• Suz Anne

How this 3 minute Pilates exercise can make you feel more productive & energised throughout the day!

Who else feels that they are working harder than ever, working from home?

You wake up, sit down at your desk, log onto the computer and begin looking at your calendar, then start replying to your emails. Or, perhaps your day begins with back to back virtual meetings or appointments? Then the next thing you know is that it’s lunchtime!

You then grab a quick bite to eat in the kitchen or at your desk, whilst you continue to work before continuing working through to 5pm or past this time. As soon as you log off you have other priorities waiting for you, outside that door.

You may notice once you’ve logged off the computer, your eyes are tired from staring at the screen all day, you feel exhausted because you didn’t get a chance to step outside and take a breath of fresh air and sore or tight from predominantly sitting for most of the day. These stressors can build up overtime and impact on your overall physical and mental health.

Working and living in the same space can present unique challenges as it often blurs the boundaries of where your work stops and home life begins, making it easier to continue to work through times where you would normally take a break, if you were in an office or workplace setting.

So how can you incorporate some mindful Pilates movement into your day?

Start by creating a simple plan and commit to it. The beauty about Pilates is that absolutely anyone can do it, anywhere, anytime, without any equipment. You don’t need to do fancy exercises, you just need to do something that feels good for you.

Over the next week I challenge you to invest in you by:

1. Incorporating this lateral Pilates breathing exercise into your day, once a day for 5 days

- Place right hand on the right side of the rib cage, and left hand on left ribcage

- INHALE through your nose, directing the breath into the sides of the ribs (feel your ribs expand laterally in your hands)

- Then, EXHALE through the mouth, feeling the rib cage draw down

- Continue with this for a minute

CUE: Imagine your ribs are an accordion. Feel like the accordion expands on the inhale and gets smaller on the exhale. Keep playing the accordion slowly, with the control of your breath

2. For the second week, do this exercise twice a day for 5 days

3. For the third week, do this exercise 3 times a day for 5 days

In terms of when is the right time to do these exercises, potentially when you sit down at your computer before you start your day, before lunch or after a bathroom break and once you’ve just logged off for the day.

By forth week you will have a routine! If you are finding you are wanting more after the four weeks, why not try increasing the time spent on each breathing exercise (for example increasing it from 1 to 3 minutes) or by experimenting with different Pilates breathing exercises throughout your day.

The main thing is to fun with it! Pilates is a beautiful practice which combines low impact exercise with mindfulness exercises. By building a Pilates routine into your day, you will feel more energised, focused and relaxed throughout the day.

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