Studies have shown that regular exercise improves endothelial function (Hambrecht R, Circulation 1998), quality of life and outcome (Smart N, Am J Med 2004; Belardinelli R, Circulation 1999). Pilates exercises are simple, do not increase your heart rate, do not need any expensive equipment and can be done anywhere.

Here are some basic exercises performed by Pilates fitness trainer, Debbie Smith (Dip Phys Ed), who is based in Johannesburg, South Africa. If you would like to learn more about Pilates or attend a Pilates class, you may contact Debbie on 082 456 7114 or email debbieeqpt@gmail.com.

Please note: Pilates exercises should be done with a qualified Pilates instructor. Stop immediately if the exercises cause significant pain.

About Pilates

German-born Joseph H Pilates (1880 – 1967) devised a series of exercises that could overcome injuries and postural problems. "The Pilates Method" is a complete and thorough programme of mental and physical conditioning with an expanding orbit of potential exercises. Many of the small therapeutic movements designed to help people recovering from injuries can be intensified to challenge seasoned athletes. It is very versatile work that speaks to all ages and all levels of fitness.

Nine principles provide the foundation for the 'Pilates Method':

  • CONCENTRATION: Engaging your mind on what your body is doing
  • CONTROL: Fostering mind/body co-ordination which guarantees strong movements
  • CENTERING: Working from a strong core
  • BREATHING: Breathing into the rib cage
  • POSTURAL ALIGNMENT: Being aware of the position of your body parts in space
  • FLOW: Moving slowly and gracefully
  • STAMINA: Introducing the element of intensity to build endurance when you are ready
  • RELAXATION: Learning to release the body and not overwork it