At-Home Workouts and Curing Gym Anxiety: Why Pilates is the New Craze

A photo of gym equipment
Even empty gyms can cause gym anxiety for those who find it difficult to go. Photo Credits Kirsten Penk

For many, the gym can feel like a place fuelled by judgement and self-deprecation. 

Having an unhealthy relationship with the gym is more common than most people think but we understand it can deter you from pursuing your fitness goals. 

Many students struggle with finding the energy for exercise and with the current cost of living crisis, affording a gym membership is near impossible. 

However your fitness journey can start from the comfort of your own home with extremely low-impact workouts. 

Pilates is a great form of exercise that blends the arts of yoga, meditation and muscle toning to work the body and relax the mind. A perfect exercise for those who may be struggling with starting their fitness journeys. 

Counsellor and mental health coach Nia, a 21-year-old, said: “Working out is a great way to de-stress the mind and body.

“Although a lot of people who struggle with anxiety may find it hard to get to the gym, we do try and influence people to at least go for a walk every day – low-impact workouts are great fuel for the body and mind.” 

Megan Williams (20), a student from University of Derby, added: “I struggle with anxieties myself, sometimes I really do not want to get up and workout, and I don’t always have the money to pay for a gym membership.

“I think pilates is a great form of exercise for anyone looking for something easy to pick up and that doesn’t take too much effort. I do it in my university dorm if I don’t feel like heading to the gym and I love to run in the morning.”

A photo of a girl doing pilates at home with a laptop video up.
Pilates can be done from the comfort of your own home.
Photo Credit: Roman Lacheev / Alamy Stock Photo

The First Steps: 

  1. Find Your Space: begin with finding a place in your house that has enough space for you to stretch out. Make sure that this space is somewhere that is comforting to you. 
  2. Slow Stretches: the best way to become familiar with consistently moving your body is by starting a few easy stretches. On YouTube, search for “Yoga For Beginners” and follow a video in the safe space you have found in your home. 
  3. Don’t Push Yourself Too Far: if you struggle with getting into the mindset of working out, begin by doing exercises that are easy and quick but make sure you do them every day to build up the determination to exercise every day. The best type of exercise for this is yoga stretches and pilates. 

Pilates For Beginners: 

  1. Begin With The Basics: pilates uses a lot of core strength, balance and muscular toning exercises so learning a few of the basic moves will help when following an exercise. Some terms you may come across are tabletop, child’s pose, bridge and bicycle legs and knowing what these are before you begin may help calm any overwhelming nerves. 
  2. Listen To Your Body: as mentioned before, don’t push yourself too hard. If you need to stop or take a break for any reason, you are allowed to do so since you are in the comfort of your own home. 
  3. Some Moves To Begin With: here are a few good moves to start with as a beginner to pilates. 
    1. The Hundred: Lie on your back with your knees bent and arms by your sides. Lift your head, neck, and shoulders off the mat as you extend your legs to a 45-degree angle. Pump your arms up and down as you inhale for five counts and exhale for five counts, repeating for a total of 100 counts.
    2. The Roll-Up: Begin lying on your back with your arms extended overhead. Inhale as you reach your arms toward the ceiling, then exhale as you articulate your spine to roll up to a seated position. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
    3. The Pilates Bridge: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Press into your feet as you lift your hips toward the ceiling, keeping your pelvis in a neutral position. Lower back down with control and repeat.
    4. The Single Leg Stretch: Lie on your back with your knees bent and shins parallel to the ceiling. Extend one leg while drawing the other knee toward your chest. Switch legs. 

Once you have begun your journey, you could then start classes where you can use exciting equipment and meet people who are travelling along the same journey.

A photo of Calm Studio in Derby City Center, a Pilates and Wellbeing studio
Receive five free consecutive yoga, pilates or mindfulness sessions at Calm.
Photo Credit: Kirsten Penk

Found in the heart of Derby City Centre, Calm is a beautiful yoga, pilates and mindfulness studio that hosts a range of classes for people of all experience. You can get five consecutive classes for free by signing up with the link: