Pilates in the Park

hello hello! (: today’s post marks the start of more “healthy lifestyle” posts to come, and i’m pretty excited to share more with you all what i’ve been doing. as you probably know from many of my previous blog posts, i’ve been saying that i wanted to lose weight since i came back from exchange. i ate so much gelato & pasta in italy and good food everywhere else that i gained weight past my normal weight range :( very depressing. 
since i came back, i’ve been trying to exercise more and re-adopt my healthy, active lifestyle (and weight :p) from my pre-exchange days. well, the good news is that i managed to drop the excess weight (ie. back in my normal range, phew!), but still working on losing the rest. but i’ve been also eating so much good food since i got back to singapore that it seems really impossible. oops :p working on it!!!! i’ll probably do a proper blog post when i’ve actually lost the weight (need to set a good example right? haha). but anyway, i was doing a lot of cardio mostly, and also some resistance training. but i was worried that i would start becoming bulkier (eeks!!!), rather than losing the weight. and since i’ve stopped dancing since i went on exchange, i really missed all the stretching and lengthening exercises that i feel are a good balance to other workouts. 
the solution to that? i tried out Pilates! (: and where else to do that other than PowerMoves – Pilates in the Park because it’s so conveniently located relatively near where i stay (: i’ve jogged past the sign pointing towards the studio in Bishan Park, but i never really noticed the studio itself. and that, i feel, is the magic of PowerMoves (: subtly concealed just around a corner, the entrance of PowerMoves is slightly hidden. stepping behind the closed doors of the studio, it is as if i’ve entered a sanctuary of serenity. 
Why Pilates? 
Well, i’ve tried yoga previously, and though i enjoyed it, i wanted to try out something different this time. if you ask me whether Pilates helps a person lose weight, i wouldn’t say that it does, at least not directly. rather, i chose Pilates because it complements the exercise regime i’m currently doing. as i mentioned, i’ve been doing a lot of cardio (e.g. running), and while this is good for keeping the heart healthy, it is just one form of exercise. to be healthy overall, you do need a variety of exercises, including strengthening and toning, and Pilates helps me achieve this (: 
what i really like about Pilates is that it isn’t all just about stretching! i admit that i had quite a misguided impression of what Pilates was like initially. while i imagined it to be quite similar to yoga, i found that the two are actually quite different. while yoga focuses a lot on the breathing to release tension, i realised that Pilates is actually a very well-rounded exercise, in that it involves a lot of strengthening and lengthening, while being somewhat of a low-impact cardio workout as well! it does have a focus on breathing as well, but in a different way, and for a different purpose.

one of the core positions in Pilates is called ‘Imprinting’. it looks relaxing, but it’s actually a very conscious action of pulling your abdominal muscles inwards towards your spine as you breathe in. i tend to have the problem of arching my back a tad too much, and i’m glad that practising Pilates is helping me to be more aware of that, and correct it.

by engaging the core, as well as performing movements that work the arms and legs, Pilates helps to sculpt the body, building strength without excess bulk. doing Pilates over a period of time does increase lean muscle mass, which increases your basal metabolism rate and contributes to more calories being burned! (:
some of the benefits of Pilates are:
– enhanced flexibility and coordination
– increased strength and endurance
– improved posture and balance
– better circulation and breathing
– toned and sculpted body
there are MANY exercises in Pilates which you can do both at home, or in a studio with equipment. at PowerMoves, there are talented instructors to coach you through the exercises, to ensure that your one-hour session is highly effective. some exercises might be challenging to perform, and it’s best to have professional supervision, especially if you are just starting out with pilates.

what’s better than having your weekly Pilates session in such gorgeous lush green surroundings? :) it’s the perfect day to rejuvenate yourself for the day ahead, or wind down after a long day at work.

i’ll be elaborating more on some of the types of classes held at PowerMoves in my next post, so do look out for it! (: for a start, you can check out their website here (:
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