Why do Pilates?

I have been purposely practicing movement since I was a child. From the age of five doing acrobatics and ballet to aerobics (think bright purple unitard with leg warmers) at my local community centres in my teens.

I have always loved movement so deciding to become a fitness professional in my 20s was a no brainer. 

In my 20s, while personal training my Toronto clientele, I also trained as an endurance athlete, and also in my early 30s when my children were little. I moved into heavy weight lifting in my late 30s. During these years I always practiced yoga as a recovery method, balancing my other activities and trying to stay injury free. 

In my mid-40s, I found Barre, and have enjoyed the amazing transformation in my body. And then recently, about one year ago, I discovered Pilates. I immediately fell in love with the practice. I found the articulation of the spine (flexion, extension, rotation, and side flexion) fascinating. In yoga, we mainly keep the spine straight and long; whereas, in Pilates the spine is meant to move in every direction for the health of the body. 

Pilates exercises increase strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, coordination, balance, and correct alignment (posture), which helps prevent injuries and corrects poor movement patterns. Why? Pilates mainly uses our intrinsic muscles: the deep most layers closest to the bones, basically the muscles that support the skeleton. 

In Pilates we work from the inside out. Normally people train their extrinsic muscles only, the superficial muscles that we have right under our skin. When we only train those extrinsic muscles, our intrinsic muscles often don’t activate properly. If those deep core muscles aren’t activated, our bodies are not being supported as they should which often leads to injury and pain.

Learning to move with awareness and control to correctly activate our inner most deep core muscles helps train our outer most superficial muscles properly. Balance and support keeps our bodies safe and functional. Whether you are an athlete, frequent exerciser wanting to stay injury free, someone recovering from an injury, or a beginner wanting to build a strong foundation to become or stay pain-free, Pilates makes the best and most amazing supplemental movement system. 

I offer Fusion Flow classes, which blend Pilates and yoga-style movements. Also, I offer strictly Pilates mat class, as well as, individual reformer sessions.

Below is a you tube link of a 15min sample of my style of a typical beginner Pilates mat class.

Three Helpful Tips to Keep to Your Resolution of Becoming Healthier

New Year’s Resolutions. We all make them with the best of intentions and I actually love them. Every year, the week before January 1st, I begin contemplating about what I’d like to change in my life for the upcoming year. On December 31st I carve out a bit of time with my journal to write out my plans. 

Now, truthfully, as the year unfolds some of those carefully crafted ideas don’t even get implemented. Some of those ideas live for about a month or two and then get dropped. But thankfully some of my changes do stay and new habits are formed. 

If your Year 2020 resolution was to develop healthier lifestyle habits and you are worried you may not stick to your new plan, you are reading the right article! As a Certified Personal Trainer, working for the Township of Langley, I have seen lots of success with clients reaching their goals. 

I have noticed three important steps that have led to successful outcomes for clients sticking to their healthy lifestyle plan:

  • Find your number one reason why. Ask yourself why do you want to get healthier? Do you want to look better, feel better, have more energy, become pain-free? Be brutally honest with yourself about your reasons. If you find the “why” that is uniquely motivating to you, it’s a great push to remember it when you are feeling less than thrilled to tie up your sneakers and head to the gym. 
  • Find a workout buddy. I have seen so much success with this one. Whether you hire a personal trainer to keep you accountable, sign up for a small group training class, or make friends in a group fitness class and see them every time you go to class, these are huge motivators to keep you coming back. 
  • Have a plan. We lead busy lives and for the important events we need to schedule it. If not, your well intentioned idea of getting healthier will get missed. Trust me, I know. I have three teenagers and I feel like a taxi most of the time. Being their taxi and working full time, it’s difficult to keep to my 2020 resolutions. I definitely notice the impact when I put my workouts into the family’s Google calendar, I am much more likely to keep to it. Also, it lets your family members know to schedule things around your workout times, not during.