The holidays are a time to take it easy, spend time with family and friends, and start over before the new year. People with full social schedules may struggle to carve out time for working out. Our 10-minute Pilates workout may help you stay fit, active, and stress-free this holiday season, whilst keeping you consistent. Find out how to do Pilates at home with our guide. It is great for the holidays when you do not want to make too many commitments.
The holidays are perfect for slowing down, relaxing, resetting, and reflecting on the past year.
Pilates is a low-impact form of exercise that uses controlled, technique-based movement. It can improve strength, stability, flexibility, and posture.
During the holidays, many people tend to be less active. It is possible that this will make you stiff and hurt.
Just 10 minutes of exercise a day may improve your strength and flexibility, reduce stress, and enhance your mood.
Days may become colder, darker, and shorter during the holidays. As a result, it’s common for people to feel more tired and less motivated. While the body and mind require time to slow down, reset, and recharge, exercise in small doses is still beneficial. Ignoring a movement routine during the holidays may result in aches and pains in the body. Discover the benefits of Pilates and access our 10-minute at-home workout to stay fit this holiday season with minimal effort!
Are short Pilates workouts effective?
Pilates is low-impact, making it a great option for anyone with joint issues or recovering from an injury. It can improve strength, flexibility, stability, and posture. Pilates pays close attention to detail and technique while remaining anatomy-based. One study, in particular, found that Pilates offered greater pain and functional ability improvement compared to other types of physical activity. Time efficiency is key during the holidays. Another study showed that multiple short exercise sessions (three 10-minute sessions per day) can decrease blood glucose and waist circumference. Something is better than nothing.
Benefits of short Pilates sessions
- Time-efficient. Short sessions can fit around a busy holiday schedule.
- Improves strength and flexibility. Important for general fitness and mobility levels.
- Improves joint health. Pilates is low-impact, gentle on joints, and uses movements requiring a full range of motion.
- Reinforces positive habits. Carving out ‘you’ time may be beneficial for self-worth and confidence levels.
- Reduces stress. Nourishing your body with exercise releases endorphins, a feel-good hormone.
Easy 10-minute Pilates at-home workout
Putting these 7 poses together will give you a 10-minute Pilates workout that you can do at home without much trouble.
Standing roll downs (1 min)
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, a neutral spine, and your arms by your sides. Inhale prepare.
- Exhale, start to roll down, nodding chin towards chest, peeling down sequentially through the spine. Keep your spine rounded and your abdominals engaged.
- Inhale to hold at the bottom. Let your arms, shoulders, and neck be heavy. Keep your hips stacked over your ankles and your knees slightly bent.
- Exhale and zip up through the lower belly. Roll back up to stand, restacking the spine sequentially.
- Repeat five repetitions.
Standing lateral flexion (1 min)
- Stand with feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Hips, ribs, shoulders, and head are stacked.
- Inhale. Reach your right arm out to the side, over your head, and hold in a side stretch.
- Exhale. Engage your abdominals and come back to the center. Switch to the second side.
- Imagine you are in between two walls; don’t allow the ribs to flare out.
- Repeat four times on each side, alternating.
Cat-cows (1 min)
- Start in all fours, hands under shoulders, knees under hips. Press the shins into the mat for support.
- Inhale. Draw shoulder blades down towards the hips and shine chests forward, extending the spine.
- Exhale. Start to round your spine, moving your tailbone and head towards each other.
- Keep alternating between these two positions for one minute.
Thread the needle (1 min)
- Begin with all fours. Inhale. Reach your right arm up towards the ceiling, looking towards your hand.
- Exhale. Thread your right arm through your left arm, gently bending the elbow as you twist the spine. Hover your right ear above your mat.
- Inhale. Press into your left palm and reach your right arm back towards the ceiling. Keep your hips stacked over your knees.
- Repeat four times. Then switch to the second side.
Clamshells (2 min)
- Lie on your side, lengthened from head to tailbone. Legs bent, hips and feet stacked, and heels roughly in line with your spine. Inhale prepare.
- Exhale and open your top knee up towards the ceiling, keeping your feet flexed and your heels together.
- Inhale to close. Controlling the movement down.
- Repeat twelve repetitions. Switch to your second side.
Abdominal curl + twist (2 min)
- Lie on your back, legs bent, feet roughly under your knees.
- Place hands behind the head for support and elbows in peripheral vision. Inhale prepare.
- Exhale, zip in and up through the lower abdominals, lifting the head, neck, and shoulders off the mat, and gaze towards the tops of the knees. Pause for a moment.
- Inhale. Release back down. Repeat 10 repetitions.
- Now add in a twist. Curl up, then twist your chest to the right. Come back through the center to lower. Repeat 10 repetitions, alternating each side.
Leg circles (2 min)
- Lie on your back, legs bent, feet roughly under your knees.
- Extend your right leg towards the ceiling. Loop a resistance band (or scarf) around the arch of your foot (flexed), like a stirrup. Hold each side of the band with either hand.
- Straighten your left leg down the mat. Inhale. Bring your right leg across the midline of the body.
- Exhale, circle the leg down and around, and then return to your starting position.
- Repeat six circles in one direction, then reverse the circles. Now switch to your second side.
The holidays are a great time to reset, spend time with loved ones, and mix up regular routines. Having downtime may enhance energy levels and reduce stress; however, a lack of activity can also cause aches, pains, and stiffness within the body. Our 10-minute Pilates routine can help improve strength and flexibility while supporting joint health during the holidays. Short sessions can reinforce positive habits, making the return to exercise much easier. One study mentions that to form a healthy habit, choose one simple action that will get you closer to your goal, which you can do daily.
Enjoy your downtime, and don’t feel guilty for slowing down. You are only human, and everyone needs rest. Adding in our 10-minute Pilates routine doesn’t require too much commitment, and the return on how your body will feel may be worth it.
- PLoS One. The Effectiveness of Pilates in People with Chronic Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review.
- BMC Womens Health. Effects of prolonged exercise versus multiple short exercise sessions on risk for metabolic syndrome and the atherogenic index in middle-aged obese women: a randomized controlled trial.
- Br J Gen Pract. Making health habitual: the psychology of 'habit-formation' and general practice.