I’m in a long-term relationship with pilates. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a part of life forever. Here’s why…

  1. Exercise of any kind makes us feel great. It enhances our mood, energises our bodies and improves our health. There is never a good reason not to exercise. In order to exercise regularly and consistently the key is to find a way of moving that you enjoy. Quite simply, I enjoy doing pilates. I enjoy the challenge of a mat workout, I enjoy the strength gains from the Chair and the articulation of my spine over the Spine Corrector, I enjoy the ebb and flow of the Reformer, and I especially love hanging out on the Cadillac. It all makes me smile (and sweat!).
  2. I never get bored teaching or practising pilates. Adding small props such as the pilates circle, resistance band or light hand weights changes the emphasis of the workout. I could do pilates everyday for evermore and still find something new in an exercise that I haven’t felt before.
  3. There is something very comforting about the order in pilates. If I follow the mat repertoire to the letter, by the end I feel two inches taller, I feel free in my back and lengthened and strengthened through my entire body. The exercises have flowed with familiarity from one to the next. Every joint and body position has been incorporated in the workout. Likewise with the reformer, I feel thoroughly at home coming down to lying on the carriage and moving from the footwork to the hundred to feet in straps and so on.
  4. I’m a mum. I spend a lot of my time feeling, quite frankly, a little worn out. It’s not everyday that I fancy going 100%, all out into a tough, sweaty workout. So on those days I get on the cadillac, start with some roll downs, breathe, coax by body into flexion and extension and before I know it I’ve completed a full body workout. I love the way any workout, either on the mat, the reformer or a combination of apparatus winds itself up into a challenging session. I can start by thinking about nothing more than the way I’m breathing and 40 minutes later I’m up in a teaser, magic!
  5. As a former athlete I know what it means to train hard, to push your body to exhaustion on the track and to lift weights to failure in the gym. I can, amazingly, still get that feeling with pilates. I can work up a sweat within 5 minutes if my goal for the day is to complete an advanced reformer workout. I can work every muscle in my body from the inside, out. For this, I need to draw on the discipline from those track days and I love the way it brings back memories of my 20s when life was all about running and friends and we were still holding off being grown ups!
  6. Teaching pilates continues to give me an immensely satisfying career. Thanks Joseph! If it wasn’t for Joseph Pilates my life would have taken a different course entirely. I have a lot the thank the guy for and it’s shame he’s not still around to witness his life’s work being practised by millions worldwide. Teaching exercise of any kind is a fulfilling line of work. I used to get my fix teaching spin classes, circuit training, body conditioning and aerobics. Then I discovered pilates and I realised I had found longevity in an industry where burn out and injury can halt a fitness career in its tracks.
  7. There is always something you can achieve. Even if it’s just the method of pilates breathing. If you are in chronic pain or returning from injury, simply breathe. First we breathe, then we connect to our ‘core’ muscles, then we move. We are all different and pilates offers something for everyone, from those with long term health conditions to elite athletes, its scope is remarkable.
  8. Pilates is the ultimate in ‘core stability’, a phrase that’s thrown around a great deal in the fitness world. When I started to learn about pilates back in 2006 I realised that holding a plank for 5 minutes and doing sit ups to exhaustion were not the be all and end all of ab work! The central muscles, the core, the muscles that lie closest to our skeleton need attention and patience to find. Connecting my breath to my transversus abdominus and pelvic floor muscles is a skill I now use daily so that I can truly engage my core while exercising.
  9. Pilates helps me to be a faster, stronger runner. I love to run and I want to run forever. Practising pilates in all its forms has made me a better runner. It has injury-proofed my body, enhanced my breathing capacity due to the method of lateral breathing and made my body feel entirely more ‘together’. Even though I now only have time to run 3 times a week at most, I feel confident and capable of running a full marathon.
  10. Pilates does what it says, if you let it. If you give it the time and dedication. Pilates will improve your posture. Pilates will make your whole body stronger. Pilates  will make you more mobile and give you greater range of movement.  Pilates will improve your flexibility by loosening areas of tightness. What else can offer all of that?
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