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An active, older woman in a Pilates class on a Pilates reformer at Life Time.

The image you see below is of me and my Pilates instructor, Mitra. She leads a Pilates class at the Life Time in Chanhassen, Minn., teaching me and four others on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.

Renee Main and her Pilates instructor, Mitra.

I discovered Pilates after I was already 11 years into my career at Life Time, deciding to first try it after researching Life Time products that benefited aging bodies last November in preparation for launching our ARORA community. I took the Discover Pilates introductory session (complimentary for all members) to start and then began attending Mitra’s class — and it literally changed my life.

The Core Pilates class that I’m now in has helped me with four things:

  1. Build lean muscle across my whole body.
  2. Strengthen my core so I no longer have debilitating lower-back issues.
  3. Stick to a consistent workout regimen (because I love it!).
  4. Laugh with my classmates who are also my friends (sometimes my lack of coordination is laughable!).

(If you’d like to learn more about the advantages of Pilates in general, you can do so here: “Why Pilates?”)

Renee Main and her Pilates instructor, Mitra, along with the three other women who take her class together.

Because it took me so long to find this exercise format that has provided so much benefit to me, I wanted to share a little more detail around Pilates at Life Time for those who might be interested in trying it:

Life Time offers a progressive program of Pilates classes using reformers. The Core class is for beginners, the Transform class is for those at an intermediate level, and the Evolve class is for those who are more advanced. We are also launching an ARORA Core Pilates class in many club locations this week. It’s similar to our standard Core Pilates class, but is specifically tailored to older adults, ensuring there’s a clear focus on mobility and balance.

There is an extra charge for reformer-style Pilates classes, but I can tell you that I personally find the approximately $200 I spend monthly for two classes per week to be worth it — and I say that as someone who is about as frugal as they come. It’s worth it to me because I’ve saved significantly more by not needing physical therapy for my back anymore.

If you’re interested, I’d suggest starting with a complimentary, introductory ARORA Discover Pilates session — that way you can try before you buy. Life Time also has a mat-style Pilates class included in your membership called ARORA Pilates Fusion.

You can look for the introductory ARORA Discover Pilates, ARORA Core Pilates, and the mat-style ARORA Pilates Fusion on the ARORA class schedule (availability varies by club).

If you have back or hip issues, or want to improve your balance, flexibility, or lean muscle mass, Pilates may be the right type of fitness format for you.

Renee Main
Renée Main

Renée Main is the senior vice president and co-founder of ARORA, Life Time’s community supporting healthy living for older adults. She also leads Life Time’s sustainability initiatives, as healthy people is dependent on a healthy planet.

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