By Ari Liakeas

Are you looking for an excellent way to get fit, but your work-life balance is too busy to take time out to go to the gym or to participate in regular instructor led classes? Or are you new to exercise and want to introduce it into your life but still feel a little shy about going to the gym?

With constantly changing exercise fads and “new and improved” ways to get lean and mean in an X number of weeks gracing the exercise world every other day, it can undoubtedly be overwhelming to know where to start in a new exercise journey. The fitness and wellness industry will likely be worth approximately USD $5.6 trillion by the end of 2022, so new products, services and classes hit the market as entrepreneurs try to capitalise on this ever-growing sector. 

So, instead of paying for the latest equipment or subscribing to a service, it is time to go back to basics. Starting an at-home pilates routine is one smart way to move, tone, and strengthen your body as you kickstart your journey to a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Sticking To A Routine

Most of us have been there, bought the gym membership but not gone or forked out our hard-earned cash for an exercise bike that has become somewhere to hang our clothes! It can be tough to maintain the commitment and discipline to keep the momentum going with working out; sometimes, life just gets in the way. 

I know even myself (and I’m a yoga instructor and love moving my body) that I’ve started new exercise routines at home and then fallen off the wagon weeks later, even though I was getting results.

Personally, going to classes or having a one-to-one instructor is much more motivating for keeping me on track to stay healthy and toned. But this is not always possible when I travel a lot or have a busy lifestyle. 

How can we implement a routine at home that won’t take all our time but gives us the health benefits and great results we desire? Well, pilates seems to work for many people, so let’s find out more!

Pilates And Its Benefits

This form of exercise has been around as a method of fitness since the 1920s, when it was created by a man called Joseph Pilates and his wife, Clara. 

Not unlike yoga, pilates works on the principles of using the breath, concentration, centring, precision and flow to strengthen, tone and elongate the body. It also focuses on building a strong core and supporting perfect posture.

Pilates can be performed in the studio with apparatus and specialised machines or on a mat. The movements are small, controlled and precise, and they certainly make you feel like you have worked out afterwards; I’m speaking from experience here!

There are a few different styles, such as Classical Pilates and Reformer Pilates. Still, Mat Pilates is the most simple method and a great one to try if you want to start at home since all you need is a mat.

Some of the benefits of pilates include improved:

  • Balance
  • Core Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Posture
  • Energy
  • Mood and mental health

It can also help with back pain. 

These are just some of the benefits, but it is an all-around great exercise to improve strength and flexibility within the body. It is especially beneficial if you are just starting out on a new exercise journey, as pilates is suitable for everybody.

Beginning At Home On A Budget

So before you run out and buy any fancy expensive machines or lifetime membership at a local pilates studio, check out some of the many online resources that are easily accessible and just get started. 

While getting into pilates at home is easy, I recommend accessing at least one in-person instructor class at your local studio or gym to see if this exercise style feels right for you and your body. Instructors are always helpful and can assist you with the proper alignment of your body and help you do it correctly, especially when starting out.

If you don’t have time for that but want to get started, begin with Mat Pilates. There is a difference between yoga and pilates mats, so ensure you get the correct type!

Pilates Anytime has some great beginner online sessions and resources. They are currently offering a 15-day free trial, which is perfect if you want to see if pilates works for you.

Of course, the wonderful world of Youtube is a fantastic resource for learning new skills in just about everything. There are always specialists offering their expertise for free. Thankfully, some brilliant pilates teachers have done just that; check them out and get moving on the road to strength and flexibility.

Happy moving, everyone!