Awkward lady’s Adventures in Pilates | Help! What’s a Reformer?

So I tried something different last week. I am a 40-something, aging woman. When it comes to exercise, well, I have a love-hate relationship with it – and I don’t vary my routine very often.  I don’t enjoy group exercise classes because I am not very coordinated. I tried Zumba once and still feel the need to apologize to the rest of the class for my awkwardness.

I run, but I am not a runner. I like walking the huge, steep staircase in the Issaquah Highlands. I love walking fast with friends and enjoying the views. I exercise because my aging body has one agenda since turning 40 – to completely slow my metabolism. And I still love food… so I compromise and make myself to move each day.

In early November I was invited by one of my sponsors (Revitalize Movement PT and Pilates) to give Pilates a try. Lisa Apple, owner and former professional dancer, was encouraging. Only because I could attempt to introduce this new form of exercise to my uncoordinated self on a one-on-one basis, I agreed.

Surprisingly, it was one of the most enjoyable forms of exercise I’ve done in quite some time. Because it was different – and I had to learn while exercising – time flew by. The focus on slow, precise movement also gave my mind a workout, but wasn’t stressful.

But let’s take a step back – What the heck are Pilates? I didn’t want to spend an hour doing planks. Those hurt me after about 30 seconds. But to my surprise, it was much more.

By definition Pilates is “a system of exercises using special apparatus, designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and posture, and enhance mental awareness.”

Joseph Pilate invented this now popular form of exercise after the end of WWI while helping injured people rehabilitate in their hospital beds. He took bedsprings and hooked them to headboards and walls to create resistance-type equipment.

Today, a specialized apparatus called a Reformer doubles as that long-ago hospital bed creation. I spent much of my Pilates introduction on this machine, which was pretty comfortable. I did lots of slow, precise movements – and focused on breathing, and my spine – using the reformer.

Reformer pilate area at Revitalize PT & Pilates in Snoqualmie. Two more machines were added last week.

Reformer pilate area at Revitalize PT & Pilates in Snoqualmie. Two more machines were added last week.

 

Mission accomplished! I tried something really  different for the first time in a long time. I was scared of soreness the following day, but it didn’t really materialize. And one thing that felt great the next day was my back. I actually felt a little bit taller.

So if you want to shake up your exercise routine, I would definitely recommend Pilates, especially using the Reformer. My aging 40-something mind and body appreciated the whole experience.

Thanks to Lisa for the introduction!

About Revitalize Movement PT and Pilates

Lisa Apple is a Snoqualmie resident. She opened the business earlier this year in a two-story space in the Snoqualmie Ridge Business Park. After living in Snoqualmie for a couple of years, she made the move to work where she lives.

The downstairs area of the business is used for physical therapy and upstairs is the Pilates studio. Two more reformers were recently added which now allows Lisa to now offer small group classes (total of 5).

For more information visit www.revitalizempt.com

 

 

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