womens health

HQ-er of The Month - Dianne Ray

We are excited to introduce our HQ-er of the Month - Dianne Ray. This amazing woman has been with Pilates HQ for the past 1 1/2 years. She came to the studio due to a neck injury causing numbness and arm pain as well as hip/back pain throughout the night. Fast forward to today,and Di’s arm pain is no non-existent and her hip and back is improving too! Di now attends two intermediate Reformer Classes a week as well as Ellie’s Tempo Class.

Find out what else changed with Dianne and how Pilates has helped her since she started over a year ago:

Reformer Pilates Buninyong

Reformer Pilates Buninyong

Why did you decide to do Pilates?

I had a compressed nerve at C6 that was causing numbness and nerve pain down my Lt arm. This was apparently due to poor posture and changes after my left Mastectomy and left axillary clearance. I was also experiencing nocturnal hip/back pain. My flexibility was not great either.

My friend Chloe suggested I give it a try and also my physio suggested it would be helpful.

What brought you to Pilates HQ?

I loved the thought that it was in Buninyong and I could walk to classes.

How has Pilates helped you? What are the benefits you have noticed since coming to your classes? 

Pilates has been incredible with my feeling of wellbeing, strength and flexibility. My left arm pain/ numbness is non existent and very recently I could stop all medication for my nocturnal back pain as it has nearly disappeared.

I am able to do exercises that I could not even imagine I was capable of. The wonderful community that is HQ Pilates has also been a delight to get to know and laugh with.

What is it that you love most about your classes at Pilates HQ?

I love that the challenges are there every lesson. I love the encouragement and support to constantly try new things and perfect exercises that are challenging. I also love the HQ community, the friendly faces of clients and instructors.

Apart from Doing your Pilates classes twice/three times a week, what other hobbies do you have? 

My hobbies are motorbike riding on my gorgeous BMW R nine T, otherwise known as Brunhilda. Gardening, walking and of course experimenting with food and recipes.

We are all getting pretty excited about your restaurant opening - The Shared Table! woop woop. What made you want to open your own business/restaurant?

I felt it was a great time professionally and personally to put all the wonderful skills I have learnt over the years from amazing mentors like Peter Ford and Philippe Desrettes together and see what happens!  I think it is an exciting time in Buninyong and the community would really embrace having a space such as The Shared Table.  I love the idea that sharing food connects people, thoughts and experiences.

What would you love for people to know about your new restaurant ? 

Tough one as there have been so many questions! Maybe that it has taken a village to raise The Shared Table. I have made it a focus to try and use all local trades, services and craftspeople in fitting out the restaurant. I not only want to support local growers but also local businesses and keep the dollars within our community.

What other things apart from Pilates, do you do to help yourself stay healthy, mentally and physically?

I walk on days I don’t do Pilates. I try and remind myself to be grateful for something at the beginning of my day. Working in my veggie garden and hothouse. Being with my nearest and dearest people, including my kids.

If you could teach a Pilates class to your instructors at HQ, what exercises would you make them do?!

I’m not sure what they are called but the squats that are done on the reformer with your heels half way up the long box. Killer, thanks Jane. I would also make Jess do lots of arm ones! And Tempo sessions! I’m not good at remembering the names of the exercises.

I know your husband has is a pilot, what are some of your favourite places that you guys have flown to together?

We have flown to some incredible places and my favourite place would have had to be Cape Leveque. The airstrip stops just before the beach and we camped on the beach for a week under palm fronds with our 4 kids. Incredible red cliffs, whales, crystal clear blue water and sand dunes.

Dianne, seeing how far you’ve come since that first class makes us proud to be part of your journey to physical health and wellness. Thank you for motivating other women to take care of themselves and more importantly, never stop pursuing their dreams. Keep inspiring!


Steph & The Pilates HQ Team

xx

HQ-er of The Month - Kim Sharp

Our HQ-er of the Month is Kim who started Pilates just over a year ago. Since she has started doing classes at Pilates HQ, the flexibility through her body has improved so much. With consistently doing two classes a week, her improvement has been evident in her balance and control over her body and muscles.

hq pilates.JPG


Read on and get to know Kim on a more personal level:

What's your favourite thing to do in your spare time or what hobbies do you enjoy?

