At the end of the summer, I started doing Pilates at my local fitness center. I started doing one-on-one sessions to learn the technique. As I continued to become more accustomed to doing it, I started taking a 1-hour weekly class at 6:00am. With classes, a family, and working full-time, this is the only time I am available. I enjoy every class; it’s a small class with 5 of us, mostly female. We have an awesome instructor. She is patient and is not a drill sergeant. Even though my classmates have been doing Pilates for years, I am still able to keep up. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Pilates, many of the exercises are done using a reformer. As my instructor reminds me, some movements are harder, and I will get better with practice and time.
There are few benefits that I’ve noticed since taking Pilates:
1. Increased flexibility. I am becoming more flexible each time I perform the exercises. Some of the exercises are challenging, but the majority of them are easy to perform.
2. Improving your core. Pilates is great for working your abdominal muscles and building a strong back. Previously, it was one of my problem areas.
3. Great alternative to yoga. If you’re not a fan of yoga, Pilates is a fun alternative. Please feel free to revisit my post on yoga.
4. Pain relief. When I started doing Pilates, I was experiencing pain in the back of my left knee. It’s been about 3 months since I’ve had any pain in that area. Also, a classmate told me that it’s helped alleviate her arthritis pain in her hips and lower back.
5. Improved performance and injury prevention. In 1912, Joseph Herbertus Pilates perfected the Pilates workout system. As a child in Germany, her suffered from asthma and other ailments. He turned to exercise as a means of treatment. During the influenza outbreak in England that same year, his trainees survived while thousands succumbed to the illness.
About one year ago, my legs and feet ached from standing long periods of time at work. I also used to suffer from plantar fasciitis in my right foot. I have not had any flare ups recently. The condition is very common. Tim Hardaway, Jr. of the New York Knicks also suffers from the same ailment.
My younger coworkers notice my increase in vibrancy since starting Pilates. A few of my classmates are older than me, and they are very active. It is definitely an activity that I recommend. It can build strength; thus, it will prevent problems later on as the body ages.