Meet Marisa Oldefest | Nationally Certified Pilates Teacher, Studio Owner,
We had the good fortune of connecting with Marisa Oldefest and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marisa, how does your business help the community?
I am so happy to announce that I have become an affiliate Pilates instructor and studio with Core Compassion Project. We are a 501(c)3 that provides Pilates scholarships for women and men in the Denver area who are recovering from breast cancer. I am the first Pilates studio in Denver to become an affiliate. This project is very near and dear to my heart because both my mother and grandmother are breast cancer survivors...
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One in eight!
This is the number of women who will be diagnosed with breast cancer!
Both my mother and grandmother are breast cancer survivors. My grandma was diagnosed at age 72 and my mom at age 57. 3 years after my moms surgeries she developed a frozen shoulder and could no longer put her arm behind her back with full range of motion. This was so upsetting to me because I knew she did not receive any Physical Therapy after her surgeries. I began to do some research and was shocked at the amount of women who are not given Physical Therapy following mastectomy and reconstruction surgeries.
In all my years as a Pilates teacher I often thought about how great Pilates would be for post breast cancer recovery. I had wanted to begin a program helping breast cancer survivors regain their range of motion and strength but didn't know where to begin starting something like this.
Flash forward to Momentumfest 2020 where I took Jill Hinson's Pilates For Breast Cancer Recovery certification. I was so moved by her and her organization, Core Compassion Project, that as soon as I completed the training I asked her how I could bring her work to Denver. Within months I was the first Core Compassion Project affiliate and already had my first recipient.
Core Compassion Project was founded by Jill Hinson and provides Pilates scholarships, fitness bras and lymphedema sleeves for women and men recovering from breast cancer. For every $600 we raise we can provide 10 Pilates Private sessions to a recipient. These private sessions are geared to increasing strength and range of motion throughout the body.
The Pilates Method works so well for post surgery rehab because we combine the breathe along with controlled movements to relax and strengthen.
If you know of anyone in the Denver area who could benefit from a Pilates scholarship please reach out to the studio or fill out the application on the Core Compassion Project website.
We are in this fight together, until there's a cure.
Get your mammograms ladies!
My first Core Compassion Project scholarship recipient, Natalie, after completing her program.
Core Compassion Project team at Momentufest 2021.
Cassandra (our next Denver recipient)
Jill (CCP founder)
Golf requires repeating the same essential movements over and over. We all know this is never good for our bodies. Golfers are prone to rotator cuff, elbow, wrist, back, hip and knee injuries. This is especially true if they don’t have sufficient strength or flexibility to swing correctly. Even worse, the twisting and torquing of the body during a golf game can wreak havoc on your muscles and joints. As a result, some muscles become overused and others weaken.
This muscular imbalance can affect the legs, hips, arms, shoulders and lower back. Many golfers are now turning to Pilates to help keep their body in balance. Because Pilates strengthens the core of the body, it can help improve hip rotation, shoulder movement, and back stability. Strengthening the body from the inside out is the most effective way to improve muscular imbalance in golfers. ¹
A stronger and more stable core helps golfers:
And on top of that, a strong core also improves your posture and lessens the pressure on your back and neck, which often leads to acute pain and inflammation. ²
In order to really focus on the areas that are affected by golf, it is advised to strengthen the shoulders (specifically rotator cuff), back and hips. Increasing flexibility and focusing on spine rotation are crucial.
After working with several clients in my studio, I have developed a golf program that has been noticeably improving my clients game. ³
Whether you are a new or experienced golfer, Pilates could be the answer to improving your performance, preventing injury or helping you to recover from an injury. There are a dozens of other health benefits to Pilates practice, so why not try something new?
Pilates is a powerful anti-aging tool. It is the perfect addition to your anti-aging routine, and can be beneficial for every age group and body type. Pilates classes can keep you young, slowing the aging process and increasing your flexibility, strength and balance. A regular pilates practice helps with focus, memory, flexibility and can even help lower BMI. These are all crucial factors in aging gracefully and enjoying life to the fullest.
Several recent studies have proved that there is a close connection between exercise and our ability to create new brain cells. This improved neurogenesis is most noticeable in the hippocampus - the region responsible for memories and learning. And according to a group of researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, “people have significantly superior brain function after a mindful movement practice like Pilates or Yoga compared to aerobic exercise.” ¹
This is great news for women during peri-menopause and menopause. Menopause is often associated with a period of brain fog, forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating.² The increased focus that comes from regular pilates practice can help reduce this brain fog significantly. “Pilates can be a perfect exercise for premenopausal and menopausal women. It’s low-impact, and it helps increase flexibility, balance and improve muscle strength and tone. It even includes endurance movements.” ³
The improvement of memory through regular Pilates practice can also significantly reduce the risk of memory-related decline. This has huge implications for senior patients with Alzheimer’s. Pilates can also offer relief by promoting mind-body awareness and relief from mental stress.⁴
Is pilates safe for seniors? The easy answer is: yes! From rehabilitative pilates to pilates for injury, there are many great senior pilates options. You might even be able to find private pilates offerings in your area! Growing older does not mean you have to slow down and stop moving. It’s actually quite the opposite. Recent studies have found that embracing new challenges could be the key to retaining youth both mentally and physically. ⁵
You may have heard of the term Super-Ager. This term refers to a group of people in their 70s and 80s who have extraordinarily strong mental and/or physical capabilities, compared to others the same age or younger.⁵ “Dr. Bradford Dickerson, a neurologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital and his colleagues have been studying super-agers for several years. Their results suggest that embracing new mental challenges may be the key to preserving both brain tissue and brain function.” ⁵
Overall, super-agers stay physically fit and have lower symptoms of cardiovascular disease. Movement is one of the biggest factors that plays a role in heart health and memory strength. It can boost brain cell production and could be a buffer against the onset of dementia. “Studies show people who are fit in middle age have a dramatic decrease in their dementia risk.” ⁶
Any regular physical and mental activity reduces health risks, intense physical activity increases aerobic capacity, and intense mental activity preserves areas of the brain involved in memory and reasoning.“ ⁵ So, grab your pilates mat and join a class to reap the benefits of this amazing practice!
If you have any pre-existing conditions or have not been active for a while, consult with your doctor before beginning any new exercise.