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10 Reasons Why Pilates Reformer Is The Perfect Post Pandemic Exercise!

Updated: Mar 13, 2021

Hope springs eternal, and never have we been more ready for some hope than right now. After 10 months of Shelter At Home being the safest choice, we are now experiencing a drop in the Boulder County COVID-19 Dial, which means an increase in maximum numbers for workouts at the gym and reservations for group exercise classes, as well as a promising vaccine on the near horizon with a high efficacy rate--hooray! We, as a society, are eager to embrace a bit more socialization and a bit more fitness in our lives. However, 10 months of worrying about the unknown, and limitations in our exercise routines do take a toll on our health, and many of us are no longer at the same fitness level as we were before COVID.

Have you thought about Pilates Reformer classes?

  1. Numbers are limited. Every Pilates studio has a maximum capacity for their group classes due to the amount of Reformers available and that number is going to be smaller than most other group exercise classes.

  2. A small and pleasant amount of socialization. Pilates studios are usually quite cozy and intimate. People get to know one another in class very quickly, especially if they tend to take the same class at the same time, week after week. Friendships grow and those connections are the ones that keep us sane amidst all of the craziness. Connecting to people is one of the biggest keys to long term happiness, according to Psychology Today.

  3. Breathing is one of the six original principles of Pilates. Regulated and controlled breathing is a major contribution to being happy, says How To Be Happy by The New York Times. In meditation practices, attention is brought back to the breath because it grounds us to the present, the here and now, and quiets the mind. Pilates instructors will cue breath in class and often explain why it is beneficial to use which cycle of breath for any particular movement.

  4. Many exercises are done prone. So if you're worried about breathing in someone else's droplets, there is much less chance of that happening during a Reformer class than in a traditional exercise class where there's someone breathing heavily in front of you, next to you, and behind you.

  5. Cardio activity is not usually a part of average class. Pilates Reformer is not a cardio-based format. It can be, like in a Jumpboard class, but generally speaking, no. Pilates is mostly comprised of slow, control movements. FYI, founder Joseph Pilates originally named his method Contrology.

  6. The strong focus on core strength, including awareness of deeper tissues like the Transverse Abdominis. If the past 10 months has left you with a less than content relationship with your core, Pilates will bring you right back to friendlier terms with those muscles. Your exhale will engage the Transverse Abdominis, the deepest layer of abdominal muscle tissue, and stabilize the base of your spine in preparation for safe and effective movement. Exercises like The Hundred and Teaser are cornerstones of Reformer classes and will reacquaint you with your abdominals and help you strengthen them.

  7. You can ease your way into your fitness goals. Pilates meets you were you are. If you've been sitting and taking Zoom meetings while working from home, the Reformer can assist you. if you want to take your fitness to new levels, the Reformer can resist you. Qualified instructors can tweak any exercise to make it less energetic or more challenging.

  8. Practitioners can choose to go heavier in resistance or lighter in resistance for stability. If you didn't know, the Reformer works on spring resistance and a pulley system (and magic...ok, that's an exaggeration, but it sometimes feels that way!). While heavier resistance does not always equal "more", exercise science tells us that increasing resistance helps to build muscle strength (ie. adding more weight to your squat bar), so if you're looking for "more", you can utilize this strategy on this intelligent piece of equipment. However, much of Pilates delves into the symmetry of our bodies, which become progressively asymmetrical as we live our lives. Often these imbalances lead to injuries or troubled-areas. Using lighter springs, or less resistance, gives us the opportunity to discover where we are unstable and work towards a greater balance.

  9. Learn to organize your body so you can approach any physical activity with knowledge and safety. Pilates, with or without equipment, enables the practitioner to live their lives or enjoy their hobbies or profession with greater ease. If you run around after kids or want to be able to sit down on the floor to play with them, Pilates can help you do that. If you are an Olympic athlete, Pilates can help you perform at your best. If you work seated at a desk, Pilates can help you find your best posture. Pilates teaches you how to organize and utilize your body in a proficient manner. You can and should take this knowledge into all parts of your life, whether it is enjoying a hike with your dog, dancing on stage, in a pick up basketball game, or playing your violin.

  10. Gift yourself 55-minutes of self care. A Pilates Reformer class or lesson is a true gift to yourself. Taking the time completely for yourself is an act of love--no outside demands to intrude during this time. Your mind quiets, your body listens, and your heart has 55- minutes to simply be present. You will leave your class taller, invigorated, and ready to tackle whatever is ahead of you. Remember, you can't fill the cup of others if yours is empty.

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