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Reformer Pilates

As a qualified instructor in Reformer Pilates, Dr Leah Keating of the Perth Cat Hospital in WA constantly sees the physical and mental benefits of this exercise. 

“While I was searching for a complete body strengthening exercise, I kept coming across Reformer Pilates. There was a studio near me so I signed up and started attending classes. It was a great physical workout but I hadn’t anticipated the amazing mental benefits.

“Reformer Pilates is almost a form of mindfulness. The exercises require you to completely focus on what you’re doing. During a 45-minute class, you don’t think about any aspect of your day or about anything that might be worrying you. You are concentrating so intensely on what you’re doing that it becomes a mental escape.

“Reformer Pilates is named after the ‘reformer’, the machine used during each workout. Mat Pilates involves using your body weight for resistance, whereas with the reformer you can add greater resistance and a wider range of exercises. There’s also the option of using accessories such as the Pilates ring, balls and hand weights. It’s an effective way to build strength, flexibility and balance. Each session can be tailored to your specific needs.

“I didn’t initially intend to become an instructor; I just wanted to learn more about the subject. I was doing some reading and saw a course that offered instructor training. It covered all aspects of Reformer Pilates, including the body movements and the muscles that benefitted. I signed up purely for interest, enjoyment and education. It took about six months to complete and I was a qualified instructor at the end. I decided to give instructing a go and found I really enjoy helping people achieve their health goals. Now I work casually at a couple of studios.

“Physically, Reformer Pilates provides all-round body strength. As an instructor, I make sure my clients work their core, arms, upper body and legs. It makes you strong while improving balance, flexibility and coordination. 

“Being a vet, I’m passionate about mental wellbeing in the veterinary industry, which is a widespread issue. I believe incorporating practices such as Reformer Pilates into our lives can really help with wellbeing. Each class gives you a mental break and encourages mindfulness. It’s a great way to de-stress while getting a solid workout at the same time. At the end of a class, I feel calm and I’ve not thought about my to-do list or any of my worries. I’m also sometimes physically tired because it can be challenging. 

“I believe that anyone looking for an effective workout and a chance to enhance their mental wellbeing should give Reformer Pilates a go, especially people working in the veterinary industry.”

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