It is a weeknight and you’re in your jammies feeling tired, bloated, but wanting desperately to get back into the habit of exercising again. Perhaps you want to get yourself back in the gym but the reason that there’s simply no time. If you’ve found yourself on the couch scrolling through Netflix every night, then you definitely have some time to get a workout!
With all the demands of work and family most of us need to get through every day, it is no wonder we have some difficulty sticking with an exercise routine long enough to see results. Often, we just throw our hands up in exasperation and think ‘why bother?’ when really, all it takes is a shift in perspective and one or two lifestyle changes to get us back out there reaching our fitness goals.
If you have been living a sedentary lifestyle lately, dismantling the bad habits you picked up – sitting more, moving less – may seem like an uphill battle, but one tiny change three to four times a week can make the task at hand seem less herculean and more of a fun break to your day.
Exercise doesn’t have to take up an entire afternoon to be effective and you don’t need fancy clothes or equipment to get back in the saddle, so to speak. Here are four easy ways to get you started on your road to wellness.
Walking is, quite simply, the easiest way to get more active. You don’t need special equipment and it can be done anywhere. According to a Harvard health article, walking even at a casual pace of two miles per hour at 5 ½ miles per week reduced the risk of cardiovascular events by 31% and the risk of dying by 32%.
Walking doesn’t have to be a slog either. If you enjoy window-shopping, walk around the mall a few times. You get the perks of a cardio workout and spend time looking at things you like! If you favor the great outdoors, hit a park near your home or walk around a new neighborhood. Who knows what interesting things you may discover during your stroll? Maybe you find a new café or restaurant you never knew existed but now need to try, or you find quaint, instagrammable buildings you would never have found if you weren’t on foot. The possibilities are endless!
2. Desk stretches and simple body exercises
If you’re really pressed for time and need quick midday solutions, why not bring exercise to work? We all need to find fluid and easy movement in our bodies and stretching is a great way to start getting the blood flowing again. Just three to five minutes during your lunch or other breaks can work wonders.
Gentle stretches by your desk can keep you limber and give your body more range of movement on a daily basis. To keep from feeling like you have yet another task to check off your list, get super creative and modify your exercises to suit the available area around your workspace. Start off with two or three of the following exercises and then mix and add on others to keep things interesting:
- Modified push-ups
- Leg Lifts
When you can carve out a little more time in your day, opt for a quick class that’ll reinforce all the regular stretching that you already do at work. Try out a pilates or yoga class with a schedule that can easily be incorporated into your pre or post-workday. Pilates Plus offers both morning and afternoon classes and even have early afternoon ones for those of you who want to avail of a quick mid-day session.
Swimming is another great exercise that requires minimal equipment – all you need is your swimsuit, goggles, and a swim cap! Take advantage of your building or neighborhood pool and jump in when you find yourself with an hour or two to spare. Swimming gives you a full body workout without having to sweat it out on different machines at a gym. If you’re looking for low impact cardio, taking a couple of laps in the local pool is a great way to get your heart pumping!
If the pool isn’t your cup of tea, and if you’ve got a bike gathering dust in the hallway or garage, perhaps consider putting on a bike helmet and taking to the road again on two wheels. If the route allows, why not cycle to and from work? Or, if that isn’t viable, take your bike out and explore the great outdoors during the weekends. Just mind the traffic rules, stick to the bicycle lanes, and always wear protective bike gear.
Remember, a dedicated routine is crucial for the first couple of weeks. Feeling sore is normal the first few days, but the body gradually gets used to the added physical activities so don’t let a bit of pain deter you from going back for a second or third session. Build a habit of putting on your running shoes after work, or going straight to the studio for a Pilates class. Or setting up bike ride dates ahead of time. This way, you get your exercise done and out of the way early and leave the evenings free for other leisure activities with friends and family.
Pilates Plus has early evening as well as early morning classes available throughout the week. For those who wish to try out a new activity with officemates and friends, their group schedules can be found at https://www.pilatesplus.sg/schedule/ .
Done regularly, any form of physical movement allows you to slowly but surely make a dent in your goal of upping your overall physical well-being. Set small, attainable goals and before you know it, your body will be thanking you by feeling lighter, looking more toned, and definitely feeling stronger than when you first started.
An affordable way to treat body aches? Sign me up for that!
