The 6 Principles of Pilates

6 Principles of Pilates

The 6 Principles of Pilates

By Dominic Pereira

Joseph H. Pilates once said, “Concentrate on the correct movements each time you exercise, lest you do them improperly and thus lose all vital benefits of their value.

After such wisdom from the Pilates Guru himself, take a moment to re-evaluate how you approach your health and fitness regime. Do you mostly skip your workouts because you’re too tired or too busy or do you try to fit in a “quick session” to keep up with your busy schedule? Or do you make enough time in your day to take care of your body and mind? And by “time” I don’t mean hours, even just 20 minutes of mindful movement daily can be beneficial.

We get it; life is not always willing to take a break with you; it is constantly on the move, so you might feel like you need to go with the flow or in this case the gushing rush. And in so doing don’t we often choose quantity over quality? How many reps can we get in under a minute instead of how the quality of the movements to ensure intelligent movement resulting in mind-body improvements and not just aesthetics?

6 Principles of Pilates

Apart from being known for its ability to strengthen your “core” or as we prefer to say, “structural integrity”, Pilates also focuses on six principles, including concentration, control, centre, flow, precision, and breath. Although these principles might sound completely unrelated, they are all infused into every movement.

At moveOn 89, these principles are essential to our philosophy, especially BREATH. Let’s look at each principle below:

1. Concentration

We know the mind often wanders to all the to-dos from your daily tasks at work that are up, what supplies the kids might need for school, if your pup has enough treats and walkies, etc. It can all so easily consume our thoughts, no matter what we are busy with!

Which makes the first principle we would like to focus on rather challenging! Concentration. An essential element of Pilates is focusing or concentrating your mind AND body during each movement. This can be HARD. You will be focusing on the burn one moment; then, your thoughts take you elsewhere when that gets too much, perhaps resulting in you losing just that bit of focus needed to ensure your form is optimal and you complete the set. We often give up just before the end because we lose focus.

Bringing your full attention to each exercise and committing will ensure you maximise the value it brings your body. PLUS, as a bonus, by practising concentration and bringing awareness to your movement you will also practising mindfulness which has many de-stressing benefits.

Capturing that elusive concentration and focus can be hard, yes, but by listening to and following your breath, focusing your attention to where the movement is happening and what you want to achieve with the movement, can all help to keep you “in the moment”.

2. Control

Being in control of your body (and mind) is another essential element of Pilates. As we learnt from concentration, focusing on the movement creates awareness and this will give you the ability to control how you move.

Every exercise performed during your Pilates class needs to be done with complete muscular control. Each movement must be a conscious, purposeful movement for you to reap the benefit. And this is only possible if you focus in order to control what your body is doing. Hence, moving with intention.

“Contrology (Joseph’s name for his method) is complete coordination of body, mind, and spirit.”
Joseph H. Pilates

Control - The 6 Principles of Pilates

3. Centre

The third principle is centering. Some might say that centering and control go hand in hand. Actually, it is 2 concepts in one word. Centering implies focus and concentration in order to gain control but also one needs to start at your centre to fully control your body.

Often referred to as the “powerhouse”, the space between your lower ribs and pubic bone, was always the traditional “core” and centre of your body from where one would center and move. But now we know that the “core” is much more than just our abdominals. Structural integrity is the ability to control translation of movements through our joints in a structural chain. For example, walking or running requires good ankle joint movement so that the knee and hip can move sequentially within that chain without compensatory movement. So rather than just focusing on bracing the core or abs we focus on creating stability and mobility through functional movement patterns. So, you will centre (focus) your mind and then your body within the (old) “powerhouse” which we prefer to call the flexible framework (“true centre”), which includes your abdominals, upper and lower back pelvis, glutes, inner thighs and shoulder girdle.

4. Flow

If you have ever joined a Pilates class, it will often feel like an intense Yoga session, where you will bend and stretch while also contracting muscles (eccentric contraction), but typically each movement flows into the next.

