When it comes to working out and maintaining our hair, it can be a challenge.
Last year the Perception Institute found that one in three black women report that their hair is the reason they haven’t exercised, compared to one in ten white women. Every woman finds her own solution to this dilemma, but in addition to using Colour (of course!), mine is that I don’t really sweat. But it’s not what you think! For me, the perfect workout has always been Pilates, and it happens to be not very sweaty. So it’s a win-win!
Pilates is a system of core-based exercises developed by a former gymnast, Joseph Pilates, to help rehabilitate bedridden soldiers during World War I. His resulting system of pulleys and springs (attached to the bed) utilized light resistance and core strength, which for many people produces a lean, strong, flexible body. During the classes you’ll do some series of exercises that raise your heart rate, but you typically never break into a full-on, dripping sweat like you would at, say, spinning, or Zumba. For me this fits my lifestyle for several reasons. One, the aforementioned hair situation. Two, sometimes I’m dying to squeeze in a class, but am dashing in the middle of the day and don’t have time to do a full reinvention of my look. Super sweaty workouts can require immediate showering, changing, re-makeup etc.— instead of just jumping to the next task or conference call.
The most important reason I love Pilates is that I find it’s really effective for my body. You can get a lot of impact with a little time investment (I do one 50-minute class weekly, and feel like a rock star if I can make it to two classes). I started Pilates in my twenties, after years as a dancer, and a subsequent ankle surgery. Running is a no-go for me. With Pilates, most movements are low impact and safe for people of all fitness levels. I even did Pilates through all my pregnancies, literally until the day I delivered with each of my four kids!
If you’re thinking of giving Pilates a whirl, try to find a “Classical” pilates studio that’s focused on technique. My new fave in Atlanta is Align. Or, search on YouTube for some introductory videos. It’s free and easy to check it out. Let me know what you think!