Well, why wouldn’t you, when most of us are stuck on our seats for hours every day – a lifestyle that carries a string of health risks. Aches and pains are just some of the symptoms that, if left unmanaged, can also lead to chronic health problems.
Pilates in Singapore is making a silent revolution in fitness with many turning to it for its benefits. So, if body aches are affecting how you function every day and your overall well-being, this type of exercise is worth considering. It can boost your fitness regimen, all while giving you your money’s worth!
Pain and the bigger picture
The Straits Times reports that body pain is not just a personal issue. It is also a national concern that costs the economy S$8.4 Billion each year. In 2016, workers in Singapore took an average of 3 days of medical leave due to pain, while those who tried to brave through it showed a 15% decline in productivity.
It is also reported that 9 out of 10 people may experience back pain at some point in their lives. And if you hold a physically-demanding job or even one that is highly sedentary, you know that backaches are all too familiar. This shows that body pain is something that should not be left to linger, and must be taken seriously.
With the rising cost of medical care to address chronic pain, Pilates as a complementary treatment or even as a preventive measure would come up to be a cost-effective option. However, this is a matter that you must discuss with your doctor, especially if you have special needs.
How much does Pilates personal training cost?
The average cost of a personal Pilates training in Singapore is around S$40, and it can go as high as S$130 for every session. Some studios require a registration fee, while some don’t require this in their arrangements.
If you want to get several sessions at a more affordable price, you can sign-up for Pilates courses that are grouped into packages with 5 to 10 sessions. At Pilates Plus, we have the following arrangements:
- Single Drop-In: S$50 per person
- 12 sessions: S$365 per person (S$30/session), valid for 3 months
- 30 sessions: S$845 per person (S$28/session), valid for 8 months
Group class packages are applicable to Pilates Matwork, Strength Pilates, Calisthenics Bent Arm, Calisthenics Straight Arm, Organic Strength, and Deep Stretch Classes.
Reformer Allegro Group Class Packages:
- Single Drop-In: S$50
- 12 sessions: S$475 per person ($39/session) for 3 months
A Group Class package is applicable for the Reformer Allegro Class and Reformer Strength Series. It can also be used for the Pilates Equipment Group class after you’ve undergone 3 Private sessions for individual programming.
If you are interested to join the Reformer Allegro or the Reformer Strength Series from your introductory packages, you can simply top up $20 to try out a class.
Group class package with a one-month expiry date
- Unlimited Classes (Calisthenics, Pilates Matwork, Reformer): S$345 per person
- Pilates Plus Corporate Sessions: This is an arrangement you can make with our studio to accommodate fitness programs you aim to incorporate in your company. The prices will vary accordingly based on the kind of arrangement that was set.
How much does private training cost in Singapore?
The cost of a private training differs based on the studio, the instructor (whether if he is a freelancer or someone tied up with the gym), or the kind of Pilates workout (mat or equipment) you wish to focus on. Private sessions usually start around S$80 in Singapore and this can go as high up as S$100-S$180.
An hour of a private session at our studio, which involves the use of all Pilates equipment, would go for S$150. You can also get a package which is comprised of 10 or 25 sessions for $1,280 and S$2,950 respectively.
If you and a friend are interested in a private session together, we also offer a semi-private class for 1 hour. For two people, you can enjoy a total of 10 sessions at $1,700.
Even though it comes at a price much higher than group classes, a private class is recommended for individuals with specific needs or injuries. In that way, the instructors can give them their full attention.
What is the best solution for back pain?
Back pain is inevitable especially if your job entails hours of sitting. This is a concern shared by many primarily because of poor body mechanics. As much as the causes vary, the solution also comes in different forms and Pilates is proven to be a reliable solution.
One study claimed that “Pilates provided greater improvement for pain relief and functional ability” in people with lower back pain. With regular sessions, the benefits are reflected at one’s quality of life such as functional capacity, pain, and vitality.
While Pilates has its benefits for lower back pain, researchers concluded that it offers equivalent improvements to massage therapy and other forms of exercise. So, to say that it would be the best solution would be putting it too far. Rather, it would be more appropriate to say that, it is a good option if you wish to address this chronic problem. Adding to that, it not only addresses the pain but it can also improve a person’s fitness and well-being.
How difficult is a Pilates exercise?
Pilates isn’t necessarily about the level of difficulty of an exercise routine, it is about how progression benefits your body.
