What is your philosophy on Exercise?

The allure of that classic six–pack, toned pins, flat tum or perfect bum, leaves most of our client’s drawn to the aesthetic benefits of what exercise can do for them. Exercise regimes are often a means to an end, results driven and focused on achieving a desired effect rather than forming part of a regular, well balanced programme aimed at improving their movement vocabulary.

In this blog…rather than focus on a specific body area or injury discussion, it is pertinent to review a more generalised movement problem in modern society!

Modern day lifestyles have encouraged a wave of multiple muscle imbalances within clients and this has been compounded by weekly work postural positions that affect or often inhibit movement in clients on the one hand or the other extreme, where we see the emergence of the ‘weekend warrior’ who indulges in spurts of extreme exercise to help alleviate the stress and anxiety built into their lifestyles.

It is therefore no wonder, that these muscular imbalances can present themselves in our Pilates classes as problem areas causing clients discomfort or in some cases even pain. Often classes have to be modified to suit individuals to such an extent that the class no longer resembles a Pilates session.

Lets hear from Joseph Pilates himself. The founder of the Pilates Method – “Contrology” he called it!“

Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind, fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure”

Joseph H Pilates

Let’s analyse some of what Joseph is talking about here!

“Physical Fitness and Movement = Happiness.”

Endorphin release is good for you. It counteracts stress. However some people can go overboard, chasing the adrenalin rush, which can make this harmful to the body. Repetitive movements i.e. repeating the same movement regime over time can lead to muscle imbalance. On the other hand, lack of movement and exercise has been linked to conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure to name but a few.

“Our interpretation of Physical Fitness”

What is your interpretation? Is it washboard abs? The ability to fit into that pair of skinny jeans. Ripped arms? Well think again. Joseph describes it as the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind. One of the most common reasons why our clients give up on their fitness regime is doing too much too soon and injuring themselves in the process. Fitness enthusiasts take to exercise with great vigour-only to find themselves in pain a short time later. We should encourage all to enjoy the process of strategic work, where the aesthetic benefit is an automatic result, but not the aim.

“Fully Capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks”

The main issue here is that patients normally come and see me when they can no longer “satisfactorily perform their many and varied daily tasks.” An injury can be devastating to a clients’ confidence. Much like I have seen recently to a colleague of mine who tore her Achilles tendon. Daily tasks become a nightmare and one cannot even think about anything exercise related. Not to mention the process of recovery, the frustration, the fear of return to movement….

“Spontaneous Zest and Pleasure”

To be able to move the way we want. Play with our kids, run, jump skip. Climb walk, squat. Hang?? How spontaneous can you be at the moment? Do you hold yourself back? And do you impose those limitations on those around you?
In conclusion, move more, and open your repertoire to the possibilities of what a good movement vocabulary can do. Go after the strategic process and let the reward be the aesthetic benefit not the aim in the first place. If you work with a body worker or Physical Therapist, make sure they understand these movement philosophies.

As I always say. I must walk the walk and talk the talk.
For emphasis once more, I couldn’t resist…now try reading this again.

“Physical fitness is the first requisite of happiness. Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind, fully capable of naturally, easily and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure”

Be Well
Leslie

Leslie Abrahams

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