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Pilates Strengthens the Body

CancerWise - November 2008

Pilates is a form of exercise that incorporates slow, controlled movement and flexibility with breathing. It is done on mats or using specialized equipment developed by Joseph Pilates, a German physical fitness trainer who emigrated to the United States in the 1920s.

One of the main goals of Pilates is to strengthen the body’s core muscles, those that wrap around the back near the bottom of the rib cage to the waist and into the pelvis, says Sarah Mifsud, Pilates instructor at M. D. Anderson’s Place … of wellness.

“Strong core muscles help balance the entire body for better functioning in all activities,” she says. “While Pilates includes work on other areas of the body, core muscles are emphasized.”

Pilates and other mind-body practices are offered through the cancer center’s Integrative Medicine Program to cancer patients and caregivers, regardless of where cancer treatment has been received.

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© 2014 The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center