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Pilates in the Park Held in Englewood

Pilates in the Park Held in Englewood

Northern Valley Press July 30, 2019 - Hillary Viders

ENGLEWOOD, N.J.—This summer, Englewood residents are getting down to the mat. They are enjoying the community’s free Pilates in the Park program at Veterans Park every Monday from 7 to 8 p.m. July 8 through Aug. 26. 

Pilates in the Park, now in its third year, is one of many programs sponsored and run by the Englewood Chamber of Commerce (ECC). 

Carol Rauscher, ECC President who founded Pilates in the Park, said, “We selected Pilates because everyone today is concerned about their health and fitness and Pilates is a great way to achieve these goals. We specifically chose to hold the classes in Veterans Park because everyone knows where it is, it is a beautiful outdoor setting and there is free parking after 6 p.m.”

Another advantage of this location is that after each class, participants can visit one of the many nearby Englewood restaurants. 

Pilates is a system of physical conditioning involving low-impact exercises and stretches designed to strengthen muscles of the torso, sometimes using specialized equipment or performed on a mat on the floor. 

Pilates was developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates, after whom it was named. Pilates called his method “Contrology.” It is practiced worldwide, especially in Western countries such as Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. As of 2005, there were 11 million people practicing the discipline regularly and 14,000 instructors in the United States.

Pilates has many health benefits, such as improved core strength and stability, improved posture and balance and improved flexibility. Pilates is also used for the prevention and treatment of back pain. Because Pilates strengthens and tones muscles without adding bulk, it is an exercise of choice among dancers and other athletes.

At Pilates in the Park, participants bring their own mat and wear loose clothing. A Club Pilates instructor leads the group in a series of movements that stabilize and strengthen the body’s core. The moves look simple; however, they are challenging, as there is precision and control with a strong emphasis on technique. 

On July 8, the first Pilates in the Park session was led by Nirit Malul, a Club Pilates trainer. A group of women wearing leggings and tee shirts and exercise tops assembled for the hour-long workout.  

“Pilates is a great workout that can be geared to fit anyone’s age and physical challenges,” said Malul. 

Her students praised the benefits of the workouts with comments such as: “I love the stretches”; “It helps me keep good posture”; “Pilates helps keep me slim and limber”; and “Exercising outdoors is relaxing and uplifting.” 

Speaking to the popularity of Pilates in the Park, Rauscher said, “Wait! This is only the beginning! Englewood has 10 fitness centers and several nutritional facilities, and on Sept. 15, the ECC is presenting Englewood Fitness Fest.  From 1 to 4 p.m. in Veterans Park there will be a free community expo in which all these groups will participate.” 

Englewood’s fitness programs are popular not just with residents but also with people from all over Bergen County. They attract people from many different communities, religions and ethnic groups, attesting to the city’s tag line, “Englewood—A Place for Everyone!” 

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