With the ongoing recession, crazy far-right 'birthers' and health care reform battles dominating the news, one could be forgiven for slouching a bit more than usual these days. While you can’t always control everything around you, there is something you can do right now to feel more empowered, stand taller and even elevate your mood—Pilates.
“Pilates is made for everyday life, it can help you feel better and more confident” says Sharyl M. Curry, owner of Park East Pilates, a private Pilates studio in New York City. “It helps you be aware of your posture, so you actually look and feel taller.”
How can Pilates do all this? By strengthening your body’s core—the focus of most Pilates’ movements are geared to your abs and lower back—you automatically improve your posture. “A weak stomach leads to slouching,” says Curry, “and bad posture tends to bring down your whole mood.”
Other benefits of regular Pilates workouts include opening the chest, elongating the muscles and creating a more flexible spine. If you’ve never tried Pilates before, Curry suggests getting started by trying the latest trend in Pilates—a private “lesson” utilizing classic Pilates equipment such as the Reformer and the Cadillac, which also provide a great primer when you take group Pilates classes at a gym.
“By getting the personal attention, you can see right away what your body’s strengths and weaknesses are, and it helps you learn the correct principles and choreography of Pilates,” says Curry.