In the build up to the much anticipated summertime in the UK, there is a proliferation of images and advertising aimed at encouraging women to get ‘bikini ready’, as if somehow you are not ready for a bikini at any time. It’s natural for anyone to want to feel that they look their best especially when they are physically exposed in a way that you rarely have cause to be in the UK. The sun has profound effects on our mental health and energy levels so it’s also natural to want to do more exercise, get fitter and more toned so you feel good, physically and mentally, in your favourite summer clothes.
As a woman I feel all the same pressures as anyone does but I try to exercise because it makes me feel good first and foremost. When you focus on what your body can do rather than what it looks like you can learn to enjoy activity in a different way. You learn to enjoy your body and it’s sensations. You discover things you didn’t know about yourself. You learn to focus on the psychological benefits of exercise rather than dwelling on your insecurities. When your goals are positive, to do a full push up, rather than negative, to lose a kilo, you tilt your perspective towards a more fulfilling outlook. By monitoring progression and enjoying the process you can appreciate your body for the things it can do. You are amazing!
I love Pilates because the emphasis is always on good form. It’s not about how far you can move or how flexible and strong you are. In fact, it is a common mistake for people to think they’ve taken well to Pilates when their strength or flexibility may be a distraction from poor technique or posture which is fundamental to performing Pilates effectively. Strength and flexibility are helpful but when they are used without good form they can lead to a plethora of problems in the long term. Pilates is a sustainable, functional form of exercise and it’s perfect for helping you to achieve your goals- performing that full push up- with a positive mind set and a focus on you and you alone.
You don’t need to wear yourself out to exhaustion to see the benefits but ramping up the intensity can ramp up the enjoyment too! With high intensity Pilates I see rapid improvements, I can get a sweat on and listen to some great music while I still look after my posture and form. Through my classes I want to encourage women to exercise because you love what your body can do and because it makes you feel good but without the pressure that you need to to look good. The most attractive people I know are attractive because they’re interesting. They have hobbies, pursue goals and are sociable. They can headstand, dance, climb, do triathlons, knit, have fascinating conversations. Exercising socially is energising, helps you meet like-minded people and helps you push yourself further. The Go! Girl Summer Workout at We Are Wellness, Leeds was all these things and more. In fact, it was such a hit we’re booking in the Go! Girl Autumn Workout very soon! Keep an eye out for information.