Why Shouldn’t Exercise Be For All?

As the leaves on the trees start to change and drop,and the weather is beginning to cool. It gets harder to climb out from under the warm cozy doona in the morning, to get the day started. Autumn/Winter sports season has started, and the Paris Olympics isn’t too far away. With many sports associations focused on targeting the post-Olympic high to motivate and inspire the next generation of potential sporting stars. What about the rest of us??? Shouldn’t we, that don’t fall under the next Olympians umbrella also continue to participate in regular physical activity?

It has been mentioned by a former colleague of mine that I record more hours of exercise on Strava weekly than I do working with paying clients. For some of us our chosen exercise comes easy, while for others it is the ultimate form of torture and of course there is everyone else in between.
I think that the way to help the latter groups is to make it achievable and a habit. Clarke (2016) found the time it takes to make a repeatable activity a habit, with noticeable changes to body morphology, is not evident until 8-weeks; while cardiorespiratory and metabolic changes were not evident until closer to 12-weeks of continued, consistent training. WebMD published a great piece about ways to assist in habit formulation for exercise (Bernstein, 2021). Recommending people choosing activities that were enjoyable and fun to make it less of a task to undertake.

So what does that mean? Ensuring your exercise is convenient to your location and lifestyle means you are more likely to fit it into your current schedule. Setting realistic goals that are achievable can be key to the formation of exercise habits. It is important to be open to the possibility that changes may be required at times, including the time of day when you exercise or if you need to step back your exercise levels due to unforeseen time off. Saying that, I have decided to step outside of my comfort zone and start practicing yoga. Admittedly the time and location of the class should work well for me and my household most weeks.

Larson et al. (2018) found if a person makes the commitment to meet with someone or a group to exercise, they were more likely to attend. Accountability and social support can be a powerful motivator and key in the forming of exercise habits. Promising to meet someone to exercise means a person is less likely to back-out, as they are also letting someone else down (Larson et al., 2018). This is a technique I use regularly, especially on cold winter mornings.

One thing that may help motivate people to really consider looking into their levels of physical activity is following the updated 2020 World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour. The WHO recommendations are broken down into age groups:

  • Adolescents 5-17 years of age: 60 minutes of exercise, three days per week
  • Adults 18-64 years of age:
    • 150-300 minutes of moderately intense aerobic physical activity per week, or
    • 75-150 minutes of high intensity per week
  • 65 years and older: same activity amounts as 18–64-year-olds but with lower intensity.

By meeting and/or exceeding these guidelines, significant health benefits can be gained, including reduction in cardiovascular disease, hypertension, mental health anxiety and depression, and possible a reduction in adipose tissues (World Health Organisation. 2022).

References:

Bernstein, S. (2021). Easy ways to make exercise a habit. Retrieved August 18. 2022 from https://www.webmd.com/women/exercise-habits
Clark, J.E. (2016). The impact of duration on effectiveness of exercise, the implication for periodization of training and goal setting for individuals who are overfat, a meta-analysis. Biology of Sport, 33(4), 309-333. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5143767/
Larson, H. K., McFadden, K., McHugh, T. L. F., Berry, T. R., & Rodgers, W. M. (2018). When you don’t get what you want-and it’s really hard: Exploring motivational contributions to exercise dropout. Psychology of Sport & Exercise, 37, 59-66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2018.04.006
World Health Organisation (2022). Who guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behaviour: At a glance. Retrieved August 20, 2022 from https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/337001/9789240014886-eng.pdf

Reformer Pilates: 7 Reasons It’s For All Bodies

While Pilates, including reformer Pilates, has traditionally been associated with young fit women, there’s no reason why all bodies, both male, female, older or young, can’t benefit from it as well. Here are some reasons why you might consider practicing Reformer Pilates:

1. Strength and stability and balance: 

Reformer Pilates places a strong emphasis on muscular engagement and stability. Strengthening certain muscle groups can improve posture, mobility and aid in balance and control. 

2. Muscular Imbalance Correction:

It is very common that we can develop muscular imbalances due our occupational demands, sports or purely activities of daily living. Reformer Pilates offers a balanced approach to working multiple muscle groups, helping to address these imbalances. 

3. Flexibility and Range of Motion: 

Reformer Pilates incorporates stretching movements that can help improve flexibility over time. Enhanced flexibility can lead to better overall movement mechanics and reduced risk of strains.

4. Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation:

The controlled and low-impact nature of reformer Pilates can make it an excellent choice for injury prevention and rehabilitation. People recovering from injuries, such as joint issues or muscle strains, can benefit from the gentle yet effective resistance training provided by the reformer.