With Pilates, this flow helps you build strength and increase stamina. It also teaches your body to transition from one movement and position to the next and creates new neural pathways which is what intelligent movement really is. And in so doing we pattern functional movement which we can take from the mat into life. To get a great indication of your flow, try using a reformer or other Pilates equipment. It will become “machine-like” once you lose your flow and control.

“That each muscle may cooperatively and loyally aid in the uniform development of all our muscles.”
Joseph H. Pilates

5. Precision

In Pilates, precision also plays a significant role. This goes hand in hand with Concentration and Control. It is crucial to practice awareness throughout each bend, contraction and lift. It is never about how many repetitions you can do.

Focusing on how you do each movement, and performing each move correctly, can later translate into your day-to-day activities like walking or bending to pick something up. You will start focusing on the movement as you do it to ensure its precise and with good form, thus preventing injuries.

Each action must be deliberate to ensure your focus stays and your technique is optimal to ensure you break harmful movement patterns.

6. Breath

Lastly, our most significant focus in Pilates is breath.

Knowing how to breathe correctly is key in Pilates. You might think, “Why do I need to focus on breathing? I do it every day.” That’s true! But have you ever considered if you are breathing optimally during your workouts, whether it is Pilates, running, or any other type of workout? Have you ever considered if you are ever breathing correctly? Most people breathe small, short, tight and shallow breaths – apical breathing. This drains one of energy and creates anxious tension in the body. Diaphragmatic, nasal breathing is the optimal way to breathe.

Joseph H. Pilates emphasised using a full breath during his practices. He told his students to think of their lungs as bellows—”a device with an airbag that emits a stream of air when squeezed together with two handles.” A bellow is used to blow air into a fire, but in this analogy, think of using your lungs to pump air fully into your body.

Coordinating your breathing with your movements is integral to Pilates and life. You will often hear your Pilates instructor remind you to breathe.

We usually start to hold our breath when we concentrate on a movement, thinking it will aid us when it becomes painful or difficult. But it is the opposite. Breathing helps our body during challenging exercises. It is also why we are often told to breathe when we are in pain or take a breath before doing something that makes us scared.

Each exercise in Pilates should start with breath and then translate from there through this “centre” and then flow through your limbs. That is why we often begin with the Pilates starting position, also known as Constructive Rest, where we initiate diaphragmatic breathing and allow our fascia to start to find fluidity (glide and slide) as we let the breath create an arch on the inhale and a tilt on the exhale, completing a FULL exhale to start to engage our true stability.

Focusing your breath will help you engage the elements of your “true centre” and always moving from breath will create fluidity, power, mental clarity, ease and control.

This blog doesn’t have enough space to truly fully explain the incredible thing that our God given ability to breath is and how we should harness it every moment of the day to live better.

“Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it.”
Joseph H. Pilates

Join a Pilates Class at moveOn 89

Join our Pilates classes at our studio in Gardens, Cape Town, to improve your overall strength, mobility, flexibility and posture. At moveOn 89, we also offer a wide range of wellness classes including Yoga, HIIT, and Fascial Fitness.

To join our classes, simply visit our class schedule to choose a time that works for you and book!

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What is Fascia?

What is Fascia?

By Dominic Pereira

In this article, we look at what fascia is, how it affects the body and why we want our fascia to be fit!

1. What is Fascia?

a). Fascia is connective tissue made of collagen and elastin fibres, water, and GAGs (glycosaminoglycans). This forms a “wetsuit” like structure that connects muscles to bones, organs and the neurological and circulatory systems. 

Fascia is found everywhere in the body, forming layers between the layer of the skin, muscles, cells, and every other body tissue. Superficial fascia is located under the skin, deep fascia surrounds the muscles, and visceral fascia supports the vital organs. Read more about the types of fascia.

