The Dog Ate My Homework

I’m often on the lookout for inspirational workout quotes to post on our FB page and recently came across a quote that states, “I don’t have time is the grown up version of the dog ate my homework.” That got me thinking about all the obstacles we face when trying to maintain a commitment to working out regularly. Mari and I often encounter people who want to work out consistently, but just can’t quite make it happen. One obstacle to working out can be fatigue. This is actually a cruel irony, because exercise can actually increase energy levels!

The March 2013 Consumer Reports on Health publication has an article entitled “Exercise for the exhausted” and includes 9 suggestions to get more energized in order to exercise. Here are their suggestions:

 

1. Eat carbohydrates – not refined, simple carbs, but complex carbohydrates like whole grain breads and cereals, legumes, and starchy vegetables

2. Drink more water

3. Keep a diary – to track the amount of activity as well as progress

4. Find a partner

5. Listen to music

6. Exercise in the afternoon – although the writer does acknowledge that exercise at any time of day is better than no exercise

7. Mind your breathing

8. Mix it up

9. Turn off late-night TV – in other words, go to bed earlier

Ok, so these suggestions are not earth shattering or new and novel ideas, but some of them correspond with the practice of Pilates. “Mind your breathing,” of course, is the obvious one. As one of the Pilates principles, breath is a focus of every exercise.

“Mix it up” is another, maybe less obvious one. In every Pilates session, we strive to move through all planes of motion and in varying orientations. Not only that, but because of the mind-body connection inherent to Pilates, even an exercise done frequently can be altered by changing what to focus on, or by changing the resistance or adding a prop. One client recently remarked that what she loves about Pilates is that she always discovers new muscles. While we know there aren’t any “new” muscles, Pilates is constantly introducing us to our bodies in new ways.

How about “Find a partner?” Although you might not go to the studio with a partner, the limited size of our equipment classes result in a feeling of camaraderie between participants. In our mat, barre, and TRX classes, participants support and encourage each other when the going gets tough!  We have seen friendships developed in the studio, and Mari and I hope you see us as friends who are here to encourage and support you.

 

 

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