Lessons learned from Pilates practice carry over into lifestyle

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Regular Exercise Develops Strength, Flexibility And Balance. 
WIP_Nancy Hawkins Riggs_sqBy Nancy Hawkins Rigg,
Founder and Owner, Forever Fit Foundation

An old adage about an ounce of prevention being better than a pound of cure is attributed to several sources. Regardless of who said it first, the quotation has some validity. People who take time to exercise regularly and properly are usually stronger, happier and healthier than those who just talk about it.

We’re now into 2014, a new year, new beginnings, but the New Year’s resolutions to exercise more and eat properly may have been tossed along with the holiday wrapping paper. Many people make those resolutions based on a desire to see an ideal number when they step on the scale. In doing so, they set themselves up for disappointment and failure.

Making resolutions without a specific plan or guide in order to reach a numeric goal sets up an opportunity for an easy out the first time there’s a missed workout or unwise food choice. When that happens, the best and most noble of intentions fall by the proverbial wayside.

For better success in keeping the 2014 resolutions, try articulating exactly what fitness means and developing a plan for how you will move toward that goal. After all, fitness is not just a three or six-month program; it’s a way of life.

Fitness is not about deprivation. It is a lifestyle that incorporates and develops strength, flexibility and balance in the physical, mental and emotional aspects of a person’s life. It’s a process that takes commitment, and some people find it difficult to believe that exercise can be equally fun and beneficial.

People who practice Pilates learn that mind/ body connection because there are obvious links that fit people recognize and respect. Pilates is an exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates, embraced early on by the dance community, and one that has survived the test of time since its creation in the early 20th century.

The Pilates system is a series of exercises that develops spinal mobility, strengthens the body’s core, encourages body awareness and simultaneously increases flexibility as well. Pilates’ exercises can be performed on studio apparatus or on a mat, often using small apparatus, such as balls or rings.

Each exercise demands concentration and control. Pilates requires attention to details, and as individuals become more proficient in the practice, an experienced personal trainer has the skills to make the exercises more challenging.

An often overlooked bonus that accompanies the practice of Pilates is that clients may notice their posture has improved or that that they are able to take the focus they’ve learned during a training session off the mat and into the rest of their lives. Developing a strong core and flexible spine are other benefits of Pilates that also serve as injury and fall prevention. Pilates’ exercises definitely work the entire body.

Wondering where to start? Feeling somewhat intimidated? Why not rely on the expertise of a trainer qualified to guide you through these exercises on the apparatus? The one-on-one relationship offers individualized support and the instruction you’ll need to understand the basics of this reliable exercise system that benefits mind and body.



Nancy Hawkins Riggs 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 Lewes, Del., and Mendenhall Station, Pa., just over the Delaware line. A certified athletic trainer, she earned her bachelors degree fro 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 for more information.