Breathing in the Great British Summer
June 2, 2021

Well, we have had to put up with quite frankly, awful weather since Easter, with so much rain, storms and low temperatures. Our spring may have taken a battering but it’s time to embrace summer with the arrival of sunny June! This month, as we return to doing even more normal things in life again, which became so abnormal, it can be tricky for us all to reintegrate ourselves back into new routines. Rediscovering much missed activities and doing even the simple things in life again, like visiting a non-essential shop or sitting with a friend INSIDE their house can seem strange. We’ve all been Lockdown trained and our confidence levels have taken a knock, so you must take it at your own, comfortable pace.

Lockdown brought us a different perspective on life and we all had different ways of dealing with it. Some suddenly had more time to look after themselves, free from daily, perhaps over-stressful demands and were able to focus more on their health. Many started cycling more, enjoyed more walks and may well have even taken up a new hobby or fitness class online. For many though, it was the opposite. Previously, the very active became more sedentary, daily steps plummeted and so with it, enthusiasm and self-motivation.

As we approach Step 4 and the goal of having no social restrictions again, you may be feeling a bit deflated because your body has inflated?! You may not feel quite ‘summer ready’ yet? Comfort eating over Lockdown, combined with not being perhaps as active as you were before, means clothes may be a tighter fit but you’re not alone!

Start your journey back to better fitness by practising ‘Mindfulness’. By taking just a few quiet minutes out of the day to focus on your breathing and to just ‘BE’ in the moment, can really boost your mood. It can lower your heart rate, ease tension and anxiety, leaving you refreshed and positive.

To help your body get moving more, download the FREE ‘One You Couch to 5K’ App, provided by Public Health England supported by the BBC. Having completed this training plan myself to test it recently, it is excellent and will help you get running over a period of 9 weeks. With each week, you listen to your chosen coach, who prompts you on when to walk, when to run and for how long. If running is not for you though, try the FREE ‘One You Active 10 Walk Tracker’ which will motivate you to get walking, moving and feeling better.

Allowing time for YOU and your health is more important than ever. Breathing with focus and control can leave you calmer and able to think clearer, which all helps to reduce stress. Breathing mindfully is a major part of Pilates and practising the Pilates Breathing Technique, is a prescribed process and fundamental to practising pilates properly. Breathing IN relaxes the stomach muscles and BREATHING OUT contracts them, building the strength of your core muscles, correcting posture and easing back pain.

PILATES is an excellent and gentle way to re-introduce more structured exercise into your life, which focuses on balancing the body, mind and spirit so that you can move efficiently, easily and without pain. It can help kick-start a more active lifestyle too. The beauty of Pilates is that is suitable for virtually all adults and levels of fitness. Each of the 34 mat work exercises have been carefully crafted to restore harmony, whilst improving muscle strength and flexibility, leaving you feeling invigorated and refreshed, all whilst keeping the heart rate below cardio levels. Adaptions can be easily made to accommodate hip and knee replacements and can ease inflammation from Arthritis and Rheumatism, as the exercises improve circulation. Pilates helps to release built-up tension in muscles, particularly in the neck and shoulder area, as well as relieving lower back and Sciatic discomfort. Pilates really is suitable and attainable for so many!

With the choice now of practicing Pilates back at VENUES in SOMERSHAM, COLNE, RAMSEY, ABBOTS RIPTON and NEEDINGWORTH, as well as joining me on ZOOM, my 11 day time and evening classes give you the ultimate flexibility in both senses of the word, to become more active, boosting your immune system and helping you to better look after the health of both your body and mind. Get summer ready with Pilates Liz!