As a woman quickly approaching what most refer to as middle age, I have experience that aches and pains that come from having a few years of living experience under my belt. It’s that feeling you get when you first wake up and get out of bed, only to feel the sore and ache that comes from the stiffness resulting from laying in bed for 8 hours. It’s feeling of your muscles and joints talking to you after 16 hours of moving throughout the course of the day. Because of this “hurt” that was occurring on a daily basis, I too was starting to repeat the phrase, “It’s hell getting old.”
The thing is that I am a health and fitness fanatic. In fact, much of my time is spent in the health and fitness field. I write articles on the subject, create websites on themes like bodybuilding for ectomorphs, and talk on the topic of health and fitness every day. I have been certified as a personal trainer and received advanced education on nutrition. Yes, I am an enthusiast of taking care of the body and even maximizing its functionality.
But the funny thing about a topic like this is that there are a number of ways to go about achieving your best level of fitness. And while I do resistance training, cardio, and play sports, all in an effort to achieve optimal fitness; something was still missing. Because being fit and healthy shouldn’t have to have aches and pains associated with it. That was one of the things exercising hopefully would prevent.
What is Pilates
Fortunately, through the course of the past few years, I got to know people who worked out using a method of exercise called Pilates. If you’ve never heard of Pilates, well the technical term is Contrology and it is a modality that teaches a blend of proper movement, breathe control, and mental work, all in an effort to strengthen muscles, improve core strength, increase flexibility, correct alignment, and build endurance just to name a few. When you put all of this together, you strengthen and tone your body all while eliminating physical pain that your body is feeling from essentially everything being out of whack.
Through this connection and as a result of hearing all the wonderful personal testimonies about what the Pilates discipline was doing for people, I decided to give it a try. At this point, I had nothing to lose except the constant aches and pains I was experiencing.
Since I live in Arizona, I found a Phoenix Pilates studio and signed up for 5 personal sessions just to learn how to do the exercises correctly and advance my education on the subject. The personal sessions gave me the one-on-one treatment I thought would be valuable to do that. I also signed up for 10 group lessons to continue with the training upon learning the proper way to do the exercises.
I went to my first session admittedly nervous. After all, it was something new and who isn’t a little apprehensive about trying something new? Still, I was eager to absorb everything I could and put my best effort into learning. And boy was I in for the lesson of a lifetime.
The very first class, just in addressing proper form, I learned so many things that I needed to be aware of in order to move correctly. Things like keeping my shoulder blade in a neutral position and neck in alignment. I also learned control of my core and worked to think about each move I was making.
I have developed incorrect form and posture in so many things that certain bad form habits were natural to me. As a result I was inflexible in some regions like my upper back. And while in so many of the communications I made about slow and controlled moves, I found that I personally was lacking in some of that myself.
Upon completing my very first private lesson, I felt a difference! I was now more knowledgeable and keenly aware of things I needed to pay attention to. But even beyond that, I actually felt better! Tight muscles where loosened and that eased some of the hurting I had been experiencing.
After a few more classes, I felt even better. It was almost as if I was a new person and while my age suggests physically a lot of living, my personal experience what that I was just a kid out of high school…or maybe college. The difference in how I felt due to Pilates was undeniable as well as unexplainable. Because of this change, I have to recommend Pilates to everyone! And because of the hurt put on the body for those trying to build muscle, I would even recommend it to my ectomorph bodybuilders as well.
There are a number of studios all across the country and even the world. For me a Glendale Pilates class – Balanced Physical Therapy, Pilates, and Wellness works perfectly, but you can find a studio in your neighborhood as well. I highly suggest signing up for some classes so that you can experience your own fountain of youth.