Pilates is for everyone! In the 20 years I’ve been teaching, I have trained everyone from grandparents wanting to play with grandkids, moms wanting their pre baby body back to famous professional athletes.
Pilates can be done as the only form of exercise or mixed to complement new trends such as Orange Theory. Even doing Pilates once a week makes a huge difference in strength and flexibility.
One thing that makes Pilates so special is all the muscles are conditioned uniformly. So, you lengthen them as you strengthen. A good Pilates session will feel as though you had a chiropractic adjustment and a massage at the same time; the muscles feel energized and activated. And Pilates is hands down the best exercise available to strengthen the core which will help with back pain and to help keep your spine and muscles flexible.
All Pilates is not created equal. Make sure when you choose Pilates to look for a studio that focuses on Joseph Pilates’ original teachings. Many hybrid watered down versions are popping up nationwide. You will pay a bit more for a smaller, pure Pilates-based studio, but the benefits far outweigh the extra charge. You’ll receive hands-on attention that might be unavailable in a larger class and you’ll better avoid injury.
I think Joseph Pilates said it best when he said:
In 10 sessions you feel a difference, in 20 you see difference and in 30 you have a new body!
~ Susan A. Dunnam, Co-Owner Destin Pilates and Aerial
Destin Pilates Testimonial:
Originally, I would not give Pilates a shot, because it seemed like something that was just for the ladies. As I got older and learned more about my body and how to maintain it, Pilates made even more sense. I still avoided it. I would go through times where I would go to the gym, start a workout program and would always tell myself that none of it would do any good if I didn’t get a good stretch in at least twice a week. I never seemed to be able to find the time to get that done. I walked around always feeling like I needed to go to the chiropractor or get a massage or get on the foam roller or on a lacrosse ball; but none of those remedies would give me long term relief.
I finally decided to give Pilates a try after a few months of waking up in the middle of the night with pain in the front of my hips. This was new to me. I’ve had trouble with my hamstrings, upper and lower back and could get temporary relief through the above mentioned tools, but I had no idea how to really take care of my hips. It was waking me up at night. And being a chef who works late nights and gets up early to take the kids to school, having my sleep messed with does not work for me at all.
So, I gave Pilates a try. I’d say it took only two classes before my hips were giving me no pain at all. But not only that, it fixed my posture (like most people, I look at my computer and phone too much). I was getting all of the relief I got from massage, chiropractor, etc. except this was increasing my muscle strength through resistance, so I could maintain my body’s natural alignment.
After 10 classes, (just when I thought I must be mastering all of the moves, haha) Susan started to ramp up the intensity. I would leave the class soaked through like I had just finished an intense workout at Crossfit. One thing that I really like is that you can make the resistance as hard as you want to. You truly get out what you put into it. I noticed that I was engaging my core muscles in daily movements, keeping my back safe from strain. It really just became a natural thing after doing the repetitions on the reformer.
After 20 classes (where I currently am), I have started to see the difference. I feel taller, my muscles feel longer, my hamstrings are getting stronger and I have more energy. I have been motivated to start a healthy eating plan and have lost 15 pounds so far. I know I am on a great track to maintain good health in my future.
As the moves get a little more complicated, I am glad to have Susan’s expertise. She knows when to back off of an exercise or to recommend a stretch if something feels “off.” Some sessions can almost seem like a rehabilitation if I have some pains that need to be worked on. But each week those little pains are getting fewer and fewer, and that’s why I wish I would’ve started Pilates long ago.
~ Jack McGuckin, Executive Chef, Bijoux Bistro