5. Athletic Performance Enhancement: 

Many professional athletes incorporate Pilates into their training routines to improve strength, agility, and overall performance. Reformer Pilates can enhance functional fitness, which can translate to better performance in various sports.

6. Mind-Body Connection: 

Reformer Pilates promotes mindfulness, body awareness, and breath control, which can be particularly helpful to improve their overall mind-body connection and stress management. 

7. Variation in Fitness Routine:

Adding reformer Pilates to a fitness routine can provide variety and a new challenge. Cross-training with different forms of exercise, including Pilates, can lead to well-rounded fitness and prevent plateaus.

It’s important to note that these benefits apply to both men and women. The idea that Pilates is primarily for women is a misconception, and men can gain just as much from incorporating reformer Pilates into their fitness regimen. 

As always, consulting with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting a new exercise program is recommended, especially if there are any pre-existing health conditions. If you have any further questions or concerns don’t hesitate to contact our clinic- we are here to help and support all bodies on their health journeys. 

Reformer Pilates: Your 5 Burning Questions Answered

If you’ve ever wondered what sets Reformer Pilates apart from traditional Pilates or why it’s become such a popular fitness choice, you’re in the right place. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned practitioner, we’ve got answers to common questions and tips to enhance your Reformer Pilates experience. We’ll explore the core principles, benefits, and the mechanics of the reformer machine. Let’s get started on your journey to improved core strength, flexibility, and overall well-being through Reformer Pilates.

1. What is reformer Pilates and how does it differ from traditional Pilates

Reformer Pilates is a type of that incorporates exercises that focus on core strength, flexibility, and body awareness a specially designed machine called a reformer. It uses spring resistance to engage and strengthen various muscle groups. 

2. What are the benefits of practicing reformer Pilates?

Reformer Pilates can improve core strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, and balance. It may also help alleviate body aches and pains and improve postural alignment. 

3. Can you explain how the reformer machine works and its main components?

The reformer machine consists of a sliding carriage, springs for resistance, straps, and adjustable bars. The sliding carriage allows controlled movements while the springs provide varying levels of resistance. Straps and bars are used for different exercises that target different muscle groups. The machine’s design supports a wide range of motion and can be adjusted to accommodate various body types and fitness levels.

Yes, you may feel awkward on the machine, even after doing 100 classes. Don’t worry everyone is in the same boat. We are not here to judge, we just want you to have fun and move your body. 

4. What is the difference between beginner and open classes?

For beginners, we start with foundational exercises like pelvic rocks, leg work and arm work is a slower controlled way. This helps familiarise you with the machine’s mechanics and build strength and mobility. 

Gradually incorporating different layering options of exercises and spring options exercises can become more challenging in the open classes. 

We advise a minimum of 6 beginner classes before joining the open classes. 

5. What should I wear and bring to a reformer Pilates class?

Wear comfortable, form-fitting clothing that allows for ease of movement. Bring a water bottle to stay hydrated, and consider bringing a towel as you may sweat during the session. 

We ask all reformer participants to wear GRIPPY PILATES SOCKS as they provide traction on the reformer’s surface. These can be purchased at the studio before your first class if needed. 

Remember that while these answers are based on available evidence, individual experiences can vary. If you have any other questions or have any pre existing medical conditions, you can contact our clinic and one of our friendly Osteopaths will help you out. 

Pre/Post-natal Pilates

What is it?

Modified Pilates exercises, shifting the focus to what your body needs during this time. Classes are designed to help your body through all stages of your pregnancy and post-partum experience.

Key differences to general Pilates classes:

A focus on spinal mobility continues throughout pre/post-natal Pilates classes.

Where it differs are:

  • modified positions, for example, during second and third trimesters no exercises lying on your back or tummy,
  • focus shifts from exercises strengthening the core to exercises for postural awareness and pelvic strength, and
  • exercises to assist with post-partum recovery.

Key goals of Pilates exercises during pregnancy and post-partum:

To improve or maintain:

  • Pelvic floor muscle activation
  • Pelvic strength and support
  • Postural awareness/training

What if I have pelvic or back pain?

Modified pregnancy Pilates classes aim to assist with pelvic strength and spinal mobility to help prevent pregnancy-related pain but they can also be modified for women with pain to assist them through their pregnancy and to recover post-partum.

What does a pre/post-natal Pilates class at Peninsula Osteopathy and Allied Health look like?

Small class sizes so exercises can be easily modified and individualised to your stage in pregnancy, level of Pilates experience and how you are feeling on the day.

Participants may complete an individual assessment with an Osteopath before their first class. This will include discussing health/fitness goals and any injury or health concerns.