We chose our latest blogger for this opportunity because she and many others like her might self select out of Pilates. At Lead, we often hear how people want to go to the gym first to get in shape – then come to Pilates and this of course is not the case!
Over her time with us, I have noticed a substantial change in her; when she walks in she moves with so much more confidence than she did when we first met her!
Our latest Lead Blogger is trying a variety of classes at the studio but is staying consistent with her mat work which is the heart and soul of what we do here at Lead in Saskatoon.
Follow our latest Lead Blogger as she experiences the Lead Advantage, both on the studio and Integrated Health Therapies side.
Yours in Pilates, Fitness, & Health,
In summer 2015 (just before starting Pilates) I was starting to struggle with changing hormones. I was 49 years old and hot flashes were new to me (and not welcomed), overwhelming waves of anxiety would come and go, brain fog said its Hellos, and an overwhelming lack of energy for days at a time was also most unwelcome. I discovered that doing my minimum four classes of Pilates a week (preferably a class or some form of exercise every day) and really watching what I ate/drank helped me to control the perimenapausal symptoms. I liked the classes that provided a gentle workout and more stretching on days when I had less energy. I was finding that I would have more energy throughout the rest of the day or evening after my classes than when I arrived for class. I would also leave feeling “happier”.
I have wanted to try Pilates for a long time and in September 2015 I made a commitment to try Pilates for four months. I signed up for four exercise classes a week including beginner mat classes. Mat classes were not then, and are still not, my favourite class; but they are the classes that have taught me the most about breathing, stretching, proper poses, building on exercises, etc. Learning the exercises in mat class has helped me in my other pilates classes as well. They have given me more confidence, better balance (most of the time), deeper stretches, and better posture. My first instructor for mat class was Jana. Back then I did not know what she was talking about “we would notice changes from within first before seeing changes in body, shape, etc”. After a few months I knew what she was talking about:
- I measured my height because I would have bet money that I was taller since starting my classes (I am still the same height but I still feel taller even today).
- I had more energy and I felt more alert. I also felt happier more often.
- When I walk, (even now) I have the sensation of being taller, I feel stronger, my energy level is more consistent and greater, going up stairs is easier (I am in tune with the muscles I am using and want to use), and I have noticed a subtle change in my body shape.
- My clothes fit nicer. I was learning to hold my stomach in and my posture was becoming straighter, stronger overall. The area from my arm pits to my waist was becoming smoother, maybe tighter, but it was different and I liked the changes.
I continue from that first day of Pilates class to learn how to use my breathing to push my body through the hardest part of an exercise. At first deep breathing exercises made me feel dizzy but I felt healthier and calmer in every day living. I started using the breathing to help keep me calm and to ward off hot flashes and anxiety attacks. I continue to work on my deep breathing exercises all the time.
I don’t know what I was thinking but I had four children within less than six years. Some years were a blur and every day was a lot of work but I would do it all again to be with my kids as they grew up – these were some of the happiest years of my life. How this relates to Pilates:
STRESS – I now have four teenagers and this brings on its own life of stress – did I mention I am a single Mom for the last four years? (never mind MY hormones, dealing with teenage hormones too – yikes what was I thinking?!!) Pilates helps me with my stress and I don’t think that needs explanation.
ABDOMINAL FAT – yes this got a little out of control with four pregnancies and even though I feel like I will have it for life, I feel like there is hope for me and my goal of 28 pilates classes a month!
TIME TO MYSELF – Pilates is mine. My time to focus on me – my investment in me. I wish I had started this years ago.
I knew after that first four months of Pilates classes that I was hooked. It is not just an exercise program but a way of life for me like eating healthy and finding things in my life that make me happy that I also enjoy doing.