Roselle Monteverde on the benefits of Pilates

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Roselle Monteverde demonstrates the use of a stability ball for the Side Bend, a routine that works on the lateral side and strengthens the oblique muscles for balance and strengthening Photos by NAZZI CASTRO

Roselle Monteverde demonstrates the use of a stability ball for the Side Bend, a routine that works on the lateral side and strengthens the oblique muscles for balance and strengthening Photos by NAZZI CASTRO

Armed with a tireless work ethic as chief operating officer of 54-year-old filmmaking company Regal Entertainment, Roselle Monteverde makes sure she allots time for regular physical activity despite her demanding schedule.

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The daughter of Philippine showbiz icon “Mother” Lily Monteverde—whose modern management style complements her mom’s traditional albeit tried and tested ways in the business of producing movies—the second generation Regal Films boss believes that a person makes sound judgements whether at home or the office when he or she is also of sound health.

Now a year over 50, Roselle enviably maintains a naturally toned body, which she achieved through years of constant exercise, which she also believes has resulted in her positive outlook in life.

“I’m a person who’s very adventurous so I’ve tried so many different things when it comes to exercise. Since I was young, I’ve always been physically active. In high school, I played volleyball, I swam; but when I went to the US for college I wasn’t able to join any sports teams,” she recalled. “That was when I started exercise ‘on my own’ so to speak, and started running, and aerobics watching Jane Fonda tapes at home.”

According to Roselle, she grew up with her father Leonardo “Remy” Monteverde Mother Lily instilling in them the importance of exercise in a person’s general well being.

“My father was a basketball player in college so even when he already had us, I would see him every morning working out. Mother is No. 1 when it comes to walking, and she tried aerobics too, complete with leotards and tights,” she added with an affectionate laugh.

“So from there, I also made it a habit to exercise—whether at home, at a gym, and even boxing at Elorde when I finally settled back in the Philippines,” Roselle continued.

As she began working for Regal, Roselle found her penchant for exercise more beneficial to her daily life.

“I had so much fun doing boxing,” she recalled. “It was a great outlet to release stress from work. I felt powerful in a way because you get to let go of all that force with punches. My trainor would tell me, ‘Visualize that person you’re annoyed with and punch!’ And I’d give it all I had,” she laughed again.

Fitness diversion
Almost 10 years ago, Roselle found herself in unfamiliar fitness surroundings when former Regal Films talent Joyce Jimenez asked her to take her place at a Pilates studio.

“Joyce, who I used to go boxing with, couldn’t attend the class, and me asked if I could sub for her, since she had paid good money for the slot,” she recalled.

“At first I was really struggling with it; I didn’t know anything about Pilates, but as I went on to research about it and listen to my trainer, I realized I couldn’t do anything because I wasn’t strong at my core,” Roselle added, motioning to the center of her body. “I thought I’d do well enough since I’ve always been active but just to find my balance on top of a ball was just too hard.”

The difference and challenge of Pilates, as Roselle eventually discovered, is that it strengthens not just a group of muscles in the body—say one’s arms in weight lifting—from the core and then all the way out.

“You first build on your core rather than work out your muscles in isolation like in the gym when you carry weights. In Pilates, the workout is organized in a way that you strengthen all your muscle groups. It’s like you wake them all up so your strength is also whole,” she added.

The film producer said she started Pilates even before its machine exercises were available in the Philippines. All they had back then were mats and rings.

“When we got to use the machines, it became even harder because you have to have the strength to control the springs on the contraptions. If you’re not stable, you can easily hurt yourself.”

Luxury routine
Admittedly, Pilates is quite an expensive exercise compared to more common fitness routines, according to Roselle, which is why she advises those who are thinking of taking it up to be determined to learn its principles and meet its goals.

“There was a time I would pay P1,500 per class, but the price goes down depending on the number of people in a class. There also has to be quorum, otherwise, they’ll cancel the session. Of course, you can also have a personal trainer and go one-on-one but the price goes even higher.”

For someone serious about fitness like Roselle, however, the price to pay for Pilates is worth it because its benefits go beyond her physical health.

“With Pilates, I become more energized through the day because it literally wakes up every part of my body. And with it, I feel my mind becomes sharper, and my whole outlook is more positive.”

She clarifies that her first priority in doing Pilates is not the physical results of a toned body but the feeling of well being in both mind and body.

“Discipline is key in Pilates as well as listening, and even those, I get to use at work and at home,” she further cited.

Asked who she believes will benefit from this exercise, Roselle Monteverde replied, “I would recommend Pilates to everyone who wants be strong both physically and mentally. At the end of the day, Pilates is a lifestyle that goes beyond the studio. I guess there’s no other way to understand its benefits but to try it.”

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