Pilates provides unique exercise experience


Nathan Kwapisz/NW

GET FIT – Pilates is a great class for both new and experienced people to get into shape and have a great time.

Nathan Kwapisz

“I am new to Pilates,” Josie Hodges said. “I learned that Pilates is more abs, core and balance, it really engages your muscles rather than using your momentum.”

Hodges, a public relations and marketing major, described her Pilates class as a disciplined and fun core workout. Although Hodges sees herself more as a weightlifter, she chose to add Pilates for an all-around workout and really enjoys the classes.

“My least favorite workout is the planks, but I do think that is something I am getting better at as time goes on,” Hodges said. “It’s really satisfying to see yourself get better at something that you weren’t as good at in the beginning.”

The routine of a set work out routine is also a plus for Hodges.

“It helps break up my schedule, especially in the winter,” Hodges said. “I have something to do and look forward to … it forces you to socialize and really get those endorphins going. It’s just something that really gets you out there and gets you off the couch.”

Hodges feels that having Pilates is not only an excellent addition to her schedule, but it has also given her a fitness community to be a part of.

“It gives me somewhere to go that is not my room and I can move my body, sweat a little bit and feel good afterwards,” Hodges said.

Mckenzie Jackson, a communications major, has had a similar experience with going to Pilates at NMU. Jackson says her interest in Pilates stems from classes she would take in her hometown, and when she noticed there were classes at Northern, she decided to join.

“I have always done mat Pilates,” Jackson said. “I was trained in the very beginning because I loved it as a participant.”

Cherise Baker, the head instructor, relates to her students in her love for Pilates and wants to recreate her joy for future generations of students. Baker has been a certified instructor for the past 15 years.

“It’s great for the kids,” Baker said. “It’s good for their mental health. It’s good for their alertness, studying habits, getting into structure and a routine. It wakes the brain up if you have to go back and study for an exam. You have support from a group.”

Jackson and Hodges both really enjoy the class and feel that the experience is built for people who are either new to or experienced in Pilates and recommend the class to anyone looking to get fit and join a supportive and motivating group.

“I feel the only thing that would make it better is [if] they provided sweat towels because it’s a hard workout,” Hodges said.

To join, search the Fit Zone class schedule online, and you can simply come to the Fit Zone and scan your student ID to enter. You can also sign up on the Northern Michigan University Rec Sports (nmu.edu).