Benefits of Pilates

Pilates Benefit No. 1: Body Awareness

Celebrity Pilates teacher Siri Dharma Galliano says Pilates — when performed correctly and with the proper supervision — can do all that and more.

“It is an education in body awareness,” says Galliano, who owns Live Art Pilates studio in Los Angeles. “It changes your shape by educating you in daily life. When you’re cooking, brushing your teeth — the lessons are coming home to pull your stomach in and pull your shoulders down. There is an attention required (in doing the exercises) that changes your awareness” even after class.

“It teaches you how to train your mind and build symmetry and coordination in the body,” adds Galliano. “And when you can get control of the little things, that’s practicing willpower.”

Aliesa George, a Pilates teacher in Wichita, Kan., agrees.

“The biggest benefit in my eyes would be personal awareness — awareness of how you sit or how you stand or how you move and being able to relate those habits to the aches and pains and injuries you have or have had in the past,” she says.

For example, she says, it can help make you aware of that chronic tweak in the neck you get from sitting at the computer all day with rounded shoulders and a phone cradled between ear and shoulder.

As a Pilates-trained physical therapist, Dan Westerhold says he sees a lot of clients with injuries or weakness of the postural muscles, as a result of work, lifestyle, or not exercising the right way.

“People sit slouched at computers all day, then go to the gym and work their extremities,” says Westerhold, of Pilates Seattle. “They don’t use their core.”

Think of a tree, Pilates experts say. Does it have all its strength in its limbs? No. The tree is only as strong as its trunk and roots. Without a strong trunk, the tree would topple over.

It’s the same for human bodies, say Pilates experts. If we don’t concentrate on building a good foundation and a strong trunk or core, we’ll end up tight in some places and weak in others, injury-prone and susceptible to the pitfalls of our occupation or chosen form of exercise.

Pilates Benefit No. 2: A Stronger Core

But how about flattening the abs? Can Pilates exercises really give you a washboard stomach?

Experts warn that it’s important not to equate a stronger core with a flatter stomach.

“When people want ‘flat abs,’ they are usually looking for weight loss, not abdominal strength and core support,” says George. “More than touting the benefits of Pilates for flat abs, we should be touting the benefits of Pilates for a stronger, healthy back and body. If along the way, you do the other components of fitness and trim the body down, yes, you’re going to have a flatter midsection.”

As you develop body awareness, stand straighter, and gain flexibility, “Pilates will shift your shape,” says Galliano. “But just attending a group mat class may or may not change your body.”

Kevin Bowen, co-founder of the Pilates Method Alliance and director of special projects, says it is important that abdominals are flexible, not just hard.

“A flexible muscle is a strong muscle,” says Bowen. “A hard muscle may feel good and give an interesting look, but if you don’t have the flexibility and the balance and the functionality that you need to allow your body to function properly, sooner or later, it’s going to show up someplace else.”

Pilates Benefit No. 3: Body Control

Galliano, who has sculpted the bodies of Madonna, Cameron Diaz, Sting, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Uma Thurman, says Pilates works because it teaches you how to move.

“Unless you are taught how to move and discover with your teacher what is blocking you (for example, keeping your shoulders up too high), you will never achieve body symmetry,” Galliano says. “When you start getting control of your body, it gives you a great degree of satisfaction.”

There’s an intrinsic relevance to it, says Little Rock, Ark., internist Hoyte Pyle, MD, who has been practicing Pilates for five years. Instead of working major muscle groups in isolation, he says, “Pilates works the whole body in synergy,” which is how we should be moving on a daily basis.

By: Barbara Russi Sarnataro

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BOSU Dumbbell Squat

Place the BOSU trainer flat side up.  Stand on it with feet shoulder-width apart with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in, arms by sides.

  1. Push hips back to lower into a squat, keeping feet parallel and knees behind toes.
  2. Engage core, push through feet, and return to standing.


