Maximizing Moments for Fitness

Opportunities for Pilates and fitness in daily activities

My grandmother always told me to pull in my abs throughout the day. At my desk, waiting for a bus: she was a believer in maximizing the moment for fitness. Now Pilates guru Brooke Siler has made a book, Your Ultimate Pilates Body Challenge, out of a similar notion. A recent article in the Washington Post cataloged the elements of Siler’s “invisible workout,” ways to enhance body awareness and strength while climbing stairs, buying groceries and restocking your pantry.

The basic idea is to activate your abs, a.k.a. core or “powerhouse,” as the Pilatians call it, throughout everything you do. “Your stomach should be pulled in and up, your chest lifted, your spine straight and your weight evenly distributed,” according to the Post story. A sampling of Silers specific suggestions:

While watching TV

Move around, do floor exercises, sit on a stability ball. When you have to sit, sit erect — stomach pulled in, chest high, thighs parallel to the floor — on the edge of your seat.

At the photocopy machine

Draw up and elongate your waist until it feels higher than the top of the copier. Lift your neck. Tuck in your tailbone and tighten your buttocks.

While lifting a baby

Squat face-to-face with the baby, buttocks out and weight centered on your heels, before you lift. Imagine there’s a coiled spring behind you, helping you to bounce back up.



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