Young girl doing mat Pilates exercise with foam roller prop

A few years ago I begrudgingly delved into the world of Instagram in order to explore what all the hype was about. For the next two years, I took part in Pilates Instagram challenges out of obligation.

Doing my exercises and then having to find the time to post them each day stressed me out. I was nervous and thought I’d be judged. I wanted everything to look perfect, but most days it was far from it. I felt like I’d lowered my standards from excellence to mediocrity.

I’ve just completed my third Pilates Instagram challenge. I had so many good excuses not to even start or to quit part way: I’d just had a baby and had no time, I have a prolapse and diastasis and shouldn’t do most of the exercises, I had to travel to visit a sick relative and shortly after attend a funeral, the list goes on.

Despite the excuses I chose to persevere and am so happy I did. The experience was different from the past and I am now excited about and see the value in Pilates Instagram challenges.

So do I think you should take part in a Pilates Instagram challenge? Absolutely yes!!!

And here’s why.

You’ll move more

It’s true, you will need to get up off your sofa to do the exercises for your challenge. And if you’re not happy with how your video looks when you film it, you may choose to do it again and again. If it’s a challenging exercise, you may want to do a warm-up beforehand. Or once you do this exercise, you may choose to do a few more. So here’s my point: doing this one exercise is more than doing none. And when you start moving you’ll have more incentive to keep going.

This was my experience. One exercise would lead to another and then to another. Not every day, but most days. And after a week of moving consistently, my body started to feel stronger and I found the time and energy to move even more because it felt so good.

You’ll boost your mood

Research shows that there is a link between physical exercise and mood enhancement. In my case, part of this was the actual movement. Another part of it was actually getting out of the house to do some of my exercises and shoot my videos. I got to interact with other adults who were generally in a pretty good mood. This was invaluable for my psyche as a new mother who spends a lot of time at home with a baby.

You’ll be reminded of where your strengths and challenges lie

If you’ve ever worked out on your own, you probably have a tendency to do exercises that you like or are at the top of your mind. Following the guidelines of a Pilates Instagram challenge will encourage you to do exercises you may not normally choose. Some may be easy for you and others challenging.

Typically, I’ve always found Pilates Matwork to be pretty “easy”. Mind you, I’d cheat my way through it most of the time, but I looked good doing the exercises. So I’ve finally admitted it. After having a baby and not doing these exercises for nearly a year, I found many of the exercises challenging in ways I’d never expected. It was a pleasant surprise. And being a Pilates teacher, I thought of new ways to describe them to clients and Teacher Training students I teach.

You can get creative

If you have any injuries or issues with your body, you may need to modify. Or if you feel creative, you can play around with the exercise suggested and find new variations.

I have a prolapse and diastasis, so in my case, I had to modify a lot. At first it was a bit scary, but then turned out to be a lot of fun. My brain had a chance to work and I came up with variations I’d never be willing to try under normal circumstances.

You can win prizes

Many Instagram challenges have prizes attached. While this wasn’t a driving force my taking part in any of them, it’s always nice to win a little something.

You may get more followers

Once again, this wasn’t my objective of mine, but it came as a pleasant surprise when people started following me and offering positive comments and encouragement on my posts.

You’ll be proud of yourself for taking part

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “it’s the journey, not the destination, that matters.” While it’s nice to finish a challenge, it’s also great to take part when you can, be ok with it and enjoy it.

In my most recent Pilates Instagram challenge, I completed 31 exercises in 31 days and felt very proud of myself. I didn’t post every day and felt bad about it at first. On the plus side, I did all the required exercises instead of finding a reason to sit on the sofa or at my computer. And that on its own is great! When I recognized myself for what I did instead of what didn’t, I began having more fun and saw more value in the process.

So now it’s your turn!

I challenge YOU to find an Instagram Pilates challenge and give it a try. And then do another one. And another one. Don’t become obsessive, but give the process a chance and see what you can discover for yourself.

Body Harmonics has one that started just a few days ago and only lasts for seven days. It’s the #PilatesForYoga Instagram challenge and it’s not too late to join. You just need to complete all seven exercises by the end of the seven days.

And if you’re not into posting your results, follow the challenge anyway and do the exercises for yourself. It’s great to have a guide that you can follow.

Whether you join the challenge with @bodyharmonics (go to the page for more details) or find another one, it will be a springboard for you to move more and feel better.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with Pilates Instagram challenges. If you have any questions, comments or feedback, please leave them in the comments section below.

 

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