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Enhance Your Everyday Workout With Pilates! Download PDF

By Kerrie Lee Brown as published in FitnessRx, February 2010

The public’s approach to health and fitness is constantly changing. Today, people are becoming more in tune with their bodies and want an all encompassing method of exercise to meet their varying needs. Whether your desire is to sculpt a toned physique, prevent injury for your sport, increase overall strength and flexibility, relieve daily stress and muscle tension, or get back in shape after the holidays- Pilates is the work out for you.

Pilates is everywhere! From celebrities to high profile athletes, someone somewhere is trying this effective form of exercise. In fact, fitness facilities and gym owners are realizing this booming interest in Pilates and are incorporating comprehensive Pilates repertoire into their daily programs more than ever. According to the 2008m IDEA Fitness Programs and Equipment Survey, 68% of facilities surveyed have Pilates as one of their program offerings.

“Pilates is a kinder, gentler exercise for your body with all of the benefits of strength training,” explains Moira Merrithew, Executive Director of Education for STOTT PILATES. “At the same time, it {Pilates} helps build strong, healthy muscles, improves blood flow, and engages all the muscles at the right time, therefore working your body inside and out for optimal body conditioning.”

The appeal of Pilates for the average person, or newcomer to fitness, is that there is various programming options. Specific repertoires are available for sports fanatics who want to improve core strength and improve their golf drive; elite athlete’s who want to prevent or attend to injuries; rehab and prenatal clients who want to enhance their fitness ability; new mom’s who want to get their pre-baby shape back; and mature adults who simply want to make getting out of bed easier. Every exerciser from school aged kids to the active adult can reap the benefits of this form of exercise- and at the same time get a good workout.

Pilates for Every Exerciser

People are finally realizing that looking after their body, mind and soul is essential to living a longer, happier life. While different forms of exercise such as cross training, circuit training, split days, interval, group exercise, and personal training are staples in most people’s workout regimens, Pilates has become a top choice for gym goers because it has no age barrier or fitness requirements. Pilates is customizable.

As an avid fitness enthusiast you know how important physical fitness is to your overall wellness. With the rise of obesity and society’s consistent embrace of fast food indulgencies, working out and watching what you eat has become an integral part of our lives.

“Pilates is ideal for anyone wanting too expand their exercise regimens to include overall toning and strengthening moves that also work the inner mechanisms of the body,” continues Moira Merrithew. “We make sure that all of our instructors are well versed in our curriculum and keep up with their continuing education credits,” adds Moira. “We know how important current programming is and we want to make sure our instructors are prepared to instruct any client that walks through their door.”

Since the basis of Pilates is postural alignment, core strength, and stability and mobility of the periphery (arms and legs), most exercise progressions begin in lying or sitting positions. Movements can begin with simple breathing exercises that focus on deep, efficient and mindful breath. The idea of focusing the mind on what the body is doing can afford staggering benefits.

The variety of exercises available as well as the ability to modify these movement patterns allows professionals to target a specific muscle or muscle group. By changing the angle or strength of resistance, injuries can be precisely addressed. Specially-designed Pilates equipment can help facilitate these adaptations.

The Reformer is generally the first piece of equipment that Pilates instructors and enthusiasts gravitate toward for a stellar, body sculpting workout. This machine is unlike the typical stair-climber, bike, or treadmill- the Reformer is designed to leverage specific Pilates movements to improve the overall mind and body connection. This unique piece of equipment also helps develop lean muscles overall, without adding bulk.

Pilates enthusiasts can perform Pilates exercises on the mat or on specialized equipment. As a result, more and more facilities are implementing high-quality equipment and training into their locations to fulfill their unique needs. Today, people who are interested in specialized Pilates programming for sports rehabilitation, athletic performance enhancement, pre- or postnatal exercise, or the active aging are encouraged to seek out high-caliber licensed training centers for qualified instructors and customized instruction. Those who enjoy one on one Pilates instruction can also find top notch programming at one of these centers located around the world.

“High caliber locations have been carefully selected to deliver elite training curriculums and education and are staffed with top certified instructor trainers and the best equipment on the market,” explains President and CEO of STOTT PILATES, Lindsay Merrithew.

“Designated licensed training centers also adhere to standards of operation that ensure consistent delivery of programs and services for those wanting to pursue a career in this exercise method. We help develop successful career paths for instructor’s to keep up with the markets demand-and provide educational materials such as training manuals, videos, posters, workshops and courses for those wanting up-to-date programs.” 

Exercise For a Lifetime

Pilates enthusiasts can use Matwork and/or equipment based Pilates programming to fulfill their health and fitness goals. With such variety available within this method of exercise repertoire, everyday workout routines become more enjoyable and effective as an overall workout. Pilates provides the ultimate “core” advantage to training.

When applied to a core-strengthening program, Pilates can help prevent injury, increase efficiency, and get you “back in the game.” Pilates embodies core strength, yet inherently addresses motor control, endurance, and flexibility. While many core conditioning programs utilize high-load, high-repetition exercises with little proprioceptive feedback, Pilates focuses on fewer reps of  precisely controlled movements.

Yes, Pilates is for everyone and it can enhance your daily routine tenfold. It’s a kinder, gentler exercise for your body with all the benefits of strength training, but much more. No matter what age, ability or goal, those interested in enhancing their health, fitness, and lifestyle in general are sure to enjoy what this method of exercise has to offer. Go ahead, try it today and contact a STOTT PILATES Licensed Training Center near you to learn more!

For more information on STOTT PILATES®  exercises, education and equipment, visit www.merrithew.com.