Pilates does so much for both our body and mind. It brings us peace of mind, helps us manage stress, makes us more aware of what our bodies are telling us, and of course, provides an amazing workout! But how do you know that all your time on the reformer is working for you? Look for these signs to ensure you’re on the right track.
1. It's Enjoyable
For many, exercise can be a chore. Discovering the right workout for you is the first step to success, turning something that might otherwise be a burden into something you look forward to! Pilates is great in this respect because there are so many different variations! Reformer, mat, Barre and TRX - in a group, with a friend, or all by yourself, Pilates offers something for every personality to enjoy!
2. You Feel Better - Inside and Out!
A great sign that your exercise routine is working is how you feel internally. It’s natural to focus on the physical changes you’re working toward, but you’ll find that not all of your exercise gains occur in the muscles! Pilates is all about the mind-body connection and should leave you feeling happier, calmer, and grounded. You might notice you’re thinking more clearly and concentrating is easier. Look for signs such as increased energy level, a better ability to handle stress, and better quality of sleep!
Aside from weight loss and muscle definition, look for signs that your Pilates practice is presenting physically. Are you more flexible? Is it easier to bend down and tie your shoes than before? Maybe you’re less stiff and achy in the morning (after a good night’s sleep!). Pilates will help you feel lighter and move with more freedom and fluidity.
3. It’s Getting Easier
We've all been there. Your instructor asked you to do an exercise, and the whole time you are thinking “how am I going to get through this?” But, the next time the same exercise is presented, it might feel more manageable - until one session you’re thinking “hmm, that was pretty easy, I could probably do a few more or use a different sping!” This is a telltale sign that Pilates is working for you. You are getting stronger! Always keep your eyes and mind open to those opportunities to challenge yourself! No matter how small – they’re signs of growth!
4. You Can't Wait for More
This goes back to the first point we discussed. Are you are excited to hit the mat (or reformer, chair, Cadillac - pick your poison!)? After completing an exercise, are you feeling accomplished, invigorated, and ready to sign up for the next class? If after your session you’re thinking, “I’ve done something great for myself today and I’m doing to live in that gratitude - until next time!” That is a workout win.
5. Physical Changes
This is the last point on our list because it usually takes the longest recognize. It requires consistency, courage to continue to challenge yourself (switch that spring, take an extra rep!), and good nutrition as well, for big physical changes to present. But remember, that doesn’t just mean the number on the scale! Taking progress photos every few weeks or months can tell an incredible story - even if your weight doesn’t change, or goes up as you build muscle. Differences in how your clothes fit are also a great sign that your workout regime is on target.
What indicators do you use to determine success in your workouts? There are so many factors to indicate that your exercise regime is “working,” but really, as long as you’re moving and enjoying it, that’s a success!