Do you have an injury? Does chronic pain make it hard for you to exercise? Have you heard that sitting is the new smoking? More people will suffer from illnesses associated with inactivity than those from smoking. Life wreaks havoc on our bodies. Do you ever wonder why you feel imbalanced, always getting the same niggly pain? People grow more and more imbalanced in the course of our daily lives. We spend all day hunched over our computers, we are right or left handed, we swing a golf club on one side, and we carry our bags on one shoulder and our children on one hip. Pilates dramatically transforms the way your body looks, feels and performs. It builds strength without excess bulk, improves flexibility, posture and coordination.
Who is Pilates for?
EVERYONE- from your corporate worker with chronic headaches and repetitive episodes of lower back pain to your new mums who want to focus on rebuilding their pelvic floor and deep abdominals. Pilates is a corrective system of exercise providing a workout where you will gain strength in a balanced way, so that tight, tense areas are stretched and weak ones strengthened. Originally invented for men and athletes in the early 1920’s it is a unique system of mind-body exercises evolved from the principles of Joseph Pilates. Athletes, models, mums, corporate workers and the aged population are increasingly finding out about the endless benefits of Pilates.
Pilates is a complete workout for both the body and mind. It is an exercise system that works on the stabilising muscles to ensure the most optimal posture. There is a keen focus on core (internal stomach muscles and obliques) as well as lengthening the muscles throughout the body. It is performed with and without equipment and is suitable for all ages. You have no idea how much you actually need Pilates until you start.
Top 5 tips on improving your posture and kick starting your mind body awareness?
1) Identify the cause of your pain – is it due to poor ergonomics (your desk set up)
2) Keep the body in alignment while sitting or standing- try to focus on standing with 60% of your weight on your toes, 40% on the heels- this helps to bring your centre of gravity into correct alignment
3) Lengthen your neck and imagine you have a tennis ball between your chin and your chest- drawing your shoulder blades back and keep wide across the chest.
4) Get up and move- take a break from sitting every few hours and stretch or walk to avoid muscle tightness
5) Increase awareness of your posture and ergonomics in an everyday settings- make a conscious effort to become aware of your posture and repetitive movement patterns.
Still wondering if Pilates is right for you? Joseph Pilates once said, in "10 sessions you'll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you'll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you'll have a whole new body." Doesn't that seem like something worthwhile?