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Depending on that patient’s size, moving them can prove quite challenging, even risky to the attending nurse. That’s where Pilates comes to the rescue.
  • Linda Cunnigham
Grace enjoying a lighter moment on the job

Pilates Saved My Life

As a critical care nurse at Huntington Northwell Hospital since 1999, FI member and long-time PT client of mine Christina Rizzo has a lot of responsibility for taking care of patients and, often, saving lives. How ironic it was then when Christina’s first words to me at the start of a training session were, “Linda, Pilates saved my life last night!”

As a Pilates instructor at FI for over 12 years, I’ve known how Pilates can transform a body, strengthen one’s core and improve flexibility, but to save a life, that was something I needed to hear more about and something I’d like to share with all of you.

Hard Moves

People, of course, come in various sizes, and Christina’s patients vary accordingly. These patients rely on her for care, and quite often, part of that care requires the physical movement of the patient. Depending on that patient’s size, moving them can prove quite challenging, even risky to the attending nurse. That’s where Pilates comes to the rescue.

Before she began practicing Pilates with me, whether in a class or during our sessions, Christina often spoke of back discomfort – and let me stress the point that she “spoke of” discomfort and never once “complained.” Together, we began a strict regimen of core strengthening through Pilates.

The Challenge is Met

A few months into our training, Christina shared that a patient of hers the night before was very difficult to move. But Christina quickly remembered her Pilates training, engaged her core, bent her knees, used her breathing, and successfully transferred her patient from one gurney to another. No pain, no discomfort, no problem! What a difference Pilates was making in her life! It was saving her back! It was saving her life!

The Integrated Whole

What makes Pilates so useful is that it trains the body as an integrated whole, focusing on core, lower body strength, flexibility, and posture. It also promotes strength, balanced muscle development, and increased range of motion for the joints. It’s become popular in rehab settings in addition to athletic training- I specifically know of Miami Dolphins football players that practice Pilates regularly!

It’s For You, Too!

Pilates is suitable for all ages and any level of fitness expertise. And every Pilates movement can be modified to accommodate EVERY-BODY.
Perhaps your back has been a bit sore; hamstrings a little tight; neck a little achy? If so, you could definitely benefit from adding Pilates to your regimen.

I suppose I have a few more lives to save!

About the Author

linda cunningham

Linda Cunningham

Linda Cunningham is a NASM Certified Personal Trainer, AFAA Group Instructor, AAAI/ISMA Pilates Instructor, AAAI/ISMA Kids Fitness Instructor, and also certified in Zumba.

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