Pilates has great physiological benefits for women but did you know it’s great for kids too? Find out which exercises you can do at home with the whole fam!
It can be tough finding even an hour to ourselves when we’re busy raising kids, but if there’s any activity that justifies mama ‘me-time’, it’s exercise, particularly when it can help clear your mind and ease those mama aches and pains. We spoke with Angeline Wilkes, an instructor at Breathe Pilates (and mama to two sons, aged 6 and 8), to find out how she makes time in her life for Pilates, and why both she and her kids are the better for it. Read on for some of her top recommended exercises that you can do at home with your kids, mama!
How did you get into Pilates? When did you start teaching it?
I took my first Pilates class 11 years ago and started regular lessons when I was expecting my second son. We relocated back to Singapore from Hong Kong after he was born and the hectic schedule kept me away from Pilates and exercise. That was when I developed back problems. I turned to Pilates again and decided to take the instructor training, both of which helped to relieve my back pain tremendously. I embarked on the journey to teach three years ago.
What benefits does Pilates have for pregnant and postnatal women?
Pilates is a low-impact exercise that will not put pressure on your joints. It incorporates breathing techniques that calm and focus the mind. It mobilises your spine and trains your body to be strong, flexible and balanced. The alignment during each exercise brings awareness to maintain good posture and helps in strengthening and stabilizing the abdominal area. The pelvic floor muscles are activated, keeping them strong for the birth and post birth, which helps greatly with incontinence!
As a mum yourself, how do you balance work and kids? How does Pilates help with this?
I have been fortunate to be able to teach what I believe in and at the same time enjoy flexibility from the job. I teach mostly when my kids are in school.
Can Pilates benefit kids as well?
Pilates offers a large range of benefits to children. It’s safe and low-impact and suits the developing skeletal frame of children, as they can’t handle a rigorous exercise regime. It improves their core strength, posture and flexibility. They gain awareness of their body and move efficiently and gracefully. It establishes correct principles of movement that they can use for their entire lives.
Are there any Pilates exercises mum and child can do at home together?
Yes there are several exercises that mum and child can do together at home, all of which are mat-based, like the one leg circle, spine twist, rolling like a ball, shoulder bridge and breast stroke, just to name a few. If available, some props like the flex-band or fitness circle may be incorporated to add some variety and endurance.
Thanks, Angeline! To schedule a session with Angeline or any one of Breathe’s other expert instructors, call (+65) 9835 5683 or email [email protected] for more info, mama!