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Karen Winselmann


Joseph Pilates was born in Germany in 1880. He had a lifelong interest in body conditioning. As a frail child dedicated to improving his strength, he later became an accomplished skier, diver, gymnast, and boxer.

Joseph Pilates went on to become a nurse in England during WWI. During his internment, Pilates designed exercise equipment for his immobilized patients by attaching springs to hospital beds. This system became the foundation for his style of body conditioning. He brought this system to New York when he opened his first Pilates studio in 1926 and went on to create what is now known as the The Pilates Method of Body Conditioning.

Photo by I C Rapoport at

Karen Winselmann

Staying Fit in Fort Lauderdale

With summer beach and bathing suit season upon us, we thought it might be time for some fitness tips, so we reached out to our friend and fitness expert, Karen Winselmann, owner/instructor trainer at Pure Pilates, right here in the neighborhood.

TLBC: In your opinion, why is Broward County such a great area to live for staying fit?
Fort Lauderdale offers such diverse ways to stay in shape, it's hard to NOT find something you can enjoy. You can bike along the beach, join a running club, take a hike in the everglades or at a beautiful county park. You can swim, surf, skim board or paddle board in the Atlantic Ocean or take the kayak to the intracoastal. Alternately, we can play tennis or golf year-round. For indoor activities, there are some very nice gyms and one very exclusive boutique pilates studio!

TLBC: I’ve heard it said that the weather affords you no excuses when it comes to getting outside and being active: Do you agree with this?
Any south floridian knows that, in theory, we can exercise & stay fit year-round due to our climate. However, we need to be selective about when we workout outdoors. I cannot recommend anyone to run a marathon on a hot July afternoon. However, an early morning jog or bike ride in July is usually acceptable for someone who is fairly fit.

TLBC: There is a strong dance culture in South Florida: How does that impact people's fitness routines? Anything you personally do for fitness that involves dance?
South Florida does have a strong dance culture. Latin dance styles such as Salsa, Merengue, Cha Cha Cha or the Argentine Tango are exciting and passion inspired movements which get your feet moving and your heart pounding. Latin dancing inspired the Zumba craze. However, in South Florida we also have a big Ballroom dance following possibly made popular due to TV shows such as Dancing with the Stars. Pilates has always attracted dancers and many of the very good Pilates instructors I know have a dance background including yours truly. I was Dance Major at Florida State University (Go Noles!) and have had season tickets to the Miami City Ballet since I graduated from FSU.

TLBC: The beach is a big part of our Fort Lauderdale scene. What activities are there to do on the Beach? Anything a little out of the ordinary that you enjoy?
To mix it up, I paddle board on calm days at the beach. On windy days, my son wind surfs, but I haven't tried that myself!

TLBC: South Florida is known for cutting edge fitness centers: Can you tell me some of the interesting things you have seen at fitness centers (boot camp, yoga, etc), and which ones you personally enjoy?
South Florida certainly has a huge variety of fitness centers capitalizing on the latest rage - be it Zumba or Ballet Barre or P90X. Many of these centers come on strong, get a solid following only to get boring or provide little fitness results and ultimately disappear from the scene. As you know, I run a boutique pilates studio in Fort Lauderdale called Pure Pilates and I feel it offers our population the best platform to get in shape and stay in shape. I teach pilates the same way Joseph originally taught it. Unfortunately, there are many others "pilates" programs out there with instructors that took shortened courses and teach something that Joseph would be embarrassed to know was referred to as "Pilates." To become certified, I took over 700 hours of training courses and I've taught over 15,000 hours of instruction to my clients.

TLBC: How do you find time for fitness in your busy schedule?
I have always been active and always been interested in staying fit. I wish to live a long and healthy life so I make time to workout everyday. Sometimes I teach Pilates for 8 hours a day, my voice is tired and I just want to relax, but when I do my workout, it helps energize me and I always feel better.

TLBC: Anything else you’d like to add?
Please feel free to visit my website and give Pure Pilates a try!

Pure Pilates
Phone: 954.804.8450
Pilates Classes
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