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Pilates Isn't Just For Women: Breaking Gender-Specific Workouts

There are no women’s and men’s workouts.

There’s the body you want and the body you need. You want six-pack abs. You need a strong core. There are the exercises you like to do and the exercises you need to do. You like to do biceps curls. You need to do some squats.

It’s easy to get caught up in trying to achieve the body of the moment. The problem is that you only have it for a moment. Unless your lifestyle is directly dependent upon your physique, there is no long-term gain to looking good. Appearance is not correlated to health and wellness. Focus on feeling strong, feeling healthy, feeling happy, and the look will become a welcome consequence.

Do you keep falling back into the same routine? You start your program, obtain some measurable results, and then take a break. You miss what you had, so you start over again and again. Wouldn’t it be more enjoyable to settle into a routine that you love to maintain consistently? It’s time to try something different.

One of the greatest obstacles is how gender-specific physical disciplines can be. Pilates is for women. Powerlifting is for men. No, they’re for whoever loves to practice them. That’s the key. Do what you love. Who cares if you’re one of the few males or females in class? You’re not there for anyone else, so focus on you. This doesn’t mean you have to completely change your philosophy, just tweak it a little. Many disciplines complement one another and will extend years into your active lifestyle.

Ever read about NFL programs and the U.S. military incorporating yoga and Pilates into the conditioning regiments of their athletes and soldiers? There’s a good reason for that. A high-performance sports car doesn’t ride on three wheels. Everything must be in balance.

The same applies to recreational activities, such as golf, tennis and cycling. Benefits can extend beyond the physical by enhancing mental clarity and emotional understanding. We all have bad days, and a good session will bring levity to your mood.

However, before you begin, ensure that you are physically able to attempt something new. Ask yourself if you feel good. If so, are you happy? Yes. Are you hurt? No. Then keep going. Your body will tell you when it’s time to take a break. When you try something different give it an honest try — not a drive-by. Put full effort and enthusiasm into a session, maybe more than once. If you’re heart is not in it then you have certainty and can move on. It never hurts to know your body and yourself a little better.

For more information about yoga or Pilates, visit thebodylabaz.com.