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How to keep your Pilates Motivation through Winter- Movement equals Happiness .

‘Pilates is not just exercise it’s a lifestyle that changes the world’

Brent Anderson, founder of Polestar Pilates

There is so much written and talked about Pilates and why we should do it for all sorts of different reasons. We want to understand it as an activity that you simply attend and we often see it defined as a core based type of exercise combined with flexibility. Thankfully Pilates is so much more than that. 

Having been a Pilates Teacher for over 20 years I have seen the method grow in popularity and throughly enjoyed seeing people begin and develop their own personal journey with Pilates. Pilates is not defined by any type of person who attends, we see people who have injuries, back pain, neurological issues, muscle in-balances and low muscle tone, posture issues, the list goes on and on. Many Pilates people would just like to be stronger and fitter for ‘life’. One of the key elements we know  as Pilates Professionals is that practice makes perfect and you can never be doing enough Pilates on a daily basis to improve your core and balance.

Pilates Motivation - Pilates can both alleviate existing physiological problems and prevent future ones by straightening the spine and improving posture.

How to keep your Pilates Motivation through Winter
The changing of the seasons can bring comfort to some, whilst others will find the change to the winter months much harder to cope with. The darker mornings and nights can leave us with a lack in motivation to get up in the morning or do anything more than we have to, as well as low mood, and a low interest in our normal hobbies and activities, and feeling tired for no specific reason.
We already know that Pilates and any form of exercise is good for us, and that doing so usually leaves us feeling better afterwards too – but getting the motivation may require a little more help, especially during the Winter months. There are some simple steps we can take to keep our body in balance and help keep our motivation high!
 1. Sunlight in the morning
Getting outside in the daylight as early as possible, or within the first couple of hours upon waking can set you up for the day ahead. Sunlight promotes serotonin release (the neurotransmitter chemical responsible for happy feelings) within the brain, as well as causing a reduction in cortisol (the stress hormone). Sunlight also helps our vitamin D production, which regulates melatonin and can improve our sleep pattern. Even stepping outside at lunchtime (weather permitting) in your day can help.
2. Good sleep habits
Having good sleep habits can relieve those lingering feelings of tiredness that often promote low motivation too. Going to bed at the same time each night and waking at the same time will maximise your brain’s hormone balance, giving you more alertness and focus in the morning and throughout the day. Keeping away from technology leading up to bedtime is also important.
 3. Plan in advance
Planning in advance is the key to success. For example if you like to do a recorded Pilates mat class decide which day or night and stick to it in your diary doing it at the same time every week, the same goes for planning a Pilates studio session if it is very week, every 2 weeks or sometimes a duet with a friend works better as you both have to commit to the session at the same time.
4. Remove the barriers
Plan each day in the morning to prioritise what needs done that day. Plan in your Pilates time and other exercise time too. Make a point of switching off your emails or notifications when it is your Pilates time so that you can proceed with complete focus and avoid the distractions.
5. Set small goals
Make a note of your goals for the week or whole month to keep yourself focused and accountable. Keep them small and achievable, this works really well for some and when they do more it feels even better! Some are really happy when they have done the recorded Pilates class twice in a week, some of the Studio clients have included a small amount of mat exercises at home to feel that they are doing ‘a little bit more’.
This may seem like a long list of things to implement, but just organising your week a little more around your Pilates and exercise goals can make a huge difference to our winter motivation mindset. Once you are consistently achieving them, add in a bit more to keep your motivation sky high even on the darkest, coldest days this winter!
At Pilates Power we focus on a whole-body workout for both your physical well-being and your mental well-being. Focusing on controlled co-ordinated movements combined with breath are key to the Pilates Method.

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