the top three winners in the 4 to 8, and 9 to 12 grade level categories.

Research contact: @GMA

Cold snap: Iceland hotel seeks photographer to capture northern lights

July 30, 2021

Calling all adventure seekers! Hotel Rangá in Iceland is looking for a photographer to chase the northern lights, also known as aurora borealis, reports Good Morning America.

Hotel Rangá is located in the Icelandic countryside—far away from most light pollution. Temperatures typically average 40 degrees (C) to 50 degrees during the fall season, when the lights are at their peak in this area of the world.

This dream job consists of three weeks of chasing and capturing the lights from September to October. The photographer chosen for the job will be required to provide high-quality photos and videos, in order to receive all-expense-paid travel to and from Iceland.

According to GMA, the requirements also include giving the hotel “unlimited license to mutually agreed-upon photographs and videos.”

“In exchange for providing content of the northern lights at the hotel, this seasonal employee will receive free room and board along with access to the hotel‘s stargazing observatory and hot tubs, not to mention the opportunity to explore the photogenic land of fire and ice on their days off,” the hotel wrote on its website.

The lights can appear at any time of the night and the hotel even has a so-called “aurora wake-up service” so guests don’t miss the lights.

Interested photographers can apply for this dream job now at hotelranga.is/lights-catchers-wanted.

Research contact: @GMA

Field of dreams: College grad honors parents with photos in fields where they earned her tuition

June 16, 2021

A recent graduate of the University of California-San Diego decided to honor her parents by taking graduation photos in the farm fields where they worked to support her education, reports Good Morning America.

Jennifer Rocha, who graduated from UC San Diego on Saturday, June 12, told GMA that she wanted to thank her parents for their support by taking graduation photos in the fields where she worked alongside them since high school. The heartfelt tribute was posted on the university’s Facebook page on Wednesday and has since gone viral.

“I wanted to take those pictures out there, specifically in the field, because that’s what made me go to college,” Rocha told “GMA. “That was my dad’s lesson of saying, if you don’t pursue a higher education, you’re going to be working here the rest of your life.”

She started working in the fields with her parents when she was a junior in high school. Each day, she would leave cross country practice to go home and work planting strawberries overnight.

“It was tough labor,” Rocha said as she remembered working late nights in the fields. “I was like, ‘You know what? I don’t want to be doing this my whole life.'”

Rocha, raised in Coachella, California, said her parents encouraged her and her siblings to pursue a higher education. Growing up, she looked up to her older sisters as role models, because they both graduated from college and she wanted to “follow their footsteps.”

“My dad always told us that his dream was for us to get a college degree,” Rocha told GMA. “My parents have been working as migrant field workers since they were like 6 or 7 years of age. I always saw them providing for us first before them.”

Completing the past four years of college was not always an easy feat for Rocha. While being a full-time student, she also worked at the university’s police department to help pay for her tuition. To reduce the financial burden on her parents, she lived in her older sister’s apartment instead of the dorms for all four years and commuted to and from school each day.

The recent graduate said she worked long hours to fund her education. At times, her work shifts wouldn’t end until 4a.m. or 5 a.m., leaving only a few hours to spre before the next class.

“I have class at like 8 a.m., and it’s not worth me driving and then coming back,” Rocha said. “So, I would just nap in my car and then go to class after that.”

“It was tough times, but I mean, we got that diploma,” she added.

Rocha, 21, earned a degree in sociology with an emphasis in law and society. She said she will use her education to pursue a career in law enforcement.  Her goal is to increase Latino representation in the field and “help take the criminals off the streets, those that are actual criminals,” she said.

“Being the first one in my family to do law enforcement, that just brings like a whole other level of pride for [my parents],” she added.

Rocha hopes her photos and her story will be an inspiration to immigrant families. She said it was important to include her parents in her graduation photos because, “I wanted to not just honor them but honor all the migrant skilled workers, because a lot of times they aren’t recognized and we forget about them.”

“My parents being migrant workers were able to have three girls get their college education, and you can do it, too, and your kids can,” she said.

Research contact: @GMA