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Sep 09

What is Pilates?

Invented by Joseph Pilates in the early part of the 20th century,
Pilates is a method of body conditioning that dramatically
transforms the way your body looks, feels and performs.  By
using a series of machines and the floor mat, Pilates works the
entire body to build strength without excess bulk, creating a
sleek, toned body with slender thighs and flat abs.
The method requires using your Powerhouse (a.k.a. core)
– the lower abs, lower back, inner and outer thighs, and
the buttocks – focused breathing, intense concentration, control,
precision and fluid movement.  Because Pilates emphasizes quality
of the movement rather than quantity, you feel invigorated and
refreshed rather than exhausted after every session.
Whether you’re looking to get in better shape, rehabilitate an
injury, re-gain strength after pregnancy or enhance overall
health, Pilates is a highly effective, safe and challenging
exercise system that can be done at any age, no matter your
condition.

What are the benefits of Pilates?
The benefits are infinite.  With regular committed Pilates
workouts you can expect to:

·      Improve strength, flexibility and balance

·      Build long, lean muscles without bulk

·      Lose inches and tone trouble spots

·      Enhance body awareness

·      Improve postural alignment

·      Relieve back and joint pain

·      Alleviate stress and tension

·      Boost energy through deep stretching

·      Promote recovery from strain or injury

·      Improve the way your body looks and feels

·      Enhance athletic performance

How often do I need to do Pilates?
While two or three times a week is ideal, once a week is also
very effective.  I give my clients Pilates “homework” that can
be done in as little as 15 minutes a few days a week so they
maintain their core awareness and flexibility. The best part of
Pilates is that the simple techniques can be used 24/7 in your
daily life, which will automatically make you feel and look
thinner.

How quickly will I see results?

Individual results vary, but after one session, you will experience
increased body awareness, particularly with your posture. You
will immediately stand taller, hold your waist tighter and feel
stronger and more flexible.  Initially the workout is slow moving
because everything is being explained to you.  But once you learn
the Pilates method and the basic exercises, Pilates even becomes
cardiovascular.

As Joseph Pilates once said, “ In ten sessions you will feel the
difference: in 20 sessions, you will see the difference and in 30
sessions you will have a whole new body.”  If you’re consistent
with Pilates and make a commitment to yourself, you will
definitely see changes in your body.

Does Pilates help with weight loss?
Absolutely.  One of the best ways to increase your metabolism
and calorie burning potential is to create lean muscle mass, as
Pilates does. It is however, not the only piece of the puzzle.

You must eat a healthy diet and participate in cardio activity a
few times a week.  By combining the strength training benefits
of Pilates and a consistent cardio workout, you’ll lose weight and
tone up nearly twice as fast as just doing either routine on
its own.

Can I do Pilates during my pregnancy?

Yes!  In fact, I attribute my easy pregnancies and recoveries to
my Pilates practice.  But it is not recommended to start Pilates
if you have not practiced before becoming pregnant.
And even more important, Pilates is the best form of exercise
AFTER you have the baby.  With heavy car seats, strollers, diaper
bags, you will need the core strength to prevent injury and
maintain your stamina.  Pilates is a form of exercise you can use
for a lifetime. It’s the best gift you can give yourself as a
new mom!

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