Hello! I’m so happy you’re here!
Today’s post is actually about exercise! I know, it’s been a while 😉
Truth is I’ve been thinking about writing an exercise/pilates post for a while now but for some reason could never muster up the motivation to write one.
When I started this blog I thought the majority of my posts would be about exercise. I mean, I’m an athletic therapist and pilates instructor; I’ve got a lot of knowledge to share!
But it turns out when you do something all day and everyday, you don’t like to come home and do the same thing! You know what I mean? It almost felt forced.
Can anyone else relate to this feeling?
Nonetheless, I’ve finally felt compelled to write an article on exercise. I was truly inspired to write this post because:
- I am biased and love pilates and think everyone should be doing it and
- I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to work with some pretty amazing pilates instructors who have helped me become the teacher I am today.
So to start this post off I want to immediately send a huge shout out to the pilates studio that started it all for me:
North Movement Studio is located in Leaside at 1675 Bayview Ave in Toronto, ON. This studio is absolutely STUNNING. Its clean, white layout with its abundant tall windows facing the street allow for immense amounts of natural sunlight. The studio also has TONS of space so you never feel crammed.
Classes run everyday and include both Mat and Equipment, as well some speciality classes like Mom and Baby, Teen Classes, Men’s Power class and so much more. You can also book private or semi-private sessions as well as private group sessions!
Classes are all levels from beginner to advanced so don’t worry about which to sign up for, just make sure you sign up so you don’t lose your spot!
Oh and did I mention your first class is always FREE!
Yes, totally FREE! So if you’ve been thinking about trying pilates, there’s really no reason not to check out NMS. 🙂
If you want to learn more about the instructors, be sure to read through to the end!
This is not an affiliate post and I did not receive any remuneration for writing this. These are my own opinions and I would never recommend anything I did not believe in or trust myself.
So now on to why you should give pilates a try!
5 Reasons To Try Pilates Today
I’ll be honest, I didn’t really try pilates up until about 2 1/2 years ago. Then, once I realized the benefits of it, I fell in love with it.
If you’ve been thinking about trying pilates or making it part of your regular routine but aren’t sure if you should or just want to learn more about it, then this post is for you. Here are 5 reasons why you might want to try pilates today.
1. It’s Safe
Pilates is one of the safest exercises because it focuses on mindful movement. It’s low impact and can be good for any age or fitness level including:
- Men (yes men!)
- Pre, during and post pregnancy
- Injured population
- Your dog?? :p
Pilates focuses on having a strong foundation before adding any loading or excessive movement, making it literally the safest thing you can do. The core principles (no pun intended) of pilates are to:
1. Create stability and
2. Facilitate fluid movement.
Without either of those principles any other movement would then technically be considered “unsafe” right?
If you’ve avoided pilates up until this point because you have been primarily worried about safety, I am not afraid to tell you that that should be your last concern.
2. It’s Effective
Not only is pilates super safe, but it is really effective. It’s been around for long time and there is definitely a reason for it.
Pilates workouts target your deep abdominal muscles as well as a whole host of other muscles you may not have even heard of. Without getting into the nitty gritty anatomy here, basically you need to be efficient at contracting or “turning on” your endurance muscles (ie, deep core muscles) in order to protect your bones and joints, especially the joints of your spine. With these endurance muscles turned on, you will create stability as well as fluid movement in your body as each muscle contracts correctly and in correct sequence.
Therefore, with proper activation and engagement of these muscles over time, the body will begin to become more balanced and move more effectively. This will make all of your workouts/exercise more effective.
It’s a win-win!
3. It’s a Great Workout
Pilates has been brushed off by a lot of people lately because it doesn’t seem like a hard enough workout.
Well don’t be surprised when I tell you that you will leave sweaty and just as sore as if you did a high intensity workout. And yes, that goes for you too boys!
Pilates is NOT easy. That being said, it does become more effective the better you get at it and you will feel so much stronger as you progress. The beginning can feel frustrating because there is a lot to think about (and don’t forget to breathe!) but that frustration quickly melts into intense muscle burning and fatigue.