Spicy Basil Chicken

Substitute lower-sodium soy sauce if fish sauce is difficult to find. The flavor won’t be as complex, but soy sauce will still add a salty note. You can also substitute thinly sliced Thai bird chiles or jalapeño for the sambal oelek—or leave it out completely if you’d rather enjoy a mild dish. Serve with Brown Rice with Sesame and Sautéed Snow Peas and Peppers.

Spicy Basil Chicken 
  • YIELD: Serves 4 (serving size: 3/4 cup)
  • HANDS-ON:19 Minutes
  • TOTAL:19 Minutes
  • COURSE: Main Dishes


  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 6 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sliced basil leaves
  • Brown Rice with Sesame
  • Sauteed Snow Peas and Peppers


1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add chicken to pan; cook 13 minutes or until chicken is done. Combine fish sauce and the next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add fish sauce mixture to pan, and cook for 1 minute or until mixture thickens, stirring to coat chicken. Remove from heat. Stir in basil.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 291
  • Fat: 15.2g
  • Saturated fat: 3.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 6.4g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 3.6g
  • Protein: 31.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 5.6g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Cholesterol: 112mg
  • Iron: 1.9mg
  • Sodium: 615mg
  • Calcium: 31mg

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10 Amazing Health benefits of Yoga


10 Amazing Health benefits of Yoga

Many of us have probably heard that yoga is certainly a good exercise. Maybe some of us have even tried yoga and detected that it formulates one to experience healthier. But how many of us know the explicit health benefits to enjoy from doing yoga habitually?

Yoga, as we all know, is particularly meant to amalgamate the mind, the body, and the spirit, so the benefits of yoga are far-reaching. Not merely yoga affects the physical facet of the body; but it tackles the mind and spirit too. On a daily basis exercises are simply an immense way to aid relieving the strain of your day and can fetch a sense of well-being to your life.
Here are the top ten healthy benefits of yoga;


Stretching your firm body in new ways will help it to become more elastic, bringing greater range of motion to muscles and joints

Stress Reduction

Physical commotion is fine for relieving nervous tension, with the support of yoga, Because of the meditation required, your daily troubles, both large and small; seem to melt away during the time you are doing yoga. The emphasis yoga places on being in the moment can also help relieve stress,

Pain Relief

Each day exercises of yoga can aid relieve the aches and pains of the body. Many people with very somber diseases have reported a lesser amount of pain after these exercises, such as asanas or meditation.

Better Breathing

Learn to take deeper, slower breaths with daily exercises of yoga. It will ultimately help to increase your lung function and set off the body’s respite response. This is indeed one of the most prevailing healthy benefits of yoga.


Flexibility level automatically increases by yoga exercises, which will further help with your assortment of motion. At times in the yoga daily exercises, people cannot even touch their toes. The benefits of yoga include lengthening the muscles, tendons, and ligaments in body to help it become more flexible.

Increased Strength

Yoga poses utilize all the muscles in body and assist you boost your strength level from head to toe. The benefits of yoga and daily exercises will help you strengthen your muscles close to the bones, which eventually increase the hold up of your skeletal system.

Weight supervision

You will see the benefits of yoga begin to affect your scale. Daily exercises are always suggested, but yoga helps decrease the level of cortical in your body and aids in weight loss and calories burning.

Improved flow

Yoga helps improving your body’s circulation. In twirl, with daily exercises, you will see the benefits of yoga with lowered blood pressure and pulse rates.

Cardiovascular taming

Even the gentlest style of yoga helps to lower your resting heart reate and increases your overall endurance.

Focus on the Present

You may have better coordination, memory skills, reaction times, and improved concentration skills by utilizing yoga for daily exercises.

 Inner Peace

Yoga has the tools to help you in achieving that peace that goes beyond the body, beyond the mind and the intellect. What further could anyone want? These are the prime reasons that people do daily exercises of yoga, you may find Yoga is just what you are looking for.