Denise Underwood

Denise Underwood – Featured Member for December

1)What results have you seen from Pilates? (Expected and unexpected)

Since starting Pilates at REV, I feel stronger with much better muscle tone and overall flexibility.  I think my posture has improved greatly.  I’m much more aware of and engage my abs and my core to protect my back from injury.  Prior to starting Pilates at REV, I learned at an annual checkup that I had not only gained several pounds but I had also lost one inch of height for the first time in my life. I was so shocked and disappointed!  However, I’m very proud to report that after six months of Pilates at REV, I have gained a half inch of that height back again.  I hope to gain the other half inch by my next checkup.  I also wore a dress this summer that I haven’t been able to zip for several years.  Those very small improvements have given me a great sense of accomplishment and made me feel so much better about myself!

2)What is Pilates’ biggest impact to your daily routine or favorite activities?

I would say the biggest impact of Pilates for me is my improved CORE strength and posture which allows me to stand, walk, garden, etc. with less back pain and discomfort.  I’ve learned to engage my much stronger core in pretty much every physical activity I do.  I’ve learned how to effectively stretch and relax tight muscles which allows me to be more active overall.

Denise Underwood
Denise Underwood on Ladder Barrel

3)How long have you been practicing Pilates and how did you find REV Pilates Gym?

I started taking Pilates classes at REV in April 2019.  After voicing great frustration with my “old lady” appearance, my older daughter (who has done Pilates for 5 years) suggested I try Pilates.  Knowing that I have had several orthopedic surgeries in recent years, she asked a former Pilates instructor of hers for an instructor recommendation for me.  Evelyn O’Laughlin came highly recommended as a very experienced and knowledgeable instructor who could help me start Pilates safely.  During my private sessions with Evelyn, she has taught me so much about proper Pilates form, engaging my “powerhouse” to protect my back, effective breathing, stretching, rolling and icing sore muscles afterwards.  All of my group instructors at REV have reinforced those concepts and helped me become a better me over the past 6 or 7 months.  I know I am just a Pilates novice but I am thrilled with the progress I’ve made to date at REV and look forward to continued improvements in my physical fitness and also my state of mind.

4)Tell us about you! Share your background, family, interests, etc. 

I retired three years ago after working for 42 years in various accounting and IT positions, most recently as a certified IT Project Manager.  Along with my husband of 36 years, I raised two wonderful daughters in Vienna, VA.  They both still live and work in the area thankfully and we are very proud of the accomplished and successful adults they have become.  I feel very blessed with the gift of time in my retirement to enjoy my family, to read, garden, walk, travel, and of course to do regular Pilates classes at REV!!  Thanks to everyone at REV for your help and encouragement!!

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