I am a 52 year old, Menopausal Mother of 1 (aka Menopausal Athlete), keen runner and foodie! I have practiced Pilates for a number of years but it was only when I entered the ‘surgical menopause’ almost 3 years ago, and my body really started to creak and groan, impacting on my running and everyday life, that I started to practice it seriously.
A gym fanatic for many years, ran miles on the treadmill, biked, cross-trained but in hindsight paid insufficient attention to my core and to stretching. As soon as I started focussing on the slow and controlled exercises of Pilates with emphasis on core stability, my running started to improve, I found I was less prone to injury, my aches and pains reduced and I felt taller (not a bad thing as I’m 5ft 2!).
As a result of my findings I decided to train as a Pilates Instructor and help others see the benefits that I have!
Pilates is a low impact exercise designed to strengthen and lengthen your muscles with emphasis on core strength and stability. Each exercise utilizes the full range of motion of the body so that joints are mobilized and muscles are stretched. There is particular concentration on posture, balance and flexibility with specific focus on the mind-body connection and breathing patterns.
Many injuries happen due to lack of core strength, which is made up of abdominal, lower back, hip, and pelvic floor strength. Whether recovering from a pulled muscle in the lower back or hip surgery, learning to connect to your core will improve your quality of life so that you can learn to move more effectively and with less pain in the long run.
Joseph Pilates, the founder of the traditional Pilates method, said of it:
“In 10 sessions, you will feel the difference. In 20, you will see the difference. And in 30, you’ll be on your way to having a whole new body.”
He did not mean that you have to do loads of repetitions to get the desired results, Pilates is all about quality and precision not quantity. Moving more is important but the critical point is to learn to move better with improved posture and alignment all of which you will gain from Pilates.
Pilates is suitable for all ages and abilities; each exercise can be modified and adaptations and progressions are provided for each one. It is a perfect exercise to combine with other sports particularly running and cycling and as part of a specific training programme.
Classes run in 6 week blocks at the Suffolk Babies Centre in Kesgrave. There is a Monday evening course (7:45pm) and a Saturday morning course (7:15am). Classes cost just £7.50 each, making a course £45. Helen is running an introductory offer where it is 6 classes for the price of 5, making a full term just £37.50.
To book a place, or for any queries, please contact Helen on firstname.lastname@example.org