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Final Event Story

Breathing. Balance. Flexibility. Strength. Stabilization.

These are the key elements to the Pilates conditioning of the body. Pilates is a popular form of exercise that focuses on the abdominal muscles also known as the “core?.

“Pilates is wonderful for your mind, body, and soul,? says Kate Harsma.

Harsma, a Pilates instructor for the UMD Fitness Center and Center for Personal Fitness, held a Pilates class during the UMD Health Fair Wednesday.

The UMD Health Services decided to make a change to their annual event held each spring and add three exercise activities including Pilates, Jazzercise, and yoga.

“This way people can try something new that is good for their bodies,? said Harsma.

A few students and a couple professors gathered mats and laid them on the floor to learn the basics of Pilates in the Garden Room. The group of new Pilates participants struggled to find their balance as Harsma taught the basic movements.

“People think Pilates is easy. The only reason I can do these movements is because I’ve been doing this for 3 years,? said Harsma.

Across the hall from the Pilates room, the Rafters were full of students and faculty receiving information about different aspects of life and health. In all, there were 16 different booths set up for everyone to educate themselves on certain health issues such as effects of smoking and drinking, sexually
transmitted diseases, and organ donation.

“The purpose of this annual event is to educate students on their health,? said Shelly DeCaigney, the head coordinator of the Health Fair. “We hold this event every spring before spring break because it is a high target risk to students.?