Running is my main hobby but I also love hanging out with my dogs.

We know that you are a superstar runner and have been participating in some half marathons lately - how many have you run this year?

So far I have completed two marathons and 10 half marathons. So far this year though 1 marathon and 3 half marathons. I have two more half marathons coming up in the next month.

What is your main aim/goal for your marathon runs?

My ultimate goal is to finish, but my main goal is always to enjoy it.

What enticed you to come to a Pilates class?

I had done mat Pilates before and hated it but a friend was loving her Pilates HQ classes so I decided to give it a go. It was local and the class times suited me. That was nearly 18 months ago and I haven't looked back.

How do you structure your training week with running and Pilates?

I do two Pilates classes a week and run five times a week. A run straight after Pilates is always tough, particularly when Jess has worked our legs hard, so that only happens once a week.

What is your favourite Pilates exercise and why?

I'm not sure to be honest. I really don't know them by name. I enjoy leg work using the straps and 'elephant' stretch(??) and maybe the pike to planks??

How has your Pilates routine affected your running?

Core strength and posture are really important for running and Pilates has certainly helped me with this. It also helps with joint mobility and flexibility all of which help reduce overall injury risk.

What has kept you interested in Pilates and why do you keep coming back to class each week?

The fact that I feel like I've had a good workout without being totally exhausted. There is so much variety in the exercises and the instructors are all amazing. I love the small class sizes and the welcoming and friendly vibe of HQ.

What changes have you noticed in your body and in your Running training/technique, since starting regular Pilates classes?

I think I am definitely stronger overall and perhaps a little more coordinated than before.

What is your favourite track or spot to run in and around Buninyong?

There is so many beautiful areas around Buninyong that are perfect for running. Living here though runs always involve hills!

What advice would you give to a fellow runner out there, who is considering starting Pilates but isn't really sure about it?

Try it! Pilates complements running perfectly. It stretches and strengthens so many key muscles and therefore reduces your overall injury risk. The classes are so much fun and the instructors really make the effort to get to know you so that together you can work to achieve your goals.

Kim, you have been so great to watch and your attitude towards Pilates is admirable! We will definitely get you doing a back-bend one day - even though you think it would be nearly impossible! You are stronger than you realise. We are cheering you on!

Steph & The Pilates HQ Team

xx

Am I Too Old To Do Pilates?

I’m doing this thing where I try to be more confident and speak to people about what I do! So the other day whilst having a blood test, I mentioned that I taught Pilates, and I was met with the statement. “I’ve thought about doing Pilates, but I always thought I was too old!”


WHAT? Too Old?!, Never!
I feel like that phrase should be outlawed, you will never be too old for anything! Except maybe schoolies - no one wants to be a toolie!

Anyway, it really got me thinking, I wonder how many other people out there think that about Pilates or about exercise in general.

Reformer Pilates Ballarat


Well if you’ve been thinking this, I’m here to tell you to STOP! You are not too old, and you are definitely not too old for Pilates!

Actually as you get older you should really start paying more attention to your health and activity levels, because quite frankly, “you’re not as young as you used to be”.

Also did you know that as you age, after the age of 30, (I know guys!) we actually start to lose muscle tissue and bone density, which can cause increased risk of falls, and injuries! So if you’re 30 or older you need to get your butt into gear and try to prevent and reduce this!
And the best way to combat this is by doing the one thing we know that helps develop our muscle strength, mass and bone health which is…. Wait for it…. Exercise!

The type of exercise that is best for this is progressive resistance training, which translates to exercise with some form of resistance. This could be your body-weight, dumbbells, cans of beans, small humans or pets!

And it is recommended that you do resistance training at least twice per week working on the larger muscle groups, like your quadriceps, hamstrings, chest, back and abdominals. (Did someone say Pilates?)


At Pilates HQ we have both of these things.. You bring the body we bring the resistance (springs., dumbbells, bands) The added benefit of doing one of our Pilates class is that we tell you what to do!
You don’t have to think about what exercises to do, or worry about if you are doing them correctly, or using the right amount of resistance. We do all of that for you!
You bring your body and we bring the rest!

