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Health benefits of pilates


(Above) Evolve Pilates & Fitness. A picture of a Pilates studio.

You are Demps. It’s 3rd and 6 at the defenses 30. Tebow runs a play action, he snaps you the ball. The end zone is in sight. Your line blocks up all the holes and you take it to the outside. You spin and avoid the cornerback. Your linemen chop blocks the middle linebacker and now you have the safety between you and the end zone. He wraps you up; you keep your legs moving and drag him to the 10. He lets go and you SCORE! Congratulations you are stuck in your comfort zone.

You’ve overcome many obstacles to get in shape. But the defense has adjusted to your game. In order to keep a good spread you’ll have to change your game. How will you keep the pounds off?

Around 11 million people have left their comfort zones. With 14,000 instructors pilates is steadily growing in the U.S. pilates has been popularized by celebrities. You were at home scoffing at Jennifer Aniston’s figure while eating Twinkies wondering, “How does she look so good”? Many men no doubt would give up their 38 inch waists’ for Hugh Grant’s physique. Several dozen celebrities do indeed endorse Pilates. A common question then is, “What is Pilates”?

Pilates was developed around 1920 by the German Joseph H. Pilates (1881 – 1967). Joseph had a history in: Yoga, Zen, boxing, diving, gymnastics, and the list might continue. He believed this unique set of exercises could improve rehabilitation for soldiers. He later moved to New York and worked with rehabilitation for many dancers. You have one foot in the comfort zone and the other shyly passing the boundary of change. What further should one know about pilates?

Pilates focuses on several principles. Control focuses on the mind controlling the muscles (mind over muscle?); one must learn proper technique and fluid transition between exercises. One should learn proper control of breathing in conjunction with movement. Pilates suggests precision, no sloppy movements and every instruction is vital to success. When you see the bulky “Johnny Bravo” looking fellow in the gym bending his back on every rep you should suggest pilates.

Pilates revolves heavily around the “core” or “powerhouse”. All energy is said to come from the “Powerhouse.” As does the mitochondria in creating energy (ATP) also termed “powerhouse”, so the core with proper training is said to allow free energy flow to the extremities.

 "Pilates used to be underground; people assumed it was only for dancers. Many people realize it is good for rehabilitation and for core training.” –Renee Neuman, pilates instructor at Evolve Pilates & Fitness. Evolve Pilates & Fitness is one of many Pilates studios in Gainesville. It has been around for 9 years. Renee believes it’s “what’s missing in physical therapy”. There is also steady male clientele. “Many are Doctors and Therapists, people who see injuries and want to continue playing sports.” Renee also informed that she’s had students from the Gators football team.

You are in the comfort zone, let go of the ball, the game isn’t over. You’ll have to keep the defense guessing what moves you are going to make next to keep off the pounds.

For more information: Visit your local pilates studio. Maybe you’ll run into Tebow….




  • Walsta 5 years ago

    I read the article and dusted off my copy of Pilates for Dummies. It seems easy because you may not even break a sweat but you will feel it the next day.

  • Tifanie 5 years ago

    Nice spin to get the motivation rolling!!

  • Moya 5 years ago

    Ok. I'm now going to go out and find a Pilates class. Just when I thought exercise classes were played out. This a great motivational piece Lenaire. Congratulations on your first published piece. I can't wait to read the next one. Love Moya

  • Kia 5 years ago

    I am the clumsiest person I know. Perhaps Pilates is for me...

  • Phaedra 5 years ago

    This is a well written article. I also have pilates tapes I need to dust off! Thanks for the reminder :-)