Doing Pilates every day may seem a little daunting for most people. But what if I told you that only small amounts are required to produce life-changing results? Many of my JS Mind Body Pilates members have just finished their 10 Day September Self-Care Challenge and they are living proof of exactly what can be achieved with daily online Pilates sessions. One of the reasons I created my unique online Pilates studio was to help people become pain-free or recover from an injury in short daily Pilates sessions they could do conveniently in their own home at a time that suits them. It's always so exciting for me to hear how fabulous everyone feels at the end of the Challenge. Some of the participants have a weekly 1 on 1 Skype session too, so I actually get to see with my own eyes the amazing changes they have experienced from the Challenge. This is the reason why I offer my members the opportunity to participate in at least 3 Challenges per year. It's highly motivating for them and they select a goal to work towards. They feel fantastic physically and mentally at the end and this gives them the momentum to keep going with their daily practice so they can move with ease and enjoy life.
What type of health conditions does small daily doses of Pilates assist with?
The majority of the participants are at various stages of recovery from back or hip pain. One woman has MS and another is rehabilitating after a hysterectomy. Several have osteopenia or osteoporosis, one has rheumatoid arthritis and another has pelvic floor issues. Some have had knee replacements and another has foot issues. Some are sitting at a computer all day and are consciously making themselves a priority by participating in the Challenge. It could sound like these people are facing a lot of limitations with many reasons why they shouldn't be doing a Pilates Challenge, but the exact opposite is true. Ranging in age from 40 to 73, they had set their goals and steadily worked towards them at their own pace. Instead of focussing on their limitations, they made new discoveries about what they could do and became stronger and more flexible and more much more connected to their minds and bodies. My online studio is designed to cater to all these health issues. I'm their biggest supporter, monitoring their progress, offering exercise suggestions and reminding them that they can do this. Small daily doses of Pilates has shown them what is possible in their lives and that daily Pilates can change their bodies, their minds and promote healing.
How much is a small daily dose?
It all depends on your individual needs and goals for your own health and fitness. You also need to take into account how you are feeling. If you are in chronic pain you may need to start with 10 - 15 minutes per day or even 5 minutes if that works better for you. If your pain level isn't limiting your ability to move you might want to start with 15 or 20 mins per day. Whatever you decide on to begin with you can always change it as your needs change. The recommendation for the Challenge was 15 -20 mins per day of Pilates, but some people chose to do 10 mins and others wanted to do 30 minutes while the majority chose to do around 15 - 20 mins. As you can see, this is not a huge time commitment and because you can do it at home you don't have to factor in travel time. I specifically designed the videos on my site to be around 10 minutes in length, some shorter and some longer and each has the duration listed so you can plan your exact session length in advance. I couldn't believe how much stronger and more connected one of my clients looked who committed to 10 minutes each day for the Challenge. Her usual routine is 1 x 30 minutes Skype session with me per week but after just 1 week of adding 10 minutes per day additional practice, she looked and felt so much stronger. The daily time out to focus on herself had also given her a much-needed mental break from work stresses. She intends to keep up her new daily Pilates program because it produces results and it's so practical timewise. So a small daily dose of Pilates really is manageable for most people and as I have seen both for myself and my clients, highly effective for producing results.
What are JS Mind Body Pilates members saying after the Challenge?
One of the most exciting parts of the Challenge for me is hearing everyone's feedback when they have finished. Some of the words members have used to describe how they feel after completing 10 days of Pilates are: stronger, more supple, energised, pain-free and one of my personal favourites "nimble". Who doesn't want to be nimble especially in their mid-60s? The other wonderful thing I love seeing is the momentum that is created by 10 days of the Challenge. By completing 10 consecutive days of small daily does of Pilates, having experienced the benefits for themselves, the majority of members keep going with their daily practice. Firstly they feel amazing so they want to hold onto that feeling. Secondly, it becomes part of their daily self-care routine like brushing their teeth or taking a shower. It's another essential way of maintaining their own health & fitness. Lastly, they see what's possible. It's not as hard as they thought to commit to themselves and carve out the time they need to for a small dose of Pilates each day. One of my members who just completed the Challenge for the first time said she can't believe how incredible she started to feel only a few days into it. She said she had heard me on many occasions say just how extraordinarily beneficial daily Pilates practice can be, but it wasn't until she tried it for herself that she finally understood exactly what I was talking about!
How do small daily doses of Pilates differ from more traditional ways of doing Pilates?
Traditionally, Pilates is practiced in group mat classes and in small groups or privately in a studio with machines and equipment. Usually, the sessions are around an hour or more in length and clients attend once, twice or three times per week. Obviously, when Covid-19 hit in early 2020 and Pilates studios were forced to close, Pilates teachers had to find other ways of keeping sessions going for their clients. Fortunately for myself and my clients JS Mind Body Pilates my online studio had already been established for 18 months prior to Covid. Live 1 on 1 Skype sessions were also added and my clients and members have gone from strength to strength. So while doing a 1 hour session once per week has many benefits, doing a smaller amount daily has other benefits. Small daily doses of PIlates mean you are continually reinforcing the positive changes you are making to your body. Some people who are in pain find an hour long session is too taxing and being able to do the session at home means they don't have to drive which can further exacerbate the pain. A crisis also allows an opportunity for positive change and small, daily doses of Pilates are definitely a good example of this.
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