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Participants say yoga, Pilates are excellent stress relievers

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In an economy that has people cutting the extras from their lives, Barbara Queen, of Joplin, says her exercise classes will not be among the things she forgoes. Queen said Pilates classes have improved her overall health and that the expense of the classes is well worth it. “It’s cheaper than blood pressure medicine. It’s cheaper than going to the doctor,” she said. “I’m out here doing yardwork. I’m over 60, and I can do things that I couldn’t do 10, 15 years ago.” Ree Wells-Lewis, a professor of sociology at Missouri Southern State University in Joplin, said joblessness from the economic downturn has increased the stress level of a country that already was suffering from an extreme work ethic. “We work more hours per day, we work more days per week, we work more weeks per year,” she said. “Now, with the downturn in the economy, people are being laid off through no fault of their own. “Yoga and Pilates complement a lot of those therapeutic strategies.” Wells-Lewis said she practices yoga, African dance and now Pilates, which helps people manage stress and maintain weight. “I’m a very strong advocate of Pilates in general,” she said.

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Participants say yoga, Pilates are excellent stress relievers