The blog started with; Why wait for the New Year or your next summer holiday to make a positive change to your health and wellbeing? We all fall into this trap; ‘I’ll start in the New Year, next week, or I will start on Monday’. All are delaying tactics and often not followed through. Why wait? The main difference for 2021 is we have opportunities to enjoy more diverse activities at home, without a journey and still with the guidance of a wonderful teacher.
So here we go, I hope you enjoy reading this and it resonates with you.
For this blog, I will try to avoid the word ‘exercise’ as so many people would rather receive a poke in the eye! I am therefore going to say ‘activity’ or ‘move more’.
When you start a new activity and begin using muscles which have been (mostly) sedentary, there may be some soreness, however the rewards you experience will far outweigh a little discomfort. Day by day you will see, feel and enjoy the benefits. Your choice of activity is paramount, if you are going to ‘stick with it’ you need to find your flow, rhythm, and inner strength. The activity needs to become part of you where it is normal every day practice and not just, rolled out on high days and holidays.
Okay; so you are with me on this, what now? Why are you still hesitating? Let’s take a look at the most common barriers:
Time: Time is most likely the biggest barrier, ‘I don’t have time’. Well, let us see if we can create a small miracle and make time! Think outside the box. Where is my small window of time? (Again we ideally want every day.) Do you clean your teeth in the morning and evening? If yes, how on earth do you find time for that when you have no time? OK I jest, but it is an opportunity to multi task and gives you 2 minutes twice a day for a posture check and mini abs workout. How many times do you boil the kettle? Again another small opportunity to mobilise your neck and shoulders. How do you get to work, school or college? If by public transport, get off the bus or train 1 or 2 stops early and walk. Take the stairs or walk up the escalators. So without even trying, we have found about 30 minutes of time available to be activity and move more. That’s our first miracle and we have not even been trying! Now onto some more meaningful, (designed) activities and how to find time. This is important stuff, so you may need to move something around to fit it in, being active far outweighs so many other commitments. Take out a pen and paper or your diary and plan some time. Don’t let time pass by or dictate to you, take control and make this your resolution.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, our daily routine may have changed. We may no longer be traveling to work, however maybe working longer hours at home. It is therefore even more important to make time to move more. With our online classes you can join one or two of our early morning classes or choose one from the library. You can join a live class every evening after you finish your days work without the prospect of the train being delayed! Just roll out your mat, login, put on some music, light a candle (if that helps you relax) and follow your teachers instructions. Our teachers plan different classes every week, working muscles in different ways to give you the best results.
Finance: Do something ‘free’; walking, running or cycling (if you have a bicycle). Find a new activity you can learn and practice at home Yoga, Pilates, or Tia Chi. It needs be a routine that flows with concentration, breathing and precision. It needs to become part of you and something you do every (or most) days.
When writing this original blog in 2014, one class would cost £7, now in 2021 with our online package, you can enjoy 11 live classes a week for £10 and have unlimited access to the video library. That works out under £1 per class. This pandemic has opened doors and given us opportunities we may not have introduced without it! In 2020 because of the hardship Covid-19 has caused to many, we introduced ‘The Gift of Yoga’, a fund to support those needing financial help.
I’m not ‘Fit’ enough or bendy enough to exercise: This is a bit like saying I am too hungry to eat or not wet enough to go swimming! It is often an excuse/barrier along with other physical barriers, ‘I’m too old, I have a bad back, I’m too heavy, I have a bad hip or shoulder’. These are all sound reasons to be careful with your choice of activity and even instructor/trainer, however physiological barriers are often excuses and not a reason to avoid leading a more active and healthier lifestyle.
No changes here other than more accessibility online and more choices. Try Tai Chi if you are looking for a gentle and inclusive option, this can even be done sitting on a chair if you are not able to stand. If swimming is your choice of activity, I hope the pools open again soon.
Location: ‘There is nowhere near me or I can’t get there’. Again this is another excuse. The answer is the same as time. Find windows and opportunities where you can be more active.
Try online it really works. Here’s an email I received earlier this week: "I used to attend Wendy’s Pilates classes but finished and got married in February, just missing the lockdown. I didn’t join the online classes thinking I wanted to be around people and it wouldn’t be the same. I must say I was pleasantly surprised when I did join recently. Yes it’s not 100% the same but it definitely comes close! Thanks for speaking to me in class about it, it was the encouragement I needed. And the teachers again really do speak to you like you’re in the same room as them. Thanks again, Kelly.”
I am too stressed: HELLO – Exercise, activity and movement is one of the miracle medicines for stress. As with time and finance, discover an activity you can learn and practice at home. For stress management it needs to be an activity where you work with controlled breathing. Yoga, Pilates or Tia Chi would be ideal however any physical activity will reap benefits to release stress.
No changes here for 2021 other than more choices. Most of our yoga classes include meditation and Adriana publishes meditation blogs to help with stress. If you haven’t given yoga a try, why not make 2021 the year you do? We also have self-care classes and workshops for specific areas of health, ‘Movement for Menopause’, designed for women who are menopausal or peri-menopausal. Our Somatics workshops are a wonderful way to let go of stresses held in the physical body.
Commitment: ‘It never works and I won’t stick to it’. Yes it will work, have a positive frame of mind; work with a qualified instructor and set realistic (smart) goals. Work towards those goals, smash them and set new goals.
If you need extra encouragement, try some one-to-one lessons where the programme is written for you personally, giving you the opportunity to reach agreed goals. You can do this for as little as £30 per lesson.
Don’t wait, start now, find activities you will love. 2021 is offering you the best opportunities ever to achieve a ‘New Year Resolution’.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this blog and have found it useful and motivating.
For more information about Absolute Yoga and Pilates, our classes, either face to face (post Covid) or our online community, please follow the link to our website.
Written and published by Pauline Ward
Absolute Yoga and Pilates
Business Owner and Fitness Professional