If you are not familiar with Pilates then you may think, when watching a class, that it doesn’t look too much like hard work! After all most of the class seems to be spent lying down – right?
Wrong! Pilates moves depend on intense control, precision, strength, co-ordination, balance and concentration – phew!
The founder of Pilates, Joseph Pilates is quoted as saying; ““Pilates develops the body uniformly, corrects wrong postures, restores physical vitality, invigorates the mind and elevates the spirit.”
Although Pilates does not offer an intense cardiovascular workout, practicing this type of exercise can have many benefits on your health.
The benefits include:
- Improved posture
- Improved flexibility and mobility of the spine
- Improved muscle tone
- Improved core strength i.e. stronger, tighter stomach muscles
- Improved joint health
- Improved stability of the shoulders and pelvis
And it is not just the physical benefits that make Pilates such a good form of exercise. When you practice Pilates regularly your overall well-being improves in several ways.
- Your body looks strong and is more toned
- Stress and tension are released
- Your level of body awareness grows
- You feel better and healthier
Pilates is also an excellent choice of exercise for:
The elderly – Pilates is a gentle form of exercise that can help to improve balance and co-ordination. Conditions like arthritis respond well to Pilates as bone and joint health improves.
Ante and post-natal women – Pilates is a safe way for pregnant women and women who have recently had a baby to exercise. It can help to keep the body strong and in shape throughout pregnancy and help a woman regain her figure after pregnancy.
People with existing medical conditions – Pilates offers a beneficial and safe workout for people who have Multiple Sclerosis, Arthritis, Osteoporosis and Scoliosis.
Pilates and professionals
The success rate of Pilates as a form of exercise has brought it to the attention of doctors, physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors who will often recommend it to patients as one of the safest forms of exercise available.
Also many top sports and dance professionals incorporate Pilates into their training regimes to build strength and flexibility and improve their concentration levels.
So what may look like a gentle form of exercise comes highly recommended and practicing Pilates can help you to improve your health and make you feel better about yourself at the same time