Why are you doing Pilates?
As a teacher you might be struggling to limit your answer to just one sentence. As a student you probably want to move better, look better or feel better. Pilates is just one of the tools in the “healthy lifestyle” treasure box, it’s note a cure-all magic method that will miraculously change your body, it’s just a very effective tool to reach some of the health goals that are on your radar.
Many Pilates teachers like to separate teaching Pilates from any other health-related goals, but should we? Granted, we are not dietitians but our health advice (sometimes even common sense tips) can be just the right encouragement for our students to stay on the healthy track. Most students view their fitness trainers (movement specialists, Pilates teachers, call us what you want but it does not change the fact that we work in the fitness industry) as specialists in the “look and feel good” area. This concept can be a remarkable tool for adding extra income to your Pilates services and reaching new clients.
Most of the new teachers who want to open their first studio (home-based or store-front) often struggle to spread awareness about Pilates in their communities. Many people are still not as familiar with Pilates as they are with Yoga, crossfit or even Barre. However, many people are looking for ways to live healthier lifestyles whether those involve losing a few extra pounds, eating a clean diet or being consistent with their exercise. As a Pilates teacher you can build your authority in the community as a health expert and THEN introduce the Pilates services. In fact health coaching could be a beneficial “complementary” occupation for many Pilates teachers.
Sharing health advice will not only help your students stay on track but will also help you grow your business:
- Improve your website position in search engines.Blog about health tips on your website to add new content and improve search engine ranking of the website.
- Improve the open-rate for your newsletter.Send out a newsletter to your list that your subscribers will actually open and read – they will appreciate the information that you are sharing.
- Build social engagement.Use health tips to build engagement on a Facebook page or post your healthy meals on Instagram.
- Offer health coaching services to your students (according to the GlassDoor and FoxBusiness health coaches in the US make around $45,000/year and the hourly rate fluctuates between $50 and $150.)
- Build loyalty and enthusiasm. Initiate health challenges for the clients with motivation and support. It is so much easier to establish healthy habits when you have a person by your side who encourages you and is sincerely interested in your progress. You develop lasting and loyal relationships with your clients by being that “guide” who helps them on their health journey.
- Reach new clients by creating a health-oriented community. In the time when Facebook and Instagram are our most frequent forms of communication with the friends and family personal relationships are at a premium. Being part of a community, a sense of “belonging” is one of the basic needs of every person. When you create healthy challenges and support groups you build a community around your Pilates business, you instill loyalty and appreciation in your clients. It’s a great marketing tool for both individual teachers and studio owners.
- Add passive income by offering wellness products to facilitate your clients’ goals. The income from recommending the products can help Pilates teachers cut back on their teaching hours while increasing their profits.
What health advice can you offer? Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
- Drink more water
- Eat more protein
- Limit refined sugars in the diet
- Cook more meals at home
- Fill half of your plate with non-starchy veggies during every meal
- Eliminate soft drinks
- Substitute junk food with healthy snacks during the day
- Keep a healthy snack with you at all times to avoid junk food cravings
- Learn clean eating habits by following an elimination diet or a structured cleanse.
If you decide to offer wellness products to your clients then you can tie health challenges, support groups and even fun events around those. There are plenty of options to choose from and the best one is the product that you already love and believe in yourself.
Personally I am not a distributor of any product but recently Lindsey Jackson who wrote several brilliant articles for Pilates Bridge has talked me into trying the Clean 9 Cleanse by Forever Living. If you want to experiment with the health challenges for your clients and you do not already have a product that you are in love with then check out my review below. You might even try the challenge yourself by combining it with the Pilates videos that I share at the end.
