Are you making this mistake?

how Pilates can help you

Hello everyone

I’ve just started reading a book called The World’s Fittest Book. It’s not about how you get fit as in do this, do that, but about all the different methods people use to get fitter, stronger, healthier.

Ross Edgley the author has spent over a decade traveling and visiting various people, not necessarily fitness people, to see how they manage to live the lives they do, sometimes in the hardest of climates, in his pursuit of understanding health and fitness.

What I like about this book is Ross Edgley’s attitude to health and that fitness should be all about helping your body stay fit for purpose. We should build strong foundations before we start training too intensely, we should understand how our bodies work and the nutrition it needs, before we start over training in order to lose weight and to be honest, the goal to lose weight is really not very useful to your health and wellbeing.

‘There are many ways to get fitter, stronger and leaner. You shouldn’t discriminate against any or strictly favour one. As soon as you do, you close your mind and limit your potential.’

This is a statement that I believe in. I teach Pilates so I have specialised in what I teach predominantly, however I don’t just do Pilates, I do other activities and what I’ve been looking at trying to achieve is to tick as many boxes as I can to help me age better and remain active, if not become more active.

We have:-

Cardio vascular fitness

Muscle / strength / endurance

Speed / Agility / Power

Balance / coordination

Flexibility / mobility

There are a lot of components of fitness and really we want to try and capture as many elements as possible to get the most out of our bodies but in order to this it is vital to understand how fitness works.

This is the biggest mistake that most people make.

They want to get fit, they start exercising and they go for it. Sweat, pounding the pavement, losing weight but they have gone straight into training like a warrior when they have not built solid foundations to work from.

You can’t drive a car as soon as you sit in the seat, well actually you can but only with another person who is a qualified driver or driving instructor. You wouldn’t dream of taking that car out yourself and zooming along the roads because for one thing you could cause a nasty accident but also you just don’t have enough knowledge of how to use that vehicle.

Why then don’t we treat our bodies in the same way?

You’ve started to exercise or you are taking up a new exercise. You must therefore build your foundations so that in the long run you get stronger, fitter and healthier than you ever have been and without injury!!

Why burn yourself out within six months because you are too impatient to see results?

The other thing too is doing one activity is just not enough.

You like running for example, great, it’s free, you can do it anytime, anywhere but I often see a world of runners who really should still be walking (as they would probably do that faster and with less damage to their joints) but will running help you carry your shopping?

It’s all very well if you can run down the road, but then when you sit into a chair, you basically fall into it and have to wriggle yourself out.

Running therefore isn’t improving the way you get up and out a chair?

The basics – push, pull, sit, stand need to be covered from the outset and although running is a great way to keep fit, it doesn’t tick all the boxes.

I’ll always advocate pilates as a starting point if you are new to exercise because it will give you the body awareness you need to then start to do other activities. Pilates will also help with your breathing (cardio vascular capacity) which is vital in assisting how well you move and exercise.

I will no doubt talk further about this book during this month.

Remember you are only as strong as your weakest link so what needs work on?

Now is the time to make sure you train your whole body, not just the favourite bits or the bits you feel need to look good.

Have a great weekend.

Helen x