So, you’ve heard about Pilates but don’t quite know if it’s for you?
Andrea Van Zile says Pilates is for every single person – and that every single person will reap great benefits.
Andrea is the Director of VIDA Pilates as well as the head of Pilates Education. Teaching for over a decade and a student of the method for nearly two decades, she is passionate about the results Pilates can offer everyone.
We spoke to Andrea to learn more about Pilates and its benefits.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is over 100 years old and was founded by Joseph Pilates. I think he was ahead of his time. The whole point of Pilates is to combat gravity. Gravity weighs down on us from the day we begin standing upright and the effects are real. Weight pushes us down, and most of us are not strong enough to combat gravity.
So we need to build strength to ensure that we can do everything we want to do as long as possible – be that running marathons, playing tennis or pickleball, remaining physically fit overall, performing daily activities, and everything in between. In short, we require strength to do the things we want and to live with relative ease and Pilates is by far and away the best exercise I’ve found to achieve this.
It makes you better at everything that you do – from walking down the street to any sport. The benefits of Pilates are robust. Pilates can improve flexibility and overall strength, enhance muscular control of your back and limbs, improve posture, increase coordination and balance, prevent injuries, increase lung capacity, improve body awareness, and help manage stress.
What can I expect if I start Pilates?
Immediate results. You will walk and stand taller.
Everyone has a postural fault. We live in a society that forces it upon us. Whether that’s from sitting at a desk all day, carrying a heavy bag, or a child on a hip, etc. The number one thing people can expect to experience when they begin Pilates is they will stand up straighter, feel less pain in joints and back, and improve overall strength – specifically core strength.
Why take a class?
There is no one who can’t or won’t benefit from Pilates. Because every person benefits from being stronger and having better posture.
In terms of specific demographics that are a good fit, the pre-and post-natal communities benefit greatly. Pre-natal Pilates was the best thing that ever happened to me. It shortens labor and greatly enhances the ability to recover. This is consistent in everyone I’ve seen and worked with who is pregnant.
Another is the 65+ demographic. Pilates enhances balance, stability, grip strength, and more. Our muscles atrophy with age, and Pilates combats this and can help people to avoid falls and more.
How often should someone do Pilates?
I recommend it at least twice a week. Ideally, three or more times a week.
And that hour is you in your body. It’s a time to quiet the noise and be with ourselves and our bodies for one hour. When you consider how much time we spend on the computer, in the car, sitting watching TV, this one hour a few times a week is incredibly important and a valuable way to connect with yourself and improve your health.