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“If you are just starting out or coming back to movement from a break or injury, low impact workouts are gentle on your joints. These types of workouts can ease you into the process of getting stronger, while giving your body a chance to build up the load tolerance on your tissues to avoid injury.”

—Elaine Economou

If you’ve made the decision to bring more movement into your life, congratulations! That commitment to yourself is the first step. And it’s a big one. Now it’s time to find the right workout.

Benefits of low impact workouts

Benefits of low-impact workouts include:

  • Strengthening your body
  • Improving flexibility
  • Minimizing your risk of injury
  • Helping you focus on the mind-body connection
  • Improving your form and range of motion when working out

These benefits make low-impact workouts like Pilates a great choice for beginners or people who are returning to exercise after a break.

Elaine Economou‘s latest blog post for popular website Sixty and Me shares how a low impact workout can be a smart choice for beginners. Getting started with a mind-body movement system like Pilates can build strength and minimize your risk of injury.

Read the full blog post on Sixty and Me.

What is the best low impact workout?

The best low impact workout is the one you can commit to for at least a few minutes every day. Pilates is a great example. At MOVE Wellness we’ve seen its impact on clients again and again. Doing things you love regularly and getting outside to walk are also wonderful choices. As you build your commitment you can start increasing the pace and adding in workouts like the one I’ve provided below.

Can you lose weight with low impact exercise?

Low-impact workouts can support weight loss by helping you create a stronger, leaner body.

Low impact workout routine

Try this sequence of low impact movements perfect for beginners. You’ll be on your way to reaching your movement goals in no time!

Learn the essentials when you’re ready for more

Elaine Economou’s new Movement Essentials: Getting Started with Pilates is a 28-day program at MOVE On Demand designed to get you moving safely and keep you on track. Each week Elaine introduces you to the basic principles of Pilates with a consistent warm up, weekly classes, and a variety of special topics to enhance your journey. And, it comes with an easy-to-follow calendar that will guide you through a clear progression and provide a foundation for healthy movement.

Watch the trailer to learn more. Support the activities you love to do in life by starting today!


About Elaine Economou

As co-founder of MOVE Wellness®, Elaine Economou helps people move with ease, strength, and joy. Her passion is empowering people to understand their unique bodies and build strength to support moving well through their unique life. Elaine has created Movement Essentials: Getting Started with Pilates to help people move well and live a life they love – wherever and whenever.

Find all of Elaine’s Sixty and Me blogs on her author page.

What is Pilates breathing?

Pilates breathing is a way of breathing mindfully from your diaphragm in coordination with your movements.

https://youtu.be/tTHqDUoBGzU

How do you breathe when doing Pilates?

You can start Pilates breathing by learning how to use a diaphragmatic breathing technique. You want to optimize a full three-dimensional inhalation without overusing any one set of muscles.

What is diaphragmatic breathing in Pilates?

According to Harvard Health, diaphragmatic breathing is breathing deeply from the diaphragm, which “encourages full oxygen exchange — that is, the beneficial trade of incoming oxygen for outgoing carbon dioxide.”

Why is breathing important in Pilates?

Joseph Pilates said that “The breath shapes the movement and defines its dynamic.”

Some benefits of Pilates breathing include:

  • Improved focus
  • Increased control
  • Abdominal engagement
  • Higher energy levels
  • Better circulation
  • Tension relief
  • Lower blood pressure

How can I start a Pilates breathing practice?

You can start now! Watching our video above is a great first step. We’ll talk you through the basics of Pilates breathing and practice some breathing exercises to get a feel for it.

When you’re ready for more, you may want to look at Elaine Economou’s new program Movement Essentials: Getting Started with Pilates. We know the more you move, the better you feel. Sometimes we need a little push to get started. Movement Essentials is a 28-day program at MOVE On Demand designed to get you moving safely and keep you on track. Each week Elaine introduces you to the basic principles of Pilates with a consistent warm up, weekly classes, and a variety of special topics to enhance your journey. And, it comes with an easy-to-follow calendar that will guide you through a clear progression and provide a foundation for healthy movement.

Watch the trailer to learn more. Support the activities you love to do in life by starting today!


About Elaine Economou

As co-founder of MOVE Wellness®, Elaine Economou helps people move with ease, strength, and joy. Her passion is empowering people to understand their unique bodies and build strength to support moving well through their unique life. Elaine has created Movement Essentials: Getting Started with Pilates to help people move well and live a life they love – wherever and whenever.

Find all of Elaine’s Sixty and Me blogs on her author page.

