Why I stopped going to the gym, and started taking pilates
I went from working out once a month, to once a week, to 5 days a week. I used to hate working out because I didn’t enjoy the workouts I was doing at the gym. If I went too long without working out and went back to the gym to do my typical cardio (treadmill, stairmaster, elliptical) I would get the worst lower back pain for like, 3-4 days! I’ve always had lower back pain, but I felt like only doing cardio occasionally wasn’t helping, and I didn’t enjoy the gym enough to go regularly. What I actually needed was something to strengthen my back, increase flexibility, lengthen, and really stretch my muscles. That was when I started taking Reformer pilates.
I can’t even count how many times someone has responded to one of my foodie Instagram stories asking “how do you eat like this and stay so thin?” which to be honest, can come off as kind of rude sometimes…but hey, that’s ok. I guess I’ve been blessed with a fast metabolism, which I’ve also been told “won’t last forever” a hundred times, thanks…I’ll go back to enjoying my food now 🙂 I originally started taking pilates classes for my back, balance, and flexibility but quickly realized that it can definitely be a full body workout! Even cardio. Reformer pilates classes are mostly done on the Reformer machine, but props can be added such as a Bosu ball, box, pilates ring, or toning ball to make it more difficult. Barre is also something that I truly underestimated. Mostly done between the ballet bar and floor, barre classes also include a mixture of different props. Barre can be super intense on your thighs, butt, and abs! I usually end class with my whole body shaking or thighs burning. I try to mix barre in with pilates as much as possible. For me, yoga is perfect for a recovery day or when I need a more relaxing workout. If you don’t have the yoga app Down Dog, download it now and thank me later!
When I moved to Jacksonville, I was seriously worried I wouldn’t find another Pilates studio that I loved. I felt a huge wave of relief when I took my first class at Everbalance Wellness Studio. They have two locations in JAX – one in Mandarin and a cute boutique studio in San Marco. I originally came to Everbalance strictly for Reformer pilates classes, but ended up taking their yoga, barre, and mat pilates classes as well. Basically, I’m there all the time! I love mat pilates and barre classes because they can be super challenging depending on the class (expect to leave in a good sweat). I’ve had a few people message me for recommendations on pilates studios in Ohio – I personally have only been to studios in Chicago (Pilates Pro Works) and Jacksonville (Everbalance). I recommend using Google, Yelp, or the Mind Body app to find studios in your area and book classes.
Obviously this is just my personal preference when it comes to mind//body wellness and staying fit; everyone’s body is different and reacts to things differently. As always, I wanted to share my honest opinion and explain what has worked best for me. If you’re interested in pilates, I recommend doing what I did and starting out with a private session first. Please feel free to leave comments or send me a personal message with any questions about my routine. What’s your favorite way to sweat?!