There were no New Year’s Resolutions made at the start of 2021. As a nation, we’d given up so much of what we loved throughout most of 2020 that it felt a little pointless to add something else to the list. Perhaps that is the problem with resolutions in the first place. Maybe they need to be more about bringing something new and worthwhile into our lives, rather than taking one of our favourite things away.

For a lot of people, resolutions have always been about cutting out food and losing weight. Again, we tend to lead with the negative. Not so much this year. ‘Stuff it!’, I thought, tucking into my third pack of Cheese and Onion Walkers. I’d rather put on weight and be happy than lose it and be miserable.

So, when an email came through from the higher-ups at Female First, revealing a plan to do an hour-long wellness session every Friday for all workers, which would include a Pilates session, I was sceptical to say the least. Exercise isn’t something I’ve done much of since I was forced to run back and forth in the school gym for the dreaded bleep test, where I’d be proud if I came second-to-last.

Fortunately, I’d booked the first Friday off that the sessions were taking place. The perfect excuse to dip. But when I heard from a couple of colleagues how much fun they’d had, I decided to take the plunge for week two; and I couldn’t be happier that I did.

Led by Mel from West Yorkshire Pilates & Yoga, a group of us have now been meeting up on a weekly basis to get our joints moving, form improved and, above all, become healthier and happier versions of ourselves. Whether beginners or experts, the sessions aim to challenge your very perception of getting up and moving; it’s not all about rapid HIIT sessions or folding yourself into a pretzel.

At its very heart, Pilates is one method of exercise that consists of a whole host of different movements which can challenge your endurance, flexibility and muscular strength. The workout aims to ensure proper postural alignment, muscle balance and core strength; much of which you may be lacking in if you work a nine-to-five!

It sounds daunting, but it is undoubtedly one of the most fun experiences you can have whilst working on your health. Having an instructor like Mel who is capable of explaining what look like intricate and confusing positions and movements, with ease and instant clarification for any confusion, makes the entire session an even more positive one.

I've also gotta say, my mental health has improved exponentially after taking part. It's not just good for your physical being, but that of your mind, too!

So, if you’re looking for something to fill your work break, I recommend Pilates with all my heart. If it can get this couch potato up and moving, then it’s surely a worthwhile endeavour for many!

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