I appreciate most forms of exercise take a while for the body to get use to. When you start any fitness plan there’s a little pain to be expected due to sore muscles and a cardiovascular system that’s unconditioned.
I know one of my biggest challenges when beginning a fitness routine is having the necessary patience with my body as I build up strength and stamina. Not always pleasant, but usually pretty short lived. Thank goodness the body is a miraculous thing, because within a fairly short period of time I’m reaping all the benefits of being a much fitter human being.
A very important piece of the fitness puzzle is building core strength – especially important as we age. Building strength in your core helps alleviate muscle fatigue, strain and can even create less stress on your internal organs. When the core is strengthened you are able to support your lower back, spine and extremities. I know this to be true because my core is weak and oh, my aching back!
One of the best exercises to relieve lower back pain and strengthen the core is sit ups. Nowadays we refer to them as ‘crunches‘, (but when you get older and your back actually starts to make a crunching sound, you prefer to call them sit ups). My problem? I hate sit up’s. I don’t know about you, but I find lying on a floor and raising my self up and down until my stomach burns unpleasant.
So what can a poor sit up challenged girl like me do? Well, I’m going to try Pilates. My first class is next week. I guess I’ve always looked at Pilates as an activity that requires the very strength I lack and therefore was of no interest to me. Balancing on my butt in a sitting position while touching my toes like a human protractor did not look appealing. I always figured, if I could do that, why do I need Pilates?!
But, after a little research and talking to friends who are fans, I discovered the primary goal of Pilates is to get you moving with ease and efficiency and working your core muscles, which is what I’m looking for. Pilates seems a bit more interesting because combined with the physical exercises you also focus on breathing, lengthening of the spine and getting better joint mobility and stability. Pilates seems like a unique exercise experience that might just work from the inside out.
So, now all I have to do is try and be patient…I’ll let you know how it goes.