Exercise: Introduction and my routine

I'm going to write little articles about what kind of workout routines i perform, exercises I like doing etc. It will answer a lot of questions I'm getting by email and also help me to keep it varied, which is important. I do eventually want to make some videos on this for sure, but not for the moment.

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I've never been into sports but I love moving...walking, dancing, running, swimming....Working out absolutely works, it makes me happy and keeps me sane.

The way I feel about it is that it has to be a habit and not just something that you decide to do sporadically - you have to get into a routine and after a few weeks your body craves it, much like food or water, it becomes a very strong instinct. Moving IS in fact a part of life, and there's no reason to believe that you can choose to do it or not, if you don't do it then the body won't function. To mantain muscle fibre you need to contract it, and to mantain bone density you need to put impact on it. (Let's not get technical though. I did study EFK but that was a while ago).

How often? Well for me it has to be every day. Everybody has their own pace and I know that some people can do it twice a week and be happy, and that would probably keep you looking fit enough. I've experimented around with it, and if I don't do something every day, I lose that craving, and then it takes so much effort to get on it, it's not worth it. By doing it all the time it's not something I even think about. I find yourself wanting to do it, waiting to do it, it's all pleasure no pain.

As for what: I'm a big fan of Pilates. I need to go through these separately but basically I do a combo of classic Pilates mat, running, ocasional yoga and a couple of modified exercises for my legs most days. Because we hardly use our gluteous in our day to day life so they need extra attention!

I like Pilates because it's fun. It takes care of the warm-up, the stretching, and it keeps you moving fast while challenging you to control each and every muscle of your body at the same time, and almost getting into yoga poses (Joseph Pilates never denied that he took inspiration from yoga amongst other things). So it keeps you engaged. There's nothing worse than exercising and feeling that you're wasting time - you don't have time for your mind to drift during pilates. Which makes it so mentally refreshing too; I use it as "me" time, like a time for meditation where nothing else is going on except that controlled movement.

Result: The benefits are so many I could write a book about it. Other than the fact that it makes you fit- There's nothing like the experience of being completely connected to your physical body, of being able to summon each and every one of its muscles. Those who have never done it will not understand me getting giddy about feeling little muscles, but it just makes you feel like you're oozing sensuality through each one of your pores. It puts you in a good mood, it makes you feel free, it keeps you in touch with your skin. You ALWAYS look good, no matter how you look. I know that doesn't make any sense, but it alters your perception of yourself (and others perception of you, too) in a good way. Your body never aches, sex is on a different level, your concentration levels increase, it keeps you grounded...

So just a little intro there. For those that have never been into anything, I hope that piqued your curiosity. I'll post some recommended reading next because that is really the first thing you want to be doing- making sure you get into good habits from the start. I don't see my body as a separate entity, I think the body is a magnificent thing, and I am very much part of it. I don't aim to make it look like an obscene pile of muscles, but I like it to be healthy and to be able to wake up in the morning, look at myself in the mirror and think "that's me".

See also:

Tracy Anderson Method DVD Review
Recommended Pilates Books