Jan 06 2002
Pilates ideal for all fitness levels
By Cara MacDonald
The Pilates fitness system has been used for more than 70 years by dancers, athletes and people in rehabilitation programs.
Pilates is based on a combination of eastern and western philosophies designed to condition and connect body and mind and correct muscle imbalances, improve posture and tone the body.
“Anyone can do it,” said health and lifestyle consultant Annette Reeves. “I’m always pursuing further studies in exercise methods and when I heard about it five years ago, I was intrigued.”
Joseph Pilates (pronounced puh-LAH-teez) was born in Germany in 1880 and grew from being a frail child to an accomplished athlete through his own method of body conditioning. He used the method to help patients when he was interned in England during the First World War and opened a studio in New York in 1926.
The method uses a series of controlled movements with apparatus or on a mat. Sessions are usually held one-on-one in a private studio to suit each person’s needs.
“People are seeking more mind-body connection in their fitness routines because of the stresses of life. I can recommend the program personally because I have completely rehabilitated my shoulder which was injured three times. I know this works,” said Reeves, who had her training in Pilates through the Physical Mind Institute in the United States.
She has combined the method with her training in kinesiology, dance and yoga, which she teaches.
People start Pilates with an assessment of strength, alignment and flexibility. Reeves takes a fitness history and tailors each program to fit the client’s fitness level and specific needs for sport or other activities. She will develop a program that people can do at home between studio sessions or incorporate with their other fitness routines.
“The versatility of this method reinforces my beliefs in the secrets of successful fitness, that is, building a core of strength in the body and seeing the results, how much it works.
“It’s not a complicated thing to learn when you do it with proper instruction and correct breathing patterns. Even a beginner exerciser can do it. You learn to apply the good posture and breathing in everything you do.”
Reeves said people usually see the benefits of the method after about five sessions.
“It’s amazing. Until you try it, you can’t really explain the feeling you have. It works.”
Reeves is having a group introductory Pilates demonstration Jan. 12 from 10:45 a.m. to noon at Kal Fitness. Pre-registration is required and the cost is $10 for the demonstration. For more information call 549-1240 or 545-2749.
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