About a year and a half ago I went to my first Pilates class. I had always been a person that loves working out – running, lifting weights, stomach exercises, fitness classes, etc. I also enjoyed Yoga and incorporated a class here and there in my exercise routine. When I first heard of Pilates I thought it wasn’t for me. I would hear friends talk about their classes and think it would be too “lade back” and not strenuous, fast-pace or even sweaty enough for me. It all changed when a good friend who is a fitness instructor opened up a boutique Pilates studio right by my apt and persuaded me to come for a trial class. I got hooked.
After the first class I woke up sore. By the third or fourth class my lower back hurt less and less, and within 6 weeks I had improved my posture (I had always been a bit slouchy when I stood up). After a few months I felt stronger, more flexible, and frankly I just felt better – something that my regular exercise routine fell short of. I couldn’t believe what I missed out on J.
Then I got pregnant. After making sure all was well with the pregnancy, I kept going to classes (notifying the instructors of my pregnancy). I kept at it, month after month, all the way till just about the end of the pregnancy. It really helped me cope with some of the side effects I was feeling. I am also sure it helped with my labor pains and birth as well. You can be sure 6 weeks after birth, once my dr approved, I was back at Pilates. It’s one of the best things that’s happened to me and my body. Below are 8 ways Pilates has helped me feel (and look!) better;
- Strength – I have definitely become stronger as I advance in my Pilates classes. Besides strengthening different muscles in my body, Pilates also helped strengthen my core, which helps generate strength and a “stronger” feeling throughout my body.
- Flexibility – no doubt that I have become more flexible since I started Pilates. There is even a joke that Pilates stretches your body in so many ways that you can even grow a centimeter or two!
- Posture – I was told that Pilates would help my posture but I was so slouchy I doubted it. Walking/sitting slouchy has always been my weak point – something that I have constantly been trying to change with no success. After just a few months I find myself sitting, standing and walking straight!
- Back pains – besides being slouchy, I have always suffered lower back pains. Pilates has really strengthened both my core and my lower back – significantly lowering my back pains.
- “Easier” pregnancy – no pregnancy is easy. We suffer some odd/different side effects and I feel this time around, compared to my first two, my pregnancy was a bit easier on my body.
- De-stressing – Practicing Pilates can really calm you down. The stretching and really working on your body totally de-stresses you, mind and body.
- Body awareness – I always believed I was aware of my body – that I was aware of my abilities with different muscles and body parts. Pilates has made me even more aware. The exercises and movements has made me understand my body better and has even pushed me to work harder as we go through the different exercises.
- Better coordination – some of the exercises during Pilates really require lots of coordination and concentration. There are different parts of the body that need to work in harmony, and sometimes that takes a while to catch on.
Great things happen to you when you start doing Pilates. I urge you to sign up for a class and see how wonderful it is!