Jen Painter is a CYQ, Body Control & Stott trained Pilates instructor based in Hackney, East London. She has a background in dance, yoga and nutrition and uses this knowledge to inform the way she teaches Pilates.
Specialising in ante-natal Pilates and as a mother herself, Jen can vouch for the practise as a safe and efficient way to aid the body throughout pregnancy, childbirth and post-natal recovery.
Jen believes that happy bodies come from the right balance of conditioning and cardio – but that you have to enjoy it. That's why she follows the 70/30 diet, recommending that 70% of the time you eat a healthy balanced diet and 30% of the time you should just go crazy and order yourself a massive cheeseburger and a pint.
There are many great ways to keep fit these days, with classes as simple as jogging and as crazy as chess-boxing. But the awesome thing about pilates is that it involves the whole body, mind and spirit, which means that nothing gets left out.
Pilates is a type of exercise that uses precise and controlled movements to focus on strengthening specific areas of the body. The use of breathing guides the body through a movement without holding tension in the wrong areas and and helps the mind to focus on using the whole body as one unit.
When Joseph Pilates first started teaching what we know as Pilates today, he was rigging springs to hospital beds in the British internment camp in which he was kept during WWI (as a German national he was considered an "enemy alien" despite having left the country two years prior). Today you will find studios all over the world dedicated to his practise, full of sophisticated equipment, but still teaching the very same movements he formulated over 100 years ago.
Whether you are recovering from an injury, pregnant, have back issues or are a total gym body, there's still something to be gained from practising pilates, as the exercises can be adapted to suit anyone, whatever age, ability, shape or size.