The Benefits of Pilates for Men

What do you think of when you picture a Pilates class? For many, ‘Pilates,’ brings up images of leggings-clad women doing light exercises that look more like stretching than an actual workout — but that’s a complete misconception.

Although Pilates doesn’t incorporate intense cardio or heavy weights, it’s still a tough workout for men and women of all ages. In fact, some of the top athletes in the world incorporate Pilates into their routines.. Pilates works new muscles and movements, so it’s challenging without causing the strain some higher-impact workouts do. But whether you’re a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs or a retiree looking to switch up your workout routine, you can find benefits in Pilates.

Here are answers to some common questions about Pilates, its benefits for men, and a free Pilates workout you can try from the comfort of your own home.

Try even more Pilates classes with our MOVE On Demand Series: Building a Strong Core with Pilates for Men and sign up for our free 14-day livestream class trial.

What is Pilates, exactly?

Pilates is a safe, adaptable exercise method that can be done on a mat or with a specialized Reformer machine. It uses resistance and your own body weight to stabilize your core and strengthen your body. Pilates’ adaptability makes it great for all body types and fitness levels, while still being a challenge for even the toughest athletes. This form of exercise is an efficient, effective, and safe way to increase your flexibility, develop your core, and release tension.

Some men dismiss Pilates as a form of exercise because it doesn’t involve high intensity cardio or heavy weightlifting. But don’t let that fool you — Pilates is a great workout that corrects muscular imbalances and builds a strong and stable core, without the impact on your joints that extreme fitness can cause.

Can you gain muscle with Pilates?

Yes. Pilates helps lengthen the muscle and build strength for men of all fitness levels. 

Is Pilates good for weight loss in men?

Pilates supports weight loss by helping to create a leaner, fitter body. However, for best results, men should combine Pilates with cardio and a healthy diet.

https://youtu.be/4A7-zDaP0Q4

Do men do Pilates?

Yes, we have many men in our studio who enjoy the benefits of Pilates. Top athletes, including tennis champion Andy Murray and members of the Super Bowl-winning New England Patriots, also do Pilates.

What are some benefits of Pilates for men?

Here are some benefits of Pilates that men of all ages can enjoy:

  • Improved flexibility: Flexibility is crucial. According to Harvard Health, it allows us to more easily achieve a full range of motion, which leads to both improved athletic performance (a smoother golf swing) and  functional abilities (reaching and bending). Muscles get shorter and less elastic as we age, so exercises like Pilates that lengthen the muscles and improve flexibility are great for keeping you moving.
  • Building strength: Pilates can be an effective strength training workout for all fitness levels; this exercise can be adapted to provide stability for beginners or provide a challenging workout for athletes.
  • Alleviate pain and side effects of illness: Working the deep abs and pelvic floor can help alleviate back problems, and can be incredibly beneficial for men who have been, or will be, treated for prostate cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, the “chance of having prostate cancer rises rapidly after age 50,” making it especially useful for men in this age group.
  • It supports weight loss: Pilates helps to create long, lean, fit bodies. There are many ways that doing Pilates supports weight loss, but it is also recommended that you eat a healthy diet and incorporate cardio to boost the metabolism.
  • Safety: While high-intensity workouts are great for getting your heart pumping, they can be jarring on your joints and possibly cause injury. Pilates, especially when done with a knowledgeable trainer, is a safe, effective way to workout without the pain. It can be done as a standalone routine or worked into a more high-intensity regimen for variation.
  • It can be done alone or in a group: Men still wary of trying Pilates (despite the endorsement of many professional athletes!) can start off with a private Pilates session. One-on-one sessions will put you in contact with a Pilates trainer who can give you individual attention and a great introduction to this workout that’s adapted to your current fitness level. At MOVE Wellness, small group classes are limited to six students to allow for personalized instruction.

How quickly will you see results with Pilates?

Everyone responds differently to Pilates, but if you maintain a somewhat regular practice, you’ll see changes quickly. According to Joseph Pilates, the creator of Pilates: “10 sessions — feel the difference, 20 sessions — see the difference, 30 sessions — have a new body.”

Pilates Workout for Men

This 20 minute Pilates workout will take you through exercises that will help with the tight hamstrings and shoulders that are common for men, but experienced by all. All you need is your mat!

https://youtu.be/eyj6eragVRU

Getting started with Pilates 

Pilates can be done on a mat or with specialized equipment. Mat Pilates classes, like the 20 minute workout above, tend to focus on core work and require you to support the stabilization of your body. Pilates equipment, like the Cadillac or Reformer, gives you a frame to work within that is often more helpful than a mat, but can be more challenging when springs are added or taken away. Working on the equipment can also target and tone specific areas of your body very efficiently.

