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Pilates Trainer to the Stars Mari Winsor on Staying Fit Over 40

Cindy Pearlman’s exclusive one-on-one interview with Fitness Guru Mari Winsor for StyleGoesStrong.com

No one does The Hundred quite like Mari Winsor. Of course, she also does a mean Rolling Like a Ball.

If this means nothing then you’re not versed in the ways of Pilates.

Mari has trained all the Hollywood A-listers and did so in the days when Pilates just sounded like some sort of dish at a fancy restaurant.

The breathing-stretching-deep-core workout is actually one of the ways most Hollywood A-listers stay so toned.

Now, you can do the same sort of routines at home with Mari’s newest DVD, Lower Body Pilates, which will be released March 6 and can be found on Amazon.com and ShopGaiam.com.

Mari found some time to get off her mat and answer some over 40 body questions:

SGS: What are the challenges for women over 40 when it comes to fitness?

MW: “That’s a tough question because I consider forty and over to be still young.  If someone does not keep up a routine of fitness before 40, they may notice changes in strength, flexibility and endurance.  There are so many choices for fitness. It’s important to choose something you like, so you will stick with it.  Consistency is very important.  If you get in to great shape then stop as you get older, it just takes longer to get back in shape.”

SGS: What is the appeal of Pilates for us over 40s?

MW: “Pilates exercise when done correctly will help to keep you strong, flexible, graceful, more coordinated and more connected with your own body. It’s also great for your spine and joints.”

SGS: Do you need to be toned and flexible to start?

MW: “Anyone can start Pilates exercise at any fitness level. There are always modifications for exercises.  We always say if a particular exercise doesn’t feel right, leave it out.  For the more advanced person, there are many challenges.”

SGS: Why are the lower abs so hard to tone?

MW: “Lower abs are part of your Pilates powerhouse!  They very important to use for balance, stability and movement. Many exercise regimes focus on external movement, which makes it more difficult to get those hard to reach areas. We focus in Pilates with every movement being initiated from your powerhouse.  This will strengthen and tone your tummy everywhere faster than doing 300 crunches every day.

SGS: Can you also give us some tips for arm fat…we hate it! 

MW: Light weights or resistance for the arms will help with unwanted fat. Diet, however, plays a major role in getting rid of unwanted fat. Cut out sugar and eat less of the starches and eat smaller meals. Stay away from carbonated drinks and stay hydrated!.

SGS: What are your favorite 3-4 Pilates positions for over 40 ladies?

MW: “I like The 100, The Roll Up and Criss Cross.”

SGS: What are your favorite diet tips? 

MW: “If you drink alcohol every night then cut down to one drink two times a week. The weight will fly off your body. Don’t give in to the temptation of a wonderful dessert, although once in a while it is okay. You don’t want to feel deprived. Don’t skip breakfast and don’t eat too close to bedtime.”

SGS: What do you eat during an average day?

MW: “For breakfast I might have an egg burrito, scrambled eggs or egg white omelet.  Maybe, I’ll add one piece of whole grain toast with no butter, but I will use apple butter.  I’ll drink some coffee.  For snacks, maybe I’ll have some almonds or some other form of protein. Lunch and dinner are veggies and a piece of protein.  I love eating an apple with a little bit of cheese.  I don’t eat close to bedtime.”

SGS: What else do you do to stay fit besides Pilates?

MW: “I love to walk and I take at least three ballet classes a week. Of course, I do Pilates workout every day!

SGS: Switching over to style, what are your favorite skincare tips?

MW: “I use La Mer skin products for my face and body.  It’s very dry in Southern California and I find that La Mer keeps my skin hydrated the best. Drinking water is also important for the health of your skin.  I have been a sun-bunny most of my life, but that’s changing.”

SGS: Can we throw in a hair care tip?

MW: “I have gone to the same person to cut and color my hair for twenty years! Everyone needs an Art Luna for their hair.  A lot of sun is not great for your hair.  I think the less you do to your hair the better.  I wore extensions for five years and it practically ruined my hair. It took a long time to get normal again.”

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