What are the Benefits of a Daily Pilates Mat Workout?

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What are the Benefits of a Daily Pilates Mat Workout?

Joe Pilates intended his mat exercises to be done as homework.

Your maintenance plan.

30 minutes to return you to the “zest and pleasure” of living!

But first, we must begin.

With a studio in my home, doing my own workout often feels like I am still working…Or maybe I have taught so many clients in a day that I am convinced I had a workout as well?

Ultimately the challenge becomes about just lying down on the Mat/Reformer/Cadillac.

Oh it can be daunting…

What are the Benefits of a Daily Pilates Mat Workout?So I teamed up with my husband (as fate would have it, also named Joe) and embarked on a daily mat practice.

Inspired by Benjamin Degenhardt’s March MATness, our plan was to do at least a few exercises every morning: 10 minutes at the bare minimum and a bit more or even the entire Mat if time permitted.

10 minutes is the least that I can do for my optimum health.

It’s my body.

Hopefully I'm gonna have it for a while, right? It behooves me to care for it so it will run strong for life!

Pilates is my lifetime warrantee.

I would also like to note that a few times each week Joe is scheduled to begin work at 6am. So that would mean some 5am Pilates for me.

Was I up to the challenge?

Was I up?

To be frank, I have never been a morning exerciser. It’s all about the sleeping in for me and then squeezing in a workout between clients. Which I have to admit, rarely happens…

So we began in July this year. It is now mid-October and we have maybe missed a handful of days – Sunday, the hardest day sometimes. A day of rest, we rationalized. It’s okay, I thought, Sandy Shimoda will kick my ass on Monday, so I’m safe.

Sorry, no photos of the 5am workouts…remember, Pilates isn't pretty…

But please, PLEASE!! What are the exciting results???

  • Joe recently announced for the second time since our first workout that all nagging “injuries” he would feel now and then, have vanished.

And that’s a big statement coming from him. When you are married to a Pilates teacher, we of course offer much more counsel than one might desire.

“You know, Pilates could help you with that.”

“There’s an exercise for that.”

“Blah, blah, Pilates…blah blah blah.”

All of which is true, of course, but coming from one’s spouse…well, you know how that goes…

  • The trajectory of my own Pilates workout remains ever onward and upward. No sliding back if you do the mat (at least a bit of it) EVERY day.

You can get even more out of your weekly lessons when you arrive strong and focused.

  • I keep myself strong to teach my clients. Pushing and pulling and standing all day long is harder than you think… or harder than I think it is.

It is a constant challenge to take care of my own body as I give full energy to others.

  • My back no longer feels stiff after hours spent on my laptop writing these posts 🙂 

Time flies when you are blogging…!

  • Any insecurity about how to reconcile my appetite (insatiable) with staying fit has disappeared as well. I feel fabulous and believe that I look stunning as well. Mentally my daily Pilates workout has empowered me to be confident in my own skin. Not an easy feat.

One more Series of 5, please…

  • I feel weird to have a morning without the Mat actually…

Why not cultivate a good habit?

Bonus video blog: 7 ways to feel fantastic in 5 minutes.

Join me!

Use these 7 exercises as a place to begin. The entirety of the Mat may seem too much at first, especially if you would like to introduce a friend or family member to a daily Pilates workout.

Start simply and build on your success day by day. Use the video at first. Then see if you can learn them and they’ll be YOURS for life!!

Share your thoughts and progress in a comment below.

Thank you for reading…and for doing your Mat!



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  1. Yes! As you know, I’m been doing a similar project. I was just with some friends for the weekend who noted that I look different. I can most certainly say that I feel different. So it would seem that I reached my goal. Now, the idea of not doing my Pilates workouts regularly is completely unappealing. But given that I’ve maintained a personal practice for over eight years now, through all sorts of life changes, I know that I have to keep a certain amount of structure in order to keep the energy up. (it’s all to easy to do the moves without the deeper layers of enthusiasm and engagement). Since I’ve been doing nearly the full mat series I know that I’ll miss it, but to keep things interesting I’m going to shift my focus soon to another part of the system. I love Pilates!

    • Thanks so much Eliza, for sharing your Pilates progress. I love all the Pilates POVs 🙂 And yes doesn’t it feel weird without the Daily Mat…? And nice idea to shift to other parts of the system as well. Agreed. I love Pilates!

  2. Andrea,
    You inspire me to try this!!!
    As a teacher, it is true… By the end of the day of teaching I do feel like I got a workout… A workout of the mind but not of the body! We all have 5 minutes to give to our bodies 🙂

    • Judy,

      I would love for you to do this with me 🙂 It was challenging the first few days, really just to start – but if you just assign yourself a small amount of exercises, you can always finish them in a few minutes. My husband and I did it together to help us both maintain and do our workout, if one of us felt like not doing the workout, the other would be there to insist. Then gradually, you’ll do a few more exercises if you have the time, since you’ve already come so far… 🙂 Feel free to message me on fb if you feel your resolve waning…
      Much love to you!!!

  3. Eillen Ducote says

    Andrea, you always make me smile. Thanks for the inspiration. I’m going get serious – today!

    • Ellen! Thank you so much for reading – and for getting serious 🙂 I love it. Hope to see you next month at Prana for Benjamin. Have a fantastic Pilates Tuesday!

  4. Yeah! You have joined me as a morning exerciser! Doesn’t it feel wonderful to kick start your day the right way! I love it!

  5. Lauren! Yes, that whole ‘not-a-morning-exerciser’ confession was a shout out to you and our conversations about how awesome working out in the morning can be. I am now a believer! You are right and I love it too 🙂 Thanks so much for reading and sharing your lovely comments! xox

  6. OMG this simple exercise has proven to me just how out of shape that I am. I enjoyed it though. Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Don, Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts with us here. Yes, Pilates exercises are humbling for all of us. But like me, it sounds like you enjoy a challenge as well 🙂 Good for you! Keep up the good work! xo


  1. […] What I write about here, hopefully reflects that.  Because in many ways this space is supporting me in fulfilling that vision of a whole life lived in the community of loved ones.  Toward that end, I want to make a point which I’ve attempted to make before about the connection of creativity and our place in the natural world.  I admire greatly people who craft regularly, and people who live more in communion with nature than I do.  By in large, those are the bloggers who I follow here in cyberspace because that type of blogging seems to be the most prevalent.  With my Pilates Body Boost project, I began to connect with others from my own profession of Pilates online.  And now, I feel something of an obligation to regularly write about Pilates here.  Believe me, I’ve got plenty to say on the topic, with new ideas popping up daily in the studio.  But right now, something else in me is asking for a little bit of room to express itself.  It seems that the part of me that loves to sew is really demanding these days and everywhere I look, a new project presents itself.  So fair warning, there may be some clothing posts coming up.  But Pilates is always in the mix.  Even if it’s just in my daily mat. […]

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