I'm so excited to introduce Lauren of 100's to Happiness!
How do you make changes in your life? We’ve all gotten caught in the vicious cycle of trying and then struggling to make our lives better, especially when it comes to exercise. It’s hard! Even when you’ve got great reasons to do it.
I was inspired to create the 100’s to Happiness Pilates Challenge because I am passionate about the practice and want to bring it to everyone. It’s my hope that after 100 days, you all will feel the same mind-body connection that inspired my own wellness journey.
Why 100 Challenges?
Life is a patchwork of patterns. It’s hardwired into who we are, this idea that our daily life is driven by the rhythms of our activities. You can see these kinds of patterns literally everywhere – from the way that a toddler methodically builds a block tower to the shape of traffic on the afternoon commute. We’re human, and so we want stuff to make sense. Patterns make sense.
Habits are that part of our personal patterns that we control. Though most of us feel as though we live at the mercy of some unseen forces that drive our daily habits, we’re really not at the mercy of anything but our own limiting beliefs.
You can change your habits, you can change the rhythm that your life takes. Making the kinds of deep rooted changes that are necessary to make your life better isn’t a piece of cake, but it’s not as hard as you think it is either.
Where most people get stuck is that they think that changes in habits come in one fell swoop – they don’t. When you try to make a change all at once you’re really doing it through willpower and you’ve only got so much of that to go around.
You have to use your willpower for other things in life like keeping yourself from losing it when your coworker does something that drives you crazy or not buying those shoes that are so cute but that you really can’t afford.
Once you’ve used up your willpower stores, they’re gone until they have time to restore, which could be awhile.
One hundred challenges, one hundred days allows you to commit to something and then just plug in until the habit that you have is changed. You don’t have to use your willpower, you don’t have to even think about it, you just do it! Make it automatic and you’ll make it happen.
It takes three months to train the mind and the body to do something routinely, so if you take on a thing for a hundred days then by the end you’re so conditioned to do it that it’s just part of who you are.
This is how you change who you are, how you mold yourself into who you want to be.
Benefits Of Pilates
Pilates is a whole body, whole life kind of exercise. It’s really not like anything else out there. What Pilates does is to combine the flexibility and focus of yoga with the endurance and sculpting of weight training.
With mental and physical benefits both coming together in Pilates, there’s a balance to this practice that’s wholly different, wholly wonderful, and wholly healthy.
What Do YOU Get Out Of Pilates Challenges?
- Core strength
- Mental clarity
- Injury prevention
Pilates is centered around your center – your core muscles. These wrap around your waist and are where your vitality comes from. It’s common for people to lead life from the top of the body, creating a bobblehead kind of feeling.
That creates tension in the neck and shoulders, stiffness in the arms and lower back and leg problems as they stay underused. Pilates empowers the core, essentially changing your center of gravity. That takes the pressure off of the upper body and gives the lower body a better connection.
Often, when we exercise, we focus on just a few muscle groups. This causes some serious imbalance, which leads to injury. The more you tone and strengthen a wide variety of muscle groups, the more you stretch and work with those tendons, ligaments and joints, the less likely you’ll be to become injured during other activities or even during daily life.
In particular, the core focus of Pilates helps to alleviate and prevent back pain, though the benefits go over the entire body.
Imagine working out and not feeling like you’ve been pulled and pushed, not feeling run ragged. Often when we do a workout we just don’t feel like we’ve gotten a whole lot out of it. Pilates isn’t like that (really, it’s not). After a Pilates session, the whole body feels awake and more powerful.
Instead of emptying out that gas tank, Pilates fills it up. What’s more is that you feel like you just filled the gas tank up yourself, like you don’t need anyone to fill it up for you next time. That’s a pretty awesome feeling.
Pilates isn’t just one thing, and it doesn’t just work one part of the body. This is a workout that takes your body to the next level.
After Completing The Pilates Challenges
After you do one hundred Pilates challenges, you’re going to feel like a different person. Let’s get specific. After one hundred days of Pilates challenges you’re going to feel:
You’ll feel different because you’ll be different. You’ve fundamentally changed a pattern in your daily life for the better. Most of us struggle to make changes, which is good because once you have healthy habits in place, it’s harder to break them.
Once you’ve completed the 100’s challenge, you’ll have made a long lasting change in your life, adding in a powerful form of exercise that’s not only going to give you the kind of workout that you’ve been looking for, but also giving you the kind of mental release and strengthening that you need.
Doing this challenge changes you, most of all because you know that you can make changes for the better in your life. You don’t have to wait on someone else to step in and do it for you because you can do it for yourself.
Lauren McClerkin is a PMA® Certified Pilates instructor and proud mom of five beautiful children. She created the 100’s to Happiness® Challenge with the goal of bringing the healing practice of Pilates to everyone. The app is available for download on all iOS and Android devices.