If you’re new to Pilates or fitness in general, it can be worthwhile to begin with a private Pilates session to get individualized attention and a more customized Pilates-based fitness program. You can also explore Pilates on your own and learn the Pilates basics with a beginners Pilates workout.

At MOVE Wellness, our memberships allow clients to individualize their experience by selecting from a movement menu of in-person, livestream, or on demand options, with the expert support you need to meet your goals.  

Ready to give Pilates a try?

Call us today at 734-224-2306 to learn more or start now online. We offer private training and small group classes in our Ann Arbor, Michigan studio. In addition, take classes from the comfort and privacy of your own home with MOVE Online Class Options. There are even classes specifically focused on core exercises for men!

pilates

Say hello to our new friend Revel

I am incredibly honored to be a part of Revel, a fast-growing, online community of women over forty. We’ve been offered an awesome opportunity to partner with Revel during the months of February and March... We’d love to see your friendly faces in our Revel classes. It’s free and easy to join.

—Elaine Economou

Revel + MOVE

We’re so excited to share that Revel is launching a special series of MOVE classes featuring Elaine Economou and Laura Tyson throughout February and March.

  • Movement Essentials-Pilates Level 1: Tuesdays at 7:00 p.m.
  • Barre Class: Wednesdays at Noon
  • Mindful Movement & Pilates: Sundays at 5:00 p.m.
  • Movement Essentials Pilates Level 2: Mondays at 1:00 p.m.

Beyond February and March, Elaine will continue hosting her monthly Workout Wednesday series on Revel. Join us on the last Wednesday of the month for a brief themed discussion and a Pilates-based class. You’ll learn how to challenge your unique and miraculous body safely and enjoy moving!

Revel will connect you with wonderful women with interests around a variety of topics beyond movement. Enjoy Revel’s recent blogpost “MOVE with Elaine Economou” with registration links for all classes at the end of the Q&A. Everything is free and it’s easy to join!

Porch.com recently reached out to Pilates experts, including our very own Elaine Economou, to ask for advice on creating the ideal space to practice Pilates at home as well as some tips and advice for your daily practice. Read on for Elaine’s contribution and click here to read the full article.

Pilates at home: What to look for in online fitness classes

Online fitness is here to stay. It’s incredibly convenient and can even connect you to a community of people with similar interests. In addition, Pilates can be adapted to home practice with ease. Did you know that when Joseph Pilates created Pilates in the early 1920s, he was focused simply on the body and breathwork? No fancy equipment is needed.

Here are my top 3 tips for getting started with Pilates at home:

#1: Choose the Right Place to Exercise

Make sure you have enough room around you to move and that there are no other hazards you could trip on. You know your house better than we do. Pick the best spot you can to work out.

#2: Listen to Your Body

If an exercise doesn’t feel right for you today, don’t do it. If you know a modification, do that instead. Of course, you can always skip the current exercise and do your favorite stretch, grab a drink, or simply catch your breath as you wait for the next round.

#3: Establish a Routine

Once you’ve found a couple of favorite classes, make a weekly reservation (something manageable) to set a habit for yourself. By developing and sticking to routines, we hold ourselves accountable for a healthy lifestyle.

Online Pilates classes should focus on building a well-rounded movement routine that supports strength and muscle balance. The trainer should include exercises that move the spine forward and back, sideways, and rotate into a spiral. Online fitness has become so much more than the VHS workout tapes popularized in the 80s. Whether you choose the convenience of on-demand classes, the accountability of a livestream fitness class, or even brief workouts on YouTube or social media, I hope you’ll keep moving!

—Elaine Economou from Move Wellness


Are you ready to try Pilates at home?

Elaine Economou’s new Movement Essentials: Getting Started with Pilates is a 28-day program at MOVE On Demand designed to get you moving safely and keep you on track. Each week Elaine introduces you to the basic principles of Pilates with a consistent warm up, weekly classes, and a variety of special topics to enhance your journey. And, it comes with an easy-to-follow calendar that will guide you through a clear progression and provide a foundation for healthy movement.

Watch the trailer to learn more. Support the activities you love to do in life by starting today!

Including movement into your daily routine can help promote better bone and muscle health by building strength and endurance. You have many options when it comes to exercise, including walking, swimming, and Pilates. 

