How is everyone doing on their New Year’s Resolutions so far? Hope you are sticking with things!! Today’s Jumpstart January tip is to try something new. Whether it be a new recipe or a new type of workout, trying out new ways to stay healthy will keep you motivated and make healthy living a little bit more fun and exciting. Also, trying new things activates our brains and stimulates our sense, this in turn increases mental acuity which will help you stay sharper for longer.
So this year, to stick with my healthy living plans, I tried out a Pilates Reformer class. Many of you are probably very familiar with the traditional mat pilates which uses your own body weight and guides you through a series of exercises to strengthen, lengthen and tone your body from the core outwards. Well, the Pilates Reformer classes uses the same principles but everything is performed on a Reformer machine. Check out the photo:
When I first arrived at the class, I thought this was going to be cake. But to my surprise, the class was way more difficult than I had imagined. The machine allows you to increase and decrease resistance, meaning the moves could get harder or easier depending upon the amount of resistance the machine had on. We performed a lot of moves that were familiar to me from mat pilates classes but the machine added a totally new dynamic and made the moves so much more difficult! I was surprised by how much harder I was actually working. I could feel my muscles really working!
The class focused mostly on legs and arms with toning and stretching moves interspersed throughout. Although there was no real “abs” or “core” section, my core was working the entire time! Every move required that your core be engaged to complete the moves properly. I also noticed that the Reformer machine really encouraged good posture, a natural benefit from pilates. I can see why ballet dancers and pilates gurus have such beautiful posture and long, lean muscles!
The only downside was the lack of cardio benefit. In 45 minutes I burned only 100 calories. While this is certainly better than nothing, I like getting my cardio and toning in at once because I feel its more effective. But, the Reformer class was more similar to yoga where the focus is on strength and stretching and the mind/body connection so I could see myself doing a Reformer class instead of a yoga class sometime. But I’m giving myself kudos for trying something new!
(Note-As I write this post, my back is very sore from class mere hours ago!).
Readers, have you tried something new lately? What was it and how did you like it?