What are you thinking about?

2014 is well underway and so are many resolutions to get into shape. But for those who long ago committed to making fitness part of their regular routine, you may find yourselves entering the year with the same weekly schedule that ended 2013. For lots of us, making sense and creating order out of very hectic schedules takes a lot of time and coordination. So if it isn’t broken, why fix it?

But while the logistics of getting your once, twice or three weekly workouts are set and have been for quite some time, what should you do if you find your mind drifting once you’re in that specific class on that specific day, at that specific time?  In other words, what can you do to help recharge and refocus the workout so that it’s worthwhile and indicative of the time you allot to it in your busy week? Here are a couple of suggestions inspired from the cueing, correcting and client retention of the instructors at Studio3.

Asking Why, What and When will shape How you’ll reach your goal.

Whether or not you are training privately with an instructor or working in a small group class, setting a specific goal is a good way to remain focused.

For example, one client at Studio3 enrolled in a weekly Pilates class in order to ‘strengthen my core’. With a few questions her instructor was able to help her better define that goal into ‘wanting to strengthen my core in order to alleviate the back pain that has limited the distance of my daily walking routine’. And because a long winter that meant unstable walking surfaces, was around the corner, a time frame of when she wanted to see an increase in her strength was set.

By defining her goal clearly, her Pilates program became more effective. It helped her stay committed and focused during her workouts at the studio, which translated into a focus when she walked. Ultimately, her stride became stronger, her back pain was minimized and her daily walking distance was increased.

So by asking 3 questions “Why am I working out?”,, “What am I trying to accomplish? and “When do I want to see results”, both you and your instructor will be able to figure out a structured and effective “how”.

Think about your posture and your movement

A primary goal of Pilates is improved posture – every exercise, both original and contemporary, is working towards strengthening the body so that the spine is longer, stronger and your quality of life is better. As Joseph Pilates famously said “you’re only as old as your spine”.

In a Pilates class, chances are you’ll be cued towards a better posture – and cued constantly! But sometimes the focus may be towards something different; a new exercise, breathing techniques or a pace that moves the exercises from one right into the other. So if you find your mind drifting, thinking about your posture will bring your focus back to you and how you’re moving through the class.

At Studio3, we have many clients who partake in Pilates classes, but also do yoga, spinning, running, biking, martial arts and weight training sessions throughout their weekly schedule. The most consistent comment we’ve heard from those who participate in several exercise modalities is that they find themselves thinking about what Pilates has taught them their posture, breath and movement.

This not only engages them in the exercise routine they’re participating in, but also teaches them how to link and engage their awareness of a better posture and movement pattern into all different types of workouts.

Remember, if you work out with several different instructors during your week, the common denominator is you. Therefore, it’s important that you keep your goals clear and defined.

Have fun!