Many people have a preconceived idea that Pilates is only for young, extremely fit people, but the reality is that Pilates is suitable for all bodies at any stage of life. At MOVE Wellness, we’ve helped both men and women of all ages (including clients in their sixties and seventies!) incorporate Pilates into their routine to safely strengthen their body and support life’s activities. 

Whether you want to workout in the comfort of your home or visit a studio, there’s a Pilates class or session that can fit your unique fitness needs and goals.

3 senior men doing Pilates Reformer arm exercises

What is Pilates?

Pilates is a system designed to help you strengthen and mobilize your body. There are a variety of exercises that target strength and mobility for the whole body, always initiating with the core. They can be done on a mat or Pilates equipment strategically designed to allow for the fullest expression of movement. Some pieces of equipment you would likely find in a Pilates session include the Reformer, Cadillac, chair, and barrel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4A7-zDaP0Q4

What is mat Pilates?

Mat Pilates exercises require you to stabilize your body without equipment and tend to focus more on core work. You can practice the original 34 Pilates exercises in this classic Pilates mat sequence

Interested in learning more? Try online mat Pilates classes with a 14-day trial of our livestream classes!

What is reformer Pilates?

Reformer Pilates is done on a rolling platform with springs that add resistance to your Pilates workout. Springs can be added or taken away to provide different levels of resistance as the platform, called the “carriage,” is pushed or pulled along the frame. 

Working on the Pilates reformer allows for more dynamic movement that can train many parts of the body in different ways. Reformer parts can also be adjusted to your body size and level of skill, so it’s a great option for beginners!

Want to give Reformer Pilates a try? If you live in the Ann Arbor area, you can take a small group Reformer Pilates class at our studio. These classes are limited to six students for more personalized attention.

What are the benefits of doing Pilates exercises?

Pilates can help strengthen the body and improve stability and peripheral mobility. These improved fitness levels can help prevent injury and give you greater ease of movement through a full range.

This system can also relieve low back pain and the postural effects of sitting. It is a safe weight-bearing exercise that can mitigate symptoms of osteoporosis/osteopenia, and there is mounting research that Pilates supports a number of pathologies, postural issues, and is an effective method for whole body strengthening.

Whatever your conditioning goal, Pilates is an efficient, effective, and safe way to increase your flexibility, develop your core, and release tension.

Two Senior Women Doing Pilates With Trainer

Which is better, Pilates or yoga?

Pilates and yoga both have benefits for those who practice it, regardless of age or experience level. The practice that works best for you will depend on your individual fitness goals. The benefits of yoga, for example, include stress reduction, increased blood circulation, flexibility, strength, improved sleep patterns and relaxation.

Beginning a Pilates practice

Starting a new movement system can feel intimidating. At MOVE Wellness, we take the time to learn about you 一 including your current fitness level, goals, and any limitations or injuries you may have 一 so we can support you on your personal fitness journey. We can then make recommendations about which classes or private trainers would work best for your unique situation.

For example, our livestream and in-studio Pilates classes are organized into six levels to help our clients move confidently and comfortably through their personal fitness journey: Gentle, Intro, Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and Advanced. Most of our clients start with beginner Pilates classes so they can learn the foundational principles, which are designed to layer and build on each other as the student progresses.

2 women doing online fitness classes on a mat in their living room

You also have the option of private sessions, where you work one on one with a trainer who will create a custom workout to help you achieve your goals and provide support, motivation, and accountability. These are available both virtually and in-person.

Regardless of whether you’re alone or in a group, you will be led by a member of our experienced team. We’re proud to have some of the most experienced movement trainers, fitness instructors and coaches in Ann Arbor, who will work with you to bring out the very best in your body. Our trainers are credentialed in their areas of expertise and will even work in partnership with other health experts in your life, including doctors and physical therapists, to ensure your workouts are safe and highly effective.

Ready to get started? Our introductory session includes an intake assessment, 50-minute private session, and customized movement recommendation plan, as well as a 14 day trial of our livestream classes. Clients who would prefer a small-group class are invited to try an introductory class.

MOVE Trainer Mary Falcon teaching a livestream Pilates class

Pilates classes near you

The MOVE Wellness fitness studio is conveniently located on Jackson Road near I-94 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

We also offer a number of online options for clients who don’t live nearby or who prefer to workout at home. These include:

  • Private training — available in-studio or virtually via Zoom.
  • Small-group classes — our Pilates Essentials Class ($29) is a fun, safe space to try something new. 
  • Livestream classes — over 30+ professional studio classes, including Pilates, yoga, barre, and more. This gives you a variety of fresh content each session to stave off boredom, and the motivating energy of live instruction to keep you moving.
  • MOVE On Demand — pre-recorded class content, no television provider needed. Access your content whenever you want.
  • MOVE Wellness on YouTube — a wide variety of free workouts on Pilates, yoga, and special topics like mobility.