An excellent example of fascia can be seen in citrus fruit. The pith is the spongy white tissue lining the rind of oranges, lemons, and naartjies. It is the essence or core. The pith holds everything together. The individual wedges are “glued” together by it, as are the cells within. Fascia does the same in the body, e.g. it binds individual muscle fibres into bundles and bundles together to form a muscle; one muscle connects to the next fascially all the way up the chain to form the body, giving shape and integrity.

“The fascia is our strength system and our recoil rebound mechanism that stores energy like a catapult or spring.”

b). Our fascial “suit” creates a tensional force transmission system, known as tensegrity, in the body. 

Tensegrity is the strength or structural integrity created by the tensional forces between the bones and the elasticity of soft tissues like muscle and fascia and the space in-between all of these. Balance between these three elements creates a two-way pull, which allows buoyancy and a resilient, expressive and responsive system. This tension allows for compression and expansion within the body as the body moves and forces are distributed to maintain structural integrity. 

An example of tensegrity is the quad stretch, where you bend your right knee, holding onto the foot with the right hand. The foot is then pressed into the hand while the elbow is kept straight and the right glute is activated. This creates tension within the system by creating resistance to the extension of the knee and using the glute to allow the hip flexor to release.

c). Fascial lines: Structurally, fascia is defined in terms of specific lines where it runs uninterrupted forming one piece of connective tissue when dissected. These fascial lines are the core or deep front line; the deep front arm line; the anterior or superficial front line; the posterior or backline; the lateral line, the spiral lines, and the deep back arm line.

d). Redefining the core: traditional core vs myofascial core. 

The traditional concept of the core was seen predominately as the abdominal muscles, specifically transverses abdominis, that support the trunk and spine and the activation and strengthening of these muscles. Other muscles may also have been focused on like the pelvic and shoulder girdle, but mostly, the TA was the focus. 

The myofascial core, or deep front line, however, is based on the core fascial line which runs as one continuous fascial connection from the big toes to your temples. This involves many more muscles than just the horizontal abdominal muscles. In this myofascial vertical core, the diaphragm plays an integral part as it is connected fascially to most of the important movement and stability muscles in the body, like the psoas and the quadratus lumborum etc. And hence, diaphragmatic breathing is key to connecting the core and also releasing the often tight and unhappy psoas, which is also known as the “muscle of the soul”. Read more about the diaphragm and psoas in point 3.

2. So What is the Problem?

a). Fascia moulds to the position or posture we spend most of our time in. This is called adapation or mechanotransduction. Most often this means that we mould into a seated posture and remain “seated” even when standing. This is because the fascial ground substance hardens and dries losing its “glide and slide” ability and instead becoming sticky or dry and stuck. Poor posture, sitting a lot, poor hydration and diet, lack of movement and incorrect movement all mould and change the fascia creating adhesions or fascial resistance. This will limit joint range of movement which can create strain, tears in the fascia and scar tissue which will inhibit movement.

“Having tight fascia is like driving a car with the handbrake on.”

3. Fascial Fitness

“Improving fascial pathways by manually releasing fascial tension improves the neural and arterial systems so that the energy and communication via the central nervous system flows easily to the brain stem and then sets in the cerebellum, our seat of memory for movement.”

a). The idea is to create fascial flexibility and fascial integrity by creating “space” in the tissues (preparing the fascia) and then moving into that space (strengthening). Creating space removes resistance and restrictions along the fascial lines or pathways. We want to create a healthy fascial suit that allows us to be aware of our bodies not through pain but through proprioception (spatial awareness). Fascia is our biggest proprioceptive “organ” or system.

b). Fascia thrives on hydration so drinking water is important but moving that water into the tissues is vital. So movement in all planes is imperative to achieve this. The most important way to move fluid through the tissues is with diaphragmatic breathing. 

