Vive Active’s Bella Wagschall on why everyone should be practicing pilates

We sat down with Vive Active pilates instructor Bella Wagschall about the best time of day to do a pilates workout, the best foods to add to your diet when introducing pilates to your regime, as well as what the health benefits are of this form of fitness.

Bella Wagschall, Vive Active
Bella Wagschall. Image supplied.

Bella Wagschall. Image supplied.

What is your favourite type of pilates workout?

I love a full body burn on the reformer. A pilates workout that leaves no muscle un-worked, and challenges and moves my body in ways I didn’t know possible; a workout that involves a good balance in strength work, mobility, and stability whilst utilising the reformer in a creative way. The Vive Active Total Workout provides just that.

What is the best time of day to do pilates?

This is completely subject to the individual! You move your body when it feels best for you. For me, an early morning Pilates session is the best way to kickstart the day. It gets the endorphins flowing, which induces a positive mindset... and it leaves me feeling lean and strong – setting me up to take on anything that is thrown my way.

Vive Active
Image supplied.

Why should women be practicing pilates?

Pilates reforms the body, and not just in terms of appearance - there are much deeper benefits. Pilates exercises are able to access and strengthen the deep muscles that surround your joints and support bone density. This is all so important for preserving your internal, anatomical youth, as well as functional health. It is gentle on the body, protects the spine, and is suitable for women at any stage of life!

What are the benefits?

We’ve touched on the physical and anatomical benefits: that is pilates’ capability to revitalise, strengthen, stretch, and lengthen. For me, the real benefits lie in the positive mental impact that pilates can have on a woman (or anyone!). Through Pilates you challenge yourself in ways unimaginable. Overcoming these mental barriers promotes a strong and healthy mind; shifting your focus from ‘I can’t’, to ‘I can!’.

Vive Active
Image supplied.

Are there other benefits to it besides health?

Absolutely. With pilates practice comes a huge sense of community and achievement – whether you practice online or in a studio, you will always feel connected to others through the movement. I have certainly found my community at Vive Active and made lifelong friends here. I personally love the group class vibe and feeling a sense of achievement – collectively, as well as individually – once reaching the end of a workout.

What are the best foods to add to your diet when introducing pilates to your regime?

Eat intuitively and give your body what it needs. High protein will support the development of your muscles as you begin to build strength, and help repair worked muscles too. Foods high in healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, salmon) will provide your body with everlasting energy levels as well. You should aim to incorporate a bit of both of these in every meal – alongside healthy carbs, of course!

Vive Active
Image supplied.

Are there any cool/interesting stats/facts about pilates you want to share?

That it’s not just for women! No matter your pronoun, sex, gender or age – pilates does not discriminate. Ladies, encourage the men in your lives to come to a class. As an instructor, it is my guilty pleasure hearing male clients moan and groan when I get them into ‘feet in straps’! If you know, you know...! The juicy burn pilates provides is absolutely addictive, and it’s the best addiction you will ever have.

Tell us a bit about Vive active; and how does it differ from other pilates studios?

Vive Active workouts take an Athletic approach to reformer and mat pilates – meaning you receive all the benefits of conventional pilates with a layered intensity brought by weights and HIIT. All of this is fuelled by the rhythm of pumping beats and a fusion of colourful lights. Entering a Vive Active studio is almost like entering a high energy vortex, where all of the above elements combine to motivate you through smashing your workout, and you sure have a lot of fun while doing so!

Bella Wagschall, Trainer at Vive Active

Being one of our most recent recruits at Vive, Bella’s flows are as fresh as they are fierce. Her passion towards pilates stems from her experience as a classical Ballerina and her studies in Physical Theatre. Motivating you through movement on the reformer is truly her vocation, but don’t be fooled by this friendly face, Bella will have you feeling the fire in places you didn’t even know was possible.

IG: @bells.wagschall