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Pilates for plus-sized people

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Starting a new fitness program can be a challenge for most people. Now imagine that they have mobility or severe weight issues.

Nevertheless, one area business has created a fitness class specifically designed to help make it easier for this group to get active.

Owner Annabel Scott of the Pilates Manitoba Wellness Centre on Academy Road has been offering plus-size fitness classes since November 2011.

"I had some family members who had weight and mobility issues. They were reluctant to get active as they didn’t think they would be able to participate in a regular fitness class," Scott said. "So, I developed a class that took their specific needs into consideration."

The plus-size class follows a regular Pilates format but with a few modifications.

Instructor Nicole Mulder explains:

"As a person’s weight goes up, their mobility goes down. It takes longer to transition from one move to the next, not as many repetitions of an exercise can be completed, and flexibility is limited."

Taking all of these factors into consideration, Mulder structures the class to accommodate these limitations.

"The class just moves at a slightly slower pace and certain moves are executed at a less intense level," added Nicole.

Class participant Marjim who has been attending since November 2012 said the biggest reward has been being able to walk without a cane.

"When I first started I had to do the moves sitting upright. Now a mere four months later I am lying down," she said. "My flexibility and strength have increased dramatically. I didn’t think I could ever walk without pain and now I am looking at joining the walking club."

Scott states that the class is not about weight loss but rather being connected to yourself.  
Hour-long plus-size classes are being offered on Mondays and Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. Mulder recommends making an appointment for an assessment.

For more information, call 204-487-2287 or pilatesmanitoba.com

Carolyne Braid is a community correspondent for Crescentwood. You can reach her at carolyne.braid@gmail.com.

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