Personal Review of the C9 Cleanse by Forever Living
Many people struggle with maintaining healthy habits. In fact, before trying the C9 Cleanse I did not realize how poorly I was maintaining some of my healthy habits (yikes!) Lindsey has promised me brighter skin, better digestion and moderate weight loss. “Why not?” – I said to myself, I had nothing to lose (actually I did, about 3 pounds, *smile.*)
C9 Cleanse is one of the products of the ForeverLiving product line that is based on the powerful healing properties of Aloe Vera. Listing all of the benefits of drinking aloe can be a topic for a different article but in a nutshell:
- Aloe gel can improve digestion
- Aloe is powerful source of nutrients including vitamins A, C, E and B12, minerals like zinc and potassium as well as antioxidants.
- Aloe provides detoxifying effect on the colon.
- Aloe can enhance metabolism and aid in weight loss.
- Drinking aloe gel/juice helps maintain steady blood sugar levels.
I was a bit skeptical before starting the program because I am a “Do-It-Yourself”-kind-of-a-girl and my last “cleanse” was in college when I ate only apples for 1 week (yep, thankfully I got a lot smarter since then!)
The C9 Cleanse is a 9 day program that is focused on restarting and cleaning out the gut. The kit includes a packet of the protein shake, 2 jugs of aloe gel, and supplements. You also get a small brochure that guides you through the process and helps you track your food intake and exercise. During the cleanse you are supposed to cut out all added sugars, caffeine and alcohol.
The first two days are semi-fast and they were … not as hard as I thought they were going to be. I was drinking aloe gel 3 times a day, had one shake and was taking supplements to help maintain blood sugar levels. Eating moderate amounts of green vegetables (mostly broccoli, cucumbers, celery, spinach, kale etc.) was also encouraged on those days. I was drinking lots and lots of water. In fact I realized that I was not drinking even nearly enough water as I should have. My best advice during the first two days is to stay as busy as possible so that you do not have the time to think about food.
The third day got easier as I replaced two meals with shakes and had a 600-cal meal once a day. I will admit that I was feeling a bit weak during my normal workouts but the wonderful thing about Pilates is that you can tailor the workout to how you feel each day. I modified balancing exercises on the Reformer and worked mostly on flexibility and precision in every exercise. As always, Pilates mat workouts have turned out to be my favorite ones. I also went running a couple of days to ramp up my cardio.
Here is my personal take-away from the program:
- My skin got brighter, even small wrinkles filled in a little bit probably due to the fact that I started drinking a lot more water.
- I was feeling energized throughout the whole program.
- The supplements that are included in the Kit did a great job at controlling the blood sugar levels. I did not believe in those at first but I could literally feel the difference on the day that I forgot to take my lunch pill. I was feeling lightheaded and cranky by 4 o’clock, something that did not happen any other day. I think those are great for anyone who is struggling to control the appetite (I will admit, I Love good food!) or is simply trying to eliminate constant snacking.
- I did lose about 2 lbs in 9 days – a very healthy and reasonable result for my build.
- I realized that I do not have to survive on caffeine. I discovered amazing herbal teas that hit the spot without dehydrating the body.
- I discovered that I had to increase my protein intake and cut back on fruit to keep my blood sugar under control.
If you decide to try the C9 Cleanse for yourself then here is a list of Pilates workouts that will perfectly complement the journey. You can order the aloe cleanse here (choose Clean 9 from the sidebar menu) if you live in the US. The company also has shops in Canada, Europe and the UK, comment below if you need to place the order outside of the US. All of these workouts are 20-30 minutes and the difficulty level increases every day.
Pilates Workout schedule for 9 days:
- Connecting to the Core and Getting ready for the journey
- Working on Upper Back Flexibility
- Working the legs and challenging the balance. Add cardio – running, walking, etc.
- Total Body Pilates workout
- Pilates for the Upper Body Strength. Add cardio – running, walking, etc.
- Total Body Reformer on the Mat – break down the Reformer exercises on the mat for a total body toning.
- Core-geous legs – work on your core while chiseling the legs. Add cardio – running, walking, etc.
- 30 Minutes Pilates Workout to work your entire body
- Advanced Core Flow – test your core with advanced exercises and flowing transitions. Add cardio – running, walking, etc.