I’ve just had my first ever crack at Pilates, and I’m not really sure if I’ve actually done exercise or not. Does it count if you don’t break a sweat?
I’d planned a second gym run, but to be honest, my bum hurts from yesterday’s poor posture on the bike. Besides, I got home from work so late I couldn’t really face heading out again. I’ve always wanted to try Pilates, as it appeals to the ex-dancer in me. I love the idea of being strong, lean and unhurried. I like careful, isolated movements. I thought I’d love it. Actually though, now that I’ve had a go, I’m on the fence.
I found this video for a 45 minute work-out on the NHS website. Hit a few snags as soon as I started – I don’t have an exercise mat and I live in a very, ahem, *snug* apartment. Most of my floor has furniture on it. Not a lot of space for me to stretch out in.
I really enjoyed the first exercises which were just little stretches for the neck, pelvis and shoulders. It did help me to be more aware of where my muscles were and what they did. I also liked the instructor’s attempt at explaining breathing patterns for each exercise. Breathing was the first real problem for me though. She explained how to take deep breaths in and out at different points in each stretch, but if I did the exercises at the speed she wanted, I wouldn’t have time for deep breaths – I’d be panting. I didn’t know which to sacrifice – should I do fast exercises and breath normally, or slow down to do the deep sighing she seemed to be asking for? I ditched the breathing.
Nothing else was particularly difficult, and the only problems I had were not being able to stretch out properly in my flat for the arm stretches, and one rolling exercise being too tough on my shins on solid floor. But now that I’m done, I can’t see what the benefits were. I didn’t really feel it in any of my muscles when I was doing the workout, and I don’t feel any different now. I know exercise doesn’t produce instant results, but afterwards my body is usually able to let me know what it’s been up to.
Maybe Pilates isn’t a home activity. I’m really disappointed though.