A few years ago when I was on a fitness kick, I was looking for a challenging workout class. I certainly found it when I started taking Pilates!
My friends kept urging me, and I finally broke down and tried a class. I can't remember getting a better full body workout, with much-needed stress relief. I found Pilates to be instrumental in strengthening my core, and it even enabled me to up my speed and enjoy more endurance on the treadmill.
Think you're ready to try Pilates? Pilates uses your body weight for resistance and focuses on working both small and large groups of muscles. Over time, core strength, flexibility and muscle tone will begin to increase. Pilates is not an aerobic exercise method, so it’s best to combine it with a few days of cardiovascular exercise. Although the movements are small and slow, Pilates provides an intense full-body workout.
Here are some additional benefits of Pilates:
- an increase in muscle strength and tone without creating bulk.
- improvement of your flexibility and posture, which can decrease your chances of injuring yourself.
- a way to ease chronic lower back pain and prevent future back pain and injuries.
-an increase in the ability to focus. It takes a great deal of concentration to coordinate your breath and body position during workouts.
- a reduction in stress levels, which translates to an improvement in your overall health.
- it helps you develop strength, flexibility, coordination, balance and good posture.
In my opinion, Pilates is great for individuals of all fitness levels. People who are just beginning a fitness program will find that it’s a great way to ease into more intense methods of exercise. It’s also beneficial for pregnant and postpartum women and people wishing to strengthen their muscles after an injury. As always, a physician’s approval should be sought before beginning any exercise program.
Want to take a Pilates class?
Ready to try Pilates? A new Mat Pilates Class is coming to the J this week, beginning Friday, August 31-November 16 (no class Sept. 28, Oct. 5) 11am-noon. Try a class for $20 or sign up for all of them for $180. Class will include a warm-up of the body and joints, classic mat exercises with an emphasis on core strength and balance, followed by stretching. Contact Petya.Ivanova@jccnv.org if interested.