With more people choosing to return to Pilates Studios for classes, can you keep yourself and clients safe during the developing coronavirus situation?
The answer is, YES! Before you cancel all your classes, you should know that it is easy to protect yourself at the studio. Exercise is a vital part to health: among various other benefits, it is an excellent immune-booster and improves mental and emotional health. So, do not cut yourself from the benefits of Pilates. Here are 8 ways you can protect yourself and your clients at your next Pilates class:
1. Clean your Pilates Mat
Wipe down your mat, you hear it all the time, but how do you clean your mat? You should spray your mat with a cleaning solution thoroughly and use a microfiber cloth or paper towel. Using the zig-zag method, start at the top corner of your mat and begin to wipe the mat from side to side down the mat. Imagine you are a painter and you do not want to miss painting any spot on your wall, so go over each layer. Then, look from an angle for dryness to see if you missed any spots. Terricka Thomas, Pilates Master Trainer and education specialist at Fokus Fitness in Denmark emphasizes, habits and responsibility are crucial. “Create the habit, consistently clean your mat before and after class using the zig-zag method and then it will become second nature to you, keeping yourself and others safe”, says Terricka. “Be responsible, arrive to class five minutes early to ensure you have enough time to efficiently and effectively clean your own mat and props”.
2. Cleaning Solution
Go natural, if you are a fan of DIY, then our signature cleaning solution is perfect. LaBriece Ochsner, Pilates Master Trainer, and studio owner in Switzerland, explains clearly and concisely with what we clean our mats, Pilates apparatus and small props. Using a base of distilled water, add 2 tablespoons of 70% rubbing alcohol, 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, and 6-7 drops each of the essential oils of Lavender, Tea Tree, Peppermint, and the all-important lemon!
Tip: “Put a small spray bottle of the solution in your gym bag so you can have it with you for any fitness class”, says Terricka.
Video 1: https://youtu.be/lvoERubOBZ0
3. Fitness Towel
Grab a fitness towel. Use fitness towel to limit contact with shared surfaces such as mats, and equipment. Terricka states fitness towels are preferable because they are thin and lightweight, so they do not interfere with your body connecting with your mat during Pilates exercises. Thanks to high absorbency, any sweat oil coming off the body will immediately be absorbed into your fitness towel; moreover they are odour resistant leaving no funky smell in your gym bag!
4. Cleaning Your Machine
Thoroughly Clean. LaBriece shows how to properly clean the reformer after each client using our signature spray and a microfiber cloth or paper towel. Put any props or sticky mats used on top of the carriage to spray down first. Then, using the zig-zag method on the carriage that you learned for cleaning the mats, clean the props or sticky mats. Check from an angle for dryness. Spray the foot bar by holding cloth underneath to catch droplets. Be sure to clean shoulder rests, head rest and, of course the loops and handles! Use a thin sports towel on top of carriage during your workout.
Video 2: https://youtu.be/7POCGHaB2Kw
5. Be Conscious
Keep it up or down. Do you like seeing hair at the bottom of the shower at the spa? No! It is not pleasant to see. Keep your hair in a ponytail, bun, or top knot to avoid your hair being caught in the apparatus or falling onto the floor. When they are face down looking at the floor on the mat or the reformer the last thing anyone wants to see is hair.
6. Be Safe
Good grip. Wear a grip ToeSox or similar sock on all equipment for both hygiene and safety. When cleaning chair after use, be sure to clean the pedal like you did for the reformer foot bar as well as any prop you used, the top of the chair and any handles it may have.
Video 3: https://youtu.be/AJtzZLBbGbg
7. Keep your hands to yourself
Know your props. Ask your instructor which props you will use before the session. You are going to be excited to see your favourite instructor or Pilates partner, but hold on and remember, Step 1. Spray down your mat and props then set them to the side. Just be sure to wash your hands immediately after class or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if you are in a rush after class.
8. Keep your hands clean
Handle with care. LaBriece explains that even when using suspension systems like TRX or Bodhi ropes, be sure to spray down both your handles and loops after each use! Be respectful of clients that come after you. Keep both yourself and others safe and clean!
Video 4: https://youtu.be/PuGFJrDrke8
Complete Videos #1-4 https://youtu.be/yAWXri2C6xM
Pilates Master Trainer
Pilates Education Specialist for Fokus Fitness
Owner of LB Pilates Studios
Balanced Body Master Trainer