Entrepreneur, TV personality and blogger Daphne Oseña Paez is proud to be 44.
“I feel as if I’m 26—except that I’ve been told that I’ve done bad things to my body,” she says.
Paez continues with her businesses in fine jewelry and furniture, her line of home scents for Bench and her website under her brand name Daphne.
After concluding her TV show “Urban Zone,” she has been focusing on her blog.
“My website is a real job,” she says. “It started out as a personal blog—my activities, travel, home tips and recipes—and now it’s the umbrella that holds everything together.”
The blog’s success attracted Vogue Italia, which did a feature on Paez.
On her audience, Paez believes in quality, not quantity. While she doesn’t believe in counting number of hits or followers, her efforts were rewarded when Twitter acknowledged her with a verification badge given to only much sought-after users.
She types on her blog and takes care of most business matters in the comfort of her bed, which results in poor posture.
Consequently, she was bothered by muscle pain and tenderness in the neck.
“I thought I could get away with it, multi-tasking with my laptop. It’s the craziest thing,” she says. She also complained of shoulder pain from carrying her laptop on one side of the body.
Paez took to Pilates to improve her alignment and to address muscular imbalances. But after giving birth to her third child in 2009, she had to shoot a commercial in five weeks.
Although she was never a fitness buff, she took up Pilates with instructor Jerald Joson.
Focusing on strengthening her core muscles and improving her posture, Paez got results and was camera ready.
At first, she was diligent about working out, until she became too busy and subsequently slid back to a more sedentary lifestyle.
“A lot of mothers are busy doing everything. They think taking care of the kids is their workout. I got away with a career in TV, looking thin because I have small bones. But now, I’m at an age where things are cropping up. I want strength and length. My core needs to be stronger.”
To address her neck issue, Paez sought out Joson at Options Studio. She also works out with other master trainers such as Camille Joson. Based on the principles of the Pilates Academy International, the workouts complement her rehabilitation program. Her instructors are made aware of her capacities and physical limitations.
Some clients take up Pilates to augment their supervised physical therapies. Joson explains that instructors provide workouts that restore mobility in affected areas, increase flexibility and maximize the clients’ ability to perform daily activities with ease.
The workouts also focus on the total person, not just an isolated body part that is the subject of a complaint.
“We have to work within the confines of the pain or affected area. We will take care of it, but we will also give her a full body workout. I’m working slowly to get the full extension of the joint because I don’t want her pinching her neck,” Joson says.
The instructor is also making sure that Paez strengthens her shoulders, as they support the neck, as well as loosen up the buttocks and legs.
People who spend hours sitting are susceptible to back, shoulder and neck pain.
They acquire stiffness and tenderness along the posterior muscle chain, which consists of the muscles from the lower back down to the gluteals, back of the thighs and calves.
“Sitting and driving tend to tighten up the muscles. The hips are also the trash can of the body. All the toxins go there. We have to mobilize that area for better health,” says Joson.
Paez is seeing gradual but lasting results. “Pilates makes me more conscious of my gut. Now I’m training my body to be at its best.”
Now she pays attention to her deportment. “Even when I’m not in class, I keep reminding myself if my shoulders are rounding out again. I’m finding my center. Physically it’s been great.”
Psychologically, there is no guilt about leaving her three daughters at home for a couple of hours.
“You have to focus on yourself before you can be a better mother,” she explains.
Joson adds that when clients have pain issues, they know that they shouldn’t push themselves too much. Yet, they will find ways to work around the affected area, learning how to release the cramped bones and muscles.
“You go slow until you find it. It’s a nice metaphor for life,” says Paez.
Florencio Eugenio, co-founder of Options Studio, says clients look up to the studio for its innovations, integrity and knowledgeable instructors.
“It’s not like they took up a course and got certified. The instructors are constantly learning and updating themselves so that they can guide their clients’ movements more effectively,” Eugenio notes.
He says that the Pilates program emphasizes functional fitness that trains muscles to execute normal activities correctly. “We offer a program that will change your body from inside out, rather than just a routine set of exercises that you probably don’t need. We look at your strengths and weaknesses and customize the program for you,” he points out.
“We get the clients to understand the mobilizers, muscles that make you move, and the stabilizers, muscles that control the movements. If you tend to favor one side, we try to balance your body so you are strong on both sides,” Eugenio adds.
Most clients come to Options to address pain in the neck and shoulder or to flatten the abs and lift up the butt. “We provide options for intelligent exercises. In every movement, clients are mindful of the exercise. Victory is sweeter when things are done slowly than rushed.”
Options Studios are in Salcedo Village, Makati, tel. 5533314, 5851404, 0917-8746888; Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, 4037154, 0917-542-0460; Greenhills, San Juan City, 7227530, 0917-5807530; and The Podium, Mandaluyong City, 6953263, 0917-5293307.