Of course, looking good is not the only reason we do Pilates, feeling healthy and well is hugely important too. We know there are significant health benefits from regular exercise and Pilates, as part of a regular exercise programme has many health benefits helping combat many of the common and serious health conditions that are prevalent today.
Diabetes is considered the silent killer and it responds well to exercise that reduces fat and increases strength such as Pilates. High blood pressure can lead to strokes, heart disease and kidney failure. Exercise can reduce blood pressure. High cholesterol is associated with a sedentary lifestyle and any exercise that reduces weight can help with this. Pilates is particularly helpful as it is a prolonged stamina workout using more fat for fuel.
There is much evidence that exercise can help prevent certain cancers and aid in the management of symptoms. The only long term treatment for degenerative arthritis is to maintain good muscular strength and joint flexibility and to establish a strong core. Pilates is ideal for this.
Some of these conditions affect men more than women. Despite all its benefits, unfortunately, Pilates attracts far fewer men than women. At NPF, only about 10% of clients are male which equates with figures from America which show about 16% men in class. The good news is that these percentages are on the rise as more men realise the huge fitness and wellbeing gains that Pilates can offer. There are many reasons why men are not attracted to Pilates. It is often perceived as a women only discipline. Almost all images of Pilates show women, it is associated with dancers and most studios are owned and operated by women. Hardly surprising that it doesn't appeal to men despite the fact that Joseph Pilates was a man and a boxing trainer.
Pilates is considered a gentle form of exercise and not very sporty with few men aware of how challenging the workout can be and how it can make you stronger in your chosen sport. Perhaps if we renamed it ' the ultimate core workout ' it would appeal more, especially if just looking good is not your goal (despite what I said in the opening lines! ) If international rugby players incorporate Pilates into their training programme, it has to be doing something very worthwhile.
To try and encourage more men to give Pilates a try, we are offering a couple's concession card at the discounted rate of $155 for ten sessions for the month of September. It has to be shared equally so you both get exactly 5 sessions which are not transferrable between you. It really does take at least four classes to establish if Pilates is right for you. So, see if you can persuade a man in your life to give it a go, it can be a male relative or friend if you prefer. Existing couples who attend can also get this rate in September.
Carla, Val and myself all have skills other than being excellent Pilates instructors ! Val is a great massage therapist and is available for massages on Monday and Wednesday afternoons at Hatea Drive. Carla is a very experienced dance teacher with her own business called 'Just Dance'. She runs classes after school on Mondays and Tuesdays for all levels and Baby Ballet on Wednesdays. She will consider an adult class if anyone is interested.
I worked as a physiotherapist for twenty five years before arriving in New Zealand and have also been a personal trainer for fifteen years putting both of those skills together to work in rehabilitation after injury. Pilates is the ideal marriage of physiotherapy and exercise. Between the three of us, we offer quite a comprehensive array of experience.
There has been a slight change to the timetable as Val and I have swapped Wednesday and Friday mornings. There is now only one class on Friday mornings at 9.30 am and it is intermediate level. Otherwise, the timetable is unchanged and can be seen on the website or in the studios.
We hope you have enjoyed working with the power circles over the last few weeks. We have some for sale at $35 if you want to continue with them at home while the classes move on to other things.