Are you feeling a little concerned that all the Christmas goodies you will eat over the holidays will go straight to your hips? RESCU has the expert advice on how to keep fit and fabulous throughout the silly season with 5 easy Pilates exercises:
Sit on the floor with your feet hip-width apart, with the knees bent and the circle placed between your knees. Stretch your arms out in front of you, in line with the chest. Draw the navel to the spine. As you breath in, lower the body back to 45 degrees keeping your feet flat on the ground. As you breathe out, lift the body back to the upright position, squeezing the circle. Do 20 repetitions. (TIP: If you feel uncomfortable in the neck and shoulders, place your hands behind your head).
The hundred is a fundamental Pilates exercise and refers to completing one set of one hundred counts. Lie on your back with your head on the floor and knees in the air in a table-top position. Place the circle between your ankles. Draw the navel to the spine and breathe in to prepare. As you breathe out, drop your chin to your chest and curl forward, lifting the head and shoulders off the ground and straightening the legs. Begin pumping the arms up and down while breathing-in for 5 counts and breathing out for 5 counts, to squeeze the circle. Continue for 100 counts. (TIP: If you start to feel discomfort in your neck and/or shoulders, place your hands behind your head. If you start to feel uncomfortable in your lower back, bend the knees back into the table-top position.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Make sure that your ankles, knees and hips are aligned. Place the circle between your knees. Place your arms at your sides. Draw the navel to the spine and breath in to prepare. As you breath out, flatten the lower back into the ground, lifting the tailbone and rolling the pelvis into the air, squeezing the circle. Pause at the top and breathe in, to release the circle. As you breathe out, roll the pelvis down articulating the spine into the floor, squeezing the circle. Do 10 repetitions.
Place the circle between the ankles, bend your knees and lie face down on the floor with your hands slightly wider than the shoulders and the elbows bent. Raise your body up from the floor by straightening the arms, keeping the knees on the floor and the body straight. As you breath in, keeping the torso straight and the knees bent, lower your body to the floor by bending the at the elbows. As you breath out, push your body up until your arms are straight, squeezing the circle. Do 10 repetitions.
Sit cross-legged on the floor with the circle standing upright, an arm’s length away from your body. Place one hand on the circle with the elbow slightly bent and your opposite arm by your side. Breath in to prepare and as you breath out take the free arm over the head and reach towards the circle, pressing the hand on the circle down, stretching the side of the body. As you breath in, return to your start position. Do 4 repetitions on each side.
Pilates DVDs are also a great option over Christmas time when you can’t make it to a class. The Pilates Physique Exercise Circle and DVD Kit is small enough to fit into a suitcase and will ensure you manage the holiday period with a minimum of damage!
Do your workout with friends or a family member. Research shows that people are more likely to perform exercise and workout for longer if they do it with a friend.
Don’t forget – it is Christmas after all. Everyone gains a couple of pounds and slows down their exercise routine. Make a plan to do your exercise at the same time each day so that it becomes part of your daily routine.
As well as your Pilates, remember you need to include some cardiovascular exercise into your day. Take the dog for a walk, use the stairs instead of the lift or Power walk your way around the Boxing Day sales!