3 Strategies to Get the Fam to Love Pilates as Much as You Do

3 Strategies to Get the Fam to Love Pilates as Much as You DoSpouse? Check.

Now onto family members. How do you push the Pilates without sounding like you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid? Oh Yeah!

Ach. My aching back

Lately I have noticed my entire family, with the inexplicable exception of my mother, suffers from back problems. As much as I want them to embrace the world of Pilates with it’s wonderful tools to care for their back, nothing is more annoying than the youngest sibling telling you what to do. I am only 40(ish) what could I possibly know? If they are in pain aren't they willing to try anything? Even *gasp!* Pilates?

3 Strategies to Get the Fam to Love Pilates


Et tu, Tofu?

Perhaps I got a bad rap for being Vegan in the 90s. If they say yes to Pilates will I take the formaggio away again? These are valid concerns.

A Plan for Action

So what’s the best way to entice siblings, parents and children into ACTUALLY BOOKING A SESSION?

With someone else, not you. We’ve been over this, right?

They get a list or another teacher.  Okay, good.

1. Streaming online content

Nothing says “This is not an actual commitment” more than a virtual instructor. Yes, there is a monthly membership fee, but the virtual instructor is not actually making you lie down on the mat and get to it. Family members may be self-conscious at first and want to do some “cleaning before the cleaning lady arrives.” For their bodily housekeeping, working out in the privacy of their own home may be appealing. Video instruction combined with a list may help them to feel guided yet in charge of their own destiny and not in the public environment of a studio.

There are several Pilates video websites out there including my personal favorite, Pilatesology. These membership sites all have very reasonable monthly subscriptions that allow for unlimited viewing.

Often there are contests and promotions that offer even more incentive to maintain a consistent workout.

2. Attend a class together

Take your family member to an appropriate-level class and workout together. We can all benefit from mat classes regardless of the level. Every exercise is challenging when you strive for perfection in each repetition.

3. Lead by example

Okay I wish I had a photo or video to illustrate this point. On family vacations our chief activities include:

  1. eating (primarily)
  2. drinking (nightly)
  3. lounging around/chatting while avoiding hot political topics.

So in the midst of the merriment and free time it behooves me to get in a mat workout just to stay balanced and feel good in my body. My family is perplexed. Why would I do work stuff while on a vacation? Well, It makes me feel good, you know, despite feeling a bit self-conscious (freakish) in this environment. I try to stay in my room to do it, but when you are on a beach vacation, you kind of want to have fun and workout on the beach, right? Hiding, not so fun…be true to your school, man.

3 Strategies to get the Fam to Love Pilates

See Andrea Roll Up

Poolside on a mat, it is a beautiful warm sunny day. As my octogenarian parents lie side-by-side in chaise longues I begin the Hundred. As I pump to 60 I realize that my mom and dad, though still reclining, have begun to pump their arms in solidarity. Pretty cool…On to the Roll Up. As I roll up they too reach their arms toward their feet and stretch before unrolling back into their chairs. Okay now I want a video of this. Let’s see what happens when I do the Roll Over. Yup, that’s when I lose them. They throw up their hands at the craziness. I hope to win them back with the Single Leg Circles, but alas, they are napping.

Spontaneous Zest and Pleasure!

Be the best moving and sweating example of consistent vigorous physical activity. Be vibrant! Sparkle and Shine. Energize those around you to be at their best.

Our interpretation of physical fitness is the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind fully capable of naturally, easily, and satisfactorily performing our many and varied daily tasks with spontaneous zest and pleasure.

from Joseph Pilates Return to Life

Got strategies? Leave a comment below and join the conversation.

What did you Learn Today?

What Did You Learn Today?

Written just before my Holiday vacation, December 2011

So my plan was to finish up my day yesterday pretty early actually…and then get down to the task of my own workout. I know, very risky to put it at the end of the day like that. But I had plenty of time to myself before Joe got home from work and…well…you know how it goes, once the “workday” is finished it is very easy to get distracted finishing up at my desk, laundering towels, relaxing (!), thinking about my impending holiday travel, etc…You see where this is going…

Alas, there was to be no workout that afternoon, only wine.

But hey, I’m on holiday, right?

The Rationalization:

“Well…my flight is in the afternoon so we will not be leaving in the morning until around 10:30 or 11, so there will be plenty of time to have a morning workout and it will be a nice way to wake up and stretch out to feel good before the airport and the potential chaos of the day.”

Okay, this morning plan has barely breezed into my mind and I have my doubts.

The Reformer was staring me down as well.

What Did You Learn Today?


I’m going to wake up at 7 or 7:30am and have breakfast. Okaaaaay…

THEN workout, followed by a shower and the last of my packing? Really. That’s what’s going to happen?

Have you met Andrea? Because that doesn’t sound like her at all…

And then an amazing thing happened. Well, let’s call it Amazing Thing #1. I had a great desire to stretch out that next morning. Great. So far, so good. After breakfast (check!) I laid down on the reformer, not really with any expectations at this point. Truth be told, my first plan was to do three repetitions of every exercise so I could have time to fit in all my reformer exercises. Then I did the footwork and the hundred before I remembered my “plan” so I recalculated and decided I would do as much as I could in the 45 minutes I had. And doncha know that was plenty of time? Imagine that.

And then I was in it.

Moving, feeling good, learning a couple things about the stuff I’m working on, having a good ol’ stretchy time.

Upon finishing my workout I had the most pleasant realization – Amazing Thing #2! Pilates was really what my mind needed today. By focusing fully on my workout I did not have any room in my head for my usual pre-travel thoughts of logistics, airport security anxieties, imminent family visiting, FLYING, you name it and I will worry about it.

Instead I felt calm. I felt centered in my mind. I felt strong and grounded in my body and happy to shower and then finish my travel preparations. And yeah, I am intimately acquainted with this post-workout feeling, but it was all the more lovely juxtaposed against the backdrop of this particular day.

And that is what I learned today.

What did you learn today? Share some holiday cheer in a comment below.

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