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Earthly Goods: Get Fit, Feel Better

Heal
Strengthen Your CoreI have a friend in her late 80s who has more pep in her step and sparkle in her eye than ever — and she attributes it to her thrice weekly Pilates sessions that she enjoys with a trainer in the comfort of her home. As an exercise method beloved by dancers, there’s no doubt that Pilates is one of the most effective ways to build endurance and flexibility, while strengthening the abdominals and back, and toning and sculpting long, lean muscles.Joseph Pilates, a German man who firmly believed that mental and physical health go hand in hand, developed the method in the first half of the twentieth century. He created his special method (which he originally called “contrology”) as mat exercises, while using various pieces of apparatus. Today, you can practice Pilates on a mat or on the elaborate Reformer machine. I recently tested the new CorePlus Reformer Resistance Band workout from Gaiam and really enjoyed it. This innovative band, with its four-loop design, resembles a butterfly and mimics the functions of a Reformer machine. It’s easy to use — and better yet, easy to toss in a suitcas …

Mary Bemis is the editor in chief of Journey to Renewal and the founder of InsidersGuidetoSpas.com.


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