Listen to your body — and breathe
It is common coming into a New Year that we observe our bodies and take a moment to assess how we look and feel.
After twelve years of teaching, I have come to learn that the biggest priority and main goal for any ‘body’ should be how it feels to move and just be. Changing our focus to becoming ‘mind-body’ aware has proven to have long lasting results and the aesthetic value comes naturally. I am all for goal-setting and challenging your body to be the best version of itself, but time and time again I see people who focus on losing weight too quickly or exercising incorrectly and then injure themselves.
We are under stress as it is and must not forget that working out should be a de-stress; a guilt-free and pressure-free zone. My advice for starting a workout regimen in the New Year would be to begin learning what your core is, and how to breathe properly.
I know that it may seem crazy that we need to learn how to breathe, but technically if we do this correctly we would be able to apply these principles to all of our movements. You would be surprised how many neck issues and headaches are caused by holding onto breath. Most injuries and pain in the body occur from bad posture from sitting all day, using our phones, laptops, driving and then working out incorrectly.
My number one goal as a trainer is teaching you how to build your own support system in the body and the best way to hold your body through any workout or life movement you choose to do.
The easiest way to trigger your pelvic floor muscles which are the base of your core would be to put your finger tips in front of your hip bones and cough loudly in order to feel your muscles pop up. These are your Transverses Abdominus, which create the foundation of your core. If you learn how to trigger these muscles when breathing and on exertion of a movement, you know your body is protected and ‘core activated’.
Robyn Borowsky is a Pilates instructor and owner of the CoreFit Centre in Sea Point. She is passionate about body movement, health and, most importantly, balance.