Back in 2019, I remembered my first month of Pilates classes. I wasn’t happy because I’ve noticed no reduction in my weight, considering I had 8 sessions with a Pilates instructor. I was faced with the dilemma of whether or not I can endure more hard work without no results or just get a refund and step out of the gym.

I decided to try Pilates class because first, I was gaining a lot of weight due to stress eating and diet alone cannot suffice for my need to lose weight. And second, I am unable to perform weight-bearing exercises such the treadmill, high-impact aerobics or stair climbing.

With a clear mind and a strong conviction that I can lose weight, I endeavored to go on and continue my Pilates class. For some reason, maybe my weekly sessions weren’t enough to meet my goals. And so, I increased my gym visits and had 3-4 sessions per week moving forward. I had 1-2 sessions of Pilates Jumpboard and 2 Pilates for weight loss.

Frown turned into grin a few weeks passed, when I saw my weight looking good with a few pounds shed off. I can’t stress this enough, but losing weight is never easy. There are no shortcuts or magic spells that would transform you overnight.

Just to be clear, I have nothing negative about Pilates group class. In fact, I’ve known friends and colleagues in the same gym and I’m glad to witness their numbers going down.

It may or may not work for some. In my case, personalised pilates session in Carlton North gave positive results. I haven’t hit the spotlight yet, but losing 18 lbs in 5 months is not bad at all.

To this day, I believe, I’ve been doing Pilates for more than a year juggling work and family all together. It’s not easy but it’s possible. It’s a little crazy.

I know, it’s been a difficult year for everyone, with lockdown implementation and safety protocols mandated due to Coronavirus, workout trainings and programs froze. Health buffs also went on a halt with their regimen.

Thanks to the internet, virtual platforms didn’t stop me from working out. I didn’t mind turning my living room into a mini studio as my Pilates instructor taught me via Zoom. The training wasn’t perfect but it was convenient, not going through the pressure of commuting to the gym.

Looking back, my first impression about Pilates – it’s not that effective. A lot of factors came into mind such as; will it affect my posture or my muscle tone etc.? And it did, after a month of increased number of sessions.

There was progress indeed, a change in my body shape and my muscles are well-toned now. Surprisingly, I even had to change some of my wardrobe one size smaller. It’s a wonderful feeling.

If there is one thing about Pilates that I have to be thankful for, that would be my increased energy level. Roughly 50% of my energy soared and my performance at work increased to a higher level as well.

Compared to my old routine where I would go home and must be in bed by 9PM, today, I am eager to go out and have coffee with friends or even do my grocery shopping without feeling exhausted.

Moreover, Pilates enhances flexibility. This means you can manage your body movements easily because it prevents you from falling or tripping. I believe it’s the stretching aspect of my Pilates workout that made me more flexible and stronger.

My body aches were reduced to a certain extent. Why is this true? Well, I seldom go to the spa clinic now for a body massage. I used to put hot packs on my back for some relief. Now they’re just gathering dust in the shelf as I can’t remember the last time I used them.

I welcomed Pilates in my life a year ago with open arms and the hurdles of the first months are just part of it. Like I said, there are no shortcuts to progress.

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There are people who think that office cleaning is only for big businesses since they already have a reputation to protect. However, getting the services of a professional cleaning company can also bring a number of benefits for small businesses.

Here are 4 reasons why small businesses should also invest in reputable office cleaning services.

1. Ensures a Great and Lasting Impression

Small businesses do not have the benefit of a large customer base. As such, they have to take every opportunity they can to make a great and lasting impression on their clients.

If their office and other facilities are clean and organised, customers will be more than willing to conduct business with them.

This is where professional cleaning services can be very useful. One such company is Performance Cleaning. They can help small businesses find a venue where potential customers will feel very welcome.

One has to realise that ordinary cleaning is not enough. Customers will know if the office is really clean or not. Only professional office cleaning companies can provide small businesses with a very thorough cleaning.

2. Improves the Productivity of Your Employees

There are some businesses who think that their employees can clean the office themselves. While this is possible, it can take away precious time from the productivity of employees.

They will be spending up to 30 minutes cleaning up their workstations and helping others in the cleaning of other areas of the office. These 30 minutes can be allotted for more meaningful and more productive activities.

When small businesses hire an office cleaning company, they are transferring the responsibility of cleaning the office to this company. They are removing the burden of cleaning from their employees. This way, employees can focus more on their tasks and job responsibilities.

Professional cleaners can provide a much safer workplace, too. People will not get sick due to dust and allergens that may come from air vents or contaminated surfaces. This leads to a reduction in employee absenteeism. It can also contribute to better employee productivity.

3. Fosters Good Employer-Employee Relationship

One of the advantages of being in a small business is that you get to know each and every employee. Small business owners know each employee on a more personal level.

As such, they are able to communicate with employees in a less formal manner. The relationship between owners and employees is more cordial than those in large businesses.

However, if the business owner does not provide a clean and safe environment for his employees to work in, then the employees might feel neglected.

They might feel that the owner is only good at talking with them. Hiring a cleaning service can help convey to employees that the business owner wants them to work in the best possible environment.

They will feel valued. This can also endear them more to the company. As such, they will do their best to help the small business succeed.

4. More Thorough Cleaning

It is true that ordinary employees can clean their office. However, we already mentioned that doing so can have an impact on their productivity. A more important reason why professional office cleaning companies are better is that they can perform a more thorough cleaning of your office.

Professional office cleaners undergo rigorous training to help them in their tasks. They also get to use cleaning agents that are more powerful and more effective in killing germs on various surfaces. They are also knowledgeable about the different areas of an office that are the dirtiest.

