Pilates helps 64-year-old with nerve pain; 'I can do more things now than I could in my 30s'

Original Article By Live Well Nebraska

Former dancer and gymnast Karen Kocourek has always kept a busy and active lifestyle.

When she retired as a pharmaceutical rep, she took up Zumba, to get a little bit of dance back in her life. She added weight lifting and machine work at the gym to her routine.

Her daughter Katrinka Stayton urged her mom to try Pilates last year. She thought it could help the 64-year-old with sciatica: Kocourek has pain that goes down her left leg, lower back and left arm. It made it hard to sleep at night and sit for extended periods of time. Kocourek learned to live with the tingling and numbness she felt.

Now that she’s added Pilates and barre to her workout routine, the pain has significantly lessened.

“It’s brought me back to a place I haven’t been in years,” the Omaha woman said.

Q: When did you start working out and why?

A: I was really looking for more things to do. I started getting a lot more involved in the gym. I started with Zumba and added on. I started at Lotus House of Yoga about a year ago because my daughter was teaching Pilates and barre.

Q: Describe your workouts. How many days per week do you exercise?

A: I do everything. I do Zumba, Pilates classes, a barre class, and I use weights and machines. I go to the gym six days a week.

Q: What is your current fitness goal?

A: I’ve learned, as you get older, how important it is to keep your core, flexibility and strength all going. That’s what really allows you, as an older person, to have a good quality of life. You just see too many people as they age start to go downhill way before they ever need to. It’s to keep our bodies strong so we can age well and enjoy life and do everything we want to do.

Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment?

A: How strong my core muscles have gotten. Not only can you see the physical change in yourself, you can see the muscle and strength development. There’s really not many things I can’t do now. In some ways, I can do more things now than I could in my 30s where I was more focused on my career.

Q: What has been the toughest hurdle and how did you overcome it?

A: When I first started, I would still get out of breath fairly easily. Most classes I take are filled with younger people. Sometimes it was really hard to keep up. Now I feel like I can keep up pretty darn well with everybody else.

Q: What helps you stay on track?

A: I’ve always been a self-motivated person. That helps a lot right there. But honestly, the fact that I get to go to Lotus and spend time with my daughter, that keeps me coming back. She and everybody else there, we’re really like a team together and we all push each other and help each other.

Q: What do you do when you aren’t in the gym?

A: For several years I used to flip houses after I retired. I like to garden, read and travel with my husband.

Q: What is the piece of equipment, supplement, clothing, etc. that you can’t live without?

A: It depends on what I’m working on. Everything’s a little bit different. Really what I can’t live without is more the people I’m around. The people are so motivating and positive.

Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?

A: You’ve got to show up. Find out what your reason, your passion is for going — if it’s your health, if it’s to be able to do something you haven’t done in a long time, if you’re just there for fun. Keep showing up. It gets easier the more you show up.

If you’re looking for pilates in Hillsboro, Oregon, look no further than Balance Massage + Core Fitness Studio. We are a fully equipped massage and fitness practice located in downtown Hillsboro. Our core fitness studio features STOTT Pilates®, the gold standard in Pilates training, using specialized equipment. We offer 20 group fitness classes per week, including Zumba, Zenga, and Total Barre, as well as private instruction from our highly qualified team. Much of our massage practice is focused on injury recovery, relief from pain, and car accident and workers compensation rehabilitation. We also provide a variety of massage treatments purely for relaxation and rejuvenation.

Whether you enjoy the attention of one-on-one private training, or the excitement of a group fitness class, Balance Massage & Core Fitness Studio has the right training options to help you meet your fitness, physical therapy, and relaxation goals.

Balance Massage and Core Fitness Studio

233 SE Washington Street, Suite 103
Hillsboro, Oregon 97123

Phone: 503.352.9685
Email: info@balance-mf.com