How often should I do Pilates?
So you love Pilates, it makes you feel amazing…but can you do too much? Most of us know that getting enough rest after exercise is essential for muscle recovery but many of us still overtrain or feel guilty to take a day off! Our body repairs and strengthens itself in the time between workouts, and continuous training can actually weaken the strongest of us!
What happens during recovery?
Recovery time is the period that the body uses to adapt to the stress of exercise and this is when the real training takes place. Exercise causes changes in the body such as muscle tissue breakdown so rest and recovery allows our body to replenish energy stores and repair
damaged tissues. Without sufficient time to repair, muscle tissue breakdown can continue, leading to new injury, reoccurrence of old injuries and reduced performance/ ability during future sessions.
How to recover?
Recovery doesn’t always mean being inactive, you can include active recoveries into your exercise regime. It is also important that you include a variety of training into your schedule. On a rest day, incorporating walks, hikes, swimming and stretching can help you recover so that your body can work efficiently during your next class.
Bottom line.. How much is too much?
When we undergo the stress of physical exercise, our body adapts and becomes more efficient. However, there are limits to how much stress the body will tolerate before it risks injury. Doing too much too quickly can cause damage and doing too little can result in little to no improvement. This is why it is important to find a maintain a balance between exercise and recovery. Each individual has their own personal goals and this should dictate how often you participate in a Pilates class. If your goal is to increase mobility, you can notice changes by
attending one class a week, if you are looking for improvements in strength, mobility, balance, coordination then twice a week can elicit change. Finally, if your goal is to achieve a full body transformation including changes in muscle tone, strength, posture and mobility
then we recommend 3-4 times per week. It is important that you find balance in your active lifestyle, remain in tune with your body and look after yourself. After all, our body is the only place we have to live! If you are a Pilateholic like us and attending a Pilates class every day or on consecutive days, it is recommended that you have at least 12 hours rest in between classes, with 24 hours ideally.. Remember it's all about quality, not quantity!
Written by Marissa Cumming, CGM Pilates Instructor and Accredited Exercise Physiologist