Reduce Stress with Pilates: Small Steps to Mental Wellness

Reduce Stress with Pilates: Small Steps to Mental Wellness

There is a connection between mental health and physical wellness. The two go hand in hand. Science shows that physical health problems lead to increased mental health issues and vice versa. April is National Stress Awareness Month, and this month, we are highlighting small ways that you can begin to reduce stress by incorporating Pilates.

When we perceive stress in our environment, our bodies respond accordingly. Cortisol and other hormonal levels rise to boost our alertness. This response is known as “fight or flight.” On average, we encounter a “fight or flight” response 8-15 times daily. By the end of the week, that number ranges between 56-105 times and a staggering 224-420 times total at the end of the month. Knowing this information, we must develop healthy coping mechanisms to deal with everyday stressors in life positively.

Statistics show that forty percent of workers experience stress, and twenty-five percent say that work is their most significant source of stress. A whopping sixty-eight percent of moms also report feeling anxiety, and of that number, thirty-five percent rate their anxiety as moderate to severe. Although the reasons behind our stress and anxiety vary, there is a common anecdote for all: physical activity.

Pilates is the perfect solution to ease yourself into a low-impact stress-reducing routine. Our Frame Reformer offers an easy, on-the-go option for those working long hours or raising children. With over 230+ classes, you can build your Pilates routine around your availability. By welcoming a Frame Reformer inside the home, you will make “me time” more possible and make wellness a part of daily life. Those working out at home are twenty-one percent more likely to work out at least once a week compared to their counterparts heading to the gym. Increase the odds of working out and invest in reducing stress today.

If you are new to Pilates or do not yet own a Frame reformer, the following mat exercises will gently ease you into Pilates and motivate you to continue your stress-reducing journey!

1. The Single Leg Circle: Lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides. Lift your right leg towards the ceiling and circle it clockwise for five repetitions, then counterclockwise for five repetitions. Repeat on the left leg. Keep your core engaged and your lower back pressed into the mat throughout the exercise. 

2. The Roll Up: Lie flat on your back with your arms extended overhead. Inhale as you reach your arms towards the ceiling, and exhale as you roll up to a seated position, reaching towards your toes. Inhale as you roll back down to the mat, one vertebra at a time. Repeat for ten repetitions. 

3. The Hundred: Lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides. Lift your legs to a tabletop position and lift your head and shoulders off the mat. Pump your arms up and down while inhaling for five counts and exhaling for five counts. Repeat for ten cycles, or one hundred pumps.

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