Building your Pilates practice takes practice and planning. When starting something new, it’s best to do it often to keep progressing. We know the more we practice piano the better we are. If you’re running a race, it’s suggested you follow a training plan to help build your endurance and speed for the race. The same is true for Pilates! The more often you practice, the sooner you’ll see results. Doing Pilates once a week is a great start. If you’re taking private sessions or classes, you usually do them once a week depending on your schedule and budget. To help you continue practicing on your own, read my tips below on how to make it easier to practice and stay consistent.
- Schedule your practice on your calendar. I use Google calendar for everything and that’s where I schedule my practice and classes and lesson. You can also use the reminders app on your phone. The reminders app is great for setting a weekly or daily reminder and you can choose the time and priority. You’re more likely to do something when it’s scheduled on your calendar.
- Organize your space. Find the space where you have the most room to practice whether it’s in a basement, spare bedroom, or living room. Also, keep all of your equipment together. If you use props, put them in a basket or a corner all together to make it easier each time you start.
- Let others know it’s your time to do Pilates. If you have a family, kids or a spouse at home tell them it’s your time to practice and ask them not to disturb you for the next 30 minutes or hour. If you share a calendar like Google, make sure they can see it on the calendar. Honor that time as well. If someone asks you to do something at that time, offer another time instead. Explain to them this is my time I reserve for Pilates and I would love to do something, can we try for a different time?
- Decide when you will practice. When will you have sufficient time to practice without interruption? Are you better doing at exercising in the morning or evening? If the evening is the only option, which days are best? Monday’s and Friday’s are hard days because Monday you start the work week and feel tired after a long day. Fridays are the start of the weekend and by the time you leave work, your mind has turned to weekend mode. Weekends are great because we usually have a lot more time.
- Prepare your clothes, food, water, etc. When you decide what day and time to practice Pilates get everything ready beforehand, the night before or in the morning. Put your workout clothes in a pile, fill up your water bottle, decide if you’ll eat something before or right after (don’t do Pilates hungry). Prepare your meal as well. If it’s in the morning know what you’ll have for breakfast before or after. If it’s in the evening after work, make your dinner simple: leftovers, take out, or something easy to make.
- Remove any distractions and turn off your phone. Turn off the TV. If you are someone who will think about everything else you could be doing instead of Pilates, go to a place where you won’t be distracted. This is the time you set aside for yourself and the rest can wait until later. You are what’s important at this moment.
- Take breaks as needed. Start with 10 minutes, then 30 minutes to practice, and work up to 60 minutes. Stop when you need to for a drink of water. Be kind to yourself when practicing. It’s not meant to perfect.
- Set an achievable goal on the number of times you’ll practice. If you’re starting to practice Pilates at home set a goal of 1-2 times per week. A goal of every day is less likely to be successful if you’re not practicing at home currently. Tell a friend, spouse, or family member what your goal is to help you be accountable. Ask yourself why it matters to you to practice at home aside from your Pilates instructor advising you. Why did you start doing Pilates? Remind yourself of that when you might want to skip your practice. Remember how you feel after you do Pilates and how you’ll feel the same way after practicing again and again.
Lastly, if you want to know more about the Pilates exercises on the mat, I suggest Joseph Pilates book Return to Life. The book includes all of the mat exercises with instructions.
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