Forever Fit and Flexible by Cheryl L. Ilov

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Synopsis:

Do you believe that getting older means losing health and vitality?

Here is your path to feeling youthful and vibrant.

“…IIov has an engaging style and much to offer….Forever Fit and Flexible is a well written, thorough guide to healthy living that will be enjoyed by a wide spectrum of readers looking for the same.” —Blue Ink Review

Forever Fit and Flexible: Feeling Fabulous at Fifty and Beyond offers you the possibility of living with a new sense of energy and vitality as you move into your fifties, sixties, seventies, and beyond. Once you get moving, you’ll want to keep moving!

Imagine starting each day with a spring in your step. Envision liking what you see in the full-length mirror before you get dressed. Now visualize that you can engage in any activity with strength, grace, and confidence.

In Forever Fit and Flexible, Cheryl Ilov provides a program that will help you create this and more. Her movement lessons provide the building blocks to better posture, core strength, flexibility, balance, and functional strength. As you develop a solid physical foundation, you will also:

eliminate chronic pain
improve injury-related mobility issues
experience increased energy
develop mindful self-awareness and a positive mindset
… and much more!

 

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Cheryl Ilov’s Bio
Cheryl Ilov has always been drawn to health and wellness, the biological sciences, and movement arts, including classical ballet. She began her professional life as a respiratory therapist, and after seventeen years of practice, she returned to school and earned her master’s degree in physical therapy in 1996.

Cheryl discovered The Pilates Method in 1983, and once she began working as a physical therapist, she made the connection that Pilates presented a wonderful tool to help people of all ages recover from injuries and illnesses. She immediately began applying the principles of Pilates to her patients to improve their quality of life and level of function. In 1999, she founded Ilov Integrated Arts, specializing in Pilates-based rehabilitation. Cheryl had her first experience with The Feldenkrais Method® in 2000.
She began the required four-year training program to become a Feldenkrais practitioner in February 2006 and graduated in November 2009. During Cheryl’s remarkable journey of learning, healing, and self-discovery, she also discovered a martial art called Ninpo Tai Jutsu. She fell in love with the art and the training as well as the powerful connection between Feldenkrais and martial arts and their incredible healing power.
Cheryl has dedicated her life to helping others achieve the best quality of life possible. Having personally experienced the anxiety of dealing with chronic pain, stress, and fatigue, she also understands the frustration of feeling out of control, gaining weight, and struggling to find a healthy, effective way to recover after devastating injuries. Cheryl has integrated her education, experience, and expertise to develop a program for people, regardless of their age or current level of function. It is her firm belief that anyone can be fit, flexible, healthy, vibrant, and energetic in their fifties, sixties, seventies, and beyond.

Why did you write “Forever Fit and Flexible?”

Necessity is the mother of invention, and so is adversity. It was through my own personal experience of struggling with my weight, fitness, injuries, and chronic pain syndromes that I found the path to health and vitality. I integrated my education as a physical therapist with my extensive training in Pilates, Feldenkrais, martial arts, and ballet to create a program for people age fifty and over to help them find their way to living with a new sense of energy and vitality as they move into their fifties, sixties, seventies, and beyond.

How is this book different from other fitness books?

That’s an excellent question. Traditional fitness books focus on building muscle strength based on the mantra of “just do it” or “no pain no gain.” Forever Fit and Flexible focuses on approaching movement with mindful awareness instead of pounding your body with mindless exercise. It is much healthier for your joints, muscles, and your well-being.
Also, this program gives you the tools to find your own path to health and fitness based on your individual needs and goals, rather than a one size fits all mentality. The focus is how you move and how you feel rather than how you look. However, when you move better and feel better, you look better as well. And, you want to keep moving.

Could men benefit from your program as well as women?

Certainly! I work with a lot of men in my practice, and they are just as interested in achieving their highest level of fitness and flexibility as women are. As a matter of fact, many of my movement lessons in the program were designed from identifying the issues that were plaguing women and men alike. We just have different ways of expressing our concerns.

If you are already healthy and in good shape, what is the benefit of doing your program?

That’s another great question. The fundamental principles of “Forever Fit and Flexible” can be applied to any and every exercise or fitness routine to enhance the benefits of what you are already doing. The program’s foundation provides the building blocks to better posture, core strength, flexibility, balance, and functional strength. As you develop this solid physical foundation, you’ll see more dramatic results from your current exercise program, no matter how fit you are.

If someone is terribly out of shape or has medical issues, is this a good program for them? How?

Yes, it is. However, I always, always recommend that people with medical issues check with their medical advisor before starting any kind of exercise program. I also suggest that they seek appropriate medical supervision while they begin the program if they are terribly out of shape or have any medical concerns.

The exercises in my book aren’t traditional exercises, they are movement lessons where you gently explore new patterns of moving to improve your posture, core strength, etc. The lessons are intended to be slow and gentle to allow for the changes to take place in your body and your brain as new patterns of healthy movement emerge.

In your book you talk about Feldenkrais. What is Feldenkrais?

Feldenkrais is a highly sophisticated form of neuromuscular re-education based on the scientific principle of neuroplasticity. This simply means that we are capable of learning new patterns of moving, thinking, sensing, and feeling during the course of our entire lifetime.

Feldenkrais uses this principle to help people improve the quality of their life as they recover from chronic pain, improve their physical fitness, and increase their level of function at any age. Feldenkrais is also applicable for every population from and every activity from helping people recover from a stroke to high level athletes looking to gain the competitive edge.

How is Feldenkrais different from traditional exercises?

Feldenkrais isn’t exercise. It is a form or movement therapy which brings your awareness and your attention to how you move. The result is that you move more easily without aches, pains, stress or strain.

Why should I do Feldenkrais instead of yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi, etc?

Feldenkrais is not an either/or proposition. It is a method which helps improve your quality of movement that can be applied to your yoga, Pilates, Tai Chi practice as well as sports, dance, and all recreational activities.

What led you to learn it and teach it?

I took my first Feldenkrais class in 2000. After that first class I felt lighter, looser, happier, and was filled with an incredible sense of well-being. Even better, nothing hurt….all of my aches and pains magically disappeared. I knew I had to become a practitioner to share this method with my clients, even though it meant going through an extensive four year program to become a certified practitioner. I love being a practitioner!

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