The tenants of Lumo homes are taking advantage of Sunday evening Pilates workouts to start the new week feeling refreshed and relaxed. Pilates was incorporated into the Lumo Trainer programme following requests from Lumo tenants.
“Here comes your Pilates helper,” says Lumo Trainer Hedvig Lundsten with a laugh as she goes around the room adjusting the poses of the participants scattered around the floor.
Lumo Trainer Hedvig Lundsten helps the participants find the right poses. “You should feel like you’re between two walls and like you’re trying to stretch out.
The studio at the Saiffa dance school is hot despite the big windows having been kept open before the start of class to ventilate the space. The orange-hued streetlights of Lönnrotinkatu are visible through the windows.
The muffled beat of music can be heard from a neighbouring studio, but it doesn’t bother the group of Lumo home tenants who are fully focused on their Sunday evening Pilates workout. Taking deep breaths, they slowly go through the poses. They occasionally take breaks to relax their back muscles and then continue with the exercises.
When the class finishes at six, the next group of Lumo tenants is already waiting outside the door. When registration for the Pilates classes began on Facebook, the spots filled up quickly.
Pilates practitioners representing a wide range of backgrounds
Hedvig Lundsten has been a Lumo Trainer for a year now. Since last autumn, she has led Pilates groups for Lumo tenants in central Helsinki in addition to her usual outdoor workouts. The Pilates groups are not building-specific. The tenants of all Lumo homes can register for any Pilates class.
“The groups are very diverse. The classes are attended by people of all ages, from all sorts of backgrounds,” Lundsten says.
Diversity is no problem, as Pilates workouts suit everyone. People do the exercises at their own speed and there’s room for variation. Lundsten says Pilates is also an effective method of prevention and treatment for people with reduced mobility.
With today having been the third class for this course, the participants are now familiar with the routine.
“We had a good workout. Nothing out of the ordinary,” the instructor commented quickly before getting started with the next group.
The Lumo Trainer concept will soon be expanded to Tampere
Lumo Trainer activities are run by the sports service provider Raatamo, whose founder and owner Jussi Konttinen has a background in breakdance. Maybe that explains why this class takes place at a dance studio. Konttinen himself is one of the coaches in charge of the Lumo Trainer outdoor cross-training workouts. He says Pilates was added to the lineup following requests by Lumo tenants.
“We surveyed the tenants’ wishes in the autumn and that’s where the idea came from. These classes have been very popular. Compared to more dynamic and high-tempo outdoor exercise, Pilates is a nice change of pace. It also helps with stress management, has a low threshold and it suits this time of year,” Konttinen says.
The Lumo Trainer activities launched in spring 2016 have already spread to a large number of Lumo buildings in Helsinki. Next, the activities will be expanded to include Tampere in the spring. Lately, there has been a shift from a more building-specific approach to an area-specific model that allows people to join the workouts from further away.
“During the winter, we had outdoor workouts only in Kalasatama, where we have a highly committed and active group of people. In the spring, we will again start our running school, which is usually aimed at entering a specific running event. I personally thought last year’s Midnight Run was very memorable. We had ten Lumo tenants enter the event and they all reached the finish line.
Using social media for communication
Lumo Trainers have a closed Facebook group for posting information about the activities. While the outdoor workouts can be attended without advance registration, joining the running school and Pilates classes is subject to advance registration via Facebook. Another communication channel used for posting updates about the activities is the group on WhatsApp.
Konttinen says the workout participants have ranged in age from 20 to about 70 years.
“We have taken an experimental approach to gradually develop these activities. For our part, we are very enthusiastic about our role in this service. We’re pleased that Lumo has been so open-minded in developing this kind of entirely new housing-related service.
The sense of well-being carries over into the next week
Milla Leinonen and Niina Saloranta come out of the hot dance studio with the rest of the Pilates class.
“I feel relaxed and supple. It’s like I have more space in my spine,” Leinonen says.
“I feel more open physically, and I got an injection of energy, like you always do from a workout,” Saloranta adds.
One of them came to the class on Lönnrotinkatu from her home in Hernesaari, the other from Ramsinranta. Their motivation for joining the Pilates class was to maintain physical fitness and take on new challenges.
“I usually exercise at a gym, so this is a nice relaxed workout to do on a Sunday evening,” Leinonen says.
“My other workouts are also fairly intense. I want to try something new every year, and Pilates is something I hadn’t done before. I’ve enjoyed it. There’s plenty of time to focus on technique and you learn to control your body better,” Saloranta explains.
Leinonen says she has also participated in Lumo Trainer outdoor workouts, while Saloranta hasn’t done so yet. They both hope that the Pilates classes will continue in the autumn and that they manage to register for them before the spots get filled up.
“The coach knows her stuff. She’s a pro. She also gives us different options for doing the exercises. The atmosphere is nice and relaxed. You don’t have to worry about what will happen if you fall over, for example. This is a very low-threshold activity,” they say in unison.
Find facts about Lumo Trainer activities here
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