There are very few moments in a week where I get time to myself, during the day at least, which usually means that I have to listen to my body. My body tells me when I am tired, when I am aching and need a good stretch and when I am feeling ready to tackle the world. The feelings change depending on the week I have had and whether or not I get a good night’s sleep.
One of my “new to 2015″ things, is that I have been taking exercise classes at my local gym, which has helped me to stay fit and also to build my core strength up to support my back. I am still aching and sore from the accident in November and my physiotherapist and doctor recommend that I focus on developing the muscles in my core, which will help my back to be stronger. Pilates, not only helps to strengthen these muscles but also it brings along with it a whole collaboration of goodness. Pilates also improves flexibility, develops control and endurance in the whole body. Learning to exercise with just using your body weight means that you can do it whenever and wherever you are, which is perfect for those 5 minutes of you time.
I recently discovered a wealth of online information for Pilate’s/Yoga stretches and positions. You do not need to have an hour’s class to make the most out of this very interesting activity. After a long day of housework, driving and office work I get a really sore back and sourcing poses to alleviate back pain has really helped. Wearing comfortable clothes, sitting on the floor of my nice tidy lounge, I can sit and stretch to my heart’s content – without feeling the need to tidy up. My favourite position at the moment has to be the raised side plank as I can feel it stretching my back and I can feel relief as I am doing it.
After a few weeks of doing the raised side plank, my wrists have got stronger and my core muscles have got stronger and so I can hold my body weight for a little longer each time. It proves to me that a little and often has done wonders for my body strength. I started off by doing this plank position for about 10 seconds before my wrists would give way and now I am able to hold myself for nearly a minute. You can do this pose for as long as you can, do it in sets of 3, with a 30 second break in-between. You can definitely squeeze this into a little 5 minute “me time”, M&S Bank are running a “me time” campaign at the moment and you can see the details on the M&S Bank Facebook page.
There are hundreds of poses you can do; there are simple instructions online to follow too; ranging from beginners poses to more difficult poses. You do not need to purchase anything to be able to do yoga or Pilates, making sure you are in comfortable clothes and on a non-slippery surface will give you a good start. Whether it is to tone up parts of your body or relieve aches and pains, there are yoga positions for everyone and you will feel great.