Lifestyle » Vol. 1

Body Mind Balance

Pilates Studio …And the Benefits Within
By Shelly Schweizer

Peter Gibbs

Peter Gibbs

­When it comes to exercise, longer, faster and harder is best, right?

Not necessarily. And for those who’ve been around the track, so to speak, it might very well cause more harm than good. Peter Gibbs, owner of BodyMind Balance Pilates Studio at 102 Grove St., Worcester, attributes the misconception about the benefits of pounding, painful exertion to information we received way back in our school days.

“Most of us learned about exercise 35, 40 years ago. They didn’t know a lot about training, problems of over-stress or working the body in various ways and its consequences.”

Gibbs once subscribed to this exercise myth. As a professional tennis player, he suffered from chronic back and shoulder pain. After trying physical therapy, chiropractors and medical intervention, he was referred to a Pilates studio by a physical therapist.

Body Mind Balance

Body Mind Balance

At first, he was skeptical. But as the pain subsided and his body grew stronger, Gibbs became convinced that Pilates “…offers a really wonderful operator’s manual for how to work your body, how to make it strong and flexible, and improve your balance and coordination.”

Pilates is a comprehensive system of exercises that uses low impact, controlled movements to build strength and condition muscles in a balanced, progressive way while reinforcing balance and alignment.

“If you exercise in very good alignment and do things precisely, you don’t have to use big weights, lots of repetitions or fast motions to become strong. It is a mind-body practice. You have to use your mind to get your body to do what you need to do,” Gibbs said.

Pilates is a low impact, safe workout for people of all ages and fitness levels. Even hardcore couch potatoes will see a flatter stomach, toned arms and legs, improved posture, and increased balance and coordination in a short amount of time.

Pilates

Pilates

“Most Americans lead a really sedentary lifestyle. The older we get we lose muscle mass, flexibility and coordination. As we grow older, we can be at risk for losing our sense of balance,” explained Gibbs. “All these are essential to be able to live an active lifestyle, avoid injury, and to fight some of the effects of time.”

Gibbs estimated that nearly half of his clients at his loft space studio are over 50.

“If you saw some of them you wouldn’t believe it. They’re so strong and so skillful. We’ll put younger people who want a ‘hard’ workout with some of these older folks, to humble them a bit,” he laughed.
Many of them already maintain an active lifestyle but have found that their traditional gym regimen now does more harm than good.
“They can’t do it any more. It’s too much wear and tear on their bodies.
Pilates offers the next step for these people, a way for them to stay fit, healthy and accomplish their goals.”

Pilates

Pilates

The STOTT® and PEAK Pilates trained instructors at BodyMind Balance Pilates Studio use mat work and specialized equipment in small group classes, and in one-on-one training. They offer free introductory sessions and can create customized, offsite group classes.

For more information about the studio, check out :
www.bodymindbalance-ma.com
or call 508-754-3327.

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