MAMARONECK, N.Y. — Gladys Sherak is living proof that keeping an active body through the years reaps lasting rewards.
At 86, this Mamaroneck resident has tried out a variety of workout styles, including dance, yoga and horseback riding. But of all the workout regimens she has tried, Sherak says learning Pilates has helped garner some of her greatest connections between body and soul.
“When your body feels good, you feel good — it’s never too late to start Pilates,” she says.
According to Sherak, Pilates is a gentle workout that can be done any age because it gradually becomes more challenging as the routine progresses. At Mamaroneck’s Fiore Pilates, she says professional instructors tailor routines for each member to exercise at their own pace.
“Everybody who leaves has an upbeat look on their face, it seems,” she says of her classes at the facility.
Devotees of Pilates come from all walks of life. Some begin the practice after a bout of physical rehabilitation. Some pregnant women have used it as a tool to stretch before childbirth.
But Sherak is no stranger to mastering a mental connection with her body — she says she gave birth to her three children naturally, practicing special breathing patterns to ease the pain. She also survived breast cancer twice.
She understands that people her age may be wary of beginning Pilates. To them, Sherak says: “These are the years where there is a little less you can do with your body, but when you can, life is good.”