How Pilates Changed Our Lives

By Stella Galichia

Isabella Galichia & Laurie Didio using the Reformer

As a person who lives an active lifestyle, I’ve tried many different methods of exercise, such as Yoga, Mat Pilates, cycling, tennis, and at-home personal trainings. Some activities became harder and harder to participate in with time and a couple of injuries.

About a year and a half ago, we moved to Florida and I had the privilege to meet Laurie Didio, a Pilates Instructor for The Oaks Fitness. I was not familiar with the Pilates Reformer apparatus and thought it would be a great way to meet new friends while trying something different. Her class was the best workout that I had ever experienced, which included a combination of strenuous physical exercises for abdominal and over all body strength, balance, deep stretching, and oxygenation to various muscle groups. Most importantly, these exercises didn’t hurt my joints!

Stella Galichia & Laurie Didio using the Reformer

A New Way To Exercise

Stella Galichia & Laurie Didio using the Cadillac

I was so impressed by the professional training Instructor Didio provided so I decided to attend more classes, some I had never heard of before. The Pilates program in the studio offers diverse options for many levels and ages; Jumpboard is an excellent cardio workout; while Stability Chair would stretch and intensify your strengthening skills to a new level. Then, if you’d like to try it all, go for the Cadillac! That table has no limits, and I believe you’ll find the exercises on this apparatus interesting and challenging no matter your age or gender. I convinced my teenage daughter—a student-athlete, and high-level tennis player in great physical condition—to try one of Instructor Didio’s classes and afterward she said:

The Athlete’s Perspective

“Across the world, athletes suffer from stress-related injuries due to muscle tension and lack of stretching. As a tennis player myself, all forms of Pilates have helped me enhance a number of skills on the court. My instructor, Laurie Didio, has introduced me to various forms of Pilates including mat, reformer, the Stability Chair, and the Cadillac. Mat Pilates challenges core strength, sharpens balance, and requires intense muscle control to get through a session. Although the reformer, Stability Chair, and Cadillac all include core strength, balance, and control, they also combine it with stretching and overall flexibility. This is extremely useful since tennis is such a high-impact sport, constantly twisting and turning the spine and placing stress on the joints and ligaments all over the body. The release of tension from these joints and muscles through Pilates prepares me for higher intensity training and matches thereafter to improve my game and to ultimately outlast my peers.”

Isabella Galichia & Laurie Didio using the Barrel

Try Pilates For Yourself

My daughter and I both encourage you to experiment with all of the apparatus in the Pilates studio. In the classroom you will find out for yourself that your body can feel as flexible, strong, and balanced as you remember it once did. 

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