Cannon Fitness Center offers pilates classes

By Julie Bizer: Cannon Fitness Center instructor

An 80-year-old exercise is quickly gaining in popularity across the Air Force and America. Pilates is an innovative exercise program that focuses on strength, agility, economy of motion, flexibility and the mind-body connection. The end results are a sleek body with defined abdominals, firmer higher “glutes” and toned thighs.

Top athletes incorporate Pilates into their workout to help prevent injuries, build strength and improve flexibility.

Pilates is derived from more than 20 years of Joseph Pilates’ self-study and his apprenticeship in martial arts, boxing, ancient Roman and Greek physical regimes, yoga and Zen. He called his regiment “controlology.” His exercises focus on slow, controlled movements with resistance.

Joseph Pilates began teaching his form of exercise while he worked as a self-defense instructor for detectives at Scotland Yard.

During conventional exercises weak muscles tend to get weaker, and strong muscles tend to get stronger. This can result in muscular imbalance, a primary cause of injury and chronic back pain. Pilates conditions the whole body so no muscle group is over trained or under trained.

The whole musculature is evenly conditioned and balanced enabling the body to pursue daily activities with greater ease and less risk of injury.

Pilates is one of the fastest growing forms of exercise programs in the world. Perhaps one reason is because Pilates connects the mind with the breath leaving people with an overall sense of peace and tranquility. Pilates helps lower blood pressure, pulse rate and anxiety.