Returning to Pilates after a holiday and perhaps a little over-indulgence, can seem daunting. It can feel like you’ve taken a step backwards on your journey to a healthier, fitter you, believing you may have undone all the hard work and results you achieved so far.
Before you decide to throw in the towel, here are just a few reasons why a break from exercise is actually really good for you and can help you progress further than before.
Holidays are a great opportunity to give your mind and body a well-earned rest. Time out from exercise allows your body to focus on repairing damage to muscle tissue and minimizing risk of inflammation in the joints, which can lead to stronger and more efficient muscles. This is why professional sportsmen and women are encouraged to take a break from exercise between seasons.
After long periods of regular exercise, your body will begin to fatigue and slow down and you may notice that you don’t have as much energy or motivation as you used to. This is the time when your performance may begin to tail off and you may become more prone to injury.
In the same way that you wouldn’t run your car continuously without getting it serviced every now and then, a holiday break provides your mind and body with a chance to relax, unwind and re-energize. When you do return to exercise, you will feel rested and much stronger than before.
Time to stop provides an ideal opportunity to reassess your exercise goals or perhaps set a new Pilates challenge for yourself. Consider the progress you’ve made so far and whether your goals are still valid or need modifying.
Maybe, you would like to attend more classes or increase your flexibility by including some stretches at home in between classes. You might choose to focus on perfecting your technique, strengthening a particular muscle group or simply learning to let go a little more during the relaxation part of the class. Whatever it is, regularly reviewing and adjusting your goals can help you to stay motivated and feel empowered.
Variety is a big part of sticking to a regular exercise routine. Adding and incorporating other types of exercise such as yoga, hiking or a recreational sport, such as tennis or golf, alongside your regular Pilates routine can keep boredom at bay. Aside from the benefit of a well-balanced exercise experience, variety can have a huge impact on motivation and maintaining a commitment to a healthy active lifestyle long-term. You will also enjoy the added advantages that Pilates gives you in enhancing core strength and competitive performance in other activities.
After the very first session back to class, your mind and body will thank you for the rest and the re-start. At the very least you will more flexible and more energised. If you regularly and consistently practised Pilates before the holiday break, by the second session, you will bounce back quickly, feeling powerful once again and ready to progress further than ever before.
Still ready to throw in the towel? I thought not… See you back at class!