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Fitness Revolution
April, 2014 - Issue #114
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Courtesy of Shutterstock
To Reform(er) or not to Reform(er)?
The Lean Truth on Pilates Reformer Exercise

One of the most sought after workouts in the fitness industry today is Pilates Reformer classes. To some, reformer equipment might resemble a torture apparatus. No wonder! Most look like a single bed frame with a sliding carriage and adjustable springs to regulate tension and resistance. Cables, bars, straps and pulleys allow exercises to be done from a variety of positions, even standing. Because this contraption can look daunting, many fitness aficionados pass by the reformer machines daily in their fitness clubs, wondering about its true intentions. Yet, sooner or later, the intrigue gets the best of them and they begin to ask themselves, "How do you use them? Are they as scary as they look? Will I ever be able to get up off of the machine once I'm on it?"

Those that have ultimately taken the plunge and incorporated a steady diet of reformer classes seem to come away with the loveliest of figures, which is probably why so many bystanders eventually give it a go themselves. Pilates practitioners are long, lean and carry themselves like ballerinas, only less stiff. Pilates builds strength without excess bulk, making you capable of creating a sleek, toned body with slender thighs and a flat abdomen. Who doesn't want those kind of results?

Here's what Pilates is really about: mind-body, core strength and core stability. These terms are much more than the latest fitness buzzwords - they are keys to a healthier lifestyle through mindful movement and Pilates.

Pilates is a safe, sensible exercise system that will help you look and feel your very best. It teaches body awareness, good posture and easy, graceful movement. Pilates also improves flexibility, agility and economy of motion. It can even help alleviate back pain. It's a refreshing mind-body workout that emphasizes proper breathing, correct spinal and pelvic alignment and concentration on smooth, flowing movement. You'll become acutely in tune with your body and really learn how to control its movement.

In Pilates, the quality of movement is valued over quantity of repetitions. Proper breathing is essential and helps you execute movements with maximum power and efficiency. Bonus: Learning to breathe properly can reduce stress.

When looking for a Pilates Reformer salon, look no further than The Paseo Club. The Club recently added six brand new Balanced Body Allegro 2 Reformer machines and offers a full schedule of classes, both personal and group, for their members. 257-0044

Meet your Newest Training Partners at Free Weekly Running/Walking Meet Ups
Every Thursday at 5:30pm and every Saturday at 7am, runners and walkers gather at Runners Lane for a good time and a great run. On Thursdays, the group does a 3 to 5 mile run/walk. Snacks and water are made available after. On Saturday, the marathon training group assembles and logs in anywhere from 3 to 20 miles. Any gathering is open to anyone of any level; walkers can come, too! This is a great way to run/walk safe, make a commitment you'll stick with and meet new people. 260-3368

Walk for a Cure at Relay for Life
With the support of thousands of volunteers, the American Cancer Society is helping save more than 400 lives a day. The Relay For Life movement offers an inspiring opportunity to honor cancer survivors, promote how individuals can reduce their cancer risk and raise money to help end cancer. Join your SCV neighbors in the largest Relay in So Cal (And the third largest in the state!) at Central Park beginning at 9am on Saturday, May 17. The 24-hour event includes live music, food and lots of fun activities and fundraisers all day long. Participate in the Luminaria Ceremony at 9pm Saturday night, as the community remembers those we have lost, and the Fight Back Ceremony at 8:30am on Sunday, when the group recommits in the fight against cancer. The event is free and open to the public (Please leave pets at home.). www.scvrelay.org
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