How to get stronger at home without weights or fancy equipment

Overwhelmed. Intimidated. Discouraged. These are the feelings I hear from people when they talk about trying to find the right home workout routine. Overwhelmed by the amount of information and advice they find. Intimidated by the types of workouts and exercises they’re seeing, many of which make them worry about pain or injury. And discouraged by the fact that so many strength-building workouts they see online or on tv are geared toward super fit people who are already experienced athletes. This is why I’m passionate about movement systems like Pilates.

Building strength based on your individual needs 

One of the reasons that I fell in love with Pilates (a love affair that started more than 20 years ago!) is its central focus on how the whole body works and your individual movement needs. Exercise programs and strength-training routines should be designed to fit you, not the other way around. I’ve always found it strange that so much of today’s health and fitness culture relies on people fitting a pre-packaged workout routine or devoting themselves to a specific diet. 

Here’s what I say to that: Your body is a self-sufficient miracle and is already working the way it needs to. Your heart is beating, your lungs are filling with oxygen, and your internal systems are engaging in the many regenerative processes for which they’re designed. 

Woman meditating in front of water

Understanding some basic things about how your body works is the most important first step in starting any new strength-building routine. For example, nearly every client I’ve ever worked with has asked me what the best ab workout is. And here’s what I tell them: breathing. If you are breathing as you should be, with ease and balance, your abdominal muscles are working. 

Once you shift your focus to understanding a bit about how your own body works, then the way you approach starting a new workout routine becomes a lot easier. Because it’s all about listening to your own body and thinking about how your lifestyle and day-to-day activities affect the way you feel. In general, there are three characteristics of a successful home strength-training routine that I like to emphasize: consistency, progression, and balance. But first, let’s talk a little bit about why building strength specifically is so important for your health at all stages of life.

two women doing Pilates in their living room

Health benefits of Pilates and strength-training at home

The price of a healthy body and personal wellness is hard to pinpoint because, in a way, health is defined by the absence of illness or injury. And this gets even more true as we age. Many people have a hard time wrapping their minds around the idea of building strength later in life because we so often associate the word with youth and athletic training. But in reality, strength is a critical component of aging well and as we get older we have to work a lot harder (and smarter) for it.

Continuing to move your body in ways that promote strength, stability, and flexibility should be the foundation for any new workout routine. But, again, understanding a little bit about how your body works is essential for getting started. Developing a better understanding of your unique musculoskeletal system, for example, can help you address and eliminate a lot of the aches and pains that stem from daily activities like sitting at a desk, sleeping on a not-so-great mattress, or spending a Saturday doing a lot of yard work.

Woman doing a mermaid Pilates stretch in her home

Smaller movements = bigger whole body impact

Our culture has a habit of emphasizing big movements, big muscles, big workouts, and so on. But it’s those little muscles, those little movements, and those smaller, more mindful exercises that often have the biggest impact on our bodies and health. An intricate web of connective tissue called fascia runs throughout our bodies, holding everything in place (organs, bones, muscles, etc.), reacting to the positive and negative input we provide our bodies with every day, and ultimately informing all of our movement. 

Stress, uneven movements, or awkward body positions (hunched over our phones or laptops for example) can cause our fascia to tense up and get snagged in different spots; while slowing down, breathing more deeply, and bringing a level of mental awareness to our movement can help release that tense tissue and bring back some balance. When we think about exercise and movement in terms of our fascia and the interconnectedness of our bodies, rather than just working big muscles or stretching them to get more flexible, we can create more effective workout routines that offer a bigger, long-term impact.

Paying more attention to our fascia and trying to bring more balance to that web of connective tissue running throughout our bodies is also critical for preventing injuries. Movement systems like Pilates are designed to do just that. But, more than anything, approaching strength-training and exercise from a more informed and mindful place is essential because it gives us the energy and freedom to do the things we love to do. For me, Pilates has given me the tools to ensure that I am always mobile and strong enough to do the things that bring me joy. 

