Old Man Starts Exercising, Writes Blog: Part 7
Getting into Pilates with Compassionate Body Pilates and Diane Archer was a roll of the dice. Without any notion of what was involved or why it was appropriate, I jumped in with both feet.
It was proved pretty early on that I didn’t have to know anything; that Diane was the expert I needed.
To outline, in no uncertain terms, why you should be doing Pilates with Compassionate Body Pilates and Diane Archer:
You will live better, longer.
I know that is a pretty big claim to make, but I have learned that flexibility, balance and muscle strength are key indicators of longevity.
You can read more about a simple test here.
Sometimes simple answers can tell us a lot about complex problems and it makes sense to me that working my body for these three indicators of well-being is a good thing.
The word “morbidity” describes the opposite of flexibility, balance and muscle strength. It describes the production of disease. The more morbid you are in your elder years the crappier your life will be.
“But, Dan”, I hear you say, “Smoking may take 10 years off my life…but it’s the LAST 10 years.”
And of course, if that is actually your attitude, “God Speed to you my friend, God Speed”.
But if that kind of thinking is wrong to you, like it was to me, and you are thinking about flexibility, balance and muscle strength, Compassionate Body Pilates by Diane Archer is a great place to go.
Here I am at Week 7 and am already feeling the benefits.
A peaceful feeling begins to wave over me even before I take my first warm-up breaths. With Diane’s easygoing attitude and constant encouragement present at every session, it is enough to say “Hello” and already I start to stand a little taller.
After all, my Coach is in the room.
I am really starting to relax after the set of roll downs we do, dropping the chin to the chest and leaning forward as we try and feel each vertebrae, reaching for the ground.
Moving on to some balance moves, I am surprised at how I am able to do multiple rotations on one side without falling over and how the other side is not as good. Room for improvement on both sides for sure, but I never new that my balance was different on each side until today.
Then we are going to stretch out some of our bits.
Here the “Rolling Ocean-wave” breaths turn to harder and more forceful inhalations, and, harder and deeper exhalations because with every breath I take, I am compressing part of my core as well as moving into the stretch, compressing it more.
I picture myself as being in a dangerous accident, pinned in a crevasse at the Glen. With no room to spare I am yet able to draw breath, affirming that bar other, life-threatening injuries, I am not giving up the ghost today.
Gently prodded back to reality, I find myself doing some simple squats. I inhale to bend knees and raise arms to shoulder height, and then exhale to rise up to the start position. Bum out, knees behind feet.
This time I am not rolling up a wall, leaning into a ball as I squat. I am progressing in strength and as I do Diane makes my tasks a little harder. Each time I return to an exercise I can mark my progress now by how much harder Diane makes it. This time I am squatting in the middle of the room.
I make it harder for myself sometimes too. When I am balancing my pelvis over the little roly-poly pilates ball (not the actual name), rolled back in a shoulder arch, I lift my hands to make it harder. The arms come up almost by themselves. Diane noticed, and then made me do that on the next three exercises. Breathe.
As I experience progress with my balance, muscle strength and flexibility I notice something else. There is a shrinking possibility of morbidity as I breathe through the class.
I get stronger, my production of disease gets weaker.
By Dan Willis
Director Media and Sales Publicita Online Marketing
Diane Archer, Pilates Instructor from the UK now living back in Canada. Blog of tips, thoughts, home challenges.