10 Ways Doing Pilates Will Improve Your Life
Pilates is a popular exercise program that has gained popularity in the past couple of decades, but it’s actually much older than most people realize. Joseph Pilates, the founder, was inspired to create this method during World War I when he was being held at an internment camp on the Isle of Man. Joseph was a sickly child, but through gymnastics, body-building and martial arts, he improved his physical strength to earn his living as a professional boxer and self-defense trainer.
Pilates believe that physical and mental health were interrelated. Pilates is a method of physical fitness that strengthens your core muscles, improves flexibility and is low-impact. It’s good for both beginners and experienced athletes. Although Pilates is structured, it can be tailored to fit your needs.
In a Pilates class, you typically perform a series of exercises that are designed to strengthen your core and stabilize your body. These movements may appear simple at first glance, but in Pilates, there is a strong emphasis on technique, not repetition.
Here are 10 reasons to do Pilates that aren’t “because you should exercise.”
Pilates Trains the Entire Body
The focus of the workout is on core strength, but Pilates considers the entire body. Joseph called the method “Contrology” because his system was based on muscle control. Classic Pilates focuses on the traditional methods of controlled movements, which puts emphasis on alignment, improving coordination and balance and breathing. It demands concentration, which involves the mind. You’re not improving just one section of the body but working to improve your whole being.
Pilates Improves Your Mental and Emotional Strength
Pilates benefits your mental health. The movements are smooth and steady, soothing your nervous system. You should leave a workout feeling calmer and more balanced.
Core Strength Is Developed
The core muscles support the frame of the body, making you have good posture, efficient movement patterns, and a strong back. Pilates develops those muscles to let the muscles and joints do their jobs. Centering is one of the key principles in Pilates. Movement starts in the center of the body and moves outward to the limbs.
Pilates Workouts Increase Energy
Breathing is another key element of the Pilates method. Your breathing practices are coordinated with your movements to increase blood circulation. You breathe out with the effort and in on the return, take deep breaths into the back and sides of the rib cage. As you breathe better, your lung capacity increases supplying your body with more oxygen. This energizes you, helping you feel more relaxed and less stressed.
Pilates Increases Flexibility
Pilates focuses on stabilizing and strengthening your pelvic floor and core muscles, which improves your flexibility. It works to stretch and relax your body. Because precise motions are perfected, as you become more proficient in Pilates, you increase your stamina.
Pilates Improves Your Posture
Along with developing your core strength, Pilates increases good alignment in your body, alleviating stress on your spine. When you have the inner strength to support your body, it makes you more aware of the placement of your spine and pelvis when you’re sitting and standing, making your posture better even when you’re not exercising. Pilates is a more intense workout than yoga if you need to strengthen your abdomen and pelvic muscles.
Pilates Can Be Designed For Anyone
The most advanced athlete can benefit from the Pilates method, but it can be modified to be gentler for a pregnant woman or injured person. One of Pilates benefits is that there are thousands of exercises that can be tailored to suit each person’s individual needs. According to WebMD, it can help prevent arthritis from causing more disabilities. Pilates strengthens weak muscles in the back. Patients with back pain have responded to Pilates, but talk to your doctor and work with an experienced instructor.
Pilates Improves Mindfulness
Concentration is another key principle of Pilates. Because the movements are performed in a slow, mindful state, you become aware of your body, your alignment, and your energy. When you’re doing your daily activities, you become more aware of how you move your body.
Your Balance and Coordination Is Improved
When your muscles weaken, especially your core muscles, your balance will decrease. Pilates strengthens those muscles that keep your body steady when walking. Postural alignment is one of the principles of Pilates, and it translates to improving safety even when you’re not doing the exercises. Pilates focuses on precision. You can’t do Pilates in a half-hearted manner. Precision is perfected in movement, which becomes second nature. You become more graceful, not only when practicing Pilates, but also in your daily life.
Stress Levels Are Reduced
Breathing control reduces your blood pressure. Increased oxygenation reduces stress. You become more relaxed, again, not only while you’re practicing Pilates but outside of the gym. While you’re practicing Pilates, you have to completely focus on the exercises. Precision is more important than repetition. The way the exercise is performed is more important than performance. Stress is reduced as you focus on Pilates, not on what’s going on in your life. You refresh your body and your mind.
If you are interested in Pilates and are ready to get started, be sure to contact us to schedule a private or semi-private session!