Of course, it will not be easy for anybody right off the bat. While it may not be as strenuous as cardio exercises, it focuses more on working your own body while increasing awareness, breathing, focus, proper muscle activation, and challenging yourself through alignment.
It is also for that goal that you should carefully choose your instructor. Recruiting the wrong muscles will cause you to miss out on the true value of the exercise and overlook your purpose of addressing body aches. The importance of a well trained and experienced instructor comes into play as he/she guides you through the different routines with proper execution.
Is a group Pilates class safe and effective in the gym?
A group Pilates class have been effective in the gym or a studio. To ensure that everyone in the group is given the attention they need, especially when checking execution, the number of participants for each session is controlled.
We can’t always assume that people will remember all the safety precautions, especially when handling Pilates devices. This is true, particularly for Pilates group classes. So, we encourage participants to carefully follow the principles. Before individuals are left to the workout on their own, it is ensured that they have undergone proper training.
For individuals with special needs (e.g. pregnant women, senior citizens, or people with injuries), it is best that you choose private to semi-private sessions usually offered in packages to save more. This is perfect for anybody looking for special care and attention when executing the different exercises, or if you simply want the privacy.
What can regular Pilates classes do to your body?
Pilates is more than just a workout – it can create body awareness that takes your fitness routine to a different level. Aside from easing back pain, it also offers the following benefits:
- It promotes deeper muscle activation which means a better function of the nervous system.
- It promotes uniformed muscle development.
- It can relieve stress and tension in your body.
- It enhances your body and self-awareness.
- It improves your flexibility and lean muscle tone.
- It is low-impact hence it is easy on your joints.
- It improves postural control and body composition.
- You gradually build a strong body and a strong mind.
Just imagine having all these benefits to your body while you work towards addressing body aches? It definitely gives you a good run for your money because not only will you hit the nail in the head by addressing chronic pain, you also build a strong body along the way!
If you have yet to try this out, experience these benefits and sign-up for any of our Pilates Plus classes today. Try our affordable Pilates Singapore promo packages and get the most value for your money!
A Pilates Reformer is probably the most recognizable equipment for this type of fitness regimen. Its hulking size may seem intimidating at first, but if you can go past your first impression, you’d be surprised at the range of benefits it provides. Here we break down 8 reasons why a Pilates Reformer Class in Singapore will be a good addition to your fitness regimen.
What is a Pilates Reformer?
Pilates is either performed on a mat or specialised equipment called a Reformer, originally called a “Universal Reformer”. It is one of the 12 original Pilates devices which is designed as a bed-like structure rigged with bedsprings, headboards, and footboards. At first look, it may appear like a medieval torture device, but the overall design is intended to provide resistance when executing Pilates exercises.
Today, a Pilates Reformer comes with a more streamlined design. Different companies add their own spin to it with the intent to make it more efficient. The market now has a range of designs, from a Home Pilates Reformer to commercial-grade machines strapped with all the necessary bells and whistles to improve core strength, flexibility, balance, and stability.
Benefits of a Pilates Reformer
1. A strong core
Centering is the focal point of the Pilates method. It refers to the core of the body, or the “powerhouse,” where all the energy begins and radiates outward to the extremities. The level of resistance is adjusted by the number of springs that are attached. For example, one would provide the least resistance, while five represents maximum resistance that you can get from a standard Reformer.
This versatile, impact-free workout puts emphasis on strengthening the pelvic floor and the deep core muscles. When these muscles are engaged properly, they develop a stronger body with a stable foundation. Research even showed that a Reformer Pilates session can improve core stability in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. With the strength arising from the core, one can maintain good control of the movements performed.
2. Improves overall strength
While targeting the core also allows better execution and command of the different muscles, Reformer classes also challenge the entire body. The pushing and pulling motion experienced by all your extremities against the resistance springs, carriage and body weight gradually builds strength. Without creating so much impact on your joints, it allows you to work all your muscle groups, even up to the smallest musculature in a precise and controlled fashion. This kind of strength training preserves and enhances your muscle mass.
3. Provides a full range of motion
The cables and bars of a Reformer device allows you to move your body with a full range of motion which is something that you might not be able to achieve on your own. It encourages you to extend to the fullest while you follow the track. With usual exercise, and without so much guidance, it will be easy for you to fall back into your old pattern of movements that are not as beneficial, or it may even be detrimental to your posture too.
Regular Reformer work trains your body to adapt to this full range of motion which also helps in proper body mechanics. This will ultimately result in fewer body aches and pains.
