Survey Responses 2022

Thank you for completing the brief survey included with your annual renewal forms. I’ve collated your responses in this post. I’ve paraphrased your answers to keep them anonymous.

The average difficulty ratings that you gave for your classes were:

Monday 9.15am5.9
Monday 10.30am8.0
Monday 6pm7.3
Monday 7.15pm6.6

You said that the benefits you get from attending Pilates classes include:

  • Better balance
  • Stronger core
  • More flexibility
  • Better posture
  • Me time
  • Helps with my back
  • Less pain
  • Relaxation
  • I enjoy it
  • More toned muscles
  • Friendship

You said that your reasons for doing Pilates and what you want to achieve over the next 12 months are to:

  • Reduce back pain
  • Be calmer, control stress
  • Become able to do other exercises alongside Pilates
  • Improve core strength
  • Control diabetes
  • Lose weight
  • Increase stamina
  • Body and mind control
  • Greater flexibility
  • Become more toned
  • Feel fitter
  • Reduce risk
  • Get fit/fitter
  • Meet people
  • Health and mobility
  • Enjoyment
  • Improve my running
  • Better balance
  • Improve pelvic floor control
  • Stay active
  • Reduce the risk of falls
  • Do as much as I can without being held back by my body

Mental Health Awareness

I have recently completed the online course ‘Mental Health Awareness for Sport and Physical Activity+’ from UK Coaching.

Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups. Taking part in an exercise class, such as Pilates can help to: reduce stress, improve mood, lift self-esteem, lower depression and improve sleep – as well as getting out and meeting people!

If you would like to find out more, here are some useful links:

Weight Lifting for Older Adults

Government guidelines say “Older adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week.”

An excellent article describes the multiple benefits of weightlifting for older adults, backed up by science, in these categories:

  • Combating age-related muscle loss and sarcopenia
  • Burning fat and increased muscle mass
  • Supporting functional independence
  • Improving quality of life
  • Improving osteoarthritis and bone health
  • Greater cardiovascular health
  • Improving mental health
  • Better cognitive functioning
  • Reducing mortality risk
  • Fighting type 2 diabetes
  • Greater sleep quality
  • Improved mitochondrial health
  • Recovering from hip fractures

In my Pilates classes, we get some of these benefits by using resistance bands and body weight, we also use hand weights from time to time and regularly in the wellbeing class.

Click to read the full article at runrepeat.com/weightlifting-benefits-seniors.

The Society for the Pilates Method

Discussions on setting up The Society for the Pilates Method (SPM) started in early 2020. It was launched in October 2021 as a not for profit organisation made up of industry leading training providers. It is chaired by a group of individuals with decades of teaching, training and business experience,

It has established Pilates standards covering teacher training for Matwork and Comprehensive (Apparatus) and is open to like-minded training providers who can deliver teacher training programmes to these standards.

I trained with Body Control Pilates, which is a founding member of the SPM, so you can be confident that my training meets the highest standards in the UK.

For more information, visit the SPM website. If you can’t get to my classes near Thetford, Norfolk, you can click to find other SPM teachers.

Setting Standards in Pilates

Body Control Pilates have been training teachers since 1996 with the mission to bring
the benefits of Pilates to all through its international network of more than 1,500 teachers.

The Pilates Method offers both mind and body conditioning. By helping to rebalance your body, you will achieve the perfect balance of strength and flexibility. Pilates will help you to find, understand and maintain better posture, you will learn how to breathe more efficiently and improve your core stability. By targeting the deep postural muscles of your body, you are literally building strength from the inside out, creating a natural girdle of strength around your torso. Every movement is performed mindfully, with precision and control making it a very safe and effective way to exercise. This mindful approach can also help your mental wellbeing and can help you better cope with unwanted stress and tension.

A new leaflet is with more information about the benefits of Pilates is available below.

4-7-8 Breathing

This breathing technique can help you to relax, reduce stress or get to sleep.

Make yourself comfortable and start with a full exhalation.

  • Inhale through your nose and count to four
  • Hold your breath and count to seven
  • Exhale fully through your mouth as you count to eight, while making a whoosh sound

Repeat for a total of four cycles.

You can read more about this technique on the WebMD website.

Your Pelvic Floor

Overview

Your pelvic floor refers to the set of muscles around your bladder, bottom, and vagina or penis. They form a sling which supports your pelvic organs.

To feel your pelvic floor muscles, imagine that you are trying to stop the flow of urine (although to avoid bladder problems, you should not actually do this regularly). You can also try sucking your thumb!

Strengthening these muscles can help with incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse and improve sex. Pelvic floor exercises are recommended throughout pregnancy and postnatally. We can all benefit by exercising our pelvic floors.

It’s not all about strengthening. We also need to be able to release our pelvic floor muscles to achieve balance. However, we don’t usually emphasise the release aspect in Pilates classes.

Centring

To introduce and practice the overall action of centring in which your pelvic floor plays a part, I often use the pelvic elevator exercise (available as an MP3 on my downloads page).

As you become stronger and more proficient at centring, you may find that the coordination of breathing, centring and movement while exercising, happens subconsciously. This is a learned skill, akin to the mirror-signal-manoeuvre sequence that seemed impossible when we first learnt to drive. In Pilates our aim is to for our muscles to work as much as needed but as little as possible. When you arrive at this stage, you should change your focus to reduce the conscious effort you make, so as to avoid overworking your pelvic floor, or any other set of muscles.

Dysfunction

Doing Pilates exercises will help to strengthen your pelvic floor, but if you have a dysfunction, such as a prolapse or pelvic pain, you may need to do more. Create a daily routine to do your exercises at regular times, or link them to a task, such as boiling the kettle.

Resources

The NHS website has a page with some pelvic floor exercises. The NHS has also developed apps for women and men to get reminders and help with doing pelvic floor exercises.

Nuffield Health recommend the Squeezy app.

There is an excellent pelvic physiotherapy website at pelvicphysiotherapy.com which covers exercises for both release and strengthening.

There are gadgets available for women to help, try a search for ‘pelvic floor app and device‘.

To find out more, I suggest that you do an online search for #pelvicfloor (women), #nutstoguts (men).

Duty to Care Badge

Duty to Care

I have recently been awarded the Duty to Care badge from UK Coaching, which recognises my understanding of the areas of Diversity, Inclusion, Mental Health, Safeguarding and Wellbeing in relation to the sport and physical activity sector.

Pilates in Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant, being active is important for both you and your baby. It can help to keep you both healthy and it’s safe for your developing baby. Being active after your baby is born has lots of benefits too.

It’s usually recommended that you take a break from exercise between 8 and 14 weeks. However, if you regularly did Pilates before you got pregnant, you might agree with your teacher to continue throughout – subject to medical permission. If you are new to Pilates, you should not start until 16 weeks, get medical permission, and attend private sessions or a special ante-natal class, rather than joining a general mat class.

I have completed my ActiveIQ Level 3 Designing Pre and Postnatal Pilates Programmes award, and am insured to teach Pilates to pre and postnatal clients.

pilatesbody tote bags

pilatesbody tote bag

For those of you who are coming to the hall after 17th May 2021, I have a limited supply of pilatesbody bags, which are great for carrying your Pilates stuff to and fro – free while stocks last!