Fit in my 40s: I hated Pilates the first time I tried it. Now I’ve had an epiphany | Zoe Williams

I was persuaded to try it again by a friend because of the way she looks – like a dancer, except not haughty

Fitness tips: three back-strengthening Pilates moves to try

The most important lesson I’ve learned in the whole great arc of my fitness career is: just because you hated it the first time, doesn’t mean it’s not for you. This is why I returned to Pilates, which I previously felt was like soulless yoga (functional, painful, boring). Plus I was persuaded to try again by a friend – not by her words, but by the way she looks: like a dancer, except not haughty.

We went together to a local teacher called Dario Novo. It was reformer Pilates: long benches with weighted springs that you adjust according to your ability and the exercise, plus multiple straps to truss yourself into when you want to do something especially complicated to your arms and legs.

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