My Body Needs Exercise!

On Monday I finished a few weeks of intensive travel and my body was broken. My back was stiff, I couldn’t lean over and touch my toes, and I felt sluggish and pretty damn tired. Over those 2-3 weeks I had managed just one (slow) run and a few half-baked attempts at yoga/Pilates. And as I had predicted would happen at the beginning of this year, my work has started to take over and I haven’t been writing on this blog or posting much on Instagram, and I can’t even imagine putting together a video for YouTube!

I am back home for a week before my holiday to Sagres and I have been using it to get my body moving again. I have had 4 hours of tennis training and 2 hours of Pilates and I feel amazing! My body hurts, but in a good way. It has made me realise how important it is for me to be consistent with exercise: my body needs exercise! To think I spent years and years ignoring my body, and now after just 2 weeks I start to really miss the benefits of working out.

Whilst I am pleased that I managed to fit in tennis and Pilates despite all the work I am trying to complete before my holiday, I am still struggling to find the time for all my blogging hobbies. Hence I decided to write this short post, both to take a break from writing about seismic risk (that’s my job btw!) and because I was worried that the more I abandoned this blog, the more difficult it would become to get back into writing for it again. So this post is more for me than you, but I realise that’s probably the case with the majority of my posts! 😉

Yagaflex, Pilates and Piloxing inside a Decathlon Store

Today I discovered two new fitness activities – Yagaflex and Piloxing – thanks to Decathlon Italia’s Fitdays. I went along to my local Decathlon this morning to try them out as part of the national ‘Fitdays’ initiative, which sees local gyms offering free fitness sessions inside Decathlon. I was a bit apprehensive before going along as 1) I wondered whether there would be anyone else going, and 2) I worried we were going to be putting on a spectacle for all of the customers of Decathlon. I didn’t have to worry about point 1, as there were at least 5 or 6 of us (well, at least at the beginning), but I was right to worry about point 2. We were situated right in the central aisle of Decathlon and so everyone that went there this morning had to watch us jumping, boxing, stretching, bending over, squatting, and wobbling around as we tried to find balance, all whilst sweating profusely (only partly due to our location beneath the industrial heating system)!

Pilates

Pilates

We did Yagaflex for the first 30 minutes. I am not sure if this activity is ‘Made in Italy’ or if it is something that also exists abroad, but I had never heard of it before. It seemed to be a mixture of cardio and Pilates, but there was a strong tribal dance component, which saw us stomping and squatting to African music. It also involved a long sequence of sun salutations, which were very similar to those in Yoga, but a bit faster and with more dance-like movements. Many of the other women there had done it before, so I was a bit slower at picking up and following the moves, but the fact I have done Yoga and Pilates before certainly helped. I did get a bit stuck at one stage (as you can see in the photo above!) and couldn’t work out how we were supposed to contort our legs to get into position. But overall I found it fun, slightly challenging from a fitness point of view, and the time just flew by.

Next up came a 30 minutes Pilates lesson, which was focused around the use of an elastic strap (as you can see in the photo below). I have had two Pilates lessons in my life, and this was fairly similar to those but faster-paced, which I liked. I am not very flexible, and I think the type of exercises we did, which focused on stretching the hamstrings and opening up the hips, are exactly what I need. I recently picked up an elastic strap from Decathlon, so I think I will try out some of the exercises that I learned today at home.

Pilates

By the end of Yagaflex and Pilates there were only two of us left, but I think that was partly due to what was coming next: Piloxing! Again, possibly another Italian invention, I don’t know, but I discovered that it is a mixture of Pilates (standing), Boxing and Dance. I have never tried anything boxing related, and I am sure my punches were quite pathetic, but I enjoyed mixing cardio with punches and squats, a few leg raises and some dance-like movements. We only had 30 minutes so I only got to see a glimpse of what Piloxing is, but it was tough and fun at the same time, and I think I am going to explore joining a weekly class (if I can fit it in to my schedule of tennis, HIIT, Pilates, and home Yoga practice!).

Have you ever tried out these exercises before? If so, please do let me know about your experiences with them in the comments below!

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