To create space in the tissues you can use techniques like compression and expansion (rolling and shearing), bouncing, tensegrity and pandiculation. All of these are performed with diaphragmatic breathing, proprioception and intentionality.

c). Pandiculation is the all-inclusive stretching (equal stretching and contracting) of the whole body, against internal force, in as many fascial planes as possible accompanied by a yawn, which resets the neuromuscular pathways.

d). The diaphragm is our breathing muscle. It connects fascially to many parts of the body including the thoracic spine as it resides within the cavity of the ribcage and connects to the spine posteriorly, to the sternum anteriorly and to the bottom six ribs laterally. These are all part of the thoracic spine. 

Diaphragmatic breathing causes the ribcage to expand three-dimensionally and because it connects to the spine and many other important movement structures, like the *psoas, it is vital to enable the release of these structures.

e). The psoas is important because it is our major hip flexor and the only muscle that connects the spine to the femur. It is also important because it is vital to the autonomic nervous system and is activated by the sympathetic nervous which is responsible for getting the body ready to protect itself by either defending or fleeing, hence the term “fight and flight”. The psoas, therefore, responds to input from the brain and body when we are stressed and will go into defence mode, contracting, even if the body isn’t under threat. 

So long term stress, as well as too much sitting, will create a short and over activated psoas, as the system becomes hyper-vigilant. But since the diaphragm links to the psoas, it can unlock and mobilise this muscle with mindful nasal diaphragmatic breathing by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.

f). MAP is an educational and movement toolset that will educate you about your body by teaching what fascia is, and how it contributes to poor movement and posture as well as causing pain and injury. You are therefore empowered and taught how to employ various self-release techniques using different tools and methods (massage, bouncing, etc.) rather than having a therapist be hands-on with you. It allows you to create space from the outside by using self-release and from the inside out through breath and movement. And then, once space has been created through self-release, strengthening exercises are taught to maintain the space. 

MAP is movement therapy and not manual therapy. It uses different evaluation techniques to determine where a person’s fascial restrictions. The fascial lines are released to realign, hydrate the fibres and then actively strengthened to ensure that the release is maintained, something which massage won’t give over the long term.

“A variety of movements is the key to healthy fascia. Don’t get comfortable with routines. Mix and match and vary the speeds and intensity of your movements. Bend and extend and rotate often. Get stretched. Be flexible and think flexible and make fascial fitness a habit and your focus.”


Sign Up for our Fascial Fitness Classes

At moveOn 89, our classes focus on diaphragmatic breathing throughout as techniques like compression and expansion (rolling and shearing using balls and rollers), bouncing, tensegrity, and pandiculation are employed to get the fascia “unstuck”. Book your class below!

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Is it Safe to Perform Pilates While Pregnant?

Pilates while pregnant

Is it Safe to Perform Pilates While Pregnant?

By Dominic Pereira

So you’re going to be a mom, congratulations! Taking your first steps into motherhood can be both daunting and exciting. You might not know the first thing about being a mother or you might be ready to take motherhood head-on, whichever the case, it’s crucial to ensure you are taking care of yourself just as much as you’re taking care of the little one growing in your belly.

Now that you are pregnant and deciding whether you still want to continue with your Pilates classes or perhaps you want to start, stay with us, and we’ll find out if it is wise to do so.

Is it Safe to Perform Pilates While Pregnant?

Before we get into the subject, it’s crucial that you first talk to your doctor before considering exercising.

Remember, just as each person can differ, so can each pregnancy, so it’s important that your doctor advises you based on your pregnancy and specific needs.

Pilates can be a safe and gentle activity to perform if you don’t overstretch or over-exert your body. From now on you’re not just thinking of yourself, you have to think about your baby as well.

There are a multitude of safe Pilates exercises that can be tailored to suit your tolerance levels, and trimester, however, there are a few things to keep in mind before stepping into the studio.

  • During pregnancy, the ligaments around your joints are much more flexible or lax. This is caused by your body increasing production of the relaxin hormone. Because of this, you’ll have an increased risk of injury during exercise.
  • Pilates puts a lot of focus on core strength. During pregnancy, it’s possible to strain your abdominal muscles which can cause them to separate, resulting in Diastasis recti. So many abdominal exercises will have to be modified or excluded.
  • A bigger belly can cause your balance to be thrown off. So be extra careful with sitting on a Pilates ball or balancing on one leg.

