We live in a fast-paced society.
From the moment you step out your door to when you recline into bed some 15 or so hours later, we are bombarded with notifications, deadlines, meetings, emails, and concerns. With our on-the-go lifestyles it’s no wonder the stress levels felt by many of us are through the roof.
Stress is a symptom of anxiety. It may be brought upon by physical feelings, lack of connection to others, decreased mood, poor sleep and circulation, or a lack of confidence.
Enter – self-care. We often see self-care presented as a bubble bath and face mask. Of course, these things make us feel amazing. However, adding Pilates to your self-care routine will be an addition that allows you to see long term changes to your body, mindset, and mood.
So how exactly can Pilates help?
Pilates improves your posture & circulation.
Pilates has a wealth of benefits to your body, one of which is assisting in developing a taller, ballerina-esque posture. Sitting at a desk, behind a computer, or curled on the lounge for long periods of time can lead to tightening of the muscles of the chest, coupled with weakening of the muscles of the upper back resulting in a hunched forward posture – hello stress headaches. With improved posture comes better circulation, reduced headaches and neck pain, better respiration and so much more.
It’s a mini meditation break.
It feels like we are always ‘connected’. Taking time for yourself at a mat Pilates class gives you time to put your phone away and reconnect with yourself. Through the focussed breath work and slow control of movements, your hour at the mat gives you a chance to recharge, centre yourself, and just breathe.
Your willpower will increase
There’s nothing quite like the burning sensation you feel in those small muscles you never even knew you had during Pilates. It hurts, and yet your instructor will be saying, ‘just five more’. Although you want to give in, each time you stick through you create new mental patterns. The post-class relief is a mixture of pride and bliss that will set you up with the knowledge and motivation that you’ll be a little stronger each time, and can will yourself to work a little more.
Pilates boosts your mood
Something we have heard a hundred times before is that exercise releases endorphins which can lead to a notable improvement in one’s mood. Pilates is our exercise of choice as it is suitable for any level of fitness or injury, allowing each and every person in the class to build strength and confidence in a supported, functional way.
It allows you to create goals outside of your professional life
Personal goals fuel a different fire than career pursuits. By having goals outside of your work or study commitments, you can feel a richer sense of self-worth and contentment. Try joining a group class, connecting with others and setting yourself a challenge – 10 full push ups, or a 2 minute plank are popular goals amongst our studios members.
If you’re convinced that Pilates is what your self-care routine is missing and want to really feel the difference, I suggest trying 2-3 classes a week. Monitor your emotions, strength and energy levels – chances are the results will have you hooked!
As well as studying Speech Pathology, Anthea is also an instructor at Duo Pilates in Camp Hill, Brisbane. Her favourite part about being a Pilates instructor is seeing clients gain confidence in their movement, and develop a passion for Pilates themselves.