Tanya’s Pilates Journey

The Covid Pandemic turned life upside down. Being unable to treat patients, I suddenly had more time on my hands than I have had in years. In addition to the obligatory DIY and baking copious cakes, I thought I should try to keep fit, so I decided to try my colleague Georgie’s online Pilates classes. Well, I loved them with Georgie’s clear, encouraging teaching style. The focus, the concentration, the ability to progress the exercises and work at a level which suited me, I felt I was getting a safe full body workout which was still really challenging.

With months of uncertainty ahead and my two daughters heading off to University, I needed a distraction. Having taught exercise classes myself back in the day, I thought maybe this is something I can do that will also really benefit my patients. After some research I decided to train in the APPI Method, (The Australian Physiotherapy & Pilates Institute). Our physios, Jodie and Rachel, had trained in this form of Pilates and highly recommended APPI as the Pilates gold standard.

APPI lead the way in clinical based Pilates training. Taking the 34 classic Pilates movements developed by Joseph Pilates, they have progressed and adapted these so they are safe and effective for all. The exercises build strength, stability and mobility. Over the last year, the in-depth Comprehensive Matwork training course has covered every element from anatomy and physiology to teaching one to one and group classes. I was lucky enough that between lockdowns, I was able to do both training in person and subsequently on Zoom and in March 2021 I took my practical and theory exams and passed!

Not only is Pilates something I can now use to help others, it has also really helped me and proved just how transformational it can be. I have always done a variety of exercise from running to aerobics, body pump to badminton, but in 2017 I was shocked when I had a prolapsed disc in my neck.

An MRI showed that the jelly part of the disc had escaped, protruding into a root nerve causing me a lot of pain and weakness in my left arm. Initially I was told I would need surgery. However, being so fortunate to work where I do, with physio treatment, rest and rehab the disc reabsorbed and over six months things improved. The result of this was that whilst I could return to exercise (avoiding any high impact), I was left with a left arm which was still weaker and with muscles which would often go into painful spasm if I overdid strength work.

Through practising Pilates my arm is much stronger and I no longer have the muscle spasms. Using a range of exercises I have also built up the deep muscles to support my spine and core. I now experience less lower back pain which can be an issue for massage therapists who are often flexing forward. I am so much stronger and recently completed a 45-minute hit class that I would never have been able to do a while ago.

However, the most inspirational part of my Pilates training is that I can see how patients can improve everyday life. By using Pilates they can make their bodies stronger and more functional, making everyday tasks easier and more enjoyable. Age and ability is no barrier as Pilates truly can benefit everyone. The APPI Pilates method is taught to footballers and ballet dancers, new mums to octogenarians and as a teacher, we can continue adding to our skills with many specialist courses.

In addition to offering one-to-one Pilates sessions, I am also planning to run a Pilates for Osteoporosis group class. With 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men developing osteoporosis, Pilates can be a key component for preventing both the onset of the disease or managing it.

For information on Pilates with the team at The Health Hub please contact reception.

Walking the Walk – Part 4

So how has my progress been going, the honest answer – non existent! I felt it was really important to write this article as fundamentally there is one key message…

Sometimes you just have to accept you can’t do it all, the key is to make sure you start again.

The last few months have certainly made it challenging to achieve my very ambitious goal. I know I have certainly found it difficult to make time for exercise, whether it be because of the joys of lockdown, constant rule changes, a very active 16 month old and of course the glorious British summer!

There is certainly nothing like watching the Olympics to inspire getting going again.

Time to hit the reset button, now that things appear to be “normalising”, forming a routine is becoming easier on all fronts, so it is time to revisit everything. Where to start…

From a treatment perspective I have been maintaining my progress by continuing to work with Lachlan, Kirk and Tina. All of which has helped to eliminate the niggles/restrictions previously mentioned. Unfortunately now comes the hard bit, I need to put in the work!

I will be scheduling in 4 fitness sessions a week that will incorporate my remedial exercises as a warm up. I will also be aiming for a minimum of 10,000 steps a day, 90% of which will likely be spent being run ragged by our 16 month old, so I shouldn’t have any problem there!

To get a gauge of where I am I have done a 5k to get a base fitness result and something to work from…

exercise metrics

Clearly this is some way off the overall goal of running a 5k in 20 minutes, but it gives me a starting point to work from.

Find out how the reset has gone next month, wish me luck!

Sam Pargeter, Sports Chiropractor


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