You can see that Pilates fits the bill for the type of exercise that would be good for adults, but maybe you are still thinking that you are too old? Maybe the machines seem a little daunting, or you aren’t really sure if you are capable of performing all of the exercises in class?

Well here are a few things for you consider before rushing ahead and booking your next Pilates class.

  1. Can you get up and down from a low bench? If so then you will be fine to get on and off the Pilates Reformer!.

  2. Are you restricted with what positions you can be in or movements you can do? If you are then Reformer or Mat Pilates Class is probably Not for you. BUT some 1on1s and a tailored program in our Studio Pilates Class might be more up your ally!

  3. Do you have any major health issues or injuries that may prevent you from starting a new exercise routine? If you do, then it’s best that you see your Doctor and make sure they give you the all clear to join a class

So to answer your question! NO!

You are definitely not too old to be doing Pilates. You might actually find that by doing regular Pilates classes will help you feel younger for longer!


Steph & The Pilates HQ Team
XX


P.S Feel like starting out with some Pilates Today but it’s been a while since you exercised? Then check out our NEW Course - Find Your Fit here

HQ-er of The Month - Jocelyn Freeman

Our HQer of the Month, Joce Freeman, has taken over our blog this week to tell you all about her, as well as the what’s, how’s, who’s and why’s of her Pilates HQ Journey!
Take it away Joce…

Pilates HQ Client of the Month

Hi

I’m Jocelyn, aka Tom, Estelle & Hugh’s Mum or Sam’s wife, occasional bookkeeper and nurse.

My favourite hobbies are Pilates and walking my Border Collie, Lexie. Not cooking and cleaning as my children may think.

My Pilates journey started off as curiosity, So I decided to bid on a ‘HQ Beginners Intro Pack’ at a silent auction at Buninyong Primary School, thinking if I win then I will have to book in and use it, no excuses!

I have always enjoyed exercise, but like any Mum it is often difficult to fit it in and not feel even more fatigued afterwards, Pilates does not do this.

I was a complete novice when I started (no need to be afraid) but the beginner class set the tone for repeating and getting the basics correct before I increased to two intermediate classes a week. I can’t wait to start the new ‘Tempo’ Class next week, just for bit more speed.

I feel more toned and definitely more flexible- but I’m still working on conquering “Roll Ups”.

I was made immediately welcome, so lucky to have such a great studio and knowledgeable instructors and the best bit is that I have made some wonderful friends.

Buninyong is a wonderful community, I am often having one of Ballarat’s best coffees at Maggie and Kate, and you will often see me stocking up on groceries at my favourite Buninyong shop, Food works.

Be Warned Pilates is very addictive and great fun!


Joce.


Joce, We have loved having you in our studio each week and are super lucky to get to hang out with you twice, sometimes three times a week, BONUS!
we are so glad that You won the voucher and can’t wait to see all the amazing things you do in and out of the studio in the years to come!


Steph & The Pilates HQ Team

xx

Everyone’s Fit is Different. How Do You Find Yours?

Pilates HQ can help you find your fit

In all aspects of life, we search for the right fit. Our clothes, our job, our friends, our home. We take the time to find what suits us. However, when it comes to fitness, it’s easy to get caught up in just one idea of what “fit” is - based on information from the media or someone we know. We can even get caught up on our former selves… (you know, the you before “life happened”). And based on that one idea, we judge ourselves to be unfit or worse, incapable of being fit.

But just like clothes, jobs, friends, homes, fitness is different for all of us. Some people need to run marathons; others get a great buzz from intense, sweaty gym sessions; and some people just want to feel good and know they can sail through their daily life with physical ease. Also fitness, just like everything else, is something that constantly changes, depending on where we’re at in our lives.

Pilates, Beginner, Fitness, Ballarat

Pilates, Beginner, Fitness, Ballarat

So what is your fit? How do you find it and how do you achieve it?

Great news!! Pilates HQ is here to help. With our own Exercise Physiologist and Pilates Instructor Abby Byrne, we have developed the Find Your Fit course to help you find it, achieve it and best of all, maintain it.

Over the course of seven weeks, we will provide the tools you need to achieve your idea of fit, starting with determining what that idea is! Abby will work with you to:

  • set your own goals

  • overcome any barriers you’ve faced in the past

  • teach you exercises suited to you that you can do at home

  • empower you become active and stay active in your everyday life.


You will receive:

  • a handbook to keep track of your progress

  • discounts to beginner Pilates classes

  • assessments along the way to keep you on track

  • a home exercise program to follow on with during & after the course

  • support, guidance and knowledge to ensure to achieve.



It’s a holistic program that puts you on track to achieve the level of fitness you want (not what someone else decides). It’s the perfect way to start your very own fitness campaign and discover (or rediscover) a stronger, healthier, happier you.

The Find Your Fit course kicks off at 11.30am on Thursday, August 8th.

The cost is $330 and all you need to do to sign up is click the link below, OR you can send us an email here.

Steph and The Pilates HQ Team

Xx

Don’t let MenoPAUSE put a stop to living your life!

The benefits of physical activity during menopause.

It’s the M word every woman dreads. Menopause. Whether you’ve experienced it or not every woman has heard about this period of life, whether it be from their mother, sister, grandmother or even movies and social media. It’s commonly portrayed as the evil step sister to the reproductive period of our lives, characterised by stories of hot flushes, night sweats, fatigue and headaches.

So, what is menopause?

It’s a time during a woman’s life, usually between the ages of 45-55 years of age, when menstruation has ceased for a period of 12 months or greater. In the absence of ovulation the body fails to produce progesterone or oestrogen, two primary sex hormones. This can cause a number of side effects that you may be familiar with:

https://cdn.mamamia.com.au/wp-https://cdn.mamamia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/menopause1.png

https://cdn.mamamia.com.au/wp-https://cdn.mamamia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/menopause1.png

  • Hot flushes

  • Night Sweats

  • Fatigue and difficulty sleeping

  • Irritability and poor mood

  • Forgetfulness

  • Lack of self esteem

  • Aches and pains

  • Lack of sexual drive

  • Depression and Anxiety

  • Increased weight or central adiposity

  • Incontinence

And with all these symptoms the last thing you probably want to do is be active right?

Why becoming or remaining active during this time in your life should be a priority.

 

INCREASE BONE DENSITY

The lack of the female reproductive hormones, particularly oestrogen can directly impact your bone health. This is typically due to the protective role estrogen plays on our bones. This puts women at greater risk of developing osteopenia or osteoporosis and increases risk of fractures. (Women, we get it all right!)

BUT,  participating in weight bearing and strength exercise during this time can have great effects on strengthening and maintaining bone health.

Not only this, strength exercise has also been linked to increased muscle mass, weight management and a reduced risk of falls later in life.  

 

REDUCED WEIGHT GAIN & RISK OF CHRONIC DISEASE

Changes in hormones, along with lack of activity due to menopausal symptoms can also result in weight gain, particularly in the abdominal region. Increased abdominal or visceral fat increases a person’s risk of developing many forms of chronic disease including: heart disease, type II diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure and some cancers.

Exercise can have a powerful effect on managing not only weight, but all these risk factors through improving heart and vascular health along with increasing insulin sensitivity and regulating blood glucose levels.

 

BETTER PELVIC FLOOR HEALTH

As hormone levels continue to decline, there are also a number of changes that occur in the genital region. These can include thinning and reduced elasticity of the vaginal wall along with atrophy of the pelvic floor muscles. This can lead to continence concerns along with pelvic floor dysfunction. Gentle exercise targeted at strengthening the pelvic floor muscles, such as Pilates, can therefore have a positive impact on not only reducing incontinence but also the stress and anxiety that can occur with such conditions.      
 

Ready to tame the menopausal beast?

Just a little activity everyday (at least 30 minutes) can assist with the management of menopausal symptoms and help YOU live the happiest and healthiest life YOU deserve. Not only for yourself but also for your family, partner and friends!  

Abby Byrne & The Pilates HQ Team

P.S - Stay tuned for details on our upcoming Women's Health Workshop this September