Why Pilates is the Ideal Anti Aging Exercise

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Joseph Pilates – the inventor of pilates – once said that anyone who is stiff and out of shape at 30 is old, while someone who is supple and strong at 60 is still young.

Pilates worked in a circus and developed the pilates method of exercise during the first world war to improve posture and flexibility for dancers and performers of all ages.

Pilates didn’t set out to develop a suberb anti aging exercise method for the over 40′s but that’s exactly what pilates turned out to be. If you haven’t tried pilates yet – you should.

The popularity of pilates really took off from the 1980′s as the results of the pilates program became well known – not harmed of course by a rush of celebrity endorsements. But the enthusiasm for pilates lasted and pilates in one form or another has become the celebrity exercise method of choice.

A huge list of celebrities who do pilates have spoken out about its benefits. The list of celebrity pilates devotees is almost endless. Jennifer Anniston, Jamie Lee Curtis, Gwyneth Paltrow, Madonna, Hugh Grant, John Cleese – all have declared themselves huge fans of the pilates method.

Over the years – the original pilates program has developed and nowadays there are more than 500 different exercises in the pilates manual.

    "Pilates is the only exercise programme that has changed my body and made me feel great." (Jamie Lee Curtis)

Although pilates is a physical activity – it isn’t a cardiovascular workout and in so many ways it is ideal as an anti aging exercise program. Lots of women take up pilates in their 40′s, 50′s and older and whatever your age when you start – you won’t have to worry about your body not coping with pilates.

    “In ten sessions you will feel the difference, in 20 you will see the difference, and in 30 you will have a whole new body”. Joseph Pilates

Pilates is a total system of exercises which is designed to build your body’s core strength gradually through balancing, stretching and correct breathing techniques.

Core strength exercise is vital as we get into middle age and beyond.

Strengthening your body’s core improves your flexibility – stiffness and lack of fluid movement are so often associated with an aging body. Core muscles protect your spine and build bone density and strength – vital for older women and essential to keep the risk of osteoporosis and back problems at bay.

"I’m a Pilates person. It’s great. I had a hip problem. I had a chronic back, a pinched nerve and a hip problem and it’s completely solved all of it. I love it. It makes me feel like I’m taller." (Jennifer Anniston)

When it comes to safe exercise – pilates tops the list. Physiotherapists and doctors regularly recommend pilates as one of the best exercise routines for overall general fitness and body awareness. Many times women starting pilates later in life have been recommended by their doctors.

Top level sports physios use pilates to get their clients back in trim after injury or long periods of immobility. Pilates techniques and exercises also form the basis of routines practised by professional dancers and performers to improve co-ordination, balance and flexibility.

Another reason pilates is so good as an anti aging exercise – pilates exercises can be tailored to your level of fitness. If you go to a private pilates teacher you get a unique set of exercises from the pilates manual based on your own postural habits and problems. The teacher should work with you to gradually build up your flexibility and core strength.

You can achieve much the same thing by joining a pilates class – which is what I did. Just check out that your class is run by a fully trained pilates teacher. Start with the beginner class and then as you gain experience you can move up to pro level slowly.

When I first joined the class – we spent a while doing breathing exercises and getting our balance and posture right – way before we even attempted any exercises. We then moved on to the lowest level of exercises and took it very gently. Your pilates teacher should watch out for every member of the class and make sure that you can cope with each exercise.

It’s very easy to move your pilates sessions into your home. There’s also a great range of books and DVD’s available to help you practise at home. Or you can just repeat the exercises you do in class – the great thing is with pilates – you don’t need expensive home gym equipment. All you need is a mat and comfortable clothes. You don’t even need a lot of room – pilates was designed to be done in a confined space.

Doing any form of regular exercise is great for reducing stress – but pilates is one of the best you could do for stress. Concentrating on holding the pilates positions during the exercise sessions and deep breathing techniques are both extremely beneficial in relieving stress – in much the same way that Yoga is.

Unlike yoga – pilates doesn’t tie you in knots or get you to put your body in any position that is uncomfortable. The risk of injury is much lower – especially for beginners or women over 40 who don’t take other forms of regular exercise.

