November 20, 2012
If you know my story from previous posts then you’ll understand that one of the key motivating factors for me was my experience in hospital where I had surgery on a damaged lower disc. I vowed to take better care of myself and when I was given the all-clear in September 2012 to get back to being active my physiotherapist (Dave Saligari from Active Health Solutions www.activehealthsolutions.co.uk) recommended a beginners course in Pilates.
I enrolled on a 10 week course with Dave’s wife and business partner Rachel. I had been informed that the other course participants would be all male and at the same level as me i.e. no experience or fitness whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong, I love females, but the thought of stretching, being stretched and the risk of escaping wind from all orifices in front of the fairer sex would be pretty ego damaging.
As I walked into the studio on the first night imagine my delight when 7 of the 10 participants were female. The initial feeling of discomfort soon disappeared as I realised that we were all as uncomfortable as each other. Couple this with Rachel’s relaxed style and clear teaching and the hour flew by. My body felt that it had actually had a workout and various muscles and joints were reawakened.
The old second day pain did attack me however and my body had only just righted itself in time for the next week’s session.
Anyway, I completed my 10 week course last week and intend to enrol on another course in the New Year because the benefits have been unbelievable.
Once you understand the concept of breathing (something that I thought I should already have been accustomed to after 40 years) then the process of core strength development is actually very obvious. I still struggled with certain exercises (mainly through cramping which is something that I can sort out with more effective dieting and hydration during the day) but 9 times of 10 I was performing each manoeuvre effectively.
I now find myself correcting my posture and randomly doing exercises at various points during the day.
I genuinely have felt a complete change for the better with regard to my back and have suffered little if any reactions. The main benefit seems to be when getting off the bike after a couple of hours riding. Previously, I disembarked gingerly and had to almost ease myself to straighten up, now however, I feel no such pain or discomfort so clearly the course has slowly but surely strengthened my core muscles.
What can I say about Pilates then? Tremendous. Seriously. Tremendous.
Thanks to Dave and Rachel at www.activehealthsolutions.co.uk for all their help, not just with Pilates but before my operation and since.
Ride safely and ride clean.