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Winsor Pilates, a Great Addition to Your Exercise Routine

By Jay Moncliff

If you turn on the television after midnight you'll notice that the infomercials for diets, fitness equipment and exercise tapes are becoming more and more popular. Do any of these systems really deliver what they promise?

Winsor Pilates is one of the many exercise systems advertised through infomercials, and one of the biggest sellers. With celebrity endorsements from the likes of Daisy Fuentes and Madonna, it's hard to resist the infomercial and not pick up the phone.

Pilates was developed as a rehabilitative program for injured dancers by Joseph Pilates. The basic premise is that by strengthening the core muscles and increasing flexibility the body will become toned and more coordinated. Dancers have used the system for years, and it is now catching on with the rest of the fitness community. Most users report increased flexibility, coordination, a lengthening of muscles and a much stronger "core".

The floor exercises featured in the tapes all work together to strengthen the abdominal muscles and back, called the "core in this system. Each movement involves these important muscle groups, and the results are fantastic. Not only do the abdominal muscles become more toned, but the entire midsection is strengthened. The results are less likelihood of injury and increased performance in other fitness activities. A stronger back is a less painful back. The pilates moves are also good for toning the legs and buttocks.

The moves are slow and deliberate, requiring not only physical exertion but concentration as well. Ensuring that you are performing the moves correctly actively involves the mind, causing us to focus on the movements of our bodies. This inevitably reduces stress. In this way, pilates is similar to yoga. Many users report feeling refreshed and relaxed after the workout, not tired.

Mari Winsor's presentation of the pilates system is excellent. She is careful to explain each move in great detail so that the beginner can follow along and do the movements in proper form. Most beginners will be discouraged after their first session, but after the second or third the movements will not seem so difficult.

The exercises are useful and effective for core strengthening. You won't see pounds just melt away, however, unless you combine the workouts with a sensible eating plan. Mari includes one for your reference, but you can use this system with the weight loss program you're already on to help accelerate results.

Of course, you may want to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. However, Winsor Pilates is non-aerobic but effective in toning and strengthening the core of your body and may help you lose inches as well. Winsor Pilates is well worth a try.

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