My 90 year old, decorated WWII veteran, uncle tends to joke a lot lately about getting old. His favorite two lines are, “Aging is not for sissies.” and “Life is an endurance sport – only the strong survive.”
While funny, he is not too far off from the actual mark. Human bodies run best and longest when given some proper maintenance, including proper exercise, proper sleep, and proper nutrition. Luckily we only really have to worry about two of these, since when we exercise regularly and eat well, our sleep tends to be more sound.
Joseph Pilates understood this when he started to develop his Contrology exercise method while interned by the British as an enemy alien during WWI. As a child in Germany, he was chronically ill and suffered from asthma and rheumatic fever. Pilates understood that in order to be strong he needed to breathe, move well, and eat well. He developed the signature Pilates mat exercises to be done in a small space with just a little cushion under the spine, and later worked with springs that could be attached to a wall, bed frame, or chair. It was a prisoners’ workout that helped free the mind, strengthen the body, and keep people relatively sane and healthy.
But Pilates doesn’t just help us endure, it helps us thrive when we are not in war-time conditions. And when combined with good nutrition, Pilates will keep our bodies productive for the long haul.
Almost a century after his movement discoveries, a new generation has embraced Pilates’ techniques. We find that it has a similar effect, not only helping us open and strengthen our bodies in ways we never imagined, but also helping us live well and long with less injury. When combined with proper nutrition, including some key supplements where indicated, the Pilates focus on stability and mobility in proper ratio will keep your body working well through the long haul.
While we might think our food has improved since the First World War, we now find that the use of pesticides, genetic modifiers, hormones, and other chemicals has made our food less nutritious. While we can eat organic, non-GMO foods as much as possible, there are some high-quality, inexpensive supplements that will help your body thrive.
A basic multi-vitamin and mineral formula, like Buddha’s Herbs Complete Multivitamin, is a good insurance policy that keeps you covered on your basic needs. I like to add some Vitamin D, especially for those of us who live with little sunlight in the winter and spend a lot of time indoors, along with a high potency fish oil to fight inflammation and control cholesterol.
Thirty to sixty minutes of daily focused Pilates exercise, along with good food and some quality nutritional supplements, will help you not only endure, but thrive!
There’s a reason why former Financial Times travel writer Rahul Jacob says that Lynda Lippin is the best Pilates teacher he has ever worked with–anywhere in the world. So much more than a Master Trainer, Lynda uses exercise, energy and bodywork as a vehicle for health, healing and wellness.
Lynda’s teaching style, honed over the past 25 years, is described as “nurturing yet demanding.” Her clients, from journalist Natalie Livingstone to designer and philanthropist Donna Karan, learn to overcome barriers of the body, mind and spirit while exploring, discovering and ultimately embracing new reserves of strength, flexibility, coordination and energy.
She is currently a Master Pilates Specialist at Real Pilates in Tribeca and also maintains a small, exclusive, private client practice. Lynda worked overseas for both a private studio in Turks and Caicos and for several years at Parrot Cay (an exclusive, A-List, private island resort and spa), and currently recruits pilates teachers as needed for overseas positions in A-list spas.
Lynda is the recipient of numerous awards in her field, including 2003 Best of Philly® Pilates Studio and the 2011 SpaFinder Magazine Reader’s Choice Award for Best Pilates in the World. She is a Master Reiki practitioner and holds certifications in TRX as well as Kettlebells.