4. Improves coordination and balance
With its core stabilizing program, Pilates repeatedly stretches and strengthens the core muscles which maximizes the spine’s mobility and stability. Balance is achieved because a Reformer exercise can help maintain the proper musculoskeletal structure which also protects important muscles that are crucial for balance.
5. Better posture
The Reformer improves your posture because it trains you to develop and use core strength, instead of holding up your position with superficial musculature. It is an effective method in reinforcing movement patterns and strengthening efforts to ultimately improve your posture.
6. Faster results
The resistance provided by a Reformer exercise allows you to get results faster. You can adjust the springs and the moving carriage accordingly to a level that suits you best. As you become more proficient with the current level of resistance, you can proceed from reclined exercises to those that require less contact of your body and the carriage.
Since it encourages your body to assume proper body alignment with the core strength to boot, the results can be achieved much faster than other exercises.
7. Better back health
Core weakness is a recognized biomechanical deficit among those who are suffering from low back pain. With core strengthening comes better spinal alignment and a gentle release for tensed back muscles. Even the simplest Reformer exercise has the capacity to support the deep postural muscles of the trunk.
Having roots that go all the way back to ballet, some of the movements can be quite challenging. This explains why many of the exercises must be avoided if you have degenerative disc disease and significant back pain. It is advised that you consult your physician first before you sign up for any exercise program.
8. Promotes Better Alignment
Reformer exercises also put emphasis on neutral alignment of the spine and the shoulder blades. It levels the pelvis while the lumbar and thoracic curves are neutralized. Without this alignment, it can be difficult to perform other Pilates exercises. The Reformer acts as an assistant to help the person get into position or to perform the move.
9. Improves Muscle Tone
Pilates tones the body without the muscle bulk. With controlled and progressive movements, it can eventually reshape your body. It creates long, strong muscles for that leaner physique instead of a beefier build.
10. A Good Tool for Rehabilitation
A Reformer Pilates machine is great for rehabilitative purposes because it allows the client to exercise in a horizontal plane of motion. It spares the legs from weight bearing and the vertical load, which is particularly beneficial for those who just had knee surgery or a knee injury.
Reformer vs Mat Exercise
A mat Pilates and Reformer Pilates classes in Singapore gives you pretty much the same results. It is done under the principle of essentially building core strength by working against resistance. But if you are looking for more variations and quick results, a Reformer class is for you.
It is superior to mat based Pilates with its repertoire of exercises that offers you with more variety. It works the muscles using a wider range of motion which complements efforts to build and tone your muscles while stabilising your joints. Compared to matwork which focuses mostly on the core, a Reformer Class works the entire body.
While it may seem intimidating at first look because of its appearance, it can be a good fitness partner. With the essential techniques provided by your instructor can be adjusted accordingly to suit your own needs. Therefore, private sessions are preferable at this stage because it allows beginners to get accustomed to the equipment.
How to Get Successful Results Reformer Pilates Class
1. Wear Appropriate Clothing
Since you’ll be using a full range of motion, it is important that you wear comfortable clothing. Stretchable clothing with a good fit, but are not too revealing, helps you assume various positions with ease.
2. Take It Slow
This exercise is not a race, so there is no reason for beating yourself up by pumping up the speed. Doing so can affect the quality of your movements and may end up being incorrect. With slower movements your body demands more energy triggering your muscles to work harder.
3. Maintain Proper Breathing
Breathing helps the body bring the body back to a relaxed state which helps you to focus on your movement.
4. Non-Skid Socks and Gloves Can Help
While going barefoot is the usual practice, some instructors will allow you to wear non-skid socks or gloves. The grips can provide traction and it prevents your feet from slipping on the machine, especially if your hands and feet tend to get sweaty. This allows you to focus on activating the proper muscles instead of focusing your efforts on crunching your fingers and toes to stay in place.
5. Be Mindful of Your Posture
Correct posture helps prevent injury while exercising. Not only will it benefit you while you train, you can also carry good posture even outside your fitness regimen.
Are you ready to experience the benefits of a Pilates Reformer Class in Singapore? Here at the Pilates Plus studio, we want to focus on your specific needs and how best we can tailor-fit our Pilates programs to your needs. You may check out our list of programs, here, and see which would best suit your preference.
Come and try a session with us today! Stretch your way to better health with our Reformer Pilates classes.