Woman selecting an online fitness class on an iPad in her home

How to start a consistent home workout routine

Building strength is not about spending an hour here or two hours there doing big, hard, explosive exercises that leave you exhausted and sore. To build muscle, you need to find a starting point that works for you and do that movement consistently every day, even if it’s just for 15-20 minutes. 

At MOVE Wellness, we offer several gentle beginner level Pilates classes that give you some initial guidance and routines to get you moving. This easy 15-minute morning routine is a great option if you’re not sure where you want to start. Regardless of what you decide to do, the goal should be to establish a new movement habit that you can incorporate into your daily routine. That means that it should be enjoyable and customized for you, otherwise it’s going to be hard to maintain long-term.

Along those same lines, fancy equipment and perfect form are not things you need to get stronger and healthier at home. Let me say that again: No fancy gym equipment or perfect Instagram-worthy poses needed! For people who take our livestream classes, we’ve even got a list of “prop swaps” you can find at home for some of the equipment or tools you might normally use in a studio or gym setting. Don’t have hand weights? Grab some canned beans! Don’t have a head pad or Yoga block? Grab a book from your bookshelf. 

With any Pilates exercise, the goal shouldn’t be to look exactly like the instructor does or like the seemingly flawless exercise enthusiasts flooding our news and social media these days. The goal is to have you safely engage in that movement in whatever range your body will allow, and then progress from there in ways that allow you to own that movement and experience joy and confidence in doing so.

A man and woman doing planks in their home

How to increase body strength at home

Mat Pilates is one of the most popular and effective ways to build strength at home because it allows you to use your own body weight and natural movements in training. At some point in time, building muscle became all about doing “leg days” or “upper body days” and eating this much protein and that much fat this many times a day. But the good news is, building body strength doesn’t have to be that prescriptive or oddly specific, and for the most part, really shouldn’t be. 

When you think about gaining strength, you want to think about whole-body strength. Not working out one specific muscle or muscle group, but instead moving your body through it’s normal planes of movement and building strength through your center. This means understanding how your spine alignment works, learning that engaging your core isn’t just about tightening your abs, and being assured that nothing you’re doing should hurt or feel bad.

Your own body weight is usually all you need to get started with Pilates. Then, once you’ve developed some comfort and familiarity, you can increase progression by adding props like resistance bands or weighted balls (or prop swaps).  

A woman doing a home workout with weights

3 tips for successful strength-training at home

#1: Start small

We love simple movements and exercise modifications in Pilates because it allows you to customize workouts for your skill level and comfort. For example, don’t feel pressured to start with hand weights or resistance bands. Just using your own body weight and learning to move freely through different ranges of motion first is not only ok, it’s often the better way to begin. If you want to establish a routine that you can both maintain and benefit from, the focus should be on performing movements correctly and fully, not with excessive amounts of weight or resistance.

#2: Keep it slow and steady

Yes, moving fast and getting our heart rate up can provide a great cardiovascular workout, but it’s the quickest path to injury if you’re not moving correctly and fluidly. Remember, you’re creating a new routine and developing new habits, not transforming yourself into an entirely different human being overnight. Moving slowly and thoughtfully allows us to establish a healthy routine we’re more likely to maintain and grow over time.

#3: Consistency is key

Like I mentioned before, 15-20 minutes of movement each day is better than an intense hour-long workout one or two days per week. Make your strength-building routine part of your everyday life, not an additional difficult, time-consuming task that you’ll end up dreading or not having time for.

Moving with ease is a basic human necessity. Exercise and strength-training should always be driven by a desire to move and feel better, not look better. When we focus on physical appearance rather than feeling and health, we fall into the trap of not listening to our bodies and letting discomfort and pain turn into injury and chronic mobility issues. 

Whether you decide to try an in-person or livestream class through a studio like ours or just start incorporating new movement practices into your daily routine at home, be sure to take note of how your body feels and ask lots of questions.

You Can Start Now

Looking for a guided, approachable way to get started with movement? Movement Essentials: Getting Started with Pilates is now available at MOVE On Demand and may be right for you. This is a complete 28-day program designed to safely introduce you to Pilates and keep you on track as you build a routine. Each week Elaine Economou will cover the basic principles of Pilates with a consistent warm up, weekly classes, and a variety of special topics to enhance your journey. And, it comes with an easy to follow calendar that will guide you through the progression and prepare you for a lifetime of healthy movement. Watch the program trailer to learn more.

How to Keep Up Your Fitness Routine While Traveling

The latest blog from Elaine Economou about working out while traveling is now posted on the popular website, Sixty and Me.