Once you get hooked on pilates – you’ll find it is something you can carry on doing for many years – wherever you are. Retaining suppleness and core strength is vital for anti aging health and pilates is probably the best anti aging exercise you’ll find.


Pilates for Athletes and Men

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Do men do Pilates?  Yes, they do.  Athletic organizations are also incorportating Pilates training into the training regimens for their athletes because of the unique benefits that Pilates training includes.  Strengthening the core of the body helps athletes better their game of choice as well as help them to lessen their risk of injury by teaching them how to stabilize around all of the joints in the body.  Many athletes also use Pilates as part of their rehabilitation process.

Sting, the lead singer of The Police, makes sure he stays in shape for his demanding touring schedule with Pilates. In recent months, Sting trained with STOTT PILATES Certified Instructors while on tour. Sting says he'll continue to train with STOTT PILATES.

Even if you're not a basketball fan, you've probably heard of Kobe Bryant.  The Los Angeles Lakers guard is one of the NBA's all-time greats, and to make sure he stays in this elite class, he includes Pilates in his rigorous training regimen.  Since Kobe demands the best, his representatives recently contacted STOTT PILATES to ask about their reformers.  Kobe isn't the only pro athlete to discover the positive impact that Pilates can have on athletic performance.  NBA All-Star guard Jason Kidd, World Series Champion Curt Schilling, and even Tiger Woods, all rely on Pilates to help ensure they stay in peak condition year round.


Laurie Beck's Book Signing at Lovelace Interiors

A Chic Monday Evening Shopping Soirée: Alden Lagasse Collection Premieres at Lovelace Interiors

On the afternoon of Monday, December 3, a throng of cars clogged the filled-to-capacity parking lot entrance of Lovelace Interiors in Miramar Beach, Florida, from 4-6 p.m. The gracious couple of Alden and Emeril Lagasse hosted the “Cocktails, Clothes, and Cookbooks” event to premiere the new Alden Lagasse Collection, now housed on the second floor of Lovelace Interiors.

The excitement to shop spread like a contagion. I was hoping not to be tempted by anything that caught my eye, but to my dismay (I mean … pleasure), I loved everything I saw. Beautiful and tasteful jewelry, a little yellow clutch, some light-blue lounge pajamas, and a straw hat that I, of course, desperately needed for my growing collection of interesting chapeaus. The beautiful Alden Lagasse concurred that the hat was also one of her favorites. Very much down-to-earth, Alden is warm, beautiful, and has great taste as evidenced by her new collection. Also present was the gorgeous Susan Lovelace whose natural charm and grace has always amazed me.

Everyone who made a purchase over $100 received a cookbook, signed in person by Emeril Lagasse, one of the most recognizable personalities of our time. While shoppers awaited their chance to meet Alden and Emeril, I marveled with gratitude for the millionth time what an amazing place in which we live.

My friend and author Laurie Beck, who recently wrote I am Living to Tell, has been getting lots of attention from those who have read her story of a courageous and inspirational victory over cancer. Check it out and buy it for a Christmas gift. Click here to learn more about Laurie’s book or to purchase it.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable end to a Monday, and kudos to all involved in marketing this magnificent and well-attended event.


The Serve2Cure Tennis Tournament was a success!  


Laurie on the set of Good Morning America with Emeril & Alden Legasse

Thank you Emeril and Alden Lagasse         for taking me to New York last month (July 30th) to spread some "hope and healing" to Good Morning America's co-anchor Robin Roberts.

During a special visit to the Good Morning America set, Laurie hand-delivered her memoir, "I am Living to Tell," and a beautiful piece of Chi Bella jewelry to the ever-optimistic Robin Roberts. Robin, who five years ago beat breast cancer, was diagnosed in June with MDS (myelodysplastic syndrome).

In the ABC network blog, Robin stated:

 "As many of you know, 5 years ago I beat breast cancer.  I’ve always been a fighter, and with all of your prayers and support, a winner.

 Sometimes the treatment for cancer can cause other serious medical problems. Today, I want to let you know that I’ve been diagnosed with MDS or myelodysplastic syndrome.  It’s a disease of the blood and bone marrow and was once known as preleukemia.

 My doctors tell me I’m going to beat this — and I know it’s true."

To see the full post, click here.