In my last two blog posts, I've discussed ways in which we can use our time in lockdown to keep moving wth Pilates and make our health and fitness a priority. But what about those of us who are struggling to construct a routine out of a situation that is not of our choosing? Even though we may have the best of intentions, sometimes our Pilates practice becomes pushed aside to deal with unexpected work or family issues and there just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the day. How can we overcome these obstacles and ensure that we schedule time out for ourselves and factor in some all important Pilates practice time? In this post, we are going to look at ways in which we can successfully accomplish this.
Remember your "Why"
Your "Why" or your reason for doing Pilates should be powerful enough to give you the motivation to follow through with your practice. When I have a client dealing with back pain for example whose goal is to become pain-free, they are highly motivated to practice Pilates several times per week to reduce their pain level. It's rare that they don't commit to their sessions because their desire to be pain-free is all consuming. When they start to see a reduction in pain, they keep going, determined to reach their goal of being pain-free. However, once they have been pain-free for a while it's common to lose some of the momentum because the pain was a reminder to keep practicing and flare-ups occur. Pain is such a strong motivator, but pleasure is also a strong motivator. Think back to how you feel after a Pilates session, relaxed, slightly energised, taller and more lengthened which leads to an improved mood, an overall sense of calm and a positive outlook. Remember this when you are making time for Pilates in your day. Whatever your individual goal is, for example, to prepare for a marathon, a pregnancy or to recover from surgery, keep a clear vision of that goal. You will then find reasons to practice Pilates rather than seeing limitations.
Choose A Practice Time That Works Best For You
Mornings are usually best for the majority of people because as the day goes on, there is more chance of unexpected situations arising that could prevent you from practicing Pilates. It's also a great way to start the day and prepares you mentally and physically for the day ahead. If you aren't a morning person or this is not an option for you, try to establish the best time of day for you and earmark it for Pilates. If you find you are missing sessions consistently, choose another time until you find one that works for you. If your daily routine is particularly challenging be prepared to slot in a session spontaneously when you see you an opportunity. Do whatever you need to do to keep your training consistent.
Have Your Workout Wear & Equipment On Hand
The more efficiently and easily we can slot Pilates into our lifestyle the more likely we are to find practice time. Have your workout wear easily accessible and have the mat and any equipment you use, set up and as close to being ready to go as possible. Wasting time looking for equipment is discouraging. That time is valuable and is best spent on your actual session. Once you have established your set up, you will really enjoy how smoothly and easily you can transition from daily life to a Pilates session. Small things can make a big difference!
Diarise Your Practice Sessions
It's wonderful to be able to look back at our progress and see how just far we have come. If you have an actual record of the sessions that you have completed it creates momentum and encourages you to keep practicing. Last year, my Mum Pam, who many of you have seen on social media, set a goal of doing Reformer footwork in the Pilates studio every day for 1 year - and she achieved it! That's 365 days of Pilates and she was 77 and turned 78 during the year. This creates momentum, she not only feels fantastic but thought if she can achieve a huge goal like that, what else can she do??!! Set a goal that excites you and keep track of it on your phone calendar on put a calendar on the fridge and mark off your practice times. Let your imagination run wild!
Reward Yourself - You Deserve It!
Now, personally I think practicing Pilates is its own reward with the enormous benefits it provides, but rewarding yourself for working consistently towards your goals can be the perfect tool to help you along the way. Set a time period and when you have completed your Pilates sessions at the end of that period you can choose a reward. You can decide how often you want to reward yourself, weekly, monthly, or 6 monthly with a larger reward, whatever works for you. What sort of rewards should you choose? Experiences or items that contribute to your goals are excellent, such as massages, day spa treatments, new workout wear or additional Pilates equipment are just a few examples. The choice is yours!
I hope these practical tips provide you with some inspiration for making your Pilates journey smoother and more accessible in your daily life. If you want to access my online Pilates Studio, JS Mind Body Pilates, you can start your Pilates training right away by taking the free 10 day trial now
. Looking forward to seeing you on the mat!