10 minute Pilates for busy mums
A few months back I started Pilates.
With my brand new gym gear I energetically went off Tigger-like to my first class and loved it.
So I went each week for about 6 weeks and was starting to feel the benefits (my back felt less stiff and I was regaining strength in my stomach).
It was all going really well until life got in the way - one of the children was poorly one week, the class sold out the next, my husband worked late one Thursday and the classes ground to a halt for me.
And now it's been about 5 weeks since I last went.
The thing is I know Pilates is a good fit for me personally.
I want to regain strength in my abs after two c-sections.
I want to ease the muscles in my back where I feel strain from lifting heavy toddlers and pushing a ridiculously heavy double buggy.
A few weeks ago, as I feeling a bit useless at my bad pilates attendance, I came into contact with Louise - a Pilates teacher and founder of Studio 44 Pilates.
She offers online classes that are 10 minutes long which you can access and do at your own pace.
I've been trying out Louise's videos at home and it's been wonderful being able to fit them in to my routine.
Many of the stretches are familiar to me from the class I have been going to locally, so I feel like I am building on what I have already been taught.
I caught up with Louise to find out a bit more about Pilates and whether 10 minute workouts really can make a difference:
As a mum of two little ones, I find the frequent carrying my children & pushing their double buggy quite tough on my body and back. How can Pilates help?
Pilates is all about strengthening the core (the deep supporting muscles in the centre of the body) to help improve our posture. So when you are carrying your children you need to hold them in front of you rather than on one hip, as this puts all the weight on one side which can put the pelvis out of line, causing issues now and later in life. Improving your posture and strengthening your core will ensure that when you are pushing the buggy you stand in the correct position to benefit your body, rather than pushing through your shoulders and leaning into the buggy. A win win!!
10 minutes sounds quite manageable to a busy mum - can it really make a difference?
Lack of time is the main reason people do no exercise at all! The recommendations state that you should do 30 minutes of exercise every day. This doesn’t mean going to the gym each day, this is about general exercise which elevates your heart rate, so pushing a buggy will help towards this goal. Pilates improves strength, flexibility & balance. 10 minutes will help towards this. Done 3 – 5 times a week it will help increase all of the above, make you more aware of your body and reduce the risk of injury as well as improving your mindset.
How has Pilates helped you over the years and since you have been practicing/teaching?
I have been teaching Pilates for 17 years now and have had my fair share of back problems (should I admit that being a pilates teacher?!) I find if I haven’t done any for a few days I can really feel myself stiffening up and tweaks in my back. I love the exercises that mobilise and stretch my spine (that’s an age thing!!) but I also love the strengthening exercises. Everyone thinks Pilates is easy, but once you have been doing it for a while the exercises become really challenging! Now at 52 I feel fitter and stronger than when I first started teaching!
Is there a perfect time of day for Pilates?
This really depends on the individual and also the TIME you can fit it in. I really like exercising first thing, so this usually means I have to get up at 6am before everyone else is up and do my session, which always involves Pilates. There is no best time and I think it depends on the individual, some people like to get up and moving before even thinking about it! Doing something at any time of the day is better than not moving at all!
Pilates helps physical health, would you say it helps mental health too?
Yes! Joseph Pilates who developed Pilates states that “Pilates is the complete coordination of body, mind and spirit.” You learn about your body through the exercises which “develops the body posture, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit.”
Thanks to Louise for letting me try out her 10 minute online classes.
You can try out a 10 minute taster video and sign up to a free 7 day trial at https://studio44pilates.com/online-classes/