“Once you evaluate the when and where of a travel exercise routine, figuring out how you will exercise is the next step. With internet access you can do virtually (pun intended!) anything you want. Online fitness options—both on demand workouts and livestream classes—are widely available. You don’t need to have any fancy equipment or props taking up space in your suitcase. Use a beach towel instead of a mat and water bottles as hand weights. That book you brought along to read on your trip can make a great substitute yoga block.”

—Elaine Economou

Tips for Working Out While Traveling

In this blog, Elaine will guide you though how to think about your available time and space on vacation. She’ll break down the advantages of the various online workout options. And, she’ll talk about what type of exercise you need most when you’re on the road. Give the following 30-minute Level 1 Pilates class a try on your next vacation using therabands for resistance. Perfect for your suitcase! Be sure to read the full blog over on Sixty and Me to learn even more strategies.

Read How to Keep Up Your Fitness Routine While Traveling.

Move More, Feel Better

We know the more you move, the better you feel. That includes finding smart ways to make movement part of your routine, even when traveling. For wherever life takes you or from the comfort of your very own home, MOVE Wellness offers a free 14 day trial of our livestream classes. Support the activities you love to do in life by starting today!


About Elaine Economou

Elaine Economou helps people move with ease, strength, and joy. Her passion is empowering people to understand their unique bodies to build strength, and do more of what they love. As co-founder of MOVE Wellness®, Elaine leads a global movement community of clients in high-caliber, in-studio, and interactive livestream training

Find all of Elaine’s Sixty and Me blogs on her author page.

Yoga and Aging: The Benefits of Yoga as We Get Older

As we get older, we find ourselves looking for ways to offset the day to day effects of aging. For some, it’s as simple as wanting to reduce the little aches and pains that creep into our days. For others, the goal might be to build strength and mobility to move through life with ease. Or, we may be looking for ways to manage stress and build a mindfulness practice into our daily routine so we enjoy and appreciate our life. Whatever your individual goals, the phrase “active aging” may hold the key.

According to the International Council on Active Aging, active aging means staying fully engaged with life in seven dimensions of wellness—physical activity and spiritual pursuits are two of them. By staying active, you can continue to lead a healthy life at any age or stage without losing mobility or your balance. Yoga is a popular way to help you achieve these goals. 

MOVE Instructor Shannon Walter teaching yoga for healthy aging

Benefits of Yoga as You Age

A well rounded exercise routine will help you continue to do the things you love in life. Yoga is often the first thing people think of to facilitate healthy aging with a wide range of benefits. A lot of times, we hear people say that they just need to stretch more. Yoga comes to mind quickly when they think about how to solve this problem. Truthfully, the practice of yoga does help the body stay flexible and as we age—an important aspect of staying balanced and mobile. But there are many other benefits of a regular yoga practice. It can be an important part of a well rounded fitness plan.  

Let’s break it down. First, when we practice yoga we are stretching and opening the body by moving into and holding poses to help keep the joints mobile and strong. Moving regularly can help minimize inflammation to keep day-to-day aches and pain away. Beyond the muscular system, breathing and mindfulness are at the top of the benefits list for ways yoga can help us combat the physiological impact of stress. When we can reduce stress and increase breathing and mindfulness we stand to sleep better and maintain healthy blood pressure. And finally, in practicing yoga the deep focus on the movements and sensations of the body will build awareness and keep you mentally sharp.

MOVE instructor Shannon teaching yoga for healthy aging

Fewer Aches and Pains

Who doesn’t want to feel better throughout the day? A yoga class will help you mobilize all the joints in your body as you move through specific poses, or asanas. Bringing circulation to each part of the body will help it stay supple and minimize inflammation. This can be one cause of simple muscle aches and pains. Stretching your legs, hips, back, and shoulders will help you bring your muscular system into balance. When you move during your day doing all the things you enjoy, all your muscles will be trained to join in and participate offering your body more support. We know that the more you move the better you feel.  

Strength, Mobility, and Balance

A yoga practice can help you manage the activities of daily living by keeping your body resilient and strong. Moving through the asanas and stretching your body in a variety of ways helps keep your tissues supple—including muscles, ligaments and tendons, and all the connective tissues or fascia. That might sound complicated, but it all comes down to building strength and mobility throughout your body. By getting stronger, we will improve our balance safely and keep our body resilient. We will be more responsive to catching ourselves if we momentarily lose our balance. As we age this can be crucial in preventing injuries caused by a stumble or fall. Yoga also promotes increased circulation and oxygenation of the body which will help you feel energized and refreshed after a great class. 

