Pilates: The Body's Reset


Imagine your body feeling alive, moving well, and able to do what you ask of it superbly. Imagine feeling inspired to go walking, gardening, exercising, and accomplishing all your physical chores without pain. Imagine that you can easily squat down and pick a spoon up off the floor, without the task becoming the unfortunate highlight of your day! Imagine your body continually doing what you ask of it, effectively, gracefully, and without needless wear and tear. This is the body I want you to have and the mindset: how well am I moving my body?

All adults require an exercise system that over time is continually  reminding them of proper posture and correct body alignment as they go about their day. This exercise system deeply implants within the feeling of good posture, by effectively strengthening your postural muscles and therefore maintaining optimum health of your joints. Pilates is the exercise system I am speaking of:  it is your body’s reset: setting the body in proper alignment, lengthening the spine, engaging your core muscles , and releasing unneeded tension in the body so you sit, stand, and move most easily.

Pilates exercises puts you on the path to becoming the fittest you can be.

Looking to change your life? Pilates exercise is the right exercise system to take care of and maintain your body’s health.

The Pilates system of non-impact exercise emphasizes joint stability and flexibility, core muscle activation, and correct spinal articulation that together comprises a complete body workout. Technical mumbo jumbo?… the truth is that by doing pilates exercise you become more fit, you stand, sit and move with better posture, and you feel taller and stronger and have more energy to go about your day.

One of the main reasons why so many people exercise very little if at all, is due to low energy, from habitual poor posture and poor daily movement patterns. Constant slouching is manifested particularly when we are not exercising, which of course is the majority of the time. Sitting at work, watching a screen, socializing: most of us are not in touch with our bodies! We are slouching, rounding our spines, developing tension throughout the body. We are putting our bodies through hell without even knowing it! When our posture becomes poor, when our body mechanics and movement patterns become more labored, not efficient, we lose energy, and then ultimately we lose the mental drive to move our bodies.

Our deeper core muscles of the body lack conditioning and awareness. Sure it is a mental task: the more you think about your posture, the better it will be. But what about when we are highly focused on our task at hand and not on our posture?  Your spine may slouch when you are preparing tomorrow’s presentation, or stressing to get dinner ready for the kids. It is at precisely these moments, when we need the spine to be at its finest! We need your spine- based on pilates training- to remember what a strong and lengthened posture is. We need our abdominal muscles to engage automatically: to support our lower backs and to work in tandem with our spine’s to maintain ideal posture. Our core muscles-spine and abdominal muscles- become a sizzling power source to support our bodies all day long!

One more point: it can certainly be detrimental to your body’s postural and joint health to perform physical activity without giving some thought to your form. You are simply damaging your body, imparting needless strain on your joints. One example of this is walking with the spine rounded: gravity is beating down on your thoracic spine and you are simply accelerating the process of the spine becoming permanently rounded and not able to straighten up fully.

It is therefore imperative that we have a body “technique” session where we are practicing our body mechanics and moving our joints correctly. In other words:  where we practice taking care of our bodies. In a pilates session we effectively move our joints, strengthen our core muscles, and learn to coordinate our bodies beautifully. I do not mean to coordinate with the ability of dancer or a gymnast, but simply with a healthy consciousness of how our bodies move best for everyday living. We learn to use the correct muscles efficiently, and relax those that are not required,  The fruits of this work translate into accomplishing our everyday tasks more easily and enjoying our favorite physical activities more fully.

We  must maintain and deepen our connection to our bodies as we enter middle age and beyond. If you suffer from any of the following conditions: obesity, sedentariness, preference for inactivity, an inactive gym membership, high blood pressure, diabetes, neuropathy, general, constant and nagging pain syndrome. I would suggest giving PILATES A TRY! Reacquaint yourself with your body. Reset, feel truly alive and live your best life.

Kerin Smith