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Celebrating Mothers: Fit Pilates into Your Life for a Healthier You

Posted on May 06, 2014

Whether pregnant, caring for a newborn or the mother of teenage or grown children — adding Pilates into your regular routine will have a hugely positive impact on your life.

As a mom, we know you’re busy — and it’s easy to let your to-do list win over an exercise routine time and again.

Mother’s Day is coming up on May 11, and it acts as a good reminder that mothers need to take care of themselves, too.

The unique history of Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day was created in the early 1900s by Anna Jarvis, who proposed the idea shortly after her mother’s death in 1905 as a way of honoring sacrifices mothers make for their children, according to Anna’s intention for Mother’s Day was to make it a personal celebration between moms and families; she envisioned people wearing a white carnation and visiting their mothers or attending church services.

So, in May 1908 she organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. By 1912, Mother’s Day was celebrated in many states across the country, and in 1914 President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure making the holiday official.

Anna did not approve of the later commercialization of the holiday, and spent much of the rest of her life fighting to get it removed from the calendar. However, nationally it continues to be celebrated and has become one of the highest consumer spending holidays in the country.

How Pilates helps during pregnancy

Your body is going through a lot of changes as your pregnancy progresses. Pilates can help with strengthening certain muscles, focusing on controlling your breathing and restoring a sense of balance for pregnant women.

Here’s three specific ways Pilates can benefit moms-to-be:

  • Strengthen your core, lower back and pelvic floor muscles. These muscle groups will help your body carry a baby during pregnancy and make delivery more comfortable and speedy. After birth, you will need a strong lower back for all the bending and lifting you will do with your new baby. By building up your core muscles before birth, it will make rebuilding them afterward easier so you can get back into shape faster.
  • Improve breathing and mind-body connections. One of the main improvements you will see through Pilates is your breath. Learning how to breathe correctly and efficiently plays a large role in the delivery room, which is why it is always one of the first lessons in Lamaze.
  • Improve balance and posture. By doing Pilates, your balance and posture improves, which will decrease your risk of injuries, trips, falls, muscle strains and general aches and pains.

Pilates for moms at every age

After children, women “want their bodies back,” inside and out. Practicing Pilates brings lasting changes.

It helps all moms have energy to keep up with their children. Mothers who do Pilates find it easier to get down on the floor or chase kids around the house or on the playground. Pilates can also help with pain from years of holding children on one hip and/or breastfeeding.

A regular routine also gives moms the ability to maintain and increase their flexibility lost from inactivity from work and/or motherhood.

Mom’s at every age do Pilates to relieve back and neck pain. Some moms come for a “Pilates Body”— flat abs and long, lean muscles — but they always get more than they bargained for: overall health.

All women can benefit from Pilates

One of the top things about doing the Pilates is that it works so well for women in all the stages of their life.

Women over 50 are looking for a weight bearing exercise system that can build or maintain bone loss with possible onset of osteoporosis. Pilates exercises taught by a qualified instructor can be modified safely for women who have osteoporosis. They are also looking to Pilates to tone and shape their ‘middle section’ as they are going through or have gone through menopause.

Pilates is also great for those over 65, who want keep doing the things they love to do: golf; walking; gardening; maintaining or improving their quality of life; getting on and off the sofa; and maintaining their independence.  Pilates improves posture, flexibility, balance, endurance, core strength (including pelvic floor muscles) and coordination.

When you visit The Lift Pilates Studio, our instructors work with you to make sure you are creating the routine that is best fit to your body and situation. Adding a regular Pilates workout to your routine will help you make every day better, for life.

It’s like life insurance for your spine,” The Lift owner Patty McNichols said. “It helps people move better and feel better. It’s challenging for the mind, it is never boring — and anybody can do it.”