This happens a lot at my studio: a wife comes in, falls in love with Pilates, and a short time later a not-so-thrilled-to-be-there husband shows up and takes a few classes at his wife’s insistence. You know those are the good marriages by the way; you’ve gotta love your spouse to try something that really doesn’t appeal to you.
Most of the time the husbands stay; they realize that Pilates has lots of advantages and helps them with their other sports and training. Every major league sport has teams that incorporate Pilates into their training programs. It is definitely not just a “girlie” exercise.
But there’s probably a better way to get your family involved in mind/body exercise than just cajoling and nagging them into it.
Here are some ideas to encourage mind/body workouts:
For kids. Mommy and Me Yoga when your child is an infant is easy. Your child will grow up being used to “Oms” and stretches and they’ll think it’s fun. For older kids, you can just roll around on the floor with ‘em. Give them a few yoga options and they’ll have a blast. They love the names like “warrior pose” and “tree.”
For tweens/teens. They’ve probably got a sport that they’re trying to improve in. Wait until they’re taking a break from it (in between seasons maybe) and then tell them that yoga (or Pilates) will really help them improve, and that (insert famous athlete here) does it and loves it. They might roll their eyes but you’ll probably get them in the car. Make sure you pick an instructor that’s not too woo-woo or you’ll lose them again. But they’ll feel a little muscle soreness the next day and they’ll know this earthy-crunchy stuff has some muscle behind it.
For husbands. For Pilates, it’s pretty easy; wait until their back is killing them and then book an appointment with your instructor. Tell them you promise that they’ll feel better immediately which i’s usually enough to get them to see the light. Another approach is if their game is starting to slip, no matter what the game, from tennis to 3-on-3 basketball, Pilates will help with range of motion, core strength, and accuracy of movement. Just find another famous athlete and mention that so-and-so does it too. Brownie points for finding an aging athlete extending his career such as Curt Schilling, former ace pitcher for the Red Sox, or Redskins lineman Ray Brown, who was still playing in the NFL at the age of 42 thanks to Pilates.
You can also wait for a lazy weekend or a snow day, pop in a DVD and let everyone give it a go. Feel free to bribe them with treats if you think it’ll work. For more information, check out the Sears Fit Club on Facebook. You can ask questions there and get lots of feedback from experts.
For most people, one mind/body workout per week is a great place to start. If they really enjoy it you can move up to two or three times per week. Keep gently introducing the idea and eventually your family will give it a try. Have you tried to introduce mind/body movement to your family? How did it go? Any good tricks to share?
Enjoy your future sessions!