MOVE instructor Shannon Walter teaching yoga for healthy aging

Breathing and Awareness

Yoga has a long history associated with a religious or spiritual practice. Over time, yoga has evolved to allow us to participate in a way that connects us to the truth of what’s in our own heart and who we are in the moment. For some of us this may feel more universally approachable and accessible. As we practice this idea of deeply listening to ourselves, we can foster self-compassion and self-love and bridge the truths of our miraculous body and our lives. Who wouldn’t want healthy movement, peace, and energy all tied together into one practice? 

A key component of any yoga practice is mindful breathing. As we breathe we also focus on how we breathe and even different types of breath practice. This can help minimize the physiological impact of stress, reduce blood pressure, and calm anxiety. Breathing well and fully will also help your pelvic floor and core muscles work organically to bring tone to the muscles that support a healthy trunk and strong back. By really tuning into our breath throughout our yoga practice, we will steadily improve our focus and concentration. Following the guidance of a great teacher we will build awareness of the sensations of the body that can help us meaningfully tune in to how we feel day to day. 

Yoga Classes for Healthy Aging

There are a lot of different yoga classes out there to choose from. If you’re ready to see how yoga can enhance your movement routine, step one is getting permission from your physician so you can exercise safely. Finding a class that helps you move at a level appropriate for you is important. Many of them can be adapted for any level of movement and for different populations. This article is a really nice primer describing the different types of yoga—from Restorative to Hatha or Vinyasa and anything in between, this will help you decide where to start. There are so many options, including livestream classes with a real-time instructor, recorded on-demand to practice at your own convenience, or in-person group fitness in a studio. 

We like to recommend starting with a Gentle Yoga class if you’re unsure what level you might be comfortable with. You can also reach out to the teacher beforehand directly to help you choose.  If you have balance issues or difficulty getting down on the floor, a chair yoga class may work best until you get more steady on your feet. Or, an osteoporosis-safe yoga class may be best for those with that issue. Speaking to the instructor before class is particularly important if you have any health issues or injuries. They might have advice or modifications to help you feel comfortable and safe throughout class. Always stop if you feel any pain or discomfort and seek medical advice before going any further.

MOVE instructor Shannon Walter teaching yoga for healthy aging

Yoga at MOVE Wellness in Ann Arbor, Michigan

Join us for interactive, livestream yoga and meditation classes with MOVE Wellness Studios. Our classes are designed to meet a variety of client needs and represent a practice that speaks from the teacher’s heart. At MOVE, we pride ourselves on creating a welcoming environment. We strive to empower each client on their personal path to fitness and wellness. As we’ve learned through this article, there are many effective yoga systems. We offer diverse classes that are accessible to all people. 

Our Gentle Yoga class moves at a slow to moderate pace. Traditional yoga concepts are introduced in a format that is clear and easy to understand. You’ll practice poses with an emphasis on breathing, physical awareness and relaxation. This will allow you to increase strength and flexibility while relieving stress. 

Our Rest and Restore Class (Yoga Nidra) features gentle movements and relaxation techniques. These movements are designed to relieve muscular tension, calm the nervous system and quiet the mind.

We also offer a guided Mindfulness and Meditation opportunity. This non-movement class focuses on various techniques such as body scans, breath awareness and mantras to help focus the mind and be present in the moment. 

You Can Start Now

With MOVE Livestream, you’ll enjoy yoga classes and more with our expert instructors from the comfort of your own home. Let us help you find the class that’s right for you. Get started today with a 14 day free trial!

The latest blog from Elaine Economou is now posted on the popular website Sixty and Me.

What is GYROKINESIS® Exercise?

Maybe you’ve heard of Gyrokinesis exercise, but aren’t exactly sure what it entails. You might be wondering what it’s all about and how it might benefit you. Elaine’s blog will cover:

  • What Is Gyrokinesis exercise?
  • The benefits of Gyrokinesis exercise
  • Why try a Gyrokinesis Exercise Class
  • How to access a free Gyrokinesis class trial

Check out this Youtube video to learn more!

Why try a GYROKINESIS® Exercise Class

Read the full blog to learn more about the benefits of this wonderful movement system. Gyrokinesis classes are an efficient, effective, and safe way to increase your flexibility, develop your core, and release tension. Classes can be adapted to people of all ages with a wide range of abilities from fitness enthusiasts to those just starting out.

You CAN Start Now

We offer in-studio Gyrokinesis and Gyrotonic Tower classes. Click the button below to see the schedule and sign up!