Find your fitspiration
I had an amazing week last week, thanks to a strange quirk of fate which saw renowned Pilates teacher and author Miranda Bass staying in one of my cottages. I knew Miranda’s work through her book The Complete Classic Pilates Method and she was kind enough to spend some time with me in the studio.
My first Pilates experience was with a teacher who had trained in New York with Romana Kryzanowska, one of Joseph Pilates’ students and a Pilates legend in her own right. My own training, however, has had a more contemporary emphasis, introducing modifications of Pilates’ original exercises to make them more accessible to the general population.
It was therefore a real challenge for me to work through the advanced mat repertoire with Miranda. Not only is she a superb teacher but her understanding of the method and mastery of the exercises is truly inspiring. You can see Miranda in action here. http://www.basspilates.com
I finished the week feeling more excited about Pilates than I have in a long time and it got me thinking about inspiration – who or what motivates and encourages us to be fit and active.
As a Pilates teacher and personal trainer I’d like to think I inspire my clients with what we do in the studio but what happens the rest of the time? It’s not always enough to remember what happened during class or have a programme to follow at home. After a long day at work, when you’re feeling tired, you sometimes need an extra push to get your gym gear on.
Social media can be a powerful source of inspiration. There are lots of people blogging, tweeting and instagramming their fitness tips, workouts and healthy recipe ideas but I think it can be a double-edged sword. While genuine and informative content is useful, the endless stream of posturing selfies that seems to fill my Instagram feed is downright annoying.
The Daily Mail ran an article yesterday about the dangers of what it termed the “wellness blog craze taking social media by storm”. While on the surface it seems to be a typical Mail over-reaction there is a certain element of truth behind it; the lifestyles promoted by some fitness bloggers are not sustainable or even achievable.
If seeing a picture of some twenty-something’s six-pack selfie makes you want to go for a run or do a yoga class, then great, but for those of us who feel more irritated or even inadequate, it’s time to search for alternative sources of inspiration.
I prefer to look closer to home. How about your personal trainer or sports coach? Do they make you want to improve your fitness? Does your yoga or Pilates teacher inspire you to perfect your own practice? How about friends, family and colleagues? I’m constantly amazed by my friends whose recent achievements include completing an Ironman triathlon and competing in a figure competition.
Fitness brands such as Nike and Sweaty Betty have a lot of inspirational content on their websites and social media channels. One of my particular favourites is Lorna Jane’s Move Nourish Believe website.
Celebrity trainers can be fantastic role models too. If, like me, you’re past the first flush of youth, the likes of Jillian Michaels, Michelle Bridges and Tony Horton will show you how staying active can keep you strong, fit and looking fabulous. Younger trainers such as Kayla Itsines and Joe Wicks AKA The Body Coach may appeal more.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who or what inspires you (watching Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 always makes me want to hit the chin up bar) as long as you’re doing something that benefits your body and makes you feel good about yourself.