Monday, October 29, 2012

Pilates Journey Part 4

Have you read my last pilates journey post  where I got you up to speed about my  pilates  teaching journey?

Basically, I just told you how I went from helping my friends order pilates videos to a full "certified pilates instructor"  (paper certification in the mail as we write!).

Well, in this post, I'm just going to talk about exercise in general and where pilates may or may not fit into your life.

I think we all acknowledge that the body needs exercise.  Even the Bible says "Bodily exercise profits a little.."  And that was written in a day and age where people used their major muscle group for daily existence, transportation and caring for all of their needs.  Just living life was an exhausting adventure.

I suppose the wealthy could do a little less physical work, and they would almost display their wealth by putting on a few pounds.  All fine and well for them.

Fast forward a few years and inventions later.  Life is very different.  It IS a better life.  It's an easier life with many more inventions and automated existence.  With a few exceptions (mothers caring for little ones) and jobs that require manual labor, few few of us get enough exercise just through existing.

Our bodies were created for hard work.  You know that endorphin rush that you get from intense cardiovascular work?  That was created by God.  The lungs have the capacity to adjust, and so does the heart!  Our bodies are marvelous machines and are meant to serve us--as we serve God!

And yes, I acknowledge that there are so many exceptions to what I am going to say.  There are disabilities, there are pre-existing health conditions, there are a million and a half risks.  That is why in this day and age, it is very important to get a full health exam before you start exercising.  You need to know your body, your limitations, what you can and can not do before you start.

(That is my official disclaimer, and I'm sticking with it.)

Here are some questions to ask your doctor when you make that visit.

1) Is there any joint that is weak in my body that I should not place weight on?  (knees? hips? ankles? shoulders? wrists?)

2) If you have had an accident: Are my bones in proper alignment?  Was everything reset correctly?

3) Is my heart strong enough for cardiovascular activity?  And what is the maximum heart rate that I should not exceed?

4) If I have weight to lose, what is the preferred method for losing weight?

5) Should I be making any dietary or lifestyle changes?

The NEXT step.

So, let's say you've been to your doctor and you have all of your questions answered.  What is the next step?

In the case of someone who has a lot of complications and limitations, I would recommend the most qualified personal trainer you can find to recommend an exercise routine for you to do for one month.

Explain all of the information you learned about your own body to the trainer.  Tell them you want to start a routine that works for you.  Ask for a thorough fitness evaluation before they decide on a plan on action.  The more physical bodily limitations you have, the more important it is to start with one-on-one sessions with a trainer.

And if you have the money and time, you can continue meeting with the trainer.  If you short of funds, just ask them to design a routine for you and you can do on your own.  Ask to get together with them once a month.  A lot of gyms have "starter packages" that go on sale at the end of the year.  If you wait until January, the prices go up a lot.

Even one session with the trainer would be a great place to start.  The prices range from $20.00/ hr. to $80.00 (depending on your area).  If you are in Rockford, the Y has a free evaluation session for members.  I think Peak also has a discounted starter package for new members also.

What if I do not have any $$$??

Find someone to trade with.  I know that a good trainer has put a lot of time and money into the certification and they are worth it,  but some may be open for bartering, especially if you can do something they want/need.

Well, I never did talk about pilates here.  So, that means we'll have to continue this discussion again some time.


Anonymous said...

I've taken to riding an eliptical, which is perfect for me (because I now have an artificial hip), but I also do calisthenics. Whatever form, I'm with you. In this day and age, exercise is pretty much mandatory for a fully healthy body!

Mrs. Parunak said...

Great point about how all our inventions have made exercise (artificial hard work) so necessary! I am tremendously thankful to be able to go to the gym and work out a few times a week. I think it makes a huge difference in my health and outlook.