Rome Opens My Eyes: Pilates’ Place in the World of Fitness!
Rome does many things to many people, I’m certain! Among the incredible sights, sounds and tastes I experiences in this past week in Rome, it became even clearer to me why I do Pilates and what the value of Pilates is in the fitness world at large. It’s not a brave new thought. It’s surely something you’ve considered consciously or subconsciously before, but it’s worth stating. It’s vital to “state the obvious” from time to time:
Pilates is the source of eternal fitness. It’s the one type of workout that you can do no matter what age you are and no matter what ails you. You can do it when you’re 8. You can do it when you’re 88. You can do it as an elite athlete. You can do it when you’ve got a busted knee, torn hamstrings and a strained lower back…all at the same time. With Pilates, you can get an incredible workout no matter what the situation. So, it’s not just that you’re moving a little bit with your great age or your many injuries, but you’re working out to your fullest…appropriate to your personal situation!
I spent 4 days at the Festival del Fitness in Rome this past weekend. The Olympic Stadium was filled with every sort of group fitness exercise program you could imagine. From Italian army style workouts, to rock climbing, to aerobics in every form you can imagine (they are all the same, but just a different twist: Macumba (a take off on Zumba which is dancerercise in the 21st C), belly dancing aerobics, step aerobics on the Bosu or 4 different variations of instable step-like props), martial arts, water fitness and more. These fitness programs are extreme, high energy, high impact…they are for the young and healthy. If you have an injury, you can’t do them. If you’re aging or ailing in any way, you simply can’t do them. What are you left with?
That’s not to say that they are not great to do! Of course they are! These aerobic fitness programs are fun, increase the stamina of your heart, lungs and muscles and give you and endorphin high! On top of it, Aerobic exercise helps you lose weight if you need! These are fantastic reasons to do aerobic group class or martial arts or any of these things. I have and continue to invest my time in many of them!
But…there is such a limited lifespan in these exercise formats. The hardcore boot camp workout especially. They are not exercise lifestyles. They do not teach you anything that you can use in or translate into the rest of your life. They are about the moment. They are not about longevity. They have no balance. They are exercise for exercise sake. And that’s great…that’s their intention, but my personal angle is that there needs to be more.
The value of Pilates shines even more strongly in my mind when I see this. Pilates is a lifelong endeavor. You develop stability, strength, stretch and stamina both physically and mentally. You develop fitness and health in every aspect of yourself and never have to stop it. “You can do it no matter what ails you.” I return to that concept over and over again because it’s one that has great importance to me. I need an exercise that I can do when my hamstrings are pulled, when my shoulder is out, when my hip flexor is strained, when my back is sore. I need an exercise that I can do when I feel low as well as when I feel high. I need to feel that no matter what ails me, I can exercise and stay fit, not to mention develop even greater fitness. When I look at the aerobic fitness lifestyle, I see why it’s not enough…it’s only for the healthy. And we’re not healthy all of the time.
Do aerobic group fitness…absolutely! Enjoy it while you can, of course! But always do Pilates. It’s the foundation for every activity you layer on top of it. And seek out the sort of group aerobic fitness that has a high aim of longevity, vitality and increased ability. They do exist.
It’s simply that I find myself more and more in awe of Pilates. You can do it no matter what ails you! You can maintain and increase your fitness no matter what! Rome spread it all out on a platter for me to see, once again what I already knew: Pilates is genius.
****Please take a moment to comment below. I’d love to know who you are! I’m grateful that you’ve taken the time to read this! If you have any questions about anything Pilates, please drop me a note in the comment box, as well. All you have to do is click on “add comment” or “comments” and the box will pop up! It’s easy! If you’re in NYC and want to take a session, please contact me at info@TheVerticalWorkshop.com I’ll be thrilled to set one up! Thank you, again!****
Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: Aerobics, Alycea Ungaro, Balanced Body, Basil, Basil Blecher, Brooke Siler, Contrology, core strength, cueing, duet sessions, Exercise, Festival del Fitness, fit festival, Gratz, group classes, hip flexors, Joseph H. Pilates, Kathy Ross-Nash, Los Angeles Pilates, Mari Winsor, mat class, New York Pilates, Peak Pilates, Personal Training, Pilates, Pilates Day, Pilates Day 2010, Pilates Designs by Basil, pilates instructor, Pilates mat class, Pilates on Fifth, pilates sessions, Pilates Style, pilates teacher, powerhouse, Real Pilates, Return to Life Through Contrology, Return to Life Through Pilates, semi-private sessions, Shari Berkowitz, shoulder blades, Stacey Lei Krauss, Stott, the vertical workshop, WillPower and Grace, Winsor Pilates, Your Health.