Benefits of Pilates
Good Posture: Pilates will teach you to gain and maintain good posture. The exercises require that your body is always in alignment. This is especially beneficial if you suffer from lower back pain.
The most basic aspect of the Pilates method is sitting tall, looking forward and avoid slouching.
Muscle Tone: The exercises involve the use of muscles that you may not use on a daily basis. This is especially good for those who are normally quite sedate in their daily life and older people as muscle tone is usually lost with inactivity and age.
Stronger Core: One of the benefits of Pilates is that it will result in a flatter tummy because it focuses on strengthening your core which includes your abdominal muscles.
Less Back Pain: Back pain mostly results from faulty posture and a sedentary lifestyle. Pilates addresses the muscle imbalances that most typically contribute to back pain, namely weak abdominals and glute muscles. Pilates also stretches out the tight and overworked back muscles. Proper alignment is the main factor that helps to alleviate back pain. If you do Pilates, you’ll understand how to use your body in ways that protect your back from injury.
Flexibility: Pilates exercises stretch the muscles and the joints while they strengthen the body. As we age we tend to lose the flexibility we had when we were young. Pilates helps restore flexibility. This is especially important in order to avoid injuries from falls.
Everyone has physical limitations that depend on age, genetics and lifestyle. Pilates is not a panacea, but if you do a regular Pilates exercise program, your body can reach its potential in the areas of flexibility and strength.
More Awareness: If nothing else, doing Pilates should give you a new awareness of your body. You may never have thought about pulling in your tummy, sitting up tall or keeping your shoulder blades down away from your ears. And you may never have thought a lot about how you breathe. The things you find out in Pilates will start to filter into your daily life, and you may find that you correct your own posture and habits naturally.
TIP: Walk the Right Way
When you stride down the street, think of walking with a long stride, initiating the movement from the hips and glutes, not just the knees. This way of walking increases the length of your stride while stretching out the front of your hips (hip flexors). Walking with long strides helps reverse the tightness in the hips and back that comes from long bouts of sitting.
Better Balance: Through the mind-body connection which is taught in Pilates you will become much more aware of how your body moves and performs. Therefore Pilates not only improves your physical balance through correct posture but also restores your mind-body balance.
“Change happens through movement and movement heals."
- Joseph Pilates
Greater Strength: Any exercise regimen should increase your body’s overall strength. But Pilates strengthens the muscles in your body that you may actually notice on a day-to-day basis. Whatever activity you do, you’ll find that Pilates exercises improve strength in meaningful ways and can help with the overall health of your spine. Doing Pilates can prevent injuries, too!
Reduces Stress: When doing the exercises, you'll be totally engrossed and won't be able to think about all those responsibilities that weigh you down on a day-to-day basis. You'll be more focused on your breathing and on the moves that you are making with your body. This is an excellent way to relieve stress.
Introduce Pilates to your weekly routine, but be patient. No exercise program works miracles. Changes in your body will become apparent if you maintain a regular Pilates program.
“The mind, when housed within a healthy body,
possesses a glorious sense of power."
- Joseph Pilates
Pilates isn't just for fitness fanatics. It's a complete fitness method to build strength in your core muscles for better posture, balance and flexibility, and when performed regularly, it positively changes bodies. It combines awareness of the spine, proper breathing and strength, and flexible training.
Research has found that Pilates can be an effective treatment for injuries and illnesses such as:
Chronic neck and back pain
Hip or knee replacements
It is also excellent for athletes, dancers and other sports professionals who have had some kind of injury and need rehabilitation to get back into top form. Because Pilates is a low-impact exercise, it can be tailored to work on certain areas of your body as long as you have a trained and qualified instructor – like me.
“Every moment of our life can be the beginning of great things."
- Joseph Pilates