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Joseph Pilates
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Fitness Expert
    (December 9, 1883-October 9, 1967)
    Born in Monchengladbach, Germany
    Developed the Pilates method of physical fitness
    Emphasizes breathing, coordination, balance and developing a strong core
    Estimated 11 million practitioners in the United States (2005)
    He pronounced his last name ‘Pi-LOTS,’ but the exercise technique ended up pronounced ‘Pi-LAH-teez.’
    He smoked cigars.
    His claims that Pilates can cure illnesses are not scientifically supported. (Or, at least, there’s no evidence that it is better than any other method of staying in shape.)
    He overcame a sickly childhood and by age 14 was posing for anatomical charts.
    He taught self-defense at Scotland Yard.
    Choreographers George Balanchine and Martha Graham were devotees and regularly sent their dancers to him for rehab from injuries.
    He was said to be as limber in his 80s as he had been as a teenager.

Credit: C. Fishel

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