Growing up, I was a competitive gymnast until I reached junior high — where I decided to play organized school sports and had to give up one of the most intense sports I have ever been apart of. Aside from the conditioning, I missed the strength training (using your own body weight) and intense stretching exercises we did to restore our muscles and gain flexibility for the demands of the sport.
As a high school athlete, I was in search of an at-home solution to get myself back into that practice outside my normal conditioning I did through the sports and weight training programs I participated in.
That is when I found Winsor Pilates, and it has been with me ever since.
It’s almost like I cannot get on with my day without it. Almost everyday I wake up and get myself going with Pilates. One of the best parts? I do it all from home. I just walk downstairs and jump-start my day from the convenience of my own home.
When people ask me about my fitness routine I always tell them that Pilates is probably one of the key parts to my workouts and secrets to my success.
Even if you are not flexible, you can begin to work your way up through the different levels of Pilates. Many of Mari Winsor’s videos — the brand and instructor that I have come to love — have alternate moves for those starting out, or those with neck or back pains, to follow along with during the workouts as well.
I also worked my way up through the different levels of difficulty. I began with the Winsor Pilates 20-minute workout video (which you can now find on YouTube in Part 1 and Part 2 below.)
And went on to challenge myself with videos like the Body Slimming Workout.
I now use Mari Winsor’s Slimming Pilates, which acts as an at-home Pilates machine and love it! It comes with several different workouts that transform the machine — equipped with a weighted bar that detaches into two hand weights, a resistance cord and attachment that fits onto your door — to create alternate videos and workouts each day of the week.
I usually then follow up my Pilates video with a stint on the elliptical, a jog, a hike or a walk with my dog in the park. I may also start my day with Pilates and do a more intense workout in the evening. Or if I need a lighter day or am in a rush, I will just fit in a Pilates routine as my sole workout of the day.
— Teryn Schaefer (@terynschaefer) May 9, 2014
You can also sign up for a Gaiam TV subscription, which gives you access to an entire collection of Mari Winsor Pilates and other Gaiam partnered videos online.
Pilates is something I will always instill in my overall wellness plan and continue to practice for the rest of my life. Other workouts have come and gone for me, but Pilates has always been my fitness staple.