Keep in mind that although there are safe exercises to perform, you must avoid exercises that involve you lying on your back for longer than 4 minutes from the 16th week. Even sleeping on your back should be avoided.

Why Avoid Lying on Your Back While Pregnant?

During pregnancy, your uterus becomes larger after about 20 weeks (five months). The uterus becomes big enough to lie on top of your inferior vena cava. The inferior vena cava is a large blood vessel that brings blood flow back to your heart. If you’re lying on your back, the uterus will prevent your blood flow return which will cause less blood to flow back to your heart.

Although you’re not going to be lying on your back for an exercise for hours, researchers in New Zealand did a study where they found a potential increased risk of stillbirth for women who slept on their back the entire night.

When to Avoid Exercise Altogether

According to WebMD, exercise is not recommended if you have the following medical issues:

  • Weak cervix
  • Bleeding
  • Restrictive lung disease
  • Multiple gestation/pregnancy at risk of premature labour
  • Persistent bleeding during the second- or third trimester
  • Ruptured membranes
  • Hemodynamically significant heart disease

Top 5 Pilates Exercises Safe to do During All Trimesters

Top 5 Pilates Exercises Safe to do During All Trimesters

1. Pelvic Floor Muscle Strengthening

By strengthening your pelvic floor muscles, you can, amongst other things, help prevent incontinence, which is often an issue during pregnancy due to the weight of the fetus on the pelvic floor.

How to do the exercise

  1. Get down onto your knees, keep your legs together with your bottom on your heels and your hands on the mat in front of you.
  2. Imagine you are trying to hold in the urge to urinate. Concentrate on feeling the muscles contract.
  3. Try to hold this position for five to ten seconds. You don’t need to worry if you cannot hold the position for ten seconds as you’ll increase your strength day by day.
  4. Gradually relax the muscles.
  5. Repeat the process ten times.

2. Deep Tummy Strengthening

By performing deep tummy exercises, you’ll increase support for your back.

How to do the exercise

  1. Lie on your side and slightly bend your knees. Take a deep breath in and gently breathe out. While breathing out, try to pull your baby gently in towards your spine.
  2. Keep your belly pulled in for about ten seconds while breathing normally
  3. Gently relax your stomach muscles.
  4. Repeat this exercise ten times.
  5. Turn over onto all fours and repeat the same exercise.
  6. Once you are comfortable with this you can repeat the above breathing and tummy connection as you slide your opposite hand and foot out on the exhale. Keeping both in contact with the floor, alternating sides. Do 5 on either side.

3. Upper Back Strengthening

By performing upper back mobilisation, you’ll improve your posture.

How to do the exercise

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs crossed. Keep your back upright placing your hands behind your head.
  2. Slowly breathe in, then breathe out while you pull your baby towards your spine and extend your back, by lifting your heart and tilting your face up toward the ceiling.
  3. Breathe in and return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat this exercise ten times.

4. The Sword

Performing the sword exercise will improve your balance and strengthen your back, legs, and abdominal muscles.

How to do the exercise

  1. Stand upright with your feet wider than hip-width apart.
  2. Slightly bend your knees and move your right hand towards your left knee. Keep your arm straight.
  3. Raise your right hand up to the right as you would remove a sword from a hip belt. Keep your eyes on your hand while performing the movement.
  4. Repeat on your left side.

Now that we’ve established that you can perform certain Pilates exercises while pregnant, the next question is: Which Pilates moves should you avoid during your pregnancy?

A Few Pilates Exercises to Avoid During Pregnancy

  1. Crunches or Compresses – During your pregnancy, avoid exercises that allow you to crunch your stomach.
  2. Pilates Roll-Up – After your first trimester, avoid the roll-up exercise as this can put a lot of pressure on your abdominal wall.
  3. Criss Cross / Bicycle Crunches – The criss-cross or bicycle crunches put too much pressure on your abdominal muscles.
  4. Swimmer – During pregnancy, you must avoid exercises that involve you lying on your stomach.

