Pilates with Ben Parsons

Joseph Pilates was inspired by yoga, Zen Buddhism, ancient Greek and Roman practices when he developed the Pilates exercise method. It wasn’t until the 1920’s that the movements were perfected.

His method helped World War I veterans cope with physical, mental and emotional stress. Eventually, professional dancers adopted Pilates for strength, flexibility and grace. Today, almost everyone can do Pilates. Pregnant women, the elderly and people with physical challenges can benefit from the exercises.

Pilates movements improve posture, balance, bone density, flexibility, breathing, circulation and concentration. The movements are performed in a controlled way through breathing, balance and focus. Pilates increases core strength by stabilizing abdominal, pelvic, thigh and back muscles. One popular core exercise is the plank. This exercise strengthens deep torso and abdominal muscles and helps with spine alignment. Once you know how to do the plank, it can easily be done at home.

Many basic Pilates exercises require no equipment other than a floor mat. Some exercises require simple equipment such exercise balls, elastic bands, foam rollers and disks. Larger equipment, such as Pilates chairs, barrels and reformers, can be used for alignment and more extensive stretching.

Pilates has increased my level of wellness and I continue to practice the exercises at home or at the gym. In the video below, Ben Parsons, a dedicated Pilates instructor, tells us more on the benefits of Pilates and how the exercises can help people.

Photo courtesy of: Carolina Lunetta, Maria Pilates
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Julie Zimmer

Julie has extensive experience in nursing practice and education in a wide range of fields from intensive/coronary care, to medical-surgical to community and public health. Julie has Bachelor Degrees in Psychology and Nursing, and a Master’s Degree in Community Health Nursing Education. She has taught in faculties of nursing and in various communities in Toronto, Canada and in Geneva, Switzerland, and is a consultant to the International Council of Nurses (ICN). Julie also has years of experience teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) in addition to coordinating an English department in a Swiss private school.

5 thoughts on “Pilates with Ben Parsons

  1. I love the video interview – short and simple – just enough to give me an overall idea of Pilates.

    I got dragged into a yoga studio 20 years ago by an ex-girlfriend… I thought it would be chanting and people lying on the floor in candlelight – but I got hit by Astanga Yoga – after 2 hours I remember feeling like my whole body had been put through a washing machine… but I felt so healthy and nimble and flexible. I can still remember walking home from the yoga studio that day and feeling a couple of inches taller.

    The challenge with all of these activities is to get people to do them now when they can help rather than later when the pain is pushing them to do something.

    1. Thanks for your comments Conor. It’s certainly better to start any kind of exercise when we are free of pain and have full mobility. But when mobility goes down and we have pain, we shouldn’t think about slowing down or quitting. Rather this is when we pull our energy together and get the help we need so that we find ways to keep moving. Staying fit and healthy is a lot of mental gymnastics. As you would say: “gotta keep on trucking!” 😉

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