I’ve done many forms of exercise, but running has been constant since my late teens. I really get a kick out of it and love that it gives me that feeling of freedom. Sometimes I might use it to switch off my brain, or to socialise and then other times it’s my creative space, a time to think and reflect.
Sadly though as I got older (I am very close to 43 now) I found that an old ankle injury regularly stopped me in my tracks. And then with having three children very close together in my mid-30’s, my body has gone through a massive change during and after pregnancy, so now I have weaknesses where I never used to, which have led to lots of annoying little niggles and imbalances.
Luckily for me I’m married to a Physiotherapist, who was able to give me a full assessment on my injury, when it first stopped me in my tracks. Mike put together a full rehab programme which with commitment from me, got me back to where I needed to be with my running. But as Mike pointed out, to stay on top of this injury my rehab had to be ongoing if I want to continue to run and lead an injury free life.
But like many people I got complacent, I got a little bit cocky with myself. I was feeling stronger, I was running better, it was all good, so it wouldn’t matter if I missed out a few rehab sessions here and there, I’ll do it next time I’d say to myself and so it went on until the last time it happened. My body got the better of me….ouch….excruciating calf pain in the middle of a run and a painful hobble back home in tears. I felt so disappointed in myself and a massive loss, running did so much for me physically and mentally. I mean what was I thinking, my rehab exercises only take 10 minutes to do, not long at all and if I listened to Mike I wouldn’t be faced with such pain and now an eight week rehabilitation programme to get me back running again.
So firstly, I had to accept that to resolve my injury, I needed to commit to my physio plan ongoing and as part of my strength and conditioning regime. My ankle is now stronger and I am able to enjoy running injury free, including other daily activities that I do.
The power of Pilates
Similarly, the other thing that changed for me is finding Pilates. Since becoming a Physiotherapist Mike has always been a strong believer in the power of Pilates. It’s been core to his Physiotherapy rehabilitation plans for his patients and it is something that has been a big part of his personal training programme. I have dipped in and out of it since having my first child, but I would say in the last three years and more so in the last year it has become part of my lifestyle and it is something that I really miss if I don’t do it.
Pilates is such a safe way to maintain fitness and I love the way it has been designed to realign the body. With a heavy focus on good posture, abdominal strength and pelvic floor strength it was the perfect exercise for me after having children and to support me with my other fitness activities. My abs were so weak after my third child, my hips were sore after carrying my children on my hips, my glutes were weak, my lower back would hurt, one of my knees was now starting to get sore when I ran, my posture needed addressing after working in a job for many years at a desk and then being hunched over my three little bubs.
Physio-led Pilates has addressed all of these imbalances and weaknesses, it really has had an impact on my physical strength and on my running. Now when I run, my hips and core feel much stronger, I don’t feel clunky, I feel like I’m gliding and have much more power.
Without a doubt the Physio-led Pilates plan I follow has had an impact on me physically and mentally and is something that I will continue to do for the rest of my life. So whether you’re new to exercise, injured or a high level athlete, I know and have experienced first-hand our Physio-led Pilates can help you get stronger, more flexible and feel more positive about yourself every day.