Other types of exercises to avoid while pregnant:

  • Exercises that allow you to lose weight – gaining (a healthy amount of) weight during your pregnancy is a sign that your baby is developing healthily.
  • Contact sports – these should be avoided after your first trimester.
  • Activities where you’re prone to fall like bike riding or horseback riding. Rather, ride a stationary bike.
  • Bouncing activities like aerobics or kick-boxing. During pregnancy, your joints get loose, which will increase your chances of injury.
  • Exercising when it’s too hot. Either workout in the early morning or at night. Avoid joining classes like hot yoga.

Tips for a Safe Pilates Workout

  • Make sure you join a Pilates class with an experienced instructor.
  • Wear comfortable clothing that isn’t restrictive.
  • Avoid overstretching your joints.
  • Avoid exercises where you crunch your abdominal muscles.
  • Take balance into consideration.
  • Don’t get off the floor too quickly.
  • Don’t lay on your back and lift your feet above your head.
  • Allow gentle contractions and focus on your posture.
  • Stay hydrated.
  • Don’t exercise in hot temperatures.
  • Stop if you feel discomfort or fatigue.
  • Avoid exercising on an empty stomach or right after eating.

If you’re keen on staying involved in your Pilates classes, make sure you ask your doctor for the go-ahead and also chat to your Pilates instructor. Having informed your instructor of your pregnancy (if the bump isn’t yet visible) will ensure you have a Pilates exercise regime tailored to suit your body.

Join group or individual Pilates classes at moveOn 89 where our skilled instructors can modify your workouts according to individual fitness and capability levels. Get in touch.

6 Easy Ways to Incorporate Movement Into Your Day

6 Easy Ways to Incorporate Movement Into Your Day

By Dominic Pereira

Finding time to work out or elevate your heart rate enough to burn a few calories can be tough for people with busy schedules. Our guess is that you are one of those looking for ideas. You’ve come to the right place!

Many of us are glued to our desks for long periods and this can really wreak havoc on our body and mind. Taking the necessary steps to ensure you take care of yourself will benefit you as you grow older and your body starts to suffer from all the things you did (or didn’t) do when you were younger.

So here are 6 easy ways to incorporate movement into your day.

1. Go for a Walk

Back to basics! Walking is a brilliant workout for anyone looking to lose a few kilos and trim the visceral fat (fat that wraps around your abdominal organs). Having too much fat around your waist can be dangerous to your health as this raises your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, a stroke, or high cholesterol.

Walking has such great benefits including boosting your mood (it releases feel-good endorphins), burning calories, strengthening your heart, lowering your blood sugar, and so much more!

It’s also a great low impact exercise, especially if you cannot run due to a sensitive back, some trouble with your joints, etc.

So grab your tekkies and your dog, and go for a walk!

Some tips before you hit the trails:

  • Wear comfortable shoes that protect your feet but which don’t impede your natural foot biomechanics.
  • Walk with a friend or let someone know you’re going for a walk by yourself. Maybe it’s time to adopt a pet as they are the best companions when going for a stroll!
  • Always cool down after a walk and do some light stretching.
  • Take it slow at first to build up your tolerance.
  • For extra fat burning, try to keep your heart rate up.

2. Join a Pilates Class

What is Pilates (Pi-laa-tees)? Pilates focuses on training the brain and body to connect. This is initially done using small, controlled movements to teach your muscles to fire by laying down new neural pathways. This motion will strengthen your muscles and create optimal movement patterns.

This will improve posture, breathing, digestion, joint health, and many other physiological benefits.

You can join a Pilates class either online via Zoom, or in a studio (like ours in Gardens, Cape Town). The studio is great if the online world isn’t your favourite place to be right now.

