Updated: Jun 29, 2020
Joe Pilates was a German immigrant who was held in an internment camp in England during the Flu epidemic of 1918. Being confined takes its toll on the mind and body. Seeing the effects of sedentary habits and despair on people's bodies and spirits, he started teaching the other inmates exercises that would later become the foundation for his mat work. In England alone, at least 250 thousand died from this pandemic. Despite the virulence of the disease, everyone who was doing Pilates mat exercises remained healthy and energetic. He attributed this to his exercises.
As a child Pilates suffered asthma, so his exercises always included an emphasis on building lung capacity while in movement. Full-body movement creates a healthy spine, detoxifies the body, increases endorphins, and gives an energetic boost that reduces stress and improves mental balance. All this adds up to a healthy system that resists illness and rebounds quickly if you do come down with something. So even when you can't make it to the studio, grab your mat and give your body some love.