A few years back, I bought a women’s fitness magazine that came with a ‘Pilates at Home’ DVD. Up until then, I had never tried Pilates despite everyone raving about the local classes and my sister inviting me to join her on one of them almost every week. So was my determination that Pilates are an easy workout, that once I started watching the DVD I bursted into laughter as I found it a little too gentle, thinking this surely will not have any drastic effect on my body (amateur, I know!). Only to wake up the next day with aching, sore muscles and a core that, well, had never felt so strong, ever again!
But before I start getting into more details about my fitness routine and Pilates at home, I thought I’d give you an overview of my fitness so far. I have never been an extremely fit person, you know someone who loyal attend gym classes, workout 3 times per week and keep an eye on their diet. During high school, I used to run and I was a javelin thrower in the local sports team. It was part of my weekly training to run miles, optimise my javelin throwing technique and do particular weight lifting exercises that could help me get stronger just on time for the races season. I was strong and fit; I was working out 6 days per week and even won a few golden medals. Once I moved to another city for my University studies, I lost my routine and I got busy with a few occasional runs along the beach here and there, but that was really all it was. As time went by and the first examination period was approaching, I completely gave up altogether. With my workout routine and discipline tailing off, I lost any muscles and stamina I’d worked so hard to gain during a decade or so of hard training in the field, and this is something I regret up until today.
Fast forward to today, and I have tried Pilates at home and in classes a few too many times to gather that it is certainly one of the most pleasant and effective workouts to shape your muscles, and strengthen your core and base, at a short time period. As a matter of fact, it takes a mere 30 minutes workout, 2-3 times per week before eventually noticing a liner figure. Not bad for someone who dislikes intense HIIT workouts as much as dogs dislike cats.
Years went by since then, and with my time spent between studying/working/moving countries and cities, I completely lost touch with fitness. I don’t know if it is my luck or genes, or however you’d like to call it, but I am extremely grateful for not gaining any weight at all these years despite the shock I put my body through with the massive lack of exercise. In 2013, I move to Hillhead student accommodations in Aberdeen and with what having Seaton park nearby, I felt the need to start running again, and so I did every Saturday morning. It wasn’t anything drastic, but it was something and I was pretty chuffed the first time I run a 5k! Then in 2014, I got a gym membership, with hindsight, I needed a bit of confidence to take this step, so last year’s runs had definitely provided me with the strength to do so. And in 2015, I started cycling to my everyday 6k commute along with my evening classes, and it all fall into place again. My body felt revived and strong, so much that I decided to take the bikini body workout (aka BBG) 12 weeks challenge by Kayla Itsines one of the toughest workouts I have done ever in my life! I still remember the frustration during week 1 of the BBG as I was feeling completely unfit and incapable of completing the Series. Little did I know that not only I’d be in a position to complete the BBG but also that I’d repeat it next year (here’s my post sharing my thoughts while being on week 3).
Anyways, I’ve been sidetracked once again! Back to Pilates at home and my fitness routine. These past months, I’ve been feeling slugging and that I have become one with the sofa and office chair as I spent the majority of my day sitting, that I decided it was time for some changes. I got the good old Pilates at home DVD and resistance bands out of their box, lay flat my yoga mat and started, steadily and slowly this time, without any expectations whatsoever, to do the exercises. As in today, I am a month into my Pilates at home routine and I couldn’t feel happier with my decision and body!
I’ve had a few questions about my Pilates workouts since I am posting about them on my Instagram Stories, so I figured it was about time I sit down and write a Blog post with it all…
PILATES AT HOME- WHY PILATES?
I was thinking how to justify my choice of workout the other day. Aside from the obvious results I see on my body and spirits since starting Pilates, I felt I needed more to inspire others to start, until I came upon this Pinterest quote:
Pilates is not just a way to keep your body moving, it is also a way to show your body how much you love it by providing the right support to each muscle group. It is the kind of workout that anyone can take up on regardless of age, fitness and body weight. And this is exactly why I love it! You might not see quick results, or as quick as when doing HIIT workouts, since Pilates exercises look gentle and less intense than weight lifting and squatting, but they are strenuous and are designed to help you build a strong body from inside out!
PILATES AT HOME- EXERCISES
To be accountable for keeping up with my weekly fitness workouts and to not come up with any last minute excuses, I write down on my Calendar what classes I am supposed to do each week and try to have different variations of them so that I don’t get bored. I sourced all of my workouts from Youtube and made a :: HOME WORKOUTS :: playlist if you want to have a look and follow some of them!
I do these workouts 3 times per week and my routine looks a bit like this –
MONDAY:: Pilates for beginners
TUESDAY:: Dog walk / slow walk
WEDNESDAY:: Fat burning HIIT Pilates
THURSDAY:: 4 miles walk to Hazlehead Park with Cruz
FRIDAY:: Barre sculpting workout (this is a killing workout, at the first 5′ I was ready to give up, but I am so glad I managed to get through it!)
WEEKENDS:: I tend to set these days aside for rest and leisure activities.
MY SPORTS GEAR
Like I mentioned, I go on long dog walks with Cruz so a slim-fit jacket with a hoodie is pretty much my everyday wear. This particular one gets some extra points because it is black so I can match it with jeans and wear it even when popping to the shops. As for footwear, I like wearing soft trainers that are classic and don’t make me look like I just came out of the gym. These Adidas Daily 2.0 in pink do the trick for me just right! As a matter of fact they have grown on me so much that I cannot wait to wear them with summer dresses when the temperatures will be a bit more appropriate 🙂
A FEW MORE TIPS!
1// Don’t push yourself from the first day, be gentle and patient. Rome wasn’t build in a day!
2// Set some realistic goals and reward yourself once you reach them. The first day I started Pilates/working out again, I told myself that I’d be happy if I manage to complete the workout and give my best but won’t beat myself if I don’t. Reassuring myself that it’s OK if I don’t reach 100% of what I can made me calmer and more confident.
3// Don’t buy expensive gym clothes in the first month. See how your weekly progress goes and if everything seem to fall into the right place then make the investment. I only have 3 pairs of leggings and do not intent to buy any more until I reach the 6 months mark.
4// Do not compare yourself to others and especially do not get into the Instagram comparison trap. We all have unique, different bodies. Embrace and love what you have because it really is one in the world! 🙂
5// Stick to your routine. Being committed to your weekly calendar is more important than giving your 100% effort during the workout. As long as you keep your body moving on a weekly basis then the rest will follow.
6// If you have never tried Pilates before I strongly encourage you to do so! Remember, if you start this week, that’s 100% more workouts that you did last week, and that is your win!
Have you tried Pilates at home?
What is your workout regime, I’d be curious to know!
*This post is in collaboration with JDWilliams but all opinions expressed are mine. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Natbee’s happen!