80% of Americans do not meet the recommended daily levels for physical activity and 45% do not move enough to improve their health. Many of us are over booked between the demands of our jobs and family obligations with precious little time left for leisure activities and relaxation. When do have free time we want to spend that time doing activities we enjoy and for many exercise is perceived as work and another chore on our to-do list. When an activity becomes a chore our motivation to participate diminishes even when there are very real health issues involved. For many working out in a gym is pure drudgery. The work is too hard, the results too slow. Also working out in gyms with fitness enthusiasts intimidates people who are overweight and inactive. Even though they know the risks of being overweight, it isn’t enough of a motivation to overcome their fear of the weight room.
So how do we overcome this lack of activity and make movement something we want to do instead of something we should do? By changing our motivation and making movement enjoyable. People stick with something when they feel successful right away. There isn’t one form of exercise that is right for everyone. Just as we are all unique individuals our paths to fitness will be varied as well. Some people truly enjoy the weight room culture and the competitive atmosphere. They thrive in this environment and like pushing themselves to be stronger and can channel stress and anxiety into a positive outcome. For others social interaction is an important part of physical activity. Dance classes such as Zumba have seen a surge in popularity over the past few years. People are drawn to dance because it is easily accessible and fun. And being a good dancer is not required. Pilates has a host of benefits including improved posture and a strong core. But it also can clear your mind and give you energy and inner serenity as you learn to move from the inside out. And Pilates is for everybody. Whether young or old, male or female, athletic or non-athletic, healthy or recovering from injury or illness, flexible or not so flexible, Pilates is adaptable and can be practiced through most stages of life.
Everybody deserves to enjoy movement. By choosing the activities we enjoy whether they are solo endeavors such as running and swimming or group activities with family or friends making movement part of our daily lives improves our physical as well as our emotional health and that benefits everyone.