It's well and truly winter over here in Australia, and what better way to keep warm than with some good old exercise! I don't know about you, but going out for a run in the freezing rain just does not appeal, and the thought of a crowded, stinky gym just isn't doing much for me either. Each to their own!
If the above sounds like you, or if you're wanting to give something new a try, then look no further than Pilates. It's the ideal winter-time fitness activity - you are indoors, class sizes are usually small or one-on-one, you get a killer workout and can fit it in before or after work or even on your lunch break.
To give you a bit of a run down, Pilates was developed almost 100 years ago as a mental and physical workout, and it's more than just stretching. It was created as a system of exercises to strengthen both the body and the mind, as the founder Joseph Pilates was quick to realise that physical and mental health were interrelated. It emphasises correct alignment, breathing, developing a strong core, and improving balance and coordination.
Pilates will not only have you looking great on the outside by improving your overall strength and posture, but it will also have us looking great on the inside, by utilising the deep intrinsic muscles which are so often overlooked and weak. By working these deeper muscles, we're also able to directly stimulate the internal organs that are responsible for respiration and digestion, as well as our endocrine systems, all of which can help with our immunity. Joseph even boasts that during an 18 month stint teaching pilates on the Isle of Man during WW2, not one of the inmates in his care succumbed to the flu epidemic that took lives in every other camp! (He was known to be a bit of a bragger though)
So how can you add Pilates into your routine this winter?
While there are plenty of online programs out there, if you have never done Pilates before we recommend you seeing a qualified instructor to get a hang of the movements and techniques. A great way to do this is with group Mat Pilates classes, which can be found at gyms or Pilates studios. Another form of Pilates (my personal favourite) is Reformer Pilates, which incorporates the Reformer Machine (pictured below). This spring loaded machine is so versatile, and you'll really be able to progress and have fun. For Reformer Pilates, we recommend starting with private classes, as they can take a while to get used to, and the settings will always need to be modified for your personal level, injuries, goals, etc.
Whatever style of Pilates you want to try, just give it a go and we promise you won't look back. Pilates isn't just for women either - men, if you think it's an easy workout then come in for one private class, and say that it was easy at the end! Due to the low impact nature of Pilates, it really is a workout for anyone, in any shape. Everything can be modified and tailored so that you are comfortably pushed within your limits, and so that you can get stronger with each class.
Want to join the Perth Pilates movement and stay warm this winter? All of our Physiotherapists take private Pilates sessions, along with myself - a Pilates Instructor. We also offer small group Mat Pilates classes too if that's more to your liking. Book in online now by clicking here, or call (08) 9448 2994 for an initial assessment!