We sat down with Heather Fossum, Pilates director at Calhoun Beach Athletic Club, to find out why everyone should start practicing.
What makes Pilates different from other workouts?
The change in body awareness and knowledge. Pilates makes you think about what you are doing in such a way that you start to feel muscles that you never even knew you had. And of course we all know that awareness is the first step in any program of growth and change. This leads to being able to move your body with correct alignment and form, the way it was meant to move. I believe Pilates to be an education about the body — it’s not just a workout.
Can anyone do Pilates?
Yes. Joseph Pilates created it for people of all ages, from 10 to 100. There are modifications for those who need them and more advanced exercises for those who are ready. One of the great things about Pilates is that the more you learn, the harder it is. You learn to work deeper and more efficiently.
What are the benefits of Pilates?
There are so, so many! Not only does it help create long, lean muscles that look great — which I like to say are the side effects — but it also helps you connect the whole body, making you stronger. It develops core strength and helps with posture, alignment, balance and flexibility.
I think a big benefit is learning how to breath, which I really think is mostly about being able to control how your breath. There are many ways to breath, but in general we don’t think too much about it because your body will just do it. It also helps with overall body and mind health.
How many times a week should one practice?
How good do you want to be? Like with anything, practice makes you better. The more often you practice Pilates, the more in tune your body will be. I would recommend twice a week, a minimum of once a week.
This is a continuous practice. We are always working to fight day-to-day obstacles and habits, such as sitting at a desk, staring at a computer or looking at a phone. Also keep in mind that it takes some time and effort to work to develop healthy habits.
How did you fall in love with Pilates?
It was love at first class! I can’t imagine doing anything else and the more I learn, the more I love it.
Calhoun Beach Club Pilates Studio is open to members and guests.