Getting Fit in the Age of Instagram

By Devra Swiger

Not a day goes by when I fail to peruse my Instagram feed only to see long legged beauties with sleek sculpted bodies demonstrating moves that even I, with my years of dance training, would never dare do. I ask myself if I wouldn’t try it, how could I ever expect my clients to? The answer is I don’t.

I run a small home-based private Pilates studio in Huntington Beach, Ca a lovely beach community just 30 or so miles south of Los Angeles. Everyone believes that LA and Orange County are trailblazers when it comes to fitness. Everyone believes that fitness trends start in LA and then travel to the rest of the world. But do they really? When I first moved here about 13 years ago, I thought I would see only beautiful people running on the beach or roller skating in the tiniest of shorts. I was wrong. True there are a lot of beautiful and fit people at the beach, but for the most part, people look like people.

The problem with fitness in the age of social media is that everyone feels they need to look like a 19-year-old super-model before even starting an exercise program. I vividly remember a potential client calling me up asking about Pilates training. This woman then confessed that she was afraid to start a training program because she wasn’t yet fit enough. That’s like not starting a diet because you need to lose weight before starting; It just doesn’t make sense.
A wonderful way to start a fitness program when feeling somewhat intimidated by social media is to start a program with private Pilates. A one on one or even a duet Pilates session is a way to not only learn the system better but to feel less daunted by others. It’s just you and the teacher in the studio so no need to worry about the skinny blonde on the first reformer.

Huntington Beach has a lot of large group classes but starting out with private Pilates even for a few sessions, can make all the difference in the world. That extra attention to detail, the focus on learning how to execute the move correctly, the ability to ask questions and ultimately the lack of competition all make for a great start in learning the Pilates method. Even after a few private sessions, the client feels so much more confident in his or her abilities.

Instagram and Facebook are not going away anytime soon but learning how to do something the right way and not feeling the pressure to look perfect makes for a much easier start to a new healthy program. It’s never too late to get started.

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