Pilates Can Help

Do you neglect your exercise routine when the holidays start? My experience has shown me the gym thins out between Thanksgiving and January. When you’re stressed and busy, you need to take 30 minutes for yourself. You’ll feel less stressed and be more productive. Have you tried Pilates? It can be performed anywhere, at any time. It will relax you, make you sleep better, strengthen your muscles and improve how you function daily. Once you start exercising, make it a priority and it will remain a priority. Be realistic about the time you have and it will stay with you. If you only have 30 minutes three times a week, don’t try to spend an hour and a half trying to fit exercise in. Most people are busy and should aim for just under an hour of exercise 3-4 times a week. Just try not to sit down too much in between and have a rough idea of the calories you’re consuming.

Most people have heard of Pilates but very often they don’t know what it really is. Before I discovered the benefits of Pilates, I like many, thought it was for dancers and flexible people. I wish I’d known the benefits years ago having watched family members suffer from chronic back pain, due to their repetitive work positions, then seeing the pain ease as they became more mobile through Pilates, ( it took a while to convince a family of male plumbers that Pilates would be beneficial) and also throughout my own pregnancies and post-partum.

Pilates was developed by a young man called Joseph Pilates, who was placed in an internment camp during WWII. As a young man, he had been a body builder, wrestler, boxer, and gymnast, and performed in a circus. While in the camp, he developed exercises to strengthen the core muscles. These are the muscles of the stomach, back and hips. They affect how our bodies move daily and our balance. Joseph Pilates believed that modern day living, poor posture and inefficient breathing contributed to poor health. He developed the exercises we practice today to rehabilitate his fellow internees from disease and injury. Throughout his life, he developed these further and with modern science we can continue to develop his excellent work.

Pilates is something everyone can and should incorporate into their daily life, which is why so many athletes now incorporate it into their exercise programs. It can be done either at home or with an instructor. It should be practiced with control, and quality is definitely better than quantity. If anyone ever tells you it was too easy or they didn’t feel anything, it’s because they weren’t doing it correctly or didn’t take the time to learn properly.

Pilates can be taught on a mat using a person’s own body or by incorporating props such as bands, balls or light weights. The mind body focus is to make an individual present in their body and learn to feel how their body is moving or reacts to movement. Joseph Pilates believed that after 30 sessions a person would have a “whole new body!” That doesn’t necessarily mean you will look totally different but that you should feel the benefits as you get stronger and increase mobility and flexibility. It also means that you should be taking at least 45 minutes of Pilates 3 times a week. If you want to see the changes you will also have to look at your nutrition.

Having participated in all the workouts over the years because they were the trend rather than what I needed, I have found that Pilates has kept me pain free. It has taught me to breathe more efficiently, it is something I love to do, and hope to continue to do as long as I live.

If you are overweight or you have osteoporosis or any other spine problems, don’t be put off joining a Pilates class. There are modifications for everyone, as long as your physician clears you to exercise.

I teach private sessions on the reformer, chair and tower. My classes are small so that you get personal attention and feel comfortable with the other participants.

If you would like to learn more about the benefits of Pilates, go to my website or call me. I love what I do, I enjoy meeting people and sharing my knowledge. www.westendhoustonpilates.com, or call or text me at 8328671059. Mat classes by appointment at 5616 FM 1960 Rd East, Suite 240, Humble, Texas 77346υ