Chances are you're probably familiar with the principles of Pilates...now fitness experts are diving in, taking Pilates to the pool.

Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle...and what a great time to try something new as the new year comes around...like pilates and swimming combined into one.  

Take the fundamental principles of pilates.. add water and voila..you've got pool-ates.

Instructor Karen Seidman thinks the trend is long overdue; "My students are telling me that they're feeling more balanced and more confident of their posture and their balance on land.

They're feeling a difference in the way they look, in the way they move and the way they walk."

One of those students is Susan Hamilton: "I love the resistance the water gives. It's a great stretching mechanism."

Seidman tells us why this exercise is so effective; "You can help strengthen your back, you can help strengthen your legs using all the core muscles that you have...you're able to use many more muscles that you feel confident using in the water because you're not afraid of falling."

And she says if you're battling back from an injury, this new generation of aquatic exercise can help. "It's great for people who have injuries, because they find that in the water, they're able to move parts of their body that they would not otherwise do on land."

It's easier on joints and muscles than land-based exercises, but make no mistake, this workout isn't for wimps. 

It's never too late to start an exercise routine..but as always check with your physician before you start.

You can also find these type of classes being held at both outdoor and indoor pools near you by entering  "water pilates" into your favorite search engine.