It's important that we continue to stay active during this COVID-19-inflicted time. While gyms and fitness studios may not be available to us at the moment, there are still other ways to get moving at home, thanks to free online classes and virtual sessions.
Something that's not too intense or that doesn't really require any equipment is Pilates, a low-impact workout that focuses on form and breathing. All needed is an exercise mat!
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Easing up to Pilates boils down to two things: The type of mat used and the workout executed. ONELIFE Studio's Tanya Maria Aguila suggested first timers to opt for mat Pilates since "With mat Pilates, you get to enjoy challenging exercises using just your bodyweight and movement control." For the workout, she recommended the "Vacation 5" workout that can be practiced on one's own. "If you’ve been wanting to spice up your core-focused exercises and are free from any spine injuries or special conditions, these five Pilates exercises are pretty safe and easy to learn and do," she said.
One-on-one virtual coaching might further help erase doubts on Pilates as an efficient home workout, said Tanya who's part of ONELIFE Studio's ONELIFE-At-Home program. "(With an) expert guidance of a coach, he or she can help you identify your movement and posture habits that needs work."
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Finally ready to get started with Pilates? Get an exercise mat ready and slip into a pair of grip socks while in tight-fitting workout clothes for Tanya's mini tutorial below!
"Vacation 5" Pilates Workout
- Single leg stretch. Exhale, alternately pull the bent leg in.
- Double leg stretch. Inhale, bend both knees and pull both legs in. Exhale, reach legs and arms away.
- Single straight leg stretch. Straighten both legs. Exhale, alternately pull a leg in.
- Double Straight Leg Stretch. Inhale, lower straight legs together. Exhale, raise legs back up.
- Obliques. Exhale, alternately twist upper torso towards the opposite hip of bent knee leg.
Do 5-10 reps of these exercises in your ab curl position. Just make sure your position is correct, Tanya said. "Master your ab curl position as you will need to stay in this position to do this core series effectively and efficiently."
All said, Tanya advised beginners to take baby steps—like in any workout, it's always important to listen to one's body. "Don’t be too hard on yourself and remember that at the end of the day what matters is progress over perfection," she said. "No matter how simple and basic it might seem, yields more results than an erratic intense exercise schedule that you can’t commit to and that leaves you feeling spent."
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