Pilates and I are old friends. Pilates, named after Joseph Pilates, is a form of exercise that you either do lying down on a mat doing exercises that focus on your “powerhouse” (meaning your abdominal muscles) and lengthening your body. Or using specially designed equipment, some of which employ pulleys and springs for resistance as you do a variety of exercises that strengthen and lengthen your powerhouse and the rest of your body.
Pilates has in the past and still is used for rehabilitation from injuries or weakness. It is also used by professional dancers and athletes to get and stay in shape.
I learned about pilates as a dancer, my first career. Many dancers I knew used pilates to come back from injury or trained in the method and became certified pilates instructors after they retired from dancing. One of the great things about pilates is that it is great for the twenty year old athlete and the eighty year old more sedentary lifestyle.
So why am I blogging about pilates? No I am not getting kickbacks, I started doing pilates again almost fifteen years ago after failed back surgery caused chronic pain and nerve damage to the right side of my back and leg. Pilates helped me gain back the strength I had lost. It is a type of exercise that can be modified to the client’s individual level and physical issues. That is why it is used in a lot of rehab work. Although people with chronic pain don’t want to exercise, I know, I am one of them. Doctors encourage exercise for the chronic pain patient so they increase their strength and not atrophy. Furthermore, exercise is a mood enhancer which is important for people with chronic pain.
Well, full confession time, I stopped doing the pilates after awhile, got lazy. Recently I started back up because I realized I had to practice what I preach – exercise for people with ADHD. You see, during the time I wasn’t doing pilates I became an ADHD coach. Studies have shown that exercise is important to the treatment of ADHD. Actually right after you exercise is a great time to study or get work done. You will be more focused because of the chemicals shooting around your brain right after exercise.
Something else I noticed about pilates and ADHD is that in pilates you don’t do a lot of repetition. Meaning that you never do an exercise twenty times, which can get boring for people with ADHD. Usually you do each exercise four, six, eight or ten times. There is one exception though, called the Hundreds, but I will let you find out what it is on your own.
So, start exercising whether you have chronic pain, ADHD or both. Make sure if you are starting a new type of exercising or haven’t been exercising that you get your doctor’s okay before you start. Maybe you will adventure into the world of pilates or something else. The important thing is that you do something. Your body and brain will thank you. So will the people around you because, as I said earlier, exercise is a natural mood enhancer so you will be more fun to be around. People like that!