Easter has passed for another year, and while some of us may still have a few Easter treats left over, the rest of us might be dealing with a slight sugar hangover. Whichever camp you fall into, it’s time to get back into training and make sure that we make the short week ahead count.
Sometimes after a break from routine, it can be hard to get motivated and get back into training again. Why not take the opportunity to mix up your workouts and try something new. By all means you should continue to see your personal trainer or stick at your team sports, but adding a different style of training into your week can be a great way to get motivated again, and also challenge your body with exercise that it is not accustomed to.
Variety in your training can have great benefits, including:
- Injury prevention
- Working different muscle groups, which can help to improve your overall strength and fitness
- Variety helps to keep you interested and motivated
- Active recovery – allows you to stay active while you have a rest from your main style of training, helping to rehabilitate overused muscles
- Allows you to be more flexible with your workouts, so that you always have options to choose from.
A great option to supplement your cardio efforts or personal training sessions is Pilates. Pilates has a vast range of benefits and, as it is based on functional fitness, it helps to improve your overall movement patterns.
Pilates has a major focus on increasing core strength, including the deep core muscles and smaller muscle groups that surround these. It also helps you to: improve your stability and control, enabling you to better protect your spine during workouts; increase your overall flexibility which can help reduce the risk of injury; and the breathing techniques can teach you how to best focus your energy as well as helping to reduce stress.
Pilates, whether based on the mat or on the reformer machines, is a full body workout that helps you to build long, lean muscles. Through a series of controlled movements you will strengthen and tone your body all the way from head to toe. People are often surprised by the level of exertion that a Pilates class requires, particularly when it comes to the legs and glute work – but unlike sunburn, Pilates is the good type of burn!
If you’re already taking part in strength training of some sort, try adding Pilates into your week to help with a greater range of motion, better alignment and focused control. If you’re a lover of all things cardio, the moderate strength training benefits of Pilates could help to increase your power and endurance, build stability and flexibility which can help reduce injury, and also teach you new breathing techniques to efficiently oxygenate your muscles. For anyone that’s not sure where to start on their fitness journey, or is coming back from injury, Pilates is a great low-impact way to get started, strengthen your muscles, and get a full body workout – plus, the breathing techniques you’ll learn will be a great stress reliever.
What else do we love about Pilates? That it can be done almost anywhere! While it is best to work with a trained Pilates instructor (to make sure that you are completing all exercises correctly and so you can just focus on each movement rather than having to think of what to do next) there is nothing stopping you from taking your mats outside, or wherever you would like. And that’s exactly what we’ll be doing in Fiji. If the breathing techniques weren’t enough of a stress relief, the peaceful sounds of the beach and the warm Fijian breeze sure will be!
Pilates is continually growing in popularity so you should be able to find a studio in your area. For more information about our Pilates training options, or personal training appointments with Rhys, please click here.
For those of you joining us in Fiji: it’s almost time to roll up your mats, pick up your boarding pass, and touch-down on the beautiful shores of Natadola Bay. Can’t wait to see you all there for some Pilates by the beach.