It’s been around a long time, and still many people can’t pronounce it. It’s Pilates (pronounced “pul-ah-teez”), and you can do it! In fact, if you’ve never tried Pilates, you SHOULD do it if only because it’s proven to burn fat.
In addition to being a certified personal trainer, I’m also a Pilates instructor — and a big believer in this practice, because of the results I’ve seen on myself and with my clients. Pilates is graceful yet intense and can help tighten your mid section more effectively than hundreds of crunches! Since your middle gets more “exposure” in summer, now’s a great time to take another look at Pilates.
Pilates lowers body fat
As a method of mind-body exercise that focuses on your core (your torso muscles, called the “powerhouse” in Pilates), Pilates offers extensive fitness and health benefits including lower body fat, increased flexibility and better muscular endurance.
In fact, a study from Barry University in Miami Shores, Fla., confirmed scientifically that Pilates reduces body fat percentage. The study’s 22 participants had no prior Pilates training. Nine of them participated in a Pilates mat class three times a week; 13 control group participants did not work out. After eight weeks, participants who took the Pilates class had significantly improved in measures of body fat, flexibility and muscle endurance. Think of it — all those benefits, and no shoes required!
Want to try Pilates? Here’s how to get started
Almost anyone can do Pilates!
Take a class. Pilates is a method and best to learn from a certified trainer. Seek out a mat or reformer Pilates class at your local health club or community center. Make sure to let them know you are new to the practice.
Try it at home with an affordable, portable alternative to a Pilates reformer. Try an instructional Pilates DVD you can do in your own home … again by a certified professional. Check out Gaiam’s CorePlus Reformer Resistance Band and DVD, a resistance cord with a smart four-loop design and multiple grips. This tool gives you a dual-resistance workout that mimics the action and benefits of a reformer machine. Guided by Pilates expert Mari Winsor, each of the DVD’s three segments targets a specific muscle group for a customizable workout. See my demo of this ingenious workout tool on QVC here, and preview the workouts you’ll get on the CorePlus Reformer DVD here.
Read about it. From fitness magazines to websites, Pilates is everywhere. Google it and find just one or two Pilates exercises that you can try at home — like the ones in this short how-to video clip from Mari Winsor and Gaiam showing how to do a few simple Pilates exercises to sculpt your arms. This will give you a taste and probably leave you wanting more.
Here’s to your core!
Just Give it Two Weeks! Check out my new book 2-Week Total Body Turnaround