Winter Wellness: The Benefits of being by the Coast

Forget wrapping up for a ‘bracing’ winter, use the most refreshing season of the year to indulge in your wellness. Sea air is so good for the soul, being active outdoors can reap wonders for your mental and physical health and exploring new kinds of exercise can all help to keep us healthy, and happy. We spoke to Cat Proudfoot, co-owner of Margate Pilates Studios, on what she does to be well in winter 

“Joseph Pilates, the founder of the method said; ‘Pilates is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit’. Pilates is a form of exercise that anyone can do, at any age, and in this day and age we absolutely should be.

Margate Pilates Studio

I had an injury as a young gymnast, I couldn’t do the activities I loved, and the only thing that has ever helped is Pilates. Learning to move our body the way it should, not the way it wants to. After teaching in Margate for 5 years, I now run Margate Pilates Studio with my business partner Neil, and we pride ourselves on welcoming anyone to class. Having both experienced pain ourselves, we want to show you it doesn’t have to be that way.

‘Breathing is the first act of life and the last. Our very life depends on it’ Joseph Pilates also said. He believed that focusing on breathing was vital. The practice teaches various breathing techniques to enhance relaxation, lower blood pressure, and to activate specific muscles that help improve posture. Combined with the fresh sea air, it can be particularly powerful.

There are so many amazing practitioners on the Isle, many specialists in their field. If you’re finding discomfort in your body, get out and find what works for you. Invest in your own body, as it’s the only true home you have

For myself, as well as Pilates, I like getting outside. I always enjoy walking or cycling around the Isle of Thanet on the Viking Coastal Trail. One minute you can be by the sea, the next you’re in the countryside!

We have to remember that walking IS exercise! Count that as your session for the day, however many steps you take.

"Swimming is a favourite too, I tend to be a fair-weather outdoor swimmer, a winter dipper. Especially post-sauna!”

Check out Cat’s wellness wonders…

*The Viking Coastal Trail has a 32 mile circular route to explore by foot or bike, with Broadstairs and Ramsgate being on the route too.

*Broadstairs has a spectacular coastline with many rural bays, sea caves and chalk stacks - wonderful for a ‘get away from it all’ coastal stroll and of course, that special Instagram moment. Along the coast at Ramsgate, the waterfront is buzzy and vibrant with lots of marina cafes, bars and shops to explore, as well as a range of great outdoor pursuits, thanks to Active Ramsgate. Each outing you take can be a completely different experience from clifftop views to rural villages and our three harbour towns.

Cat using Haeckels Sauna

Cat and friend using Haeckels Sauna

*The Haeckels sauna on Margate Sands makes a winter dip far more invigorating (until 17th April and Walpole Bay until 17th November 2020). The true feeling of relaxation and pamper, in an old-fashioned style bathing machine in the middle of winter is like nothing else. Just take care when going in the water and ensure you check the tide times before you set out for stroll along the beach or around our coast 

A winter trip away can be the perfect time to try something new, indulge in ‘me time’, and experience a whole new side to the season – one of wellness and active pursuits.

You can try Pilates at Margate Pilates Studio, and other invigorating practices here: www.visitthanet.co.uk/yoga