Stephany Morrow has grown accustomed to people asking how she looks this good for eighty-one years old. Her response? It’s not a secret serum or magic spell: it’s Pilates. “It’s called committing yourself to an exercise that you get ten times the benefits than the effort you put into it,” she said. Even the TSA employees at the airport tell her after checking her ID that she does not look her age. Stephany attributes all of these compliments to Pilates and walking.

The immediate rush of serotonin from accomplishing something, the tingle of endorphins…to Stephany, there’s nothing like achieving something you didn’t know you could, especially after trying to talk yourself out of trying. Stephany champions physical health, emphasizing a connection between healthy mind and healthy body. She even calls The PilatesBarre (TPB) classes her “therapy.” Stephany was introduced to Pilates thirty years ago when her studio had only a Pilates chair and a mat. From those beginnings, she saw first-hand the impact of Pilates on her core.

She began frequenting TPB back in 2015 and has not looked back since. She started taking the Pilates workout more seriously when she realized just how connected she felt more physically and mentally to every part of her body. To her, the benefits she reaps from Pilates is worth the hard work during class. Stephany calls herself the biggest cheerleader of Pilates, encouraging anyone who will listen about the benefits to the core, back, and lower body. Pilates low-impact exercises can carefully assist with hip mobility while being gentle on the joints.

Another The PilatesBarre client of long standing, Ted, has been taking Pilates so long he can’t nail down the exact time that he started. His first experience with Pilates as a workout was using an old version of the Reformer machines and he remembers hating the experience. Luckily, Ted gave Pilates another try and took another class, which led him to finding an instructor he liked, whom he later followed to The PilatesBarre. Now, he is a loyal advocate for Pilates workouts. He started slow, coming two to three days, but now TPB is part of his everyday routine and Ted comes into the studio seven days a week.

Pilates can be taken at any pace: a beginner can pace themselves, someone with an injury can do a modification, an expert can add a supplementary exercise. Ted is someone who loves to add on: his favorite move is an inchworm, a classic core move on your knees and forearms, hinging backward and forward.

Like Morrow, Ted has found that Pilates has strengthened his core, and Ted has additionally seen improvement to his balance over time. Balance helps with coordination between your brain and muscles, and can help prevent falls and injury. While the importance of balance to everyday tasks is easily forgotten, retaining balance is critical as we age. When he was younger, Ted was a star athlete, playing football, basketball and running track. He explains that these sports did not put any emphasis on balance. Pilates, on the other hand, challenges balance, but beginners can work up to the feat by using the balance bar. Ted appreciates the full body aerobic workout that Pilates offers. As a former runner, he continues the habit by tracking his heart rate during Pilates classes and monitors the cardiovascular effects that Pilates has.

Stephany’s mindset in any Pilates class is to remember that it’s not about how someone else looks or what they’re able to do, but about what you’re able to do. Stephany has encountered back pain from scoliosis and went through a meniscus tear. “It’s a personal journey,” she explained, “and fear can keep you from doing the things you want to do.” To put it bluntly, Stephany encourages people to “get over it” so they can reap the benefits of Pilates. Stephany believes a person cannot achieve anything if they never get outside their comfort zone. “It takes some courage,” she said, but if staying healthy is important to you, it’s worth it, she continued.

Pilates not only regulates muscle control, but also aids in stretch work, and deep breathing exercises. Stephany has found that as she got older, she realized the importance of posture. Strengthening her core and back muscles in Pilates classes has helped her navigate that change. She does not joke when it comes to maintaining a strong core, commenting how the core determines back strength. She cites a simple fact she learned back in the fifth grade: bones need muscles to support them.

The positive, supportive energy at The PilatesBarre is what has Stephany coming back for more. “Everyone is putting in the same effort as you are [so it] feels like you are trying to achieve something together. You never feel like you’re all alone here,” Stephany said. Ted’s experience at TPB mirrors Stephany’s words. To Ted, coming to the studio isn’t just about the workout. Showing up to class feels like a social activity: Ted has gradually made friends with other people in his classes, the instructors. He describes The PilatesBarre like an extended family.

It’s really never too late to add Pilates to life. Join our TPB family!