For me, Summer is a really hard time to fit in workouts consistently. I'm traveling what seems like every other weekend and can't always make it to the gym or to a class. So in preparation for this annual pattern of mine, I set out to adopt a new regimen that I could take anywhere. Pilates was the answer, and the difference I've already seen in my body is pretty unbelievable.
Luckily I took a Pilates Reformer class before taking a mat class, because I found that I enjoyed it much more. After my first session was over, I sat down with the instructor to talk about which areas I really wanted to focus on: toning my glutes and thighs and improving my posture.
"[For better posture] you want to work the abs, because they support the spine and the back," Sylvia Ostrowska of Pilates by Sylvia told me. "Always make sure your back and your abs are strong so there isn't an imbalance." She continued to explain that having a strong core will support the rest of the body and make you less likely to slouch throughout the day.
When I asked how to tone my legs without bulking them up, her response came as a surprise. "In Pilates, we use our own body weight, which will never make you bulky," she said. "You just have to make sure to do enough repetitions to feel the burn, and if you do it the right way 10 should be enough."
I feel stronger in my midsection and already see a change from the waist down, but the true test will come as Summer steams ahead. I'm confident that having the knowledge and skill to practice Pilates, whether in a studio or on a towel at the beach, will encourage me to make time for exercise no matter where my warm weather travels take me.