Some benefits of joining online workout classes or using one of our pre-recorded, edited videos:

  • Get fit and healthier
  • If you’re bored, this is a fun way to burn some calories!
  • Interact with others. We know lockdown can be a bit lonely and it’s hard to go on group outings these days
  • You have instant access to classes

3. Mini Workouts Throughout the Day

Have a desk job that’s keeping you glued to your seat for 8 hours a day without much movement other than going to the bathroom or grabbing some coffee? Our bodies aren’t meant to be in a seated position for extended periods. Sitting for so long can increase your risks of type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Don’t worry, this doesn’t necessarily mean you’re getting diabetes, but all the sitting isn’t helping your body in any way!

Luckily there is good news! If you don’t really have time to fit in a 30-minute workout in your day, a study has found that doing mini-workouts throughout your day can be beneficial. But, there’s a catch… Your heart rate must be elevated for at least 10 minutes for this type of exercise to be effective.

Ever heard of High-Intensity Interval Training aka HIIT? Other than it being such a quick, effective workout, this type of workout will burn fat HOURS after your session has ended.

Does your street (or any nearby street) have a nice steep (ish) hill? Try doing some hill sprints as a HIIT workout! And if you don’t have hills near you, stairs are just as beneficial.

4. Invest in a Standing Desk

If you’re still working from home (or if your boss is cool and will get you one), a standing desk is one of the best purchases if you want to improve your health.

We already mentioned above how bad too much sitting is for your health (and your glutes) so adding a standing desk to your office space will surely help you sit less.

This adjustable standing desk by JUMBO DeskStand is a popular purchase by many.

However, if this one is a bit out of your budget, here is another more affordable option (it’s also eco-friendly), and here.

Alternate Between Sitting and Standing
Ensure you alternate between sitting and standing as too much standing can also be detrimental to your health.

According to the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, standing for long hours can cause the following problems:

  • Varicose veins
  • Low back pain
  • Sore, swollen feet and legs
  • Neck and shoulder stiffness

A good rule of thumb is to alternate between sitting and standing every 30 minutes to an hour.

5. Light Stretching

If it’s possible, stand up and do a few light stretches at your desk. This will help you wake up and it will get your blood flowing again.

Below are a few stretches you can do at your desk, but be careful and take it slow so you don’t hurt yourself.

stretches you can do at your desk
Credit: Working Against Gravity

6. Invest in a Smart Watch

This tip is only if you don’t mind splurging a few bucks on yourself for your health. These nifty watches are a great addition to your health journey as they have many cool functions including reminding you to stand up and move. Depending on the watch, you can adjust its settings to remind you every hour that you must move around a bit or get some steps in.

This tip is only if you don’t mind splurging a few bucks on yourself for your health. These nifty watches are a great addition to your health journey as they have many cool functions including reminding you to stand up and move. Depending on the watch, you can adjust its settings to remind you every hour that you must move around a bit or get some steps in.

Make it fun
If this whole idea of living by a watch is not your cup of tea, why not make it more fun by creating a challenge between you and your partner, friend or family member?

For example, the one with the least steps or calories burned by the end of the week has to do laundry or wash the dishes the following week. Or the winner can choose the next movie when it’s movie night. This is a great way to keep you (and the other person) motivated to continue making healthy choices.

Join Pilates, Yoga, and HIIT Classes with moveOn 89

Whether you want to join us via Zoom (when offered, buy a pre-recorded, edited video or at our studio in Gardens, Cape Town, at moveOn 89 we offer a wide range of wellness classes including Pilates, Yoga, and HIIT.

To join our classes, simply visit our Schedule page to choose a time that works for you and book!

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We use cookies to track visitors, measure ads, ad campaign effectiveness and analyze site traffic. We may also share information about your use of our site with 3rd parties. For more info, see, our Cookies Policy, our Privacy Policy. By clicking “Accept All” you agree to the storing of all cookies on your device. In case you don’t choose one of these options and use our website, we will treat it as if you have accepted all cookies.