Why WOMEN of all ages and stages should exercise through their life journey!
We all hear the messages to move more, to exercise and be fit. Well do you realise just how powerful exercise is as medicine? Throughout our lifespan exercise is equally important at each stage albeit with a slightly different focus perhaps. Now we’re not forgetting you guys out there, these messages are relevant to you too, however for the purpose of this blog, the spotlight is on our girls.
Youth years – Build the Strongest Foundation
Girls MUST move. Participating in a variety of exercises as a young girl and teenager is extra important to maximise the development of the skeleton, musculature and develop coordination and fine motor skills. When kids and teens jump, run and hop; the impact of landing facilitates bone mineral density. We peak our bone mineral density by the age of about 20years so do what you can while young!
Adult years – Mix it Up, Find your Fit
For young female adults and through to the years where a female may begin childbearing, exercise should be about diversity, a combination of resistance training, cardiovascular fitness, and mobility. The options are endless; think dancing, Pilates, cycling, swimming, gym classes, hiking, tai chi, yoga, sports for example. Increasing confidence, endurance, stamina, social connection, mental health, strength, and health benefits such as optimising blood pressure, reducing risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancers are all linked with regular exercise. Our health in our later years is often influenced by our habits in our earlier years!
Pre & Post Natal – We are not OSFA!
Now for some women who become mums; exercise is a very important aspect of healthy mum/healthy bub. There are many modes of activity that is suitable for all stages of pregnancy, and beyond, however it is important to seek professional advice (and I don’t mean from your social media feed!). Pressure to participate, to bounce back and to shed unwanted kilos are just an awful social expectation that has pervaded our lives, and more so since our world became revolved around social influencers and celebs in the media. What is important is how a woman navigates their fitness and body confidence; not the number on the scales or the ability to fit into certain clothing. We strongly advocate reformer Pilates!
Older Adult years – Use it or Lose it!
This is not the time to slow down or stop. You don’t use it, you lose it, is an actual fact. Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass begins in our 30’s and we can offset this by staying active, building strength right through to old age. Balance, posture, functional strength e.g. sit to standing, mobility and flexibility e.g. reaching arms above head, are such important factors to keep one ageing well, independently and confidently. There are many options for older adults; reformer or mat Pilates, tai chi, yoga, aerial fitness, dancing, tailored gym classes, personal training, cycling, hydrotherapy e.g. aqua aerobics/jogging/swimming are all great options. Personal training in particular can combine ALL the aspects of fitness and be tailored specifically to you.
Menopause and post menopause.
I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a woman say they “love” this stage as they navigate a myriad of symptoms. However, there is one thing for certain: exercise works. Exercise supports mental health, digestion, sleep, hormonal and energy balance, body composition and more. However, women need to realise they are not small men, nor are they 20 something. When choosing what type of exercise to begin or resume, you should consider your injury history, training history, lifestyle, energy levels. Progression is key; don’t join some class that is going to smash you and give you dodgy knees after attempting burpees for the first time. Look for options that includes movement screening, sets the level appropriately, cardio, balance, posture, and resistance exercise, is enjoyable and sustainable.
There is no OSFA approach to everybody’s fitness. It is important that you find what works for you both physically, and mentally. If we enjoy what we do, we’ll sustain the practice and the benefits will accumulate. Exercise should be about building a stronger and physically able body so we can age well. It should not be about burning calories, punishing ourselves or guilt driven.
As I approach my 40’s, I reflect on how exercise has played a role in each of my life stages. As a young child I lived for the moment to play cricket with my brothers, playing netball in the icy cold, biking around the neighbourhood to meet friends.
As a teenager playing sports and being a part of a team, wearing the school sports uniform! My dad was my ‘personal trainer’ as I remember him driving the car behind me on the dark country roads to light up the road in front of me as I trained for the cross country! At university discovering the gym, getting a personal trainer and a coach to learn to kayak so I could enter multisport, running the Great Wall of China marathon.
During and between pregnancies alternating between trail running, walking and reformer Pilates and being trained under the watchful eye of our personal trainers. As a mum of four girls, 3, 5, 7 & 9yrs, I am their role model and they are mine. I see how they navigate new physical skills like handstands, and it urges me to get out of my comfort zone and keep learning too. For me, that is aerial fitness. And I am excited about what lies ahead as I age actively. I only need to look around at the older adults in our studio, or up the mountain trail running, or at the pool doing aqua aerobics to be inspired. Move your body now so you can move it later!
Reformer Pilates – Why it is so popular and why you should add it to your life!
- Kate Morland
If you’re yet to become a convert to reformer Pilates you may be wondering, why do people get so excited by Pilates and what is the deal with a reformer? Well let’s put it this way; we take Pilates on the mat and supercharge it with a body shaking, booty burning machine. This machine (thank you Joseph Pilates for inventing it!) is our pride and joy. With a range of springs to add resistance, or no springs to add instability, this machine will support or push you to your physical limits.
Some people look at the reformer with trepidation, but we can assure you, you will be safe and supported. They are designed to take up to 180kg of weight and we have props to aid you if necessary.
No two classes are the same!
That’s right, we love to mix it up, keep you guessing and challenging yourself each class. Our team at Studio Rubix prides itself on our level of expertise and we’ll look after you whether you are recovering from hip surgery or ready to climb a mountain. There are no winners and losers in our classes; it’s all about your own fitness journey, staying in your own lane and being focused on you.
Plus, you can choose from beginner, intermediate, advanced, cardiolates (combo of bike/reformer), stretch and release, pre/post-natal and our legends (65+) classes. There are over 40 on the schedule!
Hence small class sizes!
To keep things up close and personal we limit our class sizes to 9. This means we get hands on to keep your technique in check but also keep a subtle eye on you to ensure you’re challenging yourself. Clients are surprised how fast they start seeing changes in their strength, flexibility, and shape. How cool is that!
Strengthen, lengthen & tone!
Your grimace gets us excited because that means you’re working, and results are inevitable. Your whole body will get stronger; so everyday tasks become easier. Your range of mobility and flexibility will improve; to optimise posture and release tension. Your body shape will adapt as it has no choice; you will tone those muscles.
No, it’s not yoga!
We have nothing against yoga, we are rather partial to aerial yoga at The Loft. However, our reformer Pilates is not a yoga session. There are similarities such as focus on breathing, mindfulness, and long poses but reformer Pilates is dynamic, endurance focused along with a sprinkle of Rubix magic.
So how do you add it to your life?
Simple. Just get started by booking into a beginner class to ease into it. Soon you’ll be looking forward to our “left heel down” prompt (don’t worry you’ll know what we mean by that soon). Come as many times a week as you prefer (we suggest at least 2x) but the more frequent, well the faster the results! Mix it up between class types and trainers.