by Cathleen Rodgers
The winter season can dazzle us with beautiful snowfall, cozy nights by the fire, and delicious eats and treats. That said, it also begins to take its toll on us—the snow becomes more of a travel hazard and a hassle, the days are too short, and the cold wreaks havoc on our bodies. The winter blues can set in. But there are ways to defeat them, and Pilates is one of the best ways out there. Below is a highlight of the benefits that consistent Pilates practice can bring to you this time of year.
When was the last time you focused on your breath? One of the Pilates Principles is Breathing, an element that Joseph Pilates believed was critical to exercise and daily life. Pilates incorporates full, fluid breath with your movement. Proper breathing brings fresh air into the body, improves circulation, builds stamina, and allows muscles to work to their fullest. It can also help you feel more balanced and calm, as it quite literally clears your mind and bring things into focus.
Length & Strength
We can give Pilates credit for those lean, strong muscles you’ll develop in your practice, for Pilates is a full-body workout. You learn to move from the Powerhouse and create length throughout your body for that full hour. Many people leave Pilates lessons feeling longer, leaner, and fully refreshed; both your mind and body will feel infinitely better and more connected than when you first walked in to the studio. What better way to beat the winter blues?
We all want nothing more than to curl up under a blanket with hot cocoa when the temperatures drop. However, we must keep moving so our blood circulates and our bodies don’t get too stiff. Pilates gives many opportunities to stretch the body in an aligned, correct position, so you can work out those cold weather kinks in a safe way. Take some of those stretches you learn and try them out at home—just make sure you’re warmed up a bit, first. Take note of how much better your body feels once you’ve moved around and stretched out!
Body Awareness
The mind-body connection is important in the practice of Pilates. Without feeling where your body is at all times, it is difficult to perform certain exercises correctly. Pilates is, quite literally, mind over matter. If you can keep your mind focused on your workout and your body, then you will succeed in your movement. This body awareness is key when it comes to those winter activities or sports in order to help prevent injury.
Clients begin to develop a camaraderie, even a friendship with one another as time goes on. As you create a more consistent schedule for yourself, you’ll come across familiar faces from week to week. Having those people in class with you, everyone working so hard to reach their goals, is just a wonderful thing to experience and to witness. Immerse yourself into the community—encourage each other to work hard, but keep it fun!
Winter Activities
Whether you’re into winter sports like skiing or snowboarding, or merely dealing with winter chores such as snow shoveling, Pilates will give you a leg up. Strengthening your Powerhouse and learning proper movement patterns in your body will protect your joints, muscles, and ligaments in other vigorous winter activities. All the twisting, squatting, and bending has potential to throw your knees or back out, but with your Pilates background, your body will likely be able to avoid injury. Get out there and put those Pilates Principles to good use!
Pilates truly is an incredible way to keep your mind, body, and spirit healthy in all seasons. Winter can be difficult at times, but Pilates can keep you in top shape even as the cold and dark wears on you. Your mind will stay replenished, and your body in good working condition. What’s more, Pilates Instructors are there to help you reach those New Year goals—so always fill us in with your latest goals and dreams for your practice! See you at the studio!