The best part about a pilates workout is that you do it lying down so it doesn’t take as much motivation to go and do it. The workout is also well balanced, making sure to address every plane of movement and every muscle, focusing on both strengthening and lengthening muscles so you feel taller and leaner when you leave.
You do! I’m not kidding!!
4. It Helps Prevent (or rehab) Injuries
This is one is my #1 reason for doing and teaching pilates. As an athletic therapist, I already have a pretty strong background in injury prevention and rehabilitation, but adding the element of pilates pulled everything together for me.
Like I said before, pilates is a mindful movement based exercise so it’s all about making sure you are effectively activating correct muscles and strengthening and/or lengthening them.
If you’ve ever suffered from an injury then you know how tedious recovering can be. Preventable injuries are almost always cause by the same thing: Muscle Imbalances.
They can cause a slew of issues that lead to poor joint mechanics, pain and debilitation.
Well there is good news!
Pilates is the perfect exercise to target muscle imbalances to help you recover faster and prevent the injury from coming back. By effectively lengthening muscles that are too tight and activating muscles that have turned off, you can start to recalibrate your body to move in a more natural way.
When the body is balanced, it’s stronger. And stronger bodies=less chance of chronic injuries.
5. It’s Fun
Let’s face it. No one really LOVES to exercise (sitting is so much easier!) but we all know how great it is for our bodies and that it is necessary for us to live healthy lives.
So why not do something fun? Pilates can be a really fun way to exercise especially if you thrive in class settings. What better way to spend an evening than to get a group together and do a pilates class! And the wide variety of props and variations will always keep you on your toes!
If you prefer individual attention, I know a couple pretty fun pilates instructors and they won’t let you leave without a smile.
Speaking of which, here they are!
Anna (the studio owner) is such an amazing person, not to mention the best pilates instructor I’ve ever met. Anna took me under her wing when I was still completing my pilates certification and worked so closely with me to make sure I felt comfortable teaching. She helped me tremendously with my exercise progression, class design, cuing, you name it! She was so patient and so encouraging. She made my first class teaching experience better than I could have ever imagined.
Anna’s unique style of teaching is dynamic, functional and very much injury-prevention based. Her forward thinking and challenging exercise progression always leave me impressed. She has a way to make sure you leave feeling like every single teeny-tiny muscle has been worked. And I haven’t even gotten started on her sense of humour in the classes. Ya, try holding a plank while you are laughing hysterically – not easy 😀
As the owner and main teacher at North Movement Studio, Anna has mastered the ability to take on many roles in the Toronto community while still being one of the nicest and giving people I know.
Please make sure to check out one of Anna’s classes if you are in and around the Toronto Area, you won’t regret it!
Vanessa was one of the biggest reasons I decided to pursue my pilates teaching career. She doesn’t know this (or at least would never take credit for it) but she had a huge influence on me and totally changed the way I treat and prescribe exercise.
Vanessa and I worked together 1 on 1 for a year before I even started the instructor training at Stott Pilates. She helped me learn all the pilates moves, cuing and how the equipment worked. I have to give it up to her for part of my success in the pilates certification. She is also the one who introduced me to NMS and I am forever grateful to her for that!
Vanessa is also an amazing teacher. Her ability to read a class and/or client and adapt is unremarkable. She is so creative and does everything with love and care for others. Vanessa is by far one of the most humble and generous people I know. She goes above and beyond for everyone and is so refreshingly genuine you never want to leave her side.
Vanessa’s classes are well-balanced, challenging and always a blast. Her light attitude when she is not teaching can often be misleading though, because she delivers a very focused, whole-body workout. So please make sure to check out one of her classes!
P.S. Vanessa is also a Fascial Stretch Therapist (FST) and offers that service as well. If you want to know what FST is, you can check it out here!
There are so many wonderful Pilates studios in Toronto to choose from and they will all offer something slightly different. North Movement Studio is one that I recommend but it is up to you to choose which one best fits your needs and likes.
Well that is all for today on Pilates. If you would like to learn more about Pilates or North Movement Studio, please feel free to leave me a comment. 🙂