Friday, March 8, 2013

My Love For Pilates Rant

So here's another little fitness bit for all of you out there. I know Pilates and yoga are a big fitness trend right now, which is obviously why I am writing about it at all, but this is more than just a trend. Pilates and yoga have both been around for years and people all over the world have been reaping the benefits that these exercises provide.

I have practiced yoga on and off for about two years now and can attest to the inner body/mind changes that you can attain from doing yoga. It is extremely relaxing and one of my main stress relievers, it provides me with exercises that target my very tight hamstrings and hips, and it can be practiced at all skill levels. Everyone knows about yoga, but Pilates is still growing and gaining its following. I was introduced to Pilates when I wanted to sign up for a fitness class at my university. I wasn't sure what to expect other than it was similar to yoga, but my goodness, was I wrong! STOTT Pilates, the version of Pilates taught at my school, focuses on breathing, hip and pelvis placement, and spinal alignment. A lot of the movements are not like yoga at all, but instead more like one long abdominal workout! The movements may look easy if you were to stick your head into the Pilates studio, but we are all working our deep abdominals through the breathing and positioning.
KT Tape on my feet during the summer to help with my plantar fasciitis (photo credit to Sarah Rinke)
I've been dealing with plantar fasciitis, inflammation of a thick tissue on the bottom of the foot called the plantar fascia connecting the heel bone to the toes and that creates the arch of the foot. I believe this developed from running on very hard ground in cleats all summer and then continuing my training and running into the fall and winter. With just five weeks of Pilates under my belt I'm already noticing a change. I feel like it has improved my situation and I feel less daily pain. My Pilates instructor informed me that this is a result of strengthening opposing muscle groups. Pilates works deep core muscles and helps to work muscles that are not usually worked as often. Not to mention, my midsection has become quite toned (and as a girl, who is going to complain about that!). After just 10 classes (two each week) that's what I call results!

Sassy sleeping boots for plantar fasciitis!

Due to the dramatic personal results I've noticed, I have been recommending Pilates to everyone I talk to. I've even thought about becoming certified as a Pilates instructor so I can help others learn Pilates and share my love of fitness! So, I recommend Pilates to all of you! You could check out or for some Pilates workouts and more information about the benefits because I'm just a girl ranting about how much she loves Pilates!

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