Pilates is a method of exercise and physical movement designed to stretch, strengthen, and balance the body. With systematic practice of specific exercises, Pilates has proven itself invaluable not only as a fitness endeavor itself, but also as an important adjunct to professional sports training and physical rehabilitation of all kinds.
Widely embraced among dancers for years, Pilates is popping up in fitness classes, physical therapy offices, corporate retreats, luxury spas and wellness centers across the country. Another fad? Think again. With the aging of our population and the increasing trend toward mindful, moderate health practices, Pilates is more likely to find itself with a wait list at the YMCA, and in your local public schools--shaping the fitness ideals of our next generation.
Practiced faithfully, Pilates yields numerous benefits. Increased lung capacity and circulation through deep, healthy breathing is a primary focus. Strength and flexibility, particularly of the abdomen and back muscles, coordination-both muscular and mental, are key components in an effective Pilates program. Posture, balance, and core strength are all heartily increased. Bone density and joint health improve, and many experience positive body awareness for the first time. Pilates teaches balance and control of the body, and that capacity spills over into other areas of one's life.
"I must be right. Never an aspirin. Never injured a day in my life. The whole country, the whole world, should be doing my exercises. They'd be happier."
- Joseph Hubertus Pilates, in 1965, age 86