By now you have probably heard about the fitness phenomenon called Pilates. In this article you will found out that it is a great way for you to get a healthier lifestyle without putting a toll on your body.
What is Pilates?
Pilates is a physical fitness system invented in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. It draws inspiration from calisthenics, yoga and ballet and contains over 500 exercises. These exercises aim to stretch and lengthen all muscle groups – the aim of the Pilates method. By doing Pilates you will be able to improve your balance, flexibility, awareness and strength of your body.
How Does Pilates Work?
The exercises in the Pilates method make you focus on the precise and exact movements of your body as you bring them through the ranges of movement. There is a prescribed breathing pattern, placement and rhythm for each exercise and are based on the following principles: control, concentration, flow, centering, precision and breathing.
The two main types of Pilates exercises are:
Mat Based Exercises – these are performed on the mat using your own bodyweight as the resistance.
Reformer Exercises – these are performed with the aid of a pilates reformer/home pilates machine.
Health Benefits of Pilates
Pilates and Improving Your Posture
Pilates help you to properly align your body such that your muscles are not tense in order to support your body. This will help your body to operate properly without placing excessive strain on one particular group of muscle over others. By doing so you will reduce pressure on your joints and make it less likely for you to suffer an injury.
Pilates and Improving Your Flexibility
Although yoga is well known for being good for your flexibility, Pilates can be more effective for certain people. While yoga uses static stretches (unmoving) Pilates stretch the muscles while you are moving. Since you are warmed up while you stretch, you can stretch farther without causing as much pain.
Pilates and Boosting Your Stamina
The repetition of exercises and the sequences of movements performed in the Pilates method help you to endure performing these movements over a longer period of time. After consistently doing Pilates exercises for a while you will find that your endurance will improve.
Pilates and Improving Muscular Strength
As mentioned earlier the exercises in Pilates are performed with deliberate, controlled and sometimes slow movements. While it may not be as intense as a weightlifting session it will help you develop total body strength.
Pilates and Getting a Better Looking Body
With an improved posture, flatter abs and improved muscle tone overall you will look both leaner and taller.
Pilates and Reducing Stress
Bad posture and the pain associated with it can contribute to your stress levels. Pilates helps you considerably reduce your stress, helping you become more relaxed throughout the day and helping you get to sleep at night.
As you can see Pilates is a great way to workout both your mind and body which will contribute to a healthier lifestyle overall.