Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Workout of the Week


I decided to try a Pilates workout today. I have a book that contains Pilates, Yoga, Meditation and stress relief techniques. Occasionally I've picked up the book, thumbed through a few chapters, but then put it down without actually trying it. So today, I decided to actually go through the Pilates section, and do every exercise I could.

If you aren't familiar with Pilates, " ...the aim of Pilates is to work different muscles to tone and condition the body, while developing correct breathing, good posture, and mental concentration and focus. It improves overall balance and coordination while it streamlines the body and also helps to improve flexibility in all the musles and joints."

I have lower back problems due to bone spurs and spinal arthritis, so I have to be careful what types of exercises I do. I can no longer do Tae Bo, or anything that contains jerky movements. So I hoped the fluid movements of Pilates or Yoga would be a good choice. I had taken a Yoga class a few years ago, but had never done Pilates.

Well, I am happily surprised. The exercises in my book are very basic and not a full Pilates routine. Of course, the book cautions that if you have any medical problems you should consult your doctor before beginning. I did all of the upper body warm-ups, as well as some standing and sitting exercises, and a little leg work. The movements are very slow and controlled, and continuous, so the flow is smooth. Everything I did today really felt like exaggerated stretching. There is a certain breathing pattern that is suggested, which took me a bit to get used to but halfway through I got it down.

At the end of the workout, my muscles were nice and warm and I felt very good. I feel like I am standing straighter and I can actually tell I had a workout, even though it didn't feel like a heavy one at the time. I'm going to do this routine for the next few days until I am used to it, and then move onto a Pilates workout I have on tape/DVD. If the workouts turn out to be more advanced than my back can handle, I'll just go back to the book again. This, plus the treadmill, should have me feeling better in no time.

7 comments:

Wyatt Earp said...

I work out to Pilates of the Caribbean.

RT said...

Pilates is the best! I used to do it back in the day. I look forward to doing it again--hopefully over the summer.

Aprilwine said...

I've been wanting to take a class at my gym but they want me to pay extra for it. Arrgghhh...

I tagged you for another meme...

USA_Admiral said...

I thought he was, like, a fit philosopher? ;-)

grimjack said...

They say it helps to improve flexability.....hmmmmm.

Bryan said...

A very insightful post on concentration exercises. I heard that http://www.attention-deficit-disorder.net offers numerous other methods of concentration exercises to help in curing the attention deficit disorder. Do try them!

Mrs Grim said...

Wyatt - Hahahaha. Good one!

RT - that would be great. I had no idea how good it would feel or I would have done it sooner.

Aprilwine - thanks for the tag, I'll check it out.

Admiral - I think he was!

Grimjack - yes.