By Anne Marie O’Connor
The great thing about cardio is that it can help you lose weight and reduce your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. The great thing about Pilates is that it can strengthen muscles and give your body a long, lean look. The not-so-great thing: You usually have to do two different workouts to achieve both.
That conundrum inspired fitness instructor Taylor Pearl to develop a unique program that combines aerobic exercise with Pilates. Dubbed Sweat & Sculpt, it gives you “the toning and strengthening benefits of mat Pilates with a curated cardio circuit, so you also get the benefits of an elevated heart rate,” says Pearl. She focuses on functional strength and alignment, in addition to Pilates. The program also includes some traditional strength training and functional-fitness moves as well as stretching. Voilà—maximum results in minimum time.
The Hamptons-based Pearl was drawn to a career in fitness after years of doing competitive dance in her youth and cross-country distance running in college. After she graduated, “I was a fitness class junkie—I took one a day!” she says. “I experienced so many styles, I figured out what I liked and what worked. I had some injuries, and taking a variety of classes helped me learn about my body.” In fact, one of her areas of expertise is the development of personalized programs aimed at addressing muscle imbalances, postural misalignments and limitations in range of motion.
Though she mainly teaches clients one-on-one in their homes, often for one to three times a week, she’s also a big draw for bachelorette parties and other special events. “I enjoy the lighthearted moments while teaching bachelorette parties, but there is a distinct feeling of achievement when I can work one-on-one with a client, helping them progress in their fitness journey,” she says. She shares the uplifting tale of a client diagnosed with scoliosis, whose misalignment led to muscle imbalances; these issues, as well as the associated pain, were remarkably reduced after just a few months of dedicated sessions.
For those looking for a group fitness option, Pearl also teaches at Lululemon, SLT and The Baker House 1650 in East Hampton, Align in Amagansett and Shou Sugi Ban House in Water Mill. taylorpearlfitness.com