For many with chronic illness or disease, exercise can be both mandated by their doctor yet seemingly impossible to achieve.
The “spoon theory”, an idea that you start each day with a set number of spoons, and must “use” a spoon for every action- from getting out of bed to showering to making a meal to driving to work – has resonated with many who find their condition prevents them from sparing even a single spoon to exercise. They see their bodies suffering even more because of inability to work out, but despair at finding an activity that won’t empty their spoon drawer.
Enter Pilates. When just walking to the mailbox proves exhausting, walking a mile is out of the question – but hundreds of Pilates moves can be performed sitting down, lying down, and so on. Pilates improves core muscle strength, stabilizes the spine, and tones your body slowly but surely. Endorphins released by even this mild form of exercise can improve mood and lessen depression.
On good days, you can hit the studio for a group class; enjoying the camaraderie of being around other people and rejoicing in having that extra spoon to spare. When making it out of the house isn’t an option, do a few exercises at a time all throughout the day, and enjoy the benefits of each one.
Pilates is an ideal workout regimen for those with:
- Chronic back pain
- …and many other types of ongoing illness.
You can trigger your body to ready itself for an energy boost by playing the same music track every time you get ready to exercise. Look for uplifting yet calm music, and consider adding a few moments of meditation to the beginning and end of your routine. This offers your mind and body a smooth segue into “work-out mode” and back again.
Of course, ask your doctor before embarking on any new exercise routine. Then call Pilates of Rye and find out when the next session is that you can attend!