Firstly a mild correction, I was slightly misleading on Friday apparently it wasn't a Fitness Pilates class it was Core Pilates. It was stated as Core Pilates on the timetable but there was no accompanying link to the class definition (which there usually is). When I rang up to book the lady said oh you mean Fitness Pilates so I presumed the timetable had an error in it.
The class is held at Westgate Leisure in Chichester and is done in a fitness studio with dimmed lights (is that normal for pilates?) As it was my first class I went and introduced myself to the lady running the class. If you go to a class for the first time always introduce yourself to the teacher and let them know if you have any health issues, she was lovely and asked if I had any health problems (yes, prolapsed disc, semi-mended) and told me there would be progressions for the exercises and just do what I was comfortable with.
The class started with stretching and then moved on to some balance exercises before concentrating on "core" exercises, so some back and abdominal work. The teacher was very clear describing each exercise and giving us guidance on how to assume the correct position and how it should feel. She also gave progressions for most exercises (and I got the feeling that if you said you couldn't do xyz she would have ensured there was a progression you could do).
I liked the fact it included balance exercises as it's not something that classes usually include and yet is very important as poor balance can lead to falls. Around one in three adults over 65 who live at home will have at least one fall a year which can lead to serious injury. If you don't practice the art of balance then you will lose it, it can help you do things such as reach something on a high shelf, navigate an uneven pavement safely and walk up and down stairs.
I enjoyed the class but to be honest I am not sure I am going to add it as a regular feature to my routine just because I don't have a lot of spare time and would like to spend the time I do have on Friday morning doing something that requires a little more exertion on my part. However I do see it as a great addition to an exercise routine if you don't do stretching/balance/core by yourself. If you don't do any physical activity presently then it would be a great class to start with.
I would say the class is suitable for all ages and levels of fitness, just remember to tell the teacher if you do have any health issues.
*Before starting any new exercise program please check with your doctor and clear any exercise changes with them.