Try Adding Pilates to Your Workout Routine

Try Adding Pilates to Your Workout Routine

Add Pilates to your exercise regimen as a way to stay fit in any season!

It happens to all of us: After a season of big meals and indulgent desserts, our clothes feel a little tighter and pants don't quite zip up.

That doesn’t mean we have to wait until springtime to get started on a fitness regimen, though — it’s time to get serious! Here’s a quick introduction to Pilates and how you can easily work these exercises into your busy day.

An Age-old Technique
Pilates is about relaxation and stretching. These exercises essentially consist of controlled movements coordinated with breathing. It will get you in shape and give you a flexible, toned body. If you think these are slow, boring gym exercises, you couldn't be more wrong! This is a quick, complete discipline. Although this isn’t high-impact, be sure to check with your doctor before you start a new fitness regimen.

Start Slowly (but without Breaks between Exercises)
You can join a gym or begin doing the exercises at home. These simple exercises will introduce you to the world of Pilates. With just minutes a day, you will see the difference in improved breathing and posture.

1. Legs
Lie face up on a mat (if possible). Hold your arms straight by your sides and inhale. Raise one leg so that it makes a 90-degree angle with your body while you exhale. Lower it slowly while inhaling deeply. Repeat five times with each leg; rest one minute and repeat the series.

2. Glutes
Lie face up on a mat and place your arms at your sides. Bend your legs at a 45-degree angle. Inhale. Lift the glutes as you exhale. In this position, raise one leg and cross it over the other. Return the leg to its initial position and repeat the exercise with the other leg. Do two sets of five repetitions with each leg, resting for one minute between sets.


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3. Abdomen
Lie face up on the ground with your hands behind your neck, your legs straight and together in a vertical position and your feet pointing straight up. Contract your navel inward and slightly upward.

Keep your back flat on the floor, leaving no space between the mat and the lumbar spine. Inhale while holding the initial position. Exhale while lowering your legs to a 45-degree angle, slightly raising your head from the floor. Your back should remain flat on the floor. Inhale while returning your legs to the initial position. Repeat eight times, and then rest one minute and repeat.

4. Arms
Lie face down on the mat. Extend your arms and stretch your entire body. Inhale. Pull your hands in slightly and put your weight on them in order to raise your body slowly as you exhale. Keep your head straight during the entire exercise and stretch until you feel the tension in your abdominal muscles. Repeat five times and rest.

A good Pilates session shouldn’t take any longer than 30 or 40 minutes a day, but you will see a difference if you do the exercises regularly. It is best to do these exercises four or five days a week, in your spare time or when you want to clear your head.

Relax, don't be anxious and don't be in a hurry. Time and consistency will make this workout worth the time and effort!

What’s your favourite way to exercise? Let us know in the comments section below!

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