Written by Megan Rivenburg
As an exciting treat this Fitness Friday, I got to meet up with Mariel at Precisely Pilates in Stamford to start the weekend off right with a Pilates class!
We wore matching THINK gratitude shirts without planning it which was a funny coincidence. It was so great to be able to catch up and discuss all the exciting things coming in the near future for THINK, and get in a great workout!
I had never done Pilates before, so it was all new to me and I had no idea what to expect. It kind of seemed like a cross between barre and yoga to me. We used mats and spent a majority of the time on the floor as is done in yoga, but we also used props and incorporated some of the painful but rewarding strengthening moves I do in barre!
The class was really small; there was only one other person in it with us. I liked this because we all got an equal and large amount of attention from the instructor. She was able to see right away if we were doing something incorrectly and correct us, and was also able to compliment us when we were doing something well- a big motivation.
We started off with some simple stretches, and moved onto using foam rollers. This was the first time I had ever used a foam roller for actual exercise rather than rolling out muscles. We laid with our backs on the rollers and balanced as the teacher directed us through different series of moves using weighted balls for some and just our body weight for some.
We then moved into using resistance bands for some burning moves that whipped our glutes and legs into shape. The scorch that I felt in the muscles being used reminded me of what I feel during barre classes. As with barre, I embraced the burn because I knew that it was making me stronger and improving my muscles.
A theme that ran through this workout but was not really discussed much was balance from the core, and sculpting core muscles using that balance. My abs were SO SORE the next day (seems to be a common theme this summer taking these classes!) that I could feel them when I laughed, talked, and even drove!
Core strength is so essential to balance, and balance is vital. It makes everyday tasks so much easier, and helps to prevent injury in the long run. I am really trying to focus on improving my balance, and Pilates is such a great way to do that.
Just like I did after Power Yoga, I felt refreshed and relaxed when this class was over, but also felt that I got a hard workout in. I loved this workout and the fact that I tried something new, because balance is important in more realms than just body maintenance. It is important in life in general.
People tend to fall into routines and get stuck in patterns, and due to this, end up going to extremes. Part of health is keeping balance in all aspects of life, from work to fun to food- even to exercise. Mix up the workouts you practice and make sure you do it enough but don’t overdo it! Trying new and different things is a perfect way to do this.