By Alison Canavan
As we move out of the winter months we might want to put a spring in our step by upping our physical game. Even with the best of intentions, the winter simply doesn’t lend itself to a lot of physical exertion due to the dark nights and cold mornings. After winter’s gestation period, spring is an opportunity and a time for rebirth. It’s a chance to look at the world through fresh eyes and also try something new.
When it comes to exercise I like to switch up my routine as we enter a new season. To be honest, I get bored and I love to challenge my body by trying new exercises. I’m a huge fan of Reformer Pilates and I can credit these classes with helping me to get back in shape, post-baby, a few years ago. It’s been quite a while though since I took a class but I decided to return to Pilates Performance Ireland in Dundrum and see if the passion was still there.
The Reformer is a bed-like frame with springs and straps attached. Don’t let that frighten you because the best thing about this exercise is that your back and body are supported by the bed at all times which is great for me as I have a bad back from a car accident. The Reformer gives you a full-body workout and it also helps to build a very strong core. Halfway through the session, I felt a huge smile appear on my face as I realised just how much I missed these classes. I felt grounded and really connected physically as the instructors encourage you to really use your breath with each movement. It’s a potent de-stressing exercise for many reasons. The deep breathing helps to calm your central nervous system and the movements help to really move your energy through your body. Your circulation gets a boost, your spine and muscles are stimulated and, of course, those feel good hormones wake up and start to flood your body too.
Because of the strong focus on core strength, your balance and posture will also be improved. In an age of computers where we sit at desks for long periods of time, I welcome any exercise that helps with that. Your flexibility will also increase and what I like is that it really helps to give you a lean shape and stretches out the muscles as opposed to
Pilates Performance Ireland offers a wide range of classes suitable for all levels and abilities. You can also book personal sessions, which I would advise anyone who has injuries or back problems to do. The owner Sarah MacLachann, who is a Pilates master, is excellent and can really help you to get to the root of your problems and work slowly with you to build your strength back up.
visit alisoncanavan.com for upcoming events.