International Pilates Day – 4 May

It’s Pilates Day on 4th May (though we think every day should be Pilates day!) Here’s our six reasons why everyone should try Pilates during the working day.

1) Pilates can help realign your posture after a day sat at your desk
Think about how you sit at your computer. Do you hunch your shoulders? Is your head forward as you look at your screen? Do you overuse one side of your body too? For example if you use your mouse or your phone often. If we stay in these positions for long periods of time, this can cause muscle imbalances. All the muscles across your chest and front can get tight, and back muscles can become elongated and weakened. During a Pilates class you’ll stretch and strengthen your muscles helping to realign your spine and negate the effects of sitting slumped at a desk.

2) Pilates is great for your mental health and general wellbeing
Taking an hour during your working day to focus on yourself, your body and your breathing is a fantastic way to help reduce stress. Pilates is a ‘mind body’ exercise. You focus on your movements as you go through the exercises and have to think about the muscles you’re working so you engage and work them correctly. This can help clear your mind and worries as you concentrate on your body during the class. There is scores of research and studies which have highlight the benefits of exercise for good Mental Health. Find out more on the NHS website here 

3) You will see the benefitsJulia Scodie founder of Exercise in The City
As quoted by Joseph Pilates (the creator of Pilates!)

“In 10 sessions you’ll feel the difference, in 20 sessions you’ll see the difference, and in 30 sessions you’ll have a whole new body”

Every body is different, so Jo’s time scales may vary!.. However after a couple of months practising Pilates regularly you will definitely notice more tone and definition in your abdominal muscles (you’ll be on your way to a six-pack!), arms and legs. Pilates exercises focus on strengthening and stretching to encourage longer leaner muscles.

4) Pilates can help with back pain
According to Public Health England, 28.2 million working days are lost per year in the UK due to Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions and 1 in 10 employees report having MSK conditions. Pilates is safe and effective workout if you experience back pain (though check with your GP first). Exercises focus on working and strengthening your ‘core muscles’ (the muscles that support your spine and pelvis) and increasing mobility and function of movement. This can help to relieve pain and strengthen your spine to prevent further problems.

5) You can do Pilates anywhere
All you need is enough space to throw down a mat and away you go! We’ve taught Pilates in reception areas, meeting rooms and even tiny offices between desks.

6) All levels welcome 
Pilates instructors are highly trained and exercises are safe for people with injuries or anyone new to exercise. It’s often recommended by Doctors and Physiotherapists. If you’re very fit already and/or practice other sports and exercise, Pilates is a great compliment. Exercises will always have a few options to challenge those wanting to work harder. If you’ve never tried Pilates before or think it might be easy… have a go at the Ab series and let us know what you think!

We’d love to come and teach Pilates in your office. 
Contact us to find out more and book your first class today.

5 Top Tips for Sticking to your ‘Get Fit’ New Year’s Resolution

New years resAre you sticking to your ‘do more exercise’ New Year’s Resolution?!  Three weeks into 2015 and perhaps your good intentions are starting to dwindle. After all, it’s freezing out there, heading straight home after work is far more tempting than exercising.

If you’re finding it difficult to motivate yourself to stick to your ‘get fit’ or ‘do more exercise’ resolution’s here are my 5 top tips (cheap & easy) to get you started. 

1.  Arrange an active date with your partner or friend
Catch up with mates after work and go for a ‘jog and a gossip’ or a pre-dinner exercise class together. It is of course much easier to motivate yourself if your partner or friend is there to spur you along. Plus if you’ve pre-arranged to meet up, then it’s much harder to cancel your mate… you can’t piss off a running machine!

The research backs this up too. A recent University College London (UCL) study found that people are more likely to make a positive health behaviour change if their partner did too. The researched looked at over 3,700 couples. 66% of individuals changed their behaviour successfully and increased their physical activity when their partner did as well. This compares to 25% who increased their activity whilst their partner remained unhealthy. So text your boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, best-mate right now and get a date in the diary this week!

2.  Choose an activity you enjoy
If you hate running or can’t bear going to the gym, don’t do it! Chances are if you start a new exercise class or activity that you don’t enjoy you’re not going to stick to it. There are so many fantastic fitness choices out there right now you’ll be sure to find something you like……or mix it up and try something different each week.

3.  Run for charity… challenge yourself and help change lives
You don’t have to run a marathon. Pick something that’s a challenge for you. If you’ve never run before then training for and running a 10k is a huge achievement.  Plus if you do it for charity you’ll have the double achievement of raising funds and making a difference. Most charities will help you with your fundraising and have tips for training too.

African children’s charity Lively Minds has places for the Vitality Run Hackney Half Marathon (10th May) or Run to the Beat (10k set to music, 13th Sept). So do something amazing… sign up for a run and support a small charity like Lively Minds. You’ll be making a huge difference to thousands of children as well as yourself.
Find out more

4.  Be nice to yourself
If you do miss a week or two of exercise don’t punish yourself. We all have weeks where we feel less energetic or might be too busy. Try not to focus on the negative if you’re not achieving your goals as quickly as you would like. Think of what you have achieved… perhaps you can hold a plank for 10 seconds longer or can run that extra 1k further than you could 2 or 3 weeks ago… See, you’re amazing!

5.  Organise an exercise class in your office
Here’s one I can help with! Why not organise a Pilates or other fitness class in your office. It’s easy to arrange you just need a space or meeting room with the tables and chairs pushed to the side, some willing colleagues and just throw down your mats and away you go! Classes can be held before/after work or in a lunch break.

With classes from just £4 per person it’s affordable, we come to you and classes are held during the working day – so no excuses!

Find out more about booking an exercise class at your office.
Contact to book your first session today

– JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers from University College London (UCL)