Pilates is a popular exercise program for both men and women. According to the Pilates Method Alliance (www.pilatesmethodalliance.org), Pilates was named after Joseph and Clara Pilates who developed the method. Dancers and performers have used Pilates for years because Pilates stretches and strengthens the body as well as builds flexibility, endurance, and coordination without adding bulk or stressing joints.
If your city does not have a Pilates studio, classes are offered at health clubs, local ballet and dance studios, community centers, or community colleges. Or, you could have private instruction at home or learn on your own by watching instructional videos. There is specially designed Pilates equipment, but many Pilates exercises have been adapted to the mat. Other apparatus such as a ring, ball, or band might also be used.
Be sure to wear comfortable stretchy clothes for exercising.
Wear longer shorts or pants.
No shoes are worn, but some classes prefer socks instead of bare feet.
Bring a water bottle for hydration.
Bring a towel for hygiene.
Be relaxed, move slow and let it flow.
In addition to Pilates, also continue any aerobic exercises that you enjoy.
Always consult with your doctor before starting any exercise program, especially if pregnant or have any health concerns.
For more information about Pilates, visit the Pilates Method Alliance at www.pilatesmethodalliance.org