Pilates exercises can be practiced every day because of the low repetitions, continual stretching and multitude of modifications. But how do you build Pilates into your daily life? There are so many distractions each day and competing demands on the day that sometimes it doesn’t seem like there is a moment to spare. Here are a few tips to adjust your thinking and make Pilates part of daily life: Manage Your Expectations: I tend to be hard on myself, which is sometimes self defeating. I’ll develop expectations that are hard to live up to and when I inevitably have a slip-up it can leave me discouraged. Instead of proclaiming that I need to build 60 minutes of Pilates into my daily life, I can flex the amount of Pilates to flow with my daily life. Two key movement principles of Pilates are Breathing and Correct alignment, so I’ve learned to be aware of this all day, every day. I’ll practice breathing exercises when I’m driving or in the check-out line. I’ll adjust my posture when I’m working at my desk. These are just a couple simple acts that keep me aware of my Pilates practice and keep it within my daily life.
Recognize Your Patterns: Chances are there is some time in your week that is slipping away never to be put to a good use. Maybe it is a usual culprit like watching too much Netflix, but it can also be pseudo-productivity. I have a tendency to over clean and tidy to excess, which is lost time that I could be using for Pilates. I’ve learned to realize when good enough is achieved, and I stop. If you can identify even one pseudo-productive activity in your day, chances are that you will find at least 20 minutes for Pilates practice.
Be Flexible: I believe that Pilates is meant to be fun, especially when making it a part of your daily life. If you do something every day of your life, it should have purpose and benefit you that day and the day after. Give yourself the flexibility to develop your Pilates practice. Sometimes when I’m at Pilates class I feel compelled to push myself toward the more advanced modifications of the exercises or will feel discouraged when I don’t achieve the precision of movement I desire. This is not paying attention to my body. Pilates is a whole body practice, so it’s alright to go with the pace of your body, which is bound to vary on any given day. Your body will become stronger if you give yourself permission to move through the exercises at the right pace.
With these simple tips you’ll be able to start the process of building Pilates practice into your daily life, and you’ll experience the benefits of this daily indulgence.