Why I Love Pilates?
Are you curious about Pilates? Have you been told to do Pilates by your physiotherapist or osteopath? Are you unsure about what to expect or what you might get out of it?
Zing Wellness Co-founder and Massage Therapist, James Rake shares his top 3 reasons why he has grown to love Pilates and couldn’t be without his twice weekly fix.
Unlike my wife, who is a local Harpenden based Pilate’s Teacher, I had not had much contact with Pilates until she qualified in 2015 and even then the only real contact I had was her telling me to engage my core at random moments (like when lifting something heavy).
To be honest at this point I had no clue what she was asking me to do, didn’t really know what I was doing so I am sure I wasn’t doing it very well and consequently I didn’t feel the benefits of it.
Move on to today and every time that I miss a class or there is a break for half term or Christmas holidays I really miss it and can feel the difference in my body.
So I thought I would share the reasons why I love Pilates with you.
The Day Job
I am a Massage Therapist and I spend most of my days either working over clients or when not ‘working’ I am taking care of the children which involves lots of carrying of our two year old or bikes, scooter or the like. Both affect my posture and as a result I can feel it at the end of the day.
Interestingly I have also discovered I have diastasis recti (which is more common in men than you might imagine) so Pilates has been a huge help in understanding what has caused this and how I can rehabilitate it.
Parenting related postural tension is incredibly commeon. The number of mums and dads that I treat professionally who have aches and pains related to how they carry their children or all the physical work needed to keep up with small children is very high.
Many also spend many hours sitting at a desk and may have stressful jobs. The combination of the two activities mean they suffer with tight and tense shoulders, lower back issues and general tightness and niggles. So you might think that they need a massage, well you would be right. However, massage on its own may not always be the long term solution.
Imagine if you had better posture and reduced those niggles and aches and pains occurring in the first place. What if you were able to understand your movement and compensation patterns? What if you were able to have your own little exercise routine to do that countered your ‘niggle inducing activities’ so you could nip aches and pains in the bud? Well, it is possible to do this.
Pilates is such a game changer in terms of how it can help you. As one of Angela’s clients put it ‘Pilates should be on the NHS and Angela should be in charge.’ Angela has supported many people to discover the benefits and in this case prepare for a joint replacement.
Improving Your Core
Improving your core muscle function gives your back the strength to be able to cope with modern life such as sitting at a desk all day.
Although I don’t sit at a desk all day I do tend to hunch forward over my clients and this is what causes my back problems if I don’t remember what I learn in class.
Most people who come to Angela’s or any Pilates class for that matter may find it hard to apply the exercises that they learned in class in everyday life but this is where the benefits come. An hour a week of Pilates is not going to change your posture overnight.
Using the exercises during your week is the key to getting the most out of your class. When you go to pick up your child, when you sit at a desk all day, when you walk from the tube station to your office, when you play rugby or tennis at the weekend these are the times when you need to remember to engage your core, breathe correctly when exerting yourself and all the other finer points that you have learned.
It Is A Journey Not A Destination
It takes time to get it right and I am not sure that I am there yet even after a couple of years of doing these classes. However, I am changing a lifetime of bad habits and see it as a journey not a destination. In every class I learn something new, feel something new and I always always feel better for it.
So to to summarise why I love Pilates. It is pretty simple. Pilates has helped me to learn what my core is, how to engage it, the benefits that I get from engaging it, strengthening my deeper abdominal muscles, giving me greater flexibility, encouraging me to think more about my posture on a day to day basis and generally making me think much more about my body and what I need to do to look after it.
You should really think about getting Pilates in your life. There are SO many fabulous teachers around so it easy to try a few classes and see who best suits you. You wont regret it. And if you want to join me in Angela’s fabulous classes here are some details to join. She has something for every budget.