Anita Takes Control of her Health and Fitness - A Pilates Journey
Oct 08, 2018
At 61 years of age, Anita is in remarkable physical shape, and her
fitness, core stability, coordination and balance would rival the majority of people less than half her age.
This wasn't always the case however and we'll rewind back about 11 years ago. As Anita was approaching 50 she was carrying excess weight, she weighed 79 kilos and was 165 cm tall. She made a decision then, that she didn't want to be "Fifty and Fat" and took action. Enrolling in a supervised weight loss program with the goal of losing 10 kilos, she was able to achieve this and was then supposed to plateau. A change in leadership in the program at this time resulted in some confusion surrounding her goals resulting in a further 5 kilo weight loss! During this weight loss period, a friend suggested they introduce some exercise by swimming laps at the local pool. Anita reluctantly agreed as the idea wasn't appealing initially, but almost instantly she was hooked and swimming is now an important part of her regular weekly routine both in the pool and at the beach when she can. Other activities followed at her local gym including Spin classes, Boxing, Hard Core Training (weights & cardio), Core on the Ball as well as walking the 7 km Bay Run regularly. Yoga is also something she would like to explore in the future. As a natural early riser, she was able to schedule classes before work and on weekends and was thoroughly enjoying her newfound activities as her fitness level steadily increased.
In November 2013 Anita started Pilates with me after experiencing a niggling lower back pain after some of her activities and she had been unable to pinpoint any cause. A friend told her about the benefits she had experienced at Pilates and suggested Anita try it, to improve her core stability and assist with the back pain. There are 2 muscle systems in the body, the global fast twitch muscles that predominantly move us and the local, slow twitch muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis. Anita had a muscle imbalance as globally she was very strong from all her training but the back pain was an indicator that she needed to strengthen the stabilizers, to develop the inner strength that Joespeh Pilates refers to, as his Method strengthens from the inside out. When you feel extremely fit, this can be like learning to crawl again when you can already run as there are no shortcuts, but Anita persevered and by the 10 session mark she was starting to see some progress. She now had the awareness of using her core muscles and glutes. When she experienced a flare-up of back pain she was able to go back to strengthening the core and glutes and in time, the 2 muscle systems became more balanced and her body began to function more efficiently with this newly discovered strength During her sessions I try to incorporate as many different movement elements that she is not already covering in her training such as spinal movements, foot strengthening, jumping to increase bone density, flexibility and control. Balance, which she does work on at the Gym as well, has always been a weakness bordering on a fear for her but again with her amazing determination, she conquered yet another obstacle as she is now almost relishing the challenge! We also look at any limitations or issues she is having with any Gym work such as Boxing for example and I provide strengthening exercises for her to help her perform these exercises more efficiently. I have also assisted Anita to prepare for a number of walking/hiking holidays to places such as Japan and the Silk Road as she enjoys very active holidays, you certainly won't find her lying by the pool!
Now almost 5 years later Pilates has been like the finishing touch in Anita's journey, weight loss, general strengthening and then Pilates.
Her decision to lose weight 11 years ago has produced such far-reaching and amazing results. Her story is so inspiring and shows that with determination and application and some hard work along the way you can achieve your goals.
Anita is pictured demonstrating Balance Control Front on the Reformer