The Women's Journal

Jump Into Pilates For Increased Energy And Metabolism!

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By Nancy Hawkins Rigg,
Founder and Owner, Forever Fit Foundation

When you think of Pilates you don’t necessarily think of cardio. We tend to believe that Pilates is just about mind/body and deep breathing. Think again! The Pilates method is steeped in cardio and aerobic endurance. The numerous health benefits of Pilates include strengthening the heart and lungs, increasing bone mass and muscle tone, burning calories and lowering body fat. It feels great while you’re doing it, because it releases endorphins and other mood enhancing hormones. We have the ability to move you, pump you up and increase blood flow, circulation and range of motion all in one workout.

To really get the full cardio benefit while doing Pilates, try integrating Pilates principles into cardio training in order to ramp up its efficiency. The best way to integrate the two is through interval training and varying the intensity during the workout. We have designed programs that have interval training at its most basic level. The rapid dynamic movements through Pilates exercises followed by the pause of transitions are the very essence of interval training.

The best part?! Interval training works more muscles, and working more muscles burns more calories. As a bonus, you’ll continue to burn more calories for up to 24 hours after your workout.  And don’t forget your strengthened heart and capillaries, which can now more effectively oxygenate you and flush toxins from your system.

These are the non-negotiables: 

Keep the abdominal muscles engaged by pulling them in and up, as if a corset were cinched around your waist stabilizing your movements. This helps lengthen the torso, creating room for circulation in and around the organs and also supports the spine against the pull of gravity.

Keep the chest open and lifted. We call it “proud chest”, to expand your lungs to capacity rather than shutting down the upper half by hunching forward.

Keep your spine long from the top of your head down to the tip of your tail, engaging the surrounding muscles to work together to create space, length and body stability.

Let’s talk about Reformer Jump Board training. Jumping is good for you! You will fall in love with this fun innovative way to exercise, which builds core and allover muscle strength while burning fat big-time.

It all started during a study in which participants alternated five minutes of traditional reformer exercise with five minutes of jumpboard work in 40-minute sessions three times a week. After eight weeks, participants’ flexibility, core strength, balance and muscular and cardio endurance had greatly improved. They also showed a 15 percent drop in body fat and a surprising 58 percent reduction in stress. Most were able to elevate their heart rates and burn more calories in a low impact way using the jumpboard versus a traditional treadmill or elliptical. It keeps the training interesting. Although the jumping plays a role in stabilizing the abdominals, it’s the fun factor that wins!

Top 10 reasons to jump. If you haven’t jumped since you were a kid, you will discover that it’s harder than you remember, yet totally achievable with practice. Remember Joseph Pilates was a boxer which involved lots of jumping rope, a staple in a boxer’s conditioning program.

  1. Efficient calorie burner
  2. Total body toner
  3. Mental conditioner
  4. Immune system booster
  5. Bone builder
  6. Athletic edge
  7. Stress melter
  8. Gentle on joints
  9. Suitable for most
  10. Fun factor!

Contact Forever Fit Foundation today for information on how to get a “jump” on your fitness regimen today!

Nancy Hawkins Rigg is the founder and owner of Forever Fit Foundation, a personal training business specializing in Pilates, Gyrotonic, Gyrokinesis, Yamuna Body Rolling and sport specific training. Forever Fit Foundation accepts clients at three sites: Dover and Rehoboth, Del., and Mendenhall Station, Pa., just over the Delaware line. A certified athletic trainer, she earned her bachelors degree from the University of Delaware and her master’s degree in exercise science and sports medicine from Miami University in Ohio. Please call (302) 423-1816 or (302) 698-5201 to schedule an appointment or more information.