Part of their job is to maintain the optimal functioning of your furnishings, fixtures, and other essential office equipment. They know that your business relies on these objects for your company’s success. Professional cleaners can keep your small business in great shape.

Professional cleaning companies do more than clean your office; they can help you gain more customers and ensure healthy and happy employees. They can also help you improve your employees’ productivity so you will reach the kind of success you’ve always envisioned for your small business.

It may be a surprising analogy but much of what is taught in yoga mirrors the principles of getting in the flow of organising. There’s a general misconception that being organised, or getting organised, is boring, strict and controlling. It couldn’t be further from the truth, there’s a spiritual element to getting organised that’s often overlooked which can be used across life.

  1. You can’t be wrong: We’re all unique so there’s many ways of achieving the same outcome. There are modifications for all Yoga poses for a reason, not all bodies can do the same thing. The same goes for organising, everyone’s organising level is different, and it takes time to find what works for you.
  2. It’s about the journey: As in Yoga, there is not a point that you will be ‘done’. Life is an endless cycle of using items, putting them back; acquiring items, letting go of others. The cycle is the point of organisation, not the destination of a magazine perfect house.
  3. Your intention keeps you focused: By focusing on what is important to you, achievements become a reality and help get you back on track when other distractions come up.
  4. Keep going: Progress is a product of patience. I’ve not known anyone who will try the Crow pose on the first go and get it. It’s something that has to be tried again and again before it’s accomplished. It’s the same with reaching an organising goal. Chunking a task down into manageable pieces keeps energy high and flowing.

  1. Every day is different: Some days on the mat you feel limber and happy, you’re able to get into poses easily and without strain. Other days it’s tiring and your body doesn’t want to do anything but child’s pose. Staying on top of life admin and being organised across all areas of life comes in waves, some days it all seems to work and other days will show that tweaks need to be made to handle new strains.
  2. Choose love and vulnerability: Yoga teaches us to be in the moment, to stay with our feelings. Organising demands the same. If we’re decluttering, for example, we must be honest about whether we need the item or if it’s fear that we may need it later, that makes us hold on to it.
  3. Observing yourself is a great asset: Rather than get angry at your past purchasing ‘mistakes’ or regrets, these are opportunities to learn about yourself. As they say in Yoga, each breath is a new chance, a fresh start; so to are opportunities to let go.

This guest post is written by Christie Flora.

If you are looking for a professional organiser based in Melbourne, Australia, you can contact Christie at flor&order (www.florandorder.com). She also helps with wardrobe organising and can be hired for one on one coaching sessions to assist you in living a calmer, decluttered, and happier life.

Strong is the new sexy. Women in the modern society are now starting to embrace fitness over and above skinny figures. Even in the fashion industry, we are seeing models with more flesh and muscles than bones. Today, women train and boy do they train hard. While many stick to the mainstream activities, like gym sessions and outdoor sports, I go in a different direction. I discovered indoor futsal and the benefits it brings to my physique. Here, I will share with you the 5 reasons why we, the women of the world, should embrace indoor futsal with open arms.

Improves Cardiovascular Fitness

Futsal, considered as the smaller-format of soccer, is an aerobic activity. It therefore improves your breathing and heart functions. The game is played with different maneuvers, including frequent and rapid shifts from running to walking to sprinting, and vice versa. In the process, you burn fats or simply lower your cholesterol count. With less fats, the better your cardio fitness becomes.

Tones Muscles

Losing body fats can leave your skin saggy without proper and regular exercise. If you’re looking for a fun, collaborative way to firm up your muscles, play futsal with friends and loved ones. Observe the school girls who are soccer players. Their legs are sexy, as well as their arms and abdominal muscles. Unlike gym sessions, playing futsal does not lead to bulking up. I personally don’t want an overly bulky or muscular build for a woman as it loses femininity. With a smaller ball size, lighter weight, and restricted bounce, the ball used in futsal won’t demand much force from players. So, you can very well tone your muscles the right way.

Avoids Skin Damage

Playing rough sports may cause injuries. Running a marathon exposes the skin to the harmful UV rays, pollutants, and other potentially damaging factors. Just hanging out under the roof, such as in a pilates center or gym, can become dull in the long run without interaction. With all these considerations, I strongly suggest you find an indoor physical activity that is equally interactive, just like futsal. Skin care, after all, is not only a matter of product application and regular clinic treatments, you have to also stay away from some outdoor activities as the skin ages faster with constant exposure to the intense sun heat.

Promotes Socialization

If men are generally logical beings, women are relational creatures. We thrive in socialization, even when we undertake ordinary tasks like stitching or baking. So it’s not surprising why women initiate tea parties or organize clubs. The same is true for the sport, indoor futsal. Clubs and organizations such the Australian Women’s Futsal Team, Moreland Futsal Club, and Melbourne Heart exist and strengthen not only the sport, but also the social relationship of the players. I find this quite exciting and adventurous for you get to play in different futsal stadium locations in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, or in any other city.

Sharpens Strategic Thinking

Futsal also enhances cognitive thinking which makes it a holistic sport, targeting both the mind and the body. In my profession, mental acuity, strategic thinking, and quick decision-making are crucial. And I like the fact that all these can be further honed simply by playing a ball game. A sharp mind is demanded when the ball is passed on to you and because there is time pressure, you are to decide quickly which action to take. When playing futsal, one never notices that he/she is already learning, already firming up.

Many may be hesitant to treat futsal as an exercise for women. Being related to football, futsal may also be classified as intense and rugged, not ideal for females. But I tell you, things are not always what they seem. With smaller courts, lighter ball, and less strict rules, futsal is in many ways softer and gentler than it appears. You’ll definitely love it, just as much as I do.