5 Tips to Stay in Shape with Pilates

December is one of the most challenging months to maintain your regular workout regime. Our to-do lists are much longer and with shopping, parties, baking and travel it’s easy to put aside your Pilates practice for more ‘practical’ short term responsibilities.

But what if you can do both? Not only would your body feel good, but if you choose to keep up with your exercise and diet you will be more likely to increase your productivity and have some extra energy to keep up with this fast-paced season!

All it takes is a little extra dedication and focus on YOU. Here’s a short list to help you out. Are you up to the challenge?

1. Make your workouts count

It’s a fact that in order to achieve weight loss you have to burn more calories than you take in. And yes, Pilates classes can help you do that! In fact, if you are not breaking a sweat in class, then chances are you are not performing the exercises correctly.


I’d suggest combining some basic cardio [walking, jogging, elliptical, stair master, etc] to your Pilates practice. Try doing 20-30 min of cardio before your next Pilates class and you’ll see that you are already warmed up before class starts and can dive right into your core training, in a quicker and more efficient way. If you can’t fit in cardio before class, why not do some after? Your abs will be more engaged, (keep thinking ‘in and up’ even while you’re running) and your legs and arms will be ready and set to go full force along with you!

Click here to read more about what makes a cardio workout.

2. Try a session on the Reformer

Joe Pilates

Pilates on the mat is an excellent form of exercise, but eventually everyone should experience what it feels like to add resistance equipment to your sessions. Working on the reformer will build muscle and strength.

I’ve been teaching mat classes for over 6 years and I always though I knew what my core was, but it wasn’t until I had my first session on the reformer that I knew the real definition of abdominal soreness. It is the surest way to a six-pack that I know of.

3. Pilates On Demand

So your home at Mom and Dad’s house for the holidays and there’s no way to get to the gym…nice try but that’s no excuse! Pack a Pilates dvd in your carry-on luggage!

Here is a link with a ton to choose from. Pick one that looks fun and as long as you keep your basic form that you have learned in class, you’ll be just fine!

excercise tvI’ve also recently discovered that On Demand offers some great FREE classes on Exercise TV. I’m a huge fan of Jillian Michaels and would suggest any of her workouts any day!

4. Stay committed to your classes

Jenn TeachingI know it is difficult to make it your regularly scheduled mat classes in the month of December (trust me, it’s just as hard for me as it is for you) BUT if you can mark your calendar and make the extra effort to come to class, I promise you won’t regret it.

My plan for classes this month is to keep them all high energy with great new music and lots of support! I also plan to leave a little extra time at the end of class so we can focus more on stretching and relaxing before we all head out into the chilly outdoors.

By committing to one or two classes a week you are giving your body the love and respect it deserves. You’ll sleep better, make smarter food choices and probably even feel proud of yourself for putting your body first!

Click here to view classes I teach around town.

5. Eat in moderation

Just remember, it’s ok to treat yourself as long as it’s in moderation! I bet you won’t feel too guilty for indulging if you work on numbers 1-4 on the list above.

Questions about something I mentioned above? Leave me a comment or email me at jennifermphelan@gmail.com.

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